Thousands Find Christ at Harvest SoCal

by Lynn on August 24, 2014

Harvest SoCal AnaheimLast Sunday I attended Harvest SoCal in Anaheim, California. The annual crusade is an outreach ministry of Harvest Christian Fellowship, and last weekend marked the 25th anniversary of the event.

Harvest SoCal Greg LaurieFor 25 years, Pastor and Evangelist Greg Laurie, has been presenting the Gospel message to thousands of people looking for answers to life’s questions. Over five million people have attended a Harvest Crusade since the event began in 1990, and 421,800 have made professions of faith in Jesus Christ.

Harvest SoCal Anaheim

Over three nights last weekend, more than 116,000 people packed Angel Stadium, and another 62,733 viewed the event online. On Sunday night, there were so many people at the stadium, that Pastor Greg tweeted that the Fire Marshall had just shut the doors, indicating that the stadium was filled to capacity! Throughout the program, attendees enjoyed video clips of past crusades, and great music provided by some of the most popular Christian artists today. One of those was Crystal Lewis, who has participated in nearly every crusade since 1990. She sang a medley of the songs she has recorded throughout those years.

Other favorite musicians included Phil Wickham, NEEDTOBREATHE, Sidewalk Prophets, and the hard-rock band Skillet.

On Sunday, we were treated to a lively performance by For King & Country.

For King & CountryUp close and personal with the drums, the crowd is on their feet!

For King & Country

For King & CountryWe also had a great time of worship with Chris Tomlin.

Chris TomlinPastor Greg’s message on Sunday was entitled See You in the Morning, and it focused on the reality of heaven. For many of us missing loved ones who have already gone on ahead, his words were comforting and encouraging. To those who know Christ, death is not the end but the beginning. It is a portal to home, and soon we’ll be together with Christ and our loved ones in heaven.

SoCal Harvest Greg LaurieFor the Christian, this life is as bad as it’s ever going to get. But for those without Christ, this life is as good as it’s ever going to get. Their eternity is far worse than even the current chaos our world is witnessing. But all hope is not lost, for Christ has made a way for all who choose to come to him.

SoCal Harvest AnaheimPastor Greg told the crowd about God’s love and how he sent his only son Jesus to take the punishment for our sins, so we could know God personally and have peace about our future.

“God can forgive your sin and the guilt that goes along with it. He loves you,” said Laurie. “Have you heard His voice? After 25 years, I know there’s nothing I can say to make you believe in Jesus. All I can do is deliver the news, sharing it with you. You have a choice: you can say yes to Him or you can say no to Him.”

This message of hope and salvation moved many from their seats and down the stairs. Over three nights, 12,791 people made professions of faith in Jesus Christ. Seeing thousands stream onto the field to make the most important decision of their lives, never gets old.

SoCal Harvest AnaheimSunday night ended in a magnificent display of fireworks to the music of Chris Tomlin!

SoCal Harvest AnaheimIf you were unable to attend or watch online during the event, the Harvest Crusade is archived at Harvest.org/crusades.

The next event on the calendar is Harvest America, which will be held on October 5, 2014, in Dallas, TX and streamed live across the globe! To get more information or to coordinate a host location, visit HarvestAmerica.com.

On the journey toward Home,

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Etsy Summer Sale

by Lynn on August 2, 2014

lizzieanddarcy.etsy.com My Etsy shop, The Drawing Room at Pemberley, is having a summer sale and you are all invited! Everything in the shop can be purchased at a 20% discount by using the coupon code SUMMER14 at check-out. This Etsy coupon code is available through Sunday, August 10, 2014, and does not apply to shipping.

Here are just a few of the great vintage and hand-made items you’ll find in my Etsy shop!

lizzieanddarcy.etsy.com

Pink and lime vintage china tiered server

SummerSale-Coalport-cup-sau

Coalport rosebud cup and saucer

SummerSale-wreath

Vintage ornament Christmas wreath (local delivery only)

SummerSale-teacup-bird

Repurposed vintage teacup silk floral bird nest arrangement

SummerSale-RSP-parrot

Rare R.S. Prussia Parrot open sugar bowl

SummerSale-Art-deco-trio

Vintage hand-painted art deco hieroglyphic motif china trio

SummerSale-labels

Vintage painting cartouche-shaped labels

SummerSale-Easter-basket

Yellow daisy silk floral bird nest Easter basket

SummerSale-bluelyric-creame

Crown Staffordshire Blue Lyric creamer

SummerSale-royal-blue-frame

Iridescent royal blue vintage jewelry rhinestone picture frame

SummerSale-RSP-Teapot

Vintage R.S. Prussia teapot and open sugar bowl

SummerSale-cobalt-plates

Vintage cobalt hand-painted dessert plate set

Remember, the coupon code expires on August 10, so shop now for vintage and hand-made treasures at great prices! See you there!

The Drawing Room at Pemberley

On the journey toward Home,

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Planting Seeds and Reaping a Harvest

by Lynn on July 23, 2014

Planting-Harvest Being a forensic scientist, I admittedly don’t watch television series that depict my profession. Now I understand that in these shows, criminalistics is dramatized to be entertaining in a story line that can be completed in an hour. I also know that the public doesn’t realize that DNA analysis can’t be completed on a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer, or that acid fumes are not the common cause of meth lab explosions. But seeing a criminalist skilled enough to do the work in one hour of television, it takes ten people months to do in real life, makes me a little crazy. As a former colleague of mine, now producer of a popular forensic drama said, “This is television-if you want real life, watch a documentary.” And that is the point—television is not real life. No one person can do ten peoples’ jobs. Each has a skill set that complements the others. Patrol officers respond to and secure the crime scene. Detectives do the investigative leg work, take people into custody and interrogate suspects. Crime Lab responders document and collect evidence. Criminalists evaluate and examine evidence and report findings. The District Attorney’s Office coordinates prosecution once charges are filed. My point is the criminalist, as talented as they may be, cannot do everyone’s job. They can only do their own job.

Likewise, in following the Great Commission, each Christian is called to do what God has given them talent, initiative, resources and opportunity to do.

When I was very young, my parents took our family to hear Billy Graham speak. He was holding a crusade at the old Balboa Stadium in San Diego. I was only 1 ½ years old back then in 1964, so any memories I might have of being there are probably more from watching later crusades on television. Nonetheless, anyone who’s seen this event knows that the hallmark of any Billy Graham crusade is the stream of people who make their way to the center field and give their lives to Christ.

Evangelistic outreach started right after the birth of the Church and continues today. For example, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association still sponsors these events, even though Billy Graham himself has retired. In California, Harvest Christian Fellowship sponsors annual crusades in Anaheim and other large cities. And in recent years, technology has allowed on-line audiences to exceed stadium audiences at these events. According to their web site, Harvest Ministries has reached a staggering number of people.

Since 1990, Harvest Crusades has put on large-scale evangelistic outreaches around the United States and in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. More than 5,006,000 people have attended a Harvest Crusade event in person, and more than 421,800 people have made professions of faith in Jesus Christ.

Billy Graham, whose ministry began in 1950, has preached to an estimated 215,000,000 people, and has led countless millions of those to Christ. And these are just two such ministries—there are many others with similar missions.

But such a public display of response to the Gospel message may leave some of us feeling that our own efforts fall short in comparison. Although we’ve shared the Good News, we’ve never been the one to “bring someone over the finish line” so to speak. To be honest, I haven’t personally led anyone to Christ by praying the sinner’s prayer with them. And knowing my propensity for weepiness at such a moment, I doubt I could do it without blubbering like an idiot. However, a few years ago an old friend approached me at our high school reunion, telling me that he’d been waiting years to share his amazing conversion testimony with me. After years of drug and alcohol abuse, he’d hit rock bottom. When he cried out to God that no one cared about him, the Holy Spirit said that I had been praying for him, mentioning me by name. He repented of his sins, and surrendered his life to Christ. I was grateful to hear the story, and humbled that God allowed me a “behind the scenes” look at my prayer life, showing me that my prayers do matter to him. It is always encouraging to see evidence of God using us for his glory. We share this story and many others in our book, Held by God, just for that purpose.
When the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth, he explained that God is the master builder of the Church. We are all given different jobs to do to assist in that endeavor, but it is the Holy Spirit who brings people to a place of repentance and salvation through Jesus Christ.

What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9, NIV

Public speaking is not a talent that I possess, which is why court testimony is the worst part of my job. I’m one of those people who get nervous when a meeting leader insists that we go around the room and introduce ourselves. If God had wanted me to be a public speaker, he’d have made sure my mind didn’t go blank when a room full of people all turned simultaneously to listen to what I had to say. However, my job does provide me with a decent income which has enabled me to purchase START Bibles that are given out to new believers at Harvest Crusades. I’ve also had the privilege of partnering with the radio ministry of Thru the Bible which broadcasts the sermons of Dr. J. Vernon McGee worldwide. I have volunteered in the kitchen during women’s events at my church, and have shared my testimony in the book I co-authored with my sister. God has not given me an outgoing personality or the gift of voice projection, but he has given me a heart for service and the blessings of a good income that can be used for his glory.

Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:27-28, NIV

Yes, not all of us are called to reap the harvest like Billy Graham or Greg Laurie. Some of us are called to be seed planters, while others water and cultivate the sprouting seeds. This means that while the Holy Spirit may use the well-recognized harvesters to bring people into the Kingdom, it is only after he’s used the efforts of countless others to help prepare the people for that time of conversion. All of our roles are important in his work, not just the high-profile ones. In a conversation with his disciples, Jesus confirms this.

Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.” John 4:35-38, NIV

God’s word never returns void, so each time we share the Gospel with another, we are planting a seed. When we contribute our time, talent, and resources to faithful ministries, we water the seed. And when we pray over the people in whose lives the seeds of the Gospel have been planted, we cultivate the sprouting seeds. God may give us an opportunity to teach Sunday school, volunteer at a Rescue Mission, or assist with a prison ministry. He may open doors for us to go on a missions trip, coordinate Vacation Bible School, help usher, drive people to a crusade, or help build a new church for a community in Haiti. Some of us may be given a passion to teach Bible study, or become a prayer warrior who bathes every new encounter in heavenly petitions. Whatever the task he calls us to, he will give us the strength, the wisdom, and the resources to be salt and light in this dark world.

The grain cannot be harvested without the faithful planting, watering, and cultivation of the seed. God uses all of us to bring in the harvest.

On the journey toward Home,

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Peace in the Midst of Grief

by Lynn on June 30, 2014

PeaceToday I attended the memorial service for one of my colleagues who passed away unexpectedly. The occasion held all of the standard ritual that accompanies a police service. To the sound of bagpipes, a sea of saluting deputies and officers bid farewell to one of their own. Death is always tragic, but even more so when it happens suddenly, and grief is thrust upon us without warning.

While people deal with grief in different ways, I’ve noticed that some are completely devastated by their pain, while others have a certain peace despite their suffering. In the weeks following my mom’s death, we’d visit the cemetery fairly often. On several occasions we’d meet a woman whose son was buried nearby. He was just a teenager who’d recently died in a car accident. The depth of the woman’s grief was evident as she spent hours sitting in the cemetery. She was clearly not eating, and every time we saw her she looked worse. Her son’s gravesite had become a shrine to his memory and for many months, sitting on his small plot of lawn was her whole life.

So why do some fall apart under the crushing pain of grief while others endure? I think it comes back to one word: hope.

In 1873, a man by the name of Horatio Spafford was trying to rally after two devastating events. Three years earlier, he and his wife had lost their only son to Scarlet Fever. Shortly thereafter, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed properties he owned, which ruined him financially. Despite this the family was scheduled to travel to Europe. Mr. Spafford had to remain behind to attend to some business matters, but he assured his wife and daughters that he would accompany them as soon as possible. While crossing the Atlantic, the ship collided with another ship. Several passengers drowned including Mr. Spafford’s four daughters. His wife sent a telegram back to America with the words “Saved alone.” As he traveled to meet his wife, the ship passed over the area where his four daughters perished. In his grief, Horatio Spafford penned the following words.

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come, Let this blest assurance control, That Christ has regarded my helpless estate, And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live: If Jordan above me shall roll, No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, The sky, not the grave, is our goal; Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord! Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend, Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Horatio Spafford was sustained in his grief because he knew he would be reunited with his children one day. He could write these lyrics because despite his grieving heart, he understood his sins to be nailed to the cross of Christ, and therefore looked forward to the day when Jesus would return to the earth and take him home to heaven. This hope is what gives us peace in the midst of grief.

…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Psalms 30:5b, KJV

The struggle may be difficult and the pain may be devastating; but because I have Jesus, it is well with my soul.

On the journey toward Home,

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Honoring Those Who Defend our Freedom

May 26, 2014
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President Ronald Reagan was a strong supporter of our military, and he keenly understood the price of freedom provided by the men and women who serve. In honor of Memorial Day, I have included a few poignant excerpts from the President’s address at Arlington National Cemetery in 1982. I have no illusions about what little […]

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Jesus Paid it All

April 20, 2014
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A few weeks ago, we sang this old familiar hymn at church. On this Easter, the words are especially poignant. I hear the Savior say, “Thy strength indeed is small; Child of weakness, watch and pray, Find in Me thine all in all.” For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim, I’ll wash […]

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The Body of Christ – Connected Together Through Worship

April 9, 2014
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At my church we’ve been studying the book of Ephesians, and our pastor has been speaking about unity within the body of Christ. So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up […]

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DIY Custom Bird Nest Easter Baskets

March 23, 2014
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A few months back I featured my bird nest teacups in a Do-It-Yourself craft post. Well today, we’re going to cover a spin-off from that project. In just a few steps, I’ll show you how to use the same theme to create wonderfully custom Easter baskets! First, you’ll need a basket. I like to start […]

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GOD’S NOT DEAD – The Movie opens this Week

March 18, 2014
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GOD’S NOT DEAD is a new Christian film that opens this weekend, and judging from the trailer, it looks like it may be a very good one. The story centers on a college freshman who is challenged by his professor to deny his faith or to defend it. The film features Kevin Sorbo and Shane […]

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The Empress Hotel Signature Scone Recipe

March 9, 2014
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Clad in ivy and surrounded by beautiful manicured gardens, the Fairmont Empress Hotel is a favorite destination of travelers to Victoria on Vancouver Island. This historic grand lady has been welcoming guests since 1908. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth stayed at the Empress in 1939, during their Royal Tour of Canada. More recently, HRH […]

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