Live Blogging from the Alabama Revival Conference. . . July 12, 2006

Session One

Kenneth Haney & Sam Emory

Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center

At some point in your life, you must drive to Dothan and eat at Larry’s BBQ. It is very good southern BBQ and I have to admit that I frequent the place on a fairly regular basis. So today when Bro. Patterson and myself were invited by Bro. Sutton to go to Dreamland BBQ for some ribs we took off. Larry’s is good but Dreamland is legendary. President George Bush (43) ate at the one in Tuscaloosa and the two most important ment in the state of Alabama, Tommy Tuberville and Mike Shula have both eaten at the one in Birmingham where we ate today. That was at lunch and it worked out well. They gave us Flowers Baking bread (this makes some of the Dothan guys happy) to eat and the loaf was fairly well polished off by the time that we got finished. That was lunch.

The first “real” session of ARC officially began tonight at 7 PM. From the outset, it was very high energy. I would speculate the attendance in the neighborhood of 600 and the auditorium at the BJCC was at least ¾’s full. The meeting was marked with a lot of praise and worship for the first 30 minutes or so with Zane Isaacson (Eva, AL) as the worship leader. After this Pastor Barry Sutton introduced the first speaker of the evening.

The General Superintendent of the UPCI, Kenneth Haney, was the first speaker. I have to say that I had never heard Bro. Haney preach like he did tonight. Most of the times that I have heard him preach, it has been about vision, however tonight he took a different path to get to the vision aspect of the message. His message was very much a directive and forced a response in the heart and in the mind.

He took his text from Job 29:18 as follows:

Job 29:18 KJV Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my

He then entitled the message “You Cannot Rest In the Nest.” What follows are my notes that I took while he was preaching. For all of those who have heard me over the years talk about “marble” notebooks, this is what I write in them. A few times, it appears that I am the only one taking notes but I had my brother-in-law beside me tonight and he was steadily writing things down too! I am going to violate one of my little rules and I am going to also include the personal observations that I jotted down that applied to me. These will be in a different color.

-Life is made up of two elements: (1) Memory, and (2) Anticipation. We will live our lives in both of those modes but one will be the constant and it will overrule the other. Because God has filled us with a purpose and a vision, no man or church can afford to live his life in the “memory” mode.

-I will never be satisfied with a full house mentality. How can I be satisfied with a full house on Sunday night and know that we can seat around 175 without chairs? How can I be satisfied knowing that we are still thousands shy of what God needs to save? How can any saint or other church leader be satisfied when our town is lost?

-Job was actually asking himself some questions about finally getting to a place to rest in the nest. However, it is not the will of God for us to look around and be satisfied with a meager amount of success in life and ministry. The church is vibrant and dynamic and the world is desperately in need of a prevailing Word from God.

-Book Recommendation: Dying For Change by L. Anderson (I think). In this book, there were some CEO’s who were analyzed in their careers. They all had taken companies that were mediocre at best and they filled this company with a dream and a vision of success. This company responded to the challenge and rose in value. However, something happened in the later years of the history of these companies. They lost their vision for greatness and became more interested in preserving their success.

-God is looking for the intrepid men, the fearless men, the faithful men, the valiant men who are interested in a vision of evangelism. Heritage matters to us as a movement and it matters to individual churches but the heritage cannot be something that we are more concerned with “saving” at the expense of reaching this world with the apostolic message of Acts 2:38!

-To whom much is given, much is required. We cannot live in the memory of the past. God is expecting us to do much more. God is not looking for men to retire.

-In 1 Corinthians 10, there were five major sins that Paul mentioned for the reason that Israel did not possess the Promised Land:

1 Lusting after evil things v. 6

2 Idolaters v. 7

3 Fornication v. 8

4 Tempting v. 9

5 Murmured v. 10

-These particular things will also keep us from really gaining what God has for us. It is important to keep my life clean and pure.

-After the ten plagues, in one night God accomplished the Exodus. He took 1 million Jews on a mass exodus. It is amazing what God can do in a very short time frame. There is an overnight solution and an overnight revival waiting in Dothan and elsewhere. There are people right now whom God is speaking to and they are in the early stages of conversion. It is our job to seek them out and get them out of the world (Egypt) and bring them into the church. We must patiently disciple them.

-When the new converts come in, it never gives the saints who have been around for a while to pick up worldliness, a lukewarm spirit, and a prayerless attitude. The new converts need to be helped in the ways of holiness (with the proper spirit) and the avenues of spiritual growth.

-The problem with “resting in the nest” is the human spirit factor. The human spirit will always be the great dilemma. It is crucial for a sense of “togetherness” and unity be in our churches. The devil can constantly be creating chaos in churches that are not unified.

-The human spirit factor was what caused Jesus to not be able to heal anyone in his hometown. There was a critical spirit that catered to their unbelief. Pay attention to your life when you get critical.

-Together in vision, dreams, progress, evangelism. . . When Jesus was asked to come to Jarius’ home to heal his daughter, the Lord began to move in that direction. However, when He was on the way, the bad news arrived that the girl had died. We always see with a fatalistic sense of vision. We see the disarray created by the mourners but we must have the mind of Christ in the situation. . . she is not dead. . . . she is only sleeping!!!

-When the negative voices start in your life or in your church—it is more important to know what God thinks than what men say. When people come around trying to tear down everything that God has built up in our lives or tearing down people with their gossip. . . .we should politely tell them, “Thanks but no thanks! My ear is not the garbage can!” She is not dead she is just asleep.

The next speaker was Sam Emory. He is an evangelist from California and actually he preached last summer at the Alabama District UPCI Family Camp. He took his text from Genesis 22:1-5:

Genesis 22:1-5 KJV And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. [2] And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. [3] And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. [4] Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. [5] And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.

He entitled his message, “One Step Beyond Sacrifice.”

-Going back in the history of the life of Abraham, one finds him meeting with a man named Abimilech. During this meeting, Abraham had to dig his own well and draw from it. Other men’s wells may be good for a little while but somewhere in life, it will be necessary to dig your own well.

-You have to dig out your own faith, your own experience, your own walk with God.

-Abraham would have his faith tested. Whether one likes it or not, faith will be tested. This is greatly demonstrated in Abraham’s dilemma with Isaac. The will of God is not always going to be comfortable. It will not always be logical nor foreseeable. There will be some loose ends in our service to God.

-God’s Kingdom circumvents my own comfort. My comfort is not the question. . . the purpose is the Kingdom of God.

-The prosperity gospel is filling “mega-churches” with shallow folks. They cannot even really be classified as saints because they are just there for the show. The human spirit will always flow to the lowest end of gravity and follow the path of least resistance. This explains the humanistic syndrome of the “mega-church” mentality. If the desire of our lives is God then there will be an elevation of the anointing.

-The crowd may come but gaining the glory is a whole different matter. The glory only comes with a baptism of the Holy Ghost. Without a born again experience, little will come to pass.

-The will of God is not always going to be logical (take your son to the mountain and offer him on an altar as a sacrifice) nor can you speak it out (the Bible does not record Abe telling Sarah what he was going to do). NOTE: Sometimes it is best not to tell folks what God has spoken to you because they will do their very best to talk you out of what God wants you to do. Understanding the will of God is not necessary for following the will of God. Just Do It!!!!

-On the way to the mountain, Abe was probably confused, discouraged, depressed, worried, and anxious but the fact of the matter was that he was on the way!!!! You must keep moving despite what your feelings, thoughts, etc. may be. There are some valleys that God will have you to walk alone and no one can help you (Abe had sent all the other men back and he and Isaac were progressing on alone).

-In Genesis 22 the Lord instructed Abe to go and sacrifice. . . . but Abe said, “I am going to worship.” That is the step beyond the sacrifice. . . when sacrifice turns into worship.

-He had already been separated from:

Ur (his home).

His father (he had died).

Ishmael (he went with Hagar).

Lot (he went to Sodom).

-Now all he had left was Isaac. When you keep giving up and losing things. . . . at some point you are going to have to look at it as worship! Worship is my lifestyle. . . It is not the song I sing, the prayer I pray, the service I attend. . . . . It is my whole life. I worship God everyday with everything I do!!!!

-This is one of this generation’s most difficult challenges. Worship is part of character. It is important to live up to commitments, to pay obligations, and to stand by what God has called us to do. . . . no matter how difficult it may seem to be. Character and worship is what we live and breathe on Tuesday morning. . . not Sunday night.

-God will bring every man to a place where he has to give up what is most important to him. You can never bypass the place of sacrifice and really launch into worship. This test will separate the sacrificers (Cain) from the real worshipers (Abel).

-Cain could not understand that a sacrifice was something that you worship with. You will gravitate toward what you worship. . . This happened to Lot who would later move into Sodom. Because he was comfortable with the hidden idols of Ur. . . He was comfortable with Sodom.

Bro. Emory then concluded the message with a choice to become a worshiper. Earlier in the day, I had the opportunity to talk to Bro. Emory very briefly and after he discovered that I was an RN and had worked in Interventional Radiology, he told me that he was a Radiologic Technologist and had worked as a CT tech and MRI tech (Hello, Charlie Joyner). He left the hospital 10 years ago. When he concluded tonight’s message, he revealed some personal reflections that just a few months ago, during a particularly tough time in his life, he had gone back to visit some of the hospital staff and had actually been offered a job. What he did not reveal tonight is that there is a HUGE staffing shortage of healthcare workers in the nation and they are pretty well able to write their own ticket as far as monetary issues go.

Bro. Emory said that he looked at the money that was being offered which included a $10,000 sign on bonus and began to mull things over. However, it came to him that he was a worshiper and not a sacrificer and that he was not living for “here” but for eternity. This is crucial for us to understand!!!!

There was a very good response in the altar and I have to confess that I just did what I have been doing for most of my life now. . . . . going back and reaffirming my own commitment to God, to worship, and to revival.

On a lighter side, Bro. and Sis. Lee drove up from Dothan and are here in Birmingham. Also, Mike Patterson is now with Bro. Patterson and myself here at the Quality Inn. The other picture is of Bro. Perry Wells with Bro. Patterson. It is now 1:59 AM according to the little clock at the bottom of my computer screen and my brain is wobbling.

Until tomorrow night. . . . . God Bless. . . . . .

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