Greg Laurie, Evangelistic Mega-Team to Bring Harvest America to University of Phoenix Stadium, Valley of the Sun
Nearly three decades after first bringing its large-scale evangelistic events to stadiums and arenas around the world, Harvest Crusades with Greg Laurie has announced plans to hold its annual Harvest America outreach in the Phoenix, Arizona metro area on June 11, 2017. Designed to impact a country desperately in need of hope, the nationwide simulcast of the Harvest America outreach will be made available to thousands of host locations across the country and will originate from the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals.
THREE DECADES OF HARVEST CRUSADES WITH GREG LAURIE INCLUDES STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION
Churches and para-church organizations representing a variety of denominations throughout Phoenix and surrounding regions—the “Valley of the Sun”—are partnering with Harvest America to host the one-night event. In addition, the Southern Baptist Convention and its North American Mission Board are partnering with Harvest America 2017, and have selected it as the focus of their annual “Crossover” outreach event, taking place just prior to the Southern Baptist Convention’s national meeting in Phoenix in June.
Featuring a nightly message of hope from Laurie and music from top-name Christian artists, each Harvest outreach is hosted through the efforts of hundreds of local churches and admission is free of charge. Since 1990, Harvest Crusades has put on large-scale evangelistic outreaches across the U.S. and in Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. In 2012 a new nationwide simulcast called Harvest America was born, expanding the reach of the Gospel even further. In person attendance and live webcast views for Harvest events total more than 7.6 million, with 489,229 people deciding to make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
The 2016 Harvest America event was held at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, and was live streamed to more than 7,200 remote host locations and drew a combined 350,000 participants, making it the largest one-day live evangelistic event ever for U.S. audiences.
With a trademark ability to present a clear gospel message in a culturally relevant format, drawing on the latest in current events, contemporary Christian music, and technology, Greg Laurie has been called the “evangelist of the future” by Billy Graham. In addition to founding the Harvest Crusades—the longest-running annual evangelistic outreach in U.S. history—Laurie also serves as senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, which has campuses in Riverside and Irvine, Calif., and Maui, Hawaii. He serves on the board of directors for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
MEDIA NOTE: For more information about the 2017 Harvest America, contact Laura McGowan at (847) 347-5206 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or access the Harvest America website at www.harvestamerica.com.
Although producers of “I’m Not Ashamed,” which releases Friday, use the 1999 Columbine High School massacre as a backdrop to the feature story of martyred Rachel Joy Scott, the film doesn’t shy away from the underreported fact that killer Eric Harris was most likely motivated by Darwinism and natural selection.
Based on Harris’ own journal, and as depicted in movie clips given exclusively to WND, Harris, along with Dylan Klebold, found justification for their diabolical plans in Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest” theology.
A case has been made in the movie and by a few researchers that the evil embraced by the killers was not simply the product of a “Goth” lifestyle or an alienated, tortured youth.
“It’s good that the movie is filling in details that the media overlooked,” apologetics author and university professor Nancy R. Pearcey told WND in an email. “If anything, I wish the movie had pressed even harder on the role that worldviews play. People are influenced by what they believe is true.”
Pearcey adds, “From Harris’ journals, there cannot be any doubt that he was a thoroughgoing disciple of Darwin, and saw his own behavior as acting out Darwinian principles.”
Tragically, this “acting out” resulted in the murder of 12 students and one teacher with another 24 wounded before Harris and Klebold committed suicide.
Photo: Scene from ‘I’m Not Ashamed’
Harvest Georgia is a local event that will feature performances by Chris Tomlin, Lecrae, THIRD DAY, Phil Wickham, and a gospel message by Greg Laurie.
Harvest events are designed to be opportunities for Christians to invite family members, coworkers, friends, and acquaintances to hear the life-changing message of the gospel in an environment that is entertaining and nonthreatening.
On the last night of Harvest SoCal with Greg Laurie, Mel Gibson (The Passion of the Christ, Braveheart, Lethal Weapon, Mad Max), made a surprise guest appearance and was challenged by Laurie for an impromptu arm wrestling match. However, the two mutually agreed to stop and Gibson called it a “dead heat” shortly after starting.
In addition to talking about the making of The Passion, Gibson discussed the importance of making films with “real-life” action heroes and not with characters wearing Spandex.
“I made the ultimate super hero film with the making of The Passion of the Christ,” Gibson told Laurie and the 36,000 in attendance at Angel Stadium on Sunday, as well as a live online audience. “…real super heroes don’t wear Spandex and they don’t have a lot of 3D special effects.”
He also talked about the upcoming film, Hacksaw Ridge, scheduled for a November release.
Photo: Harvest.org/screen grab
With the 27th SoCal Harvest coming, I thought I would share some thoughts with you about the importance of sharing the Gospel with others.
Let’s imagine you are out for a walk one night around your neighborhood when you suddenly hear people screaming. Startled, you look over your shoulder and see a house with flames leaping from the windows and roof. Someone out front of the house cries out, “There’s someone in there!” Let me ask you, if you were to just keep on walking without giving a passing thought to those in such terrible danger, would that be wrong? At the very least, wouldn’t you pull out your phone and dial 9-1-1? Even more, wouldn’t you try to find a way into that burning house to rescue that person inside? To do nothing would be outright criminal.
In the same way, however, we walk by people – men and women we know or total strangers – who are without Christ and don’t do a thing to help them. We don’t even try to initiate a conversation about our faith. We just keep walking. And to be blunt, a fate even worse than a house fire awaits those who reject the offer of forgiveness through Jesus Christ. It is eternal fire. Eternal separation from God.
The last thing God wants is to send any man or woman – deeply loved by Him and made in His very image – to this place called Hell. That’s why He sent Jesus to live a perfect life, to die a perfect death on the cross for our sins, and then to rise from the dead.
You might protest, “God could never use someone like me!” Actually, He can and He will if you will let Him. It could even happen today – before this day is over. He won’t force you to share your faith, but He may very well prompt you. And when you take that step of faith, He will empower and use you. Yes, you…
Photo: Alex Murashko/Harvest 2015
Perhaps you’ve seen the picture of Omran Daqneesh, the five-year-old little boy pulled from the rubble and placed into an ambulance, following an airstrike in Aleppo, Syria. I stared at the photo for a long time. And I watched the footage – just barely over a minute (before clicking, know that it’s graphic) – of the rescue worker placing him in that chair. Rather than crying in fear or from pain, he stared calmly at the cameras, likely disoriented and in shock.
The photo reminded me of the face of my own three-year-old son, Drew. I swiped through photos from our recent vacation and stopped on this one, taken on a pontoon boat near Crab Island in Destin. That was a good day. Sam bounced on inflatables in waist-deep water while Drew munched on a snack under the canopy of the boat. Our biggest worry that day was that there were quite a few jellyfish in the water – the kind that sting like a wasp and not much more.
I don’t ever want to grow cold. I don’t want to become so desensitized that I stop feeling the difference between the world I know and the world of those trying to survive the carnage of war. I want to remind myself that wherever little boys are, in Aleppo or in Arkansas, there is the image of God himself dwelling in precious little human form.
My Drew is precious. He can be obstinate. He can throw fits. He ignores our shouts to stop when running away from us down the aisle of a store. But he gives amazing hugs and kisses at night, laughs easily, and is bewildered to discover all the sights and sounds of the world around him as he grows up.
Omran is precious too. He’s grown up on the other side of the world in a predominantly Muslim, war-torn country. But Omran bears the image of his Creator as much as any other little boy in the world.
God made it clear that it would be better for us to have a giant stone tied to our necks and be cast into the sea than to harm one of these little ones and then face the judgment of the Almighty. Yet every day, all over the planet, terrorists victimize children.
They are killed, captured, and enslaved. They are used as human shields and brainwashed into carrying out violent jihad. Just a few hours away from my home in Northwest Arkansas, parents (or at least two people who biologically produced an offspring) were arrested for severely abusing and neglecting a little girl who literally thought her name was “Idiot” because she’d heard it far more than her actual name from this man and this woman.
The news is rife with stories of stings and busts where preteens are liberated from the horrors of sexual slavery. We’ve aborted millions of unborn, precious, human lives – each one bearing the image of the Creator.
What are we doing? These are precious kids. Every. Last. One. Of. Them. We’re responsible for leaving behind for them a world in better shape than we found it. And honestly, we’re blowing it.
I don’t have all the answers, and I feel as helpless as most of you who will read this about bringing down the global giants of war and violence, poverty and hunger, illiteracy and ignorance.
But I’m a firm believer that there is always hope for people, and that you and I can be at least a small part of the solution. How? Here are a few thoughts.
- Tell everyone who will listen about King Jesus. Social change starts with spiritual change. Cultures are reborn as the individuals and leaders within them are reborn.
- Value life. Remind yourself what it is to be human, to be made in God’s image. And then mentally label every person you meet or see: Human – Made In God’s Image.
- Value kids. Protect the unborn. Fight for just laws against abortion. Help parents-to-be find alternatives. Foster. Adopt. Volunteer in kids’ ministry.
- Follow the hard teachings of Jesus. While the Bible assigns the role of justice-keeping to government, Jesus challenged his followers to love their enemies.
- Protect the environment. Soil erosion, rising sea levels, and a constantly warming climate are real issues with real humanitarian ramifications.
- Speak peace to a world in chaos. Give encouragement and affirmation, love and value, even when politicians spew divisive rhetoric.
- See the world. Go on a mission trip. Volunteer with a nonprofit or relief organization. Touch and be touched by the hurting and desperate.
- Pray. Pray for a softened heart. Pray for deliverance for captives. Pray for workers in the harvest. Pray for mission fields to open.
There is more, I know. I’m scratching the surface. But for most of us, we simply need to move from feeling nothing to feeling the pain of others, from saying nothing to speaking peace to power, from doing nothing to doing whatever we can to help.
From Aleppo to Arkansas, all life is precious.
Image via The Guardian
Author and men’s ministry expert, Kenny Luck, is confident that his radio program, the “Every Man Show,” launching at the Salem Broadcast Network’s 99.5 KKLA in Los Angeles on Monday, will become a catalyst for changed lives, something that is much needed in America’s cities today, he said.
“Spiritually and relationally healthy men are in high demand but low supply in our country — especially in our metro-urban cities,” Luck said. “Every parent wants their son to become one and their daughters to marry one, and that desire includes me for my grown children. But there is a drought. The launch of this outreach in Los Angeles and Orange Counties could not be timed better.”
He explains, “The goal of the show is that every man in our city know some man who is a committed follower of Christ and is on a journey that obviously reflects such a commitment.”
Luck, who is the founder of Every Many Ministries, said he has worked the “ground game” of ministry to men all over the world for 20 years and doing so has “opened up a passing lane for this moment to really score big and reach a lot of people for Christ.”
“God has opened the door to go long. He has prepared us well and we are now equipped to manage and disciple millions of men and tens of thousands of churches for a movement,” he said.
For its part, KKLA states that it is committed to empowering the family and sees this programming move as a way to accelerate that mission on all levels.
“We are very excited about Kenny and ‘Every Man’ having a presence on KKLA. Men’s ministry content is underrepresented on the airwaves and this will meet great needs,” said Craig Beisel, the station representative who first met with the Every Man team more than a year ago to begin discussing the possibility of the show.
“Our leadership is excited about the prospect of having messages that inspire and encourage men to be spiritually and relationally healthy,” he said. The program is scheduled to air Monday through Friday, following the evening broadcast of Focus on the Family.
Luck said he believes that KKLA’s decision to air the “Every Man Show” (10:30 p.m. PST) during the time slot right after the highly popular Focus on the Family means that the station is committed to helping support the movement of spiritually healthy men in the city.
“One of the greatest gifts that any organization can give to a community, especially at this time in our country, is spiritually healthy men of character who give life to the people and community around him.”
The absence of spiritually healthy men in a community leads to chaos, destruction, and in the worst case, violence, he said. “It says a lot that KKLA wants to be part of a movement that blesses primarily women, children, and families, through a movement of healthy men.”
Luck adds that 53 percent of the 3.5 million people who listen to KKLA, according to the station’s stats, are men. Now, the station will have something specifically directed at men, because they know the “social calculus of what a transformed man means to children and family.”
He defines a healthy man as someone who brings a healthy character into every level of the community wherever they go, whether it’s the workplace, or while coaching sports teams and mentoring kids, inside their church, or in their family.
“Everywhere they go their healthy character goes. Their healthy character is manifested in life-giving conduct that blesses people versus making them suffer. The alternative is broken male character which creates suffering everywhere that man goes, beginning with his family and extending to the community and to the workplace,” Luck said. “We need strong, healthy leadership, especially at this time in our country.”
He explains, “The question is not, ‘Does every man in Los Angeles have influence?’ The question is: ‘What kind of influence is he having?’ The Bible says that every man has a blast zone of influence and what determines the quality or texture of that influence, good or bad, is what he’s made of on the inside.”
Luck, who said he is humbled and in awe of the opportunity to broadcast the Every Man Show on KKLA, considered one of the top Christian stations in the country, is a pastor at Crossline Community Church in Lake Forest. The show on Monday will be the first in a series titled, “The Blast Zone.”
KKLA 99.5 FM is available to the Greater Los Angeles area, including Orange, Riverside, and San Bernardino counties, as well as on the internet at KKLA.com.
Phil Wickham posted on Thursday:
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:17
You are my life, You are my love
You are my reason
You are my hope, You are my joy
You are my passion
My All In All, Jesus My All In All
‘One-Sided Neutrality’: Facebook Suppression of Conservative News is Part of Censorship Pattern, NRB Says
WASHINGTON (NRB) – Revelations that Facebook regularly suppresses conservative news websites from its trending section is just the latest example of a pattern of censorship by the social media behemoth, according Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters.
“It’s time for Facebook to face the facts,” Johnson said in response to a May 9 report that former Facebook staff said the company regularly suppresses conservative news sources. “Social media users expect a level playing field and are tired of Facebook’s one-sided neutrality. For some time, Facebook has shut down conservative pages or censored their comments. Now Facebook is caught burying conservative news stories and puffing liberal ones. Facebook must change if they want our trust and our participation on their platform.”
Gizmodo, a technology blog, quoted anonymously several former Facebook employees — “news curators” — that the social media company manipulated the use of its algorithm. Employees both “routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers,” according to one of its former journalists, and were instructed to artificially “inject” stories that were favored by Facebook management, known for its liberal positions on cultural issues.
Facebook responded to the Gizmodo report — and other news accounts about the report — by denying the claims. Insisting it has “strict guidelines” for the trending topics staff and does not allow discrimination of sources based on ideological origin, the social media giant noted: “Reviewers are required to accept topics that reflect real world events, and are instructed to disregard junk or duplicate topics, hoaxes, or subjects with insufficient sources.”
Facebook’s assurances did not satisfy Johnson.
“Unfortunately, Facebook’s explanation does not adequately reassure us of its neutrality following this whistleblower report and previously documented incidents of censorship,” Johnson said. “Facebook should take this opportunity to declare its commitment to free speech for all on its platform and to implement a transparent policy holding its employees accountable for not discriminating, consciously or subconsciously, against viewpoints they may not value or agree with — including those they may wish to be ‘hoaxes’ or have ‘insufficient sources.’”
Since 2011, NRB has documented cases of internet-based censorship of Christian views and other free speech violations through its John Milton Project for Free Speech. Starting with the 2010 example of Apple removing evangelical leader Chuck Colson’s Manhattan Declaration from its iTunes App Store, the Project has published a chart with instances of censorship by private corporations, including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. For more on the John Milton Project, visit nrb.org/jmp.
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention will be held at the Orlando World Marriott in Orlando, Florida, February 27-March 2, 2017. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
Strong Tower Ministries has been pouring into the hearts of people and ministries serving the love of Jesus in Baja, California, for more than 10 years now. I’ve been a part of the ministry since its highly successful fundraiser, the WetnWild5k, began seven years ago.
It’s been an absolute blessing.
I took a one-day turnaround trip to the future site of Siloé Wellness Center on Tuesday. Siloé Ministries is a medical nonprofit serving in La Mision, Baja California and other poor communities in Mexico. The organization provides needy families with free health education, medical care and Christ-centered counseling. They run a family medicine and dental clinic in La Mision, and host medical missions teams.
While there on the site, I witnessed the youth ministry, Be2Live, doing lots of work on the property as part of their one-week stay in Baja.
On the Web
Panoramic view from north-east corner of property, the future site of the Siloé Wellness Center.