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August 27, 2016
Hearts Burning Within Us
Luke 24:32 (NKJV) And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”

No matter how long we have walked with the Lord, and no matter how many times He has shown us how much He wants to be involved in our everyday lives, when He does show up (like He promised), we are somehow surprised. After all, 1 Thessalonians 5:24 says, “God will make this happen, for he who calls you is faithful.”  I’ve often asked myself, “Why am I surprised?” I’ve even asked the Lord to forgive me for my doubt and disbelief at times. Simply put, it’s a battle between our spirit and our flesh. I’m reminded of Paul himself writing about this same struggle in Romans 7:13-25. In verse 23 he writes that there is a war within our mind that tries to make us slaves to sin again and again. But in verses 24 & 25 he tells us that through Jesus Christ our Lord we are freed from this slavery! We need God to deliver us through the power of His Holy Spirit in our everyday lives! 2 Corinthians 10:4 says, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal [fleshly] but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” Kyle shared with us Thursday evening that the Church needs to embrace the Holy Spirit once again! God will lead us out of our doubt and disbelief if we allow Him to work in our everyday lives. We can be witnesses for Him…everyday (Acts 1:8)!

In the story of 2 men that were on a journey to a town called Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), they were walking along and talking about all of the things that happened in Jerusalem, and Jesus showed-up and actually began conversing with them. But they did not recognize Him even though He was the very topic of their conversation. The scripture tells us that their eyes were “restrained” from seeing Him. He was truly WITH them, but they were not aware of it until God allowed them to “see.” Once their eyes were opened, they said to one another (paraphrasing) weren’t our hearts “on fire” when He walked and talked with us, and opened our eyes to the (truth of) scriptures? As we reflect upon all of the things that God has allowed us to see during this revival, let our hearts continue to burn within us, and not forget what He has shown us and taught us as we have become ONE united body of Christ fulfilling His Great Commission. Together we go out to advance the Kingdom of God and reduce the kingdom of darkness! May our county stay ablaze with the fire of the Holy Spirit imploring us to continue to Love, Listen, Discern and Respond to our neighbors all the remaining days of our lives! I conclude with a scripture that was shared MANY times during reviveOHIO, and is my prayer for all fellow laborers in the Gospel of Christ: “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).”

Pastor Mark BurdThe First Heavy Metal Church of ChristGreenville, (Darke County) Ohio
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August 26, 2016
His Precious Parts
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.- 1 Corinthians 12:27

Week three of reviveOHIO :: Darke County is wrapping up, and it’s been amazing to see the Body of Christ work together to reach so many lost and hurting people. Throughout  this process, God has been teaching me that as a part of His Body, sometimes He calls you to be a toenail or tiny nose hair.  Gross, right?  I mean, who wants to be either of those less-than-glamorous, often unappreciated body parts?! 

Let’s consider the toenail for a second.  It’s often hidden from view, largely ignored. Its purpose unclear to many.  And if its partner the foot is working hard at its job, chances are it stinks. . . and I mean that quite literally!  Yet, if you’ve ever had the misfortune of suddenly losing a toenail, you know the pain and difficulty of no longer having this small body part you previously considered trivial.  Simple acts like putting on a sock or a shoe, or even just walking normally are now more difficult. It can end up negatively impacting the whole body.

So why on earth am I talking about toenails, and what does this have to do with reviveOHIO?  Well, if you’re reading this message, I’m guessing you’ve been involved with Time to Revive in some capacity, in Ohio or elsewhere perhaps.  And somewhere along the line, you’ve had to serve in some less than enjoyable or seemingly insignificant roles. Yet God wants to reassure you there is NO unimportant part of His Body.

Kyle Lance Martin has repeatedly mentioned one of the keys to successfully reaching the lost ... humility. True humility recognizes one another’s value; today’s elbow or tomorrow’s mouth, each part is needed.  Each part is precious.  And most importantly, each part is HIS! Yes, it’s exciting to get to lead an entire team of athletes to the Lord.  But no doubt, there were many others behind the scenes praying for that to happen. It’s an honor to lead praise and worship, uniting believers in song.  God still needed someone to vacuum the lobby so people felt welcome to come do so.  How fun to get to pass out watermelons and share the Gospel with strangers!  Yet someone had to get dirty to grow and harvest those melons, and someone else had to safely transport them to Ohio.

After all that’s taken place in Darke County these last 3 weeks, can I just say praise the Lord and thank you Jesus for all the toenails, nose hairs and otherwise unnoticed parts of His Body out there?!  Your humble obedience has allowed the Body of Christ to function at full throttle here in Darke County…but until that trumpet blows, we can’t stop! We’ve seen the difference we can make when we work together. So from the smallest hair follicle to the biggest heart, let’s remain humbly on our knees together as we continue to be His hands and feet, to this county and beyond!

“Then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” - Philippians 2:2-4

Cindy WatrenWriter, Darke County
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August 23, 2016
Divine Appointments
“For the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.” - Luke 19:10

In a small community hospital off Sweitzer Street…

 Down a long, tiled hallway…

Seated at a large, formal conference table…

Sat a woman.

A woman who was hurting. A woman heavy under the burdens of life. A woman seen by God. A woman He was pursuing.

 Time to Revive shouldn’t have been able to offer prayer and share the Gospel in a public hospital. Yet the CEO and hospital board gave the okay. The meeting was originally for administrators only. Yet, at the last minute, an open invitation went out over the PA system. Just one day after praying together, both Mandy and Stephanie were at work and were able to take their break together. These are not coincidences. God was orchestrating a story, Mandy’s story, and it ends with life.

reviveOHIO testimony times have provided story after story of teams encountering people who say things like, “I can’t believe you’re here,” or “I just cried out to God for help and here you are,” or “I needed this so much right now.” Other teams have shared how a delay led them to pray with a specific person. They’ve shared stories of what was believed to be random circumstances, but led to a person who accepted Christ. Or, in this case, a sequence of events lined up just right to bring the Good News to one broken woman. We call them divine appointments - moments in time when God uses the available to reach the lost, to help the hurting, to bring the Message of life.

Working with Time to Revive has taught me two beautiful truths, and I’ve continued to see them throughout the weeks of reviveOHIO :: Darke County. First, God pursues the broken-hearted, the weighed down, the hurting, and the weary. He loves His people with a passion and wants nothing more than for us to find our rest in Him. The second is that when we are available, when we are listening to Him and looking for His direction, He will use us to bring the Message of life to others. We are the vessels for His light.

So as you go about your day and your week, look for the delays, the seemingly random circumstances, the unusual sequence of events. Be aware of God working in the moment and look for the person He is pursuing. Nothing is sweeter than bringing the Message of hope to the hurting, than being part of a story that ends with life. Keep shining His light in the Darke!

“Come to me all who are burdened and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” - Matthew 11:28-30

Amy RevelsWriter, Time to Revive
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August 22, 2016
The New Normal
“They devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostle’s. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of the people. And the Lord added to their number daily, those who were being saved.” - Acts 2:42-47

We are indeed experiencing a tremendous movement of the Holy Spirit here in Darke County. Lives are being transformed by the love of Jesus as we are being called together as one body to go out and share that very love that has so filled our lives. It’s amazing to see what God can do when we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. Out of our comfort zones and into the communities we go. We are learning once again what can happen when we trust God and learn to depend on Him for the grace and strength that He alone supplies.

My heart is led by the Lord to share with you that what God is doing through reviveOHIO is not an “event” but a reclaiming of our heritage as found in the book of Acts (2:42-47). It was a natural, organic way of life for those first believers: gathering regularly together, worshipping together, praying together, eating together, and being taught the Word by the apostles together. They were doing life together, sharing their possessions and goods together, going out and loving people together, sharing the Good News of God’s amazing love with others together, and inviting those in who had yet to experience the fullness and richness of Christ as their Lord and Savior. This was as natural as breathing to those in the early Church. It’s how they lived life, and we are getting back to those same roots during this revival. It’s becoming our way of doing life again as the Body of Christ.

It’s been said that what we are experiencing isn’t normal. I can attest to you that I have never experienced anything in my life as powerful and inspiring as what God is doing here in Darke County. It has not been my normal way of life. But I also know that I truly love what God is doing and desire with all my heart that this becomes our NEW NORMAL. Oh, it will take lots of work, perseverance, and commitment – no question. And I don’t know how it will all piece together, but God does and you can count me in! How about you?

Let's keep LOVING, LISTENING, DISCERNING, and RESPONDING as we seek to continue this marvelous revival so that it can and will become our NEW NORMAL!

God Bless You!Pastor Ron HoeksemaAnsonia United Methodist
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August 17, 2016
Alive and Well
“All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, ‘What does this mean?’ But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.’”  - Acts 2:12 NRSV

Hello reviveOHIO! We’re on Day 10 and God is proving He is alive and well and still in love with His children in Darke County! I’ve been totally blown away by how God is moving these past 10 days. I’ve been blessed to witness the beginning of the crumbling of the walls of division that have separated Christians for far too long! For the 23 or more churches that are represented in reviveOHIO so far, the walls have disintegrated, but we still have other churches that haven’t caught on to this new thing God is doing. Yet…

From those first few pastors’ meetings to today I see the fruit of the Spirit being made real, not just in other people’s lives, but also in my own. I’ve seen excited children and even more excited older people spreading the Gospel to complete strangers who become new friends, sisters and brothers in Christ. I’ve seen God’s Word scattered like seeds in soils of every kind around our fair county.

Yesterday morning, I got to go on a team that shared the Gospel with the Franklin Monroe Junior/Senior High Cheerleaders at a dance studio in Arcanum, Ohio. We all sat in a circle on the dance floor and after going through the wrist band and Bible verses, every girl on the team literally laid down their lives right there on the floor for their Savior. I saw on their faces a healing and peace that was so desperately needed.

A few months ago this cheer team lost one of their own in a tragic car accident in which the young girl and her older brother were both killed. The coach, and every girl on the FM Jets Cheerleading squad, heard the voice of their Savior loud and clear, that their teammate, and they themselves, have been brought from death to life, all because of the grace and love of God through Jesus Christ. Before we left they offered up a cheer routine for us as a way of saying thanks, and they pledged their lives and their dancing feet to give glory to God.

“ I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”  - John 15:5 NRSV

Jesus said He was the vine and apart from Him we can’t bear any fruit. He said actually, apart from Him we can do nothing… I believe He meant nothing good anyway… When we have record of 166 people saved in just over a week and more coming to Christ daily, anyone in this county who is not living under a rock must conclude this movement is certainly connected to The Vine, Jesus Christ! 

It’s hard to soften an old skeptic’s heart, but what I’ve seen and experienced this week can only be of God and for God’s Glory. May we continue to walk in gentleness and humility. May the love of Christ dwell in us so richly and overflow so abundantly that everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, will want what we have. Living under the Reign of Christ our King, may we freely share what we have with others so that every mouth will confess Jesus Christ is Lord and every knee will bow to our Savior. Until that day, revive on Ohio! Can I get an Amen?

Mel Musser  Pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church
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