Start At The Bottom

START AT THE BOTTOM

By Dave Earley

The older I get, the more I like people who just take God at His word and go for it. I am coming to especially like people who go to the poor. Our God is a God who delights in starting at the bottom with the poor, helpless, hopeless, and broken.  
Rolland and Heidi Baker are people who take God at His word and go for it, starting at the bottom.

After doing evangelistic ministry in Asia and completing their Ph.D.’s in England, Roland and Heidi Baker accepted the calling to take the Gospel to the most challenging situation they could find. The believed that “the most likely place to see revival is among the most unlikely.” So they went to Mozambique, Africa in 1995 because at the time it was officially listed as the poorest country in the world.

Starting with nothing but dependency on God they have seen God miraculously raised up a global ministry known as IRIS Global. They have always targeted the poor and weak beginning with a soon-to-be-closed, dilapidated orphanage. From that unlikely start God granted revival leading to a ministry that includes orphanages, well-drillings, free health clinics, feeding programs, primary and secondary schools, cottage industries and now over 5000 churches in Mozambique and a total of over 10,000 churches in over 20 nations. http://www.irisglobal.org/abounations. http://www.irisglobal.org/about/core-values

Their impact flows out of five core values:

1. INTIMACY WITH GOD. They state, “We understand that we can find God, and can experience intimacy, communication and companionship with Him in His Presence, if we share His love for righteousness.”

2. DEPENDENCY UPON GOD. Rolland writes, “We are totally dependent on Him for everything, and we need and expect miracles of all kinds to sustain us and confirm the Gospel in our ministry.”

3. REVIVAL FROM THE BOTTOM UP. “We look for revival among the broken, humble and lowly, and start at the bottom with ministry to the poor. God chooses the weak and despised things of the world to shame the proud, demonstrating His own strength and wisdom. Our direction is lower still.”

4. SUFFERING FOR LOVE’S SAKE “We understand the value of suffering in the Christian life. Learning to love requires willingness to suffer for the sake of righteousness. Discipline and testing make saints out of us, and produce in us the holiness, without which we will not see God’s face and share His glory. With Paul we rejoice in our weaknesses, for when we are weak we are strong.’

5. JOY. “The joy of the Lord is not optional and far outweighs our suffering! In Jesus it becomes our motivation, reward and spiritual weapon. In His Presence is fullness of joy, and with Paul we testify that in all our troubles our joy knows no bounds (2 Cor. 7:4). It is our strength and energy, without which we die.” http://www.irisglobal.org/about/core-values

Pray for Us

  • Please pray for us as we strive to pursue Jesus in greater intimacy and trust Him with greater dependency.
  • Pray also that the Lord will especially bless us as we start at the bottom, pursuing the young, the poor and the addicted for Jesus.
  • Pray as we are opening our Grace City Flamingo Outreach Center as a second worship site on Sunday nights. We had 85 people last week.
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SENT

SENT!
Dave Earley

I wish you could have been there. The presence of God was thick in the room as a few Sundays ago at Grace City. We were privileged to send out two North American missionaries. One of our Elders, Eddie Hancock, and his wife Terri were commissioned by Grace City to serve as missionaries of revival as Eddie assumes the role of lead pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Caldwell/Boise ID.  http://www.fsbccaldwell.org/

First Southern Baptist Church was once a thriving center for outreach in the Boise suburb of Caldwell, but it has struggled over the past few years and needs a spiritual infusion of life. God has uniquely prepared Eddie to lead this church deep into the presence of the Life-giver – Jesus!

The word revival means – life again. We are expecting God to use the Hancock’s to bring this church to full life and health again! We are expecting revival!

We are blessed by the Hancock’s willingness to go where God has sent them. In going to Caldwell, they are moving away from both sides of parents and many good friends.

We also have sent Matt French to serve as youth and worship pastor at Union Baptist Church of Hays VA.
Yet, all members of Jesus Nation are people who are willing to go! It is in our DNA. It is who we are.

Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.

Charles Spurgeon

John 20:21 Jesus said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
This little statement made by Jesus the night of His resurrection contains four very powerful thoughts:

  • God is a missionary sending God.
  • Jesus was the greatest missionary in history.
  • Just as God sent Jesus, Jesus sends us.
  • Therefore, we must go! 

Going Starts Here and Now!

You do not have to move to Idaho to be a missionary. Going starts here and now.

Author David Platt wrote, “Wherever you and I live, we are commanded to go and make disciples there. In light of Jesus example, our primary impact on the nations will occur in the disciple-making we do right around us.”

Ed Stetzer and David Putnam agreed, It is possible to be a missionary without leaving your zip code … If we are going to join God on his mission, we have to recognize that we are missionaries…wherever he places us—just like the first disciples.”

Jason Dukes reminds us that, going starts now. “The Sender has sent you and me to be His letter of love unto humanity. May we live sent daily. And may we begin now.”

At Grace City, every member is commissioned as a minister to the church and a missionary to the city.

He has also sent YOU!

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WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF JESUS THREW A PARTY?

 WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF JESUS THREW A PARTY?
By Dave EarleyWhat would it look like if Jesus threw a party? Free food? Games? Good music? The good news? Salvation? Healing? How about all of that and more, much more!

The weather was perfect on Wednesday night, March 12 as Grace City Church held our first ever Jesus Party in the Park. The Molasky Park neighborhood had been traumatized by a shooting in the park just days earlier, but four hundred people came together from 4-6 pm for a life-changing encounter in the park! Volunteers from Grace City Church, Liberty University, and YWAM Las Vegas Mission Base partnered to serve free hamburgers, hotdogs, drinks, snow-cones and popcorn and to oversee face-painting, two bouncy houses and other games.

Then the people turned to the portable stage and the music began. The Grace City Worship band played, Randy Pinkney shared his testimony, and I shared the gospel.
Then God moved.Dozens of people rushed to the stage to respond to the invitation. Over two dozen got in smaller groups and prayed with our workers to take their next steps to Jesus.


The Luke 4:18 Mission
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim freedom to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed.

Six months ago, I was reading Luke 4:18 and got the vision that by combining a community block party in the park with a gospel crusade was a great way to fulfill the Luke 4:18 Mission. So, we planned what it would take to pull off a massive party that would draw the poor, the oppressed, the captive and the blind.

We stretched to buy a stage trailer and added a sound system. We designed and printed thousands of fliers. We handed them out at an elementary and a middle school, at weekly apartments units and in the neighborhoods.  We bought food and drinks. We got there early and set it all up and went to work.

Then God did the rest.

The gospel was preached to the poor

I wish I had heard about God before.” said Nick, a deeply moved eighth grade boy, who gave his life to Christ.
“This is what I have always needed,” he told Chadley, “I can’t wait to go home and tell my family about Jesus.” Yeah God!

Sight was proclaimed to the blind

       “I can see!” Anna laughed afterward. “When I came to the park I could only see a little out of one eye because of diabetes affecting my eyes. But they prayed for me and I could see good out of one eye.
Before the party began, Bo and Trey had prayed with Anna, God touched her, and she could see out of one eye.

Better yet, later, Andrew and I prayed for her other eye and God touched her. She received 90% of her sight back in that eye! She said, “Now I can see out of both eyes!” Yeah God!

To set free the oppressed

     “I want to give my life to Jesus 100%,” said John. “I can’t wait to have you and Andrew baptize me.”
Our Molasky Park outreach had met John in the park months earlier during a downpour. Wet and cold, they gave him a warm meal. Living on the streets and messed up, we had helped him get his life turned around and to get a job.
On the night of the Jesus Party, John had come early before he went to work at Firehouse Subs in order to help us get set up. As the party began, he came up to me to tell me that he was ready to go all the way with God.  We prayed and he gave 100% to Jesus. Yeah God!

I could tell many more stories of what God did during those two hours in the park. But I think you get the idea.
What would happen if Jesus threw a party in the park?
Lives would be changed

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Spring Week Of Outreach

SPRING “Week” of outreach
By Dave Earley

Even though we do outreach almost daily as a church, this spring we planned a super-intense 10 day “WEEK” OF OUTREACH. It started Thursday, March 6, when about 20 Grace City Church members gathered in Paradise Park to pray and worship. Then we hit the streets and neighborhoods to distribute invitations. Saturday, March 8, we were joined by a team of students from Liberty University who helped us set up and put on the large outreach event.

Sunday, March 9, we had a prayer meeting and a worship service at Silverado High School
l  
Monday was our usual Morning Prayer meeting and door-to-door distribution of invitations to the Jesus Party. Tuesday was more prayer and plus ministry at Hummel elementary, Silverado High School, and the GCC youth group. Two girls were saved!
Wednesday, March 12 was more prayer and door-to-door distribution of invitations to the Jesus Party all leading up to event. Even though the neighborhood was traumatized by a shooting in the park a few days earlier, over 350 people came for food, fun, games, music, and to hear about Jesus. Dozens responded to the invitation to come to Christ! Yeah God!

Thursday was prayer and worship in Desert Bloom Park, then flier distribution for Saturday’s Spring Fling Outreach in the Park. Then evangelism at UNLV, followed by Bible Club at Schofield Middle School.  After the Grace City UNLV worship service, the tired students from Liberty flew back to Virginia.

The intense Week of Outreach concluded on Saturday March 15 with the Spring Fling as 250 people came to Desert Bloom Park for food, fun and to make new friends. 

In ten days, over 6,000 homes (approximately 15-20,000 people) were invited to a Grace City events, over 800 people came to our park events, hundreds of high school students received free hotdogs and snow-cones for lunch, 80 parents were asked to allow their elementary kids to attend a Good News Club, and best of all dozens of people responded to the invitation to come to Christ.

Yeah God!

What did you do last week?

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“Not by might, nor by power, but my Spirit, says the LORD.” Zechariah 4:6

“Not by might, nor by power, but my Spirit, 
says the LORD.” Zechariah 4:6

By Dave Earley

Jonathan Goforth, became the leading missionary revivalist in early 20th century. Through him, the Lord sparked revival in China and changed many missionary paradigms through the world.A Presbyterian missionary, he believed that the church bears responsibility for releasing the work of the Holy Spirit. He said,

The Holy Spirit is still with us. Pentecost is yet within our grasp. If revival is being withheld from us it is because some idol remains still enthroned; because we still insist in placing our reliance in human schemes; because we still refuse to face the unchangeable truth that ‘It is not by might, BUT BY MY SPIRIT.

As a young man Jonathan was a schoolteacher in Ontario, but after hearing a missionary to China speak of the great need for the gospel in that vast land, Jonathan went to Toronto to train for ministry.  As a student in Toronto he adopted a life verse and a constant theme:

“Not by might, nor by power, but my Spirit, says the LORD.” Zechariah 4:6

In Toronto, Jonathan went into the slums and asked God to use him. He began preaching in the jail every Sunday and visited nearly 2,000 homes every summer sharing Jesus with the poor. According to his biographer, one night as he was leaving a street that had an extremely rough reputation, a policeman met him and said, “How have you the courage to go into those places? We policeman never go there except in twos or threes.”

I never walk alone, either,” replied Goforth. “There is always someone with me.”

After graduation in 1888, he and his wife Rosalind were sent to China to do pioneer missions. Before arriving, Goforth had received a letter from great missionary leader Hudson Taylor. In the letter, Taylor reminded him of the tremendous obstacles ahead and pointed him to the constant need of super-natural assistance. “Brother, if you would enter that province,” Taylor wrote, “you must go forward on your knees.

Goforth did just that and saw God work miraculously as a result. For example, he had always been weak in language study and struggled mightily to master Chinese. After a year of frustration, he refused to be discouraged. “The Lord called me to China, he said, “and I expect His Spirit to perform a miracle and to enable me to master the language.” A biographer writes,

“He picked up his Chinese Bible and went to the chapel. As he began to preach the miracle happened; He spoke with a fluency and power that amazed the people and thence forth his mastery of the Chinese language was recognized everywhere. Two months later he received a letter from Knox College telling of a prayer meeting in which the students prayed “just for Goforth” and the presence of God was manifestly among them. Looking into his diary he found that the prayer meeting was at the very time his tongue gained such sudden mastery over the Chinese language.”

Jonathan and Rosalind’s work in China was difficult, their work days long, and their heartache great. Four times all of their possessions were destroyed. More painfully, they lost five of eleven children to sickness. In 1900, the Goforths had to flee for their lives across China to escape the bloody Boxer Rebellion.  During their flight, Jonathan was severely attacked and injured with a sword, but they both survived. And they refused to give up.

While home in Canada on furlough, Goforth was inspired by the great Welsh Revival of 1904 and his heart began to burn for revival in China. He also was inspired by the stories of the missionaries who participated in the Korean revival. He was especially impressed with their early morning prayer meetings, sacrificial giving, zeal for scripture, and willingness to suffer for the gospel. Of that period he later said, “I felt sure that there was something larger ahead of me, if only I had the vision to see what it was, and the faith to grasp it.”

When he returned home to the Henan Providence in China, he brought a strong message of faith, prayer, unity, repentance, restitution, and confession of sin.  After dealing with his own sin, the Holy Spirit moved in. After 20 years of largely fruitless ministry, God broke out and hundreds were converted. The other missionaries agreed to keep it going by covenanting to pray for revival simultaneously every day, no matter where they were, at 4:00 pm.

Goforth believed that God was willing to bring revival if man was willing to fully cooperate with Him. He said,


“We wish to state most emphatically as our conviction that 
God’s revival may be at hand when we will and where we will…Our reading of God’s Word makes it inconceivable to us that the Holy Spirit should be willing, even for a day to delay His work.”

He further observed,

If God the Holy Spirit is not glorifying Jesus Christ in the world today, as at Pentecost, it is we who are to blame. After all, what is revival but simply the Spirit of God fully controlling the surrendered life? …The sin of unyieldedness, alone can keep us from revival.

For the next decade Jonathan Goforth led revival meetings all over China. Often he would preach for eight hours a day, to crowds of up to 25,000 people. His meetings were usually often characterized by public confession of sin and repentance. Thousands repented experienced the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Believers and Christian workers were awakened to a more vital relationship with God.

At Grace City….

     At Grace City, one of our three major objectives is revival. We want to see revival shake this city in our day just as it shook China in the days of Jonathan Goforth. Just as revival began to follow Goforth as he walked in faith and dependence on the Holy Spirit in prayer, we ask that you would join us in prayer for revival here and now.  

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Gods Pruning

GODS PRUNING
Dave Earley
Good News: You can live a life bursting with real love, perpetual joy, invincible peace, unshakable hope, supernatural power and exponential impact.
 
Bad news: There is only one person who can live a real Christian life. It is not you.
 
Good news: The one person who can live a real Christian life is…Christ. The Christian life is only lived by Jesus in you, God the Holy Spirit flowing through you.
 
Therefore: The goal of the Christian life is rather simple, be so closely connected to Jesus that the life of Jesus is always flowing through you.
 
When this occurs, spiritual fruit is the automatic by-product. You will display the personality of Jesus as your life explodes with unconditional love, joy, peace, hope, wisdom and power (Gal. 5:22-23).
 
Jesus will flow through you to others impacting them in such a way that they either becomes Christians or grow as Christians (Rom. 1:13).
 
God enhances the flow of the life of Jesus in and through us as we stay closely connected to the Father through daily dependency on Him through prayer and the Word. Another way God increases and enhances the flow of His life through us is through the process of pruning.
 
GODS PRUNING
 
Horticultural pruning is the removal of plant parts in order to optimize plant health, strength, durability and productivity. It is widely viewed as essential and beneficial.
 
On the other hand, spiritual pruning is often a misunderstood or infrequently taught element of Spiritual growth and ministry. But spiritual pruning is an essential aspect of your spiritual life. Jesus said,
 
John 15:2 Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing fruit] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit.  
 

The wise gardener knows that pruning back the vine produces more fruit. He or she will cut off the unfruitful, superficial, sap-draining branches in order for all of the life-giving sap to flow to those branches that have the greatest potential to bear fruit.

Jesus promised that the Father (the Gardener) will prune us in order that we may bear more fruit.  This raises three questions:

Q1: What does God prune in my life?

A: God prunes anything that is not spiritually fruitful.

The wise gardener will cut away from the plant anything that is diseased or dead. But that it not all. He or she will also cut anything that that detracts from fruitfulness.

 
So it is with God. He will cut away any and all relationships, attitudes, behaviors, habits, or beliefs that are spiritually sick, dead or sinful. But not everything He cuts is bad. It could be neutral things, unnecessary things, and non-eternal things. It may be stuff that just distracts us off course or that clutters the process. It could also be any unfruitful relationships, attitudes, behaviors, habits, beliefs.
 
 

Q2: When does God prune?

A: God prunes us consistently throughout our lives. The amount and type of pruning changes with the season.

 
In the natural realm, a good garner prunes his plants most severely when they are young. He or she does this in order to force the plant to build a strong root system.  Without a strong root system the pant cannot weather strong storms or severe drought. With the strong root system the plant will be stronger, the flow of life running through it will be enhanced and it will bear much more fruit over a much longer time. While the pruning may be painful in the beginning, it eventually produces.
After a plant is mature, the wise gardener will still take it through seasons of light pruning so it can continue to have seasons of great fruitfulness.
 
 

Q3: How does God prune us?

A: God uses a combination of His Word and difficult circumstances, people, or events to prune us.Jesus said that the Father uses Jesus’ Word to prune us.John 15:2-3 Every branch in Me that does not produce fruit He removes, and He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit.You are already clean [pruned] because of the word I have spoken to you.  

I have read the Bible through many times and some parts of it hundreds of times. Yet, I still read the Bible every day. Why? One reason is that God uses it to point out attitudes, beliefs, and mindsets in my life that limit the flow of the life of Jesus in me and thereby hinder fruitfulness.

The author of Hebrews said that the Father uses difficulties to prep us for better fruit.

Have you ever noticed that when things are going good, we often get hit with a rash of difficulties? Rest assured, this is normal for the growing Christ follower. God, the good Gardener, will use difficulties to prune us as plants or train us as children. These often-painful events do not indicate that God is mad at us. On the contrary, they are marks of His love. His desire is to cut off unfruitful elements of our lives so we can better experience more of His life and ultimately bear more fruit.

Hebrews 12:5-11 My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; its training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? … No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the fruit of peace and righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

 
 
Thank God for His pruning.
Trust Him to be wise and good in the process.
Embrace God’s pruning. 
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MX: THE SUMMER MISSIONARY EXPERIENCE

MX: THE SUMMER MISSIONARY EXPERIENCE
Dave Earley
My life has been indelibly marked through the summer missionary experiences I was able to participate in as a young adult. I spent a summer in England with a team of teenagers doing street, school, prison, and coffee house evangelism.  The next summer I traveled across the US as a youth evangelist, leading worship and speaking in churches for 70 nights in a row. The next two years, I lead teams of college students doing evangelism and discipleship in New York City.

Las Vegas is an Excellent Missionary Training Laboratory

One reason we planted a church in Las Vegas is because it provides an excellent ministry training laboratory. It is a huge city of two million people which is largely unreached with an evangelical population of less than 5%. Las Vegas has a suicide rate three times the national average. The divorce rate leads the nation. A plethora of cults flourish. It has relatively few Christian churches – one for every 7,575 people. It has 122 casinos and dozens of strips clubs. The strip alone receives a number of visitors, over flowing with over 100,000 pedestrians a day.

There are 10,000 homeless people, most of whom are young adults. Las Vegas welcomes 44 million visitors a year. There are people in Las Vegas from all over the world and 150 languages are spoken here. Plus, in the heart of the city, just a few blocks from the famous Las Vegas Strip, is the University of Nevada at Las Vegas (UNLV). It has 29,000 mostly commuter students and a tiny Christian presence.
The Grace City Summer Missionary Experience

The summer starts with a week of intense prayer and training. Students will join others in a week of five-hours-a-day intense life-changing prayer and worship. They will be taught the basic principles of being part of a move of God.

Typical summer days will begin with participation in a high impact morning worship-based, Word-fed, Spirit-led prayer meeting where you will truly experience the presence of God at a deep level.  Then we go out to minister to kids, teens, young adults, homeless and street people.

During the summer, students will learn to do Treasure Hunt Evangelism. They will do large JESUS Party outreach events along with kids and student camps.  They will also help serve in an outreach center distributing food and clothing to the poor.

Missionaries will participate in a large weekly park outreach where they will meet and minister to drug addicts, prostitutes, gang members, street musicians, and the homeless. 

Summer missionaries will also help lead a contingent of high school kids from around the nation in a week of Vegas Outreach. Summer missionaries also participate in advanced training seminars in Super Evangelism, Freedom in Christ, Group Leadership, and Prayer.

The Grace City Summer Missionary Experience is not for everyone. It will stretch you more than you imagined and you will grow in ways you did not think previously possible. More importantly, it will also change your life and you will never forget it.
Cost: $1,000
Start Date: June 1
End Date: August 4

To apply for the Missionary Experience, please visit our website www.gracecityvegas.com to complete our online application. Application submission deadline is March 15th, 2014. All inquiries should be directed by email to rachel@gracecityvegas.com

We also have other opportunities including:

THE VEGAS EXPERIENCE: Come to Vegas on your own or with your church and serve for a long weekend or a week during one of our outreach weekends.

THE JESUS EXPERIENCE: Our vision is to raise up a generation of world changers and leaders that reflect the rawness of Jesus.  The Jesus Experience is a one-year program at Grace City Church that is designed to awaken the God-given potential inside of people, and to make an impact for the glory of God using whatever gifts God has placed inside of them.
Come for a year and help launch new ministries such as Bible clubs and public elementary, middle and high schools. Develop a Disciple Group, launch a City Group, help lead one of our prayer rooms, or assume a leadership role in one of our many Grace City ministries.

THE REVIVAL EXPERIENCE: Move to Vegas and live as a revival missionary to the city. Help catalyze a major move of God that will bring into the Kingdom of God a near harvest of 100,000 souls!

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