Posted by: Tom Graves | January 31, 2017

I HAD A DREAM

I HAD A DREAM

I had a dream early on Monday morning, January 23, 2017 and in that dream I was in a section or a wing of a large building. I had gone into the attic of that section for some reason that I don’t remember. It was a pitched roof, but not braced very well. I came back down into the middle of a large room, probably on the third or fourth floor. The building had a glass window wall where I could look out over the city I was in. I noticed a woman outside that window (no woman that I know) who was level with the floor I was on. My thought was how is she up level with me? I walked over to the window so I could see what was holding her up and saw that she was in the very top of what looked like a fir tree. As I watched, I could see that there were a number of other people up in that tree and they begin to shake it trying to get it or maybe her to fall. Then I saw a man dressed in black leather pants, shirtless with a black leather vest. He was in the tree about half way up. He began to shake that tree and was able to break the tree almost in half. He was injured when he fell to the sidewalk but was able to get up. I don’t know what happened to the woman (end of the dream).

When I awakened, I lay in the bed thinking about the dream and asking God what it meant. The section of the dream with the tree was what He impressed upon me. Particularly with what type of tree it was – it was an evergreen tree! Then He brought to my mind the Azusa Now meeting which I was able to watch as it was streamed live. The meeting was held in the L. A. Coliseum on April 9, 2016. During that day, Dutch Sheets spoke about an “Evergreen tree.” I felt it was imperative that I get up, find the video of Dutch Sheets message that day and watch it, which I did. I would recommend for you to watch it also as it brings a great understanding to what I am saying here.

THE STORY OF A FLAG

In the video, Dutch Sheets told the story of a dream a friend of his had about him. In the dream Dutch was a boxer and each of his gloves had a name on it. One glove said EVERLAST which is actually a glove brand but the other said EVERGREEN. With these two gloves, he fought five giants, one at a time, and was able to knock out all five with one punch each, alternating hands on each succeeding giant. [1]

Sometime later, Dutch was given a white flag with an evergreen tree on it and the words, “AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN” He then connected the two words EVERLAST  and EVERGREEN to Genesis 21:33, “And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.” The word grove is the translation of Strong’s H815 and literally means a tamarisk tree. This tree represented the covenant made between Abraham and Abimelech. The tamarisk tree is an evergreen tree representing the EVERGREEN glove while God is “the everlasting God” representing the EVERLAST glove.

Dutch describes receiving the flag: “The Appeal to Heaven flag holds great significance as it relates to the founding of our nation, God’s eternal covenants, and our present hope for America. The first time I saw this flag was at the 2013 Spring Commencement Ceremony of Christ for the Nations Institute, where I formerly served as Executive Director.  I invited one of my spiritual sons to serve as commencement speaker.  He is a Captain in the United States Army and had just returned from serving as the legal adviser to a Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan.

He briefly shared some history regarding the flag he was about to give me. It was quite significant as it had flown over our nation at its birthing. It was not the stars and stripes, but a flag commissioned by our first president, George Washington, before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. 

In fact, before the Revolutionary War actually began, General Washington formed and financed America’s first Navy and commissioned them to sail with this flag flying overhead. During the American Revolution, an evergreen tree on a white standard could be seen flying in Massachusetts and before long, throughout all thirteen colonies.

The words “An Appeal to Heaven” became the decreed statement over the nation as this flag flew amid battlefields and encampments. This standard led the American Revolution’s grossly outnumbered and under-resourced troops into battle repeatedly as they fought and won the war for America’s freedom. The flag’s history is expansive and profound.” [2]

picture-flag-tre

AN INTERPRETATION OF MY DREAM

I sent a copy of my dream along with a link to the video to a couple of trusted friends and asked for their thoughts. My interpretation is a compilation of “our” thoughts.

The first place where I was in my dream was in the attic of the building. Being in the attic means I was exploring old things or things from the past. In the video, Dutch Sheets said, “America is returning to the ANCIENT PATHS to reap the harvest of the ages.” I think this refers to the coming revival or “Great Awakening” that is coming to America but it will only come as we APPEAL TO HEAVEN, i.e. pray, based on God’s covenant promises.

As I came down out of the attic to the third or fourth floor of the building, I saw a woman on the top of an evergreen tree. The tree represents AN APPEAL TO HEAVEN, i.e. an appeal to God’s covenant with His people and the woman at the top of the tree could represent the church standing on the covenant and promises of God. Those who were shaking the tree were those who claimed to be Christians but in reality were covenant breakers trying to stop God’s people from praying. One man in particular, dressed in black had been successful in breaking the tree in half but had himself been thrown down.

WHAT IT MEANS TO ME

I believe that this is a renewed call to continue in fervent prayer for the coming revival and “Great Awakening.” In the last year we have witnessed a miracle of God in sparing our nation because of our prayers. A year ago on the 5th of January, 2016, Franklin Graham began a 50 state “Decision America Tour.” He traveled to the capital of every state in the Union to pray for the upcoming election and to repent on behalf of the sins of America. There were other numerous prayer movements across the United States and several in Washington D.C. itself. And God answered our prayers.

Jonathan Cahn, speaking at an Inauguration breakfast on January 20, 2017 summed it up thus:

“The stakes of this election could not have been any higher. The Democratic campaign for the presidency was a battle to seal the changes enacted in the past eight years into permanency. At stake was the appointing of the Supreme Court justices who would determine America’s future as touching life and death, morality, and religious freedom.

For the first time in history, the Democratic platform called for the striking down of the Hyde Amendment, so that all Americans, could now through their taxes, directly fund the murder of unborn children.

And for the first time in American history, a major presidential candidate uttered these words: ‘Deep seated religious beliefs… must be changed…’ The war against God had now reached the stage that a mainstream candidate for the presidency could call for the overruling of God’s word, and for the eradicating of faith. And why was that faith to be altered? So that abortion could be expanded still further.

America stood at the threshold in the face of an election that threatened to establish for ages the edicts of apostasy and the ways godlessness, and an open war against the people and gospel of God.

And then there was Donald Trump. There had never been a candidate like him. Whatever it was that one was never supposed to do when running for president, he did them all. Poll after poll after poll foretold a sure Democratic victory if not a landslide. The only question was how much of a landslide and how much destruction the Republican Party would incur. The Democrats prepared for victory. The Republicans prepared for defeat. And the media, the pollsters, and the president prepared to be vindicated.

But then something happened. And nobody was sure exactly what. The election took a strange turn. And what everyone was sure could never happen… happened. The media was in shock. Democrats were in shock. Obama was in shock. The Republicans were in shock. And it appears that Donald Trump couldn’t believe it happened either.

But as it was written in ancient times, it is no less true to this day: ‘As high as the heavens are above the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways. And My thoughts than your thoughts.’

And as we can bear witness today in the city of Washington, on January 20, 2017 … ‘With God, nothing… shall be… impossible.’ [3]

God heard the prayers of His people and answered with a miracle victory that was not supposed to happen. That battle was won, but the war is not yet over and the people of God must be rallied again to prayer for our new President, for the coming revival and the coming “Great Awakening” of America.

THE MAN WHO BROKE THE TREE

Again, listen to the words of Jonathan Cahn and you decide:

“President Obama, with all respect that is due, as you approach the last hour of your presidency, you were shocked by the outcome of the election. And it now appears that your legacy will largely be undone.

You came to the presidency claiming that as a Christian you could not support the ending of marriage as it had always been known. And then you did everything in your power to end that very thing. And then you sought to force believers to take part in that very thing you said a believer could not support because of God. And then, those who would not take part of it, you sought to punish them.

If one believes that God is real, how can one do such things?

You came to the presidency speaking of tolerance. And yet you showed no tolerance for the lives of the unborn. But you zealously fought to defend the carrying out of their murder and, beyond that, to expand their murder around the world.

And then you went farther. You sought to force God’s people to partake in the killing of the unborn, to pay for their deaths. You even took them to court to coerce them into doing it.

If one has any fear of God, how can one do such things?

President Obama, on the day when marriage as we know it, as ordained in the Word of God, was, with your help, struck down in this land, you celebrated it by lighting up the White House in the colors of the rainbow. Did you not know that the rainbow does not belong to man – or to any movement of man? The rainbow… belongs to God. It is the sacred sign of God’s covenant, and the sacred colors of His throne?

If you believe that God is real, how could you use the sign of God to celebrate the striking down of the Word of God? And if you dishonor His throne, will He not dishonor yours?

If you overturn the edicts of God, should you be surprised that your own edicts will now be overturned? And if you strike down the precepts of God, will not your own precepts be struck down?” [3]

In my dream, he broke the tree, yet he fell with it! Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

A CALL TO PRAYER – APPEAL TO HEAVEN!

There is no doubt in my mind that God called for the establishment of the United States of America to further the establishment of His Kingdom, The Kingdom of God, on this earth. It is a mandate of Jesus Himself as He taught us to pray in Matthew 6: 9 & 10, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. THY KINGDOM COME. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

Pray for God’s Kingdom to come in this United States of America, in our capital, Washington, DC, in all fifty states of the Union. For God’s will to be done here, even as it is in heaven. Pray for our new President, and all those in his administration, for their protection and for God to grant them a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him and His direction for America.

Pray for the Supreme Court vacancy and any coming vacancies to be filled by persons of God’s choice. Pray for all the Judges to stand for God’s truth.

Pray for the Senate and the Congress to stand for what is right in God’s sight, according to His Word and for God’s will to be done in our nation.

Pray for Revival and a “Great Awakening” to once again shake this Nation. Pray, believing that; “America is returning to the ANCIENT PATHS to reap the harvest of the ages.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Works cited:

[1]  You tube video on Evergreen

[2] Link to article: http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/48051-dutch-sheets-tells-story-behind-the-appeal-to-heaven-flag

[3] Link to http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/watchman-on-the-wall/62623-jonathan-cahn-s-last-words-to-obama-and-charge-to-president-trump

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | January 24, 2017

THE GOSPEL IN GENESIS 5!!!

THE GOSPEL IN THE GENEALOGY OF GENESIS 5

Here’s the Gospel hidden within the genealogy in Genesis chapter 5! When you take the literal meaning of the names of the first 10 generations of man, this is the message you get!!! God is amazing!!!

The Composite List

      Hebrew           Literal meaning in English

  1. Adam                            Man
  2. Seth                               Appointed
  3. Enosh                            Mortal
  4. Kenan                           Sorrow
  5. Mahalalel                     The Blessed God
  6. Jared                              Shall come down
  7. Enoch                            Teaching
  8. Methuselah                  His death shall bring
  9. Lamech                         The Despairing
  10. Noah                              Rest, or comfort

Now let’s put it all together:

Man (is) appointed mortal sorrow; (but) the Blessed God shall come down, teaching (that) His death shall bring (the) despairing rest.

That’s rather remarkable:

God is Good!!!

Blessings, Tom

Source:

From : http://www.khouse.org/articles/1996/44/

Posted by: Tom Graves | December 25, 2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

To all my friends who follow my blog, have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!! From this day on things are going to be different because the Kingdom of God is invading earth. Things aren’t going to be the same anymore. Things that you used to think of as impossible are going to become common place! “All these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blessed shalt thou be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of thy body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep. Blessed shall be thy basket and thy store. Blessed shalt thou be when thou comest in, and blessed shalt thou be when thou goest out.” Deuteronomy 28:2-6. Believe it!!!You are blessed in Jesus’ Name!!!

Blessings to all, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | November 29, 2016

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

There is much discussion right now about the ELECTORAL COLLEGE and its function. Many people want to do away with it and just go with the national popular vote. Consider the following:

STATES RIGHTS

Our Nation is The United States of America – it is not simply “America.” The Constitution of The United States of America is very specific that it is the States who select the President and not simply the popular vote of “America.”

The following is the Preface from the “2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf” which is printed by the Federal Government, based on the requirements of the Constitution, and sent to all fifty States:

“PREFACE

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is proud to acknowledge its role in the Presidential election process. NARA’s Office of the Federal Register (OFR) acts as the administrator of the Electoral College on behalf of the states, the Congress, and the American people. In this role, the OFR is charged with helping the states carry out their election responsibilities, ensuring the completeness and integrity of the Electoral College documents submitted to Congress, and informing the public about the Presidential election process. The Electoral College system was established under Article II and Amendment 12 of the U.S. Constitution. In each state, the voters choose electors to select the President and Vice President of the United States, based on the results of the November general election. Before the general election, the OFR sends an informational package to each state’s governor to officially notify them of their electoral responsibilities. As the results of the popular vote are finalized in each state, election officials send to the OFR Certificates of ascertainment, which establish the credentials of their electors. In December, the electors hold meetings in each state to cast their votes for President and Vice President. Those choices are documented in Certificates of Vote, which are sent to the OFR for review on behalf of the Congress. In January, the Congress sits in joint session to certify the election of the President and Vice President, based on the documentary evidence assembled and reviewed by the OFR. In the year after the election, electoral documents are held at the OFR for public viewing, and then transferred to the Archives of the United States for permanent retention and access. In this Presidential election year, the cover of this pamphlet shows a representation of the Electoral College system in celebration of the spirit of the American democratic process.” [1] (Red highlights mine)

THE ELECTORS ARE SIMPLY COURIERS

Please note the lines highlighted in red! The electors are not “free” to vote for whom they choose, rather, they are to cast their votes based on the results of the voting in the November election in their state! Neither can they change their vote once they get to Washington. They are simply couriers of the information of their states votes. Here is Article II of the Constitution as amended by Amendment 12 of the Constitution:  “…they shall make distinct lists of all persons voted for as President, and of all persons voted for as Vice-President, and of the number of votes for each, which lists they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the seat of the government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate; The President of the Senate shall, in the presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the certificates and the votes shall then be counted;—The person having the greatest number of votes for President, shall be the President…” [2]

Please note that the responsibility of the Electorate is to transmit the results of the vote in their State in a sealed and certified document to be delivered to the President of the Senate.

That sounds pretty cut and dried to me. It’s all about preserving the rights of the States to elect the President. If you do away with the ELECTORAL COLLEGE and simply go by the National popular votes the larger states will be able run rough-shod over the smaller states!

Please remember, we were founded on our Constitution and we should remain true to our Constitution and not be guided by the whims of politicians in our government.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

Works cited:

[1] Copy of page 2, Link https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/resources/2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf

[2] From page 7, Link https://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/resources/2016-presidential-election-brochure.pdf

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 18, 2016

PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES FOR OUR NATION

PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES FOR OUR NATION

In view of the fact that the next two weeks will set the field for our Presidential election, please be in prayer for God’s will to be done in our nation according to His Word. The following is just a sample of what you could pray and agree with from His Word. There is much, much more that you could pray as you read and study God’s Word! Ask God to send revival and awakening to the United States of America!

IMG_0803

Father, have mercy on the United States of America! Break the power of the enemy over our nation. We humble ourselves; we pray and seek Your face. We turn from our wicked ways of doubt and unbelief (see Heb. 3:12-19). Thank You that You have heard from heaven, You have forgiven our sin and You are healing our land. (see II Chron. 7:14) Though we walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive us: You shall stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of our enemies, and Your right hand shall save us. (see Psalm 138:7).

Agree with Psalm 18:6-14: “In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth. There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.  And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.  At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.”

Our government has declared that we cannot speak or pray publically in the Name of Jesus! Agree with Peter’s prayer when their government declared the same identical thing! And ask God to send the Holy Spirit with the same results!

Agree with Acts 4:17-33: “But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard. So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding nothing how they might punish them, because of the people: for all men glorified God for that which was done.  For the man was above forty years old, on whom this miracle of healing was shewed. And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word, By stretching forth thine hand to heal; and that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child Jesus. And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.”

Agree with Isaiah 51:7-9a: “Hearken unto me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their revilings. For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wool: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old.”

Father, May “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:10. May Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done in this United States, even as it is in heaven, in the mighty Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth. AMEN and AMEN!

Blessings to you from Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 27, 2016

OUR SEARCH FOR REVIVAL

OUR SEARCH FOR REVIVAL

Having grown up in the church, I was very familiar with what was called the spring and fall revivals. Both were week-long meetings, usually with a guest evangelist and special singing groups. In fact, it was in one of these meetings when I was 16 years old that God confirmed His call on me to become a minister. However, I ran from that call for 15 years. When I finally did respond to His call, I was 31, I was married and had 2 children. I moved our little family to seminary and ultimately to a church field in Virginia.

Jeanie and I would hear reports about a “Revival” in a certain place and we would go to check it out and we would come away thinking, “There has to be more!” Many times there was good preaching and good singing and our hearts were touched but our souls were not satisfied. We wanted to experience more of God. There were other times where we recognized that man was manipulating the meeting and the people, and we came away disappointed.

In the mid 1990’s we began to hear reports of what seemed to be two authentic moves of God. One was in Toronto, Canada at a Vineyard Church and the other was in Pensacola, Florida at the Brownsville Assembly of God. In the spring of 1998, Jeanie and I decided it was time to check out what was going on. The closest was Pensacola, only about an 11 hour drive, one way. Our first trip found us standing in line before noon with several thousand other people for the service that started at 7PM. Jeanie and I were privileged to travel to the Brownsville Revival a number of times between 1998 and 2000. It literally changed me, saved my marriage and probably my life. It was the first place I had ever been where the presence of the Lord was actually tangible and could be felt by the physical senses. Some even described the feeling as electricity loose in the building. God convicted me of the sin in my life, then He touched me and I will never be the same. The revival continued until the early 2000’s when the presence of God begin to wane. Various reasons have been espoused as to why it ended but I don’t think anyone knows for sure.

In one of our trips to Brownsville, I purchased a couple of cassette tapes by a man named Duncan Campbell. They had been recorded in the late 1960’s and contained Campbell’s account of a move of God that he had been part of on the Island of Lewis, in the town of Barvas, in Scotland from 1949 to 1953. I was so taken by the definition of revival that Duncan Campbell gave in regard to this outpouring of God’s Spirit that my daughter-in-law, Paige Graves, made a framed print for me. Quoting Duncan Campbell, it reads: “A Power-Force let loose, God steps out. The Holy Spirit begins to move among the people. God seems to be everywhere. REVIVAL: Not a special effort on the part of man; Not anything at all organized on the basis of human endeavor; But an awareness of God that grips the entire community.” That print hangs in our den as a constant reminder to me that revival is something God does, not man. But God does it in response to the prayers of His people.

IMG_0803

In my opinion, the fruit from these two revivals over the last twenty years have established their validity as genuine moves of God. Both revivals have produced Evangelists who have literally led millions of people to salvation all around the world.

What excites me is that I believe that God is getting ready to do it again! And this time not just in a few places by select leaders but all around the world by ordinary believers like you and me! On Thursday, January 7, 2016 while at work about 6:30 AM, I felt like the Lord said He was sending revival to St. Augustine Florida and I should let everyone know it is coming! So here it is: Revival is coming to St. Augustine Florida! I receive it here in the Mighty Name of Jesus!!! Blessed be the Name of the LORD!!! I don’t expect it to be the same as the Brownsville Revival, I expect it to be more because that is the way God works based upon the principle set forth in Haggai 2:9: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.”

The following video was published last year in honor of the 20th anniversary of the beginning of the Brownsville Revival. A friend of mine who now lives in Israel and is a graduate of the Brownsville Revival School of Ministry posted this video on Face Book this morning and it stirred up so many memories for me. May it stir your heart afresh for revival in your city even as it has mine for St. Augustine!

May God’s Blessings be upon you!

Tom and Jeanie Graves

Posted by: Tom Graves | February 15, 2016

YOU WERE MADE TO FLY!!!

YOU WERE MADE TO FLY!!!

Isaiah 40:31: “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; THEY SHALL MOUNT UP WITH WINGS AS EAGLES; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

I love to watch eagles flying! They are so majestic and such beautiful birds. You may not know this, but when our founding fathers were trying to decide on a bird to represent our nation, tradition has it that Ben Franklin wanted it to be the wild turkey. However, the eagle won out and I am glad!

Gathering of eagles

A few years ago, Jeanie and I liked to go over to an observation deck overlooking Moultrie Creek. Directly across the creek was a very tall pine tree that had an eagle’s nest up near the top. Every spring, a pair of eagles would return to that nest to rear their young and we would take the binoculars and watch them bringing fish to the nest to feed their young. It was an amazing sight.

Last year, when I looked for the nest it was gone. I wondered why! What had happened? And then the Lord brought to mind the following verse: Deuteronomy 32:11-12:  “As an eagle STIRRETH UP HER NEST, fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings: So the LORD alone did lead him, and there was no strange god with him.”

When I was at seminary, my favorite professor, Dr. J. Leo Green, my Old Testament professor, spent an entire class on this verse. He explained that there are times when the baby eagle has become so comfortable and content in the comfort of the nest that it resists the parents’ efforts to coax it from the nest to teach it to fly. The parents then begin to disassemble the nest. The first thing they take out is the soft lining of their own feathers that they had plucked from their own bodies to make the nest warm, soft and comfortable. Next go the leaves and grass and finally the twigs and sticks that formed the foundation of the nest until the baby eagle is left on a limb with the cold wind blowing against it.

Then the mother eagle takes the young eagle in her talons and soars upward to a certain point and she opens her talons and shakes the little fellow free and he begins to fall toward the earth. Can you imagine what that poor little eagle is thinking? Has momma lost her mind? She’s never treated me like this before. She has always fed me, protected me and kept me warm – but now she’s catapulted me into space and I’m headed for the rocks below.

Meanwhile, the mother eagle soaring aloft, thinking to herself, if he is ever going to realize his destiny – if he is ever going to be anything more than a barnyard rooster he must learn to use his wings! He must learn to fly! At the last moment, just before the young eagle hits the ground, the mother eagle swoops under him and he lands gently on her back and up they go again. When the little fellow can get his breath he asks, “Why did you do that?” Momma simply replies, “Next time, flap your wings!” Up she sails again, higher and higher. She makes a loop and down he comes again. This time, she glides along beside him urging him to flap his wings. This is repeated time and again until finally, he gets the hang of using his wings and he begins to rise, higher and higher until eventually he is soaring toward the sun, the majestic king of the air!

God is beginning to stir the nest in which we have become so comfortable. When it seems like things are beginning to fall apart in your life, it may just be God stirring your nest so things can fall into place! It is God’s purpose to teach us that a life of ease is not the goal He has for us. Romans 8:28-29: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate TO BE CONFORMED TO THE IMAGE OF HIS SON, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” God’s goal for us is to be like Jesus! John 14:12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” Amazing, but it is true!

Second, God is trying to enlarge our vision! To get us to fly higher – to believe for more. The best is yet to come! Ephesians 3:20-21: “Now unto him that is ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK, ACCORDING TO THE POWER THAT WORKETH IN US, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” God is able! He will never let you down! Trust Him to do above and beyond all you can ask or think!

One of my favorite worship leaders at Bethel Church, Redding, California, Steffany Gretzinger, put this into words in a short 3 minute spontaneous session of worship in the midst of a longer worship session. Let it bless your heart.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Posted by: Tom Graves | January 19, 2016

HE’S A GOOD, GOOD FATHER!!!

HE’S A GOOD, GOOD FATHER!!!

Have you ever had a couple of days where it seems like God is trying to get something through to you? That has happened to me the last two days. I had to work Sunday morning at WalMart as usual and it had been a really hectic day. But it didn’t stay like that!

It started Sunday afternoon when I had been out to pick up something for Jeanie’s birthday. On the way back home, I began to think about the goodness of God and a song came to mind and I found myself singing a verse out of a popular song by Chris Tomlin. “You’re a Good, Good Father, It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are, And I’m loved by you, It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am!” Tears came to my eyes and I just basked in the Love of God that was surrounding me at the time.

Then, on Monday, I was trying to catch up on the e-mails that I hadn’t read for a couple of days and I had one from a friend that said, “Check this out. This baby is brought to tears by his mother singing a worship song.” Do you want to guess what the song was? It was the same verse that I was singing the day before. Then I decided to catch up on my Facebook and wouldn’t you know it, there was that baby again, brought to tears, along with me.

Boy did I need that! God is a Good, Good Father! It’s Who He is! And He loves me! So, who am I? I am someone who is loved by God! And the same is true for you. Let that sink in for a moment and them began to thank Him for Who He is!

Here are the words to the song, followed by Chris Tomlin singing it on YouTube, followed by the baby video.

Enjoy, Blessings, Tom

 

“GOOD GOOD FATHER”

Oh, I’ve heard a thousand stories of what they think you’re like

But I’ve heard the tender whisper of love in the dead of night

And you tell me that you’re pleased

And that I’m never alone

 

You’re a Good, Good Father

It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are

And I’m loved by you

It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

 

Oh, and I’ve seen many searching for answers far and wide

But I know we’re all searching

For answers only you provide

Cause you know just what we need

Before we say a word

 

You’re a Good, Good Father

It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are

And I’m loved by you

It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

 

Cause you are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways to us

 

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways

You are perfect in all of your ways to us

 

Oh, it’s love so undeniable

I, I can hardly speak

Peace so unexplainable

I, I can hardly think

 

As you call me deeper still [x3]

Into love, love, love

 

[x3:]

You’re a Good, Good Father

It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are

And I’m loved by you

It’s who I am, it’s who I am, it’s who I am

 

You’re a Good, Good Father

(You are perfect in all of your ways)

It’s who you are, it’s who you are, it’s who you are

And I’m loved by you

(You are perfect in all of your ways)

It’s who I am, it’s who I am it’s who I am

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | January 13, 2016

REVIVAL, WHAT IS IT?

REVIVAL, WHAT IS IT?

On Thursday, January 7, 2016 I made the following post on my Facebook page.

Tom Graves Bookbites

January 7 at 6:16pm ·

At work this morning about 6:30 AM, I felt like the Lord said He was sending revival to St. Augustine Florida, and I should let everyone know it is coming! So here it is: Revival is coming to St. Augustine Florida! I receive it here in the Mighty Name of Jesus!!! Blessed be the Name of the LORD!!! 

All during that day at work, I shared this word with anyone I felt would listen and to some who I simply felt God said “Share with them!” Responses were mixed from excitement, to we need a good meeting and a good Gospel sing, to no response at all, just a strange look. That afternoon, I felt I should post it to Facebook and I thank all those who clicked “Like” and all those who commented.

Since then I have been pondering that word and thinking about revival. What does real revival look like? Is it just a series of meetings or is it something more?

OUR SEARCH FOR REVIVAL 

Having grown up in the church, I was very familiar with what was called the spring and fall revivals. Both were week-long meetings, usually with a guest evangelist and special singing groups. In fact, it was in one of these meetings when I was 16 years old that God confirmed His call on me to become a minister. However, I ran from that call for 15 years. When I finally did respond to His call, I was 31, I was married and had 2 children. I moved our little family to seminary and ultimately to a church field in Virginia. To read the story of our call and response, go to  https://tomgravesbookbites.wordpress.com/2015/02/10/the-testimony-of-god/

Jeanie and I would hear reports about a “Revival” in a certain place and we would go to check it out and we would come away thinking, “There has to be more!” Many times there was good preaching and good singing and our hearts were touched but our souls were not satisfied. We wanted to experience more of God. There were other times where we recognized that man was manipulating the meeting and the people, and we came away disappointed.

In the mid 1990’s we began to hear reports of what seemed to be two authentic moves of God. One was in Toronto, Canada at a Vineyard Church and the other was in Pensacola, Florida at the Brownsville Assembly of God. In the spring of 1998, Jeanie and I decided it was time to check out what was going on. The closest was Pensacola, only about an 11 hour drive, one way. Our first trip found us standing in line before noon with several thousand other people for the service that started at 7PM. Jeanie and I were privileged to travel to the Brownsville Revival a number of times between 1998 and 2000. It literally changed me, saved my marriage and probably my life. It was the first place I had ever been where the presence of the Lord was actually tangible and could be felt by the physical senses. Some even described the feeling as electricity loose in the building. God convicted me of the sin in my life, then He touched me and I will never be the same. In my opinion, the fruit from these two revivals over the last twenty years have established their validity as genuine moves of God.

In one of our trips to Brownsville, I purchased a couple of cassette tapes by a man named Duncan Campbell. They had been recorded in the late 1960’s and contained Campbell’s account of a move of God that he had been part of on the Island of Lewis, in the town of Barvas, in Scotland from 1949 to 1953. I was so taken by the definition of revival that Duncan Campbell gave in regard to this outpouring of God’s Spirit that my daughter-in-law, Paige Graves, made a framed print for me. Quoting Duncan Campbell, it reads: “A Power-Force let loose, God steps out. The Holy Spirit begins to move among the people. God seems to be everywhere. REVIVAL: Not a special effort on the part of man; Not anything at all organized on the basis of human endeavor; But an awareness of God that grips the entire community.” That print hangs in our den as a constant reminder to me that revival is something God does, not man. But God does it in response to the prayers of His people.

IMG_0803

DUNCAN CAMPBELL ON REVIVAL

 “There is a world of difference between a crusade or a special effort in the field of evangelism. My dear people that is not revival! As I already said from the platform, I thank God for every soul brought to Christ through our special efforts and for every season of blessing at our conferences and conventions. We praise God for such movements. But, is it not true that such movements do not as a general rule touch the community. The community remains more or less the same and the masses go faster to hell.”

“But in revival, the community suddenly becomes conscious of the movings of God, beginning among His own people, so that in a matter of hours, not days! In a matter of hours churches become crowded. No intimation of any special meeting, but something happening that moves men and women to the House of God. And you find within hours scores of men and women crying to God for mercy… When God stepped down, men and women all over the Parish were gripped by the fear of God.” [1]

PRAYING FOR REVIVAL

Duncan Campbell then tells the story of how the Lewis Revival began and had been going on for a number of days before he arrived on the island of Lewis. It all began with an eighty four year old woman who had a burden for the young people of the community. There were no young people in the churches at the time, but God had given her a vision of the churches filled with young people. She went to her pastor and asked him and the elders to begin to pray two nights a week, from 10 PM to 4AM on Tuesday and Friday nights. She said that she and her sister would pray during those hours at their home. The men met in a barn and had been praying for revival based on Isaiah 44:3: “For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:” After several weeks of this prayer, a young man who was meeting with the group, stood up and read Psalms 24:3-5: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” [1]

Campbell continues telling about the young man, “He shut his Bible and looking down at the other men there, he said this… ‘Brethren, it seems to me just so much hum-bug to be praying as we are praying and waiting as we are waiting, if we ourselves are not rightly related to God’… he began to pray, ‘God are my hands clean, is my heart pure?’ And that dear man got no further! He fell on his knees and then on his face among the straw and within minutes, three of the elders fell into a trance.” When that happened in the barn…a power was let loose in Barvas that shook the whole of Lewis. God stepped down, the Holy Spirit began to move among the people. And the Minister, writing about what happened on the following morning, said this, ‘You met God in the meadow and the moorland. You met Him in the homes of the people. God seemed to be everywhere!’” [1]

THIS IS REVIVAL!

Campbell asked the question, “What was that?” And then he answers, “REVIVAL! REVIVAL! Not an evangelist, not a special effort, not anything at all organized on the basis of human endeavor but an awareness of God that gripped the whole community, so much so that work stopped! What was happening? The people were meeting in groups. Young men would gather in a field and begin to talk about this strange consciousness of God that gripped the community.” [1]

As I said earlier, Campbell had not been in Barvas for the original outpouring, rather he was invited by the pastor some time later to come and preach for 10 days. He originally had written the pastor that he had other obligations and could not come, but God had those obligations cancelled and he knew he was supposed to go and preach there. He was met at the pier by the pastor and was asked if he could stop by the Parrish Church on the way to the place he was to stay and address the group that had gathered there. Here is his account of that evening.

“I went to the church. Now this is the interesting bit because it deals with the outbreak of God in supernatural power; the God of miracles revealing Himself in revival. I preached in the church to a congregation of about 300 and I would say a good meeting, a wonderful sense of God, something that I hadn’t known since the 1921 movement in Middle Gyle but nothing really happened and I pronounced the benediction. And I’m walking down the aisle when this young man came to me and said, ‘Nothing has broken out tonight but God is hovering over us…and He’ll break through any moment.’”

“Well, I must be perfectly honest, I didn’t feel anything, but you see, here was a man much closer to God than I was. Oh, he knew the secret. We’re moving down the aisle and the congregation is moving out. They are all out now but this man and myself. He lifted his hands and started to pray, ‘God, You made a promise to pour water on the thirsty and floods upon the dry ground, and You’re not doing it.’ Then he prayed and prayed and prayed again until he fell onto the floor in a trance. He’s lying there, I’m standing beside him for about five minutes and then the door of the church opened and the clerk came in and said, ‘Campbell, something wonderful has happened, revival has broken out. Will you come to the door and see the crowd that’s here.’ Eleven o’clock mind you, eleven o’clock and I went to the door and there must have been a congregation of between 600 and 700 people gathered around the church…Now where did the people come from? How did they know that a meeting was in progress in the church? Well, I cannot tell you, but I know this, that from village and hamlet the people came…”

“There was a dance in progress that night in the parish and while this young man was praying in the aisle, the power of God moved into that dance and the young people, over a hundred of them, fled from the dance as though fleeing a plague and they made for the church. And when I endeavored to get up into the pulpit, I found the way blocked with young people who had been at the dance.”

That meeting continued until four o’clock in the morning. As I was leaving the church, a young man came to me, oh, he’s not a Christian, but he’s a God fearing young man and told me this story. ‘Mr. Campbell, there must be anything between 200 and 300 people at the police station. They are gathered there and some are on their knees.’ Now, I can’t understand this. He wasn’t in the church you see, but here a crowd of men and women from a neighboring village, 5 or 6 miles away were so moved by God that they found themselves moving to the police station because the Constable there was a God fearing and well saved man.” [1]

Just think, all of this occurred in just one evening and quite an evening it was. Revival had come to the Island of Lewis. That is the kind of revival I want to see God send to St. Augustine.

It is noteworthy that this meeting fulfilled the vision God had given to the prayer warrior.

Campbell also commented on what he felt were the two main aspects of the Lewis Revival. First, was the awareness of the presence of God and second, was the deep conviction of sin that the presence of God brought to the community. These will always accompany a real move of God.

“My dear people, do you understand what REVIVAL means? Have you a conception of what it means to see God working; the God of miracles, sovereign, supernatural, moving in the midst of men and hundreds swept into the Kingdom? OH THAT WE MIGHT SEE IT – THAT WE MIGHT SEE IT!” Duncan Campbell [1] (emphasis mine).

That is our cry also, OH THAT WE MIGHT SEE IT – THAT WE MIGHT SEE IT!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

[1] These excerpts were transcribed from Duncan Campbell’s sermon “When God Stepped Down From Heaven” from You tube Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xM4jozRoYp4

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | December 9, 2015

A MIRACLE ON MONDAY EVENING

A MIRACLE ON MONDAY EVENING

For the past 11 months, on the first Monday of each month, Jeanie and I join with a group of folk from several area churches for an evening of feeding the hungry and homeless and ministering to their needs. Jeanie cooks and prepares food and I deliver it and help serve and minister. Here is how God orchestrated the beginning of this relationship and what He is doing right now.

THE BEGINNINGS

As many of you know, since Jeanie and I have semi-retired (i.e. changed job descriptions) and moved to St. Augustine to be near our only grandchild, I have been working at Wal-Mart in the meat department. About this time last year, I met a couple who were shopping for bargains on ham and I was able to help them with hams that were marked down because of overstock.  Curious, I asked what they were going to do with so many hams and they explained that they headed up a group that fed the hungry and homeless on the first Monday night of each month. I asked if I could pray for them and their ministry and they agreed. Then they invited me to come and see what they were doing on the first Monday in January, 2015. I accepted and thus began a relationship that has blessed mine and Jeanie’s hearts over the last year.

On that first Monday night in January 2015, Jeanie prepared a dish and I delivered it and helped serve and observed. All this occurred on a vacant dirt lot with no facilities, not even electricity, in old downtown St. Augustine. I arrived about a half-hour before serving time and helped with set up. There was a small storage building that contained tables and chairs. The food was served on several long tables under a 10X20 garage type tent shelter. Old card tables and folding chairs were set up on the lot. The line was long, but everyone was patient and seemed really grateful for a meal. There was an individual who took prayer requests that would be prayed for by a prayer group in the days following.

In the winter when it gets dark before 6PM, lights are provided for the tent by a solar system that someone donated. Light in the seating area is mainly by the street lights and a few gas lanterns that some folk bring. This happens every evening of the year, rain or shine, with a different group providing the meal. There were 87 people served that evening. It was awesome. It is amazing what God can do with just a little and a few committed individuals.

After a few months, the person who had been taking prayer requests was unable to continue and I was asked to take their place. I had a small notebook and I would go from table to table asking our guests if they had any prayer requests. A few said no, but most expressed one need or more which I would write down. Then I would pray for that individual right that moment and we saw folks touched. I would also compile all of the requests and forward them to our host later that evening for a prayer group to pray over them. We were blessed to have the privilege to lead several people in the sinner’s prayer over the next few months.

For some of the requests, we were able to “put feet to our prayers.” For example, if our guest asked for something specific like a tent, or a bicycle, or a pair of shoes, or a coat, our host couple would often be able to provide that item for the person in the next day or so. I was amazed at how often those specific items would have been donated to our group the week before. This is a literal fulfilment of Isaiah 65:24, “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.”  

WHAT GOD IS DOING NOW

This past Monday evening, God came in a very special way for one of our guests. We will call him Matthew (not his name) as I share his story. The wife of the host couple was the first to notice him. Here is her encounter in her own words: “When [Matthew] first came to the feeding he walked straight up to me.  I thought he knew me and I just didn’t remember him.  He looked so intensely into my eyes, I said what, honey what? Do you need help; do you need to talk?  He continued to look into my eyes, he took his hands like he was going to grab around my head, then he lowered his hands.  I touched his shoulders and he whispered why?  I said because I love you.  He got teary eyed and said no why?  I said again because I Love you.  He grabbed me very hard and pulled me off the ground hugging me and grunting.  Then, he walked away.  Later, in line I offered to help him with a tray, he didn’t want the attention.  I said I do this for everyone.  He put his hand on my shoulder with much weight almost like he couldn’t walk without my support.  He grunted through the line marveling at all the food offerings.  I took him to his seat and again he asked me why and looked intensely into my eyes.  Then, cried why do you care?  I told him we all care, we love you and the Lord loves you.  He said no, I said yes.  He whispered he was bad.  I said I didn’t care we have all sinned and we are still loved by God. He looked so dumb-founded.  My Pastor came over and said can I pray for you buddy?  He said no.  I figured he didn’t want to draw attention.  I went about my other duties then I saw him with you Tom.  So, I came back to see what was happening… you know the rest of the story. I don’t know why he came up to me in the beginning besides that he was searching for something, someone, some answers.  He didn’t want to accept that I loved him unconditionally. We saw at least one miracle tonight!  I always say we don’t know how we might affect the people, here’s a fine example!”

AND NOW THE REST OF THE STORY

This ended up being quite an evening with God really touching and healing a man named (Matthew). I will share the story as best as I can remember it. Most everyone had finished eating and folks were beginning to put the tables and chairs up when I noticed a man (I did not know his name at this time) standing off to the side with tears in his eyes. I went up and stood in front of him and felt the Lord just wanted me to hug him which I did. He began to weep and sob. I then asked Father to heal his hurts and wounds. I gave him my handkerchief so he could wipe his nose and eyes and then he began to whisper to me something to the effect that he had let God down and had sinned and could not get forgiveness. I began to hug him again putting a hand on top of his head and telling him that he was being covered in the blood of Jesus. I loosely quoted I John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” And II Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made Him (Jesus), Who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.” The words to an old hymn came to me and I spoke them to him, “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins, and sinners plunged beneath the flood lose all their guilty stain.” I stepped back from him and asked if I could anoint him with oil. He whispered that he didn’t know what might happen because the devil had him. I anointed him with oil in the name of Jesus and rebuked the devil and commanded it to loose him in the Name and through the power of the Blood of Jesus. He began to shake and jerk and then something in him changed. You could see it in his face. He began to look around like “What just happened!” He began to smile! He asked me, “What did you do?” I didn’t try to answer that question for I had not done anything – God did it. Then I asked him, “What are you feeling?”  He said aloud, “I feel like a five year old.” I asked him, “What happened to you when you were five years old.” He looked at me and said, “That’s when I was baptized.” He then began to ask me “How did you know?” – “How did you know?” –  “How did you know?” He asked this several times. I didn’t know, I simply asked the question that came to my mind. God is amazing in how He works. He then began to shout “I can talk- I can talk!” I had thought he had been whispering because he didn’t want others to hear him. Then I found out from our host that he had had throat cancer and had been unable to speak aloud for the past eight months. God had forgiven him, delivered him and healed him all in those few moments! All the Glory to Him – He is great and He is Good! We then shared Communion with him and prayed for him to be Baptized in Holy Spirit. When he left he was singing loudly!

Another one of our guests who had witnessed the whole thing and realized that God had healed him also asked to be prayed for, for healing. We anointed her with oil and prayed for her healing. We are looking to hear good reports back from her. As we finished praying with her, she quickly looked to her left and gasped and said, “I just saw an angel! No one will believe me. They will think I am crazy, but I just saw an angel!” I believe that she saw an angel and I must say, I was very encouraged by what God is doing.

After I had gotten home and shared with Jeanie what had happened, Father reminded her of the prayer that He had given her as I was walking out the door, “That we would provide food tonight not only for the body, but also for the soul and spirit!” Then Father literally fulfilled Ephesians 3:20-21, “Now UNTO HIM THAT IS ABLE TO DO EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY ABOVE ALL THAT WE ASK OR THINK, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

 

Older Posts »

Categories