LIFE, LIBERTY, AND THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

Dear Family and Friends,

The second sentence of the Declaration of Independence states: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We have been blessed in this country to have among many things, the freedom of religion.  I count it a privilege to be a Christian and have the liberty to serve the Lord as I see fit according to the Word of God.  This freedom has come at a price, freedom is never free.

I am so thankful for all have who made it possible for me personally to live in this beautiful country, America, starting with the Founding Fathers who personally paid a great price for our freedom,  and also for every soldier past and present who has ever fought or served in the military so we could remain free, many paying the ultimate price.  God bless our military, and help them today Lord Jesus.  I have met and know many who have been in the current conflict multiple times.  Please pray for our military and their families.

Please pray for America.

Proverbs 14:34

Righteousness exalteth a nation:

but sin is a reproach to any people.

Please pray for a national spiritual awakening; a revival like we have read about.

In 1906 in Los Angeles, CaliforniaWilliam Seymour was locked out of the church where he was scheduled to preach. Later, he went to the home of Richard and Ruth Asberry where God poured out His Spirit on humble folk seeking His presence.  The place became holy ground and people were drawn to hear the message of Pentecost.  After the front porch collapsed, the group rented a building that was formerly used as a livery stable and tenement house.  Discarded lumber and plaster littered the large, barn-like room on the ground floor.  It was cleaned and become a sanctuary where the plain was leveled and people of all walks of life congregated. It was the first integrated church in America!

    

The most well known leader of the Azusa Street Revival was William Seymour, born to former slaves, an unassuming man. Frank Bartleman said,  William J. Seymour “Brother Seymour generally sat behind two empty shoe boxes, one on top of the other.  He usually kept his head inside the top one during the meeting, in prayer.  Humility characterized Seymour’s life, and many attested to his desire to see unity among the seekers of the Holy Spirit.

Frank Bartleman said, “There was no pride there…In that old building, with its low rafters and bare floors,God took strong men and women to pieces, and put them together again, for His glory.”

Wikipedia had this to say about it:

By mid-May 1906,[12] anywhere from 300[3] to 1,500 people would attempt to fit into the building. Since horses had very recently been the residents of the building, flies constantly bothered the attendees.[18] People from a diversity of backgrounds came together to worship: men, women, children, blackwhiteHispanicAsianrichpoorilliterate, and educated.[14] People of all ages flocked to Los Angeles with both skepticism and a desire to participate.[3][18] The intermingling of races and the group’s encouragement of women in leadership was remarkable, as 1906 was the height of the “Jim Crow” era of racial segregation,[10] and fourteen years prior to women receiving suffrage in the United States.

Frank Bartleman was to enthusiastically say, “The color line was washed away in the blood.”  Racial prejudice was removed by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ.  No one else could achieve this, but the Lord Jesus Christ.

Services and Worship

Worship at 312 Azusa Street was frequent and spontaneous with services going almost around the clock. Among those attracted to the revival were not only members of the Holiness Movement, but also BaptistsMennonitesQuakers, and Presbyterians.[15] An observer at one of the services wrote these words:

No instruments of music are used. None are needed. No choir- the angels have been heard by some in the spirit. No collections are taken. No bills have been posted to advertise the meetings. No church organization is back of it. All who are in touch with God realize as soon as they enter the meetings that the Holy Ghost is the leader.[8]

Extraordinary miracles characterized the revival.  In his book, “They Told Me Their Stories,” Tommy Welchel  tells of an account by an eye witness that God recreated an arm that was wrenched from a man’s socket in a work related accident. God recreated his arm within seconds.  The blind left seeing.  The crippled got out of their of wheelchairs and walked. The deaf had their hearing restored.  God manifested His glory and amazing miracles took place by the power of God.  People found a living Saviour and were saved as He transformed lives.  Missionaries came from around the world to find their own personal Pentecost as they were filled with the Holy Spirit.

On the Day of Pentecost, Jews had gathered from “every nation under heaven.”  It was fitting that this was the way the Holy Spirit came again at Azusa.  The first missionaries to the Gentiles, were “scattered” out from Jerusalem to fulfill the missionary call to which Christ had sent them. And, while many came to Azusa, it was not God’s intention that they all stay, but that some should take what they had received back out to the world!

Seymour felt than an essential element of Christianity itself was a unity which saw beyond the barriers of race, color, gender, nation, class or status.  To him, the Azusa Street Mission was a taste of what true Christianity was meant to be, just as the first Pentecost saw the coming together of those from “every nation.”

Seymour was the son of former slaves who gained their freedom but continued to work on the plantation.  He followed in their steps and grew  physically strong.  One source says He taught himself to read the Bible,  but another source says he had a good education, attended a freedman school and had good penmanship.  It seems that he was under the almost constant harassment of the Ku Klux Klan during the injustice and prejudice of the reconstruction south and the oppressive Jim Crow laws.  William Seymour was convinced that Jesus Christ was the only true liberator of men.

I too, am convinced that Jesus Christ is the only true liberator of men.

John 8:36

If the Son therefore shall make you free,

ye shall be free indeed.

Therefore, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness is in Jesus!  Everything you could ever desire or long for is fulfilled in the Saviour, the Lord JESUS CHRIST.

John 10:10

The thief cometh not,

but for to steal,

and to kill,

and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life,

and

that they might have it more

abundantly.

Thank you for stopping by Family and Friends.

 
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