Wednesday, March 1, 2017

100% Response to Preaching

Great Altar Services!

We had a tremendous service Monday night in Ellisville that ended in a great response in the altar and a wonderful altar service last night too. It has started me thinking again about how important it is to respond to the Word of God.

I have stressed the importance of the altar service for all of our years of evangelism. Looking back over the blog the last 18 months, I have had several altar services with 100% participation. I am absolutely thrilled with that! 

If you have heard me preach very much in the last 14+ years then you have heard me ask for "100% response in the altar service by every one that is physically able.

I am always pleading with people in revival services to respond to the preaching of God's word by coming to the altar to pray. It seems like the message is finally getting through and I am happy about that.

Preaching has always been an important part of Christian worship.

I Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. 

If preaching is important then responding to the preaching is important too.

When is the last time you got up out of your seat and responded to your Pastor's preaching? Do you run for the drinking fountain, grab the nearest baby or ease out to be the first one to the buffet or McDonald's? 

Try turning away from the door and going the other direction. Try spending some time praying with others about the Word of God you just heard. You will be amazed how God will work in your life and the lives of your family when you take preaching to heart every time.

Make a habit of contributing to 100% response to preaching, 100% of the time. I know God will respond to you as well. He always does.

I say this next statement over and over and over. I have Never seen a revival with lasting results in the lives of the people AND empty altars. Empty and neglected altars Never result in real lasting revival.

I understand that not everyone is physically able to come forward. Not everyone that is able to come forward can physically kneel at the altar. That is not the point. God blesses those that respond as they are able. God honors those that honor His Word enough to pray about it.

Let me clarify something. It is not the brilliance of my preaching or the cleverness of my phrasing or the emotion of my plea that I am asking folks to acknowledge. None of those things will matter ten minutes after the sermon even IF they were present in the sermon, which is doubtful.

What is worth acknowledging, accepting and responding to is the Word of God! The Word of God will speak to every person in every pew and in every situation of their life. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God and faith will demand some type of acknowledgement. Preaching of the Word of God demands a response.

I realize that altar services have been out of style in many churches for decades. Walking the aisle and kneeling at an altar is too country, too simple, too spiritually immature and completely unnecessary in some people's view. Besides they can pray while seated in their comfortable pew or when they get home.

Preachers want to be relevant and in step with other churches. They do not want to be seen as pushing people for a response. 

But churches that incorporate an altar service at the end of the sermon and stress its importance, still see people's lives totally and radically changed. Men and women are saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost, healed, uplifted and encouraged when they respond by faith to the preaching in the altar. 

Churches that avoid altar services also avoid talking of such experiences and changes in lives.

It is evident to me that they are not receiving the same blessings while sitting in their pew or praying about the sermon when they get home. I believe that once they exit the door of the church without responding to the preaching the wicked foul of the air is likely to pluck that seed out of their heart. Mark 4:4,15

Preaching demands a response. God's Word demands a response. Are we too spiritual to spend a few moments joining with the saints to pray about what we have heard? 

Are we too proud or lazy or stubborn to humble our hearts when God has been speaking to us? Are we too carnally minded to hear and acknowledge God is speaking to our hearts?

"Wait, preacher," you say. "If God was speaking in my church I would respond. I would get right down on my knees and ask Him to help me hear His Word and do His Word."

But preaching IS God speaking.

Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;  
3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour;

God is speaking to us today through preaching.

19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 
21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

Wow! That is a perfect description of our attitude today. Our world is so wise and prideful in our own wisdom. We are caught up in what we know and the next big thing we can learn. 

But God sends a preacher equipped with nothing but the Word of God, preaching the cross and the world can be saved through that preacher's message! Praise God! The world thinks preaching is foolish. The modern church may think it is foolish as well. But unto us that are saved, preaching is the power of God. 

It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. Believing the preaching demands a response!

Most of the time I am asking for 100% response from those that are physically able and I receive about 50% response instead. I am thrilled when 70-80% of the people come to the altar in response to my preaching. Most of the time I am ready for the rapture when all but a handful of people come to the altar to pray.

The 100% response I have received several times the last 18 months has thrilled and inspired me! I will keep on asking. I will keep on pleading. I believe the end result is worth it.

Thank you for reading today.


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Surprised By Special Friends!

I mentioned in yesterday's post that we had two visitors Sunday night that absolutely blew us away. I want you to understand they got us bad. We had no idea they were within 500 miles of us. When I walked into church Sunday night they were sitting in the pew about half way back and I nearly swallowed my teeth.

I have wrote about Bro. Bruce and Sis. Priscilla Mayhan several times on the blog. They have been dear friends since 1989 and they have traveled literally thousands of miles to be with us in services all over the USA. They drove down from Oklahoma this weekend to visit us and some other friends in Mississippi.

Here they are Monday at Front Porch in Hattiesburg, Mississippi before they headed home.

Here they are with us outside on the front porch at Front Porch.

I am still amazed that they showed up at revival this week in Ellisville, Mississippi. I do not know why it shocks me so much, they have showed up in Hazard, Kentucky and Fayetteville, North Carolina and about a dozen other places through the years.

What incredible friends!

God has blessed us with tremendous friends in this world and the list keeps right on growing every year. We feel like the most blessed people on God's green earth and we are thankful to have such an abundance of friends. Thank you, our dear friends all over for embracing us, keeping us and loving us. 

Thank you to Bro. Bruce and Sis. Priscilla for your adventurous efforts to visit us on a regular basis. You are amazing. We value your friendship more than we can say! I want to BE the kind of friend that you are to us.

Thank you all for reading.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Weekend Woundup and Weview #9

Friday was a beautiful day in Mobile. I love spring weather and this was definitely a spring weather day. I had quite a bit of work to do outside Friday morning so it was perfect. I had to reorganize the two front bays of the bus since we had it turned inside out trying to make sure it was dried out.

After I had it mostly together I took this picture of the temporary water heater.

Here are a couple of pictures of where we were parked at Foster Grove Church.

We had a great final service Friday night with Pastor Jimmie McDuffie and all of his folks. They are so good to us and we love being with them. After we were packed up we went out for one final time of fellowship with lots of talk and hugs all around.

We had almost everything ready to go when we got back to the church Friday night so we hooked up the Green Machine and left for Ellisville. We left about 11:30 and about 111 miles and two hours later we pulled into First Assembly.

By 3:00 we were unhooked, parked and tucked safely away for the night. Saturday morning we unloaded our sound system and set it up in the church. By 12:30 we were in the car on our way to Lusk Baptist Church north of Gilbertown, Alabama to hear the Isaacs.

This was sound check in the nearly empty church but it was not empty for long.

An hour before start time the church was full and by 6:00 it was jammed packed inside and many, many people outside. It was a great night of singing and we enjoyed it all. We love visiting with the Isaacs and enjoyed the service.

I am sure there will be plenty of pictures from the night with Isaacs in next Saturday's post.

We were back at the bus at a decent hour Saturday night in time for a good night's sleep. Sunday morning we finished the sound set up and settled in for a tremendous day with Pastor Kenny Morris and all of his people. The day included a great service Sunday morning, a wonderful dinner Sunday afternoon and another great service Sunday night.

Not only did we have an outstanding day at church but we had two surprise visitors Sunday night that really blew us away. I will post more about that tomorrow.

We have several pictures from Sunday. This first one is me with Bro. Jack Eubanks that I wrote about a week or two ago. Bro. Jack is 86 years old.

Those are two little miracles singing in the choir Sunday at First Assembly.

That wraps up our weekend. Thanks for reading.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

View Out The Front Window February 26, 2017

Here are links to the posts from the last week.

This is our view this week at First Assembly in Ellisville, Mississippi!

We are thrilled to be back in Ellisville with Pastor Kenny Morris and all of his folks. We are beginning revival here this morning by God's grace and will be here through Friday.

I hope you have a great Sunday.


Saturday, February 25, 2017

Singing At Sea 2017 iPhone Pics

Hello friends, this is Odie. I hope you have had a good week. We had a great time in revival at Foster Grove Holiness Church with Pastor Jimmie McDuffie and all our friends here. The presence of God was rich in every service. 

I am glad I was able to be in this revival at Foster Grove. The last time my parents had a meeting here I was gone on The Singing At Sea in 2015. Dad worked the schedule where I was able to be here this time around. 

It has been good to be back home on the BoggsMobile. It is an honor and privilege to work along side my parents in ministry. I am grateful they allowed me to get away last week and enjoy a fabulous week at sea on The Singing At Sea!

It was so good to be on vacation with my great friend Kaylene Stephens. Kaylene is from Weir, Kansas and we have been friends since our teenage years. This was our second time cruising together. We had a blast!  

Here are the answers to two questions we were asked a lot. First, Kaylene is NOT my mother!  The second question we got a lot and we both could take it but we are still not sisters only friends. Kaylene is a wonderful friend she helped me so much last week at our port stops!  Thanks again Kaylene for being an incredible friend!

This post is full of pictures from mine and Kaylene's iPhones. We were on the Enchantment of the Seas by Royal Caribbean international and we visited two ports of call. The first was Coco Cay (Royal Caribbean's private island) and the second was Nassau, Bahamas. Both ports are beautiful but Coco Cay was my favorite stop. 

This particular cruise is called The Singing At Sea and it is a chartered cruise by Templeton Tours. Jeff Templeton and everyone at Templeton Tours puts together a fantastic cruise. For the Singing At Sea the entire ship is chartered. The bars and casinos are closed the whole time. It is a great Christian atmosphere for a vacation. Over 25 southern gospel groups were on board to provide wonderful singing and entertainment. You still get to enjoy all the delicious food and fun of cruising but in a great environment. 

This is my third Singing At Sea. I sailed in 2012, 2015 and now 2017. This was something I heard about as a girl and knew one day I wanted to experience. I absolutely love every time I have sailed. I look forward to going again in the future. So now here are the 2017 Singing At Sea iPhone pics. 

Monday- Sail Away Day

Finally aboard The Enchantment of the Seas

Fort Lauderdale, Florida 

Tribute Quartet got the singing started off right for the cruise.

Life boat drill time

Ready for our first dinner 

My friends Terry and Brandi Stewart. 

Terry is product manager for the Lefever Quartet. It was a great to sail with them. The Lefevers were our host group this cruise. 

Lefever Quartet 

Tuesday- Sea Day and Captain's Night 

It was great to meet Paul and Sheila Heil of The Gospel Greats. I have listened to their radio show for years. They did a Name That Tune game that was fun. 

The Bowlings 

Towel creation our  cabin steward left us. 

Brandi and Odie 

Captain's night is a fun time to dress up for dinner. Before dinner there was a reception where we got to see the captain and a lot of the Enchantment of the Seas staff. 

Our photo bombers in the picture below were a sweet pastor and his wife from North Carolina. We crossed paths with them several times. 

The Enchantment of the Seas house band played for the Captain's reception. 

The Captain and staff with the country's flags that the crew represents. 

Let me preface this picture: Josh Townsend, 19 year old piano player for the Lefever Quartet was our nightly dinner entertainment. He approved this photo for his blog introduction. Josh is a great pianist and a ball of energy and fun. 

It was a pleasure getting to know Bobbi Lynn and Keith Plott. Keith is the great new addition to the Lefever Quartet. He knows how to hit those bass notes!

Never a dull moment when Josh is around 

Brandi and Terry 

Karen Peck and New River

Odie and Susan Peck Jackson 

Odie and Karen Peck Gooch

Ricky Braddy of Karen Peck and New River and Odie. 

Tracy and Libby Stuffle of the Perrys with Odie 

Wednesday- Coco Cay
This was a wonderful day spent on a gorgeous island. I love being surrounded by water palm trees and sunshine. 

We had to tender from the ship to the island. We saw a sail boat and a Norwegian Cruise Line Ship. The Norwegian ship was at a different private island. It was also ported at Nassau with us on Thursday. 

They provide wheelchairs that are made for the sand. I found out they also float. I loved getting to enjoy the water and sand. Kaylene got her workout pushing me around. Thank you again, Kay!

We saw several Iguanas. 

Sea gull taking a rest

Back on the tender after a great day on the island. 

The Bowlings

Josh Singletary of Tribute Quartet

Nicholas was our main waiter for the cruise. He took great care of us. We had fun with him each evening. 

Tribute Quartet 

Lefever Quartet 

Mike Bowling and Odie 

Troy Peach, Susan and Karen Peck helped a lady sing Four Days Late during karaoke. 

Evangelist C.T. Townsend and Odie

Thursday-Nassau, Bahamas

It was great to see Bro. and Sis. Conger from North Carolina. I had no idea they would be on the cruise. I went into a concert and I heard, "There's Odie" and I turned around to see them standing behind me. You never know who you will see. Thanks y'all for letting me call Dad on your special plan in Nassau. 

We met Shelby on Wednesday evening at the excursion desk. We were trying to find something wheelchair accessible to do in Nassau. Shelby invited us to ride with her on the shuttle she had reserved. It was so kind of her to include us. We were able to visit Atlantis. It was very cool to see the place I had seen in advertisements for Nassau. We toured the aquariums there. 

Our tour guide Ella. 

I love palm trees. 

The famous Coral Towers of Atlantis. The bridge is one hotel room. You can reserve it for $25,000 a night with a minimum of a four night stay. 

Our group on the tour

Ella was a great guide. She was very considerate of the wheelchairs. 

After a quick stop at the Straw Market for souvenirs we headed back to the ship for our final night on the cruise. 

The Norwegian Ship in Nassau. 

A final look at the Enchantment of the Seas. 

Brian Free and Assurance 

The Whisnants 

Sis. Sherry and Bro. Terry Bowling 

Sis. Karen and Bro. Tony from Alabama. 

Some friends from Missouri. I failed to get pictures of everyone in their group. It was good to see them all!

Odie and Michaela Brown of the Browns

I met this sweet couple from Georgia. They married February 11th 2017. 

This is our bunch at the dinner table. Kaylene and I had an exciting time all week with this gang. We loved getting to spend time with the Stewarts, Josh Townsend and the Plotts. 

Kaylene, Odie and Brandi Jean

Odie and Terry

Manuel our other waiter 

Jordan Lefever of the Lefever Quartet and Odie

Pardon the crazy lighting but I had to include Josh's selfie. 

Bobbi Lynn, Odie and Keith. 

Ben was our head waiter. He was awesome!

Bill Shivers of Brian Free and Assurance and Odie. 

My new little friend Rachel, her daddy, Jeremy Peace sings with the the Lefever Quartet. 

Odie and Mike Lefever 

Crowd listening to the Bowlings

The Guardians 

Kari Gooch, Odie and Matthew Gooch

Kaylene and Odie a final picture on the cruise. 

Troy Peach of the Perrys and Odie 

Odie and Kelly Bowling 

Odie with Hope and Gracelyn Bowling 

Sonya Browder of the Browders and Odie 

Odie and Morgan Easter of Jeff and Sheri Easter 

Jeff Easter and Odie 

Odie and Wesley Pritchard.

And that is a wrap on The Singing At Sea 2017. Early Friday morning we had to disembark back in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Then we waited in line at customs for 2 hours. They had two agents working to get everyone on the whole ship processed through customs. It was crazy. We were glad to make it to our hotel on Friday. We crashed for some much needed rest and packed for our flights on Saturday. 

If you have survived all these pictures, thanks for sticking around. I will probably have a few more in couple weeks. I am headed to an Isaacs concert tonight in Gilbertown, Alabama!  I will post those pics next week. 

Thanks for reading. We will be at First Assembly in Ellisville, Mississippi this week Sunday through Friday. We are so excited to be at First Assembly with Pastor Kenny Morris and our adopted Mississippi family.