Cookie Dough?

September 13, 2017

The Holy Spirit has been leading us — pastors and churches — deeper into the beginnings of what we believe He has called… Revive Rochelle.

 

It has been our continuing sense, as about nine of us pastors gather weekly to seek the Lord for this city, as perhaps never before, that God is on the move in our town — and our sense has been that that has not been a “religious” cliché: it’s the truth.  We have sensed His love and stirring as we’ve gathered for community prayer gatherings in preparation.  We have felt our own faith and expectation level be raised by Jesus Christ, as we pastors have been mightily encouraged by each other’s dreams for spiritual renewal for the city: and so the fire is building higher!

 

What can God do as people go beyond their current spiritual level and fervently seek Him in deeper prayer, worship, unity, love, humility, and repentance?

 

Well, we are not left to guess.  God has glorified His name numerous times in history through sending revival — transforming new life in Jesus Christ that draws people to salvation in Him; revival that heals marriages and families; revival that has renewed despairing schools, businesses, and communities — revival sent by His sovereign plan often in response to people getting serious about Him.

 

On September 24 (6:00 p.m. at the Middle School), we are going to gather for All-Community worship — and hear the story of what happened when God showed up in Lynch, Kentucky.  I’ll let them tell the story:

 

“A community bathed in mist and shadow on the woody margins of Harlan County.  A town where 10,000 people once gathered from around the world to extract high quality coal from seams underneath Black Mountain. A mining operation that set world records, and fueled wartime steel production.

 

But it was not to last.

 

Another war set in ... the war on coal. Decisions made from afar devastated Appalachia, putting thousands of men out of work. As the drills, conveyors, and whistles went silent, community porches and meal tables were emptied of life. Christmas lights blinked out, and summer parades were no more.

 

In time, the community's complexion was marred by rusting mine equipment, broken windows, and collapsed roofs. Drugs and rain seeped in, whole hope for the future seemed to trickle out on the silt-laden waters of Looney Creek.

 

Only it didn't. Just when Lynch's story looked like it was ending, things started to get interesting. Behind the scenes, a handful of desperate prayer warriors would not let go.

 

It all started with faith, and a little cookie dough.”

 

In the midst of this despair, two boxes of cookie dough appeared on Lonnie Riley’s back porch.  What do you do with cookie dough?  Well, Lonnie and his wife concluded, I guess you make cookies.  Which they did, and gave away.  This led to new friendships, which led to the beginning of a small prayer meeting in the Riley’s double-wide trailer… just a couple of fervent prayer warriors who refused to give up on Lynch, who refused to believe that God was done with the city…

 

These pray-ers believed that God desires to change cities: He’s just looking for someone who believes that He can!  (Ezekiel 22:30). 

 

And the momentum swelled… soon there were hundreds at these prayer gatherings (which had to find a new location!)… people who wanted to live again, rather than die.

 

Over time, the city of Lynch was physically and spiritually transformed. Many came to receive Jesus Christ as Savior, and follow Him as newly committed disciples.  Lukewarm believers caught fresh passion for Christ.  New businesses sprang up.  Buildings — and families, and addicted souls — were repaired.   And the Church said, “we can never go back to church as usual.”   One leader of the revival said, “people used to come here for coal.  Now people come (literally, and from all over the world) to see what God has done!”.

 

We can’t bring all of Lynch here.  But we can bring Lonnie Riley — and… we are!  Join us on September 24 as Lonnie shares what God did in Lynch… and we dream of what God can do here!  Cookies or not!

 

Yours for Reviving Rochelle,

 

 Jim

Information

1100 Calvin Road Rochelle, IL 61068 815.562.7053

Sunday Schedule

9 a.m. Traditional Worship 10 a.m. Fellowship Hour 10 a.m. Sunday School 11 a.m. Contemporary Worship

Office Hours

Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.