Well, friend, I'll tell you. But let me tell you a story first.
In America, in the 1960s and 70s, a movement began among the young people - hippies. If you watched the movie Jesus Revolution (or if you grew up in that time!) you're familiar with the Jesus Movement and the radical way young, lost people came to Christ. Their passion changed a generation. Some scholars think the Jesus Movement was a “great awakening” like the three historical awakenings before it.
Because… there were awakenings before this. The third “great awakening” occurred in the 1850s and shaped American Christianity into the 20th century. Thousands of people gathered in New York City (even leaving their jobs) to pray. The ministry of Dwight Moody and the YMCA expanded and built upon this revival. Christians moved from a faith that was self-focused to a faith which impacted society. The third great awakening led to major social reforms, not the least of which was southern slavery and later, prohibition and labor laws.
The second “great awakening” began in the late 1700s and lasted into the 19th century. The culture of Christian America was passive. Reformed theology had taken a lazy turn, which Christians believing “once saved always saved” required nothing of them but a passive church attendance. The hellfire and brimstone preaching of the predominantly Wesleyan-Arminian second great awakening shocked people into repentance and social reform. Women's rights, temperance and abolition became priorities in the American church – even while it was still rife with the corruption of segregation (this is when many free Black churches formed).
The very first Great Awakening began in the 1730s, long before America was even a nation. This was the revival of the Puritans: sinners in the hands of an angry God. The preaching of men like Whitefield and Edwards spurred an awakening to sin and a desire to be right with the Creator. It made such an impact, some people credit the revival as a factor in the American Revolution.
These are the recognized Awakenings. In between them were other periods of more localized revival (such as the rise of Pentecostalism at the turn of the 20th century). If you map it out, about every fifty years there is a profound period of repentance and revival in American culture (it would be interesting to see this mapped for other countries). Each awakening was led by a different group or type of Christians: the first was primarily Reformed, the second primarily Arminian, the third Baptist, and the “fourth and fifth” (Asuza St. and Jesus Movement) primarily Pentecostal (of course I am generalizing, as other churches were involved too; these were the leading ideologies).
When I look at the landscape of my nation and world I see need for revival. I see need for awakening to Christ. I see a desperate lostness, sheep without a shepherd, little ones in need of a Father.
We need another Great Awakening.
I am for that awakening. I am for it in prayer, I am for it in labor, I am for it in ecumenism. I am for it whether it is Reformed, Baptist, Wesleyan, Pentecostal, Anglican or Orthodox. I am for people coming to Christ in desperation and adoration; coming to be found at last.
I pray for it.
I fight for it.
I look for it.
I work for it.
So yes, I sign my emails “for the awakening”, because I truly believe another one is coming - and my eyes are open for when it does.
Top picture: My meet up with Grand Rapids ladies was a JOY! Twenty four of you came out to talk women in ministry and how to better disciple in our communities. So grateful for you!
LAST WEEK to buy Verity Conference in-person tickets!!! We are so excited for you. If you're local to northern Michigan use your code: “localmi". Students also get a discount; email us for info!
Though it's a bit of slow-going on this novel, I am still loving it. I find myself wondering where it will go and what the big secret is!
The Imitation of Christ
This is a Catholic resource, a devotional classic, and I've been reading a bit here and there. I got a vintage copy so it's beautiful inside and out (written in the 1400s).
Still Reading: The Benedict Option
This book is thought provoking as Christians determine how to live in a post-Christian culture. In many ways it is simpler to live as a believer in the world, but not of it, without the pretense of a “moral” society. But it poses its own challenges. Living in an area that is openly NOT Christianized, I see this perhaps more clearly. Enjoying this book.
Re-reading: Praying the Scriptures for Your Children
I love this book. I skim the devotional parts now since I've read it before, but I utilize the Scripture based prayers. There is a journal that goes with it too.
This messageat the church we visited in Grand Rapids this weekend. Josh and I were blessed by the Word + Spirit approach – even as visitors just stopping in.
I grabbed five new commentaries on Galatians while in GR for the Bible study I'm working on. I also nabbed Scripture and the English Poetic Imagination – which I am very excited about!
If you're in Petoskey or visiting for Verity Conference next weekend, the pumpkin pie chai at North Perk is perfect fall.
These super flare jeans from Dear John. My friend recommended this company and I am loving this style - I have always loved flares/bell bottoms and I'll be wearing this regardless of whether they are in style!
Here is what home life looks like leading up to one of our most intense seasons of the year: Verity Conference.
With the conference next week (Oct 13-14) we have to get a LOT done. This week, we went to homeschool co-op but I am focusing only on the big to-dos: memory work, Bible, math and reading. We will save read alouds for bedtime.
Josh and I combined lists and I marked what I could do. He made a list of the top priorities and then we sift by what we can do WITH kids around versus what we need to do when we have childcare. We have no childcare this week and limited care next week, so we have to work smart.
One of my good friends owns her own cleaning company and I hired her for the next two weeks to take something off my list! I am so grateful for her!
For meals: We do pick up or delivery from Aldi, mostly planning dinners with leftovers for lunch. I've been doing overnight oats for breakfast, but I also do eggs with tomatoes/onions. We are tightly planning ahead for meals the next two weeks, concentrating on easy meals we can whip up during a busy week.