Thursday, October 21, 2021
Saturday, October 9, 2021
CALLING THINGS THAT BE NOT AS THOUGH THEY WERE! (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (Romans 4:17) God called Abraham the father of many nations even though Abraham and Sarah were too old to have children.
Wednesday, September 8, 2021
My family name is saturated with images of fire. My Grandfather Thomas Harrison Phares was a blacksmith. He stirred the coals into flame in order to work with the metals he shaped. A blacksmith balances the fuel and air in the fire to suit particular kinds of work. Often this involves adjusting and maintaining the shape of the fire. Stir the Fire Ministry continues this tradition balancing the fire and wind of God to reshape the United Methodist Church in the forge of revival! I am committed to being a spiritual blacksmith in this time in our history.
Tuesday, September 7, 2021
In 1979 God called me to be an evangelist. I was on a Holy Land tour with Pastor Robert A. Shelley and we were in Bethlehem. On a rooftop overlooking Shepherd's Field, I heard the voice of God in my spirit say, "I am calling you to be an evangelist. Do not let the fire go out in the Methodist Church!" Pastor Shelley knew that something significant was happening to me and asked me what did I hear? When I told him what the Lord had said to me Pastor Shelley said, "Yes, that is your gift and I witness in my spirit that you should do it!"
During my years as a Methodist minister, I had the privilege of serving as a Conference Evangelist for four years, two years as a Missionary Evangelist in Living Sound International, and four years as a Missionary Evangelist to Zambia. Even when I served as a pastor of local United Methodist churches I was known as a pastor/evangelist preaching in campmeetings, revivals, retreats, and seminars. For a total of forty years, I remained true to my evangelist call received in Bethlehem, Israel.
For the last two years, I thought those days were in the past but on Sunday I sensed God's Spirit blowing on the embers. The name of my evangelism ministry in the United Methodist Church was called STIR THE FIRE MINISTRY. I have been saddened by the direction and decline of the United Methodist Church. The denomination has drifted farther and farther away from its spiritual heritage. Our evangelical zeal has waned. The denomination is not going to survive the inevitable division. Even in the midst of moving in that direction, meaningful ministry is happening in congregations and communities.
Revival can break forth! New life can emerge. Coals that once burned brightly can be stirred to renewed flame! Now is the time to "Stir the Fire!" I believe God is renewing the STIR THE FIRE MINISTRY for such a time as this! I sense the Holy Spirit blowing on the embers. I am committed to stirring the fire. I don't know how God will cause this to happen but I cannot escape the call, "Don't let the fire go out in the Methodist Church!" The call is stronger today than it was in Israel in 1979. I am asking for partners to join me as I restore Stir the Fire Ministry.
Sunday, August 22, 2021
Sigh! My heart aches and my spirit grieves for the families of our soldiers, air, and naval personnel who died in Afghanistan during the past twenty years. I am also broken-hearted for those injured physically, emotionally, and spiritually while doing their duty. Tonight I am angry because we are also reliving our departure from Vietnam. On April 30, 1975, the last few Americans still in South Vietnam were airlifted out of the country as Saigon fell to communist forces.
Where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing? Where have all the soldiers gone, long time ago? Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards, everyone. Oh, when will they ever learn? Oh, when will WE ever learn?
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
You may say I'm a dreamer...I've heard these words before. Today I have been dreaming of a nation, not led by one political party or the other but under the banner of the Kingdom of God. There are good parts in both of our political parties and well-intentioned leaders in each. Yet the differences have become so entrenched that it seems impossible to find common ground. What if there arose a new party whose platform is built on biblical Kingdom of God principles? The Bible speaks to social reform, economics, ethics, governing, justice, race relations, and much more. Imagine a leader whose every decision was made with prayer and Godly wisdom. Imagine a nation that lived under the blessing of God. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Psalm 33:12
Monday, July 5, 2021
As of this 4th of July weekend, I feel strongly that the time has come to speak truth in love and not hold back. I don't feel that I am supposed to push my beliefs on others but I know I can't worry about whether my convictions are received or rejected. If I believe God is leading me to speak on something concerning our nation, the church, or governments I am going to share it.
I am putting "The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley" on pause for now. I will be posting other videos from time to time.
I believe we need a sure word of prophecy (2 Peter 1:19). God's Spirit is speaking to the present time and to things to come. I will be sharing insights from prophetic voices God has raised up in our generation. America has strayed from our Judeo-Christian foundation established by our Founding Fathers. It is not a political issue we face but a clash of two kingdoms, the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness. "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance." Ps 33:12 "Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people." Proverbs 14:34 America must return to what is right in God's sight.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
We continue to look and listen to the Charles Wesley hymn And Can It Be That I Should Gain. Wesley wrote this as one of the two hymns which followed his conversion in a home next to Aldersgate Street in London. This was three days prior to his brother John's conversion at a Society meeting on Aldersgate Street. The focus of this hymn is the free grace from God who emptied Himself of all but love and became a human and died for Adam's loss race. The original title of the hymn was Free Grace.
The music ministry of Stuart Townend is featured in the Worship Video at the end of this Wednesday video.
Tuesday, April 27, 2021
As we continue looking at the hymn And Can It Be by Charles Wesley we focus today on the freedom found in Christ. In stanza four Charles utilizes several images to describe how freedom comes, one from Scripture and another from a popular romance novel. He uses the prison event with Peter's deliverance and a popular saying from Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope.
Monday, April 26, 2021
Today we look at one of Charles Wesley's first hymns written following his conversion at the home of John Bray, a poor mechanic. The hymn was originally named Free Grace but became known as And Can It Be That I Should Gain. The experience which occurred at the Bray home is a direct act of God. As Charles was suffering from pleurisy he heard a voice which said, "In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, arise, and believe, and thou shalt be healed of all thy infirmities." Bray's sister was commanded in a dream to speak these words. Charles heard them and got out of bed. Opening his Bible he turned to and read Psalm 40:3 and Isaiah 40:1. Both Scriptures spoke about a new song of praise to God and comforting the people of God. In his journal he wrote, "I have found myself at peace with God, and rejoiced in the hope of love in Christ." He continued to be convicted that it was by faith we are saved (Ephesians 2:8). Out of this experience of the voice, reading the Scripture, and his conviction Charles wrote these first words of the hymn.
Friday, April 23, 2021
Charles Wesley was the youngest of eighteen children born to Samuel and Susanna Wesley in 1707. I find it interesting that the original hymn written by him, O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing had eighteen stanzas. Most churches only sing six or seven of these stanzas. The entire eighteen stanzas tell the story of Charles' conversion. I tell this story in the attached video of Day 5 of The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley. Next week beginning April 26th we will visit the hymn And Can It Be That I Should Gain.
Thursday, April 22, 2021
Charles Wesley was a poet and wrote more than 6,500 poems that became hymns beginning in the Eighteenth Century. Wesley was a master at using words to describe his own spiritual experiences. His use of oxymorons is very effective in this stanza of O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.
Hear him, ye deaf; his praise, ye dumb, Your loosened tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Savior come; And leap, ye lame, for joy.
A deaf person cannot hear him. A mute person cannot praise. A blind person cannot see the Savior. Someone that is lame cannot leap for joy. Wesley is saying when Jesus speaks new life breaks forth to those who believe. In Christ, the deaf hear, the mute praises, the blind see, and the lame leap! Jesus makes all things new.
Wednesday, April 21, 2021
Charles Wesley was the eighteenth child born to Samuel and Susanna Wesley in England in 1707. Samuel was a rector in the Church of England and each day Susanna spent personal time with each child. Charles, like his brother John, went to Oxford. It was there that they formed a discipleship group for accountability and nurture. It was nicknamed, The Holy Club. All of the hymns penned by Charles reflected the love of God he learned through his mother.
Today we look at the fifth stanza of O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing which was written in May 1739 to commemorate his conversion. The original hymn had eighteen stanzas. The fifth stanza emphasizes how new life is found in listening to the voice of the Redeemer. The broken-hearted rejoice and the poor believe.
Tuesday, April 20, 2021
This week is the 48th anniversary of my call into the ministry. I was twenty-three years of age and had returned home from serving in Vietnam two years before. Our Methodist church was having its spring revival and on the last night, I heard the call of God in my spirit. I responded during the singing of the invitational hymn and knelt at the altar. The evangelist knelt across from me and prayed with me. He said that he could see me preaching the Gospel before a very large outdoor crowd. This was a word of prophecy that happened many times during these forty-eight years.
I can relate to the ministry of Charles and John Wesley, the founders of the Methodist movement of the 18th Century. Both were evangelists who preached and sang. Although I am not traveling at this present time I am still sharing the Gospel through social media. Today I share the second day in the video series, The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley.
Monday, April 19, 2021
Today the new video series, The Gospel & Hymns of Charles Wesley, began on YouTube and my Facebook page. Go to Bill Phares on both YouTube and Facebook. Each weekday, Monday through Friday, I will take a fresh, as well as a historic look at the hymns written by Charles Wesley. The theology of Charles and his brother John were clearly a critical foundation for the Methodist movement of the 18th Century in Britain and later in America. This theology was the message both desired to impart in the more than 7,000 hymns written by the Wesley brothers. Both were ordained Anglican clergy and traveled across Britain sharing the Gospel through preaching and hymn-singing. The Methodist movement was instrumental in the spiritual Great Awakening in Britain. There is no doubt that the hymns of Charles Wesley were equally as vital as the preaching in this revival.
Each day the video will feature a different style of singing and playing Charles Wesley's hymns. Some will be traditional and others contemporary. The use of piano, organ, guitar and other instrumental instruments will be featured.
I will also be posting the day's video here on my blog. I trust that this series will be a blessing in your spiritual journey and that these timeless and treasured hymns of the Church will enrich your faith. I believe the Body of Christ is about to experience renewal and a revival of the beloved hymns of the Church. Their message still rings true in this modern time.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Here are pictures of the same blueberry plant. These pictures reveal the creative power of God that has occurred in the last 19 days. Last night I sowed $1,100 of the stimulus check I received. In the last 19 hours, I have already reaped $103 on that investment. The principle is the same. What we sow is what we will reap. The only difference is one investment is agricultural and the other is financial. "God gives the increase." 1 Corinthians 3:7. Sometimes our harvest comes quickly and others take longer but they both come.
Sunday, March 14, 2021
And as he sowed...
Saturday, March 13, 2021
And as he sowed...
Sunday, January 31, 2021
This post is being written and shared to hopefully help anyone who may have struggled with perfectionism, and or, being a Father-pleaser. I am a Hospice Chaplain and every day I listen to dying persons share their life stories. Some share the positive moments that have carried them throughout their life and others relate the hurtful and negative experiences that have wounded them. The majority of these wounds are still painful, even as these persons are facing their own death. As a result of being an active listener, I, in turn, do my own life review on a regular basis, almost daily! I rehearse my own positive and negative experiences that I know have helped to shape who I am today.
Monday, January 25, 2021
Hardship can mean a lack of comfort and deprivation. Some of you are often deprived of sleep. In turn, this becomes a hardship. Paul said, You, therefore, therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 2:3.
When I was a soldier in combat I averaged only 2 hours of sleep a night. I was deprived of sleep and when I went on R&R I slept the first two days and nights without waking up. My body had been deprived and had suffered. Hardship comes in different forms but a mature Christian, like a good soldier, develops endurance during hard times. According to the Bible, hard times may come to our country in the future. Now is the time to develop endurance before it arrives!
Friday, January 22, 2021
God speaks to us in many different ways. One of the ways I have learned to hear the Lord is through my Christian friends that I trust. Dreams and visions are also biblical. During the 70s I was privileged to receive solid teaching from anointed Bible teachers such as Derek Prince, Kenneth E. Hagin, Oral Roberts, Kenneth Copeland, Bob Mumford, Lester Sumrall, Bob Jones, and Ken Sumrall. I learned about the principles of faith, who we are "in Christ," spiritual warfare, healing, and the power of the blood of Jesus. Two of the biblical doctrines not taught or understood during that time were suffering and persecution. We knew that Christians were suffering and being persecuted for their faith in Communist countries but here in America, we emphasized God's blessings. There is nothing unbiblical about being blessed by God but suffering and persecution are also biblical. Both are important Bible doctrines. A study of the Apostle Paul clearly reveals the power of sharing in the sufferings of Christ. Hello America and hello American believers! Suffering is staring us in the face. I heard from God this morning through a dear friend in Christ, Joy Samford. Joy sent me a video of Devin Wallace referring to her dream from the Lord. In the dream, the Lord was revealing to her how suffering is now ahead for the people of God in America. Actually, suffering has already begun.
Friday, January 1, 2021
There will be people used by God in 2021 that thought that their days of influence were over. Some will be used in the new government of our nation and a prophetic wisdom mantle will be placed on their shoulders. Government leaders will seek your counsel and you will see new paths of direction even before they materialize. The new government will be built upon the integrity of God's Word. Words of God will flow profusely from Washington, DC to state capitals, and then will trickle down to towns in every state. No longer will the Bible be muzzled in this land. The coming great awakening of the eyes of Americans in January will make way for the Great Awakening of the Holy Spirit.Do not be surprised if your debt is eliminated during this year. Watch as our present currency is overhauled and becomes valuable again. It will become more than a promissory note on printed paper. The Bible described the cancellation of all debt as the Jubilee Year. Not only was it a year when debts were forgiven, but the mercies of God were also particularly manifested. In 2021 the currency of Heaven will be mercy on our nation! Imagine a nation where we owed no man anything but to love one another. Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:8