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This June, we are planning to partner with hundreds of other churches to do a series together called One Prayer. The series will begin on the weekend of June 7-8 and run for a total of four weeks. The premise of the series is: “If God would answer ‘one prayer’ for the church at large, what would you pray?

This series serves several purposes. Specifically, we believe it will… 1) Promote unity in the body of Christ for the larger work of God in his church. 2) Cross-pollinate our church with other key ARC churches. (Hundreds of other churches are participating but we will connect with others in our network) 3) Infuse spiritual passion into a typically challenging month. 4) Raise money for a mission project as participating churches pool offerings. 5) Simultaneously link our hearts with many others fasting, praying and seeking God.

The general concept is this: I’ll start off the series off, then in the following weeks I’ll pass the baton to other key ARC pastors who will speak at CATG weekend services via video cast. Some of the other ARC pastors who are participating are Craig Groeschel, Rick Bezet, Chris Hodges, Dino Rizzo, Greg Surratt, and Stovall Weems.

A couple thoughts on how God is using technology. It used to be we’d have to spend big bucks to fly-in special guests to benefit from the anointing flowing in other sectors of the Body of Christ. Today, we can stay where we are and still be right in the midst of what God is doing elsewhere.

Having already launched a video campus, video messages are nothing new to CATG’rs. However, it is still new to many and on occasion I hear how it’s “second best.” My main reply to this is that we are so spoiled. In other parts of the world, Christians huddle in fields around appointed rocks to listen to a crackling transistor radio of a Bible teaching coming in over the airways. We need to be thankful that we are in a place where we can have a full-size, full color, front row seat to the key things the Spirit is saying to the church today. Technology is a gift from God and he’s increasingly using it to his glory here in the End Times. Stay tuned for updates.

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Note the location of this newly discovered massive 200 billion barrel oil field that will increase our nation’s domestic oil resources by a factor of ten. Experts expect this will be one of the greatest booms in Oil discovery since Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia in 1938. Am I alone in believing God in preparing to release us from dependance on Babylonian nations? Check it out here

North Dakota rancher John Warberg said, “It seems like God flew over this country, and a dart landed on Granddad’s homestead.” Warberg is being paid royalties for the new oil well on the land where his grandfather’s crumbling, nearly century-old homestead shack stands. There is a interesting audio of him talking about this on the NY Times website.

Chuck Pierce prophesied in 2004 that this day would come – that riches and resources would come forth from this land – land the rest of the world writes off as “wasteland.” The Bible says “you will be called Sought After.” Somebody just preached a message by that title (South Dakota: Sought After)… hmm…. Maybe God is preparing to bless those who bless babies.

Last summer I went to Ghana with a team from Church at the Gate. Ghana was celebrating the fact that they just discovered oil. Actually, the discovery of oil came within six months of the President of Ghana dedicating the nation of Ghana to the Lord. I have pictures of banners that hung all over the nation calling the nation to “a national day of prayer and thanksgiving for the discovery of oil within six months of dedicating our nation to God.” That’s what the banners say!

I believe God is willing and wanting to bless us, and is readying to do so. The blessing however is continugent on us dealing with the shedding of innocent blood and the nation turning back to Him. Just like in Scripture, when the people of God don’t do this, he enslaves them to pagan nations who hold them captive.

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Every spring, God’s green earth comes alive! This was God’s promise to Noah… “as long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” The verse also indicates this present earth won’t endure forever. Evidence abounds, our planet is fallen. Everything began with excellence at Creation, but the created order is on a path of degeneration.

Eco-gospel prophets like Al Gore are blowing the trumpet that we are in a planetary crisis – but, it’s confusing because their ideology is based on the belief that earth is evolving upward, from worse to better. (Evolution, mind you, isn’t a science; it’s a belief – a belief that actually runs counter to science and the evidence.)

Surprising some, science and Scripture agree about our origins. Once we understand our origins and God’s mandate that we steward creation in this age and the age to come, our identity and role in both come into focus. More to come this weekend at Church at the Gate

A month or so ago Brenda David submitted a guest post here on the plight of Chinese girls like Xia Fen – you can read her story here and how she jumped several stories to escape the sex trade and ended up in a wheelchair.

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This is a follow up to her story written by one of her doctors.

With the prayer and support from many friends, Xia Fen is beginning her new life leading to independence and dignity. On March 8th, my friend Dr. L.R. came from [location] to bring Xia Fen for her rehab therapy there…. Dr. L.R. got to know Xia Fen’s situation through our newsletter and immediately offered to help her. He decided to bring Xia Fen to [location] for a FREE rehab therapy. He believes that it would be the first step for her independent living… We went together to the village where Xia Fen is living with her sister’s family. In the small shabby room, we saw Xia Fen in her bed. It seems that she was still in the shock of the incident and in deep sorrow though she was eager a new life. The miserable life deprive of her dreams as many young girls have. After a brief check-up and evaluation, Dr. L.R. was confident that Xia Fen could have a much better life after the therapy and some trainings following it…. From the pictures I got recently, I know Xia Fen is doing well in [location]. Dr. L.R. gave her a better wheelchair to meet her need, and help her start a systemic rehab therapy plan. Xia Fen is having new friends there and smiles coming back to her face. With the love and help of so many people, she is not only rehabilitating physically, but psychologically and even spiritually, for she really could see some HOPE for her broken life now.

Keep praying!

Many of you remember the shock and devastation that hit the CATG Stahl family last October with the sudden death of Paul Stahl (age 25) to the Hanta Virus. Because of what happened to Paul Stahl, Thomas, Kaitlyn and I wore dust masks yesterday sweeping out our chicken coop. Here’s a story farmers need to read about Paul’s death and this virus.

Kenny just sent me this video link to a local newscast on life for Paul’s wife Megan and their daughter Sydney since Paul’s death. You can watch the link and read the story here. Life is precious and watching this makes me not take for granted the moments we have with those we love.

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China is still on my mind. Last night some Colorado Springs friends invited us to bring a team (from the River) to join a YWAM team to China this summer. A trip there is inevitable in my estimation – I’m praying about when. Adopting an unwanted girl from there is very strong on our hearts.

The eyes of the world right now are on China as they stumble along to prepare to host the world for this summer’s Olympic games in Beijing. As expected, they find themselves in a massive uphill PR game trying to show the world that they are not what we all know they are… the planets principle violators of basic human rights. Personally, I’m glad the games are being held there and that every media outlet in the world will focus on the realities there. The more “light” we can shine on “darkness” the better.

Here’s what we can expect… China will continue to suppress any and all who try to leak the real truth out to the world. They are already talking about not allowing live television broadcasts of the Olympic games – seeking to portray China as “unified and prosperous“, of course they want to filter out non-favorable coverage that says otherwise. Good luck. They are tripping before the games even begin – killing 140 Tibetan protestors is hard to hide. Now athletes are refusing to go there because the pollution is so bad. Calls to boycott the summer Olympics in Beijing are coming in daily. Expect more bloodshed and for all this to crescendo this August.

THIS JUST IN: A “weather manipulation team” in China will manipulate the clouds to keep the rain away from the open air stadiums in Beijing during the Olympics. Amazing the extent they will go to keep anything from raining on their parade. The man in the picture above is aiming at the heavens… literally. Move over God, this fellow is a Chinese rainmaker….

Organizers of the 2008 Summer Olympics said Wednesday that they will take control over the most unpredictable element of all — the weather. Training with the Olympics in mind, the meteorologists have been practicing their “rain mitigation” techniques since 2006. They have had a couple of dry runs, so to speak. The Chinese have been tinkering with the weather since the late 1950s, trying to bring rains to the desert terrain of the northern provinces. The bureau of weather modification was established in the 1980s and is now believed to be the largest in the world. It has a reserve army of 37,000 people… 30 aircraft, 4,000 rocket launchers and 7,000 antiaircraft guns, said Wang Guohe, director of weather modification for the Chinese Academy of Meteorology.

So, how do we pray for China? Pray that God will use this season under the international spotlight to bring more light to the dark places and the dark practices of Communist China. Regarding the rainy weather issue, I’m still not sure whether we should pray God gives them the drought they want this August (and far beyond until the government cries out to Him) or if we should pray it rains and rains and rains and rains and rains.

Had a great Easter at CATG! Music rocked! Many many new people. Salvations! Particularly I was blessed by Travis & Jessy Miller sharing their testimony… it really and deeply blesses me to hear how CATG is being used by God to reach people for Christ, restore marriages, change the destiny of kids.

There was much talk at our home this Easter weekend about eggs. Not Easter eggs per say. What’s happening is we are resurrecting “Hickey’s Egg Farm.” In high school I had 500 chickens and an egg route delivering farm fresh eggs. The baton is getting passed now to Kaitlyn. Maybe she will call it “Kaitlyn’s Country Fresh Eggs” or something like that… stay tuned. Have you noticed the price of eggs lately?

Preparations are in high gear. I roped in Ben who serves so faithfully as THE trustee overseeing the church building addition. Like he didn’t have enough to do… I now have him making new windows and a door for our chicken coop. I’ll be sure to take before and after pics because this thing is getting fully restored. Also had CATG’r Clifford over this afternoon to talk chickens. Unexpected development there… initially it was about putting new shakes on the coop roof for the layers. But we decided to partner up to get 100 chicks this next week and fatten them up over the next couple months to fill the freezer. BBQ anyone?

This post is a part of a larger “blogswarm” underway this weekend all around the topic of church/state and liberal fears of a theocracy. If you can imagine a few misguided secular progressive zealots have again intentionally picked resurrection weekend to “Blog Against Theocracy.”  My friend Bob Ellis over at Dakota Voice calls them BATS adding the “S” to stand for silliness.  Bob has organized eight or so South Dakota bloggers return a volly of truth this weekend in something he’s calling “Blogging Against Secularism.”  I’m honored he invited me to participate in the discussion though I’ll probably be the least of the contributers (if nothing else because I’m pretty focused on Easter right now).  I’ll post my contributions, probably only two, here and at my Voices Carry pro-life blog.  You can follow the rest of the blogswarm this weekend here.


Who are we kidding, it is absolutely relevant what Sen. Barack Obama’s church teaches and that his spiritual advisor is black liberationist Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Like gives birth to like.  Though many tried to dismiss it several months ago, it was centrally important for the electorate to know the full story behind Mitt Romney’s Mormonism. (Mormon salvation is that each man becomes a god of his own planet and spends eternity populating it with spirit babies – Mormon women can look forward to being eternally pregnant.)

Hypothetically, do we really think that electing a candidate with a pacifistic Mennonite or Quaker background would have no bearing on their ability to fulfill the role of Commander and Chief? Who are we kidding? Voting for Mitt Romney or Barack Obama or Senator “Secular” from South Wherever is to vote their worldview into office. It is impossible to separate a person from what they believe.

Even, and especially, those who claim no religious viewpoint… while admitting to being non-religious, they betray the fact that they bow at the altar of secularism and those gods are giving voice and influence in governance. Somebody’s moral framework is going to shape society; the only question is whose. The culture war is a war of religious world views, a fight for who will set this nation’s moral agenda. And, morality touches every aspect of political and public life – economy, education, law, healthcare, defense, foreign policy, family, science and life. What we believe is central to who we are, how we live, how we think and how we view everything and everyone around us. There is no such thing as a politician who keeps his faith private. He/she may not speak about it, but it daily informs all they do. Voters therefore are not just electing men or women, they are electing what these men and women believe, and we are electing their religious world view.

Our government is “us.” It’s of the people, by the people, for the people. And we can talk about it all we want but “church” is inseparable from all this because “church” isn’t a building or an organization. The “church” is people, as again, is our government. So, I am the church and, I am the government. You’d have to cut somebody in half to separate the two.

Because so many American’s erroneously assume “separation of church and state” is written somewhere in the Constitution, secular progressives are able to effectively sideline conservative Christians from participating in the process. In writing the phrase “separation of church and state” in his private letter to the Danbury Baptist’s, Thomas Jefferson was saying the founders intention was that one Christian denomination over another should not be adopted as the religion of the state.  But Jefferson’s wall was never meant to keep religion out.  Jefferson believed in the free exercise of religion in all sectors of society, public and private.  John Jay, founding father and first Supreme Court Justice clarified the central role the Christian Faith was to play in governance – “Providence has given to our people the choice of their rulers. And it is the duty as well as the privilege and interest, of a Christian nation to select and prefer Christians for their rulers.”

Knowing that no one can approach governance from a moral vacuum, the basis of ones beliefs is an especially critical question. Far more scrutiny should be given those who claim no “religious bias” than those who claim a religious perspective.  The reason being those supposedly without religious bias, when elected, expose the country to untested unknowns many of which are counter to moral standards that have proven to be societal stabilizers for centuries.

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Big birthday in the Hickey household tomorrow… Caleb turns 18. You can check out his blog to see a few of his comments about what that means he can now do. I bought him a pretty expensive gift with some money that came to me unexpectedly this week (Thanks Billy!).

I have about a dozen different names for each of my kids. My dad called me Bubba, I called him Bud, my brother was Slick. When I was real little I was called Poo Bear, my brother was Rabbits. When Caleb was born my dad offered to buy me a lazy boy recliner if I’d renamed him Thomas – he thought “Caleb” was too trendy. Back then (1990), we never heard of anyone named Caleb (besides the Biblical Caleb). When number two came along, I really wanted the recliner so “Thomas” it was! (that’s how I tell the story when I want a laugh, he’s actually Thomas for other reasons.)

Little Thomas called Caleb… KEE-UB. So we still call Caleb Kee-ub today. Also, Caleb is GongPie. This came to me after seeing a few of his toddler pictures where it looked to me liked he was part Chinese. More often than not Caleb is Buzz – this came from his trademark hairstyle. He also goes by Weezie. Not sure the origin there. All these are great terms of endearment, including Big Dummy and Meathead which we love to call each other after watching reruns of Sanford & Son or All in the Family.

A few years ago the orthodonist called our house to remind Caleb of an appointment the next day and on the answering machine said… “This is a message for KAHLEEB...” So, that stuck and we frequently call him Kahleeb (of course except when we are going through airport security- you know how they perk up when arabic people check in). He’s never been “Cal” which we hoped people wouldn’t shorten his name into. One clueless Cub Scout leader never figured out his name wasn’t Cable. Enough with the names!

The Biblical Caleb was a warrior, not intimated by giants. He stood with God even when it meant standing alone. He didn’t complain or shirk from the task at hand. He stayed faithful during the forty years in the wilderness. The Bible says he was one “with a different spirit.” He didn’t go with the crowd. He possessed the land. Caleb means faithful and loyal. These are all things we’ve watched emerge in our Caleb these last 18 years. These are things we pray for him and love about him.

Happy Birthday Caleb!

Our friends at Bound4Life are up and running with a great daily blog that will go through April 26 – Passover. This effort culminates on the Supreme Court steps of every state on that day – a national prayer meeting they are dubbing The Mercy Seat.

It never fails. Having read the Passion passages countless times and having preached seemingly every conceivable angle of the Easter Story each year these last twenty years, it never fails… God shows me something new. I’ve devoted these last couple weeks in the pulpit to the ugly side of Easter – the betrayal, the blood. A few days ago I spoke on the forsaking of Christ and how its happening again today in the America church.

Rather than just jump right to the verse from the cross where Jesus cries out – My God, my God, why have you forsaken me – I pointed out how the forsaking actually started earlier that week. In the Garden after Judas betrayed him we read “all the disciples deserted him and fled.” Then Peter disowned Jesus. But there is a key moment even before these key moments.

Right after Jesus foretells that Peter will betray him three times, Jesus is in the garden crying out in agony to God asking for this cup of suffering to pass. He returns and finds his disciples sleeping. The Bible tells us this happened
three times. Three times!? Hmm. Here’s the part I hadn’t seen before: “Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.” HE ASKED PETER?!?!

Do you see it? Before Peter ever forsook Jesus publicly, he forsook Jesus privately in the place of prayer. In the end times, the Bible says, many will turn away from Christ. I’m convinced prayer meeting attendance is a better indicator of the victory or defeat of the American Church, not anything else. Once we forsake Him privately in the place of prayer, it’s only a matter of time before we do it for all to see.

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With it being St. Patrick’s Day once again, I thought it appropriate to post a pic from our 2004 trip to the Hickey homeland – County Clare. Here we are in Limerick. Note the name of the pub we are standing by – PREACHERS – conveniently located just down the street from the church.

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