The River Is Here

Please note the date of the following article and the media that reported it. This did not happen 150 years ago, but only months ago and yet it has the “feel” of some revivals I have read about. At least the leading edge of one. God is giving grace to our land and answering the cries of a faithful remnant of intercessors by sending seasons of refreshing to many who are thirsting for Him and turning from that which is lifeless and of this world. Change us, Lord. May we not settle for being stirred only.

We have preached and settled for a humanistic “gospel” that would make us the recipient; the end-all, be-all, the center, measure and focus. A gospel that makes it all about us (God forbid).  A gospel that makes us long for heaven rather than Him. No, beloved, it is all for the glory of Christ Jesus! He is the eternal Prize! He is Lord above all lords and King over all kings. Before the Lord, all of man’s kingdoms crumble to dust and are blown away. His River is Life and everything it touches will live!*livingwater.jpg


by Susan Reinhardt,

-Asheville Citizen-Times, Sept 11, 2006.


Diane and John O’Shields of Burnsville were first in line and had more than one reason for getting wet in what some revival officials say was North Carolina’s largest river baptism. The baptism came as the faithful stretched into six weeks what was conceived as a two-week Cane River Tent Revival led by the Rev. Ralph Sexton Jr., of the ministry by the same name. No one in this small idyllic Yancey County town just northeast of Asheville has ever seen such a sight

Crowds swelled on each side of the riverbank. Wearing a black pantsuit and pearl earrings, she wiped tears from her eyes as she waved at watching loved ones. She and her husband held hands, closed their eyes and mouths and briefly disappeared under the water. The couple, married for 21 years, decided let this chance in the water with a reverend, the presence of God and countless witnesses work double-duty. “It’s our Baptism and wedding at the same time,” she said, her dress soaked and her face salted with tears. “We weren’t married in a church, so this is our marriage ceremony, too.” Theirs was just one among of the hundreds of stories and reasons people had for wandering into the waters, wetting their Sunday best or blue jeans. Dee-Dee Carver said the devil had hold of her the past two years. It’s not that she sinned or carried on wildly, she said. She’d just turned her back on God.

“The past five years,” she said, her face going from glowing to pained, “I’ve been dealing with a rebellious son.” She said he was into drugs and trouble and she needed the Lord’s strength to see her through. She’s been a Christian for years. But like many who gathered every night for six weeks at revival, she needed a fix

“I’ve been coming every night I can,” the 51-year-old Madison County woman said. “I come here and feel that sweet, sweet spirit.

I think it’s God’s way of saying, ‘I still love you.’”

MORE than 4,000 a NIGHT

Sexton began this revival in a cornfield six weeks ago with nearly 30 area pastors and churches who came together for a single cause: healing, soothing, saving and bringing God into troubled personal lives and into a world in a state of unrest and war. It started July 31 and was supposed to end two weeks later, but people kept coming, clogging roads and bringing the need for fire trucks and helicopters.

Sexton said he is humbled and encouraged by what he’s seen in the cornfields owned by John Young, who pastors baptized Sunday afternoon. “I’ve had opportunities in the past to be involved in area-wide meetings,” he said. “But this exceeds all expectations.” Asked why some nights more than 4,000 would show up, including teenagers, Sexton credited the Lord and the times we live in. “In our communities, there seems to be a hunger to return to basic moral and faith values,” he said. “We have an unsettled world. Every continent has a madman and every country is asking for peace and safety and we’re finding none…”

*Ezekiel 47:9


4 thoughts on “The River Is Here

  1. PB and J says:


    maybe i am just a skeptic, but i am not always very encouraged by such “revivals”. i have seen many of these things. i have seen many guys and girls come back “recommitted”, only to fall back into their lifestyle a week or a month or even sometimes a day later.

    i havent ever seen people truly commit and continue to follow JC from one of these revivals. it doesnt mean that there arent some who are reached, but i think the vast majority are worse off than when they began. let me explain. you see they now believe that christianity is about emotional highs. they come back from the revival high on life. then the high fades and they wonder why they can never achieve the same feelings. we arent meant to follow JC just bc things feel good. we are actually told almost the opposite by Him. we will suffer.

    anyway, thats my beef with revivals. with all that said, this one might be different.

    on another note, i have seen one-on-one or small groups be much more effective long term in people’s lives. and JC did only have 12 disciples and He focused on only 3. i think this is more what we should be modeling in the church, rather than the thousands. how can we shepherd a thousand if we cant take care of ten? do you know what i am saying?

    dont want to put a damper on the feelings, but i hope we have a cross centered (ie we must take up our cross daily) discipleship rather than a fleeting feelgood one.



  2. pasturescott says:

    Man, Peter, I LOVE what the Lord is doing in your heart! You are embracing those things that matter, are real and lasting! Have I got a great resource for you…go to this link and watch “The Revival Hymn”. It will speak to you, I just know it will.

    Adios (for now) and Shalom!



  3. pasturescott says:

    Actually, Peter, this link may work better for you:



  4. PB and J says:


    unfortunately, because i am using a military internet connection they block any streaming media. so i cant watch videos. i will save the links for when i get back on leave. i am taking midtour leave within the week. thanks for the continually good posts.



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