Fresh Wind Fresh Fire Paperback – Apr 3 2003
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As though blowing oxygen upon the dying embers of a fire, pastor Jim Cymbala revived a broken-down church in a rough-shod inner-city neighborhood through Christian faith. Twenty-five years ago, the Brooklyn Tabernacle could barely draw 26 people to a Sunday service. Nowadays the congregation is 6,000 strong--filled with converted prostitutes, pimps, drug addicts, and homeless people, as well as yuppies and wholesome families. Although he's quick to give God credit for this miraculous success story, Cymbala admits that there may be a few human decisions that led to this Christian triumph. Most significantly, he made sure his church community embraced everyone, from all walks of life--no matter how distasteful or foreign. "Christians often hesitate to reach out to those who are different," according to Cymbala. "They want God to clean the fish before they catch them. If someone's gold ring is attached to an unusual body part, if the person doesn't smell the best or the skin color is not the same, Christians tend to hesitate." Thus, Cymbala encouraged his congregation to adopt the very same tolerant and accepting attitude as their God does. The results? Let's just say a church thrives in Brooklyn. Accomplished cowriter Dean Merrill helps this tender true story stay satisfying and highly readable. --Gail Hudson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Twenty-five years ago, Cymbala, worn out from pastoring two congregations, devoted himself solely to the dwindling band of worshipers at ramshackle Brooklyn Tabernacle. Today, the old building has been replaced, there are 6,000 worshipers at four Sunday services, the church choir wins Grammies and sings for Billy Graham's crusades, and Cymbala is asked to speak all over the world about how he did it. Although he believes he didn't do it--God did--Cymbala does have a secret: the church is first and foremost a house of prayer, he says, a place where souls can call on God. Accordingly, Cymbala established Tuesday-night prayer meeting as the most important church function (later, church members began a "Prayer Band" to intercede round the clock for all and sundry). With professional Christian writer Merrill's help, Cymbala tells not his church's story as much as the stories of individual souls whose saving illustrates the truth of his testimony that God responds to prayer made in repentance and faith. Cymbala considers his work part of the revivalist tradition of nondenominational Christian evangelism, and he cites 300 years' worth of the great revivals and revivalists often, adding greater interest to a book that voices some of the oldest Christian wisdom with the vivid immediacy of telling tomorrow's news. Ray Olson --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As a Christian, I really really like this book. Not only that this book gives great stories about the Brooklyn church, but also taught me a lot and let me understand the meaning of God. Not a God who¡¦s carved out of a wood, but a God who really exist. God can solve any problems that no one else can. For example, in the book, God changed the population of the people attending the Brooklyn church from almost no one to a church over flowed with more than 6,000 people!! Nothing¡¦s impossible in the hands of God, as long as you ask for it, he¡¦ll give. Carol Cymbala encouraged me by not giving up on my dream. Maybe I don¡¦t have enough skills to be a designer, but as long as I work hard, I believe I can do it just like Carol being so successful in music. Not talented on something doesn¡¦t mean anything, it only means you have to work harder to be successful. Not by yourself, but in Gods hands.
This book is divided into three sections, namely (1) Waking Up to a Powerful Promise, (2) Diversions from God's Best, and (3) The Road Ahead. Section 1 centers on the promise God revealed to Pastor Cymbala in Florida, that if he and his wife will lead his people to pray and call upon His name, He will provide everything they need: sermon, money, church building, and people (p. 25). Once he realized that prayer meeting is the engine of the church, and serious about it, Lord never stopped blessing them. Section 2 underscores that our lukewarm churches nowadays are in trouble by the lure of novelty, marketing, pleasing people, and dead doctrine without passions and actions for the Lord. Section 3 warns us not to be proud of ourselves and take credits from God. He challenges us to "look at the scoreboard" and be brave for God. At the end, he encourages us that the never changing power of the Holy Spirit is all-sufficient as He has never changed since the day of Pentecost.Read more ›
Cymbala traces the history of his church, The Brooklyn Tabernacle, from a down-and-out, nearly dead meatlocker of a church where the "frozen chosen" simply waited for the inevitable closing to a vibrant powerhouse that is packed out every weekend for multiple services. This first half of the book outlines the basic struggle Cymbala and his wife faced as they sought God and cried out for Him to work a miracle in their perishing parish.
This first section of the book reads like any pastoral biography: filled with inspiration, miraculous occurances, and hankie-grabbing stories of prodigals restored and lives touched. Despite being soul-stirring, this is not the part of the book that grabbed me.
About halfway through, the book changes entirely in tone. The authors shift the emphasis to what is happening in churches across the world. At this point the message becomes more pastoral and enlightening.
The message that prayer should be the backbone of the Christian life comes through as Cymbala calls the Church to reevaluate its focus. The fallacies of chasing after church growth and the current trends are pointed out with alarm. It is here that the book picks up power and focus. Cymbala blasts church leaders for forgetting their first love, Christ, amid all the trappings of modern, cultural Christianity. It's not about marketing techniques or clever theologies, but about wholehearted devotion to the Lord of the Universe.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I love to pray, and this book is a moving testimony to what God can accomplish through those people who have learned to trust God and the goodness of his character. Read morePublished 7 days ago by cherylenid
I very much enjoyed this book. It is a very inspiring and uplifting story of an individual who accomplished amazing things with wrong faith and determination.Published 28 days ago by lenny prune
Excellent book. Read it several time and also introduce it to my friends. Those that don't like to read, really enjoyed it. Worth reading. Life changing book.Published 8 months ago by Lisa Chan
I liked this book for the same reason I didn't like it, it hits you hard and demands you to look at your life and how Christlike you are or aren't. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Romay Primus
I read this book a number of years ago and it was one of the best I have read.Published 8 months ago by Spartan
Loved loved loved this book! Such a good read, so many things that really click and get you thinking, and he uses great examples of life stories to relate his points too, this book... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book impacted and convicted me so deeply that I immediately ordered 4 more copies to hand out to friends and family. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Kate Barchard
The book condition is good and I like it. It was easy to read and enjoyable. I met all my expectations.Published on Jan. 31 2014 by Don Mullett
The book arrived as desribed and in good shape. Arrival time was not super fast but good. Would not hesitate to purchase from same buyer again.Published on Feb. 23 2013 by Kelvin Klein