29 01 2018


This year at The Lighthouse Church, I have challenged everyone within the sound of my voice to choose a word for 2018. It is a word that comes from the Lord, defines where you may be in life right now and looks forward to what you hope to become in the New Year. I have also instructed everyone to grab a rock and proceed to paint their word on this living stone to be placed at the foot of the Cross in front of our building. I long for this to become a place of prayer, a hill of hope and true holy ground as we seek for the Lord to move in new and exciting ways within our midst here in Cape May County.

In the Bible, when the saints would build altars to God, they wouldn’t be anything elaborate, but the altars would simply be rocks of remembrance piled at a certain point where one could go and be with the Lord. More often than not, our places of worship can actually become a distraction when there is so much to see, it causes visual overload and causes one to miss hearing God because there is just too much to see. Did you know the word “cathedral” actually talks more about being a “chair of listening,” rather than it does about creating an edifice of silver and gold? Maybe that’s why it is better to meet the Lord in simplicity rather than trying to dress it up with too many manmade decorations!

As I was preparing the message for this past weekend when we would begin to lay our “Rocks” at the foot of the cross, I discovered some history about an old rock altar in the woods.  I was told men would journey to this secluded place and tarry around this pile of rocks long into the night as they sought the Lord for a move of God.  When the response to their prayers came, it brought waves of revival into the community.  Unfortunately that old practice of building a rock of revival was lost over the decades; that is lost until now!

Here is the story of this old rock pile altar that laid the foundation for a revival in the town of Seneca, South Carolina. It was December 7, 1941 and Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor.  Our nation lost 2,403 Americans in a devastating blow to our Pacific fleet.  The following day, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed the nation calling the assault “a day which will live in infamy.” The attack thrust America into a global conflict that would last four long years and cost our nation over 400,000 lives.  America was at war and draft notices began arriving in mail boxes of homes across America.

I can only imagine that gut-sinking feeling a mother must have felt when she found such a notice amongst her mail addressed to her son. “Notice to report immediately for induction.” Yes, they knew the cause to be just and believed that something must be done; but this was her boy. No matter how honorable the fight, it could not remove that crushing anxiety that precedes a request for such a sacrifice.

This was the reality families were facing here in Seneca, South Carolina on what was known as the Mill Hill.   The hill was a tight-knit community that found it’s commonality around the cotton mill they worked and the church they attended. Together these families were sending their boys off to war. These mothers and fathers turned to the only place they could – to God.

They wanted a place of solitude where they could come and bear their souls out before the Lord. They needed a place where they could cover their boys in prayer as they were away. They found that place outside the village, past a cemetery, and down in a ravine next to a creek.  There they would erect a rock altar to the Lord where anyone could come and pray.

It was a daily occurrence for these god-fearing men to rise early in the morning, carrying a burden for their far-away son.  After work, they would head off to the woods. Along the way they would pick up a rock that seemed as if it was the size of their burden. They would pick it up and carry it to the pile and pray for hours into the night.  These people would get on their knees and battle in prayer as their sons warred on a foreign field.

There is no denying the power of prayer. In the four years of America’s involvement, no lives were lost among the names written in rock on the Mill Hill.  The story continues in that those simple stones became the foundation for a revival that shook this community. But should we be that surprised? If we desire God to roll up his sleeves and show his power among us, we shouldn’t have to look that far or travel to another part of the world. Revival can always be found at an altar.  In fact, it’s the only place it can be found.  

The altar is a meeting place for God and man.  It is sacred a place where we come to lay down our lives as a living sacrifice before the Lord and let him fill us with power from on high. We are creating just such a sacred place on the holy ground where our rocks are piled at the foot of the Cross. What if this year, because we prayed and sought the Lord, addictions in our County are foiled even before they get a chance to begin? What if we labored on our knees against the darkness in such a manner that nobody could commit suicide in our neighborhoods, children wouldn’t have to battle anxiety, and marriages would be repaired and broken lives rescued and redeemed? 

I am praying that the rocks cause a revival right here in Cape May County. Bring your stones and let the Lord roll our fears away. Place them right at the foot of the Cross. Come here to seek the Lord any time day or night. God is going to make this holy ground. The Lord is waiting and we are wanting! What a perfect combination for a miracle! My rock says, “Restore.” What is your word? Your word plus God’s word will make His Story real right here! We have the Lord’s word on it! Now it is time for the Lord to rock this County like never before! I believe. Do you?



3 responses

30 01 2018
Dennis Hall

Thank you Pastor Rudy for your Shepherd’s love and leading!

30 01 2018
Beth Benfer

I can not wait to have another year of learning with you at Lighthouse Church! Thank you for not only teaching us, but walking the talk! You are truly a man of God!

31 01 2018
Lucinda Smith

This is just amazing! AM is my word because I need to remember I am a child of the great I AM. Something triggered in me with this rock. Thank you Pastor Rudy. Looking forward to prayers!

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