TheCall-AzusaNow

 

I am so grateful that I was able to attend this last Solemn Assembly, Azusa Now, at the Memorial Coliseum with my entire family!  TheCall gatherings have personally impacted my heart during extremely significant stages of my life.  This gathering was another defining moment for me and my family as well as an  H I S T O R I C // GATHERING for the Body of Christ in America and the Nations. I have shared some of my past ‘Call encounters’ on this blog but I would like to share some of them again as well as what I walked away with from Azusa Now.

04.04.03 – Candlestick Park, San Francisco, CA – 30,000

This Call was a part of the ‘Two Calls of California’ as the first Call done in California was held in Southern California on February 22, 2003 in the Rose Bowl. Then Lou Engle proclaimed a 40 day fast leading up to the second Call in San Francisco.  I believe I was brought to this gathering because of the prayer and fasting between these Calls.  I was not even walking with the Lord at this time of my life as I was entrenched in sin and rebellion. I was a 15-year-old sophomore and ironically it was the underground rap music coming out of the Bay Area at this time that had shaped my life doctrines of smoking weed, alcohol, and sex.

Somehow my parents brought me to this thing and I had no idea what to expect and didn’t have a clue who Lou Engle was.  In all honesty I did not pay much attention to what was happening on the stage while I was there and actually left the park at some point to explore the surrounding area.  However, I was prophesied over while walking up at the top of the bleachers and did get pulled into a prayer circle by my brother and his friend.  I did not see any immediate fruit after this and my rebellion and recklessness actually grew stronger from this point for another 3-year period. But, I know that I was there for a reason and that the Lord started directing my steps, even though it got darker before He burst into my life again!  And yes, my future bride, Aimee McGrady was there too!

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(Photo Source)

“Only a massive repentance and prayer assault on the Hollywood Frisco strongholds will prevail.” Lou Engle (Source: Elijah List 2003)

07.07.07 – TheCall Nashville, TN – 74,000+

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I was not at this event but my girlfriend, Aimee (Now my wonderful wife) attended this historic gathering which had over 74,000 people attending. She said it was one of the most powerful gatherings she had been to.  I am thankful that she attended this as I know it fueled her personal purity and her passion for Jesus.  I know for a fact that this gathering helped shape who she is today.

 

 

12.31.07 – TheCall Kansas City, MO – 20,000

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At the end of the year we were able to go to our first Onething Conference from December 28-31 in Kansas City.  I was really excited to see Mike Bickle speak and Misty Edwards (pre-dreads) sing for the first time in person. TheCall partnered with IHOPKC on the 31st to bring in the New Year.  By this time, I was more conscious of Lou ‘The Rocker’ Engle as I heard him speak at a Jesus Culture Conference earlier in the year.  His passion and zeal for prayer and fasting really stirred me up.  I believe the biggest take away from this time in Kansas City was gaining an ever growing heart for prayer and worship.

 

08.16.08 – TheCall Washington D.C – 70,000

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Okay, we did not make it TheCall in D.C, but I GOT THE GIRL, as that was the day we got married!  As thousands dedicated and rededicated themselves to the Nazarite Vow – Aimee and I gave our marriage vows.  I think it is cool that our wedding day lined up with TheCall event.  We even had Ryan and Nina Landis sing a song over us that they wrote specifically for us – who knew they would be closing out TheCall Azusa Now!

 

11.02.08 – TheCall San Diego, CA – 35,000

Regarding moral issues, Lou Engle says Christians in America—particularly right now in California—”stand on a battlefield more significant than Iraq.”

(source)

After getting married 3 months prior we were excited to drive down with a group of people to contend for the sanctity of marriage as the issue of Prop 8 was being decided in CA.  This was a very rich time in the Lord for us as we had helped start a young adult worship movement that started growing in 2007 and there was a grace for pursuing Jesus as the Holy Spirit was stirring our small mountain community.  I would say this was the first time where I was actually going to TheCall filled up and really pressing in with a heart and vision for what the Lord was doing.  I must say this song below was one of the highlights for me (still gives me chills) :

 

09.04.10 – TheCall Sacramento, CA – 18,000

 

This was as the 10 year anniversary of TheCall and a significant point in our lives too, as Aimee was 8 months pregnant with our firstborn, Liberty Reign Atkins.  The fun fact about this is connected to Lou Engle as well, so I will briefly share.  We went out to our 2nd Onething Conference together at the end of 2009. I believe around this point in life we had thought about having kids and then backed out as we were still very young and thought we were not ready as we had only been married for a little over a year!   We ended up staying a few days after the conference for a Leadership Summit (Jan 2010).  Lou starts rocking – I mean talking – and he is sharing about the Contending House of Prayer and how the muslim community is rapidly growing while many Christians have been stuck in the ‘American Dream’ and are no longer ‘bearing fruit and multiplying’ – anyways we decided to go against the spirit of this age and found out we were pregnant in February 2010.

Here were the 4 points that we were contending for in Sacramento:

1. “We are going to pray for our government.” (Psalms 2)

2. “We are going to call on God for a great river of the blood of Christ out of the Cross in Sacramento and Jesus to give us another Jesus Movement.”

3. “We are going to pray that a massive house of prayer movement will arise in every place calling on God for the harvest and loosing a generation into the missions movement.”

4. “And we’re going to believe that God is going to shape the elections.”

“God is the God that answers prayer!” – Lou Engle

 

 

02.03.2016 AzusaNow Pre-Call Rally – Revive Warehouse – Tuolumne City, CA

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It was an honor to be able to host one of the Pre-Call Rallies in my home town with Ryan and Nina Landis leading us in worship.  Aimee and I were given the opportunity to host some of the SAFA (Spiritual Air Force Academy) students for the night and it truly was a blessing.  It was so good to be able to partner in this way – even though our town is small and unknown it was awesome that we could rally together in this way.  The SAFA team was so kind and friendly and many of them blessed us by praying over us and giving words of encouragement to us.  It was amazing to see some of the young Native American’s that stayed with us up on the stage during a segment of TheCall AzusaNow crying out for an AWAKENING and releasing healing over our Nation.  It was powerful to have the First Nations People leading in dance and worship – such a blessing!

04.09.2016 – TheCall Azusa Now – Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, CA

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To be at this Solemn Assembly was such a blessing.  It was on our radar for over a year and I knew this was something that our whole family had to be a part of. Getting there was something we really had to fight for – but we have been feeling the pull on our hearts to do life and ministry in the midst of family.  Now we have 3 girls – Liberty Reign (5), Adessa Promise (3) & Riah Joy (11 mo) and we felt that the biggest thing we would get out of this was doing it as a family and believing that this would shape our girls’ future in Christ. It was WAY more of a challenge to have them there and stay engaged as much as we would have liked to, but it was totally worth it all!    

After the 6 hour drive down the night before and the early morning wake up to get parking, take the metro and wait in line; it already seemed like a long day!  We found ourselves inside the grand coliseum around 8 and set up camp. To make it even more of a challenge my wife had a wedding in Santa Barbara (2hrs away) on the same day!  This was something that she could not say no to, so she left at 12:30pm to the wedding with her mom and our youngest. Shout out to my parents and Aimee’s mom for helping us and for being godly examples to our girls!

As the clouds covered us and the rain came and went in gentle waves – everyone pressed through. To be a part of a Joel 2 gathering, while the nations are raging according to the Psalm 2 prophecy, it was powerful to see His people crying out for an Acts 2 outpouring .  On the stage and all around there was repentance, reconciliation and relationship as real men and women sought the heart and will of God together.  There was not one negative thing said against the Church from the stage and I believe there was a real spirit of unity displayed that day.

 

>>>>>>>>>>>>>  >  >  > >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>   #FLYINGUNITED   <<<<<<<<<<<<<<  <  <  <  <<<<<<<<<<<<<<images

 

 

Jesus was glorified as different parts of the Body of Christ came together to lift up His name in praise.

(Eddie James and Worship Team)

The Gospel was preached, Salvation taken hold of, healings broke out, words of knowledge were released and prophecy was spoken.

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(Photo Source: Facebook)

(Evangelist Todd White and Lindy Conant w/ Circuit Riders Worship Team)

Let this be the new normal Christian life, because NOW IS THE TIME and He is the One True Living God.  I am walking away with a greater Love for Christ and His Body.  I have a renewed mind and spirit to see the things of God take place in my life.  I am answering THE CALL and extending the tent pegs by doing my part of HIS STORY.  I am raising my family up to live and believe in the fullness of Jesus Christ unto His glorious return. #HistoryisHiring

Jesus, I pray that ‘Stadium Christianity’ would continue as Your people humble themselves and seek Your face. This truly is just the beginning and I am hungry and expectant to see more of the Presence and Power of the Lord manifested by His Spirit, through His sons and daughters.  May all who were a part of this historic day GO FORTH in V I C T O R Y by the       B  L  O  O  D   of the   L  A  M  B!

And to end the night my beautiful wife and youngest daughter made it back just in time to see our best friends close out TheCall! God brings LIBERTY to the captives, He remembers His every PROMISE and He releases His rivers of JOY

 

 

Thank you Lou Engle and TheCall Team!

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(Photo Source: TheCall Facebook Page)

 

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Pray and Wait – Azusa Street

 

“My dear brother in the faith: Many thanks for your kind letter.  I am impressed of your sincerity and honesty of purpose.  Congregate the people together who are willing to make a total surrender.  Pray and wait.  Believe God’s promises.  Hold daily meetings.  May God bless you, is my earnest prayer.  Yours in Christ, Evan Roberts.”   Azusa Street – Frank Bartleman

This was a corresponding letter from Evan Roberts, of the Welsh Revival, replying to Frank Bartleman, before the Azusa Street Revival broke out.  I am going to briefly touch on these 5 points given from Evan Roberts, but I also want to recommend reading this book below.  It is a powerful testimony of Frank Bartleman’s life and gives great insight to how Holy Spirit was moving during this mighty outpouring.

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I know that there is not a a specific formula to revival, however, I think as humans we tend to complicate things!  I have heard it said that prayer precedes outpouring and I have found that to be true time and time again after reading several accounts of historic revivals.  Evan Roberts was used mightily in the Welsh Revival and I believe these simple points shared with Frank Bartleman helped spark the Azusa Street Revival.  I know William Seymour played a HUGE role, but it was the small beginnings of prayer that lead to this massive breakthrough. Even today, prayer is being restored in the church and many are gathering and seeking the Lord for another great outpouring of His Spirit.

 

  • Congregate The People Together: We find this simple truth in passages like 2 Chronicles 7:14, Joel 2:16, Matthew 18:20, and the Epistles to the Churches. Obviously the coming together of God’s people is nothing new and we see it being established in Church History.  Most believers do this once or twice a week and that is great start!  We expect to give 2 hours on Sunday and possibly 2 hours on Wednesday night.  Is that our all though?  Do we expect the miraculous?  Do we feel united in our own congregations while contending together for breakthrough?  Small and large gatherings are very important as Jesus reminds us that ‘where two or more are gathered, He is in our midst.’  But are we willing to be stretched past the normal Christian gathering?

 

I surrender all,
I surrender all.
All to Thee, my blessed Savior,
I surrender all. (source)

 

  • Make Total Surrender:  The second point that Evan Roberts makes in relationship to congregating the people, is finding those that are willing to make a total surrender.  I realize this does not sound fun. Sometimes I am barely able to give up 2 hours on a Sunday morning!  And it is the ‘getting together’ that is actually somewhat doable – but making a TOTAL SURRENDER HURTS!  Many ‘christian’ gatherings outside of Sunday Mornings are filled with shallow conversations, personal opinions with commentaries that have a lot of talk ‘about’ God.  But what does it look like to surrender our agenda’s and personal gain?  How do we go about making a total surrender to God? This is not an easy process and will not happen overnight but I believe the simplified answer to this is found in the next point.

 

  • Pray and Wait:  Can we give our words and time to Jesus?  This causes us to start giving our attention to Him! I think that this is a big piece of total surrender, maybe not all, but let’s start here.  As humans we are prone to rush to the bigger, better and more exciting things of the ministry!  However, it was Jesus that gave this direction to His disciples.  When the disciples asked about His return, His answer was, ‘watch and pray’.  In the garden, the night before His crucifixion, Jesus instructed them to ‘watch and pray’ so as to not enter into temptation but to be engaged with the spirit.  When Jesus instructed the disciples to ‘wait in Jerusalem before being endowed by power from on high’, they knew that they had to add the ingredient of prayer!  PRAYING AND WAITING ON THE LORD can seem like the most difficult thing in the world, only because we are weak and fickle human beings.  Yet, history proves that the great men and women of faith that gave themselves to prayer and waiting on the Lord received the breakthrough.

 

  • Believe God’s Promises: In the midst of prayer and waiting we must hold on to the promises from God.  Abraham had to contend for this and even fell short in the WAITING, but we see that Abraham is called faithful as he witnessed part of God’s promise come to pass!  Believe God’s promises with other believers in the midst of praying and waiting.  There is power in agreement.  Contend for the fullness and confess your weakness and shortcomings when it comes to unbelief.  Ultimately He is faithful and we get to partner with Him!  This step helps us see the BIG PICTURE – no matter how we are feeling during a particular gathering, be reminded of His personal and corporate promises.

 

  • Hold Daily Meetings:  If we are faithful with the little – we will be given more.  With points 1-4 in place and a steadfast heart to run the race, we won’t have to force multiplication.  There is a supernatural trigger that gets set off when hungry people start pressing into Jesus – THEY WANT M O R E!  Once we taste and see, our spirits will long to ‘go on getting filled’.  He is our source and it will always start with Him and as He supplies the grace it will go on with Him.  Let’s start with one meeting a week outside of the typical Christian gathering and see what happens.
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Local Church Prayer

Prayer in the Local Church, Jim Sterns –

Here is a powerful and direct 13 minute video message on prayer in the local church, and I realize that this is a very challenging message that might provoke some strong feelings or opinions on this topic. But I hope it causes us to look around at our local church to see if there is an actual culture of prayer. I know it is one thing to say that prayer is valued, but is prayer a reality in the midst of your local church? I don’t believe that prayer is just a new ‘trend’ for the local church, I believe God is reviving His royal priesthood and restoring a relationship to Him.

Here is a great diagram that Jim Stern made that breaks down some of his points.

Prayer-Shift

Check out some of the past Message Monday posts.

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Welsh Revival
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“O’ GOD, BEND ME!”

 

At the turn of the 20th Century one of the greatest outpourings since the 2nd Great Awakening broke forth, impacting much of the world. Leading up to this great outpouring known as the Welsh Revival of 1904, there was a rumbling of prayer going forth in the land. Prayer was not just isolated to Wales, but the believers in the area were being stirred up to see a revival and started what they called ‘Prayer Circles’.

Pastors were being convicted, prayer meetings were filled through the night and into the early morning hours and the youth were being struck by the presence of the Lord. The Spirit was moving upon the darkness and chaos that filled Wales during that period of time; as alcoholism, gambling, prostitution, and other serious crimes were running rampant. In the midst of these stirrings the Lord moved in a dramatic way upon a young man named Evan Roberts.

Evan Roberts was born June 8, 1878 in Loughor, Wales. By the age of 9 he was helping his dad in the coal mines, due to his dad breaking his leg. He continued in the mines and also learned the trade of a blacksmith, but it was during these younger years that he acquired his hunger for Scripture, prayer, and revival. The deacon at his church, William Davies told Evan to never miss a prayer meeting in case the Holy Spirit would come and he would be missing. Evan faithfully attended a prayer meeting or bible class nearly 6 days a week for over 10 years! Evan had very little education but his pastor encouraged him to pursue the ministry. At the age of 26 in 1904 he left the mines behind and entered into a preparatory college. Evan never did go on to finish his education, as the Lord had much greater plans for the young man.

Evan started having intense encounters with the Lord during the year of 1904 in his quiet times. Often he would be woken up at 1 am and would spend time with the Lord until 5am and then would go back to sleep. It was during a prayer meeting that year, held at the college where an evangelist named Seth Joshua was praying, “O’ God, bend us”. This prayer caused Evan Roberts to come forth in great agony of spirit saying, “O’ God, bend me!” He received a great burden for lost souls and felt like he was going to burst.
After this Evan knew he could no longer pursue his education as he felt the Spirit was telling him to go speak at his home church. It was at this prayer meeting at his home church, Moriah Chapel, where he was impressed to share in front of the 17 young adults that stayed to listen. He shared these four tenets that were key points through out the entire revival.

‘You must confess any known sin to God and put any wrong done to others right.

Second, you must put away any doubtful habit.

Third, you must obey the Spirit promptly.

Finally, you must confess your faith in Christ publicly.’ – (source pg. 7)

By November 1904 upon Evans return, the fire from heaven consumed him and his band of friends during their prayer meetings. Evan had prophesied that a great revival was coming to Wales. The reports spread like wildfire as more people were being drawn to these meetings. Eventually the newspapers caught on and started reporting on this miraculous move. The meetings were spontaneous and would break out in prayer and song (one of their favorites). There was very little preaching or leading in the traditional sense. The youth were being filled and led by the spirit in great and marvelous ways. Dave Matthews an eye-witness of the revival said,

“Even the little children between nine and twelve years of age prayed with wisdom and fluency that sounded uncanny.” (source)

Can you imagine turning on the T.V. on a Sunday afternoon to watch a NFL football game only to hear the announcer’s state that ALL the players were absent because they were in revival meetings?! Pubs were closed, jails were empty, police men were jobless, coal mines were filled with prayer and praise and churches were packed out.  They say that crime was cut in half and that many denominational churches were flourishing. People from all over the globe were coming to taste and see and to bring the fire back home. There was a holiness and obedience to God throughout the revival.

Many were being convicted and true conversions were multiplying by the day. Some said that it looked like there was no order, but there was never any confusion! Through the next year, thousands were saved and the entire regions of Wales and beyond were transformed. Evan Roberts was an obvious leader that the Lord had marked during this revival, but Evan was very humble and always pointed to Jesus. The revival in all its fervency is said to have lasted between two and three years, but the impact in Wales and around the world lasted much longer.

We can learn a lot from historic revivals, good and bad; there is a lot to glean from how the Lord has poured out His Spirit in the past and how His people have been steward’s of it.  But what can we do now?  Pray!  Pray for another outpouring of the Spirit, personally, corporately and globally.  What kind of spiritual atmosphere will we be leaving for our children and grandchildren? I am not against growth strategies, evangelistic outreach, bible studies, added church functions, weekly services or anything that involves the coming together of His people.  Most of the Kingdom work is done daily through the small and often tedious steps of life.  But I want to see the church alive.  I want to see the Spirit poured out on His people.  I want to see a city transformed!  Is the Spirit stirring you up to see revival in your city?  Press into Jesus and ask Him what He wants to do in you and through you!

 

“Before the Spirit can flow through you, He must work in you” Evan Roberts

 

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Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean
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“Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean”

Happy Worship Wednesday!

I don’t know how long I will be doing these kind of ‘worship’ posts but this song is inspired by my upcoming article on the Welsh Revival (Coming SOON!).  The song, Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean, was written by the Welsh preacher, William Rees (1802-1883). The third and fourth verses were added by William Williams.

 

‘This song had a great impact during the Welsh Revival of 1904 and was known as the ‘love song of the revival’.

‘Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
And Heav’n’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

In Thy truth Thou dost direct me
By Thy Spirit through Thy Word;
And Thy grace my need is meeting,
As I trust in Thee, my Lord.
Of Thy fullness Thou art pouring
Thy great love and power on me,
Without measure, full and boundless,
Drawing out my heart to Thee.’

 

Listen to it here in Welsh:

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The Call: Berkeley 2014

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Hello Friends,

I want to get the word out and let you know about TheCall Berkeley that is coming up, Saturday October 4th, 2014. This will be an historic event that I believe will shape and shift the culture of the Berkeley college campus. Not only that but I believe it will be a critical moment for the Body of Christ in California as the sound of the trumpet is going forth calling us to assemble and repent for the sins of our state that have greatly affected our Nation. My last post, Fire and Water, addressed this Joel 2 principle that is so important for the Body of Christ to take hold of. I want to encourage you to watch this 2:00 minute video (below), then check out TheCall website that gives more detail about this solemn assembly and the 40 day fast that will be starting August 26th.

TheCall website.

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My History with TheCall and Lou Engle:

Lou Engle, the founder of TheCall, shares a powerful dream that he had in 2000 where Luke 1:17 was given to him and he felt like the Lord was saying

 “What I am pouring out in America is stronger than the rebellion.”  

My first ‘Call’, was April of 2003 in San Francisco at Candlestick Park Stadium. I was in full rebellion. A few parents from my dad’s church went and brought (dragged) a few of the kids with them. I had no idea what TheCall was. I was a sophomore in high school and had made up my mind to live how I wanted to live and do what I wanted to do. I was heavily into smoking marijuana almost daily and drinking on the weekends. To be very honest I did not engage with anything that was happening on the stage or with the people around me. A few of us left the stadium for a little bit and then came back to explore the stadium. I remember a man came up to us at the top of the bleachers and prophesied over us. Then when I did find my way back to our group they were repenting and praying; that’s when I got wrangled into a prayer circle. I was resisting the whole thing. My flesh was shutting down the feelings, as my personal sin was so fresh that I didn’t want to confess that what I was doing was wrong. All though I continued on my path of rebellion for another two years and in that moment I could say that this gathering did not influence me I can look back and see how the Lord used it. And to add a very fun note, my future wife Aimee was at this call and dragged me to my next Jesus encounter or should a say Jesus Culture event, three years later.

After the 2006 Jesus Culture conference where I encountered the Holy Spirit and Cindy Jacobs prayed over me to break off the addiction of ‘recreational drugs’, I was set free from that rebellion. Aimee spoke an amazing prophetic word over me about being set free as well. By the time we were engaged in 2007 we went to our first OneThing Conference in December which TheCall had merged with. Lou Engle spoke of the House of Prayer that contends with every other house and how we need to shift from a ‘prayer meeting’ mentality to a ‘prayer culture’. We got married August 16, 2008 and that November is when several of us went down to TheCall San Diego to fast and pray and contend for the sanctity of marriage. As newlyweds it was a great time to be together to seek the Lord on this issue and stand with thousands of others in agreement. At the very end of 2009 Aimee and I went to another Onething Conference and stayed afterwards for a leadership advance. It was here in January of 2010 where we heard Lou Engle speak about raising up a family and going against the perfect ‘American Dream’ of having 1.2 kids so that we can contend with every other house of prayer. It struck a chord with us as we were not planning on having kids any time soon. In September of 2010 Aimee was 8 months pregnant when we attended TheCall Sacramento. It was a time to rededicate our lives to the Lord as we had just come out of a very powerful 3 1/2 year (late 2006 to mid-2010) season of weekly worship and prayer in our small community that ended on a sour note. We were able to reflect, repent, and renew our dedication to the Lord. (Past blog on TheCall Sacramento link)

Now, Aimee and I are ready to engage and contend at TheCall Berkeley with both of our daughters, Liberty and Adessa. Our nation is in a desperate place and we need the hearts of the fathers to turn back to the children and the children to the fathers. We are now responsible for the spiritual climate that we raise our children up in. I am praying that this call will release a great revival in California and the nation and I am praying that my two girls will get marked and set on the path as the daughters of God that they are called to be, to set the captives free and to bring the now promise to their generation.

 

Thanks for reading. Hope to see you there!

 

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Fire and Water

It has been 11 months since the Rim Fire, the third largest wildfire in California history, devastated our Sierra Nevada forest and pasture lands. This year is already predicted to be another severe fire season for the whole of California. It has also been four years running that the state has experienced a water drought, this year being the worst. Some research says that it has actually been going on since the year 2000. Where does this leave the State of California, desperate and dumbfounded? Is this a crisis that man can fix? How many trillions of dollars is this costing our already debt stricken state? The headlines are correct in declaring California in a ‘State of Emergency’. I would love to share more facts (go ahead and Google it or read the headlines) on these two major issues, but you get the picture; the wildfires cost millions if not billions of dollars to fight each year, while damaging homes and grazing lands and the drought is causing livestock to be sold off, farms and orchards to shut down, and invested businesses and landscapes to dry out.

rim-fire
Photo Credit

To give an example of where the public opinion currently resides with the drought, my dad recently shared at a public meeting that was addressing our water crises and his very honest and open comments were posted in our local newspaper. Of course his comments stating that, ‘we need to pray to God’, were immediately criticized in a Letter to the Editor, saying he “has no business expressing his religious beliefs in public.” I realize that we are from an extremely small town and my dad’s comments did receive some praise as well. But if this type of thing was said in L.A. or San Francisco for example, I cannot imagine the backlash. The public opinion in California and the rest of the nation is simply put, “Keep God out of the public!” Sadly, this belief has been successful for the last 60 or so years.

Is there a remedy to our crisis?

Ever since the Rim Fire I have had Joel 1 and 2 burning on my heart. This is the remedy to the crisis in California and the nation! I want to highlight just a few verses from these two chapters.

Has not the food been cut off before our very eyes—joy and gladness from the house of our God? The seeds are shriveled beneath the clods. The storehouses are in ruins, the granaries have been broken down, for the grain has dried up. How the cattle moan! The herds mill about because they have no pasture; even the flocks of sheep are suffering. To you, Lord, I call, for fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness and flames have burned up all the trees of the field. Even the wild animals pant for you; the streams of water have dried up and fire has devoured the pastures in the wilderness. Joel 1:16-20

This clearly addresses the crisis that California is in! So what do we do?

“Even now,” declares the LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and relent and leave behind a blessing— grain offerings and drink offerings for the LORD your God. Blow the trumpet in Zion, declare a holy fast, and call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests, who minister before the LORD, weep between the portico and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, LORD. Do not make your inheritance an object of scorn, a byword among the nations. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their God?’” Joel 2:12-17

 

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Return to the LORD!  Remember who He is!  With California’s crisis I am reminded of the One who created and controls these two elements; water and fire. The stories of Noah, Moses, and Elijah come to mind. Or how about Jesus when He calmed the storm after saying, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” (Matthew 8:26). I know of a place that has a sea of glass that is mingled with fire (Revelation 15:2). Where is our faith? What are we afraid of? This is the hour to ask with fervent prayer knowing that our Lord answers. Let your faith arise!

 

“Now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:7

At the beginning of this year I felt like this was to be a year of posture. As we hit the half year mark I realize that more than ever! We need to be in the posture of prayer and fasting to receive what the Lord is saying and doing in this very specific hour. Again this was confirmed when Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham’s daughter) spoke in May at the National Day of Prayer and covered this very scripture. Please check it out and respond to the alarm as she has urged the Body of Christ to a week of prayer and fasting, the 777 Urgent Call to Prayer.

To watch the National Day of Prayer video click HERE

To join in on the 7 days of prayer click HERE

To listen to IHOPKC response and a message from Allen Hood click HERE

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The Moravian Revival

Well folks this is what we have all been waiting for!  Thanks for the patience to all my faithful followers.  Here are the past posts if you missed any: MORAVIAN MOVE SERIES.

 

August 13, 1727 was a day not to be forgotten to those who lived in the community at Hernhut.  Now as you know from the previous post, this community of Christian believers had held a variety of doctrines and beliefs when it came to their faith.  There were many persecuted denominations represented including the Moravian Brethren (Unity of Brethren), Lutherans, Reformist, Schwenkfelders, Calvanists, separatists, and Baptists. A few months prior to that day, the community was in turmoil due to bickering and quarreling over their religious differences.

Count Zinzendorf, the owner and visionary of the land was grieved over the disunity of the Christian community.  And during the month of May 1727, he and his family came to permanently live in Hernhut. He gave his life to see this home of refugees be a place filled with the presence of God.  His passion to see this come to pass drove him to a deeper level of prayer for the people at Hernut.  He taught fiercely on the unity of Christians found in the Bible, the importance of prayer, and he also had the members sign a “Brotherly Agreement.”

He called all of them, “to seek out and emphasize the points in which they agreed”

This dedicated approach from Zinzendorf blew open the doors of grace for a great level of repentance, prayer, and unity! After this raising of a new standard, passionate prayer groups started up and new hymns flowed forth giving praise to the Savior.  God’s presence, unity and intercession increased through out the summer and much travail went out from Hernhut for even more of His presence.

It was August the thirteenth when Zinzendorf called the congregation for a special communion early that Wednesday morning.  Then it happened; the whole community felt the tangible outpouring of the Holy Spirit!  This was a moment that was unexplainable to many but was said to be much like the day of Pentecost recorded in the book of Acts 2.

Rev John Greenfield a Moravian historian said, “They hardly knew if they had been on earth or in heaven.” in his book Power from on High.

James Montgomery a Moravian Hymn writer, wrote this piece later on describing the event:

“They walked with God in peace and love, But failed with one another; While sternly for the Faith they strove, Brother fell out with brother; But He in whom they put their trust, Who knew their frames that they were dust, Pitied and healed their weakness. He found them in His House of Prayer, With one accord assembled; And so revealed His presence there, They wept with joy and trembled: One cup they drank, one bread they brake, One baptism shared, one language spake, Forgiving and forgiven. Then forth they went with tongues aflame In one blest theme delighting; The love of Jesus and His name, God’s children all uniting; That love our theme and watchword still, Thy law of love may we fulfill, And love as we are loved.”

It was a glorious day for the Moravians that launched a deeper passion for God’s Word, prayer, Hymns, and eventually missions. From this day forth they held meetings three times a day (4am 9am and 9pm) to pray and give thanks to God.

They also established 24-7 prayer! They started with 24 men and 24 women, each being assigned to one hour of the day to pray and they dubbed it Hourly Intercession.  Yes, it is true that this 24-7 prayer model lasted 100 years! This developed what they called Daily Watchwords resulting in one of the oldest and most popular daily devotionals.

Out of their prayer meetings they received a great zeal for missions.  They ended up sending out many missionaries’ abroad being among the first to reach out to slaves.  The Moravian missionary’s even made it to the United States and received a burden to spread the gospel to the Native Americans.

The missionaries going out from Hernhut were fearless unto death for the sake of Christ.  This Moravian mission movement was the first successful wide spread surge from the protestant reformation.  Zinzendorf and the Moravians helped lay a foundation for the great mission move that followed in the 18th century with men like William Carey.

The Hernhut community was modeled and duplicated near and far while small renewal groups broke out all across Europe.

 

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Does this inspire you at all???  It has definitely impacted me.  Last year I  got caught up in the “quarreling” of doctrine and theology and nothing was accomplished.  I have seen how ugly and immature it can get.  The end result of being in it and watching it from a distance caused me to realize that I need to be in His Word, prayer, and fellowship.

The Moravians were not perfect (who is but Christ) but I admire Count Zinzendorf for his bold leadership and convictions that lead him to find the good and common ground that each member had.  I personally think the Body of Christ needs to come back to this reality.  There are even more denominations and church splits in this day and age than ever before, let’s face it we probably will never fully agree on everything! So let us move forward in our love for Christ and our love for one another…isn’t that what He called us too?

I am hungry for this type of outpouring on the Church again.  I do not believe that the outpouring of Holy Spirit was a one time thing, I do believe that He wants to pour out His Spirit at an even greater measure today!  We saw it in the book of Acts and you can see it displayed through this Moravian Move and with other historical revivals.  The believers started in fellowship and prayer and the result was a great outpouring which lead to even greater prayer and fellowship PLUS souls saved for Christ!!!

What are your thoughts?

 

 

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