Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tales from the Laguna Woods

"Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat or what ye shall drink, nor for your body, as to what ye shall put on--" Matthew 6:25 KJV

No thought. NO thought? NO THOUGHT?  

I was supposed to be packing for a 3-day women's retreat--my first with Cornerstone Church where I knew almost no one. I was taking thought about clothes for hot days, clothes for chilly nights, clothes for the hotel, the pool, for walks on the beach, clothes that make pleasing color and fabric combinations--clothes which would match Jerry's, even on Saturday when we wouldn't see each other.

How could I take NO thought about any of that? Was I just to reach my hand into a dark closet and pull things out at random? Because if that's what it meant, that's what I would do.

The "lillies of the field" analogy didn't seem to wash. Yes, God clothes flowers--but He does it by having them be "born" wearing one perfect outfit that lasts their entire life. No, they don't have to toil and spin but their "clothes" never need to be laundered either, never have to be mended, never wear out. I don't think God mean we are to wear nothing but our birthday suits all our lives.

Anyway I did a quick word study on μεριμνάω (merimnao), the word used for "thought" in the Matthew passage above. It comes from a root word meaning "a part, as opposed to the whole. . . drawn in opposite directions, to go to pieces because pulled apart, like the force exerted by anxiety, worry" Strong's Concordance http://biblehub.com/greek/3309.htm. In every translation but the King James, the word merimnao in Matthew 6:25 reads as a phrase: Don't worry, don't be anxious, don't take pains for yourselves, be not solicitous.  http://biblehub.com/matthew/6-25.htm

In our vernacular, it's talking about being over-anxious, about excessive concern, not total lack of awareness. That was a relief.

Still, I was over-anxious for some reason. So I refused to "take thought" about the clothes I would pack. Every time I started to stress about it, feeling divided, I blocked the thought with "Lord, You know what I will be doing at the retreat and what the weather will be. You let me know what to take."

It came right down to the minute where something had to go into the tote bag but I was no longer concerned about it. And one by one specific items came to my mind. This pair of capris, that top, this pair of shoes, that jacket.

I packed as led, letting go of the questions that rose when I felt directed to take two jackets and not to take a certain pair of sandals I'd considered essential.

At the end of the weekend I marveled that what I took was exactly what I needed--and I had packed far less than anyone else sharing the car ride down to Laguna Woods. 

In the back of my mind I had even been afraid God had no fashion sense. What odd combinations would He stick me with? When I confided my concerns after the fact, my roommates exchanged a look, rolling their eyes, and one of them said, "He designed the universe. I think He can put together a wardrobe."

Sunday, April 24, 2016

What He didn't say

"One day, He got into a boat with His disciples, and He said to them, 'Let us go across to the other side of the lake.'  So, they set out and, as they sailed, He fell asleep.  And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger.  And they went and woke Him, saying, 'Master, Master, we are perishing!'  And He awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased and there was a calm.  He said to them, 'Where is your faith?'  And they were afraid and they marveled, saying to one another, 'Who, then, is this, that He commands even winds and water, and they obey Him?'"  (Luke 8.22-25)

Jesus didn't say, "Let's go sailing."

He didn't say, "Let's cast off and see what happens."

He didn't say, "Let's go out to the middle of the lake and drown."

He said, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake."

Listening to the end of what He does say--and believing it--might save us unnecessary drama.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

AZUSA NOW Testimonies

Jesus said, "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give" Matthew 10:8, and "Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father" John 14:12.

He is still healing through His people today:

From https://www.facebook.com/AzusaNowTestimonies/  
Click on "See More" as needed IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME TO READ ONE, CHECK OUT SARA HOPKINS, 7th one down, or JASMINE WIYUN SHEPPERSON toward the bottom. WOW!

Treesa Loving Hause to Azusa Now Testimonies
Azusa Now was amazing! God started moving even before we made it to the stadium. My friend and I were on the train early Sat morning headed to the stadium and h...
See More
James Roberts to Azusa Now Testimonies
I had been having terrible fatigue problems due to glands not functioning properly. This has been going on for years and I have seen doctors about it. Also, I...
See More
This is so wild. ‪#‎AzusaNow‬

Jana Chu to Azusa Now Testimonies
My husband's hearing had been getting worse in the last couple of years and it got so bad he had to get a hearing aid recently which he didn't really want to we...
See More
‎Gia Youngblood‎ to Azusa Now Testimonies
The power of God was felt immediately when a small group of college students from my church and I arrived at 1 pm. Not long after we got there we witnessed a ma...
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Jessica Hines to Azusa Now Testimonies
During the time of praying for healing, One of the conditions that were called out was hearing impairments. A woman named Mary raised her hand because she could...
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It's happening!
Following a strong sense of the Lord's leading a group of us flew at short notice from Buckinghamshire in the UK to L.A on UNITED airlines. Azusa Now was an ama...
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Beckie Griffin to Azusa Now Testimonies
My daughter, Katrina, & I had the privilege of coming to TheCall Azusa St together (as well as TheCall.7/7/07). We experienced some glorious God appointments in...
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‎Sara Hopkins‎ to Azusa Now Testimonies
On my plane home from LA God seated me next to a couple who had hopped on the first flight to the city hospital where their son, Frank, was in ICU. He had had ...
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‎MT Vnova‎ to Azusa Now Testimonies
I was so blessed at Azusa Now! Prior to me leaving from Maryland to LA, my husband Damien Lee had been in some pain due to a torn disk in his lower back. God re...
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Jeremiah Caudill to Azusa Now Testimonies
This is Daniel. Even though he's just a wee little lad, he fearlessly burns with a passion to share the love of God with people! I met him just the other day at...
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Joshua Shaw to Azusa Now Testimonies
This lady's knees hurt so bad she said to her daughter the night before that she wanted to die because of the pain. After a quick prayer, she handed her daughte...
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This is another wild story. ‪#‎AzusaNow‬
Montell Ricks added a new photo to Azusa Now Testimonies's timeline — with Bob Archuleta and Grace Archuleta.
My friend Bob Archuleta was healed after not being able to hear out of his left ear for 8-9 years.

Keep sending us your testimonies. ‪#‎AzusaNow‬
Jasmine Wiyun Shepperson‎ to Azusa Now Testimonies
My Jesus heals!! Broke my scaphoid bone a week ago and had it in a fiber glass hard cast. Prayed with my sister Joanyun Shepperson and some BSSM students, slipp...
See More

Yes, Here's another one! ‪#‎AzusaNow‬

Amber Wong to Azusa Now Testimonies
My husband and I attended Azusa Now and we're reignited by the power of God. He has given us fresh fire to continue to bring forth his love to the world. We had...
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Chan Bird added a new photo to Azusa Now Testimonies's timeline — at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and Sports Arena.
This past weekend 26 members of my family traveled from our Apsaalooke (Crow) Lands of Montana to Los Angeles, California the same city where 65 years before ou...
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Every high school. Fill the fields! Let's stand in prayer with Landon for his school. ‪#‎AzusaNow‬

Landon Dowell to Azusa Now Testimonies
At my high school, some friends and I are preparing for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. We have claimed the gym and football field for Jesus and have gotten p...
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What a amazing testimony!

‎Justin Fahrenbruch‎ to Azusa Now Testimonies
My wife and mother in law flew in on Friday to get to the AZUSA event. She Works for an Airline so we have the blessing of flying standby. We prayed and prayed ...
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Amber Wong to Azusa Now Testimonies
My husband and I attended Azusa Now and we're reignited by the power of God. He has given us fresh fire to continue to bring forth his love to the world. We had...
See More

It's not only for stadiums. ‪#‎AzusaNow‬

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The God who paints things with beauty

"Truly the gods, which I worship, are idols of stone that do not speak nor feel. . . Some very powerful, hidden and unknown god is the creator of the entire universe. He is the only one that can console me in my affliction and help me in such anguish as my heart feels; I want him to be my helper and protection." 

--Nezahualcoyotl, literally "Coyote Who Fasts" or "Hungry Coyote" - philosopher, warrior, architect, poet and ruler in pre-Columbian Mexico. (1402-1472).

During his reign he built a pyramid to the "God who paints things with beauty." From "The God Who Paints" by Keila Ochoa, in Our Daily Bread, April 19, 2016 and Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nezahualcoyotl.

He is best remembered for his poetry, but according to accounts by his descendants and biographers, he had an experience of an "Unknown, Unknowable Lord of Everywhere" to whom he built an entirely empty temple in which no blood sacrifices of any kind were allowed — not even those of animals. 

One of his poems appears in tiny print on the face of the 100 peso note:
Amo el canto del zenzontle
Pájaro de cuatrocientas voces,
Amo el color del jade
Y el enervante perfume de las flores,
Pero más amo a mi hermano, el hombre.

I love the song of the mocklngbird,
Bird of four hundred voices,
I love the color of the jadestone
And the intoxicating scent of flowers,
But more than all I love my brother, man.

Monday, April 11, 2016


"Shooting a documentary on a move of the Holy Spirit is like trying to harness the wind." Clay Banks   (So is writing about it!) 

Two days ago, for a magical 20 hours, the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum overflowed with over 120,000 Christians from 900 churches. It was the Great Awakening of 2016. (Within the first hour, stadium parking lots were full and every space on adjacent streets taken--and still the cars kept coming. After circling several times, Jerry and I drove home and watched the live stream!)

             Great Awakening 2016, Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, April 9, 2016
                   Great Awakenings: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Awakening

On stage, ceremonies of confession, repentance, and forgiveness included covenants of unity between native American chiefs in full headdress and non-native Americans, between African-Americans and non-African-Americans, between Jews and gentiles. On stage, native Americans in elaborate and colorful costume danced in worship of Jesus.  At one point 120 shofars were blown and then 120 drums of all nations. One rabbi, in symbolic token of a new covenant of unity, gave his show to Lou Engle. Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and assorted brands of Protestants were reconciled. One Roman Catholic leader kissed Engle's feet--and Engle returned the honor.

Charismatic and Pentecostal leaders extended God's call for Christians of all kinds to "fly united," committing themselves to fulfilling the Great Commission to share the gospel of salvation with the world and to complete the translation of God's Word into the language of "every tongue and nation."

In the stands and on the playing field, there was spontaneous singing, dancing, hugging, praying, and instances of salvation and physical healing. Massive spiritual power (God's promised "latter rain") was being released to such a degree that people were being delivered by the thousands all over the stadium from things as varied as stomach ailments, broken bones, cancer, alcoholism, suicidal depression and insanity. 

Later, a row of Afghanistan and other veterans lined up onstage to share how they had lost their hearing in separate incidents from IED explosions overseas and had regained it when strangers in the stands around them prayed for them. A Latino man who had had a brain tumor and been unable to talk until the day before described about his healing. There were even experiences of "collateral healing"--people being prayed for healing of one ailment being delivered from others also and people nearby those being prayed for receiving healing of a similar issue.

The event
was scheduled to run 15-1/2 hours (from 7 AM until 10:30 PM Pacific) but until at least 4 AM, after the Coliseum gates were closed, there were still 20,000 standing on the sidewalks and in the streets, peacefully rejoicing, marveling, and comparing stories. 

Around the country there were related events. In Washington DC some 32,000 pastors gathered at the Washington Monument to confess disunity through arrogance, resentments, jealousies and competition between each other and to forgive one another, committing to unity in reaching America for Jesus Christ.
This was the long-awaited, continuously prayed-for Great Awakening prophesied 110 years ago at the Azusa St. Revival in Los Angeles, led by black pastor William Seymour. (See previous post.)

Called "Azusa Now," it was both the culmination and the beginning of a movement of the Holy Spirit of God like only a few in history. It is prophesied in books of the Hebrew Scriptures like Joel and books of the New Testament like Revelation. It has also been prophesied in God-given words of knowledge since 1906. At the Azusa Street Revival it was prophesied that an even bigger revival would come to Los Angeles in about 100 years.

Since the turn of this century, national prayer leader Lou Engle, co-founder of "TheCall," had visions of stadiums full of Americans willing to "humble themselves and pray and seek [God's face] and turn from their wicked way" in order to receive the promise of 2 Chronicles 7:14 that God would "hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land."

One friend of Engle's got a word that revival would come in 1,080 days. Engle figured out the date: April 9, 2016, the 110th anniversary of the Azusa Street revival. Then a woman phoned Engle to tell him she was having dreams of a huge sports stadium which hosted both football and baseball teams. On the internet she found there was only one such stadium, the L.A. Coliseum. 

Convinced that God had now revealed both the time and the place, Engle sold his house and bought the Coliseum for the day of April 9, 2016. He and the hundreds of thousands praying with him across the country planned a 15-1/2 hour day of prayer, praise, worship, repentance, and reconciliation, a day which they acknowledged belonged to God with an agenda they gave Him permission to override and restructure. The Lord fulfilled and exceeded their expectations, extending the revival on through the night and, as of this writing, into the indefinite future, surely until He comes again. 

Join the thousands hitting "Azusa Now" and "The Call (Lou Engle)" on YouTube and Facebook sites for video clips. Read articles about "The Call" and "Lou Engle" for the prophecies leading up to this literally miraculous revival, the one so many of us have been praying for for so long.

(12 hours of the actual event)

Lou Engle is a revivalist, visionary, and co-founder of TheCall Inc. For more than three decades, Lou's passion has been to call believers into radical consecration through prayer, fasting and acts of justice. Lou has been involved in church planting, establishing prayer movements and strategic houses of prayer. He is the founder of the pro-life ministry, Bound4Life, and has inspired other justice movements. http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/56172-lou-engle-in-prophetic-whirlwind-around-azusa-now

Saturday, April 9, 2016


Livestreaming at www.GOD.TV from 7am to 10:30pm PDT today:

What Is Azusa Now?

There are times which Scripture describes as "full" — periods of unusual ripeness in which God unleashes His prophetic purpose across the earth.  Such days of faith and expectation often come during periods of crisis or widespread uncertainty. For 15 years, amidst massive cultural decay, Lou Engle and TheCall have sought to proclaim the bold, uncompromising message of consecration to Jesus. Like John the Baptist, we have cried out, "Prepare the way of the Lord!"

Yet the last statement of John was not "Prepare the way," but "Behold the Lamb!" If there was truly a John Movement, then a Jesus Movement is surely coming! Believing that decades of globe-spanning prayer have saturated the heavens, we will boldly ask God for the rain of revival on April 9th, 2016. We will consecrate an entire day — 15 hours — for the purpose of unity, miracles, healing, and the proclamation of the gospel. Our rally cry: Come, Holy Spirit! Instead of 120 in the Upper Room, we seek to gather as many as 120,000 in one place and one accord to simply exalt Jesus. And for inspiration, we turn to the most powerful expression of revival in modern times: the historic Azusa Street Revival of 1906.
William Seymour
Azusa Street, Los Angeles, CA

Azusa Then

What made the 1906 Azusa Street Revival so special? Three key factors at Azusa mirrored the reality of the formation of the church in Acts 2. Firstly, there was a multi-ethnic gathering of unity in Christ (Acts 2:1-11). Secondly, the miraculous, attesting ministry of the Holy Spirit was enjoyed in a unique way (Acts 2:2-4).  Finally, there was a clear presentation of the Gospel leading many to salvation (Acts 2:37-41).

This outpouring of Heaven descended on the poor districts of Los Angeles during an incredibly dangerous, volatile and prejudiced period of American history.  God used an African American named William Seymour to launch this modern Acts 2 movement. Black, White, Asian and Hispanic came together in bonds of love, unity and prayer. It came to be said, “the color line was washed away” at Azusa.

This is the legacy — the well of revival — we seek to reclaim: Unity. Prayer. Miracles. Healing. Salvation.
Billy Graham Crusade - September 8, 1963
TheCall Nashville - July 7, 2007

Azusa Now

In our deeply divided world, perhaps the greatest miracle is love. Sadly, by 1916, the original Azusa Street Revival had officially ended. Segregation once again fractured the fragile unity of the Church, dividing God's children along the very same color lines previously and gloriously erased by the Holy Spirit. Even so, the flames of Azusa led to various renewal movements that spread like wildfire across the U.S. and abroad. Over the last 110 years, these movements have helped to produce more salvations than the previous 19 centuries combined! If the kingdom has expanded in spite of our division, how much more could it achieve in unity?

Azusa Now is built on the great hope that this can happen again. In 1913, both William Seymour and Maria Woodworth-Etter separately proclaimed that in 100 years, the Holy Spirit would be poured out again, even stronger this time. History attests this pattern. Martin Luther's Reformation was prophesied 100 years prior by the martyr Jan Huss. God loves to "proclaim that which is not as though it were" (Rom. 4:7). We are contending in faith for the 100-Year Promise.

We need a true jubilee of love and mercy to sweep our land. A dark question looms over our children's future: riots or revival? The only answer is to be found in Christ. Prayer, love and unity remain the Acts 2 template for breakthrough. On April 9, 2016, join a great multi-ethnic, multi-denominational, multi-generational assembly as we strike a match for awakening in our day. It's not just Azusa then. It's Azusa Now.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Conrad Schumann: "Iconic" photo I hadn't seen of a hero I hadn't heard of!

Hans Conrad Schumann (March 28, 1942 – June 20, 1998) was an East German soldier who famously defected to West Germany during the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961.
  Conrad Schumann's defection to West Berlin, 1961.

Early life

Born in Zschochau, Saxony during the middle of World War II, Schumann enlisted in the East German Bereitschaftspolizei (state police) following his 18th birthday. After three months' training in Dresden, he was posted to a non-commissioned officers' college in Potsdam, after which he volunteered for service in Berlin.

Defection to West Germany

On 15 August 1961, the 19-year-old Schumann was sent to the corner of Ruppiner Straße and Bernauer Straße to guard the Berlin Wall on its third day of construction. At that time and place, the wall was only a single coil of concertina wire. From the other side, West Germans shouted to him, "Komm' rüber!" ("Come over!"), and a police car pulled up to wait for him. Schumann jumped over the barbed wire while dropping his PPSh-41 submachine gun and was promptly driven away from the scene by the West Berlin police. West German photographer Peter Leibing photographed Schumann's escape. His picture has since become an iconic image of the Cold War era and featured at the beginning of the 1982 Disney film Night Crossing. The scene, including Schumann's preparations, has also been filmed on 16-mm film from the same perspective.
Schumann was later permitted to travel from West Berlin to the main territory of West Germany, where he settled in Bavaria. He met his wife Kunigunde in the town of Günzburg.[1]

After the fall of the Berlin Wall he said, "Only since 9 November 1989 [the date of the fall] have I felt truly free" . . . https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conrad_Schumann

Tricia Lott Williford is a blogger I have been following since her husband died suddenly in her arms five Christmas Eves ago. I wanted to introduce her to you with something substantial which captures who she is, where she's been, who she is about to become. I thought at first this wasn't it--but keep reading. 

Thank You, Little Black Dress.

by Tricia Lott Williford

I am reading The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It’s a revolutionary approach to decluttering where instead of clearing one room or one space at a time, you choose a category to sort and purge. Like all of the shirts or jeans or boots or socks or beach towels. You bring them all to one place, mostly for the embarrassing shock of seeing the mound of excess, I’m pretty sure. You mound them on the floor, and then pick them up one at a time, and ask yourself if it brings you joy. If it brings you joy, then you keep it. If it doesn’t, then you set it free.
“Set it free” can look like one of several options. For me it’s largely about putting things in giant trash bags, and arranging an appointment with ScheduleAPickUp.com which is second only to Walmart.com. I love people who let me beckon them online, those who will come to my doorstep and either deliver the things I need or take away the things I’m finished with. This is perhaps a love language of mine: make it easy for me to either give away or get.
Anyway, stay with me. Because this isn’t about cleaning out my house. Except that it kind of is. In a much bigger way.

If you have a hard time parting with something that no longer brings you joy, so says the author of this book, then you are supposed to hold it in your hands and consider carefully why you have the item in the first place. When did you get it, and why did it matter to you then? Then you’re supposed to reassess its role in your life, and if it has already fulfilled its purpose in your life, then you—get this—say, “Thank you for your service.” The author says that by acknowledging their contribution and letting them go with gratitude, you can truly put the things you own, and ultimately your entire life, in order.
I read that, and I was like, “Um, no.”
I won’t be saying goodbye to things, and I’m not thanking things. That’s a little bit hippie-dippy and not me, I feel ridiculous talking to t-shirts, and I’m not doing that. Just give me the list of what to sort and purge, and I’ll begin to make room for Peter to live in this home when we are married.
And so I began with the sweaters, which was easy since it’s 72 degrees right now in Denver. More than anything, I found myself thinking ‘no thanks’ about one sweater after another, which is likely something I will regret in the fall. But whatevs. Then I purged the jeans and then the t-shirts and then the blouses.  I was on a roll.
And then I came to the dresses. A bridesmaid’s dress (no joy), a sweater dress (no thanks), and a collection of ill fitting purchases from StitchFix with the tags still on them (no go). Easy as pie. Bagged them right up, setting them free for someone shaped like me who will be thrilled to bring them into her home. I felt no need to talk to any single one of them, thank you very much.
But then I found the little black dress with the scoop neck, the size-four style with a narrow, shiny black belt that fit perfectly around the smallest part of my waist. Robb bought it for me the summer of our tenth anniversary, and I wore it to his funeral six months later.  I wore that dress as I greeted more than 400 people who came to honor the life and death of the man I had married. I wore that dress when I held my brother’s arm as I took the stage to deliver the eulogy. Somehow, there’s a whole marriage hidden in the creases and seams of that dress.IMG_2180
It’s been hanging in my closet for five and a half years. It’s actually dusty. As I’ve moved from one house to another, I moved the dress. I’ve cleaned out my closet only-God-knows-how-many times, but each time I’ve kept the dress. I’ve never worn it again. Let’s be honest, I’m not a size four anymore. But it doesn’t matter what size I am or was or would ever be. I’m not wearing that dress again, not ever, to save my life or anyone else’s.
I am learning that a "widowed wedding" is a whole different ball game.  There are so many emotions in play, and I'm crying a lot.  Or it feels like a lot.  I might be able to tell you what I'm learning, if I can ever find words for this process. I don't know how to articulate the sweeping emotions I'm living in, but let's just say I'm back to seeing my therapist on a fulltime basis.  Because this is too much for a girl to process on her own.
On a grand, large, overwhelming scale, I think this all has something to do with making space.  Space for the man I love to move in, space for the man I loved to move out.
So I held the dress on her hanger. And, so help me, I talked to her. “Thank you, little black dress. You were everything I needed you to be. You were a gift in every way. Thank you for being perfect from the moment I saw you, until the last moment I wore you. Thank you.”
And then I put her in the pile with the sweaters and jeans and t-shirts and stories and memories and good or bad decisions.
And I set her free.
Now order her books:   Product DetailsProduct Details