“Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt.” Exodus 1:8
“After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers,another generation grew up, who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel.” Judges 2:10
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana
In recent weeks of bible reading these scriptures have kind of jumped out at me and, I feel, represent part of our challenge in trying to communicate the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our modern world. Joseph, a type of Christ, is a young Hebrew sold into Egyptian slavery by his own brothers. Joseph survives intense jealousy from his brothers, false accusation from Potiphar’s wife, false imprisonment, being forgotten by Pharaoh’s cupbearer and baker to ultimately rise to the second highest position in the land to save not only his own family—those who had sold him into slavery, but Egypt as well. This miraculous story of grace and salvation is quickly forgotten by the Egyptians who end up enslaving Joseph’s family, exploiting and persecuting them. It takes 430 years for the Israelites to finally escape by the hands of Moses and Aaron and the demonstration of God’s mighty power over Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt.
Moses’ successor Joshua, after 40 years of God’s miraculous guidance and provision in the wilderness, finally leads the Israelites to cross the Jordan and in the conquest of the nations in Canaan. After the death of these leaders another generation grew up who “knew neither the LORD nor what he’d done for Israel.” They turned away from the Lord, served the gods of other nations, resulting in both God’s judgment and redemption—through the Judges God repeatedly raised up to deliver them.
We are living in what has been called a “post Christian—post modern” world, especially in the “so called” Christian West, with it’s rich history of Reformation, Awakening & Revival. Much of this began with the Enlightenment at the beginning of the 18th century and culminated in “Higher Criticism, now called Biblical Criticism” at the turn of the 20th century, accelerating and reaching it’s zenith during my lifetime. Judeo-Christian truth & values have been under increasing attack for 2 centuries gradually infiltrating every level and sphere of society and reaching critical mass with the increasing secular takeover of ever lower levels of education. The most vile and perverted things are now being taught to our children as young as kindergarten through our public education system. We’re experiencing the “slippery slope” of Romans 1.
At the same time the Church of Jesus Christ has been increasingly marginalized and made irrelevant as it has failed to truly live out the radical call and power of the gospel leading with religion devoid of the presence and power of Jesus and the Holy Spirit. We’ve become increasingly formal, religious and institutional.
However, as I’ve said before, in spite of the challenge on truth and absolutes, the moral and ethical slippage we’re experiencing and the collapse of culture, I sincerely believe our best days are ahead. If we will truly inculcate and live out the life message of the Gospel of God’s Kingdom come through Jesus and live it in the context of Christian Community we will be the light and compass of the world and the “City on a Hill.” But this will call for radical change and commitment on our part and we may find ourselves “filling up the suffering of Christ” as have so many who’ve gone before us and on whose shoulders we stand.
Now to a quick update of recent ministry. Thank you very much for your prayers and support.
At the end of May I joined a group in Bakersfield for a day and a half worshipping and praying together for California and seeking God’s strategies for the next few months – both for California and a specific Global prayer initiative that’s taking place in Bali, Indonesia in November. I’ve been assisting Fred & Sue Rowe network and communicate with global (prayer) leaders and intercessors for that event. (Same group I met at Sutter’s Mill in April)
The past few weeks have been busy and blessed. We’ve now completed 5 months prayer walking Santa Paula and it has been a terrific adventure to work with Pastor Adelita Garza, Puente de Vida and the other pastors and churches. It’s not been without its challenges and before the last prayer walk we met with Adelita and several of her leaders for a time of prayer and encouragement. As they shared there were a lot of tears and we were all deeply touched by the sacrifice they’re making as they’ve taken the initiative for this Outreach to Santa Paula.
Our June Prayer Walk met at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church for worship & prayer—a stretch for some Hispanic & Evangelical people—but God was present, the worship was inspiring and people prayed deep prayers of repentance and reconciliation for the division that exist in the Body of Christ. Very encouraging!
June 19th I met with a different group of California leaders & intercessors at a church in Northridge for “Awake California.” This was organized by Dai Sup Han, Prayer Surge Now & California for Jesus. Pastor Netz Gomez has a vision to raise up 100 Houses of Prayer throughout the state. Dai Sup asked me to share about and lead in a time of prayer for reconciliation. Bob Wolff shared from his book, “Awakening the One New Man,” and prayed for reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles. Gaylord Enns shared from his book, “Love Revolution,” and others shared different prayer efforts and strategies that are being employed throughout the State. Awesome time!
Last Friday I met with the Eagles Nest group in Ojai that is helping to organize and network houses of prayer in each city in Ventura County. In May I, along with the SV Praying Pastors, initiated a monthly “Prayer Awakening” for the Church in Simi Valley. We’ve met three times now and we’ve had a respectable turnout and sense that something significant is beginning to build. Tim Logerquist came to our first meeting and share a vision the Lord had given him for Revival in Simi Valley. I continue to assist Liliana with the “Love Israel—Prayer for Israel & the Diaspora” gatherings the first Monday of each month at Jacob’s Ladder in Ventura.
Last Saturday our Reconciliation Tribe met with Gabriel & Laura Ward from the Torres Martinez REZ near Indio. They were part of the Reconciliation in the City event in Riverside last year and felt they were to organize a similar event for the First Nations Tribes in SoCal October 31—November 3, 2012. We gathered at Lynn Heatley’s house in Chino Hills to worship, pray and plan.
In addition I’ve been working with Pastors Matti Perttula, Joel Perttula & Shawn Moir at CLC, Origen (Post Modern) & Chazon (Messianic Church Plant) as well as planning and preparing for the 50thAnniversary Celebration this Sunday – July 15th. I think it will be a good day.
With all the expansion and new opportunities in ministry come increasing financial demands and I continue to face challenges. I appreciate your prayers. Summer tends to be a meager time—if you can help at this time I will be deeply grateful and more people will receive ministry. Your continued prayer, encouragement and support are so appreciated!!
Yours in His Shalom,Ron Archer North American Coordinator International Reconciliation Coalition To Contribute to this Ministry – Send a Check or an online transfer to: IRC North America P.O. Box 941749 Simi Valley, CA 93094-1749 Memo: North America
“This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.” Haggai 2:6-9
Saying our country and world are being shaken is an understatement—it’s like nothing I’ve seen in my lifetime. As I observe the evolving (or devolving) political, economic, social and spiritual environment, there’s a marked contrast between solutions secular/political leaders are suggesting and legislating and those being offered by seasoned spiritual leaders. The priority “prophetic answer” I’m hearing across the board from spiritual leaders from diverse theological and denominational backgrounds—Billy Graham, the late Chuck Colson, David Barton, Cindy Jacobs, Lou Engel, Chuck Pierce, Dutch Sheets, Daniel Henderson, John Piper, Dr. Paul Cedar, Phil Miglioratti, Jarvis Ward, John Robb, Fawn Parish, Lynn Heatley, Dr. Steve Pope, Tim Logerquist, Jonathan Ngai, among others–is PRAYER: humble, unified, corporate, repentant, compassionate Christ-centered, Bible-based PRAYER! Supplication, Intercession—travailing, prevailing PRAYER! “If My people….”
If Jesus were not our anchor, our Solid Rock, it would be easy to be motivated by anxiety, fear, unbelief and cynicism. “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand, All other ground is sinking sand!” I believe we’re at a significant watershed moment in both the world and the church. The current escalating circumstances are presenting the Body of Christ with an awesome opportunity to not just DO church but to BE the church in a way that more powerfully and effectively represents Jesus to those around us and demonstrate the contrast between the kingdoms of the world and the Kingdom of God. Haggai says that God’s purpose for God shaking the nations is so that the “Desired of all nations might be revealed.” We are His Body and He desires to reveal Himself to and through us like never before. Our testimony of love & light is enhanced by the increasing darkness and chaos around us.
When I stepped back into full-time ministry 2 years ago, I knew I needed God’s revelation, approval, and guidance. I wanted Him to open doors, to create opportunities and so, and I say this with all humility, I spent hours, even days in the word and prayer. Then God, true to His Word, began to reveal Himself, open doors and create opportunities. I continue to involve myself in prayer gatherings, movements, initiatives and opportunities—a few of which I’ll report on below. Yet, I want to be the first to admit that I still have too much of a “populist” revelation of Jesus and, like much of the church today, I still function way below the level of truth and anointing that Jesus intends for me & us all.
Sadly, the stats on the prayer habits of pastors & parishioners is not encouraging. BUT, on a more “positive” note, there is a growing prayer movement—city/regional/state prayer groups, houses of prayer, prayer walking, prayer groups in gov’t, business & schools, etc., which hold out hope of better things to come. I think I mentioned in an earlier letter a Family Lawyer in Ventura who has a full-time “paid” intercessor on her staff. I believe this could become a positive trend in the prayer movement and church in days to come. Prayer is the bedrock of the Church!
Following are some prayer initiatives I’ve helped to initiate and participate in the past few weeks ……….
Prayer Walking Santa Paula: Last year we met Adelita Garza. She’s the dynamic, visionary Pastor of Puente de Vida (Bridge of Life) Hispanic Assembly of God Church in SP. Over several months we met to pray for her church and Santa Paul a city of 29k with 33 churches. Santa Paula, originally a small Chumash Village, has a sad history of racism and segregation leading to much hurt and division, even in the Body of Christ. Over time Adelita and PdV received a burden to prayer-walk their city and invited all the churches to join them. In February we gatherer for the first event—we caravanned around the perimeter of the city stopping to pray at several strategic sites—this to launch a 9 month journey the THIRD Tuesday of each month to prayer-walk the whole city. 3 other churches joined this initial effort. By the time of the first prayer-walk the following week, 9 churches that had signed on. Next Tuesday we’ll be our 4th month as we cover sector #4 of SP. Excitement, vision and unity are growing with each month. Pastors/Intercessors from other cities are also joining each month.
Simi Valley City-Church Prayer Awakening: Last Sunday evening we launched a monthly city-wide Prayer Awakening in Simi Valley—meeting the FIRST Sunday of each month. This vision and initiative grew out of the Simi Valley Praying Pastors and is a continuation and acceleration of the quarterly Concerts of Prayer we had several years ago. Our initial meeting was well attended and a spirit of faith and unity was enhanced as we focused on Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer from John 17.
In the scripture I began with, Haggai also mentions the silver & gold. Last month several of my colleagues sent out a fund-raising letter on my behalf. I’m deeply grateful for their advocacy and all the affirming things they shared. This is something I find personally difficult to do. I haven’t had a flood of responses but am deeply grateful for those who have—every gift helps! I’m still facing a shortfall in my budget so please continue to keep me in your prayers. I believe God and trust he will use this to draw me closer to himself and give me clearer vision and strategy for the ministry He has called me to. I’m humbled and deeply grateful for your love, prayer and support!
Yours, For the GLORY of the Latter House,Ron Archer North American Coordinator International Reconciliation Coalition If you would like to contribute to our ministry – send check or online bank payee:
- IRC North America
- PO Box 941749
- Simi Valley, CA 93094-1749
- Designation: North America
“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the war-horses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.” Zechariah 9:9, 10
“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. ” Luke 19:41
I’ve often wondered what it would have been like to live at the time Jesus was walking the earth, to be a participant or spectator to his life and ministry. I did have the opportunity to tour the Holy Land in 1977 and have always wanted to return. There’s something special, almost magical, about walking where Jesus walked, visiting places he touched – Bethlehem, eating St. Peter’s fish on the Sea of Galilee, the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem, Golgotha, the Garden Tomb, to name a few. On the other hand, as a small-town Assemblies of God pastor’s son I was SHOCKED by all the Catholic, Orthodox and other religious shrines that dotted the landscape competing for attention and funds from the many tourists groups.
I think I would have relished the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, the chase to keep up with Jesus to get another morsel of bread & fish, the amazement of seeing another miracle or healing. The crowd and clamor at the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem would have had a festive, parade-like quality, giving one the sense of being part of making history. Honestly, I don’t think I would have wanted to be there a week later when He was arrested, falsely accused, beaten and whipped beyond recognition then brutally hung on a Roman cross – the ultimate humiliation – to suffer the cruelest of deaths, slow suffocation. I too, like the other disciples, would have fled and hid myself and my eyes from that horrific day.
But now, here’s Jesus riding into Jerusalem, coming as their King yet, “humble, gentle” riding on a donkey – actually the animal of Kings – yet coming in a gesture of Peace, not as a conqueror riding on a white steed. His was an offer of reconciliation between a people, a nation, and their God, a God they had always had a special relationship with and yet, because their religion had become institutional and corrupt, they hadn’t recognized Jesus as their Messiah. Things haven’t changed all that much. I have to admit that I too might miss Jesus because of my triumphalist desires and expectations.
To the Roman soldiers, this “Triumphal Entry” must have seemed laughable having witnessed the return of one of the Caesars to Rome from conquest and victory. One such event took three days of pomp and glory for Caesar to display the prisoners and all the spoil he had taken in battle.
Right up till today Jesus continues to come to us in humility and gentleness, with an offer of peace and reconciliation. He doesn’t approach us as a conqueror, though he is. Nor does he want to parade us through the streets as his subjects. He continues to approach us as a lowly servant, a suffering savior – that wasn’t part of the Jewish paradigm.
Prayer and reconciliation are the ministries I’m invested in. When I try to come as the expert, the one with all the answers and solutions, rather than in as a servant, carrying the love, grace, truth and presence of God, I end up sowing the very seeds, the weeds, that will blur and obscure the Work of God, the Misseo Dei, I’m endeavoring to accomplish!
For God so loved the world that he gave….. He doesn’t just love soccer moms, suburbanites, the upwardly mobile, western people – but the World. This challenges and expands my world view.
As we commemorate and celebrate Palm Sunday 2012 lets look for and engage a mindset of loving “our” world the way God does. We must have the same mind and posture as Jesus, who though God, did not grasp at authority and dominance but took the form of a servant and embraced the pain and suffering of those He met while at the same time extending to them the greatest gift of all – Salvation, Eternal Life and an intimate relationship with the Father of all Creation. Humility, servant-hood, suffering and compassion will accomplish far more than all our intellectual, theological, programmatic approaches. My thoughts for today and tomorrow! Lord, I want to be more like YOU, not just in the Church but as I live my life daily in this world.
Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the Lord,Ron Archer North American Coordinator International Reconciliation Coalition
To Contribute to this ministry send a check or Online Bank Payee:IRC North America P.O. Box 941749 Simi Valley, CA 93094-1749 Memo: North America
February – March 2012
“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills.” Amos 9:13
The above scripture speaks of a coming time when there will be an enormous harvest and time of fruitfulness. Spring is in the air—the trees are budding, flowers blooming, birds are singing and the days getting longer. A spiritual Spring is also breaking out in our county. For years we’ve been praying for unity and revival and we’re beginning to experience serious movement in that direction. Let me share a few things to illustrate this.
Eagles Nest: Identifying Redemptive Gifts of Cities On March 2-3 our Eagles Nest group in Ojai organized a seminar to help us identify the redemptive gifts of our cities. Karen Vercruse from Chico was our presenter/facilitator. She’s been involved in significant city-reaching/reconciliation efforts across the USA and internationally. This teaching, based in deep historical research into each city/area, helps us strategize in prayer, reconciliation and outreach to more effectively heal our wounds and reach our cities with the Gospel.
Love Israel: Prayer for Israel and the Jewish Diaspora On March 5th we helped Liliana McDermott of Jacob’s ladder, a Messianic Congregation in Ventura, launch a monthly prayer gathering for Israel. In light of growing anti-Semitism and the increasing pressure on Israel from surrounding nations and the rest of the world the timing couldn’t be more crucial. This gathering are take place the first Monday of each month @ Jacob’s Ladder, Ventura.
Chumash Reconciliation Gathering: On Saturday March 10th we had a wonderful day in Saticoy (Ventura, CA), originally a Chumash village, meeting with a number of Chumash people from our county. Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, the Lead Tribal Elder, addressed a group of approximately 35 Pastors, Leaders & Intercessors from VC about the history and current challenges of the Chumash Community. We took time to protocol/gift Julie and her cousin Eleanor Arellanes, a wonderful Spirit-led believer, who helped open this door for us. We were joined by RainSong, (Terry & Darlene Wildman, First Nations Music & Storytelling) from Arizona and Red Spirit Ministry from Long Beach who presented Native American music and stories as well as assisting in our protocol of the Chumash. Pastor Rex Holt, Conejo Church in Newberry Park, hosted us along with a team who are getting ready to launch a new Church plant in Saticoy. It was their first “official” meeting at that location and they felt it laid a significant foundation for the vision of this new church.
After fellowship over a delicious Mexican lunch many of us went to a nearby 6 acre property, recently given to the Chumash, to pray over and bless the land. Greg, the caretaker of the land, had put together a circle of rocks with four entries in the cardinal directions and a pattern in the center that very much resembled a Star of David. The point was to enter the site in a respectful and honoring way. Greg says he has a vision of seeing the land developed and used for ministry. Please pray for our ongoing contact with the Chumash Community in Ventura County!
Simi Valley City-Wide Prayer Awakening: I’m one of the founders and members of the Simi Valley Praying Pastors. The SVPP has been meeting from 12-1 PM every Wednesday for over 15 years sharing & praying for each other, our city and churches . A fresh wind has begun to blow and we feel encouraged in our process of unifying the church to pray and work for an outpouring of God’s Spirit of Love & Grace in our City, County, State & Country. At the beginning of the year I shared my desire to see concentrated, collective, unified prayer with the Pastors and there was a very affirmative response.
We had planned to begin this Prayer Initiative on Sunday, April 1st (Palm Sunday) but due to another important event that same night we’ve decided to postpone it until Sunday, May 6th. We’ll be meeting from 7-9 PM the 1st Sunday of each month and will begin at Church of the Living Christ but also plan to meet at other Churches in Simi Valley over time. Pastor Steve Pope and I have been meeting together to be sure we have the right focus and purpose for these upcoming prayer gatherings. We’re praying that we’ll have the favor of God and the other Pastors/Churches in Simi Valley. Please keep us in your prayers!
Family Update: Kai turns 4 next week so I’ll be heading to San Diego this weekend to be with him and Rachelle and celebrate this milestone in his life. He’s a very big boy, like his daddy, but is also very sweet and loves his Opa (Dutch for grandpa). We always enjoy our times together which seem to fly by. It’s the first time I’ve seen them since Christmas when we were all able to be together—Rus flew down from Portland for a few days to be with us in San Diego. It had been over 2 years since I had seen him.
Financial Update: I have always found it a bit difficult to talk about money. We all get so many letters and requests and we’re all faced with the same financial challenges. We’re also all poignantly aware of the rising cost of living—especially “Gas Prices” at the moment. I stepped away from my job at KL Megla-America and back into full-time ministry about 2 years ago and began to live by faith and on monthly support again—the partnership of family, friends and churches. God has been very faithful in providing for my needs and travel/ministry expenses. I try to live as simply and frugally as I can. Recently my support has dropped some just as expenses are increasing. I’m spending a lot of time in the car driving to meetings all over Southern California and find myself all too frequently at Costco filling up—again, at about $75 a pop. I share this primarily for prayer. Many of you are already partners in this ministry and have been faithful and generous in your support. I would value your prayers for me and the IRC North America. God is opening some amazing doors of ministry and I need His help and your prayers and partnership to be able to complete what he has called and gifted me to do. Thank you for standing with me at this time.
I have the privilege of working with wonderful, amazing, gifted and dedicated people, here and around the world. My passion is to network God’s people into communities of prayer, reconciliation and service that will transform our cities, state and nations. May He receive Glory through our lives and ministry to him. I’m praying that you too will experience a Spring Season in your life and ministry!
In His Shalom,
North American Coordinator
If you would like to contribute to our ministry – send check or online bank payee:
- IRC North America
- PO Box 941749
- Simi Valley, CA 93094-1749
- Designation: North America
I’ll begin by wishing you a very belated Happy New Year!
I had hoped to have this out much earlier, but the things I’ve been praying about and working on for 2012 for several weeks just began to take shape in the past few days. A lot is happening with much more coming. I’m rejoicing in victories and praying for greater breakthrough!
Two weeks ago we had our first gathering of 2012 with the Ojai group “Eagles Nest” that is focused on raising up prayer groups in each city in Ventura County and networking them for prayer and collaboration. I was able to bring a couple of new people from Simi Valley for the first time. We’re very encouraged to see how this has grown and expanded over the past year. In addition to our prayer gatherings in Ojai we’ve been able to come alongside Mayor Sylvia Munoz Schnopp in Port Hueneme, host a “God, Gold & Glory” seminar in Ojai with Henry & Grace Felany (who’s written a book about revival in California under that title), join Pastor Adelita Garza at the Puente de Vida Church in Santa Paula praying with her leaders & church as well prayer walking parts of the city with them. Several of the group also attended our Reconciliation in the City events in Ventura & Fillmore. We sense this will be a year of significant growth and effectiveness and we endeavor to see Jesus’ Kingdom expand.
Last week we had our first 2012 Regional IRC/YWAM Ventura County gathering with John & Julie Dawson. We had a great turnout and representation of Pastors, Ministry Leaders, Intercessors and Market Place people. J&J’s son David was here from Brazil and shared about their ministry with YWAM, Church Planting and networking leaders and ministries into more of a community model than a denominational or business model. There’s a growing overlap between the Ojai group, this VCG group and other networks in Ventura County and the same kind of community spirit of love & unity are beginning to emerge. At the same time many are going through times of real testing: One has been diagnosed with prostate cancer, two have peripheral neuropathy, one sister has just been diagnosed with breast cancer so we took time to lift them before the Lord.
At our last Reconciliation in the City event in Fillmore in November we divided up into prayer groups and spread out to pray for the different spheres of influence in the city. Our team was tasked with praying for the old migrant worker homes and the Sespe Monument aka the Kneeling Chumash. It started as a large dead tree that the city cut down years ago and was going to dispose of. When the local Chumash heard about it they asked if they could carve it into a memorial to the Chumash. We took our drums & bibles and sang, read scripture and prayed for the people of the land and the wounded history. We continued down the street to the old migrant housing camp and as we were praying there a young guy drove up, came over and asked who we were and what we were doing. His name is Ben and he’s full-blood Chumash and he had seen us drumming and singing at the Kneeling Chumash. He was guardedly open yet friendly and shared about some of what’s going on in the Chumash Community in our area.
Fern Noble (Cree from Alberta Canada – but lives in SoCal) prayed for Ben, blessed him and gave a small financial gift toward one of their upcoming events. In the past couple of weeks I’ve finally established email/phone contact with Ben and feel a new door is opening for reconciliation and healing with the Chumash. The next morning a gentle rain fell on the land and Fern felt it was a sign of blessings & fruitfulness to come. One team member, Jamey, a Foursquare Pastor, is on the Fillmore City Council. The monument is really run down and in serious need of a facelift. Jamey has received permission and some funding from the City to refurbish it with the assistance of Ben and the Chumash people. God is GOOD!
You may recall that in January 2010 I went to Ft. Wayne, Indiana for a “Restoring Ancient Gates” gathering focused on reconciliation between the Churches of Ft. Wayne and the Indiana Miami Tribe. Terry & Darlene, RainSong, were the ones who organized that. They’ve recently moved to Arizona and we’ve invited them to come in March to minister at CLC (they were here in 2009) but also to get acquainted with the Chumash people and help us prepare for a second, “Restoring Ancient Gates” type of event, which they would help us lead in September or October where the church in Simi Valley can begin to address this ancient wound through repentance & reconciliation.
The Simi Valley Praying Pastors, which I helped to start back in 1995, began as an effort to unite the Church to more effectively share the gospel with our community. In the first few years there was a lot of vision, and partnering together in prayer, worship and outreach. Over the years it became difficult to sustain. Some who were part of the core vision have moved on and, in one case, died and there weren’t enough hands to pick up the load. It’s a great group of guys who really enjoy praying together each week but no one was ready to take on another task. In recent months several new younger pastors have come to SV and joined the group and suddenly things are beginning to stir again. For some time I’ve had a desire to start a monthly Reconciliation Prayer Gathering with representatives of all the Churches & Ministries coming together to pray for our City & County but, until now, felt a check in my spirit – it just didn’t seem the timing was right. Yesterday I finally felt the release to share about both the Prayer Gathering as well as the “Restoring Ancient Gates” conference and I was about blown over by their enthusiastic response and desire to help and participate.
I continue to work with Shawn & Valoreena Moir planting a Messianic Congregation here in SV. Chazon (vision, revelation, Word of the Lord) began in October and we’re excited to be taking baby steps to reach the Jewish community. Deep End is weekly bible study which has been going for a little over a year. I’ve helped lead worship & the bible study on several occasions. We’ve had 2 people come to Yeshua, one a young gentile guy who got a good start but is now struggling a bit. The second is a middle age Jewish woman who’s had a true conversion experience, is growing strong in the Lord and the Word. She was baptized earlier this month! PTL!!
Since late November I’ve been in an intense spiritual battle. As all this began to come into focus the past few days I got understanding of the nature of the conflict. I’ve had a deep sense of expectancy for 2012 yet realize it will only come about with deep intimacy with Jesus and prevailing prayer. May Jesus be Glorified!
With deep gratitude for your love, prayers and support!
In His Shalom,
North American Coordinator
International Reconciliation Coalition
The author of Psalm 107 wrote, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.”
He then goes on to describe a number of difficult and disastrous scenarios people found themselves in: a desolate wilderness; darkness, shadow of death, affliction & bondage; foolish sins that led them into affliction; people tossed up & down on the seas of business. In each case the phrase that activates their faith and releases God’s rescue and redemption is, “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.”
Watching the world news can be pretty depressing, even frightening: the Arab “Spring” – radical revolution & tumultuous change in Tunisia, Egypt, Lybia, Syria, and other ME countries; enormous economic problems in Europe threatening the Euro Zone: Ireland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Hungary; the threat of a nuclear Iran, a very unpredictable nuclear North Korea, instability in nuclear Pakistan; Israel increasingly surrounded by seemingly hostile enemies facing the threat of another holocaust; political, economic and social challenges facing the US; a divided congress; the “Occupy” movement in the USA and spreading around the world. Just a few of these are enough to make our hearts faint, create distress and worry. If ever we needed to “cry out the Lord in our trouble,” it’s now!
And YET, against such a dismal and fearful backdrop – we still have so much to be THANKFUL, GRATEFUL for. God has protected us, provided for us, encouraged us, healed us, blessed us, caused us to rejoice and celebrate in His LOVE & VICTORY.
I’m so THANKFUL for safe travel and anointed ministry in New Zealand, Finland (2X) & Sweden, India, to the Pine Ridge Oglala Lakota Sioux Reservation in South Dakota and to YWAM in Quebec, Canada. I so appreciate my Church Family, Church of the Living Christ, in Simi Valley. They’re love and encouragement has strengthened and sustained me in untold ways. I’m grateful for our IRC and YWAM Family here in Ventura County and the Intercessors & Prayer Warriors that are being mobilized in each city to see God’s Kingdom extended. Our ISORS Team’s 4 Reconciliation in the City gatherings in Arroyo Grande, Ventura, Riverside & Fillmore have blessed far beyond our wildest dreams. I love working with these dear people!! I’m amazed at all the new friends and colleagues God has linked me/us with around the world. I can’t express enough my gratitude for all those who have stood with me financially and who have prayed for me as I’ve traveled and ministered.
I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to spend precious moments with Rachelle & Kai and talk on the phone with Rus (yay, he’s coming down for Christmas, first time I will have seen him since October 2009). I’m thankful for the love and encouragement of my brothers and sister- Gary, Tim, Steve & Janice.
All of you are very special gifts to me and I’m so thankful to have you in my life and ministry.
Thank you Father, Son & Holy Spirit for your presence in our lives and for continuing to give us hope, purpose and opportunity to make You known and bring you glory in a deeply troubled world.
“Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind. Let them sacrifice thank offerings and tell of his works with songs of joy” Psalm 107: 21-22
Wishing you a Very Happy Thanksgiving!!
Yours in His Grace,