Friday, May 20, 2016

Springtime in Coquille

We took a few days after the lighthouse to rest and camp at Bastendorff beach.  William’s daughter and grandkids came up for a few days as well.  After a few days of that, we had planned to go back to Crescent City for the month of April, leaving on Fri. the 8th; however, as we set out, the RV was running down the road with no problem one minute, then just quit the next … no warning, no reason we could figure (except maybe not getting fuel?) and we ended up on the side of the road for quite some time trying to figure it out.  We ended up starting it and went back to Coquille and prayed about what we should do.  God said to stay in Coquille.  We realized we didn’t fully understand God’s intent when a few months ago we thought we were to go to Crescent City for 2 months.  What God said a few months ago was that we were to have our month of March there and then “spend more time in Crescent City helping at the mission and doing street ministry.”  We took that to mean we were to spend 2 months there, which is what we told everyone.  When we sat there in Coquille re-evaluating what we were to do, we realized God didn’t necessarily mean we were to stay another month, but rather, to go to Crescent City at various times throughout the year (thus, spending more time) there for a few days to a week or so.  I kind of felt bad because I had been telling everyone we were coming back to work with them all, plus I enjoy that kind of work.   I felt real bad because William had told Mike (at Our Daily Bread) he would paint his kitchen for him – now he won’t be able to do so.   

We’ve been having some great study/bible/talking time lately – lots of great insights into many different things, especially the end days we are in, what we will be doing (seminars and talks about Creationism vs Evolution, prophecies coming to pass, etc.) from town to town, etc.   We found an awesome video by Ken Wyatt about finding the Ark of the Covenant, Noah’s Ark, etc.

William is an incredible hard-worker.  Elizabeth had asked us back this year to 'flip' Ken's old house (he's doing great in the nursing home), and get it ready by the end of summer.  We park for free on the property and William does the work (at a very reduced pay).  He is such a servant of Jesus, that he almost gives his work away!  He has already replaced the roof (only half) and is already texturing and painting the kitchen.

I, in the mean time, have been doing my art and gardening.  My garden at the community gardens is doing great – I’ve been eating a lot of lettuce, spinach, and collards out of it – I’ve even gotten the meat market lady to barter with me – she’ll take some of my greens in exchange for meat!  Cool.  I had planted a bunch of herbs in a big planter box in front of the house here, but only the cilantro has come up.  I’ve found several wooden boxes and containers around the house, so I’ve planted tomatoes, peppers, and flowers in them and put them around the RV.  In the end, I’ll have a lot of produce to barter with, can, and eat.

I’ve been putting the jewelry (I turned the little house into my art studio and storage) I’ve been making into the farmers market (there’s a consignment table so I don’t have to stay all day) AND I’ve made arrangements to do the same at the weekly flea market at the community center.  I’ll be creating other things for these, as well.

Even though we are stationary and working, we still find time to minister to others.  One day a couple weeks ago, Joe (another dedicated circuit rider) stopped by for a visit.  It had been at least 5 years since we’ve seen him.  He had picked up a couple girls who were hitchhiking and they were all headed to Albany.  They spent the evening/next morning with us (the girls slept on the floor of the house and Joe in his car).  That was a God encounter all the way.

Joe normally drives his RV and tows his car, goes from place to place preaching, and has been doing this for years.  Recently; though, he left his RV in Washington somewhere, drove his car to CA to see his father, then on his way back up to Washington found these homeless girls in a troublesome spot in Klamath, CA.  He basically ‘rescued’ them and agreed to take them to Albany, where they had a job waiting for them.  Joe has these bible verses all over his car and as the girls tell it, it was scary but it felt right to get in the car with him.  Of course, Joe preaches all the way.  So they get to Coquille and we hang out for the evening.  As it turns out, these girls are in their late teens/early 20s, both having been raised Christian; however, as many do, turned away from their upbringing due to the hypocrisy they saw in the church and their own families.  Like I always tell people, look to God, not to people, because people will ALWAYS fail you.  Anyway, the father of one of the girls was a pastor and ‘fell’ from grace about 10 years ago, and she had a great bitterness toward him for ‘destroying’ her family.  The other girl held a great deal of bitterness toward her mother due to her life-style choices.  Both girls were on a journey to ‘find’ themselves.  Then they meet up with Joe and us - we basically tag-teamed with Joe and really ministered to these girls all evening and into the next morning.  Before they left, we all prayed together and they hugged us (multiple times between the eve/morn) – them initiating it.  I guess we really made a difference to them.

Our Lighthouse Experience

We ‘moved’ into the Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City, CA, on Feb. 29th and stayed through April 1st.  We didn’t do as many tours as we did the last time we were there (Mar. ’13) due to tide levels and extreme storms (at least 100 mph winds a couple of times!) the first half of the month.  To give an idea of how awesome this place is, I’ve included excerpts from my journal:  

Feb. 29 – Wow and Wow!  I’m blown away!  4pm or so, I’m sitting in the bedroom at the lighthouse, wrapped in a blanket on a wonderful lounge chair, looking outside at the waves!  I just experienced the most wonderful spa experience!  The bathroom here has a deep, claw-foot tub.  I filled it with hot water and had a wonderful soak.  LOVED IT!  Then I got out and opened the window, wrapped in a towel, sat there at the window looking out at the surf.  There was a light mist, bit waves crashing on the rocks below (about 57 degrees), sea gulls flying by.  So awesome!  I then got back in the tub after adding more hot water.  I had to have been in there an hour!  We totally didn’t expect to be in the lighthouse today.  I thought for sure it was the 1st we changed hands.  We spent last night on the beach, such an awesome view.  

It still amazes me how God provides reading materials at specific times – God directs every step of my path: Karen Kingsbury’s book “The Family of Jesus, p. 206 “…take care of the gift that has been entrusted to [us].  When we receive a gift, a child, a career, a dream come true, how do we hold it?  Some of us hold tightly to whatever has been given to us.  As a result, over time we often forget the blessing’s origin.  Stewardship is always about holding something loosely.  Remember the last time you were at the beach and you tried to hold sand in your hand?  You gripped it, and what happened?  It pushes out between your fingers and falls to earth. But when you hold it loosely, it stayed in the palm of your hand.  The same is true with our blessings.  We stay diligent when we believe, ‘every good and perfect gift is from above’ James 1:17.  

I look at this time in the lighthouse as a gift.  I look at the time we spent ministering to Brian, or Methias, or Justin, as a gift.  I see our lifestyle (traveling and the tools we need) as a gift.  It’s amazing that the more I thank Him, the more He gives us gifts!  (Luke 1:57-80)  “In the asking, you gain a knowing.  As you ask things of God, you begin to know what God is concerned about, what He is like.  God is always just and perfect and good.  He gives provision.  He knows what is best for us and what’s required for His love story to move forward.  His answers and directions come to us not according to our timetable, but according to His.  At just the right moment.  And when that moment occurs, we should have an overwhelming and immediate response – the same as that of Zechariah.  Our mouth should form words of gratitude and praise.” P. 220
“Believe in God’s faithfulness.  Zechariah believed in God’s faithfulness.  Faith implies movement.  Faith exposes us.  We are creatures of comfort.  By our nature we take the path of least resistance.  Every time we believe in God, we choose not to place our faith in some false sense of security.  Belief in God makes us give up any sense of control. Zechariah understood this.  He willingly gave up control of his own dreams when every day he returned to God in prayer, believing.  This is an important principal to understand when it comes to the tension of understanding God’s will and our desires: if God has initiated the desire, He will answer the prayer.  Just be prepared.”  P. 221

John [the Baptist] understood that God’s work required ambition.  [His] approach was confident and aggressive. … [some] might have accused him of being overly zealous or ambitious. … But John seemed to understand that his was a job given by God alone.   God had called John to warn the people, to prepare the way, and John led it with every bit of his energy, emotion, and effort. … [he] was born to prepare the way for the savior. … Some define ‘leadership’ as ‘influence’.  Worldly leaders during John’s day had wealth, prestige, titles, and earthly power.  Yet they did nothing to redeem the world.  They lived for a different agenda.  Their names do not give us hope.  We don’t remember them.  Rather, history remembers John the Baptist and his calling, his preaching.  Pp. 236-37.

This is reaffirming – God called us, especially William, to preach in these last days.  As he is preparing himself to ‘die’ even more to self and give 100% to the calling, he is willing but finds it harder to really forsake all and live 100% devoted to his calling – to get people prepared for Christ’s soon coming.  People label us as over-zealous and ‘out there’, but we know we are on a mission from God and we aren’t the crazy ones!  James 1:27 – perfect religion is to take care of orphans and widows.  Orphans:  the people who are not blood-related to us.  Those who are orphaned out there in the world – their Father in Heaven wants to be their father.  Widows – those stripped of life support (family, friends, the world) – Jesus is their husband!  That is why we are called the Bride of Christ!

March 6 – Wow, what a glorious day in the Lord today was.  We spent a bit of time in the Lord today, but mostly listening to and singing praises and worship songs.  So awesome!  Not only that, but an incredible storm hit today.  Huge waves, 50-70 mph winds and ice crystals even!  We were supposed to give tours today, but no surprising, no one came!  What was even fun, was that we went out and ‘played’ in the storm.  We went outside and the wind was so strong, it actually pushed us!  Ice pelted our face and the rain came down sideways – we were dancing around, singing, and acting like kids!  So fun!  Then, we went up into the tower and got out on the catwalk; however, the weather was lifting at that point, with a glorious sunset, winds calmed way down and rain quit.  Totally awesome day!

March 9 – I can’t get over how awesome this place is!  Today is another stormy day – the wind is probably 50+ mph, but warm.  We went outside and around the building and it about knocked us over.  I love storms.  The waves are so high, breaking over the tops of the rocks and sending spray all over.  Love it!  Laura called this morning and was concerned I was in a dangerous spot – there are storms all up and down the coast, more intense in Oregon going inland, lots of flooding.  I told her I was in a 160-year-old building and it’s safer than anything else around! 

When we first got to Crescent City, we went by “Our Daily Bread” Mission and connected with our friends there.  The last time we were here (Mar. ’13) we really hit it off with a few people and we wanted to make sure we cultivated those friendships and offered our help at the mission.   We met many new people this month and such awesome experiences.  I ended up starting prayer meetings at the lighthouse and William preached a couple times at the mission.  We joined (on some days) the daily bible study being held at a local restaurant by the owner, I spoke at a couple women’s meetings during the month, and we took a group out to the park to do ministry one day.   That ended up being awesome.  Several of us gathered at the park, we prayed together, then I read the above verses.   What was cool was that at the mission in discipleship training class the day before, they had just gone over some of these verses and talked about this stuff.  That was confirmation for me that we were on the right track.  We commenced to singing out loud in acappella, then broke up into teams of 2 and went out to meet people.  

There is a big-time despair over this area, lots of unemployment, homelessness, and drugs.  There is no unity among the churches in the area, everyone keeps to themselves.  So we focused our prayers on the salvation of this area, unity among the pastors/churches, revival.  During our prayer meetings and bible studies, we shared the paper we had on the Hebrides Islands by Duncan Campbell about revival. – we wanted to spark revival in the hearts of everyone we touch, we need to have intense prayer to see revival in the land.  Also, how we need to encourage the whole body to unity.  I also shared how multitudes of prophecies have been said over the Northwest about revival starting here and spreading East.  We encouraged them, saying that we believe that something big will happen this year.  Others said they’ve had a vision of the poor, the outcast, the destitute rising up in a great army of God.   We see the same thing!  Like in the wedding feast (Matt. 22:9) that the leaders, the rich were invited but did not come, but those who were outcast, etc. did.  It is like what Mal. 3 says (we believe that God gave us that chapter over Crescent City for this time) that God has come to refine His Bride, that we are the gold and silver (not the tithes of money that churches preach) that we are being purified through our trials and tribulations.  It is a message to the church today – so many preach wealth and prosperity, that it’s all about us being comfortable and rich.  All the verses in the bible dealing with such are not about money, it’s about the souls of men, about our souls/spirits being rich in the Lord.  Unfortunately for the organized church, God has finally turned them over to their own desires and they are now starving themselves AND the people – God is displeased about that!  Mal. 3:10 – by bringing in the souls of men (tithes and offerings) we will have food (spiritual manna) and God has already proven to us how he opens the windows of heaven to pour down on us more!  We see the distinction more and more now (v18) of those who truly seek God and those who are self-seekers.

We’ve spent a great deal in prayer during the month and in the word (minor prophets are really applicable today):  Mal. 3 and Isaiah 51:1-8 are proclaimed for this area Mark 1 and ch. 8 (about the generations), Matt. 11:20, Luke 7:34-35, and Ez. 33 & 34, Zech 3 & 4 (esp. 4:6-7).  Such awesome stuff!  God talks so clearly to us if we would just listen!  I wish people would just get this stuff – Jesus is coming so soon, like in the next couple years!  These are His words to His people for NOW.   We saw a video online that really made some things clear for me about prayer:   It was awesome.

During one of our prayer meetings, we read Is. 41:17-20 and the other lady agreed and spoke with power saying the poor shall arise into a great army of evangelists in these last days.  The poor had been seeking their spiritual ‘food’ and ‘water’ in today’s ‘churches’ where there is no meat or Living Water.  They go away parched and cast aside.  Jesus is their teacher, God will raise them up (just like William) out of their impoverished lives and speak forth with power and knowledge, having experienced the Living God, the Holy Spirit as their teacher – Who more perfect is that?!  Then when I got to vs. 19, the lady said she saw all types of people: lawyers, homeless, bankers, ex- prostitutes, standing together, doing the work of the Kingdom together, and the only explanation for such groupings is that God made it happen.

We spent some time hanging out at the mission this month.   We met this one couple who are homeless from Washington.  They had just arrived in Crescent City that day looking for his sister who lives here.  He hadn’t seen her in 16 years, but was sure she still lived here.  The night before, they were in Grants Pass, and slept in some brush/trees for the night.  Half-way through the night, they were rained out of that area and went to find an underpass, got themselves situated and realized that the spot they chose was in the run-off area for the rain and got even more soaked.  They had a miserable night; but what I found so awesome about them, was that they praised God for everything!  She was obviously very thankful to God for taking care of them every step of the way, always providing for them.  She especially was a strong believer.  They hitched a ride from GP to CS from a trucker and had gotten dropped off at Walmart, where a cashier pointed them to the mission.  The mission was open for all night because of the weather.  I’m glad Mike does this – there are upwards of 20 who usually stay the night when bad weather hits.

Another person we met, Donna (a self-proclaimed circuit rider) had a wonderful afternoon with her  - invited her up to the lighthouse and had a great talk.  She took us out to lunch first.  We were heading to the Redwoods, but God changed our plans!  Arrow and Jasper are both Native Americans.  We met them both at the mission and have talked with them several times.  Arrow came to the prayer meeting on Fri. and Jasper came to the Easter service – both were greatly affected by William’s sermons.

During the week prior to Easter, William was interviewed on KPOD radio and there was an article in the Triplicate about the Easter service.   That weekend ended up being very good, nothing says it better than my journal entries: 

March 25 –It is Good Friday – William walked the cross through Crescent City this morning starting at 8 am from the Daily Bread mission to the lighthouse.  One lady was dressed as Mary and walked behind him.  His route took him down Hwy. 101, then turned to go through the main downtown (where the grocery store, banks, Triplicate are), then down to Front St. ending at the lighthouse.  There were a lot of reactions from people, from the honking of horns, to people stopping and watching them.  I heard later about a lady who was driving, was so overcome by what she saw, she started crying and stopped her car to recover.  We got back to the lighthouse about 8:30 and William walked the cross up the hill.  I heard people talking on the beach about how spectacular that was.  He planted it in the hole where the flag pole used to be.  We set up our sound system out there and played praised and worship music all day.   Then around 9:30 we started our all day prayer meeting, we sang a bit then William preached a bit.  Those who weren’t staying on the isthmus all day left around 11 when the tide came in.  Only 2 ladies stayed for the day, we had a great day of praise and prayer.

March 27 – Easter!  Wow, what an awesome day – cloudy at sunrise, but as the morning progressed the sun came out, very little wind, and it turned out to be a beautiful day!  We started about 8 am, at least a dozen or so people were here at the start, others arrived throughout the morning.  We had borrowed a large coffee maker and a table from Daily Bread ministries, so we had coffee, cinnamon rolls, and cookies out for everyone.  We sang for a bit then William gave an awesome message.  Everyone was in complete agreement that it was a wonderful service.  We kept the coffee and cookies out for the rest of the day to give out to those who visited the isthmus, as well as kept the music playing – we kept it playing and several people stood out there by the cross and got their pictures taken, many came up to us (we wandered around throughout the day talking to people) and said how much they appreciated the music and treats.

Later in the day, one of the ladies who hangs at the mission came out –we ended up sitting there talking with her a bit, quietly binding up the spirits that were on her (since she was very agitated), and tried to speak about Jesus and His saving blood – as we continued to speak, she calmed down a bit and became more coherent.  While dealing with her, another lady (and her friend) came up, whom I had met at the Aglow meeting.  This lady was supporting her friend as she walked slowly, because it was obvious she was very weak and very sickly.  She had told me she brought her friend up specifically for me to pray for and with!  Wow!  It was obvious it taxed her a great deal to walk up to the lighthouse, so I invited them in (the wind had picked up by then and had a cold bite to it) the chartroom to warm up and talk.  I came to find out her friend had stage 4 cancer and that she just finished another bout of chemo and was very weak.  She obviously believes in healing, because she was very sincere when she asked me to pray healing over her.  I first talked to her about Jesus and His healing ministry (we always preach the Word before praying healing over someone).  I got the 3x5 cards out William and I had recently made on all the healing scriptures – done in red from the Philip’s translation.  I read several of them to her, telling her that Jesus first off, had compassion (love) for the people and wanted them all healed – when He did exactly that – went around casting out demons (of sickness) and healed everyone.  I told her that these cards (I gave them to her) were her ‘prescription’ and that she was to ‘take’ it (read them out loud) 20 times a day.  Every time she felt bad or felt like complaining, she was to sing praise songs.  I told her how I too believe in complete healing, and that God healed me of several things back on 2008.  When she had first came in to pray, she was very down, depressed looking, weak, etc. but when we were done talking/reading/praying, she had a smile on her face and went away much stronger looking.  Her friend that brought her here was singing and praising God the whole time.

A few days after Easter, we met Shawn at Denny’s – he remembered us from 3 years ago.  We sat down at a booth and the guy in the next booth points to William and says, “I remember you.  I walked behind you when you walked the cross through town.”  We both looked at each other and thought, only Reba walked behind him.  We looked back at him and he said, “I met you 3 years ago!”  We had a great chat, he told us that he still helped out at Daily Bread.