Monday, July 2, 2018

Ministry Update: Summer 2018

We recently returned from a ministry trip out to Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were blessed to visit our friends who are pastoring a couple of congregations out there these days, as well as to preach and minister.

The Holy Spirit moved in a powerful way touching the majority of the people in both congregations in a glorious way.
The Holy Spirit falls on a young man as 
Patrick and our friend Callum pray for him.


Ministering during one of the services 
at Arbol de Vida in Colorado Springs, Colorado. 

The pastor told me afterward what a blessing it was to see so many of the people in both congregations get so touched, filled, and empowered, by the Holy Spirit like that.

In fact, one lady was powerfully and dramatically overcome by the presence of the Lord and fell over. She lay there being filled for quite some time soaking up God’s presence and afterwards shared with us how she has not been touched by the Lord like that in over 19 years, glory!

It was a blessing to see the Lord touch many in a deep way with His healing power as well. When He began His ministry, Jesus quoted from the Prophet Isaiah and His words were:
The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He hath sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised. Luke 4:18, KJV

We can see from this passage that Jesus is concerned with healing the whole of the person, inside and out. There are broken hearts and emotional bruises inside many that the Lord wants to heal when the Holy Spirit is given room to minister. We were blessed to see the Lord minister healing both on the inside and outside while we prayed and ministered to many there. We got many testimonies afterwards of how blessed, and renewed, and restored they were!

The Holy Spirit ministered both inside and outside the church too. We were just hanging out in our friends’ home, in the kitchen talking, when out of nowhere the Holy Spirit descended in power touching all of us powerfully and bringing forth some healing to a few there as well! Hallelujah!

Speaking of outside the church, we also had a divine appointment with a maid at a little motel we stayed at on the way. We ended up praying for her after having shared with her. She said she already believed in Jesus but was very alone here in America. When we prayed for her she said she felt power go down through her and the touch of Christ in her! She was so thankful for a touch from God! Glory!

We were also blessed recently to get together with a friend visiting Los Angeles, California, from Norway. We were blessed to have the Holy Spirit show up and minister to each of us as we just took a little time for some prayer together near the beach. Interestingly enough, the exact same thing happened with a friend from Sweden who was in California recently too. We were just praying before a meal together when the Holy Spirit showed up, took over, and poured His presence out on all of us! Jesus spontaneously ministered wherever the Father led him to, whether it was to one individual, or a group of people. It is all equally important to the Lord.

We had a blessed time ministering as well at Iglesia Antioquia, down in the South San Diego area recently.

There was a powerful move of the Holy Spirit which came right at the very end. We had just preached and also ministered in what had been a blessed service already.

However, right as things were wrapping up, I discerned the Holy Spirit leading me to go back and pray for one more person. The power of God came upon him very strongly and then the person next to him got powerfully filled too. A chain reaction-like move of the Holy Spirit took place which soon engulfed pretty much the whole church. This resulted in extending the service and continued ministry for roughly another hour with most everyone there getting ministered to; it was an awesome time! Hallelujah!

The Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 2:4-5:
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on man’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

Paul in fact emphasizes the importance of the Holy Spirit’s role in ministry over against relying on human wisdom as the important factor for buoying faith and encouragement.

We are thankful for all the ways we are, and have been, able to be instruments of extending Christ’s Kingdom and the power of His Holy Spirit to others (we have more ministry we’ve been doing that we’ll share another time).

We so appreciate you partnering with us and helping us in extending the Kingdom of God and ministering to others. We know He’ll bless you for it as His word promises! Many thanks in Jesus’ Name to you!

Happy Fourth of July! As we celebrate Independence Day, it's a good time to reflect on America's Christian roots with our video on Plymouth's Pilgrims and their Christian Faith to get some insight on this topic. (Direct link: https://youtu.be/xRM3-jqexe0)

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support, it is such a blessing and keeps us out there doing the stuff!

Much love and blessings!

Bryan, Mercedes and Patrick Marleaux

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ministry Update--March 2018

Resurrection Blessings to You


As we approach Easter it is important to remember how Jesus endured the cross for us.
Jesus said before going to the cross “no man takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.” (John 10:18) Jesus went to the cross willingly and paid the price for our sin so that we might have forgiveness and eternal life! Hallelujah!

He rose from the grave victorious over sin and death and the same power that raised Christ from the grave, the Holy Spirit, is given to us who have believed upon Christ (Eph. 1:19-20). Praise God! His presence is with us to comfort, empower, and lead, as we go forth in our walk with the Lord.


St. Patrick


The Lord, through generations of history, has drawn individuals unto Himself to receive salvation, and then used them with that same resurrection power that raised Christ from the grave, to reach others.

The person we know as St. Patrick actually grew up in Roman Britain in a Christian home; in fact, his grandfather was a minister in the Celtic church. However, Patrick himself didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ.

Having been kidnapped by barbarians and taken to Ireland around 16 years of age, he was made a slave and forced to herd pigs. He had much time to contemplate life and began to call out to God and experienced a conversion to Christ.

He was actually able to escape to the coast and there find a ship to take him on and go back to Ireland, all through a dream God gave him.

When he came back to Roman Britain and reconnected with his family they were astonished, it was like he had risen from the dead.

Later on he was called to go back to Ireland through a dream where he heard the voice of the Irish calling him: “We beseech you to come and walk amongst us once more.” He didn’t leave right away though, but took time to prepare.

Later, as he ministered to the Irish, he saw many converted to Christ as he relied on the power of God. And in spite of opposition and resistance from pagans and druids, he saw many come to Christ. His earlier time there had also prepared him to understand the Irish and how to reach out to them.

As God’s grace and power had impacted Patrick’s life, he went on to leave a legacy of impacting others with that same truth.


More in Depth


If you would like to hear more on: “Christ’s Trial and Crucifixion” as well as “The Real St. Patrick”
We are beginning to put our audio programs on a new format for us. As well as the formats we’ve been already using, we are now putting audio programs on SoundCloud (https://soundcloud.com/graceworldmission) where they can be more easily heard anytime on your phone, tablet, or computer.

We have many other videos and audio programs that range from Bible teaching, to figures in Christian history, to revivals. You can visit our web page for links to them. You can also hear some of our music there and at Bryan Marleaux (https://soundcloud.com/bmarleaux) on SoundCloud too.


Brief Update


We had a powerful time ministering in San Diego and were stoked to see many people getting powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit in an awesome way. The Lord was touching so many powerfully with His Spirit it was just an absolutely renewing time. We also had many who made decisions for Christ. We also had an amazing move of the Holy Spirit as we ministered in the OC recently. We were joined in the service by a friend from France who is visiting the U.S. at the moment, who helped us in praying for others at the service. He said it was actually first time he’d prayed for other people like this. In fact, he and our son Patrick effectively prayed for many people that day who were powerfully touched by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit has been moving very powerfully touching and filling many people as well as releasing healing and lifting off heaviness and darkness. The pastor in OC also got so touched that she was on the floor for some time and needed help getting up, and then the Lord touched her and others with His Joy where many were so overcome they couldn’t stand, including ourselves. It was an awesome time of visitation of the presence of the Lord.

There was also an Iranian woman who had come into the service in OC, she hadn’t been there before and didn’t know that it is a Spanish-speaking church. However, she happened to show up the one day when the message was also in English, as Mercedes was translating to Spanish what I preached in English that day. The Iranian lady heard the message of the Gospel and then came up first to just get prayer for an ailment, but when she experienced the reality of the power of the Holy Spirit she opened her heart and received Jesus as her Savior! Hallelujah! Her father also had some seeds planted as we talked and shared and prayed for him at the end of the service.

We have been having meetings in the high desert with some friends of ours over the years that we call PrayerFests. We often have people there who haven’t experienced the filling of the Holy Spirit, so we share some testimonies of how we experienced the fullness of the Spirit along with some Scriptures and then pray for those who’ve come. We’ve seen many from different denominational backgrounds, ones that are not even open to this type of activity, get touched and filled with the Holy Spirit! Praise God! We recently had one where a couple who was very new to this saw the husband get deeply touched and filled with the Holy Spirit. Another woman who was there got powerfully ministered to and greatly encouraged by the love and presence of the Lord she experienced! Hallelujah!

We have had some powerful divine appointments recently as well, where we had opportunities to share the Gospel in effective ways with others. One was with a couple in the mountains who just came up and asked me to take a picture of them, turned out they happened to know a friend of ours who we prayed for to be filled with the Holy Spirit in Hawaii some years back (link to video) This opened the door to share with them in a powerful and effective way. We also had the opportunity to share with a man from Cuba who we talked with about the love and grace of Christ!

On the home front, we’ve been having some battles with our transportation situation as our cars have been having some issues. We always appreciate your prayers and support, thanks so much!

Be blessed this Easter season!

Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux




You can check out our program The Real St. Patrick on audio and video

Friday, February 9, 2018

Ministry Update--2017 In Review



We are thankful for all the Lord did in 2017 as we ministered in a number of different places and saw the Lord save, fill, empower, set free, and heal.

We were also blessed to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. This being quite the milestone, we headed up early before some ministry in Canada to take some time to celebrate and enjoy a little of the scenery before we ministered. We were blessed to visit Banff and Jasper National Parks taking in some of the awesome views of the glaciers on some hikes.

We ministered in Canada on Vancouver Island, where we saw the Holy Spirit move in power and do some amazing things, powerfully filling people and breaking into the lives of those who didn't have a Spirit-filled Christian background at all. In fact, one particular guy who had come to a meeting we did, who was not from a Spirit-filled background, had encountered a verse from the book of John on the Holy Spirit earlier that day. Then, when we did some worship and without knowing what he had read earlier, I felt led to play a song based on that very verse as well as share on it. He came to the realization that the Lord was preparing him and that he needed to be filled with the Holy Spirit. We began to pray for him and the Holy Spirit came upon him in great power for the first time in his life and he experienced the gift of tongues. He was so powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit he couldn't continue to stand and had to be held up by others, he was so touched! Another guy helping hold him up also got filled with God's power and exclaimed: "That was amazing, never in my life have I experienced something like that!" Hallelujah!

We ministered up and down the West Coast of California, down upon the Southern border region, and up along the Central Coast of California, as well as many other places where the Holy Spirit moved in power, including Isla Vista, Shell Beach, and Salinas. The Lord met us each step of the way here and overseas!

We were blessed to minister for three months in Europe in 5 different countries. The Lord did so much it would be easy to rewrite a whole account again, but rather than doing that, we'll just recap some of the highlights. You can check out our recent newsletter for a more in-depth report at: http://gwmgracenotes.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-praise-report-winter-2017.html

In England we were blessed to have some youth open their hearts to the Gospel and the message of Christ and also get powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit in a very dramatic way. The Holy Spirit came upon some of the kids in power who found themselves resting in the Spirit on the floor for some time. God touching the youth became a theme for many other places on the trip!

We were blessed in France to minister on the Reformation in preparation for a Reformation-based outreach event some friends were doing. In fact, some brothers from South Africa with a French Reformed (Huguenot) background showed up to intercede; led by the Spirit they showed up and came and prayed for the meetings. After a meeting where the Holy Spirit powerfully filled many there with the Holy Spirit with some dramatic manifestations, as well as some opening their hearts to Christ, they told us that was exactly what they'd been praying and interceding to see happen in France!

In Spain we ministered in Catalonia in the cities of Tarragona, Reus, and Barcelona, where we taught on being empowered and operating in the gifts of the Spirit. We were stoked to see the hunger there for the Holy Spirit and many were filled and empowered and moved to step out and minister. We also experienced a few being healed and coming to Christ! A divine appointment on the coast in between ministering led to a board being supplied and a chance to share the Gospel with a local Catalan surfer!

We were blessed to minister in some different regions of Sweden including Skåne and Småland. In Skåne, we preached in Hässleholm, Örkeljunga, and Trelleborg. The Lord moved in power and we got a lot of response, many shared how filled and renewed they were as we ministered. We were stoked to see the daughter of the family hosting us get powerfully filled and then join us in every meeting praying for others! Some of the leaders got powerfully filled too and were very insistent that the ministry we are doing is so needed there, and we must keep coming back. We also ministered in the region of Småland, on the East coast of Sweden, where a young lady came and told us how impacting and life changing our ministry was to her. 

We also had a couple of people open their hearts to Christ, some who had Muslim backgrounds. We spoke at a youth meeting focused on getting some of the youth filled with the Spirit, and out of nowhere, the Holy Spirit just swept in and started powerfully filling a group of them. They began to lift their hands and tears streamed down some of their faces as they prayed over one another and gave words of encouragement to each other. New believers with Muslim backgrounds joined in for the first time and began to pray for one another too, including the guy who had just accepted Christ earlier on in the meeting. The Holy Spirit continued to pour out long after many had gone home. A friend noticed the powerful change when the Holy Spirit swept in and said, "This is a miracle!" We knew it was a special moment as the Lord poured His Spirit over many who had never experienced His power like this before. 

A young guy who had been filled and touched in those meetings shared the following with us: The Lord had put such a fire in him that he had begun to share the Gospel with others, even sharing with a tough guy in town. He also was evangelizing on a bus and prayed for a lady who got healed, which opened a door to tell her about Jesus. This is a huge deal for someone in Sweden to step out like that as it is a very shy culture, but the Holy Spirit can transcend, and this is why we ourselves come to minister in God's power that others may be equipped to be His witnesses.

We ministered in Norway, in the town of Mandal. From the very first meeting, the Lord poured out His Spirit in a very powerful and remarkable way. In one of the youth meetings, late in the evening, the Holy Spirit just descended all of a sudden in power on a group of young teen girls, and the Lord touched them so deeply for such a long time that a puddle of tears gathered around their feet, and the Youth Group leader pointed out that it looked like pearls that had fallen down from heaven! You know it is significant when young people ignore a waiting pizza and flow with the Holy Spirit instead! We were stoked to be able to preach on Martin Luther and the Reformation at their Sunday services, two days before the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. Many of the older generation were very thankful to hear the story and were touched and refreshed, but many young people had never heard the story at all and were blessed by it as well. We closed by sharing about how Martin Luther emphasized the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit, and prayed for many to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

We were also blessed to get to go to Wittenberg, Germany, for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. October 31st, Reformation Day, was a pretty extraordinary day to be right there where the Reformation all began! The little town was packed with people from all over the world coming to celebrate this momentous event. Since it was so crowded, we rented and rode bikes into the town center, and as we were getting closer, a huge group of black cars and police with a helicopter hovering overhead passed by us. We hadn't known that the Chancellor of Germany would coming for a special service at the Castle Church. We had lots of divine appointments throughout the day with different people whom we shared with and prayed for as we were equipped with quotes from Luther and the Bible about the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit! 

There were many special events going on, including museum exhibitions as well as a sound and light show. There was also a musical about Luther in Berlin which was broadcast live all over the nation, and actually quoted many Bible verses. It was quite a unique moment for sure and we believe the Lord was using this occasion to plant many seeds in people's lives about the Gospel as well as draw many to Himself!

We truly appreciate all your prayers and support.
Many blessings to you!
Bryan, Mercedes, and Patrick Marleaux

P.S. We had a bit of a rough return coming back from Europe with the recent wildfires that hit the Southern California region. To read about our own experience during the wildfires in San Diego, click here.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Our Recent Wildfire Experience

We had quite the rough return after a recent three-month mission trip in Europe.

We were home just a short bit when wildfires broke out in our area. It is amazing how fast things can get heavy and crazy and throw life upside down, especially when you throw a wildfire into the mix.

Not long after we returned from Europe, Mercedes opened a window one morning and said, "I think I smell smoke." We found out that a fire had broken out in our general region; however, when we checked for some news on it, it seemed small enough and far enough away-miles up a canyon at the other end of the 76 Highway corridor-that it was probably not something to be concerned about. It didn't hit me until later that if we smell smoke this far away then the Santa Ana winds are moving exceedingly fast and are very strong.

The fire, which began small enough, soon mushroomed and doubled in size. Then as the day went on, it continued to multiply in size and came in our direction much, much faster than we expected. In fact, in just a few hours that day, it traveled a distance of about 12 miles and consumed over 4100 acres.

Patrick and I were out, having gone to take care of a few errands, and were driving on the highway when a local radio station began stressing how serious the fire situation had become in our area.

We cut things short, turned around, and headed back towards home to find out that you could see the flames raging into the sky right from a ridge a few blocks from our home. A little further down in the neighborhood from another viewpoint you could see that it was moving right in our direction. It was almost into a regional park filled with enormous amounts of dry brush and which is right down below from where we live. The newscasters were warning that being up a hill is no defense with these winds as the fire actually accelerates as it climbs upwards-heat rises! That regional park was a potential tinder box if the fire got into it. It could rage through it and send embers and flames right into the neighborhoods adjacent to it where we live.

We got home, turned on the news and the newscaster was showing a graphic map-it was what I had just been looking at and thinking about moments before while staring at the flames: the path of the fire, if the wind kept up and the firefighters couldn't stop it, is headed straight towards us and will shortly explode with embers in that park, flying into the adjacent neighborhoods. I thought to myself, Trying to stop the onward march of the flames with these 50 mph Santa Ana winds is like trying to stand on railroad tracks and stop a rushing locomotive with a trash can lid! It can only be stopped by divine intervention, not by might or human power…

As I thought about that we got a call right then from the Sheriff's department saying: "This is an evacuation warning: wildfire is headed in your direction. Prepare to evacuate!" Of course, seeing: 1. the flames headed in our direction, 2.the graphic map on the news, 3. the phone call from the Sheriff's department, we were getting quite concerned to put it mildly.

We immediately took time to pray and then afterwards began to get packed up and ready to go. What do we take and what do we leave behind? I thought. Just the stress of immediately having to decide what to pack up and what to leave behind is overwhelming. While contemplating which things do I leave behind to possibly burn to a cinder, thoughts of a former experience like this raced into my mind from the past...


Reflections from the Past



We were living in Corona Del Mar (CDM) the south end of Newport Beach, some years back, when hard blowing Santa Ana winds came up and fire broke out nearby. I had ridden my bike that day earlier into the Newport Coast area, a stretch of coast to the south of CDM with some open land and lots of dry brush. Fire was raging in the area and I watched as the surrounding brush became a torch to light up multimillion dollar homes in the Emerald Bay and Laguna Beach area.

These places had all the defensible space and things supposed to protect them, but the fire just ripped right into them. Mobile homes adjacent to Emerald Bay in El Moro Park went up like matchboxes while their propane tanks-which are designed to withstand high heat-blew up like bombs. I could hardly believe the devastation I was seeing with my own eyes. I thought, This stuff is like a steamroller, when that wind and fire get going, it just flattens whatever is in its path.

The wind switched while looking on and chatting with a reporter from a local news station, and all of a sudden, a telephone pole caught fire and crashed down right next to us with live wires sparking and making noise. We looked at each other and he said what we both knew: "Time to get out of here before the whole place goes up."

The wind and fire were now headed north. I entered Corona Del Mar on my bike into a bizarre scene: the sun had gone down and an eerie orange glow lit up the sky while people frantically ran down the streets in panic as an evacuation warning had just been given. Mercedes had already packed some things up and put them in the car when I got back, and we waited on pins and needles for further news while contemplating what else to take. Nothing was forthcoming, so I called a friend about midnight who lived in Cameo Shores at the south end of town and closest to the fire. He informed me that thankfully the wind had just subsided and the firefighters were able to keep the fire from getting out of Newport Coast and into Corona Del Mar. We thanked God and were able to get a bit of fitful sleep.

That past experience, watching those places go up in Laguna Beach and El Moro, made me think of our present situation, how crazy this could get if things don't calm down.


Back in the Present Situation



Remembering how heavy it all can get, we continued to pray seriously for the winds to die down and intermittently headed back to a viewpoint to check on what was happening. The situation was concerning, with each check the fire seemed to be getting bigger and coming closer.

In the intermittent time of being left hanging again without further word from the Sheriff, I came across a book I felt led to open and read. It was one of sermons by Martin Luther. The Lord began to speak out of it to me. Luther talked about how the Holy Spirit doesn't make Christians into some super saints who don't experience difficulty, or feel stress, or worry, but rather the Holy Spirit comforts us, ministers to us, and helps us when we feel stress, anxiety, and worry. Whatever we might feel in the heart or go through in life, He is there to minister to us. We do not need to act religious or pretend that we don't feel these things sometimes in life, but rather we need to fall into the arms of Christ who helps us and holds us up by the Holy Spirit in times of trial.

As I read a bit from this book we let God minister to us, we needed His strength in this situation. I then headed out to the viewpoint for another situation update. Thank God the wind finally had subsided a bit about 3:00 AM and things calmed down some too. I came back and fell asleep on a chair, exhausted from all the stressful activity, getting just a couple of hours of fitful sleep.

Early in the morning I headed out for another check and situation update, remembering how just a few years ago in San Diego the wind and fires looked like they died down during the night, only to explode again in the early morning, with harsh winds kicking back up and the raging inferno raging on. Thankfully, back then we had been further away from the flames.

As I looked out over the ridge I thanked God the wind had stayed calmer, it was blowing some, but not raging. I was also glad as I saw the Marine's helicopters dumping water and greatly helping fight the still-burning fire.

The most immediate threat for us had subsided, but we were by no means out of the woods, as wind and burning fire kept going for days afterward. Over 1000 firefighters kept on the front lines of just this, the Lilac Fire, for days, knowing a shift back to the hard winds could change everything in a moment.

A lot of stress hits you in these times and normal life takes a back seat for a while. Having seen what kind of destruction these things can bring with my own eyes in the past, I was all too aware of how much more damage it could have done, which just adds to the overall stress of the situation.

In the middle of all this anxiety however, the Lord is there to help us. We should always remember that as God's children the Holy Spirit is there to comfort, minister to us, and strengthen us, no matter what situation or trial we may face in life. He is always there to help us, we just need to open our hearts to Him and let Him minister to us. "God works everything together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

The Lord also used Luther's words on the Holy Spirit to minister to another bit of stress: having just returned from a three-month mission trip and living on the road and regularly experiencing adventure and divine appointments and miracles is exciting…coming home to: taking out the trash, cleaning out weeds that invaded the yard, trying to fix a car where rats had climbed into the engine area and made a nest in and ate its wires, not so exciting. Missiologists have defined this stress of returning from a mission trip, regardless if it is a short or long trip, as a real thing! It has a specific name: Mission re-entry shock.

It hits people coming back from mission trips without them even realizing it. That's because it is physical: real stuff like jet lag makes you doze off at 6:00 pm and wake up at 2:00am, as well as the body needing to recover from being cramped in a tin can with 300 of your favorite friends in a miserable bus-in-the-sky for hours upon hours on end! We had over 30 hours of straight travel just getting home when you count all the connections and everything else on this return trip!

But it is more than just physical: we wrestle not against flesh and blood only, but against spiritual forces of darkness in heavenly realms. We can't forget that satanic forces attack those the Lord uses to get others saved, filled, healed, and delivered.

You do experience and feel more warfare hitting you the more people get saved, filled, healed, and delivered. It is important to remember to keep on the full armor of God lest the mood of Elijah at Horeb try and overtake us! (That is where Elijah got hit by darkness, heaviness, and spiritual warfare.)

Our old friend Lonnie Frisbee used to give us missionary advice and say: "When you're tired, hungry, worn out, upset, or exhausted, then realize you need to watch out! Because that is when the enemy will come at you hard! I tell you guys: guard your heart: I didn't, and it cost me dearly!, he explained.

The rest of his advice was to lean into Jesus and let the Holy Spirit minister to us fully-exactly what we watched Lonnie exemplify those last few years of his life, and also what Luther was talking about in the book I read during the fire!

The Lord used the wildfire to begin a process and do deeper stuff with the Holy Spirit within us. In fact, the fire just got the process going again once we were home from the trip, and we are rolling with the Holy Ghost now in the renewing process He's taking us through, something he actually began in us years ago, and is in fact, continuing to carry forth, something we all need in the Body of Christ.

After all, Jesus began His ministry with the words from the book of Isaiah about how He came to: heal the brokenhearted, set at liberty those that are bruised, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor-which means He came to proclaim grace. Stress bruises the mind and the soul and we all got to let the Lord heal us up as we live in a stress-filled world!

I heard Reinhard Bonnke say one time: "We should be people whom the Holy Spirit can minister to easily." Right on, I say to that! I encourage the same for you who have read this, as we all carry stress at times that we don't need to. We just got to give it to the Lord and let the Holy Ghost come in and minister to us and He'll lift it off, and He will even do much more glorious work if we let Him! Hallelujah!

How about this for a New Year's resolution: let Christ carry your burdens, and let the Holy Spirit fill you with His presence, all the time! Amen!

Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Blessings






And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7




Christmas and the Manger


We were just at the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation before returning home for the holidays. It was a momentous occasion, so coming back straight from that celebration, we have a few reflections on Christmas through that perspective:

While in Wittenberg, Germany, we were taking in how Martin Luther was awed with Christ’s birth and the poignancy of the manger. He points out that, right from His birth, Jesus was reaching out, communicating that even the lowest and most humble in society may find redemption in Him.

Even though Jesus’s inception was supernatural and of heaven via the Holy Spirit, Jesus didn’t float in on a cloud when He came into the world, but rather, God sent forth his Son to be born of a woman like the rest of humanity.

Moreover, God chose to bring Him forth in the most humble of fashions, being born in a lowly manger next to common barnyard animals, with their hay and dung, the kind of stuff that fills a place like that.

From His very birth, Jesus reaches out to us in our humble, broken, sin-stained state, as fallen human beings in need of redemption. He meets us right down in the dung of our sin and brokenness, and when we take hold of Him, He cleanses us and brings us into forgiveness, healing, and eternal life.

Luther said that when he preached, wrote, or translated the Scriptures, he wasn’t seeking to impress doctors and lawyers with big words, even though he actually had a number of doctors and lawyers in his congregation, but rather sought to communicate simply and clearly so that even the simple ploughboy and milkmaid might understand and receive from Christ.

We were just ministering in downtown San Diego at CDO Church recently and were speaking at their five different services about Martin Luther and the Reformation, using it as a platform to communicate the Gospel. Many responded to the message that weekend and opened their hearts to Christ, as well as many who were also filled with the Holy Spirit.


Christ Reaches Out to All


As we ministered that weekend, I found myself praying for a woman who had come forward wearing a uniform from a fast food chain restaurant. She looked like she’d come over straight from her shift as the uniform was dirty and messy, covered with hamburger stains. She had responded to the Gospel message earlier, and now came forward for prayer. As I prayed for her, she slowly opened up and the Lord began to pour His love and grace over her by the Holy Spirit in a powerful way to where tears filled her eyes as she lifted her hands.

The Lord doesn’t get impressed with outward appearances, coming forward in a messy, hamburger stained, fast food uniform is exactly what the manger is meant to represent. The Lord will meet anyone who just opens their heart, right where they’re at, right where we are at, and fill us with His grace, and love, when we just say yes to Christ.

Interestingly enough, even though Luther sought to communicate so that the ploughboy might understand, there were many also in the higher echelons of society touched by the Gospel as it was communicated by Luther.

One was Johann Sebastian Bach. The town of Eisenach had been a home, at times, for both Luther and Bach. Bach, one of the greatest classical composers ever, was hugely influenced by Martin Luther even though he lived in a later period than Luther. Luther’s writing on his own conversion as well as his theology had a great impact on Bach’s life. Luther said: “I learned theology through trial, temptations, and difficulties.” Bach was touched by God through Luther’s words and subsequently used over one hundred of Luther’s texts in his music.

Christ’s message of grace goes out to all, from the lowest to the highest: whosoever will may come. Bach’s life was touched by the Gospel through Luther, and Bach’s music continues to minister, even to this day. You’ll scarcely go to a wedding (even our own :) )without hearing Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desire.


Music Unchained


Luther himself had unchained music from years of tradition. Previous to Luther, only choirs of monks sung Gregorian chants in church in Latin, and the congregation was not permitted to participate.

This was another thing Luther changed by introducing what were called originally Psalms in the vernacular, later called hymns. Luther made songs in the language of the people that were meant to be sung by the entire congregation, very much a revolutionary step at the time, and one that stuck and is practiced today in churches, fellowship meetings, Bible Studies, etc., all over the world.

One of the more famous hymns Luther wrote was A Mighty Fortress Is Our God about God our Protector amidst trial, tribulations, and spiritual battle.

Another hymn often attributed to Luther, is Away in a Manger. Luther wrote about the Incarnation extensively, and wrote a lot of music on this topic.

Our Lord is a mighty fortress who reigns in heaven and helps us amid trial and spiritual battle. He is also the gentle baby in the manger, willing to meet us right where we are in the midst of our brokenness and difficulty.

I remember one time when I was on my way to preach at a small church in Sweden, when I tripped, fell, and slid down a steep, muddy, grassy hill, as I was about to go into the service. Oh, what an unexpected wild ride that was. I was wet and covered in mud. There was no time to change, so I just went ahead and preached and ministered that way. A young lady later gave a prophetic word in the service, saying how the Lord isn’t looking at the outward appearance: being wet and muddy didn’t hinder the Holy Spirit working through our brother. The Lord isn’t like our pretentious culture that focuses so much on outward appearances. Rather, He sees the heart and meets us right where we are at and is there to comfort and minister to us whatever trial or difficulty we may find ourselves facing or “tripping” into.

Christ is always there to pick us up, minister to us, comfort us. Whosoever will can receive grace and mercy by just opening their heart.

We pray the Lord blesses you this Christmas and into the New Year, and that He fills you in a fresh way with the reality of His grace, mercy, and love!

Much love and many blessings!

Bryan, Mercedes
and Patrick Marleaux

P.S. You can check other renditions of Christmas music we've also done by clicking here.

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Praise Report: Winter 2017

Euro Mission 2017


We recently returned from a 3-month extended mission trip to Europe where we ministered in England, France, Spain, Sweden and Norway! We experienced the Holy Spirit meeting us at every turn and were stoked to see people opening their hearts to receive Christ in the different places where we preached.

London 


We ministered at a weekend outreach in London, England, where people responded and made decisions and re-dedications for Christ, and where there was also a very powerful visitation of the presence of God. 



In fact, there were many who were filled with the Holy Spirit in a significant way, including some young kids who had also responded to the Gospel message we had shared. When they opened their hearts they were overcome with the Holy Spirit as the Lord poured out His power on them and some fell to the ground as the Lord flooded them with His presence. Some even laid on the floor inundated by God’s power, and were there receiving after being overcome by the Spirit for quite a long time. Young kids’ attention spans are always rather short, thus clearly God’s power took over as He filled them!

Saving and equipping the younger generation was a theme the Holy Spirit divinely brought up unexpectedly right from the beginning of this trip, and carried through in many other places. In fact, a taxicab that was supposed to come and get us did not show up. We called the company to find out they had somehow set up in their computer. So we contacted an Uber driver at the last minute. We were able to talk and connect with the Uber driver on the way, and as we shared with him, he began to point out how the younger generation in Europe especially needed the message of Christ. I felt what he was saying was prophetic for the service we were about to do. Then the pastor unexpectedly opened the meeting by talking about the importance of reaching the youth, as did Mercedes when she shared as we began to preach!

Like in many places today, secular humanism dominates in European public institutions that claim to be teaching but are instead indoctrinating. Also, there are clearly not enough vital, alive, gospel-communicating fellowships throughout Europe; this leaves a void in many young people’s lives. That void gets filled instead often by drugs, promiscuity, wanton living, cults, and on and on. A friend over there who goes to an upper-class, private, rather posh, private school, described the insanity of the rampant drug use, and wanton living, that goes on even there. Thus, it is imperative that the Gospel of the Kingdom be preached, shared, and communicated in all ways possible. The future generations must be reached if we want to have a future. 


Both of us preaching and sharing at an evangelistic outreach at Ark of God Church
in London, Patrick also got to share some too!

It is the Gospel of the Kingdom that is necessary in this day, the Gospel that has power to save, heal, and deliver from darkness! Those reached must also be filled with the Spirit! The power of God is a necessity with all the evil around these days. The pastor closed by stating what a blessed moment we had witnessed, as it isn’t so common to see young kids like this get so powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit. Praise God! The Lord poured out His power in a remarkable way and we had about 10 people open their hearts to Christ and many including kids get powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit as we ministered in London!


Praying for young kids in London who got
powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit.

We also had a historic moment in London, one of several on this trip. When Princess Diana died 20 years ago, we happened to walk, somehow, right into her memorial in Paris with all the activities going on. Just randomly, having taken a wrong turn, we came upon all the flowers and cards grieving her untimely passing. We just happened to be in London on this trip exactly 20 years after she died. There were many events carried out in her memory in the UK while we were there. It reminded us of how fast time goes by and how fragile and quickly life passes, whether one is a princess or a pauper, thus “we must do the work of the Kingdom while it is yet day.” (John 9:4)

France 


We then ministered in the Loire Valley of France. We spoke in Neuillé-Pont-Pierre and in Tours, at different meetings and services as well as a prayer meeting. We were speaking and teaching on the Reformation in preparation for an event the churches we worked with there were having celebrating the 500-year anniversary of the Reformation. Yes, a Reformation event in France of all places! The Reformation did touch France back in the day but serious persecution limited its impact.


With friends in France and the posters for the Reformation Event.

We shared about Martin Luther’s powerful conversion to Christ and awakening to the grace and mercy of God. Luther had run into desperation and exasperation with rituals and penance as a Catholic priest; however, revelation of Christ’s full payment for sin on the cross came to him as he read Paul’s letter to the Romans. 

The timing was strategic, especially with their upcoming event, as most there were not familiar with the story of Luther’s conversion. We communicated further how the subject can be used as a way to share the Gospel with others as a tool for evangelism, especially with those who may have a bit of religious background but don’t know Christ as their personal savior, as is common in France. The event itself was an outreach, so it was important to equip those involved with how to share the Gospel in conjunction with the event.

Speaking of evangelism, we had about 8 people altogether come to Christ in the various meetings we did while there, which also included ministering at an African church. A young guy from Kosovo, as well as a young French guy, were amongst those who opened their hearts to Christ, having been impacted by the Holy Spirit as there was a powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit at some of the meetings.

In fact, there were a couple of believers from South Africa who were of French Reformed (Huguenot) background, who were there specifically to pray for the meetings. They came up all the way from South Africa to intercede in prayer. They communicated to us personally after one of the main meetings we did on Sunday morning: the way the Lord moved, bringing some to salvation, as well as pouring out His Spirit, filling and empowering and refreshing many there, was exactly what they were interceding for! One of the sisters helping lead one of the churches told us how encouraged and strengthened she was by all the Lord did!

We were glad to see the Lord move in this way in a place that needs the Gospel so much. We were talking and praying with some friends on the way out of town whose kids told us how hard it is there in France as one often feels very isolated as a believer. Praise God for the comfort and encouragement the Holy Spirit brings!

Spain 


We ministered in the region of Catalonia, Spain. It was nice to minister in Spain again since we haven’t been there for some time. We actually connected through some friends who pastor a church in Colorado where we ministered at earlier this year. The new co-pastor and his wife were previously doing mission work in Catalonia and were so blessed by our ministry—the wife got powerfully ministered to when we prayed and prophesied over her— that they invited us to come to minister in Catalonia next time we traveled to Europe.


Praying as the Holy Spirit fills people at a workshop in Barcelona, Spain.

We were blessed to experience the Holy Spirit moving in a powerful way as we first ministered in the cities of Tarragona and Reus, and then after a short break, in the famous city of Barcelona. We were teaching at several workshops on the empowering of the Holy Spirit and how to operate in the gifts of the Spirit.


There was a receptive attitude amongst those who came to all the meetings we did to what we were teaching as well as to the work of the Holy Spirit. We experienced many getting filled with the Holy Spirit and equipped as the Spirit of God was poured out as we ministered and taught with many powerful manifestations of His presence, along with about 7 people altogether in the different meetings who opened their hearts to Christ.



Preaching as Mercedes interprets in Barcelona, Spain.

We also had some who received healing, amongst them a gentleman who regained lost sensation in his hand after praying for him. The pastors and their wives also expressed how encouraged and blessed they were. One of the pastors said publicly that these meetings we did were a line of demarcation and that he saw there would be a difference in his congregation and fellowship after these meetings where the Lord had so poured out His presence!

Holy Ghost Surfing Divine Appointments


We had a nice little break by the warm Mediterranean, in between ministering in Barcelona and Tarragona and Reus, where we enjoyed a few days on the beach. It was a necessary break in the middle of this long trip packed with lots of ministry. 

There were actually a few small waves that looked like they could be fun for a longboard or SUP if we could rent one or something. I checked out three different beach places that normally would rent equipment like that, but they all said it was past the season and had already stored that type of equipment away elsewhere. 

I was praying on what to do when Patrick and I were taking a little stroll on the boardwalk and a woman was walking a dog in front of us. I just felt led by the Holy Spirit to talk to her, completely out of the blue. I came up and started talking to her and it turned out after a few moments speaking Spanish that she spoke good English. I asked if she knew a place that might still rent surfboards or SUP’s anywhere in the area. She said everything was past the season for renting stuff, but, she knew the one guy in the area that could possibly rig us up with something to use.

She actually called him right then, and after some conversation we arranged to pick up an SUP the next day. Even though we had only met him on the phone he just let us take the board and didn’t even ask for an ID or a credit card deposit. We were stoked to have an SUP for a couple days, which turned out to be the right thing for the small waves there.

After a couple days of refreshing in the sun and surf—it was actually the only warm weather we had the whole trip—we returned the SUP to the guy. I felt led to share with him how I had prayed and then met his friend and that him providing the board was an answer to prayer. I witnessed to him and we were stoked to be able to share Christ's love with him and plant the seeds of the Gospel to a very receptive heart, and also nice to get a little refreshing on the SUP via divine appointment!

Turbulent Times in Spain 


We were in Barcelona during the Independence Referendum, which has been much in the news this year. The Spanish government had declared the Referendum illegal, and sent in the Guardia Civil (Federal Police), as well as local police being out everywhere. We were actually preaching in the center of the city the day it was all happening, right next to all the referendum activities. In fact, the pastor happened to turn on the news that Sunday morning before we ministered. The broadcaster warned to stay away from areas where voting and protests were going on. Some violence had already broken out in different places along with many protesters out and about, chanting and picketing and stuff.

It definitely brought some concern to our hearts, but as I took a moment to pray, I felt the Holy Spirit speaking peace and saying not to worry. Lo and behold, we ministered and people got saved, healed, and filled, and we had a blessed time in spite of all the craziness going on right around us everywhere outdoors. God gave us peace and blessings in the midst of the storm at every turn all around us. In fact, we actually went out and walked 8 miles around town checking out all the sights and activity after ministering and being treated to an awesome lunch by the pastor! 

God blessed us with peace, protection, and grace by the Holy Spirit. It was a unique and historic moment to be there and we are praying whatever the outcome of all this that more openness to the Gospel will result as part of everything being so shaken up. It was actually after a significant shake up that revival broke out in Argentina years back. 

This ended up being another unique and historic moment on the trip!

Sweden


As we ministered in Sweden we experienced the Lord moving powerfully in the different places we preached. We were ministering in the region of Skåne, which is by the North Sea in the South, as well as in the region of Småland on the Baltic coast. While in Skåne in the south of Sweden, we ministered in the cities of Hässleholm, Örkeljunga, and Trelleborg.


Mercedes speaking at New Life Church in Hassleholm, Sweden.

The presence of the Lord was manifest in the meetings we did and we got a lot of response as many shared how filled and renewed they were by what the Lord did in them as we ministered. One sister shared how encouraged and renewed she was by the way the Lord touched and filled her as we ministered. We were stoked to see the daughter (who is just 15 years old) of the family hosting us in Skåne get powerfully filled with the Holy Spirit and then join us in every meeting praying for others! 

We also got a very positive response from some of the leaders. In fact there were some who got powerfully filled themselves and others who had been part of the Jesus People Revival and were very encouraged as well as touched and renewed as we shared about that topic. They were very insistent that the ministry we are doing is so needed there, and we must keep coming back. We saw many people, young and old, get filled with the Holy Spirit and there were also some who opened their hearts to Christ. 


We also ministered as well in the region of Småland, on the East coast of Sweden along the Baltic Sea, in the town of Gamleby. A young lady came and told us before we even began ministering, how impacting and life changing our ministry was to her the last time we were there when she was at one of our meetings. We also had a couple people open their hearts to Christ there as well, some who had Muslim backgrounds.


Posters for our speaking engagement at Citykyrkan in Örkeljunga,
Sweden. We didn't know they'd be all over town. We even went
for Chinese food and one was there. Lol!

We spoke at a youth meeting where we shared some Holy Ghost stories in hopes of getting some of the youth filled with the Spirit. It started a little slow as they just kind of stood there staring off when we first started praying for them, but then after some time, out of nowhere, the Holy Spirit just swept in and started powerfully filling a group of them. They began to lift their hands and tears streamed down some of their faces as they prayed over one another and gave words of encouragement over each other. Some new believers with Muslim backgrounds who just recently came to Christ, joined in for the first time and began to pray for one another too, including the guy who had just accepted Christ earlier on in the meeting. 

The Holy Spirit continued to pour out for at least another hour, long after many had gone home. An old friend named Jan who had been radically saved in the Jesus People days, noting the powerful change in the atmosphere in the room that had taken place when the Holy Spirit swept in, looked up in the middle of it all and said, “This is a miracle!” We knew it was a special moment as the Lord poured His Spirit over many who had never experienced His power like this before!

A young guy who had been filled and touched in those meetings shared: How, as a result of the Lord empowering him, he had begun to share the Gospel with others. In fact, he began sharing with a rather tough guy in town who was way more open than he suspected he would be, and would continue to reach out to him. He also was evangelizing on a bus and prayed for a lady who got healed which opened a door to tell her about Jesus.  This is huge deal for someone in Sweden to step out like that as it is a very shy culture, but the Holy Spirit can transcend, and this is why we ourselves come to minister in God’s power that others may be equipped to be witnesses!


Denmark is just across the border from Sweden and we had a few free days before heading on. So we hopped over the border and saw a few sights in Denmark and even got a few cold water waves. Wow, surfing in Denmark was pretty unique; in fact some Scandinavian surfer friends had just gone to the exact same spot right before us and it was completely flat without a wave to be seen. So the Lord gave us another little miracle to provide a little refreshing before moving on to even more ministry in Scandinavia!

Norway


We ministered in Norway, in the south of the country, in the town of Mandal, as well as doing a youth meeting in the city of Kristiansand. Norway has beautiful scenery at every turn and we also had great fellowship with old friends. We had some very blessed meetings with the presence of the Lord moving powerfully amongst us.


Preaching to the youth in Familiekirken Mandal in Norway,
showing them the old Jesus People "One way" sign.

In fact, right from the very first meeting, which was a special midweek meeting they set up, the Lord poured out His Spirit in a very powerful and remarkable way. That first night went quite long as the Lord poured out His power long into night with powerful manifestations of His presence!

In one of the youth meetings in Mandal, the Holy Spirit then swept in with surprising power, late in the meeting. We had shared and prayed for people and even had a couple people open their hearts to Christ. But then late in the meeting when everything was seemingly wrapping up, the Holy Spirit just descended all of a sudden in power on a group of young teen girls, who began just praying and hugging each other and giving prophetic words to one another. 

The Lord touched them so deeply for such a long time that a puddle of tears gathered around their feet, the Youth Group leader pointed out that it looked like pearls that had fallen down from heaven! You know how significant it is what God was doing when young people ignore a tasty pizza waiting for them that had been prepared, and instead keep basking under the waterfall of the Holy Spirit for a good hour instead, all while the pizza gets eaten by others and gets cold! Hallelujah!!!


Holy Ghost afterglow in Norway. The Spirit of God came upon these girls
at the end of the meeting and extended things another glorious hour!

e were blessed to do a service with an Eritrean immigrant church in Mandal, where we saw a powerful move of the Spirit, which led to some getting radically filled with the Holy Spirit and also some getting deliverance as well!

We were stoked to be able to preach on Martin Luther and the Reformation on their Sunday services, two days before the 500-year anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, while there are in Mandal, Norway. Many of the older generation were very thankful to hear the story and were touched by it and refreshed, and many young people had never heard the story at all and were blessed by it as well. We closed by sharing about how Martin Luther emphasized the importance of being filled the Holy Spirit, and prayed for many that were filled with the Holy Spirit that day. It was an awesome time in Norway!

Germany and the Anniversary of the Reformation


We flew to Germany just in time for the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.
October 31st, Reformation Day, was a pretty extraordinary day to be right there where it all began, in Wittenberg, Germany! 

The little town ended up being packed with people from all over the world for the celebration of this very momentous event. We ended up having to stay in another town because everything had been booked up far in advance with all the people visiting for the big event.


Scenes from the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation in Wittenberg, Germany,
including the leader of Germany who showed up to pay homage to the country's
indebtedness to Martin Luther and the Protest Reformation.

We were stoked to find out the place we were staying had bikes to rent at a very reasonable price. We figured the 35 mi (56 km) round trip adventure would be good exercise after so many planes, trains, and automobiles on this trip. 

So we got up early on the 31st and started biking towards Wittenberg. We passed through some quaint little German towns and farms and enjoyed taking in the sights; however, it seemed like every last store and place of business we passed was closed. We found out later that October 31st had been declared a national holiday for all of Germany for the first time in its history.

Then, as we were getting closer to Wittenberg, a huge group of black cars and police with a helicopter hovering overhead, passed by us. We hadn’t known that the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel, would be heading into the Reformation City for a special service. Because we were on bikes we got a unique view of all this as we rode in.

It was a blessed time to be there and we had lots of divine appointments with many different people whom we shared with and prayed for as we were equipped to share quotes from Luther and the Bible about the importance of being filled with the Holy Spirit! 

There were many special events going on, including many special museum exhibitions, as well as a sound and light show, and a huge panorama exhibition on Luther and the town of Wittenberg by a well-known artist. There was also a big musical play about Luther in Berlin which was broadcast nationwide and actually quoted many Bible verses throughout!  

It was quite a unique moment for sure and we believe the Lord was using this occasion to plant many seeds in people’s lives about the Gospel as well as draw many to Himself!

Luther is often called the "accidental revolutionary" because of the amazing chain of events that were set in motion by this then unknown monk in a little insignificant town who was touched by the Holy Spirit as he read the truth of the Gospel in the Scriptures. That truth reverberated throughout the land and even crossed the sea with those early Pilgrims coming to the New World, a place that would later be called the United States of America!

Being in Wittenberg was a blessing capstone to an already very blessed trip. We praise God for everything he did on this journey!!!  Read more on Grace Notes.

Thanksgiving 


We hope you had a blessed Thanksgiving! We have a blog that we just put out on Thanksgiving, the early colonies, and the Reformation. If you would like to read it you can find it at http://gwmgracenotes.blogspot.com/2017/11/thanksgiving-blessings.html.

Thank You


We praise God for your prayers and support! It helps us to be out there on the road, preaching the Gospel and bringing the Kingdom into emerging mission fields like Europe!

Many blessings!
Bryan, Mercedes 
and Patrick Marleaux