Monday, July 24, 2023

Ministry Update - Summer 2023

Patrick and Emily Get Married!

Celebrating the marriage of Patrick and Emily. Now aka Mr. and Mrs Marleaux

We are excited to have just experienced an amazing life event as our son Patrick got married! It was such an awesome time celebrating with friends and family as Patrick and his beautiful bride Emily came together in the union of marriage at their wedding! 

We also had such a fun-filled week leading up to the big day, getting in some surfing and beach time and other activities with them and some others as the time drew near. 

We are stoked that Emily is a strong believer and that they both are leading worship together! In fact, there is an important story behind this that is about perseverance which I think is important to share, which I also shared at the wedding: 

We were on a trip years back when Patrick had just begun his teens. We had a rental car since ours was in the shop, which had satellite radio in it. We were driving along when a long set of Gospel music and Hymns sung by Elvis came on. 

I began worshiping along which brought me into the presence of the Lord. I unexpectedly got a word of knowledge that Patrick would someday lead worship, which took me by surprise.

It caused me to remember that some years before this, Mercedes and I were leading worship at Pearl Chapel on the Central California Coast, when Patrick who was just 9 years old, spontaneously came up on the platform to the microphone and started singing with us. I knew it was something prophetic…then came this word while driving which confirmed it (you can see it in this video:

Then the trials began! I had been teaching him guitar already. After the word came I began to try teaching him about doing worship and some worship songs. It couldn’t have gone more opposite than I expected.

Those early teens are also when some of that typical teenage rebelliousness starts flaring up. I was tempted to just forget it because he would just go, “ahh worship stuff is so boring… this is dullsville...” and he just wanted to do riffs and leads on the guitar and just ignore what I was teaching him.

I actually tried to work with his interests and incorporate riffs and leads into teaching and still slip in worship stuff but the resistance to the worship parts continued. He was quite stubborn about it and I was tempted to give up many times, but the Lord just kept showing me to persevere and that it would come to fruition…in His time.

Well, I had another word of knowledge about two years ago that Patrick was supposed to come to a meeting we were going to in Orange County with some missionary friends. He decided to come and that is where he unexpectedly met Emily.

They began going to some House Church meetings together, where he encountered some guys his age doing worship and his attitude started changing. Then, an opportunity came for him and Emily to lead worship together themselves at a small House Church … they stepped through that door and are still doing it! Patrick actually apologized later for some of that earlier teenage stubbornness, praise God!

The Lord fulfilled the word in His time…it just took some perseverance…around 7 years worth or so. I was rejoicing when I watched him show a visiting friend recently all the worship songs he has learned.

We as believers may sometimes get a word, or a vision, or something of that nature for ourselves, or something like that for a son or daughter, and maybe it’s not fulfilled right away, maybe it takes a long, long time, and even gets to a point that it seems it will never happen…however, perseverance is emphasized as a needed factor in the Kingdom of God: from Abraham all the way through to the Apostle Paul, perseverance was required to fulfill the call!

Then, sometimes when it’s fulfilled, it happens in a way we didn’t expect at all. But as we walk on in the Kingdom, we see that His grace and mercy never fades nor diminishes….even if His higher ways are sometimes mysterious and not understood right away…Praise the Lord!

Patrick and Emily got to enjoy a beautiful honeymoon and are now beginning their newly joined union and lives together. And we are catching our breath after all that activity of the last few months leading up to the wedding. It was an especially busy time as the wedding rolled up and took place while plenty of other ministry was going on as well.

Ministry Update

Here are some highlights from recent ministry:

Ministering the Baptism of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday @ CCSC

We had just been preaching up north in Salinas at the Vineyard Church there, right before Patrick and Emily’s big day. We were ministering with our friend Dave E. and were sharing and reflecting on: The Mother’s Day Outpouring at what was then called Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda. It later became The Anaheim Vineyard and we shared how Lonnie Frisbee had ministered there on Mother’s Day and the outpouring that followed when Lonnie began praying for the Holy Spirit to come over the congregation. We experienced a very powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit ourselves in Salinas as we shared about that and then ministered with many being filled, empowered, and renewed, including some who had awesome breakthroughs with being filled and touched in a fresh way by the Holy Spirit’s power! In fact, a woman who had been wanting to receive the gift of tongues for years got her breakthrough when she got prayed for! Others received healing, and testimonies came of those who were set free from depression and discouragement and others shared of important encounters and personal revelations that buoyed their faith. Hallelujah!

We had a fun time on Pentecost Sunday and their night of worship at Calvary Chapel San Clemente as they played some of that worship from back in the Jesus People Revival and I followed up by sharing about some adventures back in the Jesus People Revival and how I ended up at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. Mercedes shared about the times we had learning and being organically discipled by Lonnie Frisbee. It was an awesome time of worship, sharing, and praying for others for the filling of the Holy Spirit whose presence was with us as we ministered! We have also done some Afterglows with them in recent months as well!

We were blessed to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones while ministering recently in the Santa Barbara area at Mission Isla Vista. We had a blessed time sharing and praying for people. The Holy Spirit filled, empowered, and renewed so many who were there, we also heard about some healings that happened too. We were told it was the most people they have had respond for prayer there and it was one of the most powerful times we’ve had ministering there, hallelujah! We also got to enjoy a few things in the area including a little biking and some firing waves at Rincon on the way out of town that suddenly had an unexpected late season swell just show up. An unusual encounter with a famous pro surfer from the area encouraged us to get out there even if it was a little crowded. In fact, Mercedes was stoked that she got to surf and experience the famous point break herself for the first time!

We had a powerful time ministering at Centro Cristiano Esperanza in Orange County and we were blessed to have Patrick and Emily join us to help pray for people there as well. This led to many people getting ministered to in a powerful way, many were filled and empowered with the Holy Spirit as well as a few who received Christ along with some who who rededicated their lives to the Lord! The power and glory of the Lord was amongst us as we ministered!

We’ve continued ministering in various regions including the border areas sharing the Gospel and praying for others and have also had some powerful divine appointments. As the Jesus Revolution movie came out, it has sparked fresh interest about experiences with that revival and with Lonnie Frisbee, which we have been sharing about. You can check out an article we did which was actually picked up by an International Renewal publication as well as a video we’ve done here:

With our friends Jeff and Jeannette and other friends at PrayerFest.

We were also blessed to do a PrayerFest out in Hemet with our friends Jeff and Jeanette. It had been a little while, due to Covid and schedule issues, that we were able to get all together. We were reminded that it was the 15-year anniversary since the first one we had done together with them, and in that time over the years, we’ve seen numerous blessings and breakthroughs including healings and people coming to Christ. In fact, we were reminded by a friend who was visiting that night and told us how his son had gotten touched and empowered by the Holy Spirit and then healed of celiac disease at one of the PrayerFest meetings, as well as a woman who had her knee healed, as well as many others who have received healings as well as the filling of the Holy Spirit, praise the Lord!

In fact, the main focus at these meetings has been leading people into “the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.” We have been blessed to see many who are not necessarily Charismatic nor Pentecostal but rather have backgrounds like Baptist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, etc, come into the Fullness and Baptism of the Holy Spirit and be empowered with the gifts in these meetings in awesome ways, Praise the Lord!

We are glad to be continuing on with the legacy of our old friend and another mentor, Harald Bredesen, who was a Lutheran that got filled with the Holy Spirit and subsequently led many others in the Body of Christ who were not Charismatic/Pentecostal in background to come into the baptism of the Holy Spirit in that powerful Charismatic Renewal, which Harald helped birth and lead.

It is an important need in the Body of Christ: I recall a friend who shared how he was worshiping at one of the biggest mega churches in the country and out of nowhere he began speaking in tongues. He was subsequently escorted from his seat and shown the door, and then kicked out of the church! His story gives insight into the desperate need in the Body of Christ for clear teaching and ministry on the empowering and baptism of the Holy Spirit that is sound evangelically and taught in a way that can be received without the pitfalls of extremism. We have been blessed to minister over the years to unexpected groups which are not normally open to the empowering and baptism of the Holy Spirit and see many get filled and blessed by the fullness of the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah!

Acts 1:5: “For John truly baptized with water, but in a few days hence you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit!

Ministering and praying for people in Santa Barbar at IVC

We greatly appreciate your prayers and support! As you may know the whole deal with us as parents that are helping pay for the Honeymoon, the Rehearsal Dinner, and for many other things Patrick needed for the wedding really add up, so we greatly appreciate any extra support you can give to help us out with that at this time, thanks so much!

We praise God and thank you for your prayers and support! We are so appreciative and give thanks in Jesus’ Name!

Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Ministry Update: Lonnie Frisbee and the Jesus People Revival as well as 2022 In Review

Lonnie Frisbee has been in the news recently with the release of The Jesus Revolution movie. We’ve updated and revised an article we did on him. Our ole buddy John Ruttkay said: “This is one of the best articles on Lonnie and the Jesus People Revival I’ve ever read.” Check it out

Lonnie Frisbee and the Jesus People Revival: 

With all that has been going on with the release of the movie The Jesus Revolution we got a little delayed with our online version of our 2022 Year in Review, so have a look at that as well!

Year in Review  2022

We were blessed to minister in various places this last year as things began opening up more after the last few crazy years with so much being shut down. 

Amongst the highlights were some places we haven’t traveled to, nor ministered at in a while, like: Colorado Springs, Colorado. We were blessed to visit with some old friends that we had not seen in a few years as well as minister at their church. We experienced an awesome visitation of the Lord’s presence that was just phenomenal and many of us ended up overwhelmed and floored by the amazing grace and presence of the Lord! 
We had similar experiences up in Salinas in Northern California where we caught up with old friends as we ministered at the Vineyard up there with our friend Dave who we connected with years back when he prayed for him, and he got filled with the Holy Spirit. We experienced a powerful outpouring in Salinas that carried on until late in the evening as the Holy Spirit touched most of those who had come to the service. 

We were blessed to get back up to Canada after a few years of not being up that way, after they finally opened up their border. We ministered in some different places throughout Vancouver Island including various places in the city of Victoria, as well as in the towns of Port Alberni and Port Hardy—where we experienced a visitation that overwhelmed the whole church and flooded the place with the Lord’s presence so powerfully that nobody could even hardly move! It was a blessing to see the Holy Spirit ministering in power and filling, healing and setting people free, in each service as well as a having few people receive Christ along the way, including a First Nations lady who got saved and delivered in a powerful way! 

We were also thankful to get up to Mammoth Mountain in the California Sierras, where we ministered at the church in town up there after a series of divine leadings and encounters connected to another meeting down on the coast where we led worship when our friend Lauren was visiting. Lauren’s friend, whose house we had been ministering at down on the coast happened to be up in Mammoth and came to the meeting and got powerfully ministered to, along with a few others there too, it was a blessed time! 

We also had some powerful ministry in various places in Orange County including when we ministered at Centro Cristiano Esperanza and experienced the Lord’s presence in an awesome way with so many at the congregation receiving from the Lord in an amazing way, as well as a few who received Christ and others who rededicated their lives to the Lord. We were blessed to have our son Patrick and his girlfriend Emily, as well as our friend Dave, help pray for people, which led to many getting ministered to. Later on at lunch that day, we prayed for the pastor’s granddaughter who got powerfully touched at a restaurant! 

We had other powerful ministry in various places as well: We ministered in Los Angeles at an old friend’s church where some people received Christ and many got filled with the Holy Spirit as we ministered, as well as in other places in Orange County, which included sharing about The Jesus People Revival at Chuck Smith’s original church in OC, and other ministry along the southern border, where we continued experiencing the Kingdom of God in power each step along the way. 

On the Home Front 

We were blessed to be able to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in 2022 and thank the Lord for His grace to us over the years. We took some time up in Canada, aside from ministering up there, to travel out to Jasper National Park and the Columbia Icefields which was a refreshing time together! 

Our son Patrick got engaged to be married and we are happy to have had the Lord connect him to Emily, a Spirit-filled young lady from a missionary family! 

My (Bryan) stepfather passed away, who was in his 90’s. We were thankful to be able to minister to others in the family along the way in the final days of his illness, as well as conduct the memorial where we shared the Gospel. Along the way, we led a relative in prayer to receive Christ, and prayed for others as well, including my mom who we led to Christ a few years ago. We had some spiritual warfare in the midst of it all and got hit by a distracted driver on his cell phone right after doing the memorial. The insurance is looking to total our car—you don’t get a lot for a 17-year-old vehicle—which is our main car. So we appreciate your prayers and any contribution the Lord may lay on your heart for this need! 

We thank the Lord for each and every one of you and always really appreciate all your prayers and support. 

Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name! 
Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux

Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas 2022

And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.’    
Luke 2:13-14

Christ is Good News for He is that promised Messiah. He came to earth in such a humble way—a mere baby lying in a manger—because there was no room in the inn. Yet, He was surrounded by glory and supernatural signs and wonders. When we make room in our hearts and believe upon Him and receive Him, he cleanses us from all the stain and guilt of sin. Indeed, He gives us peace with God through His grace which is that unmerited favor which is given simply by faith in the Son of God.


We pray that His peace which passes all understanding will abide in your heart and life this Christmas and throughout the New Year.

God Bless You in Jesus’ Name!


Bryan, Mercedes 

and Patrick Marleaux

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Ministry Update - Fall 2022


Ministry and scenes from Victoria with
a little time with friends like the
Brasset's and Pastor Dan & Julie.


30 Years of Marriage 


We have been blessed to celebrate thirty years of marriage this year! Wow, that is actually quite the milestone!

It is especially so since we both grew up in backgrounds with broken homes and divorce. However--in Christ there is that blessed “however”—the Lord has, by His grace, and the power of the Holy Spirit, helped us overcome the odds that psychologists say have been stacked against those married couples who both grow up in homes that had divorced parents.

We are thankful, as the Lord has done so much healing, inner healing, restoration, freeing, and on and on, by the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives over the years, to establish us on the Rock of Christ in our union together.

We know so many people who have gotten separated or divorced, unfortunately many Christians among them. But for the grace of God, we could be among them as well! “However” we just humbly thank the Lord—with no pride about it—as we know it is all a gift of grace from above! 

We rejoice that the Holy Spirit continues to work in our lives to heal, and bring health, to our marriage union. We feel blessed to be celebrating this 30-year marriage milestone this year and give praise to the Lord for all His blessings!


Canada Mission Trip


We recently returned from a month-long trip ministering in British Columbia, Canada, as well as taking a little time to visit some unique and scenic places up there in celebration of our wedding anniversary.

We ministered in various meetings and churches on Vancouver Island, from the south to the north as well as in the middle of the island, ministering in the city of Victoria and in the towns of Port Alberni, and Port Hardy. 

We first ministered on the south end of the island in the city of Victoria, which is the capital of British Columbia.

We did a number of meetings while in Victoria, ministering at a couple of different church services on different weekends, as well as during the week at Bible study Prayer Meetings and a Men’s Prayer Breakfast.

Ministry and scenes from Port Hardy Christian Fellowship and some time hanging out
with Lance and Sarah and friends, we were blessed to check out  
some awesome wildlife and get in a bit of surf while out in Tofino.

    We were stoked to have the presence of the Lord moving and working, all the way through in every meeting! Many were experiencing the filling, freeing, and healing power of the Holy Spirit, along with those who were baptized in the Holy Spirit.

We received some powerful testimonies of some who were healed including a woman who was set free from chest pain! Others experienced inner healing and deliverance, and there was an empowering happening with a release of spiritual gifts and empowering for evangelism that was taking place as we ministered that many who received testified to! Hallelujah! 

A couple of people testified publicly, and on social media, how they felt the fire and power of the Holy Spirit, baptizing as well as re-baptizing some, in such a way with fire and Holy Ghost power as to overwhelm them, and in the process bringing healing, freedom and deliverance in their lives.

We went out with a van full of people to minister in Port Alberni where the Holy Spirit brought forth some powerful healing and deliverance to a number of people there.

After ministering in Victoria at the southern end, we did a series of meetings in a row up in Port Hardy at the northern end of the island, so we were literally at the ends of the earth on the island.

The Holy Spirit was moving powerfully as we ministered and we received testimonies of people set free, some receiving healings:  A guy testified to being healed of acid reflux and another to being healed of arthritis. We also had a couple people who received the Lord! One woman who opened her heart to Christ had a First Nations’ background as well as coming from a rough set of circumstances, we witnessed a complete visible change come over her after receiving Christ. She spent the next couple of days just reading the Bible, praying, and then came to a service where she publicly shared a song the Lord had just given her! 

At the last meeting in Port Hardy, after ministering every day for a few days, the overwhelming presence of the Lord just swept through, and nobody could even move for quite a while…complete silence … and then waves of weeping and then laughter… repentance … glory! The visitation of the Lord’s presence was so powerful that we were all overwhelmed…just turned into abiding in His presence for quite a while…and then praying and ministering to one another! Something historic revivals have experienced! Glory!!

We just met some people who have ministered in Canada in the past themselves who shared how they were so glad to hear about us going on mission trips and ministering there. They said it is a place that needs the ministry of the Holy Spirit and empowering of the Kingdom of God in a major way, and they feel it is actually overlooked as a mission and ministry destination.


    Luther and The Reformation


Scenes from when we visited Wittenberg, Germany and the Reformation Celebration a few years ago where a quarter million people flooded the little town of Wittenberg to celebrate the Reformation. We have an important article on the Reformation you can read here.

    We were sharing at a morning breakfast meeting right after a long night, having gone to a BBQ and then a dinner meeting. We were pressed for time in the morning, rushing to the meeting. After we arrived and began eating breakfast, someone had left on a worship program on the TV. Out of nowhere they began playing “A Mighty Fortresses is our God” from Martin Luther, a song not part of the normal worship set at most contemporary churches. 

The Lord had us leading some worship ourselves, and afterwards we shared about Luther and the importance of the Reformation and how it set the foundation for revivals. (We have been blessed to have opportunities to share on Luther at other meetings as well.)  We had a powerful Holy Ghost morning as a result! We also just did a blog on the 505th Anniversary of the Reformation and the 500-year anniversary of Martin Luther’s New Testament Translation. You can check it out at this link:


Divine Appointments


We took a hike out in the Port Hardy area after ministering, where we got to have a unique National Geographic-type moment as we watched the wild bears in the area feed on the salmon coming in from the ocean to go up river! We were originally going to hike somewhere else, but I unexpectedly had a divine appointment with a couple different people who both told me about this particular area and the bears being actively feeding at the moment! It was a unique experience and a small anniversary gift from above, along with all the blessed ministry we experienced up there, as well as getting some of the best surf and weather in Canada we’ve ever gotten when we visited the coast for a couple of days.

We actually also had a divine appointment right as we landed in Canada. We ended up praying for our shuttle driver who drove us from the airport to our hotel. We got to share with him for a while and then prayed for him in the parking lot. He was a believer who needed, and received, a fresh touch of the Holy Spirit as we prayed for him.

Right before going to Canada, we had a rather lengthy divine appointment with a man from Europe as we were taking a walk one afternoon. He had grown up in a religious situation with Catholicism but had no real relationship with Christ. He heard the Gospel though, and was born again and later was empowered by the Holy Spirit. We prayed together with him to renew and revive those gifts of the Spirit in his life, and it was a blessed and powerful time that also confirmed things the Lord has been guiding us in.

The Lord has had us reaching out to fellow believers who need to be empowered and filled with the Holy Spirit, along with those who already have but are in need of a renewing touch of the Holy Spirit’s power in their lives, something that one of our old mentors Harald Bredesen was gifted in doing, glad to be carrying on that legacy.

We’ve also seen many with religious backgrounds who don’t really know the Gospel and don’t have a relationship with Christ, open up and receive Him. In fact, a family member opened their heart to pray with us and receive Christ just recently! Praise the Lord! 

Right after that, as well as witnessing to some other people with religious backgrounds while walking on a pier in Orange County,  I came home and a box fell over in the garage with an article about reaching people with nominal religious backgrounds and leading them to Christ, as well as the need to see believers filled with a fresh touch of the power of the Holy Spirit, something the Lord is highlighting in our day! Billy Graham shared about how he reached out to everyone with the Gospel, including those with religious backgrounds, and also spoke very strongly about the need for us all to be filled, as well as regularly refilled, with the power of the Holy Spirit!


Jesus People 


Scenes from the Jesus People Revival and a recent meeting.
We have an article that was picked up by an International
Renewal Publication you can read here.

    We were at a Jesus People Gathering fairly recently that had memories from the Jesus People Revival being shared. We also had some powerful divine appointments while there including praying for some people who got ministered to very, very, powerfully!  One man in fact shared how it was a life-changing encounter he had as we prayed for him! Hallelujah!

We also just shared at a meeting that took place in Chuck Smith’s original church before the Jesus People Revival started, and we spoke about Lonnie Frisbee’s role in that revival! It was a powerful time reflecting on that important move of God—that really wasn’t too long ago—and still has latent blessing for us today. There is a fresh interest brewing in how God moved in that time. The Lord indeed uses the weak things that none may boast before Him!  

Lots more has been happening, but we’ll share some more on another update. 


We praise God and thank you for your prayers and support! 

We are so appreciative and give thanks in Jesus’ Name!

Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux


Grace World Mission—Useful Links 
Blog Grace Notes: 
Blog Reflections from the Road: 
Podcast: Grace Alone on Apple Podcasts 
Facebook page: Grace World Mission (you can like us to get updates) 
Music on Spotify, Apple Music, and Soundcloud listed under BMarleaux

Sunday, October 30, 2022

500th Anniversary of Luther's New Testament

Happy Reformation Day!

Photo reflections back from the 500-year Anniversary of the Reformation where a quarter million people flooded the little town of Wittenberg in Germany! 

October 31st is the 505th year anniversary of the Reformation, and it was also just the 500th year anniversary of Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament into the German language.


A Little Background


We may take the easy access we have to the Bible today a little too much for granted. After all, we can just open an app on our phone, and we can have the Bible right there at our fingertips.


However, it was not always so easy for the common person to access the Bible. In fact, the Bible had become shuttered from access during the Medieval Period. The Catholic Church forbade the laity to even own or possess the Bible at the Synod of Toulouse in 1229, on the pain of torture and death, which many indeed ultimately endured. Vernacular translations were also opposed and only the Latin Vulgate was permitted for the Scriptures.


Since Latin was already a dead language, it was another barrier used to prohibit access to the Scriptures. As Oxford scholar David Daniell puts it, “It might as well have been in Chinese for all the good it did being kept in Latin! Very, very, few people could read Latin!”


Instead of the Scriptures “The Little Hours of Mary” were proffered which promoted the cult of Mary worship, church rituals, and generated money through stipulated donations. 


Enter Martin Luther 


Martin Luther had endured a long and difficult spiritual journey after entering the monastery in 1505. In fact, he felt further from God after going down the path of the prescribed rituals of the religious system than when he had first become a monk.


In all earnestness, Luther had sought to follow all the prescribed rituals dictated by the religious system and constantly confessed his sins as required. For, according to Catholic teaching, each and every sin must be confessed to be forgiven. Luther kept remembering things he’d done even as a small boy, and he came and confessed so much—once spending 17 hours at the confessional—his superior finally blew up at him saying: “Why don’t you go out and commit some real sins and come back when you actually have something to confess!” 


He was finally sent away from the monastery—as a way to offer him some distraction and get him out of their hair—and was thus directed to go into study of the Bible as a form of diversion.


It should not be assumed that this was normal activity during this time. Reading the Bible was not practiced, neither by those in the priesthood nor the laity. As mentioned previously, the Catholic Church had banned the laity from even owning or in any way having possession of a Bible at the Synod of Toulouse in 1229. Reading the Bible was reserved exclusively for those elite few who were considered theologians established in the hierarchy of the church. Only they were allowed to read and interpret it and had to stay in line with the papacy.


Luther was sent to study the Bible merely as a diversion; he had been a law student formerly so he was able to read Latin.


While reading the New Testament himself, Luther came upon passage after passage that declared that simple faith in Jesus Christ was all that was necessary for salvation. This was a complete contrast to what he experienced as a monk.


As a Catholic monk, he had grown exhausted and alienated from the heavenly kingdom he had sought. The heavy weight of constant rituals foisted upon him in the monastery did not draw him into relationship with the Almighty but instead created animosity in his heart and the peace with God that he so earnestly sought was nowhere in sight.


Here, however, in the very pages of the New Testament, he was finding something completely different from the teachings of the religious system: 


There was no requirement to confess all your sins to a priest. Rather the New Testament declared “There is one God and one mediator between God and man… Christ Jesus” 1Tim. 2:5


Nor did salvation require good works like the Catholic Church commanded, which included: giving donations to the church, venerating relics, confessing to a priest, praying to saints, vigils, holy water… and on and on! 


Rather the Word declared: 


For it is by grace you are saved, through faith – and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.” Eph.2:8-9


Then they asked [Jesus] ‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.’” John 6:28-29


The religious system Luther encountered had required rituals and works for salvation as well as to lessen one’s time in purgatory. These things they required however were not found in the teaching of the New Testament. “Purgatory” itself was just another pure invention of Catholicism not found anywhere in Scripture.


Simple faith drew Luther into a living and saving relationship with the Savior Jesus Christ.

Luther wrestled with the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans about being justified by grace through faith night and day. He finally understood that Christ had paid the price on the cross, for our sins, once for all, and all that is required is to believe upon Jesus!


When he finally understood this the Holy Spirit came upon him, and his guilt and sin were lifted off his back! He says he was "born again" as he understood that his sin was washed away by simply believing in Jesus Christ! 


After being set free and experiencing the liberty of God’s grace, Luther was of no mind to return to the dead rituals of the religious system. 

Luther Nails the 95 Theses


He in time drew up some statements or "Theses" to engage some of the church theologians on the wayward path the church had taken. It bears mentioning that Luther did not challenge other doctrines that were still orthodox within Catholicism, and there were still many orthodox foundations. Luther only wanted to challenge where they drifted from the Scriptures especially in regards to salvation. 


However, the Ninety-Five Theses he drew up to challenge the errors the church had embraced, set off a spark that soon fanned into an international flame. 


After Luther had nailed his Theses to the Castle Church door in Wittenberg on October 31, 1517, some students took them and copied and widely distributed them, using the recently invented Gutenberg printing press to reproduce them. 


A perfect storm soon erupted fueled forth by the truth based on the Living Word of God and the distribution of this document through new technology. Before he knew what was happening, the Reformation had been ignited and Luther was in the middle of a conflagration.


To paraphrase Didier Erasmus, the famous theologian from Rotterdam, this confrontation Luther sparked posed a threat to: The religious establishment’s money-making system as well as the dictatorial nature and infallibility of the papacy.


When the Pope got wind of the issue, he said he would “have this drunken German burned at the stake within two weeks!” Although many attempts were made to shut down the emerging Reformation, it continued to roll forward.

The Leipzig Debate


A debate was proffered which many in the hierarchy believed would slap Luther down. They figured the renowned Catholic theologian Johann Eck would quickly shut down this simple monk Martin Luther quite handily. 


However, Luther rose to the occasion at the Leipzig debate, and was equal match for Eck in his knowledge of Scripture and understanding of Christian history. Luther showed that the church had itself strayed and had contradicted its own earlier councils and teachings during its slide away from the truth in the Medieval Era. 


Eck in response accused Luther of being a Wycliffite and a Hussite. Many had attempted to bring reform before Luther’s era, figures such as John Wycliffe in England, and Jan Hus in Bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), as well as others like early reformer Peter Waldo in France and the Waldensians, who sought to distribute Bibles and pray for the sick. 


The Catholic Church had come out against these earlier reformers and continued to persecute those who attempted reform and translation of the Bible. William Tyndale was a contemporary and friend of Luther’s who was arrested and executed for his faith and work in translating and distributing the Bible in the common English language.


Luther declared that he himself was indeed a “Wycliffite and a Hussite” throwing caution to the wind! Luther, normally a mild-mannered person, boldly threw himself in with these earlier reformers, even though the followers of Hus and Wycliff had been ordered to be executed by the Pope, this was thus quite a daring thing to say. The Leipzig debate pretty much backfired and Luther’s popularity only seemed to grow.


The Diet of Worms

A Diet—a type of trial—was then set up in hopes of quelling the Reformation. Luther would have to answer before the Holy Roman Emperor—the most powerful and important man in the Western world at that time—Luther, a mere peon in contrast, sweated profusely as he was cross-examined in his presence.


He was originally told he would be able to explain and defend his writings and teachings. However, after he arrived in the town of Worms, Germany for the Diet, he found he had been lied to and was only given the opportunity to recant or face the consequences.


Before the council, while being questioned and cross-examined, Luther was being pressed hard to recant, but in response he finally retorted: “I cannot and will not recant, my conscience is captive to the Word of God, to go against conscience and the Word, is neither right nor safe, I can do no other, here I stand, so help me God.”


Luther threw up his hands into the air in the gesture of a knight and marched out to the applause of the Germans and the hissing sneers of the Spaniards—some of which were dyed-in-the-wool fanatics and enforcers of the Inquisition, torturing dissenters of Catholic strictures.


Frederick the Wise, the Elector Prince of Luther’s German region of Saxony, who was on the council judging Luther, saw that he was merely returning to the true roots of the Christian faith and declined to condemn Luther, as did some others in the Diet, but a rump of the Diet still voted to condemn him as a heretic.


During the night, however, the Bundeschuh—the sign of the peasants’ revolt—was placarded on the wall of the building where the Diet was taking place. This was a serious threat from the people that if Luther was arrested there in Worms, there would be rioting by the people. This sent the Diet into a panic. To appease the peasants—to whom Luther was becoming a hero—he was allowed to return home to Wittenberg and would be remanded into custody later to face the consequences of being condemned as a notorious heretic.


Frederick the Wise knew fanatics and assassins would be waiting for an opportunity to murder Luther on his return home, so he arranged for some of his own knights to hold up and kidnap Luther shortly after he embarked on his return home, so as to secretly take hold of him and hide and protect him.


The knights grabbed him shortly after he left the town of Worms, and with much yelling and cussing—purposely making a loud ruckus—they then had different knights ride off in different directions, while having Luther hidden and taken away to an old, abandoned castle, making sure no one followed after them.

Luther Translates the New Testament at the Wartburg

For ten months Luther was hidden away, holed up in the abandoned Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, Germany, where he testifies to experiencing some heavy and serious spiritual warfare. He says the attacks of men, including other priests and the pope railing against him and everything else he had endured, paled in comparison to the onslaught of Satan’s attacks on him while alone in the Wartburg. Isolated and without other things to distract his attention, Luther took on the great task of translating the New Testament into the common German tongue and completed his translation while he was there at the Wartburg.


Luther wanted others to see the clear teaching of the New Testament for themselves and see that: The Scriptures teach that Jesus Christ alone is the Savior! That Jesus Christ alone is the one Mediator between God and man. That one only need come to Christ in faith for salvation. These simple declarations became foundations of the Reformation and led to later revivals.


His publication of the New Testament spread a return of the true roots of the Christian faith throughout Germany and Europe and fanned the flames of the Reformation and spawned numerous revivals later. 


Jan Hus’s Prophecy Fulfilled

After the Diet of Worms in 1521, with Luther still at the Wartburg and his popularity seeming to only increase, the time passed and the possibility of safely arresting him was even less viable and was eventually abandoned, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Jan Hus, the Bohemian reformer, from a century before. 


Hus had attempted during his time to reform the wayward religious system of his day, and as he was about to be executed and burned at the stake for seeking to bring these reforms, he spoke out and prophesied:


“Today you burn me a goose (Hus’s name in Czech meant goose) but in 100 years another [reformer] shall rise, he shall be a swan, him you will not be able to burn nor boil!”


Hus was martyred in 1415. It was one hundred years later in the year 1515 when Martin Luther began to study Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, which led to his conversion. This encounter with God and His grace during Luther’s born-again experience set off the chain of events which fomented into the Reformation. 

Luther pictured with a swan
The Holy Spirit had opened Luther’s eyes to the salvation which is given freely through faith in Christ and the justification given by His grace. Try as they might they were not able to kill this swan. In his later years, Luther often had himself pictured in paintings with a swan next to his side, showing that God had fulfilled Hus’s prophecy through him!



These are some videos we’ve produced are helpful to learn a bit more about Martin Luther:


Martin Luther and the Reformation 


Martin Luther: Born Again into Amazing Grace 


The Priesthood of All Believers 


Luther quotes on the need to be filled with the Holy Spirit (short video with notable quotes)

The Reformation Spreads: Playlist of Reform Spreading into other Areas.

Grace World Mission

YouTube Channel


Monday, August 29, 2022

Worship Experiences and God's Mercy

Direct link to YouTube Video:

We were on our way to minister with our friends Roger and Roxanne Sachs on the Central Coast of California at a church that has over time, and transitions, become known as Pearl Chapel. 

Roger and I used to hang out with Lonnie Frisbee back in the day, while going to some of those wild meetings Lonnie was doing around Orange County and Palm Springs.


Roger has written some books on Lonnie’s legacy as the pioneer evangelist of the Jesus People Revival and the catalytic minister who introduced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into what was Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda at the time, later to be called the Vineyard, and sparking what was coined by Peter Wagner as the Third Wave Revival.


Anyways, as we were on our way to minister at their church, we ran into some traffic in LA and got delayed. We got to their place late and then had to get up early the next morning for the service.


At the last minute, the worship leader got sick before we were heading out to the service the next morning, so Roger asked: “Hey, can you do the worship as well as preach?”


I was a little bleary eyed from lack of sleep and a long drive, but I told him: “You know what? We’ll do it and just do our best to let the Holy Spirit take over—regardless if I am not familiar with the guitar I’ll be playing, and it is last minute, and I am a bit out of it—but we’ll just trust the Holy Spirit.”


Sometimes those last-minute things have a way of highlighting our need in the moment, thus allowing the Lord to take over… I was tired but I did my best to just let the Holy Spirit flow regardless of being a little strained and stretched. So, after a little sermonette on Pentecost—since it happened to be Pentecost Sunday—we got into the worship, and we were glad when we discerned the Lord’s presence was with us in it.


There were some people in the meeting that day who’d been in the early Vineyard and they said the worship and ministry very much reminded them of those early days back in the day at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda at the Canyon High School gym, back when the Holy Spirit was just flowing so much during that early season. I was humbled and thankful for those comments, especially since it was back then where I was actually drawn into worship.


Well, in the middle of us leading the worship that day, and quite out of nowhere, our son Patrick, being a quite a young boy at that point, jumped up and and came up where we were leading and spontaneously joined with us in the worship leading.


It was prophetic confirmation of knowing that the Lord had a purpose and calling for him to do worship later on himself.


Patrick also got filled and baptized in the Holy Spirit sometime around this same time period. That spontaneously and just sovereignly happened when we were filming at our friend Dave’s place, further up on the Central Coast. Dave was sharing about how he got filled with the Holy Spirit when we prayed for him while we were ministering in Hawaii (


Dave was in midstream of sharing together with me, as we recounted the story on camera together. Meanwhile, over on the couch, Patrick was listening, and the Holy Spirit just fell in power on him! He began lifting his hands, weeping, and speaking in tongues! Glory!


The Lord’s Mercy and Patience 


I took the time to teach Patrick guitar and stuff like that over the years. I gave him words numerous times during his young days that he was going to be called on to do worship at some point. 


However, we can all hit those rebellious moments, especially in the teen years and 

he hit that time in his mid-teens when he resisted... 


I was trying to teach him about doing worship on the guitar and he just wanted to do riffs and leads. I told him yeah, it is all fun to do that kind of stuff, I like to do it too, but you also need to learn some worship stuff too…but like a typical teenager, he responded: “Well, what if I don’t want to do worship…?!” Sometimes just because the parent is saying it, they can get ornery and resist. 


It is important to persevere and hold onto the promises of the Lord even when there are trying seasons. Continuing to pray and persevere is important in these times. I remember Billy and Ruth Graham talking about the perseverance in prayer they needed with some of their own children.


Well, lo and behold, the Lord has a way…and pours out and displays mercy…. because Patrick is now leading worship on the guitar every week with his girlfriend Emily, they lead worship together at a house church! They have also become committed in their relationship as well, which we have been rejoicing in!


Praise the Lord for His great patience with all of us and all of our fallen human rebelliousness and resistance at times. He tarries patiently with our weaknesses! If not for His mercy and grace none of us could stand! His mercy endures forever!


The Lord Draws us Deeper in Unexpected Ways


When I first experienced the worship at what was then called Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda that met at Canyon High School Gym, later to be called Anaheim Vineyard, it was quite a shock to me.


I came into the gym where people had their hands up in the air everywhere and many were loud and emotional—I didn’t know yet that the Holy Spirit was moving on so many of them during the worship.


I didn't grow up going to church. My first response was to literally think that the place was full of emotionally and mentally challenged people. I soon became one of those emotionally and mentally challenged people after I got filled and baptized in the Holy Spirit myself (


My first experience with worship had been at some youth-oriented meetings at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. I had come there via a wild divine appointment (


I was hanging out at a summer apartment in Huntington Beach that me and some friends had rented to be closer to the surf. The place became a hippy crash pad filled with surfboards and sleeping bags, filled with everything but food. One day, a dude showed up (people were always coming and going there) and asked if we wanted to go to a concert. A bunch of us piled in the car and he took us all the way across town down into Newport and up into Costa Mesa to what was Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa which was still in the throes of the Jesus People Revival movement.


I had previously accepted Christ while accidentally—Godcidentally—listening to a Pentecostal preacher on the radio and accepted Christ into my heart but had never really attended a church.


After getting introduced to the fellowship there, I began to attend some of the youth Bible studies at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, as well as other ones connected with it, when I had working transportation. I had traded a surfboard for a car that would not always start. I would have to round up other people to help me “push start” it quite often!


The youth-oriented Bible Studies I’d go to when the transportation was working usually just had 2 or 3 short songs before the actual “Bible Study” part got going.


This high school gym experience however, at Canyon High School, was at a whole other level! People were so engaged and deeply worshiping the Lord and it just went on for what seemed like forever, it was just mind blowing!


After I got filled with the Holy Spirit I began to get drawn into the worship and took an interest in learning to do it as well.


I had learned a little guitar earlier on. However, after my parents got divorced, I drifted away from it. My older brother had moved his rock band equipment into the living room after my parents split and was blowing the paint off the walls with his band’s regular practice sessions. Not wanting to go deaf, I bailed out of that scene and lost interest in learning any music stuff and hit the beach to escape destroying my eardrums.


However, as I was drawn into the worship in the Canyon High School Gym—those early days of worship there were off the charts, especially when Carl Tuttle was doing it—I got interested in learning some songs and I eventually ended up trading one of my surfboards for a guitar. 


That rickety guitar got me going into learning a couple worship songs. I had a long way to go but was getting back into playing. I got thrown into the deep end a little sooner than I expected though.


I attended an occasional kinship here and there, and one of them was Ken Fish’s. One night I was in there messing around with someone else’s guitar before the meeting started… Ken came up and said: “Hey, the worship leader can’t make it here tonight, why don’t you do a few songs for us?” I said: “No way,” to which he replied: “Oh, you can give it a try.”


Why or how I agreed in the end to do it, I don’t even know, but I was shaking from being so nervous! I did not know what I was doing, and I only knew two songs, it was terribly stressful, and I completely butchered it! However, I knew the Lord was using that awkward moment to draw me into leading worship. God can use all things—even awkward moments where you feel like a fool— for good and for His purposes!


I had my own Bible study later where I began doing the worship regularly, as well as leading worship quite regularly with some other friends at a College group at Newport Vineyard.


Thank God for his patience and grace to move us forward past hard experiences, as well as rebellious moments. He tarries patiently with our weaknesses.


Paul the Apostle reminds us of the unlimited patience of the Lord who tarries with us to move us forward in His grace.


“…I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patienceas an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” 1 Timothy 1:16 


A Few Insights


I learned some important things along the way. One of them was from Scott Brenner, a worship leader and songwriter, who said: “Sure, it is good to learn a few technical things with the guitar and vocals and all, but the most important thing is learning to let the Holy Spirit lead us as we lead!”


Well, I have come to find out that this is an ongoing lifelong process once you are willing to enter into the “School of the Holy Spirit!”


While so many get caught up in “what is the latest, coolest worship song, from the popular fellowship at the moment” it’s more important to learn to be led by the Holy Spirit whether you are singing hymns or praise choruses—new or old. What is important is being led by the Holy Spirit and cultivating intimacy with the Lord.


“As many as are led by the Holy Spirit these are the children of God.” Romans 8:14


Jesus said that the Father seeks those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth. John 4:23


So, whether it’s doing worship, speaking, serving, witnessing, praying for someone, or anything else in serving the Lord, one of the most important things is found in Paul’s Capital Epistle to the Romans 8:14: where his high point is “As many as are led by the Spirit these are the children of God!”


Learning to be led by the Spirit is not just some fringe Charismatic idea, but it is actually the high point and goal for us all as believers in Jesus Christ. We should be filled with praise and worship when we understand the grace and mercy He gives us through Christ our Savior!