Friday, February 12, 2021

Ministry Update: Winter 2021


We recently ministered with Centro Cristiano Esperanza in Orange County sharing a message of hope on the grace given to us through faith in Christ and His power that is available for our lives today. It was a blessed time and the presence of the Holy Spirit was very refreshing. 

We also just had a divine appointment recently when we were driving home and it was getting late, so we stopped at a motel for the night. When leaving the next morning, I forgot something in the room and had to go back. A male service worker had already begun taking care of the room. I started talking for a few minutes and as we spoke I felt led to ask if he needed prayer for anything. It turned out his good friend had just died and had the funeral coming up the next day and so he would actually really appreciate some prayer! He went on to say that he had been a believer for some years but had some ups and downs and his friend passing away had really shook him up. I spoke to him about God’s mercy and love and then prayed for him and he was clearly ministered to in a significant way. He shared afterwards that he was greatly encouraged by this divine appointment and thanked me for stepping out in faith to ask if he needed prayer! Hallelujah! 

Reflections 

 
As we have entered fully into the new decade, it causes us to reflect on the grace that the Lord has blessed us with to be able to minister in different places around the world over the last few decades, including: Latvia, Romania, Kosovo, France, Spain, Norway, Sweden, England, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Mexico, Japan, Argentina, Ghana, West Africa, and in the US: all over California, as well as in Arizona, Oregon, Montana, Colorado and Hawaii.

We are thankful for God’s grace to minister through us and have been blessed to experience many receive Christ, get filled with the Holy Spirit, and receive healing and deliverance. It is a blessing to see lives impacted by the Kingdom of God in these different places as we have ministered over the years. We are thankful for the different divine appointments we have experienced along the way as well. 
 

Books We’ve Been Published In 

 
We have also been blessed to have some Holy Ghost Stories published in some different books over the years, including: 

  • Kernels of Hope: Real People, Real Stories by Bob and Gail Kaku. The divine appointment sequel to the Israel story but this Holy Ghost surfing miracle is on the Coast of Spain where a divine appointment took place with some guys who just turned out to be friends of the surfer from Israel! 
  • Not By Might Nor By Power: Set Free (Book Three) by Lonnie Frisbee with Roger Sachs. Shares stories from a mission trip to Colorado with Lonnie (interestingly enough, much spiritual warfare was experienced in the Colorado trips mentioned) and a wild encounter while hiking in Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs, amongst some other things. 
If you’re interested in one of the books we’ll get you a copy for a donation of whatever you can afford—typical suggested donation is $15 per book. These are also all available at Amazon.com

Audio and Video Programs 


We have also been able to create a host of different audio and video programs that are available on different formats and platforms. They have covered lots of different topics, including those from Christian History such as the Reformation to Revivals to Biographies on Revivalists and Reformers as well as Divine Appointment Stories and Mission Adventures and many other topics. 

The programs on historical Christian figures are amongst our more popular topics on different sites. I see now more than ever the dire need for programs like ours that tell the history that has largely been ignored by secular institutions. Moreover, our programs do it from a uniquely Spirit-filled perspective which is something that is greatly lacking in this arena. For example, our recent program we put out on Charles Finney talked about his powerful Baptism in the Holy Spirit, others who’ve done programs on Finney have omitted this important aspect of his life and ministry, not even mentioning it at all. 

Here is an endorsement of our ministry (link: https://youtu.be/TYtTLR5K_pY) from a historical figure himself, Harald Bredesen, one of the fathers of the Charismatic Renewal, and some of what he had to say in his endorsement of our ministry: 

Of all the ministries I’ve worked with, there is none that I have the greatest confidence in the purity of the motivation and the fact that it was the Holy Spirit who gave birth to it than Grace World Mission, led by its founders, Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux...I’ve seen the sacrifice; I’ve seen the zeal; I’ve seen the Spirit-ledness…and I am so happy to be a part of it—I hope you will be and will support it as well... I’m sure He’ll bless you for it.  

We greatly appreciate your prayers and support! 
God bless! 
Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Christmas Blessings


The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” 

Luke 1:35


When you take a good look at the Christmas narrative it is amazing how much the Holy Spirit is mentioned again and again. Luke’s account stresses the role of the Holy Spirit in a major way and this continues on through his other book called Acts.


Even more amazing is that the same Holy Spirit is given to us freely as believers. Sometimes we don’t know how much we need something until a unique situation displays our need. 


We were hiking through a desert area up to a mountain on one occasion when we ran out of water in the hot desert section of the hike. How quickly the body feels its lack! Our mouths quickly became parched and the heat amplified our need, as our bodies ached and weakness continued to grow. We finally dragged ourselves up into the cooler mountain area where there was a campground and a water spigot, hallelujah! Water never tasted so good!!


Jesus explained that the Holy Spirit is like the water we need to live. In fact, He referred to the Holy Spirit as living water. Billy Graham says in his book Peace with God that we should recognize our need for the Holy Spirit and pray that God not only fill us and help us but that we ask the Holy Spirit to take over in our lives so that we will find joy and peace, the fruits of the Spirit, as we yield completely to Him.


Praise God! Jesus came born in a manger and died on the cross to pay for our sins and freely give us favor with God the Father, that we might justified by grace and have peace with God. He gives us the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us as we walk with God. 


May the Lord renew and refresh you in the power of the Holy Spirit this Christmas and into the New Year in the name of Jesus Christ who came to give us life!


Bryan, Mercedes 

and Patrick Marleaux


Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving! The Reformation Simplified and the Early Pilgrims of America

Video: Plymouth's Pilgrims and the Christian Faith

As big a concept as “The Reformation” may sound, it really boils down to just a simple thing, which is those back in history who had personally experienced God’s grace and wanted to share it with others! 

 

Those reformers back in the Medieval Period who experienced this amazing grace saw that it was the central theme of the New Testament. They thus wanted others to know the truth but instead were met with resistance, a stubborn refusal to listen, and persecution. 

 

Grace is inherently free: its meaning in the Bible is “unmerited favor”. This grace is given freely to us simply through faith in Christ and not by any works or any performance of our own: 

 

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith —and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

 

Then they asked him, “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)

 

“My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” (John 6:40) (There is a long list of Scriptures like this, which speak of God’s grace and mercy which we have compiled. You can have a free booklet of them sent to you by emailing us at info@graceworldmission.org).

 

Instead of receiving that grace themselves, stubborn adherence to dead traditions and rituals that garnered lucrative donations kept the institutional Church from listening and caused them to reject the truth.

 

Jesus and the Pharisees 

 

This is a story that goes all the way back to Jesus and the Pharisees: Christ appears on the scene fulfilling prophecy after prophecy to demonstrate who He is. He first speaks the truth in love, many receive His message and mercy, but the Pharisees—who are the religious leaders of that time—are so entrenched in their traditions and rituals that they attack Him instead of listening, so Jesus must confront their wayward behavior: 

 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.” (Matthew 23:13)

 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are…” (Matthew 23:15)

 

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness…You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matthew 23:23-24)

 

Jesus admonished his followers not to act like them: 

 

“All their works they do to be seen by men... They love to sit uppermost at feasts, and to have the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called Rabbi by men. But you shall not suffer yourselves to be called Rabbi. For one is your Master, that is, Christ, and you are all brethren. And call no man upon the earth your father, for there is but one your Father, and he is in heaven. Do not be called teachers, for there is but one your Teacher, and he is Christ. He who is greatest among you will be your servant. But whosoever exalts himself, shall be brought low. And he who humbles himself, shall be exalted.” (Matthew 23:5-12)

 

Jesus offered grace and mercy to all and many received Him, but the Pharisees instead stubbornly held to their traditions and rituals and wouldn’t, so He confronted their errors. 

 

This Pattern Continued Through The Bible 

 

Even in the Early Church there were already tendencies to pollute the Gospel with legalism and works of the law. There were those amongst the Pharisees who had become Christians; however, they tried to then force legalistic burdens on other Christians.

 

The Apostle Peter wouldn’t stand for it for a moment and got up at the Council of Jerusalem and laid out the truth in dramatic fashion:

 

“Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, ‘The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.’” (Acts 15:5)

 

Peter would have none of it and said:

 

“Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”  Acts 15:10-11 [Emphasis mine]

 

That statement: “No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved.” Is what the Reformation is all about. While speaking the truth about God’s grace, the error which has been embraced and pedaled by the religious establishment must also be confronted. 

 

It is important to notice that the truth about the Gospel was more important than any seeming disruption to so-called unity, the very need for a council shows there was not perfect unity in the first place.

 

This is a microcosm of the Reformation. Just as Peter experienced God’s grace and knew it to be the truth and stood up for it, others in history stood up for it as well and became reformers.

 

Enter Paul the Apostle 

 

Paul had actually been a Pharisee himself but got saved in dramatic fashion on the road to Damascus while on the way to persecute more Christians.

 

Having experienced such amazing grace, he became the emissary of God’s grace. Having been a Pharisee, he disdained any attempt of the Early Church in any way to return to the legalism of the Pharisees.

 

The Letter to the Galatians is itself an epistle of grace that also confronts the pharisaical slide into legalism that was happening in the new church in the region of Galatia. Paul even had to straighten out his contemporary leader Peter in the letter because of Peter’s compromising on this subject.

 

Paul wrote strongly that the Galatian Christians had been saved by grace and that the way in is indeed the way on. They began in grace and must continue on in it, as it is the path to life, liberty, and revival.

 

Paul concludes that we are to live by the Holy Spirit: live a personally revived life in Christ led by His Holy Spirit.

 

Paul’s Words Revived the Body of Christ 

 

Luther and other reformers had experienced this grace and mercy of Christ and simply wanted others in the Body of Christ to know and experience it as well. The Catholic Church, however, like the Pharisees, refused the grace of God and held to its traditions instead, and so like the Pharisees was confronted with its error in the process.

 

Martin Luther had struggled under a burden of rituals and rules for a long, long, dark period as a monk and a Catholic priest himself.

 

He was weighed down under this impossible burden of trying to make payment himself for his sin through rituals of the Church and found no peace at all in the Catholic rituals prescribed to him.

 

But then the light broke forth on him. He was sent away to study the Bible as a way to rid the monastery of his onerous presence since he was a constant bother by always coming to the confessional. (Study of the Bible not being a normal part of the program for the priesthood.)

 

As he was wrestling with Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Luther began to understand that Jesus had taken on our sin on the cross and all he needed to do was believe upon Christ.

 

He says “… I then understood that through grace and sheer mercy [Christ] justifies us through faith in Him. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn…” 

 

What a heavy burden was lifted off of Luther’s back as he understood that Jesus has paid the price on the cross and one doesn’t need to be under this horrible burden of trying to pay for sin themselves!

 

There in a nutshell is what the Reformation is all about: The grace and love of God is experienced and sought to be shared, but instead the establishment, just like the Pharisees reacting to Jesus, refuse to listen!

 

The Reformation Spread and Formed Revival Movements

 

In spite of opposition from the establishment, the Reformation spread and later formed revival movements.

 

The early Puritans in the United Kingdom were a revival movement, according to historian Sydney Ahlstrom, and are directly tied to the Reformation. Grace to them was something that should be known and experienced in the heart and not mere head knowledge; they thus can be seen as early Protestant mystics. 

 

Persecution and a lack of freedom caused them to seek refuge in a new land across the sea where they could worship as they felt led; this new land came to be called America. 

 

The first sustaining colony in America—others had been attempted earlier like Jamestown and folded—was brought forth by those Puritans, Separatists, and Independents* who came across on the Mayflower. (*Separatists wanted to separate from the Church of England, while others originally wanted to purify it from within, hence the more classical name Puritan, though all three of the above mentioned were of Puritan stock.)

 

They took up the colony “for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian Faith” which they wrote in their charter upon landing at Plymouth Rock. 

 

The Great Commission indeed had been a strong theme amongst Puritan preachers of all branches of Puritan faith in England and motivated this journey of leaving all behind and going like Abraham to a land that they knew not, to be lights for the Gospel in the new world. 

 

America’s first sustaining colony was thus founded by a group of outcasts who had been touched by the Reformation and revival and who came with the goal of advancing the Christian Faith. It has been a land where revivals have taken place ever since.

 

Travel Insights 

 

While traveling through Europe on different mission trips, we have been able to visit some different sights connected with the Reformation and different reformers.

 

We have been to some of the places connected with the Reformers William Tyndale, John Knox, and Martin Luther.

 

Each of these reformers experienced God’s grace and sought to return to the Word of God as the foundation for the Body of Christ. Having experienced the grace of God personally and intimately, they desired that others should also experience this glorious grace of Christ given freely and which comes simply through faith in Christ Jesus.

 

Reflecting on that grace and these reformers, I wrote a little song called Grace Alone about their suffering, which came to me on one of those trips and made a video about it, which you can check out by clicking here. (Direct link: https://youtu.be/m7oDc--KlFk)

 

We also have a video about the Christian Faith of the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock which was shot right on location in Plymouth, Massachusetts. You can check it out by clicking here! (Direct link: https://youtu.be/xRM3-jqexe0)

 

 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

"I am a Wycliffite and a Hussite." - Martin Luther

Video: John Wycliffe: Morning Star of the Reformation

We were ministering at a church in London last year, where we experienced a powerful move of the Holy Spirit. Many of the those who came to the meetings got blessed as the Holy Spirit poured out, empowered, healed, and filled those there.
 
We later on in the trip ministered at one of their sister churches in Paris. There was a lot of warfare and difficultly getting to this church in Paris, especially with a crazy parking fiasco, that had us under serious stress and warfare. 
 
The pastor said when we finally got into the building, albeit a bit late, “I believe the Lord will manifest His power as you minister!” That was an encouraging word after such a struggle and distraction.
 
It turned out that he nailed that! The Holy Spirit moved in radical power and some people were knocked backwards, almost looking like they were hit by a bomb blast as the Holy Spirit poured onto them when we prayed for them. We had a revival time as the Lord poured out His power at the service that day.

Sometimes God’s power is strongest when we were are at our weakest, being so ruffled from the parking mess I was quite distracted going in to the service, but surprised and rejoiced by the way the Lord moved! Hallelujah!
 
Well in between ministry, when things are a little calmer, we like to visit, when the opportunity arises, some of the places that tell something about some of the history of the area, especially when it involves something about Christian History, revivals of the past, or the Reformation.
 
We had a few unexpected surprises in that vein on the last trip. One of them was while we were going through London after that aforementioned ministry there, before heading off to France. 
 
We were in the area of the British Library and decided to pop in for a visit.  We’d been there before, but I have figured out over time and visits, that they tend to change their exhibitions of historical books and artifacts quite regularly.
 
As we walked up to the display cases, we were stoked to come upon one of the last remaining Wycliffe Bibles in the world. John Wycliffe is known as the Morning Star of the Reformation, meaning he was a forerunner to many of the things that Martin Luther took on later.
 
The Reformation 
 
When Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses on the Castle Church door in Wittenberg, Germany, on October 31st, 1517, it turned out that it was the spark that initiated the Protestant Reformation.
 
The Pope’s response to Luther’s Theses was: “Who is this drunken German? I’ll have that heretic burned at the stake within two weeks!” Well, it didn’t really go the way the Pope said, even though popes had done just that with dissenters many times; the Word of God was on Luther’s side and he wouldn’t be so easily silenced.  Many were impacted by the truth Luther was bringing forth and turning back to biblically-based faith and supporting Luther.
 
As Luther’s confrontation of church abuses caught fire and spread, another tactic was tried by Rome: Have Luther debate the Catholic theologian Johann Eck. Known as a master debater, they figured Eck would bury Luther and make quick work of him. 
 
Luther was a Catholic priest himself, but through reading the Bible, his spiritual eyes had been opened to see that the Catholic Church had long since abandoned its roots and substituted a host of money-making schemes like indulgences (papers declaring forgiveness of sins when the proper donation was made which was no less than selling forgiveness) and the veneration of relics (bits of bone allegedly from Saints of the past). These relics, according to the Catholic Church, could confer time off purgatory when viewed along with the always demanded stipulated donation.
 
Rome didn’t realize the depth of insight, wisdom, and knowledge that Luther had garnered from studying the Word of God and they underestimated his ability.
 
Luther rose to the occasion in the debate with Eck and was an equal match in his command of Christian History and scriptural truth. Luther made it clear, citing early Church Councils, that it was none other than the Catholic Church itself, that had strayed from its original roots and teachings.
 
Eck came back with an accusation that Luther was a Wycliffite and a Hussite.
 
During a break in the debate, Luther searched the library to find out that both John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were leaders that had attempted to bring reform in previous centuries before him, but were condemned as heretics for seeking to turn the Catholic Church back to its foundations in the Word. 
 
Hus was burned at the stake, and while Wycliffe had escaped their clutches while alive, his bones were dug up after he died and were burned as well. The implication was clear: Luther better cool it or he could face the same fate. 
 
Instead of shrinking back in fear, Luther came back as the debate resumed and declared boldly: “I am a  Wycliffite and a Hussite!” In the end, the debate only served to elevate Luther’s status, the last thing they wanted.
 
Wycliffe and Hus
 
John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were forerunners of the Reformation.
 
Jan Hus, who was from Bohemia (modern-day Czech Region) was also a Catholic priest who began to see the errors the Catholic Church had embraced and sought to bring reform. Hus was greatly influenced by Wycliffe’s writing and confronted the Pope’s claim that he was a mediator between God and man, which the Pope had made at the Fourth Lateran Council. This meant the Pope was above a normal person and equated himself with the savior. This was a gross contradiction of the Scriptures, which say emphatically that there is only one mediator between God and man: Jesus Christ!
 
Hus also said that it is Jesus Christ who is the head of the church and not the pope, which is of course what the New Testament Scriptures teach in Col. 1:18.  Hus was persecuted and burned at the stake in the year 1415 for his efforts to turn the church back to the Word of God. He actually made a prophecy right before he died: "You are now going to burn a goose, but in a century you will have a swan which you can neither roast nor boil." (Hus' name means goose in the Czech language.) This was fulfilled through Luther 100 years later. Luther has been pictured with a swan in some paintings to show the fulfillment of that prophecy.
 
John Wycliffe, is known as the Morning Star of the Reformation.
 
Wycliffe lived in the mid and latter 1300’s and attended Oxford University. He was a stalwart figure there and in the church. In fact, Oxford’s early reputation in scholarship owes much to Wycliffe. Over time, Wycliffe saw the way the Catholic Church had drifted away from the anchor of truth in the Scriptures during the Medieval Period. Its wealth and opulence had corrupted it, and it had replaced the Gospel with money-making rituals and superstitions like relics and indulgences and the cult of the saints.
 
This constant drift away from the truth seems endemic in humankind’s very existence. Paul the Apostle had to write, not too long after planting the Gospel in Galatia, quite strongly to the Galatians to deal with their similar drift away from the Gospel and confront their return to clinging to rituals and dead works. This is why the Book of Galatians was a centerpiece in reform and one Luther relied on quite heavily during the Reformation.
 
Much like Luther later, Wycliffe had become quite disturbed by these practices. While reading the Bible Wycliffe, much like other reformers including Luther, found no relics, indulgences, purgatory, saint worship, nor prayers to saints; no holy water, no processions or the like, through which the Catholic Church lavishly garnered lucrative donations. In fact, these were more aligned with pagan practices. Nor did he see that the Pope, nor priests, had the place to confer and issue forgiveness. Like Luther, he saw in the Bible that it was only faith in Christ which was taught as necessary for receiving forgiveness and salvation.
 
He thus felt that he should put the Bible into the hands of the people in their own language that they may see for themselves that it is faith in Christ that brings salvation and not all these rituals the church was using as replacements for the Gospel.
 
Like Martin Luther, and William Tyndale later, Wycliffe thus worked to translate the Scriptures into the vernacular language of the people: in his case the English of Great Britain, and make it accessible to all, not just priests and bishops. 
 
This was a high crime at that time, the Catholic Church at the Synod of Toulouse in 1229 officially forbade the laity to even possess a Bible—yes, as crazy as it sounds, having a Bible according to the Catholic Church was a crime—and they also opposed vernacular translations. They allowed only Latin as the permitted language for the Bible.
 
Latin was a long dead language that very, very, few could read and comprehend. It was obvious that keeping the Bible in Latin could keep the people in the dark regarding all the rituals the Church had used to replace the Gospel. 
 
Wycliffe saw the need for the Bible to be in the language of the people and worked to translate and distribute the Bible to the common person, who he felt could read and understand it and be blessed by it, regardless of the Catholic Church’s prohibitions.
 
He employed common people to help him as well in these endeavors, and in so doing was employing that New Testament practice that Luther highlighted later as well called: “The Priesthood of all Believers.”
 
Wycliffe managed to do all this in the last nine years of his life; God saved the best for last. Like Corey Ten Boon, he served God the most in his latter years, as it is never too late in God’s Kingdom.
 
Wycliffe made a valiant effort in his translating, but the Latin was all he had access to in order to translate the Bible into English. He and his helpers, called Lollards, who he sent out to preach and distribute Bibles, also helped copy the translations by hand, which was a very long, and painstakingly slow process.
 
Luther and Tyndale, roughly a century and a half later after Wycliffe, would have the advantage not only of the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg to make copies of the Bible they translated, but they also had access to a Greek text of the New Testament that had been recently assembled and published in their time by Desiderius Erasmus. Those advances greatly helped further their efforts and fanned the spread of the Reformation, which in turn spawned revivals in later times.
 
Wycliffe stands as a Morning Star of the Reformation, a forerunner in his effort to bring reform and make the Bible available in the language of the people. His efforts made a great contribution and helped lay a foundation for the later Reformation and subsequent revivals. 

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Ministry Update: Summer 2020




Wedding Anniversary


We celebrated our 28th Wedding Anniversary this June! We thank the Lord for His grace, mercy, and healing power of the Holy Spirit, for keeping us rooted and grounded in His love. We are grateful for the presence of Christ that has sustained us over the years! We were able to get up to Yosemite National Park, as things opened up a bit, and celebrate the Lord’s goodness over the years. The Bible illustrates how it is important to celebrate and remember all of God’s blessings!

We have been doing quite a bit of ministry activity (online and in other ways) during what is one of the most unusual years so far in recent memory with COVID19 and civil unrest.

It was recently Pentecost Sunday. Some years it passes by with nobody even mentioning it. However, with all the upheaval in recent times, many people in the Body of Christ were actually praying for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we joined in online, and otherwise, with a number of those meetings and are encouraged to see fresh hunger in the Body of Christ for the power of the Holy Spirit! Praise God!

Billy Graham said in one of his last major conferences on evangelism: “We need to get back to the Book of Acts and I mean specifically Acts Chapter 2 and the power of the Holy Spirit.” He went on to say that this is the only way we can have hope of reaching this generation. As one of the most renowned preachers in American history, Billy Graham in his writings makes the point that reliance on the Holy Spirit is completely biblical and central to the Christian faith, and in fact epitomizes the goal of the Christian life.



Online Outpouring


Amongst recent meeting we’ve done, online and otherwise, one of the recent highlights for us was doing an online meeting with some friends up along the Central Coast of California. We had a blessed time of renewal and refreshing as the Holy Spirit poured down on us all in power when we moved into a prayer time. It was awesome to experience the Holy Spirit moving on all who joined in, releasing words and prophecies, and insights, from different people in attendance. The “priesthood of all believers” was evident and in action.


There were actually a number of younger people in attendance who were powerfully touched and ministered to as we prayed over them. We are doing our part to reach into, and empower and equip, the next generation! Praise God that the Lord’s power is not limited, or reduced, by doing things online through still-developing Zoom technology. We have also experienced people being filled, empowered, and encouraged in other online meetings we’ve done!



Divine Appointments


As things have opened up a little more, we’ve had some divine appointments, in person and otherwise.


I had one recently with a brand-new Christian I met. He was seeking direction for his life and I was able to share with him, and then pray over him about how the Holy Spirit will help lead us towards the Heavenly Father’s purposes for our life in Jesus’ Name. He was touched by the Lord and very thankful, hallelujah!


I also talked, shared and prayed with a man I met from Syria who had been through many hard times. He had come to Christ after being a Physics professor and experiencing great loss, including the death of his wife at the hands of Communist forces who kidnapped and killed her. He said he found God in the midst of his struggles, which he stated is the most important thing, and shared how much he appreciated being in America now! He was blessed that I took the time to listen to his story and then pray for him.


We also received a call from Canada from a brother in Christ who shared how a word we’d given him on our last trip there had deeply ministered to him and how the Lord had brought it now to fulfillment! Praise God!



More Online Activity


We were doing podcasts way before they became a popular thing and in fact have a plethora of podcasts episodes available online that cover different teachings from books of the New Testament as well as events in Christian History. We have begun to put some programs on SoundCloud as well, which offers fairly easy access. Our latest uploads to SoundCloud include the “Azusa Street Pentecostal Outpouring” and “Charles Finney’s Conversion and Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” You can access all our SoundCloud episodes here: soundcloud.com/graceworldmission and our more complete list on our Grace Alone program on iTunes/Apple Podcasts.


Another of our recent online pieces was about the Mother’s Day Outpouring in Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda, later renamed The Anaheim Vineyard, and my own subsequent baptism in the Holy Spirit there back in the day.


We in fact received some blessed responses from people, including a touching response from a reader who wrote to tell us how impacted she was by the article. She shared how blessed she was by the fire and power and anointing of the Holy Spirit that touched her while reading the article, as well as when we ministered at some meetings in her area up in Northern California previously. If you want to read that recent article you can do so by following this link: http://gwmgracenotes.blogspot.com/2020/05/40th-anniversary-of-mothers-day.html


It is important to remember that both the Pentecostal/Azusa Street Revival, as well as the Jesus People Revival, were preceded by civil unrest and national distress. Things got shaken up before those outpourings took place.


We are stoked on the way the Holy Spirit has continually moved in meetings we’ve done whether in person or online.


Let us all pray together that the larger Body of Christ will have a fresh widespread outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our time as well!


Thank you for your prayers and support! We really appreciate it!


God bless!

Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux




Sunday, July 12, 2020

Charles Finney's Conversion and Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Our recent ministry update includes a few recent divine appointments, as well as an account of a recent outpouring where the Holy Spirit moved powerfully. We also have a link in our update to a powerful historical podcast we recorded on Charles Finney’s Conversion and Baptism in the Holy Spiritwhich is one of our latest uploads to our SoundCloud page and offers fairly easy access for listening on demand.


A Little About Charles Grandison Finney



Charles Finney was a powerfully used evangelist and minister in America in the early part of the 1800’s. He also ministered in England. In fact, he is considered to be the forerunner to those who did mass evangelistic campaigns later like D.L. Moody, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, and Reinhard Bonnke.

Like Martin Luther, Finney also studied law, however it was after becoming a lawyer that Finney went on to experience a dramatic conversion and soon after a very powerful baptism in the Holy Spirit…which he says “took place before he even knew what that was.”

His baptism/filling of  the Holy Spirit also touched several other people right as it took place and included some manifestations that have been seen in many different revivals, such as profuse weeping, holy laughter, and God’s overwhelming presence!


Finney is in many respects a product of the Reformation; similar to Martin Luther he received a revelation by the Holy Spirit regarding the grace of God. Finney was given a revelation from his experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit that: “Justification by faith through grace is a present reality and something to be received now.” Not just something to hope for at the end. This was the effect of the Reformation as it fanned out through history, it brought forth evangelism.

Our friend Harald Bredesen, a Lutheran that got filled with the Holy Spirit himself and who also recaptured that original Lutheran revelation of "justification by grace" via the filling of the Holy Spirit, said when he witnessed to others: The problem with religion versus the Gospel, is that religiosity often leaves one stuck in limbo not knowing if you will be hung or acquitted on the Day of Judgement, hoping the rituals one did will be enough, which they never can be. The Bible however makes it clear that the Gospel saves and brings forth eternal security: salvation was brought forth on the cross through Christ and all you need to do is receive Christ as Savior and Lord. Then you have peace with God having been justified by His grace through faith (Romans 5:1-3).

Finney took that revelation he received into the harvest fields. And while Luther’s revelation resulted in the Reformation, Finney’s revelation resulted in pioneering campaigns of evangelism. Though they may have differences in some respects regarding the way they looked at things, the truth they received by revelation of the Holy Spirit about God’s grace brought great impact.

Finney also worked tirelessly to bring an end to what he called “the vile sin of slavery.” Many other believers like him worked hard to do the same in this respect as well. It is important to learn about historical figures like Charles Finney, a Holy Spirit-filled warrior who battled for souls, as well as to free those in slavery.

His conversion and filling of the Holy Spirit is an extraordinary power encounter. Check it out, I’m sure you’ll get a renewing touch of the Holy Ghost by just listening to that powerful Baptism in the Holy Spirit that Finney experienced!

Here’s the link to our podcast on Charles Grandison Finney: https://soundcloud.com/graceworldmission/finneys-conversion

The Need for Programs Like This


After graduating from Fuller Theological Seminary, and while ministering in different situations, I began to see the need to share certain aspects of Christian History, a lot of which was rarely covered in general and basically flatly ignored, particularly by secular universities. (I attended a few of those before my graduate studies at Fuller and they were biased against, and edited out, much of the Christian History of the US and other places then, and have only gotten worse now!)

The many contributions made by Christians like Finney—who was quite a well known and popular figure during his time—are often purposely ignored in the secular school system today. This is especially pronounced in the secular universities, with the modern zeitgeist that willingly embraces a collective historical amnesia and biased slant. One of the axioms of Stalinism and Marxism was: If we rewrite history then we can control the people.  We can see this happening today throughout the land.

Learning about believers like Finney helps to give us perspective and is a step in seeing beyond the historical revisionism of our day. 

We have put out lots of different programs, including those on historical Christian figures, which are amongst some our own more popular topics on some sites. I see now more than ever the dire need for programs like ours that tell the history that has largely been, and is being, ignored by secular institutions. Moreover, our programs do it from a uniquely Spirit-filled perspective. We appreciate your prayers and your prayerful consideration towards financially contributing to us in this seriously needed work!

Here is an endorsement of our ministry from a historical figure himself, Harald Bredesen, a Lutheran that got filled with the Holy Spirit who was one of the fathers of the Charismatic Renewal, and some of what he had to say in his endorsement of our ministry: 

"Of all the ministries I’ve worked with, there is none that I have the greatest confidence in the purity of the motivation and the fact that it was the Holy Spirit who gave birth to it than Grace World Mission, led by its founders, Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux...I’ve seen the sacrifice; I’ve seen the zeal; I’ve seen the Spirit-ledness…and I am so happy to be a part of it—I hope you will be and will support it...I’m sure He’ll bless you for it."

God Bless!
Bryan and Mercedes Marleaux

Grace World Mission—Useful Links
Email: gracewm@flash.net
Website: www.graceworldmission.org
Donate Online: www.graceworldmission.org/contact_us.htm
Blog Grace Notes: gwmgracenotes.blogspot.com
Blog Reflections from the Road: reflectionsftroad.blogspot.com
Podcast: Grace Alone on Apple Podcasts
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/graceworldmission
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/graceworldmission

Sunday, May 10, 2020

40th Anniversary of the Mother’s Day Outpouring

Introduction


Worship service at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda
held at the Canyon High School gym.

Although I have written other pieces on this topic, this one has a little more background on some of the events surrounding and leading up to my own experience with being filled with the Holy Spirit, which took place at what was called then Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda. Some of what happened with me is covered in Roger Sachs’ recent books on Lonnie Frisbee. I am giving a little more in-depth personal account from my own perspective:


The Mother’s Day Outpouring of the Holy Spirit that took place when Lonnie Frisbee shared his testimony and ministered at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda, turned into a full-blown revival.


Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda, which held its services in the Canyon High School gymnasium in Yorba Linda, was pastored by John Wimber. It was some years later when it changed its name to Anaheim Vineyard. Wimber had invited Lonnie Frisbee to share his testimony, which turned out to be on Mother’s Day. Lonnie had been one of the main early evangelists in the Jesus People Revival and he preached regularly at evangelistic services held at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for years, where many people were saved, and back in the day, also often included people being filled with the Holy Spirit.


Sometime along Lonnie’s second stint at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, he met and connected with John Wimber. Lonnie had left some time ago to Florida to try and mend his marriage, and then came back later and was on staff again at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for a second time. Wimber and Frisbee met at a Calvary Chapel conference in Lake Arrowhead and he later invited Lonnie to share his testimony at Calvary Chapel church in Yorba Linda.



Mother’s Day



Lonnie shared his humorous testimony laden with stories of the Jesus People days and anecdotes of himself learning to operate in the Holy Spirit. This included some of his missteps like trying to heal a guy with a neck brace in a restaurant bathroom who ran out screaming, as well as how he had a deerskin cape with a picture of Jesus on it that he would throw on top of people when they got slain in the Spirit. When he finished, he invited the Holy Spirit to come and a very powerful outpouring of the Spirit ensued. Many people fell over, some on top of one another, some began speaking in tongues, including some of those who didn’t even believe in tongues.


The Spirit of God was poured out in radical and raw power and knocked some over to the ground, a dogpile of young people fell near the front inundated by the power of the Spirit, and one of them ended up on top of a microphone crying out in tongues over the amplification system, which seemed to cause a reverberation of the Spirit’s power throughout the meeting. An all-out radical outpouring of the Holy Ghost took over. Wimber, who had no idea what was happening, was completely perplexed and in his own words “fit to be tied.”


After such a wild service, Wimber was at first angry, but as he began to pray and examine the Bible that night, he came to the conclusion that, Lord, maybe this is from you. In the middle of the night he received a call from Tom Stipe, a fellow Calvary Pastor who had a word from God for him. Stipe called him and told Wimber that he had been kept awake all night long with this word from God for him: “John, the Lord says ‘This is of Me.’ ” When John then explained to him what happened in the service that Sunday, Tom told him this activity was common in the Jesus People Revival.


With the word from God confirming this was of the Lord and a fresh examination of the Scriptures, Wimber had what in the lingua of Fuller Theological Seminary is called “a complete paradigm shift.” Basically, an ability to see things he had overlooked or ignored before, in a completely new and fresh way. He saw that the Scriptures were laden with the power of God moving from Jesus’ whole ministry to the Book of Acts and on and on. John Wimber, to his credit, decided to move forward with what God had just done. He wouldn’t just allow, or tolerate, the occasional work of the Holy Spirit. He saw that the Scriptures actually commanded God’s people to be filled and the gifts to be in operation.



A Continued Outpouring



The outpouring of the Holy Spirit continued on from that point as a regular thing at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda and many were filled and baptized with God’s power. That Mother’s Day outpouring sparked a revival that continued on at full throttle. The church in Yorba Linda tripled in size over that next year and many, many people began to get saved, filled, healed, delivered as well as experiencing the outpouring and fullness of the Spirit in their own lives.


I also got baptized in the Holy Spirit in this revival season that followed sometime after the Mother’s Day Outpouring. My own experience, and what led up to getting baptized in the Holy Spirit at Canyon High School back in that time, follows.



Events in My Life Leading Up to Being Filled



I was occasionally attending some Bible studies at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, as well as in the Newport Beach area that were linked with Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, around this time.


I had been around Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for some years now, after ending up there through a divine appointment and would go to stuff mostly when I had time as well as transportation that worked. Transportation was an ongoing issue for me back then. I had traded a surfboard for my first beater of a car, which was before I was even old enough to have a license. My parents had gotten divorced and I had to fend for myself and needed transportation. That crazy car had these dysfunctional broken seats that swiveled around like an office chair. It didn’t take long to fall apart and a small crash finally finished that thing off and it was out of commission.


I saved up some money from various jobs like working at a car wash and washing dishes at a restaurant. I eventually bought a Volkswagen Squareback, which was cool because it was like a little station wagon and I could put my surfboard in the back. This Volkswagen had its own problems too. Sometimes it wouldn’t start and had to be push started and other times the lights wouldn’t go on. Being a young teen, I was willing to take some risks, so after driving to the beach from the inland tracts, I would sometimes have to round up some other surfers to help me push start that car to get it going again.


So, after getting out of the water from a surf session, if I had time, and the car would cooperate, I would occasionally go to an evening service during the week at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa or a Bible Study in Newport at a home connected with Calvary, depending on what night it was.


I preferred the home studies because they had food a lot of the times and there wasn’t much food at home ever since my parents divorced. I would also occasionally check out these Afterglow meetings at Calvary. (An afterglow was a meeting after the Bible Studies where people could have time to share a word, or a revelation, or get prayed for, etc.) I would go sometimes just out of curiosity to see what was happening, people would pray out loud in strange languages that I thought were like some kind of African language or something—I didn’t know why they did this since there were no Africans there—I didn’t realize back then that people were speaking in tongues. These afterglows are where I first encountered Lonnie Frisbee; I would see him around Calvary Costa Mesa at other things as well.



An Introduction to the Holy Spirit



I got an introduction and taste of the power of the Holy Spirit at a separate meeting one evening up in the city of Orange. A friend just happened to bring me to this meeting, which was quite unusual. The chairs were all facing each other in a circle and someone dimmed the lights before we began. That’s weird, I thought, how are we gonna see to read the Bible? Then they started this seemingly endless singing…forever. I was used to like three or four songs at Calvary Chapel Bible studies…this was going on forever and I was getting bored. Out of boredom I finally joined in with the singing, thinking it would help pass the time, but inside I was praying it would just end soon….please!!! I usually just waited out the singing part at Calvary.


I was hoping this endless singing would soon be over and was just waiting things out when I saw that hippie dude from the afterglows at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Lonnie Frisbee, come into the meeting. He was floating around the back of the room and walked around behind a few people, placed his hands on them and prayed for them. He then came up behind me and laid his hands on my head and started praying over me. I suddenly felt a heavenly warmth come flowing through my body, in a very unique and unusual way. I had never experienced anything like this before! I did feel the love of Jesus from time to time after I got saved, but this now was on a whole different level. I spent the rest of the time in the meeting just thinking about what had just happened.


When we were finished and hanging around outside, I told this girl I knew: “Hey, something wild just happened in there. I felt a strange warmth come over me. It happened when that hippie guy who came into the meeting late came over and prayed for me.” She laughed at me saying, “Don’t you know anything about the Holy Spirit, where have you been?” Then she added, “Yeah, and that’s Lonnie Frisbee. Everywhere he goes radical things seem to happen!” I was definitely intrigued by it all.


Shortly after this, I was at a Bible study in Newport Beach. After the study, we were all hanging out in the kitchen eating some food, when I heard some of the older adults talking over in a corner. They all had looks of concern on their faces as they discussed the recent going ons up at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda. One guy’s voice was getting louder as he exclaimed, “I heard Lonnie Frisbee is getting out of control up there. He was in the back room of the Canyon High School gym, standing on top of the wrestling mats waving his arms around like a wild man and people were falling over in piles on top of each other. It’s completely out of control up there!” The guy talking then realized that everyone else had stopped talking and eating and everyone was just listening to what he was saying. He looked over a bit embarrassed that he had gotten so loud and he then warned everyone: “Stay away from there! Don’t go up there, it is not safe!” Immediately, it had the opposite effect on most there, including myself. I wanted to go up there and check out whatever it was that was happening.


This same sentiment was reverberating through Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa: the one-time hot spot and epicenter of the Jesus People Revival had kind of slumped into just doing Bible studies with the occasional afterglow thrown in as a nod to its Charismatic roots.


The more they criticized what was going on up at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda, the more it drew people from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa up to it—in fact, I would regularly see a lot of the same people from Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa coming up to Yorba Linda later. Jealousy seemed to play a role in the criticisms that were being thrown about regarding the happenings up in Yorba Linda.


Many were hungry for the power and impact of the early Jesus People days when the power of God was moving in raw form with people getting supernaturally saved, and filled, and healed, in radical ways.


Things like that were now happening up at Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda after the Mother’s Day outpouring. In fact, it was like a second wave of the Jesus People Revival. But this time, it was a lot of different types of people, including skaters, surfers, rockabillies, punk rockers, etc, all kinds of cultural outliers, that were getting saved and touched through what was happening in the revival there.


John Wimber talks about how they were baptizing people in his and other people’s swimming pools regularly. It was similar, but in a different setting than the baptisms at Corona Del Mar in the first wave of the Jesus People. This wave of evangelism had started right after the Mother’s Day outpouring. I had personally been baptized in Corona Del Mar myself back in the day. It is a little more picturesque and romantic at the beach than a swimming pool, but a new wave of evangelism had started up at Yorba Linda just the same.


There was also a deliberate focus in this second wave on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism of the Holy Spirit is the filling of the Holy Spirit as seen in the Book of Acts and talked about by John the Baptist and Jesus:


John the Baptist said of Jesus: “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” (Luke 3:16)


Jesus in Acts: “He ordered them…to wait for the promise of the Father...’you heard from me that John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” (Acts 1:4-5) Jesus said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses….” (Acts 1:7-8)


Rather than the work of the Spirit being an occasional part of things that was passively allowed to happen, Wimber had experienced a paradigm shift and saw that in the Scriptures it was central and furthermore endorsed and commanded in the Bible. So, Wimber went forward from that point with the attitude that he wasn’t going to just passively allow it, but rather endorse it and actively encourage it as the Bible and Christ had done.


I had experienced a foretaste of this Holy Spirit filling and power through that meeting in Orange. I was intrigued but didn’t really understand it all yet and had my mind elsewhere, though I was curious. Nevertheless, God was about to give me the full download!



The Filling of the Holy Spirit


Bryan getting prayed for by Lonnie Frisbee and Jill Austin.

Paul talks about how the Holy Spirit indwells us when we get saved and I understood the Holy Spirit’s indwelling from the teaching of Paul in the New Testament. The Bible also speaks of the empowering of the Holy Spirit. I had experienced only a taste of that in that meeting in Orange. And then God arranged the circumstances to get me filled in an unusual way:


I was out surfing when I did a really hard backside turn. While I came down from the lip of the wave, I got upside down and inverted and fell over my knee, twisting it badly. I felt a sharp pain shoot through my knee. I tried to ignore what I had just felt and tried to get out and get another wave, but I immediately fell as my knee gave out.


I eventually had to face the music and go to the doctor. He said I had a ligament tear and “most doctors would send you straight to surgery, which in reality often turns into multiple surgeries. We are going to try and dodge a bullet here, I don’t wanna have to cut you open if we don’t need to, you are young so we are going to see if we can maybe, just maybe, avoid surgery. It’s worth a try, but no promises,” and then he stuck a big cast on my leg. (It is worth noting that back then knee surgery was much more invasive and involved making a huge incision.)


It was summertime and hot and I hated that gigantic cast. I was completely shut down and stuck doing nothing with that thing. Someone volunteered to take me to one of the services up at Calvary chapel Yorba Linda that I’d been warned to stay away from. They said they were having a revival; I didn’t really understand what they were talking about. My curiosity had been piqued by that warning at the Bible Study in Newport though, and I wanted to check what was going on up there. I was also hoping to receive healing for my injured knee. This stupid cast was putting the brakes on my activities like surfing and lifeguarding, and I was also starting to do a little modeling.


Mostly though, I had been surfing competitively in the amateur circuits where contemporaries like Tom Curren and a young Kelly Slater were making their mark. It was a wild time to be involved in such a sport. It was a new decade and definitely a season of great change in many aspects of surfing and larger society as a whole.



Bryan getting a tube ride! Photo by Surfshot

I had been influenced to turn pro by my sponsor Quiksilver, and shortly after I had the knee injury, which brought my new venture to a complete halt. Having appeared recently in an advertisement in Surfing Magazine for Quiksilver, the pressure was on to get healed up and get back on track with things. And so it was with that mindset that I went to this unusual church up in Yorba Linda meeting at the local high school gym, with the hope of getting my knee healed and moving on with my life, having no idea of the whitewater rapids I was about to be thrown into.


I entered into this hot gym with people holding their hands up in the air and singing what seemed like songs that never ended. Here we go again with more of this endless singing. It seemed like one song all connected together going on for what seemed like…forever.


Due to the lack of windows and air conditioning in the gym, the place was about as hot as a Swedish sauna. I looked around, some were singing with hands raised, others were crying or laughing, and some had even fallen over and off their seats, while still others seemed to be muttering in strange languages. I thought I had come to a church full of people with different types of emotional problems, so many were crying, others laughing; I didn’t yet understand they were experiencing the love of God in a powerful way.


So I just endured the endless singing escapade, sitting there sweating, befuddled at what was going on with these people all around me. Finally the speaker, John Wimber, got on with the message but just seemed to ramble for a while. He just seemed weighed down by the heat and kind of wandering through what he was saying.


Wimber finally wiped his sweaty face and said, “You know, it’s really hot in here, let’s just move on to some ministry.” He invited all those who wanted prayer, be it for healing or to be filled with the Holy Spirit, or whatever else your need was, to go to the back room. It seemed like half the church stampeded back there immediately. This must be where things are happening, I thought.


I was far behind the stampeding crowd, having to hobble along very slowly with these crutches and cast on my leg, and I got there way after everyone else. I entered in just barely through the door and was just standing there looking around. It felt like the train had left the station, there were just some regular people praying for one another. I’d seen a bit of TV preachers and was expecting some kind of mini miracle service in that back room. I was expecting someone to be throwing crutches in the air and proclaiming people healed, maybe piles of people on top of each other everywhere from what I’d heard at the Bible study, but nothing really significant seemed to be happening here. People were just praying for one another. To be honest, I felt kind of gipped.


However, as I was standing there just looking around, something started happening to me. All of a sudden, I felt God’s presence come down upon me in an awesome way and start flowing all over me! The love and power of Christ began to flood me and I started getting filled with God’s presence more and more as I stood there with no one even praying for me.


I began to be overwhelmed by God’s manifest glory, and like those people I had watched mesmerized, whom I thought had emotional issues or were strange out in the gym that evening, I was starting to cry and then laugh and then cry and then laugh and on and on for no visible reason whatsoever. God’s love and grace began washing over me like glorious waves! His love began to be downloaded from my head into my heart at light speed and it was overwhelming me. Waves of like liquid love began to wash over me, again and again.


Next, Lonnie Frisbee appeared while standing on top of some wrestling mats, he started pointing over at me, then he came over and put his hands on me and started praying over me. I didn’t know at that time that he was speaking prophetic words over me. He started yelling that the Spirit of God was moving powerfully now on this young guy here as he prayed over me. It was like being thrown into an ocean of God’s presence and suddenly, gloriously, drowning in His tangible mercy and grace. I became so overwhelmed I couldn’t stand up anymore and started falling and stumbling backwards like I was struck by some powerful force. Some people gathered around me and held me from falling and then sat me down on some rolled up wrestling mats where they prayed for me. I continued to get hammered, being baptized in the Holy Spirit, for the next three and a half to four hours at the very least.


When I finally opened my eyes, the place, which had been packed before, was almost completely empty. Just three people remained, myself and a guy who was still sitting with me and praying for me, and a janitor sweeping the floor who seemed very tired and looked like he was wondering when this was going to be done so he could go home.


It was an awesome and amazing filling of the Holy Spirit, a life-changing event. My life was completely transformed at this point, and I began to pray and read the Bible on my own regularly, something I never had done much of before. I also began to realize that God had a higher purpose for me regarding serving Him.


Being baptized with the Holy Spirit like this brought a complete paradigm shift in my thinking regarding the reality of God’s love and presence. I began to witness to others after this, and even lead others to Christ. I eventually even started a Bible study with those I’d reached as well as led to Christ, where we had our own Holy Ghost times. It was that filling of the Spirit which led into ministry and becoming a witness of God’s grace, love, and power, just like Jesus says will happen. (Acts 1:8.)


I went back to the doctor hoping to get the cast removed but he wouldn’t let me take the cast off early, in fact he scoffed at the idea. However, when I finally finished my stint with the cast and he took it off, he was blown away and stoked on how it had turned out better than expected and was in great shape: no surgery needed! I still had to do some weights to get rid of the atrophy from being in a cast. It was a break in time that God used to bring some reflection and redirection in my life.


I was brought into the reality of God’s presence and love and grace in a way that I had never heard of before nor knew could happen! Hallelujah! 


Mine is just one of countless testimonies of so many whose lives were changed and impacted for good in this revival that started on that Mother’s Day forty years ago. Me and my wife Mercedes were also blessed to connect with Lonnie Frisbee some years later, becoming good friends and being discipled by him, learning many important lessons during that time that would prove invaluable in our lives and ministry.

As you read and reflect on this outpouring of the Spirit, I encourage you to open your heart and ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh, He is more than willing to bless you with that heavenly love and power. Ask and you shall receive!



Link for further info: