When your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, ‘What are these stones?’ then you shall let your children know, saying, ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry land’; for the LORD your God dried up the waters of the Jordan before you until you had crossed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red Sea, which He dried up before us until we had crossed over, that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever.” Joshua 4:21-24
On November 11, 2009 an outpouring of the Holy Spirit began in a classroom of the International House of Prayer University in Kansas City, Missouri. After watching the meeting over the internet for a few nights, I decided it was time to go and attend the outpouring in person. I was greatly encouraged that God was truly pouring out His Spirit on a young generation. The next day I sensed the Lord asking me to count all the waves of the Holy Spirit that I’ve had some part in, or has been instrumental in my spiritual life. Thinking there would be a small handful, I was amazed when the number reached 12. It’s easy to forget what God has done and slip into discouragement. So my hope is that this would be an encouragement to a few that they “may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty” still today. In going over each of these waves there was a purpose for them and a title of what God did in my life in each of these seasons of outpouring. Warning this post is LONG and tells a bit of my history, feel free to skim over my 12 stories if you want, but please read the conclusion at the end.
#1 – Salvation
It was Labor Day night 1978, alone in my room I surrendered my life to the Lord. I had grown up going to Littleton Bible Chapel, but it was only when a certain couple became youth group leaders that I found someone joyfully in love with Jesus. They had the reality of spiritual life flowing out that was contagious. The church I went to was filled with genuine Christians, but this couple had something extra at least for me. Before they became youth group leaders they had been involved in the Jesus People Movement and had gone to Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. They introduced me to Contemporary Christian Music, took me to concerts where people shockingly raised their hands and really got into worshiping God. Through their prayers, their “praise the Lord’s”, their love and acceptance, I entered into the Kingdom of God as a secondary fruit of the Jesus People Revival.
#2 – Vision for Revival and Prayer
In 1977 Keith Green began Last Days Ministry. Through his albums and The Last Days newsletter I was introduced to prayer, revival, and the writings of Charles Finney. In 1980, I started attending Letourneau College (now University) in Longview, Texas. Last Days ministry was located about an hour to the west in Lindale. Several times on Friday evenings a small group of us would drive to Lindale to a prayer meeting led by Leonard Ravenhill. A friend that year gave me a book called “Revivals of Religion” by Charles Finney. The combined influence of Keith Green, Leonard Ravenhill, and Charles Finney set me on a course that I am still on almost 30 years later. I started my first prayer meeting and we saw God touch the campus during “Spiritual Emphasis Week”. I would tithe my time to God, read through the Bible several times, and walked around the campus praying many nights.
#3 – The Charismatic Renewal
Another move of God in the late 1970’s and early 1980 was the Charismatic renewal. The Holy Spirit was at move renewing many Churches of various denominations. Many Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical assemblies were experiencing the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, speaking in tongues, and various other gifts of the Holy Spirit. I attended Rolling Hills East Texas Christian Center and entered into this baptism experience and begin to understand and experience gifts of the Holy Spirit operating in my life. I met an older lady, Claire Dougan, who taught me much about how to pray in small groups. We would wait on the Lord, pray together and really go places in the Spirit.
#4 – Intimacy in Worship
In 1983 I moved to Southern California and spent a brief time at the original Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Anaheim. I began an on and off journey with the Vineyard Movement that lasted over 15 years and experience a deep level of intimate worship. My initial encounter with the Vineyard was a little rough, I found the young California Christians much different then the revivalists I had hung with in Texas and I was beginning to enter a rough patch in my life.
#5 – The Prophetic
In 1987 while in the US Navy I move to San Diego, California. I started attending Restoration Temple, a Latter Rain Church, met and married my wife but quickly migrated back to Vineyard churches. In 1988 Mike Bickle and John Wimber linked up and the Vineyard began emphasizing the prophetic. It was during this time that I began to understand and operate in prophetic intercession. I found that I paired up well with those who saw pictures. When we tracked with the Holy Spirit a tremendous flow would develop in that someone would see a picture and then others would add scriptures and then we would pray them out to a general or specific needed.
#6 – My Awakening at a Church in a (former) bar by the beach.
The mid 1990’s was a frustrating time for me. My wife and our young family moved from church to church and even failed at planting a church with a few others. I came to a place of giving up “idealistic hopes of revival” and we settled into a easy comfortable church for a few years. Late in 1997 my wife talked me into going to a evening meeting at San Diego Vineyard where a new pastor, who had been to Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship (TACF) was holding renewal meetings. A few weeks later I went on Sunday morning and had a tearful God encounter where all the disappointments and discouragements were lifted off by a little whisper from the Lord “You will see revival, you will see it here, and you’re involved.” The next four years were the most amazing in my life and the next five stories came in like a set of large waves. In May 1997 I started a weekly prayer meeting that struggled along and was about to die until…
#7 – The Raw Power of God
The Smithton Outpouring came to El Cajon, California. I was hungry and desperate. The first night my wife and I arrived late and got a seat on the back row. When the ministry call came we were one of the first ones to go forward. A young man started to pray with his hands close to me but not touching and my body started to shake. Every night for four nights I shook, sometimes wildly. I didn’t know why this was happening to me until the following night when I led a prayer meeting. The same power came and the prayer meeting was great. That Sunday the main thing we prayed happened in the main meeting. This began weekly answers to prayer and then the bigger things we were praying for began to happen in the city.
#8 – Unity among many Churches
Back in 1987 when I first arrived in San Diego while in the U.S. Navy, I was transferred to the Navel Training Center in San Diego for few months. I would go out at night and walk around on the base and pray. My favorite place to go was an athletic field with a track around it. One night while walking around this track some special things happened. God began to show me things about my life and then spoke into my mind that the Navel Training Center would be a center for revival in San Diego. That night I took a long prayer walk around as much of the base as I could claiming it for this future revival. Jumping ahead to around 1999 things began to happen in the city. Rondey Howard Brown held a few meetings at the now closing Navel Training Center. A couple of churches started holding renewal meetings together, and another tiny little church rented out a large facility on this Navy base to hold renewal meetings. Soon several churches were holding meetings together. The leadership planned two big events in May and September that were too big for the building so without any of them knowing my story decided to hold these meetings on the very athletic field I had been praying on 12 years before. The first event was called The Holy Passion Conference. On Tuesday night, Claudio Freezen of The Argentina Revivals was there. I was part of a group of about 25 that prayed every night during the service and that night the Holy Spirit fell on us powerfully. The result of the week of meetings was that almost 200 individual churches were now working together in unity. The second event was the Carlos Anacondia Crusade and 10 nights of meetings. This ended up being the end of that season of unity as old divisions resurfaced and many grew tired and return to their local churches to focus on their local issues.
#9 Singing Prayer and Casting a Vision
In between the Holy Passion Conference and the Carlos Anacondia crusade another wave was building. Peter and Laurie Doakley moved to San Diego from Kansas City to start the first International House of Prayer plant sent out by Mike Bickle and the IHOP-KC. During the Carlos Anacondia Crusade I realize I had reached as deep as I could go and it wasn’t enough. So I began to learn a new way to pray and sing responsively. I became a prayer leader and traveled with Peter to Orange County and Hollywood to help launch houses of prayer.
10 – Birthing Meta / Third Day church
One of my long time desires and prayers was for a Spirit filled church that followed the 1 Corinthians 14 model that encouraged participation. One Sunday 2001 in the pre-meeting prayer time, we had a powerful time of breakthrough. It was so powerful, I told the pastor just before the meeting started “It is finished, we have broken through” What was finished was the old way of doing church, San Diego Vineyard came to an end, Meta Church began as the first step of granting permission to do church differently. Meta Church soon transitioned into Third Day Churches, a house Church movement.
11 – Entering into a Quiet Weightiness
One night I came late to a meeting at an Assembly of God in El Cajon. The place was packed and I was leading the ministry team so I ended up sitting on the front row. Jill Austin was ministering and as she spoke, the Holy Spirit came upon me in an unusual way. A heaviness settled on me almost like being in pool full of honey. I was taken into a quiet place and could barely move. I was beginning to enter into a new stage of my prayer life of silence, rest, and glory. At first I didn’t understand and it messed me up as this heavy realm would reoccur at inconvenient times like when I would try to lead a prayer meeting. Later understanding came that the Lord was freeing me from self effort and then as intercession / warfare against the spirit of religion.
12 Fresh Revelation and a New Assignment
When I told my pastor, “It is finished” I didn’t realize that my assignment in San Diego was wrapping up and in a little over a year (October of 2002 ) it was time to move half way across the country to Missouri. I thought we were moving to Kansas City, because of the International House of Prayer, but we ended up at Christ Triumphant Church (CTC). Through a series of events including a loss of a job, I entered into a 40 day period of praying 8 hours a day at CTC. About half way through this period I began to receive a download of understanding both by the Spirit and in the Word. It was primarily about the Feast of Tabernacles and the Lord wanting to dwell in our midst. A week or two later Dutch Sheets and Chuck Pierce came to Missouri a part of a 50 state tour. Dutch spoke over the state of Missouri the exact download I had just received in the weeks before. This became my prayer assignment that I am still praying into in 2009.
Conclusion – What the Spirit is saying regarding the IHOPU Student Awakening
One of the first times I went to the IHOPU Student Awakening, I had a conversation with a friend about what the Lord was doing. The significance of November 11th (11/11) was mentioned and we talked about reading Chapter 11 verse 11 passages to see if anything significant came up. So, when I read Deuteronomy 11:10-11 I sensed I had hit upon something in the Spirit. “For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; 11 but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven,
For a long time it has been difficult to get people saved, believe for and receive a healing, or get set free from a deep rooted problem. To get a small harvest a lot of water had to be carried up hill. But we are entering a new land flowing with milk and honey, but also walled cities and giants. The battles may be bigger but the harvest will be greater because the rain of heaven is falling. Once the Jordan River was crossed, the very first thing the people did was build an alter of 12 stones. So this long post is my proclamation that we are beginning a new season in a more fruitful land. Will it be like the Jesus People Revival and millions of soul will come suddenly into the kingdom?