"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


paean, n., a joyously exultant song or hymn of praise, tribute, thanksgiving, or triumph.

     God enabled us--and many of you--to endure to the end, through the 40 days of prayer culminating in the Easter service at Grace. I have been convinced for months that Jerry and I were to stay in the church and stand for Him, sometimes literally, until after the congregation was back in the remodeled sanctuary. Intercessors sensed there was a spiritual battle for control of our church and somehow our presence there would prevent the hostile takeover by Satan that would come to a head that day.
     It wasn't easy or comfortable but with your prayers we did it. Since we started exposing the leadership on His Scribbler on November 22, 2011, they had destroyed our email and tried to block this blog, attacked our reputations, forbade church members to talk with us or read anything we had written, shunned, shamed, and threatened us. 
     They forced out some of the church's best people, including the leader of Agape, our Bible class. Almost all the class members left with him. At the February 5 business meeting every single elder was reaffirmed--without one of them receiving the minimum number of votes which had been required for an elder before Pastor Lou came. Disgusted, 100 people or more, those who called themselves Watchmen of Grace, sought other places to worship.
     On the spiritual level, the battle was even fiercer. If you haven't experienced high level spiritual warfare, you wouldn't believe it if we described it to you.
     The facts we and other Watchmen of Grace have exposed are hard for our church people to believe. Most of us have been members, deacons, teachers, elders of this church for more than 30 years. (I taught women's Bible studies years ago--the entire book of Hebrews, for example.) Everyone at Grace knows that all of us--both those who left in droves and the few of us who refused to leave--are sane, honorable, honest.
     But for many the alternative was unthinkable. That their leaders could be deliberately deceiving them, suppressing, distorting, denying and leading our church away from truth, for some kind of personal gain seemed so preposterous they preferred--it was easier--to think us the ones malicious or deceived. Pastor Lou has engaged psychologists in the church to help resolve their conflicts by convincing them he was the one being maligned and now all his persecutors have left and everything is fine. We were the ones causing the problem.
     But we weren't. God led us to take the stand we have taken. He and His angels were in it at every step, guiding and protecting us. When I think of how gracious and good He has been through all of this, I remember how He led His people from Egypt to the Promised Land. Over 40 years of wandering in the desert and their sandals didn't even wear out! His provision for us was as powerful and personal as that over those 40 days.
    Satan and his fallen angels were in it at every step, too. I could tell in my spirit what the enemy was attempting--attacks on our computer, our faith, our courage, our marriage. But God's grace was greater. We could have stumbled and fallen, but we didn't. We could have been in accidents, but we weren't. God did not permit the devil to do all that he tried to do to us. God kept us safe, in ways both huge and small.
     On Palm Sunday, as a junior pastor began the last sermon which would be preached in the social hall, I had a vision. I was seeing the front of the church. To one side was the church foundation, which I had seen before as one slab askew on another, connected only at one corner. Now it was restored, whole. Beside it was something that looked like a hammock, something temporary, as if hung up by transients. It seemed composed of hemp in front and something like cobwebs in back. I knew that represented those attempting the coup.
     As I watched, the hammock became a manger and the ropes of the hammock became the rough homespun of the swaddling clothes of the baby Jesus, His humanity. The back half of the material, the white cobwebs, became feathers as of wings. I somehow knew that represented His deity. 
     Behind the manger had been a tall shape like a narrow, rounded doorway. Now, as I focused on it, the shape materialized into a priest wearing--a mitre? But we aren't Catholic! I thought. Then, MELCHIZEDEK! I was speechless with awe! I was not expecting that at all! 
     I don't have space to fully explain the significance of Melchizedek in a vision. Melchizedek is Jesus Christ in His office as eternal intercessor for us and when Melchizedek appears, it means the battle has been won! 
     I began silently praising God. As I did, I was back in the social hall and Jesus Christ, in a white robe, with a red robe over one shoulder, was standing, arms outstretched to us, behind the pastor. As I watched He grew--taller than the building, taller than the church--until He stood over the city, His arms still spread. I became aware of what the preacher was saying: "The question is, will the religious leaders, scribes, will we receive and welcome Him? Yahweh--in Jesus--is about to enter His temple--"
     His words were right on and my spirit responded "OUR CHURCH, OUR CITY IS RECEIVING HIM! WE WELCOME HIM!" 
     One week later, on Easter morning, before Jerry and I left home for the first church service back in the remodeled sanctuary, where we believed the powers of darkness would stage their final showdown, the battle was its most intense. Like the final moments of a fireworks show, the hordes of hell had a final display of all their powers. But God blocked it all and I knew He had won. In the heavenlies, He had already won back His church. 
     Now we have only to see it in the natural world. It is beginning. What the devil intended as evil, God intends for good. Amazingly, He is transforming the church from the inside, transitioning from the enemy's agenda to His own. People are starting to wake out of stupor and realize we are not their enemies. There are cracks in the deceitful facade. The hypocrisy, the impertinence, the rebellion will give way--IS giving way--to Him.

1 comment:

  1. WOW..I'm speechless! And Praising the Lord! I knew you guys were going through a lot but I didn't know exactly what was going on. Praise God for His mercy!