Between Denver and Nice I was hired to do the voice of Peter Cooper for a documentary. Cooper was an inventor, business man, philanthropist, and founder of Cooper Union, the first free school in America. Next Thursday the documentary will debut as a part of A Celebration of the World of Peter Cooper: Social Justice and Entrepreneurship in 19th century New York at The Great Hall of Cooper Union. There's no charge for the 7pm event.
Okay, the patch of sand we found in Italy was nothing compared to Cannes. I think Hollywood producers must have had it shipped in so American stars wouldn't bruise their feet on the stones, which line the rest of the Riviera that we've seen.
Our guidebook says that the film awards given here are more prestigious worldwide than the Oscars. We did a prayer walk on the way back to our car. Join us by inviting God to do a work in this city and through it touch the world.
We drove along the coast on what are considered to be some of the most dangerous roads in the world (by people who have never traversed NYC in a cab that's about to go off duty!) to snooze on the first patch of sand we've found. All the beaches thus far have been covered with pebbles: though mostly smooth they're still a bit rough on the feet.
We've crossed into our fourth country: Italia to the locals, Italie to l'French, Italy to us. Worth the drive just for the gelato!
Our 90th monthaversary begins our 9th honeymoon...in Nice...nice.
My bag was crushed, the zipper broken, and all my stuff was strewn on the conveyor. We were estimating how much we'd lose in time and money (the dollar's pretty whimpy here) searching for a new suitcase, when the woman from British Airways came out with a brand new one! I did a happy dance right then and there! She said, "You were delayed three hours at Heathrow, your luggage was destroyed, and you are happy?"
Everything that at first looked like a curse has been turned into a blessing. We asked for a window/aisle combo, but after forgiving the fellow for misunderstanding we praised God for five middle seats all to our horizontal selves.
The congregation built it debt free! Of course they have ten times as many people as our church has and real estate in Northern Idaho (though climbing) isn't what it is in White Plains, NY, it's still a tribute to how God can motivate a people to great things.
The title of this painting that hangs in their lobby is "Faith."
By the way, cycling down the ski slope in Vail was amazing!
I found out that Sandy and Dick Wild, who organized this trip, were praying that it would be for me revival and respite. Well the revival happened on the first full day and the respite has happened on the last. After four performances yesterday in two venues (in the second the service had already begun when I pulled up), God has blessed this day of Sabbath respite with sightings of deer, jack rabbit, Great Blue Heron, and a sea plane take off. I got to kiak, swim in the lake, and now I'm taking a leisurely stroll on the longest floating boardwalk in the world at 3300 feet. Ahhhh.
I'm out here on a tour (RichDrama.com/Itinerary) of the great Pacific Northwest, land of my birth. I'm staying in a marvelous guest house overlooking Hayden Lake (Idaho). The first morning I woke up to this view I had my own personal revival, praising God out of control to the Sounds of the Revolution.
That CD is made up almost entirely of the musicians that led us to the Throne up near Toronto. I highly recommend it (ArmyBarmy.com). Every Nation is worth the price of the album. Conceived and sung by one of our chaplains there, Danielle Strickland, it empowers you to pray for every nation in the world in the course of a really cool song. There's also a justice remix that cranks it up a notch.
For those of us who were at Territorial, Sounds of the Revolution is a reminder of our experience there. It also reminds me to pray for Josh Ivany's healing. He's a very gifted worship leader, but he suffers from asthma. We did an enacted prayer for him in which a student representing asthma was crushing my chest as I played the role of Josh. When God was pulling asthma from my chest I actually experienced asthma for a moment before it was completely removed. I (as Josh) then stepped up to full and unhindered worship, supported by fiancee, Jenn Burr. Lord, hear our prayer.
Jenn, who I recognized years ago as a young women with great talent, wrote one of songs on Sounds, to which her future husband lends his voice.
A word about the mustache: I shaved an S into my beard to play Sludge, a rock musician, up at Territorial. We were so busy ministering to those kids I only took the time to shave off the bottom of the S.
I was so glad I got up early yesterday to share what had happened through the week. Our song leader, Dom Crincoli, ended up adding a couple of songs that weren't in the line up so we could bask in the Spirit a bit more. I recognized it as a direct answer to one of our enacted prayers: I stood in as a father and leader of youth. The girl playing this man's daughter danced before us to explain how the Spirit had moved during the week. I was rigid and unaccepting until God, played by one of my drama students, grabbed my head and looked deep into my eyes. Then I joined in the dance and invited the youth to join us. I told our congregation this prayer was answered through us (at least). I mentioned Graeme Press' analogy. Our church was in the slow dance, gazing into the eyes of our Lover. It was awesome.
The students are (top row, l-r) Les, Mike "Gobo", Andrew, Trudy, Jenna, Jess, Tommy; (middle row) Esther, Jenn, Mike, Matt; (bottom row) Kat, Janelle, Alex.
Last night we had our final program in downtown Toronto.
The Worship Stream (that means worship was their main course of study for the week) closed the night with with a song called, "I Want a Revolution!" The photo hardly captures the moment, but these kids were praising God with all their might.
The body surfing was harkening back to the enacted prayer in which the girl was lifted over head and the young man was lifted up in prayer. It was awesome.
I woke up this morning at a bit past 4am to fly back to New York and carry the Fire to our church.
Next stop ID (RichDrama.com/Itinerary).
Last night was Elective Night, and one of the featured electives was the one for children of faculty. They did an enacted prayer (pictured here) for us. The prayer was that the children could help us adults taste and see and hear, touch, and smell that the Lord is good!
Stephen court is advocating MMCCXX: Two thousand cell groups in 200 countries/territories in 20 years. Young people are getting together in groups of four to six, moving to a new city or country and getting jobs there for the purpose of sharing the Gospel. The concept is laid out in Stephen's book (which he co-wrote with Aaron White): Revolution. It can be ordered at ArmyBarmy.com.
Last night one young man took the mic and shared that he had run all over the camp grounds and could hear us everywhere. He said we should praise God so loudly that we could be heard in the next town over.
Later something moved him and he fell on his face at the paper cross that had been set up for prayer. I knelt down to pray for him, and though he was shouting his prayers and my ear was only inches from his mouth the praise was so loud I couldn't make out a word. He sobbed through the cross as you can see in the picture. Several other youth joined in a prayer huddle, and during a "slow dance" with the Lord they prayed over my ministry: a very powerful moment.
Later, completely refreshed, the young man who had sobbed through the cross came running up to me to say we had been heard in the next town over. Three young men came to rock. One of them stuck around until curfew. He said he's coming back tonight. Pray he brings his friends and that they all fall on The Rock.
The band set up in the middle, and we danced with the Lover of our souls for almost 3 straight hours! Our worship was only broken by scripure reading, testimonies, prayer, and an enacted prayer.
One young man has been watching it all but had never been stirred himself. Last night he asked God to reveal himself, and He did. The young man came sobbing to the mic, confessing sins and testifying to God's movement in his heart. We physically lifted him up, over our heads to pray for him. Later I was told that he acccepted the Lord as his Savior there on the "dance floor."
The highlight for me was to see the young man who accepted the Lord after The Revelation, Monday night, dancing with all of his might before his new Intimate.
Company 150, a troupe of young people from around the Territory, just performed a choreodrama (mix of dance, mime, and acting). Wow.
They base their name on Psalm 150 and have been doing drama, worship, and choreodrama, drawing everything that has breath to praise the Lord all summer, culminating here at Territorial.
They led the way into a session on holiness that went over by almost an hour the Spirit was moving so powerfully on us. It wasn't in an ecstatic way like on Monday after The Revelation. Graeme Press, who flew over from from Sydney, Australia, gave us an image: Monday night was the fast dance; this morning was the moment when you look into your partner's eyes and realize who it is you're with.
Tonight is known as Cry Night. Jesus, meet us on the dance floor.