Tag Archives: revival

Abundance of Rain

Here are my {humble and extremely astute, hahahaha!} observations on what happens when a lot of rain comes quickly…

Nothing profound or scientific here.  Just my thoughts running downstream…

You may be praying for it (in arid, semi-desert areas, we often do), but it shows up in the night while you are totally unprepared, sleeping, minding your own business.

  • Rocky and Jovan had no warning, when at 3 am, their electricity was out and within 20 minutes they watched water rise from the second step to just a couple of feet from their main level, reaching nearly 6 feet high in their basement.  They couldn’t drive out of their cul-de-sac because the street was already rushing and deep, but had to pack quickly for three baby girls.  It can be sudden.  It was in this case.

It rips your belongings from their places and they just float away.

  • The next day, Rocky went to his house and everything downstairs was just floating around on its side: furnace, hot water heater, washer, dryer, computers, musical recording equipment and sound systems.  All of Rocky’s guitars and instruments (the ones he learned to worship on), were soaked and floating or submersed.   Material things float away in a flood, in an abundance of rain.

It fills the creeks, the rivers, bursts through dams, flows down it’s normal contained path in ever-rising power then through streets and places that cannot contain it.

  • It gets dangerous.  It shows up where we were glad to have it and where we weren’t.  But it is the nature of abundance.  It’s everywhere.  It rains on the just and on the unjust, in good ways and in ways that we were not expecting and don’t know how to handle.

Everybody wants to claim they got more of it than some one else.

  • I don’t want to say too much about this for fear I’ll end up totally snarky.  So let me just say, if you lost anything at all, if you are now faced with mold growing where the basement flooded and your childhood keepsakes are gone – it is a loss.  It is horrible.  And I hope you have some one in your life who will acknowledge that and let you say why the loss affected you and how sad you feel.  I really do.   But there were people whose houses stayed completely dry who acted like they had been banished to a completely undeveloped third world country  because a road half a mile away couldn’t be transversed for 24-48 hours.  Keep perspective and get into gratefulness.  Maybe the next big tragedy will be all about you – won’t that be nice?  There!  See?  I got into snarkiness.  I cannot be trusted.

Some people will lose a lot and then be recompensed with piles of pious platitudes.

  • Mourn with those who mourn.  Maybe what they lost didn’t mean anything to you, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t mean anything to them.  They are tired.  They have a lot of work ahead.  When they say, “Oh-I just found out I lost {some, silly, ridiculous, sentimental, inconsequential thing} in the flood,”  we should commiserate, we should sympathize, and maybe if we know what that is like, we should empathize.  For how long?  Until they are done.  My conjecture is that if we’d stop and mourn with those who are mourning, their mourning would turn into dancing a whole lot sooner.  Sometimes what is lost isn’t recognized right away anyway, in the shocking aftermath of a new normal, of material loss.   Encourage, literally give them some of your courageListen, let them tell you why that {silly, ridiculous, sentimental, inconsequential thing} meant something.  But refrain, pleeeeeease, from pious-sounding-cliches and especially from a “knowing look” that God sent this hard thing to work something in their lives that you totally knew they needed.  Because you will not want that coming back on you!

rocky and jovan summer 2012

The rushing water brings a cleansing, but cleansing strips away things we didn’t count on, too.

  • It is a heavenly do-over.  Now what will we do with it?  It’s a chance to right wrongs, fresh slate, build better, travel lighter, haul away the concentrated, contaminated mud for good.
  • But in the cleansing – I have one friend who lost everything including her home in Lyons.  There is nothing for her to even go back to, her home and those who lived near – all gone.  The land will be cleared and maybe eventually that will seem fine, safer for the future, but right now – it represents many families, people who have nowhere to call “home.”
  • So?  A fresh slate can be good, it is also very empty – much work to do!

If the water gets stuck in one spot, it will become stagnant.

  • There is so much contamination throughout our state now, as the rain has ceased and the rushing has subsided and is sitting still.  I have read about the revivals of old, Azusa, the Welsh Revival.  Powerful moves of God flowing through and changing the landscape, were eventually dammed up, “named”, coined phrases were assigned to them for categorizing the flow of the Holy Spirit.  The rains can be administrated and basically contained…to death.  Choose life from this wet mess!

The bug population will suddenly be crazy after it happens.

  • Because even where the rains have made the grass and trees greener than ever in our state at this time of year, when the good stuff is increased, the annoying stuff {fatigue sets in, bickering, backbiting, distrust, unrest, eye-rolling, offense} increases around it, too.  Be aware.  Be wary.  Be on guard.  They seek to destroy the green-life we are enjoying.

See?  Nothing profound or scientific.  Just a bunch of thoughts rattling around, things I see.

The Bible says where the river flows everything will live.  This will eventually probably be one of the most beautiful autumns Colorado has ever seen {both in the natural and because it is bringing people together to do good for one another}.  It will take time to rebuild, to get “back to normal,” to regain what was lost.  But even now, are we not seeing clearly the great grace and love of God, His heart poured out in love towards us, His great grace at work through His people.  He is good.  We know this now.  But – in the looking back someday, how amazed we will really be, I am sure of it!


Zumba, baby!


Meanwhile, the amazing Tammy Brown (the outrageously gorgeous woman married to the ineffable Lewis “Proxy” Brown, yes THAT Tammy) is doing a fitness-fundraiser {how fun is that?} to help Rocky and Jovan as they work to recover their losses!  It’s a ZUMBA-thing!  You should ALL come!  Seriously!  THIS kind of abundance – it’s a love-rain!

Thanks to so many who are helping so many others and especially those who are loving on my familia.


What does revival really look like?

I started writing this blog 2 days before the High Park fire west of Fort Collins began, and before the madness of multiple fires around Colorado broke out, people dying, many losing their homes and possessions.  I wrote it in the middle of relentless days of heat and extreme drought hitting our region, while the ground cracked beneath our feet.  I wrote it before a senseless killing in a theater put Colorado back on the Columbine-notoriety map.  I wrote it while wondering to myself if revival and true transformation ever really looks at all like we think it will when it comes?

2 Chronicles 7. 13-15 NIV

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”


Sometimes I wonder about revival.

Does it look like a sunny day with happy people who smile and wave and raise their hands high while they sing along with really gifted musicians and singers in a beautiful air-conditioned building which their very own tithes and offerings built?  Does it include a well-rounded children’s program and top-rated speakers at the annual men’s or women’s retreats?**

**Disclaimer: I am not against any of the above.  I love all these experiences afforded us as American Christians.  I just wonder if we have put aside true sacrifice and repentance because we have nice church buildings and comfortable surroundings which must mean we are blessed?  Have  we mistaken a sweet American life for a holy life?

Is it finally really revival when Time magazine puts the latest-greatest preacher on the cover or when we can report crime lowering in some neighborhood where church services have packed out for a week or two or even nightly for a few months?

Is revival signified by a large crowd?  By a great band?  By TV production trucks showing up in the parking lot?  Can you actually “schedule” a revival by booking your best evangelist-friend and plugging some dates onto a church calendar?

Does a chill bump tell you it has arrived?  A few renewed-days of energized prayer and reading your Bible, only to wane by next week?  Was that revival?  Did that cause transformation people will still be talking about 100 years from now?

Are we just pawns of revival and spiritual transformation, praying for it, hoping for it, maybe even begging for it, but unsure if we will see it in our lifetime?  Are we just doomed to wait it out and hope the power of the Holy Spirit will breathe on us and people will fall under the power and boom: revived.  Yay, we did it!  We got God to notice us for one mighty second.

“Ok, we can check that off our list” and now everyone can write books about how we did it, “got God’s attention” so others can follow the protocol for the next time they “really want” a visitation.

What if, a pending revival really is in our hands?

What if when it comes, things seem hopeless, really bad?  What if the ground is parched and we are heading to hell in a hand-basket?

What if there are wars and rumors of war and the politicians have long-since given up representing the people and the churches have quit longing for the Presence in favor of just trying to produce a great Sunday morning experience?

And what if we are spiritually starving to death and watching physical food prices soar and crops fail and we are dependant on produce from nations with which we have shaky relationships and the economy is built on sinking sand and debt is suffocating us?

What if our seeds are eaten before they can germinate and the ground is cracking and dry in drought and locusts swarm in to devour the few things we have made grow?

What if we are being forced to run to God for mercy because circumstances have shaken our strong places and fear is gripping us?  What if some crazy man attacks innocent people in a movie theater – will that be what it takes to bring the Body together to agree that we need to hear from heaven?

What if issues of life and godliness are being debated and decided by carnal men in courtrooms and our love has grown cold and we blame the poor for their state and are not even moved by the plight of exploited children while we sit in cushioned pews complaining that the youth pastor does not keep our teen-agers engaged?

What if pending revival starts at night, in hard times and lack, in loss and in little?  What if revival will only come after God has purposefully shut up the heavens, while we rail at the President and Congress and other nations, but it has been God? What if revival is meant to come after the plagues have devoured everything we worked so hard for because it cannot be by our hand or we’d take the glory (He won’t share it, but oh how we always try to get our part of it) and what is a wave so mighty it can renew, restore and actually revive His people will only come after a devouring, after a clearing away, after huge loss, after a shaking: shaking all that can be shaken so that that which cannot be shaken will remain, what if desolation must come first?  What if we have to tear down and destroy, like the Prophet Jeremiah was instructed, before we can build and plant and enjoy being fully, truly, spritually transformed and revived?  Live again?  Enjoy God’s blessing and favor?

What if revival is not going to look like this Pentecostal preacher’s daughter was raised to think it might?

26 Then [at Mount Sinai] His voice shook the earth, but now He has given a promise: Yet once more I will shake and make tremble not only the earth but also the [starry] heavens.

27 Now this expression, Yet once more, indicates the final removal and transformation of all [that can be] shaken—that is, of that which has been created—in order that what cannot be shaken may remain and continue.

28 Let us therefore, receiving a kingdom that is firm and stable and cannot be shaken, offer to God pleasing service and acceptable worship, with modesty and pious care and godly fear and awe…

Hebrews 12.26-28 AMP

We might want to make a list of all shakable things, all passing-fading things of this world. So we’ll know what to let loose of when His voice starts shaking the earth.

My son-in-law Dave Powers has spoken hope to crowds this summer about our role:  “we are the ONLY people group who have the answer to what ails our land.  We are God’s people, HIS people, and if WE will humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and tURn from our sinful ways, he’ll hear us and forgive our sins and heal our land.”  And He will hear our prayers offered.  THAT will be revival!