Today I woke up late I mean really late (after 8:00 a.m.), I have not slept ‘in’ since our travels began due to time change issues and it getting light soooo early. I normally don’t sleep well anyway but it has been really to the point of ridiculous the lack of sleep lately so it was such a blessing to wake up and not feel wiped out. Beyond the grace of sleep, I knew things had changed, there was a shift in the atmosphere; the spiritual warfare has been tremendous here and everyday has seen a battle in some area. We have been fasting some, praying a lot, rebuking…so knowing today things have changed has been so encouraging. I had told Dave I’m not looking for ‘words’ from others, I need to hear from Him first others may bring confirmation but can’t be the primary means of encouragement and so the day began with the Spirit speaking into our lives and then bringing confirmation.
Dave saw the new people behind us sitting out at their picnic table and decided to go and introduce himself. He came back in and said they wanted to met me. My first thought was really, I’m barely dressed but hurried and walked over. Bieta and Nicholas such a lovely welcoming couple. Nicholas immediately offered us coffee, Dave accepted I declined explaining I don’t drink coffee. Nicholas brought out a European style coffee pot with Turkish coffee. Nicholas is Romanian and Bieta German, they live in Germany. They had their twin daughters with them and were traveling to see their elder daughter who is an exchange student. Nicholas is a professor and we had a wonderful time talking history, ancient architecture and politics. We spoke of our mission, Dave having told them we had been pastors and of our work with the homeless here. They shared the way the homeless issue is dealt with in the European countries which is quite different from here. They are on their way to Santa Fe, NM so we talked about things to see there. When we spoke of the ancient churches Nicholas said that the atmosphere in these ancient churches was exciting and powerful. We agreed that place of prayer and praise held an atmosphere different from the areas around them. This was so much confirmation to me as I had felt that the atmosphere here has changed, we’ve hit it with prayer and praise and others have joined us in this and today the sky was open and the oppression was gone. It truly is exciting. The last thing Nicholas said was, “Now what church are you again?” Dave told him Assemblies of God. We prayed for them safe travels and were sad to see them leave.
We then walked Gabe and left for the grocery store. We were super blessed with finding great sales practically a miracle in California; next splurged on Paneras. We put up groceries and sat down to eat when Dave saw three ladies outside pouring over a map, he jumped up and went to help them figure out where things were. That’s my guy stopping mid sandwich and going to the aid of ladies.
Around four we decided not to do State Street just to head to the beach and walk and pray. Little did we know the flood of grace would continue. We stopped to get a newspaper and I looked across the street and there was Ceceria whom we have not connected with for a few days. I ran over and amid hugs and greetings she shared that she wished she had come to the church with us last Sunday, the one she had attended had done a program she had already heard. She thanked me again for our friendship and said I was one of the few who would hug her and it meant so much to her. She also shared that to be around someone who didn’t have a funky smell was a blessing. I hate to think of how many of the street people don’t have physical contact, haven’t been hugged weeks on end. It is a sad fact that people even Christians often want to throw money at a problem and never get their hand dirty. I have the philosophy that hands can be washed, as can clothes, I need not fear disease for I trust Abba to protect me; I am more concerned with my heart staying clean which means everyone needs a hug. Saying goodbye and see ya laters Dave and I proceeded to the beach.
We were walking and wave watching when we came on a couple surrounded by sea gulls. I heard the gentleman say to a bird, “that’s all the bread.” I walked over and said, “Ah, now I know why you are surrounded by birds, you are feeding them”. The lady ask if it was okay that they were feeding them and I said it was. She asked if we lived here and I said we are trying, explaining what we were up to. She immediately started praying for us. Wow, I put my arm around her and we prayed together. I told Catherine, that she was the first person to pray with us first on our walks. We chatted a long time and she whispered her husband Michael was not a believer. Michael did input into the conversation but Catherine periodically stopped to look up and pray again. It was so wonderful the quoting of Scripture, the assurance that Abba would help us find where we needed to be, the support in our mission. She then said how she could feel the Spirit and so could I, standing on the beach in the midst of vacationers, homeless and sea gulls the Spirit enveloped us in a grace space. We hugged, snapped pictures and promised to continue to pray with and for each other.
The day was flooded with grace, with meeting some of the most wonderful people and with lots of confirmation to what the Spirit had shown us this morning. My word to you who are reading this now is don’t stop short, don’t allow the atmosphere to continue to remain under the enemies control, stand firm, step out and take the land. It might take fasting, it definitely takes unity and lots of prayer and praise. You may still face obstacles I know we will but we have seen a giant taken down and the view is much clearer. Grace floods can wax and wane but if you remain steadfast they will only wane to build again to wash all our hearts clean and clear the pathway for more grace.
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