Sunday, November 6, 2011

Encounter at Tahquitz

We just spoke recently at a conference out in the desert in Palm Springs on the Jesus People Revival and Lonnie Frisbee’s impact in that move of God. We also had an awesome time sharing about all the retreats and radical times we had experienced with Lonnie in the desert also in Palm Springs back when it was a regular haunt for the group of us that were hanging out and hanging on everything Lonnie was doing in those days.

After this conference some of us took a hike up to Tahquitz Canyon, the place where Lonnie had his radical vision and encounter with God that became intimately connected with the Jesus People Revival.

When we finally got up to the top, at the little crystal pool where the waterfall flows down into the canyon, we happened to run into a few other hikers. It turned into a divine appointment as Mercedes and I began to witness to these hikers. After sharing the gospel with them for a bit, we ended leading a young lady to the Lord there and then praying for her friend, who was saved already, but who told us she was seeking the filling of the Spirit. It was quite a wild day already, but leading someone to the Lord and praying for her friend for the filling of the Spirit right in the spot where Lonnie had his vision and encounter with Jesus, was something truly supernatural and prophetic.

The Lord then also brought back to my memory a dream both myself and Patrick had in France the night after we had a car accident (a clear attack of the enemy). We both happened to dream the same thing on the same night. In our dreams, we both saw ourselves going up a mountain to a waterfall and there the Lord met us and began to intimately speak to us.

A little later on after praying with those hikers, I jumped under the cascading water coming down in the waterfall and then, suddenly, the power of God struck me and reminded me of the dream and showed me that this was the actual place in the dream I had seen—needless to say, there was quite the encounter with God under that waterfall as the Lord met me in quite a “refreshing” way. Being under the waterfall that you saw in a dream getting hammered by the power of God after a divine appointment where you were just leading one person to the Lord and another into the baptism of the Holy Spirit up in a canyon where one of the major leaders of two revivals encountered Jesus does have that “refreshing” effect –Glory!!

A Little Background...

Well, for those unaware, Lonnie was used radically in the Jesus People Revival. The Jesus People Revival is a real study in missiology, as Chuck Smith let go of entrenched cultural church traditions—to the scorn of many other leaders in that day—and opened up to contemporary music styles, modern forms of dress and language, and most importantly, connected via divine appointment with a Hippie named Lonnie Frisbee who not only was able to speak in the language and style of the Hippie subculture but was endowed with the power of God. Lonnie preached in the cadence of the Hippie people in a way that they could hear and relate to the Gospel message he was bringing, and both he and Chuck Smith found themselves falling headlong into a radical revival that eventually would extend out to other nations. A second wave of that revival emerged in a later context in the 80's in what would later become the Vineyard. This was yet again another missiological move towards contemporary music and styles “a la 1980's” to reach the culture of that time, which was connected with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that began under Lonnie's preaching at what was originally was called Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda—later to become known as the Anaheim Vineyard. John Wimber’s book Power Evangelism (pages 23-27) notes his very first power encounter ever with the power of God as a time when a young man—Lonnie Frisbee—preached at his church (the famed and well-reported Mother’s Day service) and a radical outpouring of the Spirit took place. Wimber’s four subsequent books after this “power encounter” all begin with the word “Power” and his whole ministry was marked by equipping the saints to operate in the power of God; thus, Frisbee’s influence on Wimber can be said to be no less than massive!

I was blessed to be involved in both movements, Calvary and Vineyard, and see the importance and impact of God's power and how essential and biblically central it is to the Christian life, as well as to learn how important the impact of contextualizing the Gospel without compromising the message is.

I encountered “the Frisbeen” at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa and later was baptized in the Holy Spirit through Lonnie's ministry at the then Calvary Chapel Yorba Linda—later to become Anaheim Vineyard. Later we were able to experience even more and learn many things hanging out with Lonnie, a historically significant figure in regards to evangelism and the power of God of our time. It was truly a blessing to spend all those times in that blazing hot desert in Palm Springs and get to listen to Lonnie teach sometimes for hours on end on the importance of learning to walk in the power of the Spirit.

One of the craziest things happened on a hike up to Tahquitz when I was walking ahead of Lonnie and found half an old Bible buried in the sand; Lonnie found the other half a few moments later and began to lay out some prophecies over me. I told Lonnie later, "I thought we were going up that canyon for a hike. Instead, I end up rolling around in the dirt when I was struck by the power of God when you gave me those prophetic words." Wow, what an experience it was, hanging out with someone who had been used so powerfully in two major revivals!!

To get a little overview of Frisbee's ministry click here:

(By the way we’ll be speaking at Vineyard Laguna Niguel at their youth service today at 4:00pm in Orange County)

Old Photo with "the Frisbeen" back in the day
"Keep your eyes on the prize"

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Adventures in Scandinavia

We've been experiencing many blessings while ministering here in Scandinavia. We had some awesome meetings in Sweden and Norway with wonderful outpourings of the Holy Spirit's power: It was a glorious to see how many who showed up were touched and filled in the meetings we did. It was such a joy to see God moving that way--people just getting so filled and empowered and impacted by the glory of God.

The priesthood of all believers being equipped for ministry has been a theme the Lord has laid on our hearts while in Scandinavia and we've been excited to see God empowering people with His fire and power in a glorious manner with young and old being being equipped for ministry themselves by God's presence.

We also have had some healing moves of the Lord: a young friend who got touched radically in Sweden by God's power. He was on the ground getting blasted by God's presence and overcome by the love of God for a very long time. He told us later about how he has had asthma but last time we talked with him he told us how he's been running and biking since with no problems. While in Norway we had a man with heart problems we prayed for who reported back later that he felt significantly better. He was so blessed when we prayed for him that he went out and prayed for someone else on the street who was powerfully touched too. Another minister who has had serious throat problems was touched and came back to tell us that he felt significantly better after we prayed for him also.

We did a meeting with about 35 to 45 young adults and teenagers in Norway and quite a few there got radically touched by the Lord and filled with the fire of God. The Lord also poured out his love and grace very significantly on some in a healing way and it was awesome to see the Lord moving in such a way that we were able to minister late into the night since it was a home meeting. We also did some worship in a church service; every meeting we've done has had significant moves of the Holy Spirt with the glory and fire of God being poured out in power.

The Power of God moving deep

We were also able to have a little R and R with some friends here who took us out for a few days of rest on their sailboat. We really appreciated this after traveling for over two and a half months in Europe. We've had incredible blessings everywhere we've been but also had some warfare as we shared before. Getting into Scandinavia turned into a literal nightmare with a bomb scare at the airport and then a sick pilot who stopped the flight right as we were getting on the plane. Then we were rerouted to the wrong destination and were left by the airlines stranded with no means of further travel. On our final leg of the trip that day, the train broke down and we had to transfer to a new one---never had so many things happen in one day before like that, it turned a 4-hour journey into 14 hours. We see now that the opposition came as God had so many blessings in store here in Scandinavia.

Fire and glory falling

Norway was the first country in Europe to receive the Pentecostal outpouring from the Azusa Street Revival years back and the Swedes brought the fire of Pentecost first to Latin America, so we are excited to see God moving in power and reviving the ancient places long devastated by the secularism that has crept in like decay over Europe and the religiosity that the enemy has used to leech the life out of the true Gospel of life and power.

As we've ministered in Europe in places like France and England and Scandinavia we are excited to see what God is doing; it is a blessing to see God moving as we preach and minister in many of these thirsty places. We are reminded of Argentina when we survey the land in Europe: Argentina was one of the toughest places spiritually in Latin America, and yet later had one of the biggest revivals. Nothing is impossible with God!

Getting a few waves on the Nordic coast

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Glory Falls in France

French views of Paris and Biarritz

“I can’t geet up, I am stuck” were the words of the French pastor who was interpreting in one of the meeting we just did in France. Struck by the glory of God to the ground, he was then glued to the floor and unable to get up and keep interpreting. The move of God’s power through the congregation bowled him over and we were left without an interpreter. I repeated a few phrases in French like Gloire a Dieu! to fill the air, while he laid stuck to the ground as the Lord continued pouring out Spirit in great power.

The glory and light of God fall in power ( above and photos below)

My broken French wasn’t even noticed though as the glory was falling so radically and people were crying out, laughing, some screaming and receiving deliverance. We began to get hammered by the glory as well and the meeting was just completely overtaken by the power of God and was so glorious it just continued on and on with no way to conclude the meeting – God just kept moving and moving!!

When the Lord moves like that it blows out the “in by 10 out by 12” stuff that we call church! The glory just takes over and all the human-planned stuff is left by the wayside while God does His real work of the kingdom: Healing, and pouring out His love, power, grace, and compassion as He transforms hearts and lives with the reality of His presence.

That move of God was phenomenal enough but we've had others following it as we ministered later again in the cities of Tours and then Paris. In another meeting the Lord began to move by His Spirit even during the preaching, visibly touching people with His power even while we were still speaking. He has continued to bless many with power, grace, and healing as well as bring some to salvation and re-dedications as we've continued to minister in France. We had a very powerful time ministering in Paris--the interpretation situation was quite unstable but a woman who just happened to be at the church before moving into another area the next week and who spoke very good English and French volunteered to interpret at the last moment and we had a very radical time. The woman interpreting testified that she was herself touched for the first time in her life by the Spirit of God in such a powerful way as we prayed for her as well. Many received deliverance and the filling of the Holy Spirit and healing power- Gloire a Dieu!

Preaching together at a French service -- we've been doing more ministry together--sharing the preaching, teaching and praying for people--than any trip in the past!

It is a glorious thing to see the Lord move so powerfully in a place as dark as France. It is one thing to go into a place that is quite alive and see God do some awesome works but quite another to go into such a dark, dark country and see such a radical move of God: The light shines in the darkness and the darkness cannot overcome it!

As well as seeing the Lord move so gloriously we have also had some wild divine appointments and some blessed encounters with fellow believers. We just happened to run into a young french guy who was in relationship trouble and approached us about how to make a call to the United States—guess we’re not as incognito as Americans as we would hope to be. We talked with him a bit as he was stressed about his girlfriend in the US and it opened an opportunity to witness to him and even to pray for him right there out on the walking corridors of Biarritz. We were also blessed to connect up with some fellow believers from Christian Surfers as we mutually passed through the southwest of the coast of France and enjoyed a bit of fellowship and a few waves together and prayed and talked about ways to reach into the French and Basque culture—surfing can be a good tool as they are quite hip on it here. We also had a divine appointment with a German guy that let me use his longboard when we came across some small waves further up the coast and the topic of Luther was a good segue to talk to him as well.

Getting blessed with a bit of warm water and French surf in-between ministry. A good way to get the batteries recharged and meet unbelievers.

Spiritual Battlefield With Fiery Darts Flying

Like I said it really is quite awesome to see a move of God like the one we just had in a place like France since France is definitely a heavy battleground spiritually. It is all the more awesome when God moves in such an oppressed place but it does not come without a heavy price. For it is truly a very dark place spiritually, a recent study by missiologist Peter Wagner reveals the depth of the spiritual darkness as the average French person is more likely to go to a physic or spiritualist than an actual doctor when in physical need. Darkness covers the land and thick darkness the people as the actual Bible-believing regenerated Christian population remains below 1%. Think about that for a moment – less than 1% percent of the population is saved! France’s history is also riddled with persecution of vital Christian movements that have sprung up in the past which they deliberately sought to wipe out (we will touch on that in a moment).

As well as experiencing the glory of God we have also definitely felt the sting of the spiritual battle every time we have touched the ground in this nation and this trip is no exception. We have already experienced so much spiritual warfare in the short time while here that it is stunning. From the moment we crossed the Channel from England to France and came upon the ground here we have experienced intense spiritual warfare. While passing through Normandy, on the way to our ministry destination, and seeing first hand the incredible sacrifice made by those Americans and British soldiers who liberated this land from the hand of the Nazis during WWII, the Lord began to truly speak to us about the price of liberty. Shortly after God visited us so powerfully we were in a car accident. Praise God we are all ok and not hurt, except for some soreness in Bryan’s back, but we were definitely shaken up quite a bit. The deductible for car rental insurance in France is quite high so we definitely could use your prayers and financial support (link) as we have been hit by the enemy while walking in the glory—walking in God’s glory and power is so awesome but it also makes you a target of the enemy as old friends like Harald Bredesen and Lonnie Frisbee used to remind us from the pages of Scripture.

Rows and rows of crosses at Normandy speak of the American and British soldiers who gave the ultimate sacrifice to liberate the occupied land of France and Europe. A new wave of soldiers of the cross are needed to see spiritual liberation in Europe today!

The warfare has continued with other things like clothes being destroyed. Right before preaching we were getting ready to go to the service when Mercedes just barely touched a barely warm iron to some pants I was going to wear which immediately did the weirdest thing and began smoking and smoldering and had a strange huge hole burned into them and were rendered useless, neither of us have ever seen anything like that before – it is a hard thing to deal with as you only bring so many clothes when traveling and a lot of other clothes have been ruined as well, I barely have anything left to wear and have had to buy other clothes; it seems like I’m leaving a trail of clothes behind throughout Europe on each trip. Anyways, we can definitely use your prayers and financial support, anything you can donate at this time would be definitely appreciated (Make a donation) as we have recently had quite a few extra unexpected expenses like train tickets and clothes that we weren’t planning on having to get; after the accident we had other unexpected charges like the car deductible we mentioned too.

Battles of the Past Reflect the Intense Warfare

As I have said, the sting of the spiritual battle is something we have experienced every time we have touched the ground in this nation, some things that happened here to us in the past are:

One time a car we were using started by itself with no one in it and lurched forward when I was standing in front of it and sought to run me over and then ran into a wall and caught on fire –can you say “Spiritual Warfare!?!” Another time, a room we were staying in started to catch on fire. And on yet another occasion when we were crossing the border and coming into France a train conductor one time began yelling at us for no reason whatsoever the moment we crossed into France. We have been targets of pickpockets but they were thwarted. Our last time here we began to receive the news of the death of my younger brother while driving through France into the Balkans – one of the heaviest things ever to deal with while on the mission field.

Understanding the situation through their History of Spiritual Darkness, Oppression, and Persecution—This is France!

As stated before, France’s history is riddled with persecution of vital Christian movements that have sprung up in the past, which they sought to literally wipe out:

In the 1100’s a pre-reformation group called the Waldensians sprung up in the South of France seeking to turn back to the Bible, praying for others for healing and following Christ fully. They were severely persecuted as the French State aligned with the Catholic Church in a literal crusade—known as the Third Crusade—to wipe them off the face of the earth. When the Catholic leader came upon the town of Beziers he was asked by the lead soldier if they shouldn’t sort out the Catholics first before the killing began to spare their fellow Catholics. The Leader replied with the infamous statement, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.” The few surviving Waldensians were driven into the hills of Switzerland to try and eke out a survival.

Later during the Reformation, a Reformation group of believers arose called the Hugenots who again sought to return to a biblical faith. A massive massacre was launched against them slaughtering somewhere near 100,000 Christian believers in Frace, including women and children. The remaining surviving Hugenots fled for safety to the English Port and Protestant city of La Rochelle where the Catholic Cardinal Richelieu issued a blockade so no goods or supplies could get in until all were starved to death. French reform leader John Calvin himself also had to flee to Switzerland to stay alive and carry on the work God called him to do there.

The American revolution had many Christian influences and aspects to it stemming from the Protestant Reformation. England’s and Scotland’s Reformation directly influenced the American Revolution and march towards liberty as well.

A Purely Secular Revolution and a Society Chained to Empty Philosophers

France’s Revolution was nothing like this at all, and in fact it was completely contrary to the Christian-based ideals that influenced the early Americans: Because of the severe corruption of the Catholic Church the leader of the French Revolution Robespierre sought to completely expunge every aspect of Christianity from French society and life. He even went so far as to create a new calendar so that no Christian holidays like Christmas or Easter could be celebrated and so absolutely no vestige of influence from Christianity would remain in the French society he sought to create. Furthermore, the French Revolution took a path that was so bloody that it is said the blood from the guillotine flowed waist-high down the streets of Paris. England, it is said, was spared this heinous violence specifically because of the impact of the preaching and ministry of George Whitfield and John Wesley and the Methodist Revival.

France does not know, nor has it experienced, hardly any of this revival nor reformation history and thus remains chained in the medieval dungeons of darkness bound to its failed secular philosophers and mindset that is pulling the whole of Europe down into the bottomless abyss.

Historic views at every turn (above and below)

Thinking of themselves as enlightened, the French are perhaps the most in darkness of all the European nations, having known very little of any kind of lasting vital and true Christian impact.

It was France recently that had the lines in the European Union Constitution removed recently that referred to Europe’s unique Christian history—they couldn’t stomach a reference of any kind to Christianity—the ghost of Robespierre lives on as they vie for that purely secular state like the old defunct Soviet Union—any comparison with the US because they are both western democracies truly ends there.

It is no wonder the intense darkness one encounters here but then it is even more glorious to see God break through and touch lives!! Needless to say we can us your prayers and support while ministering here and other places in Europe.

On Some Other Notes—News You May or May Not Have Heard About!

Looks like we left England at just the right time! As you’ve probably heard on the news, the English nation was consumed by four days of severe rioting, with people even being killed in certain areas. In fact, the very street we were staying on in London was shown on the news as one of the places hard hit by the severe rioting. Some of the very stores we shopped at and walked past every day have been torched and looted and burned to the ground while the “do-nothing” police merely looked on like a bunch of spectators.

Europe in general is reeling from a debt crisis as is the US, and France’s credit rating looks like the next one to take a hit. The French economy as well as the rest of Europe is feeling the pinch!

Ireland is being hit hard on many different fronts, the economy is in tatters and the Prime Minister of Ireland and the Archbishop of Canterbury (England’s spiritual leader in the Anglican Church) both recently stated that the Catholic Church has lost all its credibility and can never be trusted again due to the child sex abuse scandals involving Catholic priests—the situation and cover ups over here are even worse than the US if you can imagine that! It continues as a denomination that won’t reform itself! Spain, Portugal, and Italy are all reeling from the debt crisis as well and are constantly in the news here as they teeter on the brink!

Everything that can be shaken will be shaken—God indeed is shaking the nations!!

Thanks for your prayers and support as we proclaim the true Ruler of all Nations' sovereignty and power and glory!

Blessings, Bryan, Mercedes, and Patrick Marleaux

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Lord's Leading Through England

Ministering at Hollybush in North Yorkshire, England

We have seen the Lord do amazing things as we continued on traveling and ministering our way through England. We just recently passed the date where we have been in England over one whole month already. We came to the Island nation just open to whatever God might want to do, thinking we would be here maybe only a few days or so. However, the Lord has been opening doors all over and continued to lead our steps so we have just stayed here and ministered as He has led us.

Just a couple of days ago we preached at a very powerful meeting at Hollybush Christian Fellowship, a church in North Yorkshire. God moved in awesome power as we saw many renewed and empowered with a fresh wave of the Holy Spirit that swept through the fellowship. Many were filled with the Spirit and ministered to as God’s presence moved gloriously upon the meeting. We saw a number of people ministered to very powerfully who came forward for prayer and healing power was released. In fact, Patrick and a few other young guys prayed for each other and each were ministered to by one another and some healing took place there.

How God set this up is equally incredible. We had been ministering in Darlington in the Durham area and having some powerful spontaneous meetings there. Before that we had been in Newcastle in Northumberland as well as having a powerful time in the city of Southport over by Liverpool. Our friend Heidi in Southport is an old pal through meetings Lonnie Frisbee used to do; Lonnie’s name and heritage keeps ringing the bell for revival in so many places.

Well, our friend in Darlington had talked to the pastor in North Yorkshire and found out that he hadn’t heard from the scheduled preacher for that evening’s meeting. He thus wanted us to come over to the church that very night and be ready for anything that God might want us to do. The other preacher never showed up and so we ended up doing all the preaching and ministering in a church of a couple hundred people where we had a very powerful time as God poured out His power with mighty manifestations following—truly a glorious and blessed time. We both shared different Holy Ghost Stories and passages from the Word and saw a double impact as God poured out His presence in double portion! We also had a woman share what a unique experience it was for us to pray for her, this was just in a casual setting at a lunch at our friends’ home, as she had only been prayed for once before; she really experienced God’s touch and wind and fire and healing as we laid hands on her.

We had a chance to visit the island of Lindisfarne, center of Celtic Christianity as well as the location of the first Viking invasions. We have also been blessed with fun surf all over the place. In fact, a Polish pastor who was ministered to when we prayed for him in a home meeting asked us to come fishing with him, but the waves were too big for the boats to go out or to even fish from shore. I had the boards with us so we went surfing instead and happened to get 4 to 6 foot bowls with offshore winds with only about 6 other guys out or so, all on the East Coast of England! Waves like this anywhere else in the world, even in Cornwall or California, would have been packed with the typical ten thousand other surfers fighting for each wave. Since it happened on the East Coast, there just weren’t that many surfers around to catch it—even on a Saturday—Glory.

After a month in England with plenty of ministry in so many places we are over to France now for some ministry there. Our friend arranged a complimentary travel passage for us across the English Channel, which is a huge blessing as all this transportation expenses do run up the bills. We were blessed to see the famed White Cliffs of Dover as we pulled out of the Channel crossing over to France. In fact, we will be preaching this Sunday in Tours in two different church services, as well as a bit later in Paris at a church there. We appreciate your prayers as we continue carrying out the work God has called us to do here in Europe.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Twists and Turns on the Road

Scenic views along the English Coast in Cornwall

We just had a powerful move of God in a spontaneous meeting in Newcastle, in the north of England. We connected through a mutual friend with a sister in the area who set up a meeting that turned into a powerful Holy Ghost time. God moved in great power with lots of manifestations and demonstrations of His power, grace, and love with a lot of prophetic encouragement coming through for all there including ourselves, we were able to give and receive! We were repeatedly encouraged with just how “brilliant” God’s timing and connection was with our coming there at this time – truly divinely orchestrated! Every last person in that meeting was touched powerfully by God including children!! Those willing to listen to the Holy Spirit and respond receive blessings beyond measure – those too busy, pre-occupied, and averse to any risk – well they just miss out because as John Wimber used to say “Faith is spelled R. I. S. K.”

Little twists and turns can turn into unexpected blessings when you’re following the Lord. After ministering in London and seeing some of its historical sights we had headed out on the road:

We stopped at a little side of the road food store while traveling through the English countryside and while taking a moment to read some Scripture a woman asked what we were reading. Turned out she was a fellow believer who herself was on a small journey wondering what God’s purpose was for her on this little travel she was on. We talked a bit and then we ended up praying for her right at the gas station and she received a revelation from the Holy Spirit that this moment now with us was a divine appointment and then she realized a chance meeting she had with someone earlier who had a death in the family that she comforted was also a divine appointment. “Yes! Divine appointments! That is why God led me out, I didn’t get it before, now I do!” So we were mutually encouraged by the presence of God and for us another divine appointment along the way—we had one earlier with a Korean girl we spoke to as well. John wrote in his third letter that the brothers who went out were faithful in serving the Lord even though the people they ministered to were complete strangers, 3 John V.5.

Newcastle was the northernmost border of the Roman Empire
with many historic Roman ruins still intact

We took a quick turn off the road to look closer at some directions and found a beautiful medieval English castle in the rolling green hills. A little tour through it led us to find that the early Protestant Charismatic founder of the Quakers, George Fox, had been jailed there for evangelizing in the area. The Quakers were a radical group formed out of the Reformation who sought to fully follow the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit. They would meet and simply wait on the Spirit and when someone had a leading, that person be it a man or woman, would share a short message or verse or prophecy or song depending what the Lord was leading. They didn't follow regular church structures or systems and for this reason they were heavily persecuted and eventually fled to the New World of the American colonies like the Puritans. Being jailed was a danger they lived with as George Fox experienced in this castle. Interestingly enough John Wimber was a Quaker and came into the reality of Quaker history when he came into the fullness of the Spirit. It can surely be quite an endeavor to find places like this castle, so it was such a blessing to just “stumble” upon it by the leading of God and get to see up close a place that reflects the price others have paid for the Gospel.

We ended up at the coast later and found not only a beautiful sunny day—quite rare in England—but also a nice swell running with glassy, fun conditions. We grabbed the boards and headed out for a fun unexpected surf session on the English waves. Traveling with a board can be a pain for sure—at times I thought why not just throw it in the Thames and be done with the burden—however when you come across some fun waves in these little nooks and crannies you are glad you have your own equipment, even though not on a surf trip, a few waves here and there refreshes and gives chances to witness to others who will never come in to a church. Furthermore God’s little rewards make all the enduring you’ve gone through worthwhile—which is very illustrative of the rest of the journey of the cross as well. You endure so much when you travel and seek to serve the Lord—long lines and travel hassles are common and it is not all endless fun and frolicking—however God blesses and rewards us with all kinds of little and big blessings as we follow his leading!

We also had a radical day in the glory and grace of God with Davey “Grace” Vaughn in Wales. The presence of God was so manifest in overflowing glory and joy as we reveled in the revelation of the incredible mercy of God. We also had opportunities to share the love of Christ with others spontaneously, as people regularly come up to him as he was featured on UK big brother. After being flooded with the love of Jesus all day we headed out and got lost in Wales and while trying to find our way back to the right road we somehow, by the sheer grace of God, ended up at a great surfing pointbreak which had waves similar to San Miguel in Mexico and grabbed a few fun Welsh pointbreak zippers--a real gift after getting lost and it topped off being in the glory all day long!

Grabbing some waves along the English Coast gives us a
chance to witness to people who would never come to a church.


Friday, July 1, 2011

Euro Update--London

We had a very powerful move of God when we preached in London, England this week. In fact one of the elders of the church had three of his sons get powerfully baptized in the Holy Spirit for the first time as well as some other kids who got powerfully empowered by the Holy Spirit too. One of the elder's sons had been quite far from God and was brought into a new relationship through God's touch.

We had absolutely no jet lag at all even though we had just arrived--thanks for your prayers! We did have some intense spiritual warfare just trying to get into Europe. For the first time in over 10 trips to Europe we were held for some time and questioned--more like grilled--extensively and basically had some accusations that had no application to us leveled at us for no reason, until they came to their senses and realized we were Americans and not trying to emigrate to Europe.

We have a more extensive update with lots of miracles, divine appointments, and lots of other stuff that God has been doing, check it out by clicking here:

May God's richest blessings be upon your life!
Bryan, Mercedes and Patrick Marleaux

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

How to Get a Free Hotel Night in the Scottish Highlands!

We were traveling through Europe doing some different ministry when we headed up to the Highlands of Scotland on our way to their Outer Isles for our wedding anniversary during a short window of time we had available.

You just have no idea how interesting something is going to be when you stop to take a look, which is what happened when we decided to go to Stirling Castle on the way. What was planned as a quick stop for a couple of hours turned into the whole day when we discovered how much there was to see there, including the history of King James whose name became synonymous with the King James Bible.

Our extended visit at the castle, along with a quick look at old Nessie on Loch Ness, put us into dire straits when we got deep into the Highlands. It was high summer when the sun way up north there only dips a bit around the horizon and never really goes dark. Losing track of time in these conditions is really easy, which we did and found ourselves in the middle of nowhere late at night—though you couldn’t tell it was night—with that sinking feeling all hitting our stomachs. "Man we haven’t eaten anything all day!" Caught up in the activities and adventures we just forgot to eat.

Things were not looking good as we were hours up into the wilderness with nothing around and time was slipping away. The hopes of coming across anything that might be open in these remote parts to grab a bite seemed extremely dim.

Praying for something to alleviate our growling stomachs didn’t seem to bring much relief; no manna flakes appeared on our windshield so we drove on heading north towards our destination. Right before the road was about to take a steeper hike into even higher mountainous country I noticed a little dwelling we passed on the side of the road. There was no sign or anything so I didn’t have any idea even what the place was—it just looked like an old home or building--but the Holy Spirit impressed me to turn around and go back to it.

I had no idea what to expect. If anything, it could be empty. It turned out however to be an old B & B that had formerly closed, but just had been bought by a young woman and her husband that very week who were renovating it and had just happened to have put up a couple tables for eating.

We asked if they were open for dinner but we were out of luck. But then the woman there remembered that she had made some soup and happened to just have a few bowls left of it if we were interested. Anything tastes great when starved so I don’t know if it was some of the best split pea soup we ever have had or that we were just so famished that it seemed like it. Whatever the case, we filled ourselves with as much soup and bread as we could and then God opened up a door as the young lady sat down and talked with us. The Lord gave us a great opportunity to interact and share Christ with her for some time in a pretty relaxed atmosphere. God had obviously had more in mind for us than only food and we rejoiced at His hand displayed in the situation.

When we shared where we were headed she gasped and said, “You best be moving on. You have a lot of territory to cover to make it that far while it is still today.”

We rejoiced for a while at what the Lord had just done while we drove and drove towards Ullapool, Scotland where we had a room booked for the night. But then rejoicing turned into yawns after a while when extreme road weariness set in.

We arrived after 11:00pm looking forward to a good night’s sleep but no one would respond to our knocking on the door of the hotel and the door was locked. Nor could we get an answer when we tried calling the clerk’s personal number that had been emailed to us with the reservation.

We kept trying for quite some time to no avail. We decided to get out of the cold and huddled in the car but it didn’t take long to realize we’d be dealing with hypothermia in these northern conditions (we were near almost artic territory) if we slept in the car.

I got out and started walking around in the parking lot praying in tongues hoping to get warm and get some kind of answer from on high.

After I walked around for a while I sensed the Lord leading me around to the back of the hotel where I found a back door slightly ajar. I pulled at it and it opened and next thing I knew I was inside the hotel. I walked up to the front desk and there lying on the counter was a paper with our names on it, and a key to the room we’d booked, but no clerk.

I called Mercedes and Patrick in and we decided to just head to the room since we had prepaid anyway. We actually got a good night's sleep in spite of the weird conditions of no desk clerk anywhere to be seen.

The next morning we ran into the chagrinned desk clerk who asked if we were the Marleaux’s. “Yes” I said, and then I asked “and so where were you last night?” He profusely apologized and then confessed that he had drank a bit to much beer and fell asleep while stepping out for a moment over at a friend's, basically totally left his work post, he explained, as his face turned as red as a boiled lobster.

He then asked quizzically, “But how did you get in the room?” “Well, that was a God thing,” I told him as I explained what happened while witnessing to him.

He looked quite amazed and didn't know how to respond really and then just said “Listen, everything is free for you: Your stay--we'll refund the whole thing--go eat all the food you want. Just sit down and order breakfast—eat all you want; it’s all on the house.”

Those Scottish breakfasts aren't cheap and are more like a dinner with more food than you can imagine: Eggs, sausage, potatoes, vegetables, beans, bread, juice, coffee and on and on. We ate our fill and rejoiced in how the Lord had turned two tough situations into major blessings: meeting our needs at the renovating B&B and now giving us a free room and food there in that hotel in the Highlands of Scotland—Highlands can also mean high-priced so a little divine comp on food and stay here and there is certainly welcome. The Lord met our needs and turned everything around for good and then some, while opening the opportunity to witness about His grace as well.

Glory to God !!!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Soul Surfer:The Movie and Reflections on Kauai

Some scenes and spring surf from Kauai and Oahu

I just recently saw a screening of Soul Surfer, a new movie that will be premiering tonight April 8 about Bethany Hamilton’s story. Hamilton went from rising surf star to shark attack victim. She had her arm bitten completely off by a tiger shark while surfing on Kauai’s North Shore and had to endure an intense recovery from such a traumatic event. Learning to surf again with one arm, as well as going through the trying process of understanding how bad things can eventually be conquered and overcoming severe adversity, it is inspiring to see someone overcome such a serious trial in their life.

On another level the movie stirred a lot of reflections for me since Soul Surfer was actually shot on the island of Kauai itself, where my own uncle lived and where I was first introduced to surfing and gave it a try. It brought on some vivid memories of days there in Kauai:

I was just a little guy around our son’s age when I was eating lunch with my family at The Waiohai, a resort on the South Shore, and noticed some kid out there ripping up some waves. He looked about my same height and age of about ten years, so it caught my eye. My aunt said: “You could learn if you gave it a try. I think your uncle has an extra board in the backyard somewhere.”

My uncle was a surfer but had gotten more into windsurfing over the years so the board had been abandoned in some bushes in the backyard. I dug around and found the board and cleaned it up. It felt like it weighed a thousand pounds, so my dad had to help me carry it down to the beach.

I’d heard you needed wax for surfboards so we got some out of my uncle’s garage, but then I was perplexed: “Where does it go? Probably on the bottom like skis.” I said. As I waxed the bottom of the board some guys coming down the beach yelled out: “Hey haole, you waxing the bottom, what you a potato-head from Idaho, you some kind of kook ehh.” Well, those sure were some encouraging words, but it did lead us to the conclusion that the wax goes on the deck, not on the bottom.

I tried paddling out but didn’t get far trying to go through the soup with that heavy barge. So back to the beach, where we found a little cove with some micro waves that seemed more fit for a first try. A few paddles and pushes from Dad and I was up and riding some six to ten inchers on the islands.

Stoked from just those little waves, I got my first board shortly after getting back to the mainland and persevered through freezing water and harsh conditions, wearing only a beaver tail wetsuit, enduring endless wipeouts, crashes, and dings to the head and body, to actually finally learn to surf.

The transition from warm water Kauai to freezing water in California, and from a 10-foot log to a 5’10’ shortboard, slowed the progress a bit, but somehow I pushed through and kept going.

This was the time before the plethora of today’s surf schools and soft boards when “we did walk in the snow both ways uphill to school.” Back then you literally froze if you wanted to surf in California--wetsuits were just not that warm in those days--and learning was up to you and wasn’t always encouraged by other “local” surfers. We only had the regular hard boards in those days so when you fell, which is a regular occurrence while learning, and the board hit you, it was often a painful experience with actual blood oozing.

I spent time on Kauai on numerous surf trips over the years, hanging out at my uncle’s and surfing pretty much most of the spots the island has to offer.

The thought of the shark attack Bethany Hamilton experienced couldn’t help but stay in the back of my mind while surfing the very same spot on Kauai’s North Shore on a recent trip. It was a windy day so I was out there all by myself, which always adds to that eerie feeling. It was enough trying to avoid the long hold downs by some macking sets, but while I was paddling up a big wave face I was bumped hard by something large from behind. I nearly jumped out of my skin and didn’t really want to turn around and face what it was. Once outside I turned back and was relieved to see only a huge sea turtle—I could wipe the sweat off my brow, even while wet in the ocean, after that one. That definitely got my blood pumping.

Her story, as heavy as it may be, and its connection with surfing, has opened up numerous opportunities for Bethany to share her faith and be a bridge to others about Christ’s love.

God has also used surfing in our lives not only as a sport to stay healthy but to speak into our own lives as well as using it as a bridge to reach out to others:

After getting out of the surf on Kauai one day we went to grab some hamburgers. We happened to start talking to the girl taking orders at the burger stand and one thing led to another and we ended up sharing Christ with her. She told us that others had been talking to her a lot about “this kind of stuff.” Well, God had us there to explain a little more about what others had been trying to share with her. After talking a while and explaining the gospel to her, we asked if she would like to pray with us to receive Christ as her savior. Well she agreed it was time for a change in her life and we prayed right at the burger stand and a new believer was born again into God’s kingdom—Hallelujah!!

It turned out that one of those who had been sharing with her before us was headed off to Surfing The Nations that day—the same place we had just come from ministering a couple days before—wow, God really has a way of making things intersect!

The film Soul Surfer can be used as a tool for outreach. Hamilton, with God’s grace, has come back from one of the most traumatic and intense accidents a person could suffer. Recovering from injuries, accidents, serious illness, traumatic events, and the like can be a daunting task, pushing you beyond any resolve you may have on your own. Through my share of a long string of injuries, I have learned that drawing deep into God is the only way to move forward. Even though we may not understand all the why’s at that particular moment of some personal tragedy, it is still possible to let God minister to us and work in and through us. God worked in Bethany’s life through all the difficulty of recovery and readjustment, and can do the same for anyone who will open the door to His grace.

Last time I was on Kauai I was getting out from surfing some double to triple overhead surf at Hanalei Bay. I happened to walk right into Bethany Hamilton while heading to the car, meeting her briefly and talking with her a bit. It hit me while driving away that the challenge of surfing those large waves that day was enough in itself, and yet she was out there, going for it and charging those big waves, with only one arm. That’s something truly impressive.

Ministering with Surfing The Nations in Oahu

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pray for Egypt

The protests in Egypt are something that the Christian community should be keeping in prayer.

We were in Egypt some years back and experienced some different aspects to the place. Though it is not an open society, we did find the people easy to talk to and even found occasion to share the Gospel at times—though you gotta be careful. We also noticed how nominal it was—nobody even flinched when the call to prayers would come through the day much less go and pray; they’d just go on with their things completely ignoring it. We also saw firsthand the grinding and abject poverty. I was prepared for that sort of thing in other places like India, but in Egypt it caught me off guard in a land that once ruled the world as one of the great empires of ancient civilization— here was another example of a formerly great empire in the Middle East that had turned completely backwards. The contrast after traveling in affluent Israel, it’s next-door neighbor, couldn’t be more stark.

An example of how dire the social situation is came on a visit to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Egypt created a special division of police called the “Tourist Police” specifically to protect tourists from being harassed by those seeking money, handouts, and bribes, all day long, everywhere they go. Quite literally, one can find himself being followed all day by those seeking handouts if the tourist police don’t intervene. A law exists that tourists cannot be followed more than 100 meters by those wanting handouts, a law that is of course routinely ignored.

While at the museum, I was taking interest in an exhibit of a king who is mentioned in the Bible for battling with Israel: Shishak. A tourist police officer close by noticed my interest and asked, “You want picture?” “Sure, why not,” I replied. He suddenly cleared the room and made everyone leave and then locked the door. “Take picture,” he demanded. I was going, “What?? Man I guess I better take a picture the way this crazy nut is acting.” So I took a couple and he said, “No, no, take more, take more.” I took some more while he stood blocking the door from me leaving or anyone coming in, and then he demanded I take even more. I finally said, “You know, I think I have enough now.” I had every angle of Shishak you could want! While he continued blocking the door he said, “Now bahkeesh!” I was going, “What’s bahkeesh?” “A tip, you pay, you pay for pictures!” he demanded. I pulled out some bills and of course no matter what I offered it wasn’t enough. “How am I going to get away from this crazy nut? He is the police after all.” I finally had to show him that my wallet had no more bills in it and hey, my camera is full now too by the way—I got a mass of pictures of mostly Shishak from my visit to the famed Egyptian museum with all its different antiquities. I don’t mind giving some money to those in need but that was just weird. “Wait a minute,” I thought “that was the tourist police, they’re supposed to prevent this sort of harassment.”

The reality that most in Egypt live on less than two dollars a day gives some explanation about the desperation and the systemic corruption on every level there.

Christians should be praying that one of the main centers of the Early Church—Alexandria was amongst five key cities of the Early Church—could have the Gospel spreading through it once again. The Coptic Church still exists but is marginalized and persecuted within Egyptian society. The current situation could turn a number of ways, some bad, some good. If the wrong people take over it could be very bad. There are other possibilities though: It is important for us to pray that the door opens for a more open society that allows the Good News of Christ to spread within it freely once again. God knows they need it!