This is a report of our Bible studies and my recent trip to Canada and California. It was interesting to say the least.
Before leaving our Bible studies were going well for the summer. Juanita is finishing up on her Hebrews study and I am prepared to do a study on the fruit of the Spirit, following up my study in Galatians awhile back. I have also been asked by some of the youth to go through the core doctrines because they are trying to witness to JW's and Mormons. So I may be teaching the material from my book "Discernment Toolkit". Angela has used that book as a basis for her "Berean class" in their church for some time. I was blessed to hear that it has been a help and inspiration to many there. But I will refer to that later.
Now for the trip ... I was invited by Learn To Discern Ministries in Mission, Canada to speak at a conference there on the subject of my book "Idolatry In Their Hearts" which is about the World Christian Gathering on Indigenous People movement. This movement is worldwide and has also become an influence in the Pacific islands churches due to it's leadership such as Daniel Kikawa from Hawaii and Richard Twiss, an American Indian or "First Nations" person as they like to be called, and spread by YWAM. The other speakers were Caryl Matriciana of Caryl Productions who has a new video on the New Age and the Emerging Church called "Wide Is The Gate", available soon on her site here. She also wrote books with two of the other speakers there, namely the book by her and Warren Smith called "The Light That Was Dark" and a few books with Roger Oakland of Understanding the Times Ministry called "The Evolution Conspiracy". Ray Yungen, author of "A Time of Departing" and also a commentator on a video production I was also involved with called "The Emerging Church". You can get that video, which is free, through my site here. The conference was a great success in terms of attendance and comments by many who attended. But let me backtrack for a moment to let you know the spiritual warfare we all had to endure to get the information out on the various subjects such as Evolution, Dominionism, New Age, Emerging Church, WCGIP, etc. By the way, the conference was taped so that DVD will be available on the Learn To Discern web site when it is finished editing. That web site is here.
I became aware that there were people praying against our conference, in particular adherents of the New Apostolic Reformation because Chuck Pierce, the new leader of the NAR as C. Peter Wagner is (finally) retiring, put out an edict on ElijahList to pray against us. This was due to Mike Oppenheimer releasing his video on Anna Mendez Ferrel available here, and I am pretty sure the ads on my site about the LTD Conference, etc. So I was expecting the enemy to try to do some damage. But I know from long experience that for those of us who trust the Lord Jesus Christ, nothing will stop His agenda for getting the truth out on false teachers and false religion.
On my plane ride from HI to SF is where I began to have trouble in one eye. It was very red, was very light sensitive, and there was a painful headache around the sinuses of my eye. When I first got on I was helping a woman get her suitcase in the overhead rack and it would not fit so I moved it to another one. In doing so a small bag, kind of like an architect's bag, fell on the chair back and head of a lady. She immediately went into hysterics about how it had hurt her neck. The stewardess then spent 10 minutes, which made us all late in departing, trying to convince the lady to get off the plane and seek medical attention and that she would be put on another flight. But she would not do it yet kept arguing with the stewardess. Come to find out she was also sitting in the wrong seat and would not change with the lady whose seat it was. The flight was completely full. She finally moved just as they were taking off and they brought her a bag of ice. Meanwhile everyone around her was very angry about the situation and they all told the stewardess that the lady could not possibly be hurt and commended the stewardess on her handling of this wacky individual. Meanwhile I was thinking she might try to come after me to sue me. Fortunately, apparently, she did not notice who dumped the bag on her head so she was blaming the airline. I was praying the whole time, sensing that the spiritual warfare part of my journey was just beginning to unfold. The lady did not follow instructions on the plane, like putting your tray table up and seat back forward a number of times. When we arrived in San Francisco, however, she jumped up and walked briskly off the plane in no apparent pain at all. So, as suspected, it was all a big act. I started praying from that point on for God's protection.
I got up the next morning in my hotel room with a splitting headache and a very red eye. I had to get up at 3:30 am to make the first airport shuttle. I got on the Air Canada plane and they told us we had to taxi all the way around SF airport, which took about 15 minutes. Meanwhile the vents in the airplane were not shut off to outside air and I thought we were all going to die from the carbon monoxide we were breathing. There was a lady on this flight who was talking to her kids, who were doing everything they could get away with, non-stop the whole flight, which fortunately lasted only 2 hours. By the time I got to Vancouver I was about ready to keel over. The car ride was another 2 hours to Mission. I got to my room and went to bed and fortunately I was not scheduled to speak till after noon the next day, but we did have to set up my table in the morning. I was not able to attend hardly any sessions that day. After my session I asked if Eileen could take me to a walk-in clinic. So I went to the clinic and saw a doctor who diagnosed me with conjuntivitus (pink eye) and prescribed me medicine, all of which cost me $100.
Let me backtrack again ... Others at the conference had also had physical problems. Roger Oakland had fallen down and hit the back of his head, which split the back of his skull open, and had to have 15 stitches prior to the conference, but was fortunately able to come after that healed up, etc. He was able to come to the conference, the first he has done in a number of years, because he also has other medical problems he has had to deal with for some time. He was dealing with some of those issues during the conference but was able to rest also. Warren Smith almost did not make the conference because he was very ill, but was able to attend at the last minute. Ray Yungen almost did not make it past the Canadian border, which took a long time to straighten out. I was just able to read my notes for the first session.
The next day my eyes were very blurry from the medication. I noticed they had a printer in the lobby of the hotel, and the Lord gave me the idea to print out my second message in 18pt. I got up to do my last message after dinner. A longtime friend of mine from the Marshall Islands in Micronesia was there, Penny and her husband. As I pulled out my glasses before I launched into my presentation, one lens popped out of one side and slid under the podium where I could not see to find it. Then the banging on the wall of the next conference room and kitchen began. I decided to soldier through the noise, even though some attendees were distracted. When I started with my notes I asked someone to come up and find my lens and fix my glasses. A volunteer who came and helped us with running sound and PowerPoints helped me and I was happy to get those glasses back. But when I put them on I could barely read the 18pt text. I am not complaining, just explaining.
However, despite these distractions the conference went very well, despite numerous spiritual warfare issues, and many were blessed.
Eileen Macdonald of Learn To Discern Ministries had graciously allowed me to fly out through San Fran, CA so that I could visit my daughter and sister there and speak at my brother-in-law's church twice. I was able to get enough money to have Rose meet me there after her school year concluded. The only problem is that where my daughter and sister are living are 3 hours driving apart and 3 hours from SF. Backtracking again ...
I had to get up again at 3:30 am to be taken to Vancouver. I felt sorry for all the early morning runs I subjected others to on this trip but everyone was very kind and we had good talks on the way. While waiting for the flight I noticed this (Canadian) Indian guy and got a weird feeling about him. Well, guess who I was seated next to? He was reading a book on shamanism and moving his hands around in the air trying to do the things he was reading about. I was just praying the whole time that this would have no effect on all of us and that the plane would not crash or something. I got out my Kindle hoping I could read my Bible and maybe start up a conversation, but when I got out my Kindle, that I had just recharged the night before, it was dead. Meanwhile there were two "Valley girls" behind us who talked non-stop the whole flight in loud voices. "Like, OMG, like I'm all like" ... etc. I noticed the shaman put on headphones to drown out the noise. I did the same. That's about all we had in common. After waiting in a queue to land we finally landed.
Our visit with our daughter Cassie and her husband, Mike, were fun and helpful. Mike drove me a couple of hours to the Kaiser hospital in Santa Rosa where the optometrist told me I had iritis instead of pink eye and prescribed steroid drops. Cassie was able to travel with us to Camino when I was scheduled to speak in the Berean class there and it was reassuring to see her participate. She obviously still retains a lot of what I taught her on the subject of discernment. Pray that this will not just be head knowledge but applied in their lives. We also had a great time with Steve and Angela and were able to visit with Carissa, who flew out to visit a friend in Oakland, where we got the whole family together (sans Josiah who stayed in HI). I spoke again the next Sunday on Phil. 3:10-21 on finishing the race before I flew back and in the Berean class we had a good discussion on how to practically use the discernment issues we have learned to help the church and individuals. Steve drove me to the airport, getting up at (you guessed it) 3:30 am to leave.
I got Rose checked in at 7 am and then made my way to another terminal to await my flight via LAX to HI. My plane ended up being 2 hours late in SF and I had to run in LAX to catch my plane. I did not think I would make it but got there just before they closed the doors and was the last one on. I noticed that a teenage boy was seated in my seat next to a young girl. When I told him it was my seat he begrudgingly moved. For the next 5.5 hours, for at least half the time, I discovered I was in the middle of a group of high school seniors who were coming back to HI after their senior trip to LAX. They yelled and screamed and danced around. Toward the end they were all singing to the same audio channel and doing chants. The girl next to me was jerking around for hours to the music, and yelling back to the boy whose seat I had unfortunately insisted on taking. She just about blew out my right ear a few times. During this show the airline people did nothing to quiet them down and there was no indication that these kids realized there was anyone else on board the aircraft. This was very stressful for everyone else. Getting off the plane they came right with me and shouted the whole time on the WikiWiki bus to the baggage claim. I cannot fully communicate the sense of relief I had when they were finally out of earshot. That concludes the annoying spiritual warfare part of this movie.
I am thankful to the Lord and those who were praying for their prayers. Our Lord is greater than any device the enemy can throw at us. Sometimes we just have to hang on during the annoyances of the enemy. My eye finally got fully better one day before I left SF. I still don't know what caused it and I have had this condition twice in the last few months so I would appreciate your prayers.
Also please continue to pray for our Bible study folks that they would not just be hearers of the Word, but doers also. Pray for our finances. Pray for Juanita that the Lord will continue to give her strength to continue this ministry with us.
In His Love,
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