The Lord is Here & He Loves This Place

I began meeting with the local churches while living in Coos Bay, Oregon in 1973. Since then I have met with the churches in Seattle and Portland. I can strongly testify the Lord is here and He loves this place.

I was raised in Oklahoma, the son of a Methodist lay minister, receiving the Lord at the age of nine. At Christian youth camps, I answered every altar call in tears of repentance. When I left my father's house at the age of 17, I turned my back on Christianity proclaiming I was tired of people saying one thing and living another thing. During the next 17 years, I was thoroughly distracted in the pursuit of a career in the army: West Point, Special Forces, and Vietnam being the highlights. A couple of times He touched me so strongly that I declared my intention to go to seminary; each time my experience of Him totally dried up. During the last 3 of those 17 years I left the army in protest to Vietnam, got tangled up with psychedelic drugs, Buddhism, transactional psychology, astrology, and strange blends of eastern mysticism. The last six months of this wandering my life was controlled by yarrow sticks and the I Ching as I desperately sought an experience of Kundalini (power of the serpent). I was possessed--literally.

By His mercy and grace, He pulled my feet out of the miry muck and set them upon the Rock. He met me in the book of Isaiah one night when I inadvertently grabbed the Bible instead of the I Ching in a moment of anger. During the evening He laid my whole life out before me. He showed me where I was (that I thought I was God), then He showed me my end if I continued on the way of my choosing (weeping and gnashing of teeth). Then He showed me where He would take me if I declared Him to be God. The vision He showed me in Isaiah was more marvelous than anything I had ever before imagined (1 Cor 2:9)--I could hardly lay hold of the possibility that I could ever arrive at such an exalted position. It was several years of listening to and reading the ministry of Witness Lee before I came to realize that the Lord has made the way for every Christian to arrive at this position--for it is that of an overcomer at the wedding feast of the Lamb. Still this was the hardest decision of my life for I knew that if I declared Him God, I could no longer call the shots--and I was right.

From the depth of my being wrenched forth: “You are God!” What followed next was a thorough cleansing of my being. From that moment I no longer cursed (although I previously had the foulest mouths), I no longer had any desire for drugs or alcohol. All I wanted to do was find some Christians that I could testify to. Since the next morning was Sunday, I went to a denomination where I knew the pastor. He allowed me to testify to my dynamic salvation. Of the fifty or so gathered, only one acknowledged my experience. As I walked out the door, I vividly remember praying, “Father, I left this place 17 years ago. What else do You have?” Five days later a Christian sister handed me the The Generation newspaper and directed me to my first meeting of the local church in Coos Bay, Oregon.

As I walked up to that small house for the Friday night meeting, there were a bunch of young people in the front yard playing the guitar and singing love songs to the Lord. Going through the gate I had the overwhelming sense that my search had ended, I had come home. Within the week I heard my first tape of Witness Lee--his speaking still resonates in my being: “A true man of God is one who can minister God to others without speaking a word” (2 Cor 3:18). I knew I wanted to become that kind of person and listening to this ministry was the way the Lord was leading me. By His mercy and grace, He has had me continue meeting here.
A month later I went to my first conference. It was there a brother in the Lord spoke of “the top secret of the universe--Christ and the church!” It was there I saw God's heart's desire to dispense Himself into His redeemed people so that He may have an enlarged and expanded expression on this earth. It was there I saw that He has a need in gaining His heart's desire--He needs those who will give up their soul lives in this age (Matt 16:24-25) to be His overcomers to hasten His return (2 Peter 3:12) and usher in the kingdom age. Once the eyes of my heart were enlightened (Eph 1:18) and my spirit was enlivened, what could I do except to pursue Him with my whole heart?