"This is how we know what love is, that Christ laid down His life for us, so we too should lay down our lives for others." 1 John 3:16

Friday, May 21, 2010


Main Entry: en·thu·si·asm 
Pronunciation: \in-ˈthü-zē-ˌa-zəm, en-, also -ˈthyü-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek enthousiasmos, from enthousiazein to be inspired, irregular fromentheos inspired, from en- + theos god
Date: 1603
1 a : belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit b : religious fanaticism
2 a : strong excitement of feeling : ardor energy and enthusiasm>b : something inspiring zeal or fervor s include sailing and fishing>
synonyms see passion

This is the word we were told to look up by an agnostic after we prayed for him and his family on the sidewalk.  

Before I go into the details of that divine appointment let me give some context.  Yesterday was the last "official" LifeGroup meeting for the sophomore guys and girls that Cierra and I each meet with separately.  We wanted to do some sort of special event for our last night and decided to join our two groups together for a treasure hunt.

By 6:30 yesterday the stage was set for a night of radical encounters and life changing prayer.  After a few minutes of worship and soaking in Gods presence the 12 of us each grabbed a notecard and began to write down God's response to," God, show me details and give me clues about who you want to touch and love tonight."

We broke into teams of 3 students and 1 leader per team and jumped in the car to head to Bridgeport Village, outdoor mall.  My team of Carli, Matthew and Ryan headed towards the middle of Bridgeport, since we had water, fire and a few other "clues" that indicated this might be a good location to start.  After about 15 or twenty minutes of wandering around with no one being highlighted from our list I remembered one item from Carli's list was "light", which took us to Z Gallery.  

Right in the middle of Z Gallery were two young women looking at a chandelier...LIGHT!  We went up and told them we were doing a treasure hunt and that we thought they might be on our list.  Only one or two things on the list matched but I then told them I believed that God had highlighted them and asked if they needed prayed for anything.  They both turned to each other, gave each other a high five and in a sing-songy way said,"Halo!"  They then told us about how they were in the middle of a week of fasting and praying for job and financial breakthrough in their lives...and we had showed up to pray for them!  Next, under the twinkly display lights of the store we prayed for favor in their jobs and financial breakthrough and freedom to be able to give and bless with their money.  

Now that we had broken the ice for the night we were excited for whatever God had next!

We found ourselves at the back entrance of Borders when a lady wearing yellow shoes and a yellow cardigan walked past us and into the store.  Again I turned to Carli and asked what was on her list.


I knew it! As a group we ran to track down our "yellow" lady and almost lost her in the rows of book displays.  We asked if she could help us on our treasure hunt and told her that we thought maybe God was highlighting her for some reason.  After looking through all our "treasure maps" she identified with a number of things on each one!  
From Ryans list:
-"apple red" she was a teacher and identified with the iconic apple association with teachers. 
-"dark rock" she was wearing a bracelet with the center piece made of a dark colored stone.

From Carli's list:
-"yellow" she had a very cute yellow centric outfit on.

From Matthew's list (if I remember right...)
-"water" her favorite element.

From my list:
-"horses" she used to raise miniature horses

She told us she hadn't been to church in a long time, no one had prayed for her in a long while and that she had been having extremely bad headaches the last few months which was making teaching 1st and 2nd grade a challenge...to say the least!  She was open to us praying for her right then and there so we took advantage of the opportunity.  Sickness does not come from God, so we agreed with God's plan for wellness in her life and prayed blessing and encouragement over her.  You could tell she was very touched by the time we said goodbye.

Our final encounter was at the very end our night and was motivated by Matthew's zeal to find a person having to do with his "pizza" word of knowledge.  Rounding the corner with the California Pizza Kitchen in view we saw a family of four (with one on the way) coming out from dinner.  We didn't need much more motivation after quickly looking at my list and seeing my clue "soon to be mother"  at the top.  

We all ran across the street and asked if they had moment to talk.  I kid you not, the very first thing out of the mans lips were,"Yeah, as long as you are not trying to sell us religion..."  
I just smiled and said,"You're going to laugh..." and then went on to explain how we believed that God had highlighted his family and asked if there was any way we could pray for them. 

The SECOND thing he said to us was,"Pray that we all stay safe from Joseph Smith". This was the agnostic guy that I had began to tell about at the beginning of this story and it was pretty clear that he was suffering from some pretty deep wounds that religion had caused him and most likely though a false representation of Christ through the LDS church.

Somehow he was still humoring us with his attention and the soon to be mother just looked on, almost encouragingly of us.  We showed him our "maps" and there were a few matches like his recently fixed busted leg which was on my list and "yellow" from Cari's and "pizza" from Matthews.  Again he surprised us by agreeing to be prayed for right then and there.  

Matthew boldly led us in prayer but was interrupted half way through by the guy after praying for financial stability in their family.  Apparently they were "well off" and had no need what-so-ever in the financial department.  Not a bit phased, Matthew acknowledged the guys retort and then bowed his head and kept on praying blessing and protection over their family.  

In parting, God spoke prophetically through this man as he thanked us and told us to look up the etymology and definition of "enthusiasm".

Meanwhile in my (Cierra) group!...

Our group consisted of AJ, Nicole, Emma M and I.  Our first encounter found us in the Banana Republic store because of a location clue on Emma's "treasure map".  After not finding anyone in the store that matched our list we were asked if we needed any help from a store employee.  After explaining our treasure hunt he seemed almost disappointed that he wasn't on the list.  We still had the opportunity to pray for him and bless him before moving on to the rest of the night.

Next we met a guy in the music section of Borders who, after talking to him, told us he had discomfort in his wrist, which was on my "map".  We prayed for healing in his wrist and that the pain would leave.  After praying, we wondered down to the cafe section of Borders and ran into the "wrist guy" again who indicated we should talk to the woman behind the counter.

She showed interest in what we were doing and was open to our desire to pray for her.  Emma M prayed for her upcoming tests and college in general.  She stated an interest in checking out Grace Chapel this coming summer after discovering that we knew a friend of hers that attends there as well.  By this point we had eyed a guy in the corner of the cafe wearing a pinstriped shirt, which was on my list.  

Nicole and I approached him and were greeted with openness as we explained our lists and what we were doing.  He identified with "frog" on Nicole's list and explained that he lives near a park where he can hear frogs every night.  We discovered that he is actually a neighbor of mine and Jason's! Whoa!  He said we could pray for his upcoming job change, so we did and he seemed blessed.   

At this point AJ was pretty set on finding the person on his list who would be wearing a blue (maybe black...) shirt, jeans and a large belt buckle as we walked through the Container Store. We spotted a potential "treasure" with a particularly large belt buckle and I sent AJ and Nicole to talk to him once he was off his cell phone.  Emma and I approached a middle aged woman elsewhere in the store.  Emma graciously explained what we were doing and after identifying with clues on both our lists, opened up to share that her father was currently in the hospital with Leukemia and not expected to live very much longer.  We prayed for her dad and their whole family situation, asking that God would bring her peace, comfort and show her love in the midst of this trial.  With tears in her eyes she thanked us with a hug and shared how perfect the timing was.  

AJ and Nicole lost their "suspect" as he couldn't get reception on his phone and hurriedly left the store.  However, outside the store the four of us ran into a couple with a guy who had on blue jeans, a blue jacket and a large belt buckle.  Although they didn't have any specific prayer requests after we explained our mission we ended up just praying a prayer of blessing and moved on.  It seemed like we planted a seed of hope even though they didn't really outwardly respond.  

Our final encounter of the night was an exciting one!       

 We ran into three women and handed our "treasure map" cards to them to see if they identified with anything there.  Amazingly, they seemed to relate to the majority of our clues and one lady was even ok with us praying for her broken toes and her messed up knee. The women felt a little bit awkward after I asked how her knee and toes were feeling, as if somehow I had "failed" with my prayer of healing.  I went on to explain that my role was not to heal but simply to ask for healing in the name of Jesus and even to expect it.  I told them that God loves them very much and it wasn't a coincidence that we had run into them that night.       

When you are a fanatical lover of Jesus and His people, the Holy Spirit loves to reveal the Fathers heart to seek out the lost and broken...even if we are too broken to seek Him first.

Are you living a life of freedom that results in love?  


  1. What an amazing night!! What a great idea too. It's amazing how God can use you if you just put yourself out there, that's an example for all of us.

  2. Thank you for sharing your amazing evening of seeking God and being available and willing to be used by Him! I was totally encouraged and touched!