for Love, will travel…
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The Journey 2009
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The Journey 2015
The Journey 2017

The Journey 2012-2013 

The Journey 2012 - part 1

Dear friends in Christ,

First Of All
We treasure Christ First & Foremost because He is First, as also for the sake & place of loved ones. Wives and grandchildren alike reminded that they are not first; not to be first, that all may be sure there is One greater to whom we can know and serve and be rescued. This practice & understanding stands in contrast to when some of us formerly put the activities of religion or home ahead; in contrast to holding familial blood or cherished friends more precious than Christ or His Family (whom we are part). Now we must have the presence of Christ our Head, with all in subjection to Him. Are my relationships all subject to Christ?
[John 3:30-31; Ephesians 1:18-23; I Corinthians 11:3]

During Fall of 2011, while a few days in Vancouver, Washington, I encountered 2 friends whose liberty to participate in ekklesia was hindered by wives discontent with their relationship to Christ. Men who since invade my prayers with hope that these women will desist and come into the fullness of Christ, beholding His beauty & strength in their husbands, and to knowing Christ as truly above all things.

   I pledge my wife to heaven for the Gospel,
   Though our love each passing day just seems to grow.
   As I told her when we wed, I'd surely rather be found dead,
   Then to love her more than the One who saved my soul.
   ---Keith Green

Men called & chosen by God, taking up great courage, persuaded that fear is not of faith. If Christ were not first, we would be losing all that is precious. Let us also understand together for how hating [strong aversion] is not the opposite of loving; love will earnestly hate sin, rebellion, lostness, and disdain all that would subvert Christ.
[Luke 14:16-35]

Milt Rodriguez is saying...
"Dear believer, why are you so concerned about your life anyway? Don't you realize that you died? When Christ died, you died and were buried with Him. (Romans 6) Why do you want to know the will of God for your life? You have no life! Why do you want to know about your ministry? You have no life therefore, you have no ministry! The only life you have now is that one which is hidden inside of Jesus Christ; hidden with Christ in God."


Being Untangled
It was in joy to discover that the Spirit of God would draw a number from the small gatherings here to be newly visiting with one another inside the Portland-Vancouver area [where live ~1.6 million people]. The outcome is sweet in Christ: greeting & helping one another to our First Love; permitting spiritual graces; young men (age 13+) taking stand with Christ in the congregation; brothers possessing extraordinary patience toward all; younger women bearing wisdom & grace; the zeal of our God in the house, spilling into the streets; hearing exhortations of love. In some gatherings a little portion, in others a feast; always as He supplies.

The Spirit worked among us to conviction about our passive attitudes & actions we had unbeknown acquired of this world; especially in the brothers, now rising up as our Lord mercifully opens doors to courage, reconciliation, and to hope in all things. (such an effective blessing upon families!) At another point along the front lines, our Master by His Spirit to setting aside parachurch organizations; rejoining His ekklesia with ideal functions. Oregon hosts "Shield Of Faith" as one example of a parachurch missions effort riddled with history of failure and nexus in a no-name denomination sprinkled along the northwest USA. Our prayers rising with anticipation as the "sending of saints" returns within the ekklesia, making our appeal to God that we may be to His glory untangled from organizational tumors & tentacles. Several years ago, ekklesia in Colorado had already received the Spirit's work to accomplishing these things. His power to help even the weakest among us who trust Him.
[I Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 4]

Unity Of the Spirit In The Bond Of Peace
Both sectarianism & church autonomy are a banner of insurrection against Christ. (need we say more about this?)
[Ephesians 4:3; Colossians 3:14; John 17; I Corinthians 1 & 3]

Now it is in my ear how a few have been able to boast: one man reveling his liberties in Christ against another vaunting his obedience to Christ; and these opposing one another? A false and confabulated dichotomy! Would we regard your brother as inferior because he is offended, or conversely not offended, when a woman's voice has been heard in the ekklesia? Yet we should gain in Christ understanding to His revelation. Paul is writing the ekklesia in Corinth largely as apologetic, which is to say "what we are doing, and why we do". Preponderant English translations of the Bible, undertaken in shadow of religious systems, have English-rendered many things written by Paul as purely instructions. (endeavor with diligence to confirm these things). The nasty effect is a grace plus rules message, into which myself and millions of others were duped. When we see a brother taken to assume a law where the path of Christ is fulfilled by Love and Grace, do we shun or malign him? God forbid! Dear brothers & sisters, I write again to remind that in about one-third of the small gatherings I have yet visited, the women have committed themselves to be subject in the assembled ekklesia. Letting the women in the ekklesias to be hush; not asking these to speak as they have subjected themselves. With Christ-Messiah above all, so many clever challenges of the Adversary's centuries-long schemes are now to be falling upon the dung heap of religious history. The ekklesia, the Bride, is presenting herself quietly-confidently subject to her Husband-King, although She may be yet a child within herself. Quiet submission is not a new ordinance; not Corinth's cultural diaper; it is rather of Christ in Her. Therefore we walk by faith in confidence of God who is saving us, waiting for one another; being subject to one another --- rather than dodging or swiping at one another, as do men who lack hope.
[I Corinthians 14:34]

Let us then continue to set aside every weave of chaff and chain; proceed from the heart of Christ in all things. Who is teaching, yet the Holy Spirit sent? Who is prophesying, yet that same Spirit? Who brings a song or hymn, yet by the Spirit of the Living God? Knowing these things, we are done with scripting His fellowship and all such cheating by which the Holy Spirit is grieved. It is well that the threshing floor be cleared for our Master's use! We're praying for one another, that no one will assume for themselves or require of Christ a worship band or service, PowerPoint, youth group, offices, tithes, programs, human agency, or any from thousands of dependent obstructions. Thanks be to God for His great mercy toward us!
[Hebrews 12; I Peter 3]

Called Out By God
By Grace's Love, I would meet Jack in SE Portland, a former "pastor" to whom Christ has now made to see. Quickly I learned: our brother Jack is being led by God to warn of religious system's corruption. For today, as in the first century, some have ears to hear while many more do not (yet).

Jack Crabtree is saying...
     Who Leads in the Leaderless Church
   "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and great men exercise authority over them. It is not to be this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." (Matthew 20:26-28)

   Traditional church "body life" is too often lacking the life, love, peace or joy that Jesus meant us to share but instead, a burden or a shackle placed upon us by centuries of self-serving and false concepts. These are motivated by church management practices rather than the example of our Lord's actual life and teaching (i.e. individual responsibility to God and man).

   Who should direct a House Church?  I can say from experience that if each member does not equip himself (II Timothy 2:2) and be involved, others unqualified will step in and presume to rule over the church. Domination by a few is merely what Paul predicted would happen after he passed away (Acts 20:29-30). The House Church has many benefits over the institutionalized church, but it still needs direction and guidance, for God has placed His authority on men to minister with grace of the Holy Spirit. So, what does leadership really look like? True leadership, I believe, works gloriously when each one contributes to the body according to his special gifts. But courage to actively participate is required here, a courage born of each one's security and confidence in the lordship of Christ.

   According to the text above, a leader is one who serves others. We might describe him as one who defers to others; is patient and kind yet keeps to the task at hand, the task being not just the "most pressing problems at that time" but prayerfully acknowledging individuals and their real life issues within the local church as they appear. Leaders also encourage and endeavor on-going, in-depth attention to God's Word to "show himself approved unto God."  (2nd Timothy 2:15)

   Jesus knew that He would leave His beloved church body in the hearts & hands of men, not angels. Recognizing that some men who are not directed by the Holy Spirit might consider themselves first, bidding their gifts above others and seeking "greatness" among them, we're reminded that our example is in Christ Jesus who guides us by His Spirit. If we listen to the Spirit and don't slip back in faith, we will courageously step forward and offer Christ in us as our humble service.

   "Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death even death on a cross."  (Philippians 2: 4-8)

   Are we willing to serve at material cost to ourselves? What cost must one, who would shepherd others, need to weigh before guiding the house church?  (Luke 14:28-33)


Perpetua Infantia
From I Corinthians 3-16, Paul describes a dilemma that looms large today: extended infancy. Perpetua Infantia calls for "milk" and not "solid food", setting a pace slow enough that evil won't be winded to overtake you [gasp!]: rehearsing the same prepared outlines and playtime gestures, feeding milk by eye droppers to keep the child ever so young. Truly, the Spirit of Christ urges that we relent from the way of perpetual nursing. While His appeal goes forward, gatherings snared by passion for immaturity are described as transitional: meaning both that they are urged forward by God to leave behind their addiction to infancy, and secondly for how we may observe saints transitioning (passing through) such gatherings as the Master is leading His sheep in the upward call. Some have asked, "Where is a transitional church in the Bible?" Dear friends, "transitional" is the fleshly-infantile ekklesia at Corinth!  Visit and encourage these to further press forward in Christ. We speak of transitional in hope to greater things for you in His fullness.
[I Corinthians 3]

Two Insecure
As children grow, we anticipate them to be moving from "law" into the Grace of Christ; to become living expressions of the Faith, Hope and Love. We give considerable attention to this, aware that they are exposed to evil in the world; to the desires of the flesh; to the wiles of the Adversary, all these being against their souls while they are learning to better discern darkness from the Light. Love keeps a guard, and vigilantly for daughters as the "weaker vessel". In the Portland area, 2 examples unfolded for us: first is for a woman in whom the Spirit of Christ dwells while she is easily drawn toward insecurities. For her, there is little doubt what love requires of us: to walk in the Spirit near her, guarding her from being showered with doubts or plunged into the cares of this world. Second to example, there is a woman who has sought the way of Christ for many years, yet not receiving His wisdom or strength. The tragedy of those years unveiled in her own family's reflection, "this is just the way [she] is." (Love rather hopes all things!) Pride and fear have held her soul captive to preventing both the Spirit and her Salvation. Will husband and family help her toward Christ in her repentance, or do they continue in making room for misery & unbelief? We would learn by Love to bring the weak along.
[Jude 1:20-23]

The Spirit is alerting us to mimicry. With many gospel variants in the world, vast numbers of people have been persuaded to a place of acting-out [hypocrisy] as a Christian stance. So prevalent has become mimicry: the copying of behaviors & doctrines, as if something outward could be the Way of Salvation. But it is Christ who is Salvation! Do you know Him and does He know You? There be no small number of mimics mimicking mimics and the doubled-souled! While Hebrews 13:7 reminds us to imitate faith of saints, imitation in empty or false faith would be worthless and self-deception. Apostles' instruction is explicit for us to be recognizing the children of God.
[Matthew 7:16-20; John 13:34-35; Galatians 5:22-24]

All men & women have need for real transformation through rebirth in Christ, by His Grace. I came to meet a family group who mistakenly understood sins as only those depravities highlighted --- such as from I Corinthians 6:9-10. Failure to recognize their wide rebellion against God, they had presented themselves to Him by means of a partial repentance; not fully grasping how whatever is not of faith is (also) sin in them. The Word of God in power did not enter to sweep clean their hearts and minds, so they logically set about to think & act like Christians; to study of the Bible, and to do good works, and to pray. This bred & raised a stiff-necked mimicry combined with little hesitation to hope & boast in the flesh. Today, people by the millions live the pattern of mimicry. Our hearts cry out for their release and rescue into Christ!
[Romans 14:23; Jude 1:20-23]

Often we are called upon by the Spirit to help some who are falsely considered as "saved". To this act of love, may we not be fooled by ridiculous protest that offering the Grace & power of Jesus/Yashua/Yahushua is us throwing stones. He is the Cornerstone upon which all relationship need rest. If a person is venturing their way to the Wedding without their wedding clothes (the righteousness of Christ manifest), love urges our care to help them before the Wedding begins and they consequently would be cast into outer darkness.
[Matthew 22:1-14]

The Spirit of Christ will help you & me to aide each one's soul, though theirs will be the struggle into death for Life. Has the person been afforded opportunity to hear the true gospel? [there are many differing gospels gone out into the world] Has this person turned away from a formerly sin-filled path? [many have been assured that they can safely continue in so-called lesser sins] By God's mercy through an appeal to Him, is the person's conscience now clear/clean? [many today have been outwardly baptized/washed without receiving a clean conscience] Has this person received power from on high to overcome with/in Christ? [many do not know His power; many have been taught to deny His power] Is this person pursuing justice/righteousness in Christ and thereby no longer pursuing sins?

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May you receive in Christ faith to pray with those in your community, and for the ekklesia in many places.
May you receive in Christ faith to compassion and to strengthen the hands that are weak, the knees that are feeble, and all the saints.
May you receive in Christ faith to His power.
May you receive in Christ faith to fight the good fight of faith.

The Lord is Risen!
Marshall Diakon

346-707-4757  [US]
skype: diakonii
  prayer from ekklesia…

Aflao, GHANA ~ most of the people that have repented in the villages here were former idol worshipers. When they are touched with the gospel, they determined to abandoned their idols, and give their to Lord Jesus. I mean true repentance from the heart that is clearly visible through evidence and new lifestyle and continuous growth in the knowledge of our Lord. Please pray that they will remain strong in the Lord and not backslide.
Alta Loma, USA-CA ~ pray for the ekklesia in Alta Loma, Ontario & Upland California. As we have parents with teenage children sometimes visiting, and we would know the Lord's heart for what may be or care & encouragement for them; what the will of God is for seeing to their needs.
Beaverton, USA-OR ~ prayer for Wendy, visiting with the church that meets at our house, who responded that she is openhearted to believing; our prayer that she might receive faith and be saved. For her husband, Ted, that he will wash her in the Word and shine brightly the light and love of Christ. Prayer for Melanie and her husband, for help from God with marriage relationship and so that they will no longer think of divorce as a possibility.
Cambridge, USA-MA ~ pray for us. We have had some believers leave because of disagreements that were not resolved. Please ask God to help us love the people who visit us and all the saints.
Chehalis, USA-WA ~ for Mike, who is looking for "undeniable proof" of God's reality. Please pray for him that he will receive faith as proof He is coming to know the True and Living God.
Columbia, USA-PA ~ please pray our witness does not falter.
Conroe, USA-TX ~ so blessed to have Matthew & Tonetta Washington come by and visit with us today. We pray for Father's richest blessings on them and the church that meets in their home!
Cedaredge, USA-CO - asking our Father for clarity for the ekklesia here. Father, in the end, I know, good will triumph. I want to live where good outweighs the bad. I want to see Your touch mend, encourage, build, inspire, and cause an avalanche of praise to resound in Your ear and recognition of Your presence be spoken of, with awe. Start with me, let our Oneness in Christ be overpowering in the midst of all circumstances and situations. Let it be a beacon of Hope, a rock of assurance, a fragrance of life, and a reflection of intimacy with You that demonstrates Your power and presence.
Duck, USA-NC ~ we're starting to search the Scriptures. Our topic: how does the Holy Spirit work in the church? We need your prayers, encouragement in the Spirit.
Eugene, USA-OR ~ pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.
Fall River, USA-MA ~ Father, I am so blown away by just how beautiful Your Bride is becoming.
Fuquay Varina, USA-NC ~ Please seek the Lord now about His purposes in our gathering together with Christ near Fuquay Varina.
Gresham, USA-OR ~ asking prayer that the small gathering here will grow in grace and in the work God has called us to; caring for one another; caring & sharing in the community He has provided.
Kihikihi, NEW ZEALAND ~ cancer has returned to a member of our home group. Pray for courage and faith for us all.
Kittredge, USA-CO ~ we would like to be meeting together as ekklesia here; pray for our neighbors, for their salvation as they see and experience Christ around them.
MALI ~ pray for a new ecclesia begun in Mali, a land that is very poor and 99% muslim.
Melbourne, USA-FL ~ Father, show us in helping others who believe in You! Bring good fruit to Your life in us. We want to hear Your call; to be vital.
Norfolk, USA-NE ~ we are praying from the Lord, waiting for more people to come and fellowship with us here. Please pray for us.
Orlando, USA-FL ~ pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way. [Hebrews 13:18]
Pahoa, USA-HI ~ do keep Pahoa ekklesia in your prayers, in the leading and direction of the Holy Spirit.
Portland. USA-OR ~ pray for us as we turn to Christ for His strength to overcome habits of passive responding to the women and children in our care. Prayer for boldness to speak the Word and to love without fear of men. Pray also for persons of peace and for more workers in our Father's harvest field. We praise God for peace of mind in the midst of uncertainties!
Redmond, USA-OR ~ thank You, Sovereign Lord, and our Saviour Jesus, the Christ, for being and for showing us the Way to walk in; for being, expressing and revealing the Truth in Love to us; for being the Life and showing what it means to live for our Father; and confirming all of the that by paying the ultimate price for all of us who believe on Him Who was sent of and by our Father.
Roslindale, USA-MA ~ pray that God will grant us more ethnic diversification as we gather together.
Sacramento, USA-CA ~ Yahshuah my Lord, bless us in Your word, Presence, and Grace as we face another year of living in You!
THAILAND ~ spending our days with Buddhist people sharing Christ and our lives with them. Praying to start a simple church with people from the harvest and for the harvest.

The Journey 2012 - part 2    sample; minimum letter

Dear brother & sister among the ekklesia,

A journey note from Belltown (Seattle, USA-WA); playground of Boeing, Microsoft, Amazon-dot-com... visiting with saints who sojourn among the Incertitude.   July 23rd, Jack Crabtree and I greeting Paul, Rod, Don & Page, and on the fourth day Jack's returning to his home in Portland. We were to be right off into battlefield conditions, such as facing neo-Pentecostalism's ruse to wrest the glory of God for the kudos of man. Some days later, en route to visit the Sjol family, I watched the westward road beneath me veer north to become a freeway... Somehow off course! But another narrow road to the right, and as the Spirit is saying in that way.   And by this little road, promptly ascending a hill and to a ridge overlooking, with my course now visible as like a living map from above. Hope increased! By faith rising to receive revelation, so is the journey in Christ...

The War On Love
Fault the darkness! Washington society indulges a war upon the Love of God via cultured independence.   I saw a number of signs pointing along the way, such as, "this is your stream", "this is your pond", "this is your wilderness"... We came to Seattle aware of a stealthy, inset opposition to the Love of Christ. His Love never independent, freely shared through us without self's consideration for self or self's own.   Got Faith without Love? Joy without Love?   Hope without Love?   Without the fullness of His Love in us, what truly do we have?   Listen to independent-minded Body parts in Washington State: seeing that I'm not a hand, I am not alongside other members of the Body.   Hereby, our love for one another is hindered and scarcely would the world have opportunity to recognize us as followers of Christ being knit together as One Body expressing One Christ throughout the known world.   Love continues patiently knocking...

Thankful for Love's effective value of the gifts/graces working in members of His Body, reaching to visits between ekklesia. To hear reports of how some gathering at Kent have been diligent to visit in the surrounding cities is like taking a deep breath!   It was 7 years ago we had visited at Kent, with gladness to see they have since grown, prepared, bearing the Sword of the Spirit. 3 days after greeting them, in West Seattle we're accused of trying to bring heaven on earth.   Now this does mean war!   Not a war against any man, but to opposing principalities & powers behind much foolishness crippling.

It was nearly a decade ago along the Puget Sound, men began to specifically stray from Love's path. Some making a reasoned assumption that right practices and doctrines work to assure the presence of Christ among us. Get all your church functions in a row, and Jesus shows up.(?)   But this is formulaic and corrupt!   So was within the plans of Wickedness to cut a swath of ruin from North to South.

Let us discern this statement:
I'm giving you (I suppose now) my irreducible minimum for the biblical church.
--- Beresford Job, ekklesia at Chigwell in Epping

With "I'm" and "my", what this statement is (and what it prefaces) will be observation, account and/or opinion; and therein something not to be assumed as a doctrine --- not even if the person speaking has authored a book, speaks at seminars, is our best buddy, etc.   But some men did assume a teaching for words largely an apologetic, then reacting or applauding by way of their mutual error, though only to succeed in playing the Adversary's hand to foster suspicion and schism.   Does it matter how correctly you observe the remembrance of our Lord's death if you bite your brothers and break the bonds of fellowship He died to preserve?   Why do you continue to bring shame to our Lord's table?   If your brother has something against you, get up from the table and foremost be reconciled to your brother!
[Matthew 5:21-24; II Corinthians 5:18]

For 3+ years, looking forward to meeting Page Hamilton in Bellevue as he worked to help the ekklesia and sojourners in Washington State.   Page was meeting in West Seattle 2 Wednesday's a month, and so we came along with brother Don. During our third get-together, we walked along a block of California Avenue and saw an older man there distraught and in tears. Suffering confusion, the man feared missing the bus that would take him home. Someone has written a bus number onto the palm of his hand.   We help him over to the next bus stop and checking the schedule: bus 54 to arrive in 15 minutes. Would we wait to see him onto the bus?   "No", said Page.

5:00 AM awakening beneath the forest canopy. Resting in a morning prayer, while at distance a rooster begins to crow. His cry carries me back 2 days before, meeting with ekklesia at Redmond, where Glen Peterson shared what would be a confession in metaphor: hens the Peterson family had kept, with a rooster who regarded them all as his own.   Differing breeds together, such as Araucana, Barred Rock, Silver Wyandotte... each observably preferring the company of their own likeness: chicks-n-cliques, "birds of a feather". At Redmond, I was led in the Spirit to make an appeal among the brothers seated at table for another brother's sake of their acquaintance.   Would there be an offer in care from these men?   Yes, Chuck Hazen indicated he would be willing for going along with me to help.   A week more following, I telephone Chuck to hear that he had since inquired with Page, and, "No", Chuck would not.

A few days afterward to visit a home fellowship in North Seattle that meets twice each month: those few remaining together after the Hamiltons had earlier withdrawn from hosting ekklesia in their home. It was here that more pieces came to light for how in just a few years the Adversary was also able to snare Seattle along another band --- this time from East to West.   In Bellevue, Redmond, and other places still, men who could not see clearly so as to effectively help outside their own imagined circle, like in the parable from Luke 10:29-37.   Do we actually encourage one another through appointing the soul in hurt or need as someone else's problem?   I am witness in tears to the practice of local church autonomy subverting Christ, as by this some have been fooled to neglect the orphan and widow; reflexively chase a "wolf" on to a nearby fellowship; assume unity in Christ as viable within the reach of any one gathering; choose by preference whom to be with, and to other contemptible things which ought not be making mention among Christ's own.

Loving those who love us; looking to our own interests

How could these men be fooled so easily?   The Schemer has been hijacking our own errors with purpose to further beset us. Two significant deceptions were blinding: "church of me" and "church autonomy". Both these carry the same phonetic end in "me", formulated from the darkness to abridge our Love for one another.

It is a golden calf of Protestants and Mennonites alike. Desire for it during the 19th century helped split the German Baptist Brethren; similarly elsewhere to birth many other sects.   From its roots in medieval Catholic universities, autonomy [lit: "self-law"] assumes a local sect for our "one another" and our gathering together in Christ; invites a voluntary membership where Christ has already made us members!   It's also from whence come the confused expressions, "our church" or "my church".   But the absence of centralized control in ekklesia does not prove autonomy; the lack of a centralized or local controlling group would be working among us in demonstration of the action of the Holy Spirit upon us in every place and through time.   We're following the One Lord, found in One Faith, and all being subject to one another in Christ, regardless of location or any other association; having been made alive together in One Body which is His.

Does the ekklesia in Portland live out their faith in different ways than the brothers & sisters sojourning in Seattle?   Yes, they do. Is this difference because the ekklesia in Portland is making their own decisions about what to be doing or believing?   May it not be so!   The same Lord, by His great wisdom of knowledge, from Grace asking of His own specific tasks in accord with each hour and place.   Portland is commending Seattle, and Seattle rejoices with Portland!   None of us could safely presume together to make decisions while Christ is still Lord.   The matter is already settled; our opinions will not be required; our allegiance is unshakable.   So He lives in all His ekklesia.

Like-Mind Vector
Romans 15:6 - That you may with one accord [one mind] and one mouth glorify God.
II Corinthians 13:11 - Furthermore, brethren, be rejoicing; be adjusting; be entreated; be mutually disposed [like-minded], be at peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Philippians 1:27 - that I may hear you are standing firm in one spirit, one soul [one mind], competing together [not against one another] in the faith of the evangel.
Philippians 2:2 - that you may be mutually disposed [of one mind], having mutual love, joined in soul, being [together] of a single disposition - nothing according with faction or vainglory, but with humility hold one another in higher regard than your self, not making a point of your own, but rather looking to what is with others.
I Peter 3:8 - All finishing in like disposition [one mind], in shared emotion, fond and tenderly compassionate and amiable.

Did you see it?   We're not looking for like-minded folks; we are being adjusted to be like-minded in Christ!

Now on the road again, rejoicing to find more brothers & sisters shrewdly hidden-away by our Father for the appointed times, and seeing over again how much we have need to...

Strengthen What Remains
Cooperating with the Spirit of God, acting in concert everywhere to weaning off from spoon feeding (retiring expository addiction); claiming firm ground away from that legacy church habit to shuttle people out of "our fellowship" who don't seem to fit or make for us a fit; advancing away from relational idolatry: setting aside relational rules for fellowship and some relational boundaries that would be dividing Christ; and in some places, re-presenting the Good News where a formula gospel holds men captive in their sins.
[Ephesians 5:15-21]

Greet the saints with you.

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May you receive in Christ faith to pray with those in your community, and for the ekklesia in many places.
May you receive in Christ faith to compassion and to strengthen the hands that are weak and knees that are feeble.
May you receive in Christ faith to make His disciples no matter where they've been.
May you receive in Christ faith to His peace; His shalom {wholeness}.

The Lord is Risen!
Marshall Diakon

    prayer from ekklesia:

Austin, USA-TX ~ pray for us as we are gathering together with Christ, for consistency and encouragement. We thank Him that, though the way is not easy, our families and our souls are being strengthened.
Beaverton, USA-OR ~ pray for The Garden as we are entering a season to pray, study, and discover our identity as an organic church. Pray that new believers among us be well-grounded in the Scripture and in growing relationship with Christ.
Benoni, SOUTH AFRICA ~ a simple church in Benoni started yesterday. Just couldn't put it off any longer. Pray for us.
Bothell, USA-WA ~ pray that we receive deliverance and healing in body to the glory of our God.
Davie, USA-FL ~ I pray that the move of God will sweep over the nations and that His people will be prepared, doing their work, and being faithful.
Gresham, USA-OR ~ Julie Loukus grew up a Christian and has now for a long time parted from the ways of the our Lord. Pray for her return to the way of the Lord.
Grove City, USA-OH ~ oh Lord, please grant us the grace that is sufficient, all to the fullest manifestation of Your Great and Mighty Power!
Huntingdon, USA-TN ~ pray that the Lord bring us all soon out from under the burden of debt.
Jacksonville, USA-FL ~ pray for my husband to see the need to come out of tradition church of religious practices and to follow Christ wherever He may lead us.
Kaohsiung, TAIWAN ~ Father, we thank You or granting grace upon grace; going glory to glory!
MALI ~ pray for a new ecclesia begun in Mali, a land that is very poor and 99% Muslim.
Manassas, USA-VA ~ forgive me, Lord, for wanting only You and not also Your Kingdom.
Manchester, USA-MD - in this time of political woes, let's pray and humble ourselves before God.
Newcastle, USA-WA ~ prayer for a wife's return and her restoration in marriage.
Norfolk, USA-VA ~ pray that we all be deeply & fully aware of what it is YHWH is after in our hearts & minds!
Pahoa, USA-HI ~ pray for souls to the Kingdom of God; that a door of utterance will open in spreading the Gospel here. Pray for the home church. We are going through changes, and that faithful followers of Christ would pick up their Cross and follow Him in doing the Great Commission. Prayer for more strong laborers to come & help disciple the babes in Christ. Also for prayer even as we surrender to the Holy Spirit leading, letting go and letting God, in Jesus Christ.
Portland, USA-OR ~ pray the love of Christ is perfected in us.
Reeds Spring, USA-MO ~ dear Father in heaven, we may come to You, for You have counted Yours as Your children. Our hearts long to come to You, our God and Savior. May Your Word bless us and restore. Give us courageous hearts to bear the distress of our times.
Rishon LeZion, ISRAEL ~ from the days that we preaching the Gospel in the City of Jerusalem, we have a big persecution against us; against our home and our family. Please lift us in your prayers.
Rochester, USA-IN ~ pray for our community as we endeavor to show Christ to the lost souls in our area.
Spring, USA-TX ~ Lord, open the eyes of Your people; those who call upon You out of a pure heart to see the true condition of what we call church and give us a burden for Your testimony (the true gospel of Christ) and Your will to telling the truth concerning your Son and His Cross: that we will no longer live; but Christ will live through us for Your glory and not our comfort and convenience.
Waukesha, USA-WI ~ I just ask for your prayers for the road is hard and I am fearful in my heart and weak.

Journey replies

    ---from USA-LA
We love hearing from other parts of the Body across the nation and around the world. I have made friends with churches in other countries, and it is great to see that God is working in the lives of so many in the area of a new paradigm about how His Kingdom is to function in the earth. Each day, I am amazed that I can read the Scriptures that I have read a thousand times and see truth as I have never seen it before. I appreciate your view in the article and believe it is important to hear and listen to others and what God is speaking to them.

    ---from USA-ME
This letter really spoke to me. It is what we are also seeing going on with brothers having problems with wives and children.

    ---from USA-HI
It is always encouraging to hear the awesome movement of the Holy Spirit amongst the ekklesia, and pray the Father's will be done in all we do.

    ---from KENYA
Wonderful, such wonderful, Spirit breathed information that is so full of love from the Father. We are so glad.

    ---from USA-WA
Our ekklesia has been blessed! We have gatherings on Sunday morning and Friday evening, and the teenagers meet with a young couple on Wednesdays. New friends and neighbors have started to participate. We have gathered to worship in a park. Some sisters have brought food and coffee to the street and prayed with the people they encountered. Sometimes our gatherings are joyously noisy because of all the children. Friday evening, two seven year old girls asked to sing. They chose "In Christ Alone," "Indescribable," and "Sweetly Broken." They did this on their own. They are learning about the priesthood of all believers without being told.

    ---from USA-NY
I love and appreciate your sharing this definition of leadership, and your other good words of trusting in Jesus and resting in Him, and growing in knowing His Power of Life and real community in Him. Thank you for your words, thoughts and prayers! I will pass your greetings and word on to the other saints here...

    ---from the PHILIPPINES
I'm happy to know your strong faith and conviction of the Gospel.

The Journey 2013

Dear brother and sister among the ekklesia,
As the Spirit of God is raising up men to help among the brothers and sisters in Seattle [Washington, USA], I would be returning south through Portland with Michael Cruz who is bringing the evangel and sharing with me of the challenge to connect with gatherings blind sighted or troubled by the Adversary's clever schemes. After prayerfully walking together through a fraction of downtown Portland to be greeting others toward midnight, it's now the end of October 2012, and I'm leaving behind dear friends in Portland, southward riding the Nishiki to more visits as Father will permit.

Oregon rains chasing into Grants Pass [250 milemark] where God found me Dan, who was getting together with a friend but could find none other nearby who would share the praises and goodness of the Lord together. My own few days of intense searching there seemed to mostly confirm his report. Now it is November, and nighttime temperatures among the nearby Siskiyou mountains began showing 20s Fahrenheit, and as the Spirit was urging me not to be clinging to a planned I-5 route. As the sun broke through showers on a beautiful morning [11/13], I'm saying goodbye to Dan, riding onto highway 101 toward the northern California coastline. Through a section of giant Redwood trees, a millipede migration 3 miles wide, and to Crescent City (where I had hope to meet a brother nearby, but could not find him there); and forward among more of these extraordinary trees of our Father's forest, and Eureka!

Northern California Coast
The city-region of Eureka, California [400 milemark], would show example in starvation for His Grace. Lingering for a few days within this city and finding no one a light in Christ. There were indeed a few curious men, and spiritual souls, and a number of impostors, while the citizens of Eureka are much as if hypnotized and automatons by the spirit now ruling this present world's system. Departing in tears of grief, I am coming into Garberville [11/21], of Humboldt County, drenched with overnight rains, where in the light of day along downtown streets I was repeatedly confronted by citizens engaged in the buying or selling of weed. Conversations would quickly turn to praises for the freedom to openly administer marijuana. After a day of finding no mind sober enough to consider Christ, I left behind the distinctive burning smell that filled the Garberville marketplace. Oh, but there was one: a woman waiting in a cafe for a friend who would take her to a flight home in Hawaii. So beautiful she was, and in spirit, yet not then willing for Christ to rescue her above treasured things of this world. I had thought to write her name down, but now cannot find or recall it. I will be writing her name if Jesus does.

Ukiah, and to Cloverdale, Sonoma County, where road conditions fell to poor and hazardous. It was here that the bicycle acquired electrical and mechanical problems. A trial, as the Spirit guided me through. Entering the North Bay (San Francisco) area, where materialism is the supreme implicit god of most men and churches. This region also demarks a northern edge for California's kidult culture.

At Vallejo [720 milemark], and having traveled through a number of smaller cities, finding so little testimony of Christ. Here also the rains returning. A brother from Woodburn, Oregon, was known to be staying near the city of Berkeley, and after a few days suggested I might tag along with him as he was to travel to Visalia. The next morning, we met in Dublin, then stopping briefly en route to see a young, old friend in Tracy.

Southern California
When the Spirit saw to open a road for me, coming into Bakersfield, and to revisit ekklesia I had not seen in 7 years [12/9]. What joy to perceive how they had grown! Their old outline and syllabus for house church had since been tossed, and the Holy Spirit given bona fide invitation to be directing what is His presence and government of Christ on earth. He had transformed them almost unaware, as the Spirit has enabled in many places. Another gathering on Bakersfield's east side found to be no longer. As you offer prayer and thanksgiving, remember the ekklesia meeting at the Warren house as they are hosting, convening and interceding for a lost city of 400,000 souls.

Crossing the Grapevine (a mountain pass area separating the San Juaquin [wah-keen] Valley from the Santa Clarita Valley and Los Angeles), I had been invited by a friend in Oregon to extend a visit with their friends at Lebec. Greeting them, it quickly became clear to me that my presence was somehow unsettling to these folks. As a traveler, I'm carrying no seminary degree or letters of a denomination. Evening and morning and after a little snow fell, by His grace I'm peddling forward from Valencia into the San Fernando Valley [1070 milemark]. Visiting with a small gathering in Chatsworth [12/15], meeting with Larry in Burbank concerning the welfare of the ekklesias here [12/20]; and into downtown Los Angeles where I would spend a few days getting to know brother Antonio in the Upper Room: a dance-art space located on 7th Street just above a retail shop; a gathering place I would see again. But first, southeastward to the Anaheim area, revisiting The Crossing; meeting saints and seekers at The Mission (a gathering primarily within Orange county); ekklesia at Fullerton, and also Loma Linda. A culture shock is to be experienced here among people accustomed to perceiving reality as if the third rail of life. While we know Jesus Christ in perfect liberty going and doing as Father directs, a frequent conviction here among the soulish that Jesus sits in hours of TV and video games to be chilling after a hard day of dealing with more trouble in the world. Consequently, much sweet time of prayer and fellowship with our Father and the Bridegroom is being deferred day after day.

Time To Be Learning
My first attempt of journey into the Inland Empire (northeast of Anaheim) became presumptuous, and I thank God for halting me. It was by His will yet only to be there a full week following. Blessed to visit The Riverbend Community at Corona; simple church in Chino Hills; and ekklesia at Mira Loma. These children of God learning in the Spirit to participate with heralding the good news of Christ, and to sharing the good acts of God in His ekklesia, reminded me of a hurdle from my own childhood. When it came time to be learning to tie my shoes, I ran, hiding behind the corner easy chair. Shoe lacing looked too difficult for me, and something that ought be left to those who already know how. With parents or professionals around, what child should ever have to learn tying their own shoes? Well, I soon surrendered and I'm glad I did! Likewise, we are learning to be walking in the Spirit, donning His armor and lacing shoes: the preparation/readiness of the Gospel of His peace.
[Ephesians 6:14-17]

Sins Sweet End
Father then returning me to the upper room at downtown Los Angeles, the Spirit of Christ is bringing care and attention to overturning legacy of institutionalized immaturity that arrives among the ekklesia even as men and women are being rescued into Christ. If it were not for His mighty power and grace, His task would be too great. Just the simple truth of our call to righteousness/justice, being made holy for this purpose, as like taking sin "candy" away from another adopted baby. But now we are growing in distaste for sin. Until our eyes are fully fixed upon Christ, we do not understand how vital it becomes that we fully grow up in His grace and knowledge. I have met a few receiving their maturity in Christ, even children are able by Him to put away childish things.
[I Corinthians 13:11]

Doubtful Polyandry
It's now April. Visits in the Los Angeles basin helped to highlight need for the ekklesia there. This region is possibly the most unlikely place on earth today to greet (among thousands of "Christians" interspersed) a true believer-follower of Christ. From gatherings in Chatsworth, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Orange, Irvine, Granada Hills, Los Angeles, West Covina, Chino Hills, Mira Loma, Garden Grove, Anaheim and Stanton, observing how the relationships they share together are not yet so often the relationship they have in Christ with the Father. James tells us why: Doubt. How odd it seems, greeting so many Christian men having married to the same woman: Doubt. She wants for a considered life in this world because the next age arriving is not so sure or glorious to her. This is the other woman many men linger for to be gaining the world and losing life.
[James 1:6-8]

   during April, a brother had written:
There may be some interest but it seems that one of the issues with a simple group is the everpresent danger of someone with an agenda driving the group. Rather than deal with that we have chosen not to pursue anything at this time.
dear brother, in each gathering truly lead by Christ our Head, no other can hold a candle to Him. After knowing His leading, the charisma and agendas of men come to seem so pathetic; trite; childish. If/when someone such as Bill Johnson, [the late] Witness Lee, Frank Viola or [insert any common name here] arrives in the place where Christ is all and our Adoration, we simply can't find devotion to an audience-driven thesis. Love gladly will remind: you be sitting peaceably as we continue to learn from God by His Word & Spirit. All your training, prophecies, achievements, manifestations, expository and objectives cannot surpass the fullness and presence of Christ among His own anywhere. Yet if there be anyone not fully convinced of Christ, as lost men playing follow the leader with various teachers, consider that we will know one another by the fruit of righteousness and Spirit, and not through hyperbole nor circus nor in having our ears scratched. By full application, when I visit in a city, and men ask me to bring some manner of my presentation in to the ekklesia, I am thereby warned for being among vulnerable children not all yet trained to be fixing their eyes upon Christ. No more following the gifting or the gifted, we would follow The Master; Giver of all good things!
[II Corinthians 5:16-17; Philippians 1:8-11; Hebrews 12:2]

Welcoming Israel & Grace who drove down from Santa Rosa. Israel and I would visit Living Streams, the headquarters of Witness Lee's Local Church legacy. We were warmly welcomed to a prayer gathering by men who have been looking to another man to be the oracle of God, rather than together speaking the oracles of God. The tragedy of sectarianism swamping thousands, breeding sect upon sect, and this when men refuse to permit the Spirit of God the flesh temple He purchased by the blood of the Lamb!

Praxis in False Unity:
  causal: we all concur upon our mission.
  democratic: when a majority agrees at any point, our unity is expressed.
  doctrinal: agree to our creed and consider us in unity.
  factional: whatever portion of the group is agreed establishes a new group.
  moral: by living up to our standard, we have unanimity.
  mystic: looking forward in unity for unity.
  multilateral: the distance between us will remain essential to our unity.
  pastoral: we all agree to be avoiding disunity with our pastors.
  senators: a small group of people are chosen to work out our unity.
  status quo: we're all in unanimity until we're all agreed for a change.
  ATD: presuming for a bond of peace by agreeing to disagree.

"Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices"
[Colossians 3:9]

Genuine Unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace: moving together as Christ is not divided. Are you living unity in Christ?

"Then it seems good to the apostles and older men together with the whole church, to be choosing out men to send to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas: Judas Barsabbas and Silas [no last name], men leading in/among the brothers
[Acts 15:22]

Two things came upon these men, which are really One, without which our best attempt in unanimity will demonstrate a fragile façade. These brothers could recognize in one another how "you have died [from the life you had in the flesh] and your life is hid together with/to Christ in God." None is truly born anew without first their death. So then, we are examining ourselves: Have I died? Do I now live anew in Christ alone? Because so many merely imagine themselves "good" or "saved", religious pomp, fraud and fakery cover the face of the earth.
[Colossians 3:3]

What Religion Changed To Ordination
At Northridge (and other places before), our Father is bringing grace into something described by brother Paul, writing to brother Titus, "that you should be amending what is lacking: standing down seniors/elders ... as overseers". [Titus 1:5,7]  Those maturing in Christ among us do tend to rise in stature with Him. Among elders/olders who are able, (Paul offers short lists regarding ability to be overseeing, caring for the flock, serving well.) these we should be standing down [καταστησης] to live as lowliest among the lowly; servant of servants all.

A watchman/overseer is a lowly position: rock eye; not swerved by men or angels; always ready to inform the whole community for what is approaching, whether it be friend or foe, from without or within. Overseers are prepared by the Holy Spirit to inform against trouble, as well as in any member's failure to mature, that we all by love are better becoming toward one another. An overseer doesn't bear the burden to determine for what the ekklesia need do -- for action, our one mind will require the whole of the assembly be agreeing with Christ and moved to action by His Spirit.

admonition: as God has delivered you from institutional religion and fully into Christ, so walk in Him. Why consume years in technique or hope to purge yourself? Let Him be saving you today!
[Colossians 2:6]

    Questions with Answers:

Q. Do you contact people who we know are looking for fellowship or Bible study from Charis?

A. This is a blessed care, and I did use that list to contact a few while in the US northwest... Our most ideal response: members of local gatherings are making contact with people nearby.

Q. We've grown in numbers and without a house big enough for more.

A. Our prayer, that you have also together grown in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ (if not yet, you best hurry in receiving it!), so that you may soon be sending out from among you with confidence as the Holy Spirit directs.

Q. What is a church planter? Are you planting churches?

A. The planting of churches is often based in an assumption that apostles and/or evangelists directly initiated the formation/locating of ekklesia. However, there is little to nothing from New Testament writings that would honestly confirm a church being planted by a man. Paul planted the Word & evangel of Christ. Apostles and evangelists and others labor to be giving birth to spiritual children. Even as we observe today, the Spirit of God draws those saints together where they be nearby. As Christ is building His ekklesia promised, we will be cooperating with the Spirit by encouraging and assisting one another in love.

Greet the saints with you.

  Charis newsbits
  or, keep pace journeying together at Odio

May you receive in Christ faith to pray with those in your community, and for the ekklesia in many places.
May you receive in Christ faith to compassion and to strengthen the hands that are weak and knees that are feeble.
May you receive in Christ boldness of faith to be setting aside every fakery and the counterfeiting of Christ.
May you receive in Christ faith to His peace; His shalom {wholeness}.

The Lord is Risen!
Marshall Diakon

346-707-4757  [US]
skype: diakonii

The Journey 2013 - part 2

An encouraging departure from the Los Angeles basin, with wind at our back riding into California's Coachella Valley. I'm sitting with Ron Hahn to hear more of his journey and how our Beloved is so much ignored in this valley. The Palm Springs area was largely constructed as a desert getaway for wealthy entertainers. Being not far from Death Valley, few devils remain posted here to set watch over a populace submerged in vanity, imaginations and shifting sand. A fierce wind interrupted travel to see again Bob Firl with a small group of men at Desert Hot Springs, and then we're soon rising from the valley to be crossing the Colorado River into Arizona.

Month of May with daytime desert temperatures now above 100F, I am learning needful skills and more of sometimes poorly maintained highways. With terminal damage to a rear tire, and the Nishki's old steel rim failing, now among saguaro cactus at Avondale, midnight, awakened to the sound of air rushing from a tire. There are no more spares on board, and in the morning I am amid prayer and calling members at ekklesia within 40 miles. Soon assisted by 3 angels carrying water, more water, and transportation to a bike shop.

Gathering at Mesa (one of several Phoenix valley suburbs), encouraged to their simple awareness of Christ. A regional gathering was being prepared here at Ed & Paula's house, as Ed and I would consider carefully together the providence-provision of our Father in the world today. Rapidly becoming apparent in the Phoenix sojourn, Deism that had dovetailed with the free will of man, intellectually obligating the Almighty God not to be sovereign over any man's will to choose. Are Christians here resolved not to depend in God's superior protection from any who would willfully do them harm? Steve Snider, who had hosted a now defunct home fellowship at Cave Creek, is assuring me that he carries a loaded 45 pistol with him at all times. But American Deism is Orwellian to be grooming us with paranoia in its vision of a Divine Father who allegedly leaves His children fighting for their own lives and welfare. Untrue! Who among us cannot recount where & when Almighty God protected from the enemy and from harm? King David knew: fear God, not men.
[Psalm 37:25; Proverbs 29:25; Revelation 14:7]

At Scottsdale, Aaron & Ellen Parrott host a home fellowship to the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Joy to visit with them twice, and as they daily present themselves among the children of faith. South into Maricopa with the Elliott family, gathering at their house and later that day among an apologetics group realizing facets in ekklesia. While the koinonia and gatherings at Phoenix altogether may be young, glad to thanksgiving for their vector in Christ which is being established among them. At the Mesa regional gathering in June, meeting Gary & Sandy Keating, though they did not show in the week for usual gathering held in their house at Gilbert. With earnest hope that all these will continue together in Christ, rightly discerning His body, to whom they/we be a small portion. With help from Seattle, Steve Phillips was found, and then our meeting at Mimi's Cafe in north Phoenix. There, a large reserved table of men examining the Scriptures, aware by the Holy Spirit of our shared cry to God for trueness of heart in all who will forsake empty religion to be walking in Him.

Northward from Phoenix, calling Louis & Connie Nikodim, having heard from them during 2010 that they would be returning to Utah from Prescott, Arizona, and today finding the Nikodims in an RV Park at Cottonwood. The Spirit willing, turning west and into Cottonwood, as wildfire consumes half the city of Yarnell nearby. Louis greeted us well as a fellow-traveler, with Connie, he is sharing the testimony of their deliverance years ago from all but one of the habits/addictions which had been binding them. Our Lord is fully able to deliver men and women from those things that would otherwise continue to enslave His child. Seeking understanding, and during our third day together, the Holy Spirit opened how they had withheld part of their own lives to themselves and away from the possession of Christ --- a condition of 2 minds or double-souled. The Spirit, knowing all things, had by mercy left them in one chain bound as a mark warning all who would for themselves presume to withhold some portion. (this is wisdom: a mark fragrance'd with destruction.) Father was gentle through all to reveal these things such that I might not overly despair. Their need for deliverance seems crushing to compassion, though we are pleading for their lives. Yet to this writing, Louis and Connie remain bound and veiled; Lot's wife, or Ananias & Sapphira outside the door.
[I Corinthians 10:21-22; I Timothy 6:7-11; James 1:4-8]

Taking warning further, it is pride which enables human beings to get their own feelings hurt; to be clinging tightly or reserving to ourselves as if we might possess anything of ourselves. By hope, I ask of God for Louie to be knowing the fullness of Christ. On the same third evening, Arizona monsoon rushing upon us so suddenly, as like the next appearing of our Lord, reminding how short be the days remaining in this present age.

At Clarkdale, an early July BBQ with friends also from Camp Verde, Sedona & Dewey, and a mystery how this gathering was to be unusual by its infrequency. I am encouraging brother Carl here toward cooperating with the Spirit of Love that these who know Christ (and are coming to be known by Him) will draw together and permit Him to be knitting hearts together as One heart. All in the Love of God unfailing, that we should be caring & bearing the interests of others rather than our own.
[Philippians 2:3-16]

Passing through Flagstaff, with no messages returned for this city, then on to Winslow to be meeting Lahry, and evangelist who had before traveled in parts of India. Experiencing his sorrow, as he mourned the spread of institutional Christianity from America into other nations.
[II Corinthians 11:12-14]

When visiting ekklesia, starting with understanding that God is saving them (each member and together), and only receive a change of mind in this regarding some who are yet bound in ignorance or rebellion. For whoever should be invoking [His as their surname] the name of the Master/Lord shall be being saved. The name/authority we invoke (call upon as our own) will be our source. Some trust in institutions or politicians or other agencies of man, but we have our source & trust in the Christ the Lord! But to be invoking more than one name tells of a divided trust. Thus [formerly] being enemies of God, we were conciliated/reconciles to the God through the death of His Son; [we] much rather/preferring being reconciled, we shall be being saved in His Life. The path to our reconciliation was in His death (that also became ours); the way to our Salvation is by His Life also becoming ours.
[ref: Acts 2:21; Roman 5:9-10; 6:9-10]

Shipwreck Log
[I Timothy 1:19]

Ross & Trina Ragan, enticed by an open door; drawn away into exile, further tested by self-appointed leaders who fumbled in the ekklesia at Cambridge, now retreating to an island home and into their own circle.

ekklesia at Cambridge: Rick Thompson, after years of attempting to fit a borrowed leadership model upon the ekklesia in Massachusetts and elsewhere (succeeding also to frustrate Ross & Trina), now placing himself under the authority of a Brazilian sect leader.

ekklesia at Conroe & Austin: Grant Shipman, a young man who started out running well, gradually drawn to Hindu philosophy (which can be quite stimulating to the body and mind). Overtaken by insecurities and the allure of friendship & fun with the world.

ekklesia at Gaithersburg, Damascus & Silver Spring: Crystal Whitfield, earnestly seeking Christ for a time, soon neglected and abused by so-called leaders in home fellowships at Maryland, now openly forsaking Christ for the life of African Spirituality.

...many more are approaching the reefs! Will you help in the interceding to save?

Greet the saints with you.

  or, keep pace journeying together at Odio

May you receive in Christ faith to pray with those in your community, and for the ekklesia in many places.
May you receive in Christ faith to compassion and to strengthen the hands that are weak and knees that are feeble.
May you receive in Christ His desire to be gathering together many as often as He will.
May you receive in Christ faith to His peace; His shalom {wholeness}.
May you receive in Christ compassion to be patient with all men.

The Lord is Risen!
Marshall Diakon

346-707-4757  [US]
skype: diakonii
Journey replies

  ---from KENYA
You are focused on better things. My thoughts and prayers with you, dear brother. Keep up the good fight. Work with Him as we do here in Kenya, and one day we will meet on the blissful shore.

  ---from USA-MA
How do I help people over the 'this is how we do church' paradigm and fall in love with Him? How else can we DIE to our old life and ways and share life together as He wants instead of just doing church and mere meetings.

  ---from USA-TX
thank you so much for you heartfelt and encouraging email for it was truly a blessing to read, son! May our Lord continue to minister in and through you for His glory!

  ---from USA-KS
Here and there I find a little light, a believer or two in one institution or another. The Spirit is not absent but he's not in control anywhere. But they're always held captive by some doctrine or tradition. I thought for a while I had found something, a church plant that seemed heading in the right directions. They said the right things and seemed to have a heart after God and were lovely in many ways but with time and much pain I found out they were led not by the spirit but by empire builders and people chasing the usual American gods.

  ---from USA-HI
Glory to God, for apostle's traveling the country: eye witnessing for the ekklesia.

  ---from EUROPE
Thanks for the update regarding your travels. I'm not sure I know quite what it all means, but I nevertheless pray that the Lord leads you in His perfect will. Take care and God bless and safe travels.

  ---from USA-NC
Thanks for sharing your journey! My parents just visited Eureka, CA last week. They are not very close to the Lord, and even they could discern it was a sad, sad, sad city. They left almost immediately and shortened their visit to move elsewhere. I think it's interesting God gave them that discernment.

  ---from USA-NJ
I pray for you all in Christ's ekklesia, it is comforting to know there are many sheep out there when all you see around you are goats. What a great God we serve!

  ---from INDIA
thanks for your observation your depth of thought for us living among gods of stones temples where black magic is prevalent thanks again. i am like panting thirsty deer ready to drink the holy word of our Lord and God Jesus blessed be

  ---from USA-IL
Glad to hear from you. I am glad to read about what has been happening with you and about your travels. Thank you and God bless

  ---from USA-NY
What awesome traveling and fellowshipping you are able to do among the church of our Jesus in so many varied places! Thank you for all your sharing and encouragings from amid your journeys. How stirring to hear about His many workings in His Body and Bride!

The Journey 2013 - part 3

Leaving Shreveport with confidence in Father's restoring hand to help and care for His witness in northwest Louisiana to His glory, I'm venturing southward into a land of gumbo & gators... While we're riding into the swamps, continuing in prayer with me as we recount together across New Mexico and Oklahoma territory the Light YHWH has given there thru His Son, and the power of His resurrection to our overcoming all things in Him.

Albuquerque at night

The picture above is looking back from Sandia ridge at night toward our 12-mile descent into the Rio Grande Rift Valley, landing where a Warner Brothers character must've once made "a wrong turn", and to stunning life-examples of faith-trust diverted at Albuquerque [ABQ].

James welcomed me with an 8-hour coffeehouse conversation into Monergism, organic church, Materialism and the 300-year-old RCC roots of ABQ. I came away that night wondering for all the things that might be pressing us to foolishly set-aside our divine relationship with Christ: if I'm somehow not participating [re: Monergism]; if I'm focused upon something other than Christ; if I'm still bearing burdens of a religious system...

David & Sue invited me to come see them in Rio Rancho, northside of ABQ. Sue is a visual artisan, and David delves the world of IT. Years ago, a gathering in their home wrestled to throw off dead religion, and died. This unfolded alongside Wayne Jacobsen's early work to invite us away from the trap of serving God by doing certain religious things. Okay, so if we're not here to do our religious things, what are we doing here?
" besides, my beloved, as always according y'all obey not only in my being beside you, but now much rather in my absence, with fear and trembling be [living, carrying] your own salvation to/into effect."
[Philippians 2:12]

In/by faith, we're living today our own salvation together! Well, after several failed attempts, I'm visiting in the Sandia Heights east area of the city with Carl and family and friends. Returning for more visits, seeing the engaging work of the Spirit to help and to convict. As James from this gathering had alluded to, over coffee: men who will be needing to lose what they have acquired in order to be gaining Christ. Together we explored facets in the upcoming wedding-consumation to Christ, toward our shared awareness of a vulnerable Bride who best be making all Her preparations; a weaker vessel made up of members caring for one another; cherished by Christ. Love would be the key; the greatest of these.

Who among you is no longer pressing forward? Albuquerque had suffered beneath the Adversary's campaign of haltings. Now they're "too busy" for God to be saving them? I spoke briefly with Don & Gayle who confirmed to me that they are, "careful to be doing nothing." This testimony is true. When the power of God in us is being denied, vanity is forced: without His power acting in us, whatever we are doing then comes to amount to nothing but empty works. Many "Christians" have resolved to be doing little by God (while engaged to the delight of their own minds) because they still lack the faith that brings power in Christ to be doing what the Father is doing. Our prayers are stuffed with requests to their Salvation. Both opportunity and warning at Albuquerque: holding ekklesia to first be "fellowship" has the effect of starving out the presence of Christ among us. He will be our heart, or we have departed from Him. To contrast, ekklesia as the government of Christ is bringing the sustaining presence of Christ to our neighbors, and over the face of the earth.

huge cross and leaning tower at Groom, TexasWent to see about a gathering called "The Ekklesia" near Rio Rancho, but this turned out to be another system church packaged in a borrowed building.

End of August, crossing the Sandia mountains, onto the Texas panhandle. At Amarillo, 2 people handed me Bibles while unable to present Jesus alive. On to a place called Groom, where this tall monument and leaning water-tower teach from the Bible Belt a toppling system planted alongside a cross too big for a man to take up or bear.
[Luke 14]

I'd not yet met an armadillo, and Father hearing my hope... in a field, I was awakened one night to a pair of these creatures showing off and jumping around in a generally entertaining way.

ekklesia at Oklahoma City [OKC] has years been living with a wolf in their front yard. This wolf being loyal pseudo-Anabaptist, and my first visit as Father appointed it. The Good Shepherd would be training some at OKC to watch and care His flock alongside Him, that together they may be overcoming every mercenary-marauder. Allowing the Holy Spirit to be taking rule over our human sensibilities by wisdom; the power of God is coming in them. Recalling young David with the flock and with the giant.

To Joy, learning that my prior contact for a downtown OKC gathering had been sent to Inner Mongolia with wife and child. ekklesia together that night included a video conference with the family. Father has given faith among these to sending out as His Spirit directs! No missions org; no parachurch sponsor-trainer... much as I had earlier witnessed in Colorado Springs, and at Irvine, saints convinced and empowered in Christ to just go as He says "Go". And the love they have for one another is growing!

The populous of Oklahoma are zealous about American football and the games. Yet, To be living our own life or sport is to neglect living so great a Salvation! The Spirit urging that we not by any means be shrinking away from the contest and adventure of life in Christ. Who would settle for so little as stadium sport knowing Christ is our prime opportunity to Get In The Game and To Win? "Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things." Oklahomans then do it to receive a perishable wreath/trophy, but we for an imperishable Reward.
[I Corinthians 9:25]

brother Warren is visiting us from the village of Omega [50 miles NW of OKC], and as we are sharing many good things in Christ. Also to Midwest City, where the week's praises and victories in Christ were freely recounted. ekklesia at Midwest City and at OKC compliment one another well, as Father is raising them up alongside & together.

Invited to a brother's meeting associated with "The Body"; on Sunday afternoon visiting with this group at Mustang that Milt Rodriguez has labored, planting. The Spirit then reminding me toward our realization of Christ as having One Body, and not so much our little groups of friends. Being among them, perceiving their struggle to rise above sectarianism by the Sword of the Spirit destructing independence and fears of man. Pray for these to be discerning the Body of Christ in all its members local, global & historic. A hallmark among true believers, that we be recognizing one another --- yet no longer according to the flesh... Personal relationships may run an unsteady course, while the mature bond of Christ has brought us all together even before we have all had opportunity to greet one another or to thank God for it!
[II Corinthians 5:16-17]

It came time, in our Father's time, for a flat and repair along highway 67, when young Josh rides up on his Harley to ask if we need help. Our greeting quickly led to an invitation to come out to a gathering there in Campbell, where I was to meet a number of men in faith and growing into faith around a large table. John, hosting these brothers, also offered hospitality and a few hours of encouraging words in Christ.

While visiting these cities, I am encountering the incidental oddities familiar elsewhere, such as, sheep trained unawares to be "wolfing", Bible Version Hounds; the Cropped Evangelist heralding gospel fragments and welcoming false conversions; the Malnourishment Major rationing crumbs as he leans upon seminary or Bible school training.

journey 2013 map

Rainy times in northeast Texas. Blessed to spend parts of 2 days with David the preacher at Denton. David's mission: to be warning the alien and the apostate churches in the Way of Christ and coming Day of Judging. David is en route to OKC.

Greet the saints with you.

May you receive in Christ faith to going as He is going, sending as He is sending.
May you receive in Christ faith to discerning the wholeness of the body of Christ.
May you receive in Christ His desire to be gathering together many as often as He will.
May you receive in Christ faith to walk in His Spirit.
May you receive in Christ compassion to be patient with all men.

The Lord is Risen!
Marshall Diakon

346-707-4757  [US]
skype: diakonii
Journey replies

  ---from USA-SC
when I clicked to get new mail, there was yours, and I just finished reading it, and rejoicing, both in the many ekklesias you had visited and been nourished by and also by your frankness (and discernment) in discussing those who have shipwrecked.

  ---from USA-TX
I pray that all is well. ... I wanted to say that your journey has been a blessing to read. I am not sure where you are at now, but I pray God keep you safe from all trials, and aware of schemes of the enemy.

  ---from AUSTRALIA
Understanding God in new and different ways is, and always has been a challenge for me. Unlearning all the church stuff has been a process orchestrated by God and well worth the journey. Recognizing God in new ways continues to be stimulating, perplexing and challenging even though we have been on this journey for some ten years now. Do not lose heart, God is birthing something new and wonderful.

  ---from EUROPE
Thanks for the update. Goodness, you do get around. I wish you every continued blessing in your service to the Lord.

  ---from USA-OR
I must admit sometimes I got discouraged to see there seems to be no progress in communities of believers. It seems it is easier to draw people to a form of church that is familiar to them (institutional, with its consumer based service). While house churches seems to be closed to new people. ... Bottom line, most people are tuning in to WII-FM (whats in it for me).

  ---from USA-MI
I feel like someone who has walked up on the tail end of a long conversation when I read your report. The only reason that I say that is because I have no background to understand your journey or how long you have been on the road etc. nonetheless I rejoice in the Lord with you.

  ---from USA-CA
I pray the Lord will allow his ekklesia to see his glory both in himself and Father. I pray that we all will be watchful, prayerful and ready to minister to the needs of His beloved. I pray that you dearly beloved brother Marshall will be strengthened along your journey and that all whose path you cross will welcome you with open arms loving fellowship. I pray for the patience and soul of the ekklesia be won over to Christ and that worry, fear and loneliness will fade away outside the IC. I pray we will all be on guard watching and waiting that we not fall into a snare by the wicked and I pray we escape all the darts of the wicked to stand before our God redeemed.