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Final Thoughts

October 26th, 2009 22 comments

Monday – Just arrived back home in Seattle. I made it, but my bags didn’t. I was on the same plane as Jane and Tony, and their bags didn’t arrive either, so I don’t feel so bad!

It’ll take some time for me to process everything that went on this week at Conference. The Holy Spirit was moving in so many dimensions, not only in my heart but in the ministry as a whole. I don’t have the advantage of a long history with Aglow (not any history at all, really!), so there’s no basis for comparison, but it seems that these are unprecedented days of change and new directions.

I loved meeting the “Aglow Tribe” — and look forward to meeting even more of you in the future. What a wonderful, special family of believers, and how exciting to see the blessing and favor of God resting on this ministry. There truly is an “open heaven” over us, and a bright future ahead.

See the gallery below — I’ve tried to capture some of the special moments from the conference — and feel free to add your thoughts, impressions and observations to the conversation.

Blessings to all my new Aglow friends,

-Rick

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Good to be Together

October 25th, 2009 8 comments

Sunday — The final day of conference was every bit as amazing as the others. I know how much work has gone into organizing this gathering so that everything comes together as it should, but without the Holy Spirit’s power and presence, it would be just another event. This was far from just another event.

Key People
Arvie Muff, Aglow’s Director of Special Events and Conferences, gave recognition to the leaders of our local volunteer staff for this conference. The local volunteers were a HUGE help in making this event a success. Arvie acknowledged the excellent leadership of Patricia Long, Marie Dossett and Donna Taylor and honored them publicly for the crucial part they played.

Praying for the men during the Sunday session.

Men in Aglow
We heard from the men this morning. Dwight Brooks introduced two of them, one from Denmark and the other from the UK, both of whom have been forerunners with getting men involved in Aglow. They each gave reports of changed lives and active, thriving men’s groups.

After the reports, Dwight had the men in the audience stand and then asked the women to pray over them. Being a man, I’m probably a little biased about this, but I think it was one of the most significant moments of the conference.

Intimacy and Glory
Asher’s message this morning was from Revelation 1 — the account of John’s vision of the glorified Christ. Asher said that even though John was terrified at the site, he considers this to be one of the most intimate moments in all of scripture. Jesus was revealing his true nature to John — allowing him to see him as he really is. John had already known Jesus in a personal way — as a friend — now he would know him in his glory as well.

asher_prayerAsher went on to say that intimacy with Christ is our greatest treasure. It should mean more to us than anything else in life.

At the end of his message, Asher pulled his prayer shawl over his shoulders and prayed in Hebrew for the men and women of Aglow. It was a precious time as the Spirit of God hovered over that place.

Two things followed Asher’s prayer. First, Jane shared a story about the King of Denmark, Christian X, who wore a Star of David on his sleeve to show support of Danish Jews suffering persecution under Nazi occupation during World War II.

Jane then asked that a Star of David be passed out to every person in the session as a sign of Aglow’s support of our Jewish brothers and sisters — especially during this tjane_star_davidime of rising anti-semitism.

Secondly, Jane asked Victor Khalil, a friend of Aglow and an Arab, to come forward and pray, along with Asher, for the salvation of both their peoples. Victor and Asher prayed passionate prayers and embraced as brothers. It was an emotional time for all of us — and a very fitting way to end this conference. Julie Meyer led us in a song of victory, Jane said once again “It was good to be together” and invited all Amercan Aglow members to join us in San Jose next year September 30 – Oct. 3 for the Aglow National Conference. She also encouraged the various nations to attend their conferences, saying that she was sure they’d all be outstanding events.

With that we made our way out of the building, exhausted, but filled to overflowing.

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A New Sound

October 24th, 2009 Comments off

Saturday – What an incredible day! At the close of today’s final session, led by Asher Intrater, Jane asked us all to mark this day in our journals, calendars, wherever — because this day will become a part of Aglow’s history. Read on to find out why…

Generations

Evangeline Weiner, Generations Director.

Our morning session began with reports from the ministry including a Generations update from Evangeline Weiner. It’s amazing to see how God is using this ministry of Aglow to reach out to young people around the world. The momentum is building and Evangeline is doing an awesome job of making connections and casting vision.

Season of Proclamation
The morning session was with none other than Graham Cooke. I’ve so grown to appreciate this man’s teaching as I’ve been reading his Spiritual Warrior series and I was looking forward to hearing him in person. For those of you who have had the pleasure of hearing Graham, you know that he delivers rapid fire prophetic words mixed with stories from his own experience. I think the best way to share some of what he said to us this morning is simply to list them in bullet form:

  • You must see yourself as an overcomer and get into that lifestyle now.
  • Don’t you love this recession? It means the enemy is running out of cash.
  • Your intimacy with God is the most intimidating thing about you (to the Devil).
  • The church is supposed to be saturated with majesty.
  • Don’t be overwhelmed by the world — be overwhelmed with who God is.
  • Stop praying like a widow and start praying like a bride.
  • You are irresistible! Grow to understand your own irresistibility in God’s heart.
  • Every problem comes with a provision attached to it.
  • Look at life through the eyes of the goodness of God.
  • A bride prays with 70% proclamation — only 30% petition.
  • We (Aglow) have grown up through petition and are now in a season of proclamation. We won’t stop praying, but we will learn proclamation.
  • God is retooling, reinventing and reshaping Aglow. Don’t let what you know get in the way of what you need to know.
  • We’re a new sound!
  • Start learning proclamation from your own journey — the things God has spoken to you need to come to pass in the next two to three years. Begin to proclaim “Lord, you said…” until it comes to pass.
  • Your new DNA: Proclamation.

Graham also said that he felt Jeremiah 33 was for Aglow. Verse 3 says ”Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” He read most of the chapter. You can read it for yourself here.

Ashley has found new life in Christ.

New Life
I wanted to share a sidebar story with you here. I spent a lot of my time today in the sound booth processing photos on my laptop for the Flag Parade blog entry. I noticed during the morning session that the security guard sitting next to me seemed to be really touched by the service. I was really pleased at the end of the session to see two of our Aglow volunteers talking with her. I found out later that the guard, Ashley, wanted to accept Christ as her savior and that Jamie, one of the volunteers from Rockville, Indiana, prayed with her. Ashley said that she had never experienced anything like this Aglow conference before and wanted to know what it was all about. Jamie gave a bible to Ashley and is going to connect her with an Aglow Lighthouse in the area. God is so good!

Favor and the Spirit of Proclamation
During the afternoon session, Graham picked up where he left off in the morning. He said that Aglow is in a season of unparalleled and unprecedented favor from the Lord. He said that there is no favor without vengeance — in other words, God’s favor on your life is payback to the enemy. Yes!

Graham Cooke: "We're moving from petition to proclamation."

Graham told us that God is present-future. He starts working with us in the present to accomplish what is going to happen in our future. I remember my father-in-law (a wonderful, godly man and pastor) saying “Your present situation is perfect preparation for your future.” Graham went on to say that our part in the process is to develop character, because that is something we can do now. As we begin to build those Christ-like qualities in our lives, it will hasten the fulfillment of what God has planned for us. Graham said “When the opportunity of a lifetime comes, you must make sure that you act within the lifetime of the opportunity.”

Here are some of the other things that Graham shared with us:

  • You have a green light from the Lord until He turns it red. If God doesn’t want you to do something, he’ll tell you. Until then, MOVE!
  • We often circumstances to challenge the prophecy instead of using prophecy to challenge the circumstances.
  • Proclamation:
    • Encourages us to move ahead
    • Is an accelerant
    • Speeds our development
    • Helps us catch up with where we’re supposed to be
  • The gap between prophesy and fulfillment of prophesy is closing.
  • Write your proclamations down, think them out, make them intentional.

DeLoris Moore and daughter Rachel expressing thanks.

Special Moment
Before I move on to the evening session, I wanted to mention a very special moment that occured today. DeLoris Moore (a member of the International Board of Directors) and her daughter Rachel were attending Conference for the first time in three years and wanted to thank Aglow for upholding them in prayer during a very difficult and challenging time in their lives. Rachel’s life literally hung in the balance. DeLoris said without the prayers and support of Aglow, they could not have made it. Thank the Lord for his healing, sustaining power!

Evening Session
Our speaker for the evening session was Asher Intrater. My words here will no doubt be inadequate to describe what went on, but I’ll do my best.

The Heavenly Army
Asher took us to the book of Revelation, chapter 19 and verses 11-14:

11 Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. 12 His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. 13 He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

This verse tells us of the second coming. Asher then showed us a verse earlier in the same chapter that tells what will happen just prior to this event:

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

Asher then had us read a verse later in the chapter that tells what happens after the second coming:

Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

In Asher’s words, “The Devil is kicked off the planet.”

Are You Ready?
The armies of Heaven are ready. They are waiting. For what? Asher says they’re waiting for us. He had us look again at verse 7: “…His wife has made herself ready.” He said that the armies of Heaven aren’t going to come until the bride is ready. Asher then asked us “Aglow, are you ready to be the bride?”

Asher delivered a powerful message Saturday evening.

Asher then took us on a survey of the Bible. He said we need to understand what Jesus is going to do. He’s not coming halfway down to rapture the believers and take us back up into Heaven. He’s coming to make war! The Bible is a document of possession of the earth. We’re not here for evacuation, we’re here for invasion and conquest.

In Joshua 5, a man appears to Joshua just before he engages in the battle of Jericho.

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said to Him, “Are You for us or for our adversaries?”
So He said, “No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come.”
And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, “What does my Lord say to His servant?”
Then the Commander of the LORD’s army said to Joshua, “Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy.” And Joshua did so.

Asher said that the man who appeared to Joshua was noneother than Jesus, the Commander of the Army of the Lord as described in Rev. 19. Asher also explained that the name Joshua is the same as Jesus. Of all the people in the Bible, Jesus chose Joshua’s name to carry. Jesus is our conqueror!

The Issue of Spiritual Warfare
Asher then described to us the fall of Satan and how when he realized he couldn’t overthrow Heaven, he gave it up and took possession of the earth, stealing it from Adam and Eve. The only way for God to take the authority back from Satan was for him to enter the earth sphere through a human being — Mary — and be born as a man. Asher then asked us a second question: “Aglow, are you willing to be like Mary and birth the Second Coming?”

Our Mandates
We know our three mandates: Male/female reconciliation, reaching out to Muslims and supporting and praying for Israel. Asher pointed out how each of these align with God’s purpose and plan, and the challenge that Asher is bringing to us this evening.

  • Male/Female Reconciliation- Only through men and women working together can we acheive what God had planned for us from the beginning: dominion on the earth.
  • Reaching out to Muslims – Asher affirmed that the goal of Islam is the total destruction of Israel. If Israel is destroyed, God’s covenant can not be fulfilled.
  • Supporting Israel – When God established His covenant with Abraham, it was for his seed — both physical (the Jews) and spiritual (believing Gentiles). Using a word study, Asher pointed out that promise to the Jews was for their land — Israel. The promise as it pertains to believing Gentiles is for the whole earth. If Israel were destroyed or driven from their land, God’s covenant could not be fulfilled — to the Jews or the believing Gentiles. We must support and pray for Israel!

Our response to Asher's challenge: YES!

The third question Asher asked us is, “Are you ready to take possession?” He then invited all who were ready to do this to come forward and receive an impartation. It was incredible moment — a historic moment as Jane put it. A time of realignment for Aglow. It seemed to me like many things fell into place this evening. It was as if a light were shining and God was saying “This is the way, walk in it.”

You’ll no doubt be hearing much more about this in the near future, so I won’t elaborate any further. I’d highly suggest you order the CDs or DVDs of the sessions so that you can hear the messages for yourselves. They’re available for online ordering on the Fresh Audio & Video website.

-Rick

stage_panorama

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Parade of Nations

October 23rd, 2009 10 comments

BoliviaFriday — I’ve heard that the Flag Parade (a tradition at Aglow conferences) is an amazing thing to watch, but seriously, it was like nothing I’ve ever seen. Aglow is represented in 170 nations and over 100 of them are represented at this conference.

As Jane called them out, each country would come forward — most of the flag carriers were dressed in traditional clothing and many of them danced and celebrated as they made their way around the room. The high point of the parade was when Jane called out the Middle Eastern nations. I didn’t see it myself, but I was told that one of the women started the procession with a burqa covering her face. Halfway down the aisle, she pulled it off and lifted her hands to the Lord in worship. You can imagine the response from the crowd — it was electrifying.

The Tribe of Aglow
Following the Flag Parade, we were given an update from Nigeria. God is doing amazing things in that country through Aglow — the church is growing and Islamic militants are coming to Christ. Thousands are attending Aglow conferences, even in heavily Muslim areas. God is on the move in Nigeria, pushing back the darkness and drawing all people to Himself. Praise the Lord!

Jane’s message on Friday morning included a big-picture view of Aglow around the world:

  • We’re present in 170 of the 220 nations in the world
  • There are 700 Aglow groups in Europe
  • Africa has 940 groups
  • There are 4500 places across the globe where God is using Aglow to change lives
  • More than 17 million people are ministered to annually through this ministry

Jane went on to say that we are contending for a new level of faith and that God is taking us far beyond what we’ve known. She said that we are a “genderless bride” — a tribe of people connected with the same heart. That word, “tribe”, seemed to catch on, and we heard about the “Tribe of Aglow” over and over again throughout the day.

Special Guests
Before I move on from the morning session, I wanted to mention how inspiring it was to hear from two special guests: Dr. Raleigh Washington, President of Promise Keepers, and Qaumaniq Suuqiina from Indigenous Messengers International representing First Nations peoples. Jane asked Rev. Qaumaniq to greet the people and pray in behalf of all Native Americans.

Dr. Washington shared about how the Lord has aligned the hearts of Aglow and Promise Keepers. As you are probably aware, Jane was asked to speak at the PK conference in July — the first woman ever.

Afternoon and Evening Sessions
Mike Bickle of the International House of Prayer was our speaker for both the afternoon and evening sessions. This was my first opportunity to hear Mike speak. His teaching and preaching is powerful, annointed, practical and passionate. Mike’s first message was a study of the first commandment: Loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. There was so much that Mike packed into this teaching. The point that impacted me the most was from what Mike called Sphere #4: Love with All Our Soul:

Our identity must be established on being loved by God and in loving Him in repsonse. Our confession is “I am loved (by God) therefore I am successful” This definition of success takes the pressure off because anyone can have success based on this. Burn-out does not come from working hard, but from working with a wrong spirit. When we work for success, we get burned out. When we work from success our spirit is strengthened. As we change the way we define success we will love God much better because we will have much less “emotional traffic” inside our heart and mind.

The evening session began again with worship. What worship! Julie Meyers and Brian Ming have been leading into such powerful, profound worship experiences. I’ve appreciated the freedom in this place — sometimes loud and victorious, sometimes quiet and tender. It’s been wonderful. At times, I just have to lay down my camera and enter in — it just draws me in.

Mike’s second message was about intimacy with Christ. His text was taken from the parable of the wise and foolish virgins from Mt. 25:1-13. This message was equally powerful and profound as the morning session. I’ll just share with you one important point. The oil speaks of the presence of the Spirit touching our hear as we spend time with God. The oil of the Holy Spirit touches our hearts in different ways:

  • It tenderizes our heart, enabling us to feel more of God’s desire for us.
  • It enlarges our desire for Him by encountering His desire for us.
  • It illuminates our understanding with revelation of God’s beauty.
  • It imparts zeal for righteousness which helps us in our struggle with besetting sins.

I was seriously challenged by this message. The Lord showed me that my focus has been on the ministry that I’m involved with and I’ve allowed my relationship with Him to take a back seat. The intimacy was gone. I’ve been like the foolish virgins who ran out of oil. The Lord used Mike to draw me back to a place of desiring intimacy with Him. By the way, Mike offers free downloads of some of his teachings on his website.

It was a great day. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

-Rick

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Lifting Our Voice

October 22nd, 2009 5 comments

Thursday – Our first official day of Conference was a very full day, starting with the International Prayer Breakfast and ending with a General Session. In between, there were meetings, orientations, rehearsals and of course many, many opportunities to meet people from all around the world.

Ministry on the Move
I dropped in on the State of the Ministry meeting for a while this morning. Kay Rogers was doing a great job filling in for Karen Anderson (who, in case you weren’t aware, broke her foot just before Conference and so wasn’t able to attend). She was giving the Communications report and sharing about the new mission statement with the two added words “and men”, and the new Ministry on the Move brochure among other things.

I’ve heard from numerous ladies how thrilled they are that Aglow is making a purposeful move to include men in the ministry. Speaking of men, there was one meeting today I wanted to be at for sure…

Men’s Meeting
I really enjoyed being with the guys! We worshipped, listened to reports about Aglow men’s groups in Denmark and the UK and were inspired by Pastor Dan Hammer who challenged us to be the warriors that God has called us to be: victors, not victims, and passionate, not passive. After the meeting, we had a great prayer time. God is on the move, using Aglow to draw men to himself.

General Session
Jane welcomed everyone to the general session saying “It’s good to be together again!” The crowd roared in agreement. Jane asked Tony to open the session in prayer, and then after exorting the people with a few words of encouragement, she introduced Julie Meyer, our worship leader for the evening. The rest of our time was spent in glorious worship, as Julie led us into the throne room of the Most High.

We sang, danced, shouted and cried as the worship ebbed and flowed like a refreshing stream. I enjoyed moving around with my camera, capturing both sacred moments and joyous revelrey. I’ll post some of them below — hopefully they’ll give you a sense of what it was like to be there. Until tomorrow, this is Rick, signing off.

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Here They Come!

October 21st, 2009 1 comment

Wednesday — the day before Conference and the first wave of attendees decends upon Louisville. Actually, they’ve been arriving over the last few days, but today was the first day I noticed a significant increase in the numbers.

Bethany, one of our interns at Headquarters, helping out at the products table.

The Marketplace

There’s an area of the conference called The Marketplace — it’s where participants come to register, purchase products and find out about the various ministries of Aglow. I’m at the Ministry Booth along with Rowena and Oyin, representing the Communications Department.

Other members of the Headquarters staff are helping out at registration and the products table. We’re all having a great time greeting attendees, answering questions and helping out where we can.

New Friends

Because I’m so new to Aglow, I’m meeting almost everyone for the first time. I mentioned to Rowena what a diverse group they are. I know this is a worldwide conference, and that’s to be expected, but I’m really enjoying it!

My new friends from Cote D'Ivoire, West Africa.

Today I met three ladies from Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa. Francoise, Marcelle and Akko were so much fun to talk with (I practiced some of my limited French). Francoise said she has been coming to the worldwide conferences since 1998!

I also enjoyed opportunities to pray and be prayed for. One group of ladies gathered around me and began to prophesy. Okay, I’ll admit that I was a little surprised (even though I was told it would probably happen), but it was actually a huge blessing for me — they were being used by the Lord to bring encouragement and inspiration. Thanks, ladies — I needed that!

Leaders Summit

One of the great things about the conference is that it gives Aglow leaders a chance to come together and seek the Lord. From what I hear, God always does powerful things in these meetings.

Aglow leaders seeking His face.

I had the opportunity to sit in for just a little while today and I can say that the Spirit of God was certainly in that place. More than anything, these leaders want to follow God as He continues to direct this ministry. As the wind of the Holy Spirit blows, they want to hoist the sails and let Him steer the ship.

International Council

This was day two of the International Council meetings. One of the very cool things about these meetings is the way the translations are handled.
As you can imagine, with more than a dozen nations represented, translation is a big issue.
Aglow is blessed to have a team of translators that do an excellent job performing a very challenging task: they have to listen to what’s being said from the platform, and at the same time translate it into another language. Ever tried to listen and talk at the same time? It’s not easy! Each translator sits in a soundproof booth and “broadcasts” the translation to the headsets of the listeners. It’s a very effective setup.

We are blessed to have a team of excellent translators at the conference.

Tomorrow is our first day of conference, with many meetings scheduled including the first general session at 7:30 pm. I can’t be everywhere at once, but I’ll do my best to give you a good overview.

-Rick

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Preparing the Way

October 20th, 2009 4 comments

Preparing the meeting room for the main sessions.

Today was a day of preparation. We set up booths, tables, chairs, displays, sound equipment, lighting and more. It was amazing to watch the Aglow team — both staff and volunteers — working side by side and how all the pieces came together.

No Easy Task

Organizing a conference of this size is no easy task. Months of hard work and coordination are required — especially by what we at Aglow headquarters call the SECO team (Special Events, Conference Office), made up of Arvie, Francine, Leesha and Alison. I know they bring joy to God’s heart as they pour everything they have into making these conferences successful and honoring to Him. They deserve a huge thanks for all their hard work. And once this event is over, guess what? They get to start planning for next year!

International Council

Worship session during one of the International Council meetings.

Not all of today was about setup. The Aglow International Council met from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. I wasn’t involved in these meetings, but my friend and co-worker Oyin snuck in and snapped a few pics. They were in the middle of a worship session. The sound echoing through the halls at the convention center was heavenly!

Ready for the Masses

With setup done we’re ready for tomorrow, when many of the participants will be arriving, getting registered, and settling in. Instead of large empty halls, we’ll be seeing throngs of women and men from all over the world. I can’t wait!

-Rick

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Welcome to the 2009 Aglow Worldwide Conference!

October 13th, 2009 6 comments

Inside the Louisville airport

Greetings! My name is Rick Allen. I’m the webmaster for Aglow (as of March of this year) and I’ll be posting updates from Louisville throughout the week of the conference.

Having recently joined the Aglow team, this is my first conference so maybe I’ll be able to bring a fresh perspective on the events. I’m really not sure what to expect. I know what’s on the schedule, but I’ve been told that Conference is something you have to experience first-hand before you can really understand it.

At any rate, I’ll do my best to absorb it all and to keep you updated via these blog postings. One thing I do know — we’re anticipating awesome things from the Lord this week!

A friendly Aglow volunteer greeted me at the airport.

It’s Monday evening and I actually just arrived here in Louisville. I was delighted to find one of our volunteers greeting guests at the airport. She was a little surprised when I told her that I was with Aglow (prediction: that won’t be the first time I see that kind of reaction this week!), but quickly got over the shock and helped me find a shuttle to the hotel. Thanks, Eileen, for warmly welcoming me to Louisville.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) we’ll be busy with setup and registration. My understanding is that the majority of the attendees (over 3000) will be arriving on Wednesday. This is going to be quite an experience!

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