Tuesday, June 26, 2007


During our time of 24/14, it was amazing, the community that was created in a room of people who, although not necessarily interacting with one another, were able to feel and experience connection with one another as we individually fellowshiped with the Lord. Becky wrote me an e-mail during those weeks, and beautifully put her impressions of this sense of community into words:

"Tonight as I was sitting in the center area of the sanctuary journaling a prayer to God (in the form of a story--very fun) I found myself comforted by the presence of ODF "family" members moving quietly around me. You, and others at ODF, have probably noticed this connection quietly being formed at ODF in the last week. I feel as though I am sitting in a giant house with a vast support system of extended family when I am at church. There is a kitchen where we can go to eat, places to lay down and rest and a wonderful "living/diningroom" where we are living out life in the form of converations and communion with our closest family member in the room---our Father. It is a beautiful thing to watch. I feel a strong sense of safety and belonging there.

It makes profound sense to me why this is called the House of the Lord. I am praying about how this experience will change the way I relate to my brothers and sisters at ODF, particularly after experiencing so much loss in my family this year. I don't think I have realized what I have in my ODF family and how it is significant that I learn to give of myself to them and love them, believing that they really are a family to me instead of focusing so heavily on what I do not have. "-- Becky

(The photo at the top of this post is of some of our youth worshipping together one evening. When it was time for them to leave and continue their youth group activity, many of them were reluctant to go. As one of them, Josiah, said later, "I thought that the experience was so spectacular. I felt like we finally had God on our minds at all times.")

Monday, June 25, 2007


Robin wraps up her stories on the stations she was involved with with these thoughts:

It is indescribable being able to be used of God to accomplish His will. This time of prayer dedicated to seeking the heart of God has fulfilled in me ideas that God has placed in my heart for many years, but it wasn’t until now that I was commissioned by God to bring those ideas to fruition in this season. The main idea is doing creative things solely for the purpose of drawing others to the love of God. I feel like I can die now that I have done something my spirit has yearned to do for so long.

Along the path I learned many things personally about listening, about seeking, about asking, about humility, about obedience, about networking, about discipline, about purity of heart, about God, about waiting on Him, about spiritual warfare. One of the main lessons I have learned is that it is all about God and His glory. When I focus on Him, He takes care of all that He desires. When I focus on Him being the highest power in the universe, He wins the battles, He removes obstacles, He changes hearts, He will do what brings glory to His Holy name. I just need to join in with His Holy agenda. I just need to step into His glorious plan. He will do it. He is so good to use us in the process.

On a purely practical note, it is obvious the sheer amount of hours that went into all the stations and the hours that went into maintaining the stations. The few stations I worked with took hours to maintain in making copies, folding, stapling, keeping water in the fountain daily, water and bread in the “God cube” for partaking of, fabric for weavings, papers refilled, making more prayer soldiers, figuring out lighting and such. It was a real delight to be a doorkeeper at the house of our God. The prayer focus basically took over my life for two straight months. I was living, breathing, completely focused on the prayer stations. It was a joy for my children as well. As a home school mom, I made a choice to let some school go as we relished this season of prayer.

Each station truly had a sense of the divine hand of God upon it. Each station has a story to tell and people to glow in the sharing of God putting it together. Each station was a work of God through simple servants just seeking the glory of God to shine forth.


Robin tells the story of the youth station, which consisted of a board covered with dozens of black and white snapshots of our youth group, and then the tree which had many though-provoking and in some cases very touching prayer requests:
My daughter Mia was involved with the youth station. Nicole Hunter and Mia gathered and printed out pictures and prayer requests from the youth group. Mia and Nicole cut and glued the collage together. They had in mind a tree theme. The afternoon of set-up they were seeking God for a tree. As they were driving about, they came across a family who was trimming their front yard. Nicole asked if they could have a tree (that was dead). They said it was fine. Praise God, He provided this really wonderfully shaped tree. They cut the prayer requests into leaf shapes and strung them up on the tree for people to take. An extra table and chair set got placed with the tree and collage making for a really wonderful place to linger and interceed for the young people. It was amazing to see God orchestrate the little details of this seemingly last minute thrown together station.

God works with weeks and months of planning and preparing and even in the last hours of the set-up afternoon to provide a perfect tree. He is the One to do it all for His glory and to shower us with His love.


Robin tells us of the last station she helped create:

The final station I was involved with was the military station. Jan Potter is really the point person in our Pray for our Troops military ministry, but her father passed away in January and then her stepmother passed away on the weekend of setup. I know what it is like to lose a parent, so I jumped in to help make Jan’s ideas come to reality. We brought in a tree using yellow ribbons to tie on paper ornaments that had the names of soldiers on them. Jan made a wonderful picture collage. Natalie Clark and I made name tags with the soldiers’ names and tied the names to plastic toy soldiers. Those toy soldiers were flying off the table. Praise God! In total, the toy soldiers and ornaments that are in people’s homes being prayed for are in the 400-500 range. Donna Caudle and others really made the table come together with all the little details being displayed so nicely. -- Robin

We heard a number of stories of people who were very touched by this station. One was a husband and wife who visited the prayer room at different times. They each came home with a soldier, and when they compared them, they realized that they had ended up with a husband and wife who were both in the military -- she got the wife, and he got the husband.

Dona, mentioned above, was so blessed to recognize on the tree the name of a young soldier who was the son of someone who had blessed her greatly years ago when she was a young believer.

This station was, as one can imagine, a great and meaningful favorite with the kids. Many members of our military have been showered in prayer as a result of it.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Robin continues (see June 15th post) to tell us about the prayer stations she created for our weeks of prayer. She says:

Another station the Lord laid on my heart was a suffering station. I did not have any particular ideas in mind, but I knew the Lord had commissioned me to do this. So I set about to talk with people about it. One of the first people I talked with was Trish Wiesling. In our conversation she mentioned something about a weaving; immediately that reminded me of a weaving idea I had seen at a children’s historical museum. Next I talked with several people who had been through some very poignant suffering and took notes about their experience. It seemed fitting to use "speak bubbles" (like in cartoons) to communicate about the feelings and process of dealing with suffering. Angie Warren offered the book “Streams in the Desert” to be used at the station. Frederick Moor built the wooden frame for the station. Several people offered fabric scraps. Judi Clark helped me wire and bead the speak bubbles to the frame. Angie Platten offered a frame and paint. Bit by bit it came together. Collectively three beautiful weavings were completed over the two weeks. It is a testimony of God’s love and redemption to use this station for His glory in our lives. -- Robin

I thought it would be helpful to explain how the station "worked," in terms of the weavings. Below the frames, or looms, there were baskets of strips of cloth. Each basket had strips of the same color, and each basket was labeled with a different type of suffering, for instance, "abuse," "death," or "persecution." The idea was to come before the Lord and allow Him to speak to and reveal to and minister to you, and then weave a strip or strips into the corporate weavings that represented your own suffering experiences. Another one of my deeply moving "snapshot" moments was seeing a young person who had recently gone through incredible loss come in and spend time in front of the suffering station. I know this was just one of many who came through the doors and were ministered to by the profound "meeting-place" this station created between ourselves, our pain and loss, and our Comforter. -- Paula

(The photos above show the sign on the station, the empty looms and station on the first day, the baskets of cloth stips, and the full and finished corporate weavings as they currently hang in our sanctuary foyer)

Friday, June 15, 2007


One of the artists who became deeply involved in the preparations for our week(s) of 24/7 prayer was Robin. She was also a member of our Thursday night prayer group "family", where much of the dreaming, brainstorming, planning and interceding took place during the 9 months leading up to our house of prayer. Robin was involved in several of our stations and I've asked her to share her story and how these stations came about:

Robin says, "What a joy it has been to serve the Lord through the 24/7 prayer focus!

When the prayer focus began in the summer of 2006, I knew that it was the one thing I could commit to at Open Door Fellowship because it was simply focused on seeking the Lord. This rag tag group met together with the pure hearted agenda of seeking God as to what we could do to make a place for prayer, a place for people to draw near to the heart of God.

Step by step, the Lord worked and moved providing the whole auditorium at just the right time of the year and for 6 weeks of messages focused on prayer during our Sunday morning worship services.

Each week at our Thursday night prayer time, we simply worshiped the Lord and asked Him for what He wanted. Each week the Lord would answer with guidance and direction for the next step.

For me personally, early on the Lord gave me an idea to do canvas panels that would be interactive about who God is. As I talked with people about it, people gave input. Susie Folz offered to involve the Fifth grade Sunday School class in sharing the names of God. Frederick Moor suggested I use PVC tubing and to wrap the canvas around the tubing, as the tubing would be somewhat unsightly. At first it was just three panels, then the Lord showed me a cube with each wall being 7’x7’. A prayer partner suggested I use the “I am’s” in John to express the panel about Jesus. An email that I received had a scripture on the Spirit (Isaiah 11:3). From December on I had tasks to do each week whether it was to buy fabric with a 50% off coupon or if it was painting on the primer. The Lord also brought together several bistro tables, a fountain, lighting, an interactive art piece by Angie Platten and several paper handouts with scripture.

People called this “the tent” or “the cube.” I called it “the God station” or “the Abide station.” This place that was created was an expression about God, for His glory, done in response to His instruction and guidance. The night before I did the final painting, the Lord led me to simply minister to Him in prayer for quite some time in the middle of the night. When I woke up to paint in the morning it was as if the Lord was full in me and I was simply doing what He wanted. For me this is the fullest and best expression of art and creativity, me just doing what He wants to be done to draw others into a fuller revelation of who He is." - Robin

One of the beautiful "snapshots" in my memory from those weeks was seeing a group of young adults, friends, sitting in a circle on the floor of the God station together, arms draped around each other, no one speaking, but you could just see them soaking together in the Lord's Presence, sharing that special time with each other. It was beautiful.

In the next post (above), Robin will share about one of the other stations she created.

(In the photos above, the young woman is writing her prayer or praise on the outside, and in the second photo, the man is sitting inside the cube. See the post from March 3rd for a poem written by a dear brother at our church, inspired by the God station)