Walking in the Footsteps of My Dad
Walking in the footsteps of those who have gone before us = powerful. We have been on this journey for 1 year (as of Sept 25) and we were able to sleep on the beach where my father came 45+ years ago in hot pursuit of Jesus! My (Mary's) father was part of the Jesus people movement during the 70s!
What a beautiful story of legacy. What a clear picture of building on a solid foundation. What a testimony of planting seeds for future generations to reap a harvest.
My earthly father laid aside a "normal" life to pick up and carry whatever God would have for him. My dad came to California as a Jesus-loving hippy and followed God back to Minnesota. Back home, God brought him a wife and they raised 3 daughters and a son.
I'm 1 of those daughters. Our little family of 6 have picked up the torch my father was carrying and we are running. We are running hard after God and releasing His LOVE in California and beyond.
My dad laid a foundation of pursuing Jesus. We are the direct result of that pursuit. Thank you, Papa Roy. And, thank you Papa God. You are always faithful and every seed planted will yield a harvest!
Follow The Yellow Brick Road
Many people have asked the question, how do you know where to go and what to do? Our answer may sound simple, but many times, it's not: We listen to God and do what He says.
Many people also get skeptical when they hear that response. Listen, it's not like we have one of those red phones that goes directly to God's desk... well, that's arguable (Holy Spirit access??). God loves to walk and talk with His people! Because of Jesus, we have direct access to our Father.
If He told me (Josh) exactly everything to do with His audible voice, where would there be room for faith? Are we 100% sure we're suppose to go to Sacramento (we got here 10 minutes ago), or Tennessee or Madagascar, for that matter? No, but that leaves room for faith. We ask, we pray and then we do what the Bible says, which many times is a specific part of scripture God is highlighting for the place we are in.
We can know the whole Bible, but if we don't know when to apply certain parts of the Word, we are much less effective. That's where the Holy Spirit comes in. He is one part of three and He is really important to our journey!
We are headed back to South Dakota in October, not because we planned it months in advance, but because He is calling us there. It's exciting and I want to share a recent story with you that might better explain how He sometimes speaks.
We had a rough day coming out of the Redwoods and the mountains in Northern California. The bus had issues and we lost all 4 of our bikes! That's a story we'll write soon, but the next morning we had more mountains to go through to get to church on Sunday.
As we came over more mountains and around more and more curves, I saw something amazing. The road we took through the mountains had these dug out rectangles all along where they put the yellow and white lane lines. These are so you have a loud thumping noise that reminds you that you are one foot from a cliff or hitting oncoming cars. Down in those rectangles are little yellow reflectors.
Picture this: We come around a corner, and as the rising sun hits those reflectors at the perfect angle, the path we are taking lights up like a glissando on a keyboard in sequential order... the direction we're driving. Then in my heart, I hear, "Follow the yellow brick road."
Now, before you think about doctrine, think about this: God knows you better than you do. He can speak things to you that affect you in a certain way, and maybe not anyone else. In this instance, I immediately felt like the Lord was saying, "You're on the right track, keep walking in it."
It was so comforting! That may affect you the opposite, but then the Holy Spirit probably would be speaking something unique to you. You see, God wants a relationship. He wants to be part of our lives everyday. It was Him encouraging us, much like He did for Joshua when God said, "Be strong and courageous."
I also got the added bonus of getting a smile on my face as I thought of the joyous send off Dorothy gets in the Wizard of Oz. It's probably one of my favorite songs in many musicals that I've seen... and the Holy Spirit knows that.
I'm not sure if that at all helps you understand what we do, but in the end, I guess all that matters is that we follow His leading. When Jesus was talking to Nicodemus, a rabbi, about being born again, he said, "The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit." That doesn't mean we never know where we're going, but the Holy Spirit does like to keep us on our toes!
We make our best effort to be led by the Holy Spirit. As we finish our time praying over California, Sacramento, Salt Lake City and elsewhere, He continually is leading us. We rarely know what the day will bring, but that's part of the adventure of being a disciple of Jesus.
Pray with us for Sacramento and California. This is a special place that God is doing some amazing things. For more information on The Keystone Project, visit https://keystoneproject.org/
Bend Your Ear
Our "40 days in the west" was centered around heading to Bend, OR. Of all the places on the west coast, God had been calling us to Bend for nearly a year. Well, we made it! As I (Josh) write this, we have been in Bend almost a week. It has been an amazing time connecting with people and building new relationships.
Bend is very important for the state of Oregon and, of course, the Kingdom. It is almost in the exact center of the state and is arguably Oregon's fastest growing city.
Sunday was a powerful day for us. God began speaking to me at 6 in the morning and it continued all the way through the prayer meeting and Sunday service. Mary had an amazing time by herself with the Lord and we had several words spoken over our family. Judah even had a dream of us running a race in a church!
One of the things a lady shared with us was that she felt like God wanted to deposit something in us. The Holy Spirit moved mightily in the service and after three pages in my journal, I felt God had spoken about the things that had been on our hearts for a long time. I'm not going to go into all the details right now, but we'll be unwrapping some of it in the future for you all.
One of the main purposes for our trip to Bend, we soon found out after arriving, was to walk through some tough things with one family. God first connected us to this family at AzusaNow in 2016. It was before I was a pastor and they prophesied that God had a new job for me! The Lord had let me know in 2014 that I'd be done with my current job in 2016 and that it would be full-time ministry. I remember them saying it would be good for our family. Four months later I was hired as the Outreach Pastor at our church!
Fast-forward 2.5 years later, and we "randomly" run into them walking to Bethel Church in Redding, CA. We spend the whole day together and now, a year later, we're parked in front of their house. God is so good! He is the great connector!
I know without a doubt, God has something special for this family, and every person reading this. He does immeasurably more that we ask or imagine. Sometimes He's pruning and preparing us for what is ahead. Sometimes He's teaching us things we wouldn't learn any other way. But, everything He does is for our good. He's always awakening us to new truths, higher resolve and relentless perseverance.
Press into God. He ALWAYS comes through. It's a beautiful thing that I don't always understand.
Think about the depths of this truth from Romans 11:36 (NIV):
For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
After I met Mary, we began to get together on a regular basis. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this relationship could grow into the covenant relationship God created called marriage.
As I was still very much seeking the Lord, I remember being convicted by the Holy Spirit to let Mary know my past. I had made many mistakes, and I obviously hadn’t kept myself pure before marriage. I did believe at times that my pornography addiction was over.
I don’t remember this specific conversation, but Mary sure does! I called her on the phone (probably crying) and I told her it was a thing of the past and that I didn’t struggle with it anymore.
Deep down I wanted a good marriage, and I knew I couldn’t hide this thing inside of me. I was many times ruled by a lot of fear of rejection and failure, however.
A note that should be obvious: BE 100% HONEST in everything you do. Half truths don’t help anyone, including yourself.
Maybe I did believe at that time I was finished with the cycle of addiction, but I wasn’t. I probably hadn’t looked at porn for a week. I tried literally hundreds of times to stop on my own with no success.
I would always come back to the lie I believed that said, “This can fulfill your desire for intimacy… It doesn’t harm anyone… it’s not that big of a deal, everyone does it… and so on.”
Surprisingly to me, Mary stuck with our relationship and we continued getting more serious.
HERE IS HER SIDE OF THE STORY
As I think back 17 years ago when I met Josh, I remember being infatuated by this tall, dark and mysterious man. Turns out mysterious isn’t always a good thing. After just a couple months of knowing each other, we both knew things were getting serious. We had “The Talk” and decided to officially be dating even though we lived an hour apart.
One afternoon, he called and said there was something important he needed to tell me; something important from his past. While waiting for that conversation to happen, I remember feeling a sense of dread and determination. This might sound ridiculous, but because he is a man, I knew that his past must be related to masturbation or pornography.
Before we talked about what his “past” issue was, I was determined that if it was masturbation we could work through it. But, if Josh had struggled with pornography, I was out. I didn’t want to, and didn’t think my heart could, handle that news.
I was sitting in the living room in my apartment when Josh called. I’m sure it was a depressing conversation and I’m sure he was crying. He confessed that he had a history of struggling with pornography.
Despite my previous conviction, something unexpected happened in me… against my will it would seem. At the moment Josh confessed his past, this unexplainable peace and love washed over my heart. It is as though God took my heart and wrapped it in bubble wrap in order to allow me to feel His heart for Josh.
I don’t remember the words I said or the words Josh said. Obviously, we chose to keep pursuing each other and to allow God to work in our relationship.
I thought it was behind us. Josh probably thought it was behind us. The truth was, this destructive addiction was just lying silent below the surface…
The Third Wave
If you follow any modern day prophets, you've probably heard that many believe there's a third great awakening coming to America that will surpass all other revivals in scope and reach.
Whether you believe that or not, let me tell you some things we've seen and experienced. Let me start with a story. Many people remember the Folgers commercial jingles (that never leave your head) singing, "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup." Or, Juan Valdez confidently stating that his coffee is "Good to the last drop".
These companies and many more brought coffee to the masses in airtight, pre-ground cans of coffee roasted in huge facilities. In the coffee industry, this is commonly referred to the "first wave" of coffee.
If there's a first, there has to be a second, right?! The "second wave" consisted of artisan coffee and roasts being brought to every street corner in America. Although not all encompassing, Starbucks is the best picture of the second wave of coffee. There is much more to this history, but I'm quickly describing it all for a parallel, an illustration if you will, of what's happening in America now.
Next, came the "third wave" of coffee. The third wave was far more encompassing then either of the previous waves. People got extremely 'nerdy' about coffee, all the way down to the chemical reactions that take place. They decided, coffee in its purest form was best. They created different ways of making coffee to give a person the best experience possible. Independent coffee shops popped up everywhere breaking all the rules of what had been known before. They didn't do the status quo. They changed it!
These creative unknowns turned the world upside down to the point that my 4 yr old girl asks for coffee on a regular basis. If this doesn't resonate with you, bear with me!
Some believe the third great awakening in America has already happened... including Wikipedia. I won't go all into that, but FINALLY, let me tell you the illustration if you haven't caught it yet.
God is telling some regular people some crazy things; people that aren't full-time ministers, pastors or evangelists. They aren't on their church board but they are listening to what the Holy Spirit is doing in America. They are having dreams about things that sound, well, crazy.
I have met several of these people, and after this last one, I have to write about it! We know one pilot organizing other pilots to intercede over whole cities regularly on their routes. We just met one businessman who is building RV spots on 30 acres next to his house because our Lord has given him dreams about it, and we've met multiple people with the same experience!
I could tell you many stories from individuals all over the U.S. that God has spoken to in all kinds of amazing ways. It's kind of like Noah building a giant boat for a flood when it had never rained! Lots of times, things God speaks don't make sense to our human minds.
God is also pouring out favor on traveling ministry. He's building a vast network with regular people (fisherman if you will).
Imagine a map of the U.S.: In every state there are these "hubs" where people will come to for a time for community, healing, worship, fellowship, prayer and to prepare for battle. They will then take what they've cultivated in those places (and most importantly the secret place), and they will go out to bring the gospel to the ends of the earth. If you picture hubs like larger areas on a map, and then draw routes of travel between them, what you have is something that looks strikingly similar to a GIANT NET!
If there is a third great awakening that surpasses all other revivals, God is going to sustain it. People will be brought into families, into Acts 2 model churches.
God is using the "everyday, average" person. These people don't look special to most, like David didn't even to his own father. But, our Heavenly Father sees past what man sees. Ezekiel 34 tells us how God seeks out His sheep. People who are actively listening and truly know God will all be part of this great move. You don't even need to be creative! The Holy Spirit has all the good ideas anyway!
The third wave of coffee broke down many barriers. It went back to the basics of what coffee is. It tried to show people that coffee in its purest, simplest form is the best. Independent shops created their own individual expression of what coffee could be, but they were still tied together in the simplest ways.
Likewise, God is doing something in our day that is going break many boxes of what we think church is, what ministry looks like, what trust looks like. He's taking us back to the basics, the fundamentals. He's getting rid of all the things that don't matter. He's purifying the church!! At the same time, he's releasing creative ideas in every realm of life!
We're so excited about what God is doing and we will continue to walk (and drive) the path He's given us. Get out of the business of life and spend some time with TRUE LIFE today The Living Water that never runs out. May you be blessed in all He has for you.
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!