Journal of Joy ~ Washington DC, USA ~ June 13-16, 2013
Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference
Surprise!The last week of May 2013 one of our HGRM Intercessors sent me a text requesting prayer for Jordan and Anna (her niece) Sekulow who were planning to attend the Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington DC. The specific request was for traveling mercies, protection for the journey and the LORD’s anointing while Jordan facilitated one of the Conference’s Guest Panels. Of course, I agreed to pray.
Surprise! A week later, a friend in Tennessee received a personal invitation to attend the Faith & Freedom Coalition Conference in Washington DC and was given the privilege of inviting one guest to join her and sent me an email inquiring if I would be willing to be her guest.
Surprise! Within 3 days the airline ticket was purchased, arrangements were made to take vacation time from work, and in 10 days I was in the air on my way to DC to my first-ever-in- my- life-time political convention.
Surprise! It is typical for me to plan months ahead for any type of ministry outreach, vacation or travel as the confines of my day job require prior notice for vacation. Gratefully, this trip only took two vacation days therefore it was much easier to secure the time off work.
06.13.2013, Thursday ~ The local airport taxi arrived in a timely manner for my 4:30 AM pick-up and we scooted over to the Redmond airport in less than five minutes. The morning air was clear, crisp and cool.
Surprise! At the check-in counter I learned that even though I had purchased a ticket, I didn’t have a seat because the on-line ticket service had oversold the flight by 15 tickets. Immediately, I went through the most unprofessional, unkind interrogation and search section of all American airports. Apparently, all the happy people were coming into work later in the day. I went to the gate counter, was first in line which is the reason I always show up early for every flight. I stood, I waited, I prayed, I hoped and knew that the only way that I would be on the flight would be through God’s grace and HIS desire for me to be in DC at this time. The flight was slightly delayed. I continued to stand, wait, pray and hope for over an hour, almost two hours. Five of the fifteen oversold tickets were allowed on the flight. I was number four. If nothing else, it was a confirmation to me that I was going to DC by the grace and will of God as I do not believe in chance (Psalm 139).
The flight to Denver was bumpy due to wind turbulence. I wonder what defines and or causes wind turbulences at 37,000 feet above the earth? Who or what is moving the air at that height to cause turbulence? Angels playing football? Cherubim dancing in the wind? The transfer at the Denver airport was easy as was the flight to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
On the way to the J.W. Marriott hotel, I found myself pondering the moves of GOD as it was just a few months ago, to be more exact 36 weeks or 251 days (October 3-8, 2012) that Gloria and I were unexpectedly on Pennsylvania Avenue praying and pouring out “HIS Kingdom Glory Authority and Power” Anointing Oil. We were riding on a DC City Tour Bus and suddenly Gloria jumped up and we step off the bus onto 12th Street intersecting with Pennsylvania Avenue (10.07.2012). And now, this day the LORD is divinely returning me to this city, this territory for HIS divine purposes. I feel the weight of HIS responsibility and pray that I will accomplish what HE is sending me to do. The limitations of flights and time off work prevented me from attending the opening events of the conference. Yet, I am at peace that even though the trip is a mere four days, with two days spent mostly in the air, I trust HIS purposes and plans in what HE can accomplish in a little more than 55 hours.
After checking in and meeting Susan and Melissa in the lobby of the hotel, Susan and I went to dinner at The Hamilton just across the street from the hotel. It was a delightfully lovely dinner and the purposes of our destiny in DC were being revealed like threads being woven carefully into a priceless tapestry. We took a brief walk around the block before retiring for the evening.
06.14.2013, Friday ~ Arising early, I found myself in the coffee shop located in the hotel lobby and sipped on hot chocolate while reading one of the books nestled on the shelf of my NOOK. A fascinating read, What Makes Your Brain Happy and Why You Should Do the Opposite by David Di Salvo.
Susan and I spent the day touring DC and attending the Faith & Freedom Coalition Road to Majority Conference. I found the experience to be amazing, riveting, enlightening, educational, inspirational and memorable. During the afternoon Breakout Sessions, we attended the “Standing with Israel: A Moral and Strategic Imperative” in Salon E with Moderator: Jordan Sekulow, Executive Director, ACLJ; Ashley Bell, Commissioner, Hall County, GA; Ambassador Brad Gordon, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, AIPAC and Bodie and Brock Thoene, Best-selling Christian authors. We were honored to be a part of the audience and praying for all those involved, trusting that the divine wisdom and discernment of GOD would prevail in this place.
Surprise!After the session there was a spontaneous and brief introduction to the Sekulow’s.
Surprise! Immediately followed by receiving Thoene’s latest book, “Zion,” complete with a personal autograph.
This is the way things happen in Washington DC, which is very different from life in rural Central Oregon. (Traveling by car I am about 2712 miles from home.)
Surprise!Susan and I walked over to the White House between sessions to take some photos and then returned to the hotel to prepare for the “Gala” evening featuring Donald J. Trump as the Keynote Speaker and Sandi Patty as the Dinner Entertainment. Susan and I were moved to three different tables before it was settled where we would be seated which I thought was more about being flexible, movable, and pliable within the intricate moves of GOD than anything else. It was all very sparkling, wonderful, glitzy, exciting, colorful and entertaining. It did not matter to me which table I sat at, it mattered to me that I was in the room. I truly enjoyed the unabashed communication style of Donald Trump. To be honest, since he makes more money in 20 seconds than I make in a year, I truly believe there is something I could learn from him. He is succinctly clear about his passion, his destiny, his gifts, his talents, his purpose, his vision and his plan. He is blatantly honest which I found refreshing. This genuine self-awareness I admire in anyone. And no, he did not announce that he was perfect. It was his birthday, so the gathering of about 1800 sang “Happy Birthday” to Donald Trump. In my whole life, one of the things I never imagined is that I would be at a gathering in Washington DC on Donald Trump’s birthday singing the familiar tune with everyone else. I believe it is important in life to be willing to learn something from everyone we meet or every book we read. To be prepared to learn, to grow, to change, to develop, to move forward in our lives.
Surprise!Before the evening closed we also heard from Congressman Randy Forbes (VA), Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel, American Center for Law and Justice, Congressman Scott Rigell (VA), Ralph Reed, Chairman, Faith & Freedom Coalition and Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, Chairman, Christian Broadcasting Network.
06.15.2013, Saturday ~ Arising early once again, I returned to the coffee shop located in the lobby of the hotel, to read, pray and people-watch for a while. Then I rode the familiar Elevator 3 to our floor and returned to the hotel room to prepare for the day. This morning held a brief tour of the Exhibit Hall and then we attended the General Session of the Conference at the JW Marriott Grand Ballroom. The list of speakers was unprecedented and perhaps because I don’t have a TV and rarely watch the NEWS, I found it all rather exhilarating, exciting and exuberantly fun. I enjoyed all the speakers, valued their commitment, passion and perspective. Each was for America remaining the great nation that she is with the Constitution and the Bill of Rights remaining functional and in place. Each was for life, liberty and pursuit of happiness for all Americans. Each was opposed to Socialism and willing to stand for a Democratic Republic. The list was quite something including: Governor Rick Perry, Herman Cain, Steve Green (President of Hobby Lobby), Judson Phillips, John Fund, Ambassador John Bolton, E.W. Jackson and so many more.
Surprise!The morning session was crowned with Sarah Palin, Former Governor of Alaska whom I had met in Missoula, Montana in the fall of 2011 at a fundraiser for Teen Challenge. I was delighted to be able to hear her speak again.
Surprise! Due to positioning and the favor of the LORD those at our table and a few others were invited to have our photo taken with Sarah Palin, which could only be viewed as a miracle of the LORD. We waited for a couple of hours after the closing session then one-by-one were escorted into a small room with heavy protection and given about 15 seconds of time for an exceedingly brief conversation and photo with Sarah. It was a sweet moment in time and I am grateful to the LORD for HIS favor and grace. Sarah noticed my necklace, an Alaskan Gold Nugget, given to me by my twin sister over 30 years ago as a birthday gift. I intentionally wore it in honor of Alaska, her home state.
Surprise!Then we walked to the Washington Harbour Waterfront, ate an amazing lunch at Tony and Joe’s Seafood place.
Surprise!It was the third day of exceptional non-humid, perfect – like Oregon summer weather.
Surprise! Captivated by warm prevailing winds and favorable weather we thoroughly enjoyed a wonderful 45-minute cruise on the Potomac River from the Waterfront to the Pentagon. With sights including the Washington, Lincoln, and Jefferson Memorials, The Watergate Buildings, JFK Performing Arts Center and the 911 Pentagon Memorial among so many other National treasures.
Surprise! It is always interesting to see something from a different perspective…whether one is walking, flying, boating, driving, or riding in a carriage…the view even though slightly different in shadow and light there is always the familiar…extravagantly beautiful! We saluted the evening with a walk around the hotel area followed by another over-the-top dinner at The Hamilton. How sweet it is!!!
06.16.2013, Sunday ~Surprise!This morning we walked the full circumference of The Federal Triangle praying and pouring “Shalom” Holy Anointing Oil along the way. Among the places we prayed for were the Andrew Mellon Auditorium, Department of Justice, the IRS, National Archives, Federal Trade Commission, The Old Post Office, The Navy Memorial, the FBI, National Press Building and Freedom Plaza and so many others that seemed highlighted by the Holy Spirit for prayer in this season. We are grateful to so many of you that join us in prayer for America on a weekly basis through our Prayer Shields.
Surprise!We endorsed the morning with a signature brunch at “Paul” Maison De Qualite’Fonde’e En 1889. An exquisite French Restaurant.
Reluctantly, we returned to the JW Marriott once again seeking Elevator 3 to finish the necessary packing for our return trip destinations.
Surprise!In the hallway, we met Brock and Bodie Thoene and had the sweet privilege of a few minutes of conversation and photos. A sweet good-bye, a Thank You JESUS gift.
A sleek black taxi transported me to Ronald Reagan Washington Airport and Susan departed in an airport shuttle to Baltimore. Susan arrived home many hours before me. Gratefully all connections were smooth smailing and I arrived home a little after midnight with plenty of time of to unpack and sleep a bit before returning to work in the morning.
NO SURPRISE!! THE LORD IS FAITHFUL! HIS MERCY ENDURES FOREVER!