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Lowell Brueckner

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A Hunger for the Word in North Dakota


A yard meeting in Finley, North Dakota
Awaiting the arrival of various members of our immediate family for a visit beginning Sunday, August 3... the families of Dan, Steve and Mike... Raquel (our daughter) and Tom announced a meeting that would take place in their backyard on Monday evening. To be honest with you, I didn't expect much of a response. My experience with spontaneous meetings, not supported by churches or organized groups, has been that they are seldom successful. 

You have to understand that we are talking about a village with about 600 inhabitants and that this entire area of North Dakota is sparcely populated. However, the people did respond and about 60 people attended.

More importantly, the way they reacted to the presentation was so positive. A widow of a former pastor of a church in Finley told me that the preaching reminded her of her late husband. One lady returned to her house very excited, determined to do the same thing for her vicinity... on their small buffalo and horse ranch. Her husband began to call neighbors and relatives. He invited them to an open air meeting, in which singers and a preacher, whom he'd never met, were going to take part (he was not in the Monday meeting).  He confessed that he'd never felt so out-of-control before, as he did in this situation. It happened that the Holy Spirit was in control. Last Saturday, again the people came. Something very special is happening! There are people who are hungry to hear the truth boldly proclaimed!

Once more, an 80-year-old lady, smiling joyfully, came to greet Mike and me after the preaching. "That was the gospel! Rarely do you hear it these days!" I had spoke about the prayer of David in Psalms 51... "Against You, You only have I sinned", and how David held such a high concept of a God with absolute authority and who should never be disobeyed. He also should never by offended and when offended, the offender is put into a extremely dangerous position. For this reason, David never thought about the people, who were harmed by his deeds. On Monday, I had spoken about a conviction of sin that erases all the other earthly problem that anyone might have and concentrates only on one overwhelming, eternal problem... that is, his problem with God... a God who should be loved, served, and adored with the whole soul, spirit, mind and strength his whole life long. This problem takes his sleep and appetite away until that person repents and God visits him with peace.

A yard meeting in Aneta, North Dakota
Ah, my friend, how far the church is from such concepts in these days! How unbalanced and small is the concept of a unique, holy, infinite, omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent God! How people play with the word "love" and find comfort in it, in spite of their sin and go so far as to justify it, as well!I agree with Paul Washer over, at least, two major and principle things: 1) Many of the members of evangelical churches (independents, pentecostals, carismatics, baptists, Brethren assemblies, etc.) have never been born again and, because this is true, are not saved; 2) there is a minority (not only of evangelicals, but other religions, as well as the non-religious), who are awakening to a hunger that is a response to the manifested need of God. I have not seen such a hunger in 49 years of ministry. It is taking me by surprise and it is very comforting. I believe that "the bride is making herself ready".


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