“IT’S GOING TO BE THE 1970’S AGAIN!” This is what the Lord told Greg Lancaster would soon be happening. Granted, the 1970’s was a difficult time in the nations of the world. Yes, there was negativity in the news of the world. But simultaneously, God poured out His Spirit mightily upon America which caught the entire nation by surprise. Today it is the same. Don’t focus on the negativity of the news. God is doing something mighty and wonderful that is beyond even our greatest imaginations and expectations. Be encouraged in the depths of your heart. God is not going to let the enemy have the upper hand in any situation. This is why it’s so important that we remember what happened in the 70’s because God IS GOING TO DO IT AGAIN! It’s important to remember that so often we glamorize history, but then complain about the present reality we are experiencing. What God is doing now could be BETTER than what He has done in the past. Don’t miss where God has you NOW.
There is so much pain, division, heartbreak, and strife taking place in our nation. If we’re not careful, those realities can make turn us into hard hearted, and callous people. We must keep a soft and tender heart towards people and the things of God. At the same time heartbreak, and division were taking place in the 1970’s, God began breaking people’s hearts for the lost. Out of the love of one woman, Kay Smith, wife of Chuck Smith, God began to move mightily and reach the hippies. Chuck Smith, the founder of Calvary Chapel, took part in a discussion of the “Oral History of the Jesus Movement.” Chuck said it was Kay, his wife, who pressed him to reach out to the hippies in their city, San Francisco, California.
Former hippies, now part of Chuck’s Church and who are speaking in this oral history remembered how impactful Chuck and Kay were to those around them. As one man shares, “Chuck and Kay [Smith] are two people that loved the hippies when they were completely unlovable.” Chuck Smith responds with the reality of how it was Kay’s love for the hippies and how his initial response towards them wasn’t exactly the same. “I had the typical redneck, you know, dirty hippies, when are they gonna get a bath and a job.” It was Kay’s gentle heart that reminded Chuck of how they needed to respond. As he continues, “She would say, ‘but honey, they just, you know they’re lost. They need the Lord’”. This is so important for each of us to remember. We can have that very similar hard and calloused heart towards the very ones that Jesus wants to reach. We must be honest with the Lord and ask Him to break our hearts with what breaks His heart.
Ken Sumrall, founder of Liberty Bible College in Pensacola, Florida, had a similar encounter with a hippie during those days. When Sumrall traveled on a bus, due to to small of an offering he received to be able to fly home where he had just ministered, one fateful day in the 1970’s, a hippie sat next to him who proceeded to smoke a cigarette. Sumrall asked the hippie to put his cigarette out, which he did. The hippie kindly responded, “no problem at all”. Sumrall thought to himself, “nice hippie”. He had a few more encounters with this same hippie on the bus. As he got off that bus, Sumrall knew he immediately had to meet with the leaders of his church and allow hippies to come to their services. As Sumrall recounts that meeting, “the meeting didn’t last long because I was the only one that didn’t let them in”.
Kay Smith had prayed for the hippies so much, yet, she had never actually met one. One day Kay told her husband and John Nickels, who worked with her and her husband in their ministry, “I want to meet a hippie”. Soon, John would bring a hippie to meet them at their home. John would always look for hippies that were hitchhiking so that he could witness the love of Jesus to them. What seemed like another day, John stops to pick up a hippie that was hitch hiking. Once the hippie got into his car, he asked him, “Where are you going?” The hippie responded, “I’m really not going anywhere. I just hitchhike so that I can witness to whoever picks me up.” That was the day that John Nichols met Lonnie Frisbee, for Lonnie was the hippie John picked up. That was the fateful day that John introduced Lonnie Frisbee to Chuck and Kay Smith and Chuck and Kay met their first hippie.
Chuck Smith recounts that first initial meeting with Lonnie Frisbee. “That’s where my heart was changed. Lonnie was so genuine and so open, and really filled with the Spirt. Great discernment and all. That’s where my whole attitude was changed towards [hippies], and I did see the opportunity to reach out to these kids.” What was so powerful was that what began as a hard heart towards hippies, would be transformed by God’s Spirit through Lonnie Frisbee living at Chuck’s house, to Lonnie beginning to bring other hippies to Chuck and Kay Smith’s home and baptizing them in their pool. During those days, hippies didn’t have anything in their lives to tie them down. They would be powerfully transformed by God, and many would go out to the mission fields to the nations of the world. This is exactly what God does. One life touched powerfully by God, can do something mightily in our nation. When we reach beyond the space between the strangers in our everyday lives, imagine what Holy Spirit can do?
All it takes is just one. one life powerfully touched by God, and God can bring about a great and mighty transformation in our community and in our nation. This is exactly what happened when Lonnie Frisbee, a hippie in the 1970’s, gave his life to Jesus Christ. One man shares a powerful testimony of what took place when a woman brought her husband, who was blind, to a church service, and ended up encountering the power of Jesus Christ. “We were over at Calvary Chapel, and they told us to come over here, that somebody would pray for my husband. He’s blind. [Lonnie Frisbee] looks at the guy and says, ‘IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, YOU CAN SEE!’ And the man got his sight back.” Contrary to what many believed, God was using a hippie. Many people thought that hippies couldn’t get saved, but they were wrong. What many weren’t aware of, is that this is what God was doing to wake up a hard-hearted church. God used Lonnie and many other hippies to break loose religious strongholds in the church.
So many people believed that this couldn’t be happening. Until it was. There was such a mighty transformational change happening in the nation, that Time Magazine dedicated the front cover of their June 21, 1971 Magazine. IT WAS A JESUS REVOLUTION! As the article continues, they talk about how Pope John XXIII also commented on this mighty move of God. “The Catholic establishment in the U.S. has not [blushed], but it has not turned red with enthusiasm, even though Pope John XXIII himself called upon the Holy Spirit to “renew your wonders in this, our day, as by a new Pentecost.” We may come up with our many denominations, our ideas, but the truth is, there is only One God, One Lord, One Spirit, and we can only be saved through One Son, Jesus Christ. God was moving everywhere in the nation. In that day, Catholics were getting baptized in the Holy Spirit, and many didn’t know what to do with that because being baptized in the Holy Spirit was so radically different than what many Catholics believed.
In response to these mighty moves of God’s Spirit, many Catholics were gathering because of an overwhelming hunger for the Lord. Time Magazine’s article continues, “On Trinity Sunday last week, 450 Catholic Pentecostals held a “Day of Renewal” at St. Theresa Catholic Church in San Diego; this weekend 3,000 Catholic Pentecostals from all over the country are expected to gather at Notre Dame for their annual national conference.” One of the leaders of the Charismatic Renewal Movement, Charles Simpson, shared how Catholics didn’t know how to respond to the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by holding conferences to talk about how to respond to this. All it takes is just one. One life powerfully touched by God, and God can bring about a great and mighty transformation in our community and in our nation.
When God touches our lives, we are completely free to live a life devoted to following the leading of Holy Spirit under the leadership of Jesus Christ, in our lives. We don’t have to get caught up in what people think about us, or their opinions. If you are loved by God, and love following God, don’t be surprised when not everyone likes the life that you live. Just focus on those lives who will be impacted for Jesus.
When Lonnie Frisbee was powerfully touched by God, James Gohr was one of the lives that would be forever changed. As Gohr shares, his mother described Lonnie Frisbee to him as “a modern-day John the Baptist, and he moves in signs and wonders, and miracles follow him”. Gohr noticed a distinct difference in his mother after she went to a meeting with Lonnie Frisbee. Gohr had to see for himself, which he did. “I had really gotten saved”. Lonnie walked across the room towards Gohr to greet him, Gohr greets Lonnie back, both seeing each other for the first time and Lonnie says to Gohr, “you have just stood in God’s face. Who do you think I’m talking about? What did God look like?” Gohr was shocked because he had never told, or even met Lonnie to tell him that he had an encounter with God, or better said, God with him. Gohr, who had recently came out of a coma, responds, sharing about the encounter, where God revealed Himself to him telling Lonnie “His eyes and mouth were the color of the sky; the heavens have this violent purple blue color you’ve never known or seen. He was giant. Shiny silvery white. I was looking into His face. I couldn’t make out any features, but all I knew was one thing, that I finally felt like I mattered. I finally felt like I was loved and that I belonged.” Lonnie listening to his response replied with certainty, “I knew it”, and walked away. As Lonnie walked away, he began boldly declaring to all of those around. “PEOPLE! PEOPLE! Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. And what is the Kingdom of God, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” As Gohr recounts, immediately
the power of God fell mightily in that place. That was the night he met Lonnie Frisbee. It’s so important to remember, this wasn’t Lonnie Frisbee that was moving powerfully. It was the power of the Holy Spirit that was moving THROUGH Lonnie Frisbee.
Many people can feel the very same thing that James Gohr is talking about. You matter, and you are important to the Lord. Some might not be able to articulate that, or be able to know that is what they are wanting to know, do I matter? The answer is a resounding YES! The very fact that you are reading these words is because God orchestrated this very moment for you to know that He loves you and sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for your sins. The encouraging reality is that God is into YOU! He wants to know if you want to know Him too.
As believers in Jesus Christ, it’s important that we follow the leading of Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit makes known to us the thoughts of God, and we must listen and obey those thoughts. When God poured out His Spirit in the 1970’s in the amazing Jesus Movement, lives were being touched and transformed all throughout the nation. One of those lives was Lonnie Frisbee. Not only did the Lord move mightily through him to reach America for the Gospel, Holy Spirit also led Lonnie Frisbee to carry the Gospel to Sweden!
Debbie Kerner was one of those that followed the Lord alongside Lonnie Frisbee as the Gospel was carried to Sweden. As chronicled in a voice mail message that Kerner shares with others, she recounts the unforgettable memories of what it was like ministering with Lonnie Frisbee. Kerner shares about the first time that she met Lonnie Frisbee at the All Saints Episcopal Church in Riverside. As she entered the gathering that morning, she saw Lonnie in the front standing before all the people and it appeared that he was about to sing. There appeared to be a delay, as Dennis, their usual guitarist, was absent. Someone chimed up suddenly, “well Dennis isn’t here this week, but Debbie is here, and she’ll sing!” Debbie was shocked! She would sing but she didn’t have her guitar. To her surprise, someone said “I have a guitar out in my car! I’ll run out and get it.” Debbie found herself worshipping the Lord with Lonnie. When she finished playing this quickly put together worship moment, she says, Lonnie, who was sitting beside her, fell out of his chair on to the floor and began laughing uncontrollably. That was the moment the Lord used to team them up for His purposes.
Kerner continues to talk about how memorable their relationship was. “My relationship with Lonnie was very light. We did things that were joyful, and we didn’t take ourselves too terribly seriously.” What is so beautiful to hear her describe is how there was an expectancy for the Lord to do something mighty in their gatherings. “It was just kind of this thing that we knew that God was going to show up and do something wonderful in spite of us.” Kerner also shares how she was able to meet Kathryn Kuhlman with Lonnie Frisbee when they were invited to be on her television show. Finding themselves together on her television show opened even more doors of opportunity to take the Gospel to Sweden along with their team of 6 people! Finding themselves in Sweden in a tent meeting that was not abnormally large by any means, they were invited to come back the next day by their hosts as they told them, “We want you to come back tomorrow night too and come back the next day.”
What started off as a small gathering resulted in overflowing crowds that even got the attention of the media to show up as well. Their hosts wanted Lonnie to preach this same message all over Sweden. And that is exactly what they did. Not only did they go, but so did the media, as they followed them wherever they went for their host purchased train tickets for Lonnie and his team to travel Sweden with the Gospel and the press road on the very same train with them. As Kerner continues, she talks about how they were ready for that moment when God called them. “We could do it because we were willing, we were prepared, and we were expecting that God was going to show up.” She also encourages everyone to have that same expectancy for God to show up in your lives. “Be ready. Be prepared and expect God to be there for you because He will be, and expect the miraculous!” Her perspective and experience are such a refreshing truth for all of us to remember. God moves in spite of us. It has nothing to do with any religious work, or how good we perceive ourselves to be. God does these things because He is good.
How many people are expecting God to move in their lives because of what THEY have done or how good THEY are? Do you expect God to do something good today in your life? When you gather with your Church family, do you expect God to do something good? So many times, we can easily get caught up looking at people who have been used mightily by the Lord and compare ourselves to them and think that we could never be used by God falsely believing that could never happen in our lives. Remember the words that Paul writes to the Church in Corinth, from 1 Corinthians 1: 26-29
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”
Many people can become defeated thinking that to do something for the Lord requires some large behemoth organization. That is not what God is looking for. God’s checklist is those that are foolish, weak, and despised, yet humble. If the world has looked over you, that’s exactly the ones that Jesus chose. That is who His disciples were. If you find yourself being criticized by religious pharisees, that’s a good thing.
During the Jesus Movement in the 1970’s, God was breaking outside the buildings, on the beachside. People who were hungry for the presence of Jesus Christ were worshipping the Lord on the beach, with the sound of the crashing shore behind them. Many of them decided to follow Jesus’ command to become water baptized in the ocean surf. One thing, among many, that is awesome to know, what was begun on this very same cliff line beach shore where Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee and so many others baptized so many in the 1970’s, that same practiced has continued to this very day as Pastor Jack Hibbs, of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills, California, still continues to baptized the very same way and same cliff lined beach as it was started in the 1970’s.
We are reminding you of these powerful moments to stir your faith to believe God, with expectancy, to do it again in our generation, in your city.