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Showing posts from December, 2014

Never Give Up

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Life has many challenges.  I often think of it as a roller-coaster.  There are highs and there are lows, and we can't really see around the corner.  

Difficulties and challenges are simply part of life in this fallen world.  When faced with problems, trials, and tribulations, we have to decide whether we will let them defeat us, or exercise faith and press forward in courage.

I love stories of courage - courage in the face of seemingly insurmountable difficulties.  One of my favorite movie moments is in  "Last of the Mohicans." Savage Mohawk warriors, bent on revenge, were pursuing Hawkeye, Chingachgook, Uncas, Major Duncan Heyward, Cora Munro, and Alice Munro. 

Their gunpowder was wet, and they had no hopes of staving off what would surely be a fatal attack for all of them.  The men in the bunch, led by Hawkeye, determined that they would have to leave the women to be captured, re-arm themselves and come back to save the women.  That way, there was at least some hope.  

Whe…

100 Years of Pentecostal Blessings in Fosston

In 2003, Lowell Nystrom published a short report on the beginnings and growth of the Pentecostal movement in Fosston.  In the next few weeks, we will be releasing short installments of this report. The following paragraphs are Lowell's own introduction to the narrative.

God's Major Revival
The modern-day Pentecostal revival started to occur in the late 1890's and early 1900's. History shows that people in many places throughout the world - including the Fosston area - began to experience an outpouring of the Holy Spirit similar to that of the early church as recorded in Acts. People experienced intense conviction of sin and the need to repent and commit their lives to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, followed by an experience of being filled with the Holy Spirit, accompanied by the ability to speak in unknown tongues and to exhibit other gifts of the Holy Spirit as described in 1 Corinthians 12-14. A strong interest in reading the scriptures, fervent prayer, holy l…

Good, Good Father

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Recently I've been listening to a song my brother, Evan, told me about called Good, Good Father. I've basically had it on repeat at work for about three weeks, actually. It's a simple declaration of who God is, and who we are in relation to him. He is our good father; we are loved by him. The song also has me thinking about James 1:17, which says, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (NIV) No gift was ever, or could ever, be greater than Jesus, who descended into the wreckage of humanity at the appointed time to destroy the "Eat, drink and be merry" myth of the Roman empire, as well as the "Do more and God will love you more" myth of the Pharisees. Into this spiritual and cultural bedlam - which was complete hedonism on one end and complete legalism on the other - Jesus steps with his one/two punch of truth and grace that demolishes the cultural…

Unnamed Holy Jumper of 1908 Discovered

Well, what's good preaching if it doesn't include a little investigative journalism? Many of you will remember a reading I did several weeks ago out of the Lowell Nystrom pamphlet chronicling a newspaper article in The Thirteen Towns from 1908. The article briefly discussed feelings of people in the area toward the Pentecostal movement in the Fosston area, referring derogatorily to the people of Hill River and Queen townships as "the holy jumpers." It also discussed one unnamed man, aged 21, from Queen, who "lost his reason" and "was taken to Crookston and from there to Fergus Falls, suffering from a deranged mind" after "attending meetings of a particular sect." That particular sect was Queen Church, or course.

Yesterday I had a conversation with some of the holy jumpers whose families go way back and, in the midst of this, something someone said about the baptism of one of their relatives sparked this thought in my mind: "Hmmm, t…

Back to the Future

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The bloodlines run deep and wide in Bethel Assembly. Ask many people of the older generation a question about Family, and you’ll find that they’re related to nearly everyone in the county in one way or another. When I started delving into the church history of Bethel I went to the usual suspects for info: Aimee Cole, Christine Hanson, Evelyn Woolliscroft, Lloyd Anderson. They pointed me in the direction of some very interesting reading and memorabilia, including the pamphlet put together years ago by Lowell Nystrom called 100 Years of Pentecostal Blessing in Fosston. It was in this pamphlet (which relies heavily on the handwritten notes and diaries of Lowell’s mother, Ethel) that I learned of a preacher named Jacob Bakken who had, sometime around the turn of the 20th Century, walked some 75 miles from Audobon, MN to Fosston to share his faith, hold revival meetings, and help establish a church body based on the move of the Spirit. It was Jacob Bakken that appointed Andrew Matson and C…