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PO Box 239, Pratt, KS 67124

When Nitro Met Glycerin

My wife and I, with friends and family, went to see “Jesus Revolution” last night. It is a new release about the hippie revival that swept California from 1968 – 1971. I highly recommend it. The movie focuses on three men God used: Lonnie Frisbee, Greg Laurie and Chuck Smith.

I grew up in the same Kansas farm country we have now moved back to. I was just a boy when the hippie thing started. While a few in rural Kansas wore bell-bottom jeans, beads and sandals – it was never really a thing here. It was primarily existent only on TV stories coming out of California. Kansas was mostly blue jeans, boots and belts with pliers in leather pouches.

And a lot of people discounting anything and everything California. I was so shaped by the ultra-conservative culture of our area, I knew little of the roots of Calvary Chapel or Jesus Freaks and hippies.

I knew who Chuck Smith was and have met and worked with so many fine people from various Calvary Chapels across the country (including great times spent at the Costa Mesa campus). But I didn’t really know the back story.

While I understand there is certain dramatization in a movie for effect, there was obviously something driven by God through Chuck Smith and others in that era. We missed much of that experience in Kansas as it looked too much like all-wrong. We threw the baby out with the bath water.

As Greg Laurie would later write in his book, Jesus Revolution, the moment Chuck Smith first met Lonnie Frisbee was “…like when John Lennon met Paul McCartney … or when nitro met glycerin.”

Think About it

There have been some recent revival starts among the younger generation (an example being the recent activities at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky).

I, for one, hope it continues and that this time some of us old fogies can recognize a new move of revival even if at first it looks like a DLR (Don’t Look Right).

God will use flawed people. There aren’t any perfect ones.

The sheepdogs are often the first to see change. Just like those on the hills of Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. You may see things happening in your community that starts to come to your church. Be vigilant, but don’t stand between nitro and glycerin.

Lord, please send a revival. America needs it.

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