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How a Flower Child Found God

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest.com
By Natalie Nichols Gillespie/Charisma Magazine

Joshua Hanson thought he could find the meaning of life in heroin, Buddhism and Hare Krishna. When he finally found the truth, he knew he had to take it to his hippie friends.
For 30-year-old former peace activist Joshua Hanson, saving grace is finally as simple as the familiar children’s song “Jesus Loves Me.” Hanson founded Jesus Loves You Ministries, an evangelizing organization that goes into places hardly anyone else reaches–not to remote Africa or Asia but into the woods right here in the United States.
Hanson and the Jesus Loves You team follow today’s transients–the teens and young adults who make up 80 percent of the counterculture known as the Rainbow People.

Living much like the hippies and flower children of the 1960s, Rainbow kids sustain themselves with little or no money and possessions as they wander throughout the country. Disenfranchised from society and the church, they hitch rides and hold Rainbow gatherings in the woods, march in peace walks, follow rock ‘n’ roll bands, champion environmental causes, explore religions and seek to create a better world.

At the same time, they live a lifestyle of underlying hopelessness–often abusing their bodies with drugs, sex and too little food. Hanson wants to offer them the true hope found in Jesus Christ, not by bringing them out of the woods and into church but by taking Christ’s love straight to them.

Hanson, his 20-year-old wife, Shallyn, their infant son, Ari (which means “Lion of God”), and others travel the United States in RVs and painted buses and live wherever the Rainbow kids live. They operate a feeding program from their homes-on-wheels. They connect with young people through drum circles and campfire chats and, as Hanson puts it, “just by lovin’ on them.”

Hanson understands these teens and young adults better than most. For years, he was one of them. Although his mom believed in Jesus, Hanson resisted the Lord from the time he was a small child.

“I remember my mom telling me that from the time I was little, every Sunday I would kick and scream and fight because I didn’t want to go to church,” Hanson told Charisma. “I never really received Him.”

His running continued through his teens and into his 20s. His parents divorced when he was 7, and by the time Hanson reached high school in Kansas City, Kansas, he was into the drug scene. After high school, he enrolled at the University of Kansas for a couple of years but was still into drugs and partying.

In the middle of his college life, Hanson’s sister decided to go on a “Dead” tour, joining groups of fans who lived on the road by following the 1960s seminal psychedelic band The Grateful Dead. Hanson heard she was going, dropped out of school, quit his job as a United Parcel Service driver and hit the road with her.

“They were into partying, and I was really into partying, so I felt really at home there,” Hanson says.

After using drugs for so long, it was a short step for Hanson to dealing them. He was arrested once for possessing marijuana. Even on probation, he continued to party.

“I tried everything from ecstasy to acid to crack to heroin,” Hanson says. “I’d get drunk first, then try about anything anyone put in front of me.”

There was a time when Hanson even thought he had AIDS. “I had done everything that put you in a high-risk category,” Hanson admits. “I had shot up heroin, had lots of unprotected sex with lots of women; I even had a homosexual experience. For a long time, I was too scared to have myself tested and just kept messing around with people.”

Always searching, Hanson explored many religions during his wanderings–from Hare Krishna to Buddhism to Islam to Judaism. Nothing satisfied his deep desire to find true meaning in life.

“My aunt was a shaman [medicine woman] and would do these journeys to Peru, and I’d join her for ceremonies,” Hanson says. “We did iowaska, a drug that is similar to what peyote is to Native Americans. A whole group of us did that and then dyed ourselves blue. Once, we even took a bath in cow poop. It was crazy, man.”

Perhaps the lowest point came a short time later when another shaman predicted that Hanson would die if he continued to drink. “He really put a curse on me, and every time I drank after that I would see demons and have demonic experiences,” Hanson says.

Even with the demonic encounters Hanson found it hard to give up the alcohol and drugs and would go through periods of abstinence followed by more binges. Miraculously, he lived through it all, loosely keeping in touch with his parents back in Kansas City, who were worried sick about him. His father, who worked at a drug-rehabilitation center, finally “pulled some strings,” Hanson says, and had him involuntarily admitted.

“I tried to run out of there, but they tackled me and brought me back in,” Hanson says. “Miraculously, I haven’t drunk or done hard drugs since then.”

Around 1994, Hanson was released from rehab–clean but still searching. He discovered a group of Rainbow kids led by a Buddhist monk. The Rainbows were participating in a peace walk across the country that began on Martin Luther King Jr. Day and went from New York to California. He joined them.

“It finished in San Francisco, and I wanted to keep walking it out, Forrest Gump-style,” Hanson says, “so I started my own group called Uniting Spirits to go on peace pilgrimages. We were all about checking out all the religions and bringing spiritual, environmental, religious and social groups together.”

He completed a peace walk from the National Rainbow Gathering in Missouri to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1996.

“It was the first time the convention had been held there since the 1968 riots, and we hooked up with protesters doing this Festival of Life event,” Hanson explains. “We tried to organize simultaneous prayer, drum circles and tribal councils around all 50 state capitals.”

Hanson even attracted attention by helping carry a coffin across the country to deliver to the “drug czar” in Washington, D.C., to represent those who had died in the war on drugs and to push for legalizing pot. Hanson now realizes that all the time he was walking across the country, living the life of a nomad and believing he was working toward something, he was actually walking away from true fulfillment.

“I wanted to make a difference here on this planet, and I spent years and years trying to make stuff happen in my flesh,” Hanson says.

Then, as Uniting Spirits were traveling to a National Rainbow Gathering in Oregon, the group stopped in Kansas City, and Hanson’s life was changed.

“We ran into some Christians who were out feeding the homeless,” Hanson says. “We stopped to get something to eat and talk to them, and this lady named Hazel told us about how she had gotten saved in the Jesus Movement.

“Well, we all had head lice, and Hazel took us all back to her home and debugged us, washed all our clothes and helped us get clean. She really loved on us.”

That was the beginning of Hanson’s experience with true love and peace. His group continued on to the National Rainbow Gathering, but afterward, Hanson was drawn back to Kansas City. Ironically, the school bus transporting Hanson’s group crashed into the side of the training center of Metro Christian Fellowship in Kansas City, Missouri–Hazel’s church–and Hanson stuck around a while.

“The Lord actually laid me out on the ground kinda like in Paul’s Damascus Road experience, and the scales came off my eyes,” Hanson says of his conversion. “I had a revelation of the Lord that He was what I was looking for the whole time. I didn’t find it in activism; I didn’t find it in religion.

“I was really deceived, but I didn’t know I was deceived. The revelation was that I had been misleading other people. After that, I realized that it was Jesus and only Jesus.” From that moment on, Hanson felt as if God was calling him back to the woods, back to the marches and the Rainbow gatherings to share what Jesus had done for him.

Hanson was discipled and trained for a short time in Kansas City, then became part of the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in St. Louis in between his times on the road ministering.

In 2001, he founded the nonprofit Jesus Loves You Ministries to fulfill his vision of sharing the love of Jesus with nomadic kids looking for peace. Since then, Jesus Loves You Ministries has become a mobile community, growing from one little Toyota van to 25 to 30 people committed to driving around the country in six or seven buses and RVs. “We have a free kitchen, and we play music at the gatherings and just worship Jesus,” Hanson says. “We go out to the streets, hang out in coffee shops, and we play our drums.”

The group consists of singles, families with young children and mentors who aim to give wandering youth a glimpse of healthy love. “We spend months of the year in the woods, just to love on these kids and be their friends.”

Hanson met his wife, Shallyn, at a Morningstar conference in Jacksonville, Florida, and then at an event in Asheville, North Carolina. Shortly after graduating from high school, Shallyn felt called to go out on the road with Jesus Loves You.

“I didn’t say anything to her [about a relationship] for about eight months, and then I asked her parents’ permission to court her,” Hanson says.

Shallyn was 19 and had kept herself pure for the husband God had for her, Hanson says. With her parents’ blessing, the couple married in March 2002. Ari was born one year later.

“That God would give her to me is such an incredible gift,” Hanson says. “Going all the way through high school as a virgin is an awesome testimony and definitely the better way to go.”

Today, the Hansons and the Jesus Loves You team go wherever the Lord leads them. They go to Bike Week in Florida, Reggae on the River in California, the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee. They also visit large rock ‘n’ roll concerts and Rainbow events.

They have received a welcome (and a place to park their buses) from Southern Baptists to what Hanson lovingly labels “charismaniacs.” The average age of his team members is around 23, but there are families and a mentor couple in their 50s (see related article on page 66).

“It is so awesome watching people’s lives–right in front of our eyes–being transformed,” Hanson says. “When they come into a relationship with Jesus, it is like night and day. We see those who have given their lives to the Lord get radically transformed.”

Now, Hanson hopes to find some land for the ministry to call home base, where kids who have just found Jesus through Jesus Loves You can rest, train and grow in the Lord before heading again to the front lines. “Sometimes we need a season to grow and fall in love with Jesus,” Hanson says.

In the meantime, Hanson and his group keep attending and organizing events, witnessing to the teens, Vietnam veterans, grandparents and young children who make up the Rainbow family.

“They are all really searching and seeking; most of them are really spiritual people, really wanting to know the truth,” Hanson says. “And they are surviving on the waste of America, eating out of Dumpsters. They have backpacks and hitchhike and can get around on next to nothing.”

Hanson says the hardest part of ministry is watching those who find the truth return to the same addictions. “It is only by the grace of God that I was able to give up the drugs, sex and alcohol,” Hanson says. “Sometimes we do see people go back again and again. When they do, we just try to pour into them.”

As for Hanson, he is quick to say that Jesus Loves You is absolutely not about Joshua Hanson, but about Jesus Christ and about the team that has come together to honor Christ and take His name to some outlandish places.

“What we are seeing is the Lord breaking down the generation gap, raising up a nameless, faceless generation that is going to turn this world upside down,” Hanson says. “The brothers and sisters here all have different gifts. We’re like the ‘Dream Team’ doing guerrilla warfare. And I’ll tell you, taking a bath in the blood of Jesus is a whole lot better than a cow-poop bath.”

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With Your Own Personal Judgement

With Your Own Personal Judgement

You Cast Down Others?

It is unwise to judge others for many reasons including the uncertainties of our own destiny. True, we know where we have been, but do we really know where we are going (destiny)? JonAk TiwerAndFlights/AmericaOnCoffee

There us sn old proverb: “You can’t understand someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.”

The Gospel of John 7:53–8:11, that has been the subject of much scholarly discussion.

In the passage, Jesus has sat down in the temple to teach some of the people, after he spent the previous night at the Mount of Olives. A group of scribes and Pharisees confront Jesus, interrupting his teaching session. They bring in a woman, accusing her of committing adultery, claiming she was caught in the very act. They ask Jesus whether the punishment for someone like her should be stoning, as prescribed by Mosaic Law. Jesus first ignores the interruption and writes on the ground as though he does not hear them. But when the woman’s accusers continue their challenge, he states that the one who is without sin is the one who should cast the first stone. The accusers and congregants depart, leaving Jesus alone with the woman. Jesus asks the woman if anyone has condemned her. She answers that no one has condemned her. Jesus says that he, too, does not condemn her, and tells her to go and sin no more.

Here is another paraphrase:

John.8. [1] Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. … But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. [7] So when they continued askinghim, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Seeing the sinful state of another and not condemning this sinner, gives the bigger opportunity to pray for the person.

 

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MANY ARE TAKEN BY SURPRISE…

MANY ARE TAKEN BY SURPRISE…

LET’S SAY, THAT YOUR VULNERABILITY HAS CAUSED YOU MUCH PAIN, SORROW, AND SUFFERING.

THE REALITY HERE IS THAT, SATAN IS IN OUR WORLD!

Don’t panic, just pray more and more, unceasingly.

Satan goes after the father to get to the mother

Satan goes after the mother to get her children

Satan goes after the children to take hold of the family

Satan goes after the families to take the nations,

Satan goes after each nation to takeover the world.

In his schemes, Satan uses a different tactic for each person, each family, for each culture and, for every nation.

NOTE:

Satan will tell “one thousand (1000) distorted truths” to trick you into swallowing one-big-lie!

©2019 JonAk TowerAndFlights/AmericaOnCoffee (AOC)

Scriptural reference:

John 8:43-45 (KJV)

43 Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.

44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

45 And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.

http://www.biblegateway.com

 

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A CHOICED SELECTION OF VERY SPECIAL READS:

Heaven Hears Each Whisper
written by Kelsey Tyler

Reader Comment: An affirmation of all of my prayers, my faith and all of the miracles that I have experienced!

Prayer has always been the most personal and unique way to celebrate faith. It provides an occasion to talk, to meditate, to ask, to praise, to say “thank you.” … Google Books

THE MANY FACES OF MARY, a love story by Bob and Penny Lord

Readers Comments: “You need a box of tissues when you read it.” “I couldn’t put it down.” “The stories allowed me to experience all of The Immaculate Mother’s Apparitions.”

A BOOK OF ANGELS
written by Sophy Burnham

Reader Comment: The book’s opening tells of angels lovingly playing with man in happiness and fun until man became bored. The angels from that point on, decided to hide in the hearts of man. The big question today, is whether or not man will seek within his own heart God’s joy?

A BOOK OF ANGELS tells not only the extraordinary true stories of present-day encounters with angels, but also traces the understanding and study of angels through history and in different cultures. … Google Books

TRIUMPHAL PROCESSION

Author: Andrew M. Villarreal

Reader Comment: “Triumphal Procession” is a historical perspective that re-examines the conscience of the nations of the world, living in today’s darkness.

Read: “Triumphal Procession” and you will understand why nations continue to struggle in great spiritual chaos. Every Christian and every reader seeking Christ should be reminded: the more prayer, the mightier we become in God’s mercy to be blessed against evil.

~~~~~

Has your prayer life come to a standstill? Is it quiet? This brief history of France during WWII reveals the pitfalls and dangers that dampen the prayer life of a believer.
The Nation of France has a history of triumphs, but in 1940 the streets of Paris were empty and quiet.

The darkest hour of it’s existence was at hand. What happens next? Could history repeat itself? Without prayer, triumph cannot exist.

Step into your position of becoming a prayer warrior. Enter a campaign of effective fervent prayer. Recover what has been lost; not only for yourself but for your family, church, ministry, city and nation.

Storm Warning, by Billy Graham

Reader Comment: “Truly powerful…prompting everyone to bear witness to these times.”

 

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Sexual Perversions – Bayside NY Messages from Heaven

PORNOGRAPHY AND EXPLOITATION OF SEX
Our Lady… JUNE 16, 1977 “My children, you must separate what is important and what is not. The spirit is your eternal flame. You will guide by it, My children. Nourish your spirit and not your human bodies. Too, much time is spent in amusement of the human body, seeking entertainment that is being created by satan to poison your minds.

As I have counseled you in the past, your medias of entertainment are polluted. Your children must be protected against this pollution in pornography and exploitation of sex.
“O parents, you have the greatest battle now to keep the souls of your children from contamination. the eyes are the mirror of the soul, so protect your children’s eyes: watch what they read and what they look upon.

Discipline your children and you shall not cry later as parents.”

Immaculate Mother Apparition to Seer Veronica Bayside New York from 1970-1994/95?…until Veronica’s death

 

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God’s Almighty Hand is in all of this: i.e. the Rich vs the Poor.. and the Rule of Evil !

God’s Almighty Hand is in all of this:   i.e. the Rich vs the Poor.. and the Rule of Evil !
Featured image source: http://www.syossetgospelchurch.com

The end-time enemy has driven a great, growing divide in the world: the haves “Rich/Wealthy. vs the Destitute/Poor

The Reality is that God is separating the SHEEP from the GOATS.

The endtime “wealth grabbers” classify themselves as elites. Amidst all of today’s evils, are God’s people, Who are also known as God’s Elect. Matthew 25:31–46: “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. According to the Book of the Apocalypse known too as The Book of Revelations, neither the great Tribulation nor God’s wrath have fully started. When all evil is let loose in the world, we will witness that evil cANNOT tolerate evil! If we are not with God, we are against God. And God’s Word became Flesh through. Jesus Christ our Savior.

NO— EVIL, WILL NOT PREVAIL IN THIS ENDTIME, MASSIVE. SPIRITUAL WARFARE!

With the things of the World and in the World, Satan pimps God’s people into Hell. At the very same time Satan is a reprimand to set Man right with God.

God’s Divine Providence. Prevails!

JonAk TowerAndFlight/AmericaOnCoffee (AOC)

http://www.syossetgospelchurch.com image source

 
4 Comments

Posted by on 04/10 in inspirations

 

Is It True That Children’s Minds Are Being Controlled? (This obviously includes the internet)

We can be cognizant of all of our time and attention given these technological distractions.

The Mind of the World is not nurturing of the spirit, and has every ambition to seek outside man’s inner of solitude.

~Anonymous~
 

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