Local dreaming of giant ‘God Rally’

Scott N. Miller

AVON – This is as big as dreams come.Rob Lohman thinks he can draw thousands of people to a Christian rally in 2008. But the dream doesn’t stop there. He also believes he can finance the rally by selling a million copies of a book he hasn’t finished yet.”Belief” is the key word here. Lohman trusts his faith, and believes that through God all things are possible. He also trusts in the vision he had that led to this big idea, he said.Sitting in church a few weeks ago, Lohman was listening to the music, when he recalled something he’d seen along Interstate 70 near Effingham, Ill., in 2004. It was a cross, more than 100 feet tall and bathed in light.That image returned to him a few weeks ago. This time, though, there were throngs of people gathered around it, worshipping. The next day, after pondering that image, Lohman knew what he had to do: organize a three-day “God Rally” in 2008. “I couldn’t really deny it,” he said.To pay for what he envisions as a free event, Lohman wants to pre-sell a million copies of a book he’d started working on called “God Shots.” What’s a God Shot? Lohman describes God Shots as moments when God intervenes in a person’s life.The stories are personal, of course, some intensely so.Lohman’s own story is about pondering suicide after hitting rock bottom as a drunkard. Sanity and sobriety returned after gazing into his dog’s eyes. Lohman believes God intervened that night, and he hasn’t had a drink since.Another story involves a man pondering suicide. Out for what he believed to be his final walk, the despondent man met only one person, a man who asked where he was going, then offered an invitation to a worship service.”God put that person there that night,” Lohman said.It’s hard to verify tales of faith, but Lohman said he’s doing his best to cull out false testimony. Still Lohman has a number of those stories of faith, and more are coming.”As people learn about the book, they’re coming forward, or telling their friends,” Lohman said.First stepsJust more than a month into his vision, Lohman has taken some small steps. He’s pre-sold 15 “God Shots” books, and support is starting to trickle in.”Rob has an exciting idea, and we’re all praying for him,” Calvary Chapel Pastor Tommy Schneider said. “He’s a true visionary.”That vision’s going to take a lot of faith, and a lot of help. And there’s always the chance Lohman’s vision didn’t mean what he thought it did. “If we don’t pre-sell a million books, everyone who buys a book will get a ticket to the God Rally,” Lohman said. Everyone else will have to buy a ticket, he said.In any event, money from the book sales will go into a nonprofit foundation. If there’s enough left over after the rally, money will then be funneled toward various Christian charities.Where the rally might be remains an open question, too. And that could be as tough as pre-selling a million books.”I want it to be somewhere around here,” Lohman said. “I’m trying to find a piece of land big enough for 100,000 people plus parking.”That’s a tall order. But Lohman believes.”I have no doubts that God can’t use him in exciting ways,” Schneider said.Staff Writer Scott N. Miller can be reached at 748-2930, or Daily, Vail Colorado

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