Wednesday, February 28, 2007

"Speak But The Word..."

Today's account of Jesus healing stirs my spirit wonderfully. In Luke 7:7 it reads: "But say the word and my servant will be healed." As a Roman Catholic in my youth, prior to receiving communion, we said: "Lord, I'm not worthy to receive you, speak but the word and my soul will be healed." It's all about faith.

When we ask Jesus to speak the word and we expect to be healed do we hear Jesus say anything? Do our ears hear Jesus talking to us or do we faithfully accept that he speaks the word and then go on to receive communion? Our Methodist communion services don't include this plea, but I still, to this day, quietly say "Lord, I'm not worthy to receive you, speak but the word and my soul will be healed" prior to receiving the Eucharist. I visualize Jesus telling me, "Yes, Marty, your sins are forgiven, come, dine with me".

How powerful is the term "speak but the word"? Look to John 14: 12 - 14:
12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
The "word" we are told to speak is the name of Jesus. When we pray for someone, in the name of Jesus, do we have the faith of the centurion? Do we truly, deeply, believe that when we ask of Jesus he will deliver? I'll be the first to admit, many times my faith has not been equal to that of the centurion. Many times my prayers didn't come from a position of confidence. Frankly, I failed to believe with all my heart that Jesus would hear my prayers.

At our recent healing service I found myself calling upon the name of Jesus, with confidence, with conviction, with true belief that He would hear and answer our prayers. And in that service there was glory in the faces of everyone there. It was spellbinding to look to the congregation and see smiling faces, radiant with contentment, at peace with their souls. I couldn't help but reflect on the transfiguration and come to realize that we can be transfigured into new, radiant creatures when confronted with the glory of God. At that service, on that night, the Holy Spirit was ifs, ands or buts...and in that presence of the Holy Spirit was the glory of God.

Oh how I pray that we have the faith of the centurion in our walk with Christ. How I pray that we not be timid, weak, content or comfortable. I pray that we seek to hear Jesus "speak but the word" and find the healing in ourselves, our congregations, our church and our world.

In Jesus' name I pray.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

#8 Account of Jesus Healing - How Many Sermons Stem From This Passage?

Healing Miracle #8
(Note: Questions at the bottom do not always fit every gospel passage.)

Luke 7:1-10 (New International Version)

See also: Matthew 8: 5-13
The Faith of the Centurion
1When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."

9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

#7 Account of Jesus Healing

Healing Miracle #7
(Note: Questions at the bottom do not always fit every gospel passage.)

Matthew 12:9-14 (New International Version)

See also: Mark 3: 1-6 and Luke 6: 6-11

9Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, they asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"

11He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath."

13Then he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.

  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Our Healing Service - Praise God!

Tonight at 6pm we held a healing service. Let me rephrase that...The Holy Spirit held a healing service, and we just happened to be where it was happening. Powerful...oh so powerful. The compassion of Christ overwhelmed us, and the regenerative power of the Holy Spirit filled us. Our rediculous egos were wiped away. And the power...oh the power that God showed us was unfathomable.
Words can't describe, so at that I'll close.
Praise God, in Jesus' name, through the power of the Holy Spirit...Amen!

and...thank you for your prayers!

#6 Account of Jesus Healing

Healing Miracle #6
(Note: Questions at the bottom do not always fit every gospel passage.)

John 5:1-17 (New International Version)

The Healing at the Pool
1Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"

7"Sir," the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."

8Then Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." 9At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10and so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat."

11But he replied, "The man who made me well said to me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.' "

12So they asked him, "Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?"

13The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, "See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you." 15The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.

Life Through the Son
16So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him. 17Jesus said to them, "My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working."

NOTE: The King James Version provides the missing verse 4:
"From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease he had."
  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Please Pray for Us, Monday Night...for Our Healing Service

I want to first of all, thank those partners in the healing ministry for their prayers. But more importantly, to those of you who are not in the healing ministry...I ask for your prayers.

We've opened up our Methodist Church to a healing service for the community. It is a stretch for me, as the only times we've had healing services in the past have been when someone personally asked for such. But, Monday night, we open our services to anyone, anywhere, who desires to experience God's healing. I pray that you will join me in prayer that the Holy Spirit will reveal itself and bring healing and comfort to all who attend.

If you are so moved, please keep us in your prayers. I pray to be a worthy intercessor, and pray for those who will join me in depleting themselves of personality, depleting themselves of expectations, all for the desire that the mercy of Our Lord will descend upon us. Is this asking too much of fellow believers?

If you pray for nothing else on Monday, February 26th, in the life of our church, please, pray for us. If this isn't your "cup of tea", then please refrain from spoiling the blessing. If it is your "cup of tea" to acknowledge that God works in wonderfully mysterious ways, please pray for us.

Thank you in advance.

#5 Account of Jesus Healing

Healing Miracle #5
(Note: Questions at the bottom do not always fit every gospel passage.)

Mark 2:1-12 (New International Version)

See also: Matthew 9: 1-8 and Luke 5: 17-26

Mark 2

Jesus Heals a Paralytic
1A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them. 4Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."

6Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7"Why does this fellow talk like that? He's blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

8Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, "Why are you thinking these things? 9Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up, take your mat and walk'? 10But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins . . . ." He said to the paralytic, 11"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home." 12He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

#4 Account of Jesus Healing

Healing Miracle #4
(Note: Questions at the bottom do not always fit every gospel passage.)

Luke 5:12-16 (New International Version)

See also: Matthew 8: 1-4 and Mark 1: 40-45

The Man With Leprosy

While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean."

13Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him.

14Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them."

15Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.

  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

Friday, February 23, 2007

What Do These Studies Mean?

Studying these accounts of Jesus's healings is a wonderful experience for me. I ask myself, who needed faith, who was the subject of Christ's healing, how did the faith of one make the difference. Today's account was all about Jesus, merely giving relief so that he could be served. What a wonderful God we have in Christ.
Isn't it marvelous to see Christ exercise His healing for His own purposes. This is a rare event in the Gospels, but one that requires attention, as He was so worthy of praise, worship, and serving. Peter's mother in law was healed so that she could serve.
I ask, how am I healed so that I can serve? Does my frailty in Christ require that he work even in me?
Just questioning.

#3 Account of Jesus Healing

Healing Miracle #3
(Note: Questions at the bottom do not always fit every gospel passage.)

Matthew 8:14-15 (New International Version)

See also: Mark 1: 29-31 and Luke 4: 38-39
Jesus Heals Many
14When Jesus came into Peter's house, he saw Peter's mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever. 15He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to wait on him.

  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

#2 Gospel Account of Jesus Healing

Healing Miracle #2
(Note: Questions at the bottom do not always fit every gospel passage.)

Mark 1:21-28 (New International Version)

Jesus Drives Out an Evil Spirit
21They went to Capernaum, and when the Sabbath came, Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach. 22The people were amazed at his teaching, because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law. 23Just then a man in their synagogue who was possessed by an evil[a] spirit cried out, 24"What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!"

25"Be quiet!" said Jesus sternly. "Come out of him!" 26The evil spirit shook the man violently and came out of him with a shriek.

27The people were all so amazed that they asked each other, "What is this? A new teaching—and with authority! He even gives orders to evil spirits and they obey him." 28News about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.


  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

26 Gospel Accounts of Jesus Healings

As a Lenten discipline I will be posting 26 healing passages as inspiration for daily devotionals. Beyond these first 26 gospel accounts I'll post other gospel healing passages. For anyone who wishes to reflect upon these, each post will end with questions for reflection.

John 4:46-54 (New International Version)

46Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. 47When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.

48"Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe."

49The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies."

50Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live."
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. 51While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. 52When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour."

53Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live." So he and all his household believed.

54This was the second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.


  1. Who was the person in need?
  2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
  3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
  4. How and by whom was faith involved in this healing?
  5. What were the reactions to the healing?
  6. What led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Been to Seminary? Whaddya Think?

The depravity of the human condition falls under criticism of the scientific community. By that, I mean that ascribing to the notion that there is a God who guides and intervenes in the activities of mankind is a fallacious notion...according to pure philosophy students. Shudder the thought!

I find it interesting and disturbing at the same time that the scientific mindset is at odds with belief in a supernatural entity. Way back in a course on logic, it was determined that one has to argue from a position of acknowledging God, or not. Arguments across the dividing line were deemed to be spurious from one camp or the other. So, the verdict on these arguments (from a philosophical perspective) was that they were without merit.

Where does one draw the line in the sand and witness, within the realms of intellectualism? It isn't difficult to discern. Either you believe, and argue on the merits of your discernment of that belief, or you don't believe, and you don't argue with those of the other camp. I like to argue with Christians!

Many in the Methoblogosphere are seminarians, or graduates of such. I would ask if your faith in God was put in question by virtue of seeking higher education? Or, did/does that challenge to your fundamental beliefs strengthen your virtue, and your belief in God? What say you, oh intellectual students/graduates of seminary....what say you?

Monday, February 19, 2007

No Hype...Just Supplication

How does a genuine healing ministry separate itself from the flash and hype of the televangelists. Really, I ask. If you look at the televangelist roadshows you will see that they employ mass hypnosis methodologies. Music that goes on and on, with hypnotic beats and repititious praise songs (chants), to such a degree that anyone remotely influenced by the power of suggestion falls prey. What a shame.

True healing from our Lord, Jesus Christ, comes from proclaiming His name in the supplication of His intervention. These manipulators of the human condition are an utter disgrace. But, suffer the souls that are won to a following of Christ through these manipulators. I hurt for their blindness. I hurt for their wanting and need for something miraculous to enter their lives. To have them duped by zealots of capitalism makes me squirm.

Today I read of the manipulative techniques employed by the such. Today, I read of the self-serving evangelists who hold revivals only to gain riches at the expense of the lost, the hopeless, the ones looking for a divine answer to their prayers. Today, I saw the devil in the guise of evangelists.

I pray that our healing services are not percieved as such. We take no donations, no offerrings, none, whatsoever. It is the work of God that we seek, not the making of our next paycheck. May God richly bless all who call upon His name, through Jesus Christ, with the power of the Holy Spirit, for those afflicted. God bless all who seek Him through the intercession of His disciples.


Saturday, February 17, 2007

How Does an Intercessor Pray?

There are times when prayer can be regimented and somewhat routine; times when it is fluid and coarsing; times when it is authoritative; times when it is frightening; times when it is purpose-driven; times when it is quiet and inquisitive; times when it is knee-jerk reaction; times when it is awkward and difficult.

I'm thinking about prayer a lot lately as we are in preparation for an upcoming healing service. I imagine that others who practice intercessory prayer as part of their ministry may feel equally challenged in their prayers. While the various methods of prayer are somewhat established and taught, it is the higher/deeper types of prayer that springs from the personal relationship with God that are the challenge for the intercessor.

The ACTS (Admiration/Contrition/Thanksgiving/Supplication) method serves as a good template for any prayer, but as an intercessor the primary focus is on the supplication part. One may be compelled to ask if they have admitted total admiration, made a complete act of contrition, and exhibited true thanksgiving, so that the supplication will be heard and acted upon.

I share these reflections because I know that others wrestle with their prayer life, and more specifically, how God answers our prayers. In the healing ministry, a ministry where supplication is the nature of the prayers, it is important to look to the gospel for guidance. Mark 9: 29 states that "these types can only come out by prayer and fasting". And therein lies the recipe for the work of the intercessor: Prayer and fasting.

In the 9th chapter of Mark beginning with the 14th verse:

14 And when He came to the disciples, He saw a great multitude around them, and scribes disputing with them. 15 Immediately, when they saw Him, all the people were greatly amazed, and running to Him, greeted Him. 16 And He asked the scribes, “What are you discussing with them?”
17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”
19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 20 Then they brought him to Him. And when he saw Him, immediately the spirit convulsed him, and he fell on the ground and wallowed, foaming at the mouth.
21 So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?”
And he said, “From childhood. 22 And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.”
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
25 When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!” 26 Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, “He is dead.” 27 But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose.
28 And when He had come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?”
29 So He said to them, “This kind can come out by nothing but prayer and fasting.”

Jesus gives the answer to the believing disciples. When they find that even as believers and followers of Jesus Christ they are incapable of casting out a demon, they can still do it but only after prayer and fasting. And that remains the case to this very day.

As intercessors we believe that God will answer our prayers. Some answers come quickly and through short and sincere shared supplications. Other answers require more. As Jesus said, "prayer and fasting" are required in more difficult situations. I know that God hears our prayers, and empowers us to invite the Holy Spirit to bring about healing and comfort. But for those situations like the demon-possessed child, God asks more than our faith, more than confidence, more than humility...much more.

So how does an intercessor pray? Not at all like church on Sunday morning.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Big Wide World of the World Wide Web

I wonder. In this day and age of instant connections (connexions...if you will) to the outside world, do you ever get mystified and filled with wonder how sharing the Gospel can be so utterly rewarding? I'm daily uplifted by personal emails and blog entries to the extent that I'm totally in awe of God's presence throughout the world.

I share this because today has been a day of connections.

I want to thank everyone who has contacted me without sharing on my blog...and those who have. I'm truly humbled that my ramblings have touched others in ways I could not imagine. I'm humbled..and compelled to continue.

As is my tag line in other realms...."May God richly bless all followers of Jesus Christ."
And may God Bless You!

The Healing Handkerchief

Today's Google Alerts took me to a blog where a mother shared an accounting of her son's broken fingers being miraculously healed. Her testimony can be found here.
The mother tells of her son's fingers being broken by a slammed car door. Really slammed! While she was giving him comfort on the lawn next to the car, a neighbor came up to see what she could do. When they finally were able to get the boy to let them look at the hand, it was obvious that the fingers were broken. The neighbor went into her house and brought back a handkerchief that had been blessed by a priest who is known for the great works God does through him. They wrapped his fingers in the handkerchief and prayed. Later at the emergency room, the triage nurse said..."yes, they look broken" and ordered x-rays. After a very long wait, the x-rays were taken and to the amazement of the nurse and the broken bones! In fact, the fingers were merely puffy. The next day the boy was fine.

If anyone has ever broken a bone, or had a loved one break a bone, most times, you know if it's broken or not. I have no doubt that this mother, her neighbor, and the nurse, knew the fingers were broken. Yet that blessed handkerchief seemed to make the broken fingers heal.

May I give my perspective on what happened with that blessed handkerchief? The neighbor's belief in the healing power of Christ brought about the healing. The priest, having blessed that handkerchief, helped the neighbor to believe and trust in God more than she would have on her own. Was it the handkerchief that healed? No. God healed that boy's fingers, through the faith of the woman who believed. That handkerchief helped to release any doubt as to what God can do when we believe with our whole heart.

Isn't it amazing what God can do when we believe with our whole heart? I sometimes want a similarly blessed handkerchief, so that I can abandon personal apprehensions, and trust in God, through "whatever" vessel.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Gifts of The Holy Spirit

I have a hard time agreeing with those who talk about the cessation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Theologians debate whether the gifts ended with the age of the apostles. Specifically, they debate over "Temporary Sign Gifts" of miracles, healing, speaking in tongues and interpreting speaking in tongues. Scriptures tell of the great events where the Holy Spirit was at work in the early church. Once the bible was closed to any newer testaments, does that mean that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased? I think not.

I see those same gifts given to the apostles at work today in different people and in different situations. I don't think anybody is in continuous possession of the gifts, rather, at God's behest He intervenes in situations, sometimes miraculously. But God does seem to use certain people in one way, and others in a different way. And with some consistency.

I cannot attest to speaking in tongues, discernment, prophecy or other gifts. I'm in the healing ministry. I'm not walking around doing miracles at will...quite to the contrary. I've never done any kind of miracle...but God has. Prior to entering into this ministry there were times when I was asked to pray for someone who was ill...and I did. I believe that any Christian asked to pray for someone should, and would do so. A few years back, the results of me praying for people started yielding unexpected results. God started answering my prayers in visible, tangible, miraculous ways.

When God reveals himself right before your very eyes it is hard to deny Him. When he answers your prayer, then and there, it's like He's saying, "You did the right thing...keep it up". At least that's what I thought God was saying to me, enough times that I yielded and devoted myself to keeping it up as best I could discern. Towards that end, for the past few years I've studied scripture as never before, associated with others who have shared experiences, and deepened my prayer life. I'm beginning to slowly understand what God meant when he said "You did the right thing...keep it up". I think that could be termed a calling.

Do I have the gifts of healing and miracles? No. I just witness them. I don't have anything but deep compassion for those who are hurting and in need of grace and healing. I believe that in that compassion, God gives the gifts of healing and miracles as He sees fit.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Bloggers: Google Analytics - Worth Checking Out

Do you ever wonder who came to your blog, from where? Do you ever wonder what word in your most recent post drew the most attention? For answers to these, and more questions, visit this G0ogle site:

It's remarkable what you will find. It is relatively easy to incorporate Google Analytics into your blog. Heck, even I could do it!

I find that there is a remarkably strong number of people who visit my blog from The Netherlands! Don't know why, but it's interesting to know.

Do you wonder who comes to your site, and from where? Google Analytics provides that info and much more. You may be comfortable subscribing to SiteMeter and others, but when there is an invisible, yet very comprensive, tool out there for you to use and grow from, it's worth checking out.

It is designed primarily for commercial sites, but it gives tons of info that a blogger will appreciate. So, at least give 'em a visit and you might find that it is a really cool alternative to other visible counters. Of course, if you're big on having visible counters on your site, that's ok. But this is worth looking into.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Ok. Admittedly, this is a different sort of post. But, I'll ask: When one is possessed by the Holy Spirit, what does it feel like? I'm not asking from some theological perspective, but a personal one. I've had those personal experiences, and know when they are taking place by virtue of having been relegated to being a spectator as they happened. I say "spectator" because it wasn't me who was in control.

As others have said, they may preach a sermon, give a bible study, or simply pray, and something "different" happens. Is that something "different" pure mental gymnastics, or something more?

Someday I hope to have the courage to share what happens to me when I'm put aside for the work of the Holy Spirit. But for now, I'm curious as to whether anyone else has experienced a sense of being put aside, and witnessing themselves saying and doing things they hadn't planned, and to what they accredit the event.

As we try to be in control of our servant-role; studying, researching, praying...whatever we we ever let go, and let something outside of our control mutter the words of a sermon...interact with a suffering individual...and do the deeds that we don't plan? Do we open ourselves to the very presence of God in this day and age, through opening our self-centered existences to the work of the Holy Spirit? I have an ex-pastor who once said that the role of a pastor was more of a dog...a sheep dog...than a shepherd. She exclaimed...."I'm a dog"! Afterwards, she shared that she didn't know where that came from...must've been the Holy Spirit. Do we let ourselves be possessed?

For me; lots of times yes...and sometimes no. I'm kinda working on the "no's".

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Did You Find God...or Did God Find You?

Did you seek God and He revealed Himself to you, or did God find you, and you find yourself in service to Him? Loaded bet! For what it's worth, I sought God and in the process, He found me...and I'm in service to Him.
What say you?

Do You Feel the Presence of The Holy Spirit?

Out of curiosity, does anyone ever feel the presence of the Holy Spirit? That is...when preaching, healing, or you ever feel that the Holy Spirit is more in control of the situation than you are?

I do. But that's just me. How about you?

Finished Blogging Daily

Ok...backing off. While I'm committed to speaking what comes to me, I'm relinquishing the need to post daily. Fact is, I lack the time or temperment to do so. With that said, I'm not posting daily anymore.

I feel both liberated and judged. Wow...what a position to be in. But I confess, the time and dedication to blog daily proves to be beyond my capabilities to embrace, I still want to stop daily to embrace what God is saying to me. I do that in prayer and daily devotionals. And in the special time, at the top of the hill, where "no matter what" I commune with Our Lord.

Without further pontifications, I resign from the need to blog daily. But who knows...I just may do it anyway, without any pressures...just because God speaks to me, daily.

Brother Marty

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Miracle Workers Are Only Temporary Vessels

Miracles happen. Those in the healing ministry acknowledge that and supplicate to Our Lord for miraculous healings. But there are those who take the position that if people can miraculously heal the sick, why aren't they going through the hospitals healing everyone. If it were only that simple.

Many physicians acknowledge that they don't heal anyone. If someone has a laceration, a physician can clean and treat the wound, but it is God who actually heals it. Yet, there are certain individuals who God works through, in His time and His way, and most importantly, for His purpose. On this topic, New Advent, the online Catholic Encyclopedia, explains the gift of miracles as follows:

This gift is not given to any created being as a permanent habit or quality of the soul. The power of effecting supernatural works such as miracles is the Divine Omnipotence, which cannot be communicated to either men or angels. The greatest thaumaturgus that ever appeared in this world
could not work miracles at will, neither had he any permanent gift of the kind abiding in his soul. The Apostles once asked
concerning a cure of demoniacal possession: "Why could we not cast
him out? Christ replied, this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting (Matt. xvii, 18 sqq.). Eliseus could not raise to life
the son of the Sunamitess with his staff.
The grace of miracles is therefore only a transient gift by which God moves a person to do something which issues in a wonderful

The word "thaumaturgus" translates to wonder worker. The greatest
"thaumaturgus" in history was St. Gregory of Neocaesarea who is commonly referred to as St. Gregory Thaumaturgus. When he was made bishop over Caesarea, there were but 17 people in the Christian community there. Throughout his ministry many miracles took place, all for one purpose: To spread the gospel and bring people to Christ. Upon his death, there were only 17 pagans in Caesarea. An overview of St. Gregory's life can be found here.

God chooses through whom He does His will and for what purpose. Some, at times, find themselves being vessels for the gifts of healing and miracles, but only at the discretion of the Holy Spirit, not the discretion of the individual.

Many who've been used by the Holy Spirit to bring about a healing by prayer or laying upon hands will testify that they did nothing extraordinary to bring it about. Nothing but pray and surrender to the Holy Spirit. Most in the healing ministry believe, like the doctors who clean and dress the wounds, they do what they do and acknowledge that it is only God who does the healing.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pizza With Olives

Rare as it is, I ordered a pizza for tonight...Superbowl Sunday. I asked for everything plus extra cheese, and got them dern olives. I don't like olives. But my wife loves them. I was a hero for ordering pizza with everything, and giving her the olives from my pieces. Isn't it nice to be a hero when merely ordering pizza. I kinda like that!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Do You Ever Pray for Someone to Die?

This is a difficult post.

My 92 year old mother-in-law wants to go home. That is, she wants to die. When we visit her, daily, at the assisted living center where she resides, her life is coming to an end. In her moments of conscioiusness, she says, "I wanna go home...but God won't let me...I wanna go home.". I cannot bring myself to pray for her that she dies.

I've been in this situation in the past with a more distant relative, and I prayed that he went home, and he did. But this is too close.

I want to pray that God accepts her, and welcomes her, but I cannot. I wrestle with this daily. I tend to believe that in His time, she will go. But of late, my wife is asking me to pray for her to go home. I resist! Damn....I resist. I don't know why, but I resist.

Tomorrow I hope to be moved to pray for her to go home. That's tomorrow. Right now, I love the lady, and I love what she means to me. Am I being selfish? Am I only thinking about me? I don't know, but we'll see what tomorrow brings.

I feel that I lack the courage to compell her to give it up. I pray that our loving lord will move me when the time is right to pray for her to go home. For now, she brings such a light to my soul. For now, she makes me feel worthy. For now, she, as God's intuit, opens my mind to His presence in our midsts. What a lovely lady.

In a few short days I may be reflecting upon our loss, but for now, I'm reflecting upon her being, as one who exhorts us to turn to God in times of difficulty. Yes, even in her difficult state, she knows God's will and exhorts to us that we should be more in it. How do you let someone that wonderful go? How?

Sorry for the gloom and doom, but it obsesses me, my wife, and her siblings. Maw...let us know when the time is right to lift you up to our lord. Let us know when it is time. At that time, I'll pray with the authority God has given me to take you home. Till then, keep being the wonderful YOU that you are.

May someone who is in a similar situation find comfort from me sharing. It is a difficult position to be in, difficult, indeed.

Friday, February 02, 2007

It's Friday and I'm Outta Steam

Ever wonder how people manage to post daily pontifications on this and that? Well, I've succumed to the "end of the week" syndrome. No original inspiring insights. I'm just plain bushed and beaten. Tired, and on an island of loneliness (except for the love of my wonderful wife), I admit that there is nothing original today to share.

I wonder if "cruise control" isn't such a bad thing. Today, I'm on cruise control. Blank, empty, and just wanting to get some needed rest.

I wish, at times, that I were an ordained elder, and I would surely be insightful 24/7...but that isn't the case now. That's a joke. Heck, I'm personal friends with some of the such, and they are very human folks who suffer from the same afflictions as me.

Loooong week at the regular job. Very long week. Somehow, some way, I've got to muster up a sermon for Sunday. Got some of them "pocket sermons" ready to be pulled out and rehashed. Frankly, I think that by the time Sunday morning rolls around, there will be nothing "rehash" about what the Holy Spirit moves me to share. But for now....I be bushwhacked. With faith.

Duh...there might be something to the notion of being bushwhacked with faith. Will pontificate on that someday....or not...but for now being bushwhacked with faith is a good thing.

Good night and God Bless!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

7 Miracles In One Day

Less than two weeks ago a day of miracles occurred at a major university hospital. To respect the privacy of all involved, no names will be mentioned. A surgeon did not perform surgeries on 7 patients because each one's medical condition had been miraculously healed. One of the people scheduled to have lung surgery to remove a tumor is from my local area. When she was being prepped for surgery and xrays were taken, the doctor discovered that the tumor was gone. Another person (the wife of a prominent UMC pastor) was prepped for surgery just to discover that the need for surgery was gone. That day, 5 more patients scheduled to have surgeries performed by this same surgeon were miraculously healed.

This surgeon is a spiritual person who prays with each of his patients prior to undergoing a procedure. I've come to know more about this day of miracles due to the UMC pastor's testimony. In addressing his congregation prior to his wife's scheduled surgery, he stated that he and his wife were no more special than anybody else in the Body of Christ, and asked that they pray for her and the doctor who would be performing the surgery.

God reveals his glory in magnificent ways. Could the thousands of people who prayed for the patients and the surgeon have had their prayers answered any more awesomely? I stand aback and look at this whole situation in pure wonder. Wonder at the manifestation our Our Lord's splendid intervention. I'm awed, indeed.