Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Morning on a Mission

A week ago I woke up on a mission. Earlier in the morning I was awoken with a vision. I saw a woman cut open from head to toe, and outstretched hand to hand, with bright white light emanating from her entire body. That is, except for the dark spots that shielded the light in different parts of her body. I've had these visions before. They tell me that someone needs healing prayer. It wasn't a comfortable vision and I went back to sleep hoping that it would go away. When the alarm went off, I arose with the same vision.

During our morning devotional I shared this vision with my wife. She said, "God will lead you to who it is that he wants to use you for His healing". As I left for work I stopped at the place in the woods where I have my private prayer every morning and sought discernment. I tried to think of what woman I knew of who needed healing prayer and I thought I had it figured out. NOPE. The moment I walked into my office the first thing one of my associates said was that a neighboring business owner had a migraine and that I needed to pray for her. HOLY SMOKES! This does not happen every fact it had never happened before. I immediately went to that person's business and we prayed and thanked God for His healing. Two days later I had occasion to see the woman and she gave her testimony. She said that she started feeling better the moment we finished praying and that by the end of the day she was operating on "all cylinders" as she put it. She went on to say that she'd been coping with that headache for over a week and it hadn't come back since we prayed.

My prayer is that God does this more often, as I relish every opportunity to stop and acknowledge His greatness with fellow believers. In the process, my hope is that it will bring non-believers to Christ.

The Healing of the Microphone ;-)

Every once in a while God brings awe and wonder to us in ways that we cannot anticipate. Last Sunday I filled in for the pastor of a local church for the early morning service. I preached on John 6: 35 on the topic of believing in Jesus and never thirst or hunger again. Specifically, I addressed how we can thirst for healing in our lives, and how believing in Jesus - with everything in us - He will quench that thirst.

As the service started, I got wired up with the wireless microphone and the worship leader stood at the pulpit where the stationary microphone is. When that mic at the pulpit is on, it glows red. About 5 minutes into the service, the pulpit mic went dead. The worship leader fidgeted with it and ultimately gave up and proceeded through the service without it (it didn't occur to me to offer him the wireless...must've been a God thing). When it became time for the message, I went to the pulpit with my wireless turned on and began my sermon. (I always opt for the wireless mic as I do not stay behind the pulpit...I walk around, make gestures, all that stuff.) I was about 3/4 of the way through the message and said, "If only we can believe with everything in us that God heals, He will heal!"...and at that very moment (as I would later be told) the pulpit microphone lit up. I was totally unaware of it as I wasn't looking at it.

At the very moment the service concluded, a man rushed the alter and asked me if I noticed what happened. With a dumbfounded look on my face I said "no...what?". He said that God healed the microphone and told me that the light came on precisely when I mentioned believing and God will heal. The moment we were finished with our conversation, the worship leader came up to me and asked me if I saw what happened with the microphone. I told him that I had just been informed. I observed others chitchatting and pointing to the pulpit. Wow!

In retrospect, I may have slapped my hand on the pulpit for emphasis and - like smacking the TV on the side when it isn't working right - it came back on. Then again, I honestly don't recall whether I did or didn't, as I was a bit caught up the the Holy Spirit at time. Still, I pray that God touched someone through this unexpected event.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Neophyte in Ministry - DUH!!

Anybody ever been caught off guard and propelled into situations where you thought you were unprepared? I thought that. Really. But not now. I've put "myself" in the back seat for a ride that only the Holy Spirit can drive. I look up and see glimpses of what it is all about....but only glimpses. When I ask..."what shall I do in this situation"....I'm assured that I should sit in the back and let the Holy Spirit drive. OK...I'm in for the trip!

Today I had a wonderful opportunity to pray for someone. She and I instantly became brother and sister in Christ. She suffers from migraines and physical malaise that accompanies it. God put it on me to pray for her and I was uplifted from the experience. I hope she was. But it was for ME that her malady came to my attention. I was moved to take time off of work and do something of God. And ya know what? I was lifted. My sincere prayer is that she was lifted as well. I know that she hugged me and assured me that God was with her...and me at the time of prayer. WOW!

I ask people of God if they recognize when the Holy Spirit is overwhelming them. Some say they have a flitter in the eyes...others say they have a flush feeling....for toes contract uncontrollably. Today...while praying with my friend, my toes contracted uncontrollably. Not me...the Holy Spirit was in charge.

This is personal stuff but I think it is universal as well. Does God touch you in a special way when you are overcome by His presence through the Holy Spirit? Just wondering.

Reflections on Death as the Ultimate Healing

In the past month I've come to have to deal with death in a manner in which I was not prepared. In one situation, a young boy died from a brain the other, one who's time had come. I can deal with both emotionally...but it is the "intellectually" thing that somewhat disturbs me. That is, until I come to realize that death is the ultimate healing for some. In the cases mentioned above, it was just that. Today I spoke with the recent widow of a man in my newly appointed church and she volunteered that her children had come back to support her in this difficult time. She said that they have never been united before, but now they are...and God orchestrated these events to bring the family closer together. There is a love amongst family members that never materialized before now. That is a healing!

In the other, I can only speculate based upon what others have told me. But I was there for the healing services for the young boy. I held him, prayed for him, and shared that it is the love of God that manifests itself in trying times. Reported to me is that the family has congealed, and become one...for the first time. What a tragic catalyst for this to happen...but happen it has.

So, in venting these situations, I become more in tune with the fact that my will, our will, is not God's will. May we be always subservient to God's will.

Stepping into the Unknown

My first official week into my first real appointment in the Methodist faith and I have a funeral to conduct. On the one hand, awkward, on the other, a blessing. I had the privilege of meeting the person who has since deceased in the week prior to my appointment becoming official. He, and his family, touched me and my wife in a very deep and sincere way. Now, being the new pastor at the deceased's church it is in my hands to conduct a funeral....but without a body. He donated his body to science.

I lift up this situation as I cannot find in the "Pastor's Pocket Edition" of the Book of Worship for a situation such as this. Perhaps in the full Book of Worship there is a liturgy for this type of occasion...but I wouldn't know as I do not possess one. Is there any help anyone can provide that may give me an assist in this situation? I'm leaning towards the "Family hour or wake" section of Services of death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit will provide, but if someone can provide some helps it would be appreciated.

On a personal note, I can't think of a better way to be brought into a body of believers than to be there to be a spiritual guide in difficult times. I'm truly blessed, humbled, and wanting to serve in the highest possible way. Thank you in advance.

Friday, June 13, 2008

When God Shows HIS Will to be HIS

I pray for people regularly. I touch them, pray for them, and move on. I constantly seek God's will in each and every situation. Today, a boy for whom I prayed for healing was buried. He died from a cancerous brain tumor which could not be stopped by prayer nor medicine. He was the recipient of the "Make a Wish" foundation in his last days and visited the beaches of Puerto Rico. He was buried today. God challenges us all.

I entertain the notion of questioning God's will when an innocent dies after much prayer and supplication. I entertain it. But when all is said and done, I do not know God's will, so I cannot question it. I merely submit.

A very young man, age 11, was taken to be in God's glory a few days ago. Today we buried what was left of him. I do not question...while I entertain the notion of questioning....I merely submit.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Teens and Contemporary Worship

Tonight I had an opportunity to share with teenagers the love of Christ. We were talking about how and if we hear God talking to us, and I shared that while praying after the worship music that God touched my heart and revealed to me that I should love everyone who was nobody was there against their will. To my surprise, when I shared that God spoke to me, inquiring minds wanted to know what God sounded like. I believe that in sharing that experience with the kids some were moved to listen to that quiet voice, discounting it as not being mere conscience...but the actual voice of God. A few hung around afterwards sharing how they thought they were nuts thinking they heard God telling them to do this or that...or refrain from things. It was awesome. I found myself cultivating a new, deep love for fellow worshipers, regardless of age. It was too cool.

Friday, June 06, 2008

No outside electronic goodies

While this is a blog about healing...I must confess that there are times where I must get off subject. Today, because of a remodeling we have going on, our satellite reception died. It was just a little bump or something, but the satellite didn't bring our regular TV and music channels. So tonight the Mrs. and I listened to old CD's in the CD player that we haven't used for over a year. I must admit, it was lots of fun to dance and sing the oldies. We had a special time together in the midst of being cut off from the world. I think that when I'm longing for the good times....I might just jar the antennae a little off base. T'was a good night.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

She Said NO

Today I got my breakfast from where I usually get my breakfast. The cashier had smashed her thumb under the cash register and broken a bone. Her cast was off and she appeared to be healing. I asked..."How's your thumb?". She said that it was hurting and that arthritis had settled into it and it was very painful. I asked if I could hold her thumb and she said, "NO". I didn't elaborate on how I'm into the healing ministry...I just asked if I could hold it. She said no. How sad, as I was moved to hold her and minister healing prayer to her. But she said no.

How often do we make efforts to bring Christ into the lives of those around us who need His love? How often do we try to minister to those in need? I felt rejection, as I felt Christ's rejection when He gave his all for us. I know...I'm just me, but it imprinted upon my brain the rejection of love. Of Christlike love. I just wanted to pray over her...but she said "NO". So now I'm convicted to ask her again, tomorrow, and again...the next day, to let me hold her thumb. may seem "out there" to some, but I'm convicted that if she lets me hold her hand and pray...she will be better. All glory to God! Those in this ministry are nothing without the love of God. I'll persist until she gives in or asks somebody else to take my order. ( their sausage biscuits...mine with double sausage and mustard....yumm). God'll get her someday...and I pray it will be because of her thumb. Just a thought.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Thanks for your prayers

This week I "unofficially" began my appointment at my second church. I was briefly appointed as pastor of a dying UMC church that has moved to withdraw from the denomination. Their 8 regular attendees will move where the spirit moves them. I now pastor a church of 60 regular worshipers. I'm so moved by the love and acceptance of these worshipers.

I wish to thank all those who have prayed for me in this period of transition. I'm humbly acknowledging the hand of God in this situation, and the results of prayers as well. Awesome, simply awesome. This is a good church family to be associated with. I'm moved deeply to bring my best. Also moved deeply, to bring God's best. I pray that I may be a facilitator of both. Duh, isn't that what "pastor" is all about?

While this is a blog about healing, it isn't out of line to point out that this appointment is for me both a pastoral, and a healing, appointment. There is a great need for healing here. And I, with the grace of God, will facilitate that healing. But only by the grace of God. Please pray that healing and grace will abound. I have an unyielding faith. Isn't our God an awesome God?