March 26, 2014

Hindu woman's pain leaves

I noticed a woman with her daughter yesterday and the mother had her hand bandaged.  I asked what happened.  She had slammed her hand in a car door and was in pain.  I asked her daughter (about 10 years old) to put her hand on her mother’s hand and I prayed in the Name of Jesus, breaking off the shock and trauma and releasing the Kingdom.  After praying, she looked at me and said, “It’s magic!” wondering what I had done.  I told her that it was God’s power and that Jesus had come to heal her.  She said, “Thank you for manifesting Jesus to me today”. 

March 15, 2014

Who was the "Real" St. Patrick?

On the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would re-post this about the “real” Patrick.  Most of what I have written here comes from a couple of books about his life and ministry – one is a biography entitled Let Me Die in IrelandThe True Story of Patrick by David Bercot (Scroll Publishing, 1999) and the other, “The Celtic Way of Evangelism – How Christianity Can Reach the West Again” (George G. Hunter III, Abingdon Press, 2000).  Many Christians today “claim” Patrick as their own – most are surprised that he doesn’t really fit any modern labels that we might try to put on him or the movement he birthed.  

Patrick was NOT a Roman Catholic, but rather a British Roman citizen born in the late 4th century (AD386) on the West Coast of Britain.  He was a part of the independent British or Celtic Church which did not come under Roman control until the 6-8th centuries.  His father was an ordained Deacon and his grandfather had been an ordained Presbyter, but Patrick as a young man didn’t show a tremendous amount of interest in the things of the Lord. 

God had a radical way of getting this boy’s attention.  As a 16 year old, he was captured by Irish raiders who took him back to Ireland where he was a slave for six years.  It was during this “captivity” that Patrick really came into a relationship with the Lord.  His role was to shepherd flocks and he became a man of prayer.  In his own words,  

  • “After I had arrived in Ireland, I found myself pasturing flocks daily, and I prayed a number of times each day.  More and more the love and fear of God came to me, and faith grew and my spirit was exercised, until I was praying up to a hundred times every day and in the night nearly as often”.

He learned the Gaelic language (the language of the Irish people) fluently and developed a heart for the very people that enslaved him.  After 6 years, God miraculously enabled him to escape.

The Lord spoke to him in a dream saying, - “You are going home.  Look! Your ship is ready”.  The following morning the Lord led him to the coast where he found a ship and sailed away from Ireland.  Upon being reunited with his family in Britain, he never intended to set foot in Ireland again. 

God spoke to Patrick in a dream to return to Ireland to bring the Pagan Irish (who were in bondage to Druidism and other pagan beliefs) the Gospel.  In the dream an Angel gave him letters from his former captors asking him to return and he then heard the Irish calling out to him, “Please, holy servant boy, come and walk among us again”.  It was God who called Patrick to take the Gospel to the Irish, not the Pope of Rome as some have mistakenly taught.  He was ultimately sent out by the independent British/Celtic Church as a pioneer missionary to the Ireland.  Interestingly, the Bishop of Rome had sent a missionary to Ireland about the same time, who lasted about one year before returning. 

At the time Patrick was sent to Ireland, in 432AD, he was a Bishop (or Overseer) of over 40 years of age.  He took with him several younger ordained presbyters, who he had taught Gaelic in Britain.  In the face of great danger, and unbelievable hardship, this band of missionaries began to bring the Gospel to the pagan Druid Irish and God powerfully blessed their work.  In 28 years of ministry which history records was full of Biblical signs and wonders, 30 to 40 of Ireland’s 150 tribes were Christian, between 200 to 700 churches had been planted and over 1000 local Irish leaders had been ordained.  Truly their ministry was both the WORD (preaching) the SPIRIT (signs, wonders and miracles).

The Irish Church became a major missionary Church (arguably the greatest in Church History) in the following few centuries, taking the Gospel to other pagan peoples in Scotland and even Northern Europe.

Patrick was a man of prayer and fasting.  He was a man who lived like Christ – he never married, he forfeit his worldly inheritance (he was from a wealthy British family) and suffered great hardship for the sake of the Gospel.

Patrick’s vision to reach the Pagan Irish was resisted by his own British Church – it was considered too dangerous, an impossible task and it would be an understatement to say that the “civilized” (Romanized) British Christians weren’t racist towards the “barbaric” Pagan Irish.  When the Church today considers the task of evangelizing the Muslim World – (i.e. Arabs, Afghans, Iranians or even followers of ‘Al Qaeda’) or other places full of hostility and conflict, let us remember the fearless commitment of these 5th century Apostolic teams who literally won an entire nation who the Church in their day didn’t love and considered unreachable.  

Patrick and his spiritual descendants were really a mixture of different Christian traditions – in some ways you could say he/they embodied the “best of” many Christian backgrounds/traditions and yet would serve to challenge all of us to recover things that we may have lost, rejected or deemphasized depending upon our own spiritual heritages. 

On a day when people are caught up in all sorts of twisted St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, may we be reminded of the real man behind the ‘myth’.  May it open doors with others who most likely don’t know anything beyond leprechauns, 4-leafed clovers and pinching people who aren’t wearing green.

God Bless you on this St. Patrick’s Day.

DJ

His final words recorded in his Confessions are humbling:

  • "But I pray those who believe and fear God, whosoever has designed to scan or accept this document, composed in Ireland by Patrick the sinner, and unlearned man to be sure, that none should ever say that it was my ignorance that accomplished any small thing which I did or showed in accordance with God's will; but judge ye, and let it be most truly believed, that it was the gift of God.  And this is my confession before I die.

February 13, 2014

healings at breakfast

Yesterday while out to breakfast with Desert Princess, I told our server that my wife brought healing to people when she prayed.  The first who came was a Catholic woman with a back problem.  My wife put her hand on back, and prayed. She was healed – full mobility with no more pain.  What ensued was a discussion of her getting back into Christian fellowship and we offered to help her find a Bible study close to where she lived.

Next a hindu woman was brought up who had a headache.  It was bothering her and it was only the morning.  Desert Princess had her put her own hand on her head, prayed and her headache left.  She clearly had an encounter with the Lord and was shocked. After clearly telling her it was Jesus who healed her, she said,  "I know Jesus is with us always".  We pray that this hindu woman who has now encountered Christ, would be asking questions of the many Christian colleagues she works with.

February 03, 2014

when the healing comes OUR way!

so I've been limping around pretty badly with a knee injury for about 5 days. today wasn't great. BUT, tonight my son and a friend went to an Iranian restaurant in nearby. I knew our waitress was Pentecostal (Filipina) and I limped in there and asked her if she'd pray for my knee. she said she would. when she finally did, she laid hands on my knee and prayed like a 3-4 minute prayer, praying in tongues and calling on the Name of Jesus. During the prayer, I got a word of knowledge of her wrist and got to pray for her and she was healed! But what happened next? I got up to walk around and test out my knee and NO KIDDING, easily 50-60% improvement - walking without a limp. I got home and was actually jogging a bit around the house. Let's just say that our Filipina waitress brought the sauce tonight! Rejoicing!!!!!

January 17, 2014

Part 2 - Humble thoughts about "Forsaking All"

This week a group of us gathered to watch the new film about the life and ministry of Heidi Baker entitled Compelled by Love (available at: https://www.compelledbylovethefilm.com)

It was a powerful film to say the least.  To see the level of devotion of this woman, and those involved in her ministry to the poorest of the poor, the most broken of the broken, the most abused of the abused, challenged me the core.  

Now you will see why I did a "Part 1" (http://joel2generation.blogspot.com/2014/01/part-1-are-we-expected-to-obey-jesus.html) post referring to the commandments of Jesus and His teachings.  You see Heidi & Rolland Baker surrendered EVERYTHING to follow Jesus – they gave their lives, their resources, their health, their families – EVERYTHING to follow Christ into the poorest regions on the planet.  Why would they have done something like this?  Here is most likely one of the passages that they have based their entire lives upon – get ready, Jesus taught and commanded this.  It came BEFORE the Cross and yet, devoted Christians have always understood that this passage to be applicable to New Covenant believers.  

Luke 14:25-27, 33 - Now large crowds were going along with Him; and He turned and said to them,  If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. …So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (NASB).  The older translations called this last verse - "forsaking all" to follow Christ.

Heidi and Rolland Baker have inspired thousands upon thousands to do exactly what they have done.  To give up their own lives, for the sake of Christ and the expansion of God's Kingdom.  The first disciples did the same thing, they "dropped their nets", and left their families to follow Christ.  What is interesting is that once Jesus died on the Cross, rose from the dead and ascended into heaven, these disciples didn't stop obeying Christ's command as if it no longer applied as being "Old Covenant".  No, they continued to obey his teachings and the Great Commission until each and every one of them, except the Apostle John died a martyr's death.

I am reminded of what Deitrich Bonhoeffer,  the German Lutheran pastor who was martyred by Hitler, wrote in his famous book The Cost of Discipleship, "When Christ calls a manhe bids him come and die." 

It was also Bonhoeffer who likened much of the the Christianity of his day to "cheap grace".  Also from The Cost of Discipleship, he put it this way, "Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.” 

In a day when teachers who claim to be teaching the true message of grace are in fact teaching what Bonhoeffer called "cheap grace", we would be wise to reject any teaching that waters down or neglects the centrality of Christ's own words.  They weren't put in red letters for nothing!

Thank you Heidi and Rolland Baker for showing us all what it looks like to forsake everything to follow Christ.  We are challenged, we are humbled and we are called to examine our own lives once again before the Lord and recommit ourselves to His Lordship.


January 16, 2014

Part 1- Are we expected to obey Jesus?

Before I get to the blog post that was on my heart to post, I realized I needed to do a "Part 1" wherein I would address an issue that tragically is sweeping across much of the Church today under the name of "The Grace Message".  An important book has just been released entitled Hyper-Grace: Exposing the Dangers of the Modern Grace Message by Dr. Michael Brown that addresses the errors being taught by a number of well-known Bible teachers today.

I will only address one of the errors which is the teaching as Christians we don't need to follow/obey the teachings of Jesus because they are a part of the Old Covenant having come before the Cross.  They consider this some kind of "new Reformation" that will bring freedom to Christians in bondage to commands (which they call "the Law") that they believe we were never intended to obey.  This is foolishness.  The entire Early Church believed that as followers of Jesus, they were to obey His teaching.  The Great Commission (given AFTER the Cross by the Resurrected Christ) was given to the Apostles to teach the world to "obey EVERYTHING I have commanded you" (Matt. 28:20).  

There are literally dozens of New Testament verses that I could cite here that contradict and disprove the false teaching that we don't have to obey Christ's commands.  In a previous blogpost, I surveyed the entire New Testament focusing on the commandments that the Apostle Paul gave to believers many of which directly reflect the teachings of Jesus.  Don’t forget it was the Apostle Paul who wrote, "Imitate me AS I imitate Christ" (1 Cor. 11:1)

In addition to the verses I have just shared, here are 4 more that should settle the question/issue for any believer who is committed to the authority of the Scriptures.

Jesus said this, "If you love me, you WILL OBEY my commandments" (John 14:15)

John 3:36 - "…but he who does NOT obey the Son will not see life…

The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 5:3 - "For this is what love for God is: to keep His commandments…" 

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 7:19 - "…but what matters is keeping the commandments of God"

Do we find the Church in the 2nd Century teaching that the Sermon of the Mount and Christ's other teachings were not to be obeyed because they were essentially "the law" coming under the Old Covenant?  Absolutely not.  Just the opposite.  They took His teachings quite literally and it wasn't until several centuries later, when a nominal Christianity became dominant, that Christ's teachings began to be ignored, but even then they were NEVER considered to be part of the Old Covenant!

To be clear, and let no one deceive you.  If you are a Christian, you follow the teachings of Christ.  If you are fulfilling the Great Commission, then you too are teaching your disciples to "obey everything" that Christ commanded.

Now for "Part 2 ("http://joel2generation.blogspot.com/2014/01/part-2-humble-thoughts-about-forsaking.html)


December 17, 2013

prophetic ministry - some thoughts

Back in the year 2000, God turned our world upside down in a small Church meeting when a prophetic woman from South Africa gave us a prophetic word that was so accurate, and so detailed that there was simply no way that we could deny it was truly from God.  As for the  future aspects/elements in the prophetic word, they have subsequently proven to just as true as what the Lord had shown the women about our past and present.  It changed our lives and ministry completely – and I would say that the best way to "weigh" (or judge) a prophetic word in addition to obviously its accuracy, would be the fruit that it produces.  Just this week a lifelong friend relayed a similar experience he had this past week with a guest minister at his church who gave him a prophetic word that was similar in its accuracy and detail.  

In hindsight, I believe as I reflect back on that initial prophetic word that served to be a major turning point in our lives, I would have to say that it was more than simply a prophetic minister using her "gift" (1 Cor. 14:1), but it was actually a time when my wife and I received an impartation of a gift/gifts by means of the prophetic word.  In other words, one of the ways that God gives gifts of the Holy Spirit is through what has been called "prophetic impartation".  A prophetic person prophesies over someone and through it, the person receives a spiritual gift.  The Scriptural basis for this is 1 Timothy 4:14 - "Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you."(NIV)

This is clearly one of the reasons, in addition to the many other reasons for the New Testament gift of prophecy, that Paul commands us, "Don't despise prophesies, but test all things. Hold on to what is good." (1 Thes. 5:20-21).

In a day when many well-meaning Bible teachers continue to misunderstand the Old Testament teaching of what characterizes a "false prophet", believing that if a prophet ever made a mistake or if their words didn't come to pass that they were therefore "false prophets" and should be killed.  Not only was this application and penalty NEVER carried out in the history of God's people, but when prophets spoke words that didn't come to pass, they were NOT called false prophets.  For example, the Prophet Jonah said, "40 more days and Ninevah will be destroyed" (Jonah 3:4). We all know the story.  Ninevah was not destroyed.  What is interesting is that Jonah's book was included in the Canon of Scripture and he was not called a "false prophet".  

The New Testament also speaks about "false prophets" but in spite of what anti-Charismatic Bible teachers want to contend, a "false prophet" in the New Testament is NOT a Christian who in his/her attempt to prophesy makes a mistake.  Not only was that NOT the case in the Old Testament, but it is even clearer that this isn't the case in the New Testament.  In the New Testament, we are commanded to "test" or "judge" prophetic words.  If New Testament believers, seeking to obey Paul's commandment to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1), were somehow under the impression that the "one mistake and you are OUT" then you would never find a Church that would give place to the exercise of this gifting of the Holy Spirit.  

The fact is, a "false prophet" in the New Testament, as was interestingly also the case in the Old Testament, always refers to an unbeliever or to a apostate who has abandoned the faith.  It wasn't a believer attempting to grow in his/her gifting who made a mistake.  It is EXACTLY the same thing with "false teachers".  What is a false teacher in the New Testament?  Similarly, it is not a Christian Bible teacher who makes a "mistake".  I can't tell you how many Bible teacher I know today who would say, I use to teach something that today they believe to be wrong or false.  I can think of many things that I believe and teach today that are different than what I taught 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago.  That doesn't make me a "false teacher".  And nobody I know would consider me one.  Similarly, a "false teacher" in the New Testament refers to an unbeliever or to someone who has abandoned the faith and teaches things that are leading people away from Christ.

We train and equip a lot of believers who want to grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  Some are new believers, and others are those who have been in Churches that do not emphasize the gifts or who even teach against them.  Can you imagine me having this kind of discussion?  "I'm excited that you want to grow in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  To learn about healing, to see if God wants to give you the gift of tongues or the interpretation of tongues.  Wow! There are so many tools that God has given His Church to expand the Kingdom and to build up His Bride.  BUT you need to realize something about two of these gifts.  The gift of prophecy and the gift of teaching.  There is a "zero tolerance" policy in the Church.  Basically this is how it works.  I know that God has commanded us to pursue these two gifts – to prophesy and to teach.  There are many verses exhorting us to receive, to grow in and to use these gifts.  The impact can be remarkable – people getting saved, unbelievers crying out that God is real, and of course the all-so-important edification and instruction of Christians.  But this is the deal.  If you make one mistake, you will be branded a "false prophet" or a "false teacher" and so….."

I know it sounds silly when you play out the conversation in this way.  But when you see the people out there who are declaring people to be "false prophets" who are godly brothers and sisters, some of whom I know personally, it is tragic.  The number of other clear New Testament commandments that these people are violating by treating their brothers and sisters in Christ in this way should horrify them.  The fact that they are doing exactly what Paul commands us not to do, "Don't despise prophecies", is particularly ironic because they are the ones crying, "We are just being Biblical".  

I am thrilled that in spite of a lot if immaturity that has been demonstrated in the Body of Christ in regards to prophetic ministry, that the Lord in His mercy allowed us in that meeting so many years ago to see the proper use of it by a gifted prophetic person.  There is also immaturity demonstrated in the Body of Christ from Bible teachers, but somehow we all know that this is no reason to reject or to neglect the proper use of this other gift of the Holy Spirit.  We are actually instructed to discern, to consider, to be good Bereans and examine the Scriptures to see if things are true.  That is exactly how we should weigh/judge any and all prophetic words that are given.  We weigh them against the Word of God, we pray about them, we discuss them with mature brothers and sisters and then we obey Paul's final exhortation; "Hold onto what is good" (1 Thes. 5:21).

At the end of the day, prophetic ministry is all over the New Testament.  It is commanded, expected, regulated and neglecting and/or disallowing it is considered a sin.  Just because something has been misused and even abused, in no way justifies its disuse.  It is because it is Biblical that we as Christians should embrace prophetic ministry.  I'll end this with Paul's most direct command regarding prophetic ministry that we would all do well to pray about and to obey - "Pursue love, yet desire earnestly spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy." (1 Cor. 14:1)


gulf arab muslim woman healed

The day after seeing several muslims healed in a Middle Eastern mall, I noticed a muslim woman with her husband in a supermarket had her hand bandaged – it looked exactly like the Egyptian muslim man's hand from the night before who was healed.  I found them a few minutes later and quickly shared the testimony of the night before and asked if the husband would mind putting his hand on his wife's hand and that I would ask God to heal her.  They were willing.  I prayed a quick prayer in Arabic, including a part of the Lord's prayer, closed the my prayer in Jesus' Name and then asked the husband to take his hand away.  She was completely healed.  No more pain.  I shared a bit more with them .  They were so thankful.  

It is not always easy to offer prayer for muslim women when I am not with my wife, but the Lord provided a way for me to pray, utilizing her husband as my "ministry partner" and God touched her with healing pointing them to the authority and power in the Name of Jesus.

December 16, 2013

first timer sees many healings in muslim country

Last night I took out an Arabic-speaking Christian who had expressed an interest in learning about a supernatural lifestyle.  I had no idea that we would have so much "fun" in only a 1 hour visit to a Middle Eastern mall.  We saw 7 or 8 people healed – including 4 muslims.  It was such a "grace-filled" hour as we simply offered the Kingdom to people who might have needed healing.  All the words of knowledge I got were wrong except for one – but that didn't seem to matter.  In the first shop, I asked about a muslim man's shoulder and he didn't have a problem but pointed to his middle back.  I had him lay his hand on the affected area, prayed in Arabic and all the pain left.  After some further discussion, we moved on to another shop.  

Next, I walked into a store where I wanted to do some Christmas shopping.  I felt like I got a word of knowledge for a problem in the right lower leg – it ended up being wrong (unless one of the employees wasn't being totally honest).  I offered to help someone with this problem one of the employees, an Egyptian muslim man told me that while he didn’t have that issue, he did have a shoulder problem.  I had him lay his hands on the affected area and prayed for him – first in English (so the other employees could understand) and then in Arabic, his mother tongue.  It wasn't hurting/bothering him at that moment but when I asked him what he was feeling, he said, "I feel heat all over my body"!  Btw – this is a GOOD THING!  I told him that it was God's presence and that his problem wouldn't be returning.  He took my number and I look forward to hearing from him soon.

As we walked through the mall, I felt "drawn" to go into a department store.  As I walked in and began to engage one of the Filipino employees, I found the person to whom I was being "drawn".  An Egyptian muslim employee had his hand wrapped.  I asked about it and it was an injury from a car accident 2-3 days earlier.  He was in pain.  It was sprained but not broken.  It hurt in two places – the thumb and the wrist.  That was all about to change.  I prayed and all the pain left!  His reaction told the story – he was looking over at another woman who worked there and telling her, "Seriously it is all gone".  Who was it?  His wife, a Tunisian muslim woman.  I went over to her next and she had also been in the accident and had bruises around her right eye and the area was swollen.  I asked one of the Filipino Christian employees to hold her hand and I prayed for all the pain to leave and sure enough, she was pain free after praying!  The great thing here is that there was a Christian working with them who could now answer all of their questions!  She was so grateful.  

Our final stop was for donuts and coffee – all of the employees were Filipinos and I knew they wouldn't be given Christmas off (working in a muslim country), so I asked them if I could give them their "Christmas presents".  They were intrigued and interested.  I asked about any physical pain.  One woman had back pain – I had another one put her hand on her back and prayed.  She was healed!  Next the only male employee wanted to be next – he had a bad headache.  I grabbed his hand (the only person all evening that I personally touched) and prayed a quick prayer, counting down "4, 3, 2, 1….Jesus" - and he was healed!  Next the manager was about to speak up about her need and before she spoke, I asked, "It is your neck/shoulder isn't it?"  It was.  That was the ONLY word of knowledge I got right all night, but that didn't seem to matter.  I had the woman whose back was healed lay hands on her and I prayed a quick prayer.  She too was healed.  The final employee had fatigue in her legs and we waited until some new customers were finished being served and the Lord released strength and refreshment into her legs – she said she was all good after prayer.  They were one happy group as we left.

In each of the cases with the muslims, I was able to share more about our faith, why we pray for the sick and also point them to Christians they knew for further follow-up.  I also gave several my own number to contact me in a few days to see how they were doing.

It was equally as encouraging to take out a young Christian man with me who has "heard about" the miraculous all of his Christian life.  He'd attended a Charismatic Arabic-speaking Church but had never personally be trained to pray for the sick, and additionally, even if training was available, it was only for "inside" the Church or Church meetings.  Nobody had ever taken it "outside" the Church.  This was a powerful evening, a paradigm-shifting evening, for this man.  I am excited to see the ongoing impact of him seeing how easy it can be to release the Kingdom in public places in an Arab muslim country.

What I had wanted to do, was to model for this young man the same way Jesus would have modeled to His disciples.  I told him that this night was a "freeby" - he could simply be an observer.  I told him that the next time, he would be "in the game" as a player because EVERYBODY PLAYS!

December 06, 2013

Healings at Cheesecake Factory in the Middle East - Part 2

After DJ finished praying for the man whose knee was healed, I noticed one of the hostesses limping badly and asked her what happened.  She had just fallen and had injured her hip.  She was actually just going to tell the manager she couldn't work.  I had her put her hand on her hip.  Prayed.  And she was healed instantly - all the pain left.  Her reaction was exactly what we want to see -  "Oh my goodness, it's gone!  it's gone! How did you do that?  Who are you?"   She then started telling all her colleagues.  

She was a Christian and wanted to know where I lived, where I went to Church.  She asked for my number and kept testifying!  It was awesome.

Then I went back to our table and find out that our server needs serious prayer for some deep heart stuff and even starts to cry.  We exchanged numbers because it wasn't the venue to minister to her in that way, but she knew it was a divine appointment.

The woman whose hip was healed keeps telling the other employees and a Sri Lankan staff member needs prayer for his neck and shoulder. I have the healed woman put her hand on the man's shoulder and his neck and shoulder are healed after praying two times.

Finally another woman who works there has pain in her stomach.  I prayed and all the pain left.

Not a bad visit to the Cheesecake Factory!






Healings at Cheesecake Factory in the Middle East - Part 1

As we were finishing up our meal at the Cheesecake Factory, I got a strong word of knowledge for a knee problem and I called over the first server that I noticed after getting the word.  I asked him about a knee problem and at first he said no.  I asked again and sure enough he had a major knee problem and was actually considering a surgery to address the issue.  He was a buddhist and I asked him to put his hand on his knee and I prayed for him in Jesus' Name.  After praying once it was considerably better and after a second prayer he was completely healed.  I gave him my number to follow up with him and also asked one of the Christian staff  there to talk with him further about Jesus who had healed him.

However we weren't done at the Cheesecake Factory.

November 27, 2013

Gulf Arab woman's ankle healed after 2 words of knowledge

I was out to dinner with my son and two Gulf Arab muslim women were sitting at a table close to ours.  I got a strong word of knowledge in my "right ankle" and yet wanted some confirmation.  I texted my wife and asked her if she was getting any words – she said "dizziness".  I asked her for something else and she said, "right ankle".  I texted back that this was what I got and proceeded to approach the women.  I explained that my wife got a "revelation" that one of them had an ankle problem and that she would pray for the problem and it would be healed.  One of the women had a left ankle problem and so I called Desert Princess and gave the woman the phone.  She instructed the muslim woman to put her own hand on her ankle and she prayed for the woman in the Name of Jesus.  The woman told my wife that the pain was almost gone after the prayer.  She was visibly impacted by the invasion of God's Kingdom touching her life.

muslim student's neck healed over the phone

One of my students had on a neck brace two days in a row.  When she came up the second day, I gave her my wife's phone number and told her that she could help her.  She called Desert Princess and after a short prayer in Jesus' Name, she was healed and told her all the pain was gone.  The real test however was if she would come to class the following day without the neck brace.  Sure enough, she showed up today without any neck brace and showed me with a big smile on her face.  She came up and said, "It was like magic!"  I corrected her and told her it was "faith" and she said, "I know" with another big smile.  Something has started with this young woman.

November 20, 2013

muslims are "recognizing" the Kingdom within us

I feel like something is shifting in our outreach to Arab muslims.  Because we "temples of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 6:19), I have always believed that our very presence amongst muslims should be apparent.  We carry something that Islam doesn't have.  This has been something we have prayed and I think that this is something we are beginning to see happen.  For example, I've gotten to the women in a muslim Bedouin family.  I have prayed for them on several occasions and both the mother and her adult daughter were healed in Jesus' Name.  The last time time I went to visit, a relative was there and all of sudden the two women who had been healed, tell their visitor that I will pray for her and she will get healed.  They urge the other muslim woman to come sit next to me without even giving her a choice.  It was like they forced her!  She had a lot of pain in her arm and I prayed for her and released God's Kingdom in the Name of the Jesus the Messiah.  She looked really shocked as she could feel something going on in her arm (excessive heat).  I told her that it was sign that God was healing her.  

Once the woman left, they told me, "every time you come to visit, something good happens to us" and proceeded to give example after example.  They were asking for my advice and counsel.  I prayed with them for guidance about a specific matter.  However, what is the most shocking is that they are looking to a Christian as the one who prays and people healed, who seeks God and receives answers and/or wisdom – it is truly that they are recognizing the presence of God in my life.  On a couple of occasions these muslim women have gotten up in the middle of a visit come over to me and hugged me announcing how much they love me.  I've been in ministry to muslim women for over 20 years now and I have never seen this kind of response.  We are praying for the Kingdom to come and God is answering this prayer.

November 18, 2013

Omani muslim woman healed after word of knowledge

There were two Omani muslim women working together and I was specifically drawn to one of them. For this woman, I got a word of knowledge as a thought or an impression for "ear pain", specifically the "right ear".  The other woman I was with also got the same word of knowledge where she physically felt it (it was her first word of knowledge that she'd ever "felt" like that).  The Omani woman had the right ear pain and after prayer she was healed!  The Omani woman took the number of the woman I was with as we offered to answer any further questions  she might have had.

Don't ignore your "cravings" - they might lead to a miracle!

I felt a craving for a soft drink.  We went out to get one and got a word for one working in the shop for a pain "in the side".  One of the men had a kidney stone that hurt him.  He left and returned the next day and the man had had no more pain.

When "observers" get to do more than observe

I took out an "observer" who only wanted to "watch".  We also took an Omani muslim who wanted to come along and watch God heal people.  We got a word of knowledge for "knee" for the Omani Muslim who came to watch. His knees would hurt when exercising.  He asked for prayer for a shoulder problem that hurt right then, and I said that the "observer" has a gift of healing and will bring healing.  He prayed and all pain left the muslim's shoulder!  So much for coming along to only "watch".  The first-time "observer" was so impacted by the healing.  The Omani muslim man was able to articulate Christian truths about God's love.  "Out of the mouth of babes" has a new meaning – how about "out of the mouths of the yet-to-be-born-again"?

November 17, 2013

words of knowledge and healings in a muslim nation

Waited on the Lord for clues - "glasses", "back pain",  and the shop – "Claire's" - We went to Claire's and a woman, with back pain was healed!  Next word about "headache" - saw a woman, she had a headache and was healed.  Then into H&M – got the word for "pregnancy".  We were drawn to two woman – one was pregnant and the other wanted to get pregnant.  Prayed for them.  Felt led to go into a Mothercare and saw a woman with glasses (one of the first words of knowledge).  She had diabetes and they prayed for her.  Next word for Dunkin Donuts – got a word for "shoulder pain" and saw another woman wearing "glasses" who had the shoulder pain. They prayed and she was healed. 

November 16, 2013

"We muslims also pray for the sick, BUT YOU CHRISTIANS ARE PROFESSIONALS", says Egyptian muslim man after being healed.

We were at a Chili's restaurant and I got a wrong word of knowledge for Egyptian muslim waiter (arm) but he said, "No, but my knee hurts".  I explained words of knowledge.  He had seen it before in Egypt from the Coptic Christians who had come and brought healing and done an exorcism.  "We muslims also pray for the sick, BUT YOU CHRISTIANS ARE PROFESSIONALS". His knee was completely healed!

muslim woman healed of 3 things after initially denying something

I was out with someone who's never seen a healing.  We went into women's shop interacted with local Omani muslim woman.  Got a word of knowledge for a "back".  I asked the Omani woman if she has back pain who says "No".  Her Algerian muslim co-worker jumps in, "Yes, you do, what are you talking about"?  As we continued to talk, she begins to share about how she "sees" things in dreams that are revelatory.  She gets "overcome" with a spirit that she can't control and this causes her to sweat.  

I realized it is clearly a demonic gifting.  I then shared about my dreams.  "If I see something bad", I explained, "it is so I can prevent it and pray".  I said, "I know you are a muslim but next time you have one of these demonic encounters, you need to cry out to Jesus to help you".  She agrees. Then I  got another word of knowledge about ear pain and this time she doesn't deny it and admits that she has that problem.  I asked her to put her own hand on her ear and as I am praying, the ear becomes hot and all the pain left.  Then she said her knee hurt.  We prayed, she felt God's presence in her knee and then the pain left her knee.  Then the woman with me gets a word for upper back (her first word of knowledge) and the muslim woman's back was healed.  It was my friend first word of knowledge and first time she's seen a healing outside of a Church or meeting context.

October 31, 2013

muhammad's wrist healed

I love it when Jesus heals a muslims whose name is muhammad.  

Last night a group of us were meeting in a coffee shop when I noticed a muslim guy whose wrist was wrapped.  I asked him what happened and he told me he was in a fight.  I told him that I believe God would heal him if I could pray for him.  He put his other hand, as per my instruction, on his wrist and I prayed a quick prayer in Arabic.  After praying part of the Lord's prayer and closing in Jesus' Name, he looked at his friend with "that look" (that look that said, "seriously, something just happened and I'm kind of freaking out").  Most of the pain left and he was really thankful.  I told him that as Christians we are commanded to pray for the sick and injured whenever or wherever we find them.  I gave him my number and asked him to call me to tell me how it was the next day (he hasn't called yet)

P.S. As much as I love to see muhammads healed, I love it even more when muhammads become Christians.

October 22, 2013

when a "Kingdom bomb" explodes and the shrapnel of His love hits others

Yesterday a few of us ended up in a restaurant and I got a word of knowledge for a problem in the left arm and hand.  I asked a manager about it and he said he'd check with his staff.  A few minutes later he brings out his supervisor, an Egyptian muslim came out with him.  I guess he wanted to make sure everything was fine with his boss!  Anyway, at that point I explained in Arabic to the head manager that God revealed to me.  I used a word for "revelation" (Arabic - ilhaam) that he as a muslim would understand.  A few minutes later he brought out an Indian man who worked there a problem with his left arm.  I asked him to sit down as the 2 managers watched.  The Indian man was a Christian and I had him lay hands on himself as we prayed.  He was healed right away. He was so thankful and wanted us to keep him in prayer.  The managers were grateful and walked away "thinking" about what just happened – especially I felt the Egyptian.

A few minutes later another man comes out – a buddhist from N. India.  He'd heard the testimony of the other man's healing and came out – he had two cysts – one on his eye and one on his finger.  He wanted prayer and so I had him sit down.  We prayed a couple of times and we did NOT see a difference in terms of the cysts disappearing.  I gave him my number and asked him to call me today (I am waiting for his call as I write this) to tell me what has happened in the last 24 hours.  Many times we pray for a situation (and I believe that when Spirit-filled believers lay hands on someone, something MUST happen) and we see the breakthrough later.  

What happened in the restaurant yesterday ended up impacting a number of people – 2 managers, one Indian Christian man and another who was a buddhist.  I love it when a "Kingdom bomb" explodes and the shrapnel of His love hits others!

muslim's hand and wrist healed

i saw one of my muslim students had injured her hand.  I asked about it and her hand had been slammed in a door.  she was in pain.  the first day I saw it I had no opportunity to pray and waited till today.  during class I was thinking how I could acceptably get a chance to pray.  she left class earlier than some students so I thought I had lost the opportunity but decided to send her an email requesting her to stop by my office during my office hours.  she did and I asked her to put her hand other hand on the spot where it hurt.  I prayed once in English.  it seemed to get better and I asked her to put her hand back again and the next time I prayed in Arabic.  All of the pain left except in the wrist.  One more prayer and all the pain was gone!  Her comment as she was leaving was "Thank you sooooooo much sir".
notice that sometimes people don't get healed after praying once and also that God will make a way when we seek to honor Him and bring His Kingdom even in the workplace.

follow up - the day after I prayed I noticed that she was still wearing a wrap on her hand and was a bit discouraged thinking somehow she hadn't told me the truth.  I was just about to actually delete this post but today I asked her about her hand noticing that she had no wrap on the hand.  She told me that all the pain had left the day I prayed but that due to some medicine she had put on a cut associated with the original injury, she wore the wrap the day before.  So I asked directly, "so you had a miracle then?" and she replied, "yes, something like that with a big smile on her face".

October 19, 2013

a week full of healing

Last night our community gathered and the testimonies shared of the people healed this week past week went on and on.  Our basic rule for testimony time is this – the testimony has to be something that took place during the week leading up to our weekly meeting AND that it needs to be miraculous/supernatural in character – a healing, accurate prophetic words or words of knowledge, dreams or visions, an exorcism, etc.  In some places the testimonies will come from just a few people, but this is NOT the case here in the muslim country in which we are living.  There are regularly as many as 10 different people sharing testimonies in a single meeting – and sometimes even more.  It is just a thrill to see what God is doing and I am always encouraged to see how many, men and women, old and young, who are being used by God each week to demonstrate God's Kingdom to the lost every single week.

As we have believed this is to be "the norm", it has become normal.  


October 17, 2013

thoughts on the "one man show"

We don't seem to change very much even though we claim to know better.  Jesus didn't come to be the one man show, but chose 12 others, then 70 others and broke it open on the Day of Pentecost by pouring out His Spirit on "on flesh" and you'd think the rest would be history.  However, the "one man show" continues to be be model perpetuated by many and bringing people to "the special meeting with the gifted individual" continues to be the predominate model that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit are being used.  I know there are notable exceptions, and the explosion in the past 30 years of "ministry teams" have been one of the healthiest things that ever happened to the Charismatic Church.  That however hasn't put the "one man show" model out of business.  It doesn't seem to matter how many of these individuals (which can of course be either men or women) crash and burn, fall into error or in some other way get off track and become unhealthy, they seem to emerge again and again.  The conferences are full of the new "names", promoting their "anointing" and the show goes on.  I was reminded again even today by this model because it is happening again in a local Church in the city I live.  It isn't a model that empowers the community – and in many cases has exactly the opposite effect.  People think "my job is to invite my friend to the special meeting" and not for them to personally get equipped to move in the same power and gifting that the so-called Christian celebrity (be them evangelists, revivalists, prophetic ministers, healing ministers, etc.) demonstrates.  It is one of the main reasons that I personally stopped going to most conferences.  In my own journey, they served a purpose early on to cast a vision for what is possible.  I saw things I had never seen and it really caused me to get hungry for more.  If that is the goal/aim of the minister/ministry, then I can and do endorse and promote it.  If it is somehow about an individual and doesn't lead to training/equipping of the rest of the Body to do the "same works", then I'm no longer interested.  Jesus came and left the building after 3 years.  The Apostles themselves would leave a deposit and move on – in other words, it was NEVER about people getting dependent in an unhealthy way upon an individual.

Just me thinking out loud.

October 13, 2013

12 characteristics of Apostolic Ministry

1. Apostolic Ministry is "in Christ" - Jesus is the Chief Apostle - the focus is upon Christ and NOT the Apostle/s.
- Heb. 3:1 -­ "consider (fix your thoughts) Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession"
- 2 Cor. 4:5 ­ - "for we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake"

2. Apostolic ministry begins in humility & continues in humility - Consider the Incarnation. God left heaven can became a man IN HUMILITY
- Phil. 2:3 - "Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves"

3. Apostolic ministry honors women ­ Mary "birthed" Jesus' earthly Apostolic ministry, women followed Jesus.
- Gal. 3:28 - "there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus".

4. Apostolic Ministry is "team-oriented"­ Jesus built a team, Paul built teams - even the Trinity is a "team"!

5. Apostolic Ministry is "released-oriented" / It's about Fathering & releasing sons and daughters to carry on the ministry in an even greater way.
- John 14:12b - "Greater works you shall do".

6. Apostolic Ministry is Kingdom-focused (not just Church-focused) ­ is part of something GREATER. The Church is PART of the Kingdom. Jesus is PART of the Trinity
- Jesus spoke hardly anything about the Church and almost exclusively about the Kingdom.
- For example, the "Church" is mentioned 2X in Matthew and the "Kingdom" 50X!

7. Apostolic Ministry is relationally, NOT structurally-based ­ begins with the Trinity.

8. Apostolic Ministry is "marked by signs wonders and miracles"
- 2 Cor. 12:12 - the signs/marks of a true apostle were performed among you with all perserverance, by signs wonders and miracles.
- 1 Cor. 2:4 - "my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power"

9. Apostolic Ministry doesn¹t build on another man¹s (churches) foundation - it is evangelistic.
- NOT SHEEP STEALING, Not Church "Transfer" growth, Not "collecting" other Churches into a so-called "Apostolic Networks"

10. True Apostles "have seen the Lord" and are chosen by Jesus Himself - they are NOT self-appointed, or Apostles because people "recognize" them as such.
- 1 Cor. 9:1 - Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen Jesus our Lord?

11. Apostolic ministry will attract problems / Persecution
- 2 Cor. 4:8-11 - "we are afflicted in EVERY WAY, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying around in the body the dying of Jesus for we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus¹ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh"

12. True Apostolic ministry doesn¹t focus on money.
- Jesus said, "Freely you have received, freely give"
- To the Rich Young Ruler, who did Jesus say he should give his $$$ to?? The Poor!

October 10, 2013

Gulf Arab Girl Healed & Hungry for MORE!!!

I was shopping in a store in the mall when I had strong sense that one of the employees there had pain. I didn't feel clarity as to what it was, and she was in the middle of working with two other employees on the design of the store. I didn't know what to do since she was focused and occupied with work. I walked away hesitantly, though I felt like God was highlighting her. I was a little frustrated at myself, but I went on to pray for a few other people who were touched and experienced healing! 

Probably an hour or more later I was walking in the main area of the mall, and I glanced over and noticed the girl from the store whom God had highlighted. I almost ran to her because I knew that this was a divine appointment. She was with her friend, and they told me that they are both from the country we are located in. I explained that I had seen her in the store, and I asked if she had pain. She said yes, that she had back pain. I asked her to put her hand where the pain was located, and looking into her eyes, I commanded all pain to leave in the name of Jesus, and I released the Kingdom of Heaven over her. I asked how she felt, and she enthusiastically proclaimed, "Woah, the pain is gone. Oh my, it's kinda creepy that it just totally left." She kept going on and on about how amazing and strange it was that the pain just left. Her friend said, "I want it too."  I asked if she had any pain, and she said no, so I asked if she needed anything else. She said she had lots of problems. The girl who was healed asked, "Can you heal emotional pain too?" I told her that indeed Jesus heals all things. I explained that Jesus loves them so much! They didn't want to share right then, but we decided to meet up later to pray for emotional healing. 

They got my number, and about two hours later they gave me a call. The girl who was healed asked if I could make the pain go away over the phone.  She said the pain was back a bit. I told her that Jesus could heal her anywhere. So I asked Him to touch her, and immediately she told me that the pain was completely gone! In a text a little bit later she confirmed there was no more pain, and without me even suggesting it, said that she and her friends would like to experience church for the first time. Asking God to bring salvation and life transformation to both of these Arab women!!!