Saturday, October 03, 2009

Two Visions

I received two visions this week. One while I was reading the Bible.

Matt 18:19-20

"Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." NKJV

A very familiar verse so I knew where it was going as soon as I started reading it. I only got as far as the words "two of you agree on earth" and the thought (not words in my ears, but thought in my mind) came to me. "WHICH TWO?" Then I saw a snap shot picture, like a photograph, of my two boys and me ages 17 and 15.

That is ALL. Just the two words "which two" and a picture of my two boys and me.

This is MY interpretation of the meaning of what I saw.

If my two boys agreed that they would buy a new Mercedes Benz and drive to Southern California, would it happen? NO! So, which two must agree?

If my older son wanted to spend the night at a friend's house and the other did not agree, but I did. Would it happen? Yes! So, which two must agree?

The same thing goes for the younger son. So, which two must agree?

Here is the kicker! What if it was OK with me that my son spends the night at a friend's house, but my son never asks? Is it going to happen? No. Why? Because he didn't ask! It takes two to agree!

So what is the moral to the story? In the picture, I represent the Power or Authority, which in real life is the Holy Spirit, who is on the Earth.

My sons represent believers. Just because the believers agree, will not make it so. At least one believer has to be in agreement with the Holy Spirit and then it will happen.

The Holy Spirit will, however, wait for a believer to ask before He does something.

Therefore, ASK. ASK. And Keep Asking!!!

If it is in His will, it will be done, if not, then no harm, no foul. ASK!!!

My second vision was a one second video.

My wife and I have recently started attending a Pentecostal Church on Sunday evening, but still attend our regular Baptist Church on Sunday morning.

We have been taught that all believers have the right and the ability to speak healings. I remember reading a faith healer's book (Agnes Sanford, "The Healing Light") where she said that a headache is the easiest thing to cast out.

Well, I got a headache. Wow! Timely don't you think? Who is in control?

So I bound the headache in the name of Jesus and cast it out. IT LEFT!

I felt an empty place where it left (flashback to the man in the Bible who had a demon leave but came back to find him "empty") so I quickly prayed the "fruits of the Spirit" into the empty place and the empty place felt full again.

Immediately after that I got the vision.

I was in a grassy field. I was the size of my seven-year-old son. I was holding a big barreled, orange plastic bat and batting left handed, I am right handed.

A Father figure (assuming Jesus) was three feet away soft tossing a big fat soft ball sized plastic ball to me. I only saw His hands and from the knees down. It was like He was bent over to toss the ball softly in my direction.

I swung real hard and just clipped the top of the ball and it fell to the ground and slowly rolled back to Jesus' feet.

That was the vision.

My interpretation is that casting out a headache is like hitting a big plastic ball with a big plastic bat a whopping distance of three feet. As I grow and practice more, then I will be able to do more.

I wonder what hitting a grand slam home run, in the bottom of the ninth, of the seventh game of the World Series looks like in the Spirit world?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Leg Break

If I am boasting, then let me boast about the Lord and what He has done, is doing, and continues to do in me.

Friday Dec 7, ’07; a day that will live in infamy. I was showing Aaron (age 15) some wrestling moves in the basement. Kateleigh (age 9) was watching. Each time we got up to start again Kateleigh would tell us we should take off our shoes. I was allowing Aaron to practice a takedown (not even struggling against him) when my shoe stuck to the carpet so my foot did not move as my body went to the floor and snapped my right leg, three inches above the ankle.

My first thought was a flashback to a college health class. The teacher told us if we wondered whether or not we have broken a bone then we probably did not. When you break a bone you feel and hear it “snap.” I knew I had broken my leg because I felt and heard it “snap.”

I grabbed my leg at the point of pain and felt my hand move the bone approximately 2” back into place. Broken was confirmed.

At this point I realized (second thought) I did not swear when the leg broke nor did a swear word even enter my mind. I think this is a grand example of the “renewal of the mind.” Before beginning to read the Bible on a regular basis, swearing was a very natural reaction for me. Just by reading the bible and spending much time in prayer, I find that I have changed from the inside out. I gauge this by observing what my initial (natural) response is to a traumatic or unexpected event; such as breaking a bone.

My third significant thought was not a natural one either. It comes from reaffirming, on a daily basis, a lesson I learned from Isaiah 45:7 “… I bring prosperity and create disaster: I, the LORD, do all these things.” Also Job 2:10 says, “…shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” Lastly, from the New Testament, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Only because I had affirmed this for years, now that bad had come my way, I was able to quickly say, “OK Lord, how are you going to bring glory to yourself from my broken leg. I thank You for my broken leg, please make me aware of how I may bring glory to You from this situation.”

Of course the natural question arises, “Why does God cause disasters?” The answer comes from John 9:3. “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.” Now my job is to display the work of God in my life.

Preparation during the good times is key to being open to God’s will in the bad times. I highly suspect that giving this difficult teaching to someone who is going through tough times would cause it to not be well received.

I was able to speak the name of Jesus to the 2 emergency techs who rescued me from the basement. I was able to crack jokes in the ER and make the people in there laugh.

I was in the ER when my cell phone rang and it was my friend from Ghana, Africa. He said he felt something was wrong with us and so he needed to call. WOW! I handed the phone to Cindy and let her talk to him.

While talking with the ER doctor I asked if they were going to put me to sleep before they reset the leg because I knew it was going to be very painful. She said, “Of course, that was standard procedure.” Another doctor came in and was looking at my leg when all of a sudden he pulls the leg, turns my foot back into alignment with my leg and shoved it back into place.

My body was in full pain. I could feel my toenails, I could feel my hair, and I could feel pain surrounding my body out to about 3 inches from my skin. I sat up and screamed at the top of my lungs.

My mind however was still having fun. My first thought was, “I wonder what the people down the hall are thinking about all this noise I am making.” Then, “Cindy will never be able to hold that ‘birth pain’ thing over my head again.” At this point the doctor says, “the pain should begin to subside in about 10 to 15 minutes.” Now I am thinking, “that is a piece of information I really didn’t need.”

At some point they brought the x-rays in for us to look at. The Tibia was broken in two, very clean break. The Fibula was broken in two places. I was admitted to the hospital for surgery the next day.

At 6 am, the surgeon came in. I was awake but not expecting anyone. He says, “How are you doing today?” I replied, “I am good.” He said in a very shocked voice, “that is not what I heard.” Then proceeded to tell me all the things wrong with my leg. My mental response, this is a guy who doesn’t understand the concept of Peace during adversity. Then he told me about the things he was going to do to fix my leg. My mental response, this is a guy who needs to hear about Jesus as the Healer.

When he finished speaking he ended with, “Do you have any questions?” I said, “Yes, could we pray over this?”

I might as well have taken both hands, and with the full force of my body, shoved him in the chest. He flung backwards and had to take a step backward to keep from falling down. He stuttered to find words to say and finally ended with, “I guess so.”

I placed my hand on his and prayed. I don’t remember what came out of my mouth, but I remember praying in my head that God would give me the words that this man needed to hear.

When I finished, he said the surgery was scheduled for 9 pm and sometimes it gets moved up. The thought flashed through my mind to say, don’t worry the Lord will move it up. Within 2 seconds he had bolted for the door and my chance was gone. I have never given a word of prophecy before and don’t know that I should have that time. Within 2 minutes he stuck his head back in the door and told me they had moved it up and I would be going in at 5. Then gone again. Then the thought came to me that I had been given another chance, but the thought didn’t come to me until after he left. One minute later the nurse came in and told me that it was moved up again and I was going down in one hour. My first chance at prophecy and I was a total “no show.”

The rest of my stay I focused on being the best patient I could possibly be. Unfortunately, the IV I had kept running right through me and every two hours I had to call the nurse’s aid to help me go to the bath room. I felt like such a burden. Then I noticed that they started checking on me every hour or so. I can’t prove it but I got the feeling they enjoyed being in the room with me and were looking for reasons to help me because there were other people on the floor they really didn’t want to go see. Don’t know for sure, but I do know that I got great service from the nurses and the nurse’s aids.

Friday, February 27, 2009

When Word of Faith Movement meets Chronic Illness

I recently heard a sermon by a charismatic individual that suffered a vocal chord injury in 1992. Here are the highlights of his sermon.

- When this injury occurred his professional life, his personal life, his theology, his relationships, his family, everything was traumatized.

- He began to battle depression.

- He struggled with James 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials.

- After years of living with the pain of the injury, he asked the Holy Spirit for the meaning of verse 2. He was given verses 3 and 4.

- James 1:3-4 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But let endurance have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

- He defines endurance as "faith sustained over time in the midst of distress/pain."

- He defines perfect and complete, lacking nothing as "being the image of Jesus Christ."

- When he realized that endurance has a most wonderful purpose, he was immediately filled with Joy.

- He admits that the endurance did nothing to cure his vocal chord injury, but it transformed his personality into a more joyful person.

- He admits that the completion of the work of transformation will not be complete until he sees Jesus face to face.

That was his message.

I don't know what his earlier theology was, that was traumatized by this injury, but I suspect it included some form of "God always wants His children to be healthy."

That theology was changed into "Sometimes God uses sickness, disease, and illness to produce a good work in His children."

I would like to offer a third possible theology.

I am not saying that the first two theologies are not biblical. There are many a pastor out there who make the biblical case for " God always wants His children to be healthy."

Also, this man made a great biblical case for "Sometimes God uses sickness, disease, and illness to produce a good work in His children."

I shall use the Bible as well to support my concept that I will call "God is in control."

- Isa 45:7 I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, the LORD, do all these things.

- This is the verse where I first discovered the idea that God is in control of the good things and the bad things that happen to us.

- There are many more to support the idea, but I will list only one more here.

- Job 1:21 The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD.

- If God causes the bad things to happen then this begs the question, "Why?"

- My answer came from the Westminster Catechism. It says, "The chief aim of man is to glorify God."

- In the good times and in the bad times, we are to glorify God. That is exactly what Job did. "Blessed be the name of the LORD."

- Which is the better testimony: One who praises God when things are going great or one who praises God when things are going bad?

- I suggest that we view any bad things in our lives as opportunities from God to give Him glory during a bad situation. Just like James 1:2 from above, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials." Why? Because it is an opportunity to give glory to God when your testimony will be most valuable.

My major problem with the first two theologies is that the emphasis is on the SELF. God wants ME to be healthy at all times. God wants ME to endure so that I may be perfect.

In my theology, the emphasis is on glorifying God for the benefit of whoever is watching me. Who is around to see my distress so that I may witness to them for the purpose of the salvation of their souls.

I pray that God will lead you to an answer that gives you His Peace and Joy in the midst of your distress and pain.