the wildest kind of enthusiastic optimist

“The triumph of the gospel is enough to make any man the wildest kind of enthusiastic optimist. the unifying of the nature of God and man is the crowning achievement of Jesus Christ. the reason for the cross was thus revealed, man in God and God in man, one spirit, one purpose, one effort, one power and one glory.” 

 

“When you and I are lost in the Son of God, and the fires of Jesus burn in our hearts, like they did in Him, our words will be the words of spirit and of life, and there will be no death in them.”

                                                                                                       – John G. Lake

Streeeetching past disappointment

 

Some of the most defining and determining moments in our lives are the moments when we decide how to deal with disappointment. We either get weary and leave open the doors of our souls for dissatisfaction and unbelief to come in OR we resolutely shake off the experience, close the doors, and move forward DARING to hold on to hope.

In these pivot points we set the tone for the rest of our lives.

Onward and upward is the choice of brave hearts.

Sometimes the discipline of choosing belief is excruciatingly painful. Eustace says in the latest Chronicles of Narnia film, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when describing how Aslan (the God-figure) brought him in an instant from the transition of a dragon-body back to his human state, “It was really painful, but in a good way – like having a thorn removed from your foot.” It is in the choosing, despite the cost of comfort, that the great sloughing off occurs. It is in the yanking through a narrow spot that the refining happens.

It is in the conviction toward joy when it is expensive, that heavenly habits are formed.

I like heavenly habits. And really, I’m much too smitten with the Holy Spirit to hop out of the reformation-mobile and establish a “healthy” distance from the Holy Spirit. Yuck. That sounds entirely horrible.

The last few months ripe in growth, have also contained backroads of *ouch* and *aaaaaaaargh!* I’ve had thyroid disease since I was seven and though it is normally stable with medication there have been times – like when I moved to Israel in 2006 – that my body goes out of whack. I’ve been prayed for dozens and dozens of times. I know God heals. I know healing is easy from heaven’s perspective and healing is our inheritance on earth. In the journey of the last few years I’ve seen hundreds of people healed through my own hands. I rarely felt bitter that my own healing hadn’t come. I just love seeing people healed and happy; and I know my own healing is en route. Well, in the last several months I have really focused on healing for my thyroid and I’ve seen measures of breakthrough. I’ve also had powerful encounters with God: I’ve been tackled in my bedroom; I’ve spent hours on the floor outside the healing rooms at church after going out in the Spirit; I’ve had people approach me with profound words of knowledge and pray for me; I’ve collapsed under the power of His Presence here and there and everywhere.  And the healing has yet to show up on earth. In the interim I’ve walked through lethargy, facial swelling, intestinal issues, slow metabolism, and a litany of other not-so-pretty symptoms. In time a doctor’s appointment, a blood test, and a fresh prescription have brought balance and removed most symptoms, but I am still really excited to be healed one day soon.

I’m not sharing any of that for pity. I hate pity. Compassion is fine, but pity is unhelpful. I prefer advocacy and a heavenly perspective. I’m sharing because there is a long-held awareness in my life that in my honesty others find strength and inspiration. I’m sharing because as the New Year pokes through the sky tonight, we need to choose to let GO of the old and grab a hold of the new. We need to issue a rally cry to everyone that JESUS IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!! And we will flourish as we let go of unanswered questions, confusion, and fear; and dive into the syrupy Presence of the One who understands ALL. What an honor to have a best friend who knows everything, sees outside of time, and LOVES beyond measure!

Right now we could choose to focus on what is not. We could stare at lack. We could grumble. We could be self-focused. We could be fearful that we will be terminally disappointed. And we could miss the opportunities to love and transform the world around us. We could miss out on the great masterpiece our beautiful Creator is making.

Or we could celebrate every victory, no matter how small. We could fast negativity (as in commit to not say and think negative things). We could speak the truth of God over our lives daily: I am powerful, I am seated with Christ in heavenly places, circumstances are under my feet, sickness flees in my presence. We could make every day a party. We could let loose the shoelaces of our love, toss off our hindrances and dance barefoot!

I have to choose the latter. My heart must have closeness with God. Nothing else will ever persuade me of a greater worth. He’s it. haha. No need to search for the next best thing. He is the always best thing.

So, whoever you are, wherever you are. Shake it off. Whatever you negatively fixate on about 2010, blink it away. Stop thinking about changing your ways and just change them. Be YOU. You can do it. You were born to succeed! You were designed to live an outrageously wonderful life so full of love and power that the whole universe awakens in awe to your beauty.

Ezekiel 16:9-14 paints a gorgeous image of us redeemed and beautified by our Husband,

“I bathed you with water and washed the blood from you and put ointments on you. I clothed you with an embroidered dress and put sandals of fine leather on you. I dressed you in fine linen and covered you with costly garments. I adorned you with jewelry: I put bracelets on your arms and a necklace around your neck, and I put a ring on your nose, earrings on your ears and a beautiful crown on your head. So you were adorned with gold and silver; your clothes were of fine linen and costly fabric and embroidered cloth. Your food was honey, olive oil and the finest flour. You became very beautiful and rose to be a queen. And your fame spread among the nations on account of your beauty, because the splendor I had given you made your beauty perfect, declares the Sovereign LORD.”

We have been lavished with salvation and beauty – so much beauty the nations are in awe. We have a choice of what to do with that beauty. In Ezekiel, the woman ( Jerusalem), squanders the love by throwing her attentions and her affections other places. Let’s be the woman who shows the nations their own beauty and lavishes them with the same love that brought us into salvation and wholeness.

Let’s stretch. Let’s grow.

2011, HERE WE GROW!!!!!!!

hahahaha!!!

I love all of you (even the internet wanderers who followed the yellow brick road here that I don’t know personally)!

I recommend listening to two teachings in the box.net on the left side bar of my blog: parts 1 & 2 of “Living Un-Offended at God” by Bill Johnson. ENJOY!!! Get radical with HOPE!

Happy NEW-EST YEAR!!!

You have a destiny and a purpose!

p.s. As my sister Dori is going to India in 4 days to work in a restoration house with survivors of the sex trade for 3 months, this form of slavery is on the forefront of my mind.

(Her blog: http://pinkdor.wordpress.com/ )

We must be courageous and set the captives free. How about Isaiah 61 as a New Year’s Resolution!?! Let’s eradicate disease, slavery, and darkness from the planet! As you link with heaven’s faith, here’s music to believe by: http://www.exoduscry.com/ I especially like tracks 3 & 10. )



The o’s in “goodness” are blueberries

"Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!" (Psalm 34:8)

I’m very tiny or very gigantic, depending on how you look at everything. And I see myself travelling through a blueberry muffin. What I mean is, I’ve been trying to sleep for over an hour, but I taste the sweetness of God’s goodness and so, I can’t seem to sleep. I am departing my house at 4:45am tomorrow/today to head to the Redding airport in order to fly to Texas. I’m going to Texas as part of the ministry team for Bill Johnson while he does a series of 5 meetings at a church next to Austin. (http://www.churchofthehills.org/Bill_Johnson.html )And I would love to sleep, but I am inevitably meditating on my Father’s goodness, which is keeping me very excited and awake.

It’s like I am an itsy bitsy person inside a blueberry muffin. Yes, it’s just like that. Haha. And as I travel along, I eat the bread, which is okay, but I also chew into lots and lots of very succulent blueberries, which are astounding every time I run into them – even though it’s a constant encounter (after all, it is a blueberry muffin).

It’s His goodness, these blueberries – these unavoidable accents, these things which make the blueberry muffin a blueberry muffin, as opposed to a chunk of bread. I mean, really, what is a blueberry muffin if there aren’t any blueberries? And would anyone really desire to eat such a “muffin?”

I can’t separate God from His goodness. His gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooodness. All those o’s are blueberries.

Sometimes His goodness keeps me up at night. And up at day too. Haha.

A couple weeks ago I was in Michael’s, the craft store, and I saw a hunched woman pushing her cart. I approached her and asked her what was wrong with her back. Pretty quickly she was crying and telling me about her father’s death and the deteriorating illness torturing her back and the rest of her bones. We talked for about 20 minutes: about hope and God and life and purpose. Her eyes opened and shut in awe, like a manual garage door that won’t stay up. We talked about dreams she has. And I got to pray for her back and her right leg, which was a center of pain. A lot of the pain left her leg, which she thought was really outstanding and then she said, “I think I am standing up straighter!” I laughed hard. Sometimes when people get healed it’s like you told the punch line to the joke, but the person didn’t get it until sometime later. When that person gets it, you laugh even harder, because the epiphany of truth looks so beautiful on them. “Wow, that truth looks so good on you! It really brings out your eyes!” I asked the woman if I could hug her and she very merrily accepted. She said something about the meeting making her day and her life looking up again, and then she said she would go the Healing Rooms at Bethel that Saturday for more healing prayer. That punch line really got her good. HAHAHAHAHAHA! GOOD. And sweetly, after the pain significantly left her leg I could tell she suddenly thought that the rest of what I’d said was probably true as well – the bit about God and life and purpose – because God demonstrated His goodness by tracking her down in Michael’s.

What a lovely blueberry.

Also about a week ago I saw a man in a wheelchair outside a building in Redding. I made eye contact with him and said, “hi.” He smiled back, but I saw tears creeping up in his thunderstorm eyes. “What’s going on?” I said, walking toward him. “I’m dying,” he answered, rain clouds in his soul darkening. “What do you mean?” I asked. “My heart is detaching from the rest of my body and the doctors say I’ll probably die soon” he abruptly responded. “Well, that’s ridiculous,” I said, looking him in the eyes, pushing back the darkening with the violent light inside me. “I’ve seen lots of people healed of lots of things. Do you want me to pray for you?” I asked. The clouds in his eyes dissipated, as if he was presented a new option he had not considered. “Yes” he said. And I prayed. And I asked him how he felt. He told me he felt much better, like maybe his life would be long. I told him everything changed that day, it was a new year and he would live in full health. I explained that I had to go because I had an appointment to keep, but I blared sunlight into his sky with the words, “You are incredible. You are going to have an incredible life” and then I clapped and cheered for him. And I went inside.

What a wonderfully sweet blueberry.

Recently I had to call my internet provider because we were having technical problems with our internet service. After about 20 minutes of back-and-forth about our internet connection, we resolved the problem. She said, “Is there anything else I can do for you today?” I responded, “Well, this might seem odd, but do you have a son?” “Yes…” she responded, not knowing what else to say. “And are you having difficulty with him lately and you don’t know what to do?” “Yes, how did you know that?” she said, her voice growing hushed and shaky. “Sometimes God shows me things about people and I feel like God wants to encourage you that He is moving in your son’s life. Even though you  feel stuck, God is bringing order. And God has a purpose for your son. I see him drawing and He hasn’t found the right use for his drawing yet, but soon he will be at a youth center teaching others to draw.” The woman began to cry. “My son is 16 and he has autism and just this morning we had a huge argument and I don’t know how to deal with him anymore. I was just asking God today for some direction or something because I feel like I can not do anything to help him and I feel overwhelmed because I am working so much and his father isn’t around anymore and it’s so hard for me to raise him alone.” “Wow” I said, feeling every high and low point in both w’s, compassion buckled me in like a seatbelt. I told her I knew of autism being healed and I asked if I could pray for her son. She leapt from weary mom voice to strong mother hen voice, “Yes! Please!” I prayed for her son and prophesied over his life. She cried and said, “I just don’t see how you know all these things…” “It’s just God. He shows me things about people He wants to encourage. He wants you to know you are a great mom and He loves you and your son very very much; and hope is real.”  I told her a story from the Bible and she said she would look it up later. Our conversation lasted about 15 minutes and by the end she had transitioned from a faceless customer service operator to a courageous mother who was holding out hope for her teenage son to find fullness in life. I was honored to “meet” her. We exchanged names and thanks and laughs and said our goodbyes.

What a sensationally serendipitous blueberry.

I am really in love with God. His goodness stains my tongue blue; the more I taste Him the more I speak Him. The more I speak Him the more I love Him. He is good, exquisitely, scrumptiously, lavishly goooooooooooooooooooooooood.

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm… yum yum. Good night, everyone. Blueberries! hahaha.

“If you just touch my hand with one finger, they will get scared and leave!”

If you just touch my hand with one finger,

they will get scared and leave!”

or “If you know where the snake lives, go to his hole and kill him.”

or “Jesus is powerful and so are you.”

or “Get radical. Transform your city with Love.”

(30 days of Library Park)

I have been on a thirty day adventure of loving people with Jesus in Redding.

Welcome to Library Park.



We all want advocacy. We’re all books in God’s library. And we are all meant to be “checked out.” Our stories should be known and celebrated. Haha.

At the beginning of September I began to have sudden flash visions of myself preaching on a stage in a park in Redding. It seemed to be unfounded. I don’t recall having the idea prior and really, the very word “preaching” has made my skin recoil for most of my life – I think because I unfairly associated the word with pushy men who didn’t relate to their audience, but through guilt and emotionalism persuaded desperate people to choose to “follow” God – some making sincere decisions to follow, others more moved by the pleas and pressure. Even in seminary, where there were many truly gifted preachers, the word “preaching” made me feel ill at ease.

And yet, there I was, chasing myself with these pictures. Or, at least, the Holy Spirit chasing me with myself. Ha. The picture would appear in worship, in class, and while driving around Redding.

One day I was in class and as the speaker asked a question like, “What is something new this year will be about for you?” I instantly heard, “preaching” – from somewhere outside myself, like one of those jester puppets who jumps into a dramatic moment in a puppet show with an outlandish comment and a far too ecstatic and red smile on his face.

I was coming to terms with it. And I realized where the park I kept seeing in this picture was: it was Library Park downtown – a small grassy area with a stage and a sidewalk around the perimeter. It’s a place that hosts many outdoor events in the summer: outdoor markets, art fairs, and a weekly farmer’s market. It’s across from the central bus station and thus, it has many passerbys – often homeless folks, drunk folks, and wanderers. It’s a perfect place to linger with the lingerers. So, I needed to prepare myself for the idea of preaching in Library Park. The idea of publicly preaching overseas didn’t surprise me at all, but preaching in the states? Wow, Holy Spirit, this is a side of myself I have to meet.

Then on Thursday, September 16, the second week of school, I had a meeting with a team I was going to minister with in Vallejo that weekend. The trip leader, who also happens to be my revival group pastor and the Prophetic Arts Pastor at Bethel, said she had a prophetic act for me. She placed a music stand in front of me and said, “Dawn, this is your year to preach.” I laughed. Wow, God was calling me out in public. How very, um, public.

So, that day as I drove home from school at 5:30pm I strongly felt, “I have to go there right now.” And I did. I took my Bible and I got on the stage. I read Isaiah 60 and 61 at full volume as if there was a crowd of hundreds. I proclaimed it over my city, REDDING – a city that belongs to my King.

As I read it I was overwhelmed with images of people coming to Jesus there at the park – like Jesus himself was reading the famous passage. I began to cry. I saw Him healing people, casting out demons, looking deep into the eyes of the homeless, the hopeless, and the abandoned. He was calling people into His heart with His eyes. He was telling them He was their advocate and He would stand by them. He would restore them. He was showing me the way. And I was falling in love with Him all over again. I saw why He drew crowds. I saw the uniqueness of His advocacy. I saw the fearlessness of His Presence.

And I told him I would come. I would come to Library Park and love people. I would see people saved, healed, and delivered. I would step out in boldness. I committed myself to come for an hour from 6:30-7:30pm a couple times a week on my own until my birthday: October 16. I wouldn’t tell anyone I was going. It would be my secret hangout time with Jesus and His loved ones. After that month passed I would tell others, and a few would be ignited with vision to join in. In time it would grow, by word of mouth, people would bring friends to the park to be made whole and to have the lights in the houses of their dreams turned on.

That day I felt like the Lord told me to wait until 6:33pm before leaving.

Fittingly, He has been showering me with 6:33 lately – I catch the clock unintentionally at 6:33, phone numbers, receipts, license plates, street numbers with 633 often suddenly catch my attention. It’s a constant reminder of Matthew 6:33 “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.” The Holy Spirit is training me to really make the most important thing, the most important thing.

So, that day, I waited.

At 6:33 on the dot a man with a cane walked into the park. I hopped off the stage and zipped over, asking if he wanted prayer for healing. I don’t remember exactly what happened, but I think he opted not to have prayer, but he was touched I asked. And hey, the blessing of someone caring enough to offer to pray for you is often a very loud blessing. And it’s an act of love you walk away thinking about – maybe even for days, or weeks.

That was that. It had begun – the adventure of Library Park. An adventure with all the books, the stories, the histories, the futures that would come down from the shelf and be read, and be cherished, and be celebrated. Who would be there? What outrageous beauty would rain from heaven?

I’m excited about this new frontier. And very happy to see Redding fall in love with my beautiful bridegroom Jesus.

Here are some stories. Snippets from lives worth being restored. Scenes from lives BEING restored.

Friday September 17

Percy: 76, walked with a walker because of equilibrium problems. Equilibrium HEALED. He said he didn’t think he needed the walker anymore, but maybe he would keep it around because it also served as portable chair. (Does that change it from a walker to a sitter?)

Steve: in his 40’s, 42 days from the end of almost ten years of parole

Steve had an elbow brace on. He had elbow replacement some time ago. He had a lot of pain. I prayed and the pain left. Then he explained he got Valley Fever in 1995 and he has had pain in all his joints since then. I prayed. All the pain left all his joints. He said it was the first time since 1995 he was pain free. We talked about his dreams and his new start. We talked about ways he might find work, his desire to visit Louisiana and see some of his people there. He wants to work in an autobody shop. He also wants to go overseas, but he is concerned that his felony will limit his ability to travel.

After a while he mentioned how the park is dodgy at night. He told me to be careful and he began talking about meth. He said it’s worse than anything else and there is so much of it in Redding. People get away from their brains and they don’t even know the things they do. He has to stay away from all the drug stuff so he doesn’t slide back into it. He said there should be more people like me. He felt really encouraged that there was still hope, that God really does love him, and that he can still have a wonderful life. He left around 7:30 to find somewhere to sleep for the night.

Guy on a smoke break from a bar nearby: so happy to have back pain diminish he gave me $4. Initially, I resisted taking it, but then I remembered I had mentioned to God earlier that day that a few extra dollars for gas for the ministry trip the next day would be helpful. I certainly didn’t think it would come from someone in the park!

Tuesday, September 21

Lester: Native American, drunk, in his 50’s. I felt like God wanted me to ask him about his uncle so I did. He said he had five, but they were all hit by cars. His father was also killed by a car. He began to cry. He said, “I have so much hatred in my heart. I have so much hatred in my heart. I have so much hatred in my heart.” I asked if he wanted to be free. He said, “no.” Then I commanded the other voices to be silent and only Lester to speak. Lester wept. He was up and down emotionally. I commanded things to leave him. He seemed to feel better and even began to laugh.

I felt God prompt me to ask him what happened to him when he was three. He immediately said that his auntie started molesting him then. He cried and shook. Soon afterward he said, “I hate myself. I hate myself.” I told him God wants to set him free and those things should not have happened to him, but God is the only one who can heal his broken heart. I asked if he wanted God to set him free. He consented and prayed, “God I want you to come in and fix my heart. Jesus, I want you to come live in my heart.” He got peaceful. Eventually, he got riled up again. When we parted, there was a clear shift in his confidence. I look forward to seeing him again, clarity in his eyes and hope in his heart.

Wednesday, September 22

Monty

He is in Redding for cancer treatment, originally from Montana. His mom died when he was nine, his dad left, his grandma couldn’t look after him and his siblings (3 sisters, I think) so, he was on his own from 9 years old! He was a POW in Vietnam for twelve years! His wife, two kids, and three hired workers died in a car crash in 1969. He gave his land and money to the families of the hired workers and left Montana for the southwest. He has been in Redding one year. He said he wants to do what God has for him. I commanded the cancer to leave his body. He felt warm like when he was 11 and after a police officer beat him, He felt God’s arms come around him and hug the pain away.

Kimberly

She was walking with a crutch due to chronic arthritis in her right knee. I prayed and the pain lessened and she felt like it was “better.” They wanted to go on their way to the post office. Her boyfriend had a titanium knee so I commanded a new one to come forth. He was encouraged and I think he would have been happy to receive more prayer, but Kimberly was on her way.

Percy

76 year old Percy again. He remembered me. He said, “I know you aren’t hustlin’ you are the real deal. A real believer.” I laughed. He said, “Really, lots of people down here are hustlin’ everybody…” He told me more of his story: grew up in Visalia working cotton fields, got his first cocaine at 16 from Fresno (ironically, my hometown). It was downhill from there: married at 21, addicted to cocaine, couldn’t support his habit, ended up in the pen for 5 years. His wife and son left him. From then he was in and out of prison every few years. He eventually avoided cocaine, but now seems addicted to alcohol. I asked him, “How long after your son left today was it before you were drunk?” He admitted that as soon as his son left his house that afternoon he got drunk. He said “Two shots is what I need, and the good Lord knows it, to be more me.” I told the spirit of alcoholism to go and not speak, for only Percy to speak. He was silent for the first time in our conversation. He became very still. Then he said, “Thank you” as he lifted his head. I asked him if he wanted to be free. He didn’t answer. I told him only God can really set him free. God wants to set him free, to give him a new start. I laughed and thanked Jesus for freedom. “Percy, do you feel that? The peace that came?” He unsteadily said, “No.” I think he was sensing something new, but he didn’t know what it was. Hello, HOLY SPIRIT!

My thoughts: I’d like to see people made instantly sober in my presence. I’d like to see the glory set people free without words. I’d like to see them see Jesus as I stand there. I’d like them to see love.

I feel like I don’t even know how to love. As I linger with these people, listen to their stories, speak truth, and heal them, I want so much more love and compassion.

As I speak prophetically into lives I defeat the darkness in Redding and I claim this city for the KING. I won’t be silenced. I will shout it from the rooftops!

Father, I trust you. I will see more of you. I will be pulled up into your life-giving Presence. I will never be the same. I will see things unspeakable and breathe things made of substance. I will breathe faith like oxygen and it will train me for earth. I will go to heaven and get the blueprints. I will laugh forever. I will never stop going higher. I love you, God. I open my spirit to be more aware of the power, authority, and fullness within me.

I love you. I want to know you fully. This is worth more than anything.

The week of September 25-29

Little Bear and White Owl, something like that. I should have written it down that day. They were together, a man about 40 and a woman probably in her mid-fifties. They were extremely drunk.

They collapsed on the grass so I plopped myself down next to them and began to chat.

Pretty soon I asked Little Bear if he wanted to be free, truly free. He looked at me and said, with sudden clarity, “There are lots of demons in me that torment me every day…” “Yes, I know,” I responded, having seen the demons from the moment I sat in the grass. “Do you want to be free?” “Yes, PLEASE!” he exclaimed desperately, now giving me his full attention. I commanded the demons to go. “There, some are going,” he said, “but there are still more!” he pleaded. He reached his hand out to touch mine. “I don’t want you to touch me right now,” I said. He became more desperate, “If you just touch my hand with one finger, they will get scared and leave,” he was on the brink of tears. I touched his hand and commanded them to go. More went. His body relaxed. “There, they are going!” he was getting happy.

White Owl got defensive. She was losing control. I sensed it. Her eyes already told me about her own covenant with demons. She began to stir through her semi-slumber, nudging Little Bear that they should leave. “No! She is setting me free! She’s REALLY getting demons out of me!” he insisted. She looked at me, lethargically telling me to stop. “He’s getting set free,” I said, matter-of-fact. She grumbled, “Let’s  go!” He moved, “No, I want these demons out of me!” he whimpered. “Jesus wants you 100% free, you know that, right?” I asked. “Yes, yeah,” Little Bear admitted. “You know you can give him your life and He’ll bring total freedom?” “Yeah,” he said, getting hungry for freedom. White Owl was growing angry. She scooted away and began kissing Little Bear to distract him. He momentarily resisted, whining like a little boy; then he collapsed into the stupor and let her drag him across the grass. I sat there, knowing my presence was still His Presence and I wasn’t going to give in to awkwardness, but rather, remain and worship.

Man on my right (I forgot his name.)

Besides, there was another man who sat down to my right. We talked. He wondered how I could “command” things out of people. “Who are you to command anything?” he said, demanding. I laughed merrily. “I’m God’s daughter. Jesus is in me. My authority comes from Him.” He was mad and accusatory for a few minutes, demanding that I leave. It’s amusing to have a man in his fifties sitting within a couple feet of you, drunk, start to yell and tell you what to do. As he moved toward me I said confidently, “I don’t want you to touch me.” He looked at me, and stopped inching. Haha. It’s especially funny when you have heaven’s perspective – you know intimidation has no hold on you. That patch of grass is my Dad’s. Besides, I love this irritated, drunk guy. He wants an advocate just as much as the sweet five year old girl who lives next door to me.

In the spirit, I’ve got just as much Jesus-security as a 7’ bodybuilder guy who follows Jesus. I’m not going to be intimidated – not by things seen or unseen.

So, I stayed. And the man backed down, soon admitting that I was kind for wanting to be with people and that, “well, maybe, you’re alright.”

I’ll take “all right.”

We talk about how Jesus’ love is radical. I ask the man how long he has been addicted to alcohol. His story comes out. I tell Him he can be set free instantly. He’s interested, but not so much today. In time, he truly thanks me for talking and “being who you are” and goes on his way.

Man on planter:

I’m so drunk on Jesus, and Little Bear and White Owl are still making out. It seems like a perfect time to walk the perimeter of the park and sing worship songs loudly. I make a few loops, singing at the top of my lungs – to the fascination of a few people who pass through the park and the elderly man on the planter at the edge of the park. I wave at him each time I pass. Then we start talking. I pray for his heart condition. We talk about his hopes for his future, the bridges he’s burned, the ones he wants to create. He seems pretty committed to apathy, and my passion for life bothers him. That is so often the case when someone has walked a series of rough circumstances. That is why it is even more important not to back down, but to be an advocate for the hopeless. People need their dreams nudged and tugged to their feet.

Everyone wants an advocate. It’s time for the church to stop giving trite answers to people. It’s time for them to really be with people and encourage them into the greatness God has for them. It’s time to change the world – one person or one billion people at a time. Haha.

The man goes inside because it’s time to take his medication. Aw, the rule of “this and that” in our lives. We let the enemy boss us around and then we wonder why we feel powerless. We “have” to take this or that medication, or not eat this or that food due to allergies etc, or even we “have” to watch this tv show, or we “have” to have a daily cup of coffee to function. Haha. Really? It sounds like a lot of dependency on things that aren’t God to me. Maybe some of those things are okay, but when they “have” to be part of one’s routine, particularly more than God’s Presence, something is off-kilter.

All to say, I keep circling the park and singing my own made-up worship songs. “Redding belongs to Jesus” “Drunk people fall in love with Jesus in my presence” “Little Bear is free” “Everyone in Redding is alive to Christ and dead to sin” (that’s one of those “proclaim the future” lines) “Library Park will soon be filled with saved, healed, delivered people!” “lalalalalala… I’m so happy and Jesus loves me and I can do anything, my whole house is great!” The more I sing absurdly realistic things, the more lovestruck I get.

Eventually, Little Bear and White Owl leave.

The Argentinean:

And in walks a drunk Argentinean with an Italian accent. He wants some of my water (woman at the well reminder, anyone?) I point to the water fountain and I say something similar to what Jesus said about living water, so he’ll never thirst again – and living wine, to replace whatever he’s usually drunk with. He thinks this is interesting. And when I ask if he has pain in his body, he immediately laughs and says, “My shoulder is always in pain!” He starts to tell me the history- I interrupt him with, “Well, let’s just fix that right now.” And after about 15 minutes of gradual improvement: less pain and more mobility, there is NO PAIN and full mobility! YES! In fact, now he is moving his arm in a wildly circular motion and yelling, “This is amazing! I couldn’t do this before! No! Really!” And he laughs and laughs. It was like a puppy discovering the possibilities in a cardboard box. He was fascinated by his own arm. The things it could do!!!!!!

“Bobby”

A man on a bike stopped on the other side of the park and stared at us. “This man’s shoulder just got healed!” I said, “Do you have anything that needs to be healed?” He stared back- angry, a strange territorial anger. I walked over to him and stuck my hand out. “Hi, I’m Dawn. What’s your name?” I asked. He reluctantly shook my hand. His name was something like “Bobby” – unfortunately, I’ve forgotten since then. He looked at me charged with hostility and looking ready to pounce, with icy eyes and icy thoughts behind his eyes. “In whose name are you doing all this?” I began to laugh. “Oh, here we go,” I thought, “I know what’s coming next…” “Jesus’ name,” I smiled. “Oh yeah?” he said, leaning toward me expecting me to back up. “Yes.” I said, not moving. “I think it’s demons,” he said. I began to laugh harder. Something tickles me so deeply when demonic influence accuses itself. I’ve seen it so many times – the split second “personality” shift. Demons seem to get competitive and chaos-craving. And it’s obvious when someone’s face changes from a normal human expression to a twisted expression there is more than meets the eye. It would be so silly for me to be disturbed by such silliness. And there is a HUGE difference between speaking with authority like that noted of Jesus in Matthew 7:29 “he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law” and being controlling in the sense of witchcraft. I am very unimpressed with the latter. It’s all smoke and mirrors compared to the Lamb on the Throne who alone is worthy to open the scroll.

Anyhow, “Bobby” tried to stare me down. And I laughed and started to dance and worship God, saying, “God’s so great! He just healed that man’s shoulder!” I find few things more irresistible than giving God credit when someone tries to diminish it or pollute His beautiful character. It’s like when I would hear Muslims say “If God wills it” with regard to something like having a safe trip home. Instantly, my heart felt God’s love and security which made the idea of not having a safe trip home seem utterly ridiculous. Haha. I could feel the Father’s love for “Bobby” coming to cleanse him. Bobby was confused by my joy and turned to leave. “I’m here a few times a week from 6:30-7:30 so, I’ll probably see you again. You’re awesome, Bobby!” I said loudly as he rolled away. He was disarmed by my love and my raised arms cheering him on. And that, my friends, was priceless. Love is powerful. It will disarm the biggest dissenters and calm the most threatening enemies.

That is one thing I learned doing ministry in the mental hospital (which I renamed “The Freedom Castle”) in Bethlehem – when darkness tries to stare you down, get childlike and ridiculously joyful. Think of how excited Heaven is for that person to begin to feel real Love!!!! Dance! Sing songs to God! He’s the ultimate audience for our lives! He loves it when we simply turn our attentions toward Him as cranky darkness strives to get attention and bring people into gloom and doom.

Laugh off the mean faces, and SHINE on.

Friday, October 15

Really, I felt pretty lousy that day. I didn’t want to go anywhere. In response to this, I went into my backyard and cranked up some worship music and danced, inviting my housemate in on the action. Haha. We worshipped together for about 45 minutes. When you don’t know what else to do, WORSHIP.

Then I went to the park. I felt like I heard the name “Bernie” in the car on the way.

Henry

It turned out it was “Henry” – close. Ha. If you want to learn to hear from God more and more clearly you have to be willing to be wrong or not quite right sometimes. Haha.

Henry has three kids. He loves being a dad. Why? “It’s great to be loved – unconditionally,” he said. It’s interesting how we see things – receiving love, giving love. The value we place, either cognitively or subconsciously on relationships. Henry didn’t have any pain in his body so we talked about his family – how he’d recently broken up with his girlfriend and the mom of his two younger kids after ten years. We talked about how God values relationships and family; and we talked about what he did when he first won that woman’s heart and how he might be able to win it again if he really went after it. Henry said, “Are you a counselor?” I laughed, “Well, I did study counseling, but really I just love seeing people know who they are and be all they are designed to be. It’s really fun.” He liked that and we talked on and off for an hour.

Tom

In the midst of that was Tom, who was sitting on a bench next to a table. He gave me gummy worms and talked about the interesting items he sees at his job at The Salvation Army. Tom also didn’t have any pain in his body, but he does have a dream to work on a cruise ship. He agreed he would go look into finding a job on a cruise ship in the next week. Haha. He was getting really elated about the possibility of his dreams coming true! HOORAY!

They asked when I come to the park and I said, “A couple times a week between 6:30 and 7:30.” They thought that was pretty amazing and they were intrigued that people are getting healed and also stepping into their dreams. YES! God is powerful. And He’s alive!

The next day was my birthday.

And thus concluded month one in Library Park.

Somewhere in the midst of all of this, the second year students at Bethel had our first outreach/activation training. Chris Overstreet, the outreach pastor at Bethel, spoke. At one point he said, “There is a new openness for street preaching in Redding now.” I yelled and laughed. Yes, there is. And I am moving toward that. Then he said he was calling out the forerunners, I found myself on my knees yelling for Redding, and yelling: “I want to do more than I am comfortable with, more than I’ve ever imagined, more than I can think. I WILL BE FEARLESS AND I WILL DO THE IMPOSSIBLE. I will lead Redding to Jesus!” I could feel the desperation of people in the city to truly KNOW the Living God. And I was overrun with LOVE and passion for that to happen.

A way is being made in Library Park. And Jesus and I are going to have a blast as we continue to go every week: healing, casting out demons, awakening dreams and getting them on their feet, counseling people into jobs and purpose, laughing much more than reasonable, and generally being an advocate to those who are longing, deeply deeply longing that someone ANYONE would stop what she is doing and listen, and care.

There are people that are broken and still breaking, in your city right now. They don’t think they deserve eye contact. They don’t think they deserve a good future. They don’t think they will ever get out of the rut they are in, often the rut they feel they were born in. They mainly want something to numb the pain, the self-hatred, the loneliness, the despair, and the confusion. They are scared that they will never “amount to anything.” They are afraid they will never be able to be free. They wish someone would do something – they long for someone who will care enough to CARE.

They aren’t just homeless people. The man next to you at work. The cashier who looks like she has the worst job in the world and she wants you to know how she feels about that. The lawyer you stand next to in the elevator. The grandma who is indecisive about which lettuce to buy in the grocery store. YOUR NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOR.

And then there is a man named JESUS. He changed everything.

Will you?

For HIS Name’s sake… will you?

p.s. I’m going to let you in on a secret that the enemy doesn’t want you to know: The more you step out and love those around you, the more you give, especially when you don’t “feel” like it, the less self-focused you will become and YOUR whole life will become easier and more joy-filled. You will see strength and breakthrough come into your life beyond your imaginings. The enemy doesn’t want you to know that because he wants to keep you anxious and fearful in part by over-analyzing your own life. If he can get you to fixate on your car problems, your relational struggles, or your financial issues, you will become paralyzed by lies and robbed of joy, too “tired” to stick up for the truth in your own life, much less anyone else’s. Don’t let that happen. LAUGH in the enemy’s face (literally: think about something that looks like a wall in your life RIGHT now and laugh at it, you can force the laughter initially, but soon real laughter will take over. There you go, now you are getting in sync with heaven’s perspective!) It’s your responsibility to believe that everything Jesus said is true, for example: John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Commit yourself to only believe TRUE things. Guard your heart. And live in ABSURD abundance. An abundant life is MUCH MORE FUN than a boring life. And it’s what Jesus paid for. hahahahahahahahahahaha!

I am smiling hugely RIGHT now because I believe in WHO you are and I want you to live abundantly. : D

Healing Hands – testimony banner

At retreat, my revival group made a banner of healing testimonies we saw THIS SUMMER!!!!

Here are some highlights from the banner:

I wrote this one. haha!

It is wonderfully, splendidly, captivatingly FUN to see people healed, made whole, and HAPPY!

Jesus paid for all of our healing. It’s here. NOW. We simply need to access it, to reach in and take hold of it.

Hallelujah to the Lamb on the Throne!!!! YEEHAW!!!

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”

Hebrews 13:8

So, GO… LOVE YOUR CITY.

Let’s truly get the bride ready for her beautiful King Jesus!

May Jesus receive His full reward throughout the universe!

The Bride will know she is powerful, significant, beautiful, and adored NOW!!

Around the universe, the Bride is learning her value and her authority.

She is stepping out in confidence: knowing her identity, walking in freedom, and she is so lovestruck she easily does the things her bridegroom said for her to do,

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

And what did he command?

“Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.”

You are beautiful NOW, Bride of Christ!

Arise and SHINE. Get up and get out!

Transform the world.

Add peoples and nations to the Bride. Wake her up.

Jesus wants us to know our worth NOW.

From Azerbaijan to Los Angeles, from Puerto Rico to Madagascar!

A BEAUTIFUL BRIDE!

Jesus doesn’t want to come knock on His Bride’s door on their wedding day to wake her up and have her throw on some jeans and say, “Oh! You actually came! I never knew my identity, I never grew my giftings, I never did what you said about GOing, I never healed the sick. I thought about loving You, but I didn’t live with the reality of that love.”

He wants a ready Bride. And He will have it.

I need a miracle! Isn’t that exciting?

UPDATE 12/14/10

Sweetly, all I have left to pay toward my tuition is…

drumroll please…

$347!!!!!

It was due November 9 and needs to be paid ASAP.

If you want to give, here’s the link:

https://www.ibssm.org/?action=donate&target=tuition&student_id=209452

Thank you with a parade tumbling from my heart, to ALL who have contributed! You inspire me!

THANK YOU with a jump and a hug to everyone who has given!!!

In other fantastic news: I just found out that a woman I prayed for IS PREGNANT!!!! She HAD (past tense) poly cystic disease, and had been trying to get pregnant for years. I prayed for her a couple months ago -actually she was in England, but I prayed for her via her husband in Redding! And a month later, TADA!!!! pregnant!!!!!! hahahahahahaha! God loves BABIES!!!!! And dreams coming to reality! YAY!!!!!!! Hoodalolly! Jesus is King of Kings and Lord of Lords and Doctor of Doctors and Healer of Healers!!!!  I love the way He loves us!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As many of you know, I’ve decided to do another year of Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. For months I really didn’t want to, mainly because I didn’t want to do more support-raising and I didn’t want to do more school – because I’ve been in school most of my life. Well, a friend approached me about a month ago and said that while he was praying for me he really felt like God wanted him to tell me to reconsider doing another year of school. Initially, I was annoyed. Then I went to the prayer house at church with my guitar (whose name if Jehoshaphat : )  ) and Jehoshaphat and I worshiped my favorite Person together. By the time I left I strongly felt I was to do second year. I was stomping anxiety with praise. And lifting my head to see higher. I committed again to be fully equipped for what the Lord has for my life and destiny.

So, I’m getting ready for school now. As part of my summer homework, I’m reading an absolutely incredible book with sermons and stories from the life of John G. Lake –  a radical believer in the early 1900’s who carried an outpouring in Africa for five years and then established a famous healing home in Spokane, Washington where thousands were healed of all forms of sickness and disease.  The book is giving me fresh vision and fire for healing and making the kingdoms of this world the kingdom of our God!!!! I dream of every tongue, tribe, and nation madly in love with Jesus!

http://www.amazon.com/John-G-Lake-Sermons-Boldness/dp/0881149624/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1282068429&sr=1-3

I’m excited about second year. Yesterday I was at my revival group pastor’s house to pray for a couple passing through Redding on their way home to Southern California. The woman had about ten years of severe back pain and was on the brink of making a decision about a very invasive surgery. She got healed yesterday! She left pain free and able to walk more than the 150 yards or so she’d previously been limited to!! Actually, she and her husband walked up and down a hill and she was completely pain free!!!! HOORAY!!!! That time of ministry really stirred me up with expectation for this next year! I’m excited to see more breakthrough in healing and bringing freedom to people the world over!!!

YAY! I want Jesus to get His full reward in the nations!!!

Last year was the best year of my life, this year will be even better!!!! God is powerfully, sweetly on the move in my life. I am learning SO much and seeing things I dreamed of since childhood – healings, miracles, and nations being discipled!!

This year I’ve been selected to be a Student Developer, which means I will mentor, counsel, and coach other students toward fulfilling their goals and dreams. Also, I will take an elective on leadership coaching as I am led in how to lead. I’m really looking forward to seeing people grow into their own fullness. What an honor!

As I watch others’ dreams grow, I’m expanding my own dreams – to go to every single nation and set them on fire for Jesus – to show the Bride she is beautiful, powerful, and important. I want to lead teams in the nations and I want to focus on the Middle East. I’m not sure what quite it will look like, but I know there will be lots of healing, prophecy, deliverance, and speaking to world leaders. I’m going to see nations transformed and I am going to be an integral part of that! YEEEHAW!

 

I’m wide-eyed and looking heavenward today as I expect a miracle of provision. It’s a nice place to be – wildly dependent on God and training myself not to worry, but to be FAITH-FILLED in looking to see His goodness pour out over my life in a new way. I really love God. And I really want to do what He beckons me to. That’s where the most LIFE is. haha. He is infinitely good, always good, fully good. I love being able to walk through life with Him and to praise Him no matter what. It’s a burning place of love and intimacy. And it sets those around me ablaze too. <deep sigh> I’m so thankful for God’s provision: financially, relationally, spiritually, physically etc. He’s amazing. And He absolutely deserves the highest praise and my full devotion. Wow, I feel insanely blessed to know Him.

So, I need a miracle, which is awesome because everyone who gets a miracle NEEDS one first. Hahaha. So, I’m well set-up for a miracle!

Blessings as you gaze into heaven today. Your Father loves you more than you could ever imagine. He is your biggest fan! He’s cheering you on constantly!

Lastly, I do send email updates monthly. If you or someone you know would like to receive that, let me know.

 

Here’s a new song I adore. It’ll bless your socks off.

I hold you in high esteem- even if we’ve never met- because I know you are amazing… because everyone is amazing!!!! hahahaha! And I’m so grateful for your part in this gorgeous story the Author is writing. Be blessed with healing NOW, new vision, and sweet rest in Him today. Easy Jesus-y does it! tada!

VICTORY – something I’m wildly excited about!

I just got home from Rite Aid, ten minutes ago. As I was getting into my car in the parking lot I noticed an elderly man trying to get out of his car. He was struggling to lift himself out of the driver seat. “Excuse me, do you need help?” I asked. “Oh, no, I’m okay, just having a harder time than usual,” he answered. “Oh, do you have back trouble?” I asked. “No, it’s actually a neurological and muscular disease. It usually doesn’t bother me this much, but, you know, there are just times when I get stuck in a position.” “Mmmm… well I’ve seen people healed of diseases when I pray for them. I prayed for a woman with arthritis in her hands two days ago and the pain left her hands. If you want I can pray for you.” “Oh, well, if God wants to heal me, He’ll heal me.” he replied, “mmmm….. but if you want to, I guess anything might help.” At this point he was standing so I said, “okay, so can I pray for you now?” “Well, I’ve got to go inside and pick up my medication right now,” he said. “Could you wait just a minute so I can pray for you here?” I asked. “Um, yes, yes, okay.” “Can I touch your shoulder?” “Yes, sure.” And there we stood and he inserted, “You know there are people all over the world a lot worse off than me. You should pray for them more than me.” “Well, I’m happy to pray for anybody, but God is really really in love with you and He wants to heal you.” I explained. And then I commanded the pain and the disease to leave. He said he didn’t feel differently, but he was encouraged, “and well, you never know” he tacked on — causing my own mental images of him instantly healed in line in Rite Aid or in front of the tv tonight. haha. Then he thanked me intently, “What you just did is great. thank you.” And he smiled and went on his way.

I got in my car. I felt victorious. And I felt indignant.

Why did I feel indignant?

I felt indignant because of the man’s miscontrued beliefs. He said, “If God wants to heal me, He’ll heal me” and he said, “You know there are people all over the world a lot worse off than me. You should pray for them more than me.” I was upset with holy indignation. THIS SHOULD NOT BE. THIS VIEW IS WRONG WRONG WRONG. It’s a lie. And it doesn’t do Jesus any favors.

Jesus told US to “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” That’s in Matthew 10:8. Many other times Jesus gave similar COMMANDS. Luke 9:1-2 reads, “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”

These are COMMANDS. NO WHERE does Jesus say to let depression fill your head and just wait for a sovereign healing from God. He gave us AUTHORITY to do what He did. This is part of what His death and resurrection PAID for. For us to ignore this command and keep this gift stuffed in our closets is horrible, lazy, and it’s just really really FAR from the abundant life Jesus bought for us.

God wants us living victoriously. Even the idea that “Oh, so many people are worse off than me so, I’ll just suffer through this disease/discouragement/injustice” is contrary to the power of the cross. WHAT?!? It doesn’t help anyone for you or anybody else to be less than what you are supposed to be. You believe you have a purpose and a destiny, yes? Well, wouldn’t you be better able to fulfill it and be joyful while fulfilling it if you were walking in health, joy, and abundance? And wouldn’t that reflect the beauty of God more?

And the idea that healing isn’t for today is a lie. And the idea that only certain believers are able to heal people is a lie too. Every single believer in Jesus already has the power to heal, but you know what… if you don’t pray for sick people, you won’t heal them. It’s pretty simple.

AND if you are praying, “Oh God, if it’s your will, please heal this person” prayers, that’s pretty half-hearted and probably hasn’t led to many astounding results. WHY? Because that’s not the model Jesus gave us. He commanded people to be healed. He said, “You are healed.” He just did it. He knew God wanted to heal every single person and he acted in line with that belief.

T.L. Osborne, who led a movement which sent over 30,000 missionaries and established over 150,000 churches around the world said,

“Never ask God to do what He has already said he has already done,

Never ask God to do what he has already told you to do.”

Some of you are reading this and thinking, “Well, yeah, but it’s not that easy.” Yeah, maybe it’s not that easy, at least at first, but is it easy to live under the grey clouds of powerlessness, struggle, and anxiety you are often stuck beneath? Moreover, it gets easier and easier. And as you expect it to be easy, it will be easy. Your faith really will move mountains.

Some of you are thinking, “Well, okay, but how do I get there? How do I get to this confidence you have, Dawn?” To that, I’ll say, “Well, yeah, I haven’t alway been this confident in the area of healing. It has been a journey, but it’s easier than you think. Mostly, it comes down to JUST DOING IT.” Stop talking about it, theologizing about it, and trying to understand how it works, and JUST DO IT. Just find someone and heal them. And then you think, “Well, what if the first person doesn’t get healed?” Firstly, EXPECT THEM TO. Secondly, so what if they aren’t? You might feel embarrassed or awkward for five minutes, but SO WHAT? Thirdly, if you pray for nine people and none of them get healed at that moment, but the tenth person does, HOORAY for the tenth person! They’ll be glad you didn’t stop at number nine. haha. You’ll be really encouraged when number ten is healed and you’ll realize the power of Jesus really really really is WITHIN you. “Oh my goodness! All the things Jesus said were TRUE! Healing is literally healing! It’s not a metaphor! And it’s not just an antiquated picture of spiritual and emotional healing! Jesus meant for us to PHYSICALLY HEAL PEOPLE!!!!! This is awesome!!!”

Okay, a bit more of my own journey. Starting when I was sixteen I usually spent at least an hour daily praying for the Middle East – God would show me specific people and places and I would declare the heart of God to those people. As I got closer and closer to God’s heart for people, I became overwhelmed with compassion. By the time I was twenty I would see people out and about town and I would know automatically what was going on in their lives and in their bodies. When I was twenty-one and living in Southern California, I told God, “You know, You are showing me all these things about people, I should be doing something about it. I should probably go up to them and pray for them. So, if you want me to go up to people, help me do that.” Hahahaha! That was one of those “you don’t know what you are getting yourself into” prayers. Immediately, I was approaching people. I remember one day I was in line somewhere and I knew a woman standing by the wall had stomach problems and some relational struggles. I went over to her and asked if those things were accurate. She began to cry. “Yes,” she said. I asked if I could pray for her and encouraged her that God is aware of her life and loves her very much. She was really touched. I actually don’t remember if I prayed for her there, but I do remember her name was Sandy. And I know she could feel the love of God in a fresh, powerful, accepting way.

Anyhow, that’s probably when approaching strangers for prayer began to be normative for me. I didn’t have any human example of that. I didn’t know anything about “words of knowledge” and I had never heard a teaching about praying for people in public places OR about healing people. I just talked to God a lot, felt His heart for people, and my love for Him provoked me to believe Him and act on that belief.

That grew, and then I got too emotionally involved in the troubles I was seeing in people. If they felt sad, I felt sad. If they were wounded, I felt their pain – not merely compassion, but I got bogged down by others’ negative emotions until I had little joy to give. I told God I felt like it was too much. And it stopped – for a couple years. I was horrified, and brokenheartedly repentant. “I’m sorry, God! I never want to shut down the Holy Spirit’s flow in my life! Help me! I want to love people as You love them!” I lacked the maturity to feel compassion and not sympathy, and unfortunately I stopped praying for strangers for a while.

Eventually, the insight and compassion returned. And I learned how to harness my emotions, to give strength to others, without getting pulled into their own gloom. It was glorious!

It was a few years ago, living in Bethlehem, Israel that I really constantly started stepping out and healing people. I approached people on the streets, those with crutches, the mute man who sells gum, people in wheelchairs, and people started bringing the sick to me or asking me to go pray for their loved ones. Many, many people were healed. And many of those I healed, went on to heal other people. And they are still healing people. It’s a revolution. In the midst of that I became familiar with Bethel Church in Redding, CA (where I am presently in ministry school). In 2006 a friend loaned me two books by Bill Johnson. Then I started listening to the free podcasts on line. During our first year in Israel two teams from Bethel did ministry in Israel. And we became friends with them.

They demonstrated to me that it was truly a movement- that God was raising up a global family to walk in the things Jesus walked in. I wasn’t alone. I had found my tribe. Since childhood I dreamed of a community of believers like that existing. In high school I read “Azusa Street” which is about the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles in the early 1900’s, and I was forever ruined. I would lay on my floor and weep, declaring and committing to God that I would be a part of a movement infinitely greater than that! I felt that if I did not see heaven on earth in power, if I did not see miracles become common, I would die. I craved revival: city-wide, state-wide, nation-wide, universe-wide REVIVAL. The world over fully alive and walking in the GLORY of God continuously – signs and wonders of all kinds. And so, in knowing the people from Bethel Church, I was immensely encouraged by them. And I was mightily blessed by the breakthrough they brought to Israel. We were seeing breakthrough, but to have teams come and really BLAZE for a week or two was absolutely INCREDIBLE!!!! It felt like the world’s largest gift. haha. In the years that followed, they came to Bethlehem as well and we saw the churches begin to understand more clearly that they too could heal – in fact, they were meant to! It was a time of deep sighing, no longer feeling like it was just a few of us revving up our engines and ramming holes in walls, but there was a momentum.  Transformation was happening.

Victory was becoming more palpable. And that’s one of the most enigmatic things about victory in Jesus – it’s always present, we just need to INCREASE OUR AWARENESS OF IT! Become mindful of how victorious you are, in every moment. Welcome Holy Spirit to show you victory, and you will see it more than you’ve ever imagined.

About a year and a half ago I stayed at a friend’s house in America. When I met her sister I felt like God said, “There’s something I want you to pray for her for before you leave.” Well, I forgot about that until about a week later when my friend said, “Hey, I feel like you should pray for my sister before you go.” “Oh my goodness! Yeah, I felt God prompt me to that when I met her, but I forgot. What’s wrong with your sister?” “Well, she and her husband have been trying to have kids for five years, but haven’t been able to and the doctors don’t know what the problem is.” “I’d love to pray for that! Let’s do it!” I exclaimed. She privately asked her sister if that would be okay and her sister agreed. Amazingly, even though this family follows Jesus, no one ever laid hands on her and prayed for her about this. People prayed, but never laid hands on her and commanded healing!!! In five years!!! Well, we laid hands on her and commanded healing.

Five weeks later she was pregnant!!!!!! The baby was born last December. And I was one of the first people they told about the pregnancy and the birth because they knew she was healed in that prayer time. hahahahahahahaha! Beautiful! Glorious!!!!!!!! And just like God!

Those are the things God wants to do, but He wants us to carry them out. That’s why Jesus had disciples. That’s why Jesus commissioned them and US  as recorded in the last verses of Mark,

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

This is the joyful, wonderful, adventure God has put together for us!!!! It’s fantastic!

And another thing, some of you are thinking, “Well, what if I just don’t feel like it? what if I’m having a bad day?” Let me say two things, God likes it when we do things He wants us doing even when we don’t feel like it. That’s the discipline of rejoicing and having HEAVEN’S perspective and not earth’s. The more you line your thinking up with heaven, the more naturally you will think and live like heaven. ALSO, we are not supposed to be controlled by our emotions. I stopped believing in “bad days” about two years ago and I haven’t had a bad day since then. hahaHA! I expect every day to be awesome. I am going from strength to strength and glory to glory, every single day. Every day is better than the one before, because His glory is expanding in my life. Paul said, But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (II Corinthians 3:18)

That’s a promise. That’s the set-up: increasing in glory, in joy, in strength, in victory, and in abundance in every single area of our lives. That said, the kingdom of God works on faith. If you have faith for increasingly glory, you’ll see it. If you have faith for sorrow-to-sorrow, you’ll probably see that. God wants us to get rid of our mediocre expectations and expect GREAT things!

Your family, your neighborhood, etc are waiting for you to really truly KNOW who you are and act like the powerful son or daughter of God you are!!!! Besides, imagine how much happier you will be when you are living in fullness of freedom, authority, and joy daily! You’ll be more fully you! You’ll sleep better, love better, dream better, serve better, and LIVE better.

Yesterday, my housemate and I went next door to invite our neighbors to a bbq and we ended up praying for our neighbor who was told she has cancer. She was really blessed and encouraged by our faith and joy. And I believe she is being healed. In fact, she said she gets mad at the doctors’ prognosis, because she says, “No man is going to tell me to expect bad things. Only God has the say in how I feel about my life!” Wow! I thought, “The church could sure use some of that positive outlook fire!!!”

hahahahaha. What if you expect every single thing in your life to go well? What if you expect it, not only to go well, but to go amazingly well? What if you take your biggest dreams and then move them into the size of impossibility? Then you’ll really need God to accomplish the dreams! haha! I encourage you to smash every box of expectation in your life, dream bigger than you’ve ever dreamed! You want to lead your neighborhood in worshiping Jesus? Well, how about believing for leading your whole CITY in worshiping Jesus? You want your friend’s baby delivery to go well? How about believing and declaring it will be pain-free? (It’s possible! And I’ve heard several stories!) You want a job that gives you x amount of money annually? How about declaring the release of a job that gives you twice that? haha! You want to see one person healed by your hands in your lifetime? How about expecting to heal one person every week? You want 6 hours of good sleep every night? How about expecting 8? You want your allergies to be less severe? How about commanding them to FULLY leave?

How about it? How about instead of the occasional victory, daily victory? Constant victory?

How about believing you are worth God lavishing blessing on and through?

How about grabbing a hold of the authority Jesus gave you and transforming your community?

How about living a life more GLORIOUS, JOYFUL, JESUS-FULL, and FUN than you’ve ever imagined?

HOW ABOUT IT?

hahahaha! Such beautiful mischief we get to make with God when we stir things up and bring victory to our lives and the lives of those around us continuously! It’s so much fun!

Oh, one last thing, there was a time in my life when I was struggling with gloom, so I wrote “fear” “anxiety” and “death” on three separate pieces of white paper. Every day for a month I cranked up worship music and danced and stomped on those stupid words. So much breakthrough and freedom came as a result. I was confidently proclaiming, “I WILL NOT LET THE ENEMY TELL ME WHAT TO DO!! NO WAY! NO HOW!!! NO SIREEEEE!!!! NEVER!!!!” Feel free to the same. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

If you’d like some teaching on the authority you have in Jesus, I recommend this series by Andrew Wommack:

http://www.awmi.net/extra/audio/1017

If you’d like an INCREDIBLE teaching called “Overcoming Negativity Through Rest” by Graham Cooke, you can find it here:

http://www.brilliantbookhouse.com/product_info.php?products_id=41

If you’d like some sound bytes of encouragement, I recommend these messages mixes by Bethel Church’s youth movement, Jesus Culture:

Especially “Invitation to Victory”  It will stick some dynamite in ya!

http://www.jesusculture.com/m/message-mix

Yippee-ky-ay-AAAAA!

He’s better than you think!

Yeehaw!

Jesus is alive and well!

And so are YOU!

Hope is a happy elephant that sits on tiredness.

“But as for me,

I will always have hope;

I will praise you more and more.”

Psalm 71:14

A couple months back I went to the Bay Area with two friends because a friend was recording a song in a home recording studio. At one point my friend Joanne got a word of knowledge (insight from God into someone’s life) for the woman across the street. After Joanne prayed for the woman, we all were invited inside to pray for her mother, on her “deathbed” in the kitchen. We prayed and the woman felt better, but well, I probably should have just yanked that woman off that bed and made her stand – staring despair in the face and grabbing on to faith and hope. Faith activates healing. As Jesus said in Luke 18:42, “your faith has healed you.” Sometimes we need a good yanking to get out of moping and into HOPING, which leads to healing.

People are dying of hopelessness, tiredness, and despair often long before they ever die of “diseases.” This is atrocious. Jesus came to give us life and life abundant. Hope is ALIVE!!!!!!!! And it gives LIFE!!! What I’m saying is: God wants to HEAL US. We must stop partnering with tiredness, despair, and gloom. And we must stick up for others who have lost sight of hope.

Jesus is HOPE. If you are struggling with hopelessness, stick your head in heaven and inhale deeply. God wants you FULL OF HOPE. That is His design for your life. YES! It’s really a scrumptiously, brilliant design!!! And it’s easier than you think. haha. infinitely easier. wa ha ha ha ha!

Here’s my Dr Seuss-ian poem about that. I pray it stirs your spirit, lifts you to your feet, and empowers you to let Hope squish squoosh squash tiredness in your own life.

Hope is a happy elephant that sits on tiredness.

Caridad was sad, too sad, so sad.

In a bed, waiting for dead sad.

Now seventy, her levity

Was twiddle-whicked,

Thumb-flicked,

So                    faaaaaaar away, more than a day

Hiding, like a flea in a dog’s mane

Hiding, like a clear thought in the not-so-sane

Kidney disease,

Kidney dizzies

And other “stuff” full of fluff

Her daughter, weary

Eyes bleary

The doctors’ words, gooshed and smooshed

The hope

The dream

To see their native

Phillipine (s)

One last time,                   time,                    time

The very word tocked  a rhyme

“time” the daughter said

eyes picturing her mother dead

The word, it scurred, and blurred

And fell down there, on their tile floor

In their kitchen

Somethin’ was missin’

And when we prayed

Her hope got up

Caridad sat up (because I asked her to)

Grew tired,

Hope was fired.

And despair, mouthing “beyond repair”

Was there. Unwelcomely welcome.

I hate the tiredness.

Holy Spirit unwiredness

Seeing not the kidneys,  oh please

Not dying from a disease

Of the body, not shoddy,

Not shoddy, that body

The Truth, a sleuth

Seeing that before one’s body went shoddy

So much, of much, much much, indeed

Would not be from the physical,

No, that was not the seed

It was tiredness

The enemy’s liar-ness

Taking life, and Jesus’ to-be wife

From her fullness, royal coolness


I should have had

This Caridad

Not just sit-up,

but GET UP

Yanked her out of her bed

Of dread, that bed, so overfed

With tiredness snacks

Yuck. What muck. So stuck. Waiting for “luck.”

Her name means charity

What clarity, what severity

To compel love,

the dove

On my shoulder,

better to be bolder

To stand up,

For sitters, for quitters, for bitters, for scared of Hope jitters

And take my pet elephant, Hope

And squish, squooosh, squash the mope

Strong, heavy, immovable

Never seeing things “undoable”

In the room, kill the doom

And let Hope have power

To heal, to save, to shower

The hopeless with laughter

The depressed with haha-hafter

Appily ever hafter. Hat is.

Just perfect, the Father.

My Dad, so glad.

He’s loves Hope, shabbity showpe.


And Caridad.

Normal Healing Stories

Some friends were passing through Redding this week and they called me to meet up for coffee. One of them said, “we want to hear some of your crazy stories!” I laughed and agreed to meet them at Starbucks. I began to think about the definition of “crazy” and I thought about a conversation I had with another friend a couple weeks ago about agape love (the “highest” form of love, or God-like love) in which, in the context of how we train our hearts to live FROM heaven, I said, “Really, God is so normal” and my friend immediately wrote my words down to add to his collection of quotations. haha.

Ultimately, God is the norm.

Jesus is the most normal Christian ever.

Heaven is the norm.

The way things are in heaven should define “normal” for us.

After all, “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6).

*   WholenessJoy *     Life *     Glory *   Every color in existence (and those “not in existence”)  *       Fulfillment *

Heaven is here. Jesus brought it with Him.

And the kingdom of heaven is within us.

I was talking to God a few days ago and I was struck with the words, “See Heaven.” I realized this is one of my life’s banners: “See Heaven!” I want everyone, everywhere to SEE HEAVEN. I want us to all live in the reality of heaven constantly. And I want us to be so tapped into heaven, so aware that it is the highest reality, that we easily agree with its reality and therefore, bring it into our earthly midst. hahaha! What glorious fun!

And so, I thought I ought to toss some normal stories on y’all – to stir up hunger for heaven, to anchor hope inside you, and to stretch you to believe that every fear, every insecurity, every lack you perceive is ITSY BITSY compared to the size of God’s heart. So, shout down the walls of fear and take hold of your inheritance in Jesus!!!!!

First, several weeks ago I saw the red flashing lights of a fire truck in my kitchen window so, I went outside to inspect. There was the firetruck alongside an ambulance. The three year old son of my next door neighbor’s friend had a seizure and was in the back of the ambulance. I asked the mom if I could lay hands on the son and pray for him (mentioning I’ve seen a seizure stop through prayer), she said yes, but when I asked the paramedic if I could lean into the ambulance to lay a hand on the boy and pray, he said, “only family can, but you stand right there and pray.” SO, I stood at the ambulance’s bumper and commanded the seizure to stop. And immediately it DID! hahahaha! The paramedic looked at me and said, “the seizure stopped and all the color returned to his face!” hahahaha! It was wonderful! Hooray for Jesus!!! They did take the boy to the hospital for follow-up that night, but since then my neighbor’s son informed me the boy is completely fine! YAY!!

That is a story about taking authority in your neighborhood, your city, your state etc. Jesus is the King of Kings. Let’s agree with His rule by being part of transforming our cities!!!

The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:

The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

Revelation 11:15

Next story: This one is about listening to Jesus and doing bizarre things in obedience and love. haha.

It’s a testimony from the Old Testament.

In 2 Kings 5 there is a general named Naaman. Naaman had leprosy and desperately sought a cure.

Verses 9-14 read:

So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than any of the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

YES!!!! God prodded Naaman out of His comfort zone and Naaman’s willingness to step out in faith led to his healing!

Now, let’s drink (feel free to gargle it before you swallow it) a testimony from the New Testament.

Next Story: also about peculiar obedience.

In John 9 there is a man blind from birth. Jesus healed him as recorded in verse 6:

“Having said this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. ‘Go,’ he told him, ‘wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.”

YES!!!!!!! Not only did Jesus spit into dirt and put mud on the man’s eyes (unusual? one would think so), but then Jesus asked more of him, he told him to go wash in the Pool of Siloam.

Another story: this one is about kissing a foot.

A few months back, a friend of mine injured her foot. I asked her if I could pray for it and I felt like the Lord said to kiss it. So, I did. And some of the pain left. Then I felt like everyone in the room (about 10 people) was supposed to kiss her foot. So, I told them this. Gradually, they each kissed her foot. With each kiss, the pain diminished. There was only one person left to kiss the precious foot. And he refused. “I’m sorry, but I am NOT kissing someone’s foot!” Well, after some healthy encouragement from the rest of us, he gave in and kissed the foot. Immediately, she lept to her feet and began running around the room saying, “the pain is gone! the pain is gone! Praise YOU, GOD!” hahahahaha!

So, we got outside our usual prayer routine and whaddya know? God showed up in power and my friend was completely healed! hahahaha!

I’ve kissed other people’s ailing parts in prayer – and it’s always a sweet blessing to their soul and their body. : )

And, really, WHO CARES if it’s uncomfortable or weird? It’s FOR HIS GLORY and it’s to LOVE HIS KIDS!!! That’s the point. What other people think of us, is NOT the point. haha. It’s always fun to jump out of earth into heaven. We were made for heaven’s reality. We were made for Eden. That’s our natural habitat. haha. “Weird” is normal if it’s what God’s doing. And it’s really really outrageously fun to BE OURSELVES: full of heaven, full of insane freedom. haha.

Love releases healing. Love releases freedom. Love releases acceptance in the receiver’s heart, the walls come down and healing more fully comes in. Hooray!

And now to a more recent story: this one about swinging someone like a bridge. (why not?)

Last week a friend of mine asked me to come over to his flat because he had friends in town and they wanted people to pray and prophesy over them. Well, I went over. We prayed and prophesied over 4 of the 5 people and when I turned to the last one to ask if we could start praying for him, he said, “well, first, could you pray for my head? I have a horrible migraine. It’s the fifth time today and I’m actually planning to go to the E.R. after this to get it checked out.”

“What?!?” I replied. “Well, that’s going to stop right now!” So, we prayed for him. And I asked him how he felt. “A little better, yeah,” he answered. “On a scale of one to ten, what is the pain?” I asked. “Probably an eight,” he explained. “Okay, we’ll keep praying. God, thank you that the pain is going down! Let’s see it totally leave!” In the moments following the pain went to a “7.5” and people began giving him prophetic words as we prayed. We were recording the prophesies on an audio recorder so, I said, “stop the recording.”

It stopped.

“I have a picture,” I said, “we are swinging you like a bridge, holding your arms and feet and just swinging you and when we swing you, you are going to be totally healed.” Faces in the room turned to shock and wonder. I explained that God likes it when we step out of our comfort zone into faith and I mentioned the story of my friend’s foot being healed. “Well,” the man turned to me, “I would let you swing me, but the thing is, I actually can’t.” “What do you mean?” I questioned. “I have titanium in my back and movement like that would hurt my back.” “What?” I exclaimed, “well, let’s get that taken care of! that’s easy! Titanium can dissolve just like that!” My friend Sam piped up with a story in which he saw titanium dissolve in a man’s forearm when he prayed for him. So, Sam prayed for the titanium in this man’s back to dissolve. And most of the rest of us popped into praise and prayer exclamations. haha! The Presence of God was in the room like a net pulling in a load of fish, we were being yanked up into the Lord’s boat. haha. After a bit of hot sauna Presence prayer, the man said we could swing him. He was coated in God’s goodness and ready for the next step of faith. Two men took his hands, two men took his legs, and they swung him. And I about fell over in Holy Spirit tornado laughter. haha. I LOVE GOD!!!! I love co-operating with Him!

Well, after some swinging, he stood up and I asked what level the pain was at. He said, “it’s a six. really. it’s going away.” I screamed and lept. Also, in the midst of all this he mentioned that his father recently was told he has brain cancer and that this man was scheduled for a brain check-up soon. Someone immediately said, “we break those words off of you. You have the mind of Christ. There is no cancer in you and we break off any anxiety or fear related to that.” It was becoming clear that much more than a series of headaches was being healed and set free. Well, as we stood there, he said, “it’s a four.” And I yelled and jumped up and down, all the while laughing insanely in red-cheeked, blushing love for Jesus! “YES YES YES!!! Thank you, Jesus! haha!” And then, he paused in a sort of slow speed moment of evaluation, “It’s gone. It’s gone. Really. All the pain is gone!” HAHAHAHAHA! He was in shock. We all began to laugh and celebrate and he simply stood there in utter shock. Then he smiled and chuckled. He asked if there were magnets around so he could check to see if the titanium left his back. Someone looked, but the magnets weren’t large enough to work, so he said he would let us know after he went through the airport Thursday. He always sets off the metal detector on account of the titanium, so he was expecting to not set it off and therefore know the titanium was gone.

AWESOME!!!!!!! Healed of migraines while being swung like a bridge!!!! HILARIOUS!!!! I love it! God is definitely my favorite AND ONLY God to follow! haha! He’s the Creator! And He’s creative!

And wow, is He normal.

Bill Johnson on Healing

I passionately believe this is one of the most important drumbeats in carrying on the revolution Jesus began 2,000 years ago! We are courageous. We will live courageously. We will heal the sick and we will do so drenched in joy, ease, power, and glory! hahaha! It’s all for Jesus! It’s all for His beautiful name! Let’s go!

 

YUM YUM.