Tag Archives: healing

Closing One Door To Open Another

andI’m not sure if I have shared with you about a very painful decision my husband and I have recently made this November. We were associate pastors at a church we attended for over thirty years. During that time we have been through many ups and downs with them. Been through many marriages, babies being born, and loved ones dying. When you grow up in the church, it’s no longer a congregation but your family.

It wasn’t until this year though, God had been stirring us to fly. I can’t explain it except for even though we enjoyed the warmth of love we felt from our brothers and sisters, we kept hurting for the ones in trauma, alone, without the strength of the family we had been given inside the four walls. We kept plugging away with trying to build a bigger and better church, until one day the foundation began to crumble. Our ways of trying to fix the very structure we helped build a comfortable life underneath, was no longer wanted by our headship.

A month before the roof came crashing down around us, God had told us that we are pastors outside of the four walls. He is calling us to reach the broken-hearted. He even downloaded a whole outline based on the American Red Cross, with trauma centers, counseling, health and wellness clinics, suicide hotlines, etc. Our desire was to add this to our church. God’s desire was to add this to the community.

Ever since that day we have felt alone and searching. There are times we have felt like orphans, and other days we wonder, did we do the right thing? My biggest cry out to God lately has been how on earth does just our family start a red cross ministry? It’s just too big God.

But God. . .

Valentine’s day is here, and I have been invited to be the seventh and last member of a new ministry that has just begun in our community called First Responders. I went to see if this was anyway in connection to the vision God had given to Eric and I. They were working on a flyer that explains all the types of ministries they are making available to Flagstaff and showed it to me. I look at it and tears begin to well up. Right at the top of the page is their symbol; a red cross sign. Bellow that is counseling, wellness center, intercessory prayer. They begin to explain their vision. To go outside of the four walls of the church to rescue the broken in the middle of emergencies, the one’s in trauma, and get them immediate help. I knew if I had released those tears I would be bawling and not able to compose myself. When asked what I could contribute I took out my notebook of downloads from God and their mouths dropped open. It was like two halves of a picture were brought together and we could all see that God had put this group together.

They were excited about adding a youth center with suicide prevention counseling and hotline.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, but I am amazed that today I have walked into God’s will and not my own works.

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Caverns Of The Mind

In Chapter 19 ‘Caverns of the Mind,’ Hallie and her brother are deep in the tunnels under their house. The only difference is Hallie has experienced the Creator’s love and is no longer dragged through life by her fears and doubts. Collin on the other hand is totally controlled by his fears and anger by dwelling with the gnomes who have not only captured him, but he considers them his family.
Hope you enjoy this small part of Chapter 19 as much as I had writing it:ch3 FamilySecrets

Caverns Of The Mind

The insect’s back had a hard outer shell, like the hood of a car. Riding on Aunt J’s horses back at the ranch was completely different from this experience. The long, graceful strides of the insect’s arms and legs made Hallie’s body twist and sway, making it almost impossible to get into a fluid rhythm.
She wielded a lit torch like a sword, slicing into the ever-encroaching darkness and defying it to swallow her whole. Her experience in the Creator’s realm had given her a renewed mind, changing her thoughts of fear and doubt to that of hope and adventure. She was ready to take on any challenge in finding her brother.
Hallie inspected every chiseled-out piece of wall for clues but found none. Not until they turned a corner.
A faint light illuminated the end of the long corridor. Making their way down towards the light, she saw random carved-out prison cells with worn iron bars locked shut. Hallie stopped her ride to hop off and get a closer look. Shining the torch into the first cell, she found nothing but a few rats eating from a tin can.
When she examined the next cell, her light caught a glimmer of an intricately designed piece of jewelry. She stretched out her free arm as far as it would reach through the bars and just barely grabbed the object and pulled it to herself.
It was black and yellow, frosted in shimmering stripes of fine powdered diamonds. She twirled the elaborate rendition of a caterpillar in her hand. The elongated character spiraled around and curved slightly upward, like an earring clip that is made to wrap around the outside of the ear. It was one of the prettiest pieces of jewelry Hallie had ever seen. She tried it on and it fit perfectly.
Hallie placed her torch through the bars of the cell and examined the cell walls. Extreme textures of light and shadow everywhere illuminated carved-out writing. Words were written over and over throughout all three walls:
FORGIVE ME, FORGIVE ME, I’M SORRY, I’M SORRY, I’LL CHANGE, WHATEVER YOU WANT, TELL ME WHAT TO DO, TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, HOW CAN I MAKE YOU HAPPY, HOW CAN I MAKE YOU LOVE ME, PLEASE, JUST LOVE ME, I NEED YOU TO LOVE ME, DON’T LEAVE ME, DON’T HURT ME. PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
The mantra covered every inch of the walls. Some parts were smudged with a bloody finger- or handprint. This person must have quite literally worked his or her fingers to the bone.
Reading the words brought a sobering reality to Hallie of the depths of people’s wounds. Who would be so cruel as to lock someone away and never release them from their stigma, withholding love, until they became insane with guilt and shame?
During a conversation she had had with Charisma one day about forgiving her dad, Charisma had said, “Did you know the Hebrew word for ‘forgiveness’ means ‘to let go’?”
Wow, how ironic. Someone had literally kept this person locked up, and forgiveness would have been the key. Except when we forgive someone else, letting the hurts go and no longer being chained up with them really is the key.

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I wrote about several prison cells; each one holding a different lesson about what imprisons us in our own lives. The first one that I posted here was a powerful revelation I had discovered about forgiveness. If forgiveness means to let go, then if we don’t, we are not only imprisoning the one who hurt us but we are locking ourselves up with that person as well. If you don’t believe me, try thinking of the person you have unforgiveness towards. I bet it is easy to picture them so closely that you can feel all the anger and hurts bubbling up inside of you. The only way to free yourself from them is to release them. In this particular prison cell the one writing was locked away with guilt and unforgiveness of herself. If your like me than your harder on yourself than anyone else. The key in opening the prison cell is to receive forgiveness and to believe the power in it. Once you have asked forgiveness it is like taking the key and opening the door. The problem we have many times is we either don’t believe the key worked or that we don’t deserve to be free, so we stay inside our cells and repeat the mantra, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, please forgive me, I’ll do whatever you want, please don’t leave me hear,” and in all reality we have left ourselves their.
There is a favorite scripture verse for this scenario. It is, “He who the son sets free, is free indeed.”

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Torn

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Many things can be torn.

Paper: contracts, promises, love letters.

Body parts: muscles, hearts. Flesh.

Fabric: clothes in mourning, furnishings in anger, and the veil that separated us from God out of love.

Torn promises from us,

Torn hearts from this world,

Torn veil from God.

God has torn away everything that separates us from Him.

Promises restored, hearts mended, and sown into the heart, flesh and spirit of Christ.

Celebrate what was torn and mended during this resurrection day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Miracles? Miracles!

light of the worldThis week I have felt like Don Quixote out on a quest in search for the impossible dream; Miracles.

Are they true? Does God still heal? In the midst of a deceitful, scary world, is there still room for the compassionate Savior that walked the earth to heal the sick, forgave sins, restored Joy, and fight evil?My quest started at our church. Last Saturday we attended a memorial service for one of the kindest, joyful elders that we know. Her name was Silvia Robertson, and she had fought cancer over a year and was survived by her loving husband Rob. Our church has prayed for her healing, joined cancer walks to help raise awareness and support, and brought meals and helped clean their house when she was just too weak from the treatments. Our church as a whole believes in miracles, but so frustrated with seeing so many sick and feeling so helpless. Since Eric and I have been asked to co pastor we have been excited to try new things. Our best friends have been going to many conferences at Bethel Church through out the year and always wanted some of their speakers to teach on healing at Grace (our church). My husband and I believe if someone is experiencing incredible miracles, why not hear what they have to say and maybe we will learn or at least gain more understanding. So last Tuesday night the first speaker came. His name was Joel Hill. He spoke profound words like:

“I just want Jesus to get what He paid for.”

“If the gospel of Jesus Christ never gave you a sigh of relief, You’ve never really experienced the gospel.”

“When people are holding up signs to judge us, how many people know that’s not the signs and wonders God sent us?”

and , “A smile is releasing love from your face.”

He explained healing is simply bringing heaven to earth. God is Good, He is not looking down at His children in anger, He loves us, He sings over us, He rejoices in who we are. Joel also shared miracle story, after miracle. He had us raise our hands if we had any sickness or pain, and then had us turn and simply ask Jesus to heal and smile at the one we were praying for. Many people raised their hands of notable miracles. And then we went home.

The next day their was one miracle he spoke about that he didn’t actually experience but heard about and said you can find it on the internet. Because I am now Don Quixote on a quest I needed to look it up. The miracle was that 16 people were raised from the dead in Brazil after a horrible flood that took more than 600 lives. I found the newspaper page showing the bodies before and then the sheets folded over with the bodies gone. I read about the amazing story and then thanks to wordpress found a couple of blogs that wrote about the incident. One blog was written from a missionary that traveled to Brazil quite a bit and wrote that some of the facts in the article didn’t match up so he actually traveled to the town and did his own research. You can find out what he discovered on youtube by the way (just type in 16 raised from the dead in Brazil). He went to the newspaper who denied that they printed the article. He asked town folk who had never heard of 16 people coming back from the dead. He asked a minister in the area who said, “I’ve experienced miracle, sure I’ve seen some one raised from the dead before, but this miracle you speak of simply didn’t take place.” But as I watched this missionary seek truth, the truth he found was a village impoverished from a flood. The bigger miracle came after when he admitted from seeing the devastation all around this area, he picked up his life and moved their to set up a ministry to bring a constant supply of food and clothing, and of coarse love and support. I ask you reading this what do you think? Was their actually a miracle in Brazil?

Well this speaker didn’t have all his facts right, but he did speak the truth; God does love us and came to earth to heal us out of His amazing compassion. This truth brought some interesting events to our household this past week. Wednesday my youngest daughter and I were shopping at Hastings I was looking through Dr. Who memorabilia and totally engrossed. I heard her ask something about if she could pray for someone in a wheel chair could they be healed. I said sure. She must have gone  from my side because minutes later my fifteen year old came back beside me and said can we go. I looked over to her and she burst into tears. We left quickly as she explained to me there was an elderly lady in a wheel chair and she just hurt for her and if God really is a healer she didn’t want this woman to have to suffer anymore. “I asked her if I could pray for her and I thought she said yeas so I gently placed my hand on her and as soon as I began to pray she yelled at me to get away and leave me alone. Mom she wheeled away looking back at me so angry and disgusted.  I will never pray for anyone else as long as I live. I feel so horrible.” Well I’m the one who feels horrible for being so wrapped up in my BBC love for Dr. Who I wasn’t cued into what was going on. I hugged her and told her how sorry I was that I didn’t go with her and how proud I was that instead of stealing or being rued like a typical 15 year old would do, she had compassion for another human being enough to step out and ask to pray for her. More guts than I ever had.

Saturday morning came and my daughter offered to help my husband and I pack boxes for a couple that were moving. Before we left we prayed for them because the wife has a very rare sickness that is life threatening and is in constant pain. I asked Julie (our 15 year old) if she would pray for her. Julie prayed from her heart and called to Jehovah Rapha the God that heals to touch her and when she was done the  lady was crying and so touched, hugged Julie and thanked her and before we went she called out wait, and ran back to give her a piece of her jewelry and thanked her so much for her heart. Which in turn restored our daughters heart of courage.

Now it’s Saturday evening and my 17 year old daughter who was raped 2 years ago and been spiritually and emotionally healed from the invisible scars through a Christian counselor and lots of time spent in the loving embrace of Jesus,  is about to give her testimony to a group of 6 girls at our home. She has started a support group for broken hearted teen girls. She cooks dinner for them and gives them a safe place where they can share about there experiences and find out What God says about them and how valuable they are. My husband and I went to a movie to give them their own time, when we came back they were all laughing and crying. One girl with tears streaming down her face said I was in a car accident years ago  and the pain in my neck has been so severe I have to hold my head and sometimes I can’t even breath if I look up. They prayed for me and the pain is totally gone. I can Breath, and I have no more pain. I am totally healed. Then another girl, cute little blond face all pink and tears smudged all over her face say’s I have, and rattled a whole list of horrible stomach and woman sicknesses I can’t remember except for maybe endometrioses.  She was hungrily eating her pasta dish as she spoke, I can eat again. I have no more stomach pains, this feels so good to finally eat without pain. I’m healed. I’m still shaking, can you believe God healed me?! As parents where lining our drive way ready to pick up their girls they couldn’t stop hugging each other and crying, and laughing. Later our daughter told us how many girls opened up and was loved by everyone and supported and then she described they all felt a light rain coming down and they all started laughing and praying for each other, and then girls started shouting they got healed. One girl was literally drenched as if actual rain had poured down on her. Me being a typical mother said,” did you feed them?” Catherine’s response was, “They all said they were starving, but no one wanted to leave the presence of God they were experiencing to take time to eat. I guess they were more starving for God’s love, and they got it.”

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news muse

http://youtu.be/X83AY9jrPjcIf

If I were to show you what is at the very core of my heart, past the layer of inspiring people, it would be to see young adults become who they were created to be, and to succeed.
This video was created by a friend of mine as part of a Christmas celebration. His name is Eugene Martinez and is 26 years old. He wants to be in film making. I was deeply impressed and wanted to share this with you. Just click on the above connection, and let me know what you think.

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