Quotes

"This is what I have seen happen that has deeply concerned me - is people will study great subjects of Scripture like grace or the love of God. And what happens is people will come up to it with a definition of God's love and then they allow their definition of love to re-define what the Bible says - which is [an] absolute violation of Scripture. The Bible is supposed to define love, not us work up our own feel good definition of love and let that redefine Scripture." - Bill Johnson 

“Why is our generation so unhappy? Because there are many choices of temporary substitutes that we use to fill the void that only God can satisfy. Quick fix.”-Le-Jovale Vallejo

“If we want more of God and his light in our lives, the key is not only coming to church to get it, but in going into the world to give it.” -Nathanael White

"If you constantly find yourself trying to prove your worth to someone, you've already forgotten your value." -Ram Babu

“Until you have something to die for, you really have nothing to live for.” -Kris Vallotton

“It’s challenging but we cannot believe that Jesus died to satisfy the punishment for our sin and to reverse the effects of sin in our soul, but then call things… that Jesus died to save us from holy & good. Calling bad things good was the first sin.” - Zoe Warren

“The greater my need to control other people the lesser personal freedom I will feel.” -Miguel Que

“Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought it would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living.” - Rachel Marie Martin

"Grace enables me to walk like Christ walked and grace never tried to sin and get away with it." -Todd White

A fun story:

Yesterday, at the JFK airport in NYC, I was told that I would not be boarding my flight to Russia due to having my valid visa in my old passport. After trying a variety of ways to solve the problem, I couldn't see any way it would work. So I booked the quickest flight out back to Minnesota (where I am from) to see family for the week before picking up my overseas itinerary in Norway next week. Feeling a bit frustrated with needing to cancel everything in Russia (and bad for the Russian pastors), I sat in the Boston airport. I had flown overnight the night before on 1 hour of sleep and had only slept that hour and for a few hours in a JFK airport food court that morning. I had no quiet time that day (as when I woke from my nap I went straight to the airline counter where I found out I couldn't go) and certainly didn't feel very anointed, nor had much desire to do much ministry in the Boston airport. I say that to say - we never want to reduce God to our feelings or believe He doesn't want to show up because we don't feel filled.

I sat in Boston Logan airport last night on layover from NYC on a comfy couch when a group of 4 middle aged women sat nearby. They asked me if I was going to Iceland too and I said that I was going back to Minnesota where I was from. I then shared that I was frustrated as I should have been in Russia. They asked me what I do for work since I seemed to fly a lot. I told them I travel and share in churches. They asked how I got into that. I explained how I had cancer in my early 20s and that I train churches in healing ministry. Even though I was not supernaturally healed (but still am in remission by 14 years), it gave me a big passion for God to heal others. I shared how the first healing happened years ago when I was so surprised.

To say that and not offer to pray for them wouldn't be right so I offered prayer. They basically all wanted healing. The first woman shared how she used to be adrenaline junkie and lived in pain throughout her body after breaking many bones over the years. I asked her what hurt the most. She said that her feet did due to plantar's fascitis. After praying for her feet twice, they felt the exact same.

I told them that I didn't pretend that I saw a 100% breakthrough. I went to the second woman. She had Lyme's Disease. I showed her a text from Reggie Mercado where he shared of someone getting healed of lupus over the phone a month ago. I thought it was Lyme's but I forgot. Anyways, she still was astounded that could happen and I prayed for her. I asked her how she was doing. She started flipping out. "I swear to God I don't know where the pain went. I have had that in my neck for 10 months." I told her that this stuff was real. I wouldn't get invited to speak on this hundreds of times a year if God didn't show up.

The first woman spoke up. "Maybe I am not as good of a person as the second woman is." She said that she had a friend who says that she is going to hell because she doesn't go to church. She asked me if that is true. I told her not going to church doesn't send people to hell and that people have a lot of different ideas in the church. I was almost going to half apologize on behalf of the guy and she said that he was the most wonderful man and that she was not remotely offended by him.

She said that guy said you have to believe in God in order for him to answer your prayers. She said she always believed in Mother Nature but wasn't sure what she thought about God. I told her that I have seen God heal many atheists and they certainly didn't believe in God. She then asked for me to try again with her feet. I pray a third time for her feet with no visible results. I ask her about her back as that was also hurting. She said she has lower back pain. I have her sit in a chair and tell her friends to pull out their phones (which they did) and record a video of her leg growing out. Her leg grew out about an inch and a half and the pain that was in her leg leaves. We try a FOURTH time with her feet but they still aren't any different.

Woman number 3 asks if I can pray for her cold. She also has lower back pain (although not at the moment). Her leg also grows out an inch and, after a few prayers, her sinuses feel almost completely open.

Woman number 4 asks if I can pray because she has had migraines her whole life. She was on medication momentarily so she says she wouldn't know if they are healed or not. I pray for her and she starts talking of how she felt a heat flowing through her body. Woman number 1 shares how she also felt that heat during prayer for her leg to grow out.

They start asking me about the afterlife and who goes to heaven. I dodge their question and just say, "I want to tell you how I came to conclusions on this." I share how - when I had cancer - I had all sorts of ideas of God from the church world. I ask if they had spent much time in church. None of them said they had. I tell them that I had heard a wide variety of ideas about God from growing up in church. Some I thought were right on. Others I didn't know about. When I had many tumors in my body, I wanted to know for sure what was actually true. I had seen that the God of the Bible had answered prayers before when I prayed to Him so I knew he and the Bible were real. After that I started at square 1 with what the church said. If I couldn't find it in the Bible but I found it in church, I questioned it... especially related to healing ministry.

I told them how the Bible shares how Jesus came into the world, died on a cross, and was raised from the dead. Sure, that is impossible but God does the impossible, like the healings they are now seeing. He did it because he loves them. We all have done things wrong and that that keeps us separated from God and deserve to have us be punished. But God didn't want us separated. So Jesus died on the cross taking the punishment for what we have done wrong so that a Holy God could have relationship with unholy people. In our 21st century mindsets we might think that it shouldn't have to be that way, but I find it works better to let God define himself rather than have me come up with my definition of how I think God ought to be and what I think he ought to do. Otherwise, we create a God in our image and wonder if that God is even real. And the reality is - that one isn't real - he is something we made up of how we think he ought to be.

I clarified that religion is man's attempt to please God. But Jesus is pursuing us with His love as He wants relationship with you. It isn't about religion; it is about a relationship with the God of the universe.

I explained to them that they could clearly see God was real - I can't heal anyone. So they have a choice with how the God of the Bible defines Himself and what He did for us. They could reject him... but then they would face the punishment for what they have done wrong when they die. Or they could turn away from the wrong things, make Jesus their God, and receive forgiveness. They all wanted to do that so they prayed after me, "Jesus, please forgive me for what I have done wrong. I want to turn away from these things. I want to follow you. I make you my God. Amen." I counseled them a bit in what to do in this relationship with Jesus they started in on.

So what is the moral of the story? There could be many. Don't limit God when you don't feel anointed or didn't get the time with Him you wanted. Don't get blown out of the water if you pray for your first person and they don't get healed. Don't let frustration of something negative keep you from a divine encounter God has for you. Start a relationship with God if you haven't already. And so many more. To God be the glory!

Quotes

“It saddens me that sometimes in our church circles when a person calls someone to a higher standard of living then the world’s, or encourages them to turn from sin, they can be labelled judgmental. It amazing me that those who love God’s standard are marked as the critical/legalistic ones and the one who still lives like the world and refuses to leave sin is often seen as the Christ-like victim. In this present day we must be careful that our love message doesn't become the love of anything and everything message.” - Ben Fitzgerald

“[People can say…] We cannot share the Word of God because our church only has 4 kinds of people:
1. Too young
2. Too busy 
3. Too old 
4. Dead

Alternative:

We can reach whole nations because our church has 4 kinds of people:
1. Workers
2. Mentors
3. Strategists 
4. Finish Line” - Marcy Babor

“If you are not prioritizing God over your life, you are not prioritizing your life!” - Roselyn Lopez

“When you view God solely through the filter of your own experience, a lot of God tends to get filtered out.” - Melissa Wood

“Do you ever talk against yourself, put yourself down in your thoughts, listen to the voice of discouragement and failure? Please know that you are going to lose. You see, God is for you. If you are against you, you will find yourself fighting against God. Because He is fighting for you!” -Marcy Babor

“God doesn’t want to control you. He wants to set you free from all that does.” -Nathaniel White

“Authentic Christianity isn’t about behavior modification, it’s about transformation from the inside out.” -Reggie Mercado

Quotes and Bill Johnson clip

“The only people who get upset with you setting boundaries are the ones who were benefiting by you having none.”-Toby Mac

“Living your life only for yourself and your own pleasures is a great way to destroy it.” - Me

“When we base our significance off the acceptance of others we limit our identity to their capacity to love.” - Gabriel Lopez

“Training people that sin will hurt them is better than training them that God will hurt them when they sin.” - Miguel Que

“Christians who feel they have their lives all together live a mediocre Christian life.” - heard Bill Johnson quoted as saying this

“Force your lies to sit there and watch you worship. Just don't be surprised if they get up to leave before you’re finished.” - Gabriel Lopez

“When you learn that a person’s behavior has more to do with their own internal struggle than it ever did with you, you learn grace.” - Unknown

“The difference between unforgiveness and forgiveness depends on whose blood brings you peace. The blood of your enemy or the blood of your Savior.” - Gabriel Lopez

I also encourage you to watch Bill Johnson on the Holy Spirit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=WItXH6Ahv4Q&fbclid=IwAR14gavi6MIusUbxUdPrfZqOLsdUB2rdFBZi_zcMBUyAAeTQYroLWc36NVQ&app=desktop

Friend's blog

I regularly run teams to Philippines to do outreaches where Jesus has healed and saved many thousands over the years. I like the perspective of my friend Macey on what these trips are like: https://10000reasons.blog/2019/04/03/receive/?fbclid=IwAR33Ck9PDG_Ih6QW-ORFcZ55OBMWepLkzLb6eIgGjzvMBBluM5qRk1FJ8ss

Thoughts...

In the name of not having a formula for healing, i see people throw away healing principles that would work and help them out.

Having something you're trying to prove is a sign that you don't know who fights your battles for you.

If you seek His face, you'll hear His voice.

Church was never meant to be a place for people just endlessly confess the same sin without the hope of freedom.

You're not empowered if you're waiting for someone else to open the door for you. You are empowered if you serve right where you're at .

Quotes

The more people give God glory and praise for the good He does in their lives, the more people feel peace, rest, and trust in Him for the future. The more we internalize what happened as being about ourselves, the more pressure we feel to keep something up that we never did in the first place!

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If you want to live surrendered to God instead of consumed by your circumstances, it won't work very well to live surrendered to someone you aren't living closely connected to!

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Healing ministry was meant to be transferable/multiplicatable. See Luke 9:1-2, 10-9, etc.

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“There is no compassion for evil, it doesn’t exist. When we force ourselves to embrace someone else’s agreement with evil because it is the “nice thing to do,” we empower evil in their life and violate ourselves.” -Mike Maeshiro

Quotes

Do you have an unexpected problem? Regard it as an opportunity to depend on the Lord and learn something new. - Mark Rapley

“It is not wise to take inventory of the fruit of our lives while we are in the twilight moments with little time to change the outcome of a life lived. [Don’t wait that long!]” -Mike Francen

“Love God more than ministry”-Don Clowers

“What you do for God can never replace the time you spend with God.” - Joyce Meyers

“If you don’t build your dream someone will hire you to build theirs.”-Tony Gaskins

“The fire of God brings commitment to the cause.” The fire of the world seeks the comfort and acceptance of man.” -Mike Francen

Another fun testimony...

I am walking down the street in Manila (Philippines) a couple of days ago and I see these folks sitting at a shrine on a street corner. Immediately, when I looked at the one man, I felt something leap on the inside of me. I knew it was the Holy Spirit. I tried to figure out what God wanted with this man but I didn't hear anything per se. So I dropped off my laundry at my friend's house a block away and then came back. Sometimes I feel bold but sometimes I feel chicken. This was a chicken moment. I felt a little weird going up to them when they were doing something already so I stood near by and played with my phone for a second. The one man noticed me and yelled out to me. I started chatting with them and asked if any of them had any pain or problem in their body. They all did - elbow, back and another problem. They all were improved from the first prayer but not perfect yet. After two prayers for one and 3 for the other two all of the pain left their bodies.

I then shared how every Filipino knows that Jesus died on the cross but many don't know why. It was because we all have done bad things and this keeps us separated from God. But God doesn't wanted us separated. Jesus took the punishment of what we have done wrong to be forgiven. So I ask them if they would like to turn from what they have done wrong and make Jesus their God. They all did and then prayed after me: "Dear Jesus - please forgive me for what I have done wrong. Give me strength to turn away from the bad things I have done. I make you my God." You know you can do this too if you haven't before...

Testimony

I had a great weekend in Ifugao and Isabela, Philippines. This was one fun highlight, though. My old power bank quit working and I needed to get another one. So I go to the shopping mall in Roxas, Isabela, and as I am looking to buy one, I hear the Holy Spirit tell me to share the Gospel with the worker. So I ask the 5 employees of the shop to come together and ask who needs a healing. They all do - 2 sore throats, a bad back, a headache, and a painful wrist. After a quick prayer for healing, 2 are improved and 3 are the same. I tell them we need to persevere. After the second prayer, most of them are either completely healed or radically improved by the Lord. I start sharing the Gospel with them all, but the worker who was helping me originally needs to help a new customer. So the other four employees pray to repent of what they have done wrong and make Jesus their God but I still missed the first one who the Spirit prompted me to share with. So I go back to her after she is done helping the customer and she too prays to make Jesus her Lord and Savior.

Thoughts

If you think your gift is about you, you’ve missed the point.

Pride in the revelation of what you already know can keep you from being able to live it out. For example, some of those that 5 years ago emphasized how well they had tolerance are now some of the least tolerant people towards political leaders they disagree with. 
Empowerment to live out what we know to be true comes more from the Spirit than the intellect.

To contemplate...

When Calvinists focus on whether something is or isn't God's will based on what happened when they prayed, it is a failure to understand that God's will often includes human involvement. We have a personal relationship with God through Jesus - and God wants to work in relationship with us to accomplish His will! Ananias in Acts 9 was just wanting God to sovereignly stop Saul without his involvement. But God wanted to work through him! God's way to accomplish his will can often involve more than a "if it be thy will" prayer!

The church many times sees healing ministry, witnessing, and Holy Spirit ministry as something for those with great character and good theology as some sort of reward for having been disciples. However, Jesus picked people with major character flaws (like Judas, Peter, James, and John) in Luke 9:1-2 to be empowered and saw Holy Spirit ministry as one more aspect of their discipleship process. 

If you take too much credit for what God does through you, it can create an orphan spirit where you depend too much on your resources instead of His! 

God First!

Removing idolatry (meaning anything we put in front of God) from a believer’s life is as much about putting God first as removing the idol. Simply removing the problem alone doesn’t solve the problem as much as simply create a vacuum.

Some thoughts for today...

If the messages of your church are to simply get people through the next week, then your people may start to reduce God by only believing for that. But so much more than that is available in the abundant life Jesus gives!!

If you make decisions based off of whoever can tell you emotional stories to manipulate your feelings instead of truth and facts, you can easily be deceived and have a mercy gift not grounded in reality.  Stories, truth, and facts are all important.

When you want the reward without embracing the process you become a target for the victim mentality. - Erik Frederickson

The only secure place for one's value/self worth is found in the One that does not change! If value is based on what a person will spend for something... well, you have been bought with the life of Jesus on the cross. There is nothing more valuable than that!

"In his 1942 devotional Abundant Living, E. Stanley Jones, Methodist doctor and missionary to India, writes: The early Christians did not say in dismay: "Look what the world has come to," but in delight, "Look what has come to the world."
They saw not merely the ruin, but the Resource for the reconstruction of that ruin. 
They saw not merely that sin did abound, but that grace did much more abound.
On that assurance the pivot of history swung from blank despair, loss of moral nerve, and fatalism, to faith and confidence that at last sin had met its match." - Alberto Cordero

If people make healing ministry difficult in their minds it will become difficult in their experience.

(if no quote by it, it is from me)

Some different thoughts...

If you think the essence of Christianity is fighting for what you think you are entitled to instead of serving, you might have missed how Jesus did royalty as the Son.

If you hate people that are full of hate then you have just become what you were against.

I wonder how many breakthroughs would come quicker if Christians didn't take credit (or discounted it) in the past for how God had previously answered prayers.

When one's prayer life gets past all of the regular things they say, ask God for, and/or ask forgiveness for - after that is the place that real relationship of getting to know someOne starts.

Lying and stealing epitomize the orphan spirit of distrust.

Thoughts

Seeing people get healed on any amount of a consistent basis is not a random fluke but has much more to do with what one believes about God, themselves, and the sick person while ultimately depending on His grace. Jesus made healing ministry something that could be replicated in Luke 9 & 10; not a random aberration.

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If one learns thankfulness towards God instead of taking credit for what He empowered us to do, it will be far easier to believe for Him to show up next time!