How to Walk in Freedom!

Last night, I had the honour of leading someone to freedom from addiction and depression. (I am a Life Coach and Spiritual Director which often entails an inner healing session.) Then, we talked about what abundant life really is. (It doesn’t start when you die and go to heaven. It starts now when you die to self, and live in Christ.) This video from Graham Cooke below is TOTALLY what we discussed. My client will be doing this exercise which he describes in the video….!!

(There are 2 battles. One to get free. One to stay free!)

The summer of 70 healings.

Campfire.jpgThis summer I returned to camp speaking after taking a couple years off to rest. I remember telling God that I was ready for whatever He had planned. I was ready for Him to blow out any boxes I had put Him in.

I had no idea what would happen next…

This summer I spoke at two camps for teens.

Here’s the first story of the week at a camp for age 11-13 (130 campers). On Monday, I noticed a junior staff on crutches. He had pain and swelling and didn’t know exactly what happened. The doctors were confused too. He was discouraged. My heart went out to him. I prayed for his ankle while we waited in the food line. The pain diminished but not all the way.

On Tuesday evening, I had planned to speak on something totally different. I kept sensing that Jesus wanted to heal the junior staff on crutches and that I was to speak on how Jesus healed and then sent out the 12 disciples to heal. So I did. I shared a few stories from the Gospels of Jesus healing the sick. Then, I shared a few personal stories of when I have gone out doing street ministry in my city and seeing Jesus do some incredible things after we prayed in His name.

I asked the campers who had physical pain and I was shocked how many hands went up in a crowd of young people.

Then, I saw a bolt of lighting behind the campers as they looked at me. The main staff said I could keep going. I prayed aloud that Jesus would put angels around the camp.

Then, I instructed the campers around those with physical pain to ask for permission if it was appropriate to lay their hands on the injured area. I led them through simple instructions how to pray over those with physical pain or illnesses.  

Oh man… what happened next was mind blowing!!! We had some significant injuries healed. Torn ligaments healed, sprained ankles healed, no more crutches or pain for the junior staff member!! Plus, a staff member who had an infected tooth with a clenched jaw who had been finding it difficult to chew her food, became elated with tears rolling down her cheek realizing she had been healed… and on on and on… There were a few people still with pain and so we prayed one more time for them. On ‘Amen’, they were healed!

Almost on cue, the wind started blowing loudly, we heard a crack of thunder closer to us, along with lighting. We had to shut down the campfire, so I said, “Let’s holler – thank you Jesus on 3!” Oh man, the excitement and tears of joy and celebration!!! I felt like we were at a Hockey game and our team won Gold.

The next morning we saw evidence of how God kept the camp completely dry! Outside the boundaries of the camp were flooded but inside were completely dry. I remembered I had prayed for Jesus to put His angels all around the camp. We heard the stories of all the kids that experienced healing. Kids were in awe of God! All week there was such a buzz! Campers who previously weren’t into prayer or even God, were eager to pray for others for anything. One girl had lost her retainer and for days the cabin had all searched for it. After the healings happened, they were motivated to pray to find the retainer and went to bed. When they woke up, it was in the middle of the cabin. Jesus even cares about a retainer. 🙂

The junior staff who had been on crutches was running the rest of the week doing camp games with the campers with the biggest smile on his face. He was no longer discouraged. Thank you Jesus!

We prayed again in Thursday morning chapel after some more people had sprained ankles, since Tuesday night. In total, God chose to heal about 50 people throughout the week- both campers and staff of physical pain or injuries!

Early that week, I had also sensed a ton of attack and discouragement around the staff. I took 7 female staff through deliverance/freedom prayers and trained 3 others to take several more staff through deliverance. I trained the camp director to take all the male staff through cutting off lies from the enemy, while I took all the female staff through cutting off lies. There was significant breakthrough. And you could see it in their faces!

Unreal week.
Never have I experienced such a week of camp.

When the parents showed up, there was such a buzz of the stories! Kids who didn’t believe in God were in awe! At the Last campfire, kids shared over and over of how they never knew God was so real and powerful! 

Hallelujah!!! God was on the move… I LOVED how the faith of children brought such powerful healing and experience of God’s presence!

One male staff, son of a pastor, even rededicated his life. God is sooo good! He said, for the first time God became real to Him. His faith became now not just ‘cause of his pastor dad. Oh God so blessed my heart.

Honestly, it was 32 degree heat on average but I kept having goose bumps all week. I went to bed on Tuesday night giggling with Jesus and woke up Wednesday morning giggling with Jesus! I still get goose bumps thinking about the week!

Jesus gives full life. I think He is hungry to pour more of Himself out…

Here’s the 2nd week of camp…

I went to another teen camp (10-13 year olds) for 80 campers, this time for a great deal of kids who are not apart of a church. I said to God: “If you want to heal like you did and show how real you are to these campers, I’m game!” I read again of a few stories of Jesus loving the sick and healing them. I gave the invite for campers to raise their hands if they had any kind of pain. I taught kids to pray for other kids. And then… eyes were wide open. One boy healed of pain due to scoliosis. One girl had 6 years of neck pain – gone! One boy’s ulcer pain diminished and he received Christ! Crying and weeping everywhere. We had about 20 healings! Several campers received Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. We kept singing for Jesus for another hour after and we missed the evening game time! Campers were in awe once again of a loving God with healing power. One camper who had been complaining of chapel times was reading her Bible intently the next day.

Hallelujah!
Jesus was amazing!

Jesus, thank you for revealing how powerful and loving you are to teens this summer. I’m ready for more adventures with you…! 🙂

Do Leaders Need to Repent?

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Do leaders need to repent …or can they sweep things under the carpet?

When leaders fail to repent for idolatry and do not make heart change, not only do they cut off blessing in their own lives, but also in the lives of the people that they lead.

When a person walks in idolatry (bowing down to money, to other people out of fear, intimidation, lust, etc), they can expect the opposite of a blessing – a curse onto their children to the third and fourth generations. Idolatry in the lives of parents, grandparents, great, and great-great grandparents opens the door for this.

Sweeping sin under the carpet only makes your kids and grandkids pay more for it later. Is that really the inheritance you want to leave behind? The reason why your children, your flock are suffering, or walking away from you, cutting off all ties with you, etc…could be …you. And you could be a parent, a church leader, a business leader, a city leader…

And if you are calling your people to repent first, this is not love. This is control and manipulation. Leaders must repent first. (Otherwise, they are not leading. Leadership requires example, not hiding.)

Thankfully, repentance breaks this.

Jesus’ shed blood covers our sin when we repent.

God is a faithful God, who keeps his promise and is merciful to thousands of generations of those who love him and obey his commands.

Ask the Lord:

What is blocking me from receiving blessing for me and my children, my church, my business, my city etc? Whatever He brings to mind, repent of, and be set free! 🙂 This in turn will set your family line, your church, your city …free! 🙂 

Read: Exodus 20:5,6; Deuteronomy 7:9,10; Romans 8
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Supernatural Mothers

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God nurtures us. Image source: Today’s Christian woman

Oh, this weekend of Mother’s Day… I have always noticed that this day and Father’s Day carries with it special supernatural meaning because we are called to be family (and when that doesn’t happen, there’s deep pain.)

I pray more folks are adopted into loving community this weekend because they experience El Shaddai (“well breasted one”) because God nurtures us. I believe motherhood is a gift – whether you are a biological mom, or adopted mom, or a spiritual mom. Every woman has the potential to be like a healthy mother to others. I believe moms are created in God’s image. So, when you are rejected, unloved, that is not from God. I pray instead for healing and hope if this feels like you.

You are loved.
Love your people,
whether they are blood line or not.

Questions:

  1. What women in your life have been the hands and feet of God in His love and compassion? Take time to honour them, thank them, pray for them, remember them…
  2. What woman (or man) in your life, is God calling you to ‘mother’ (or ‘father’) on His behalf? Take time to ask Him who and what that should look like…
  3. Take the time this week to do that. Carry on the journey of Titus 2 intentional mentoring.

The Contagious Bible-focused, Spirit-led Study Tool

discovery_bible_studyThere is a mind-blowing, powerful yet simple Bible Discovery practice/tool being used in house churches around the world where the Kingdom of God is spreading like wildfire.

It’s contagious! 

Bible-focused,
Spirit-led.
You learn to truly digest the Bible and hear God’s voice yourself.
You share what you’re learning with others.
In light of what you’re learning, you ask God for ways to apply it all.
A movement begins…

“When my word goes forth, it shall not return empty or void, but will accomplish the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:11

God’s Word does what He said it would do—if WE get out of the way.

Okay! What’s the contagious part… aside from having a Divine experience in the Word of God?

The contagious part that goes viral is when others want to join your group (because you are sharing how powerful it is and what you are learning),…

BUT you don’t add people to your group.

What?

Nope.

We aren’t trying to build a huge group.

That would prevent multiplication.

Plus, when a group gets larger than 5 people, it no longer holds tight relationships.

The key to multiplying is to keep it small. (Yes, this flies in the face of ‘bigger is better’.) Why? Because, when you become a large group, you no longer have everyone engaged and participating, using their gifts. Instead, we are wanting to truly do life together and empower each other to discover and use their gifts.

You start with the interested person in a new group but on their turf. You go into their home or wherever they choose and have them invite anyone else and facilitate the process over 2-4 weeks time and then pull out and allow them to take the lead. The beauty is in empowering others, and preventing them from expecting you to feed them. They can learn to feed themselves and then empower others to do the same. (Sure, you check back with them from time to time offering help and mentoring, but don’t take the lead of their group and their sub-culture. Let Holy Spirit transform them!)

There’s an incredible joy in watching people’s lightbulbs come on above their heads simply by reading the Word and asking a few simple questions. God’s Word is alive.

It’s contagious! 🙂

You have a few options…

1. Are you not in a church of any kind? 
Perfect. Start a house church/discovery group! 🙂 Join with family and friends. 5 people or less is ideal. Use the help guides below allowing God’s Word to teach you.

Here are some quick links…
Get started and see how powerful it is!

What is it? (Simple and Powerful – Discovery Bible Study in a nutshell)

Quick and Handy Guide

List of Scriptures you can start with.

Extensive List of Scriptures based on desired focus.

2. Are you in an institutional church wanting to learn how to add this powerful strategy? (Disciple-Making Movements Hybrid Strategy)
If so, read… Spent Matches by Roy Moran (Book Summary highlights)

 

Disciple making Movements?

Disciple-Images-2
Image: www.exponential.org

If what you’re doing isn’t working, why keep doing it? (…Or at least add an additional track like one mega church in Texas did after doing the math.)

This past weekend, I enjoyed sitting in on a session with a gentleman serving overseas (cannot name country due to security).

My friend and I were blown away by the stories of how fast the Gospel is spreading through the disciple making movement. 100,000 disciples on track to double in the next 14 months. I quickly saw why – the level of community in a small group along with the hunger to multiply and share the Word with others in a way that allows the Word to teach a small group rather than a guru or highly educated pastor (which actually has been shown to stump the growth of the Gospel he said because most NA pastors have been trained to talk rather than listen).

The missionary explained that small groups allow people to engage and participate and hear from Holy Spirit directly from the Word, rather than another person’s interpretation of the Word.

Picture this…

Starting with a group of 5 people or so meeting in a living room perhaps.
Sharing things to be thankful for, challenges, etc. Listening to each other.
Reading aloud passage of Scripture together.
Asking themselves a few simple Qs from the passage.
Reflecting together. Going back to the Word.
Praying together and for each other.
Committing to share what God reveals with someone in their week and helping each other and neighbours in their community in practical need.
Together.
Little to no money.
Leaders/facilitators developed and multiplied as new groups form.
Entire families and communities transformed!! (like in the book of Acts).

God’s Word and Love spreading rapidly because of the…
Word /
life together /
prayer …focus.

No Master’s Degree required (because it actually hinders the multiplication putting emphasis on a human teaching rather than the Word.)

The stories were amazing.
Numbers unreal.
Blows any North American mindset.
Yikes.

Does this work in North America?

It is reportedly happening like wildfire as traditional churches dwindle and home churches rapidly multiply. People are hungry for spiritual relationship with God, and life together with people committed to each other.

For more info on how you can be apart of a disciple making movement:

https://www.contagiousdisciplemaking.com/blogs/news/dna-of-discovery-groups

https://www.contagiousdisciplemaking.com/pages/everybody-should-be-part-of-a-movement-that-is-bigger-than-themselves

How one megachurch in Texas has heard the call to adopt a new strategy after doing the math: https://youtu.be/jJhlfRPbpC0 Even in Texas!

From Religion to Relationship :)

From religion to relationship. Yes, yes, yes…

This was the journey of Saul of Tarsus to become the Apostle Paul. It took a paradigm shift, a transformation of mind to heart. Jesus got his attention, blinded him for days and then gave him new eyes to see! Jesus showed him that it wasn’t about rules, but about relationship!

I read this recently…

“If you believe the wrong thing, it will take away the power of the right thing. For example, if you’re legalistic and think that you have to earn your way to God, the importance of grace diminishes. I think of how before Saul met Jesus on the road to Damascus, Saul the persecutor operated in pure legalism. When the scales fell off his eyes, his religious mindset was not just broken, but God created a new nature in him. In this new nature, Saul turned Paul was not only freed from the religious pressure nagging him in his inner thoughts, but also his mind was renewed.” (Shawn Bolz, God Secrets.)

Legalism prevents us from intimately knowing the Father in the greatest relationship we could ever have.

Legalism also keeps us from loving others, and stuck in just knowing about others and easily slipping into judgement.

Does learning the truth about others always set one free? Maybe not. I can think of learning a few things that did not bring me peace.

BUT, seeing God’s Truth about others is another thing…

Seeing how God loves someone stuck in legalism/religion, whatever… (and instead seeing HIS Truth available to them), helps to set me free to love them as God loves them, and pray for them.

I’m still learning this.

Yes… there IS the call to wipe the dust off our feet when our gift of peace is not received… When peaceful relationship is not welcomed, keep walking… Freedom is elsewhere. Submitting to religion (or someone’s legalism) is not freedom. I don’t want to be Saul of Tarsus or friends with that guy! I want to journey with Paul and see God do mighty things!! God’s kingdom is about freedom!

Ask God:

Where am I trapped in my thinking?

What do you want to set me free from?

Who do you want to set me free from?

(Friendship is related to the word ‘freedom’. If you are trapped, constantly torn apart, that is not a friendship, that is abusive. One of the hardest things to do is walk away from someone you love who has continued to abuse you, manipulate you, control you… Tough love is no longer enabling someone’s pattern of abuse, legalism, religion, etc. Loving them is showing them that behaviour is not okay.)

God, what promise do you have for me?

What gift do you have for me?

Enjoy a 2-way relationship with Father God who made a way through His son Jesus.

Read and Meditate on His Word.
Ask Him questions.
Listen and Write.
Pray it all back to Him!

Christianity is not a religion (earning our way to God’s love), it’s a relationship (He is love and extends His love to us through His son Jesus who opened the doorway).

 

How do we approach truth?

truth vs lieJust read this today and my heart leapt…!

Jesus calls himself “the truth” (John 14:6), and the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth” (John 14:7; 16:13). Any time we are not living from Jesus’ perspective, the foundation of truth, we are in some way connected to the father of lies, the devil. When we experience negative or painful consequences as a result of choosing to talk in truth, we may be tempted to quit. This is exactly the point where our faith in God’s truth gets tested. To choose to speak the truth in love, even when there is great cost to us, confirms our trust in God’s ways, rather than our own ways.

Are you willing to risk being truthful in love above anything that you fear or anything that you desire? God is truth. Are you willing to put God, His truth and His ways above anything that you fear or want? Are you willing to go beyond your fears and desires and expose whatever needs to be exposed for you to be truly known?

Remember: Truth without love is harsh and destructive; love without truth lacks substance. It must be truth with love.

I say… Yes, yes, yes, yes! Avoiding the truth only leads to bondage. Jesus, who is the Truth, invites us into freedom when we walk in His Spirit who is Love.

Source and learn more from…

Barry and Lori Byrne
Nothing Hidden Ministries
http://nothinghidden.com

Do you live in fear or in expectation?

nathan-dumlao-287713I recently was blessed by these words sent to me in an email story…

Expectation positions us to see miracles, big and small. It sharpens our vision and focuses our attention towards God. It liberates us from apprehension that blinds us to the majesty before us.

Instead of being shackled by fearing the worst, we’re free to recognize and receive what God is delighted to give.

What are your current expectations of God?

And how does He want to expand them? 😀 

Graham Cooke, Shawn Bolz and Jonathan and Melissa Helser are doing an entire 3 day event this coming weekend on how to create a lifestyle of EXPECTATION in God! The event is sold out but you can click here to join the Livestream!

And beyond the event? Enjoy some brilliant perspectives…

What is the true job of a pastor?

The other day I had a delightful call with a young leader who brought up the topic of how a Pastor’s role appears to have terribly wandered today. I did a little digging on what others are saying…

“Most books on church growth and leadership today argue that if pastors continue to do what pastors have done for so many years, they will fail.”

Too many churches today operate with leadership models started in world models and adapted to the church. This is dangerous. Why?

These business models allow people to put pastors on pedestals.

These models puts the needs of the church first and forget outside the church.
The goal becomes building the church’s own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God. (Megachurch mania.) It’s the…, ‘If we build it, they will come’ mentality. And yet, we are called to go

But, pride leads to destruction…

Proverbs 18:12 (CEV)
12 Pride leads to destruction;
humility leads to honor.

And, selfish ambitions destroys a church…

James 3:16 (GW)
Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.

Instead, the role of the pastor should be based on a biblical model…


So, what does the Bible actually call a Pastor to do?

1. Pray first.

“Jesus lived a life of prayer. He started every day in communion with the heavenly Father. He ended every day in close relationship with His Father. At times, He even spent the whole night in communion with His Father. Jesus actually was in touch with His heavenly Father all the time.”

2. Do life out of a deep abiding relationship with Jesus.

“Over and over, the Scriptures show us that Jesus placed the highest priority of His life on spending time alone with the Father. His life reveals an intense passion for the presence of God. His heart longed and hungered to touch the heart of God.”

3. Preach the Word that is living and active, for heart transformation!

“We must study the Bible, not for curiosity, but for a new heart.”

4. Be in relationship with others. Do life with people. Don’t just lead meetings.

“Christ’s method builds relationships and meets needs.” Jesus didn’t die and rise again for us to be in meetings.

5. Then teach others how to do the same. (Emphasis on relationships.)

When Jesus began His public ministry, He called and empowered people to be His disciples— who would champion His world changing cause. As Robert Coleman says in The Master Plan of Evangelism, “His concern was not with programs to reach the multitudes, but with men whom the multitudes would follow. . . . People were to be His method of winning the world to God.”

6. And live a life of sacrifice.

Time, resources, and life unto death… willing to get in the muck. I recall this list…

12apostles

God calls us to live the life Jesus lived. Pastoral ministry is not about us, but about Him—about knowing and serving Him.”

Read the full excellent article here: The Biblical Role of the Pastor

Related: Epidemic: Another Pastor Burned Out and Quit Last Sunday