Bucking Heaven

Bucking Heaven

At this point, you might be wondering about my preoccupation with Terry. By telling you these stories, I’m showing you a steep incline of growth in my spiritual journey. After thirty some years of following Jesus, I was just starting to learn about the Holy Spirit. Terry’s illness and death became a marker, a turn in the road, a point of departure.

Old Arch Gate opening to endless country road leading nowhere. Hopelessness and great unknown concept.

Flipping through my old journals, I noticed an impression dated September 30, 1998: “Terry is the timeline.”

Jenny’s prophetic word regarding the prayer meeting for Terry included this phrase:

“The time is not yet ripe.”

What are you saying, God?

When Terry died, some believed we weren’t ready for the ramifications of a major healing. God wasn’t saying no, but perhaps “not yet.” He saw we needed more time and growth to handle the weight of glory.

C.S. Lewis’ classic work, The Great Divorce, illustrates this thought: In a perpetually gray city, representing something akin to Purgatory, the main character decides to take an excursion on a bright bus and arrives at the foothills of heaven. He and his fellow travellers appear as ghosts in the glorious light. wonderful waterfall with colorful tree in thailandAnd while the country is beautiful beyond imagination, the visitors are in no condition to enjoy it. Every blade of grass feels like a sharp knife, the rain like bullets, the waterfall like thunder.

They are not ready for the reality before them.

Solid-looking men and women come to meet the ghosts. They promise them if they enter Heaven properly and travel forward, they too will become solid. As they gain substance, they would experience heaven as wonderful instead of painful.

Back in the 1990s, we were spiritually hungry, but like the ghosts, we weren’t prepared. We didn’t know what we didn’t know. We longed to see miracles, signs, and wonders. God set our feet on a path for growth, yet we had a long way to go. We still do. We want to be solid shining men and women, ready for the supernatural power of heaven to manifest on earth.

Then, the Holy Spirit gave me another clue about the process…Continue reading

The Palm of God

The Palm of God

Dave’s throat was healed. Terry’s was not.

healing_of_the_blind_man

God healed people in the Bible—He can do it in our world, but we don’t have if we don’t ask…

It was November 1998.

One evening, my husband and I discussed all the reasons why we still hoped for Terry’s healing. A number of friends, along with us, had received numerous dreams, visions, Scriptures, and prophetic words. Dave’s miracle increased our faith to believe such things were possible. Terry had met with remarkable spiritual leaders—Paul Cain, Jack Deere, Mike Bickle—leaders who had prayed for and seen healings. We even attended a conference in Portland with Terry and his wife, Vanessa. Nearly a thousand people extended their hands toward Terry as the speaker prayed for his healing.

My heart cried out—What are you waiting for, Lord?

Around that time, I had a dream that Terry was in a burning building. The people holding the safety net were supposed to create equal tension on all sides in unison, making it safe for him to jump. Instead, the people were having a tug-of-war over the net—a pretty clear message.

Holding Holy BibleUnity had been a key ingredient in Dave’s healing. One visiting speaker discerned that the spirit of denominationalism in our town was very divisive. Perhaps God was waiting for the Body of Christ to come together in unity and reconciliation. Terry could be the catalyst for such a gathering.

Our home group put an ad in the local paper:Continue reading

The Rarity of True Unity

The Rarity of True Unity

As a psychology student in college, I learned the word, “gestalt.” It basically means the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. You can have flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, vanilla and salt—but it all tastes much better if you bake the cake.Spiritually speaking, gestalt is a term that could describe unity in a 1st Corinthians 12 kind of way… “For the body is not one member but many…” Whether foot, hand, or eye—the body, united and synchronized as one organism, is far greater than the sum of its parts.

World flagsUnity is a powerful concept. Many organizations and even countries include the word “united” in their titles as a hopeful intention:

United States… United Nations… United Methodists… United Way… United Healthcare… United Airlines… United Kingdom…

controversy-moss

But unity in any context is rare. The human condition is fraught with strife and division. Think of all the countless arenas: tribal, racial, economic, ethnic, gender, marital, denominational, religious, political, ethical, generational, international…the list goes on. There’s always something divisive. Jokes that start with, “there are only two kinds of people…” show how trivial it can get.

Team workGod is attracted to unity.

Psalm 133 says that unity among God’s people brings a commanded blessing. Commanded means “an authoritative order.” Like—it’s going to happen…it’s a given. Here’s a great example…

Back in 1996, the Promise Keepers movement was in full swing. Our town’s local chapter hosted a monthly men’s prayer breakfast. One month, a big flap ensued because local organizers had asked a Catholic priest to be the speaker. Some men in the group objected. Unfortunately, that kind of attitude still exists. Yet many interdenominational Christian groups today believe there can be unity on essentials, freedom on non-essentials, and charity towards all.

Holding Holy BiblePK national leadership instructed the local guys to go with the Holy Spirit. The local leaders in turn handed the microphone to the priest—a  man known as Father Joe. That morning, men from twenty-two different churches came to the breakfast. The priest gave the kindest homily on God’s expansive love as a Father. The presence of the Lord descended like a cloud in the room, as men held hands and wept during the prayer time. True brotherly unity commanded a blessing—and a miracle happened.

In a sense, the rarity of true unity is in itself a blessing. But there was more…Continue reading