Dec 31, 2012

In The Midst of My Frustration


Picking up from my last message, I wanted to share something I've never discussed on this blog before. For the past few weeks, it's been hard for me to pray with anyone. Many of you know that on Facebook, I receive a lot of prayer requests. I try to respond to them as soon as possible. But when it comes to praying in person for strangers it's been a struggle. It's been weeks since I prayed for any of my patients.

I'm not sure what happened. I seem to have entered a phase where my motivation to pray for strangers is at an all-time low. I'm still transporting people who need prayer. But my heart just isn't being tugged at like it once was. Or maybe it's being tugged at, but I'm not responding.

I'm in a season of turmoil.

Lately, it seems as if all I want to do is write. I swear, if I could lock myself in a closet for a month, with a laptop and enough coffee to get me through, I'd be perfectly happy. Just think of all the books I could write.

I've been hanging around Jim Palmer too much. Whenever I read his material, I'm inspired to write. And I've been reading a lot of his stuff lately and getting inspired to write more.

So here I am - a frustrated writer trapped inside the body of a busy paramedic.

So I had a dream a few nights ago...

In the dream, I went to visit my ex-wife.

Yes....I have one. And we don't get along very well.

It's a long story.

So I drove to her house. As I approached, I noticed that her driveway and front yard were littered with abandoned cars.  I stopped and called her on my phone. When she answered, I could see from my vantage point that she was sitting in the yard at a picnic table, so said, "If I know you, you're probably sitting in the yard at a picnic table."

I drove closer to her house, but I had to maneuver my car carefully around the other cars.

I parked and got out.

"You shouldn't be here," she warned. "I'm going to call the police and have you arrested."

I decided to leave. I got in my car and began to drive carefully out of her driveway. For an instant, it dawned on me that leaving was going to be much more difficult than getting there. The cars and how they were positioned, made it impossible for me to leave the same way I got there.

Then suddenly the whole scene changed. I wasn't in her driveway any longer. I was in what looked like an apartment complex and the ground was covered with new-fallen snow.

There were still cars scattered here and there, but now there were people walking around and I had to avoid hitting them, too. I drove my car slowly, to the far edge of the parking lot and tried to squeeze my way out, next to a building, without hitting anyone, but an man walked in my path and I had to stop. I could tell he was blind.

I had my window down, so I yelled out, "Do you want to be healed?"

He said, "Sure".

So I got out and prayed with him.

That's when the dream ended.

My ex-wife is a sore spot in my life. Our failed marriage is a constant source of pain and regret that I have yet to be healed of.

In the dream, my visit to her place seems to represent God's desire to take a closer look something that's been bugging me from my past. The subject (I think) is not my relationship with my ex-wife, but the difficulty I'm having with my own past and my destiny.

I sense that God is saying that we're all bound to face discouragement, regret and other feelings, which can become obstacles to progress. In the dream, the cars I had to drive around, were obstacles. Regret lives in the past but it can be an obstacle to our future, when we dwell on it. Discouragement likewise affects our future if we allow room for it.

One of the things I'm dealing with is professional discontent. As much as I like my job, there's a part of me that desperately wants to spend more time writing. I feel like my career is preventing me from doing that. The funny thing is - I'm not even sure that my career is a real obstacle. I have plenty of time to write on my days off. It could be that I'm just perceiving it as an obstacle.

The people in the parking lot appeared as obstacles, preventing me from reaching my destination, or so it seemed, until I realized that they have needs which I can meet.

So the real problem I'm dealing with is my perception of obstacles. I see my job as an obstacle to writing, and it's not. I see people as obstacles to my destiny and they're not.

In the dream, the way out of my ex-wife's driveway (and my past) was blocked. It was not the way I would move forward. The only way forward was to get a new perspective on life.

In the midst of my frustration, God seems to be changing my perspective and giving me fresh grace (new-fallen snow) a new direction, and empowering me to do what I'm called to do. Despite my fears and concerns, there are still people who need healing, and there will be more stories to write. And God will provide time for both. These are the things I must focus on.

On a lighter note -  my first book will be out soon. Yes, I know you've heard that before, but we're almost done with the editing and since we're self-publishing, it should be available soon. I'm beginning work on the second book - which will be a compilation of stories from this blog and a few stories I've never shared publicly.

I don't have any New Year's resolutions to share with you. But I would greatly appreciate your prayers. I need wisdom and guidance and I need God's purposes to be worked out in my life.

Thanks for dropping by,


Happy New Years!

Dec 28, 2012

Divine Appointments

I frequently find myself on a call after my scheduled shift is over. Part of being a medic is surrendering your time to your patients and your employer, who may need a few extra hours now and then. 

I used to complain about being held over, but I'm not as bitter about it as I used to be - thanks to a perspective that my wife shared.

Shortly after I began my current job, I found out I was going to be held over a lot. I got in the habit of texting my wife to let her know I'll be late. I'd come home and tell her about my day; how many patients we transported, if I prayed with anyone, and if anyone was healed. 

After a while she noticed a pattern.

One day as I told her about a suicidal patient we transported that I prayed with, she said, "Honey, I know there's always a good reason when you're late. Haven't you noticed that every time you're late, there's  someone you get to pray with or give an encouraging word to? God has these divine appointments for you, and I'm okay with it."

I'd never really considered that. And of course, she was right. I've been keeping an eye on the kind of people we transport after the end of our shift and almost every time, it's someone who needs a touch from God. Today was no exception.

We transported a 64 year old woman with weakness in her right leg for two weeks. She didn't think much of it, but she went to see her primary care doctor who did some blood tests and ordered a CAT scan to be done the following week.

The results from the scan came back. But her doctor didn't tell her what was wrong. He told her to go to an emergency room and have them evaluate her. So she did. The ER discovered that she a large brain tumor. We were transporting her to another hospital for neurosurgery.

We got her loaded and went en route. The freeways were jammed with traffic, so we took surface roads.

She seemed too happy to be a person who just found out she had a brain tumor. I began to wonder if she even knew about it. On a hunch that perhaps they didn't tell her about it, and being concerned that if I mentioned the word 'tumor' she might panic, I decided to find out what she knew.

"So exactly what did they tell you was wrong, if I might ask?"

"Well....they said I had some kind of lesion in my brain."

"Awesome", I thought to myself. "They lied to her."

Well, not technically of course - because strictly speaking - a tumor is a kind of lesion. It just happens to be one of the worst kinds, and they didn't feel  like telling her about it.

Life's just seems a little easier when you hide those messy details from people.

I got a set of vitals, then asked my next question.

"Do you believe in divine appointments?"

She looked at me with a smile, "Well...I guess so."

"So do I. And I think you're  having one."

I told her about the dreams about praying for my patients and the people who have been healed including a couple of people with tumors.

"So can I pray with you to be healed?"

"I'd like that", she said with a smile.

So I placed my hand on her shoulder, commanded the lesion to be gone, told demons to hit the road and asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence and touch her.

She didn't feel anything and our mobile CAT scanner was in the shop for repairs, so I don't know if she was healed.

But I know she was blessed. And sometimes that's enough.

Dec 25, 2012

Santa's Miracle




This is a real Christmas miracle story, that happened in December 1997 in Wisconsin, USA.

A little girl named Sarah had leukemia and was not expected to live to see Christmas. Her brother and grandmother went to the mall to ask Mark Lenonard who was a professional Santa Claus to visit the hospital to give Sarah the gift of hope through encouragement and prayer.

A year later Sarah surprised Santa by showing up at the mall where he worked. Here goes the story.

A little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at The Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin. The child climbed up on Santa’s lap, holding a picture of a little girl.

“Who is this?” – asked Santa, smiling. “Your friend? Your sister?”

“Yes, Santa.” – he replied.

“My sister, Sarah, who is very sick.” – he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

“She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!” – the child exclaimed.
“She misses you.” – he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy’s face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

“What is it?” – Santa asked warmly.

“Well, I know it’s really too much to ask you, Santa, but ..” – the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa’s elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

“The girl in the photograph… my granddaughter well, you see … she has leukemia and isn’t expected to make it even through the holidays.” – she said through tear-filled eyes.

“Is there anyway, Santa, any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That’s all she’s asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa.”

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do.

“What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying?” – he thought with a sinking heart, “This is the least I can do.”

When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked Rick, the assistant location manager how to get to Children’s Hospital.

“Why?” – Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.

Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah’s grandmother earlier that day.

“Common….I’ll take you there.” – Rick said softly. Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in. A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed.

The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the grandmother and the girl’s brother he had met earlier that day. A woman whom he guessed was Sarah’s mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah’s thin hair off her forehead.

And another woman who he discovered later was Sarah’s aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.

Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, “Ho, ho, ho!”

“Santa!” – shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed to run to him.

Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son — 9 years old — gazed up at him with wonder and excitement.

Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears.

Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah’s face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room.

As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa’s shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering “Thank you” as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.

Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she’d been a very good girl that year.

As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl’s mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah’s bed, holding hands.

Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels, “Oh, yes, Santa… I do!” – she exclaimed.

“Well, I’m going to ask that angels watch over you.” – he said.

Laying one hand on the child’s head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease.

He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing, softly, “Silent Night, Holy Night…. all is calm, all is bright…”

The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all.

When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah’s frail, small hands in his own.

“Now, Sarah,” – he said authoritatively, “you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!”

He knew it was risky proclaiming that to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he ‘had’ to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could — not dolls or games or toys — but the gift of HOPE.

“Yes, Santa!” – Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright. He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.

Out in the hall, the minute Santa’s eyes met Rick’s, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed.

Sarah’s mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa’s side to thank him.

“My only child is the same age as Sarah.” – he explained quietly. “This is the least I could do.”

They nodded with understanding and hugged him.

One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

“Hi, Santa! Remember me?!”

“Of course, I do.” – Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a ‘good’ Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the ‘only’ child in the world at that moment.

“You came to see me in the hospital last year!”

Santa’s jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest.

“Sarah!” – he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy — much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before.

He looked over and saw Sarah’s mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He had witnessed – and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about — this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well.

He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, “Thank you, Father. ‘Tis a very, Merry Christmas!”

Dec 20, 2012

A Dream Come True

I received this e-mail from the mother of a patient I prayed with. Her story can be found here. The names of the patient and mother were omitted for the sake of privacy

Hi! I'm not sure if you will remember us. You transported my daughter from Mayo hospital to Kindred hospital back in May. My daughter had been diagnosed with a rare auto immune encephalitis. During the trip, you asked if you could pray for my daughter. I told you we welcomed all prayer. I remember how much I appreciated your gesture.  A couple of weeks later, you stopped by her room and told me you had dreamed that she and I were talking to each other. That visit meant a lot. Over time, various people have mentioned such dreams about her. I just wanted to let you know, prayers are answered and dreams do come true. She has started talking, and she is being discharged from Mayo acute rehab this week. We will be heading back to Texas where she will continue her recovery at home. Thank you for such kindness during a very difficult time.

May God Bless You

(Her mother)

Dec 18, 2012

The Father and The Porn Star

By Joel Adifon - originally published here.

This is an uncomfortable topic for many and even for myself. But I know that people out there need to read this.

For some personal reasons, right before taking a nap today, I asked Papa to show me how He feels about pornography.

I fell asleep and all of a sudden I saw myself as a tall, extremely muscled, and athletic Caucasian male.

I worked with extremely attractive, physically flawless girls and basically spent time being especially demeaning to them, calling them "bitches," "whores," and other terrible names. I would do this while the cameras were rolling and I was in scenes with them. I would continue even when filming wasn't going on.

In other words, I wasn't a very nice dude.

When we would wrap up filming for the day, I would go home and completely act as if who I was at work didn't even exist.

I had a beautiful little girl (about 3 or 4 years old) with the most beautiful golden, Rapunzel-like locks.

She would always be playing on the grass of our enormous backyard (I had a mansion in the dream) and whenever I would come from work, she would run to me and I would pick her up and twirl her around in my arms.

One day, we were both in the backyard. I was working on something and she was playing a few feet away.

I didn't notice, but there was a pile of sharp, crushed up pieces of glass near where she was playing. She was about to put her hands in it and play, which would have left them covered with cuts and contusions.

Right before she touched the glass, I happened to glance over at her.

I freaked out, yelled out her name, grabbed her and scooped her up in my arms, holding her tight to me.

"Honey," I said, "please don't play there, you'll hurt yourself and I'll be sad."

"Okay, daddy." She then ran off to go play somewhere else.

I looked at her going to make sure she was safe and all of a sudden, when I turned back to where my focus had been, the Father was standing right in front of me, staring right into my eyes.

He had pure silver hair and a silver beard, yet He looked young at the same time, with fiery, life-filled eyes.

He was smiling and His smile was filled with the most love-filled acceptance of me, yet I could see a deep sadness in it.

"Son, you really care about her don't you?"

"Yeah." I said.

"You didn't want her to get hurt, right?"

"Yeah."

"I want to show you something."

All of a sudden, I saw a scene projected onto my enormous backyard.

I saw all the girls that I normally worked with, on the grass, except they were all little girls.

I saw them running at a very fast pace for little girls.

I tried to see where they were headed and I saw a gigantic pile of broken glass with a large building sticking out if it.

The building said "Porn Industry" on it.

The Father, (He was still standing next to me watching the projection, while at the same time in it) was standing in front of the building with His hands out.

"Stop! Girls, please!" His booming voice echoed throughout the yard. "Everything that I've placed in you will be destroyed. All the dreams! All the hopes! All the innocence! STOP!"

But the girls wouldn't stop running. Some of them bumped into Him, knocking Him over.

Then, the vision faded.

The Father looked at me, with pain in His eyes and said, "In the same way that you didn't want your daughter to play in the glass, I never wanted my daughters to go into porn. My son, I don't want them to end up torn, wounded, and broken."

He looked into my eyes one last time and walked away.

The next day, I went back to work shaken up and confused.

I would do scenes with the girls, but my mind would be elsewhere. People would ask me if I was okay.

Finally, in the breakroom, I snapped.

I looked at the girls that I had so often mistreated and said, "Guys, I'm so sorry."

Some of them were getting high and just chilling and they were like, "What the f***? Sorry for what?"

"I'm sorry for being such a dick to you guys and for calling you all those names. I'm sorry." I could hardly hold back tears.

They all laughed and said, "Whatever dude. It's just work." None of them were taking me seriously and that broke my heart.

There was another male pornstar in my dream (probably a demon) who knew what I was up to and came right up to me with an angry scowl on his face. He put a gun up to my chest and said, "Shut the f*** up!"

He pulled the trigger.

I immediately woke and heard Papa say very clearly, in my spirit.

"Joel, My son, this is how I feel about pornography."

Guys, my heart was heavy after this.

As a man, I have struggled with this in various seasons in my life and sometimes the battle leaves you numb.

You begin to think,

"I'm not hurting anyone."

"Papa doesn't condemn me."

It is very true that Papa doesn't condemn you or see you differently for messing up, but His heart is breaking.

He is jealous for His daughters and He loves them with an everlasting love.

If you struggle with this, like I have, ask Him to give you a revelation of His heart.

Do not try to break this by striving or because it's the "right thing to do."

If you're a girl and your significant other is looking at this stuff, do not let that make you feel less than the perfection that you already are in Papa's eyes.

Pray for him and pray for all guys who are trapped in this thing.

Lastly, if you're a girl who's in the porn industry (or thinking about it) who is somehow reading this, I just want to say something to you.

You are loved. You are beautiful. You are perfect. You are clean.

Please forgive guys like me who have used you to feel good about ourselves or to fill the emptiness inside.

You have a Father who loves you unconditionally.

He is wildly, passionately, unequivocally in love with you.

He is not the angry Zeus like figure many preachers have expounded on in their sermons.

He just wants you to be safe and whole.

Talk to Him when you feel alone. Let Him be your friend.

He will never use you or take advantage of you.

And if we ever meet someday, let me hear your story and just share mine with you.

From one human being to another.

Dec 15, 2012

The Healing of Valerie Shedden


[100_1311.jpg]This testimony was originally published here.

The last 10 months of my life have been a true miracle and God send. 

 Unless you've had a part of you taken away and then restored to you then you probably can not fully understand why I'm so elated when I talk about the last 10 months .....

I was lame and now I can walk .... I was (partially) blind and now I can see ..... I couldn't think and now my mind is clear ..... My family lived life without me and now we are enjoying life together .... the pain was unbearable most of the time and now I don't experience pain at all ..... the freedom that I once had I lost but now it has been given back to me! 

I am so eternally grateful for what God has done in my life and I enjoy sharing my testimony anytime I can ... just to see the look of amazement on people's faces is priceless.  To see them see "God" in all His glory for what He has done is AMAZING and I wouldn't trade 2007-2010 for anything.  He has given me the ability to use my disease & healing for HIS glory .... what a marvelous gift!!!

Please read my testimony below ...

"Mrs. Shedden, you have multiple sclerosis." Those are the words my neurologist said to me after a 6 wk. long battle with a migraine. The test results were in but no one could have prepared me for those words.

What was multiple sclerosis and what was the road ahead going to look like for me?

As an autoimmune disease, MS tells your body to attack itself. In my case there was leg pain, general weakness in my entire body, numbness in my legs & arms, pins & needles feelings in my hands, face and feet, migraines, stomach attacks that lasted for weeks with no cause and no remedy that felt like labor pains, and then there's the loss of cognitive functions such as memory loss and loss of concentration ... for me those were extremely frustrating to deal with.

Through it all, my husband, Don, stood by me. He held my hand, providing a shoulder to cry on when needed and was just a constant support. I appreciate him greatly.

Every day of the last 2 1/2 years proved to be something new to overcome with this disease - a new frustration. And I couldn't do things with my family that I wanted to do .... they'd go to the park without me a lot, or just outside to play and I'd be stuck inside because I was too weak to walk or stand or even sit up straight at times.

My daughter and I missed a lot of play time together that we will never get back and I'm sorry for that. At the age of 4,5,6 she did a lot of caring for me when I should have been caring for her.

From Sept. 2007 - Nov. 2009 I spent apx. 30 days in the hospital on 7 different occasions. I would have to go in for IV steroid treatments when my symptoms got too bad.

For 2-3 weeks prior to March 14th, 2010 my symptoms had been getting steadily worse so I knew what was coming and for some reason I was overcome with fear for this hospital stay like I never have been before. So, I kept putting it off hoping my symptoms would improve - knowing deep down that they wouldn't.

That Sunday night my physical body was in no shape to go anywhere but the ER but God was telling me to this healing service that I had been hearing so much about at a local church. So, Don helped me to the car and off we went.

One step at a time, my walker in front of me, I slowly made it into the church - all doped up on pain pills - expecting God to do something GREAT! I sat in the back row, feet propped up on a chair in front of me, while friends prayed over me and spoke words from the Lord to me.

All during worship I just waited - expectantly. Towards the end of the service the pastor called me to the front. So, with the walker, I made my way to the front and sat while people prayed over me.

When they were done the pastor and a laymen helped me up and we started walking together, slowly. It didn't take long after that when I heard God speak to me and say "YOU ARE HEALED, NOW WALK!"

So, I let go of the men's hands, turned around and started WALKING!! Then I started RUNNING .... then JUMPING .... then LEAPING ... then TWIRLING ... it was purely AMAZING!!!

I am still in AWE to this day! I've been doing things since that night that I haven't been able to do, physically AND mentally, in YEARS .....
- play basketball with my family
- go on LOOONNNGGG, fast, exercising-type walks with my family
- I can EXERCISE for hrs a day!!!!!
- take my daughter to the park!!!
- be a multi-tasker again!! - - THIS IS HUGE!!!
- I ran up a hill one day
- STAND FOR AN ENTIRE WORSHIP SERVICE WITH NO PAIN AND NO EXHAUSTION -- again, this one's HUGE!!!
- I chased Emily's t-ball team around the bases last Spring!!

There are a couple of key things that have helped me "keep the faith" during this trial -
1.) The saying - "Stay in the ring, the fight is fixed!" My fight was fixed and we knocked him O-U-T!!!
2.) Matthew 17:19-20 ... referring to disciples asking Jesus why they could not cast out a demon .... 19: "Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? 20: And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

I had the faith as big as a mustard seed (sometimes bigger than a mustard seed) that my healing would happen in God's timing for those 2 1/2 yrs. -- and I have seen it happen!! PRAISE GOD!! I can not quit smiling and praising God and I just fall in love with HIM over and over and over again daily!!!

Dec 12, 2012

Quotes III

"As teachers or leaders, an important question to ask ourselves is, "When someone comes to me with a problem or difficult question, do I try to answer it myself, or do I refer them to God and trust that He will answer it for them?" Leaders often have a hard time sending people to God for things, and instead see themselves as the one who must have all the answers."


"A prophetic word is from God if it happens to come from Him and not from some other source. Discerning the source is more a matter of knowing His heart, His ways and His voice than anything else."



“What nobody tells people who are beginners - and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn't have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I've ever met. It’s gonna take a while. It’s normal to take a while. You've just gotta fight your way through.” ~ Ira Glass


"Does God hate sinners? If you looked in the bible, you might think He does. But if you followed me around and saw Him heal and touch and love on them, you might think He rather likes them. Something must have happened to make Him see them differently. Perhaps it has something to do with that carpenter fellow."



"John's ministry seemed to be one that took place in an obscure location. Even Luke's description of how the word of the Lord first came to John is a testimony to his obscurity:
'Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, his brother Philip tetrarch of Iturea and the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene, while Annas and Caiaphas were high priests, the word of God came to John in the wilderness.'
"You have a landscape littered with important political and religious leaders, but God chose to work through an obscure nobody who hung out in the wilderness eating locusts and honey. I guess my point there is - where one is found, geographically and who one is connected to relationally, has little bearing on how that person might be used by God."


"If we don't have the faith to see a particular person healed from cancer, or raised from the dead, we may still have the faith to support those who DO have faith to see them raised. Even if we don't have faith for miracles, or if we think this person can't be healed or raised, we still know how to pray encouragement, faith, passion, boldness into those who are still contending for that which we are not ready or able to contend for. 
Those people are ALWAYS more important than what I do or do not believe or understand. Jesus did not die for doctrine or understanding; he died for people. We must support people, even when we cannot support all that the people are believing or doing." ~ Northwest Prophetic


"Love is patient....so if you're struggling with patience, you're really struggling with love. The answer isn't to try being more patient. The answer is to become more loving. - Dan Mohler


"Think twice about living from revelation someone else received from God. One day you may be asked to die for it. If you didn't receive it from God, you may question it. And if it's not worth dying for, it's not worth living for. There's no confidence as great as that which we have when we live from what we know God has told us personally."



"I used to fellowship with my own kind, but now I have an 'eclectic' group that I fellowship with. In gifting & doctrine, we agree on nothing, except who is King. The more I'm accepted by them, the more I see Jesus at work. Unconditional love is like that. The eye in a box with its own kind knows familiarity. But that's not its place. The eye must find an ear and ask what he's heard, a nose and ask what he smells, a tongue and ask what he tastes, a finger and ask what he feels and tell them all what marvelous things he's seen."


"The idea that I must live for Christ puts the focus on me. The idea that He is living in me puts the focus on Him and what He can do through me."



"An all-powerful, omniscient, insomniac with ADHD?
And somehow, He has a frightful case of dementia regarding to our blunders. Can't remember a single one, no matter how well we remember them. I'm very fond of Him; perhaps more than anything else, because of his forgetfulness."


"Kindness is not random. Beauty is not senseless. An exquisite design from a loving heart lies behind both. There are no blind watchmakers."


"The removal of a demonic influence for some people is only temporary. When children of the kingdom show up, we reveal a different reality than they're used to. Our kingdom is one of light and truth. All we can do is reveal it and offer them a taste. We can't make them enter God's kingdom against their will. Some choose to enter, some do not. If they choose the kingdom of God and seek repentance and are filled with the Spirit, they begin their new life of truth. But if they choose not to, yes, the demons will return - but only because they chose that path."


"We have evangelistic strategies because we have failed to love." ~ Dan Mohler


“There are two ways of being a prophet. One is to tell the enslaved that they can be free. It is the difficult path of Moses. The second is to tell those who think they are free that they are in fact enslaved. This is the even more difficult path of Jesus.” ~ Richard Rohr


"There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or influence. Those who lead inspire us. Whether individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead not for them, but for ourselves." ~ Simon Sinek


"If you see things others can't and you're from the right side of the bell curve, they call you insane. If you see things others can't and you're from the left side, they call you a visionary. If you march to the beat of your own drum from the right side, they call you an outcast. If you march to the beat of your own drum from the left side, they call you unique or authentic." ~ Simon Sinek


"Accountability, if it has to be forced on people, will never set them free or create mature believers. Quite the opposite. It will prevent people from understanding the true nature of God. To be wholly accountable to others we need to set people free to use their will properly." ~ Graham Cooke

Dec 6, 2012

Did God Cause Death & Evil in The Old Testament?

By Richard Murray

This is a discussion about the nature of God and Satan as their works are revealed in the pages of Scripture. The basic premise is that the Old Testament contains an incomplete revelation of the nature of Satan. That incomplete picture of Satan causes many of us to attribute his works to God. The New Testament reveals the works of Satan for what they are. When Old Testament passages are read in light of New Testament revelation, the works of death and evil attributed to God in the Old Testament can be traced back to Satan.

Richard Murray wrote:
The Old Testament has a lesser revelation about Satan and lacks the greater New Testament light.

Jewish and Christian scholars alike have both noted that the Old Testament view of God differs significantly from the New Testament view in one key aspect - the way Satan is viewed. The way Satan is viewed explains all discrepancies between the Old and New Testaments.

Let me explain:

For the Old Testament believer, Satan was an obedient angel who had a tough job as God's enforcer who was in charge of:
  1. Executing the wrath of God's curses on disobedient men
  2. Dispensing eventual death to all men
  3. Testing men's faith by oppressing them with circumstances to see if they remain righteous
  4. Hardening the hearts of certain men to commit acts of rebellion so that they quickly destroy themselves
  5. Destroying what God commands through war, plague, famine, and natural/ supernatural disasters
  6. Accusing men of their failures before God based on his eyewitness reports.
But in all this, Satan is merely fulfilling his role in the heavenly train. He is not seen as an enemy of God, a rebel opposed to the Kingdom of God on every level, like he is portrayed in the New Testament.

For sure, the New Testament confirms that Satan does engage in wrath, accusation, destruction, and temptation, but never under the approval or direction of God. The Old Testament says Satan is just following orders, while the New Testament says Satan is "off the grid" in complete disobedience to God.

In short, Old Testament saints see Satan as a Luca Brasi figure. Brasi was a character from “The Godfather” novel and movies who did the Godfather's dirty work, but who was absolutely loyal to his leader, perhaps even the most loyal. Brasi was an assassin, spy and fixer who always worked behind the scenes to discover and destroy those disloyal or opposed to his Godfather. He rooted out then disposed of the Godfather's enemies. He always had his Godfather's trust and blessing. This was the Old Testament view of Satan.

As The Encyclopedia of Jewish Concepts  by Philip Birnbaum says, "Satan...is...identified with the angel of death. He leads astray, then he brings accusations against man, whom he slays eventually. His chief functions are those of temptation, accusation and punishment. Under the control of God, he acts solely with the divine permission to carry out his plots." (Sanhedrin Press, page 594).

Rabbi Benjamin Blech similarly writes, "Judaism sees Satan as a servant of God whose function is to set up choices between good and evil so that we can exercise our free will.... [His] apparent harshness is merely camouflage for divine concern and love." If God is So Good, Why is The World So Bad? (Simcha Press, pages 7-9)

Author Stephen Harris notes that the Old Testament Satan is not the same entity as the New Testament Satan. In the Old Testament, "The Satan figure acts as Yahweh's spy and prosecuting attorney whose job is to bring human misconduct to the deity's attention and, if possible, persuade Yahweh to punish it.

Throughout the Old Testament the Satan remains among the divine 'sons,' serves as God's administrative agent, and thus reveals a facet of the divine personality.... At the outset, some Bible writers saw all things, good and evil alike, as emanating from a single source - Yahweh. Israel's strict monotheistic credo decreed that Yahweh alone caused both joys and sorrows, prosperity and punishment (Deut. 28).... The canonical Hebrew Bible grants the Satan scant space and little power.

Whereas the Old Testament Satan can nothing without Yahweh's express permission, in the New Testament he behaves as an independent force who competes with the Creator for human souls.... According to Mark's Gospel, one of Jesus' major goals is to break up Satan's kingdom and the hold that he and lesser evil spirits exercise on the people. Hence, Mark stresses Jesus' works of exorcising devils and dispossessing the victims of demonic control. The New Testament, then-- in sharp contrast to the Old-- shows Satan and the devil as one, a focus of cosmic evil totally opposed to the Creator God. This 'evil one' is the origin of lies, sin, suffering, sickness and death." Understanding the Bible: A Reader’s Introduction, pages 26-28.

The renowned International Standard Bible Encyclopedia is in full agreement with this in its entry on Satan: "The Old Testament does not contain the fully developed doctrine of Satan found in the New Testament. It does not portray him as at the head of a kingdom, ruling over kindred natures and an apostate from the family of God.... It is a significant fact that the statements concerning Satan become numerous and definite only in the New Testament.

The daylight of the Christian revelation was necessary in order to uncover the lurking foe, dimly disclosed but by no means fully known in the earlier revelation.... In the early states of religious thinking it would seem to be difficult, if not impossible, to hold the sovereignty of God without attributing to His agency those evils in the world which are more or less directly connected with judgment and punishment.... The progressive revelation of God's character and purpose, which more and more imperatively demands that the origin of moral evil, and consequently natural evil, must be traced to the created will in opposition to the Divine, leads to the ultimate declaration that Satan is a morally fallen being to whose conquest the Divine Power in history is pledged."

Finally, scholar Jeffrey Burton Russell, who has written multiple volumes on the historical development of our understanding of Satan, notes that the reason early Jewish thought saw Satan as God's servant is as follows:

"Since the God of Israel was the only God, the supreme power in the cosmos, and since, unlike the abstract God of the Greeks, He had personality and will, no deed could be done unless He willed it. Consequently, when anyone transgressed morality, God was responsible for the transgression as well as for its punishment." The Prince of Darkness: Radical Evil and the Power of God in History, (Cornell University Press, 29-30)

Russell goes on to trace that later in Jewish history, closer to Jesus' day, more and more Jews began to see Satan as an evil entity acting independently of God's approval. This is easily proven by considering the incident in which King David sinned by numbering Israel. This incident is first recorded in 2 Samuel 24:1, and then centuries later in 1 Chronicles 21:1.

In the earlier entry, David's sin is caused by "the anger of God," while in the later passage "Satan" is the cause of David's sin. Same sin, same event, entirely different cause. The Jews were beginning to see that they could not attribute both sin and punishment to God, good and evil to God, love and hate to God. They began to develop the idea that Satan was an enemy to God's purposes rather than an obedient friend. Unfortunately, when Israel as a nation rejected Jesus as Messiah, they also rejected the truth about Satan and have since sadly regressed back to their early Old Testament view, as the earlier quotes above show.

But let's catch our breath and think about this for a moment. If in the passage above, Satan's destructive activity is wrongly attributed as God's wrath, then where does that leave us?

It leaves us falsely accusing God of all sorts of evil events, motives and destructions. We have chained God and Satan at the spiritual hip, good and evil at the spiritual hip, love and wrath at the spiritual hip - God is blamed for all that Satan does, while Satan gets partial credit for the good God does. The end result is that the character of God is clouded and men are unable to fully see, trust and rejoice in his love and forgiveness.

So was the Old Testament view of Satan different than the New Testament view?

Yes, vastly different, but perhaps the best way to put it is not so much that the Old Testament was wrong about Satan, but that the Old Testament was almost completely uninformed about him. The first reference to Satan is not even until 548 pages into the Old Testament. Satan is first mentioned only 3 pages into the New Testament. The total number of times Satan is mentioned in the Old Testament is 19 times, 14 of which are in the book of Job. The New Testament mentions Satan (or his devils) nearly 200 times, despite the fact that it is five times shorter than the Old Testament in length.

Only three Old Testament writers ever even mention Satan, and that only briefly. Every New Testament writer mentions Satan. Amazingly, Moses, David, Abraham and Solomon never mentioned Satan at all.

Their clueless silence is hard to imagine, given the fact that these men are considered giants of the faith. Contrast this with the New Testament, where Jesus repeatedly calls Satan "the ruler of this world" (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11), the Apostle Paul calls Satan "the god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4) and "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2) who can appear as "an angel of light" (2 Corinthians 11:14). The Apostle Peter calls Satan "your adversary... a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8), and the Apostle John calls Satan "the evil one... in whose power the whole world lies." (1 John 5:19).

What is going on here?

Not one Old Testament verse warns us of Satan's evil influence in our hearts or minds, much less his rebellious rule over the entire fallen world. Not one demon is cast out in the Old Testament. Legions of devils are cast out in the New Testament. Evil spirits are sent from the Lord in the Old Testament (1 Samuel 16:14), but are sent from Satan as Beezlebub, the ruler of demons, in the New Testament (Matthew 12:24-29).

Jesus' main thrust in ministry was to destroy the works of Satan, not enable them or approve of them in any way. "He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." (1 John 3:8)
When summarizing the Gospel for the first Gentile converts, Peter described "how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed of the devil; for God was with Him." Acts 10:38.

The point?

Jesus continually exposed Satan as an enemy of His Father, and not a servant. Jesus described Satan as: "a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it." (John 8:44)

This is a crucial passage for it shows Satan's evils come from "his own resources," not God's, and that he is in essence a killer and a liar, in fact the "father" of all killing and lying. Remember, Satan tried to both deceive and kill Jesus in the wilderness temptations in Luke 4. Jesus defeated him then and went on defeating him throughout the rest of Jesus' life, death and resurrection.

Jesus not only opposed Satan personally, he fought against Satan's entire kingdom of demonic elements, "against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:10. Through the work of the cross, Jesus defeated all of Satan's armies, "Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it." (Colossians 2:15) Greek scholars tell us these words describe Jesus having a victory parade wherein He brandishes all the captured armor of Satan's kingdom for all to see and celebrate. Satanic captivity has been taken captive by the Lord of love and light who has ransomed and rescued us from our dark kidnappers.

Now we see what one of the main problems was with Old Testament believers. They simply did not have the depth of understanding to see the truth about God's Kingdom as it related to Satan's kingdom. Their understanding of what we call New Covenant truth was at most only embryonic. This is the perfect example of John Calvin's claim that Old Testament saints had only "sleight capacity" to understand deeper New Testament concepts - the true nature of Satan being just such a concept.

Without the indwelling Holy Spirit to lead them into all truth, Old Testament saints simply could not accurately process how the two invisible personalities of God and Satan operated on the earth. It wasn't God working with Satan as they supposed. It was God working against Satan as Jesus revealed.

Jesus revealed that between their two kingdoms, there was no treaty, no cooperation, no partnership, no under-the-table deals, no compromise, no joint operation going on. It was war!

Jesus stated the battle lines of this war in John 10:10, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. But I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly."

Satan = stealing, killing, destroying.

Jesus = life abundant.

Dec 4, 2012

Malaria Healed by an Atheist

This was originally shared here on Facebook by Steve Peace Harmon. 

This is a healing that happened when I was in Malawi, Africa in 2008.

Everyday I’d get up early in the morning and walk the streets Zomba. One day a guy approached and asked me if I would buy some phone cards. I said, “No thank you.” He replied, “You were at the bank the other day and said you would buy some later.” I thought to myself, “I was at the bank the other day and that does sound like it was something that I would say.” I said to the guy, “Yeah man, I’m not interested. But if you want, I could pray for you?” He didn't look too happy about that. He stood there and thought awhile and then said, “My sister, she’s in the hospital with Malaria.” In Malawi, when you get Malaria it is a death sentence. It’s the number one cause of death there, and when you go to the hospital you go there to die.

I couldn't go to the hospital so I asked the Lord what to do. He told me to put my hand on his shoulder and pray for his faith. So I did that. Then I said to him, “Go to your sister, put your hand on her and say, ‘In Jesus’ name be healed.” Now, I didn't think anything was going to happen. Two days later I’m walking down the street and I see this guy run to me saying, “Friend! Friend! My sister! She’s walking around!” He told me that he put his hand on his sister and prayed in Jesus’ name. When he did that a blast of power hit his sister that electrified her body and she started to get up and walk around. I pulled out my camera and this video is what he said right after he approached me and we talked.

When I first met this guy he was very lethargic and sounded really depressed. He showed little emotion. He was so excited to tell me what happened that when started to walk, he said something to me that blew away. He said, “I NOW believe there is a God.” Then the Lord spoke to me, “That’s the point of why you are to perform miracles.” There is no better witnessing tool than to show God to people in the raw form.

This guy was an atheist and through an act of power and love God proved Himself to be real. God showed me that it was like the story in Acts were Paul would lay his hands on handkerchiefs and aprons and then the people would put them on the sick and they would get healed. When I put my hand on him and prayed for his faith he now became that handkerchief and transferred the Glory of God from me on to his sister and the rest is history.. Release that Glory that lives inside of you. You never know what Jesus is going to do.. 1 Cor 2:4-5, “and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.” —


video

Dec 2, 2012

Annual Check-up

This is the continuing story about the healing of a co-worker. The previous post about her healing from last year can be found here

Amy (not her real name) saw me coming in from my ride at the end of shift. Surprised to see me working the east valley, she asked, "What are you doing here?"

I told her I'd been working the east valley for a year. She didn't waste time getting to the point.

"I might need your help with my knee again. It's swollen and hurts a lot. Especially behind my knee."

Amy had been healed of a knee injury a year ago. But the pain and swelling returned. So the question was - would she be healed again?

She pointed to where the pain and swelling were. I asked if she had a few minutes so I could get her healed. She was going off duty and wasn't in a hurry. So we sat on the couch in the day room.

I asked a few questions - basically trying to pinpoint where the pain was located. I placed by hand two inches from her knee and asked if she wanted to be healed again.

"I can already feel the energy coming from your hand," she said with a smile.

"So, I'll take that as a yes", I replied.

I kept my hand about two inches from her skin and commanded spirits of pain and inflammation to leave and commanded ligaments, tendons, cartilage and soft tissue to be healed. She said she felt something moving inside her knee joint.

"Well, you know what that means....why don't you get up and walk on it...see how it feels?"

She got up and walked around.

"I still hurts a little."

"Okay. Have a seat and show me where it hurts."

She pointed to the lateral aspect of her knee. I placed my hand on it, commanded it to be healed in the name of Jesus and had her check it out again.

"Wow...it's feels pretty good."

"That was way too easy," I thought to myself.

We talked for a few minutes then we both headed to the parking lot. The end of another day as one of God's kids.

If you're new to this blog - and you haven't heard this yet...you need to take this to heart:

Anyone can do this.

I sincerely mean it. I'm not someone who has a special gift. Four years ago, I didn't believe in healing. I just decided I was fed up with living a powerless life and I determined that I was going to pray with anyone and everyone who wanted to be healed.

The learning curve for me was pretty steep. I had no faith. I knew nothing about healing or miracles. So the first 400 or 500 people I prayed with weren't healed. But God told me to keep going and not to give up.

So I kept going. And eventually, the miracles came.

So you need to keep going, too. Because the same Jesus who heals through me, also lives in you. He wants to heal people through you. The miracles will come. If you don't give up.

Nov 30, 2012

Arise and Walk

This is a video of a young man named Seth going for a walk.... something he hasn't done in over 6 years. After receiving prayer from other Christians at the Jesus Culture Awakening at the Allstate Arena, he was able to rise out of his wheel chair and walk again.


Nov 28, 2012

Dead For 28 Minutes


Doctors inexplicably missed a burst appendix, which led to her untimely death in a hospital bed at age 27. But she shocked her doctors and nurses when she abruptly sat up and began to tell stories about a visit to heaven. This story was originally published here.


“I had never been sick in my life,” Betty Malz recalled, at a conference hosted by Hospital Christian Fellowship in the Midwest.  She was only 24 hours into a Florida vacation with her family when she noticed a pain in her side.

At first, she thought she pulled a muscle water skiing or the pain came from her terrible sunburn. But about 11 p.m., after everyone else fell asleep, she began to vomit.

She nudged her husband John in bed. “I’ve got to get some help,” she told him. “I’m very seriously sick.”

About three miles away, they found a small hospital. After a few tests, an intern came back shaking his head. “We’re in a lot of trouble her,” he informed them. “You have an appendix swollen and ready to burst. I have 26 patients and 24 beds, with two patients in labor ready to have babies at the same time. We’re not equipped for this emergency.”

An ambulance transported Betty to a larger hospital in Clearwater, but no one realized her appendix burst during the trip.

After she arrived, a doctor disagreed with the first doctor’s report. “You aren’t even swollen on your right side,” he noted. “You just got too much sun. We will treat you with some antibiotics, put you on a liquid diet, and you’ll be on the beach in a few days.”

After five days, Betty’s health continued to decline. After 11 days, she was blind, had a fever of 105 degrees, and toxic poisoning had spread throughout her body.

A new specialist came in who mistakenly informed the family she had a tubular pregnancy, and recommended surgery to remove what he thought was a four-month-old dead fetus.

Deeply discouraged, Betty’s family decided instead to fly her to Union Hospital, close to their home inTerre Haute,Indiana. After Betty arrived there, doctors performed surgery for her supposed tubular pregnancy, but were shocked when they got inside.

“I’ve found a mass of gangrene the size of a man’s head,” her surgeon told her husband and parents in ICU. “This is the nastiest mess in my 28 years of practice. The first intern was right. It was a ruptured appendix 11 days ago. She has a serious bowel blockage and all her organs have started to disintegrate.”

“I don’t know how a 120 pound woman has lasted for 11 days,” he added. He told them she had a slim chance of survival.

Shortly after his dismal news, Betty lapsed into a coma that lasted 44 days. “I didn’t know a person in a coma could pray, but I prayed,” Betty recalled. She was also very aware of the people who visited her in the room and what they said.

The daughter of an Assemblies of God pastor, Betty received Jesus as her Lord and Savior when she was 13. She had little interaction, however, with other churches and admitted to harboring some prejudice toward them.

“I had a Catholic priest and a Catholic sister that were born again Christians who sat and prayed with me,” Betty said. “I didn’t know that Catholics walked that close to the Lord. I was wonderfully surprised, because I felt God’s presence when they prayed for me.”

Betty’s condition continued to worsen. She stopped breathing twice and doctors revived her. Then she contracted pneumonia and her lungs began to fill with fluid. Doctors informed her family that she was not expected to live, and a steady stream of family and friends came in to say their goodbyes.

“I began to struggle for breath,” Betty recalled. “I prayed, ‘Oh Lord, send somebody to help me.”

Immediately after her prayer, she heard a man’s footsteps. “I heard the pages of a Bible being turned and the voice of a man I never liked. I couldn’t stand Art.”

Her unwelcome visitor read from Psalm 107. “He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.”

The power of God’s Word brought a “little fountain of faith” that sprang up in her soul. It was the first glimmer of hope that she might be healed.

Not long after Art left the room, Betty breathed her last lungful of air. Doctors declared her dead and her body was covered by a sheet as her family grieved.

But during the next 28 minutes Betty experienced something far removed from grief. The sensation in her body at the point of death she compared to a thrill ride at Disneyland, when a rollercoaster crests over a peak. “Suddenly I realized I was launched into another country, another planet. It was as real as England or America,” she recalled.

“I began to walk through a meadow of waving green grass with flowers and colors I had never seen here.”

Betty saw family members and acquaintances that preceded her in death, including her little brother. “I saw a man who had fallen from a train and had both legs amputated. He was playing in a meadow with animals and children and he had both his legs.”

As she walked up a hill, she realized all her pain was gone and a seven-foot-tall angel walked beside her. “I realized he had been with me all my life, since age 13 when I received Jesus. He had been guarding and protecting me.” They communicated with each other without speaking.

She heard marvelous music and began to sing along. While she never had a very good singing voice on earth, her voice in heaven was surprisingly “high and sweet.” She stopped singing abruptly when she recognized the voice of a deceased Gospel singer enjoyed by her family. ‘I’ve been born again and the old account was settled long ago,” he sang, to her amazement.

As Betty approached a large gate, an angel stepped forward and touched it. The gate swung open and she beheld a dazzling golden light. The light seemed to shine through her body and provided warmth. As she looked down, she saw new pink skin had formed over her surgical incisions.

The bright light emanated from the throne room of God. “Jesus was at the right hand of the Father in a majestic golden throne room,” she said. “The light reflected on a golden boulevard down the center of the city. I realized the light in that throne room was the source of all energy and power and life.”

She was amazed by something that resembled the Northern Lights or airport beacons. “These were prayers ascending from the earth,” she noted. “They were ascending like laser beams, going directly to the light in the throne room.”

On one shaft of light, she recognized her father’s voice. “I looked down and saw my father weeping in the hospital room.” She recognized her own body, covered by a sheet, and her bed pulled closer to the door.

He was so heartbroken, he could only offer a one-word prayer: “Jesus…” In his crisis of desperation, pain and grief, there was nothing else he could utter. He wanted his daughter back.

Betty said she never wanted to leave the glory of heaven, but after her father’s one-word prayer, she began to travel faster than a jet plane back down toward the roof of the hospital.

“I saw the morning sun coming up, shining on all the church steeples in our hometown.”

Carried with the rays of the morning sun, she saw pulsating ivory letters, about two inches tall, coming through the window of her hospital room like a stock market ticker tape. “They were going into my body through the sheet,” she noted.

As Betty got closer to her body, she felt like she was at the end of a descending elevator ride. She felt a little jerk, like an elevator when it reaches the ground floor, and she slid back into her body.

She read the ivory letters, which were the words of Jesus recorded in the Book of John. “I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

Incredulous, she wondered if she was hallucinating. “I reached up and touched the words of Jesus, and this was no hallucination,” she said. She pushed the sheet off her face and touched the Word of God.

As she touched the Word, life went into her fingers, arms – into her entire body. Abruptly she sat up in bed. The sheet that covered her body fluttered to the floor. “When I sat up I scared a whole room full of people.”  Her nurse’s aide ran out the door, as if she saw a ghost.

“I’m five-foot twelve and I weighed 68 pounds,” she recalled. “I had a green complexion, yellow eyes, and my hair had not been shampooed for nine weeks.” As Betty looked across the room at her horrifying appearance in a mirror, for the first time in her life she didn't care about the way she looked.

“It was so wonderful to have a second chance to love people and to live again,” she said. Her husband, parents and daughter, Brenda, rushed over and got on the bed with her, and began to squeeze and hug her.

Betty’s doctor was very embarrassed by her Lazarus-like experience, because he had already signed the death certificate. Overwhelmed, he sat down privately with her for a heart-to-heart consultation.

“You were without oxygen for a long period of time,” he said. “You had a bowel blockage and your organs started to disintegrate. We need to talk about mental and physical therapy.” He suspected she had brain damage and he still wanted to perform a colostomy to provide a way for Betty to eliminate her foods. He warned her against discussing her trip to heaven.

After he left the room, one of the hospital staff mistakenly brought a full meal to her, which included two broiled pork chops, applesauce, cottage cheese, lemon cake, and tea. Betty devoured the entire meal in a matter of minutes.

Nurses were horrified by the mistake, and insisted they pump her stomach before her surgery, scheduled that day. Betty argued with them, certain she was healed.

Reluctantly, they took her into the bathroom, where she had a bowel movement.

The doctor returned to her room, amazed. “This is not possible,” he exclaimed. “This can’t happen!”

He pulled back the sheet to examine her incisions. He saw the fresh pink skin that began to form in the New Country. “I don’t know where you went, but you came back well,” he said, with a dazed expression on his face.

Betty’s near-death experience and glimpse of eternity altered her thoughts on many subjects. “My religious and racial prejudice was gone,” she said. “I found that in that place they didn't ask for a label or a passport or the name of your church.”

“The only passport or visa to get in was Jesus, the Son of the Living God. I realized God loved all the churches where they exalt the name of Jesus.”

“It was so wonderful to have a second chance to live again. I know what it will be like on the great resurrection morning to see loved ones. Every morning is like Easter at my house now.”

Nov 26, 2012

The Radiology Lady

Stop me if you've heard this one...

As I sat in a hallway, waiting for a patient, I saw a radiology technician walk by. She had a boot on her foot. This was a special kind of boot. It's the kind you wear when you you have a broken or sprained ankle. She seemed to be in a hurry and the hallway was crowded. I though for a moment about asking her if she wanted to be healed, but I quickly dismissed it.

Ten minutes later she returned. She had a cup of coffee  in one hand. She was alone and seemed to be in no hurry. The hallway was empty. Even my partner was gone. She was ten feet past me when I said, "Hey! Do you have a minute?"

She turned around. "Sure."

I got up and as I drew near, I asked how she injured her foot. She explained that she rolled it, and had a lot of soft-tissue damage. She mentioned that there was a lot of internal bleeding and swelling. It sounded painful.

I blurted out, "Would you like to be healed?"

She smiled and replied, "Do you know how to heal?"

"Yeah. I pray with a lot of people and they get healed."

"Well, actually, I only have one more day in this thing, then it comes off."

"So how does it feel right now....is there any pain?"

"Not if I have the boot on. But when I take it off, yeah - it hurts."

"So, can I pray for you to be healed?"

She gave in. "Yeah - go ahead."

I placed my hand on her foot, commanded spirits of pain and inflammation to leave, commanded ligaments, bones, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and cartilage to be healed. (This is probably the only way to cover all the bases when you really don't know what needs to be healed.  - just go for everything.) I asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence and asked what she felt.

She held out the hand that wasn't holding the coffee and wiggled her fingers..."It feels kinda like...."

"Tingling?" I asked.

"Yeah!"

I smiled. "That's because God is healing you."

She gave me a big smile. I took her hand.

"'...'cause God's cool like that."

She seemed really glad that I interrupted her day. She turned and walked down the hallway. The recipient of God's mercy and power. I sat down and waited.

I really hope she gets an x-ray.

Nov 24, 2012

Skeptic's Eye Healed

Sunday Mail reporter Anthony Gough visits Bridgeman Downs Christian Outreach Centre in Brisbane, Australia to see if healing miracles really do exist.


Nov 21, 2012

Doomsday Preppers

Over the last month God has been giving me dreams about meeting with survivalists, or as they're affectionately called, 'doomsday preppers'.



When most of us think about survivalists, we tend to think of those weird gun-toting people, who have an affinity for gas masks and gold. I've never had a friend who I would call a 'prepper'. But I recently met a couple of people who are. And they aren't the kind of people I thought they would be.

Two weeks ago, I had a dream about meeting up with survivalists in my area and joining their group. There's a longer story behind this, which I'll share at some point in the future, but if you've been following my Facebook notes, you already know the story.

My wife and I decided to check out the local 'prepper' groups to see if we could find someone to talk to. We located a guy who was interested in sharing information. We exchanged e-mails and had a long phone conversation that ended with an invitation for us to visit him. We took him up on the offer the next day.

We drove to his house, which is located in a nice neighborhood. I didn't see any machine gun turrets or signs of a bomb shelter. Just a nice woodworking shop that made me a bit envious.

Frank (not his real name) showed us around, proudly describing the unique features of the home he built himself. We parked ourselves on the back porch where we chatted for the next 8 hours about all things related to prepping.

Before moving to Arizona, I lived in Washington for 16 years, where we suffered frequent power outages. Eventually, I decided to buy a generator so I could make coffee for myself and the neighbors during the windstorms.

I've always liked the outdoors. I've been a rock-climber since I was a kid. As an adult I took up mountaineering and eventually became interested in high-angle rescue. As a firefighter and was trained to teach community preparedness for disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis. Over the last three years I began having dreams about concerning events of the future, so I began to set aside more emergency supplies.

I've slowly been developing the lifestyle of a prepper. I'm not an expert in preparedness. I know a little, but I have gaps in my knowledge base and we're short on some of the things we need to have. There's also a lot of bad information out there and through the conversation we had on the phone, I knew this fellow was an 'expert' although he cringed every time I mentioned the word. We came to learn. And my wife, ever the good student, brought a notebook full of questions she'd written out beforehand.

Preppers and prophetic people have a lot in common. They both have an eye on the future. The Old Testament is full of people you might call preppers. Noah spent 120 years building an ark for a flood, when it had never rained before. How much do you think Noah's dreams stretched his imagination?

Joseph is the prototype of what modern preppers are all about. Pharaoh has a dream. Joseph interprets it. He sees famine and drought coming. He tells the king what he sees and develops a plan to mitigate the damage. Set aside a little each year to get the nation though the time of hardship. It worked perfectly and a nation was saved, all because of a prepper.

I had an ulterior motive when I met with Frank and his wife. I explained to him on the phone that I thought preppers were missing out on one major thing that could make their work a lot easier.

They seldom consider the miraculous.

Medical care in a disaster is a huge concern for preppers. Their theory is that medical care may not be available in a worst case scenario - so it's wise to have someone on your team who can treat illness and injuries. Most preppers recruit doctors, nurses or ideally combat medics for their team so that in a worst case scenario, they have someone around with experience in medicine.

I suggested to Frank that there was a better solution.

Preppers hold the view that one day there will be a lack of the things needed to survive. They believe that the best strategy is to store up what will be needed, as no one will provide it for them. My view is that there may be lack in the kingdom of man, but there is no lack in the kingdom of God and that my Father is willing and able to meet all my needs through His riches.

I told him that someone who is trained in divine healing would be indispensable, since this mode of healing requires no license to practice, no equipment or drugs, has no side effects and can be done over distances. Better yet - it can be done by anyone who is a disciple of Jesus and knows how to release the power of the kingdom.

I went one step further and explained that some of my friends have prayed over empty gas tanks, then drove hundreds of miles to church meetings without filling up the tank. I told him about people who take a few dozen hot dogs and buns to feed the poor and when hundreds of people show up- they pray over the food and it feeds everyone with some left over.

He understood my perspective, but for most people, seeing is believing.  I wanted to demonstrate the reality of the kingdom to him so he could see it firsthand.

I knew from our phone conversation that Frank suffered from Chrohn's disease. But I didn't know his wife had a torn meniscus in her right knee.

When I pray with a group of people with various conditions, I try to select someone to heal first who's healing can be verified immediately, without medical testing. One healing miracle at the beginning encourages everyone else who needs healing.

The best candidates to start with are people with orthopedic injuries like sprains, fractures, torn ligaments, torn cartilage, etc. Chronic back pain is a common complaint for many people. These injuries are usually painful and they limit range of motion. When healing manifests, the pain disappears and range of motion returns. The miracle can be verified immediately, without testing.

I wanted Frank to be healed, but I thought that if he saw his wife healed first, it would encourage him. So I asked if she wanted to be healed and she said yes.

I prayed over her knee a few times and had her stand up. What happened next was a shocker to me. I could see that she was standing slightly tilted to one side. With a stunned look on her face she asked why she couldn't stand up straight. She said it felt like one of her legs was too long. She took off the shoe on her right foot and removed a heel lift then put her shoe back on and said, "Oh my God, I think my short leg just got longer. I don't need my heel lift anymore!"

She got down on the floor and sat on her legs with her knees bent. She leaned as hard as she could on the right knee but couldn't make the pain return. She was healed and overjoyed.

Frank looked at her in disbelief.

We went in the house and made chili dogs then returned to the porch. We talked and shared stories and enjoyed the evening with our new friends. We really like these folks. But it was time for Frank to be healed so I got up and stood behind him. I said a few words, commanded sickness and inflammation to leave and blessed the work of healing God was about to do. Then I sat down and asked what he felt.

"This is really weird. We just ate, right? Right as you were praying, I became very hungry again."

I believed the hunger was a sign that he was healed. It was almost midnight so we made our way to the car and said farewell.

A few days later, I received an e-mail from Frank. Here's part of the report he gave me:

"...On a side note, (my wife's) knee still feels good, and I have not had any symptoms to the magnitude that is normal. Go figure??? Not a complete believer yet, but am keeping the door open!"


We're looking forward to the next doomsday prepper meeting. 

Nov 18, 2012

Are you crazy? Who Wouldn’t Want to Go to Australia?


Today's guest blogger is....MY WIFE.

This is a message my wife wrote about about our trip to Australia in September of 2012. She discusses the problems she wrestled with and the ways in which God showed her His faithfulness.

My husband, Praying Medic, the author of this blog, and I had many wonderful experiences on our ministry trip to Brisbane, Australia. He asked me to write about a particular series of events surrounding the trip from my perspective because they were events that personally affected my faith. My husband has written about some of the amazing supernatural healings we saw, but this is really a story of how I learned to trust the Lord more - especially in the area of financial provision. So if you struggle with trusting God in this area, my hope is that you will be encouraged by the story I am about to tell.

He Makes a Way Where There is No Way
Let me say that there was no way we would have made this trip without God providing a way. I've been unemployed and household funds were very tight when the trip was first proposed. However, I really did believe it was God's will that my husband would go to Brisbane to minister and teach on healing.

The trip was generously funded by our new online friend in Australia, known as The Graceful Banker on Facebook. (That’s another story) And as time moved along, the plans for our trip were coming together more easily than I expected. I saw it as an open door and an awesome opportunity for my husband, but I was not so sure it was God's will that I should go along.

I Don’t Want to Leave My Comfort Zone
I don't consider myself a spiritual giant. And I wasn't convinced I had anything significant spiritually to offer others on the trip - except my prayers. My husband wanted me to go, but I secretly kept hoping the whole thing would fall apart, so I could stay home in my comfort zone.

Here's what was going through my mind:
“I don't like long plane rides.”
“I am unworthy.”
“I wonder what will be expected of me.”
“We won’t be earning money while we’re gone.”

I had a lot of excuses for staying home. Finally, I started to become more vocal about not wanting to go. The reaction I got from people was, "Are you crazy? Who wouldn’t want to go to Australia?"

Although I consider myself to be a ministry partner with my husband, I've leaned toward the notion that it is really his ministry and his calling to heal the sick. I'm there to support, love and encourage him. I'm very good at that part.

I do have other talents that God has used, but I have this sense that my true destiny is not fully known to me yet. My husband tells me that God has spoken my destiny clearly to me (mainly through dreams and prophetic words) but I haven't trusted that I was hearing Him correctly, I haven't trusted myself to walk it out… or I haven't trusted God enough to bring it to pass.

Giving Financial Control Over to God? 
I was raised without God and lived as an atheist for about 40 years. I scoffed at believers and didn't understand a single thing about faith, nor did I want to understand. (I know some of you can totally relate to this.) I gave my life to Jesus in 1998 during a defining moment in my unbelieving life; my second divorce.

But, I was so accustomed to doing things in my own strength, and working hard to pay for everything I needed or wanted that I’ve never really been comfortable stepping out to do something if I can’t see where the funds are going to come from. So, lack of funds for the household while we were gone was a concern to me. I like to be responsible, pay bills on time, keep a good credit score, etc.

It’s the Perfect Time to Panic
After much grumbling on my part about the trip, my husband told me "I really need you on the trip."

Others have encouraged me that, indeed we are a team, and I do have something to offer - even if I don't realize it. I didn't want to let my husband down or disobey God when He clearly made a way for this to happen. So, I settled it in my mind that I needed to "bite the bullet" and go.

Before the trip, I decided to set up our household bills to be paid automatically while we were gone so we wouldn't be late with payments. I needed to project the amount of income we could expect from my husband's vacation pay and add up all the bills & expenses. As I filled out the amounts in a spreadsheet, my projections showed our account would be short. It would go into a negative balance! There wouldn’t be enough funds to pay everything because my husband wouldn’t be paid any overtime wages while we were gone.

You should know that I’ve been unemployed for about 10 months and my husband's overtime wages have been vital to make ends meet.  So, I really went into panic mode. In fact, never in my life have I broken out in hives from stress (or anything else) but this deficit news was just enough to send my body over the edge with a case of hives.

While I was fretting and losing sleep, my husband tried to soothe my fears and told me "You just have to trust that God will make a way and provide what we need. He wouldn't call us to Australia if He wasn't going to provide everything we need." He was so full of faith, and I was so skeptical. It further deepened my thinking that I really had nothing to offer anyone.

Ye of Little Faith
Fear is the opposite of faith. I knew that. I felt worse and quite guilty for not having the faith.

"Why doesn't He provide all the money ahead of time so I don't have to freak out and worry?" I asked.

"Well", said my husband, "That wouldn't require faith, would it?"

"Ugh", I said.

My mental gears began to work. How can I insure that the funds will be there while we're gone so I don't have to worry through the whole trip? We already had built up some credit card debt when we moved to Arizona, and it's been a struggle to try to pay that down while I've been unemployed.

My clever credit card company sent me some checks to entice me into more debt at 0% interest for a year. I didn't want to add more debt by using one of the checks, but didn't see any other way to get fast cash into our account just days before the trip. So, I wrote one of those credit card checks to myself and deposited $1000 into our account to cover any deficit for the month.

Sigh. Not exactly relief. I still wondered how we would pay it back. But at least I could put off the problem and I try to stop fretting about it. So we packed our bags and flew across the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival, we were greeted at the airport before dawn by The Graceful Banker.

Ministry 
Within the first couple of days in Brisbane, we began to work with the street van teams that deliver food to the homeless. Throughout our trip, The Graceful Banker was driving us around and generously paying for our expenses. As I said, we couldn't have done this without divine help and someone like him who was tuned in to what God wanted to do.

Meeting the Access street van teams was great! These people are so dedicated to serving and touching hurting and unfortunate people it was inspiring to serve beside them. They faithfully prepare sandwiches and heat up meat pies in a small church kitchen, heat water in a huge urn for coffee, tea and Milo, and go out on preplanned routes to shelters and even under bridges where some homeless people gather. This could be particularly dangerous, if not for the Lord's protection.

We prayed for folks and saw some healings right away. God is so good! My husband and I spoke at a small church in Darra. I really didn't know what was expected of me but somehow, God stepped in and gave me the words. My husband took the lead on teaching about healing. We both laid hands on many, many sick and hurting people throughout our 2-week stay. I gave a testimony of my two failed marriages, a rape at knifepoint when I was 19, and how the Lord modeled forgiveness to me many years after that event. Some women came up to me afterwards and said, "Your testimony really helped me."

I was beginning to see that I did have a purpose on this trip. I can't speak right now of all the ways God showed up because my focus in this story is on trusting Him for provision.

Mail for Us?
Within our first few days, our host drove us to his lovely country home to spend some more time with his mum and the kids. He stopped at his mailbox before entering the driveway and pulled out the envelopes. There was an envelope addressed to my husband and myself.

I was very surprised. Who would send us a letter in Australia?

When we got into the house, I saw the return address. It was from a Facebook friend who lives in Perth. She was one of my husband's Facebook friends for a long time, but more recently she began sending me encouraging emails about a health issue that cropped up for me.

Let me say, we have never met this person. She lives in Perth, Australia on the western coast of the country. We were in Brisbane, on the eastern coast. We wanted to meet up with her and other Facebook acquaintances from Perth but were not able to on this trip.

She writes:
“I had been planning to come and meet up with you but when I noticed your itinerary was only for a couple of weeks, I realized with birthday commitments I had, it wasn't going to work. I was disappointed. I could still come, but it would have only been for a few days and it was a long way for a short visit. I don't believe it was meant to be.”

My husband handed me the envelope. It didn't feel like a letter, it was a padded envelope. Inside was a lovely necklace with two pearl pendants that could be switched out - one dark pearl and one white pearl.

"Awww… this is so nice", I said.

I couldn't believe she was sending me a gift. I think it's hard to choose jewelry for someone you don't know, but this piece actually fit my style. I thought that in itself was amazing.

There were two smaller decorative envelopes inside the padded envelope. One said "Letter" so I opened it. Her letter started with these words "You are on your way to Brisbane as I write this." She wrote three lovely pages to us, including scriptures that the Lord was bringing to her attention, (Colossians 3:1-2 and 1 Corinthians 2: 9-16.) She said she'd like us to send her a message to her to let her know the envelope arrived safely.

At the end of the letter, she mentioned something about wanting to buy us an iPad. She said, "… so use this money for this."

Amazingly, the last envelope inside the padded outer envelope contained a stack of Australian cash. It was quite a thick stack of 50’s. In fact, standing at the counter in The Graceful Banker's kitchen, we all knew it was way more than an iPad would cost. I started to count it, but stopped after I got to about $500, because I was overwhelmed.

So, we put it aside for a while and The Banker let us his phone to call her. We thanked her for the gift and the money and told her how surprised we were. We got a chance to talk about spiritual things and how the trip was going. She shared the story of how God directed her in all this. Here's her story…

The Lord asked her to put away a bit of her grocery money every "fortnight" over a period of time. She wasn't sure what He wanted her to use it for. When she knew we were coming to Brisbane, she wanted to bless us and thought it would be nice to send about $250.

But, the Lord spoke to her and said "Send $1,000."

She didn't hesitate, she wanted to be obedient. God had never directed her to give a sum this large to anyone before. (It's amazing to me that she didn't question Him or argue about it.) She believed she was hearing from Him, so there was no question in her mind that she would send it….. but how?

She couldn't transfer the money through electronic banking because she didn't have an account with that capability. She asked a couple of friends if they would deposit her cash and transfer the money to us for her. No one wanted to do this. They didn't think she should send money to people she’d never met in person.

So, in a big step of faith, she put the whole stack of cash in the envelope, tucked it inside the padded envelope and put regular postage on it. Then, the Lord told her to put it in the Express box. It's funny, she did argue with Him about that!

She didn't have Express postage on it, so she didn't want to put it in the Express box. After trying to reason with God, He assured her that it would be okay. He wanted it to arrive quickly. So, again, she obeyed and dropped it in the Express box. It got to us more quickly than she expected.

When we ended our phone call with her, we went back to the envelope and curiously began to count the money. We got to 500, then 600, and were still counting. The final count was $1000. The exact amount that I had transferred into our account to cover our shortfall before we left! I immediately said to my husband, "Why do I ever doubt God?"

A Lesson for Me
So, through an obedient and faithful servant, the Lord showed me that He understood my fears about the finances, that He saw my distress, and that He had it covered the whole time.

Let me say, she knew nothing about my financial worries. My husband and I were the only ones who knew about it. (Well, I think I mentioned it to my neighbor who stopped by to visit before we left.)

We were hoping God would help us pay back the $1000, but He moved in advance of our arrival in Brisbane. I believe He wanted to get to the money quickly so that I wouldn’t continue to fret about it. And He wanted to show me that He was in control. He is my provider. I will always have this testimony of how He provided for me. And she will always have this amazing testimony of how God used her to provide an exact amount to meet a specific need.

Most of us have heard stories of the Lord asking someone to give, and it turned out to be the exact amount that the person needed who was receiving it.  He has asked me to give specific amounts to different individuals at times, but I never got confirmation that it was the exact amount they needed for something.

My husband and I were financially blessed on one particular occasion when we gave a large amount at a conference, and when we got home an unexpected refund came in the mail that was greater than what we gave. So, I knew the Lord had a history of this type of blessing, but I never before had an experience like this one.  I've been striving for so long. I had a lack of faith in the area of provision. It’s a weakness in my walk with Him. But it's true; His strength is perfected in my weakness.

Now I am challenged to do the things He has told me to do; the things I've been afraid to do because of the economy or my jobless situation. I have no doubt that He will bless the work of my hands and work all things for good as I step into His purpose.

There’s More!
Months before we left for Australia, I was trying to pay down some credit card debt and looked at my bill wondering why the amount owed was getting larger instead of smaller. I had not made any purchases for months.

I checked my statements and saw a $75 charge that was being added each month. It looked like a service I had signed up for, but I’d forgotten what it was. I figured I should call them and cancel. So I called the 800 number and I told them I wanted to cancel their service because I was currently unemployed.

The gentleman on the phone said, “You’re unemployed? Ma’am, this charge is for insurance that pays your monthly credit card payment if you get laid off or are unemployed.”

After he said that, I began to have vague recollection of signing up for this a long time ago. He asked me some questions and said, “It seems as though you will qualify for benefits, but I need you to fill out some paperwork.”

He sent a claim for form and I filled in all the details, attached some other documents and saw that I needed a signature from the last company I worked for. I e-mailed my supervisor. She said she couldn’t sign the form. I called back the insurance company. They told me I must have the signature from my last employer.

I called the employer’s corporate office and asked if someone there would sign the form. She told me to fax the papers to them. So I did. I waited and waited and after a few days I called again but got their voicemail. I e-mailed them and still received no reply or signature.

I got discouraged and figured this would be the insurance company’s chance to deny me the benefits. I submitted other pieces of information in lieu of the signature but it was rejected. Days before we left for Australia I called again and finally got someone at corporate office who said she would help. I faxed everything again. The paper was signed and faxed back to me…finally.

So I mailed everything to the credit card insurance company. They said it would be about 10 days before I would get their decision by mail.

When I got back from Australia, there was a letter in my mailbox that said my claim had been accepted and they would make my next credit card payment. Finally some progress, but I wished I had put my claim in 10 months ago when I was first laid off. They could have been paying that bill for the past 10 months. Anyway, I decided to be grateful that the payments would be made as long as I was still unemployed.

After a few days, my credit card bill came. Upon examination, I saw that the insurance company had paid the bills retroactive back to the date I was first unemployed. Actually, they paid 10 months of DOUBLE monthly payments and refunded the monthly $75 insurance fee for all 10 months! My new balance owed on the card was now HALF of what it was before I went to Australia. What do you think - was I just so smart for buying insurance or was this a blessing of Divine Debt Reduction?