Jan 27, 2013
Jan 24, 2013
It came how it often does. It was near the end of a long, busy shift. My heart longed to be home, in my kitchen, cooking dinner with my wife and enjoying her wonderfulness. But this little old lady needed to get some place and we were her escorts.
Margie was in her 70’s and full of life. From the minute we walked in her door, I liked her style. Slightly sarcastic, but not disrespectful, she had a humorous take on life that was refreshing. Her problem today was back pain.
She’d fallen 3 weeks ago and had been experiencing upper back pain ever since. She was seen in the hospital and discharged home, but the pain persisted. Her doctor advised her to check into a rehab facility and that’s why we were called.
With the pain at 8 out of 10, she wasn't able to help us, so we hoisted her from the wheelchair onto the gurney and got rolling. My wife sent a text message letting me know that a crock pot full of chili awaited me at home.
I got a set of vitals and began charting, but I felt like maybe she’d be open to prayer. I thought about it for a moment and decided to ask.
I asked again where the pain was and how bad it was.
“Well, maybe I should just pray for you and get you healed.”
With a wry smile, she said, “Well, maybe you should.”
I placed my hand on her back and began commanding bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and nerves to be healed. She began praising and thanking Jesus. We prayed some more and I asked how she felt. The pain was slowly subsiding, so I continued commanding it to leave and she continued praising Jesus. You should have been there, it was priceless.
“Wow, I just feel completely relaxed,” she said. “I think I could go to sleep.”
I told her she was welcome to take a nap until we got there.
It was a splendid ending to 2012.
2013....I'm ready for whatever you have in store.
Jan 21, 2013
I’m taking you all the way back to the beginning of my career, more than 30 years ago, before I wore a uniform or knew Jesus. Having been prompted by God to start dealing with and being healed from my past, I decided to begin writing about the days before I was known as Praying Medic.
I grew up in a culture where drinking alcohol was expected. I began drinking at the age of 15. My first experience was memorable. My best friend’s dad threw a beer party and I drank 5 pitchers of beer by myself. I was sick for two days and for the first time in my life, wished I was dead. My seven brothers tried their best to keep me intoxicated day and night. I tried hard to keep up with them, but after a few drinks, I usually ended up unconscious. I was growing weary of being broke, hung over and reeking of cigarette smoke. My career as an alcoholic was an utter failure.
By the time I was 20, my habits began to change. Though I still went to bars and played pool with friends, I started drinking only soft drinks. I went to bars because that's what everyone did. I thought one day, just maybe, I'd find the woman of my dreams….in a bar.
I'd been working in a plastics manufacturing factory for a couple of years. My dad tried to encourage me to follow in his footsteps, but plastics manufacturing just wasn't my thing. I knew it broke his heart a little when I told him that.
My dad and I were very close. We'd been driving to work together for 2 years. He worked as an estimator, while I worked in the raw materials warehouse. It wasn't the most exciting job, but it was a job. It gave me a paycheck and I learned to manage the inventory of the warehouse, which was an accomplishment for a 20 year-old without much life experience.
I remember sitting in our kitchen one day, talking with my mom when she told me there was a new EMT class starting up. She encouraged me to look into it.
Was my mom trying to get me to follow in her footsteps?
My mom had been a volunteer EMT for a few years and enjoyed it a lot. For some reason, she thought I would too.
So I went to the first class, thinking it would be nice to have a little medical knowledge in case I was ever confronted with an emergency. I had absolutely no interest in working on an ambulance.
There were about 15 students in the class. I got registered and took a seat. The instructor, a lanky man named Bruce had us introduce ourselves then explained his expectations and rules for the class.
He was a warm and intelligent man with a wonderful sense of humor. Bruce would become one of my role models for disaster preparedness and he would leave the world soon in the most ironic way.
He loaded a movie in the projector, dimmed the lights and asked us to take out a pen and a sheet of paper to jot down some notes. The movie was an instructional film on how to do a surgical cricothyroidotomy. We watched as the instructor explained the steps involved, then demonstrated on a live goat, how to perform the procedure.
I'm not sure to this day, if one of the goals was to weed out the squeamish or not, but it struck me as a bizarre way to begin a basic EMT class.
No soft entry for us. No warm and fuzzy discussions about becoming a caring member of the healthcare community. No introduction to the skeletal system.
"Here, let me show you the right way to cut someone's throat open....and please try not to vomit on the person next to you."
I was enthralled.
The wheels in my head spun at warp speed.
"Are you kidding me?
We actually get to do this stuff...
and it's legal?"
The EMT class met 3 hours a night, once a week for 9 months. I devoured the material and did well on the written and practical tests. Bruce saw my potential, but I still had no interest in ever working on an ambulance.
In those days, you were allowed to be certified as either an 'ambulance' or a 'non-ambulance' EMT. The 'ambulance' designation was for people who wanted to work or volunteer with a fire department or rescue squad. The 'non-ambulance' certificate meant that you passed the class, but had no desire to work on an ambulance.
When I registered for the class, I opted for the 'non-ambulance' certification, which meant I didn't have to do any ride time on an ambulance which suited me just fine. All those red lights and sick people seemed way too hectic for me.
As the class began doing their rides with the fire department, I heard some of their stories, which, to be honest, sounded kinda cool. I became a little jealous and started wondering if I'd made a mistake.
I talked to Bruce about my dilemma. I asked if it was too late to re-consider my 'non-ambulance' status or at least do a couple of rides. Turns out, there was no dilemma. If I wanted to ride, he could arrange it. I'm pretty sure that made him happy.
I went to the fire station and met the Chief, who was a nice guy named Roger. He gave me a pager and took down my phone number, checked his calendar and told me the day I would ride. All I had to do was show up at the station as soon as I could get there when the pager went off. Since my grandmother lived two blocks from the station, I arranged to stay at her house when I was on call.
Little did I know that my first call, a few days later, would make me question whether I wanted to ride on an ambulance ever again.
Jan 18, 2013
Approximately 10 years back I just got bad allergies and I avoided going out from April to August at all cost. My eyes felt painfully dry, my nose was constantly running, even with blood. It all was no fun at all.
The doctors gave me stuff to get over that time, but each year it got worse.
After I got invited to supernatural healing I commanded that stuff to leave. It was a constant struggle. Half a day it was fine and I could even breath through my nose, just to come back.
Two years back I was crying, blood came out of my nose, pain all over my face. I cried out to the Lord what's going on, why do I not get healed, when He said to me, because I see myself sick.
I was embarrassed, angry and said, no way, I know I'm healed by your stripes. Silence then...
I decided to take a nap and laid down for a while still crying, when I remembered what the Lord said and asked him:
I see myself sick? What does that mean?
All of the sudden I was in a dream, or I was dreaming. It was at least totally real.
I found myself waking in the midst of a field with all the triggers I could imagine without fear of them. I just stood there looked around and all of the sudden realized how all these flowers smelled like.
In all these years I forgot how spring smells with all its flowers and stuff coming out.
I realized what Satan took away from me. I cried, cried and cried.
This dream went on for approximately 20 minutes.
It took me this time in that dream to realize that I really was healed.
I woke up and was healed!
As a man thinks in his heart, so he is.
( Prov. 23:7)
Jan 15, 2013
This is a letter to bring you up to date on where I'm at, where I've been and where I'm going.
I've been thinking a lot about my past since the new year began. I know God wants to bring closure and healing to some open wounds from my past and I'm seeing a plan take shape to deal with them.
I think part of the healing process will involve writing about my past and bringing the dark things from it into the light. I've been considering the possibility of writing an autobiography of sorts - covering the entire span of my career as as paramedic.
Writing (for me) is therapeutic. There's a freedom that comes from telling my story. Heather Goodman asked me what it is that I like most about story-telling. I realized that my greatest emotional need is to be understood and accepted. So writing stories is how I meet that need. I write, and in the process, my heart is revealed. If you understand and accept me, my emotional need is satisfied.
Of course, if I'm rejected because of my past, I'll suffer the consequences. That's the risk you take when you write about your own problems.
Writing about my career will probably begin as a series of Facebook Notes. The audience that reads my notes is supportive and safe. And the stuff I need to share requires a safe audience.
This is not to say that most of my readers here are not supportive or safe - you are. But my Facebook friends are the folks I hang out with every day and they really 'get me' on a deeper level. So if the notes go well, I'll probably publish them here. The long term goal might be to turn them into a book.
Speaking of Facebook - I'll be taking a short break from Facebook this week. I know that I spend a lot of time on Facebook, and it may seem to some as though Facebook is my life, but I do have another life outside of it.
I've been extremely busy at work lately. The prayer requests, bacon posts and private messages have swamped me and I'm feeling overwhelmed. So I decided last night to de-activate my account for a few days.
This is something I didn't plan on, since most of my dreams lately have highlighted networking on Facebook. I don't expect to be offline very long.
I feel at times as if my message isn't reaching some people. If I had to summarize my message, it would be, (speaking of the miraculous) "Anyone can do this."
I try to encourage people to step into their identity in Christ and do the things Jesus did. The entire purpose of this blog and my Facebook account is to show people they can do the things I'm doing. So it frustrates me when people allow the enemy to beat them up, when they live in fear and hopelesness, and when they continue believing the lie that they need a 'Man of God' to pray for their miracle instead of doing it themselves.
We all have the same access to the throne of God. We all have the same Spirit living in us. Jesus is just as capable of healing through you as he is through me. So why do we continue believing the lie that we must have the 'Anointed Man of God' handle our crisis?
I guess that frustration is getting to me again, so I need to step away from Facebook for a while. The frustration I feel over this issue is probably why I wrote the book that we'll soon be publishing, which is a 'Do It Yourself' book on healing, deliverance & raising the dead.
One last thing...
A lot of you are gathering for the Global Kingdom Awakening seminar in Kansas in August. There are going to be hundreds of people there that I'd love to meet. Pete Cabrera, who is the host, has offered to arrange transportation for me. But I have one problem....
I have this job. If I want to bring home a paycheck, I need to work. Lately, I've been working overtime to keep up with the bills. As much as I'd love to take a week off work to attend the seminar & maybe teach one of the sessions, if I take time off work, the bills don't get paid. And the bills must be paid. So the prospects of attending are rather slim right now.
So that's where I'm at. Thanks for listening.
I love you all,
Jan 12, 2013
I've become aware that there are these divine appointments out there, waiting for me. Many of them show up at inconvenient times, like when I'd rather be at home eating dinner with my wife.
A few weeks ago, we transported a young woman who was suicidal. The call kept us past the end of our shift and I thought she would be my divine appointment. I got to pray with her, and she later contacted me to say thanks, but there was someone else I needed to meet that night.
It was late and I was tired. So when dispatch gave us another call, I got irritated and whined, "I've already done my good deed for the day...why can't we just go home?"
When I heard the patient had cancer, I began to think maybe this patient was the one. As we walked past her room I could see her family huddled around the bed. Some were sitting. Others were standing. There was a somber presence in the room. I heard someone choke back their emotions as they spoke in a hushed voice. I knew she was the one.
I headed for the nurse's station to get report, but the nurse met me in the hallway. She told me about my patient and her battle with cancer. Rolling her eyes, she told me that the family had unrealistic expectations about the patient's prognosis. Some of them were holding out for a miracle.
From the point of view of a doctor or nurse who's never witnessed a miracle, terminal patients die and there's nothing that can be done about it. That used to be the way I saw terminal cases. When you work in medicine and never see miracles, and you see people hoping for a miracle (the kind you've never seen), it seems like false hope or denial.
But people of faith, especially the ones who've seen miracles, have a hard time accepting the diagnosis of death. We know what that God is exceedingly abundantly able to do more than we can ask or think. That perspective makes miracles possible. And when you begin to operate in them consistently – it makes them normal.
I took an instant liking to my patient's son in law. He was warm man with a great sense of humor. We began making light conversation. There was a long discussion between the family about who (if any one) could ride in the ambulance. I said we'd try to accommodate as many as they wanted. So the patient's daughter and son both rode along.
We got her a loaded and I got down to business. I looked at her son and said, “I'll assume a from the report I got from the nurse that you believe in miracles.”
He looked as his sister. “Yes we do”.
“So do I.”
I told him about some of the patients I’d seen healed. He began to cry. I asked if I might pray for their mother. They agreed and so did she. I placed my hands on her shoulders, and spoke blessings over her. I asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence upon her. I commanded cancer, sickness and pain to leave. I commanded evil spirits to leave. Her son continued crying.
When I was done, I told him that he can find me on Facebook. He pulled out his phone, opened the Facebook application, searched for my name and found a guy with a helicopter picture.
"Yeah...that's me. Send me a private message and I’ll send you a friend request."
They had questions about healing. They wanted to know how long they should pray and when the they should quit if they haven’t seen results.
“Don’t ever quit”, I said.
I encouraged them to persist as long as it took and shared a few more stories about people who'd been healed only after receiving prayers for many years. I told them that has long as the person was still alive they should keep on praying.
I was able to write my report at the destination hospital, since I didn't have time to write anything but her vitals on the way. We got her settled into her room. I gave report to a nurse and said farewell to my patient.
“If I don’t see you in the future, I’ll see you in the pasture.”
I did see her again. I became friends with her family through Facebook. A few weeks later, I happened to be at the hospital. Her daughter asked me to check up on her. She was resting peacefully. A few days later, she stepped into eternity.
Knowing what eternity is like, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little jealous.
Jan 9, 2013
I wanted to share a few thoughts on doctrines and how they can affect our relationships. I need to say up front that I firmly believe that embracing sound doctrine is a good thing and following false doctrine is the fast road to ruin. This note isn't about the value of having sound doctrine - it's more about how we prioritize doctrine in our lives - particularly as doctrines come into conflict.
I have thousands of friends on Facebook; Catholics, Protestants, Pentecostals, Charismatics, Mormons, Mystics and many more. They all have different beliefs about God. Their beliefs can be called their 'doctrines'.
Many of us have been taught to separate society into two groups - one group with 'right' doctrine, and another with 'wrong' doctrine. We're taught to associate only with people who have 'right' doctrine and to avoid people with 'wrong' doctrine.
I have this problem...Jesus didn't die to give me right doctrine. He died to give me His life, which He lives inside of me 24/7, even when I'm not conscious of it. Jesus died for people, not doctrine. And you are one of those people that He died for. If He values you that highly, I must do so as well. I must value people more highly than I value belief systems. God isn't a belief system - He lives outside of any belief system man ever came up with, though some people seem to have made some kind of god out of their belief system.
When I run into people with doctrines I don't fully agree with, I keep in mind the fact that the things I believe about God today are radically different from the things I believed about Him 5 years ago. And 5 years from now - my beliefs will be even more different from today. My doctrines (the things I believe about God) are always in a state of change.
So how do I deal with people that I disagree with, doctrinally?
I have a couple of choices:
1) I can reject them as a person, because of their doctrine. In doing this - I choose to make doctrine more important than the person. That's not consistent with the life Jesus lived, nor the value He places on each of us.
2) I can accept their doctrine, which as the Graceful Banker would say, is a matter of whether it produces light, life and love.
3) I can accept them as a person - regardless of their doctrine. This is the choice I usually make, if it seems like we have some things in common, around which we can build a friendship.
If I find a person's doctrine to be objectionable, I have to make the decision about whether it's so horribly weird that I can't possibly be friends with them. I'm not going to say that's never happened - it has. But it's extremely rare.
If want to influence them in any way, (leadership is nothing more than influence) like say in the area of doctrine, I have to build a bridge of relationship with them first. If they're going to heed my instruction, they must first trust me.
If I build a strong enough relationship with them over time, there may come a day when an opportunity arises where I can discuss their beliefs (doctrine) with them. But in every case I can think of - when I tried to correct someone's doctrine before establishing a relationship of trust with them - they rejected my views and continued believing their 'false' doctrine.
Most of the people I respect are accused heretics. I've been accused of heresy more times than I can remember. Some people just don't like our doctrines and that's a shame, because our beliefs should never be a barrier to loving people.