Dec 30, 2011

Holiday Vignettes

On December 25th, I transported an 83 year old woman who complained of back pain for three weeks. She told me that years ago her heart had stopped for three minutes. She was clinically dead. I asked what she remembered of it. She told me she went to heaven and met a man standing in a brilliant white light. She didn't know for certain who he was, but he told her it wasn't her time yet - she had to go back.

I prayed with a man who had fallen down a flight of stairs, suffering multiple fractures of his thoracic spine. He faced possible surgery and a long rehab. He wasn't terribly optimistic that my prayers would help, but he was grateful that I asked.

On December 26th, I transported a young woman from Alberta, Canada. She was in Arizona vising her in-laws for the holidays when she developed abdominal pain. She suffers from Crohn's disease. She was admitted to the emergency room and diagnosed with a small bowel obstruction. We transported her to a larger hospital for possible surgery.

During the transport I told her about the dreams my wife has been having about starting up her own business. Then I shared some of my dreams. I chose the dream about praying for people with birth defects and told her my first patient the next shift was a girl with Down syndrome and I got to pray with her. Suddenly she began to cry.

When I asked why she was crying, she said she was touched that I would pray with stranger like that. She told me she is a Christian. I prayed with her to be healed during the transport. It was a long trip so I shared a few testimonies with her and taught her the basics of healing, which would come in handy since she works as a pediatric nurse.

Later that day I prayed with a woman who had a blood clot in her femoral artery. We transported her to a larger hospital for surgery. Her only daughter and three grandchildren were murdered a few weeks earlier. She was a wreck. I prayed with her for healing of her emotions and for the blood clot to dissolve. She was grateful that I asked.

On December 27th, I prayed with an 81 year old hospital volunteer that I met in the men's room. He's was raised a Jew but as an adult, he became an atheist. He gets around in an electric scooter due to years of severe back pain. He shared with me the only religious experience he ever had. A few years ago he visited the wailing wall in Jerusalem. His intent was to stand at the wall and say 'thanks' to the God he didn't believe in. It was his way of acknowledging God in the event that he was wrong.

As he stood there, for some reason he found himself leaning against the wall with his head. He didn't do this intentionally, some force pulled him against the wall. He was unable to move away from the wall for 30 minutes. While he was there his inner thoughts became loud, reverberating in his head. He came away from this experience thinking that perhaps there was a 'force' that was good. But he didn't say it was God and he couldn't believe that it opposed evil, because if it did, it was clearly losing the battle. I prayed with him for healing of his back pain and asked God's presence to touch him. He said he immediately felt a peace come over him.

On the 28th, I prayed with a nurse who had back pain. She was skeptical that anything would happen but she allowed me to pray with her anyways. I left her with a card to this website.

These are a few of the people I prayed with over the holiday. None of them felt tingling, heat, a reduction in pain or any immediate signs of healing when I prayed with them. I can't say that any of them were actually healed, but I believe they might have been.

I know from following up with people weeks later that some will notice they were healed 20 to 30 minutes after I prayed with them. Some notice it the next day. Healing doesn't always manifest immediately. When you pray with people, don't be discouraged if they feel nothing at the time. It doesn't mean they won't feel better in a little while.

Whenever possible, follow up with people a few days later and ask if they've noticed any changes. You'll probably find that some of them were in fact healed. If they weren't, consider praying with them again.

All of these people were grateful that I asked if I could pray with them - whether they were healed or not. Compassion and mercy can be demonstrated in the simple act of perceiving someone's need and asking if you might try to relieve their suffering. This is how we reveal the heart of Jesus to the world.

Dec 28, 2011

Dr. Nemeh on Skepticism

Dr. Issam Nemeh, who has seen thousands of people healed by the power of God answers questions about skepicism toward divine healing.

Dec 25, 2011

Amber Nesbitt: A Christmas Miracle

Amber Nesbitt suffered traumatic brain injury from a car accident a few days before Christmas. Shortly after her admission, doctors informed her family that she had virtually no chance of recovery. But God had a different plan.

Dec 21, 2011

A Second Chance at Healing

Amy (not her real name) was in our new employee orientation class. When we told the group what we did, she said she was a detail technician. I didn't even know we had detail techs. Her job is to clean up after me. When we cover the ambulance in mud, she washes it. When we leave fast food garbage on the floor, she cleans it up. My mother doesn't work here, but Amy does and I'm glad we have people like her.

We both worked on the west side of Phoenix in Glendale. On October 17th 2011, early in the morning as she made her way out to the wash bay, I noticed that she was limping and asked what was wrong. She showed me her painful, swollen knee, wrapped in a support device. I asked if could pray with her to be healed. With some fear about what I planned to do, she agreed. I prayed over her knee three times but she felt nothing.

On the same day that I prayed with her, I prayed with a different co-worker, who had a partially torn Achilles tendon and back pain. He was healed, but she wasn't. That story can be found here.

That day and for a few days following, I asked God why one person was healed and the other wasn't. Here's what I heard:

The man with the Achilles tendon injury was healed because he gladly received his healing without fear or worry. Amy was afraid I would hurt her and that fear prevented her from being healed. It wasn't that God could not heal her. It wasn't that He didn't want her healed. It was because she could not receive healing in a state of fear.

I was disappointed. I really wanted her to be healed. I've seen her a few times since then and she still walks with a limp.

On December 2 2011, I worked an overtime shift in Mesa. Amy saw me loading my gear in the ambulance. She came over and asked why she wasn't healed.

I told her I talked to God about it and thought it was because she was afraid of being hurt. I asked her to explain why she thought I was going to hurt her. It turns out, her father asked her the same question, "Do you want to be healed?" When she said yes, he hit her hard on her injured knee. So when I asked her the same question, she was afraid I would do the same thing.

I told her I had no reason to hurt her and let her know that the offer was still open. If she wanted to be healed God would heal her. She said she wanted to be healed.

We sat on the couch in the day room. She showed me her swollen knee, wrapped in a black elastic bandage for support. I asked God to bring his presence upon her then asked what she felt.

"I feel really relaxed and at peace."

I commanded the swelling, inflammation and pain to leave and commanded the ligaments, tendons, muscles, nerves, cartilage and bones to be healed. She felt heat, which increased each time I prayed over her knee.

While her knee was being healed I taught her about the battle over healing. I warned her that the symptoms might return, told her to stand in faith and believe she was healed and to command the symptoms to leave if they returned the same way I did to make them leave. She seemed to understand.

I saw Amy yesterday. It's been three weeks since she was healed. I asked how her knee felt. She said it felt great. I asked if she was serious. With a smile, she looked at me and said, "Yeah - it feels great!"

When Amy wasn’t healed, the easiest way to explain the lack of healing would be to assume that God didn’t want her to be healed. The fact that she was healed at a later date demonstrates that it wasn't a problem with God. It was a problem with man. Unfortunately, we often blame God when healing doesn’t happen. But that should be the last explanation we consider.

The most likely explanation for failed healing is our own lack of faith. The next thing to consider is that some obstacle may present in the life of the one we’re praying with that needs to be removed. Sometimes it’s a spirit of sickness, sometimes it’s an attitude toward us or God that needs to change. In this case, it was fear. Once the fear was removed she was healed.

Healing is meant to draw people into a loving relationship with Jesus. Fear and love don't work well together. We are representatives of God and His kingdom. If someone fears that we're going to hurt them, that fear can become generalized. They may fear that Jesus will hurt them or that Christians in general are out to hurt people. Our best approach in dealing with fear is to assure them they have no reason to be afraid of us or God by demonstrating His love and compassion toward them.

Perfect love casts out all fear.

Dec 19, 2011

11/11/11 Testimony

This is a rather amazing testimony, but it's not really about healing. It's more about God putting the right person in the right place at the right time.

Thanks Sharon!

Dec 16, 2011

Don’t Forsake Regular Church Attendance

This was a Facebook note written by a friend, André van der Merwe. The original note, with comments can be found here .

Yes, I'm writing again. My new book (will keep you posted on the progress) will be called: "I Love JESUS, But I've Stopped Attending Church." Here is one of the chapters. Enjoy!!


Nope, actually that’s not what it says, so let’s quickly disarm this bomb. Hebrews 10:25 has to be one of the most abused and warped scriptures in the entire Bible.

"…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." (Heb 10:25 MKJV)

We will look at two different interpretations here, the traditional interpretation and the proper interpretation, which takes into account the verses around this verse as well as references to other scriptures in the Bible. As we will see, even the traditional interpretation doesn’t refer to the spectator affair that secular church meetings have evolved into.

The Traditional Interpretation

This verse has been used for centuries to warn believers against the danger of abstaining from attending regular church meetings. It’s not surprising to see why though, since nearly every commentary available on the internet interprets this verse in the sense that it is referring to regular church or worship meeting attendance. Here are some examples:

The Berkely Version of the New Testament says: "... not neglecting our own church meeting."

J.B. Phillips writes in The New Testament in Modern English: "And let us not hold aloof from
our church meetings."

The Living Bible states: "Let us not neglect our church meetings..."

The Ryrie Study Bible writes: “The term "assembling" describes "the gathering of Christians
for worship and edification," and "the Day" describes "the day... of Christ's coming.”

Clarke continues to warn against deserting regular Church attendance, for whatever reason:

"For fear of persecution, it seems as if some had deserted these meetings... They had given up these strengthening and instructive means, and the others were in danger of following their example... Those who relinquish Christian communion are in a backsliding state; those who backslide are in danger of apostasy..."

The main problem with this interpretation is that is completely neglects the part of the verse that says “…exhorting one another…”

In 1 Corinthians 14 we have a wonderful picture of what a first century church meeting looked like. Everybody contributed, bringing prophesy, tongues, songs and teachings to the meeting. In fact, so eager were the people to share what God has shown to each of them that Paul had to lay down some guidelines for them to be able to continue doing it in an edifying manner.

How is it then, brethren? When ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying. (1 Cor 14:26 KJVA)

The meetings normally brimmed over with excitement, joy, fascinating dialogues, diverse tongues and interpretations thereof, various teachings and the gifts of the Spirit flowing all over the place! It was spontaneous, unpredictable and somewhat offensive to newcomers and outsiders, but the believers themselves knew exactly what they were doing: They were allowing God to be Himself in their midst! It would have been an idea far removed from their minds to have only one single person stand up for an hour and deliver a prepared sermon, let alone pay him for doing it!

So even when interpreting this verse in the traditional manner, as thought it was referring to an actual church meeting, the conventional argument does not hold water.

…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:25 MKJV)

The first clue ought to be that this verse doesn’t start with a capital letter, which means that it has to be read in conjunction with the preceding verses to be able to understand the context, especially if we remember that the original manuscripts didn’t have any verse numbers in them. Let’s take a brief look at the whole chapter.

Hebrews 10 - The Victory of the Cross!

Hebrews 10 is one of the most captivating chapters in the entire Bible. It is a crystal clear depiction of the believer’s absolute, unfaltering right standing with God, based on what Jesus accomplished at the cross. It exemplifies the undisputable superiority of the New Covenant over the Old Covenant Law: a system which was upheld by the ritual slaughtering and blood sprinkling of animals. These sacrifices only managed to postpone the punishment of sins for another year - it never actually cleansed the people from their sins (v. 1-4).

It also debunks the popular “Confess your sins to be forgiven” doctrines by blatantly stating that once forgiven, a believer would have no more consciousness of sin (v. 2).

From verse 10 onwards it portrays how the once for all sacrifice of Jesus Christ has cleansed all who believe in Him from their sins forever and describes the new and better way of approaching God under the New Covenant, namely with boldness and full assurance of faith, confident that the sacrifice of Christ accomplished everything that God intended it to - to deal a deathblow to sin and present unto Himself a blameless, completely sanctified bride. This confidence comes from faith in what Christ has done, and not from ourselves.

Later down in the chapter (v. 26-29) the writer of Hebrews outlines the folly of trying to return to the weak and beggarly elements of the Old Covenant temple and offering system for salvation:

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful looking for judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He who despised Moses' Law died without mercy on the word of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy of punishment, the one who has trampled the Son of God, and who has counted the blood of the covenant with which he was sanctified an unholy thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? (Heb 10:26-29 MKJV)

There were Hebrews (Jews) who lived strictly according to the Old Testament law system. Even when they heard the truth about the gospel, they didn’t want to believe it, because verse 26 says they “…received the knowledge of the truth…” and of course simply knowing about something doesn’t mean that we actually believe in it. Faith ≠ knowledge.

So the writer of Hebrews admonishes them by saying that if after hearing the truth of the gospel, they still decide to trample God’s New Covenant underfoot and choose to count the blood of bulls and goats as superior to the blood of Jesus, then there remains for them no further sacrifice for their sins. They are rejecting the only thing that can save them and are choosing to willfully commit the sin of unbelief in Christ!

Now in this context, let’s take a look at the verses surrounding our key verse:

The Proper Interpretation:

19 Therefore, brothers, having boldness to enter into the Holy of Holies by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He has consecrated for us through the veil, that is to say, His flesh; 21 and having a High Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies having been washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised), 24 and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:19-25 MKJV emphasis added)

Now in the midst of all this talk about the New Covenant, about having full assurance of our salvation and of not turning back to the Old Testament Law for our salvation, why would the writer throw in a line about church attendance? It simply doesn’t make sense. Let’s tackle these verses one by one…

From verse 19 the writer starts building up to a mighty crescendo, repeatedly emphasizing how we are now to have boldness, full assurance of faith and are to maintain utter confidence in God’s faithfulness to have cleansed us completely from all sin. God who promised us eternal life is faithful to fulfill His promise and grant us an everlasting inheritance. This is the profession faith that we should be holding fast onto (v. 23)

Since we receive the Holy Spirit at salvation, it is His responsibility to manifest His fruit through us and it becomes our privilege to be co-laborers with Christ and walk in the good works that God had prepared in advance for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10). It is therefore natural for us to encourage each other to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, not necessarily by telling each other what to do, but by being living, breathing examples of the manifested life of Christ ourselves (v. 24). Actions speak louder than words. And now our key verse:

…not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:25 MKJV)

The Greek word for “assembling” (episunagōgē) is only found in two verses in the entire Bible. A closer look at the other scripture that utilizes this word reveals that the context actually doesn’t refer to a church meeting at all:

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (2 Thes 2:1-2 ESV, emphasis added)

Paul here encouraged the believers that because of the wonderful prospect of being gathered together (episunagōgē) unto Christ, they are not to be alarmed or frightened, which by implication means that they are to have boldness and full assurance of faith. This is exactly what the writer of Hebrews wrote. Note the similarities:

…our being gathered together to him… the day of the Lord… (2 Thes 2:1-2)

…the assembling of ourselves together... as you see the Day approaching. (Heb 10:25)

So the evidence seems to be pointing to the fact that Hebrews 10:25 could actually be a magnificent verse about the second coming (like the 2 Thessalonians verse), rather than referring to meeting together in a church building. The reality is however that most people have been so biased by what they’ve been told about this verse, that even in the face of clear evidence they would still doubtLet’s take a look at the three different parts that make up the word epi-sun-agōgē (pronounced in English as “ep-ee-soon-ag-o-gay”).

G1909: A primary preposition properly meaning superimposition (of time, place, order, etc.), as a relation of distribution [with the genitive case], that is, over, upon, etc.

In Greek the prefix epi is often added to words to emphasize them profoundly. Essentially it means the same as “super”, “ultimate” or “hyper”. Paul the apostle used it for example to describe how he would have been exceedingly sorrowful if his brother and fellow worker, Epaphroditus, had died.

For indeed he was sick, coming near death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon [epi] sorrow. (Phil 2:27 MKJV, annotation added)

It is also used in a word that describes Christ’s appearing, epiphaneia, which happens at the end of the age:

…that you keep the commandment without spot and without blame until the appearing [epiphaneia] of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Tim 6:14 MKJV, annotation added)

Our Greek word episunagōgē therefore means “ultimate-sun-agōgē“ or “final-sun-agōgē“ - now we need to find out what the last two parts mean.

G4962: A primary preposition denoting union; with or together (but much closer than G3326 or G3844), that is, by association, companionship, process, resemblance, possession, instrumentality, addition, etc.: - beside, with. In compounds it has similar applications, including completeness.

So now we have “ultimate-union-agōgē“ or “final-union-agōgē“ - let’s tackle the last part…

Reduplicated from G71; a bringing up, that is, mode of living: - manner of life.

So it appears that the meaning of agōgē can be found by looking at its root word, agō

G71: A primary verb; properly to lead; by implication to bring, drive, (reflexively) go, (specifically) pass (time), or (figuratively) induce: - be, bring (forth), carry, (let) go, keep, lead away, be open.
Having said all that, it’s clear that episunagōgē can be translated as follows:

Ultimate/Final-Union-Leading/Carrying (away)

Can it therefore be any clearer that Hebrews 10:25 it is not a warning against forsaking regular church meetings, but in fact a reference to our glorious final union and being carried away unto Christ Jesus?

The context becomes even clearer when we then read from verse 26 onwards how those who neglect to receive salvation and by implication are unable to have full assurance of faith, trample God’s grace underfoot and have no more sacrifice remaining for sin.

So with Hebrews 10:25 unarmed, in other words having removed the confusion surrounding this verse, not neglecting the fact that it is still good for believers to meet together, let’s have an open mind for exposing some of the other manmade traditions and practices that are found in today’s secular churches.

Link to original note:é-van-der-merwe/dont-forsake-regular-church-attendance/10150248154351725

Dec 13, 2011

Holy Spirit Breaks Out at Football Game

Jason Chin took the love of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit to a football game and 40 people got to know God a little better.

If you are a Christian, you can do this too.

Dec 11, 2011

Emergency Room Set Up

We sat outside the ER waiting. We work a day shift, so we don't have a station. We sit in our ambulance in parking lots and on street corners. After hours of waiting, we finally got a call, so we grabbed the gurney and went inside.

As we approached the nurse's station, a respiratory therapist held out his thumb to the ER doc.

"Hey doc, can you have a look at my thumb? It hurts like crazy."

I felt like I was walking onto a stage. The director had rehearsed the script with the actors. And now it was time for the medic to say his lines. Another set up.

God, why do you do this to me?

I walked over and listened to the doc...."Well, it doesn't look broken. What did you do to it?

" just started hurting."

"Well, there's nothing I can do", he mumbled as he walked away.

I walked over to the RT

"So you don't know why it hurts?"

"No, I didn't do anything. It just started hurting."

I checked it deformity, no signs of trauma. "How bad is the pain?"

"About a seven."

"Do you want to be healed?"

"What are you gonna do, some kinda...."(he makes the sign of the cross and sarcastically rolls his eyes)

I smiled....."Well....something like that."

The nurse sitting at the desk piped up..."I wanna see this!"

I invited her to watch. When she could see what I was about do , I asked if he wanted to be healed. He said, "Yeah - go for it."

I placed my index finger on the part of his thumb that was in pain and commanded the pain to leave, in the name of Jesus then asked how he felt.

"A little better." (Now he was smiling)

I told the pain to leave a second time (in Jesus' name) then told the tendons, ligaments, nerves and bones to be healed. I often use this approach when I'm not sure what the exact problem is. "Move it around, how does it feel?"

He was smiling from ear to ear now, amazed at what God was doing. 'Well...that's weird. It feels pretty good.

"Is there any pain at all?"

"Just a little."

I told the pain to leave one more time and had him check it out.

"Well, now there's no pain at all. But my other thumb hurts."

Thinking that maybe a spirit was moving around causing the pain to move, I asked, "Are you serious?"

He began to laugh, "Nope...just messing with you...It feels great."

We both began laughing. (I just love these set ups, by the way) Putting my hand on his shoulder I said, God's pretty cool huh? I gave him a card to the website.

"If you have any questions, you can get a hold of me here. I need to go get my patient."

We talked with the nurse, got report and loaded our patient. He was a Fedex driver who passed out while driving on the freeway. He crossed three lanes of traffic and hit the barrier between East and West bound traffic. The truck eventually came to a stop. No one else was involved or hurt. He suffered glass cuts and a subdural hematoma, but was otherwise fine. We transferred him to a larger hospital for a neuro consult.

On the way, we talked. I told him what had just happened with the respiratory therapist. The Fedex driver felt like God had already given him a miracle by keeping others from being injured in the accident. But he let me pray with him to have the hematoma and the headache healed.

Some days God orchestrates our lives down to the most intricate detail and exact second. Maybe that's what it means when it says "the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord". I don't feel particularly righteous. I just feel blessed to be a part of a divinely written play where the Holy Spirit is the director and Jesus is the real star.

Dec 9, 2011

A Discussion About Faith For Healing

This is a discussion on faith for healing the sick. In summary - faith that heals the sick consistently is not generalized, but specific. It isn't merely believing that God heals the sick, but rather it's a confident expectation that the person you are praying with is going to be healed of the condition they have. The issue we struggle with most is not faith, but doubt. Our doubts tend to be about the question of whether God will actually heal the person we are praying with. When doubt about the specific person and condition we're praying about is replaced with confidence, we will see people healed consistently.

Dec 7, 2011

Todd White - Words of Knowledge & Timing

Todd White teaches on words of knowledge and how to wait on the Lord for the right time.

Dec 5, 2011

The Guitar Player

Tom (not his real name) was a guitar player. Whether or not he'll play again remains to be seen. I found him in the emergency room screaming in pain. My new friend is a guitar picker by night and works a manufacturing job by day. He was helping to move a large sheet of Plexiglas several inches thick, weighing close to 500 pounds, when it crashed to the ground on top of his fingers.

The report I got from the nurse said the index and middle fingers on his right hand were completely crushed. I think the term she used was 'filleted'. They wrapped his hand, started IV antibiotics, gave him some Dilaudid and called us. He was being transferred to a trauma center for surgery to repair what was left of his picking fingers. Pain control was the only thing on his mind.

"Well, at least it's not my fretting hand," he joked. I told him he could learn to use the other fingers to hold the pick. He agreed, but then he said, "Hey...I'm 30 years old, maybe my best playing days are behind me." I said I was 20 years older than him and I was just beginning. And besides, if he didn't get healed of something, this would just be another depressing, forgettable story.

I reviewed his medical information and asked what medications he took. He gave me the names of three blood pressure pills then added, "...and I take Vicodin and Soma."

Vicodin is a narcotic pain reliever and Soma is a muscle relaxer. This combination is frequently used to treat chronic back pain. And as you know, chronic pain is something I have a lot of faith to see healed. This information was almost as good as a word of knowledge. So I asked what he took them for.

"I have back pain all the time."

It was the answer I was looking for. I wasn't glad that he had back pain. I was glad he had something I had a lot of faith to see healed. Smashed fingers are something I've never seen healed yet, but I've seen a lot of back injuries healed. I knew if we could get that healed, we had a shot at getting his fingers healed.

With people who have multiple problems, consider starting with the one you have the most experience with. I often ask if people have a headache and if they say yes, I command it to leave, doing this repeatedly until it's gone. Obtaining victory over one thing demonstrates to you and them that God is willing to heal them. After one thing is healed, move to the next and then the next, getting one thing healed at a time starting with the one you have the most faith for.

Tom told me he has back pain all the time, due to bulging L5 and L4 discs. He knew surgery was needed, but he's been putting it off. As I talked with him, I decided to try a slightly different approach. I usually command back pain to leave, but this time I was curious to know if he could be healed just by God's presence and a testimony.

I invited the Holy Spirit to bring His presence near and talked with Tom about people I've seen healed in the past. I placed my hand on his hip then shared the dream about the man with severe crushing injuries who was healed by the presence of God, without me praying for him. He said that would be cool. I asked how his back felt now.

"Now you're creeping me out....I can't feel any pain in my back." I asked him to move around a little to make sure. There was no pain.

So I asked how bad the pain was in his hand. It was still severe. I placed my hand so that I was barely touching the gauze bandages and commanded the spirit of pain to leave and for the blood vessels, nerves, bones, tendons and muscles to be healed and asked how he felt.

"There was a really bad, burning pain going all the way through my hand, but now it's gone. "

I smiled and prayed again and asked how bad the pain was. He said it was much less and he felt like he could sleep. I said, "That's cool, because I don't have anything else I need to ask you. I believe that when the surgeon takes these bandages off, your fingers are going to be as good as new. Why don't you sleep for the rest of the trip?"

Tom was in excruciating pain when we picked him up, anxious about never playing guitar again, wondering when he'd have to go under the knife for back surgery and the rehab afterward. Twenty minutes later he was ready for a nap, resting in the peaceful presence of God.

I have the coolest job in the world.

Dec 3, 2011

The Chaplain and The Medic

Early in the morning, a middle aged man walks a deserted hospital corridor. Another man sees him and smiles, noting that his arm is in a sling.

Walking over, he stretches out his hand. "I see I might be too late."

They shake hands awkwardly as the one with the sling is unable to extend his right hand, and his left hand is carrying a small pile of books. The sling is a result having surgery to repair his shoulder.

The procedure didn't go well. Already plagued with low back pain from bulging discs and chronic knee pain from mountain biking, the less than successful surgery had the potential to force some unwanted changes on him.

"I was going to ask if I could pray with you, but if you already had surgery, maybe you don't need to be healed. I've been praying with a lot of my patients and a lot of them are healed."

The chaplain said, "Really? Well, God must have given you a gift."

The medic smiled and explained that it's not really a gift. "Although there is a gift of healing mentioned in the bible, healing miracles are available to every disciple of Jesus. He gave His disciples authority and power to heal. I've just learned how to operate in it, but anyone can do it."

The medic and the chaplain discussed healing and the medic shared a lot of testimonies. In the end, they both wanted the same thing. The medic wanted someone to pray with and the chaplain wanted to be healed. Neither one knew what the other was looking for.

"If you don't mind, would you pray for my knee?"

"I'd love to."

A fire department crew walk quickly through the hallway with a patient on a gurney. A young woman with them looks at the medic, smiles and says, "I know what you're doing."

The medic looks at the chaplain. "That's my partner."

He invites the presence of God to come and feels the atmosphere change then placing his hand on the chaplain's knee he commands the spirit of pain to leave. Next he commands cartilage, ligaments, bone, nerves, tendons, blood vessels and muscles to be healed. "All things brand new, because God doesn't recycle, He makes all things new."

The chaplain said he didn't really feel any different. He bent down but there was still pain and no real change. The medic told him sometimes the healing can take 10 or 15 minutes, sometimes an hour or two and sometimes even a day or two. He repeated the process two more times.

With a smile, the chaplain said, "I'm feeling something happening in there now. Would you mind praying for my back?"

Placing his hand on the chaplain's lower back he repeated the same process as with the knee. After the third time, the chaplain reported a lot of heat in his back.

"That's the power of God healing you."

The chaplain told the medic that the surgery on his shoulder didn't go well. "The doc said it's bone on bone. I'm eventually going to need another surgery to replace the joint."

"Why don't we have God replace it right now?" Placing his hand on the injured shoulder, the medic said, "I command the spirit of pain to leave and for the bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and all the structures of the shoulder to be healed in Jesus name." How does it feel?"

"It's getting warm."

The medic repeated the process two more times and asked what was happening now.

"I feel a lot of heat now."

They talked some more. The medic gave the chaplain some cards to the website and told him to drop by and check out the testimonies and teaching on healing.

The chaplain said, "You know, if you took this far enough, you might put the hospital out of business."

The medic chuckled and mumbled to himself as he walked away....."Put the hospital out of business....that's a good one."

Charles, it was a real pleasure meeting you. Let us know how you're feeling?

Dec 1, 2011

Greater Works - Brian Fenimore

Brian Fenimore teaches on the passage where Jesus said we would do greater works than He did.

Untitled from Praying Medic on Vimeo.

Nov 28, 2011

The Kirby Salesman

At 19 years old, Jonathon was living out his dream of being a professional goalie. That dream came to a screeching halt when a slap shot broke his collar bone. Thinking it was just bruised, he stayed in the game.

When the bone finally broke completely in two, it severed both muscle and tendon and left his shoulder a surgical mess.

In the operating room the surgeons retrieved and re-attach the severed sinew but Jonathon's career as a goalie was over.

He pursued a career as an electrician and did well for himself until the housing market crashed.

As a child, his mother told him, "Be whatever you want, just don't grow up to be a Kirby salesman."

One day she received a phone call. Jonathon gently broke the news to her, "Mom, I'm selling Kirbys."

Ten years after the career ending slap - shot, Jonathon came to our door. He's training new salesmen for Kirby. We did the introductions and Jonathon left. Our young salesman, Ryan was excited and full of energy.

He did his thing and asked if I had a hobby.

There was a long pause.

I had to think for a minute....

"What is my hobby?"

I decided to tell him about healing.

We shared some of our more interesting testimonies and our history with God. He seemed interested and asked a lot of questions. At one point he became so engrossed in the stories, he forgot where he was in his sales presentation and had to check with the outline to get back on track.

An hour later the doorbell rang. It was Jonathon. He came in and asked how Ryan was doing. We told him Ryan was doing great, but we couldn't buy the Kirby. He was very understanding.

We talked with Jonathon for a while. He shared his life story with us, including the broken collar bone story. Putting his arm up, he showed us the limited range of motion he still had ten years later.

I looked at Ryan....

He looked at me and yelled, "Do it....You gotta do it!!!"

Ryan had been listening to healing stories for the last hour and now he wanted to see one for himself. Fortunately, Jonathon is a believer. We explained what we'd been talking about and he agreed to let us pray. I asked my daughter, "You want to do it or should I?"

I didn't give her a choice. I walked to the other side of the living room to watch. She went to his left side and my wife went to his right and they began. After 30 seconds we asked if he felt anything.

"It feels warm inside and I don't know....there's like this feeling of weightlessness."

"Raise your arm up."

As he did, we heard popping noises. He had almost full range of motion. He was stunned and almost speechless. We talked about How much God loves to heal people and he shared his wonder at how easily the healing came.

Ryan was just as shocked, because he knew Jonathon couldn't move his arm like that just a few minutes ago.

Jonathon said he had degenerative joint disease in his neck and back so we prayed over that and the heat increased. He got a major overhaul.

We talked some more and he asked if we'd help with his wife who has health problems. We told him we'd be glad to and exchanged phone numbers. I gave him some cards to the website. One of the things we stressed a number of times is that healing isn't a gift for just a few special people. It's something anyone can do, if they only believe.

Jonathan - if you read this, please leave a comment below and let us know how your shoulder is doing and give me a call so we can get your wife healed.

Nov 26, 2011

2 For 1 Night at Chili's

My wife and I have a tradition that we enjoy. After four years of marriage, we still go on a dates. Last night we drove to Saguaro Lake. On the drive out to the lake we talked. Afterward, we went to Chili's restaurant for an appetizer.

The food was good, the conversation was light and the company was beautiful.

As we made our way to the exit, I noticed that the hostess was limping slightly. So guess what I did?

Good guess. I asked if she wanted to be healed. Guess what her reply was.

Right again.

Her name was Jill. I introduced myself and my wife and explained that we see people healed at stores and restaurants and asked if we could pray for her. She was delighted that we offered.

One waitress was fascinated with this and looked on eagerly. Her name was Stephanie. I asked Jill and Stephanie if they'd ever seen a miracle. They both said no. I told them they were about to.

If you've been following this blog, you know that I've been more bold in declaring what God will do, before He does it. My boldness comes from knowing Him. I know He wants people healed and seeing Him do it consistently allows me to approach them and declare what He will do. I can't recall a time that someone wasn't healed when I declared that they would be healed in advance. Perhaps that's worth looking into.

Jill said she had just pulled her hamstring muscle about 15 minutes earlier and that's why she was limping. I asked how bad the pain was. She rated it 7 out of 10. I placed my hand on her leg and asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence and power.

I've never felt His presence show up so quickly. As soon as the words left my mouth we felt the atmosphere change. I began to sway back and forth. "Wow....can you feel that?"

I thought about this for a moment....."Why did He show up so quickly?" It's like He was just waiting, anxious and excited. Waiting eagerly for me to say the words so that He could bring His presence into the atmosphere.

I truly believe God is more exited about healing than we are.

Standing in the entrance to the restaurant, becoming slightly intoxicated in His glory, I commanded her hamstring to be healed in Jesus name. It took about 5 seconds for her mouth to drop open in complete shock.

"Oh my God....who are you? How did you do that?" She was healed immediately and began walking around checking it out. She couldn't believe it happened that fast. She demanded to know how I did it.

I explained:

"You know that Jesus went through the cities of Israel healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons and proclaiming the kingdom of God don't you? Well if you look in Matthew chapter 10, you'll see that he gave that same authority to his disciples. And I'm one of his disciples. Every one of his disciples has this same authority."

Some Christians wonder what the best way is to bring up Jesus to strangers so that they can 'witness' to them. If you heal the sick, it allows you to talk about Jesus the rest of the night. And that's exactly what we did.

Jill and Stephanie fired questions at us and we discussed how it all works. They'd seen faith healers on TV, but had never heard of anyone doing it in public. We told them it's become a lifestyle for us and we explained that anyone can do these things.

We asked Stephanie if she had anything she needed healed. She told us she had a bone spur on her heel that said maybe we could pray for her some other time.

I told her to sit down and we'd get her healed right now.

She protested slightly.

"Sit down."

She took a seat. I asked her to put her foot on my knee, asked how bad the pain was and commanded it to be healed, then asked if she felt anything.

"It feels weird, like there's a kind of buzzing going on."

Jill chimed in, "That's what I felt, too!" It's like this buzzing thing starts and then all the pain is gone!"

"That's the power of God healing you." I asked Stephanie if there was any pain and there was so I commended it to leave and had her stand and check it out.

She got up and stomped her foot repeatedly in amazement. She tried to make the pain come back, but she couldn't. It was gone.

We talked some more about Jesus and shared a few testimonies. I told them how to keep their healing and gave them information about this website.

As we left, we invited them to contact us if they had friends or relatives who needed healing. Three men walked in the front door and overheard what I said. I told them to ask Jill and Stephanie what just happened to them.

I would imagine they shared their testimonies about Jesus the rest of the night. That's the kingdom of God. It appears in their lives and they tell everyone they know about the great things He has done.

It's not about us. It's about Him.

Nov 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

On the way home from work yesterday, I stopped at the store to pick up marshmallows and chocolate bars to make s'mores. The warm weather has drawn us outside around the fire pit in the evenings.

On the day before Thanksgiving, the store was crowded. A few moments after I got there, I saw a woman in front of me reaching for a gallon of milk. She had an immobilizer on her right wrist

"Excuse me....are you in a hurry?"

"Yes, I am", came the reply.

"Do you have carpal tunnel syndrome?"

Looking at her wrist, she said, "I haven't had it diagnosed yet. My thumb hurts constantly and I have this weird buzzing sensation in my wrist when I move it."

I introduced myself, told her I was a paramedic and that I prayed with a lot of my patients who have been healed and asked if she wanted to be healed. She said she'd love to be.

I asked her to hold out her hand and as she did, I gently placed my fingertips on her hand and commanded the pain and inflammation to leave then asked if she felt anything.

Her first response was 'no,' but then she said, "It feels warm". I told her it was the power of God healing her. She asked, "Is this a Christian thing?"

I said, "You know that Jesus went around healing a lot of people....well he gave authority to his disciples to do the same thing and that's what I'm doing. Jesus is healing you."

She said, "Oh,thank you!"

Some people are offended when you tell them you're a Christian, but some are grateful.

I asked her to hold out her hand again and when she did, I commanded the spirit of pain to leave and for the muscles, ligaments, tendons, nerves and bones to be made whole then asked how she felt.

Looking at her hand with a smile she said. "It doesn't hurt anymore." I asked if there was any pain at all and she said there wasn't. Her hand and wrist were completely healed.

She looked at me and said, "You know...this is so weird. This is the third time in a year that a complete stranger has walked up to me in a store and told me about God.

I smiled. "I guess God has you on his radar. He's going to some amazing things with you."

I gave her a card to this website and explained what I do. She asked if I thought she could be healed of multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia. I told her a story about a woman I prayed with at Walmart who has MS and was ready to get out of her wheelchair when we were done.

Her hope began to soar.

I asked where she lived. It turns out she lives a few miles from us, so I wrote my phone number on the back of the card and told her to give us a call and my wife and I would be happy to have her come to our house and get her healed of everything.

A stranger might tell you they're in a hurry. But when a hungry soul sees that the meal you're serving is the power and love of God, they'll make room for it. And when they receive it, they'll have one more reason to be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 21, 2011

Meatloaf and Healing Your Neighbor

I stopped at Costco on the way home from work to get some things for dinner. I ran into an engine company from the Gilbert Fire department. All four firefighters were wearing shorts. It's mid-November. And they're wearing shorts. One guy said he wears shorts year round. I guess I'm still getting used to the climate here.

As I entered the store, walking briskly and looking for people showing signs of disability, I heard a woman behind me say to her husband, "I wish I could walk like that".

I stopped and turned around to see her hunched over the shopping cart, walking slowly. I held out my hand, introduced myself and asked if she really wanted to walk like me. She said she did and I asked if she wanted to be healed. She said, "I'd love it."

We chatted for a few minutes. She told me she suffers from arthritis. Betty told me she didn't expect an 86 year old woman to walk like a young person. I shared a few stories of people older than her who had been healed and asked if I could pray with her and she agreed.

I asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence and touch her and commanded arthritis and the spirit of pain to leave then asked what she felt. She reported feeling tingling in her hands. I placed my hands over hers and told the pain to leave. The only thing she ever felt was tingling in her hands. I told her I believed she was healed and that it might take anywhere from 10 minutes to a few days for her to feel the full effects.

I was hoping for more immediate confirmation, but I've learned that many people feel nothing at all and they're still healed, only realizing it days later.

I had a desire to make meatloaf tonight and for some reason I wanted to make a lot if it. I picked up a 5 pound package of ground beef and a three pound package of Jimmy Dean sausage. I got a few other things and headed home.

At home, I made quick work of the meatloaf. Here's the recipe: One finely chopped large yellow onion, 3 eggs, lots of minced garlic, salt, pepper and sage, five pounds of ground beef and three pounds of sausage. I shaped two massive loaves and put them in the oven at 350. My daughter and wife were curious to know why I on earth I decided to make enough meatloaf to feed an army. I really didn't know why. But it didn't matter, because it was time for a walk. We walked to a nearby park where a 5K run was in progress. We found a quiet spot at the edge of the lake and watched a glorious sunset. Then we walked home.

When we got home, the aroma of the meatloaf was amazing. It filled the house with a spicy, savory smell. But the oven was making the house a bit warm, so we open the front door to cool the house down.

Suddenly, we heard a voice at the door. It was the woman who lived a few houses down. We greeted her and asked what we could do. She told us she'd been having problems with a neighbor and wanted to talk about it. She was upset at how her neighbor had been treating her. She hadn't slept the last two nights. We chatted at the front door. As we talked she kept looking toward her house, expecting her husband to come over and commented on how wonderful the meatloaf smelled.

Her husband finally arrived and said he couldn't resist the smell coming from our house, so he came over to find out what it was. Once I told him what it was, he said he loved meatloaf. We told them they were welcome to stay for dinner since we had plenty.

We ate and chatted and Chona told us she had degenerative joint disease which affected her knees and ankles. I told her she wouldn't have it when she left.

So let me explain that.

When I began this journey in healing a few years ago, I never would have said something like that. I wouldn't even ask people what they felt after praying. I was afraid that nothing would happen and I didn't want to hear about it. I had no faith. Since then, I've seen God heal people over and over and over and while not everyone is healed yet, my confidence in God is so much greater that it once was. At times I think it's appropriate to say that out loud.

When I declare that a person will be healed, I'm really doing a couple of things: First, I'm putting the enemy on notice. I'm letting him know I plan to evict him and the sickness or pain he's causing. Second, I'm letting God know that I'm trusting Him to do what He said He would do. Third, I'm letting the person who needs healing know that I don't see their condition as something that's hard to heal. And lastly, I'm building my own faith in preparation for the battle.

After dinner we moved to the living room and put Chona between my daughter and I on the couch. She was gracious and allowed me time to teach her about the authority we have in healing. She's a believer. I taught from Luke chapter 10 then asked if she knew what God's presence felt like. She said she did. I shared some of the dreams I've had about God's presence and told her I would ask Him to touch her with His presence.

While I asked God to bring His presence to touch her, my daughter and wife prayed over her knees and ankles. As we prayed, my wife got the impression that God wanted to heal her emotions. After a few minutes, we asked how she felt.

"Wow....I came here so angry and now all the anger is gone. I feel nothing but peace. And there's no pain in my legs."

We had her stand up and walk around the living room. Her husband said that normally, someone would have to help her get up off the couch. But now she could do it by herself and all the pain was gone. She was overcome with joy.

The presence of God healed her emotions and the authority of believers healed her joints. That's the complete healing God wants to do - body, spirit and soul. After she was healed, we spent a few minutes teaching her about the battle with the enemy over her healing. We told her that the symptoms might return, but if they did, it doesn't mean she lost her healing. It would be spirits of pain trying to convince her she wasn't healed. We told her that if the symptoms returned, all she needed to do was command the spirits to leave in the name of Jesus.The bible says "Submit yourself to God - resist the devil and he will flee. Now that you're healed, you need to put up some resistance against the plans of the enemy." They went home praising God and we were blown away by God's goodness.

If you're willing to be used by God, He'll use you in the same way He uses us. If you open your door to your neighbors and desire that God would bless them, they will show up and so will God. As you host them, you'll host God's presence. Power encounters will happen and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. People will be healed and set free. Word will get out and they'll come to meet the people whose home will be called the house of God.

Open your doors and invite God's presence into your home. Then expect great things to happen.

It's been two days since Chona was healed. She stopped by today to give us a report. She was hiking a trail on the mountains near Phoenix this weekend. Every time the pain in her legs tried to return, she commanded it to leave. She's still doing great and ever since her visit, she's been telling strangers and friends about Jesus.

Nov 18, 2011

What About “Gold Dust”?

Editor's note: This message picks up on some of the things discussed in the previous post, though we'll start with a different (but related) subject. To view the previous message go here.

If you made a list of the most controversial topics in the present church scene, reports of “gold dust” showing up on people might be at the top of the list. In this article, I’ll do my best to de-bunk some misconceptions, explain what this phenomenon really is, and share my own experiences.

In order to address misconceptions about the appearances of “gold dust” let me first share a couple of illustrations.

Most prescription medications have side effects. Some of those side effects are allergic reactions, organ damage and in rare cases, death. Yet if these reactions are rare enough and the therapeutic effects are consistent enough in the general population, such medications are approved for use.

Approval is based on the fact that a large number of people will benefit from the drug's use. The positive effects experienced by the majority outweigh the negative effects experienced by a few.

Most nations in the world use some type of currency for trade. The use of currency has many benefits, but it has a few drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is counterfeiting. There will always be people looking to cheat the system for their own selfish reasons. Some people are obsessed with accumulating money. Their love of money leads them to live bizarre lifestyles.

In spite of these problems, we haven’t done away with the use of currency. The fact that a few people practice counterfeiting or that some develop unhealthy obsessions over it, doesn't negate the legitimate use of currency.

I used these illustrations to highlight some problems in the way many of us look at things like the appearance of gold dust, manna, gemstones falling, clouds of God’s glory and other unusual manifestations. Some of us have heard reports that people act strangely around these phenomena – even bizarrely. Some have accused people of coming under the influence of evil spirits. Others have heard that heavenly gemstones were fraudulently placed or that people tried to fake the appearance of gold dust.

In evaluating these things, a number of questions should be asked:
  1. If people have faked gold dust, does that mean that all appearances of gold dust are fake?
  2. If people have faked gemstones, are all such claims false?
  3. If some people act strangely in these ‘glory clouds’, does that mean everyone will and does it mean that the clouds aren't a real manifestation of God?
Going back to our first two illustrations, we can apply the same logic. The fact that some frauds exist, doesn’t mean the real thing doesn't. The fact that some react strangely to a phenomenon doesn’t mean everyone will, nor does it disqualify the possibility that people can receive great benefit from it. If we set our emotions and personal agendas aside, we could evaluate these things rationally and come to the bottom of things in quick order.

I’ve always approached the supernatural from the view of a skeptic. I was an atheist most of my life and even after becoming a believer, I was still skeptical about the supernatural. I didn’t believe in divine healing until a few years ago and my suspicion about these manifestations has only recently begun to change. That change came when I decided to investigate them for myself.

A year ago, my wife and I came to Phoenix. We were planning to move here and our visit gave us a chance to check out the area. It also gave us the opportunity to check out some of these manifestations.

Patricia King was hosting an event called “The Ladder” conference. The guest speakers included Joshua Mills, Georgian and Winnie Banov, Todd White and Bobby Connor. We decided to go, but weren’t sure what to expect. The night before we left I had a dream.

In the dream, I traveled to Arizona to attend a conference, where I learned a great deal about the supernatural lifestyle of the kingdom of God. I came home and wrote about what I’d experienced and learned. Those who read the things I wrote were transformed by it.

The following day, we flew to Phoenix and attended the first day of the conference. The night before Todd White spoke, I had another dream. In the dream, Todd and I were on a large wooden floor. There were railings and barriers that had been set up in a large circle, that we were inside of. We tore down, pushed over and dragged away all the barriers that had been put up until the floor was completely free of them

In the first dream, God was confirming that I would learn and experience a lot of valuable things at the conference and that He wanted me to share them with you. In the second dream, God was illustrating the idea that we need to remove the barriers and restrictions we’ve placed on what God can do in our lives. The barriers have been put up by well-meaning people who feel that we need to be protected. God didn't erect these barriers - men did. God wants them removed so he has freedom to take into the depths of His kingdom.

While at the conference we listened to Joshua Mills lead worship and encourage us to enter into a deeper relationship with the Lord. Not long after he began speaking, gold dust began to appear on him. It started as just a few specks, noticeable in the bright lights of the platform, but after a while, it was more than just a few specks; it was a heavy dusting of a glittery gold substance.

Some have suggested that these gold dust appearances are a fraud. They believe there are people nearby with containers of a gold dust like substance, introducing it into the air to make it appear like a sudden manifestation of gold dust. That thought occurred to me as well, so I checked out the room and the crews.

The room we were in was about 50 feet long and 30 feet wide; an average size conference room with a flat ceiling about 18 – 20 feet high. There were no rafters, trusses, curtains, beams, ductwork or any sort of structures above the floor that would allow someone to spread gold dust from overhead. There were no fans or blowers in the room or anywhere nearby. I couldn’t really see any ventilation ducts. The lights were pendants, hanging from the ceiling on heavy chains and these were the only things attached to the ceiling. I checked out every possible way that someone could have faked the gold dust and didn’t find any plausible way it could have been done.

But there’s more.

My wife is in charge of our checkbook. On this occasion, she heard God speaking to her about making a larger than usual donation. So when the offering bucket came around, she wrote out a check and dropped it in.

We were almost done with the session so we began to talk about where we would go for lunch. That’s when I noticed a few specks of gold dust on my wife’s face. Instinctively, we checked our hands and sure enough, tiny, almost invisible flecks of gold started to appear on her hands. We checked with those around us, but no one else had any.

We wanted to take pictures of it, so we walked outside to our car and got the camera. As we stood outside, it became obvious that the covering of gold dust was increasing. And now it was showing up on my hands, too. We took pictures and laughed at the fact that once again, God was demonstrating something….just…..wonderful.

So let me answer a few more questions some readers might have before we continue.

First, let me point out that if the gold dust phenomenon was a fake, the dust should have been more abundant inside, near the source of it and less abundant outside. But we experienced exactly the opposite. Very little dust appeared on her hands inside, but when she came outside, more of it gradually appeared over the next fifteen minutes. I had none on me until we were outside for a few minutes.

Second, is the way in which ‘gold dust’ dissipates. I don’t know of anyone who’s been able to collect any. The appearance of this substance is gradual, but once it’s reached it maximum, a few minutes later it begins to disappear gradually until it isn't visible any longer.

It’s almost ‘wave-like’ in how it comes and goes.

If the dust were some type of glitter or other man –made substance, it would be visible until it was removed and even then, you’d find it on the floor. But that isn’t the case with heavenly ‘gold dust’. In every case I’ve seen and read about, after just a few minutes it vanishes.

I have an explanation for why this happens and if you read the previous message, perhaps you're starting to see the connection and we'll get to it shortly.

Many people wonder what the purpose is for the appearance of gold dust. I don’t blame them for asking. I only hope they’ll seriously consider the answer.

In the previous message we read about the fascinating experience Tom Calkins had a few years ago. Tom went into a trance for about 5 hours one night. His body became as stiff as a board. Physically, he didn’t respond the entire time. During these 5 hours, he went into the spirit dimension and reveled in God’s presence. He flew, floated and danced in a fine, gold substance that appeared exactly like the gold dust we’re talking about.

The particles of gold came over him in ever- increasing and then decreasing waves. The amount of particles was never constant; it was always increasing or decreasing, much like waves of the ocean at the beach. There was always movement. As the particles became more abundant, with an increasing wave, his joy also increased. As the particles decreased, his joy decreased. But the most important thing Tom felt while in the waves of gold particles was the all-consuming, indescribable, passionate love that God has toward him. It was like nothing he’d ever experienced or imagined.

At one point, Tom saw a large being appear beside him. The being encouraged him to play and have fun in the waves of gold particles. The being himself seemed to become more brilliant when the particles did and dimmed somewhat as the number of particles decreased.

As the particles decreased, almost to the point that there were none, Tom became frightened. In a desperate reaction, he wrapped his arms around the being standing beside him and the two of them began to move. They moved to a place where the wave of particles was increasing again.

In a revelation that came about a year later, God explained the experience to Tom. While sleeping one night, God took him up into a heavenly perspective of the experience. He saw it the way God saw it and the Lord explained it to him.

The particles that he saw were the presence of God. His presence (or glory if you prefer) looks like particles of gold. The waves of particles are due to the fact that God’s presence is always moving. He told Tom that His presence is always moving and so is all of creation. All the particles of the universe are in constant motion. God’s glory moves in endless waves and always has since the beginning of time. It’s His nature. I'm not a physicist, but I would imagine this fact is consistent with what we know about particle theory and the properties of photons.

Tom’s joy was because of the increase of God’s presence upon him. That’s how His presence works on our spirit – it brings increasing joy. When His presence decreases, so does our joy.

The being that appeared beside Tom was the Holy Spirit. In the spirit realm every spirit has substance. They only lack substance in the natural realm. Tom’s reaction to fear was to hold on to the spirit of God, which is always the right move. When the wave of glory decreased, the Holy Spirit moved him to a place where it was on the increase and once again, his joy increased.

God’s presence, because it moves in waves, is always increasing somewhere and always decreasing somewhere. God told Tom, “If you really want to experience my presence, find out where my presence is increasing and meet me there.”

Some of my friends are fond of saying, “I’m not waiting for a move of God, because God isn’t stuck.” If they only knew how true that was. God isn’t stuck and he never has been.. He’s always moving somewhere.

So what is the purpose of “gold dust?”

Well first, it isn’t really gold dust so maybe we should stop calling it that. Its God’s manifested presence, which happens to resemble particles of gold.

What’s the purpose for it?

What purpose does God have in making His presence come near to us? To bring us joy, peace, love, healing and revelation. Perhaps a lot more, but that’s enough for me. With all the war, hatred, addiction, anger and pain in the world, imagine what it would be like if the glory of the Lord covered the earth and its inhabitants reveled in His love, if only for a day.

Its part of God’s nature to move, just as we move. “In Him, we live and move and have our being.” He goes places to meet people who want to meet with Him. One thing God told Tom was that it was his response to the heat on his arm that made the experience happen. Tom's response was, "Is that you, Lord?" Sensing God's presence coming near and desiring to meet with Him is what opened the door to the encounter. God is looking for us to respond to His prompting. He loves us deeply and allowing us to be in His presence is how He shows us love.

Normally I would have ended the story here, but there's more I'd like to share.

While Tom was observing himself from God's perspective, he saw himself floating and flying in the wind of God's glory. Then he saw something truly amazing. He noticed a pair of wings protruding from his back.

"Lord...are those wings?"

"Yes Tom, they are."

"Lord, I didn't know I had wings."

"In the spirit, everyone has wings. You are made in My image and I have wings."

"Lord, you have wings, too?"

"Of course I do. Look in the bible for all the verses that speak about the wings of God."

And now we'll bring our adventure to an end. I hope you've enjoyed the journey. I'm taking a break from Facebook for a while, but you can still find me here. The book project is going well.

Here's a video featuring Joshua Mills all covered with gold dus....I mean..... GLORY!!!

(It's high resolution so you can view it full screen if you'd like)

Nov 15, 2011

Whether In My Body or Out, I Did Not Know

Editor's notes:
This story is an excerpt from the book Adventures in The Glory, by Tom & Pat Calkins. It is being re-published with their permission. The book is a collection of stories about the supernatural experiences they've had with God.

I know Tom & Pat. They aren't what I'd call super spiritual people; just ordinary believers pursuing an extraordinary God. This is the retelling of a very unusual experience that happened in church a few years ago. It was first told publicly at a class held in Lacey, Washington during a session of their church's school of supernatural ministry. I was in the class as a guest when Pat and Tom shared the experience and showed a number of video clips that were recorded while it was happening.

I'm providing this information because this story will not be accepted by everyone. For some, it will be too bizarre to believe. Nevertheless, this story is not a fabrication. The events are told from two perspectives. First, we'll hear Pat's description of what she saw, then Tom will explain what he experienced.

The book Adventures In The Glory can be purchased here.

Revival Town generally holds three conferences a year. They are always a highlight because people from our whole region come, expecting to receive a great deal from God, to experience a concentrated degree of His Glory, and to be flooded by His Presence. God never disappoints!

At one of these conferences I had a very unusual experience. It was in the evening service of the first day of a three day conference. Since our new transformation, Pat and I enjoy helping in any capacity that we can. We cannot help musically. We know our limitations, and that is definitely one of them. However, we are pretty good with the busy work. Pat and I assist with set up before the meetings begin and then greet people at the doors as they arrive. Then as the meeting proceeds, we assist with ushering and ministry needs, and after the meeting we help with clean up and eventually lock up and secure the building after everyone has left.

To be honest, being so busy with duties during a meeting tends to distract from the spiritual side of the meeting. But we learned early in our Christian lives that you can not out-give God. He will always more than repay our giving. Which brings us back to the meeting ... The service was nearly finished and we were heading into a time of closing worship and personal ministry time. I noticed that Pat had already gone forward, as had dozens of others, and I could tell there was a heavy Presence of the Lord settling on the altar area of the church. I decided to leave my post at the back of the church and go forward. As I entered the area I joined with the crowd and stood next to Pat, lifting my hands in praise to the Lord.

I had barely begun to worship when I felt a strange sensation on my arms. I was wearing a short sleeved shirt and I could feel an intense heat on my forearms. It was as if someone had turned on a heater right in front of me. I turned and asked Pat, "Can you feel that?" Then I turned back to worshiping without waiting for her response. At that very moment, I began to experience the most unusual thing that has ever happened to me....

Pat's Side of the Story
There was a large group of us who had gone forward for a little post-service worship following the end of the regular service. Tom came up and stood right beside me. The music was playing softly and there was a very sweet Presence of the Lord there. I was standing on one side of Tom and our friend Diane Rieger was on the other, to his right. The worship leader was singing "come up here."

At first, I didn't realize that anything unusual was happening because Tom was just standing there with his hands raised in praise. Except, there was one thing that did catch my attention. At one point, Diane began to shake and she looked like she was going to fall over, and sure enough, she did! She grabbed onto Tom's arm and, swoosh, down she went. The part that was extremely unusual was that Tom made no attempt whatsoever to catch her. He just stood there, not moving and not reacting to the fact that she had just fallen, not even seeming to notice.

That struck me as odd because Tom is always right there with the other catchers, "catching" as people fall over when the power of God touches them. It is one of the things he enjoys most, because he is closest to the action, the Spiritual action, where the Spirit of God is moving strongly. But this time, someone fell right beside him, even grasping onto his arm, and he just stood there.

But Diane was fine, I checked. It seems that God Himself had caught her, or had an angel do it. Either way, she landed as softly as a feather. I quickly dismissed the incident, not giving it a second thought. It wasn't until much later that I began to notice that things were not "as usual" with Tom. Long after I had returned to my seat, I noticed that his position had not changed, not even slightly. He was still standing motionless, with his eyes closed and hands slightly raised. The music was winding down. The meeting was drawing to a close and people were beginning to leave. The clean up crew was starting to spiff up the place.

One hour had passed.

At this point, I had the presence of mind to grab my camera and start taking pictures.

By now, a curious few had started to gather around Tom who remained motionless. He looked like manikin in a store, frozen in place, just standing there with his hands positioned in praise. I had been careful not to do anything that would distract him, such as talk to him or touch him, because I did not want to interfere with anything that the Lord was doing. But it was
becoming more and more obvious that something very strange was taking place. As time passed, more and more people were gathering around.

They were all talking and wondering what the Lord was doing with him. Eventually, someone touched his hand. No response. They began talking to him. No response. Some even began posing for pictures with him, and still ... no response.

We were all having a great time laughing and speculating about what was happening. The whole while Tom just stood there motionless. Two hours passed. Then two and a half, then three. By then, just a few people remained in the building. The question was now changing from, "What is going on with Tom," to, "What do we do with him?"

There did not seem to be a sense of panic. No one was asking "What is wrong with him?" They were just wondering how to handle the situation. After all, we needed to lock up the building and that was usually Tom's job, but clearly, he was in no condition to do it. Fortunately, the key to the building was on a lanyard around his neck. Someone removed it so they could do the locking up. But still the question remained, "What do we do with him?" Do we all just go home and leave him standing there?

No, that was not an option. Everyone else could if they wanted to, but not me. And not Mary either. She was in this thing for the long haul, if that is what it took. We had been calling Jason (Phillips) every few minutes to keep him posted. He had left just before all this began in order to get the visiting guest speakers to his house so they could get a good night's rest for tomorrow.

Finally, the topic of transporting Tom came up. I don't remember whose idea it was, but I liked it better than leaving him standing. We would take him to Jason's house, since he and the other guys there could help carry him in. However, our car, a VW Bug, was completely inadequate for carrying a "six-foot board". So, the decision was made to put him in the back of Mary's roomy Honda Pilot. I would follow in our Bug.

Two of our friends, Eddie and Eric, tipped Tom over backward, grabbed onto either end of him and carried him to the waiting car. He was so stiff that he didn't even bend in the middle. As they approached the car, Eric tripped over a big rock and nearly dropped his end of Tom, but Tom didn't flinch. They positioned him into the back of the car and scooted him in the rest of the way by pushing on his feet. Now he was flat on his back, with his hands still up as they had been while he was standing.

Honestly, it didn't look good. He looked ... well, you can guess. And for the first time, I was beginning to worry. No one who was there had ever witnessed anything like this before. Even still, everyone seemed quite confident that he was A-OK. One friend even said, "I wish it was me." Nevertheless, I couldn't help but wonder if he was going to be like this forever? My fears, for the time, I kept to myself.

Before we took off for Jason's house, Mary informed me that she needed fuel so she would have to stop at a gas station. "No! Absolutely not!" I said. "You'll just have to take your chances. You are not stopping for gas with a frozen body in the back seat of your car! Someone will call the police!"

She agreed and decided to just hope she had enough gas to get to Jason's. Fortunately, she did and when we arrived Jason and the ministry team came out to the car. They couldn't believe what they were seeing. There lay Tom, flat on his back with his hands in the air, arms bent at the elbow. Jason climbed into the back of the car to survey the situation.

After checking it out, he turned and looked at Mary, the ministry team, and me, and declared, "I think it's the Lord." Which, to me, meant he was as clueless as the rest of us. I had hoped he would say something like, 'Oh, nothing to worry about. I see this all the time. No big deal."

Although his statement did little to alleviate my fears, the way he said it came across in such a humorous manner that we all laughed. Once the laughter subsided, it was time to try to get Tom into Jason's house. As Jason and a couple of the other guys pulled on his feet, out he slid, still as stiff as a board. Jason took his feet and Mary took his right shoulder and one of the guest speakers took his left shoulder. They lifted him up and started the long trek across the yard toward the house.

And where was I during all this? Following behind with my camera, snapping pictures, vacillating between laughing at the spectacle, and fighting the nagging fear that something was terribly wrong with Tom. We were all quite grateful that it was dark outside because the scene surely would or could have caught the attention of a neighbor or two. The only light on the event was the occasional sudden, brief, flash of my camera.

About half way across the lawn the man at Tom's left shoulder lost his grip and completely dropped his side of Tom. Fortunately, he was able to catch him by the elbow on his way down and since his arms were absolutely frozen in place the man simply carried him the rest of the way into the house by his elbow.

Once inside they decided to lay him on the couch. As they approached the couch Jason was positioned at Tom's feet, between Tom and the couch. As they began to lay him down, Jason became trapped against the couch and was forced to sit down, with Tom landing on his lap. The others, now laughing at the situation, had to lift Tom's feet so that Jason could free himself.

Poor Tom ... there he was, lifted high into the air, head and neck on the couch as they lifted his body and legs. He was as stiff as a board - just hanging there while Jason made his escape. Finally, Jason was out and they laid Tom back down, but now there was a new problem. Somehow in all the commotion, Tom had managed to bend slightly at the waist. So as he lay there on the couch, both his head and feet were slightly elevated in the air. When we pushed his head down his feet raised higher and if we pushed his feet down his head came up higher. We tried pushing both his head and feet down at the same time but it only made him sink deeper into the couch.

I cannot tell you the tears of laughter that were being shed as we playfully jostled him back and forth. Finally, we decided to forget it and just leave him bent. Someone commented, "He looks so uncomfortable." So someone else grabbed a pillow and pushed it under his head and neck and we left his feet be. We just didn't worry about his comfort.

Three and a half hours passed ... It was very late now. Since Tom was showing no sign of coming out of whatever he was in, everyone decided to go to bed. I encouraged Mary to go home and get some rest since she had to work early the next morning, actually, in just a few hours, since it was already the wee hours of the morning. She reluctantly agreed saying, "Promise you will call me when anything changes." I promised and she left.

Jason was the last one to leave the room, so before he could get away, I pulled him aside. Not knowing if Tom was able to hear everything that was going on, and having to assume that he possibly could, I whispered, "Jason, I'm starting to freak out here ... "

I didn't want Tom to know how worried I was. Jason was very kind and reassuring, saying, "Everything is going to be fine." But there was a hint of uneasiness to his voice. He took one last glance at Tom, and nodded his head as if trying to reassure himself before he left for his bedroom. He walked down the long hallway toward his bedroom, his slippers softly padding as he disappeared into the darkness.

Now it was just Tom and me. The house was calm and quiet but there was no way that I was going to be able to sleep. I made a make-shift bed from chair cushions on the floor next to him, but I never even laid down. I just sat on the cushions talking to him, gently stroking his head and saying, "Tom Caaaaalkins, where aaaare you?" There was no response. Not even the flutter of an eyelid.

Four hours had now passed. Jason reappeared with his laptop computer in hand. Apparently he hadn't gone to sleep after all He had been searching the internet for some explanation for what was going on.

"You don't need to worry, look here," he said as he showed me what he had pulled up on his computer. There were several accounts of people who had had similar experiences. It was called a "trance". It was actually very comforting to know. It gave me something to cling to, some shred of explanation, some reason for hope. I was grateful that he had made the effort. After our talk, Jason went to bed.

I continued talking to Tom. They say that people in a coma can hear what is going on around them. So, in case he could hear, I wanted him to hear my voice and to know that I was right there beside him.

Five hours passed ... Tom began to move. His feet were twitching, then his legs began to move abruptly from side to side in a jerking motion, his upper body responding in the exact opposite thrashing motion. I flew down the hallway and knocked on Jason's bedroom door. "Jason! Jason! He's moving!" We both ran back to the living room and just observed as Tom seemed to be wrestling with an unseen opponent. "What an encounter!" Jason whispered. Soon the movement stopped and he was back to being perfectly still, his arms still lifted. Nothing more was happening. I had hoped that the movement was signaling that he was waking up, but apparently not. Jason went back to bed. I knelt back down beside Tom and continued talking to him.

Five and a half hours passed ... I suddenly had a thought. I hadn't prayed over him in tongues. It hadn't even occurred to me. So I began to very softly pray in tongues over him. The reason I prayed softly was not because I didn't want to awaken the others in the house. They were far enough away that it would have been nearly impossible for them to hear me. No. It was because I was video taping it and I didn't want anyone, ever, to be able to hear me praying "in tongues."

So what's the big deal with that, you may wonder? Because, ever since I became a Spirit-Filled Christian, I had been very unsure of my own prayer language. I had heard so many people describe their experience of being filled with the Spirit as an overwhelming event, with a new language flowing out of their mouths like a mighty, rushing, gushing river, without effort or thought.

My experience, on the other hand, had been a very quiet, gentle one. When my prayer- language slipped over my lips, it was with great effort and thought. Was I making it all up? Or was it for real? I never really knew for sure. And this uncertainty had been going on for more than 30 years. So, the only One I ever really let hear me pray in tongues was....Jesus.

This night was no different. Since I was video taping, I was going to be ever so whisper-quiet. But...the instant, and I mean the instant, I began to pray in tongues, Tom responded.

I could barely contain my excitement. I prayed even faster. He responded more. His head began to move back and forth. His lips started to move, as if trying to speak while coming out of a deep coma. Then, for the first time since this whole experience started, he made a sound. It was unintelligible, but at least he was making an effort to talk.

You had better believe, I kept right on speaking in tongues. It was the only thing that he had responded to... at all. Now, his words were coming more easily, but they were still unintelligible. Then I realized what he was doing, he was responding to my tongues, in his own tongues!

So we had this little conversation back and forth-in tongues! Then, his eyes began to flutter, as if he were trying to open them. After a few seconds, sure enough, they opened, then quickly closed. I kept talking in tongues.

Then he made a second attempt to open his eyes. This time they opened and stayed open. But it was clearly not a happy moment for him. In fact, it was an all out, panic-stricken, what-on-earth-is-going-on moment.

For some reason, unknown to him, he now found himself in a quiet, dimly lit room, lying on a couch, with no one else around except me, when ... he had expected to be standing in the front of the brightly lit church, surrounded by music and dozens of other people, just as he had been when this whole experience began. His mind could not comprehend what was going on ... and it showed on his face! I had to drop my camera and race to reassure him. "Tom, Tom! It's OK" I said over and over.

Finally, he calmed down and fully came to his senses. "How did I get here?" were his first English words. I quickly related the whole story to him, then ended by saying, "All I know is that nothing anybody did to you or said to you made any difference. You didn't respond to anything whatsoever until I prayed over you in tongues." Now this is my favorite part of the whole story and the part that simply blows my mind...

He replied, "No, you didn't."

"Yes, I did!" I said.

"No, you didn't," he insisted. "I heard you praying. You said, 'God, is he OK? Lord, I love him. Is he going to be all right? Are we going to be all right?' Lord, where is he?' That's when I answered you. I said, 'I'm right here. Can't you see me? I'm OK. Why are you worried about me?'"

I just stood there with my mouth open wide as the realization began to sink in! Everything I had prayed in tongues, he had heard in English! And when he answered back in tongues, he thought he was answering in English! My prayer language, after doubting whether it was real or not all these years, was suddenly validated!

Since that time, I have loosed my tongue. If! am praying in my prayer language, I no longer hide it, feeling that mine is inferior to others. I pray with the best of them! Because, the Holy Spirit hears and understands. It doesn't make any difference what it sounds like, He knows the deep
things of our hearts! Even if we don't have a clue what we are praying, He does! Just as I didn't know what I was praying over Tom, but the Spirit knew, and related it to Tom's spirit.

Now I know, that I know, that I know, it is real! Here's how I know. I did not let Tom, in anyway, shape or form, "hear" me express any of my concerns, because I had mistakenly assumed that he was hearing what was going on around him. I kept any and all concerns hidden from him.
I quietly expressed them to others, but not to Tom. But what he heard in the Spirit, was nothing but my concerns. Wow!

To this day, and I'm sure, for the rest of my life, the thought of this experience will take my breath away. Thank you, Jesus!

Now, for Tom's amazing side of the story, read on....

Tom's Side Of The Story
Now that you know the natural side of the experience, I would like to share with you the experience from the spiritual side. It was near the end of the first day of our Revival Town conference. I had been busy most of the evening doing lots of the behind the scenes work which is necessary for a conference to run smoothly. But now the meeting was winding down and so I went forward to enter into praise and worship, at the front of the church. Pat was already up front so I worked into the crowd of people and stood right beside her, just to her right. As I stood there with people all around me I had my arms extended forward and slightly upward at the elbows when I felt a heat on my forearms. It was significant enough that I opened my eyes to see what could be causing it. I thought perhaps a furnace duct was blowing on me or a hot light had just come on or something.

I could see no logical reason for the heat on my arms, which was now increasing. I turned to Pat and asked, "Can you feel that?" I don't know if she responded to my question or not because the heat source was increasing enough that I turned back to face it. Still seeing no logical reason for the heat, I simply closed my eyes and whispered, "Lord, is this you?" At that moment everything went totally dark.

It was as if someone had instantly turned off all the lights, only darker. The only time I have ever experienced this kind of darkness was when we were on a family vacation and took a tour of an under ground cavern. At one point the tour guide explained that he was going to turn off the lights, and since we were now so far underground, there would be no light at all. That is the kind of darkness I was now seeing. There was no light anywhere. I turned from side to side and ... nothing. Total darkness.

This only lasted a moment or two and then I began to see, off in the distance, a very dim light. It was just a pin point at first, yet in the total darkness it caught my attention. As my eyes tried to focus on it, it began to broaden. Slowly it spread across my entire line of vision and it began to get brighter. As it intensified, I began to see very faint particles which were gold in color. The particles became brighter and as they intensified I could tell they were moving toward me. I watched in amazement as they approached until finally they were getting very close and very bright.

By now I could see thousands, maybe millions, of individual particles, each shining and shimmering in a brilliant gold color. In an instant, they were upon me and I felt my body tense in anticipation of the impact. Finally, I could see them hitting my body and swirling and curling around me as they passed. I could feel their pressure on my skin, much as it would feel to stand in the spray of a wave on an ocean beach.

Then they diminished and I watched with amazement as a new wave of particles began to form and approach, just like the first wave had done This time, I stretched my arms out to my sides and watched and waited. And just as before, the particles approached and impacted my body, then swirled and curled around me and then trailed off behind.

This harmonic wave motion continued over and over, with each new wave just a little stronger than the previous one. They became strong enough that when I stretched out my arms and leaned into them, I could feel them lift me into the air and I would actually float on the lift of the passing particles. As they would trail off behind me, I would put my feet down and wait for the next wave to approach. Each wave continued to increase in strength and brightness. Soon, I began to realize that there was more to the golden particles than what I was feeling on my skin.

As I played and floated, I realized there was an overwhelming feeling of love such as I had never experienced before in my life. It was the pure love of God. It was totally overwhelming and all consuming. Nothing can compare to it. All the cares and worries of the world were gone.

Nothing else mattered.

The love of God was all consuming and complete. I knew that I could stay right there in that perfect love for all of eternity and never lack or want for anything more. As I played and reveled in that euphoric state, I now became aware that there was something off to my right side, just past my arm's reach. As I looked more closely, I realized that it was a being. This being was much taller than me and I could only see the legs, waist and trunk of the body. The shoulders and head were not visible to me. As I watched I could tell that the being was playing in the particles just as I was. In fact, he was glowing, just as the particles were. When the gold colored particles became brighter and dimmer, so did he. He appeared to be with the wind, and yet, not the wind. I loved the feeling of having that being there with me.

I continued to be totally overwhelmed with the experience. I don't know how long this went on because a sense of time had no bearing on anything. But there did come a point when things began to change.

I started to notice that each new wave changed from increasing with each cycle to decreasing, both in intensity and brightness. I watched in disappointment for a while as it became clear that particles were actually getting weaker and weaker. I realized that the experience was reversing itself. And if it reversed all the way to where it had started, I would be left all alone in that total darkness. The euphoric feeling of God's love would be gone as well. At that realization I began to panic, and I have to admit, fear like I have never felt before began to grip my spirit. In desperation, I struggled for a solution to solve my dilemma. I decided that there was only one thing I could do, and that was to grab hold of the being next to me, So, I waited for the particles to die down and then just as they approached again, I planted my feet firmly and with all the strength within me I leapt toward the being and wrapped my arms around him.

From his shimmering appearance, I was not sure that I would find a solid form to hold on to. But I did, and as my arms encircled the being I locked my fingers and held tight with all my strength. Immediately, I felt motion. It was not like the being was struggling to get away from me, or even trying to free himself from my grasp, but still ... there was definite motion.

I just continued to hold on tightly, even though the effort was shaking my body wildly from side to side. After a few moments, the motion slowed, then stopped. I could see that the gold particles were still coming in waves and now, to my delight, they were once again increasing with each cycle. The fear was being replaced with God's love once again, and I began to relax a bit, but it
took several cycles of increase before I felt secure enough to release my grasp on the being.

Eventually, I did release my grip, and the wind drifted me back to just-out-of-reach of the being and, just as before, we played together in God's overwhelming love.

It was at this point that something happened. I clearly heard Pat's voice. When I turned my focus to listen to what she was saying, the entire wind, being, and experience just vanished. I didn't feel fright or disappointment or anything, it was just that now my attention turned to hear what Pat was saying. I could tell she was just off to my left side, exactly where I knew she was standing in the front of the church. But she was obviously praying - and she was praying about me, and for me. I could hear her very clearly asking God, "Where is Tom? Is he alright? Is he going to be Ok? How long is he going to be like this?"

As she prayed I could hear the concern in her voice and feel the distress in her spirit. I quickly answered, "I'm okay. I am right here. Can't you see me? I am right here beside you." Then I realized I could not see her either. I remember thinking, "Lord, why can't I see her?" and instantly the thought followed, "Well silly, your eyes are closed." So I opened my eyes and there was Pat right where she should be, but instantly I knew something was very wrong. Where there should have been people and music and lights and church, there was nothing at all. It was all gone! I quickly closed my eyes again knowing that surely when I reopened them everything would be back to normal. I opened my eyes the second time, and to my shock things were still wrong. I was no longer standing in the front of the church, but was now lying flat on my back with my feet slightly elevated. As I looked at Pat everything else was dark and quiet. My eyes focused first on Pat and then on the wall behind her. I could not comprehend what I was seeing, and as I began to sit up and turn my head there was no denying that everything was wrong! Panic began to grip me. I could hear Pat's voice beside me saying "Tom! Tom! It's OK. I'm right here with you."

It took a few seconds for me to finally hear and believe her, and my spirit settled long enough for her to begin to explain where I was and how I had gotten here. Once I had my bearings, I realized that I wanted to share what had happened to me. We both tried to talk at the same time, trying to bring each other up to speed on the experience. We bounced thoughts off each other. Often, when Pat told me about things like people posing for pictures with me or like them carrying me like a plank, I would exclaim, "You are kidding me! I have absolutely no memory of that!" But, if proof of waking up in an entirely different location wasn't enough, she had pictures and videos to back it up!

I sat on the couch, looking at the pictures and watching the video clips, in utter amazement. It was like watching someone else, except that it was me! Talk about a strange feeling, watching yourself as if it were someone else. When we reached the point where our two stories began to merge together, we noticed a huge discrepancy. The discrepancy was concerning the part where she prayed for me in tongues ... I said she hadn't, she said she had, and she even had proof of it on video. Although I had heard every word in plain English, and even responded in English, it was clearly recorded, on video, in tongues.

She says that part blew her mind! Well, the whole thing blew mine. What an experience!

Pat and I have had the opportunity to share the testimony of my experience many places to many people and most of the time I end my story with this...

Have you ever heard an unsaved person make a statement like, "Oh, I don't want to go to heaven because I just can't see myself standing on a cloud somewhere strumming a harp for eternity." I have heard that, and now I can't wait to hear it again. When I do I will tell them this story and then end it with, Heaven will be so much more than that, but even if it were not, even if you ended up upside down with your head in a bucket of sand, it would not matter. Because, when you experience God's love the way I experienced it in the trance, nothing else matters. God's love is so great, so complete, so overwhelming, so all-consuming, that everything else pales in comparison. Heaven is going to be such an awesome place that I can barely imagine it.

I do, however, have a couple of regrets about my experience. The first is: that I could not photographically document what I saw from the spiritual side, like Pat was able to do from the natural side. I wish that somehow God had allowed me to take a camera along to capture pictures and video clips to share with others. The second is: the expression on my face. The whole time I was frozen in place, I had this sad looking frown on my face and since we have shared the pictures and videos with so many people and places, I have wished desperately that I had been smiling instead. I don't know if the Lord will ever repeat anything like this for me again, but I do know that now, when I begin to feel the Lord's overwhelming presence, I try to smile ... just in case.

In the next article, we'll take a look at what God revealed to Tom about this experience at a later date.