Jul 27, 2012

No More Shackles

This message is a bit longer than most of my stories. What God did today was too wonderful and full of intricate detail to be told in a shorter story, so grab a cup of coffee or tea and a box of tissues....

Timothy sat hunched over in a wheelchair at the entrance to the prison hospital. Wrapped in a white blanket, shivering, pale and emaciated, the long awaited day had finally arrived. He was going home.

The state prison in Florence sits like an old fortress atop a hill in the middle of the Sonoran desert. Outside the city limits are miles and miles of sand, saguaro, and sun-baked reptiles. Not a hospitable environment for a would-be escapee.

We arrived at the main prison gate. There was a newbie at the control panel opening and closing the gates. The guard yelled for him to open one gate and close another, but his orders went unheeded. The confusion would have served us well, if we had plans to break someone out. I was mildly amused when we were allowed inside without passing through the metal detector or being searched. I couldn't tell if there were angels present.

Our ambulance left deep tracks in the meticulously raked gravel driveway. Meticulous, because every day the inmates spend hours in the scorching sun, raking every driveway in the prison compound. We backed up to the hospital door, unloaded the gurney and went inside.

The information we had was sketchy. I asked a guard if he was being released early because he was sick.

"Heck, no!"  She said with a laugh. "We don't let anyone out before their time is up. If they die here, they die here....and we have plenty of people die in here all the time."

I walked over and introduced myself. Timothy's cracked lips trembled with fear as he stared straight ahead. Tears rolled down his cheeks. Stuttering badly, he tried in vain to form words that made sense. The prison nurse put her arm around him and asked what was wrong. Stammering and stuttering, searching for the right words, he strung together a short phrase.

"I don't....want.... to be.... a burden...."

I took the nurse aside and asked for all the information she had. Timothy was in his early 30's, had HIV, a brain tumor and right sided weakness from a stroke, which left him unable to speak clearly. He had a Foley catheter and a PEG tube for feeding. He was being sent to an unknown destination for hospice care. His fear was that the one responsible for taking care of him, would be burdened by his extensive medical needs.

The nurse needed to know the name of the facility we were taking him to. We didn't have a name, just an address. We called dispatch, but they didn't have a name either. My partner Googled the address.

"It looks like a private residence. There's no business name and it's in a residential neighborhood."

Timothy spoke up and asked what the address was. We told him. After a long pause he smiled.


I was clear now that he was going to his sister's house and a hospice nurse would meet him there. That information helped. The likelihood of him actually being a burden to his family was somewhat lessened. Hospice nurses do an excellent job of preparing family members to provide care while they take care of the more technical issues. I put my hand on his shoulder and reassured him that he wouldn't be a burden to his family.

More tears.

We helped him up from the wheelchair and with measured, slow steps he positioned himself to sit on the gurney, his frail frame still draped with the white cotton blanket. The hospital building was well air-conditioned. I was getting cold after just a few minutes inside.

"You won't have to worry about being cold, Timothy. It's about 105 (40 C) outside. Even with the air conditioning on, it'll be 90 (32 C) degrees in the back of the ambo."

Another smile.

In staccato phrases he asked where his medications were. The nurses looked at one another and shrugged their shoulders. He said he had a bag of meds in his cell that were supposed to go with him, but no one knew where they were. They told him the prison's policy was to ship out any personal belongings left behind by inmates. He wasn't reassured.

His favorite nurse gave him one more hug before we loaded him up. More tears. She dried his eyes and gave him a few tissues for the road then we put him in the back of the ambo.

Leaving the prison was a strange ordeal. Since moving to Arizona, I've transported dozens of inmates. We always have two guards. And the inmates are always shackled.


But not today.

We stopped at the first gate and a guard climbed in, clutching a pile of papers. He sat next to me on the bench seat.

"This is so weird", the guard said.  "There aren't any guards going along. No chase car. No shackles. We never see anyone leave in an ambulance without shackles and a guard."

He gave Timothy a check for $50 and had him sign for it. He explained what the rest of the papers were for and hopped out the back door. We approached the next gate. Another guard opened the back door. He took Timothy's yellow Department of Correction ID and gave him a new white one. Timothy looked at the picture on his new ID card with disgust, turned to me and said, "Can.....we....burn.....this?"

We both laughed.

He asked the guard about his bag of medications.

"We have 12 bags of medications inside, but none of them are yours. I don't know where yours are, but when they turn up, we'll ship them to you."

He wished Timothy good luck then closed the door. We pulled out of the compound onto the main road. My patient was a free man.

Well, sort of.

A few miles down the road, I asked if he had anything special he wanted to eat for his first meal. Words and phrases fell from his lips but nothing made sense. He couldn't say the name of his favorite restaurant.


"Burger King?"

He shook his head.


Wrong again.



I rattled off all the burger places I could think of, but missed each time.

"Cali....Cali....in and in...."


A big smile and a nod of agreement. I asked if he was going to order off the regular menu or the secret menu.

"Four by four", he said with a grin.

The thought of eating a good burger must have put him in a better frame of mind as he told me what was on the legendary "Four by Four". Four beef patties with cheese and all the fixin's. Unfortunately, the nurse clued me in to the fact that he frequently vomits after eating solid food.

I asked him what was the hardest part of being in prison. I assumed it might be the manual labor, the disgusting food, the oppressive heat or fear of what other inmates might do to you.

With a somber look, he started at his feet.


Trying his best to form the right words, he explained the feelings that come from being shackled everywhere you go; in your cell, in the prison yard, on the bus, in the ambulance; even lying half-dead in a hospital ICU 50 miles from the prison, inmates are never free from the shackles.

"Well, you never have to wear shackles again. Today you're a free man."

"I'll Fly Away" was playing softly in the recesses of my mind. It was about that time when my partner received a call from dispatch telling him they found the missing medications. I broke the news to my new friend.

"It looks like we have to take you back. But this time, no shackles...they found your meds."

We retrieved the bag of pill bottles then headed out once more - our destination was 81 miles away. I told him I see a lot of people healed and asked if I could pray with him. He smiled and said yes. I laid my hand on his shoulder and asked Papa to bless him with peace, confidence, joy and health. I commanded disease to leave and asked the Holy Spirit to bring His presence.

I asked if he felt anything.

"I feel.....relief."

"Well, I suppose that's better than shackles."

I prayed one more time then turned my attention to charting. Timothy rested, gazing out the back window of the ambo. God only knows what must be going through his mind.

About thirty minutes went by. He slept a little but was awake again. Staring intently and fidgeting.

"What are you thinking about?"

With his eyes still looking out the back widow, he slowly explained that he was thinking about how he'd lived his life.

"I wanted.....to be....a good.....example."

More tears.

I can only imagine how this young man must have viewed his life. What kind of bitterness and disappointment was he feeling? What would it be like to wake up tomorrow morning, knowing you're a free man, trapped inside a life that went horribly wrong?

"Timothy....I was a terrible role model for most of my life. It was only a few years ago that things changed for the better. The doctors I know have a saying - "You learn to make good decisions, by making bad decisions." It's never too late to be a good example."

He smiled, nodded in agreement, wiped away the tears and rested his head, turning his gaze to the back window.

An hour later we approached his sister's house. With joy and excitement he told me in the best words he could find when we were going to turn and which stores we would see. His mother greeted us at the back door of the ambulance. Inside, a house full of relatives waited with excitement. I helped him to bed then went to the living room and gave report to the hospice nurse. His mother came from the bedroom.

"He wants to see you before you go."

I returned to his bedside. He held out his hand. I gently grasped it and we slowly shook hands as he tried to speak. Stammering and stuttering he told me thanks for being so nice to him. I bent down and hugged his frail body. With my head against his I said,  "You're just awesome, you know that? God loves you and He has a great plan for your future. And if I don't see you in the future, I'll see you in the pasture. And remember....it's never too late to be a good example."

With tears in my eyes, I made my way to the kitchen, left a copy of my report with the nurse and headed for the door.

God's love and compassion just amaze me......

Jul 26, 2012

Severed Auditory Nerve Healed

This woman attended Global Awakening's School of Healing and Impartation. During the training, she was healed of deafness caused by a severed auditory nerve.

Jul 24, 2012

Metal Plate and Screws Disappear

This woman, named Jessica, testifies that she had a metal plate and 3 screws in her wrist disappear during worship.

Jul 22, 2012

On Dying Young

This message is likely to meet with disagreement from many of my friends. I would ask that you read the message all the way through and consider it thoughtfully and prayerfully before coming to a conclusion on the matter. I would be glad to discuss your thoughts in the comments section.

The body of Christ has held two opposing views on the forces at work when people die at a young age. Some believe that God has a purpose for "taking" people in their youth, and these reasons often remain a mystery. Most of my friends who have discovered the resurrection power of God would disagree. They believe that we're all entitled to a long, prosperous life. They hold the view that it is only at the hands of the enemy that anyone dies at a young age.

Twelve months ago, I would have agreed with my friends.  When the sacred cow was finally barbecued that said God has reasons for people to die in their youth, we all rejoiced In the circles I travel in, the new dominant view is that it is never God's will for anyone to die at a young age.

I've spent a lot of time reviewing near-death testimonies and reading accounts from people who have gone into the heavens. And my perspective on the issue has been changing. The subject we're discussing is emotionally charged and full of conflicting views. Patience is required to sort these things out, so bear with me as I shed a bit of light on the different issues involved.

The argument for a long physical life is made by those who see promises of longevity in scripture. I've searched the bible and haven't found an explicit guarantee of longevity anywhere in scripture. I believe it is God's desire for us to have a long life, which is to say that He always wants us to live in such a way that our years on the earth would be fruitful and many. But I believe that some of our own choices frustrate those plans.

If you believe in determinism, this idea will probably be objectionable to you, for determinism teaches that our own actions cannot thwart the plans of God if He has sovereignly ordained us to live a certain number of years. I personally reject determinism. I believe that our own choices must be accounted for in the grand scheme of things and we can either frustrate or cooperate with His plans by the choices we make.

I believe it is God's desire that everyone would have a long, abundant and blessed life. God is good and He has nothing but our best interest in mind in everything He does. It is actually this principle (our best interest) that I believe is at work when people die at a young age. Allow me to explain what I mean by this.

The human perspective on life tends to focus on things that happen in the dimension of time and space. The temporal things of this world are the things we think about most often and value the most highly. One of the things is our own physical life and our experiences in this world.

When someone dies at a young age, we tend to view it as a tragedy. We consider all the things the departed person might have done if they had lived longer. We're saddened by the fact that they won't accomplish the wonderful things the rest of us will. We mourn the love they'll never know, the victories they'll miss out on and all the things of this physical life that we feel everyone deserves to experience. We value the temporal experiences of this earth rather highly.

It is our temporal perspective that clouds our understanding of life and death and obscures our ability to see how they are viewed from heaven.

I've been reading the book The Spiritual World by Peter Tan. I've also been watching video interviews with Katt Kerr. Both have received extraordinary revelations about the spirit world. Their testimonies have caused me to re-evaluate many of my beliefs about life and death.

I began to question the idea of a guarantee of long life shortly after I began praying for the sick. I had prayed at the bedside of a number of terminal cancer patients, and in visions, I often saw clear indications that the person's time on earth was up. Jesus was taking them home and there was nothing I could do to change it. While my friends in the healing community insisted that we had an obligation to heal everyone, I began to see things from heaven's perspective.

I've watched many interviews with people who have had near - death experiences. In some cases, the Lord would show them the things they would endure if they returned to earth then asked if they wanted to remain in heaven or return to their physical body. If a person chose to remain in heaven, their testimony, for obvious reasons, would never be recorded. But many chose to return, in spite of the difficulties they would face. And that begs the question - what purpose does God have for allowing people to decide their own fate concerning their physical life and death?

Katt Kerr has been taken into heaven hundreds of times to witness different things and reveal them to us, back here on earth. She's attended the homecoming of many departed saints and made an interesting observation about them. When we step into eternity for good - all of heaven throws a party for us. The "death" of our physical body is celebrated with extreme joy and celebration by everyone in heaven. There is no mourning, no weeping or sadness like we have here on earth. In heaven, the death of our physical body means it's party time.

She said that we all get to watch our own memorial service on earth. Nearly everyone who watches their own sad, somber funeral makes the same comment. They wish their friends and relatives on earth were as joyous as the saints and angels were in heaven. Our physical death, from the perspective of heaven, is a reason to rejoice - not to mourn and cry, regardless of the age of the individual.

Peter Tan reports that there are things going on the realm of the spirit that most of us haven't considered. Tan describes millions of different planes, spheres, and dimensions of existence in the spiritual world, each of which serves a unique purpose in the greater plan of God. As we step out of our physical body into the spirit world, we're taken to one of the realms of eternity. If you are a Christian, you'd call it heaven. Though in fact, there are many realms of heaven, each one containing a different aspect of God's glory for us to to become familiar with.

In eternity, we spend time exploring and being transformed into the perfect image of Christ by all the different levels of God's glory that we're exposed to. And yes, there is time in eternity - though it's quite different from how we understand time in this dimension.

The plan of God for each of us is to be transformed (sanctified) into the perfect image of Christ. (See 1 Thess 4:3) That transformation happens in many ways throughout the entirety of our existence, both on earth and in eternity. God is always interested in our transformation into the image of His son. This is the overarching concern behind everything He allows to come into our lives.

Nothing ever supersedes this imperative.

There are many experiences here on earth,which provide opportunities for spiritual growth and transformation. Some are revelatory; others involve overcoming adversity or persecution, but all develop Christ-like character in our spirit-man.

There are other experiences that can cause us to regress backward in our spiritual development. In them, our spiritual light diminishes with each passing day. Some people may go through so many negative spiritual experiences after returning to earth, they end up worse off (spiritually) than if they had remained in eternity.

All the positive and negative experiences that affect our spiritual development are considered when God decides if an individual will remain in heaven or return to earth. Physical age is not one of the major factors considered.

When a person dies, regardless of  their physical age, God examines all the possible outcomes of their continued life on earth and their transition into eternity. He evaluates their potential for spiritual growth in both settings. His decision to allow them to remain in eternity or return to earth is based on His knowledge of all these factors. In some cases, the results of living in eternity and on earth may be so similar that He will allow the individual to decide their own fate.

If  the individual has a chance to grow spiritually by returning to earth, they're usually sent back. But if they have little chance for spiritual growth on earth - they usually remain in heaven, where they'll continue the process of transformation.

Over the course of my career, I've probably interviewed more than 100 people who have had near death experiences. Nearly all of them remember being told "it wasn't their time". Nearly all were explicitly told they had more to accomplish before their time on earth was over. I believe the "something more" is the development of greater Christ- like character in their life.

It's almost time to wrap this up, so I'll close with this final thought:

When a loved one experiences physical death - the biblical response is to pray for resurrection. (Matt 10:8) We pray for resurrection because we don't know if they're going to remain in eternity or return to earth. If they need to return, our prayers enforce God's will for them to return. In situations involving resurrection, it's wise to ask God for a specific revelation of His will so that we might pray in accordance with it.

I'll post a instructional message in the next few weeks on how and when to raise the dead.

'till then....

Jul 21, 2012

Power and Love Training

Host Location:

Wellspring Church

Berlin, CT 06037

Date: August 15-18, 2012

Full School (all 4 days) Regular Rate Registration: July 19 to August 10, 2012 -- $80.00

Full School (all 4 days) At the Door Registration: $100.00

Per Session Rate: For those who can only attend part of the school, the rate will be:

$20 per morning session
$20 per afternoon session
$40 per day:

There is no advanced registration for individual sessions. These will be
available at the door only, space permitting.

Student Discount: Full time students can register at $15.00 off each full school rate above or $5.00 off the per session rate. You will need to show your Student ID when you arrive on Wed morning or you will be charged $15 at the door.

Jul 20, 2012

Colorado Theater Shooting 911 Dispatch

The dispatch tape of the 911 response to the theater shooting in Colorado on July 19 2012.

Where Do We Go When We Die?

Katt Kerr and Patricia King discuss the things we'll experience in eternity.

Jul 18, 2012

Baby Resurrected From the Dead

David Hogan shares with the students at Bethel school of ministry in Redding, California on how God raised a dead baby to life at a small fellowship meeting in Mexico.

Jul 16, 2012

Healing Mental Illness - A Matter of Love

I had a dream on the night of July 12. In the dream I watched people being treated for mental illness as they transitioned from a hospital to a mental health treatment facility. In some of the scenes, patients were treated rudely and without compassion. This made their condition worse. In some scenes they were treated with compassion, understanding and love - which made their condition better. 

Some dreams don't need much interpretation. This is one of them. But I'll share a few thoughts on how it might be applied.

The dream shows a problem as it might be seen from my perspective. I routinely transport people from hospitals to mental health facilities; usually after treatment for a suicide attempt. If you work in medicine, you're aware that people with depression are frequently viewed with disdain. I'll go even further -  they're often despised and resented by healthcare workers.

I transported one such patient about a month ago. We arrived at the emergency department to transport a middle-aged woman who had verbalized thoughts of killing herself after finding her 15 year old son dead in his bedroom. Her nurses described her as a needy, controlling person. They seemed giddy about the fact that we arrived early and were finally taking her away. She'd been there less than four hours.

When I met her, I was shocked. What I found was a sweet, kind, broken-hearted woman who needed someone to show her a little compassion. I couldn't understand why the nurses perceived her the way they did. Unfortunately, these attitudes are common among healthcare workers. At times, I'm as guilty as anyone.

In reading The Spiritual World by Peter Tan, I came across an fascinating revelation about love. Most of us know that God is love. That is to say; love is the very essence of His being. What most of us don't know is that love, by itself, is able to sustain all life in the universe. The substance of love that comes from the Father is able to completely sustain all life without the help of any outside force.

In the natural world, we perceive a complex symphony of multiple forces working together to sustain life. But the truth is - love is a life-sustaining force that is much more powerful than we understand.

Many people suffer from mental illness because they are unloved. The dream is a reminder that we can heal the pain and suffering of mental illness through the power transmitted to others by acts of sincere compassion and love.

Related Posts:
A New Season - Healing Mental Illness

Jul 15, 2012

ICU Being Healed

I'd be lying if I said I didn't love my job. I know you're busy, so let me just share a quick testimony. The woman below is smiling because she no longer has a torn rotator cuff. I bet you'll never guess how it happened.

Last week we transported a ventilator dependent patient who has Lou Gehrig's disease. Just like my friend Scott Buzzell, (I haven't forgot about you, Scott) our patient was diagnosed years ago and is now paralyzed except for his facial muscles. The woman holding the balloon was the respiratory therapist on duty when we picked him up in the ICU. 

As we got our patient ready, I noticed her rubbing her right shoulder as if it hurt. I asked what was wrong. She told me she tore her rotator cuff last year when a nurse jerked the code cart away from her. I asked if she wanted to be healed. She did, so I placed my hand on her shoulder and commanded it to be healed. 

At the nurses station in front of everyone. Then I asked if she felt anything. 

"It just feels a little warm."

"Cool - that's the power of God healing you." 

I prayed a second time and asked her to try to raise her arm up. With a torn rotator cuff, it's extremely painful to raise your arm above the height of your shoulder. She tried, but it hurt. I told her it might take a few minutes for the healing to completely manifest.

We continued getting the patient ready. A few minutes later she returned. Raising her arm a little higher than before, she said, "Look...what I can do". She was overjoyed. "I haven't been able to do this in over a year."

The patient had his own ventilator, which we were taking with us in addition to our own gear. We needed help getting it all down to the ambulance. The RT volunteered to escort us. On the way to the ambulance she told the patient's wife that I healed her shoulder. I asked if she was sure that she was healed. She said she was. We loaded the patient and equipment and I pulled out my phone to get a picture. She gave me permission to post it. I gave her a card and a hug then we left.

I'm waiting for a report from the Respiratory Therapist. So if you read this, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail and let me know how you're doing.

Praying Medic out -

Almost forgot.....I prayed with the patient on the way to his house. No report on him yet.

Jul 14, 2012

Her Best Shift

Kari was my partner for the next 8 hours. My regular partner wasn't able to work, so Kari filled in. We had a slow day - just two transports. That gave us time to talk.

Kari told me about her life. She's interested in archaeology and earned a Master's degree then began working on her PhD. Near the end of the process she ran into funding problems and never completed her doctorate. As a temporary way to earn a paycheck she went to EMT school.

After discussing her life for a while she asked about mine; what plans did a guy my age have for the future?

I told her that I'd worked in nearly every type of  EMS environment and that I'd went through every career stage you can go through - from an excited newbie to an experienced trainer to a burned - out, jaded veteran and everything in between. Then I told her about the dreams that began in 2008. Hundreds of dreams about praying for patients in the ambulance.

I shared a few healing testimonies with her. She was a bit shocked, but wanted to know more about what God was doing in my life, so I shared a few more stories. She asked if I could help with a few medical problems of her own. I told her I'd do what I could.

She asked if I'd pray for her father to be healed of chronic back pain. Then she recalled the tragic tale of her best friend, who was severely injured in a car accident. Her friend has a metal plate in her foot that's slowly separating from the bone it was screwed to. It's extremely painful and her surgeon doesn't think anything can be done about it.

I told her I'd be happy to pray for both of them, but asked if she'd contact them and ask if they actually want to be healed. I said I'd be happy to visit her friend in person, since she lives in the area.

Kari asked if I'd pray for her eyes healed. She wears corrective lenses for near-nearsightedness and hates wearing glasses. I placed my hand on her forehead just above her eyes and commanded them to be healed. She felt a sensation of warmth invade her lower eyelids. She removed her glasses and noticed that her distant vision was improving. She was surprised at how quickly her vision changed. I prayed a second time and the warmth increased. Then I prayed a third time.

She removed her glasses again and remarked that although her vision wasn't perfect yet, it was much improved over just a few minutes earlier.

Satisfied with the improvement, she asked if I'd pray for her neck and shoulders to be healed. Like most of us who work in EMS, she suffers from chronic muscle strain and fatigue. She feels as if her neck and upper back muscles are under constant tension, causing a nagging pain that never goes away.

I placed my hand near the back of her neck, just above her shirt collar, but didn't actually touch her. As I commanded her muscles to be healed, I felt something I've never felt before.


I felt waves of  heat coming from her upper back, just below my hand. She felt it too.

"Let me see your hand."

I held my hand out in front of her. She felt my palm.

"That's crazy....when you put your hand near my neck, I could feel heat coming from it, almost like a hot pack. But your palm feels normal."

I told her I felt it too.

She moved her shoulders around. All the pain was gone.

We talked some more. She had a lot of questions, which I answered the best I could. She understood that I'm something like a conduit for God's power, which flows through me and heals people. I told her the only reason His power flows through me, is because Jesus gave me the authority to heal people and he gave the same authority to all of His disciples.

She remarked that today was probably the best shift of her life.

Isn't that how Jesus is?