Treasures New & Old – by Geoff Waugh

Treasures New & Old

Message by Geoff Waugh – 40 minutes
Sunday, October 30, 2022, at Riverlife Baptist Church in Brisbane, Australia

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Treasures New & Old

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Message – 40 minutes:


Link: A one-minute clip from the message
Link: Message: 40 minutes

These notes are a resource accompanying the message rather than a sermon outline.
That allowed me to hoist a sail to try and catch the wind/breath/Spirit of God.

Introduction: Discovering treasures new and old as we all obey our Lord’s command to love one another, e.g. across all ages, grandparents to children and grandchildren.

love one another – John 13:34;  15:12, 17;  Romans 12:10;  13:8;  1 Thessalonians 4:9;  1 Peter 1:22;  1 John 3:11, 23;  4:7, 11, 12;  2 John 5
serve one another – Galatians 5:21;  1 Peter 5:5
accept one another – Romans 15:7
strengthen one another – Romans 14:19
help one another – Hebrews 3:13;  10:24
encourage one another – Hebrews 10:25
forgive one another – Ephesians 4:32;  Colossians 3:13
submit to one another – Ephesians 5:21
carry one another’s burdens – Galatians 6:2
be tolerant with one another – Ephesians 4:2;  Colossians 3:13
be concerned for one another – Hebrews 10:24
be kind and tender-hearted to one another – Ephesians 4:32

From the Introduction to the free PDF book EnCOURAGE: https://renewaljournal.com/2020/08/03/encourage-love-one-another/

Two quick, simple ways to do that, e.g. in a home group, or any group.
(1) In pairs or threes, say what you appreciate or admire about the other person.
(2) Pray a blessing for the other person (many of you will get an inspired word).

Treasures New & Old

He said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law who has become a disciple in the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’ (Matthew 13:52 NIV)

The Amplified Version calls those treasures the fresh as well as the familiar.

Jesus is the best example of revealing both new and old treasures, as shown in the rest of the passage from Matthew 13:53-58.

Here are some examples of the new transforming the old.

The old transformed

Jesus knew the old and familiar better than anyone, and constantly demonstrated the new fresh treasures of the kingdom, fulfilling and completing the old in himself.

Prayer. The Old Testament is full of examples and commands to pray (e.g. 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 33:3). Jesus taught us to pray from the heart, not just lots of words (e.g. Matthew 6:5-15) because God already knows all we need. He taught us to pray, “Our Father …” Intimate and personal, as he prayed.

The Ten Commandments were familiar but Jesus gave them fresh new meaning and fulfilled them, as in the Sermon on the Mount (e.g. Matthew 6:17-48). Jesus loved the rich young ruler who had obeyed all the commandments from his youth, but challenged him to forsake everything and take up his cross and follow Jesus (Mark 10:17-22).

The familiar Palm 23 has fresh meaning when we see it fulfilled in Jesus: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11).

Jesus fulfilled the Servant Songs in Isaiah (Isaiah 42:1–4; Isaiah 49:1–6; Isaiah 50:4–11; and Isaiah 52:13–53:12) giving them dramatic new meaning. The Ethiopian officer in charge of the Queen’s treasury found Jesus in Isaiah 53 and was baptized (Acts 8:26-40).

Jesus gave new meaning to the familiar passage in Isaiah 61:1-2 in his home village in the synagogue at Nazareth after his baptism in water and in the Spirit. He declared and demonstrated it.

‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
     to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’ (Lk 4:18-19 NIV)

Jesus declared and demonstrated God’s kingdom. He still does, including in and through us. That’s in the Riverlife mission statement: “We are a family embracing the Father’s presence, releasing empowered people who declare and demonstrate Christ’s kingdom.”

The new transforming us

Faith in Jesus, and faith in God, transform us. God’s Spirit is with us and within us to enable us to demonstrate Christ’s Kingdom. Even Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing” (John 5:30).

People in Nazareth found it hard to believe in God’s power in Jesus. They saw him as the local carpenter, not as God’s Son.

Matthew and Mark tell how amazed Jesus was at their unbelief. Luke tells us how furious the people were (Mt 13:54-58; Mk 6:1-6; Lk 4:16-30).

The Gospels record two times when Jesus was amazed. This was one. He was amazed at their lack of faith, their unbelief. Their unbelief prevented him from doing mighty miracles (Mt 13:58; Mark 6:6).

In contrast, Jesus was amazed by the faith he saw in a Gentile centurion who understood authority:  “Just say the word, and my servant will be healed” (Mt 8:10; Lk 7:9).

We live in a time when millions of believers are discovering the new treasures of God’s kingdom. I want to give you examples. This can build faith for us to believe for more of God’s kingdom to come among us all.

Some biblical & current examples

(1) Jerusalem – Acts 2. Filled with the Spirit in a prayer meeting.
Example: Prayer meeting on Elcho Island led to revival in Australian communities.
https://renewaljournal.com/2016/02/27/pentecost-in-arnhem-land-bydjiniyini-gondarra/

(2) Samaria – Acts 8.  Leaders prayed for believers to receive God’s Spirit.
Example: Solomon Island pastors prayed for Enga Baptist pastors and revival spread.
https://renewaljournal.com/2014/04/28/mid-twentieth-century-revivals-healing-evangelism-revivals/#1973E

(3) Damascus – Acts 9. A believer prayed for a new convert to be filled with the Spirit and healed.
Example: South Pacific Law students were prayed for and became involved in revival missions.
https://renewaljournal.com/2013/05/13/21st-century-revivals-in-the-south-pacific-by-geoff-waugh/

(4) Caesarea – Acts 10. Filled with the Spirit in a meeting during preaching.
Example: Solomon Islands youth filled and empowered in a national conference.
https://renewaljournal.com/2013/05/13/21st-century-revivals-in-the-south-pacific-by-geoff-waugh/

(5) Ephesus – Acts 19. 12 people were baptized and prayed for and filled with God’s Spirit.
Example: I baptized a friend in a creek at a church camp and he was also Spirit-filled and drunk or overwhelmed in the Spirit.

Those current examples, and more, are described in the Revivals Index of renewaljournal.com: https://renewaljournal.com/revivals-index/.

We can, and need to respond in faith and glad obedience (e.g. expectant, obedient dog wagging its tail).

We too can pray, “Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). That’s our way into blessing, and to bless others in the power of God’s Spirit.

Here’s a comment from the Introduction to The Life of Jesus (with a free PDF). A trinity of three physical metaphors helps me to be constantly aware of, and grateful for, God’s presence with us always:

(1) Light surrounds you. By it you can read this. The sun always shines, even when it’s hidden from us. Light shines around us though we may be unaware of it. God is light and in him there is no darkness at all. We can live in his light.

(2) Blood pumps through your body right now, cleansing and healing. We may be unaware of it until reactions like alarm alerts us to our beating heart. Jesus’ blood cleanses from all sin, always. We can trust him for he is with us.

(3) We may breathe without being aware of it, or we can be aware and take deep breaths, as you may have done just now! Breath purifies our lungs and body. God is Spirit and like breath or fresh breeze, he can purify us.

A prayer, from the Preface to The Life of Jesus (free on renewaljournal.com):
Thank you Lord for all you’ve done.
Forgive me for any wrong in my life.
I trust in you and give my life to you.

Discussion Questions

For personal reflection or to select some for a small group discussion and prayer.

  1. What Old Testament treasures especially inspire or encourage you?
    Examples: Psalm 23; 2 Chronicles 7:14; Jeremiah 33:3.
  2. What Old Testament treasures really challenge you?
    Examples: Exodus 20; Psalm 51.
  3. What New Testament treasures especially inspire or encourage you?
    Examples: John 3:16-18; Luke 11:9-13.
  4. What New Testament treasures really challenge you?
    Examples: 1 John 3:16-18; John 7:37-39.
  5. What old or familiar traditions do you still appreciate?
    Examples: Psalms; hymns.
  6. What new or fresh traditions to you really appreciate?
    Examples: Scripture in Song; using spiritual gifts.
  7. What does being filled with the Spirit mean for you?
    Examples: Luke 4:14-30; Ephesians 5:18-20.

 

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Miraculous Answers to Prayer at Pine Ridge and Whiteclay

Miraculous Answers to Prayer at the Pine Ridge reservation and Whiteclay
Stories from a new Transformations video by The Sentinel Group

An edited report from George Otis Shares God Stories.

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Miraculous Answers to Prayer at Pine Ridge and Whiteclay
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Our next documentary, The Gates of Whiteclay, depicts God’s intervention in a small town nestled up against the sprawling Lakota Sioux reservation at Pine Ridge. Notorious for selling over 11,000 cans of fortified malt liquor a day to bootleggers and emotionally-broken Natives, the New York Times dubbed it “the Skid Row of the Plains.”
The Times can have their headline, but my own takeaway from eight visits to the area in recent years is decidedly different. God is at work in this place! I have honestly lost count of the myriad redemptive testimonies that have graced my ears during field research and filming. I just know that hearing about the loving deeds of our Heavenly Father has been a sheer delight — something I will never tire of.
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your
wondrous works, I will meditate. (Psalm 145:5 ESV)
Many people know about the poverty, alcoholism, and suicide in places like Pine Ridge and Whiteclay. They may even have heard stories of human trafficking, domestic violence, and dark shamanic rituals. That these things exist as a clear and present danger is beyond dispute.
But is this all we know? Is this where we leave the conversation?
Having read countless articles about Pine Ridge in the course of my research for The Gates of Whiteclay, it was the rare author who made his way past the area’s chronic misery and hopelessness. When it came to reporting even a sliver of good news, few could find it… and most didn’t even bother to look.
It is curious behavior that calls to mind the experience of Elisha’s servant at Dothan (2 Kings 6:8-18). When this young man noted with dismay that ruthless Syrian troops had surrounded his city, Elisha responded by asking God to “open his eyes so he may see” (verse 17). This was not out of a concern for the young man’s natural vision. What he claimed to see was really there. The problem lay with what his servant did not see.
When the blinders were removed from his spiritual eyes, Elisha’s servant discovered the Syrian army was itself besieged by a fiery angelic host. Armed with this new perspective he was able to reach a very different conclusion about his prospects.
It is easy to conclude that Pine Ridge, like Dothan, has no discernable way out of its predicament. This is the view of an overwhelming percentage of the reservation’s inhabitants and neighbors. Sadly, it is also a prevailing attitude among local Christians.
I have witnessed this in scores of pre-transformed communities over the years. Christian stakeholders become hyper-aware of longstanding obstacles, and, in the process, lose sight of a far more consequential reality — namely the promises, power, and presence of the Living God.
Evidence of this unperceived reality is present in both Pine Ridge and Whiteclay — and it is as supernatural as the fiery hosts witnessed by Elisha’s servant.
There will always be a handful of individuals who see the works of God before they are fully manifest to others. This has nothing to do with the luck of the draw, but is rather the consequence of earnest tears and importunate prayer. They assume this posture because they are already convinced of God’s willingness and ability to come in delivering power. They remain in this posture until there is evidence this readiness has transitioned into action — a moment intercessors sometimes call the assurance. At the beginning of their petitioning, all things were possible. Now they have become a certainty.
In recent months, a small band of Pine Ridge Natives has been stepping out in this bold confidence. God is present! And he is telling them exactly what he wants them to do.
Not surprisingly, this divine partnership has focused on notable areas of concern for the Lakota people — a list that includes substance abuse, witchcraft, and youth traumas.
Drugs have been a growing scourge aided by organized gangs and corrupt tribal officials. While desperate parents, concerned social workers, and stretched law enforcement want to get on top of the problem, many feel overwhelmed.
Believing that God was ready to step into the breach, two Native women leaned into him for instructions. The assignment was simple and direct: They were to make a list of the top fifteen known drug dealers on the reservation.
Armed with their list, the women then made their way to each house and trailer that was pumping Meth and other poisons into communities like Oglala, Manderson, Porcupine, and Northridge. Standing in the first driveway, one of the women asked God how he wanted her to pray. His reply was instant: “Command the works of the enemy to be destroyed.”
“Then,” she told me, “I commanded the works of the enemy to be destroyed by the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit.”
For the next forty days, the ladies prayerwalked each location before punctuating their efforts with a late night prayer session. Though few in number, they were opening the very gates of heaven.
Within days, fourteen of the fifteen names on the target list were in jail. The women were jubilant, but they were also confident God intended to complete the task.
A few nights later, the women were out near the last drug runner’s house to retrieve a car — and to pray. The dealer, an ethnic Mexican, was big trouble. Cautiously walking up to his driveway in near-total darkness, the women were startled when floodlights kicked on around them and men dressed in blue jumpsuits and carrying semi-automatic weapons suddenly appeared.
The men asked the ladies to identify themselves and explain their business at the drug house. Given the hour and location, their presence was understandably suspicious.
However, at precisely that moment, additional blue-clad men emerged from the drug house with a heavily-shackled Hispanic man. The ladies recognized him as the notorious narcotics dealer Monito. Suddenly, it clicked. The armed men were not there for the intercessors, but because of them. While the women were quietly praying in the darkness, a drug task force was busy arresting the fifteenth, and last, drug dealer on their target list.
On another occasion, one of these same women was asked by a Christian neighbor to join her in prayer for the drug-ridden community of Northridge. Of specific concern was a dealer who had recently set up shop in a trailer house down the street — an area where lots of young children played.
As before, the women waited upon the Lord for instructions as to how they should proceed. It was not long before they sensed a clear leading to walk down to the trailer house. Then, as they stood silent and yielded in the driveway, the Lord once again commanded them, “Destroy the works of the enemy.”
Responding in confident obedience, they called upon the power of the Holy Spirit to rid the neighborhood of this grave danger. And that was it.
A few days later, one of the women was returning home from classes when she heard her neighbor call out to her.
“Come over here, Norma. I want to show you something.”
As they walked toward a group of kids at play, the woman said, “You know that trailer house we have been asking God to remove? Well, guess what. It burned down today! Just look at it! There’s nothing left but the frame.”
Around this same time, George Dreamer, the adult son of one of the prayer warriors, was driving his mother to an appointment in Denver. As they approached the southern boundary of the reservation, he made a sudden, unannounced detour off Route 87 near Whiteclay. Glancing over at his surprised mom, he said: “I’m gonna show you where the biggest drug dealer lives.”
Driving about a half mile down a dirt road, he pulled up at the perimeter of a sprawling salvage yard. At the center of the property, easily visible from the road, stood a corrugated steel building and two adjacent trailer houses.
“Those buildings right there,” George said, “are the front for the drug dealer. That’s where they weigh the drugs before loading them into kid’s backpacks so they can go sell them at school.”
His mother, Norma Blacksmith, was having none of that. As an Oglala Sioux elder and frontline intercessor, she had witnessed more than her share of death and heartbreak. And she was angry.
“Stop the car!” she barked.
“What are you going to do?” George asked with a measure of concern.
“I’m going to pray!”
Suddenly the air was filled with the same passion that had proved so effective in removing the other drug distributors: “God, destroy the works of the enemy!”
If Norma’s time in Denver was routine, the same could not be said of the days following her return to Pine Ridge. And it all began with a phone call from her son George.
“Mom,” he said with a tone of amazement, “I want to show you something.”
After loading Norma into the cab of his red pickup, the two of them drove back out to the salvage yard. As they pulled up to the spot where just a few days prior Norma had asked God to move in power, the scene looked like a war zone. The buildings that had served as the Meth Lord’s operations center were simply gone – crushed into scraps of tarpaper, wood, and twisted balls of metal.
Something extraordinarily powerful had happened here. It was jaw-dropping.
George said, “Mom, you’re not going to believe this, but right after you prayed, a tornado set down on these buildings and flattened them to smithereens. It didn’t touch any of the surrounding properties. And, Mom,” he said, “tornadoes don’t come in November!”
As breathtaking as it is to see a drug dealer’s property wiped off the map by a tornado driven by divine GPS, Native intercessors report this kind of supernatural display has been on the rise. In addition to targeting ruthless poison pushers, God has also taken aim at those who would harm innocents through witchcraft, religious sexual abuse, and the facilitation of self-mutilating rituals.
In the Fall of 2021, a team of six prayer warriors decided to take a stand against the spiritual darkness plaguing the community. Despite the Lakota’s tenacious adherence to traditional spirituality, violence and youth suicide were getting worse. Medicine men feigned concern, but many were compromised.
In some cases, competition for followers led these self-appointed “holy men” to prey upon the grief-stricken families of suicide victims by claiming a psychic connection with the deceased. Others attempted to lure larger crowds to their Sun Dance events by purveying cannabis and peyote.
There were also financial entanglements with drug dealers, with some even consuming narcotics themselves. The more unscrupulous placed curses — with very real consequences — on individuals they perceived to be challenging their craft or reputation.
God, however, was not intimidated.
As the intercessors made their way out to various ritual sites on the reservation and in the nearby Black Hills, the Lord instructed them how to pray. Touching nothing but the heart of their Heavenly Father, they got down to business.
The last stop for the team was a ritual site situated on a volcanic mountain the Lakota call Mato Paha, or Bear Butte. Long known as a place of power, Native traditionalists journey there both to hear from the spirits (through vision quests and Yuwipi ceremonies) and to covenant with them (in sweat lodges).
Unaware of this, many non-Native visitors report having disturbing experiences on the Butte. One man climbed halfway to the top before turning back because the mountain felt hostile to him. It is certainly no place for the unprepared.
The 2021 prayer team, however, was ready for the ascent. After several days of prayer and fasting, they set off in a spirit of worship.
A forty-minute hike brought them to a clearing where they could see a sweat lodge nestled among pines bedecked with colored prayer cloths and tiny bundles of tobacco. Lifting their hands to the heavens, they called upon the Lord to manifest his authority.
Two days later, a precision lightning strike obliterated that shamanic high place. Within a week, the medicine man who erected the lodge was dead.
Although the prayer team did not request or wish for anyone’s demise — nor was it ever God’s desire (see 1 Timothy 2:4-5 & 2 Peter 3:9) — the Almighty will not sit idly by when so-called holy men deny his sacrifice and exploit his precious children through fabricated stories (see 2 Peter 2:3).
It is hardly surprising then to hear reports that God has left his calling card at various Sun Dance sites across the reservation.
Of all Lakota religious rituals, the Sun Dance is arguably the most important, and is certainly the most public. Those who participate in the four- to eight-day ceremony — typically held in the late spring or summer — do so for a variety of reasons. Most, however, are there to covenant with the powers of the unseen realm.
The entire process begins with the selection and felling of a large cottonwood tree that will serve as the all-important center pole of the Sun Dance. Selected trees are typically 40 to 50 feet tall and about 30 inches at the base – sometimes larger. It takes many men to carry the trunk to the ceremonial site after it has been stripped of its branches.
Upon reaching its destination, the tree is dropped into a deep hole and connected to forked rafters to give it enough stability to withstand the weight and energy of dozens of tethered dancers. As one Native medicine man explains, this is the nexus of power.
It is you who will join us to all the powers of the universe. The power will be placed
on you. The medicine fathers will be there on the center tree, and the Sundancers
will place their hands on you and say their prayers.
After several days of fasting, the male dancers lie on their backs as shamans pierce the skin on their chests and insert small bones attached to a braided leather cord that extends from the center pole. Then, for hours on end, the dancers move in and out from the center pole to the sounds of drums and chanted songs. Many go into a trance where they see visions or take spirit walks.
Many tribes, including the Lakota, burn smudge pots of sage to conjure spirits and help the dancers. Colored flags and tobacco bundles are tied to the tops of willow switches that form the perimeter of the Sun Dance circle. These are offerings to the 405 spirits they believe interact with humans.
Eventually, as twilight approaches, the dancers lean back on their tethers until the bone fasteners are torn out. The bloody, lacerated flesh is then cut off and offered to the sun.
One eminent anthropologist who conducted extensive research among the Plains Indians in the early twentieth century reported being told, “All who take this ceremony die in a few years, because it is equivalent to giving one’s self to the sun. Hence, the sun takes them for its own.”
The proliferation of these Pine Ridge Sun Dances in recent years — my own informants put the number as high as 100 — is cause for concern. While proponents argue the ceremony is simply an occasion to honor the spirits and ask for their protection and provision, the reservation’s deepening addiction, suicides, and impoverishment suggests the return for the dancer’s torn flesh and scars has not been as advertised.
Native prayer warriors felt they had no choice but to take this crisis to the Lord. Weeping and prostrating themselves before him, they waited for instructions. This was a serious challenge, and they didn’t dare to act presumptuously. God would have to go before them in supernatural power.
Finally, upon receiving an assurance their prayers had been heard, they ventured out to declare the word of the Lord at Sun Dance grounds in each of the reservation’s nine districts. Taking their stand, the group felt locked-in with God. “The enemy can’t interrupt anything,” one woman explained, “because God is talking to me. And whatever He’s telling me is not a lie.”
Though many smaller dance sites are limited to a few dozen participants, some, such as the well-known Thunder Valley, can attract five hundred or more. Because the forces behind this latter event are particularly dark, this was where God made his statement.
As the intercessors gathered at the site, they were joined by a humble man from Papua New Guinea who had witnessed God’s supernatural deeds on numerous occasions. An experienced transformation catalyst, he knew how to pray in situations like these.
And what a prayer! Fueled by a sense of God’s deep displeasure with that place, the group asked him to strike the very heart of its deceptive power.
What happened next would send chills up their spines. Shortly after leaving the site, they learned that a powerful windblast had uprooted the sacred center pole and tossed it aside like a matchstick!
For traditionalists, this was deeply significant as it is forbidden for the center pole to touch the ground. Shocked at what had happened, even the medicine men were forced to acknowledge the Creator was unhappy.
“That’s how powerful He is!” Norma Blacksmith told me with the giddiness of a school girl.
But the story was not over. Across the reservation, several other Sun Dance sites began to close for reasons ranging from landowners pulling permission to the deaths of spiritual organizers. Another longstanding site at Red Shirt Table was badly vandalized, including the total destruction of three sweat lodges. To this day, no motives or perpetrators have been identified.
Of course, not all of God’s interventions involve uprooting and pulling down. He is a creator, and as such, is continuously looking to design, build, heal, and deliver. It is the essence of who he is.
Having spent a good deal of time on Pine Ridge in recent years, I have encountered this side of God’s résumé many times. This has included interviewing both eyewitnesses and direct beneficiaries of supernatural healings, resuscitations, deliverances, and other miracles. The evidence is plentiful.
However, I have also found that such things can be difficult to convey — not only because so few people have encountered them, but also because (in this case at least) of the sheer volume of these stories. Job calls them “marvelous things without number” (5:9 ESV), while David, who wants to talk of them, laments “they are more than can be told” (Psalm 40:5 ESV).
So I have decided to conclude my storytelling with a lovely account of God’s intervention on behalf of a young Native girl facing a life-threatening crisis. I offer it not only because it is beautiful in its own right, but because it serves as a fitting representation of the kinds of things Jesus has been doing on Pine Ridge.
It all started innocently enough.
Eleven-year-old Annetta Littlebear and close friend Charlotte Thunder Horse, looking to add a little excitement to a typical lazy day on the Rez, had decided to navigate a bike into the rough and wooded terrain near Wounded Knee. It was quite the picture: Two girls, one bike, no shoes.
Charlotte was doing the pedaling while Annetta, snug at her back, dangled her legs on either side of the rear wheel. The carefree girls screamed and giggled as their bike bounced along the makeshift trail. It was sheer bliss.
Then, in a killjoy moment, an unexpected bump caused Annetta’s right foot to become entangled with the wheel spokes. A second later, her screaming lost its lighthearted tone.
As the bike jolted to a stop it was immediately evident Annetta had a problem. Her foot had been skewered by one of the mangled spokes that had broken off. Blood was everywhere.
Charlotte ran off to get help.
“I was home when one of the kids came running in,” Annetta’s mother told me. “Charlotte was out of breath and trying to explain what had happened.”
Hearing the commotion, Annetta’s dad and brother Michael sprinted out the door. When they arrived on the scene, they found the spoke had not only punctured her foot, but had become attached inside. She was one with the bike.
When Michael finally managed to remove the spoke, Annetta’s father scooped her up in his arms and brought her home. Belnita Littlebear, Annetta’s mom, didn’t like what she saw. “It was really a deep, deep gouge. So I took her to the tribal hospital.”
After bandaging her wound and providing crutches, the hospital released a very tired Annetta back to the custody of her mother. For the next week, Belnita kept vigil over her daughter and changed her dressing. As the days passed, however, Annetta’s recovery seemed to have stalled.
By the weekend, Belnita was tight on money but needed to get out to find some food. Someone, possibly a neighbor, told her a group of Christian women were providing food, clothing, and health care just eight miles up the road in the town of Porcupine. Liking the sound of this, she left Annetta in the care of family members and headed north.
In her interaction with the team, Belnita mentioned Annetta’s accident and worried aloud that she did not seem to be improving. Group leader Lisa Nelson, a big-hearted woman who for fifteen years had been making the 12-hour journey out from her home in Illinois every few weeks, offered a suggestion: “Bring her to the service tonight and we’ll pray.
But prayer was not the only benefit the group had to offer. Robin Rose, a trained oncology nurse at Northwestern University who frequently volunteered on missions to Pine Ridge, agreed to assess Annetta.
“When I saw the wound, it was pretty significant. So I cleaned and dressed it, and told Annetta’s mother where I’d be for the next few days. I was also praying against infection because the wound was wide open.”
At one of the evening services, Belnita led Annetta into the building on crutches. Walking over to Lisa and Robin, she informed them her daughter was struggling.
“I could see that she was pale and lethargic,” Robin told me during a late 2019 interview, but I kept getting pulled away by other duties and wasn’t able to get back to her until the worship started.” By then, however, the fever had spiked.
By then, however, the fever had spiked, and Robin was seriously concerned. Annetta was manifesting all the symptoms of sepsis. If allowed to go unchecked, there was a real risk of major organ failure and even death (septic shock). “So I gathered her in my arms and carried her up to the altar.”
After the ladies prayed and sang over Annetta, she went out. The only question in Robin’s mind was, “Is this Holy Spirit, or is it sepsis?”
She did not have to wonder long.
Keeping an eagle eye on Annetta’s breathing, Robin noticed something was changing. Though the young patient remained unconscious, her color was returning.
“I went to this most beautiful place,” Annetta later recalled. “There was a playground with kids all around. I wanted to stay there, but the people told me it wasn’t my time yet.”
Suddenly coming to, Annetta sat bolt upright. The blissful playground delights gave way to a surrounding chorus of prayer. It wasn’t heaven — and yet, there was a connectedness, a sense of compassionate presence and unfolding miracle.
“My foot was uncovered and there was skin growing over the wound,” Annetta recounted with wonder undiminished by time. “It was healing before my own eyes. I never seen nothing like that in my life!”
Belnita was slack-jawed. “I seen that skin growing back over the deepest part of the cut,” she gushed. “I looked at everybody like, ‘Is this really happening?’”
Robin, with her trained nurse’s eye, found it amazing that the skin grew according to a natural pattern — but in fast forward.
“It began with the subcutaneous tissue, the fatty tissue, appearing like little starbursts — chu, chu, chu! Then, in quick succession, came what we call granulated tissue. It’s a very bloody, pink layer if it is getting good circulation. That’s a sign of healing, and we look for it when we change dressings. Last, we watched as a thin layer of outer skin, the epidermis, formed. It appeared kind of shiny. “I’ve seen healings, Robin added, “but never anything like that!
When the process was completed, Belnita looked at her daughter and asked, “Did that hurt? And she just said, ‘No, mom. It was tickling me!’”
When Belnita got home that night, she had Annetta lift up her foot so her unsaved husband could see it. “Look at this!” she said. “Look what the Lord did!”
Stunned at the sight of his daughter’s foot, whole and without even the hint of a scar, he began to weep. It was one of those moments when the heart wants to speak, but the lips refuse to cooperate.
Eventually, surprised and overwhelmed by true majesty, he blurted out the truest thing he had ever spoken: “He’s real! He’s real!”
Ask Annetta about that day and she will tell you the events quickly became a community discussion topic. Genuine miracles will do that. “It’s the best feeling to have someone love you unconditionally,” she says with an ear-to-ear smile. “And its so amazing what He can do!”
I have taken the time to send you this account of God’s recent activity on Pine Ridge for two reasons. First, that you might be encouraged and edified by the Father’s wonderful works, and secondly, to ask you to help me spread this news to others so they might be similarly blessed and enlightened.
As I have often said, If God is shorn of his fullness, our audiences may be informed but they will never be awestruck (see Psalm 145:3-6). Techniques and shortcuts are a poor substitute for divine wonders.
So while a lengthy report, such as this one, may fall victim to the delete key, I have elected to accept the risk. If you are still reading these words it is likely because your heart has been captured by expressions of divine power that you were previously unaware of. And if this has happened, I am sure it has caused you to love him more.
Imagine the hope these stories can inspire in other towns and reservations beset by similar brokenness. I want to see this!
So, again, I am going to humbly ask you to consider sowing into the completion of The Gates of Whiteclay video. The first installment of this two-part presentation is due for release between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Part two is set to follow in America’s late spring or early summer of 2023.
A supportive foundation has generously offered to match all donations up to $40,000. This is a big deal and could provide everything we need to complete this wonderful story — on schedule!
One thing I have learned over a quarter century of documenting revival is that God loves it when we proclaim his exploits.
With deep gratitude for your love, constancy, and prayers.
George Otis, Jr.
Producer
Donate online by credit card or PayPal. Any amount will be doubled and will help in reaching our goal of matching $40,000. When you donate, choose “Projects” to designate your gift for The Gates of Whiteclay video.
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Science Recognizes the Power of Prayer

SCIENCE RECOGNISES THE POWER OF PRAYER

God’s Word clearly tells us to ‘pray about everything.’ Today, science is beginning to recognize the value and the power of prayer. Researchers investigating the role of faith in health are discovering evidence that’s hard to refute.

For example, a 2014 study conducted by The Mind Health Report confirmed that people who engage in private prayer, intercessory prayer, and church activities are healthier and live longer.

Here are some additional benefits:

(1) Florida State University researchers found that praying for somebody increases your readiness to forgive them. When a group of men and women prayed for the well-being of a close friend every day for four weeks, they were more willing to forgive not only the friend but people in general. Forgiveness is associated with better overall health and satisfaction with life.

(2) University of Miami researchers discovered that prayer and religious practices improve your ability to pursue and achieve long-term goals. Prayer affects regions in your brain that improve self-control, and people who view their goals as sacred are more determined to attain them.

(3) A research study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison concluded that victims of abusive relationships recovered a positive self-image and reduced their emotional pain when their lives included prayer. (4) Columbia University researchers found that people who value religion and regularly attend church are 90 percent less likely to suffer from depression than their non-religious peers. That’s pretty strong evidence in favour of prayer, wouldn’t you say?

Source: The Word for Today

See Also


The Lion of Judah: The Ministry of Jesus


Prayer and Miracles

Iran’s Great Awakening

Iran: Why the underground church takes communion every day

Communion is more than simply remembering that Jesus died for you,
it’s also renewing your covenant with Jesus Himself. 

 

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Iran’s Great Awakening

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Iran Alive Ministries has planted a thriving underground church network in Iran. Faithful believers have risked their lives to establish and grow house churches, even in the face of danger.

If a church member is arrested, and in particular a leader, they will face torture and even death because they confess Christ. The entire church community is at risk. If they fold under pressure and give up the names of others associated with the church, there is no guarantee that any of their lives will be spared.

One group whose leader was arrested was asked how they were doing. They said: “All of us are praying and fasting for our captured brother every day. Every night, we gather together in a secure location to pray and encourage one another. After we have a meal together and break our fast, we worship, pray, and take communion together.”

“Why do you take communion every night?” they were asked. Their answer revealed a deep reality about communion.

“We take communion daily to remember what Jesus has done for us. He loved us so much that He died for us with joy (Hebrews 12:2). And we are called to partake not only in His glory, but also in His suffering (Romans 8:17). When we take communion, we remember the words of Jesus, ‘I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.’ (Matthew 26:29)

That word from Jesus greatly encourages us because, as we take communion, we also say: ‘This could be our last communion as well. If it is, we do not worry because we will take the next communion with Jesus in Heaven.’ With a heart of thanksgiving, we remember the fact that He died for us, but we also renew our covenant with Him, professing that we are willing to live and die for Him as well.”

The persecuted church has much to teach us. Communion is more than simply remembering that Jesus died for you, it’s also renewing your covenant with Jesus Himself. 

Source: Hormoz Shariat, Iran Alive

Joel News International: # 1269, August 26, 2022

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The Healing Power of Prayer

The Healing Power of Prayer

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Renewal Journal 4: Healing:
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The Healing Power of Prayer

These Articles are now added to Renewal Journal 4: Healing

The Stunning Science behind the Healing Power of Prayer

Article written by Dr. Don Colbert.  Dr Colbert graduated from Oral Roberts Medical School in 1984. Dr. Colbert has practiced medicine in Central Florida and has been board certified in Family Practice for over 25 years.

Even a mere 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can have a powerful effect on your body, mind, and spirit.

If you have a regular practice of prayer, then you are well aware that benefits are very real and wide-ranging. Many people who engage in these activities report psychological and spiritual benefits such as a sense of greater clarity, purpose, gratitude, presence, sense of connection, and overall well-being. However, these sorts of subjective benefits can be hard to measure scientifically. Interestingly, despite the difficulty in quantifying the spiritual effects of prayer, there have been many studies looking at the physical benefits of this ancient practice. A 2013 Pew Research Poll estimated that over half of Americans pray daily.

A University of Rochester study found that over 85% of people dealing with a major illness turn to prayer.

Every religion or spiritual belief system has a form of prayer or meditation as a foundational principle. This shows that prayer is not merely a cultural phenomenon but a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Yet, many people still struggle to reconcile belief in the power of prayer with a scientific worldview. Duke University’s Harold G. Koenig, M.D, author of several books on faith and healing, says “studies have shown prayer can prevent people from getting sick, and when they do get sick, prayer can help them get better faster. So how does that happen? Harvard Medical School cardiovascular specialist Dr. Herbert Benson discovered what is called the “relaxation response.”

This is the physiological state that occurs during prayer. It involves the autonomic (automatic) nervous system shifting over to a parasympathetic (rest and digest) dominant state, as opposed to the sympathetic (fight, flight, freeze) state that most of us spend the majority of the day in. The act of prayer has shown to increase certain helpful neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which help promote a state of relaxation, focus, motivation, and well-being. But the effects are not confined to momentary relaxation. Long-term prayer can actually rewire and rebuild the brain! With the ability to scan the brain using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), researchers have been able to note the physiological changes that occur in the brains of those who pray regularly.

Lisa Miller, professor and director of Clinical Psychology and director of the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Teachers College, Columbia University conducted a study on 103 people who were at a high risk of depression. Using MRI, she found that those who prayed regularly tended to have a thicker cerebral cortex which has been associated with less depression and anxiety. Another study has shown that urban children with asthma cope better when incorporating prayer into their lives. Prayer is also good for your heart. Christians have been shown to have lower average blood pressure than non-believers. Prayer also is correlated to less heart attacks and quicker recovery from heart surgery. There is even evidence to suggest that regular prayer will help you live longer! So with all these benefits, you should consider incorporating prayer as part of your daily regimen.

A study published in the journal Sociology of Religion titled “Prayer, Attachment to God, and Symptoms of Anxiety-Related Disorders among U.S. Adults,” looked at the data of 1,714 volunteers. What they found is that those who pray with a loving and protective conception of God experience a more dramatic reduction in anxiety related symptoms compared to those who pray without the expectation of comfort or protection. This shows us just how important faith actually is! The publishers believe that the emotional and spiritual comfort from prayer to a loving and compassionate God offers a sense of hope and security while praying with a more judgmental conception of God breeds resentment, rejection, and detachment. So understanding the character of your God is important.

The most beautiful thing about all of this research is not only that it validates the ancient wisdom behind prayer, but it also shows us how incredibly easy it can be to implement powerful healing practices into our lives. With so many benefits on the physical, psychological, and spiritual levels, there is really no reason to not pray or meditate every single day!

The best times of day are first thing in the morning and right before bed. However you can pray in the car on the way to work, in line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or before you eat your meals. Even a mere 30 seconds of prayer, acknowledging God and giving thanks for all the blessings in your life, can have a powerful effect on your body, mind, and spirit. So what do you think? Have you been inspired to reinvigorate the prayer in your life?

Source: Breaking Christian News (bold font added)

Israeli Research Shows Prayer is Good for the Body as Well as the Soul

An Israeli study has found that praying regularly can reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 50%. The study, which was funded by the National Institute of Health in Washington, D.C., found that women, who have a significantly larger chance of developing forms of dementia, could stave off the disease through prayer. The findings confirm earlier studies that indicated religion can play a positive role. “We found that people with higher levels of spiritual well-being had a significantly slower progression of Alzheimer’s disease,” Yakir Kaufman, the head of the neuropsychiatric department at Herzog hospital in Jerusalem said.

The Israeli organization Melabev has ten centres serving about 600 Alzheimer’s patients for whom prayer is part of the daily routine. “If prayer is done in a centre or a religious facility, it is communal and there is a social aspect,” Susan Sachs, the director of public relations and development at Melabev said. “It gives hope and perspective, and for many people it helps retain their dignity. They’re doing something that they did all their lives.” Melabev provides an alternative to institutionalizing Alzheimer’s patients by providing a full day of activities. Sachs estimates there are 100,000 people suffering from the disease in Israel.

The centres provide them with laminated cards with the most popular prayers printed in large type, although many of the patients rely on memory, which also helps strengthen their cognitive function. While prayer has some cognitive elements, it strengthens emotional functioning even more. As the patient’s cognitive function declines, his or her emotional function may be strengthened, according to Leah Abramowitz, the head of the Institute for the Study of Aging at Melabev. She said that, “It’s like a baby who can feel his mother’s emotions and will start crying if she is angry or tense. It’s like the person who is fully blind having more acute hearing.”

Prayer can also lower stress levels – one of the risk factors for Alzheimer’s. Other risk factors include high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. As people live longer, there is more chance that they will develop dementia. Israel’s life expectancy – 80 years for men and 84.2 for women – is the world’s fourth-highest, exceeded only by Japan, Hong Kong and Switzerland. Professor Rivka Inzelberg of Tel Aviv University, who led the research, told a conference that the study indicated that 50% more women than men suffer memory impairments. She said “rituals, like prayer, are especially comforting to Alzheimer’s patients. Prayer is something that went into their long term memory many years ago. It is a ritual that is very comforting for them.”

Source: The Media Line
Renewal Journal, 2017

How I Learned to Pray for the Sick

This article is a result of my search for effective ways of praying for the sick. I found it produced results after persisting in hope and faith.  At first, it was mostly in hope. I know that God answers prayer, but we don’t always know how. Gradually my faith grew as I persisted in faith, believing that God answers prayer and that God heals. The tide changed and waves of healing blessings flowed more fully.

When I was young, we prayed for the sick in general terms, such as “Please God, heal Mr or Mrs So-and-so. Amen.”  Generally the people we prayed for seemed to improve and sometimes we saw rapid improvement.

Then I discovered intimacy with God and the power of his Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus, in new ways. Jesus told us to seek this: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). We all need to ask, seek and knock, and Jesus promises that we will receive, find and have the door opened (Matthew 7:7-8).

So my journey in praying for others, including praying for the sick, began to change as I allowed the Holy Spirit to guide me more fully. Instead of praying the same old way, “Please God, heal that sick person,” I began praying the way I was led by the Spirit.

As I read about Jesus and his disciples, I realized that they rarely or never prayed this way, “Please God heal that sick person.” Mostly they commanded healing, and Jesus’ followers always did so in Jesus’ name. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, and we have authority as we serve him and pray in his name, on his behalf.

That gradually opened new horizons for me! I began listening more to the still, small voice in my mind and heart, and found I was praying with more authority, in Jesus’ name. Increasingly I found myself led to pray, “Be healed, in Jesus’ name.

As I persisted, the Holy Spirit quietly prompted me to take authority over attacks against the person. Sometimes (not automatically and not always) I was led to pray something like “Infirmity, get out in Jesus’ name.

Increasingly I found more people reported that pain had gone or that they felt significantly improved. So then I realized that it helped to ask the person being prayed for how they felt. If some pain remained, I was often led to pray for them again, sometimes more than once more.

As first I was reluctant to ask how the person felt, in case there was little or no improvement! Then, gradually I realized that asking how they felt actually gave more opportunity to pray more if that was needed. When we persisted, we often saw improvement right there and then. A simple way to check is to ask, “How much pain do you have on a sale of 10 to 1?”

Blockages

Many blockages in my thinking stopped me from praying with authority. Here are a few.

  1. Not good enough. That can stop us. We think we’re not good enough for God to work in and through us. “No one is good but One, that is, God” (Mark 10:18). If you wait till you’re perfect, you’ll be in heaven! Confess sin quickly and gratefully move on, because the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, goes on cleansing us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
  2. Fear of failure. What if the person is not healed? That is a common blockage because sometimes there is no evidence of immediate healing. I began saying, “We’ll keep on trusting God for more healing, however it may come.” As we persisted in faith, there seemed to be more healing, more often.
  3. No healing gift. There are many gifts of healings (1 Corinthians 12:9), and some people have a gift of faith for healing – they just expect it. I think I had more hope than faith. But we can all pray for healing, even if we don’t have healing gifts.
  4. We all experience disappointment sometimes when we pray for healing. Healing does not always happen, or it may be slow in coming. But we can persist, just as we do with medical treatments. We persist till healing comes.
  5. No leading. What if you have no leading on how to pray? That happens at times. You can still pray in faith, knowing God hears and will answer in his way and in his time.

What helped me to overcome blockages?

God’s Word helped me most. The more I read about Jesus and his followers the more my faith grew. God’s Spirit speaks his word into our hearts and lives. We believe it and act on it.

Listening more for the leading of God’s Spirit helped me enormously. Note that “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (John 6:63) and that “the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life” (2 Cor. 3:6). Often, a ‘hunch’ turned out to be a ‘leading’.

One night I prayed for a young relative who had been getting migraines. Medications had helped, but migraines persisted. I had a hunch we were dealing with an attack, so I was led to gently place my hand on his head and pray, “Affliction, get out in Jesus’ name.” I felt it go, and my young relative felt fine and has not needed medication for that since then. We don’t always ‘feel’ something, but we can pray in faith.

Why lay on hands?

Why do we lay hands on the sick to pray for them? It’s biblical. See Mark 6:5; 7:32; 10:16; 16:18; Luke 4:40; 13:13; Acts 28:8. It’s also a natural way to express care and concern.  All parents know that touch brings comfort when a child is hurt.

Biblical passages taught me to persist. Here are some: Matthew 7:7-11; Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Jesus occasionally prayed for or commanded healing more than once, as for the blind man at Bethsaida (Mark 8:22-25) and the wild man of Gadara (Luke 8:26-39).

Ultimate healing and the only total healing is in heaven. Meanwhile, in this broken world we can show compassion and care in many ways, including praying for healing. I know the pain of praying for a loved one’s healing, who died. Sometimes the healing is not here, but hereafter.

Sometimes God may surprise you, as you persist in simple faith. A nurse in one of our prayer groups was led to place her hand on a lady’s back and pray, “L4 be healed, in Jesus’ name.” The pain left immediately. Apparently the problem was in the lumbar (L4 region) of the spine.

A doctor, and my college class, once prayed for and laid hands on a lady student who was scheduled for an operation to remove a growth in her abdomen. Later that same day her specialist could find no growth, so they cancelled the operation.

Recently we prayed as a small group for a man with diabetes problems. When he had a blood test it registered normal, so he testified in church and gave thanks to God.

Healing is not always so quick. But it’s always a blessing to pray for one another. Sometimes it helps to pray in a believing group where those praying contribute their different spiritual gifts and insights. You can pray in the Spirit and often receive the Spirit’s leading on how to pray with authority in Jesus’ name.

Many people discover that God is real and personal, and they believe in him because someone prayed cared and prayed for their healing. We pray – God heals.

I pray that you will find peace and joy as you pray in faith for others, led and empowered by God’s Spirit. Just bless them in Jesus’ name.

Geoff Waugh, Renewal Journal, 2017

Now added to Renewal Journal 4: Healing renewaljournal.com

rj-04-healing-1
Renewal Journal 4: Healing

Isa 40,31
Prayer ~ Good for the Body as well as the Soul

Mt 7,7 A S K
How I Learned to Pray for the Sick

See Also


The Lion of Judah: The Ministry of Jesus


Prayer and Miracles


The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
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1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,  
5 Signs & Wonders,
  
6  Worship
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission
,   10  Evangelism

11  Discipleship
,   12  Harvest,  
13  Ministry
,   14  Anointing,
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,  
17  Unity
,   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church
,   20 Life

*

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

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The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – Blog
The Life of Jesus: History’s Great Love Story – PDF

Click image to see Blog


Living in the Spirit – Blog
Living in the Spirit  PDF
The Holy Spirit and The Christian Life
READ SAMPLE
* I find the study material to be balanced in theological emphasis and exceptionally well organized and presented. ~ Bishop Owen Dowling
* This book is not only good for personal use but also GREAT for group study. Even good for a Sunday School class. ~ SW
* If you are a Christian you need to read this book, it helps to understand the Holy Spirit and how he works in your life.  ~ Allen R Lancaster

 


Your Spiritual Gifts – Blog
Your Spiritual Gifts – PDF
To serve in love
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* Good basic biblical material.  ~ Vanessa Hart
* Good home group study. It’s down to the homegroup to work as a team to put the theory into practice fitting in with existing church structures. ~
G Sinclair

 


Fruit & Gifts of the Spirit – Blog
Fruit & Gifts of the Spirit – PDF
Personal and group studies
READ SAMPLE

 


EnCOURAGE: Love One Another – Blog
EnCOURAGE – PDF
Hundreds of ideas for Christians & Christian groups
Amazon edition

 


The Leader’s Goldmine – Blog
The Leader’s Goldmine – PDF
Hundreds of ideas for Christian groups
An earlier version of EnCOURAGE

 

A Great Commission Mission
Great Commission Mission – Blog
Great Commission Mission – PDF
The teaching of Jesus on mission
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A Teaching Them to Obey in Love
Teaching Them to Obey in Love – Blog
Teaching Them to Obey in Love – PDF
Part 1 of Great Commission Mission
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A Jesus the Model Globe
Jesus the Model for Short Term Supernatural Mission – Blog
Jesus the Model for Short-Term Supernatural Mission – PDF
Part 2 of Great Commission Mission
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Body Ministry: The Body of Christ alive in His Spirit – Blog
Body Ministry – PDF
The Body of Christ alive in His Spirit
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* This resource will be of benefit to all ministry leaders and teachers. I recommend it for positive change and for allowing the Holy Spirit, the Great Teacher, to have full reign. ~ Valerie Caraotta

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A Learning Together in Ministry
Learning Together in Ministry – Blog
Learning Together in Ministry – PDF
Chapter 15 of Body Ministry: Mutual Eduction
READ SAMPLE

 


The Body of Christ: Part 1, Body Ministry – Blog
The Body of Christ, Part 1, Body Ministry – PDF
Part 1 of the book Body Ministry
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The Body of Christ 2: Ministry Education
The Body of Christ: Part 2, Ministry Education – Blog
The Body of Christ, Part 2, Ministry Education – PDF
Part 2 of the book Body Ministry
READ SAMPLE

 


Church on Fire Blog – Blog
Church on Fire – PDF
Renewal in Australian Churches
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Keeping Faith Alive Today – Blog
Keeping Faith Alive Today – PDF
Group studies on Prayer, Bible reading, & the Holy Spirit
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A Renewal and Revival2
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Renewal Journal Articles
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Renewal: I make all things new – Blog
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Part 1 of Renewal and Revival
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Word and Spirit – Blog
Word and Spirit – PDF
The vital union of God’s Word & God’s Spirit
READ SAMPLE

Study Guide Series

Signs & Wonders
1. Signs and Wonders – Blog
Signs and Wonders – PDF
Study Guide on Signs & Wonders
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A SG Holy Spirit in Ministry
2. The Holy Spirit in Ministry  – Blog
The Holy Spirit in Ministry – PDF
Study Guide on the Holy Spirit in Ministry
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A SG Revival History
3. Revival History – Blog
Revival History – PDF
Study Guide on Revival History
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A SG Spirit Movements
4. Holy Spirit Movements through History – Blog
Holy Spirit Movements through History – PDF
Study Guide on Holy Spirit Movements through History
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A Renewal Theology 1
5. Renewal Theology 1 – Blog
Renewal Theology 1 – PDF
Study Guide on Revelation, Trinity & Mission
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A SG Renewal Theology 2
6. Renewal Theology 2 – Blog
Renewal Theology 2 – PDF
Study Guide on Jesus, Holy Spirit & Humanity
READ SAMPLE

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A SG Practicum
7. Ministry Practicum – Blog
Ministry Practicum – PDF
Study Guide for a Ministry Practicum
READ SAMPLE

 

20 Renewal Journals – with links

1 Revival,   2 Church Growth,
3 Community,   4 Healing,  
5 Signs & Wonders,
  
6  Worship
7  Blessing,
   8  Awakening,  
9  Mission
,   10  Evangelism

11  Discipleship
,   12  Harvest,  
13  Ministry
,   14  Anointing,
15  Wineskins,   
16  Vision,  
17  Unity
,   18  Servant Leadership,  
19  Church
,   20 Life

*

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 4: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS & VIDEOS)

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Prayer and Miracles

Prayer and Miracles

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Children pray for a dead boy

Millingimbi Island, northern Australia: This little boy was found dead at the bottom of a muddy waterhole in warm water when a bunch of children came down to swim. They dragged him out and took him to the clinic where the doctor tried to revive him but considered him to be brain-dead. Then the children asked if they could pray for Jesus to heal him. They prayed and he lept back to life with no effect from the ordeal except today a hunger to hear the Word of Jesus who brought him back to life…and who gives eternal life to all who call on His name.

Grandchildren Pray for Pastor who had died

 

A pastor dead for thirteen minutes makes a stunning recovery as his grandchildren laid hands on him and declared healing through prayers.

Heart Stopped For 13 Minutes

The faith of Pastor Jim and his wife Pam was tested when Jim suddenly passed out while going for a walk outside. He had no pulse. And when the medical authorities arrived, they immediately transported him to the hospital.

Pam frantically called an elder of their church, and the Spirit impressed to him that Jim will live and not die. Hence, they declared God’s goodness despite the unfavorable circumstance.

Meanwhile, Jim’s heart stopped for 13 minutes. He fell into a drug-induced coma. According to Dr. Michelle Guzowski, the physician who attended to the pastor, it was dangerous. Because for every minute that a heart stops beyond a critical limit, you have decreased blood flow, leading to potential brain injury. Even if he survived, he could lose some normal abilities.

Grandchildren Pray

Amid Jim’s critical condition, over 100 church members gathered together to worship and pray. For three hours, they praised God and declared that “no weapon formed against him would prosper.”

Jim wasn’t responsive for days despite the doctor’s simulation. But the church continued to believe in God’s faithfulness and continued praying for him.

One morning, Pam received news that her husband had brain damage. Hence, Justin, their son, and grandchildren prepared to say goodbye to Jim because it could be the last time to see their grandfather. And when they visited Jim, the grandkids laid hands on him and prayed. Suddenly, he opened his eyes.

The whole room witnessed the miracle that even doctors and nurses cried about what happened. Everyone saw with their own eyes the miraculous power of God.

How amazing is our God—a Miracle Worker!

 

“God Raised Me From The Dead” Christian Pastor Tells UN

Lee Stoneking shares his testimony with the United Nations after he got an invite on April 22, 2015, to speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Below is an excerpt and video of his testimony at the assembly:

“On Nov. 12, 2003. I suffered a massive heart attack at the airport in Sydney, Australia. Paramedics tried – 10 times – to get my heart beating again using electric shock treatment, but all to no avail. I was declared dead for 45 minutes and was put into the ambulance as a corpse.”

After being clinically dead for 45 minutes, Stoneking’s heart started to beat. The paramedics – and the doctors who treated him afterwards – were amazed at his recovery. One doctor even told him that his DNA had been altered to strip heart disease from his genetic makeup.

“So I am grateful today to be alive,” Stoneking said, adding that even after six minutes without oxygen, irreparable damage can be done to the brain.

“God has totally raised me from the dead, he continued, you have defied all the laws of medical science,” a doctor told me, but I looked at him and said, ‘I didn’t but I know the one who did. His name is Jesus,”.

Stoneking told the UN assembly “my message here to you today is this: In the New Testament, in the book of Acts, Chapter 2 verse 38 it says, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of your sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.”

Then Stoneking told the U.N. General Assembly that Jesus is the only answer to the violence around the world.

“He is the prince of peace,” Stoneking said. “I give you Jesus.

Lee Stoneking Addresses UN General Assembly:

*

17-year-old Pakistani boy leads tribe to Jesus

In Pakistan, a 17-year-old boy led his entire tribe to follow Jesus.

*Rehan worked as a waiter at a roadside restaurant. He often worked 12-hour days, trying to scrape together enough money to feed his family.

One day, a truck driver and FMI [Forgotten Missionaries International] partner began visiting the restaurant. Over time, Rehan noticed how well the man, Safdar, treated him and asked him why. Nehemiah with FMI tells the story. “Rehan said, ‘How is your attitude towards a waiter so gentle? Have you joined some other sect than Islam?’ Safdar gave him an audio Bible. Rehan took it home and began listening. Then Safdar suggested Rehan take off from his work and spend time together to answer his queries and questions at the FMI Discipleship center.”

Rehan realized how much Jesus loves him, and he was baptized a couple of months ago. He didn’t stop there though, he gathered his family together and told them as well. His parents were moved by the message, but still feared backlash from the tribal leaders. Nehemiah says when someone in Pakistan starts following Jesus, they often face persecution from their tribe and family.

Sharing with the tribe

Nehemiah says he invited three FMI partners to help him share the Gospel with the tribe. “One evening, he gathered all the tribe’s members under one big tent. First, Rehan showed a movie about Jesus. Then an FMI partner shared a 15-minute devotion about new hope in Christ. That day, a 17-year-old-boy led his whole tribe to the Lord Jesus Christ. They quit their regular practice of offering Muslim prayers.”

Praise God for this tribe of about 60 people, and ask Him to strengthen them.

Pray the story of Rehan and his tribe would not be an isolated one. Nehemiah says, “Pray for the partners and shepherds who are serving with FMI. May the Lord bless them and give them more courage and wisdom.”

By , February 10, 2022 – Mission Network News

*

Bartender hears Farsi

Bartender overhears man speaking in tongues, receives Jesus after recognizing the Farsi language. Like Acts 2.
By Jon Courson (photo) –
I’ll never forget a meeting I attended at the Lake Arrowhead Hilton in California where about 100 believers had gathered together for a time of waiting upon the Lord.
Since hotel rules dictated that the bar remain open whenever the conference room was in use, the bartender stood in the back of the room polishing glasses while we studied, worshiped, and prayed.
Toward the end of the meeting a fellow stood up and gave a beautiful utterance in tongues.
When the meeting concluded, the bartender approached us, and with tears running down his cheeks, said:
“I must talk to that man who stood up and prayed. How does he know my tongue? I’m Iranian, and he worshiped the True and Living God in perfect Farsi.”
*

The Lord’s Prayer – various versions

The Lord’s Prayer

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History’s most famous prayer, taught by our Lord, is usually called The Lord’s Prayer.
Pray as you read!

Here are various versions of Matthew 6:9-13 (from the Sermon on the Mount).
See more on Bible Gatewayhttps://www.biblegateway.com/

 

King James Version (1611)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

(KJV)

 

New King James Version

In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
(NKJV)

 

New International Version

“This, then, is how you should pray:

“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
10 your kingdom come,
your will be done,
    on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts,
    as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation,[1]
    but deliver us from the evil one.[2]

  1. Matthew 6:13 The Greek for temptation can also mean testing.
  2. Matthew 6:13 Or from evil; some late manuscripts one, / for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
    (NIV)

 

Good News Bible

This, then, is how you should pray:

‘Our Father in heaven:
    May your holy name be honored;
10 may your Kingdom come;
    may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us today the food we need.[1]
12 Forgive us the wrongs we have done,
    as we forgive the wrongs that others have done to us.
13 Do not bring us to hard testing,
    but keep us safe from the Evil One.’[2]

  1. Matthew 6:11 we need; or for today, or for tomorrow.
  2. Matthew 6:13 Some manuscripts add For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

 

The Passion Translation

Pray like this:

‘Our Beloved Father,[1] dwelling in the heavenly realms,
    may the glory of your name
    be the center on which our lives turn.[2]
10 Manifest your kingdom realm,[3]
    and cause your every purpose to be fulfilled on earth,
    just as it is in heaven.
11 We acknowledge you as our Provider
    of all we need each day.[4]
12 Forgive us the wrongs we have done[5] as we ourselves
    release forgiveness to those who have wronged us.
13 Rescue us every time we face tribulation[6]
    and set us free from evil.[7]
    For you are the King who rules
    with power and glory forever. Amen.’[8]

  1. 6:9 Jesus invites us into the same relationship with the Father, as His Abba.
  2. 6:9 An alternate reading of the Aramaic text. The Aramaic word for “name” is shema (the Hebrew word, shem), a word with multiple meanings. It can also be translated “light,” “sound,” or “atmosphere.” Placing a light, like a lantern, in an enclosed space magnifies that light. This is the meaning here of God’s name being made sacred and magnified as we focus our lives on him. The Greek is “treated as holy.”
  3. 6:10 Or “Come and begin your kingdom reign.”
  4. 6:11 Or “Give us bread [or life] today for the coming day.” Bread becomes a metaphor of our needs (physically, spiritually, and emotionally). Jesus is teaching us to acknowledge Father God as our Provider of all we need each day. Both the Greek and Hebrew Matthew can be translated “Give us this day our bread for tomorrow” (or “our continual bread”).
  5. 6:12 Or “Send away the results of our debts (shortcomings),” used as a metaphor for our sins. The Aramaic can be translated “Give us serenity as we also allow others serenity.”
  6. 6:13 Or “Do not let us be put into the ordeal of testing.” God never tempts man. See James 1:13–14.
  7. 6:13 Or “the Evil One.”
  8. 6:13 As translated from the Aramaic, Hebrew Matthew, and most Greek manuscripts. The Aramaic word for “forever” means “until the end of all the universes.”
    (TPT)

See Also

Herrnhut
24/7 Worship & Prayer


Israeli research – prayer is good for the body as well as the soul

IB prayer passionLet’s Pray
Ideas for studies
*
*

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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The Lord’s Prayer – various versions

Long-playing worship music

Long-playing Worship Music

See also: Wonders of Worship
See also: Virtual Choirs & Orchestras

See also: How Great Thou Art – anthology
See also: Messiah & Hallelujah Chorus – with Bible verses & references
See also: Hallelujah Chorus – International Choirs
See also: Easter Worship
See also: Christmas Worship
See also: 24/7 Worship & Prayer

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Long-playing Worship Music:
https://renewaljournal.com/2021/08/10/long-playing-worship-music/

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Long-playing worship music is ideal as background music while you work or pray.

You can listen to background worship music as you worship, work and pray – in your chair or even in bed, with CDs and YouTube and Spotify on your phone.  YouTube video “Mix” gives you a run of similar recordings – often a surprise. 

You could set aside an hour a week – or a day – to worship and pray. I use these YouTube songs as background worship for that, even in bed!  

Here are some inspiring recordings you could play while you worship, work and pray. Scroll down to see more.

INSTRUMENTAL

Long Playing Instrumental

100 String and Praise Favourites – Maranatha Strings & Steve Anderson (4 hours)

Hymns & Praise Music – Instrumental (7 hours! 4 million views)

Holy Spirit I Need You – Alone with Him – Prayer Music (5 hours)

Instrumental Hymns (3.5 hours)

Beautiful Hymns (3.5 hours)

Popular Hymns and Bible Praises, Instrumental – 3 hours

Piano & Orchestra Hymns – 1 hour (Greg Howlett, 2 million views)

26 Old Timeless Gospel Hymns – 1 hour (8 million views)

Relaxing Peaceful Instrumental Hymns | Harp, Piano, Strings, & Orchestra – 1 hour

Beautiful Instrumental Hymns – the Love of Jesus – 1 hour

Beautiful Instrumental Hymns – Prayer & Devotion -1 hour

Songs of Praise – Mantovani Orchestra – 1 hour

The Beauty of Hymns, Instrumental – 1 hour

Maranatha Music 1, 2, 3 – Instrumental Worship (2 hours)

CHORAL

Long Playing Background Worship


10 hours of Christian music – beautiful background worship


Favourite Old Hymns – 8 hours – more background worship


America’s 25 Favourite Hymns (1 hour, 7 million views)


100 Praise & Worship Songs (3:30 hours, 50 million views)


120 Bible Hymns – in harmonies, no instruments (5:45 hours, 2 million views)


Elvis Best Gospel – 1 hour

Hallelujah

Messiah – Lyrics with Bible verses and references


Messiah – 2:17 hours (4 million views, Hallelujah at 1.36 & 2.13 hrs)

Messiah – Academy of Ancient Music – 2:36 hours, gentle

Handel’s Messiah – Sydney Opera House

Messiah – 2:38 hours (1.5 million views, Hallelujah at 1:54 hrs) with commentary
London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis


Hallelujah Chorus – international choirs

See also: Wonders of Worship
See also: Virtual Choirs & Orchestras

See also: How Great Thou Art – anthology
See also: Messiah & Hallelujah Chorus – with Bible verses & references
See also: Hallelujah Chorus – International Choirs
See also: Easter Worship
See also: Christmas Worship
See also: 24/7 Worship & Prayer

GENERAL BLOGS INDEX 

BLOGS INDEX 1: REVIVALS (BRIEFER THAN REVIVALS INDEX)

BLOGS INDEX 2: MISSION (INTERNATIONAL STORIES)

BLOGS INDEX 3: MIRACLES (SUPERNATURAL EVENTS)

BLOGS INDEX 4: DEVOTIONAL (INCLUDING TESTIMONIES)

BLOGS INDEX 5: CHURCH (CHRISTIANITY IN ACTION)

BLOGS INDEX 6: CHAPTERS (BLOGS FROM BOOKS)

BLOGS INDEX 7: IMAGES (PHOTOS AND ALBUMS)

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