Addict’s Hope

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I’ve been attending a 12 Step group in the area, not so much to "Work the Steps" but to give hope to people who are in the group. I had been in 12 Step groups before and since receiving my identity in Christ, I’ve had a much different view of the whole program. When I attend now, I’ll hang back after the meeting and usually one or two people will come and talk with me. I give them the hope that is found in understanding their identity and knowing that they are not addicts – contrary to what is taught in the meeting. Each week I see the lights go on as people begin to understand the power of what Jesus came to do inside of them – dying to self and taking on his nature. I’ve also laid hands on people and seen various aches and pains go in Jesus’ name. It’s a lot of fun and very encouraging for me. A few weeks ago a young man in the group expressed a lot of discouragement and hurt and seemed to be at the end of his rope and close to death because of his addiction. He had experienced a lot of rejection and judgment and didn’t have much hope for the future. I wanted to talk to him and give him the hope I had, but at the same time I was respecting the group and not forcing my views on them or trying to "fix" anyone. Typically I’ll share what God is doing with me in the current week and the hope that I have. I have asked God to lead people back to me when they want to talk about this. The young man I mentioned did not come back after the meeting and I was tempted to go and track him down anyway. Instead I got engaged with talking with someone else and forgot about him. While I was talking he showed up. I was thrilled. God gave me the words to speak and I encouraged him with that, mostly prophesying his future as a new creature in Christ. Again I could see the lights going on. As we were going out together I asked him how he was doing. He said he felt a lot lighter, he seemed very hopeful. His mother also attends the meetings for her own issues and I found out we’d been attending the same church (Other than PCC). She was excited when I told her about the talk I had with her son. Just this past week we were at that church in a service when she came up to me (I didn’t recognize her at first and was a little startled as she made a bee-line for me during worship), She had tears in her eyes and she told me that her son had been clean in the weeks since I had seen him last, and was doing very well. I couldn’t have been more happy if he had been my own son. This totally caught me off guard as I had lost track of him and was busy with so many other things. In addition I was having a hard time getting into the worship in the service, This came up during worship time and needless to say it got a lot better after that! Thank you Jesus!

Submitted by Anonymous

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Confirmation

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What a great word about open doors! The night before Brian sent the church his word about open doors I was praying with a fellow brother – he for my situation and I for his – and the words “open doors” came up and we were both excited about it and stopped what we were praying for and began declaring the words "open doors" and quoting the scripture about God opening doors that no one could shut and closing doors that no one could open. We prayed the words over and over with command and praise knowing that we were having an effect on more than just our situations! There was something incredible about it and we were both laughing and excited. When I read Brian’s word the next day, I was very excited because where we were praying when we heard the words “open doors” was a type of church off of Philadelphia Street. A little nod from God I think! Anyway, the prophecy blew me away with the hope for something I have been believing God for, for a long time. Needless to say it was and is very encouraging. That was one confirmation of the word.

The next confirmation came along the next night in a different way.
After hanging out at Rapha, some friends and I went over to McDonald’s to continue chatting\debating things about God and to get something to eat. I was at the counter and I turned to ask my friends if they wanted apple pies and I heard a voice behind me say he wanted an apple pie. I turned to see someone who looked a little rough, in a gangster sort of way, and the fact the he even engaged me seemed a little strange, almost like he wanted to start a fight. In a short span of time I sensed evil, I went to God and was reminded to not turn away but to give love, so I said, “Sure, I’ll get you one.” When I went back to give him one, I said “the love of Jesus to you” and handed him, and his female friend, apple pies. I think he said something like “Christian huh?!” I said yes and he began to tell me how he had a better way and that he worshiped the pentagram – or words to that effect. He began to talk about how this had helped him more than Jesus. He was starting to get into his beliefs more and I listened and responded for a bit and could see that we were headed for a much longer discussion. I told him I had to get back to my friends who were waiting for the food. So I left.

As we were starting to eat, the man came over and I think he could tell we all were Christians and he began mocking our faith and pointing to his beliefs as the real power in this world. He said his name was Dollars and he said that he had tried all of that Christian stuff but it didn’t work for him. He said that he had found something better. He went into what he thought really rules this world. He claimed it was money and that he had found more power by worshiping the pentagram. My friends and I engaged him a bit about Jesus and what He had done. This just led to more arguing and debate about who was really in charge in this world. He didn’t seem fazed by anything we said. He even asked one of my friends to read some scripture which he turned into trying to show his evil was more powerful. At one point he grabbed the Bible to show that he wasn’t intimidated by it and proceeded to read the words backwards. We knew he was trying to rattle us. I sensed that he was sincere about what he was saying and I was a bit wary of him, mostly because I didn’t know how far gone he was and if he had some type of weapon on him or not. I was also a little uncomfortable because in my normally safe world I don’t encounter raw evil like this every day. I was encouraged as I saw my friends take him on and as I remembered that God is inside me and that we were having an effect on him too!

After we sort of came to a stalemate he went back to his side of the McDonald’s. We prayed for the Father to draw him to Him and prayed love over him. I was talking with the brother I had been praying the open doors with the other night and I told him I wanted to read him the word that Brian had sent out. I grabbed my phone and started to read it aloud, and when I did, Dollars came very quickly from across the room and said “Someone make him stop!” “You can’t read that!“ “It’s against my religion!” I told him he could go back where he came from and didn’t have to hear it. (He was simply trying to stop the word from being read) He got visibly upset and threw a tantrum, throwing my friend’s coffee cup up against the wall. My friend said, “Keep reading!” I kept reading while Dollars carried on. If you’ve read the prophecy you know it takes a long time to read. I read it all the while he carried on until his friend, and I believe some of the McDonald’s workers, got him to go outside.

There are more than a couple of things interesting about this, but here are a couple. First the group of Christians I was with were very diverse in beliefs and we usually spend more time in debate than anything else, sharpening each other, and yet there is a great love between all of us. I didn’t see it but after all the show was done one of my friends went up to Dollars and talked about the “debate” we just had and he expressed love to him, just like we do with each other when we debate. He said Dollars appeared visibly moved that we would love him after the conflict we just had.

The second thing that was interesting to me was the effect of the prophecy being read aloud. The person we were dealing with was distorting scripture, he was trying to use it to intimidate us, he tried to desecrate it by reading the words backwards and showing that he was not intimidated by scripture. Yet he was livid when the prophecy was read. The now word, the spoken word, the exciting word of God based on the partnership we have with Him really seemed to disturb Dollars more so than the scriptures we read out earlier. He did not like that the doors were being opened. I’m sure the awareness of what God is doing and His control in this situation set him off. I think there is great power when God brings His words alive in us and we speak the living words out. If making the enemy angry with your words is confirmation, then this was confirmation in a big obvious way!

Submitted by: Anonymous

Give Me Proof

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I have been seeing God move in a lot of great ways lately, but this morning I was telling Him that I needed to see more to know that this isn’t all in my head. It amazes me that I would think this with as much as I’ve experienced with Him in the past and what I’ve seen and experienced with Him lately, but there I was. When I went into work today I was startled to see someone who I thought was out for the week because of surgery. This person and I have had a lot of head-butting sessions in the past and we both felt like the other person was always attacking and looking for fault. I had tried to make peace with her but in the end we would still end up at odds with each other. One day, a couple of months ago I noticed she was in a lot of pain due to a knee problem. She said she had seen her doctor and that they had done an MRI and had determined that she definitely needed surgery. I told her I went to this crazy church where they believe that we actually become like Jesus and can do the things He did. I asked her if I could pray for her knee. She looked surprised and said "Sure!". I asked if I could lay hands on her knee, I commanded the pain to be gone in Jesus’ name and prayed for the restoration of her knee. She looked surprised and said that it was better but maybe not 100%. I said I believed it would continue to get better and we left it at that. I ran into her a few times over the next couple of months and she said that she would still need the surgery and this week she was out for the surgery. When she showed up for work during the time she was supposed to be out recovering I said I was surprised that she healed from the surgery so quickly. She told me after we were out of the meeting that she didn’t have the surgery. She said when she went in and they were taking her vital signs that things were out of whack and they couldn’t proceed. When the doctor came to her to talk about the surgery all of her signs had returned to normal. He asked what was going on with her knee and she said it was almost completely back to normal with only a small amount of things she couldn’t do with it. He called off the surgery. She said she believes that God healed her. We were both very excited about it! I guess it doesn’t hurt to ask God for a little proof every now and then!

Submitted by Chris Yates

Seeing to Believing

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I recently returned home from Guatemala, where God did amazing things!!! We saw the lame walk, a mute man speak praises to Jesus, and an "immobile," damaged arm move. We saw a man who once couldn’t hear out of one ear, receive the Gospel in that same ear. We saw the sick recover: sore throats, stomach aches, and headaches leave in Jesus’ Name. We saw the oppressed set free, and the once-alcoholic, now born again and filled with the Holy Spirit, lead another man to Jesus. We saw people born again into the kingdom of God, and reconciliation where there was once no home. We saw those who were once unsure of their salvation, become sure, and the power of the Holy Spirit move. We saw people filled with the Holy Ghost immediately speak in tongues, and the lost, hurt, and abandoned orphan receive the love, joy and peace of the Lord. Praise God! Queen Sheba said to king Solomon that she did not believe the report she had heard of him in her own land, until she saw it for herself, and that when she did see it, it was even more than what she had heard (1 Kings 10). The same was true for me–it took seeing God use me, to believe that He wanted to, and when He did, it was beyond any expectation I could have had! He is SO good, and He wants to use YOU to show it! He’s not waiting until you go on a mission trip to use you, either. He loves those of us in the States as much as anyone else. You already have a mission field. He’s calling you to advance His kingdom. If you don’t, who will? I am no different than anyone else… You can believe that He will use YOU. He promises that His Word NEVER returns void–NEVER!!! There’s always a harvest of some sort. Take Him at His Word that "these signs shall follow those that believe…" because they will. His Word is Truth, and the world (even our neighbors) need to hear it. What if you could be the one God uses to change their eternal destiny? You’ll never know, if you never try. Step out in faith, and let Him use you to shine His light before men, that they may see your good deeds, and glorify your Father in heaven. Amen!

Submitted by Sarah Torrez

In An Elevator

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Wanted to share this testimony from a couple of days ago in a hotel:

 
As I was getting ready to come up the elevator, I came across these two ladies and they were trying to get ice from the front desk. I asked if they were ok and the one lady had burned her hand on the waffle iron at the breakfast. I got to talking to them for a couple minutes and she was saying she’d be alright and this would pass and then said something about Passover (making a joke). I didn’t catch it at first and they then said they were Jewish (I assume not Messianic-Jews believing in Jesus but wasn’t 100% sure of that. I figured they weren’t Christian-Jewish). I held the elevator for them and going up I had a boldness come and I told the ladies: "I am a Christian and have seen Jesus do some cool things and would you mind if I pray for you/for your hand." She paused a moment and said, “no that’s fine, prayer is always good.” So I prayed and thanked God for her and I said "thanks Jesus for paying a price for this burn. Skin be healed in Jesus’ name." It was cool. I actually missed my stop on the elevator because I was praying, so I had to go back down. No big deal. Anyway, they said that was really nice and thanked me. I didn’t really ask her if she felt better but am believing she was healed. I was hoping to see her the next morning and wanted to ask how her skin/hand was but didn’t see her, but am believing she is well now and knows that Jesus healed her.

Submitted by Anonymous

Roaring Like A Lion

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So I had this dream where my husband and I were praying for people on the street and I saw demons in this one lady. I could see them in her eyes. I began praying them out and I started roaring like a lion in her face until my roar literally sounded like a lion’s. There was fear in her eyes. The demons were scared.

I never got to finish the dream to see if they left her or not but I do know that we have authority in us through Christ. Instead of being scared of the demonic realm, realize that Christ lives in us, and demons fear us if we understand that, because they fear Him who has overcome the world! Be the lion, not a timid mouse. Hallelujah!

This dream just so happens to go with the conviction on my heart to pray for the demonically possessed, it is just something I feel that I need to grow in more.

“For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.” — Colossians 2:9-10

Submitted by Brittany Bear

Divine Placement

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Sue and I flew to San Diego to spend time with her newly married daughter. Unfortunately our seating on the plane had been rearranged, so we could not sit together. On the first leg of the flight, Sue sat beside a pastor’s wife. They talked and encouraged each other all the way to Chicago. On the second leg I sat beside a man named Jim, who told me that he would have to get up three or four times to stretch his leg. About half way into the flight Jim got up and walked the length of the cabin several times. When he returned to his seat, I asked if he injured his knee. He had a sciatic nerve that tightened up after sitting for more than an hour or two. I asked if I could pray for him. He took my hand and said he would pray with me. I prayed for healing in Jesus’ name. Later Jim went to the bathroom near the end of the flight, and returned to take his seat without walking off pain. He was reading a book about a woman who died, went to heaven and returned, because God said she wasn’t done on earth. Before I left, I told Jim that just like the book he was reading, his leg was not done. God has a lot more life to give it. Our seating arrangement was unfortunate, but God knew just where to place his love.

Submitted by Chris

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