Monday, November 21, 2005

Blind Eyes Opened and Miracle Weight Loss!

Wow, what a long weekend! We just finished a conference here at our church. The whole theme of the conference was “God – Out of the Box”. And to illustrate the theme of the conference, this week we had a couple of wild miracles that were totally “out of the box”.

My buddy Brian from Oklahoma City was in town to hang out with on the streets with us and attend the conference while he was in town. One of his (and our) favorite places is a local hospital where there is a big open courtyard where lots of poor and sick people hang out. To coin a Top Gun phrase, it’s a “target rich” environment for the Kingdom of God to invade. Anyway, we were down there praying for folks and prophesying and had a couple of cool God encounters.

One lady came out of the hospital, hobbling down the sidewalk, obviously in pain. We asked her what was wrong and she told us that she was in horrible pain and they had just diagnosed her with two slipped discs. We told her about the Kingdom of God and how the Lord would heal her and asked if we could pray. We prayed and then asked her how she felt. She noticed a big difference in the pain and mobility, but it wasn’t completely gone so we prayed again. In a couple of minutes, she went from being in pain, hunched over and hobbling to beaming with joy, without pain and walking normally! She walked away thrilled at what Jesus had done for her.

We walked by an elderly woman in a wheelchair, being pushed by a younger woman that we later found out to be her daughter. We asked the older lady why she was in the wheelchair and she told us that she had severe asthma that caused her to lose her breath when she would walk, thus confining her to the chair. We told her about the Kingdom of God and asked if we could pray for her. She agreed and while praying, my buddy Brian got a word of knowledge and asked her if she had diabetes. She nods yes. So we go to work, calling the fire and power of God to heal the asthma and drive out diabetes and suddenly her eyes opened up real wide. Right in front of our eyes, we watched her eyes go from a milky blue to a bright, clear blue. She started exclaiming, “I can see! I can see!” Brian and I looked at each other and asked her, “What’s going on with your eyes?” She starts saying, “The sky is blue! The sky, it’s so blue!” Come to find out, she had cataracts and couldn’t see, but as we prayed for the asthma and diabetes, the Lord opened her eyes! I guarantee you that we were as surprised as she was! We’re getting used to seeing God answer prayer, but it’s a new experience for God to heal someone of something we weren’t even asking for!

Pretty “Out of the Box”, but the next one really floored us.

Before I tell this story, a little background might be appropriate. About a year ago, I was meditating on the scripture that tells us, “All things are possible” (Matthew 19:26). The Lord interrupted me and simply said, “Why don’t you seek me for the grace to re-grow hair and miracle weight loss?” I was surprised to say the least, but thought about what He said. I remembered stories from the ministry of A.A. Allen and how there were eyewitnesses to a woman losing 100lbs. in a prayer line! I also remembered the stories I had heard from the revival in Argentina of how the Lord was putting gold teeth in people in the middle of a bar! I decided that God was God and could do anything we asked Him to. I also decided that we were probably not seeing these kinds of things because we weren’t asking Him for them! (James 4:2)

So I started asking God to do anything He wanted to do, even crazy stuff like weight loss and hair growth! Think about it, if you had a proven track record of miracle hair growth and miracle weight loss, the world would be beating down your door and you could give them the Gospel! Remember, shrewd as serpents, innocent as doves? Since then, I have yet to see hair growth, but I have had two people tell me that after I prayed for them about other things, they had an unusual grace on them and started losing weight like mad! And I’m a fat guy!

Back to the story…

Earlier in the week, we went to visit some believers in a neighborhood we have been in several times before. We met up with a girl that we hadn’t seen for about a month and started asking how she was. Last month, we had the awesome privilege of leading her to Jesus. Her story was remarkable in that she had suffered a bunch of sexual abuse at the hands of her father and several other men. She was emotionally devastated and totally wrapped up in anger and unforgiveness. We spoke to her about the Lord’s forgiveness and she gave her life to Jesus and got powerfully delivered from the anger and bitterness. What we didn’t know and just found out is that after she met the Lord and we went home, she got on the phone and confronted all of the men that had raped and abused her, even her father. While she was on the phone, she released forgiveness, let go of her anger and told us that she felt 100lbs. lighter! That’s not unusual as we have seen many people after deliverance remark that they felt lighter.

What was unusual is what happened over the next thirty two days. We had not had the chance to meet up with her in a little over a month and finally got in touch with her. When we met with her, her voice was different, her countenance was different and she was beaming! We couldn’t quite place the dramatic change, but found out when her sister (who has yet to meet the Lord) told us what was going on. Get this, in thirty two days; she had lost over 50 pounds! That’s over one and a half pounds a day! We asked her about her diet and she told us that she was eating, just not as much as she used to, but the pounds were just falling off of her! This was a witness to the rest of the family and her sister was remarking about the power of God, even to lose weight! This opened the door for us to come back and have a house church with their family. Good fruit!

Miracle weight loss and the blind seeing…What’s next?

Monday, November 14, 2005

“The One”

What an interesting week. We had a trend this week that was very cool. It was like the Lord was revealing his heart for “the one”. I have heard Heidi Baker talk about this often. It’s the reality that the Lord would leave the 99 healthy sheep for the one lost sheep. This was illustrated powerfully this week as almost wherever we went, we saw “the one” have their encounter with the Lord. We have been getting used to groups and crowds meeting Jesus, getting healed and getting prophecies, but this week, it was all about that one person that desperately needed the Lord having their personal encounter. Granted, it’s definitely more exciting when crowds of people are giving their lives to Jesus, but nonetheless, it’s powerful to see the Lord orchestrate events for, “the one”.

We went to what turned out to be the last football game of the season this Friday. Our group was large, so we had to split up into two different teams. One of the teams went to a game about thirty minutes from the church and I took the other team to a school that was over an hour from the church. We ended up getting stuck in traffic and were in the car for over an hour and a half. Needless to say, we were already worn out by the time we got to the game. I reminded myself that David Hogan and his team often will drive 4-6 hours, then get out and hike for 3-4 hours to get to a meeting of only a handful of people! That really put things into perspective for our little one and a half hour drive.

So we get to the game and almost instantly, we’re seeing that it’s going to be unlike the other games. It was a second round playoff game and it looked like most of the people were actually there to watch the game, unlike many of the other games we had gone to where most of the kids were there for a social gathering. There were only a handful of people walking around so we found what seemed to be a good place and just hung out, looking for an opportunity to bring the Kingdom of God.

Sure enough, a few minutes later a kid went hobbling by on crutches. A couple folks on our team ran over to see what was wrong. It turns out that the kid had been in a 4 wheeler accident a couple weeks before and dislocated his hip. Even after a couple of weeks, it was very painful and he could hardly put any weight on it. Our team prayed for him and asked him to check the injury. In an instant, Jesus took away all of the pain! I looked over and saw his friends carrying his crutches with him walking up and down the concession area, elated at his total healing! They went on to preach the Gospel to him and they asked where we were from. When he heard that we had come over and hour and a half, he exclaimed, “So, you came all this way for me?” “I guess we did!” was our reply.

The next Saturday morning, we spread out into a couple of groups and headed into some neighborhoods where we have been for a couple of months. Since the end of Daylight Savings Time and the loss of daylight during the weekdays, we have had a different strategy during the fall and winter months. Our primary goal is to strengthen the existing house churches and believers that we have already reached and our secondary goal is to get into new neighborhoods. So we headed out into a neighborhood where groups of Hispanic men have met the Lord all at one time. We go to the house of a couple of young people that have recently been born again and delivered of some major demonic junk. Their mother has, to this point, been very reserved and not really given us the time of day. We were sure that the changes in her children would be noticed and that she would eventually be touched by the Gospel. We were right.

The Mom answers the door and we find out that both kids are gone. They have a visitor over and we begin just talking about things that are going on. We had prayed very briefly for the mother a few weeks previous and I asked her if she had noticed a change in her conditions. She hadn’t noticed any difference, which gave me an opportunity to tell her what the Lord had shown me. The first time we had prayed for her, the Lord showed me that her many physical problems were caused by demonic oppression. I saw specifically anger and fear bringing torment and pain to her body. I told her this and as I called out fear and anger, her demeanor changed. The Lord spoke to me and showed me a well of unforgiveness and anger inside of her. I saw a man standing at the top of the well. So I tell her, “The Lord is showing me a deep reservoir of anger and unforgiveness and it was caused by something that a man did to you.” Her eyes got real big and she says, “I’ll never be able to forgive him”.

In a few minutes, we are sitting on her couch and she is pouring out her heart, speaking of being sexually abused by her father when she was a little girl and the resulting anger and unforgiveness. I giver her several scriptures about unforgiveness and the Lord’s forgiveness for us and she melts. The Holy Spirit is melting her anger with the fire of His awesome love. She is convinced of His love and convicted of her sin. She literally asks me, “What should I do?” I tell her simply that she needs to give her life to Jesus, repent of her sins and forgive her Father, since Jesus has forgiven her. She agrees and we get the distinct privilege of leading her to Jesus and getting her free from the anger and unforgiveness to her Dad. She lightens, looks different and thanks us profusely for coming to see her. We walk out of her house, thrilled at the mercy of God for “the one”.

“What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, does he not leave the ninety and nine and go into the mountains and seek the straying one?” Matthew 18:22

Monday, November 07, 2005

God Attends House Meetings and Football Games!

I was trying to communicate what has been going on to our church this weekend and ended up getting tongue tied and overwhelmed. The truth is, there is so much cool stuff going on, we could take an entire service to just tell testimonies and we would still be missing the awesome reports of what God is doing at the neighborhoods and football games. But hey, that’s a better problem than having nothing going on. I’ve seen both and a dearth of God’s presence is MUCH worse than too much of God’s presence…

This week, we had a house meeting with one of our neighborhood churches and as a couple of new believers come walking in the door, there are two awesome testimonies. The first was a lady who had severe sciatic pain in her lower back. We had prayed for her two or three times and nothing had worked. She was very discouraged and literally talked about ending her life, she was in so much pain. Now mind you, this was a lady that through her life has had multiple strokes, heart attacks, a brain tumor, blindness in one of her eyes and multiple brain surgeries. She told us that this pain in her back was the worst she had ever experienced and started drinking, just to dull the constant pain. On top of all that, she hadn’t slept more than an hour a night for about a month. Anyway, I brought my wife with me out to the neighborhoods on our date night (before I took her to dinner) and she got an opportunity to pray for this lady. Well, the first thing she says as she comes walking in the door to the house meeting (about two weeks later) is that God healed her and that she woke up the next morning after a full night’s sleep with NO PAIN! She has been feeling great ever since!

Another couple comes walking in with a miracle testimony. This lady had an abscess in her upper, front tooth and the pain was unbearable. She had been to a dentist three times and each time they would go digging for the infection, but couldn’t reach it (it was almost in her sinuses). After her third appointment, the dentist throws up his hands and tells her that she will have to see an oral surgeon to take care of the abscess. They prepare to take her back and get her an x-ray to see where exactly the infection is. While she is waiting, she calls her husband to tell him what’s going on and is lamenting over the phone how much pain she is in and they are discussing how they will come up with $4000 for the oral surgery. The hisband gets so fed up that he says, “In Jesus name, I command all infection to leave your body!” They finish talking, she hangs up the phone and notices that the pain is gone! They take her back to get her x-ray and the results come in: There is NO INFECTION, NO ABSCESS and the dentist sends her home without scheduling an appointment with the oral surgeon. Praise God!

Needless to say, the atmosphere in the house gets charged on the power of these two testimonies. We share a little scripture and start to worship Jesus, thanking Him for His great power. After a few minutes, the presence of God fills the room STRONGLY. Our team breaks up in the room and starts praying for everyone, addressing different strongholds and sicknesses. One of our new believers, who just weeks ago got delivered from a spirit of fear starts to pray for a lady in the group who has a very weird family curse. Every time she starts to press in to God and ge involved in a fellowship, someone in her family gets injured! He’s praying, just like he has seen us pray so many times and there a spiritual explosion! The lady jumps back in her chair, I almost fall to the ground and we both come up in tears! The power of God hit everyone on that side of the room like a frying pan to the side of your head! It was awesome! This lady jumps up from her chair, yelling that God healed her of all the upper back pain and leg pain that she had when she came into the room! Get that, we break a demonic curse and she gets healed! Cool, huh?

Bottom line, great meeting. The highlight for me was watching these new blievers mature and start to operate in the power of God.

Another Friday night, another football game to invade. Two of them, actually. Word has spread about what God has been doing at these football games, so a bunch of people show up on Friday night, wanting to get in on the action. I don’t blame them, it’s been a blast! There are eighteen of us in the prayer room, soaking, praying, interceding and declaring a move of God among the youth in our community. I decide that since there are so many of us, we should break up into two teams, with one team going to a high school we have been to several times and another team going to a new school that's down the road a piece. There are nine people in each group and we are ready to see God move.

I take a team to the new school and when we drive up near the school we are amazed at the traffic! We had to park a good ways away and hoof it to the stadium. There are tons of kids and we are excited. We split up into three teams of three. Right off the bat, one of our teams goes up to a small group of kids and starts prophesying over one of them. This draws a quick crowd of mockers. They aren’t very receptive, but a stir has begun! Soon a gaggle of religious kids starts to gather and persecute our group. It’s the same tired argument, “God doesn’t move like this anymore!” Well, if God doesn’t move like this anymore, why is He moving? It’s like the kids who say that God doesn’t heal AFTER their friends get healed! What’s up with that? You are standing there, with verifiable proof that God heals and they try to argue theology with you! May God have mercy on the religious system that’s raising up a crop of kids that deny the power of God! So in spite of some religious persecution, God keeps moving as they pray for the sick and prophesy over kids.

My team is walking the stadium and we are passing by the concession area. There are a bunch of people all around and while we are navigating the crowd, a big feather appears right in front of my face and floats right in front of me! I turn around to Bryan, who’s with me and say, “Do you see that?” He gets a big grin and says, “Yup!” We hang there for a little while, move on and then a few minutes later we’re walking by the same general area. I hear a ladies voice yell my name, “RYAN!” I turn around and see no one, saying to Bryan and Elliot, who are directly behind me, “Did you hear that?” Bryan’s like, “hear what?” I said, “Some lady yelled out my name! I mean, surely you guys heard it, you are standing a foot behind me!” They are shaking their heads saying, “I didn’t hear anything!” Now the Lord has got my attention! I decide that we will camp out here in this location until God does something.

We hang out for a few minutes and get a word or two for a couple of kids hanging by the fence. As we start telling them what God is showing us, they freak out! One of the kids literally runs away, terrified at the words we got for him, they were so accurate. He comes back a few minutes later and gets on his cell phone, calling his friends elsewhere in the stadium, telling them to come and get prayed for by us! After this point, it’s all a blur. All I remember is looking up and we have a huge group of kids surrounding us on every side. They split the three of us from each other, forming lines in front of each of us, eagerly awaiting their turn to hear a word from God. A highlight in my group was seeing a group of juniors and seniors line up in front of one of our team members, a 13 year old kid! They were hanging on his every word because God was speaking through him! That’s as big of a miracle as I have ever seen! When High School Seniors line up in front of a 13 year old, God is MOVING! Another cool thing is having a junior come up to me, pull on my sleeves and ask my “Can you do what he is doing?” while pointing to Elliot, the 13 year old! I told him, “Probably not, but I’ll try!”

As always, we speak to them of the Kingdom and the King who demands their allegiance, telling them that God is getting their attention through the prophetic words. We just start speaking what God gives us; we are address the group, then an individual, then a group. We call it “automatic mouth” and we are getting used to it now. We aren’t thinking or planning our next move or word, God just takes over. We’re the vessel, but He is doing all of the work! Let me tell you, when He takes over, He can do more in a few minutes than we can in a lifetime of striving! We are leading people to Jesus, people are crying, people are sobbing. There is joy, there are tears, and there is excitement. It’s awesome!

Then it’s over.

A police officer taps me on the back of the shoulder. I was totally unaware of their presence and a group of cops sneak up on me. One of the cops looks at me and says, “Are you done?” I say, “I guess I am now, huh?” He nods in the affirmative. Actually, he was very nice, a lot nicer than most of the police that have escorted us from the other football games. He saw that God was doing something awesome and honestly didn’t want to break it up. He started apologizing and explaining why we had to go. We assure him that it’s all right. The game is nearly over and we have been working for nearly three hours already. In my team, 4 people give their lives to Jesus and a multitude hears the Good News, coupled with a demonstration of God’s power! The kids see the cops escorting us away and a group of guys that had been waiting for a while follows out of the stadium into the parking lot, desperate for a word. We give them what the Lord shows us and they get powerfully touched by God… while we’re walking!

It turns out that we were the last group of three to get ejected. The others had been booted a few minutes earlier. The Principal of the school came out, saw the crowds around our groups (a bunch of kids!) and broke it up, marshalling the authorities. But no problem, God had a chance to move and move He did. Before the night was over, at both football games, we had 9 people give their lives to Jesus, 6 instant miracles and scores of people heard the Gospel with a demonstration of God’s power.

Look out, it’s about to get out of control!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Man, we love these football games! Last week, we had an explosion of God at a football game and this week we had another! We had healings, miracles, people shaking under the power of God and kids getting born again. We had a guy get baptized in the Holy Ghost, surrounded by a crowd of curious onlookers. I remind you that all of this happened in a middle class, suburban high school in the Bible belt of America. Just don’t tell me that God can’t move like that here, we have proof to the contrary!

We got to the church about 6pm, intent on seeking the Lord and soaking in the presence of God. We do this before every one of our outreaches. It reminds us that God is God and we are His people. It reminds us that the power we walk in flows out of intimacy with God. It’s a great time to get washed of the contamination of this world, clear our minds of all earthly garbage, focus on the Lord, tell Jesus how much we love Him and get filled with His glory. We also have been seeking the Lord about His purposes for the outreaches. Several times, we have been given words of knowledge and visions concerning what would happen on the outreach while in the prayer room!

We head out and arrive at a local high school game. This is a division championship game, so the place is packed out. There are ten of us, so we split into three groups of three with me as a floater, going between the groups. It took nearly an hour to get settled and find some people that weren’t running all over the place. Unlike last week, most of our groups had little excitement following the preaching and prophesying. We would walk up to a group of kids; tell them that they needed to repent for the Kingdom of God is on the earth and start prophesying over them. Last week, doing this would have drawn a crowd, but this week the response was, “Thank you very much” and they would turn away. But we kept going, hoping for a breakthrough.

At the football game, there were two crowds of people out of the stands, just hanging out. One was a group of high school kids and the other was a group of middle school kids. David, Erin and Sarah were over by the middle school kids. David, who is nearly thirty, felt out of place with such a younger crowd, so he sent the girls, ages 17 and 15 in there to bring heaven down. So check this out; A couple of girls on our team, Erin and Sarah, weren’t able to come out the week before and after hearing the stories of what happened, they felt like they really missed something. Well, Jesus made up what they missed in a just a few minutes.

They see a guy with a broken hand and go over to him, telling him that Jesus will heal his hand. Several of his friends are over there with him, just mocking away. They put up such resistance that the girls didn’t get a chance to pray for him and the group splits up in several different directions. A few minutes later, they find the kid with the broken hand again and get him to agree for them to pray. They have him check his mobility and pain and he shows them where it really hurts for anyone to touch it. His mocking friends gather again, but before they are able to break it up, they pray and God heals the hand instantly! All pain and 100% mobility return in a minute! Now, instead of mocking, the girls are besieged with people asking them to pray for hands, knees and arms. In just a few minutes of praying, six people are instantly healed!

They now command a small crowd of kids and start to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom. One of the kids is a rank heathen who doesn’t know anything about Jesus and after preaching the Gospel, the girls tell him, “You have got to give your life to Jesus!” He agrees, but is a bit embarrassed when the girls tell him to get down on his knees and make a public declaration. So what do they do? They get his whole “posse” to rededicate/give their lives to Jesus right then and there!

***Editors Note: This is where I came in, being with another group. This was towards the end of the night, as the football game was letting out. I and the rest of our group go looking for David, Erin and Sarah when I come across a big group of kids on their knees on the pavement! The highlight of the night for me had to be seeing a group of ten kids on their knees, in front of their friends, unashamedly giving their lives to Jesus. ***End Editors Note

After receiving Jesus as King and Lord, the girls tell them that they will need the Holy Ghost to walk with God. They tell them that they are going to pray with them and they will receive the Holy Spirit. The girls go around the group of 10-12 kids, grab them by the hands and say, “Holy Spirit, come.” The kids get blasted by the power of God and start falling over, shaking and manifesting all over the place! Erin was telling me that a couple of these kids had never been in church, so you knew they weren’t faking it. They had never seen this kind of thing before!

Of course, a religious demon manifests in a lady that comes up saying, “What are you guys doing?” David takes her to the side and neutralizes her effectively while Erin, Sarah and now Jordan continue to explain the Kingdom of God to them. We ended the night with six instant healings, a bunch of prophetic words given, another kid getting filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues and then the ten kids getting born again and filled with the Holy Spirit!

So, what did you do Friday night?