Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Drought Is Over!

Sorry for the lack of updates... Don't know what to tell you, I just haven't gotten around to update the site! LOTS has been happening, LOTS more to come too! in our church service this Sunday, half of the meeting was miracle stories! The miracles and healings continue and people are being equipped to walk in the power of God. In fact, one of the things I wanted to do was direct you to some brothers that we work with who are seeing miracles and the Kingdom come with power as they hit the streets of Jonesboro, GA. and Winston Salem, NC.

This is the blog of some friends of ours in North Carolina, Paul & Renee Erbe. They have been hitting the hood in their areas and seeing some AMAZING miracles. The Blind see, the deaf hear and the poor have the Gospel preached to them! In fact, they are in the process of relocating to the South Side of Atlanta to work with our new church plant down there.

This is the blog of a good friend of mine, David Dixon. David's part of our church and has been leading teams to the south side of Atlanta for the last couple of years. This Sunday, we had our first Sunday service with a church comprised of folks that have been reached through the outreaches in those neighborhoods. Very cool! The miracles and healings that they have been seeing are tremendous. Check it out.

Bunch of posts of those two blogs and that should keep you encouraged until I get around to writing up a fresh update with my stories.

Come on Jesus!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Two Empty Wheelchairs!

Sorry that updates have been so sparse, but when lots of stuff is happening, it’s sometimes difficult for me to stop and write down all that’s going on. I actually have felt the Lord drawing me to do some more writing. So, in wrapping our India trip report: India was intense, but I think the trip was really significant, both for us and also for the kids and staff involved at the youth camp. You can read more testimonies here. (Look under “Youth Camp in Northern India”.

Anyway, what we’ve really been into the last few months that I haven’t really talked about at all is the high-crime, low-income areas of the inner city of Atlanta: “The Hood”. I LOVE the hood! Government housing is one of the most violent, gang-ridden, immoral and faithless areas of Atlanta… and I LOVE it! Light belongs in the darkness and in the hood, there is deep darkness. Teenage pregnancy, abortions, alcoholism, drugs, drug dealers, gangs, violence, drive-by shootings and a host of other demonic activity fills these places. We first discovered them a year and a half ago and weren’t really able to concentrate much time in there until this year. Since we have though, I don’t think that we will ever want to go back! Miracles have been happening with great frequency and we seem to be having quite an impact on these areas. People are getting saved and Jesus is being proclaimed as King!

We met “Mr. Joe” on one of our first visits in the hood. We had discovered this particular neighborhood, being told about it by folks we were ministering to in another area. Mr. Joe is an elderly gentleman that we first met as he rolled around in a motorized wheelchair. We asked him what he was in the wheelchair for and found out that he had Chronic COPD and asthma. He told us that whenever he took even a few steps he would be out of breath and exhausted. Of course we told him of the Kingdom of God (There’s no COPD in Heaven, is there?) and asked if we could pray. As we prayed over him, an unusual anointing came on him and he said that he felt what could be described as a “swirling” over his head and he felt “all light” like power was flowing through his body.

That day, he didn’t try anything new, but thanked us for praying for him. The very next week we were back in the neighborhood and were greeted by the smiling “Mr. Joe”. He told us that he had DEFINITELY experienced a change in his breathing and his condition had greatly improved as he told us of all the new things that he could do as a result of his progressive healing. Weeks later, he doesn’t need the chair AT ALL and is only using it as a comfortable easy chair that he sits in on his front porch. We bought him a couple of rocking chairs and he has promised that we can have the chair to hang on the wall at church as a testimony of God’s power! Mr. Joe has rededicated his life to the Lord after this miracle and each week greets us and we have a good time encouraging him in his new-found faith!

We met John, again by seeing someone go rolling by in an electric wheelchair. When we caught up with him, he was standing by his wheelchair, propped up on a car that he was trying to wash, obviously with great difficulty. We asked him why he was using the chair and he went into a laundry list of symptoms that he had been experiencing for many years. Just in the last few years he had several heart attacks, strokes and open heart surgeries. In 5 different open heart surgeries, veins were taken from his legs and put into his heart. After each surgery, the circulation in his legs would get worse. Now, it was so bad that when he stood up from his chair, in a matter of minutes his legs would start tingling painfully and then suddenly go numb, one leg at a time. Living a normal life outside of the chair was impossible to him, after only a few minutes standing, he would have to sit again. In addition to that, he was totally addicted to “uppers”. He said that while working as a trucker for almost 20 years, he would have to take drugs just to keep him awake on the long night hauls. As a result, for the last 16 years he had slept only an average of 1-2 hours per night! No wonder he had no strength to stand!

He allowed us to speak to him and we told him of the Kingdom of God. We told him that in Heaven, there is no one using a wheelchair with an inability to walk and according to the Lord’s Prayer we were instructed to pray “On earth as it is in Heaven”. He let us pray and as we were asking him what happened as we prayed, he told us that he could breathe better! I was like, “What? You never said anything about your breathing!” As it turned out, he forgot to even mention his severe asthma, but as we prayed for everything else, God touched his lungs and he was instantly healed of asthma (and we didn’t even pray for it!). He began to take deep breaths and thanked us profusely. We told him that we would come back and check on the other symptoms.

Two weeks later we were back in his neighborhood and encountered him, WALKING ACROSS THE STREET! We ran him down and asked what was going on and why wasn’t he in his chair?! He started with, “You’re not going to believe this…” I interrupted and said, “Yeah, I bet I will”. The first thing that he told us is that from the day we prayed for him, every night he had been sleeping AT LEAST 6 hours, many times 8! For a 16 year insomniac, this is a big deal! And the best part is, NO DRUGS. Total, peaceful, drug free sleep! He had experienced a HUGE boost in his strength as a result. More than that, he hadn’t had the first bit pf pain or numbness in his legs for two weeks! The circulation in his legs was NORMAL. God had restored what all the surgeries took away from his ability to walk! Each morning he had been getting up early (well rested and WITHOUT the aid of his wheelchair) and walked the 1/4 – 1/3 mile to the convenience store to get his coffee! All without pain! More than that, the 20 + pills that he was on every day were now totally useless. Without us even telling him and just because he felt so good he had stopped taking all the prescriptions that he was on! We stood in front of his apartment and praised God together.

Come on Jesus!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

India 2008 – Part II

*Removed due to security concerns.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

India 2008 - Part I

*Removed due to security concerns.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What We've Been Up To!

Sorry about the infrequent updates. LOTS has been going on. Literally, we've been meeting, sometimes night and day for a month. There is a fresh move of God on the earth today and we have been thrust in the middle of it. Things have settled down a little this week as we are discovering that the Glory of God is HERE TO STAY!

I'll write more about that and the things that have been happening in our city, but until then, you can read some of the miracle reports that we have seen in the last month RIGHT HERE. This outpouring of the Glory of God has definitely made things go up a notch or two with regular healing of blindness, deafness, tumors and cysts shrinking and terminal cancers being HEALED!

Come on Jesus!

PS - I'm heading off to India this week with a team from our church. I am sure I will come back with some awesome stories of God's Power being displayed. If you think of it, pray for us!

Friday, May 09, 2008

What’s Going on Here?

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Lakeland Outpouring? www.freshfire.ca What started as several nights of meetings has become at the time of this writing, a global phenomenon where multiplied thousands have been touched and healed through an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. What’s going on here has been fed by what’s going on in Lakeland, but actually started several weeks before anyone here went to Lakeland.

During a weekend of meetings with Surprise Sithole with Iris Ministries last April, there was a palpable hunger for God released and every meeting ended with a pile of people on the floor, crying out for more of God’s presence, power and glory. The presence of God in those meetings was profound! Lives were changed; people were delivered and set free of many bondages as we became desperate for Jesus!

So, coming AFTER our meetings with Surprise, a few weeks ago, I began hearing reports by email about a "REVIVAL" or "OUTPOURING" going on in Lakeland, Florida under the ministry of Todd Bentley. Now, I am pretty much used to folks in the ministry exaggerating the effect or outcome of meetings and I was skeptical, to say the least. After the reports kept coming in and after watching snippets of several services on GodTV, I was relatively sure in myself that this was NOT a major move of God. I saw so much flesh and what I believed was hype that when people began emailing and calling asking for my opinion, I told them, "It doesn't really look like the real thing".

Several people I know attended the meetings and all said the same thing, "The TV doesn't do it justice, the presence of God is AWESOME. Go!" I was still unconvinced and struggled with some of the ministry style and verbiage being thrown around at the televised services. What started to convince me was seeing John Kilpatrick and Steve Hill at the meetings and make reference to the glory of God they were feeling there. That was all it took. I went to Brownsville in 96 and experienced the glory of God there firsthand.

So on Monday night, April 28th, I made the decision to go and check it out. If I had any doubts about the authenticity of what was going on there, they all faded away when I sent an email out to our church, telling them that I was going. When I pressed "send" the presence and glory of God fell on me so strongly that it almost took my breath away. And it's been on me ever since. We spent two days in Lakeland and attended two services. The healings are real. One young lady that we met in line is a missionary in Africa. She was born deaf and during one of the services, she received her hearing! The presence of God is REAL. During worship especially, the glory or "weight" of God's presence would descend on us. Several times, it got so strong that it almost hurt! Yes, there is flesh and I wouldn’t do or say many things that are done and said in the meetings, but God met us there!

During one of the services there, Bobby Conner prophesied that this glory would be incredibly contagious and transferable and would be stronger at home than it was at Lakeland. Before we even got home we experienced this. I picked up the phone the day after our first service and called my Dad to tell him what God was doing and as I spoke to him the power of God fell on him and he had to pull his car over to the side of the road, the presence of God was so strong. I spoke to another friend from Oklahoma and just speaking about what God was doing, the presence of God fell on him in his car as he shook and vibrated under the Presence of God!

What was different about this presence that we were feeling in that it came back to our hotel rooms with us! It came back to our bedrooms and was with us in the car! The electricity and weight of God’s presence was so strong one morning down there that it took me almost 15-20 minutes to get my contacts in, I was crying so much!

Our team came straight from the services in Lakeland and most of the team went to an impartation service that we were holding at the church that evening. Would you know that the same presence, power and glory that our team experienced in Lakeland came home with us and got all over our church body too?! Many folks in our church that have seldom or ever experienced the manifest presence of God shook, cried and vibrated under the electric glory that God has graced us with! We have been walking in a wonderful level of healing and the miraculous, but this took things up a notch! Miracles are so easy in the glory!

I came straight from Lakeland and had to honor a previous ministry trip I had scheduled in Alabama, although I wanted to be home with our home church. A couple from our church came with me, folks that had not been to Lakeland and before our first service in Alabama I released on them what was on me. In the booth at Applebee’s they shook and nearly fell out in the glory of God as the “weight” or “kabod” of God’s presence came on them!

In Alabama, many of the folks there had not even heard about what has been going on in Lakeland. The same glory of God that we experienced fell in those meetings, and even stronger! The Sunday service in Alabama ended in an almost 3 hour pile of quivering, sobbing and vibrating humanity, all deeply under the presence or “weight” of God.

Since then, we have been having meetings every night for several days and in each service, the presence of God gets stronger! Several healings have happened during the services, most even without prayer! But what is stealing the show is the presence of the Lord. Many have reported that the presence they are feeling at home or in our services is STRONGER than what they felt in Lakeland. I would agree!

What hit me the day before we left to go to Lakeland I had felt only one other time. I went to a conference in Toronto in 2004 and while there, the presence of God came on me resting like a weight. It actually feels like someone is sitting on my chest. Breath is almost labored, but gloriously so! It feels like trying to breath under water! In Toronto, this presence cam eon me for about 15 hours and during that time, the Lord spoke some things to me that have dramatically altered the course of my life, producing good fruit.

When I hit the send button on the email to our church, the presence came again. It came and it has not left! It literally feels like a weight resting on you. In this atmosphere, the Lord has started showing us that it’s the glory of God! In the Old Testament when the glory of God is mentioned, most of the time a Hebrew word, “Kabod” is used. The literal translation of the word Kabod is “weight”. What’s been happening here is that the literal “weight” of God’s presence is coming in people and not leaving! It’s messing with our lives as even the most basic tasks become quite difficult under the weight of God’s presence. Tommy Tenney has talked about the glory of God and said, “The anointing (for ministry) is exhilarating and invigorating, the glory is incapacitating!” But in a wonderful way! It’s like God saying, “Thanks for all your help, but I’ll just step in and take care of things”.

Moses cried out for the Presence of God in Exodus 33 and asked that God’s presence would go with them.

“And he said to Him, If Your presence does not go with me, do not carry us up from here. “ Exodus 33:15

That is exactly what God s doing. His presence is walking with us and we and others around us are aware of it! Isaiah 60 says,

“Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of Jehovah has risen on you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples; but Jehovah shall rise on you, and His glory shall be seen on you.” Isaiah 60:1, 2

That word for glory is "Kabod” or “weight” Isaiah 60 is being fulfilled! We have declared this scripture and certainly the times and peoples of earth are dark! But God’s glory (weight) is here, resting on His people! We have prayed and asked God to send His glory and He has! Rejoice!

"The voice of him who cries in the wilderness, Prepare the way of Jehovah, make straight a highway in the desert for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low; and the crooked places shall be made level, and the rough places smooth; and the glory of Jehovah shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; for the mouth of Jehovah has spoken." Isaiah 40:3-5

For years we have done exactly this. We’ve cried out against injustice, we’ve sought to bring equity to the world’s system. We have attempted to bring the high things low and the low things high and make the crooked placed straight. But NOW, in God’s timing, the glory (or weight) of God is being revealed!

Exactly what Jesus did. When Jesus started His ministry he went to his hometown, was handed the scriptures and quoted this scripture,

"The Spirit of the Lord is on Me; because of this He has anointed Me to proclaim the Gospel to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim deliverance to the captives, and new sight to the blind, to set at liberty those having been crushed, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." And rolling up the book, returning it to the attendant, He sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on Him. And He began to say to them; Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears.” Luke 4:18-21

Jesus was AWARE of the Spirit of God RESTING UPON HIM. He took this power, presence and glory to the lost masses, preaching the Gospel to the poor, healing the sick, binding the brokenhearted and proclaiming the year of the Lord’s favor! We should do likewise!

So when the glory or “weight” of God comes upon you, DRINK DEEPLY! Let it permeate; let it saturate you until you are AWARE of this fact, “HE IS WITH YOU! HE IS IN YOU!” Rest in His presence! Don’t be so quick to jump up and “work”. Let His glory overshadow you and change your nature, habits and desires! Fall in love with Jesus!

On a personal note: The presence and glory of God has rested on me for over a week now and I can barely sleep and hardly even want to eat, which is impressive because I am a big boy! Within one week of feasting on the glory I have lost 13 pounds! This is the most genuine and tangible presence of God I have EVER felt. And it's incredibly contagious and transferable! MANY in our church have reported the glory resting on them for days now changing their habits, desires and lifestyle! All we want is more of Jesus!! Now tell me that's not an authentic move of God!

Ryan Lawson

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

We're In a Move of GOD!

Folks, we're in a move of God! Perhaps you've heard what's started to break out at Lakeland, Florida? (If you haven't, go here: www.freshfire.ca)

Anyway, we went down there and God really touched us. We brought the fire of God back and a move of God has started here as well! You can get more details by keeping up to date with the latest bulletins that we're sending out.

Click here to read the latest bulletin about the Outpouring.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Two Noteworthy Miracles

I wanted to share with you a couple of noteworthy miracles that have happened here recently. These are miracles that have really increased our faith and encouraged us that truly, “nothing is impossible with God!” As we have been sharing them among ourselves and others that we meet, they have brought a “spark” of encouragement to their faith to press in for the impossible to become possible!

A couple of weeks ago we had a wonderful woman of God spend the weekend with our church family. Her name is Shampa Rice. She’s just awesome! One family attended the meetings and brought with them their little four year old boy who has severe hearing problems. I’m not sure exactly how much hearing loss he had, but it was bad enough that his speech had been affected. When he spoke, he spoke unintelligibly and only his parents could really understand him. He came in with these huge hearing aids on both ears and it had what appeared to be a drainage tube attached to them. Definitely not something that a little 4 year old needs!

Now here’s the best part.

He, like most everyone else that night received prayer from our main speaker. But after an instant healing did not manifest, several folks in our church gathered around him, asking mom and Dad if they could pray. Little kids, mommies, grandparents and businessmen all pressed in to “take care of this”. So many people from our church in fact that I had to ask them to back away and let the little kid breathe! You should have seen the look on their faces… I would say the look that they had could best be described as “restrained jubilation”. You see, we’ve been seeing LOTS of deaf ears opening up; almost everyone we pray for lately gets their deafness healed. It’s like they all KNEW what was going to happen.

So they pressed in and began all praying for his healing. Someone asked his parents if they could remove the hearing aids and they did. They kept praying and then began to test the little boys hearing, asking could he hear them. After a few minutes, they got the Mom and Dad to speak to him from behind and the little boy swung his head, responding to their calls! You should have seen the face on his Dad!

His dad came in acting calm, cool and collected, but after hearing his little boy call his name clearly and respond quickly to the slightest whisper, again and again, they were floored! Dad was SO blown away that he simply couldn’t believe it. For more than an hour after his child started hearing and speaking, he kept testing his little boys hearing, in total disbelief, each time his child responded. Tears streamed down his face and he worshiped God. I asked him what this did for him and he said, “This stuff is real!”

Just uttering that word, “cancer” and many people have a hushed awe fall over them. To add to it, “Stage 4” in the medical realm is almost a death sentence. There is no Stage 5. Stage 4 is the end of the line, death is near. But there is a name that defeats Stage 4 Cancer; it’s called the name of Jesus and the Power of the Holy Ghost!

So we received a call from a good friend of ours, asking if we’d speak with a friend of his. This guy’s brother in law had recently received the Stage 4 Lung Cancer death sentence from his doctors. He is 45 years old and has five beautiful daughters. When we heard of that, our heart went out for the family, but more than that, a cry inside said, “NO!” This man has 5 beautiful daughters to walk down the aisle and give away in marriage! “NO!” 45 year old daddies and husbands should NOT die of that disease! Even though he lives about 4 hours from our church, we immediately began to plan a way to get to him and see that this disease got off of him!

Spontaneously, after speaking to this gentleman’s brother in Law, my Dad called and said, “Let’s go!” on a Saturday afternoon. Sure it would make for a late night, but what better thing is there to do than to destroy cancer and release an entire family from the grip of this disease? So my Dad and the brother in law hopped in the car and began making their way to the young man dying with cancer. They received approval that it would be good for them to come and pray and on the way, my Dad got the brother in law filled with the Spirit and speaking in tongues for the first time in a long time!

In December of last year, the guy dying with cancer, Steve, began having breathing problems. When he went to his doctor, he received the terrible news that he had serious lung cancer, with a large tumor growing at a tremendous rate in his lung. They ended up going to a Texas oncology unit, apparently one of the best in the country and received the grim diagnosis that he had Stage 4 inoperable lung cancer. The doctors literally sent him home to be with his family and to be as comfortable as possible before he would die. SO he went home. He had long since stopped working due to his failing health and couldn’t even get out there to swing a golf club, one of his favorite pastimes.

So my Dad and the brother in law show up charged and full of faith, defying the diagnosis of cancer and proclaiming that the Kingdom of Heaven is on the earth! They spoke the word of God, released the fire of God and imparted the life of God! Surely, cancer couldn’t abide the LIFE!

He immediately began to feel more energy and strength than he had in some time.

Several days later, he went back to work for the first time in months.

A few days after that, he felt so good that he played a round of golf.

Three weeks later, as he went in to his doctor’s office and in his own words, from an email written just a few days later:

“We went this morning to have the 1st X-ray/scan since we were diagnosed. We did lab work, had the X-ray, and went into a patient room for our exam. “The Doctor” came in, said the blood work looked great, said my lungs, heart sounded great, said my liver, body etc looked and felt totally normal. He interrupted the exam and said "Oh I forgot, you had a lung scan today, let me go track it down." He was gone a minute or two, he came busting in the door and said in a loud voice "Your tumor is GONE!” We said what? He said come and look, it is GONE! He took us to the viewer and sure enough, the primary lung tumor that started all of this appears to be gone. Clearly by his voice and reaction, this was not expected; clearly God could not have given us more clear evidence of His involvement.”

Steve is healed. He will be walking down the aisle with all 5 daughters.

Proof that Jesus is King and cancer is NOT!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Multiplication of Ministry – Part II

We’ve had a real breakthrough in the last couple of weeks. Deaf ears have been opening like popcorn! In one 14 day period in the last couple of weeks, we have seen 6 partially and totally deaf ears open! From older folks to little kids, it just doesn’t matter; there has been an unusual anointing to open deaf ears and blind eyes. Vision problems, from total blindness to simple things like near sightedness have been healed recently. I believe it’s because we’ve been thumping a spirit that has held the Western church captive for a long time, the spirit of stupor.

We first heard about the spirit of stupor several years ago from Bob Jones. He told us that we as a church and ministry had an anointing to break the spirit of stupor off of the American church. He gave us this scripture as the text:

“Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they see not, and hearing they hear not; nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:13

The spirit of stupor in a nutshell allows the believer to hear, but not understand and to see, but not perceive. That’s why you can hear the same messages, read the same scriptures over and over and yet it never really takes hold and your life isn’t changed. We’ve been preaching the Lord’s Prayer over the last several years and it’s amazing; everyone has heard the Lord’s Prayer and most have memorized it, yet very few actually hear and understand what the Lord is saying to us in it! The spirit of stupor is DEFINITELY at work in the American church. We’ve been battling against it, many times rebuking it off of the people and I think the breakthrough that we’re seeing in the healing of blind eyes and deaf ears is directly tied to us coming against this spirit.

As I mentioned last week, we were just in Oklahoma City the week before last. We had been invited there by Brian Blount, a good friend of ours that we have known for many years. Brian has a vision for the churches to unite in Oklahoma City and take this Gospel of the Kingdom to their community. He gathered folks from several churches together and set up a weekend of equipping and ministry called Harvest Fest. We were excited to be there and 10 folks from our church were able to make it with us. 5 minutes into the city and I just knew that God would be doing great things. And He did.

Here are some of the testimonies from the weekend:

On the first night that we arrived in the city, we were given the Thursday night service at a local church there. All in all, the service went well and before the night was done, someone who was deaf in one of their ears and wore a large hearing aid just to get by was hearing perfectly, from a distance! Also, one gentleman who had difficulty walking and was in severe pain and discomfort in his hip for some time was instantly healed, he could walk perfectly! One of the ladies that we prayed for received a miracle in her eyesight. Before, she needed glasses to read fine print and had generally bad eyesight at close range. After receiving prayer, when she put ON her glasses, it was blurry, when she took them OFF, she could see fine! We saw her the next day and she verified that she had received a miracle… I don’t know why we didn’t get her eyeglasses!

The following night (Friday) night, we had a WILD ministry time where many folks received some very strange, but powerful deliverances. There were multiple people that started literally vomiting as we prayed for the fire of God to come on them and they were delivered from all sorts of demonic garbage; addictions, bondages, etc.

At that same meeting, there was a young lady, who was deaf in one ear that came forward for prayer. One of the young mommies on our team had gone last year to Mozambique and spent some time with Heidi Baker, who has an unusual rate of healing for the deaf and blind. The team in Mozambique was praying for a young girl that was deaf and not seeing immediate results. They called Heidi over and asked her to help them get the little girl healed. When Heidi found out it was about deafness, she said, “Oh, that’s easy! You do it like this!” She then licked her pinky fingers and then put them in the little girls’ ears. They prayed a short prayer and the little girl was instantly healed!

Back to the story in Oklahoma; so, they bring up this young woman with deafness and I tell them quickly to get Kathie (the young mom who went to Mozambique last year) because Heidi showed her how to get deaf people healed. Kathie walked right up, did what Heidi showed her and they prayed. Just a few minutes later, the young lady was hearing well! It must really be easy!

All in all there were dozens of miracles that we witnessed and quite a few folks met the Lord for the first time. Several hundred folks attended the meetings and several churches in the city were affected and there people were lit on fire! 70+ people were equipped and went out, preaching the Gospel with signs and wonders in their community and multiple communities were shaken with the power of God!

Come on Jesus!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Multiplication of Ministry – Part I

Sorry it’s been so long since our last update. LOTS of cool stuff has been going on. In just the last couple of weeks, several folks that were unable to walk without the aid of canes and crutches and been healed. Several deaf ears and blind eyes have been opened and multitudes of diseases have been healed. More than that, hundreds have been equipped and released into the harvest field to “do the stuff”.

Eat that devil.

If you’ve been reading this site for any length of time, you are aware that we’ve been out there, “doing the stuff” for some time now. The last 5 years have been a roller coaster of supernatural events, with incredible displays of God’s power and glory. As a church and ministry, we’ve seen the supernatural become a lifestyle. Now healings, miracles, signs and wonders have become our daily bread.

A few months ago, the Lord used some very dramatic signs to get my attention. These signs pointed to a message that He was speaking to us: “There is an awesome multiplication of ministry on its way.” We knew that we were on the cusp of multiplication, the air has been pregnant with what the Lord was about to do. We have seen all these things, but a hunger for more is growing in our midst. And we’ve found ourselves asking, “If the Lord could do what he’s been doing with one church, or one ministry, what could He do with multiple churches and multiple ministries?”

We’re just now starting to see.

My Dad wrote a book last year titled; “It’s the End of the Church as We Know It”. The book was published by Destiny Image publishers and is currently going around the world. In the book, he explains and details the ride that we have been on as a church that has been pursuing the Gospel of the Kingdom. It’s not theoretical or philosophical, it’s reality; and it’s hitting a nerve.

Several nationally and internationally known ministers, who happen to be our friends, have read the book and are standing with us to get the message out. The message is simple: “There are 168 hours in every week, who are you as a Christian, the other 166 hours a week that you are not in church?” When the book came out, the Lord spoke to us to begin to hold conferences that aren’t just conferences, but events that would mobilize, equip and send the church into the harvest fields, as well as change the culture of the church from spectator driven to interactive. We held our first one just last week and have another couple on the horizon. If the first was any indication of what the Lord was speaking about, we’re pretty excited.

Last week at this conference, we were able to take about 120 people out on the streets, many for the very first time and release them to bring Heaven to Earth in a tangible way. We just returned from a trip in Oklahoma City, where we took about 70 people out on the streets, doing the stuff. On both weekends, many folks met the Lord, multitudes received prophetic words and miracles happened everywhere we went. There was an authentic hunger within the group; a hunger that took us by surprise. We are used to folks wanting to come to conferences and many of our conferences are packed out events. But in the past, it has seemed like few were interested in actually doing ministry. Since the first of this year it seems that things are different. The saints are fed up with being fed and finally realizing that they must give away!

Here are some of the results of that hunger.

Here in Atlanta, we had two different outreaches on two different days. On the first day, the weather was bad and the teams were restricted to indoor locations only, and with 120 people too! No big deal, we have lots of places to go! We hit several nursing homes and businesses around the church. One of the groups got kicked out of a store, but just about everyone else had a good time. The prophetic was really flowing and a bunch of people received prophecies and words of knowledge. Several folks were saved and there were dozens of healings. My favorite one though happened at a nursing home. One of our teams encountered an older gentleman; I think that he was 85 years old or older. When the team preached the Gospel of the Kingdom to him, he said, “I have never heard that!” The team called him to repentance and he responded, giving his life to the Lord and receiving forgiveness after 85 years+ in sin!

85 years of the enemy’s work destroyed!

The next day we had better weather and about 100 folks to send out into the highways and byways. We headed out and broke up the 100+ people into small groups of four and five. Right away, people started getting saved and healed. One of the folks that got healed was an elderly woman who was actually in the waiting area of the emergency room. One of our teams got in there and asked her what was going on. She was deaf in one ear. The team told her of the Kingdom of God and released healing over her. In just a couple of minutes that deaf ear opened! She could hear just fine!

Another team encountered a guy that was on crutches. They found out that he had a broken ankle and was in pain. As the team preached the Gospel of the Kingdom to him, he dropped his crutches and began to walk without them. At first, he was still in pain with limited mobility, but as he walked in faith, the power of God touched him and all pain left him! He walked up and down without any pain and without immobility! The crutches are hanging on the wall at the church!

Another team encountered a man that was just released from the hospital. He had been in a car accident and was walking out the door of the hospital wearing a neck brace with severe neck pain. One of our teams told him of the Kingdom of God and prayed for his neck. As they prayed, his neck grew strangely warm. The team asked him to take off the brace as the Spirit was obviously moving on him. As he did, they prayed again and this time ALL pain left his neck and ALL mobility was restored! He gave us the neck brace and it is also hanging on our church wall!

These were just a few of the stories in the last couple of weeks.

More to come!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Geography Is Irrelevant – Part II

We were leaving one location and heading to another. We had been invited to minister to a group of young men, ages 13-18 at a boy’s home in the mountains of North Georgia. These are kids that have seen some terrible things. Many of them have been abused and/or neglected and their parents have lost custody or given up custody for one reason or another. I knew walking in there that we would need to come “packing” the power of God, as these kids would not be impressed with just a good message. No, the message would have to come with Power!

I’ve said for many years that ministry to kids is a proving ground of sorts. The question is, “do you have the anointing with you?” If you don’t, then the only way to capture the attention of young people is programs, games and “fun”. Nothing wrong with pizza parties, but it’s hardly training to walk in the power of God and make a difference on the earth. See, adults will be polite. If you are unanointed, they will still smile and encourage you. Kids… not so much, Kids will mercilessly let you know that they are bored. I remember several years ago when my wife and I were preaching to a group of kids ages 7-12. I was giving them everything I had and thought I was doing ok. Not great, just ok. One of the younger kids around 8 years old raised his hand and asked me very politely when I acknowledged him, “Mr. Ryan, are you done yet?” Very humbling.

So I knew that these kids would be a challenge. That age range (ages 13-18) coupled with the life experiences that these kids have had would make a very tense ministry situation; one that would REQUIRE the power of God. No power = no effect. But the flipside is that if God showed up, it would be something memorable.

And if you are a regular reader of this blog you know that God showed up!

When we arrived, it was obvious that the young men at the home weren’t expecting us. I don’t think that they were told that we were coming until we arrived and once we arrived they didn’t know what the heck we were doing there. They eyed us suspiciously and greeted us icily. They were told to gather in the living room and did so begrudgingly. We weren’t exactly a small group, there were 7 or 8 of us and we didn’t exactly fit in. We were asked beforehand if we could come by and hang out before the meeting to get to know the boys. I declined the opportunity and here’s why. My thought was that I knew it would take some serious prophetic revelation to open the group up spiritually. If we had spent some time hanging with the boys then the stuff that the Lord gave us could be tainted with natural knowledge. So we walked in the home, shook a few hands and started the meeting with absolutely no knowledge of the kids we were getting ready to minister to.

Like I said, the kids were far from interested in being there. We were pulling them away from their fun on a Saturday. But we had something to give them! They were slouched over in their chairs and on the couches. Some of them were fighting falling asleep. A couple others mocked us, whispering not so quietly to their friends and laughing right in our face. Nice, what a great way to start. The director of the home simply told the boys that we were there to speak to them and they should listen to us. After a very brief introduction it was my turn to talk. I started politely at first, telling the kids why we were there (to preach and demonstrate the Gospel of the Kingdom of God) and started telling them a few testimonies of what God had done in the last 24 hours. It was awesome stuff, deaf ears opening, 13 year injuries healed, etc.

It went over like a lead balloon.

These kids couldn’t care any less. They went from disinterested and quietly mocking to irritated and openly mocking. They were making faces, falling asleep and intentionally disrupting things with their questions and comments. But I have dealt with kids this age before. I know that one thing and one thing alone will get their attention. Power. Forget what I said, it’s what we would do that would capture their attention. Now was the time. We were about to lose the meeting and have a small scale riot. This is the moment and the time that most would have given up, wrapped the meeting, shook and few hands and gone home with their tail tucked between their legs, bound and determined to NEVER expose themselves to such a hostile ministry situation again. And it was hostile. Every fiber of your flesh is screaming for relief from the awkward silence. Your face gets flushed from embarrassment and it’s all you can do to keep talking. Every eye is on you and you get NO assurance from your team. They are feeling as bad as you!

So what do you do? You lean on the arm of God and swing for the fences!

I looked dead in the eye of one of the young men. He was very obviously a ring leader of bad things. He was the most open in his mockery and was openly challenging our spiritual authority. I saw very quickly that if we could capture him, then the rest of the room would fall. I addressed him personally and began speaking not to the room, but just to him. I told him flatly that he was a disrespectful and mocking little twerp. But that was easy to see. What I was pressing in for was some gold, hidden deeply in the mines of his heart; I was looking for something of value. And I saw it! The Lord showed me that he was like Peter in the Bible. Great things would happen as the result of his boldness, IF he could conquer his cowardice.

I looked him in the eye and told him, “There was a man in the Bible that was much like you; a chicken. He had convictions, but lacked the courage to stand by them, like you. When faced with public scrutiny, he denied those he loved the most… like you.” All the air was sucked right out of the room. You could have heard a pin drop. I was dressing down the ringleader and very publicly. I could hear the air being sucked in between the teeth of the directors of the home. No one had EVER talked to their kids like that! If it wasn’t for the shock, I think that they may have sent me packing right then and there… But I continued…

“Yeah, so this guy was a chicken and a wimp, like you. He had convictions, but lacked the courage to stand by them, like you; and then he betrayed his best friends when faced with peer pressure, like you… but that’s not the end of the story.” I had their attention, now for the prophetic revelation. “But this man, Simon, would not remain Simon, but his name and his nature would be changed and he would be called Peter. Peter means a rock, an immovable object. He would later be called a Pillar of the church and through his bravery and conviction would lead and guide the church for decades.” Everyone in the room went from slouching in their seats to literally sitting on the edge of their seats, from disruptive to attentive. They knew this young man’s history and bore witness to what was being said. “How did this guy know these things about him???

The prophecy was simple, “God is about to change your nature from cowardly to bold, from fearful of men to the fear of God and he will give you the courage to stand for what you believe in, even in the face of intense persecution.” Bulls-eye. The word hit the kid right between the eyes. It also unlocked the prophetic and my team jumped in, giving word after word to the once mocking young man. We went around the room, giving words to every single one of the kids, calling out destiny and purpose in their lives. Several of the words were alarmingly accurate and extremely detailed. One of the kids loved computer and received half a dozen words about computers. Another loved to work on cars and was given a word that he would run a car shop. Another one of the kids was the “scrapper” in the group, always getting into fights and he received several words about wrestling and fighting with God. It was awesome.

The kids sat in rapt attention for 2 hours as they were prophesied over again and again. They hung on every word. Some teared up as the secrets of their hearts were laid bare. They were absolutely rocked! THEN I was able to preach this Gospel of the Kingdom of God and call then to repentance and lives of laid down love before God. They responded. One of the kids after hearing about the healing power of God stood up and got right in my face saying, “If what you’re saying is true, prove it!” I told him quietly, “that’s what we’re here to do”. He stretched out his hand which was swollen and inflamed. He had hurt it playing basketball earlier that day and demanded that we take away the pain. Our team gathered around, praying for the hand. After about ten seconds we stopped and I asked him to check it out. He stretched out his hand and his eyes got as big as saucers… “OH. MY. GOD. IT WORKED! IT WORKED!!!” He started bouncing around, telling everyone in the room that it worked! All the pain went away and within a few minutes so did all the swelling. The rest of the kids jumped out of their seats and started asking for healing.

We went around the room, praying for all the kids individually. Many were healed, several were delivered and most every kid in the room dedicated themselves to serving the Lord. We’ve been invited back to work with them some more and I will write up the details as they come in.

Nothing is impossible with God… even teenagers!