Category Archives: Signs & Wonders

-The ‘Real’ St. Patrick Was An Apostle

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day. Beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is an historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist.

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

This we do know about Patrick, he lived between 340 to 440 AD. He was born to a wealthy Christian Roman family living in Britain (Wales). At age 16 he was taken from his home and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and became closer to God in the process. The ‘voice of God’ directed his escape and later commissioned him to return to Ireland as a missionary. He went to seminary and became a Priest in preparation and later a Bishop.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead new Christian communities and villages. He also converted the sons of Kings and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

Legend has it that he was a healer and that he banished snakes from the island though scientists today doubt whether there were that many snakes on the island after the last glacial period.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of the church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but probably written a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.               *Top

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-It is Time to Leave Nazareth

He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them.  He was amazed at their lack of faith. –Mark 6: 5-6

I am really tired of living in Nazareth where only a few folks are healed, as wonderful as that is.

I have friends who have gone on mission trips to India, Africa, and South America, and have come back with incredible testimonies of how God healed everyone they prayed for. Opening blind eyes, healing the deaf, and seeing all kinds of miracles including folks who could not even stand on their own two feet running laps. Some have even seen the dead raised. Then when they come back home to America it is just like it was before- they see a few folks healed once in a while and are glad for it.

At the beginning of the year it was impressed upon me that faith and belief were  THE issues that the American and Western church needed to deal with this year. First of all the scripture that came to me on New Years Eve was Mark 9:24-

I believe; help my unbelief.

I have been praying that one everyday since.

Then reading on in Mark, I came across the passage in 11:22-24 where Jesus talks about having a strong enough faith and belief to move a mountain. I never really considered literally or physically moving mountains as something I might want to do. Maybe figuratively.

However, once when I was on a long hike with my family years ago and realized when we got to the top of one mountain peak that the lake we were going to was on the other side of another mountain. I would have like to have moved a mountain if I could. Then on another vacation I went fishing with a friend on the east side of the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite. We hiked down a mountain side to a pristine lake and had a wonderful day catching fish. Then we literally thought we were going to die going back up that mountain with 10 big fish and all of our equipment including an ice chest and chairs. Moving a mountain would have come in handy that day. However, it never occurred to me to pray it away and I still do not believe that it would have been justified under those circumstances. When would one actually need to move a mountain into the sea? Something I  have always wondered. I guess when God tells you to.

Nevertheless, while reading this passage in Mark, I received a strong word to read it in the Greek. I was in my comfy chair but the Lord knows me well and it came in a way that I could not ignore. It was the first three words of Jesus that changed it all and gave me a different perspective. Maybe I  have heard someone preach on verse 22 in the past but it was rhema for me that day and ever since:

Ekete pistin Theou  (a transliteration-my site will not print out the actual Greek) 

All of the English translations (12) that I have in my library have it as- “Have faith in God.” So that is obviously the best translation.  But there is a couple of things in the Greek which give it a fuller meaning. First of all, ‘ekete’ calls for continuing action- not just ‘have’ but continue to have. ‘Faith’ (pistin) is the subject but God (Theou) is not only the object of it but is the possessor (genitive or possessive in the Greek). It is God’s faith.

So how do you get the kind of faith that can move mountains? My conclusion is that we can only get it from God- we have to ask him for it and we have to completely believe that God’s wants us to do it in the first place and has given us the power to  accomplish the task.

We have faith but Holy Spirit help our faith.

If we want to leave behind the environment of Nazareth where we only see a few wonderful healings then we need to see an exponential increase in our faith and belief. We have to seek it and ask for it.

It is time for the American and Western church to live in a Kingdom environment where signs and wonders, and the miracles and healings of Jesus are demonstrated in our midst. They need to be commonplace and not just fortuitous exceptions but a part of the norm. Then church will become relevant once more and offer a viable and attractive alternative world view in the midst of an unbelieving secular culture.               *Top

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-We Believe; Help Our Unbelief!

This week while reading in Mark I came across the story of the boy with an unclean spirit that the disciples could not cast out while Jesus was in the mountains praying (Mark 9:14-29). What really leaped out at me was the response of the Father after Jesus says- “All things are possible for one who believes”:

“I believe; help my unbelief!”

It was like trumpets were sounding and God was obviously trying to get my attention. Then the thought clearly came to me that this should be one of the key scriptures that I remember and repeat during my prayers this coming year.

I do believe everything in the bible and I have experienced and participated in numerous healings and miracles in my life but they are still the exceptions rather than the rule. When I pray for someone and they receive healing I am still surprised. Thankful but pleasantly surprised. Sort of like the folks praying for Peter to be released from prison and then when he actually knocked on the door they were shocked.

I also believe that I am not alone; that this is where the American church is right now at the close of 2016 and the beginning of 2017. We believe in the miracles of the Bible and all of the healings that Jesus performed. Most of us believe that God can still do those things today but we call them ‘supernatural’ and view them as exceptions in the ‘normal’ life of the American Christian and the church. There are even some of our brothers and sisters who believe that God stopped doing that stuff once the Bible was completed.

That’s why I believe that we should be praying this year for the entire America church (every faithful part of it) and pray for a new awakening, a new sovereign work of God, a new reformation of the church, and revival:

“We believe; help our unbelief!” 

I do believe that it is already here and coming to a church near you. We just need help to dial up our faith and receive. 

*Top

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-The Real Story of St. Patrick

Happy St. Patrick’s Day 2016. The following is our traditional post for this special holiday:

The Real Story of St. Patrick’s Apostolic Ministry

image Happy St. Patrick’s Day! A day to go to your favorite pub, eat corned beef and cabbage and wash it all down with plenty of green beer. Oh yes–a day of parades and celebration of Irish nationality.

But who was this Patrick anyway? A man born into a wealthy Christian Roman family in Wales around 385 AD with a given name of Macwyn Succat. He didn’t make it to Ireland until he was kidnapped at age 16 and enslaved by Irish Celtic raiders. He tended sheep for his new masters for 6 years and like David became closer to the Lord in the process. Then he heard a voice from God instructing him how to escape and make it back home.

After he miraculously escaped slavery he went on to study at a Christian seminary and became a Priest. Then one day he had a vision from God commissioning him to return to Ireland as a Christian missionary.

Today a holiday is celebrated in his memory. But beyond the green beer and rowdy drunken debauchery that typically surrounds the occasion is a historical character that was God’s apostle to Ireland—forget ‘Saint’ this guy functioned as an apostle and a power evangelist.

There is all sorts of stories about Patrick that today they call ‘myths’. I believe that a lot of the myths were probably based upon true events that seem far too supernatural for secular folks to accept today.

It is said in documents from that period that he “baptized thousands of people”, and ordained hundreds of priests to lead the new Christian communities and villages he established. He also converted the sons of Kings, noblemen, and chieftains leading to the conversion of an entire pagan nation to Christ.

Legend has it that he was a healer and that he banished snakes from the island though scientists today wonder if there were that many snakes if any on the island at the time.

Here’s an example of the spiritual condition of the church that St. Patrick left behind—part of a prayer attributed to him but maybe written a couple of generations later:

From “Saint Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ below me, Christ above me, Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me, Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I stand, Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me, Christ in every eye which sees me, Christ in every ear which hears me.

We could use this kind of spiritual maturity today. What a great declaration to live by–an example for those seeking a Kingdom culture and economy.   

Rather than a day with a built-in excuse to get drunk, I believe that it is a day for Christians to celebrate the reality and continual miracles of the Christian faith. A day to celebrate that God continues to give visions and directions to missionaries even today.

St. Patrick transformed an entire nation bringing the Gospel to an Island in darkness. Missionaries continue to leave the comforts of home and family to spread the word of Jesus Christ to every nation in the world.  Praise the Lord!        *Top

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-If God Did It Before He Can Do It Again

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We live in ‘interesting times.’ Sometimes considering all of economic difficulties, cultural changes, wars and threats of terrorism, along with weather that is extreme to the point that some are calling it ‘Biblical’, I wish I was living in a different generation when life might have been easier for a Christian.

However what is happening in these times can also be exciting. Christianity around the world is growing faster than any generation before and I recently read that the were more Christians living today than all of the previous generations combined. Here in America and in the West we seem to be in decline but in reality we are seeing a great harvest with revivals happening in many countries, some of which are somewhat secret.

On Sunday during church I thought about all of the moves of God that have happened in my lifetime along with some special men and women of God that came and gone ministering in special ways. The tent revivals following WWII, the Charismatic Renewal that touched mainline churches, the Jesus People movement that touched at least a million folks, the charismatic movement that followed along with The Vineyard, KC, Toronto, and Florida and many others. Thinking about all of the moves in this generation including what is happening in China, Africa, and Iran, I came away with a new conviction that what we have seen in the past we will see again and maybe even greater things since the difficult times before us may call for it.

I spent 2015 praying the Psalms asking for revival in our land and started 2016 with the same conviction. I have prayed for the Kingdom to come down and touch the church and awaken it as never before. Now on Sunday came the inspiration to pray for every miracle and healing I come across while reading the Scriptures to happen again. What God has done in the past he can do again in this generation.

Today I ran across the following article and account of a dream in Charisma with the same message:  Prophetic Dream: God Did It Before and He Will Do It Again

Here’s a short quote from the article:

I heard a second phrase in these dreams. … “If I did it then, I will do it again!” Every miracle we have ever read about in the Word, every revival or awakening from a past season, every example of a city or nation turning towards Christ becomes a foreshadowing of what God desires to do again!

<Read the whole article>

Amen! I am praying to see it all again and even more starting in 2016.

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