Category Archives: Thy Kingdom Come

-Gracelines: Examples of The Kingdom Breaking Through

Anointed with Oil and Prayed for in Jesus' Nam...

                     (Photo credit: Old Shoe Woman)

Last year was an extraordinary year at VCC Laguna Niguel and 2013 seems to be even more so. ‘More’ is the key word. The church is experiencing the Kingdom breaking through in a number of different ways especially in healings and miracles.

One thing that we have decided to do in the last several years is to continue to pray for healing until proven otherwise –death proving the otherwise. Some of our congregation have finally received remarkable healings after years of prayer with no results. This has encouraged us to keep on keeping on.

Along the way we are also learning to rejoice and celebrate even minor victories when God brings any kind of relief or partial healing. Some Christians seem to find partial healings to be somewhat controversial nevertheless we are dedicated to always celebrate what ever God gives us. Yet we also continue to pray for even greater blessings.

The most important change for us came when we began to notice that healings or miracles in one area seemed to open to door and dial up the faith for others to receive similar blessings. We started calling these ‘Gracelines’ since a whole line of similar healings, miracles, and testimonies have followed.

For 5 years or more our church had become a ‘migraine free’ zone where a large number of people in our congregation who used to suffer from severe reoccurring migraine headaches had received substantial healing. Doesn’t sound like much unless you are plagued and occasionally disabled by that malady.

Then this last year one of our key leaders in our healing rooms received a remarkable healing of his eyesight in one eye which had severely degenerated. Then later he and others had prayed for a lady who was legally blind and her sight impossibly began to increase over a week or so until she could actually read again. More remarkable healings in eyesight have followed and continues to this day. In my own case, I had one eye with distorted vision. When I looked upon a straight line or board with my one eye it would look crooked to me with a jagged line in the center but after prayer one day in church that went away. Still need glasses but at my age I am truly thankful for the blessing of better eyesight.

Then another brother who had continual pain in his shoulder for 5 years was healed and it has opened to door to many others with shoulder trouble and severe pain to be healed. The testimonies are still coming in on that one. Then there was another with knee problems with similar results and breakthroughs.

Another Graceline opened when a pastor’s wife testified that she had lost a necklace that was really dear to her and prayed for its return for several days. Then one morning it just appeared around her neck. I know that is a strange one for many and I have no theological explanation for it but it has opened a door for others to pray for lost things with amazing results. Many have received dreams or visions of the location of what they had lost after prayer.

On one occasion I could not find my keys after looking everywhere I could think of for 30 minutes or so. Finally time was up and I really needed to get going to work. Usually at that point in the equation I would have been fuming and yelling at my dear wife and blaming her for moving them but then I remembered a couple of the Graceline testimonies and turned to prayer instead and immediately had a picture of myself working in the garage the evening before and found my keys right where I left them on the work table. All this may sound trivial to some but believe me my wife is even more thankful for this blessing than I am.

Then there was a couple early last year who are worship leaders/musicians who testified that they had prayed for money to pay their rent and while driving down I5 Freeway money rained down on their windshield and when they pulled over and picked it up they found that it was just enough to pay the rent with $10 left over which they gave to a homeless person the next day. Then after that another lady testified that when she went to buy a car, the vehicle she really needed was several thousand more than she knew she really had but the Lord told her to buy it anyway and when she handed over the cash she had in an envelope it somehow had multiplied and was exactly enough to complete the sale. This not only opened a door but a deluge has followed with new testimonies nearly every week.

We have started to call these- ‘mail box miracles’ since so many of the testimonies that followed have revolved around folks receiving needed prayed for unexpected money in the mail. In these dire economic times, many in our church are living from week to week trusting in God like never before to bring what is needed to support their families. One week I was a couple hundred dollars short of the expense money I needed for an out of town business trip. I had prayed for help in that area but still was completely surprised when I received a $200 check in the mail from a Christian contractor I had used for referring him to a neighbor across the street for a job. Amazing.

We have a lot of business owners in our congregation and these have been particularly tough times for small businesses but God has been faithful through it all. I will save that for another post. But another door which has been particularly significant is the ‘job’ Graceline. So many of our folks have lost jobs in this economy and have been out of work that we started actually taking time on Sunday morning to pray for those who needed new jobs or business with remarkable results. While the jobless rate in our county is still above 10% nearly everyone in our congregation is now working and paying their bills.

Bottom line- this is not revival but it is better than we have ever seen before and I have already posted about the even more remarkable things happening in our outreach ministries. But there is nothing happening here that isn’t happening or can’t happen elsewhere. It is just now happening more often. It is a matter of our faith and expectations being dialed up and increased exponentially in certain areas in response to the testimonies and experiences of other brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our understanding of ‘Gracelines’ is that when you take the time to acknowledge and rejoice in what God is doing he seems to open up the door to The Kingdom breaking through even more in the same areas. We have also found that including testimonies in our regular Sunday services has encouraged our people to live by faith and include God in their everyday living. Blessings have followed, miracles and healings have increased, Gracelines have continued, and our faith, expectations, and thankfulness have gone to another level.              *Top

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-When The Foundations Are Being Destroyed?

Quadruple combination opened to the Book of Is...

“When the Foundations are being destroyed what can the righteous do?” –Palm 11:3

The very foundations of our country were shaken when 26 children and teachers were recently killed in Newtown, Conn. What is the real answer to the causes of events like this in our country. Is is really all about guns? 

In 2013 we are living in a culture where the foundations are being destroyed. What is our role? We now live in a country where  evil is now considered good and visa versa. What now can we say?

A couple of weeks ago a Christian preacher who was chosen to give the benediction at the inaugural was deemed unworthy and dismissed because he once preached a Biblical sermon against homosexuality. Also another evangelical pastor was sued for “crimes against humanity” for his anti-gay teaching. We now live in a world that is upside down- Gay is good and traditional Biblical teaching about homosexuality is bad.

Some in the media are now calling for the Bible to be changed and there is a serious ongoing discussion about doing away with prayers and the Bible when political leaders are sworn into office. Some actually now claim that the Bible is too ‘evil’ and full of ‘wrong teaching’ that offends 21th century cultural sensibilities. It also opposes a secular/progressive agenda for necessary change so must be eliminated. How can Bible believing Christians respond to all of this?

When the foundations are being destroyed it is time for believers to stand on the sure foundation of the Word of God and refused to be moved. It is also time to celebrate and rejoice and demonstrate the real blessings that we have received and continue to receive through the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit sent by our Father in Heaven.

May His Kingdom break through in America in ways that can no longer be hidden or ignored and let us continue to stand on the one foundation that can never be destroyed in time or eternity.           *Top

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-Revival Issues: ‘As to The Lord’

St Paul's Cathedral dome from Paternoster Squa...

(St. Paul’s Cathedral London via Wikipedia)

 

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not vain.” -1Cor. 15:58

As the story goes the noted English architect Sir Christopher Wren was supervising the construction of a magnificent cathedral in London. A journalist thought it would be interesting to interview some of the workers, so he chose three and asked them this question: “What are you doing?”

-The first replied: “I am cutting stone for a shabby 10 shillings a day.”

-The second answered: “I am putting in 13 hard hours a day on this job.”

But the last said: “I am helping Sir Christopher Wren construct one of London’s greatest cathedrals.”

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

One of the major issues of this current move of God revolves around where we spend the greatest amount of our waking hours. For most of us in America and in the Western world it is our jobs and occupations that take up the lion’s share of our lives.

Unfortunately it is a common attitude among Christians that work is a necessary evil that we do in order to support our families but it has no real eternal significance.  It is the few hours a week that we spend volunteering at church and involved in teaching Sunday school or some kind of ministry that is really important.

It is the imperative of this ‘Kingdom Come’ revival that we gain an understanding that everything we do is to be done “as to the Lord” and we are actually called to bring the Kingdom to work with us and expect to see the blessings of the Lord in a new way brought into the marketplace.

For years my day job was something to be tolerated and to get out of the way until I could do what was really important like teach a Bible study or preach a sermon or even play the big organ for the main service on Sunday.

Like most Christians in America I had the attitude that serving the Lord meant doing some kind of ministry. Then after pastoring for 3 years and finding out that it really wasn’t my calling I resigned myself to spending large amounts of time on a secular career that I never really ever wanted or prepared for but found that the Lord blessed it like I belonged there.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t help but feel like some kind of a failure of sorts even though I was immensely successful in a sales career and was able to touch more lives than I ever would have otherwise.

It has only been in the last several years that I have finally realized that I am right where the Lord placed me, doing what the Lord called me to do, both in my secular job and in the ministry in spite of my poor attitude over the years. Like two of the workers building the great cathedral in London I really didn’t see the vision of what the Lord was building in my life.

It is time that we all see the Kingdom come and His will be done at work for a change. That would truly be called revival.             *Top

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-The Hospital Healing Prayer Initiative

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...

                 (Image via Wikipedia)

Abby Abildness, founder of Healing Tree International, leads a team of prayer ministers in a weekly healing prayer service at Penn State Hershey Medical Center and has for the past six years. According to Abby:

"Combining healing prayer with medical care can bring God’s healing care to society around the world.” 

Abildness said that she took God at His Word that He is the God who heals and now she is taking the power of prayer—to those in need who are at the hospital both the staff and patients.

According to the article about this ministry here’s how it works:

The hospital makes an announcement over the PA system every Friday at 11:45 a.m. that a healing prayer service is taking place in the chapel. When patients, family members (and sometimes hospital staff) arrive, a team of prayer ministers is there to meet them. They simply ask for prayer for divine direction or wisdom in making the right healthcare choices. According to Abildness, lives are transformed and healings take place.

Healing Tree International, headquartered at the historical Londonderry Inn Bed and Breakfast, Hershey, Pa. The group also offers healing prayers weekly on Wednesday morning at the Inn.

Abby Abildness has just finished writing a new book which will come out soon:  “God’s Original Healthcare Plan.”  The book documents the successes of  her ministry group and provides a blueprint for establishing a healing prayer ministry in hospitals and for working along with medical professionals to provide total healing for patients.

Response: This is an example of marketplace ministry that God is initiating through his Holy Spirit all across this country. Most of it is under the radar right now and most in the Christian community are not fully aware of all of the stuff that is going on and being initiated by fellow Christians. This is what I call ‘the seeds of revival’ that are just beginning to sprout.

At some point it is going to expand just like popcorn. The fire gets hot and melts the butter and it seems to take for ever before a few kernels pop. Then a few more explode and then all of a sudden hundreds are popping all at once. That is the way this ‘Thy Kingdom Come Revival’ is going to be revealed. Right now just a few kernels are beginning to pop but just you wait!            *Top

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-The ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ Revival

The Lord's Prayer in a Cemetery in Henderson, ...

        (Image by Lori Rivera via Flickr)

Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. –Matt. 6:10

We pray the Lord’s prayer all of the time in America but seldom realize the real significance and power of some of the words we repeat. When we talk about the Kingdom here we are really referring to the rule of God -Let the Father rule on this earth like he does in Heaven.

That is what the revival is all about –the rule of God the father over all of our life. Not just a few hours of worship on Sunday or a few minutes of devotion in the morning but 24/7 everywhere we go. The taking of the rule of God our Father into the marketplace, our jobs, our schools, our families –every where we go and we live our lives.

God has been compartmentalized for far too long in America –there are far too many places that we do not allow God to go with us. He is there of course but we block him out and live a secular existence apart from Him.  Because we block him out and do not really honor him in certain parts of our lives the miracles and healing that we would and could experience are not fully available to us.

We remember to pray for His help but when he does come through we are surprised and consider it to be ‘supernatural’ exceptions. Revival is when the exceptions become normal and the blessings and the miracles of the Kingdom begin to flood into all of our life, even those parts where we have ignored Him in the past.

Remember, there is no sickness, distress, nor hunger of any type in the Kingdom of God. What if the Kingdom invaded our work, what would it look like? Our schools, what would happen? Our families and neighborhoods, how would they be changed.

What if we went to the mall and the Holy Spirit came in power and touched folks walking around and healed a bunch. Many would probably wonder what was happening but you would be there like Peter was on the Day of Pentecost to tell the crowd what it is all about.

That is revival—the present and coming ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ revival. It has begun as a secret hidden move of God that will continue to be ignored by the overwhelmingly secular media in this country but the time will come when it will no longer be a secret then the real cultural battle for America will begin.          *Top 

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