Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Few Ways Jesus has Shown Himself in Immanuel Sessions

As a canopy of light.

As a star-filled night sky.

As a sweet aroma.

A soft fluffy cloud all around.

As a very tall man in a white robe and smiling.

As the Jesus in a Bible Storybook.

As a warrior with a sword.

As an owl with very wise eyes.

As a felt presence.

As a friend with his arm around me.

As a dancer.

As a king.

Only from his waist down and in a white robe and with a very large pregnant belly.

As a teacher.

As a window.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jesus Says, "Trust Me"

At the beginning of this Immanuel session, Jesus reminded me of the time I left my purse hanging on the back of a chair in Tim Horton's. I got home before I realized I didn't have my purse with me. It took me a few minutes to figure out where I might have left the purse and that just about everyone who walked into that Tim Horton's would have to walk past the back of that chair to place an order. Yikes. I prayed it would still be there. Then I headed straight back to the coffee shop. A good half hour had passed by the time I dashed in hoping and praying some kind soul had turned the purse in.

To my surprise the brown leather purse was right where I left it, hanging on the back of the chair. No body noticed as I snatched it back. I thanked the Lord all the way home. Then He impressed on me that He was taking care of my daughter, the same way as He had taken care of that purse. (My daughter hadn't been home for some time and I didn't trust the people she was with.)

At this point in the session I thanked Jesus for being trustworthy and for doing what He says He will do. I thanked Him for loving me and for taking care of my family.

Then the coach in the session asked me if I could see Jesus in the room we were in.

I saw him, but he was turned away from me, sitting talking with his hand on someone else's shoulder. I asked him what he wanted me to know.

Jesus said, "You've removed yourself from me."

I asked him to forgive me and told him I wanted to be back in his presence.

He came over and put his hand on my shoulder.

I feel warm and forgiven in his presence.

He assured me that his way was the best way.

He asked me if I trusted him.

Even though a few minutes earlier, when he reminded me of the purse incident and I thanked him for being trustworthy, now I said it was a scary thing to simply trust.

Jesus said, "I'm right here. I'll take you through the things you are going through. My way is the best way."

His hand is still around me and I know he will take through everything I am gong through right now. I can definitely trust him..

Monday, October 21, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (51)

(a novel continued)

“John, we must tell everyone about heaven. It's easy to get there and just as easy not to get there. Jesus wants us all with Him in heaven and there are so many that don’t know they have to believe in Him—that he's the only ticket.
“And John a lot of the things we think are so important, aren’t important at all.”

John went home and pondered. He wondered if Minnie really had been in heaven. It could have been a vivid dream. He did know she had a passion for heavenly things that she had never had before. 
He took out the family Bible—the one they read at every meal. 
He prayed, “Lord, show me the truth of these words.” During the next week the Lord took him through several Psalms, and chapters in Isaiah, as well as the books of Matthew, Luke and John. He read Romans, Thessalonians and Hebrews and Revelations.  He couldn’t find a contradiction to anything Minnie told him and some readings verified her descriptions. 
He wondered why anyone would need to be baptised in heaven. With the help of a concordance he found a strange verse in First Corinthians about people on earth being baptised for dead people. Not quite the same, but as Minnie explained the Bible wasn't written for people in heaven.

In two weeks time the doctors discharged Minnie. As John guided her up the front step of their two-storey house on Third Avenue West, she felt some trepidation about the conditions she might find. Her husband wasn’t known for his housekeeping skills.
Much to her delight, she found everything spotlessly clean and tidy. “John, you are wonderful.”
“Actually, Nan and Corrie and a few others came and gave the place a once over. They wanted to see you in the hospital, but since that was against visiting rules, they did this instead.”

Minnie spent most of her first week at home laying down. Her children each paid a visit. They were very considerate of her condition and didn’t stay long. Their thoughtfulness and evident joy in seeing her alive surprised her. 

Bill had taken a leave from his air force work and flown down from the base in Nova Scotia

Mary had defied her cult master to be here. She didn’t tell her mother as much, but alluded to the fact that she might be in trouble. John hugged his only daughter and assured her that she was welcome to stay with them if she needed a place. The conversation itself was a miracle. Over the years Mary had only twice come home to retrieve a belonging. She never talked about herself, and never stayed for a meal. 

George, the most considerate of the three, came to visit without his partner Henry. He knew where his parents stood on his life choice, in fact, he hadn’t invited them to the wedding. Why cause them the difficulty of deciding whether or not to attend? 
He brought his mother white roses and cooked up a steak dinner with appetizers and pumpkin pie for dessert. John especially appreciated the three-course meal.  (Not that he didn’t appreciate the casseroles the women from the church had been bringing on a scheduled basis ever since Minnie’s accident.)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

God Can Do Anything

I was being bothered by plantar fasciitis which is a sore heel caused by inflammation of the ligament in the foot. I came to the Immanuel session looking for healing for my left heel. 

At the beginning of the session the Lord took me to a memory that affirmed me and gave me an awareness of his omnipresence. In this memory He assured me that there was purpose for my life.

Coach: "Do you see Jesus here in the room?"

I saw a piece of wood with bark on one side. When I looked closer I could see the piece of wood was actually the trunk of a tree that had been hit by lightning so that there was only half a tree left.

"Jesus, what do you want me to know?"

"I Am in charge of lightning."

"What else do you want me to know."

The picture changed so that new growth was coming up out of the trunk.

"What do you want me to know about that?"

"I can make a good thing out of the damaged tree."

"So why the damage in the first place?"

"You know that. There is sin in the world."

Then I saw a young tree in place of the damage.

I get it. He's got it. He can do it. There is a time factor involved, but He has it covered. He is the healer.

Thank you Lord for making yourself known.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Purification is Messy

I went to this Immanuel session with a problem. I was bothered by my "unchristian" attitude toward a fellow Christian. I was annoyed by just about everything this person said or did. I hated this about myself.

During the session Jesus showed me that He wasn't on the cross any more. He was everywhere. I was under a white canopy of his presence. He said it was all good under the canopy.

He said He was working on the situation and that my part was insignificant.

 Jesus said, "I'm in charge. Watch me work. Be patient. Pray. I've got this."

"But, I get so annoyed!"

Then I saw a beet, a deep red beet turned upside down. (This was a riddle. A beet is a root vegetable. It was turned upside down. Jesus was taking me to the root of my problem and turning my point-of-view up-side-down.)

Then Jesus took me to a memory of the time my Christian Reformed father, at the invitation of a neighbour, took the family to a Pentecostal meeting. I was about seven. I remember feeling very uncomfortable there. It was weird and scary and dark. I felt alone and didn't like it.

With the prompting of my coach, I asked Jesus where He was in the memory. Jesus showed me a canopy over the whole meeting. He had the place covered. His light was piercing the darkness. All sorts of bad stuff was being stirred up. That is why I was so bothered.

His light overcomes the darkness.

There is darkness even under God's canopy, but He is there and He is dealing with it.

"What do you want me to know Jesus?"

"Stay under my canopy, be part of what I am doing."


"Pray. Rejoice. Be patient."

During this session, my perspective changed dramatically.

Friday, October 4, 2013

In the Middle of the Mess

At the beginning of each Immanuel session in the opening prayer the coach prays that the recipient be reminded of a time or times she has experienced the Lord's presence in special way.

At this particular session I was reminded of being in the back room of the store where I work part-time. The room was quite a mess that day with boxes everywhere and papers spilled out over the floor. In the middle of this mess I could smell a most wonderful sweet smell which I have come to recognize as the smell of the presence of Jesus.

I thanked the Lord for who he was in that memory. "Thank you Lord for your sweet presence even in the middle of a mess."

The rest of the session was spent realizing that Jesus really is right there with me in the middle of any and all of my messes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

He's Got It Covered

At one of the Immanuel sessions I have participated in, I saw myself standing in front of a scarred, blackened landscape. There was a fire burning off to one side. I knew this was a picture of a situation I had been praying about.

The coach asked, "Where is Jesus?"

I saw Jesus very big and all dressed in white. At first he was standing beside me. Then he stepped in front of me so that all I could see was white, the white of Jesus's back. I could no longer see the blackened landscape.

Coach: "Ask Jesus what he wants you to know."

Me: "Jesus what do you want me to know?"

Jesus: "I've got this covered."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What Happens At An Immanuel Session?

With the Immanuel Approach you meet with Jesus and he tells you what he wants you to know. There are parameters. Dr. Karl Lehman and his team developed a safe way to participate. Each session is bracketed with prescribed opening and closing prayers.

Dr. Lehman's website is the best place to get a grounding in the ins and outs of the Immanuel Approach.

Here is a video with a short overview.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Immanuel: God With Us

When I was a child I attended Immanuel Christian School: "God With Us" School. I learned God was with us in his creation. We knew he was real by studying his creation.

When I was a "young" mother" I attended Immanuel Christian Reformed Church: "God With Us" church. I learned that God was with us in his Word. Every word in the Bible is God-breathed.

Now in my 60's I am participating in Immanuel sessions: "God With Us" sessions. I am learning that Jesus is right here with me as so vividly portrayed in this video.

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.Matthew 28: 19-20 (NIV)

The Immanuel Approach developed by Karl Lehman is awesome. Our church, Flamborough Christian Fellowship, is having sessions every Friday evening starting at 7 p.m. for anyone who wants to come. Call the office at 905-689-5355.

Immanuel sessions are amazing. I am addicted, so addicted that I participate in a session with a friend every Tuesday and jump at the chance to do a session with anyone who asks. Jesus always shows up. You don't even have to be a Christian to be on the receiving end of an Immanuel session.

In the days ahead I will be posting some of my personal sessions.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (132)

(a novel continued)

“Well praise the Lord,” John proclaimed. 
Minnie hugged the boys. “Welcome into the family of God. I guess we know what this means, eh John.”
Henry and George looked a little puzzled.
“Did you notice the for sale sign on the lawn.
“Missed that,” George said.
Minnie and John told them about the deal with the Lord, including the fleece.
“So, you are the ones to thank.” Henry said.
“You could say that,” John said, “But, we were only following the Lord’s leading.”
Just then Mary came home. “Hey, George, Henry, what’s up?”
“Notice anything different?” George said.
“You look kind of happy.” Mary ventured.
“We are,” Henry said.
“Okay, you won a lottery.”
“No, guess again.”
“You’ve decided to buy the house.”
“There’s an idea,” George said. “We’ll have to consider that one.”
“We’ll give you a good price,” John said.
“Too bad the realtor is already involved,” George said.
“Okay, I give up,” Mary said.
“We gave up too,” George said. “We belong to Jesus now.”

Friday, August 9, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (131)

(a novel continued)

“We were listening to the radio one day and this preacher came on describing sin, and a life of sin. He said it wasn’t fair the way we blamed God for creating us with a desire to sin, when we were the ones that brought it on ourselves. 
That preacher had my attention because I was going to shoot him down, but first I had to hear him out. The way he told it...he said the devil brought sin into the world. Mankind sinned and was filled with desire to sin. We all carry in us original sin which we inherited from Adam. We all have this innate propensity to want things that don’t belong to us, to lie, to steal, to cheat. We fight these desires because there are laws against such things and we don’t want to bear the punishment. He also mentioned that it used to be that the laws of the land lined up with God’s laws, but just because something isn’t against the law of the land doesn’t make it right. That was just an aside.
“He said that God writes a law on our heart. He also said that if we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we accept His payment for that sin that is in each one of us. That doesn’t mean the desire goes away, but He paid the price for that sin. He took the punishment. And, He helps us fight against wrong desires if we accept Him.

“Now this is the crazy part. Henry and I looked at each other and decided we could put this thing to the test. We had nothing to lose. To be honest the sex part of our relationship was getting a little old. So, we actually got down on our knees and confessed that we had given into our sinful desires. We asked Him to forgive us. Then we asked Jesus to come into our hearts and take over, to be the Lord of our lives. All those Sunday School lessons weren’t wasted you know. We asked him to help us fight against our wrong desires.”
“I can’t begin to describe the peace, the joy, the freedom....” Henry said.
“It was like a thousand pounds lifted off me,” George said.
“I felt, I still feel so clean,” Henry said.

“The neat thing is we are still buddies.” George said, “and that sexual attraction I used to feel is absolutely gone. It’s a miracle. I know it is.”

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (130)

(a novel continued)

‘Now what?’ prayed Minnie one snowy morning. She felt that the Lord required something more. John felt it too. ‘Wait on me.’ Minnie heard in her spirit.  The Lord impressed on them that they should fast. 
John and Minnie only drank water for the next two days. The third day they cut out the water as well. Then they heard the Lord, ‘The task I require requires sacrifice.’
‘Lord, tell us and give us the ability.’ John prayed.
‘I want you to sell all you have and give it to the poor. I want you to go out into all the world and preach the gospel. I will meet all your needs. Simply go where I direct and do as I say. You will see even greater miracles than you have seen here in Haven.’
‘Can we think about this?’ John asked. ‘Can we perhaps put out a fleece?’
‘Ask anything and I will perform it.’
‘Well,’ Minnie said, 'That’s easy. I ask that George and Henry give their lives to you.’
‘Yes,’ John agreed, ‘we ask that George and Henry turn over their lives to you completely.’
'"Consider it done.'
The next day John called the realtor and listed the house as well as the nursery.
The day after that George and Henry came to visit. They were beaming. “Mom, Dad, we have something to tell you,” George said.
“We have never been so happy,” Henry added.
“We’ve given our lives to Jesus,” George said.
“How does that change things for you?” John asked.
“It’s very amazing,” George said.
“I knew that if I gave my life to Jesus, He would want me to live a holy life. That’s why I put Him off for so many years. I like my life the way it was. Besides I really didn’t think it was fair the way God created me. I always figured if He created me with an attraction to men instead of women, it wasn’t fair that He called that sin."

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (129)

(a novel continued)

“Why aren’t we asking God what He thinks about these decisions?” Shirley said.
They all looked at each other. “We should,” Minnie said.
The women folded their hands and bowed their heads. Nan began, “Dear Lord, you’ve heard our plans. We don’t want our plans to not be your plans. So let us know if you want us to go in a different direction.
They waited.
“I see a peacock,” Hannah said.
“I hear don’t get too proud,” Sue said.
“I hear follow me,” Melissa added.
“Lord, forgive us for going ahead. We want to follow you...lead on O King eternal.” Minnie prayed.
“I heard I am leading you. Those plans are my plans.” Hannah said. “I see. Those were His plans all along. It is pride that makes us think they were ours.”
From there everything snowballed, including the weather. November turned into the snowiest month ever. A beautiful white blanket covered the city. Fresh snow fell every day. The 120 new people went out into the streets designated and filled their notebooks with prayer requests. People in each of the churches sincerely prayed about each request. Prayers all over the city were getting answered on a daily basis. It got so people would look for the prayer teams. Healings were commonplace. Almost everyone thought about prayer before they thought about the doctor. More people joined the teams. By December the Tuesday team meetings filled the gym at the cathedral to capacity.
The newspaper carried more good news stories than bad. Christian terminology was no longer politically incorrect. Instead of Happy Holidays or even Merry Christmas, people were saying, Have a Blessed Christmas. Angels from the Realms of Glory became the number one hit on the radio.
Then a team of young people visited the hospital. They walked down the halls singing, Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring and as they sang and walked people were getting up out of their hospital beds, totally healed.
The hospital practically emptied overnight.

Of course this hit the national and then the international news. People began trekking to Haven to see this great thing that had taken place. The cathedral in the middle of town became a shrine of sorts. Sick people came by the busload. Many were healed when people from Haven prayed for them. Many more gave their lives to Jesus when they saw the great miracles. Life in Haven was good. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (128)

(a novel continued)

That Sunday the invitation went out in every church in Haven. In some congregations they handed out flyers at the door. In others, team member gave a short testimony. In every church at least two people responded. At Rockwood fifty people wanted to be part of the venture. Most of these were men. The entire youth group at Minnie’s church volunteered. All told by Monday morning the discipleship group had 120 new volunteers.
Monday evening Minnie and John pulled out their set of maps. They prayed that the Lord would direct their decisions. Then they went to work. They decided to assign three new teams to each area. They gave the youth group from First Church, which was Minnie’s church the downtown. They put married couples together. There were at least four of those. Beyond that they put women with women and men with men. “Better not give the devil opportunity where there wasn’t any before,” Minnie said.

The next evening at their regular meeting at Nan's Minnie showed the discipleship group the breakdown. They prayed over it, approved it and each took the names and numbers of the new volunteers in their areas. Then they spent an hour assembling packets for the 120 new volunteers with material that Minnie had gathered that morning. They put bags, pens, markers, notebooks, and maps of the entire city on the table and circled round each picking up a bag and filling it with the other items as they walked around the table. When they had 120 packets, each one took six of these and added a map of their specific area to each. Then they tagged the bags with the names of the new volunteers. Jill took packets for the youth group assigned to the downtown and promised to deliver them to the church in time for their Thursday night meeting.
When all the work was done, the group gathered in a circle and prayed. Nan began, “Dear Lord, thank you for all these volunteers. Give us all courage and boldness and protect us from the works of the enemy. We pray it in Jesus name.” Others followed with specific requests for their areas, requests they had written in the notebooks.
After the prayer, Shirley piped up. “I thought we were going to give these requests to the churches to pray over.”
Minnie felt convicted. It was beside the point that her notebook was still blank. In her spirit she heard ‘follow through.’ Out loud she said, “That is something we should be doing. Any ideas about the best way to go about it?”
“Obvious,” Jill said, “The representative from each church should be collecting the requests from each team member in her area and reporting them to her church.” They opened up the bags again and wrote a note on the front of each notebook with the name and phone number of the church representative.
“Really, the church representatives should be at these meetings,” Jill said, “It would make it so much easier.”
“We don’t want to overload anyone,” Minnie said, “We might lose them.”
“Well we are all still here,” Amie said.
“For one thing, we couldn’t have the meeting in my house if there were 32 of us,” said Nan.
“Maybe we should just meet at the cathedral every Tuesday. Then we could invite as many people as are involved,” Melissa said.
“What and miss out on Nan’s tea?” Hannah said.
“Small sacrifice,” Nan said.
Minnie said she would ask Father George. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (127)

(a novel continued)

“Anyone else with a testimony,” Minnie asked.
Mary and her prayer partner, Marie stood up. “We have a story,” Mary said. 
Minnie was taken by surprise. At home Mary hadn’t even hinted about any adventures in prayer. 
Mary looked at her mom. “I didn’t want to share this earlier because I felt bad that you couldn’t actually be walking around meeting people in your area.”
She proceeded to tell how Marie and she had been walking down a street two over from St. John’s United. They came across a group of ten-years-old's or at least Mary guessed them to be ten years old. They could have been older or younger for that matter. These kids were looking down a sewer grate. “What’s the matter?” Mary asked.
One of the children pointed at the grate, “I lost my money down there. I was supposed to buy some stuff for my mom at the store and it fell down the grate.” 
'Not true,' Mary heard in her spirit.
“How much was it?” she asked.
“Ten dollars,” he said boldly.
Mary looked at Marie and then back at the boy. “Do you know that when you lie, it makes Jesus very sad?
“Who’s Jesus?” one of the kids asked.
“He’s only the most amazing guy who ever lived.” Marie said. She proceeded to give the most spell-binding Sunday school lesson Mary had ever heard. 
Marie concluded with an altar call.  “Who wants to give their life to Jesus?” she asked. All the kids, all 11 of them, put up their hands. “Okay, repeat after me: I, (now say your name) give my heart to Jesus. I confess that I have done many bad things. I am sorry. Please forgive me Jesus.” Marie stopped after every few words so the kids could repeat. “Jesus I want you to be the king of my life.”
Then Marie invited them to join her for church school at 10 at St. John’s Sunday morning. They promised to be there.

All in all, the women were greatly encouraged at the meeting. Several of them were scheduled to give reports at their churches. Father George who had stayed in the room throughout, said he would be talking to his parishioners about what he had heard, “Would you be interested in a few more volunteers?” he inquired.
 “Would we? Our areas are much too big to cover with just two people,” Minnie said.
“We could use some men,” Nan said.

“We can each recruit from our home churches as well,” Jill offered.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (126)

(a novel continued)

Bea had been out in another part of West New Haven with Daliah from the Methodist church.
“We had an awesome time,” Bea said. “I sort of didn’t know what to do, but Daliah took right over.”
“Correction,” Daliah said, “Jesus took over...He really did.”
They had been walking along Main Street out by the mall on the outskirts when a car pulled up alongside. A big guy on the passenger side rolled down the window, “Which way to the hospital?” 
Bea started to tell him, when Daliah said, “Who wants to know?”
“Look lady, we got a guy in the back seat, badly injured—hunting accident.” 
Daliah peered inside the car. “We’ll pray for him,” Daliah said. She began to pray right there at their car window.
“Look lady, we don’t have time for this. Where is the hospital?” The guy looked at Bea. 
Bea tried again, “You’ll see the blue “H” signs, like the one up ahead, more often once you get to the other side of town,” she said pointing at a small sign way up the road.
The car sped off as she pointed.
They continued walking up the street. Not ten minutes later the same car pulled over onto the shoulder of the road ahead of them. It had come from behind, crossed the road and parked in front of them facing into traffic. Three men hopped out. One of them had dried blood all over his legs and one of his pant legs had been ripped off. He walked normally. “That was one powerful prayer,” the bloodied man said. “The pain just left and the next thing I knew I could use my leg again.”

“That’s our Jesus!” Daliah said. She went right into a salvation message. Those three big hunters fell on their knees and accepted Jesus right there beside the road.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (125)

(a novel continued)

“You mean to say that not a single one of these families go to Rockwood?” Minnie said.
“I was looking through our church directory on Sunday night after we left your place and of all the 400 addresses I didn’t find a single one that corresponded. Our people are mostly in Old Haven with a few in West New Haven.
“I wonder if any of the other churches have people from here?”
“We’ll probably find out sooner or later.”
“Wouldn't it be great if everyone living here all became Bible-believing, church attending Christians? Maybe they’ll build a church here, right by the stream on that knoll we keep driving around.”
“That’s pretty well the only logical location.” Judy said.             
Minnie could practically see the church. She prayed there would be a church there.
Every morning except Sunday for the next 11 days, Judy and Minnie drove around and through their area always praying and trusting the Lord to guide their prayers.

Then Judy had a seven day stint of night shift at the hospital, so they spent an hour or so in the early evening prayer-driving through their area.
A month after the kick-off rally, the teams got together again. Father George was more than pleased to have the prayer teams meet in the room at the cathedral. He had four round tables set up for them.
Everyone was there. Each team in turn reported. The strategies varied. The teams in Old Haven invariably met up with Christians who offered to partner with them in prayer. In parts of New Haven several of the teams reported miracles.
Nan and her partner from the Seventh Day Adventist church were out in West New Haven. They had met up with a man in a wheelchair. Nan’s partner Jean asked him if there was anything they could pray for him. He looked at them sideways and asked if they were real. Nan pinched herself and said “Ouch.” He laughed at that. They got talking and he told them about the car accident that had put him in the wheelchair. “The doctors say that there is zero percent chance I will every walk again.”
“Do you believe that?” Jean asked.
“I don’t want to, but doctors usually know what they are talking about.”
“Well, we know someone who always knows what He’s talking about and He can heal you.” Nan said.
“Take me to him,” the man said.
“Jesus can heal you.” Nan said.
“I haven’t been to church for years.” 
“That can’t stop him from healing you. I stop going to church for about twenty years and He still got hold of me.” Nan said.
“Do you want us to pray for you?” Jean asked.
“Okay, it can’t hurt.”
“Let’s just do it the way the disciples did it,” Nan said. She grabbed one of the man’s hands and motioned to Jean to grab the man’s other hand.
As Nan told the story to the women at the team meeting she stopped here and looked around the room. “I can’t explain what came over me. At that moment I had so much faith that man could walk if I only obeyed what Jesus was showing me to do inside, that if I didn’t follow through right then, that man would lose a miracle.”
Jean did grab the man’s other hand. Nan said to the man, “In the name of Jesus Christ who died for all your sins, to save you from hell and destruction, stand up and walk.” They pulled the man up to his feet. He started walking, then dancing around his wheelchair. “Holy crow,” he said. He sat down in the wheelchair and began to cry. “Thank you, thank you,” he repeated.
“Don’t thank us, thank Jesus,” Jean said, a big smile plastered across her face.
The man stood up again. “I can walk. I can really walk, thank you Jesus. Wait till my wife sees this.” He took his chair by the handles, turned it around and headed up the street.
“That was yesterday,” Jean said. “We haven’t seen him since. We don’t even know his name.”

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (124)

(a novel continued)

They decided, rather than pre-planning a route, to walk through their area listening to the Lord's direction along the way. Judy pulled out her nursing schedule. “I actually have a pretty light month coming up,” she said. “I’ve put in a lot of overtime lately and they’ve just hired a few new part-timers to fill in the gaps. I’ve got twelve free days after tomorrow.”
“I wonder when's the best time to go,” Minnie said.
“Lord, we want your timing on this,” Judy prayed.
“Let’s just go out first thing Tuesday morning and we’ll plan day-by-day from there,” Minnie said. “The more we’re out there, the more He will be able to use us.”
On Tuesday morning Judy called Minnie, “I’m so sorry, I have to work today, someone called in sick.”

Minnie decided to go alone. She could at least walk and pray the area. She drove out and parked on Kerns Street which was the most southerly street in their section. When she stepped out of the car, her left foot missed the curb and twisted into the gutter. “Oh crap.” She tried to walk on it, but couldn’t go beyond a hobble. Minnie hopped back to the car. “Now what, Lord?”
If she didn’t put weight on her foot, it didn’t feel so bad. She decided to drive the area. She drove the perimeter praying peace and blessing to every household. She wondered how big the area actually was so she checked her odometer and drove around once more. Her odometer measured 12 kilometres. There was a stream with a bit of a woods running through the centre of the area with designated parkland on both sides. Then she drove up and down the streets first on one side of the parkland and then on the other, always praying for the Lord’s peace to rest on each household.
By the time Minnie got home a few hours later her ankle was throbbing. She put ice on it and prayed. “Lord heal this ankle.”
The next morning when Judy came to the house, Minnie hobbled to the door. Judy took one look at the ankle and said, “You shouldn’t be walking on that. Wrap it, apply ice and rest it as much as you can.”
“We’re supposed to be praying for our area,” Minnie said. “I’m not letting this get in the way.”
“Well, sit down,” Judy said. “Do you have a tensor bandage?”
“There might be one under the sink in the upstairs bathroom.”
Judy went upstairs and came back with the bandage. “What did you family say about this?”
“They were concerned, but they know better than to try to tell me what to do.”
Judy wrapped the ankle. “You should not be walking on this.”
“We could drive our area. That’s what I did yesterday.” Minnie said.
“I’ll drive,” Judy said, “You sit in the back with your leg up.

They drove up and down the streets of the former Christmas tree farm praying for each family as they felt led. 
“I don’t know a single person living up here and yet I'm feeling very connected,” Judy said. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (123)

(a novel continued)

The discipleship group had put together packets for every team member. Each packet included a laminated map of the team’s area with the streets clearly marked, a marker for writing on the map, a simple list of instructions, a spiral notebook for taking prayer requests, a pen and a small Gideon Bible.

Mary partnered with a woman from St. John’s Presbyterian Church. Their area included the Beeky home. Minnie’s territory was up in New Haven with Judy from Rockwood Gospel Tablernacle. She was totally delighted when she found out that the person who had volunteered from Rockwood was none other than the nurse who had helped her at the hospital.
Judy and Rex came over Sunday afternoon to visit the Beeky’s. They talked as if they were old friends. “I don’t know why we haven’t gotten together sooner,” John said. “I like you people.”
“It’s actually feels good to just be me and not have to constantly beware if something I say can be misconstrued as something else,” Rex said. “I’ve learned to choose my words carefully and not always say what I really think.”
“You can trust John to keep what you tell him as confidential,” Minnie said.
“Mostly because I have trouble remembering who said what,” laughed John.
John turned on the TV. “Are you into football?” he asked.
Rex nodded. “Love to watch a game. I’m a Ti-Cat fan.”
“They just happen to be playing this afternoon,” John said.
Judy and Minnie sat at the dining room table with their map, planning their strategy.
“Let’s pray first,” Judy said.
“Dear, God,” Minnie prayed as she remembered sitting  in His lap, “You want this more than we do. This is your plan from the beginning. Dear God help us to follow you, to listen to your direction as we walk these streets. We pray that for everyone on the team. We pray for unity, your guidance and a fun time as we go out into this city and put your name on it. Turn each heart toward you. You are worthy.”
“You are Almighty, the Beginning and the End. Lead us and guide us by your Holy Spirit and in the name of your son Jesus,” Judy added.
“Amen,” they concluded.

They looked at the map in front of them. It was of a relatively new area in the city. “I can remember when that was a farmer’s field,” Judy said. “We used to get our Christmas trees there.”

Monday, July 22, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (122)

(a novel continued)

“When would you need it?” Father George asked.
“We haven’t even thought of a date yet.” Hannah said.
“Get back to our office when you know. I’ll tell them to let you have it when you need it. Hopefully there won't be a conflict. As long as you don't pick a Wednesday or Thursday evening, you should be fine. The room holds up to 300 people and by all means fill it.” Father George smiled as he shook their hands once more and directed them to the way out. “We’ll look forward to receiving that prayer list.”
Minnie and Hannah could barely contain themselves. Once outside, Minnie said, “That was so God.”
They arranged the kick-off rally in short order. It would be held the second Friday evening in September. Each member of the discipleship group connected with a volunteer from their assigned church.  
Everything was working out.
“You know what’s bothering me,” Minnie said to Mary and John one evening as they were drinking coffee and watching the fake fireplace in the front room. “There aren’t any men in this plan.”
“You wait,” John said. “Once this ground work is done, the Lord will have lots for the men to do. You watch.”
“What are you thinking, Dad?” Mary asked.
“You just wait. You’ll see.” He took a sip of coffee and looked at Mary with that look that said she wouldn’t get anymore out of him.
The rally went off without a hitch. In an attempt to follow Father George's instruction to fill the room, prayer partners invited friends and family.
Thus, about 300 men, women and children listened to Minnie give an inspiring message on the importance to God of each person in Haven. “He loves each one of us. This is our chance to show His love to every person in this town. We’ll listen to the requests of any and every person who wants to make a request. We’ll pray God’s heart into every requested situation.”
The catholic women’s guild surprised the group by offering up a spread of cookies and squares and sandwiches, with a choice of coffee, tea or juice. When Minnie wanted to pay them, they wouldn’t to hear of it. “We’re doing it for our dear Lord and the Blessed Mother Mary,” a spokeswoman said. “She waved her hand and refused to hear any more about payment.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (121)

(a novel continued)

The next morning Minnie called the Catholic church office. 
"Just come right over," the secretary said. "Our priest, Father George, will be happy to talk to you. He'll be  in the main sanctuary taking confessions all morning." 
Minnie got in touch with Hannah and they went over together.
"Feels holy." Hannah whispered as they entered the sanctuary. Sunlight filtered in through the stain glass panes of the four windows on each side of the church. Each window depicted a different scene in Jesus life on earth. 
They saw a priest over at the far side of the sanctuary in front of a bank of candles and a woman kneeling in a pew close to an ornate altar at the front. Minnie and Hannah walked quietly over to the priest. They introduced themselves.
“Yes, I’ve been expecting you,” he said. “I’m Father George.”
“I’ve never been in here before, it’s beautiful,” Minnie said.
Father George led them to an office down a hallway off the side at the back of the sanctuary.  Once they were seated in two small chairs in front of the desk in the rather small office, they explained what they were after. They surprised themselves with the detail they were able to relate. Father George had a way of making them totally comfortable. He listened with great interest.
“Let me summarize,” he said, “just so that we know we are on the same page.” He smiled a benevolent smile. “You girls have gathered volunteers from all the churches in town to listen to the needs of all the people in town and pray for them. You want this cathedral to be involved as well so you are asking if you can have your ‘kick-off’ rally here in this place. Did I get that right?”
“And,” Minnie said, “we’re wondering if the people of this parish would want to take part as well by praying for the needs that we find out about. We would put the needs on a list every week and send them to you.”
Father George stood up. “I’ll show you a room you could possibly use. How many people did you say?”
“About 32,” Minnie said.                                                                                 
“Perfect,” he said. He led them further down the hall and around a corner, down a stairway to a large open space about the size of a small gym. “How’s this?”

“Perfect,” Minnie said. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (120)

(a novel continued)

They all looked at Mary. “That must have been one nightmare of a place,” Nan said. She had heard stories from Minnie over the years.
“Sorry for bringing my junk here.” Mary said. “It’s sometimes hard to make the adjustment into reality. My counsellor has been helping me see truth, which is a big job after I’d been so brainwashed.”
“Do you want us to pray for you?” Brenda asked. Brenda, always very quiet, had the gift of compassion.
“I don’t want to take the meeting off track.” Mary said.
“Nonsense,” Hannah said. “We’re about Jesus and Jesus is about salvation which includes healing people.”
The women gathered around Mary and prayed for her. Brenda saw a picture of Mary the Mother of Jesus when she was pregnant with Jesus. Brenda prayed that the Lord would be able to use Mary to bring Jesus to the world as He had used the first Mary to bring Jesus into the world.
They prayed that Mary would experience the peace of Jesus Christ and know the truth, that she would be blessed with discernment and wisdom. While they prayed, tears streamed down Mary’s face. Nan put a box of tissues in Mary’s hand. At the last ‘amen’ Mary smiled peacefully. “Thank you,” she said.
“The Lord did something totally amazing just now,” Hannah said. “While we were ministering to Mary, He was talking to me about the Catholic Church. We definitely should have the rally there.”
“What did He say?” Jill asked.
“It’s hard to explain exactly. I always had a big problem with the way they give so much attention to Mary and here we were giving all our attention to this Mary and the Lord said in my spirit, ‘you are all my children, every one of you.’ I know he was talking about the people in the Catholic church as well.”
“But, would they even let us have a rally there?” Amie asked.

“We can ask,” Minnie said. After a bit of discussion, Minnie and Hannah volunteered to follow up with the priest at the cathedral. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (119)

(a novel continued)

“So, who signs the letter?” Jill asked Minnie when she read it to her over the phone. “We don’t even have a name for our group, no letterhead, no credibility....”
“We’ll just let the volunteer who is doing that area, sign the letter and bring it to the church.”
By the end of the week each church had been visited. And, within two weeks they had a volunteer from every single church.
“We should have some kind of kick-off rally.” Minnie said at the next meeting at Nan’s.
Nan looked around the room. “Where should we have it? Can’t fit too many more bodies in this place.”
“How about at the centre of town?” Melissa said.
“That’s where the Catholic Cathedral is,” Jill said.
“Exactly. The Catholic Church is the only church in town not involved yet.”
“Besides the church out at the compound.” said Mary, who had decided to join the group for this meeting seeing how her mother had wangled her into being part of a prayer team, not that she minded. She actually was excited about this project. Mary had a heart to see people come to know Jesus. That was how Brandon had captured her attention in the first place. He had made it sound like his church was the beginning of a countrywide revival.
“You can’t really call that a true church, the church on the compound, I mean,” Minnie said.
“I’ve got issues with the Catholic Church as well,” Hannah said.
“Well, if we waited for every church to get their act completely together we would have to wait until everybody was burning in hell.” Shirley said. She blushed. “That’s what the pastor at my new church told me.”
“The litmus test is ‘does this church teach that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world?’ I believe the Catholic Church does, so we should include it.” Jill said.

“At the compound, Brandon is the saviour of the world,” Mary said to no one in particular. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (118)

(a novel continued)

“I know” Jill said. “I get it. What He is telling us, I get it. It’s like He just downloaded the whole plan. We each take our district. We ask people we meet in our area if they want prayer for anything. We take the prayer requests to the church designated for that area. They take ownership of it. They pray about it. God answers. We do the follow up and report to the church what He did to answer the prayer.”
“If that works out,” Hannah added, “Then the church gets all excited about what’s happening and people from the churches go out into their areas and do exactly what we did. The whole thing just multiplies all over the city.”
“Wow, wow, wow. Thank you God,” Minnie said.
“Tea anyone?” Nan asked.
“I’ve got a question,” Bea said, “If when Jesus sent out the disciples they went out two-by-two, why are we going out alone?”
Everyone looked at Bea.
“She’s got a point,” Jill said.
“It probably is better to double up,” Minnie said.
“And more fun,” Melissa added.    
“If we double up, each group gets two areas,” Minnie said.
“Or we could recruit more people,” Jill said.
“We could go to the churches designated for the area and ask for one volunteer?” Amie said.
“That’s a great idea,” Minnie said. They all nodded in agreement. Jill volunteered to write up a letter to take to the churches. They prayed for wisdom, favour and success. 
Then they had tea.
Jill wrote a simple letter.
Dear __________________ church,
We are a group of Christian women from various denominations here in Haven. We are praying for the needs of this city. We have one volunteer willing to pray for the area shown on the enclosed map. Would your church be able to supply us with a volunteer to make it a team? The team would pray for the area and visit the area asking people for prayer requests.
Thank you for your consideration.
In Christ

Monday, July 15, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (117)

(a novel continued)

After that things in town began to change. First, Amie and the rest of the group who hadn’t been at the baptism were baptized. 
Then the group got down to serious business. Sixteen women including Shirley and Bea and Minnie's daughter Mary went to Minnie's dining room table to look at the maps John and Minnie had colour-coded almost two years earlier. There were 16 areas. 
“Originally we were thinking each church in town would get one of these areas to pray over.” Minnie said. “We even made maps of the individual areas to give to the assigned churches. 
“What happened?” Shirley asked.
“Nothing! We just never followed through,” Minnie said. “Now, if we each pick an area and saturate it with prayer, by praying over the map and walking the streets praying and doing whatever the Holy Spirit leads us to do and pray, this town will be filled entirely with people who know and love Jesus. No one will have to go to hell.”
“What about the churches? Aren't they supposed to be praying for these areas?” Bea asked.
“That would make it a lot more doable,” Nan said.
“It would,” Minnie said. “How do we get them on board though?”
“Let’s ask Jesus,” Amie suggested.
So they did. They prayed. They praised God for who He was and Minnie asked Him specifically to forgive her for not following through with this plan earlier. They thanked Him for everything He had done for them. Then they asked Him how to go about getting all the churches in Old Haven and New Haven involved. 
Then they sat quietly listening.
They waited.
And waited.
And they waited.
Finally, Shirley said, “I don’t know what this means, but I smell a rose.”
“It could be because there are roses on the sideboard behind you.” Nan said.
Shirley blushed. “I guess that explains it.”
“Anybody else, get anything?” Minnie asked.
“I see a man with his hands folded in prayer and he’s crying.” Amie said.
“I see a little girl in a hospital bed,” Brenda said.
“I see a woman standing at a tombstone,” Melissa said.
Bea said, “I see a man beating a boy.”
“A woman having a miscarriage,” someone added.
“A man having an affair.”
“A car accident.”
“A plane crash.”
“Lord, what do all these pictures mean?”
“I hear Him saying I am the Lord of all. Tragedy is tragedy for everyone,” Jill said.
“True,” Minnie said, “but how does that bring everyone together?”

Friday, July 12, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (116)

(a novel continued)

“We’ll start with your testimonies,” Minnie said.
“Testimonies?” Bea and Shirley looked at her blankly.
“Why do you want to be baptized?”
“We saw a miracle and then we read some of the Bible and now I want to be baptized because that's what the Bible says to do.” Shirley summarized.
“That’s it for me too,” Bea said. “When that water changed to wine, I decided Jesus is real.”
“So,” Minnie said. She put one hand on each head. “I baptize you both in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Put your heads under the water.” Both, girls bobbed down below the water and popped right back up again. “Now, you are baptized.” 
At poolside, Nan and the others clapped.
The three climbed out of the water and wrapped themselves in towels. There weren’t enough chairs on the deck so they all sat around the edge of the pool with feet dangling in the water. They passed bags of chips and cookies. Nan poured the juice she had brought. “So how does it feel?” Melissa wanted to know.
“Great,” Shirley said. “I feel unnaturally happy.”
“Peaceful,” Bea said.
“I’ve never been baptized,” Melissa said.
Sue, Hannah and Brenda admitted they hadn’t been either.
“I’ve only been baptized as a baby,” Nan said.
“That goes for me as well,” Jill said. She looked at Minnie. “I bet that goes for you too.”
“Actually I was baptized in heaven,” Minnie said.
“Does that count?” asked Nan. “You said the whole thing could have been a vision.”
“It felt real at the time,” Minnie said. “I suppose I could get baptized again, just to be sure.”

So it came to be that Bea and Shirley baptized everyone else at the pool that day.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Minnie Goes to Heaven (115)

(a novel continued)

“We have a pool at our house,” said Bea. “You could baptize us in the pool.”
“I was thinking of just sprinkling some water on your head,” Minnie said.
“They didn’t do it that way in the Bible,” Shirley said.
“I guess not,” Minnie said. “We’ll do it the way they did it in the Bible.”
They agreed to meet the next afternoon at Bea’s house for a swim and a little baptism.
Is it okay if I invite a few friends?” Minnie asked. She was thinking of the discipleship group. She knew some her friends hadn’t been baptized either.
“Sure,” said Bea. “The more the merrier.”   

The next day seven from the discipleship group showed up at Bea’s with their bathing suits, towels and an assortment of snacks. The others from the group had previous commitments such as jobs or they would have been there as well.
The women gathered up on the deck at the edge of the above-ground pool, talking excitedly. Minnie touched the water with her toe. It felt cold. ‘O Lord, help me.’ Minnie hadn’t been swimming since her swimming lesson in heaven. “How deep is this?” she asked.
“Oh, not very, up to your chest maybe.” Bea said.
Minnie grit her teeth as she let herself down into the water. She shivered, “This is cold.” 
“You get used to it pretty quickly,” Bea knelt down on the deck and pulled a thermometer out of the water, “It says here the water is at 78 degrees, or 27 in Canadian.”
"That’s not so cold," Minnie watched the goosebumps form on her upheld arms. “Okay, who’s first?” she asked as she bounced around on the bottom of the pool.
Bea and Shirley jumped in together. “Can’t you do us at the same time?”
“I don’t see why not,” Minnie said.

The discipleship group quieted.