Alabama-Utah-FDR Training recap
I was scheduled to speak at a conference in Alabama, but it was canceled because of Pastor Jack Hayford's memorial service. However, I was still scheduled to speak at Pastor Hewy Hudson's church in Madison, AL, so I changed my dates a little and traveled to Nashville to spend a few days with my kids and grandkids before and after the Sunday speaking engagement.
First of all, that church was incredible! The worship was off the charts, and the presence of God was heavy. I had a hard time beginning my planned teaching because of God's presence. I began to minister in the Spirit and, after a while, felt a release to start the teaching. Although it was anything but an ordinary teaching for me, it always seems to surround what I have been called to live and encourage others to do the same. Live remarkably. Don't settle for less than God's best. Again it was the ministry time afterward that was incredible. So many people felt the touch of God, and several, maybe even a dozen or so, were healed. I remember a woman who came forward for headaches. I prayed, and she felt immediate relief. She then asked me to pray for her back. I prayed, and God answered again. Then she said she had trouble with her knees. Again, God answered. I prayed for people for about 45 minutes and then went to lunch with the associate pastor and his wife. I had already shipped over 50 books for the conference, so I brought them to church. I didn't highlight the books, but they sold out!
We had one day at home, then we were off to Cedar City, Utah, for True Life Center's 20th anniversary. I was going in a supporting role, but God told me I would speak. Because of Pastor Jack's memorial, several speakers canceled, and I was moved into the rotation. Something is happening in this city, particularly in this church. It was evident that God was doing something when I felt the presence fall on me in Pete's (pastor) living room during a luncheon for the speakers. When I asked Jesus why I felt him like this, His response was, I am going to do something here.
The lineup of speakers was incredible, and I grew and was inspired by listening to all of them. It was so good to hear my friend Jerry Dirman again as he filled me with a message of faith and even prophesied over me in front of everyone. I spoke Saturday night in what I can only describe as a chaotic message. I made many points but failed to tie many of them together. I listened to Holy Spirit and tried to bring His Words, but it was a bit chaotic. My wife commented that she had never heard me speak like that before. People said it was moving and really good. God must have intervened! The ministry, again, was incredibly powerful. I asked others to join me up front and highlighted what they had to give away. I said if you want that, then come and get it. People did! Lora and I prayed for people for 3.5 hours! People stood for hours in my line for prayer and prophetic words. It was amazing! The one thing that I didn't see was instant physical healing. After about 3 hours, I got my first one. A lady who had sciatica every day for either 3 or 30 years was completely healed. I saw her the following day and asked her how she was, and she said she was still pain-free!
The next day at church, I continued ministering to people after service for another hour. Some of them were people who couldn't wait the night before but wanted a touch from God. As we were praying for many of the Samoans who attend the church, a guy about my age was just watching and getting rocked. We finished by praying for him, and we had to hold him up. God was all over him. I am returning to Utah in another week to ski with Pete and to check in with the people at the church. Pete called me the next week and said he heard many testimonies about the ministry that night. I want to listen to them too!
We attended a Foursquare Disaster Relief training in the high desert the following weekend. We took our trailer and parked in the church lot to save money and prepare good food. I miss my wife's cooking. The wind was howling, and it eventually snowed. Thank God that my trailer is an artic edition. The training was to certify us to work with disaster victims and to be recognized not only by Foursquare but by FEMA. I will be a chaplain, and Lora will be a worker. Our primary mission will be to offer spiritual and emotional care and support to those in a disaster zone. We may also help feed people or get dirty with some manual labor. The class was interesting, and the leader of FDR wants me to put together a program to help people who work in disaster relief regarding self-care. More open doors!
I am seeing God move more and more. I feel like I have been launched into something new, and not just for Latin America. Although I keep trying to focus on a single direction for Total Life Pursuit, it seems God keeps broadening our ministry to other areas. The one thing I know for sure is I am having a blast! It's not that it isn't hard to travel and be away from home, but it is so rewarding! The reality is that I am living in the flow of the river that I am meant to be in. The acceleration is real, and the increased fruit is amazing. It is a privilege and an honor to be doing this.
We continue connecting with strategic partners and leaders as we have some time at home. I have nothing planned for the rest of the year, but I sensed that God was stirring something up and teaching me to be ready for a quicker response. I am a planner and like to have all my ducks in a row. God wants me to be more spontaneous. Just yesterday, I received two invitations. The first is to hold a self-care and legacy conference for pastors in Columbia. The second is ministry in Bolivia. All the details aren't worked out, so you can pray for guidance and wisdom as I receive these invitations.
I hope you are inspired to live in your river as you read this recap. God has a flow for your life, which is your best life! It is also the life that touches others because that is how the Kingdom of God works. Paul writes twice that we should do everything unto the Lord. That means that everything needs to be as excellent as possible. Don't fall into the perfection trap. Just do your best and don't settle for anything less. Expect God to use you and move through you like never before. I don't know if all the college campus renewals/revivals mean revival is near, but I encourage everyone to live like it is. Stay hungry for more of God and minister in His power. You could be a leader or a grandma who cares for the grandkids daily. Whatever it is, make your impact felt and live like you have greatness in you. You do.