God Is Healing Me!

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By Faith, One Step at a Time!

Last month I had an incredible experience. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that God is real and alive and He answers the prayers of His people. In Scripture, God is clearly seen as the God of miracles. Scripture also says that He never changes. Based on that truth, and on the testimony of thousands upon thousands of believers today, I believe that God is still the God of miracles today. Let me share my story:

I will not forget the wonderful night in April when we gathered to celebrate communion as a body of believers. It was a beautiful experience of fellowship and worship. More importantly, I will not forget the call to healing at the end of the service. And I knew that God was tugging at my heart and working within me. I felt an electric spark go through me that night, and my heart yearned for Jesus. I was one of many who went forward that evening asking God to do a miracle within me.

During the time of standing at the front, I had tears running down my face as I worshipped Jesus with song from my lips, and my heart and mind were praying to and praising Him. At the end of the service I had a deep need to go to the Senior Pastor. My heart was alive with hope and faith, while at the same time I wept over my years of pain and illness.

When I was able to get to the pastor, I had to hold on to him and weep from the depths of my soul. I don’t know why I wept so. He asked what was wrong that I wept the cry of a person who is mourning over someone who has died. I told him my story briefly, how that I have barely been able to walk for three years. The pastor asked if I believed that Jesus has healed me and I said yes, I do believe.

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Now let me give a little more background here. It has been since May of 2008 that I have not been able to walk, at least not more than 40 feet without some form of assistance. On good days, and for short distances of less than 50 feet, I would use my walking poles.  (When people asked, I would say, “I am an athlete in slow motion!!)  For intermediate distances, I would use my arm support crutches, and for long distance I would use my walker.

In 2009, I met with a godly couple who know how to lead a person in deep listening prayer. Just like most people, I wanted to know from God if there was a reason I had suddenly been hit with this muscle disease.  So I asked God at that time if there was any sin in my life that might have led to this happening to me. And I know I met with God in that prayer moment.

God gave me a deep sense of peace back then, and during the prayer time I was given a form of a vision, of Jesus kneeling in the Garden of Gethsemane. I heard (or understood) God to say, “Just as I asked my Son to carry this pain for a purpose, so too I am asking you to carry this pain for a season. And through this you will bring me honour and glory.”

I have believed for these past two years that God gave me that message. And it has been a great comfort to me to know that through my weakness, His strength is made known. In many ways, I have seen more people blessed in these past few years, as they saw me continue the ministry of Bible translation across the world despite my disability and pain, than I have seen in all the years of my service to God before this point.

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I think that what happened on the communion night is that I bared my soul before God as I praised Him, but I also asked Him to release me of this burden and allow me to walk again. My mind wants to tell me that nothing has changed since then, but my heart believes that healing is coming from the Lord. Not all at once, but in small degrees I am going to “walk” in faith that the healing is coming.

From a medical point of view, my disease (Mitochondrial Myopathy) can be simplified this way. Basically my body is producing bad mitochondria (the energy production part within all our cells) which results in fatigue and pain. And by faith (as simplistic as it may sound), I am believing that God is going to replace all my bad mitochondria with good ones. And when that happens, then I will be able to walk and jump and run once more.

So now you know where I am at, and what happened that night. It is painfully obvious that I am not fully healed yet, but by faith, I am stepping out to walk more, one step at a time. Please keep me in your prayers that the process of healing will not be stopped or slowed down by circumstances or doubt. I claim the promise in Isaiah 40:31,

They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings of eagles. They will run and not get weary, they will walk and not be faint.

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The Resume of Jesus

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Would You Make Jesus Your Lord?

Matthew 22:37 says, “Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.”

Luke 12:34 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Romans 10:9-10 says, “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”

We are commanded to give our hearts to Jesus Christ, and just in case any of you haven’t already done that, He sends you a copy of His Resume for consideration.

(The following was posted on “Great Commission Ministries” by a good friend of mine.  Read it slowly and take time now if you can to look up the verses.)

What a wonderful Saviour we have.

The Resume of Jesus Christ

Address: Ephesians 1:20

Phone: Romans 10:13

Hello. My name is Jesus – The Christ. Many call me Lord! I’ve sent you my resume because I’m seeking the top management position in your heart. Please consider my accomplishments as set forth in my resume.

Qualifications:

* I founded the earth and established the heavens, (See Proverbs 3:19)

* I formed man from the dust of the ground, (See Genesis 2:7)

* I breathed into man the breath of life, (See Genesis 2:7)

* I redeemed man from the curse of the law, (See Galatians 3:13)

* The blessings of the Abrahamic Covenant comes upon your life through me, (See Galatians 3:14)

Occupational Background:

* I’ve only had one employer, (See Luke 2:49).

* I’ve never been tardy, absent, disobedient, slothful or disrespectful.

* My employer has nothing but rave reviews for me, (See Matthew 3:15-17)

Skills Work Experiences:

* Some of my skills and work experiences include: empowering the poor to be poor no more, healing the brokenhearted, setting the captives free, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind and setting at liberty them that are bruised, (See Luke 4:18).

* I am a Wonderful Counselor, (See Isaiah 9:6). People who listen to me shall dwell safely and shall not fear evil, (See Proverbs 1:33).

* Most importantly, I have the authority, ability and power to cleanse you of your sins, (See I John 1:7-9)

Educational Background:

* I encompass the entire breadth and length of knowledge, wisdom and understanding, (See Proverbs 2:6).

* In me are hid all of the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, (See Colossians 2:3).

* My Word is so powerful; it has been described as being a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path, (See Psalms 119:105).

* I can even tell you all of the secrets of your heart, (See Psalms 44:21).

Major Accomplishments:

* I was an active participant in the greatest Summit Meeting of all times, (See Genesis 1:26).

* I laid down my life so that you may live, (See II Corinthians 5:15).

* I defeated the archenemy of God and mankind and made a show of them openly, (See Colossians 2:15).

* I’ve miraculously fed the poor, healed the sick and raised the dead!

* There are many more major accomplishments, too many to mention here. You can read them on my website, which is located at: www dot – the BIBLE. You don’t need an Internet connection or computer to access my website.

Good Quality Traits: (in pictorial form)

“I’ve learned humility.”          “I’ve practiced servant-hood.”     “I’ve exercised forgiveness.”

            

References:

* Believers and followers worldwide will testify to my divine healings, salvation, deliverance, miracles, restoration and supernatural guidance

Summary:

Now that you’ve read my resume, I’m confident that I’m the only candidate uniquely qualified to fill this vital position in your heart. In summation, I will properly direct your paths, (See Prov 3:5-6), and lead you into everlasting life, (See John 6:47). When can I start? Time is of the essence, (See Hebrews 3:15).

2 Thessalonians 2:16,17 says, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”

May I encourage all my readers to save this article and take the time later as well to look up these Scripture references again.  The Bible is full of such wonderful and rich promises from God to us.  He loves us so much, how could we not love Him in return.

Be blessed,

Norm

“Help Me See Jesus!”

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Read Mark 8:22-26

Right in the very center of the Gospel of Mark, we encounter perhaps the most unique episode recorded of the life and ministry of Jesus.  At first, this miracle story may appear to look similar to many other miracles that Jesus performed.  We see Jesus entering into the town of Bethsaida.  The people bring to Jesus someone who needs healing, specifically a man who is blind.  Jesus heals him and tells him not to go into town (probably like other miracle stories, Jesus does not want to draw attention to himself yet).

But this miracle event is uniquely different in two ways.  First of all, this story is only recorded for us in Mark’s gospel, and not in the other three.  That in itself should cause us to wonder what was Mark’s motivation for choosing to include this event of Jesus’ life.  And secondly, this is the only miracle that Jesus performed in two steps.  He touched the man’s eyes once and he could see things dimly.  So Jesus touches his eyes a second time and then he is healed completely.  Hmmm….what is going on here.

It should never be supposed that Jesus was unable to heal the man, or perhaps He was just having a bad day.  No, we know that part of Jesus’ mandate while on earth was to help the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the lepers to be cleansed and the Good News to be preached (Matthew 11:4-6).  There is no question that in this story it was Jesus’ intention from the beginning to heal the blind man.

So then perhaps we should turn our attention on to the blind man himself.  Perhaps he did not have enough faith to be healed.  In many instances, Jesus asked the person beforehand if they believed that Jesus was able to heal them.  And yet, in this miracle story, the question of whether the man had faith or not is never brought up.  There has to be another reason for this two-step miracle.

Looking around within this story, there do not seem to be any other clues to help us figure this out.  So then we should follow an important principle in the study of Scripture.  After you have first looked within the text to discover the meaning, then the next important principle is to look within the surrounding context to see if that helps you out.  And lo and behold, we do discover something very important.

After the section detailing the death of John the Baptist, there are five major miracle stories, either of someone being healed, or of the multitudes being fed.  Then we get the dialog between Jesus and his disciples in the boat discussing “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Herod.”  We now know today Jesus was talking figuratively and saying they should watch out with regards to the teachings of the Pharisees and Herod.  The disciples though were a little dense and didn’t get this, and so we hear Jesus finish this section by saying, “Do you still not understand!”

Then if we look immediately after the story of the blind man being healed, we see the crucial question of Jesus being asked, “Who do people say that I am?”  And it was apparent that many did not know who He was, since some said John the Baptist come back, some said Elijah, and some said a prophet.  But when he made it personal and asked Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter responded, “You are the Christ!” which meant that Peter recognized that Jesus was the man whom God had appointed to save His people Israel and for whom they had waited for thousands of years.

It would appear that the persons, other than Jesus, who are in focus in these chapters of Mark are really the disciples.  They lived with Jesus, listened to Jesus, and watched all the miracles that Jesus performed, but in the end, they still did not really understand who Jesus was.  Because even after Peter’s great declaration of Jesus being the Christ, when Jesus said that He came to suffer and die, Peter was the one who rebuked Jesus.  And Jesus in turn had to rebuke Peter.

To think that the disciples could be so close to Jesus but not really see him at all is the very point of the two-step miracle.  I can just imagine that when Jesus first touched the man’s eyes and asked him if he saw anything, that Jesus looked over at the disciples while he said this.  And when the man said he saw things dimly, I can see Jesus still looking at the disciples and shaking his head.

Then Jesus touches the man’s eyes a second time and he is able to see everything clearly.  This man needed a second touch from Jesus, but the real lesson was for the disciples.  They needed to see more clearly who Jesus was.  And Peter was pretty close when he said Jesus was the Christ.  But he thought that meant He was coming as the conquering hero who would free them from the domination of the Romans.  Peter had boxed up Jesus with his preconceived ideas.

So here’s my question for all of us today whoever might be reading this story.  Do you have faith in Jesus and understand well who He is, that He is Lord and we are called to serve Him, but you need a healing touch like this man did?  Then you can say like him, “Help me SEE, Jesus.”

Or are you like the disciples who thought they knew who Jesus was, but were trying to box Him up to be someone who would do what they wanted, thus asking Him to serve them?  I would suggest that you may need to say this in a prayerful way, “Help me see JESUS.”

Remember, it’s all about Him, it’s not about us!  May God bless you in the same measure that you bless and worship Him.


My Pain vs. Serving God

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Recently, I had a friend of mine express concern over how much Tylenol I have been taking to be able to keep my daily level of pain under control.  I agreed that this is serious, and I outlined what I have been doing to keep my pain manageable.  Thanks be to God that we may have found another answer which we hope will help me.

Back in 2008 when the symptoms of this muscle disease became severe, I was taking around 3000 mg of Tylenol per day, but that was way above the toxic level.  So in 2009, I tried to keep it to 2600 mg by using T3 sometimes (lower Tylenol, but added codeine/caffeine) instead of always using extra strength Tylenol. This year I have tried to keep it to 2400 mg or lower if possible, and just live with more pain.  So none of these choices were still very good.

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But this changed about two weeks ago.  Two months ago, I finally was able to enter into the Chronic Pain Clinic program offered here in Calgary.  I had been waiting for over a year and a half to get into this program.  One of my visits was with a doctor who quickly saw how much pain I was in and he had an idea he wanted to try with me.

Instead of taking oral pain killers, he was recommending to me that I try a medicinal patch which I would wear for a week before changing it for another one.  This patch would have a timed-release narcotic drug which would allow 5 micrograms per hour to be absorbed into my body.  Over a week, it would add up to be 5 grams of a drug called Buprenorphine, which is actually stronger than morphine.

When I went back to see the doctor two weeks ago, I told him that the patch did not do much to change my pain.  He actually was not surprised, and he told me that he was mainly wanting to see if I would have a reaction to the drug.  So I went up to 10 micrograms per hour two weeks ago, doubling the dosage of the drug.

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The real test for this was the trip I just took to California, since most trips wear me down so much and as the fatigue increases, so does the pain.  I am happy to report that last week went very well, I was able to teach all my class sessions at the mission training class, and my pain was quite minimal, the best I can remember for a week of low pain since this all started almost 3 years ago.

Now for the first time, with this narcotic patch, I feel there is hope to significantly reduce the Tylenol, and at the same time reduce my daily pain.  So far, I have not really seen any side effect of the narcotic.  I do know that if I use it long-term, there is the possibility that I will become addicted to the drug.

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But here are the choices I see in front of me at this time:  1) Ingest high levels of Tylenol which will give me lower pain, more life activity, but there is a high chance of liver damage over time;  2) Ingest low levels of Tylenol which will result in higher pain, restricted life activities, but save the liver (hopefully); or 3) Use the narcotic patch which will reduce or maybe even eliminate my need for Tylenol, and which will give me minimal pain, more freedom for life activities, but possibly result in an addiction to the drug.

Given those three choices, I will choose number 3.  I believe God still has much for me to do, and it is hard to serve Him when I am battling daily pain that will severely restrict my activities in life.  Now there is still option number 4.  Namely, that God will heal me of this disease.  And of course I want that most of all.

So I do still pray for God to heal me, and I invite you to be praying daily for me for this too.  But until that day comes, I will not let this disease stop me from doing His work.  And the work that He continues to give me is to do Bible translation consultant checking.

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That is what I will be doing for two months (Jan. 27 – March 28) leaving in 2 1/2 weeks to go to Papua New Guinea.  Please pray that I will be prepared with my consultant notes by then.  Pray I will have the strength and stamina for such a long trip.  Pray that my pain will continue to be lower, and that the narcotics will not dull my mind as I need to be sharp in what I hear, what questions I ask, and what suggestions I give so they can have the best possible translation.

I want to thank my friend for asking about my health and showing concern over the drug regiment I was on for so long.  I felt that I needed to share all this with my larger audience of those who follow “The Listening Post” and I do ask that you keep me in your prayers.

In all things, I give myself and my service to God, in order that He would       receive the glory, and the Kingdom of God would advance here on earth.  May His will be done.

 

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