Healing is for You…

Do you want healing? God has promised healing to all who believe. Just like faith will save you, faith will heal you.

Now for some encouragement and understanding about connecting with God for healing, read this testimony from our friend Joan Hayward… God is real and you can have His promise fulfilled… Believe.

Stumbling into Glory

The Growing Pains of Becoming a “Born Again” Christian: A Senior’s Personal View

The many facets of the term “glory” are interpreted in the Roget’s Thesaurus as being: radiant, having eminence, grandeur, praise, honor, repute, illustriousness, notability, and brightness, halo, rejoicing, and exulting. I like to refer to Psalms 34:4-10 to explain “Glory” according to the biblical word:

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look at him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

With all of my shortcomings and acquired habits over the years I wondered if I could come into glory with God at long last. I wondered if I called out to Him would he be there for me after all of this time in the darkness. Had I fallen from his grace never to return? Well, – over the years I heard about this thing called “born again.” I met people who claimed to be born again and they seemed a bit radical where religion was concerned. What I didn’t realize was that they weren’t being radical about religion. Religion didn’t have anything to do with their state of mind or their belief system. Something else was cooking there, and I wanted to find out what it was. It was during this period in my life where I was feeling anxious about the state of my being, when I met a woman who referred to God in just about every sentence she uttered.
At first the warning signs drew me away from her as the words “religious radical and extremist” flashed before my eyes.
“Are you a “born again” person? I asked.
Her hand flew up and scared me half to death. I thought she was going to hit me, “Yes! Praise the Lord.”
“Oh my,” I thought, “This is going to be interesting. These people are really weird.”
The next month or so I had the occasion to become better acquainted with this new perplexing friend. So I did the obvious thing and took the opportunity to ask questions about her belief system. I sort of understood it; but there were a lot of words that I didn’t understand. Words like: cell, healing rooms, Sozo, and many more. Finally I just came right out with it,
“Are you a 7th Day Adventist? Do you belong to a church or do you just go into these rooms periodically?” I was so confused at that point. There was another woman in the room saw my dilemma and blurted out,
“Yes we are a church. We go to church. There is a real church in place. These other things like cell groups and healing rooms are just a part of the church.”
“Wow! You heal people?”
“You really heal people?”
Now my curiosity was at its peak. I turned to my friend, “Do you mind if I visit your church sometime?”
I shall never forget the very first service I attended or the greetings I received my first day at Mountain Vintage. Love abounded me with hugs and welcomes. This was nothing like any other church I had ever attended. Sunday school was a mixture of ages and people just like me. These were the same kind of people I would find in another church. They didn’t look like Martians. They didn’t dress differently. As a matter of fact I was overjoyed at the way they underdressed. Shorts, beach sandals, jeans, T-shirts, no makeup, some like they had just crawled out of bed, and some properly combed. Nobody cared about the dress. They made me feel welcome and comfortable in my new surroundings, and I had never experienced this before in any other church. After Sunday school came the main service. A small band began to play. Some people went before the stage and began dancing. The church became “alive” and a new sensation surged through my body. The ecstasy of the atmosphere immediately put down my defenses as I suddenly became overwhelmed with the spirit of joy. Had I arrived? Was I feeling the presence of God inside me again as I did during those years before I went astray? I would have to come back again.
In no time I too was born again, and was baptized. I saw lights flashing before me in the church. I said to my Pastor, “I like that thing you do with the flashing lights. It really puts me in the spirit.”
He replied, “We don’t do anything with flashing lights. You were seeing angels.” I was so embarrassed but tried not to show it. Now I had to find out about these angels and how they work…so much to learn. Then, in another service I had a vision. The vision was passed on, but did not receive any acknowledgment or attention. It didn’t matter, because, my interpretation of it was right on, and it all came to into being. I wanted to know if I was interpreting the vision correctly.
That Christmas I went on vacation to Myrtle Beach. I was standing in the chilled morning air, my bare feet in the cold sand, and the sound of water rushing and slapping gently against the shore. The sun was peaking up over the horizon. I looked up to the heavens, “Dear God, send me a sign. Please send me a sign and let me know if I perceive the right meaning to my vision. Please help me Lord, please answer.” I left the rest up to God and picked up a loaf of bread to feed the birds. My grandson and his parents came down to the shore to be with me. I gave my grandson some bread. As I was feeding the birds suddenly a dove flew down and landed on my hand and began eating the bread right out of my hand. Their where white doves in my vision. I knew at once this was the answer I had asked for; but how could I be certain this was just not a coincidence?
My grandson wanted the bird to come to his hand and eat his bread. He placed his hand next to mine to try to lure the bird over. The bird backed off and flew away. My grandson removed his hand. As I proceeded to feed the birds again the dove returned lighting on my hand and proceeding to eat the bread again. My grandson attempted to lure the bird to his hand two more times and both times the bird flew away, only returning when he pulled his hand back away from mine. My daughter exclaimed, “Wow mom! He only wants to come to you! Maybe it’s the color of your sweater or something.”
I kept silent. I knew why the bird only came to me. From that moment my belief in God would never waver again. This business of being a new born Christian would be taken much more seriously now. I had found the light out of darkness. I shared my experience with my cell mates. They told me it was a “Divine Intervention”, – another term I had never heard before. I felt some people believed me; but I also felt some did not share my joy in this experience. Perhaps they didn’t believe me. It is from this point in my new religious experience that my struggle into Glory began and is still and on going quest.

Stumbling Into Glory

Chapter 1

Following the pathway to Glory I found it is difficult being a “new” born again Christian who begins experiencing the wonders of the supernatural realm at the onset of their acceptance of Christ. Seasoned believers, prophets, visionaries, and healers do not show their doubt; however, when sharing new experiences and revelations do not bring surprise and joy or enthusiastic encouragement from the listener; one has to wonder if they are being believed. I have even been told that none of this can be happening to me; because, I have not gone through the series of classes that would give me the knowledge for supernatural experiences, or the ability to perform the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and until I do go through this training I will not be accepted by my peers and mentors as being credible in these realms. And yet we are taught that there is only one tiny thing we need to have in order to be in the presence of the Holy Spirit and God in order to hear his messages so that we can deliver them to others, and to set the climate and the environment for healing to take place. That one thing is, – faith. I do not believe that classes are necessary to witness and experience God’s miracles; or that classes should be necessary before credibility is awarded.
I do believe that some people are born with special gifts and have a natural talent to perform one or all of the above; and that the knowledge of applying these gifts ethically and with credibility comes from attaining biblical knowledge, training and practical application which I refer to as the “seasoning.” The more years one applies their knowledge through practical application such as ministering the word to others, the more seasoned one becomes, and the more credibility that individual earns from their peers. So for me, as a senior who is just born again, where does that leave me in the “seasoning department?”
Obviously, I am never going to catch up with someone who has been born again for several years. The latter takes a great deal of my patience, as I am still travelling through the first stages of becoming a “born again” Christian which is “hunger” for the word.
A new Christian seems to have an insatiable appetite to learn the word. But as a senior, time is of the essence. I feel time is running out; therefore, I am in a particular hurry to learn the word and earn the respect of my seasoned peers. “What better way,” I ask myself, “than to dig right in, – sink or swim, and begin practicing the word?” My answer to this question is usually suffocated by doubt.
If I made an attempt to translate a dream, how would it be received? If I shared a vision, would anyone take heed? If I experienced the glory of the Holy Spirit, would anyone truly believe me? How do I get my foot in the door? My doubt left me empty inside fearing I would turn away again and throw myself back into darkness. Depression set in and I let the pain in my aging and broken joints and the curses of my ancestors take over my physical realm once again. I knew I was in a fight with the devil; but at the same time I also new it was time for me to retreat.
Over the years, when confusion sets in, I have retreated away from the bustling world. Let’s call it a sabbatical where I concentrate on studying my thoughts, the situation at hand, and begin gathering a new understanding of whatever is happening to me so that I can rise up a new and different person for the positive. The difference in my sabbaticals now is that I do not lead the sabbatical. I give the lead to God through prayer asking Him to give me the answers.
Much to my amazement the answers now come to me almost immediately through sudden flashes of thought. The thought may be only one word, or it can be an idea, or it can be an awakening of my lack of humility before the power of God that snaps me back into my role as God’s servant of obeyance. The answers also come to me through a burning sensation in my gut. I know when God’s teaching session is over as the final message comes to me through a direct order that it is time to get my (excuse my crudeness) “butt” back into church.
Here is where the joy of God’s love and power always takes over my soul and my heart once again, filling the darkness with the light of the Holy Spirit. I have retreated three times so far in less than a year, and each time I returned to church something significant happened that catapulted me onto a higher plain in my relationship with God. I am wondering just how many times God has to rescue me before I become a true believer, before my faith can no longer fail my Christian beliefs. What causes me to suddenly sink into doubt? The answer to this question has finally come to me.
During a cell meeting months ago, my Pastor asked us a question that went something like this, “What makes you decide on what church is right for you?” My answer was, “The people. If the people of a church are hypocrites I just don’t want to be there.” My answer was soon followed up with much the same responses from others. Pastor acknowledged the fact that the people of a church play an important role in their affect on new or prospective members. Then Pastor looked down and was momentarily silent. What he said next stunned me and I knew I was witnessing a humbling of my mentor to me, a lowly student, when he raised his head and declared, “You know, I once thought of leaving this profession.” It was through this momentary recollection that the answer to my question suddenly came to me, – I relied upon other people to maintain my belief system!
I realized I was focusing on other people’s actions. I realized I was judging those actions and comparing them to my standards and expectations. If those actions did not meet with my standards and expectations I didn’t want to be around them. There were incidences that truly hurt me, possibly even casting blight on my character to others in the church. I didn’t know how I could defend myself against malicious gossip and lies. I just hoped that the right people would not accept the lies. The thought of this created paranoia. I didn’t know who to trust. The recognition of the actions of others was the first step to weakening faith. If I had not followed God’s order to return to church I would not have received the answer.
Two very important messages were delivered over a two day period. How amazing is that? The first message was that we have to be careful when we study the bible that we study it in context. I realized that the messages (or gossip) about me were messages taken out of context. The second message was that we should take joy in the harm our enemies due to us, because this gives us the opportunity to prove our faith. A scripture was cited, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Just as the Romans, instead of putting an end to Christ, inadvertently shored up Christ’s teachings through the crucification, my faith is shored up by my enemies and my forgiveness toward them for what they do. I call this shoring up “winning points.” I actually look forward to each day’s challenges now to see how many “points” I can earn. Enemies are fun! But how does this all tie in with gaining acceptance by my seasoned peers a new “Born Again” Christian? And how long will I be considered new?
The answer: It doesn’t matter! It doesn’t matter what other people think! It doesn’t matter the level they think I am on! What matters is my relationship with God. It only matters to my soul. No one can be me. I am an individual and the relationship I form with God belongs to me – and only me! I am not in church to focus on what other people think of me. I am in church to give praise to God and take advantage of the entities that shore up my faith and teach me to be a true servant of God. If I am not about this end, I am not truly serving the Lord. If I am not about this end, I am like those who are weak in the faith. I am a hypocrite.
This new revelation gives me a wonderful new freedom in my worship and in receiving the Holy Spirit. I can feel empty inside sometimes, and that is ok. We do not have to feel the “Holy Spirit High” all of the time to be in communication with His glory. He knows we are believers. He knows we have the faith. Even if we don’t feel his presence, He is there. He is always there for those who become his servants. Even Christ had times of doubt, – times of darkness, – and times of fear; and when he did feel these haunting emotions he sought His Father through prayer for the answers. Like Job, Christ did not run away from God when his faith was tested, and from now on, neither shall I.

Chapter 2

The Healing:

My First Real Testimonial: Stumbling Into Glory

The many facets of the term “glory” are interpreted in the Roget’s Thesaurus as being: radiant, having eminence, grandeur, praise, honor, repute, illustriousness, notability, and brightness, halo, rejoicing, and exulting. I like to refer to Psalms 34:4-10 to explain “Glory” according to the biblical word:

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look at him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing.
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

I have heard sermons on the subject of the third realm and how important it is to enter it if we wish to be in God’s presence. For it is only in God’s presence that we can receive healing and answers to our prayers. Some people can move in and out of the third realm with ease. Others must meditate and concentrate, sometimes, for hours at a time to reach this state in the supernatural world. For me, it just happens. It isn’t something I am trying to do. However, the environment I am in has everything to do with passing through the “second door” to the spiritual world. I have discovered that certain sounds will push me immediately into an altered state of mind.
The first experience I had with this was at an “Encounter” seminar. It was at the end of the seminar. We were to stand and get ready to speak in tongues. Our two pastors worked together to create an atmosphere conducive to meditative states. I kept my eyes closed as I concentrated on the first pastor’s chants. But it was when the second pastor began to shout (just shouts, nothing in particular) over and over again. I felt myself suddenly being swept away as if flying backwards, and every shout taking me deeper and deeper. It was as if the shouts took over my will. I went somewhere. I knew I was still in the material world, and yet I also felt the sensation of being somewhere else. I was there – and yet I wasn’t there. I heard myself speaking strange sounds. But those sounds had meaning; because I felt certain emotions behind the words. There were times when I had become more assertive. There were times when I had to repeat something over and over. I honestly felt I needed to convince someone (anyone) of what I was saying. I never knew what I said, however. In Corinthians 13: 5 the Bible states, “He who prophesies is greater than one who speaks in tongues, unless he interprets, so that the church may be edified.” Since there was no interpretation (as no one else knew what I had said either), I had to discount this experience as being one in the third realm or one that was directed by the Holy Spirit.
Over the next months my bones deteriorated. Arthritis stepped up its pace. I had broken my ankle that summer and it never healed leaving me with a gimp foot. The doctor ordered a huge clumsy brace be made for my foot to keep it straight so that I could walk right and without pain. I found the brace offensive and restrictive. It was not acceptable. I turned to the healing rooms for the first time in an effort to have this bondage released from my body.
The day I strolled into the healing circle I met with five women who prayed over me. Suddenly I realized the pain in my foot was gone! Then others declared the session was over and they got up and left. One woman in particular took a special interest in my pain, however. She woman stayed with me. She told me she had not seen such faith in God before. She made me feel good about myself. She prayed more extensively over my foot. Then I got the idea to give the problem to God. So I did! We laughed at this revelation, and like two giddy kids proceeded to hide the brace under the church platform. I literally gave the problem to God and refused to accept the deformity.
I don’t know what happened; but the healing didn’t last long. The pain came back and my foot never straightened up. I went again for another healing. This time I went right after the church service. Prayers were said once again over my foot and immediately the pain was gone. I wondered how long it would last. To my surprise the pain has never returned. This required a lot of searching again for answers as to what made the difference the second time.
I believe it is called faith. What I have discovered is that faith is not of the physical conscious mind. Faith exists in the supernatural world and enters the physical world through the brain of the soul. I cannot create faith. I cannot “think” faith into my being. Faith just has to be there. So how does faith get into my supernatural being? How does faith get there? It was during my most recent healing experience that I understood the answer to this question. Faith comes when we relinquish control to the power of the Holy Spirit.
I had been on one of my sabbaticals. I had succumbed to the pain in my right knee and could hardly walk or drive or perform simple tasks around the house. I went to a seminar at the local hospital on knee replacement and decided to go ahead with the surgery. Wallowing in self pity and questions like, “Why me?” weeks went by with no contact with church. I felt I needed to reach out. God was telling me the sabbatical was over. I needed to do something other than sit home and pout. I saw something on my wall from Pastor Steve about God’s love on Face Book. I clicked over to his profile page and responded as to what I thought love was. I didn’t get a response, – at least none that I was able to see. When that didn’t work I sent him a message which he did answer through E-mail. Then he sent me an invitation to a special seminar on the Holy Spirit and how to connect with the supernatural world. This inspired me and pulled me out of my doldrums. The speaker was powerful. I enjoyed the first encounter. That night we returned, and things really heated up.
I wasn’t in the spirit, however. I was having a great time. I felt rejuvenated once again and was very glad to be back. But my knee was hurting and still controlling and overpowering my being. Then the speaker started. He was yelling, “Touch, Touch, Touch!” amongst other things. He started walking around and touching people. People were falling down on the floor, some were laughing hysterically. Some were shaking uncontrollably. The term used was “drunk with the spirit. I had only heard this term once before from another woman at church. She picked me up and brought me to the service. On our way there she made a statement that she “…was still drunk from yesterday’s service.”
I said, “You got drunk at a church service?”
She answered, “Yeah, sure!”
I said, “You got drunk! I don’t get it.”
Another passenger called out, “Drunk in the spirit!”
I just wasn’t feeling it, however. And no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get drunk in the spirit either. I was having a great time and enjoying the service tremendously; just couldn’t get into the falling and dropping mode. Then it happened. The Pastor went back up front and started talking in tongues and shouting some more. I let go of my cane and grabbed the chairs in front of me for balance and to relieve the pressure off of my right knee. I closed my eyes and just listened to the Pastor’s sounds. He began chanting loudly one single sound over and over just like what Pastor Todd had done at the Encounter. And then it just happened. Suddenly I was under the control of the sound. With every “hit” (as I call it) from the sound I was pushed deeper and deeper. My face heated up, and then my whole head. The heat grew hotter and I could feel it on the surface of my face like the hot sun on the beach when you know you are getting burned. The heat moved down my neck and into my torso; then down through my legs all of the way to the undersides of my feet. By now I was floating in a beautiful peace. Physical sounds were like echoes far in the distance. I felt suspended in space, – weightless, and at the same time heaviness. Later I realized I was in two worlds at the same time, the spiritual world and the physical world. My right leg slowly rose up and began circling and moving back and forth. The motion seemed to move me back into physical awareness. When I was fully aware I realized I couldn’t feel the bones grinding in my knee. I couldn’t hear them crunching together with every movement. Movement was not retrained in any direction. The pain was gone. I looked up at the Pastor. I don’t know why, but he called out my name, “Joan!”
I thought to myself, “Oh no. Why me. What is this man going to do now?”
“Joan! You came in with a cane didn’t you? What’s happening? What’s going on with you? Talk to me.”
I shook my head, “I don’t feel the pain. The pain is gone.”
“Come up here!” He commanded.
I broke down. I wanted to believe that God had touched me; but I wanted to be sure before sharing it with others. What if it was just a passing state of mind? I digressed to my old habits of being a doubting Thomas and fearing the worst. Not for long, though; because, when I started to negotiate turning and scrambling around my neighbor in the seat next to me to get to the aisle I knew something different had occurred. This awareness was shored up as I walked to the front of the church pain free and with great ease. The bones in my knee were no longer grinding against each other. I tested it over and over again. Then with a burst I began jumping. Only tiny jumps, as I wasn’t THAT sure of the situation yet.
When I awoke the next morning the knee was still the same. That night, – still the same. My faith was holding fast!
Without knowing it, without trying to feel like the others or use my physical brain to command the presence of the Holy Spirit, I simply closed my eyes and asked the Holy Spirit for help. He brought me to the “Seeking Realm” away from worldly distractions; the world that rebukes the devil. Here I was “Quickened.” Once prepared, I was led into the third realm which is the Holy Place where the Holy Spirit intercepts for me with God. It was here that the healing took place. I have since asked myself, how was it possible for me to experience this without previous knowledge or practice. I searched my journal for the answer.

Sure enough, there it was written in my notes:

The Lord desires our fellowship. God puts the impulse to seek Him into our hearts. God seeks first before we are sought. Song of Solomon 1:4, “We can’t run after the Lord until he summons us.”

I don’t know why he has summoned me, a poor wretch that has failed Him time and time again in the past. But I am so grateful for his love and understanding. I am so very grateful He hasn’t given up on me. Maybe I am like Jacob, – the rascal who would step on his grandmother to get to God. I don’t know. I just know that somehow I stumbled into Glory.


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