01 Sep Mission to Flower Mound, Texas September 2006
The Centrality of Kingdom
Just two weeks before we were due to fly to Houston we received an urgent email from Fr. Henry Pendergrass of St. Nicholas, Parish Church, Texas asking us to come and visit them. Henry had just read part of The Anointing to Heal and felt that we had something that had been on his heart for some time to help bring to St. Nicholas. That something is – The Centrality of the Kingdom Now – that we should be able to live in the reality of the Kingdom of God now, as preached and taught by Jesus, with all the wonders and benefits that we are told in Ephesians that He has already given to us. We immediately emailed back to say that we would fly up to be with them on the Thursday following our mission at St. John the Divine Houston.
This turned out to be one of the sweetest and most blessed weekends for Dorothy and Nora and me. Nora joined up with us in Flower Mound so that she could work along with us. The team that has gathered around the remarkable Fr. Henry and his wife Colleen is so hungry and sweet for the things of God it was just a pleasure to be amongst them and share some of what God has shown us.
We were able to join in their Intercession Team prayer time led by Lisa. It was a time of soaking in God’s ways.
They sat me down and just got me to talk for 4 hours without stopping (except for a few questions and interjections) about the things we have learned over the years in ministry and at the Healing Centre. In the evening we met up with more of the team and their husbands during an informal, but wonderful meal at Angela and Eric’s house.
Dorothy and Nora told their stories and ministered at a Women’s Ministries Brunch whilst Steve Neuwoehner told me some of the story of his own walk with the Lord. Steve is so modest that it was not until Henry said something later that I realised that Steve had been instrumental in starting what is now one of the major ministries in the USA. Life On the Vine. It will be my proud boast to say that I was present at the inaugural Life on The Vine Service. Stacey and Sarah led us in worship – I contrasted the two pictures of God – First as the mother hen sheltering her chickens under her wings – Then as the eagle renewed in strength and soaring free of all yokes and I was asking the question of what we want to be in our Christian life. Chickens scratching the ground to pick up the scraps thrown to us or eagles soaring freely ready to move with the waves and currents as the Spirit blows.
As Jesus says (John 3;8) The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
This I think was the theme for the time at Flower Mound and the question that Henry has been laying before the whole congregation. Are we happy and content to stay within the pleasant and comfortable confines of the hen-run that we have built over the years, where God has been feeding and nurturing and growing us, or we now ready as young eagles to be disturbed from the nest and taught by Father how to fly and soar – able to follow and go with the Holy Spirit whichever direction He goes. The Holy Spirit certainly was blowing strongly amongst us on that Saturday night and most of the people present could feel His presence under their wings. It was a great night of promise.
St. Nicholas’ has two Sunday morning communion services. 9.00am and 10.30am. I had thought and prayed about these services since Henry emailed me the lectionary readings for the day which included a passage from the Book of Wisdom but went to bed on the Saturday evening without any idea of Sunday’s sermon. My own reading for that Sunday morning was in Ephesians 3 where Paul reveals the mystery that has been hidden through the ages which is that – the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church (us) to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places (v9/10). The onto verse 20 where we find that – although He can do more than we could ever imagine He does it according to the power that works within us. We need to grasp the concept that all that God wants to do and all that He wants to teach to angels and spiritual authorities He has chosen to use us. Therefore we need to throw aside all set patterns of thought, mindsets, prejudices and whatever else keeps us confined in our thinking, actions and feelings and be open to what God wants us to do. Therefore we need to be ready to move as the Spirit wills. Really it was an echo of the Life on the Vine willingness to be set free to fly and soar. Henry asked me to minister at the back to those who would not be able to attend the healing service that evening. I warned both congregations that the Spirit might move on people so that they rested under the presence of Jesus. And so it was at the end of the first service and many people received deep ministry through the Holy Spirit, so much so that the 10.30am service did not get started until after 11.00am. Again the Holy Spirit was present at the end of the second service to minister through Dorothy, Nora and me. People were healed – at least 2 people asked Jesus into their lives and were born again from on high.
Robes of Righteousness
Karri and Sarah showed us round Karri’ s medical practice for children on Sunday afternoon. It is a wonderful place to treat sick children. However Karri and Sarah have a ministry of Robes of Righteousness. They run weekend retreats on righteousness and at the end present the delegates with a robe specially chosen for them and then pray over them as they clothe them in it. They had chosen exactly the right robes for Dorothy, Nora and me. Then as they clothed each of us in turn their prayers for each of us were so appropriate and such a blessing to us – we will always treasure them and put them on for those special occasions of being with Father. Healing Service I cannot remember what either Dorothy or I spoke about at the healing service but the love of Jesus was present. The Lord touched some so deeply as we spoke that the tears flowed as He ministered to them just where they sat. The prayer team had been given words of knowledge and these were received – the Lord gave me prophetic words which spoke directly into people. For example I pointed at one lady and said that she had been having problems with her throat and had difficulty speaking but that the Lord wanted her to receive her healing. She agreed that she had the problem described and so I encouraged her to shout out loud – she eventually was released to do so – the healing released her from years of restraint from her childhood when she had been strictly forbidden to make any noise at all in church and now she was allowed to be free. Many of the young people were deeply touched. A young man who had been involved in an horrific motor accident received physical and emotional healing – the said that He wanted to set him free from his nightmares. Then Dorothy was greatly blessed by the Flower Mound team as they put her robe of righteousness on her and gathered round to pray and minister to her as she lay on the floor.
Before we left on Monday morning we had the privilege of praying with Joyce and Jack Neth who had been our wonderful hosts during those memorable days. I had watched Jack walk for 5 days and observed the way he ‘limped’. Finally I was invited to pray for him and his hips were brought into line so that he walked straight and the pain in his back left. Joyce’s email yesterday confirmed that they were both still free from pain. This is a fine picture of Jack, Joyce and their dog Madison.