Kidstuff…

“Today I want to go see Jesus inside an orange!” Adam* exclaimed, anticipation causing his eyes to sparkle.

Comments like these are not at all unusual. In fact, comments like these, where anticipation mounts high, make for some of the best encounters I have ever experienced.

“An orange!” I respond, loving his creativity. “What a great place to find Jesus!”

It’s no wonder that Jesus said His Kingdom belonged to the children.

“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14-15 NLT)

A child’s faith is not only built on the anticipation and confidence that Jesus will meet him no matter where, but the wonder and joy that He has something to share with him.

People often ask me how I got started in the area of ministering inner healing to children.

It’s a simple story, really.

It all started at my dining room table over a box of crayons and a coloring book.

My little four-year-old niece was visiting for the day and we had a list of things to do that would delight any four-year-old girl, including the four-year-old girl inside of me.

Never mind that it was chilly out and the sky was an overcast gray.

We had games to play and books to read and cookies to bake and an outing planned for lunch… pizza… her favorite!

But first, we colored.

And, at this point, I should point out that my niece takes after this aunt of hers.

She’s a chatterbox.

She could talk through a whole coloring book worth of pages.

As we color, she begins telling me about her week. I don’t remember all the details. However, I do remember, at one point, she took a detour from her story to inform me that one of her classmates in preschool had made fun of her shoes and said they were ugly, before she continued chattering.

Minutes later, she digressed from another story once again to tell me that her classmate had made fun of her shoes. “He said they were so ugly!” There was an underlying current of self-consciousness and shame in her voice as she repeated herself. “My shoes are so ugly!”

“Deal with it.” The Holy Spirit’s voice spoke up, clear and direct inside of me.

“And how does that make you feel?” I asked, slipping into a role of a facilitator, my mind silently weighing out which inner healing technique to use. I had done inner healing many times before with adults, but never with a child!

“Sad.”

I needed a little more than just ‘sad’. “Did it make you feel anything else?”

She thought for a moment. “No. Just sad.”

I recognized that was the only descriptive emotion I was going to get. “What does that make you believe about yourself?” I persisted.

She gave me a puzzled look. “I don’t know what that means,” she informed me flatly.

Okay. Clearly Theophostics** wasn’t the way to go with a four-year-old. And SOZO** seemed equally unproductive, in this case. I had recently finished taking the training for Encounter God** and didn’t feel completely confident with it yet. But suddenly it seemed the thing to do.

“Would you like to ask Jesus how He feels about your shoes?” I asked, simplifying the process as much as possible.

She looked surprised at the question. The coloring stopped. The crayon became still in her hand as she nodded slowly.

Carefully, and in four-year-old terminology, I explained to her what to do.

Her eyes closed, then popped open again moments later. “He says he likes my shoes!” she exclaimed, a shy smile on her face.

“Wow,” I commented. “But what about you? What does He think about you?”

“I’ll ask.” Once again her eyes closed. A little longer this time before sheer amazement caused them to pop open.

“He says that He loves me…” she paused. Her voice carried a hushed wonder as she added, “…and do you know what else?”

“What else?”

“He says that God loves me, too!”

I will never forget that look of wonderment on her face or the truth that dawned in her eyes.

Gone was the underlying current of self-consciousness and shame. In its place was a confident reality of the assurance of the love of God.

It’s that look of wonderment that keeps me going.

…that look of wonderment that signals a paradigm shift.

…that look of wonderment that conveys the silent message, that “if Jesus said that to me, then I must be someone really special!”

… that look of wonderment that transforms a person because they’ve been in the presence of a living God.

That was my beginning.

Since then, I’ve ministered to children in different stages of their lives. .. from those who have been abused or suffering demonic oppression, to those who deal with nightmares or low self-esteem.

Because you see, no matter how big or how small the issue, it’s all a big deal to Jesus.

And whether a child chooses to encounter Jesus in something as outrageous an orange or somewhere as common as a dining room table, Jesus is there.

He delights in sharing the wonderment of Himself with a child.

And yes, even to the child inside each one of us, no matter what the age!

“Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I assure you, anyone who doesn’t have their kind of faith will never get into the Kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:14-15 NLT)

*Name was changed for privacy.

**Theophostics, SOZO, and Encounter God are different techniques in inner healing that are available through the Kansas City Healing Community.

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Addicted!!!

Sometimes I wonder if I should add a disclaimer to Holy Imagination.

Beware: Excessive practice of Holy Imagination has the potential of becoming addictive.

I was with my husband yesterday when he had to make a ‘quick stop’ at the granite yard in downtown Kansas City to check on some color variations in granite. Anyway, besides the point. He parked in the gravel driveway and got out… and what to my wondering eyes should appear but this beautiful hunk of rusted metal.

Yep. You heard me right. Nestled under a sprawling, overgrown tree was a glorious hunk of an antique truck. Now please understand: I am not normally an antique-y sort of person… unless it comes to cars. It stems back to my growing up years and how Dad would take me with him to antique car shows. We’d saunter slowly down rows of refurbished cars and he’d know the year and the model and exclaim over the beauty of the features. I’d hear things like: “Take a look at that running board.” or “Whoo… someone took good care of that one. Still has the original paint.” He’d inspect it carefully for chips, pleased when his original observation held true.

Yeah, I’ll admit it. I inherited my Dad’s appreciation for antique cars.

So here I see this antique Chevy truck, partially hidden under this pile of overgrown branches and, in spite of myself, I’m filled with pure delight. Then, like an insatiable addict, I slip into Holy Imagination.

“Jesus, what do you think of that truck over there?” I ask on impulse, curious to see what kind of a response I would get. He didn’t let me down. His eyes twinkled and a grin crossed his face. “Let’s go look,” he suggested as He dropped the hint into my mind to grab my camera.

Great idea.

With camera in hand, we walked over to the truck, gravel crunching underfoot. I rejoiced over the Chevy emblem on the grill, observed the white-walled tires that were flatter than flat, mourned over the broken windshield and headlights and the general state of disrepair the truck was in. As we left the granite yard, I bemoaned the fate of that old, uncared-for truck.

It needed someone to take care of it.

Someone to see the potential beauty in it.

“Just like people do,” Jesus reminded me.

A lump formed in my throat; my eyes burned with sudden moisture.

You see, deterioration starts from within.

So many people have broken down on the inside. Trauma, lies of the enemy, or sometimes even just the circumstances of life have worn them down, dispelled their hopes, shattered their dreams, and before they know it, they are in a state of disrepair. If left unattended too long, inward deterioration gradually works its way outward.

Then Jesus showed me a beautiful picture.

Dressed in overalls, He bent over the open hood of the truck and began, piece by piece, putting every part in order. As he touched each part, it became new, clean and bright. Poking His head around the the hood, He asked me to start the engine. As I did, the motor started up immediately, purring like a kitten.

But He didn’t stop there. The outside, though a shell, was just as important to Him as the inside. Lesson after lesson He taught me as we sanded and painted and polished, showing me the importance of applying gentleness, patience, perseverance, trust and hope into the lives of deteriorated people.

And then there it was, absolutely breathtaking, new red metallic paint shimmering in the sunshine, white-washed tires pumped up, the silver chevy logo gleaming, a perfect piece of restoration.

“That’s what happens when something is touched by Me.” His eyes were warm with approval. Or was it satisfaction? Maybe both. “My touch makes all things new.”

As I was absorbing that, He winked and leaned in the cabin of the truck, thrilling the child in me when a loud “ooga, ooga” squawked out. I never thought I’d hear one of those horns again!

“To make it uniquely yours,” Jesus added with a knowing grin as He hopped into the cabin of the truck. “New and unique. Let’s go for a ride.”

And then I got it.

That truck was me. That truck was you. The truck symbolizes each one of us in our own state of deterioration. But when Jesus comes to refurbish each of us, it’s not so that we can just function again.

He transforms us so that we can function uniquely… renewed with a purpose for life.

New purpose… new hopes… new dreams… new destiny.

What a ride we had! In fact, just since yesterday, we’ve had many more adventures in that truck. Did you know that Jesus absolutely loves pies? All kinds. He’s a pie-a-holic. But that’s another story for another day.

I’m addicted.

Completely addicted.

And I don’t mind one bit.

Testimonials

“Holy Imagination has been instrumental in my personal and professional life as a therapist. I have not been someone who has a vivid imagination but through the exercising of my imagination, God’s Word has really come alive for me.

During my encounters with Jesus in Holy Imagination, God has expanded my capacity for how I see/hear him. I ‘see’ in my imagination what I’m reading in His Word and it’s vibrant and exciting, opening a new realm for me.

After experiencing God during Holy Imagination, my time with Him in that moment does not end. God continues to minister to me in the days that follow and the experiences have been fun, interesting, deep and healing. He has and is doing a work in my life that is changing me.

I utilize inner healing prayer in my work with clients and have had the privilege to experience God’s healing power and grace in others’ lives. He has given peace to the anxious, healing to the abused and traumatized, a renewed sense of hope that stays with them long after our time together.

God is alive, He is real and He wants to bring healing and freedom to his children.”

-D.S., Christian Counselor

“This class has been an amazing experience! Holy Imagination was something I had never heard of. It has encouraged me in becoming more confident in hearing from the Lord and more conscious of His presence. Learning how to use Holy Imagination has also helped me hear more clearly from the Lord and developed my confidence that He wants to spend time with me. Recently, the Holy Spirit showed me a picture of Himself inside of me. He was sitting on a chair twiddling His thumbs. He told me, ‘I am bored. You never give me anything to do.’ Since then, I have ‘imagined’ the Holy Spirit in me and learned to rely on Him more. Taking journeys with Jesus in my imagination has opened up so much more of Him in me and how much He desires to have relationship with me.”
-K.M.

“I want to thank you for teaching and cohosting the Holy Imagination class. Learning how to use my imagination for God’s holy purpose has enhanced my relationship with Jesus by increasing my ability to hear and learn from Him. I struggled with knowing if I was truly hearing from Him before this class and the Lord was so faithful to confirm many times in other ways what I was ‘seeing and hearing’ during my Holy Imagination experiences. Not only was I learning to hear Him, but my faith and trust in Him grew as well along with an increasing sense of peace and rest.”
-L.R.

“In one of my first encounters with the Lord He put His arm around my shoulders as we sat together in the Throne room and told me that I knew Him as Lord, Savior, King of Kings, Bridegroom, but He was going to reveal Himself to me as my brother. Since that day, I’ve learned that my food can be to do the will of the Father… I’ve seen how He lives and moves and has His presence in me. WOW!”
-J.Q.

“This class was so encouraging and practical as it spoke directly to what was going on in my life. Not only that, but practical truths and words of life that could apply to others, also.

It also taught me to look and keep on looking. That when God takes me to an ‘odd’ place or gives me an ‘odd’ thought, that if I just keep on looking and asking ‘what is this?’ that He shows me and speaks powerful things through it. This is a major key in hearing His voice. To look and keep looking and to ask and keep asking.”
-M.M.

“I’ve been able to share short portions of some of my experiences with younger people who have never experienced this type of close relationship with Jesus: being able to see ourselves with Jesus in various places and in different situations.

When Stephen was being stoned, he saw heaven. Holy Imagination is an awesome tool for us to allow God to give us divine, personal revelation of His TRUE character and what ‘eternity’ is REALLY about. The closer we get to end-times, the more He seems to be showing us. It’s encouraging!”
-B.Q.

 

“Everyone has an imagination. Some just use theirs more than others. Okay, I stand guilty as charged. Holy Imagination has allowed me to not only explore my imagination but it has brought with it feelings and emotions that helped perpetuate the exploration. I have laughed and I have cried. Did I say laugh? I mean I have been in hysterics more than once. Engaging the Trinity on an expedition of the imagination is a voyage I highly recommend.”

-E.M.

Answers For Life’s Pains

Palm trees swaying in the warm breeze, lazy waves slapping rhythmically along the shore, green lush mountains looming in the distant horizon, a beautiful, picturesque setting that invokes the feeling of peacefulness. Yet, under the illusion of tranquility lays unfathomable pain, like a bandage masking the bloody carnage of a wound gone deep.

It was the place I was born; a gorgeous little island in the east pacific. My parents were missionaries and through them, instilled deep inside of me a love for people of all nationalities. As far back as I can remember, my heart has been drawn toward people, particularly those who are social outcasts or have been wounded through life’s circumstances.

Growing up surrounded by the beauty of the island, I was given the opportunity to see life from a unique perspective. Cocooned in my own safe home environment with parents who not only loved God, but my sisters and me, I was exposed to ugliness and harsh reality through the lives of the native people.

In the deep mountains where our mission station was located were primitive little villages, surrounded by rice fields. The villages were made up of drab little brick houses, a reflection of poverty and weary lives struggling to survive. In stark contrast was the Buddhist temple at the heart of each village. Glaringly ornate and opulent, these temples housed intricately carved gods who oppressed the people. People lived in fear of these gods who would rob them of their crops, family and health. Every year, a bonfire would be built in these villages, the fire often reaching the height of a two-story building. Each family would walk through the fire to appease the angry gods and to drive away “bad spirits”. Often, children did not learn the proper way to walk across the coals and as a result, the bottoms of their feet would be burned so badly that they would become lame. As a child, I could see the hopelessness and futility of life in their eyes but I didn’t know how to help.

“Can your Jesus really help me?” my friend asked me, desperation mingled with hope in her voice. We were about eleven years old and she had searched me out in the middle of the week to talk to me. Her family was the social outcast of the village and I had just discovered the reason why. In order to survive, her mother would sell her babies. No sooner would she give birth to one baby, it would be sold, and she would get pregnant again. Year after year, an unending cycle. For whatever reason, my friend had been deemed “unsellable” and had been kept for the purpose of being the household maid, doing duties far beyond what a child her age normally did. Quite possibly one day she would follow in her mother’s footsteps, selling babies of her own.

“Of course He can,” I responded confidently, feeling her pain and hiding my own frustration over the fact that I didn’t know what to do to help eliminate her pain. I knew Jesus was the answer, but I didn’t know how He was the answer.

Little did I know at that time that God was using those circumstances to prepare me for the journey He was leading me on, showing me how He truly is the answer for all pain life brings our way.