Thursday, February 15, 2007
It all started sometime in January when I received an email from a young man on staff with Teen Mania Ministries out of Tyler, Texas.
The email extended an invitation for me to speak at TM's campus on February 15, 2007.
God would use Blaise Foret to open the way for me to revisit Texas after more than three years. Yes, three years was the last time that I was in Texas.
Blaise's parents and siblings have become close family friends and supporters of CIC over the years since we first met in 2001.
His sister, Tabitha, once served with CIC Ministry at our office in Sacramento. Tabitha also traveled with us at the time to several of my speaking engagements. We had much fun and unforgettable moments of road ministry. Tabitha and Preshus bonded and became like inseparable sisters.
On the morning of February 15, Thursday, Blaise came to my hotel at Lyndale to take me to Teen Mania's campus. It was good to see Blaise again.
This young man had matured in his faith and is presently serving at TM and also as a youth pastor at a local church in Lyndale. Blaise has been mentored by anointed servants of the Lord...now Blaise mentors quite a good number of others that also mentor others in the faith. That's what happens when a person gets saved and then gets baptized by the Holy Spirit! No force can stop the work of God from advancing even through one young man!
When I walked in, with Blaise leading me to the front row right next to the platform, the auditorium was already packed with hundreds of TM staff and interns.
The praise and worship was intense and one can't help but be moved by the great songs accompanied by a band of energetic youthful musicians. The Holy Spirit was in the house!
The moment came when I was introduced. I started with a reading from Psalm 45...then went on to preach a message about excellence based from St. Paul's letter - 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. The Word was well received by everyone. I closed with a big question - Who among you have received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit? It became obvious that many were challenged and fired up...there were calls for me to continue preaching. But time limit prevailed. I had to close.
A crowd of interns followed me to the lobby where a question and answer session took place. Excitement was building up as I started to talk about the need and the importance of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Most of the questions asked had to do with the Holy Spirit, His power and His gifts.
Within moments I sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit. And sure enough, as I began to exhort and invite the Holy Spirit to come - conviction came upon several of the interns...others received the baptism of the Holy Spirit...there was spontaneous praise and worship...and the Holy Spirit came down upon all of us that were gathered at the lobby!!!
The Lord had orchestrated a second gathering that morning...and God was setting the stage for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the campus of Teen Mania!!! After almost an hour of intense presence of the Holy Spirit, I challenged the crowd to daily intercede, pray and seek the Lord for the Holy Spirit to fall upon every one at TM campus. Everyone left greatly encouraged...some were empowered...some got the baptism with fire!
My first day back in the state of Texas left a big impression that greatly impacted lives that were hungry and thirsty for more of God. It was like a page from the Book of Acts. God was drawing lots of young people to Himself...preparing them for great exploits that will touch the lives and change the destiny of millions in the present world and that of future generations to come! Glory to God!
Friday, February 16, 2007
Sister Lita De Jesus, invited me to join her for supper at a Bistro Asian Restaurant in the Dallas area. I met Sister Lita right after the Dallas healing crusade of a known televangelist where I was one of the guests that sat on the platform. This was back in April of 1994. Sister Lita and her late husband, Aris, sought me out and we ended up meeting and talking till the early morning hours of the following day. That first meeting with Lita and Aris ignited a friendship that went deeper than ordinary. My family and theirs became very close and we had spent time with them at their home in Carrollton during our early years in America.
Blaise and Tabitha accompanied me to the Bistro Restaurant that evening. I was very much thrilled that both made themselves available to join me. Several couples and a pastor were already on hand waiting for our arrival when we walked into the restaurant. The evening crowd of customers waiting to get seated was building up. Sister Lita greeted us and eagerly introduced me to all her friends around the table.
At this point I did not realize that the couple seated across from me came to dinner just to meet me in person. They were a couple that I prayed for over the phone a while back. Only God knows the day and time when I had called Sister Lita to say hi and find out how she was doing. It was evening and I thought that it was the best time to call to catch a wonderful woman of faith after what I though was a busy day for Lita.
The timing of my call was perfectly orchestrated by the Holy Spirit...for there was a couple that was getting ready to leave Sister Lita's home. They are friends of Lita and had stopped by to say hello and hoped to be prayed for by this wonderful servant of the Lord.
Lita in her spiritual alertness and sensitivity would not let an opportunity pass...she gave the phone to the man who was in need of much prayer for healing of his legs and feet. After a brief moment of introduction and a few questions as to what bothered the man, the Holy Spirit led me to pray for the man's healing. Immediately the man felt an improvement. The next morning was a day that the man would never forget...for the first time in a long span of time...after much struggle and fruitless search for a cure...the man was able to wear his pair of leather shoes. And he felt good about it and started to thank God for his immediate healing!
The man who was originally from India belonged to a sect of Hinduism...but the Lord had better plans for him outside of Hinduism. The Lord Jesus Christ gave His life as a ransom for lost humanity...HE has redeemed us from the curse of sin and death...and the Bible declares that by His stripes we are healed.
JESUS commanded His followers to preach the Good News, heal the sick and cast out demons. This three-fold mandate of the Great Commission was meant to draw people to God and for His church to demonstrate HIS love to all of mankind.
The Church was not meant to be confined to a building, structure or programs. The Church was born by the power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. The Lord had intended for the Church to be a light to those in darkness and a salt to those that are perishing. Christians are to obey the Word of God and submit to its authority to see lives touched and changed by the power of the Holy Spirit. The early Church obeyed and exercised their faith...and the Lord confirmed His Word with signs, wonders and miracles!
The man from India gave his heart to the Lord Jesus due to a miracle that restored his feet to normal...within a few days, the man was baptized in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!!!
God was praised, honored and continues to be glorified by the testimony of this former Hindu man and his wonderful wife.
That night at the Bistro restaurant, the Holy Spirit led all three of us - Tabitha, Blaise and myself to lay hands and pray for people. There were those that asked Sister Lita if it was okay for them to ask us for prayers...Others watched in total amazement at the sight of three simple followers of Christ that dared to believe God to demonstrate HIS love, presence and power by touching and changing lives with the Holy Spirit. We had Church that night!!!
Again, the plan of God to reach people with His love would not have happened if it were not for the simple obedience of Sister Lita to set up that evening dinner at the Bistro restaurant. Lita knew in her heart that the Lord would do something good once the opportunity came for His people to come together in whatever setting...and sure enough - God honored Sister Lita's obedience. Lives were touched and changed by the power of the Holy Spirit!!!