“The Heavenly Man,” a modern day Apostle Paul

One day last week as I was about to begin my meditation time I felt led to go look for something to read in my husband’s book closet. His theological books were his treasures, but they don’t make for easy reading. As I stood before the open closet looking at the shelves filled with boxes, I thought, Now what? The answer came quickly, Pull the third box. A powder-blue book cover grabbed my attention—The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun. That was the one.

While The Heavenly Man is one family’s story, it is also reveals a glimpse of the amazing birth of the House Church movement in China. Brother Yun was born in 1958 in a remote farming village in China. His family had a sliver of information about the existence of the Son of God named Jesus. His illiterate mother remembered a few Bible verses she’d been taught as a child before Christian missionaries and their message were eradicated by the Communist Revolution.

When Yun is 16 years old, his father becomes terminally ill. Facing starvation, the mother prays to Jesus for help–loudly, desperately, continually. Her prayers are answered. The father makes a miraculous recovery and the family is the first Christian outpost in their village. Yun becomes a fervent follower of Jesus, calling in heavenly guidance, and begins a movement of spirit akin to the tales of Paul and the first followers of Christ as told in the Book of Acts. Like those earliest believers who faced the wrath of the Roman Empire, the House Church Christians of China suffer the persecution of the Communist government. But from the crucible of suffering comes strength and determination to follow the path of Jesus.

Encouraged by continual divine intervention, Yun evangelizes wherever he goes, often in prison. Despite cattle prods and beatings, he never denies his faith, although he admits spiritual pride occasionally sends him on a rough road. His wife, Deling, and their two children also endure hardships beyond the imagination of most Westerners, all for the sake of the gospel. The ripple effect of their faith and others like them has inspired tens of millions of Chinese to meet secretly in House Churches and continue pursuing the Great Commission.

This is an unfolding story of Spirit working in our midst. In the darkest places, among the cruelest regimes, the Light still shines. If you’re looking for real inspiration, and perhaps a life purpose, pick up a copy of The Heavenly Man.

God’s Grace even in Iran

I saw this pop up on Kindle this morning and thought I would pass it on—
Kindle Daily Deal — $1.99, reg price $22.99
Embark on a chilling journey inside one of the world’s darkest and most dangerous places: Evin, the notorious Tehran prison. Here, prisoners are routinely tortured, abused, and violated. Executions are frequent and sudden. But for two women imprisoned for their Christian faith—Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh—this hell on earth was a place of unlikely grace as they reflected God’s love and compassion to their fellow prisoners and guards. Against all odds, Evin would become the only church many of them had ever known.
In Captive in Iran, Maryam and Marziyeh recount their 259 days in Evin. It’s an amazing story of unyielding faith—when denying God would have meant freedom. Of incredible support from strangers around the world who fought for the women’s release. And of bringing God’s light into one of the world’s darkest places—giving hope to those who had lost everything, and showing love to those in despair.
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Christianity and Reiki

There are the sayings, “like attracts like” and “birds of a feather flock together.” I’ve found in my Reiki practice and the responses to Ever-Flowing Streams: Christ, Reiki, Reincarnation and Me that I am attracting people grounded in a Christian tradition, but willing to think outside the box. Much of Ever-Flowing Streams chronicles my pursuit of knowledge about energy healing within the Christian culture. Can a Christian comfortably visit or become a Reiki therapist? Let’s get some perspective on the issue.

Reiki_Symbol

  • Reiki is not a religion. People of many religious affiliations or no religious affiliations are participating in the energy healing movement. Its roots come from Japan and an Eastern world view, but it is utilizing universal energies—like electricity.
  • Are there “magic” symbols? The symbols in Reiki have specific meanings and many are Japanese words or phrases. They are used as meditation focus points to enable the practitioner to concentrate a healing intention, such as sending distance healing. The idea of “magic” is primarily a Western concept that arises from Occult activity. Reiki symbols are more akin to mediating and quieting the mind toward a certain goal. Reiki symbols are part of Sacred Geometry, carrying healing energetic frequencies.
  • Where does the healing power come from? The same question was asked of Jesus Christ when he walked the earth and healed the multitudes. Some accused him of being in league with the Devil. He knew how to use the universal healing energies in a very efficient manner. I began studying energy healing within the church and simply kept learning. The Reiki energies come from another dimension, unseen to the human eye, but quite real. As humans evolve and become multi-sensory, access to these energies and the intelligence behind them will become more common.

Personally, I consider myself a follower of Christ and the expansion into energy work is a further manifestation of living out my spiritual path. However, I don’t press my religious beliefs on clients.  Energy work encompasses transmitting healing vibrations into the subtle (energetic ) body of the client. The practitioner may also pick up information, such as sensing that an organ is stressed, like a low thyroid. The energies emitted are utilized by the client to the best of their ability to assimilate it. None of this activity is tied to a religion. For more information about Christianity and Reiki, visit http://www.christianreiki.org/ and The International Center for Reiki Training

EverF  Join the Supernal Adventure!

Noble Peace Prize Nomination for Activist Mother

This week Susana Trimarco was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts at ending sex trafficking in her native Argentina. After her 23 year old daughter was abducted in 2002 and forced into sexual slavery, Trimarco began a quest that has taken her into the shameful underworld of Argentina’s sex trade. Read the full story written by Emily Schmall.

It seems appropriate to re-post this review of Sibel Hodge’s novel that deals with the issue of sex trafficking.

Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex-Slave  by Sibel Hodge

Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex SlaveSibel Hodge paints a vivid picture of a woman caught up in a global travesty of our time: Sex-Slave Trafficking. Using the Diary format to tell Elena’s story of betrayal, helplessness, and degradation, Hodge sheds light on an industry that preys on thousands of young women every day. Using a novelist’s skill, we come to care for Elena quickly. Women readers can easily relate to Elena and how she feels caught in the trap of prostitution. The piece is gritty, but not gruesome. I read it in one sitting. It left me feeling like I wanted to DO SOMETHING, which I imagine was the reason Sibel diverted from her usual chick-lit fare to tackle a serious subject. Hopefully, the pen truly is mightier than the sword, and “Diary” will help raise awareness and action against one of the most shameful cruelties of modern times. Change begins with resolve. I admire Sibel Hodge for devoting her time and talent to keep this issue in the spotlight.

Change begins with awareness and then the decision that enough is enough. Hopefully, communities and countries will begin to decide that treating their girls as sexual commodities is not acceptable. Susana Trimarco continues searching for her daughter and her tireless battle against the darkness of the sex trade. Follow Human Traffic Watch to keep up with this global travesty against women and children.

“Miracles: 32 Stories”

You know you’re about to embark on a unique book when the cover page reads: “This book may be copied and freely distributed. Its contents belong to God; its work are His glory.” Miracles: 32 True Stories

Miracles: 32 True Stories compiled by Joanie Hileman centers on thirty-two people living in Maine who all were touched by God’s grace. Hileman does an excellent job of capturing everyone’s “voice” and writing their stories as if they are sitting in your living room sharing their lives.

The book is decidedly Christian in philosophy and features many people who were struggling through life and found their way to a better path by becoming followers of Christ. The people portrayed are generally middle class folks living in a small town setting. Some stories are anecdotal incidents such as “The Appointment” where a woman reluctantly keeps a hair appointment during the busy Christmas season. She winds up saving a choking child’s life and the appointment becomes divine intervention.

Other stories are much longer tales of despair and redemption. A sad commentary on our society is how many of the people in this book have struggled with drugs and addictions. They are the lucky ones to have found a way out.

“Losing Matthew”—Barbara’s story covers a thirteen year span about a mother who seriously messes up and loses her son to the foster care system, then to the biological father. I found her story of slow redemption especially moving. There were no instant miracles, but God never gave up on her, either. Barbara found God’s grace many times along the way, even after she stumbled time and again.

There are two suicides in the book. In both cases, family members receive supernatural encouragement to get through a devastating situation.

There’s an authenticity to this book that will undoubtedly resonant with many who will identify with the people who share their stories. Miracles demonstrates that life is not easy, but it can be filled with grace and joy, even in the most difficult of times. When people open themselves to Divinity—in these examples through the Christ Spirit—miracles do happen!

The Healing Light–Still the One

Books become classics for a reason–they stand the test of time. The words of an author long gone from the planet still resonate with new generations. Such a book is The Healing Light by Agnes Sanford.  I first read the book in 1983–the year Agnes passed. It began a life-long exploration for me of healing prayer and learning principles of health.

The Healing LightThe book sat on my keeper shelf for decades, making one house move after another with my family. But I hadn’t read in its entirety in years. I’d moved onto the modern gurus, few of which reside on the keeper shelf. Last month I felt the urge to read it again. Interestingly, in a prayer session with Helen (see Supernal Friends) she said, “There’s a book you haven’t read in a long time. You’re supposed to read it again.” I knew she was talking about The Healing Light.

Published originally in 1947, the book touches on concepts touted by Hay House bestsellers. But before there was Dyer, Deepak or Abraham/Hicks–there was Agnes Sanford. Agnes brings elements of faith to her understanding of energy healing that is often missing in today’s literature. Agnes knew beyond a doubt from whence her power came.

Raised in China by missionary parents and then married for decades to a Protestant minister, Agnes Sanford was a pioneer in the healing ministry of the twentieth century. She taught that prayer is an act of co-creation between God and man. Her references to light, vibration, and scientific discoveries of her day show a mind that captured the whole picture of mind, body, and spirit.

Beneath all her teaching is a connection with the Christ Spirit. Agnes Sanford became the conduit of a healing source far beyond her human capabilities. She taught that anyone can also become such a conduit, given the practice and motivation.

Being an intercessor can be overwhelming. Increasingly, the Supernal Friends get calls to send healing energy to many people dealing with critical situations. One principle in the book that has helped me stay in the healing game is the idea of “bundles.” Nobody can pray for everybody. But, each of us can have certain prayer assignments in our “bundles.” If everyone prays for the people and situations in their individual bundles, the needs will be met.

In my meditation time, I ask for the bundle assignments to be made clear and I send healing energy to the best of my ability. Admittedly, my bundle feels fairly meager compared to the ocean of need in the world. But, I do my part and don’t allow guilt to drag me down for everything I don’t pray about.

The Bundle Concept is a good survival tool to the active healer/mediator.

One of the gals in my bundle who is struggling with cancer told me she has read The Healing Light three times this year. It has been source of spiritual and emotional strength. She’s even dreamed that Agnes Sanford has ministered to her as she sleeps.

When a book offers hope and enlightenment for over sixty years, it’s a classic.