Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old. And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says, ‘The old is better.'” (Luke 5:36-39)
Jesus, we keep trying to put patches and Band-Aids on the tears and wounds of your body. Help us drink the new wine of your Holy Spirit and put on new clean garments of praise and worship. Father, help us come into your presence, washed and cleansed by the blood of your son Jesus. Clothe us with your righteousness. Thank you.
A word received: Hope! Pray for my people to hope in me. I want them to place their hope in me. I AM the only secure foundation; I AM the rock to stand on.
Wednesday: 101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30; * 119:121-144; Hosea 4:11-19; Acts 21:15-26; Luke 5:27-39
Thursday: 105:1-22; * 105:23-45; Hosea 5:8-6:6; Acts 21:27-36; Luke 6:1-11
Notes from the Front Line
***** Below is the list of upcoming Sunday 4pm Healing Services at the Spiritual Life Center.
(only one service this month, due to Christmas Holiday)
***** Date: Wed, 29 Sep 2010
From: Noel Dawes
Subject: WHI West – Day 2 – Tue, Sep 28th
Welcome Home Initiative (WHI) Retreat West – Day 2 — Tuesday, September 28th
To Our Faithful Welcome Home Initiative Intercessors!
Today has been another excellent day. Long but very good. Again, your prayers have been very efficacious and we have seen the answer to many of them in the way the day has gone and the healing we have seen. It is certainly true that whenever we pray the Lord always does something!
After a core team prayer and debriefing meeting followed by a lovely continental breakfast our morning session ran from 9 AM to noon. We had a group discussion on the clinical effects of trauma and then suggested a rationale for spiritual healing in Christ. The trauma discussion, led by our ‘on site’ trauma nurse, was serious and passionate as retreatants spoke from personal experience. Most participants on this retreat are involved in giving leadership to a variety of ministries dealing with Wounded Warriors, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or in other ethical and moral circumstances. As the morning wore on a prophetic insight received overnight became evident — that these participants seemed not to be seeking to take care of themselves. So many caregivers first care for others and, as a senior Army Chaplain said two weeks ago, they neglect their personal responsibility to care for themselves. Some discussion took place about this duty and we were all encouraged to allow the Lord to work in us at the personal level on this retreat.
After another more than adequate lunch of subs and potato salad, we were back in the ministry room listening to a short encouraging talk about the need to debrief and tell our story. Healing often starts with this. A retired USAF Chaplain modeled how to do this for us. He had been the senior of two Chaplains present when the Khobar Towers (Saudi Arabia) truck bomb exploded without warning quite late at night on 25 June 1996. Having had a miraculous escape from being shredded alive by flying glass, he and his fellow Chaplain spent the next many hours at the point of greatest need. Firstly this was at the medical triage facility, where over 250 casualties were dealt with. Then it became the site of the explosion as recovery teams searched for the wounded and dead. Later it was the mortuary where, amongst other tasks, they had comforted those responsible for identifying the mutilated bodies of the 19 US servicemen killed by the bomb. Adrenalin kept the two Chaplains going until they started thinking of the spouses, children and families of those killed. The Lord had healed the Chaplain on our retreat from cancer about a year later, after surgery, and he felt his auto-immune system had been depleted by the lack of sleep and other stress in the few days following the bomb explosion. In spite of this strain he had felt a very tangible and incredible peace from the Lord in the days after the bombing. He was convinced that the Lord would work things out for His glory. Later he had survivors guilt which the Lord healed. Since the bomb he has never taken the gift of life for granted. His faith helped him to be resilient even though he felt exhausted and prayed much for strength. He exhorted us to build our lives on a strong base now, so our spiritual and personal foundations are strong and we can better weather the storms of life. He has found that telling his story has been redemptively good in his and many others lives.
We split into 4 small work groups in different parts of the church and encouraged the telling of stories. We invited Jesus to heal memories. Hands were laid on several retreatants and others were anointed with oil. We are not able to share much detail about this most intimate part of the retreat in order to respect and maintain confidentiality, but suffice to say that many found significant release from their trauma this afternoon. It was SO GOOD to see the healing taking place in front of one’s eyes. But please continue to pray for the wholeness in Christ of two participants who didn’t feel able to share or ask for personal prayer. Even so, this ministry is often like the peeling off of the layers of an onion. Everyone has allowed God the Christ to peel off at least one layer of the onion of their life.
After dinner, we deliberately lightened the atmosphere and St. George’s Vicar (responsible for pastoral care, preaching and liturgy) hosted Comedy Central for us. We laughed hilariously at videos of several comedians and then split into teams to play Reverse Jeopardy. In this the answers are given and teams have to guess the questions! It was huge fun and achieved the aim of encouraging healing through laughter.
As the retreatants wended their way home at the end of the evening, beautiful quilts, from Quilts of Valor (www.qovf.org) were handed to the combat Veterans. They have taken them home to consider the blessing of an unconditional gift of grace. The quilts are made by ladies all across the USA. Their hearts are simply filled with love for Veterans they will probably never meet — and all to say, “Thank you for your service!” We saw healing this evening as Veterans reacted to their gift.
Tomorrow is our last day. Please pray with renewed vigor again — and again!
After breakfast we plan to have a time of healing prayer where everyone will be offered the laying on of hands, anointing with oil, an opportunity to seek and express forgiveness, and Absolution. As appropriate we hope to anoint ‘trigger’ fingers, or other parts of the hands which might have carried out legitimate (sometimes illegitimate) acts of horror against an enemy and which the Soldier now wants to be cleansed from.
The Retreat ends with a closing service of praise and thanksgiving starting at 11:30 Central. It will embody a message of hope for the future from an active duty Army Chaplain who has seen more than his fair share of combat deployments in recent years. Finally, over lunch, the guests at the closing service will have the opportunity to stay on and thank our Veterans for their service and say, “Welcome Home!”