Healing Line

Healing Line

A Healing Place

by Thad McNulty
Jun/Jul 2008

In a recent article about Lourdes in France, Lori Erickson wrote that “people need to know that miracles are possible even when the darkness seems overwhelming." Not only do we believe that the new CHM Healing Center will be just such a place where miracles take place, but it will also serve as an international center for leaders to be trained in healing. Tom Tewell (of Panas, Linzy and Partners) recently gave an encouraging presentation to CHM’s National Advisory Board. He stated that, in their feasibility study (a study to find out the likelihood, or feasibility, of raising the funds necessary to build the healing center), they had interviewed over 70 people and found that virtually everyone they spoke with was excited about the project and was willing to contribute. Panas, Linzy is confident, even at this stage, that CHM can raise the $23 million to complete the project. Most people interviewed were also impressed about our plans to place up to $5 million in an endowment fund, to ensure that the center will be properly maintained and operated for generations to come.

It has taken years to find the right piece of land (a process that was quite frustrating at times), but as I stepped onto the heavily-wooded 60 acres that CHM purchased last year, my first reaction was, “Wow! God knew just what He was doing when all those other parcels of land didn’t work out!” What struck me, as I walked underneath the canopy of magnificent live oaks that dot the property, was how peaceful and remote the site seemed—almost holy—even though it is less than ten minutes from the Jacksonville Airport.

While it is important and encouraging to know that a national firm believes we can raise the necessary funds to complete the healing center, we realize this will be a challenging campaign. I read recently that Senator Obama’s fundraising committee raised over $40 million in the month of March alone. That is a staggering amount of money to raise in a single month, of course, but what is really interesting is the unprecedented manner in which it was raised. This money came from over 400,000 people, and the average contribution was only $96!

We believe that a similar scenario is possible with the new healing center. If this is truly going to be a healing center that all of us will feel a part of—where thousands or even millions come to be healed or come to learn about healing—it seems only natural that we will raise the necessary money from thousands of people. Every gift is important and we would like nothing better than to turn the traditional campaign pyramid (in which 80% of the funds comes from only 20% of the donors) upside down and raise the bulk of the money from our many faithful givers! One woman whom Tom Tewell interviewed was retired and living on a fixed income. Still, she said that this healing center was so important to her that she would pledge $10,000 over a five-year period. If only 2,000 people took the same action, that would nearly raise the amount we need!


Thad McNulty is a member of the Capital Campaign Committee. Jun/Jul 2008 Issue


Wanted: Women After God's Own Heart

by Linda Strickland
Jun/Jul 2008

In a poem written by Maya Angelou, she says, “A woman’s heart should be so hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.”

Living in a world where Hollywood seems to have most of the power in telling us how we should look, what we should wear and what we should think, where can a woman with this kind of heart be found?

If you watch much TV, particularly the popular reality shows, you might think that this woman no longer exists. That she disappeared along with moms that always stayed at home and family-centered dinners that were on the table at six o’clock sharp.

When I was younger, I struggled with my role as a Christian woman in this world. What, exactly, does she look like? Is she weak or is she strong? Is she quiet or does she have a voice? Does she cut her hair or must she let it grow long? Can she wear makeup and earrings? Can she be a leader or does she always need to follow? Can she have both a family and a career?

I now know that there are no right or wrong answers to these questions, but I have been led into a closer walk with my Lord just by pondering them. Here is what I have learned: the fact that I am a woman does not make me a different kind of Christian, but the fact that I am a Christian does make me a different kind of woman.

It has taken me a while, but I have finally accepted God’s idea of me – that what I am is an offering back to Him. An imperfect, beautiful offering. An offering that He felt was worth dying for.

Recently, Judith was invited to speak at a women’s conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. I was encouraged as I watched 400 beautiful women all yearning for a closer relationship with Jesus. I am happy to report that I personally witnessed many of them finding it. Now here is the really encouraging news: most of them were less than 40 years old! I think we are coming into a very special time where God is calling out to our young men and women – and they are listening.

Here are just a few of the many testimonies we received from this very special conference:

Julianna

It was the BEST retreat in so many ways that I have ever been on. To feel the POWERFUL sweet presence of the Holy Spirit was, once again, life changing. I am grateful for the opportunity to just RECEIVE all the gifts that God had for me that weekend. I guess I took two things away from my weekend: 1) from Judith’s teachings and from the prayer ministry’s prophetic words, I was able to be set free from the limits that I set on myself as a woman in ministry and 2) I received several new worship songs in my heart and wrote them out that weekend. I was honored that God would give me such an overflow of the Spirit in worship phrases and songs! When I came home, I was excited to put them to music to remember the weekend. I will never be the same.

Carole

I have been absent from church for almost 10 years! When I first returned, I felt a bit like the prodigal “son,” but now I know I am Lazarus called forth from the tomb. Since coming home, God has unwrapped so many layers of grave clothes. Between this conference and a Bible study I am a part of - I am just about standing naked (not a pretty sight) before a Holy God. I could not wait for this past Sunday to go to church! I had managed to procrastinate every other Sunday. I lost my joy a long time ago and now I am so full that I feel like the man whose child was healed and Jesus said, “Go and tell no one,” but the man, unable to contain his joy, told the whole village. I, too, want to shout it to the village: GOD IS SO AWESOME! For better or worse, I am back among the living.

Beverly

The weekend was revealing! As I began to pray Friday night and then during the soaking prayer time on Saturday, I heard and sensed, almost immediately, an answer I’ve been seeking from the Lord. As I was interceding and praying, I released tears of joy. God had spoken into my heart with peace and direction and gave me the confirmation that the stirring I’d been feeling was indeed a pull of the Holy Spirit to enter in and leave behind that which was holding me back. I realized I had a choice to make — to choose to say, “Yes, Lord!” Each step of the way through the retreat, I continued to say, “Yes,” until I found myself reflecting on my past experiences in ministry and wondering why I was no longer able to be involved in ministry full-time. I asked the Lord, “How does one have the anointing again to allow Your power to move through them like Judith and her team?” I felt the Lord say clearly, “Enter in. Everyone can have the anointing if they will empty themselves and be purified by my Spirit. Enter in.” As I emptied myself and prepared to have the Holy Spirit fill me, I felt a wind moving across my face as if someone was in front of me. Then I felt rumbling and noise so loudly that I thought the building was shaking. I opened my eyes, only to see that no one was near me or in front of me. I realized that the Holy Spirit had moved across me and walked in front of me, speaking and touching me. As soon as Judith neared me to pray for me, down I went onto the floor, resting in the Spirit. As I was lying there, I felt like I was drifting and walking with the Lord. He gave me clear and specific direction regarding some life decisions. I have a peace that I cannot describe.

Lucy

While at the retreat, I stood for prayer for a weight problem. While Judith prayed for me for that, my friend, who was sitting near me, placed both her hands on my left knee. She did not know why the Holy Spirit had told her to do that — she did not know that I was scheduled to receive knee surgery in a couple of weeks! I told her about the surgery and, by the end of the prayer, she felt sure that the Lord had healed my knee completely. In my own prayer time, I felt strongly that the Lord confirmed what my friend had said. I continued to pray, seek prayer from others at the retreat and after, and asked for advice from some respected prayer warriors. Although I felt strongly that I was healed, especially since all the physical problems I had before were gone, I decided to go ahead and have the knee surgery to confirm that God had healed my torn medial meniscus. After the surgery, my doctor said, “I did not see any sign of a torn medial meniscus. There was a ragged area that I scraped and I saw some arthritis, but there was no torn meniscus!” In addition, I healed amazingly quickly after the surgery: I walked with one crutch and took one pain pill the first day, but the following days, I was walking with full weight on the knee and no pain whatsoever — only some stiffness. This experience still has me reeling and I am totally humbled by it!

Nicole

Judith MacNutt spent the entire weekend teaching us how to look deep inside of ourselves to find the “true” self in each of us. We are “hole-y,” in the sense that we all have been damaged and, as a result, we all have holes in us. Most of us try to fill up these holes with things like alcohol, drugs, and sex to make us feel better. However, these addictions prevent us from being who we really are — that is, who God intended for us to be. I certainly have a hole. At least one. I tried filling it, but with all the wrong things — especially exercise. I never really thought that exercise was a problem, but, in hearing the teachings, I realized that I have made running my god and I idolize my god because my god keeps me trim and healthy…and yet mentally sick in a way. When I received prayer on the second night of the retreat, it was like nothing I have ever experienced before. I felt like I was going to pass out, but I didn’t feel nauseous. I was hot, like I was having a hot flash. My legs felt weak and I wanted to sit down. I was crying, yet nothing dramatic had happened. The Holy Spirit just entered the room…and I felt it. I felt His love fill my empty spaces. It was just like I had been told: I felt a fire burning within me — the fire of the Holy Spirit! The love of Christ was poured out for all of us so that we may be forgiven for our sins. On that night, I felt that love and forgiveness and suddenly I was free.

In a world where the heart of a woman is not cherished nearly as much as her physical attributes are, it is refreshing to see what God is doing. I could not agree more with Maya Angelou as she sums it all up in the last sentence of her poem: ”Pretty is as pretty does... but beautiful is just plain beautiful!”


Linda Strickland Linda Strickland is on staff at CHM as the Associate Director of Ministry and Personal Assistant to Judith MacNutt. Jun/Jul 2008 Issue


The Journal of Christian Healing is Back

by Douglas Schoeninger
Jun/Jul 2008

In 1975, Barbara Shlemon, Sister Jeanne Hill, Fr. Paul Schaaf, and I began the Association of Christian Therapists (ACT)—a group that was intended to bring together people in the healing professions who believed in healing prayer (Fishnet in Rutland, VT, grew out of ACT, under the inspiration of George and Rena Larson). We included physicians, clergy, counselors, and nurses. One of their notable contributions was the Journal of Christian Healing. Because of financial difficulties, publication had to be suspended, but now we are delighted to see that it is coming back and we encourage you to take advantage of reading this journal of healing — a professional, scientific journal!

– Francis


 The Journal of Christian Healing (JCH) is up and running again, this time as an e-journal. It can be read and downloaded on the Association of Christian Therapists (ACT) website. Just log onto www.actheals.org and click on “Journal of Christian Healing” on the left side of the home page and you will be taken to the first two issues, Spring/Summer 07 and Fall/Winter 07.

The Journal is an expression of ACT’s mission to transform healthcare practice with the healing ministry of Jesus. JCH is interdisciplinary, professional and peer reviewed, featuring articles concerned with the physical, psychological/relational and spiritual healthcare disciplines.

The Journal’s Board of Editors includes Francis and Judith MacNutt and Barbara Shlemon-Ryan, James Fitzpatrick, and Russ Parker of the CHM National Advisory Board.

The Editorial staff of JCH welcomes the submission of articles in a variety of styles and types of content, research, theory and theology, case studies, and a variety of healing topics, healing experiences and integrations of healing prayer into professional healthcare practice.

JCH also publishes articles from outstanding presentations at ACT conferences. A paper by Robert Sears, Ph.D., “S.J. on Scripture and Mental Health,” developed from his talk on this subject at the Oct 2007 ACT Conference, is soon to be published. Articles will follow from the ACT 2008 International Conference September 11-15, 2008, Mundelein, IL, Healing the Shattered Soul: Restoring Hope to Those Impacted by Trauma featuring Rev. Nigel Mumford (healing trauma in war veterans), Anna Maria Pou, MD (healing the cultural and environmental trauma of Hurricane Katrina), Julie Woodley (healing from childhood sexual trauma) and H. Norman Wright (critical incident debriefing).

See the ACT website (www.actheals.org) for access to the Journal of Christian Healing and for information about ACT and ACT conferences, or call the ACT office at 703-556-9222.

Douglas Schoeninger is a member of CHM’s National Advisory Board and is the JCH Editor.


Douglas Schoeninger is a member of CHM’s National Advisory Board and is the JCH Editor. Jun/Jul 2008 Issue


Our Need for Fun

by Francis MacNutt
Jun/Jul 2008

Fascinating recent research developments show that if we suffer too much stress over a long period of time, our immune system gives way and we tend to become sick. Widowers, for instance, are especially prone to fall sick and to die themselves in the year following their wives’ deaths. On the other hand, widows do not have as much of a problem, probably because they talk more with friends and deal with their grief openly, thereby reducing stress.

More to the point, for those of us in the healing ministry, psychologists are now studying something called compassion fatigue. You can get worn out “weeping with those who weep,” if you do not balance it with “rejoicing with those who rejoice” (Romans 12:15). Most people who get into the caring professions – which includes prayer for healing – tend to have tender hearts and to deeply feel the suffering of others. How often we read that Jesus was motivated to pray for healing because he had “compassion on the multitudes” (Matthew 9:36).

I once prayed with a man whose life had been devoted to working with psychotic patients: he broke into convulsive sobs and shared that he was often tempted to commit suicide. This is a normal human reaction. When we share in the pain of our suffering world, we can be overcome by the enormity of its evil. When we see so much suffering, we find it hard to take time out to enjoy life: to go out to dinner, to play tennis, or to watch sunsets. These seem such a waste of time when Lazarus is starving outside our door (Luke 16:19-31). How can we be so heartless as to leave him, while we go to laugh and play?

The only way I have learned to deal with this guilt is by remembering something I heard many years ago in the seminary: “You have to decide whether your life is a long-distance race or a sprint.” Early on, I decided that I could ultimately help more people if I treated my life and ministry as a long-distance run (as best I can, realizing that my life’s length is up to God to determine), rather than burning myself out. I am a limited human being and the best I can do sometimes is to pass by this one person sitting outside my door so that I can have the energy and enthusiasm to answer God’s call to minister to the ten, twenty or hundred that will be there tomorrow.

Yet that is so hard, isn’t it? I need to pray to decide what to do in each instance, and not always be ruled by my heart. Not that my heart is always that tender: sometimes it needs to be warmed, but more often it leads me to do more than the Lord might be requiring in a particular situation. One of our staff members said that it seems every time we discern a clear call as a ministry to change our course in some more productive way for the Kingdom, the enemy just rattles a few of the thorniest cases we deal with to have major crises that week, and as we scramble to meet their needs, the agenda that the Lord has revealed goes untended or deferred.

We must learn to ask the Lord if HE has sent the people who come for help at inopportune times. Often he has not! Sometimes our pride is appealed to: “I have to talk to you. Only you can help me!” This is just not true. There is only one Savior and we are not him. The Lord said in Matthew 11:28-30 (KJV), “Come unto me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” If we are really chafing and straining in the harness and we are finding no rest for our souls, we are probably carrying burdens that he has not given us.

As you can see, wisdom and discernment are crucial in regard to letting God bring balance to our lives so that we can avoid the consequences of burn out. I once read an article reporting research that showed stress may make us sick and that, once we have become sick, stress may slow down our healing. This report studied thirteen healthy women who were caring for relatives who were suffering from Alzheimer’s disease (they spent at least seven hours a day in tending to sick relatives’ needs). All these women, in addition to a control group, had undergone a punch biopsy to remove a small pea-sized circle of skin. The surprising result was that the caregivers took an average of eight days longer to heal! Furthermore, these caregivers, who had a built-in difficulty in taking time out to get their own lives in balance, were themselves likely to become seriously ill by the end of the year.

The lesson is that we need to prayerfully take care of ourselves or we will not be around to take care of anyone else.

I know that I am preaching here to myself, because I still feel a little guilty taking time off. I feel even more guilty in using that time to really enjoy myself and party with friends and family. Yet Jesus must have done this. Wasn’t he accused of being a “winebibber” and criticized for going to too many parties with sinners (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34)? Jesus must have been enjoyable to be around or sinners would not have stayed to listen to him.

Fortunately for me, we have here on our staff several happy characters who say to me from time to time, “You don’t look like you’ve been having enough fun lately.” They are right. How about you?

The article Our Need for Fun is taken from the Summer 1996 issue of The Healing Line. So many of Francis' articles have such wonderful encouragement and teaching - it's a shame to print them only once!


Francis MacNutt Francis MacNutt is a Founding Director and Executive Committee member of CHM. Jun/Jul 2008 Issue