Angels Watchin’ Over Me

Help Arrives

During the second semester the United Nations sent an American petroleum expert to the university because universities in China are the primary locations for government research.  Mr. Green, a mature Christian and experienced world traveler, quickly sized up my situation.  As a strategy to break the effect of isolation he asked if I would be willing to go off campus when the university officials invited him to various places.  I was the only American teacher to eat supper in the dining room reserved for foreign teachers so he invited me to join him for meals.  His meals were much more elaborate than mine because he was considered more important (Chinese are extremely class-conscious in spite of their claim to the contrary.) but he shared with me to the embarrassment of the cook and Foreign Affairs officials.

When Mr. Green insisted that I be included in the sightseeing day trips that were planned for him, the Chinese got the impression that we were relatives and became more respectful of me.  (Brothers and sisters in Christ are often closer than blood relatives, are they not?)  On returning to the States, Mr. Green called my family to tell them I was all right but needed their prayers.

Meantime, thinking I must be adequately softened up, the Black Dragon sent two Chinese engineering teachers to whom I was to confess my crimes.  One of them, John, was utterly disgusted with what was happening and told me so, explaining that he was to spend an hour a couple of times a week getting information from me.  Then he was to write a report on his time with me.

“Please don’t worry,” he urged.  “Trust me if you can.”

John had given the time with me some thought and set about teaching me local customs.  He was a wonderful teacher and didn’t reserve any topics I might ask questions about.  Together we watched two Chinese classics being shown in serial form on television.  After watching Dream of Red Mansions with me, he asked me to read the historical novel – a prodigious task, for it is long and has more than 600 historical characters.  Chinese social attitudes are expressed through characters in the novel set in a noble family.  Ideas about child-raising, servants, courtship and marriage, and how good and bad fortune played out in everyday life were presented.  Then I had the privilege of asking John questions.

“All things work together for good to those who love the Lord,

to those who are called according to His purpose (Ro. 8:28).” 

This period of time, an investment of many hours one-on-one, was a precious time of learning and developing trust, both in God and John, in the midst of fiery trials.

What the enemy meant for evil

the Lord turned to good in my life (Gen. 50:20).

My Desire to Return

Because my commitment to China was long-term, I went to the Foreign Affairs Office to ask if I could return the coming year.  Returning to the same university was important to me because I wanted to extend tangible forgiveness to my hosts and I also realized my need for emotional healing.  The Black Dragon was surprised and agreed at first, then changed her mind.  I decided to persist by going every morning to her office before classes began to ask again and again.  At last she agreed to sign a second year contract with me.

Toward the end of the second semester John brought me the university newspaper and, angrily waving it at me, demanded, “Did you write this letter to the Foreign Affairs Director?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I responded.  “What is it?  Why are you angry?”

“This newspaper has printed a letter it says is from you.  It confesses certain crimes you have committed against the Chinese.”

“No, I didn’t confess any crimes.  I did write the Black Dragon a thank you note for her kindness this year.  That’s something an American might do even if it isn’t completely true.  I didn’t know there was a university newspaper; much less write a letter confessing anything.”

John believed me so the letter confessing crimes against Chinese society, supposedly from me, violated his sense of what was right.  When I explained that I had written a thank you note he was furious in my behalf and promised to look into the situation.  He visited high level officials within the university to find out what the Black Dragon had been saying about me and explained that he had been appointed to be a friend to whom I would confess my crimes.  Instead, he had discovered that I was quite interested in early Chinese history and the philosophical foundations of the society.

Possibly the FAO director had the fictitious letter, allegedly from me, printed in the newspaper to avoid losing face when she allowed me to return for a second year.  After telling the university officials how bad I was, she needed a good reason to invite me back.  In fact, all four of us foreign teachers returned the second year along with six additional foreign teachers.  That school had earned a bad reputation among English-speaking nations and finding enough native speakers of English was difficult.  Later we learned that the previous year there had been ten British English teachers whose salaries were capriciously withheld until they could not count on travel money for holidays even during the six-week-long Spring Festival at the end of first semester.  At last the education section of the British embassy closed service to that university.

The Black Dragon was “promoted” the following year to an office in Beijing.  In China relationships are the focus of the culture so when a personnel change is called for the individual is usually bumped up, not fired.  Thus, all faces are saved and confrontation is avoided.  The Chinese worldview is politically based.  Everything a foreigner might do or say will be interpreted politically.  Western literature, which is often Christian in worldview, is analyzed from the Chinese political viewpoint; thus western classics are contorted into ominous, often ridiculous material.  Fortunately, John understood this important difference and was able to help me grasp Chinese concepts, asking his own questions about the West as well.

Oops

Since that first year in China the Black Dragon considered me a spy, a Public Security Bureau official from the nearby town was assigned to one of my classes and mixed with my students.  I noticed that the newcomer wasn’t well accepted and later John told me with disgust who he was.  At the end of the year I gave the Public Security Bureau agent an “A” much to John’s distress.  At the beginning of the second year this man knocked on my apartment door to say that his grade had not been turned in to his work unit.  Did I remember what his grade was?  His brow was furrowed and with an inward smile I assured him I did remember.  He thought I had no idea of his identity or his reason for enrolling in my class, but in fact, his English was fluent, his manners were polished and I wished him no ill.  I wrote out his Chinese name and grade, the name of the course and date along with my name as his teacher.  His grade was proof of his attendance.  This delighted me.

Well Cared For

While I was home during summer vacation after that first horrendous year, I got a phone call from a complete stranger.  He was a pastor in a large American city who made frequent trips into China, spoke the language and was familiar with the political situation.  Earlier in the school year my very frightened parents had found a contact who knew this man was going to the area of China where I was teaching.  Upon arrival in the province where I was located he was not allowed to make a phone call to me.  He did learn that I was at the university where I was supposed to be and I was all right.  When he returned to the States he sent out a prayer request far and wide for my safety and steadfastness, so there were literally hundreds of people praying for me.  The pastor was elated to learn that I was returning to the same university for a second year and laughed with delight as I told about God’s supernatural provision in the various events of that first year.

In another chance meeting, a retired American armed forces veteran heard that I had undergone some severe treatment in China and sat down to talk with me at length.  He knew the tactics used against me and commented that I was in excellent spirits in contrast to many men who had returned home in great emotional and spiritual turmoil from all they had seen and experienced.  With these several chance encounters I began to realize that while I was an “independent” teacher in China, I was indeed part of a large and well-organized system with an extremely capable Director.

 

The Teen Alter and Grace

Recently a young teen alter came to one of my worship times with Jesus. She had heard me in past encounters tell Jesus that I wanted no barriers in my life to hinder His presence and His work in me.

I stood back watching as she walked confidently toward the Bridegroom and disrobed before joining Him on the bench where He sat. She lay down with her head in His lap and asked Him to love her. Carefully Jesus lowered His lovely head and kissed her face and lips, caressing her face gently. At last she seemed satisfied, got dressed and walked confidently past me.

I was so ashamed of her boldness I was speechless. I didn’t come to Jesus because I was so ashamed of the teen alter. Instead, I was silent all day. Finally, I heard a song playing in my mind. “There’s no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus, who walk by the Spirit alone (Romans 8:1).” It sang over and over, so I asked the Lord what He was trying to tell me.

The young teen was only imitating what she understood me to be doing and saying to my Bridegroom. Her motives were pure and her desires were pure.

I sat to think about what the Holy Spirit was saying to me. This young alter was to be respected for her trust and commitment to her God and His wise, loving Son.  I would do well to show her respect and invite her to integrate with me.

So I called to her and invited her to sit and talk with me. I told her that I admired her passion for her Lord but that her behavior was a little off. I understood her great longing to be loved and accepted for who she was. In fact, I remembered how she had been disrespected by my mother and father and their refusal to acknowledge her physical attractiveness as she matured. I encouraged her to join me and add her courage to my desire to increase my intimacy with Abba and His precious Son. She thought that was an excellent idea so we invited Abba to draw us into one with the help of His gentle Holy Spirit. It was so easy. Not like the stories related by others. The triune God is untamed in power, but tender beyond words to describe.

About this same time I had a vision of a baby perhaps three months old, nursing at breast. The baby’s eyes were on the face of the person feeding her, peaceful and trusting. I asked Abba who the baby was and who was nursing her. He said the baby was one of my very many infant alters. And her name was Grace. The lovely breast she was nursing was mine. Mine?! Gently Abba commented that I was perfectly capable of nurturing the baby alters in my system. He so kindly affirmed my femininity and reminded me of His plans for me when I was first created and then sent at conception to my mother’s womb. Because I’ve never married or had children, my family treats me differently, but my Abba delights in me. That touched my heart deeply and healed places hidden inside that no one but Abba could know about. Father, I worship You.

Since then I’ve had major integrations with baby alters and am profoundly grateful for the strength of their budding personalities and gracious strengths, as with baby Grace. O how I want to reflect the character of my dear Abba, the Treasure of my life.

Brain-Washing

Preparing for China 

Among my aunts and uncles there were missionaries, pastors, district superintendents and schoolteachers, both men and women.  My maternal grandpa was a man who lived before his time, encouraging his six daughters to get a college education when this was not common.  How fortunate I was to not know gender prejudice until I was at university where the chemistry and other science professors were sure they were the superior race.

My first high school principal helped me get an excellent position near home after I graduated from college and I immersed myself in teaching.  Soon gaining the confidence of my colleagues and superiors, I asked for additional responsibility and was allowed to mentor and informally evaluate new teachers, and direct the district gifted child program for which I wrote grants and disbursed money.  Teaching is a horizontal profession, however.  That is, one may move to another classroom, another assignment, but there is little opportunity to move vertically, so I returned to university for a degree in K-12 Educational Administration.  About this time China was slowly opening to the West and my dream was becoming a possibility.  I had a satisfying career and realized I would quickly become academically obsolete if I left to go to China. Yet this deep desire kept playing itself out in my mind over the next several years.

In China

I approached several organizations about teaching in China but the sending groups all wanted considerable money to place me while they still required the recruit to buy a round trip airfare as well as to pay visa and green card fees.  I had no idea of how to proceed.  At last I wrote to the Chinese Embassy in Washington D.C. to ask for information.  That was in January.  My degree program was completed in June and in September I was on my way to China after I returned all the required forms.  The Chinese assigned me to a university and provided a plane ticket!

Although I had done a lot of reading I was only somewhat prepared for this major step in life.  Before landing at the Beijing airport we could see no lights from the air as in large cities in America.  The next three days the university to which I was assigned sent a guide to take me to various tourist sites and I was impressed with the grand scale of the Great Wall, Forbidden City and the Summer Palace.  That is, I was impressed with the amount of slave labor required to construct such huge monuments in the name of one emperor or another.  (Historically, the Great Wall never did prove to be the great defense it is claimed to have been.)  I would go back to my hotel room and weep for lives spent to build such costly shrines, souls who were most probably in hell because they didn’t know Jesus died for them.  My strong feelings of aversion to the national historical sites eventually became strong feelings of identification with the people as I began to understand the abject poverty and suffering of generations of peasants.

The first semester at the university went by quickly as I became immersed in a very different way of life.  Students were a challenge in the classroom.  When I called on them to speak they would write out their responses and then read them to me after asking nearby classmates to check their English grammar and sentence structure.  It was a time-consuming process so I refused to allow it.  They tearfully explained their fear of making mistakes; thus, they needed a lot of encouragement.

I attempted to get to know my students better by inviting them to my apartment and offering them tea as the books I’d read suggested, but they always refused to accept my tea.  I couldn’t understand why until one day a student accepted tea the first time I asked him. I was surprised.  He graciously explained that since I only offered tea one time, he thought he had better accept because he was thirsty. I was supposed to ask three times before he could courteously accept.  He could see that I didn’t realize that I was being impolite so he thought he had better explain.  Then we burst into laughter.

Wanting very much to learn the language I turned on the television every night to watch children’s programs with a dictionary and a note pad nearby.  At the time I didn’t realize that this was an excellent strategy because, developmentally, listening comes before speaking.  This made me more sensitive to what I heard in the streets and classrooms.  Later, I practiced before falling asleep and again upon waking when my mind was most receptive, so I learned the language rather easily.  A gift, I came to realize.

Hong Kong

At the end of the first semester there was a six week break for the Chinese New Year.  I made arrangements with a young Chinese teacher of English to visit her home during the semester vacation. Then I went off to explore Hong Kong for two weeks although I didn’t know anyone there.  Near my hotel there was a Chinese church that I attended every time the doors were open.  The people were courteous but not hospitable, yet I persisted, singing in English when they sang in Cantonese.  When I returned to Hong Kong and that church the second year they were friendlier and actually included me in their Spring Festival celebrations.  (Spring Festival is also known as the Chinese New Year, a lunar holiday.)  Because the congregation was made up primarily of business people and they were well educated, they were able to explain various customs when I asked questions, thus I learned a lot from a Chinese Christian perspective.

One incident has stayed with me all these years.  I had been in mainland China four months where there were no blinking signs, no advertising and limited electricity.  As I explored the streets of Hong Kong, overstimulation of sights and sounds exhausted me.  One early afternoon I decided to sit down at a McDonalds to rest.  It was a crowded two-story business and I carried my tray to the second floor intending to sit in front of a window.  The view was blocked by a huge signboard but wearily I sat facing the window because there were no other available seats.  An American man on my right sat watching me closely but I ignored him as I bowed my head to say a silent blessing on the food.

When I raised my head he slid closer to me and asked in a stage whisper if I were a believer.  Although I am a strong believer I dislike being so aggressively accosted so I ignored him.  At last he was nearly in my face so I ungraciously answered in the affirmative.  He was overjoyed and commented that I looked tired and my hair didn’t look very stylish.  I restrained a retort and explained that as a teacher in rural China I didn’t have access to a beauty shop and, yes, I was tired having come to Hong Kong for a breath of free air and access to some churches and Christian bookstores.

The man said he had gotten separated from his group but he felt that it was so he could meet me.  Would I allow him to pray for me?  Although I had been less than courteous I realized the need for a refreshing divine touch so I agreed.  He asked me to stand in the middle of that busy McDonalds and began to pray at the top of his voice, or so it seemed.  I willed myself to relax and allowed the sweet Holy Spirit to come and envelop me.  As soon as the man finished praying he disappeared down the steps and I returned to my meal, gently trembling all over.  Later, this encounter came to mean much to me.  God knew my address and phone number, and even where I happened to be on the street at any time!

An Unpleasant Surprise

After returning from Hong Kong that first winter, I arrived in Shanghai expecting to be met my Chinese colleague, Mary.  The university Foreign Affairs Director met me instead and took me to a hotel at the western edge of the huge city without any explanation.  Mary called to confirm where I was staying and then came to see me.  The university Foreign Affairs Director had called Mary to her office before the holiday and interrogated her for two hours about our conversations.  Mary explained that Foreign Affairs officers are an extension of the Public Security Bureau and are feared by the general population.  This official in particular was nicknamed “The Black Dragon” for her capricious granting or refusing passport applications and other travel documents for academic Chinese teachers and scientists.  Even in-country travel had to go through the Foreign Affairs Office at that time.

The Black Dragon

The Black Dragon was a relatively uneducated woman who held the highly responsible position of Director of Foreign Affairs as a reward for her political fanaticism during the Cultural Revolution.  She didn’t understand why I was so interested in Chinese history and philosophy because such things didn’t exist in Communist China, so she thought I must be an enemy of the people.

Mary was kind but fearful and explained that she would have no further contact with me for her own safety.  I quickly agreed with her concern for her own welfare but felt desperately isolated.  I had not expected to be alone and was bored with nothing to do and nothing to read for two weeks in the city.  Also, I was quite fearful of the Black Dragon after learning of Mary’s interrogation.  I got a taxi to take me to Xin Hua, the government-owned bookstore, to buy something to read.  The selection was as exciting and varied as cooked oatmeal but I chose a book and returned to the hotel.  That was a long week with many tears as I imagined what the interrogation must have been like for Mary and the possible implications for me during second semester.

The Black Dragon accompanied me by train to the university for the beginning of second semester classes.  Students were suddenly too busy to visit me.  There were three other American teachers, two of them belonging to an American sending organization that emphasized a team approach.  The third American was from New York City and accustomed to minding her own business.  Thus, I was effectively isolated and desperately lonely.  Letters from home which had come weekly during the first semester suddenly stopped and my phone service was cut off.  I wept almost continuously and memorized whole chapters of Psalms to guard my mind in the long empty hours every day.  Once I got a cassette tape-letter from home, smashed to bits.  I carefully removed it from the broken case, placed it in another, and was able to hear Mom’s voice.  Sometimes letters were delivered with no stamps and I was required to buy Chinese stamps to replace the stolen American ones.  (American stamps were highly collectible.)

My fears were intensified because I had read before coming to China about the process of brain washing and could see the steps unfolding before me.  Isolation in a foreign culture is an incredibly painful  experience and only my day-by-day relationship with Jesus kept me steady.  Some of the Scriptures that took on new meaning for me were:

“God deliberately chose what in the world is lowborn and insignificant,

and branded and treated with contempt,

even the things that are nothing,

that He might depose and bring to nothing things that are

so that no mortal man should have pretense for glorying

and boast in the presence of God

(I Cor. 1”28-29 AMP).”

“But He said to me, My favor and loving-kindness

and mercy are sufficient against any danger

and to enable you to bear the trouble manfully;

for My strength and power are made perfect –

fulfilled and completed and show themselves most effective –

in [your] weakness (II Cor.12: 9a AMP).

“You shall establish yourself on righteousness…. 

you shall be far even from the thought of oppression or destruction,

for you shall not fear; and from terror,

for it shall not come near you.

“Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife,

but it is not from Me. 

Whoever stirs up strife against you shall fall away to you.

“No weapon that is formed against you shall prosper

and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment

you shall show to be in the wrong. 

This triumph over opposition

is the heritage of the servants of the Lord. 

This is the vindication which I impart to them

as their justification says the Lord

(Isaiah 54:14-15, 17 AMP).”

“Let the weak say I am strong (Joel 3:10b)!”

 

Emotional Healing

Many people need emotional healing. Even believers who have forgiven others still have not experienced healing. There are several Bible passages that I would like to point out as markers on a path to healing. First is the Lord’s Prayer:

Matthew 6:9-15 (AKJV) (emphasis mine)

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

People have a hard time forgiving because they think forgiveness is a feeling, but it’s not. There are a couple of references about forgiving that are helpful. One is the parable of the king who forgave a man his considerable debt (Matt. 18:21-35). But the man forgiven of his debt then went out and found a very poor man who owed him a very small debt and had him put in prison until he paid the small debt. Forgiveness is God’s heart. He forgives us all we owe and He wants us to forgive others just as freely as we have been forgiven.

 1 Peter 3:9 (AMP)  (emphasis mine)

9 and never return evil for evil or insult for insult [avoid scolding, berating, and any kind of abuse], but on the contrary, give a blessing [pray for one another’s well-being, contentment, and protection]; for you have been called for this very purpose, that you might inherit a blessing [from God that brings well-being, happiness, and protection].

Bless to be blessed. Pray for the person who wounded you. Pray for their material and financial prosperity; pray for their good health and good relationships; pray for their salvation. As many times as they come to mind, pray for them. When Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive and Jesus said seventy times seven, Peter was stunned. I suspect that Jesus meant that every time that person who hurt you comes to mind, forgive him/her again – over and over.

Also, forgive God. You can have deep anger and mistrust in your heart against your Abba. “No good thing will He with-hold from those who walk uprightly.”

Romans 12:19 (AMP)

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave the way open for God’s wrath [and His judicial righteousness]; for it is written [in Scripture], “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

After forgiving someone, you still have the wound, and it will last as long as you live if you don’t know to ask the Lord to heal it. Let’s look at Isaiah 53:3-6.

Isaiah 53:3-6 (AMP) (emphasis mine)

3 He was despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and pain and acquainted with grief; And like One from whom men hide their faces. He was despised, and we did not appreciate His worth or esteem Him. 4 But [in fact] He has borne our griefs, And He has carried our sorrows and pains; Yet we [ignorantly] assumed that He was stricken, Struck down by God and degraded and humiliated [by Him]. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was crushed for our wickedness [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing]; The punishment [required] for our well-being fell on Him, And by His stripes (wounds) we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, We have turned, each one, to his own way; But the LORD has caused the wickedness of us all [our sin, our injustice, our wrongdoing] To fall on Him [instead of us].

We hear about “by His stripes we are healed” but I don’t think I’ve ever heard a teaching about emotional healing based on Isaiah 53 where Isaiah says He took our griefs and sorrows. If one is true, so is the other. So when I was begging the Father to heal my emotional wounds, this phrase came to mind and I snatched it eagerly. Because it is an aspect of salvation it depends only on one’s obedience to the condition of confessing and forsaking one’s sins and iniquities – then forgiving others as we are so freely forgiven.

For example, I have forgiven the person who said malicious things about me, but I still feel the stabbing wound of being assualted. So I come before the Father and tell Him how that person is forgiven but I want Him to heal the wound of being assualted. He willingly takes that hurt to Himself on the cross. If the hurt doesn’t go away, then check your heart for complete forgiveness – it’s not about that other person, it’s about you. Then go back to Father and ask again for the hurt to be healed. There is no shame in repetition. Repeat this request as many times as necessary, until you are free of the associated pain. Do this for each painful memory and be patient with yourself in gaining the emotional healing Father God has promised through the precious blood of His Son.

There is another aspect of healing from sexual sins and/or violation that is usually overlooked. That is the breaking of soul ties with the individual you were involved with. Again it is done simply. Just ask Father God to forgive you for your part in the sin and then ask Him to break the soul tie. Ask Him to cauterize both ends of the broken bond with His precious blood, and the bondage is broken.

In addition to forgiveness there is the issue of negative self-talk. Our minds are going all day long and most of the thoughts are not up-building. 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV admonishes us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ”. Have you caught yourself saying:

I am so unworthy.

I am dirty/defiled. God couldn’t/wouldn’t forgive me.

I am a social klutz. I can’t do/say the right thing.

I am too…..

Learn to speak what the Bible says about you. Here is a link to Scriptures that tell who your are in God’s eyes. Would you disagree with Him? Scripture affirmations are like oil and wine poured into open wounds. They bring relief from pain and healing can begin.

http://www.pray-the- scriptures.com/proclamations101/scriptaffirmations/script affirmations.html

In order to change your thought patterns you need positive thoughts to replace the negative ones. Although I have dyslexia, I have memorized whole chapters in the Psalms when in great distress – it was a matter of survival when experiencing brain washing in China. I know the power of the Word. When the stress lets up you can’t stop feeding your mind and thoughts on Jesus, though.

I have found both forgiveness and positive affirmations to be extremely difficult. It’s no wonder people struggle with healing of emotional wounds. But as you persist and gain strength, you will realize that the above described strategies truly work. Nothing you do in the Lord is easy because the devil goes about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He is an imitation, however. The Lion of the tribe of Judah is the Creator of all things, including the fake lion.

My heart goes out in compassion to the deeply wounded. I’ve experienced severe wounding prenatally and as an infant. But the traumas continued into adulthood, and I knew the only answer was Jesus. So I pressed violently into Him (Matthew 11:12) and slowly over time He is rewarding me in ways I can only attempt to describe to my blog readers. He is well worth the cost, and far more. I thank Him for the considerable healing and integration I’ve experienced and am madly in love with Him. This is a precious journey into intimacy with the awesome Creator of my spirit who is pure and holy, gentle and yet more powerful than all His enemies combined. He is my untamed, fierce Defender, Comforter, Advocate….

Want prayer? Contact me.

More Healing

The Precious Holy Spirit

It’s been an awesome five months since my sovereign meeting with Abba for massive emotional healing. A glorious five month journey of incredible intensity and beauty beyond my ability to describe. How I have delighted in saturating myself in His gentle love – after all, I don’t remember ever being told anyone loved me – ever. But Abba and my beautiful Bridegroom never grew tired of telling me of their love and wrapping me in their arms. And they were passionate in their expressions.

Now I am gradually taking my place back into activities of the Kingdom. But I will never be the same, again. There is a depth of intercession and decreeing that wasn’t there previously. I have a trust that is childlike but powerful in its simplicity. I knew I had God’s authority before, but now I walk in the Holy Spirit’s fiery passion. His fire dances over my head as I walk into dark places with His covering. Sometimes I ask to see what He is doing through my prayers, and He allows me a glimpse. Most of the time I am satisfied to just press against Him, though, and receive His kisses and overpowering bursts of enthusiasm.

In the former life of only six months ago, I had to always be on the go; sewing a quilt, baking chicken breasts, driving to visit a friend or family member. Now I spend several hours a day just enjoying His sweet Presence. Sometimes I wonder what life might have been like if I could have experienced this life-altering healing of griefs and sorrows years ago. But, no matter; this soul-satisfying Love fills and spills over to meet my deepest longings. I hunger for Love. He is Love… O my goodness!

My relationships with Abba and my Bridegroom are intimate, but possibly the biggest surprise is how I am getting to know the Holy Spirit. When He drove out the two demons that came to molest me, I saw Him as taller than the trees standing at the roadside and brighter than the sun. He looked like the sunshine glinting off a metal roof – too bright to look at. And He was Fierce! The power of His Presence was untamed ferociousness. All three of the Godhead were concerned for my welfare and defense. I can still see Them standing around me silently, waiting for me to speak to Them. Their concern was so respectful and pure and compassionate. What a precious, priceless treasure each of Them is.

What God said to Jeremiah is true for each one of us: Jer. 1:5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…

This week two more alters have surfaced. One was an infant possibly 3 months old. She was pink and healthy and watched me with trusting eyes. Abba said she was trusting because I had nurtured her. The other alter was a strong personality about 12 to 14 years old and I recognized her for her acting out. Nevertheless, I remembered the things said to her by our parents, and things not said that should have been, such as, I love you. So I had a long talk with her and explained that her desperate search for love was reasonable but that only Jesus could satisfy her starving, emaciated spirit. She promptly sought out Jesus. We found that our spirits agreed with our hungers and how we were discovering deep needs met in Abba and His only Son. My nights are quieter now that she has integrated with me. I’m looking forward to having her strength of character joined with mine.

Basis of My Calling

Even if you’re not interested, please browse through this material to see what God thinks about any type of the dark arts. Don’t deceive yourself into believing that “white” magic is OK. It’s not! It exploits a power outside of God’s power.

KOHATHITES

While I was still an undergraduate university student the Lord unfolded the family of Amram and Jochebed to me and their bold faith in God to see that their infant  son Moses lived.  Later, in the plan of the tabernacle and division of menial labor for the worship of God, the Levites were given by God as a gift to the Israelites (Numbers 18:6; Jeremiah 33:20-22).  The Levites, including Kohathites, Gershonites and Merariites (Exodus 6:16), were to have no inheritance among their brethren.  Instead, in the Promised Land they received a specific number of cities; some of them designated Cities of Refuge (Num. 18).

Both Jochebed and Amram were Kohathites.  According to Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary the word Kohath (#6955) means to ally oneself.

HEBRON

 Then Joshua blessed him and gave to Caleb Hebron for an inheritance, because he wholly followed the Lord. The name of Hebron was formerly Kirjath-arba, the greatest city of the Anakim. (Joshua 14:13-14)

Kirjath-arba was located in the hill country of the south.  The Israelites under Joshua completely destroyed all the inhabitants of the hill country including Kirjath-arba (Joshua 10; 11:21).

According to Strong’s (#7153) Arba means “city of the four giants.”

Hebron (#2275, from #2267) means “seat of association.”

#2267, from #2266: “a society; also, a spell:- charmer(ing), company, enchantment, x wide.”

#2266: a primary root; to join (literally or figuratively); specifically (by means of spells) to fascinate:- charm(er), to be compact, couple (together), have fellowship with, heap up, join (self, together), league.

Before the city was Hebron, it was Kirjath-arba, a Philistine settlement built seven years before Zoan in Egypt (Numbers 13:22).  It was a dwelling place of Abraham.  In Genesis 13:18 God told Abraham: Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you. Then Abraham moved his tent, and came and dwelt among the oaks of Mamre which are at Hebron, and built there an altar to the Lord.

Hebron is where God changed Abram’s name to Abraham (Gen 17:5).

Hebron is where Abraham had three visitors who promised him a son (Gen 18:1-2).

Hebron is where Sarah died and was buried (Genesis 23:1-20; 25:10).  This field became the family burial plot for Isaac, Jacob and all his sons.

Samson once removed the gates of the city (Judges 16:3).

During the Israelite conquest Kirjath-arba was taken and renamed Hebron (Joshua 10:36-37; 20:7; 21:10-11).

For his faithfulness in returning a good report when the ten spies returned from the land of milk and honey, Caleb was allowed to choose his inheritance forty years later during the conquest of Canaan and he chose Kirjath-arba (Joshua 14:13-15; 20:7; Judges 1:20).

Hebron was located in Judah’s inheritance.  Later it was designated a City of Refuge (Joshua 21:10-13), and became the city of the high priests.

David was crowned king in Hebron and ruled over Judah seven and a half years before being crowned by all Israel (II Samuel 2:1-4,11).  He bore several sons while living in Hebron, also (II Samuel 3:2-5).

Absalom proclaimed himself king in Hebron (II Samuel 15:7-12).

Who Did What

According to Ezra 2:40-43 and I Chronicles, there were divisions within the Levites.   The line of high priests would descend directly from Aaron. Keep in mind that Moses and Aaron’s parents were Kohathites, other Kohathites were temple servants. The Nethinim were servants including singers and gatekeepers.

Kohathites, other than the descendants of Aaron, were temple servants.  During times of sojourning they were responsible for packing and carrying the most holy portion of the vessels and tabernacle furniture, including the ark itself, on their shoulders. 

WARNING 

I believe we are gifted at conception with spiritual gifts just as we receive our unique DNA.  What we do with what we are given is critical to our lives and the lives of those who could benefit from our giftings.  One who has a strong gift in the area of perception (wisdom and knowledge) must submit the gifting to the Lord or be guilty of heresy.  Having studied Hebron and having received a stern warning from the Lord about renouncing power not submitted to or disciplined by Him, I searched the Word for warnings about the occult.  A Christian dare not exploit the power within.  Instead, in the fear of the Lord I shake my hands free and avoid situations that might compromise me.

Note: I knew I had considerable power within from an early age, and understood this warning to be absolutely serious. Now that I have experienced major emotional healing (SRA/DID) I understand the source of the power the Lord was warning me not to access.

Kirjath-arba was a Philistine city known for its magic (Joshua 14: 13-15).  I took that to mean that I needed to search myself and get rid of all occult tendencies, personally and ancestrally, and surrender any power of my own to Him, even to the point of being powerless.

Note: I didn’t realize the depth of my wounding, so I walked in what light I had at that time and the Lord was faithful to watch over me. I look back and am so deeply grateful for His beautiful, nail-pierced hands guiding me.

To have any dealings with spiritism is to be defiled and therefore unfit to appear before God in worship.

Leviticus 19:31 Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I am the Lord your God.

Dabblers in any form of the occult were to be killed.

Leviticus 20:27 and Deuteronomy 18:9-12  A man or also a woman that has a familiar spirit, or that is a wizard, shall be put to death….you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations.  There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or daughter pass through the fire, or who uses divination, or who is a soothsayer, or an augur, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or a medium, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord: and it is because of these abominable practices  that the Lord your God is driving them out from before you.

To have any dealings with spiritism is to be defiled and therefore unfit to appear before God in worship.

Leviticus 19:31AMP Turn not to those who have familiar spirits (mediums), neither seek after wizards; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.

It is because of spiritism that the Canaanites were destroyed. Deut 18:12b.

The enormity of the sin of disobedience was compared to spiritism and/or witchcraft.  I Samuel 15:23 ….for rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft.

When Saul was zealous for God he cleared the land of mediums (I Samuel 28:3).  Only after his sins had made communication with God impossible did Saul consult a medium (I Samuel 28:7).  Saul’s wretched death was partially caused by consulting a witch (I Chronicles 10:13).  God was angered by other kings who dabbled in magic (II Chronicles 33:6).

One of the reasons for Israel going into exile was their traffic in spiritism.

Isaiah 2:6 Surely, [Lord] You have rejected and forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with the customs from the east and with soothsayers who foretell like the Philistines, also they strike hands and make pledges and agreements with the children of aliens.

It is insulting to God for people to consult the dead when they can inquire of Him.  In the New Testament the rich man could not communicate with his brothers after death, nor could Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31).  Also see Acts 8:6-24 and 13:6-12.

Isaiah 8:19 And when the people [instead of putting their trust in God] shall say to you (Isaiah), Consult for direction mediums and wizards who chirp and mutter, should not a people seek and consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?

Converts in the New Testament brought their books of curious arts and burned them before all men (Acts 19:19).

Spiritism is one of the works of the flesh.

Galatians 5:19-21AMP (emphasis mine) Now the practices of the flesh are obvious: they are immorality, impurity, indecency; idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), factions, sects with peculiar opinions (heresies), envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like.  I warn you beforehand just as I did previously that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Revelation 21:8 AMP (emphasis mine) But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive; and as for the unbelieving and faithless; and as for the depraved and the defiled with abominations; and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters [those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God] and all liars [those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed, all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.

Revelation 22:14-15AMP (emphasis mine) Blessed are those who cleanse their garments that they may have the right to the tree of life and to enter in through the gates to the city. For without are dogs and sorcerers and whoremongers and murderers and idolaters and whoever loves and deals in falsehood –  untruth, error, deception, cheating.

One last observation: renewed activity in spiritism and interest in its teaching is a sign of the last days.

I Timothy 4:1-2AMP (emphasis mine) But the (Holy) Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in the latter times some will turn away from the faith, giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars whose consciences are seared (cauterized)….

TEMPLE SERVANTS

Several years after the above Scriptures were given to me the Lord gave me more about who the Kohathites were.  In I Chronicles 16:4 King David appointed some Levites to make petition before the Ark of the Covenant.  Some of these same men were gate keepers  (verse 38).

I Chronicles 16:4 And he appointed certain of the Levites to minister before the ark of the Lord, and to record, and to thank and to praise the Lord God of Israel.

Minister (#8334) to attend as a menial or worshipper; to contribute to: – serve, wait on.

Record (#2142) to mark so as to be recognized; to remember, by implication to mention: – to call to remembrance….

In Ezra 7:24 porters are mentioned.  #8652/8651 calls them doorkeepers.

I Chronicles 15:23-24 names several individuals who were doorkeepers for the ark.  The Hebrew definition of a door keeper is #7778/8179 a janitor: – doorkeeper, porter.  To split or open; to act as a gatekeeper; keeper of a palace gate.

This definition has a lot of meaning for me because in Asian cultures specific individuals have the keys to all doors.  The keeper of the keys may be a janitor, a lowly person, but with more power than the occupants of the building.  I and my students have stood outside a classroom door waiting for the one with the key to unlock the padlock so we could have a lesson.  In the spiritual sense, the gate keeper was a door guard with much power to present himself to the Lord on behalf of others.

Asaph was a well known Kohathite and a recorder in the temple during David’s time.  He also was a musician, and his descendants were musicians.  One of Asaph’s contemporaries who was a gate keeper and musician was Jeduthan (#3038/3034) whose very name means laudatory; open, extended hands as in reverence and worship; make confession, give thanks.  What a beautiful name!   Apparently this man also had prophetic abilities (II Chronicles 35:15).  Jeduthan wrote Psalms 39, 62, and 77.

Jeduthan’s sons were gate keepers.  One of his sons was Obed-edom (#5654/5647) whose name meant to serve, till, enslave; bond servant, worshipper.  Obed-edom’s house is where King David left the ark after the Lord struck down Uzzah for touching it to steady it during a rough cart ride while it was being moved to Jerusalem.  You can read the story in II Samuel 6.

DOORKEEPER

My first ministry experience of any importance was when a friend asked me to take her through deliverance.  I didn’t want to work alone (Kohathites form alliances, remember?), so we agreed on a third woman to do the actual ministry.  I was to be the “watcher”: silent, observant, prayerful.

The one going through deliverance experienced a mental shut-down, that is, her brain couldn’t retain the words of confession and repentance she was repeating after the “minister.” I stopped them and asked the “minister” to speak just one or two words at a time so the one experiencing the opposition could say just one or two words of renunciation at a time.  After a few minutes she was able to relax and we continued peacefully to a sweet conclusion.

This experience confirmed something about being in the place God wanted me and the satisfaction that resulted. Not long after that I sometimes traveled with a lady minister who recognized my gifting and used me as an intercessor/ doorkeeper. I didn’t really understand how valuable my gifting was and wondered why she asked my opinion from time to time. Fortunately, I was wary.

 

http://freedomoutpost.com/many-young-adults-are-turning-to-witchcraft-as-a-way-to-rebel-against-their-conservative-christian-upbringings/

 

 

 

 

Yearning II

Codependency is definitely not a life-time weakness as you may think. As I’ve pointed out in Yearning I, co-dependency exists because the deepest need within is not being met. Every human is created with a need for Love that only the Source of LOVE can fill. I have given various post references of bloggers and web site links of ministries to victims of SRA (satanic ritual abuse) and DID (multiple personalities) that I’ve learned to trust as teachers. Go back and write them down or bookmark them. Some sites urge that another person needs to be present when you read through the renunciations aloud, but I have no one to help me, so I read out loud to myself, and the precious, sweet Holy Spirit witnesses my earnest statements. By all means, do work at your deliverance and growth alone if there is nobody to help you.

Recently I took a week to travel and when I came home I felt so depleted. Before the journey I had luxuriated in Abba’s glorious Presence and felt the need to test my progress, so I asked Him for a test. When I told a friend, she was startled. Weren’t you afraid to do that? No, I trust Him to not hurt me; He loves me, was my response.

While traveling I was keenly aware of the Holy Spirit surrounding me with Himself, protecting me as travel turned stressful. He is so humble and gentle, yet absolutely stunning in His power and majesty. Now at home, sitting in His pure and holy Presence, I can only weep in brokenness and hunger and awe – all at the same time. He is overwhelming but I refuse to ask Him to back off even a little. Instead, I ask that my vessel be expanded to hold more and more and more of Him. His realm is so vast, I have no fear that His resources will be depleted. Everything He is and everything He has is available to me, so I refuse to be distracted from His beauty, His ravishing beauty.

 

 

Illness in the Family

Illness in the Family

At the end of October I received word that my brother’s little five year old son had the flu.  When Larry and Carole took him to the doctor it was discovered that little Tyson had a brain tumor. That explained his on-going violent headaches and vomiting. How I longed to be with my family and offer what comfort I could. Every day after school I came home and stretched out on the floor to do business with my heavenly Father in Ty’s behalf. Toward the end of November I began to hear the Lord ask me to go through Larry’s and Carole’s house with oil for a spiritual house-cleaning as I had done in my own house.

Desperately I tried to negotiate with the Lord. They have a big house! It will take some time and I’ll be alone. What if I run into trouble with some entity l can’t deal with? When the time comes you will know what to do.

During the Christmas holidays I borrowed Larry’s and Carole’s house key from Mom.  I went on Sunday morning while the family was in Sunday school and church, so I had about two hours.  Everything went well until I got to the master bedroom. As I walked across the floor I staggered but didn’t think much about it. Eventually I got the impression that a spirit of death was attacking me. Unafraid, I did battle with it, and it had to give ground. In the bathroom off the hall between the bedrooms, however, I met a spirit of unnatural death. I couldn’t seem to drive the ugly thing out no matter how I warred, so I forbade it to influence anyone until it could be expelled.  Time for the family to return from church and I didn’t want them to find me here because I didn’t want to try to answer their questions.

Second semester I continued to petition God for Tyson’s complete healing. I was glad I had obeyed the Lord regarding the spiritual housecleaning because it gave me some insight as to what Larry and Carole must be fighting.

Vandalism 

To get better acquainted in the community where I was teaching I joined the village Garden Club. Not exactly my cup of tea, but it was an opportunity to meet local women.  One lady about my age was a horse lover as I was, so Doris and I began looking for a gentle horse for her husband. Driving all over the countryside was fun and we saw a lot of “dogs” – bad horses.

Classes seemed to go well, too. When I was away on weekends I left a key to my house with a senior high school student who fed and played with Kitty Inky.  Vandals were getting into the science classroom.  One morning I found broken glass slides in the gerbil cage. I didn’t think much about it; gerbils have more sense than to chew on glass. Someone put fox scent in the science room heat vents, so classes were suspended for half a day.  Another morning, the irradiated seeds a student  was growing as a project for the state science fair were found setting on the heat register, all wilted. My car was rotten egged and tomatoed frequently. Although I was irritated, these pranks seemed typical of the behavior of small rural insular communities (remember the Ozarks school?), so I tried to ignore them.

After school one beautiful spring day, I received a phone call from Doris who was nearly hysterical. It seems that two boys and a dog had been seen chasing my Arabian mare and her foal. The foal ran into a five-strand barbed wire fence, stripping the hide from her neck down to between her legs. An unknown witness immediately called the area veterinarian and Doris, who came to wait at the pasture with me.  While we waited for the vet I poured out my distress to Doris: classroom vandalism, my little nephew’s illness, now this.

An Unexpected Visitor

One day after school I was at my desk when the classroom door banged open and a stranger barged in.

“My name is Janet Barnes. Are you Joyce Baumgardner?”

“Yes.”

“Is it true that you are a witch?”

“Hardly!!  Would you believe me if I told you I am a Christian?”

“Yes, I would believe you.  I don’t think a witch would say they were a Christian. Do you know who I am?  I am a charismatic leader in this area.”

“Oh?  I am Spirit-filled, too.”

Janet continued to cross-examine me carefully. “Where do you go to church?”

“I drive to a church about 30 miles from here.”

Then she seemed a little puzzled. “Did you know your students are telling around that their science teacher is a witch?  To prove it, they say you have a black cat that is your familiar.”

“I do have a black cat.  Does that make me a witch?  Is everybody who has a black cat a witch?!”

“Get rid of the cat!”

“The cat stays,” I snapped. “He was given to me by a student’s mother my first year of teaching, and he is 14 years old. I won’t get rid of the cat!”

“I have friends with children junior high age who had planned to move into this school district but they won’t if the science teacher is a witch,” Janet explained.

“Tell your friends that whether or not I am a witch, they should feel free to move to this area because I will be resigning at the end of the term. There is illness in my family and I plan to move back home to be near them.”

This last bit of news seemed to soften Janet a little, and she was silent momentarily.

“The rumors need to be stopped. Will you accept some advice?”

“Like what?”

“Tell your students in all your classes tomorrow that Janet Barnes was here to talk to you. They will know who I am. Tell them what we talked about. The rumors need to be stopped.”

Having had plenty of experience with gossip, I was skeptical.

“Why should I believe that telling my students about your visit and our conversation will make any difference to them?”

“Promise me you will do it?  It can’t cause any harm. My group and I will pray for you that the students will listen.”

So I reluctantly agreed, with no confidence that anything would change.

The next day l began each class by relating Janet’s visit and our conversation. I even expressed my doubts that the rumors would stop.  Much to my surprise, one by one, after class the cheerleaders came to me and tearfully confessed their part in maligning their science teacher’s character. Needless to say, I was amazed at their willingness to confess.   The classroom vandalism and rotten egging stopped. Apparently Janet did indeed have influence among the charismatics, and they must have been heard for their prayers regarding the local science teacher’s wellbeing.

Tyson

About a month before school was out, doctors at St. Louis Children’s Hospital sent Tyson home to die.  Radiation treatments had destroyed his pituitary gland – the master gland. If he survived he would be short and hairy.  He would have no regulation of hunger and thirst. Secondary sexual characteristics wouldn’t develop. And radiation had destroyed his optic nerves. He was blind.

Tyson didn’t die, however.  At the end of May I moved back to Illinois. That September Larry and Carole enrolled Tyson in kindergarten.  Understandably, the kindergarten teacher was horrified to have a very fragile blind child in her classroom. But Larry insisted.  And slowly Tyson regained his sight. Did we get excited? We were ecstatic!

One Sunday after church the whole family met at Larry and Carole’s house for lunch and began talking over the ordeal we were living.  Larry told about coming home from St. Louis one morning to look after some business.  He was in the hall bathroom with the intention of taking his life when the phone rang. He went to answer the phone and when he returned to the bathroom he no longer felt like taking his life. Then it was my turn to tell about praying through the house in spiritual warfare and the unnatural death spirit I had engaged in the hall bath.

Although I had been Spirit-filled for several years, my family was third- generation denominational church members, members in good standing, some of the extended family being church planters, ministers and missionaries, district superintendents and missionary field superintendents. But when Tyson began to show medically documented recovery, our exuberance made the local church leaders nervous. One Sunday morning in front of the whole congregation we were asked to leave.  I was elated because I knew the next step would broaden our faith and glorify God. We all left together to attend a church that believed in supernatural healing, and subsequently a major community renewal erupted.

Tyson is now a college graduate, nearly six feet tall, with normal vision (he still has no optic nerves), he drives a car in a large city, and is married with two little girls. As for me, I have come to value the privilege of seeing that angel during the summer storm, having the terrible dream, and understanding God’s incredible love and care for His children in their deep distresses.

******

It was during Ty’s illness that my dad gave his heart to Jesus and became a changed man.  His heart was broken to see his little five-year-old grandson blind, unable to eat, with violent headaches.  He apologized to his adult children for being the mean man that he was when we were small, and healing flowed through the whole family.  Larry interviewed him on video and this tape was played at Dad’s  funeral.

When I moved from Iowa, back to Illinois be near my family, I found a job nearby where I taught five years.  I noticed that China was now open so to make myself more saleable I returned to university for a Master’s degree in K-12 Public School Administration.  I couldn’t find an organization to sponsor me to China, so I wrote to the Chinese Embassy in Washington for an application to teach in a university of their choice.  In May I graduated and in September I was on my way to China.  I was scared spitless and had serious misgivings about withdrawing my Teacher’s Retirement funds to finance God’s call on my life. But I was obedient to The Call.