DEAR FRIENDS AND FAMILY,
Wow! God is good! I have the privilege of sharing about what God is doing in Oklahoma City and how he moved through us. We were a team of six, two interns, four second years, led by Pastor Kevin Dedmon and ministry associate Kristina Wagner. We joined Oasis Church led by Pastor James Fortune and a few other churches as they are going after revival in what they have called the Oklahoma Outpouring. For the past 5 weeks, they have met every night and brought in fathers and mothers in revival to stir up passion and revival and they have 3 weeks to go.
Kevin Dedmon led us and came into shift minds and atmospheres and bring the Kingdom of God not only to the Church but also to the city. God is in a good mood and he is really happy and he wants us to be really happy, but we think it is more spiritual to cry than to laugh when the Bible commands us to be joyful always. Kevin went through church history showing how the church influenced by Gnosticism, a heresy that says the physical is evil and the spiritual is good. This heresy infiltrated through church fathers such as Augustine has created this theology that emotions are evil and you have to deny pleasure to please God when Jesus died on the cross so that we can have life abundantly. You see everyone in the world and the church wants the gospel to really be as good as it sounds but we don’t know that we are allowed to be that happy. We constantly fear something evil is going to happen or we are unworthy for good things to happen. That is a lie. We are made to live in joy and God is good!
Anyway, I could go on, but I want to get to the good stuff. While going through this and breaking down these lies we are teaching and demonstrating how healing is for today. In our first night, our team got up to give words of knowledge for healing. (Words of knowledge are simply things we hear from God that is currently true about someone that we would not have known beforehand). Words of knowledge are meant to stir up faith showing that God knows your condition and that he wants to heal you and we saw often in our meetings people get healed without anyone praying for them. One of my friends got a word of knowledge that there is a Mary in the room who needs healing in her hip. No one stood up acknowledging it was them but we kept asking and eventually an older lady stood up saying that she had hip pain and the pastor turned to us and said her name is Mary. How cool!
It was really cool for me, I was journaling with God before the service started and felt him say to me, “are you done yet, because I would like to talk about the service tonight with you?” God is funny. So, I felt him give me some words of knowledge about different people, the first was a middle aged man with high blood pressure who had to change his blood pressure medicine because it wasn’t working. The second one was carpel tunnel in the elbow. The third was something with babies and during the service, I felt someone needed healing in their left hand. What was really amazing is that each one of those words of knowledge described someone and they each got healed.
I must tell you about the guy with the high blood pressure. So I gave the word of knowledge and we were asking the congregation who that was, and the guy’s wife says that’s my husband but he wasn’t feeling well so he went out to the car. Kevin told her to go get him, so we continued on and when he came in, Kevin had me go pray for him, so I went over and simply laughed over him and released the Holy Spirit. I asked him what he was feeling and he said he was feeling tingling in his head and when we started to pray his arms and legs hurt. As I told him that the tingling was the Holy Spirit and that God was healing him right now, the tingling continued down his body and he eventually was laughing and laid on the ground. We continued to pray for other people and after about 15min or so, we had people come up and give testimonies of what God had done in them. He came up, and told everyone that he had a heart attack early that week and was really fatigued and in a lot of pain in his arms and legs and after I prayed for him and God touched him, he was happy, jumping up and down dancing, and had no pain in his body. Come on Jesus!
So each night was a similar format, worship, teaching, healing, testimonies, and we ended with a fire tunnel and dance party. During the day though, we trained and equipped the congregation about treasure hunts and then took them out into their city to bring the Kingdom.
Saturday, my team went to the park and we ran into a group of single moms and started talking to them. We told them we were on a treasure hunt and we heard clues from God about who he wanted to touch. They thought we were weird, but they were a cell group from another church so they listened to us. I asked them if they had ever felt the tangible presence of God. Some said yes, others said I don’t know, so I had all of them with their kids hold out their hands and say Holy Spirit come. The kids were the first ones to feel anything. Some of them felt tingling, warmth, or a weight in their hands. As we continued talking with them, we eventually found out a few of the moms had pain in their shoulders and we told them God wants to heal them, because God always wants to heal because He is a good God! So, we asked if we could pray for them, and they said yes and I was about to pray for them when I thought, what if we had the kids pray for them because there is no such thing as Junior Holy Spirit. So, I had the kids gather around the first mom and say Holy Spirit come and then told them to put their hands on one of the moms and say I release healing in the name of Jesus. The first lady felt God in her back and got 50% better!! So, I said lets pray again and the kids prayed again and all of the pain left!!! Come on! Someone get happy J! There was this little girl, she was about 9 and she is a preacher. She kept saying, give him a clap. It was great. Each mom with shoulder pain got healed and ended up coming to the meeting that night.
Overall, our time in Oklahoma was great bringing more of the Kingdom to a place that was hungry for God. We saw backs healed, legs grown out that were uneven, ringing in ears healed, pain of 20+ years healed, scoliosis healed, knees healed, and people getting a lot of joy and a lot of renewed mindsets about who they are, who God is, and what it means when we pray for His Kingdom come, His will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven!
If you wish to support me in going on further ministry trips to see God’s Kingdom come, go to
Well friends and family,
Due to inspiration from my sister and encouraging questions from grandparents and friends, I figured I would update you a little on where life is for me right now. If you didn’t receive my previous email about what I am involved with, check my blog. When you get to my blog, there are a couple of pages I have updated that don’t show on the main blog. Click on where it says about or ministry and see some of the updates to what I am doing.
For now, I want to share about one thing in particular God has been showing me and then give you a brief update on my ministry trip I got back from.
Bless the Lord oh my soul, bless the Lord. Let all the earth rejoice and the heavens bless your name. Second year for me so far has been a stretching one. It started in the summer with it just being a trying time learning the joys and responsibilities of living on your own and finding a job in a city where there are not many jobs. As I waded through the summer and into this year I have learned one key of my life that I will never lose and never forget and that is worship. Worship always. Worship when you are full and happy and worship when you are depressed and in lack. My first encounter of this happened as I was trying to find a job for the year. I was not able to stay with the beer distributor due to hours not working out. In the beginning of September I had an interview with a contractor here in town to be hired as a painter. The interview went really well but I was worrying about finances. During worship at school, for the first time I chose to worship when my circumstances didn’t lead easy to worship. I did not worship in order to pray. I did not worship while thinking about my problems. I simply worshipped because he is worthy and I felt my affections and my thoughts turn from me to him simply because he is worthy. That following Monday I woke up to God asking me do I trust him? Now I normally don’t wake up that way but this morning I did and knew God was speaking and so I felt the right answer to be yes and told him that. And he answered good you have the job and in that moment I knew I could no longer pray for a job or finances because he provided. I did not hear back from them for almost a couple of weeks and I would still stand for prayer when in school we were praying for finances but I knew I personally could not ask. I could only thank him for what he provided. That same Monday night I was at men’s group and got $5 for having the hairiest chest in the room (proud moment mom and dad ;) ). And my small group leader told me that it was prophetic I received that and I recalled Gods word to me that morning and what’s even more interesting is that 5 often is the number for grace so I received grace for money. A week or two later I got an email saying I got the job.
That was how it started. Since then there has been a lot of emotional and relational ups and downs as God is molding me into the man he has made me to be. It has been a hard month and a half but I learned something that no matter what is going on, I worship him. I worship him in the morning, while I drive, while I work, while at school when I face trial or temptation when I am tired when I am mad when I don’t feel worthy when I am sad when i am with people when i am by myself when I don’t feel like worshipping I worship. I turn my affections to the only one who is worthy and I say to him you are worthy. You are God. You are my love. You are my hope. You are good. You are good.
And in this encounter of worship I have been changed and am being changed. I am beginning to truly love to truly love myself to truly love others to truly love God.
What goes on here at bethel is not a systematic formula where you get teaching and training in ministering and ministry. It is a place where we encamp around the presence of God and allow the encounter of his face to shape our lives to heal us to move in us to bring power and freedom to us and those around us. We encounter God so that we can become an encounter to those around us.
We love because he first loved us and when we know that love we will love ourselves and when we truly love ourselves we will love others as we love ourselves. How many of you know deep at your core that you are loved that you are celebrated not just for your successes but also for your failures, for who you are not who you are not. God sees you as he sees Jesus because that is what his blood as done for you. You are the righteousness of God. But when I say that, you think righteousness is determined by what you do or not do. No your righteousness is determined by what he did. And if you did nothing the rest of your life, he would love you. He cannot love you less than he does and he cannot love you more. You are the apple of his eye and his great delight. God in his love to be with you created a place within his heart that only you can fill. He wants you. He doesn’t want what you have to offer. He wants you.
It is from this encounter we minister and transform the nations. It is from his love and our love that we love and see the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of God where heaven comes to earth just as Jesus taught us to pray for in Matthew 6.
Ministry Trip: Central California
So school is going well and I just got back from a ministry trip in central California. I went down with my girlfriend, Holly, and we had an amazing time. We went down to train youth and young adults in treasure hunts, the prophetic, and evangelism. We had a great time leading teams into a day of the dead festival and got to release life and Jesus. The following day we had a great time teaching and imparting freedom to the youth.
One really amazing thing that happened on this trip is we got to take a guy out on outreach with us who had never been to church before. He was not a believer but we did not know that. Holy Spirit was still using him to love on people and give prophetic words for people, but during the Sunday morning service, I gave an invitation for anyone who had not received Jesus and he wanted to. It wasn’t a convince him he is a sinner going to hell and Jesus is the only way out message. I simply gave an invitation for anyone who wanted to be truly free and know Jesus and he was eager to accept him in his life. That is how it should be. Jesus is the desire of the nations and what we have to offer is a full and free life not just an escape route.
It was a really good time and exciting for me because that was actually the first person I had ever led to Jesus and like my friend Anna was sharing the other week, salvation is just easy.
Things are going really well out here. I am leaving for Oklahoma in a couple of days for another ministry trip. School is going well. We are currently reading and studying revivalists and working on our revival/revivalist reports.
Holly and I are doing well. We are getting excited for the upcoming holidays. I will be headed to her place for Thanksgiving and she will actually be coming home with me for Christmas, which will be a lot of fun.
Well, I will probably be sending another update letting you know how things go in Oklahoma, but hope you all are doing well and I look forward to hearing back from you and what you are up to.
Holly Cotterill. Where do I begin? I hesitate to write too many details simply because in one sense I want to protect our relationship from being thrown around the internet and in another sense I enjoy talking about her too much to let you guys get away from only hearing about it from me once on the internet ;). However, you deserve to know some things because she has been a very important part of my summer. So, if you want to know about us in more detail than I share here, feel free to call, email, or Facebook me.
This summer, I was the lucky guy to begin dating Holly Cotterill, which I shared a little bit about you in an earlier post. If I was not working, I was usually spending my time with Holly. To help you understand I will give you a bullet point view of my summer:
May 14, 2012: Graduation- Summer officially started
May 17, 2012: Holly and I start dating
May 18- June 19, 2012: Search for job
May 26, 2012: Day in San Fran w/ Holly
June 4-9, 2012: Week in Portland w/ Holly
June 19- August 31, 2012: Job delivering beer
June 25- July 10, 2012: Prosperous Home Budgeting class on Monday and Tuesday nights
July 7, 2012: Day in Sacramento w/ Holly
July 11-28, 2012: Time spent in Indiana, being in Ben and Caroline Wright’s wedding and visiting family
Aug 16-19, 2012: Weekend in Coos Bay w/ Holly
Sept. 4, 2012: Second Year BSSM starts
We had a very good and very hard summer. For both of us, we had trying times outside of our relationship that we had to navigate and work through as well as things we had to work through within our relationship. However, nothing too difficult for the mighty duo and trusty Holy Spirit as our companion. We have been through fire and been tested as gold and have succeeded and even thrived through it all.
Our favorite times were being out of Redding together. I had a great time visiting her hometowns, Portland and Coos Bay, and getting to know the people and places that shaped who she is. It was a great time getting to know each other and being able to build experiences together. It was difficult, while I was in Indiana for two and half weeks being apart, but we were able to pursue each other in other ways through emails, gifts, and good phone conversation. While in Redding, we had a great time exploring each other, past, present, future, desires, passions, and heart.
It has been great getting to know Holly and her many facets. It is fascinating getting to know her and us and how we work together. When we first started dating, I only saw the similarities but now I see the differences that everyone was telling us about and find them just as attractive as the similarities. In fact, I see that in order to get to where I feel God wants to take me, I need Holly and her strengths to get there. God has set up a powerful couple and I am excited to see where things go. I don’t quite know what all to say on a blog, but you could say things are pretty serious and we are looking forward to where this relationship is headed and what this next year at BSSM has in store for us.
Money: the root of all evil. Wrong, it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. This summer I was confronted with my powerless view of money and how I look at it. While dating this most amazing girl and throwing around the idea of something more long term developing with Holly, I was faced with how I view finances and how I expect to provide. Being young, I did not want to look at money. I am pretty capable in how I handle money. I have travelled the world, gotten a Bachelors degree from a private college and begun a ministry school all without debt. I know how to stay out of debt and to live within my means, but I did not know how to plan or use my money to go after my dreams or goals. I did not even realize the need for money. If I plan to go after what God has put on my heart, let alone provide for a wife or family, I am going to need to know how to handle money and use it to accomplish my goals.
This summer, I took a personal financing class called Prosperous Home Budgeting taught by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Bethel Church, Stephen DeSilva. Stephen is a lively man full of wisdom and humor. He took us through how to view our wealth by looking at our net worth- assets minus liabilities, how to make a budget, how to become the bank and have an emergency fund for unknown expenses instead of credit cards, and how to have goals for saving that will help us increase our wealth and plan for our future. However, this class was more than just the how to. We looked at how we view money and how often as Christians we struggle in between greed and the spirit of poverty. From this class, I went and developed my own personal budgeting system that has allowed me to be in control of my finances and not let others or circumstances determine what I do with my money. I am excited to develop this further and see money work for me and for what I see God doing in my life instead of life happening to me.
I am taking a class this year called Prosperous Soul based on the verse in 3 John 1:2 where it says may you prosper as your soul prospers and the idea that our inner life shapes our outer life. I would love to explain this more, but that is why I am taking this class. After this class, I will begin to help others in their finances and become a finance coach for BSSM students and help others become powerful in finances instead of a slave to money.
Money this summer caused a lot of stress from trying to figure out how to make ends meet to trying to find a job to trying to raise money for my ministry this year, but this class gave me the necessary tools to begin to build a system that will allow me to see where my finances are headed and how to partner with God in the vision he has for my life.
Summers come and summers go. Rarely are they insignificant though. Throughout my life, I have learned some of my most valuable lessons in these summers between seasons. This summer, I found myself in Redding, California in between First Year and Second Year at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.
In this summer, I came into God’s play pen that he has for his children. I began to experience what real life was. My whole life, I have either been in school, living with my parents, or living internationally. This was my first summer on my own, finding my own jobs that were not handed to me, paying my own bills, finding my own housing and roommates.
This was by far the most difficult summer I have ever been through, but it is not the only difficult summer I have been through. Most of my summers seem to be filled with hard lessons, and yet most of my summers I look back on as a blessed time or at least a necessary time. God seems to be very involved in my life and in my raising up and training. He seems to have taken a special interest in me, making me begin to believe that I have a huge calling on my life.
This summer, I entered into his real life play pen. I was no longer surrounded by like minded Christians. In fact, most of my friends disappeared this summer, whether they left to go back to their respective countries or were in town and just seemed to get too busy. (I did start dating a beautiful, amazing girl, but I will talk about that in another post.) Along with the lack of believers and close friends, I began to interact with many lost people through my job delivering beer.
It was a beautiful time seeing a whole other side of Redding and the surrounding area. Many people think delivering beer would be a fun job, but in fact it broke my heart seeing the broken people dying for love, dying to know there was something more to life, but instead being locked into jobs and alcohol with no real hope that life was going anywhere. And they did not realize it. For them to acknowledge that would create a pain too deep to bear, but the hope is it would cause them to seek an answer. As it is though, this job opened my eyes to what was really going on in this city and the surrounding towns and caused me to ask what are we really doing as believers holed up in the church consumed by our own pursuits and desires to feel good. There is a world out there broken and hurting, longing for the love we know, the relationship we have, the God that lives in us, and we are too terrified to say anything or be around any of them because they might reject us or say bad things about us. Really?!!! Really?!!! And I number myself among them. I cower behind my stony face and ‘non-judgementalism’ while they starve for real life and real joy. This job showed me we have a long way to go if we want to really see the Kingdom of God come down. Pastor Kris Vallotton in our first day of school today talked about how so many miracles have been done in this city and yet for its size it is one of the worst cities to live in. Why? We seek miracles, but we don’t bring the Kingdom. What is the Kingdom of God? The academic answer is, it is God’s Domain, where he reigns in the hearts of men, but practically what does that mean. It means the eradication of poverty, sickness, death, demons, sin. It means freedom from addiction and bondage. It means the freedom to love, to know joy, to be real, to be yourself, to co-labor and co-create with God. That comes through relationship with the living God. So, lets seek the Kingdom. Let’s pray and partner with what God is doing when he says “your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
That was my job, waking up at 4 or 5 in the morning and delivering beer to grocery stores, gas stations, bars, liquor stores until 2 or 3 in the afternoon, sometimes later. It was an exhausting job, but I would not wish anything else. It opened my eyes and let me experience life in a way that I needed to. If we are never exposed to need, we will never be driven to our knees in prayer. If we do not connect with real people and contact this world, we will be stuck in lofty ideas and a reality that is out of touch with real people. We are to be in this world but not of it. We need to be in the world.
I started school back up today. It was odd. I didn’t really know what to do. All of a sudden I was surrounded by believers again, filled with worship and teaching. I entered back into school almost shell shocked from seeing the real world. I’m not ready to go back into cliche. Im not ready to go back into a place where we discuss just theory. I am here to learn, to grow, to get something that will empower me to change the world around me. I cannot afford to sit in a church while the world dies. That is not what Jesus died for. He died for a Kingdom, not a church. This school year, I choose to go in looking for the power of the gospel. I seek to find my heart and where my heart and God’s heart beat together and begin to go after that to see the kingdoms of this world become the Kingdom of God.
The fear of death and the fear of punishment are poor motivators. They produce results but at a very high price. Fear is a torturer. That is all it can do. It releases adrenaline and focuses on a heightened sense of awareness to produce results. And these results are produced from an overwhelming sense of if I do not do this, than… It causes anxiety and striving. The excess of adrenaline can be good in small quantities but held in your body over longer periods of time, it destroys you. There is a lot of research out there right now of stress related illnesses and diseases. Our bodies were not meant to be motivated by fear. It stunts our development, locks us in a cycle and focuses on us to produce results to avoid the consequences.
So, what is the answer? If fear is not to motivate us, what is? We all know the answer, it is love. Some of us cringe at the cliche answer and some of us in apathy say Ive heard that before, it doesn’t work. And some of us long for it to be true but have not seen it happen yet. Love will do out of pleasure where fear will do out of discipline. Discipline is not bad and it is helpful when passion does not motivate us, but passion and love are far better motivators than fear and discipline. We have not seen this happen because we do not live from our heart. Logic tells us what to do, but our hearts cry for something else. We have to answer that heart cry within us. And it usually means we need healing from some wound done to us or lie we believe. That is the process of becoming free and in freedom, we are free to love. Freedom does not give us the option to do whatever we want because bad choices will eventually lock us into something we never wanted. Love will only keep us growing, developing, and enjoying. In love, potential is limitless. Love will do far more than fear or discipline ever will. Wars are fought over love. People will do anything for it. That is why there are so many addictions in the world. They are all looking for love and so they settle for something close to it, but not it, whether it is illicit sex, pornography, masturbation, drugs, cutting, self-pity, anger, adrenaline junkies, eating disorders, tv, or video games. The last two are not horrible, but when they become addictions, they are. All these addictions happen or come about from a lack of love or a lack of truth. And if you want to overcome any of them, you need someone loving you and you need truth, but you need to be motivated yourself by something entirely different. That motivation could be fear and it could produce results, but in order to not fall back into it, or lock yourself in discipline and legalism, it must change to be motivated by love in freedom. The most powerful tool to motivate you is love, whether that be love for yourself, love for others, or love for God. Love must be your motivator to take you into freedom and truth must guide you. This will lead to a joy filled life.
Lucky for all you lovesick lovers out there, I get to let out my romantic side a bit as I get to tell you about the new and exciting relationship in my life. I’ll keep the details to a minimum so you are forced to ask me about them, but at the same time I will share some basic ones so you know what is going on in my life and what is potentially keeping me from blogging :).
So Holly is this beautiful girl. She is 26 from Portland, OR. She went to Portland State University. She got her degree in Business Management, Advertising Management and Marketing and was a Div. 1 runner until she had to quit due to injuries. She currently does media marketing for a number of different people and companies while attending the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry with me.
We met in First Year, because we were in the same Revival Group. (If you don’t remember what a revival group is, refer to previous post). We are planning on doing Second Year this next year and will probably do the Third Year internship as well. The start of our friendship was a 2 hour conversation at a party where I ended it telling her, “I’m supposed to stay close to you.” Little did I know we would be dating 6 months later. Our story is pretty funny because a month ago, we were not even on each others radar and now have been dating for a little over 3 weeks. Now that we are dating, we see that we had liked each other for some time, but we never allowed ourselves to think that.
So, what happened? She got freedom and freedom is attractive. It is not only fun to be around free people, but freedom actually releases people to be beautiful because they become more who they are. Because of previous girls I dated and other relationships I witnessed, I was not interested in dating someone who was not free or not strong. I wanted a strong, powerful woman who I could do life with and had to stay on my toes, not someone who I led. I always lead. I don’t know how not to, but I didn’t want someone who could not run as far and as fast as I could.
And let me tell you, I’m having to run real fast just to keep up with this girl (hehe pun intended… div. 1 runner… haha). One of our married friends here in Redding told us this the other week, “you know I’m not surprised things are intense as they are, you guys don’t have a single slow bone in your body.”
This girl is amazing and our story is pretty funny. You should ask me about it sometime, because I like telling it. I’m just giving you the bare minimum details so you know who I’m talking about when I talk about Holly and so you know who the girl is in all the pictures. I’ll keep you posted as things develop. Photos on the way.
The Solar Eclipse happens once in the same place every 140 years either being a total solar eclipse (brightness of sun completely blocked out) or an annular solar eclipse (a ring of brightness around it).
Here in good ol’ Redding was one of the best place in the world to witness the solar eclipse. Holly, my new girlfriend, and I went down to Whiskeytown Lake to watch this all go down. (Don’t worry all you romantic lovers, I’ll to a blog just to update you about Holly). People from all over the area came to witness this solar eclipse. I ran into people all the way from L.A. and Seattle. I think I even overheard some people coming from Canada to witness it.
The event itself was pretty amazing. Some of my friends did not even pay attention to the solar eclipse and went on about their day, but this is potentially a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in the right place at the right time to witness it. The odds of you seeing another are pretty good, but it is still important to stop and smell the roses if the roses don’t come around that often.
The moon completely covered the sun with a bright ring around it at 6:28pm for about 4-5 minutes, but the actual process of it took about 2 hours. Without the aid of telescopes and heavy duty sunglasses, it was hard to witness anything happening. The light did seem to get cut into a third, almost as if it was sunset and the sun was going down even though it was high in the sky still.
Telescopes or binoculars were used to project the image of the sun on to a white sheet or paper to see the progress of the moon eating the sun. Even cooler though was being able to look at the sun through a couple of pair of sunglasses (one still hurt your eyes) or looking through the special sunglasses, which blacked everything out except the sun.
Overall, it was a pretty neat event, and one of many summer activities, I hope to keep you updated on. I have not been blogging super well as many of you noticed due to events of the year (which I will spend a nice long blog explaining), but I hope to do a better job at it, so you can still be connected to me across time and space.