Thursday, December 16, 2010

Socially Networking Demons

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly demons can embrace new technology and run with it. Several years ago when I was being led by the Holy Spirit into curse breaking I would go to hospitals and pray over people. If I felt there was a curse responsible for the person's sickness, I would start praying for the curse to be broken.

During these prayer sessions in hopsitals, on several occassions, one individual I was working with, who was demonically oppressed, would always call my cell phone.  He would call at the exact moment I started the curse breaking. I wouldn't hear for him for a month. And then wham! At the start of a curse breaking prayer, his oppressors would have him reach for his cell phone and dial me. This interruption was becoming so common that I added shutting off the cell phone to the check list of things to do for prepping for a curse breaking.

Demons don't stop at cell phones, they are early adopters of new technology. An interesting case we came across was of a person who was obsessed by spirit photography and posting the pictures on Facebook. What we observed right away was that this person was in a state of demonic obsession. They were obsessed with taking photos of spirits that were attacking them and they were taking hundreds, if not a thousand pictures a day and posting them on their Facebook status.

I explained to this person before our prayer team met him that he needed to shutdown this obsession and not post anymore pictures to Facebook. Demonic obsession is a horrible doorway that is open by compulsively taking, EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), OUJI board, spirit box (spirits talk back in real time), spirit photgraphy and videoing. The human mind is so deceived by the demonic activity it is now drawn into a deep obsession that needs to be severed. In this state, in some cases, it can be as hard as working with a drug addict that is coming off heroine. It's a bad habit that must be broken and this takes time. The individual is going to have to want to come off this obsession. The individual we worked with here, didn't listen to one word. He was convinced that by photographing the demonic spritis he was bringing them to justice by proving their existence. This was the lie the demons were giving him to feed his obsession. To stoke the fire if you will. The obsession must be shutdown by the individual to proceed in the deliverance. If not, it will take lots of prayer, days, weeks, months, and even years, to pray for them to have the strength to break free from the obsession. The obsession must be broken first and will fully by the obsessor.

Now let's look at the social networking aspect of the demons. The demons would attack this man which in turn he would take pictures when he sensed them or was being attacked. He would then publish his photos on the social networking site. The photos now lure other people in to multiply the torment! What the individual does not see in their state of obsession is that the demons are calling all the shots.

For instance, two basic things occur from viewing this obsession, one , the pictures can bring further torment on the individual. It would lead friends and family members to believe there is a mental imbalance. Second, heart felt Christians are being lured in to feel sorry and pray for the obsessed individual -who doesn't want to break the obsession. Even though the posts are pleas for help the obsessor does not want to shut down the root cause of the obsession. The demonic intent is to shift the Christian from their current prayers and intercession. Thus, the purpose is to interrupt prayer. In turn the sympathy posts and prayer is now feeding the obsession. I am not saying the prayer is not the right thing to do. An individual in obsession needs lots of prayer for them to wake up out of their obsession. In these situations, most Christian's just post advice for these individuals to get an exorcist. Which doesn't help either.

Getting an exorcist would be a good idea. However, the exorcist's prayer can not change free will. The root of the torment is the individual's fixation on photographing the demonic. Like it or not this individual has entered a partnership with the demons. By posting spirit pictures he is now giving the demons a platform to operate through social media. We now have torment broadcasting out to the non-believers and we have distractions in prayer targeting the Christians. Demons know social networking better than we do.

To stop the obsession, this individual must listen to the advice and first stop the activities of the obsession, such as EVPs spirit photography and so forth. We have free will. An exorcist's ritual prayer will not stop this. The individual must choose to shut this down. When we are in obsession we are in a state of sin of taking our mind off of Jesus. Even though a person in obsession can be a Christian, it is their doorway, their sin of obsession that is opening the door wider and wider. The obsession is obfuscating the focus on Jesus. The obsession can start (and usually does) in a house that has spiritual activity.

When the obsession has been stopped, by the free will of the person in torment, they next need to be led in prayer to free themselves from the obsession and to ask God for forgivenes for having their free will diverted from Him to something demonic. At this point, the person is ready to be led in deliverance and helped to start walking in their freedom in Jesus Christ. If you are working with an individual in this state. Make sure you have an intercessor team praying for those praying (yes you read that correctly) and praying for the obsessed individual.

Prayer for Breaking of Obsession

Jesus I repent for diverting my thoughts, my mind, and my will to the demonic.

I renounce Satan and his fallen angels.

I repent for the obsessive behavior and letting the demonic become false idols.

I repent for will filly participating in their plans.

I proclaim this doorway of (EVPs, photography, ..obsessive behavior) closed. In Jesus Name.

Lord forgive me.

From this moment I will love the Lord with all my heart and all my mind.

In Jesus mighty name. AMEN.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Field Notes on Second Mansions - Saint Teresa of Avila

Field Notes to Mystical Theology is my online filing cabinet to my current writing project, The Field Guide to Mystical Theology. Continuing on in the research of Saint Teresa of Avila's work, The Interior Castle. This is the saint's masterpiece in documenting the developing stages of a contemplative prayer life. As mentioned before, The Interior Castle is NOT a how to book on prayer. It's not about methodology. It's about transforming your life to be more like Christ through a prayer life. The early church mystic,Saint Teresa, makes it perfectly clear there is no methodology. Prayer life is about developing a deeper love for Jesus Christ. She documents, using her metaphor the interior castle (the soul), of what she feels are the seven stages of prayer life development.

The first and second mansions lay the foundations of what a beginner in prayer life experiences. In the second mansions Teresa describes the inner warfare a soul encounters when it steps into the second mansion. How the soul strives to fight off worldly desires and focus on the gentle calling of God from within the soul.

In the second mansions, Saint Teresa introduces the concept of active recollection (see field notes).

Field Notes on Mystical Theology: Interior Castle Second Mansions

1. Souls in the second mansions.
Consider the souls that enter the second mansion and what they do there.

2. Their state.
This chapter focuses on those who now (begun) practicing prayer and realize the importance of (growing) not staying in the first mansion. These souls are still struggling with their occasional sin, which may hinder their prayer growth.

3. Their sufferings.
The soul begins to understand the need to avoid sin around them. These souls have a much harder time than those in the First Mansions because they now recognize the sin around them. In the Second Mansions the soul can begin to hear God from deeper inside of them.

Deaf-mute souls – souls in the First mansions can not speak to God or hear Him calling.

4. They cannot get rid of their imperfections.
In the Second Mansions, these souls can hear the Lord call to them. There is great internal warfare here. And God knows we will rise up from it and choose Him. God is anxious that we strive for Him and desire Him. The soul finds God’s voice sweet and the soul is consumed with grief when it is unable to obey Him. In the Second Mansions, the soul suffers more when it can hear the voice of God, than before in the First Mansions where it could not.

5. How God calls these souls.
In the Second Mansions, God does not speak to the soul by divine communications and inspirations. Here, God speaks to souls through uttered words by pious people, by sermons and good books.

He may even call souls by means of sickness or troubles, or some by truth He teaches them during prayer. No matter how passionate or impassionate, God values each prayer deeply.

6. Perseverance is essential.
It is okay if we don’t respond to the Lord’s calling voice right away. He is patient and will wait days, or even years if He knows we are persevering. Perseverance helps the soul grow. The assault on the soul by the devils is greater hear than in the first mansions. This is because the soul can now hear, it is not deaf, and can offer resistance to temptation.

7. Temptations of the devil.
The soul is now in a state of warfare, where it seems like endless cannon fire from the devils. The spirits impede the way of the soul, with reminders of earthly pleasures and lies that these are immortal. The evil spirits tell the soul its health will be endangered by penances.

8. Delusion of earthly joys.
The devil brings confusion to the soul in the Second Mansions. The soul does not know whether to turn back or go farther into itself.

reason - shows it the delusion of overrating worldly things

faith - teaches what alone can satisfy its cravings.

memory - reminds the soul how all earthly joys end, recalling the death of those who lived at ease.

 The mind reminds us of our mortal destiny and that all the wealth and recognition we acquire means nothing when we’re in the grave.

9. God alone to be loved.
The will inclines to love God. It has seen so many acts and signs of love it wants to respond to it.

The will shows the shows the soul who the true lover is –God.
The will shows the soul that the world is full of falsehood and that the pleasures given to the mind by the devil were annoyances and attacks in disguise.

10. Reasons for continuing the journey.
Reason convinces the soul not to seek peace or security outside the interior castle.           
The soul has everything it needs, the Host, who will give it all it can desire.
A soul that goes astray is like the prodigal son that chooses to eat with the pigs.

We are weak and trust what we see with our eyes and our worldly habits.
We rely less on faith and more what we can see. This results in venomous thoughts, which are like poisonous stings that swell the body.

11. Warfare of the devil.
The soul will encounter warfare as the devil sees it is making further progress (changes in character, habit and associated company).

12. Importance of choice of friends.
Associate with someone who will be a spiritual leader., someone who has travelled farther into the castle. Never submit to defeat.  Fight the devil, by showing the soul is willing to give up life and comfort than to return to the First Mansions.

13. Valour required.
Do not be like the warrior who lays down at the brook to drink when they went to battle.

With Gedeon. Jud. vii. 5:
‘Qui lingua lambuerint aquas, sicut solent canes lambere, separabis eos seorsum.’

5 So Gideon took the men down to the water. There the LORD told him, “Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps from those who kneel down to drink.”

The soul resolves to go forth and knows there is no better weapon to fight the host of demons than with the cross.

Building your castle with an expectation of rewards to be reaped is like a foundation built in sand. It will soon fall down. These souls will continually suffer from discouragement and temptations, no manna rains in these mansions.

The soul built on rock (to continue with Teresa’s analogy), is pleased with all that comes to it, because it only desires what God wills.

14. Presumption of expecting spiritual consolations at first.
We start out, our virtues newly born, with imperfections in ourselves, obstacles, and drawbacks, yet fully expect immediate consolations (Spiritual favors) in prayer. And we complain if there is dryness in prayer.

15. In the Cross is strength.
 Do not expect spiritual favors because you endure external trials for God. Do not advise Him on how to treat us. He has the right to tells us what we know and not what we ask.

The sole aim of one beginning to practice prayer should be to endure trials, and to resolve to strive to the utmost power to conform the will to the will of God.

16. Our falls should raise us higher.
Bad thoughts can be allowed by God to assail and torment us so that we cannot repel these thoughts. He allows this to teach us to be on our guard.

If we don’t strive to find inner peace we will not find it anywhere else.

17. Confidence and perseverance.
Do not allow the amount of warfare persuade you to turn back.
Place yourself in the mercy of God and allow Him to take you to the next mansions. Let God fight the battles and put the beasts in their places.

18. Recollection.
The habit of recollection does not come by will or force.
It will come in calmness and will enable you practice it for a longer length of time.

Recollection – “Teresian recollection” is similar to sanjaunist delicate infusions.
“Supernatural recollection” (fourth mansions) people are given what we may call a being-drawn-to-God, a quiet leaving of worldly things, a desire of solitude for Him, “a call so gentle that even they can hardly recognize it”. As one grows God leads the soul into a state of absorption”, and He gives an understanding of divine things unattainable by human reasonings. The Lord gives an awareness “which holds its attention and makes it marvel”. It is a quiet attention that the recipient can not attain by his own efforts. 

Thomas Dubay, SM, FIRE WITHIN, (Ignatius Press, 1989), 42.

Active recollection – contemplate repose, or loving attention to God. Not yet infused contemplation since the soul still remains active. …  The state of recollection occurs when one’s intellect is able to ponder deeply some mystery or eternal truth, outside the soul, as it were. Without conscious effort, untroubled by external distractions, and totally absorbed within itself, experiencing at the same time a deep sense of serenity, the soul is able to concentrate on the mystery or the eternal truth in question.

Contemplative repose – loving attention to God is virtually the same except that now the soul is focused on some spiritual thought and, absorbed in itself, feels itself gently attracted to God. In this state of recollection or contemplative repose certain mystics state that the soul should leave aside meditation, and should not make acts of love or offering of oneself or resignation to the will of God, and so forth. The soul merely remain in its sense of awareness and love God without any act of love or offering of oneself or resignation to the will of God, and so forth. The soul should merely remain in its sense of awareness and love of God without any act on its part.

Alphonsus de Liguori Selected Writings, (Paulist Press, 1999), pg 175-176.

<Way of Perf. ch. xix. 3.>

It's very helpful for those of you who are beginners to consult persons experienced in such matters, lest you imagine that you are injuring yourselves by leaving your prayer to perform any necessary duties. This is not the case; our Lord will direct such things to our profit, although we may have no one to counsel us.

<Way of Perf. ch. xxiii. 3.>

The only remedy for having given up a habit of recollection is to recommence it, otherwise the sand more every day, and God grant it may realize its danger.

19. Why we must practise prayer.
The door by which we enter the castle is prayer.

St. John xiv. 6: ‘Nemo venit ad Patrem, nisi per Me.’

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

we must get to heaven, and it would be madness to think we could do so without sometimes retiring into our souls so as to know ourselves, or thinking of our failings and of what we owe to God, or frequently imploring His mercy.

20. Meditation kindles love.
If we never look up at Him and reflect on what we owe Him for having died for us, I do not understand how we can know Him, or perform good deeds in His service. What value is there in faith without works? and what are they worth if they are not united to the merits of Jesus Christ, our only good? What would incite us to love our Lord unless we thought of Him?

Copyright Michael Norton, 2010-2011  Non-commercially share amongst yourselves all you want.
But beware - unethically steal my notes and you'll meet the fate of Lot's wife.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A Simple Guide to House Blessing

One question we get asked the most is, “How do I bless my house?” It’s rather simple and we’ll outline it here for you. The one thing you will notice is that the way M16 likes to bless homes isn’t ritualistic. We like to invite the creator of the universe onto our land and into our house. We bless a house by communing with the Holy Spirit. God wants to interact with us and be involved in our lives. So we don’t ramble prayers off a sheet of paper.
There are many reasons to bless your house, ranging from just creating an environment pleasing to God to dwell in your home to driving out evil spirits. When God comes, He is their commander, and the bad spirits leave. Blessing a house makes it desirable to God and undesirable to evil.
When I bless my own home I walk the four corners of my property. Like Joshua, I possess my land. I consecrate the land to God and thank him for letting me be the steward of the property. I ask the Father in heaven for protecting angels to be released on my property to watch over my family. I anoint the fence line with olive oil (or anointing oil) and draw the symbol of the cross on the fence. During my walk I talk to God and involve him in the blessing of my fence line. I want the Holy Spirit involved as I consecrate the land. I want the property to be desirable for Him to dwell on the property and be with my family. I let the master of the universe know that as for my family we love the Lord our God with all our hearts. It’s all about creating an atmosphere for God to come dwell. Whether you are just seeking a spiritually clean home for prayer and worship or for house cleaning to drive out spirits, the Godly atmosphere is the key. This all starts by walking the perimeter of your property and just conversing with God and giving the land to Him.

But I Am Not a Christian, Can I Still Bless My Land?
Now you’re probably wondering why I didn’t beseech the archangel Michael and so forth and stuff you see on a lot of television shows.  The reason is, you’re talking to God here, he is walking right next to you. I am not going to give you queue cards with pre-written prayers on them. Talk to God and acknowledge his presence with you. You may be reading this and are under attack by spirits –and not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Yet you know there is power in His name.
Philippians 2:9-11
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
   and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
   in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
   to the glory of God the Father.
Don’t worry about the details. Just talk to God and ask Him to come help you. The Holy Spirit was poured out on all of us. Though you may not know it or understand it, you are still one of the Father's kids.

Keep this in mind as we resume the conversation on blessing the land. When I walk my property, I draw a small cross in the center of the fence line on the north, west, east and south lines of the fence. As I draw the lsymbol of the cross, I say,

“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I consecrate this land. No darkness may enter.”

God does talk, listen quietly as he gives you words to say. Go ahead and tell him your scared and what is going on. Personal one on one time goes a lot farther than reading an exorcism ritual prayer you found on the Internet.  God is gentle, He knows where you are at in life. But he won’t hold back in showing His love for you. Lisa and I have helped New Agers with spiritual battles. And these people were tormented to the point where they had no problem in calling on the name of Jesus. Which is why I added this section, in loving guidance, that this will help you in your situation. When God shows up, it's between the person and God. Many times these are the eye opening events that draw people to God.
Blessing Inside the House
Now that we have blessed the outside, let’s move to the inside. Now you are asking God to come dwell in your home. We’re asking for the environment in the home to change so God may come dwell among us.
Regardless if you are under spiritual attack or just creating a spiritual environment for prayer and worship –clean your house first! God loves order, demons love chaos and disorder. Clean up all your clutter!
The next step is to anoint the front door, the threshold to your home. I do it old school, I like the book of Exodus, where the doors are marked on the sides and top, to form the symbol of the cross. Now, I doubt you have a hissup branch and lambs’ blood available (that’s a joke, don’t Google where to buy these items). I use my olive oil (or anointing oil) to bless the top of the door by drawing a small cross and both sides of the door (drawing a small cross).
“I bind the enemy and darkness from entering my house.
Anything unclean I order you out of my house now in the name of Jesus Christ.
Only the light of Jesus Christ may enter my home.
Holy Spirit I invite you into this home to dwell.”

I will pray over every door, including closet doors.

“What is bound on earth is bound in heaven. I forbid the enemy from using these doors. Only the light of Jesus Christ and His glory may enter.”
I will pray over every window.
“I bind darkness from entering these windows and I only allow the light of Jesus Christ.”                                                        
As you walk through your house, again talk with God. He is right there with you. If your house has evil spirits, do not be afraid. Fear is the opposite of faith. But I also recommend you have someone with you as you pray if you're new to this. If you don't have that luxury, God is with you, just keep talking to Him as you cleanse your house.

We’re changing the atmosphere from darkness to the light and glory of heaven. Darkness can’t stand in this light. We are forcing the dark angels out. I recommend reading psalm 91 from the Bible. Read it aloud as you walk through your house. If you are a Christian, and you think you have dark spirits in your house, ask God to give you scripture. He will tell you what to read.
Keep the dialogue going with God as you walk through the house. If a spirit gets angry –it is because it’s only weapon on you is fear. It is getting mad because you are burning the spirit with Holy Scripture. This should be a sign to you now that spirits must OBEY the Bible. Even though they rebelled, they had a major flaw in their rebellion, Jesus is still in charge of them. And they must OBEY him. Through this experience it may become clear to you that THERE is a GOD!
If you do get scared, ask Jesus to come protect you.
Fighting Sleep Attacks
Pray over beds and pillows too.
“Spirit of fear I bind you from coming in at night and giving me nightmares. In the name of Jesus Christ I order you out of this bedroom!”
Post scripture on doors to bless the people in the rooms.
Fighting the Whispers of Self-Hatred
Sometimes when I bless homes I get weird vibes from bathroom mirrors where I can sense a spirit was telling a young girl they weren’t pretty. Pray over the mirrors with psalm 139.
This is a basic starting point for blessing your home. I know people blessing their homes for prayer and worship can add volumes. But you guys aren’t the ones requesting help. Hopefully, this will help you in blessing your home.
Christians when blessing a home with unclean spirits make sure you have an experienced intercessor team praying for you. If the site is defiled by Satanic ritual, and you have never been in spiritual warfare before hand, seek advice from us or a local prayer team before proceeding in boldly. If you are not walking in your authority, you can get hitchhikers (tormenting spirits). Also, remember to spiritually shower off before getting back into your cars and going home. Prayer over each other that is.
"Holy Spirit we thank you for the work you have done.
All the honor and glory goes to you God.
Jesus we thank you for the work on the cross and for you giving us the authority.
It is finished!
No we bind the enemy from retribution on us.
We are working in agreement with God.
In Jesus mighty and powerful name. AMEN."
God Loves Obedience
As we invite God in, we must do so in obedience. That means, whatever is unclean in the house must be removed! Pornography, Ouija boards, psychic books, and the occult, yes, that is a good start. But what if I told you the Harry Potter movies/books and Twilight movies/books had to go too? They must all go. Anything glorifying witchcraft and the demonic must be permanently removed from the premises as the house is being blessed. Activity in kids rooms, get rid of this stuff and explain to them why. You're at war now. We need to clean ourselves up for battle. The fact of the matter is God comes to dwell in us. This is why downloaded rituals of exorcism don't work in spiritual house cleaning. God wants to dwell in us. God is a jealous God who doesn't like being held up next to false idols. In the midst of spiritual battle you may only want to be delivered from your torment and pain. If this is you, you may be wondering why the war is dragging on with no end in site. You need to focus on the one true God to be delivered from all of the evil in your life. It's a spiritual war and the war is fought differently. If you're into New Age and are under intense warfare, there will come a point in the battle, I can guarantee it, where you will need to walk away from everything you thought you understood about spirituality. This is just a statement from the hind site of hundreds of cases in battle. Looking back on who won and who lost the battles. Those who literally went through the wine press, entered with their old beliefs, and emerged with new beliefs, solidified in Jesus Christ, were victorious in their personal nightmare. You win the battle when God wins all of you. God's true house is inside of you. Maybe you're at that point now in you're life. Here's a prayer for asking Jesus to come live inside of you.

"Jesus thank you for the work on the cross.
I know it was you who set the order of the universe in motion.
Only you were the sufficient sacrifice for my salvation.
You were my deliverer from eternal death.
Forgive me and come dwell in me."
Final notes, when driving out evil spirits, don’t involve, mediums, Christian mediums, white witches and so forth. These practices are an abomination to God. You can't bless a house and ask God to come dwell in using means he despises.
God Bless

A comprehensive guide to blessing your house is available in M16's,  Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare -the power to PULL the IMPOSSIBLE from the HEAVENLY REALM (Destiny Image).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Field Notes to Mystical Theology: Interior Castle First Mansions

Field Notes to Mystical Theology are blog posts from my current writing project Field Guide to Mystical Theology. These are my research notes for the writing project. Without the overhead of printing costs, I can allow my notes to be as large and as exhaustive as I want. And keep the new Field Guide book I am writing, down to 200 or so pages. The first book in the series, Field Guide to Spiritual Warfare (Feb 2011, Destiny Image) is 300 pages.

These are my notes and not the book. So don't think you're getting away cheap here! The Field Guide to Mystical Theology is going to be awesome. Don't be turned off by the name 'mystic'. Did you know the original usage of the word 'mystic' was to describe the 'mystical body of Christ'? The mystical body means the Church. The term mystic means eastern religion or new age now. The enemy created its own counterfeit mysticism.  Grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and step into my writing studio as I work on this project. Feel free to comment and talk as I work in the studio on this fascinating project.

The Field Guide to Mystical Theology is about seeking a deeper prayer life with Jesus. I have spent a considerable amount of time researching some saints from the 1500s. Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross. As well as Padre Pio, from the past century. In this blog entry I am going to walk you through the works of the master of prayer, Saint Teresa of Avila herself, from her book, The Interior Castle. She was a no non-sense Carmelite prioress nun who was deeply in love with God and had some supernatural encounters because of her deep calling and spiritual union to God Almighty. In fact it was noted that about 6-7 years after her death, her body was on display and still not in a state of decay.

Her work outlines the contemplative prayer life, which I will cover in another Field Notes of Mystical Theology blog. These are my personal notes and research and I will believe they will help fellow Christians being attacked by the enemy. The key to overcoming the enemy is to seek Jesus deeper and enter union with him. Those who seek to be freed from just the pain and torment rarely succeed. If you are in what you feel a no win situation it is time to turn within and ask the creator of the universe, Jesus Christ for help.

Again, the following are my notes, hence the name, Field Notes.

Field Notes Sources:

Field Notes on Mystical Theology: Interior Castle First Mansions

Saint Teresa discusses, metaphorically, what she identifies as the 7 stages of prayer life. These are NOT to be read as step-by-step instructions to prayer life, or goals to achieve. Merely, a depiction of the soul as it develops with deeper prayer and commune with God.  It's about the soul and God becoming infused in a communion of love here on earth and getting a taste of Heaven. New Agers have run off with this as a spiritual guide and claims of how to attain the 7th mansion. This is a gross abuse of the works of our Carmelite saint. The Interior Castle is merely about prayer life development and its stages. And if read properly, the stages don't have to be in order. Although, for our edification, Saint Teresa arranges them in a logical order. The first and second mansions (rooms of the castle) are used in Teresa's metaphor of the soul to describe the beginning stages of prayer life.

Field Notes for Saint Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, The First Mansion Chapter I

Chapter I The Description of the Castle
I:1 Plan of this book
Saint Teresa tells us she is laying the foundation for the rest of her book. 
I:2 The Interior Castle
The mansions are a metaphor Saint Teresa uses to illustrate 7 distinct development stages in ones prayer life. The metaphor of the soul having many mansions is inspired from scripture, John 14:2, My Father’s house has many rooms. Saint Teresa points out these are not achievable milestones by our own efforts in prayer but only possible through a loving commune with God. The true mystic saints believe that our soul is a paradise and that God wants to live in us. Saint Teresa illustrates that the soul is beauty beyond our comprehension, it is a mystery and God is a mystery. God created us in his own image and likeness and he wants to come dwell in us. Saint Teresa uses a castle made of diamond to illustrate how God radiates from the center of our soul.
‘In domo Patris mei mansiones multæ sunt.’ St. John xiv. 2 
My Father’s house has many rooms;
‘Deliciæ meæ esse cum filiis hominum.’ Prov. viii. 31
rejoicing in his whole world
   and delighting in mankind.
‘Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram.’ Gen. i. 26
Let us make mankind in our image

I:3 Our Curable Self Ignorance
The fact that God created the castle, the soul, in His image means that it too is a mystery. The soul’s true beauty is beyond our comprehension. To go through life and only tend to our bodies and having a vague understanding about our own soul, Teresa says, is like a man, through his own ignorance, does not know who his mother or father is or what country he came from. We seldom consider the true beauty of the soul, of what it possesses and who dwells in the center of it, God. Our focus is on our bodies, the rough setting of the diamond, the outer walls of the castle.

I:4 God Dwells in the Center of the Soul
The chief mansion is in the center of the castle, the soul. And it is here, that Teresa says, “where the most secret things pass between God and the soul”. It is in the center mansion where God will grant you favors (sometimes Teresa refers to them as graces). Why God grants some people these experiences and not others is a mystery. The purpose of these favors is to demonstrate the goodness of Heaven that awaits us. Whether we receive these or not we need to rejoice and strive to a livelihood to commune with God. That is the purpose of our existence here on earth (or in exile as Teresa puts it). God, in his great boundless love, mercy, and grace, wants to commune with us.

 (What saint Teresa refers to as favors and graces are commonly called touches in mystical theology. –author’s note. MJN).

mystical touch – is a deep intimate contact, union-experience of God in one of His attributes such, as power, light, goodness, beauty or joy. …The soul tastes here all the things of God, since God communicates to it fortitude, wisdom, love, beauty, grace and goodness. It is God giving a taste of eternal life. The soul clearly understands that this touch is from God and is too great to be expressed in any manner.

Thomas Dubay, SM, FIRE WITHIN, (Ignatius Press, 1989), 45.
More on mystical touches (favors/graces) later as Saint Teresa reveals them in other mansions (rooms of the castle).

(Mystical touches in the first and second mansions do not include visions. More a gentle sense of God's presence with us. God comes to us. We don't pray this into existence, and no matter how godly we are these don't occur on our own accord or through asking with prayer. God just bestows this upon us.  –author’s note. MJN)

I:5 Why All Souls Do Not Receive Certain Favors
By our own nature we can become envious at seeing our brother’s/sister’s receiving graces and we are not. We can be receiving graces and still be envious of others receiving graces (favors) too, as if we’re being deprived of our own share. We need to work on our own humility and love for our neighbor (a repeating theme in the Interior Castle).

God is not showing personal favor to those he bestows with these graces. Why does He grant His favors to anyone? Only God knows. But Teresa makes the point that sometimes God will do this to manifest His power for His glory, just as he restored the site to the blind man in John 9:12. The purpose of the manifestation is to make God’s greatness known. They have nothing to do with the holiness of the person He grants graces to. In other words, you can be on your face praying for years and never receive a grace. It is God who comes to us and grants them to whoever he pleases. He is God. The purpose is that His greatness be known and that we praise the God most high.

 I:6 Reasons for Speaking of These Favors
Teresa writes about those who will disbelieve the favors and graces God bestows on some people. Little harm will come from their disbelief. Instead, we should focus on edifying (lifting up/building up in spirit) those who are receiving graces. God may be using these graces in people to make his people wake up, rejoice, and bring a fresh love for Him.
Some people may develop a closed mind and discredit those receiving graces. They are shutting off the graces of God in their minds, in their disbelief, and by doing so may be shutting themselves off from experiencing graces. Do not put confining boundaries on the sovereignty of the God most High. Teresa warns us not to discredit others because we ourselves are not led down this road by God. (Be aware of who you are in God and what His plans He has for you. –author’s note. MJN).

 I:7 The Entrance of the Castle
Saint Teresa clearly states here that the metaphor of the castle is the soul. She writes that it sounds absurd a person needs to enter a room they are already in. But for the point of her metaphor, she describes some souls are in a state of standing in their own castle courtyard, held back by guards, and never entering their own castle. These souls are not interested in entering their own castle, or how many mansions (rooms) are in the castle, nor do they care who dwells in the center of it – God.

 I:8 Entering Into Oneself
(Teresa references a book, Imitation , that was available to nuns in the convent. She goes on to say that the book advises the reader on how the soul enters into itself. These are NOT step-by-step instructions! Teresa is referring to discursive meditation (prayer). Where you read something spiritual, such as a Bible verse, or a spiritual reading, such as Imitation, and your mind ponders what you read. Let God speak to you on what your reading. This is pretty much standard reading of scripture and thinking about it. This does not involve any eastern meditation practices, which are spiritually dangerous, such as, breathing, sitting positions, or centering. This is mentally fixing on the presence of God---–author’s note. MJN)

discursive meditation (prayer) – where beginners start in their prayer life. Reading the Bible, getting absorbed in the word and at the same time getting drawn away from “sensual things” and the worldly things start to lose their appeal.
Thomas Dubay, SM, FIRE WITHIN, (Ignatius Press, 1989), 52.

Saint Teresa describes a soul that busies itself with worldly affairs, and inner demons, is metaphorically paralyzed much like a body’s limbs can be physically paralyzed. Some people can spend their entire lives in the outer courtyard of the castle and never enter nor meet God who resides inside. Unless they realize their own situation they will (metaphorically) become pillars of salt, much like Lot’s wife. Genesis 19:26.

I:9 Prayer
Saint Teresa tells us the way to enter the soul is through prayer and meditation.
(Through meditation Teresa is referring to Psalm 1:2, Psalm 119:97, discursive styles of meditation. Where we read scripture and reason through it in our mind and asking the Lord for His divine revelation. This is not eastern meditation! –Author notes MJN)
Forms of prayer Teresa speaks about are mental prayer and vocal prayer. Teresa instructs us to remember who we are praying to when we address His majesty, God. Be careful when you are reciting words you memorized by heart. Do not just merely utter them, but reflect on every word as you lift the words up to God. Frequent repetition is not prayer. Saint Teresa makes reference to the Father’s prayer, in Matthew 6:7-13. Saint Teresa has dedicated several chapters on how she prays the Father’s prayer in her work, The Way of Perfection. She reflects on each word, and meditates, as she prays the Father’s prayer.

Conversing with God in prayer is a good habit and begins to lead us from our evil ways. (Teresa’s point of prayer is that the deeper we go to God, the more the likelihood our soul becomes to being offended by the thought of sinning against God. Author’s note. MJN)

vocal prayer – words used to express our hearts and mind to God. It can be the Lord’s prayer from Matthew 6:7-13. Or it can be an outpouring of the heart. It can be done alone or as a group, such as a liturgical reading. It makes use of the body giving honor and glory to God.  It is the simplest form of prayer and usually the first adopted by people beginning to pray.
Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R, Interior Castle: The Classic Text with a Spiritual Commentary, (Christian Classics, 2007),  13.

mental prayer – for Teresa is, “nothing but friendly intercourse, and frequent solitary converse, with him who we know loves us.” (The Life, St Teresa, Ch 8).
(The discursive meditation/prayer is required and an ongoing process to transform one’s life to commune deeper with God. –author’s note. MJN)
Dennis Billy, C.Ss.R, Interior Castle: The Classic Text with a Spiritual Commentary, (Christian Classics, 2007),  13.

 I:10 Those Who Dwell in the First Mansion
Saint Teresa refers to the paralyzed souls as being similar to the man who laid paralyzed near the pool in Bethesda for 30 some years. Some may not move unless God himself comes and tells them to take up their mat.

Some souls may enter the castle on their own and but still have the tug of the worldly desires they left behind in the courtyard. Some of these souls bring with them their worldly preoccupations and this stifles their prayer growth. These individuals pray infrequently, a few times a month, and they are driven by their preoccupations. They do sometimes get their minds to focus on God. These individuals enter the first mansion but seldom advance beyond because of their own inner demons (Saint Teresa refers to this inner struggle as reptiles). and preoccupations. These souls have entered into themselves but don’t find peace.
(Parable of the Wedding Feast, Luke 14:15-20, is put on my spirit with this section. –author’s note. MJN)

I:11 Entering
Some people enter the first mansions (rooms) of the castle but they still have their inner demons and preoccupations. Because of this they don’t find peace or see the beauty of the castle. They still have accomplished a lot by just entering the first lower rooms.

I:12 Difficulties of the Subject
Saint Teresa comments on what she has just written. She apologizes to her sisters that what she has written is so fundamental to them. But Teresa wants to lay the foundation of prayer life and she starts with first and second mansions, so she can explain the more advance prayer life mansions later on.

Field Notes for Saint Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, First Mansions, Chapter 2

Chapter II. The Human Soul
I:2 1. Effects of Mortal Sin

3 Et erit tamquam lignum quod plantatum est secus decursus aquarum,
quod fructum suum dabit in tempore suo:
et folium ejus non defluet;
et omnia quæcumque faciet prosperabuntur.

3 That person is like a tree planted by streams of water,
   which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
   whatever they do prospers.                Psalm 1:3

Saint Teresa now turns her discussion on what happens, when the beautiful pearl, “the tree of life, planted in the living waters of life – namely in God”, falls into a mortal sin.  The crystal castle walls, Saint Teresa’s metaphor of the soul, become darkened and black by sin. She says no thicker darkness exists. Even though the walls of the soul are dark from sin, the Son himself, the Sun of the soul, still radiates from inside, the center of the soul. And because the sinful darkness on the outer walls of the soul, the person does not know the Son is still radiating inside them.  Mortal sin causes the soul to completely miss the fact that the Son is residing deep inside. The darkness is a metaphor of a soul separated from God.

I:2 2.  It Prevents the Soul from Gaining Merits
(Saint Teresa is clearly discussing an unredeemed soul, when she says it is mortal sin. –author notes. MJN)

A soul in the state of mortal sin will gain no glory through good works. There can be no pleasing through good works because a soul in mortal sin has separated itself from God. A soul in this state can’t be pleasing in God’s eye because it is focused on giving pleasure to the devil. The devil is darkness, thus the soul becomes darkness.

Teresa reflects upon her own darkness from her youth. She encourages her convent sisters to pray for souls in a state of mortal sin and darkness.

I:2 3. The Soul Compared to a Tree
Saint Teresa describes a healthy soul, using the metaphor of the soul as a tree planted in a clear stream (Psalm 1:3). If the soul falls into sin, it is as if the soul leaves the clear life bringing stream and plants itself in pitch-black evil smelling water. Instead of producing fruit, the tree now produces misery and filth.

I:2 4. Disorder of the Soul in Mortal Sin
Souls redeemed by the blood of Christ need to reflect on the sins they were saved from. A redeemed soul needs to understand its own natures –sin. These souls need to strive to remove the remnants of sin that blackens the outer shell crystal shell.

(perhaps she is talking about self reflection and deliverance – author notes MJN)

Teresa speaks on how precious it is for Jesus to live inside of us while we are alive.
The discussion turns towards the ill-controlled faculties of the mansions. The faculties are the imagination, reasoning and so forth - literally, our mental faculties. Evil produces no fruit it only produces evil.

I:2 5. Vision of a Sinful Soul
Two things:
One - Teresa realizes to fear God means to fear falling into mortal sin and even committing the smallest act of sin to offend Him. She continually begs God to help her from falling into sin. A fall can bring horrible consequences.

Two - Sin is a mirror of humility (she may be talking about self-reflection –author notes MJN). This mirror of humility made her realize that anything truly good we do comes from the spring, the source (God), where the tree (soul) is planted.
Without the source (God) we are truly powerless. Whenever Saint Teresa did something good she gave glory to God and not herself. For God was the Source of the good.

I:2 6. Profit of Realizing These Lessons
Realize the importance of the two things. God give us grace to understand this.

I:2 7 Prayer
Teresa addresses the matter that the nuns are told continually what a good thing prayer is. There Constitution has them engage in prayer for many hours a day. Yet Teresa points out that they are given no instruction is given on what part a person takes in the act of prayer. Nor is there instruction on what part God plays in the soul because of a healthy prayer life. The soul is a edifice in which God dwells.

I:2 8 Beauty of the Castle
The discussion returns to the castle with many mansions (rooms). The rooms are not laid out in a normal fashion. No matter how the rooms are arranged we must keep our eyes fixed on the king’s court in the center of the castle. No matter how large we can imagine our souls to be – it is still beyond our comprehension. And it is the Sun (Son) who illuminates every chamber of the soul.

I:2 9 Self-knowledge
A soul, which gives itself to prayer, is free to roam the boundless mansions (rooms). However, with growth in prayer life, one shouldn’t remain in one room for very long.

Teresa explains the importance of humility through healthy self-examination of oneself. Teresa called this self-examination, self-knowledge.

Self-knowledge (humility through self-examination) is extremely important for those who are brought in to dwell in the center mansion with God Himself (full union with God in a contemplative prayer life –author notes MJN).

The soul needs to cease thinking of itself to rise in meditation the grandeur and majesty of its God.

The beginning of self-knowledge comes into play when the soul enters the first room. Self-knowledge helps us understand our on inner demons (reptiles – Teresa) and helps us free ourselves from them. It is by the grace of God we begin to practice self-examination (humility). Too much self-examination is as bad as too little.

We shall advance more in prayer by contemplating God than by keeping our eyes fixed on ourselves.
(eastern religion contemplation focuses on self, zen, saturi – author notes MJN).

I:2 10. Gained by Meditating on the Divine Perfections
The first rooms we enter into the castle are the rooms where self-knowledge (humility) is put into practice in order to advance to other mansions (rooms). Teresa comments that self-knowledge is of significance and must be understood.

We learn to know about ourselves by endeavoring to know God. Beholding His greatness reveals our baseness. His purity shows how foul we are. By meditating on His humility we see how far we are from being humble.

(Isaiah – Jesus prophesy of torture and humiliation.  John 13:1-7 Jesus washes the disciples feet –author notes MJN).

I:2 11 Advantages of Such Meditation
There are two advantages to this form of meditation (using self-knowledge).

First, Teresa uses a metaphor, that the color white, looks whiter when placed next to something that is black. Just as black looks blacker against something white.

Second,  if we focus less on ourselves and more on God,  our understanding and our will become more will become more nobler to embrace that which is good.

Teresa explains that trees (souls) planted in the black streams of mortal sin never examine their own faults.  As long as we are self-absorbed in our earthly natures, we will never be free from our own cowardice and fears. We will develop a fear of failing and let self-condemnation absorb us.

I:2 12 Christ Should be Our Model

True humility comes from focusing on Christ, our only good, and His saints.
Self-knowledge can be come warped and make us overly self-conscious about our own actions in public.

If the soul learns to elude the inner demons that dwell in the first mansions it will most likely most likely advance to other mansions.

The devil will stop at nothing to prevent you from learning about your own weaknesses.

I:2 13 The Devil Entraps Beginners
The first mansions can be comprised of numerous rooms. Souls can enter any of these mansions by different ways, but always in good intention.

The devil is aggressive in these rooms to stop ones progress in their Christian faith. New Christians may be ignorant of the ways of the devil and easily trapped. The devil knows souls in these rooms are still absorbed with worldly ways and pleasures. Those not solidified in their faith can easily be vanquished by the devil here. Souls that reach mansions closer to where God resides are not so easily snared by the ways of the devil.

I:2 14 Our Strength Must Come from God
Those in the first mansions are in a fragile state, the warfare is intense, and these souls must pray as often as possible in this state of battle. We possess little strength in our own self-defense. All our help must come from God.

Souls in the first mansions must remember the importance of self-knowledge and humility. This is of the most importance.

I:2 15 Sin Blinds the Soul
The light from the King’s palace in the center of the soul barely shines into the first mansions. This is because of the inner demons and mortal sin, that darkens the light and makes their first mansions gloomy. The room is lit, the mortal sin blinds the eyes from seeing the light.

Teresa stresses it is the inner demons (snakes, vipers, and venomous reptiles) in the outside the castle (the courtyard) that prevents the souls entering the first mansions from seeing the light.

I:2 16 Wordliness

The soul, although it may not be in a state of mortal sin, it can be easily preoccupied with materialism, pride and honor. These obstacles are what prevent a soul from entering into itself. It is important try and separate oneself from these desires in order to move on to the second mansions.

I:2 17 The World in the Cloister
What would happen if a nun, having reached farther in the depths of the castle has a fall from grace? What would happen to the people who looked to her for spiritual guidance? In convents the nuns are protected from the evils occurring outside the walls. May God protect them from these ills (evil).

I:2 18 Assaults of the Devil
Struggles with the demons occurs through nearly all mansions of the castle.

the guards – are the powers of the soul, have strength for the combat, and must be aware of the tactics of the devil. Such as, being deceived by an angel of light.

I:2 19 Examples of the Devil’s Arts
(Note the early Catholic church used mortification, physically wounding the body, as an act of penance. St Teresa and St. John of the Cross used this in their penance –author notes MJN).

Example 1:
A nun feels the need for physical penance, to find peace through her own torment.

The head prioress forbids the nun from practicing mortifications without special leave. The nun feels her cause is righteous and disobeys the prioress nun and performs the mortifications anyway. She becomes ill from her own acts of rebellion and now cannot fulfill the requirements of her rule.

Way of Perf. ch. x. 5; xxxix. 4; Rel. iii. 12
Example 2:
A nun is zealous about religious perfection, but this causes to her to over exaggerate every small fault she sees in her sisters to be more serious faults. Now the nun is watching her sisters to find any faults and running to the prioress to accuse them.

This nun does not see her own shortcomings through her own zeal. Nor do the other nuns like the fact she has taken watch over them.

I:2 20 Perfection Consists in Charity
True perfection exists in the love of God and our neighbor. We will live a better life by keeping these commandments.

I:2 21 Indiscreet Zeal
Our souls lose their peace if we are always criticizing trivial actions of others.

I:2 22 Danger of Detraction
detraction - is the unjust damaging of another's good name by the revelation of some fault of which that other is really guilty or at any rate is seriously believed to be guilty by the defamer.

It is unhealthy to engage in discussions of detraction. The devil will only use it to deceive you. Fortunately, the convent is in almost perpetual silence to prevent such conversations. Stand guard against such conversations.

Copyright Michael Norton, 2010-2011  Non-commercially share amongst yourselves all you want.
But beware - unethically steal my notes and you'll meet the fate of Lot's wife.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Prodigal Son Goes Home for Thanksgiving

On Saturday, November 20, 2010, my family and I went out with Jason and Katie of Lion's Pride ministries to minister to the homeless young people in "the Haight", of San Francisco. Along with us for ministry were a group of first year students from the Bethel Supernatural School of Ministry (SSM). Kim and Darrell Hill drove down 10 ministry students on Friday night to the city to minister on Night Strike in streets of the Tenderloin in San Francisco. We got drenched from rain on Friday.

Saturday morning developed into a beautiful cloud free day for the early part of the day. Our team met at the Mac Donald's on Stanyon. Yes, the very same Mac Donald's in the news for raising the dollar menu prices by a quarter to drive off the homeless.

We divvied up the students into 2 teams. Our team consisted of Jason (Pastor of Lion’s Pride), myself, my wife Lisa, and my son Josh, with Katie (SSM), Rebekah (SSM), Laura (SSM), Colleen (SSM), Joanne (Bethel and Time is Precious ministries), Precka (ministry friend from Sweden with the SSM team).

We set out on the streets with our bags of sweaters, blankets, new socks, and some inidividually wrapped servings of cheese crackers. The runaways in the Haight are called the Lost Boys. They’re transient and always en route to somewhere. The Haight is like a railroad station for these young people. Most all are adventurers in spirit but in truth are running away from something back at home.

The Holy Spirit led us to one street corner on Haight St. We encountered some Lost Boys (which includes girls too). We handed out socks to these individuals and they graciously took the new clean socks and sat down and put them on. One girl didn’t have any socks at all. She took the socks my son Josh handed to her and she sat down and removed her shoes. Her feet were filthy. I couldn’t tell positively, but there looked like there was some fungus on the feet from being wet and poorly protected for so long. As the girl cleaned off her feet with the socks, before she put them on, I felt the Holy Spirit highlight her on my spirit. I started receiving that her name was Ellen or Elaine. I asked the young woman if her name was Elaine.

She looked up at me a bit puzzled. “Do I know you?”

I responded, “No. But I keep getting that your name is Elaine.”

The girl answers, “No. My name is Loki Lelana. My friends call me Lelany.”

Then I get the picture from the Holy Spirit that she is working in clay with her hands. I ask Lelany, “Do you sculpt?”

Now I have Lelany’s attention and she smiles at me. “How do you know that? I am a sculptor!”

I answered with, “God told me you sculpt and he loves what you make with your hands. You’re a creator.”
My son Josh stepped in on his ministry duties and prayed for Lelany’s puppy for supernatural protection from above.

As this conversation is going on, another gentlemen shows up on the scene and starts talking with Laura, Rebekah, Katie and Precka. He is about six feet tall, fairly handsome, but is looking physically and spiritually tired. The young man introduces himself as Aaron. So this is a conversation taking place outside the group I am ministering with. Aaron tells the Bethel SSM ladies that he is from Portland and he said he wants to go home for the holidays. He had run away from home about six weeks ago looking for freedom, but hated it and wanted to go home. The Bethel ministry team asked him if they could pray with him and he asked if they could pray for strength. Laura and Rebekah are praying for Aaron and for his family. According to Katie, she came in to pray with Laura and Rebekah when she saw Laura crying during the prayer ministry.

Partway through the prayer, one of the girls, it was either Rebekah or Laura, asked Aaron if he knew Jesus. He said he did and he was a Christian, but was afraid to tell people about it on the streets for fear that he would get hurt or made fun of. There is a strong presence of eastern religion on the streets in the Haight. The Bethel ladies prayed and prophesied over Aaron.

At this time, Lisa, Joanne, Jason and I were taking a step back letting the Bethel team minister on the streets. We weren’t involved in the prayer or what was going on. We just keep an eye out, because, hey, we’re on the streets!

The Holy Spirit highlighted Aaron to me. I looked at him and started to get a picture in my head of a woman with brown hair. And then I was given the impression it was his older sister. It wasn’t my thoughts so I treated it as a God download and waited for a good time to step in and ask Aaron. I didn’t want to interrupt the Bethel team because a lot of GOOD ministry was going on.

At the right time, I asked Aaron if he had an older sister with brown hair. I received the usual inquisitive yet a bit freaked out look from Aaron that the information was from God.
“Who are you?” he asked.

I introduced myself and it was at that point I found out his name was Aaron. Then he asked me, ”how are the kids?”. It took a second to process but he was inquiring about his sister’s kids. I responded, “I didn’t see the kids, I only get pictures.”

Then Rebekah answers, “I saw a boy and a girl. And they’re fine.”

Aaron is now looking at me and then back at Rebekah. A bit awkward moment of –what is going on.
I told Aaron, “The point is, God is showing you right now that you are on the spirit of your older sister and she is thinking about you right now!”

Aaron bolts over to me and embraces me with arms tightly around me and weeps. I return a strong fatherly embrace and hold Aaron in my arms for over a minute. The heavenly Father above was embracing his prodigal son. I whispered words of restoration in Aaron’s hear as the Father above held him tightly.

As the fatherly hug ended, Rebekah whispers in my ear that she felt she needed to pray for restoration for Aaron and his family. She led the prayer for this with Aaron and the Bethel team.

When the Bethel ministry team had finished this intense prayer session with Aaron he asked to borrow a phone. He wanted to call his mom. I believe it was Rebekah that lent him the iphone so he could call home. He got his mom’s voice mail.

Rebekah continued in prayer with Aaron and led him in prayers of forgiveness. Now what is cool here is that 15 minutes earlier I first met Rebekah and we were having a conversation she wanted to minister in deliverance. And here she is now, knee deep in deliverance prayer ministry. That’s how God works. Rebekah led Aaron in forgiveness prayer about some family situations. The ministry team mentioned his demeanor clearly changed after the bondage was lifted from him.

At this point, God placed on Aaron’s spirit it was time for the prodigal son to return home. As the Bethel team ministered some more, Katie felt it was time for Aaron to call his family. Without being prompted, Aaron decided it was time to call home. Rebekah handed Aaron her iphone and he called home. This time he got through. His mother answered and Aaron poured out his heart asking his mother for forgiveness. This was actually his foster mom. Aaron ran away several weeks ago to find his real dad in Florida but only made it as far as San Francisco. His pack with his own personal belongings were stolen along with his cell phone with his dad’s number in it.

As the restoration and healing with the phone call progressed, he told his mom he wanted to come home for Thanksgiving. His mother gave him his grandather’s number, he lived closer to San Francisco and could assist Aaron in getting home and possibly even come pick him up.

Aaron then called his grandfather, “Grandpa it’s me – i’m ok, i am so sorry. I am with some church people and they are helping me.” And the inner healing began with his grandfather.

When the phone call was finished, the conversation switched to prayer for physical healing. Rebekah asked Aaron if he had any physical pain that needed healing.

Aaron answered, “I have arthritis in my right leg from a car crash when I was a kid.”

The Bethel A-team of prayer went to work and prayed for him and he fell on his butt onto the pavement. So they sat him down and prayed for Aaron again.

Katie wanted to see the level of progress in their prayers for healing so she told Aaron to get up and walk to the trash can and as he did he started jumping up and down – saying, “ it’s better it’s better.”

Aaron was blown away by the healing power of the Holy Spirit.

Katie remembered him saying ‘ you guys are powerful... so am I aren’t I?....’

The ministry team answered, “it was Jesus and that God loved him.”

Jason of Lion’s Pride, told Aaron that, “you forgave your sister but God also forgave you all the things you had ever done wrong.”

From Katie’s recollection of this event, Aaron kept saying, “I have seen the light! I have seen the light!”

Rebecca, our deliverance minister in training, then said, “is there anyone else you need to forgive?”

He did have some more forgiveness to walk through and the ministry team prayed and forgave them all. Then they looked up tickets, according to Katie, they $30 shy of the goal. They gave him a map to the train station.

Joanne of Time is Precious ministries, then came over and spoke a prophetic word over Aaron. She had a picture of him working on a white car. At first, Aaron didn’t make the connection with the white car. But then he remembered that his brother does so she went further and said can you change oil and things like that – he said ‘oh yeah yeah’.

Joanne continued, “I think God is going to give you a job when you get back to Oregon – maybe something temporary.”

Aaron said, “Well I did want to be famous, but now I want to do what you guys do and talk to people on the streets.

One of the ministry team members added, “well you’re famous to God, that is the main thing”. He grinned, jumped around and pointed at the sky.

Joanne continued with her word and told him to stick to the map and not get distracted on the way and that people would give him the rest of the money because they will see that he is trustworthy and want to help him. She asked him if he believed this and she said well that is faith.

Aaron’s dad called part way thru all of this and Aaron thought his dad would be angry. Aaron answered the phone and said, “I am so sorry I ran away. I know I should have told you. I thought the streets would be easier. Tell Robbie i love him. I love you.“

Aaron gave us all another massive hug, was yelling to people walking past, “I AM GOING HOME! I AM GOING HOME! I AM NOT HOMELESS ANYMORE!!!

Aaron gave away his sleeping bag away to another homeless guy!

My son Josh, who has the gift of perpetual entertainment caught Aaron’s eye. He asked how old Josh was. Josh said he was ten. A nerve struck home with Aaron about Josh and his age.

Joanne was given a word of knowledge about something had happened to him when he was 10 (hence the sad look – she wasn’t there when he had asked that question) and that God had told her to tell him not to get distracted on his way to the station and to tell him what faith was.

The Bethel team had to leave and drive back to Redding. Rebekah received a call from Aaron’s grandpa on the way back and he was asking who we were and was thanking us for helping him. Later we realised that his family could pay for his ticket via credit card but his grandpa text and said his mom had bought the ticket, his grandpa would meet him half way - give him some sandwiches and his mom will pick him up the other end.

We received word that Aaron is now home with his family and is off the streets.

One of the things I really love about this day is that all these powerful words of knowledge occurred right across the street from a psychic shop. While I was giving word to Aaron I saw this big neon hand with the words psychic. Look at the white building behind us with the red awning. The tree branches block out most of the sign in the window (on the second story, left hand side). Isn’t it great how God can use situations like these and change lives forever?
    –ALL FOR FREE!!!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Panic After Devil Attack at School in Trinidad

This is an interesting article that surfaced, Wednesday November 17, 2010 in the Trinidad Guardian (an island in the Atlantic just northeast of Guyana, South America). I copied the article over,Panic After Devil Attack, in its entirety, the server in Trinidad took forever to load the page.

Panic After the Devil Attack at School

Panic broke out at the Moruga Composite School yesterday as 17 female students fell mysteriously ill and began rolling on the ground, hissing and blabbering in a strange tongue, after suffering bouts of nausea and headaches. Two of the students reportedly tried to throw themselves off a railing and had to be physically restrained, triggering fears of a possible demon attack. The drama started during the lunch hour in the Form One block and quickly spread to other areas. Form Five student Kern Mollineau, who attends the Lighthouse Tabernacle Church, said he got worried when the girls’ eyes began rolling up in their heads and they began beating up on the ground.

With the assistance of several other students and teachers, the pupils were taken to the multi-purpose hall where some of them fell into a semi-conscious state. Mollineau recalled: “One girl was blabbering as if in a strange language. I could not understand what she was saying. “It was sounding like ‘shebbaberbebeb shhhhee.’ The girls were unusually strong. We had to hold them down so that they will not hurt themselves. “The teachers were right there. I get a kick in my face when one of the girls started beating up on the floor. Many of them had bruises.” Mollineau claimed he actually communicated with the “devil which had possessed the girl. “I asked the Devil what he wanted with the girls and the voice said he wanted a life. He kept saying to send the girls in the toilet and to leave them alone,” Mollineau claimed.

Roman Catholic priests, as well as pastors from nearby churches, including Josephine Charles, Deborah Charles and Pastor Gordon, visited the school and began showering the children with holy water and prayers. Two more students, Kriston Mollineau and Kishon Bethel, said they too were called by teachers to assist the ill girls. Kriston said the girls complained of headaches and some of them wanted to go to the toilet. Six ambulances arrived at the school accompanied by police teams from the Moruga and St Mary’s Police Post. A party of fire officers from the Princes Town Fire Station, led by acting Assistant Divisional Fire Officer Ramdeo Boodoo visited the school and began conducting several tests on the surroundings to determine the cause of the problem.

Boodoo said there was nothing in the environment to trigger fainting spells, nausea and headaches. A teacher, who requested anonymity, said two weeks ago an Orisha woman came to the school and had a dispute with a member of staff. He said following the dispute, the woman threatened to deal with the school administration. Another teacher said the school was built on a burial site, but neighbours who live around the school denied that was so. A source at the school confirmed that all 17 pupils were taken to the Princes Town Health Facility where they were medically examined. The other students were sent home at 2 pm.

Responding yesterday, Minister in the Ministry of Education Clifton de Coteau said he was aware that pupils had to be taken for medical attention. De Coteau said Student Support Service officials were sent to the school and students were expected to receive counselling. A statement from the Ministry of Education said the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC) made maxi taxis available to the school to assist the Office for Disaster Preparedness and Management (ODPM) which provided additional ambulances.