SPIRIT LIFE CONTINUED
My blog is an account of how life became more interesting after the Holy Spirit came in power.
This is the second section and will be about how God began to entertain me with interesting happenings. How for example, in unexpected ways, He led me to interactions with exceptional people. How I went searching for a famous author and ended up taking a shower at his place. How I went to England looking for a famous bishop and found him in an unexpected way. How a well-known exorcist answered my telephone call one day.
Because I am both a priest and a psychologist, after my first experience with the Holy Spirit, it seemed a good idea to relate psychology and theology. I began writing for the Journal of Psychology and Theology.
In order to make my first article creditable, I needed a recognized source. One award winning Christian journal editor and writer was the Rev. Jamie Buckingham. But, how was I going to interview him when we did not know each other?
From a magazine one day, I learned he was to be in a meeting in Florida. Packing up my family, I drove from my home in North Carolina, to the meeting place in Bradenton, Florida.
We arrived too soon to check into the motel, so decided to go to the meeting grounds and have lunch. On arrival, we joined a line entering the cafeteria. Striking up a conversation with people next to us, we told them why we were there, but we did not know how we would contact the Rev. Buckingham.
"Why, that is Jamie standing right behind you in line" a lady said.
In shock, I turned to him, intoduced myself, told him why I had come. I also apologized that my family and I looked so grungy, but that we had been driving all day and could not get in our motel.
The Rev Buckingham said, "Well, here is a spare key to my room. As soon as you have eaten, you can go up and you and your family can take showers and freshen up. Then I will meet with you in the lobby and answer all your questions."
As I was showering, I was still amazed at what God could pull off. I drove all the way to Florida to meet a man I did not know, nor was not sure he would even talk to me, and here I was in his shower.
I was just beginning to learn what fun my life was to be.
I came to know th preacher with the guitar whom I wrote of in my beginning. He had the gifts of a prophet, and he introduced me to two other prophets.
The first time I saw the other two prophets was when I was coming up off the floor of the store front church. I noticed two men grinning from ear to ear as I began laying hands on people. Putting me with them, God began my education.
One day, I told the three prophets that I was going to attend a big meeting in Atlanta in which a celebrated English bishop, Bishop David Pytches, would be speaking. Before I left, they laid hands on me and prophesied that I would meet the bishop and that we would become important to one another. Because the meeting was large, that prophecy seemed far-fetched.
As the bishop finished the morning part of his talks, we turned and introduced ourselves to a woman next to us. Not knowing our way around, we asked her where she might be going to lunch. "Oh, she said, I am having lunch with Bishop Pytches and his wife. Why don’t you and your wife come along."
Typically, my wife and I would have replied "Oh, no, thank you. We would not want to intrude." But because of what the prophets had said, we did go with her.
I learned from that early lesson that when prophets with good track records, prophesy something, you have to be willing to take action. Otherwise, the prohetic event passes you by. I ended up seated next to the bishop. As prophesied, we hit it off and he insisted that whenever I came to England, I must look up him and his wife.
Once again, I wanted to pinch myself to see if I was awake. Here I was, out of hundreds of people at the meeting, making friends with someone I never expected to personally meet.
After publishing the article mentioned in my first story, I began work on another. Because I was writing about the great Welsh revival, I needed first hand information from someone in Wales.
I located an editor of a journal there who I believed would make my article creditable.
By this time, I had begun to get a liitle more use to the miracles God could work, so I wrote the gentleman. Sure enough, he was interested in meeting me, so I flew to Wales.
This wonderful man met me at the train station, invited me to stay at his home, and gave me all the information I wanted for my article.
But the miracle did not stop there. I told him that while I was in England I wanted to locate a Bishop Pytches, but that the good bishop had not told me how to find him. Because my new friend was in a religious movement quite different from the bishop, and because the bishop was somewhere on the other side of England, I had little expectation that he had ever heard of him.
"Oh, he said, I know Bishop Pytches, we shared the same room in a London hospital when we were both undergoing surgery. I will telephone him and let him know you are coming."
God strikes once more. The next day, I am pinching myself again as I stood with Mrs. Pytches watching an all important new type move of the Holy Spirit in the church. The people were caught up in great exuberance and there was laughter and shouting.
Mrs. Pytches was very excited in having a psychologist there to witness the outbreak of joyousness and later I wrote a review of her book on the phenomenon.
One day, one of my wife’s patients came in with many bite marks on her. They looked like human bite marks, but there was no one in her apartment the night before, and the bite marks were not her own.
I had just read a book by a Christian missionary named the Rev. Lester Sumrall in which he described a woman in the Philippines with unexplained bite marks. After a horrendous struggle with demonic activity in and around the woman, she was suddenly released from possession. The story was so dramatic that the Rev. Sumrall made the Manila papers. Then a great revival broke out on the island.
My wife insisted that I call the Rev. Sumrall, which I have to confess, seemed ridiculous. How does one contact such a famous man? But, I try to obey my wife in times like that, so I picked up the telephone and dialed Rev. Sumrall’s headquarters in Indiana.
Expecting to reach a secretary, I suddenly realized I was talking directly to this renowned man. His receptionist had just stepped out of the office.
He instantly took me serious when I told him why I called, and he instructed us in what to do. My wife’s patient has been fine ever since.
(By this time, I have quit pinching myself.)
By the way, all the people mentioned above can be found on the internet.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
SPIRIT LIFE CONTINUED