Ruach Israel is Still Rocking!

Dear Friends,

I just returned from Needham, MA and the second annual healing conference at Ruach Israel Messianic Synagogue. This year Judith MacNutt joined me. It was great to see my dear friend again as I always enjoy sitting under her teaching and ministering alongside of her. The theme of the conference this year centered on Inner Healing. This is such a diverse topic and we were able to cover trauma, deliverance, and unforgiveness, which helped people specifically identify what some of their issues were.

Because this was held with a group of Messianic Jews we were able to observe and participate in their traditions and how they understood and celebrated Yeshua (Jesus) and healing. Rabbi Nathan is the spearhead for this movement among the Messianic community and is backed and encouraged by his senior Rabbi Rich. It’s encouraging and exciting to see how this is catching the attention of other Messianic Rabbi’s who want this in their synagogue.

As a result of my visit last year Rabbi Nathan has been invited to other synagogues to teach and minister healing. In addition to the teaching times we observed powerful ministry as people came for prayer and God freed them up from many issues they had been crippled with emotionally for years. It amazes me to watch him impact and change their lives so quickly and in such a powerful way. As we are praying for them there is often crying or laughter and often times there is such power that they cannot stand. I’m already looking forward to next year’s conference!

BACK SURGERY MAY 15
Some of you are aware of this but I wanted to be certain all of you knew what I am facing. I have been experiencing increasing weakness in my legs over the last year. After numerous tests at the USC Spinal Center it was determined that I am dealing with a condition called spinal stenosis. The doctor said my spine was such a mess he was surprised that I was not in a wheelchair! My immediate thought was that God has kept me going all these years because of what I am doing!

The Surgeon informed me that unless he goes in and corrects this I will continue to lose strength in my legs. So after much thought and prayer I decided to schedule the surgery at the USC Keck Spinal Surgery Center on May 15th. I’ve met with the surgeon three times and have confidence in his ability to do this surgery. My wife and daughter will be joining me in LA for the surgery. The Dr. said the recovery will be 3-6 months depending on what they find when they actually get in there. So be praying for the surgeon and me.

I have had significant prayer for this and obviously would much prefer for God to heal my back. I will continue to expect divine healing up to the moment of surgery. Pray that this will all go well and I’ll be back up to 100% soon. Thank you.

I’ve been going back over the newsletters pulling out testimonies of healing since we started in 1994. I am amazed, as I look back how many there are. My intention is to share them in my next book.

Thank you for your continued support of this ministry. It is amazing to me we have been doing this for over 23 years!

God bless,

Mike

Ruach Israel Coming Up!!

Mike-P1020072-200Dear Friends,

Last year I had the privilege of conducting a healing conference at this Messianic community located just outside of Boston. I have been invited back this year to join with Judith MacNutt. Our focus this time will be on Inner Healing. The dates are April 26-28. For further information and to register go to the website: www.ruachisrael.com.

I CAN ONLY IMAGINE
I don’t often talk about a movie but this one is an exception. This movie is a true story and chronicles the life of the young man who wrote the song, “I Can Only Imagine.” It is a powerful movie about forgiveness. I highly recommend you go see this one.

THE PAIN IS GONE AND THE SCAR IS GONE!
I was going through some old newsletters and came across this testimony that is both exciting and funny because the gentleman who was prayed for came at the insistence of his wife. She had taken the course before and wanted a refresher, but her husband wasn’t even sure he wanted to be here. His story follows:

Hi, this is Richard and you asked me to e-mail you my testimony on what God’s touch can do. If people obey, his miracles will happen. On January 11, 2005 I attended a class at Wholeness Ministries. At first I didn’t think I was interested in the class. My wife had attended the class before, enjoyed it a lot, and wanted me to attend.

During the class when the teacher asked if someone needed healing I didn’t want to raise my hand but my wife made me. Fortunately he picked someone else so I felt ok. Then he asked someone to come up and assist in praying and since nobody volunteered I felt bad and so I went up to assist. When we prayed for the man to be healed from pain in his gums God healed him. Then I went to sit down and the teacher asked for someone else to come and be prayed for. My wife made me volunteer again, so this time I went up to be prayed for.

I shared with them that in March of 2004 I fell from the second floor of my house about 12 to 14 feet onto cement flooring. I had severe injuries to both my arm and head. We could see the bone in my arm and the cut on my head was so deep we could see my skull. I had about 35 stitches on my head and 75 stitches on my arm. I also experience a loss of memory. I have been printing for about 30 years and I was having a difficult time remembering how to do my job. My boss put me on probation because I had been having problems doing my work. I could not believe that I could forget how to do my work.

When I went up for prayer there was a deep scar on my forehead and numbness around the scar. The doctor said I would never have feeling around the stitches over my eye but as they prayed I felt heat and then I could feel the numbness go away. I also felt the scars get smaller and smaller until they were just a fine line. It’s been about a week now and I can’t see the scars over my eye anymore; in fact, it looks just like the other eye. I also had ripples in my skin where the scar was and they are gone and my forehead is smooth. We then prayed for my arm because I had pain in my arm and a loss of strength. The pain is gone and now my arm is fine, praise God. It also seems that I am doing better at my work. I am taking the class now. Thank you very much.

Yesterday I prayed for a student from Africa who had gone to the emergency room for a bad headache he had for 4 days. We went to his house and he was in bed. We prayed and after the third time his headache was gone. He could not believe it.

The Lord impressed on me that he should go back to his county and witness for God. God is good and I thank him for his blessing and I want to thank you for helping me see God in a different way.

Isn’t that exciting! Here comes a guy who is not even sure he wants to be there, God heals him and then he goes out and prays for another guy who gets healed. I love it!

My newest book BEFORE YOU GET HERE Subtitled, Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, it is a guide to assist in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat many Christians today. Copies are available at Wholeness.org and at Amazon.com.

Your giving to this work is a blessing. What is important to me is your heart of giving believing that what you are doing will make a difference in the Kingdom of God!

God bless,

Mike

The incredible change I’ve seen!

Dear Friends,

For the last 9 months I’ve been going over to The Mission here In Bakersfield on Tuesday mornings to speak and to be there to pray. This is a group of men I associate with that are in their year-long discipleship program. Some are there voluntarily, some court-ordered. What has been encouraging to me is the change that I’ve seen in these men over the 9 months I’ve been there. Many of them have gone from being angry, lonely, and disenfranchised to men that have experienced the love and acceptance of their leaders. They have been able to see the love of Jesus in action and it has had a profound affect on them.

I wasn’t aware of this work that The Mission does and it has given me a new appreciation for those that work with men that we often toss aside. In many cases they turn them into men that become not only strong believers who live out their faith every day but men that become positive, productive members of society. I have a new sense of appreciation for this work that The Mission does. I would ask that you pray for them and consider how you can provide tangible support for their work.

Tell The Stories
Lately I’ve been feeling a strong push to write another book and tell the stories of what I’ve experienced over the many years I’ve been in ministry. I believe these stories would be very encouraging to people. Keep me in your prayers.

An Example: “On my first trip to Romania I was at a campout in the forest with 125 Gypsies. Most of them were between the ages 14-19. On the first evening meeting we were all gathered in a large tent and I was to give the first message of the week. Just as I got up to speak a terrific thunderstorm began with thunder, lightening, and a hard rain. Have you ever been in a tent when it’s raining? They couldn’t hear anything I was saying. Not knowing what to do I looked over at Eduard, (my host) and he said, “pray.” I’ve never prayed for a storm to stop but I said, “In the name of Jesus I command this thunder and rain to stop now!” Immediately it stopped! To say I was stunned would be an understatement. Well, I really had their attention now. In fact that very evening 25 of them became believers. Many others followed during the week. What I didn’t know but learned later was that there was one young man who was praying that Satan would do something to stop me from speaking. He came from a family deeply involved in witchcraft. When he saw what I did he went to Eduard and wanted to know who this Jesus was that I was talking about. He became a believer and went back into his village to tell them about his experience.”

My newest book BEFORE YOU GET HERE Subtitled, Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, it is a guide to assist in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat many Christians today. Copies are available at Wholeness.org and at Amazon.com.

Your giving to this work is a blessing. What is important to me is your heart of giving believing that what you are doing will make a difference in the Kingdom of God!

God bless,

Mike

The Homeless – Shun, Ignore, or Embrace?

Mike-P1020072-200Dear Friends,

This last month I attended the Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast here in my hometown. I’ve been told this is the second largest prayer breakfast in the nation. In addition to the great food and all the Christian brothers and sisters you get to meet with, there is always an outstanding speaker. This year was no exception. We heard from Mike Yankoski who for five months lived as a homeless person so that he might actually experience what it was like to be homeless. His story of those months is chronicled in his book Under The Overpass. Quite a sobering read.

As I listened to Mike and later read his book I felt both convicted about my past behavior towards the homeless and how I was going to change my response from this point on. I had been guilty many times of not seeing them and/or justifying my response with thinking, “They will just spend it on drugs or booze so why bother. Besides, there are places like The Mission where they can go and receive help.” While there are places where help can be found if all the homeless were to show up they would be overwhelmed.

Mike talks about how we as believers can respond to the homeless in ways that can offer them hope and much encouragement. Even a smile, engaging in conversation or offering them a meal is huge. But his experience more often than not was to be ignored and shunned. He gives some practical ways that one can respond to the homeless as we go about our lives and come across them, often when we least expect it. I highly recommend you read his book and look at your own attitude towards these often forgotten people. It could well change how you see them in the future.

DO YOU TRUST ME OR NOT?
Everywhere I go around this nation, again and again I hear Christians who are dealing with issues in their lives, involving relationships in their families, or at work or school, or issues with their health or finances. We look around us and see our nation in chaos, the level of stress and frenzied activity in our lives is increasing dramatically. Never have I seen an election for President bring about such contention among people. Once again God brings us face to face with this question, “Do you trust me or not?” I am reminded of a time when my son and I were at a gentleman’s home here in Bakersfield. This man was well known and quite knowledgeable in dealing with snakes. He had in a cage the largest Diamond Back Rattlesnake in captivity. He said to my son, “I want you to reach in that cage and pick up that rattlesnake.” This rattlesnake was coiled and ready to strike. When my son hesitated the man said to him, “You came to me for help and information regarding reptiles because you needed my help; now I am asking you to do something. I am telling you that if you reach in and slowly pick him up he will not hurt you. Now, DO YOU TRUST ME OR NOT?” The point is that often we go to God when things are going well or we need his help in the day-to-day circumstances of life. But then there comes a time when we are facing something very scary and He allows it to bring us to a point where the question from Him becomes, “DO YOU TRUST ME OR NOT?”

My newest book, Before You Get Here subtitled, Baggage To Drop On Your Way To Heaven, is a guide to assist in discovering freedom from the invisible burdens that oppress and defeat many Christians today. Chapters include: The Importance of Forgiveness, The Traps of Unforgiveness, A Look in the Mirror, Harmful Words and Harmful Connections, Let Yourself Be Loved By God, The Recovery of Intimacy, and more. Copies will be available at Wholeness.org and at Amazon.com.

$$$$$ This last week I spent part of my time signing letters and writing notes to those of you that faithfully support this ministry. I was looking over this stack of donation letters and I was overcome with such deep thankfulness for you that believe in what we are doing and have been faithful in your support. Some of you from the very beginning over 23 years ago! The amounts range from small to large but what is important to me is your heart of giving believing that what you are doing will make and difference in the Kingdom of God! A simple thank you seems hardly adequate to express how I feel about you but it’s the best I have to say. So, THANK YOU!

God bless,

Mike

Looking Forward to 2018!

Dear Friends,

As I wrote the date on this newsletter, it struck me how significant many of us feel this coming year will be. Though I strongly believe we are living near the end of recorded history as we know it, and hope that we will see Christ return during our lifetime, I believe we are living in one of the most challenging times in the history of the world, and that we need to be looking to the future as a time filled with exciting possibilities.

People today are looking for something real in their lives. They have tried alcohol, drugs, sex, power, money, possessions, and religion, finding all of them ultimately unable to fill the void that only God can fill. While we are seeing in our country an overall rapid decline in morals, an increase in crime and violence, the deterioration of trust in the political leadership of our nation, the breakdown of families and many of the values that have made this country so great, we are also seeing a fascinating change taking place within the church body.

I am seeing throughout our nation people gathering together for the express purpose of interceding in prayer for our Pastors, Churches, Cities, States, and our Country. They are humbly on their faces before God, repenting and asking Him what He would have us do.

I am seeing here in Bakersfield, across the country, and in other parts of the world, Pastors and Priests, Elders, Deacons, and the laity, coming together to pray and build relationships with each other, regardless of denominational affiliation. I am seeing the hand of God shake the church as He moves among us in ways we don’t understand. I believe God is calling us to a new level of commitment and intimacy, where He will no longer allow us to “play” church, we must be The Church of Jesus Christ in all its fullness.

His hand is moving over the church in the United States, and around the world. As He does this, we are coming face to face with the reality of how complacent and bankrupt we have become both individually and corporately. God in his mercy and grace is waking us up from our slumber, equipping us for warfare, and calling us back to intimacy in relationship with Him, which releases power and authority in our lives. I hear, read, and observe among the young people of this generation, a hunger for God as they gather to seek Him. As they gather He touches them and uses them in powerful ways to bring their generation into the Kingdom of God. What an exciting time to be alive! What opportunity lies ahead of us as we enter into this next year.

I recently read this from a friend in Michigan, Pastor John Piippo and wanted to pass it on to you. “Two Sundays ago I projected a list of sins on the overhead projector which God says defile a person on the inside. They are…

evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance, folly, quarreling, jealousy, outburst of anger, factions, disorder, impurity, sexual sin, bitterness, rage, brawling, lust, evil desires, filthy language, lying, deceit, hypocrisy. (Mark 7:20-23; 2 Cor.12:20; Eph. 4:31-32; Col.3:5-9; James 4:11; 1 Peter 2:1-2)

As I read this list God was giving me a fresh revelation of the great gap between who I am and who He is. I could again see the real difference between the perfect holiness of God and the not-yet-perfect character of myself.”

Don’t dip yourself into that which Jesus came to save you from.

Turn from sin, be cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Then, drink of the River of God that is flowing in our midst. Christ the Savior was born to save us from our sin and give us His abundant river of life.

Isn’t that great news! How easy we immerse ourselves in those very things Jesus came to save us from. As you move into this New Year, Decade, Century and Millennium I pray that God will keep you strong, protect you and immerse you in His River that flows from His throne.

Thank you for your continued support of our work. We appreciate you faithfulness in standing by us. God is so good to us and we know you are blessed as we are blessed. What a joy to be a part of what He is doing.

God bless,

Mike