Sunday, January 8, 2012

We have a new member of our family as well as a new Family Webpage!

To get to our new page and to read about our new baby Reagan click HERE.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

8 Months Pregnant

I thought I would take some time to update you all on the pregnant life...I LOVE being pregnant! I have been so blessed to have such a phenomenal pregnancy: no morning sickness, swelling (so far), crazy hormones, or even food cravings or aversions. I've been able (up until now) to maintain life as usual, going to the gym (although toning it way down), hiking, etc...It's been so fun watching baby girl grow inside of me. She moves a TON! Jesse and I get such a kick out of watching my stomach morph and shake as she does her nightly aerobics. :)

Some books that have been really inspiring to me during this time include:

"Supernatural Childbirth" by Jackie Mize
"Real Food for Mother and Baby" by Nina Planck
"God's Plan for Pregnancy" by Walker
"Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Kitzenger

I love reading about God's plan for pregnancy. And we love reading the Word over our little girl. Every night Jesse does story time from a chapter of the Bible and we call her spirit to attention to listen to the words spoken. It's so much fun knowing her little spirit is absorbing every word of life!

While my pregnancy had been going so great, on Wednesday November 9th I had a bit of a scare. I woke up with bleeding and we rushed to the ER. On the way there my body was trembling but God gave me so much peace. I kept speaking life to my little girl and suddenly I felt her kicking inside me which was a huge relief. At the hospital they found the bleeding was coming from my uterus. An ultrasound found a spot on my placenta they described as a clot. But ultrasound gives such a poor picture of what's going on inside so it was hard to determine what was going on. To be safe, they went with the worst case scenario which was abruption (where the placenta begins to separate from the uterine wall). The good news was the bleeding had stopped and baby's heart rate was never compromised, but my contractions (which I luckily couldn't feel) were coming every 2 minutes. Not good.

So they put me on a 24 hour IV drip of magnesium which made me feel like lead, but it slowed the contractions and gave baby's brain a boost in case of emergency C-section. They also gave me a shot of steriods to boost baby's lung development in case she was going to be breathing air that day.

Praise God everything stabilized by the second day. They took me off the nasty Mag drip but kept me hooked up with IV fluids and a fetal heart rate monitor and contraction monitor. Not easy to sleep with all that! Jesse stayed with me the whole time on a big reclining chair. He was such a champ. And so full of hope and peace for me. We filled the room with soaking music and kept our minds in a place of worship. I had a 2nd bout of bleeding day 2, which was scary, but that stopped again and didn't return. My contractions slowed and by Sunday they were talking about sending me home. While it was still unclear the exact diagnosis, by the third ultrasound it was determined that the "clot" looked more like a lobe of the placenta that had bled (lots of blood vessels!) and then clotted off. Regardless, if they were talking about sending me home, they weren't worried about abruption.

While we would have never chosen to have to face such a scary situation, we rejoice in the fact that we had so many opportunities to fill that hospital with life. One nurse came into our room the first day and said, "Wow, it feels so good in here! I could just take a nap."

Another nurse who had come in to draw my blood (which they did every 6 hours), had a radical encounter with God when we prayed for her arthritis. Jesse had noticed her doing something odd with her hands and asked what was wrong. She said the arthritis was so bad it was making her hands go numb and threatening to take away the job she loved. We asked if we could pray and in agreement she eagerly grabbed our hands. We asked Holy Spirit to come and arthritis to go. When we finished she said, "Wow my hands feel really tingly. This is new. And, O my goodness! I can feel the knuckle on my pinkie!" Her pinkie had been completely numb for years and she often burned it because she couldn't feel it. She had to leave quickly to be with other patients but was so excited about what God was doing.

Two days later she was back, hustling into our room exclaiming, "O my goodness you guys, I'm so glad to see you! Ever since I met you guys I've been talking to "The Man Upstairs" more than ever. I even got my husband, who doesn't believe in healing or praying out loud, to pray out loud with me. And I have more movement in my hands then I have in years and I can still feel my pinkie!" She was beaming. The love of God had encountered her and we knew she would never be the same.

By the end of our five days, the doctors and nurses were fighting over us. Guess they weren't used to being around patients who were so full of life and joy despite the circumstances. One of them even watched a few minutes of Bethel Church Live Sunday night with us online, remarking, "I wish I could stay all night."

While we know God didn't cause this, He's pretty darn good at turning every situation to good. Jesse said he was determined to make the devil see that sending me to the hospital was the worst decision he made since putting Jesus on the cross. :) HAHA!!!

Every day since the bleeding stopped, the doctors had come in to say "Your baby still looks great. Blood pressure, heart rate...everything's good." By day five, they determined that I was completely stable. On Monday night we were home. I'm on bed rest for now, possibly until I give birth. At 32 weeks that's only 8 weeks to go! We're believing she'll be born naturally and without complications around January 11th. Luckily I'm not restricted to my bed. I can go to the grocery store occasionally with Jesse if I stay in the car or ride the motorized cart (yes!). I can't cook or clean but luckily I have tons of friends offering to cook meals and stay with me during the day so Jesse can be at school. As I'm typing this, a friend of mine is cleaning my whole house! I am loved! Plus my family is coming for Thanksgiving and Jesse's fam will be here for Christmas. I'm so blessed to have such a wonderful, caring family who would do anything at the drop of a hat for me.

Another bonus is that, while one of my baby showers in Newport had to be cancelled (sad face), I instead get gifts delivered to my house! So far every day since I've been home there's been a new package arriving in the mail. It's like Christmas every day!

I'll be getting bi-weekly checkups to make sure everything is going well, but Jesse and I have so much faith that it'll be smooth sailing from here on out. Baby girl is healthy and strong and so is mamma. I feel totally normal, at peace and full of joy. No cramping or anything, just the occasional twinge when baby girl decides to use my bladder as a punching bag. :) She is head down now. Such a good girl. :)

Thank you all for praying for us through this time. We have definitely felt the impact of your prayers. Keep praying for continual peace, wisdom as we make new decisions about doctors, etc, and that baby girl will go to full term naturally without any further complications.

Hope you're all doing great! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cows and more cows!

Prather Ranch with Shasta 
Ever since jumping on the "real food bandwagon" last summer, Jesse and I have been in search of good quality, local, organic, raw, grass fed, pastured foods. The last few weeks it's been all about the cows!

We've wanted to purchase a grass-fed cow (for it's meat) since last year and finally found some families to go in on it with us. The reason being, grass-fed meat can be pricey. Best to buy in bulk! We found a nearby farm called Prather Ranch that raises healthy grass-fed cows free from pesticides, hormones, anti-biotics and corn.

Happy cows= healthy nutritious meat! We ordered the cow from a local butcher who then aged and dried it and cut and packaged it up. We divided it between 3 other families, each walking away with a whole quarter of a cow! Don't worry, we also purchased a deep freeze.
Our deep-freeze with ~130lbs of grass-fed meat!

Now we're stocked up for a full year with ground, beef, roasts, filets, new yorks, brisket, etc...all coming out to be about $4 a pound! Come on! I even asked him to save me a few marrow bones from which I've made and froze beef stock. Homemade stock has been called "Jewish penecillin" for a reason. It's SO good for you! I make chicken stock too and freeze it in 1 cup portions in baggies. It's easy to grab and defrost when I need it for dinner.
Making homemade bone broth

What makes bone broth so nutritious?
  • Science validates what our grandmothers knew. .. Stock contains minerals in a form the body can absorb easily—not just calcium but also magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and trace minerals. It contains the broken down material from cartilage and tendons–stuff like chondroitin sulphates and glucosamine, now sold as expensive supplements for arthritis and joint pain.” From “Broth is Beautiful” by Sally Fallon Morell
  • The French were the leaders in gelatin research, which continued up to the 1950s. Gelatin was found to be useful in the treatment of a long list of diseases including peptic ulcers, tuberculosis, diabetes, muscle diseases, infectious diseases, jaundice and cancer. Babies had fewer digestive problems when gelatin was added to their milk. The American researcher Francis Pottenger pointed out that as gelatin is a hydrophilic colloid, which means that it attracts and holds liquids, it facilitates digestion by attracting digestive juices to food in the gut. Even the epicures recognized that broth-based soup did more than please the taste buds. “Soup is a healthy, light, nourishing food” said Brillant-Savarin, “good for all of humanity; it pleases the stomach, stimulates the appetite and prepares the digestion.” Also from “Broth is Beautiful” by Sally Fallon Morell
  • From Cheeseslave at the post on the Health Benefits of Bone Broth: “The gelatin in homemade bone broth helps the lining of the intestine. Many of us today have leaky gut, diverticulitis, Crohn’s and other intestinal problems. By helping to strengthen the gut walls, this also supports immunity. It also strengthens digestion which helps you absorb more nutrients.Gelatin also helps people digest milk and dairy products.
  • Bone broth supplies amino acids that help the body detoxify.
Good enough reasons for me! I love returning to all the nourishing traditions of our past.

Marc's Farm in Cottonwood
Our second cow endeavor was to purchase raw milk at a good price. Few people are aware that clean, raw milk from grass-fed cows was actually used as a medicine in the early part of the last century. That's right! Milk straight from the udder, a sort of "stem cell" of foods, was used as medicine to treat, and frequently cure, some serious chronic diseases. Today, the pasturization (rapid heating) and homogenization (forcing the fat to be evenly dispersed so there's no "cream on top") processes that milk goes through strips milk of it's natural vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals. That's why the have to pump vitamin D back into it.

I've been buying raw milk from our local health food store, but it's $8 for a half gallon! Finally I found a local farm where I can get raw milk for only $7 for a whole gallon. Because the government does not what us buying raw milk, the only legal way to obtain it is to buy a share of the herd. So for $28 a year, Jesse and I are now proud owners of a share of a beautiful cow herd!
Some of our herd grazing in the beautiful sun.

We visited the farm today and talked to farmer Marc as he showed us around and introduced us to his cows. His milk is grade A and is constantly tested for pathogens. He has sold his milk to Land-o-lakes for years and none of the tests have ever come back positive for pathogens. His standards are impeccable. The cows all graze on grass all day and are supplemented with hay and barley in the winter. No GMO corn here! The herd is small, only 25-30 cows at a time, which makes it very manageable. Marc is able to keep an eye on the cows, making sure they're healthy and strong!
Me and baby girl, getting to know our cows

We walked away with 4 gallons of fresh, raw milk! Milked that morning. We're going to freeze 3 gallons at a time, that way we only have to make the 25min trip to the farm once a month. Man, I'm pumped! And with all the milk I've been drinking lately (baby girl needs her calcium!) I'm sure it'll go fast. Plus I'll be making kefir, ice cream, and perhaps even butter from this glorious milk. :)

Farmer Marc filling up our jars
Where the cows were milked this morning

Our milk!

So, that's it for now. I hope you enjoyed this little peak into our lives and my passion for whole food. Until next time...

Be filled with all His GOODNESS!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Training up the worshipers

Hello my wonderful community of family and friends!  The reason I’m writing is because I wanted to talk to everyone about a new project that I have been working on.  I am really excited about this and wanted to share it with you all for a few reasons.  The first reason is just because I want to share the things in my life with my friends and family.  Second, this project will cost money to do it right and so I am asking for help in the area of finances.  Thirdly, I would love your inputs if you have any, your encouragements, and your comments on how this project might affect you (more on that later).  Please forgive the length of this but I felt it important to invite you in to my heart and passion for this project as well as give you broad details. 

So to dive right in, let me first share with you that I have an absolute passion to worship God, whether in my house alone or in church, it is one of my first loves. 
I am creating training material targeted for people who lead or want to lead worship in small group environments (groups between 5-40 that doesn’t involve a stage and large band).  I first realized a need when God originally gave me the idea about five months ago.  I began to realize that there aren’t many ways for someone leading small group worship to get lessons or instruction.  There are, however, plenty of resources for just about every other aspect of the Christian life.  I realized so much of the growth is dependant on trial and error on their own in the groups they lead.  While this can be very effective, it can also be a very slow way to learn depending on how often someone actually gets to practice his or her skill.             

I’ve always held small group worship settings in such high value.  It is a place where people can really connect with God on a more intimate and personal level.  Because of that level of connection, inner healing and spiritual growth seem to come more naturally than they do in larger corporate settings.  It’s for this reason that I think it is so important for us to invest in and train-up our worship leaders in this small group setting. 
I have found that I learn the most when I’m sitting in a worship meeting with someone more skilled or maybe just leads differently than I do.  The problem is that in many communities the worship leader is always leading and rarely gets to sit in and just receive and learn from someone else.  Even more rare is getting to talk to the worship leader after the night and discuss how the leader thought the night went and unpack what God was doing.  This idea almost seems too unspiritual but that is exactly what we do in learning about big stage worship, preaching, and in learning to do miracles among others. 
            The training material that I am creating is designed to equip these worship leaders with experiential knowledge, taken directly from small group worship leaders that already have a lot of experience and skill in this setting.  The first part consists of creating a number of short (around twenty minutes) online topical video in the form of an interview or “fireside chat” where we talk about the practical things as well as the spiritual aspects of leading in a small group environment.  As we get into the more spiritual topics we will do our best to stay away from methods and formulas and stick to the truths and paradigms that God gives us for worship in the context of relationship. 
The second part to the training material is something I’m really excited about.  We will be recording a worship night with high quality audio and video.  The idea is to make it as much like a normal night of worship as possible.  My heart for this project is to show that you don’t need to be a “superstar” worship leader to see God move in greater levels in your meetings.  After the worship night is over, we will interview the worship leader and even some of the worshipers that are there.  My goal is to unpack the night and have the worship leader share what she saw God doing and how she partnered with Him in it.  We will cover everything from why she started out with a certain song to maybe how she fostered spontaneous singing that broke open a new level of the worship that night.  In talking to the worshipers themselves we will ask things like what they felt God was doing that night, what about the night created more freedom, and maybe, if anything, what seemed to disconnect or distract them from the worship. 
So that is the vision for the project.  This set of recordings will be like a pilot episode to see how people take in the lessons.  If it looks like the project is a success and people are learning and growing because of the videos then the door will be open for more panel discussions and more recorded worship nights in different cities.  This first pilot will be available to people online for free, though I will be praying about a possible access charge in the future. 
            As it stands now, we are going to film most of the project in the beginning of November.  Ihave three cameramen, an editor, a sound engineer with a studio, and bunch people that will be taking part in the panel and worship.  Because the project will be free to world I am raising money to pay for it.  The estimated cost is about $3500.  If a large organization were to do this it would cost at least five times that amount, but because of the smaller scale and the relationships I am in we can do it for less without sacrificing quality.  This resource is meant to be a blessing to literally the world.  If you see the value in what I’m doing and you want to help make it a reality you can give to it in a couple of ways:

1.     Send money to me directly (check, money order, etc.)
“Jesse Skinner” (make payable to me)
1023 Burton Dr. Apt. A
Redding CA, 96003
(Please note somewhere that the money is for the Worship Project)
2.     You can give it to me in person (cash or check)
3.     You can give via Pay Pal HERE.  Credit cards and debit cards are accepted through Pay Pal.

*I don’t have a non-profit ministry set up so donations will not be tax deductable. 
**If you would like to see a cost breakdown or want to know more about the project feel free to send me a request via email.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The end of the summer

So by now we all know that Jessica and I aren't the most consistent bloggers...but we are trying.  This entry, to keep it manageable, will have just a few topics and then we will try to do more updating on the next post.

1. Going to England
2. Jessica's pregnancy
3. Summer life
in Scottland...of course!

So, most of you should have known that we went to England over the summer for 3 weeks.  It all started when we were invited by a great couple, Chad and Julia Dedmon, to help out with a conference they were speaking at in Chiswick, which is in the London area if I understand it right.  We had a great time ministering to people and seeing hearts changed and blessed.  We also saw God heal many many people as well as a group of kids, many of whom were not Christians, that we ran into on the street.  These teenage kids were so great, after one kid's eyes were healed from being unable to see without his glasses the rest all wanted to know what God would heal.  One at a time almost all of 8 kids had something healed by God; shoulder tightness, one ear that was deaf opened up, memory loss, one kid got healed of a stutter instantly, knees healed, etc...and after they ran out of things to be healed of, all but one of the kids made a decision to give their life to Jesus (they were all getting healed, afterwards they wanted to meet the Healer, Jesus! Haahahah!)
Jess and Jenn Hill hiking a on hill called Lion's Seat in Edinburgh

After Chiswick, we took the train to Edinburgh, Scottland to stay with Jennifer Hill, a friend from school who lives there.  We had a great time relaxing and seeing the castle and city there.  After 3 days there we went back to England to a town called Harrogate where we got to help out at a great church with their conference.  We had a busy but amazing time praying and prophesying over many many people.  We saw God transform the hearts of so many great people through our prayers and words as we followed the Holy Spirit.  We stayed with a fabulous family that let us stay with them while there, Steve and Julie Barry.  I feel like we made another lifelong friendship and connection.  We actually had a house to stay in during the whole trip, we didn't stay in a hotel once (except one night because we celebrated our three year anniversary). 

 After Harrogate we went to a small town called Bedford and stayed with another school friend, Catherine Pedley.  It was such a joy to be around her family and eat breakfast and dinner with such a hospitable family.  We also got to pray for a family they are friends with and saw their daughter's ears open up and no longer need hearing aids as well as seeing God heal her mother's migraines (which she had daily and caused numbness in the right side of her body) we heard later that she hadn't had another since, yeah Jesus got what He paid for!   So much fun traveling with friends and seeing God move in supernatural ways, NATURALLY!

Us with sister, Sarah!
Worshiping in a very old church
Finally, we ended our last 5 days in London staying with our good friends from school Dave and Katrina Stevenson.  While there I got to fulfill a longtime dream of mine of playing worship with a guitar in a 100+ year old church.  It was probably one of the coolest things I have ever done, God just made it happen, He really really likes me.  One more really neat thing was we got to have coffee with my sister Sarah who was visiting London, she currently lives in Paris, France.  Overall, our trip was the most fun we have ever had traveling.  Mixing ministry, friends and traveling is definitely how we want to travel from now on if possible.  We'll be back soon!!!

In London walking around a large park pond
Now for for what you really want to hear about: Jessica's pregnancy is going so phenomenally well!  She will be 22 weeks this monday (August 29th) and growing bigger every week.  It's so much fun to see her beautiful belly get bigger and bigger.  We found out this past week that we are the proud parents of a GIRL!!!   Our little girl moves all the time, never stays still.  It's been so much fun feeling this little baby in Jess' stomach, we just get such a kick out it.  Oh and Jess hasn't gotten sick yet during the pregnancy which is such a great way to be pregnant! 

Finally, summer life in Redding has been slow at first but has been picking up a lot lately.  Jess started a temporary job through a temp-agency.  She works all day and comes home a bit tired but thankfully only has a week left.  She won't be working during school.  I actually also started a new job.  My first since I left the Navy last March.  I work at a great company called Ncomputing (you can google it if you want) doing tech support.  It's part time in the morning so I can still go to school and not miss out on social activities.  It pays quite well considering it's part time and they are super flexible for my missions and ministry trips.  All-in-all, the perfect job, such a blessing to be able to supplement our savings a little so we don't go through it too fast. 
21 weeks prego!

We are gearing up for our second year at Bethel's School of Supernatural Ministry.  Jessica will be doing school up to the pregnancy (around January 2nd!) and then returning to school with our little girl when she feels ready.  So much coming up in the next few months I wish I could just share it all now, but I will wait until the next post.

We love you all and would love to hear how you ALL are doing, feel free to email either of us (even just to say hi).

Lot's of Love

Jesse and Jessica

Monday, June 20, 2011

My first Father's day...

So hello all you amazing people that we know!  If you haven't heard yet, you might be able to deduct from the title above that Jessica and I are parents now!  We found out a few weeks ago that Jessica is pregnant and couldn't be happier.  Since this is me, Jesse talking I will let her share more of her experience some other time (or you can email her to get the direct scoop).  She has been doing wonderful, I don't think I have seen a new mother eat more healthy than she has been doing.  She has been super healthy without any morning sickness or nausea, she get's a little tired in the middle of the day but that is it, woohoo!!! It was a little surreal waking up this past Sunday and realizing that it was Father's Day, and that I am now a father.  The due date of Little Baby Skinner is in January.  I'll save the rest of the story for Jess to tell.

Whew...It's been awhile since we last updated.  We finished our first year at the ministry school we were attending and plan on doing another year.  Jess is hoping they will let her attend as long as she is able, whether she graduates or not that is yet to be determined.  Jess isn't that concerned with graduating, but she does want to be a part of the class as much as she can.  We have the summer off and plan on doing some traveling.  We leave for England on June 29th.  We will be ministering at a church in Chiswick (near London) with an amazing couple, Chad and Julia Dedmon for a few days then we'll head north to Harrogate in Yorkshire where we will be helping out an amazing couple, Tim and Sue Eldridge with a conference their church is putting on.  Mixed in there somewhere we will be hanging out with some friends from school who live in England (Catherine Pedley and Dave and Katrina Stevenson and maybe others).  I had a dream last October that we would be invited by the Dedmon's to London to minister with them, then just a few months ago, Chad and Julia asked us to go - it didn't take much thought to see that God was setting us up for something extraordinary.  This trip will nothing short of phenomenal, we are going to call the trip, Encountering Jesus Tour.  We are getting our expectations higher and higher ever day. 

One last thing to note, lately I have been getting really excited about seeing my dreams (the kind you plan to do in the future) fulfilled.  I wrote out a list of 75 dreams that I want to see fulfilled.  I decided that this can't be a list of "pipe-dreams" that never come to pass so I chose one of the dreams and started working to achieve it.  My first dream I chose was to take Jessica flying in a helicopter.  The last time I flew was for the Navy, almost four years ago.  I honestly didn't think I would ever fly again, though I knew I wanted to some day.  Well, after 10 hours of getting training and getting checked-out in a little civilian Robinson R-22 Helicopter, I took Jessica up for an hour long tour of Redding and surrounding areas.  We had a blast and even had the doors removed for our flight.  If you haven't fulfilled a dream of yours lately, it might be because you think you're too busy, or maybe you just can't think of any dreams that you have.  I encourage you to take time to start dreaming and begin a dream sheet, make a list of your dreams and start working on getting one accomplished.  The bible says that "hope deferred makes the heart grow sick, but a desire (dream) fulfilled is a TREE OF LIFE."  When you have a dream fulfilled in your life you literally are injected with liquid hope, and hope is like "Rocket Fuel" for your life.  Just watch what happens as you begin to dream...

Love you all


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Back from Guatemala

Jessica being mobbed by 8th Grade girls
We came for the one but stayed for the hundreds! 

Well, we are back and life hasn't been the same. Since we've been back, our hearts and minds have been radically different.  Jessica and I are encountering God in deeper ways with more freedom and joy and intimacy.

Our trip was amazing to say the least.  We were a team of 21 students and 2 leaders.  Our trip was pretty much non-stop, always in the van going to minister somewhere.  We were asked to come to Guatemala by a church denomination called Verbo.  They saw what God was doing in Ecuador through our leader, Chris Gore, and asked him to come and teach and minister at their churches in Guatemala.  So our job was to teach and impart to the Verbo churches what we have learned about the Kingdom of Heaven.

I will go over some highlights because this update might get a little too long to tell of all the things we did.

- We ministered at about 6 different churches. Every church we went to and ministered at God moved in the miraculous.  Many of the people at the meetings had fresh and intimate encounters with God.  Sometimes they would fall down, sometimes they would cry or laugh, and sometimes they would fall and cry and laugh all at the same time!  I asked a couple of the people that this happened to what was going on and they just said that God is so good and they were so in love with Him.  Often we encounter God is very cerebral ways and that is great, but often we can encounter Him in such a way that it offends our very minds.  We ask, "What is going on!?" I have found that it is through those "crazy" encounters that we sometimes have that God does the most open heart surgery and gives us the greatest breakthrough.

-In one meeting of at least 50 people, at least 25 people had pain or sickness.  We asked for those seated around the sick or injured to lay hands on their friends and pray a quick simple prayer, "Be healed in the name of Jesus." (in Spanish).  Every one of the people that were standing for healing prayer were healed that night.  Best of all, the congregation got be the hands that God used that night, it wasn't US!  They got the revelation that God loves them enough to partner with them to see the Gospel preached in miracles (JUST LIKE JESUS DID!).

-Jessica got to "stand up" on stage and give her testimony at one of the churches we went to.  I say "stand up," because she was so under the influence of the Holy Spirit or "drunk" as the book of Acts would say, that she couldn't stand and needed a chair to finish her encouraging word over the people.  That night many people were touched by God and many tears turned into laughter as dozens of Guatemalans got the revelation that they were the Joy of their Father's heart.  Wouldn't that make you happy?! Jessica did amazing, I was so proud of her for being such a willing vessel for Papa's love. 
- We ministered at 2 PUBLIC high schools (come on!) and I got to speak at one of them. Kids had radical encounters with Papa's love!

- We also got to spend 2 hours praying for the sick in a hospital. Too many healings to count. My favorite testimony was of a woman with paralyzed legs started wiggling her toes after prayer. The nurses saw it and shocked said, "Come with me." They lead our team members to the nurses station where a nurse with a slipped disc was in severe pain, waiting for surgery. They prayed and the pain completely left! One woman who was healed followed the team around the rest of the time praying for other sick patients. Death fleed every room we walked into!

-We got to go to Antiqua, a quaint town that attracts many tourist and locals needing a get-away.  Although it was our day off, our team still got to see many people get healed and touched by the love of God.  A few people even gave their lives to Jesus that day!  This is what happens when you are a son or a daughter of God.  This is normal Christianity; we were just walking our way through the shops and amazing cafes enjoying our son-ship.

-Some of the miracles we saw:
Teenager with retina problems got completely healed.  Many people with partial or complete deafness were healed or had major breakthrough.  Migraines healed.  Lot's of painful necks were healed and sore or painful throats and necks were healed.  Man with injured ankle got healed.  One seven year old boy who Jess got to pray for have never run normally as his feet were crippled and he had to wear a leg brace.  He got completely healed, his mom was weeping and the boy was RUNNING everywhere for the rest of the night!  There were countless more healings and many many people were touched by the love of Jesus throughout our trip.  A man, who didn't have a leg below his knee when home after being prayed for.  He came back the next day and said that his leg had grown out a small amount!

- We also got to minister at 2 orphanages and love on the kiddos.
Here is an amazing testimony from Jessica:
At one of the orphanages we visited, I spotted a teenage girl quietly sitting by herself and decided to strike up a conversation. My Spanish only got me so far, so I grabbed our translator to sit and chat with us. Soon Brenda, who is sixteen, began to open up about her reason for being at the orphanage (she gave this information without us asking). It turns out she had just gotten there two days before and came straight from the hospital where her parents had forced her to abort her twin babies. Her parents did not want her back so she was sent there. My heart broke. She said, "Everyone is telling me to forget about it, but it's hard." Filled with compassion I asked if I could pray with her in private. She said she believed in Jesus and agreed. With the help of the translator I got to lead her through healing prayer. She did not want to forgive her parents but after explaining how forgiveness doesn't have to be felt, but that it is powerful in setting us free from anger and bitterness, she agreed to try. I had her repeat after me and she forgave them, even having the courage to say, "They don't owe me and apology." Now that is powerful forgiveness! When we were finished she let out a huge sigh and a smile came on her face for the first time. A weight had been lifted and her entire countenance looked different. I prayed with her more and got to talk with her about her babies, what their names would have been if they were boys or girls. I blessed her womb to bear the twins she desires when the time is right, and she thanked us profusely stating, "I never thought I would have friends like you." I told her if I came to Guatemala for her alone the trip would have been worth it. I left her with a letter of encouragement to keep forgiving and to always remember that God is with her every step of the way. Come on God!

- We also got to help out a church with an outreach to the city at a popular park/marketplace.  We were there for a whopping 5 hours in the hot sun.  We had a ton of fun though talking to people and blessing them.  We did prophetic art, balloons and painted on the hands of the kids.  We prayed and prophesied over dozens of people between our whole team of 13 that were there.  I got to introduce a few young men to their Savior and see their countenance change before my eyes.  So much joy was released that day and so many destinies were spoken over.  Jessica got to prophesy over a group of teenage girls that were passing through on their way to school.  All the girls were glued to the life giving words of Jesus through Jessica.  One of the girls gave her life to Jesus right then, who knows when the rest of the girls will, but they ALL had their eyes open to how much God loves them! 

Our goal of this trip was two-fold: To equip the Verbo churches with their identity as sons and daughters and all that goes with living from the full inheritance that is ours through Jesus.  Second, was to bring God encounters to everyone we met.  We were very excited when people gave their lives to Jesus but were also very excited to give people a love encounter with their Lover and Savior and if they wanted a relationship with Him right then, well then that is wonderful, but our only agenda was to love them right where their hearts were at. 

So there were many more laughs and miracles and salvations but I can't remember them all.  We want to thank those of you who prayed for us while we were gone and also a big thank you to those that sowed into us financially too, I pray you all get blessed in return for everything your poured out onto us!  We are so thankful for a community of friends and family like you all.  If after reading about all the amazing things God has done makes you excited and hungry for God to work in and through your life the same way or MORE, then set your heart on God and let Him know that you want to experience more of Him in EVERY WAY!  I have learned to put a demand on heaven and I am not satisfied until I have all that Jesus paid for on the cross.

Abundant blessings and favor to you all!

Jesse and Jessica


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hello all! 

So we are finally ready to go to Guatemala.  First let Jess and Me personally thank each of you for prayers and your financial help with getting us to this day!  We could not have done it without you, and frankly we don't want to do it without you all surrounding us in love and support.  Thank you!!!

As most of you probably know by now, Jess and I will be going to Guatemala this Friday the 11th.  We are part of a group of 24 students traveling with Bethel Church through our school, The Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry.  We could have chosen any one of over 40 different trips around the world.  We chose this trip in particular partly because of the men leading the trip.  The leaders, Chris Gore and Chuck Perry, are two well known men of faith at our church and have a history of leading mission trips filled with powerful salvations and healings.  Our mission will be to bring the Kingdom of Heaven wherever we go. 

We will be going to 2 to 3 hospitals with the goal of seeing the buildings emptied out by the power of God's powerful healing love!  In the past they have seen whole hospital wards cleared out, we are believing to see the whole building saved, healed and delivered!  Our team will also be doing meetings at many of the local churches in different cities.  We were first invited to Guatemala by a few of the main church denominational leaders.  They saw what Chris Gore was teaching in Ecuador and wanted it in their churches.  Our primary goal will be to equip the local churches in miracles and the revelation of the power of the Holy Spirit to heal, save and deliver in their churches and CITIES!   We will be assisted by a local ministry school similar to our own.  These young adult students will be our translators and guides in the city.  Our aim is to also equip these local students with everything that we have been given.  We aren't going to these churches to "WoW" them, but to impart everything we have so they can accelerate past us (this is the heart of a father, to see his kids out-run him).  We will also have time to do ministry in the market-place in the cities.  I am looking forward to preaching on the streets with the local ministry students, showing them how easy it is to introduce people to the Healer, Jesus! 

We leave this Friday, the 11th and return the 21st.  If you are able, find a couple days you can pray for us while we are gone (or pray for us EVERY DAY we are gone!).  We know there is so much power in prayer and declarations. 

Jess and I are really believing we will see many many salvations and some phenomenal miracles. Specifically I want to see every blind and deaf person I pray for healed and I want to see arms and legs grow out, whole, just like God wants them! 

Things to be praying for:
-Unity in our marriage throughout the trip.  Unity of the team. 
-Lots and lots of JOY for our whole team!  Laughter everywhere we go!
-Thousands of SALVATIONS and hearts returning to Jesus!  Resurrection power for creative miracles (arms growing out, muscles and bones regenerated instantly…)
-Peace and rest while we do ministry; that we would not be tired and worn out but that we would operate from heaven everyday.  Waking up refreshed daily! Good dreams.
-Complete protection on all fronts from anything not of God trying to ruin His plans.
-Favor of the King wherever we go: Traveling, in cities, on planes, in hotels…
**Anything else that you can think or that God shows you. 

Bless you all and thank you for being in our lives.  

Sunday, January 30, 2011

God is Like a Big Bowl of Vanilla Ice Cream

I think every husband should buy their wife an ice cream maker for her birthday. Homemade ice cream just makes for a good marriage.
I am currently churning my first batch of creamy vanilla goodness and Jesse and I sit like kids on the drive to Disneyland. And it made me think, "Man God, you're just like vanilla ice cream (obviously better, but let's not be religious)."

My time here at Bethel has been filled with many sweet times in God's presence. Lately I've been rocked by the revelation that there are no "shoulds" or "shouldn'ts" in God's Kingdom. "Well I guess I should raise my hands in worship," "I suppose I should read the Word," "I should be feeling more connected to Him right now," "I should go on that treasure hunt. I'm a leader and I should act like one." While taking risks in God is good thing, feeling like I should only creates bondage. Often I've found myself thinking that I should stir my spirit up and "press into" God. But I've realized that "pressing in" is often just Christianese for striving. As our friend Luke put it, "The only pressing in I want to do looks like kids crowding around Jesus and pressing into His robes for a hug."

This revelation has hit me so hard that I don't think I will ever worship or dream the same again. I don't want to strive in my marriage to God. I just want to enjoy Him. And I don't need my relationship to look like anyone else's. If it does, maybe I'm faking it. I've totally questioned all the things I do in my relationship with God and wondered why I do them. Usually it's because other people have told me to do them so I think I should. But I want my relationship with God to be as free as a little kid enjoying ice cream. Some eat fast and furious and get it all over their faces, some lick slowly, liking their hands to stay clean, some like cones, others cups, some devour the whole thing in a single setting while others save some for later. Kids don't need to be taught how to eat ice cream. Maybe we don't need to be taught how to enjoy God?

Getting rid of the "I should" voice has made my relationship with God taste so much better. I've found myself in the sweet spot, that place in God like vanilla ice cream that makes me so happy and so satisfied not matter what I'm doing. I could be standing still in worship, jumping, singing, not singing, looking around the room, but yet I feel my entire being worshiping, just enjoying His creamy goodness. Ahhh, perfectly satisfied; so full and at rest and excited at the same time.
Every bite of ice cream, as it gushes around my tastes buds, melting into heavenly bliss, makes me feel satisfied, yet I can't keep my spoon from dipping back in the bowl for more, until I find myself licking the bowl just to get every bit I can!

I would eat God if I could.

So while many of are craving ice cream right now, imagine God being that satisfying, that tongue tickling this very moment. You don't have to press in or position yourself a different way or read 20 psalms until you encounter Him. He is right next to you, loving you, waiting to smoosh into with a big gooey hug.

So that's my revelation for the day. God is like ice cream. I don't have to jump up and down three times or pray in tongues for 30 minutes to get my ice cream to taste good. It's just good.

So encounter God like you do a big bowl of ice cream today. It really makes for a good marriage.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

16 Brazilians Raised from the Dead after 3 days!

We have a core value: God is good!

Jessica and I heard this testimony (report) first hand from the woman that sent the encouraging email to the American Medical Team in Brazil.  This really happened.  We send this report out because we want people to know that God is powerful and real today!  We hope to see people raised from the dead on our Guatemala trip...

These are the 5 bodies that were raised from the dead.

A nurse is leading a mission team of doctors and nurses to Brazil. They left on Jan 13, 2011. They are still there until the 28th. On the 12th there had been massive flooding in Brazil and over 600 people died. They were not going for this reason but the timing of their trip just happened to coincide.
Only one on the team had ever experienced the power of the Holy Spirit or miracles for that matter!! She had asked her friends to pray, and they did.
Her friend (the woman we know) had sent her a small e-mail on the 13th with a small word, and she had mentioned how blessed the team was by it. So the next night, the friend sent her another e-mail, and she told her that when she read the e-mail to her team in chapel on Saturday the 15th in the morning, one by one the team members fell under the power of God. They lay there, unable to move for over an hour while someone reread the e-mail over them, over and over and over.
She said the e-mail had released so much faith to them that just at the end of the chapel time, when the Holy Spirit told them to "Go to the morgue, NOW!" they immediately obeyed. What happened in the morgue and on the street near the morgue is almost incomprehensible and hard to imagine but she talked to her friend on Sunday morning and got the incredible, play-by-play details.
After chapel on Saturday morning when they fell under the power, the team went out into the streets and the morgue and raised 16 people who had died in the floods 3 days earlier from the dead.
Attached is the local newspaper article (translated below) from the area in Brazil where this happened. The article was published Sunday, 1/16/11.
The testimony is below from the pictures attached and the newspaper article printed on Sunday morning! Read on.

Below is the English translation of the local newspaper article with the documented interviews of two of the people that had been risen from the dead:

Caleme, Teresopolis
16 Dead Bodies Confirmed Resurrected from the Dead

Sunday, January 16, 2011
CALEME, TERESOPOLIS, Brazil - People of the barrio of Caleme have witnessed Saturday 5 dead bodies raised from the dead in the street. Another 10 bodies from the morgue have been raised to life. One woman who drowned and was dead was also raised back to life. The people in Caleme reported that 5 American men went near the 5 bodies and yelled, "Rise and live in the name of Jesus." The dead bodies started to shake and stood up and walked and are alive. At the nearby morgue, there were 10 dead bodies in the hallway. People said that 5 foreign women went near the bodies and said, "Rise and live in the name of Jesus." The dead bodies shook and stood up shaking and walking and were alive. People were screaming, yelling. Riot at the barrio of Caleme. These 5 dead bodies in the street of Caleme have been dead since Wednesday January 12. The 10 dead bodies in the morgue have been left in the hallway since Wednesday. People have talked to the dead risen. They were still weak but were able to talk and they said, "I was in a dark place many people crying, shouting. Was I asleep? Now I am alive!" "I know I was dead. I was in a dark, ugly place. I do not know what happened, but I am back to life. God is alive.” The families of these dead are celebrating and happy. There has been hope in Caleme since Saturday.

Here are the details that my friend gave me over the phone about the pictures attached to the article.
The link below is to a picture (in color) of the five bodies that died in the floods on Jan. 12, 2011. It was taken on the day that they died. This picture was taken 3 days before they were raised back to life on January 15, 2011. My friend told me those bodies were lined up along the side of the road and left there for three days until when on Jan. 15, 5 men from their medical mission team, came upon them and not knowing exactly how to raise the dead, the team decided to just stand there and worship the Lord over the bodies (this is what my friend told me but the news article says differently). As they worshiped, the bodies began to shake and tremble and began to sit up and stand. Instantly, the people all around began to shouted and screamed, and within in a few seconds there was chaos and a mob of people. This picture matches exactly to the top picture you see in the newspaper article attached.
This link below will take you to that picture but you have to scroll down a bit to see it. It's in the right hand column.  It is the same picture used in the newspaper article that was written about that day. The pictures are both date stamped. Incredible.
(This is the link to the photo at the beginning of the post)

The second (or bottom) picture in the newspaper article appears to be the leftover pile of dirty blankets that were used to cover the 10 dead people in the morgue who were waiting to be buried but then raised from the dead instead. These bodies all had been dead for three days as well, due to drowning in the floods. The other five members of the medical missions team had entered the morgue under the Holy Spirit’s leading. He had given them the number 16 but they were not sure what that meant.
They stood to the back of the room, amongst the family members who were grieving and mourning their losses and the 5 ladies from the mission team linked hands. As they did, they began to shake under the power of God. They felt the Holy Spirit give them the words to say and all together they shouted it: "RISE UP AND LIVE IN THE NAME OF JESUS." The leader told me that their voices were not their own and that "somewhere in our bellies" came a thundering voice in one accord, as if they had shouted through a megaphone.

They waited and within five seconds, one body began to shake as if "someone had been stomping on them" and then one by one all the bodies were shaking. Each body then began to slowly sit up, and then stand. The grieving family members began to shout and scream wildly and in an instant there was chaos in the room. The interpreter quickly ushered the team out of the building for their safety. They met up with the other team members that had been walking the street and had just raised the other 5 to life. That team had also come across a dead body that had been more of a recent death and decided to try CPR. Just as they were going to do CPR, the Holy Spirit told the team leader, "Do not do CPR! Command the body to rise and live." So they did and that body began to shake and sit up. That person was also raised from the dead.
The team had raised up a total of 16 people from the dead on January 15, 2011. The same number that the Holy Spirit had given to them earlier that day. 10 + 5 +1 = 16

To read more testimonies of God's powerful love, here's the link for this miracle and many more:
Bethel Testimonies