Monday, February 1, 2010

Open Hope

From The Dictionary of Anna’s Poetic License:

ex-pect-or-a’-mus. n. one who expects a certain outcome and thus limits his or her experience as a result of that preconceived expectation

Word in context:

Bethel students go out into the community to bless people with prayer, encounters, healing, etc. But if Anna just expects at most to bless someone with an encouraging word, presto. That’s about all she’ll do. She’ll get what she expected as an expectoramus.

If, on the other hand, Anna agrees with her outreach group that they will see a healing, she has begun to hope beyond her limitations, abilities, expectations.

And so her outreach group finds a man across from downtown Redding’s Salvation Army. He is walking with a cane because one of his legs is about nine inches shorter than the other.

Anna thinks: aha! That’s it! His leg will be healed. She doesn’t realize it, but she is still an expectoramus.

The group spends time talking with the man, Alex, getting to know him. He’s glad to accept prayer for his leg. But nothing happens. He’s just grateful for the company and this group of strangers taking time to bless him. As everyone shakes hands before leaving, he grips someone’s hand hard. “Hey, I do have pain in the back, man. Like all the time.”

“On a scale of one to ten, how bad is it right now?” one of the group asks.

“Only one to ten? This here is fifteen. Been hurtin’ like mad. You all distracted me from the pain.”

So everyone begins to pray. The two people who have laid their hands on his spine begin to feel the vertebrae shifting. Everyone breaks into the same song at the same moment, though no one can remember it afterwards. All of a sudden, Alex breaks away, jumping up and down on his platform shoe. “It’s gone! The pain is gone!” He starts waving both of his hands over his head at the passing cars. “You missed this! You all MISSED this!”

Anna decides she doesn’t want to miss any blessings by being an expectoramus. She’s decided to choose open hope instead.

* * *

This and many other testimonies of healing come practically daily from the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry. But Bethel doesn’t limit its outreaches to Redding, CA. Our mission trips go out all over the globe.

Thanks to the marvelous support of many of you reading this, my trip with Bethel International to South Africa this March is more than half-way paid for. Gratitude! I still have some to go, though. The final payment is due on the 24th of February.

If you haven’t heard about this trip or still want to participate, it would be an honor to have your financial partnership on this journey. You’ll be contributing to stories like the one above. Donations can still be made in my name at or by a check with my name in the memo/note line sent to: Bethel Church Missions, 933 College View Drive, Redding, CA 96003.

Here’s to believing beyond our expectations!