Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship - book report

Spiritual Slavery to Spiritual Sonship
Your Destiny Awaits You - by Jack Frost

A Book Report by Margot Cioccio - November 1, 2017 
International Healing Rooms School of Transformation - Year 2   

  1. Briefly write what the whole book is about and why the author has written it. (Imagine the author will read this and would say, “Yes, this is the main point(s) of my book.)  The main thrust of this book is to help people realize that they are responding like orphans rather than sons and daughters of the High King of Heaven. The author shares many poignant stories of his own journey from orphan to beloved son along with wonderful answers and steps how we can also make that transition in our own lives. I think the following passage is the biggest take home message of the entire book. “We don't become like Jesus by focusing our lives on Jesus; we become like Jesus by focusing our lives on what Jesus focused His life on. And Jesus focused His life on being a son and revealing the Father and His love so that a world of spiritual orphans could become sons and daughters. Jesus wasn’t sinless because He was God; it wasn’t his divinity that made Him the man He was. Jesus was the man He was because of the Father He had. The person each of us become will be determined by who we focus our life on.” pg 73                                                                                                                                                                                                         
  2. Briefly outline 4 major points of the book as the author presents them including page numbers. 
  1. Understanding our place as Sons: “Our quest is not to regain our sonship with the Father: we cannot regain something we never had. Rather, our quest is to enter into the embrace of the unconditional love of Father God and receive a heart of sonship that will displace our orphan heart.” pg 37
  2. Fatherlessness is a curse on the land: “Until and unless Elijah comes, the land remains under a curse. And what is that curse? A feeling of fatherlessness. More than at any other time in human history, fatherlessness is the curse of our generation. Today more children than ever before are growing up in fatherless households, and many more are growing up without a father emotionally, even though their biological father is physically present in the home.” pg 45
  3. Only Sons and Daughters receive an inheritance: The Kingdom of Heaven is a kingdom of humility, innocence , and love; and only the child like - those who are willing to humble themselves to become sons and daughters - will enter it. The depth of humility we embrace determines the depth of Kingdom life we will experience.  pg 132
  4. The Importance of Honor: “Honor involves a decision that is made to put love into action, to give a person a position of high value and worth. Even when we have been disappointed, hurt, or wounded by a person, honor chooses to make a decision not to respond in kind. No matter what is felt coming from another person, honor choses to not expose but speak words that give grace to the hearer. Honor views each person as a precious gift of God’s creation and grants them a position that is worthy of great respect. Honor chooses not to respond with an unwholesome word or tone. pg 159
  1. Thoughtfully explain one main strength (or point of agreement) with the author.  It is easy to think that this orphan behavior in peoples is simply a spirit that needs to be cast out. I love how the author makes sure that the reader understands that the orphan heart must be displace by the love of Father. “When wanting to cast out an orphan heart, remember that you can displace it only by introducing it to a loving Father. Even then, an orphan heart must choose to embrace the spirit of sonship by willing becoming interdependent in relationships and embracing God’s community of love. This is not a once-and-for-all choice. You must choose sonship over and over because orphan thinking doesn’t surrender easily, and it often comes back and tries to assert its influence once again. The orphan spirit tries constantly to weaken our families, relationships, and the nations by deceiving us into becoming subject to our own mission rather than living life to experience God’s love and to give it away.” pg 70  I also thought it was very insightful on the authors part to distinguish the need to deal with our thought fortresses. On may cast out various spirits but as long as mental structures are still in place giving them legal right they are able to come and go in a persons life as they please. “Fortresses or strongholds in themselves are not demonic; this Script refers to a fortress of thought that includes lies against what God has revealed about Himself. It is a habit structure of thinking that exalts itself above the knowledge of God’s love. The fortress of thought gives the enemy ground to traffic in your life. If you cast out the demonic influence but let the fortress of thought remain, then the demonic influence has a legal right to return and reoccupy the fortress.” pg 189-90

4. Write down some of your favorite sentences in the book.

“Fear disables us. We can know all about the things of God and yet our fear of trusting and of intimacy can hold us back from receiving the benefits of what Jesus died for - to bring restoration and healing in our families and our relationships. So many of Christians do all the right Christian “stuff,” yet fear continues to hold us back from casting ourselves fully into our loving Father’s embrace.” pg 22-23

“Instead of drawing our energy and our source of life and peace from the love of God, we try to find them in these counterfeit affections of performance, the passions of the flesh, power and control issues, possessions, position, people, or places. Somehow we think that unless we have these sources of comfort in our lives, we simply cant’t go on.” pg 23

“ Living life as if we have a home means living to experience God’s love on a continuing and ongoing basis and making that love known to others. As Christians, we are sons and daughters of God, yet so many of us live as if we don’t have a home. We live, think and act like fatherless orphans because we have never truly embraced Gather God’s love on a personal level.” pg 24

“Home is where you constantly hear the voice of God speaking His affirmation over you, HIs love over you, and His forgiveness, compassion , and grace over you. “ pg. 25

“Being saved does not automatically mean feeling secure, loved, and accepted as a son or daughter of God; they are two different things.” pg 38

“We can give to others only what has been given to us.” pg 40

“I classify counterfeit affections under the “seven P’s passion, possession, position, performance, people, place and power.” pg 43

One study has revealed that, for most Christians, 80 percent of our thinking is negative and in agreement with the enemy, the accuser of the brethren, who tells us we have no value or are unloveable, and who feeds our orphan heart ungodly beliefs about God’s loving nature so that we live as if we don’t have a home even though we are children of the King. pg 46

Fathers’s mission is for you to experience His expressed love and to give it away to the next person you meet. pg. 57

Matthew 22:37-40 is Jesus way of saying, “When you seek to know God’s love and to make it known, you are released from every other obligation in the word of God.” pg 59

Those with orphan thinking are easily deceived, as I was for many years, into placing the Great Commission ahead of the Great Commandment. They become more committed to justice, dusty or ministry that to intimacy. Intimacy must precede fruitfulness. pg 60 

Any time you put the Great commission (your ministry) before the Great Commandment ( your relationship), you step outside being subject to Fathers’s mission, and death starts working its way into your relationships.  pg 61

The quickest way to shut down intimacy and trust is by sowing seeds of doubt into the relationship. pg 64

Orphan thinking begins - you start doubting Father’s love, kindness, and generosity towards you. From there, its is only a short step to doubting the love of others around you, including family. “ pg 65

I will not leave you as orphans: I will come to you” John 14:18 We have a home anytime we want it, whenever we are ready to give up the life of orphan thinking and return to the warm embrace of our Father’s love. pg 68

 Our tendency is to live by the love of law instead of by the law of love. pg 71

If satan cannot stop us from doing good things, he will keep us so busy doing good things for others that we neglect our own children who end up feeling like they don’t have a place in our heart, and they too become spiritual orphans. pg 71

Follow Jesus’ example and focus your life upon being a son finding life and peace. Be a gift of love to the next person you meet. pg 74

If we have not embraced healthy accountability relationships. the anointing can quickly empower us and take us places where our character may not be able to keep our boat afloat. pg 103

Jesus was in training for His Father’s mission - the mission of announcing and ushering in the Kingdom of Heaven and introducing people to the Father’s love. pg 109

Remember that an orphan heart cannot be cast out; it must be displace. It is a heart that does not feel like it has a home in a father or mother’s embrace. pg 131

First John 4:18-19 infers that you cannot cast out these fears but you displace them by introducing the orphan to Perfect Love. Then the orphan just make a choice; he either risks opening up his heart and submits to love, or he continues to put up walls of self-protection and rejects love once more. “ There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us” 1 john 4:18-19 pg 131

James Jordan, addressed the subject of the spirit of sonship and asked us the question, When did you cease being your father and mother’s son. He went on to add, when your rejected your mother and father, you rejected the spirit of sonship and God will only deal with you only as a son.”pg 143

We don't want to become stalled by the three basic fears: the fear of trusting, the fear of rejection and abandonment, and he fear of opening our heart to love. pg 164

You do not  leave when the chips are down, or you will repeat the pattern in the next place you go. You leave only when you are sent out blessed. pg 177

No sonship, no inheritance! No sonship, no influence! pg 179

5. In what way did this book impact your life as one who transforms cities? How will you be different? It has encouraged to step into my true place as a daughter of the King from that place I may find that God will at some point use me to be a mother to others and help them to get free from the bondages of orphan thinking. “Malachi 4:5-6 prophesies that in the endtimes a fathering spirit will be released on earth; but before there can be fathers, there must be sons. and before there can be mothers, there must be daughters. pg 164

6.  What challenges(s) have you been given by the Lord to implement some of the strategies in this book?  I think that walking in biblical rest is something that I can model for others and especially encourage the many people who come to my massage practice with pain from the effects of stress  and unrest in their lives.  “Biblical rest found in sonship is not a place without activity or fruitfulness. Rest is a posture of the heart of sonship that feels so sheltered in Father’s love that it does not allow itself to be pulled into a place where we strive to feel valued, affirmed, or secure. Abiding in rest is the place where all people will be drawn to us because everyone is searching for rest. pg 199

7. My Concluding Thoughts
I found the difference in focus between the Great Commission and the Great Commandment eye opening. I can say from 30 some years of ministry that too often it is the Great Commission that is the big focus. It is no wonder it is so hard to get people to be involved in evangelism. We as church leaders have too often put the cart before the horse. We expect people to evangelize the lost before they have encountered the great love of God for them self. “The Great Commandment to love God and love others is a call to intimacy; the Great Commission to go and make disciples is a call to fruitfulness. Intimacy must precede fruitfulness. The Great Commandment must precede the Great Commission and is an inseparable part of it. When intimacy does not preceded fruitfulness, we easily become subject to our own mission and become focused upon religious duty, hyper-religious activity, and aggressive striving that leaves and angry edge in our life and relationships.” pg 60

My Bonus Thought : 
I really like these statements about immaturity on page 104  so I put together a sheet that can be printed and posted.  I read these and can easily think of times when I have behaved in these ways.  “How do you begin movement toward a homecoming in Father’s embrace? by focusing your life on being a son or daughter.” pg 81
The information in chapter 6 about Orphan or Son that is found also in the appendix in a more concise version was also very powerful. What I liked about this book is that it was so practical. It did not present a problem without a clear path to solve it. This is a book that had many take homes for me personally and one that I will recommend to people that need to come out of the slavery of having orphan spirit. 

Immaturity is…..
…a slave to circumstances and emotions. Our circumstances determine whether we have a “good hair day” or a “bad hair day. “

a slave to self. seeking to meet personal needs at others’ expense.

seeks the place of comfort, ease, least resistance, and whatever makes us feel valued and affirmed. 

obeys out of a fear of loss or punishment, not because we do not want to grieve the one we love. 

values people for what they can do for us, not for relationship. Thus, we unconsciously use and manipulate people to meet our needs. 

…demands its own way or nothing.  “If you do not play my way, I am going to take my ball and go home.” 

subject to its own mission. Our thoughts continually gravitate towards me, myself and I. 

“obtain-oriented”: How does this benefit me.  Our choices are influenced by what we can gain. 

self-centered, self-consuming and self-referential. “Let’s talk about your for a while…have you read my book yet?”

Friday, February 24, 2017

Healing in the Kingdom Book Report

These are book reports I have written as a first year student at the International Healing Rooms School of Transformation
Healing in the Kingdom Summary 
Briefly write what the whole book is about and why the author has written it.
This book is more about changing the mindset of the body of Christ at large than it is a treatise on how to get healed or even how to heal others. Its more about how we change the ideas that are rooted in religion rather than revelation. How do we move forward not just to heal the sick but to transform cities. We have to move from a Rapture mentality to a Harvest mentality. We have to move from a three fold ministry structure to a five fold ministry structure and return to the foundations set in place by Jesus for the early Church. 

(Imagine the author will read this and would say, “Yes, this is the main point(s) of my book.)  
Apostolic and Prophetic folks are generally seeing and learning to walk in things long before the body of Christ catches up to those revelations.  In this book written 10 years ago, Cal explores larger issues than simply healing for the individual but the healing and renewing of our minds, that is so needed in the Church at large. Little by little folks are laying down the trappings of dead powerless religion and embracing not just healing but the Healer. At the time this book was printed  there were 700 healing rooms in 40 nations. Presently there are over 3000 Healing Rooms world wide. Cal has focused on creating a net work through which this message can be spread to the whole world. Where change regarding health and healing to this point has been like pushing a snow ball up a hill with a lot of patience and effort. I believe  we are now seeing that snow ball crest the hill and begin its downward decent becoming bigger and bigger with amazing speed. In actuality it is not one snow ball now 3000 snowballs. 

Briefly outline 4 major points of the book as the author presents them including page numbers.  

“It is our mindset that determines how we filter the God’s word. “ pg 21
Cal talks about the difference between a Greek and a Hebrew mind set. The Greek mindset causes us to filter things through  our natural senses and react to what we experience. The Hebrew mindset looks to the unseen realm and bases ones decision not on circumstance but on a Heavenly prospective. I had a dream a number of years ago now during a time that church I was attending was moving through a church split. In the dream the congregation had gathered and was having Greek food and talking about taking trips to Greece. In the dream I believed this to be moving the church in the wrong direction. As I was not able to truly embrace the direction that either side of the split was heading we asked for God to re-assign us and he did it is where we still serving. At the time I had to really search out what God was trying to tell me through that dream. My pastor there says no one comes to the Bible from a neutral position. We all filter it though our particular mind sets. We need the mind to be renewed to begin to filter the word thorough a kingdom/harvest mindset.  I thought the chart on page 22 showing the polarizing positions between the two mindsets one can easily see why healing is difficult for one and not the other.  Page 30-31 there is another quote on this subject speaking of Ephesians 4:17. “That futility of their mind is the Greek mindset, which would have us live according to what we experience with the natural senses rather than live by what we believe in the supernatural realm. “

Only when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that something exists in the supernatural realm can we then establish it in the natural realm. pg 37 When we begin to realize that Jesus paid for more than us to be saved and wait around for him to return and wisk us out of here do we begin to live a SOZO kind of life and begin to walk in the supernatural. “Christ is our Healer and the work of healing is already done. The work of healing that He provided two millennia ago is as real and active today as it was then, because Jesus is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13: 8) nor will He void His Word to appease any denomination, tradition or unbelief that might try to deny its power.” We have been dealing with “Church” that has opted for religion rather than revelation, to truly see people saved, healed and delivered we must begin to change how we think about healing. We have to realize that it exists for today and that we can all as believers walk in it. We spend a lot of time in the Healing rooms praying for the same folks over and over, most of them are believers but they are hobbled by their own unbelief and mindset and live in bondage to a Greek mindset. 

Understanding God’s Word means embracing it, believing it and acting on it. For God’s Word to be understood, it must be fruitful. For it to be fruitful, it must become active. For it to become active, it must move from heaven to Earth and become evident in our daily lives. Pg 105  Soon after this particular quote Cal talks about the Roadblocks to healing and they all seem to in my opinion stem from a lack of understanding of God’s word. On page 112 Cal lists 8 Roadblocks to Healing as 1. Lack of forgiveness, 2. Lack of knowledge, 3. Sin in our lives, 4. Lack of faith, 5. Improper understanding and use of Communion, 6. Unbelief,  7. Being problem-centered, 8 Justifying our condition rather than claiming our position. 

The Body of Christ must become a Body that goes to church on Sunday looking to establish healing in the Body so that the Body can then establish healing in cities. pg 222
The final chapters of the book talk about Authority, ours as individual believers and the need to restore the five fold ministry. The church at large has embraced the work of Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists which have been able to function to some degree even with in the Religious Greek mindset. When we add back in the Apostle and Prophet which really only function with in a Hebrew, Revelation of the Spiritual Heavenly Realm type of mindset. They got erased because they need the power and revelation of God to operate the other three can limp along in the natural. All five areas of the governmental structure of the Church need to be healed and restored to their proper position and purpose for the “Church” to be truly healed and for her to begin to be the victorious, warrior bride that Jesus desires. 

Thoughtfully explain one main strength (or point of agreement) with the author. 
I found this quote written by Cal over ten years ago.  It say “ If you only teach on healing, it will keep you where you are, dealing with sickness. But if you bring the message of divine health, it will deliver you out of sickness into the miraculous.” page 175  I guess I am surprised and comforted at the same time by the fact that God was talking to Cal about divine health all that time ago and that we are only now seeing it begin to manifest and become a reality in the Healing Rooms Ministry. I guess I am comforted that even for visionary Apostolic leaders like Cal Pierce it can take time to get others to walk in the reality of what God has shown them. Change takes time. It requires us to re-educate and renew how we have understood and looked at the Word of God. I am thankful and privileged to see the unfolding and transformation of this ministry and to know and see Cal and Michele as real people who struggle and overcome just like the rest of us and yet take big bold steps of faith that have and continue to move all of us forward to transform our lives, our churches, our cities and our world. We are all ordinary people, who through partnership with Jesus are enabled to  extraordinary things through the power of the Holy Spirit and the blood and testimony of Jesus.  

Write down some of your favorite sentences in the book.  “We are wallowing in our “problemness” - our negative circumstances - and crying out “oh God,  come and deliver me! But just maybe, God might be saying” I’m not coming into that mess you’ve created! If you want to get delivered, maybe you need to leave the influence of the enemy, come to where I am and get out of all that junk. Deliverance requires us to move out of where we are and into where God is.” pg 167

When we have a vision for a city, we begin to move into our destiny - a destiny of seeing lives transformed. pg 229

The unity effort (particularly in America) has begun to unravel because people don’t want to offend each other, and they tiptoe around theological topics that they need to join together in discussing and seeking out common ground. pg 220

The things of God are in the realm of God, the supernatural realm, to which, by the Holy Spirit in us, we have direct access. pg. 197

We know that God listed the fruits of the Holy Spirit in the order that they are in for a purpose. Love is first. Why? Because you can’t have the next fruit  (joy) without having love first. And you can’t have peace (the third fruit) until you have joy. It’s progressive. pg 148

We have resurrection power to demonstrate to the world who Jesus is , who the father is and what His will is. It must be demonstrated because it’s a truth that requires visualization in order to bring it into the seen realm. pg 107

Remember, the existence of what you don’t see is greater than the existence of what you do see. A miracle is simply a physical encounter with the creative will of God, brougth forth by our unshakable faith in God. pg 99

In what way did this book impact your life as one who transforms cities? How will you be different? It has encouraged in having read the book and gotten to watch Cal in real life to know that he truly lives what he writes. I also was encouraged that it takes time for even kingdom people to get on board and move with the new things God is releasing through the five fold ministry. 

 What challenges(s) have you been given by the Lord to implement some of the strategies in this book?  I have a wellness center that is in me and it feels a long way off at this moment but I have seen God move in amazing ways in the past. So I am asking and looking for the steps of faith that I can take at this point. One after the next and eventually you arrive at your destination. Cal was hearing from God about the idea of teaching a message of divine health 10 years ago and he has stuck with it and it is becoming something the rest of us can begin to see understand and walk in. 

 My Concluding Thoughts

I enjoyed this book and know that I will refer to it often. This report only scratches the surface of the many topics covered. 

Thursday, February 23, 2017

SOZO - Saved, Healed, Delivered Book Report

SOZO - Saved, Healed, Delivered  Summary 

Briefly write what the whole book is about and why the author has written it. (Imagine the author will read this and would say, “Yes, this is the main point(s) of my book.)  The authors Dawna DeSilva and Teresa Liebscher set out to provide readers with tools and dynamic ways to build stronger connections with God. With these tools one has the ability to break lies, addictions and hinderances that keep one from living an abundant life and fully pursuing ones destiny and calling. This book was filled with stories of people who were transformed through a SOZO experience. It presents many tools and techniques and thought provoking questions that are useful for personal transformation or when ministering to others. 

Briefly outline 4 major points of the book as the author presents them including page numbers.  “ Throughout Scripture, we see each member to the Godhead providing specific needs. Whereas Father God tends to provide protection, provision, and identity, Jesus offers companionship and communication. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit provides comfort and instruction. “ This sentence from page 34 sums up what I felt to be the most insightful message of the book. That our relationships with parents, siblings and friends colors how we understand the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. My first three points will be looking at those parallels. My fourth will be to look as some of the tools presented and how they might be useful additions to ones ministry tool belt.                                                                                                        1. Father : From our earthly Fathers we should experience protection, provision and gain a understanding of our identity. Sadly this relationship is often broken in some way and leads to disfunction in how we relate to the Father. It is hard for someone who has been abandoned by their father to see God has being there for them. Those who have been abused often have issues with protection and don't view God as safe. The provision aspect often affects how we feel about finances.  “ A person may have an excellent sense of identity, yet a complete dysfunction in the realm of finances. Someone may believe she is worthy of protection but have no grid for how God see her. Whatever the client needs, the SOZO minister’s duty is to partner with God to bring those needs to him, expose andy wound, dispel demonic attachments, and facilitate an exchange of those lies for God’s truth”. Pg 79  
  2. Son: How we relate to Jesus is often colored by how we were treated by our siblings and friends. “When a friend or sibling hurts our feelings, especially in our formative years, there is a chance that a lie from the enemy can develop. Resolving this issue in a safe environment can remove destructive patterns that seek to interrupt God’s purpose.” Pg47 The Presenting Jesus tool is often helpful for people who have trouble connecting to Jesus. After discovering a lie that has been believed the SOZO ministers would pray with the person to have Jesus show them the truth and to reveal where Jesus was at that point in time. Often they gain a totally new perspective for what happened. Jesus offers communication and companionship if we have been teased or bullied or called names by our friend and siblings we may feel Jesus will also treat us in a similar fashion. “Over and over, we see Jesus heal hurts, remove lies, and exchange those lies for truth. Connecting people to Jesus as friend, companion, and savior opens the way to clearer communication between themselves and God.” pg 53 
3. Holy Spirit:  “We have found that when a mother is absent from hers children’s lives though their early years, either physically or emotionally, they are often confused whether or not they can expect to have their needs met. They can easily transfer these feelings onto their understanding of the Holy Spirit.”pg 90  I had an ah-ha moment in realizing that while I am moved by the Holy Spirit and have no trouble relating to Holy Spirit as teacher,  I have trouble feeling and I have a lot of limiters on emotions. It had not occurred to me prior to reading this book that my relationship with my mother could color my connection with Holy Spirit.  I realized that I needed to forgive my mother for not being one to physically touch or to hold or hug or comfort. She is also a great stuffer of emotions. I needed to forgive and receive the exchange for greater truth, revelation and healing. 
4. Tools: The Father Ladder was the main tool presented in this book. Basically it is a step by step approach to helping people realize  that things they learned and believed as a result of their family and friend relationships effects how they view Father, Son and Holy Spirit. “The first institution God created was the family. This unit represents the function of each member of the Godhead - Father God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit (see Gen. 1:26) When family members fail to fulfill their roles the resulting pain and confusion can easily transfer to our understanding of God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.”pg 83  I think the most compelling aspect of the ladder image is of one moving upward spiritually as those relational hinderance lies are broken off a person allowing them to climb to new heights in their relationship with the Godhead. 
Other tools presented were Colored Lenses and Crafty Suggestions which deal with lies that we have grown to believe that have become so much a part of us that we don’t even realize they exist and influence how we behave.  The tool called the Four Doors deals with areas of sin in our lives. The idea is based Ten Steps to Freedom by Pablo Bottari.  “This tool is used to identify strongholds in a person’s life and to bring needed deliverance from demonic bondage. According to Bottari, a person’s physical, spiritual and emotional issues can be traced back to the opening of any one of these four door: fear, hatred/bitterness, sexual sin and the occult.” 

Thoughtfully explain one main strength (or point of agreement) with the author. 
We hear the success stories of people who have been healed or set free in some form or another. Why doesn't everyone get free? What do you do with the difficult hard to deal with folks struggling with unimaginable pain from trauma and abuse. We have become a society even as Christians that want the quick fix pill to make everything better. We want to persist in our lifestyle and often times can’t connect the dots to behaviors and  practices that are undermining our greater desire for wellness. We just want the pain to stop and more often we will settle for simply numbing it or finding ways to distract our selves from the things we don’t want or know how to to deal with. Too many people stop at salvation and never receive the healed and delivered part of the message of Jesus.  I love the that on the back cover where it states  “Salvation is not simply a ticket to Heaven. It is abundant life that begins now… and continues forever.” I see a lot of believers who are just holding on in their personal struggles waiting for the Rapture to wisk them out of it all. They have                                                    developed a ‘Come Lord Jesus because my life really sucks’ kind of mentality and somehow think in a twinkling of the eye God is going to take a bedraggled bride and remove the spots and wrinkles when we are told repeatedly to be over comers. I think we risk becoming like the man in the parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30 who did nothing with what he had been given and in the end lost everything. 

 Write down some of your favorite 
sentences in the book. 
“Whether from fear or inconvenience, many Christians fail to pursue a personal relationship with God. Without a passion for and a close companionship with the Godhead, their ability to influence others is decreased. Like the cover lamp in Jesus’s parable, they are unable to function as designed.” Pg 35 

“If you partner with a false truth, chances are you do not even know it exists. Mose lies exist at a subconscious level. It takes God, revelation through the Bible, or a safe individual to point out a lie;s existence.” Pg. 111

“Pastor Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church states that the devil flees difficult battles because he lack the fruits of the Spirit, specifically patience. Therefore, one way of usurping his attacks is to simply with him out” pg 186

“ A stronghold is broken via the process of forgiveness, repentance and renunciation.”  Pg 158 

“To live successfully as a son or daughter of god, we must partner with His victories mindset. To do this, we must equip ourselves as powerful individuals.” Pg 1126

 In what way did this book impact your life as one who transforms cities? How will you be different? It has given me some useful tools such as the Father Ladder, Colored Lenses, Crafty Suggestions, the Four doors, Repentance and Exchange, Shifting Atmospheres.  I will begin to work to use these tools on myself to deal with my own brokenness and will look for opportunities and ways to share them with others. 

 What challenges(s) have you been given by the Lord to implement some of the strategies in this book?  The back cover of the book states that you will receive. “practical tools to deepen your relationship with the Triune God - Father God, Jesus and Holy Spirit.  Victory strategies to help you disarm lies, break harmful patterns, achieve spiritual atmospheres, and access the often - un reached realms of abundant life. Keys to experience inner healing by breaking addictions, overcoming obstacles and walking in sustained deliverance. These are all valuable in the work of discipling people. I suppose I am still formulating what my Massage and Wellness practice encompasses.  I my massage practice I see people burdened down by stress and physical pain and often there are deeper issues that could be dealt with. I find myself wondering about scope of practice at this point and if this would cross over into counseling, which is beyond my scope of practice.  Sometimes the hour of quiet time on the massage table is as healing to the mind and spirit as the massage is to the physical body. I believe as I continue through this school that God will help me to understand how this all could become some sort of creative Wellness Center that uses tools like these found in this book along with other coaching tools and the arts to allow people to express and process in a safe environment. I think I might want to make individual worksheets or booklets of some of these ideas because most people don’t have time to read a whole book and allow the Holy Spirit to lead them onward as they journey greater wellness for mind, body, soul and spirit. 

 My Concluding Thoughts

There may have been some spiritual warfare around the reading of this book for me. I had a hard time getting into this book. I found myself irritated by the many references to the Father Ladder prior to its introduction in chapter 5. I was annoyed that I had to wade through four chapters of stories told through dialogue to get to the Father Ladder.  I don’t know if the intent was to build suspense - it really didn’t work for me. Part of it may have been that I had to put Sharon Murphy’s Transforming the Land book aside to read this one. I had been powerfully impacted by the first three chapters of Sharon’s book and then got to experience a Transformation session. Its gentle breakthrough and approach to deliverance left me wanting more. While I am glad to know about SOZO and will keep its tools handy I would have rather spent the time on Transformation which is available for us to be a part of here at the International Healing Rooms.  I am however glad that I pushed through because the book really was full of a lot of helpful tools and the insights.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Destined to Win Book Report

Destined To Win Book Report 

by Margot Cioccio  

I am doing these book reports as a student for the International Healing Rooms School of Transformation.  There is an on-line course available in addition to the actual school.  I am doing my course work live and in person at the International headquarters in Spokane Washington. If you are interested in training please follow the link above. I highly recommend the School. It is stretching and growing me and have loved every minute of it.  

Book reports are not my usual devotional style but I thought I might as well post them here. The questions are the same for each report. Hope you enjoy my report. 
  1. Briefly write what the whole book is about and why the author has written it.  We are tridimensional beings who are to Love the Lord with all our  spirit, soul and body. This book looks at how we love and care for our soul. I love the quote from page 31 that says “ If you want to reach your full potential in God, you will need to find a culture where love flows through you, to you, and around you or create one. Anything less will reduce your capacity, or at least delay your destiny.” This book spoke not only to the individual but also gave a lot of insights into working together as part of a team. I would say this book is a must read for ministry staff or leadership teams. 
  2. (Imagine the author will read this and would say, “Yes, this is the main point(s) of my book.) I think the much of the book was about how finding your “people” has an impact on accomplishing your destiny.  There was a lot that spoke to working as a group and surrounding yourself with people who share your passion but its important that they are not just like you.  I liked this quote about the book by Heidi Baker cofounder of Iris Global. She says, We are made for community and he urges us that we can’t reach full potential until we surround ourselves with covenant friends who share our DNA.” I read this book in three days of it being assigned, I found lots of ideas, information and practical ways  for discovering your destiny and God given purpose.
  3. Briefly outline 4 major points of the book as the author presents them including page numbers.  In thinking back over the book I would break it down into these four ares or over arching themes.                                                                                                                        • Caring for Your Soul & Discovering What makes You Tick pages 1-66 Caring for ones soul is something that has been de-emphasized in the church. This book helped to show why the soul needs care. “ You should take care of the needs of your natural man, because your body is the temple of the Holy spirit. Likewise, your soul was created in the image of God, and it also requires intentional care.” page 15                                                                            • Finding Your People & Discovering Your Destiny pages 66-93 “The people around us awaken the destinies dormant within us. Remember: if we find our people, then we will discover our destines.” page 66  The idea of finding your people was very significant in this book. We are living stones being built up together. Figuring out who we are called to labor along side as well as where we fit are both huge factors in realizing our destiny.                    • Working As A Team & Creating a Culture of Honor pages 95-172  As I read the later half of this book I kept thinking about how the many ideas presented in the book really need to be shared with ministry teams. As we create an environment of love and honer we all blossom and grow. “Great leaders must master the art of being deeply compassionate without letting the desires of others dictate their destinies or dominate their daily priorities. “ page 125 I loved the assessments found in this section.                                                                                   • Unleashing Heaven & Becoming Heaven’s Nobility pages 173 - 199 This section is filled with a lot of great biblical examples of people who essentially unleashed heaven on earth. We are called to be the people upon whom God’s presence and power resides. “You are an open heaven. The presence that changes everything is in you, with you, on you and through you. You are God’s wild card, heaven’s X factor, and the incalculable difference maker. The odds might be 100 to 1; but if you are the one and if you know Jesus, then it’s foolish to bet against you.” pg 188                                                                                                   
  4. Thoughtfully explain one main strength (or point of agreement) with the author In my pursuit of wellness for the whole person I agree with Kris that there is a pretty good understanding about how to care for the body and the spirit but a lot of confusion about the soul. Before reading this book I would have said things like art, music and beauty are things that feed the soul. Those are things that feed my soul but perhaps it is not those thing but finding people who also light up when they are involved in creating.  It seems from this book that a large part of caring for your soul is in surrounding yourself with people who will encourage, inspire and feed your soul in positive healthy ways.  “This is the kind of love that transforms people! This covenant love causes people to be fully actualized, because they know they are loved beyond their ability to perform.” pg 31  I really liked the section called Three Ways To Live on page 18.   For our souls to be well and to thrive they need love, acceptance, attention, approval and significance. We can pretend we don't need those things or that those things are somehow un-spiritual and we choose to live inactively and find ourselves broken, lonely and empty.  We may also choose to be reactive and meet those needs in all the wrong ways and generally create broken relationships. The best way is to be proactive and realize your soul has needs and devise a healthy strategy to meet them.                                                     
  5.  Write down some of your favorite sentences in the book.  I’ve used a lot of them through out this book report. These are the ones that didn’t find a place but were too good to be forgotten. 
  • “The difference between humility and pride is that humility acknowledges the source of greatness as God. Therefore, it is Christ-centered. Humility isn’t think less of your self; it’s thinking of yourself less.” page 27                                                                                                   
  • “So do the world a favor, and begin to embrace God’s love for you by reminding yourself that you were born to be amazing because you were modeled after your Maker.” page 28                   
  • “what I have discovered over the year is that “God ideas” will stand the scrutiny of faith-filled people. but good ideas typically won’t.” page 104                                                                          
  • “ There are people all around you who love you; but the truth is, you are the only one on this earth who really knows you… your energy, your stress level, your fears, and your passions. No one else ca set boundaries for you. You have to muster the courage to say no, to risk being misunderstood, to refuse to live under the expectations of others, to be satisfied at times with pleasing only God.” page 131                                                                                                          
  • “ An optimist sees the glass half-full, but a believer knows it’s not the level of the water in the glass that matters as much as whether or not it’s being filled or depleted.” page 140                      
  • “You must anticipate that something meaningful, profound, powerful and wonderful could happen to you at any moment because anticipation is the fruit of faith. page 174                          
  • “ Faith sees the invisible, believes the impossible, and empowers the incredible!” page 174  
6. In what way did this book impact your life as one who transforms cities? How will you be different?  I have been thinking about various groups of people that I am involved with and wondering which of them is my people group. Which one most exemplifies my true passions. Which allows me to use my true gifting to build a truly unique and wonderful legacy? I think this book has given me the tools to figure those and other questions out.

7. What challenges(s) have you been given by the Lord to implement some of the strategies in this book?  One of my biggest challenges is to figure out how various aspects of my life fit together.  I have a wide array of gifts and talents and because I am good at a lot of things it is easy to get busy doing stuff because I can do it rather than do the things I am truly called to do. This book has helped me to better see where and how discovering who my people are, begins to define where I want to go and what I want to do and be. I realize that those people will help mold and shape me as I will mold and shape them. “ It seems as if most of us are asking what we are called to do when we should first be asking who we are supposed to be with. It’s only when we find our people that we can fulfill our purpose. The truth is, our purpose lie in our people!” page 47 I have been asking the wrong question. When I ask “Who am I supposed to be with” everything suddenly starts to make sense.                        
8. My Concluding Thoughts Recently I chose a word for this year. That word is legacy.  “Courageous people peer into the future and live with a passion to leave a legacy.” page 180 I have found that there are books, much like people resonate with you. This book really provided some keys that have turned the tumblers in the locks of my life. Other keys have fit but were not able to turn the tumblers to open the door.  I read this book in three evenings. It was hard for me to put it down and I found myself excited to come back to it. Even now I hope to go back and really soak longer in some of the chapters. I think if I had any issues with this book it would be that I’m not sure the writer was totally clear who his intended audience should be. Is this a book for any believer who wants to understand their soul or is it a book to church staffs and ministry teams about how we need each other to accomplish our destinies? For me it worked because I am involved in both. I have a much better understanding of why my soul is important and how I can better care for it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Receive Your Healing & Reclaim Your Health Book Report

These are book reports that I have done as a first year student at The International Healing Rooms School of Transformation. 

Receive Your Healing & Reclaim Your Health  

Briefly write what the whole book is about and why the author has written it.
This book was about becoming a partner with Holy Spirit to change how we think about healing and health. We have wanted quick fixes and patches when God has wanted to do a complete re-model. Cal shares his own personal journey of realizing that his “eat what ever “ mind set was not benefiting him and was potentially separating him from the ability of accomplishing his destiny.  “Your belief system will be formed according to where you focus your mind. If you focus on the circumstances around you, the condition of your family and friends, you will have difficulty believing the truth of God’s Word, that it is possible to walk in health. The truth is, the Word of God is not determined by the condition of man; the condition of man is changed by the power of God’s Word”. pg 50

(Imagine the author will read this and would say, “Yes, this is the main point(s) of my book.)  I think Cal’s main point was to help us understand that walking in Health is a partnership with the Holy Spirit. We have relegated God to the sidelines to deal only with spiritual things in church but not our health or the way we live our lives. God sent Jesus to save, heal and deliver us, we have to often only allowed him to spiritually save us assuming other benefits would come when we got to heaven.  Our bodies and soul also need His transformation. I think our bodies are effected by the food choices we make and our soul is effected by how we deal with interpersonal relationships with others. 

Briefly outline 4 major points of the book as the author presents them including page numbers.  
  • Healing and Wellness are part of our benefit package as believers. However not an automatic blessing because we have an enemy who would like to steal those benefits and our flesh needs to be submitted to our spirit  
But God gave us free will, just as we have to choose to accept Christ as Savior, we also  have to choose to steward our bodies into health. Health is not an automatic blessing to a believer because we have an enemy who wants to steal our health. And our fleshly desires often go against the requirements of good health.” pg 54

  • We must partner with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will bring us into all truth not just Spiritual truth. We fail to make that connection and limit what we allow the Holy Spirit to do in our lives.                                                                                                                “ I did not realize that he power to overcome the flesh in any area, including health is achieved by setting my mind on the Spirit and watching and praying. I had only applied this biblical truth to my spiritual growth, not my healthy growth.”  pg 22

“As I partnered with the Holy Spirit to pursue my health, I began to think according to heaven’s perspective instead of earth’s. With the early perspective, I could only look up to heaven with a rapture mind-set, waiting for the Second Coming to let me escape the troubles of this earth. With my new heavenly perspective, I began to have a kingdom mind-set, expecting to see His kingdom come on earth.” pg 68

  • Knowing our Kingdom authority is more than being just called to attend church. 
You cannot do this with a rapture mentality, focusing your attention on Christ’s return and simply waiting to escape this life. You will have a hard time bringing the kingdom of heaven to earth if you believe you are part of the failing church, waiting to be bailed out of a world where the enemy is defeating it.” pg 139

“Amazingly, the will of God is done on the earth through men and women to whom God has given authority. We have authority because the Spirit of God,who is all authority, dwells in us”. pg 147

  • Realizing that God has a destiny for you to fulfill. 
“Too many people are not receiving breakthrough because they have not addressed the calling go of God on their life. Many get born again and then began a religious struggle to figure everything out. They attend church and sit in a pew as thought that is what their destiny is to be. After a while they find themselves going to church simply because they have become personally needy”. pg 215

“God has not just called us to become Christians and then wait around for Jesus to return so that we can receive our future inheritance after the Rapture, as I have discussed. We are called to be part of His army now. We are ordained to walk in the steps ordered and arranged for our lives by God Himself. We are called to be warriors who wear the armor of God and walk in truth to destroy the work of the enemy. Why do we destroy the works of the enemy? We do it to bring the kingdom of heaven on earth as it is in heaven.” pg218  

Thoughtfully explain one main strength (or point of agreement) with the author

I Corinthians 3:16-17 “ If anyone ruins the temple of God, God will ruin him. I wondered if we ruin ourselves, then why would God need to ruin us? I believe what God is saying is that t if we make the decision to ruin His temple, our body, with unhealthy lifestyle choices. He will agree with our decisions. He may not agree with what we are doing, but because he gave us free will that allows us to choose, He cannot break that covenant and override our choices. When we make a decision outside of the will of God, God honors our decisions though His will cannot be fulfilled in us as a result of our poor choices.” pg 52 
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. Deut 30:19 
I thought the quote above was perhaps the most powerful thought in the entire book. I even wrote Yikes in the margin. It is even true of Salvation, God offers it to everyone but he will agree with that choice as well. If you chose not God, eventually you will get all that is not God and none of what is God. Most Christians would agree, we do not serve an angry vengeful God who sends some people to hell. He just agrees with our choices. I hand not made the leap between this truth and how it impacts our health. God offers us life and health we are given choices. Will we do things his way and live or go our own way and die in our choices. I think too often we come to God with our desperate illness and we want God to fix it. He needs to fix how we think and talk and the choices we make. I have seen people who wanted to be healed die and I think it is because they realized too late what it was that they needed to change. It may be bitterness, un-forgiveness, lack of repentance, anger, rejection, or it may be food and lifestyle choices. We want that instant answer, that quick fix pill type prayer to make it all better.  God in his mercy does often  give a miracle of healing.  Sadly unless a person changes the things that made them sick in the first place they will likely get sick again.  I think sometimes it is a matter of a race against what has already been set in motion. Can one’s faith, belief system and lifestyle be transformed in time to beat the effects of the sickness or disease that is already in motion? 

Write down some of your favorite 
sentences in the book.  

“Our life does not determine our lifestyle; our lifestyle determines our life.” pg 6

“The original Hebrew word for griefs means sickness, and the word for sorrows means pain, physical or mental.” pg 14

“The way we can prove the will of God for our health is to think within ourselves that we can become healthy. Our transformed thinking will empower us to obtain the goal.” pg 19

“The triune God - Father, Son and Holy Spirit - wants to impact a triune man - spirit, mind and body” pg 23

“We must choose to receive the grace that God gives us to live without sin and sickness. When we make that choice, god gives us His authority, His power in us that allows us to walk in victory.” pg 47

“I do not have to bear this sickness because Jesus bore it for me, as 1 Peter 2:24 states. I among set free rom the law of sin and death because I have been redeemed from it.” pg 47

“If the postman comes to your front door with a special delivery package with your name on it, and you hear a bunch of hissing and rattling inside it, are you going to accept the package? No. Return it to sender. In that same way, spiritually you do not have to accept any sin or sickness form which you have been redeemed, even if it seems to find your address.”pg 48

“For as he thinks within himself, so he is. We become what we think. And what we think, we usually say.”

The key to living the abundant life in Christ is to be fully occupied with god so that He is glorified in your body, mind and spirit. This “occupied” man of woman will reflect the light of God i wholeness and health. “ pg 75

“God wants His will done on earth as it is in heaven ( Matt. 6:10) When we become new creatures in Christ, He occupies us with His Spirit. The Spirit of god dwelling in us provides the power within to cause the will of God to become creative in our lives. Our faith becomes the vehicle for the unseen things of god to be seen on the earth. This is simply the way God works in u . When  my will and His will agree, faith is activated so that the Holy Spirit can release His power to cause the seed (His Word) to produce a harvest.” pg 85

“As Christ represents the Father, we are to represent Him in the earth. As redeemed Christians, we are not just to live in the kingdom of God pursing our own goals and waiting of the Rapture to take us to heaven. we are to bring the kingdom of heaven to earth as it is in heaven; that is our assignment as ambassadors of Christ.” pg 141 

“When a believer lives in fear, their words become creative in the enemy’s camp. Their confession will line up with his will, not God’s  For example, when people say things like: “I am sick.” “I am broke.” My marriage is bad. “ “I do not like that person.” “My life is a mess; I am in turmoil” In each of these statements the person takes possession of something that is not the will of God. It is all right to recognize where the problem is but why take possession of it as though it belongs to us? “  pg 223

In what way did this book impact your life as one who transforms cities? How will you be different?        

(For as he thinks within himself, so he is. Proverbs 23:7) 
I have had the benefit of having read a number of Cal’s booklets as well as the benefit of getting to see the real man in action as he speaks and encourages the team and staff each week. He is a person I greatly admire he is the genuine article who lives by what he teaches and preaches. A lot of the information presented in this book was not new to me and that was perhaps why I had a hard time staying focused to read this book. Because of these benefits I believe part of my calling is to help share these ideas with others. I believe there is a lot of work to be done changing people’s mind-sets in the church from a Rapture mentality to a Kingdom mentality. I think many people don’t even realize there is another biblical option.
I have silently disagreed with the Rapture mentality for much of the past 20 years. I am now seeing the wide spread damaging effects of that mind-set. I believe the time is coming to begin praying, speaking, writing and creating resources to help change this mind-set and our mind-set regarding healing. It is not just individuals that need a mind set shift but the church as a collective whole. It seems to me a task of enormous proportions.  I suppose if it was a simple thing to accomplish we might go about it in our own strength, rather than realizing that it will take the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish through myself and many others.
 When I first came to the healing rooms and heard Cal and others talk about the Kingdom mindset it was like a breath of fresh air to me. Finally I had found others who saw something other than just struggling through life, holding on by our fingernails to faith till Jesus arrives to set things right. 
How will I be different because of this book? I used the following quote before in an earlier question, because it spoke very loudly to me and challenges me to make sure I am agreeing with God in all aspects of who I am and in this life. 

I Corinthians 3:16-17 “ If anyone ruins the temple of God, God will ruin him. I wondered if we ruin ourselves, then why would God need to ruin us? I believe what God is saying is that t if we make the decision to ruin His temple, our body, with unhealthy lifestyle choices. He will agree with our decisions. He may not agree with what we are doing, but because he gave us free will that allows us to choose, He cannot break that covenant and override our choices. When we make a decision outside of the will of God, God honors our decisions though His will cannot be fulfilled in us as a result of our poor choices.” pg 52 
I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants. Deut 30:19.

What challenges(s) have you been given by the Lord to implement some of the strategies in this book?  I lay hands on and pray for many people each week at the Healing Rooms, in my massage practice and in my church. Most are believers and are struggling with sickness, poverty, depression, relationship or other problems. I feel like there is so much “Just get by till the rapture mentality and a great disparity in the hand full of refrigerator verses that people may know how to quote but not understand how to stand on them or how to apply them. I realize that there is a lot of re-educating and mind renewing that is needed. We have learned how to wield our butter knife but not the Sword of the Spirit. How can I take the information from this book and create bite sized nuggets that people can begin to chew on, digest and put into practice. I am thinking how this could possibly be the deep well from which many ideas will come for a future prayer loft and resources to help people. 

My Concluding Thoughts:  This book was so rich that I would have liked this book as more of a devotional or a work book using Catchy Quote from Cal followed by 1- 3 pages of explanations or stories and some practical application ideas. I would change the title to Sixty or Ninety days to Receive your Healing and Reclaim Your Health.   Even though this book was packed with wonderful information - I got bogged down trying to read it in this format and had to set it down often to allow time to process the information presented.