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God within the Church

A guide to recognising God’s presence
within the Christian Church.

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1.    INTRODUCTION

It is recommended that readers should first gain an overview of how to build faith and belief in God by accessing the Lead Article for this section of the website, titled, “Believing in God”, before going any further. That article explains how: faith and belief work together; to learn what God offers us through faith; to create a relationship with him; to understand how and where his presence can effect us;  to soundly evaluate evidence of his presence; to walk in step with him through life; find real personal freedom for ourselves.

During my professional career I relied on disciplined analysis to succeed. (If you wish to know a bit about: my knowledge and skills; quality control over the theology of this website, then click here.) Given my background, you may be wondering how someone like me came to hold such strong faith and belief. Well, like many other analytical, open minded individuals, I found that if we are willing to really look for evidence and we know where to look, then each one of us should actually be able to prove to ourselves that God exists!

Now, let us get to the subject matter of this article. It is very important, especially when starting out on the road to faith and belief, that we join a community of faith, i.e. attend church services. This article begins with an explanation of why this is recommended. It then goes on to provide guidance on what type of church should suit you, the reader.

Then the article gets into the real interesting stuff, as far as I am concerned, i.e. gods actual presence in church. Obviously, from my point of view, this is of great importance to our faith and belief building journey. If you wish to go straight to that subject now, then begin reading at Heading 4, Experiencing the Holy Spirits presence and then examine the other guidance and explanations in this article later. If doubts are threatening your ability to even consider that God actually participates in church services, please bear with me. I was an atheist myself for a lengthy period and these types of events really offered a firm foundation for the belief in God that I now hold.

Having said that, I also remind you that faith should not be left at the door when leaving the weekly church service. The regular use of faith in day-to-day life is also extremely important for building belief in God. The article,God within our lives, also in this section of the website, explains how we can recognise the presence of God in our everyday lives through the actual use of faith. We do this by inviting him into all aspects of our lives: benefiting from that relationship in many ways; continually growing in our beliefs; enhancing our two-way relationship with him.

Recapping then, in order to build sound and genuine faith, that will endure, we must apply ourselves to both available areas of development, firstly by joining a community of faith and secondly through the use of faith in our day-to-day lives. This article clearly focuses on that first area.

2.    WHY ATTEND CHURCH SERVICES?

Attending services with communities of faith, i.e. churches, certainly increases the likelihood of recognising that God actually is a loving being and not merely a concept existing within the writing of others. I have mentioned repeatedly throughout this websites articles that the Church is essentially the fellowship that nurtures and sustains Christians. I cannot overstate that fact.

It is most unusual to not receive any benefit from attending a church service. Normally, there will be an increased sense of peace within you that will remain for some time. That seems to be the minimum outcome. But a lot more can come of it. Please note that the following sub headings are not laid out in any particular order. All the presented reasons for attendance are important.

2.1    Assistance from other churchgoers

I accept that going to church may bring you into the company of frail sinners, most of whom are trying to become better Christians. I agree that you may find wowzers and bigots in the Christian community, just as you would anywhere else. You may even find people who solely attend church to further their own personal initiatives and agendas, i.e. not to sustain their relationship with God at all. They truly annoy all genuine Christians, and in many cases damage the credibility of the wider Church by their actions within and outside it.

But, you will also find that a very high proportion of people in church have deep faith and are very caring (as God requests of them). Honestly,within a short time these people will become like family to you. They will assist God by providing him with the means to hasten the growth of your faith and support you in any major life issues ahead. You should also hear first hand accounts of God’s power from them.

2.2    Gaining essential knowledge of faith

Your church of choice should also lead youthrough sermons (talks) from church leaders during services and guided Bible studiesto better understand God and the relationship with him that awaits you. We all need to continually build our knowledge of God; what he offers us and what he wants of us. Without this information it is difficult to put faith to use in life. That in turn prevents us from fully recognising his presence there. Yes, the Church is vital to the growth of essential knowledge required to build our faith and belief.

The Lead Article for the websites final section  titled, “Christianity explained presents the simple basis of the religion at least, including the positive features that set it apart from others, and should demystify it for anybody who has had little or no contact with it. However we all need to expand our knowledge of God as our belief and faith continues to grow, and the Church is the best place to guide us in that regard.

2.3    Becoming a member of the Church

Importantly, indeed very importantly, we do need to be baptised; become true members of the ‘body of Christ’ (the Church), as soon as we can feel comfortable with that. That should happen once we have come to see that something genuine and life changing is being offered to us.

And there will be a need to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour within the process. I fully understand as an ex-atheist myself that personal comfort with such a position may seem a long way off at first. But, trust me, when you look into it with an open mind, the specialness of being a member of the body of Christ will grow on you as a positive option faster than you would expect!


That in turn underpins our recognition of being members of our own church’s loving family. All members are effectively brothers and sisters in Christ.

And when we do believe in God, entering into fellowship with our community of faith also gives each of us the opportunity for high quality time with him, amplified by being in the company of other believers; those ‘brothers and sisters’ of ours.

2.4    Positive effects on our personal lives

Although this article’s focus is essentially on building belief and faith, there are other outcomes to be gained through contact with the Church. Through regular attendances, we all gradually become more content with life; get a better handle on it’ for example.

Normally our relationships with those people most precious to us, especially our families,  are also improved as the messages of Jesus sink in. For some people, these positive changes are more significant than for others, but when looking back on our old selves after prolonged exposure to the Church we should all see improvement.

We just cannot seem to get this positive impact on our lives, no matter how much we study and practise Christianity in isolation, without becoming a genuine member of the ‘body of Christ’ (the Church).

2.5    Building belief through our own church experiences

And finally, and again very importantly, depending on the type of church with which we have fellowship, we should at least notice subtle evidence of his presence and possibly even tangible evidence.

A final word to you, before reading what follows: a lot of this article is based on my knowledge, experience and evaluations. As real as the events – experienced by me in communities of faith over the years – were to me, they can only be hearsay at best to you. My primary aim, in this website is to guide you in your own search for faith and belief.
So ... please read on with an open mind

3.    CHOOSING A CHURCH

The choice of a church is an issue for God and each of us. There are many Christian denominations, each with different approaches and points of view. It is best to pray for guidance on this matter of choice. (Prayer and Gods method of guiding us is explained in the article, God within our lives”.)

And the church that suits us now may not suit us at a later time. I, for example, have been ledthrough different areas of the Church as the years have past. They all proved to be beneficial to me in their own ways. No matter what area of the greater Church we choose, our lives should still be changed for the better, especially in that area of building belief and faith that is the underlying theme of this article.

But, that all said, our chosen church can and will have an impact on our faith journey.

Christian denominations and the way they relate to each other do vary from country to country to some extent, so it is not possible to provide a complete and definitive listing to guide all readers in choosing a church. Be aware that many if not most denominations, to varying degrees, consider themselves superior to others. We cannot completely take human nature out the Church! And of course each denomination has its own reasons for believing why it is superior.

I do consider though, that most Christian denominations have elements that make them more suitable than others for each of us, when taking our individual personalities, positions of faith journey (e.g. beginner Christian) and environmental backgrounds into account.

What follows is a brief overview of available church options, based on my experience of fellowship within them, and how they may be grouped for selection. Note that not all churches openly refer to themselves within these categories and their names may not totally reflect their true background or agenda. Many churches have websites and these can be accessed to gain some understanding of their approach. Their placement within the greater Christian Church (as in my categories below) should become obvious after one or two attendances of their services.

I have one major prerequisite to offer you, the reader, in search of an appropriate church: I would hope that any church selected should hold to the Essential Christian Beliefs as presented in the websites final sections Lead Article Christianity explained. It is only a small sub-section (Heading 2) to read in that article, so I recommend it to you before going in search of the church that is ideal for you. 

3.1    Traditional Protestant and Catholic churches

Traditional or mainline (as they are known in the USA)  Protestant and Catholic churches are included within this grouping. Traditional churches, by and large, present moderate Christian views to their congregations. Catholics have a little extra doctrine (i.e. the way beliefs are presented and conceptualised) that Protestants do not totally agree with, but that does not create conflict between these two major areas of the Church.

Bear in mind that a small minority of traditional/ mainline Protestant churches hold very liberal views on the Christian New Testament (Jesus bits of the Bible), and I advise against joining those particular churches for that reason. I do not see much point at all with strong Christian liberalism, e.g. having Christian beliefs diluted to a point where even spirituality itself may not have a place. A rational thinker can largely accept New Testament (NT) events, as written, based on available secular (non Christian) historical information and personal experiences still accessible within the Church. More details on that later.

Although there is no need to water downthe NT, there is a need to hold individual verses in the context of the bigger NT picture, i.e. balanced theology. And the vast majority of traditional Protestant churches offer this view. This also applies to Catholic churches. Membership in these churches, by and large, provides an exposure to: balanced Christian theology; an understanding of faith and its outcomes within Christian life; some evidence of Gods presence in that setting; a good proportion of caring supportive Christian people.

I have found that a few leaders in these churches over intellectualise their sermons (talks) during services. That is, there is too much time spent explaining the Bible, in all its beautiful complexity admittedly, and not enough time spent explaining how it is related to the spiritual side of everyday life. But its only a small complaint.

I believe people who like to make their decisions after analysing information for themselves should feel comfortable within traditional Protestant and Catholic churches. For example they do not generally hold totally fundamentalist views on the pre-Jesus, Old Testament (OT), e.g. they are accepting of modern scientific theories such as the Big Bang, not considering such theories conflict with their theology, or faith for that matter.

But their theologians undeniably accept that solid links of wisdom exist between the two sections of the Bible. God ensured that the NT was built on the foundations of the OT.

Church services in traditional churches (incl Catholic) are usually formalised and often contain established rituals, i.e. spontaneity is limited throughout services. Therefore, services are often limited in their passion and excitement. But to my mind they can be a good starting point for beginner Christians.

Note however, that some of these traditional Protestant and Catholic churches do offer services relative to the Born Again/ Charismatic movement and these are discussed later (within this section of the article). Those particular churches generally deliver a bit more energy and emotion in their services. Gods presence is certainly more obvious in these types of services as well. The next section of this articleExperiencing the Holy Spirits presence expands on that aspect.  Remember though it can take a few enquiries to locate traditional churches that offer these so-called “Charismatic services in your area, i.e. locally.

3.2    Evangelical Protestant churches

Evangelical Protestant churches, particularly those founded in later times, are more upbeat than most  traditional churches. They are very positive advocates for Christianity. Their services normally offer more intimate connections with God. Prayers within their services almost seem to converse with God as a loving friend. Their songs of praise have a similar nature.

All evangelical Protestant churches place a very high importance on the acceptance of Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. I am with them on that one too. (See explanation under Heading 2.4 in the article Christianity explained”.)

Some evangelical churches have a Born Again/ Charismatic theme (again, more on this element will follow in this article).

Although many evangelical churches hold to similar balanced theological views as found in most traditional Protestant and Catholic churches, others are very ‘fundamentalist by nature. I understand that that this is more likely in the USA. Fundamentalist churches, as their name suggests, are very dogmatic with their doctrine and at odds with some modern scientific theory for example. I definitely accept that fundamentalists have a right to their opinions!

These fundamentalist churches do sit well with people who prefer everything to be laid out in so-called black and white, with no need for analysis or soul searching.

Evangelical churches, whether fundamentalist or moderate, appeal to people who want to feel good about their Christian faith and be uplifted by their experiences there. This works well for a lot of people after all. I know it does for me. These churches also place importance on their Biblically based theology, so are also a good starting point for beginner Christians.

3.3    Pentecostal / Charismatic churches

All  Pentecostal churches are linked to the  Born Again/ Charismatic movement. They have become particularly prevalent since the 1960s. Broad Biblical theology is not a focal point for most of these churches. From my point of view only, some of them do go a bit too far in this direction, i.e. they overly concentrate on experiences of the Spirit at the expense of limiting lessons on life itself and related Bible teachings. And this can impact on the growth of faith and belief elsewhere, particularly in our everyday lives.

But, I recognise that many people are wired in a way that attracts them to this area of the church. Firstly, they enjoy the rush of being touched by the Spirit, and experiencing him in action there in the service. Secondly, not everybody does want to study the Bible in great depth.  This often applies to people who have a hands on approach to life in general. They may only want to know the essentials. And I guess God knows that, and works around it accordingly.

In any case, Pentecostal churches are certainly more likely to centre their services around the Christian spiritual experience, i.e. the direct observation of God’s ‘presence’. As an ex-atheist I can see how non believers might react to such a statement, but when you do open yourself to actually experience this stuff, you will find yourself asking what else can it be there other than the Holy Spirit interacting with the congregation? I add more on this point later.

Their services are again emotional, energetic and uplifting. They are often led by the church leader in a manner that encourages an openness, within the congregation, to the presence of God. I really enjoyed the company of Pentecostal worshipers when I attended their services.

Their Born Again/ Charismatic outlook, which focuses directly on the Holy Spirit in action, does encourage strong belief and faith among followers. The emotional and overtly spiritual nature of services may be attractive for some folk, but not for others.

As mentioned previously, some traditional/ mainline Protestant, evangelical Protestant and Catholic churches provide so-called Born Again/ Charismatic services, i.e. they too are members of the Charismatic/ Born Again movement. These churches offer  events relevant to the movement but generally operate within the confines of balanced Christian theology. I spent a couple of years in Protestant churches, which were in the movement, and witnessed/ experienced the same sort of events that I had in Pentecostal churches. My own belief and faith building went completely gangbusters there.

As I have also mentioned elsewhere in this website, from my experiences, a period of fellowship spent within any Pentecostal or so-called Charismatic congregation can be very useful to ramp up the growth of our belief and faith. The Pentecostal, and other churches that belong to the Born Again/ Charismatic movement, provide the opportunity to witness events as they would have occurred in the early Christian Church 2,000 years ago. These events often result from the so-called, gifts of the Spirit that manifest themselves within their services.

Now, please do not rule out the possibility of these things happening. I know I did, and I was wrong! I admit it. The following section of this article describes the use of these gifts’ and their outcomes. The movement itself is more fully explained in the article, Born Again/ Charismatic movement

Before moving on though, I really want to make it clear again that I do not intend to downplay the relevance of  traditional/ mainline, evangelical Protestant and Catholic churches, which have no involvement with the Charismatic movement, in these current times. Without doubt, even in this moderate Christian setting, some serious faith and belief building stuff can be experienced. And it is further explained later in this article.

4.    EXPERIENCING THE HOLY SPIRIT'S PRESENCE

I know that even the heading above may rattle some readers. I admit that I had trouble with it in my early days as a churchgoing Christian, let alone when I was an atheist. I had seen this so called Born Again stuff on TV. All that falling over stuff etc. I just guessed it was some hysteria sort of thing, i.e. people being overwhelmed by excitement to the point of collapse.

But ever the pragmatist, and always inquisitive, I decided to attend some of those relevant services, firstly within Pentecostal churches. I was faced with stuff that, if it was real, took me back to what I had read in the Bible about first century spiritual events in the early Christian Church. AND, me being me, Mr Analytical, I knew I had to check it out properly. If it was indeed the real deal, then I had to get in touch with it. And I did just that! I took time out from my own Protestant church and started visiting Pentecostal churches recommended to me by a work colleague. I was not disappointed. I elaborate on events later in this article.

Shortly after that exposure, and we are talking about 25 years ago, my own Protestant church offered a six week course, that finished with a so-called anointing of the Spirit. Talk about the timing being right! (Thanks Lord.) From my point of view, the rest is history. And no, that falling over stuff is not caused by hysteria. I found clear evidence along the way that categorically ruled that out. I have highlighted this evidence where it applies under the following sub headings in this article.

Soooo ... again ... please read on with an open mind!

I need to firstly explain that the Holy Spirit has a significant role both in the Church and within our lives (examples: helping us to find Jesus, our Lord and Saviour; counseling us; guiding us to be obedient to our Lord; supporting us in lifes hardships and much more). However, here under the current Heading 4 (above), we look to his actual and tangible presence in the Church to provide clear evidence of Gods very existence

Those Christians within the Born Again/ Charismatic movement are often given specific spiritual gifts by the Holy Spirit  after anointing by the Spirit, ‘baptism in the Spiritinfilling’, or whatever name the experience of being touched by the Holy Spirit may go by in relevant churches. (Again please see the article, Born Again/ Charismatic movement.)

Note that I personally prefer to just use the word touched myself, when describing the above mentioned experience, and that is how I will mostly refer to it from hereon.

Of course the gifts are amazing when they manifest themselves, but even the experience of just being touched  by the Spirit is belief building in its own right! And I will get to that later.

The ‘gifts of the Spirit’ are referred to in the Bibles New Testament, e.g. St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians [please see 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 in the Bible]. As already explained these gifts include: miraculous healing; providing advice to individuals and the whole community of faith at times, for example through prophecies; together with speaking in tongues and others.

Because these gifts are, as far as I am concerned, still available just as they were 2,000 years ago really does bring home to us the factual nature of the New Testament. The receipt of gifts, incidentally termed charismata” in Greek (original language of the NT), and their intended use for the wider Church community of that era, are explained within those verse of Corinthians and others.

Interestingly, Paul separated the two chapters 12 and 14, that dealt with gifts, by placing a chapter in there that explained the vital importance of love. He highlighted that love (of God and our fellow humans) was all important. The actual verses on love, there in that chapter 13, are some of the most famous and repeated in the Bible. They are commonly used within Christian marriage ceremonies for example. Essentially, as Paul explained, if we dont have love we dont have anything!

And, I do not think that Paul placed chapter 13 in there by accident. No, it highlights the importance of gifts in the scheme of things. There are other things that come first, like love! So although the Spirit uses the manifestation of gifts to help us Christians to bring other people to the reality of Jesus; to build up his Church, they should not be seen as the main reason to attend church ... as exciting as they are! This is why I maintained earlier that churches should not concentrate on these spiritual events at the expense of ignoring the rest of the Bibles beautiful, life and faith related teachings.

But, with all that said, it is the use or manifestation of these gifts, empowered directly by the Holy Spirit, that primarily offers us the chance in our current times to actually witness God at work within church services; clearly recognise his presence there. And of course, as I have already written, the experience of just being touched by the Spirit that can happen to any of us if and when offered is also pretty good evidence.

4.1    Incredible stuff!

This stuff ... these gifts being applied ... can be so incredible to witness and even more so to experience. From my point of view, it can occasionally take us even beyond the boundaries of our imagination as to what might be possible.

Now, my own brain wiring ensures that I can only accept what knowledge, experience and reason bears out. I am not a dreamer. I am a thinker! My private life and past career testifies to that. And even so, I am totally confident that these events can only be spiritually based! As such, I mean that I cannot even imagine any other cause. And boy have I tried hard to look for another answer! Faith that cannot stand up to constant challenge is not much use to anyone after all.

All I can say here, at this point, is wait until you face these experiences. If you are open and ready, and you attend these types of services, then you will more than likely receive solid evidence of Gods presence there.

Of course you may not see, let us say, powerful healing miracles at the first Born Again/ Charismatic service you attend. The prevalence of these extreme events tends to run in cycles within individual churches and countries. But attendance should at least give you regular exposure to occurrences, which are not logically explainable; supernatural events that were treated as matter of fact in the early Church and recorded in the Bible as such.

A close relationship with a particular community of faith over some time will allow you to see God’s deeper purpose within the lives of individuals in the group, and the group as a whole. Of course this happens even in churches outside the movement, but it can be more subtle there.

I am confident to say that if the Spirit is using a particular group of people in the Born Again/ Charismatic movement, to instruct and improve others within their community of faith, then you will commonly witness these types of events.

4.2    What does it feel like ... and is it real you may ask?

I have already admitted that I doubted the sincerity of people who spoke of these marvels happening in this type of Christian fellowship. I was a member of the Christian Church. I had faith in God. He had proven to me beyond reasonable doubt that he existed within my life. I had also accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. But, I really was sceptical about miraculous healings etc still happening during that time. And all that falling over? Well, I got to see it; indeed experience it all for myself. Great stuff! And, as I will explain later, there can be no physical reason for it as far as I am concerned.

The same enquiring mind, that a decade before had drawn me into mystical experiences – discussed in the article, “So, what is God?” – led me to accept the opportunity of being touchedwhen it arose. And what did that feel like? Well initially, to be honest, nothing like what I had expected or hoped for! People around me began to mutter in tongues (it is discussed later) so I knew something was underway. Yes I was ready, but I was also a bit anxious and having trouble opening myself up to the Spirit. To make matters worse, someone was trying to talk to me while all this was happening. I could feel a little flutter going on in my tongue. ... maybe the gift of tongues was coming my way ... I thought it just might happen for me ... but I could not be rude to that person. So, it all seemed to fall apart.

My wife and I kept in close contact with that community of faith and amazing stuff did happen for us. I have detailed some of those experiences later in this article.

And the next time (i.e. my second) I had the opportunity for an infilling; to be touched, things were different! I was ready and I was able to open myself in anticipation. I wanted it to happen! Nothing could have prepared me for the depth of that full blown experience:  the truly unexplainable filling sensation, the massive high, the primary knowledge of what was causing it! Even those deep mystical experiences, that I had experienced previously, could not be compared to being touched by the Spirit

On another occasion whilst a clergyman within a Protestant church anointed my forehead with oil during my own healing the overall sensation included the unexpected and powerful thick feeling of being filled with warm oil. It felt like it was flowing into the top of my head, then going down through me to immerse my entire being from within. There were other elements in the sensation I experienced, but the powerful oil-like feeling was the greatest. I can say to that I was highly affected from the strength of that experience too.

I must explain here, before going on, what is meant by anointing with oil. It is performed by running a finger, just dipped in blessed oil, across the forehead of an unwell person. The oil is spread in the form of a small cross.

Getting back to the details: I was not expecting any sensation at all from my healing; did not even know that the clergyman was a gifted so called Born Again/ Charismatic prior to that time. And here is one of those examples that shows clearly that the sensations are not created by hysteria. This time it had happened without even any expectation on my part. None!

Another interesting finding of mine began to become obvious through that event. I came to discover that if one Christian from the movement does lay hands on, or anoints with oil, another Christian from the movement it will likely cause them to experience being touched by the Spirit during the process. However if a Christian, not in the movement, lays hands on (or anoints) a Christian, who is in the movement , for healing then they will not experience it. That is further evidence that these experiences do not rely on emotions or the like.

I am meaning that it is impossible to know who is in the the movement and who is not, when we Christians just look at each other. If I have permission from a fellow Christian to lay hands on or pray for them, I do not say, Oh by the way, I am member of the Born Again/ Charismatic movement before doing so!

To make it even clearer to you, I have personally laid hands on many Christians for healing, and only those Christians who report they are members of the Born Again/ Charismatic movement, after the event, have had an experience of the Spirit as a result. I have never had a Christian, who is not a member of the movement, mention they have had that same experience, when I laid hands on them. Bear in mind too, it is not us so called Born Again/ Charismatics who make each other have these experiences. No indeed, that has to be the Spirit himself. He clearly likes to lovingly touch us in that way to reassure us of his powerful and holy presence when the chance arises.

AND do not be concerned if that second full blown experienceof mine looks too much for you personally, i.e. it puts you off from trying it for yourself. Some other people, who have told me of their experiences of being touched by the Spirit, described much gentler experiences. I have, for example, heard reports of people receiving a very strong sense of peace when touched by the Spirit. And one of them actually received a healing gift along with that sense of peacefulness.

My guess, and it is no more than that, is that the Spirit touches each of us in the way that is right for us individually. So from my experience, and that of others, please do not let anxiety or fear of the unknown stand in your way of opening yourself to the Spirits presence.

4.3    Gifts and blessings that flow from the Spirit

As I have written already, many people receive gifts from the Spirit when being touched by him: tongues, miraculous healing, prophecy etc. I have been blessed to receive my own gifts, and have witnessed some extreme examples of the manifestation of gifts that had been given to others.

The most notable and unforgettable example of the manifestation of a gift from the Spirit, that I have personally seen, was the healing of my wife, then a stroke victim of some six months or more. She had suffered from semi paralysis on one side of her body, a droopy eyelid, loss of peripheral sight in that eye and continuous, debilitating headaches as a result of the stroke. That stroke-damaged side of her body always appeared to be more pale than the other as well. Life on the whole was miserable for her, not that she complained much.

And there we were, in a packed church, attending a healing service. A Christian healer rested her hand on my wifes shoulder. I stood and watched as the white, weakened flesh of her right hand, which was visible to me, turned pink and strong before my eyes. In that instant, brain cells had been rebuilt, restoring full blood circulation, sight and strength to previously afflicted body parts. And that headache was gone too.

Obviously, this sort of stuff is supposed to be impossible! Brain cells, once destroyed, cannot ‘physically’ regenerate within a second of time under normal circumstances. My wife, who was in her early forties at the time, is still free from symptoms twenty five years later, therefore I definitely know it was all very genuine and the effects were permanent. Many witnesses, including friends and our community of faith at that time, remember the incident well.

We had certainly believed in God prior to joining the Born Again/ Charismatic movement, but that event undeniably took our belief to a whole new level. Of course we have had many more experiences of the Spirits presence, some also quite profound,  whilst in that area of the Church. We had no idea really of what had awaited us when we joined the movement.

Yes, the gifts that may be made available to those of us in the movement, that flow to us through the Spirits touch, are (to use one of my grandsons favourite words) awesome.

Based on my own experiences, I have tried under the next few headings to explain the outcomes of those gifts previously named.

4.4    Speaking in tongues

The ability to speak in tongues’ is a common gift to those people in the movement  who have been touched by the Spirit. In fact, it is seen as the only proof of being born again within some Pentecostal churches. In other words, these churches consider that only those people who can speak in tongues will be saved (with reference to verses John 3:1-8). Most Christians including myself disagree whole heartedly, seeing this as an inappropriate understanding. I write this because because other New Testament verses indicate otherwise (1 Corinthians 12 included). I personally still havent actually spoken in tongues yet so, tongue in cheek literally, I hope I am right on that! Despite not possessing this particular gift, I know that I do thankfully have others.

As I see it, tongues is generally a spontaneous way of praying to God. To the outsider it sounds to be garbled gobbledygook. To the person praying in tongues, it is often a means of expressing devotion, adoration and emotion, which are beyond the limits of the spoken word. The words as such are not even chosen, and the sounds flow from one’s uncontrollably fluttering tongue without deliberation. The meaning behind tongues is sometimes not even known to the person uttering it. Others are gifted with the ability to interpret the sound of tongues when uttered within a congregation.

In itself, tongues, when seen in isolation, may not offer any tangible evidence of God’s presence to an unbeliever. But its manifestation in a genuine congregation within the movement normally indicates that other gifts, which can more readily demonstrate God’s presence, are available there.

4.5    Healing

Healing in this setting occurs in many forms, from psychological or emotional  strengthening, through an acceleration of normal physical healing functions, to complete and miraculous transformations (as in my previous example of instantaneous recovery from a stroke). Totally unpredictable healing events can also come out of left field. I will provide one such example shortly.

In effect, the Spirit actually performs the act of healing as he sees fit, through the gifted healer. It is not up to the healer to choose the degree of healing that is to occur. The healer is, in effect again, a conduit.

Major physical defects, illnesses etc can be eradicated in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, nothing outwardly obvious to the observer may occur. A gift of emotional strength for example wont be noticeable to observers.

When the miraculous does happen, however, can it be put down to some unknown law of physics? I really dont believe so. It is also obvious to me now that particular people in the Church have the gift of healing (i.e. those who can indeed pass on the Spirit's power in this manner), because they are always the common denominators in such events. Also I have noted that gifted healers known to me did not have these powers prior to them being anointed or touched by the Spirit.

I know that local clergy and lay ministers had laid hands on my wife prior to her miracle healing with no noticeable effect to me. The actual miracle occurred at a well attended church healing service’ as I have already described. Prior to the service, she doubted anything would happen. BUT happen it did! It was of course the Spirits call as to what happened and when.

I can also positively say that when genuine healing occurs, it is not a ‘mind over matter’ thing occurring within the affected person. When healing does result from the placebo effect then the health of the person, who thought they had been healed, will eventually regress. The health issue will return. I am absolutely confident from what I have witnessed that genuine ‘healing’, when it does occur, comes from a source other than from within those of us on the receiving end. My wifes healing is an absolute testimony to that fact.

But as I have already indicated, nothing is certain before these event unfold. I will say that some level of healing always occurs when they ‘lay on hands’, anoint with oil etc. However, as I have stated, miraculous physical changes do not always happen on the spot; right there. Sometimes, an injection of personal strength to face circumstances may only come to pass, i.e. emotional healing as already raised. In such cases it appears to the casual observer, who may not follow through on outcomes, that miracles occur sometimes and yet other times nothing happens – which is often not the case at all!

I, for example, received that previously described laying on of hands from a member of the clergy when first diagnosed with a life threatening health condition. Although I did not expect any special sensation at that time (I didnt know that he was a member of the movement, i.e. had been previously touched by the Spirit), I felt that unique ‘infilling’ (the oil-like one), described earlier, strongly flooding through me. The strength of the experience led me to hope at the time that I had been cured, but it was not so, at least not at that stage anyway. The event did not save me from subsequent surgery, and the following drawn out treatment over many months. What came out of it though, was a sense of personal strength to cope with it all. And, of course, I am obviously still here to write these words more than ten years later.

I also have a behind the scenes example of healing to share. Again it relates to my wife. This second example for her occurred about ten years after the previously described miracle, now possibly 15 years ago. My wife had on this occasion undergone abdominal surgery and had been left with severely painful intestinal episodes. She endured a couple of investigative surgical procedures as a result. This situation actually went on for years. Finally unable to identify any causes, the surgeon wrote the issue off to good old it’s all in your mind. The severe yet intermittent pains continued, seriously affecting my wifes quality of life and we really didnt know where to turn. We regularly prayed together for an answer.

The resulting spiritual healing rolled out in a completely unexpected manner. My wife and I attended a regular mid-week evening Born Again/ Charismatic service within our Protestant church without any expectations. The officiating clergyman, a bishop no less, began in the closing stages of the service to offer prophesies (explained under the next sub heading) to individuals in the congregation. He knew absolutely nothing of my wifes ailment but he stopped beside her and offered these words, The doctors will find the cause of your health problem shortly and fix it! My wife and I were certainly encouraged by the statement, but bearing in mind that her surgeon had written her off, we had no idea how the issue could be furthered. But thankfully the prophesy quickly came to pass.

My wife visited another health specialist, who had attended to her over the years, for a routine examination a few days after the church service. During the course of the consultancy she mentioned her health dilemma. The specialist knew my wife extremely well and stated that as a result he knew her pain would not just be in her mind, as the surgeon had theorised. Shortly after the consultation, the specialist contacted the surgeon. Begrudgingly the surgeon agreed to examine my wifes abdomen through an endoscope (a viewing tube inserted through a small incision). He told my wifes specialist that he (the surgeon) would only perform the procedure if the specialist also attended the hospital and assisted in the procedure. The deal was the surgeon would give the specialist a well aged bottle of scotch whisky if they found anything out of the ordinary. The surgeon obviously felt he was pretty safe with that deal.

In short, during the operating room procedure the doctors noted a section of intestine that had been accidentally stitched to the wall of my wifes stomach. This had happened when the incision was closed after that first abdominal surgical procedure I referred to earlier. The stitch was snipped using an attachment on the endoscope, allowing the pinched section of intestine to drop into its rightful place. And that intermittent and severe pain was no more. The surgeon was subsequently too embarrassed to charge for the procedure. Indeed as the bishop had said, The doctors will find the cause of your problem shortly and fix it!  The well intentioned specialist got his bottle of scotch whisky too.

You will note that the two examples of healing with my wife occurred in completely different ways. One, the healing of stroke damage, was effected in the moment within a healing service through a direct act of God. The other was clearly orchestrated through an act of Gods providence.

Getting back to miraculous healing though, no one can guess who will actually receive it. Normally, when they do occur, they are timed to best suit building up the Church (termed “edification”); to bring people to Jesus.

Although I have never heard of really significant outcomes from my own laying on of hands, I know that I do at least have a healing gift. As one example, when performing a lay ministry role for my church in a hospital, I laid hands on a Christian woman who was having a full-body seizure resulting from earlier brain surgery and requested the Holy Spirit to act. The seizure just fizzed out immediately as a result and I continued my ministry with the patient.

On another occasion, I called on the Spirit to again heal a woman in the same hospital. I knew she was lay minister and a member of the movement, but she did not know me. She had been admitted to hospital as a result of a heart attack. She subsequently admitted she had enjoyed an ecstatic experience from the Spirit, as he touched her, as a result of my request to him. She further described, after the event, that she recognised pressure being applied to her heart, in which she sensed a healing sensation. I know that she is still enjoying good health, many years later.

No doubt the lay minister would have informed her fellow worshipers, at the church she attended, of the details. She would have made sure that the event was edifying; used for strengthening the faith of others. Note that the lay ministers powerful experience again occurred spontaneously. Emotions, hysteria etc again played no part in the event. It just happened, there and then.

You may wonder what the gifted Born Again/ Charismatic feels when he or she passes on the Spirit’s healing to another person? Well, in my small examples, I personally never felt anything at all when praying or laying on hands for the sick, no matter what the outcome.

4.6    Words from the Spirit

Prophesy [1Corinthians:12] and other advisory gifts are quite commonly witnessed within the Born Again/ Charismatic movement. People who possess these gifts are used by God, again as a conduit, to provide guidance or advice to others. And again, it edifies the Church; is used in effect to draw people to Jesus etc.

I have also recognised evidence of Gods widespread love at times through some of the words of advice I have witnessed. It was very personal and heartrending stuff, at times directed towards other faithful Christians present. As a Christian I understand the Bibles message about Gods love for us. And Jesus life on earth, as described within the Bible, clearly personified that love for us. But when you see an actual outpouring of Gods love for one of his faithful, in REAL life like that, it certainly brings the Bibles message of love home.

Moving on to the gift of prophecy, it is often although not always related to ministry and spiritual growth for both individuals and congregations as a whole. After the accuracy of the information ‘passed on’ has been proven, it offers clear evidence of God’s presence to the person giving the advice, the person receiving the advice and any other witnesses.

I can assure you that it is quite amazing when you are on the receiving end of genuine advice from the Spirit. It really is potent evidence of the presence of God, and I am not exaggerating. The information, which is very pertinent and personal, will be quite clearly addressed to you. You will know that when it occurs. And, because it does regularly happen, it offers strong ongoing evidence that God is working away within your life and within his Church.

One is never embarrassed by God if these words are past on verbally in front of our community of faith. I was for example informed through words from God, past on by a visiting pastor, that I analysed things too much (particularly the Bibles New Testament). That one was ‘spot on’. I have already highlighted my analytical nature in this article. My church friends laughed. They knew me all too well I am afraid. And I laughed along with them. After that advice I did start to look at the New Testament with new eyes. I had never before met the pastor providing the words. He had been invited to our fellowship, on the night, by our own church leader.

I mentioned in another article (So, what is God?”) how I received advice, through a pastor in the movement, that earlier mystical experiences of mine had indeed been genuine encounters with God. And it is that pastor whom I am referring to here. He continued with his words of knowledge, “You have known God in a way that others here have not!” The message had been given to the fundamentalist pastor by God to be simply passed on to me. The rest of the group studied me with puzzled looks. Even though they all had strong faith, and most had been touched (anointed) by the Spirit sometime in the past, no one quizzed me on what the message meant. The pastor had no idea what it meant either, nor did he need to, as far as God was concerned. This time It was made very clear in my own mind that God was referring to my earlier mystical experiences.

During the course of that session I was also charged by God, through those words past on by the pastor, with the responsibility of acting as a “bridge to Christianity” during one-on-one ministries that would arise for me.  Inside my head a picture of a chapter heading, including those words from a book I had read recently, appeared as the pastor spoke. The chapter was about bringing people from pantheist religions to Christianity via a bridge of knowledge.

Obviously, the chapter heading, that came from the mouth of the pastor, was intended by God to make that very connection. Because of my broad religious knowledge (see So, what is God?) I could easily engage in conversations with people from pantheist and alternative religions. My knowledge of mysticism, and now thanks to Gods verification that it been him that I had recognised there in my own experiences, put me in the perfect position to encourage people to trial Christianity for themselves. My occupation at the time meant that I met and chatted one-on-one with literally hundreds of fellow staff members in a year. I never had to push the religion wheelbarrowin this personal ministry, because God seemed to bring me into contact with people who were open to, indeed enjoyed, such conversations. And I comfortably did as I had been directed by him.

The combination of personalised communication directed by the Spirit through a gifted person, and a flurry of neural connections again effected internally by the Spirit to relevant memories in your brain, really makes one take stock of the experience. Words delivered in this way are not easily forgotten I can assure you. They hit hard! I have heard of otherwise strong people reduced to tears by prophesies, guidance or reassurance, as intense emotional weight has been lifted off their shoulders.

Many years after that event described above I was given further advice from the Spirit through another member of the clergy this time, the Protestant bishop (in the movement) whom I have already referred to. This time I was told that I should broaden my Christian ministry and speak to groups of people etc, i.e. I was no longer restricted to one-on-one sessions or a narrow focus when promoting faith. This website is an example of that broadened ministry I guess. I have also been honoured to lead sessions on solidifying faith to groups of Christians as well.

That advice from the bishop certainly impacted me at the time. I could see in hindsight that God would have had a forward plan for me, when he had directed at that earlier time that I should only minister one-on-one. The two clergy men, who passed on those words to me, could not have had a clue about what each other had said in the past or would say in the future.

Another, yet smaller, related example that occurred with me is worth sharing here, to demonstrate how God can enter into our lives (as faithful Christians) to assist in simple circumstances. I was under a lot of stress, nearly twenty five years ago. I had taken on a new demanding job and was simultaneously building a family home. Ongoing deadlines for both were intense, and as a result I was in a state of continual heightened anxiety. God chose to intervene, even though he had not been requested to do so by me. He selected one of my old friends, also a member of the movement, who had not been in contact with me for some time, to act for him. He had absolutely no opportunity to know of my stressful situation. My friend confronted me at my workplace and, although unsure about its context, said that he had a message for me from God. The message was, “You dont have any need to be stressed. Hand over all your problems to the Lord.

Truthfully, I should have known to do just that, but stress does strange things to our normal behaviour. I was quite taken aback. Knowing that my friend knew nothing of my ‘trying’ circumstances beforehand made it clear that the message was genuine. A flush of relief seized me as I heard the words. That home building program fell into place, like a dream really, after that. Some prayers for assistance during construction were answered with incredible outcomes along the way I might add. (Outcomes from prayers are discussed in the article, God within our lives”.) Responsibilities, in that new job of mine, certainly became easier to manage as well. Events like that, although small in comparison to some other life experiences, have the capacity to create significant increases in personal faith and belief.

Now I have not had a lot of experience with passing on the Spirit's advice to others, but it may be worth sharing one small occurrence with you. I guess its like my healing experiences really, just little examples in the scheme of things, but examples to pass on none-the-less. This case was actually my first occasion with the gift. I was trying to help a friend, new to faith, who had only begun to look for examples of Gods presence in his life and was having difficulty. I suggested he look back in recent times, fresh to his memory,  and see if he could recognise Gods attempts to guide or help him there. I started to give general examples that may have been pertinent to him and then as more particular circumstances, applicable to him, came to mind I suggested that he consider them.

My mind was in full flight and I gave my advice as fast as I could process details. But eventually I realised that I was telling him about events that I had not even had the opportunity to witness. That is information was entering my mind for me to divulge, and the information seemed solid and real to me, but it wasn’t coming from my own memory. There was just no way for me to have known the information. I knew that I just had not been in the place or witnessed the circumstances, related to my friend, that I had explained to him.

I stopped my conversation with him at that point and apologised, saying that what I had said might not be true. Although very surprised, he was quick to admit that all of what I had said was indeed very accurate. I was literally as amazed as he was by what had happened. These days, when mentoring etc, I am prone to look at the contents of my mind as I speak so as to ascertain where the knowledge is coming from, i.e. is it coming from my own brain or not. When it is not, then I obviously say I believe the Lord is telling them.

Like healers, those with this gift become very confident, through its use, in what they are doing. When God gives them knowledge to pass on, they do so!

4.7    Attending services within the movement

On average, Born Again/ Charismatic folk (Christians in the movement) simply seem to enjoy their services more. And for the newcomer, the disillusioned or the enquiring mind, it is a bit of a change from the somewhat restrained atmosphere of formal services, such as those normally held in traditional churches etc. However, a newcomer does need to appreciate where they are coming from’. I find it odd myself, but some congregations in the movement, particularly in Pentecostal churches,  seem compelled to speak loudly in tongues with very little provocation, and this can really be off-putting for newcomers. So please bear with that one if it happens. There is a Biblical warning from St Paul to a community of faith in his time, on this very issue, in 1 Corinthians 14. So the bad habit has been around for a l-o-o-o-o-n-g time. Like 2,000 years!

Again also, if you chance to attend a real ‘fired up’ service, where the Spirit really lets loose … well, be prepared for it! The atmosphere is electric; the air thick with it. Television does not do it justice at all, if you have seen it there. Some unexpecting newcomers might find it exciting, but others may find it too ‘in your face’ and even scary to some extent. As I have already admitted previously in this article, and even as a committed Christian, I felt very unsettled on one such occasion in my early days of attending Pentecostal churches. The gifted preacher was from interstate and the regular congregation there was fired up and ready for what he and the Spirit provided on that day.

Remember though, that the Spirit will not force himself on anybody who is not ready and willing for him to actually fill them/ touch them. You will not be overcome and powerfully touched by the Spirit for example, unless you are absolutely ready and, most importantly, have fully opened yourself expectantly to him. Yes, you have got to want it to happen to you. And even then, he may temper your experience in a way that suits just you. When and if you are ready at a later time for a more powerful touch from him, he may do so then

Sometimes and I have both experienced this one for myself and heard of it from other so-called Born Again/ Charismatics   he may come upon you after you have left your place of Christian fellowship. In other words, he may give you the opportunity for an anointing in a one-on-one setting. For some reason, you may have not opened yourself to him during fellowship where anointing was offered ... despite wanting to, e.g. due to you being self conscious in front of others. Of course he would know that you had wanted to be touched and why you missed out. In such cases, he will start gently in that private setting and build the anointing upwards in a fashion that he knows you are ready for; that you may actually long for. What I am highlighting, first and foremost, is that it will be an opportunity for you again, rather than being forced upon you.

There are so many alternative possibilities he uses to ease us in to that Born Again/ Charismatic relationship, if that is what we want, and then subsequently to assist us along on that particular path.

It all just falls together so perfectly in the long run, so do not be concerned at all.

I have already offered some cautionary advice about Pentecostal churches. Also be alert for contrived behaviour in that area of the greater Church. Most everyone enjoys being a part of the crowd, and as a result the occasional example of participants faking that they are under the influence of the Spirit may become obvious. From my own experience though, the vast majority of congregations out there in the movement, throughout the world, are indeed genuine.

5.    THE SUBTLE STUFF SEEN IN ANY CHURCH

The so-called Born Again/ Charismatic path is far from mandatory, as far as God is concerned, I am positive. It is there for those people who it just plain suits. And if the palpable yet unworldly events of the movement just arent for you, then look to the plain old traditional/ mainline Protestant, evangelical Protestant and Catholic church services. Sure, they lack the action of the movement but they make up for it in other ways. You should still build belief and faith there.

Remember too, no one has to continually stay in any one community of faith. I believe that it is good to move churches occasionally, especially in the earlier years of our faith journey. In any case, the Lord may well play a part in directing and redirecting you in this regard. I am sure that he did that for me at least.

As I have already explained, churches which are not in the movement can be a good starting point for people taking their first steps towards faith, and the resulting contentment with life that flows from it! Many of the Christians in these churches are just as much born again as those in the movement anyway. They have committed themselves to Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, just the same as any so-called Born Again Christian. Dont think any less of them as Christians, because I reassure you that God doesnt! They should be as committed to him, and to caring about their fellow human beings, as any other genuine Christian ... maybe even more so.

Under the following headings I provide examples of Gods presence that can be recognised in churches outside the movement.

5.1    ‘Light bulb moments’

Firstly, when attending these churches, try to recognise God there. Newcomers, hoping to build faith, often come expectantly to church. As long as they have an open mind on the matter, God will do the rest. He can gently reach you in any service at any church you might attend.

Particular advice or reassurance from God might, for instance, shine out from a single line in a church leaders sermon (talk), a hymn (song) or prayer. In effect, it initiates an exaggerated kind of “Ahaaaaaa!” in your mind that provides a way forward on a life or faith issue that you have been unsure about. One of my earlier church leaders referred to it as the Christian light bulb moment. Watch out for them, theyre common.

Once again, a friend springs to mind as a major example. I had invited him to attend my Protestant church because, although not strictly a believer, he was open to Gods existence. As background, his two greatest interests in life were his bank balance and his vegetable garden. I ask you, what subjects of everyday life did our church leader include within his sermon that same morning? You guessed it: love of money and vegetable gardening. Not the two subjects youd expect to find in the same sermon at all. The high odds, of the two topics coming together on his first attendance, were not lost on my friend. Not surprisingly, he jumped to the conclusion that I must have had something to do with it and he challenged my sense of confidentiality, i.e. he believed that I must have spoken about him before his arrival there. I dont think that I have ever seen my friend as astonished as when I insisted that I hadnt said anything about him at all. The sermon on the danger of loving money, in particular, should have been a real light bulb moment for him!

Sometimes God orchestrates a light bulb moment for the entire congregation, i.e. he broadcasts his advice. I have encountered that on many occasions, so it is worth watching for. I know enough of the organisation and planning for our church services to recognise the Lords presence there, in and through these broadcasts.

What happens is that a humanly unplanned, yet common theme, (an important message on faith/ life) emerges within a service through its sermon, intercessory prayers and even choices of hymns. What I mean is that a secondary issue, not intended by those presenting it as being a focal point, is raised continuously by different presenters during the service. And I mean that they do not mention to each other that they individually intend to mention the particular issue. So, to presenters, it is just an incidental point raised individually by them, but as the service moves along it becomes an overall focal point because of the repetition. To my thinking, God places the thought in each of their minds beforehand.

Another church leader from the past admitted to me that the number of times that this happened gave him a buzz as well, so again it is not just my idle imagination at work. This is all just small scale evidence of course, but it is just as demonstrative of Gods presence in the Church none-the-less.

5.2    Stuff just keeps happening

Stick with any congregation of genuine Christians and you may even come to witness some larger wonders. As my best example of more recent times, we have had two members of our congregation, one young and one old, from different families, suffering with terminal illnesses. Everyone in our church knew of them and cared about them deeply at the time of their respective illnesses. Of course we always pray for all our sick brothers and sisters in Christ, but these two had both struck a special chord with everyone because of their dire circumstances and their closeness to us all. We prayed powerfully as individuals, in church services and in various ministry groups whenever we came together, for these two. Neither of them should have survived. Their recoveries certainly amazed their doctors. They both had secondary cancer (metastasis) for example. Neither had the right to accept that they would recover. To our church, these events have been just as edifying as a successful laying on of hands would be to a so called Born Again/ Charismatic congregation, e.g. when my wife was cured of her stroke damage.

I could go on and on, but I hope that you are getting the picture. Stuff just keeps happening in our church, and it never stops surprising and encouraging us! It indicates that when faithful Christians come together, no matter what the setting  traditional/ mainline and evangelical Protestant, Catholic, Pentecostal, Charismatic movement or not Gods presence becomes evident amongst us. I will add a proviso though. The congregation needs to contain a good proportion of people who place their faith at the top of their priorities. I would not suggest you join a church where that was not the case! It provides the best environment for you to grow as a Christian; to be nurtured.

Also note that many churches outside the movement have healing ministries on offer. Clergy will lay on hands, anoint the sick with oil etc when requested. Results of such practises may not be as spectacular, as is possible to witness within the Born Again/ Charismatic movement, but positive outcomes of some degree absolutely do flow from them! The Lord can still prove he is present there in a gentler manner and yet still edify his church!

Remember too, that faith and belief building should also be happening within our lives as a direct result of our walk with the Lord. Results there compound with the events that we experience within the Church, and vice versa.

6.    INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CHURCH'S MINISTRY

As I have already mentioned, the Protestant church to which I belong delivers outreach services to the local community. Although involvement in such services requires the donation of time from volunteers, there are rewards for those who do so. Indeed it is now evident that those who provide voluntary services to others in need actually receive tangible benefits for themselves  they are more likely to be physically and psychologically healthy.

But something greater than that occurs when doing so for the Church. If the service is delivered selflessly out of dedication to God, as an act of loving care to fellow human beings, then it is most likely that those engaged in it will witness his guidance and assistance within the process. For a start, things just tend to easily fall into place, far more than could be expected under the law of averages. And I mean that should even be obvious to a cautious thinker. Above and beyond that, it is most likely that expected outcomes will be met, if not surpassed, i.e. if we are genuinely selfless in our dedication and we invite God to assist and guide us. Gods guiding and helping hand is discussed more fully in the article, God within our lives.

When involved with a voluntary pastoral care team that ministers to hospital patients (I referred to it earlier in this article), I witnessed many events that were special. Sure, as Christians, we would expect to witness healing, but from my view of circumstances the healing is (strangely you might think in that setting) more likely to be emotional or psychological than physical. Of course, this is in contrast to the more graphic examples of healing that I have already mentioned previously in this article. I can also say that such events have exceeded my hopes for those people involved. To be honest, I have not at times even known what plight patients had been in prior to Gods gift of emotional/ psychological healing.

I also occasionally hear one way or another about subsequent events, e.g. what stuff has happened after my prayers of intercession for patients. I think God likes to let people ministering know occasionally what happens to those they have been involved with as further proof to them of his loving presence  further enhancing their own faith; strengthening them in their resolve to continue serving him in their ministry.

Now this successful ministry stuff presumably goes on through all of Christendom. And it is certainly not just applicable to the so-called Born Again/ Charismatic movement. Unlike me, I do not believe that any of my fellow pastoral care team members are members of the movement, yet God utilises them effectively to glorify his kingdom, and support other Christians under emotional and physical stress, all the same.

In light of these types of positive faith building outcomes, I certainly advise everyone to become involved with the Churchs ministry if at all possible. 

7.    EVIDENCE OF GOD IN OTHER AREAS

It is important that we also use faith within our day-to-day lives for the good of others and of course ourselves. Although it sounds a bit selfish to use faith to gain assistance from God for ourselves it has two positive results. Firstly, it allows God to prove his unconditional love for us. He can make life a lot easier than it need be as a result. Mind you, I am not talking about fame and fortune here!

Secondly, by proving his presence in our lives it enables our belief to grow. (Please balance this against my advice that is inappropriate for us to just keep asking for things from God and not offer anything back to him. He wants a two-way relationship with us. Bear that in mind too.)

Whilst I opened this article by saying that church attendances are very important within the development of our belief and faith, it is also important as mentioned above that we do use our developing faith in day-to-day life. The article, that I keep monotonously referring to, “God, within our lives” in this section of the website has been compiled to help in that regard.

This section’s Lead Article, “Believing in God” pulls this article, and the one mentioned above, together to provide the best outcomes available to us – the ability to recognise God’s presence with absolute clarity and to realise an unimagined freedom within our lives.

The final section of this website presents Christianity’s basic beliefs and way of life. I have studied, and even practised some elements of, other religions and can still say that Christianity really is a very special and profound religion. If you would like to understand more of its basis, then please begin with the sections Lead Article, Christianity explained.