Dancing With The Ten Thousand Things : Ways to Become a Powerful Healing Presence

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Everyday Enlightenment. Dan Millman. Living in the Light, 25th Anniversary Edition. Shakti Gawain. Aletheia Luna. Living a Life of Awareness. What We Say Matters. Ike Lasater. DailyOM: Learning to Live. Madisyn Taylor. The Mandala of Being. Richard Moss. Affirming Life: A Daily Meditation. Sheree Ross. Britt Keller. Your Body Knows the Answer. David I. Zen Body-Being. Peter Ralston.

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Richard Carroll. Medical Intuition: Your Awakening to Wholeness. Norman Shealy Md. Teachings of Silver Birch. Silver Birch. Alice Gardner. Life Unlimited. Edward Franco. You Can Relax and Overcome Stress. Mike George. We never would have imagined. Depending on who you ask, Vallotton and Johnson are geniuses, false prophets, or both. Johnson has become one of the most high-profile apostles in a loosely connected and ever-multiplying group known as Independent Network Charismatics, or INC Christians, said Brad Christerson, a professor of sociology at Biola University and coauthor of The Rise of Network Christianity.

But that also means that INC churches have little accountability for their finances or their beliefs. Apostles often experiment wildly, and they encourage their members to do the same. It Skypes hundreds of people into its healing sessions. Vallotton and Johnson have each built their own brands, too, with sleek websites, dozens of supernaturally focused books between them, and gigs speaking at revival churches worldwide.

And then there is the gem of the operation: Bethel Music, whose dozens of Christian artists have made albums that sit at the top of iTunes charts and regularly bring in millions of viewers. The church is highly internet-savvy, with a network of Instagram and Facebook accounts — each with hundreds of thousands of followers — that post high-quality, heavily-produced clips of songs, conferences, testimonials, and images of faith and revival. Bethel students who grow up as charismatic or Pentecostal Christians find Bethel through services and conferences that are streamed into their own churches.

And many more find Bethel simply by clicking the red button on a YouTube video. For Eddie Hsu, a former Bethel student from Brazil, signs and wonders were the thing that brought his faith to life. Since then, Hsu says he has seen many miracles that have sealed his faith. Hsu made the final decision to come to the School of Supernatural Ministry, he says, because of a prophetic dream that he still remembers vividly. In the Bible, the morning after his dream, Jacob sets a stone on a pillar and pours oil over it.

He calls this place Bethel. Pastors reach into a crowd of second-year Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry students at the beginning of a worship service at Bethel Church in Redding, California, Sept. Bethel, he says, was almost always behind the shift. Students who have left BSSM — and, sometimes, the Christian faith — tend to use similar words to describe the school: words like bullshit or party trick. Bethel's savvy social media presence allows the church to reach tens of thousands of young people. Stefan, who spent three years at Bethel before eventually leaving evangelicalism, felt for his first few weeks at Bethel like he was really seeing miracles: healings and prophecies that felt like they had come directly from God.

Eventually, that changed. You just dress it up in Jesus. Chris was a good prophet, his teachers told him. While he was studying at Bethel, he once had a vision from The Song of Deborah as he prayed over a woman whose name he did not know. As he told her this, she cried out in surprise: Her name was Deborah.


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No one talked about the times they had failed. Listening to her, the preacher is visibly upset. She giggles. The preacher gives her a scenario: She finds a man who has been stabbed in the back and has just five minutes left to live. What would the woman do with those five minutes?

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There is, in most of Christianity, just one answer: She should tell him the gospel of Jesus, ask him to repent, and save his soul. The woman flings her arms out and laughs. They are all young, in their twenties and thirties, and attractive — a woman in heels, a man in flannel and tight-fitting jeans. Almost all of them have foreign accents. The only woman in the group, a young Australian, is called to prophesy for a man wearing a red-and-black T-shirt. She asks if he is a musician. He says, to gasps, that he is. Another student interrupts her.

After the music and a few sermons, we get to the main event, a piped-in sermon and prophecy from the conference down the road. The speaker is a celebrity in the world of Bethelites, a man named Shawn Bolz who has come to us straight out of Hollywood, where he once met Mel Gibson. For one, the miracles he describes are nothing that can be explained by mere coincidence. He tells the story of a young girl he was praying for who confessed that she was a cutter. So did the scars of all of the other cutters in the auditorium.

Bolz ends by prophesying in a way that feels, fundamentally, like Not Bullshit, teetering on the edge of something even I can believe. His prophecies are the kind of thing that Bethel students aspire to. Bolz asks if there is a girl named Luna in the audience, and of course, there is. Then she starts to talk again, and it sounds like she is trying to qualify her answer. The promenade in downtown Redding, California, is reflected in the windows of an abandoned store, Sept.

Paul Davis has lived in Redding most of his life. They bring in millions of dollars, and they do a lot of good for the community. As a Christian who loves his city, Davis is torn, he says. It sits nestled at the foot of snow-peaked mountains, surrounded by Douglas fir trees and rivers and the glassy, clear blue waters of Lake Shasta. Four hours away from wild, liberal San Francisco, Redding once had a familiar story: good blue-collar jobs, safe and friendly neighborhoods, families who passed their time boating and fishing and hunting. Lonnie Johnson sits with all his possessions on a sidewalk in Redding, California, Sept.

Johnson has been homeless in Redding for nearly a year.

» Reflections on the learning process and Healing Presence John Courie Portfolio

Redding is different now. Homelessness keeps climbing. Shasta County hospitals see three times the number of overdoses than the rest of the state averages. Now residents swap stories of people found shooting up in the streets, cars broken into with cinderblocks in fits of desperation, and stores robbed, repeatedly, in broad daylight. In a troubled city caught in a downward spiral, there is one bright spot: Bethel.


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  8. The church has brought droves of eager young people, many of them educated, to Redding. They all need a place to stay, food to eat, coffee to drink. They've opened trendy coffee shops, bakeries, and ethnic restaurants, even tech companies. They have begun to raise families here.

    There are so many people that have come to town for us. The city budget in Redding has long been tight. For years, the city-owned Redding Civic Auditorium was crumbling, its interior in disrepair, its funding and future always in question. It seemed inevitable that the Civic would, eventually, be forced to close down.

    In , though, the Civic found an unlikely savior: Bethel. The church created a nonprofit and used it to lease the Civic. On weekends, the center hosted the same concerts and events it always had. During the week, the Civic became the home of the School of Supernatural Ministry and its more than 1, first-year students from all around the globe. The Civic was, for Bethel, a first step — a toe in the waters. Since then, the church has become increasingly intertwined with the city.

    Last year, a local nurse and Bethel elder, Julie Winter, ran for city council and won, buoyed by far more in political contributions than her opponents. Residents bristled. The city accepted. But Bethel needs something from the city, too. What if it had become a major local employer, created some of the most popular music and other media in its industry and brought literally thousands of educated, interesting people from around the world to Redding? To Anita Brady, who has lived her entire life in Redding, that is the exactly the problem: As Bethel steadily erodes a boundary between itself and the city, it moves closer to violating the separation of church and state, she says.

    In comment after comment on news stories and on Facebook, residents responded angrily to the news. Redding city councilwoman Julie Winter, right, meets with city public works director and assistant city manager Brian Crane in Redding, California, Sept. Winter is an elder in the Bethel Church. That turned out to be just the beginning, Brady says.

    Dancing With The Ten Thousand Things Ways to Become a Powerful Healing Presence

    In August, a group linked to Bethel opened a taxpayer-funded public charter school , Tree of Life, on the campus of an elementary school that was shuttered because of declining enrollment. At the very theological roots of Bethel and other churches like it is the "seven mountains mandate," a belief that Christ will only return to Earth when true believers bring God into seven spheres: religion, family, education, government, media, arts, and business. But thanks to Redding, Bethel offers a unique test case.


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    Though she ran on a secular campaign of economic revitalization and curbing homelessness and drug addiction, she says she is deeply influenced by her faith. On Facebook they trade the same videos over and over again to prove it. In a letter to the editor of the Record Searchlight , a woman named Marilyn Lee said what many in Redding had been thinking: that the stream of foreigners, money, and young, educated tech talent coming to Bethel could leave Redding unrecognizable.

    I would be willing to make a guess that that is not the vision of the majority of the people living here. My vision is to keep it as it is. When I ask about Bethel, most Redding residents who are opposed to the church return to the same story from nearly a decade ago, in A group that included Bethel students were drinking at the top of a cliff on the banks of the broad Sacramento River.

    Instead, they tried to climb down so that they could faith-heal him. They never found him, and for six hours, he lay bleeding and unconscious in the dark at the foot of the cliff. He survived, but was paralyzed. The students were found to be not at fault in a suit. Nearly everyone in the Facebook group, it seems — and many outside of it — has their own private version of this story.

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    They are no longer allowed to prophesy to tourists around the bridge. Donna Zibull has lived in Redding for more than 40 years, working as a housekeeper and hospital cleaner until a back injury forced her to retire on disability. It was Bethel churchgoers, Zibull says, who found him and ran to his side.