Photosynthesis Life Transformation – Why Photosynthesis?

This is the post excerpt.

Photosynthesis Life Transformation is my upcoming  Healing and Deliverance for Pastors and Leaders.

But why would I use the scientific term related to plant growth for my name?

Photosynthesis – the process by which plants transform light into energy, bringing health and growth. It’s a cool idea. But what does photosynthesis have to do with emotional healing or spiritual deliverance?

Light – it is given by God to all. God is light.

1John 1:5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.

Scripture compares His people to trees, or “Oaks of Righteousness”:

Isaiah 61:3 …. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.

Like trees, when His light shines on us, we grow. Beyond growth, Scripture connects God’s light to healing. When people are hurting and broken it dims everything – casting a pall on their entire lives. Look what happens when God’s light shines:

Malachi 4:2 But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays…

Isaiah 30:26 The moon will shine like the sun, and the sunlight will be seven times brighter, like the light of seven full days, when the LORD binds up the bruises of his people and heals the wounds he inflicted.

Like the process that allows plants to benefit from the light, there is an internal transformation that has to happen for us to experience God’s healing. Spiritual cleansing (deliverance) and emotional healing are both parts of that process. I look forward to exploring this more in future posts.

Integrity – Joseph’s Christmas Story

Friends, it’s been a year since I’ve posted. And in re-entering the blogosphere, I want to first post the sequel to last year’s Christmas poem. Enjoy!

Integrity – Joseph’s Story

Last year
At the time of Christmas cheer
I shared the story of Mary
This time, I want to explore from another side
What was it like to be the Father of the Messiah?
This is the story of Joseph
What would it be like in His words
Spoken in verse
I call it Integrity

My beautiful Mary
So innocent and dreamy
With her bright-eyed charm
Playful, fun, devout
There was no question
No other to be chosen
When asked, her father had no doubts
Her mother no reservation
And although I had grown up in a world where love was not in the marriage equation
I loved her
Her heart for God, her mind, her wit
Her powers of persuasion
I couldn’t get enough of it
And I hoped one day she could love me back
Oh Mary and I
We were engaged
I thought I could fly
Amazed and expectant
And then she got pregnant
The sense of betrayal and shock is beyond what I can process
My mind is stuck in an emotional funk
All I can think is:

*Oh that Mary’s not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that God is the One
And the kid is not my son*

There’s obviously only one thing to be done
The whole situation is offensive,
I’m on the defensive
I’ve been known as righteous
But I will be perceived as
A first rate jerk
A hypocrite, lacking judgment
No self-control, no self restraint unable to even wait
I was of the line of Kings
Everyone will wonder how I could do such a thing?!
How could she do this?
Compromise her purity and not own up to it?
And people, how dare they assume anything
If they think this was me they don’t know a thing

*People always said be careful what you do
Don’t go breaking young girl’s hearts
Momma always said be careful who you love
And be careful what you do*

Well this time it’s me who’s got a broken heart
By the law she should die
She’s betrayed her pledge to me
I don’t owe her a thing
I could cause her suffering
Matching the degree of my own pain
It’s the word of God
It’s the law

But it’s also Mary
I still love her
I want to protect her
So I had a plan
To maintain my honour as a man
But not at her expense
To be a line of defense
For both our reputations
But it hurts
This deep disappointment
And it’s stress-filled
This bitter pill
And the emotion loop I’m in
Makes me obsess again

*Oh that Mary’s not my lover
She’s just a girl who claims that God is the One
And the kid is not my son*

There’s only one thing to be done
So it’s over
I’ll divorce her
If the betrothal is dissolved
Maybe this internal conflict can be resolved
How could what she claims be true
It’s irrational, illogical, not possible
It’s got me tied up in knots, and so so blue
Her words feels like fantasy
And it’s making me want to escape reality too

Stunned, shattered, exhausted
I passed out and in a dream my subconscious mind wandered
To the worst case scenario
Mary at the synagogue’s threshhold
And they’re ready to stone her
Absolution of the community
Through honour killing
But I felt horror and grief
I didn’t want this
Lovely Mary at my mercy

And that’s when the angel appeared to me
A light washed over the scene
As a brisk brease stirred
A sense of peace washed over me
The pure love I always associated with worship
And there He stood

“Joseph, you descendent of David, the King
Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife,
Loving her for life
She’s telling the truth
The Baby she carries
Is not the product of immorality
Divinely conceived
The result of Holy Spirit’s overshadowing
She will give birth to a son,
The Chosen One
You are to give him the name Jesus,
Yeshua, Jehovah Saves
because he will save his people from their sins.”

I awoke with a start
And a pounding heart
Such a mixture of regret and relief
Faith and disbelief
At what I had almost done
My heart renewed
It surged with love

*Oh dear Mary you’re the Mother
You’re the girl that knows that God is the One
The kid is His only son*

There’s only one thing to be done
I’ll obey
Mary, I’ll take you as my wife
Protect you and the child with my life
Raise him as my own
With the same love God has shown

The wedding was a small hushed affair
Hardly anyone there
My declaration of paternity
Had me branded indefinitely

I had lived to be known as righteous
But my heart has changed
To be content with God’s perspective
My fears of disgrace realized
Replaced by the honour of becoming God’s choice
A surrogate father to His son
Oh the burden and joy of His Trust
To embrace fatherhood
To model manhood for everyone
A challenge, a promise, an opportunity for His good work in me to be done
And after His birth

*I took Mary as my lover
That faithful girl that knows our God as the One
The Father of Our Son.*

So much love inside me
So much joy in my being
I lost everything important to me
To gain Christ
And He added a wife, a family

And in this experience I have learned
It’s easy to care about other’s perception
Or rely on what we see and think we know
But God in His higher perspective
Cares more about who we become
So He shifts the laws of reality
Causing our preconceived notions to be undone
Pulling us into the mind-bending journey
Of exchanging what we think we need to be happy
For the joy of His life, the way He created it to be
Replacing reputation with integrity
And like Mary, I have no regrets
I encourage all to learn from my experience
Surrender to Him everything you value,
All you hold on to
Allow Him to bless you in return with His best
The priceless experiences He has designed just for you

Watch “Pregnant With Promise – A Christmas Poem” on YouTube

I wrote this for Christmas – asking the question – what of Mary could tell us her story in retrospect. Enjoy!

Pregnant with Promise – a Christmas Poem 22 Nov 2017

I had always been told one day one woman would be chosen
The epitome of goodness
Somehow deemed worthy
To bear the Christ
I never in my life
imagined it could be me

Just a young girl – Ordinary,
I never had the air of royalty
Experienced a priveleged life
Gold, palaces, expensive clothes?
Never meant to be a fashinista
Sure my cousins were priests uh …
but … Me?
I was nobody, not special

An introverted dreamer
too prone
to wandering off alone
To wonder, to ponder, to think
Sometimes so distracted I forgot to eat and drink
“She’s a real space case”
That’s what they said
Their words echoed in my head

Too romantic
Come back to reality
The world is too harsh for all your fantasy.
No I was not her

And this was not the age of Messiahs and Miracles
This was the time of the Romans
No omen
or sign could dislodge them
The world was dark
Like the night sky over Nazareth
And I was small, insignificant
Not really meant
To change the World
I was not her.

I could not see courage in myself
Little more than the desire to help
more likely
Not the heroine of any story.

Nevertheless …
He chose me.

It’s not something I understand
How could anybody?
Holy Spirit?
Son of God?

All I had was my humanity
And an empty space – my heart, my womb
Silent and vacant as a tomb
Untouched, untouchable, preserved, reserved
The invitation was given
The word spoken
I knew the Cost, the risk
Like I also knew I was born for this
That “no” was not a word to be said
To the Living God

He chose me

I had no illusions
‎It would not be an easy road
‎The weight , ‎the load
‎of people’s prejudice
While ‎God called me righteous
‎I would be made scandalous
‎Giving up all earthly reputation
‎Enduring endless accusation
‎For heavenly honour
‎A wonderful idea, sure
‎For the distant future

For now?
They would see a young woman
Without virtue
Abandoned, worthy of death
At the mercy of her betrothed
A liar, concocting an unlikely story
Claiming Glory
To hide her shame
Protesting innocence
Placing blame
On God
The only One who Truly Knew

That I chose disgrace
To say yes to You

To be the first to carry
Eternal life inside me
Infinity in finite me
To nurture God’s Son

Invited to the process
To love but not possess
To prepare One
Who would lay aside all reputation
And give His all
In death and resurection
For you and me,
All who would believe and receive
His life into ourselves

Beyond salvation
He has issued an invitation
He has asked permission to indwell
In us, in you
Letting Him fill
Every broken space,
every empty place
Carrying his life inside
To abide
To experience His life
To carry, to share His all
In a way that will show
Everywhere you go

His life is free
But there is a Cost – the Cross
Placing Your All in God’s hands
Is something people don’t really understand
But coming from me –
I said Yes to Him
I have no regrets

For You?
He chose you too
Please, don’t hesitate to also say yes.

Understanding Healing As a Process

Helping others receive freedom requires understanding of brokenness and healing. Many believers expect quick fixes. We want a camp, a short-course, a conference, or an encounter that eliminates most of the issues and the pain that we face. 

Although this does seem to happen on rare occasion, more often God uses a process. Even when God does meet us, appearing to bring quick release, I believe this is either the culmination of less obvious work that He had been doing previously, or a jump start to a new season of healing. Slow healing over the process of time builds intimacy with God and compassion for others that wouldnt happen if we were instantly cured of all our ills. 

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

On a variety of occasions I have witnessed believers struggle with judgments toward others who are on a healing journey whose problems are surfacing. I have heard some express it this way: I got saved and all my problems were resolved. Unfortunately the fruit of pride and criticism towards struggling believers is evident. Such attitudes towards human brokenness is expressed in demands for others to fix themselves. When I have seen this, I have wanted to say, Look, if it was just as easy as making a decision to be whole, they would have done it already.

 Sometimes people feel frustrated with how long the process is taking. When we understand that the journey of freedom progresses at a different pace for each person, this helps limit the frustration. Its about learning to trust Gods promise to finish every work He begins. The timing and completion of God’s work is His job, not ours.

 We often distrust our own or others’ brokenness, thinking that the goal is to have no problems. We can become insecure with the way God works in others or even ourselves. This breeds distrust in God and judgments towards each other. God’s work in us is so different. He is incredibly patient. Instant perfection is not as important to Him as developing our character filling us with His grace and compassion. 

What is Healing Anyway?

What is healing?  In a few sentences healing is the process in which Gods truth, His light and His love is applied to individual oppression and brokenness bringing ones body, soul and spirit in line with the will and word of God. This work results in wholeness which is expressed through living in ones God-given identity. 
Who does the healing? It is the work of the Trinity through the power of the Holy Spirit with the assistance of the Christian community.

What are the tools used? Truths and principles from Gods word, and dialogue with God through the connection of Holy Spirit. 

Who needs healing? 
Is anyone exempt from brokenness?
Everyone needs healing, but not everyone is ready to receive it. 

An Idea for Healing to Become Central in the Church

How can Photosynthesis Life Transformation  work within a church? 

 Photosynthesis will be available in single modules, and lesson groupings. These can then be used for individual or group study. A pastor,  ministry leader or small group leader can gain a tool or set of tools directly from the materials and then pass on what they learn.

 Another option is teaching Photosynthesis as an equipping track led by a committed individual or team that already has training and experience in healing ministry. These equippers would volunteer both their time and expertise for an extended period of time to benefit the church. They would set a regular time and place to offer all the classes in a repeating series as single classes or whole day seminars. Leaders in the church can be involved at their own pace. Ministers would attend a single module or a few modules that provide keys to Biblical healing. They are then encouraged to utilize their new skills in existing ministry and teach those that they disciple to do the same, thus preparing future leaders. 

  Each lesson is constructed to give the leader enough information to begin using that tool for healing. It is designed so that a leader can attend for a few hours. During this time they will learn one thing to help them in healing ministry, prepare to train others in it and apply it in ministry without delay. 

 The modules will be grouped in Streams of 6-10 lessons. In total over forty modules, called Healing Leaves, will be available. Each one will provide introduction to the various topics in Biblical healing. Once all have been completed, the minister will have gained a strong foundation in healing and deliverance. If the leader wants, he or she can take all forty modules (at a pace of one per week, he would complete the set in nine months). However, no one has to commit to finishing all modules in nine months. Leaders can take it a Stream at a time, or even a module at a time. 

Life Transformation – the Vision

Rev 22:2 …On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.

 I look at this Scripture and see that the tree of life bears frequent fruit. It carries an abundance of leaves that contain healing properties. I bet just one leaf would make a difference. What if God’s healing can come in a variety of forms but with the same essence? Could it be possible to receive different truths and principles as needed, one or a few at a time, on-demand? Does God intend leaders to also be healers that carry the fruit of life and the leaves of healing to each person in the course of regular activity? Aren’t we all called to bring healing to others? Did not God ask us to share what we are freely given? Do not all believers have the Spirit of God, who is Jehovah Rophe, inside of us? 
 He has given us spiritual medicines. What if healing was approached more like medical triage? Workers with basic training sort out and handle the easier issues, passing the more difficult problems to those with intermediate training, and the most sensitive cases to experts? Can it also be carried out according to gifts, heart and ability? Could it look something like the cooperation between medics, nurses, doctors, and specialists? I believe this is possible, but…

  It would have to begin with leaders.

 What if leaders had a set time and place where they could go when they were ready, and take a single class or a few classes that provide keys to Biblical healing? Would it work for them to learn at their own pace within the Church from those  who already  have training and experience? What if they had one set of materials that they could purchase in small portions or as a whole? These materials could be used as a reference, giving an overview of important subjects and resource suggestions to go deeper on each area of study? They could be equipped in small chunks, and begin processing and applying what they learn right away! How powerful would it be if they then utilize those skills in their existing ministries and train those they disciple to do the same? 

Most leaders face difficult situations every day and are searching for more effective solutions. They are motivated, sometimes desperate. In addition, they are in unique positions to share with others as they mentor future leaders. This allows knowledge and skills to be passed on, multiplying the number of people capable of ministering healing, while equipping others to do the same. The resulting increase in effectiveness and facilitation of lay leadership would lighten the load, preventing burnout and paving the way for increased church growth. 

It could work like a “good virus,” carriers gain the understanding, knowledge and skills and then integrate that into their existing ministries, or the cell DNA. As the church grows and the leadership multiplies, the knowledge is passed on, becoming an integral part of the church’s discipleship and pastoral care.

 To use the healing leaf analogy – ministers receive healing in an area, so gaining a healing leaf. They then learn how to use it in healing and bring it to someone in need, ministering healing in that area. This continues in many aspects of the individual’s life. As the ministry recipient matures, the leader can begin teaching him how to share what he has received. 

 What I envision is not the beginning of a new ministry that takes away from what is already there. Rather, it is meant to be a temporary structure within the existing system that provides additional support to currently running ministries, strengthening what the church has. This is not a suggestion for a new ministry. I want to begin something that can be self-sustaining and eventually taught by newly trained individuals all within the existing church structures. Once it is incorporated into the DNA of the church, equipping can continue as a part of normal church life and discipleship.

An Army of Wounded Healers

I have seen much over my years of ministry to the poor, the homeless, the addicted, troubled youth, singles and families. I have been in a variety of churches, including one that I helped plant. After all this, I found myself in a large international congregation asking God: What now?I knew He had called me to build His Church – raising up a spiritual army mobilized for service. But where should I start? Dialogue with family and trusted friends brought me to a conclusion – something has to be done and I have something I can do about it. I can contribute to the Church in ways that will help ease the burden on leadership while equipping at the same time. Photosynthesis Life Transformation as a set of materials, and as an idea for ministry integration in a program of implementation are a result of both prayer and dialogue. At first I thought small – my immediate circle. I have since concluded that I can share this with the wider Body of Christ for all our benefit. 

 My heart beats with the understanding that, as Christians, we are meant to be an army of wounded healers. This means we are not perfect. We have issues. As we allow God and others inside for healing, however, we can pass that healing on to those who receive our ministry. I have become convinced that there are ways to multiply the number of people trained to minister healing to others on a deeper level. I believe that this equipping can be done in a way that minimizes the drain on our energy and resources.

My purpose is to raise awareness within the Church of inner healing needs while increasing accessibility to inner healing care. I want to do this in a way that supplements what is already being done in a congregation. This can bring increased compassion, efficiency, and skill among leaders, resulting in a more effective leadership base. It is not meant to be a fixed, inflexible plan, but adaptable to different churches, structures, ministry styles and situations. Having been in ministry for a long time, I believe that many healing needs of believers can be met by using basic Biblical tools. 

The Church Needs More 

In this fallen world, each member of the Body of Christ carries unique brokenness. Hurting people hurt each other, causing further damage and innumerable problems for leadership. As church growth increases, the church is likely to be stretched by overwhelming need.  There are numerous inner healing ministries, organizations and courses available around the world. I am grateful for many of these organizations and the training and personal healing I have received because they exist. They are an incredible blessing to the Body of Christ, carrying on work that is essential and effective among those they reach. However, I have come to realize that the need far outstrips what can be accomplished through existing courses and programs. Out of necessity, these are limited in their scope – they can only reach so far, go so deep, and equip so many. An occasional course on healing is inadequate to address the immense need. 

 Scarcity is also a problem. People usually lack either time or money. Individuals who can afford to pay for courses often have little time to invest. Others with time cannot afford it. Beyond this, the church itself is stretched for resources in areas of finance, time and manpower. Leaders with training can become bogged down in dealing with people’s problems, leaving little time or energy to pass on their knowledge, or equip others to minister in the same way. All of these factors restrict access to healing.

 Lack of awareness among congregations also presents a problem. Over the years I have spoken to uninformed individuals within different churches who have come to me with healing needs. They do not know the real reasons for their struggles or the connections to their personal histories. Many do not understand what inner healing is, why they should receive it or what existing courses on the subject can do for them. In this context, untrained leaders face difficult issues, doing the best they can with what they know. 

 As I shared above, I was once one of those leaders. I spent years under the burden of inadequate equipping while trying to help individuals trapped in bondage and pain.

I love the Body of Christ. I sense its power and potential. At the same time, the pain within the Christian community overwhelms my heart. The church needs something more – something that is widely available to church leaders within their time and financial constraints that can be passed on through ordinary ministry activity. 

A Missionary Kid’s Journey

​My History and Healing
 My history with healing and deliverance started with my parents at a time that I am unable to remember well. As my dad, Bruce Isom, has chronicled in his book, Church: What Was God Thinking?, both of my parents came to know Jesus as adults. At nine, my family moved to Hong Kong for a year where we worked with Jackie Pullinger’s ministry, St. Stephen’s Society. It was there that I first heard my parents talk about deliverance, and how God works to remove spiritual strongholds from our lives. 

     I was 15 when my parents moved to Hong Kong permanently. My role changed from ordinary youth group member to missionary kid functioning in ministry. I can remember being asked to pray for people and not really knowing what I was doing.

  In my late teens, I began to receive personal ministry and equipping. During that time I necame a leader of a couple of small groups in church helping troubles youth. Teens would show up to church stoned, crashing in the middle of service, and craving their next fix. Still, they would ask for prayer. Some even tried to sneak drugs to church,. Others arrived carrying pornographic materials to share with their buddies.

 Eventually their stories would come out Many had been abused in every way by parents, teachers, peers, boyfriends, girlfriends. Some had proceeded to abuse othees. Multiple abortions were not uncommon. . Many struggled with cutting, depression, or suicidal tendencies. I am grateful for the guidance of Holy Spirit who taught me so much during that time. I had no idea what I was doing. Yet He still used me. My inner healing training at the time was basic and I was overwhelmed with deep needs I couldn’t begin to address.

 This was when I delved deeper in healing. I knew the church needed more. And personally I needed more too. This has evolved into a deep passion for every church leader to have a foundational knowledge of healing that can be integrated into pastoral care. This can ease the burden on pastors, increase the health of the community so that church can become the loving place it was designed to be. And that’s where my idea for Photosynthesis came from: 

Photosynthesis  will be an equipping series for pastors and leaders on every level (down to the small group leader). It is designed for leaders to gain the skills to take care of themselves and avoid burnout while being able to increase their impact by integrating healing into their pastoral care. My dream is that every pastor of every church can minister a measure of freedom to every person that comes to them. While.the manuscript is in process, I.have decided to cover some of topics here in abridged form. I can’t waot to share what God has placed in my heart.