April 6, 2015

Dearly Beloved,

Christ is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!

GreetingIsn't it unspeakably amazing to know Christ, to behold God Himself in flesh and blood! To know our Messiah, to worship the Lamb on the throne! In His boundless grace, God has seen fit to bring us into His kingdom, His family even, and all good gifts are really facets of this one true gift: to be among those who are becoming in Christ. It is with awe and wonder that I write to you on this Easter Monday (and the beginning of Holy Week for you Orthodox friends), overwhelmed by the awareness of the extravagant privilege we share: to live in union with Christ and Him crucified. The cross of Christ stands always at the center of God's renewing purposes for His world. Whether we bow the knee now or later, to whatever extent we resist or embrace the truth, this is what is Real. God's relentless purpose is the renewal of all creation and He will have His way.

In the light of His majesty, our heart's cry is, "Yes, Lord! Have Your way among us!" We desire that He have His way, all the way, and bring us into the fullness of the whole gospel. We desire to go beyond what Leanne's friend Dallas Willard described as "bar-code faith," where our religious impulse is satisfied once we've received Christ's forgiveness so that we'll be "scanned" to enter eternal life at judgment day. We desire to live into the fullness of our baptism: we are not only plunged down into the waters of cleansing where the old man dies, but also raised up into new life in which we move in God's own creative power.

What an incredible privilege, to be dynamic members of the kingdom of God, at work to serve His will! The healing ministry serves His redeeming purposes particularly in the human soul. In the power of the Holy Spirit, the renewed become renew-ers. The dead brought to life become bearers of resurrection power. We who were called out of the tomb ourselves now have living voices to call others to life. 

"Participating in the life of the risen Lord makes us an extension of the Incarnation. It is then that we can truly live the life of the servant, for Christ's very power and love flows through us when the channels are cleansed and open." (Leanne Payne, Real Presence, p. 95)

"... how tremendous is the power available to us who believe in God. The power is the same divine energy which was demonstrated in Christ when he raised him from the dead. Ephesians 1:19-20 Phillips

One of the richest rewards of serving in ministry is hearing beautiful stories of hope and new life. This Eastertide seems most fitting to share this particular testimony with you. In Surprised by Hope, N. T. Wright says, "Jesus's resurrection is the beginning of that new life, the fresh grass growing through the concrete of corruption and decay in the old world" (p. 123). What a gracious God who comes to us with His resurrection power, speaking the healing word to us and then through us! And what could be more vibrant than the green shoots of generational healing of both mother and child? 

The first night after the conference I had a wonderful time visiting with some old Wheaton College friends. We spoke a lot about the conference. It was such a joy to share the hope that had been given to me. Later, when I put my children, ages 11 and 8, to bed, we had a wonderful time reconnecting and cuddling. We were staying in a hotel room so they were sharing the sleeper sofa and I was lying there between them. My son asked something like, "Tell me words, Mom, like how you love me. Say those words." So I basically began similar to where the healing of memories prayer begins, "I loved you before I even knew I was going to have you. I was so excited when I found out you were coming. When they put you in my arms after you were born, I was so happy to receive you..." I shared the similar but also different stories of my love for both of them. Amazingly each waited patiently while the other was receiving!

When my son was little and my daughter was a baby, I was in a dark place. I experienced joy but also lots of anger. The work of motherhood and the difficulty of sleep deprivation were the triggers for so much old hurt, rejection, and anger. Every fiber in me was screaming to leave my family. Several years ago, I asked my son for forgiveness for all the times I'd yelled at him when he was little (carefully so as to not rewound him and appropriately for his age at the time). I asked him if I could pray that the Holy Spirit would touch any places in him that were damaged by the anger I'd shown to him, even if he couldn't remember it, and start healing it. We prayed a simple prayer of healing. In the years since then, I've seen growth in our relationship and his receptivity to me (i.e. not reacting as strongly or quickly towards me in anger).

Then that first night after this summer's MPC, I poured into my son and daughter the words that described the best of my thoughts and feelings about them when they were little and as they've grown up so far. When I finished, my son volunteered something like, "Mom, when you say those words, I feel strong inside and full." My daughter called them "True words" and in my mind I saw the word True capitalized. I'm so grateful to you and to God for the ability to mother in such a holy way.

We praise you Holy God for the new life You give us again this day through the Cross of Christ. Grant that we would be receptive to Your true words, tender to Your ministrations, and responsive to Your guidance. We thank You for raising us to life in You and ask that You would have Your way with us this day and every day, that we might be channels of Your life to others. In Your holy name, Amen.

Under the mercy,


Invitation to Memorial Service for Leanne Payne


LeannePlease join with us in loving remembrance and celebration of Leanne Payne's life and ministry:
  • Memorial service, Saturday, April 11 at 6:00 pm, Edman Chapel, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
  • Live streaming via MPC's website (a video recording of the service will also be viewable on MPC's website for those who are unable to view live)
  • Tribute on MPC's blog here

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