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July 2011 - From the Pastor

posted Jul 8, 2011, 11:31 AM by Linda Dickinson

Dear Elmwood Family & Friends,

Over the last few weeks we have been looking at the manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit during our Sunday morning services.  The article below is a wonderful experience I had a few years ago that relates to our series on the gifts.  May it be an encouragement and blessing to you.

Come Holy Spirit in a fresh and new way to Elmwood!

All for Jesus,

Pastor Fred

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The following article was written for the September/October 1995 issue of “Lutheran Renewal,” the newsletter of the International Lutheran Renewal Center.

“If I Speak in the Tongues of Men….”

By Fred Thoni

Year after year we hear of how God touches lives in special ways at the Holy Spirit conference.  It is always exciting and encouraging to hear of the personal ways the Lord reveals his love for his people.  As Word Gift Coordinator for the conference, I would like to share with you and “inside” view of how God moved in one woman’s life at this year’s conference.

On Wednesday evening the Holy Spirit was moving in a powerful way in the opening worship.  Prophecies were coming rapidly to our Word Gift group.  The group is made up of men and women who have a recognized gifting in prophecy, tongues and interpretation of tongues, words of knowledge and wisdom, and visions.  During each session we seek to be God’s instruments for speaking to the conference.  As we do this we try to jot down on paper what is coming to us so that we can share what is on God’s heart and to have a clear sense of what he is doing in that session of the conference.

On this particular evening the presence of God was strong as we worshipped.  I sensed I was to bring a message in tongues to the conference.  As I prayed about it, the anointing increased and I also sensed that one of the words a brother from our group had just received and handed to me on a paper was the interpretation.  Now this was a bit unusual.  Normally a message is given in tongues and we wait for the interpretation to come.  However, this time the Holy Spirit was indicating that John’s written-down word was to be the interpretation.  “OK, Lord, you know what’s going on,” I said, and then gave my message in tongues and John read his message immediately following my word.  It was a word of hope, freedom, healing and love from our God who is the great I Am.  The service flowed on with Francis and Judith MacNutt confirming the word as the Lord ministered through them the healing power of Jesus in a tremendous way.

          The next day a group of people came up to me and shared what had happened to one of the women of their group the evening before.  Cheryl had recently returned from the mission field in Chile where she had been doing language training in the Mapuche Indian language.  To her amazement, she had heard me speaking in the Mapuche language during the Wednesday evening service.  At first she thought I was from Chile, but then she realized this was a prophetic word in tongues.  Recognizing certain words, she said to herself, “If this is real, the words I know will appear in the interpretation in the right places.”  When John gave his “prerecorded” interpretation, it contained the correct English words in the proper context.  The Holy Spirit inspired both the Mapuche tongue and the correct translation!  She was overwhelmed by this personal encounter with the Holy Spirit.  Truly He had hear her prayer as she came home on furlough that this would be a special year of getting to know the Holy Spirit better.

Yes, Lord, you are the great I am, and you are raising up a banner of truth for the nations.  We pray for Cheryl, anoint her with your Holy Spirit, bless her ministry, and bring your truth to the Mapuche people of Chile.  All glory to you, Lord Jesus.  Amen.


The following is the interpretation of the prophecy mentioned above:

Know that I am the God of hope where there is no hope, of faith where there is no faith.  I AM!  And I am your faith, I am your hope, and I am your healing.  Only believe and know that it is – it truly is – my will to heal.  I long to bless you – I desire to bless you!  Turn away, then, from your doubts and fears and look to My Son!  Look to the Resurrection!  Look to His glory and power and love!  Take your rightful place of authority in My Kingdom!  Be set free and set My people free!