Free to Dance!

Blog written by Mike Verkaik

Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Psalm 149: 3-5 (NIV)

Can you dance? Does it seem insignificant? Can Abba use dancing to usher in His kingdom, to bring joy to despair, healing to the broken hearted, to make His heart known?

About a month ago I had the privilege of leading a group of 9 high school students to Oceans Retreat Center for a kingdom encounter. Although we met together several times before we traveled, we still had much to learn about each other’s personalities, gifts, strengths, and insecurities as we boarded the long flight to South Africa.

It did not take long for Dawn and I to realize that this group of students were uninhibited and willing to jump right into the rhythms of different cultures we entered in to. Worship on Sunday was full of singing and dancing and the students joined right in with the church members, celebrating the freedom of South African worship.

However, as the week progressed our team began to realize that one of our team members, Isabella, could dance at a totally different level! We had witnessed her quiet spirit and insightful thoughts as we shared life together, but were awakened to her dance movements as we were preparing a meal for the residents of Jim Se Bos. The request was made for some Spanish music to play in the background. The music playing was an igniter to Isabella’s soul. As she began to move, Pamela, Pastor Raymond’s wife, was drawn into a dance off trying to mimic the movements of Isabella. The dancing brought joy, laughter and a few “Whoa’s”!

This gift of dancing, seemingly insignificant, was our Father’s planted seed germinating into His kingdom expansion. Watered with prayers and compassion Abba took this seed, along with the inhibition of the group, and provided more and more opportunities to worship in the freedom of dance. We sang, danced, and commemorated His goodness, faithfulness, and provision with the children and staff at the Care Center, in the streets of Masi, the food lines in Steenberg, and the classrooms in Jim Se Bos.

Only our creative Father could take the ability of dance He gave to His daughter, place it in the midst of other’s boldness and usher in His healing power of love, joy and peace to His broken children.

What is your seemingly small seed? Are you even aware of it? Even our awareness really doesn’t matter to our Creator. The Bible is full of the small things of man that are used to bring our Father glory. Five little stones slayed a giant, a staff split a sea, a handful of flour and a little oil fed a prophet, five barley loaves and two fish fed five- thousand…. and the list goes on.

So, do you think you can dance? It does not matter. Let go of all your inhibitions and move, your Father is waiting to watch and help you!

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. 1 Corinthians 1:27-28

Finding Freedom in Forgiveness 

Blog written by Oceans Board member Danell Czarnecki 
The other week I talked about father wounds; and if Father wounds are the source of the majority of our infections; then lack of forgiveness is our biggest source of captivity.
Unforgiveness is the most frequent block to our freedom; it binds us to the past and does not permit healing to flow freely; and will hinder or block the healing power of the Holy SpiritFor one to experience inner healing in its fullness we must release the feelings of anger, bitterness, and judgement we have against others who have hurt us so that we can heal; and our mind, body and soul be restored. 
Forgiveness is a spiritual foundation; and is a choice, a decision; and since Scripture requires it; we can believe it is possible for us. We are called to be merciful (Lk 6:36) and forgive othersJesus tells Peter to forgive 70 – 7 times; I think Jesus meant we are to forgive limitless times because He knew it would be our captor if we did not
Forgiveness is not forgetting; forgiveness is coming to peace and living with the consequences of another person’s sin and brokenness. It’s often our willingness to forgive that is lacking; because we feel justified. I believe the “root” of unforgiveness has to do with a lack of trust in GodWe hold tightly to unforgiveness because we feel like we are the only one who is concerned about justice coming to the person who wronged us. It’s important to know that forgiveness of our offender does not take the person off God’s “list”.  God is justOn the contrary, forgiveness sets us free; God promises to take care of those who offend His chosen. 
When we withhold forgiveness, we allow Satan to take advantage of our pain and keep us in bondage to our past hurts. Withholding forgiveness is like my drinking poison hoping it will impact the one who offended meForgiving those who hurt us is for our wellbeing, we do not heal to forgive; we forgive to heal. 
I don’t think it was a coincidence that Jesus asked Peter 3 times, “Do you love me?” Peter needed to be freed from the belief that his denial of Christ 3 times meant he did not love Jesus and was not fit to serve himJesus, in a very tender way took Peter back to the past, He did not try to get Peter to deny or forget that horrible evening, rather Jesus gently healed the memory; what had been a gaping, open wound was turned into a healed scarAnd we all know what Peter, the rock, went on to do for the Kingdom.   
In inner healing we seek to forgive those who have wronged us, we seek to forgive ourselves and learn to love and appreciate the person that Christ has made in us; and we offer God our forgiveness for not trusting Him to hold and heal our hurts and redeem what the enemy meant for harm.  
Forgiveness breaks the binds that prevents us from growing and flourishing as God intended – the fullness in Christ the Bible says is ours to have. 
Maybe your earthly father, family member or friend failed you; offer forgiveness and know your Heavenly Father will never fail you, forsake you; leave you alone; or withhold His blessing. 
Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you; He is mighty to saveHe takes great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, and He rejoices over you with singing.”

Bitter Roots

Blog written by Oceans Board member Danell Czarnecki 
The Monday morning following the Discover Inner Healing Conference at Overflow Church in Fish Hoek, SA, Ken and I were stopped by a woman as we walked the streets and greeted with an exclamation of joy and gratitude to her Heavenly Father for bringing healing into her life at the conference two days beforeShe shared her encounter and said she literally felt the bitter root pulled out from within herWe praised God for this inner healing and rejoiced with her. 
Hebrews 12:15 “See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” 
Bitter roots are often planted when someone has been or feels they have been hurt, abused, abandoned, rejected, and so on…when we experience those deep kinds of trauma and do not deal with them, it is internalized, holds us hostage and robs us of our freedom in ChristOver time, the root can grow, and the increasing infection allows the enemy a stronghold over us. It impacts the way we respond and interact with others, the way we see ourselves and ultimately the way we view God.  
Inner healing is getting at the roots of our wounds/traumas; excising bitter roots; and since the deepest hurts are most often stored in our memories, inner healing focuses there. It is not the past events that are altered in inner healing; rather it is the reactions we have developed; the healing of the infections that have held us captive.  We cannot change the past events we have endured, either by our own hand or at the hands of others, but God can change the way we allow them to impact us.
Because roots are covered underground, they are hidden; but God wants to reveal to us the root of our troubles. This is not to say your salvation is not secure or you are not an adopted heir of Christ. You can be saved spiritually speaking but not free. You can be saved following Jesus and guaranteed a place in heaven but still live a life trapped in mental and or emotional bondage where the enemy taunts and tormentsThe infection is like rats that keep returning to feed on the garbage (bitter roots); you can run the rats off but if you do not take out the garbage the rats will keep returning. 
Matthew 10:26 “Fear them not: for there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be made known.” 
Jesus can command the “rats” to leave and then remove the “garbage” accumulated. Those bitter roots of our wounds need to be “surgically” removed to heal; and then allowed to scar. And just like Jesus’ scars tell a story of love and remind us we are not alone; so too will the wrestling with the dark times in our lives and the scars that remain be a testimony to His love, power, and glory!!  
Galatians 6:17 “From now on let no one cause troubles for me, for I bear on my body the marks (scars) of Jesus.” 

Father Wounds

Written by Danell Czarnecki, Oceans Board Member.

At the close of Saturday’s Discover Inner Healing Conference, Pastor Ryan, of Overflow Church, asked if anyone wanted to share something. The room was pretty silent for a short bit then a beautiful young woman from the second row walked to the front and began to speak through tears. She shared from a place of deep, dark wounding in her childhood at the hands of her father; things she had kept hidden from herself and others for years. Because of the root of those childhood wounds; she continued to be hurt by others and circumstances; and as a result, her current relationships seemed doomed to more pain and failure. The trauma of her past haunted her and was destroying her future. My heart hurt for her and her family.

I believe Satan’s biggest strongholds and weapon in this day is the attack on the family, particularly the father role; and then getting us to withhold forgiveness.

So many of us, like the woman at the conference, are walking wounded; wounded by our earthly father’s inability to fulfill the role God intended; likely carried on by his own woundedness from his father. The effect of a father wound is often low self-esteem, a deep emotional pain inside and a performance orientation that makes us “doers” rather than “beings.” These father wounds stunt us from being fully held by our Heavenly Father.

How do we, as children, grow to understand the role and love of our Heavenly Father in our lives if our earthly father didn’t, wouldn’t, or couldn’t fulfill the role of father given to him by God? Our view of the Heavenly Father is often skewed when our earthly father fails to protect or provide; abandons us or is the one at whose hand we were abused and “planted” the root of the infection. If we can’t trust the father, then who can we trust?

Because we live in a fallen world, the vast majority of us seeking or in need of inner healing have been wounded by our earthly father and deprived of our father’s blessing. In ancient Israel they were consciously aware of the need a child had for their father’s blessing; it was part of their family traditions and lifestyle; not seen or done much in today’s cultures. And I think it’s sad that we have lost that very important passage in a child’s life.

We all come into the world helpless, dependent and needing acceptance, to be treated as worthy, and to be blessed. The father wound is the absence of this love from your birth father.

When we invite Jesus into the wounds created by our birth father; we start by asking Jesus to enter into specific memories; we renounce and reject any lies we accepted about ourselves at the time and we ask Jesus to reveal His truth about who we are; then we choose to forgive our birth father for hurtful words or actions, for not loving us or blessing us and for affecting the image of God the Father.

We must look to our Heavenly Father and come to know who we are as a child of God; He will set us free to let go of the pain and forgive our birth father; and give us a life lived in freedom!

Jer. 6:14 “You can’t heal a wound if you say it’s not there…”