Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Deliverance Ministries, Unlocking Roadblocks Along My Faith Journey

 Ephesians  1:13
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.

On September 20th and 21st of last year I was lucky enough to go to Towson, MD for an Unbound Ministy Conference, courtesy of my lovely daughter Sarah. Ever since, I have been meaning to write about it. Now, after several months filled with varied experiences along my journey, I am finally ready.

On the first day of the Unbound Conference, or first evening more accurately, I must admit to having mixed feelings. It had been a while since I had read Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance. I was tired, as I had just driven from a small town in central VT to Towson, MD. I was also mostly excited about spending the weekend with my daughter, and getting a chance to meet a couple more of her friends. This opportunity came towards the end of my 12 week period of unemployment and, while I was glad to know I would be starting a new work contract on September 30th, my mind was on the move I would be making to NYC on my return to VT.

Author Neal Lozano, who is also a pastor and teacher on deliverance, began speaking about deliverance ministries, Unbound, the experiences he and his wife  Janet had shared along their journey, his team, and what we could expect of the Conference. He also spoke about the five keys to the Unbound process. And referenced the quote we have all probably heard, that life is 10% what happens and 90% how we deal with it......but this time it was referenced in regards to how we deal with things being potential roadblocks to our faith, and our personal relationships with God.

It is important for me to recount what was going on in my life at the time, as I am certain it had everything to do with my initial response to the Unbound experience. I am ashamed to say that, as I sat there listening on Friday evening, I am fairly certain that I mentally rolled my eyes at least once. In fact, I can remember thinking something along the lines of "this sounds like so much of the psycho babble that was spouted so often in the 70's". I consoled myself with the fact that my daughter and her friend Becky were there with me, and that it would be a bonding experience for us.

Saturday morning, after a good nights rest, some breakfast and a good cup of coffee, I felt much more open to the experience. We began to learn about the five keys more in depth. We heard about specific cases, and we heard testimonials from previous program participants. As we went from one session to the next it all started to make sense, I started to become excited about learning more, I could see that deliverance ministries had brought, and could bring, people to a much closer relationship with Jesus. This had brought emotional and spiritual healing to so many, and I could see the potential for thousands to be similarly effected. By the time we went to lunch I was excited and energized...........

I also started to become anxious. You see, there had been sign up sheets for conference participants to sign up for individual sessions with ministry teams. I had signed up for one. We had been told that there would not be time for everyone to have an individual session, and that those who traveled the farthest would be given priority. Arrangements were made for local people to have the opportunity at a later date. There were sheets to write down the things you would like to address with the team, but I could think of nothing. We had discussed forgiveness, and the possibility that for our freedom we may have people we need to forgive. We had discussed a whole host of blocks to our own faith, our own relationships with Christ, and I did not see myself in any of the scenarios.....did not think I had issues with any of the things discussed. And then something happened. We were practicing one of the methods for renouncing specific sins. Initially, I was just repeating the phrases and feeling nothing.....these issues were not problems for me. Then something struck a cord, it was discussion of believing you are not good enough, discussion of being undeserving of love, discussion of not being able to forgive myself......basically not forgiving myself for being incapable of protecting everyone I love from ever experiencing anything bad, and also for making some bad choices in my life.

As the time for my session drew near, I became more and more anxious. What if the things I brought to the team weren't important enough? What if I wasted their time when someone else who could really benefit from the session did not get the opportunity? What if we addressed what I brought forward and then I didn't "feel" anything different, or didn't experience the freedom that other participants did?

As I sat in the waiting room, chatting with other participants, I started to feel more relaxed. Then a young man came to escort me to my session, he was one of the team members who would be involved in my personal ministry session. As I left the waiting room, I started to feel that it was difficult to breathe. With every step closer to the room my session was to be held in, it became more difficult to breathe. I entered the room to find that Neal Lozano himself was to be the leader of my ministry team. At first all I could manage to say to him was that I felt like I couldn't breathe!!!!

The team was very patient, and soon I was able to start bringing my thoughts forward. With love, respect, caring and skill Neal coaxed thing out of me that I had not even realized were buried in my heart and mind. As soon as they were exposed to the light of day, I did recognize them as deeply held thoughts and feelings that had been with me for years. The entire team was so loving and supportive, it was such a safe environment. I answered questions, brought forward some of my concerns, and sobbed uncontrollably through the first part of the session. I don't know if this is everyone's experience, I am admittedly a crier!!

As we progressed through the process, I gradually realized I wasn't crying anymore. I began to feel lighter, less weighed down. I asked Neal to stop at one point because I felt positively giddy, I felt like laughing and felt light headed. When I was ready to continue I noticed that I continued to feel lighter, happier, I felt free. There was an overwhelming feeling of joy, contentment, a sense of well being that I cannot adequately describe. When Neal asked how I felt my initial, and immediate, reaction was to say "I can breathe".

Once back with Sarah and Becky, I was telling them about the session. We went for dinner shortly thereafter, and enjoyed some time relaxing together before returning for the end of the program. We talked about the fact that people would be invited to give testimonials about their experience, and I adamantly stated that I would never do that!! And yet, once it was time for testimonials, who do you think ended up in front of the crowd giving a testimonial???? Yep, me!!! Afterwards I wished I had planned on it all along, because there are things I wish I had said but didn't.

I have deliberately steered away from specifying what the five keys are, from using much of the language of Unbound Ministries, from sharing specific testimonials or even experiences or credentials of the team. There is a reason for this. The reason is that I am hoping that someone will read this and be encouraged to read the book, Unbound: A Practical Guide to Deliverance by Neal Lozano. I am hoping that someone who reads this will seek out the opportunity to attend an Unbound: Freedom in Christ Conference. I would also encourage you to check out the website, at:

James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

"As a pastor and teacher on deliverance, Neal Lozano knows that many believers struggle with the same sin areas time after time. Yet victory can be as simple as tapping into the potent power of the gospel. By focusing on Jesus and his work, rather than on the intimidating aspects of evil spirits, readers can reset their mindset about their spiritual struggles. In Unbound, Lozano shows readers how to do just this. He also shows them how to find and close any doors they may have opened to evil influence and, consequently, Satan's underhanded strategies. Balanced and full of hope, Unbound is a practical, thorough, and easy-to-follow guide to deliverance and freedom. It also includes practical instruction on praying for others to be set free."