Posts Tagged ‘jesus’


under Secret Stories, Written on March 7, 2012

Thanks for such a wonderful conference yesterday. I wanted to tell you what happened overnight.

In the middle of the night, I awakened and saw this image of me with a large black garbage bag. I was holding onto it with both hands and it was swung over my shoulder and it forced me to walk in an uncomfortable way because it was so heavy. It was resting on my lower back. What I did NOT tell you at the conference was that for some reason, my lower back was hurting…I had not done anything specific in the last few days to cause it, nor have I ever had an injury in that area. But since about Thursday, it had been hurting.

God revealed that I was carrying all of these false names, and it was causing me to feel like I had the weight of the world on my shoulders. But these were not mine to carry. I strongly felt like I was supposed to spend this afternoon and evening going through all of my given names one by one (I wrote down about 50), and repenting of them, renouncing and rebuking, and replacing.  I wrote each name on a post-it note, put them in a pile next to me, and picked them one at a time and put it on like a name tag, like we did at the conference. I tried to remember the first time that name was assigned, and get in touch with the feelings associated with it. I then prayed for Jesus to come into the memory and heal it. Then, I took the name tag off and put it on the cross.

I did a few at a time and then took a break…partly because of the time they take and partly because of the emotional intensity.God is doing a deep healing work and I wanted to give it the time and space I needed to. It’s not as though these names were given to me a week ago…they’ve been here decades in many cases.

I finished it last night, and then took all of the names off the cross and lit a fire. One at a time, I looked at the names again as I threw them into the fireplace. I said aloud, “This is no longer my name.” God gave me my Secret Name, which is “Mine.” For the last few years I have been drawn to Isaiah 43, and I now understand why. “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name…you are MINE.”

My lower back pain is completely gone, and I as I threw the last name into the fire I saw an image of chains falling off my body. I now am beginning to walk in my new name. It is taking some getting used to…sort of like breaking in a new pair of shoes. The enemy certainly is trying hard to convince me that I am not free, and that all of these old given names define me. But they don’t. I belong to God. I am His.


under Written on August 9, 2010

My new life in Christ only started a year ago.  I had plenty of time to taste what this world has to offer and I must say until 12 months ago it was exactly what I was looking for.  In my younger years I grew up in a “Christian” home.  Church every Sunday, bible study every weekday. Church was just another place for my parents to be parents and me to be a kid.  My father used to go door to door preaching the urgency of salvation to those he felt Christ was leading him to, and my mother was right there with him sharing the Lords work.  My parents were very Godly people.

When I was a teenager my father became very “ill”.  He injured his back severely and was heavily medicated for years.  These medications were not your typical medications. He was given oxycotin, methadone, and every other pain medication.  When you get on these types of medications there are very serious side effects. My father began to psychoanalyze everything he came in contact with. He was in and out of hospitals all the time.  He began to question his faith and the existence of God himself. 

My entire teenage years I was obligated to explore what life really had to offer.  I did as I pleased. Because of my father’s illness God was certainly not an option. I was angry that He let one of his servants suffer.

I chose a path of release. Drugs.


Just the word makes my back tighten up and a shivers down my spine.  Drugs were my sweet escape.  I started to smoke pot when I was about 15 until I got out of high school.  I drank from time to time but Mary Jane was all I needed. I went off to college at the university of Ohio State Mansfield after high school with one thing on my mind….freedom. 

And it was then I discovered alcohol.  Weed just wasn’t cutting it anymore, and alcohol was cheaper and I found I had what I thought was a gift at the time of “chugging” or slamming beer. Later I find out it wasn’t much of a talent at all more or less a prerequisite to vomiting.  After one year in college I flunked out to due to not attending classes or tests.

I worked at a pizza place for a bit just to make some cash for my booze and pot.  I then enrolled at a community college in Toledo and moved in with 3 of my stoner buddies right on Toledo’s campus.  I was on cloud 9. 

It was in Toledo that I learned of my true love. 


My life was now in surrender to it.  At first it was one line or two a week just for fun.  I was a social snorter I guess you could call it.  But with cocaine it doesn’t stop there, because when you run out you must find more.  It’s your oxygen; it’s the air you breathe.  And once you get on cocaine there is no turning back. Next it was vicodins methadone, oxys, percocets, flexerils, darvecets… anything I could get my hands on that could send that rush to my brain.

My body and mind stop taking such a likeness to what I was doing to myself.  My fixes turned into hallucinations, my drags turned into anxiety attacks, and my breaths turned into gasps for life.  I then had realized I was now under total control of the product I built my life around.  I would lie in bed for hours wondering how I was breathing, why was I here what was life.  I began to analyze things like my father did and the shear thought of death made me puke.  Where was I going what could I do?  I then decided to quit cold turkey.  When they tell you it takes 3 days, they lied. 

For 6 months straight I suffered from manic depression and suicidal thoughts….a few failed attempts made me realize I wasn’t even worth trying to kill myself because the simple thought of “what’s next” scared me more than the thought of a gun to my head.  I was in my own personal hell.  I couldn’t talk, sleep, or eat.  I weighed 200lbs at the beginning of that year and by this time I weighed merely 150.  And of course the so called friends I had with me didn’t seem to notice, the only thing they saw was “hey less people to share with”. 

I was ready to die.

I have a brother, his name is Ben and he went through a few similar things but he got “saved” by God. At this time that was just kind of funny to me.  Saved? From what his sins? Good luck with that.  But through everything Ben went through he was always smiling always so content and that really made me mad.  Here I was suffering and he was totally fine because some invisible son of God saved his soul. 

Ben always used to tell me about Christ and the things he did. He ensured me that if I came to church and just listened it wouldn’t hurt, it may even save my life.  So I did.

I went to church with him and his wife Emily, and while I was there I felt free again, the restrictions were off and I could breathe. I could look up into the sky and think I’m ok.  That’s all I wanted, I didn’t want to be scared anymore, and I wanted my life of fear and anxiety gone. 

My only problem was that I wondered, “Where is the proof?” 

I continued to go to church; I quit everything I was doing.  No more sex, drugs, beer, and even cigarettes. I went every Sunday twice and Wednesday night… Every service they had to offer.  And I even prayed a few times for God to heal me.  But nothing…….I  wasn’t being healed.

About 3 month into going to church one night we had a camp fire at the pastor’s house and we were sitting around the fire singing and having a good time when I saw my brother Ben venting about work.  I asked him what was wrong and he said “I need a cigarette”. 

Ben was a smoker but he promised me he would quit if I came to church. I told Ben “you promised me Ben, I gave up a life of sin for you so you can give up this”.  I love Ben so much and was so thankful for him that I couldn’t stand to see him kill himself that way. 

Disregarding my efforts to talk him out of his sweet surrender he decided to light one up.  At that very moment I walked away in anger, furious at my brother’s selfishness.  But within seconds I found myself crying like I did in the days of my withdrawal, lashing out at the evil around me. 

I looked up to the sky and said “this is for whoever my brother praises day in and day out, to the one he calls his father, keep my brother safe”. 

And after that 3 second prayer I walked back to Ben, his cigarette was gone.  Now those of you who do smoke  know that a cigarette takes more than 30 secs to smoke, but his was gone, nowhere to be found. I asked him “did you need one so made that you smoked it that fast”.  He said with a tear in his eye. .. “no Dane, I took one breathe of it and felt so convicted it made me sick, I threw it in the fire”. 

I walked away in disbelief…”did God just do that?” 

It finally hit me, I prayed my first True prayer, I KNEW God would care for him because he trusted in him and I did as well.  I prayed not for me but for someone I loved.  I called out to Ben away from the fire and I said, its time….. We gathered together in a circle I could feel the arms lifting me up.  I asked for forgiveness …… I was free. 

My depression is gone, I have a new life.  Someone to live for and serve.  My journey has just begun and only gets better.  This past year has been greater than any moments in my life combined.  I am now in a praise and worship group. I helped teach the teens and just got married to the love of my life. God sure does bless those who trust in his name.

Thank you for letting me share my story, a lot of tears of joy and sadness were laid out writing this but I have to give glory to God for those tears and giving me my TRUE name.  FULFILLED

But those who trust in the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

The Occult

under Written on July 22, 2010

I was saved as a Senior in High School in December of 1986.  I had been involved in the occult and had seen (and heard) many strange things.  Over Christmas break, I picked up a rather thick commentary on the Book of Revelation, and read the entire thing.  I accepted Christ as my Savior when I read Revelation 21:21.  Thereafter, my entire life changed, and even though I didn’t know anything about going to church, I read the Bible voraciously.

That summer, I was sitting in the driveway, leaning against the garage door, when the Lord spoke to me very powerfully the words of Haggai 2:23:

In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

I read the words but they were aimed DIRECTLY AT ME.  I was in shock.  I closed up the Bible, and refused to even look into it any further for over a year; it took me about 5 years before I could mention it to anyone else.

I eventually studied it out, and found that the name ‘Zerubbabel’ means (as far as they can tell), ‘scattered in Babylon.’  Big whoop, huh?

I continued to look for answers.  Eventually, the Lord spoke to me through Zechariah 4:7:

Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

This verse has greatly shaped my life as I have studied God’s Grace and found freedom from religion, etc. But I still didn’t understand.  Why this name?  Why “scattered in Babylon”?

Last month, 25 years after the first revelation of this name, I went on a missions trip to Azerbaijan.  The week before we left, our team leader told us that the ‘book for the trip’ was to be Haggai; the missionary in Azerbaijan had chosen this as the source for our devotions while we were there.  My ears perked up; I knew something else was going to be revealed.  While in Azerbaijan, the Lord showed me that Zerubbabel’s mother had named him based on her current conditions, not based on what God could do in his life. Zerubbabel was NOT scattered, nor was he in Babylon!  He was in Jerusalem building the Temple!  (Sometimes the labels other people give us are completely wrong!)

Today, I realize that this is a church planter’s name.  ‘My birth name, Christopher’, means ‘one who bears Christ,’ like an evangelist, but ‘Zerubbabel’ is the name of a man who lays the foundation of a new work for God.  And he finishes it by God’s GRACE.

I look forward to seeing how God continues to unfold this name in my life.  It is extremely humbling to tell this story, and I feel very vulnerable sharing it, but I think it may help others.

Mistake and Unwanted

under Written on July 18, 2010

My name before I came to Christ was mistake and unwanted

Most of my life has been marked with abandonment, mistreatment, and disowning, first from my parents and then from many others who were supposed to love me. Most of my life I have felt there was something wrong with me, that I did not fit in.

From the time I was a baby I was abandoned, pawned off on others. Once my parent went looking for a new place to live and left me with a baby sister for nearly 6 months.  Events such as this have followed me through out my young life and I learned early my name was mistake and unwanted. Hurt and pain followed me and fear was my constant companion.

When I was 14 I came to live with people who introduced me to the name of Jesus. The told me about going to hell, and I did not want that. So alone in a room I bowed my head and asked Jesus to save me. Nothing special happened, time passed and I forgot about the whole event.

When I was in my late 30’s a minister came to our home looking for my husband–intending to instruct him about salvation. My husband was not home. The minister and I talked. In our conversation he asked me if I ever read the bible. I said no. After a few more questions, he learned I was saved. From that moment, my journey with God began again.

My journey has not been an easy on. Today I have learned my name is no longer mistake or unwanted. Today I learned that my name is WONDERFULLY MADE. The Lord says he knew me in the inner secret places where he created me. He made me with His purpose in mind. He used my mother as a place to form me and whether she wanted me that was not important to the Lord. God knew He wanted me.

Today I am learning what it means to be WONDERFULY MADE. I praise God for His mercy.

Before I close my story I would like to share to dream the Lord gave over 40 years ago. This dream is a real today as it was then. When I dreamed this dream I did not know what it meant, but it made me feel so loved, I would like to share with you.

I must have been 13 years old. My dream was about being in a group of girls, none of which liked me. They where making fun of me and left me all alone. I was so frightened I started to cry. All of a sudden a large hand came down around me and gently scooped me up. At first I was frightened. The giant attached to the hand seemed so friendly, but He never said a thing. He gently lifted me into a castle with many rooms.

He set me down gracefully. There in the middle of the floor was a big fire and food to eat and place to sleep. I heard the gentle giant say, “Don’t be afraid I will protect you, this is your new home.”

I felt the safest I had ever felt. I felt the warm love of someone who thought me to be important. I was then awakened by my father. It was time to get up for school. I was very upset and wanted to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t. Many years later when I came to Christ, the words of Christ came to me. “I go away and make a place for you, a place that has many rooms.” I knew then that my dream was God showing me that He loves me. God said, “I will care for you, fear not, you are WONDERFULLY MADE. You are my daughter.”


-O Ronning