in Seattle on a chilly and rainy day in mid-November 1997, I received a phone call from a friend of mine in Southern California. He asked me if I was sitting down, never a good sign at the beginning of a conversation. I told him I was. He then told me that John Wimber had passed away. I was stunned as a lump grew in my throat. John was one of my mentors in life. He offered me a chance to work with him as a researcher and writer in the early days of the Vineyard at a precarious point in my life.
There are so many memories.
Here are three:
We were returning from a lunch together and he reached over and patted my leg and said that he was happy that I didn’t seem angry at the church any longer. He was right. Working with him where he would often say something like “your brother is never your enemy, your enemy is your enemy,” went a long way in providing a healing environment from the misgivings of being hurt and slandered by the church. The church would hurt and slander me again, but the anger has not returned, well on my good days. 🙂
On another occasion, I asked him to pray for me when I had a bad case of “bleeding hemorrhoids” and his initial response was “No!” It was an odd answer. We were heading to a session of Signs, Wonders and Church Growth at Fuller Seminary and I couldn’t get the one who was teaching others to pray for the sick to pray for me. At the end of the evening session when we were on our way home, I asked again and he gave me the same answer. A few moments later he suggested that if I would forgive my sister, my hemorrhoids would be healed. A long story short, I went home and wrote my sister a long letter detailing why I was angry at her around the death of my mother. I put it in an envelope and went to bed. When I awoke the next morning, the hemorrhoids were gone.
On yet another occasion when I was leaving John’s employ to move to Colorado, he took me to lunch and essentially told me that the process of writing that I had accomplished for him would be something that in the future I would continue to participate in. Before he died, I wrote twelve sets of weekly bulletin inserts which were used all over the country in churches on Sunday morning. Since then, I have created a Harmon Press, a publishing company to help invisible authors get into print. I have written two paperback books: God’s EPIC Adventure and googling God’s Will along with a number of other Kindle books which you can see at: Winn’s Author Page. I edited God’s EPIC Adventure this year and republished it as a smaller size book, which is titled God’s EPIC Adventure: The Reader’s Version. I am presently working my way through the manuscript on the so-called Spiritual Gifts, with the working title Gracelets: Delivering the Extravagant Acts of God’s Grace to Others, which I hope to publish in the first quarter of next year.
All of this to say that John was a great influence on my life and I still remember him regularly.
RIP John Wimber and enjoy life after death as you await resurrection life.