The Whole Story

By Tim Greenwood

The day had started just like any other, this 30th day of June, 1996. I got up, ate and showered, just like every other weekday for the last six months since I began working as a Software Engineer for a major national insurance company in Santa Monica. California. 

Looking into the mirror while shaving I got a feeling that something was 'wrong' but just shook it off and finished getting ready for work, I began my thirty mile commute across Los Angeles. Traffic was quite heavy but fast moving, which made me begin to really tense up. From the fast lane, I saw, just ahead and to the right, a billow of white smoke and brake lights. Like a well choreographed dance, I braked hard as the spinning car crossed my lane right in front of me and backed gently into the center divider. The only damage or injury was jangled nerves, including mine. Now I felt really stressed, with a tight neck and shoulders. Again I tried to shake it off and focus on the days work, but it just would not leave. Now traffic became very erratic, lane changes and slowing for no reason which began to agitate me. Even my normal parking area was full, causing me to have to search for an alternative space. As I walked to the office, I tried to pull myself together. "Calm down, compose yourself', I said to myself, "These people count on you, you are a leader, they see you as unflappable". "Yes, OK that is better", and out of the elevator I stepped. 

As I entered the office, the air felt 'close, heavy, stale', like it was not recirculating. I turned on my computer, checked the days schedule and messages, and tried to find where I had left off the previous day. Sitting there my neck and shoulders became very uncomfortable. The air became even more thick and stagnant as I felt a heavy stress come in me which I could not get rid of. I tried to adjust my back against the chair, no relief. I tried standing, no relief. I tried massaging my neck and shoulder muscles, no relief. I went out on the patio to get some fresh air, but even there it seemed humid, thick and gave no relief. When I went back in, as I sat down, a cold wave of chills and nausea swept completely through me. I decided to leave for home, but my supervisor was meeting with another employee, so I waited and watched as I tried to cope with whatever this was. The tightness in my shoulders and neck had radiated into painful muscle spasms, extending across my upper chest, under and down my left arm and up both sides of my neck. My lower back teeth both began to ache. As the third wave of nausea caused the blood to drain from my face and sent weakness all the way down to my feet, I knew I could wait no longer. I walked into the supervisors office, interrupted and said that I was very ill and was leaving for home, turned and headed for the car. They followed to teh elevator, pleading with me to stop and sit down and offering to take me home.  But I was not listening to anything but the pounding in my ears. It seemed like a mile to my car, my legs were weak and my pain began to turn to a sort of numbness. As I started my car, everything let up. Only aches and a ringing in the ears remained. I decided to go home anyway. 

About half way home on the freeway, about mid city, the traffic became extremely heavy. Stop and go. stop and go as far as I could see ahead. Just then ALL the symptoms returned all at once. Their effect was overwhelming, crushing spasmodic pain and pressure. I began to pray for God not to let me loose consciousness, and to get me home, still some fifteen miles distant. I literally do not remember the drive home. I do not even remember opening the garage door. The very next thing I do remember, was pulling into my garage. And as I did, all the symptoms subsided. 

As calmly as I could, l told my wife, Marcia, what had happened, and call our doctor to check me over. Marcia drove me directly to the doctors office where they hooked me to an EKG. After another painful assault of symptoms came and went without much change in the EKG, the doctor called the emergency room and told them to expect my arrival, and Marcia drove me straight there. After several other tests they prepared me for an angiogram. I was told that they would puncture my femoral artery at my groin, insert a cathathor that would be snaked up in me all the way to where the blood was being pumped out of my heart, where dye would be released, in order to 'see' what was going on there. What they did not tell me was that in order for them to 'see', I would be exposed to x-ray radiation equivalent to 10,000 normal chest x-rays. I also was not told, of, what I would consider, the high death rate from various causes relating to this procedure. But they did it and I was told I needed bypass surgery as soon as possible or I would have a heart attack, that could cripple or kill me. And surgery was scheduled for the following day. 

After the surgery, I was told that all had gone well and that I had undergone a quadruple arterial bypass graph surgery (CABG x4). I could not speak because of a breathing apparatus down my throat which was very difficult to tolerate. When I first looked at myself, I thought I looked like the laced side of a football, with broad scars and stitches from my left ankle up to the base of my neck. I was a 'good patient' and recovered quickly and was told to expect to be "better than new". During the surgery, I was out cold so I felt nothing. In recovery, I was on morphine and codeine most of the time so pain was not a big issue. This was tapered off till I was only taking strong aspirin. 

Now came the day to have my chest tubes removed. There were three 1" diameter accordianed plastic hoses all connected to what looked and sounded like a wet-vac. The other end of one of those was laying between my heart and left lung. The other two terminated between my rib cage and each lung. Just imagine three garden hoses laying within the folds of your very guts, except that these were not smooth like a garden hoses. The doctor straddled me and gathered all three in one of his hands while holding my head down with the other. He counted "1, 2, 3!", and with one powerful yank, ripped those hoses out of my chest. The effect on me was exactly what I imagined it would feel like to be shot three times in the chest with a large caliber hand gun. It so stunned me the doctor had to command me to breathe! Now, disconnected from the hardware, I was soon released to go home and finish recovery. I began a walking program and got up to two miles a day. 

Thirty days later, I was rushed back into the emergency room with similar pains and spasms to what I had before the surgery, but worse, much worse. After a long hospital stay, and more tests than I could keep count of, they told me I would need another angiogram. After I recovered from the effect of the angiogram, the cardiology team came in and said that they had some "bad news". (I will summarize as follows: 1. Three of the four bypasses had failed and closed off One l00% and two others 75%. 2. Due to the poor condition of the existing arteries, there was no way to correct the problem, and that the only possible surgical procedure was experimental and only thus far done on the east coast. This experimental surgery would at best only "improve" my condition and not correct the actual problem, { which I declined}. 3. That I was possibly a good candidate for a heart transplant, {which I declined}. 4. That I would be placed on nitroglycerin, spray and patches, and several strong medications and blood thinners, {which would cause me to become a hemophiliac ). 5. That we should go home, get my affairs in order, keep as comfortable as possible and wait to have one massive or a series of smaller "M.I.s", (myocardial infarctions, or heart attacks), that would soon take my life.) This news, stunned us to the point of numbness. When we got home, depression hit and I began a spiraling thirty day decent into a vortex of despair, darkness and death. 

I thought I had a 'good' relationship with God. However, I do not consider myself as having a very successful career as a Christian. This is what I mean... 

Back a few years prior to this, Marcia and I were in Acapulco, Mexico. While playing in the surf, I was caught in a very strong rip tide that drug me a far distance from shore. As a result of fighting to get back to land, I became totally exhausted and only moments from drowning... before, It occurred to me to pray for Gods' help! When I did, help came immediately in the form of a large wave that took me all the way to shore, and as if that were not enough, another wave then brought Marcia right to my very feet. I had waited to the last second to cry out to God. I had exhausted every other option before turning to God. And now, here I did it again... 

I changed my diet, managed my stress, was literally taking over 100 pills a day, I took every available therapy that might even remotely help my condition, and what a surprise!!! Nothing worked! Nothing. I felt myself being sucked down into an abyss of darkness. Like water going down a drain. Then suddenly everything stopped, and I was in the dark. It was like being in a very dark room, holding a dim candle. The room was so dark that I could not see my feet. I could hear life going on around me, and people would come and go in this dim spherical glow. That glow kept growing dimmer by the day until the darkness began to smother me. At the urging of a therapist to keep looking to a future, we drove to Palm Springs to attend a conference our church was having. By this time, I could only walk a short distance before having to sit down or lean on something, and I was so sad inside. During one of the meetings, I heard a voice in my head say to me, "All these thousands of people, and NOT ONE can save you!" I know now that it was the devil who spoke, but it went straight to my heart, and I was just one thought from completely giving up. 

As an aside, through this whole ordeal, I never feared death because I believed in the resurrection. But what I could not bear, was the thought of leaving Marcia after these 25 years. I would weep at the mention or thought of it. All options were now exhausted, all hope was gone, and only the waiting to die remained. 

At Marcia's urging, we visited a Messianic Jewish Temple on October 8. I knew the Rabbi, from helping him with his web page via, E:Mail. After services, he ask if I would like to have hands laid on me for healing. I told him, "Sure!", while thinking in my mind, why not, everybody else has laid hands on me!" 

This was like nothing I had ever experienced... 
Eight or nine, men and women placed hands all over me, as I closed my eyes, I heard voices casting out sickness, disease, devils, despair, doubt and fear; voices praying for me to receive the Holy Ghost, Healing and peace of mind. I felt something come over me that was new to me. A feeling that slipped over me from my head, over my shoulders and down my arms, back and chest. At first I thought I was cold, but there was no 'goose bumps' or shivering. It is hard to describe the sensation, but it seemed to be just under the skin. Plus, there was the feeling of peace and calm and warmth that stayed with us for sometime after the long drive home. Now looking back, I realize that this was the Holy Spirit coming on me. 

Previous to this, nights were horrible. We both dreaded going to bed at night and at times we would just hold each other and cry because: l. Saying 'goodnight' was really saying 'good bye' since we were not sure that I would ever wake up again. And, 2. Each night I had to remove my nitroglycerin patch which twenty minutes later would bring on between one and four major, spontaneous angina attacks stopping only when I became too exhausted to stay awake. But this night was different, when I removed the patch, nothing happened. No angina! We were excited, and knew something wonderful had happened, but were almost afraid to get too excited. I just fell asleep and slept soundly. 

The next morning I awoke, refreshed, after the first good nights sleep in a month. I picked up the TV remote and turned on the TV, and the first thing I heard, before I saw anything, was "Mark 11: 23-24" Then the image of a lady preacher came on the screen. That scripture seemed to blossom open to me like never before, with 'the mountain' being an analogy to any huge, seemingly immovable obstacle in my life... even some terrible illness! I heard nothing else! I was awestruck! I had read that scripture time after time and NEVER saw it like this before! Here was HOPE! Hope! Blessed hope! (The lady, I found out later was Gloria Copeland.) 

That fabulous scripture even tells us exactly what to do. We are to walk up to that mountain and SAY, tell or command it to get out of our way, (and go jump in the lake! ). And if we believe that what we said had already happened, (even before our senses detect the manifestation), then we shall have what we SAID, told or commanded! 

I believed the bible was the word of God, and I believed this! I now, knew there was hope for me yet, so I put it to work and began to speak to the disease. (I was trying, but I had not yet learned to ONLY speak the positive and NOT the negative, so there was only a little progress. I would make progress and then loose ground by continually talking about "MY sickness", "MY symptoms". But I took the attitude that I was missing something, and started searching for what was missing.) 

My aunt sent me a tape of Healing Scriptures by John Hagee. I just about wore it out, playing it day and night. From comments on the tape, and from what the people said when they laid hands on me, I began to associate sickness, disease, depression and fear with satan and darkness. Eventually from watching the 'Believers Voice of Victory' on Sundays, ' learned not to speak negative. I still was missing something, but I did not know what, but we kept praying for guidance and looking for what we were missing. In December, we saw and ordered 'the Healing School' tapes by Gloria Copeland, that were offered in her TV program. 

We received the tapes around the same time that we heard that Gloria and her husband, (Kenneth Copeland), were coming to the 'Faith Dome' a huge church in South Central Los Angeles, for three days in February. We decided to go, because we knew there was something there for us. 

In February, we attended every 'romping, stomping' praise and worship service, (very different from any we had ever experienced before) and listened to every word that was preached. We began learning about faith, its' application and purpose. About the 'Whole armor of God' and how to use the sword and shield! We also began to learn about the authority of the believer over the enemy and darkness as well as about the power of Jesus' name! Now the ramps at the Faith Dome were kind of steep, and the first day, I was having to stop two or three times to catch my breath going up those ramps, but I refused to be defeated! 

The next day Gloria preached and taught us more, and then called for those who were facing a trial, had a burden or yoke or had never received the baptism of the Holy Spirit to come forward. So, I came forward, recited the prayer and She laid hands on me. I did not 'fall down' like some did, but I think I would have, if I had not locked my knees before she got to me. When she touched me, I was, for lack of a better description, stunned and somewhat disoriented. I was excited and even though I did not feel anything different, I was sure something wonderful had just happened and I praised God and received and accepted my healing. And, this time, I knew that I was better equipped to keep my healing. I was sure now, that I was going to live. I did not know what it was at the time, but the flame of the Holy Spirit had now roared to life within me! But, at this time I was not sure what to do with it. (I say 'It' because I had not yet learned that He was more than power like the electricity out of the wall socket.) 

(One of my symptoms was massive swelling in my right foot, ankle and leg, due to the surgeon removing the large vein in my right leg from my ankle to my groin, causing a build up of lymph fluid.) The next morning in the motel room, Marcia yelled, "Your foot!, Look at your foot!" The swelling had GONE! For the first time since my surgery, my foot looked and felt normal! This gave me the push I needed, and I decided to 'step out in faith', but I did not tell Marcia what I was about to do. At the risk of a heart attack, instead of applying my nitroglycerin patch to my body, I left it in the wrapper and put it into my pocket. 

Later that morning we drove to the Faith Dome, parked the car and got out. For the first time in months, I was walking ahead of Marcia to the door, and later, walking ahead of her to our seat, and later, walking ahead of her going up the ramp, WITHOUT STOPPING! Marcia noticed all if this, but It really did not fully register until Gloria called for testimonies of healing from that and the previous day, and I jumped up and went forward. When I got to the microphone, I told how I had received my healing, and then revealed that for the first time, I had not worn my nitroglycerin patch that day and pulled it out of my pocket to show everybody. I do not remember doing it, but Marcia said I also opened my shirt and showed everyone my heart surgery scars while describing what had been my terminal condition. 

During Healing School, Gloria said that when one receives their healing, they should begin doing, what they previously could not do. So, when we got home, we started walking around the block. It became immediately obvious that I had not received an instantaneous healing, as some do. I was real disappointed, however, having seen the results of the previous day, I was not about to quit now! We would walk about twenty yards, and an angina attack would come on, even worse than ever before. But, before it got going good, both Marcia and I were casting out sickness, disease, demons, darkness and the devil! (Like you would cast out a demon, in the name of Jesus.) The attack immediately stopped in it's tracks! About twenty yards, and POW, it hit again! We cast out everything we could think of, rebuked and resisted, and again, the attack stopped in it's tracks. This was working! Angina, just does not stop like that. 

The attacks came every twenty yards or so, and I rebuked the manifestations of darkness at every attack. I felt that the devil and I were just exchanging blows one for one, with neither gaining headway. By the time we got all the way around the block, I was so very sore, but all those little victories got me excited. The next days, was a repeat of the previous day, with the difference, that I was now very angry at the enemy. The following day was hard on me, the accumulated soreness from all those partial attacks caused each subsequent one to make me ache more and more. If you can imagine what your left arm, chest and shoulder would feel like after being pounded by fists repeatedly an hour a day for three straight days... now the cumulative effect was causing me to double over and cradle my left side as I walked rebuking as we went. When we got three fourths the way around the block that day, I got frustrated and I stopped on the sidewalk, turned my face to the heavens and yelled out, "GOD, how LONG do I have to ENDURE THIS?!" The rest of the way home, all I could think about, was Satan's fate, and asking Jesus, if I would be allowed to get in just one good blow, before He worked the enemy over. And asking how I could do the devil the most harm. 

That evening, after listening to one of the Copeland's tapes, I came to realize that I had been using the 'sword' only, and not using the 'shield of faith'. I also came to learn that once I rebuked an evil spirit on an issue, I should then begin using praise, as my shield. Praise is the shield of faith, because you are thanking God for what He has already done, as evidenced by His written word... even if you cannot yet see the manifestation of what you ask for. 

The next morning, we started out again. Bam!, the first attack came. I rebuked, all that I had previously done, and walked on. Twenty yards later, another attack. I was kind of nervous about changing what I was doing, because I at least knew that the sword stopped the symptoms, and the last thing I wanted was another full blown attack! This time we began praising God for my healing, believing and saying: 

"Father God, I praise you and thank you for my healing, I believed Your word that says, "by Jesus' stripes I was healed", MORE than I believe any of these manifestations of the devil, I believe your word more than I believe anything in this physical realm,"

The attack stopped, just like having rebuked it! We walked on. Twenty yards, thirty yards, forty yards, bam!, it hit again. And, again we praised God as before, the attack stopped, and we walked on. The next attack came around eighty yards, the next around one hundred and sixty yards! The measurements could be off some, but the attacks came less and less often, and less and less severe. It was as if, when I used the sword, quoting scripture and rebuking the things of darkness, the devil would only jump back out of my reach, and continue firing those darts. But when I would use the shield, using Mark 11:23-24, praising God for my healing and new heart, it would force the devil to retreat further and further back. Finally, we were able to go the whole block, then two, fights of stairs and hills. We were still very angry at the enemy, but so very grateful to God. You see, I know that there is absolutely, nothing that I could possibly do as a human being, to repay God for healing me and redeeming my life. Even going to the cross, like Jesus, would not be enough. My life is his. Praise God! 

We continued to walk, to listen to the Copeland's tapes and read their books as well as read other authors, learning more and more all the time. Another book that made a large impact on my relationship with God, was Benny Hinn's "Good Morning, Holy Spirit". 

As my relationship with the Father deepened, and I began to get to know the Holy Spirit, I began to experience a level of joy that I had never experienced. We have never, been so happy. It was not too long before I was praying to the Father, and through the Spirit, hearing his voice. One of the first things I asked, was, "what can I do to cause the enemy the most damage". I was told, (among other things), that I was anointed to preach, teach and heal. And, that we could most damage the enemy, by going and doing those things. I told God that I would do, and say whatever he tells me to. and do and say it when and where ever he says. One of the first things I was impressed to do, was to write my testimony, that includes teaching others to receive their healing. I asked for either God to send us to people who need healing, or lead them to us. And he has. 

We have now personally taught many others about faith and how to use it. Marcia and I are both laying hands on the sick, and some, (but not all), have received their healing. Some have been born again, come to know Jesus for the first time. Many are beginning a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit. We were counseling a couple that were having some serious spiritual problems, when we were surprised when a demon manifested it self to us in one of them. We actually knew what to do! We had just read what to do, just that week. We had no fear, and began casting out the demon by binding the 'strongman'. It told us its name, and being the inexperienced person I was, instead of telling it to shut it's mouth, I listened, and began casting it out by name. It interrupted me, and corrected my pronunciation of it's name and then tried to engage in conversation. We said, "We don't care what your name is! Come Out, in the name of Jesus! And it obeyed. Then immediately, another one manifested saying it's name, and the person whom they were in began pleading for help, saying that there were yet more. more, more. At that, I said, "In, Jesus' name, I take authority over all evil spirits, demons, devils and agents of satan in this place, and cast them out, now, now, NOW! At the same time, Marcia said "I don't care if your name is legion!, Come out, all of you, right now. in the name of Jesus! It was fascinating to watch. as they seemed regurgitate straight up and out the persons throat and gaping mouth, one after another, each choking their gasping host. Forgive me for going on so, but you have to admit that this is not your every day occurrence. And if you just cannot believe it, I understand. I wouldn't believe this myself, except that it was us, there doing this, through the name of Jesus! A week earlier. and we would have run, screaming out of the room! The person is now free, and joyful for a new life in Jesus. (Later when things settled down, the person told us, that there had been 15 demons, and that they all had been there since childhood.) We feel as if we are living out some kind of a movie script. 

Due to my composure, no one that ever knew me, except my wife, ever suspected how timid I used to be. But, not any more! I have no problem talking to any individual or group, no matter their number, rank or stature, in fact, my problem now, seems to be, stopping once I get started. God has magnified my boldness. (I will admit though, that a thing or two that the Holy Spirit has told me to say or do, has caused me some concern, prior to my seeing the wonderful results of it.) 

At the direction of the Holy Spirit, I am currently, using this time to study the word of God, preaching to some, teaching the rest, laying hands on those who need healing. The Holy Spirit also said to me, "You will not have this opportunity again." So I am in the word most of the day, every day, worshipping the Lord and listening to the Spirit. There is a group of prisoners at the Lancaster State Prison who diligently prayed for me during the time I was so ill. We were able to go there, thank them, give my testimony and preach faith, healing and redemption to them. 

We are not sure what lies ahead for us. We feel a call to the Teaching, Healing and Preaching ministries. And feel driven to minister to all who need physical, spiritual, emotional and mental healing. We are believing, in faith, for the financial means to do this full time, and a way to do it more efficiently. (One at a time, has been effective, but not necessarily efficient.) 

I write this, to tell the whole story of how I was sick unto death, was physically and emotionally redeemed by the stripes of Jesus, was spiritually renewed, by the Holy Spirit and was granted gifts of the Holy Spirit. I write this, to tell, how grateful I am to: the Almighty Father God, my Lord, Savior and Redeemer Jesus and my friend, guide in life and Comforter the Holy Spirit. 

I write this, to you the reader, to edify you, and to show that there is hope, healing, redemption and joy available to you, regardless of your current circumstances. God wants you to rely on him. God and Jesus are standing right there, with exactly what you need in their hands, saying "Take it, receive it, believe it!" Blow the dust off of that bible! Read Mark 11: 23-24! Understand, that God wants all the very best for his children. And, know, that he loves you. He always has. and always will.