Church Camp With Pastor Michael Picone
Evangel Tabernacle | On 05, Apr 2018
by: Marie Antoniette Balungcas
Every Holy Week, it has always been the church’s tradition to invite special speakers for our church in camp. This year, we’ve had the privilege to hear from Pastor Michael Picone, a humble and annointed man of God.
About the Speaker
Born and raised in the USA, Pastor Michael Picone first came to know Christ in 1979, got saved in 1981 and finally started his full time ministry in 1985. It was also in that same year that he planted his first church and men’s rehab program in Minneapolis, MN and expanded in Nepal where they now have four handicap homes and one village church. Pastor Mike operates in the word of knowledge and gifts of healing.
Presently, he is in California with his wife Patricia Picone whom he frequently travels with and does mission work together. He is a good friend of Pastor Ian Peters whom he met in 1995.
March 29, 2018 (Day 1)
On the first day of the camp, Pastor Mike touched on several topics. He first talked about “Leave the Mountain” with key text from Deuteronomy 1:6-8 and Exodus 33:6. His three main points were:
1. Remove that dry mindset.
In Exodus 33:6, the Israelites were prompted to remove whatever ornaments they were wearing. To us, ornaments mean anything that has to do with past sins and failures. Sure we do have our own fair share but it is destructive for us to wallow in self condemnation especially when we have gotten to know Christ. We should leave every shame, sin and hurt at the foot of the cross, rather than carry them around, sucking the life out of us.
2. Shake off the dust.
We also have to get rid of the fear of men and not readily digest what anyone has to say because what they utter has the power to cripple us. Despite what others gossip about you, you still have the choice to walk with God just like what Elisha did (1Kings 19:19).
3. Transfer the areas of hurt into a force for a position of strength.
After leaving the negative things behind and choosing to follow God, we can then move forward to a positive future and to a higher calling of ministry.
Pastor Mike went on to continue his second topic titled “Gaurd your Deposit” with key text from 2 Timothy 1:12-14. His three main points were:
1. You have a personal assignment from heaven
The deposit actually means the gifts, talents and callings personally given to us. Since our body is also the temple of the Holy Spirit, we should be careful with how we live. We should not live loosely. Our lifestyle should be in-line with God’s values so that we can proudly say that we are “God Approved”.
2. Gifts or Callings that are alive in you.
Since we are unique, the gifts and callings we have are also unique. You might wonder why you are not as good at teaching as your churchmate is or how you have a hard time reaching out to certain people. The reason could be because He made you for a different calling. God knows you and he’s going to use you as you are because that’s how he designed you to be.
3. Invite the Holy Spirit in the guarding process.
Now we know that a deposit is entrusted to us, scripture tells us to guard ourselves (mind and body) with the help of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 1:12). We should walk hand in hand with the Holy Spirit and let Him guide us with our every step just like how a parent does with his child. When we allow the Holy Spirit to take the wheel of our lives, it not only leads and guides but also warns of the pitfalls that might come our way.
After the sharing of the Word, Pastor Mike invited everyone for an altar call and felt led to just take time to pray for every single individual in the hall. He also gave word of knowledge to specific people either to encourage or admonish them.
For the afternoon session, Pastor Mike encouraged everyone with his sermon on “Touching the Invisible” with key text from Matthew 16:19. The “keys” mentioned in the text refers to “faith”. He emphasized 3 things:
1. Everything we need is in God’s kingdom.
The spiritual realm is among us. The only problem is we don’t see it or we don’t operate in it. Most of us still rely on what our physical eyes can see. We lack the faith to believe that the kingdom of heaven is real and that everything we need is in it.
2. The mind led by the Spirit is life and peace.
This supports his earlier sermon about letting the Holy Spirit lead our lives. In order for us to see God’s Kingdom, we need to let go of the old patterns of this world and renew our minds in Christ, then we will be able to know God’s pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).
3. We were created to live in a different atmosphere.
C.S. Lewis, a famous Christian writer, once said “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.” True enough, we were made for eternity and to move in the spiritual realm. For us to do this, we have to exercise our faith more by being more prayerful, more studious of the world and more active in exercising our gifts.
In between sessions, Pastor Mike would get a download from the Holy Spirit to pray for people with certain body pain or illness. He first prayed for people who had pain in their right leg, which were mostly people of the old age group. Then he prayed for men who had shoulder pain. Miraculously, there were those who experienced the healing power of God, if not fully, atleast the pain they were feeling decreased.
The session ended earlier than expected which presented an opportunity for the Evangelites to fellowship with one another and even reflect on the 1st day’s sermon.
March 30, 2018 (Day 2)
For the second day of the church in camp, Pastor Mike shared on “Handling the Spears and Shields of David” with key text 2 Kings 11:10. His three main points were:
1. We should hang all our trophies in the house of the Lord.
In our key text, the spears and shields mentioned are actually the weapons of David’s enemies. Every time David won, he would take the enemy’s weapon and put them in the temple as a form of thanks offering to God for helping him win battles.
For us in modern times, our spears and shields would mean our testimonies about sin, hardships or trials we overcome. It is for us to make known to people especially to the congregation how God has moved in our midst and how he has picked us up from the miry clay (Psalm 40:2). So be not afraid to share your testimonies on stage or even to your small group.
2. Trophies may come in use at future times.
Why need to share your testimony? Because they might come in handy for others in the future. Who knows, someone might go through that bad situation you were in, but they can remain hopeful knowing you were able to overcome those struggles with God’s help. Also, you will be able to minister effectively because you were once in their shoes.
3. Ancient weapons are good for present use.
Often times we need to be reminded too that prayer still changes things and that faith still works. A lot of people might think they are obsolete but no matter how high-tech and advance this world can be, nothing is still as close to the power of prayer.
For the afternoon session, Pastor Mike went on to talk about “God’s Richness” as mentioned in a lot of verses in the Bible, focusing mainly on 2 Corinthians 8:9.
1. An Amazing Transference
When we become children of God, we instantly become heirs of his His richness (Romans 8:17) The richness being talked about here is not only limited to possession and monetary concerns but also spiritual and emotional richness.
2. The power of completeness is working in us.
We are standing in a position of completeness. We can be confident that he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)
3. The word rich means completeness with permanent results.
The grace of completeness affects four areas: Emotionally, Financially, Spiritually and Broken Dreams. Jesus has the power to bring dead dreams back to life.
Pastor Mike continued to pray for specific illness like teeth infection and stomach issues. He also prayed for people who had a call in their lives. He prayed that they be armed with strength and anointing to fulfill their kingdom assignment.
Apart from the sharing of the word, Pastor Mike also opened up on countless stories of miracles
and healings. While some made us laugh, most of them made us awestruck of God’s power in one’s life.
Many Evangelites have testified how the camp has impacted them. There were healings and unction of new anointing coming upon the hands, heads and necks of many respondees at the alter.
The dominant emblem of the camp through the ministry of Pastor Mike was FIRE.
And while sitting under his ministry, many of our hearts were ignited with the Fire of the Holy Spirit. Many eyes were enlightened by the Word Ministry which God has given to Pastor Mike. Who could resist such dynamic and revelational expanding of the Scripture by Pastor Mike?
Not only that – by fellowshipping with our new-found friend, our hearts were warmed once again by the candid and honest life of Pastor Mike who wants nothing else except to serve God humbly and faithfully.
Pastor Mike! You are God-sent to Etab!
We are all looking forward next year to another camp meeting with you and your wife, Pat. “One can chase a thousand; two can chase ten thousand!”
More Power and Anointing to your family and ministry!