When the Storms Rage and the Winds Blow on Your House

Hartwood_snow_modThe howling, frigid wind whipped and beat the house mercilessly last night. The old spruce tree bent and screeched against the house so much I couldn’t go back to sleep.   

Sometimes it’s good to be awakened in middle of a storm and listen. Listen to what you can’t normally hear. You know, the deep things, things you can’t hear on a quiet, calm night.

So, I talked to Him.

 I should reword that…I was pleading with Him and it had nothing to do with the storm outside my window.

You know, like the disciples did when the windstorm came down on the lake and the boat they were in filled with water.

The storm raged and the disciples were afraid. They pleaded with Jesus to help them, and He did. (Luke 8)

He calmed the storm and then asked, “Where is your faith?”

I felt like Jacob struggling and fighting my petitions before Him last night.  Then, His words were clear. “Where is your faith?” I sensed Him say.  I stopped struggling and asked, “Why, why does it have to be so hard?”

No answer. 

God uses hardships, disappointments and failures to strip our self-reliance away so that we will put our trust in Him alone.   Sometimes the process is grueling.

At the close of Jesus’ sermon on the mount He said,  ”Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on the house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

But everyone who hears theses sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The storms, floods and winds will beat on our house, but we will not fall.   He is always faithful.

Sometimes it’s good to be awakened in middle of a storm and listen. Listen to what you can’t normally hear. You know, the deep things- things you can’t hear on a quiet, calm night.

 New Year’s resolution:  Memorize Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7). He says that for those who hear His sayings and do them they will not fall when the floods come  and winds blow and beat on our house.   

Our Hospital Debt was PAID in FULL

 

IMG955116 (3) DAle in hospital 2011 mod lighterWinners of aprons announced at bottom of post!

An envelope was taped to our front door.   It was a warrant for us to appear in court for Dale’s unpaid hospital bill.  ( you  should read the story if you’re new to my blog).

The original bill was over $30,000. We had been waiting for the insurance company to settle the claim. Well, they decided not to pay it.  We called the hospital, told them what happened and they graciously lowered our bill by 50%.  But, they were pretty serious about the remaining balance and wouldn’t accept monthly payments.

So, the deal was- pay it by August or we’ll put a lien on your house.  PAY IT NOW was the answer.  Well, naturally we did the same thing you would have done.  We got on our knees and asked God to help and show us an answer.  We didn’t have the money, to say the least.

Every day we prayed, but answers to pay the debt were nowhere in sight.  So, we told God we were willing to sell the farm if He wanted us to get rid of the debt. We resigned ourselves that this may be the only answer.

That afternoon I called a dear friend and asked her to pray for us. The hospital debt wasn’t the only thing I  needed prayer for, we had other issues that were pressing. We talked for 5 minutes and then she prayed the sweetest prayer.

Within 30 minutes after we talked she called me back, I was in my garden.   It sounded like she was holding back tears when she first started to tell me that her and her husband had decided to pay our entire hospital bill!!!  I felt faint.  My head started to get whoozy.  I thought I was going to pass out!

I was in shock. This wasn’t a rich couple. They worked hard for the money they lived on. They weren’t independently wealthy people by any stretch of the imagination. They were people just like you and me, but they were willing to give $15,000 - to help us.

I said,But…“  She said, “Sharon it is our joy to give this. I had felt for several months now that I was supposed to do something for you and couldn’t figure out what He wanted me to do. I had even told my husband about it. Then when you called I knew and so did he.”  They were giving with joy.  She even giggled a couple of times while talking.

When I got off the phone I sat in my garden and cried and prayed.

With tears streaming down my cheeks I kept saying,  “Jesus, who am I that you are so mindful of?”  Never did I ever imagine a person paying off this debt for us!

After I got my composure, I ran into the house to tell Dale. I wish you could have seen his face.  With tears in his eyes, he thanked God and couldn’t stop thanking Him.

They don’t want anyone else to know who gave the money.  They’re humble people not looking for earthly rewards.

These verses are my prayers for this generous couple:

~”He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.” Proverbs 22:9

~”For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints.” Hebrews 6:10

~”Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

Lord, with the same measure they gave, give it back to them one hundred fold- shaken down and running over! Help me to fulfill the call of Christ just like they did for us.  Help me to bear others burdens by Your example on the cross!  In Jesus’ name, amen.

~ “Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

Winners of Aprons email me your address! Amie Moore posted comment at 9:01 on 7/8, Jane post 11:23 on 7/7, Lindsey Hislop and another Amie posted on 7/5 at 2:23

A Life of Faith- George Muller

give away 002

What do you need more faith for today? Enter your answer in the comment section for a chance to win these two books!

There is no greater life than a life lived by faith.

It is so powerful that even with a tiny amount of it, nothing is impossible to us (Matthew 17:20). Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). Without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).

A couple of months ago I gave you a list of 10 Invaluable Christian Books. In that list I included a book about George Muller. If you want to read about someone who lived his entire life by faith, read this book. When Muller first became a Christian he felt that God was leading him to be a missionary. He was Biblically trained in the best school, had the desire to preach and the ability to speak many languages. He was completely ready for the adventure.

But God detoured Muller and led him to open orphanages in Bristol, England.  From his latter 20’s to age 70 he took care of over 10,000 children with God’s help alone. Not once in all those years did he ask for financial help from anyone other than God Himself. There were days he didn’t have food to serve the kids, but he never doubted that God would provide.

And God did provide for them.  Miracle after miracle happened at the orphanage. Unexpected food would arrive at the door just in time for meals. People came by to give a gift, and many times it was the exact amount needed to pay a bill.  These things happened not because Muller told anyone his need, but because of God alone.

Rarely did they have money for the next week, but they lived on faith.  And not once in all those years did they go without food or shelter.  George Muller trusted God with a depth rarely seen.  His faith and generosity set a standard for Christians of all generations.

People from all over the world soon heard about the miraculous things happening because of the faith of Muller.  D.L. Moody was one of them.  He visited the orphanage when 1500 kids lived there and was inspired by the power of Muller’s faith and God’s ability to provide even though Muller never asked for money.

When Muller was 70 years old God released him to do his lifelong dream—to go into all the world and preach the gospel.  For 17 years he spoke and traveled non-stop. He spoke on living a life of faith. He preached for Charles Spurgeon and inspired Hudson Taylor.  He spoke to over 3 million people and traveled to 42 countries, speaking at least once a day until he reached 87 years old.

He died at the age of 92. Tens of thousands of people showed up for his funeral. In his lifetime he read the Bible cover to cover almost 200 times (now that’s the secret to faith—know the promises and believe them). He never took a salary in 68 years of ministry but always trusted God to provide for him. He never took out a loan or went into debt for himself, the orphanage or his ministry abroad.

There is no greater life than a life lived by faith.

Faith is so powerful that even with a tiny amount of it, nothing is impossible to us.

God, increase our faith! May Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven! In Jesus’ name, amen.

If you stopped by after reading my post on Karen Ehman’s site, thank you for hopping over to meet me! I’m doing a giveaway on her site and on mine. So you can leave a comment at both!  I’m giving away George Muller’s book and a copy of the new NIV Real Life Devotional Bible for women. I’m so excited about this Bible because I’ve got several devotions in it!! To enter the drawing just write the one thing you need faith for right now in the comment section!  We’ll pray for you! Name drawn Monday at noon EST. Winner revealed Tuesday.nifty thrifty graphic

In His Presence- Present

Sparky in the snow covered field at sunrise

I stared at my computer without an ounce of enthusiasm or creativity.  A mountain of work beckoned me…  With already missed deadlines, bills to be paid, taxes to be done, text messages waiting for answers, dishes in the sink…  Then a phone call halted all of it and paralyzed my ability to do anything productive.

I prayed, but it didn’t help.

I couldn’t focus. The whole time I prayed, I was thinking too much.  You know what I mean?  So, I got my Bible out and read.  It didn’t work either.  The phone kept pinging with new messages.  I couldn’t get my brain on a different track no matter what I did!

So, I ate a piece of chocolate.  And, no-it didn’t help.  But it was good.

I went back to the computer and within  seconds, I found myself looking at Facebook posts!  Let me tell you- that never gets you anywhere!

I jumped up out of my seat, turned my computer and phone off, and said “Lord, Help me.  I’m overwhelmed and I can’t seem to get over my own thoughts.  Lead me with Yours.”

I went outside alone, without the world (a.k.a. phone).

I walked.  I just needed to decompress.  I didn’t think about urgent deadlines, people waiting for me, the phone-call, Facebook…  I walked vigorously through the field.  I saw our wood pile and decided to restock our porch for the woodstove.  I hooked the trailer onto the back of the tractor, filled it up, and stacked the wood next to our front door.

I got down from the tractor and started talking to God again.  This time it was different…  Without thinking of what I would I say- I started thanking Him.  His love overcame me and it was gone.  You know- the load I was carrying. I told Him everything that made me feel anxious.  I gave it all over to Him, everything.  He refreshed me and ignited my heart.  By the time I got back to my desk, everything was back in its proper perspective.

Everything was going to be okay, even if by human standards it didn’t look like it… It was. This time I opened my Bible and it was alive.  I came to “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass” Psalm 37:3-5.

It is nearly impossible to feed on His faithfulness, delight in Him, and trust Him to bring it all to pass when all of our minutes are filled.  Our time is filled with to-do lists, social media, texts pinging.  You name it.  I can’t imagine what it would be like if television took a portion of my day.

When I turned the world off and went into His presence-present, I entered the very sanctuary of God.    And when I did, passion and creativity ignited in my spirit again and the load of this world disappeared.  Oh, to be in His presence is addicting!  My entire thought process was supercharged with the assurance of, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  And, I did.

You don’t have to have a woodpile or a field to get away from the world. Just leave your phone and worries at home, take a walk and enter into His sanctuary-present.

God’s Strength, Peace and Power in Middle of Hardship

Winner of give-away will receive- two kitchen hand towels w/ wooden spoons (decoration sewn on by our daughter Hannah, a $15 Panera gift card and a Starbucks VIA Brew 12 pack. I’ll do the drawing Wednesday at 10 AM EST. Check back to see if you won!

If you’re visiting me today because you read the Encouragement for Today devotion…Welcome! I’m so glad you stopped by. You can find the devotion at http://www.proverbs31.org/devotions/hardest-days-god-uses-them-good-2012-12/.

Hardships are never welcome, especially at the holidays. Why can’t we just push pause on all sickness, death, money problems and tragedy at Christmas?  Right?

However, God promises us that when we go through the waters, they won’t overtake us. When we walk through the fire, we won’t be burned (Isaiah 43:2-3). Even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil, for He is with us and comforts us.

None of us would choose to walk through hardship. I’ll be the first to plead, “Please, not me Lord!” But I can tell you this first hand: When and if you must journey through it, He surely will see you out, and it will not overcome you. Keep your eyes on Him. You must!

I have lived to witness Him heal, deliver, restore and provide supernaturally in and through tragic events.  Many times it is the very circumstances that I didn’t want that God used as a vehicle to do His most miraculous works.

God warned us that bad things would happen to good and bad people. We live in a fallen world. But He, God, is in the business of working all things for the good of those who love Him—even the worst of hardships (read book of Job)

I don’t know what’s going on in your life. But this I know: The eyes of the Lord run to and fro over the whole earth looking for those whose hearts are loyal to Him so that He might show Himself strong on their behalf.

Don’t lose hope or let despair consume your thoughts when terrible things happen. Jesus left the portals of Glory to be born in a lowly manger. He lived His whole life as a living testimony for how we should live. He died and rose again so that we can have access to unimaginable strength, peace, and power in middle of it all.

Let’s pray for the families who lost their loved ones in the school shooting this past week. My heart is broken for them. God’s heart is broken for them.

I wish I could pray for each of you living through hardship right now.  Let’s do this…Would you leave a one word prayer request below, and let’s pray for each other today?

I’m going to do a drawing from all who leave a comment. The winner will get a $15 Panera gift card, a Starbucks VIA Ready Brew 12 pack, two kitchen hand towels and two wooden spoons (stitching on towels done by our daughter Hannah) May Christ bless you!

Last Christmas Dale’s heart stopped the day after our car accident. The next day he was released from the hospital in perfect condition. God healed him! Every day I thank God for his life, it is precious to me. I pray for those who have lost loved ones. To read the whole story go to http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/06/death-brings-life-to-5000-people/

Our friend Chris (blue shirt) had cancer four years ago and lost her job. It was December, she moved in with us . She’s not only cancer free now, she’s healthier than anyone I know and she’s become our family–my sister. She is a writer, a worship leader, an amazing friend. . . and she lives here! How amazing is our God?!!
Four years ago this November our first grandchild, Grace died.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were devastating to say the least that year–with empty arms we wept. I am overcome with gratitude to God that He has blessed us with two more grandchildren since then.  I pray for those still waiting for their Christmas table to be filled with babies and children.http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/11/he-restored-us-after-our-loss/

Enter a one word prayer need in comments below to enter -Winner of give-away receives- two kitchen hand towels w/ wooden spoons (decoration sewn on by our daughter Hannah, a $15 Panera gift card and a Starbucks VIA Brew 12 pack. I’ll do the drawing Wednesday at 10 AM EST. Check back to see if you won!

For more on hardships http://sharonglasgow.com/2012/09/when-hell-seems-to-come-against-you-be-an-overcomer/

He came to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3     and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. 5 Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. 6 And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast.

7 Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.

8 “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. 9 Their descendants will be known among the nations and their offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

10 I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” Isaiah 61NIV

The Rich Home

Wooden carousel on our kitchen table. Heat from the candles make the tiers go around and around. It has baby Jesus, Mary and Joseph inside along with the wise men and angels.

The Queen of Sheba was wealthy and beautiful. She had everything a queen could want – gold, silver, ivory, precious jewels and servants taking care of all her needs.

Well, almost everything.

She’d heard about the famous King Solomon (I Kings 10:1) and his miraculous God. Even though her people had many gods to worship, none intrigued her like the Lord God of Israel. Her heart was so moved by His Name she traveled 1,400 miles across the desert sands of Arabia to visit King Solomon, a man who knew this God personally.

Camels can travel around 20 miles a day, so the trip would take her six months each way. She brought a great caravan of servants, loads of spices, gold and unusual woods to give as gifts to Solomon. Her heart and soul longed for riches she did not have, and she sensed they would be discovered through him.

When she finally arrived, she stood before the grandest palace she had laid eyes on. But her purpose wasn’t to see the most beautiful archeological place ever built, it was to find a secret treasure.

Scripture tells us she talked to Solomon for hours, asking him deep questions about God. Based on her response, she found what she had longed for and declared, “Blessed be the LORD your God” (1 Kings 10:9a NKJ).

The Queen of Sheba took great pains to find wisdom, yet the wisdom available to her at that time was the lesser wisdom of a man. Even so, Jesus mentions the Queen in Matthew 12:42 and honors her desire for His wisdom.

The wisdom we have access to through Jesus far outshines Solomon’s. If the Queen of Sheba would travel six months to find truth, how much more should we search for wisdom by opening our Bibles and hearts to Him in prayer? 

When people travel to our home this holiday, it will not be the seasonal décor or cleanliness that will ultimately impress them. It won’t be a perfectly sculpted yard or a new car in the garage. It will be spiritual insight and the presence of grace they will be drawn to — through the Holy Spirit living in us. When we share the love of our God with them they will have visited a wealthy home.

As rich as Queen Sheba or King Solomon’s palaces.

Our home is where our heart is, and our heart is Christ’s home — a dwelling place for the Lord. Let’s be sure to spend time with Him this week so we can be filled with love and prepared with wisdom to offer our guests. May those who enter our homes this Christmas, and in the New Year to come, find treasures that people have traveled the whole earth in search of!

 

Thanksgiving Day- Let’s Celebrate like the Pilgrims

Our first semblance of Thanksgiving was in 1621 after the colonist first harvest at Plymouth.  The Wampanoag Indians were invited to join the celebration with food as the colonist lifted their hands toward heaven and thanked  God for His protection and provisions in their new country. The pilgrims invited people outside of their own tribe and were not ashamed to make it a 3 day worship service unto the King of kings and Lord of Lords, God almighty!

Foods that may have been at the 1621 first Thanksgiving celebration( History.com)

pilgrim-thanksgiving-feastSeafood: cod, eel, clams, lobster
Wild Fowl: wild turkey, goose, duck, crane, swan, partridge, eagles
Meat: venison (deer or elk)
Grain: wheat flour, Indian corn
Vegetables: pumpkin, peas, beans, onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots
Fruit: plums, grapes

Cranberry Sauce: The colonists had cranberries but no sugar.

Pumpkin Pie: Hard to make without sugar, plus the recipe didn’t exist at this time. However, the pilgrims had recipes for stewed pumpkin.

Chicken/Eggs: We know that the colonists brought hens with them from England, but it’s unknown how many they had left at this point or whether the hens were still laying.
Milk: No cows had been aboard the Mayflower, though it’s possible that the colonists used goat milk to make cheese.

The first historic proclamation entitled “General Thanksgiving,” was issued by George Washington during his first year as President on October 3, 1789. It set aside Thursday, November 26 as “A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer. . . to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.”
Thanksgiving Day two hundred years ago was a day set aside for prayer and fasting, not a day marked by a feast of food.There were other Thanksgiving observances in America both before and after Washington’s proclamation. But this represents the first to be mandated by the new national government.

You really must read Washington’s decree : Read the Text Version of The First Thanksgiving Proclamation.

On October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling for the observance of the fourth Tuesday of November as a national holiday. He also announced that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord.

This Thursday as we gather with our family and friends lets not neglect thanking  God that He brought us here, for His provisions and His faithfulness to a people who honor Him.God has blessed us with freedom and abundance; we can’t take it for granted any longer. We need to pray for our country, He is our only hope. The pilgrims overcame much trial by His leading. George Washington led our country to freedom by His divine power and authority. May we turn our faces to Him and beg of His mercy and supernatural leading for our country this Thanksgiving.

My kitchen window decorated for Thanksgiving

This was an exhibit at Mt. Vernon. There were church pews you could sit in while you watched the short film. I took a photo of the part talking about George Washington signing the Thanksgiving proclamation.

 

 

Death Brings Life to 5000 People

Dale and family watching old movie at hospital

A lot happened in less than a day’s time. We had been in a wreck. Dale died and came back to life. We went to the hospital and there made a connection with someone, resulting in funding being provided to serve 5000 people in South Sudan. And before the day was over, while Dale was at the hospital, he was healed.

It was December 26th. We were headed home from celebrating Christmas with family. Dale turned his signal on to make a left turn and brought the car to a stop. A speeding car behind us didn’t see us stop and ran right into the back of us. It was a strong hit. The lady who hit us had her head go through the windshield.

Blood poured down her face, as I asked her if she was okay. She was disoriented. I prayed for her. The rescue, fire department, and police came on the scene quickly.

Dale drove the three hours home, and by that time it was late. He didn’t tell me then, but he wasn’t feeling right and didn’t want to go to sleep. He stayed up for a couple of hours hoping the “not right feeling” would go away.

It didn’t. The next morning, he had been doing normal activities and suddenly fell to the floor. He wasn’t breathing, nor did he have a pulse that I could feel. I screamed at him thinking that would jolt him out of it, but it didn’t. I did CPR on him, but it didn’t work. I commanded life to come into his body in Jesus’ Name, but he still didn’t breathe. I did more CPR, and still it didn’t work. Then I said, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, I command you to live Dale!” He casually opened his eyes, as if he had been in a nap.

The casual thing didn’t last more than a second. He started crawling into the other room. His arms felt like lightning bolts were shooting out of them and chest pressure was intense. I anointed him with oil and prayed for healing. Then I ran next door to get my brother-in-law, Tom (who is a missionary), to come over and help.

Things weren’t looking good. Tom prayed for Dale and said, “Whatever your will is Lord…”

All of a sudden I had this overwhelming surge of faith come over me to fight for Dale’s life in the heavenly realm. I commanded life into his body again in Jesus’ Name. I didn’t know if Satan had anything to do with any of this, but I was going to cover all my bases. So, I rebuked Satan and any of his schemes to destroy Dale.

At this moment even though Dale didn’t get better instantly, I knew he was going to live.

Tom got one of our daughters to call 911. I called the Fredericksburg House of Prayer, to get a prayer chain going. I rode with Dale in the ambulance and continued to pray. Our daughters, Jennifer, Rachael and Ellie rode with Tom behind us praying the whole time.

Tom and our girls sat in the hospital waiting room, when our dear friend and lead pastor at Mount Ararat Baptist Church, Todd Gaston, sat down next to them. While they waited to see Dale, Todd asked Tom about his mission he directs in South Sudan www.mercy-partners.org. Tom told him he was working on finding resources to help him put wells in place for thousands who didn’t have access to clean water. Instantly, Todd recalled a conversation that he had with a lady the night before. She felt that the Lord wanted her to give money to fund water wells in Africa. Todd had found her link to accomplish this — right there in the waiting room with Tom.

While that divine appointment was taking place in the waiting room, another one was taking place in the emergency room stall. Our ministers from the House of Prayer arrived and prayed with us. All heart symptoms ceased, and by afternoon Dale was well. The hospital recorded that he had suffered a heart attack. All of the tests had led them to this conclusion. The next day, the heart attack prognosis was taken off his chart and he was released from the hospital. They said his heart was in perfect condition. He was healed.

Their conclusion was that the car accident jolted his heart out of rhythm and caused the event. I thank the Lord that He saved Dale’s life.

God didn’t just save and heal Dale, but he provided a miracle for people in Sudan because of our presence in the hospital.

This week the drilling rig began boring for water. As of today, 5000 people that didn’t have access to safe water have it for the first time ever because of that divine moment in the hospital waiting room. Water is vital for life. Glory be to God He provided it through Dale.

Romans 8:28, “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Mercy Mission in Sudan with contractor and water boring rig. All rights reserved – Mercy-Partners.org – 2012

 

Acts Chapter 2 Supper

 

Calin, Sharon and Dale

The kitchen was hot from cooking our meal for supper.  I opened the windows to let a breeze flow onto us while we sat at the table, ate, and listened to “God-stories” for hours. Oh my goodness, I felt like we were outside of time in one of those early church meetings in the book of Acts.  Each person (there were 8 of us) giving testimony to the power of Jesus Christ — I can’t describe the glory of our time together.

Calin was one of the ministers at our table.  He was visiting from Romania.  His grandparents and parents had lived under communist regime in Romania. Story after story, he shared of how faithful they were to Christ no matter the cost. His great-grandfather was beaten to death for going to a prayer meeting.  He died three days after the beating. Calin’s grandfather was put in prision for a year and a half for not renouncing Christ. Then Calin’s father stood in front of 300 people and testified of Christ when it was not allowed. God protected him.

After communism ended in 1989, Calin’s father started a church. It is a growing and “on-fire” church today, thriving in the power of Jesus Christ.  Calin is the youth pastor of this church. He shared story after story of children coming to Christ and God’s power healing many. The seed that the great-grandfather planted in faith grew to this future generation of believers and now Calin who is an evangelist speaks to thousands.

We all shared stories around the table that night.  Each just waiting for our turn to testify of Jesus’ power in our life.  It was one of the most glorious visits ever.  After talking for hours, it was late, and I could hear our goat through the open window crying for us to come milk her.  We milked her, gave milk to our guests, and ended the night in prayer for one another before they left.

The breeze blew in through the kitchen window and I could hear their laugher outside as I put dishes away and treasured each testimony in my heart. This had been a beautiful night.  One I hope to repeat many times. Fellowshipping with believers, eating food together, encouraging and praying for one another — the body of Christ.

God is SO good to us, even in the midst of persecution, trial, and suffering!

 

The 30 Day Journey to Power

 

30 Day Journey to Power

I got the most amazing gift in the mail. It was from a woman who was at a conference that I spoke at a little over a month ago.  I had challenged the audience to read every day for a month: Ephesians 1 and 3 and John 17: 20-26,  Jesus’ last will and testament.  This woman DID it.  She then journaled the experience and sent me her journal.  She had also taken in-depth notes at the conference and wrote down revelations that God had spoken to her. It was the MOST powerful 30 days I’ve ever read about! Powerful, profound, and supernatural are just a few words to describe it.

I posted about it on Facebook, and many responded saying they were going to take the challenge, too. For days after I posted it when people saw me, they instantly said, “I’m taking the 30 day challenge!” After these people journal their month, I’m planning on writing a short 30 Day Challenge booklet with my teaching using some of their experiences along with my own. I’m so excited!  I’ve already started writing it.

This lady wrote the good, the bad, and the ugly of how she felt every day.  She wrote of her challenges of not wanting to read and how she didn’t get anything out of it on some days. She told of the distractions that tried to overshadow the desire to follow through. Writing the hardships really heightened my excitement when I saw Holy Spirit work mightily after she was obedient. It was incredible.

After breaking through her self and pressing into Him…

  • She slept better.  She couldn’t remember the last time she felt this rested.
  • She experienced peace and the fullness of true joy that overrode what normally upset her.
  • She is diabetic, and her sugar level stabilized.
  • Her marriage was transformed from “doing her duty” to “deep love”.
  • Her husband, who doesn’t go to church, went to church with her.
  • She started tithing more even though she had little.

She had a business meeting with people she works with – people she dislikes the most.  And they dislike her.  Daggers started to fly at the meeting.  Normally, this would make her blood pressure sky rocket and give her unbearable stress.  But, an amazing thing happened.  She sat there, and a peace overcame her.  She felt as though she was looking down on the meeting, like she wasn’t really present in body but in spirit looking down.  She heard their complaints but felt God’s compassion for them.  She saw their value and that God loved them as much as He loved her. That was something she could never have done on her own before this month. She was free!

She was part of a Christian club that does good things for people.  She loved the people.  However, when she got to the monthly meeting she felt the Lord saying, “I don’t want you to do this.”  She said to herself, “There are a lot of good things I can do but now I only want to do what He wants me to do.”  She knew needed more time with Him for that season.

She fasted from watching television. She only watched a few clean movies but realized when you’re on a mission to greatness with God you better be focused on Him. She caught herself turning it on once but then turned it off and found herself more energized than usual.

Amidst the daily stress of work, she had peace!

That was just a portion from her journal entries.  It was a profound month.  I’m so thankful she was led to send me her journey.  It is empowering many.

I Corinthians 2:9-10

“‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered the heart of man the things God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes the deep things of God.

II Corinthians 2:5 says, “. . .that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

The hidden wisdom of God, the greater mysteries, are revealed to those who search the heart of Him who is able to do immeasureably more than you can think or fathom. I desire every spiriual blessing, wisdom and revelation that God has for me. Do you want to take the challenge?  Read Ephesians chapters 1 and 3 and John 17: 20-26 and fast from something that distracts you from hearing from Him for 30 days. Journal the experience.