Tag Archives: God.

Nothing is too difficult with God

 

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“For Nothing is Impossible with God.” Luke 1:37 

OUR FESTIVAL MIRACLE

Unknown author

We were at Lake Ozark, Missouri, for our churches annual 8 day celebration. My husband Leo and I sang in the Choir. On Tuesday morning we sang backup music to open the worship service. We had just finished practicing for choir and I came down from the stage to my seat for church services. It wasn’t long before Mrs. Petcu (my daughter’s mother-in-law) was at the end of our isle motioning for me to come to her. She said, “I noticed you smiling and waving and thought maybe you haven’t heard.” I said, “Heard what?” She said, “Ronda (my daughter) and Matt (my grandson) were in a camper that blew-up and have been taken to the hospital.” My heart just almost stopped! She continued saying that they were in an explosion/implosion and they were burned. I started looking around for Stacy (my daughter) and she was looking for me. We found each other just about the same time the announcement for prayers for my daughter, her son and the Mitchell’s, some good friends of ours, came over the speaker. My heart fell to the floor and my knees went weak.

I asked my husband and my brother to watch Stacy’s son. Stacy and I went to the hospital. They weren’t there. They transferred them to another hospital up in Columbia. They were immediately placed in the Burn Unit. Now I was frantic and the only thing I could think was , “Oh God, please let them be OK!

I came out of that driveway and went the wrong way to Columbia, which turned out to be good because Stacy saw our friend, Donny, who pulled over, so did we, and we found out what happened.

Ronda and Matt were having breakfast with Donny and Donny’s parents and Grandma. As they were eating their eggs, Mrs. Jean Mitchell (Donny’s mom), smelled gas, and Mr. Don Mitchell (Donny’s dad), said he would check it out. He lit a match and the gas exploded. Donny was telling me that Ronda was O.K., but Matt was burned a couple of places on his face and that he was coming from the hospital and Ronda needed clothes for her and Matt, and Donny needed to go see how Mom and Grandma were. I said, “O.K., you go see about them. We’ll get clothes and go to Columbia.

I still didn’t know what to expect on how bad Matt had been burned, so I was in a hurry. I’m glad Stacy was driving.

We got to the hotel and got a little resistance until I told them the circumstances, and the lady at the desk said oh she hoped everything would be all right. She heard about the explosion/implosion over the CB radio.

It took forever to get to Columbia! We went into the ER and they said they weren’t there yet. The ambulance they would have traveled in was outside, so after waiting way too long in the ER I was going to find admitting or someone else who could tell me something when the ER person said, “Oh, they took them straight up to the burn unit.” It scared me some more! I think I held my breath going up the elevator!

The doors opened and with instant relief but still much concerned, I saw Matt standing down the hall with this way too big blue hospital shirt on. He was burned on the left side of his face, his hair was matted where it was burned, his eyelids were red and puffy, and he was just standing there drinking some water. Then I turned and saw Ronda sitting on a chair with hardly anything wrong, just some minor cuts and matted hair. Then she told me they still had Don, Sr. in the room. I got permission to see him. His hands were bandaged and IV’s were going. He had some second degree burns but that didn’t stop him from giving me a big smile! Then the nurse came in and said after he got a shot he could leave too.

I thanked God and I thanked God and I thanked God!

Later my husband and I went over to the trailer camper and when we saw it we couldn’t believe it! It was TOTALED! The camper had glass blown everywhere, the walls were bowed out. Cabinets were off the wall. It was a mess!

Mrs. Mitchell told us that she smelled gas, she was standing at the sink and her husband was below the sink looking at the tank. Matt was sitting behind them and to one side. When Don Sr. went to check the pilot…BOOM…. Matt said he saw a blue ball come right at him as cabinets blew off the wall and fell into the chair where he was sitting. (He ducked his head which kept a cabinet from hitting him.) The fire wrapped around Jeans ankles as Ronda grabbed Matt and raced out the door. Donny pulled grandma out while he was trying put out the fire in her hair at the same time. Don, Sr. took the full blast on his face and hands, and then had to get into his pocket for keys to get to the big tanks to shut them off, breaking blisters that had already formed. I didn’t know until later that Donny’s ear was burned in the fire also.

People who were camping to one side of them emptied 4 fire extinguishers and put out the fire, keeping it from the big tanks. People on the other side were catching victims as they jumped out of the demolished camper. The fire department said they expected to find everyone dead, that with an explosion/implosion like that usually no one survived. The EMT’s said that they must have been protected by angels.

God had His angels there protecting them!

An angel stood between Don,Sr. and the blast!

An angel held the cabinet just long enough to protect Matt as Ronda pulled him from that chair!

An angel directed the blast towards the back window, blowing it out of the camper, and keeping everyone from being severely burned!

An angel kept the fire away from the big tanks until Don could turn them off!

Yes, the angels were very busy that day, and so were the thousands of members who were praying for all the injured people heading to the hospital.Before they were transported from the accident scene they were all anointed by our minister. Mr. Petcu had anointed Don, Sr. and Matt and Ronda at Lake Ozark Hospital and on the ride to Columbia, Mo. Don, Sr. said he couldn’t feel the pain. God was already intervening and healing!

For the remaining 6 days of that Festival I thanked God every day! When we sang praises to Him I sang with all my heart! There were six people in that camper trailer, and I don’t know how many angels, but to this very day I thank God, and I thank God, and I thank God.

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR ACTIONS

Author Unknown

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him and as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Thanks!”

There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school. I would have never hung out with a private school kid before.

We talked all the way home, and I carried his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play football on Saturday with me and my friends. He said yes. We hung all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him.

Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!” He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors, we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown, and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was going for business on a football scholarship.

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn’t me having to get up there and speak. Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days.

I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. “Thanks,” he said.

As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began. “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach…but mostly your friends. I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.”

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully, I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable. “I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it’s depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person’s life, for better or for worse. God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

From: gatewaytojesus.com

God Is There

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GOD WAS THERE!

Last December 20th I had a experience that changed my life and nearly ended it. I had personal questions that were answered also that I had in my mind for a while. I had been feeling a little under the weather on the 16th of December and decided not to work that following Monday or Tuesday. I thought since I had a lot of sick days built up I may as well take advantage of them since I didnt really feel well. I had very little appetite and was just not energetic at all. That Tuesday night at 11:30 I decided to go to bed and get some sleep. I stood up and with the remote in my hand I turned the television off and at that point the world stopped and life ended. The next thing I knew I was in Barnes hospital in an ICU unit. I thought I was in a dream because everything looked wrong to me. I could not see very well or very clearly. I could see maybe ten feet and it was very very murky and cloudy looking. Giving it a dreamlike appearance. I saw people that I worked with and thought “hmmm I Ive never dreamed of them before! After about a few times of going in and out of consciousness, I came to my senses and realized that I was not dreaming! I really was here in the hospital! “How did I get here?” I thought. I wondered did I have wreck or what. I noticed that the television had the date as the 23rd of December on it. I was completely baffled about the whole thing. I noticed I was hooked to all kinds of electronic things. There was a red light on my finger and a wire that went into my chest to my heart. My legs were attached to a massage machine and my arm to a blood pressure machine that took readings every 15 minutes it seemed. “What happened to me?” My legs hurt really bad and I was weak.

When I realized that I was REALLY in a hospital I thought “How did I get here? Did I have a wreck? I was lost. About 15 minutes after I had regained consciousness, a doctor came in and explained to me how I had been in a coma and how a lucky young man I was to be here. His words were very serious words, but the only thing I thought was what I was going to do when I get out. Later on during my hospital stay I learned from friends what had happened the four days that I was missing in my mind. I thought about God. God, in my view, did not let me die. He did an amazing thing in my book by saving my life. Here is what I am thnkful for. Life? Of course! But I am glad that God saw me when I was dying in my bed and before anyone had prayed a prayer about me, He acted! God, I now know, really loves me a lot! I didnt know that I was about to die that Tuesday night, but He did! He did NOT allow it. For whatever reason. Maybe He was just being Himself…nice! I loved Him and admired Him long before any of this thing happended to me. What a Great Person He is! He defies logic to me. A Person Who can not only be smart and ever in control of things but He can be, and is, NICE!! He has been my Friend Who I have talked to for years and this is not the only time He has saved my life but that is for another time. I may not know who the beast is or false prophet or whatever. But I will go to my grave knowing that the God that I know really is a friend and that I am crazy about Him. By the way…He does love you deeply too. He will do for you what He has done for anyone. He really is No respecter of persons or any of the stuff we hold is high esteem. Thank Him that He is not. God…You are amazing!

THE HAND

Author Unknown

My daughter, Kathleen, was 15… too young to seriously date but she had a boyfriend. One evening, when I was leaving to pick up my son, Paul, from baseball practice, she asked if she could just go with her boyfriend to pick up his little brother at a friend’s house. She said they would come right back. I said, “All right, just make sure you wear your seat belt, and come right home.”

It was my father’s birthday and my 3 yr. old daughter, Therese, was already at my father’s house waiting for us to come over with the cake I had yet to pick up at the store. I left to pick Paul up at school, but decided to take the highway, rather than the shortcut along the back roads.

After leaving the school, Paul and I ran in the store for the cake and some last minute goodies. As we were getting into the car, we heard and saw paramedics, fire trucks, three ambulances and of course a multitude of police cars. I got a sick feeling in my stomach and said to Paul, “Somebody needs our prayers, quick.” I wondered if there was a fire or a bad car accident. At one of the intersections I had to stop to let more emergency vehicles through, and prayed, “Lord, those people need you right now, go to them and place your protective hand over them.”

We stopped at my parents to drop off the food, before going home to pick up Kathleen, but my father met me at the car and told us to not to rush, the party could wait a bit, because Therese had fallen asleep. “Which way did you go to the school?” he asked, “Because there was a bad accident on the back road, I heard someone was killed. It happened just about the time you had to pick up Paul at the school and I know you always go that way. I was so happy to see you pull in, where’s Kathleen?” I explained I was going back home to get her.

As I drove the short distance home, I couldn’t help but worry what if she was involved in the accident? I ran in the house and called out her name, dead silence. Then, the phone rang. It was her friend’s mother, who worked in the emergency room of our local hospital. She only told me that the three of
them were in an accident and were being transported to the hospital. I didn’t call my husband at work, nor my parents, I just ran out the door fast.

At the hospital emergency room, I could hear one of the paramedics softly talking to another parent there, saying “I’m so sorry, so very sorry”. I rushed by him and found the doctor in the hallway. He looked at me and asked if I believed in God, and with that my knees gave way.

I wasn’t ready to accept the fact that Kathleen might be…”Oh please, not my girl”. “No,” he said, “you don’t understand, do you believe in divine intervention?” I sammered, a weak, “Yes.” Not having a clue what he was talking about. He smiled at me and asked, “Do you know what shirt your daughter is wearing tonight?” Nodding no, he told me to go down the hall and look. “Your daughter is blessed with angels and so are you.

From what the emergency personnel told me, there is no way that your daughter should be alive, let alone only have a few scratches.” Kathleen was laying on a cart, waiting for more x-rays. When I got to her, we both sobbed. As I was hugging her I had the urge to check her shirt, unzipping her jacket. I read the words, “Jesus Saves.”

I knew then, what the doctor had meant. All three were treated and released. On the way home that night, Kathleen told this story: “It was really weird, about a quarter of a mile before the accident, I said, ‘Wait, we forgot to put our seat belts on, my Mother will kill me.’ Then a car was coming towards us in our lane, he swerved, and I knew we got hit in the passenger side of the car, where I was sitting. We got hit a total of three times because the car kept spinning in a circle. I felt his little brother’s hand on my shoulder, holding me tightly in place. “But Mom, after it was all over, I could still feel the hand on my shoulder. I looked and his little brother had flown out the back window of the car, as we later found out, on the first spin. “It was an angel, Mom, I know it!”

I knew it too, especially when we went the next day to look at the car, it had been split in half, right underneath my daughter’s seat. The driver of the other car, witnesses said, must have been traveling between 90-95 miles per hour and the point of impact was directly at Kathleen’s door. The police report stated that the car door was found fifty feet away from the accident scene,with the seat belt attached. So when the door broke loose, “the hand” was the only thing that saved my daughter’s life.

God knew, long before I did that my child was in trouble, and I will always thank Him for saving her life and restoring mine.

I have been meaning to write this story for the past couple of years. Kathleen just turned 21. While I was writing this I smiled and cried, but it’s all true.

True Stories – #4

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WITH GOD

by Susan Rule

My name is Susan Rule. I am thirty-two years old and from New Jersey. I would just like to start out by giving God all the glory and praise for letting me be here to share this with you.

I grew up in a Christian home with loving parents and two wonderful sisters. I was very involved in church up till about the age of seventeen, then my friends came first. My addiction started out by smoking and drinking alcohol. By the age of twenty-one I lived in the bars day and night. I started lying and stealing from my own family. I met my boyfriend who I loved very much and we moved in together. My boyfriend was involved in drugs and we started selling them out of our apartment.

At first I was able to just sell the drugs and not use them. After a while of watching people come into my home and get high I started getting very courious, and I started using. Heroin became my best friend I always had to have it to get through my day. Heroin is a drug that if you don’t have it, you will do anything for it.

I remember the last time my boyfriend and I went to pick up our package, we saw someone on the side of the road being searched. I remember us looking at each other and saying that will never happen to us, we have been doing this to for to long. Well, on the way home it did happen to us, I remember being on the side of the road and just being so humiliated and embarrassed. By that evening I was being booked and entered the county jail, they had taken my boyfriend to an another jail because of outstanding warrants. I remember just feeling so alone at that point. For the first week I just basically stayed to myself, I was very sick and weak, from coming off the heroin.

I decided to call my parents after I started feeling better. My father came immediately to see me, my mother just couldn’t bare to see me. I could just see the hurt in my fathers eyes as he asked me what my plans were if I got out of jail. I didn’t know at that point in my life, I was tired and ready to just die.

A few weeks later I finally called my mother and told her I was ready to get some help, she told me of the Walter Hoving Home which is a sixteen month Christian residential program for women. My parents bailed me out and took me to New York to the program.

Since then I have dedicated my life to the Lord. God has helped me reconcile with my family, God has help me build up and my self-esteem, and God has even given me a hope and a future. I complete the program on July 31st, and I am already working as a staff member here. I thank god for forgiving my sins and making me his child.

If anyone knows any women with a drug or alcohol problem, please tell them to call the Walter Hoving Home at (845) 424-3674.

For Nothing is Impossible with God. Luke 1:37

From: gatewaytojesus.com

He’s There All The Time

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He’s There All The Time

I did not say . . . , “Seek Me in vain.” —Isaiah 45:19

I’ll never forget my frustrating experience when I went to Chicago’s Union Station early one morning to pick up an elderly relative who was arriving by train. When I got there, she wasn’t where I thought she would be. With increasing anxiety I scoured the place—to no avail. Thinking she had missed her train, I was about to leave when I glanced down a hallway toward the baggage area. There she was, luggage at her feet, patiently waiting for me to arrive. She had been there all the time. And, to my chagrin, she was right where she was supposed to be.

It’s that way with God. He’s there, patiently waiting for us. He assures us, “I did not say . . . , ‘Seek Me in vain’” (Isa. 45:19). Why, then, do we often have trouble finding Him? Probably because we are looking in all the wrong places.

You’ll find Him right where He is supposed to be—in His Word, in prayer, and in the voice of the Holy Spirit who lives within you. The God who says “seek, and you will find” (Matt. 7:7) also promises that “He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). So, you can rejoice that God is right where He is supposed to be, and He’s waiting for you right now.

The Lord is near to all who call;
He promised in His holy Word
That if we will draw near to Him,
Our faintest heartcry will be heard. —Hess

Have we been looking for God in all the wrong places?

From: Our Daily Journey

Funny Animal Pictures

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God lifts me up when I am down.

 

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 God understands my needs and fills them.

 

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 Oh, the bliss! To know the Lord.

 

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When I’m like this God still loves me.

 

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 God sees me even when I feel nobody is watching or caring.

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In HIs love and grace, He gives us that special person to brighten our day.

 

Psalm 1: 1-6

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Way of the Righteous and the End of the Ungodly

1 Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

4 The ungodly are not so,
But are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.

6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.

From:  Simposious.com 

Remembering Our Father’s Words

 

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Remembering Our Father’s Words

 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
I will never forget Your precepts, for by them You have given me life. —Psalm 119:93
Bible in a Year:
Jeremiah 48-49; Hebrews 7

Jim Davidson was climbing down Mount Rainier when he fell through a snow bridge and into a crevasse (a pitch-black, ice-walled crack in a glacier). As Jim stood bloodied and bruised in that dark ice cave, he reflected on his childhood and recalled how his father had repeatedly reminded him that he could accomplish great things if he pressed through adversity. Those words helped to sustain Jim as he spent the next 5 hours climbing out of that dark ice cave to safety with very little gear and under extremely difficult circumstances.

The psalmist seemed to climb out of his own crevasse of affliction and pain by recalling his heavenly Father’s words. He admitted that if God and His Word had not sustained him with joy, he would have died in his misery (Ps. 119:92). He expressed full confidence in the Lord’s eternal Word (v.89) and in the faithfulness of His character (v.90). As a result of God’s faithfulness, the psalmist made a commitment never to forget God’s words to him because they had a central part in rescuing his life and bringing him strength.

In our darkest caves and moments of affliction, our souls can be revived by our Father in heaven when we recall and fill our minds with His encouraging words.

Thinking It Over
What crevasse of discouragement are you currently in?
How can you use this time as an occasion to revive your
soul by filling your mind and heart with God’s Word?
Remembering God’s words revives our soul.

Mysterious Ways

 

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Mysterious Ways: Shell in the Sand

On duty in World War II, his jeep was stranded at exactly the right moment.

By Norman Bernauer, Kansas City, Missouri

The engine revved, but our jeep’s wheels spun futilely in the sand. Stuck! It was another hot night in the fall of 1945, on the Pacific island of Saipan, and my corporal had taken me out on patrol duty. Sometimes service members would sneak a vehicle off base to cruise around the island, then ditch the vehicle when they were though. It was our job to bring those vehicles back. We’d noticed a set of tire tracks trailing off towards the beach and pulled off the main road to investigate. Now, the jeep refused to budge from its place, lodged in the sand.

While the corporal radioed base for help, I climbed out of the jeep to see if I could get us moving again. I thought of my mother back in Pittsburgh. “I’ll be praying for your safety till the day you come home,” she’d told me on the day I left for duty. I was only 18-years-old at the time, and she worried about me terribly.

Actually, Mom’s prayers must have been working. I hadn’t been in grave danger since my arrival on Saipan. Initially I’d been scheduled to go to Okinawa, the heart of combat. But the army had another plan for me. “You’ll stay here in Saipan,” they informed me, “and serve in the military police.” I greeted this with relief, knowing that my chances of seeing home again were now considerably higher.

I took a closer look at our jeep. The frame had caught on a mound of sand, so that the tires were slightly elevated and unable to gain traction. Nothing to do but wait, I thought. I could hear the waves of the Pacific in the distance as I scanned the sandy path in the jeep’s headlights. That’s when a dull, metal object illuminated in the headlights caught my eye. Hardly two feet in front of our vehicle, something small and pointy, sticking up from the sand. A 14” navel shell, unexploded and ready to go off at the slightest touch!

My corporal radioed base again for additional support to help retrieve the bomb. I couldn’t help but think again about my mother’s prayers. Why had our jeep gotten stuck at exactly that moment, when the other vehicle whose tracks we’d followed had apparently rolled on down the beach?

From: Guideposts

Mysterious Ways: A Day to Remember

Mom never forgot a special occasion. Never.

By April Sommervold, Akron, Iowa

“Hello?” I shouted, stepping through the front door of my parents’ house, shaking the snow off my boots. It felt like someone was there, even though I knew there wasn’t. With my dad in Texas for the winter, I came to check up on the house every so often—collect the mail, adjust the thermostat, make sure the winter storms hadn’t caused any damage. This was just a quick stop before I went home to celebrate my 29th wedding anniversary with my husband, Alan.

I didn’t feel much like celebrating. Mom had passed away just after our anniversary one year ago.  I kept thinking back to the last phone call I got from her. “Happy Anniversary!” she said. “Mom loves you both so much!”

I wasn’t surprised she remembered. It was like she had some kind of internal “mom calendar” to recall every special occasion of family and friends, even at the age of 72. When she died, I tried to remind myself that God had blessed her with a long, happy life, but that didn’t make it any easier to go on without her.

I walked into the kitchen, mindlessly opening and closing the freezer door, half-expecting to see Mom standing at the counter, cutting up a tray of her famous chocolate-chip cookie bars. But no. Mom was gone.

The house was so cold. I turned up the heat and then sat at the roll-top desk in the living room. Lined up across the top were family photos—graduations, weddings, holidays. “I never dreamed this big,” Mom always said at our celebrations. “That life could be this wonderful.”

I wiped my eyes with the back of my hand and stood up. That’s when I noticed something right by my foot. A small white card lying face down on the bright blue carpet.

That’s weird, I thought. I’d been here just last week and hadn’t seen any clutter on the desk. Where had it fallen from? I bent over, picked it up, and flipped it over.

Three words were printed on the card in bright pink script: “Mom loves you.”

I couldn’t wait to show Alan. Just like I’d never forget Mom, we hadn’t been forgotten either.

From: Guideposts

Getting Back On Track

 

Getting Back on Track

 

Oliver Wendell Holmes once said:

“I find that in this world it is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”

Mr. Holmes is right: we are all moving in a direction, and it is very important for us to stop and check to see if we are still moving toward the right destination. I have learned this more than one time in my life.

Just Dragged Along….
I was born in a small town in southern Manitoba. My parents moved to BC when I was fourteen years old because they knew if I stayed there, I would soon be in serious trouble.

I have always loved excitement. If something wasn’t happening, I would make it happen. I disliked school and I loved sports, especially hockey. You could say my life back then was a lot like this guy who was going for a bike ride when his chain came off. As he was trying to fix it, a blue Mustang pulled up alongside him. The driver suggested they tie the bike to the car and tow it back into town. “Just ring your bell if I’m going to fast,” the driver said.

No sooner did they get the bike hitched up when a yellow Corvette pulled up alongside the Mustang and challenged the driver to a drag.

As the two cars raced down the freeway, a policeman saw them and radioed back to base. “Pick up this blue Mustang and yellow Corvette. They’re going 100 miles an hour.” Then he paused. “Just a minute. You won’t believe this, but there’s a guy on a bike right behind them. He’s ringing his bell like a madman and I think he’s trying to pass!”

That may sound funny, but I was just like the guy on the bike – going as fast as I could. Life seemed exciting, but really, I was just being pulled along.

A Direction-Changing Experience at Camp
When I was twelve-years-old, I decided to go to a Christian summer camp, mostly because it sounded like a lot of fun. But I had to memorize 100 Bible verses in order to go. With a lot of help from my mother, I did it.

My Sunday school teacher was at this Bible camp. His style was exactly opposite to mine. While I was spontaneous and impulsive, he was very steady and detail orientated. But he did have a certain quality that I really admired: He truly cared for me and loved me.

One morning after breakfast, he asked me to come with him for a walk. We sat down under a tree. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Marvin, don’t you want to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?”

Making a commitment to Christ was something that I wanted to do, but I hadn’t planned on doing until I was older. Inside I knew that it was the right thing to do. But that morning sitting under that tree, I was touched by how much this man cared for me. So I bowed my head and asked Jesus to forgive my sins, come into my heart, and make me the kind of person he wanted me to be.

I had no great feeling at this point. I just remember a strong sense of relief, like a knot in my stomach had gone away. It was like I KNEW this is what I was created for. That day, I started on the course of life that God had chosen for me. My course was set; my goal was heaven. But I had a few things I wanted to do before I got there…

A Head for Business
My father always encouraged me in the abilities he observed in me. One of strengths he saw was the ability to multiply money. I was a real Tom Sawyer type. When I had to pile firewood, I would let me friends ride my pony if they would pile a certain amount of wood. When I went to Winnipeg with my family, I bought three cap guns then sold two to my friends back at home for double the price. Seeing this, my father told me I would make a good businessman.

It helped that I enjoyed work. I could work 12 hours a day and still not be tired. After Kathy and I were married, I used the money we made to help finance a church camp. I also bought myself a lot of toys – a boat, horses, nice cars, and so forth. But at the same time, I started to slowly drift off course. I had taken my eyes off the right goal.

God blessed our hard work, and by the time we were 32, we had reached our financial goals. But that knot in my stomach returned again. My priorities were wrong. My life was like a vacuum cleaner bag that was too full. There was no suction, no power. I had made money, but now I was constantly afraid of losing it. It seemed like I was holding water in my hand, and the tighter I tried to hold it, the more ran through.

I remember standing in one of my barns one winter during a heavy, wet snowfall. The roof of the barn was threatening to cave in. I had done everything I could to prevent it, and I was totally exhausted. All I could do was wait and hope. It was one of those rare moments when I actually prayed. “God if you save this barn from caving in, I’ll do anything you want me to do.” The barn didn’t cave in, but I sure did. I forgot about the prayer until some time later. I had lost sight of my goal and I was dissatisfied with life. So, like a fanatic, I doubled my efforts. Soon I was involved in many more businesses.

It didn’t take long before I began to realize that material things didn’t satisfy. About this time, a businessman and my brother-in-law encouraged Kathy and me to go to a conference put on by Campus Crusade for Christ in California. California was warm and sunny while it was a cold and rainy November in BC – not a difficult decision. We decided to go but we took a number of people with us.

Getting Back on Track
It was at this conference that I finally learned how to live a full and purpose-filled life. I learned that I didn’t have to live the Christian life in my own strength – Christ wanted to live his life in and though me. But he wanted to be president of my life – not just resident.

That week, Katherine and I committed our time, our treasure, and our abilities to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. I decided to give it a six-month trial – but when six months had passed, I never looked back. My goal became to seek the Lord and His righteousness and to help fulfil our Lord’s Great Commission.

Someone made a statement that week that greatly influenced my thinking. He said:

Until you have changed the hearts of men, you haven’t changed anything at all.”

I didn’t really want to accept that at first, because I had done a lot of good things. But I began asking God to give me an eternal perspective on everything I did. As I began to let God direct my life, my priorities started to change. The Bible became the authority for all of my decisions. It became the compass to keep me on course.

After I made that commitment, I cut back on my business and began to work with Campus Crusade for Christ. I realized that everything I had was the Lord’s. I was just the manager, so I shouldn’t hold onto things too tightly.

God made this clear to me soon after I’d made this commitment to follow Christ. All of our chickens caught a disease. Egg production came almost to a standstill. Surprisingly, I did not panic. I realized that everything I had was God’s and if He wanted the chickens to die, that was all right. They were, after all, His chickens.

This decision also impacted my work as a youth leader in our church. Even though I had always been fairly successful with youth, this group just did not seem to respond until I allowed the Lord to direct my life. Instead of majoring in entertainment, like we had been doing, we started majoring in proclaiming the gospel. A number of these young people were doing drugs – some of them were drug pushers in our area. So we began challenging them to commit their lives to Jesus Christ and help change the world – to become part of the solution instead of part of the problem. Our home was open to these young people every Monday night. Within a period of one year, over 100 young people committed their lives to the Lord. They then went into their high school and the local pool hall and challenged their peers and teachers with the gospel.

The result was changed lives! And a changed community! One of the fathers and a teacher in the local school told us that the morals, morale, and academic achievement of their students had greatly improved because of these positive, enthusiastic young people. The owner of the school bus system said behaviour on the buses had also improved.

Through all of this, God wanted to show me what he could do through me if I was available. And soon I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was nothing that I would rather be doing than introducing people to Christ and helping them grow in their faith. That’s why we joined Campus Crusade for Christ, to be involved in winning people to Christ, building them in their faith, training them, and sending them out to win, build and train others.

Two years after I first attended that conference in California, Dr. Bill Bright, the founder and president of Campus Crusade, asked me to become the national director of Campus Crusade in Canada. I took up the challenge and sold most of my businesses to free up my time for ministry.

At that time, Campus Crusade for Christ’s goals were impossible without the Lord. But we know that God’s love and power know no bounds and barriers. Therefore, our plans should know no bounds or barriers. We have been given the opportunity to use technology, communication tools, manpower, and money to do the will of God

Still Checking My CompassI
Several years ago, I resigned my position as President of Campus Crusade for Christ of Canada, but continue helping organizations and businesses with leadership training, consulting and fund raising.

I am still very much in love with the Lord. I trust him more than I ever have. But I still have to check my compass daily to see if I am on track.

How about you? Have you checked your compass lately? In what direction are you heading? Do you need to make a “in-flight” correction? If so why don’t you say the following prayer and ask Christ to take over the control of your life.

Dear Father, I need you. I acknowledge that I have sinned against you by directing my own life. I thank you that You have forgiven my sins through Christ’s death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to again take His place on the throne of my life. Fill me with the Holy Spirit as You commanded me to be filled, and as You promised in Your Word that You would do if I asked in faith. I pray this in the name of Jesus. As an expression of my faith, I thank You for directing my life and for filling me with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

From: thoughts-about-God.com

Stories of Faith

 

 

Stories of Faith

History has provided us with thousands of stories of God’s people down the ages who have faced death with an unshakeable faith and a triumphant spirit. What follows are fifty such stories from the many I have gathered over the years. Though this may seem excessive, they are all stories worth telling and preserving for posterity. Though notproving the existence of life after death they certainly give us ample indications of the truth of the gospel. The power of the gospel often shines brightest at such times. More than that, such stories offer us lots of encouragement to so live our lives that when the end of our existence here comes upon us, and in whatever manner it comes, we may also be ready for our homecoming. The Bible associates concepts such as suffering, a bitter taste, bondage, fear, agony, emnity and corruption with death (Hebrews 2:9, 14, 15; Acts 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:26, 53, 54). As these stories indicate, Jesus offers us an alternative.

Jesus calls us not only to live well, but also to die well. In fact, our death can even be an act of worship, offering up our lives to God in death as we have in life. Paul regarded it as such. In the Old Testament, when a sacrifice was made, a drink offering or libation of oil or wine might be poured over it. This completed the offering. In his letter to the Philippians, Paul says, “Your faith in the Lord and your service are like a sacrifice offered to him. And my own blood may have to be poured out with the sacrifice. If this happens, I will be glad and rejoice with you” (2:17). Esther Popel, in October Prayer wrote:

CHANGE ME, oh God,

Into a tree in autumn.

And let my dying

Be a blaze of glory!

When Charles Simeon, the influential vicar of Trinity Church in Cambridge, was dying, someone bathed his eyes and asked if he was relieved. Opening them and looking up to heaven, he said, “Soon they will behold all the glorified saints and angels around the throne of my God and Saviour, who has loved me unto death, and given Himself for me; then I shall see Him whom, having not seen, I love; in whom, though now I see Him not, yet believing I rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” [1 Peter 1:8]. Then turning his eyes towards his friend, he added, “Of the reality of this I am as sure as if I were there this moment.”

Sometime later, though suffering much, he said, “My principles were not founded on fancies or enthusiasm; there is a reality in them, and I find them sufficient to support me in death.” [24]


The last words of Charles Spurgeon, the great Baptist preacher, were, “Oh, wifie, I have had such a blessed time with my Lord.”


When D. L. Moody, the American evangelist, was dying, his son was at his bedside and heard him say in slow and measured words, “Earth recedes: heaven opens before me.” His son’s impulse was to arouse him from what he thought was a dream. “No, this is no dream, Will,” he said. “It is beautiful!…If this is death, it is sweet!…God is calling me and I must go.”

Later he exclaimed, “This is my triumph; this is my coronation day! I have been looking forward to it for years.” Then his face lit up, and he said joyfully, “Dwight! Irene! I see the children’s faces!” referring to his two grandchildren, whom God had taken home within the past year. Again he said later, “This is my coronation day! It’s glorious!” [25] 


Frances Havergal, the well-known blind hymn-writer, died on 3 June, 1879. When her family could see the end was near, her sister Ellen recited Jesus I will Trust Thee, and Frances “clearly but faintly sang the whole verse, to her own tune Hermas. Then she was desperately sick again, and lay back murmuring, “There now it is all over! Blessed rest!”

“And now,” wrote Maria, “she looked up steadfastly as if she saw the Lord…for ten minutes we watched that almost visible meeting with her King, and her countenance was so glad, as if she were already talking to him. Then she tried to sing, but after one sweet high note, ‘He…’ her voice failed, and she passed away. Our precious sister was gone—satisfied, glorified—within the palace of her King!”


George Mueller, the orphanage builder and philanthropist, told of a Boston merchant, Mr Cobb, who declared on his deathbed:

It is a glorious thing to die. I have been active and busy in the world. I have enjoyed as much as anyone. God has prospered me. I have property enough, but how small and mean does this world appear on a sick-bed! Nothing can equal my enjoyment in the near view of heaven. My hope in Christ is worth infinitely more than all other things. The blood of Christ—the blood of Christ—none but Christ! Oh, how thankful I feel that God has provided a way that I, sinful as I am, may look forward with joy to another world, through his dear Son.

From: Christianity.co.nz

God Awareness

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Simposious offers “Our Daily Bread” for your Sunday devotion.

GodAware

 — by Cindy Hess Kasper
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! —Romans 11:33

On the FlightAware website, Kathy checked the progress of the small plane her husband Chuck was piloting to Chicago. With a few clicks, she could track when he took off, where his flight was at any moment, and exactly when he would land. A few decades earlier when Chuck was a pilot in West Africa, Kathy’s only contact had been a high-frequency radio. She recalls one occasion when 3 days had passed before she was able to reach him. She had no way of knowing that he was safe but unable to fly because the airplane had been damaged.

But God was always aware of exactly where Chuck was and what he was doing, just as He is with us (Job 34:21). Nothing is hidden from His sight (Heb. 4:13). He knows our thoughts and our words (1 Chron. 28:9; Ps. 139:4). And He knows what will happen in the future (Isa. 46:10).

God knows everything (1 John 3:20), and He knows you and me intimately (Ps. 139:1-10). He is aware of each temptation, each broken heart, each illness, each worry, each sorrow we face.

What a comfort to experience care from the One of whom it is said, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” (Rom. 11:33).

Beneath His watchful eye
His saints securely dwell;
That hand which bears all nature up
Shall guard His children well. —Doddridge
We can trust our all-knowing God.
From: Our Daily Bread

A Letter To God

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A Letter To God

Funny story about a an old lady who has no money

A man worked in a post office. His job was to process all mail that  had illegible addresses. One day a letter came to his desk, addressed in shaky handwriting to God. He thought, “I better open  this one and see what it’s all about.” So he opened it and it read:  “Dear God, I am a 83 year old widow living on a very small  pension. Yesterday someone stole my purse. It had a hundred dollars  in it which was all the money I had until my next pension check.”

“Next Sunday is Mother’s Day, and I had invited my last two friends  over for dinner. Without that money, I have nothing to buy food  with.” “I have no family to turn to, and you are my only hope. Can  you please help me?” The postal worker was touched, and went around  showing the letter to all the others. Each of them dug into his  wallet and came up with a few dollars. By the time he made the  rounds, he had collected 96 dollars, which they put into an envelope  and sent over to her.

The rest of the day, all the workers felt a warm glow thinking of  the nice thing they had done. Mother’s Day came and went, and a few  days later came another letter from the old lady to God. All the  workers gathered around while the letter was opened. It read,  “Dear God, How can I ever thank you enough for what you did for me?”  “Because of your generosity, I was able to fix a lovely dinner for  my friends. We had a very nice day, and I told my friends of  your wonderful gift. ” “By the way, there was 4 dollars missing. It  was no doubt those thieving bastards at the post office!!!!!! 

From: moralstories.com

 

Live and Work

 

Father was a hardworking man who delivered bread as a living to support his wife and three children. He spent all his evenings after work attending classes, hoping to improve himself so that he could one day find a better paying job. Except for Sundays, Father hardly ate a meal together with his family. He worked and studied very hard because he wanted to provide his family with the best money could buy.

Whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

The day came when the examination results were announced. To his joy, Father passed, and with distinctions too! Soon after, he was offered a good job as a senior supervisor which paid handsomely.

Like a dream come true, Father could now afford to provide his family with life’s little luxuries like nice clothing, fine food and vacation abroad.

However, the family still did not get to see father for most of the week. He continued to work very hard, hoping to be promoted to the position of manager. In fact, to make himself a worthily candidate for the promotion, he enrolled for another course in the open university.

Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

Father’s hard work paid off and he was promoted. Jubilantly, he decided to hire a maid to relieve his wife from her domestic tasks. He also felt that their three-room flat was no longer big enough, it would be nice for his family to be able to enjoy the facilities and comfort of a condominium. Having experienced the rewards of his hard work many times before, Father resolved to further his studies and work at being promoted again. The family still did not get to see much of him. In fact, sometimes Father had to work on Sundays entertaining clients. Again, whenever the family complained that he was not spending enough time with them, he reasoned that he was doing all this for them. But he often yearned to spend more time with his family.

As expected, Father’s hard work paid off again and he bought a beautiful condominium overlooking the coast of Singapore. On the first Sunday evening at their new home, Father declared to his family that he decided not to take anymore courses or pursue any more promotions. From then on he was going to devote more time to his family.

Father did not wake up the next day.

From:  Academictips.org.