Monday, December 22, 2008

A Praise Report That Blew Me Away

Just as we were beginning to start Sunday School yesterday a member of the class got up -interrupting the class - and gave the following narrative:

"I saw David Pitts Wednesday and I asked him how he was doing.  I hadn't seen him since we buried his father October 30th.  He said he was fine and then told me that his grandson went to the doctor for more tests the day before.  He has a blood problem like hemophelia.  Well, he said that the doctor asked his parents what was going on...this is the best test ever!  The father said that he knew what happened.  When they were at the eating after the funeral the pastor there asked if he could pray for the boy.  He prayed for him and since then he hasn't even had one bruise!  The doctor said that he'll be happy with medicine and miracles wherever they come from.  
Folks, he said that that boy doesn't take to strangers well.  He said that at the visitation he was fascinated with Brother Marty.  He went up to him and wanted to be held by him.  Brother Marty told the proud grandpaw that his little grandson will make a great running back somewhere, someday.  When he said that David told him...that ain't gonna happen with this see...he was born with a blood disorder.  He can't play like other kids.  He bruises easily and cuts don't heal well at all.  Then the next day after the funeral Brother Marty asked his mom and dad if he could pray over the boy...he told them that it certainly couldn't they said okay.  Brothers and sisters...God is not out of the miracle business...and Brother Marty.....what can I say....them folks are moving to the area in about a month and I know where they're going to go to church.  God bless you, Brother Marty."

The very moment he told this to the class (half of the congregation) I was overwhelmed and started trying to stop the tears of joy that were streaming down my face.  All I could do is sit there saying "Praise God, Praise God, Praise God."  A woman from a few pews back came up and gave me a paper towel - with tears flowing down her cheeks.  I looked around and there wasn't a dry eye in the room.  They started with the lesson but I couldn't focus on anything other than praising I left for my office to try to regain my composure for the service that would begin 45 minutes later.  

I get personal praise reports from individual whom I pray for from time to time.  But this one came from right field.  Like it says in the title of this blog, we need to shout it from the highest peaks that God is not out of the miracle business.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christian Healing: Why Do I Share These Things?

I often resist posting about a healing session because I believe that there are those who believe and those who don't...and nothing I say can change those perspectives.  But the occasional email I get from someone who has a testimony about God's healing power motivates me afresh to share.  To those who don't believe God answers prayers in a powerful way, I must say I disagree.  To those who say that if God uses someone for healing then why don't they go to the local hospital and pray away everything that ails the patients...I must don't understand.  God decides who He will heal including when and where.  Those called to provide healing prayer do so as led by God to do.

I don't put up a sign inviting people to come for healing.  I have in the past - on the church sign - and only a few outsiders came.  It's like the Gospel account of the woman with the issue of blood...she sought out Jesus.  When people seek to find healing in the name of Jesus, they are drawn to people who believe that Jesus will heal them...if only they ask with everything that is in them.  Read through this blog to find examples of what I'm talking about.  If that is too time consuming, then let me tell you about this past weekend.

After a Saturday morning of running around to the hardware stores and Walmart, I came home and checked the phone for messages.  I had two messages at my office and one at home all saying that a church member was in need of Christian counseling.  I went to her house with her brother and she was a mess.  She has cancer in her thorax and was for the first time confronted with fear that she won't survive the treatments.  Fear was gripping her every expression.  I said, "I'm you want me to pray for you?"  She said she wanted prayer...and wanted to have faith again that she will make it.  We prayed.   I put my hand on her head and prayed away the agent of Satan: Fear.  I put my hand on her upper chest and prayed that the cancer cells be washed away by the power of the Holy Spirit.  She, her brother and I were all shaking uncontrollably in the presence of the Holy Spirit filling her body with a washing of everything bad inside of her.  When God said stop, we stopped.  Tears of joy were streaming down her face.  Her brother was crying and I was spent.  I could hardly hold my head up, the drain was so intense.  

She had not been able to get out of bed for the past week as a result of the chemo treatments.  We talked more then I anointed her head and chest with oil then prayed for the staying power of the anoitment.  She got up and walked us to the door.  I had to regain my composure before trying to drive the 20 miles home.  That was Saturday.

Sunday morning, who is in church with her non-churchgoing husband?  She was.  I greeted her and she asked if I was ok.  I asked her why she thought I wouldn't be and she said that whatever had a hold of her left and she hoped that it hadn't got a hold of me!  I assured her that I had prayed away anything that may have come from her to me (which I did before driving home).  We both looked into each other's eyes and smiled. doesn't end there.  That night was the church Christmas program.  Again, she and her husband were there!  

I call that God's healing.  I don't know yet if the cancer is gone (but if it is it wouldn't be the first time) but I do know that Satan's grip on her is gone.  I know that she has no room in her life for fear.  And without that fear she has a renewed vigor.  All I can do is praise God.

This past weekend tells the story of Christian healing.  Like the woman with the issue of blood, she sought Christ's comfort and healing.  When the calls were made to me to come pray with her, I believed that I was the hands and heart of Jesus brought to her.  I certainly didn't plan on it as I had already planned a full day with no healing prayer anywhere on the agenda.  But when God calls I dare not refuse.  

I never ask for money.  If we have a healing service at church we never take an offering.  It isn't about money.  It isn't about ego.  It isn't about religion.  It isn't about anything other than learning to love our God with all our hearts, minds, bodies and souls AND loving our neighbors as ourselves.  If God gives you the tools to build something...Build It!  If He gives you a gift for singing, then sing.  If he gives you a gift for administration, then administer.  And if he gives you a gift for healing...heal.  

Friday, December 12, 2008

What a Wonderful God We Serve

A member of the local United Methodist church where I attended prior to becoming a pastor at another UMC church was suffering from a punctured colon after gastric bypass surgery.  What should have been a routine procedure was anything but.  Last Thursday morning I got word over the phone that she was in critical condition and that the doctors couldn't find the source of the puncture.  They were considering another operation if her condition didn't improve.  That was early Thursday morning.  At work I got the morning deposit together and walked to the bank, a mere half block away.  I stopped in a botique along the way.  It is owned by a fellow church member and in the shop was another member.  We talked about the person in the hospital and as we talked we were drawn to pray for her.  We prayed powerfully and thanked God for the healing He was providing.  That was Thursday.

Sunday I was in Birmingham (Alabama) where the church member had been hospitalized.  I mentioned to my wife that we should stop in and visit the woman who had the problems.  She told me that she had been released last Thursday afternoon.  WOW!  Yesterday I stopped in the botique and the same two women were there.  We spoke briefly when one of them said, "Isn't it awesome how God answers prayers?"  We looked at each other silently for a moment and all said "Praise God".  

I stay constantly awed by the wonders of Our God.  When we turn to Him and pray with boldness, He answers boldly.  May we continually acknowledge His riegn.