Friday, October 30, 2009

Letting God be God - Amazing!

Last Sunday was our Praise and Worship contemporary Sunday. It was a good service capped off by the message from Mark 10: 46 about blind Bartimaeus receiving his sight. After reading the scripture a man near the front asked that we pray over his back, saying that he just couldn't stand the pain. I told him we would pray over him after the message. When the sermon was over the closing video played..."Amazing Grace My Chains Are Gone". The man came to the front pew and I called over 2 prayer warriors to pray with me. We prayed with intensity and confidence. After about 3 minutes of prayer we thanked God for his amazing grace, and finished singing along with the video. As I stepped to front-center of the congregation to give the benediction, the man who we had just prayed over stepped in front of me and exclaimed "The pain is gone...Really, the pain is gone!" We hugged right there in the front of the church with tears welling up in most the eyes I could see through my own tears. Finally the benediction was given and church was over.

Wednesday night bible study rolls around and the same man we prayed over on Sunday came in, saying "The pain is still gone - it hasn't come back" He commenced to tell how he'd been working on a backhoe all day putting in pipe. He says that his back always hurts from working on the backhoe but it didn't hurt that day at all. His testimony created a wonderful atmosphere for our study and when we closed with prayer he testified once again. It was like a child saying he got just the birthday present or Christmas present he wanted...excitement that couldn't be squelched. It is amazing how when we let God be God how he reveals his love, mercy and grace beyond measure. Amazing!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Wow...God Protects and Provides

It was last Thursday when a friend, a minister in the faith, was in a terrible car accident. I got word early in the morning and by 10 am I was there in the emergency room with another pastor from a local church to "be there". But simply "being there" wasn't on the agenda. The power of the Holy Spirit catapulted me there and when I arrived she was in the emergency room with another local pastor. She was telling of how in the accident she felt like she was in a plastic bubble wrap being sheltered from all that was happening...duh...better than air was the presence of the Holy Spirit encapsulating her from the realities of her situation. The car had rolled numerous times and she managed to climb out and be sitting on the car wondering why nobody had stopped. Unbeknown est to her there were many who had stopped. She was in shock yet upheld by God's presence. When I got to the emergency room she was recanting what had happened. I must admit that on the trip to the hospital I was overwhelmed with the Holy Spirit and could barely drive. When I got to the room all I could do was pray and place my hands upon her. After a brief embrace she said...."let's pray". The prayer was powerful and spirit filled. Another local pastor arrived and we prayed...then I begged forgiveness to leave. It was shared that the local ER had done X-Rays and they were awaiting the results. I got a call later that day that she had been ambulanced to a major city hospital some 2 hours away because they had found signs of fractures in her neck and upper back. That was that.

The next morning as we did our devotional, my wife told me to bring her the phone book so she could look up her father-in-law's number so we could call to get a report. I said..."wait a minute, honey, let me check my emails"...and there it was! An email from our friend who'd been in the accident saying that they came home the night before at 11:30pm...after the doctors said that whatever fracture she had must have been from when she was young as it is an old fracture that had healed years ago. DUH!

God is God...Great always. When He demonstrates His presence in all situations for His believers it is always Awesome. I thank God that He made His presence known in this situation and in all situations where we turn to Him first...not last...and invite Him into our world.

Shalom and Christ....