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Posts Tagged ‘miracle cure’

4197o3w9xeL._SX355_BO1,204,203,200_[1]I recently read After Easter by Jeremy R. Howard and Doug Powell and this is a review of the book.

This may seem a little late since Easter is long past, but truthfully you could read this book anytime and be amazed all over again by the miracle of the cross.

A new Christian will read this book and journey from the Garden to the Cross, gaining a good understanding of how the whole redemption story came to be. A seasoned Christian will read the book and be refreshed in remembering the significance of why the Son of God had to die. Both will be humbled again by the realization that He did it for us.

I like how this book gives scriptural and scientific evidence for the events that led to the empty tomb, and even gives clear details of how the early church began and took the mission of Christ seriously.

The book can be read in a short period time but that certainly doesn’t indicate it is shallow. Quite the opposite. The depth of detail contained in its 60 pages is amazing. I would highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to boost their witnessing ability. It would make a nice gift and should certainly be in every church library.

I am a Lifeway/B&H blogger and received a free copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

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Finally, we have our first blanket of snow. Nothing like the huge crippling dumps they’ve been having back East. But enough to cover the bleak brown of frozen earth with a breathtaking mantle of white.

I was out late the night it began snowing, inside and unaware of what Mother Nature was doing. While I shared a bible study lesson with my ladies, she was not so gently sifting the fluffy white stuff down around us. The landscape had changed drastically when we left our study and walking out into it took our breath away – partly because of the great beauty and partly because of the bitter cold wind swirling ice particles around in a high energy ballet.

Driving home was a bit of a challenge but at the same time I had to rejoice in the beauty. When I turned up my long driveway I actually stopped the car for a few minutes. Nothing had traveled the drive since the snow started falling so it was an absolutely perfect diamond studded, blindingly white carpet stretched out before me.

I stopped because I didn’t want to ruin the scene with tire tracks. Eventually I moved on, keeping my eyes on the perfection ahead rather than the ruts left in my wake.

That scene is such a perfect picture of our life in Christ once we’ve accepted His blanket of forgiveness. In the first covering of cleansing we stand in dazzling perfection, every sin covered by the grace of God. But soon something comes along to interrupt that perfection leaving tire tracks. The devil sends someone to drive across our flawless landscape.

We aren’t ruined but we’re changed, not quite as peaceful and perfect.  Before we know it, we’ve become a crisscross of hurts and damage, mistakes, sin and sorrow.  It’s critical that we choose to keep our eyes looking ahead to the vision of dry earth completely transformed by a white gown. Don’t look in the rear view mirror to the blemishes.

The only cure for tire tracks – a new snowfall. With our God there is an endless supply of cleansing – spring, summer, winter and fall. It is suspended there waiting for us to call out. As soon as we do the gates of heaven will burst open and release an abundant supply.

Silent and soft, it’s always in the forecast. The more we need the heavier it falls. It will drift into every scarred and broken crevice, settle in every valley, make the mountaintops more thrilling, fill the empty spaces, hide the ugly places.

It’s God’ forecast of forgiveness.

God’s blizzard of blessing.

God’s amazing Grace.

“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

 

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 MM900254494[1]We got our miracle this past week when my granddaughter’s test results were negative for cancer. It wasn’t what the doctors expected and I’m ashamed to say it wasn’t what I expected.

I’m ashamed that I was prepared for the worst instead of claiming the best. A legion of prayer warriors was beseeching God on our behalf. I myself  spent hours and hours in fervent prayer.

And – we prayed specifically for a miracle. But when it came – my reaction was disappointing. I didn’t immediately jump for joy. Instead, I wondered how that could be. If four biopsies came back abnormal, how could a fifth test come back negative? What if they made a mistake? What if they missed something? Should we get another opinion? Should we trust the results?

It took a few hours for me to truly believe that God had answered our prayers exactly as we’d requested. What originally was bad news had been flipped around by the Hand of God. Why was that so hard for me to grasp?

Our pastor has been preaching a series on the Lord’s prayer and just this past week I noted and underlined a statement he made.  He said, “People who pray mighty God centered prayers live a mighty God centered life.”

I’m trying to live a mighty God centered life. I believe in the power of prayer. So why is it so hard for me to accept a miracle when it happens?

I think it has to do with a world that pelts us daily with horror and violence, immorality and disappointment, bad news heaped on bad news.  Seldom do you come across an uplifting, positive piece of reporting. Each day when we turn on the TV or open the newspaper we are programmed to prepare for the worst.

If we would only open the Bible first we’d see a different story. Bad things happened in Biblical times but they were never the headline.  The headlines are always the redemption, the promises of God, the restoration, the forgiveness, the love – always the love.

Imagin the difference if we all started our day expecting the best instead of preparing for the worst.

What if we read this:   By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. Luke 1:79

Before we read this:  Another School Shooting

Or this:  my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. 4 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. 2Samuel 22:3-4

Before we read this:  Another Terrorist Attack

Or this:  The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17

Before we read this:  Suicides on the Rise

If we could just concentrate on the best God has for us we could put in better perspective the worst the world has for us. In order for our mighty God centered lives to be mighty and God centered, we’d best be delving into the good news that never changes. And when we pray those mighty God centered prayers, we’d best get ready for mighty God centered results.

You are the God who performs miracles; you display your power among the peoples Psalm 77:14

I believe in miracles. I believe my family just experienced one. And I believe it is a direct result of the powerful prayers sent up to a mighty God by family, friends, my Bible study ladies, my church, my pastor, and my own desperate heart. In all humility, greatfulness and overwhelming joy I shout, “Thank You, God!”

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As a follow up to my pedicure post of last Friday, I have further proof that they are biblical.  I did finish up my conference by treating myself to a relaxing, refreshing pedicure. I took my 14 year old granddaughter, Bailey, along because it was her turn for time with grandma and I invited my sister because she had helped me out at the conference.

Here’s what you need to know about my sister to get the gist of this story.  She is about as different from me as you could imagine.  I am tall, she is short.  I can enter a room and the air will hardly move.  She enters a room and people begin looking around for the hurricane.  I spend a lot of time getting ready to set foot outside my house.  She jumps into the day with a quick comb, a dash of toothbrush and comfortable clothes.  You might never even notice that I was in the room.  She never leaves a room without leaving laughter behind.

As an example of our different take on things, when she showed up to help me for the conference she had forgotten to change out of her old comfortable grey slippers.  Didn’t bother her a bit.  Me – I’d have driven back to my house to get my shoes regardless of the distance or the time crunch.  I would have died of embarrassment if anyone had seen me in my slippers.  She, on the other hand, had everyone laughing and thinking it was the most natural thing in the world and wishing they’d brought their slippers along.

So, I invited her to accompany me for a pedicure.  At first she refused because she’d never had one and she can’t stand to have her feet touched.  I was able to convince her she’d love it never dreaming the treat would be mine and that of everyone in near proximity.

By the time I closed up the conference, loaded everything in my car and shook the last hand of the last participant I was actually thinking of cancelling and just going home to crash.  I’m so glad I didn’t.

The first person I spotted when I walked into the spa was my best friend already sitting in Chair 1.  That was a pleasant surprise.  I grabbed Chair 2, Bailey Chair 3 and my sister, Su, Chair 4.  We sat back, dipped out feet into that wonderful soothing foot bath and proceeded to let Su entertain.  Between squeals and gasps and outrageous comments, she bounced her way through the pedicure while we laughed until we were weak.  The spa staff was laughing, the other customers were laughing – I swear even the pedicure chairs were laughing.

If I had gone home and crashed after my conference I would have gotten up tired.  When I left that spa I was rejuvenated.  I had a smile on my face and wondered when that irritating, obnoxious little sister of our growing up years turned into such a fun, unique and special friend. 

If laughter is truly the best medicine, she should be bottled and sold in pill form.  She might just be the miracle cure of the century.

A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Prov 17:22

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I am still on a major high from the SCBWI Western Washington writer’s conference I attended this past weekend.  I rubbed shoulders with authors, writers and agents, heard inspiring presentations, and attended sessions to hone my skills.  I feel like a hot fudge Sunday – drenched in rich, thick, sweet chocolate and trying to hold up under the heavy sweetness of it all. 

Most helpful for me were the first page sessions.  Writers were allowed to submit first pages of their manuscripts and a team of agents critiqued them.  Their final judgment was, if they received the submission in the mail,  would  they be inspired to read beyond the first page.  The key is grabbing the reader firmly enough in the first few lines they can’t help but want to read on.  So much has to be packed into your opening paragraphs – excitement, character development, intrigue, setting, and theme.  Not an easy task but a critical one.

I can’t help but compare those tips to my witness when I’m trying to introduce Christ to hurting people.  If I can’t hook them in the first few lines I’m probably not going to hook them at all.  Most people God gives me an opportunity to witness to are in crisis.  Their attention span is short and logic doesn’t often appeal.  I’m glad I know that though they may have a myriad of problems and some are huge, there is only one answer and He is even bigger.

The character development in my first paragraph isn’t difficult when the character is Jesus Christ.  The theme of love, forgiveness, compassion, kindness and healing has universal appeal.  The intrigue is in why He would love us so, the excitement is in what He did to prove that He does. The setting – anywhere, anytime.   

God knew how key a captivating first page needed to be so He wrote this one:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Or as the Message Bible puts it:  “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life.”

Who, especially if they are in crisis, doesn’t long for a whole and lasting life?  I’d read a book with that tag line, wouldn’t you?

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My precious granddaughter Brinkley is enthralled with her new Password Journal.  She worked to earn money after seeing this item at Toys R Us and instantly realizing she just had to have it.  For those who don’t know, a Password Journal is a small plastic box housing a secret journal, pens, hidden drawers and other fun stuff.  The only way to access what’s inside is to speak the proper password.  The built in voice recognition program can discern your voice from all others and opens only for the one who actually recorded the password.

Brinkley has had the journal for about a week and has already worn out multiple batteries, written several pages of secret thoughts, and changed the password at least six hundred times.  It has become a very familiar site – this little dark haired seven year old huddled in a corner speaking to a plastic box.

What’s the password to your stash of secret thoughts?  I hope its Jesus. 

We all harbor hidden dreams and thoughts, shames and disappointments, tears and fears.  We all have things buried deep inside that often hold us back from reaching our full potential.  Things we think no one could possibly know and still love us. Things we think define the real us that we can’t share.  But some secrets can lead to an unhealthy heart, one that becomes diseased beyond repair if we aren’t careful.   

The first step to heart health is letting the Great Physician in with his bag of treatment tools – forgiveness, compassion, empathy, encouragement, grace, and most effective – love, the miracle cure.  He’s standing ready but He won’t force entry.  You need to call out His name.  He is the creator of voice recognition programs, by the way.  He knows exactly who’s calling at any given time. 

If you’re afraid to let Him see what’s inside because you think it’s too awful to share, let me give you a tip.  He already knows.  If you’re holding it in because you can’t believe He could love you in spite of the ugliness – get over it because He already does.

Go huddle in a corner, speak His name and let the door to your heart open for the One who knows everything bad about your life so far and knows everything good about your life going forward.  There are no secrets He hasn’t already made a plan for you to move beyond. 

One caution here – don’t be changing your password!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Jeremiah 29:11

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