This blog is where I can pour out my heart with my longing for God.

Posts tagged ‘faith’

Forever and Ever, Amen

**This was originally published on Thursday, April 7, 2011, in my newspaper column, “The Old Paths,” in The Stokes News. Due to a website change a few years ago, the publishing company broke all links to our old articles which were archived online. This was a tragic mistake and resulted in the loss of thousands of newspaper articles. Little by little, I am putting my old columns on this blog so that they can be preserved. Each column may be updated to reflect present times when transferred to this blog.**

I’m catching my breath after a whirlwind weekend. Besides the typical weekend routine of church activities and ball practices for multiple kids, my sister, brother and I threw a 50th anniversary party for my parents. It was worth every ounce of energy expended.forever and ever--young couple

A golden anniversary is a once-in-a-lifetime event. It should be celebrated and remembered. Fewer and fewer couples make it to that milestone in this day and age, and thus I spent much of the weekend pondering what makes a happy marriage.

I’m not talking about what makes a marriage last, because I’ve seen some miserable marriages that lasted several decades. I’m talking about what makes a marriage happy.

On Friday, I went to Ingles grocery store to buy the cake for my parents’ surprise party. I was rushing to get into line at my niece’s register, but an elderly couple made it there just before I did. Although I was in a supreme hurry, it turned out to be a blessing that I was behind this charming couple.

I heard the lady comment that she and her husband would celebrate 68 years of marriage this year. I stared unabashedly at her. “Did you say 68 years?” I interrupted in my never-met-a-stranger way.

She smiled a dimpled smile and said yes. I told her she didn’t look nearly old enough to have been married that long. She proudly told me, “I’ll be 87 my birthday.” My eyes bugged out as I told her truthfully that she looked about 15 years younger than that.

Then came an even bigger shocker. She told me they only dated for two weeks before getting married.

Huh?!

Don’t we tell our children they better get to know someone well before they make that vow? Don’t we teach them that marriage is a decision that must be well-thought out? How can you think out such a thing in two weeks?

This sparkling-eyed lady became even more animated as she told how she had met “Mr. Right.” She said that as soon as he walked into her office all those years ago, she thought he was the best-looking thing she had ever seen. They fell for each other on the spot, dated two weeks, tied the knot and aren’t far from 70 years together.

“When you see a good thing, you better grab it while you can,” she grinned like a mischievous little girl. Meanwhile, her tall husband, who also looked much younger than his years, stood to the side smiling tolerantly yet affectionately. He teased her a little, and you could tell those love fires were still burning.forever and ever--old couple

Here is a marriage, like that of my parents, which has survived an amazing number of years, not with the bitter silence and withdrawn emotional state of many marriages, but with laughter and love. Too many times I’ve heard older couples say they don’t see a need for a 50th anniversary party because there’s nothing to celebrate. That pretty much tells you the sad state of their marriage.

Obviously, the secret to a happy marriage is not necessarily a long courtship with well-thought out plans.

I’ve heard that children whose parents have a happy marriage have a better chance of having the same thing. Statistics in the last decade have not proven this to be true. My brother and I were both the product of a happy home but ended up divorced. I take my share of the blame for the breakup of my marriage and will grieve over it, to a degree, for the rest of my life.

On the other hand, my good friend up in Sandy Ridge came from a broken home yet has been married happily for 30 years; so has his sister. Kurt Warner, who was one of my favorite pro football players, tells of growing up in a broken home with many trials and tribulations, yet his own marriage has endured happily for many years—a real testimony for a professional athlete.

happy marriage recipeI knew a couple in Mt. Airy who were blissfully married for well over 50 years when the husband died. The wife, usually a stoic woman, fell apart, wondering aloud how she was going to live without him because they had been so close. Yet two of their three children ended up divorced. This proves yet again that growing up with happily-married parents does not ensure marital bliss for someone, and vice-versa.

Although the precious lady I met in Ingles talked about her husband’s stunning good looks 68 years ago on the old paths, we all know that physical appearance fades. The most stunning woman will eventually wrinkle and go gray. Even Botox and Miss Clairol can’t completely fix the ravages of old age. The hottest man around will see his looks decline as his hair thins or falls out and his love handles develop love handles.

So physical appearance obviously isn’t the secret to a happy marriage.

Of course I believe a reliance on the Lord is a key, but I’ve seen many a Christian stick it out “for the sake of the children” while being absolutely miserable for the long haul.

Some of you are thinking, “People just need to be committed and keep their word!” I agree, but remember—the subject of this column is not what makes a marriage last, although I believe that is supremely important. It’s what makes a marriage man that makes u laughhappy.

Laughter surely plays a key. My daddy was telling us at Sunday dinner about the April Fool’s joke he played on my mama this year. He said he was cracking up the whole time she was falling for it, and she said that when he reminded her what day it was, they both just fell apart laughing. A couple who can laugh together like that after half a century has found a secret.

I’m convinced that finding someone you laugh often with is a treasure.

Kindness, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, loyalty, humility—all of these are keys to a happy marriage. I’m obviously no expert, but I want to be. No one wants a failed marriage.

To that adorable couple whose names I don’t even know, to my parents and all others who are making marriage work well—I tip my hat to you. Keep laughing and keep loving…..forever and ever…..Amen.

**I am posting this old column to my blog on May 24, 2017—a little over six years since I ran into that charming couple at the grocery store. For all of these years, I have wondered who they were. Today I found out. As I was looking for an obituary for a friend’s grandmother, I “happened” upon one for a sweet-looking lady named Laura Jane “Janie” Mills Willis. Her face struck me as one I had seen before, so I read the obituary of this supposed stranger. Turns out she wasn’t a stranger after all! She was my “mystery woman” of the serendipitous grocery store encounter! I am rejoicing to have found her at last, but I am sad that she is gone now. Janie died peacefully at her home at the age of 93. Her beloved husband died in 2014—three years after he stood smiling lovingly at her in the Ingles checkout line. They achieved that 70-year mark for marriage. Although they are now gone on to be with the Lord, their love story will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. Meeting them that long-ago day was truly a divine encounter.** 

http://www.forbisanddick.com/obituaries/Laura-Jane-Willis/#!/Obituary

Laura-Jane-Willis-1495462763

Laura Jane “Janie” Mills Willis

The Old Paths: One Day When the Glory Comes

**This was originally published on Thursday, January 22, 2015, in my newspaper column, “The Old Paths,” in The Stokes News. Due to a website change a few years ago, the publishing company broke all links to our old articles which were archived online. This was a tragic mistake and resulted in the loss of thousands of newspaper articles. Little by little, I am putting my old columns on this blog so that they can be preserved. Each column may be updated to reflect present times when transferred to this blog.**

selma_posterAlthough my busy schedule doesn’t often allow moviegoing, I am a sucker for a cheap matinee. On rare occasions, I’ll choose to see the same movie again, but it has to be a doozy. I set a personal record with Facing the Giants and Pride and Prejudice—six times apiece in the theater. But normally I wait for the DVD.

Not so with Selma.

I started my Selma sequence with the hubster in early January 2015, then took four of my five kids to see it on the Friday before MLK Day to prepare them for that, and finally went with the fifth kid for the thrill of seeing it on MLK Day in a full theater. When my teary-eyed teenage son left the theater, he said, “Mama, everyone in America needs to watch that movie.”

I agree. If you could somehow edit out LBJ’s frequent cursing, you could even make it required watching for school children each January.

Selma is a movie that will make you think about preconceived notions—something we all need to do. So often we are locked into our iron stereotypes that first began to enchain us in our younger, more formative years. But typically, stereotypes are based on falsehoods whose fabric is actually more like gossamer-thin spiderwebs than the iron chains we perceive. They look scary, they are uncomfortable to deal with, but in the light of truth, they can easily be brushed aside. Selma indeed brushes aside some of those stereotypes.

The ultimate white racist would say “all black people are alike” and vice-versa for the black racist. It’s simply not true. Are we so simpleminded that we can’t see how ridiculous such thinking is? Where there was the young black man wanting to use violence against the militant whites in Selma, there was the somewhat older black man saying violence would accomplish nothing. Where there was the one black student leader practically idolizing Dr. King, there was another such black student criticizing the esteemed leader. All black people are alike? I think not.

Where there were vicious white people in the movie who used weapons to brutally attack the black protesters, there were other white people who watched the TV coverage of the violence and wept at the injustice. Where there were ignorant white people who taunted the nonviolent black marchers with heckling, middle fingers and overuse of that detestable “n” word, there were many other enlightened white people who thronged to Selma to march with Dr. King. All white people are alike? I think not.

People are people—some good, some bad and a whole lot in-between. Color of skin is meaningless in the reckoning of human hearts.selma-movie

As a white woman, I’ve often heard Dr. King degraded by white people who point to his alleged indiscretions. In the movie, FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover called Dr. King a “moral degenerate.” And no, the Civil Rights leader is not painted as a saint in Selma; his wife Coretta calls him out on the issue of other women, and he does not deny it.

So does this mean we don’t listen to a thing he says because he was a flawed human being in some ways? Oh, and you’re not? And I’m not? He who is without sin stand up and lead the way for us. Oh, wait—that wouldn’t work, would it? We would be without leadership. We certainly exalt the Founding Fathers despite some of their indiscretions. We don’t throw out the Declaration of Independence because its primary author, Thomas Jefferson, may or may not have fathered children by a slave woman.

I feel a disturbance in the Force, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said in Star Wars. The Ferguson events from a few years ago and similar ones since then seem to be fueling the fire for racial issues to once again take the forefront 50 years after President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act. If you are one of the ostriches with your head in the sand who keeps saying, “Oh, there’s no racial injustice anymore. That’s past. Things are all better”—I would ask you respectfully to come back to reality.selma_poster-2

One thing we can do is to open up lines of communication and dispel ignorance through education and hands-on interaction. Dr. King once said: “Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they can not communicate; they can not communicate because they are separated.”

I read a news story of a black man who encountered the Ku Klux Klan. Rather than direct hatred toward them, he decided that if the white people in the KKK could just get to know him, they would like him and thus change their worldview. He went out of his way to befriend some of the members, and it worked. Some of them eventually left the KKK after getting to know the black man. They admitted to the news reporter that their generations-old ignorance of black people had bred distrust in them and that the distrust had led to hatred.

Tools like the movie Selma, Black History Month each February, community-wide events like the STOKES STOKED Youth Rally I organize in my hometown of Walnut Cove, N.C., every August (where it isn’t just the few token black people at a white-themed church service or a few token white people at a black-themed service but rather a true mixture of different worship styles)—these are opportunities to open up meaningful dialogue and dispel ignorant stereotypes.racists-blood-the-same

It’s easy when you’re in the majority to purposely ignore and downplay the cries of the minority. From that vantage point, it’s convenient to point to the laws for equality that look good on the books. But when you’re a minority—whether black, Hispanic or perhaps a female in a male-dominated profession—it’s easy to see that there many legal loopholes that allow discrimination to still seep through.

Despite the fact that history has always been thus—even Jesus’ people, the Jews, have long been an oppressed minority—we cannot let up in this war for equality, understanding and consequently, LOVE. May those who fight for such justice become the true majority—a moral majority who believe that the war CAN be won.

As the theme song from Selma says:

“Now we right the wrongs in history

No one can win the war individually

It takes the wisdom of the elders and young people’s energy. . .

When the war is won, when it’s all said and done

We’ll cry glory, oh glory!”

when-the-glory-comes

 

The Old Paths: Election Disillusionment

**This was originally published on Thursday, November 8, 2012, in my newspaper column, “The Old Paths,” in The Stokes News. Due to a website change a few years ago, the publishing company broke all links to our old articles which were archived online. This was a tragic mistake and resulted in the loss of thousands of newspaper articles. Little by little, I am putting my old columns on this blog so that they can be preserved. Each column may be updated to reflect present times when transferred to this blog.**

election_resultsThank goodness the elections are over. As much as I appreciate living in a country where I have at least a token say in government, I despise election season. I hate the mudslinging by candidates, I cannot stand my beautiful Stokes County landscape being littered with signs, and I am disheartened by the enmity I witness between people of different political parties.

It’s done now, and I hope we can get back to normal life—or as Doc Holliday said to Wyatt Earp in the movie Tombstone, “There is no normal life, Wyatt. There’s just LIFE.” Then let us get back to LIFE.

However, my kids will tell you that I don’t waste any experience. Thus, I have learned some key things in the past few months:

1. BOTH DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS STEREOTYPE EACH OTHER. Many Democrats picture Republicans as uptight, straight-laced, gun-toting, narrow-minded citizens who don’t care about the poor, the disenfranchised, the broken. Likewise, many Republicans have pigeonholed Democrats as bleeding-heart liberals with no morals, who care more about saving baby eagles than they do human babies and who cannot possibly be Christian.

Anything strike a chord with you? Did you Republicans say, “Absolutely right! Doggone liberal Democrats!”

And did you Democrats say, “But Republicans ARE everything you described, Leslie!”?

If so, then you are doing your fellow Americans a true disservice. As I’ve said before, I believe many Democrats are moderates who stand shoulder to shoulder with moderate Republicans—almost identical values and goals—just different parties for whatever reason.

A Democrat in Danbury labeled me a “compassionate Conservative,” and I liked that. Many Republicans (and Democrats) do care about the less fortunate, and many Democrats (and Republicans) are Christian. So I beg you to be careful with your stereotyping.

repubs vs demos.png

2. WE HAVE NO MERCY OR FORGIVENESS FOR POLITICAL FIGURES. We tend to write someone off forever if they do even one thing that we think is wrong. Now I agree that if someone clearly errs and won’t admit their wrong, they don’t need to be given a second chance to lead until they humble themselves and pledge to reform.

But what about a politician who blows it and has great humility in the situation? Do we say that this person, even though they may have the wisdom and capabilities to help turn this country around, is never again allowed to lead?

Who hasn’t blown it in some way? Are we putting our leaders on a pedestal and daring them to totter? They are not gods but merely men and women with fleshly tendencies just like us.

I read last week that many Christian leaders who commit secret sins keep those sins hidden all of their lives because they know that if they confess and repent publicly, they will be mercilessly attacked by other Christians and never given another chance to use the giftings and callings God gave them.

What a mess this creates. There are few Christian leaders who haven’t blown it in some way, sadly enough. But they are nervously keeping these skeletons in the closet because they know they can’t count on forgiveness, loving guidance and eventual restoration to leadership. Even though transparency is so important, no one feels comfortable being transparent; everyone clutches their dirty little secrets to themselves. Our harsh judgment has created a vicious cycle of denial.

I believe the same holds true for politicians. Which of them hasn’t compromised at least a little? But few are brave enough to admit it, fearing that they will lose the next election to some other politician who still claims false infallibility. We have created a culture where being fake makes us much more successful than being REAL.

mercy.jpg

3. PEOPLE STILL OVERWHELMINGLY VOTE ACCORDING TO RACE. I find this to be the most disturbing thing that stood out in the 2012 election. I guess as a person who considers herself color-blind, I keep hoping that people have mentally evolved enough to look beyond the color of a person’s skin.

Wrong.

I have white friends who would never have dared to vote for Obama, because he is a black man; their decision had nothing to do with values or goals—it was all about not having a black man in the White House. This in itself puzzles me, because his mother was white, which makes him as much white as black.

I also have black friends—staunch Christians who are anti-abortion, who don’t support a two-state solution for Israel and who have conservative personal values—who voted for Obama primarily because he is considered a black man. They were willing to look beyond values that are critical to Christianity so that a man of their own race could be elected.

I am troubled by both sides here, by any “race” (if there is such a thing) that sticks with their own no matter what. I guess we are still more bound by the confines of color than I want to admit.

vote-race

4. CHILDREN OFTEN ARE MUCH WISER THAN ADULTS. On Election Night, my son said he hated the fact that America has political parties. He passionately declared that we would be so much better off if we had no parties and every person simply ran based on his/her goals and values without anyone stuffing him/her into a party box.

Go ahead and try to argue with his logic and tell him how that’s not possible, how parties are needed. Meanwhile, I will pat him on the back and say, “I agree, son.”

People vote along party lines so often without even considering the values of the person they are voting for. If we had no Democrat, Libertarian or Republican parties, then maybe we would more closely examine what the candidate actually stands for.

no-political-parties

So when all is said and done, you might say that I am rather disillusioned by what I learned during the 2012 election. But I will put back on my rose-colored glasses, retreat to my old paths and keep believing—despite the failings of humanity as a whole (including my own)—that things will get better, that this country will still move positively forward, and that hope springs eternal in the human breast.

hope

Crazy Faith

All things r possibleCrazy Faith. Radical faith even. World-changing faith. That is what I want.

Is it more important that I be loving? Yes. I Cor. 13 teaches me that love is the most important Christian trait of all. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t also want the other good things the Bible tells us are possible to obtain.

For many years, I had faith in God–that He existed, that He was faithful, that He was amazing. But there are levels of faith I wasn’t exposed to until many years after my salvation experience.

When I became deathly sick in 2000 with a mysterious ailment that doctors couldn’t even diagnose, I learned a new level of faith. I had believed that God COULD heal, that God SOMETIMES healed–IF it was His will. But through those dark years of sickness, I came to believe that it is absolutely His will to heal–no question or doubt in my mind.

knowing God will

I can’t find one example of someone Jesus refused to heal in the Bible. If He took the stripes for our healing, then it was for all Christians, because the Word says He is no respecter of persons. WILL everyone be healed? No. In the same vein of thinking, WILL everybody be saved? No. Yet the Bible tells us it IS His will that none perish and that all be saved (II Peter 3:9 and I Timothy 2:3-4). Is healing a Heaven or Hell issue? Goodness, no. You can enter those pearly gates just as easily having died of cancer as if you simply died of old age.

But let’s don’t go there. That’s a whole different subject. Let’s talk about crazy faith.

faith--seeing light

You see, I am radical. I believe the Word when it says: “Jesus said to him, ‘If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.’” (Mark 9:23) Do you know what “all” means in the Greek? ALL! (My good buddy Revonda reminds me of that a lot!) I take Him at His Word when I read Luke 1:37: “For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Now, the scholars will chime in to say that we must ask according to God’s will. I agree. James 4:3 says “You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss.” So when I ask something that I know by the Word is God’s will, then I believe that I receive, that it won’t be impossible, that it WILL come to pass.

I can find very few people who will stand with me in this kind of faith. I’m talking about the Luke 11:5-10 kind of “knocking in importunity” faith that doesn’t give up, the Luke 18:1-8 faith that faints not and continually cries for manifestation to take place. If we only believe when we see results, then is that faith at all?

faith--Voltaire

Last night my water pipes froze in this record-breaking Arctic blast we’re experiencing, despite my dripping water faucet that I left on all night and despite my heated house and well-house. At first, the water seemed to be running okay. The hubster had just gotten into the shower after coming home at 8:30 a.m. from his third-shift job and had just soaped up his face when the water suddenly stopped flowing. I suppose the little water that came out at first was what was in the pipes already before the freeze stopped the flow closer to the well-house.

So like many others, there we were without water, with the danger of ruptured pipes and with a forecasted high of 22 in the cities south of us, which meant down in my shaded valley of Danbury, it might hit 19 degrees as tops. Not much chance of thawing out.

The poor hubster–already tired from working overtime through the weekend–ended up downstairs in our freezing cold basement, using a hairdryer on the pipes unsuccessfully, using a space heater on them to no avail. He finally gave up and turned the little heater off. We put our EdenPure heater downstairs in the early afternoon and hoped it would help a bit.

All morning and into the afternoon, I waited to hear the drip of water begin from the turned-on faucets in the kitchen and nearby bathroom. But not a sound nor a drip came forth.

The frustrated hubster said to me, “Well, it’ll probably be tomorrow before it thaws out.”

I felt something rise up inside me. “I refuse to believe that,” I replied.

“Well, it is what it is, Leslie,” he answered in a very negative voice.

“Well, I believe we can lay hands on those pipes and command that water to flow,” I declared.

“Then do it,” he challenged me.

I sat there a minute and realized I was rather angered by his pessimistic attitude and approach. I knew I didn’t need to go lay hands on the pipes in my present state of mind. (Or rather, my wrong state of HEART!) “I will shortly. And you’ll see a miracle,” I said, not arrogantly but confidently.

Then I softened and began to worry about his unusually downcast mood. “Do we walk by faith or by sight?” I asked him. “Do we believe God can do anything or don’t we? Why are you so depressed when you have lately been so convicted by God to study faith and healing?”

He confessed ruefully, “Because when I soaped up my face this morning in the shower, I began to praise God for His favor in protecting our water pipes. As soon as the words left my mouth, the water quit.”

I began to feel more sympathetic toward him, but at the same time, my faith rose up, and I began to preach. Yes, preach. I preached by the Spirit with tears, power and anointing for over half an hour, maybe much longer. I spoke the Word from II Cor. 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight” and from all over that Bible, including the Scriptures I mentioned above.

I testified of how radical faith makes us look crazy to the world–daring to say we are healed when we still manifest symptoms of sickness, stepping out to proclaim no lack even when the bills are past due. Why? Because His Word says that He wants His people whole, that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can even ask or think, that He came to give us life and life more abundantly, that it is a Godly desire to prosper and be in health even as our souls prosper.

life more abundantly

“Am I speaking ‘name it, claim it’ faith, like laying hands on a Cadillac or some such stuff as I’ve seen abused on TV?” I cried out. “NO! I don’t believe that lustful junk. I’m simply saying that our God wants us to have the things that we need and that are part of His will for our lives, and lack isn’t a part of that.”

I told the hubster, who was attentively and hungrily listening to my “sermon,” how Habakkuk 3:17-19 had been strong upon my heart lately:

“Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. . .”

“Well, it’s pretty hard to rejoice and have faith when you ain’t got a sheep in the stall or a crop in the fields,” the hubster remarked drily.

“Of course it is,” I replied. “But TRUE faith comes forth in tough times. We are like gold being refined in the heat of the fire; when it is heated up, the impurities rise to the surface. When we go through trials and hard times, what’s really deep within us will surface, and it often ain’t pretty. It’s all fine and dandy to rejoice when things go well, but can we keep the faith and joy of the Lord when darkness falls?”

I told him that when tough times come, we don’t have to pretend to like it. But it is then that we say to the Lord, “Father, I don’t like what is going on. I don’t understand why it is happening. This is threatening to take me under. But I KNOW that You are faithful and wise, so I am going to trust that You are going to work a miracle from this tragedy or calamity or obstacle, in order that Your glory will shine forth!”

beat darkness--thank God

Finally, the hubster melted and came over to kiss me. “Then pray for my unbelief. I want to have the kind of faith you’re talking about.”

I melted, too, and smiled at him, “I don’t have the level of faith that I want either. So we’re on that journey together, aren’t we? The Bible says that ‘faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.’ I have just preached the Word of God for quite a while now. You have heard it, and your faith will therefore be increased. I am believing for a miracle with this water situation. It IS God’s will that we have water–a necessity–and it is NOT His will that suffer lack by having hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of repairs if the pipes burst. We have the authority to command the water to flow freely in our house–even above the laws of nature which say it is frozen. We believe for the ‘SUPERNATURAL’ which means ‘OVER AND ABOVE THE NATURAL.'”

That humble man of God hugged me and walked out the door to go up the street to get us a hearty meal–our occasional Tuesday treat. I got up from the couch to use the toilet, not even minding the thought that it hadn’t been flushed in many hours of use. As I walked into the bathroom where there still wasn’t even the faintest drip of water from the open faucet, I realized that I was now totally at peace. The frustration/semi-anger that so often blocks faith and healing prayers was gone.

I looked into the mirror and smiled delightedly at myself as the unexpected thought hit me, “Lord, now I can pray with a clear conscience, can’t I?” I had gone in there simply to use the toilet, but instead I pointed to the faucet and spoke in full confidence and with great boldness, “In the name of Jesus, I take authority over the ice in the pipes and declare that it is God’s will that His children have water, and I command the water in MY house to flow freely RIGHT NOW!”

AS SOON AS I SAID THE LAST WORD, water burst forth from the faucet like lava erupting from a volcano, like a fountain springing up in the desert. It didn’t begin with a drip or a trickle; it was an immediate stream of water flowing forth! And I’m not talking about a five-second delay, like on television. I’M TALKING TO-THE-SECOND IMMEDIACY! The last word left my mouth, and in the same second, the water gushed out in obedience.

I screamed in joy and began to praise God loudly! With shaking hands, I grabbed the phone and called the hubster. He didn’t answer. Within a few minutes, he pulled in, and I ran to throw open the door–cold air and all!

“Alan!” I cried. “We’ve had a miracle! Come see!” His eyes wide, he hurried in and saw the kitchen faucet running, with fresh, pure water coming forth. Before I could even tell him the story, his eyes filled with tears.

“Tell me exactly how it happened!” he urged me, following me into the bathroom so that I could reenact the story. He listened and cried, wiped his eyes and listened again, then he began to praise God with me, tears streaming down his face.

“I could almost believe that He let the water freeze to build my faith and reassure me that He can do ANYTHING,” Alan speculated.

“Perhaps,” I replied. “Who knows? He works in mysterious ways indeed.”

faith sees the invisible

Our rejoicing went on throughout the afternoon. The scoffers will say that it was the heating of the day (yeah, it was up to a blistering 15 degrees at that point) or the EdenPure heater that did the trick. Maybe they helped. But you’ll never convince me that the water literally GUSHING FORTH at the EXACT SECOND that I commanded it to was a coincidence. I choose to give all of the glory to God who can do ANYTHING according to His will.

I hate the term “Bible-thumper” that is used derogatorily against Christians today, but I will admit that I did pat the Word emphatically a few times during my preaching today to stress that if the Bible says it, then it’s true–no matter what circumstances may imply or what negative symptoms are being manifested. I refuse to back down on the veracity of His Word. I will believe that healing is His will, no matter how many times we battle sickness around our house, no matter how many times my prayers seem of no effect.

His Word cannot lie. WE are imperfect and can fail or fall into unbelief, but HIS WORD IS TRUE NONETHELESS.

Radical faith. Crazy faith. Faith that the lost world mocks you for, that even some Christians scoff at you for, that many whisper about you behind your back for. That’s the faith I want. Faith to raise the dead, see blind eyes opened, have food multiplied in times of lack, walk on water if need be. Yep, that’s the faith I want.

If the world is gonna call us crazy anyway, we might as well be crazy indeed–CRAZY ABOUT JESUS!

God we serve--miracles

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