Many doubt that our Shepherd is a God of love and miracles -- that He continues to intervene in our lives and show His power and faithfulness in supernatural ways. Therefore we invite everyone to share God's special miracles in your own lives.
"Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting."
Arabs donate wood to rebuild Haifa synagogue: Israeli-Arab businessmen who were asked to give an estimate to help repair damage caused to a synagogue in Haifa due to the massive fires there have said they will carry out the project pro-bono, and refuse any compensation for the restoration work." See His light in the darkness
Look What Happened the Minute that Trump and Pence walked into Church on Sunday!
Arabs donate wood to rebuild Haifa synagogue: Israeli-Arab businessmen who were asked to give an estimate to help repair damage caused to a synagogue in Haifa due to the massive fires there have said they will carry out the project pro-bono, and refuse any compensation for the restoration work." See His light in the darkness
A Heartwarming Story: Israeli Doctors Saved This Orphan's Life: "Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Alona Raucher, fondly known as Dr. Alona by her patients, first met Esther in Israel.... ''And although she was very, very sick, she was very, very happy. She took us over.'... During the bus ride home an amazing thing happened. [Esther] entertained all the passengers, and they asked me, 'Who is this girl?' ... Esther was eight at the time....' Dr. Lior Sasson operated on Esther for hours..." See Victory in Christ
My Lord forever: Here is a song I often sing silently to Him in the morning when I wake up -- and as He brings it to my mind day or night. A wonderful pianist and friend has recently added a beautiful version of the melody. I hope you will enjoy singing the words as a prayer to our wonderful Lord." See My Friend
Federal jury decides in favor of Scouts [6-23-10] "A federal jury Wednesday decided that Philadelphia violated the Boy Scouts' First Amendment rights by using the organization's anti-gay policy as a reason to evict them from their city-owned offices near Logan Square. ...Scouts lawyers expect U.S. District Judge Ronald Buckwalter to issue a permanent injunction that bars the Scouts' eviction because of their policy - set by the national organization - that homosexuals cannot be scouts or troop leaders." See Praise
Here are two examples of women who turned to God in prayer -- and for wisdom -- in order to bring truth and love to distressed burglars:
1. Alleged Robber Hands Bullet to Store Clerk After She Prays With Him: "A man suspected of robbing an Indianapolis check cashing store removed the bullet from his gun after the clerk talked about God and prayed with him, police said. Alleged armed robber hands bullet to store clerk after she prays with him. The man, Gregory L. Smith of Indianapolis, turned himself in to police a few hours after he allegedly held up the Advance America check cashing store Monday."
2. Christian Woman Stops Robbery With Faith: "Held up at gunpoint, a store clerk invoked her faith to turn the desperate thief into a repentant gunman. A store clerk's mention of her religion leads to a robber's change of heart.
"When a man tried to rob a MetroPCS cell phone store at gunpoint in Pompano Beach, Fla., store manager Nayara Goncalves, 20, calmly talked to the man about Jesus and her faith until he left without taking any money."' SeeGod's unchanging Word
Gratitude: "It is easy to take things for granted. For example, you are reading this essay. Have you thanked God for the fact that you are able to see, and you know how to read? If we look for things to thank God for, we will find more and more reasons to be grateful. And if we look for things to complain about, we will find more and more reasons to complain."
A blessing we often take for granted: A wonderful video on the beauty of colors. See Our creator
Canadian Lifetime Speech Ban Lifted: "A couple of years back, the Rev. Stephen Boissoin committed the crime of writing a letter to a local newspaper objecting to various aspects of 'the homosexual agenda.' The Alberta 'Human Rights' Tribunal convicted him of this crime and imposed a lifetime speech ban preventing him, in essence, from saying anything about homosexuality in public or private ever again anywhere for the rest of his life. The Court of Queen's Bench in Alberta has now struck down this outrageous decision.... 'The direction to cease and desist the publishing of 'disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals' is beyond the power of the Panel. 'Disparaging remarks' were not defined by the Panel. But clearly, 'disparaging remarks' are remarks much less serious than hateful and contemptuous remarks and are quite lawful to make." See Our God reigns!
Santa Rosa graduating class defies ACLU and prays at graduation: "...nearly 400 graduating seniors at Pace High School stood up in protest against the ACLU and recited the Lord’s Prayer during their graduation ceremony on Saturday. Many of the students also painted crosses on their graduation caps to make a statement of faith. This event follows a lawsuit the ACLU filed against the Santa Rosa County School District (Florida), claiming some of the teachers and administration endorsed religion. Liberty Counsel represents Pace High School Principal Frank Lay and school teacher Michelle Winkler." Not Ashamed
Parents may home school children without teaching credential: "Parents may legally home-school their children in California even if they lack a teaching credential, a state appellate court ruled Friday. The decision is a reversal of the court's earlier position, which effectively prohibited most home schooling and sparked fear throughout the state's estimated 166,000 home-schoolers. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who had vowed to allow home schooling through legislation if the court did not act, praised the ruling."
War and Forgiveness: "The Doolittle bombing raid was close to a suicide mission, a one-way trip to bring the war to the Japanese homeland for the first time. Coming not long after Pearl Harbor and before the Pacific island victories to come, the raid was a huge boost to domestic morale....
"DeShazer was taken prisoner, and was starved, beaten and tortured by his Japanese captors. For 34 of his 40 months in captivity, he was kept in solitary confinement. His pilot... and engineer-gunner... were killed by firing squad. But DeShazer survived the war, was liberated after V-J Day in August 1945, and went on to get a degree in Biblical literature from Seattle Pacific College.... In 1948, he returned as a Christian missionary ... and he would continue his ministry in Japan for 30 years."
Trusting God's guidance. The Minnesota Teen Challenge program is thanking God on several fronts for His awesome protection during the bridge collapse on Interstate 35 yesterday. This bridge is located just ¼ mile from our main center and is traveled hundreds of times by many of our students and staff as the main route to the Northeast metro area. I have heard almost a dozen stories from employees and students who were on this bridge just minutes before it went down. I want to share three of the most powerful miracles.
First, Jessica our admissions supervisor, told me in tears how at 6:00 last night she was ready to enter the I-35 Bridge over the Mississippi. The Holy Spirit spoke to her very abruptly to turn off the freeway and go a different way home. She obeyed the Holy Spirit arguing with him all the way. Since she takes this same route every day and her commute home takes almost an hour, detouring from the freeway and not crossing over the bridge didn't make sense. Shortly after she detoured from I-35, the bridge went down. Jessica most likely would have been on that bridge.
The second testimony was told to me by dozens of our Teen Challenge students. Every Wednesday night for the past 3 years our buses and vans are loaded and a caravan of vehicles transport our men over the I-35 Bridge to a local church. They leave our buildings at 6:00 and cross over the bridge at approximately 6:10. As the caravan of vehicles left the building, a staff who normally drives the bus stayed back with a group of sick students. He called one of the drivers to say that it might be best if "just tonight."
They didn't go over the freeway bridge and instead took an alternative route. When the students arrived at the church and heard what had happened, the vast majority got on their knees and wept.
Lastly, my daughter who works at the University of Minnesota and is on that bridge every night at around 6:10 p.m. just "happened to" ask for the day off of work. She also could have been on this bridge.
Right now they say that over 50 cars are lying near or under the bridge on the bottom of the Mississippi River. They believe that most of these vehicles have fatalities. Thank God for His divine protection! Please pray for our city! Yesterday we had our Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan and members of the Minneapolis City Council at chapel. It was a powerful time and at the end we prayed together for our city and for God's wisdom on our leaders and law enforcement. Little did we know that just hours later our city would experience the greatest catastrophe in Minnesota's history.
Please keep us in prayer.
Rich Scherber, Executive Director
MN Teen Challenge
1619 Portland Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
There's No Such Thing as Luck: "There was a bus filled with fifty children. There were three almost-certain destinations for the bus: (1) The River; (2) Crashing into a burning truck; (3) Trapping and crushing all children inside. What happened? None of the above. The bus stopped short by only a few feet from going off the edge of the bridge.
"With that story and many others I have grown weary and almost sickened by the constant use of the word 'luck.' ... Not one public person I have heard (and I could have missed it) gave any glory to God for making this less of a disaster than it already is. It wasn't 'the great people of Minnesota' that made this less tragic. It was God's grace." See Our God Reigns
Violent convicts are preaching religious conversion: "Donald 'Carolina' Biermann arrived at Angola prison in 1980. It was America's most violent jail, a Deep South sinkhole for killers and rapists. 'I came to Angola with the sole intent of dying here. I just did not care,' said the burly 48-year-old South Carolinian serving a life sentence for murder. But things have changed.... Biermann, once a feared inmate, is now in his second year at a seminary that has opened inside the prison. He hosts a Bible class for fellow prisoners on his wing each Thursday. 'Jesus took the hate out of my heart,' he said....
"The college sits incongruously in the main prison camp marked by the sign 'Baptist Theological Seminary'.... It is a tough course for some prisoners, many practically illiterate.... William Fallon, 26, a handsome man with a neat haircut, is serving life for murder. Now a born-again Christian, he is in no doubt where he would be without the seminary. 'I would probably be dead. If not dead, then insane,' he said.'" Galatians 2:20
On July 24, Jim Miller wrote us to order books -- then added, "I am currently hospitalized while waiting for a heart transplant." (This page tells more of the story: http://www.maze.cc/index.php?id=1
On August 6, he wrote this exciting testimony:
I received a heart transplant in the early hours of Wednesday, July 28. I came home this past Wednesday, August 4th. I am doing extremely well! Praise the Lord for his greatness and the blessings that he has shown me. Every aspect of this progression has been a miracle, especially the final 18 hours.
I have much to do, to heal completely, but know that God has given me this rebirth to serve Him. In the last few months, I have seen other people’s lives begin to change because of my illness.
I have been writing about my Cardiomyopathy experience for many years now. Recently, I started an on-line journal and photo gallery of my hospital experience. If you are interested, and find the time, you can see it at: http://www.maze.cc
Passengers Give Troops First-Class Seats: "Eight soldiers flying home from Iraq for two weeks of R&R flew in style instead of coach after first-class passengers offered to swap seats with them. 'The soldiers were very, very happy, and the whole aircraft had a different feeling.'"
Pakistani Pastor Escapes Islamist Captors: "A Protestant pastor kidnapped last Sunday morning escaped from his Islamist abductors overnight Monday, some 40 hours after he had disappeared on his way to church services in Quetta.... Pastor Wilson Fazal, 41, managed to jump out of the vehicle in which his kidnappers were driving him to Peshawar late on the night of May 17... 'It was a very big miracle.' ... Fazal was severely beaten by his captors, who also subjected him to electric shocks, stabbed him through the tongue, shaved off his hair and mustache and taunted him with savage death threats if he refused to convert to Islam." Hope in Christ
Bible verse to remain on fire truck: "The Bible verse, which is located on both sides of the fire truck's ladder, is drawn from Psalm 23: 'Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.' Fire Chief Steve Gorrell said he and firefighters chose the verse because it is 'how the firefighters feel at two in the morning when they go into a structure fire.' They don't fear any evil because of their training and being with the other firefighters, he said. The department had considered several secular sayings, but settled on the Christian one because it suited their sentiments best..... 'People need to remember they can look at that as a verse or of something that firefighters believe.'"
Until that Day. Published in 1942, this book shows the courage of many Christians in pre-war Germany. Karl Hoffmann, the young pastor who told the story was a theology student in Berlin during the early 30s as Hitler rose to power. Feeling painfully alone among other Christian students and professors who seemed undisturbed by the growing threats to the church, he longed for fellowship with those who would share his concerns and convictions.
As Karl sat by himself one day, another student walked up to him and said, "Herr Hoffmann, I am Erich Doehr....I am curious to know if your one of us who believe that the fight for the Church's freedom must not be allowed to stop now...."
"Would I be willing?" Karl stammered. ... "You mean there are others?"
As young Doehr tells the excited theology student about the secret resistance organization, my mind drifted to Pastor Martin Niemoller, whose words have been an inspiration to God's people in America as well as in Europe. Some time ago I had framed his familiar words:
"... Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me."
I took a break from my reading to find the framed message and hang on the wall of my little "office." Then I sat down again, picked up the book and continued reading:
"One man is the brains behind the organization.... We are organizing in small groups in order to escape notice. We call ourselves the [Christian Fighting Front. We are just getting started...."
"Your leader is intelligent.... Who is he?"
"His name is Niemoller... He is pastor of the church at Dahlem."
"Thank you, Lord," I said out loud. What special timing! This book had been sent to me years ago, and I had set it aside, unaware of its significance. Now He had prompted me to read it, and I was blessed. And even before I saw Martin Niemoller's name, God put him on my mind.
We posted some excerpts from this wonderful book, but we stopped when we discovered that this old out-of-print book is now back in print. You can order it from Amazon. You may also be interested in reading Preparing for Persecution.
God is so good! For the third time this week, our computer crashed and refused to reboot. Again we prayed and waited. I asked that, if He had any other encouraging words that we might share with all of you, He would graciously open it up once more. We tried again, and it did boot! Thank You, thank You, precious Lord!
My hope now is just to put as much encouraging information onto our website as possible in preparation for the possibility that we might not have a computer for two weeks. We have ordered a new workstation from Dell, but we were told it might not arrive until April 16. It's so good to know that "our times are in His hands" -- and His ways are perfect!
Freed prisoner honored with forgiveness award: "Rick Walker served 12 1/2 years behind bars for a murder he did not commit. And when he walked out of prison in June, he told the world he was a free man, not a bitter one. He forgave everyone, he said. The judge, the jury and the prosecuting attorney -- Walker held no grudges. The faith that had sustained him through more than a decade behind bars didn't allow for anger or blame." God's love in us
Water Ministry Offers Life in Guyana: "When missionaries go into an area and tell villagers they'd like to give them a well, the villages may be suspicious and ask, 'How much is it going to cost us?' Brian explains it will cost nothing beyond a little labor and maybe a meal or two. The skeptical villagers then ask, 'If it doesn't cost us anything ... why are you doing this?'....
"We tell them, 'The Lord called us here and we're doing what He called us to do.'"
Baptized In The Desert! "WMHK has received an awesome photo of an Army chaplain and soldiers baptizing in the desert of Kuwait! According to the information we received, a total of eight soldiers were baptized recently. Please pray for our troops!" John 15:7
Thousands of troops request Bibles: "Requests from commanders, chaplains, soldiers, sailors and airmen continue to pour in, including one scrawled message on a piece of cardboard which reads: 'I have a Bible …but the guys in my unit don't have any. Can you send [Bibles] over?'...
"'The reality of death for a young person becomes quite apparent when you're going into battle. If you have faith in Christ, that gives you peace that passes all understanding, even in the midst of the storm or the battle.'"
From Pulpit to Prison and Back: "Miguel Robles lay in a Paraguay prison cell, incarcerated and tortured for his Christian faith. 'Lord, why this suffering?' he prayed. 'Why is this happening to me? I'm a young man and I have a young family, but if this is my time, I've given you all.'
In a crowded cell with about 20 other men, mostly political prisoners, Miguel fully expected that his execution was eminent. At first, he was not disheartened. He thought, 'If Jesus could wear the crown of thorns, how could we not suffer for Him?'"
In Kuwait, Baptism Before the Gunfire: "While hundreds of Marines with rifles slung over their shoulders looked on, eight young men in green shorts and T-shirts approached the altar during last Sunday's church services at this military camp in the northern Kuwaiti desert. One by one they received blessings from a chaplain and plunged into a freshly dug pool to be baptized.....
"'After today, I feel more ready to cross the border,' said Lance Cpl. Matthew Haugan of Hayward, Calif., one of the Marines baptized Sunday. 'This is better armor than anything the Marine Corps could give me.'"
Death Sentences Lifted for South China Church Leaders: "Four of the church leaders were declared innocent and released immediately. SCC founder Gong Shengliang and two others were sentenced to life in prison. They had been facing execution. ... During the retrial, the court dropped all 'evil cult' charges against the South China Church leaders."
The Strength of weakness: "We have a tendency to look at first century Christians as great men of their time. However, most New Testament saints only became great after they passed on from the humiliation, rejection, suffering and temptation of this world. The reality is, most were reviled by the civilized world during their ministries, not honored, awarded, acclaimed, respected, revered or decorated for their 'reasonable service'. Those who were erroneously praised along the way by well-meaning believers vehemently refused such acclaim out of reverence for Christ.
"My, what a contrast to today’s 'great men of faith' who allow themselves to be treated like Hollywood celebrities before the omnipresent eyes of a Suffering Servant who washed the feet of men and hung on a cross for their sins." 2 Cor 12:9-10
Mom says girl in Pledge case worships God: "The California schoolgirl whose atheist father successfully sued to have the Pledge of Allegiance declared unconstitutional has no problem with reciting the pledge, her mother said Thursday.
"'I was concerned that the American public would be led to believe that my daughter is an atheist or that she has been harmed by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, including the words 'one nation under God,' said the mother, Sandra Banning, in a statement. 'In our home we are practicing Christians and are active in our church.''' 2 Cor 2:14
Plan for human body is laid out moments after conception: "Which side of the microscopic embryo will form the back and head, are not left to later development as has been believed by embryologists, but are set out in the minutes and hours after the sperm and egg unite to form a new human being." The amazing complexities of life and creation are far greater than most scientists have imagined. Psalm 139:14-15
Victory in 'Straight Pride' shirt case: "Elliott Chambers, a 16 year old student at Woodbury High School in St. Paul, was ordered by his principal, Dana Babbitt, not to wear the sweatshirt on January 17, 2001, because one student complained about it.... The lawsuit, filed by the AFA Center for Law & Policy ... alleged that Woodbury High’s display of inverted pink triangles -- the universal symbol for gay pride -- promoted homosexuality, and the disciplinary action against Elliott constituted viewpoint discrimination. Principal Babbitt acted quickly when a single student complained the 'straight pride' message was offensive. By contrast, when Mr. and Mrs. Chambers told Mr. Babbitt they were offended by the pink triangles, he accused them of being homophobes and refused to remove them.
“We are pleased that Elliott’s rights have been vindicated,' commented Stephen M. Crampton, Chief Counsel for the Center. 'But we are disappointed at the hypocrisy of posting the gay pride symbols throughout the school and then censoring the `straight pride’ message.” 2 Cor 2:17
And a Little Child Shall Lead Them: "The following is a true story. The names have been changed to protect a fragile work of healing still in progress.... It had taken all the courage she could muster just to get this far. But as the moments dragged on, panic began to set in. 'Why did I come here?' she thought." Psalm 23
Rescue of Aid Workers Bears Witness to the Power of Christ: "Heather Mercer, 24, a native of Vienna, Va., and Dayna Curry, 30, of Thompson's Station, Tenn., were among eight Christian aid workers being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan since their arrest Aug. 3 for preaching Christianity. They were first evacuated from their prison by Taliban forces on Tuesday when Kabul fell to the opposition Northern Alliance. Then they were locked in a jail about 60 miles southwest of Kabul, to be released by local soldiers when the Taliban fled. The group was finally rescued via helicopter early Thursday morning by U.S. Special Forces. ...And all gave glory to God, a fact not overlooked by the secular press. ...
"Despite the circumstances, American aid worker Dayna Curry, 30, said they never lost faith. 'We knew that God was going to get us out of there somehow.'" Matt 10:16-22
What is CC&M doing with Native Americans? "Our ship will bring modern dental and medical clinics with volunteer dentists and doctors providing services for children, families, and single adults who are isolated and in need. Will you join with us?" A glimpse of God's light in a darkening world. Isaiah 45:3 We thank God for His love shown through this ministry. (We noticed that this website uses some of the nice-sounding phrases that permeate the "new ecumenism" and "church growth." Increasingly familiar, these words and slogans seep into our language whether or not we understand the new meaning behind them.) May we delight His compassion demonstrated through these caring servants.
Tending the Garden and Praying for Rain: It's amazing what one can learn in a vegetable garden. Until last year I hadn't the slightest urge to plant one. And frankly, were it not for my wife's passion and perseverance I doubt it would ever have come into fruition. I'm just not one of those folks who get excited about playing with dirt and slapping mosquitoes on a hot summer day. But, she usually gets what she wants and she wanted a vegetable garden. So, that's what she got. I knew it would be a learning experience for us both, but never dreamed it would yield all that it did." Matt 7:20
Hard Times..Hard Lines: "I see things differently than many of my peers in ministry. I was not raised in the household of faith. I never went to Sunday School.... Those I grew up around fluctuated between agnosticism, existentialism, and atheism.... I saw more drugs and violence before I was thirteen than most of my peers will ever see or imagine (mercifully) in a lifetime.... But God saved me.
"He saved me by the hand of some people who loved me enough to tell me I was wrong to live in sin and would pay a terrible price for it if I continued unabated. Then they told me about Jesus...." 1 Cor 6:9-11 and Psalm 32-7
House of Prayer reunion: "Half an hour after David Duncan and his son, Stephen, found each other, the 7-year-old continued to rest his hand on his father's shoulder. In the chaos of Friday's sudden reunions between members of the House of Prayer church and many of the children seized from their homes by state welfare officials in an abuse investigation, the boy wasn't letting his father go anywhere."
Valedictorian turns down honor, saying runner-up deserved it: "In my case, Jennette Sexton took a number of more difficult subjects than what I did. That should be taken into consideration."
35 House of Prayer children are returned to their parents: "The "judge and DFCs now realize that so many mistakes were made along the way. It is really an embarrassment to the state of Georgia," Brooks said. Of the 49 seized children no more than five had suffered physical harm, according to court testimony, interviews and other material."
Graduates skirt prayer ban: "It was not the words graduating senior Ryan Brown spoke at Washington Community High School commencement services on Sunday that resonated in this small town just outside of Peoria. It was what he did before he spoke." Matt 10:32-33
Missionary Attests to Healing Power of Forgiveness: "Faith in God is sustaining the Baptist missionary whose wife and baby were killed when the Peruvian military shot down their private plane earlier this month." See also The Story of Roni Bowers
A missionary from Kumamoto City wrote the following:
"We had just begun meetings for our new church project, and the first Sunday a young woman came with Bible in hand. I was surprised when she said that she had never attended a Christian meeting before. Then when I went over the plan of salvation with her, she said firmly, 'I already believe!'"She explained that two years ago she was carrying a heavy feeling of guilt that she could not shake. She tried several different Buddhist meetings and newer religions, but found no peace.
Then one day she happened to turn on the TV and hear the preacher say, "Jesus died for your sins. He will forgive you." Right there in her living room she asked God to forgive her. At last there was peace!"Our new church meeting place just happened to be right across the alley from this new believer."Your prayers are important to make Christian radio and TV programs effective. (Operation Japan)
In the midst of the world's heartaches and tragedies -- whether broadcast by the mainstream media or hidden from the masses -- our God reigns. The photos of grieving children carrying the lambs they love to the slaughter brought tears to my eyes, but God has something higher and better for all those who will turn to Him:
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." John 16:33
"See first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33
This morning, God led me back to an old book that opened my heart to the meaning of brokenness years ago, soon after I received Jesus as my Lord. Once again, He filled me with joy as I pondered His strength and sufficiency in my weakness and need. The author, Roy Hession wrote:
"Being broken is both God's work and ours. He brings His pressure to bear, but we have to make the choice. If we are really open to conviction as we seek fellowship with God (and willingness for the light is the prime condition of fellowship with God), God will show us the expressions of this proud, hard self that cause Him pain. Then it is, we can stiffen our necks and refuse to repent, or we can bow the head and say, "Yes Lord." Brokenness in daily experience is simply the response of humility to the conviction of God And inasmuch as this conviction is continuous, we shall need to be broken continually.
You see, the only life that pleases God and that can be victories is His life -- never our life, no matter how hard we try. But inasmuch as our self-centered life is the exact opposite of His, we can never be filled with Hi life unless we are prepared for God to bring our life constantly to death. And in that we must co-operate by our moral choice."
Nothing is more exciting than know that "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me...." (Galatians 2:20) Thank you Lord!
From Japan: The Village That Lived By The Bible This exciting demonstration of God's love and wisdom is still good news to those who haven't heard it.
From Berit: It wasn't easy for me to start doing radio interviews back in the early nineties, but God proved His sufficiency in the midst of my fear and weakness. As He put His words in my mouth, my confidence grew and the paralyzing fear faded. Today, I anticipate these public programs as exciting opportunities to share my Lord's wonderful truths and to help equip His people for the challenges ahead.
But last week's radio interviews were agonizing. My mind was foggy, the words didn't flow, and the needed quotes were hidden in the papers on my desk. Discouraged afterwards, I turned to my Lord. He reminded me of a statement by a dear saint from long ago who said, "I cannot do otherwise if you leave me to myself. It is You who must hinder my falling and mend what is amiss."
I fell on my knees and confessed my attitude of pride and presumption. I know well that I can only do what He asks by His Life and strength. Yet, I sometimes become so busy preparing my message that I squeeze out the most important part of all: quality time in prayer before His throne. How glad I am that my Lord is a faithful Father who disciplines me and, occasionally, allows me to see my weakness apart from His marvelous overflowing grace.
"I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." John 15:5
I [Berit] know well that our God is the sovereign King of the universe, yet I don't cease to be amazed at the fine details of His guidance in our lives. Last fall, I had to be in Greensboro, North Carolina, by Thursday night in order to speak at an important meeting on Friday morning. I had been ticketed for three different flights and arrived at our local airport about 80 minutes early -- in time to fly "stand-by" on an American Airlines plane leaving a 7:45am, an hour before my scheduled departure for Los Angeles.
In LA I found the right terminal in time to sign up for “stand-by” again. This second plane would leave for Detroit at 1O:30 -- 2 hours ahead of my scheduled flight. But the plane was “full” and the ticket agent gave me little reason to hope for a seat. Then, while I waited, Northwest announced that my 12:30 flight would be delayed for 3 hours. That meant missing my third plane by almost two hours.
More than four names preceded mine on the stand-by list, yet my name was the fifth and last called. [God is so faithful!] I was issued a ticket and hurried into the plane, passing several others hoping for a seat. But as I entered the plane and walked down the aisle, I saw no empty seats. Each was taken, including the one assigned to me. The man in “my” seat had the same number as mine.
I reached the back of the plane, and waited. There I prayed, thanking God that He would surely bring me to His destination for me on time.
A stewardess came and told that there simply wasn’t any seat left for me. As I prayed again, a man near the front of the plane stood up, picked up his small suitcase and walked out. Moments later I was told to take his vacated seat! My heart was singing as I sat down in the place He had prepared for me.