by Chris Jones
There’s undeniable evidence of God, for those who’ve experienced his miraculous power, especially when it comes as an answer to our prayers. I asked my friend, JB, if I could share the testimony of her daughter’s healing. This recent miracle is just one example of God at work in her life.
JB’s baby, Charlotte, was born with what her doctor described as a tracheoesophageal fistula, an abnormal connection between the esophagus and the trachea, which results in the aspiration of fluids. This caused her to breathe in milk instead of it traveling down her esophagus to her stomach during feedings. Basically, she was drowning every time she ate. Over time, this could result in chronic fluid in her lungs.
Not willing to wait for the doctors’ suggested plan of action, JB and her husband brought their request to God. They met that Wednesday night before service, for their Pastor and friends to lay hands on baby Charlotte, and “boldly ask the Lord for no sign of a cleft or fistula.” In prayer, Pastor claimed that no abnormalities would be found when she went into surgery.
The next day, they handed Charlotte over to the doctors, believing that the Lord had restored the structure and function of the connection between her esophagus and trachea, and that repair, therapy, feeding tubes etc. would not be a part of their lives, and that the Lord completely restored their baby girl. After some time, the doctor emerged from surgery and said, verbatim, “well, what we saw Tuesday just isn’t there! There are no abnormalities and no further repair or surgery is necessary!”
Before they left, the radiologist asked, “when you talk to the Lord again, could you ask him to help out with a few of my other patients too? You guys get good results!”
Praise the Lord for what he has done, is doing and will do through those who truly believe in him! In an instant, Charlotte was healed and able to breathe and feed without a choking or drowning sensation. Mom and Dad say she’s one happy and alert little girl.
1 John 5:14-15 says, “we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for.” Praise God, that his power is at work in our lives today!
by Chris Jones
Has this ever happened to you?
The other day, I walked out to the garage to get something I needed. Thinking I remembered where I left it, I puzzled over why I couldn’t find it quickly. Without wasting too much time, I returned to the house, assuming I’d find it in one of the several places that I typically lay things down (because my wife loves when I do that). Still, nothing. I bounced between the garage and the house a couple of times, before I finally found what I was looking for, laying just inches from where I originally looked.
It made me think, how many times do I miss what’s really happening around me, because I’m so sure of what I think I know. It’s as though we develop blinders of sorts, over the course of our lives. We grow so focused on the “truths” we’ve been delivered, that we lose the ability to see things as they really are, even when the answers are right in front of us.
I believe there’s much God is trying to reveal to His people. If we really take a step back, and ask Him to let us see our world and His Word with a fresh perspective, I think many would be surprised by what social, political, religious and familiar norms are just residue of some well-intentioned but misguided voices we’ve allowed to speak into our lives.
Holy Spirit, help us live with our spiritual and physical eyes wide open. Help us see ourselves as we are, and for who we’re called to be. Allow us to recognize the needs we’ve been designed to meet. Show us what we’re missing, where you’ve placed us. Give us a willingness to let go of the comfortable ideologies that aren’t inspired by the Father. Let your grace and mercy be experienced through our lives, as You empower us to be a demonstration of your love to this world. Amen!
by Chris Jones
Parents, how many times have our reactions to our children been triggered in a moment of our own frustration or anger? I’d guess that, in an easy majority of those instances, we’ve reacted with emotion and consequences that were well disproportionate to the perceived offense. Let it stand as reason enough to live in the power of The Holy Spirit, relying on His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control to rule over the emotions we’d otherwise release.
Ephesians 6:4 says, “And now a word to you fathers. Don’t make your children angry by the way you treat them. Rather, bring them up with the discipline and instruction approved by the Lord.
A comment to this verse in my Life Application Study Bible says, “The purpose of parental discipline is to help children grow, not to exasperate and provoke them to anger or discouragement. Parenting is not easy. It takes lots of patience to raise children in a loving, Christ-honoring manner. But frustration and anger should not be causes for discipline. Instead, parents should act in love, treating their children as Jesus treats the people he loves. This is vital to children’s development and to their understanding of what Christ is like.”
I like the way Paul’s letter is interpreted in Colossians 3:21 (NLT), where he warns, “Fathers, don’t aggravate your children. If you do, they will become discouraged and quit trying.”
God, help us to love like you love and discipline like you discipline. Help us to nurture the tender spirits in our children. Help us to always build, and never tear down. Holy Spirit, help us exhibit the image and character of Jesus in our interactions with those over whom we’re in positions of authority. Allow us to clearly see the mercy and grace we’ve been shown by the Father, and dispense guidance and correction accordingly. I pray that your peace and presence will rule in our homes, as we yield ourselves to Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
by Chris Jones
Saturday, we laid to rest my grandmother, E.E.. I had the great privilege of sharing some thoughts at her funeral. I’m posting them here, as a memorial and testament to the spirit of family that she embodied.
God is a great and wonderful mystery. In some regard, I’m jealous of E.E., because part of that mystery is now revealed to her. I wonder, what is she seeing? What is she hearing? What is she doing right now?
When I read the Bible I run into parts that make me scratch my head and think. What are these mysteries? What are these things that God hasn’t revealed to us yet? What does all this mean? Surely, there must be some way for us to study and research and seek to have these things revealed to us.
As Christians, we’re called to sacrifice our desires to bring God glory, to please Him. So, how do we do this in a world that’s so complicated, with scripture that, at times, can be so full of mystery?
Then, you run into a verse like 1 Timothy 5:3-4 and you’re confronted by just how plainly God has revealed parts of His plan to us. What Paul says here is “Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.”
I never knew anything but the sweetest, purest, most sacrificial love from E.E.. It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, to see a daughter and two sons give so willingly of themselves to return that love and selfless attention to their mother in her time of need. My Mom and Uncles (“Bubba” and “Uncle David Too”) set examples and showed honor to their mother that literally fills Heaven as worship to God, and He’s pleased by it. It testifies to the uncommon person my grandmother was, and the precious gift Heaven reclaimed when she left this world.
It’s a great hope we have, to believe that one day we’ll see God, face-to-face, and be reunited with our E.E..
We must establish priorities and boundaries to accomplish a goal.
God is love, right? It really doesn’t get more basic than that. It seems a common sentiment, however, that there just isn’t enough love in the world. So where’s the breakdown?
Think about it. How many person-to-person interactions do you have each day? Hundreds? Thousands? Each point of contact is an opportunity to be an expression of God’s love to the world. Since we’re His representatives, people we encounter should know God’s love by knowing us. So, why does the idea of a loving God remain a foreign concept to so many?
1 John 4:7-8 says, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
Is there a limit to God’s love? Is there a point at which it runs out? Is there a situation to which it can’t be applied, or have we simply failed to be effective instruments for administering His love to those around us? As followers of Jesus Christ, love should be our core competency. When God’s love saturates our lives we recognize the healing power of His grace and mercy. It compels us to become unreserved expressions of that love to others, EVERYONE!
Take a moment to think. Who do you have a hard time loving? Who, in your world, ranks the lowest? Be challenged to intentionally express God’s infectious love to them this week. There is enough love in this world. It’s contagious. You’re infected. Go spread it.
Welcome to my journey, as I run into God’s healing power. In this post I set the background for why I began to run, and what I’m believing as I take these steps of faith. Join me and let’s run this race together!
Help me welcome a new blogger to Witness Runner.
Nick Koopalethes, Pastor of The Victory House in Purcellville VA, is joining us. He’s a good friend who I had the privilege of working with during his years as a Youth Pastor. I continue to be impacted by his infectious confidence in God’s faithfulness and ability to do what He promises.
I’ll let Nick tell you all about his new adventure. If you’re believing God for a miracle, I think you’ll be inspired by my friend. Follow Witness Runner on Facebook or Twitter to make sure you don’t miss a moment of what Nick shares from his journey to healing.
You know that feeling, the one you get when you’ve gone out of your way for someone. Weather in response to that “still, small voice” or personal gumption, there’s a sense of a greater call we tap into when we help those in need. It’s the inexpressible emotions of uniting in labor with Missionaries in the field. It’s the reward found in our sacrifice to make sure others don’t go without. It’s the peace that settles after sharing the grief of the broken and hurting. It’s unspeakable and enduring joy.
While such joy is the theme of life for some, it’s all too rare a glimpse of God’s glory for most. It makes me wonder, is the pursuit of happiness stealing our joy?
While it may seem like a matter of semantics to many, some will agree that there’s an undeniable difference in the happiness that comes from the pursuit of earthly goals and the joy we discover in the work of God’s Kingdom, being His love extended to the overlooked, the devalued, the forgotten, the “least” among us. None-the-less, we spend the greater part of our resources in a lopsided pursuit of a temporary happiness that expires as the luster of our possessions fades, inspiring us to believe that “bigger” and “better” will somehow satisfy the restless desire for our hearts to be filled.
In this context, it’s hard to ignore John’s urging to “…not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.” Peter also acknowledges the key to this joy when he said, “You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.”
Christmas is a natural time of benevolence, and the joy that comes with giving. We’ve missed something though, if we believe God’s intent was that the birth of his Son would merely inspire a season of giving. Rather, His gift to us is that we needn’t settle for the “happiness” of this world, but that we share in the joy of being ambassadors for His Kingdom, giving completely of ourselves in service to others.