Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Yes, it's time to update your links. Blogger's down more than it's up. In fact, as I'm writing this, there's a message on my screen that says, "Could not connect to Blogger.com". I bet I could make a ton of money if I create a blog site and charge people 99cents per month. All I gotta do is leave it up more than Blogger's up.

Anyway, my new blog is hosted on my own server. Yeah, I'm in control. The blog's locations are:

Healing Power is now located at: http://clay.fhlforums.com/healing-power

Clay's Ramblings is now located at: http://clay.fhlforums.com/claysramblings

The Ramblings Homeschool Dad is now located at: http://clay.fhlforums.com/homeschooldadrambler

Check 'em out. I'm going to begin migrating some of the more important posts to the new location when I have time.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Speak, Lord, for Your Servant Listens

I'm taking advantage of falling back. My alarm went off at 7:00 this morning. I got up to enjoy a cup of coffee, and was meditating on the goodness of Community Coffee Chocolate Raspberry when my wife came and reminded me that today was "fall-back" day. I went back to bed, but something kept nagging me to write this...

The boy Samuel was serving God under Eli's direction. This was at a time when the revelation of God was rarely heard or seen. One night Eli was sound asleep (his eyesight was very bad—he could hardly see). It was well before dawn; the sanctuary lamp was still burning. Samuel was still in bed in the Temple of God, where the Chest of God rested.
Then God called out, "Samuel, Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Yes? I'm here." Then he ran to Eli saying, "I heard you call. Here I am."
Eli said, "I didn't call you. Go back to bed." And so he did.
God called again, "Samuel, Samuel!"
Samuel got up and went to Eli, "I heard you call. Here I am."
Again Eli said, "Son, I didn't call you. Go back to bed." (This all happened before Samuel knew God for himself. It was before the revelation of God had been given to him personally.)
God called again, "Samuel!"—the third time! Yet again Samuel got up and went to Eli, "Yes? I heard you call me. Here I am."
That's when it dawned on Eli that God was calling the boy. So Eli directed Samuel, "Go back and lie down. If the voice calls again, say, 'Speak, God. I'm your servant, ready to listen.'" Samuel returned to his bed.
Then God came and stood before him exactly as before, calling out, "Samuel! Samuel!"
Samuel answered, "Speak. I'm your servant, ready to listen."
- 1 Samuel 3:1-10, The Message
Like it or not, God still calls to us today. Have you ever taken the time to listen?

God speaks to us when He has something to say. While many will say His only Word is the Bible, I have to disagree - I believe He still speaks to those who will listen. There is so much of His work to be done, and so few workers.
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues,
preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
- Matthew 9:35-38, NIV

Since there are few workers, we must all be ready to take orders from our High Commander when He issues them. Our orders may seem to be huge, "Go to the street corner I will show you and preach My word to the lost!" Or, we may be told to do something that seems to be tiny, "Give that homeless guy a quarter in My name." And the callings run the gamut in-between.

Yet, we balk at actually hearing God's voice in today's world. God speaks to us through the "Counselor", the Holy Spirit given to us after Christ's ascension into Heaven. Paul quoted Isaiah 64:4 in 1 Corinthians 2:9 that the Holy Spirit reveals to us the mind of God. Read 1 Corinthians 2:6-16.
We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we speak of God's secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written:
"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" [Isaiah 64:4] — but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment:
"For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" [Isaiah 40:13] But we have the mind of Christ.
Could that have only applied to the "age of the apostles"? Would God have only revealed Himself to us in this way for a short time then shut up as He did during the "400 years of silence" at the end of the non-apocryphal Old Testament? Or, am I just hallucinating?

I think it all comes down to discernment. I do not hear God speaking to me constantly. Either that's because He does not speak to me constantly, or it's because I have ears that do not hear Him. It's only on rare occasions, like this morning, that I hear Him.

People say, "Well, what does He sound like?" I believe you've heard His voice, even if you did not recognize it. His voice is not audible with our physical ears. We hear it in our spiritual ears - our receptive hearts. Yes, I believe we've all heard His voice, even non-believers who are trying to find some sort of meaning in their lives.

  • His voice is that gentle nudge that we feel when a decision to be made. ("Man, I'd really like to buy the new Third Day CD, but I can't afford it.")
  • His voice is the uneasy feeling - even a gnawing in your gut - when we do something we shouldn't have. ("I really should've left a note on that parked car I hit.")
  • His voice is the joy we feel on a rainy day when we sense His presence.
  • His voice is the confidence we feel when we embark upon some mission in unfamiliar territory.
  • And, His voice is the new idea that pops into our head to do something that will magnify His name.
Ah - but how do you know it's the Holy Spirit and not an evil spirit or last night's pizza with everything on it and extra jalapeños? What tells you it's God speaking to you and not a hallucination or just a really bad idea?

Then you look back on His written word. "All scripture is God-breathed." - 2 Timothy 3:16 That means God dictated all scripture to His secretaries (Moses, the Prophets, the Apostles, etc.) and they wrote it down. Divine inspiration and guidance also prevents the Word of God from being corrupted throughout history. So we know it's really God's word. (There are more surviving contemporary fragments of biblical works than of any other ancient work. They compare very well with modern translations.)

So if you feel God's putting it on your heart to divorce your spouse so you can marry that new hot neighbor, read scripture. It'll tell you otherwise. This is called "discernment". Wisdom and knowledge of scripture will help you to understand the will of God.

Do you want to hear God speaking to you? Here's how you do it:
  1. Read your bible. All He asks is that you read it. Start with a couple of minutes a day. You'll find that it's fascinating reading, and you'll work your way up to bigger chunks.
  2. Pray. Talk to God. Tell Him what's on your heart. Lift up those who need His intervention.
  3. Listen to what He tells you. When you talk to God, don't monopolize the conversation. Give Him a chance to talk, too.
That's really all there is to it.

Get into the habit. Start reading His word. Fill your day with His presence. You can do it, even if you have a job or are a stay-at-home parent. Start with five minutes a day. Read the bible for one minute. Pray for two. Listen for two. That's all He asks. Before you know it, your prayer time will have ended and you will want more. Ask Him for the wisdom to understand what you read and hear. Ask Him for the confidence and strength to do what He wants you to do. And ask Him to give you peace when you take on His work.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Having Some Fun

What follows has nothing to do with God's Healing Power. But I don't know if anyone's still looking at Clay's Ramblings anymore. So, I'm a-gonna post it here.

I like to have fun every now and again, so I took the Shrek 2 Party CD with karaoke tracks, and recorded myself singing these. There are two songs I recorded, "I'm Too Sexy", originally done by Right Said Fred (I call myself Wrong Sed Clay), and "These Boots are Made for Walkin'" by Nancy Sinatra. These songs, however, are written too high for my voice. Yeah, I could fake my way through "Sexy", but "Boots" was downright horrible. Neither of those are available for download here, 'cuz I think they're bad.

So, last night, my wife and I talked about how bad they were. She had a suggestion: "Why not speak the lyrics? Lose the rhythm and just say the words with the music going in the background." We laughed about that idea for a while, then I said, "Sounds good".

What you have here (Sexy) and here (Boots) are my very special rendition of these songs. Yeah, I got no rhythm. But I do have a lot of fun!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thoughts on Job

That's Job (pronounced Jobe), not job (pronounced jawb).

Many people look to Job as the be-all end-all book on suffering. After all, who suffered more than Job? The book is his answer to his personal suffering, right?

Well, I don't think so. First, a little background. I was familiar with the book of Job. As a depressed high-schooler, many of my Christian friends suggested I read the book to put my life in perspective. I read the first three chapters and indeed, it put everything in perspective. I came away with the feeling that God really didn't care about us. After all, we were simply pawns in some cosmic chess game between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Didn't God place a bet on Job and allow Satan to do as he pleased?

I kept pointing to the book of Job as proof that we were nothing in God's eyes. It came to be my understanding that, though there was a God, and He came to us as Christ and gives each of us who ask His Holy Spirit, He really didn't give a flyin' flip about any of us.

Then, in January, 2002, I gave my life to Him. Shortly afterward, I lost my job (not Jobe, jawb). I was suddenly in a place where I needed to understand something, and again people began to recommend the book of Job. My folks asked me if I wanted to join them in a trip to California to visit my brother. My wife was overseas, my kid (at that time there was only one) was staying with her maternal grandmother, so I said, "Yeah!" On the way, I took the time and read all 42 chapters of the book of Job.


As I read, I kept hearing all the things people had said to me, and that I'd said to and about God. But what really struck me was when God spoke to Job out of the whirlwind. "OK, you know so much about life and the nature of things, so tell me: Why did I design things the way I did? Can you play with sea monsters and give them to your daughters? Can you control the stars? Are you able to do any of these things"

I began to realize that, though I was a tiny player in a much larger 'cosmic' game - a game built by the Lord to destroy Satan - He still loved me dearly. Though the world come crashing down on me, He never promised me a good life; only a good afterlife. And much better than I can ever imagine.

In fact, the book of Job is not about Job or his suffering. It is about God. And the clue, again, came from the first three chapters. Yes, it was a cosmic bet. A gamble between two supernatural powers. A wager between the forces of good and the forces of evil. God had enough faith in Job to place his bet on him. God knew that, even though Satan would do his best to bring Job down, that Job would still come through. Satan thought betting on Job would be a long-shot. God knew it would be a sure thing.

And, in the end, God showed his infinite love for Job by restoring his wealth (twice over!) and his family. Though I gotta admit - what fun would it be for an old man to have to change diapers again?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Encouraged to return

OK - to catch up:
  • My webserver's up and running. I'm debating if I want to install a blog engine there or just keep it here... That means my podcasts are available - look to your right -->
  • I've resurrected Clay's Ramblings - but now it's for secular thoughts like local politics.
  • I'm finding my place in God's world. And sometimes it ain't pretty...

Skip the depressing junk and read the happy stuff

Now that you're caught up, here's the scoop. I've been getting fairly discouraged. I work hard, and I get my kudos, but kudos aren't what I'm looking for. I like to see results. Without results, I tend to want to quit. When I quit (see my series on fear), I don't go back. And much of the LORD's work shows little or no result in this lifetime. That makes it difficult to keep going.

About the only place I feel encouraged about my work on a regular basis is doing the behind-the-scenes A/V work at Bering Drive Church of Christ (Sunday Church). Most of the congregation doesn't even know about the work I do, and I'm happy about that. Like I said, I'm not looking for a pat on the back. But I can see the difference in the work I do and that makes me feel good about it. It's instantaneous. It's satisfying.

So, I've found it hard to continue writing. Not that I haven't heard about how it's making people out there in blog-land think, I'm not getting the results I want. Now, how selfish is that? i mean - if I'm doing the LORD's work, then I need to get the results He wants, right? There's mistake number one.

I'm also involved in some work through various churches. Again, I'm not looking for kudos, but something concrete that demonstrates that my work is actually doing something. I volunteered for a very short while at an inner-city church. Between the drive and lack o' results, I quit. They said I was doing a good job, but I just didn't feel it.

I also volunteer with a prison ministry through "Wednesday Church". Every Thursday night, I venture over to Central Unit in Sugar Land, Texas, and sit for two hours with the prisoner to whom I have been assigned. Doug's a good guy. He's got 23 years remaining on a 25 year sentence for a crime committed 9 years ago. He knows the LORD and is on fire for Him in a way you have to see to believe. I have a lot of trouble seeing where I'm helping in his life.

As you may know from former entries, I'm also a Stay-At-Homeschool-Dad. I work all day, every day, with two kids who don't want to learn about anything except SpiderMan and the Men In Black. I tell them one thing, they do the other. I see no immediate results. The "light bulb" moments are few and far between. It's so frustrating, I'm considering abandoning homeschooling.

Finally, my writing and podcasts. I want someone to discover me, say, "Wow! We need to sign a book deal!" But nobody has. Those are the results I wanted to see, and they haven't materialized. (Yeah, I know every young kid that attends a baseball game has the same desire when they catch a foul ball...) It's been so bad I haven't even bothered to read anyone else's blog. I guess you could erase all those entries to the right. But don't do it yet! It's not their fault!

OK - so now you know why I've been discouraged. Why, then, did I even bother to sit down and write? Well, I'll tell ya! See, today, the LORD has taken extra time out of His busy schedule to open my blind eyes to the work I've been doing. He's shown me some of the results.

Every time my kids are involved in something outside the house, the people in charge of the event tell me how well behaved my children are. It's amazing. Those two terrors are angels in the presence of others. There's results. My oldest is learning multiplication. She can recite her tables to other people outside the house, but not in lessons. So, there are results. And, as my wife is always reminding me, there are results to be seen in 10-15 years when they move into the world.

This morning, I was invited to a VIPs (Volunteers in Prisons) breakfast. It was an appreciation breakfast, complete with recently released offenders. All three of the offenders present praised God for the work the volunteers did at the prison. The young lady offender is now a volunteer mentor at Carol Vance Unit, a faith-based prison in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. More on that in another post - it's exciting! The two male offenders also have expressed a burning desire to become mentors within the prisons. My mentor in the mentoring program (?) let me know this morning that he received a letter from one of Doug's cellmates thanking him for bringing me into the mentoring program. He shared how much my presence has impacted Doug's life over the last six weeks. <sniff!>

The speaker at the breakfast was First Colony's own Ronnie Norman. He's really got a gift for telling it like it is. This morning, he spoke about the Widow's Mite - those two small copper coins that were dropped in the offering pot. He said, "It doesn't look like you're doing very much, and you may never see the results. But every person out there who wears white every day thanks you for the work you do." So, I may be out there working, and never see what happens. Heck, some of the seed may land on rocky, thorny soil or even be eaten by birds. But at least I'm trying to sow.

While at the breakfast, one of the men who knows my testimony introduced me to the leader of First Colony's Celebrate Recovery Program. He suggested I visit the program and offer proof that God really will help people recover from alcoholism, sexual addiction and emotional disorders if you'll just let Him! I gave a brief version of my testimony and he said it was very powerful. <boohoo>


So, when I get home, thinking about all that's been happening, my kids put in a movie (Aristocats) and my wife takes a nap. I get on the 'net and say, "Wow. I haven't read any blogs in a long time. I haven't really written anything serious in Healing Power in a long time, either!" I start reading.

I thumb through the blogs I really wanted to read (The Journeying Mother hasn't updated hers...) and posted a comment on The Palmer Perspective and moved on. One, again, showed me results in my writing. Joy in the Journey, specifically the entry entitled "Meet" said that my writing is changing lives. And that's the result the LORD wants.

So, thank you Doug. Thank you Gene. Thank you Ronnie. And, most of all this morning, thank you Joy. You have shown me that I need to stop worrying about the results I see, and just keep on plugging. After all, that's what the LORD wants me to do.

Prayer -

Almighty Heavenly Father, remind us all today of why we're here. There is so much we cannot see, so much we are unaware of. Like Elisha's servant in 2 Kings 6, open our eyes so that we may see. Or, better yet, help us to find the faith to believe without seeing, for as Christ said to Thomas in John 20, "blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Father, we all suffer discouragement when we work for you, for Satan blinds us. Grant us your peace in all our endeavours, that we will hear you say "Well done, good and faithful servant". Thank you for the privelege of serving you. Thank you for the promise of inheritance of your Kingdom.

We pray this in Christ's Holy Name,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Quick Update

A friend of mine donated a computer to the cause. Now I have a 800MHz webserver! Woohoo! Thanks, Ralph!

So, once I get everything configured, I'll be up and running. After this morning's incident (the latest of many on Blog*Spot), I think I'll be moving my blogs to my personal server.

OK - gotta take the kids to Homeschool PE!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Time's Fun when you're having Flies!

I actually saw that as a postmark on an envelope once. I think the letter was mailed from California.

I know God's been at work in my life. I can feel it. Funny thing is, I really have had zero desire to write about it. I mean, how the heck am I supposed to write when I don't even have time for my daily chores?... to complete the lessons I have planned?... to read and study His Word?... to pray?

I desperately want to remain in touch with God. I desparately want Him to be the cornerstone of all that I do. But then I get on the computer and start playing games or chatting with friends and I don't have time to write.

My Adult Sunday School class is reading through the bible in 90 days. It's a ginormous (say it out loud) proposition at first glance, but not impossible. We're committing ourselves to 12 pages every day in a specially-formatted NIV Bible. Right now, I'm 15 days behind. The class is in the middle of 1 Samuel, and I'm in Deuteronomy.

And, I just had to ask my daughter to give me some time to write. She wants to talk to me, and I want to write. I do talk to her a lot when she wants; in fact, that's one reason we don't accomplish all we want to on lessons. But that's another story.

OK - so I need to find time in my incredibly busy schedule to write. I need to find a way to defeat all the temptations on my time so that I can write.

How can I do this? The same way I defeated everything else in my life. I pray. I'm asking God to help me prioritize my time so that I can do what He wants me to do. I believe He wants me to talk to him - pray. He also wants me to study His Word - read the Bible. He also wants me to be a stay-at-homeschool Dad. That means I have to educate my kids, do laundry, vacuum, dust, clean the kitchen, bathe the kids, mow the lawn, clean the garage... you get the picture.

Perhaps we can all find more time to spend with our LORD. Perhaps we can all find those moments in our lives where we actually do what we're supposed to do: put Him first.

Will you join with me in this challenge to devote more time to God? Will you keep in touch with me and let me know how your doing? We should all encourage each other and say, "This is what I did today so I can spend more time with Him."


Almighty Heavenly Father, today we're asking that you fill our lives where ever we may be. Reach out to us, however far we may be away from you and fill us with your Spirit. We know you never leave us, but you do allow us to leave you when we fail to commune with you. You have promised us that all we need do is ask, and you'll forgive us. So, with repentant hearts, we are asking you to forgive us for the times we come up short. We are asking you to forgive us for our selfishness - spending our small amount of time on us without much though toward you.

Thank you, Father, for your gift of forgiveness and love. Thank you for giving us hearts that can know your joy. And thank you for defeating the temptation to stray from your side.

In Jesus' Holy Name we pray,