Healing Power

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

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Three Days and Counting...

That title sounds so negative. But I was wracking my brains to come up with a good title. So, here ya go. Three Days and Counting... is the title of this post.

Why am I even posting? It's really all about prayer. And answers to prayer. And what it takes to be a good pray-er (as in praying person, not the communication between you and Father God). Tomorrow, May 1 2008, is the National Day of Prayer. Pray with me.

I'm trying to develop the pattern of praying all day. And I'm falling flat on my face. Not literally, in this context that would be a good thing. No, I'm simply not doing as well as I'd like. My goal is, as 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, "Pray without ceasing." (American Standard Version)

What does this have to do with the title? Well, three days ago, I started working for a new company that is unashamedly Christian. In the employee handbook is "The Mustang Prayer". That's not to say they are opposed to anyone who is not a Christian. Following Christ's example, they have an open-door policy.

Beyond my new employer, though, I've been trying to keep in prayer in order to strengthen my armor. With everything my family has been through over the last six years (has it been that long?), the enemy is continuously firing shots at us. I'm betting that through prayer, God will make me stronger - and my family by proxy.

So, for three days, I've had little interference in my prayer life. I've seen prayers answered - a well-paying job in my chosen field, healing at home, a chance to return to prison and more. I've felt the peace of God descend on my family and I. I've experienced firsthand the pleasure of nestling in God's arms free from worry and care.

I'm not doing as well as I'd like to, but I'm doing better. I'm also doing better about praying for the people I said I would. Like Keneke and Squat who both have knee injuries. Like Jesse's kidneys and upcoming surgery. Like Mamaw and her circulatory issues. Like Jack and his wife - both are in failing health. Like my Dad and his compounding issues.

No, I'm not boasting. I'm merely telling you what's working for me. I'd like to encourage you to try it for a while as well. See if you don't experience the peace I've come to know. Build a relationship with God. Remember, prayer isn't just you talking to God, it's talking with Him. Listen for His response. And teach your kids to do it as well.

OK - I'm outtahere.


Almighty Heavenly Father, my Dad in Heaven. All majesty and power to you. Though our nation has set aside one day to pray, I seek to find you through prayer all day every day. I ask that you bless each of us as we embark on this journey.

Thank you for being available to us through Jesus Christ's sacrificial offering. It's in His name we pray,

Friday, April 25, 2008

In ALL Things, I will Praise Your Name!

A little background is needed: This week, my job did not start as planned. There were some contract and HR snafus, so my start date was pushed to next Monday (04/28/2008). They have assured me that I still have the job, that the client company still wants me, that they wanted me to start on the day they interviewed me... but that there were simply some hurdles to overcome. So, for three days this week, I rose at 6 AM, got showered and dressed just in case they called. Then, at 5 PM I went to my other job at the jewelry store.

My wife has been preparing to lead the Ladies' Retreat at our church. That has taken an extraordinary amount of time with very long days, often starting before 7 AM and rarely ending before 1 AM. During this last week, she was finalizing preparations and ensuring that everything was ready to go. Still some long days. Hours on the telephone and computer. Last minute changes. Her schedule was booked solid, and she was supposed to be caring for the kids while I was at work.

Well, as you can probably guess, I was very frustrated. My job did not come through as expected, and I was stuck at home all day. I was happy to take the kids all day so my wife could do her thing. This unexpected pleasure, though, was not enough to overcome the frustration I felt at not going to work. I was getting angry and short-tempered.

Finally, my wife looked at me and said, "I have enough trouble planning for this retreat with you working one job. It would have been impossible if you were working two, as we thought you would be. God has freed your time so you can help me as I go to do His work!"

Amazed, I just stared at her. Don't get me wrong; my wife always has wonderful spiritual insight for me. I really think she operates on a higher plane than I do. But I was amazed because I had been trying to find any reason that this was more than just another way to get me down. When she pointed that out, I still struggled with frustration, but I could see the Hand of God in everything that was happening.

She left for the retreat yesterday. My folks are here to watch the kids while I go to the jewelry store. All is indeed well with the world.


Father in Heaven, Your ways are so much higher than our ways. Your ways can see all things, past, present and future, and make it all work for good. Forgive me for having been so blind I could not see Your Almighty Hand in all that has happened.

I ask that you open the eyes of all who believe. Open their eyes to see how You work in all things, even the mundane or frustrating. That some must sacrifice temporarily so that others may move forward.

Finally, thank you so much for the new job! I am very excited about it, and I am ready to commit to it for the long haul - which I would not have been able to do without Your hand in my life. Thank you for using me as a piece of Your glory on earth. Thank you for allowing me to spend more time with my kids. Thank you for giving my parents time to come up and spend with us. And thank you most of all for the lovely woman you put in my life who so strongly desires to work for You!

In Christ's Name we pray,

Monday, April 21, 2008

2007 was a Rebuilding Year...

I'll admit, that during the 2007 we were rebuilding our team. We suffered inconsolable losses and celebrated few victories. We did, however, learn from our shortcomings, and looked at the opening of 2008 as a truly new year with a higher promise from a Higher Power whom I praise and glorify - Jesus Christ, the Annointed Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer.

2007 brought to a head some of the problems I had encountered - especially material greed. In an attempt to teach me a lesson, I had to learn how to live without the finances I thought were so necessary. My friends can attest to how my faith became an empty pit as I grasped onto the fleeting joys of eating meat. My wife became an expert at making two meals out of a single chicken breast, saving the bones for me so I could nibble the meat. We learned that brown rice is more nutritious than white rice and will fill the tummy faster. We learned that a couple extra bucks on fruit will keep the kids healthy and filled without buying all the junk food. I learned that I could be happy without all the material things that bring only temporary joy. We found that Medicaid is not a bad word, even for the fiscal conservatives we have been raised.

In response, the Lord told me to stay put at the job which paid so poorly. He demonstrated His providence for us, in that we never missed a house payment, never missed a meal and our cars - though apparently on their last legs - are still operating well and passing inspection. We have become like the Israelites in the wilderness, receiving all the blessings and still grumbling because it's not enough.

Finally, though, several of my customers asked me why I was selling cars when I should be working on computers. I accepted this as a directive from the Lord that I need to begin working my way out of the car industry. On April 1, I accepted a job as a jewelry salesman at a store in the mall. Immediately afterward, offers for interviews began pouring in. I found myself on phone interviews for jobs ranging from programmer to network analyst to grunt tech support. One of those phone interviews led to a face-to-face interview with a company known for treating its employees very well.

That job has materialized. Waiting only for the legal department to finalize the paperwork, I start working in the computer field this week. God has provided a way that I can bring home the money we need to run a household. He has provided a way that, with the lessons we learned from being po', we can now live on less money than before and still have extra. By acknowledging that all our gifts come from the Lord, we can have less and still be satisfied.


Almighty Heavenly Father, we know that you have promised to not let a single sparrow escape from your loving grasp. And that you consider us to be worth so much more than a sparrow. Thank you for your abundant providence! Thank you for bringing home our bacon!

Father, as we all embark upon a new day, remind us of your continued presence and gifts. Bring us home with you and provide us all with a full tummy. And remind us that there are others who do not have what they need - and you have commissioned us to care for those needs.

In Christ's Name we pray,

Thursday, April 10, 2008


"I once was blind, but now I see"
- John Newton, Amazing Grace

"I can see much clearer now I'm blind"
- Dream Theater, Take the Time

Jesus said, "For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind."
Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, "What? Are we blind too?"
Jesus said, "If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
- John 9:39-41, NIV

What is Spiritual Blindness? How can we know if we are blind or if we see? What is the meaning of the riddle in John 9? Why did I pick this topic today? Why do they call it a freeway when it costs a million dollars per mile?

I can safely say that I believed I could see until I realized that I was blinded to the truth. The world has a definition of blindness that is diametrically opposed to God's. When one can "see," according to the world, they are blind, according to God. They are unable to align themselves to God's law. They begin to serve the almighty dollar and leave the Almighty God behind. Obeying the two great commandments, "Love God first, love everybody else second" makes you a "Jesus Freak" according to the world. And who wants to be labeled a freak?

But once I discovered that I was truly blind, then I could see Christ. I could see where He wants me. Of course, I kept losing sight of Him and His blessing, but it does get easier to come back. It's kinda like looking at the stars. I live in a large city. I can get around just fine, day or night, because there's so much light. But I can only see a select few very bright stars at night. Get me out of the city, away from the lights, I can't see where I'm going. But I can see the stars.

Spiritual blindness is the same thing. You have to forgo this world in order to see Heaven. My goal in life is to be blind to my heart's desires, seeking only to fulfill God's desires. Once I can achieve this, I know my heart will be truly satisfied.


Almighty Father in Heaven, hear our prayer. We come blind into your courts, seeking sight. The desires of this world have blinded us to your Kingdom. Desire for a bigger house, a better car, a faster computer, a nicer TV... These desires have taken such root in our spiritual eyes that we can no longer see You.

Show us your Glory! Show us your Majesty! Bring us back to your courts, your subjects - no, your children. Heirs to your throne. Bring us full circle back into your grace!

Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity we have. Thank you for crucifying our old selves and restoring purity in our lives.

In Jesus Christ's Holy Name we pray,

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The Quran Left at my Door

I have always wondered what the other faiths believed. Well, at least beyond the basics. I'll be the first to admit I know little about faiths, though I know a little more about Christianity than I do the others. I was going to write what I thought were the basics, but decided against it. I would only be showing all the world exactly how ignorant I am of the rest of the world. I welcome any input to teach me - in common layman's terms - what the rest of the world believes.

To that end, someone dropped a gift at my front door. Actually, they put it in a bag and hung it on my doorknob along with instructions to treat it with the respect any holy scripture deserves. It was delivered by the "Book of Signs Foundation", and the English translation was approved by AL-AZHAR, ISLAMIC RESEARCH ACADEMY, GENERAL DEPARTMENT FOR RESEARCH, WRITING & TRANSLATION, Cairo, Egypt and the PUSAT ISLAM in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

My wife asked, "What do you want to do with it?"

I replied, "I don't know."

I thumbed through the introduction which asked that we not throw it away if we don't want it, simply pass it along to someone who might. I've already found that person and he will have it on Sunday.

I'll admit that I'm curious. I know it was passed along with the intent to proselytize. And I know it's my job to return the favor. But how?

First, I'm reminded of I John 5:10-12:

Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
. I have the testimony in my heart. I know what God has done in my life and what I believe He can do in the lives of others. I can readily share that -- when prompted by the Spirit.

But in reading I John, I see that "Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son." Does this mean I am to condemn others who don't believe as I do? Do I condemn those who have trained as earnestly in their faith (maybe even more so) as I? Had I been in a different place, perhaps I would believe as they do.

To this end, I'm reminded of Paul's address to the Athenians on Mars Hill. Rather than condemn them, Paul appealed to their common ground.

Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: "Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.
Paul did not condemn them, rather he appealed to their intellect. He praised them for their faith.

I thank the Book of Signs Foundation for their leaving the Quran at my door. I wish I had been available to receive it in person. I see it as a gift from one who loves me and desires to see that I live my life in a manner pleasing to Allah. For that, I truly thank you. You are, in a sense, bolder than I. You don't mind knocking on a stranger's door.

However, I feel that I must respectfully decline your offer. I will present this English translation of the Quran to an Elder at my church who has expressed interest in studying it. Rest assured that it will be handled with the respect due any holy scripture, including my own copy of the Holy Bible.

I will also offer up a prayer that you may come to know and have a relationship with the man you call the Greatest Prophet; the man I call Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior. I also pray that your acceptance of the messiah will not drive a wedge into your family.

In this light, I would like to open a respectful dialogue with people from other faiths. By respectful, I mean an exchange of information without an attempt to proselytize, or argue. This is not a challenge. I have no desire to debate about these ideals of faith, nor do I claim to have all the answers regarding my own. I simply wish to talk about it.


Almighty Heavenly Father, I come into your presence in awe and wonder at the works of your hands - the majesty of your spoken Word. I come in thanks for all you have done for the world, for your Church, for my family and for me - the saving work of your Son.

Father, grant my request: that people of all the world may sit down and talk about themselves and their faith - or lack thereof. That some of us may come to an understanding of why, and how.

Father, I also ask that you enrich my heart as I embark on this mission. Protect me from anger and jealousy as you did Paul on Mars Hill. Help me to achieve a meaningful understanding of the people in this world.

In Christ's Holy Name I pray,