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June 14, 2019
…Do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit. Mark 13:11
Have you ever had the opportunity to share the Gospel or tell someone about Jesus, but you didn’t take it because you felt you weren’t prepared? One of my reoccurring nightmares is to find myself on a stage with people looking at me, yet I have no prepared message to give.
As my father became older and more feeble, I was advised to prepare well in advance for any remarks I might be asked to give at his service. Yet as hard as I tried, I could not come up with anything beforehand. I trusted that God would give me what He wanted me to say, if and when the time came.
That time did come when my father went to Heaven on February 21, 2018. His death set in motion an entire series of events that ran almost 24-7 until his funeral service on March 2.
Each of my four siblings and I had agreed to briefly share personal remarks at the noontime service, and God had used a friend to plant a seed of thought in my mind the day after Daddy went to Heaven. But in the days that followed, I literally had no time at all to prepare. While I was waiting to ride in the first of several motorcades the day of the service, the Spirit seemed to speak to me in a gentle whisper, letting me know how I could flesh out the thought that had already been given to me. But with the busy schedule before the funeral, I had no set-aside time to craft a message.
One hour before the service began, I was overcome by the fear of standing up to speak at my father’s funeral. I knew the audience would include the President of the United States and his wife, the Vice-President and his wife, the governor of our state, senators, congressmen, and just about every well-known leader in the evangelical world. Yet I had nothing prepared to say! So I put my head down on a table, closed my eyes, and thought I would pass out. I couldn’t even pray. It was as though my reoccurring nightmare had become a reality.
About thirty minutes before the service was to begin, I was called to stand by Daddy’s casket and wait with my siblings to greet the president and first lady, and the vice president and his wife. When they entered the main lobby of the library, greetings were given, and then the four of them were escorted to their seats. My siblings and I followed with Daddy leading the way. After special music, my aunt, my two sisters, and my youngest brother and I were escorted to the platform to await our turn to speak. I had not one moment to collect my thoughts.
We went in birth order, which meant I would be the third to speak, following my aunt and my older sister. And this is when the miracle occurred. When I stood at the podium, all the fear, dizziness, and grief fell away. What was left was a clarity of thought and a prophetic message that I knew, even as I heard my own words pouring forth, was a manifestation of the Spirit of God who is Jesus in me. I knew, and am still convinced today, that it was the Spirit’s supernatural equipping of God’s feeble child for that moment. I believe my father was honored, Jesus was exalted, and God was glorified as His Word went forth to the entire world through television, livestream, and social media.
And if God could do that for me, He can do it for you, too. So celebrate this Father’s Day by taking the opportunities your Heavenly Father gives you to speak a word for Him. Tell others that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them. Who sent His own Son to die to take away their sin and guilt. And that if they place their faith in Him, they would be forgiven, reconciled to the Father, and receive eternal life. Just do it! Scared! Experience for yourself a miracle this Father’s Day…a manifestation of the Spirit, who is Jesus in you.
February 23, 2019
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone… 1 Timothy 2:1
Yesterday my brother, Franklin, invited me to participate in a telephone prayer call for Venezuela. He described his increasing burden for the people there that stretches back over the last several years as 3.4 million people have walked out of the country. The socialist regime has reduced Venezuela, once the wealthiest country in Latin America, to less than third world status.
In recent elections, socialist President Nicolas Maduro was defeated but he has refused to relinquish his position and his power. While the legitimately elected president, Juan Guaido, has the full backing of the United States and fifty other countries, he cannot assume his position.
If someone wants to leave, the government allows them to take only one suitcase of belongings. Franklin described entire families walking across the border, dragging one suitcase behind them. And he said these are middle-class, well-to-do people who cannot survive the current conditions. Franklin spoke with one man who was coming back into Venezuela with a small plastic bag clutched in one hand. Inside were a few vegetables. When Franklin asked him if he could get vegetables in Venezuela, he said, “No more.” President Maduro has now sealed the borders in order that no humanitarian aid can enter the country. The people are starving and desperate, so they have taken to the streets in violent protest. Because the country’s leadership is backed by the military, the fear is that the tension is leading up to a massacre.
After Franklin described the crisis taking place right now in Venezuela, Vice President Mike Pence came on the phone. He shared that President Trump had contacted him to reach out to the faith community and ask God’s people to pray for the crisis in Venezuela. While President Trump travels to Hanoi to meet with the president of North Korea, Vice President Pence will be traveling to Bogota, Columbia, on Monday to meet with the leaders of Latin American countries.
In response to the Vice President’s request, please pray with me:
Lord of the Nations…
We bow before You as we acknowledge that You are seated on the throne at the center of the Universe. You are in charge. In control. You are sovereign as You rule over the affairs of men.
You are our Heavenly Father who loves the whole world…rich and poor, great and small, ignorant and educated, strong and weak, old and young, male and female…You love us all.
Thank You for giving us Your Son as our soul’s Saviour…our Redeemer…our Rescuer.
We now unite our voices as we ask You to look on the people of Venezuela. Give them Your full, undivided attention. Hear their cries. Heed their prayers. Help them, O Holy Lord. Break the enemy’s stranglehold, bring down the illegitimate government, compel patriotic men and women in the military to abandon President Maduro. Above all, we ask that in this desperate hour, You turn the hearts of the people to You.
Blessed Deliverer of the oppressed, Defender of the weak, we call on You to protect the innocent, bring to justice the guilty, and set Venezuela free…without a massacre.
We ask You to give unity of vision and will to Vice President Pence and the leaders he meets with on Monday. Give them Your wisdom to know what to do in order to help the Venezuelan people…and the courage to do it.
Thank you for President Trump and Vice President Pence who acknowledge that You are a prayer-hearing, prayer-answering God. Thank You for blessing us when we depend on You. Thank You that You prove Yourself strong on behalf of the weak.
We now lay this prayer before You, trusting You to answer us according to Your will.
In the name of the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ,
February 4, 2019
Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise Him for the splendor of His holiness as they went out at the head of the army…as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men…who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
While praying with my two daughters following my fifth chemo treatment, God seemed to indicate He had healed me. Cleansed me. Removed cancer from me. I pondered in my heart what I believe He had said. The numbers from my blood draw before the sixth treatment were all remarkably good. So after my sixth treatment, I began questioning whether or not I should continue chemo if, in fact, I was already healed. The weakness and weariness have been debilitating. The side-effects have been daunting. I did not want to continue treatments if they were unnecessary. One morning I decided to pray specifically, asking God to confirm from His Word whether or not I was to continue chemo treatments if I was already healed.
December 19, 2018
During the Prayer and Prophecy Tour of Israel this past summer, we made the time one evening to go to the Shepherd’s Fields outside of Bethlehem. So, with the Shepherd’s Fields as a backdrop, and the town of Bethlehem in the distance, in the place of the very first Christmas, I read the following portion from God’s Story to those gathered on the hillside…