So much for the best laid plans of mice and men. I hadn't planned on doing any more of this series on Miracles for several weeks, but recent events were so unusual I just couldn't wait.
You'll remember the story of our grandson, Kyle, and the excitement he generated with the rest of the family when the Lord straightened his eye. That excitement has spread to Kyle's cousins, and we're seeing a different set of miracles entirely.
By the way, coffee's on! Got a blend again this morning -- Double Roasted French Roast, Dark Roasted Indonesian and some more of that San Francisco Bay Columbian. Potent stuff! Smells wonderful. Love that aroma!
Our daughter, Rebekah, has five children. Adrianna is the oldest -- and the older of the three girls Rebekah has. Adrianna's father was black, and she takes after that side of the family. She is a gorgeous 13-year-old half-black, half-white.
Unfortunately, she has been the brunt of some racist comments and attacks among some of the kids she has hung around with, and the criticisms have been very hurtful. A couple of weeks ago, we discovered that she had been cutting herself. It is part of a wave of self-destruction the current generation of kids have suffered, and it is something we've seen among a number of junior-high and high-school kids throughout the nation.
Kids seem to suffer from an extreme form of depression and turn to self-flagellation or other self-destructive acts in an effort to deal with the hurt and gloom that hangs over them like a dark cloud. As noted, we've seen this in other places, but to have it happen to one of our grandchildren was a bit of a shock.
Della took Adrianna aside several days ago and began talking with her. Adrianna began to unload her feelings, the hurts she'd been feeling, and the accusations and mud-slinging that had come against her. After about an hour of one-on-one together, Adrianna suddenly asked, "Grandma, can you pray with me? I don't want to feel this anymore."
Adrianna had never personally accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior before, so this was a first step. She then came to my office to tell me what she and Grandma had done together, and then asked if I would pray for her for deliverance from a spirit of depression. Della joined me in a matter of minutes, and we ministered deliverance to Adrianna.
It wasn't more than a couple of hours when her brother, Andrew, came to me and asked, "Grandpa, can I get saved too?"
Let me tell you, that's a pretty exciting thing when your grandkids come to you and tell you they want to get saved and come to know Jesus Christ. That's when you know that your life and the example you set for your family is paying dividends.
In relatively short order, we had prayed with Andrew as well as he invited Jesus to become his Lord. The discussions turned to water baptism and Andrew asked if he could be baptized. That led to Adrianna's asking the same question, and then Jessica (we've talked about her many times in these Coffee Breaks) followed.
Jessica is only six years old, but she has a very clear understanding of her relationship with Jesus Christ. Normally, I wouldn't baptize a six-year-old, (I was baptized in the Nome River when I was nine years old, and I can still remember the experience to this day.) but Jessica has consistently demonstrated her relationship with the Lord since she was barely three years old. This is the same kid who has run around laying hands on family members when they're sick and commanding them to "be healed in the name of Jesus" ever since she was three. Most of the time, there has been an immediate manifestation of healing.
Warren Bogart (this is the same guy at whose home we had the barbecue where Mom lost her earring, and then the angel of the Lord returned it) opened his swimming pool to us for a baptismal and we baptized Adrianna, Andrew and Jessica on Sunday afternoon.
Jessica's next-oldest brother, P.J. (Peter John), is eight years old. He was not baptized that Sunday, but a few days later while he was riding with me in our truck while running some errands, he said to me, "Grandpa, can I be baptized too?"
I answered him, "P.J., water baptism is not just some fun thing to do. This is for people who have accepted Jesus Christ and made a decision to serve Him. Water baptism is a specific act of showing Satan that the old P.J. is dead, and a new P.J. has been resurrected to a new life in Jesus Christ."
He looked at me for a few seconds and then responded, "Grandpa, Jesus IS my Lord, and He's my father, too!" You'll appreciate that I almost stopped the truck and did a dance on the side of the highway. P.J.'s natural father is in prison and has been since P.J. was a baby. He's never had a son-father or father-son relationship in his life, so for him to confess that Jesus was his father was something that had to come by revelation of the Holy Spirit.
We're going to baptize P.J., along with a couple of his cousins very shortly.
Yesterday, while I was doing some work in the church, Jessica came over and sat down at the piano. Remember, she's only six. She's never had piano lessons or music lessons of any kind. I expected the usual pound, pound, pound on the keys that kids like to do when they want to make noise. There was none of that. She found a place on the piano keyboard that suited her and began to play a simple, but very elegant melody -- mostly one note at a time, but a few times with two or three-finger chords.
I was so focused on my tasks that I wasn't really paying a lot of attention other than to think -- most in the back of my head -- Wow, that's pretty good!
Ever since we began covering the Lakeland Outpouring and showing it nightly on the big screen (we have a 10-Megabit Internet connection which provides some pretty decent video quality) we've delayed our nightly worship gatherings until after the feed is cut off. Andrew, P.J., and Jessica were with us watching the feed last night. Jessica laid down on the rug in front of the flat screen, covered herself with a blanket, and fell asleep for perhaps 30 minutes.
Della wanted me to carry Jessica downstairs into a guest room where we have a bed, cover her up, and let her sleep, but she awoke when I picked her up. When I laid her down, Della was standing beside me and Jessica said to her, "Grandma, I just dreamed about Jesus."
Della answered, "You did? What did you dream?" Jessica responded, "Jesus came and touched me. He healed me."
That was a surprising response so Della asked, "What did Jesus heal you from?" Jessica held up a finger that she had nicked on a rose bush earlier in the day. (She had talked about her "owwee" when it happened and showed us the open cut where skin had been peeled away leaving a tiny, but raw wound.) When Jessica held up her finger this time, all the evidence of the cut and nicked flesh was gone and the finger was whole without any evidence of the earlier wound.
It was one of those "Wow!" experiences. You don't think of a cut finger as any big deal, but sometimes to a child it really is important. For Jessica to experience this healing in a dream sequence and actually be healed physically.....well, this was a first for me!
As Christians we have a bad habit of thinking that some requests we make of the Lord are just too trivial. Let's take, for example, asking for help in finding a missing set of keys or misplaced sunglasses. Are these trivial? Sure they are. Is a nick or a scratch on your finger or your arm or leg a trivial request for healing? We don't often think too much about things like that, but when you see the Lord respond to the requests and corresponding faith of little children, it ought to give adult Christians pause to reconsider.
How many times has your child or grandchild come to you with an "owwee" on their hand, their knee, their head, or whatever and asked you to kiss it and make it better? How many times have you had your kid or grandkid ask you to pray over something like that, you pray the prayer feeling somewhat foolish, but the child gets up and runs away with the pain gone? Hmmmmmmm................
But that was just the beginning of things that night with Jessica.
When we shut off the television feed and went into the sanctuary for our evening worship, we'd barely gotten through one piece of music when Jessica stopped us. "Grandma, Grandpa, you have to hear the song Jesus gave me."
She promptly sat down at the piano and began to play the
melody I'd heard her play earlier in the day. She played it pretty much
the same as she'd played it earlier. I was seated with my guitar so I picked
up the theme and began to play it. Della was at her synth
keyboards and invited Jessica over to play with her. (The piano is an old
upright piano and needs some tuning. Otherwise, we'd have let Jessica
continue on it.) Within short order, we were all playing Jessica's music
(Robert was on the drums,
It was another one of those "Wow!" experiences. It left us all almost speechless. It's not often you experience the Lord giving a six-year-old worship music, and music that is simple, memorable and elegant, all rolled into one. Tell you what! That music beat a whole lot of what folks euphemistically refer to as "praise" or "worship" in church services today. More than that, it brought a tangible presence of the Lord. I'll take that any day!
This, folks, is the place of the miraculous: the presence of the Lord. You can’t have the presence of the Lord and not see miracles. They just go with the package.
When we come to the place where our normal frame of reference is the presence the tangible presence of the Lord, and we are in constant pursuit of Him, we will begin to experience normal Christianity. This is where the supernatural becomes as natural as breathing in and breathing out. This is where we function and operate naturally in what the world around us calls “supernatural.”
It’s where we intend to live 24 hours per day.
Faith causes the intellect to see, the heart to hear, and the will to respond. Faith is not a substitute: it is the very substance of that which we hope for and expect. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.
The Blessing of the Lord: it makes rich and He adds no painful toil and sorrow! (Proverbs 10:22) Be blessed!
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