Tuesday, January 25, 2011

GOD HEALS A MAN'S KNEES AFTER 20 YEARS OF PAIN...

This is a true story. This true story happened on Friday night, January 7th 2011 at Redeemer Fellowship Church in Monroe, Michigan with over 400 witnesses.

Hal Benner has faithfully served the Lord for at least 32 years (that's how many years I've been alive...yep! He's my dad!). For around 20 years he has had no cartilage in both of his knees. He's had much pain on a daily basis. I very rarely heard him complain about it growing up. He would walk as best as he could to keep up with his 3 girls.

On January 7th, he attended the Global Awakening conference with Randy Clark at our church. Randy, during the last song of the worship set, said that he believed many people were going to be healed while the congregation sang. We sang...God healed. Many people were healed, as Randy said. I was scanning the people in awe of what God was doing when I looked and saw that my dad was waving both his arms, indicating that he, too, had been a recipient of "on earth as it is in heaven"!  My dad has had no pain since in either leg! This is something many of us have been praying for for years!

I love this story!!!

PS...the night before, while someone prayed for him they noticed that one of his legs was shorter than the other. It was off by several inches. He's walked with a good size limp for a long time. As they prayed, his short leg grew to the same length as his long leg. They're equal size now. Now, the only reason he has to walk with a limp is if he's trying to be ghetto daddy! YO YO DAWG! God's fun!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Thankfulness...again...

Do you want to encounter more of God's presence? We sing lyrics filled with asking for more of God on most Sundays corporately. I know that my journal pages are filled with this heart cry..."God, I want to know You more. I want to have more of Your presence than I experienced last week."

Psalm 100:4 says, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!" Notice that there aren't any question marks in this verse. It isn't a suggestion, it's a command. It's also a key...do you want to encounter more of God's presence? Practice thankfulness. Thankfulness is a Holy Spirit magnet. It's like the Holy Spirit is ticklish and becomes joyfully squirmy when He finds a thankful heart!

Early this morning I was driving to church with my iPod blaring, singing at the top of my lungs, hoping no one was watching! I have no other way to describe this other than to say Thankfulness entered my car. It felt around me, not in me. It was like the presence of Thankfulness. Immediately my heart became a bounty-quicker-picker-upper and what was first surrounding me became within me. I was overwhelmed with thankfulness for the presence of God in my life.

This is no cliche question...where would I be without Him actively present in my life? I do not understand the lives of those who have yet to meet His love and goodness, His Holy Spirit who counsels and comforts, His Son who redeems and intercedes for us. I cannot fathom how different my life would be. A few things I do know is that I would be a crabby, bitter, bossy, arrogant, old adult. If I have any joy, any ability to submit and prefer others, any humility, any amount of child-likeness it is because of His presence. He has changed me. I am not the same person I used to be and I have been given the greatest adventure ever known to man...to know my Creator as intimately as I choose to press in. Where else is this kind of attainable gift offered?

I have much that I am waiting on God to do. I have big, impossible promises that desire fulfillment. Waiting is hard and confusing. Disappointment and unbelief lie at my doorstep on a daily basis. It feels often that my heart and my mind are a war zone over which perspective I will choose to dwell in from moment to moment. It seems, more and more, that thankfulness is my largest weapon to stay with Him and to not quit or grow apathetic, lethargic. Thankfulness is the key to keeping me sharp in discernment. Thankfulness leads me to the place of wisdom. Thankfulness brings trust, peace, joy. Thankfulness leads to contentedness in current circumstances.Thankfulness remembers goodness. And most importantly, thankfulness leads me to the presence of the One.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New York City Day #2

Today was adventurous...

*I was personally responsible for Kelly Reaume getting backhanded by a cute old man while sharing the Gospel.
*I led worship at the Chinese speaking service and Faith Bible Church this evening with John & Linda Piippo, Joy Bergeson, Kelly Reaume and Trevor Robinson.
*I had the honor of teaching a worship workshop after that...I love doing this!
*I ate something that tasted like chicken but had as many bones as fish.
*I had a Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks.
*I passed out fliers to people inviting them to the worship night this coming Friday night at Faith Bible Church...meanwhile, standing next to me were two men passing out strip club tickets. Two kingdoms colliding on the corner of Roosevelt and Main street!
*I found a shopping mall and had self-control to not enter...tomorrow may be a different story!
*I watched as Pastor John prayed for people at the end of a prayer meeting tonight...his kindness towards others teaches me so much! I love watching God use him!

It's been a good day!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New York City Day #1

Today I flew into New York City with Pastor John and Linda. Our RMS students are here with us, as well. We are spending time with the largest Chinese church in New York. Our hosts, Pastor John and Rosie Hao, are two of the kindest people I have ever met. Their kindness is so vast, it challenges me to treat others as they do. I see Jesus in them.

This week I have the opportunity to teach their worship team leaders and members about the lifestyle of a worshiper and how to grow and develop their team. I'm very excited about this. I love teaching others about worship! I feel energized and charged every time I get to point others towards a more intimate relationship with God. I love leading worship, but I love even more teaching others how to worship.

Tonight we took our students to an authentic Chinese restaurant. This is the first of many authentic Chinese experiences this week! YAY! One of our students ordered eel...it still had eyes and a smile when it came to the table. We named it Ferdinand. Food shouldn't smile at you. I did not chew on Ferdinand. He did not want to be chewed on by me. Maybe he was smiling because I didn't chew on him...although some of our students did and I stifled a gag. I sipped on my mocha cappuccino smoothie and then I smiled.