Today, as I was struggling with an important issue, I was suddenly hearing…  I didn’t know what.  I followed the sound, and traced it to the bathroom.  My roommate, who usually clutches his cell phone like a baby with his blanket, had left it in there, facedown on the floor, when he went outside to do yard work;  speech of some sort was coming out of it…  which, I soon discovered, related to the exact issue that I was dealing with.  !!!  He subscribes to an audiobook service, so I assumed he had sought out this book because my issues were on his mind.  But…  how had it suddenly started playing like that, after sitting there for ages with no one touching it or anywhere near it?  !!!!

I took the phone out to him so he could turn it off.  He revealed that he had not ordered the book;  he had never seen it before, much less tried to read it.  He assumed that the service had sent it as a freebie, but had no idea how the program had selected it to “play,” how or why it had skipped to the end of chapter THREE, and of course how it had started up without any controls being touched.  !!!!!

Had he had the phone with him, as always, he would have cut it off within the first few words, and I’d have never heard the message.

And the book had to be put in his account to begin with, of course.

So, once again, a series of impossible technical oddities has led to something miraculous;  God sent the right message at the right time.  Amazing!!


It’s a Simple Thing

from JO’s sermon tonight:

we all face situations that look impossible. it’s easy to get discouraged and think about how it’s never going to work out, but we need to keep the right perspective; God already has the solution. nothing you’re facing is a surprise to God. it may look complicated to you, but to Him, it’s a simple thing, it’s no big deal; He spoke worlds into existence, He flung the stars into space, He knows how to get you to your destiny. think about David, when he faced Goliath, a huge giant, nearly twice his size; it looked impossible. Goliath was the Navy Seal of that day; the biggest, strongest, most experienced. David was a teenager, taking care of his father’s sheep; he didn’t have any military training. but it’s interesting; God didn’t need the latest weapon for David, or a full set of armor, years of training, troops backing him up; all God needed was a slingshot, a simple thing. that slingshot not only helped David to defeat Goliath, but it eventually put him on the throne of Israel. when 4 lepers were surrounded by an army:

2 Kings 7:3-7 (NIV)
3 Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, “Why stay here until we die? 4 If we say, ‘We’ll go into the city’—the famine is there, and we will die. And if we stay here, we will die. So let’s go over to the camp of the Arameans and surrender. If they spare us, we live; if they kill us, then we die.”
5 At dusk they got up and went to the camp of the Arameans. When they reached the edge of the camp, no one was there, 6 for the Lord had caused the Arameans to hear the sound of chariots and horses and a great army, so that they said to one another, “Look, the king of Israel has hired the Hittite and Egyptian kings to attack us!” 7 So they got up and fled in the dusk and abandoned their tents and their horses and donkeys. They left the camp as it was and ran for their lives.

those lepers not only saved their lives, they saved the entire city of Samaria, with the sound of their footsteps; a simple thing.

John 6:5-11 (NIV)
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” … 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

a simple thing, a little boy’s lunch, fed thousands. when Peter needed money for taxes:

Matthew 17:27 (CEV)
27 … So go cast a line into the lake and pull out the first fish you hook. Open its mouth, and you will find a coin. Use it to pay your taxes and mine.

catching a fish; a simple thing. we think, “how am I ever going to get out of debt? how will I send my kids to college, it’s so expensive?” let me tell you how; a simple thing. one good break, idea, phone call, slingshot, little boy’s lunch; God has some simple things in your future. you don’t have to have the most talent, experience, qualifications; one touch of God’s favor, one simple thing, can thrust you to a new level. one simple thing, and you’ll defeat your giants, your health will turn around, the problem will resolve, the legal problem will be solved. quit telling yourself it’s too big, too hard, it’s never going to work out; our attitude should be, “this may look impossible to me, but God, I know that to You, it’s a simple thing. all power is in Your hand, You control the universe, so I’m not going to go around worried, upset, wondering if it’s going to work out; I’m going to stay in faith, knowing that You have some simple things coming my way.” too many people go through life thinking of all the reasons why they can’t be successful, overcome the challenge, why they’ll never get well; “I’ve had this sickness so long, everybody in my family struggles with these same addictions, I don’t have the talent, the personality, it’s not going to work out.” no, get rid of that defeated mindset, let these words sink down into your spirit; it’s a simple thing for God to bring your dreams to pass.

it’s a simple thing for you to live healthy and whole, meet the right person, live debt-free. God isn’t up in the heavens scratching His head and saying, “this is so complicated, they’ve got Me stumped”; God already has the solution. He’s already lined up the right people, breaks, opportunities; they’re already in your future, just waiting for you to walk into them. if you’ll keep moving forward in faith, honoring God, being your best, you’ll come into these simple things that God has lined up for you. God will move the wrong person out and the right person in. God says, “that wrong person doesn’t have to help you; I control the universe. I have the final say. I can either change his mind, and cause him to want to help you, or I can move him out and put somebody in there that will help you.” we all face times where somebody is not for us; at the office, playing politics, trying to push you down, at school, leaving you out, trying to make you look bad. it’s easy to get frustrated, and think, “I’m never going to get ahead, these people don’t like me”; no, don’t worry, God has some simple things. God can cause them to be on vacation when you need a good break. He can cause them to get transferred to a different department. or, if God doesn’t move them out of the way, He can cause you to go over them. scripture says:

Psalm 18:29 (ESV)
29 For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.

2 Samuel 22:30 (ESV)
30 For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.

the bottom line is that God will get you to where you’re supposed to be. sometimes we think, “it’s never going to change, I’m going to have to put up with it for the rest of my life”; no, stay in faith, God has some simple things coming your way. this is what happened to Mordecai. he was a good man, loved God, lived with excellence and integrity, but a man named Haman who worked for the king didn’t like him. he had a prestigious, influential position at the palace, and he was always trying to push Mordecai down and make him look bad. in the natural, it seemed like Haman had an advantage; he had the king’s ear, so what could Mordecai do? one night, the king couldn’t sleep:

Esther 6:1-10 (NIV)
6 That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. 2 It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king’s officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
3 “What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?” the king asked.
“Nothing has been done for him,” his attendants answered.
4 The king said, “Who is in the court?” Now Haman had just entered the outer court of the palace to speak to the king about impaling Mordecai on the pole he had set up for him.
5 His attendants answered, “Haman is standing in the court.”
“Bring him in,” the king ordered.
6 When Haman entered, the king asked him, “What should be done for the man the king delights to honor?”
Now Haman thought to himself, “Who is there that the king would rather honor than me?” 7 So he answered the king, “For the man the king delights to honor, 8 have them bring a royal robe the king has worn and a horse the king has ridden, one with a royal crest placed on its head. 9 Then let the robe and horse be entrusted to one of the king’s most noble princes. Let them robe the man the king delights to honor, and lead him on the horse through the city streets, proclaiming before him, ‘This is what is done for the man the king delights to honor!’”
10 “Go at once,” the king commanded Haman. “Get the robe and the horse and do just as you have suggested for Mordecai the Jew, who sits at the king’s gate. Do not neglect anything you have recommended.”

a simple thing; the king reading the right thing about Mordecai. one person putting in a good word for you can take you where you could never go on your own. one comment, one phone call, one email, “hey, I really like them, they’re talented, you’re blessed to have them.” a simple thing can cause your boss, clients, coworkers to see you in a whole new light. quit worrying about who’s trying to hold you back, the credit you’re not getting, the person trying to make you look bad; you don’t have to fight those battles, God is your vindicator, He will cause them to see you the way He wants you to be seen, hear what they need to hear. God’s already lined up the right people to put in a good word for you.

2 Kings 3:9-24 (NIV)
9 So the king of Israel set out with the king of Judah and the king of Edom. After a roundabout march of seven days, the army had no more water for themselves or for the animals with them… 11 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here… 15 … the hand of the Lord came on Elisha 16 and he said, “This is what the Lord says: I will fill this valley with pools of water. 17 For this is what the Lord says: You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. 18 This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord; he will also deliver Moab into your hands… 20 The next morning, about the time for offering the sacrifice, there it was—water flowing from the direction of Edom! And the land was filled with water… 24 But when the Moabites came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and fought them until they fled. And the Israelites invaded the land and slaughtered the Moabites.

the water in the valley seems like a big deal, a great miracle, yet Elisha said:

2 Kings 3:18 (NLT)
18 But this is only a simple thing for the Lord

I’ve learned that what’s simple to me and what’s simple to God are two different things. what God calls simple, we would call supernatural, extraordinary, far and beyond. your situation may look impossible; you don’t see how you could accomplish your dream, get well, have your marriage restored. there is no water in your valley. but God is saying, “it’s not going to happen a normal way. you’re not going to see clouds, there isn’t going to be any rain, but that valley is going to suddenly fill up with water. in other words, out of nowhere you get a good break, your health improves, the business takes off, you meet the right person, the situation turns around.; that’s God giving you water without rain. you weren’t the most qualified, you didn’t have the most experience, but suddenly you were promoted, found yourself where you could not go on your own. we are thrilled, we are on cloud nine, but God says, “it’s no big deal; it’s a simple thing for Me.” maybe in your health, the medical report says you’ll never get well, the odds were against you, but one day you look up, 30 years later, and you’re healthy, whole, still going strong. that’s what God calls a simple thing.

in your finances, you didn’t see how you could get out of debt; it didn’t look good on paper, but that valley began to fill up with water. not a normal way, not rain, nothing you could take credit for; this was the hand of God promoting you, give you wisdom, putting you at the right place, opening doors that no man can shut. if we’re going to become everything that we were created to be, reach our highest potential, we can’t go around thinking, “this is too big, it’s never going to work out, I never get any good breaks.” no, have a new perspective; it’s a simple thing for our God. He’s saying to you what He said to Jehoshaphat; “don’t worry, don’t panic, don’t turn around and go back home; I’m going to fill those dry places with water. it’s going to happen suddenly, it’s going to be unusual, not what you were expecting, water without rain.” that means that God can heal you without the treatment, promote you even though you weren’t the most qualified. God can increase you beyond your salary, bring you out of debt, put you into overflow without the company, without normal means. God has explosive blessings.

“I feel like I’m in a drought today, I haven’t had any good breaks in a long time”; that’s just where Jehoshaphat was. don’t complain; get ready for a simple thing, something out of the ordinary, that you weren’t expecting, something that you could not make happen on your own. why didn’t you take the limits off of God? you may not see how this can happen, but that’s not our job; our job is to believe, to say, “God, I know You have some simple things in my future;  You can fill my valleys in ways that I never imagined. I want to thank You for the surpassing greatness of Your favor.” your faith is what activates God’s power. when you are in a drought, in a valley, that’s when you’ll be the most tempted to get discouraged, to complain, and if you’re not careful you’ll settle there, and think, “this is my lot in life, it’s never going to change, I don’t see any clouds in the sky.” neither did Jehoshaphat, but God said the valley was going to be filled with water. it would’ve been hard enough to believe if God would’ve said it was going to rain; they were out in the desert, it never rains out there. yet Elisha took it a step further and said, “it’s not going to rain, you’re not going to see any clouds, any normal sign of this happening, but this valley is going to fill up with water.”

Jehoshaphat stood at a crossroads; was he going to believe that God could do something unusual, unprecedented, out of the ordinary, or was he just going to look at in the natural, reason it out, and think, “it’s not going to happen for me, I never get any good breaks, I’ll never get well, I’ll never meet the right person, I’m in a desert”? no, what Jehoshaphat did was say, “even though I don’t see any sign of this happening, it doesn’t make sense in the natural, every voice is telling me it’s impossible, I’m going to choose to believe what God said, that He can bring me water without rain, turn this desert into a stream, make a way where there is no way.” ” when you believe, all things are possible. quit telling yourself, “it’s too big, it’s too hard, it’s not going to work out.” you can talk yourself out of God’s goodness. it may look impossible in the natural, but remember, we serve a supernatural God. all it takes is one touch of His favor. this is what happened with the Israelites; they were in the desert, headed for the promised land:

Numbers 11:4-20 (NLT)
4 … the people of Israel also began to complain. “Oh, for some meat!” they exclaimed. 5 “We remember the fish we used to eat for free in Egypt. And we had all the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and garlic we wanted. 6 But now our appetites are gone. All we ever see is this manna!”
7 The manna looked like small coriander seeds, and it was pale yellow like gum resin. 8 The people would go out and gather it from the ground. They made flour by grinding it with hand mills or pounding it in mortars. Then they boiled it in a pot and made it into flat cakes. These cakes tasted like pastries baked with olive oil. 16 Then the Lord said to Moses… 18 “And say to the people, ‘Purify yourselves, for tomorrow you will have meat to eat. You were whining, and the Lord heard you when you cried, “Oh, for some meat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the Lord will give you meat, and you will have to eat it. 19 And it won’t be for just a day or two, or for five or ten or even twenty. 20 You will eat it for a whole month

Numbers 11:21-23 (GNT)
21 Moses said to the Lord, “Here I am leading 600,000 people, and you say that you will give them enough meat for a month? 22 Could enough cattle and sheep be killed to satisfy them? Are all the fish in the sea enough for them?”
23 “Is there a limit to my power?” the Lord answered. “You will soon see whether what I have said will happen or not!”

Numbers 11:31 (GNT)
31 Suddenly the Lord sent a wind that brought quails from the sea, flying three feet above the ground. They settled on the camp and all around it for miles and miles in every direction

God simply breathed in their direction, a simple thing, and suddenly millions of quails were at their door. they didn’t have to go looking for it, hunting, fishing, the quails came to them. God thought of home delivery way before Domino’s. but sometimes we think, “this situation’s never going to change”; no, God is asking you what he asked Moses, “is there any limit to My power? I make streets out of gold; I can bring your dreams to pass. I breathed life into your body; I can correct what’s wrong. I control the whole universe; I can cause things to suddenly fall into place.” you may not need food in the desert, but you need healing from an illness, freedom from an addiction a child to come back home, a good break to accomplish your dream; why don’t you say, “God, You did it for them, now do it for me. breathe in my direction, show me one of those simple things. let me have water without rain”? this is what happened to a man in the scripture:

Luke 7:2-10 (CEV)
2 … an army officer’s servant was sick and about to die. The officer liked this servant very much. 3 And when he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish leaders to ask him to come and heal the servant… When Jesus wasn’t far from the house, the officer sent some friends to tell him, “Lord, don’t go to any trouble for me! I am not good enough for you to come into my house. 7 And I am certainly not worthy to come to you. Just say the word, and my servant will get well. 8 I have officers who give orders to me, and I have soldiers who take orders from me. I can say to one of them, ‘Go!’ and he goes. I can say to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes. I can say to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he will do it.”
9 When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, “In all of Israel I’ve never found anyone with this much faith!”
10 The officer’s friends returned and found the servant well.

the army officer’s attitude was; “it’s a simple thing for you. it’s a big deal for me, but it’s nothing for you.” when you face a situation that looks impossible, you don’t see how it could work out, but deep down, you know that for our God, it’s a simple thing; God calls that “great faith.” it may seem like you could never get out of debt, pay your house off, build that orphanage that you’re dreaming about, but deep down you know, God takes pleasure in prospering you, you know He’s supplying all of your needs, you will lend and not borrow; that’s great faith. the medical report may say, “nothing more we can do, the odds are against you”; but deep down you know, Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord our healer, is restoring health unto you. God calls that great faith. the child that’s off course, the legal trouble, the problem at work; looks like it may never turn around. you could easily live depressed, discouraged, stressed out, but instead you have the attitude, “God, I know for You, it’s a simple thing, all power is in Your hands. You did it for Moses, Jehoshaphat, the army captain; God, I know that You can do it for me.”

that’s what allows the Creator of the universe to show up and do amazing things. whatever you’re up against, whatever you’re dreaming about, keep the right perspective; it’s a simple thing for our God. He can bring water without rain. you may be in a desert, in a dry place; my encouragement is, get ready, that valley is about to be filled. it’s going to happen suddenly, not a normal way, not something you were expecting, but something out of the ordinary. suddenly, the wind shifts in your direction; like the Israelites, your camp is filled with quail. in other words, you meet the right person, or somebody puts in a good word for you.  like Mordecai, suddenly you’re vindicated, promoted, the problem turns around. God’s done it in the past; He’s going to do it again in the future. simple things are coming your way. supernatural breaks, opportunities, provision, healing, restoration. the winds of God’s favor have shifted in your direction. like Jehoshaphat, you’re going to see water without rain. your valley is going to be filled to overflowing; plenty for yourself, plenty left over to be a blessing to others.

God has been performing many miracles for the past year and a half to not just rebuild the social life I lost but to give me a better one than I’ve ever had in my life. As part of that, my roommate and I went out and did something fun that we haven’t done for more years than you’d believe; we went to an arcade. A man appeared out of nowhere and started talking to us… and talking, and talking. He showed no sign of leaving, despite the fact that there were many open games available, and I did later verify that he played all of them. He seemed nice enough, highly intelligent and articulate, so I invited him to join us. We were real buddies by the end of the evening, and he gave me his card so I’d be able to email him; we’ve been emailing every day or so since then, and today we got together to play again, and the proverbial good time was had by all.

It’s not just the making of a new friend that points to God’s assistance, although God DOES help us make friends. It’s not just that this was only the second time in my entire life that someone approached ME and initiated a protracted conversation that started a friendship, although that is reasonably major. Even more major is that he lives VERY close to where I live, unlike most of the people I socialize with, making it possible for us to easily do more stuff together; I had asked God for a friend that lives close by, so this was an answer to that prayer. The HUGE thing here, that tells me 100% that God was involved, is what the new friend later told me; he works nights, and so would normally NEVER have been in the arcade on a weekday, whereas I, with my overwhelming desire to avoid crowds and having to wait around to do things, would normally ONLY go on a weekday. The only reason my new friend was there on that day was because he has been out sick, but is such a game addict that he has made the occasional brief trip to the arcade during times when he was feeling better; he made a big issue that his having been there when I was there was a FLUKE. I, of course, call it something different; a blessing.

Shining brightly

2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)

6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

from God’s sermon tonight:

how you live your life is sending a message to those around you; more than your words, what you say, people are watching how you live, respond to adversity, treat others, how consistent you are. when you go out each day with a smile on your face, you’re kind, in a good mood, always doing things for others, that’s one of the best witnesses you can have; our actions speak much louder than our words. I’ve heard it said, “preach at all times; use words only when necessary.” your life is your message. scripture tells us that we have the power to be a witness (NB: I was unable to find this verse); it doesn’t say TO witness, preach a sermon, straighten people out, tell them what they’re doing wrong, no, the real power is to BE a witness. when people see you living a life of excellence and integrity, day in and day out you’re happy, friendly, good-natured, that has a greater impact than anything we could ever say. we can quote scriptures all day long, come to church every time the doors are open, keep the praise music on, but if you complain about the boss, get upset because of the traffic, play politics to get ahead, your example will override anything that you say.

parents, we can tell our children to be kind, respectful, but if they see us being disrespectful, not treating people right, it will go in one ear and out the other. the power is in what you do. most people are not reading their Bibles, they’re reading your life. they may never listen to a minister, come to church, but they’re watching how you live. we should have so much joy, peace, be so kind, generous, good-natured, that people want what we have; that’s what it means to be the light of the world. we come to church each week to get our batteries charged, to get filled back up, to be encouraged, to grow, to learn, but our real assignment begins when we leave. there’s already plenty of light in here; most of us are believers, we have faith, we’re expecting good things. our light is not very effective around another light, but too often, we complain about the darkness; “I don’t like this job, these people are so negative, nobody has a good attitude.” why do you think God put you there? they don’t need more light in the bright places, that’s an opportunity for you to shine.

I’ve heard it said; you can either be a thermometer, and just measure the temperature, become like everyone else, or you can be a thermostat, and change the temperature. when you hear people complaining about the company, don’t join in, “yeah, it’s really bad around here,” no, be a thermostat, turn it around;  “things may not be perfect, but I’m grateful that I have a job, I’m thankful that I can come to work each day.” you are the light of the world. don’t add to the darkness; turn your light on, it works best in the dark places. when you’re around negative influences, gossiping, complaining, people playing politics, don’t turn it off, don’t hide it. realize that’s what your light was designed for; let it shine brightly. scripture talks about wives who have husbands that are not believers; it says, don’t try to win them over with your speech, your godly light will speak to them better than any words. (NB: I couldn’t find this one, either.) they will be won over by watching how you live. you don’t have to preach to people, try to straighten them out, “you need to have a better attitude, a new perspective”;  just be happy, friendly, a person of excellence. that’s how you let your light shine, with your actions, not just with your words.

everybody’s discouraged, but you’ve got a spring in your step, you’re in a good mood. everybody’s slacking off, but you’re giving it your best. everybody’s upset with the company because they have to work late, but you’re just the same; happy in the good times, happy in the bad times. that’s letting your light shine brightly. they don’t need more light where it’s already bright; God sent you to be a thermostat. God will send us into dark places so we can make a difference, so our light will shine brightly. quit complaining about the family that you married into, “these in-laws, God they get on my nerves”; you’re not there by accident, God has you there on purpose, He’s counting on you to brighten it up. don’t add to the darkness, don’t make it worse; be a light. do the right thing even when the wrong thing is happening. be respectful even when they’re disrespectful. keep a good attitude even when you feel like being sour. stay on the high road; they need your light. shine bright.

“I’m dreading going to my family reunion this year, my relatives are so sarcastic, they make fun of me because I won’t party with them, they give me a hard time because I go to church, I don’t feel like dealing with them.” no, have a new perspective; it’s an opportunity for you to shine. it’s easy to shine around everybody that loves you, celebrates you and thinks like you; the problem is, your light is not really effective around those people because it’s already so bright. the darker the situation, the brighter your light will shine. you don’t have to try to change their minds, tell them everything they’re doing wrong; all you’ve got to do is be happy. when they make fun of you, just laugh and let it bounce off. when they’re sarcastic, just smile and move forward, no big deal. don’t let it affect you. people push buttons expecting to get a certain response; “I’ll say this, and they’ll get upset. I’ll leave them out, and they’ll get their feelings hurt. I’ll be disrespectful, and they’ll argue, they’ll be rude.” don’t fall into the trap; turn your buttons off.

let them push all they want; just keep being kind, respectful, stay on the high road. love never fails. light will always overcome darkness. it may not happen this year, or even next year, but at some point they will get to the place where they get tired of living negative, defeated, sarcastic, and think, “I want what they have; I want that joy, peace, spirit of excellence.” your example, more than your words, will be what causes them to change. don’t complain about that neighborhood you’re in, “God, these neighbors, they’re involved in things they shouldn’t be involved in, they curse, they’re disrespectful, they don’t take care of their property”; that’s why God has you there. it’s dark; He’s counting on you to turn on the light. instead of complaining, while God has you there, why don’t you pray, “God, help my light to shine with greater intensity, help me to be a greater influence, let Your love, kindness and mercy be seen in everything that I do.” in the scripture, David worked for King Saul; Saul became jealous of David and tried to kill him.

1 Samuel 18:10-12 (TLB)
10 The very next day, in fact, a tormenting spirit from God overwhelmed Saul, and he began to rave like a madman. David began to soothe him by playing the harp, as he did whenever this happened. But Saul, who was fiddling with his spear, 11-12 suddenly hurled it at David, intending to pin him to the wall. But David jumped aside and escaped. This happened another time, too, for Saul was afraid of him and jealous because the Lord had left him and was now with David.

Saul ended up chasing David through the wilderness, making his life miserable. what’s interesting is that David never complained about Saul. he never said, “God, why is this man trying to kill me? this is not right, I haven’t done anything wrong.” no, David just kept doing the right thing, letting his light shine brightly. one night, while David was on the run:

1 Samuel 26:7-11 (NIV)
7 So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him.
8 Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t strike him twice.”
9 But David said to Abishai, “Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives,” he said, “the Lord himself will strike him, or his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let’s go.”

1 Samuel 26:21-25 (NIV)
21 Then Saul said, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have been terribly wrong.”
22 “Here is the king’s spear,” David answered. “Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The Lord delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed. 24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble.”
25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, David my son; you will do great things and surely triumph.”
So David went on his way, and Saul returned home.

this didn’t happen because of David’s words, because of something that he said, “come on Saul, I’m a good person, I’m not going to harm you, leave me alone”;  David let his actions do the talking. he became a witness. people believe a sermon that they see more than they believe the sermon that they hear. quit trying to pray away the darkness and just start being a brighter light. do it consistently; people don’t change overnight. Saul chased David for a long time; David stayed on the high road, and God eventually vindicated him. he became the king. there may be people in your life that you have to let your light shine on year after year; you have to be willing to invest in them. keep doing the right thing even when it seems like it’s not making a difference. keep being respectful even though they’re giving you the cold shoulder. with your consistency, being a witness day in and day out, then just like with Saul, that’s going to cause the light one day to overtake the darkness.

think about when Jesus was on the Earth. he didn’t spend all of his time in the temples, synagogues, churches, the safe places.  he didn’t only associate with people that believed in him, celebrated who he was; he went to the people who were not on the right track. tax collectors, who were known for being dishonest. fishermen, who were rough and used bad language. he went to the people who had failed morally; he showed them mercy, was kind to them. he was called a friend of sinners. the religious people didn’t like it; they criticized Jesus because he was associating with what they considered to be the wrong kind of people. they didn’t understand this principle, that light is the most effective in dark places. because Jesus let his light shine, many of those sinners became believers. sometimes we think, “God, keep me away from anyone that’s struggling with a bad habit, addiction, anger issue, don’t make me have to deal with that person that’s dishonest, not faithful in a relationship, keep me away from the darkness.” but Jesus showed just the opposite; he said, “it’s the sick that need a doctor, not the healthy.”

God will bring people across your path that need your light. don’t have a holier-than-thou attitude, thinking, “I can’t be contaminated, he uses bad language, she’s kind of loose, he doesn’t have integrity, I’ve got to keep my distance.” no, you’ve got the light; God’s counting on you to make a difference. you don’t have to become best friends with them, I’m not saying to spend all your time with them, but you can be kind, show them that you care; you can be a positive influence in their life. most people already know what they’re doing wrong; you don’t have to tell them, “you need to break this addiction, get out of that toxic relationship, start being more honest.” you don’t have to convict people of their sin; that’s not your job, that’s what the Holy Spirit does. our job is to love people, let our light shine, to be kind, friendly, good to them. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

it doesn’t say, “let your light shine before people that deserve it, have it all together, don’t have any issues,” no, let it shine before all people. how do you do it? by letting them see your good works. can the people God’s put in your life, not the ones that have it all together, but the ones that are struggling, the ones that you could easily judge and write off and think, “you need to get together, straighten up,” can they see your good works? maybe the reason they don’t have it together just yet is because they’re waiting for your light, love, kindness, mercy. when they see your good works, they’ll begin to change. I’ve heard it said; people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. when you take time to shine light in their life, you give them a smile, a cup of coffee, a gift, you’re kind, helpful, they feel your love; that’s what opens the door to their heart.

look around at who’s in your life; where is there some light that you can shine? will you be a friend to sinners? will you take off judgmental glasses and help love people back onto the right track? will you be willing to overlook some flaws, not focus on what they’re doing wrong, and instead, show a little mercy, be a light in their life, a positive influence, a difference-maker? after all, if it had not been for the grace of God, that could be you and me. somebody shined some light in your life, helped you get to where you are, overlooked some flaws, showed mercy. why don’t you pass on that same light that’s been given to you? say, “God, this is where you have me right now, I know my steps are ordered by the Lord, You brought these people into my life, so God, my prayer is that my light will shine with greater intensity. God, let me be a greater influence, let them see something in me that they want.” when you become a friend of sinners, take time to shine light into the darkness, that’s what has the greatest impact. we all have a ministry, a pulpit; it may not look like this one, but your light is sending out a message. talk is cheap; people are watching how you live. what kind of example are you setting?

2 Corinthians 5:20 (GW)
20 Therefore, we are Christ’s representatives

people can’t see God; they see us. my question is; are we making God look good? are we representing Him the right way? do people want what we have, or are we pushing them away? you never know who’s watching. “I don’t have to worry about that”; don’t kid yourself, your children, neighbors, coworkers are watching. every time you interact with someone, you’re preaching a sermon. they may not remember what you say, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. do they feel loved, respected? be careful what kind of example you’re setting; you’re representing almighty God. to represent God, you don’t have to be mean, jump down people’s throats. let your light shine; be kind, friendly, keep a smile on your face, let people see your good works. remember, your actions speak louder than your words. your life is your message. when you’re in those dark places, don’t complain, have a new perspective; that’s an opportunity for your light to shine brightly. when you go out each day, represent God in a great way; be a witness, a positive influence in people’s lives. if you’ll put this simple principle into action, shining brightly, you’ll not only make a difference in other people’s lives, but it’ll make a difference in your own life. you’ll have more favor, people will be drawn to you, you’ll fulfill your destiny, and become everything God’s created you to be.

On 8-12, I asked God to show me proof that the situation with the EMF was making substantial progress. I could not even imagine what form such proof could take, but God is not limited by my imagination.  I rarely request anything like this, because I think that asking for this sort of direct response is not something that He will grant us too often, but He always gives a prompt and clear reply, and this time was no exception:  The very next day, before I got up, the EMF posted overwhelming evidence that he has done something that everyone who knows him would have thought impossible;  that he has at the very least majorly reduced his obsessive allegiance to, and has perhaps totally abandoned, the harsh and violent Eastern “goddess” that he has been worshipping for many years, matching the darkness in his spirit, and is now focusing on a “goddess” that is the total opposite, a “goddess” of love.  And the very next day, he posted more of the same.


This can only mean that God has radically changed his heart, and that change is a huge part of what I’ve always known needed to happen for him to return to me and join with me with true love, without fear or belligerence.  This sign, and the change it reveals, is so gigantic, so unexpected, so unprecedented, so far outside the realm of what I ever imagined possible for this man, that I’m still processing it…  feeling ever more certain that his return will be SOON.  As always, I’m awed and humbled by the effort God will exert on my behalf, not because I’ve earned it, which is impossible, but just because I ASKED.

from JO’s sermon tonight:

what we focus on, we magnify; we’re not changing its actual size, we’re simply making it bigger in our own mind. if you stay focused on your problems, on a negative medical report, what somebody said about you, how you’ll never get out of debt, all that’s going to do is make it bigger than it really is; it’s changing your perception of it. you can take a small coin, and if you hold it up close enough to your eye, eventually it will block the sun. that coin, even though it’s billions and trillions of times smaller, because you’ve got it so close, it’s distorting your perspective; it looks bigger than this huge object. in the same way, if you stay focused on something that you don’t like about yourself, “I’m too short, I don’t like my nose, I wish I had more hair, I wish my voice wasn’t so high,” if you stay focused on those things, it will block the amazing future God has in store for you. you may have some things you don’t like, some things you consider are wrong with you; we all do. but can I tell you; a lot is right with you! quit magnifying what’s wrong. quit focusing on what you don’t like, and start focusing on what God said about you. God said, “you are a masterpiece, you are fearfully and wonderfully made, you are one-of-a-kind, you have the right looks, the right personality, the gifts that you need for the race that’s designed for you.”

magnify what’s right about you and not what’s wrong. if you were to get a negative medical report, you could go home and spend 6 hours researching it on the internet, find 43 side effects to add to your worries, 27 different ways you can die from it, then call a friend and have them tell you how their cousin had it, he only made it four months, the next door neighbor, he got chills in 24 hours, all that time it’s becoming bigger and bigger in your mind. the actual size hasn’t changed, but because you keep dwelling on it, giving it your attention, letting it take all your energy, it’s become distorted. now it’s like that little coin that’s blocking the sun. stop focusing on the problems and start focusing on the promises. all through the day, instead of complaining, say, “God, You said with long life you would satisfy me, the number of my days You would fulfill, that I would live and not die, that You are restoring health back unto me.” it takes the same amount of energy to believe as it does to worry. you can go through the day thinking, “prices are so high, I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to send my kids to college, what if I don’t get the promotion, what if I don’t get the scholarship? what if I lose this client, I don’t know how I’m going to make it.”

you can use your energy to worry like that, or you can spend that same energy saying, “Father, thank You that You’re supplying all my needs. You said You take pleasure in prospering me, that You would open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that I could not contain.”  when you magnify the promises instead of the problems, that’s your faith being released; that’s what allows God to go to work. maybe you’re concerned about your children; you could go around thinking, “I don’t know if they’re ever going to get back on the right path, I raised them in church, I taught them to do what’s right, I just don’t understand it,” or, you can say, “Father, thank you that as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. God, You promised that the seed of the righteous would be mighty in the land. God, You said that if I raised my children in the fear of the Lord, they would not depart from it. they may be off course temporarily, but Lord, I want to thank You that they’re coming back, that they will fulfill their destinies.” if you’ll change your focus from the problem to the promise, worry, doubt, fear, negativity will go. faith will rise up. you’ll know that God is still on the throne. He is bigger than anything you’re facing; what He promised He will bring to pass.  if you’re single and you want to get married, don’t go around thinking, “I’ll never meet the right person, I’m too old, I missed too many opportunities; it’s never going to happen.”

no, turn it around; “God, You said because I delight myself in You, You would give me the desires of my heart. Lord, You said no good thing will You withhold because I walk uprightly. Lord, I want to thank You that my good thing is coming; that man, that woman, that You’ve already picked out for me, it’s just a matter of time before they show up.” whatever you’re believing for, instead of magnifying the negative, instead of worrying, find a promise that you can stand on. all through the day, let that play in your mind. “God, You said You hold victory in store for the upright, Your favor surrounds me like a shield, the path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter.” the reason it’s so important to have a promise that you can focus on is because God is not obligated to bring to pass when we say, but He is obligated to bring to pass what He says. when you can say, “God, You said I would prosper and live in good health, that You always cause me to triumph, that my latter days will be better than my former days,” when God hears His promises coming out of your mouth, He says to the angels, “go to work, get busy, make it happen.” God is faithful to His word. Abraham focused on the promise instead of the problem. when God gave him the promise that he and his wife Sarah were going to have a baby, they were both way too old; in the natural, it was impossible. but:

Romans 4:19 (ASV)
19 And without being weakened in faith he considered his own body now as good as dead (he being about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb

in other words, he didn’t focus on the problem. he didn’t go around thinking, “God gave me this promise, but I must not have heard Him right, because Sarah is nearly 80 years old, I’m nearly 100 years old, it’s not going to happen.” he didn’t get on the internet and Google “chances of having a baby at 100.” he didn’t call his friends and get their input to see what they thought. if he would’ve stayed focused on his circumstances, that impossibility would have become so magnified, gotten so big in his mind, that the doubt, fear, negativity would have kept it from happening. God works when there’s faith. Abraham did the same thing that I’m asking you to do. it goes on to say that he considered not his circumstances:

Romans 4:20-21 (NIV)
20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

Abraham made this decision; “I’m not going to use my energy to worry. I’m not going to go around thinking about how it’s not going to work out. I’ve got a promise from God.” I can hear him all through the day saying, “God, You promised that I’m going to have a child, that I will be the father of many nations, that my descendents would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. God, it looks impossible to me, but I know You can do the impossible.” he kept focusing on the promise, reminding God what He said. that promise became bigger and bigger in his mind. he became fully persuaded, where doubt, fear, negativity, didn’t have a chance. faith rose up. and sure enough, against all odds, when they were nearly 100 years old, they had that baby. if you’re going to see your dreams come to pass, those promises fulfilled, there will be times, like with Abraham, you have to consider not your negative circumstances.

you may have to consider not a medical report; doctors do the best they can with the knowledge that they have, but there comes a point, sometimes, when I’m doctors run out of options, there’s nothing more they can do, medically speaking. the good news is, God can do what medical science cannot do. God never runs out of options; He has the final say. He made your body. you may have to consider not a financial situation. on paper, it may look like you’re not going to get out of debt until you’re 147 years old. if you stay focused on that, and just continually run the numbers, analyze it and reanalyze it, all that’s going to do is make you frustrated, stressed out, worried. instead of considering your circumstances, why don’t you start considering your God? He spoke worlds into existence, flung stars into space. He’s got you in the palm of his hand. one touch of His favor can catapult you to a new level. one good break, one explosive blessing, can put you into overflow, more than enough.

Psalm 68:1 (ASV)
68 Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered

when you make God bigger in your life, when you let Him arise, focusing on His greatness, knowing that He’s in control, fighting your battles, making your crooked places straight, and you go out with this attitude of faith, expecting breakthroughs and dreams to come to pass, when you let God arise like that, your enemies will be scattered. enemies of debt, lack, depression, sickness, injustice;  nothing can stand against our God. He is the all-powerful Creator of the universe. what are you letting arise? what are you lifting up? “I’m in a slow season at work, somebody hurt me in a relationship. my health has gone downhill, that’s why I’m so discouraged.” No, that’s letting the wrong things rise: that’s doubt, defeat, self-pity. that’s not going to do anything productive. you’ve got to turn it around, change your focus from the problem to the promise, from considering your circumstances to considering your God. here’s how; all through the day, “God, You said I’m armed with strength for this battle, no weapon formed against me will ever prosper, the trap the enemy set for me they will fall in themselves, I haven’t seen, heard or imagined the amazing things You have in store. so God, I believe today that things are changing in my favor. You’ve done it in the past, I know You’ll do it again in the future.” when you let God arise, you can’t stay defeated; healing, promotion, favor, victory comes. your enemies will be scattered. in the scripture:

2 Chronicles 20:1-2 (NIV)
20 After this, the Moabites and Ammonites with some of the Meunites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.
2 Some people came and told Jehoshaphat, “A vast army is coming against you from Edom

in the natural, they didn’t have a chance; they were outnumbered 10 to 1. if anyone had a right to get down and discouraged, it would have been Jehosaphat. but he didn’t do it; he understood this principle. instead of complaining:

2 Chronicles 20:3-6 (CEV)
3 Jehoshaphat was afraid, so he asked the Lord what to do. He then told the people of Judah to go without eating to show their sorrow. 4 They immediately left for Jerusalem to ask for the Lord’s help.
5 After everyone from Judah and Jerusalem had come together at the Lord’s temple, Jehoshaphat stood in front of the new courtyard 6 and prayed

he didn’t say, “God, I’m begging you to help us, it’s not fair, I don’t know why this has happened to us.” no, he started talking about the greatness of God:

2 Chronicles 20:6 (CEV)
6 …. You, Lord, are the God our ancestors worshiped, and from heaven you rule every nation in the world. You are so powerful that no one can defeat you.

then he started remembering what God had done:

2 Chronicles 20:7 (CEV)
7 Our God, you forced out the nations who lived in this land before your people Israel came here, and you gave it to the descendants of your friend Abraham forever.

what was he doing? magnifying God, not his trouble. in our difficult times, instead of complaining, “I don’t know if my child is ever going to straighten up, business is so slow, I don’t think I’ll ever overcome this illness,” no, if you talk defeat, you’re going to have defeat. no, you’ve gotta do like Jehosaphat;  “God, I know you’re an awesome God, nothing is too difficult for You. I know You are bigger than this financial difficulty; You make streets out of gold. You are greater than this sickness; You breathed life into my body. You are more powerful than people coming against me in this legal trouble; no one can stand against You.”  the bigger you make God, the smaller your problems become, the more faith will rise in your heart. but too often, we do just the opposite. it’s easy to magnify the problem instead of magnifying God. this is what the Israelites did. Moses sent 12 men in to spy out the promised land:

Numbers 13:1-2 (NIV)
13 The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Send some men to explore the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Israelites. From each ancestral tribe send one of its leaders.”

Numbers 13:25 (NIV)
25 At the end of forty days they returned from exploring the land.

Numbers 13:25-33 (NIV)
30 Then Caleb silenced the people before Moses and said, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”
31 But the men who had gone up with him said, “We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.” 32 And they spread among the Israelites a bad report about the land they had explored. They said, “The land we explored devours those living in it. All the people we saw there are of great size

Numbers 14:6-9 (NIV)
6 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had explored the land, tore their clothes 7 and said to the entire Israelite assembly, “The land we passed through and explored is exceedingly good. 8 If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land, a land flowing with milk and honey, and will give it to us. 9 Only do not rebel against the Lord. And do not be afraid of the people of the land, because we will devour them. Their protection is gone, but the Lord is with us. Do not be afraid of them.”

both groups saw the same people, the same situation; the difference was their perspective. one group focused on the size of their obstacles, the other on the size of their God. out of the 2 million people that were camped next door to the promised land that day, the only two that ever eventually made it into the promised land were Joshua and Caleb. could it be that our own wrong perspective is keeping us out of our promised land? if we think our obstacles are too big, “I’ll never accomplish my dreams, I’ll never overcome this illness, I’ll never get out of debt.” then just like them, our own perspective will keep us from God’s best. that’s why David said:

Psalm 34:3 (KJV)
3 O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt his name together

he was saying, if you’re going to make anything bigger, don’t make the problems, opposition, negative medical report bigger, make God bigger. it’s interesting; when David faced Goliath, he never called him a giant. everyone else did; they talked about his size, strength, skill. not David; he called him an uncircumcised Philistine. he didn’t even give him credit for being big. he didn’t deny it, but he didn’t dwell on it. his attitude was, “if I’m going to magnify anything, I’m going to magnify the source of my strength. I’m going to talk about the greatness of my God. I’m not going to focus on how big my problems are; I’m going to focus on how big my God is.” David’s brothers, and the other Israelites, they were afraid, intimidated, didn’t know what to do. then:

1 Samuel 17:32-33 (NIV)
32 David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”
33 Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”

but David had a different perspective. he knew if God be for him, who dare be against him. he knew he was strong in the Lord. he knew he wasn’t going out there alone, that all the forces of heaven were backing him up.

1 Samuel 17:45 (NIV)
45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.

notice what he was doing? magnifying his God, talking about His greatness. he didn’t have a chance in the natural, but:

1 Samuel 17:49-50 (NIV)
49 Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground.
50 So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him.

that’s what happens when you magnify the promises and not the problems. Paul said:

Philippians 1:28 (NLT)
28 Don’t be intimidated in any way by your enemies

like David, you may be up against a big giant right now, a giant called addiction, debt, sickness. you could easily be overwhelmed, and think, “I don’t have a chance.” no, don’t be intimidated, the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. have the right perspective; the most high God is on your side.

you’ve magnified that problem long enough. you’ve talked about how impossible it is, how it’s never going to work out, but if you’ll see it from the right perspective, you’ll realize that it’s nothing for our God. all He’s got to do is breathe your direction. your dream coming to pass may seem impossible to you, but it just takes one touch of God’s favor, one good break, meeting one right person. or that financial difficulty, that relationship issue, that addiction may seem insurmountable, but if you’ll see it from the right perspective you’ll realize that for our God, it’s a small thing. He parted the Red Sea for the Israelites; He can make a way in your life. you can’t go through life focused on the negative, and how it’s never going to work out; that will keep you from God’s best. if you’ll learn to focus on the promise and not the problem, you will overcome obstacles that looked insurmountable. you’ll accomplish dreams even though you didn’t have the qualifications, the resources, the connections. God will get you to where you’re supposed to be. this is what happened in the scripture to a man by the name of Zerubbabel.

Haggai 1:1-8 (NLT)
1 On August 29 of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord gave a message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah… 8 Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house

everything came against him. the city leaders tried to stop him; they hired lawyers and wouldn’t give him the permits. other people started stirring up strife and trouble. he couldn’t hire the workers that he needed, he couldn’t find the materials, everywhere he turned there was trouble. it looked impossible. he could have stayed focused on the opposition, how much more powerful they were, given up and gone home. “God, I wanted to do it, I had good intentions, they were just too big.” no, he said:

Zechariah 4:7 (AMP)
7 For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a plain [a mere molehill]!

notice his attitude. not, “it’s too big, I can’t do this.” no, he said, “you may be a mountain right now, but I know a secret; I can already see through my eyes of faith, and it’s just a matter of time before you flatten out and become a molehill. I will complete this project.” if you don’t talk to your mountains, your mountains will talk to you. don’t complain about how big the problem is; tell that mountain, “you’re about to become a molehill.” like David, tell that giant, “this day I will defeat you.” you can’t talk defeat and expect to have victory. what you’re facing today may look big. I’m not asking you to deny it, I am asking you to see it from God’s point of view. have the right perspective. it’s no match for you; you’re a child of the most high God. you have the most powerful force in the universe breathing in your direction right now. don’t stay focused on the opposition, how impossible it looks. do what Abraham did; consider not the negative circumstances, and start considering your God. remind Him what He said. all through the day, let His promises keep playing in your mind; “God, You said I’m blessed, strong, healthy, highly favored. You said my best days are still out in front of me.” remember, it takes the same amount of energy to believe as it does to worry. if you’ll learn to focus on the promises and not the problems, you will defeat your giants, accomplish your dreams, and what God promised you He will bring to pass. you will become everything He’s created you to be, and you will have everything He intends for you to have.

A company I did some work for was supposed to be sending me 2 coupons for free products as part of my  compensation.  I got an empty envelope instead, and weeks of foot-dragging ensued before the right person got the memo, after which I got FIVE coupons.  I won’t be able to use them up before they expire, so now I can be a blessing to someone else with the extras.

A friend sent me a link to one of those spin-and-win contests.  The prizes were, predictably, mainly stickers and those little rubbery bracelets, but they did have ONE cool prize that would be the least-won one.  I asked God for it, spun the wheel…  and wasn’t even surprised when I won the good prize.  (For the benefit of new readers:  in the “pre-God era,” there could’ve been 1000 good prizes and one bad one and that’s the one I would’ve gotten.)

In the post “God answers a prayer in spectacular fashion” on 8-25-13, I described a zoo visit that I had asked God to make “the most spectacular one ever,” and He did, and then some.  On 8-16, I went to the zoo with the same people, and made the same request to God, although it didn’t seem possible to have a better visit than last time…  because nothing is impossible for God.  As you’ve already figured out, it WAS better!!  We were at the display for a critter that is legendary for NEVER moving but we REALLY wanted to see some action from, and, having looked at all of them and found them all asleep, we were moments from bailing, so under my breath I said, “Please Father, let one of them move so that my friend doesn’t leave disappointed.”  INSTANTLY, one of them started moving!!  We went rushing back, and this animal kept moving around for so long that finally we’d seen all we wanted and left.  But wait, there’s more:  When we came back by the display later, I followed the urge to check again, although the very thought that another one would be moving was ridiculous…  and one of them WAS moving!!  We ran around to where we could see him, and…  we ended up seeing ***SIX*** more of them doing a variety of things, including a male that was making what we learned was a mating call, when we never knew they made ANY sounds, and a sweet baby, the first time we’d ever seen one put on the exhibit.  God gave far more than I asked for or expected, or could have ever imagined happening, so much so that if we didn’t have pics no one would believe it.

But wait, there’s MORE:  Although the big cats are notorious for hiding, I asked God for us to have another great experience with one.  And yes, we had an even more incredible big cat experience than we did last year, which ended when the keepers brought him back into the building;  10 minutes later and we’d have missed him…  if I hadn’t insisted that I saw a path that wasn’t on the map, and been RIGHT, we’d have never made it.  God came through beyond belief, as He so often does.

And most amazing by far:  I’ve reported several times that my dictation software produces words and phrases when I’m not speaking, with “hey” and “hello” being the most common.  On 4-20, I got a gibberish line when I was trying to dictate, and the word “love” was part of it.  The word had the underlining that means that alternate wordings were offered for, in this case, a word that I had not said.  The alternates were, “love, love you, love bye, love you bye, love mom, love you mom.”  More astonishing, the popup banner with these phrases stayed overlaying the page after I left that email and went back to the main inbox with the dictation OFF, which I’d never seen before.  It looked like…  what else could I see it as?  A message from my mother (who passed away several years ago), with God’s help of course.  That seemed pretty impressive until, on 8-5, I was composing an email, and although I was not speaking, words started appearing.

“You just get A message (gibberish) miss you much”

Luckily, I screen-capped them fast, because the last couple of words then changed:

“You just get A message (gibberish) miss you see you”

There is no doubt in my mind what that was; my mother again.  I am very blessed.


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