After taking a look at my book, he wrote back, “I’m sure somewhere in my heart of darkness I’m a little bit of a Christian. Well, I might be, I’ll look around, check the basement and the attic of my heart, there might be a little somewhere.” I let that sit and just prayed.
A few weeks later the same man was at a writers’ group we attended. He sat down at the table. My roommate asked him, “How’s it going?” “You don’t want to know!” But when bad things pile up, most people want to tell someone just to get it off their chests. So he opened up.
The IRS just informed him that he owes for something a few years back, and not a small amount either! Besides that, their air conditioning unit went out. It’s over 100’ and nearly impossible to work in the smothering heat we get here. He told us it was an old unit and they were looking for a particular part that wasn’t made anymore. The A/C guys told him if they couldn’t find it he’d have to get a new unit for somewhere around $6000! He had deadlines to meet and was in a huge dilemma.
I told him we’d pray.
The very next day my roommate called him up on an entirely different matter but he was so excited he had to tell her what happened.
“You prayed and this got answered in a half an hour. The part they couldn’t find anywhere, well they showed up today with some parts, telling me it would cost around $800 to $900. When they came down from the roof, it was amazing—only $130! In the same half hour my 90 year old mother called and said, ‘Heck, I’ll pay the IRS—the whole thing. Let’s get it off of you!’ You said you were going to pray and your prayers were answered. It’s a miracle! Our heads are spinning!”
God has compassion for people who are in a hard place, people who don’t even really know if they believe or not. Just the fact that the man expressed that he might be a little bit of a Christian was enough for the Lord Jesus to work His compassion in my roommate and me to earnestly pray for this man and his wife. Strong compassion bypasses any judgment. And I’m so thankful to the Lord Jesus Christ for allowing us to be messengers of His love and miracles.
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Here’s the link for Amazon. (Note: I offer a free download of one of my books almost every week)
WHERE’S YOUR QUICKSAND?
He crawled out of the quicksand, stood up immediately and took off all his clothes. He scraped and shook the grit and the muck off of his body before it had a chance to dry. He had to act speedily so that the hot African sun wouldn’t burn his skin while he had his clothes off. If he didn’t shake and scrape off the grit, it would rub his armpits and groin so badly that he would develop horrible boils and be in excruciating pain.
I saw this story on TV and it reminded me of something Jesus said to his disciples: “Whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them” (Luke 9:5). Did the disciples listen?
Yes. Paul and Barnabas were being thrown out of an entire area where previously they’d had a wonderful time. They didn’t try to stay and tough it out. They didn’t get angry and they didn’t mope around either. Maybe they stayed too long? The Bible doesn’t say. But it does tell us what the solution was.
They did exactly what Jesus told them to do and they did it quickly. “They shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium” (Acts 13:51). They immediately moved on.
When we let something go, something else needs to replace it. Shaking off the grit leaves an empty spot, a vacancy. The survivalist who crawled out of the quicksand barely made it out and he had to expose himself. He got naked. When we’re trapped in something, part of our deliverance may include being exposed. We seem to stay in negative situations longer than we should. Some of the reasons could be: We honestly don’t realize how bad they are. We know how bad they are but we don’t want to acknowledge it. We are too afraid or too tired to think about having to change. We don’t have much hope in what’s ahead. So what do we do? We get discouraged or angry or fearful and stay put.
I remember when I was about a month away from moving back to the States from South Africa. I worked at an insurance company doing some filing. Every day was drudgery. It was horrible and literally was making me sick and weak. I didn’t need the money. So why did I stay? I can’t really say because I don’t know. Obligation? Loyalty? Habit? I have no idea, but when it was over, I was kicking myself for not leaving sooner. I could have spent my last month going to the game reserves and having a great time instead of killing myself at a job I hated. How many times have we all done that? We look back at situations and say “I should have gotten out sooner!”
Paul and Barnabas shook the dust off and immediately went to the next town. That’s what Jesus taught them to do and Jesus really does know the best solutions for every problem. The survivalist shook and scraped off the quicksand, put his clothes back on and took off for the next adventure.
Everyone is going to end up in quicksand at one point or another. But we have the ability and willingness inside of us to shake off the grit and move on. God promises a wonderful future, so don’t let the quicksand pull you under.
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I was walking out to my car when she came out after me, gently pulling her sister with her. “Could you pray for us? The three of us together?” Then she quoted the Bible, “When two or more are gathered I’m in the midst”(speaking of Jesus). I knew in my spirit that her heart was tender and she was believing for something wonderful.
I said, “Sure.” I put my hands on both of them, closed my eyes and began to pray. The prayer quickly split into individual prophesies over the sisters. The Lord Jesus had a message for each.
Two beautiful sisters given two very different ministries. One was a missionary of mercy. The other a warrior for God’s people.
I was thrilled to be the messenger who got to anoint these two with direct words from our Lord Jesus Christ. What brought this about? It wasn’t me.
It was that she had the guts to ask a perfect stranger for prayer and they both believed for their answers from the Lord.
We see many examples of this in the Bible. Mark 10 gives us the record of a blind man:
“Blind Bartimaeus sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.
And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.”
The lame man in Acts 3 called out to Peter and John:
“And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb, who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us.
And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up:
And immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”
These two examples in the Bible show how people received a direct touch from the supernatural side of life—from God through the Lord Jesus Christ and His followers.
A word of prophesy on a believer is also a touch from the same.
These people from the Bible as well as from Las Vegas were bold enough to ask. And when they did, they believed to receive something supernatural and wonderful. And they did! Praise God!
PS You can order any of my books on-line from Amazon or Barnes and Noble…..:}
Here’s the link for Amazon. (Note: Amazon offers a free download almost every week)
DO IT RIGHT NOW! TAKE IT!
I was in the scissor lift 30 feet in the air, painting stripes on the ceiling of a new casino. I had to get the stripes painted in between two beams and there was one small space that was hard to reach. I hesitated. I could just barely see it well enough and if I stretched out from the lift, I could do it. But…
I thought maybe I could get a better chance at it from the other side of the column. Bad decision. I moved the lift around the column and got as close as I could, went up the 30 feet and I couldn’t reach that one little spot. Sh……!
You guessed it. I had to go back down, drive the lift around to where I was before, maneuver it into the tight opening without hitting the column, go back up the 30 feet, stretch out over the edge of the railing and paint stripes on a patch of ceiling that was no bigger than 6 inches by 6 inches!
That experience made a lasting impression and the video runs in my head whenever I am in a similar situation, in my painting and other categories of life.
If you can see it and think you can reach it, DO IT NOW! It may be a challenge, but definitely worth it. It’s not fun to go backwards and waste time trying to do something you could have done the first time. And besides that, if we hesitate and balk at opportunities in life, they may never come around for us again.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says: “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” The word “circumspectly” comes from the Greek word which means “exactly, diligently, perfectly.” We haven’t got time to go backwards and do things over again. We want to take full advantage and do what the Lord presents to us RIGHT NOW!
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One of the guys at work raved about a certain brand of bottled water, which sold for $8.00 a bottle. He said it was so good he preferred the water over the alcohol he usually drank. I got invited to an elite party at one of the Las Vegas hotels and got served this same fancy water. Wow, was I in for a treat, right? Well it didn’t work out that way.
When I drank this special water I wasn’t very thrilled. I really wanted to be impressed, but it never happened. For me the fancy water didn’t live up to its name.
Everything in the earth has a name. With every name comes a certain level of authority or importance, some more powerful, some less. For instance, if I say the name “splinter,” you might think, “Oooh, that hurts!” But if I say the name “cancer,” what comes to mind is a whole different story. The name “splinter” doesn’t have a powerful authority attached to it. “Cancer” is a name that is attached to a much bigger importance and authority in most people’s minds. By our experience, either personally or from what we hear and believe of what others have told us, we give authority to a name.
Each of us has a certain authority to our names too. If your name is “mom” and one of the kids tells the other child, “Mom said,” the name “mom” has power. In all of our work places or our homes or with our family or friends or even with our pets we have a certain authority attached to our names. Think about it. What attributes are attached to your name? And if some not-so-good things are attached to your name, don’t worry because that can change.
Paul wrote that the name of Jesus is above every name, and “that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth” (Phil 2:9-10). So everything has a name: “depression” is a name; “cancer” is a name; “muscle pain” is a name; “lack” is a name. Everything has a name and we give authority and importance to the name by what we say and what we believe. Is it going to be a splinter, or is it going to be a cancer in authority? No name has as much power as the name of Jesus Christ.
I love that Philippians 2:9 says the things “in earth” must bow to the name of Jesus, because our human bodies are made up of the same components as the earth: sea water and dirt. So the name of Jesus is bigger than any thing in my dirt. Yeah! I really do believe this about the name and authority attached to the name, Jesus Christ. We can speak directly to anything that has a name, and to whatever that name is, say (for instance): “Tight muscle, you don’t have a name that is bigger than the name of Jesus, and Jesus wants me healed, and at the name of Jesus, you have to bow, because that name is bigger than you. So loosen up now in the name of Jesus Christ! Amen (literally, “so be it”).” I’ve done this to my own tight muscles several times. This stuff really works.
The name of Jesus is really powerful, but you and I are the ones who have to determine the validity of the name. I didn’t believe in the brand name of that expensive bottled water. It didn’t work for me. If you don’t believe in the authority of the name of Jesus over any other name, then it won’t work for you either.
The great thing about Jesus is that you don’t have to be a religious person, or a “good” person to believe. If you just take one little step and say, “I want to believe,” well, of course He’ll help you. Like the man in Mark 9 said, “Lord, I believe; [but] help thou mine unbelief.” And of course Jesus did, and the authority of Jesus was bigger than the problem in the man’s little boy and Jesus spoke to it and the problem went out and the boy was free and healed. (See Mark 9:17-27.) If we can get a hold of this principle of believing in the authority of the name of Jesus Christ, and begin to use it more, it can really help us.
God wants us to get to the good stuff. And one great way to do this is to recognize and apply the power of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
QUESTIONS FOR PONDERING OR DISCUSSION
1. What products, philosophies, and/or people have you put your trust in that ended up disappointing your expectations?
2. Who or what do you still believe in?
3. Make a list of the most powerful names that come to mind. Include names of things as well as people. Then put that list in order, from the most powerful to the least powerful and explain your feelings about each. Now look at the list again and see if you would change any of this.
4. In what situations have you or others used the name of Jesus Christ and seen great results?
FOR FURTHER STUDY
1 John 3:2
NOTE: The above is one of the 61 chapters from my one year weekly spiritual workbook, WINGS: A Journey in Faith. In the book I include questions for reflection at the end of each chapter as well as scriptures for further study. I’ve included those sections so you can see a full sample. Here’s the link to Amazon where you can order my books:
My roommate came out of the grocery store. “I’ve gotta tell you what just happened!” This is the story:
She went down the coffee aisle. There were 5 bags of the coffee she wanted and she took all of them. She got up to the register and told the cashier, “This was marked reduced for sale.” The cashier punched it in and it came up $6.99. My roommate told her, “There’s a sign back there saying it’s on sale for $3.74.” The cashier decided to go back and look for the sign. Soon she came marching back, gripping the sign in her fist. Maybe she thought if she squeezed it hard enough the price would go back up! She barked, “Hold on, I have to check with the manager.” My friend waited.
Meanwhile there was the big burly guy with a backwards baseball cap and tattoos all down both arms waiting in line behind her. He heard the whole conversation. “Stand up for yourself. And I’ll stand up for you too. You go girl!” The cashier came back and took her stance behind the counter, as if in a bitter faceoff. “Well, we’ll have to give it to you at that price, but someone made a big mistake! Then she got snotty and said, “You better really enjoy this coffee because you’re getting a good deal. You really only should be getting one.” She was trying to intimidate my roommate into putting it back. As my friend was walking out with her 5 bags of coffee the cashier just kept repeating, “You better reeeaallllyyy enjoy that coffee.”
The cashier had turned from an engaging, friendly, soft spoken woman into a bitter, stern, resentful and confrontational one. The devil never is happy about us receiving the favor of God and he will influence unsuspecting people to try to get us to back down from taking what God has intended for us. The woman didn’t have any personal vendetta against my roommate, but something made her angry. We have to remember that it’s a spiritual battle out there. Well, my roommate didn’t back down.
Psalm 68:19 tells us God “daily loadeth us with benefits.” And When Jesus finished feeding the five thousand, “He said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost” (John 6:12). So if we’re not seeing God’s daily benefits, we must be missing or overlooking the fragments. Often we are too concerned about getting the big blessings and lose the benefit of the smaller ones. When the disciples gathered the fragments, they ended up filling twelve baskets full. That’s nothing to scoff at.
God tells us, “He who gathers little by little will increase [his riches]” (Prov 13:11AMP). We can’t allow the devil to steal, hide or intimidate us into giving back what God’s given to us. We need to receive it and be truly thankful, even if it’s fragments..
Proverbs 13:22 says, “The wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.” It’s already there, like the super deal on the coffee, but we need to be bold enough to recognize the favor of our God and take it when He makes it available. We can’t be shy when it comes to receiving from God.
Let’s recognize the fragments and gather them up. My roommate refused to be intimidated by the cashier and all 5 bags of coffee came happily home with us!
My books are available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble. They can be downloaded on several different electronic devices. I also have a printed copy available. Find them under my name: Carolyn Molica