I protected your baby!

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We spent the whole morning running from office to office to get our work permit and visa stamped in our passports in the capital city Nairobi. Finally, after we had gone through the tedious process and had completed everything, I just wanted to go to one more store to order curtains before we made the rough 2-hour road trip, back to the little African town we lived. I left Chris and the girls in the car to do the last errands.

 

A few minutes later, we were on our way home. As we started, I looked back at the children and realized that the door next to Melissa’s Infant Car seat was not closed properly. We quickly stopped at the side of the road to shut it properly. It was at that moment; we realized that we had been robbed. My purse, which I left right under the Infant Car seat, had been stolen! I just broke down in discouragement. My handbag that contained all our documents (Passports, Marriage certificate, birth certificates for the kids, work permit and visa – the things that you definitely don’t want to lose in Africa) was gone. I said, “Lord, why did you let this happen to us? We struggled for so long to get all that paper stuff together – we just got everything a couple of hours ago……”

 

The Holy Spirit immediately spoke to me: “I protected your baby!!! It could have been your baby they had stolen!” You cannot imagine the relief that came into my heart that very second. All my discouragement immediately changed into praise and thanksgiving. Yes, we had been robbed, but the Lord still had his hand on everything and protected my children. Just a few days later, we received a phone call from the German Embassy. Our key documents were found in a trash can in one of the city parks and given to the Embassy. It was not long before we had all our documents intact again. (by Simone Franz)

 

For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11 KJV

 

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A piece of motherly advice

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She had developed a very intimate relationship with God.  72 hours before Maralyn went home to be with Jesus, she wrote these words:

“The only thing that makes me sad is realizing that this intimate friendship with him (Jesus) has been available to me all throughout my life, and I never chose it until now. I missed it … big-time! I guess I was always so busy with my lists, projects, plans and events that I was too occupied to be open to such an idea. Oh, I did my devotions, but so often because I knew I “should.” That’s a different thing. Now I long to be with him, to feel his hug, to hear his voice, to see his smile. It’s so different.

Here’s a piece of motherly advice: Don’t wait until you have a terminal illness to seek a true friendship with Jesus. He’s ready! It takes setting aside some less important things. It takes listening. It takes openness. But it’s so worth it! I hope you become literally thirsty for Jesus.

Soon I’ll be in heaven, and it will be great to see the scenery, gardens and mansions. It will be great to hear the singing and see what’s on the banquet tables. BUT! I can tell you, the thing I’m most looking forward to is meeting my Best Friend face-to-face for the very first time. I’m trying to imagine the thrill.…” Seventy-two hours after writing this, Maralyn Mathias peacefully left this earth to meet her Lord.

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. Psalm 145:18

 

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She wrung her hands in grief

Close-up of a Sad in front of a Gravestone.

 

A coffin was carried from the church to the graveyard. Inside was the body of a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl with the dew of youth on her brow. The girl’s friends stood around the grave.

 

As they lowered the coffin, a young Sunday school teacher who stood there shrieked and screamed and wrung her hands in grief. After the funeral was over and things had been cleaned up, the Pastor went to see this girl.

 

He said, “I noticed your hysteric grief at the grave. Was the girl we buried a Christian?”

The Sunday school teacher said, “I noticed that she was backsliding. She was going to very questionable places with her friends.” Then the girl said to the minister, “I was sure you would talk to her because you know much more about spiritual things.”

 

The Pastor said, “No, I didn’t speak to her. I was going to, but I didn’t. I was sure that you were reaching out to her! You are both girls, and you can relate to each one another better.” Realizing that none of them had reached out to the dead girl, the Pastor said, “Let’s go and talk to her mother. Perhaps she led her to Christ.”

 

The minister and the Sunday school teacher went and talked with the girl’s mother. She said, “Yes, I noticed my daughter had backslidden. I pleaded with her, but she would get so mad at me and accused me of not accepting her friends, so I stopped talking to her. I was sure you were reaching out to her.”

 

In the end, everyone had backed off, and now she was gone! The daunting realization hit them that she was lost.

 

He that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30 KJV

 

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You can’t buy me

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He distributed tracts in the army working with the American Bible Society. When the army chaplain died, they asked him to take the place of the chaplain. John Vassar wasn’t ordained, and the government law does not allow anybody to be a chaplain who hasn’t been appointed. He came up to Poughkeepsie where they began to examine him for ordination. One fellow with cinders all over his back, said, “Mr. Vassar, is your current duty to distribute tracts and has your salary been three hundred dollars a year?

“Yes, sir,” Vassar answered.

Do you wish to be ordained?”

“Yes, sir.” Vassar answered, adding, “Does that mean an increase of salary?”

“Yes, sir, fifteen hundred dollars a year.” Said the man with the cinders. “I am sure the increase in salary has attracted you and brought you here for us to ordain.”

Vassar said, “Stop right there! I don’t want it; I won’t take it if you give it to me”.  He went back to distributing tracts for three hundred dollars a year, to do something for Jesus Christ. He was a wonder that could not be motivated by money. God did marvelous things through him. (from Billy Sunday)

But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” Luke 9:62 NLT

 

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He is aggressive and uses awful language

download (6)He never preached a sermon but was always reaching out to the lost. He was a wonder. John Vassar was one of the greatest personal evangelists of the nineteenth century. John was invited to help a preacher do outreach in his town. This preacher met Vassar at the railroad station. As they were walking to the hotel where John was to stay, they passed a blacksmith shop. The Pastor said to Vassar, “There’s a blacksmith in there. He’s got a huge influence over the people here, but he will never come to church. If we could only win him for Christ, he would bring many to Christ.” 

Vassar asked, “Have you talked to him?”

“Oh no, we are afraid of him. He is aggressive and will use awful language on any preacher who comes near him.” He said,

“Just a minute, Pastor,” Vassar said, “Let me try to talk to him.” Vassar went in. The blacksmith was busily shoeing a mule — that is not a good time to talk about faith because they must concentrate on the job! But Vassar had the good sense to wait until the fellow finished with the work. By that time, he had disarmed the blacksmith’s harsh prejudice. In fifteen minutes, John had him on his knees, weeping like a child in repentance to God.

Vassar continued walking to the hotel where he was to stay. He registered, then strolled around, looking for somebody to witness to. He found a little reception room, and there sat a finely dressed lady. He walked up to her and said, “Lady, are you a Christian?” She said, “Yes, I am.” “I beg your pardon,” he said, “I didn’t mean that kind. I mean, have you been born again?”

“Oh,” she said, “we’ve gotten over that here in Boston.”

“Well,” he said, “lady, then you’ve gotten over Jesus Christ in Boston, too. That means you’ve gotten over God.” He talked with her until her prejudice was disarmed and tears trickled down her cheeks; then he said, “May I pray for you?”

She said, “I wish you would. God knows I need it, even though I’m a member of the church.”

Vassar prayed with her. As he did, sincerely wept in repentance. When he was done, he slipped out.

The fine lady’s husband came in and noticed that her eyes were red. He said, “Has anybody insulted you?” She said, “The strangest little man was here a little while ago, and he talked so nice to me about Jesus.”

He said, “If I had been here, I would have kicked him out and told him to mind his own business.”

She answered, “I wish you had been here. You would have thought he minded his own business. His business is a mission for his King to bring people to Jesus Christ.”

 

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 NIV

 

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More than you can imagine!

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Years ago, a man went into a shoe store in Boston and found a young fellow selling shoes and boots. He talked to him about Jesus Christ and won him for Christ. The name of that little boy was Dwight L. Moody. Do you know the name of the man who won Moody for Christ? I don’t think many who do. His name was Kimball. God used Kimball to win Moody, but He used Moody to win the multitude. (from Billy Sunday)

Dr. Ham relates: “Two young high school boys attended our meeting. They thought that everything I said was directed their way; so they decided to take seats in the choir, where I couldn’t point my finger at them. They didn’t pretend to be singers, but they wanted to be behind me. One night a man spoke to them during the invitation and said, ‘Come on; let’s go up front.’ Billy Graham went to the altar.  Who was the man that spoke to Billy during the altar call? Nobody really knows, but everyone knows Billy Graham.  The “man” won the one, but God used Billy to win the multitudes.  (from billygraham.org)

Andrew won Peter and brought him to Jesus; Peter turned around and won three thousand for Christ at Pentecost. Andrew didn’t have the gifting to win the multitude, but Peter did. That is the way God works!

Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin,… (Zechariah 4:10)

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History changing prayer

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Every man and every woman that God has used to halt the devastating process of sin in this world has been a Christian of prayer. Martin Luther got up from his bed and prayed all night, and when the break of day came, he called his wife and said to her, “It has come.” History records that on that very day King Charles granted religious toleration, the exact thing for which Luther had earnestly prayed. 

John Knox, whom his queen feared more than any other man, was in such agony of prayer that he ran out into the street and fell on his face and cried, “O God, give me Scotland, or I’ll die.” And God gave him Scotland and not only that, he threw England in for good measure. 

Jonathan Edwards prayed for days as he was about to preach his greatest sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” As he stood before the congregation, and preached it, men held on to the seats in terror. Some fell to the floor and cried out in fear of God, “Mr. Edwards, tell us how we can be saved!” 

The critical period of American history was between 1784 and 1789. There was no standard coinage, no common defense. When the colonies sent men to a constitutional convention, Benjamin Franklin, a man in his forties, asked that the convention open with prayer, and George Washington sealed the bargain with God. That winter in Valley Forge, Washington led his men in prayer. He got down on his knees to do it. 

When the battle of Gettysburg started, Abraham Lincoln, was on his knees with God; yes, he was on his knees from five o’clock in the afternoon till four o’clock in the morning, and Bishop Simpson was with him. (from Billy Sunday) 

Never underestimate the power of prayer!  Your prayers can truly change the course of history. 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).  

“Lord, teach us to pray” (Luke 11:1) 

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