Making a Few Necessary Changes

Okay, so I’m sure at least a few people have noticed that I’ve made some changes to my website. I’m not doing it to confuse anyone, but after all, it is an author website. After doing some needed research, I realized that some things were missing with this website – essential items that help people to contact me and buy my book. (No pressure to purchase, but it’s nice to have the information at your fingertips for immediate and/or future reference).

Yes, I’ll admit, I feel the pressure to make sales. (Too few reviews sound like bad news. I wouldn’t want to blow a fuse). But that’s not the reason I write. I write because I have a message to share and I can’t type it fast enough, and then I have to think about “Is anybody reading it?”

I know. What does that bird have to do with anything? I wish it would stop peering over my shoulder already.

ARRRGH! I’m a writer. I just want to write. I have another book to finish but marketing is a distraction. It’s like the carrots in the pot roast that refuse to cook all the way through, but the meat has been done for three hours. Even the potatoes are tired of waiting for them to cook. Anyhow, I think you get my drift. I’ve made some major renovations to this site over the last few months – renovations that in some ways correspond with renovations in my life. As some children prepare to move overseas (I will miss my grandson!) others come back home.

They’re here and then they’re there. They like to travel everywhere. My rhymes almost sound like a Doctor Seuss book. I used to wonder about his last name; sounds like the Hebrew word for horse.

Doctor Horse. Good name for him. I can see the toothy grin. Reminds me of Mr. Ed the talking horse. Remember him? If so, you’ve probably been around a while – long enough to go through numerous changes.

Like my website. I’ve been writing more articles for authors and for readers too. But my main message hasn’t changed a bit. To me it’s all about the miracles and healing Jesus still performs. He’s just the same today as He was two thousand years ago.  That’s what the Christian fiction stories I write are really about – children walking in the power of the Spirit, taking His inspired comic books at face value and using them to take incredible adventures.

These heroes are like people who read the Bible and do what it says without wavering.

They’ve had it with the Snore Bore. They won’t listen to his dead weights, and – well, I think you get the picture. They trust God to help them make those needed changes in their lives, even though some things can be so frustrating – like figuring out where all those widgets go and how and why and – Anyhow, change can be good. Now if I could only figure out where my villain ran off to…

 

 

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What if They’d Thought to Praise Him?

I. What if the Boatmen Had Thought to Praise Him?

 

What if they’d thought to praise Him?

Might Christ’s followers in the boat

Perhaps have been commended

For keeping it afloat?

 

Instead, they woke the Master

With rebukes like “You don’t care!”

And “How can you sleep while we sink?

It simply isn’t fair!”

 

What if they’d thrown a praise party

When first they saw the storm

Begin to rage around them

Like a yellow jacket swarm?

 

Might they have scared the devils

That were stirring up the sea

And threatening to drown them

In that lake of Galilee?

 

And what if they’d praised God

When they saw Jesus walk on water

Instead of crying “Ghost!”

Like any fearful son or daughter

 

Whose trust in God lasts for a day

But in the night grows dim?

What if in every thought and deed

They’d sought to honor Him?

 

What if they had, like Peter,

Dared to step outside the boat,

Declaring with great boldness,

“Lord, you make my feet to float!”?

 

Imagine Jesus’ pleasure

As he watched their budding faith

Spring to life in awesome ways.

But no, they feared a wraith.

 

II. What if the Farmers Had Welcomed Him?

 

And what if those who saw the man

Who once was demonized

Clothed, sitting, and in  his  right mind –

What if they’d recognized

 

The wonders God had done for him?

What if great joy they’d voiced?

Instead of begging him to leave,

What if they had rejoiced?

 

The farmers in that last tale

Would have surely been commended

Had they not focused on the way

Their lives had been upended.

 

But when they lost their livelihood,

They forfeited their joy,

Rejecting Christ’s deliverance

For creatures that annoy.

 

Yet who expects a pig

To sing a happy worship song?

But when we offer praise to God,

It makes our frail faith strong.

 

Based on events recorded in  Matthew 8:23-34 and Matthew 14:23-32

 

 

One Glowing Review: A Small But Bright Beginning

I have exactly one review so far for my new book.

It may not seem like much at first, but take a closer look

And feast your eyes upon the splendor of five shining stars,

More beautiful to me than Saturn, Jupiter or Mars!

 

How precious glows the gem of one who took the time to write

And share her thoughts on how this story gave her such delight!

Some readers promise book reviews, but how many deliver?

That’s why I want to take the time to thank this cheerful giver.

 

To me, it’s like the widow’s mite, a gift straight from her heart.

No one can tell the value of this precious work of art.

Like Jesus multiplying food, I choose to  magnify

What God can do with little and trust Him to multiply

 

The fruit of this beginning, which, though small, I won’t despise,

Because the tiniest of gems is mighty in God’s eyes.

What He can do with one review is more than I may know,

And so I’ll thank Him for this one and trust that it will grow

 

Into more feedback so that hungry readers may find out

What lies within this tale of mine and what it’s all about,

Because the focus isn’t money. It’s about the seed,

The precious truths within this book designed to meet the need

 

Of brokenhearted people searching for a little hope,

The ones left dangling as it were from a fraying rope.

I want somehow to reach them and to give them some relief,

Bring comfort to their aching souls and minimize their grief.

 

If one review can give a glimpse into this book of mine,

Then what can I not accomplish on this mission divine?

For truly it’s the little things that make a story great,

And when God shines on them, the work is never second-rate.

 

 

 

Where Can These School Shooting Victims Find Healing?

The school shooting described in Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure has many victims. First there’s Jack Tamer, the genius boy with the super high IQ. The slime that hits his head is clearly toxic, but he refuses to see a doctor. After all, he’s convinced he’s going to die, so why bother?

Jack’s own pride turns him into quite a victim. It does him more damage than the shooting itself.

Secondly, we have the bullies who shot the slime. They’re running scared, victims of the very fear that caused them to attack the innocent. The school shooting that they perpetrated has traumatized them as well. Yet the unseen forces driving them to crime show no signs of giving up.

As for the driver of Jack’s bus, he shows no real signs of alarm. In his mind, Jack’s head needs nothing more than a quick wipe with a used handkerchief. Then there’s a nearby policeman who gets a glimpse of the shooting but does nothing to stop it. He’s too busy doing paperwork, a victim of excessive rules. Like most good citizens of Jericho, he has no time to see the bullies brought to justice. Like the rest of the town, he’s too busy being tolerant to protect his own citizens from harm.

“But what about the other adults in charge of keeping order?” you may ask. Sadly, the teachers are too busy packing up for summer break to pay any attention to the parking lot. The few security guards on staff are taking a class on how to be polite to everyone. However, the thought police are out in full force. Nobody is safe.

Meanwhile, guilt hounds mild-mannered Pete Plain because he wasn’t fast enough to shop the shooting. How he wishes he had the strength and speed to protect his best friend from the gooey blob – not to mention super powers with which to heal him!

And what about the illegal comic book Jack gave him to hide – the comic book with the ability to transport its readers to a different realm? Can it empower him to be the hero he always wanted to be?

Speed of Sight, a Superhero Adventure holds the answer to these questions. It is available for purchase on Dove Christian Publisher’s website. You can also find it on Amazon – currently available in print form, soon to be available as an e-book.

https://miracle-times.com/book-blogging/poking-fun-powerless-religion/

https://miracle-times.com/spiritual-gifts-like-super-powers/

 

 

Why I Believe in Instant Miracles

I believe in instant miracles for several reasons. First of all, I see them in God’s Word, especially  Mark’s gospel. Here are a few examples.

Mark 1:40-42 shows a leper bowing before Jesus. He says, “If you will, you can make me clean.”

Jesus puts forth His hand and tells him, “I will. Be clean.”

The man receives an instant miracle.

In the very next chapter, we see four men take apart a roof and lower a man to Jesus. Jesus forgives his sins. Then he tells the paralyzed guy to take up his bed and go home. The man picks up his mat and leaves immediately, amazing everyone.

One day a woman with a bleeding problem sneaks up behind Jesus and touches the hem of his robe. Her blood flow dries up “immediately.”

That’s three instant miracles so far, but the scriptures record more.

Every miracle Jesus did seemed to happen pretty fast – as in, right away. His miracles didn’t take a month, a week, or even a whole day.

But that’s not the only reason I believe in instant miracles. The fact is, I’ve experienced them firsthand.

For example, one time my pastor had a word of knowledge that someone had a stomach problem. I knew it was me, so I went up for prayer and was healed right away. I had a hearty lunch that afternoon with no pain whatsoever. Now that’s what I call an instant miracle.

I have also prayed for people in Jesus’ name and have seen them get healed according to the promise in Mark 16:17-18 that “These signs shall follow them that believe… they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.” I have known bumps to disappear and have watched red blotches dwindle into nothing. Eyes have lost their redness. I have heard reports of tumors vanishing and people receiving instant relief from pain.

Just today my pastor gave a testimony about a woman who was in an accident which left her mostly blind. She couldn’t drive or function properly. But in January, our church set aside three weeks to fast and pray. She kept writing on the prayer cards “I want to see again.” Then one Saturday night, a whole bunch of people felt led to pray for her. The next morning, she woke up healed.

How instant was her miracle? Well, if you ask me, she received it pretty quickly, although she had been praying for a while.

Miracles don’t always happen instantly, but sometimes they do. I think that when they happen quickly, it is God’s way of reminding us just how powerful He is. Sometimes the miracle you pray for may be delayed. It might not happen right away. But that doesn’t mean you should give up asking.

One time, Jesus told a story about a woman who kept asking an unjust judge to avenge her against her adversary (see Luke 18:1-7). For a while he refused, but eventually he gave in because she was wearing him out. “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he (may) bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily.”

“Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (I Corinthians 15:51-52)

Those who believe in Jesus will experience this instant miracle.

It will be very quick.

“Nevertheless, when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

True Miracles Bear Good Fruit and Attract Persecution

True miracles bear good fruit. They also attract persecution. Pastor Naboth found that out the hard way. That’s because his charismatic church was a house of prayer where people stood in awe of God. The gatherings were lively and God’s Word went forth powerfully, resulting in signs, wonders and miracles.  Minds were healed, hearts were changed, and many souls were saved. For the deaf to hear and the blind to see was commonplace. But to see the way the rich shared with the poor was a true miracle indeed.

“True miracles are normal when you connect with Jesus, the divine vine,” the pastor liked to say. “For those who question the validity of these miracles, look at the fruit. With God all things are possible.”

Many people rejoiced to see such authentically true miracles, but, as was to be expected, others mocked.

That included old Ahab, a grumpy minister from a glitzy nearby church two blocks down the road. “Yeah, right. Be realistic. That Naboth is a phony through and through,” he grumbled. Ahab did not believe in miracles.

“There’s something fishy about that pastor and his group of wild fanatics,” he muttered as he dipped his hand into a can of stinky sardines. “I don’t trust the holy laughter. I know he pushes those people down. Someone ought to teach them to take God more seriously!”

As rich Reverend Ahab grumbled, his wife Jezebel strode into the room, bearing a pot of nasty tea. Next to it, she set down a plate of soggy sauerkraut which matched her wrinkly face.

“What is it now?” she snapped. “I could hear you whining from all the way down the hall.”

Ahab frowned at her. Then he burst into tears. “I offered Pastor Naboth half my cash stash to lay hands on me and anoint me to do miracles like he does. But he had the nerve to tell me my heart wasn’t right with God. I might have known he’d let me down. It’s probably because I’m pro-choice and he believes in no choice when it comes to matters like abortion.”

Jezebel smacked her lips. “Obviously the doctors are the ones should have the sway – I mean, the final say when it comes to what women do with their bodies. We all know that’s what it really means for a woman to have a choice. It’s between a woman and her doctor and she should trust her doctor, no questions asked. Speaking of doctors, I’m the doctor around here. And don’t you forget it!”

“All right, all right,” growled the Reverend Ahab. “Put down your picket sign for now and let’s get back to the matter at hand which is, I’m right and he’s wrong.”

“She – as in, me – is right too,” said Jezebel.

“Yes, I get it, I get it. But the point is, I didn’t slave and sweat for all those years to put MY church on the map only to lose half of it to him. Attendance has taken a nosedive and no one cares.”

Jezebel groaned. “Stop complaining and let me handle it. I’ll drum up a scandal that’ll bring the pastor and his congregation to their knees.”

The wicked woman set to work immediately. First, she posted rumors about Naboth on numerous social media sites in order to gain support for her unjust cause.  Secondly, she found many lying witnesses willing to accuse the pastor of all sorts of abuse. Finally, she hired a very experienced lying law firm to take Pastor Naboth to court. They accused him of pushing people down on purpose and performing false miracles for show. They also made it appear as if he’d visited illicit websites he had never even heard of.

Through poisonous words delivered via pen and untamed tongues, Jezebel and her cohorts dumped tons of dirt on Pastor Naboth.

But even though they buried his reputation, the good fruit of the Holy Spirit still remained. That’s because, despite every attempt to ruin him, no one could deny the true miracles, signs and wonders that took place in his church. For God would not allow the bitter herbs of Jezebel’s wrath to overtake His “vineyard.” He can bring new life out of the deadest circumstance.

As for Pastor Naboth, he praised God amid the fiery trial Jezebel and Ahab put him through. Instead of taking vengeance into his own hands, he died to himself and, in a sense, was resurrected. The bad guys killed him with their words but couldn’t keep him down.

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”  (Matthew 5:12)

https://miracle-times.com/miracle-power/gods-miracle-power/

https://miracle-times.com/resurrection/when-life-stinks/

Cessationism and the Charismatic Church

Do you long for revival, to have God’s fire burn in you?

Do you want to do more than sit in a church pew?

It has been my experience that ministry opportunities are often few, especially in churches which don’t allow for spiritual gifts such as tongues, prophecy, or miracles.

I believe that the doctrine of cessationism, which says that so-called “charismatic” or “Pentecostal” gifts aren’t for today, causes more things to cease than tongues. It causes hope to cease and the power of God’s Word to lose its relevance. When there’s no expectation that God will step into the meeting place and do something really awesome, then people start to leave. They start to get bored.

“I didn’t come to church for this lukewarm bath!” I can hear them say.

But oh, we must be careful of the wolves in sheep’s clothing, for what Bible-believing Christian isn’t familiar with Jesus’ warning that not everyone who calls him Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven?

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in they name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 8:22-23)

I Corinthians 8:3 tells us that “if any man love God, the same is known of him.”

In other words, it’s not the use of spiritual gifts such as casting out devils or prophecy that Jesus is against. It’s that they never loved him. They never really got to know him. If they prophesied truth, it was not in love. They might have cast out devils, but welcomed bigger devils into their homes. Judas is a prime example of a disciple who went out with all the rest to heal the sick and cast out devils (see Luke chapter 9, verse 2). He was involved in wonderful works, yet he had no true love for Jesus and in the end betrayed him.

Though there may be many who operate in false gifts or prophesy out of their own minds, that doesn’t mean that spiritual gifts have ceased. Take Ahab for example, the fleshly king who had four hundred false prophets prophesy success for him in God’s name (see I Kings chapter 22). There was one man, Micaiah, who had a true gift of prophecy for Ahab, however. He spoke a truthful word and Ahab had him thrown in jail.

If Jehoshaphat,  the godly king of Judah, had ignored Ahab and heeded that word,  he wouldn’t have gone to battle with Ahab and nearly gotten himself killed. True spiritual gifts – in this case, prophecy – can save lives, yet some people insist on preaching against such things. The number of anti-charismatic sites on the web is  astounding.

Spiritual counterfeits cause people to be disillusioned with spiritual gifts, but think on this: Satan is below God, not above him. He can’t counterfeit anything of God that isn’t real. When he couldn’t stop Jesus from casting out devils, he had men accuse Jesus of doing the devil’s work. Now he uses the doctrine of cessationism to accuse Jesus’ followers of the same thing.

After all, if gifts such as tongues and prophecy have ceased from operating in the church, then God can’t be behind them, can he?

I’m not saying we should accept every tongue or prophecy that comes our way, but we need to use discernment because for every four hundred false prophets there’s liable to be at least one true one. The same goes for tongues, as well as for every other spiritual gift. We shouldn’t let Satan scare us away from spiritual gifts that are still for today.