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In the early days of my ministry, 50 years ago, I would go to a place to run meetings and stay for perhaps a week. The people would come, and I would preach, and it was wonderful.
Then I pastored for 20 years in a church south of London. I was so fulfilled in that church. I loved it. This, too, was wonderful.
Then all of a sudden, God said to me, "Go." I said, "No." A second time God said, "Go." But again I said, "No." After my second refusal, God began to deal with me. When He did, I learned something: The God of Jonah still lives!
I realized that, in the whale's belly, Jonah was brought to a place where he would either declare, "Salvation is of the Lord," or bewail, "Salvation is of the Lord," one or the other. And in that place God began to deal with him.
As a result of the Lord's "dealings," I was a dying man at age 51. I persisted in my disobedience for a time, but finally at 2 a.m. one morning, I surrendered to God.
I said, "Lord, I'm going." He said, "Yes, you're going." I said, "But I had decided to stay!" God replied, "No, you're going. You'll either go and do what I've purposed you should do, or you're going home
So I moved out--but not because I wanted to. God has a way of making us give in. How much easier if we just cooperate with Him in the first place! read more
Everywhere I travel I meet them--little helpers, eager to "Bless the Minister". They mean well, but sometimes what they are offering to do is better left undone.
You ought to let me cut and highlight your hair." I heard the voice over my shoulder. When I turned around, my eyes had to look down about two feet to find the source of the offer, one that came with a long, Southern drawl.
"Hi, my name is Hepsiba. (That's in the Bible.) I do hair. I do pastor's hair, associate minister Calvin's hair and administrator-apostle Johnson's hair. Now he's actually bald, but I put a thick, all-natural beeswax with Retin-A™ on his hair, and then I pull it through a rice paper sorta hat. read more
Like an elite rescue squad, we have the privilege of partnering with God in ushering to safety those who will perish without Him.
I was once told by a paratroop instructor that there are four important commands given to the parachutists before every jump: (1) attention, (2) stand in the door, (3) look up, and (4) follow me!
Thinking of these commands, I am reminded that Jesus is preparing men and women for the new heaven and the new earth, and He has given His co-workers the same orders that the parachutists receive. The apostle Paul wrote: "Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters" (Eph. 6:5, KJV). Our task is not to give God His instructions. Rather, we must report for duty. read more
Nineteenth Century Revivalist
One day while milking a cow, Zilpha saw Jesus walking toward her. He appeared to say, "Thy prayer is accepted; I own thy name." Zilpha first thought she was seeing things; but when the cow looked in the same direction, bent its front legs and lowered its head to the ground, she knew the Lord had come to answer her prayer.
Zilpha was born free to religious parents in Pennsylvania around 1790. Her mother died when she was 12 years old, and her father sent her to live with a Quaker family. He died a year and a half later. read more
My husband, Tom, and I were taken aback more than once by how much Tammy's dad resembled the artist's rendition of Jesus that hung on the Sunday school wall. We sometimes couldn't help remarking to each other about it.
After our couples' Sunday school class concluded one Sunday, I went to pick up Gail as usual. Hurrying to the door, her teacher apologized, "I'm sorry, but during playtime just now, your little Gail and Tammy got into a scrap." read more
Looking down at them and then at me, Christian exclaimed the words that blessed this grandmother's heart, "Oh Grammy, you look soooo pretty! You look just like a clown!"
High praise indeed from a 3-year-old!
--Cynthia Duerfeldt read more