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Rescue Me!

When I was in worship one day following a particularly disappointing turn of events, the Lord gave this to me: "'The Lord is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him'" (Lam. 3:24, NASB).

This verse has served me well during the years when the dreadful "if onlys" threatened me. Surely, you're familiar with them: "If only I were married." "If only my dad were still here." "If only things were different."

Such musings are potentially very powerful in shaping a mood or mind-set. But praise God for the swift intervention of His counsel on those days! read more

Read the Instructions

My nieces had been teasing me about the growth of peach fuzz on my face, so I decided to use some hair remover on it. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how quickly it worked, and in the process, I managed to remove my eyebrows as well.

Not a problem, I thought, I'll just use pencil till they grow back.

Before they did, I went to hear a special speaker at my church. Her testimony was so moving that I sobbed into a tissue through most of it. read more

Earth Needs Your Witness

I was fortunate to have grown up in a small, southern, very protective community. Certainly there were opportunities to challenge parental authority, but you just didn't do that sort of thing back then, especially not with everyone in the city watching your every move.

But after high school graduation, I went away to college in Boston. Not only was it the coldest place I'd ever been during the winter, I had difficulty adjusting to the climate in other ways, too. Socially, politically and spiritually, Boston was a shocking new experience.

I met young people from all over the world, most of whom had not grown up with a background anywhere near as conservative as my own. I was far from home and immersed in an environment that offered more temptations than I'd ever known existed. read more

Raised to New Life

For years I felt it was me against the whole world. In 1995, I was ill and exhausted. I was also heartbroken following a divorce.

At 34 years old, I felt I didn't have the strength to live. My family and friends were 3,000 miles away, and the stress of being a single parent was taking its toll.

During those days, my only joy was my two beautiful boys, but they were definitely a handful. At the time we lived in a one-bedroom apartment. read more

I Care About America

My education began in the early 1960s in Florida's segregated public schools, where I was taught to love God and my country. I was encouraged to believe that racial hatred was an aberration of my country's true nature. And I trusted that the inequities I lived with would become obsolete one day because they were inconsistent with our national character.

But during the civil rights movement, the nightly news exposed me to the racism and violence being played out across the country. I became greatly disappointed, and then angry, and I began to lose hope that my country would ever fully embrace me.

For years, America's ideals meant little to me. The stories I'd read about the nation's noble beginnings often omitted the fact that among the signers of our Declaration of Independence were several who owned slaves. It was an unsettling irony to me that men who declared freedom to be their rightful inheritance would deny those same "blessings of liberty" to others. read more

Castles in the Sand


Editor's note: The following excerpt is a portion of the record of the Rountrees' visions of heaven and the revelations the Holy Spirit gave them. The excerpt begins right after "Anna" has been directed by an angel to take the path to the throne room and go see her heavenly Father.

Much to my amazement, the path on which I had begun to walk seemed to be in motion, like a conveyor belt or a moving sidewalk. I looked down at my bare feet standing on its smooth, advancing surface. read more

Raise Your Shield of Faith

God thrust the sword of the Spirit in my feeble hand 20 years ago when He sent me into a young adult Sunday school class as the teacher. Apply that last word loosely. Actually, I was an idiot.

I got a brand-new Bible for my journey and I meant to keep it that way. I neglected it. Fumbled it. Dropped it. Opened it. Yawned over it. Whined over it. Cried over it. Begged God to help me with it.

Then slowly but surely, one discovery at a time, I fell head over heels in love with it and its brilliant Author. I dug my fingernails into it and vowed never to let it go. I may have a junkyard of broken vows somewhere but, to the glory of God, that one is not in the heap. read more

Remembering The Latter Rain


During the mid-1940s renowned ministers such as Charles Price, Smith Wigglesworth and Aimee Semple McPherson individually stated that there was another major move of God's Holy Spirit on the horizon but that they were not going to be alive to see it. They also stated that although some of the so-called "activity of the Spirit" up until that time had been born of the flesh and had the resemblance of Ishmael, those who earnestly tarried for the next move would witness Isaac being born.

These prophecies came forth at a critical time in the life of the church when, during a season of spiritual drought, the groundwork was laid for an outpouring of the Spirit. God's visitation was perfectly orchestrated for the church at large, and it also came at a crucial time for me. read more

Racism Uprooted

My ancestral roots run straight down into the Mississippi mud. My great-grandfather, seven generations removed, was the first Protestant circuit-rider in the Mississippi territory, giving me a rich Christian heritage intermingled with a traditional Southern mind-set.

Unfortunately, my Christian heritage did not tip the scales when weighed against the embedded racial views of the Deep South. My family never spoke with hatred against black people, but they certainly felt that blacks needed to "stay in their place."

When I was growing up, I was told that segregation was the way God meant it to be. It took many years for God to set me free. read more

Purpose is a Process

Have you ever cried out to God, "Why"? Have you ever found yourself wondering if He has forgotten you? It is hard to understand why we go through trials in our lives. I don't have the answers, but one thing I do know: God is faithful! He has a plan for us, and knows that our tests have the potential of being our greatest testimonies.

After losing one of my sons in a horrible car crash, I was left wondering what I had done to deserve such grief. In that moment, God was my comfort.

I learned that purpose is a process, and that the greatest tragedy that we experience will access our greatest blessing. It's not a good thing when someone experiences loss, death or misfortune. But God promises in His Word that "all things work together for good" (Rom. 8:28, NKJV). read more

Prepared for Action


Since the American Revolution, women have played an active military role in every United States conflict. Three thousand women served in World War I, 7,000 in Vietnam, and during Desert Storm, 7 percent of deployed American forces were women--more than 40,000.

Events involving U.S. military women gained international attention during Operation Iraqi Freedom, including the dramatic rescue of prisoners of war Jessica Lynch and Shoshana Johnson, and the loss of Lori Piestewa, the first Native American woman killed by enemy action in our nation's wars. read more

Preach on, Little Sister

Most Sunday afternoons, our family gets together for dinner after church. One of our traditions is to repeat the Lord's Prayer together before someone blesses the meal.

One Sunday, when my granddaughter was around 3 years old, she noticed that her father wasn't repeating the Lord's Prayer with the others. After I'd asked God to bless our food, she looked at her dad and asked him why he had not prayed with everyone else.

He explained to her, "I did pray; I just prayed to myself." read more

Prayers of a Righteous Mother

When our kids were young, "pillow talk" was always special. This was a time to sit in intimate half-light at bedtime and ask how things were--really were--if signs of reticence or sadness were detected that day.

We would gather any untied threads of the day, talk about them and pray these things into the Father's hands. Confessions, hopes, ideas and fears were expressed then as at no other time.

Trust was built into our relationship that stood us in good stead in later years. One kind of pillow talk we engaged in allowed me to relate to our teen daughter when the distance between us seemed great. read more

Prayer that Heals

For seven years I have mourned the loss of my son Alan to suicide at age 18. One day my friend Susan asked if she could pray with me. As we began, Susan asked me to recall a place where I loved to be with my son. Envisioning the bittersweet memory of a time when Alan and I were running on a particular mountain trail, I felt how much I missed my son.

During my recollection, Susan asked me where God was in my vision. I saw the Lord following Alan and me on the trail. It seemed that the Lord took great delight in being with me on the trail the same way as I did being with my child. In need of rest, Susan and I ended our prayer time.

As I began to reflect on our prayer time, it occurred to me that the Lord wanted me to love being with Him the way that I loved being with Alan. The Lord then said to me, "I love you with a love that cannot be measured, and I deeply desire to spend time with you." As I thought about this I was deeply encouraged and renewed. read more

Power of Positive Faith

March 14, 1986 is a day I'll always remember. I had been serving in the United States Air Force for more than 12 years and was stationed in South Korea.

That morning I walked into the living room of my small apartment and found the room filled with a cloud. I wasn't afraid or shocked; rather, I was extremely calm. In the center of the cloud I saw my 11-year-old son's face, and I heard the Lord say, "Go home."

Immediately, I rushed to my workplace to tell my supervisor that I needed to return home to Denver. With his permission, I took the first flight headed to the United States. read more

Power in the Blood

God has blessed my husband and me with four beautiful children. We've always prayed over them, and I thank God that all four are born again and Spirit-filled.

When our youngest, Matthew, was about 4 years old, I heard a talk given by a former witch, in which she revealed how the blood of Jesus Christ had hindered her attacks on certain children in her neighborhood. She found out later that children who had parents "pleading the blood of Jesus" over them had been protected from witchcraft.

This former witch admonished us to understand the power of "pleading the blood." Immediately, I began adding this element to my daily prayers for my children. read more

Picture Perfect

My husband, Paul, and I went into the portrait studio to pick up pictures of our 12-month-old son, Ezekiel. We waited with excitement until our names were called, and then, as the sales associate placed the pictures in frames for us to look at, we both stood in shocked silence.

This happened every time we went to pick out our son's most recent pictures. As we looked into those perfectly brushed and lighted photos, we were reminded once again of Ezekiel's Down's syndrome. It was like receiving the news of his condition
for the first time.

Finally, we would break the quiet and begin to express our preferences, commenting on how well he smiled in this picture or how blue his little eyes were in that one. Always we would look at each other and smile reassuringly that God had given us this little boy and that in our eyes he was perfect. read more

Overcoming the Odds

In 1997, I married my high school sweetheart, Wesley. Two years later, we were extremely happy when we found out we were expecting our first child.

On January 13, 2000, our son, Blaise Chandler, was born. But we discovered something was wrong; he was not breathing. Despite the circumstances, God's peace came over me.

Blaise was moved to a different facility, where he remained for a week. Doctors concluded that he was born without kidneys, and on January 20, 2000, he went home to be with Jesus. read more

Outwitted by a Toddler

After unsuccessfully coaxing my 3-year-old to eat more of his meal, I gave up and excused him from the table. Minutes later he was back, asking for a cookie.

"But you didn't eat your dinner, Honey," I told him.

He pondered this for a moment, then asked politely, "Could you eat it for me?"
Amy K. Rognlie read more

Out of this World

At 19 years old, I was unmarried and pregnant with my first son. My fiancé and I were not Christians at the time.

We were planning to get married and had begun taking marriage classes, which were required by the church we attended. By the time we finished the classes, I was six months pregnant.

On the morning of my wedding day, I awakened to labor pains. Instead of getting married that day, I gave birth to our first son. read more

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