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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
Laurie Malaby had worked with disabled children in the United States for many years. But she never dreamed God would use her to bring new freedom to children overseas.
Laurie Malaby dialed the number on the business card she had been given earlier that week, never dreaming that a single telephone conversation would open the door to a life-changing experience. Trained as a pediatric physical therapist, Laurie had worked with disabled children in the United States for many years.
As part of her job with Wicomico County Public Schools in Salisbury, Maryland, Laurie often places orders for new wheelchairs when her students outgrow them. "In my profession, we can't bear to see perfectly good equipment discarded," Laurie says. "So I began storing these used wheelchairs in the basement of my school, thinking there had to be someone who could recycle them." read more
JENNIFER ROTHSCHILD'S LIFE BEARS WITNESS TO GOD'S DESIRE FOR EVERY WOMAN TO BE AN OVERCOMER.
From the outside, the Rothschild residence seems to be the quintessential middle-class home nestled beneath the shade trees of a typical Midwestern suburb. The freshly cut lawn gently slopes down to the curb on which a bicycle casually rests.
Parked in the driveway is the all-American family-sized utility vehicle awaiting the next trek to the nearby high school soccer field or the local farmers market. Little would anyone imagine that within the traditional brick walls of this home (in the basement study, to be exact) lies the control center for the ministries of Christian author, singer, songwriter and inspirational speaker Jennifer Rothschild. read more
Paula Yorker's family secret could have been her undoing. Instead, it became the basis for her highly effective brand of compassionate and relevant evangelism.
LIKE MOST MOMS, Paula Yorker spends much of her day handling routine responsibilities: running errands, cleaning house and shuttling her 14-year-old to after-school activities. What's not so typical is how the attractive, soft-spoken 43-year-old spends her free time: witnessing to drug dealers, ministering to prison inmates and heading up outreaches in inner-city neighborhoods.
"I love church," Paula says, "but I'd rather be outside, sharing the gospel and love of Christ, versus sitting in a pew, hearing the Word of God and doing nothing with it!" read more
When terrorists took me and my husband hostage—and killed him after 376 days—I learned to love my enemies.
A few short years ago, I was perfectly content to live in a small barrio in the Philippines with my jungle-pilot husband, Martin, and my three children. My daily tasks at that time were simple:
After nine years of what I thought was a solid Christian marriage, I was confronted with the first of my husband, Wayne's, two adulterous affairs. Having been raised in a pastor's home, I couldn't comprehend why this was happening.
I had confided in a fellow church member—a friend I trusted. Unfortunately, the story of my husband's unfaithfulness began to spread throughout the congregation. I wondered how I would be able to heal. Feeling as though my world and my marriage were in shreds, I turned my grief inward.
I did not know how I could ever trust my husband again. I forgave over time, but forgiveness doesn't make us forget. However, as we forgive and begin to heal within ourselves, the pain lessens. read more
Calcutta, India, has the lowest standard of urban living on the planet--and it's no wonder. Calcutta is named after Kali, the goddess of destruction, the most feared and most loved of Hinduism's 300 million gods.
In Women of the 10/40 Window, Lorry Lutz describes the statue of Kali that stands in a temple in Calcutta. The statue wears a garland of skulls and serpents. Her four arms hold an axe, a trident and a severed human head. Blood flows from her tongue as she stands astride the corpse of her consort, Shiva. Devotees cast garlands at her feet, pleading for her favor and protection. read more
AFTER YEARS OF PREPARATION, GOD BIRTHED A CHURCH WHERE THOSE DEEMED UNREACHABLE COULD BE DELIVERED AND CHANGED.
In 1988 I received a prophetic word that changed my life. I was told, "You will pastor in a neighborhood that has become a waste place. The church building will need a facelift, but God will supernaturally provide for the renovation."
The prophetess who had come to me went on to tell me that people would travel from around the nation to receive deliverance from spiritual bondage at the church. And she explained how God would physically and spiritually restore the neighborhood nearby. read more
Three years ago, after a biopsy on my left tonsil, I was diagnosed with cancer. Because of the location of the tumor, my doctor recommended radiation therapy rather than removal.
If the procedure failed to decrease the size of the tumor, radical, disfiguring surgery was proposed as the next step. According to man's report, there was not much of a choice, but I knew God's Word said, "By His stripes we are healed" (Is. 53:5, NKJV).
During the radiation treatments, I continued to seek the Lord. Each night I would lie awake and spend hours just listening to Him. read more
Lord, cause me to hear Your prophetic Word for my life today. And lead me to places and peoples who need to receive that Word--even at the risk of being thought a fool."
This prayer is tucked inside Myrtle Amundson's Bible. It's part of a list of prayers from The Calling, a book by Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors ministry, and Myrtle has seen God answer it in her life. In fact, He's given her an unusual calling that enables her to touch many countries of the world without leaving her own backyard. read more
Childhood is supposed to be a carefree, idyllic time, a time of making happy memories to cherish and remember throughout life. Not so for the children of Haiti, where most youngsters, even 4- and 5-year-olds, can be found carrying water jugs on their heads, baby-sitting, running errands or cleaning house. Statistics show that in this, the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, about half the children die before age 5 because of starvation, malnutrition or exposure to disease and inclement weather. Many are abandoned by their parents or orphaned and left to roam the streets, begging for food.
But amid the destitution, political upheaval, voodoo worship and witchcraft that hangs like a heavy, dark cloud over this small island in the West Indies, there is an angel by the name of Eleanor "Mom" Workman who relies on the power of God to save--both physically and spiritually--as many of Haiti's children as possible. read more
Agroup of 4- and 5-year-old children stand on the platform moving gently to the music and doing graceful sign language with their hands. They are watching their teacher, Miss Jeannine, who is leading them from the floor.
As they dance, their faces are lit by an inner light that speaks of a deep intimacy with Jesus. This is liturgical dance at its best--children dancing as an integral part of the service. read more