Salvation While Sleeping

God loves us and gave His Son Jesus for us

I was sitting by the hospital bed moving his arm up and down, as the coma had caused lots of bed sores from non-movement.  We did daily exercises for his benefit, but also out of boredom.  Day in and day out, we walked across the channel connecting the hospital to the hotel.  My small family traveled back and forth to see him.  Our months were tirelessly spent in the visiting room and sitting next to dad.

As I moved his arm up, I thought I felt a slight hint of resistance.  Not too sure, I didn’t say anything at first.  Then I suddenly felt it again…now my heart was racing a bit.  We stood over him, after calling a nurse, checking all his vitals and preforming a, “reaction test” to see if he was responding.  The moment had finally came; he was waking up.

My dad & I were never exactly close.  He was an ex-Marine, and I was a mouthy teenager.  The two clashed terribly on a daily basis.  I often felt that he didn’t understand me, wasn’t fair, and plain and simple— didn’t love me.  I was excited that there might be a chance to tell him how much I loved him, now that he was waking up.

The man who opened his eyes was much different than the one who fell asleep.  It was a tragic battle each day for our tired family.  The day of my father’s terrible accident, my sister and I were also in a bad car wreck.  Dad worked in construction and was restoring the side of an old church downtown, when he lost his balance and fell three stories to the concrete below.  An hour later, my sister & I were a in bad collision, immobilizing our entire family in just a few short moments.

As my mom drove up to the scene, she must have realized that her whole life was under attack.  My father was being life-lined to a hospital, assumed not to survive, my sister and I were scared & injured—all within moments of each other. Our lives came to a pivotal moment in time that none of us will soon forget.

Now he was waking up. We were quickly learning what brain injuries entail.  He had to learn everything over again and as he did, it looked different than before.  It took years of recovery before he was functioning at his finest.  Learning to talk and walk were obviously vital to his treatment. Learning to count and color were necessities, and therapy proved itself to be a unique new world.  Back to the basics was the theme, starting over, raising a “child-like” man was no walk in the park for any of us, especially my mother.

Our family didn’t pray or know Jesus at the time.  We didn’t know how to call on Him for our needs, we didn’t read scripture or worship in any capacity and we never tagged our requests to a living God. Everything was just fate and circumstance.

Dad was an atheist, professed to be a non-believer in every fashion.  There was a Bible in the house, but he only read it to prove it wrong.  Many times, he would meet with my Uncle, a Baptist Pastor, and dispute the scriptures.  Many times, Dad would drive home feeling like he won the debate.  He loved words and poetry, and to him that is what the Bible was—a fancy book full of fancy words that tried to convince people of a central topic.

As he woke from his coma, one of the first things we noticed was he started talking about Jesus and scripture. The very things he had studied to disprove, became truth embedded deep into the heart of his entire being, while he was asleep.  His physical strength increased as did His spiritual strength.  There was never a moment when he remembered not knowing and loving God.  The Lord became personal to him, and they were solid friends for many years.

My dad fell asleep as a non-believer.

But, he woke up a follower of Christ.

Please take a moment for that to sink in.  He lay asleep…a dead man, and woke up as a living testimony of God’s mercy.

This series of events led to the conversion on many people, including myself.  When my dad passed away from this life, it was hard to be upset.

As a father, he taught me how to pray and he also was an example to me of how intentional and passionate God’s love for us is.  He was a witness that the Lord will pursue the heart of men even if it takes trial and tragedy to capture their heart.

As Jesus rolls the stone away from the impossible, inside the heart of a tomb is hope and redemption.  If He cares enough to allow circumstance as ugly as deep pain in order to reveal to you His compassionate gift of eternity, then nothing and no one is outside the grace of God’s love.

I hope you enjoy the story of my Dad’s conversion.  There were times in my life that I questioned why a loving God would allow such hurt to come into our lives.  Then one day I watched my Dad, the same man who raised me to not love God, submit to the Creator of the universe.  I saw him raise his hands and worship, with no reservation, a God who rescued him while the world waited on him to die…and then I knew…

We serve a God who will do whatever it takes to show you absolute abundant love.

Share:Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail to someoneTweet about this on Twitter

The Pleading Ruler & His Dead Daughter

photo-1446104487198-e3c730dc3fee

Jairus’ baby girl was dying. His only daughter, a 12 yr old apple of his eye, was struggling to sustain her life.  His only chance was to plead for someone to heal her, someone who had the ability.  This wasn’t easy considering Jairus was a well known leader/teacher in the community and didn’t normally need to plead to anyone for anything. This was different though, this was out of his reach..out of his control..out of his power. He loved this girl and was willing to do what it took to attain hope for his sweet one.
 
The pleading ruler went to Jesus, fell down…because that’s what pleading people do, and begged. But he was interrupted.
 

Another need arose that claimed the Healers attention and Dairus stay on the ground, assuming a posture of despair. While Jesus was finishing up healing the heart & body of women who had chronic bleeding, & explaining to her that faith was the key power agent in her healing, a man rushed over from Dairus’ house & told the ruler his daughter was dead.

In his most passionless solemn of voices, the man said, “don’t bother the teacher anymore…”  A big sigh, through tears and disappointment, he had came to Dairus to simply pick him up off the ground and tell him it was over.

Don’t bother seeking hope, don’t bother having faith, what’s done is done…and it is completely over.  There is nothing more to do.

This perked Jesus’ ears.

Jesus says two things to the pleading ruler.

#1. Don’t be scared
#2. Believe

So, Jesus most likely reached his hand out to the wretched man, helped him lift up his heavy load of a body, and walked with him to his home where the girl lay lifeless.

When they arrive at the man’s house Jesus tells everyone to stay outside except the girls mother & father and 3 of Jesus’ friends.  The 6 of them go in to the dead girl.

Here is a quick run down of what happens next:


All of them begin to cry.
Jesus tells them to stop it.
He says, “She is not dead, she is only sleeping.”
They begin to laugh at Jesus.
They start ridiculing him, all of them.
He makes them all go outside.
He grabs the little girls hand.
Jesus tells her to get up.
Her spirit returns to her.
She gets up.
She’s hungry and eats probably the best meal of her life.

End of story.

And there you have it… a great equation stuck right in the middle of Luke Chapter 8.

COURAGE + BELIEF IN JESUS= LIFE

For thousands of years the Spirit of God has renewed the spirit of man.  As Jesus enters any situation, regardless of the degree of tragedy, He brings hope, life, peace, and sometimes a really good dinner.  It doesn’t matter what your past contains or how much despair lays right in front of you; Jesus can transform it into something that brings life! 

As the crowd laughs on at your faith, shut the door.  PUT THEM OUTSIDE!
Stand next to the bed and watch Jesus take the hand of something that’s overcome with death and call it into life.  Don’t miss the moment.  Don’t be cast outside with the unbelieving bunch; stay close to Jesus and watch His voice conquer all bondage and burden.


You can be the witness to what He’s been doing all along, through all of time…creating hope!
Whatever you are facing…set your pride aside and run to the Hope-Carrier, Dream-Maker, Life-Giver.
He is Jesus.

 

Share:Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail to someoneTweet about this on Twitter

The Clanging Gong

The Clanging Gong

1 Corinthians 13:1 says…

And now I will show you the most excellent way.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol.

Many times when we think about the word love, we purely associate is with a singular kind of feeling, an emotion.  We say I love…often.  I love ice cream, I love dogs, I love the fall weather, I love…whatever or whoever it may be.

It’s definitely a well used term & mis-diagnosed adjective, that flops out of our mouths pretty often.

they word love in this scripture is talking about something other than the emotion.  It’s speaking about something deeper, something mystical and courageous.  It is referring to an action that people choose when they are indebted to something great…something that is worth every word.

This word, Love, defines a Christians response prompted by a duty of their soul that is bound by allegiance to the Creator God.  It’s something to be done…not just casual talk or rambling but a precise way to convey a message that is wrapped around a beautiful relationship with their friend, Christ Jesus.

You can speak about God all day.  You can talk about His Word and His miraculous history.  You can proclaim in His name, and shout all day from daybreak to bountiful rest and just be a noisy nuisance.  If you do not contain love when you do it…lets re-phrase…If you do not contain His priority and presence when you do it, you are certainly wasting great testimony and effectiveness.

God is love

That’s hard to wrap our minds around if you really sit in it for awhile and try to envision what that truth means when you look around the world.  We’ve heard it before and read over it so quickly, but it’s true.

If you really enjoy reading, writing, or speaking let me encourage you by saying this.  If you only do those things in the presence of God, inviting Love to each meeting, every appointment, each deadline that you have, You will not fail the priority of GodBut if you fill up your calendar and trudge along with Jesus as your side-kick, there will be a time of great humbling…and some will say you just write to write, and talk to talk, and you kinda sound like a clanging gong.  If you heart is like mine, that would be the most detrimental feeling, to hear rumor that you only do things for your glory & not His.

Let’s take time today to redirect our focus.  I’ll go first.

Thank you for reading today and swinging by week after week.  The goal here is always to bring glory to our already famous God..the God of Love, Our God who is Love.  I never want to sound like a screeching bad tune.  Let’s choose to only talk, write, speak, do anything within the presence of God, who while present brings about Love, because it’s just who He is.

It is the most excellent way!

Scroll down below and take a minute to add your favorite blog posts to share with me & other readers.  This linkup was created for you!!  Let is be a platform that encourages you and allows you to share your favorites!

looking up linkup

WELCOME to the Looking Up Link Up!

I’m so excited for you to join me here!
This is how it works…

1. Show your support to another blogger by leaving an encouraging comment

2. Link back to me by grabbing a button or adding my link to your blog

3. I sure would love to have you like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/grief2grace or follow my blog by email

Thank you for joining in and supporting each other; this is all about furthering the kingdom of Jesus by joining together with women who love HIM

I pray a revolving prayer, that as each one submits your link that you will be blessed and favored. I’ll be here every Thursday, and I look forward to connecting with each one of you.

 

 Loading InLinkz ...
Share:Share on FacebookPin on PinterestEmail to someoneTweet about this on Twitter

Stay Informed!!!

Sign Up For Our Mailing List and Stay In The Know!

images