A new year and it's off to a good start, and I am not being sarcastic. God is teaching me interesting lessons, as always. Currently, they seem to be centred on trusting Him that He has an adventure in mind when things seem to go awry.
I have had problems with my car. A couple of weeks ago, it stopped dead on me on my way home from work one foggy, Friday night. It's a great mercy that it didn't happen just a few blocks sooner, as the fog was quite dense there. A silver car in the fog with the hazard lights not working is a recipe for disaster.
No, the engine cut out on me when I was slowing down for a red light under an overpass, where there were lights right overhead. A rough–looking lady in a beat–up pickup truck stopped behind me and put her hazard lights on, to prevent anyone from running into me, and this dear angel stayed there for half an hour, until BCAA arrived. The battery was tested; both gentlemen from BCAA said that it wasn't the problem and it must be something electrical. They were wrong about that, but nonetheless, being a BCAA tow truck driver has a terrific side to it. They make a lot of worried people very glad to see them, and the BCAA guys that I have met have great customer relation skills.
The car was towed to an auto repair shop and a new ignition was put in, as well as a different mass air flow sensor, as the mechanic said that these were not working well and probably causing the issue. It was nice to have the car running again, but it didn't run for long. I had gotten my car back on a Thursday, and Monday morning it conked out on me again when I was waiting for a red light.
I had been to Missionsfest that weekend and was inspired by the testimonies of Gracia Burnham and Russ Stendal, both of whom had been captured by guerillas and held for ransom. Gracia and her husband had been captured while at a resort in the Philippines, celebrating their wedding anniversary. They were caught in the crossfire of 17 firefights between the guerillas and the government, and Gracia's husband was killed in the last one, which the government won and they managed to free her.
Gracia said that her year of captivity revealed a lot of ugly things in her heart to her, such as resentment and hatred, but after several months, she stopped seeing her captors as her enemies, and instead began to look at them as emotionally–wounded young men who needed God.
In Russ's case, he realized God's purpose much sooner. Three days into his kidnapping, he realized that he had prayed himself into that situation. He had been asking God for a way to reach the guerillas in Columbia. How else was he going to do that, unless he lived among them? He spent several months tied to a tree, and that was when he began to write his first book. As the pages came off the typewriter, his captors squabbled about who would get to read them first. He wrote about his capture, but he also wrote about how he came to be a missionary in Columbia. In the end, having gotten to know him as a person through his writing and daily interaction helped the guerillas decide to let him go when they realized that they were not going to get a ransom for him. It's a fascinating story and I highly recommend Russ's books. Here is a good link to read summaries on them and ORDER THEM ONLINE.
As I stood on the side of the road on Monday morning, after a kind–hearted gentleman loaned me his cellphone to call BCAA and my boss, I thought of what Russ had said at Missionsfest and at my church the day before. I thought, "I don't want to have to wait three days to find out God's purpose for this happening. I want to enter into it now." So, I thanked God in the situation and supposed that maybe He thought that I needed more time to rest. I relaxed, and I thought about looking for opportunity to witness to people whom I wouldn't ordinarily see on this day, as I expected that I would be at work that morning.
The tow truck driver came along and I went with him to the auto repair shop. He was from Mexico and his parents had raised him with a knowledge of the Bible. We talked about end times prophecies and the things happening in the world. By the time I offered him a Gospel of John (I carry a few of them in my purse), he was eager to take it. Praise the Lord!
I also shared with the Receptionist in the auto repair shop some things about what Russ Stendal had testified of at Missionsfest. One of the things he talked about was how he had been invited by some guerilla leaders to help broker a peace between them and the Columbian government. The meeting was held in Cuba and Russ brought an evangelist friend with him, who has frequently ministered miracles of healing. They weren't sure, at first, if they should even be praying for these guerillas to be healed of their wounds, which were received while fighting the government, but that is what God led them to do, and many were healed even of their scars!
One guerilla's eyes got larger and larger as he watched each successive healing. He saw the flesh grow back in a man's shoulder where a big chunk had been missing. Another man's foot grew out. He finally asked, "How do you do this? Is it with your mind?" Russ said, "No, it has nothing to do with us. It's the power of Jesus." Several of the guerillas said, "We believe in Jesus!" Russ said that when guerillas get saved, they are really on fire for God, and, like Paul the Apostle, they work very hard to try to make up for the ministries that were lost when they killed Christians.
I don't think that the girl at the shop appreciated me sharing these stories with her, but she needed to hear them. My boss finally came along and picked me up. Again, it was Thursday before my car was fixed, but I didn't pick it up until Friday afternoon. It got me back to work just fine, but on the way home that night, it cut out on me again.
As I had been driving away from work that evening, I was worried about the car. The story was that the mechanic had put the mass air flow sensor in wrong; the wires hadn't been put in right. That's what they told me and they didn't charge extra, as there is a warranty on their work. Well, fine, but it cost me $20.00 extra for the towing charges because the shop was more than five kms from where my car broke down. When the Receptionist cheerfully told me, "Your car is running," I thought, "Yeah, well it was running the last time I picked it up, too, but it didn't run for long." These "electrical" problems could be anything and cost thousands of dollars in replacing parts until they figure out what is wrong.
I wondered if my car would break down again on the way home from work. The Lord spoke to my heart and said, "You will be all right." I thought, "But, Lord, what about my car? Will my car be all right?" It had cost me a lot of money to get if fixed. I'd had the muffler replaced and a light fixed; these had nothing to do with my car breaking down, but had needed to be attended to, and I wasn't concerned about that portion of the bill. I wondered, though, if I had really needed to get the ignition and the mass air flow sensor replaced. They may not have had anything to do with the car not running. Maybe the mass air flow sensor was just somewhat worn, and as for the ignition, it wasn't a big deal that sometimes the key couldn't turn it. My driver's manual told me how to get it to unstuck, so it must be a fairly common problem. I learned later that evening that the ignition sticks sometimes if the car's wheels are not straight when it is parked.
The Lord, however, would not tell me that my car would be all right. He just said that I would be all right. It was the same kind of reassurance that I used to give to my grandson Jake when he slept beside me when he was a toddler. He would start to wake up in the night, groaning and tossing. I would rub his back and say in a calm and confident voice, "You're okay," to reassure him that a loving person was near, and he settled down right away.
I had to be satisfied with that, since it was all that the Lord was going to tell me. I told myself, "Lanny, when you get on the mission field, you will have much bigger things than this to trust the Lord for. Don't worry. If the car breaks down, you've got one more call on BCAA and you're in a fairly civilized place. It's just inconvenient; that's all." It wasn't like being stranded on an isolated road in Africa with hungry lions prowling nearby. I started to plan as to whether I would stop for groceries on the way home, to get some bread and fruit, or whether I would go to the store the next day.
It's a good thing that I decided to stop at McDonald's on the way home. As I was picking up my food in the drive–thru, my car stopped dead. It would not start. Arghh! So, it wasn't the mass air flow sensor; that was money spent for nothing. How much more was it going to cost before they figured out what was causing this problem? Towing charges and that last repair bill was only $15.00 short of what I had paid for the car.
Well, it was a right handy place for the car to break down. The Manager and a couple of other guys who worked at McDonald's pushed my car into a parking spot. I sat in the car and ate my food before it went cold, then got my leather coat out of the trunk. I had been keeping it and some scarves and mittens in there, to give away to poor people, if I saw anyone who looked like they needed them. I sure needed that coat, as the one I was wearing was too light for walking around in at night.
Then I went inside the restaurant and borrowed the Manager's cell phone to call BCAA. There was a table by the window, very handy to keep an eye out for the tow truck, while reading the funny papers. This was much more comfy than waiting by the side of the road and I wasn't blocking the traffic.
The tow truck driver arrived, a tall, rangy fellow with a hard–looking face, but a heart of gold. He wasn't a soft–spoken type of person; he was very sure of himself, and he had a right to be. With thirty years of experience as a mechanic, he figured out the problem with my car right away. I told him it wasn't the battery, as two other BCAA guys had tested it and the alternator and said they were all right. I told him about the ignition and mass air flow sensor being replaced, as well as my doubts about the necessity of it, and asked if the issue might be with my spark plugs. He said that I might be closer to the answer going in that direction, than what the mechanic had been with what he thought the problem was. Not the the problem was with the spark plugs, but it could be related some hardware that is close to the spark plugs, which he called the ignition module. He also told me that you can't put a mass air flow sensor in wrong; you just plug it in. The next day, another mechanic said the same thing, confirming that I had been fobbed off at the auto repair shop.
Ignoring what I had said about the battery being all right, he tested it and then he said, "Forget about what I said about that other thing; it's the battery." I said, "But it's a fairly new battery, I think. The person who sold me this car said it was a good battery." The tow truck driver, whom I will refer to as "Diamond", because he is a diamond in the rough, said, "It's not a good battery, if it's not doing its job, even if it's new." Then he showed me how all the lights on his battery tester were lit up, except for a green one on the end. He jiggered something on the engine, which made it run faster, and then the green light lit up, but when he let the engine slow again, the green light went out. He said that the green light should have come on right away. I guess the other BCAA guys didn't pay attention to the lights; they just figured that because there was a charge in the battery when they put their booster on it, it was okay.
I was so relieved to finally know what the problem was with my car, and that it wasn't some vague electrical problem that could cost thousands of dollars before it got fixed, if it indeed ever got fixed, that I am sure that my face must have been glowing. I felt like giving that guy a big hug, but instead, I restrained myself, as a lady should, and said with a huge grin, "I thank Jesus for sending me someone who's brilliant!"
It was such a good thing that I was parked in a parking lot, because this gave me and tow truck driver opportunity to have good chat about some interesting things. We discussed the repairs that I'd had on the car and then I said, "I'm going to say something to them about that. Those things weren't in tiptop condition, but the car would probably have operated anyway, if they weren't replaced. I won't be nasty about it, though. I forgive them." He said, "Yeah, well everybody makes mistakes." I said, "Yes, I made mistakes, too, when I was store detective. Three times I thought people had taken something, and they hadn't. That's a worse kind of mistake to make."
That set Diamond off on a litany of complaints about how he gets watched so often when he goes into stores. It's because he is hard–looking man, but he seemed to be unaware of that. He probably went shopping in his work clothes, too, which are none too clean because of the nature of his work. He said, "I'll be the only person in the store, and they'll watch me." I laughed and said, "Well, they have to watch somebody; it's their job."
He continued on about his experiences, one of which included a store detective standing right in front of him and trying to stare him down. I advised him that this was to discourage him from stealing, rather than having to chase him down after he left the store. But he'd had no intention of stealing. He is married and has two daughters, and he said, "I told my girls that there are two things you never do, and if you don't do them, nobody will come after you. One is that you don't steal and two is that you don't lie."
My lists for my children and grandchildren are a lot longer than that, but those are two really good, basic rules, for sure. I was pretty impressed with him, considering that I don't he's a born–again Christian. Yet.
Then he told me about how he had been in a downtown Vancouver store, waiting at the till with some other people, when a woman who lived on the street walked into the store, loaded her arms with things that she took off the shelf, and then boldly left the store in full view of everybody, not even trying to conceal the fact that she was stealing. The customers looked at the clerk to see his reaction, but he just stayed there at the till. Diamond said, "Well, aren't you going to go after her? She is still there in the parking lot." My jaw dropped when he said that the clerk replied, "No, we've been told to not go after them." This is probably because the boss is afraid of his employees getting injured and doesn't want his WCB rates to go up. But, nonetheless, it's just wrong to not having something in place to prevent people from stealing or procedures to apprehend them.
Diamond and the other customers got angry and said, "Then why do we have to pay? Yeah, we know what will happen if we just walk out of here with this stuff. We'll get arrested because we're decent people." They weren't going to beat anyone up. It's like how in the UK, there are so many stories about stuffy council workers fining decent people for minor things, like a thread dropping off an old lady's sweater, and charging her with littering so they can meet their quota of fines, whereas the "yobs," as they call the punks over there, can throw trash all over the place and those people won't do anything about it because they know they are likely to get their head kicked in.
I told him, "This world is getting nuttier and nuttier, isn't it? I get emails every day about crazy things that are going on." It was pretty neat how the topic led to me getting a chance to pull out a Gospel of John with a camouflage print on it. I asked Diamond, "Can I give you this?" He said, "What is it?" I asked him, "Do you have a Bible?" He replied, "Probably somewhere." I said, "It's a Bible, a Gospel of John." He hesitated, then said, "Oh … okay." I don't think he would have normally accepted a Bible from someone, but he knew that I think he's a mechanical genius and that I was interested in what he had to say about his experiences and views.
So, brothers and sister, please pray for Diamond. And let's agree right now about this problem of street people walking out of stores with armloads of things that they haven't paid for:
Father, it's not good for these people to be allowed to brazenly steal and not be apprehended. It's not fair to the law–abiding public, it's not a good example for kids who need to be taught right from wrong, and it's not good for the street people themselves, in regards to the development of their character and their eternal destiny. I pray that You will deal with them in a way that will awaken their consciences and bring conviction on them, to help them to turn away from their sins and turn to You to forgive them, and help them steal no more, but live in respectable ways. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Indeed, I was alright that night, in spite of my car breaking down. As I walked away, Diamond called to me to ask if I needed help getting home. I told him I would take a bus. He was towing my car to Surrey, but I was headed in the opposite direction. I thanked him for his help and blew him a kiss. The latter surprised me, as I am not at all a flirt, but that was how relieved I was to finally know what the matter was with my car.
I stopped at the bistro in a strip mall across the street and had a latte, as a friend had given me a gift card for that I could use there, then I picked up a few groceries, as a supermarket was in the mall, and a few yards away there was a bus stop where I could catch a ride to a Skytrain station. A bus came along only a couple of minutes later. Everything was so convenient and easy that I felt positively "babied" by the Lord, cuddled in His arms on that cold, dark night.
A new battery was put in and when I went to pick up the car, the Manager of the shop explained that they had tested the battery when the car first came in and it had registered a charge, but they had erred in not testing everything all over again. The battery must have gotten run down, he said, because the lights had been left on when it was towed. They had come on when they had started the car. The Manager and the receptionist and the mechanic stared at me to gauge my response to this explanation.
I was impressed with the man's customer relations skills, and I had to give him credit for coming up with a plausible explanation that left some doubt in my mind about how much at fault they were, but I didn't trust any of the people in that shop after what I had been through, and because those other guys had told me that you can't put a mass air flow sensor in wrong. I was never going to use their services again, if I could help it. I calmly and politely told them that they needed to make sure that they found out what is wrong, because not fixing my car properly put my life in danger. Someone might have slammed into the back of me when the car stopped, or it might have stopped working when I was on an isolated road. The Manager agreed and said that they were very concerned for their customers' safety.
The car seemed to run okay after that, but I was nervous that it would last only a day before I would be having it towed again. I upgraded my BCAA. Twice, the ignition was "frozen" when I tried to start the car. The first time that happened, I went back into the house and got my car manual, to read again how to get the ignition unlocked. When I put the key in, the car started without me having to wiggle the steering wheel, so all was well.
The second time it happened, nothing I did worked. It was just stuck solid. I was so frustrated that I wanted to cry. The clock was ticking and I needed to get to work. I had things I had planned to do, but spending extra time to make up for being late was not one of them. I went back inside the house to call that rotten repair shop that had ripped me off, seeing as I couldn't avoid it. There was a guarantee on the work, so I wouldn't have to pay them more money to get this fixed, but I was going to have to pay for a tow truck again. When you upgrade your BCAA, you have to wait 48 hours before you can use their services again without having to pay more. I paused to thank God in the situation, as the Bible says to do.
Thanking God changes everything. It is the signal that the angels wait for to release the provision that was prepared ahead of time to meet our needs. I told Allen, the Manager, what was going on with my car, then I calmly asked him how long it takes to put in a mass air flow sensor. I wondered what story he would tell me about this. He said it takes half an hour, so I asked him why it took so long. He explained the procedure and then I told him that his receptionist told me that the mechanic had put it in wrong the first time, that the wires hadn't been hooked up properly. He asked, "Why would she tell you that? That wasn't the problem. We thought there must be something wrong with it, because we had gotten you a used one, so we put another one in, because you had said that it was the same problem as before."
Now that just changed everything. Having been told that the sensor had been put in wrong, I thought that nothing had been done to my car, except that they must have jiggered something to get it to start up again. It was a great relief to know that they weren't as bad as I had thought they were, though maybe they were incompetent, as this new ignition they had put in wasn't working. Allen said that it might need to be oiled. I said I had some WD–40, so I would squirt some of that in there and see what happened. He said to call him back, if it didn't work, and he would try to figure out something else.
When I went back to the car, it started up again without any problem, just as it had the last time. After I got to work (only three minutes late!), I called him and said, "I think what you have to do to correct this problem is get out of the car and go into the house." He laughed. He said to bring the car in, if I happened to be in the area, and he would take a look at the ignition to see if he could figure out why it froze.
Then I told him how what his receptionist had told me before had put doubt about their honesty in my mind, and they should talk to her to make sure that she gets her facts straight. I said I had forgiven them, thinking they had ripped me off, but I didn't trust them and had been determined that I would never come back to their shop. He said he would speak with her, and he told me that when I had left the shop the last time, he sensed that something was wrong. He said that usually when they have a problem with a customer, it doesn't involve the work they have done, but rather it is a communication problem.
I am sure that God let the enemy mess with my ignition so that He could straighten me out about that auto repair shop. God doesn't like anybody to be misunderstood and thought to be dishonest when they are not at fault. My car has been running fine. There doesn't seem to be any problem with the ignition now.
Update on Michelle:
Michelle and her three youngest children were still in a women's shelter when I spoke with her last week. It's not a good place to raise a family, and she needs her own home, but the Lord has been using her there. She has led two women to the Lord and others come to her for prayer. Those women listen to her because they respect counsel from people who know their pain, and in Michelle's case, they know that she has gone through worse pain than any of them because her family is into voodoo, which involved a harsher level of child abuse than what they experienced.
Also, Michille has stood up on the behalf of others whom the staff were bullying. This is a really hard thing to do when you are beholden to them for the roof over your head. The staff hint to the women that they will call Children's Services on them, if their kids get too noisy. Also, the food is really awful, but when anyone complained, they would beat them down with shame, telling them, "You're here because you didn't pay your bills." That's not true in every case.
In Michelle's case, she was paid up on her rent, but she was finding it very hard to come up with the rent, and her landlady also didn't want her there because of the wierd voodoo junk that was causing glass to break, and things like that, from the curses that Michelle's family were throwing at her. That kind of thing seems to have settled down; it could be, though, that it's still going on, but Michelle's faith has risen to where she doesn't accept it. Sometimes it takes a while for people to renew their minds in the Word of God and purify their faith, when they have been raised among witchcraft. I met some Christian natives on a reserve who said that they could feel quills in a woman's cheek when she had been hexed, but there are other Christian natives who refuse to regard such powers at all, and they experience a greater degree of protection from the effects of witchcraft.
Michelle said that sometimes the children in that shelter can't stomach the ghastly food, and they have asked for a bun to eat instead, but it has been refused. The shelter is given plenty of baked goods that they give out to street people, but they grudge it to the children because they want to teach the "little beggars" to be grateful for what they are given. Michelle didn't say that last bit, but it's obvious to me that this is the attitude and the intention.
She spoke to the woman in charge of the shelter, telling her what is going on and said that it isn't at all how a Christian charity should behave. The workers shouldn't be grumpy; they should be good witnesses to these needy people. She said, "What if somebody came in here feeling very discouraged and how these people, who are supposed to be Christians, treated them drove them to commit suicide?" The Director was very open to what she had to say, and she must have spoken to the staff about their attitude because some of them now smile at the people who staying there. Other staff members resent it that Michelle complained; they have been giving her a tough time and are campaigning to get her kicked out.
Please pray for Michelle. I know that she has to be a sincere Christian because of how light and happy my heart feels when I talk with her. She really edifies me in how she speaks of the Lord, in spite of the trials she is going through.
She has been looking at places to rent, but, so far, hasn't found a landlord who is willing to rent to her because she's on Welfare, unless someone co–signs for her. I told her that getting someone to co–sign for her is not the solution because the Bible warns us in Proverbs against co–signing for others, and if it's not a good thing for us to do it, then it's not a good thing for others to do it for us either. God can make a way where there seems to be no way.
Another matter that gives me concern is things that I have noticed while reading The Living Bible. It is not a translation; it's a paraphrase. It is supposed that the wording helps to make it easier for modern people to understand and relate to it, but there are serious errors in this paraphrase. I was reading the Gospel of John and noticed several things that satan could use to steer people off course. Since it was first published, The Living Bible has been revised and definitely improved, but those old copies in the hands of young believers who don't know that they ought to compare translations and look up the words in the original Greek or Hebrew can really mess them up. Or it might be the case that the The Living Bible is the only copy that a person has. It is better than nothing, but it can muddle up one's doctrine. In some cases, it might even turn a person away from God.
For instance, in John 7:8, the King James says, "Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come." In the older copies of The Living Bible, the word "yet" is omitted in the first part of the sentence and placed only in the second part. It says, "You go on. I'm not going to this festival, because my time has not yet come." The revised version of The Living Bible says, "You go on. I am not yet ready to go to this festival, because my time has not yet come."
When I read this verse as a young Christian, I did not notice the word "yet" in the first part of the sentence, and I was shocked. I had put my trust in Jesus as my Saviour, and here I found an instance where He lied, telling His brothers that He wasn't going to go to Jerusalem, but then, later on, He went there.
The confusion in my mind felt like a spiritual earthquake and I was on the verge of quitting this business of being a Christian, if Jesus had told a lie. But, no, I would talk to my pastor first, and see if she had a reasonable explanation for this. To be sure that I knew what I was talking about, I carefully read the verse again, and noticed the phrase "I go not up yet". The relief was indescribable. Such relief would not be available to someone reading an older version of The Living Bible and did not have another version of the Bible to set them straight.
In John 12:13, the word "Hosanna," which means "Oh, save!" is translated in The Living Bible as "Praise God!" This is not accurate. It is a cry of adoration, but it is a cry that also calls on God to save, and it likely indicates that the crowd who lauded Jesus as He entered Jerusalem believed Him to be the Messiah. This facet of the event is not fully appreciated without the literal translation of Hosanna.
I was appalled at how many errors I could see in this version when reading just a few chapters and how easy they were for me to spot; easy for me because I've read the Bible at least ten times from cover to cover, the Gospels many more times than that, and I have twice copied the New Testament out by hand, but new believers, or believers who have not been diligent to study the Bible, do not have that advantage.
The most appalling case of error in my reading of this paraphrase was found in John 10:35 & 36, "And you know that the Scriptures cannot be altered. So if those people, who received God's message, were called gods, why do you call it blasphemy when the Holy One who was sent into the world by the Father says, I am the Son of God?" In the King James, these verses are rendered, "If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?"
There is a big difference between the Word of God "coming" to people and the people "receiving" the Word of God. The Greek word indicates that the Word came, not that it was received. These people most certainly did not receive the Word. They rejected Him. In using the word "received," this paraphrase feeds into the false doctrine that people have power within themselves to affect matter. To see by the Scriptures where that insidious doctrine is mistaken, go to my article entitled GODS OR GOONS?
The Living Bible is useful for looking up a verse to see how it would be put in simple words, but one must not trust that it is always rendered correctly. In some cases, it could even say the exact opposite of what the original manuscripts meant. Here is a LINK that makes other valid criticisms of the paraphrases in this version.
I am very blessed in having a job where I meet wonderful people. Being the Secretary for a Christian ministry puts me in touch with a lot of unselfish people who pray for other people's needs. Truly, God has set me among the princes of His people.
One of the men on our Board of Directors tells such interesting stories of how God moves in his life. He spoke of one incident where he felt the spirit of intercession coming upon him as he was driving towards the Port Mann Bridge. He was sobbing with grief and wondered what this need was about. When he got to the bridge, he saw a duffel bag sitting by the railing and a policeman standing next to it. Paul stopped and asked the policeman if someone had jumped. The policeman affirmed that this was so. Paul saw the man's body in the water face down and unmoving in a dead man's float.
He went on to his mother's home where he was expected for dinner and asked his mother to agree with him in prayer that someone would come along in a boat and rescue the man. She said, "Paul, he must be dead. Hitting the water after jumping off that bridge is like hitting cement." Refusing to be deterred, Paul coaxed his mother to agree in prayer with him.
Later, he found out that an old lady who was on the bridge saw the man jump and she called her husband on her cell phone, telling him to get out there with his boat and pick him up. The man did as his wife insisted. By the time he reached the man, the jumper had started to struggle in the water. He hauled him up to the side of the boat and held onto him until the police launch got there and pulled him out of the water. He survived.
The poor fellow had been in the mental hospital at Riverview. There are people in this world who think that mental patients are write–offs and should be euthanized, so that they aren't a burden on society, but it is good to see that God doesn't view people that way, and He is willing to even bring such people back from the dead, so that they can find out what His wonderful plan is for their life.
The next time I had a chance to visit with Paul, I asked him, "So, have you had any more adventures lately?" He said, "Yeah, I dreamed that I was in a bank that was robbed, so when I woke up, I prayed about that for an hour. The next day when I was at the bank, it got robbed, but everybody was calm and nobody got hurt." Praise the Lord!
Paul also prayed with another person that the robber would be apprehended, and he was caught a short time later, by "accident," on another charge while under the influence of drugs. Paul then agreed in prayer for the man's salvation, so it will be interesting to see how that works out. We might not know until we get to Heaven, but it would be pretty neat for Paul if he learns more about this man's turnaround before then.
I am so glad that God showed me how a person truly gets saved through putting their faith in Jesus Christ alone, and that He led me into the baptism of the Holy Ghost. Being among others who have that infilling and do something with it sure makes fellowship among the saints interesting and uplifting. We need to keep that kind of company when it is available to us.
We live in a very troubled world. Diamond quoted the verse, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." I don't think that he understood the real meaning of it. People can know the truth about what is going on "behind the curtains," as it were, and it can make them terrified, putting them deeper in bondage to fear, but it is when we know The Truth, Jesus Christ, personally as our Lord and Saviour and intimately as our Friend and Lover, that we truly are free. With Him, we can face the future with peace and joy, in spite of the turmoil around us. He says, "Fear not, for I have overcome the world."
Copyright © 2013, Lanny Townsend
Page modified by Lanny Townsend on February 10, 2013
Scripture references on this website are closely paraphrased from e–Sword's King James Bible.