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The Musings of a Stubborn Believer

Category: miracles (page 2 of 3)

“The stars do not change, Monsieur.”

My God is a constant.

Through an incessant flickering of transients too numerous to compute,
from people and places, to promises forgotten–

I see the Lord high and lifted up,
sitting on His throne.

He never changes.

Comforting when that truth is driven home.

Almost overwhelming when it’s driven home by faithful, albeit frail human flesh.

This evening I rejoice in the mercy of just such faithfulness.

My sister’s head resting on my shoulder; from my mouth come words quoted from a cherished tale of Huguenot fidelity:

“‘The stars do not change, Monsieur…'”

and my little sister finishes:

“‘Nor do the angels in Paradise.”

National Geographic

Seventeen – Smiles Against All Odds.

An excursion down memory lane just landed me on some old treasures… A few would probably make you smile, (maybe they’ll have their chance in the near future) but one in particular rivets me this morning…
The year I learned to pray.

I knew something special was going on even back then, but now I really see it. And to this day, that nine-letter word dances on my tongue whenever my friends start talking about the best years of their lives. 
That was a loaded year. A year of transitions… And one of the fullest and toughest of my life. 
But it was pure happiness.
I still remember standing in line to register for classes at a public university… And thinking over and over again on the first day of classes: “What on earth am I doing here?”
But what I remember more is being in that treasured spot in library at the top of the hill, day after day, every time the clock in the bell tower struck 12:00, to keep an appointment…
It didn’t start there, of course. It started months and months earlier on the hillside at home. In fact, it was probably the greatest factor in my finishing 4 years of high school in a year and a half. 
It was “quiet hour.” 
Just me, and my God, and my journal.
And just as I had done all the year through when normal life, well meaning people, interruptions and “important” things tried to eclipse it, I had to fight to keep it. I had quite the time scheduling and re-scheduling 19 credits to keep it free.
Am I ever glad I did…

My life looks a bit different now. 
Instead of 19 credits, it’s the joys and challenges of virtually full-time ministry with books to write, CDs to record, planes to catch, people to love, the gospel to share, and our lives to pour out… (for which we both tremble, and thank our God constantly)
And there are the duties of home to make all of that logistically possible… 2 corporations  soon to be 4, (for myself and my brother) the joys and responsibilities of being family, such as helping to maintain home and property, gardens and a greenhouse, and claiming my share of the honor of taking care of a grandmother with severe dementia…  
But still. Still…
My life is pure happiness.
Even though I am always facing impossible odds.
There’s just nothing in the world like shedding everything for a moment (or an hour) right when it feels like it’s going to kill you, and leaning on Jesus with your head on His knee…
Smiles against all odds… 
I still call 17 the best year of my life. 
But maybe that’s not really fair… For since then, they have only gotten better.

The Glory of Heaven?

Not a trillion        sinless angels.
Not a thousand miles of golden streets.
Not a million crowns under construction.
Not the angelic anthems of peace.
Nor the anthems of war.
Not perfection.
Not light.
None of these things.
“The glory of Heaven is lifting up the fallen…”*
Loving the unlovely.  Making people new.
Thank you, Jesus…
“His glory is His children’s good,
  His joy, His tender Fatherhood…”
*COL 386

Who’s Talking?

Isaiah 7
The promises in the Word are oft contradicted by apparent reality; oft challenged by the words and works of earthly men and mandates. 
And sometimes our doom seems so certain, our hearts quake like trees in the wind… After all, these threats of our enemies are certainly substantiated by their successes in times past…
But wait a minute. Look who’s talking.
These foes so formidable– are they not but dust before our Maker? 
And the Author of the Word– is He not Authority Supreme? And is it not He Himself Who says: (v.7) “It shall not stand, neither shall it come to pass.”?? 
Ahhh, it is. 
So don’t be afraid. Ever. 

“Look Who’s talking!”

Mine Eyes Have Seen…

Isaiah 6
“Mine eyes have seen the King…”
Dreadful, exultant, awesome phrase. 
But the young prince is afraid. It is after all, a dreadful, exultant, and awesome scene that has opened before him. 
Pictures this: (seriously, try.)
The Almighty God seated high on His throne; the Seraphs (literally: “Burning things”) hovering over Him while they shield their own faces; the entire temple, the massive, glorious palace of the Infinite God, trembling to its foundations at the voice of His announcer; the whole glorious place filled with white smoke because the very air must praise Him… And the entire scene wrapped, and filled, and bursting with a soundtrack like you’ve never heard…
But Isaiah didn’t die. Even though he thought he would…
Because those who submit to the work of grace in their lives have another option. 

That’s the one I want…

One Little Digression

Pardon me if digress from my normative tenor momentarily…
There are plenty of blogs that serve as little more than a landing pad for 100 perfectly unrelated YouTube videos, and this is not one of them.
But the EMT in me wants to assert itself just this once to make one simple plea: 
Please wear your seatbelt. I’m serious… 

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Frightened? I would have been too.
Wouldn’t you have been, if you had been in the vehicle when the tires started whining on dry pavement like a bottle rocket? Imagine looking out the window when it launched off of the bank sideways. Split seconds must have seemed like minutes…and the cycle of light and dark must have well reflected the fight between hopes and fears as the vehicle silently rolled in midair. 
Or maybe your eyes would have been closed…
And maybe his eyes were still closed when the tree trunk started them spinning (still in midair) on 2 axes, not one. Maybe when all was still again the blood and broken glass convinced him to keep them that way. 
Yes, I think I would have been frightened. Especially if I hadn’t yet seen my sixth birthday.   
It took me a few minutes to get to him, (being outnumbered by victims at a scene by a factor of 2 is not ideal) but by the time the rest of our colleagues got there with the ambulances, he had taught me something beautiful about service, and about life… 
It was in his face. Wide eyes told me the story. He was terribly afraid. And even in the bystander’s car with the heat all the way up, he was shaking like a little leaf.
“Hi buddy, my name is Sean. I work on the ambulance. Can I help you?”
“What’s your name? Does this hurt? Ok, hold really still for me. Good boy… I’m just going to hold your head like this… Is this your brother?”
“Yeah… We were, we were just going to the lake…”
But he wouldn’t stop shaking. Even after 5 minutes. 
“Is my mommy still in that car?” 
Oh, I get it…
“Yes. But she should be out soon. They’re working on it right now.”
“But is it going to explode?”
I wish you could have seen his little face. Scratched and swollen as it was, to me it was the ultimate theater of Grace for one beautiful moment. The moment when I said “Oh no, definitely not. They’re taking care of her.” 
His neck relaxed.
Ohhh… good.”
That’s when I decided few privileges compare to healing hurts, and calming fears…
Thanks, my little friend.
I’m so glad you all made it home…


I have a question.
This one thanks to a dear friend who challenged me to fall asleep last night thinking about Jesus, and miracles…

Jesus spared Himself no pains while He was here, to relieve the sufferings of humanity. And He spares no pains today to relieve the sufferings of sinners. To me, miracles are one of the ways He says “I love you” most profoundly. They are proof of His power, proof of His authority, proof of His fidelity and infinity… 
Gifts of Grace. 

But have you ever stopped to ask yourself if miracles cost Him anything?
–If the gift of life He gave back to Jairus’ daughter, or the widow’s son, was in fact a measure of His own?
Eternal and Creative as He is after all, it seems like He could give without losing. But is that giving?
Maybe He always filled others by pouring out Himself. 
And maybe… He still does. 

You think?

I am Persuaded!

I love this. You are free.

He said so.

Read it really slowly…

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall make you free.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.


(Quoted: Romans 8:35, 37-39, I John 5:4, I Corinthians 15:57, John 8:36, John 8:32, II Timothy 1:7)

So Many Faces…

From a conference dripping with miracles I return a stronger man, a more exuberant Christian, a humbled, baffled, incredulous, encouraged, inspired child of the God Who never tires of giving… As if I really deserved anything from His hand in the first place!
There were so many faces… Thousands of windows to souls I know nothing about… But then there were probably 1,000 that I did know… and do love. So many smiles! So many transformations… And then there were a few faces that told special stories I’ll long remember… Like the one that smiled through tears when I talked about heaven. And the one that laughed and cried at once. And the one that flushed undiluted earnestness and devotion while praying for a miracle…
Yes, Jesus gives… Jesus loves! And never has my heart loved His more.
And shame? Yes. Shame on being afraid to own Him! Shame on trying to walk without Him! If any will glory, glory in the cross…
Here are a few more faces… from around this big country we call our home. Some think “Oklahoma Family Campmeeting,” some think “Youth for Jesus 2009″…
We think–

“No Rest for the…”

“Soldiers engaged in battle have to meet difficulties and hardships. Coarse food is given them, and that often in limited quantities. They have long marches, day by day, over rough roads and under burning suns, camping out at night, sleeping on the bare ground, with only the canopy of heaven for a covering, exposed to drenching rains and chilling frosts, hungry, faint, exhausted, now standing as a target for the foe, now in deadly encounter. Thus they learn what hardship means. Those who enlist in Christ’s army are also expected to do difficult work, and to bear painful trials patiently for Christ’s sake….After gaining one advantage, you must do battle again.”

Did someone say that victory was a walk in the park? I hope not…
If it were, everybody would get it without effort, and it would cease to be of value.
It is the fight that substantiates freedom… 

“…But those who suffer with Him shall also reign with Him…Through divine strength you will prove more than a match for your enemies.”

Signs of the Times, Sept. 7, 1891.
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