Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Christmas of Miracles

Miracles happen every day, and when we least expect it, Christ sends new ones our way. Finances were tight this year, and with Christmas approaching, I wasn’t sure what to do about gifts. So I prayed to Jesus Christ about what to give my grown children and their spouses, and then felt strongly to make presents – fun booklets for each person containing puzzlements that included each family member. I found a book on puzzlements showing how to create word searches, word games, crossword puzzles, logic problems, math and story games, and mazes.  Asking each person what their favorite color, movie, game, pet, and childhood memory was fun. Then, I injured my arm and wasn’t able to complete the project. The diagnoses was tendonitis, along with shoulder inflammation and calcium build-up. Making gifts for Christmas seemed impossible.

But God was gracious. Through prayer from friends, resting my arm in a sling, discovering turmeric capsules for inflammation, trusting Jesus as my Healer, and patience (the hardest part), my arm began to heal. Three weeks later, when my arm was about 90 % healed, an opportunity came out of nowhere. A church about 40 minutes away, was looking for an artist to speed paint during a Christmas song for both Sunday services on December 18. This was something I never did before, but wanted to try. So I researched speed painting on YouTube, sketched out a few possibilities, and then stepped out and said yes. I had one week to prepare, but with God’s help it was enough time.

When Sunday arrived, my arm felt pretty good, and my husband carried all the heavy stuff into the church, so I wouldn’t re-injury it. When the time came to paint, I stepped on stage filled with joy and excitement, knowing that since God brought this opportunity, the Holy Spirit would paint with me. The singer began her song as I picked up my brush. It was then that I discovered the new tube of gold paint had an inner safety seal that wouldn’t come off. I wasted almost 30 seconds trying to tug it open. Remembering that there was an old tube in the box, I quickly found it and unscrewed the cap. There was enough paint, but less than four minutes left to the song to finish the art. I applied paint to the canvas as fast as I could, adding the last few strokes as the song ended, and then flipped it right-side up so the congregation could see the finished art. I heard loud gasps, followed by an applaud when the people recognized the pictured that I had been painted upside down was baby Jesus in a manger.

After the second service, the person who hired me to paint wrote a generous check. Not only was my arm completely healed, but I now also had money to buy a few small gifts for each person. And there was still one week left to finish typing, sketching and compiling the family booklets for Christmas. God always has perfect timing, and by the time Christmas Day arrived, the presents were finished, wrapped and under the tree.

It turned out to be the best Christmas ever! Everyone loved both the purchased presents and the puzzlement booklets. They dove into the family crossword puzzle, word search, maze and logic problems, helping each other solve the missing pieces. It was so much fun to finally have a Christmas where the family was in unity with each other. Highest praises to the Lord God Most High, Jesus Christ, who works on behalf of those who trust Him, and brings us together through surprising, creative ways.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Miracle of the Healed Knees

Last month, as the weather turned colder, both of my knees stiffened up. The daily walks seemed to make the stiffness worse, not better. Then one morning, after some friends left, I turned to clean off the table, and pain shot through one knee! It really hurt if I tried to stand on it. Then next day it felt somewhat better. Maybe I was just getting out of shape, so that evening I tried some floor exercises -- wrong decision. That only made it worse.

Several of my friends were praying for me, and by the end of the week I could walk on flat surfaces, but steps were still a challenge. This was a problem, because the next day, Sunday, an All Artist Church Service was planned, and I was the person who would be going up and down the steps introducing the other artists. That Saturday evening, as I slowly climbed the stairs in my home, a sudden “strengthening” came upon both knees -- something I had never experience before! I knew at that moment, Jesus Christ had touched my knees. The next day, I was able to walk normal.

After the Artist Service, the pastor allowed us artists to pray for people. One lady had problems with her knees. A group of us surrounded her with prayer, and the Holy Spirit healed her knees, too! Thank you, Jesus Christ, for not only healing me, but also the opportunity to prayer for someone else with a knee problem and see You heal that person, too.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Miracle of Walking in the Authority Christ has given us!

A sales lady at the other end of the phone started asking personal questions. I told her I wasn’t interested in what she was selling. She seemed anxious to get me to agree to receive information, just in case I might need help someday due to injury, illness or accident. I said, “No thank you,” and hung up the phone. I picked up the clothes that I had just folded, carried them upstairs to the bedroom, tripped over the edge of the bed, and went flying on the floor! As I stood up to walk, it became apparent that I had pulled my calf muscle. Ouch!

My first thought was: “Oh my, I won’t be able to go for the walk my husband and I had planned.” The second thought was: “What just happened is NOT from God! Therefore, because I am a follower of Jesus Christ, I do not have to agree with having a pulled muscle.” I started rubbing my leg, praising and thanking God, and renouncing any ill words or curses that may have been spoken over me. When I took my hand away, all the pain was gone! Then I bound ill words or word curses that the sales lady might speak, in the name of Jesus Christ, so she could not do this to anyone else!

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Friday, August 5, 2016

The Miracle of Praying for Someone Else When we are in Need!

It had been an exhausting week, working late into the nights, to get ready for the arts conference. My eyes could barely stay open, but in less than 30 minutes, I needed to paint on-stage during the worship time, and then give an on-stage presentation. I needed divine strength to keep going, so I found the prayer room at the conference and asked the lady, who was in charge, for prayer. She happily prayed for my situation and told me to close my eyes and rest. That was great advice, as I felt like I could just fall asleep. A few minutes later, the lady asked if I would pray for her –- for a situation that had come into her life in the past hour. My body wanted to remain silent and rest, but my spirit knew that we must always be ready to pray in any situation, so I said, “Yes.” After I prayed for her, in the name of Jesus Christ, it was time to get ready to paint. I stood up to leave, and as I walked through the doorway, a sudden refreshing and strengthening fell upon me. I felt revived and full of energy. I turned around to tell the prayer lady what had just happened. We rejoiced and thanked the Lord and both knew that when we pray for someone else in our time of need, Jesus Christ not only blesses the other person, but also us.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

The Miracle of Rising Above Lies

Sometime amazing happened as I painted at the Prophetic Conference at Living Stone Christian Church last month -- something far beyond anything I could have imagined. As I brought the images to life that the Holy Spirit had placed on my heart to draw, the Lord began to break deep-rooted lies in my life -- things that I thought I had dealt with. But there was another level of freedom HE was bringing me to.

As a child I loved art, and wanted to be an artist when I grew up. But adults discouraged my dream. They said art was a frivolous luxury for the rich -- nothing important -- just a decoration -- not anything useful -- and nothing anyone could make a living out of. Three times in my life I walked away from art. Three times the Lord brought me back. Slowly, I began to see that the Lord had a purpose for His artists, and that the gifts HE gave us were meant to be developed and used as the Holy Spirit directed.

So I began to illustrate, paint and create art books with Jesus leading the way! And I saw time and time again, how the Holy Spirit moved with loving-kindness when hurting people saw the art HE prompted me to make. But at this Prophetic Conference, as people came forward and expressed how they were touched by what the Lord gave me to paint, the Light of God and the Truth of His Word seeped deeper into those dark, hidden, secret places in my heart, and God’s love rooted out the pain from my past. A new freedom and a greater understanding permeated my entire being. The taste of freedom was in my heart and in my hands. I felt light, uplifted, and FREE to be the artist HE called me to be!

So don’t be discouraged and think the talent or gift you have isn’t valuable. It is! And so are you! Jesus Christ has a plan and purpose for you that is greater than anything your mind can conjure. Seek Him first, and HE will bless you with a plan for your life that is written in Light -- the Light of Truth that breaks every lie, every hurt, every wound, every curse, and sets the captives FREE!  

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Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Miracle of the Hurting Gum

Late one evening last week, while eating a handful of cashews, a tiny sliver of nut became wedged under my gum.  All attempts to remove it with my toothbrush and fingernail, only pushed it deeper into the gum. I went to bed frustrated, hoping it would be better by morning. It wasn’t.

Memories of the something similar happening many years ago came to mind. That time it was a cucumber seed that had lodged itself in the same spot. It had become so painful I could hardly eat Thanksgiving Dinner. Back then, I had to wait until the holiday weekend ended to see a dentist. The good news was: last week wasn’t a holiday. The bad news was: I currently didn’t have a dentist.

I asked my husband to pray. I did too, and we stood praying in the power of Christ’s name. In Jesus’ name, we commanded the sliver of nut to dissolve. The next morning, the gum was all better! Thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, for your amazing love; thank you for the power of your mighty name; and thank you for the authority You have given us to pray. 

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Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Miracle of Protection

As I stepped into the street, after exiting the store, and headed towards the parking lot, a sudden gush of wind lifted the large, flattened boxes out of my shopping cart and slammed one of them into my face. Clink! One of the lenses fell out of my glasses and hit the ground. I ran after the boxes before the wind blew them away, and then my husband and I searched the pavement for the missing lens. We couldn’t find it.

Two people exited the store –- the Hispanic pastor and his wife that we had talked to while standing in line. They joined in the search, and the four of us kept looking and looking. Finally, my husband suggested I take the shopping cart with the boxes to the car, because they kept trying to blow out of the cart, and he and the two others would continue to search. As I turned, the pastor’s wife shouted, “I see it!” She bent down to a spot right next to my foot and picked up the lens. When she handed it to me, I had a strong feeling that she had been praying to find it.

Back at home, I carefully inspected the lens. It was in perfect condition – NOT a scratch on it. After wiping it clean, my husband popped the lens back into the frame and tightened the screw. The screw had surprisingly remained attached to the frame. It was then that I remember that the whole time we were looking for the lens, not a single car was on the normally busy road in front of the store. It wasn’t until the pastor’s wife slipped the lens into my hand that traffic started coming and we had to step out of the way. 

The Lord God not only protected my face and my glasses when the box slammed into me, but also kept back the traffic until we found the missing lens. And HE kept the lens from getting scratched. What an amazing God, Jesus Christ is! HE promises to watch over and protect those who trust in HIM, and HE did!

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