God is bigger than cancer! (miracle series)

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Sometimes God brings someone close to your heart just before they go through something. It was that way with my Chinese son in law’s big sister. I met her when she came for a visit a few months before I left China. A saint with a sense of humour, I instantly liked and grew fond of her, as did we all. Just a few weeks after her return to the US we got the news she had been diagnosed with bone cancer. We were all devistated.

A new Christian, she asked for prayer before going for her first course of treatment. We all prayed up a storm, it seemed so wrong, someone who had always been there for others, a single mum with a ten year old son, one of the kindest people one could ever meet. Why her?

Then wonderful news came, after a few preliminary tests the doctors couldn’t explain it. There was no sign whatsoever of bone cancer. It was just gone!

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Does God have favorites? (miracle seris)

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Does God have favorites? It can seem that way sometimes. How come some Christians experience a “charmed life” packed with miracles while others, while living godly lives, seldom if ever experience personal manifestations of God’s power?

For example, people sometimes ask me to pray for things saying, “God answers your prayers”. My assurances he can hear them just as well fall on deaf ears. They are convinced, God is more inclined to answer the evangelist/healer/pastor/prayer warrior’s prayers. Perhaps they think there is some special formula they don’t know or that God reserves such power for “specially anointed” people.

The answer is of course God loves us all unconditionally and wholeheartedly – even those that reject him. God is always there, just a breath away, like an indulgent father wishing to smoother us in blessings. It is not God that creates a distance but us. Children are usually naturally close to God but, as adults, we tend to drift away, our simply faith extinguished by the business of life. To see His power manifested in our lives, we must know him intimately, closer than father, friend, even lover. People see God manifested in someone’s life, but miss the joyful hours spent in study and prayer, the constant communion that brings faith and miracles. But God loves us all regardless of how close we are.

An illustration of this happened not long ago with someone whose faith was weak having been through a couple of very traumatic years. He developed this attitude as he saw Jesus’ care manifested for his wife, but not so much for him.

He had a serious accident crushing one of his fingers beyond repair. The doctors told him they would give it a week, but he’d probably lose the finger, even if not he would have no feeling or movement in it. God took this opportunity to show his continuing love. On his return the doctors were astonished and could not explain it. Comparing the new and former x rays they declared it was impossible, as if it was not the same finger. Not only did he not need to have it amputated but it healed totally. He now has full use of it – no sign it ever happened.

For me the greatest element was not that God did a tangible miracle, but that He showed His personal love for him also – he had his own miracle to remind him that God loves us all.

Even when we doubt! (Another miracle).

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This miracle happened during my last stay in Italy. We were sharing a large house near Bari with old Christian friends. Their 13 year old daughter had some kind of undiagnosed problem. Doctors thought it was related to an exceptional growth spurt affecting her circulation, though they weren’t sure. It came with bouts of incredible pain. The only help they could offer were pain killers so strong they caused druglike hallucinations which scared her so that she wouldn’t take them. Her father however discovered a way to alleviate the attacks which generally came on at night by taking her for a walk every night at 2 am. to keep her blood moving.

The problem came when her sister came down with measles. We moved his daughter to a caravan in the garden hoping she wouldn’t get it, but she did. No longer able to get out of bed, let alone take a long walk, the attacks came in earnest causing her to scream and curl up in agony. The doctor offered to take her into hospital but explained they could do nothing really to help and since she was scared and wanted to stay with her parents maybe that was better.

We all prayed frantically for 3 or 4 days as, though we discovered ice packs helped relieve the pain somewhat, it was heart rending to see such a brave young girl in such agony. We all took turns to stay with her day and night, so she wouldn’t be alone when an attack came on (she’d have several a day), but it was hard to bear to hear her scream etc. It seemed our prayers were unanswered.

I was with her along with her dad one morning when another attack began. I ran for the ice packs while her dad prayed with her. A voice in my head told me firmly “tell her to stand up and walk”. I didn’t comply. Even touching her feet to the ground would set her screaming. I didn’t have the faith, so I kept silent, afraid to cause her more pain.

Then she said to her father, “Jesus told me to stand up and walk.” He didn’t hesitate but helped her up. She stood, no screaming, not only that but the pain vanished. She began to smile, then laugh. Raising her hands and praising God she walked out of the caravan and into the house totally healed. Tears were streaming down all our faces. Why our prayers were answered then and not before we didn’t know only that God had answered and a miracle had happenned.

The next afternoon she had one more attack while with her dad, but it never came to fruition. He now knew we had power over it and rebuked it before it ever got going. That is many years ago and from that time on she never had a problem with it. What of the measles? I guess that got healed too, though we hardly noticed, the other healing was so miraculous from one minute to the next.

Miracles big and small.

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I think it was Einstien who said you must either believe that everything is a miracle or nothing is a miracle.

I agree, when I look at the glory and infinite variety of the world around me miracles abound. Each plant, insect, bird, animal, the clouds in the sky, the ocean waves, the air we breathe, I could go on forever! The exact position of the earth, the chemical compounds and a thousand elements which if not exact and perfect would eliminate live on earth. I could never believe this all happenned by chance. We are so familiar with the constant replacement of oxygen, the water cycle, our bodies, the eco systems,  etc. etc. etc. we forget what a miracle of creation they are.

Then, over and above these daily miracles we are all familiar with, are those times when God interveens, overstepping the laws of nature, sometimes with possible explanations and sometimes mindblowingly impossible and beyond our understanding. I’ve had the blessing of being party to hundreds of both types of these miracles. Perhaps it’s due to my childlike nature (I never quite grew up lol!) Faith grows like a muscle as it is exercised, even so with miracles, the more we experience them the more have faith for more.

I was convicted by a remark of my son about our family tree,that there are some things only I know about and they’ll be lost if I don’t pass them on. I realised this applies equally to miracles I’ve been party to, so I’ve decided to start a new section on my blog to relate some of my miracle stories.

Perhaps I should add a “taster” here lol! What I guess I should call mymost common miracle as it’s happenned 5 times now over the last 40 years!

It first happenned soon after I found Jesus, I was cooking with a large pot of water and chatting to someone as I worked. His mouth suddenly dropped open and he let out a gasp. I’d just placed several eggs on the bottom of the pan, submerging my hand, not noticing the water was boiling. Not only was my hand not burnt but I didn’t even notice it was hot.

Years later I recounted this story to some young friends of my children. They asked me to demonstrate (as kids do lol!) I said no way! But a few days later they got their demo when I again put my hand in boiling water (their mum had lit the gas ready to cook without me noticing). You must think me very spacy and you’d be right (my guardian angel must get special rates!) After this I did not put my hand into hot water again, but I did, on three occassions, accidently spill boiling water over my hand while draining veg etc. Each time not a mark, my hand even felt like it had something cold around it on a couple of occassions.

There is absolutely no explanation for this other than God loves me and protects even when I’m tripped off or not being careful.

“Everyone that loves is born of God and knows God.”

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Long ago whist at college my daughter’s class was asked by an atheistic teacher.

“Whoever here believes in God, stand up.” Only she and a Muslim girl dared to stand.

“And why do you believe?” He continued. Their answers were very similar, they had both seen God work in their lives and miraculously answer prayer. Not to be put off he announced.

“Well you, pointing to my daughter, are Christian, but how come this girl is Muslim says the same thing?” She couldn’t answer and came home troubled. I had never considered the question and had to pray for the answer. It came instantly.

God loves all His children whoever they are and whatever faith they embrace. If someone prays with a pure and believing heart He will answer (even if they call Him by another name). My daughter was content with that answer. For me however it triggered other questions.

I’ve never believed that if someone hasn’t received Jesus they’ll burn in hell for eternity – though a common fundmentalist doctrine, that just doesn’t jive with all I’ve known of God. What about all those that never had a chance to hear? Rather I’ve found Him to be far more loving, more merciful, going to far greater extremes to redeme His children than I could envisage. I think not to know Jesus maybe means to miss out on the fulness of life He brings right here and now, the joy, the freedom, the healing, the solace.

It is my personal belief that, rather than God as a stern judge dealing out rewards and eternal punishment at death, we, in a sense, judge ourselves. When God is revealed in all His splendour we either run to embrace Him, cringe in guilt and shame begging for mercy, or run in fear or rebelion. To come before God drenched in sin is perhaps akin to someone drenched in gasoline confronting a fire. God is always loving, forgiving, but we can only come into His presence naked and humble (one cannot pretend with God) we cannot bear His presence with any taint of sin or subterfuge.

It says “God looks on the heart” we must be careful to do likewise. A self-righteous, holier than thou Christian may further from God than a big-hearted atheist. Perhaps some of the “saved” may find themselves raised, not to glory, but to “everlasting shame and contempt” for their lack of love toward humanity, and the shamed single mum who loved too ardently find,  she that loves much will be forgiven much. Perhaps that’s what it means about the last being first and the first last.

“With all my worldly goods I thee endow.”

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It came to me this morning, as I lay snug in my bed
The words they say at weddings can be claimed by us instead.
The bride of Christ is promised far more than mortal man.
Our bridegroom is more wealthy, meet all our dreams, he can.
The cattle on a thousand hills, the wealth in every mine,
The gifts of love, endurance, those harder to define.
When we entered in this settlement, and made of Him our own,
The earth received at His right hand, wherever we may roam.
And so at last we come to see, the riches we might claim
If we believe our wedding gifts and claim them in His name.

Lighting the darkness.

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When night consumes the sky, the brilliant sun is gone,
The moon reflects it’s light to comfort unto dawn.
Though joy and laughter dim, and dreadful shadows fall
God’s reflected love is with us through it all.
The sun’s not vanished from the sky, though we see it not.
It’s just not in our present gaze, its brilliance we forgot.
Earth’s spinning surface turns away, the golden light erased
On its surface we perceive the situation’s changed.
But when the moon is on the rise, we know the sun’s still there
And gazing at its haloed glow are lifted from despair.
But more than this, we can embrace the shadow of the night
Knowing that the times of dark enhance our own small light.
For as the glory of the sun, by day outshines the moon
When life grows dark our smaller lights become reflective soon.