HEARD ABOUT ANY MIRACLES LATELY?

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever.

Psalm 121, verse 8; from the New Living Translation

Have you heard about any miracles lately? In this age of technological developments, many tend to think that miracles don’t happen anymore, if they ever really did. Well, sit right down and let me tell you a true story! Hunter is one of the grandsons of my very good friends, Greg and Pat. Greg is also my double-Brother; first my brother in Christ, and then my Fraternal Brother. Hunter is a great young man. Unlike so many of his generation, Hunter already has his career and is doing great in it.

Well, it was this past Saturday morning, Greg and Pat received a call that no parent or grandparent wanted to receive. Hunter had been in a serious wreck and was in the hospital emergency room. They didn’t know how bad he was injured. So they quickly left for the 45 minute drive. As they were driving they saw emergency vehicles ahead–as they slowed down it was then they saw Hunter’s truck. Honestly, it didn’t even look like a truck. So they started praying harder.

Here’s what happened. The best they can tell, the wreck happened around 3:30 a.m. He fell asleep, went into a ditch, and then proceeded to hit some trees. He was thrown through the windshield into a ditch. Oh, and this was one of those typical Alabama heavy fog mornings. No one could have seen his mangled truck. Hunter lied in that ditch for over 3 hours, best guess estimate, until 6:50 a.m. when someone arrived to open a country store heard him and called emergency personnel.

Doesn’t sound like much of a miracle thus far, does it? Well, let’s get back to this true story. After extensive x-rays and diagnostic testing, Hunter had NO internal injuries or broken bones. He did have a concussion, and lots of cuts and bruises–but before noon that day, Hunter was released and headed home. I don’t know about you–but I would have to classify Hunter’s story as a miracle. I have worked as a first responder and I have been at accident scenes where someone was thrown through the windshield and I can testify that was never a good thing.

See! Miracles still happen and they happen every day. I will close with what Greg had to said about that day. He says it much better than I can because he shared it out of his experience that day: “Praise the Lord! Hunter is going to be OK, a miracle from God. Bruised up. Cut up. No broken bones. He will be able to go home. Tell me we don’t serve a mighty God!” Indeed, Greg, we serve a mighty God!

Are You Ready To Be Amazed?

Even as Peter was saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell upon all who were listening to the message. The Jewish believers who came with Peter were amazed that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles, too. 

Acts chapter 10, verse 44 and 45, from the New Living Translation; emaphasis mine

Tell me, are you going through some difficult “hard to see any kind of favorable future” times? Are you ready to “throw in the towel”, “raise the white flag of surrender”, “knucle under”, “concede defeat”, or “give up the struggle”? At the risk of sounding like a late-night infomercial hawker, I say now unto thee: “ARE YOU READY TO BE AMAZED?”

Last night I was doing my Tuesday Night Facebook Live Bible Study. We were in Acts chapter 10 and the story of what is appropriately called The Gentile Pentecost! God gave a vision to this Gentile named Cornelius to call for Peter to come to his home. Then God gave Peter a peculiar dream about sheets and a variety of critters. Cornelius responded immediate to God’s vision. Peter, on the other hand, was trying to figure out the meaning of his dream. And God interupted Peter’s “trying to figure it all out” moment when Cornelius’s entourage knocked at the door with an invitation to come to his home–and mind you–it was the home of a “Gentile”! That was a place where no self-respecting Jew would ever go! But Peter went, and he brought along his own entourage.

After they arrived at this “Gentile-Unholy-God Awful” home, Peter shared the Good News of Jesus and The Kingdom Of God. And before Peter could even finish his sermon, the Holy Spirit came upon and within those “Gentiles”! And that infilling resulted in the very same thing that had happened earlier in Jerusalem during the Feast Of Passover. And the Jewish believers were “amazed”, “astonished” that it was happening to these “unclean” Gentiles. And get this: They weren’t even converted Jews–they were still Gentiles!

I looked up the Greek word translated amazed or astonished. Among it’s many meanings is this: “to throw out of position, displace”. In other words, they were not expecting such a display of God’s power in the place they were at. Maybe you’ve sung the song Amazing Grace. But tell me–be honest with yourself–“When was the last time you were amazed, astonished, thrown out of place by the display of God’s Grace and Power?” The synonym that should be used (but seems to be rarely used) is AWESTRUCK!

So, when you are stuck between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”, don’t you dare hand over to our Enemy your hopes and dreams! Even when the obstacles seem to be unsurmountable. Grace is truly amazing when we allow God to be in control of ‘dispensing’ it, even in unlikely places! And to my Tribal Members who are facing a difficult time trying to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Institution (see, I can’t even bring myself to call it a church anymore!) don’t you dare “Say Uncle” and give up on God’s Vision to bring into our messes, another Great Awakening! Allow yourself to be displaced from what seems to be an unfavorable outcome and get ready to be Amazed!

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound!