When God blesses you with a “teaching moment,” give it away as quickly as you can so someone else can be blessed by it.That is what the Samaritan woman did when she shared the wonder of her visit with Jesus at the well.
And that is what my third cousin did recently, eleven year old Joseph Fallin.If you want to know how to pass it forward when Jesus blesses you, take notes from Joseph:
“Me and my dad were driving down the road and an eighteen-wheeler avoided something in the road.(It was one of those little ramps that you put on a trailer.)The car tail-gating the truck was not paying attention and he hit the ramp in the road.Luckily my dad saw it flying about 10 feet in the air.He turned left because it was heading for me.He yelled at me; I didn’t know what he was saying but I had a feeling he wanted me to duck.When I ducked I heard a BANG!!!The right mirror was completely wiped out…that’s a lot of force and then it dented and scratched all down the RV and bent the steel piece that holds up the awning.If my dad did not see the piece of steel hurdling towards us I could have been decapitated.I’m really thankful to God that my dad saw it.”
I am impressed that Joseph learned to give God the glory at such a young age.
That’s all witnessing is, just sharing what God has done for you.The Samaritan woman only told what she had experienced and a village was evangelized.She was amazed that Jesus could see into her heart as no one else could, and she shared her experience with others.No discovery is complete until it fills your heart to the overflow mark, and you are then compelled to give it away.
Many who read the story of Joseph’s brush with death will be moved by it.And some will search their hearts to discover moments in life when Jesus has made a difference.When you share that information with someone else, it will bless them as much as you have been blessed by reading Joseph’s powerful story.Then do as he did, and give God the credit.You will never know how important your willing testimony means to someone until you share it.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, thank you for Joseph Fallin, who reminds us that “to God we give the glory for all things;” from his words, inspire us to share the many wonders which happen to us everyday, so others can know You as we do.Amen and amen.
≈ Devotional for Tuesday, June 22, 2010
"I Believe I Can Fly"
Today I saw a man…
Today I saw a man
His face beet red
His skin weathered and worn
Today I saw a man
His every possession in six plastic bags
On his arm and over his shoulder
Today I saw a man
Surely he had a family at one time
Now he’s alone
Today I saw a man
Scurrying to his next destination
But where are his dreams?
Today I saw a man…
Barrington Irving, had a dream, only he didn’t know it until a Jamaican airline pilot, Captain Gary Robinson, invited him to the airport to see the cockpit of the Boeing 777 jet he piloted for United Airlines.That day changed this young man’s life forever.
Who is Barrington Irving?Irving, a 23-year old senior majoring in aerospace at Florida Memorial University, climbed into a single-engine plane called "Inspiration" and embarked on a 26,800-mile, round-the-world flight on March 23, 2007.Upon his return to Miami on June 27th, he was heralded for setting two world records: as the first person of African descent and the youngest person ever to fly solo around the globe.All was accomplished because someone took an interest in him and set him on his path.
Prior to his introduction to Captain Robinson, the Jamaican native who was raised in inner-city Miami, thought his good grades and a football scholarship were his ticket out of the inner-city.
But at 15 he had found his passion - spending afternoons and weekends at the airport, washing planes for private aircraft owners in exchange for half-hour flights or money he could use for flying lessons.Every evening he practiced flying on his own using $40 Microsoft Flight Simulator software.Focused on the dream of becoming a pilot, he turned down college football scholarships and enrolled in a community college where his tuition was partly covered by a Florida Bright Future Scholarship based on his high marks in high school.
In 2003, Barrington enrolled in FloridaMemorialUniversity where he excelled in both academic and flight training courses.Over the next few years, he continued his volunteer work as he earned his Private, Commercial Pilot, and Flight Instructor licenses as well as his Instrument Rating.
In 2005, the young pilot also decided to give back to his community, founding a nonprofit organization, Experience Aviation, Inc., to address the significant shortage of youth pursuing careers in aviation and aerospace.
Barrington’s goal to fly around the world was his way to inspire other young people to resist the negative influences of the streets and to encourage them to leave their fears behind and reach for the stars.
I had the opportunity to meet Barrington in person and to hear his story.This very personable young man held his audience captive.Two things impressed me - his humility and giving God the credit for bringing him through this remarkable journey.There were so many times, he said, that he didn’t know if he would make it; his mind played tricks on him… especially after hours and hours alone without radar and with some language difficulties abroad or because of weather conditions and turbulence.
GospeLines Prayer:Father, We give You thanks for our dreams, for making a way out of no way and for instilling a sense of hope when situations seem bleak.Thankfully, this young man knows You and entrusts his life to You; he does not depend on his human strength.He does not trust in man… as Your word says in Jeremiah 17:5-6 (New International Reader's Version):
5The Lord says, those who trust in man are under my curse.They depend on human strength.Their hearts turn away from me.6They will be like a bush in a dry and empty land.They will not enjoy success when it comes.They will live in dry places in the desert.It is a land of salt where no one else lives.
Our journeys Lord, are vastly different than Barrington’s, but You have a vested interest in us and You have set us on our path.We need only heed Your direction.
We thank You Lord for giving us the vision and perseverance to be what You say we are.Please remain with us when we embark on this journey called life.
Help us to leave our fears behind and to reach for the stars!
In His Love,
≈ Devotional for Wednesday, June 23, 2010
During my Saturday "Wal-Mart run" a few years ago, a chilling announcement came on the public address system: "Attention Wal-Mart associates and shoppers! This is a “Code Adam.” A four year old girl has become separated from her mother. She is wearing a blue sweat-suit with a pink jacket."
Code Adam, one of the country's largest child-safety programs, was created and promoted by the Wal-Mart retail stores in 1994 and named in memory of 6-year-old Adam Walsh whose abduction from a Florida shopping mall and murder in 1981 brought the horror of child abduction to national attention. When a customer reports a missing child to a store employee, a "Code Adam" alert is announced over the public-address system. A brief description of the child is obtained and provided to all designated employees who immediately stop their normal work to search for the child, and monitor all exits to help prevent the child from leaving the store. If the child is not found within 10 minutes of initiating a store-wide search, or if the child is seen accompanied by someone other than a parent or guardian, store personnel contact the local police department and request assistance.
I stopped my shopping and immediately went to the toy department, looking for the little girl. Dozens of other adult shoppers had the same idea, and began searching frantically. After a few minutes a second announcement said that she had been located and there was an audible sigh of relief throughout the store. There were many other children in the store that day, but none of them was as important as this one. Why? They weren't lost.
Jesus said to His disciples, "...If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should be lost." Matthew 18: 12-14.
We would all do well to spend a little bit of time in prayer for those who have wandered astray. They will be eternally grateful when they are found through your persistent praying. GospeLines Prayer: "Lord, get me off dead center! Wind my clock, get me up, get me out, get me moving...Let me catch the urgency, feel the compulsion, sense the limited time and get on with what You want to do with me...O Lord, don't allow me to become another waiter, watcher, whistler or whiner, but by Your prodding, make me a mover of men and promoter of visions..." Amen and amen.
(Prayer borrowed from Words Aptly Spoken, Bob Moorehead)
What would cause a royal official of the court to swallow his pride and walk 20 miles to seek the help of a village carpenter?The answer:he was the father of a critically ill child and nothing would keep him from doing the improbable and attempting the impossible to get help for his son.Not only did he put aside his pride, he refused to be discouraged, portrayed incredible faith, and he totally surrendered to Jesus the Messiah.It wasn’t something he did for a moment, but when he got home his entire household believed in Jesus.The laughter and ridicule he would receive from the town would be embarrassing, but he believed anyway.
One of the most challenging AND rewarding things we do at GospeLines Ministries is pray for the parents of critically ill children.As prayer warriors beseech the throne of God for the sick child we find ourselves bonding with the entire family.We have met a family only once but the closeness we feel to all is real. The ministry process is humbling and often heartbreaking.In some cases we are linked with a family for many years, battling cancer, heart defects, and many other illnesses which render all of us helpless.We have learned too often that healing does not always come in every situation.
This week one of our children, little Ellie, earned her angel wings at eight years of age.What we have learned from this struggle has inspired me to share some of it with you today.It’s a long story which began on July 4, 2008; you may need a little time and more than a few tissues to read it.These are the words of Ellie’s Mom:
Friday, July 4, 2008 6:48 PM, EDT
My Cherished Family, Friends, and to all the Believers of Miracles and Prayers:
Today is Friday July 4th 2008. As you watch the fireworks light up the sky tonight, please think of the beauty of Gods Blessings to enjoy this special time with your friends and family. Truly celebrate more than Independence day - but your days on earth to feel love, give love and make a difference through the small acts of kindness that can change a life forever. Let my story be a reminder of how to cherish your family everyday and to never forget today is a blessing and tomorrow has no promises. But if we live fully today with full heart and joy and remember to be thankful of our blessings then we will live more than most people do in an entire lifetime.
My 6 year old daughter Ellie (a twin) has stage 4 Rhabdomyosarcoma cancer in her trunk, leg and lungs. I found a hard lump in her lower pelvis only 2 nights ago while powdering her sweet body before bedtime. At 10 p.m. we rushed her to ER and by 2am our lives had changed forever with the news that my beautiful first born had cancer.
At 10:00pm tonight I ask all those who can to simply bow your head in prayer and may the power of our voices in unison allow God to hear my prayer as a Mother. My prayer to you is this...
"Dear God, You have blessed me and (my husband) with a daughter that we call Ellie. We understand Ellie is only on loan to us on this heavenly earth and when you want her back you have the right to take her into the heavens and hold her in your arms. I am so thankful to you for allowing me to give birth to my two strong and healthy babies on October 31, 2001. This was truly the most joyful day of my life - the gift of motherhood. For I understand some are not even as blessed as myself to know this feeling of joy through your child. Her smile alone and the sparkle in her eyes, the soft sweet voice calling Mommy has filled me in a way that I cannot explain - and I have you God to Thank.
I can understand why you would want her with you - she is special and very kind, patient and trusting. As she says to me "Mommy I specialize in being kind." What child says that? Only a child that you would create. I pray that you hear me now. Lord, My Heavenly Father, please send Ellie the miracle of healing and allow her to share her beauty, kindness and love with others on your earth. Ellie is needed here on earth more than with you. Ellie's work is not done here; she needs to be here with us to spread your joy and to act as proof of your power. I am here by her side to and will walk through the pain and fears she will be faced with - but I will be strong for her and for you.
I ask that you give my family the strength to feel the power of your presence and calm our aching hearts. For I am angry, I am scared, I am devastated and at times I am numb.
But with your ability to wrap your arms around my family and to care for us as we care for Ellie we can together heal our earthly and heavenly daughter Ellie Potvin. I beg of you. I thank you for sending me so many people into my life to show Ellie how much they love her and hold my family up when all we want to do is fall to the ground and beat our fists. Pleaseknow I do not ask why me... I already know that answer. It is called life. I want to ask why Ellie? But I have let that go. But I do ask for a miracle that only you can do. For Ellie is meant to be with my family on this earth to share your joy with others. In your name and your nameonly I praise you and ask you for this miracle. Our lives are forever changed by thisexperience and we give it you. But beg for the miracles you are known for giving, should this be your decision. Amen."
Now we fast-forward to Wednesday morning of this week.Ellie’s mom writes:
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 1:08 AM, EDT
Ellie is barely with us in body... All is failing. She can barely speak, Sleeping in and out.
She woke to see my tears and did the most incredible Ellie thing... She made us laugh and smile.
God knows how she slowly managed to kiss her biceps and say "don't worry I am strong Mommy. A fighter."
Ellie's spirit is life... Her body is failing her but her will to live is why she is here. At a time like this our Ellie comforts me.
Breathing is slowing down; can no longer sip through a straw... Angels I pray she will hear call her name.
As much as I love her... Stop this fight. Ellie has won the prize. Heaven.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 4:21 AM, EDT
Enough God... Ellie's body has been tormented...I have been prepared to let go... Please God! Let her soul be free
Ellie still fighting...
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 6:28 AM, EDT
Ellie is still breathing... She is ever so slowly leaving us. This is breaking me to shreds, I have been ripped apart, this has tested my faith, to watch your child die before your eyes - is too much for a mother - just too much.
God I pray... Please let her fly.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 11:42 AM, EDT
Ellie gained her angel wings at 11:35am and rests in my arms.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 3:04 PM, EDT
Ellie has been carried in my arms to the funeral home. She looks like a porcelain doll in her pink dress.
Parents who go through these kinds of situations are special.They gain strength from desperation, and faith from hopelessness.They learn to stand tall just after they have been knocked down by a doctor’s report.Somehow they get by, and we are better for knowing these godly people.They teach us humility, courage, faith and total surrender; they are our mentors in suffering and parenting.Let us honor them with our sincere prayers.Amen and amen!