This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.
Please scroll to the bottom of page to read the notice if you are coming from the European Union...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Praying for the sick

Brant Baker would say, "I have learned to yield to the Holy Spirit. Brant Baker has nothing to offer, it is all Jesus. I am nothing at all. If God can use a nobody like me He can use anybody."

Oral Roberts said. "I have been asked many times what the anointing is. I searched the scriptures for every instance when individuals or groups felt God's anointing. I saw that by experiencing the presence of God, they were able to do mighty exploits for the Lord. I saw, too, that when the anointing of God's Spirit did not rise up in them, they were as ordinary in themselves and in their works as any of us are today. There was no halo around them. They were not superman or super women. Thet were believers but still flesh and blood.

I focused on Luke 4:18, Jesus said to the people in the synagogue in Nazareth,where He had grown up:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because He hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor,
He hath sent me to heal the broken hearted,
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty them that are bruised.

The revelation came to me that the anointing is a time when God separates you from yourself and fills you with His glory so that when you speak it's like God speaking, and when you act it's like God acting. You are yourself, but you are not yourself. I mean, you have not taken leave of your senses. Still, you are keenly aware that another self-the Spirit of God Himself-has taken over and is, at that time, in full charge of you, and you are acting under His divine unction or guidance and power from above.

The glory of the Lord that comes upon you at the time of anointing removes all fear, fills you with a holy boldness, and gives you revelational knowledge of how and what to do. It is an incomparable experience. God who is in you is now flowing up by His Spirit from your belly area (your inner being) and giving you a covering that Satan cannot penetrate (see John 7:38-39).

The difficulty that I have when the anointing comes upon me...in the heat of this experience I have an insatiable desire to literally drive the sickness or disease or demon or fear or poverty or any other destructive power out of the person. I confess it is a driving force possessing me far beyond any powers of my own. My normal compassion appears to be multiplied a thousand times. My urgency to rid the person of the tormenting power of Satan almost consumes me.

The tangible presence of God- is not mine. It belongs to God. The prophet Elijah said, "Let God be God" 1 Kings 18:24. That is exactly what I had to learn to do"

God loves us. God will move through each of us.

And these signs shall follow all who believe, they shall lay their hands upon the sick, who will recover.
Mark 16:17

We read the scriptural accounts of healing miracles and we wish Jesus were here to cure the sick in our day and age. With more and more hospitals being built, doctors unable to keep up with the needs of an increasing population, and many illnesses still considered incurable, we could certainly use this charism of healing.

The Good News is, we do have the healing love of Jesus Christ with us today. The gifts of healing manifested by the Lord have been delegated to each person who accepts Jesus as his Savior, believing him to be the Son of God.

Before He was crucified, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father" John 14:12.

Jesus was telling the disciples that ministering to the blind, the halt and the lame was not going to stop when He was no longer visible. The commission to carry on the healing work was given to "whoever believes in Him. The works would be even greater because they would no longer be performed by one man, but by everyone who professes Jesus as Lord.

Jesus made us extensions of Himself in order that multitudes of people could be touched and cured by His love. He has no hands to lay on the sick but our hands. If, as Christians, we really believe the Lord dwells within us, then it should not come as a surprise that we can pray for the sick and they will be healed. We merely provide the vehicle through which the love of God can shine forth.

Christians are accustomed to thinking that the gift of healing is reserved for certain individuals who receive a supernatural calling from God to go forth and heal. All of us can pray over the sick. Whoever means whoever. "Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father."

You have been called, you believe in Jesus Christ. So you see, you fit the equation. Conditions are right for you to start praying over the sick with an expectancy to see God heal them. Try it. Go out and pray over sick people and see what takes place.

David Sloane

Can Christian Hope Reach The Muslims?

It's time for you Muslims to give up killing and maiming one another as well as the so-called infidels.Your cult is based on despair and mayhem. The more one kills, the more one gets in Allah's eternity, that is, for the Muslim males for the Muslim females are not worth anything.

That is not very hopeful, Muslims worldwide. It is time that you come to the truth in Christianity.

I am not referring to Gentiles. I am talking about Christian truth as stated in the Bible. There are scores of Gentiles who are not Christians. Do not confuse the two. Christians are those who live out the love of Jesus. They do no harm to their enemies but pray for their enemies, doing good to their enemies.

Now would not you, Muslims, want that for a daily ethic?

Of course there are some hypocrites in the Christian conclave. They claim to be followers of Jesus but instead they are liars for they live for self. I am not referring to the hypocrites. I am referring to the sincere, genuine Christians who know the Gospel and live it every day.

Therefore, I extend to you Muslims to read the New Testament, particularly the Gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They tell about Jesus and His love, His forgiveness of repented sins, His message about heavenly bliss, His mercy and grace bestowed upon His followers, His indwelling compassion and wisdom.

That is a far cry from your Koran killing and maiming verses. There is much there that has to do with pounding rocks into women's heads, slitting their throats, lopping off ears and toes and fingers, dismembering the bodies of the so-called infidels.

Do you really want your families centered on that kind of bloodletting?

Then someone emails me to say that in the Old Testament God prescribed death penalties for certain disobedient acts. True. That was because God was building a sane society from a barbaric people.

Therefore, stiff penalties meant that Hebrews were to line up with the holy law. Weak penalties would have tempted Hebrews to be lenient with themselves, disobeying God easily.

When Jesus came, the Old Testament rule of king was long gone because foreign powers overtook the Hebrews. Therefore, Hebrews, in the first century known as "Jews," were under Roman control.

Consequently, Jesus told His followers that it was no longer "eye for eye, tooth for tooth." He said, "I give you a new law. Love your enemy. Pray for your enemy. Do good to those who persecute you for righteousness.

"Therefore, Christians for the last twenty centuries have followed the love teaching of Jesus, no longer adhering to the Old Testament prescriptions for penalties for broken statutes.

Yet I get emails telling that down through the past centuries Christians murdered this public or that public. So how are killing Muslims any different than killing Christians?

No. Again, people must not confuse "Gentiles" with "Christians." Because a person is not a Jew he is automatically a Gentile. Each mortal is one or the other.

But being Gentile does not make one Christian. One is only a Christian if one follows Jesus as Savior and Lord, living His love ethic as provided in the New Testament.

There are many church persons who are not Christians.

There are many Gentiles who are not Christians.Therefore, don't call "killing Gentiles" "killing Christians." They are killing Gentiles — period. Christians who are genuinely Christians don't kill, maim, steal, plunder and so forth. By their deeds they shall be known. Jesus said by our fruits we are known as good or bad. It is in the life. It is in the deed.

I invite you then to read the New Testament Gospels in particular. Meet Jesus. Find Him as your hope.

Joseph Grant Swank, Jr., is a pastor at New Hope Church in Windham, Maine, and is the author of five books and thousands of articles that have appeared in various Protestant and Catholic publications. He currently writes a column for RenewAmerica.us, MichNews.com, Magic-City-News.com, AmericanDaily.com, NewsByUs.com, The Conservative Crusader.com, PostChronicle.com, TheConservativeVoice.com, Republican and Proud.com, FaithFreedom.org, Conservative Posts.us, ArriveNet.com, MosqueWatch.blogspot.com, EzineArticles.com, Chalcedon Report, and others.He has been married for 46 years and has three adult children. He has BA and MDiv degrees, with graduate work at Harvard Divinity School.Grant maintains a website at
You can e-mail him atgrantswank@roadrunner.com

Friday, December 28, 2007

Notre Dame professor tries to solve mystery behind the Star of Bethlehem

For nearly 2,000 years, it's been the one puzzle astronomers haven't been able to fully solve.

 But now, one Notre Dame professor thinks he may have discovered the origin of the star of Bethlehem.

Professor tries to solve mystery behind Star of Bethlehem

Look at an artist's rendering of Jesus' birth and you can always find it.

Listen to songs like "We Three Kings" and it's clear.

The star of Bethlehem plays a pivotal role in the Christmas story.

Still, it's role in the Bible is fairly small. 
In fact, there's only one reference — in the Gospel of Matthew.
"Where is he born the King of the Jews?" it reads. "For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him."

But did that star really exist?

 If so, where was it?

What was it?

Why was it so bright?

They are questions Notre Dame Astrophysicist Dr. Grant Mathews began to ask about three years ago. And what he found took him by surprise.

"The standard viewpoint over the years is that it's a massing of planets, or what we call planetary conjunction, when planets move past each other," he said.

But here's the curious thing:

Mathews says this conjunction wasn't just a few planets.

"Basically every known planet at the time was amassed all at once," he said.

And it wasn't anything astronomers had recorded before.

"To have all of them line up like that at once was a very rare event," Mathews said.

On April 17, 6 B.C., Jupiter, Saturn, the sun, and the moon all aligned in the constellation Aries. Venus and Mars lined up in neighboring constellations.

Dr. Mathews says, for the so called "wise men" this would have had great significance.

"That would have signaled to the Magi that there was newborn leader with a special destiny — a very powerful leader that was going to appear in Jerusalem," he said.

But Mathews wasn't convinced the planets fully explained that bright light in the East referenced in the Gospel of Matthew.

So he went "back in time" to see if something else might have been there too.

He found two likely candidates.

 The first, is a nova — a combination of two stars that shines thousands of times brighter than a normal star.

The second is a supernova — a single star 10-20 times the size of our sun that collapses in a massive nuclear explosion.

Supernovas can create light up to 100 million times as bright as a normal star.

"It is as bright as this entire galaxy of stars," Mathews said, pointing to a picture from NASA's Hubble Telescope.

Using other Hubble images, pictures from the Chandra X-Ray Observer Satellite, and ancient Chinese astronomy charts, Mathews scanned the skies and was astonished.

"Sure enough, in the archives, there is a supernova in Aquilla — the constellation they saw.

And it's about 2,000 years old," he said.

It's called Kestovan 75, and it appeared about the same time as the planetary alignment 4 to 6 B.C.

But is that close enough to Jesus' birth?

Some Biblical scholars say it's possible.

Records of the birth aren't completely accurate.

And for that matter, neither is the determined age of the star.

And that's not enough to prove the star's existence to everyone.

"It's a really neat coincidence, but I don't know if it adds any weight to the Christmas story," said one South Bend resident.

"It neither proves nor disproves, because a faith story needs no proof," said another.

Still, for some it's a reinforcing message of the reason for the season.

"I think that's pretty much a miracle," said a man from South Bend.

"I'll still believe what I've always believed," said a woman from Niles.

For Matthews, there may never be a certain answer.

But he's convinced this may be the brightest light shined yet on a Christmas mystery now centuries in the making.

The ages of those potential stars can only be accurately placed within about 100 years.

 But Dr. Mattthews hopes new technology will be able to narrow the mystery down even further.

He's working on a book about his research and hopes to have it published by next year.
This content is written by Troy Kehoe.

She stole Jesus

The folks in Florida noticed that their GPS-equipped baby Jesus we mentioned the other day was missing from his nativity, and fired up the old GPS tracker. Turns out they didn't have to look far: baby Jesus had been swiped Wednesday night and brought to a house across the street from the nativity.

Malaysian row over word for 'God'

A church and Christian newspaper in Malaysia are suing the government after it decreed that the word "Allah" can only be used by Muslims.

Bible incident draws concerns

A Parker High School student tore pages from a Bible in class earlier this month, raising constitutional and ethical issues for school officials and his classmates.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christians in Gaza keep Christmas celebrations quiet

Like millions of fellow believers, the tiny community of Christians in Gaza celebrated Christmas, but it was extremely low key, as many now fear for their lives follwing the recent murder of a prominent activist in the conservative Muslim territory.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Medical Science verses Divine Healing

It would seem that God has chosen not to heal very often in our present day. Those who know better than that, have in an attempt to bring healing, brought much opposition upon themselves and the body of Christ. To some, it is viewed as a reproach against the church, to others it is simply the offence of the cross.

Faith for divine healing is always met with the majority opposing it. Whether, saved or unsaved, people have immediate doubt when they cannot see immediate results. Though they are also uncertain about Medical science, and need several doctors’ opinions, they still feel they are more likely to get results from doctors. Prayer is usually secondary, and all forms of spiritual activity are postponed until all else fails.

In medical science, doctors are revered for administering treatment, more than ministers are for offering the prayer of faith. Even in the face of conflicting reports, doctors are treated like gods.

People get sick, and people die, with or without medical science; yet, many times, healing ministries are ridiculed and God is blamed. When faith for the miraculous is overlooked, earnest prayer becomes a last resort. Certainly, there are times we need medical attention, but more certain than that we always need prayer.

The legal prescription, drug lords of America, advertise heavily for their multi billion dollar drug trafficking industry. When Jesus, the great physician, begins to release His healing virtue in these last days, it will be a major threat to the legalized drug pushing industry. Christians will be arrested and even killed for administering Divine Healing.

Hospitals are in the healing business. They make their money by treating illnesses to the best of their ability. It is both noble and necessary in a world that is riddled with sickness and disease. I commend them for their compassion, sympathy and devotion. Not all doctors are corrupt; not all preachers and not all priests.

There is a pure and true healing ministry that will burst on the last day’s scene in such power that multitudes will bypass medical science in search of the divine. This will cause such an upheaval in the world of merchandising miracle drugs that it will launch a multi million dollar effort to discredit and stop Christian from (what they will call) practicing medicine without a license.

Many, who understand the validity of natural cures, can appreciate what I am saying. Insurance companies are largely cooperating with muscling out natural cures; by not insuring those who prefer that type of treatment over expensive prescriptions that may lead to addiction and possible side effects.

Soon the world will witness Jesus Christ as the healer of all their diseases. That same Jesus, who lives in every believer by God’s Holy Spirit, will be persecuted to a degree never thought possible in a civilized world. If the love of money is the hidden root of all evil, you can imagine what the visible fruit of that tree might be.


I found this testimony in my archives. Barbara Shlemon, a nurse, tells the story.

One night in 1964 the Lord taught me a lesson about His love which was to change my ideas about suffering and, ultimately, the course of my life. As a professional nurse, I was assigned to the evening shift of a medical surgical ward in a small Midwest hospital. The report we received from the day shift showed one patient in a comatose condition who would probably expire during the night.

The situation was particularly sad because the patient was a young mother of three small children who had put up a valient fight for her life during her stay in the hospital. As I entered her room to check the flow of her intravenous bottles, I was overcome with sorrow at the sight.

The woman's weight had dropped to 90 pounds, most of it concentrated in fluid in her abdomen, which gave her the appearance of a nine month pregnancy. Her arms and legs were like toothpicks; she had lost all the hair on her body, and jaundice colored her skin a deep yellow. She did not appear to respond to any kind of stimuli, and her breathing was shallow and irregular.

I glanced at her husband across the room and wished there were words which could convey to him some comfort. The death of his wife seemed very near.

Back at the nurse's station I confessed my feelings of inadequacy to Harriet Saxton, the other nurse on duty with me. She agreed that the situation was grave but she didn't believe it was hopeless. I knew Harriet to be a devote Episcopalian with a deep faith that God really answered prayer. I felt, however, that she was being unrealistic in believing God could or would intervene in this case.

Undaunted by my skepticism, she approached the husband with the suggstion that he contact his parish priest to anoint his wife with the sacrament of 'extreme unction.'

For many years this sacrament of anointing with oil was looked upon as a preparation for death, the final unction. Harriet explained that the Vatican Council had undertaken to return the concept of this sacrament to it's original emphasis, the sacrament of the sick. It was to be administered as a means of healing.

The husband took a long while to consider this action and finally decided there was no other recourse. The priest who answered the call was at the hospital within minutes. An elderly man, pastor of the local Catholic church, he quietly read through the Latin ritual, pausing at intervals to apply the holy oil to the sick woman's body. He also brought the Holy Eucharist with him in the form of a small host, but the woman was in too deep a coma to accept it. The priest gently touched it to her lips and left the hospital.

The whole procedure had only taken minutes, no visible changes had occurred in the patient's condition, and I went off duty that night thinking we had instilled false hope in a hopeless case.

The next afternoon found me back on duty. As I walked past the dying woman's room, I glanced in and froze in my tracks. She was sitting up at the side of the bed sipping soup. I couldn't believe it!

The day nurse walking past me said, matter of factly, "She took a turn for the better last night." My intiation into the healing power of Jesus Christ had begun and I could hardly contain my curiosity about the subject. I began reading the scriptures and discovered the great number of gospel texts concerned with healings. It had never occurred to me that such phenomena could be possible in the 2oth century.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bethlehem Celebrates Christmas

Encouraged by renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Christian pilgrims from around the world converged on Jesus' traditional birthplace Monday to celebrate Christmas — a palpable contrast to the sparse crowdsof recent years.

Silent fright

Birthplace of Jesus hijacked by Muslims

"Tourism is up this year. Christians are visiting from all over. They come out of the Church of the Nativity and before they arrive at my store they've already been approached by a half-dozen Muslim vendors selling the same stuff but cheaper," said the manager of one shop situated across from the Church of the Nativity alongside Manger Square.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas 2007

Christians believe that the almighty God has visited us, not just through prophets, saints and humanitarian heroes, but through sending his son to be born of a virgin in Bethlehem.

Babies are vulnerable, more helpless initially than any of the animals, without outside care lowly babies can not survive.
So too was the son of God, but every birth inspires hope, even when it is only hope against hope.
As we celebrate again the birth of the helpless newly-born Christ child, we should remember the sick and the sad, the lonely and the angry and reach out to help them.

Jesus was/is about "giving" not taking.
Jesus was/is about "kindness" not greed.
Jesus was/is about "helping" those in need.
Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season.

All of us here at Shekinah Fellowship desire that you have a blessed Merry Christmas.

When Dr. Harte was secretary of the Palestine Y.M.C.A., 1918-1931, he purchased a plot of ground in the valley below Bethlehem which had been traditionally called "The Field of Boaz" or "Shepherds' Field". There on Christmas Eve, members of the Y.M.C.A. and their friends used to meet for a service which ended with, a supper such as shepherds might have shared. At this place, away from the crowds that thronged Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity, it was easier to capture the scene of that night when shepherds saw the star that was to lead them to the Child. This service was discontinued for a few years when the main road to Bethlehem was closed making access to Bethlehem difficult, but with the opening of a new road the service was revived. The discovery of a large cave in the field has added to the atmosphere of the place and has provided an excellent background for the service which each year attracts an increasing number of local Christians and tourists. The sermon is usually given by a visiting minister and local choirs furnish music. Sheep are roasted in ovens at the entrance to the cave and timed to be ready when the service ends. Each worshipper is given a piece of Iamb with freshly baked whole-wheat bread as he enters the cave on his way to an exit on the other side.
(Bethlehem Christmas Eve. Sheep grazing on the field of the Shepherds; in the background is the cave.)

I (David Sloane) have been in this cave and have walked in this field of the Shepherds. When you are standing there in person, you can not help but think that this is the actual location of the birth of Christ. The gentle incline of the field combined with the wide open view of the sky above sends goose bumps when you ponder this location that took wise men up to two years to locate.

It is almost impossible to dig into the soil of Jerusalem without turning up some evidence of its ancient past. Thus it is not surprising that when the foundation of the new Y was being laid workmen should come upon a tomb. It has been identified as First Century A.D. and it is in an excellent state of preservation. The tomb was obviously a private one, it may even have been in a garden. In it was found a jar in perfect, or nearly perfect condition. A visit to the "Tomb in the Basement" may be of interest -ask at the desk.

The nearby field of Ruth is traditionally associated with the events of the Old Testament (recounted in the Book of Ruth 1:16). This area is also believed to be where the Hebrew matriarchs Ruth and Naomi gleaned in the fields behind the harvesters on their way to Bethlehem from Moab (Ruth 2-4). Ruth married Boaz, and they became parents of Oved, the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David, who was born in Jerusalem. Thus Bethlehem became known as the "City of David" and it was predicted that the Messiah would be born there (Micah 5:1-5).

The roads descending to the east of Bethlehem lead through the mostly Christian village of Beit Sahour (or Bait Sahur), which includes the Shepherds' Fields: the fields identified since ancient times with the shepherds who saw the Star of Nativity.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." (Luke 2:8-10)

The fertile fields of Beit Sahour are believed to be where this biblical scene took place. There are two rival locations for the exact site, one run by the Greek Orthodox and the other by the Franciscans. Both sites have been excavated, and there have been churches and monasteries on both sites since the 4th century or earlier.
This site interested the earliest Christian pilgrims; in 384 the pilgrim Egeria was shown the church called "At the Shepherds" in a valley near Bethlehem. She reported, "A big garden is there now, protected by a neat wall all around, and also there is a very splendid cave with an altar." The pilgrim Arculf remarked in 670 that this site was "about a mile to the east of Bethlehem." The Orthodox site seems to correspond better with Egregia and Arculf's accounts.

The Greek Orthodox site of the Shepherds' Fields is at Kanisat al-Ruwat in the middle of fields 2 km southeast of Bethlehem. The ruins at al-Ruwat include a cave used as a church from the 4th century, of which the barrel-vaulted roof (5th century) still survives. It is approached by a flight of 21 steps and has three apses with traces of mosaic and old frescoes. The mosaic floor includes crosses, and therefore must predate 427, when this was forbidden as impious.
The church at al-Ruwat served the Orthodox community from the 5th century to 1955. It is the only 5th-century church outside Jerusalem to survive intact. Above it a Byzantine chapel was built, and was in turn replaced by a larger church, which was then destroyed in 614. It and a monastery were rebuilt in the 7th century and survived until the 10th century. Today, a new large church has been built, the 4th-century lower church has been restored, and the remains of the upper church and monastery have been preserved.
About 600m to the north of al-Ruwat is the site the Roman Catholics (Franciscans) identify as the Shepherds' Fields, at Khirbat Siyar al-Ghanim. Here there is a low natural cave or rock shelter in pleasant surroundings and with a fine view of the hills. The cave, with soot-blackened roof, has been partly enclosed to make a modern chapel. Above is a modern church (1954) shaped like a tent and decorated with a bronze angel.
To the north are ruins of a rectangular monastery founded on a site occupied by nomadic shepherds in the 1st century. An early phase is dated from the late 4th century to the early 5th century and a second phase (which used stones from the original apse of the Church of the Nativity) to the 6th century. Only the apse of the church survives, and a large lintel decorated with crosses. The monastery had winepresses, bakery, cisterns and animal pens. Scholars tend to believe this was probably not the site described by Egregia, but simply one of many Byzantine monasteries of the Judean desert. It may have been where Palladius began his monastic life with the miracle-worker Poseidonius in 419. It was not reoccupied after being destroyed by the Persians in 614.

Of course there is also a third site. The YMCA of Beit Sahour, east of the town center on the north side of the road, is where many Protestants commemorate Shepherds' Fields. There is a grove of pines, a cave, and a view toward Jerusalem and the desert. This is where I personally believe the greatest news event in the history of the world took place.

The Shepherds and the Angels

Luke 2:8-20

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

"And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David.) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. "-Luke 2:4-7.

"Silent Night" was written by a Catholic priest, Joseph Mohr, pastor in the Austrian Alps in a little town of Oberndorf. It was Christmas Eve, 1815, when he meditated on the wonderful story of the birth of Christ and wrote the sweet, simple verses of this song. The next day he took them to the village schoolmaster, an organist, Franz Gruber, who prayerfully put them to music that fits them so quietly and so well. And that night they had the choir sing it for the first time with only guitar accompaniment, since the organ had broken down . Through the years this sweet song drifted out to the world and now millions of people rejoice as they sing
Silent night, holy night,All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and Child.Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,Sleep in heavenly peace.
The name "Bethlehem" means house of bread.
John 6:35And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

John 6:48I am that bread of life.

Bethlehem is some six miles south and a little west of Jerusalem on the way toward Hebron. It was the home of David and of Boaz and Ruth before him. Micah 5:2 prophesied that the Saviour would be born there: "But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

I think the dear Lord does not want us worshiping a place so He did not let it be settled surely, either the place of the birth of Jesus or the house in which He lived in Nazareth or the place of crucifixion or the tomb in which He was buried. All that is left a little unsure lest men should worship as an idol a mere place when the Lord wants us to worship the Saviour Himself. At least Bethlehem represents the place where Jesus was born, whether we know the exact place or not.

It is true that there was no room for them in the inn. Does that seem sad? No, surely that foretold that the Lord Jesus would be a Man of sorrows and He would be acquainted with grief. He came to be abused and rejected as well as to save all who would receive Him. So Jesus is fitly born in a stable. Since He is to be "anointed. . .to preach the gospel to the poor. . .to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives," it is suitable that His coming be announced to ignorant shepherds and not in the palaces of the mighty but to the poor. But remember, this is a glad time. Jesus is born to die on the cross, but, oh, praise the Lord He is born! The shepherds heard the angels say, "I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people." So it is a joyful, happy time. So the song very properly says,
"All is calm, all is brightRound yon virgin mother and Child."
Mary is in sweet peace and joy over her God-given Son. The Baby sleeps peacefully for He is in God's care and has entered His earthy mission.

Psalm 22:9,10 says, "But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts. I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly."
And that indicates that even the Baby Jesus was someway conscious that He was from God and that His hope was in God His Father. I think I see a bit of a smile upon the face of the sleeping One there in the manger cradle. "Round yon virgin mother and Child," the song says. Oh, yes, Mary is still a virgin. And the angel had said to Joseph, "Fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost" (Matt. 1:20). Ah, yes, this Baby Jesus is the "Seed of the woman" which was promised Eve. This birth of Christ fulfills the promise of Isaiah 7:14, "Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son." Oh, here is Immanuel, God with us in human form. I was shocked the other day looking in a hymnbook and saw that this first verse of "Silent Night," had been wickedly changed, and the liberal, unbelieving hand that changed that first verse took out "Round yon virgin mother and Child," and put other words. Oh, but Mary is a virgin and Christ is God in human form.
Jesus, Baby Jesus, of a virgin mother born, Laid in manger cradle, wrapped in swaddling clothes and warm.
Birth cry in a darkened stable, in the inn no room. Jesus, Baby Jesus, Son of God, to share earth's gloom.
Silent night, holy night,Darkness flies, all is light;
Shepherds hear the angels sine,"Alleluia hail the King!
Christ the Saviour is born,Christ the Saviour is born."

Yes, suddenly the darkness turns bright as day and the Heaven is filled with glory!
"And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. " It was the Angel Gabriel who had announced to Mary up in Galilee nine months before that she was to be the mother of the Saviour. We suppose this is the same Angel Gabriel bringing glad news. The "Field of the Shepherds" is not far from Jerusalem, and we suppose it is the same field where the shepherds watched their flocks by night. It may be also the same field of Boat where Ruth, the Moabitish young woman who came back to Israel with her mother-in-law Naomi to live under the shelter of God's wings--and there in the field, perhaps, where Ruth gleaned and got acquainted with Boaz. The announcement is wonderful:
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in, swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."-Luke 2:10-12.
Ah, the Saviour is born! And the angel says they may find Him in the city wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. Then suddenly all the heavenly host filled the skies, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."
The shepherds were told they would find the Baby Jesus "wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger," and they went quickly to find Him. Oh, they believed the story; they were glad to hear it. King Herod heard it and was troubled. The scribes and Pharisees knew where the Saviour should be born and they told Herod it would be in Bethlehem, but they did not heed the glad news brought them by the Wise Men from the east. But these shepherds were so glad to hear it! Oh, whoever reads it, be sure you run to see Jesus and know Him for yourself and go away to tell it gladly as they did.
Silent night, holy night,Guiding Star, lend thy light;
See the eastern wise men bringGifts and homage to our King!
Christ the Saviour is born,Christ the Saviour is born.
The Scripture says, "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him." They are "wise men." The term reminds us of the wise men, the magi, in the book of Daniel. And these are from the east, so if we go back some 500 miles or so to the site of ancient Babylon we find, no doubt, the area from which these wise men came.
They said, "We have seen his star in the east." Note carefully, they did not follow the star, traveling all this way. They had seen the star in the east as a warning, a reminder. But it seems evident they knew from the book of Daniel that the Messiah would come, and that He would be King of the Jews .
In Daniel 9:25 Daniel had been inspired to write it down, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times." And it is interesting that although nearly all the Old Testament is written in Hebrew, certain parts of Daniel, including this part, are written in Chaldaic and so God must have intended that the Scriptures there should be kept in the Chaldean language so they would know about the coming of the Saviour. He is to be a Prince or King and He is to come to Jerusalem. And we are plainly told that it is to be sixty-nine weeks of years from the time Jews were to go back from captivity until the coming of the Saviour. So they took what they knew from the Scriptures and then had a sign from God to verify it and they came.
Later they came to Jerusalem thinking the Saviour, a King, would be born there. There scribes and elders told them, as Herod insisted, that the Messiah must be born in Bethlehem six miles away in the city of David and now they came to find it. But how will they find the house? Ah, there is the star. They see it again and it stops over the house where the Child lay and they came in to see the Baby Jesus.
We are told that they opened their treasures and brought forth gold, frankincense and myrrh--gold, no doubt, as a proper tribute for a king and myrrh for the suffering of a Saviour as picturing the spices of His burial, and like the bitter herbs with which the Passover lamb was eaten, and frankincense for worship to God, for Christ is God.
Oh, Wise Men, let us kneel beside you by the manger cradle and to Jesus let us open our treasures and bring all we have to the Lord Jesus.
Wise men came to see Him, having seen His star afar, Bro't their gifts of precious gold and frankincense and myrrh. Herod heard, was troubled, could not kill the Holy Child. Jesus, Baby Jesus, King and Priest, and Saviour mild.
Silent night, holy night,Wondrous Star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us singAlleluia to our King!
Christ the Saviour is born,Christ the Saviour is born.

There were wonders and marvels to astound the mind and lift up the heart, give a lilt to voices of praise the night Jesus was born. His birth was itself a miracle. It was good news to all people. He is Christ the Saviour.
The angels were miraculously present and it was so important that it seems every angel in Heaven wanted to join in the glad refrain, the chant, of peace on earth.
The star was wonderful, too. Some think it might have been the conjunction of two of the planets in the heavens that made an extra brightness. No, no. This was a special star. Was it like a comet across the sky? Was it like a meteor falling into space? No. In those days before there were any telescopes, they did not have a great many names for heavenly bodies, they did not differentiate between ancient planets and suns and meteors and comets. This star was especially created for this time to announce the Saviour. The Wise Men saw it in the east, and again when they came to Jerusalem they saw the star resting over the house where the Baby Jesus lay. We suppose then that star disappeared having run its course, having made its holy announcement.
But do not miss even a greater marvel than the angels and the star and the divine leading of these Wise Men. They came according to the Scriptures.
Oh, the birth of Jesus was wonderful, but it was foretold and this is the Gospel "how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures." All the other miracles and manifestations are subject to a divine pattern, a divine schedule written down in the Bible. It was in "the fullness of the time" that Christ came, as we are told in Galatians 4:4. That is, He could not come before and He could not come after--He must fulfill the Scripture, and He did.
So wise men studied the Scriptures yonder in the area of ancient Babylon. Old, old manuscripts and books they studied until they came across what Daniel had prophesied. When they came to Jerusalem, they needed more light. They came as far as they knew how. They came into Jerusalem, but they found now the Scripture said the Saviour would be born in Bethlehem, so they came to Bethlehem. In the east they were to follow the Scriptures but they had a star then to verify their decision and comfort their hearts. Now they follow the Scriptures out to Bethlehem and again God gave the star to give additional light.
Do you not see again, as we sing about the Christmas story, that the virgin birth of Christ is far better than any fairy tales of Santa Claus and reindeer and sleighs? Do you not see that the story of the announcement to the shepherds and the Wise Men coming from the east is far more joy and blessing than the worldly festivities and drunkenness and feasting and revelry? Let us rejoice then in the blessed Word of God this Christmas season.
Jesus, Baby Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man, Tempted, poor and suffering no one knows us as He can!
Holy, righteous, blameless, fitting sacrifice complete. By His blood atonement, God and sinners in Him meet.
Now, let us sing again this sweet Christmas song, "Silent Night, Holy Night," for
"Christ the Saviour is born,Christ the Saviour is born."
Oh, make sure that you take Him as your own Saviour, that you trust Him for forgiveness, that you love Him and give Him all your heart and all you have.

Jesus Christ loves you!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

What Sets Us Apart

For Christians, God is not just a powerful, unseen reality, somewhere out there.

God did something highly impossible to make Himself completly relevant to humankind. He doesn't just visit the earth, He becomes human and walks on the earth and interacts with humankind on their own level of existence.

Jesus Christ is God's Son and He is also uniquely Almighty God Himself in the flesh. It is remarkable that God became a real human being and lived among us as the historical Jew, known as Jesus of Nazareth, between 6BC and AD30 in Palestine.

No one could accuse God Almighty of not doing everything possible to make Himself known and revealed in such a way that any human could have known who He is and what He thinks. God bridged the vastness of His creation in such a way as only He could make happen. He took His high and lofty majesty, His Holy and Righteous presence and deposited Himself in an organic carbon based meatbag of flesh. He choose to come down here to be with us on our level of existence.

This is the nexus point of all Christian reality. That God became man.

John 1:14
14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

What was truly kewl about all of this is that Almighty God touched some humans and gave them direct revelation into what He was going to do way in the future. We call this prophesy. Reading the prophesys about this event we see that Almighty God will be a Jewish man from the tribe of Judah, in King David's lineage, born in Bethlehem of a virgin, and that this child would be Almighty God Himself.

Everything to do with God is not always smooth and uncomplicated. We humans think that everything is going to be smooth and uncomplicated if God is involved. Balony! Nothing could be futhur from the truth.

Put yourself in Jesus's mother Mary's place. Here she is, around fifteen years of age. Betrothed, as was the Jewish custom of that day and age, to a man, destined to become his wife.

Then she suddenly finds herself pregnant. This will make it appear to all around her, that she has been promiscuous. And to make matters worse, a woman found in adultry must be stoned to death according to Jewish law. Frightening and numbing would be her position in life. Her reputation in her village is surely going to be destroyed.

Holy Scripture tells it like this:

Matthew 1:18Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Now her future husband is put in a very awkward position. He knows what the Jewish law requires, but he also is a just man. He knows that there is no proof of Mary's infidelity. Her demeanor suggest to him that what she has told him about an angel telling her that she is pregnant by the Holy Spirit just might be the truth, but he is not sure. He agonizes on his bed, not able to sleep, just laying there thinking about this terrible turn of events...I imagine that he eventually drops off to fitful sleep.

Matthew 1:19Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

While he is thinking about privately putting her 'away.' An angel appears to him in a dream. The angel fills him in on what is up with Mary.

Matthew 1:20But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

Revelation sent from God to Joseph, in his consciousness, in a dream. Wow! Can you imagine his relief and awe at what he is being told?

But still, even though now he knows the truth, his neighbors and family may not believe his story. He is still in a terrible bind of sorts.

But to him, the truth is valid, he is to take Mary as his wife inspite of what anyone thinks of the situation. On the natural, there will be those who look at Mary in discust and rejection. There will be a figurative black cloud that will follow them.

Matthew 1:24Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

He understood the truth now. All he could do is trust God, inspite of what others might think.

How many times have we been in a situation where others think ill of us. And we are tempted to try in our own efforts to set things straight.

I once had someone accuse me of a lot of things that had no truth behind them. Even so much as to go to the pastors of my church with the lies. I silently watched as my reputation as a man of God had aspersions cast against it. I watched as the recepients of the lies turned against me. But I had learned to trust in God and held my peace. I not once did anything to defend myself. For I knew that my God on His throne was greater then any lies sent against me.

Over a period of months the truth became known and the perpetrator of the attack against my integrity was cast out of the fellowship. All without me saying or doing anything.

So here is Mary and Joseph in a complicated situation. They know the truth, but will others believe the truth. To any average person, it looked like a couple of young people making up a crazy story to cover up their fooling around. Back in their day, such things were not treated lightly. Today, no one thinks much about this situation, happens all the time...right?

God Almighty comes to earth as a vulnerable defenseless baby. The heart of Christianity. The Muslim can't believe this. "Allah Akbar," God is great. They say this great God would never demean himself by becoming human. But that is exactly what happened.

Not only that, Jesus grows up and gives up His life for all of us to set us free from our sins.

John 1:29The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

John 15:13Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Zechariah 13:6And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

We celebrate the birth of the Christ child. We say Merry Christmas to one another in refrence to this event in world history. Not 'Happy Holidays.' To those who know of the truth, it is the most incredible knowledge that God became flesh, born as a baby.

Christians should never be found guilty of saying 'Happy Holidays' when they know the truth of this event of a baby's birth. An event that changed the course of the world. An event that sent a message down through the ages to you and I. An event that was written in the stars above.

Matthew 2
1Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

We are told in this same chapter of Matthew:

10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Why? What was it about this star? It was not the star, but what they had located by the star. Almighty God incarnatio, God being in human flesh, entering the physical realm as a baby.

Jesus Christ, the God~man!

No one could make up such a story. No one could foretell of all events that would surround this birth, hundreds of years in advance and then have Holy men of God prophesy of the events.

This is what sets us Christians apart.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Not sure what to think about this

"A devout group of evangelical Christians in the Midwest are flocking to help purify a spot they believe the Bible has ordained as holy ground -- and it happens to be 1,500 miles of interstate asphalt."


Add these to the mix...

NAFTA Super Highway just happens to be I35...Quietly but systematically, the Bush Administration is advancing the plan to build a huge NAFTA Super Highway, four football-fields-wide, through the heart of the U.S. along Interstate 35, from the Mexican border at Laredo, Tex., to the Canadian border north of Duluth, Minn.

NASCO, the North America SuperCorridor Coalition Inc., is a “non-profit organization dedicated to developing the world’s first international, integrated and secure, multi-modal transportation system along the International Mid-Continent Trade and Transportation Corridor to improve both the trade competitiveness and quality of life in North America.” Where does that sentence say anything about the USA?

Kansas City SmartPort Inc. is an “investor based organization supported by the public and private sector” to create the key hub on the NAFTA Super Highway.

The U.S. government has housed within the Department of Commerce (DOC) an “SPP office” that is dedicated to organizing the many working groups laboring within the executive branches of the U.S., Mexico and Canada to create the regulatory reality for the Security and Prosperity Partnership. The SPP agreement was signed by President Bush, President Vicente Fox, and then-Prime Minister Paul Martin in Waco, Tex., on March 23, 2005.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) is overseeing the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC) as the first leg of the NAFTA Super Highway. A 4,000-page environmental impact statement has already been completed...

Something is up. Should be interesting to see how all of these ingredients turn out.

A Christmas Story

While it is painfully obvious that Kathryn Kulhman had a ghost writer type up this story, none~ the~ less I believe that it is a healing that actually did take place...


Climax of the program was reached when a man on crutches, who said he had not walked unaided since 1945, was told to throw away his supports. He did so, and walked briskly up and down the aisles, back and forth across the stage, stretching his leg muscles as he was directed. Beaming, Miss Kuhlman carried his crutches, later casting them aside. The man declared through a loud-speaker that he had heard of Miss Kuhlman in Florida through a magazine article, and had made a special trip alone by bus, to Butler, to attend her services for healing."

These words were blazoned across the front page of the Butler (Pa.) Eagle, January 1, 1951. There was nothing second hand about this newspaper story.
Evidently the editor of the paper or one of its reporters had sat among the crowd at the Penn Theater the previous day, watching wide-eyed at the marvelous manifestation of the healing power of God.

Carey Reams, the man who had thrown away his crutches, had three children. Only the eldest, four years old when he had gone off to war, thought she could vaguely remember what her father was like before he was almost fatally injured at Luzon during World War II. The other younger children had no recollection of ever seeing their father without crutches. So far as they knew, he had always been paralyzed from the waist down, suffering intense pain.

They listened wonderingly to other children talk of how their fathers took them on picnics and hikes in the woods and swimming-and knew that for some reason the couldn’t understand, their father was different. With legs that couldn’t move, he could never take them on any sort of outing. How could he when he couldn’t even walk?

Carey Reams was a chemical engineer in the services during World War II. On January 1, 1945 the Allied Forces established a beachhead on Luzon. Carey’s unit was ordered to drive toward Manila and free those men who had been captured by the Japanese four years before.

It was a rough assignment. The unit happened to land in a marsh in water. As Carey says: "There was plenty of water, too, and every time we tried to get out on the highway, we were silhouetted against the sky, and snipers hidden in the mountains would shoot at us. We had to stay in the water the entire first day."

The second day, the typhoon started, and the heavens seemed to open as the rains poured down. On the fourth day, Carey’s company commander was shot and killed within six feet of him. The commanding officer who immediately replaced him had his own engineer-so Carey was ordered to the next company about six miles away. It was on his way there to report for duty that it happened.

By now, the bridge was washed out and the truck had to go around and over some fill. "It was on this fill," says Cared, "that we hit the land mine. The truck was blown to smithereens."

That was the last that Carey knew for a long time.
Thirty-one days later he came to on an operating table, twenty-five hundred miles away from where he had been wounded. He didn’t know then where he was or what had happened, but as he regained consciousness, he remembered murmuring-and what he meant he still doesn’t know-"I sure did land easy." Immediately after these words were spoken, he was anaesthetized for the ensuing brain surgery.

For the next six weeks, Carey floated in and out of consciousness-and then he was shipped home, more dead then alive. He was one of only five survivors in his entire company and, says he, with tears in his eyes, "There would be only four of us alive today had I not gotten to that service in the Penn Theater in Butler on that December 31st in 1950."

Carey’s remark that he had "landed easily," made when he first regained consciousness, could hardly have been more mistaken.

He had been crushed from the waist through the pelvis; his right eye was gone; he had lost all his teeth; his jawbone was fractured; his neck was broken, and his back was broken in two places. The lower part of his body was completely paralyzed. His legs, like dead weights, hung entirely without sensation, but in those parts of his body in which he still retained feeling, the pain was incredibly intense.

"Any movement there," recalls Carey, "would cause almost deathly agony. And if, for example, my feet got cold, and the blood started to flow back up, it seemed to strike the nerves and the pain was almost unbearable. With no control of my body, and the awful pain, life didn’t seem worth living except for my children. Because of them, I never really wanted to die-and I wouldn’t give up."

At the same time, Carey was suffering hemorrhage after hemorrhage and had lost sixty pounds in weight.

Before his healing in Butler, he had been operated on some 41 times. He was all too familiar with the inside of hospitals-two overseas-the Letterman General Hospital in California, a hospital in Georgia and in the five years prior to his healing, he had been repeatedly hospitalized in the Veterans Administration Hospital in Florida.

Although Carey’s body was in such shocking condition, his mind was clear as crystal, and as he say, " I see now the God was taking care of me all along." Many people who knew that Carey was a good engineer but that he could not go out on the job, brought him their engineering problems and blueprints. Although he couldn’t walk a step, and for many, many months could not even leave his bed, he was thus able to support his family.

By December of 1950, however, he was in desperate straits physically. He was now virtually unable to eat food of any kind; he was suffering repeated hemorrhages, and his life was slowly but surely ebbing away.

"You know," he says, "sometimes we just have to hold on when there is nothing to hold on to – and I was at that point. I was just hanging on to life by a thread."

It was a few days before Christmas when the local Veterans Administration doctor ordered Carey back to Bay Pines, The Veterans Administration Hospital near St. Petersburg.
"These Veterans Administration doctors are wonderful," says Carey, "and I can’t praise them and the wonderful government hospitals enough. They give you the very best that science has to offer. But this time I refused to go. I remember saying, ‘No, doctor. If I’m going to die, I want to spend this last Christmas with my family. It’s only a question now of a few days until the holidays. After Christmas you can do whatever you want with me.’ It was during these days," Carey continued, "that I happened to read an article about Kathryn Kuhlman in a national magazine. At the same time, I received letters from three different friends telling me about the healing services in Pittsburgh. These friends had written to ask me why I didn’t try to get to Pittsburgh to one of her services.

"Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, did not seem so remote to me, for my wife was from Pittsburgh, and I also knew Clyde Hill, a driver the Yellow Cab Company. The thought flashed through my mind that perhaps I could stay with my friend, should I decide to make the trip. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that getting to a miracle service was my last and only hope."

The big question was, how to get there? Not only was Carey paralyzed, but he was so weak form loss of blood through hemorrhaging that he could hardly sit up. He didn’t feel physically able to ride to Pittsburgh under any circumstances. If he attempted the trip, he knew one of two things would happen: he would either die before he could return to Florida-or he would be healed. "But," as he puts it, "I finally decided that God hand’s kept me hanging on to life by a thread for so long for nothing. I truly believed that He would heal me if I could just get to Pittsburgh-and that when I was well, He would give me something to do for Him."

On December 28, early on a Thursday morning, Carey, all alone, painfully and slowly climbed aboard a bus bound for Pittsburgh. Approximately thirty-six hours later he arrived at Carnegie Hall to attend the Friday Miracle Service. At the doors he was delivered a crushing blow: the service had been dismissed an hour before. He never dreamed the service had started at 9 o’clock in the morning!

Totally exhausted; on the verge of collapse from weakness so that even with the aid of crutches he could scarcely stand; and in almost intolerable pain, he only wondered if he could hold out for the next two days, when his friend, the cab driver, would take him to the Sunday service scheduled to be held in Butler, Pennsylvania.

Throughout the next 48 hours, he had only one thought in mind-to hang on to life till he could get to the Butler Meeting. This was the determination-the faith, that God in His tender mercy would please give him the strength to live long enough to get to the Penn Theater at Butler on December 31, 1950.

He almost didn’t make it. With less than 24 hours to go, he suffered another extraordinarily severe hemorrhage-which left him so weak, he could not get up or walk without the help of two strong me. With their assistance, he arrived at the Penn Theater.

At the door, almost all hope left him for he was told that all seats were take; there was no more room inside. There he stood, clinging to his crutches, supported by two men, in the freezing outside temperature. So near and yet so far - so weak, that every minute seemed an hour.

Just as he was about to give up the last vestige of hope, someone inside who had noted his predicament offered him her seat. "I have been healed," she said. Grateful beyond words, he entered the theater.

Did he feel the glory of God the moment he walked in?

"Not just at first," he smiles in recollection. "I was in so much pain when I first came in that for the first few minutes, I couldn’t even think about anything else – but a little later, I was to know Him as I had never known Him before."

"Just as I was being seated," recalls Carey, "Miss Kuhlman began to speak. The first thing she said was, ‘The meeting this afternoon is a soul-searching meeting and not one for healing.’"

If Mr. Reams had thought his hope was on the bottom rung of the ladder earlier, he found now that there was still another rung to go. There he sat, half froze, so weak he had to use his crutches for braces to sit up, and he heard me say that this meeting was not for healing!
"I thought then that I was dying physically," Carey says, "But now I know that I was only dying to self."

"It was a wonderful sermon," he continued in recollection, " and blessed everyone but me. I had traveled over one thousand miles to be healed; the meeting was coming to a close, and I had not been healed."

Many souls had been saved that day, more than fifty men had responded to the altar call, and many marvelous healings had been received, but Carey Reams was not among those healed. He was cruelly disappointed and was filled with utter despair.

The strains of the last hymn had just died away, and the theater was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. In Carey’s words, "Miss Kuhlman raised her hand for a benediction, but she didn’t speak a word, and my heart sank. At that moment all my hope was hone. Then, very slowly her hand came down and she looked directly at me and pointing a finger straight at me she said, ‘Are you from Florida?’ My hopes soared as I replied, ‘Yes.’" Then, Carey went on, "She asked me to stand up and I said, ‘I can’t’ – and she said firmly, ‘IN THE NAME OF JESUS, STAND UP AND LOOK UP, AND WALK!’"

Carey started to get up on his crutches. The aisles were narrow, and he had on a big, heavy overcoat. It was ten degrees below zero that day in Butler, and coming from Florida, he wasn’t used to cold like that. Attempting to get down that narrow aisle, bundled in an overcoat, paralyzed and manipulating crutches on a slanty floor-trying not to step on people’s feet. It was no mean task to look up, but somehow he managed to achieve it.

"All of a sudden," relates Carey, "Miss Kuhlman said, ’take that right crutch away.’ I tried it and it worked: my leg bore my weight-and I remember being amazed how she knew this would be the case."

At that moment, the pain in his body instantly vanished. "It was like a light going out," Carey described, "or like ink spreading on a blotter."
Realizing that his one leg was successfully bearing his weight, Carey dropped the second crutch and stood alone and unaided.

"Miss Kuhlman then told me to come up on the platform," he relates. "The steps were very narrow and very steep-about twelve of them in all. Two big, strong gentlemen stepped up to my side to help me, but I didn’t need any help. I walked on to the platform like a bird flying up. I seemed hardly to touch the floor, and I didn’t walk toward Miss Kuhlman, I ran."
Was he surprised at his healing? "No, I was not," he replies in a firm tone. "This was what I came for."

Was he amazed when he found himself walking without crutches? "No, I was not," he responds. " I expected to walk without them."
And this is the answer.

"On that first day, Miss Kuhlman told me to look up," Carey Reams says with a smile- "and I’ve been looking up ever since, in praise and thanksgiving to God."

The day after his healing, Carey borrowed a little over a hundred dollars from his friend Clyde, using most of it for payment in full on a second-hand truck. He needed a truck to take his wife’s furniture, which was in storage in Pittsburgh, back to Florida. That afternoon he helped load the truck with furniture and drove it back to Florida!

A man, helpless, paralyzed and dying, was touched by the Great Physician-instantly healed, and the next day loaded a truck with furniture and drove all the way from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Florida. This is God, and Carey Reams is a living testimony to His power.
Three days later he drove into his own garage in Florida-and walked unannounced into the living room of his home where his three children were playing.

All three children looked up and gasped as he strode into the room. They sat motionless for several seconds-they could not believe their own eyes, for this was the first time in their lives that the two youngest children had ever seen their father walking without his crutches. The, suddenly, the full realization of that which had happened came upon them- their daddy could walk- the daddy was healed and as Carey put it, "They all be to chirp. Only children filled with glee can make that peculiar chirrup sound like happy birds."

Half-laughing and half-crying, they jumped up and down and clapped their little hands, and then just looked.

"I was just so happy, I couldn’t do anything but watch them and rejoice," Carey continued. "I hadn’t realized that my rejoicing would go any further than myself, and that the children really cared so much. But my, how they did rejoice that night! I only wish I had a picture of the joy and wonder on their faces as they saw me stand there without crutches, and then walk across the room to them."

From that time to this, and it has been eleven years now, Carey has been the picture of perfect, robust health. Able to walk and to run and to climb, there remains no indication whatsoever of his former paralysis.

With seventeen dollars left of the money he had borrowed from the cab driver-with this as his sole capital, he went into business for himself. From the very beginning, this business thrived. Carey is a Consultant Agricultural Engineer, and only recently he was a candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture for Florida.

"Because," he says, "statistics show that seventy-five percent of the boys and girls trained in religious schools, become as adults, active church workers and churchgoers, while only twenty-five percent without this kind of education, end up going to church. When we realize that three out of four who are trained in church school, are Christians, stay Christians, and raise a Christian family, it seems a most important thing in and for the world to see that these youngsters get the kind of training."

There were some in the auditorium the day that Carey Reams was healed, who had difficulty in believing what they saw, so spectacularly dramatic it was.
I, myself, had never seen Mr. Reams before; he had come from a great distance and I knew nothing about him. To allay any doubts as to the verity of his healing, I had his background carefully looked into.

He was given excellent character references by all who knew him including several judges. His previous condition was found to be exactly as he had claimed it, and his medical records are on file in the hospitals as he has stated. His healing is an indisputable miracle, wrought by an all-powerful and all-merciful God.

Carey Reams’ only son is now a senior in high school. He has a daughter who is studying to be a nurse, and his "baby" is thirteen years old. These are the children who did the "chirping" that January evening eleven years ago,"Every night we have our family devotions. The children love you and will never forget you. They never hush talking about Miss Kuhlman." Greater appreciation I have never seen on the face of a man, than was expressed on the face of Mr. Reams as he spoke those words.

I replied swiftly, what I believed: that this is simply because they are so grateful to Jesus for what He did for their daddy.

I urged him once again, to emphasize to his children that I had nothing to do with his healing. Such miracles are always due to the power of the Holy Spirit and to His power alone. One thing God will not share with any human being, and that is the "glory."

"For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever." (Matthew 6:13)


I don't know about you, but I think this dude is weird...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Iran as it is

The spin doctors project in the press what they want you to see and believe about that demonized nation....let me show you another side of that coin.

Here are some photos of reality, a reality of humans living life just like you and I live life. The pictures here are Christmas in Iran.
Luke 2:14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Isaiah 9:6For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
A peace that the world can not give and can not take away. A peace that is not fragile, an everlasting peace. Available to all humankind.
Did you know...
The three wise men came from Iran, ancient Persia, to seek out the baby Jesus who would one day rule the world. How many men today are as wise in seeking out Jesus?
Matthew 2:1 tells us: "...Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem . . ."
We are not told exactly how many wise men came, but we know that they figured out that the King of kings would be born in Bethlehem of Judaea. They were wise enough to figure this out and to be there to worship this King.
It is interesting to note that in St. Matthew 2:11 it states: ...and when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him..." The statement of coming into a house instead of a stable (or cave) and seeing a "young child," not a newborn, leads one to think that the wise men didn't arrive until quite some time after Jesus' birth. It is believed that the wise men came from the east by following a bright star that led them to to Bethlehem. Many believe that these gifts brought to the Christ Child by the wise men may well have been the origin of our present-day custom of gift giving at Christmas - or as may people believe it is a showing of our desire to emulate the unselfishness of Christ. Whatever the origin, the practice has become universal. There are those in Iran that celebrate Christmas to this day!
Happy Birthday Jesus!

This is the world’s tiniest Bible

Researchers from Technion, Israel’s Institute of Technology, were able to pack the 3,08,428-word Hebrew Bible – known to most as the Old Testament – on a 0.5 millimetre square, said Ohad Zohar, who directed the project.

Shekinah Fellowship: The People Speak Up

Shekinah Fellowship: The People Speak Up

I Believe in Miracles

This is a testimony of a miracle that Kathryn told...
If you asked Kathryn what was the most remarkable healing she recalls, this is what she would have told you.

Revelation 12:11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony...

The four-year-old child had just arrived home from the Miracle Service. Upon entering the house she rushed up excitedly to the picture of the last supper."That's Him, Grandma," she exclaimed, pointing to the standing figure in the painting. "That's Jesus! I saw Him over at Miss Kuhlman's today."The small girl had been taken to the service that afternoon by her grandmother-one of the rare occasions that she had been taken out in public for many weeks, so appalling was her appearance.

Some eight months before, little Amelia had awakened one morning with what appeared to be patches of wet rash on her armes and legs. Before the week was out, her entire body was covered with running sores.The first doctor to whom she was taken diagnosed the trouble as eczema. He prescribed treatment, but her condition continued to worsen. As the days went on, the sores began to bleed badly, and her whole body had to be encased in cloths. No water could touch her, and she had to be cleansed as gently as possible, with oil. Her arms were wrapped in bandages, and unable to bend them, they hung straight at the child's side. As her grandmother says: "Her whole skin was cracked open. Blood and pus constantly oozed out. She was in continual pain, and it was torture for her to have the dressings changed. She screamed if anyone came near her."

It grew impossible to comb her hair, so covered with sores was her scalp. She had no eyebrows whatsoever and her eyelids had been eaten away with sores. Her ears were actually rotting away, and one ear seemed literally to be falling off, so devored was it by disease. In the early stages of her disease she had been able to play with other children, but now her appearance revolted them and not only did they shun her, they were not allowed by their parents to visit her.

Before her face and head became so badly ravaged, her mother had tried to take her on a streetcar, but even then no one would sit beside her, and were reluctant to use even the seats adjacent to her. Young as she was, Amelia was pathetically concious of the horror she engendered in others. She did not know why people stared, then turned away with an expression in their eyes she did not understand. It made her intensely unhappy. She would often cry and say to her mother, "Why doesn't anyone like me?," until the time came that she was virtually never taken out of the house. As long as she was able, she played around her own home. When her mother let her help with the household chores to keep her occupied, she was pleased and proud. But even this had to be stopped as it became increasingly painful for the child to move and impossible for her to bend her arms. Doctor after doctor was consulted. They disagreed on diagnosis, but were in unanimous agreement on one point: whatever the malady was, it was the worst skin ailment they had ever encountered in their practice of medicine.

Finally one of the physicians on the case suggested to the family that Amelia be taken to the cancer clinic. Her grandmother had said to him that day, "Prayer helps, too," and the doctor had nodded. It was at this point, while awaiting an appointment at the clinic, that Grandma gave voice to a desire she had long felt: she asked permission of the child's mother to take Amelia to one of Miss Kuhlman's services. A devout Roman Catholic, as was the entire family, the grandmother had become interested in the Kuhlman ministry through the radio broadcasts. She had herself attended several services at which she felt she had been greatly helped.

Amelia's mother not only granted permission to take the child, but also agreed to pray at home during the hours of the service on the following day.The little girl had been brought up in a religious household, and she was a child of simple and complete faith in Our Lord and His ability to perform miracles. She went to the service that afternoon as the faithful go to Lourdes-confident and expectant that she would be healed so that she would not hurt any more and could play once more with her little friends: so that she could go places with her mother and ride the streetcars and people would smile and want to sit beside her and not turn away with funny expressions on their faces. But above all, as she confided to her grandmother, "I want to see Jesus.""When I asked my son to drive us to the service," the grandmother told me later, "he demurred, 'You can't possibly take her into a crowd of people, looking as she does,' he said. But I replied, ' Certainly I can-that is what this place is for. THEY won't mind.'"But Amelia's uncle was not so sure. He waited outside for them just in case.

Once inside the auditorium, even Grandma sought to cover the child's head as best she could with her coat so that those who saw her wouldn't be frightened-for as she recalls, "Her skin was now so badly cracked that you could lay a pin in each crevice. The scanty hair that remained on her head was stuck tight to her scalp, and her ears just hung, as though they were both ready to drop off."Amelia and her grandmother took their seats that afternoon in the rear of the auditorium-both totally unknown to me. During the singing toward the end of the service, Amelia poked her grandmother: "Look, Grandma," she exclaimed in loud tones, "I see Jesus up there!" "Where?" her grandmother whispered.

Heads turned in the auditorium as the child said, "Up there! At the side of Miss Kuhlman! Look at Him-Jesus up there! And see-He has His hands out."Her grandmother looked down at Amelia, and then she looked again, and her heart began to pound. The sores on the little girl's face were entirely dried up. There was no evidence of blood or pus anywhere to be seen. Her heart overflowed with joy and thanksgiving. When they left the auditorium, Amelia's uncle was waiting for them. He took one look at the little girl and nearly fainted."When we got home," reports the grandmother, "she couldn't wait to tell everyone what had happened. The thing she told was, how she had seen Jesus. The thing her family saw was, how her sores were all dried up. Her father took one look and cried 'A MIRACLE!' "

"I said nothing to anyone-I just wanted to make sure that everything was all right before I said anything about it."The following week Amelia was again taken to the auditorium. In the middle of the service, the scabs covering her face and head and body began to drop off. "They came off her like snow falling," her grandmother said-"and I was embarrassed-for they fell all over some lady's clothes. But most of all I was thankful, and the whole time I was praising the Lord."

Thus was Amelia completly and permanently healed. She was greatful to Jesus from the bottom of her little heart, but she was not at all suprised, for she had known all along that He could and would perform the miracle.The little girl's skin was now flawless. There was no sign of a sore; no indication of a scab; no marks of any scarring. Within a short time her washed and combed hair made a golden halo around her radient little face. Her eyebrows became full and well marked; her eyelids and ears were fully restored. One thousand people saw the condition of this child and witnessed her healing which the doctors call a miracle.

Amelia's case has moved me as much as anything that has ever happened in this ministry, and not solely because of the physical healing, of which I have seen so many equally remarkable, but because of her unquestioning faith; her unswerving certainty of the reality of the vision she had had of Jesus; and the tenacity with which she has clung, over the seven years since her healing, to her original story. In the begining, friends and neighbors, although they could not deny the healing, either accused the child of making up the story or accused the grandmother of putting the idea in the child's head.

Her mother and father were at first convinced that the whole thing had been a product of a child's over-active imagination. They talked to her at length and questioned her closely, but nothing they could say could shake her insistence that she had indeed seen the Lord.She still comes often to the services and from time to time, I, too, have closely questioned her.

"Did you really see Jesus?" I asked again only recently to the radiant, lovely-looking eleven-year-old girl she has become. "And where was Jesus?" "He was standing right over there by you!" "What did He look like?" I queried once again. "Like the picture of the sacred heart, and His arms were outstretched," she said."Are you positive you saw Him?" Her face aglow, she answered, "Oh, yes, it is the realest thing in my whole life!""How long did He stand there?"

"At least five or ten minutes," came her reply, "long after the singing had stopped and you had finished your prayer." She smiled then, as she said, "Oh, Miss Kuhlman, I'll never forget it as long as I live!" The experience of this little girl was clearly not imagination or an hallucination or a delusion, but a true vision. To a tiny, faith-filled child of four, who wanted more than anything in the world to see her Saviour, Jesus had revealed Himself.

To those who persist in believing, that it is my faith which is in some way responsible for the miracles occurring under this ministry, and that my prayers carry more weight than the prayers of others, I offer Amelia's case as only one among many, in refutation of this totally mistaken notion.I point out that at the time of this child's healing, I did not even know that the child was at the service, and therefore did not offer a special prayer for her. I did not see her until after she had received her healing-when I heard a voice outburst, "Look Grandma, I see Jesus up there!" It was only then that I ran my eyes quickly over the auditorium to determine where that small but penetrating voice was coming from, and finally saw, in the arms of some woman, a little girl gestulating in my direction.

It was through the prayers of this child, not mine, that the power of God was released. And it was in response to the simple faith of a little child, not mine, that Jesus lay His hand upon her small body. I pray with everything within me, that no one shall ever see Kathryn Kuhlman in this ministry, but only the Holy Spirit.Dear God, give to us the simple faith that little children know-the faith to believe in the Living Person and Power of Jesus: the faith to look for Miracles upon this earth below. For if we wear this simple faith wrapped like a cloak around us, we will be blessed as children are, and it is then that we will not only know ABOUT LIFE-we will know HOW TO LIVE LIFE!