God in my life

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?" (Matt.7:11). The giving and receiving gifts is on everyone's mind in December, the month of Christmas. Uppermost in our thoughts should be the gifts from God. We miss out on a lot of His gifts if we don't have a close relationship with Him. Some things we just take for granted, unaware He is reaching out to us. It is at Christmas we acknowledge the greatest gift of all: His Son Jesus. We read of the birth of Jesus in the Book of Luke. He was born of a virgin because not one drop of a baby's blood comes from the mother. The blood comes from the father. Jesus was God's Son.

It is at Easter that we are most aware of the death of Jesus, dying for our sins. He endured the wrath that we should endure, that we justly deserve. I think a lot of people fail to reckon how deserving of the wrath of God we really are. But God in His mercy welcomes us into His family now and forever. This gift of mercy is not automatic nor inherited. You must ask for it and accept it by believing; pray to God asking forgiveness of your sins; turn to Christ, in faith give your life to Him; receive Him as your Lord and Savior; promise to follow Him all the days of your life. You will have been born again, from above. The moment you do this, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you.

Jesus said in John 14:16, "I will pray the Father and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." Verse 26: "The Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things." In John 16:7, Jesus said to the disciples, "It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you." He was foretelling them of His death and resurrection. The Christian life is Christ's living out His life in and through our lives. We are to carry on His work; keep telling the story; testify of our adventures with God.

As Mitzie, my Sunday School teacher, explained Ephesians 4, she shed a fresh, new light upon God's Word for me. Excerpts from verses 1, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, & 15:

"…walk worthy of the vocation, wherewith ye are called…one God and Father of all…and in you all…unto every one of us is given grace (unmerited love and favor of God) according to the measure of the gift of Christ…when He ascended up on high, He gave gifts unto men…some evangelists; some pastors and teachers (mine is writing)…for the work of the ministry…speaking the truth in love (being sincere)."

God has given us gifts (talents) to serve Him; that we may be holy in an unholy world. We join the apostles as they said, "We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard." (Acts 4:20). God makes known His presence in the everyday events of our lives.

Think back over your day and consider when God spoke or revealed His presence. How did you sense it? It is often between the lines and in the empty places where we see and hear God. All around us we see multitudes--in hurricanes, in earthquakes, tsunamis, wars, acts of terrorists--not ready to face eternity. No time to waste. God supplies our needs--the words and opportunities to carry out His will; to tell about Jesus and the way to eternal life.

How do you get a close relationship with God? The same way you cultivate a close friendship with another person--by spending time with them; talking and sharing your lives. Throughout the day, I have brief conversations with Him. I am just an ordinary person. My "Happenings" are not personal accomplishments, but just God's speaking to me through our every day adventures and my sharing them with you. They are not triumphs, but examples of His miraculous power. The events in my life are not just coincidences, but God's Holy Spirit pouring out countless large and small blessings. I am only an instrument writing words of faith and hope that He has placed in my heart. He shows His love to you also, hungering for your fellowship in return; longing for your acknowledging Him in prayers.

Here are a few recent miracles of God in my life:

I had to leave home at 8:00 a.m. on a Sunday morning to travel to Galveston to pick up my granddaughter Sarah and friends returning from a Caribbean cruise. I backed my car out of the garage and punched the remote to close the door. Nothing happened. I shook it; slapped it; pressed it again. Nothing! There were new batteries in the kitchen. I got out of my car; unlocked the kitchen door; turned off the alarm; flipped the light switch. No lights! Of course, the switch to close the garage door wouldn't work either. I am utterly amazed and in awe of God's presence. The moment I backed my car out of the garage, all the electric power in my neighborhood went out! I could continue on my trip to Galveston! Before I left, I asked my neighbor across the street to close my garage door whenever the lights came on again.

My ice maker quit working in my refrigerator. I'm such a procrastinator! I couldn't decide whether to call Sears to repair it or buy a new refrigerator. I put trays in the freezer side for ice. Two weeks passed. I returned home from grocery shopping. As I opened the kitchen door, I heard the sound of ice falling into the bin! The timing, amazing! God fixed my ice maker!

My Hoover Vacuum cleaner wouldn't work. The nearest dealer in the Yellow Pages was 7613 Westheimer, west of the Galleria, quite a ways from my house. Three people were in line in the store, with only one clerk to wait on them. When it was my turn, I explained the problem. The repair shop was just behind a partition in the small store in a shopping strip center. No one came into the store after me. He had time to make repairs while I waited! Thank You, God.

My den has a four-bulb light fixture below a ceiling fan at each end of the den. They are turned on by a switch on both east and west walls. On this day, they would not come on. I talked to two men about the problem. How could eight lights and two switches all go out at the same time? It was baffling. One man insisted the problem was in the breakers. I argued that the television, two floor lamps and night lights all worked. I called an electrical company. They said it would cost $95. to come out and work one hour minimum; $23.75 each 15 minutes thereafter. I agreed to see them on Thursday morning at 9:00. My son Ronnie came over on Wednesday. I told him about our Awesome God taking care of the above problems. I said, "But I don't know how He is going to fix my den lights! They've been out of order several days." Ronnie walked over and pulled the chains under the fixtures. Halleluiah! Lights came on! He'd been helping me with mail-outs and had the fans on. We worked with floor lamps. If the fixtures are turned off with chains, they must be turned on by chains. I've lived in this house since 1967 and didn't know that! God sent Ronnie over in time for me to cancel the electricians!

Granddaughter Rachel came over to go to lunch with me at the Olive Garden. When we walked out to my car in the garage, there was a standing stream of water from the water-softener closet at the back to the front doors. I said, "I don't even want to look in that closet! There's no telling what happened. Let's go to lunch." She said, "I'll send Mike over to see if he can fix it."

She and Mike work in Rockport, Texas and came to Houston for this weekend. They both came over the next day. Mike found a one-inch split in one of the hoses to the water-softener, and fixed it. What a blessing that God sent them my way exactly when I needed them!

The greatest miracle of all is the ending of my "Happenings" with Leslie Plumbing Co.

Since I planned to be out of town all of the month of September, I decided to wait until I returned to either repair or replace the toilet in the master bathroom. It would flush if I held the flusher in and counted to 8 before releasing it! Two days before I would leave town, I flushed it, forgetting it wasn't working right. No problem. It flushed! After three weeks following the third trip by the plumber to unsuccessfully fix the problem, and advising I needed $300-$400 new parts, the toilet was working! I have no idea in this world how come it started working. It frightened me! I felt like I was standing in the presence of God! I was bewildered! I said a prayer of thanks to my Heavenly Father who knows my dilemmas, and takes care of them in astonishing ways. How can I explain? What more can I say? I can only praise Him and testify to His goodness.

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