Ed Towne was a minister I knew of in the Chicago area when I was growing up. He was truly one of the best speakers that I had heard as a teenager. What made him unique as a speaker was that he was profoundly deaf. His pronunciation of words would give away his hearing loss, yet he spoke with power and authority. Three weeks before he died in a tragic automobile accident he wrote an article for his congregation. It was a prayer where he committed everything about himself physically to everything he knew about the Lord. Yes, he even committed his ears to the Lord, asking the Lord to help him hear the cries of the weak and less fortunate. You will be deeply moved by what Ed Towne prayed, shortly before his death. Let his prayer speak to you as you listen to it!
Put Off the Old… Put On the New
I don’t know if you’ve ever known anyone whose life was dramatically and completely changed by the power of God. Helen Gonzalez was a woman who would tell you that’s exactly happened to her. Living in Los Angeles, her husband introduced her to hard core drugs. She happened to come across a business card for a Christian drug treatment center in the LA area. Hearing the gospel of Christ for the very first time, she said that “A glimmer of home beamed into her heart”. It turned out to be her deliverance and salvation! What could the gospel do in your life?
On Being Wrong
Admitting one is wrong is not only difficult, it is nearly impossible for some. Years ago, a man told me he would prefer a “proverbial beating” to admitting he was wrong about anything. His pride was such a dominating force in his life, admitting he was wrong was simply unthinkable.
This story is about a man who came to the point of admitting he was wrong about some people in his life. For years he claimed the people at the church his wife and children attended were phonies and hypocrites. “All they want is my money”, he would say.
Cancer changed all that, especially when he started receiving cards and letters from those hypocrites. Their wishes of love and blessing broke through his pride as he faced the end of his life. Perhaps this visual story will speak to this issue in your life!
Dr. Paul Pearsall was a neuro-psychologist who died in 2007.
He wrote about the psychological changes that have happened to people who’ve
had heart transplants. His book is not without controversy, but he powerfully
describes what has happened to people’s lives emotionally and spiritually. They are not the same, once they’ve been
given a new heart.
Christ has been in the “heart transplant” business long before Paul Pearsall
wrote about it! He gives men and women
of all ages a new reason to live and hope in today’s world. Listen to what Dr. Pearsall told about an
actual transplant recipient. It will
move you deeply, especially when you recognize the heart changing abilities of
the Lord, God Almighty to recreate your heart and mine!
Brokenness (From Chuck Swindoll)
Years ago, my favorite preacher, Ben Haden from Chattanooga, Tennessee told me what he felt was the most important quality that a minister should possess. It wasn’t what I expected at all. In one word he said, “Brokenness”. Until a minister has been broken, he really has nothing to offer the Lord. That was a strong statement to a young minister who thought he “knew everything”. Ben Haden was right, brokenness is really all we do have to offer the Lord, brokenness over our sin and failure. It’s the true offering we offer the Lord. Listen to this Visual Story that tells the story told by Chuck Swindoll years ago about a young man coming to the end of his rope emotionally, physically, and spiritually in an empty church in San Diego. Perhaps his story is and could be your story. We come to the end of ourselves, and become new in Christ Jesus! Could today be the day you admit your brokenness?
This story, originally shared by Max Lucado of Texas, has spoken to hearts of many, many people. It’s one of those “unexplainable” moments in life that happen from time to time in people’s lives. It’s about a man’s mother in the last moments of her life, actually experiencing something “other worldly”. All that the son heard was his mother’s side of the conversation, experience, or revelation. It doesn’t prove anything, necessarily. Unless you happen to be someone who believes that there is something beyond this life. Then it may open your eyes to something you’ve never thought of, or even dreamed of in your history on this earth. This woman “crossed over” from this life to the next. What do you think she experienced? The Apostle Paul put it this way: “To be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord!” We all will “crossover” someday!
You may have never been in a jail or lock up, but you know
what bondage means. Bondage can take
different forms in our lives. Bondage
doesn’t have to be physical to be real.
The writer of the book of Hebrews in the New Testament said that people
can be in bondage to the “fear of death” all their lives.
is the great “slave taker” of many lives!
Not just fear of death, but the fear of life! Jesus came to take away the fear of death,
and any other fear that binds us! He is
the Deliverer; His deliverance deals with the fear that haunts you and maybe
that binds you!
Oswald Chambers write this in “My Utmost for His Highest”, updated edition. “The things that Jesus did were of the most menial of everyday tasks, and this is the indication that it takes all of God’s power in me to accomplish even the most common of tasks in His way. Can I use a towel as He did? The ordinary things in our lives reveal what we made of more quickly than anything else!” Here is a story of ordinary people doing ordinary things that God used in a miraculous way to bless others in a powerful way! Can God use us to do the same?
Our Real Need
When we talk about needs in our lives, most people think
“physical”. We live in a physical world,
we work in a physical world, and we live and die in a physical world. But not all of our needs are simply
physical; we do have “spiritual needs” in our lives. We may not acknowledge those needs, but the
time comes when we have to face those needs.
This is the powerful story of a missionary in
Peru who came to the realization that all needs are not simply physical. There is a spiritual dimension to life that
we have to come to terms with. A young
naïve new Christian introduced this professional Bible translator to the
spiritual warfare around them. He dealt
with the demonic in the only way he observed: from the Word of God! Let it speak to you!
One of the earliest verses I remember my parents quoting from
the Bible was Genesis 22:14, “The Lord will provide”. It must have been important to them, giving
up a position as a sales manager of a company in Chicago in order to enter a
Bible College to prepare for ministry!
They had two children to raise as well.
visual story is to me the epitome of someone trusting the Lord to provide. She was known by all as “Mother Teresa”, the
person in charge of a ministry in Calcutta, India. They fed 20,000 people every day, 365 days a
year! One day she was told, there is no
food to give the people. Listen to how
the Lord responded to that need. The
word provision says it all!