Monday, August 07, 2006

"IT’S SHRINKING!"

Last week we were back at our old stomping grounds, the parking lot. We were out there after a hiatus of about a month. As usual, we got the chance to preach the Gospel to a bunch of very rebellious kids. We even had the police called on us. Why? Because some kids apparently don’t like hearing about the kingdom of God. Whatever. But something cool went down that really encouraged me. I was with a new friend of ours visiting from Australia. He wanted to come see us and participate in a couple of outreaches. (Think about it, 27 hours on a plane just to come see little old us!) We’re out in the parking lot for five minutes and I see a group of kids that we had preached to several weeks before, when David Baker was in town from Mexico. They were a very loud, obnoxious bunch of God haters, violently opposed to the gospel. One of the kids even bumped me with his car to get me to move out of a parking space where I was preaching to his friends! His reward for doing that was a sermon, from me, inches from his face… ha-ha.


SAVED FROM THE BRINK OF DEATH
Remember me telling the story about the kid whose neck got snapped? Well, he’s totally fine today. He walked out of the hospital only a few hours after getting taken there by the ambulance with severe injuries. God really touched him. We were fortunate enough to reconnect with him a few weeks after that happened and witnessed to him, telling him what went down in the parking lot and how God delivered him from death. That encounter left him shaken and we were there with some words of life and prophecies about his future. He let us pray for him a few weeks ago, which was a big deal. This guy has been running with gangs for years and was pretty hardened to the things of God. But not anymore!

We see him, walk over to him and he’s a totally different person! Gone are the gang clothes, the hardened look and the terrible language. I mean, we can hardly believe that this is the same guy! Since our last encounter with him, his life has totally been transformed. His Dad, who repeatedly abused him as a child had died and he was able to bury all of that unforgiveness and anger with his Dad. The Lord had been speaking to him and providing the grace to change and change he did! He sat there and told us for 15 minutes all of the differences since our last meeting. No more gangs, no more illegal behavior, clean and on his way to being sober! Thank You Jesus! Rescued from the grave!


QUIET HATRED TURNED TO VOCAL PRAISE
But that was just the start. A friend of his, another guy that was violently opposed to the Gospel barely more than a month before, came up to us to tell us what had been going in his life. He overheard our conversation with his friend, the now ex-gang member and was compelled to us of the changes in his life. Weeks before, he just sat there while we were vilified and persecuted by his friends, adding only an occasional slur in our direction. He was a tough nut, wouldn’t even speak to us, except to cuss me out. Well, he came up to us all bubbly and excited and just started talking! He told us how he had seen a couple of miracles since we last saw him and believed in Jesus now. His neighbor invited him to a ministry facility somewhere south of Atlanta and he had actually witnessed a healing of cancer in a close, personal friend. He was totally convinced and preached to us for almost 45 minutes! The Lord had dramatically proven Himself to former this God hater, transforming him from a skeptic to a full fledged preaching believer! Very cool! So now we have another ally in the fight against the kingdom of darkness. But this time, it’s an “inside man”.

Like the Lord, I try to always save the best for last…


DOES GOD HEAL SATAN WORSHIPPERS?
We received a follow up from a guy we prayed for about six weeks ago. He is literally a Satan worshipper and with his very mean girlfriend; railed against up for over an hour the last time we saw them, assailing us with the most horrendous language you could ever imagine! They were saying things to provoke us to anger and hurled some obscene garbage at us about the Lord! Sick! Anyway, after persisting with them and totally demonstrating supernatural self control (to not punch them in the mouth), we finally started getting some information from them. The big guy turned out to have an inoperable brain tumor and the doctors had only given him another 3-6 months to live. So he was going gangbusters, drinking, partying, taking drugs like there was no tomorrow. And for him, without hope and without Jesus, there was no tomorrow. That is, until we showed up. We told him of the Kingdom of God and how God wanted to prove His love and mercy to him by healing him. It took awhile, but he finally let us pray for him, under the condition that we wouldn’t touch him. So we took what we were given and cursed the tumor, only extending our hands to him, but not touching.

While we were talking with our new preaching friend, I see the Satanist out of the corner of my eye. Not wanting to be rude to my new buddy I don’t interrupt him. The “Satanist” comes up to me and hesitantly extends his hand for a handshake, looking me right in the eye (something that he couldn’t do before) and then he tells me, “It’s Shrinking!” For a minute there, I forget what he’s talking about. In fact it takes a few minutes for me to recall the whole encounter we had with him a few weeks before (sometimes I’m slow!). But he’s excited and says it to me again, “It’s Shrinking!” Getting some more details, we find out that he had been in for another appointment since we had seen him and the tumor had shrunk dramatically! I ask him if the Lord has his attention yet and he nods in the affirmative. I tell him, “that’s awesome, now what?” You see, we made an agreement that he would give his life to Jesus if the Lord healed him. He looks dead at me and says very sincerely, “I’ll give you a call when it’s totally gone”.

I love it when they come back. (Luke 17:17)




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1 comment:

paul said...

Haha...awesome. I check your blog like I check fathersglory for new David Hogan messages and it's like a new present when there is a new post from you.

Anyway brother, you're a blessing and an encouragement!!