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Apr 08, 2009
RON

On my birthday, I awoke and was attacked by the enemy.  I was feeling especially remorseful for past sin. As is my custom, I walked in to my bathroom and reached for my daily verse/devotional thought calendar and prayed as I flipped the page to the date of my birthday, “LORD–what do you have for me today?” It was 2 Samuel 12:13 where David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die." After I read it, I hear that still small voice say, “Happy birthday, Ron”. This was a definite gift from the Holy Spirit, a birthday present I will never forget and that will never grow old.

05 AM
Mar 18, 2009
Ron

On my birthday, I awoke and was attacked by the enemy and was feeling especially remorseful for past sin. As is my custom, I walked in to my bathroom and reached for my daily verse/devotional thought calendar and prayed as I flipped the page to the date of my birthday, “LORD – what do you have for me today?” It was 2 Samuel 12:13 where David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, "The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die. After I read it, I hear that still small voice say, “Happy birthday, Ron”. This was a definite gift from the Holy Spirit, a birthday present I will never forget and that will never grow old.
 

04 AM
Feb 25, 2009
RAY

Though I shouldn’t have been, but I was caught off guard.

For the last 7 years or so I have been reawakened to the Gospel through the ministry of Ransomed Heart.  That means that I understand, believe and war against the attack of the Enemy – “We live in a world at war” & “Every movement toward God will be opposed.”   For the last year, through a very long stretch of unemployment and financial difficulties (many of my own making), God has been transforming me, drawing me closer to His heart.  God is bringing my wife and I through a turbulent time that threatened our 20 year marriage and is transforming us both individually and as a couple. 

Our pastor is doing a series called “Thrive”.  Essentially, how to thrive during turbulent times.  This past Sunday he asked that I do a question/answer session with him in front of the congregation.  “Not too big of a deal”, just 10 minutes or so of some background and what it has looked like to walk with God through it all so far – it’s definitely NOT over.  There is so much I wanted to say but I focused on -  “I am dearly loved” (Rom 8:38-39), “We live in a world at war and every movement toward God will be opposed” (1 Pet 5:7-9), and the “Daily-ness of my walk” (Matt 6:33-34 & the Daily Prayer).  I prayed before the service and over the message that I would get out of the way and that God would say and do His will through our talk.  Everything went very well during the service but then I got hammered.

 It started out as a subtle feeling of “That didn’t go very well did it?” and over the course of the day it moved to what I can only describe as a haze or mist over my spirit.  Like I was in a fog spiritually and mentally.  Looking back, it was primarily Diminishment and Doubt – “That was a waste”, “It didn’t really help anyone”, “You have nothing valuable to give to anyone”, etc.  That opened the door to Frustration, Anxiety, Fear and Confusion – “You shouldn’t have done that”, “It just stirred the pot with Deb and got her upset”, “What are you really doing with your life”, “What a jerk you are”, etc.  All very subtle, slowly pinning my heart down.  All the while my heart was crying out “NOT TRUE!”, like a drowning man desperately struggling for his last breath before going under; and I, not fully recognizing what was going on, trying to hold on, in my own power, to what I knew was objective truth.

And yet I still I didn’t recognize the warfare … all day Sunday as it snuck up on me; little by little.  Sunday night I slept but it was fitful and I awoke tired and fully engulfed a couple hours early at 4am.  I didn’t want to go to work, really struggled getting ready, pushed myself into the car and then … it hit me … I was under attack.  I normally pray The Daily Prayer as I drive into work every morning, have been for 5 or 6 years.  As I turned my heart and my mind toward God, not even starting the prayer, just turning to him – clarity came.  I was under attack. 

And I prayed.  Prayed as I have only seldom done before with power and anger.  Yes, anger.  Not rage but anger that the Enemy and his agents were trying to take me out.  I brought the Name and Authority of Christ and the full work of Christ against Diminishment and Doubt first and then went against the “hangers-on”.  I was loud, REALLY loud, and by the time I got to work, less than 30 minutes later, I was free.

There is more to the story – the Enemy went after my wife and my pastor as well.  More battle to come I am sure and no more “Nice little life” … “Open war is upon me, whether I would risk it, or not”.

03 AM
Jan 19, 2009

Insomnia has been plaguing me for the last year.  It’s all because of useless worry.  I’m a fixer.  It’s hard for me to let go. 

My dear mom had a stroke and every night I desperately prayed over and over again, “God, what do I do?  I’m a speech pathologist…should I work with her myself?  Find a different rehab program?  Hire someone to come into the home?  I’m listening, God!  Please tell me!”

I had prayed this over and over again, but rarely was quiet enough to hear an answer. 

Finally, I shut up.  And the answer was there.  “Rest.  Just rest.” 

That’s just like the God I know.  He rarely tells me what I’m expecting.  It’s always something different. 

Rest.  Just trust in Him.  It’s not up to me to fix things.  Just rest.  It’s 2 a.m. for heaven’s sake!

I rolled over and went to sleep…safe in His care and His promise that if I come to Him, he will give me rest.  And my mom.  And my family. 

Months later, I can see he’s been working.  He hasn’t “fixed” my mom like I envisioned, but he has given her peace and contentment.  And he gave our whole family a great gift this Christmas when my mom said, “I’m most thankful…that…I am alive and here.”

Rest.  Just rest.  And trust God.

10 AM
Dec 15, 2008

Through the years, especially since having a family I have tried to find ways to make extra money. Usually I do it and it doesn’t work, or it wasn’t something I should have done in the first place. So it seemed quite natural to talk to a friend while I was at graduate school about his thing he had going--refilling candy machines in the area on a regular basis. It appeared legitimate and I wanted to get started, but something told me not so fast. Around a corner from the basement apartment we were renting was a road that went in between two apple orchards. I lived in the “Fruit Belt” of southwest Michigan with fruit orchards and vineyards all along the countryside. In order to keep myself from getting burned out from all the schoolwork, walking was vitally important, especially down this lonely road where, when I talked out loud to God, no one was usually near to hear the conversations. Early one morning I had made the turn back toward home and we were talking about this potential candy machine venture. I plainly asked, “Do You want me to do this?” And if the actual physical body of the Father Himself was there, I would have heard the word: “No.” It was as plain as the daylight I was in--God has spoken and He didn’t want me refilling candy machines. The walk home was the most peaceful walk I had taken in a long time. I’m here to tell you that when you hear God speak with that kind of clarity--and you obey what is said--there is no peace like that!

05 AM
Sep 24, 2008

I was flying from Durban to Johannesburg, SA for a ministry trip. As hubby and I sat down, I was reading, minding my own business and I had this impression that the guy sitting next to us was worried about his kids' future. Not knowing quite how to approach him, I asked God what to do. Then I felt I should ask him whether he has any kids, if the question was affirmative I felt I should ask him what they wanted to be when they grew up. Turns out he has three kids. He totally opened up about the one wanted to be a lawyer, the other a formula one racing driver, the other one was just too small. Then I shared what I had from God. He was so encouraged, he didnt have a personal walk with Jesus, but was both delighted and shocked that I could know such details about him without knowing him. God was just so amazing in how he showed me how to handle this man. It really blessed me as well and stretched my faith to trust God to speak again in the lives of strangers so that He can be revealed.

04 AM
Sep 24, 2008
RON

I was camping a couple of weekends ago with my family and was reading "Walking with God" one morning after breakfast. I had read the part about God speaking through nature. I stopped, put the book down and asked, "LORD, would you speak to me through nature or is that just a John Eldredge thing?" About 10 seconds after I asked the question, I see a bird fly into a bush right in front of me and starts eating the little berries. I ask, "Was that something for me?" I then hear, "I provide for you". And I instantly think about the verse in Matthew 6. Another few seconds go by and I hear a woodpecker start going nuts (I had not heard it until then). In my heart, "My love for you is relentless". I ask, "Is that it or do good things come in 3's?" Just then our dog barks and I think, "God is watching over me." It had to be one of those God-incidences. What a blessing to hear a personal message from a personal God!

04 AM
Sep 24, 2008

I am a 17 year old girl who will be going to college in the fall, so naturally I am struggling with sin and peer pressure. I've been feeling in a rut latley and I needed inspiration. So I went to the library and saw your book. Something tugged at my heart to purchase the book and I am so glad I did! I had a quiet time with God after reading the first 30 pages or so. I heard him say Psalm 37 and Luke 4. I really have been struggling with finding the right group of friends and when I read this Psalm it was amazing. Luke reminded me of why I am here and what Jesus went through to put me here.

04 AM
Jul 13, 2008
JIM

Just read John's blog entry on how God spoke to him through a ketchup bottle and it reminded me of a similar incident a few years ago.  I was on my knees, praying, between two beds in a hotel room while on a layover (I'm a commercial airline pilot.)  I had been wrestling with the Holy Spirit for a while that morning concerning fasting.  I'd been struggling with the issue for several days, feeling that I was being called to a 10 day fast.  Now, for a guy like me who HATES fasting, I would have preferred to have been tossed out the emergency exit at 37,000 feet because the agony is over much more quickly.  And, I reasoned, my passengers had a right to expect a "full-up" pilot, not one hampered by the tortures of fasting.  I finally decided that I could do a 10 day fast if I could drink fruit juice during that time.  That seemed reasonable; no protein, nothing solid, just fruit juice.  And LOTS of it, I figured.  So, I was about to declare the issue settled when I heard that internal whisper, "What's that by your foot?"  I realized that my foot had been moving an object around under the adjacent bed and it hadn't struck me, until then, that it probably didn't belong there.  So, I turned around and fished it out.  It was a plastic bottle of Lipton Brisk Natural Lemon Flavor Iced Tea.  Sort of a strange thing to find under a hotel room bed.  The Spirit whispered again, "Turn it around."  I gave it about a half turn and my eyes fell on the words printed at the top of the label by the bar code..."Contains No Fruit Juice."  I had nothing but water for the next 10 days.  And an undeniable assurance that I was doing what my Lord wanted.  What an amazing God we serve that He knows what's written on every bottle ever manufactured... and everything else as well!

08 AM
Jul 02, 2008
SUE

When I feel a distance between myself and God sometimes all it takes to reconnect is to take a walk in His creation. The touch of breeze on my face, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the cry of a bird in the air… all bring me back to relationship. You can’t deny His presence in the midst of all that he’s created.

05 PM