Archive for March, 2006

It happened today

I got a phone call from the printer of my BNI chapter who is only a few mintues’ drive from me. She had a Pastor in there who wanted some typing done so she sends him to me. Turns out he’s one of the Sudanese from Heatherton CRC where my husand and I used to attend for 10 years and which we left only a year ago*. He needs a Rules of Association typed for the new Sudanese church being established at Heatherton. He, and the senior pastors there had been trying to find a copy of this document on the church head office website but it’s not there so he had to find someone to type a copy from the example he had – what are the odds of him going to Highett only to be directed to me? Totally awesome! KMT

*As an addendum, I should explain that Graham and I shifted to another church because of a direction from God and a change in our Ministry. We loved the years we spent at Heatherton and have many friends there – with a daughter marrying a son of one of the Pastors from there later this year.

Reunion

Author: Richard Burley

I had a most amazing encounter yesterday. I went to go get a hair cut… much overdo! I struck up a conversation with the Stylist (named Glenda) that was cutting my hair. She asked me about the book that was reading (i.e. The Emerging Churches by Gibbs and Bolger). This lead to her telling me all about the AG church that she goes to. She was very excited about it. I was moved by their missional heart and the fact that they have special services for the incoming numbers of immigrants from Nigeria, India, Somalia and a few others that I dont recall all in those languages! Very impressive. She told me how her brother is the Pastor.

I told her about Deb and my experience in Vineyard and how I”ll always be grateful for what I learned there. She said that she has a relative who is the Pastor of the Vineyard in King Wood Texas. Whoah! Hold the presses. A Vineyard in King Wood. There has got to only one Vineyard in Kingwood… and I happen to know the Pastor as well!! I started laughing and asked her “Is it Bob Towell?”. She said it was and we were both laughing. I told her that Bob and Joyce were and remain to be two of our favorite people in Church leadership and they were our Pastors in Austin! She said that her Brother the Pastor is married to Joyces sister. Amazing!

Glenda and I both agreed that this had to be a God’-incidence. Though I dont know yet what it might mean or lead to. I haven”t seen Bob in over 4 years. I sure would like to see he and Joyce again. And who knows… with this connection I might. ‘Course, now that I’m back in Texas… I could just drive down to Kingwood one of these days and visit.

Where might this lead??? Who knows. But God is good… and He seems to really love reunions. I am really hoping to see them again.

You Mean the World to Someone!

Author: Alissa

This is a story about an actual experience of mine. I have changed the names to protect people’s privacy, but the story is true. It was more than a coincidence – it was a God-incidence.

I was up late one night while in the hospital, and I was talking to Megan, one of the staff, about suicide. I was feeling very suicidal at the time. Anyway, Megan was telling me she had a half-brother who killed himself, and it had affected her deeply. She then proceeded to tell me a philosophy of hers: She believed that each person’s life was deeply important to someone. She used a chair as an analogy: “See that chair over there?” Megan said. “Well, that chair make not make a difference to you or me, neither of us may care about it, but I believe that it DOES make a difference to someone. Someone would miss that chair if it were gone.” I quickly dismissed this analogy as ridiculous, and went off to bed.

The next day, management came upstairs with new chairs. As they were removing the old chairs, Lindsey pointed to the EXACT SAME CHAIR and cried out, “NO, you can’t take that chair, that’s Freddy!!” Although she was just being silly, Lindsey’s statement really struck me. It was as if God was telling me, “See, the chair DID matter to someone. And so do you.” Remember, “you may not mean something to the world, but you mean the world to someone!”

From the Breast Cancer Action Nova Scotia

God-incidence Posted By: drdawg

There are co-incidences and God-incidences. Our TV show was broadcast last week so now it’s kaput. But in our own hometown, it didn’t come on. Rorie and I told everyone we knew to tune in, and at 9:00am last Thursday another show came on. Needless to say, we were disappointed and somewhat embarrassed since we had asked so many people to watch. Called the local cable station and they said “Oh yeah, we got the tape but decided to put it on NEXT week.” Amazing. Anyway, Rorie was in a room this morning with a lady who was a BC patient and she had 3 drains and was scared and had lots of questions and after talking with Rorie she said “You know, you ought to be on TV.” And Rorie looked at the clock and it was 9:00am and Poof! she hit the remote and there she was on TV!. A God-incidence. We are still laughing. If the show just touched this one lady it was worth it. Sometimes things just work out. DD

Another Story

The web is full of God-incidence stories. I’ve just come across this one….

Author: Shelley Marshall

A call from a fan, Cindy, came in today from West Virginia. What a doll she is. The excitement in her voice made me really appreciate the gift God has given me to write the books people like Cindy read. This beautiful young woman invited me to help their young people’s group celebrate their third anniversary. Because the group was named after my second book, Young, Sober, & Free, Cindy thought she had ask if I could attend. This is the trippy part. It just so happens that I am scheduled to be in West Virginia, not 50 miles from her group, around the date of the group’s anniversary! If I just move my flight up by a few days I can make it. Now, what are the odds of my schedule just happening to coincide with their anniversary? Pretty good I say, when one believes in God-incidences.

What about you? What God-incidences have happened to you lately? Some say that “coincidence” – is the word God uses when He wants to be anonymous. But He cannot fool me! I see my Higher Power behind all the serendipitous events of my life. Where do you see you see God in your life? Share with us, I love the God-incidence stories.

What Do Angels Look Like?

Author: Janet Seever

A gray blanket of haze hung over Manila. Although it was only 6:30 a.m., the day would be another hot, humid one my blouse was already sticking to me. Dreading the trip ahead, I wished I could make the nightmare of the past few days vanish by closing my eyes.

Weaving through traffic, the Filipino driver was taking my co-worker, Helena and me to the bus station. Manila traffic was as unnerving now as it had been when our family had arrived in the Philippines five months earlier to do mission work.

I settled back against the seat, my mind whirling with recent events. I hadn’t slept well for several nights and my body was running on adrenaline.

My husband, Dennis, had spent several days in the modern Manila Heart Hospital, undergoing tests for shortness of breath and chest pains. Doctors discovered that his previous damage from rheumatic fever twenty years earlier had now doubled.

The cardiologist’s words ran through my mind like a continuous tape loop: Atrial fibrillation. Sixty percent leakage past the mitral valve. Congestive heart failure. Fluid in the lungs. A dangerously enlarged heart. The cardiologist told Dennis he needed surgery within a month, or he would face certain death. Even now she didn’t know if the surgery would be successful. She offered no promises, no guarantees.

Today’s bus trip would take me back to the little barrio (community) of Lantap, 180 miles north of Manila where we had been learning Ilocano, one ofthe national languages, for the past five weeks. I needed to pack up all ofthe belongings we had left behind when we hurriedly c ame to Manila forDennis’s tests.

My thoughts drifted to Dennis, my husband of ten years, and our two children who were staying in the mission guest house in Manila while I was making my three-day trip. Dennis would be spending his time resting while other people watched Tim, six, and Rachel, three.

Lord, be with them today; keep Dennis safe.

Over the past few days I had looked at dozens of Bible verses on peace and comfort, but God’s peace still eluded me. My one question was: would I be a widow at thirty-nine?

“Lord, I know You want me to trust You, but I’m finding it hard. I’m so afraid. Don’t let Dennis die.

“I recognize that corner,” said Helena, jolting me back to the present. “The bus station will be on our right in about three blocks.” She would be traveling back on the same bus with me.

True to Helena’s words, our driver soon pulled into the bus yard. As we got our suitcases out of the trunk, I turned to Helena. “I’m glad you’ll be on the bus with me.”

“It’s not really a difficult trip once you’ve made it as many times as I have,” said Helena. “The Banaue bus is the one we want.” She indicated one in a long line of buses.

Since we were early, we had our choice of seats and found two toward the back.

The 180-mile trip ahead of us would take about eight hours with many stops along the way. The road through the mountains of Luzon had numerous hairpin turns. All scenery along the way looked as if it could be made into picture postcards, but today I wasn’t interested in sight seeing.

I closed my eyes, feeling exhausted. I was trying so hard to trust God, but the anxious thoughts kept crowding my mind. “Lord, show me that You are withme in a tangible way. Help me trust You.”

Other passengers were now beginning to fill the bus. I looked up just as two young men entered. One was carrying a guitar and both had a lapel pins. As they came closer, I could see one pin read “Trust God” and the other was across within a fish. Were they Christians?

Finding seats directly in front of us, the two men turned around to greet us They knew English well.

“Are the two of you with SIL?” asked one of the men. “Yes, how did you know?” I asked, shocked that we could be identified in a city of 20 million people.

How had they even heard of SIL, the Bible translation organization with which Helena and I were working?

“You don’t look like tourists because you don’t have cameras,” was the response. “You’re not dressed like tourists.”

One of the men, a Filipino of Chinese descent, explained he was Pastor Lim from a small church about forty miles beyond where we were going. He had met someone from SIL on a previous bus trip.

Pastor Lim’s traveling companion introduced himself as Rogel. He worked witha mission in Banaue.

Helena settled back in her seat with a magazine, while I continued my conversation with Pastor Lim. He said he was the first in his Buddhist family to become a Christian. The rest of his family had rejected him and his choice of occupation.

In answer to his question about my family, I told him my husband and two children were staying in a mission guest house in Manila.

“Why are you traveling alone?” he asked. “My husband has a serious heart condition. I need to go back and pack up our things.” Conversation with this gentle man came easily.

“God wants me to trust Him, but I’m afraid my husband might die,” I said, wiping tears from my eyes with a tissue.

“God loves you very much and is watching over your family,” Pastor Lim replied with certainty.

“Your husband will be all right.” For the next hour Pastor Lim turned around in his seat and lovingly shared Scripture and words of comfort with me. Then he prayed with me.

God’s peace, which had been eluding me, flooded over me. I felt God’s presence in this encounter with a stranger in a way I never had before.

Thanks, Lord, for showing me you care for me. I trust You. As I thought about this incident shortly afterward, questions rushed to my mind. Just who were these two men? How did they know who we were?

A Bible verse came to mind. “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some have entertained angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2 NIV). What do angels look like?

When I reached the bamboo house in Lantap, I repacked everything we owned into a crate. Then I returned to Manila by bus three days later.

Because Dennis might die, we returned to the U. S. for the surgery. There we were surrounded by our families.

Heart damage in the U.S. was rated 1 to 4, with 4 being the most serious.D octors ranked Dennis as 4 plus. However, true to Pastor Lim’s prediction, Dennis came through the surgery well. The mechanical heart valve is still working sixteen years later with no further problem.

Over the passing years, I’ve often thought about the incident on the bus.The strangers seemed as human as I am, but who understands God’s ways? Of one thing I am certain it was a God-arranged encounter. My two “angels” came with God’s message of love and comfort when I desperately needed it.

Just last year….

I was sharing with a friend on the weekend about how Graham and I came to be at our current church. We’d been talking about this blog before that and when she heard the story she told me there was another God-incident I should be sharing. I hadn’t thought of that in this way but it is true.

We’d been at our previous church for around 10 years, and our girls had grown up during that time. Graham and I had been housechurch leaders for 8 years, I’d been secretary at the church for a couple of years (until a word was spoken over me some months previously by a visiting Pastor saying that God wanted me in the business world and not working in the church office), Graham had been on the business council and we’d also been the Singles Ministry Leaders. So, we were comfortable there and had fit in well. However, I’d tried to get some business breakfasts and meetings happening – an outreach to business people. These hadn’t been successful but I couldn’t help feeling that was what I was supposed to be doing.

Over the last couple of years we’d become restless and different things that happened or were said to either of us prompted us to feel it was time to move on. We discussed this feeling of restlessness and what we should do and where would we go? A couple of business associates of mine were attending Bayside Church and I knew there was a large group of business people there – I couldn’t help wondering if that was the place? The feeling was growing that we needed to mix with other Christian business people – there were few in our church we had been attending. We decided to pray about it and perhaps go attend a service the following Sunday.

All that week every business person I met with was a Christian and attended Bayside. Some of them I’d known for a few years but I had no idea – it had not come up in our discussions until that particular week! I met a couple of business people I’d not known before – they also went to Bayside. I rang my husband and told him ‘all roads lead to Bayside’. So we attended that Sunday and on entry were handed the newsletter, sermon notes and a bookmark with a list of goals for 2005. I scanned the list and my eyes quickly picked up an item near the bottom – a goal to establish a business ministry in the church. I knew immediately we had come to our new ‘home’ church and that is where we are today. A co-incidence? I don’t think so!

God-Incidence Stories

It’s been good to see there have been a lot of readers of this new blog and I welcome you all and hope you enjoyed the read and got something out of it. I would love to hear your stories – I know that some have a story or two to share, but I’m still waiting to receive them!

In the meantime, I was chatting with a good friend from our old church and she told me of a God-Incidence that happened to her just last week – Joy will be faxing it through to me for this blog and I look forward to posting it! So, make sure you come back again soon to read Joy’s story. KMT

Links: