Category Archives: my stories

Thrown Out Of The Nest

After praying and even fasting for the healing of my marriage for more than seven years, I finally had to give in and let him have his divorce. I told him that divorce is unscriptural except in the case of adultery, which I have never committed, so I will not have anything to do with the divorce except to sign where he needed me to sign. I didn’t even get a lawyer.

I found myself home with my four children, a single mother with no education beyond high school. What to do? My former husband was sending child support and alimony but it wasn’t enough – I knew I had to go to work. But how? I wasn’t trained in anything. I had gotten married right after graduating from high school.

One day I saw in the newspaper an announcement that the government was opening a program designed to train people who had no training, to help them find a way into the labor market. I went down and registered for the program, but there were certain requisites they said, and that they would call me if and when I was accepted into the program. After a wait of several days, finally on a Friday I received the call. They told me that the income from my former husband put me over the income limit for the program. My heart just dropped.

My father said to me, “what are you going to do now?” I said, “God will provide.” I didn’t mean that as a trite quote, I believed exactly what I said.

On Monday morning I received a call from that government office telling me that there was a change in the income limit, and that put me just under the limit, so yes, I would be received into the program.

Now …the government doesn’t work on the weekends. What happened between the phone call on Friday, and the phone call on Monday morning??? I would never know. I just knew that God was behind it.

So I went down and took a two-day seminar on how to choose a job type suitable to one’s interests. Having finished that, I waited to be assigned to a placement program.

The call came. I was told that there was one opening available to me. It was a computer technology course at the local community college. I told the man that that certainly was nothing I could be interested in, and couldn’t they place me in a secretarial position, ANYTHING but computers? At the time, I didn’t know what a computer was. All I knew was that my former husband’s career was in electronics and I had seen his textbooks and that was the furthest thing I could ever have any interest in at all. PLEASE, I asked the government official, surely there’s something else I could do. No, he said, it’s the only thing available, to me. Not only that, but I would have to take tests. I’d be competing with others for one of the 16 available seats in the class.

I was terrified.

I went to my weekly prayer group and told them all of this and asked them to pray for me, to BEG God to open a different door for me, because “computer technology” was absolutely not right for me, I had no interest in those kinds of things and surely God could raise up something else, he knows me and he knows this is not right for me. We all prayed earnestly that God would open a different door.

I was notified of the date of the tests. I defiantly refused to study for them. I had been out of high school for several years and I hoped I would fail the tests. So with my heart in my stomach, I went to take the tests. Trembling.

I passed. I was given one of the 16 seats in the computer technology course.

All I could do was cry. I felt abandoned. Scared out of my wits. I wanted nothing to do with electronics. Hadn’t I gone through enough, Lord? And now this?

I arrived at the college on the first day of classes. The teacher comes in looking grumpy. Wonderful. All I need is a grumpy teacher. He began the class by snowing us over with more information than anyone could possibly digest. It felt like he dumped on us the equivalent of the entire course in one day. I went home and cried. I called my mother and told her how horrifying this was and that there’s no way I was going back. But she asked me to stick it out for one week. So …I did.

What I didn’t know was that this grueling, horrifying snow-job was purposeful. There were more than the 16 people in the class. He needed to weed out anyone who wasn’t really committed. Several people dropped out.

On the first day of the following week, it was like a different world. He was smiling. He started from the very beginning and so grounded us in the basics that we came to love the course. In fact, by the end of the course I could honestly say he was the best teacher I had ever had. He went slowly and didn’t go on until we thoroughly knew the material he had presented. Repeating, step by step. I got an A for the course. I actually cried when the course ended.

Now – I had to find a job. HOW I dreaded this part – I don’t do well under stress. Just the thought of going out job hunting was a nightmare to me. I knew I couldn’t do it and didn’t know where to start. My stomach was in knots.

God is so in-tune to our makeup, he cares about our weaknesses. I have found him to be absolutely merciful. I received a call from a company hiring in my field. Come to find out – it was the doing of my computer tech teacher. He had recommended me for the job! This was the mercy of God. HOW I thanked him, and still do.

When I look back at this story what I see most clearly is the scud marks my shoes made on the ground as the Lord literally dragged me by the shoulders to that computer course. If only I had known that this was going to be the foundation for what I would do for the rest of my working years and beyond. Every job I have had since then has been in the computer field. When I think on the mercy of the Lord, it just stuns me over and over again, I can hardly fathom it. The Scripture says he is the husband to the widow, and though my former husband was still alive, he was dead to me – and God stepped into those shoes and created something for me that I would love for the rest of my life.

My Impossible Israel Story

Love for Israel and Bible prophecy was birthed in my heart almost immediately after I was born again. It occupied my heart as nothing I had ever known before. I hoped that someday I might be able to see God’s land and his people.

One day my pastor announced that he was taking a group to Israel, and anyone interested should sign up. There was no way I could go, I was a single mother, working full time, and could never have afforded it. I ached inside as I watched people sign up and prepare to go on that tour to Israel.

Then shortly before they were due to leave, two of the people in the group became sick and told the pastor to give their tickets to anyone he wanted to. I bit my tongue as I waited to see what he would do; after all, everyone knew that I was all about Israel and Bible prophecy and I was sure he’d give me one of those tickets. But I was passed over. So I went into my bedroom and went into one of my rants before the Lord. I said to him, “Everyone in that church knows that I’m all about Israel and prophecy and should have had one of those tickets, and you certainly could have arranged it! I can’t believe you didn’t! To the other people in the group, it was to be just a fun trip, they could have been going anywhere. To me it would have meant everything. I can’t believe YOU passed me over!”

The next day I was driving home and I can tell you exactly where I was, going over the railroad tracks near the Winslow hill, when the Lord spoke to me. He said, “You didn’t ask me for two weeks in Israel.” Stunned, I remembered that I had told him long ago that I wanted to go and STAY in Israel, like for a couple years. What does the Lord mean? Could it be ….??? I was dumbfounded.

Later, it was November now and I was sitting at my desk one day when the Lord said to me, “You have one year to prepare.” Don’t you just love it when the Lord drops something into your heart like that and you have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about??? I asked what he meant by that, and got no answer. So I began turning that over and over in my mind wondering what on earth I was to prepare FOR. Finally, I concluded that maybe the Lord is going to take me home and he’s giving me a year to get everything in order so my family won’t have to afterwards. So I started doing exactly that. Cleaning drawers and closets, giving away a lot of things, throwing out a lot of “stuff.” Gradually over that year I got everything in order so that if the Lord took me, my family wouldn’t have much to do to sort things out.

Exactly one year later, the following November, my sister called from California telling me she was sending me tickets to fly out there and spend a couple weeks with her. What a surprise! My three older children were out of the nest now, and my youngest was away at the university. I got excited and eagerly went. Just before leaving, I received an unexpected check, I can’t even remember now from where, and so I asked the Lord where he would have me send the tithe. He answered, “to the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.” I wasn’t very familiar with that organization, but I had seen it’s founder, Jan Willem van der Hoeven on tv recently so I knew the organization the Lord was speaking of. I mailed the tithe. And went to California. My daughter was still coming home weekends, but I knew she’d be ok alone for two weekends.

In California, my sister took me to a Messianic prayer group. I guess I must have spoken about Israel, (could I talk about anything other than Israel?) and one lady looked at me and said, “Looks like you’re supposed to BE in Israel.” I answered her that, number one, I didn’t have the money to go, and number two I couldn’t go anyway because I still had a daughter coming home weekends. And I thought no more about it.

A day or two later, my sister and I were sitting at her dining table when the phone rang. It was my daughter. She was hysterical. Her boyfriend had broken up with her and she needed to leave because she saw him everywhere and she thought she’d lose her mind if she didn’t get away. She asked if she could go live with her father who lived in another state. My heart was aching for my daughter and I told her that yes, if she felt that’s what she needed to do, of course she could go. We talked and she cried and I cried, and we talked some more and cried some more. When we finally got off the phone, my sister who had been sitting there and saw all this said to me …”Well that’s one obstacle down, isn’t it?” I just looked at her, I didn’t “get it” at first. Huh??? “You know,” she said, “you had two reasons you couldn’t go to Israel, and now one has been taken care of for you.” I just stared at her, astonished. But oh well, on second thought …the other obstacle was just as big. If you don’t have the money to go, it’s impossible. Not only that, but I don’t know anyone in Israel, so where would I go?

Well the visit with my sister was over and I flew back home. The next morning I went to church as usual on a Sunday morning. After the service, the church secretary came to me and asked me to come into the office. We went in and she shut the door. What on earth??? She told me I’d better sit down. So I sat down. She took an envelope off the desk and handed it to me. She said, “Someone who insists on remaining anonymous came to me and gave me this check for you. The stipulation is that it can only be used to go to Israel.”

I felt like I had been hit by lightning. I couldn’t move. And the tears started flowing. I was just in total shock.

Who could have given me this check? I never found out.

I went home, and when I got to my bedroom and my mind began to clear, I remembered what my sister had said, “well that’s one obstacle that’s been taken care of for you.” And now …the second obstacle had been taken care of, just within days!!! My head was spinning. I could hardly take it all in.

The next day, I went to the Lord and asked how can this take place? I don’t know anyone in Israel. Where would I go?

Several weeks passed. One day my friend Lori told me that Jan Willem van der Hoeven from the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem was coming to Maine to speak, and did I want to go down with her to Scarborough to hear him? “Sure, I said. Love to.” This was odd. It was winter here, and you don’t go to Maine in the winter. I wonder why he’s coming here now? Doesn’t make sense. I had totally forgotten that the Lord had had me send the tithe to this organization immediately before my trip to California. I was clueless.

We were going with a few other friends and one of them said to me, “bring him your resume.” I answered, “huh???” “Yes, bring him your resume!” I said, “I don’t even know him, I’ve only seen him once on tv, and he certainly doesn’t know me.” She continued, “You HAVE to bring him your resume!” “Ok, ok, I’ll bring it,” I said, “but I probably won’t get to talk to him anyway, there will be a lot of people there all crowding around him.” Do you ever look back on your life and wonder how come you didn’t get it? I truly didn’t get it at this point.

So we went to Scarborough and I asked the man in charge of the gathering if I could have five minutes of Jan Willem’s time. Jan Willem said, “bring her here now.” So …I sat down next to him and told him, “I know I’m going to Israel, I don’t know when or how, but the Lord has moved in my life to show me that I will be going.” Jan Willem asked me a whole host of questions. He wasn’t even interested in my resume, he wanted to know how I know this, what exactly did the Lord say, how did my family feel about it, and many, many, many questions. Then he put the resume in his pocket and told me he’d give it to the administrator when he got back to Jerusalem. I went back to the girls who were waiting to hear what he said, and all I could say was, “he didn’t say no!!!” I was – once again – shocked. Yet …I still didn’t get it. How could I believe something so fantastic as this?

Time went by, Jan Willem was travelling so I knew it would be awhile if and when I’d hear from the Christian Embassy. In the meantime, as I mulled this over and over and over, I began to “get it.” Big time. I started to see this story from the beginning and realize this was God, my God who created this whole story from beginning to end, from the day I crossed those railroad tracks and he said to me, “because you didn’t ask me for two weeks in Israel.” My dream was going to come true.

But my friends began to worry because they saw I was convinced now that this was God and that I’d be going to Israel. They started telling me what a long shot this is. “He might even lose your resume because he’s on a speaking tour across America, he’s busy and the last thing he’s going to be thinking about is you. Don’t get your hopes up like this because if he doesn’t call, the let down will be enormous. We’re worried about you.”

One night after a session like that with my friends, I went to the Lord and said, “You know Lord, my friends aren’t trying to destroy my faith, they’re just worried about me putting so much faith in this, afraid I’m headed for a fall if this doesn’t happen. I forgive them that. But Lord, it gets to me when I hear this over and over again, how I’m heading for a downfall. Would you please give me one sign, some kind of assurance that this truly is you, because I’m the only one believing it is. What if I’m wrong? Then I went to bed.

The next thing I knew, the phone was ringing. It was 5:30 the next morning. Groggily I answered. The voice on the phone said, “Paula, this is Jim from the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem. I have your resume here. How soon can you come? And can you give us a two-year commitment?”

Have you ever felt like you’ve been put into one of those cannons and shot up into the sky? It was surreal. I felt like I was soaring in the heavens. Was this really happening???

I had a lot to do, I had to find a way to store all my furniture, there’s just a million things you have to do before making a total change of your life. I couldn’t sell everything because I would need it all when I came back two years from now. But how…? Well …the Lord had anticipated that too. Tears come as I remember this. Actually tears come as I write every part of this story. One Sunday morning for some reason I wasn’t in church, but my friend Lori was. After the service a woman came up to her and introduced herself because she saw Lori’s Star-of-David around her neck, and this woman was an Israel-lover. This woman and her husband had just moved into town and they were looking for a church. As it would turn out, they didn’t like our church and would never come back, this was the one and only time they’d be there. In the course of the conversation, Lori told her about her friend Paula who was preparing to go to Jerusalem. This woman told Lori that they had just bought a huge house with many, many bedrooms and would be happy to store my things for the two years I’d be gone…!!! When I think of it …if Lori hadn’t been wearing her Star-of-David, if the woman hadn’t seen Lori, and if this meeting had not taken place on this one and only Sunday they would be in our church, it never would have happened. It still boggles my mind when I think of it.

So, I went to work at the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem. They provide lodging and the big meal of the day, and even give you spending money. I shared an apartment with another American woman, and it was a beautiful apartment. And that’s another thing. I didn’t know about the new city Jerusalem, I had thought I’d be in the Old City where the lodgings are ancient and spartan and unattractive, holes in the wall pretty much. I was picked up at the airport at night, so I had no idea of the surroundings until the next morning. I remember opening the “trissim,” (the blinds) the next morning and stood there absolutely speechless. I looked out the window to see a modern, beautiful city, all white, all the trees were in bursting bloom, the air was charged with beauty, and I could hardly believe what I was seeing. I actually wondered if I had died and was in heaven. It was just overwhelmingly beautiful. I just stood there. I couldn’t move. It was too beautiful. So unexpected! Beyond unexpected! I was transfixed. I felt the presence of the Lord, as though he was standing next to me with his arm around me. A memory etched in my heart, forever.

The woman I shared this apartment with had left directions to the Christian Embassy, a five-minute walk, and I went at lunchtime and was warmly received. The atmosphere there was like nothing I had ever felt before. The people were happy. Laughing. Teasing. Having a wonderful time. I knew I was going to love it here. There was no mention of a person’s denomination, all were united in only one thing, love for God and love for Israel. That was the bond that connected us all. A wonderful, deep, heartfelt love.

I was assigned as secretary to Jim. He was very kind and I did whatever he told me to. The job, though, was not a fit for me, yet I tried to do it well. I didn’t care. As long as I was here in Israel, I didn’t care about anything else. But after three days Jim called me into his office. I sat down and he said, “You’re not really happy in this job, are you?” I could not imagine how on earth he knew, because I did everything he asked of me and did it cheerfully. I told him, “Jim, this is such a miracle -my being here, and I told the Lord I was so thankful that I would not complain about ANYTHING.” Then he said to me words I would never, ever forget. He said, “Paula, I’m not only your boss, I’m your brother.” I can’t tell you how that pierced my heart, love that I wasn’t used to, a warmth I was unfamiliar with. He continued, “I read your resume and I think you’d be happier behind a computer?” And my eyes lit up like lightbulbs. “You have computers here???” He took me upstairs and sat me down in front of a computer and told the girls, “train her.” A couple hours later he came back to check on me. I didn’t see him because I had my back to him. Finally when I heard him speak, I turned around and he was grinning from ear to ear. “I guess that sure was the right move!” he said.

But Jim had more to tell me. He said that when Jan Willem came back from his tour across America, he was supposed to give my resume to Johann, the administrator. But Johann was out sick. So …he gave it to Jim. Jim read my resume and saw that I was basically a computer person, but Johann needed an administrative secretary and that wasn’t me. But the Lord spoke to Jim and directed him to call me. “I knew for certain inside that I was to call you. But see,” he said, “Johann wouldn’t have. If Johann hadn’t been out sick, he would have reviewed your resume and would have realized you couldn’t do admin, and he would not have called you.” So the Lord stepped in, removed Johann that week, and spoke to Jim’s heart. Every single obstacle throughout this story was overcome. When it’s God, it’s going to work. No matter what obstacles seem to be preventing it.

This is my God. And this is his story, what he’ll do for anyone who will surrender their lives to him. When you’re born again, he makes all things new and he knows exactly the deep desires of the heart and will move mountains to bring those desires to fruition. After all, he put those desires there!

I had asked the Lord for two years in Israel. He gave me six!

Angels In Atlanta

My mother had warned me about booking a flight that had a layover in Atlanta, she had had a bad experience there. But it was the only choice I had really, in booking a flight my pocketbook could afford.

It was a beautiful summer day in Portland, Maine as my daughter and I sat in the terminal awaiting my boarding time. We sat at one of those little snack shops with tables outside, and we watched the people – a favorite pastime for both of us.

Our chit chat was interrupted by the announcement, “preparing to board flight 4721 to Atlanta.” We got up and hugged each other really tight, not knowing how long it would be until we’d see each other again.

No sooner had we taxied to the runway, the captain announced on the intercom, “ladies and gentlemen, there’s a delay in traffic headed over New York, but don’t worry, this isn’t unusual and many times these things clear up within a short time. It could be as short as five minutes, but it could be up to an hour. We’ll let you know anything we find out.”

So we sat on the runway, for what turned out to be a half hour. Originally, I had a fifty-minute layover in Atlanta, but now that was pared down to twenty minutes in which to make my next flight going to San Diego. But I’ve flown a lot, and I remembered that another time we were delayed on the runway, but the pilot was able to make up the lost time during the flight. So I reassured myself that the lost time would be made up, and sat back and commanded myself to relax and enjoy the flight.

Many years ago, when I found myself frequently traveling alone across the Atlantic and Mediterranean seas, the Lord gave me a promise and wonderfully confirmed it to me, “you are blessed in your goings out, and blessed in your comings in.” When the Lord speaks to us, he will always confirm the message so that we will know it really is from him. Having received that word from the Lord, along with a very real confirmation of it, and then someone later handed me a key chain with those very words on it, that sealed it in my heart and from then on I always had peace while flying great distances, knowing I was covered by the blessing of the Lord.

These thoughts came back to me as I sat in that plane on the runway in Portland. I knew that I was accompanied by the Lord’s blessing and that if I was delayed, there was a specific reason for it and that it would work out for the good.

Well, the pilot didn’t make up the lost time and by the time I got off the plane in Atlanta and made my way to the next gate, my connection had already left. It was after ten o’clock at night and I had no idea what to do. The situation was further complicated – I was traveling to California to be with my mother who had fallen and was hospitalized with a broken bone in her back. My sister would be picking me up at the airport in San Diego, and I knew she wouldn’t go home to check for telephone messages, but would just go to the airport directly from the hospital, because returning home first would have put her well out of her way. Telephone message? I didn’t even have a cell phone, how could I reach my sister to tell her not to head out on the long drive to the airport?

As I arrived at the service desk in Atlanta, I found myself in a crowd of hundreds of people who also had been delayed and missed their connections. I later found out that all air traffic over New York had been suspended for awhile that afternoon, so that meant that anyone flying south over New York was going to be late. When I saw the hundreds and hundreds of people gathered at the service desk, my heart sank. It was a very long wait in line, and when I finally got to the desk it was after midnight. I was distraught. I blurted out in no genteel manner that my mother is lying in a hospital bed and I’m on my way to be with her, and my sister is going to be going to the airport in San Diego to pick me up, and I HAVE to get there tonight!

But of course, that was impossible. I wasn’t much comforted when they told me they’d put me up in a hotel and get me out first thing in the morning. “But how am I going to let my sister know?” I asked in exasperation. There was a woman standing beside me, in the very same circumstances I was in, and she offered to let me use her cell phone. What a relief! I remembered that I had my sister’s cell phone number with me, I dug it out and called her, hoping she’d be able to receive the call within the hospital walls. There was no answer. So I called her house and left a message on her answering machine, my heart now in a fit of exasperation. Something nudged me to try her cell phone again, and finally I reached her and blurted out to her that I wouldn’t be coming in tonight and how relieved I am to be able to get hold of her to tell her that. I told her I’d be in touch with her the next day as soon as I find out the details of my next flight.

I wasn’t calmed down, though. The frustration of the delay, the long wait in line way past midnight, and the difficulty reaching my sister had just about done me in. It was late, I was tired, and I wasn’t a good example of a daughter of the Lord at that point. In contrast, was the woman who had let me use her cell phone. She was delayed too and obviously missed her connection as well, it was late for her also, but she was so calm and peaceful that I kept watching her throughout this story with a deep-down feeling that her demeanor was incredibly odd at a time like this. How could anyone in our condition be so calm? It turned out that they gave her a hotel voucher to the same hotel I was being sent to, so she invited me to go along with her to catch the shuttle to the hotel. Invited me? At that point I would have held on to her coat to make sure wherever she goes I was going too.

We walked and walked, she oddly seemed to know the way, no detours or mistakes, just straight to the shuttle parking area. It reminded me of the plane terminal in Portland, Maine, a long wide cement sidewalk with spaces for the various shuttles to park and pick up people headed for the various hotels in Atlanta. There were no assigned parking places, each incoming shuttle bus just took the first empty space available. We tried to get to the edge of the walkway, but it was almost impossible because there were hundreds, if not thousands, of other people in the same circumstances doing the same thing. We snaked our way to the very end where the busses rounded the corner and waited. After an incredibly long wait, finally we saw the shuttle with the name of our hotel on it come around the corner. Wouldn’t you know, the first empty parking space was down the other end. So we pushed and shoved our way to the shuttle, only for the driver to close the door just as I put my foot onto the bottom step. “Filled up,” he said. I wanted to cry – and was on the verge of tears when the woman with me said, “come on, we’ll take a taxi.”

“A taxi?” I cried, “look at all the people here, the taxi driver will take advantage of us and charge an enormous rate to get us to the hotel.”

“We’re taking a taxi,” she replied in a calmness that gave me goose bumps all up and down my spine. Somewhere on the subconscious level I knew this lady’s calmness was more than what would be humanly possible under circumstances like this, but I was so tired and so frustrated that I just followed her, protesting all the way.

Finally we came to some taxis, got into one, and as we rode mile after mile my heart sank as I contemplated what the fee for this was going to be. We arrived at the hotel and the woman paid the driver. I asked her what the charge was so that I could give her my share. “It wasn’t much,” she said, “he didn’t take advantage of us.” As we walked into the hotel I was pouring through my purse for cash to give to her and she said rather authoritatively, “don’t worry about it, I’ve paid for both of us,” and she would not take a cent. I usually would have insisted, but I was just too tired to argue.

The hotel lobby was just as crowded as the shuttle area had been. Finally we got to the desk and handed the clerk our vouchers. “Oh, we’re not taking any more vouchers,” she said, “we’re filled up.”

I was too tired to cry. I just stood there stunned. It was after one in the morning and here we were stranded at a hotel a few miles from the airport.

“What are we supposed to do?” I blurted out to the hotel clerk.

“Go back to the airport,” she said.

I felt the blood draining from my head. The thought of spending the night on the floor in the airport just overwhelmed me.

Then suddenly two young women approached us, maybe in their early twenties, who overheard our conversation and they said to us, “here, we have two rooms but we only need one, really. Take the key to our second room, there are two beds in ours so it really won’t be an imposition.” ! ! !

Now that I look back on the story, it boggles my mind that while I was standing helpless in the lobby of the hotel that was turning us away at later than one in the morning, there were two persons standing near us who just handed over the key to their second room and would receive no payment for it. I mean — that just doesn’t happen! When I think of what the Lord had to put together in order to provide for me that night, each factor having to happen exactly on time while I was in the midst of hundreds of people, all I can say is that this story and many others like it over the years has left me with no possible doubt that the Lord is FAITHFUL to his promises. He had promised me years back that his blessing was upon me as I traveled, my travels always having been at his direction and for his purposes. It’s when we’re at our wit’s end that the Lord rises up and demonstrates in obvious and undeniable ways his faithfulness. He had given me his word. And now he was making good on it.

The woman I had been with from service desk took the key from the young woman’s hand and I followed her up to the room. During this entire venture, she continued willfully and without hesitation, as though she was familiar with the whole airport layout, the shuttle layout, and the hotel layout. She never hesitated, and I just followed her every purposeful step.

When we arrived at the room, she told me that her next flight in the morning would be leaving before mine, and reminded me to return the key to the desk in the lobby. Then, she said as she looked out the window toward the McDonald’s golden arches, she was going out to get something to eat. — umm, going out to eat at 2:00 in the morning after an ordeal such as we had just come through??? I collapsed on the bed and never saw her again. I vaguely remember her speaking to me in the morning, saying “I’m leaving now. Don’t forget to return the key to the desk. “

In the morning, I was shuttled back to the airport and was on my way to San Diego. I was to stay there helping my sister care for our mother. And the Lord put the icing on the cake. After her initial difficulties, our mother was HEALED. This is the honest truth. Her doctor told us that she hadn’t expected her to survive the fall she took, and was just shocked when we went back for her monthly checkup. She said that our mother was “a walking miracle.” I asked if she was just using that expression to convey her amazement at our mother’s unexpected recovery and she said that no, she meant exactly what she said – our mother had obviously been supernaturally healed.

The Potter

One night I attended an evangelism class at my church. The man speaking told story after story of how the Lord opened up opportunities to him to bring people to the Lord.

That was my heart at the time and I was thoroughly impressed by the stories he told, listening closely to each one so as to pick up hints on how to go about it. It was obvious to me why this was so successful – he was one of those teddy-bear, Santa-like, kind and loving and gentle types that win persons by their warm personalities. I thought to myself, “Aha! So that’s it! That’s the secret of winning people.”

After the evening was over I was SO motivated. I saw into this man’s message that what was so effective was his personality and I wanted to be like him. So I went home, went into my bedroom and closed the door so as to be alone with the Lord, and I approached him with what I “thought” I was going to say, which would have been, “Father, please make me like that man so I can draw people.” But I never got past the first word. I began, “Father…” and the Lord stopped me right there. I was only able to get the first word out, “Father…”

Then he spoke. He said, “Shall the clay say to the Potter ‘Why have you made me thus?’”

To say I was shocked is an understatement. In fact, for a moment I just stood there with my mouth open. Stunned. When I gathered my composure I answered the Lord, “You mean …you want me AS I AM???”

He didn’t have to say any more, he had made his point.

“But now, O Lord,
You are our Father;
we are the clay, and you our potter;
and all we are the work of your hand.”
Isaiah 64:8

I am not an Oprah type, I am not a Santa Claus type. Quite the opposite. I am quiet. And serious – absolutely serious, it’s just the way I’m wired. I can’t share life with most people because of the way my personality is shaped – my God-given personality, I have to remind myself. I have few friends, but the few I have are of the down-to-earth type, the ones who are serious about life and who walk with the Lord daily.

I didn’t see how this could work. I surely won’t attract people with my personality. Little did I know …God had already set me up to win souls for him, not by speaking to people but by writing. I had been writing for a long time by then, it’s just “what I do.” I had even created a blog, but it didn’t go anywhere. One morning around that same time, I was having my morning devotions and I was praying about this and I told the Lord that I had used every talent he had given me and even creating an online blog, but there was no feedback and I wondered if I should just give it up. What’s the use?

He spoke to me. He said, “use Facebook.”

Oh my goodness, talk about being in shock! I had taken a look at Facebook awhile back and saw that it was mostly sharing cute kitten stories and recipes, and “God bless you” pictures. I knew for sure that that certainly wasn’t anything that interested me and I had abandoned it. So imagine my jaw hanging down when the Lord himself told me to go onto Facebook!!! I could hardly believe it.

But …he had spoken …so I obeyed. I went onto Facebook. I had no idea how to operate it, it was all foreign to me. My daughter, though, had a Facebook account and she got me familiarized with it and in no time I was posting on Facebook every day. And the rest is history. Oh, there’s a lot more to this story but I’ll tell it another time, this is enough for now. Needless to say, God’s answer, which sounded to me like “throw the net on the other side” – worked!

I surrendered to his will and since that day have marvelled at what he has accomplished through one as lowly as I. Truly, TRULY, all praise and glory I most gladly and joyfully give to HIM.

This story continues in another encounter with the Lord as I continued to pray about reaching the lost for Christ. Facebook became an invaluable resource for reaching out, but I needed more. See, “My Loaves And Fish Story.”

My Loaves And Fish Story

One morning I was before the Lord in my morning prayer time. I had asked him once if it’s ok if I sometimes just talk to him, not formal prayer, just share what’s on my heart as though he was sitting right across from me. He gave me overwhelming assurance plus confirmation that yes, that’s what he wants from his children. “Ok, Lord, I’m just going to share this with you then.”

I began telling the Lord that though I’ve been blogging for a few years now, and that my entire motive is to serve him, nevertheless after all these years later I have nothing to show for it. I had done all the things I knew to do to get the posts “out there” to people, to boost the traffic to the blog, you submit them to pinging services and a few other things but after all that, I might have 20 views on the blog in a month. So why bother? It’s going nowhere. I love to do it but if it’s fruitless I can’t see why I should continue.

After having continued to seek the Lord about the apparent fruitlessness of my ministry of posting, and after having fasted many times about it, seeking to be empowered in my calling, I finally got to the place where I just said to him, “I’ve honestly done everything I know to do to reach people. I just don’t know what more I can do, and I don’t see any point in continuing on.”

Suddenly as I sat there in prayer, I had a vision, the first true vision I’d ever had, this was completely unexpected. I saw Jesus standing in a field feeding thousands. I just looked and looked, blinked my eyes …and it didn’t go away. I asked the Lord, “Lord, what do you mean by this?”

He answered, “Pray it.”

“PRAY it??? What does that mean??? How do you pray what I’m looking at???” No answer. So I shook my head and said, “Well, ok, I’ll pray it, whatever that means.” So I began to thank the Lord for the vision, and I prayed that whatever I was seeing in this vision would come to pass. I had no idea what I was saying, I was just obeying to the best of my ability. I continued on like that, thanking him and praying that this vision would come to fruition according to whatever he meant by it.

The next day I started seeing the word “multiply” again and again. I knew this was the Lord because I was just seeing it everywhere, but nothing “clicked.” I had no idea what this was all about. Then my Scripture reading that day was:

“Now may he who supplies seed to the sower,
and bread for food,
SUPPLY and MULTIPLY the seed you have sown
and increase the fruits of your righteousness…”
2 Corinthians 9:10

“Oh my goodness! Lord, what are you saying to me?”

I still didn’t “get it” but expectancy was born in my heart. Something was up.

A few days later a friend sent me a link to a video by a pastor in Hawaii by the name of pastor JD Farag, whom I had never heard of. I watched the video and was awestruck by what he said. He went on to talk about the great commission and that this Gospel must be preached in all the world before the end comes. And now, he said, only in this generation are we able to preach to all the world — through the internet! He said that even in poor countries, people have cell phones, and that this is a tool we can use to bring the Gospel to the entire world. I didn’t make the connection to the vision yet, but this stirred my heart to beating hard and I was breathing fast and got very excited. This was a spiritual thing happening inside, not a “flesh” thing. I was touched in the depths of my spirit. I got so excited I could hardly contain myself because he was talking about the very desire of my heart – to reach souls for Christ. He went on to say that anyone called of God to minister online has a very special calling, so USE IT!

…Well yeah, I’ve been trying to do exactly that for a few years now and have gotten nowhere. But never mind, I waited for him to get to the end of the message and tell us HOW to do that. I knew this was God and fully expected a revelation, that he was going to show us HOW to do it. What I’ve BEEN doing doesn’t work. What I need to know is HOW. What am I missing? But …he ended it there!!! I couldn’t believe it! I could not believe that after all this, he did not deliver what I thought was going to be the answer. I sat here stunned. My heart was on fire from hearing that man’s words, but he never said how to do it. Frustrated, but my heart still beating up in my throat, I went to his site and found the contact information, and emailed him. I told him how touched I was by what he said, that I knew with no shadow of doubt that this IS my calling, “but you never told us HOW to do it!”

The next morning there was an email from his office, and they just gave me a link. So I clicked on the link and it took me to a site called, “Rapture Watch.” It looked like a great site, a huge site, and I began looking around it. Everything I saw was exactly all along the lines of what I was interested in, taking the Gospel to the world, Bible prophecy which has always been a chief love of mine from the very beginning, the doctrines and topics 100% in agreement with mine. WHAT a great site!

…Then I saw it! ….The map!

The site owner had a “cluster map” gadget on the side panel showing where people are coming from when they come to view the site. There are red dots showing the origin, the country, of wherever people have come to the site from. The map was almost entirely covered!!! My eyes were transfixed on that map as my mind raced, trying to make sense of what was happening. I’d never, EVER seen a cluster map gadget filled like this one was. This ministry, this site, was reaching …the whole world! It’s literally feeding the thousands!!! As I just sat there and looked at that, the vision flooded into my mind. Jesus feeding the thousands. Suddenly …it clicked, I “got it!” I realized this was the answer to my obedience when he said, “Pray it!” I had prayed it, and now there it was.

And then the Lord began to speak to me, “I am the God who multiplies.” The apostles had brought to him their little loaves and fish, Jesus took them and multiplied them and fed the thousands. “Oh Lord, I see it, I SEE it!!!”

Now what do I do? I looked around the site and found the contact information with directions on how to become a contributing member, and I emailed the owner. He emailed back with directions which I followed. And I was in! A contributing member reaching the world with the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! And drawing people to the Lord through Bible prophecy.

The next day I submitted my first post. And lo and behold – the views started coming in. The numbers began to rise and I just sat there with my mouth open. I was astonished. Shocked is an understatement. I went from maybe 20 views in a month on my blog, to scores and scores here ON JUST ONE POST, and it would accumulate to over 2,000 views in a month! I felt the presence of the Lord, smiling. He was multiplying. My little loaves and fish were feeding the multitudes. Just as he showed me in that vision. All I could say was “WOW!!!” I mean, “WOW!!!!” and that doesn’t even come close.

It started with a vision, an absolutely, totally unexpected visitation of the Lord that morning in my prayer time, and the vision became a reality as we bring the great message of the Gospel daily, and the Lord multiplies the message daily, reaching the nations through the simplicity of our meager loaves and fish with which he feeds the multitudes.

My heart began breaking as I realized that this story was the work of God from the beginning, from the vision, to pastor JD’s video, to the Rapture Watch site which wasn’t open to new members at the time …but when it’s God …it opens! I posted there daily, and that …is the hand of my God! The web site only stayed up for three or four more years, but in that time the message of the Gospel, and the message of last-days prophecies continued to feed a starving world. And it all started with a pastor encouraging us to reach the world for Christ – on the internet.

Friends, take your concerns to the Lord about your calling. If you are doing what you believe he has called you to do and getting nowhere, go to the Lord and have a chat with him about it. He might just blow your mind with his answer. He’ll show you HOW to do what he’s called you to do, but without his direction you’ll just keep on getting nowhere. He is only too happy to show you how to make the most of your calling. You only need to take the time to go before him and ask.