Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Miracle Bicycle

Three of us were in the town of Tremont, Pennsylvania. It was a hot summer day. A church from the nearby town of Bethel was having an event in a park in Tremont.

 It was sort of a Christian carnival, offering several attractions to the local people. They had basic medical screenings by nurses. There was a distribution of groceries, household, and baby products for free. There were free drinks and hotdogs. There were bands and individuals playing music. There were face-painters for the kids, balloons, and they were raffling off several bicycles.

The organizer, Pastor Ted, had invited three of us working in Youth With A Mission to have a “Prayer Station” at the event.

A Prayer Station is basically a table with a banner over it. We simply offer to pray for passers-by. If they say yes, we ask what they want prayer for. If they refuse… no problem, they continue on their way. It’s a way of blessing people.

It was a fun event, but Pastor Ted hoped the love, generosity, and fun would have a spiritual impact on some. There were about 200 people there.

My friends, Chris, Bill, and I set up between the hot dog stand and the music.

It started out slow, but after a while a middle-aged man approached me. His name was Ron.

“What is this?” he asked.

The man looked haggard and weather-beaten to me. My immediate thought was he’d been a hard-drinking man. He had that look about him. We talked for a few minutes. Ron was not involved in religion in any way. He was not religious but curious that we were there.

 “Can I pray for you?” I asked.

He replied, “Why not?”

“Any specific thing I can pray for?”

“No, just pray,” he said.

So I prayed a prayer of blessing over him.

When I finished, after about 45 seconds, we opened our eyes.

Ron said, “I haven’t had a prayer like that prayed over me in 30 years!” He seemed really excited. So was I.

Immediately he asked, “Can you pray for my son?”

“Sure, ” I said.

“Andrew!" He called to a boy of about 12 standing nearby.

The boy came over and Ron said to him, “This man’s gonna pray for you. He just prayed for me. It was really good.”

Andrew looked sheepish and did not seem at all excited about prospect of being prayed for.  I waited for Ron to give a nod and then I prayed a short prayer, in Jesus’ name, for Andrew.

I encouraged Ron to get involved in a church, and read his Bible. He seemed genuinely encouraged as we said our goodbyes.

Later in the day, they had the drawing for the bicycles. There were three bicycles. The first two went to an adult and to a little girl. They drew a name for the third one, a really nice white bike. The name they announced was Andrew!  Andrew went forward and claimed his prize. I clapped!

Later, as I walked back from the stage to the “Prayer Station” table, Andrew and his dad were standing off to the side, about ten yards away looking at the bicycle. Ron waved me over.

Turning to Andrew he said, “See Andrew. See what God can do! God answers prayers!” It was the unchurched man who was now preaching Christ.

I’m not saying that if you pray, God will give you a new bicycle. He could do it. He did it that day. He’s good.

But my point is that Ron was convinced that God had answered prayer that day. He was teaching it to his son.

We find God in unexpected times and places.

Talk to Him today.

He is near.

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Quotes of Note ... The Invisible World

“Spiritual warfare is learning to recognize the strategies, refusing to cooperate with them, and aggressively cutting off the schemes of the devil in Jesus’ name.” Dean Sherman

“those who protest that God cannot exist because there is too much evil evident in life… Evil exists; therefore, the Creator does not. That is categorically stated… If evil exists, one must assume that good exists in order to know the difference. If good exists, one must assume that a moral law exists by which to measure good and evil. But if a moral law exists, must not one posit an ultimate source of moral law, or at least an objective basis for a moral law? By an objective basis, I mean something that is transcendingly true at all times, regardless of whether I believed it or not.” Ravi Zacharias

“But the Devil is no big threat to God’s purposes; he is not even remotely comparable in power. He has been given a limited time before his final judgment to try to prove his case, just as all other moral beings who have chosen to live in rebellion against heaven.” W.A. Pratney

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I've served as a life-long missionary in Samoa, the Pacific region, India, and now in Pennsylvania. The Christian faith is reasonable and works in real life. It is true to the facts. Hope you enjoy some of the thoughts. I appreciate feedback.

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