© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved|
We pray that you had a Wonderful Christmas and are still enjoying this blessed time of the year. Remember - we are all blessed because we are saved and children of the Most High God. Our blessings are not dependent on how many gifts we received or didn't receive or whether or not conditions or circumstances are perfect in our lives. Our blessedness stems from knowing Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior. And the greatest gift that we can give is the witness of our faith to someone who is still lost in their sins.
Let me tell you what God did for my family and me on Christmas Eve.
All week long, we were asking the Lord to give us Divine Appointments so that we could bring as many souls to Jesus as possible for Christmas.
On Christmas Eve, we found ourselves in Starbuck's coffee shop. Our plans were to get a coffee, go to a particular bookstore and browse, and then eat Christmas Eve dinner at a local restaurant. These were our plans, but God had something else in store for us.
At Starbuck's, on our way out, my husband Carl approached a Desert Storm veteran. How did we know that he was a veteran? He was wearing a ball cap that identified him as such. He was sitting at a table to our left with a cane by his side. Carl asked him about his tee shirt that was in support of a certain football team that would be playing the Dallas Cowboys soon. I followed behind Carl and was then introduced to Leonard. As we talked, we discovered that he had had two back surgeries, one neck surgery, and had suffered from two broken knees - as a result of the war. We saluted him as one of our heroes and graciously thanked him for his sacrificial service for our country. But, the more he talked, the more I felt led of the Lord to ask him if we could possibly pray for his physical condition and believe for a touch from the Lord for his broken body. When I asked him if he minded if we prayed for him, he practically jumped up from the table and readily responded - "No, not at all!" It was at that point, that we laid hands on him, and Carl prayed over him the prayer of faith. We cried out to Jesus to touch this precious man, heal him, and make him every whit whole. Needless to say - Leonard was greatly moved by the prayer.
It was at this point, that a woman joined us. She was a friend of Leonard's and happened to be a Desert Storm veteran as well. We also applauded her as one of our heroes for her noble service in the war. We gave both of them a Gospel booklet - one that tells the story of how our Pastor was saved, delivered, and set on fire for God. This woman listened intently as we told of our church and related how God has been moving by His Spirit. She overheard me say that I was on the Prayer Team and that God was working Miracles in answer to prayer. At that point, she asked me if I would remember her in prayer. (Apparently, she did not see us praying for Leonard. She most likely was in the restroom at the time.) She explained to us that she had a thyroid-related condition which caused her eyeballs to protrude. She explained that this condition - in the past as well as up to the present moment - caused her much embarrassment, shame, and ridicule on the job and even demotions and discipline while in the service. Apparently, people take it that she has an attitude or that she is looking funny at them, but the truth of the matter is - her bulging eyes are giving a wrong impression of her true feelings at the time. They cause her to look a certain way when in reality, she is not feeling that way at all. She then told us that she hated this physical condition so much so that - at times - she was tempted to bring harm to herself because of it - harm such as taking a sharp object and gouging her eyes out. She was so sick and tired of people's ridicule and mockery of her physical looks.
I cannot tell you how moved we were to hear of this woman's pain and emotional suffering. I immediately asked if we could pray for her right there in Starbuck's and believe for a Miracle from God. She was thrilled that I asked. I laid my hands on her and prayed that Jesus would not only heal her physical body but also her broken heart and wounded soul as well. She felt the sweet touch of the Lord as we prayed and afterwards found herself wiping the tears from her eyes.
The manifestation of both healings did not come instantly, but we assured them both that God heard and the answer was on its way.
With their new cell phones, they excitedly took our pictures and got our cell phone numbers in order to keep in touch with us. They wanted to let us know when the healing manifested and, resultantly, they were made every whit whole by the hand of Jesus.
Before leaving their company, I gave them the good ole fashioned Gospel message and strongly encouraged them to open God's Christmas present to them - which is His only begotten Son, Jesus. I told them that they personally had to make the decision. No one could do it for them. There was a gift waiting for them from God. But they would never realize the awesomeness of this precious gift of salvation until they personally received it and opened it through repentance and faith.
They promised to read the booklet (which included a copy of the Sinner's Prayer) and get alone with God that Christmas Eve. Iris will be leaving town soon to go back home to another state. But Leonard promised me that he would visit our church very soon. He said that he would definitely be there.
We never did make it to the bookstore for, by this time, it was closed for the holidays. However, we sure did have a wonderful time at the restaurant as we reminisced over our meal of all that God did for us at Starbuck's this blessed Christmas Eve. God gave us one of the greatest gifts. He gave us a memorable event - A Divine Appointment - an opportunity to not only preach the Gospel to the lost and dying but also to demonstrate it through the laying on of hands and the prayer of faith.
Now that Christmas is over, we still feel that we are on a roll - feeling the urgency to witness like never before - telling people of their need for the Savior before the New Year begins. There is no better way to start off a New Year than to start it in a right relationship with Jesus.
We encourage you today to take every opportunity available to you and preach the Gospel to all whom God places across your path. Don't hold back. You just don't know how desperate these people are. Who would have guessed that Iris was at the moment suffering such pain and anguish because of her eye condition? We never know if someone in the checkout line at the grocery store or at the gas station - for example - is contemplating suicide or wanting to do harm to themselves or another. God allows us to come across their path to reach them for Him and to stop the destructive work of Satan in their lives.
We strongly encourage you to be super sensitive to the Holy Spirit and also to those in your surroundings.
People need the Lord!
Let's say that again.
People need the Lord!
And you are God's chosen vessel to tell them about Him.
Please, whatever you do, don't keep Jesus to yourself. There is a world out there that desperately needs the Gospel.
Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills, and everywhere!
God is counting on you!
May He give you many Divine Appointments for His glory, honor, and praise.
Never forget - the way to stay on fire for God is to keep telling people about Jesus. The more you talk about Him, the more the fire burns within. On the contrary, the more you keep your mouth shut, the more the fire grows dim. And the more lukewarm and backslidden you become.
Have a BLESSED WEEK in Jesus.
P.S. Before I forget, if you belong to a Yahoo or MSN group and would like for me to send my messages to your group, please send me an invitation to subscribe. I felt led of the Lord to open up this avenue again. However, I must explain that I will not be able to chit-chat in the groups nor will I change my format. I do not have time to post personal messages while subscribed to the group. Some were offended in the past because all I did was post my messages and did not stop and chat. It is impossible for me to chit-chat and also write Bible messages. This must be understood before I ever subscribe. Also, I do have a copyright on my messages. That means that they cannot be tampered with in any way, shape, or form. I include a link for donations. Some had a problem with this in the past - especially on the MSN groups. Just want to make sure that this is understood before I ever subscribe. Thanks so much and God bless.