As he lay on the floor from a sudden and unexplainable fall, John Hawkins shuddered, pondering the implications. There had been no obstacle to trip on. He had simply collapsed.
“it scared me to death because I didn’t trip on anything,’ the retired carpenter-turned-pastor says on a 700 Club video. “My hip just gave out. I didn’t understand why.”
John was 60. An orthopedic specialist said a tendon in his hip was gone and bone was grinding against bone, generating extreme pain. He would need surgery. But he didn’t like what he read about alloy hip replacement recalls. (Surgeons now use plastic.)
“I’m too young to be acting like I’m 89,” the retired carpenter-turned-pastor says on a 700 Club video. “I couldn’t move, and I didn’t like it.
John started using a cane and needed help from his wife, Rose, to put on his shoes and get in and out of the tub. The pain was so bad that most of the time he just wanted to stay home, feeling miserable.
“I’ve always been active, and I liked to work. I worked with my hands,” he says. “My mom was a good example of work and a lot of good work ethic in my family. Everybody worked all their life, always worked for what you want.”
Eventually, he realized he needed to pray for a healing.
Just moments before a terrorist-hijacked American Airlines plane slammed into the Pentagon where he worked, he had stepped away from his office – the precise impact zone — to use the bathroom because of an early morning Coke that filled his bladder.
“When you are 15 to 20 yards from an 80-ton jet coming through the building at 530 miles an hour with 3,000 gallons of jet fuel and you live to tell about it, it’s not because the United States Army made me the toughest guy in that building but because the toughest guy who ever walked this Earth 2000 years ago sits at the right hand of the Father had something else in mind.”
He was seven steps into returning from the bathroom when Flight 77 impacted the Pentagon at a 45 degree angle, the third of four coordinated terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. The first two leveled the World Trade Center twin towers in New York. A fourth attack planned for the White House or the Capitol building was thwarted due to delays at takeoff. As passengers became aware of what was happening, they attacked and overpowered their hijackers, saving the White House; the plane crashed in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
“I was thrown around, tossed around inside like a rag doll, set ablaze,” Brian remembers on an I am Second video. “The black putrid smoke that I’m breathing in, the aerosolized jet fuel that I’m breathing in, the temperature of which is somewhere between 300 and 350 degrees.
“You could see the flesh hanging off my arms. My eyes are already beginning to swell closed. The front of my shirt is still intact. My access badge is melted by still hanging covered the black soot of scorched blood. The flame was consuming me and I expected to pass.”
Brian had no escape. He didn’t know which route to take out of the hallways he was intimately familiar with.
“I did what I was trained in the military to never do, which is to surrender,” he says. “I crossed over that line of the desire to live and the acceptance of my death recognizing that this was how the Lord was going to call me home.
“Jesus, I’m coming to see ya’,” he screamed loudly.
I’m no match for Rob, in blue, freshman on a varsity team.
Two months ago I konked my knee playing street soccer with my varsity team. At the time, it didn’t seem abnormal, not too bad on pain. I even kept playing. Later, however, it had a clicking that worried me. I consulted a doctor, and he feared a torn piece of cartilage was lodged in there. After two months, it wasn’t much better.
Then I got prayed for. The boys in my Sunday School class — called “Tweeners” — had just heard about faith and were pumped to pray. I am back to playing soccer! Jesus healed me! (Being able to play soccer is about as important for me as a U.S. president attending his own inauguration!)
The Bible says that kids have special words — of praise — unadulterated because of their
sincerity and innocence. And I say it’s good to be in God’s service, not matter how small or insignificant. Today I scored a goal in beach soccer against my son’s team! Ha! And at the end, we won! Ha!
As soon as the pros hear about this, I expect they’ll be heading to their local, Bible-believing church to cut their injury time.
Intriguingly, Jesus employs racism to make a point. But Jesus said unto her, Let the children first be filled: for it is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast [it] unto the dogs. — Mark 7:27 KJV.
He addresses a Syrophenician who requests freedom and healing for her demon-possessed daughter. A lot of people miss the subtleties of the Bible. When Jesus offered living water to the Samaritan woman (John 4), at least she was half Jewish. But the Syrophenician is completely gentile, utterly excluded from the kingdom of God (under the old scheme of things). The Jews called them “dogs,” and Jesus testing her faith employs the same ugly, unacceptable term.
In other words, He says, “Don’t you know you’re supposedly disqualified from a miracle?” Whether it was hyper optimism or simply desperation, this lady would not be discouraged and the word “disqualified” was not in her lexicon.
Ok, she says, I don’t care if you insult me. Call me a dog, but even the dogs get crumbs from the table. Jesus’ subsequent reaction dispels the notion He’s a racist: “For this saying go thy way; the devil is gone out of thy daughter.” — Mark 7:29 KJV.29
It’s necessary to understand you’re not disqualified from receiving a miracle. That is faith. When you pray, banish from your mind that you are disqualified from receiving a miracle. A lot of preachers try to put requirements on a miracle. They’re trying to explain why some people don’t receive a miracle. I say, Let’s get rid of the requirements and bolster people’s faith.
So God moved in your life? That’s well and fine. But what is He doing today?
That’s the question. The reason is because too many Christians are stuck in the increasingly distant past. They no longer seek God for miracles today. If your last miracle was a year or so ago, be worried. You need a miracle now!
Lamentations teaches us this (yes, there actually is something good in Lamentations (JK)). The Lord’s mercies are new every morning — Lam. 3:22-23 (paraphrased). If His mercies are new, then we need new miracles, new directions, new hopes, new challenges.
Christianity must be forward-looking. Some Christian glory in a spectacular past. Their testimony is always the same and about a past that keeps getting further into the past. While it is great to remember the testimonies of the past, we need to always be adding to our resume of God’s move in our lives. Pray for a miracle today!
The fisherman THINKS he knows how to catch fish. He has done it all his life. He knows the behavior of the fish, where they are based on wind, sun, temperature and time of day. He is so much the expert that he forgets who truly brings in fish.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” — Luke 5:4-6, 8 NIV.
After this, Jesus commissioned Peter a “fisher of men,” which is what we are. Never forget the difference between the expert fisherman and the Expert Fisherman. Depend on Him to make the catch. Pray.
He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. — John 6:6 NIV
Lack is only a test. We need to learn to get an A.
Multitudes are coming, and Jesus casually asks Phillip how they’re going to feed them. Phillip failed the test. He said eight months wages wouldn’t buy enough food. Phillip saw the lack with human eyes — not with eyes of faith.
How do you see your need? You pass the test when you see your need with eyes of faith. Thousands were fed as Jesus multiplied food miraculously. Don’t despair with your circumstances. Jesus can multiply whatever you need. As missionaries in Guatemala, we scraped by month to month. We always had just what we needed. Don’t doubt God. Your crisis is just a test. You need to pass the test. You will keep receiving tests until you learn to pass it.
And so a whole nation came from this one man who was AS GOOD AS DEAD —a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. — Heb. 11:12 Living Version.
Hey, I figure that if God can prosper a dead man, He can prosper you.
Maybe your ministry doesn’t have much to offer in the way of variety. But it probably is not as bad as Abraham’s. Think about it — the guy was WAY PAST the age of hope. His wife had already passed child-bearing years. Just as barren as a desert. Then, whamo! God does the miracle, and a nation results.
When you pray for finances for your ministry, pray for something big. Don’t settle for anything smaller than a nation. And whatever you do, don’t get dragged down by current circumstances. Your situation may seem “dead,” but God has a history of using the “dead.”
Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name did we not cast out demons and we did many miracles?” – Matthew 7:22
So get this — the guys who cast out demons and do many miracles are complete and total sinners. That´s what Jesus said: “I knew you not.” EVEN TOTAL SINNERS CAN GET MIRACLES FROM JESUS!
Now if a bald-faced sinner can get a miracle, how much more so a Christian minister?
Have you ever felt disqualified from getting a miracle because of some imperfection in your life? While you’re letting it undermine your faith, these stark sinners uphold great faith to God – and receive miracles!
Stop letting your shortcomings ransack your faith. Pray for finances with full confidence. If even sinners can get miracles, why not you? You may have foibles, but it’s folly to lose faith.