Ministry > acharles
My husband and I relocated from a Chicago suburb to Southaven, MS in November of 2016.
4 days after Christmas I was on my way home from the gym in my beloved 2015 slate gray Hyundai Sonato when a car came barreling towards me over a hill in my lane.
I didn't have time to react. My car spun around and I was facing the direction I had just come from. Several strangers stopped to help and stayed with me until police and my husband arrived. These witnesses told police the driver of the other car was going about 75 and trying to pass several cars at once on this 2 lane road.
I walked away from this accident without a scratch. Some neck and shouder pain. My car was a total loss.
I saw a orthopedist about shoulder and he ordered an MRI. The doctor said he wasn't concerned about my shoulder but rather a goiter on my neck. He advised me to see my primary doctor asap. I was diagnosed with stage 1 thyroid cancer. Had it not been for the accident only God knows when it would have been discovered.
I have since had a thyroidectomy. A full body scan that revealed no disease left in body.
Tell me we don't serve an awesome God? His way is not ours. Everything happens for a reason in line with God's will.
THIRTY years ago, I went to the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem. At the far end of the garden is "Skull Hill" where the skull-face effect can still be seen, and the site of the crucifixion. After walking the full circle, I came upon a well-preserved rock-hewn tomb. The entrance would have been sealed with a "great stone" as described in the Gospel Matt 27:60.
I entered the Tomb through a small opening in the rock and found myself in a small chamber—the Weeping Chamber. Looking through a low threshold was another chamber of the same size which held 2 loculi (burial places), one finished with a rock pillow and one unfinished. There was nothing else in either chamber except a small sign in the Weeping Chamber on the rock wall which read, "He is risen; He is not here” from Mark 16:6.
As I read, a voice so mighty it seemed to be all AROUND me, OVER me, ON me, and IN me! “You are not alone; I am with you.” I stood frozen, as a young man quietly checking out the surroundings appeared to be oblivious to the voice and me. How could he not hear it? I cannot properly describe that feeling, but I'll never forget it. . . shock and awe, wonder, HUGE, and it filled every fiber of my being. I ducked out of the tomb, drying my tears. I HAD JUST MET JESUS! I KNEW that. I had done nothing to deserve a visit from Him, and pondered this for years and years while never speaking of it to anyone until a few years ago.
I went back to a life of full of fun and sin. Then, a few years ago, I met an Evangelist who “saw” something in me, took me under her wing preaching the Word of God, and Baptized me in The Holy Spirit. And that was just the beginning. Thinking back on my experience in the Garden Tomb, I understand what Jesus meant when He said: It is expedient for you that I go away. But when I go away (to heaven) I will send the promise of the Father, which is the Comforter (Holy Spirit; Holy Ghost), for not only will He be WITH you, but He will be IN you. (John 16:7; 14:7) I thank God that He never gave up on me, for where would I be without Him?!!?
When I was young and had my first summer job, I saved enough money to buy my first car. My brother Larry took me to a junkyard and showed me a 1956 Chevrolet Blaire. This car was dirty, had missing hubcaps, and did not have an engine. My brother saw at that time something I could not see, that was potential, something that could be restored and worth a lot of money. I, on the other hand, wanted something I could drive right away. Today, that car would be worth thousands of dollars.
.....That is how God sees our lives. He sees the dings and dents, the lost or missing parts in your life, but He knows your value, and He can restore and replace the missing pieces. To God, your life is not a piece of junk or a lost hubcap, and you do have potential. "Now to him who is able to do exceedingly more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen" (Ephesians 3:20-21).Read
I wanted to share my Breast Cancer testimony with others because people need to know that there is a way. It was be the grace of God that I was saved. I was afflicted for a moment. Hearing the word Cancer does not mean death. Post Surgery for me meant eating right, doing research, holistic living, and bringing awareness to others.
Psalm 119:71 NIV
It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.
God saw fit to create me with a genetic brain disorder. I was born in February 1973 missing a critical part of my personal computer, my brain. The part of the brain that separates it into 4 sections so that it can operate each part of your body, your left side, right side, lymphatic system, memory center, central nervous system and basic living functions. Cerebral spinal fluid builds up inside within ventricles of the brain that is pressurized. My optic nerve is too small as well. It is called Optic Nerve Hyperplasia. It is a spectral disorder like autism, in that, some people function better than others. It is extremely rare and only in the last 10 years has it been studied. Most cannot see, do not grow over 5 feet tall, are barren and suffer from being unable to fight off infections, ending up in wheelchairs. I am 43, the oldest known surviving female diagnosed, I had 20/20 vision most of my life, gave birth to 2 great children and grew to 5'4.5" tall. That in of itself is miraculous. My grandfather, the child of a minister in Western New York, collected Daily Bread devotionals since 1956 and was an avid listen to the radio broadcast since the beginning. He died in 2010 after raising us to know the Lord intimately. I was baptized as an adult in May of 2009 at my church in Louisville, Kentucky. That is when my life took a dramatic turn, as I was bestowed with gifts from God after baptism that unlocked my potential to have a purpose driven life beyond what I had known. As a direct result of domestic violence, I was forced to relocate to another state for my safety far from my church home and signed a lease in Illinois, June 1st, 2009. On June 13th, I was brutally raped in my home, the devil attacked me, basically, the entire year and I grew despondent, depressed and withdrawn. I had a new church home, however, my fears would not let me leave the house, because, the alleged rapist was never brought to justice and lived 4 blocks from me in this small town. I grew suicidal, questioning God's plan and prayed for him to take me home willingly, he did not agree, so, I silently planned to take my own life. On October 28, 2009, I drank 25 ounces of anti-freeze, climbed into bed at 10 pm and fell asleep, alone, welcoming the end to my turmoil. God had a plan, though, I knew not the outcome. I was rescued by a neighbor who found me the next morning at 9 am. I received 4 blood volume replacement transfusions and had dialysis 3 times, was in a hospital induced coma for 10 days, the doctors told my family after they arrived from across the country on the 3rd day, that I would not survive. A prayer page went out on Facebook, by my Aunt, receiving over 5,000 prayers, my parents stayed by my bedside and I awoke on the 11 day, without any damage at all, like nothing had happened. They're was photographs, pictures of Angels and Jesus, on every single wall of my room, a stranger had placed an expensive bracelet made of turquoise, copper and silver on my wrist with blessed cross bangles all over it. All I remember of that first night was the smell of burnt roses and Amazing Grace playing on a piano that was never there. My grandmother played the piano in church and died in 1993. One of my doctors a neurologist who had practiced for over 30 years was from Germany, originally, Grandma was born in Sweden, so I recognized his accent, stated that in all his years he had never seen a soul survive that type of poisoning. To survive without any physical damage is unheard of. Several doctors agreed in my room, that my recovery defied any scientific explanation. The translation of my christian given name literally means 'Fruit of Life' I believe in the Almighty, Omnipotent, All knowing Christ Jesus, after that brief time in my life, coming through potential death, my direction has been restored, my mission has been renewed and my focus on living life to it's fullest, has been preordained. I won't give up give in or deny the power of a miracles. If you believe that God is a silent God or that your on your own, just look to your neighbors, your fire department, your hospitals, your science, your planet or your dog. If you can create a life like that, maintain life and endure it, you should not deny it. Praise God for granting me just that. The power to know that I am small in his eyes, lets me live large. It has never been about my destination in Heaven, I know my place is next to his throne, today is all about the journey I take to get there, what I have left behind and who I have invited to join me in his Kingdom. We must encourage lost souls to seek God, any way we can. Come against Satan when he is trying to get a foothold and he will never get a strong hold. Matthew 26:41, Thank you for reading my story, for information on how i am giving back to the community, find me on Facebook. Go to www.facebook.com/kompleteabandonRead
My name is Kimmi and I am a grateful recovering addict. October 2003 was my bottom. I walked by people who were smiling and laughing and looked nice while I was on my way to meet my dealer, yet again. I had lost my ability to say no and to walk away from heroin. I've discovered that there's only one thing stronger than a mother's love. That would be addiction. And yet, I also discovered there's only one thing stronger than addiction - God and His eternal love. As each year passes and I get to celebrate each year, I still find myself surprised. The milestone I have been really looking forward to is celebrating 14 years clean and sober. Why? Because the AA coin has XIV on it. I'm a former I.V. addict and having the AA 14 year coin shows not only me, but those in my life that sobriety IS possible, one day at a time, sometimes one hour at a time. Through the good and bad, God has saved me, time and time again. My favorite statement is "Stay sober NO MATTER WHAT" Learn from every situation, be grateful for every single minute He gifts, remember we are not bad people trying to get good, we are sick people trying to get well. My name is Kimmi and by the grace of God, I am a grateful recovering addict.Read
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.”
1 Thessalonians 4: 16-17
Usually when you say, “See you tomorrow” to someone it literally means see you tomorrow. Did you ever think that the same phrase might have another meaning?
My family and I used to go to church on Saturday night. After church, our favorite tradition was to get a Baskin Robbins milkshake. When people went there just as they were heading out the door, the workers would say,“ See you tomorrow.” I’m sure people thought they were nuts. “What do they mean see you tomorrow? I’m not coming back tomorrow. Those people are weird.”
Finally, one of us asked, “What do you guys mean by “See you tomorrow?”
The manager replied, “We’re Christians. We have the assurance that when we die we’ll see each other again in heaven.”
The phrase “See you tomorrow” was their clever way of sharing the Gospel. How about you? Is your eternal future secure?
Please give me a heart that always longs to see your face.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
Ronn Jones emerged from a childhood of pain into a heart beating with God’s love. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, Ronn had a distorted view of himself as a boy. However, a precious lady named Lena would say to him, "Ronnie Jones, God has a plan for your life. You are so special. You are going to make it!”
Attending Lena's little church Ronn found the joy he wanted in his life. That night in his bathroom, Ronn knelt to pray and was born again! He could hardly wait to get back to that little church to tell the folks what had happened!
God has gifted Ronn with a great vocal ministry. Ronn has ministered in song to millions around the world on the radio, in person and on television with guest appearances on TBN’s ‘Praise the Lord’, ‘The 700 Club’, ‘100 Huntley Street’, and “Geraldo.”
On January 7, 2013, Ronn was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, He was told by several surgeons that if he didn't have surgery, he would die!
On April 26, 2013, Ronn underwent a brutal, eleven hour, robotic surgery to remove his esophagus, 2/3 of his stomach and then stretch the remaining 1/3 of his stomach to above his right lung, behind his collar bone! Even after this death sentence, Ronn did not require chemotherapy or radiation treatments! None of the eight surgeons could guarantee that he would be able to talk again! If you can't talk, you can't sing! THEY WERE WRONG! Ronn gives ALL the praise to God!Read
Frapping the Boat
Hebrews 4: 14-16
I must confess that I am a landlubber. I love the solid ground beneath my feet. Consequently, I know very few nautical terms. Port, starboard, stern, bow and amidships are foreign terms to me. I was intrigued to find several nautical terms used in Scripture. In the original Greek, the word is found in only two places - Acts 27:18-18 and Hebrews 4:16. The Acts passage describes Paul’s shipwreck and the sailors shoring up the boat’s hull. The Hebrews passage uses the word differently. Hebrews 4:16 ASV says, “Let us therefore draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need.” This same seafaring word is translated “need or aid.” The actual term is “frapping the boat.”
Why use this nautical term? When a boat was in danger of sinking, the crew would strap ropes or chains around the hull to keep it from falling apart. With this added support the boat would have a good chance of surviving the stormy water. They frapped the boat. The writer of Hebrews was expressing an important truth. God can shore up our lives in order to withstand any storm.
In the tempests of life we may feel God has abandoned us to face these terrible trials alone. When we approach our High Priest with our seemingly impossible trials, He fraps the boat, that is, He shores us up like the boat in a storm. He doesn’t remove us from the storms but gives us the grace and mercy to withstand them.
Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out. 1Corinthians 10:13 GNB
When we are buffeted about by various trials and difficulties, help us to rely solely on our High Priest who will wrap us with His powerful ropes of love and protect us from the storms which would harm us. Amen.
I have many reasons to give thanks to God because he has been, the source of my strength. Through the years, I've watched my life blossom in so many times in so many ways. And that is because of God being so good and faithful to me. I can't even believe just how far that my God has literally brought me from being verbally and emotionally abused, nearly raped, nearly shot at and worst of all nearly killed 3 times in my automobile being it my first time ever, owning a car(or at least leasing it at the time) oh yes! You can say that I've been blessed to have survived all of that for some reason. God has something in his mind for me to do in after sparing my life through all of those frightening challenges and I do believe that he's not done with me yet.Read
My daily regimen of an early long distance running workout was somewhat interrupted by a mother duck and her two little ducklings. It was rather puzzling to me how all three of them were able to cross the busy street without getting hurt or, even, get hit by on-coming cars. Fortunately, Mama-Duck was smart enough to safely guide her ducklings to my side of the street and onto the sidewalk. It was rather unfortunate that she hopped onto the other side of a cement wall, leaving her two ducklings behind quacking for help. With overwhelming compassion, I was able to lure the ducklings to their Mama’s side and were reunited.
Three things came to my mind as I witnessed obedience and dependence, as well as guidance that these ducklings had upon their Mama-Duck. During my temper-tantrum and “youthful-Christian” days of trouble and hardship, I found myself putting up a wall in-between God and me; refusing to obey His instructions, which lead me to claim my independence and sought guidance from other individuals rather than from God. However, as I matured over the years, my dependence upon God has been non-ceasing, His guidance is the only thing that I seek daily and obedience to God is my highest priority.
King David was a man of obedience and his dependence upon God was his greatest strength when he was fighting God’s armies and hiding from King Saul as told in 1 Samuel 24. In Daniel 6, Daniel knew that God was the more powerful over King Darius, and told him that, “O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions’ mouths and they have not harmed me, inasmuch as I was found innocent before Him; and also toward you, O king, I have committed no crime.” Daniel 6:21-22 (NASB) These are only two stories out of myriad of stories in the Bible about brave, courageous, and faithful servants of God who were obedient, dependent upon God, and sought God’s guidance at all times.
The Lord God is my strength, And He has made my feet like hinds’ feet, And makes me walk on my high places. Habakkuk 3:19Read
hi my name is Alma. I became a drug addict at a late age. all my life I did things to make other people happy. use and abuse me.
I did so many things to get that drug I didn't like myself I didn't even like God. until I met the super lady named sister k she told me one day you will become the person you were meant to be. She had me start reading Daily Bread I thought okay what can go wrong with that. Your book was telling my story everyday I would use something out of it. I read out of it.. and as days months years went by I began to believe God did not give up on me. It has been 12 years since I touched a drug or alcohol and sister k I still keep in contact with her. God, I have become the person I was meant to be. on the daily basis I have seven people that I send devotions to. I read your book on a daily basis and take something out of it and send the devotions. I am so happy with my life I can never thank you enough for writing this book. keep up the good work
My mother had been in an assisted living center for several years and the cruel effects of Alzheimer’s disease were evident with each passing year when my wife and children would make the four hour drive to visit with her for a couple of hours before returning home the same day. The last several visits we brought a laptop computer with family pictures and an occasional home movie clip to show her. But this time I had not taken the time to put together any pictures and I wasn’t sure how well Mom could recognize or even see the pictures anyway. Instead, I decided to read a few Scripture passages to her.
When we arrived she was sleeping but we managed to wake her up and talk while she lay in bed. She seemed glad to see us, although I don’t think she knew who we were. I told her that I had brought my Bible and asked if I could read some to her. She said yes. I tried to pick some well-known passages containing words of encouragement and God’s love. She lay listening as I read. But as I began to read from Psalm 23, one of her favorite passages, Mom began to recite the words along with me as I read! Needless to say I was amazed and struggled to hold back the tears as she recited along with me “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul…” She couldn’t recite it all, but she knew quite a bit of it. The verse she knew best was “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” She recited that verse several other times as I read other verses. When I finished she thanked us for reading to her.
Isn’t it amazing that in her condition she could still recite God’s word that she had “hidden in her heart” (Psalm 119:11)? So we had come to visit and encourage Mom and what happens…she amazes and encourages us, God is good! Let her example be a challenge to us all to hide God’s word in our heart.Read
Hi, my name is Rocky and I am a squirrel, but I am not any ordinary squirrel, I am a "blessed" squirrel! I asked my adopted mom, Ms. Sharon to write a letter for me because I wanted everyone to know how God loves me too! I know because being squirrel is not always easy; much of my day is about "food" meaning finding food, eating food and burying food.... Also, many times I am having to fight other animals especially my squirrel relatives who are always trying to take my food. Okay, if I am honest sometimes I am taking theirs too! Well, this is where God comes in for me as He sent me Ms. Sharon and Mr. Woody too (her hubby) who feeds me and many of my friends like Rudy the singing cardinal, Ralph the grumpy blue jay and other invading squirrels (yes, they are even teaching me to share more and I try...it's so hard!). I know sometimes I look just plain greedy and not so appreciative of all that God gives me to eat each day. But it's a squirrel's natural instinct to think that there will not be enough food or it will run out so you just keep on eating. I admit that even when I save some I am still looking for more to eat; never satisfied. One day when I was been super greedy; Ms. Sharon, laughing, said "boy, you squirrels sure do take on similar characteristics of us humans as we always want more and never seem to have enough; always worrying about our next meal. But, then she looked a little sad and spoke as if she was talking to herself. She said "lately, it seems we humans seem to be worrying about everything now days just a little too much...and trusting in God a little less". Well, as a squirrel that was too deep for me to really understand, so I went back to my daily task of "eating". But I did hear her say "Rocky, you and I are so blessed as your belly is always fed and so is mine!" And while I was eating my favorite peanut crackers, rubbing my full belly; smiling, I thought "she is right!!!"
God doesn't want us to worry so much as He wants us to trust Him more. He also wants us to be thankful in our times of fullness; He wants us to share with others who have less even if we help feed other people or are feeding animals like a special squirrel name "Rocky" who is very blessed indeed. We all are so blessed!
God doesn't want us to worry so much as He wants us to trust Him more. He also wants us to be thankful in our times of fullness; He wants us to share with others who have less even if we help feed other people or are feeding animals like a special squirrel name "Rocky" who is very blessed indeed.
Abba Father, thank you for nature, for speaking through your beautiful wild life and animals like "Rocky" that to teach us so many things about trusting your faithfulness to care for all that you have created on this earth.
Today I will put my worries and cares aside and thank of others; even God's special creatures:).Read
My struggles in life
My name is Ashok Kumar. I am from a middle class Hindu family that worships Hindu deities. I was the only child to my parents after 14 years their marriage. I lost my father at the age of nine and a little farm was our family's only source of support. During my school days, when I see some rich children enjoying ice cream, biscuits, I used to suppress the desire of eating such costly items. During my college days I rarely watch movies. If at all I go I used to go lower class. At times when I watch a movie with friends for higher ticket, I used cry lonely (remembering struggles of my mother to send me the money). I grew up in the atmosphere of worshiping Hindu deities. Food used to be allowed only after the regular devotion to deities. I learned about the struggle of life through my mother's tremendous challenges, and when she fell ill I was unable to bear the hardships. Not knowing what to do, I became very depressed.
After I had completed my academia my elders began planning my marriage. However, the circumstances were evolved that I go against the choice of the elders, especially my mother and I felt it would only disrupt the girl’s future. In my sadness I foolishly made my problem worse by becoming intimate with another girl, and was then unable to abandon that immoral activity. I considered my actions to be a great injustice to my mother, and was so ashamed that I would not allow her to see my cowardly face.
Disgusted with life, I decided that suicide was the only way out. I told my girlfriend, and unfortunately, she decided to join me. So, at 20 years old, on May 1977, we both walked toward a fast approaching train.
Results of My Foolishness
We were taken to the government hospital by the railway authorities with critical injuries, and a week later I awakened from a coma. I had an oxygen mask, and there was saline, injuries, cuts, stitches on the broken skull, stitches on the right eye and torn left ear. I suffered from agonizing pain and was unable to move my legs. Bandage strips were all over my body.
My heart was crushed when I learned that the girl had lost a leg and an arm. My foolishness had also destroyed her life, and I loathed myself because I was still alive.
My relatives hated what I had done and some would not even come to see me. A close friend came, but after learning the facts angrily left, saying that I would never see him again. One of my relatives had even said to my mom, “he is useless, throw him into the river and go home”. My maternal family however, had supported me for my mother’s sake.
Ten days later when more problems developed the doctors advised them to take me to a larger hospital.
Burning with infected injuries
I was admitted to Guntur General Hospital. The bed was very hard and there was no fan to cool me. Due to an infection I was unable to have food, and I was burning with fever. I had many injections for pain, but it was still unbearable, and I could not sleep. I could not tolerate the sufferings and would often cry. It was a hell-like suffering. Several times I tried to get some poison. I begged them to kill me.
Five months later a major surgery was performed on my left side. Immediately afterward there was a severe storm and the physicians left to treat the victims. A week later the doctor opened the bandage and discovered that the operation had failed. The doctors told mom that my survival would be difficult. A few relatives came to see me for what they thought would be the last time. And in my suffering and mental anguish I was waiting to see how quickly the soul separates from the damaged body.
I Screamed out against Christ
Then, a friend of a fellow-patient came to enquire about my condition. He told me how he had come to believe in Jesus, but I was not interested. I had been screaming at my false gods because I was still alive, but that day I screamed out against Christ. That night I dreamed a man clad in a white gown climbed down from a helicopter, came over to me and placed his hand on my shoulder and said that I should “not scream out at Jesus." Hindus believe that false gods punish for wrongs that are committed. My interpretation of the dream was that Jesus had appeared to warned me for my rebuke (outburst) toward him, so I was afraid he would punish me.
At the time I thought that everyone who believes in Christ wore a cross; so, in an attempt to divert the wrath of Jesus, I asked my nephew to bring me a cross and to put it on me.
Even as a child I had a flippant attitude towards Christians, but I now realized I was wrong. The memory of Jesus laying His hand on me in my dream was strongly on my heart. I had the feeling that Jesus liked me, and I started liking Him, wholeheartedly.
Whom do I have? Where do I go?
Ten months after admission into Guntur hospital, still with large areas of my body not healed, the doctors advised my family to take me home. Until then I had thought that, “If I survived, I would walk again, and I would then return to college to complete my PG.” However, when I learned that I would never walk again, my heart was broken.
After my father’s death, I planned to support my mother, now I could no longer support her. Not only that, but I was the cause of her mental agony and physical torture, which can never be pardoned.
My maternal uncle's family showed mercy and put me in a small hospital close to their village, and sent us food. A nurse came to dress my injuries on a regular basis.
The doctor knowing I was a Hindu, asked about the cross I wore, and was told that I did so because of my critical condition.
He then asked one of the patients (who is a retired teacher) to see if he could console me. The retired teacher visited occasionally, and began to tell me about Christ. At the request of my relatives, a specialist Doctor visited me, and he told them, “I can’t say how long he will survive, take him home, because it will cost a lot of money to remain in the hospital”.
But where would we go? Our house was locked, and our little farm disposed of to meet the hospital expenses. We had no livelihood. How many days could we manage on our meagre income?
When my relatives had learned of my assumed to be critical injuries one of them had taken away all my clothes, down to the last shirt. Someone suggested that I should undertake a typing job, but how could I even sit, with the raw sores? There is nothing, "except to await death," as assured by the doctors.
The teacher still came to tell about Jesus. Initially I was not interested, but then I began to wonder, “why is he interested in me, and what's the use of his coming to see me?” There seemed to be truth in his words, but what was the evidence to help me believe?
Was God Speaking to Me?
On one of his visits I asked him for a Bible, and began to read. I noticed that when I read certain words, it seemed that God was speaking directly to me, and that it could have been written about me, especially the Book of Job:
• “For You write bitter things against me,
And make me inherit the iniquities of my youth.
You put my feet in the stocks,
And watch closely all my paths.
You set a limit for the soles of my feet.” (Job 13: 26-27).
• “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects;
Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty.
For He bruises, but He binds up;
He wounds, but His hands make whole.” (Job 5: 17-18).
• “Then he looks at men and says,
‘I have sinned, and perverted what was right,
And it did not profit me.’
He will redeem his soul from going down to the Pit,
And his life shall see the light.” (Job 33: 27-28)
• “He delivers the poor in their affliction,
And opens their ears in oppression.
• Indeed He would have brought you out of dire distress,
Into a broad place where there is no restraint;
And what is set on your table would be full of richness.” (Job 36: 15-16)
I was reading the Bible and thinking about the power of God, and His knowledge to be able to set up the entire universe, and was surprised at how great God is.
As written in Isaiah 44: 9-20, no one discerns that the Omnipotent Creator does not exist in the ingenious forms made by human hands.
• "“You are My witnesses,” says the LORD,
“And My servant whom I have chosen,
That you may know and believe Me,
And understand that I am He.
Before Me there was no God formed,
Nor shall there be after Me.
I, even I, am the LORD,
And besides Me there is no savior.” (Isaiah 43: 10-11)
• “Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him?
Everything under heaven is Mine.” (Job 41:11)
What could I give to such a God who had created the whole universe? I regretted and repented for what I had so foolishly and ridiculously done, (screaming, breaking coconuts, shaving the hair, etc). I discovered that “He does not want material things from me, only a pure heart." I felt bad, why was I not told earlier about such a Living God. My eyes were opened. My heart had been transformed by reading the Bible.
I realized that I was a sinner and deserved absolute punishment. I believed without a doubt that Jesus had died on the cross and shed His blood to cleanse me from all sin. He had risen from the grave by conquering death, and made me to live eternally at the feet of God.
Christ - My Personal Saviour
On June 24, 1979 I trusted Christ to take me to Heaven. Even in such a critical condition, I believed that, much like the thief on the cross, if I died in bed I would enter into Eternity with Christ. Even if the doctors are right, and I am dying, I would not go to an everlasting fire, but to the feet of the Almighty.
The mental agony and depression slowly disappeared. My heart would jump with joy as I went through the Word of God, and enjoyed the tranquillity of the Father. The Creator who is with me and loves me had listened to my petty requests.
One day I was carried to an open terrace for a change, and Mom went to the ground floor. Thick clouds were forming and I was afraid the soaked lesions might worsen in the rain.
I Prayed, and a few minutes later was surprised to see the clouds driven away by a huge wind, with only one drop falling on my forehead. I rejoiced in God, because He had answered my prayer.
A Great Turning Point
The teacher, and another friend, went to the Baptist Mission Hospital and explained my situation to a missionary. Dr. Marian O. Boehr. They asked her if anything more could be done to help my injuries to heal. (Incidentally, this same Doctor had performed my mother’s delivery when I was born).
So, she sent me another missionary, Ms. Doris Conney, and a few days later I was shifted to the hospital. It was a great turning point in my life. There, they looked after me and were kind-hearted. The doctor treated me as though I was her own child. Since then many brethren have regularly prayed for me.
Soon there were signs that the first vertebral lesion was beginning to heal. Then I was made to lie down in a position that would allow the morning sunlight to touch both sides of the injuries that were not healing. A few days later Dr. Boehr performed surgery on both injuries, and a miracle happened.
When the bandage was opened the injury on my right side was completely healed, however, the left side was not. Everyone, including myself, was astonished that God had miraculously healed what doctors had said would never heal.
Next, I was admitted to CMC Hospital where I underwent six surgeries, each causing extreme pain. Eight months later the injuries were completely healed, and I was learning how to use the wheelchair, and to manage my daily activities.
Everything Seemed New
I got a great spiritual benefit by my small transistor radio while I was lying in bed. Listening to all Bible messages, including Bro. RRK Murthy’s Bible lessons, and meditating on the Bible was my routine. The servants of God visited and prayed for me. Bro.Bhakth Singh visited and prayed for me. Dr. Mary Verghese, a disabled doctor, presented me with a wheelchair.
So, after three long years, seated in my wheelchair I once again ventured outside, and into the world. Everything seemed new. The Father who had found me in a distressed condition, immovable between four walls for so long, had healed and raised me up.
“The LORD has chastened me severely,
But He has not given me over to death.” Psalm 118:18
Psalm 119: 75,71,67, was surely written for me:
• “I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.
• It is good for me that I have been afflicted,
That I may learn Your statutes.
• Before I was afflicted I went astray,
But now I keep Your word.”
My Mother Accepts Christ
Salvation is freely available only through His Grace, and not of our own righteousness. My mother, who had previously worshiped idols with great devotion, was transformed and began to read the Bible, and to pray. She also removed the idols and false gods from her home. Considering her strong Hindu ideology, her willingness to believe in Christ was a surprise to all.
On December 1980, one and one half years after accepting Christ as our personal Saviour, my mother and I were baptised. How blessed we are to be released from sin and receive Eternal Life.
My relatives had witnessed my physical recovery, and could only agree that it was Christ who had healed me. Unfortunately, being Spiritually blind, they can only see the external and cannot not break the social bondage and come forward.
Out of the Hospital and a New Job
We were at last back from the hospital, but how would we survive? Who could immediately provide me with a job? I decided to ask the missionary doctor at the hospital where I had been treated, if she would temporarily provide me with a job. After a couple of weeks one of the employees resigned, and I was given her job. My first month earning was Rs.300 (4.40 US Dollar). Mom and I rejoiced for God’s care for us.
At first, it seemed difficult to work for 8 hours without mobility. My injured waist turned red and swollen. I had tremendous pain and was exhausted. By evening my legs would be so swollen that I would look forward to going home and lying down. In the mornings I could get ready for work only with the strength given by God.
One evening, as I was returning home from work, Mr. Christopher, a bank employee, encouraged me to take the competitive examinations. The doctor, who had provided the job, also encouraged me to write exams.
So, believing God was guiding me, I subscribed to a newspaper and started searching available jobs, and applying, and I received 5 offers. In December 1982 I joined a State Govt job, but due to the terrible conditions in that office I began praying to get out.
At the age of 26 (1983), I resigned from the State Govt job and joined the Bank. A year after joining the bank I completed M.Com. I commuted back and forth by crawling into a city bus and passed the bank's internal tests (CAIIB).
The Father Has My Back
One day, while returning home from work in a rickshaw, I had a fantastic experience:
I saw a man walking very fast along the side of the road carrying a calf buffalo, and it's protective mother was following ever so closely behind. In a brief moment I suddenly understood and that my Heavenly Father also closely guards my back; and He can certainly give more attention than any animal.
Awards from the President of India
In 1989 I was a recipient of “A most efficient handicapped employee” award, from the Government of Andhra Pradesh. In1992, in recognition of my expertise at work, the Government of India awarded me “a most efficient handicapped employee” award. It is a great gift of Almighty received from the President of India Shri. R Venkataraman. My mother was overwhelmed with happiness.
The gift from God would be a rare event even in a normal person’s life. However, I was very careful not to allow myself to be exalted, but practiced humility and silent supplication to God.
I carried on my duties with renewed energy and efficiency. God blessed, and I was promoted to Officer. I have been blessed with three promotions in my service. As written in the Bible, my loving Father brought me up by His Grace. When we were at Vizag God provided me with a sidecar scooter. Mom was happy that we were now able to move around by ourselves. My co-workers and neighbours were surprised that I could drive a scooter.
Gifted with a Wife and a Car
In 1996 the Almighty united me with a God-fearing girl, named Rachna. Well before my mother left the world the Lord had brought me another loving caretaker. In 1997 He blessed us with a flat. In response to Mom and wife’s prayers, God gifted me with a car. Now I could go to the office even when it rains. (God gave me the wisdom and the courage to drive a car, without training.)
My mom left to be with God in 2005, but she had cried, begged for my life, and cared for me until her last breath. She left this earth believing that “although her son is crippled, he could manage things independently, and that God had blessed him with a respectable position
The people at my work respected and acknowledged my devoted services. My firm commitment to my Organization had obscured my disability and provided an opportunity to serve as Branch Manager. I am always loyal to the Almighty who loved me and placed me in this respectable position.
Both trials and abundant blessings have been a part of my life's journey, but my loving Father has healed me, and I do not look back. I believe that behind every cloud, trial, or temptation, there is a rainbow of God’s grace.
The Lord's Deliverance
The Lord has saved me from death three times:
First time: Avoiding a direct head-on collision with a rapidly approaching bus when taking my mother to a dentist.
Second time: I was admitted to a hospital for treatment and was saved from a wrong blood transfusion.
Third time: I was in ICU in a critical condition because a nurse had given an injection into a vein instead of a muscle.
My wife prays and looks after me as well as a mother, and never allows me to think that I am a disabled person. In every aspect she ensures that no burden falls upon me.
Though my body is like a ploughed field and chafed by the surgeons knife, Almighty Christ has carried me on his shoulder like an injured lamb, enabling me to successfully complete 33 years of service.
The loving God, who found me when I was in my mother’s womb and before the foundation of the world, and He has kept me alive these 39 years to share His loving Grace and Omnipotent power.
I have believed this promise:
"If you would earnestly seek God
And make your supplication to the Almighty,
If you were pure and upright,
Surely now He would awake for you,
And prosper your rightful dwelling place.
Though your beginning was small,
Yet your latter end would increase abundantly. " (Job 8: 5-7)
I trusted Christ, not for my physical healing, but to reach His feet when I die. He not only healed me, he also gave me the opportunity to fulfill my responsibility to my beloved mother, and lifted my life to a respectable position in society.
The entire universe may perish, but the Word of God will never fail. He always fulfills His promise... my life is the living evidence.
GLORY TO ALMIGHTY GOD.
Ashok Kumar: IndiaRead