When Gabriel visited the elderly priest, Zachariah, in the Holy Place of the Temple, he came to announce a miracle birth.  Elizabeth, Zachariah’s wife, was well past the age of child bearing.  Yet, she would give birth to a boy and he would be named John.

Abraham and Sarah were given a similar announcement.  Samson’s parents stood before God too old to have children.  Hannah could not conceive but the Prophet Eli told her that she would have a child.  Mary was a virgin.

While every child born is not a miracle but most are born as a result of the natural course of God’s design and laws, the Bible records many children who had miraculous births.  For each of us, these miracles speak of God’s ability to break though in miraculous ways in our lives–long past the time that WE believed that our prayer should or could be answered.

In ancient Israel, children were considered your heritage.  While this is still true today, the present-day world system is much more concerned with temperal acqusition than leaving a legacy.  Measuring today’s values, only presidents and people with international significance worry about heritage and legacies.

Even though, this may not be God’s plan for our lives, it is a fact of the temperal system in which we find ourselves.  As a result, when we look at the miraculous births recorded in the Bible, we are given the promise of prayers being answered long after their expiration date.

Many of the miracles in our lives are answered prayers that were prayed decades before and placed in heavenly containers to become great and significant miracles in our lives.  Don’t despair when your prayer seems to be hitting some hollow void in the heavenlies.  God is not deaf.  He may not even be delaying.

God may be preparing you for a marvelous miracle to appear one distant day in your future.  Get ready!  Your miracle is on the way.

storm

It is a popular misconceptions that most miracles happen in our bodies.  While many of them do happen in connection within our bodies.  In reality, most miracles happen within the natural world.

Derek Prince often told about a miracle that happened during World War II.  One evening the prayer group he attended prayed for a particular battle that was being fought in North Africa.  It was thought that the tides of war would turn if this battle could be won by the Allied forces.  The next day, it was reported that the Allies had decidedly fought back the Axis and gained victory in this battle.  This was a miracle achieved through prayer.

storm babiesIn 2004, as their home was being totally destroyed as Hurricane Jeanne slammed into the coastline of Central Florida, the family gathered in a small inner room and prayed.  Miraculously, the house was destroyed; yet, one room was spared.  It was the room in which the family gathered to pray.

On April 3, 1974, when a category 5 tornado ravaged Xenia, Ohio.  A widow took refuge in a small closet under the staircase of her home.  She cried out to the Lord that He spare her life.  She understood that her home could be replaced; but this widow believed that she still had a work to do for the Lord.  It was a miracle that her entire house was shredded into pieces.  Only the staircase and that small closet remained at the end of the day.

A young man was diagnosed with an incurable disability.  His father was in the Air Force in Hawaii.  The entire family prayed.  Friends prayed.  Taking their son to the doctor on base, they found that the doctor who was assigned to their son’s case was the only doctor who was known to be an expert in treating their son’s disease.  Under this doctor’s care, the young man made a complete recovery from the disability.

It appears that God repeatedly and meticulously creates events that are beyond understanding and comprehension.  There is no other explanation, except that there was a miracle of God.

It is often said that if something is too good to be true, it probably isn’t true.  That is a great rule to follow, except when God decides to break His own rules and give us a miracle.

accidentSaturday afternoon, during choir practice, I got a phone call from a colleague, who said, “My wife and I have just been in at terrible accident. Can you cover for me tomorrow?” This is a person who downplays everything. Therefore, his admission regarding the  severity of the accident set me into caution mode.

Having him interrupt choir, when he knows my schedule was another cautionary note.  After seeing the pictures, it’s obvious that accident was terrible.  A truck rear-ended their auto.  After the accident, driver of the truck could not move his body.  In addition, the impact of the accident slammed my colleague’s vehicle into the car in front of them.  This person was also seriously injured.

All indications from the damage done to the cars and the injuries the others received, it is a miracle that my co-workers were not critically injured.  But they were not.

Earlier that day, the news media reported that an entire neighborhood was covered with mud in California.  However, no one was hurt.  People were saying this was truly a miracle.

prudenceThese are two incidences of God’s miraculous work in the world today. As wonderful as miracles are, there needs to be a word of prudence given.

Discretion teaches to never use the word, “miracle” in a loose manner.  It seems that often when Christians are speaking to each other and to non-believers, we use the word miracles as frequently as possible.  We get a parking space after prayer; and we let everyone know that it’s a miracle.  We are able to safely cross a heavily traveled highway by foot; and it’s a miracle.

Understand, I’m not saying that these things are not miracles.  I am  saying that describing everything that happens in our lives as a miracle weakens our witness with the outside world.  It is important that we protect our witness regarding God’s intrigity and our relationship.

Years ago, I learned from a wise friend that many things are too sacred to be shared.  This has been hard for me because I like to tell everything.  When we throw out these sacred bits of information, we open ourselves and our witness to criticism.

We don’t fully understand the reason why the Lord often admonished people who had received great miracles in their lives. “Don’t tell anyone what has happened to you,”  Jesus advised. Perhaps one reason is that these things are too personal and too holy to be thrown out for critique and misunderstanding.

jassmineGod is Patient

II Peter 3:9

Central Theme: God is patient with everyone.

Introduction– I had purchased a new jasmine vine that that I brought to show. My other vine was killed in a hurricane.  It took me a long time to replace it because I was really sad that the other one  died.  It had grown so large that it was a shelter for my back yard. Do you think a man of God should be more concerned about a dead plant than he is a city like Vero Beach  or Melbourne, Florida?  (Insert your city.)

I. Have a member read II Peter 3:9

  1. Tell the story of Jonah.
  2. Show a dead plant.
  3. Jonah wanted God to kill all the people in the city on Ninavah. But he was so angry he wanted to die rather than live because his vine had died.   (Jonah 4)

II. God is patient with everyone.

  1. He does not want anyone to have an unhappy life or die without Him.
  2.           A. There was a time that I got angry with some people who were gossiping about me.  There were actually times I wanted them to die.
  3.           B. God helped me to love them because He loves them.
  4. This is how God will help me to be patient with people, especially people who are being hateful to me.

A. God helps me remember that God loves that person as much as he loves me.
B.  God  helps me find out good things about that person.
C. God  helps me think good thoughts about the person when he or she is not with me.  I find that we usually like people when we are with them.  But we will think bad thoughts when there are not with us.

a. Many times when they are not with us, we think about what the people did or said.  Then we get angry.

Conclusion–God is patient and he can help me to be patient with other people.

Family Cafe logo

Dear Friend,

The Family Café is excited to let you know that NFL legend and disability advocate Dan Marino will be in attendance at The 16thAnnual Family Caféthis June!

Dan MarinoOf course, Dan Marino is best known for the seventeen seasons he spent as quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, which led to him being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2005. But did you know that he is also the parent of a child with autism, and an active disability advocate? He and his wife founded The Dan Marino Foundation in 1992 to help children with autism and other disabilities. Since then, the foundation has distributed over $22 million to research, services, and treatment programs. His foundation also established The Dan Marino Center at Miami Children’s Hospital in 1995, and recently launched the Marino Campus in Fort Lauderdale to provide education and training to help young people with disabilities acquire job skills.

Marino Children's centerThe Family Café is pleased to let you know that Dan Marino will be on hand to share his advocacy message, and perhaps some NFL memories, at The Annual Summit on Disabilities on the evening of Friday, June 6th. Governor Rick Scott has also committed to attend, as has long-time Family Café supporter and Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Bill Galvano. This year’s Summit is sure to be a memorable occasion, and we definitely want to see you there!

If you haven’t already registered for The 16th Annual Family Café, why not take a minute to do it today? In addition to The Annual Summit on Disabilities with Dan Marino, we have a full slate of informative breakout sessions, a full Exhibit Hall and plenty of family-friendly activities in store. It should be an amazing event!

The 16th Annual Family Café is set for June 6-8 at the Hilton Orlando, and there is no cost for families to attend. We even have limited financial assistance available to cover the cost of on-site accommodations. To register, visit our website. We will look forward to seeing you there!

Thanks,

The Family Cafe

The Family Cafe 888-309-CAFE www.FamilyCafe.net

519 North Gadsden Street
Tallahassee, FL 32301
United States

creationGenesis tells us that God made Adam from dirt and Eve from Adam’s rib.  However, he had made the earth with his Word.  He spoke the earth and heavens into existence.

There is no denying that the creation of life itself was a glorious miracle.  Yet, the miracle of human life is that God breathed His life into the man and man became a living soul–set a part from all other creatures and creation.  The human spirit was created with the breath of God.  This is the miracle of mankind.  However, once God formed man and woman and mankind became a human spirit, He put into place a well-order plan for the propagation of life.

When Adam and Eve sinned, the spirit of man was killed.  The part of mankind that was supernatural was no longer alive.  It was the work of the Holy Spirit, through the death, blood and resurrection of Jesus that produced the miracle of salvation and the regeneration of the spirit of man.

babyWhen a person is born, made from the egg of a mother and the sperm of a father, it is a wonderful extension of God’s creative power.  In that life, many miracles may follow, including the best miracle, salvation and transformation of that soul when and if s/he accepts Jesus as his or her savior.

However, the Biblical understanding does not place childbirth as a miracle. Children were not born until Adam and Eve had sinned and broke God’s covenant with them.

A miracle is when God breaks his own rules in order to do something different from the proper order of life.  Childbirth is a function of life. It conforms to God’s laws and order that have been carefully positioned for action.  Complicated, mysterious and wonderful, new life is part of God’s overall plan.  It flows through a well-ordered design set into place by our Creator-Father.

When a female egg is fertilized by a male sperm, human life is formed.  The natural order of creation is amazingly complicated, superbly detailed and designed to perfection.  Humankind is the crown-jewel of God’s creation.  However, it is not a miracle until the miracle of new-birth begins.

This idea offends every fiber of my heart as a mother because my brain and soulish nature say that children are miracles.  My grandchildren are double miracles.  Yet, when I look into the scripture and God’s plan for the propagation of life, I see that children are, indeed, a part of God’s purpose and design; but they are not miracles.  We cannot be placed into category of miracles, until the Spirit of God  brings to life the spirit of a man or woman transforming us into a child of God.

Beb LinderThe Power of Listening

(Like you, I get hundred’s of emails each week.  However, I look forward to receiving the newsletter from Bev Linder.  We’ve never met but her newsletter speaks to my heart each time I receive it.  I believe it will bless you also.  You may want to request her newsletter.  The information is at the bottom. )

James 1:19 says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak…” There is power in active intentional, and respectful listening.  It’s the best way to help our kids have an open heart to receive what we have to say about faith in God.

Imparting faith to children (ed. note: everyone) involves listening to them, for that is the beginning of giving them an understanding of their value before God. It is an un-special need to be valued in this tangible way.

Josh McDowell has said, “Part of good communication is listening with the eyes as well as with the ears.” Our culture moves so fast. As a special parent you are probably moving from therapy session to school meeting to doctor appointment, but nothing will touch the life of your precious child more than slowing down and listening to his words and to his heart. You might have a child who is nonverbal, but you can still “listen” by giving him or her your undivided attention in a quiet setting.

A while ago, Mike and I attended a memorial service that changed our lives. We didn’t even know this person. His name was Jan, a man in his 40’s who died of cancer. We only went because we knew his sister and wanted to be supportive of her. Little did we know how Jan’s life would touch our own!

The sharing time came at the service, and thus started the most amazing accounts of a person touching people’s lives, and it all revolved around Jan’s giftedness to listen! There were homeless people, neighbors, couples whose marriages were in trouble, there were old people and young people, and they all were moved by Jan’s listening heart. One friend of Jan’s felt compelled to go up to the stairs of the church and demonstrate how Jan would listen. “He would hunker down and get comfortable, like this. Then he would set his gaze on me, and say, “What’s going on with you, brother?”

It was the perfect picture of James 1:19 because Jan would be quick and deliberate in his “hearing” and then he would slowly share the truth of God’s Word, which found fertile soil in the hearts of these individuals who felt so valued.

Have you ever had someone listen to you? I mean really “hunker down” and set their gaze on you and communicate through body language that what is in your soul matters to them? When that happens, life suddenly doesn’t seem so bad. And you are much more open to whatever that person wants to share with you.  Kids are no different. Our kids with special needs are especially hungry to have someone care about what is inside of their soul for it’s something they likely don’t experience very often. Their young hearts will respond to respectful attentiveness and that will set the stage for you to tell them about the love of God.

 
Bev Linderbev@special-heart.com

www.special-heart.com