The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

by Laura Filipkowski

Christmas was the most wonderful time of the year for me. But 6+ years ago it all changed. That’s when I began to dread the season. Dare I say, I hated it.

It was just a reminder of everything that I lost. At times hope seemed lost, even impossible. My body was sick and my heart was broken. There seemed to be no logical reason, no answer and no end to what I was suffering. There was nothing I could do about it, so I hung on to a promise from God, “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you”. (Hebrews 13:5)

I clung to those words, moment after moment, day after day. I’ll be honest. It wasn’t easy and at times I felt like giving up.

Why bother? This is too hard! I’m all alone and it hurts to much. Nobody understands.

Yet, one person did and still does understand, Jesus and I never took my eyes off Him. Maybe I should say, He never took His eyes off me. I cried out to Him and told Him what was going on and asked for His help. Praying, “Lord I give you my plans, my hopes, my dreams, and my life. I surrender it all to You. Not my will Lord, but Your will be done in my life”.  And He DID IT! He pickup me up out of my mess.

Now… For the first time in years I can say again, “This IS the most wonderful time of the year.” It didn’t happen overnight and I still have moments, but He is my hope. When I see what He’s carried me through I know He’ll continue to see me through. My hope, my joy, my plans and my dreams are in Christ alone.

If you find yourself in a place where your heart is broken, you’ve lost friends or loved ones, you’re out of work or physically sick, please remember…. God doesn’t just love me. He loves YOU too. What He did for me, He will also do for you.

Call out to Jesus, put your hope in Him and He will carry you through your terrible time. And if you don’t have the strength to hold on to Him, ask Him to hold on to you and He will carry you in the palm of His hand. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

I am praying that God gives strength, peace & joy to you and your family. Merry Christmas!

Why I Am In The Healing Ministry

Why I Am In The Healing Ministry

by Pastor Steve Horrell

The heat of that summer evening was intense as the sun made its way St. John’s Episcopal Church in Kissimmee, Florida, where I knew that the door to that old white wooden chapel would be unlocked and the air conditioning would be on. I sat there in silence enjoying cool air and the faint scent of incense which lingered in the room. I felt no burdens, no problems; my prayer was silence. It was then and there when the Lord called me into the ordained ministry. The experience, which lasted several minutes ended with a vision of oh so many people.

He then told me, “Go. Tell my people I love them.”

Upon the end of the last class of my last day in seminary I went to my room, sat down, looked out the window over the rolling landscape toward the south of Rochester, New York and prayed, “what’s next, Lord?” Immediately I experienced a repeat of the call experience – the vision and the words “tell the people I love them.”

I believe that we are all created by God to be loved. We need to be loved in ways in which we ‘feel loved.’ I believe that to pray for someone ‘out loud, hands’ on in their presence is a profound way of loving them. I believe, and it has been my experience, that people feel loved, cared for, when they are prayed for in such a manner.

Why am in in the healing ministry? There are many reasons. I have witnessed numerous miraculous healings of physical problems when praying. It is just plain cool to see the Lord heal, especially heal quickly. Another reason is because when we pray for someone else (hands on, out loud) I experience some of what St. Francis of Assisi wrote in his famous prayer: “It is in giving that we receive.” Sometimes when I pray for someone I get in on and experience the Lord’s love and compassion for them and/or the Lord’s forgiveness for them. And how about this for a reason for prayer? Jesus said, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” These are just a few reasons why I am in the healing ministry.

featured image from: bing.com