If you’re an intercessor or have a desire to be one, this book is for you. There are many excellent teaching books on intercession, humility, fervency and eternal rewards; however I am not aware of any fictional book that embraces these issues. Through following the lives of two very different Christians, Angels of Humility gives an understanding of what one person, even a weak and unlikely one, can achieve for God. You’ll understand the importance of your prayers and actions, now and in eternity. The author’s main goal is not to only entertain readers, but to change their lifestyle in the following three areas: 1). The only way to be exalted is through the low door called humility. Anyone can be great in God’s kingdom—do small acts of kindness on a daily basis as unto Him. Unfortunately, dedicated Christians in the western church are striving for prominence and position, the total opposite of Jesus’ example and commands. 2). You really can pray without ceasing even if you aren’t called to be a full-time intercessor. Your prayers make a bigger impact than you can even imagine. 3). The only thing that matters about your life is the evaluation you receive from the Lord when you die. There are two kingdoms; the visible and the invisible— don’t invest in the wrong one. You don’t want to experience regret when your life is evaluated.

We know these things, but we are too easily distracted. As you read the vivid scenes at the judgment throne it will become clear that you do not want to sufferer loss on that day! This book will strengthen your resolve to live a life wholly abandoned to Him. This book is full of ideas for praying as you go, applicable for any person in any walk of life. With the nudging of her angels, Sarah who is newly converted at age 71, discovers prayer walking, prayer driving, praying for people who are pictured on billboards, magazine covers or TV. She prays for whoever is on the receiving end of any siren she hears. When she is waiting for a train she prays for each of the drifters who painted the graffiti on the railway cars. She discovers that if she’s not eating or talking, she can be praying in tongues and makes it her goal to do that constantly. She also prays everyday for the people who are going to die in the next 24 hours. Whew! If you implement half the intercessory ideas from this book your prayer life will be impacted.

3 I recommend Angels of Humility to those that are hungry to grow in urgency, be more disciplined in prayer, understanding how your daily choices make an eternal difference and begin the life-long quest to be like our beautiful Savior who humbled himself to take the form of a man, come to earth and die on a cross. Mike Bickle Director of the International House of Prayer of Kansas City


“Pride can profess any form of religion….it attends all kinds of chapels and churches; go where you will, you will see pride. It cometh up with us to the house of God; it goeth with us to our houses; it is found on the mart, and the exchange, in the streets, and everywhere.” C.H. Spurgeon “The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God’s estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto.” A. W. Tozer "Pride can degrade the highest angels into devils, and humility raise fallen flesh and blood to the thrones of angels…. Evil can have no beginning but from pride, and no end but from humility. The truth is this: Pride may die in you, or nothing of Heaven can live in you. Under the banner of the truth, give yourself up to the meek and humble spirit of the holy Jesus….Look not at pride only as an unbecoming temper, nor at humility only as a decent virtue: for the one is death, and the other is life; the one is all hell, the other is all Heaven. So much as you have of pride within you, you have of the fallen angels alive in you; so much as you have of true humility, so much you have of the Lamb of God within you. Could you see what every stirring of pride does to your soul, you would beg of everything you meet to tear the viper from you, though with the loss of a hand or an eye. Could you see what a sweet, divine, transforming power there is in humility, how it expels the poison of your nature, and makes room for the Spirit of God to live in you, you would rather wish to be the footstool of all the world than want the smallest degree of it." -Spirit of Prayer, Pt.II, p.73, Edition of Moreton, Canterbury, 1893.

elderly lady. growling. I think I'm going to be sick!” “Enough complaining!” barks Death. more angels—that’s just what we need. “At sunrise this frail little intercessor. "I can’t take any more worship." Max Lucado Chapter 1 A death is in progress in Room 120 of Bradbury Manor. Barrie "Lower your expectations of earth. When I give the . is busy formulating a plan of attack with the low-ranking imps under his command. The atmosphere is energized with even more glory. They resume their marching.m. “Great. as the muscles on Sarah’s face tense. earthly life into an eternity of love and peace. The angels pause from their celebration. is finally going to rest in the Lord’s arms. Huddled together in the corner of the room. He despises them all. are singing. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” James M. smiling tenderly. the worshipping angel.. the warrior angel. Two towering. Angels carrying instruments surround Sarah’s bed." wails Depression. who was so dynamic a witness on earth. Sarah is wholly protected in her utterly vulnerable state. and their joyful praise not only fills the room but flows back to the throne of grace like a tidal wave of pure joy. ancient angels. The largest one. dancing and praising around the bed. “We’ve got to attack now. “The Lord is waiting in eager anticipation. Just as they are ready to strike Malta blows his shofar and the heavens open. clothed in dazzling garments of light.” It is a little before 5 a. joyous death—a spiritual celebration in full swing. “Make them stop singing. It is a wonderful.5 “Life is a long lesson in humility. This isn't heaven so don't expect it to be. “Another stroke. are several yellow-eyed spirits. The sounds of celestial music waft into the room along with heavenly colors and fragrances.” says Malta.” whines Discouragement.” says Joel.”1 shouts Joel. Death. The feeling is mutual. Sarah is unaware of the celestial celebration and the Heavenly orders that will transition her into God’s paradise—the eternal dwelling place for which she was created. fetal and unconscious under a pink chenille bedspread. and the angels glow with anticipation of the swallowing up of her temporal. This heavenly choir follows Malta’s worship. marching and dancing around the figure of a frail. the town’s nursing home.

but I’m staying right here!” “We’ve tried unsuccessfully to kill her for 16 months. Death turns on these minion imps in anger. Shielded by her two ecstatic angels.” says Joel. She’s barely holding to life by a thread. Joel gazes at them with eyes like blazing fire. We can’t even steal one second from the life span appointed to her. Malta lays his hand on Sarah’s chest to feel her breathing. Let’s face it.” says Intimidation. For the first time ever. a little shallower each time. ducking quickly to avoid a blow from Death. the sun’s first rays peek over the horizon.6 word. Liquid warmth envelops Sarah. gazing into the opened Heaven. Surges of glory permeate the room as the heavenly corridor of glory touches earth. You’re all a bunch of incompetent idiots. and we’ll be tortured severely for failing this mission. “Soooo—close. “Do you see those angels walking back and forth with the swords? Do you see the impenetrable wall of protection and glory around her? You can charge if you want. Joel and Malta bend over Sarah. but they feel even more love for Sarah welling inside them than before. He unsheathes his flaming twoedged sword and on his next pass by that side of the room he slashes through the gnarled demonic mass. With the sun slightly below the horizon. As her last breath escapes her frail. “Get ready.” The imps retaliate by hissing. “Do you realize what she set in motion? This one wretched little old lady has started an avalanche of salvations around the world. She is whisked through the portal toward an unseen realm of eternity by a jubilant Malta with Joel flying ahead. the angels gather around the bed in hushed excitement. Escorted by her two triumphant angels. scratching and blaming each other for their failure. having received orders from the fiery sapphire throne. ashen-colored and wrinkled on the bed. She is leaving behind all sin and the damning results with which she has lived since birth. Maybe one of you can get to her pathetic. awaiting the final word. It was hard to believe. she feels the complete absence of pain and the presence of total peace. she catches a glimpse of her aged face. wrinkled body. cursing.” whispers Malta. charge. “NOW!” shouts Joel. Joel grins. They vaporize into a harmless puff of yellow sulfurous smoke. “We had Sarah her whole life. Sarah’s spirit emerges into Malta’s waiting arms. fleshly shell. . They’d been her guardians for 16 months. Knowing it would indeed be impossible to penetrate the angelic worship. stroking Sarah’s forehead and smiling at Joel. Fear of Man emphatically agrees. It is one of the many aspects of his job that he loves.” “We couldn’t even get to her when there were just two of them—I’m not going anywhere near that bed!" yelps Infirmity. How did you manage to lose her in the last year and a half?” he screams. Glancing back. she is moving faster than the speed of light.

far distance.7 she moves rapidly toward a brilliant light in the far. .

she slept fitfully. “Since you idiots can’t seem to carry out your orders to do away with one pathetic. was the worst time of her whole dreadful day.8 “Christ doesn't become precious to us until we are humble. Also.” “No one else loves you. multi-colored afghans were folded in Sarah’s hall closet waiting to be donated to a good cause—the Elk’s Club Raffle or maybe the High School’s yearly fund raiser.” He slithered into Sarah’s bedroom and whispered. it still consumed her every waking minute and intruded on her dreams as well. until we comprehend how lost we are we can't understand Christ's wondrous and redeeming love. No man enters the kingdom without understanding his own sinfulness and realizing his need to repent. “He’s gone forever. elderly lady. In the beginning stages of the disease he was still talkative but as he deteriorated she spent hours just sitting beside him in silence. The ache was no less intense. she had become a recluse.” shrieked Discouragement. Now. The spirits would clamor around and torment her. When she managed to sleep. You’ll never see him again. She had contentedly spent her life as a wife. Sarah eventually became afraid to even sleep because she was besieged by terrifying dreams about George’s death involving dismemberment and other gruesome images.” growled Death. six. sitting by his bed. Agoraphobia kept her housebound except for necessary trips to the grocery store. Sarah was an introvert by nature and had many insecurities.” John MacArthur Chapter 2 Sixteen months earlier: Sarah was a widow.” whispered Lying. caring for him. except for the spirits that had flooded in to convince her that her life no longer had purpose. She woke frequently. Over the last two years of his declining health. doting on George. Her only contact with the outside world toward the end was the visiting nurses. At night. before she fell asleep. each and every day. Until we see our poverty we can't see His riches. planting thoughts in her mind: “George is dead. priority assignment. For some reason this is an urgent. You’ve been . To pass the time she taught herself to crochet. It had only been six months since cancer stole George away from her. “You have nothing to live for. After George’s death Sarah was totally alone. Suicide arrived at bedtime one night. I’ve been sent to take over. When we preoccupy ourselves with our own wants and needs we can't see the matchless worth of Christ. “You never had children.

“I’ll get her before you do. “Have you considered just ending your miserable existence? The afterlife has got to be better than the present—the horrid grieving and the continual pity-party you live in. He rummaged through his bottom drawer on the old mahogany desk.” interrupted Suicide. Neither George nor Sarah had ever been to the church as far as he could remember. Her life spiraled down. Pastor Hall was sitting in his cluttered office reading his devotions. crashing her car. the first layer was last month’s bulletins. He’d done it for the last 18 years.” “At her age?” sniped Discouragement. even shooting herself. church members or not. now you’re not.m. but Pastor Hall had made it a practice to visit all the community members who had hard times. “I’ve heard rumors from the enemy’s kingdom that she has a great destiny. full of wisdom and knowledge. waited until he read the section about God’s heart for the widows and orphans. “She’s lost her will to live--” “She should have been dead months ago.” When she finally dozed off from total exhaustion at 4:00 a.” said Depression smiling. “It’s just a matter of weeks before she succumbs to me. she had no appetite.” When Suicide replied. jumping off a bridge. .” whispered Death. She’s spent her whole life barely thinking about God. She’s been ours all her life and she will be ours in death--for all eternity. “Well one of us needs to take her out quickly. Aaron. You’re just taking up space in your old age. When Pastor Hall saw the word “widows” Aaron reminded him of something he was going to do six months ago. She’s highly vulnerable now. She was barraged by scenes of her taking her own life.” He sneered at Depression as he slithered next to Sarah and wrapped his scaly constricting body around hers. Food no longer tasted good and she began to drop weight from her already small frame. “She’s 71 years old and still lost as a goose. His radiant guardian angel.” What’s left for me? wondered Sarah. She awoke screaming at 4:15 and refused to go back to sleep. Now she was too scared to leave the house even to grocery shop. Full-blown depression and exhaustion consumed her. then the file with the church’s electric bills. “The Godhead has worked miraculously through stranger people than her. with a razor blade. There was no food but it didn’t matter.9 a wife for over 50 years. overdosing on pills.” a simultaneous chill penetrated the demonic horde. and he finally found what he was looking for sticking out from under several candy bar wrappers--George’s obituary from the Bradbury Gazette. You no longer have purpose in life. Her grief and exhaustion make her susceptible to take her own life. Suicide lay coiled around her planting thoughts in her mind. It seems all down hill from here. You’ve done what you were put here to do.

towered over nine feet tall. He loved sharing the Gospel. I’m just waiting to die. Joel. his chest was covered with a golden breastplate and he carried a sharp two-edged sword on his hip in an ornately decorated gold sheath. Her hair was unkempt. Alive with His presence. It’s been so long since I’ve had visitors. Although Pastor Hall had never seen Sarah he was taken aback by the haggard figure with the sunken eyes staring at him through the screen door. She sobbed as she poured out her heart about how hard the last few years had been with George’s cancer and then her depression. While Sarah was in the kitchen Pastor Hall prayed and rebuked the demonic. Malta. I’ll make us some coffee. “Oh. After an introduction. Other pockets held scrolls of Heavenly music tied up with ribbons. wore a brilliant white robe with a golden sash at the waist which held a shofar. the warrior and the worshipper. With a prayer on his lips he bounded to his car. forgive my manners. he’d been to almost half the homes in the whole town. This one is pretty much falling apart. there were bags under her eyes and her dress was just hanging on her frail body. a warrior angel. each equally capable of defeating the enemy. lyre and harp. Joel and Malta had been ministering together since they were created. He whistled all the way up the sidewalk. He stopped to take a whiff of the purple flowers before knocking on the screen door. In large pockets around his robe he carried a flute.” she looked away . “Life’s not worth living to me anymore. Sarah overcame her suspicion and invited him in. After about 20 minutes she mostly composed herself and ended by saying. He was constantly alert. As near as he could figure. The spiritual atmosphere in the house was oppressive. they reflected the glory of Heaven and brought its fragrance with them wherever they went. Also. two magnificent angels appeared in the room. a worshipping angel. She sat him in an overstuffed floral chair by the fireplace and she sat down on the couch. but their real power was their constant lifeline with the Trinity. but he never knew who lived there. leather-bound Bible with the dog-eared pages. I’m embarrassed to say it. Soon he pulled up in front of Sarah’s small white bungalow with the lilac bushes surrounding the front porch. He couldn’t see them but he could sense their evil presence by the revulsion he felt in his spirit and he could see their obvious influence on Sarah. Their heavenly bodies were strong and lean. something told her she could trust the man sitting in front of her. together--unstoppable.” She struggled to get off the couch. Glistening light reflected off his golden-blonde hair. His wife always commented on those lilac bushes. They were always aware of Father’s orders.10 He closed his worn. In response to his prayer. had eyes like fire and was fierce in holiness. When Sarah came back from the kitchen she felt her mood elevate slightly for the first time in months. Maybe they’ll get me a new one at my retirement party next month.

from his compassionate eyes and stared at the floor, “But I’ve even had thoughts of taking my own life.” “Oh, Sarah, I’m so sorry for all you’ve been through the last couple years, but, I can promise you that suicide is never the solution. It would be wrong for you to take your life because God gave it to you. Even though you’re older, whether you’re going to be around for one, five or ten years, He still has a plan for you. He loves you so much and He wants the remainder of your life to be productive and joyful. You’ve been listening to the wrong voice, if that makes sense.” Sarah dabbed at her eyes with the tissue and shook her head no. Well, the devil hates you and he has a plan for your life—total destruction--misery and hopelessness on earth and an eternity in Hell after death. God loves you and He has a plan for your life on earth, and then for you to dwell in eternal Paradise with Him after your death. He actually planned your life before He even created the world. You’ve been listening to the devil’s voice which is always a lie and will always lead to something evil. In this case the lie that you have no purpose for living and that you should take your own life. Did you grow up in church? “No.” “In that case, I’m going to start with some basics, if that’s OK. May I read a few things?” he asked as he flipped through his tattered Bible. She nodded and wondered what had prompted this kind man to come to see her. Before I get to the good news, I’m going to share some bad news first. The Bible tells us that ’all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.’2 One thing everyone has in common on this earth is that we all sin. I don’t know anyone who is perfect, do you?” Sarah shook her head in agreement. “This next scripture tells us that ‘the wages, or the result of sin is death.’ 3 Death is eternal separation from a loving God. But that’s not what God wants; He wants relationship with all His children. The Bible says that ‘He’s not willing that any should perish’4 but that He came to give everyone eternal life. 5 The way we get that eternal life is through accepting the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins when He died on the cross. Let me explain this in a little more detail. “Because of God’s holiness He can’t allow sin in His presence. So there always has to be forgiveness of our sins in order for us to be in relationship with God. Because of Jesus’ great love and desire to bring humans back into relationship with God and Himself, and to allow them to spend eternity in Heaven, Jesus humbled Himself and chose to be the ultimate sacrifice for everybody’s sins, once and for all. He left His kingly paradise and was born as a human child. He lived a sinless life even though His opponents scorned and persecuted Him. He sacrificed Himself in our place when He allowed Himself, the only innocent one, to be put to death on the cross. Only a person who is totally righteous can pay for sin. When a sinful human dies, His death doesn’t pay for his sin. Death is what he deserves because of his sin. Remember, the wages of sin is death? None of us

has the ability to pay for our own sin. But because Jesus didn’t sin the whole time He was on earth, when He voluntarily gave His life as an offering for sin on the cross, it actually paid for everyone’s sin.6 “The Bible says that when He died He literally ‘became sin’ 7 and was punished for the sins of the whole world 8 just like they were His own sins. Then after three days He was raised to life 9 and is now seated in Heaven. 10 Since He paid for all the sin that everyone had ever committed, including you, all you have to do is accept His sacrifice for your sin and then in gratitude for the free gift of salvation, dedicate your life to Jesus and follow Him and He will show you his wonderful life-giving plans,” he said with a big smile. “Isn’t that wonderful news? What an incredible gift!” “I always thought we had to earn our way to Heaven by being good enough,” said Sarah. “No, we can’t cancel the bad by doing good. Sin has to be paid for. We don’t live good lives to earn God’s love or to get Him to save us; we live good lives out of gratitude that He saved us as a free gift. Plus, we now have His help to change those sinful habits that we used to be powerless over.” As Sarah tried to understand what all that meant, Malta appeared behind her and repeated the words that Pastor Hall had just spoken. For the first time in her life she felt the weight of sin she was carrying. She realized that she needed forgiveness. Her strategy of trying to be a good person was woefully lacking compared to God’s standard of holiness. Pastor Hall flipped back a few pages and read, “’But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.’11 Sarah, would you like to pray with me and acknowledge Jesus’ death as paying for all your sins?” After thinking for a while Sarah nodded her head. “Nooo,” screamed Depression. “She’s ours--” Sarah’s affirmation gave Joel the authority he needed to act on her behalf. With one slice of the double-edged sword he freed Sarah from all the demonic torment that was trying to take her life and rob her of her destiny in God. They all fled in terror. “Dear Jesus thank you for dying for my sins so I wouldn’t have to. I give what’s left of my life to You and ask You to show me what You want me to do.” When Sarah prayed to accept the Lord, in the spiritual realm, she was clothed in a brilliant, glowing white robe of righteousness, although she had no way of knowing it. Embroidered in glistening white on the sleeves were Sarah’s spiritual gifts—prophecy, hearing from the Lord for other people, and intercession, fervent prayer. “This is the same righteousness that Jesus has, as a free gift to you,” said Joel. “Now when Father looks at you He sees Jesus’ righteousness, provided you continually ask forgiveness for your sins. It’s the most incredible exchange in the world. Your filthy rags of sin12 traded for

the most costly, most valuable robe of righteousness. “And this,” said Malta is the mantle of humility.” He placed on her a drab brown colored robe that totally covered her glowing white robe. “Next to the robe of righteousness this is the most important garment. Don’t ever take it off Sarah, or you’ll make yourself vulnerable to the enemy. Pride always goes before a fall,13 but God gives grace to the humble.”14 “Our Lord was cloaked in humility when He walked the earth. His indescribable glory was temporarily hidden and humility and love were two of His distinguishing characteristics.15 Most Christians never come close to attaining what the Lord has for them because they won’t humble themselves,” said Joel. “Humility is a fruit of the Spirit called “meekness.” 16 It doesn’t get bestowed on you. You must make a consistent effort; you must fight a spiritual battle against your innate desires to attain it through diligent prayer, practice, faith and most of all grace gifts from the Lord. It’s a joint venture. God won’t do your part and you can’t do His.” Pastor Hall said, “Sarah, you have no idea how precious you are to the Lord. Did you know that the angels in Heaven are rejoicing right now over your decision?” 17 “So are the angels right here,” said Malta as he played a celebratory song on his flute while he danced. Joel looked into the open Heaven, raised his hands over his head and worshipped the Lord. “For You alone are worthy. You were slain and Your blood purchased men for God out of every tribe, tongue, people and nation.” 18 These two angels would be with Sarah until her death. And although she was not aware of their presence, they would constantly guard and encourage her in the Lord. “Let me leave you with this little tract that lists a few scriptures that tell of God’s great love for you,” said Pastor Hall. After he left, Sarah read the tract. One of the scriptures was especially meaningful to her: “For the Lord your God has arrived to live among you. He is a mighty savior. He will rejoice over you with great gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will exult over you by singing a happy song.” 19 Sarah was more than a little confused about all that had happened but she knew she felt 100% better. Her thoughts of suicide were totally gone. She was able to sleep through the night. She left the house to grocery shop without fear and she enjoyed eating again. Her strength was returning. She went to church that next Sunday morning and made her public profession of faith, just like Pastor Hall had encouraged her to do. Two weeks later she was baptized at age 71 and joined the over 60 Sunday school class. She gathered copies of all the free devotionals, tracts and literature to take home and study. Pastor Hall scheduled several meetings with Sarah to get her started on the right track.

Sarah’s primary spiritual gift, her true spiritual destiny, was intercession which had lay dormant her entire life. Although Pastor Hall didn’t realize this, the basic teachings that he gave her on prayer helped to get her started. “Sarah, it’s important that every Christian has a time of prayer with the Lord the first thing in the morning. Jesus is our model and the scriptures tell us that Jesus prayed in the morning and that He often withdrew by Himself to pray.20 He never acted independently of the Father but stayed until He received instruction and strength for His daily plans. That’s why scripture said that ‘Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing.’21 If Jesus needed to meet with the Father each day how much more important is it for us?” This was all new to Sarah and she nodded her agreement at this sobering thought. “Now maybe you didn’t know this but the devil shows up at Christian’s prayer times too. He’ll do everything he can to distract your mind, to remind you of obligations, to accuse you of your sins and shortcomings. You can’t let him derail you.” He saw a look of confused horror spread across Sarah’s face. “Let me explain Sarah, there’s the visible, tangible world around us that we can all see, like the furniture here in this room and the trees and grass, but overlaying this natural realm is a spiritual realm that few people can actually see, but it’s more real than the visible realm that is decaying and passing away. God is the creator of both realms. Remember the first day I came to your house, there were demons there that were assigned to take your life. When I walked in my spirit sensed their presence, even though I couldn’t see them, so I started praying and when you gave your life to the Lord they eventually left.” “I didn’t exactly know they were demons but I know my whole house feels lighter, I’m certainly happier and I’m healthier too.” “You were being oppressed by the dark side of the spirit world. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” 22 That’s just another way of saying that the visible, tangible world and the people in it aren’t really our problem it’s the spirits behind them motivating them that are the problem. The way we fight back is through prayer. Your prayers release spiritual power to defeat the enemy in the spiritual realm then you see the manifestation or breakthrough in the natural realm. First in the spiritual, then in the natural.” “Wow, I’ve got a lot to learn,” said Sarah. “I had never even heard any of the stories you read from the Bible when you preached on Sunday.” “Well, Sarah,” said Pastor Hall standing up, “It’s never too late to learn and I commit that I will pray that you would grow exponentially in the things of the Lord and be a great hindrance to the devil’s kingdom. Even after I move I’ll keep praying for you. Oh, I almost forgot. I bought this book for you on humility. It’s a great way to start your Christian life. The Bible says that God

” said Pastor Hall. but gives grace to the humble. “I’m glad you’re interested enough to ask. You can better . Unfortunately most Christians don’t fight against pride or understand enough about humility to earnestly desire it. “Yes. That’s false humility. Pastor Hall chuckled.” “Your spiritual gifts were picked especially for you by the Lord. compassionate. but being the object of someone’s compliment doesn’t necessarily make you proud. Just say thanks and then offer it to the Lord because all our gifts and talents come from Him. The thought of God actively resisting me is terrifying.25 False humility masquerades as humility but it is pride in disguise. belittle yourself.” “What do you mean. 27 Your time is limited Sarah so give the Lord your time and your energy. “That’s exactly what the book said. be chronically ill. make Him your priority above all distractions and when you arrive in Heaven you’ll be grateful that you did. Just knowing that a seasoned Christian would be praying for her helped her feel less overwhelmed. It is humility when we accept what we are given and use these giftings as God has planned. Don’t covet what other’s have. allow others to walk all over you. If you are an excellent piano player and someone compliments you it doesn’t benefit anyone if you refuse their compliment. It sounded like God takes these areas seriously. A person enmeshed in self-condemnation and self-denunciation is usually not humble. kind. Many sincere Christians in an effort to avoid pride consider it humility to be poor. 23 I want grace and grace and more grace in my life. “Well. but she was so overwhelmed at his commitment to pray for her that she was crying by the time she got to her car. “How do I avoid false humility?” “People who yearn for recognition are in danger of pride. She read most of the book on humility that week and only missed one morning having her prayer time. ‘I’ll be judged on what God gives me?’” “When Christians die their life is judged and they are given rewards for their faithfulness or they “suffer loss” for their lack of faithfulness. meek or patient.” He shook her hand and Sarah managed to thank him. He takes them very serious. or be shy. It will throw you off of God’s path for your life and frustrate you. “Do I really have spiritual gifts? I don’t know what they are. view yourself as a worm. The next week meeting with Pastor Hall Sarah had many questions. weak. You’ll only be judged on what God gave you and the specific purposes which He called you to do. 26 They all get to Heaven but the Bible speaks many times about eternal rewards and being faithful with what we’re given. “God has given each of us a different mix of spiritual and natural gifts. That’s a tragedy because if we humble ourselves God promises to exalt us!”24 Pride is one of the most deadly forces at satan’s disposal and he uses it very effectively against us.” Let’s talk about false humility first.” said Sarah with her eyes wide.15 resists the proud.

For instance. Intercessors are the hidden workhorses of the kingdom. Remember last week we said that we don’t fight against people but against evil spirits?” . That confused me. miracles. it could be temper. service. if I’ve got greed in my heart you can bet that that demon will be trying to take advantage of me and make me stumble because it’s a place of weakness. it makes you more susceptible to that particular demonic spirit. which is very rare. “I didn’t get anything else off the list.” These are in us and we are supposed to be actively fighting against them.16 understand your true destiny when you know your spiritual gifts. healings. Pastor Hall helped Sarah understand that what she’d called “her premonition” all her life was really a gift from God called prophecy. evangelists. It helps you know who God created you to be and what He desires for you to do. like Sarah.” “But it’s not on the list.” “We get hit from the inside and the outside don’t we? We all struggle with certain internal areas. The Bible calls these our “sin nature. leadership. There’s a list in the last chapter of the book I gave you. mercy and hospitality.” “My opinion is that it’s not on the list because every Christian is supposed to do it.” “You could very well have a gift of intercession. it’s not on the list either. pride or many others sinful attitudes. She was so grateful that she had someone to go to for answers. selfishness. apostle. Go home and read the list praying over it and see if the Lord reveals anything to you. that’s a very public gift. God is not limited by time or distance. If you have pride in your heart it is what will obey the demon of pride. giving.” At home Sarah read about the descriptions of: pastor/teacher. You can pray for individuals. but that’s OK. “My gift is as a pastor and a teacher. but I listened to everything you said about prayer and I do like to pray. knowledge.” Sarah nodded. Intercession is a gift that comes with hiddenness. prophet. interpretation of tongues. discernment. addiction. It’s like tithing. God says He sees what we do in hiddenness and he will reward us openly. “I can’t wait to meet with Pastor Hall next week. exhortation. wisdom. which is much more common. faith. and someone who has a prophetic gifting. You’ll be alone praying in your home for people you don’t even know and they will be touched by your prayers. ministering.29 “Can you explain another thing about pride for me? The book said there is pride in my heart and that there is a demon of pride. administrator. tongues. We were born with these. He gave her some scriptural examples and explained the difference between someone who is a prophet. 28 She prayed over the list and jotted a few things in the margin. you can pray for war-torn nations.” At next week’s meeting Sarah had her dog eared humility book marked up with questions.

She couldn’t have known that they wouldn’t receive a prophetic word from anyone who was a brand-new believer. and reading in the Old Testament about how Joseph’s family got angry with him for the same thing. She continued getting impressions from the Lord about people.” “Better to know the truth late than never. After all. They even tried to encourage receptivity among the members of the Sunday school class but they had too much spiritual pride to listen to a new Christian.17 Sarah shook her head and remained quiet. Sarah backed way off. . It makes me so sad. 30 she decided that sharing her impressions would only get her in trouble. but with no results. Joel and Malta encouraged Sarah to act on them. “What’s going on?” asked Pastor Hall leaning toward Sarah. but after the chilly reception from her Sunday School classmates. Wouldn’t you agree?” At first Sarah was very excited about her prophetic gifting but after sharing some of her impressions with a few of her Sunday school class members and getting the cold shoulder. many of them had attended that church for over 30 years. “It’s just that I lived 71 years thinking that demons were like werewolves and monsters. or a new member of their class.

will you stand please?” A petite brunette with curly hair and wearing a denim jumper stood from the second row and gave the crowd a big smile and a wave. “A woman calls her husband on his cell phone. Others commute to Mt. he presented a good first impression. Paul had felt grateful and relieved to be selected as interim pastor. Maybe they’ll like me. jet-black hair. At least he’d be employed until the search committee called someone else. “I’m happy to be here today serving as your interim pastor.000. Take your mind off your performance. He’s driving in his car. he began again. ‘Honey I want you to be very careful. Missouri. Then you’ll have truth and life to share. but draw business away from Bradbury’s town square.” said Saldu. I speak for all of us when I say we look forward to getting to know all of you and serve with you here at the Victory Church of Bradbury. with a natural athletic build and wearing his best.’ ‘One?’ the husband replies.” Shifting his weight from his left to his right foot and back again. I’d like to introduce my better half. Paul always started his sermons with a joke. empty yourself and He’ll fill you.” With seminary graduation less than a week ago. Cindy. like he always did when he had too much nervous energy. At the very . It was his first time preaching Sunday morning at Bradbury. Pielor 15 miles away to work in the factories or stores that have sprung up there. I just heard on the radio that there’s someone driving the wrong way down Old Highway 3. Some still farm their family’s ground. The church board had called Paul Reynolds as interim.” Saint Augustine Chapter 3 Bradbury is a small rural Missouri community of 8. Paul let out a deep sigh of relief and ran his fingers through his perfectly quaffed. These stores provide much needed jobs. He was faithful to remember to pray for Sarah regularly. “The service isn’t about you. Maybe they’ll call me as their pastor. “Relax Paul.18 “Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. It’s about glorifying the Lord. and only suit. Humble yourself. and less expensive goods and services. some of the wrapping paper still crumpled on the floor of his car. At 6’2”. “Jordan is 20 months old and he is in the nursery. his guardian angel who was standing in the pulpit directly behind him. ‘There’s hundreds of them!’” The congregation roared with appreciative laughter. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility. Pastor Hall retired and he and his wife left Bradbury for Texas to care for his aged mother.

Hoping to wow them with all the knowledge he’d gleaned from 89 graduate hours. deep in his heart he was hoping to be the one. “Well?” “Well. Jordan’s plump. resurrection power. you did fine. before the key was even in the ignition. Angela Carver became an angel sculpting a big piece of cheese. even though Cindy had worked until she was very pregnant with Jordan. After being in the throne room from eternity past they literally glowed with celestial.19 least. Valoe and Saldu would fly along beside the small car. He pictured an outhouse floating in the ocean when he met John Seas. Even though these guardians had been with them for years. I was sitting on the second row. what did they really think? Did they seem to like it? Did they follow along?” “You did fine honey. you know it’s one of my favorites. he silently prayed.” “I enjoyed that a lot. they would have fainted at the sight of two tall. Shaking hands after the sermon. I’d be so glad. He had student loans up to his eyebrows. her name was the same as the wife of his hero.” “I know what they said. Sarah Edwards was easy. Jonathan Edwards. “Take a deep breath and relax. God. at the back door. If this is Your will. “Just the same things you did when we were standing together in the back. Paul turned to Cindy and asked. The minute Cindy and Paul were in their car. Their enormous gossamer wings were folded behind them. that’s very interesting. Paul tried every memory trick he knew to remember people’s names. muscular angels with angular chiseled features.” . brown. neither Paul nor Cindy were aware of their presence.” “Were they nodding? What did their body language tell you?” “Honey. Their glistening white robes were girded at the waist with a belt of truth. All I could see was you!” She patted his shoulder. waiting for them by their small Toyota. Valoe had long blond hair and Saldu. jovial guardian angel was waiting to get in the back next to Jordan’s car seat. pastor. But. For ten full minutes Paul basked in the adoration and compliments as the church members filed by shaking hands on the way to their Sunday dinners. but. “Great sermon. not to mention his ability to read Hebrew and Greek.” If Cindy and Paul could have seen into the spirit world. The sermon was very good. Hael. he hoped they would be committee-typical and take at least six months making up their minds. the fiery evangelist. what?” “What do you mean ‘well what?” How’d I do? What did you hear from the people?” Cindy rolled her eyes. That would give him time to get something else lined up.” “I never knew the meaning of that one word in Greek.

He’s 26 years old.” she corrected. Dear Lord.” This caused Cindy to chuckle. then jiggle.” “Honey.20 “Cindy. and I know you think the parsonage is charming. Instead you unsuccessfully try to hoard compliments to fill the bottomless dark pit in your soul. “Here honey. passing off Jordan to her arms. You’re looking in the wrong place. Brown paint was peeling off the wood trim and shutters. Ah. Maybe it’s demon possessed. let me.” “Home sweet temporary home. I appreciate your enthusiasm.” said Cindy. Cindy shook her head.” said Valoe. “Insert the key then pull it back just a little. She shook her head and then squeezed his arm.” “Yes.” he said as he eased the car onto the blacktop road and back toward town. Remember this sobering verse. “I think this might be God. if it’s Him.’” 31 Their 1993 Toyota stopped in the parsonage driveway. It feels like it might fit. Paul gathered Jordan out of the car seat and carried him up the cracked sidewalk. and his diploma isn’t even framed yet. I can see us settling here. intimacy with God or favor of God on your life. home sweet home. but you’ve got your cart way out before your horse. If you humble yourself you can get filled to overflowing with love and acceptance from Him every day. Where to even start? “I guess I’ll heat .” “Later this afternoon I’ll get some anointing oil or maybe some 10W40. It has potential. I’m serious. “This car! It won’t start when we want and now it won’t stop either. “I can’t get this lock to open.” said Paul chuckling. “God’s love truly satisfies and you could spill the excess over Cindy and Jordan and the needy people around you. Without humility there can be no spiritual power. I can see me taking this church from 60 members to 400. “And see if I can exorcise anything from the starter.” “Listen to your wife. Just don’t force it. She bent over to let Jordan down and scanned the living room. See. “Realize the magnitude of your heavenly Father’s love for you. don’t let him get his heart set on anything that isn’t You. Now your insecurities cause you to crave affirmation from people. I have a good feeling about this.” said Saldu to Paul. I think we have a future here. The engine dieseled for a few seconds after the key turned off and finally sputtered to a stop.” “After the seminary dorm. Relax and let God bring it about. If it’s not. I can see Jordan growing up here.” “No. Boxes of all sizes were strewn from one end to the other. She shook her head. the dressing room at Wal-Mart would be charming. He’s got something else. it opens every time. I’m jiggling it like Mike told me to. I’ve got a good feeling about this.” he said. We’re at the beginning of the beginning of our ministry and we need Your guidance. past the overgrown evergreen bushes and to the front door of the small Tudor-style house. ‘God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

“Paul lets unpack while Jordan is napping. toys. he must have made 20 trips with out little Toyota and didn’t complain once.” “Well. if the church had had the money to move us? Poor Paul. Judging by the color. They’ll drive across town in the middle of the night to comfort a parishioner. I’m writing out a five-year plan for the church. “Where are you?” “I’m in my study. I think this is God. “Why Father seems to call some of the most inept men to the ministry. “It never ceases to amaze me. she thought. After putting Jordan down for a nap she surveyed the mess: clothes. “What are you doing? Why don’t you set up your desk?” “Honey. lets help her deal with the attitude that resulted in that wicked curve ball. “Besides. and it’s sure going to come in handy today. but won’t lift a finger to help their wives at home.” After lunch. “You and me both. honey.” Cindy walked down the hall. pots.” “Honey. the light stuff.” . and hit its mark. Who knows what they’d do unchecked?” “Yes. peeked in the door and saw him sitting cross-legged on the floor writing in a spiral notebook. Trust me.” Cindy left the room shaking her head.” “A five year plan! You’re the interim pastor. you can put away the towels and hang the clothes.” says Valoe. he worked so hard.” No answer.” she said throwing her arms in the air. you know. We can get started unpacking after we eat. Cindy loaded the dirty dishes into the dishwasher and closed the harvest gold colored door. Cindy’s got her hands full with Paul. Right now. pans and boxes of books. I hope this works. she thought. I need help unpacking. I guess that’s the bright side to not owning a lot of worldly goods. this dishwasher has to be at least 25 years old. Mike’s wife. Jessica.” Valoe said as he grinned toward Saldu. How did we get so many books? She moved a box off the couch and sighed the kind of deep sigh reserved for the challenges of moving. unfortunately we’ve seen that a few times.” “I guess He wants them in the ministry so He can keep a close eye on them. I’d hate to have to try and hit off her. bedding.” Saldu replied. Wouldn’t it be nice. It passed through Valoe. I’m inspired. brought by lasagna and salad last night. “She’s got a wicked curve ball.21 lunch. In frustration she grabbed a towel and threw it toward the laundry basket. I don’t have time.

yeah. It resembled a multi-level marketing pyramid of friends phoning friends. I’ve heard better sermons. the Greek. The trio of Wilma. Pastor Hall’s retirement is just so hard to accept. well that was.” “Interesting? I just thought that it was a big front to try to impress us all. a destructive gossip network that spread rumors at the speed of light. The term “small town hicks” was enough to play on Bernice’s insecurities and suck her into the gossip session. The Holy Spirit said to Bartleman ‘If you were only small enough. “Hello. What’d you think of the new interim today?” Before Bernice could answer a thought popped in her head. frankly Bernice.” Twenty minutes later Wilma sipped her coffee and punched speed dial button number . Not even in seminary preaching class was one of Paul’s sermons exposed to the scrutiny it received today. It’s Wilma.” “Hi Bernice. “The mouths of fools are their ruin. three members from the lady’s over 60 Sunday School class. Bernice and Carol. awfully big shoes to fill. He’s got awfully big shoes to fill. comfortably fitted in a pink bathrobe and matching slippers. to be nothing came into my head. And what’s with all that Greek mumbo jumbo?” “Yes. in the recliner and with her left hand. if it was Amway. “I was pulling for him Wilma. “Well. I could do anything with you." ~Frank Bartleman who pioneered the Azusa Street revival Chapter 4 The telephone wires were on fire this Sunday afternoon.” she said to Oreo. the big black and white cat grooming himself on the area rug. Wilma would have been a billionaire by now. um. interesting. She arranged her ample frame. she pushed her first speed dial button. It was so fast and efficient. but I just don’t think he’s gonna make it. their lips get them into trouble. With her right hand she picked up a cup of coffee from the end table. plus the spirits of Gossip and Slander made sure of that.’" "A great desire to be little. He thinks we’re all a bunch of small town hicks.22 “One day. Bernice set down her watering can beside her African Violets displayed on her kitchen windowsill and grabbed the phone. Is that a verse from Proverbs? After a few seconds Wilma broke the silence. Her ten pre-programmed buttons were like a prayer chain in reverse. “Getting a cordless phone was the best thing I ever did.” 32 Bernice was surprised by this thought and she didn’t respond. Wilma pulled the handle that sent her recliner sprawling.

hello. or shooting them with a sharp arrow. How are you?” “I’m fine Wilma.” “Hi. not even really a friend.” Repeated Wilma. so a gossiping tongue causes anger!” 33 She shifted her weight uncomfortably in the recliner. If you only knew how grievous this is to Father. wounding them with a sword. is anybody there?” Wilma was distracted from Ardare’s thoughts by Joan. Joan put down her knitting and picked up the phone.” 34 Those are all dangerous. “And I don’t know who he was trying to impress with all his high fallutin’. . Across town Carol hit the TV remote’s mute button. “As surely as a wind from the north brings rain. but Sarah wasn’t answering. “Um. What did you think of Pastor Paul today?” Wilma haltingly began. not a close friend. “Hello. She’d had a call from Bernice after Bernice hung up from Wilma.” As Wilma hit speed dial number three. Finally she threw off his conviction totally for the pleasure of gossiping with her friends. What’d you think of Pastor Paul today?” Ardare. In her devotional yesterday she had read in the book of James that if a person can’t control his tongue his religion is worthless. “Oh. silencing the replay of her favorite soap opera. it was just nice to feel included. after all. Greek words…. Carol called too after chatting with Wilma. stood behind the plush gray recliner--eight feet tall and radiating with celestial light. I think…” “He’s got awfully big shoes to fill.23 two as the spirits of Slander and Faultfinding perched on her shoulder.” Ardare continued bringing conviction to Wilma. I can feel Father’s heart breaking even now. By the time Wilma hit speed dial number ten. she had no memory of the verse from Ardare. that’s why she’s number ten. Joan.” whispered Gossip. it’s Wilma. “Hello. and so did speed dial numbers five and seven. a thought interrupted her. “Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax.” Silence. destructive weapons.” “I think He’s got awfully big shoes to fill. its Wilma. the recliner felt comfy and the battery on the cordless had been charging all night. Carol. well. She’d enjoyed talking with Carol.35 She breathed a sigh of relief when the phone stopped ringing. The phone rang at Sarah’s. Speed dial number ten was Sarah Edwards. She couldn’t shake the sick feeling in her stomach. but something happened when she was talking to Bernice.” Tears rolled down his cheeks. but each time she made an effort to resist. “Hello. you would never spread your poison. Wilma was on a roll. As he listened his countenance disintegrated. Wilma’s guardian angel. you have no idea. I think. but she was a new Sunday School member. “Hello. “Wilma. She couldn’t get that verse out of her head.

but before she departed for Heaven. “And God. help me.” Once she even tuned in to the baseball game just so she could pray for the players. More revelation about prayer came the next day in the grocery store checkout line when she glanced at the cover of a woman’s magazine. “Sarah. . repented again for her gossiping. He comes to our church the very first day. for every person on billboards or in advertisements to be saved. I’ve slandered Pastor Paul and I don’t know anything about him. “Pray for her.” Sarah’s gift of intercession began with a burden for the new interim pastor and her local church. Dear Lord. She also prayed for whoever was at the receiving end of any siren she heard. still mulling over the meaning of the verse from Joel and Malta. I’ve got so much to learn. Sarah. what kind of parents would let their child pose like that? She stopped. Bless his time here.” said Joel. intercession for Pastor Paul and others. just out of seminary. don’t forget those who painted on the other side where I can’t see. “The Lord.24 Oh. From then on she prayed for every model and movie star on every magazine cover at the grocery store. Soon both angels were chuckling. She’s 15-years-old and the pressure she feels to look perfect and the shame from her anorexia causes her to cut herself. whether short or long. is entrusting you with spiritual gifts. not audibly. When angels speak to people they hear the angel’s words inside their head. Help me to be a mature woman. 20 minutes had passed. “Prayers don’t get any more sincere than that!” said Malta. Please forgive me for gossiping just to fit in. in His mercy. now you’ll be praying fervently. Speak to him about his future and the church’s. he must have been so nervous. While waiting for a train to pass she prayed for each of the drifters who painted the graffiti on the speeding railway cars.” Sarah realized right then that she didn’t have to limit her prayers to people that she knew. I’m sure he wanted to do well. but Joel whispered to her. The model looked about 14-years-old and wasn’t wearing much more than a sultry. Lord bless Paul and his family. God. Lord. she’s anorexic. come-hither look. it would encompass the world. Instead of gossiping about him. she hadn’t really meant it as a prayer so much as just a comment. Malta looked at Joel and burst out laughing. Forgive me. You’ll even weep for him. The poor man. Put a zipper on my big fat mouth. She continued praying and when she glanced at the grandfather clock in the corner.

bumps. Cindy unpacked all the boxes. the little brown Tudor-style house with the peeling paint was becoming a home. The roof continued to slant down inside the closet.” Paul’s apology released the resentment that had been building in Cindy and she hugged him back. The rich oak trim had not been painted in the entry. only let one sarcastic comment slip. There were three bedrooms. living or dining room. Now that everything was unpacked. had a sloped ceiling which followed the roofline. I think I’ll start this today. “Wow.25 “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence.” Saint Augustine “After John D. Family photos and aromatic candles lined the dark-stained mantle.” She plopped down on the couch but before she could begin reading Paul came through the front door. very little remodeling had been done over the years (probably for lack of finances) and much of the home’s original charm was still intact. Jordan’s bedroom. which allowed Paul to have an office.” He pulled her off the couch and gave her a big hug. arranged as much of the furniture as she could. chubby toddler with his mother’s brunette curly hair and his father’s good looks. This large. Look at the family pictures on the mantle. Rockefeller died someone asked his accountant. Jordan was a generally happy. His closet door was only about 4 feet tall. He looked around. She frequently split her . in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance. “Excellent choice. at least a temporary one. jovial guardian was constantly saving Jordan from scrapes. But you have done a great job. triangular shaped room--perfect for a little boy’s hiding place. Although it was totally undeveloped. honey! What a job you’ve done.” said Valoe with a huge smile. I always wanted to read this and I never got around to it. Fortunately. ‘How much money did he leave?’ The reply was classic: ‘He left…all of it. “I’m sorry I wasn’t more help. going in early and leaving late. As she was unloading the last box of books she noticed a book on humility by Andrew Murray. Jordan’s prophetic gifting allowed him to sometimes sense the presence of his angel. “Excellent choice.’” Randy Alcorn Chapter 5 Paul was in the church office every day the next week. which Cindy had carefully decorated with books and well-placed knickknacks. Hael. I’ve been so busy getting settled in at the church. The living room was dominated by a gray stone fireplace and on both sides were glass front bookshelves. forming a small. and with gifts of grace from Valoe. spills and multiple boo boos. on the second floor. Cindy loved being a mother and she constantly doted on Jordan.

You must be in the bookshelf. I’ve worked hard on this sermon all week. the people have been robbed and the devil has won the day. Muffled laughter escaped from under the closet door. inside the hand puppet. No.” Cindy finished transferring the clothes from the washer to the dryer and prepared for an all out search. there’s no reason I can’t look good as well as give deep teaching about the Lord too. checking other rooms as she walked. More laughter emanated from the closet. “You must be in the sock drawer. in mock frustration. Where could you be? She sat on the floor and buried her face in her hands. I think Jordan went away. But. . You know it backwards and forwards. If they leave talking about your great wisdom. “You’ve worked hard all week on this sermon. Sunday morning arrived. you can’t find me. He’d used it for finals in his preaching class. “Mommy. you’re on page seven of Good Night Moon.” she exclaimed. I hiding again. the toy chest! I bet you’re under all the toys. It seemed to help form a bond with the audience. Then he shrugged it off. NO!” she said. instead of what a great salvation they’ve been given then pride has overtaken you. his smiling guardian angel. it’s not about your reputation.” as he headed for his closet followed by Hael.” whispered Pride. How can you not like someone if you just laughed at his joke? Paul had the perfect joke to go with his text. he couldn’t have foreseen that the Lord really was going to use that joke to truly change someone’s life. They’d played the game dozens of times in the small dorm room. No. pulling the drawer open to Jordan’s delight. “You’re not in the hand puppet. I know. She headed down the hall toward Jordan’s room. “You go. That makes me so sad. not in the sock drawer. “Mommy.” Paul felt conviction over his giddy anticipation of a stellar performance for the congregation. there’s no Jordan here. you’re obviously under the bed. I bet you’re in the hall closet. boo hoo!” The closet door flung open. I can’t find him anywhere. Mommy. It had to top last week’s and last week’s was one of his best. “Why didn’t I think of it before. After plenty of tickles and hugs he chirped. Starting his sermons with a joke was something his favorite seminary professor had done and Paul had carried on the tradition. Show ‘em your stuff. “I bet you’re in the bathroom.” She entered his bedroom.” “Paul. I hide there again.” she said flipping the pages. I right here!” he shrieked as he ran and jumped on her lap. he’d even prayed for just the right one. Well.” said Saldu.26 time between household responsibilities and imaginative games. Oh. “No. Paul had spent the week preparing the sermon to end all sermons. “This is your chance to shine. “It’s always about pointing people to Him. Where could he be? I know.

“You brought pavement?” “That’s right Sarah.” 36 Sarah had a spiritual paradigm shift: I can see it now. “What must Heaven be like if God lines the streets with what humans consider their most valuable asset? Think of it this way. But God’s kingdom--it lasts forever. Don’t invest in the wrong kingdom. you can’t take it with you but you can send it on ahead. Everything here will pass away. Tears welled in her eyes as she repented. “Oh.” Her Bible was laying on her lap opened to Matthew 6:19-20. He shifted his weight from one foot to the other and scanned the congregation. St. there your heart will be also. This must be very special.” suggested Joel. you can bring the suitcase into Heaven. The other non-laugher was Sarah. Maybe diamonds and jewels.27 Paul grabbed the lectern with both hands. With the help of Joel and Malta. “Do not lay up for yourselves on earth. I think there’s a few more this week. What did you bring?’ The man proudly opens his suitcase. maybe money. they’ll all be left here.” “The man spends weeks pondering what he should take.” Malta whispered. “But.” said Joel. the joke pierced her spirit. She was being touched in such a powerful way that she didn’t even hear the rest of Paul’s sermon to end all sermons. .For where your treasure is. less than nothing. Peter checks with God and then tells him. funny joke or not. When you die you’ll leave them all behind. Remember. “Have you heard it?” “No. ‘You brought pavement?’” All but two of the congregation roared. “Life on earth is a vapor Sarah. they are totally insignificant.” replied Malta. Joel and Malta were seated on either side of Sarah. worrying about things that will all end up in some garage sale when I die. “A wealthy man strikes a deal with God. who was sitting by herself toward the back on the left side of the church. if you’ll be quiet I will. All the material possessions that you hold dear will eventually mean nothing. St. but lay up for yourselves treasures in Heaven…. All the possessions we collect here. Lord help me. with him to Heaven. I’ve worried about my bank balance and my house. You should be investing all you have in the next life. St. and therefore. where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. that’s always a good sign. God agrees that when the man dies he can bring one suitcase. Fort Knox is crammed full of heavenly pavement. She could see his mouth moving but was totally distracted by the punch line. didn’t approve of anything he said. Jesus. with a grin. One day he dies and when he gets to Heaven he has his suitcase. Peter takes a step back in shock and says. please forgive me. Peter tries to take his bag but he insists he has permission from God to bring the suitcase and its contents. ‘Yes. After much thought and agony he finally decides he will take gold. filled with anything he chooses. this is a good one. Wilma didn’t laugh because she’d already made up her mind she didn’t like Paul. I’ve spent my life so foolishly.

I know it’s not much. but I want to give it all to You. furniture. I’ve wasted my life working for the wrong kingdom. Help me to live wholeheartedly for Your eternal kingdom with the time I’ve got left. Joel turned to Malta and smiled. “Father never lets a prayer like that go unanswered.28 clothes. how I look and what people thought of me. Help me to value things that are lasting.” . the things that You say are valuable. We’ll be very busy with Sarah.

Humility fixes its eyes on God’s kingdom here and in eternity and never wavers. B.” F. It was so bright she almost couldn’t look toward it. status. Sarah had the same dream the next night too. She saw herself walking around her neighborhood. God am I going to have this dream every night? Please show me what it means. food and all the temporal things. which was painted its normal color. The Lord. but a blindingly bright light was shining out from every window. In the spiritual realm both angels glowed brightly with the Lord’s glory. It’s like the sun has been captured and squeezed inside my house.” “I think she understands now that the Lord’s kingdom has nothing to do with things. “The Lord really enlightened her today through Paul’s joke. flowers and grass were black. lighting Sarah’s bedroom like a thousand candles. even the bushes. Her neighbors’ houses were painted black. She certainly didn’t understand what the Lord was going to do in her life. vigilant against the enemy’s attacks. Since Sarah’s natural eyes were unable to gaze into the spiritual realm. His kingdom is about being a servant to the least on earth and being exalted later. She walked to each neighbor’s . enabling her to spend the last of her life serving His kingdom and He was preparing her for a good death. She couldn’t see Joel and Malta who had taken up permanent residence with her. she could see only darkness.29 “The Only hope of a decreasing self is an increasing Christ. and they that know themselves. They needed no sleep and spent the night hours praying for Sarah and joining in the continuous heavenly worship around God’s throne. was helping her to redeem her wasted time. houses. She didn’t fully understand the principle of heavenly rewards and she certainly had no way to know that she would reap more eternal rewards than most people who are Christians all their lives. prestige or status. except this time she was pulling a child’s red wagon filled with brightly burning. At night. Meyer “They that know God will be humble. Pride seeks things: clothing. Then she woke up. Tuesday night before dozing off she prayed. antique kerosene lanterns. There were no lights on inside any of the houses even though it was dusk. That night Sarah had the same dream. cannot be proud. in His mercy. they stood on either side of her bed.” That night Sarah had a dream.” John Flavel Chapter 6 Sarah had never read the Bible growing up so she didn’t even have a grid for God being active in anyone’s life. She walked around the block and arrived back at her house.

They protect their charges from the enemy’s attack. Thank You Lord for showing this to me. The fall winds scattered dried leaves across the sidewalk and her shuffling footsteps crunched them as she walked. then the next block. She wasted no time putting on her walking shoes. they always keep their yard immaculate. bless them today.m.30 house and left a burning lantern on each porch. Now I understand. Lord bless this family. bless whoever just moved out and bless who ever will move in. My neighbors are lost and I must help them. grabbed her shawl and headed outside. Cindy watched Sarah outside. “And bless the Reynolds’. I think they’ve got two toddlers. For reasons she couldn’t identify she felt drawn to this house. thought Cindy. For the last thousand years . Lord You were so good to bring this family here. “Prayer walk--do this while you are able. talking a mile a minute—to nobody. I wonder what she wants? Cindy headed for the front door but by the time she unlocked it and stuck her head out Sarah had turned the corner praying fervently for Cindy’s neighbors.” She loitered a few minutes. too. “Lord. strong. who shuffled down the street--all three fervently praying for salvation to come to this neighborhood. I don’t know who they are. too. Thanks for the joke he told on Sunday that helped me to see things so differently. usually in the morning and sometimes a second round at 4:00 p. angels. wearing a brown robe of humility. pray for them.” Sarah walked completely around her block. praying and agreeing with everything she said. Lord. I love their red gladiolas.” I just read about prayer walking in my women’s missionary magazine. let them come to know You. Lord. bless the Smith’s. She woke up with the following sentence in her mind. She headed counter clockwise around her block speaking out loud. She recognized her from church.” Inside. She stopped in front of a small Victorian house with a new real-estate sign in the yard. Lord. Father sends Joel and Malta to minister to the flock in specific geographic locations. I don’t know their names. Sarah stood on the sidewalk facing the house. let them come to know You. especially their teenage daughter who’s going through such a hard spell. Sarah continued her prayer walks. but You do. bless them Lord. the broken in brown loafers. help them to develop their spiritual gifts and especially to become more humble and Christ-like. help me to intercede faithfully for the pastor. I hope she’s not a troublemaker. Lord. Lord. Anyone looking with spiritual eyes would have surely been amused to see two. huge. bless the new family who just moved in here. in dazzling garments towering over a little 5’2” woman. bless the Bakers. I’ll have to remember to ask Paul if he’s heard anything about her. his family and our church. Lord bless these people. “Lord. How strange. bless the Stephens. She didn’t see Joel and Malta walking to her left and right blessing. finished that block and then moved on to the next block and ended up in front of the Reynolds’ parsonage.

” whined Depression. We can attack her in every area she doesn’t realize she has the victory. “Yes. even though her body will be very weak. we’re all pretty ineffective now that she’s saved. “If the truth is known. You can bet satan is spitting sulfur right now--” “He’s planning a counter attack. but it is powerful. She’s never going to take her own life.” said Discouragement. “I can’t believe she slipped through our claws. “Since ‘You Know Who’ was raised from the dead carrying the keys to death and Hell we are totally defeated.31 Joel and Malta have been assigned mostly to older believers during their final years on earth. Demonic strategy sessions frequently deteriorated into vicious quarrels--there is no loyalty between demons.” hollered Discouragement. Agoraphobia. We’ve got the ability and authority to exploit her ignorance.” screeched Suicide. “If I’d had as much time as you--” “Depression is right. What’s your big secret weapon?” We have one weapon and only one weapon. she doesn’t understand that she’s more than a conqueror.” 37 They all shuttered at that phrase. “You’re worthless now. “Since she’s His daughter.” said Lying. We have no weapons to overcome her. Suicide. “We need to be especially vigilant. “I hate being reminded. only hatred and vying for status.” Suicide cursed and disappeared.” “You had months and you couldn’t take her out. It’s a pleasure to serve one so willing to follow. a joint heir. Agoraphobia turned to Suicide.” Depression. Discouragement and Lying were arguing among themselves at that very moment. “Can you believe those angels that are around her now? The whole miserable situation just got a million times harder. she’s got all the power He does at her control but she doesn’t realize she’s got the power—“ .” they both responded.” said Malta.” sneered Lying.” “Father is full of mercy to snatch her at the end of her life from the enemy’s camp. We almost had her. “Right.” “Listen to me--for once.” grumbled Depression. “We don’t need you.” “We know that. “Like we’re going to believe you.” “I’ve got better assignments available than with you losers. no cooperation. “Father is beautifully transforming Sarah’s heart. Get on with it.” interrupted Joel putting his hand on his sword. she will finish spiritually strong.” “Yes we do. She’s a new Christian.” “There’s no hope. you’re of no value to us now. I was only here for a few days.

“Hi Hon. sincere and totally harmless to me. But we’ve taken out many Christians because of their ignorance38 and we can still take her out too. but I’ll find out. She seems sweet. I’m scared to let Jordan out in the yard. she was telling all her . but she didn’t realize what they could do for her.” “Are you talking about our Sarah Edwards?” “Exactly. She had the shoes that could take her home any time. with help from her unseen. “She’s like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz. Stalking is probably too strong a word. I don’t know anything about her. but it’s like she’s got some weird obsession with our house.” Most of the families were gone during the day. that’s for sure. She comes to our house every day. “The only weapons we’ve ever used the last 2.32 “So she can’t wield the power against us. was baptized the following Sunday and has been coming here ever since. it appears she’s stalking my family. glanced out the window and saw Sarah pacing in front of the house. ranting and raving about who knows what. even though he was meeting with Mike Brooks. Does she knock at your door or look in your windows?” “Well no. She dialed the church.000 years are deceit and bluff. sometimes twice and paces up and down the sidewalk with her fists clenched. Paul wisely agreed to take her call.” said Lying. his yellow pointed teeth showing behind his evil grin. warring and worshipping angelic companions. talking. Cindy. don’t hold anything back. but there was one incidence shortly after she got saved.” “She was widowed about seven months ago.” said Mike haltingly. She made her profession of faith. what’s new? Again? No. grew bolder and progressed from merely asking blessings on her neighbors to declaring their salvations.” interrupted Discouragement. Oh dear. talking--to nobody. looking very intense and talking. his brow furrowed and he leaned across the old mahogany desk toward Mike.” “Why?” “Well. “Tell me everything you know about Sarah Edwards. She’d never been to the church and reverend Hall led her to the Lord. but I’d never peg her as a stalker. One day she stopped in front of the Reynolds’ and paced back and forth praying. And don’t let Jordan out in the yard unattended. this is getting worse all the time. the head of the elders. That’s about all I know.” “That’s right. fists clenched. “I don’t know her personally and I wasn’t in on this so I hate to say anything. We don’t know what she might do!” He hung up the phone.” “Has she caused any problems since she’s been here?” “Well. He wanted Mike’s opinion of phase one of his mega five-year church plan and was giddy with anticipation. What do you know about her?” “Not much. who was hanging a picture in the living room. so Sarah.

I’m not going to give you an opinion one way or the other I need to let the Lord bring you to the right conclusion so if you go. “Here’s what I’m going to recommend. The Lord had showed Paul that it was His will for Luke to minister in India. After Mike left. It sounds like she’s not coping well. After you read the books call me and we’ll meet again. “Luke. .” he said as he stood from his desk and scanned his book shelf. Luke. looked at his watch and then headed home. She ministered 55 years in India without going on furlough! Also keep praying and I’ll pray for you too. If Sarah’s got some kind of fixation or need to be recognized by us. But I still don’t think she’s a stalker. I studied the stages of grief at seminary.” “She hears voices and thinks they’re from God and she stakes out the pastor’s house?” said Paul. when things get hard you don’t doubt your call or blame me. One is about the life of William Carey and the other is about Amy Carmichael. but I sure shouldn’t be the one to do it. Is she still trying to tell people she hears from God for them?” “I think that got nipped in the bud pretty quickly.” Mike said. but they’re not overly friendly. Maybe Jessica could sit by her this Sunday and get an idea about what’s going on. He felt a strong call to India but wondered where the finances would come from and if he should drop out of the community college and enroll in a mission’s training program. Finding a balance between church and family is going to be harder than I thought.” “I’ll remember to ask Jessica when I get home. It didn’t go over too well. “I’m suggesting you read these two books.” He gave Luke a big hug. Does that make sense? I know that doesn’t seem to help much.” he said with a sympathetic grin.33 Sunday School class members that she heard from the Lord about them. Paul had a counseling session scheduled with one of the college-aged church members. “She’s probably still experiencing heavy grief. Paul listened with compassion as Luke poured out his heart on both sides of the issue. She probably needs grief counseling. Luke shook his head yes. but he forgot. I can’t say that they ostracized her. I think Cindy and I should keep our distance for the time being. Paul remembered struggling with his decision to enroll in seminary. if she’s not causing problems in the church now. Paul had spent some time praying earlier in the week for Luke who was struggling with a call to missions. stroking his chin. “I think I’ll let it go for awhile then. but he knew better than to give a directional word.” Paul leaned back in his well-worn office chair and let out a deep breath. you know.

” And before she could say anything.” “I’d prefer you don’t do that.” But he had decided he wasn’t admitting to anything unless she brought it up. but it’s just not wise. She’s also been hearing voices and attributing them to God. Valoe smiled and gave her a download of grace. “Alright Cindy!” shouted Valoe. . he shared what he had learned about Sarah. . I .” The conversation quickly shifted to Paul’s five-year plan for the church. Her gifting wasn’t well received by the class so she must have been doing something wrong. she might be like a stray cat.” “Maybe she’s got a prophetic gifting. don’t mind if I do. Paul looked up from his plate at that moment and grabbed Jordan’s bread from her hand. If she’s fixated on our family.” C. she’ll never go away. Love is patient. real lonely and still grieving. Cindy bit her tongue and started portioning out the spaghetti. if you feed her.” “Then I’ll speak to her at church and see if I can get a sense of what’s going on. is Pride. who was late again. the essential vice. the utmost evil. he’d taken a big bite. “Honey would you get me some coffee? I’d like to show you my completed plan. Jessica is going to have a chat with Sarah. You can trust the situation to her. “It sounds like she’s just real needy.”39 As Paul ate. I’ll invite her in for a cup of tea the next time she comes by. kind and doesn’t keep track of wrongs. and has some desire for recognition we shouldn’t feed into that. She glanced at her watch for the third time and prayed another quick prayer asking for patience with her husband. “Maybe she’s loony. in spite of Saldu’s encouragement that he should immediately apologize.34 “According to Christian teachers.” “You’ve got a great heart. “Thanks hon. Lewis Chapter 7 Cindy poured the boiling water into the kitchen sink. and besides I don’t want her around Jordan. hon.S. catching the spaghetti in a colander. then she went to her Sunday school class and tried to tell everyone what the Lord said about them. Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of Mind. The ladies in that class have been church members for hundreds of years!” Maybe she’s not so much loony as she is lonely. “Way to not give it to him.” said Cindy as she picked Jordan’s garlic bread up off the floor and inspected it for dirt. She strapped Jordan in his high chair just as Paul came into the kitchen with that “tail between his legs guilty dog look.

“Old preachers never die—they just go out to pastor. We’ll need to buy land and I saw some last week. Humility results from laying down the right to be right but pride is like a consuming fire. complete with graphs and pie charts. If we break it down into six-month increments. He just wouldn’t entertain the idea that his plan isn’t also God’s plan. “Come around to this side of the table honey so you can see. let me show you what I’ve done. Then I have sub goals for each of the individual five years and then smaller goals for every six months. It’s about three miles out of town on the corner of JJ and Old Highway 3. The church will be way too small. our church. It’s a little beyond the reservoir.” Saldu. “I’m doing everything I can to discourage it. It would be perfect. who was standing behind Paul. You have no guarantee you’ll be called as pastor. about 40 acres.” “Our church?” exclaimed Cindy. It’s insatiable and unless he repents it will be his downfall.” Cindy returned with two mugs of coffee and a washrag. that’s 30 smaller goals. She handed Paul the mug that said. Paul opened a black leather folder to reveal 100 pages printed in multiple colors. he’s head of the pulpit search committee you know. t-shirt. hands. Don’t you think that sounds like God? I think He’ll provide this land for the church and I’m going to pray about it every day. It’s all about what he thinks and feels. He scampered into the living room to play with his collection of stuffed animals. I think this is where we’ll end up. ignoring her obvious frustration. glanced sadly toward Valoe who was shaking his head. three years from now we’ll be starting a large building campaign. If we’re on track.” Cindy was reeling from Paul’s discourse. Now. I really do. I ran it by Mike today and he seemed impressed. “Don’t you think you’re getting a little ahead of yourself? You’re the interim. rolling her eyes and sloshing coffee over the side of her cup. jeans and shoes.” Saldu’s face was sober. “See. What Paul couldn’t perceive was a spirit of Pride perched on his shoulder influencing him. Valoe. face. she released him from the confines of his high chair.” he said. I’m guessing. He’s being driven by his pride. laid his hand on Cindy’s shoulder and she took a deep breath and vowed to composed herself. I think this is God’s plan for our church. Right there at the northwest corner is. “I’ve been working on this all week. See. God might want us to take a church in downtown Harlem or Timbuktu—“ . “Yes. I thought that was encouraging.” It was a graduation gift from his best friend in seminary. it’s very doable. He’s not only the head of the elders. After cleaning applesauce from Jordan’s hair. He shook his head. I’ve got a master goal of where the church should be in five years. one on each page and the predicted timetable to start and accomplish it.35 finished it yesterday.

tattered bear close. I think we should be able to maintain one. I love Pooh. It’s time to open the building on Wednesday nights. We’ll go out into the community in pairs and knock on every door. As Jordan snuggled on her lap.” Paul’s face was suddenly invaded by a lovingly worn. sweetie. I’ve got the whole town marked in sections. “Come on sport.” she said cuddling the well-loved. Cindy released her grasp. my first goal. one-eared Winnie the Pooh with a small rip by its grinning mouth. Then after the prayer ministry is established six months from now we’ll start a visitation program every Thursday night. She glanced at Paul. To Cindy. the disappointment was glaring. Out of every five that visit. “is to start a prayer meeting. still absorbed in his charts and excused herself to the living room where she snuck up on Jordan and grabbed Pooh. you’ve outdone yourself!” “--all the information I learned in my church planting class was so applicable. I’ll sing to Pooh at bedtime.” “But honey—“ “In seminary I learned that on average. we’ve got to stir the pot.” he said. sing to Pooh. “See. “Daddy. This town needs to be saturated with the Gospel. But most of all. flipping past the multi-colored. We have to ask the Lord to bless all this or it will fall flat on its face. we will gain a new family for the church. Let’s get ready and daddy will be in to sing…” She finished the thought in her mind ….” “Daddy’s busy right now. “My Pooh.” he said reaching his chubby arms to grab Pooh’s one remaining ear. I love candy. If you divide the number of households in our community by 55 I can predict…. I love Tiggers aren’t they dandy? I love Piglet. multi-fonted title page. I promise. once a week. We can’t just do Sunday morning and Sunday evening. Daddy’s busy I’ll sing later. “I love ice cream. for every 11 houses you go to. dragging Pooh behind him. The plan just flowed--” This caused Manipulation and Pride to burst into wicked laughter. I do think this is the Lord. Jordan laughed. one family will visit the church. It’s so simple.36 “But honey. “He can’t tell the difference between our voices and God’s? Deception. See. . for every 55 homes we visit.” “Sing now—for Pooh!” “No. as she sat cross legged on the floor. I looovvve YOU!” She ended the song with a rousing tummy poking which send Jordan into gales of laughter. you’re not listening. she put her arms around them both and rocked back and forth as she sang. or I’ll flog him within an inch of his life with his stupid graphs. showing the predicted attendance at the Victory Church of Bradbury to notice the disappointed look on his son’s face as Jordan shuffled back to the living room. We’ll hit them one by one each Thursday night and keep going until every home in the community has had a visit from Victory Church of Bradbury.” He flipped to the next page.” Paul was too busy looking at his graph. Please go play. I’m going to announce a Wednesday evening prayer meeting. I think it’s Pooh’s bedtime. “My Pooh. hugging Pooh.

Sarah didn’t read the paper that morning. staring at the trashcan in the corner of the room.” Unknown Chapter 8 The type for the headline on the Bradbury Gazette was bigger than it had ever been. He had been her family doctor for 20 years.” . the more we get. the easier we can reach them. Joel and Malta had done their traditional prayer walk and then she drove to her appointment with Dr. go down to get up. Well. “I’ll be 72 next month. We both are!” “Believe me. Meyer “’Become nothing if you would become something. Newbury still perusing the chart. It just seems like it’s more…. No. She decided not to tell him about the tremors that she sometimes had in her hands. And that was only because he was emotionally involved in the story—his home was one of the first ones hit and they’d gotten his collection of antique fishing equipment.” he said with a sight grin. “I have a hard time getting out of bed and sometimes lifting my feet to take the next step.” She shifted self-consciously and her voice trailed off. And even through George had been treated by a cancer specialist in Mt. “I’m just having a harder time getting around. Sometimes. she. “but if you hadn’t noticed.B. had never felt the need to go bigger than a 48 font.” she said uncomfortably.” “How old are you Sarah?” asked Dr. mostly just when I need it. I know that. Now I find that God’s gifts are on shelves—and the lower we stoop. and only used that once. Newbury.” F. when the robbery ring had been broken wide open by the Sheriff. it gets easier. but then when I get going. you’re getting old. And shrink to grow. Dr. Newbury continued to drop by the house to visit.’ In His rules of success. “Are you still taking your arthritis medicine regularly?” “Yes. owner and editor.” “I hate to break it to you. Pielor. Now he was equally stirred up and displayed the headline in all caps and size 52 font: “MINIMUM-SECURITY JAIL PROPOSED FOR BRADBURY” Emotions were running high all over the city that morning as residents opened their papers.37 “I used to think that God’s gifts were on shelves—one above the other—and the taller we grow. you must stoop to rise. Clarence Harvey. The founder. After exchanging pleasantries he asked Sarah the reason for her visit. The consensus was that no one wanted a jail anywhere close to their home or their hometown. which was never recovered.

fished a $20 from her purse and headed for the door. Lord.” “Pardon?” “The new jail. let it just be arthritis. Here’s a new prescription. They already tried to build it in Leesville. Mayor Forbes is all excited though. I’m certainly the least likely candidate to ever do that! She pulled her old blue Chrysler into the driveway. maybe you can have me locked up in the new jail. She actually felt her heart racing. “You need to pray about this and not go off of assumptions. that’s not good. That’s why they’re here.” “Well.” “It’s not a sure thing.” He turned to face her for emphasis. but it’s proposed. telling them about Jesus.” said Paul over his weekly lunch with Mike.38 “From now on I want you to take it every morning. God. She was visiting inmates.” said Mike.” “Goodness.” “Well.” Sarah tried to refrain but an audible gasp escaped her lips. It seemed very out of character for her and scary too. You’re at five milligrams now. anything can be opposed. “A jail?” “That’s kind of everyone’s response.” Sarah thanked him and left. She had to go home and pray. because of the additional jobs it’ll generate. that’s highway robbery. “A jail in Bradbury. God. when we get the prayer meeting going on Wednesday night we can spend time praying about this. “If it’s proposed can it be opposed?” “Sure.” Sarah smiled weakly. All the way home from the pharmacy Sarah prayed about last night’s dream and she kept getting Matthew 25:31.” said Paul wadding up the wrapper from his corned beef sandwich. Sarah handed the prescription to the pharmacist. He handed her the prescription. go to 10 and if you need to you can increase to fifteen at your discretion. His father was one of the deacons and had mentioned at church that his son finished his college and he’d returned to Bradbury. “That’ll be $20 even. “It was splashed across the front page of the Gazette today. If you don’t see improvements in your mobility in a month call me back and we’ll do some testing. was that dream from You? Last night’s dream was unusually vivid and just plain unusual. They want to build a jail in Bradbury. bent slowly to pick up the Gazette . “Even if you don’t feel like you need it. He wasn’t the regular.” said Saldu. she prayed as she walked across Main Street to Tully’s drugstore. Last time I filled this it was $12. but no one there would sell them land. She wondered if he was the Jernstrom’s son.” said the pharmacist. It’s already causing quite a controversy. “Be careful. But I think it’s going to be a hard sell to the residents.

you blessed of My Father.39 and went to the kitchen table with her Bible and a cup of coffee. and come to You?’ And the King will answer and say to them. Without His grace you can do nothing. you’re learning to hear Father’s voice. He’s taking you through a season of letting you hear His voice very clearly so you’ll learn to recognize it and believe it. It’s like that TV show where the kid gets tomorrow’s headlines today. inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren. the rejected and the prisoners. I don’t know what that has to do with a jail.’ 40 Now read the rest of Matthew’s chapter. God--the dream was from You. when did we see You hungry and feed You. She unrolled the Gazette and the headline made her gasp again. He speaks to you through the Bible. you did it to Me. find it odious to serve people.” said Joel.” Malta ministered an increase of compassion to Sarah straight from the Lord’s heart as he played the flute and then sang the Father’s love over her. It makes all the difference in your life. I was thirsty and you gave Me drink. stoop to help the undesirables to their feet again. He calls His followers to do the same.” added Malta. the more He can use you. or thirsty and give You drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in.” Through her tears. reach down to the outcasts. His grace is everything. ‘For God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for His sake in serving the saints…. It’s You. He says three times in His Word that He gives grace to the humble. inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food. the orphans and the outcasts. Sarah continued reading. saying. She flipped in her Bible and started reading Matthew 25:31.’41 “The serpent introduced pride into the world.” said Malta. ‘Assuredly.” “The Lord loves the unlovely--unfortunately His church does not. grace makes us lovers. “Keep reading.” said Malta. He wants you to know that no act of kindness is too small for Him to see and reward. “That’s right Sarah. “Then the King will say to those on His right hand. She read about Jesus separating the sheep from the goats. “And when Jesus. ‘Lord. ‘Come. I was naked and you clothed Me.’” Sarah felt herself tearing up. “Then the righteous will answer Him.” “That’s right said Joel. He wants you to know that He loves the widows. . I was sick and you visited Me. words in your mind and even through dreams. “He’s giving you His heart for the downtrodden. or in prison.” “Humble yourself. “Those who have professed to joyfully serve the Lord. “The lower you reach the more the Lord can fill you. “And. I was a stranger and you took Me in. the cocreator of the universe left Heaven and lived as a man He humbled Himself all the way to His death on the cross. Joel raised his hands toward Heaven. She put down her coffee cup. or naked and clothe You? Or when did we see You sick. I was in prison and you came to me.” said Joel. I say to you. “Dead religion makes us workers.” Joel said.

I didn’t know how.40 Flames ignited on his palms and he placed them over Sarah’s heart. another verse popped in her mind. Amen. I just didn’t want to deal with them. I’m curious what He will do next. I’ve ignored all the hurting people. I’m sorry. I’m sorry I’ve ranked people and placed higher value on certain ones. Just as Sarah was pulling herself together. She turned to Hebrews 13:2. Help me to look into their souls. for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels. Oh Lord. the burden of the Lord rested heavily on her. blowing her nose and dabbing her eyes. I was only concerned about my needs and those I loved. “Father loves Sarah very much. not to be distracted by how they look or swayed by their affluence or poverty. Help me to love the things You love and hate the things You hate and help me to use the rest of my time here on earth doing whatever You want. Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also. “Do not forget to entertain strangers. .” Now she cried again. Help me to see people the way You do.” said Malta. Help me to empty myself so You can fill me with Your compassion. Tears spotted the Gazette’s article.

uncle. Paul sat in the front row tapping his foot to the special music.41 “The Spirit builds confidence. When that gets going we’ll put some time in on our knees about this jail.” Although Paul didn’t like himself very much for the next thought. “Clarence Harvey. son. ‘Mom. jails have to be located somewhere. If you don’t learn to get your affirmation from the Lord in your quiet times with Him you’ll continue on trying to manipulate praises from people but they’ll never satisfy you. But it’s insatiable. what should we do?’ She turned to the children and said. When it was over he took his place behind the lectern and shifted his weight from his left to his right foot and back again.42 The flesh always lusts. That meant the offering was going to be down too. did it?” “Apparently not. most of the church was in agreement that what they really needed was a Wednesday night prayer meeting. I can’t blame them. “We’ll begin this Wednesday night at 7:00 sharp. father. it’s lusting now for recognition and accolades. dear. The bobcat chased them and cornered them against a rocky cliff where there was no place to escape.” I’m announcing the beginning of the prayer meeting this morning.” Bobby Conner Chapter 9 Driving to church on Sunday morning Paul passed four signs and three banners in people’s yards protesting the new jail. he couldn’t get it out of his mind: If I can rally the church behind this movement. “Walk in the Spirit and you won’t fulfill the lust of the flesh. it’s never enough. Seek the Lord on this jail issue and quit riding the wave of public opinion. “It sure didn’t take this town long to get organized against the jail. mom. “Our town. Only one opinion matters or satisfies.” “Our town. And wouldn’t the church members love me if I was instrumental in getting this jail thing canceled? “Paul. The mother skunk was unbelievably calm.” he corrected.” It was a rainy Sunday morning so of course attendance was down.’” “And we need to spray too. I hear he’s going to rent space on a billboard. . He’s financing it himself. aunt. daughter. He took a deep breath and began. it could get me some community-wide exposure. ‘Children.” replied Cindy. everyone!” By the time Paul had finished.” said Saldu. but I can understand why they don’t want it in their town. the flesh builds arrogance. let us spray.” “Well. The baby skunks cried out. We need God’s vision for this church and for the lives of each member: every mother. the Gazette’s editor had posters printed and placed all over town. “A mother skunk and two baby skunks were walking in the woods when they were startled by a hungry bobcat.

Help me to love the unlovely. “Humans are blinded by their pride because they compare themselves to one another. Thank You for the way You’ve been talking to me lately. no one in Heaven is impressed with your five year plan. “Begin Wednesday prayer meeting--done. thank You for being good to me. If you stop and look at Jesus alone. Humble yourself so He doesn’t have to. After shaking hands with everyone at the back door.42 Come and prepare to be blessed. Reject that prideful attitude or the Lord will be forced to humble you. Looking at Jesus is the only way we can see where we truly stand. Heaven forbid. Help me to love Your word and help me to hear Your voice in all the ways You speak to me-“It’s 7:00. Amen?” “Amen. “Time to start. I agree. If we look at those around us. “I’ll lead us in prayer about it tonight and we’ll see what comes out of this meeting. the conversation was predictably about the jail. Thanks to each one of you who came to this prayer meeting tonight. “The whole idea just gives me the creeps. especially for Pastor Paul and this congregation. You’re just assuming it’s also God’s plan and it’s not.” “I can see that this is a very important issue to all of us. even though his main concern was really for his property’s value.” said John Seas.” most of the congregation answered.” “Paul. “Yes. It is in Him we find our example of love and humility. Lord. Our kids could never play safely outside. “Maybe we should pray and fast.” said Paul. She closed her eyes and prayed. Help me to pray more. opened his leather binder containing his five year plan and placed a big check mark in the empty box on page two. you would get a true comparison. Don’t make glory and fame your god and your goal. She snuck in on the back row and didn’t wait for the meeting to start.” said Saldu. even Wilma.” added Carol. “We need to pray. Our town will never be safe. we will not get a true measurement of what we are supposed to look like. one of them escaped?” questioned Bernice.” “Maybe we could pass around a petition among the church members. “What if. it is by far the wiser of the two plans. It was about 6:45 and Paul was chatting with a group of people. We’ll have an open mic so if you have something .” Sarah arrived about the time the group was breaking up. to pray that place right out of our town. “You’ve barely prayed about your plan. Paul went to his office.” said Paul. 43 Trust me Paul.” said Wilma shaking her fist. You’re excited because you think it will bring you glory and honor. adjusting the microphone.” There was a good turn out Wednesday evening. He and Lori had been planning to sell off part of their acreage to help finance some travel when he retired in eight months. Bernice and Carol had come.

Don’t you think you’re being a little arrogant? And we all know that arrogance is a sin. Finally. “Dear Lord.” he said chuckling. At 8:00 I’ll close.” said Respectability. to come to this town. She half expected it not to be there. where they came from. even if you feel like you’re standing alone. praying that someone. You know about the jail that they want to put in our town. All heads were bowed. Listen to the rest of the prayers and you’ll get your answer as to who is right and who is wrong. See how the Holy Spirit rests on you when you read this verse? Do you feel how your heart grieves when you hear plans that go against Father’s heart?” “Intercede for Father’s will. “I was naked and You clothed Me.43 you want to pray about I invite you to come forward. I’d ask You to cancel these plans and send them back to the devil. Malta gently whispered. It was 7:50 and she was still wrestling with whether to go forward.” Sarah sat on the back row in shock. As she walked to the microphone there was a collective. I was in prison and You came to Me…. silent sigh of relief. and Betty Abrahams prayed for her husband to be saved and the gallbladder problems he had to be healed. anyone. Two new demonic reinforcements also attended the prayer meeting that evening— Respectability and Intimidation were there to help sway Sarah. would pray. Lying whispered. “Yes Sarah. “Unfortunately there’s no chance of that happening.” Amens resounded from all corners of the room. Wilma decided that she would break the silence. Lord did I hear wrong? I was so sure it was You.” There was an uncomfortable five-minute period where no one went forward. you heard from the Lord. providing the Spirit doesn’t fall and keep us here all night. You’re never alone when . Never stop standing for God’s will. When she read verse 36. and all the other 30 prayers were against the jail. “You got ridiculed the last time you sincerely thought you heard the Lord. Malta suggested she open her Bible to Matthew chapter 25. Confusion broke over her like waves and she felt like she was going crazy. These people have been Christians for years. “You know that the town’s children need to go to bed at night feeling safe and we need to go to bed at night knowing our children are safe and that would just never happen again once they break ground on a jail.” added Intimidation.” There were two prayers about finding the right pastor. Joel looked at Malta. “Of course you heard wrong. I was sick and You visited Me.” she started to cry again. and Bernice prayed for the homebound members. her heart pounded. “Remember how sure you were and remember how no one in your Sunday School class appreciated what you had to say?” “Who are you to think that you hear better than all these people? No one in this room except you—the brand new Christian—believes that this jail is from the Lord. not the will of the people.

She had planned to read Matthew 25 but realized she would break down sobbing if she tried.” “Very funny.” said Respectability. There’ll be lots of other opportunities. I also believe that You showed me that I.44 you’re standing for Father. Bring Your will to pass. she shuffled back to her seat. She felt far too vulnerable to cry in front of this group. I should have expected this from her. Sarah shuffled toward the microphone. If I’d expected anyone to stand in opposition I’d pick Sarah. “This is just round one. Her .” “Be nice. So I would just ask that You bring about Your will in our town on this matter.” He walked slowly to the microphone. She has a right to pray her conscience. Lying immediately criticized Respectability and Intimidation for their failure at keeping Sarah from praying. thought Paul.” Driving home.” He gestured wildly with his hand. her voice wavering. “Desire the truth not the path of least resistance.” Sarah didn’t understand the impact that her prayers would have in Heaven.” said Saldu. Why am I not surprised? Now how do I close this meeting? Lord. “You’re the only one here tonight who can pray God’s will about the jail—the only one!” With great physical and emotional effort. but she was pretty sure that between Paul and the church members she’d just signed her social death warrant. “I believe You’ve showed me that this jail is Your will. “I can’t believe it.” encouraged Joel.” Joel was incensed from listening to 45 minutes of prayers that were addressed to God but were contrary to His will. all begging Him to do something He had no intention of doing. Last I checked this was still America you know. Thank You that You see what lies ahead for our church and community. “Don’t worry. I just can’t believe it. You obviously don’t understand the seriousness of the situation. Amen. She closed her Bible and with her two unseen helpers imparting strength to her fragile frame. I know that’s not a popular thing to say. I really can. She was trembling. “Lord. “Lord. Paul vented to Cindy. The silence was loud. “But yeah. thank You for the people who came out tonight to pray. As she passed each pew heads turned to watch her go by. how do I wrap this up nice and neatly? “Why do you want things nice and neat Paul? Jesus stirred controversy everywhere He went. She bowed her head and closed her eyes.” she began.” When she opened her eyes and looked up the whole congregation was staring at her. “Get up Sarah. Joel and Malta were providing invisible yet necessary support on her right and left. and other church members have the responsibility to visit the inmates and tell them of Your love for them. bless them.

although he doesn’t know that yet. “She’s sleeping fitfully. We can’t both be right. Don’t rationalize. just admit your mistake.” said Joel. More than he wants to hear from God. “I don’t blame her. Defensiveness is hidden pride. You must learn to seriously consider the possibility that you are wrong. You have to crawl through on your knees and that is repulsive to Paul.” The silence in the car the rest of the way home was as thick as the darkness outside.” said Saldu.” “That’s right Paul. He’s filled with pride and wants the people’s approval more than anything. even more than they are now.” “Only in church could you pray for God’s will to be done and stir up a hornet’s nest!” . Joel and Malta stood at the foot of Sarah’s bed while she slept that evening. that’s humility.” “He’s paying way too high a price for things that don’t satisfy. He’s got a sincere heart. maybe the Lord did speak to her.” “I rejoiced when Sarah found the boldness to pray tonight. apologize and go on.” “Are you crazy? She’s clearly in the minority. The only path to exaltation is through the small door called humility. The Lord is waiting with open arms to show you the real plans He has for your life and ministry.45 actions are just going to cause division and strife. Father is trying hard to put him on the right path. especially with Respectability and Intimidation whispering in her ear. “And the humble man can consider the possibility that he may be the one who is incorrect. She knows she’s a leper in the eyes of the church. Either she’s deceived or I am.” “God always resists the proud.” “That’s exactly what Paul lacks. She’s going to get everyone all riled up.” “Especially with Paul. more than he wants his marriage to work and more than he wants a healthy relationship with his son. but he’s actively resisting. It’s a shame the damage that will be done in the mean time. but he’s just too ambitious for his own good--not for Father’s good. her views oppose every other church member’s and my own. don’t cover it up. if that’s possible.” “Well. as they did every night. What courage she has to go against the flow. One of us sure needs to hear more clearly. Losing at something doesn’t make you a loser and failing at something doesn’t make you a failure.

“Their temporal bodies always wear out from one affliction or another. They were always watching. but with persistence she was able to throw it off again. but weren’t tired. The spirits taunted Ardare before turning their attention back to Wilma. I’d like to make it to her house. Then they whispered destructive lies clothed as truth. Joel and Malta were still there when Sarah woke in the morning. They had never slept since they were created. Oblivious to the supernatural realm or the spiritual warfare around her. Sarah was the hot topic with everyone who’d been at the prayer meeting. always diligent to carry out God’s will. I hear that Judy Peterson fell and broke her arm last week. She made a pot of coffee. ate a bowl of cereal and then started her prayer walk circuit. but they never grew weary. She started down her block. His hand was on his sword but he knew he could not draw it without her repentance and cry for help. numbers 1-9.” By the time Sarah got dressed and out of the bathroom she was a little steadier on her feet. not even a catnap.46 “Q: What are the four virtues of the Christian life?” “A: Humility. flanked on each side by her unseen intercessory companions. After Sarah had her prayer time they watched as she struggled to sit up and position herself on the edge of the bed. Wilma’s speed dial buttons. humility. That same verse about bearing false witness kept popping into her head. humility. He shook his head. Sarah was forcing herself to come out of her shell. By the time those who attended had called those who didn’t. she checked the mailbox so she could pray for the family by name. When she didn’t know who lived in one of the houses on her four-block prayer route. let me make it four blocks today. four blocks. They protected her from hazards and demonic attacks she . Thank the Lord that their eternal spirits don’t perish along with the flesh. They hadn’t slept. This was just too juicy not to tell. She shuffled off to the bathroom. She rocked back and forth and with great effort made it to her feet. on a really good day. When she had the strength she would prayer walk three. got a work out and she deleted Sarah from number 10.” Bernard of Clairvaux Chapter 10 A hornet’s nest was putting it mildly. humility. Ardare’s heart was breaking as he watched the malevolent spirits of Gossip and Slander tighten their stronghold on Wilma’s mind. always alert. Lord. As she walked she made an effort to say hello and introduce herself to her neighbors who were out in the yard. Wilma dialed the phone again. The tongue weighs mere ounces but show me the man or woman who can hold it. practically the whole church had heard.

it’s your special.” said Joel. It’s the same verse in the Old and New Testament. Lord. Then a scripture reference flitted across her mind.45 Joel drew his brilliant. “Be filled up and overflowing with the fullness of the Holy Spirit. It must be really important. “Jesus. Joel 2:28-29. She began to praise the Lord in English and to her surprise. that the whole church could be standing in opposition to God’s will. Bless Paul today. After a frustrating search for the book of Joel. let him hear Your voice and feel Your love for him. a flood of unintelligible words .’” How strange. Sarah stopped in front of his house and prayed. one of the biggest foes she had was right inside the house at 1745 Cypress Drive. Amen. and his name was Pastor Paul. two-edged sword. She shook her head. It’s your own unique. if it’s Your will that Paul be called as full-time pastor I pray You would show the committee in a clear. secret song that only you can sing to Him. I wish I knew my Bible better. please bring Your will to our town. He touched the flame to her lips. Don’t let anyone. which was still using all caps in 52 font to thwart the new jail. I want to experience Your gift of speaking in tongues. Send guardian angels to protect them. a spiritual gift from God. She began reading. Lord. But. page 1245. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” “Sarah. She shook her head as she thought. She prayed fervently for the church for the next ten minutes. that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh…. It’s a special prayer language. Draw near to him and bless him. let him see the truth about this jail. pour out Your Spirit on me. especially the church members stop it. arriving home in about 90 minutes.” It seems so strange. Let him have compassion for the prisoners. She poured a cup of coffee and perused the Gazette. have mercy on our confusion. you probably won’t even understand what you’re saying. Thanks to Joel and Malta’s assistance she made it the full four blocks. “Praying in the Spirit is one manifestation of the Holy Spirit. Lord. “’And it shall come to pass in the last days. she thought. Show him the same way You showed me. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. It’s like a foreign language.47 never knew existed."44 She began to pray. unmistakable way. I wish I’d grown up reading it. pour out Your Spirit on all flesh. she thought. she gave up and looked in the index. says God. She noticed the cross reference and she turned to Acts 2:17-18. But. Your old men shall dream dreams. sacred love language with the Lord. The tip was ablaze. Your young men shall see visions. Lord. Jesus says that those who believe in Him will "speak in new tongues. And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. bless his wife and sweet son. unbeknownst to her. Let them be healthy and have enough money.” Malta played a melody on his flute that washed over Sarah and she was hit with heavenly joy.

” They tried several low level physical attacks--placing twigs on her path or steering her toward cracks on the sidewalk she could trip over but these were not even challenges for Malta and Joel.47 She’d never heard teaching against it or knew it was considered controversial by some so she entered into the experience with wild abandon. “Since there is no time or distance barriers in the Spirit. Joel and Malta led a full-fledged worship service and Sarah followed along. she will be armed and dangerous to the enemy’s kingdom.” “Shut up. physically exhausted. Sounds were still coming out but she couldn’t understand any of them. interspersed with laughter.” said Joel. paced.” whined Discouragement. “We have no weapons that can overcome that.” moaned Depression.” Joel turned to Malta. “Can it get any worse?” asked Lying. you may be praying for people and situations on the other side of the world. For the longest time she prayed and sang in tongues. “Great. plotting against Sarah was more frustrating than ever for the demons. or suddenly had a mind of its own.48 rolled out. He prays His perfect will. it’s powerful because the Holy Spirit of God is praying His prayers through you. “Get in the habit of praying in the Spirit all the time. You don’t have to talk about it. “When Sarah rounds the corner that Rotweiller will be on her before she knows what hit her. she danced with unseen angels as much as her failing body would allow. She had read about speaking in tongues in Paul’s writings 46 and in Acts. These treasured petitions in Sarah’s own prayer language were received with great joy by the Father and were echoed by multitudes of angels through His throne room. She’s half way there already. “Because of her obedience Sarah will to do many good works for the Lord. Even if it doesn’t feel anointed. He paused for a moment and then . she cried. “She’s got her prayer language. “Also. She raised her hands. “I just unlatched the gate. The Spirit of God prays through her now.” “Nor does she realize how badly he’d like to take her out.” Joel sensed something wasn’t right in his Spirit. Praying in the Spirit shakes the devil’s kingdom and thwarts his plans. After 15 minutes she flopped down on the couch. preference or prejudice. It was as if her tongue had tripped.” In addition to taking their regular beating from Sarah’s prayers during the next day’s prayer walk. things you’d have no way of knowing about. just great.” “This sweet little woman doesn’t know the devil sees her as a dangerous warrior in the Spirit.” I know what that means.” snickered Lying. By the time He matures her as an intercessor. The three demons crouched behind a rose arbor in a neighbor’s yard. It’s not tainted by your opinion.

As Sarah and the angels strolled by the open gate.49 offered a prayer. Joel nudged Malta and then called out with a big smile on his face. turned around several times. ‘Let sleeping dogs lie. laid down and fell asleep.” Immediately Rex trotted to the porch. Discouragement and Depression prodded and yelled at him but he would not be roused. “Father send a Spirit of slumber to Rex.’” . “You know what I always say. Even Lying. shaking Rex’s body violently up and down had no effect.

52 Abraham bargained with the Lord to not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah if there were only 10 righteous people there. He’d love to see you quit praying. was dispatched to help the angel break through. Only then did he cease his prayers. remember Elijah and the drought? God said it would rain but instead of grabbing his umbrella and dancing home like Gene Kelley.” she said . He prayed and the same prophet returned and told him the Lord had granted him 15 more years. Michael. the nations and the world.” “Oh. “Here ya go Sarah.”49 “And don’t forget my friend Daniel. goodness. “God’s plan is for everyone to be saved but He has commanded believers to partner with Him in this redemptive process. tossed it back and forth between his hands and then sliced the air so quickly the blade seemed to disappear. the mailman came up the stairs and startled Sarah.51 Moses interceded for the children of Israel. 53 Joel sheathed his sword and stepped aside as Wesley Kruger. “Think of all the faithful people in the Bible who prayed until the answer manifested. there are even times when God stated He would do something and people’s prayers changed His actions. King Hezekiah got a prophecy that he would die. I know that one reason we pray is to develop intimacy with the Lord Himself. Thank you Wesley.”50 Malta drew his sword.” “Sarah.” St. It took seven times before even a small cloud came in the sky.” said Joel jumping to his feet. Elijah prayed intensely. They fought for 21 days while Daniel continued to pray.” said Malta.48 Prayer is a mighty weapon He gives you from His armory to make sure His perfect will is accomplished.50 “God grant me a spirit of humility—but not weakness—in the face of the forces of evil. There is constant spiritual warfare going on against God’s perfect will and plan. Intercessors are the stewards of God’s promises to the lost. His church. Finally my co-worker. “Your prayers are spiritual warfare that help defeat the enemy’s kingdom by releasing warring angels. Augustine Chapter 11 After her prayer walk Sarah relaxed on her porch swing thinking about her prayers. “In response to his prayer an angel was dispatched immediately to answer but it was hindered by a powerful demon spirit. I was totally preoccupied with my thoughts. He exhorts all Christians to pray for workers to be sent to the harvest field. “For example. but I wonder why we have to pray for things that are God’s will? I know the Bible says it’s God’s will for everyone to be saved “Don’t fall for that old line from the enemy. But.” said Joel. even though they knew what they were praying for was God’s will. if Christians fail to pray God’s full purposes won’t be accomplished.

I don’t know if you ever accepted Jesus. “The enemy’s strategy is to run our emotions ragged. the land that your father farmed.51 taking the mail. I miss him so much. Turn your anxieties into a prayer and give them to Father. After praying for several minutes she got up and poured a cup of coffee. but I must make sure. I need to make sure that I hear from You. Malta and Joel were right behind her. How could she stand it if her beloved George was in Hell? “Don’t talk to George. Lord. show me what to do. Now the whole church hates me and if I sell the land the whole town will 54 . I’m tired of being alone. “You have a nice day. hurts and fears then the Lord has room to fill you up with His peace and love. She went inside and sat on her couch.” whispered Malta.” “Give all your worries and stresses to Him because He cares about every area of your life. Oh.” Sarah flipped through her mail. Sincerely. pass it on to her niece. one of her designated prayer spots.000. my goodness. since she and George hadn’t been able to have children. Why would they be writing me? Her heart pounded as she read: As you might have heard. Then George had taken a job with the fire department and they had leased it to Mr. She had always thought she’d just hold it and after she died. David Burris. President of Integrity Correctional Facilities Inc. The phone bill and the water bill. the land that we farmed for 23 years. Pour out your emotions. Burrows to farm. we are interested in building a minimum security correctional facility on the outskirts of Bradbury and are interested in purchasing from you the 36 acre plot of land at the intersection of Old Highway 3 and JJ for a sum of $36. I’m just enjoying the cool day.” Her voice cracked and her hands began to shake. I plan to. I must pray. how would you feel if I sold our land. She sighed. help me to trust You with my finances. Please feel free to contact me.” She released the pent up tears. practically all his life. The next letter was from Integrity Correctional Facilities Inc. She took a deep breath. It was the private company that wanted to build the jail. George’s pension wasn’t that much and the savings account was being depleted more quickly than she’d anticipated. “Oh. Sarah had no idea what the property was worth. I miss you so much. the autumn and spring are always the best time of the year for me weather wise. “Well.” added Joel. Oh Jesus. I’m so scared for you.” “Oh. George. Sarah didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. George. please show me whether George is in Heaven with You. What’s this about? She wondered as she tore the letter open. She and George had farmed that land the first 23 years of their marriage. Lord. This seems to be straight from the hand of God.

We have to stop this jail. Eric Wilcox. .52 hate me. one of my church members. Clarence plunged on. That’s just what I’d need is for crazy Sarah.” said Discouragement. that doesn’t mean we are giving up without one heck of a fight. This crowd would stone her before she got halfway to the door. The company that wants to build this minimum security jail is called Integrity Correctional Facilities Incorporated. we cannot legally stop them from building. had been on the phone all morning and he showed no sign of slowing. just like any other businessman who went through the right channels. Since they are a private company. “Just go back home. drove to the Elk’s club and circled the block looking for a close parking space. as long as they get appropriately zoned land.” interrupted Paul. But. You all know Eric owns the auto parts store just off the square. They’re a private company. The crowd’s cheer nearly rattled the windows.” He scrolled to the next number on his cell and called again. Paul Reynolds the new pastor at the Victory Church.” At 7:00 Clarence called the meeting to order. punching the air with his fist. By the time you found parking and walked your decrepit body to the meeting it would be over. Paul scanned the room for Sarah. but not least. 7:00 sharp. Clarence Harvey. Lying had been doing his best to distract Sarah. “That’s right. First. to stand up and start in about God’s will for the jail. When she finally looked at the clock on the mantle it was 6:55. I’ll see you tonight. I’m not the new pastor yet. my assistant at the Gazette and last. “There’s no parking within miles. “I’ve got to correct what you just said. Isn’t that right?” he yelled. Bye.” He flinched. the paper’s editor. She hurried to her car. We have a lot to get done so let’s get on with it. His brother Andrew retired from the fire department. but didn’t see her. “First of all I want to thank everyone for coming out tonight to deal with this important issue. “Clarence. suggestions or comments. Selfish Ambition chuckled at Paul’s mistake. I’m the interim pastor. a hard commodity to come by tonight. it just did. the hall was packed. Everyone was milling around talking--no one lacked an opinion. I’ll give a recap. I’ve been meeting with several men throughout the week and I’d like to introduce them now. He didn’t mean to let the yet slip out. “We’ve been meeting every day at noon to come up with a plan and we’re here to share it with you and then open it up to questions. He’d been reminding everyone he could think of about the meeting tonight at the Elk’s hall. Kyle Wylie. He breathed a sigh of relief. Between Clarence’s persistence on the phone and the overwhelmingly strong feelings about the jail. They already have six jails operating in six other Midwestern states.

“Has anyone else heard from ICF?” asked Clarence. Sarah was still looking for parking. “Everywhere you go you cause problems. Well. Respectability and Intimidation perched on her shoulder. everyone. he and his demon Pride. “We can make our displeasure known to ICF but they don’t have to do anything they don’t want to. We don’t know where they’re looking but there are very few tracts of vacant land that are also zoned for this. and I mean everyone in this town will hate you. No one wanted a jail close to the lake. After the whoops and hollers died down James Masters stood. Once they buy land we can’t stop them. the entering pastor. “For He’s The Jolly Good Fellow” and everyone followed. That can’t be God. “I threw the darn thing in the trash. we don’t get to vote on it. Has anyone heard anything about a possible location?” Sarah felt her face flush and her heart beating--pounding.” “Thanks Clarence. Lee Harms rose to his feet. the other men had already spoken and Clarence was giving his spiel. “They offered me a good price. Finally. She’d read in the Gazette that Edna and Clyde were visiting their grandkids in Atlanta for the week. Intimidation and Respectability followed at a distance.” said Intimidation. This is your last chance to possibly have a friend.” whispered Intimidation in a gruff voice. She pressed her hands on her chest as if to manually slow it and tried to calm herself by breathing deeply. Plus all this week. both enjoyed the round of applause elicited by his little speech. in exasperation she pulled in Edna’s driveway one block from the Elk’s club. or any of you who’d like to visit.” “Aren’t Christian’s supposed to be kind and loving?” asked Respectability.” The crowd almost raised the roof. I’m heading up a petition drive.” he grinned. Everybody please sign. our deacons and I will be going door to door.” “If you mention that you’re even considering selling your land. . By the time Sarah snuck in the back of the Elk’s club and leaned up against the back wall. There was silence.” There were gasps from all corners of the room. We’ll have tables set up at church this Sunday to get all the church members. Discouragement. Someone broke into. The petitions will also be displayed at most stores around town. “I got a letter yesterday. they were interested in some of my land south of town. You’ll die totally alone. That’s uh. Joel and Malta helped her out of the car and walked her up the steps. That’s where half the town hung out during the summers. Paul. We need to be vigilant. the interim pastor. This isn’t a government proposal. they were inquiring about the land I own by the park. tell us what you’re working on. “I got one too. “Shut up.” He paused for effect. Lying. “If you speak now everyone will turn against you.” Paul headed back to his seat.53 First I’d like to call Pastor Paul. “but I’m turning ‘em down. My goal is to get as many signatures as we can by next Wednesday.” More cheering.

do I have to make everyone angry doing that? She turned and pushed open the big oak door. SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Sarah felt sweat beading under her arms and trickling down to her bra. “Now’s a good time to shut your mouth!” hissed Intimidation. how she hadn’t heard from the Lord and how she’d never have a friend the rest of her pathetic life. you wouldn’t want the legacy of George’s land to be a jail would you? George would never allow that if he was still here. Intimidation. fingers pointing. I just got the letter today. Sarah stood in the back supported by her unseen helpers. “Well Sarah. The chilly evening wind blew across her warm body. anticipating her answer. “I-I-I haven’t told them anything yet.54 Joel and Malta were holding Sarah up. “Yes. incredulous stares. When she was almost home Joel suggested a drive out to the land. I just want to please You. All eyes were looking back. She felt lightheaded. watching the bedlam in slow motion. Lying and Despair were all attacking simultaneously. silently pleading. She’d go the extra three blocks out of the way to avoid driving past the Elks hall. I did. Joel and Malta escorted her back to the car. Oh Jesus. and tongues wagging. She passed her street and headed for Old Highway 3. “I’m praying about it and when I hear from the Lord then I’ll know what to do. beads of perspiration clung to her upper lip and forehead. She pulled out of Edna’s driveway and turned left. Everyone was talking to someone.” Paul buried his face in his hands thinking.” There was a stunned silence for five long seconds then a dam of conversation burst. literally supporting her weight. There were ugly looks. Sarah took a deep breath and scanned the audience. what did you tell them?” asked Clarence. Jesus. The tears came again obscuring her view and she held the handrail and felt her way down the steps. what do I say? Then she heard her voice throughout the room again.” “Well. It didn’t sound like an especially appealing idea. She took deep breaths and silently prayed. She scanned the crowd and heard her name everywhere. . Over the internal sound of her heart pounding. she inhaled deeply. They were shouting about how foolish she was.” Then there was silence again. you’re surely going to tell them ‘no’ aren’t you? After all. but neither did going home. she heard her own voice.


“Plenty of people wish to become devout, but no one wishes to be humble.” Joseph Addison
Chapter 12 Several additional spirits swarmed around Sarah, the result of the verbal curses that the town’s people were unknowingly putting on her. The spirit’s glowing red eyes peered from black scorpion-like bodies. Sarah suddenly felt nauseated but attributed it to the horrendous experience she’d just had. In just a few minutes she was there. As she turned off Old Highway 3 and onto the property she heard the gravel crunching under her tires. A hundred yards from the intersection was an old cattle gate. She got out and with a groan and much effort pushed it open. She got back in the car, pulled through the entrance and then got out again and closed the gate. The extra effort was worth it, she didn’t want anyone to know she was here. She didn’t want anyone to know she was anywhere. She just wanted to disappear off the face of the planet. Even with her angelic companions in the front seat, she’d never felt so alone in her whole life. She sat in the car, scanned the land and prayed in the Spirit but this time there was no accompanying joy. The first field had been harvested. There were broken corn stalks everywhere. To the east she could see the remains of the house that was built by the original owners in the 1800’s. The stone chimney rose eerily in the moonlight. The barn had been gone for years. She hadn’t been here for a long time, not since George died. Her loneliness plus tonight’s pressures and the demonic presence overwhelmed her again and she crossed her arms over the steering wheel and sobbed. What would George think about a jail? Can he see me now? Where is George anyway? Heaven? She tried to encourage herself and refused to dwell on the alternative. Delighting in their cruel assignments, the spirits swarmed around her. “Where’s God in the midst of this?” growled Despair, gnashing his yellow teeth at her. “Why did He tell you to do something that makes everyone mad and then leave you alone and defenseless? Everyone hates you. You’ll never be accepted by anyone in this town ever again.” “I thought knowing God was supposed to make you feel good and love everyone. It’s only made you lonely,” taunted Accusation as it burrowed its hooked talon into the side of her head. “You probably heard wrong on this jail. If you don’t sell the land you could be the town’s hero, then you could tell everyone about Je-Je-Je, God’s son,” stuttered Lying, breaking out in a sweat. “If you sell the land, you’ll have to stay in your house hiding the rest of your life. You’ll die a lonely recluse. What kind of a witness is that”? “You could be dead for months and no one would even notice. They’d probably throw a

party when you die!” whispered the raspy voice of a mocking spirit. Malta began to sing, “When I survey the wondrous cross, on which the Prince of Glory died; my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.”55 The demons screeched and temporarily retreated to the back of the car where they huddled together, baring their fangs and snarling and snapping at the two angels beside Sarah. In desperation she cried out, “God, why does doing Your will have to make everyone mad? I need a friend. Is it too much to ask to have just one friend to confide in? Someone who doesn’t think I’m crazy? This is too hard for me and I’m so lonely and I miss George and now the whole town hates me. You have to show me whether I should sell this land. Please speak to me, please. Please help me. I don’t know what to do.” She broke down sobbing again. “Sarah,” said Malta gently, “The Lord loves you and in His wisdom He allows spiritual warfare to test and prove your faith. If you trust God, and don’t accuse Him, He can use this hard time to work spiritual growth, humility and authority into your character. He even tells us that we must endure hardship. The apostle Paul said, “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus...do not let yourself become tied up in the affairs of this life, for then you cannot satisfy the one who has enlisted you in his army.” 56 Sarah was in too much emotional pain to be very concerned about character growth that night. After crying out all her tears she was physically exhausted and afraid that if she stayed there any longer she might not have the energy to push open the gate. I don’t want to have to sleep in the car all night. After a little help from Joel the gate swung open. She put the car in gear and headed home. An evil presence flooded the car. The gargoyle-like spirit of Death had an assignment to carry out. “She must be stopped. The master grows impatient.” he spewed angrily. “Get out of my way!” With his hooked talons he struck the black, low ranking imps and sent them sprawling. Out of the city and with no lampposts to light the road, and with her eyesight still somewhat obscured by tears, the car drifted to the gravel shoulder on the right side of the road. In a panic Sarah quickly overcorrected and shot across both lanes and through the ditch where Malta brought the car to an abrupt stop. Sarah flew forward and banged her face on the steering wheel. Her emotions were on edge and her body was quaking. “You don’t have permission to take her life, you vile, deceptive spirit. I command you to leave by the blood of Jesus.” Death didn’t wait for Joel to draw his sword; the mention of the blood was sufficient to send him away cursing and vowing revenge. “We owned her for 71 years, and if she won’t renounce God, we’ll take her life.” Sarah felt something trickle into her left eye. She dabbed at her forehead. A cut across her eyebrow saturated the tissue with blood. She sobbed again, not as much from the pain as from the frustration of her situation. Joel attended to Sarah, comforting and encouraging her in the Lord’s goodness and love

for her. “Even though you walk, or in this case, drive, through the valley of the shadow of death you need not fear any evil. He is protecting you, even preparing a banquet for you to enjoy as He holds your enemies at bay.” 57 After she stopped shaking and the bleeding stopped, she looked outside for the first time. In front of her the headlights illuminated the grass that was as tall as the hood of the car. “Just pull ahead slowly Sarah,” said Malta, motioning toward the hood. “Keep going and in just 10 feet it levels off and you can get back on the road.” Sarah put the car in drive and inched forward. She never looked out the left window to see where the ground dropped off sharply to the creek below. She was too busy obsessing about how she’d been abandoned by God. She didn’t realize that if Malta hadn’t stopped her car it would have rolled over several times, ended up in the creek bottom and been obscured from view. Cindy had stayed home with Jordan from tonight’s meeting. Paul was pacing back and forth between the bookshelf and the tan corduroy recliner where Cindy was knitting. Saldu and Valoe were positioned by the front door, radiating their unseen heavenly glory into the room. “And then she said that she didn’t know if she’d sell the land to them or not. There was dead silence, no one said anything and then the place came unglued, absolutely unglued. Sarah fled the building at that point, but it took five minutes for Clarence to wrestle the meeting back to order. People were livid,” he said raising his voice and gesturing with his arm. “They wanted to know what they could do to keep Sarah from selling the land. Everyone felt betrayed, like one of their own was going to do them in and of course she’s one of my church members so it makes me look bad too!” Cindy sucked in a breath to speak but Paul was too fast for her. “I couldn’t believe it when I found out that Sarah owns the land that I want for my new church. You can imagine how confused I felt, but then I thought this might all be from the Lord.” “How’s that?” asked Cindy, tugging the yarn to undo a knot. “Well, I want the land for the church, Sarah’s church. ICF wants the land for a jail. The Lord has provided a way of deliverance for Sarah that will bless the church too. If she sells the land to the jail, everyone will hate her. If instead she sells the land to the church, she would be viewed as a saint—the town’s rescuer. I can see a plaque in the foyer of the new church,” said Paul pointing to the entryway of the house for effect, “a permanent tribute to Sarah. Why would she want to be the goat, when she could be the hero?” “OK, Paul” said Cindy under Valoe’s influence, “Really listen to this. It’s time for a reality check. Number one, have you prayed about this plan? Are you sure you’ve heard from the Lord? Number two, the church isn’t in any position financially to buy the land. Number three, you’re still the interim and number four, this is your grand and glorious five-year plan. The

church doesn’t even know about it.” “That’s part of the beauty,” he said with a smile as he leaned over her chair and took the knitting from her. “This jail could force the church to speed up the plan. I could meet with Sarah and ask her about the land and then if she’s willing, I’ll propose it to the church to see if they are interested, which of course they will be. It’s a win/win situation. The church will eventually get a new building and avoid a jail at the same time. “But Paul, you don’t even know—“ “Then we propose a monthly payment to Sarah for the land. Or maybe, she would just donate it to her church. And, I might mention that the church members and the town’s people would love me forever for solving this predicament.” Cindy grabbed her knitting back and glared at him. What’s the use of even trying to express my opinion? He doesn’t want to hear it and he just cuts me off. “I’m going to pray about this,” he said over his shoulder as he walked toward his office accompanied by Pride and Self-Promotion. “I’d appreciate it if you’d pray too. Then I might go talk to Sarah in a few days.” Saldu let out a sigh and followed Paul down the hall. “Keep her away from Paul with those needles,” he said, leaving Valoe to help Cindy regain her composure. In the office Pride and Self-Promotion taunted Saldu with their shrieks and laughter. They knew he couldn’t do anything to them unless Paul cried out for help and he was a long way from there. Saldu stood across the desk from Paul. “Paul, you might impress people with your performance but you’ll never impress God. It’s about your heart and it’s about loving and serving people, it’s not about building a kingdom to glorify yourself. Empty yourself of your pride. Even though the plan seems spiritual, it’s not the Lord. It’s truly from the enemy. He knows that taking the wrong path is going to cost you time and pain. It will cost your family time and pain and the same for the church. You need to spend time before the Lord asking His opinion of the plan before you try to carry it out.” Paul shrugged off that nagging feeling that maybe the plan wasn’t God. He was too emotionally invested in it to even go there. But Lord, help me to love better. Help me to love my family better and help me to be sensitive to the needs of my church family. Help me to be a good shepherd for them all. Lord I do want to be a blessing and do Your will. Amen.

Self-righteousness. Selfish Ambition.59 "Heroes will arise from the dust of obscure and despised circumstances whose names will be emblazoned on Heaven's eternal page of fame.” “Gossip. Gossip. Discouragement and Despair were not making as much progress as they’d hoped battling against Sarah. Barbara had almost followed Sarah out the door last night. she was ashamed that she let what people might think of her get in the way of comforting someone who obviously needed it.” said Faultfinding. and she didn’t want it either. Slander. Respectability. She needed to meet people and it was glaringly obvious that any association with Sarah would have been a social faux pas on a grand scale. Maybe she’s desperate for the money. The rest of you will have plenty of time to work. “It doesn’t get any easier than this. and for that reason.” said Unrighteous Judgment. “And of course . to comfort her but didn’t want to risk being ostracized by association. I had a chance to help someone and I didn’t do it. ended up on the back row where she observed Sarah’s discomfort at close range. Her guardian angel Gadiel beamed when she prayed and then responded. in their anger.” she prayed. “The whole town is brimming over with hatred. “I’ve got more people calling to me than I have time. being unfamiliar with the town. a new resident. She was close enough to see the sweat beaded on her upper lip. Close enough to see Sarah’s hands tremble. “Dear Lord. Faultfinding.” The talk around town about Sarah was rampant and unkind.” Barbara had been at the meeting last night.” ~ Frank Bartleman “Heroes aren’t born … they’re cornered. Unrighteous Judgment. she did feel compassion for Sarah and wondered what made her take the unpopular stand she did. Barbara. embraced the new demonic reinforcements with open arms--Accusation. and to get a good look at the humiliation and fear that spread across her face just before she headed out the door. with an evil sneer. Unforgiveness. Although Barbara understood why none of the residents wanted the jail. She was late herself. Bitterness and Treachery. went to the post office to mail a letter and all she heard was criticism and gossip. the town’s people. Impatience. where she stopped to buy a furnace filter. This isn’t going to go away quickly. Still. Criticism. Forgive me Lord.” Unknown Chapter 13 Though Intimidation. she even heard a threat. Slander and I will keep the people stirred up. It was no better at the grocery store or at Underwood’s Hardware.

He wore a shimmering multi-colored cloak embellished with golden cord that went over his shoulders. Jesus. holy. She collapsed on the couch and called her little pug dog. She didn’t even have to paint. She walked by the mirror and let out a groan. Sooo much work to be done. “I don’t even know what box I put the doggie biscuits in!” The next morning Sarah opened her eyes and her first sense of awareness was a splitting headache. she thought as she looked around. attack her as she walked down the street. “I’m sure you’re the topic of every letter to the editor today. was all she could think. For the next two days Sarah skipped her prayer walk and spent the time moping around the house. but even more. She sat down to have her cup of coffee. The previous owners had done a nice job of remodeling it before putting it on the market. his large spear stuck through the top of the car. Jesus. But it was enough for Joel to pull his flaming sword and alleviate Sarah’s headache by cutting off the cowering spirit of Infirmity clinging to the side of her head. She grimaced at the memory of last night’s meeting. but it eventually caught up to her.” The paper landed with a thud. she was afraid to go outside. As Barbara drove home Gadiel rode in the front seat. Sarah curled up on the couch. She was embarrassed at how her face looked. The spirit of Agoraphobia was back convincing her that folks would point. They’re reproducing like rabbits. But.60 He totally forgives you. around his waist and criss-crossed in the back and front. but she broke her morning ritual by throwing the unopened Gazette into her trash after Discouragement whispered. She’d been moving boxes a little at a time. the boxes.” Gadiel looked about 30 years old in human age. It righted itself in a hurry and used its web-like black leathery wings to fly away. Thank goodness the house wasn’t a fixer upper. Jesus. He carried an ancient spear with a carved wooden handle and a large silver spearhead. No sense punishing myself. help me. She snuggled under the mufti-colored Angora blanket that George had given her as a Christmas present one year. Its stunned black form hit the floor with a thud. She ran her hand across the cut on her eyebrow and the whole horrible experience came flooding back to her. who immediately jumped on her lap and began to lick her chin enthusiastically. Sarah found the energy she needed to get out of bed. trying to avoid getting overwhelmed. The days were getting chillier. Hugo.” silently penetrated her soul. “Don’t get too excited Hugo. call names or even worse. the endless boxes waited to be unpacked. Malta began to match the worship around the throne on his flute and as wave after wave of “Holy.” she said. holy. She didn’t even need to put on her glasses to see the black and blue welt surrounding her swollen left eye. As she .

She prayed in tongues for a while but stopped when she didn’t feel better. in his charcoal gray suit and red striped tie. The orchestra was playing “Over There. Toward the end Sarah would just play the waltz music in the bedroom. She and George were in their own world when they danced together.61 ran her hand over the soft fleece. It seemed to calm George. dapper George I knew.” She began to hum the music as she followed his lead around the large wooden floor. . She smiled at the memory of George shuffling around in his flannel pajamas and house slippers. How she missed his arms around her when they danced. I need to hear about the land. She had developed a love for dancing as a little girl. I guess the rest wanted to remain anonymous. Then he would sweep Sarah up in his arms. Give me courage. There was more mail in the box than she’d ever gotten before. the loneliness swept over her again. I can’t take this much longer. slow dance with his feet hardly moving got to be too much. talk to me. George was dapper. After we were married we went to the lodge at Mt. Pielor they began dancing in the living room together. She remembered how their dancing dates had ended when George got sick. As he continued to deteriorate. Even though the place was crowded she never noticed the other couples. her father would move the coffee table from the living room and start the big player piano. For a moment she was back on the dance floor in her black pumps. What a change from the virile. She could feel his arm around her waist. I was so excited when I found out George loved to dance. When he couldn’t make the trip to Mt. on a Friday night. She and George used to snuggle under the blanket as they watched nature documentaries or after they’d spent the evening dancing. as always. When the song finished in her mind so did the cheerful recollection. she thought. About once a month. Is George there with You? Please. thought Sarah. Dancing. Pielor almost every Friday night. Oh Lord. even one slow. She heard the mailman on the porch and after waiting a few minutes to make sure he was gone she went outside. Lord. please answer me Lord. These were some of her favorite childhood memories. I feel like a prisoner in my own house. a smile crept across her face. She would carefully place each socked foot on his black leather shoes and they would laugh and dance to every song on the roller. I’m too scared to go outside. Only occasionally was there a return address on the envelopes. I’m lonely and desperate for a friend. this is not what I need.

It was all she could do to keep from throwing herself into his arms when he came up the stairs. “Yes. Barrie Chapter 14 A rusty blue Toyota pulled up in front of the house. Things that I think are from the Lord. Do you mind if we start with prayer?” Sarah sighed in relief. concealing the handful of letters behind her back and looking slightly to the side to try to obscure her eye. The demon Manipulation whispered to Paul: “Thank you for allowing me to talk with you. It’s a very good time.” Sarah got coffee and they sat at the yellow Formica-topped kitchen table.” She held up the pile of mail. Is this a good time?” asked Paul as he stepped onto the porch.” James M. “People are even sending me letters telling me what to do.” said Sarah. “Lord.” said Sarah feeling relief at having found a kindred spirit. “I have some important things to share. and will often assume the garb of humility. Thank You God for bringing my pastor. but she squelched a reply and the emotions that went with it. Fear of Man and Selfish Ambition that his actions had invited. yes. When Sarah saw Pastor Paul get out she breathed a sigh of relief. The demons gloated and taunted Saldu who followed along behind.” “Hello. Paul was comfortable with the presence of these familiar spirits and was making no effort to break free from their influence so the three mighty angels were unable to intervene on his behalf.” “Thank you for allowing me to talk with you.” Adam Clarke “You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it. Amen. I have some important things to share…. Joel and Malta stood behind her. “Oh.” Difficult time for the town? thought Sarah. I’d like that. “Definitely not what Sarah needs now. Judgment. They clung to his scalp and shoulders. I need to talk to someone who is spiritually much wiser than I. Joel looked at Malta. am I right?” “Oh.” Thanks Lord for sending me some spiritual guidance. “I assume you’re feeling a lot of stress and pressure since the meeting the other night. “I just want to do what the . Thank You. yes. He did a double take at Sarah’s black eye but chose not to mention it. please show us Your will and Your way.” repeated Paul. “Please come in. Help Sarah to make the right decisions during this difficult time for the town.62 “Pride works frequently under a dense mask. Control. feeling exasperated. She couldn’t see the demons of Manipulation.

They had no legal right to land on her. What Paul was saying made sense. This has been a confusing time for me and I’m a new Christian--” “I understand.” “I’m sure you do. She exhaled deeply. You don’t need a jail to find people in need. if you know what I mean. Paul followed their lead exactly. I didn’t know that until the meeting a few nights ago. “Repeat after me Paul. wouldn’t you?” He didn’t slow down long enough for her to answer. “Now we go in for the kill. It even started before there was talk of the jail. He knew how she felt about that. you don’t need any more hate mail. As you know. confused.63 Lord wants. not to mention soothing everyone’s high strung nerves. I’ve felt that the Lord will bless us with new members and we will need to build a new church building.” The demons were heady over their success. Lord You sent help. “If you sold or donated the land to the church it would be a win/win situation. Joel watched as three of Paul’s black spirits of swirled around Sarah. there were people everywhere to minister to. “I’d really like some good spiritual guidance.” Sarah felt her clenched muscles relax. that’s why I’m here. “But I understand that this land was in his family for a long time. “Well. ever since I got here. do you?” cooed the slimy voice of Fear of Man. ‘For He’s The Jolly Good Fellow’ at the meeting two nights ago?” Sarah glanced at the pile of letters on the table.” said Manipulation. Finally. Her tension was draining away. The first twisted spirit of Manipulation whispered to her: “It’d be great to have a new church on the ground. taking it all in. I just know that the first time I laid eyes on it I thought it was earmarked by the Lord for something special. “Everyone would be glad for the progress this would bring the town. that land just kind of jumped out at me. Sarah felt troubled. Even though neither of them had touched their coffee.” croaked Selfish Ambition. more than that.” said Paul cutting her off. I felt like the Lord was going to grow our church. When I reached the intersection of Old Highway 3 and JJ. but building a new church seemed holier than building a jail. Besides.’” Paul continued. This is where it gets really good—when I first arrived in town I was driving around just seeing it all for the first time. it would probably make you the town hero. our present facility can only hold about 150 people.” . I feel like I’ve heard a few things from Him about the land.” “Remember. if that’s helpful. “That’s right Sarah. but I need confirmation. “How everyone sang. but they could torment her. Seeing them made her heart race.” He was careful never to specifically mention the jail. ‘I never had the pleasure of meeting your late husband. she stood up and came back with the pot. Having a church on your land is a legacy I’m sure you’d be proud to leave. the biggest demon. I hope that I can help. It would certainly calm everyone’s ruffled feathers. I had no way of knowing it was yours.

Everything else is lost on you. What an arrogant standard.” It was God’s will for her to step forward. “Never measure others’ worth or value by whether they agree with your opinion.” “Maybe the land is in your possession for such a time as this.” whispered Saldu. you’ve almost got her where you want her. They were so comfortable with him. Esther was a queen and the prime minister named Haman hated the Jews and devised a plan along with the king to have all the Jews killed.” said Paul standing to his feet. The king didn’t know Esther was a Jew. God had moved her to the position as queen for “such a time as this. She had a choice to stay in the protection of the palace and watch her people perish outside or intervene by risking her life. Sarah had never heard that phrase. You never met him. I haven’t read that book yet. “I can tell that you want the Lord’s heart on this. I’m sure you’ll make the right. somewhat embarrassed.” said Sarah. Let Sarah do what she wants with the land. she was nodding hers too. leather . yet suddenly you’re invested in what he would think? You’re a hypocrite.” “I wish they would shut up. “It’s like nails on a chalkboard every time they say that.” “Keep praying. “Paul.” he said shaking her hand vigorously.” Paul was nodding his head and before she knew it. blood-bought Christian standing right in front of you and all you can see is what you can get from her. but her muscles were tense again. It was the time God had destined for her to bring deliverance to her people. Then when we married we farmed it for 23 years.” “For such a time as this. “What do you mean.” repeated Sarah. She’s a valuable. “I’ll give you a brief overview. She expected to feel better. it was purchased by George’s father when he was a young man.” said Paul. Once you come to a decision. If you don’t cry out for help from the Lord to change that pattern you’ll never accomplish what the Lord has planned for your life. Sarah walked him to the porch and watched as he drove away.” “Paul.” 58 The demons all flinched at the passing mention of a scripture passage. I’m confident the Lord will show you His will. “For such a time as this.” said Selfish Ambition. we can announce the good news to the church. living breathing. You don’t love people you use people. Selfish Ambition and Fear of Man stayed with Sarah and the others left with Pastor Paul firmly in their destructive grip. ‘for such a time as this?’” “It’s from the book of Esther. “Please give me a call if you have any questions or want to talk.64 “Yes.” “I. the rational decision. including mentioning her dead husband. It’s her land and you just used every manipulative technique against her. “That’s right. they regarded him as their permanent residency.” whispered one of the clawed.

You could be a spiritual buffer between her and the town’s anger. Remember the Lord humbled Himself to live in a human body. Think how many people will flock to your church if you solved this jail dilemma. none of which were His. obedient lifestyle He did. Don’t just do what is politically correct because it brings you praise and acceptance. Did you see her nodding her head at the end? That Bible verse was a great touch. Stand up and do what’s right! Lead your church in the truth.” “Keep your eye on the prize Paul. Don’t let up. “You could speak up for Sarah and give her the support she needs. “She teared up when you mentioned her husband. . In order to fulfill His plan for your life you must lead the same humble. success is right around the corner. She’s home looking at the scripture now. die on the cross and suffer for sins.” said Selfish Ambition.” “Pray about this land debate. You’d probably need to build right away.” Paul smiled. “Don’t give up your goal.” said Saldu.65 winged demons. I think you’ve got her.

almost to the point of being physically sick. the trees looked skeletonlike as they swayed in the breeze. The word is a sword. “God’s word is alive and active. “You need to make some friends and selling to the jail isn’t the way to do it.” A few days ago Sarah was convinced the jail was God’s will. Before Malta even unsheathed his double-edged sword the spirit of Agoraphobia was gone.” whispered Malta. but you and your father’s house will perish. It’s powerful for warfare against the enemy.” Some of the towns’ people might even get violent. “All Christians have at least one ‘such a time as this’ in their lives. I can’t stay in this house forever. Jack O’ Lanterns or Indian corn out as decorations. Sarah got her denim jacket from the hall closet and pulled on her floppy garden hat to help conceal her identity and her black eye.” said Malta. “This is your time right now. There were many houses that had bales of hay.” I need clarity. now Paul and his demonically fueled logic had confused her. plus Fear of Man had her afraid of the consequences if she sold the ground to ICF. “The towns’ people will never forgive you if you sell the ground. The more you believe them the more power they have over you. When she turned onto the second block she saw that the real-estate sign had been removed from the yard of the small Victorian house. help me. I just need to do it.” said Joel. The leaves were mostly gone. “The same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives inside you. 59 You are never alone. Joel and Malta enjoyed watching the demon cringe and retch. A car was in the drive and there was a huge pile of . “You need to think about your future and your comfort these last years of your life. relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place. “You are here all by yourself at night.” “You’re not by yourself Sarah.” whispered Intimidation. I think I’ll prayer walk. Sarah rounded the corner praying and thought how good it felt to be prayer walking again. Now Sarah was confused and distraught.66 “Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die.” Malachy McCourt Chapter 15 In a few minutes Sarah was reading the book of Esther out loud.” said Fear of Man. pumpkins. It seemed like a long time since she’d been out of the house even though it was just a few days.” “For if you remain completely silent at this time. Things seemed so clear a few days ago. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” read Sarah.” said Selfish Ambition. Don’t give in to these spirits. Sometimes several. They feel really strongly about this jail. Jesus. Fear is just faith in the devil.

She’d been at it all day. She ducked her head to hide her face under the hat and shuffled down the sidewalk. you didn’t let your fear of what people thought stop you. Do you understand?” Sarah couldn’t believe what she was hearing. afraid she’d get an earful from a disgruntled citizen opposing her views. thought Sarah.” her voice trailed off. tentatively she walked back. bring them quickly to salvation. “Can I talk to you?” Barbara was embarrassed about how she looked and the state of her house. “But I was embarrassed. as if preparing for a verbal kick to the gut. if you can stomach the mess. We all need to do what God tells us. She had on her old blue sweat suit and had her salt and pepper colored hair pulled back.. how do you know me?” she asked.” After clearing boxes off the couch and apologizing for not having anything to offer Sarah to drink.” suggested her guardian angel.” Sarah recoiled. Barbara sat down. I’m a sweaty mess.” Sarah hesitated. very godly. I can’t be meeting people.” whispered Malta. In her neediness. Sarah was also startled by Barbara’s sudden appearance. She grabbed the stack of empty boxes accumulating by the door and stepped out on the porch. When Sarah was 20 feet away Barbara worked up the courage to yell. I’m sorry. I just wanted to meet you and say that what you did was very brave. I hit my head on the steering wheel. “I’m new in town. What you did was very brave. Startled by seeing Sarah standing in front of her house. I pray Your favor and blessings on them. Slowly. “You may as well get these out of the way. she blurted out. which was to drop the boxes and dart back inside the house. But she fought her first impulse. Let them make friends and feel like they “fit. still staring down to conceal her black eye. It was like a cool breeze blowing over her tattered soul. “Oh my gosh! Did someone beat you up?” “No. My name’s Barbara. Inside the house Barbara was still unpacking. Sarah. “Let’s stay a little longer here. Gadiel. Lord help this person or family to get settled in quickly. but she felt this was a divine appointment. “I was at the meeting the other night. I’m new in town and didn’t want to make enemies right off the bat.67 empty boxes at the curb. even if it goes against the flow. I had an accident in my car. “Sure. You didn’t back down. she jumped. “I was at the back of the meeting hall when you came in.” If they don’t know You. “You are Sarah aren’t you?” “Yes. “Wait Sarah. It looks worse than it is.” she said looking up for the first time.. I was going to come after you. “I don’t mind at all.. making first impressions looking like this.” I’d go to the city’s trash dump to have someone to talk to who understands.” .

“You’ve been through so much--both good and bad. “The Lord has something special for you. and she really did. I think He’s going to do a lot with you before He takes you home. When she stepped on her porch she saw shards of glass. “I’m the town’s outcast. It’s evil. they rarely pray for people. She turned on the living room light and saw the brick. She sat down in the floral chair opposite the couch and cried.” “Thanks. Some people are saved all their lives and don’t seem to have that much supernatural activity going on. It had hit the coffee table. Their lives aren’t very different from their unsaved neighbors. their ethereal wings encircled her keeping away the spirits that wanted to buffet her.” “Well.” “What do you mean?” asked Sarah. The big window behind the porch swing was shattered. After another hour the conversation came to an end. Sarah learned that Barbara had just retired from a secretarial position in a large city where she’d spent most of her life. it was a God thing that I came on the porch when I did.” Until now.” said Sarah. Then she held tightly to the porch rail and slowly ascended the stairs. The couch and floor were also covered with glass. You’re in the middle of one of those. It’s exciting what the Lord is doing in your life. I just live one block over. Sarah assumed that the Lord spoke to everyone like He did with her.” “You have no idea what you just said. She’d kept working at a job she had grown to dislike by promising herself that if she stayed on until retirement she’d treat herself by moving to a small town. After a while Malta began. You have no idea how good it feels to have a trusted confidant. accompanied by Joel and Malta.” At Barbara’s encouragement Sarah shared about what had happened in the last six months since her salvation. Jesus. I got six letters in the mail today and I haven’t had the nerve to even open them.68 “I understand. she came that day and made an offer. leaving a large gash and then bounced onto the floor. “Sarah.” Sarah laughed for the first time in almost a week. She felt the tears welling up again. She’d always like Bradbury. “Oh. She went back home and gave the landlord her 30 day’s notice.” Sarah praised God all the way home. You hadn’t left the house for several days and when you stepped out in faith. read their Bible or take time to hear God’s voice in any significant ways. “It seems like most Christians just go through the motions. this is an attack from the enemy. Joel was at her front and Malta at her back. A friend of hers from high school had lived there once. Do you want me to drive you home? It’s dark. what does this mean?” she asked out loud. ‘for such a time as this’ seasons. this happened while you were . “Thanks so much for listening to me tonight. When Dreiling’s Realty told her about this house. but I’m fine walking.

preach it. just as I had pity on you?’ Then he handed him to the torturers. “They don’t deserve your forgiveness. Jesus said that we will not receive forgiveness from God unless we forgive others.” said Joel. “Try to look at every trying circumstance that the Lord allows in your life as His way of purifying your spirit and attitude. The enemy would like to see you paralyzed with fear again. Sarah looked again at the brick and the gash on her coffee table and her anger was rekindled. forgiveness is God’s provision for people who do wrong. your hatred has no effect on the snake. “Remember Jesus’ parable about the king who forgives his servant 10.69 gone.” shouted Unforgiveness. “They deserve to go to jail and that’s all they deserve. People who haven’t offended you don’t need your forgiveness. “Whoever did this was scum. “Then that servant went out and found someone who owed him a mere 100 denarii. Two evil spirits were drawn to Sarah’s unforgiveness like flies to blood. The snake that bit you. just your revenge. They don’t deserve to be forgiven. “Think of it like this Sarah.000 talents?”60 “Which is 20 billion dollars in today’s money.” Joel paused and looked toward Malta. but until you forgive. Why would you even consider forgiving them?” Joel continued. has already slithered off somewhere else. don’t ever doubt that. “Twenty thousand dollars.” Sarah sat for a while thinking while a battle raged for control between her spirit and soul. Bitterness is like a snakebite. the poison is still circulating through your veins.” said Malta. He’d like nothing more than to bring a halt to your work for the Lord. But you need to know God’s protecting you. He loves you and He has a plan for you to complete.” Sarah recoiled at the thought.” “Remember.” shouted Bitterness and his gnarled cronies. It’s only damaging you. when it hurled that rock through your window. When the king heard it he was furious and said. Now here’s the challenge. Forgiveness is only for those who offend or hurt you. “You can remain bitter and head down satan’s path or you can forgive and become more like Jesus. “I know it’s hard. He wants you to pray for the person who did this. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant. “That’s right sister.” said Malta with a grin. No matter how badly you . ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. Call out to Him for grace to bless your enemies. look what they did to my home. it can only be done with the Lord’s help.” His master had forgiven him an unpayable debt but he choked his debtor and had him thrown into prison.” I can’t forgive them. Joel added.

” Rummaging through the closet she found a large crocheted doily. “Nooooo. but she realized the truth when she heard it. She gently unfolded it and placed it over the dent on the coffee table. As little bits of glory fell from Heaven on Sarah. I pray that they would come to know You in a personal way and that You would change their hearts. Joel and Malta stood at the foot of the bed. Selfish Ambition. It was one she had made while sitting by George toward the end of his illness. After going over the couch with the attachments on her vacuum she got a large piece of cardboard and with a black marker she wrote.” said Joel. Agoraphobia and Fear. She moved the cranberry scented candle on it. just the kind of week the Father uses to build character into His children. She got her dustpan and broom and slowly swept the glass shards. “Jesus loves you.” came the voices shrieking in unison from the kitchen.” “And Sarah’s learning fast. Unforgiveness. “You must take revenge. Sarah taped the cardboard over the hole in the window.” She still felt mad. “It’s been a hard. the circle that Bitterness. “Yes. Then she went to bed.” . That’s not so bad. the spirits became more frantic until they were jostling and scratching each other in the corner of the ceiling trying to avoid the heavenly fragrance that invaded the room. hard week for Sarah.” This was more than the demons could take. “You know who is responsible for this. She even had more energy. Sarah felt a little better after the prayer. Then she took the brick and set it on top of the TV. Amen.” she said admiring her ingenuity. Will You help me not to hate and help me not to fear? I guess anyone who would throw a rock through an old lady’s window is a pretty sad case. “There. “Lord.” With each word. she still felt violated.” she began slowly and through somewhat gritted teeth. Every time I see it I’ll remember to pray for whoever did this. they cursed and fled to the kitchen. were flying around her got wider and wider.70 are treated it is miniscule compared to what Jesus suffered to forgive your sins. I guess it’s not important that I do. I might never find out.

” She headed to the kitchen carrying the basket. The first tag said “Made in India.” in George’s writing.” whispered Lying. You can do it all. but paused. “Only up and down the stairs twice instead of four times. After loading the washer and praying. “Be careful Sarah. where patience.” She’d never thought about going up and down the stairs with the basket before.” said Lying.” “Watch this. but today.” David Mallet Chapter 16 Sarah crawled out of bed in the morning. It had been there for years. if at all. She looked at the steps for a long time then put the basket on the floor and pushed it with her foot. made her way down each step. I haven’t done laundry for ten days. It was overflowing with dirty clothes.71 “Affliction is the wholesome soil of virtue. take root and strongly flourish. the woman who sewed this blouse lives in Bangalore and a mission’s organization taught her and many other women marketable skills so they can support their children. She opened the basement door to go down the stairs. “God bless you. I’d better divide this into two loads. The first . “Look at your clothes basket. Halfway it flipped spilling dirty clothes at the foot of the stairs. for some reason she decided to see what was inside.” said Joel. and she’d increased to 15 milligrams immediately after her doctor’s appointment. but today there was an uneasy feeling. She grasped the rail as she cautiously. gave the box a big tug and it fell to the floor and stirred up so much dust that it gave her a sneezing fit. “Sarah.” said Joel. She dragged the trashcan over to the shelves. and calm fortitude. brightly colored blouse she had just purchased. assisted by Joel and Malta. This sewing group of 30 women is now able to provide for their children while they are being taught the Gospel. It was marked “OLD DOCUMENTS. Many of the husbands are alcoholics and unfortunately their paychecks are rarely spent on food. sweet humility. The arthritis medicine certainly wasn’t helping much. “Think how much time it will save if you just do it in one load. “You need both hands on the rail. Newbury and make a follow up visit.” Malta nodded. she turned around and noticed a box on the gray storage shelves that Malta was pointing at. As she shuffled to the bathroom she made a mental note to call Dr. She checked the washing instructions on a new.” said Joel and Malta as she slowly sat down on the area rug. honor. Whenever you wear this blouse remember to pray that they would prosper spiritually and financially. “Here’s a great prayer opportunity.

still holding the precious letters and headed slowly upstairs. Then came the utility bills from 1948. She pulled out a letter from her niece and one from Integrity Correctional Facilities and threw the rest in the trash. Only her love now was more mature.72 document in the box was their taxes from 1949. That was George’s mother’s maiden name. The last letter in the stack was not her handwriting. On the front were George’s picture and the headline. She smiled. She started putting them in chronological order according to the postmarks. I missed him so much I literally didn’t think I could stand being apart. Then she realized that these feelings from many years ago were the same she had been forced to endure since his death. Then she flipped through the paper and scanned the weekly grocery ad. It was from George’s dad the year before he and Nelly were married. It was the Gazette. That was such a hard year for us. looked at the taxes again and with slight hesitation threw them in the trashcan. and he wouldn’t ever be coming home to visit for spring break. It was addressed to Nelly Swanson. It wasn’t until George came home for dinner that she found out what a hero he was. Dearest. We had to cut the amount of help we could use during harvest season. She looked at the letters in her hand and picked up the letters on the counter. She smiled again and set the paper aside. more intense. I guess I’ll clean these out so no one has to do it after I’m gone. She clutched them to her heart. “Local Fireman Saves Twins In House Fire. . George was nothing if not organized. The top letter was one that she had written to George when he was away that first year at college. Although Sarah wanted to read them all in one setting. like she’d use up something precious that she could never replace. There were 64 letters total. The next six stacks were the next six year’s taxes. she decided to ration them. It was her old love letters to George. I think I’ll read two today. It seemed like a healing thing to do. After considerable effort she got to her feet. nor was it George’s. I never knew he saved these. It was the first year he’d been with the department. She smiled. She opened it carefully. She recognized her writing at once. she thought. It was postmarked from Bradbury and the year was 1926. She’d written them over a period of two years until they’d decided to get married when George started his junior year. Entering the kitchen she saw yesterday’s stack of mail. That felt liberating. What was that man thinking? Next was a yellowed newspaper. I’ll read one a day. and then I’ll start over. She smiled as she read. and then not until dessert when she inquired about his day. Eggs ten cents a dozen. After a few more inches of old taxes and old insurance papers she pulled out a hand full of letters. Reading them all at once seemed gluttonous. She poured a cup of coffee and set down at the table with her old love letters. She carefully opened the yellowed pages. President Truman signed to raise the minimum wage to 75 cents an hour.” She remembered the incident well.

“All the rest of the confusion is from the enemy to keep you from following through with Father’s plans. He looked me straight in the eyes and said. 1855 . more like a large brick.” . an infant daughter and two adult daughters and their husbands.73 I miss you such that at times I can think of nothing else. Something so exciting has happened. Respectfully. This old cemetery. She turned left on Old Cemetery Road and pulled onto the dirt drive. I am making a way for us to be together forever.” said Joel. I told him yes but I’m the last person who would have means to acquire $450. She stepped carefully through the weeds. It’s your turn to be faithful. “The Lord told me He wants you to have this land.” Malta laid his large gleaming hands on Sarah’s shoulder and she began to weep. next to him were his wife.” You know Nelly that I am not a religious man but I got down on my knees and thanked God for this gift. After looking for five minutes Sarah found a small flat headstone. with no interest. The largest tombstone was William Bradbury’s. I’m putting in the first crop and after the fall harvest I will send money for you to come to Bradbury. She hurried to her car and drove out of town on Old Highway 3 and past the land. in need of mowing and repair. I am the proud owner of 36 acres of rich farmland. I’m prepared to take $100 a year for four and a half years. which has a house and barn. You’re one link in those plans. 1933 He preached Jesus She slowly sat down beside the small headstone and ran her fingers over the letters. Don’t be thrown off track by anyone or anything. When I started the job he told me it would just be temporary because he felt God was telling him to sell the farm to spend more time on the circuit. her hand was shaking. It was a fullfledged miracle that I have gotten this land. On it was carved: Reverend Arthur Templeton May 19. He heard the Lord’s voice and sold the land to George’s father so it could end up in your hands today. Reverend Templeton was another link and he was faithful. Who would have thought that an 18year-old would ever be a landowner? For the last three months I’ve been working as a farm hand for Reverend Templeton. I had started looking for other work when Reverend Templeton came to me and asked me if I’d be interested in the farm. was where most of the town’s settlers were buried. off in the corner. Vernon Edwards Sarah laid the letter on the table.” whispered Malta. the town’s namesake. the Lord has had plans for this land from before the foundation of the world.July 28. He farms and on the weekend he rides the circuit preaching to several different churches. “You see Sarah. “He was orchestrating them before you were born. He was all ready to sell the land to the neighbor who had offered him a price of $450. “Remember the dream you had about the jail before it was announced? Remember the scriptures and how they undid you emotionally? That was Father talking to you. Then he’s back working hard on the farm through the week.

Did you know that intercessors need people to intercede for them? They’re high on satan’s target list. “I have come into the kingdom for such a time as this. He understands every physical and emotional pain and He will give you the grace you need. feel it and meet Him in your pain.61 Then take your focus off yourself and thank Him that He loved you enough to suffer like that for you. I want to be the next faithful link in Your destiny for this ground. . Instead of fleeing from the pain.74 “It will be hard to go against what the town wants. Realize that this very pain is part of what He suffered for you when He was on this earth. “He moved Barbara here in answer to your request for a friend. Remember that He was despised. Thank You for Reverend Templeton’s faithfulness. and rejected.” she said with great resolve as she ran her hand again over Reverend Templeton’s headstone. “There will definitely be a high price to pay. then I can surely suffer some because of Him. Amen. “You heard her boys. He also carried all your sorrows and griefs just like He carried all your sins. He’s a good God and you can trust Him.” said Malta.” said Malta. I’ll sell to ICF. but also as an intercessor for you. You will suffer. Pastor Hall is still praying for you too. A new determination welled up inside of Sarah. The demons stopped bickering and looked up.” said Joel. but one place that you can go deeper with the Lord in intimacy is in your sufferings.” Sarah made a vow. his flashing sword sent their wretched bodies flying. “If the Lord suffered so dreadfully for me.” The manipulative spirits that had formerly been taunting Sarah began wailing. “Lord. but before they had a chance to leave on their own. Remember. no injustice you’ll ever suffer will come close to what He suffered for you. Black fur and accusations flew as each one turned on the other. “Even in your seemingly darkest hours.” said Joel with a broad smile. She understood that she was a conduit for the Lord’s plans.” “When you get back home look at the letter from ICF.” You see Sarah in addition to suffering everything we suffered. You can go to Him and find relief and healing there.

that’s for sure. and I bet He had fifty thousand reasons. Everyone has strong feelings about the jail.” Right.75 “I am sure there are many Christians who will confess that their experience has been very much like my own in this.000.” “Please sit down. that this humility is not a thing that will come of itself.” Andrew Murray Chapter 17 As Sarah opened the letter. “What happened to your window?” “Someone’s not too happy with me right now. Dear Ms. Paul thought. I will contact you in a few days if I don’t hear from you.” “That’s terrible. I’m sorry to hear . It just shows how emotional some people can get over these sticky issues.” she motioned toward the couch and went to the kitchen. Fifty thousand dollars! Unbelievable. what will I do with that kind of money?” Her thoughts were interrupted by Pastor Paul knocking on the door. Lord. Integrity Correctional Facilities. The first thing he saw was the hand-lettered “Jesus Loves You” sign over the window. Sincerely. We’ve not received a response from our last letter. “Well. Paul didn’t set out to read the letter but it was laying face up on the coffee table and he could read it without even leaning forward. but that it must be made the object of special desire and prayer and faith and practice. It reminded him of the guy at the sports arena with the rainbow colored wig and the John 3:16 sign. that we had long known the Lord without realizing that meekness and lowliness of heart are to be the distinguishing feature of the disciple as they were of the Master. no wonder she wants to sell to the jail. David Burris. “I assume you’re here to follow up on our conversation a few days ago. She invited him in. He shook his head. her hands were shaking but her spirit was totally at peace. And further. Just today. We would like you to consider selling it to us for the sum of $50. Edwards. Of course he never went anywhere without his little black cohorts surrounding him. lots of someones actually. “Fifty thousand dollars? They’re offering me $50. and I’ll get some coffee. Inc. The Lord has just showed me specifically that I’m supposed to sell to ICF. We wish you to know that we are still interested in purchasing your land. Sarah returned and handed Paul the cup.000. I have enclosed a contract for you to look over.

I have. but you are a new believer. I know I heard from the Lord. A wave of peace swept over her as she heard it clunk on the bottom.” “Oh. I don’t doubt your sincerity.76 that. no. and the Lord answered just today.’” He set the cup on the coffee table next to the letter. I’d encourage you to continue to pray about it. She reveled in the feeling for a few moments then headed for Barbara’s house.” he said. especially if they have strong feelings about one particular option. but the Lord had a plan for this land and I’m just following it. I don’t need to keep praying. and headed for the door.” This statement caused the demons to snicker wildly among themselves.” he said curtly.” “Sarah. It’s easy to believe that option is from the Lord because we want it so badly. Sarah didn’t see him roll his eyes as he let out a sigh. he stood to his feet. . “Well. “Oh.” Paul sat silently in the chair and when he could think of nothing else to say. a lot. The potential for good for God’s kingdom that a new and larger church facility could produce is incalculable. Lord. “Well. I really have no say in the matter if I want to be obedient. trying to conceal his growing aggravation.” “Oh. but many times people think they’ve heard the Lord and it’s not the Lord. bless this endeavor. “All I’m saying is maybe you could keep praying and some of the ladies from the church could drop by and talk to you about it. It’s like you said. I don’t mean to offend you. she prayed as she dropped the letter in the mailbox. have a good day. Joel gave Malta a high five. ‘For such a time as this. Sarah signed the contract and walked to the post office whistling.

You must be willing to look foolish in the eyes of your peers. you need to be content to sit and wait on God. “Think of your life this way. you’re not in Bradbury to win a popularity contest. Paul.” 63 “Now about that jail. but your challenge is to step out of the way and point them to Jesus. count yourself as nothing so that God may be exalted and may be all.” “Forget the plan.” whispered Deception. You’re at the top of a ski slope and there’s a mile of virgin snow beneath you. but the whole town. “To be truly great in the Kingdom of God you must be humble and passionately in love with the King. He drove straight to Clarence Harvey. This is a great offence to God--our attempting to substitute human zeal for Heaven’s anointing. There is an irrefutable rule in God’s kingdom: Those who seek exaltation never receive it.” When Saldu stopped talking. “That’s right. “Paul. you’re here to do the will of God. You’ve compromised His truth because of your need for love and acceptance. You’ll have hundreds of people skiing behind you. “I’ve got an idea to thwart that thing that can literally make you the town’s savior. empty yourself. Give up all honor like Jesus did. You shove off and with the Lord’s help you ski successfully to the bottom. Saldu’s presence helped to calm him some. “Paul. as you proclaim boldly what God has told you to say and do. Not only are your tracks visible from Heaven but you leave a trail for others coming behind you to follow. they find their way too. not just with the church people. “It’s like God dropped a heavenly blueprint in your lap to teach you how to grow the church for maximum eternal impact. God is looking down at you from Heaven. And you shouldn’t be fighting this jail either. “Father brought you to this church for a purpose and the enemy has totally distracted you. Paul’s little black soul mates immediately helped him key in on the part of Saldu’s message about leadership. seek honor from God only.” urged Saldu. not to keep them huddled around you like a fan club.” Bobby Conner Chapter 18 Paul was fuming when he left Sarah’s. Because of you. “You’re a leader Paul and your five year plan is nothing short of brilliant.” said Saldu. following your godly example. Your five-year plan isn’t the Lord’s five-year plan.” said Manipulation sidestepping Saldu’s comments. You’re very charismatic and people will follow you. 62 You should hang on His every word. This speaks of the potential for your life to have Heavenly and earthly impact.” Paul bit hook. the Lord has made you a leader and He has great plans for your life. line and sinker.77 “We must overcome the impulse to attempt to finish in the flesh what God has begun in the Spirit. Like Mary at Jesus’ feet. I saw .

” “That’s an unbelievable story. If we raised $50.” whispered Deception. They’re offering her $50. or it was until about an hour ago when I mailed the contract.” Barbara’s voice trailed off. That’s a great idea.000 she’d have no reason not to sell to us. I still can’t believe how it all worked out. She’ll never get that price again. And George’s father wasn’t even a believer. A big smile spread across his face. All I know is that I was desperate.” “I’m on my way to Sarah’s. It’s hard to explain. and I’ve got . And when I dropped the letter in the mailbox I felt such a peace inside.” “Maybe she could. but he was killed in the war. but…. as far as I know. Sarah was at Barbara’s recounting the story with great excitement. “I like your style. I couldn’t take much more stress.” “We can take a special offering at church this Sunday. She doesn’t even have an answering machine.” Clarence paused. so the farm passed on to George. could do a fund raiser. not in her lifetime. his business mind evaluated the feasibility of the idea. George had one brother. You did the right thing. the town. give me three hours and I’ll have this campaign in full swing. I’ll have to call later in the evening. Even if they heard your story the spiritual significance would be lost on most of them. Of course she’ll sell.78 the letter. “I’ll get on the phone with some businessmen who have fairly deep pockets. He slapped Paul on the shoulder. Now it’s mine.” “Fifty thousand dollars?” Clarence cursed under his breath. assuming a different voice and shaking her finger at Sarah. God is so creative. buddy!” Paul smiled and reveled in the affirmation of an older father figure. like a warmth.” repeated Paul. They both laughed then Sarah turned serious again.” Paul knocked and knocked but Sarah wasn’t there. I’ll get Kyle to print some posters.000 for the land. “Maybe she could. George’s father was practically given the land by a minister. He went back to the church and tried to call several more times. “Well. “That’s more than twice as much per acre as most property around here is bringing.” “Great. but I’ve got God and I’ve got you. I’ll swing by Sarah’s house and tell her the good news. “What are you talking about?” “Maybe we. “And then I found the letter yesterday in the bottom of a box that had been in the basement for who knows how long. flyers and maybe I’ll do another billboard. you money-hungry old coot. They’ll just think you’re looking out for your own interests.” said Barbara. I don’t know how bad it will get. “You know how the people around here are going to feel.

but still no guarantees it will be easy. When he glanced at the clock on the wall it was 10:00. the kitchen and even worked their way into the guest bedroom as they chatted and learned more about each other’s pasts. He excused himself and stepped into the hall. he thought. I need to call Sarah. Oh my gosh. . well. By the time she unlocked the door the phone was silent. “This is one of your church members. now? I’d be very grateful. he’s been rushed to the hospital with a heart attack. His prayers were a great comfort to Alicia..” “It will be. it’s 11:00. I’ll be right there. It was less than 24 hours since he’d conceived the fund raising idea and already there were posters on every utility pole.79 the unwavering belief that I was following God’s will. Barbara helped Sarah up and rubbed her back. but. Surely that will be enough. Much to Hugo’s delight they even found the doggie biscuits...” Her voice cracked. he doesn’t go to the church. First they unwrapped dishes for the china cabinet. Paul tried again in an hour but Sarah was finishing yesterday’s laundry in the basement and didn’t hear the phone over the dryer. Jim.” Sarah convinced Barbara to let her help unpack as they talked. Then she told the whole story of the heart attack and he even continued listening attentively when she told the story of their courtship--they had started dating at the senior prom. “Would you come to the hospital. Sarah had just completed her prayer walk and arrived on her porch when she heard the ringing. When Paul finally left the hospital he swung through downtown. He spent the next few anxious hours with Alicia and the kids in the waiting room. Pastor Paul finally gave up and went to bed at 10:45. I’ll call first thing in the morning.” He started praying silently for Jim as he dressed and ran to his Toyota. He needed to talk to Sarah right away. Jim was in surgery when Paul arrived. praying all the way. that’s way past my bedtime. The ringing woke him next morning.” Paul glanced at the clock 6:35. He turned his car around and headed toward her house.” At home her phone had been ringing all evening. Clarence and his assistant had been busy. Alicia Moore. “Sure. Why did I set the alarm so early? After a few seconds he realized it was the phone. A sick feeling welled up from his gut. I’ve got to go. “Oh. Then they finished unpacking the dining room. and several kids were at the intersection with cans collecting change from passing motorists. in every store window. My husband.

“Why yes. laughing. his heart raced. He longed to be the hero. look upon every fellow-man who tries or vexes you. Right after you left yesterday I signed the contract and walked straight to the post office. Where to begin? “Sarah. The deal was already done as he was pitching his fund raising scheme to Clarence. ‘For such a time as this. It’s been less than 24 hours. celebrating their success of Paul’s failure. as a means of grace to humble you.” Self Pity’s sticky voice flooded his mind. Sarah opened the door.” He headed out the door. I know you feel like you’ve heard from the Lord to sell the land to ICF. not now.” he mumbled numbly. envy always tags along. How can one woman cause me so much trouble? Every time I turn around she’s causing stress in my life.’ and—“ He sighed deeply and looked at the floor. It all started with that verse you gave me. It’s Sarah.” “Maybe in a minute.” ~Mignon McLaughlin Chapter 19 As he stood on the porch and knocked he felt himself sweating. Let me tell you what happened. It really is quite the story. Please God. Even though he told himself there was no sense postponing the inevitable he still drove around the block three times before parking in front of the Gazette. He shoved his key in the ignition and smacked the steering wheel with the palm of his left hand. “That’s right Paul. Are you all right?” “I just have to go take care of some business. “Well. “Can I finish telling you the story?” “No. There on the plate glass .” she called to him. I’d like you to hear it. but—“ “Oh. “You look a little pale.80 “Accept every humiliation. she can’t have already sold the land. and it was in the most wonderful way pastor.” Andrew Murray “Spite is never lonely. right now I need to know if you’ve actually already sold the land to them. but he was already gone. I did hear from the Lord. He tried to read her face when she saw who it was.” He closed his eyes and braced himself for the answer he didn’t want to hear. Use every opportunity of humbling yourself before your fellow-man as a help to abide humble before God. why was he always the goat? He stood to his feet as a feeling of dread washed over his entire body. drop by when you can stay longer. I did. He sat down at her invitation. She’s like a thorn in your flesh. His demons were amused.

” Suddenly . I can’t do anything right. He withdrew his arm from Paul’s shoulder and gave him a shove.000 already and I still have three potentially large donors who haven’t gotten back to me yet. Leaning against the fence he looked out over the land. canvas banner three feet by four feet. buddy. It had been years since he’d felt this scared. do I feel sick. I want to share the progress we’re making with you. Sometimes I deserved it. How can I work this out? He shoved his hands into his pockets to conceal their shaking after he walked in the front door.” Paul felt his face flush.” snarled Guilt.” All the spirits saw Paul’s vulnerability as their opportunity to torture him.” Paul mumbled. stupid and totally incompetent. promoting the fundraising campaign. I guess Dad had his reasons. Paul took several steps back to retain his balance. He listened to the little car whine and shoved the gearshift forward.” “When?” “Yesterday.” His voice trailed off. This caused the gnarled demons to gnash their fangs and watch from a safer distance. Saldu appeared behind him. Clarence’s tirade had made Paul feel small. “Man. after I left her house. HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME? IT WAS SO STUPID…. “You can’t do anything right. “What’s wrong?” “I-I tried to get a hold of Sarah yesterday and this morning but she’s been gone. he glanced at the other employees who were watching him and then stared at the floor until Clarence was done with his verbal assault.” All Clarence’s frustration over not being able to stop the jail spilled out on Paul.” Saldu said. “How can anyone be so incompetent? I’ve printed $500 worth of publicity…. come here. but lots of times…well. I just talked to her and she’s already sold the land.” he said wrapping his arm around Paul’s shoulder.” repeated Paul. “We’re up to $15. “Paul. “Go back to your childhood. “Sorry. Clarence’s face brightened. laying a hand on each shoulder. “WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME SOONER? I’VE GOT A FULL-FLEDGED CAMPAIGN GOING AND I’M TAKING PEOPLE’S MONEY FOR A CAUSE THAT’S NONEXISTANT! THAT’S FRAUD. Humiliation and Self Pity hovered over him. turned on to JJ and parked. “Paul. “I tried to contact her….” He stopped long enough to look at Paul’s ashen face.81 window was a multi-colored. He held his head in his hands. The same way he felt when he was young and his father would rage at him. As he walked toward the door he heard Clarence’s continued rant about him to the office staff. God can heal the past wounds and you can minister powerfully from them out of a place of strength. and think about your dad. Oh God. he thought. He headed out Old Highway 3.

You’ve done it all your life. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me. Then you won’t have to keep up a false persona of perfection and go chasing approval from Clarence or anyone else. God. I walked twice. Finally you made it. then that relationship ended. His mind flashed to the terrifying times his dad came home drunk. You don’t have to earn . Just enjoy Him and let him enjoy you. Remember your favorite verse? Jeremiah 29:11-13. “Remember. The Lord is big enough to fill the gaping wound that your dad left. Paul. He forced them from his mind.64 You want the earth to be different because you were here. He has great plans for you if you humble yourself and submit to His will. shouting his painful memories to no one. Right now you think you want self-promotion and the approval of men. You want fruit that remains.” said Paul.’” Paul quoted the verse along with Saldu and then smiled briefly. I’m messed up. plans to give you hope and a future. coach started me on shortstop. “Your heavenly Father is not like your earthly father. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. “Geeze.” God. It would have made such a good location for our church. ‘Dad would you pitch to me? Dad would you hit me some grounders?’ “Not now son. When the game was over the coach went out of his way to tell you what a good game I had played and your first and only comment to me was. Let’s get your heart healed. “Uncle Emery was closer to me than you were.” he dropped his voice. Paul felt a little better after his honest confession. you missed the first six games of the season. He would never even help me practice. got two singles and a double. The answer was always the same. He is trustworthy.’ says the Lord. but what you really long for is to do work that will last for all eternity. He has plans that exceed your highest expectations. why don’t things seem to go my way? Saldu said. He still experienced those memories from the perspective of a little boy and they were still too threatening to deal with. What’s wrong with me? I really need help. and I will listen to you. rolling his eyes. Everyone would scatter. You’re still knocking yourself out trying to get approval because you never got it from your dad. I want to do Your will.82 Paul remembered the one summer he had played baseball. ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you. “’Why’d you let that grounder go by? Don’t you know they scored on that?”’ Paul had raised his voice. I’m busy. 65but you’re creating a heavy load where it isn’t needed. His yoke is supposed to be easy and his burden light. “’I know the plans I have for you. He used to pray it all the time at seminary until he got the position as interim and he just got too busy. I caught every grounder except one really fast one. You can just crawl up into His lap and relax. why is it so hard for me to trust You? I want to believe Your Word. “I worked so hard. “You’re not a failure in your heavenly Father’s eyes.

Quit knocking yourself out trying to look perfect.” 66 I’m trying so hard and it’s wearing me out.” “I’m physically and mentally exhausted. His strength is perfected in weak people.” said Paul out loud. He loves you unconditionally. I’ve got to slow down. he could smell their ghastly stench. Forget the rest. Condemnation. I wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for her. Faultfinding and Impatience taunted him with flashbacks of past failures from Clarence all the way back to his childhood. thought Saldu. The additional winged creatures flocked around Paul feeding on his wounded spirit with great delight. This is all her fault. really?” whispered Blame. “You’re entering dangerous water Paul. that is where you will find peace. Tormenting spirits of Self-Hatred. Paul was overwhelmed with feelings of inadequacies and failure. Once you learn how to receive unconditional love from Him. even the best earthly dad’s can’t meet all their son’s needs. You plant and God will harvest. On your own you’ll never measure up. He wants to be with you and He wants to work with you and He wants to play with you.” 67 “That’s right.” Shame perched on the fence beside Paul and joined the conversation. “Remember how Clarence was your pal when you were working on the committee against the jail? Then you couldn’t deliver and he blew up at you. “Do only what the Lord has called you to do. whose fault was that whole fiasco. It grieves Him when He sees you working so hard in your own efforts on your own plans because you can’t accomplish anything of eternal value on your own. “WHY CAN’T I DO ANYTHING RIGHT?” he yelled as he kicked the fence. all the grudges from the . Unmet expectations lead to disappointment. Then Paul thought of Sarah. Don’t run ahead of God. unforgiveness and then bitterness.” 68 After a brief battle for control of his mind Unforgiveness still had Paul entertaining fantasies of revenge. The thought hit Paul’s mind but angry images of Sarah pushed it aside. If anyone gets too close they’ll eventually decide they don’t like you. Confess it to Father now. Remember.” encouraged Saldu. Blessed are the peacemakers. Accusation.” Paul thought. shaking his head. Jesus only did what He saw the father doing. I can never do everything. Remember. You just need to accept that in spite of all your efforts you’re just not good enough. It’s a partnership. Don’t hold on to bitterness. Cry out to Him to fulfill the lack and disappointment you experienced in others. don’t give in to the enemy. Accept your weaknesses. He took a step backward. This is going from bad to worse. Only the Lord can do that. “Paul. “Wait Paul. People eventually see right through you Paul.” Paul’s face flushed as he relived Clarence’s tirade. You’ll never measure up.83 anything. “I don’t have to do everything. “You’re being driven by your insecurities. Before he even saw them with his acute spiritual eyes.

Purpose to react differently to disappointment next time. but since you asked. Sarah’s phone rang that evening.” “What exactly is Parkinson’s?” “Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of brain cells that produce the chemical dopamine.” I’ve never been helpless before… thought Sarah as a tear rolled down her cheek. They both watched as her hands trembled. Then turn your energy into looking at what you can learn from past actions. Newbury asked Sarah to spread her fingers and hold her hands out.” said Accusation. “Sarah. “Your life is secure in the Lord’s hands. He will walk you through each day and will be waiting to meet you when you’ve lived the last page and the back cover closes on your life. But hearing a doctor say it gave it more weight—it crushed in on her like a heavy rock on her chest. Your days were numbered before the foundation of the world. She made an appointment to see Dr.” said Malta. To complete his tests Dr. “If you’d fed George healthier food he’d still be here to help take care of you now that your health is failing.” “Sarah.84 failures of others will just fall away. it gets smaller as I write. She’d thought it every day for the last 3 months. Despair whispered. you’ll have to move to a nursing home.” “I don’t want to jump to conclusion. I’m referring you to a neurologist. . She can do a full battery of neurological tests. That could be why you can’t control the movement in your hands and it’s harder for you to get around. Every day of your life is already written in His book.” Sarah felt numb as she drove out of the parking lot. Peilor. This seals it.” Click. and only then with God’s help. “Can you hold them still?” “I’m trying.” She tried to cling to these thoughts and found a small measure of comfort. Rymer at Mt. That she could have Parkinson’s was not a new thought for her. the voice sounded muffled. Dr. “Get ready for another brick through the window. “You’ll have to leave your house. Rymer in six days and called Barbara to see if she’d go along.” “Maybe. worst case scenario I think would be Parkinson’s.” “Anything else different?” “Well my handwriting has changed. Dopamine helps control physical movement. You are the only one you can change. “Tell me what you’re thinking—worst case scenario.

” Then she prayed for the person who threw the rock. nor things present. Pray for your enemy. to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. nor angels. six other angels appeared. Their golden wings were spread wide and they were armed for battle. cut its head lights and pulled slowly toward the curb. She didn’t want to be in the living room in case another one came hurtling through the window. help me. Just keep driving. This animosity was in full swing but would eventually run its course and end up as a stronghold of Depression hovering over the town. “Father. but Paul and his dark friend Manipulation were able to help them vent toward the real guilty party—Sarah. . nor height. Please protect me.” Her prayer stunned an infiltrating spirit of Fear and Joel easily sent the black winged beast retreating with a slap from the back of his hand. a rage spread through the town.” She prayed. When all the citizens of Bradbury found out that Sarah had indeed sold the land. the poison of a viper drips from their lips. nor life. The other two sat on the porch swing visible to all. The passenger. but disguised as men wearing sweat suits and built like professional wrestlers. Their tongues sting like a snake. nor things to come. nor powers. holding a large rock on his lap and a can of spray paint said. She set the brick on the floor and opened her Bible to Psalms 140:1-3.” said Malta. I’m so scared. She didn’t know what else to do so she just kept praying. Please send angels to surround my home. nor depth. “Lord. At first Clarence got people riled toward Paul. ‘For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth. Jesus. “They hate that. “II Chronicles 16:9 says. nor principalities. A car turned the corner.69 Outside. Painstakingly. Not death.” whispered Joel. “Keep praying. One stood guard at each corner of the house. “Sarah. Each one held an ornate silver shield and a flaming sword. nor any other created thing. please protect me from harm. encouraging her that nothing could separate her from God’s love.” They disappeared into the night and never came back. you are totally safe.’” Malta and Joel stayed with her. go. she knelt by the bed. You have no idea how powerful those prayers are. Go. “There’s two guys setting on the porch. rescue me from …those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long.85 “Oh. picked up the brick from the TV and went to her bedroom.” Sarah turned on the porch light and all the inside lights.

but the . Please prevent me from trying to attract attention. The church had voted to call Pastor Paul. flower bulbs poked through the ground in response to the sun’s warm rays. renewing their friendships after the long winter. He’d immediately unveiled his grand and glorious five-year plan. Twenty men had even taken construction jobs and were getting paid a good wage. The residents of Bradbury had reached a resentful resignedness over its presence. The jail was on the way to completion.86 Humility Prayer “God. She was especially uneasy about his five-year plan but her concerned questions to Paul brought frustratingly vague and frequently snippy answers. Neighbors chatted. especially when Paul consistently worked 70-hour weeks. The trees were leafed out. which was scheduled for two months if it wasn’t a wet spring. Wilma. much to his relief. Even with encouragement from Valoe she felt resentment creeping in. charming. Bernice and Carol were still enmeshed in their gossip hot line. witty person present is myself. There was talk about more good paying jobs once the jail opened. like you. She knew in her spirit things weren’t going well. As good weather returned. and this Thursday night marked the start of phase II--a visitation program. I am always pretending to be either richer or smarter or nicer than I really am. She prayed in earnest for him. They’d feel conviction. Winter was pushed back by the invading spring. Nothing Ardare or the other angels did could permanently penetrate their hearts. she was concerned about Paul and their lack of unity. When she tried to share what she was learning from the book on humility he would listen somewhat patronizingly but she never saw any attempts at change. So the proposed 1½-cent sales tax increase to rebuild the bridge over the Platte River became the new cause to pour all his energy into. She had also taken over as the adult Sunday school director.” Alpha Omega 70 Chapter 20 Six months came and went in Bradbury. Cindy was still enjoying full-time motherhood with Jordan and had made some good friends in the church. but everyone was tired of hearing about it--it was fast becoming a reality. Nor let me waste time weaving imaginary situations in which the most heroic. garage doors went up and lawn equipment spilled out onto the drive. But. Show me how to be humble of heart. I am far too often influenced by what others think of me. Clarence was still fuming over the jail. Don’t let me gloat over praise on one hand or be discouraged by criticism on the other.

pastor Paul. Ninety-seven percent of the poorest of the poor dwell there trying to survive on less than $1.” said Joel. dank cell. 37 are within the window.40 per day. Of the world's 50 least evangelized countries. her niece in Tallahassee and the requests from a magazine called The Voice of the Martyrs. “She thinks she’s a candle shining a little light into the darkness. Sarah’s desire to surrender totally to the Lord had allowed Him to grow her into a powerful intercessor—His life’s plan for her. and she continued to encourage Sarah in the things of the Lord. which told of Christians being persecuted and executed all around the world. Joel and Malta sat on the couch together. coffee or tea sat on the side table. Approximately 4 billion of which almost 3 billion are non-Christians. she was able to imagine every house on all four blocks. At home she listened to religious TV programs and radio shows. Even though she was taking several medicines she was very aware of her decreasing mobility and increasing tremors. for the visitation program.” The imaginary area from 10 degrees to 40 degrees north of the equator. Sarah had stayed inside for months. She and Sarah were closer than ever. she. and from North Africa to China. She just couldn’t risk falling on the ice. Barbara was enjoying her new home and had it decorated just so. She also dedicated a special prayer time for “The 10-40 Window. I knew that people got martyred in the Bible. depending on her mood. picturing every house and praying for its inhabitants. A cup of hot chocolate. the church. Sarah had been given a slow death sentence. “She’s really . but not because of Agoraphobia. She read her Bible. Each day she cried out to God for these requests.87 ringing of the telephone made it disappear. but I never dreamed that thousands of Christians are currently martyred each year. Sarah fluctuated between grief and incredulity when she discovered that it contains over 70% of the world's people but only 8% of all missionaries went there. She was God’s merciful answer to Sarah’s desperate prayer. Doctor Rymer had diagnosed her with Parkinson’s. Ardare and his friends cried many tears from the Father over these ladies. When this happened she would pace or curl up on the couch under a blanket and sob and pray until the burden lifted off of her. Her life was becoming a living prayer. She surprised herself. She closed her eyes and mentally “walked” the blocks. Everyday Sarah had been trapped by the weather. About 2/3 of the world's people reside there. sometimes multiple times. prayed for missionaries. Barbara had faithfully grocery shopped for her. Less than 1/2 of 1% of church budgets reach the window. Sometimes the Lord gave her a glimpse of an emaciated man or woman being held in a cramped. She had big plans for the yard in the spring. That spirit had been defeated. spanning roughly 60 countries. She’d never had the time or enough land to have a garden or grow flowers.

She left the jail and drove on to the cemetery to visit Reverend Templeton’s grave. She remembered how she and George had labored to keep it repaired. Malta and Joel spread their huge. at least not to her satisfaction. her small link in God’s plan for such a time as this. When she thought back on her life after George’s death and before she accepted the Lord she couldn’t identify with that Sarah at all. I wonder how many are saved? She stood until the plane was out of sight and prayed for their salvation. you have been delivered from the powers of darkness and translated into the kingdom God’s son.” 72 “Thank You for making me Your daughter and delivering me from that awful spirit. She felt a deep satisfaction for the part she had played.” said Joel with a grin. consuming the enemy’s plans. The old wood fence surrounding the property was gone. SARAH. I guess it has to be to hold over 100 inmates.” Malta rolled his eyes. but she felt the disease gaining on her. Oh.88 an inferno for God’s kingdom. It had stuck with her. she said flapping her arms for emphasis and chuckling. and burning up his territory. I feel like a bird released from a cage. She repeated a quote she’d read in her devotional guide last week. outside air. it had been several months since she’d been there. it’s so nice to be outside again. but she didn’t care. As she rounded the corner she looked up in the sky and saw a commercial airliner heading west. Most of what she was used to seeing had been bulldozed. After she finished her prayer walk she had a snack. She took a deep breath of the brisk. Because of the weather. I can’t believe I even contemplated taking my own life. “I wasn’t asking for your benefit. She followed Old Highway 3 out of town and pulled across the street to look at the jail. “He is no . 71 You are new in Christ. Thank You Jesus. how many people do you think are on that plane?” I wonder how many people are on that plane. The jail’s huge. The doctor said she was doing fine. As they began their walk. It was still nippy. my goodness! She smiled at the memory now. thought Sarah. Malta reminded her that she used to be the woman who almost starved to death because she was so terrified to leave her house. The snow was off the sidewalks so she could safely shuffle along. eager to start her prayer walks again. I’m a totally different person. Sarah stepped on her front porch. And then there was the time we had to paint it. then gathered her Bible and got in the car. she thought. “So. The four exterior walls were up and the roof was on. gossamer white wings and flapped along with her as they laughed. “You are a totally different person Sarah. “I wonder how many people are on that plane?” asked Malta. that they would all fulfill their destiny and that the enemy’s plans against them would be defeated. “Two hundred and thirty seven including crew and there are seven dogs down below. The medicine didn’t seem to be working.” she said out loud. but it wasn’t amusing then.

C. She was saddened by the finality of the situation.” When she got home she took four pieces of typing paper and in her best penmanship she painstakingly printed copies of the phrase from her devotional book. I feel like we are kindred spirits. “Sarah. I hope they chose wisely. As she scanned the pictures she wondered what kind of lives these people had lived and if they had known the Lord. I look forward to meeting you when I get to Heaven. Pielor’s Sunday paper.” But. she taped one on the wall at the foot of her bed. Those are the very best worshippers. holy. holy. Joel said. those whose hearts are overflowing with the most gratitude are those who were snatched from Hell on their last day on earth. you need to add another daily prayer ritual. This looks like a first grader did it.’ The Lord wants you.” With a tear in his eye. Joel added.” 73 She paused then spoke again. In order to make room she had to rearrange all the pictures and newsletters from missionaries whom she prayed for daily. She called it her “devotional refrigerator. I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of Hell. all around the world.” said Malta. ‘Some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell. “When Christians get to Heaven they receive a full understanding of the incredible price that Jesus paid to obtain their salvation. Nevertheless. she thought. Studd was a missionary to China. “holy. Life is so fleeting.” “My friend. “For the people.” prompted Joel as she read the obituary page from Mt. somewhat disgusted by her best efforts. drawn together by God’s plan for a plot of land. they worship round the throne day and night crying out in thankfulness. Their destiny was sealed. By the way. who are going to die in the next 24 hours. one on the bathroom mirror and one in the living room. “Reverend Templeton. I wonder how many people last week thought they’d end up in the obituaries this week? “Pray each day” said Joel. they had made their choices. T.” She never got something to eat without praying for someone who was ministering in another country. through intercession. she thought. “There are about 100. possibly at the moment of their last breath. He still longs to snatch them from the enemy’s kingdom on their last day on earth.89 fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose. but God’s plan for our land is progressing well. Pray that the Lord would give them repeated chances to be saved and that the enemy’s deception that clouds their judgment would be supernaturally removed. I know you know this since you’re with the Lord.000 a day who die without our . No one who even catches a fleeting glimpse of our Lord’s great love would ever reject Him. “While he was on earth he said. Now for the one location that will really get the most traffic—my refrigerator door. to work at that rescue shop. India and Africa during the early 1900’s. The tremor in her right hand had gotten worse and interfered with her writing and crocheting. No more chances.” “The Lord is not willing that any should perish and even if someone has spent his whole life cursing God.

Let them get to the people who are still alive. She decided that her contribution would be to pray for one hour every Thursday night starting at 7:00 for those who were visiting. but also because Fear of Man had convinced her she would not be well received. “Lord. A major earthquake had hit Afghanistan. Lord. Barbara encouraged her by saying that most people were over it by now. But she was still struggled with fear of rejection. Lord would You let them see Your eyes of love looking into theirs. Please supernaturally guide the rescue workers. Sarah hadn’t been to church all winter partly because of the weather. please forgive me for not taking seriously Your command to pray each day for the people who are going to die. but in the end decided it might not be wise. Now that the weather was nicer. As you can see here. but Sarah was unconvinced. “Lord. and longing to take them to Your kingdom of life? Lord would You snatch them from the enemy’s kingdom even during the last seconds of their lives? “Send Your angels to minister to every injured person. people rushed to dig with bare hands to try and rescue children trapped beneath the rubble of their school. please have mercy. The memories of the first prayer meeting and the town meeting at the Elk’s lodge were still an open wound. I pray for the people who have lost loved ones and are homeless and traumatized. If she imagined them for any length of time she began to perspire profusely.” Sarah quickly turned the TV off and began sobbing and praying. was her rationalization. I know there are many people still alive and trapped beneath the rubble and that many others are critically injured and will die in the next few days. Lord. in some tangible way will You make Yourself real to them?” Sarah continued to pray most of the rest of the evening and fell asleep with a plea on her lips for salvations in Afghanistan. longing for them to turn to You. I commit to do this as long as the program continues provided You give me the grace I’ll need. would You answer them? “I rebuke deceptions and strongholds that would keep them from accepting You.” said the announcer.” Sarah prayed this for a few days in a row and then it slipped her mind.90 Lord and He has already paid the full price for their salvation.6-magnitude quake. You are the God who is not willing that any should perish. Would you make Yourself real to every person crying out in prayer even if they aren’t crying out to You? Lord.000 people may have died in a powerful 7. Thursday came and Sarah thought about attending the new visitation program. You are the true God.” . I’ll just slow down whatever group I go with. “Oh Jesus. please. Later in the week she turned on the evening news and was horrified at what she heard and saw. “More than 5. “Several villages have been completely wiped out.

it’s a pre-emptive strike against the enemy. Paul was sure he could feel the smile of God over his life because so much was getting done. God was honoring her prayers. boost in self-esteem.91 Pastor Paul. Saldu had repeatedly told him that his priorities were backward. Prayer isn’t a last resort in a desperate situation. and being nobody’s fool. Sarah’s prayers thwarted many of the traps the enemy laid for Paul. Three evenings a week were tied up at the church. Start slashing items off your calendar to clear time for prayer and Bible study. He told Paul about the church at Ephesus 74 who the Lord commended for not growing weary in their many good works. Then he was back on the treadmill chasing his next fix. He had great intentions but when he went to bed at night and reviewed his day. His yellow eyes flashed as he whispered: The Lord is really blessing your efforts. all the busyness in the world means nothing if you’ve lost your passion and intimacy with the Lord. Forty-three people attended and Wilma brought her homemade peach cobbler (although she went home after the potluck and didn’t go visiting). Deception perched on his shoulder and dug in his gnarled claws. “Paul. Sarah also spent another hour each week praying for Pastor Paul and the church. but short lived. He was trying to get a cross-denominational prayer breakfast going for all the pastors in town. People started visiting the church and they started joining. he just couldn’t fit it in. If this keeps up you’ll be ahead of schedule for your building campaign. Pastor Paul on the other hand had let his prayer time slide to mostly the Wednesday night meeting. I don’t want the church to regret the decision they made to call me as pastor. It doesn’t get any better than this. scheduled a potluck dinner to kick the new program off. but then rebuked for losing their first love.” . Each Thursday evening Sarah was on her knees praying and each week someone was saved. He’d also started doing counseling--marital and individual. You’ve added four new families recently. He had to prepare a killer sermon each week. Productivity always came with a sense of satisfaction and an intense. The rest of the time he was just too busy. There were occasional hospital visits and he at least tried to squeeze Cindy and Jordan in somewhere for some quality family time. wanting a good turn out the first night of the visitation program. thought Paul scooping seconds out of the baking dish. The Lord longs to hear from you.

Next was Ephesians 6:18. Show me how to devote myself to prayer and give me a special grace to pray continually without ceasing. it’s powerful because the Holy Spirit of God is praying His prayers. “Devote yourselves to prayer. and that judgment becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. And thus our false humility shackles an otherwise omnipotent God. you can pray in the Spirit even when you’re reading a book. Since this type of praying bypasses your mind. or understanding is unfruitful. she began praying in the Spirit silently and picked up her devotional guide and read the rest of the page in her mind. you only give breath and enunciation with your mouth.92 “We judge ourselves unworthy servants.” added Joel.” “Sarah. no matter what I’m doing. Help me to remember the rest of the time too. as she always did and opened the pamphlet. but I can pray.” Sarah prayed that the Lord would bless her time in the Word. watching TV or reliving a nice memory. help me to devote more of my time to prayer. We deem ourselves too inconsiderable to be used even by a God capable of miracles with no more than mud and spit. I’m so limited in what I can do. She read out loud. driving or taking a shower. Even if it doesn’t feel anointed. My goal is to pray in tongues all the way through this program.” “If you’re not eating or talking you can be praying in the Spirit. It really works.” John Eagan Chapter 21 Joel smiled at Malta as Sarah picked up her daily devotional guide. being watchful and thankful. He reached for his sword.” When you pray in the Spirit. His perfect will.” said Malta. After having a snack she turned on the news and prayed in the Spirit. help me to remember to pray in tongues when I’m watching TV. touching the tip of his sword to her lips. “Father’s increasing her prayer anointing today. The first verse was Colossians 4:2. To test this. She also cultivated the habit of checking to see if she was praying every time she went through a doorway. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. Malta smiled. Lord. “Increase in your ability to pray in the Spirit. Get in the habit of praying in the Spirit all the time.” Sarah felt nothing special or supernatural but had a dogged determination that she would get in the habit of praying in the Spirit as much as she could--starting now. the Spirit prays through you. Increase now. the tip was flaming. through you. Whenever I’m not talking out loud or eating I can pray in the Spirit. reading. once these became a habit.” Lord. She decided that to develop this habit she’d always pray in tongues during certain activities. She settled back and listened to the anchorman . “I Corinthians 14:15 says that if you pray in tongues that your spirit prays but your mind. she’d add more.

The local news was over. whoever he would be. their every need. When Integrity Correctional Facilities called. fueled by her prayers. and her prayers for them were answered. but the Spirit knew them intimately. Your church and your family would suffer if you said yes. but her five minutes of prayers helped sustain him during this difficult time of family rejection for the sake of the Gospel. The spirit of Fear of Man was still keeping her from going back to church. “Way to go pastor! You’re the man with the plan. let alone the Ibo people. Sarah had embraced the phrase on her refrigerator. She would do all she could for God’s kingdom with the time she had left on earth. Pastor Paul was almost beside himself. and no one from the church had called to say they missed her.” Then she thought of Reverend Templeton and prayed for his current day descendants whoever and wherever they were. The next ten minutes Sarah prayed for the crew of a fishing vessel that had been overturned five miles off Japan’s coast. offering him the job of part-time chaplain his demon acquaintances flew into a frenzy. . laying the groundwork for the inmates that will hear the Gospel when they come here. a mixture of ancestor and spirit worship. and that they would all know the Lord and be as obedient as he had been. She frequently thought of her favorite punch line: “You brought pavement?” It made her chuckle but just as often it made her cry. Sarah knew nothing of Gambia.” She prayed in tongues all the way there and then parked across from the jail and prayed for the construction worker’s safety and that it would open on time. But. touching needy lives from the comfort of her couch. Sarah would not see him until Heaven. She prayed for the future inmates and for their families who would be affected by their incarceration. the church was growing weekly. an Islam country in Africa. “You hardly have the time to keep up with all the good things going on at your church. The first fifteen minutes the Spirit prayed through Sarah for the Christians among the Ibo people in Gambia. His parents had disowned him because he refused to participate in the Tam Giao. She especially prayed for the chaplain. “I can start praying now. The things that used to hold her attention just didn’t seem as important anymore. When they were plucked from the water by a passing ship the Spirit prayed on for a young Vietnamese believer. The main thing on Sarah’s mind now was tomorrow’s weather.” suggested Joel. “Let’s go for a ride and see what’s going on over at your jail. “And don’t forget to pray in tongues while you drive. Peilor.93 talking about a foiled purse snatching in Mt. He felt a deep satisfaction that for once he was finally doing something right.” snickered Deception digging his claws in deeper. She had no idea she had ministered all around the world.

“Of course Sarah was to blame for that. It was a small room painted institutional beige like everything else. My unfailing love never ends! By My mercies you have been kept from complete destruction. deep inside.” Again Sarah heard the Lord speak to her. “My precious daughter I am so pleased with you. You took an unpopular stand and you felt like you were standing alone. laundry facilities. not yet. prayed over every cell. wanting to spend more time praying in the chaplain’s office. is it OK if I look around?” “It’s fine with me. She backtracked. Sarah went to investigate. “Lord. I will never leave you and I am pleased that you will be My ambassador to these broken men who will soon be arriving. The mini blinds were hung and there were several bookshelves. As the time for the jail to open got closer. “No. She had planned on following the chaplain’s guidance as to how to get involved. those who were truly down and out. As she raised her hands to pray.” 76 Sarah gasped. people are moving furniture and stuff everywhere. “Sorry God.94 God couldn’t be in favor of that.” she explained to an employee wheeling a cart stacked with boxes.” Sarah’s heart sank.” By “look around. She shuffled up and down every corridor. he was glad for wherever she’d disappeared to. even the kitchen. The jobs at the jail got filled with folks from Bradbury and some men even drove in from Mt. feeling conviction from Saldu. prostitutes and the demonized. she was no doubt causing problems for some poor pastor.” 75 “When He was on earth. I almost feel like I’m on holy ground. Where was Sarah? He hadn’t seen her at church for the longest time. according to Your eternal plan.” rolled off his tongue before he slammed down the phone.” But still.” said Joel. but I was with you every second. Oh well. You’d be at this jail ministering. flanked by Joel and Malta. Good riddance to bad rubbish.” added Bitterness. wherever she was. “I am the God of the second chance.” In addition to that bit of rational thought. Pielor. “Our Lord spent His time with tax collectors. if You were on earth today. every employee’s office and locker. Maybe she switched to the Baptist church. “I can’t believe it’s here Lord. He flinched. just be careful. but he felt a sense of smug satisfaction as. Paul was still irked that ICF had gotten the church’s land and he had been humiliated through the whole process.” said Respectability.” Sarah of course meant prayer walk. on my land. He didn’t even pray about taking the position. “There is no chaplain. When she walked through the front door and looked around she was overwhelmed with a sense of destiny. loading dock and mechanical room. I never left you. she heard the Lord’s voice.” “I’m here to see the chaplain. He left the 99 and went out after the one who was lost.” . “Well. not at all interested. I didn’t mean to be that harsh. but that was all. My faithfulness is great and My mercies begin afresh each day.

There was no ribbon cutting ceremony.” . Sarah was especially excited that the jail was opened but at the same time she knew it meant that if she was going to be obedient she was going to have to move way out of her comfort zone. if you say yes to God.95 Ten days later. If what you’re grasping for and planning on doing for the kingdom isn’t way beyond your ability. who ran and hid for decades in the desert after killing an Egyptian 80 you will find they all say the same thing. you’re probably not doing the right thing. 77 That’s the only kind there are. Moses.” said Joel. you have no limitations because He has no limitations. He forgave my horrendous sins and His power is responsible for anything I accomplished for His kingdom. “I still find it hard to believe that God worked through me with all my flaws and sins. “No Sarah.” “Don’t look at your perceived lack of abilities. He has always used weak people. the jail opened quietly. His mercy was there for me every step of the way and I was in need of it every step of the way.” said Malta. Your availability to God’s use alone qualifies you above everyone else. “Look to God’s abilities. on a gray drizzly day. and Clarence refused to run an article about it in the Gazette. I am absolutely the least qualified person on the face of the planet to minister to these inmates. “You are the most qualified because you are the only one who is willing.” “Sarah.” “When you get to Heaven and talk to King David the adulterous murderer 78 or the apostle Paul the former persecutor of the church 79 or the miracle working deliverer of God’s people. Even my ability to say yes to Him was His grace in my life.

she shuffled on.” Mother Teresa Chapter 21 Sarah had an especially hard time getting out of bed that morning.” she felt like she had at the first Wednesday prayer time.” “Which inmate?” “Umm. I’m afraid you’ll have to leave. Lord. Joel and Malta accompanied her. her face flushed but she managed to straighten up and say. As she stared at it she thought that it seemed like just yesterday that she and George had gotten married. well. But canes are for old people.” “You have to visit a specific one. After much struggling and prayer she finally sat up on the edge of the bed. the poor. the lonely and the unwanted according to the graces we have received and let us not be ashamed or slow to do the humble work. ma’am?” “I’m just here to visit. She thought they might open some doors. help me to use the short time I have left to bring glory to Your name. In her free hand she carried a clear plastic container packed with homemade cookies. He will do even greater things through her because this work is His.96 "I believe that if God finds a person more useless than me. Unless you have someone specific. I can’t just let you wander up and down the halls. I. A guard stopped her rather abruptly. Where has my life gone? Why did I waste 71 years? How could I have been so foolish? Lord. I need Your compassion and I certainly need boldness. She had to admit the cane made her steadier on her feet. Since she knew the layout. She showed her driver’s license and signed in at the first checkpoint and turned left down the main corridor of cells. “Your business here. She had no idea what to do or what to say. I. She knew what the doctor had said. Give me Your heart for these inmates. but she felt like it couldn’t have been more conspicuous if it was plugged into an orange extension cord and was flashing a fuchsia neon light." ~Mother Teresa “Let us touch the dying. She could almost feel the pages turning on the book of her life. Several of the inmates looked up at her. She managed to drive to the jail. She grudgingly reached in the closet and grabbed the silver quad cane with the four little legs at the bottom.” “What’s your purpose here ma’am?” “Well.” She felt her rapidly beating heart. She couldn’t get her legs to cooperate with her body. all of them. “Help me Lord.” . release Your mighty angels to touch these prisoners so the Sauls can become Pauls. “I think God told me to visit and pray for these inmates.

mom.97 Anxiety washed over her.” She slowly peeled the lid off the clear plastic container and walked to each cell offering her chocolate chip cookies. Cookies from scratch were very time consuming for her now. contact is established.” She made it back to her car and sat down. did you bring me cookies too?” In just a second the whole corridor was calling out to “mom” for their share of the cookies. “Thanks. Got cookies?” they said when they caught a glimpse of her. “Hi. “Bye mom. for that matter. The Lord told Sarah to pray for him. Then she burst out laughing. I did. Sarah laughed and turned back to the guard who knew when to give up. that’s a good idea. which she did daily. “Mom. The armpits of her blouse were saturated and her heart was still pounding.” he said. but others felt comfortable chatting with and even confiding in Sarah. And they’re your favorite too. The Lord highlighted a specific inmate named Will. mom. “All my sons are in jail. “I must have been a terrible mother. they never complained. “Bless you.” she said. help me. A voice from the next cell called out.” she replied to each one. She pulled up in front of Meyer’s grocery store. She. asking certain inmates if she could pray for them. If any of the inmates noticed the difference. As she felt more acceptance she also became bolder. went inside and asked the stock boy to please bring all the Slice 'N Bake Cookies  to the register for her. Will turned away. There were only 15 inmates now. When Sarah visited with his cellmate. The inmate was an African American. “Thanks mom. but it would fill up eventually as jails in different counties sent their overflow to Bradbury. What do I do next.” She stared up at the guard not knowing what to do. not for him. He wasn’t very friendly to Sarah. One evening. She began praying about Will. telling them the story of her land and how the jail got here. “Did you bring me cookies…mom?” “Why yes son. When she spoke of religious things he would sneer or make derisive. Jesus. her cookies and Joel and Malta were at the jail every day for the next six days. “Lord. There were two cookies left. profane comments. I need wisdom and I need it quickly. Some were only interested in the treats of course.” she said as she turned around. I don’t think I can tolerate him anymore. “I can’t believe I’ve come this far to get thrown out of a jail built on my own land. Steven.” she said. His arms were covered with tattoos of dragons and other angry looking beings. which Sarah offered to the guard. she was fed up with his abrasive comments to her. The inmates were quickly conditioned like Pavlov’s dogs. “I’ll be back tomorrow with more cookies. or anybody. Lord? Yes.” they all said. Well. rolling his eyes. Behind her an inmate from a close cell called out. He’s rude . Fifteen inmates waved or shouted. son. and presenting the plan of salvation which she read from Gospel tracts she carried in her pockets. her cane.

piercing her spirit. “Don’t ever forget Sarah that pride comes before a fall. If He has to humble you. Don’t ever forget. she prayed daily that the Lord would help her to humble herself. It ignited as he pulled it out of the engraved golden sheath. Each of William’s sins can be completely forgiven by the blood of Jesus.” When the image was finally over Joel began. You were a criminal. He needs to learn some manners. You can never repay the gift He’s given you nor can you impress Him with your attempts at holiness. Help me to see all people as You see them. “Stop. She felt it go through her again and again. You were God’s enemy. His father turned.” “Remember. The glass shattered on the floor.” added Malta.” said Joel. Joel replaced the dull. Malta played a melody on his lyre that washed over her like waves of the Father’s love. “The Lord looks on all His children with great love and compassion. took several quick steps.” “Time for a lesson in compassion. he dropped a glass of milk in the kitchen. I’m sorry I judge people so quickly. but to the Lord he is no more lost than you were when He had compassion and saved you. even those who curse His name. not trying to impress You. He doesn’t promise you anything. grieving over the ugliness of her judgmental attitude.98 and crass. . She wept. 82 The Lord requires humility from His followers. swooped down on his son and beat him. or use them as leverage. God just saved you first. found guilty in the Heavenly courts. God. make him stop. Without hesitation he plunged it into Sarah’s chest. Then she saw in her spirit God’s great love for William and for all the inmates who were victimized and in their brokenness had victimized others. Joel drew his sword. William is lost. It was horrible for Sarah to watch and she cried out. just as your sins also needed to be covered—and still do. William’s status is no different than yours was a year ago. Repent of your attitude and ask the Lord to cleanse you. From then on. The Lord showed Sarah an image of William when he was about three-years-old. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see which of those two choices is best. the vilest sinner is just one revelation from the kingdom of God. in His great mercy He chose you. The Lord’s great love for the lost-the Lord’s great love for her. I offer them to You as a sacrifice of praise. you did not choose Him. Malta nodded. Through her tears she prayed. I repent for the pride I feel for the things I’ve done.” When that truth pierced Sarah she couldn’t repent fast enough. You were dead in your trespasses and sins81 and you were a child of disobedience. The Lord says if you humble yourself He will exalt you. drab mantle of humility that pride had caused her to shed. Pride has crept in over the works you’ve done for Father. To the Lord.

The Wednesday evening prayer meetings were well attended. And I thank you.” As Cindy was reveling in his kind words the topic changed to church. you’re amazing. peas. And of course. raising his voice to match Jordan’s increased volume. “Honey. “NO. you’re amazing. but in a bad way. “Peas please. Paul always seemed so proud of what was going on at the church. like the good boy you are. and declared.” she said exaggerating her enunciation. but I like to hear it frequently. “Thank you. I think the Catholic Church is still ahead of us by about 30. Fueled by Sarah’s prayers and the prayers of other members. Yet. you are. “Jordan. PEAS!” “YES. I was talking to Mike today and we’re thinking that with the growth that we’re seeing maybe we should jump ahead with the building campaign. Then he made a face.” Andrew Murray Chapter 22 “No peas.” replied Paul. “Done.” he said kissing her between compliments. Wouldn’t that be great? We’re almost the biggest church in town. It is even so with humility.99 “Our love to God will be found to be a delusion.” said Jordan. you’re amazing. “Honey. “Cindy. peas please. You can’t say that too much to a woman!” “OK.” Cindy didn’t say anything. “Honey.” Let me wipe off your hands and you may get down and play. but a sick feeling rose in her gut. have I told you you’re amazing?” said Paul. humility toward men will be the only sufficient proof that our humility before God is real. like he was solely responsible. took two big bites. Then she turned to Jordan.” “Yes. There were visitors at almost every service. why don’t you take a week off and we could get away? You’ve been working . PEAS!” said Paul. If the growth we’re experiencing now keeps up. eat your peas. It is easy to think we humble ourselves before God. peas please. the church’s growth continued. as were the Thursday visitations. numerically. putting his arms around her. every pastor’s dream--the offering was up. except as its truth is proved in standing the test of daily life with our fellow-men.” he repeated giggling. Peas pleeeease. which it frequently and predictably did. It seemed like he was manifesting all the signs of pride that she had been reading about.” said Cindy. we’re going to have to go to two Sunday services. touching Paul on the hand. “Yes. “Yes.

sweaty and frustrated. Why are they so hard at home? He picked up a piece of paper off his desk and perused it.” Valoe stood watching over her. She fell asleep and dreamed that she was hammering away at hundreds of shingles that were loose on the roof. I need a husband. Mary could watch Jordan and we could just spend some time alone. Now it’s like a big door has slammed shut in my face. “A weekend.” In her bed that night Cindy prayed.” “But I really need some time with you. Maybe in a few months we can start broadcasting Sunday’s message. We used to be partners back in seminary when we’d talk about what ministry would be like. He hadn’t told anyone yet but he’d called the radio station at Mt. much less his heart.” suggested Saldu.100 six. as she had for the past several months. Help him to find a balance.” he said reaching for the hammer from her aching hands. I can’t be gone on a Sunday. The airtime there is really reasonable. She was exhausted. good and faithful servant than a half baked famous preacher. as he did every night. “It’s better to be a well done. now that trait had come back to bite her. through silent tears. Peilor the other day to get their rates. “You need a rest. What are you thinking?” She was thinking that he was so insecure that he didn’t want anyone in “his” pulpit for fear they would preach a better sermon. Things are going so well at the church.” “I can’t take time off--things are really moving. Lord. and Jordan needs a dad. He won’t even let me inside his thought processes. He rolled his eyes and went to his office. “Cindy.” . echoing her prayers. It seemed like for every one she would hammer down.” She put her arms around he shoulders and stared into his eyes. “Sorry.” she mumbled and turned away to hide the tears welling in her eyes. please. sometimes seven days a week and you never get home before 7:00. Don’t let our marriage become a causality of his ministry. “We used to pray together but now you’ve pushed me to the outside. He’d confide in me and he valued my prayers. Now you’re making all these ministry decisions and all you want me to do is be a wife and mother and you expect me to blindly follow you. Valoe appeared to her in her dream.” Paul pulled away from her and stated incredulously. I need to be here to preach.” she finished the rest of the sentence in her mind. Maybe we can just go away for a weekend. She’d initially been attracted to Paul for his ambition. In spite of the fact that she was actually losing ground her determination kept her at it. You used to ask my opinions and you valued my prayers. He respected my input. but she refrained from saying it. We used to be a team. “I feel so disconnected. two would pop loose somewhere else. even when I feel you’re wrong. “Paul.

You need to push into the Lord even more.” said Valoe taking the hammer and holding her blistered hands in his. the guard keeps watch in vain.” For the first time in a very long time Cindy felt the peace of God rest on her. Lord. That was bizarre.101 “No. look to the Lord. Help me to remember that when I get frustrated. I can’t do anything in my own efforts. Roof repair? An Angel? Was that from the Lord? It sounds like a pizza dream. work. The storm might not abate but he wants to give you grace to dance in the rain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest. eating the bread of anxious toil. You can’t change Paul. I can’t stop. Cindy woke up and wondered. “You’re in danger of falling into the same trap that Paul has. . you can only pray for him. Psalms 127 1-3. He’s the only one who can. Thank You for listening to my prayers. it was You. Unless the Lord guards the city. but don’t look to yourself. You know my situation and see my frustrations. By yourself you can never be enough or do enough. work. I have to save our house. She would faithfully cling to them each day and they would bring a measure of peace to the disappointment and loneliness she felt. work. I guess there’s one way to tell. “I’ve got to get these shingles fixed before it rains.’ I know that Paul’s preoccupied. ‘It’s all up to me. You must learn to cast your burdens on Him. He’ll help you find that place of rest in the middle of the storm. It’s all up to me. Lord. for He gives sleep to his beloved. She grabbed her Bible and book light off the nightstand and read: “Unless the Lord builds the house. will You build my house. He wants to comfort you and has sent a scripture for you. especially with Paul.” she said refusing to let go. God. those who build it labor in vain. it’s not all up to you.” “No Cindy. will You guard our family? Cindy fell asleep meditating on those verses.

I just doubled the amount of prayers I prayed in the same amount of time. The glimpse of his father beating the helpless little boy always brought compassion. The jail was about half full now. But.” interrupted Malta. sometimes more. As she drove she prayed out loud in tongues so she would know if she got distracted and stopped. This is praying in tongues while I pray! God. the director wants to see you in his office. This is even better than praying in tongues when I read or praying in tongues while I watch TV.” “You might be praying about the same thing or each prayer might be totally different.” That made her heart beat a little faster and she prayed a little harder as she shuffled down the long beige hall. As she entered. angry tattooed man. Wow. She usually visited the jail at least three times a week.” she responded as she moved on. pray in tongues silently and now pray with your mind at the same time. depending on her mobility each day. Although they all had varying levels of responsiveness to her. Will. .” She always brought cookies and she sure loved to talk about Jesus.102 “Not the fastest horse can catch a word spoken in anger. as she pulled into the parking lot. “Sarah.” said Joel.” “That’s right. terrified boy behind the hulking. Everyone seemed young to her now days. She had continued praying for Will. “First. who was too excited to wait.” Elizabeth Kenny Chapter 23 Sarah was succeeding in her goal of praying in tongues whenever she drove. She’d bought the deluxe model which had a basket on the front to hold the cookies and pouches on the side to hold her Bible and multiple tracts. You are so awesome. one of the guards said.” Sarah switched to praying silently in tongues and in her mind she prayed for each inmate by name. She had met the director once before. and Lord I need Your grace to develop this new habit. I’ll call this type of prayer “double dipping” because it’s getting twice as much accomplished! Oh. they all knew two things about “Momma Sarah. One day he cursed at her but all she could see was the little. with little visible response. she was not about to give up.” ~Chinese Proverb “He who angers you conquers you. “Bless you. The next time Sarah came to the jail. and he seemed like a nice young man. You’re praying two prayers at once. with almost 50 inmates. I can do it. “Today I’ll teach you how to become even more of a threat to satan’s kingdom through intercession. she had traded her cane in for a walker. but twice as much prayer is ascending before the Lord’s throne as a fragrant request to Him. “Sarah. she thought.

When he moved to Will’s cell he went in and touched him and spoke. abusive fathers. but there is a heavenly Father that loves you like you’ve always wanted to be loved. She knew he was repenting and it had something to do with the jail. but I don’t think I’m official chaplain material. “Yes Lord. but she could feel the heaviness of his great burden. He knelt at the door and cried out to God. we have no chaplain. Lord. Whoever this new chaplain is. like you need to be loved. That’s why Will isn’t responding to me.” she was yelling.” Sarah shouted. Then God’s mercy spilled down on him like refreshing rain.” Then she was inside the jail looking at this man. She decided she’d be no less dedicated in her prayers for him. assured. “It’s Pastor Paul!” The Lord went on to show Sarah that she was supposed to minister with Paul. he’s certainly anointed for this work.” At home she followed through on her promise. you are a man like me. “Me. The Lord’s arranged it so Pastor Paul will touch his heart. “I’m very flattered. part-time is all that’s budgeted for now. still with his back toward her. Sarah was enthralled with the scene the Lord was showing her. We just haven’t been able to fill the position. that Will’s salvation is in Your hands and doesn’t rest on my minuscule capabilities. He proceeded through the big double doors and when he went inside. “Praise the Lord. Sarah smiled and let out a shout of delight. I know you’ve been visiting here regularly and I wanted to know if you are interested in the position. Thank You Lord. And the good news is you don’t have to earn it and you can never lose it. under his authority at the jail. ministering to the inmates with power and authority. He was walking toward the jail entrance and from Sarah’s vantage point all she could see was his back. please show me who this is. thought Sarah. Now I’m just having a good time getting to know these inmates. She was moving so fast the janitor commented. I’ll just have to take that chance.” Then she thought. Yes Lord. He stood to his feet.” As Sarah watched the ministry continue. The next day at the jail Sarah went straight to the director’s office. “Slow down Sarah or the wheels on your walker are going to ignite. Paul’s position at the jail would almost immediately transition into full-time work. “William. She couldn’t make out his words. . I will pray that the Lord would bring the right person to fill the position. Simmons welcomed her into his office and even helped hold her chair as she sat down. but she was able to let go of some feelings of failure that had been attacking her.” “I can’t slow down. “Bring Your servant here. When he finally turned. William broke. We both had unloving. “As you know. the Lord showed her a picture of the man he wanted as part-time chaplain. But. “Thank You God! Thank You for answering my prayers. After some chatty small talk he said.103 The director. the jail roof exploded in a fireball of heavenly activity. He showed her that He had another pastor slated to take the church to its next level.” she replied laughing. Maybe I could be an honorary chaplain until the position gets filled. a chaplain?” Sarah tossed back her head and laughed. his new posture was confident. As she prayed. Mr.

After yesterday’s revelation she thought everything would fall smoothly into place. Said he wasn’t the least bit interested. but I know you can because you both were abused by your fathers--” Saldu had started talking to Paul even before Sarah did. in an attempt to prepare him.” “It’s Pastor Paul from the Victory Church. Sarah. she breathed a prayer for the Lord to bring about His will in their lives. The Lord has someone already picked to succeed you here. she felt the emotional turmoil churning again. Don’t continually look out for your own interests. an unexpected visit from Typhoid Sarah. “Sarah had barely sat down before she. ” “You asked him and he told you ‘no’”? “He sure did.” Sarah was taken aback. “Let go of your selfish ambition and conceit. he was my first choice.104 In the director’s office. especially as partners in ministry. then he hung up on me.” 83 Paul totally disregarded the conviction. she didn’t even sit. Then she took several deep breaths and knocked on the large oak door with Paul’s gold nameplate prominently displayed.” “I hope you have better luck than I did.’ Didn’t even want to pray about it like I thought pastors do. let me in on the secret so we can both know. For some reason I thought he’d be the one.” Sarah had unknowingly hit both of Paul’s . “I know who your part-time chaplain is. As she pulled into the drive. but when I asked him he told me an immediate ‘no. I don’t know when. “W-what do you mean it’s not him?” “Sarah. I’ll talk to him. Pushing her walker down the hall.” “Nope. but you’ll eventually work there full-time. “Come in. I heard from the Lord that you’re supposed to take the part-time position as chaplain and I’m supposed to work with you. “Who’s there?” “Pastor. “HOW-DARE-YOU barge into my office like this.” Sarah prayed all the way to the church. He leapt to his feet and leaned far over his mahogany desk. Just what I need. “Pastor. but pressed though when she saw Paul’s Toyota in the parking lot. in her exuberant naiveté. She almost felt slapped.” “Well.” Paul shook his head. She was toying with the idea of going home and making a phone call. then. tactlessly blasted him with the verbal tidal wave she was so excited about.” he said in his most cheerful voice. it’s not him.” “Well Sarah. but take an interest in others. humble yourself and see others as better than you are. she just blurted out. it’s me. I know he’s supposed to be here. And there’s an inmate there named Will and I can’t get through to him. the first time since that fateful Wednesday night prayer meeting.

” . You thought it was to build a church there. “You were attracted to my land. Of course the idea of having to be around Sarah regularly was also repulsive to him. “I said.” stammered Sarah as she struggled to get out of her chair. It slammed into the doorstop with a loud thud.105 most vulnerable sensitivities: his abusive father and his fear of being replaced at the church. take your craziness and get out. Sarah was taken aback at the hostile reaction to what she considered extraordinarily good news.” he could feel his heart beating in his neck. I saw it in the Spirit. This church was where he sucked what little self esteem he had. GET OUT. “Oh. I saw that we’re going to be ministering together--” “Sarah. “I don’t want anything to do with that jail and I certainly don’t want to minister with you. “B-b-but don’t you see. He knew his voice was elevated but he couldn’t help himself. Just leave me alone. Pointing toward the hallway he screamed. I’m sorry. but you were attracted to the land because you’re supposed to minister at the jail--. I’m. I was so excited.” he yelled pointing toward his door.” Paul marched around his desk and flung open his door.

“I am among you as the One who serves. Now I see what I did that angered Pastor Paul. You’re not their personal Holy Spirit. She’d had a good cry--all the way home. She listened for a long time and then prayed over Sarah’s wounds. at least for a while?” said Barbara with a grin. It was from George when he was at college. that I should not destroy it. That sounds like a lot of work. That doesn’t sound like much of a pick-me-up.’ If you say that you heard it from God. I thought these had gotten lost years ago. Tears always flowed but in the end she felt better. I’ll meditate on this quote while I work. I could use a boost.” “Yes. but I found none. She got her humility book and read the underlined passage about Jesus. I thought he’d be excited to know what wonderful plans God has for his life. It’s your job to pray and His job to intervene. She pulled the top letter off the stack and gingerly opened it.” Ezekiel 22:30 84 “ Chapter 23 Sarah was still shaking when she pulled in her driveway. I really feel bad now. The letters were always an exercise in happiness and grief. what can they say? It puts them on the spot. ask the Lord what to do.106 And I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land. After Barbara left. several times. They didn’t respond well either. if you feel like you’re supposed to share what the Lord has showed you. She .” “Why don’t you hold off on that. I see that’s a better way. the contents went straight to the large black plastic trash bag at her side. the spirit of Despair settled back over Sarah. I guess I was pretty abrupt. If you are supposed to share you could say something like: ‘I think I heard this from the Lord. can I give you some advice?” “Sure. “I made that same mistake with my Sunday School class when I first got saved. It started with the same familiar salutation that they both had used: My Beloved. Lord.” “The next time you hear from the Lord and it involves someone else. She’d read all the old letter’s she’d written to George. 85 She felt an urge to sort through the boxes that Barbara had brought up from the basement for her.” said Sarah as her face flushed. When Sarah got inside she called Barbara. who came right over. The first two boxes were uneventful.” When she opened it she let out a shout. It was all of George’s love letters to her. but I guess I don’t have anything better to do. Maybe I should call him and apologize. Are you supposed to pray and tell them at a later time? Are you just supposed to pray about it and not share it at all? But. The fourth box was marked “Misc. do it in a gentle way. I sure didn’t mean to anger him. but I’d encourage you to pray about it and see if you get confirmation. “Sarah.

She cried out. “Help me Jesus. The Lord rebuked the deception that had kept George from seeing Jesus’ love for Him and gave him one final choice. but he was like the hard path in the parable of the sower. Grandma had taken me and the same thing had happened.” whispered Joel gently. “George had two very real encounters with the Lord. elders and millions of others. “He also intercedes for you. She had no memory of this letter. I felt different. Thank you for snatching him at the end of his life. Please show me if George is with You. . George made it to Heaven at the last hour. Then all of a sudden I was crying. Thank You Lord. Jesus.” A huge weight rolled off of her though she continued to sob out her thanksgiving to the Lord for what seemed like hours.107 closed her eyes and pictured George speaking those words.86 The seed fell but he did not understand it and the enemy came and snatched it away before it took root. No matter how hard I tried I could not stop. He had nothing to give the Lord and no eternal rewards. “And. Lots of singing and preaching.” She still couldn’t believe he was gone.” said Joel with a huge smile. “My Beloved. I went forward again and prayed like I did as a child and gave my life to Jesus. However he did have a praying grandmother. Why didn’t he follow through with his commitment? How could he give his life to Jesus and then never mention Him again? Sarah felt like the life was being squeezed out of her. Half way down the page she read the following: One of the fellows down the hall invited me to visit his church last night. Even though she was with the Lord long before George died the Lord honored her unceasing prayers.” I had forgotten about the whole experience until I had that compelling feeling again tonight. Suddenly I remembered having that same feeling once before. We’ll get to spend eternity together with each other and You. She dropped the letter like it was poisoned. maybe someone will come along side me and help me understand what I did. He praises God day and night with the cherubim. My emotions were so intense but I am thoroughly confused by the whole experience. “Sarah. She was stuck between agony and ecstasy and didn’t know which was the truth. I was crying and before I knew what I was doing I went to the altar and prayed.” “The last three days of his life when he was on the morphine drip and in a coma the Lord appeared to him because of those prayers. It wouldn’t have made sense to me then anyway.” Her hands were trembling as adrenalin rushed through her system. There was a revival going on. His gratitude is so great that he has not left the throne room to explore the vast beauty and mysteries of Heaven since he arrived. Of course no one who sees Jesus in His beauty would ever say no. I don’t even know why I agreed to go. At church when I was very young. Thank You Lord. I was thinking what a waste of my time it was to be here when I could have been home studying. I’ll get to see him again. When I got up. grandma told me I was “born again.

“Sarah. Stand in the gap praying and stay in the gap praying until the Lord repairs the breach in the wall.” Sarah felt a mixture of a destiny call on her life but also the seeds of doubt that her prayers could really matter that much. no one does. Your prayers make a difference. when you were born on the earth you were born into a spiritual battle that you didn’t ask to be a part of. Backing off or letting your guard down is suicide in your battle against the raging powers of darkness that seek to destroy you and your spiritual inheritance. “Remember Ezekiel 22:30 where the Lord looked for someone to stand in the gap in prayer so He would not have to bring judgment. Leaving the kitchen to enter the living room she passed though a door. You’re a terrible threat and he declares a full-scale war on you and your life. There is no neutral zone where you can time out and take a break. It wasn’t happening immediately but she was cultivating the habit of continual prayer. but you only have two options--fight back or take a break and be devoured. but He found no one? Remember George’s grandmother? She was an intercessor and intercession is spiritual warfare. but by faith. The devil doesn’t back off just because you get weary.” interrupted Joel. but they don’t believe it because they look at their limitations instead of looking at God’s limitless power that can work through them—. But God was merciful. Never let it be said again as long as you dwell on this earth that the Lord looked and found no one. “Lord. She prayed for a missionary in the Philippines when she got the sandwich ingredients out of her devotional refrigerator and prayed for a couple ministering in Romania when she put the roast beef back. OOPS. But the example of George’s grandmother and her results made Sarah recommit herself to prayer. I’m not praying in the Spirit.108 She regretted that she hadn’t been in a place to encourage him to follow through on his commitment. help me to understand the seriousness of being an intercessor and please. You still didn’t ask to be caught up in this spiritual battle. You went from being a member of the devil’s kingdom and being absolutely no threat to him to being his archenemy and a huge threat to his kingdom—“ “Actually. You be that one who is always standing in the gap Sarah. She had run the full spectrum of emotions today and she realized she hadn’t eaten dinner. diligently stand in the gap each day.” “So now you’re a Christian with all this power at your control and the devil is enraged. “Great job Sarah. that’s his opportunity and he’ll take it every time. God has bestowed on humans an incredible dignity by allowing them to partner with Him. 87 When you were born-again it upped the ante in a way that you can’t understand.” said Malta. You won’t know how much until you get to Heaven. Many people’s lives depend on it. “All believers are a huge threat. please . hallelujah! Thank You Jesus for getting us both. The enemy is just there like a roaring lion waiting to devour every human on the planet.

Cindy was standing by his side. It got louder but still she and everyone else disregarded it. They’re going to slaughter us. This threatening army seemed undefeatable. Sarah turned to run but realized that with the breaches in the walls they all would soon be dead. on their way to fulfill their goal of total annihilation of her city. There are hundreds of thousands of them! An evil swarm. “This is no time for a debate.109 give me the grace to carry it out. Each of them must be nine feet tall! They’re giants. trying to calm the agitated people. . The wall was in terrible disrepair. “Pray. Mortar had crumbled and stones had fallen leaving huge gaps and breaches. there were still thousands of soldiers coming toward the city. Her heart almost stopped from fear when she saw an evil horde of huge soldiers in full armor. pray. We’re doomed. Everyone climb up. life was progressing as normal among the city’s inhabitants.” he said. They marched almost mechanically. In spite of the deteriorating wall. We have no weapons. even mothers with their children. It’s hopeless. everybody. But she screamed out nevertheless trying to be heard over the roar. What does she know?” said Pastor Paul. It was almost unperceivable so she ignored it. One day Sarah heard a sound in the distance.” screamed Sarah.” That night Sarah had a dream. some of the elderly and Cindy. She was living in an ancient city with a huge wall surrounding it. in spite of the deafening sound of the marching foot soldiers. Other companies carried spears or bows and arrows to accomplish their deadly work. “Listen. their bows drawn back at the intercessors. Each one purposefully climbed and took his or her place standing in the gaps in their city’s wall. NOW!” “Don’t listen to her. From her place on the wall she yelled to be heard over the tremendous din. as far as she could see from the east to the west and from the south. thought Sarah as she scanned the horizon. merchants. We need everyone to stand in the gap. They’re almost here. we can never stand against their destructive power. the highly educated and well respected religious leader of this town. marching over the far horizon. Finally it became so deafening that she climbed onto the broken wall. The leaders of each troop rode on horseback and carried colorful war banners that waved behind as they rode. As the first companies got close to the wall. They were clad in silver armor from head to toe and they carried awesome and terrifying weapons--jewel-encrusted shields and massive swords. “Who would attack us? We’re right in the middle of God’s will. I have no weapons. You can hear them! They are almost here! We can’t let them breach the walls. teenagers. The archers were taking aim. “There’s an army. take your place.” The front line of the attacking army had already arrived at the wall and had stopped marching. in perfect unison.” Though most ignored her. about 50 people discerned the impending calamity--commoners.

As they left their places on the wall and climbed down. and they all worshipped and celebrated Jesus’ victory over the powers of darkness and that the same authority had been imparted to them--satan’s dominion ended at Calvary. puffs of black sulfuric smoke wafted from the armor of the middle third of the group and the empty armor toppled! Spears and shields clattered.” To their amazement. against the rulers of the darkness of this age. Then she heard the sharp clanging of steel.” 88 As the fifty began praying Sarah cried out “I rebuke the powers of evil in Jesus’ name. “Submit to God and resist the enemy. All she could see was the glint of the sun shining off of hundreds of thousands of suits of armor. The demons must flee at our command! When Jesus retrieved the keys to death and Hell we were participants in that victory. They only have the power over us that we give them. Their armor and weapons dropped.” shouted Sarah. Then he will flee.110 The Holy Spirit reminded Sarah of Ephesians 6:12: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood. The hillside was littered with empty armor and useless weapons. clanging impotently to the ground. She waited. Stunned but encouraged the intercessors all shouted as one voice. “It’s a demonic army. totally annihilated.” .” She simultaneously flung her arms across her face and turned sideways for protection. But at the Word of God there was no violence. Just a few minutes ago she had been terrified--sure that they would be slaughtered. Slowly she turned to see the first third of the army laying dead on the ground. God had delivered them. the city’s residents met them. It’s just little demons wearing big armor. Suddenly the verse made sense to Sarah. against powers. She fully expected to be impaled by a shower of arrows and spears. Because Satan is beneath Jesus’ feet. If we are in bondage to them it is because we don’t know that we are in Christ and share His victory over satan. but against principalities.” 90 shouted one of the other intercessors. “Where are all the soldiers you said you saw? We told you there was no reason for concern. “The enemy really is defeated through Christ’s death on the cross. no disaster. no destruction. but nothing happened. The remaining two thirds kept marching resolutely toward the wall. stepping on and over their dead cohorts. They fight us through deceit and bluff. against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. he is also beneath ours. “I rebuke the powers of evil in Jesus’ name. not even waiting for the verbal deathblow from the intercessors.” 89 At that point the last third of the demons retreated into the second heavens.

” “But. And the grace He extends to the humble is indescribably rich. You’d be a fool to leave. His voice was stern. “Paul. You need to set aside your own earthly gratification. they’re mad at God and at everyone else for letting them down.92 Do you understand? Disobedience leads to death. you need to follow the Lord’s plan for your life. You don’t want that. it’s not ‘those who help themselves’ whom God helps.” CJ Mahaney 91 Chapter 24 Pastor Paul had been shaken to his core by the word Sarah gave him.” continued Saldu. God is personally and providenally supportive of the humble. but especially one so fresh out of seminary and still wet behind the ears. “That part-time job would eventually lead to you leaving your church. and love the Lord enough to be obedient to His plans for you. He sure wasn’t going to tell Cindy what Sarah had said. How could she know he’d had an abusive father? He hadn’t even told Cindy.” . Most pastors never experience the type of success you’re seeing now and this is your first church. At the word “discernment” Deception let out a squeal as if impaled. There are eternal consequences at stake. Paul. He was steadfast in obedience to the Lord and knew that this was also what Paul needed. His father died when he was a freshman in college and he hadn’t met Cindy until the following year. You felt the Lord drawing you to the land. Every time you turn around new members are joining. And if she heard it from the Lord then that gives credibility to the other part of the message about taking the jail’s director up on his job offer. This is the promise of humility. You misinterpreted His plan. it’s those who humble themselves.111 “Contrary to popular and false belief. When the opportunity to thwart the jail came you inserted your own desires and called it God’s plan. trust me on this.” pleaded Saldu. He pointed his unseen sword at Paul’s heart. which. in eternity will only shame you. why should you leave the church? The Lord is obviously blessing everything. “Could she know about your dad being abusive? She could only know that if the Lord told her. He’d been careful to always talk about his dad’s good side and then he changed the subject.” It was like a dream come true for any pastor.” screeched Deception. That’s good. Deception immediately appeared and perched on his shoulder. There’s a way that seems right to a man but the end is death. “How. “Leave the church. People conceive of plans and label them as being directly from God all the time. use your discernment. not your plan. but you didn’t pray to find out why.” Saldu stood with his arms folded across his chest and a somber look on his radiant face. Then when their plan fails. This is not a game.

No. It was just too labor intensive to make the trip. He finally dismissed it. As she made her cookie rounds this day. Saldu sighed. maybe it was just a good guess. startin’ when I was a little kid. It’s like a movie of all the bad stuff I ever done. What if the Lord really spoke to Sarah and she wasn’t nuts. Every night before she went to bed she expected to wake up in the morning with full mobility. but she never knew the outcomes. He let down his macho demeanor and confided that he was having recurrent nightmares that terrified him. Barbara gave Sarah a book on healing. Sarah went out visiting prisoners. She had already figured out that when she got healed she would donate her cane and walker to the Bradbury Manor. armed with her Slice N Bake Cookies and her walker. she was disappointed.” . While it’s playing this thing is laughin’ this sick laugh. it absolutely couldn’t be. sheathed his sword and interceded for Paul. When I sleep. “He personally carried away my sins in his own body on the cross so I can be dead to sin and live for what is right. “Momma Sarah. I need help. Hope rose in her spirit and she posted verses around the house. evil thing comes to me and flashes all the bad stuff I ever done in front of me. On the days that she couldn’t go. but he wasn’t going to become a chaplain at that jail especially if it meant ministering with Sarah. ‘See all the evil in your life? You belong to me. an older prisoner nicknamed Skinner wanted to speak to her. I have been healed by His wounds” 93 she would say over and over. this black. Momma Sarah. She was only going to the jail twice a week now. The idea of getting healed and finding out that George had accepted the Lord elevated Sarah’s spirits even though her body continued to be uncooperative.112 Paul wrestled with the situation flipping back and forth between Sarah hearing from the Lord or possibly knowing the information some other way. When the most responsive inmates heard her walker squeaking from around the corner they began crying out. one of the inmates. Did you bring me cookies?” It always lifted her spirit no matter how tired her body was from the increased effort it took to get there. Sarah devoured it. You can’t escape. The prospect that it was true was entirely too scary to entertain. she prayed for all the inmates and looked forward to the next trip. He didn’t know where Sarah got her information. I’m waitin’ for you. Why don’t you kill yourself and we’ll go easy on you?’ Then I wake up and I’m sweatin’ and my heart is poundin’. When it’s done it makes fun of me by sayin’ stuff like. It goes really fast in front of my eyes. Now she delved into the topic. snake-like. and every morning so far. then he’d be the one on the outside looking in. The next day. She’d heard people at prayer meetings praying for God to heal people. bad. “I even stayed awake last night ‘cause I couldn’t face ‘em again. Deception rubbed up against Paul’s face like an affectionate cat then turned and sunk his jagged talons into Paul skull.

that’s exactly what you just told me. “Cast out the spirit Sarah.113 Sarah had never heard anything quite like that before but she knew it was demonic and that the first step was salvation. At this point the devil owns your soul for eternity because of all the bad things you’ve done.” “Right. “Now Skinner. “OK. “But the great news is that God loves you so much that he provided a way to save you from the enemy.” Joel and Malta watched Sarah. you can’t earn it and you can’t undo it. “Your faith cripples the enemy’s power. everyone knows that. He’s keeping track of Jesus’ rights. “By the power of the blood of Jesus. came over Sarah. so He lets us into Heaven. That same foul spirit was about to take her life. I learned it as a kid. our sin is forgiven and all He sees is righteousness. but I think you have a demon that torments you. Have you heard the verse John 3:16?” “Yeah.” A spirit of Boldness. 94 We all belonged to satan’s kingdom. The three angels rejoiced together. Do you understand?” Skinner nodded his head.’ Hey. When we die and we stand before God. But God sent Jesus to pay for our sins. I give my life to you to do with what You will. God isn’t keeping track of your wrongs any more. She was totally in its clutches.’” Skinner finished praying and Sarah was the one crying. repeat after me. ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life. If we believe that He died for us. I ask You to come into my heart and be my savior and forgive me of my sins. which she had never felt before. And it’s all a gift. After a moment’s hesitation he nodded yes. It howled mournfully and disappeared leaving a black puff of fetid smelling smoke.” said Malta. She sent it fleeing!” . ‘Dear Jesus thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. Would you like to pray now to accept Jesus?” Sarah was trying not to let her voice quaver but she was gripped with equal parts of anticipation and apprehension that Skinner would say no.” Joel and Malta watched as a large warrior angel appeared behind Skinner. The angel brought his sandaled foot down on the serpent’s throat. “Remember the first time we saw Sarah?” asked Joel. now. Sarah realized she’d been holding her breath and slowly exhaled. Then He even gives us His goodness as a gift. It’s like God looks at us through “Jesus colored glasses” from here on out. “You see. I command you evil spirit to leave. pulled a silver knife from his sheath and sliced off its head. “You might not believe this Skinner. Now she’s in authority over it. Stunned by Sarah’s prayers the demon Suicide that was coiled around Skinner’s torso and neck fell to the floor. And that demon is right about one thing. our sins are all forgiven.” Skinner dropped his eyes in shame. the Bible says that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s requirements. Amen. both of them beaming like proud parents.” “Can you say it?” “Sure.

She would wear a special necklace and if she needed assistance would merely press the button on the necklace to summon immediate help. How will Will get saved if Pastor Paul’s not there ministering? Lord. Later in the week Barbara drove Sarah to her neurological appointment in Mt. Sarah left the jail that day feeling great. “But if you do you just tell your little tormentor that those are no longer your sins. which slowed her movement even more. no one to hold services or a Bible study. Her back was stiff from sleeping on the couch. Rymer floored Sarah by suggesting it might be time to think of leaving her house. Barbara’s time was totally her own and she was happy to lavish it on Sarah.” said Sarah. Rymer looked sternly at Barbara. telling her to help Sarah more. She picked up the phone on what was going to be the last ring. “Sometime in the next few weeks I want you to take her by The Manor just to look around. Oh God I’m so grieved that there’s no chaplain at the jail to disciple the inmates. Sarah was staying in her home by herself. It was the first time that she’d ever led someone to the Lord. Malta played the flute and led Sarah into a time of intercession for the inmates and Pastor Paul. After the exam Dr. How will they grow and mature? Lord please touch Pastor Paul’s heart. She could feel the Lord’s pleasure over these acts of kindness. 96 Barbara thought.” shouted Malta. Without even realize it Skinner hummed along. She enjoyed tending her garden and her flowers but there was never anything pressing on her schedule. Lord deal with whatever attitudes prevent him from doing Your will. Rymer. She was too drained to make the slow journey to her bed so she spent the night curled under the alpaca blanket on the couch. Skinner’s angel began to sing a hymn he had heard as a youngster in church.95 They’ve all been forgiven and you are owned by no one but Jesus. Pielor with Dr. Do you understand”? Barbara nodded. “We don’t want you to fall and hurt yourself. . Have mercy on him in his disobedience. It was Barbara’s cheery voice on the other end. She and her angels sang and praised all the way home and she was temporarily able to forget her physical infirmities. She travailed in prayer for an hour and a half. “Now I don’t think you’ll have problems anymore with that dream Skinner. “How are you doing today?” The Lord had spoken to Barbara. It’s not good for you to live alone. The Lord is jealous for the well being of the widows and orphans.” said Sarah as she leaned forward to give Skinner a big hug through the bars before she moved to the next cell. The ringing phone woke her the next morning. unless You heal me I won’t be able to go there much longer. God is not holding them against you.114 “Hallelujah. Have you considered the Manor?” When the conversation ended. Please don’t hold his sin against him but put his feet on the right path. Barbara was glad to oblige. but would compromise. Later that night while she was sitting on the couch. At the end of the visit Dr.

“Why isn’t the Lord healing me?” “I don’t know. If I didn’t believe I would be healed I certainly wouldn’t do that. but her health didn’t improve. Are you hurt? Are you sure you’re OK?” “I’ll explain it when you get here. “He healed them all.” Barbara had the coffee made when Sarah woke up. but I need your help.” 99 Maybe I’ll read my Bible more and increase my faith that way. In the morning Sarah’s mobility was back to “normal. Don’t give up and lose faith. Barbara spent the night on the couch. Sarah thought. I didn’t fall and I’m embarrassed to call you. “So faith comes from what is heard through God’s Word. “I still think we should call the doctor.” I must not have enough faith.” An embarrassed Sarah explained it all and Barbara gave her the missed dose of her medicines. Remember. Sarah decided that she would stop taking her medicine. She was too embarrassed to press the lifeline button around her neck.m.” “I’m not waking anyone else up. faith precedes everything that God does for us.” In spite of Sarah’s protests.”97 “I was sure I’d be healed by now.115 The ride home was somber. It was 3:30 a. “I don’t have any easy answers but I promise to keep praying for the Lord to touch you. How do I increase my faith? She remembered the Bible says. The book I read says it’s God’s will to heal everyone— that’s in the Bible. They would send the police or firemen or an ambulance and the sirens would wake up the whole neighborhood. Can you come to my house and get me some medicine?” “I’ll be right there. I just know that He has His own perfect timing. even worse. That will prove that I have faith. I’m adamant about that. She finally decided that she would call Barbara.” 98 After a long pause Barbara said sadly. She couldn’t roll over! A wave of panic and adrenalin swept through her and she struggled but it felt like her legs were made of cement. And you must believe that He rewards those who diligently seek Him. they’d probably cart her off to the hospital and tell her to go to the nursing home. She was very . when Barbara groped for her phone. After praying for 30 minutes with no results she reluctantly admitted she needed help. What can I do to show the Lord that I have faith? I just need a mustard seed’s worth. are you all right? Did you fall?” “No. In the middle of the night she woke up and tried to turn over in bed. She skipped her bedtime dose of her Parkinson’s medicines. “Hello. She didn’t know what to do except pray. I’ll call in the morning if I haven’t improved. spending all her spare time in the Word. Sarah was a woman with a mission. She reached for the nightstand. Without faith it’s impossible to please Him.” “Barbara I’m so sorry to wake you--” “Sarah.

She felt impotent.116 embarrassed and apologetic although Barbara threw the whole thing off as nothing. Sarah was waiting on the porch swing. anything big she could pick up with both hands was all she could manage. She would put a glass on the table and drink with a straw so she didn’t have to hold it to her mouth and splash the liquid down the front of her blouse. ever. It’s just good to have a back up plan. Soup or salad was out of the question. If she filled a glass more than half full the beverage sloshed over the side. The spirit of Fear invaded her room and tormented her with images of the most infirm. Jesus. she felt responsible. Sarah never went anywhere without her walker now.” She turned the car into Bradbury Manor. helpless patients—half conscious. They drove in silence for several minutes. “I’m sorry we have to do this. and came around to help Sarah up. She felt worse than impotent. She also had him install grab bars in the bathtub and bring the rest of the boxes upstairs. under her bed and through her dressers. aren’t You? The next morning Barbara pulled in Sarah’s drive at 10:00 sharp. she called the local handy man. drooling out the sides of their mouths. Herald Ray. and she didn’t want to be a burden to anyone when she passed on. That night in her bed Sarah wept. What do doctors know anyway? She also spent some time the next ten days and sorted through her closets. but her tremors had gotten so bad she’d had to change her eating habits. please help me. Then she called Goodwill.” Sarah was tearing up and Barbara looked at the floor. Barbara helped her down the front steps and into the car. But. I just missed one dose and my legs quit working. God You’re going to heal Sarah. “I had no idea how bad I was without my medicines. the town’s nursing home. apples. “But it’s doctor’s orders. She could even smell the stench of urine that had assaulted her as she shuffled down the hall with Barbara. She hadn’t told anyone. I thought I was bad when I was taking them. bananas. Eating with silverware was too difficult now. unable to hold their heads up. It felt good to unclutter her house. The next morning. “Jesus. Now I can stay in the house longer. between the kitchen and the back porch. a muffin.” said Barbara.” She wept until she fell asleep. to make her home safer. Now there was no need to go down those basement stairs. she did extract a promise from Sarah to always take all her medicine. Barbara crawled into bed that night with a heavy heart. parked. . She silently prayed. He moved her washer and dryer from the basement to the pantry. She was the one who gave Sarah the book on healing. Sandwiches.

After the service. And they rallied informally to do just that with Wilma leading the deadly phone brigade under the influence of several destructive spirits intent on breeding division.’” Paul loved their laughter almost more than anything. the phone network snaked through the older members of the congregation. better. ‘I can fix it for $500. he fit right in. they say.400. That’s $200 for parts and $200 for labor. As they plot their crimes. You didn’t even measure it.” said Pastor Paul to the congregation. How do you get $2400?’asked the incredulous tour guide.’ replied the guide. ‘I can fix it for $2. They shoot from ambush at the innocent…. ‘This must be my lucky day. ‘I can fix it for $400. ‘A thousand for you and a thousand for me and we hire the guy from Missouri. ‘Who will ever notice?’ they ask. It was like they were saying he was just one of the guys.” group who would fight any change like their lives depended on it. This plan has been divided into very attainable smaller goals and we won’t go on to another until we reach the one directly in front of us.” Walter Buettler “He that is down need fear no fall. A lot of the members.117 “The moment humility announces herself she is already out the door. Maybe you can all bid it for me.” John Bunyan Chapter 25 “Three men were taking a tour of the White House. the feedback was mixed. “We have devised the perfect plan!” 100 . Wilma picked up the phone and Ardare said to her: “Sharp tongues are the swords they wield. The elders and I have been discussing the rapid growth going on in our fellowship and we are proposing that the church begin a fund raising drive in preparation to buy land and build larger facilities projected for completion in two years. As Paul and the family ate lunch. “We’ve never done it this way before. That’s $250 for parts and $250 for labor. “I have a very exciting reason to be talking about contractors today. Paul still high on the idea of bigger.’ The contractor from California examined the door and said. They encourage each other to do evil and plan how to set their traps.’ The contractor from Missouri took some measurements and said. “It turned out that all three of them were contractors.” Paul spent the whole time that morning explaining the details and extolling the virtues of the plan. ‘The security door that the president uses is broken. mostly the newer or younger ones were very excited about the church being taken to the next level. bitter words are the arrows they aim.’ The contractor from New York said.’ ‘Twenty four hundred dollars? That’s outrageous. Then came the. and more prestigious.

sign the petition that Carol is circulating. if we didn’t keep getting so many new members we wouldn’t be outgrowing our facilities. Bernice thought they should all make their voices known by withholding their tithes. Then everyone could be happy. “Yes. Sarah felt her heart skip a beat at the mention of the church’s name. who knows where?” “Well. that’s not good.” Before Sarah could think what to say Katherine concluded. These are our first efforts.” From her comfy recliner Wilma rallied the troops and formed a battle plan. You were married in this church and all your kids were baptized here. Although Sarah hadn’t been there since that first Wednesday prayer meeting her name was on the list of older adults. we would be forced to leave our beloved church and move to a new facility. “This young pastor just gets voted in and he has the audacity to make plans to abandon your church and build a new one who knows where. No. “You go there. Bye. she’ll be set up in the Sunday School room with the petitions. you can be sure we’ll try something else. “Pastor Paul wants to start a building campaign for the church?” asked Sarah. organized into a plan to squash the new building campaign. “Not many of you should presume to be .” said Sarah.” She was immediately hit with a barrage of gossip. She opened her Bible to James chapter three to look for the verses on controlling the tongue. Sarah just said “yes. much to Ardare’s dismay.” Sarah was stunned by the divisiveness and evil that she felt from the plan to usurp the building campaign. shrieked Gossip. but her eyes fell on verse one of chapter three. If they don’t work. Now here’s what we’re asking: withhold your tithe. At the same time she knew that Pastor Paul was not supposed to be pursuing a secure future at this church. thinking of Paul’s forward drive with the church when he was supposed to be gravitating toward the jail. the rest of them could stay right where they were and find a pastor who thought more like they did. don’t you?” Rather than explain the “unique” circumstances. look for Carol. and boycott Thursday visitation. my name is Katherine Plumb and I’m helping with the committee against the building campaign at the Victory Church. This is the church where you’ve grown up Wilma. I guess two wrongs will never make a right. “Sarah. and if successful. Wilma felt maybe the group who wanted to build should leave with Pastor Paul and go build. I’m glad we can count on your support. “Thanks for your support.118 “No. and Carol proposed a petition they could circulate. Both sides are wrong. “Good. If Paul thinks he can just close it down and build another one just because of some vote of the elders—well you just can’t let that happen! It’s your responsibility to do something. Later in the week when the phone tree got more organized she received a call from someone she couldn’t even remember.

I sure don’t want to go shooting my tongue off and causing more problems. He’s not where he is supposed to be and he is leading this group of people where they shouldn’t go. I better pray about it a lot before I decide. . he will be judged more strictly as a leader. She put her feet up on the coffee table and relaxed while she prayed in tongues silently. remembering Barbara’s advice.119 teachers.” That’s Pastor Paul. because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. I wonder if I should share this with him? She smiled. and Pastor Paul. my brothers. and with her mind she interceded for the church.

” “I’ve got to get home. the opposing structure will naturally deteriorate. look at the cross. the old one is leaking in the women’s bathroom. If you come up with anything give me a call. meeting with his trusted confident. the group health insurance for the staff just went up.” Thomas Aquinis. “Can’t they see.” said Paul. Chapter 26 Paul was in his office. How long could we last with that kind of a reduction?” “Well. can’t they just see what a good thing this is for the church? I swear.” “I could care less about their petition and few of them visit on Thursdays anyway. withhold their tithe and boycott Thursday nights. I get the picture.” “Maybe if we can find out who the informal leader is we can talk to him and if we succeed in changing his mind. From the sound of it most of the older adults feel strongly enough to sign a petition. but that which we carry with us…It is in our most unguarded moments that we really show and see what we are. are you?” “No. suddenly serious again.” In a special effort to bless Paul Cindy had cooked all day making his favorite food. The parking lot is going to have to be repaved. third stall—“ “All right. Mike. it could be serious.120 “The only humility that is really ours is not that which we try to show before God in prayer. I’m late for dinner.” said Paul slamming his palm down on his desk.” “I’m not sure how to deal with this. kinda like Jesus. who heard from an older member of the church who sometimes baby sat for them who had received a phone call that there was an organized movement against the building campaign. We’re also looking at a new roof pretty quickly. but if the majority withholds their tithe. Paul looked a little less intense and then laughed. her .” “I don’t think it will be quite that easy. “Me too. “They didn’t have a class on preventing church splits in seminary. “Kind of like Jesus?” said Mike. “Yea.” Andrew Murray “If you are looking for an example of humility. I’m afraid someone is going to fall and get hurt. smiling.” “Apparently they should have. every time I try to accomplish something there’s someone to oppose it.” said Mike. Mike had heard from Jessica his wife. The over 60 group gives nearly 65% of the budget.

I want to be more involved but you’re shutting me out. I just talked with Mike and apparently most of the members over 60 don’t want the building campaign and are threatening to withhold their tithe.” said Paul with a scowl. on any topic. “I meant it’s terrible that they’re choosing such an ungodly way to protest the plan. I know that. honey. are you OK?” “Yea. spitting and generally worked into a froth at the rich opportunities that lay ahead.” said Cindy. he wasn’t so much eating as he was shoveling his food around the blue floral plate.” “No.” “That’s not exactly what I meant. and the Lord isn’t going to bless their crappy little efforts. you have to keep a godly attitude even though you’re being opposed.” mimicked Jordan. which caused Hael to laugh. The buck stops with me. Paul you just don’t want to entertain any opinion but your own.” she said chuckling at Jordan.” mimicked Jordan who had stirred a bite of enchilada into his milk and taken a big swig.” said Cindy.” “That’s right too. I know you’ve been formulating this plan since the minute you walked in the door. It’s just your plan. It’s really not even you. but you have to respond appropriately. After a slight hesitation Cindy spoke. church related or not.121 homemade enchiladas. “If you come up with any wonderful words of wisdom to deliver me from this situation. But Paul was preoccupied. out of the mouth of babes. “How could they oppose this plan? It’s best for the whole church’s future. “I know someone else whose attitude He isn’t going to bless. “Terrible.” . I know this is hard. It’s like you’re afraid that if I have any ideas or thoughts that I’ll hijack your authority. “You always side with other people and you always belittle my ideas.” Cindy didn’t speak what she was thinking.” he said shoving his plate across the table.” “That’s terrible. but I just want to work together as a team. but I’m your wife and you really should consider my input before you immediately discard it. but turned serious again when Paul threw down his napkin. hissing. “Honey. I can’t tell you anything. You don’t withhold it if you don’t get what you want. Paul’s manipulative spirits were circling around him. The tithe is holy and paid to God. I’ll be in my office. just discouraged.” “That’s not true. You don’t carry that responsibility. “As long as he’s filled with anger he’s in our clutches. “See.” “Godly way.” “You’re not the pastor. I suggest you come up with a plan and then do the total opposite.” “We can take him down and his marriage too. “You’re telling me. It’s not leverage or a bargaining chip.

Each day was harder than the next. but without permission to act against it. who’s going to minister at the jail if I’m not there? I know it’s Your will that I be there so why are You withholding my healing? It says that if You made the ultimate sacrifice of Your son that You will freely give us all things. The spirit was beside her in the bed feeding its lies.102 That You had compassion on the multitudes and that You healed them all. she thought and she didn’t care that God heard. but an overcomer. where are You? Joel. The thought of leaving her home and moving into the Manor felt like death. Don’t give in to anger or self pity. hate. physically. God.” Sarah couldn’t see or feel it but Joel and Malta watched as a high ranking.” said Joel as tears welled in his eyes.” Malta played on his flute to comfort Sarah. radiating with divine light. Put on the whole armor of God to resist the enemy’s attack.122 Sarah had her own secret resentment with God. “She’s built a wall. but she couldn’t receive them. . This is a deception that will lead her astray in every area of her life. Their weapons and worship would help Sarah very little as long as she clung to her bitterness against the Lord. Lord. She was growing impatient for the healing she knew should come. In her honest moments she knew she could not stay by herself very much longer. Joel and Malta grimaced. She is angry at Father. they didn’t want the demon to derive great pleasure from hearing it. He’s already defeated but you must fight. I hate.” replied Malta. Joel and Malta stood at the foot of Sarah’s bed as they did every night. “No one should ever doubt Father’s goodness regardless of how bad the circumstances appear. but the sharp tip would not penetrate. She tried to get off the couch without her walker and after a few ineffective attempts she gave up and grabbed for the dreaded contraption. hate this thing. Joel and Malta were grieved to tears. If you let down your shield he will seize that opportunity to advance against you and bring destruction. Joel drew his sword to plunge it deep within her heart and spirit. but they were both thinking it: She had invited the spirit and it had come.101 That if we ask for bread You won’t give us a stone. She has opened a door to the demonic and she needs to confess her anger quickly. They didn’t speak. 103 She thought of withholding her medicine again to call God’s attention to her faith. revolted by its evil and arrogance. poisoning her mind. the notes washed over her like waves. spoke firmly to Sarah. black spirit of Accusation flapped into the room. “This might just be the toughest thing Sarah has to face in the rest of her time on earth. circled Sarah and came to rest on her shoulder. but remembered the embarrassment it caused and her promise to Barbara. “You are not a victim. Delighting in its malicious assignment it dug its gnarled talons into the tender flesh of her neck and sneered at the angels.

He would have healed you. She lay on the couch. “If God is so good why did He let George die and why is He letting you die. a prisoner. “Unfortunately. the more debilitated her body became. She tried reading the old love letters but they only made her cry and feel sorry for herself because she missed George so much. He would have healed you by now. She pictured the terrifying scene in great detail. She was restless and agitated. “If God loved you. The more negative and critical ideas polluted Sarah’s mind. He’s all-powerful. Joel and Malta were enraged that Sarah was terrified.” Sarah didn’t visit the jail the next day like she’d planned.” She spent several more days on the couch. Her heart raced. possibly even unable to communicate her wants and wishes. old and alone. you’re going to die in that nursing home. unable to move or even swallow. Sarah was already imagining how it would feel to be totally incapacitated. She’d be trapped inside her uncooperative body. Barbara was out of town at a church conference and unaware of the situation. much less be influenced by you. She wasn’t hungry. “Can’t you just picture it?” whispered the spirit of Fear.” “Your power is not as great as you pretend. You’re nothing but defeated cowards. the raspy voice of Accusation taunted. An IV tube pumps liquids in and a catheter takes them out. “Where is God now?” Accusation’s slippery. or the day after. “A cheerful heart is like a good medicine. years? The tormenting spirits continued their taunting images. The yellow eyes flashed at them. He’s not going to heal you. her blood pressure shot up and she was starting to breathe heavily. that her mind was being violated by these demons sent to destroy her. slowly. beguiling voice whispered. a little each day? If He loved you. She has complete and total authority over you.” 104 said Joel to Malta. The demon voices seldom rested. does she?” said Accusation smirking as he shielded himself from the glory radiating from the angels.123 but knew they were not allowed to intervene until Sarah changed her attitude and repented. What other explanation is there? Why would God love you? You spent 70 years living for yourself.” She became more despondent as she entertained their vile demonic lies. “I’ll undo in one day what it’s taken you a year to do.” said Joel. Sarah doesn’t even have to entertain you. For some reason they weren’t therapeutic anymore.” Laying in the dark. How long would she hang on like this? Weeks. months. without giving Him a thought. The jail’s director noticed her absence and called but by . Your only weapons are bluff and deceit. Sarah succumbed to the demonic suggestions. “She doesn’t really believe that at all and I’ll exploit that weakness to its fullest extent—all the way to the nursing home. “Imagine yourself fetal in the bed. the opposite is also true. She was slowly being drawn into a black vortex of depression. He could do it in a moment.” “But she doesn’t believe that.

124 the time she got up from the couch the phone had stopped ringing. .

After awhile she turned the TV back on. She moved to the furnace and undid the latches holding the cover plate in place.” With much effort she lifted herself off the couch with the aid of her walker and slowly headed toward the basement door. She released the walker. George used to turn it off each year to save money when the weather got warm. Her legs were already exhausted and she was less than halfway.” whispered Death. Lying on the couch she remembered that the pilot light was still lit on the furnace. She threw off additional warnings from Joel and Malta which manifested as that nagging feeling that this wasn’t wise. When she got really bored. She took care of the pilot light. All she did to pass the next several days was lay on the couch crying off and on. As she was falling she thought. she’s doing it to herself. in an uncharistic burst of pleasure. “Sarah. She was surprised at how much harder it was going up. I think I’ll do that. “It’s happened so fast.” She turned off the TV and read her Bible. You can get a neighbor to do it for you. It would require two hands to reinstall. it’s not wise. but it seemed dry and irrelevant.125 “We will never be satisfied in the pursuit of false and temporary fulfillments. Success. It fell to the floor. That meant no cane. Only when we begin to touch and experience some of these eternal satisfactions will we be empowered to let go of the inferior ones. “We don’t have to do anything except stand back and watch. With both hands holding the rail on either side of the stairs she slowly. She stepped with one foot onto the first step. grabbing her cane on the way. She slowly opened the basement door and transferred her first hand from the walker to the handrail. “This is great. she’d turn to TV.” “After all our failed efforts. with one hand still clutching the rail she stooped to pick up the cane. At the bottom. “I can’t believe I’ve stooped to watching day time talk shows and soap operas. painstakingly descended. I was falling . grabbed the cane and threw it to the bottom of the stairs. After staring at the plate she decided to let it lay. She turned back toward the stairs and slowly began her ascent. When she passed through the door to the kitchen she automatically started praying. Even when I wasn’t saved I didn’t do that. “I can only hope it will be a fatal fall.” laughed Intimidation. it was too risky. Immediately Malta whispered.” snickered Depression. She tried to pray for the actors but gave up. She paused to rest for a second and her legs bucked.” Mike Bickle 105 Chapter 27 Sarah was depressed.

126 before I knew it. It was just part of an agreement to let her stay in her home. this isn’t going to go away. She rolled to her back and lay still. Then it stopped. In just a few seconds she was surrounded. In a few minutes she heard the siren in the distance. “You’ll definitely live your last days in a nursing home for sure. She shook her head at her foolishness and choked back more tears. When she’d agreed to get the lifeline necklace she’d never really planned on using it. “I don’t want to say you’re lucky that you fell and hurt yourself. George always. You would have blown yourself up. In a few seconds her phone was ringing. “She’s down here.” Sarah began to cry as much from fear as from the pain. What’s the president’s name? What’s the date? What city are you in? “What happened? What medicines are you taking? Are you having problems breathing?” They scooped her onto a long. She lifted her head and looked down her body. did you say ‘blow out’ the pilot light?” “Yes. more humiliated than she was already but when she saw the firemen shaking their heads and smirking to each other. but it’s a good thing we’re here. I didn’t know I was supposed to. she counted 17 times. More knocking then the sound of splintering wood. especially the trip up the steep stairs. cold plastic board. Nothing in Bradbury was very far .” Reluctantly she pushed the button.” The ambulance arrived at the hospital within minutes. “All this just so I could blow out the pilot light and save a few dollars.” said the returning officer. your house and possibly your closest neighbors. Her right foot was pointed toward the wall. She heard pounding on the front door then running feet went past the basement window to the back. praying. She didn’t think it was possible to be more embarrassed. As they were carrying her across the kitchen Malta prompted her to speak her thoughts. Seeing that only added to her humiliation.” screeched Discouragement. Another minute and it was screamingly loud. she felt like a chastised incompetent child. Her left foot was pointing toward the ceiling.” She landed on her right side with a thud on the cold cement floor and let out a scream as a sharp pain ran the length of her body. “You need help. “Sarah. One intense-looking fireman put a blood pressure cuff on her while another asked an unending string of questions. At the top of the stairs stood a fireman. She knew that her actions had caused a major change in her life.…” her voice trailed off as she watching him run for the basement door. The movement caused her to cry out in pain. Through her tears she managed to say.” he yelled. shoving her walker aside. “Ma’am. “You’ve done it now.” “Ma’am.” “Did you turn off the gas?” “No.” said Malta.

She opened her eyes in the morning and looked up into the face of a smiling nurse. Her exhaustion and the medication caused her to sleep through the evening and night. Before He even saved you He knew every sin you’d commit your whole life and He called you as His daughter anyway. He still wants to use you. used the bedpan. This was an open door for the spirit of Guilt who readily joined Deception at his gruesome game. my name’s Jan. but Proverbs says that ‘the wise man falls seven times but always gets up again. The good news was it could be pinned as opposed to replaced and they whisked her into surgery late that afternoon. Probably after a week or so you’ll be moved to a temporary facility to continue your therapy. but she knew the answer. God never classifies you as a failure.” She didn’t ask the question. We’ll keep you on this floor and start rehabilitation therapy. accidents and weakness. Everyone has to do for you.” whispered Joel.” lied Depression. “Good morning. which confirmed a broken hip. get up and try again and fall. No pun intended Sarah. “You can’t do anything for anyone now. “God is not mad at you for your failures. God always looks at your heart and your intentions. Sarah was x-rayed in the ER. “You’re such a failure! Your ministry and your prayer walking have come to an end. “How long will I be here?” “That’s partly up to you. “Romans chapter eight says He can turn anything for good. You’re not a failure. When Jan left. She teared up slightly. You just ruined the plans that God had for the rest of your life because of your stupidity. she felt pain.” “God can still use your life even though it looks bleak to you. all together you can expect rehab to take about six weeks.” “Your life is wasted.” “Sarah. they wouldn’t want her to go back home by herself and they wouldn’t want her to drive.127 from anything else.” Sarah began to fixate on God being mad at her. a sharp unrelenting pain in her right hip. Sarah started thinking.” said Joel. You’ll never go back to the jail to minister. 107 He is the all-powerful God of the universe. She had an IV in her left hand and her right arm was one big bruise. Waves of discouragement rolled over her as she listened to the spirit of Deception: “You were so ungrateful when you should have been grateful for what you still had left. You can bet God is really mad at you. Suddenly having Parkinson’s and having to use a walker to get around didn’t seem so bad. compared to the situation she was in now. Then the memories of last night all came flooding back.’106 You can fall. How do you feel this morning?” Sarah assessed the situation. get up and try again and as along as you keep getting up after each fall. She took the medicine Jan had brought her and with much embarrassment and excruciating pain. Trust Him.” “No one is a failure by God’s standard until they give up and just quit trying. You were just too stupid to see it then. Our sin sometimes surprises us but it never surprises God.” .

When they vanished Sarah felt a freedom she hadn’t felt for quite awhile. He nodded. She shook her head and said sheepishly. You’re all I’ve ever needed. She also asked her to hire someone to fix her back door. The opposite is also true. It could have been worse.128 “You have the ability to make bad situations worse by the way you react. but she wouldn’t have cared anyway. She was still in significant pain from the surgery but she called Barbara and asked her to pick up her Bible. “You’re all I want. You’re all I want. I’m grateful to be alive.” There was no one in the bed next to hers. Joel pulled his sword and split the evil spirits between their yellow eyes.” The life in Joel and Malta’s words imparted hope and faith during one of the most trying times in her life. Even though I’m really in a bind. she thought. I could have not only blown myself up but also taken some of the neighbors with me. devotional book and other reading material. Thank God for the lesser of the two evils. . Joel looked at Malta who was grinning from ear to ear. Help me know You are near. Clarence Harvey would have been only too happy to tell of my stupidity and death in large headlines on the front page of the Bradbury Gazette. By an act of her will Sarah began to sing out loud.

They were enjoying the intimate scene. He’d tossed and turned so much that Cindy pleaded with him to move to the couch. He made a sincere commitment to spend more time with the family. Paul entered and stood over his crib. when he became an adolescent it was hatred. brown hair to the side of his head and pulled his T-shirt down over his protruding belly button. Jordan was so precious to him. clutching his favorite blankie in one arm. Stay tenderhearted. Saldu had been standing by Hael watching the tender side of Paul manifest toward his son. The spirits were influencing his dreams again. He couldn’t picture his dad being sentimental over much. But Saldu and Hael knew it didn’t happen until Paul was three and a half. all he did was spew contempt. when the family business started to falter. On the way down the hall. At 3:50 he finally trudged out of the bedroom toward the couch. Unlikely. When he was just 16 he saved money he earned from working in the family store and bought a 1936 two-door Ford . he passed the steps to Jordan’s room. Besides. that’s for sure. it wasn’t a side of his dad that he ever saw. Wilson. Paul took the suggestion. but he knew it would be selfish on his part. who also pressured Wilson to perform. he wondered if his dad had ever stood over his crib admiring and appreciating him. Saldu was pointing up.” John Bevere Chapter 28 Paul hadn’t slept well last night. that was what Paul felt toward his dad now. Paul couldn’t remember a time in his life when his dad wasn’t a drunk. Contempt.129 “Do not be afraid to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal any unforgiveness or bitterness. I can imagine them crying in their beer together. His thoughts drifted. Paul’s feelings had mellowed to contempt through the years because his dad was gone and unable to continue sinning against him. Paul was so filled with emotion for the little guy he wanted to scoop him in his arms right there. Whenever he came home drunk. preparing to minister to his wounds. the stronger it will become and the harder your heart will grow. Cindy had an ironclad rule—Never wake a sleeping child! Paul stayed by Jordan’s crib admiring his son. and it made Paul chuckle. Hael pulled his flute and played a lullaby. The longer you hide it. He must have used it all up before he came home to the family. had taken over the family clothing store from his father. When he was younger it was fear. Hael watched as Paul brushed Jordan’s fine. He was lying on his back. Every so often Jordan made little sucking motions with his lips. He was probably sentimental for his drinking buddies. Jordan’s door was ajar and his night-light spilled out into the hall. When Paul switched gears. Winnie the Pooh was sitting by his side like some incompetent night watchman. he thought. they did too. Paul’s dad. Wilson had wanted desperately to be a mechanic.

Wilson watched the numbers steadily deteriorate.” said Saldu as he tried to plunge the sword into Paul’s heart and spirit. Before that. replaced some parts and proudly drove that car for the next 6 years. you are a source of joy to Him. You’re moving into the same territory your dad did. really receive it: It wasn’t you your father was mad at. When he was a senior in high school he broached the subject that he might not want to follow his dad in the family business. He did indeed stand over Paul’s crib admiring his son and it was Wilson that coaxed Paul to take his first steps and Wilson who insisted on having a family portrait taken every year. It wouldn’t penetrate. His dad pitched such a fit. He spoke softly. You’re putting yourself at great peril by being on your own.” said Hael. 108 Even in your sin and brokenness. It was not His plan for your father to become a drunk. Saldu placed his hand over Paul’s heart. You deserved better. getting greasy and figuring things out by trial and error. Cindy loved watching Paul play with . Once the spirits of addiction trapped your dad with alcohol then it was a downhill ride. Your father was ensnared by evil and it spilled onto everyone he was around. but when a new shopping center was built on the town’s outskirts that pulled most of the downtown customers away. He cried too. in his immaturity. But you didn’t deserve that.130 coup that wouldn’t run. is a source of joy for you. giving him a rambunctious piggyback ride. with no protection. Receive. He always resented the clothing store. He chose you before the foundation of the world and His thoughts toward you are more than the sand on the seashore. Saldu pulled his flaming sword. or what it perceives as pleasure. The next morning after breakfast Paul stayed to play with Jordan. Still the wall of unforgiveness. Saldu dropped his head to his chest.” A murky haze of deception started to lift. worthy child created in God’s image to run and play and laugh and be loved. listen: Being in unforgiveness moves you out of the fold. that he never brought it up again. He hated the fact that he was going to be the one to kill the family business.” “If humans only knew how bitterness and unforgiveness cut them off from Father. “Receive this Paul. Feel His unconditional love. It would become his legacy. He loved the hands on aspect. it was himself and it was is father and it just spilled out on everyone who was around. “Receive the Love of the Father for you. Wilson had been a caring. just like Jordan. You were a beautiful. “Paul. Emotional pain always seeks pleasure. an open invitation for Anger and Rage and other bad spirits to join in. Father cried many tears. He overhauled the engine. he loved puttering. at least for the first three years. Every night you cried yourself to sleep. involved father. Jordan squealed in delight. That’s when he started going from the business to the bar and then home. He could feel the anointing surging through his hand into Paul’s spirit. they wouldn’t be able to repent fast enough. Sheep don’t survive well without the shepherd’s loving care. wonderful. but mostly his family. As a child you were a helpless victim.

He also felt guilty as he passed the hospital and didn’t stop. “What?” “Nothing. How can I have 27 messages? That’s more than he usually got in a month. As Paul was getting ready to leave. that’s the best I can say right now. Aren’t you going to go visit her?” “She hasn’t been attending here for a long time. She apparently fell and broke her hip. I’m late. His day was taking a fast nosedive. She’s probably with the Baptists or somewhere else. and her curiosity over what sounded like a confrontation she had with Paul. She felt bad for Sarah. what?” “Well. Then she dismissed the idea because she felt her ulterior motive might be to try to get information on Sarah’s meeting with . Gotta go. What else can go wrong? Cindy had split her thoughts between Sarah being stuck in the hospital with a broken hip. He flinched. What he didn’t know was that the older adults had also organized the “Call the Pastor Phone Protest.131 Jordan and threw back her head and laughed at Paul’s imitation of a horse’s whinny. you’re her pastor.” “Yes. Ever since she came by the church and tried to tell me…. “Maybe I’ll stop and see her.” His voice trailed off. Larry McBride rambled on for a full three minutes or there probably would have been a few more callers before the mailbox filled up.” he said as he ran out the door grimacing at his error. He’d forgotten he purposely didn’t share that story with Cindy. He picked up the phone to check his voice mail. Cindy commented. How could the day start out so good and in a matter of seconds turn bad? If only I would have left one minute earlier. He put his leather folder down on his desk and plopped into his chair.” The messages ranged from cordial and polite with people leaving their names to several anonymous. It’s just that he knew she would take it seriously enough to pray about it and he really didn’t want that. before Cindy read that paragraph in the paper.” “And. It was right on his way to the church. He felt like a creep for ducking out and he felt bad about not telling Cindy about the incident when Sarah stopped by the church. “It says here in The Gazette that Sarah is in the hospital.” The look that Cindy shot him made him squirm. It was like she could prod his conscious through telepathy or something. angry callers who even used profanity. Cindy toyed with the thought of visiting Sarah herself. that’s too bad. She perceived her as a kind of crazy old loner who probably didn’t have much of a support group. What a shame.” “And…. Forget I mentioned it.

On days that I didn’t walk. I can’t believe she has some kind of fixation on Jordan. when I finish I can go around again. I don’t understand. she just seems like the grandmotherly type.” “I’m looking forward to catching up on my praying. Finally she felt like she heard a yes from the Lord. and not to satisfy some curiosity of my own. The second thing she noticed was that there were no flowers. She prayed for Sarah all the way. Please sit down. “I notice you have a lot of reading material.” “Thanks. She made a mental note to call the church secretary and have her order some. in front of our house?” “Yes. Let’s just say I fell and broke my hip and leave it at that. I used to be worn out after I walked four blocks. “Hello. Cindy considered herself fairly discerning when it came to people and she had been immediately at ease around Sarah so she dismissed the thought. They talked chitchat for a while: therapy. Sometimes I walked morning and evening.” said Cindy. Cindy was at first pleased when Sarah asked about Jordan. She had prayed for them so much.’” said Valoe. hospital food.” “I can prayer walk in my mind. but now.” she said with a smile. She dropped Jordan off at Mary’s and then headed to the hospital. you were on my regular route. hospital gowns and pain medicine. “Ask her ‘How long she’s been prayer walking. Cindy relaxed. I hope the days go fast for you. “Hello.” she said approaching Sarah’s bed. All morning she wrestled with whether she should go. scooting the chair toward the front of the bed. and some times just morning. Help me to go with Sarah’s best interest at heart. It’s even better this way.” replied Sarah. she prayed. “I’m Cindy Reynolds. what happened?” “I’m afraid the details are too embarrassing. “Well. I always prayed for your family. “I started just about the time that you moved here. but then she remembered that Paul had been afraid to let him out in the yard because of her. “Did you pray for us.” “I’m sorry. It doesn’t look like you’ll be walking anywhere for awhile.132 Paul.” said Sarah with a chagrined look. it was almost like they were family members she never saw. pointing to her head. I got a . Pastor Paul’s wife. that there was a special place for them in her heart. She immediately felt drawn to Sarah and she had no idea why. I’ve done it so much that I can visualize every house. When she entered the hospital room the first thing she noticed was Sarah reading the Bible and various devotional guides and religious books stacked beside the bed. Valoe dropped the revelation into Cindy’s mind. Especially my prayer walking.” Sarah’s face brightened immediately. Lord.

All the time she was fervently praying for us.133 specific word from the Lord that I was supposed to do that. “Sarah. . may I pray for you before I go?” She reached out and took her hand. She was deeply touched and equally grieved by the way Paul had accused her of being a lunatic.” Cindy could feel her eyes watering.

oh. He was kicking himself now. “I can’t believe you went all the way to the hospital and pretended to care about a complete stranger. She took a few deep breaths and decided to let him make the first move. he was the one who needed to apologize. He slouched in the house and tried to pretend nothing was wrong. He felt like a kid who had crayoned the walls and now mom had seen it.134 “I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to. “I guess if I don’t go home soon. He didn’t say anything about Sarah.” ~Author Unknown “Anger is a bad counselor.” He collected his papers and lumbered toward the door. sorry I’m a little late. Cindy was thinking. I almost forgot. “What did you do today honey?” “Not much. “Some laundry. Why hadn’t he just told Cindy about Sarah’s word? He already had Sarah pegged as crazy so maybe Cindy wouldn’t have taken it too seriously.” That stopped Paul in mid bite. he’s such a weasel. Get Jordan. Finally Paul broke the silence. and started eating.” she said nonchalantly. so was the janitor and it was almost 7:30. That’s pretty low. His defensiveness overtook him. just to try to milk information out of her. “No problem. “Hi. After all. Hon.” “OK. Maybe I’m off the hook.” . disguising your fact finding trip under the guise of ministry. Cindy had been upset all day that Paul had purposely concealed some sort of information from her. She had been praying that she could share her hurt and frustration in a way that he could understand and she was also praying that she wouldn’t fly off the handle. Let her make the first move. she’ll have two things to be mad about. The secretary was gone.” ~French Proverb Chapter 29 Paul was shuffling papers on his desk just to have something to do so he could avoid going home. fixed dinner. She felt like she was pretty much under control—until she heard the key in the lock and then she wanted to run to the doorway and unload. played with Jordan. They sat down to dinner.” Paul was thinking. said an obligatory prayer. someone you don’t even know. “I visited Sarah in the hospital. The silverware against the plates was the only noise. He pulled up in front of the house and sat in the car for a while. Dinner in five minutes.” her tone turned sarcastic. She didn’t say anything about Sarah and she seems to be in an OK mood.

Ask God to have them offer you the job if it’s His will.” She was trying not to.” .” “I’m telling you she prayer walks and that’s why she was pacing up and down in front of our house.” “Right. It’s not like it seems. I’ve got more to say.” She jumped to her feet. “THEY WHAT? And you didn’t tell me that either?” “Hold on. “For your information. I saw through her word immediately. They probably were calling off a list and when I said no. I’m sure they have someone by now. you can say that the Lord put us on her heart. They offered me the job before Sarah gave me the word. but she was feeling smug. I didn’t go to the hospital to try to get information out of Sarah. She prays for us a lot.” “Well. I’m one of the local pastors. but I can’t speak to whether the word is accurate or not. they called the next pastor. She prayer walks the neighborhood at least once a day. It didn’t seem like it was from the Lord at all. I didn’t even consider it. I didn’t even bring up whatever happened between you two. I immediately forgot about it. Ha. “They already offered me the job. “Nothing really. it was just a non-issue. it’s a ridiculous word.” He said trying to sound laid-back. She paused for a moment to compose herself.” He paused briefly. I don’t take words from crazy ladies about my employment. Can we just give it a rest?” “No.” “And what was the word she gave you?” Paul shrugged. I still call it an unhealthy fixation.” “Well. I don’t think she’s crazy.” “Oh really? How do you explain her stalking our house--?” “Will you stop saying that! She wasn’t stalking! She was prayer walking. I think she’s crazy and.” he mumbled the next words.135 Cindy thought. That I got offered the job was merely a coincidence. I guess you could always just make a fleece. “What happened anyway?” “She tried to give me a prophetic word. She said the Lord put it on her heart when we moved here.” “Well. I went because she is a church member and I doubted that you would visit her. she has this fixation about me anyway. we can’t give it a rest. now what do you think?” “The same thing I thought then. if not twice. It would have taken up more family time. I visited with Sarah and I don’t think she’s crazy at all. See. “See. the woman is half crazy. “She came to my office one day and tried to tell me that God had showed her that I was supposed to take a parttime job as chaplain at the new jail and that we were supposed to minister there together. I didn’t purposely hide it from you. I’ve got him now. she just wants me to go to the jail so I can be with her.

” “No. Of course the Parkinson’s made it worse. but she didn’t know anyone there. Who do you think you are? I need to be able to relax in my own home and I need to be able to run my ministry the way God tells me.” “I’m not the one who is wondering. All the residents dined together. Once a day she was transported by wheelchair to physical therapy. She sold her land to the jail instead of the church. “Well if you call then maybe I won’t be wondering.” She took a deep breath to control herself. Peilor. Maybe they offered her a very good price. tedious and painful. The therapist. Who died and made you king?” “I’m not controlling. Therapy was slow. cleaning and meals. She’s still done lots of other crazy things. It’s like two people living single in the same house.” “You’re so controlling. She was trying to walk. the .” “You don’t have a right to tell me how to run my ministry. but the staff did the laundry. “When you come home you don’t even communicate with me any more. She’d need to be totally cared for the next five or six weeks. so she was prayer walking. Why aren’t you submissive?” At that verbal jab Valoe rested his hands on Cindy’s shoulders. “Don’t return evil for evil. came to her bed and helped her work her leg and foot. We just don’t connect. Where are you. Janet. The caseworker from social services had come by and discussed temporary facilities with Sarah. unless she wanted to be transported to Mt. I’m just right.” Paul tossed and turned on the couch that night. holding on to parallel bars. physically and emotionally?” “I resent it that I have to come home to your badgering cross examinations. “But we used to be partners—“ “I said no and that’s final. I’m not calling and that’s final.” “But can’t you at least call and see if it’s available? If it’s not then at least you won’t have to wonder if you missed God. The first was assisted living.” he said in a sarcastic tone. I think you should at least see if the job at the jail is still available. This was a small apartment where a person lived independently. Sarah had been in the hospital a week and in her mind that was seven days too long.” “That’s her prerogative and I don’t see that that makes her crazy. The Manor had three levels of care for their residents. I’m not going to go chasing other jobs. Janet stood behind her holding her up with a belt circling her mid section. The next option was where Sarah would start.136 “OK. The only place offering that was the Manor. Progress was slow. You don’t even have time for Jordan. I’m called to the church.

“Sarah said she’s praying for you and she hopes to get back soon to see you.” Barbara hung up the phone chuckling. I hope they can’t see my heart pounding through my shirt. “What a lover. She surprised herself by walking back to the middle and asking. I had to give up on Slice N Bake Cookies and these cookies are the best. but it might be five or six weeks. She needed 100% care. When she looked to the left. and you’re to have three. First.” Never one for public speaking. down the row of cells.” Will grabbed three cookies and grunted. . If she recovered fully. This was the nursing home. She explained to the first guard she met that she had a message from Sarah for the inmates. especially to a group of male inmates.” Barbara wouldn’t have turned down Sarah’s request for anything. He immediately led her to the main corridor and shouted. She talked Barbara into going to the jail to explain to the inmates that Sarah hadn’t abandoned them. The inmates seemed genuinely concerned about Sarah and overall had been very polite. he looked like he might tear up. this is Barbara and she has a message from Sarah. or she move into the independent living facility at the Manor. Thanks. she was much more at ease. She’d prayed all the way there and didn’t slow down as she approached the entrance. living at home by herself was not an option. Then she moved from cell to cell offering cookies. “Listen everyone. If she didn’t recover fully. Sarah was praying fervently about her living arrangements and about the prisoners that she was unable to visit. Get five dozen chocolate chip. please swing by Jamie’s Bakery and pick up eight dozen cookies. And get two of the oatmeal without nuts. Most of the inmates sent greetings back to Sarah. “Who wants cookies tomorrow?” It was unanimous. She had to keep telling herself they were waiting for her cookies. and one dozen each of peanut butter.137 temporary wing. but most people there were expected to recover and move on or go to the third level which was skilled nursing. they recommended the skilled unit. Then he turned his back and sat down. Nobody ever wanted to go there. they recommended she hire someone to live with her. Barbara stammered and stuttered and finally communicated. Social services had been very adamant about Sarah’s options. but she was very anxious when she pulled up in front of the jail by herself. By the time Barbara finished. snicker doodles and oatmeal. After locating him she told him. “One more thing. all the while looking at her shoes. That was home until the end. but Barbara noticed that just for a second. Spike loves oatmeal but is allergic to nuts. many commented that they would pray for her as well. all she could see were muscular biceps extended between the steel bars. nobody ever went home from there. not for her throat. She also said that she’s suspending the two cookie limit for you today. Barbara had a special message for Will. that Sarah had broken her hip and she missed seeing everyone and she was still praying for everyone and she would try to come back as soon as she could.

She turned onto Old Highway 3 and headed for the hospital. she knew Sarah would enjoy hearing this good news. .138 Barbara couldn’t wait to report back to Sarah. After being so discouraged about her limited living options.

“By the way. but didn’t know exactly what to expect." C. Nothing could have pleased Sarah more. thereby attempting in effect to deprive God of something only He is worthy to receive. Everyone took cookies and Sarah. once I started passing out cookies. He went to his office and prayed. . did you give William my message?” “Yes. “How did it go?” “Great.” “Grunted.” “Well.” Sarah smiled.” They shared another laugh. Mahaney Chapter 30 In Barbara’s excitement. he grunted appreciatively. They both had a good laugh about it. spoken like a pro. God. would You thwart the opposition to Your plan? Let me have wisdom and say the right things and let my message communicate today. eh. They seemed genuinely concerned. she burst in the door and startled Sarah who dropped her sippy cup and spilled grape juice down the front of her hospital gown. I’m going back tomorrow!” Barbara said with enthusiasm. He still had never considered that his plan might not have been the Lord’s plan.” “Wow. Self-glorification is the solitary goal of pride. Almost everyone was receptive. Do you remember you told me that the first time you left the jail you had pitted out your shirt?” “I sure do. That's the motive and ultimate purpose of pride--to rob God of legitimate glory and to pursue self-glorification. He knew it would be grueling. The proud person seeks to glorify himself and not God. most of the inmates said they would pray for you.” “And. From William. and the closer I drove to the jail the more nervous I got. contending for supremacy with Him. “Start off by getting to know them and then you can have a few encouraging experiences before tackling some of the harder cases.” Paul got to the church extra early on Sunday.139 "At the center of all sin is pride. well it sounds like you’re making more progress than I did. J. I sure miss my regular visits there. I’d consider a grunt to be a whole conversation.” “That’s so nice to hear. mine was pitted out before I even got to the bakery. “I just got back from the jail and I had to tell you about it. I’ve been a nervous wreck all day. She gave Barbara a few more messages for specific inmates and filled her in on which inmates were already Christians.

I don’t know where the plan to withhold the tithes is at this phase. That was clearly their domain and a petition didn’t mean anything anyway to the government of the church. filling rows three through seven.” she said while writing her name twice as big as the other signatures. “--but I’m sure we can come to an agreement that will satisfy the majority of the church. We. His wife blushed and elbowed him in the side. the elders and I. He began. No one cracked a smile. Paul felt like he was on trial. There will be an open microphone and I invite all of you to come and make your opinions known. “I’m John Hancock. I’m going to hit the issue of withholding the tithe in the sermon today.” He got a few laughs from the younger crowd. not looking to the right or the left and then they all sat together in the center section. His comment got a bigger laugh than Paul’s joke. want to hear everyone’s input. single file. “How many Pentecostals does it take to change a light bulb?” He paused for effect then answered. “I know that there are concerns among some of the members over the proposed building plan--” “Amen to that. “Well Mike. He almost laughed. Everyone marched together.” shouted Floyd Fenley. many sat with their arms crossed in front of their chest. how it was holy unto God. It was Mike who had come early to lend moral support. When he ended he called the ushers forward and sent them up and down the aisles with the golden plates. No offering was taken during the special music and when it was finished. Then Paul preached about the tithe.” The petition was circulated in the older adult’s Sunday School class and everyone signed it. what am I up against today?” “At the very least there will be a petition. “Look. Paul stood behind the lectern. every person on rows four through seven dropped in their tithe . Wilma even made a joke that set everyone laughing.” “Sure. To his surprise. but everyone knew. Anything official required a vote.140 The knock on his door made him jump. and they were certainly a hangin’ jury if he ever saw one. Can we change the order of the service and take up the offering after I preach? I think we’ll get a better response financially. Please come.” “Mike. “Ten. but rows three through seven still looked like they were sucking lemons. Paul was sitting on the front row when they filed in together. Tonight we will have a meeting to discuss the plan. He didn’t come right out and say he was preaching for the benefit of the older member’s boycott.” Paul hadn’t dared enter their Sunday School class to confront them about the petition. one to change the bulb and nine to rebuke the spirit of Darkness. they looked like a retired military unit.

She didn’t have the strength to roll herself over. my right side lets up a little. but inside she constantly wrestled with the fear she wouldn’t walk again. She tried to put on a happy face during the day with the staff. It was physically painful. He hung up the phone and went to his office. she had been unable to stand on her own. Some of them had scrawled notes in the memo or the back saying that when the building campaign was dropped that they would resume paying their tithes. in an effort to help her. If I try to curl up on my side my leg eases some but the pressure on my side makes the whole thing throb. And some of the notes were not even Christian in content. then flexed.141 envelopes. even with the assistance of the parallel bars. My hands almost seem useless. . but even worse was the psychological pressure. Paul passed the afternoon battling demonic mood swings from anger at Cindy for not being sensitive to his needs to self-pity at having so many church members who were jerks. If I stretch out. Sarah looked toward the colorful. These constant tremors made it hard to grasp anything. So far in the six days that she’d done therapy. Not only was the boycott still in full swing. even if she had to hire help to live there too. if only for a moment. but I’ll be darned if I can find it. When did I get so weak? I’m on a down hill slide. gritted her teeth. her physical therapist. but my leg hurts. but his preaching had failed to sway even one opposing member. they were transferring her to the temporary wing at the Manor to continue her therapy. She groaned as she pointed her right foot. Getting back there. Yes! Yes! They were reachable. The thought of spending the rest of her life in one of those was almost unbearable.” said Janet. It seems like there should be one position where everything stops hurting. She knew she had to do well if she ever wanted to return to her house. encouraging poster on the wall. and continued. It was hard enough just getting around with my walker before I broke my hip. This pulled up all his old rejection issues. “Eight more. Tomorrow. you’re doing fine. the doctors had increased her Parkinson’s medicine. And although she hadn’t told anyone she was having a hard time swallowing. Physical therapy was grueling for Sarah. Cindy was playing with Jordan and hadn’t even heard the phone ring. crying out for mercy and strength until she fitfully dozed. The doctors and therapists had all been encouraging. Paul was crushed. She was shuttled between her room and physical therapy in a wheel chair. they were reasonable. was preferable to moving to the Manor. They had heard what he said and changed their minds. Later that afternoon Mike called to tell Paul that inside all those envelopes were tithe checks with a big “VOID” written across the front. It was nearly impossible for Sarah to get comfortable in bed. but at night Sarah would pray to the Lord and weep.

Jesus. It’s quite expensive. with a TV blaring. “Hi. Half way down the corridor he turned left into room 120. Everything was like she remembered it from the time she visited.” said Joseph. Barbara followed behind. Frank grabbed her suitcase. She looked at Sarah.’” Several patients looked up as Sarah passed by. but now there’s no one else in it. Everyone say ‘hi. then dressed her and packed her books and personal possessions. if you continue to do well in therapy this is only temporary. We can find someone to live with you and you can move back home in a few months. She knew too well what was on the line. Barbara turned on her blinker and pulled into the Manor driveway. . Joe pushed Sarah by more wheelchairs filled with patients. She turned her head and stared out the window so Barbara wouldn’t see her tears. “Hey everybody. Ms. “You’re going to be in a double room. Sarah’s eyes scanned the stark room. held the door and Joseph wheeled her inside the lobby. but people start gathering early. Barbara parked the car outside the glass double doors and disappeared inside. Just knowing it was following her to the Manor made her cringe. Four people in wheelchairs were watching and others on couches. There was a lounge to her right. helped her brush her teeth and fixed her hair. She wondered if it would carry her the rest of her life. “It’s an hour ‘till lunch. but with the money from the ground you can certainly afford it. Sarah looked toward the long corridor they were approaching.” The phrase “your wheelchair” was almost more than Sarah could bear. “Sorry.142 The next morning Jan gave her a sponge bath. then Sarah watched as he folded the wheelchair and placed it in the back seat. I’ve been checking with some home health agencies. She teared up but managed to nod yes and put her arms around Joseph and Frank’s neck to help with the lift. I’ve never felt so scared and helpless in my life. We’re going to lift you from the car and put you in your wheelchair. most with walkers parked in front of them. She wheeled her to Barbara’s waiting car and one of the male nurses picked her up and gently placed her inside. a door to the bathroom and two beds each with a small dresser.” shouted Frank. she prayed silently. Several were asleep and slouched uncomfortably in their seats. Yellow walls.” he said.” Sarah nodded but remained silent. “This is our new resident. In a few minutes she came out accompanied by two male aides. When Joseph turned the corner she flinched as the smell of urine hit her in the face.” “And I’m Frank. “You know. The only things on the walls were a large clock and a bulletin board listing the date and the nurse on duty. Pain shot down her leg and she grimaced. Sarah. Help me to trust You and help me to have a good attitude. I’m Joseph. a small sink.” said Frank pointing to the dining room on the left.

All Sarah’s worship CD’s. She stroked the wool. am I going to spend the rest of my life in the Manor? When I die. it’s a night light and it rotates. She held the afghan close to her.” I’ll change them whenever I come. her books and devotional guides. CD player. the afghan from the couch. “I’ll swing by your house and pick up a few things that we can put up on the walls. She plugged in the CD player. but I think that having worship music constantly will help your mood.” In bed that night she tried to slightly adjust her body to alleviate as much pain as she could. like a toddler would his blankie.” When Barbara returned several hours later she had to use a cart to transport all the things she’d brought. “I saw this in the drugstore the other day and it made me think of you so I went out and bought it. “See. pictures from around her house. put it on Sarah’s nightstand and plugged it in. put in five worship CD’s and pushed “repeat all. will they find my stiff body under this pink chenille bedspread? . If you can’t sleep at night you can pray for the countries as they move by you. Lord. “Also.143 Barbara read Sarah’s mind and volunteered. her love letters and the big world map that Sarah covered with pushpins every time she prayed for a different city.” She pulled a colorful globe from behind her back.” said Barbara with excitement.

seven years early. If the church goes and gets itself in debt up to its ears and then a recession hits. we’d be in a terrible bind. we can propose a vote on any topic as long as we give at least three days notice. We were baptized here. I understand the sentimental attachment to the building. “I think the Lord is bringing this increase and I don’t think it’s going to stop. The older folks sat together again on the center pews. After a few minutes Wilma made her way to the front. who stood and spoke from the pews. We own it free and clear. They had both agreed that Paul shouldn’t lead the meeting. including myself have grown up here. I’m not in favor of anything that would cause us to leave our building. Do I have a second to Floyd’s proposal?” “You don’t know what I’m proposing yet. have seen our kids married here and many of us have even buried loved ones in the adjoining cemetery. and I know I’m not. If I’m not mistakin’ we had the mortgage burnin’ in 1950. with the exception of the elders. “I assumed it was a vote on the building campaign?” . The rest of the members fanned out on the left and right sides. This is home to us. The only way you’ll get me to leave is in a box. I say we keep the one that’s paid for and run two or even three services if needed. “Well.” One of the elders stood to defend the plan. So. I propose a vote on Wednesday night. married here. but we can’t let sentiment stand in the way of what the Lord is calling us to. The crowd was mostly older members.” replied Floyd.” She wiped a tear from her eye and sat down to applause.” After going back and forth for the next hour. Paul called the meeting to order with prayer and introduced Mike as tonight’s Master of Ceremonies. but could surely comment. This church was built in 1907 and most of the older members.144 The proud man counts his newspaper clippings. the humble man his blessings. What would we do then? We’d owe hundreds of thousands of dollars that we wouldn’t have. interrupted him. “That’s true Floyd. Floyd wanted to know what would happen to the building if a new one was built. We took a special offerin’ and paid it off. Floyd. Most of the non-disgruntled folks had stayed home. We need to be prepared for the future. Mike felt it was about time to bring things to an end. “If I’m not mistaken. it’s no secret where I stand on this church building plan. Sheen “ Chapter 31 The tension in the sanctuary was obvious. John Williams was concerned about debt. to take the next step. “This here church is paid for. Mike listed a few ground rules and then opened the microphone to the audience.” Fulton J.

” she silently prayed. “Floyd. may vote. “All opposed same sign. still seated on the front row.” A quick glance at the center section and he knew the motion had passed. Meeting adjourned. Finally he asked. “The motion passes. All in favor of voting on Wednesday night on whether to retain Pastor Paul please raise your right hand. Mike knew the church’s bylaws and he knew they were within their rights. but not enough. That would satisfy everyone. but nothing intelligent would come out. I think I speak for all the older members that we don’t want to lose our church and we would encourage Paul to take those who want to build and leave.” Mike glanced at Paul. not just attendees. He could tell Paul was fighting back tears. “Let’s vote. I propose that we vote on whether to keep Pastor Paul. The frustration in his voice showed when he asked. as long as there was three day’s notice.” Mike stammered and stuttered. I will” said Joe Kemper.” Most of the hands on the sides. He was trapped and he knew it. We’ll vote by secret ballot Wednesday night. Cindy was seated beside him with her arm around his shoulder. “Do I have a second on this proposal?” Everyone in the middle section raised his or her hand. Only church members. “Lord. are you sure you want to make that proposal?” “If he doesn’t.145 “No. What are You trying to tell us? .

Sarah?” said a food service worker setting her plate down in front of her and pulling a bib over her head. she’d been reassigned to the dining room in the back where residents require help to feed themselves. The tremors in her hands had increased substantially. With each passing hour her attitude sunk lower.” Lying in bed. replacing what was once there. The aide frowned but forced a cheery voice as she jumped to wipe the spill as it dripped off the table on to another resident’s lap. the result of a stroke. She looked around the table at the other residents. “How’re ya doin’ today Ms. a tear trickled down Sarah’s cheek. Pride is like our blood. physically weak and in pain. Sarah tried to force a smile but it just wouldn’t come. “Now Ms. many who looked on the verge of death at any minute. At least I have regular food. The only way we can get away from it is to get a transfusion from Jesus. Unwilling to admit that she belonged with this group she picked up her glass of milk but it slipped from her hand and spilled across the table. they could only grunt.” said Malta. It is the core and fiber of our being. “Sarah.146 “Pride is like the veins in our body. Sarah. You’ve outlived your usefulness and now you’re just a burden. I have to help you. Doesn’t this meatloaf smell good this evening?” “Umm. I can’t take care of myself. “OK Sarah. The music . Wretched spirits of Depression and Discouragement had come sniffing around and latched on to Sarah again. Some were unable to talk. She tucked her chin and did her best to hide. My life is coming to an end. Then to rest in the tomb letting the life of Christ flow into our veins.” She felt her face flush. You just wait till I get over there. groping for something positive. She wanted to run but that was certainly not an option. Several aides were already beginning to feed the other residents. Some were tied in their wheel chair with restraints so they wouldn’t topple out. she thought. I don’t know if I’ll ever walk again or leave this horrid place. It flows from the heart. Finally the aide arrived. To be mortally wounded by the Cross. you know you’re here ‘cause you can’t feed yourself.” mocked Despair. meatloaf. you must praise Him through your trials and tribulations. Others were partially paralyzed. “You get to be patronized and humiliated like this three times a day until you die. not that ground up mush. open your mouth.” Aaron Pierson Chapter 32 Sarah wasn’t making much progress in physical therapy and although she’d initially been assigned to the main dining room.

But like a human’s inability to hear a highpitched dog’s whistle. “And He shall reign for ever and ever…. ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord Blessed be Your name. A huge. “They just don’t realize that when they praise. as the shining globe rotated quietly on her side table. One of the angels started humming the Hallelujah Chorus. exhausted. Sarah fell asleep. “Don’t stop. Blessed be Your glorious name. A full heavenly orchestra accompanies you. once again.147 that came forth at creation has never ceased. They carried absorbed glory from constant worship around the throne and they radiated brilliant light.” Thousands in Heaven joined in. heavenly residents immediately join in.” “Sing. humming and stumbling over the words. “And when the darkness closes in. She felt energy come over her which she could not explain. Lord still I will say. Handel.” and tried to flail her feeble arms as if she was directing a choir.” said one of the worshipping angels. a celestial orchestra was accompanying her praise and eight other worship angels had joined her in the bedroom. dancing. hills and trees constantly cry out praises to God. Sarah half-heartedly joined in. Their voices. “Oh. “Every blessing You pour out I'll turn back to praise…. Press through. she began by an act of her will to praise Him in song. praise Him!” “The sacrifice of praise offered from a place of discouragement is the highest and sweetest praise of all. At this encouragement. The angels around the bed immediately lifted their hands and faces toward Heaven. they’re never alone. bringing in singers. She sang. The music ascended to the throne room where heavenly residents danced with angels and sang the next line. directed by Sarah. After singing the song several times. worshipping and weeping softly in front of the throne. “’Blessed be the name of the Lord. The heavenly voices gained momentum. When a human sings praises.” Unbeknownst to her.” Joel said to his heavenly companions. unheard heard by human ears.” All the angels abruptly stopped singing and faced her.’” 109 Sarah stopped singing and massaged her hip under the covers. what’s the use? What difference does this make anyway? I’m just not into worship today. bending low over Sarah’s bed. bowed low. beckoning others to sing softer. The angels continue singing. came once again rolling tumultuously into the throne room like a tidal wave of pure joy. You lack the spiritual senses necessary to hear the rocks. The unseen angel choir gathered around her bed and followed her musical cues. glimmery worship angel played his flute by her bed and Sarah’s tense body . along with thousands of others. rejoicing in Jesus and rejoicing in Sarah’s decision to press through in praise. Their voices harmonized with hers in other-worldly beauty.

“The end. vibrating through the crystal river flowing from Father’s throne. This announcement sent the angels back into a fit of frenzied activity—dancing. I love to see the faithful ones when they run into the waiting. leaping. His cohort spoke over her. holy. worship—angelic pandemonium! “I can’t wait.” said the flute playing angel. stopping to gently run his large hand across Sarah’s cheek.’ It resounds in the throne room as praise from creature to Creator. the hills and even the rocks cry out day and night.” interrupted Joel. “To carry her to her eternal home. caw’ of the crow all ascend to the throne as ‘holy.148 relaxed slightly. filling it.” “I wish Sarah could see that whenever she chooses to praise she’s connected to the unending. music.’ Your praises ascend to the throne room. unconditional love and His joy over her. The roar of the sea. holy. the ‘caw. This petition set off another round of celestial pandemonium in room number 120 of the Manor. It’s my favorite part of the job. global-celestial worship cycle. The flowers. . holy. Your praises are heard in the throne room and your praises make a difference. “Sarah you don’t realize that all of nature constantly sings praises to our God. “Her time is on earth is coming to an end. I wish it were tonight--” “Yes.” said Malta. Make it soon!” shouted Joel.” said Malta. caw.” “Sarah will be so astonished when she experiences His unfiltered.” “Make it soon Lord. echoing off the walls. open arms of Jesus. laughing. cheering. ‘holy. holy.

nor strength. Oh my gosh. They are older ‘members’ who rarely attend any more. which ever way it goes. Lord let them keep me.” Paul nodded.149 “If thou desire the love of God and man. Paul prayed. Since they’re still members. time to go.” “Even if they vote in my favor” said Paul. nor strength. “It’s 6:45. “Like I’ve said before dear. it seems like I’ve never even met half these people. and unconvinced. While Cindy was protective of her husband and his feelings. she was not emotionally invested in the church like Paul. for the proud heart. His demons of Pride. ran his fingers through his hair and remained stressed. God’s hands are not tied. being taunted by Fear and Rejection caused his moods to vary wildly at a moment’s notice.” he said curtly. “How can I minister effectively knowing that slightly less than half the congregation is in favor of me leaving? How can I proceed with my five-year plan if they are so dramatically opposed?” “I’m so sorry that this plan that you’re so excited about isn’t working out. if you get voted out then the Lord has something else for you. Mike called the meeting to order. I pray for unity of Spirit and I ask that the enemy will not be able to use this event for his purposes. What ever happens. Also. there’s nothing we can do.” Francis Quarles Chapter 33 Paul also felt like his whole life was coming to an end. I know this is emotionally grueling for you. Humility enforces where neither virtue. He explained the reason for the assembly and what the . jumping up from the chair to pace in front of the mantle.” Paul scanned the congregation to see how many reinforcements the older folks had brought in. As they drove Cindy prayed silently. No one can thwart His plans.” She swiveled her chair around to face him. nor reason can prevail. There is no one on earth who can stop His plans for your life. Respectability and Selfish Ambition were working overtime. As they walked together to the front pew Paul remembered what Mike had said. as it loves none but itself. But try to put it in perspective. He and Cindy had been discussing the vote for three days. God is not up in Heaven wringing His hands over tonight’s vote. but when something happens that’s controversial they run back and make their opinions known. Lord may Your will be done in our lives and for this church. “You can expect to see some new faces tonight. “OK?” “How can you be so calm? Don’t you know what’s riding on this vote?” “I know what’s not riding on it—God’s will for our lives. be humble. The church was packed. is beloved of none but itself.

but Paul wasn’t listening. Her prayer was always the same. The Parkinson’s plus the demands of physical therapy had sapped what little energy she had. In fact. They merely needed to check the box next to “RETAIN PAUL REYNOLDS AS PASTOR” or “DISMISS PAUL REYNOLDS AS PASTOR.” After several questions from the members it was time. Self-righteousness.150 voting procedure would be. The spirits of Faultfinding. She knew the vote was starting and she had purposed in her heart to pray for the Lord’s will to be done. “Who will hire you if you get fired from your first church after just a few months?” asked the spirit of Fear. our lives are in Your hands and You may do with them what You want. Sarah was in bed for the evening but she wasn’t sleeping. I pray that Your perfect will would be done for the church and for Pastor Paul and his wonderful family. “The vote will be decided by a simple majority rule. I pray against division. she would praise Him. Of course Saldu was with him doing his best to encourage Paul in the Lord. the ballots collected and the elders retreated to the fellowship hall to count the votes. The baskets were passed again.” After praying for 20 minutes she dozed off. I need you to wait in your office please until I call you.” Dead man walking.” Because of her attitude she was able to receive the comfort that Valoe was imparting to her. She had made a decision that however the vote went. she’d been praying off and on since she heard about it. I pray that You would transition Paul to the position as chaplain and bring the new person that You have for the church. Even though she was aware that half the congregation was staring at the back of her head thinking negative thoughts. both sides were convinced that they alone knew the Lord’s will on this issue and those opposed were hypocrites and sinners. “Jesus. whispered Discouragement to Paul as he self-consciously exited the sanctuary.” The mood was somber. please comfort Paul and let him have confidence in Your leadership. “Who do these older members think they are? Do they run the church? Why can’t they just cooperate?” spouted Self-Righteousness. not his own. Cindy had purposed in her heart that whatever happened God’s will for their lives would not be thwarted. she was truly . Unforgiveness. divisiveness and strife between church members. Judgment and Treachery were divided equally between both groups and circling the sanctuary like it was a choice buffet. God. Selfish Ambition. The baskets were passed and each member took a pre-printed ballot. His ears were tuned to the deceptive spirits that regularly accompanied him. “What a loser that would make you!” added Criticism. “Paul. That prayer enabled Valoe to easily dispose of a spirit of Fear trying to infiltrate Cindy’s thoughts. “God. I will trust You no matter how the decision comes back.

The black. Paul was pacing. The anticipation of facing the crowd and the humiliation was more than he thought he could stand. becomes an opportunity that He can use for your good. Paul was back on the front row with Cindy. “This is just a conspiracy. “By a vote of 72 to 69 the church has voted to remove Paul as pastor. Saldu came close to Paul and Self-Pity leapt off his shoulder to escape the angel’s radiant glory. Meeting is adjourned.151 experiencing God’s peace that passes all understanding. This is a bunch of old people who need to die in the wilderness so God can bring the visionaries into the Promised Land. but if he was voted out. It played on all his insecurities and rejection issues from his past. He hated it when the enemy twisted God’s precious word for their benefit. You just need to trust Him instead of trying to get what you want by manipulating every situation.” . Even what seems like a defeat to you. “Paul.” Paul considered the thought. The vote was finally tallied. you’ve forgotten that nothing can come your way that Father doesn’t allow. Mike was behind the lectern with an unpleasant look on his face. refusing to listen or be comforted. it had been re-counted several times because it was so close. his pride couldn’t handle it. The dark spirits were drawn to him again. sweating.110 Saldu was making less progress with his charge. even cursing under his breath. feeding on his fear and he was giving them his undivided attention. crab-like body of Self-Pity perched on Paul’s shoulder. Saldu sighed and took a few steps back.” Saldu grimaced. this is a great progressive plan for God’s kingdom and these old people with no faith and no vision for the future are messing it up. The oily spirit landed on the floor hissing. That’s right. thought Paul.

The residents that dined at her table were in such poor health they could barely talk or even remember. can you hand me my glasses and Bible?” She felt very discouraged as she sat in her wheelchair looking out the glass doors watching the sun sink behind the trees. Everything is so green. I do like the view out the back. It’s a virtuous cycle. the more you will feel like it. Learning to let others do things for her that she could no longer do for herself was harder than she’d ever imagined. As we extend ourselves. Is that how you deserve to end your life?” The sun disappeared below the tree line as Sarah stared out the window. “We’re watching a movie. I think I’ll pass. lunch and dinner continued to be humiliating for Sarah. Therapy wasn’t progressing like the doctor had hoped and although the staff hadn’t said it yet. all day long. building a storehouse in Heaven is costly. “Hasn’t He abandoned you?” whispered Despair. thanks. “Get something started.” “I just want to be by myself. “Miss Sarah.” Malta played a melody on his flute and without even realizing it. even when you don’t feel like it. “You’re the worshipper. “Really. A tear ran down her cheek. She declined the offer to help put together a puzzle with some of the other residents. Sarah got the impression that unless the Lord healed her. Can I wheel you out there?” “No. hasn’t He?” “Sarah. It will cost us every day. most of which she felt were beneath her. incompetent child. She also resented how the staff patronized her. Joel looked at Malta. “The more you praise. but can you roll me in front of the sliding glass door. we run the race here in order to apprehend the prize of Heaven.” said Joel. One more thing.” “We’re having popcorn. God graces to become a . It made her feel like a stupid. The spirits of Discouragement.152 “While grace for salvation is free. She watched jealously as other patients moved slowly up and down the hall with the help of a walker. Her mood fluctuated wildly between gritting her teeth in an attempt to praise and outright despair. she’d never walk again. “Why should you praise Him? You’re living in this old age home that reeks of urine. you’d better think it over. Despair and Depression hissed toward Malta then turned their attention to Sarah.” said the cheerful voice of the activities director.” Shawn Bolz111 Chapter 34 Breakfast.” he pulled his flaming sword in jest and pointed it at Malta. What you do as an act of your will. Sarah began humming along. She couldn’t work up the motivation to introduce herself or join in the activities.

Slowly she began nodding her head. He is a defeated foe. They are slated to meet at the next intersection. I will praise You. Maybe I’ll just renew them again. Bob is headed east. Help me to have Your mind. then with more determination.” Sarah was still staring out the window contemplating Joel’s suggestion. Angelic intervention wasn’t needed. Malta was surprised when she blurted out. I wonder how many times you can renew books? This . Sarah’s mind begins to drift. He only has the power you give him. Lord. It was planned that he will be convicted of his sins and accept the Lord. “Resist the devil and he will flee. You are so good. Despair and Depression were momentarily stunned then fled the room shrieking. “That’s my little warrior princess. 112 Sarah. for God to spare Bob’s life.153 natural part of your life. Sarah prayed for Paul and the church. For her birthday he promised her he would attend church with her on Sunday. She looks at the books on the bed and remembers that they are library books that need to be returned. even if my circumstances aren’t the way I’d like them to be. God. Waiting--hoping to carry away the soul of one driver. unless satan can bring it all to a grinding halt. your weapons are mighty against the enemy’s kingdom. although she doesn’t know what she’s praying for. She had no way of knowing she was praying for the safety of an unsaved motorcycle rider in Tulsa. Bob was traveling to Muskogee to visit his mother for the weekend. Then she forced herself to pray in the Spirit while she read.” One half mile apart. Sarah’s confession had sent them away. possibly both if they get lucky. Oklahoma.” beamed Joel. Discouragement. any goodness that has come this way in my earthly life is a bonus. Amazing! Although she hadn’t heard the results yet. If I never get out of this wheelchair again.” She raised her withered arms and began to sing. crash into Bob and take his life. propelled by their leathery wings. If I die in this horrid facility and never get to go home again. Whether You heal me or not I will praise You. He is under your feet. I deserved Hell and only Hell. Under the influence of the monstrous spirit of Death an inebriated driver is headed south driving a van. “As an act of my will I will praise You. When Bob is a mile from the intersection. You laid down Your deity and stepped into humanity and humbled yourself unto death on the cross for me. which he was trying to do with a vengeance. The van driver will run the stop sign. Who will I get to take them back for me? I hate to impose on Barbara. I haven’t felt like this for so long. Sarah continues to pray in tongues. She does so much for me already. even though she wondered if her prayers were really accomplishing anything. I will praise You.” The three of them had a full-fledged worship service and by the time Sarah finished singing she actually felt joyful. Demons circle over the intersection like hungry buzzards.

There are two kinds of people—the rebellious and the immature. “Well now that you mention it.” Sarah dozed off that night praying for Sandy to receive a revelation of God’s love for her. Even when you’re totally disgusted with yourself. Sarah lets go of the distraction and starts praying in tongues again. Sarah stopped praying and said to herself. don’t let the devil lie to you. At Maine Street and 22 highway. “Maybe I’ll just buy the books.. 113 God’s mercy is new each morning and His forgiveness is always there for His children who repent. He loves you even in your failure and immaturity.” Sandy. . get into her pajamas and then to bed. anyway. One eighth of a mile.” As Sandy helped Sarah brush her teeth. And God always looks at the heart. “I know He’s always mad at me. run to Jesus. No one is there to land in the gnarled talons of the waiting demons. she got to hear how God loves her too. A thought pops into Bob’s head: I’m really thirsty. use the toilet. …but I hate to lose the time. “How are you tonight Ms. Another thought comes to him. You’ve got to get gas anyway. there are only three of them. God never counts you as a failure until you just flat give up and quit.. I should get something to drink. I’m great because I know that God loves me. the aide came in to put her to bed. He really likes me. Sarah’s weak petitions through the strength of the Holy Spirit were enough to thwart the forces of darkness. Sarah?” She thought for a moment and knew her attitude was her choice. the van barrels through the stop sign. The Bible says that the righteous fall seven times but they get up each time.154 will be the third time. He’s Your only hope. When you are overcome by sin.” She looked at Sarah briefly and then glanced away embarrassed. Bob glances at his gas gauge and hits his right turn indicator.” “I wish I knew He liked me. but no matter how hard I try I just can’t seem to get my act together. “Sandy. and more than just loving me. Many times their lives look the same—they are both involved in sin--but the attitude of their heart is very different. I’ve got too much sin in my life. and that makes me very happy. Don’t let the devil convince you that God is mad at you. even in her weakness. She decided to be positive.” “Are you a Christian?” “Yeah. One quarter mile. just pull over now.

encouragement and direction. “Paul’s not in a good place spiritually." After playing hard at the park for several hours Jordan said. “Look at that. You need to be turning to Him more and more for love. He’d been in his office fluctuating between crying. But.” prayed Cindy. Cindy prayed Psalm 34:18 for Paul. If you expect anything from him you’ll be repeatedly disappointed. ."114 The fetid spirits were gaining ground and with each belief that Paul invested in their deceitful words. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted. wife and two children. you are His beloved bride and He can walk you through any trial or crisis. “While being reviled. “Mom. while suffering. a few minutes ago he was totally exhausted. rage and blame. don’t blame man. Lord. His mercy endures forever 115 and He longs to keep you in peace during this tumultuous time. even if things were going great for him. Cindy finally decided just to get the heck out of his way. I know that You are the only One that truly satisfies.” said Valoe. “Mommy. trust God. He uttered no threats. They must really pump those cows full of steroids. I hungry.” she said laughing. She put Jordan in the stroller and left for the park. Saldu’s efforts to encourage Paul to respond like Jesus were immediately dismissed. The children finished eating and left to play in the ball pit. I play there.” “I hungry too.155 “Nothing sets a person so much out of the devil’s reach as humility. sadness.” When the sun came up it was not a happy day at the Reynolds’ house. comfort. OK. Saldu was hindered more.” 116 “Yes. After trying for several hours to do everything she could to placate and encourage Paul. let’s go. “Paul. but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously. He did not revile in return.” Jonathan Edwards Chapter 35 Cindy slept well last night but Paul hadn’t slept at all. help me not to look to Paul or anything external for my satisfaction. Valoe’s help combined with Cindy’s willing spirit enabled her to retain her peace and belief in God’s plan for their lives.” said Jordan pointing. He is truly your knight in shining armor. As Jordan scampered off Cindy rolled her eyes and commented to the couple.” A deep feeling of peace settled over her. Fill me from the inside. Let’s go to McRonalds.” At the restaurant they sat at a table next to a husband. “I know You are the only One who can fill my needs. “He’s not capable of seeing anyone else’s needs but his own. only One man can truly meet your deepest needs Cindy and His name is Jesus.

” said Susie. There’s an elderly lady named Sarah who used to visit inmates all the time and she said that God specifically showed her that Paul was supposed to be the chaplain.156 “I’m Joe Simmons and this is my wife Susie. “Have that husband of yours give me a call. She didn’t know quite what to say.” Cindy was more than a little taken aback. as of last night. but he’s not the pastor there any more.” And thank You Lord.” Are you by any chance the wife of the Pastor at the Victory church?” Cindy’s heart sank. “Actually. . Susie glared at him like he’d lost his mind and like she wanted to give him a swift kick under the table. “My name is Cindy Reynolds. really convinced. “Mrs. How do I tactfully answer this? “No. I am his wife. Hearing from God is more your department than mine.” He handed her his business card.” said Cindy staring at the card.” replied Joe. but I just know she was really. I’m not sorry to hear that at all. “Thanks so much.” “Thanks. I have not been able to fill this position no matter how hard I try.” “I’m sorry to hear that. Reynolds. “We’re getting enough inmates now that I could probably even start him out three quarter or maybe even full time. I’m director at the jail and I offered your husband a job as chaplain awhile back and he turned me down. I mean yes.

You haven’t even been fired from the church for 24 hours. “I thought you’d be excited. about your precious reputation. He came straggling in several hours later looking like death warmed over. I’m sick of you feeding your ego. I have to weigh things out. “And already God’s opened a door for you at the new jail. She finally looked up.” The elation she had felt just minutes earlier evaporated and her tone turned serious. “The director wants to hire you. Spurgeon Chapter 36 When Cindy and Jordan arrived home Paul was gone. “But.157 “Temper is a weapon that we hold by the blade. I’ve got the best news. I-I don’t understand—“ “You don’t need to. “It’s a total God thing. “You used to be concerned that the Lord’s name would be exalted. He wants you to call him. it’s His will. You’re not out there doing the stuff. that ‘coming events cast their shadows before them…. “Don’t you think it’s time you quit worrying about being recognized. “Honey. I am the sole breadwinner in this marriage. You’re’ just fooling yourself if you think you can do God’s will your way. H.” C. “Paul this is God’s blessing. He has a job for you. ‘Before destruction the heart of man is haughty.” he said defiantly.” “I don’t need any advice from you either. crumpled it up and threw it on the floor. it casts its shadow before it.” Cindy clenched her teeth and exhaled through them while she held her face between her hands. your incredible future accomplishments?” Her volume was increasing. I.’ When destruction walks through the land.” said Cindy handing him the card. Barrie "It is an old and common saying. I’m the one who has to go to work every day.” He turned abruptly. When honor visits a man's house. “That’s what I think of the jail. an answer to our prayers. He hadn’t shaved or bathed that morning. maybe you don’t understand.” she winced at her poor choice of words but continued. and far more infallibly so than that. it is in the fashion of humility. Sarah even heard from the Lord---“ “I told you before.’ pride is as surely the sign of destruction as the change of mercury in the weather-glass is the sign of rain. I’m .” James M. now it seems like you’re the only one you’re working to exalt. I have to get a job I feel good about.” Paul looked at the card.” She bent over and picked up the card. I don’t need any career advice from Sarah. it is in the shape of pride. You need to learn to do God’s will God’s way. it casts its shadow.

Cindy heard the tires squeal away from the driveway. You won’t even listen to my input. I didn’t even know you had an offer. Paul glared at her but remained silent. I’ve been praying for you for months Paul.” “But we should be a team. I’m sorry.” she waved the business card again.” “You always want me to take the humble route. and I don’t agree with you either. She continued. “Something bad happened when you became interim.” she yelled. Now we’re not united at all. Why do you have to run everything your way? You’re like a one-man show. I’m the one who will be out there working. We used to pray together and if we were attacked by warfare we’d fight it through together. “When are you going to grow up spiritually? You love having a savior.” He vented a long string of profanity toward her and turned abruptly and slammed the door as he left. it’s my job and I’ll be making the decision. He turned his back to her and swore under his breath. You just don’t understand me. you can run that. doesn’t mean you get to run me and every aspect of my life. Bottom line is. Remember. He was incapable of acknowledging her accuracy.158 sick of you playing your ‘look at me’ games and I’m sick of your five-year plan. her arms outstretched.” “I feel in my spirit that this jail opportunity is really God. It’s got to be something I’ll enjoy. You’re eaten up with pride and you don’t even know it. You used to be so open to me participating in ministry together. It’s too much of a coincidence.” “I listen to you just fine. I have no voice. I’m part of your life.” The truth in her words had hit their mark. “I don’t tell you things because you’re always trying to run my life.” “Well that’s a moot point now isn’t it?” As soon as she said it she regretted it. She took a few steps toward him. You’ve got to repent and get back to where you were. “Paul. God is offering you a position as chaplain. I just don’t agree with you. you were the focus. nag. waving the business card toward him. You need to repent and do what the Lord has called you to do. Jesus was no longer your focus. I never even know what you’re thinking. Why doesn’t she understand me? Why doesn’t she understand I’m concerned about . I’m tired of a poverty spirit. You’re off and running and I’m not part of the decisions. You’d call me on the phone and explain some problem you were facing and then we’d pray. I felt like we were making an impact together.” Well I gave you the position of Sunday school director. but you rebel against having a Lord. nag. Paul. I listen to you ramble on and on and on! Nag. but it’s like you shut the Spirit out and now you just want to control everything and you want me to follow you blindly.” “Duh. If you want to run something. The least you can do is pray about it. God brought it around again. remember you married me? Just because you ran the church for a few months. I have no voice. This is the second offer. Then it got ten times worse when you got voted in as pastor. her voice more calm this time. I don’t think you’d even consider the fact that you might be in error.

There was action going on at the church. I’m not afraid of hard work. your five year plan shows that.” “Ha. “Working in a jail would sure be a demotion. but God’s plan for it is huge. People were praying and visiting on Wednesday and Thursday. Now that you’re gone it will probably dwindle back to apathy. all my hopes and dreams for our life together serving You are eaten up by his pride and insecurity. He used to leave tracts everywhere—gas station restrooms. Peilor. Everyone who humbles himself will be exalted! 117 Right now the focus of your life is yourself. This is not the man I married. You’re worthless to God’s kingdom. where they can appreciate your education. Yea. sadly. I just need a group of people who want to follow the Lord and be progressive. You should go somewhere where the people are a little more sophisticated. He had a vision to do your will. and not just worthless.” whispered Deception wrapping a tentacle around Paul’s chest.159 promotion for me and my family? “I can’t even believe I said that. where they can appreciate you as the visionary you are. “You don’t need that jail. but they know they’re broken and they’re hungry for God. “We’ve never done it this way before” . Lord. Lord. hands on her shoulders interceding as she sobbed out months of grief and pent up anger to the Lord. restaurant tables and the library.” “You need to find another church and get out of this one-horse town. The man I married was passionate for You. I can’t believe they fired you.” sneered Deception smirking at Saldu. you’re actually a stumbling block. they just don’t know how to find Him. not his own!” Probably the only true words he’s ever spoken. Valoe stood behind her. thought Saldu.” hissed Pride. You’re a visionary. You’d be working with drug addicts and thieves--the scum of the earth.” scoffed Pride. “Paul forgot he was put on this earth to bring glory to God’s name.” whispered Saldu. There’s so many good things that Father has planned for you. “You can get a job anywhere. the jail looks small. Paul’s familiar dark spirits fed off of his rage as he headed for Mt. “It looks demeaning but it will bear so much fruit for God’s kingdom. Under your leadership that church was really growing.” Cindy held the crumpled business card and sat in the overstuffed chair trying to distract herself by smoothing out the wrinkles. These prisoners are broken.” “Paul.” “That’s right. “You were destined for bigger things. this isn’t how it was supposed to be. I’m sick of this. humble yourself and serve these hurting men. Trust Him with your life. “You’re on the cutting edge. There hadn’t been that much action there in years. When your life is over you’ll be amazed at the rewards you receive. I’ve got drive. You’ve got drive.” added Self-Adulation. The printing on the card blurred as tears filled her eyes again and ran down her cheeks.

“It’s the flaming sword of the Lord. Too much pressure. Saldu got out and stood between the bar and Paul’s car. Paul had never been to Mt. Although alcohol hadn’t been much of a temptation since. reflecting the flickering flames. he rebuked the warfare and cried out for mercy. you’re tense. it was enough to scare Paul into quitting. You need to turn the car around NOW. Saldu knew the stakes were high tonight. “You’re under a lot of stress. She loves you and really does have your best interest at heart. Paul’s dad had been an alcoholic and growing up Paul swore he would never touch the stuff. It was the biggest small town around for miles. As Paul got out of the car Saldu plunged the tip of the blade into the street directly in front of Paul. but he knew in the end it all came down to Paul’s choices. Peilor. he was following instructions from the demons and soon he ended up in front of the only business open this time on a Thursday night—a bar. but you need to go cool off and you can always apologize when you get back. TURN AROUND NOW!” Paul was so used to listening to his demonic cohorts that he could no longer identify the voice of truth. “You just need one drink to help you relax. God has great plans for you but you have to follow His plans in His timing! You also need to turn this car around and go back and apologize to Cindy.” croaked Deception wrapping another tentacle around his neck. “Use your discernment. The blue jewels on the sword’s handle glistened. When his dad died of cirrhosis of the liver.” “That’s exactly right. Although he wasn’t aware of it.” said Manipulation. Peilor before. He could only watch in revulsion while he prayed fervently. Paul. He saw the exit for the business district and pulled off. don’t you realize you’re walking right into the enemy’s ambush?” Saldu interjected. to divide between what is and isn’t Him . “You’re too good for this backward town. when things got stressful in college he turned to the bottle for relief. Paul looked up and down the street. he was surprised to feel that old impulse again. Paul. She’ll understand. The spirits kept telling Paul exactly what he wanted to hear and he kept listening all the way to Mt. However.” Saldu’s power was useless until Paul repented and asked Father for help. You really wounded her.” whispered Manipulation. He pulled his flaming sword and held it with two hands high above his head and listened to his instructions from the open Heaven above. What do these people know--?” “Paul. Your muscles are tight. Who would know me here anyway? No one. He prayed.160 attitude. too much stress. Resist these flaming darts! Put up the shield of faith. You’ve got a Master’s degree from seminary. It was pretty much deserted. Paul. “You probably shouldn’t have said half that stuff.

She probably doesn’t want you home right now anyway. what can one drink hurt? I can get back on the straight and narrow tomorrow. I didn’t get a seminary education to work with common criminals at some jail. It will just help you to relax and see things a little more clearly. I had professors in seminary that drank. One drink “just to relax” had turned into several which had turned into far too many. He squeezed the steering wheel. I can’t help you if you do. weak and powerless. “I’ve got orders. His evil alliance had persuaded him he was invincible. What can one drink hurt?” Yeah.161 in your life. With the help of his spirits Paul was able to stay between the lines driving back to Bradbury. “It’s time to head for home Paul. “This should be my ground for my church.” Clutched in Death’s embrace. Immediately he was distracted by a spirit of Addiction that materialized on his shoulder. “We’re going to take him out and you can’t stop us. I wouldn’t even work here if God Himself told me to. Do what you know in your heart is right. DO THE RIGHT THING!” Although Paul couldn’t see the sword or Saldu he hesitated. shrieked and taunted Saldu with their mocking laughter. it’s a new day. Don’t be deceived. instead of going home the spirits suggested he drive by the jail. I don’t want to work with these losers. He felt impotent. gargoyle-like spirit of Death entered the car and fixed his scaly. If Sarah weren’t so money-hungry it would have been. When he arrived at the city limits. He started to turn back toward the car. Besides. Anyone who knows John 3:16 can do that! I was meant for bigger and better things. Saldu sheathed his sword and looked toward the heavens awaiting instructions that he knew were coming.” The powerful.” Saldu’s eyes were blazing like fire with a severity that implied it was time to make a serious choice. By then Cindy will have cooled off too. He parked in the lot and glared at the big building. Your life and ministry are just beginning. To him it represented his failures and seemed to taunt him. “One little drink can’t hurt anything. Paul emerged an hour later and walked unsteadily toward the car. His blood red fangs appeared as he smiled at the other demons. You’ll feel better in the morning. Paul turned the ignition. “Don’t walk away from the protection of Father who loves you so much. What am I doing at a bar? I can find someplace else to let off some steam. Then you two can start planning your new future together. I can’t believe she thinks I should work here. sensing in his spirit that a decision needed to be made and the stakes were extremely high. Tonight is Paul’s night!” The spirits danced. Doesn’t she ever give up? I hate this place and everything it represents. When you wake up tomorrow. crossed the street and pushed open the door to the smoky bar. Then you can go home and apologize. Don’t walk out of its protective boundary. Death sneered at Saldu and dug one talon firmly into the side of Paul’s head.” . Paul stepped through the unseen sword. dark eyes on Paul. He has wonderful plans for you Paul. I wouldn’t work here if it were the last job on earth.

The gravel crunched under the right front tire as the car veered onto the shoulder.” shouted Self-Adulation. “We cut his life short by half a century. “It’s too late. “We did it. He’s as good as dead. his ordination. Saldu remained seated as the car headed over the steep bank.” roared Death as he grabbed Paul’s head and smashed it against the window on the second roll over. in the creek. When he reached the same stretch of road where Sarah had almost lost her life. but not tonight—by Paul’s own choice. Paul screamed out in terror and spread his arms to brace himself. his wedding day. not necessarily as a prayer.” he screamed. The proud ones are always the easiest. “We don’t have to worry about his ministry any more. “It was no secret he had a strong calling on his life—“ “They all do. . at least!” said Addiction.” “You can’t intervene unless he repents and his heart is as hard and as cold as a stone. “Oh. Saldu gathered Paul’s spirit as the car came to its final resting place--on its roof. “They just don’t realize it. Jordan’s birth and the last ugly words he yelled at Cindy. Though the demons could not claim his spirit—it was eternally redeemed by Jesus—they rejoiced over and danced on his bloodied. He hadn’t buckle up. potential that would never mature and assault their kingdom. In his impaired state Paul overcorrected and shot across both lanes. If he’d have lived and followed the plan he would have been major trouble for us. Paul veered wildly down the road.162 “We’ve won this one.” The spirits continued celebrating Paul’s wasted potential. God. They especially rejoiced in the knowledge that they had caused great sorrow in the God-head over the pre-mature death of their loved one. Deception grinned. lifeless body.” With no demonic assistance driving this time. A kaleidoscope of scenes from his life flashed in slow motion through his mind--his mother and father. the demons sprang into action. he was on his own.” said Manipulation. Saldu would have normally reminded him.” interrupted Death.

and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. for the Day will disclose it. and writes another. His frantic struggles have no impact. If what has been built on the foundation survives. 118 Saldu had seen the agony and regret too many times before and he was aware of Paul’s a Many details of the judgment are not given in the scriptures. wait. it can’t be my time. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold. I can’t go now! This is a nightmare. precious stones. HELP ME!” Saldu doesn’t answer. but only as through fire.163 “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story. please God. But as Saldu carries Paul he shudders for what he knows is ahead. . no. the builder will be saved. Care nothing for what is recorded on earth. No. Send me back. I will tell you what will keep you on the path of life--love the Savior and seek His glory alone. will extend the limits of His eternal kingdom. straw—the work of each builder will become visible. “I can’t go yet.” Panic floods over him like a tidal wave. because it will be revealed with fire. and ultimately will result in a much higher place for yourself. love their charges very deeply. I do not claim that this is how the judgment will be.” From The Final Quest by Rick Joyner Chapter 37 a “Paul could see his body in the upside down car and immediately knows what has happened. I’m too young. Live for what is recorded here (Heaven). send me back. This can’t be happening. it’s not my time. Don’t miss this chapter’s message by getting bogged down in whether the judgment will look exactly like this. of course. He cannot escape Saldu’s gentle. wood. silver. Everything that you do out of true love for the Savior. “No. If the work is burned up. the builder will receive a reward. Grief and dread flood his mind and soul. the builder will suffer loss. I’ve got to wake up! HELP ME. but strong embrace. I have a wife. to glorify His name. hay. Everything that you do to exalt yourself will one day bring you the most terrible humiliation. and the fire will test what sort of work each has done. I used extra-biblical experiences to make my point. NO! I have a son. he just follows protocol and turns his face toward the celestial city and lifts off the earth. I’m too young to die.” James M. Barrie “The high calling is not out of reach for anyone that the Lord has called. The death of God’s committed saints is always a joyful time for the guardian angels who.

yet his first response is to look away--to the side. He is dazzling. already a wave of remorse washes over him and a deep sense of regret consumes him. overpowering sense of dread unlike anything he’s ever felt before. The massive fountain obscures everything and it seems to go for miles high and wide—Paul can see nothing else. I wish the ground would open up and swallow me. His beauty is unspeakable. I don’t deserve to be here. Paul can feel power emanating from Jesus as He runs and embraces him. Saldu escorts him to the edge of a massive fountain with thousands of jets shooting columns of crimson liquid high into the air. weeks and months have all added up to a wasted life. He had lost his robe of humility at seminary and his robe of righteousness is filthy and torn. As the blood washes over him it leaves behind a golden celestial glow. His fiery eyes of love look directly at Paul. But the awe of the incredible spiritual transformation is swallowed up in a very real. There was so much more that God had for him. When Paul steps out of the other side of the fountain he sees Jesus waiting for him in His indescribable splendor. and his tendency to pass judgment. blinding red. In the midst of this true. He feels as light as a feather and is now wearing a dazzling robe of light. he will indeed suffer a tragic type of loss. Paul is fully conscious and can see a bright light. He intuitively enters the fountain and his spirit is clothed with his new heavenly body. but at the evaluation. holy. before He wipes away every tear. Love emanates from Him and glory swirls around Him. unforgiveness.000 suns and it seems to be coming toward him at the speed of light. true love he is overcome with sweltering shame. He looks in amazement at his hands. and radiant. Saldu’s strong wings propel them closer to the celestial city. He is drawn to the city but the closer they get the more repulsed he is by his sin. Paul I love you. arms and feet. When he sees the Lord’s burning heart of love toward him and His eyes overflowing with affection just for him. As they arrive all Paul can see is brilliant. “Oh. It beckons to him and welcomes him and even though he knows it is home and he longs to be there.164 unrepented sin--lack of humility. Wasted opportunities. Surrounded by beauty and pure love. Unable to look into Jesus’ . Rebellion and wasted potential. God’s mercy is so great. His deep. among other things. wasted days. Saldu knew great regret and emotional pain was ahead. all he can think is. not a red stain. His whole body is alive and energized in Jesus’ presence. It is brighter than 10. for which he was created. penetrating every cell of his being. anywhere except into those loving. brighter than earthly words could adequately describe. to the ground. well. Saldu had been working with him for years to develop a Christlike character focused on others’ needs. Every cell of Paul’s new being loves and adores the beauty of Jesus. great ambition. this will be brutal. tender voice envelops his whole being. Paul has never felt love like that before. penetrating eyes.” Paul is full of shame over the eternal consequences of his sin.

eyes he buries his face into the brilliant robe. “I’ve got to go back; I’ve got to go back,” whispers Paul as he sobs, “What about my wife? I can’t be here yet!” Jesus’ great love overwhelms him. “I know, I know,” A tear runs down Jesus’ cheek. “It’s too soon. It’s too soon, Paul.” Paul takes a step back and looks desperately, pleadingly at Jesus, “Send me back, please, just send me back.” “I can’t Paul, I can’t.” Paul can feel the Lord’s grief on top of his own. He is unable to stand under the weight of it. He collapses again into Jesus’ arms. With Jesus’ arms tightly around him Paul can feel the Lord’s heart beating. His heart is not synchronized with it. With each beat he can feel the Lord’s anguish. Paul is crushed by the Lord’s grief and great disappointment at his early arrival. “Oh, Paul,” says Jesus, rocking him from side to side, “I had such a great destiny planned; such a great calling for your life. You’re here so early. But, oh, Paul, I love you.” He feels waves of unconditional love and glory washing over him. “I had so much ahead for you but you didn’t listen to Me. You felt My promptings. You heard My voice,” said Jesus as the tears roll down His face. When Paul sees the Lord’s tears he is crushed again, more waves of shame and grief overwhelm him. “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry,” he sobs repeatedly. “I’m sorry. Can I go back? Can I do it again?” “No, it’s too late Paul,” says Jesus embracing him again. “Your earthly life is over.” The finality in Jesus’ voice wreaks terror in Paul’s heart. “You can send me back; just raise me from the dead.” “Paul, I’m so sorry. Your choices overruled My perfect plan and your choice is final. Your life on earth is over. You made room for the enemy to come it and it’s a tragedy for you, for My Father’s kingdom, for Me and for those on earth who love you. This was not Our plan.” Paul falls to the Lord’s feet sobbing and frantic. With great tenderness Jesus picks him up and embraces him again. “I had many more years and a great, great destiny for you.” At those words, pictures flit through Paul’s mind, pictures of him leading someone to the Lord, pictures of him laying hands on the sick and seeing them recover, pictures of him working with the prisoners. “With His eyes full of love Jesus takes Paul by the hand and leads him to a golden altar. “Now it’s time for your evaluation.” With tears in his eyes Saldu brings out a plain looking, cloth-bound book with Paul’s name on the spine and sets it on the altar. “Paul, here is your life’s offering to the Lord from your time on earth. These pages recorded your life and the pages will play back your life. You will be evaluated and rewarded based on your daily acts. We’ll start with the most joyful day of your life for us,” says Saldu

opening the book. The page is like a movie and Paul watches as his college friend leads him to the Lord. “We all rejoiced,” says Jesus with a smile. “All the angels rejoiced and especially you, remember Saldu?” “I could never forget, Lord,” he says smiling through his tears. Saldu turns the next page revealing Paul’s initial joy over his salvation. Soon he was winning his friends to the Lord through his clumsy witnessing attempts. “Could you sense the Holy Spirit with you in those early days?” asks Jesus with a smile. “You were so successful in the beginning because you didn’t care what anyone thought. You felt the joy of your salvation; you emptied yourself and just let the Holy Spirit lead you. We were all cheering you on when you left tracts around town or tried to witness to your waitress.” “Here’s the chapter on Cindy,” said Saldu, beaming. “Look more closely at the page.” With his spiritual eyes now open Paul looks deeper into the page. It’s his wedding day! Paul smiles when he sees Saldu and Valoe on the platform like members of the wedding party. Feelings of romance and love for his wife flood over Paul. He feels the tenderness of his emotions he felt for her that day. Then he remembers his cruel argument with her and the final ugly comment. “I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry Cindy that I didn’t love you better. You were a wonderful wife and mother,” he sobs. He looks deeper into the page and sees two grim-faced police officers knocking on the parsonage door. “Cindy. Oh Cindy, I’m so sorry.” He turns to the Lord and frantically cries out, “Oh, please can you spare her this moment? PLEASE!” “I’m sorry Paul. It’s going on right now. I can’t spare her, but I will comfort her.” Dry heaves drive him to the ground. With so much regret bombarding him he wishes he could go insane or just cease to exist to stop the agony that consumes him. Jesus helps him up and puts His arm around Paul to support him. “I can’t believe my choices hurt so many other people.” He sobs again. “I’m so sorry Cindy; I’m so sorry.” The intensity of regret and the indescribable agony he feels would have killed a human body. With great tenderness in His voice Jesus says, “This will be an extremely painful trial for Cindy, but she knows how to come to Me with her needs. When Sarah finds out about your death she’ll double the prayers she already prays for her and Cindy will find comfort in her distress. I’ve already dispatched two additional angels who are with her now. I will give her the ability to see things from My perspective for her life, not to be stuck forever in the despair of a worldly view. Valoe will teach her how to wield the sword of the Spirit to defeat the enemy’s attacks that will tell her I took you out early. She will wear the armor of a warrior princess. Later, I’ll bring a husband into her life. She won’t be alone forever.” Paul has never felt such gratitude, “Oh, thank You, thank You Lord for taking care of her.” He can’t bear to look back at the book as Cindy opens the door.

Saldu flips the page--Paul’s preparation at seminary. “This is where trouble began,” said Jesus, His brow furrows and His voice is disturbed. “Here is where you lost your first love. You traded My simple truth for intellectual success at the halls of academia. You stopped following My will and started striking out on your own. Here we call that defiant, disloyal and sinful. “You looked to the professors for affirmation and to fulfill that ache for a father figure. Your focus switched from contentment at being the son I adored to trying to take on the role as their son. To please them you entertained their watered down Gospel, which was a form of religion with no power. It was a false gospel. “Graduation day was all about you and your plans for future accomplishments. By then you’d stopped asking for My guidance and you stepped out on your own. Finding prestige through church employment became your idol. Humility was far from you.” A somber faced Saldu turns the next page—the interim position at Bradbury. “I did lead you here to Bradbury Paul. Being interim pastor was the next temporary step in My plan for you. But you were so busy planning to have large crowds at your church that you overlooked the needs of the people who were already there. They had wounds that needed to be healed; they were not just numbers to be counted. Why did you want so many more when you weren’t shepherding the people I gave you? “Simple acts of kindness, performed on a daily basis, in My name are what I expect of all My people. As a pastor, My ambassador, My representative to the earth, you should have set the example above everyone else. Let’s look at the opportunities you missed during just one day in your life. Paul stares at the page. Driving to the church that morning he passed a lady standing beside her car looking at her flat tire. “This is Tanya Albertson. I had you leave the house 30 minutes early so you would be there when she needed you. She’d been wounded by some Christians at youth camp. She’d harbored a grudge against Me for 30 years. You were supposed to stop and change her tire. That act of kindness was going to challenge her deception. She would have eventually visited the church and re-dedicate her life, but you just drove by. Now look deeper into the page.” Paul stared and another picture replaced the previous one. He was snapping at his secretary for not having his letter ready to mail to everyone in the database. He is filled with regret and embarrassment as he watches himself throwing a fit, acting like a 5-year-old. “You knew that Sandy’s mother was in the hospital and she was already emotionally distraught. You had even given her permission to cut her work hours that week. Not only did you miss the opportunity to be a blessing by comforting her during this traumatic time, you heaped anxiety and condemnation on top of her. You didn’t even visit her mother in the hospital and

worst of all you said you’d pray for her mother and you didn’t. Later you even demanded that she lie for you by telling one of the older church members that you’d already left.” Paul watches as he storms off to his office and sees Sandy break down in tears as soon as he is gone. He looks deeper into the page. He’s listening to one of the church members pouring out his heart about how his marriage is unraveling and his wife is ready to leave him. Paul is shaking his head acting sympathetically but he is looking past the man to the clock on the wall behind him. “Joe had waited two weeks to get this appointment with you. It took all his courage to admit that he’d made a mess of his marriage. You were his last hope. But Mike had called and invited you to lunch right before Joe arrived. You spent the whole time trying to wrap up the session quickly because you wanted to be with Mike because he was on the search committee that would pick the new pastor. You know that Joe’s wife left the next week?” Paul nods. The page changes again. Cindy was at home preparing dinner. I wonder what time he’ll be home tonight? You’d think at least he could call when he’s going to be late. She put some aluminum foil over the pan of lasagna and put it back in the oven to stay warm and then put the salad back in the fridge. She sat in the chair by the fireplace and prayed, “Lord, I’m so lonely. Will You help us to have a nice evening together? I feel so disconnected.” Tears welled in her eyes, “I feel like the church has become Paul’s mistress, like it’s my competition and I’m losing miserably. Lord, will You let him hear me. God, I need to feel like I’m heard. I need to feel like he at least values my opinions a little.” She heard the car door slam and ran to get dinner on the table. “Look what happens here Paul. Listen to how you talk about the church and your day but you don’t ask about hers. Right here she tries to share something with you that’s meaningful to her but you’re not interested. After a little chit-chat Cindy says, “I’ve been doing this great study on pride and humility and I’d like to share it.” “Sure hon, you can start a ladies group any time you like.” He doesn’t bother to look up from his plate. “No, I didn’t mean an on-going ladies study, we already have one of those. I thought maybe I could share it some Sunday morning.” He put his fork down and stared at her. “You want to preach a sermon on pride and humility from the pulpit? You’ve never preached before and don’t you think that’s a little theologically heavy for someone who doesn’t have formal training?” Besides, he thought, I’m the one with the Master’s in Divinity. “Paul, not only did you keep her from delivering her message, you criticized and belittled her. Cindy had been studying diligently and the Holy Spirit opened up the scriptures to her. She not only had My Word for the church, but she had the words of life that you desperately

Everything was so clear now.” Paul hung his head and began sobbing again.169 needed to hear. If you would have followed My leading the church would have turned their opinion too. Yet she faithfully endured. It wasn’t a spiritual decision for you it was strictly political because you perceived it could benefit you. . She was right. perfect body feels totally healthy but inside his mind the pain is so intense he can’t endure it. Paul. He longs for death. Forgive me. Instead Sarah was severely persecuted for carrying the whole plan herself which was never My will for her. How could I have been so blind? I was so disobedient but I thought I was so spiritual. you wouldn’t be here now. I needed her teaching on pride more than anyone. Neither will come. elated on the day he was voted in as pastor. You were too shackled by pride to notice anyone else’s needs. “Paul. yet he can’t escape it. She always hung in there and encouraged me toward the right path. Help me. 119 but you were focused on yourself. “You even tried so hard to use your spiritual position to manipulate Sarah and you have no idea how much confusion and pain you caused her. He sees countless daily opportunities that he missed. Ironically she was your guide back on the straight and narrow path.” “I betrayed her and belittled her in so many ways. “I just reveled in the fact that they wanted me.” His depth of regret. please forgive me. I should have helped disciple her but she was the more spiritual one. As a teacher you will be judged more strictly because you misused your position and your power. The next page is the proposal for the jail in Bradbury. You would have all been in unity. If you’re not with Me you are against Me. you didn’t even pray to see if it was My will. You just went with the flow and even tried to manipulate the situation for your advantage. Your pride would have caused you to take credit for every good gift I gave you. I wanted to give you spiritual gifts to touch and heal other people but I couldn’t trust you. gossip. He sees that many of his decisions were fueled by demonic influences. this was just one day. If you had listened to her.” His new. criticism. Why hadn’t he had his priorities straight on earth? “Why was I so rebellious? I had to do everything my way. jealousy and rebellion. Help me. Paul had spent hours thinking and stressing over the vote but he suddenly realizes that he didn’t even pray to see if he should accept the position. I planned for you and the church to advocate the plan for the jail. unfathomable.” Saldu turns the next page which shows Paul. You had potential to use it for good but you used it to your benefit. He longs for one more chance. I wanted to give you good gifts and promote you.” 120 Paul hangs his head again. You had thousands and thousands of daily opportunities to give a cup of cold water in My name.” Saldu flips the rest of the pages revealing wasted opportunity after wasted opportunity fueled by manipulation. I’m so sorry. I said and thought terrible things about her. Paul weeps and weeps as he watches. “I misjudged Sarah.

170 “Living in pride is like living in a room with no lights or windows. I can’t help you if you do. The last page is the car ride. He can see the holy brilliance shining from Saldu.” He puts his hands over his ears in a failed attempt to drown out his last profane words shouted at her.” Through his tears Paul watches Saldu lay a thick leather-bound book with rich tooling on top of Paul’s first book. rich. on making an earthly name for yourself. You didn’t value eternity and didn’t think that Heaven’s reward was worth paying the earthly price. alive with heavenly glory. Peilor. what can one drink hurt? I can get back on the straight and narrow tomorrow. Father. You just get used to it and it makes you spiritually blind and deaf to the truth. Yeah. I never thought I’d throw my life away as a drunk driver. This time Paul is watching the scene from the outside. I wanted you to have your eye on the prize. but you don’t realize it. “I was so cruel to her and she was the one who was hearing well. Shame and humiliation bear down on him. “My Word says that I gave you My commandments that it may go well with you. As Saldu opens the first page the book releases a sweet melody. I had a great destiny for you on earth. one only needs to humble himself and be the servant of all and everyone with desire can do that. “Now let Me tell you a little about My perfect plan for your life. You failed to listen. He shutters. because to be great in My kingdom. The book is shining.” Paul falls to his knees in anguish and buries his face in his hands while he rocks back and forth. Pride opposes truth every time but humility draws you near to the truth and the cross. He is shocked at his ugliness toward her. kneeling beside him and putting His arm around him. She was right and I was wrong….” he sobs. I love her. He hears the eerie sound of shattering glass and twisting metal as the car rolls over. “In order to be great in the eyes of the world you need to be intelligent.122 My Word is truth. thought Paul.” His voice trails off as he watches Saldu plunge the tip of the blade into the street between him and the bar at Mt. Very few have what it takes to be great in the world’s eyes. but you had your eye on your pride. handsome. On it in golden calligraphy is Paul’s name. as I do for all my beloved children. “It’s the flaming sword of the Lord. I was deceived. Holy Spirit and I took such joy planning . You can’t function in any meaningful way.” “Paul. But I designed My kingdom so everyone can be great. I really didn’t mean it. “I never got to apologize. you followed your lying demons and they led you straight to your death--like a sheep unknowingly going to the slaughter. Paul. have a special talent or a certain family name. 121 You never embraced the cross Paul. “I can’t believe I failed so miserably. Paul you wasted your life trying to be great in the wrong kingdom. Don’t walk out of its protective boundary. “I never told her I was sorry. 123 not just a good suggestion. to divide between what is and isn’t Him in your life.” The next to the last page is the fight he had with Cindy.” He heard the demon’s twisted manipulation and his final decision. a symphony of sounds never heard on earth.” says Jesus.

He sees the lives of the people that they would have impacted—their wives and girlfriends. “The interim position at Bradbury was never supposed to turn into a full-time position. The next page is a family portrait. To his surprise he feels a deep love for them. anointed ministry there until your late 70’s. When he pulled in his driveway the neighbor kids came running to see the deer in the back of the pickup. He vowed one day that he would do something to help people like his uncle. This is Jordan’s wife Sherri and their son. She’s My joy and I delight in her obedience when she hears My voice. Emery. a five-year-old reached in the pickup and grabbed the gun by the barrel to pull it out. I wanted to heal your heart so you could be a father to them. So many times you called good evil. in jail. In his child’s heart. The shot hit her in the neck and she died in the hospital the next day. and evil good. not My Spirit and of course your disobedience opened you up to deception by demonic spirits too. when you were six. but the Lord catches him. “Let’s go back to March 12. Paul wasn’t there when it happened and he didn’t know the little girl who was killed but he remembers seeing his uncle’s downcast face behind those bars.” Saldu begins to turn the shimmering pages. Your evaluations were in gross error. children and grandchildren. of course those plans won’t change. next to a pretty blond who is holding a toddler. and swayed by his love for his uncle. “You would have had an effective. He was the closest thing Paul ever had to a real father. With his uncle’s back turned. When Paul and his mom stood there his uncle looked up with tears in his eyes and said. “Had you gone to the jail I would have given you a healing anointing and I would have used you to heal Sarah and extend her life’s ministry at the jail also.124 Most men at the jail had no fathers either. The interim position was only to move you to Bradbury so you could meet Sarah and take the job as chaplain. “It was an accident.” said Jesus motioning to Saldu. “You being a chaplain was one of the ways I was going to work your uncle’s situation for good. His uncle had been hunting and thought the gun’s safety was on.” Agony and regret bear down on him so that his knees buckle. he felt a tremendous sense of injustice.” then sobbed and sobbed. you let yourself be led by your mind. That was your life’s calling.” His stern eyes flame with intensity.171 your destiny before the foundation of the world. Calvin.” Paul is at first surprised to see that there are other people in the . He is visiting his favorite uncle. You could have helped them grow into fathers for their own kids. Cindy and Paul along with Jordan in his 30’s. “Paul. Jail is full of fatherless men that are all separated from their children. Your priorities were rarely mine.” As Paul looks into the pages he sees the jail and the faces of the inmates he would have led to the Lord and those he could have helped to lead productive lives. Paul looks at the page and all the overwhelming feelings from his six-year-old heart course through his veins like he’s actually living it for the first time.

“You and Cindy were going to have two daughters. screeching a primal sound. Holy Spirit and I were constantly wooing you.” Paul doesn’t stop crying but he stops screaming and hitting himself. He can’t injure or feel physical pain in his new heavenly body. He pulls clumps of hair out but he feels no physical pain and new hair immediately appears. hoping you’d realize that there is no satisfaction in any other. He feels mentally ill and tormented by regret. Then waves of indescribable pain overwhelm him and he knows before the Lord even says it. You loved yourself too much and never loved Me enough. “And between them they would have had these four precious grandchildren.” He says pointing to the other two men. In your rebellion you walked away from My protective covering and the enemy was able to cut your life short.172 portrait--adults and children. “I had a rich. Jesus places His hand on Paul’s head and speaks. He begins to pummel and scratch his face with his fists while screaming.” A tear ran down His face. How could I have been so blind?” “You were blinded by your pride Paul. “I watched you run after your idols of pride and selfpromotion.” Paul’s is literally trembling from head to toe. in turn they would have touched hundreds more. Year after year I called you Paul.” More tears flow as he gently reaches to touch the faces of his two daughters and his grandchildren. Everyone who hears My words and doesn’t do them I liken him to a foolish man. elaborate crown made of shimmering gold. There is suffering in earthly sacrifice but the eternal rewards far outweigh the temporal discomfort. hurting children.” 125 “Cindy was right and Sarah was right and I was wrong. “Each precious jewel represents one life that you should have touched and the lives that they in turn would touch. You would have touched the lives of hundreds and hundreds of My lost. Amanda and Deborah. He runs his fingers through his hair on both sides of his head and bends at the waist. but you would not yield to My leadership. In addition to Saldu.” . hovering above the book is a hologram of a large. At first you disregarded our voices but after saying no for so long you lost all spiritual discernment. He’d never imagined such regret and torment was even possible. helping them cast a fishing reel and standing beside them on a merry-go-round. No blood or bruises appear. You can’t even begin to understand the pain I felt when you ignored Us. full life planned for you Paul. these would have been their husbands. He feels he might pass out or even die. Saldu flips to the last page. “Peace. You were so busy trying to build yourself up that the godly opinions of others around you didn’t even register. I alone am the Light and the Life. not only in your family life but in your ministry. There. As he touches the grandchildren he sees flashes of he and Cindy pushing them on swings. Danny and Larry.

but those who do the will of God live forever’”? 127 “My eternal World clearly states that the first and greatest commandment is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart. With sadness etched on his face Saldu hands the small lump of gold to Paul.173 Through his tears Paul sees the base of the ornate crown is designed with solid gold. “Your life was mostly composed of wood.’” 128 We were all waiting to help you to fulfill those commandments but you were distracted by so many temporal things. But all the regret in the world will not buy one more chance or one more day to serve the Lord on earth. compromise and regret. When both books are consumed and the flames die down all that remains is a dull. In the shadow of the glorious man Christ Jesus Paul weeps and gnashes his teeth.” Paul drops the gold at His feet. and with all your mind. 126 Saldu bends low and blows his breath on the books and they burst into red and orange flames. “Now it is time to reveal what from your life lines up with My plans and My Word. Paul is hoping against hope that he will have a beautiful crown to present to his wonderful Savior. Your building choices were gold. but to rid himself of the wretched reminder of his failure. the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world. But if the work is burned up. Paul’s last hope is shattered. not so much as an offering of thanks. You were so focused on your temporal earthly life that you missed your eternal calling and your many heavenly rewards. hay and straw. filled with humiliation looks away. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself. And the world and its desire are passing away. or straw. ‘Do not love the world or the things in the world? The love of the Father is not in those who love the world. He longs to present it to the Lord to thank Him for the overwhelming mercy he has been shown. quarter-sized lump of gold. sapphires and large white pearls in the shape of crosses. Jesus approaches him. On the top is a large red spinel diamond which represents Jesus’ shed blood. Mercy that he now knows he never deserved and could never earn. The builders themselves will be saved. hay. emeralds. Devastation overwhelms him as he sees that the lifetime of selfish choices he has made have culminated in the agonizing scene that now lies before him. silver. He falls on the floor writhing in agony. jewels. eternal reward. Embedded in the gold are precious stones--rubies. that builder will receive a heavenly. the builder will suffer great loss. The crown is adorned with several hundred diamonds arranged in a pattern of olive branches. wood. with all your soul. the desire of the eyes. Your small lump of gold is unrefined because you wouldn’t submit to My leadership. You wouldn’t go through My refiner’s fire. When you gave your life to Me I became your foundation and you began building your life’s work. Paul has never seen anything so beautiful. . Everyone’s work will be put through the fire to see whether or not it keeps its value. Paul. If the work survives the fire. Did you not read in My Word. for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh. He falls forward and catches himself on the altar.’ And the second is equally important. but like someone escaping through a wall of flames.

For the first time he has a clear understanding of what he deserved and what the Lord has saved him from. “Receive the joy of your salvation. He writhes in agony and screams out. shame and regret disappear as he feels the Lord’s great love wash over him in waves. I only looked out for myself and didn’t care about others. Jesus kneels before him. who he now realizes.” After what seems like several eternities to Paul.” The excruciatingly deep pain.” Paul laughs until he doubles up as the waves of joy and peace surround him. Jesus leans close to his face and blows His life-giving breath on Paul. “Through My blood sacrifice on your behalf I pronounce you totally forgiven. The agony that he thought would certainly kill him just a few minutes ago is replaced by total peace like he’s never experienced. He revels in it. not only are his sins forgiven. a slice of sad history that Paul’s life had been mostly wasted.” With great compassion Jesus takes Paul’s face into His hands. if I could only do it again. his wonderful redeemer. My life is a total failure. rolling from side to side. The heavy burden of his failures that had caused him to cry out in anguish was annihilated by Jesus’ sacrifice. I’m so sorry. He has never known such torture. But. mostly worthless to God’s kingdom. and with Your living Word I still wasted my life. the sting of regret is wiped away from Paul’s emotions forever. deserve Hell. I didn’t mean to hurt You. you trusted My blood to redeem you. I squandered the precious gift of life that you gave me. He is now secure in the . “You’re My brother Paul. you are a member of My precious blood-bought family.” “Oh. His fiery eyes are flashing. It was now just an eternal fact. I wasted it and through my rebellion cut it short. has shown him unfathomable grace when he deserved none at all. Waves of grace wash over Paul. more than anyone. I’m so sorry. eternally undoable and unfixable. an eternal tribute to his selfishness--unrepairable. by the miracle of God’s eternal mercy and the power of Jesus’ shed blood. but is really only several minutes. A celestial dignity is bestowed on Paul that was not there before. How can You even love me? How can You even want me here? I don’t deserve to be here. “Paul I love you and you trusted in Me for your salvation. “Even with the Holy Spirit living inside me and angels guiding me.” He beats his hands on the ground and wails.” “But that’s why I died. Oh.” His nail-scarred hands wipe the tears from Paul’s left cheek. “I don’t deserve to be here. overwhelming gratitude to his risen Lord. “Though you did not do many works to benefit My Father’s kingdom. I. “Can Hell be more painful than this? Forgive me. Although the memories remain all the shame and the pain has been redeemed and turned into ecstatic. Jesus how can You love me? I’m not worthy to be Your lowliest servant.” He wipes the tears from Paul’s right eye. I love you.174 His life was squandered. I never submitted my life to You.” He sobs and wails. Paul is passionately in love with Jesus. I will never forsake you. to forgive your sins and failures.

129 Jesus takes Paul by the hand and pulls him to his feet. your gifts and destinies are without repentance. There is no one like You. You redeemed me when I was your enemy. everything is moving and growing. Look back at the earth now. “Pray for Sarah. You have forgiven them all and given me Your righteousness as a gift. Your prayers will help fill those golden bowls before My throne.175 Lord’s unconditional love for him. There are many chambers in My heart and many rooms to explore in Heaven. Even though you missed out on many of the heavenly rewards I wanted to give you. Pray for all the prisoners and their families. And your spirit will continue to grow. “I’ll take you into My war room and show you My strategies for the end of the age. I only deserve Hell but even though my sins were great. There’s a great war for souls that never stops.” “You’re going to learn and grow and see so much more of My glory. You’ll be My intercessor before the throne day and night crying out. Your first assignment is to pray for Cindy and Jordan. Your love and mercy are unfathomable!” This time Saldu’s tears are tears of joy. No one stops growing in Heaven. “Even though you’re not on earth to nurture and bless your wife you can still support her. you’re still a part of the great cloud of witnesses cheering on those who still dwell on earth. Everything is alive here.” Suddenly Paul can see the earth and the second Heaven overlaid on top of it. Pray for the families of their victims who are grieving. Thank You. your real life’s work is just beginning.” “Oh Jesus there is no one like You. You are truly king of all kings and Lord of all Lords. Prayers don’t stop when a person dies. 130 You can help plunder My enemy’s kingdom and usher in My victorious return. They still have unlimited opportunities to follow My Word. With total abandon. It is merely the womb of life. Your death didn’t thwart My plan for her destiny. “Now Paul. but she can still accomplish so much in the short time that she has left. thank You. but choices made there cement eternal futures. Heaven is not a barren. Paul flings himself into the waiting arms of his loving Savior and they embrace. He sees the angels doing warfare with demons and the principalities and powers over cities. I exalt Your name above every name. You are full of love and mercy. sterile place. his sins are forever forgiven and every tear is wiped away. You’re so good to bring someone else for her so she won’t be a single mother long. . Pray that she will be wholehearted and not give in to discouragement and depression at the Manor. she’ll be joining us soon.” “Your second assignment is to pray for the Holy Spirit to empower the new chaplain I’ll put in place. I have assignments for you regarding the people left behind. You can pray for her healing and for the new husband that I’ll eventually bring into her life. “Oh Lord.

“This is why eternity is not too long to bow before His throne and praise Him.” Jesus says with a big smile and His eyes sparkling. God’s heavenly city of Paradise. celestial gate still praising his loving Savior.176 “Enter into the paradise prepared for those I love. as. .” says Saldu with a smile. they usher Paul into his eternal home. Flanked by Jesus and Saldu he turns toward the massive. arm in arm.

not when you were old.” Joni Ames Chapter 38 Sarah woke in the middle of the night hurting all over. Who will even remember you were here?” “Sarah. Time is life. Every minute is far more valuable than money. don’t buy that lie. don’t waste His precious time here. In this nursing home you are His mouth and you are His hands. you can’t understand it yet. just take it by faith. Every day you are rushing closer to eternity which is your real life--not the temporary earthly life in this body that ages and passes away.” “If He really loved you. Spend time wisely. “Your efforts make an eternal difference.” said Malta. poor Sarah. really bad. they’ll sell your house and get rid of your possessions at a yard sale.” whispered the slimy voice of Discouragement.” whispered Malta. “You’ll die. You know that the only way anyone ever leaves this place is horizontal!” “Your life is over and what do you have to show for it?” asks Depression. Think how grateful you are that the Lord saved you toward the end of your life. Time can be used to make money. “He hates you. Remember to invest in the right kingdom. Sarah is perplexed. but money can't be used to buy time. “Sarah is hard-pressed on every side. “When you feel discouraged. inserting her name in the scripture. yet she is not crushed. it’s the enemy shooting his fiery darts at you. He is so worthy of all your efforts. but you can defeat him by quoting or singing the scripture. “Sarah. You can help them make the right decision. Then give it out to everybody you meet.” added Joel. but she is not in . poor. as he pulled out his harp and began to play a sweet melody. Joel sang over Sarah. In six months half of them won’t be here.” “His love for you is so extravagant. “Look at the people around you. It came with directions: value the time you are given as you would value money. What did you do to deserve this? It must have been bad. you don’t need heavenly pavement down here. Self-Pity was crouching on the bed waiting.177 “The Lord spoke to me about a spiritual Sons of Issachar clock we have been given in this time and showed me that every minute that passes is like money passing through our fingers. The only thing that will mark your life is a square of granite with your name carved on it. He’d have saved you when you were 12.” While Malta played the harp. He wants you to lavish the same love and compassion on others as He does on you. You’re stuck in this smelly nursing home. Give the last of everything you’ve got to glorify Jesus. Pain was nothing new since she had broken her hip. They’ll be living eternally in Heaven or in Hell. This life is mostly about preparing you for the age to come.

prayer. With her spirit empowered by the Word of God. “You’re not wrong.” When Sarah finished speaking she received more revelation. Roses are easy. really tight and unopened. but she is not destroyed. I think the Lord is telling you that you’re like those tight buds and you need to start exposing yourself to the warmth of the Son and then your life will really blossom. that ain’t the way I see it. Sarah made up her mind once and for all that Self-Pity and Pride would no longer have a part in her life. She decided that if she was going to live out the last of her life at the Manor then she would do it with a good attitude and with God’s help she would wreak as much havoc on the enemy’s kingdom as she could through praise. Sarah is persecuted. This opened the door for more supernatural activity and intimacy with the Holy Spirit. but she was too scared to say anything.” She determined that through God’s grace she would have a good attitude so that the staff and patients would see God’s love through her. She had resisted and they had fled.” encouraged Malta. With Sarah refusing to entertain the negative attitudes that the tormenting spirits fed on. but then I saw the sunshine on them and the warmth caused them to open right up. witnessing and any other way the Lord would show her. Help me to share with the staff and patients and especially help me to pray.” But what if I’m wrong? thought Sarah. but remember you’ve committed to give it all you’ve got while you’re still here?” . It will help heal her heart. This is serious.” Well come over here Nancy and tell me what’s concerning you and then while you’re getting me dressed I’ll pray for you the whole time. Sarah is struck down.” chirped Sarah. “Good morning. “Tell her. They’re in a vase in the dark. As long at the temperature is cool they’re not going to open. They were the most beautiful apricot colored roses—really large. She felt that Nancy’s son was estranged from her.” 131 Sarah’s spirit grew stronger each time Joel sang.178 despair. they left for the day. pray continually. “Isn’t it a wonderful day?” “What ever you say. “Nancy the Lord just showed me a picture of some rosebuds. pray all day long. She memorized a new scripture and vowed to quote it frequently: “First Thessalonians 5:16-18. Be joyful always. Help me to make an impact in Your kingdom today. maam. Dear Jesus. Nancy was her aide this morning and she entered the room without knocking. for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. “Go on.” Sarah felt like she had received a picture in her mind from the Lord and decided that this time it would be OK to share it. but she is not forsaken. give thanks in all circumstances. help me to live a life that makes sense for eternity. pray.

“I wanted to know if you have a son?” When Sarah saw the tears start to well in Nancy’s eyes she didn’t wait for the reply. “That sounds like the Will I knew. “I took pictures of all the inmates and put them on this bulletin board. was the thought flowing through her mind. Sarah’s deeper revelation of the Lord’s love for her consumed her every thought. all the inmates except Will that is.” she replied. Barbara visited almost every day and was a constant encouragement to Sarah. They all say hi. she even dreamed about it at nights.179 Sarah took a deep breath but spoke so quietly that Nancy had to ask her to repeat her statement. He can’t wait to come by and visit you. “Well I’ll be here are the Cook Islands. I guess I was in a tropical prayer mood last night. “It’ll be OK. But.” “I’ll hang it here so you can see their faces. Maybe prayer does work. you need to forgive him and not keep bringing up the past.” Nancy ran into Sarah’s bathroom to compose herself. thought Sarah.” “Did you make it to the jail this week?” asked Sarah.” laughed Sarah. It motivated her to endure daily humiliations and embarrassment with grace.” He better hurry. Her attitude continued to improve. . rolling her eyes. and I have a special surprise. 132 Sarah remembered some of the things that Paul went through for the Gospel: beatings. What countries did you pray for last night?” “I prayed for Belize and I prayed for the Cook Islands. Where. He wouldn’t pose without making an obscene gesture. When she left she felt genuinely cared about and thrilled about her son. Sarah laughed. “Tell me where to put the push pins on the world map.” she said shaking her head. right?” “I’ll have you know I’m not that bad. prisons. He’s still so excited that he doesn’t have nightmares any more. She studied the scriptures about the Apostle Paul not considering his present sufferings to be worthy to be compared with the glory to come. “You’re estranged aren’t you?” Nancy shook her head as the tears rolled down her cheeks. You can find that. are the Cook Islands?” “They’re about half way between Australia and South America. as always. Or. “The Cook Islands? Your prayers are sure stretching my poor geography skills.” She pulled something out from behind the chair. Sarah grabbed Nancy’s hand. “Yes. That will only drive him away again. but Skinner wanted me to tell you that he’s getting out in eight weeks. The Lord wants you to know that He’s working on your son’s heart and that within a few months he’ll come back home. pray tell. just look for Hawaii and go south.

she was able to release her humiliation by closing her eyes and thinking of Paul. He would think I live in the lap of luxury. wrinkled body. my life is fine. Most days she was able to lead someone into a relationship with the Lord. She was even able to be gracious to the aides who bathed and toileted her. shipwrecked and floating in the sea. and Jesus left the perfection of Heaven to suffer here for my salvation. bobbing in the cold seawater for a whole night and day.” said Joel. why do I think I should be exempt? The servant is not better than the master. thought Sarah and she no longer resented wearing a bib and being fed like a toddler. 134 When it came time to be spoon fed at the table. She began to reframe her thinking. “When I pray from this bed all of China shakes. If the Apostle Paul suffered like that. she thought. instead of feeling resentment that she could no longer do most things for herself. Joel and Malta were there to constantly remind her that short-term sacrifices would reap long-term rewards. Depression and other demons were fighting to hold their ground with the new believers but with Sarah’s prayers and spiritual warfare these spirits had a hard job. compared to Paul. t’will soon be past. Every one of my needs is met and I even have helpers to assist me. “Don’t underestimate the power of your prayers. looking into rooms for patients who were alone and discouraged. Abandonment.” The staff was drawn to Sarah’s kind words and cheerful attitude--a rarity there among the patients. They welcomed the prophetic words she spoke over their life and the more she used this gifting the more it increased. persecutions. 133 Sarah meditated on that and tried to imagine how she’d hold up under all those tribulations. no matter how humiliating it was. I have a warm room and enough food and not only is my freedom of speech protected but I have a captive audience. resentment and feelings that she was entitled to a better life than this. Especially for those who will die in the next 24 hours. She also started an informal Bible study five days a week. When Sarah’s arms became too weak to propel her wheelchair. she would think of Paul going hungry. I can’t believe what Paul went through. she got an electric one. When asked if he was discouraged because he could no longer do much for God’s kingdom he replied. hunger and thirst. right after lunch to disciple her new converts. sleepless nights. Discouragement. Yes. With the Holy Spirit convicting her she was able to let go of the last vestiges of her pride.180 being stoned with rocks. Each day Sarah cruised up and down the halls with ease. only what’s done for Christ will last. It was like getting a new lease on life. Sarah was more convinced than ever that her prayers could have an effect since she’d read in her devotional guide about a Chinese pastor who was paralyzed from a stroke.” . As the warm bath water washed over her and the aide scrubbed her sagging. being cold and naked. “Only one life.” “That’s right. false accusations.

who had been God’s first choice to pastor this church when Paul’s interim term was up. and without excessive perspiration. fearlessly. her prayers were the catalyst for one of the lay leaders at the Christian church to begin arranging a regular visitation program for the Manor. “Papaw” and “Nana. With more grace given to her. Sarah’s prayers. The Pharisee lurking within many believers shuns sinners.” and his many cousins. had reconnected with many old friends and the crisis was causing her to press in to find deeper intimacy with the Lord and His new direction for her life. Jesus turns toward them with gracious kindness. Jordan thrived on spending time with his grandparents. “Lord. The director had asked Barbara to consider co-leading a Bible study once a week with one of the men from Victory Church who had volunteered to help out however he could. for those inside and outside the Manor.181 “The shining sun and the falling rain are given both to those who love God and to those who reject God. Barbara. the compassion of the Son embraces those who are still living in sin. were more consistent and more powerful. Cindy and Jordan had visited her shortly after his death and Sarah continued to pray fervently for them. Cindy was back at her home church. She ferried messages back and forth from Sarah to the inmates. News of Paul’s death had hit her hard. The church even offered to let her stay at the parsonage rent free for several months. in addition to prayer walking the four blocks in her mind and praying for the inmates. She prayed for all the staff and patients in the Manor. but she drew great comfort from the Lord that Paul was with Him. This was their second week and 17 inmates had attended. The search committee at Bradbury Victory church had just extended a call to pastor Alan Koch and his family. .” said Malta.135 She would frequently request. helped along by Sarah’s prayers. Twelve members would eventually sign up and commit to visit the Manor once a week to pray with and witness to the patients and staff. but she chose to move back to her home town to be close to her family and friends.” Unbeknownst to Sarah. Cindy was doing as well as could be expected. He sustains His attention throughout their lives for the sake of their conversion which is always possible to the very last moment. I pray that I would always pray. This would ensure that a Christian witness would be in place when Sarah was gone. visited the jail at least twice a week. Many of the women from the church had gathered around to support her. the church and numerous missionaries. He was pouring His grace on her liberally. various countries and those who were going to die in the next 24 hours.

182 “Sometimes I walk through graveyards and speculate how many unfulfilled promises and untapped dreams lie dormant under my feet. Jesus. a young rabbinical student in Israel had been meditating on the messianic prophecies as he did his homework that evening. her body’s pains not quite letting her reach a restful sleep. To comfort all who mourn…. To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind. The crowd was murmuring. When he went to bed Avner dreamed he was in the crowd at the temple the day Jesus unrolled the scroll and read Isaiah 61:1-2: 137 The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me. She dozed fitfully. that You would let them see Your beauty. She called it her “thief on the cross” prayers. He didn’t know how he knew but even as he actively tried to . starving children or a soldier alone and dying on the battlefield. “Jesus I pray for those who are going to die. Many nights she received visions from the Spirit. still hours when she was wide-awake she also cried out for salvation for people around the world who were going to die in the next 24 hours. I ponder the many lives that fall short of God’s intended purpose…. To set at liberty those who are oppressed. Let them see You in Your pure love. On those nights. She prayed for those impressions as she drifted in and out of sleep. Because He has anointed Me To preach the Gospel to the poor. the carpenter’s son?” As Avner listened he knew that he was hearing the truth. “Isn’t this Jesus. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. the last place on earth she wanted to be. longing for them to spend eternity with You. from her bed in the darkened room in the Manor.Die Empty! My goal is to give the graveyard nothing but a vacant carcass of a used-up life!” Wayne Cordeiro Chapter 39 Sarah prayed during most of the day and many times during the night. because the one thief crucified next to Jesus had gotten saved just before he died. Avner. During the dark. Lord. modern cities. strip away deception that would cloud their minds and confuse them. in Your great mercy snatch them from the enemy’s grasp even up to their last breath.” The Holy Spirit was busy answering Sarah’s prayers all around the world. To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord And the day of vengeance of our God. I rebuke demonic influence that would lead them astray. 136 She was especially motivated to pray these prayers because George had been saved on his death bed and she was full of gratitude. Let Your truth be known in their hearts and minds. pictures flashed through her mind of isolated native villages. she listened to the continual worship music and watched or laid her hand gently on the spinning globe.

needles.” If Sarah wasn’t cruising the halls in her wheelchair looking for others. Women were casting spells for protection and others were holding her head up to help her sip a potion. With one last effort she drew in a breath and as it left her body she weakly whispered. She had made an impact on the Manor. amulets. as a little girl. when a star falls someone will die. He promised Jesus would respond to those in need who called His name. goblets. her face flushed. Although she was unaware of its presence she suddenly remembered the time. Her immune system was devastated. when she went to a meeting and a missionary told of a man named Jesus who loved her. Most of her hair had fallen out and hard red patches covered part of her face. He awoke immediately and Jesus in all His splendor and loving kindness was sitting on the side of his bed. In Haiti. “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing Avner. For several weeks she had fought a dry cough. she made herself available by parking at a table in the game room and starting a puzzle. When she got too sick to work she was discarded. Before long several other residents would join in and as they worked together . musical instruments. candles. mirrors. So many people started visiting Sarah for prayer that the staff joked about needing to “take a number. Thailand a young woman was dying alone in the back alley. swords. She lay in an alley shivering in the night air. Several months passed and though Sarah’s body was getting progressively weaker. her spirit had gotten stronger. incense. In response to Sarah’s prayers an angel appeared. and masks meant to keep away harmful forces. knives. In Pattaya. In their folklore. outside a shack with battered wooden walls and a tin roof. but not before an angel was commissioned to drive back the spirits of Voodoo and issue her a clear invitation to trust Jesus to forgive her sins and dwell with Him for all eternity in Paradise. The next morning Avner boarded the city bus and three stops later a suicide bomber reached under his coat and detonated the dynamite strapped to his body. which of course had no interest to her. When she went home that night and told her mother she was severely beaten and told to never return to that place. Everyone knew who to come to if they needed encouragement and prayer and many of the workers and patients needed just that. Several Haitians were chanting over her and she was surrounded by sacred objects: dolls. He looked straight into Avner’s eyes and said. keys.” The next second her spirit was gently cradled in the angel’s arms and released from the bonds of earth. “Je--sus.183 resist he knew in his heart that what he heard was real and true. and with a very high fever. The Haitians watched the sky for falling stars that evening. A star did fall that night and Edwidge did die. an elderly woman lay on a cot moaning.” Then he was gone. nails. She felt she was suffocating and could barely draw in her next breath. She had contracted AIDS from working in the sex trade.

Sarah woke in the middle of the night. She could not move to push the call button. In the Spirit Joel was watching Sarah’s prayers ascend like pleasing incense before the glorious throne on the sapphire sea. Fight to the end oh. to Bangalore.” Sarah had prayed for the countries and cities in the 10/40 window so many times she had many of them memorized. I pray that Christians there would have great spiritual impact.184 Sarah would share about how the Lord loved each one of them before the foundation of the world and that He still had a plan for their life no matter how brief their life might be. When Sarah’s prayer for Calcutta ascended. We will hold up your weak arms as your prayers advance the kingdom one last time. prayed Sarah “Go!” To Bangalore. lined up before the throne. brilliance. . she was not afraid. to Mumbai….” she whispered under her breath as a prayer many times each day. would be terrifying. Her will had been signed long ago leaving all her assets to missionaries in the 10/40 window. A Do Not Resuscitate sign hung on the end of her bed. To Delhi. Sometimes that love was so strong that she could only describe it as “an ache of love. unable to move.” “Jesus.” said Joel. I long to see You face-to-face. Warring angels. mighty intercessor. life and color.” 138 “Your body is failing but your spirit is strong in the Lord. Lord. I pray for India. She was ready to go home when the Lord was ready to take her. She had imagined before that to be a prisoner in her body. to Delhi. Let Your Spirit fall there. Jesus laid His hands on the angel and commissioned him. unable to communicate. But as she lay in the darkness. reflecting His glory and fierce in their holiness. set his fiery gaze on Calcutta and vanished. Her body was paralyzed and her speech was slurred but her thinking was still clear and she could hear the worship music. “Go. one step closer to home. “You are perfectly loved and there is no fear in love. I long to look into Your eyes of love and see them looking back at me. Thunders and lightenings radiated from the throne 139and the room was full of worship. He had fully captured her heart and she was totally abandoned to Him.” The angel turned. “You’re just one step closer to home. “Your prayers are powerful. Lord release angels to Calcutta. Her love for Jesus was growing each day. Sarah. The first one approached and bowed low before the Lord. She loved Jesus more than she loved the few possessions she had left or her reputation.” whispered Malta tenderly. “Go!” To Mumbai.

Egypt and Amman. The atmosphere is energized with even more glory.” The angels glow with anticipation of the swallowing up of her temporal.” For the next hour angels were commissioned to the battle in India. Angels carrying instruments surround Sarah’s bed. Jordan Sarah drifted peacefully to sleep and fell gently into a coma. “Another stroke. Somewhere around 4:00 a. The sounds of celestial music waft into the room along with heavenly colors and fragrances. “The Lord is eagerly waiting. and the heavens open. Maybe one of you can get to her pathetic. Sarah is wholly protected in her utterly vulnerable state from the enemy’s final plan of attack. smiling tenderly. three quarters of the way dead. “Great. They resume their marching.” says Joel. and between Cairo. She’s barely holding to life by a thread. Before sunrise they were to bring Sarah home. “At sunrise this frail little intercessor. Death is busy formulating a plan with the low-ranking imps under his command. This heavenly choir follows Malta’s worship. “The prayers of an elderly woman.m. The angels pause from their celebration. wrinkled body. dancing and praising around the bed. Celestial light flooded the room as the angels celebrated the swallowing up of temporal.” said Joel smiling. deception was lifted and souls were saved. and their joyful praise not only fills the room but flows back to the throne of grace like a tidal wave of pure joy.” whines Discouragement. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints. are several yellow-eyed spirits.”140 shouts Joel. growling. charge. Joel and Malta finally received the news from Father that they had been waiting to hear. broken people and He binds Himself to their prayers.” “Even after all these eons I’m still astounded that our glorious. “Make them stop singing. more angels—that’s just what we need. Huddled together in the corner of the room. strongholds came down. Principalities were defeated. is finally going to rest in the Lord’s arms.” . earthly life into an eternity of love and peace. Just as they are ready to strike. Malta blows his shofar. omnipotent God has chosen to partner with frail.185 “Go!” “So amazing. Sarah is unaware of the celestial celebration and the Heavenly orders that will transition her into God’s Paradise—the eternal dwelling place for which she was created. He despises them all. I think I'm going to be sick!” “Enough complaining!” barks Death." wails Depression. as the muscles on Sarah’s face tense.” says Malta. “We’ve got to attack now. When I give the word. are shaking the enemy’s kingdom half way around the world. who was so dynamic a witness on earth. earthly life into an eternity of love and peace. "I can’t take any more worship. The feeling is mutual.

“We couldn’t even get to her when there were just two of them—I’m not going anywhere near that bed!" yelps Infirmity, ducking quickly to avoid a blow from Death. Fear of Man emphatically agrees. “Do you see those angels walking back and forth with swords? Do you see the impenetrable wall of protection and glory around her? You can charge if you want, but I’m staying here!” “We’ve tried unsuccessfully to kill her for 16 months. Let’s face it. We can’t even steal one second from the life span appointed to her,” says Intimidation. Knowing it would indeed be impossible to penetrate the angelic worship, Death turns on these minion imps in anger. “We had Sarah her whole life. How did you manage to lose her in the last year and a half?” he screams. “Do you realize what she set in motion? This one wretched little old lady has started an avalanche of salvations around the world. You’re all a bunch of incompetent idiots, and we’ll be tormented for failing this mission.” The imps retaliate by hissing, cursing, scratching and blaming each other for their failure. Joel gazes at them with eyes like blazing fire. He unsheathes his flaming, two-edged sword and on his next pass by that side of the room slashes through the gnarled demonic mass. They vaporize into a harmless puff of yellow sulfurous smoke. Joel grins. It is one of the many aspects of his job that he loves. With the sun slightly below the horizon, the angels gather around the bed in a hushed excitement. Joel and Malta bend over Sarah. “Soooo—close,” whispers Malta, stroking Sarah’s forehead and smiling at Joel. They’d only been her guardians for 16 months. It was hard to believe, but they feel even more love for Sarah welling inside them than before. “Get ready,” says Joel, gazing into the opened Heaven, awaiting the final word. Malta lays his hand on Sarah’s chest to feel her shallow breathing. “NOW!” shouts Joel, having received orders from God’s fiery throne. As her last breath escapes her frail, fleshly shell, the sun’s first rays peek over the horizon. Surges of glory permeate the room as the heavenly corridor of glory touches earth. Sarah’s spirit emerges into Malta’s waiting arms. Glancing back, she catches a glimpse of her aged face, ashen-colored and wrinkled. She is whisked through the portal toward an unseen realm of eternity by a jubilant Malta with Joel flying ahead. Escorted by her two triumphant angels, she is moving faster than the speed of light. Liquid warmth envelops Sarah. For the first time ever, she feels the complete absence of pain and the presence of total peace. She is leaving behind all sin and the damning results with which she has lived since birth. Shielded by her two ecstatic angels, she moves rapidly toward a brilliant light in the remote distance.


“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’” 141
Chapter 39 Before she even has a chance to wonder or conceive of her experience she is at her destination. “Thank you Joel. Thank you Malta,” she shrieks in excitement, but wonders where that knowledge came from. The two guardians escort her to the edge of the fountain which is shooting thousands of crimson streams skyward obscuring everything else from view. All she can see is brilliant, illuminated, blinding red. Without hesitation she runs into the fountains, followed by Joel and Malta, all three laughing and shrieking like children. She feels her “body” changing. Living light radiating from the Lord Himself transforms her. She is aware that He is everywhere but she cannot see Him yet. She is fully alive in His presence. The mantle of humility slips from her shoulders to reveal the brilliant robe of Jesus’ righteousness, a free gift. As the blood washes over her it leaves behind a golden celestial glow, not a red stain. She is enveloped in the golden glory; the horrific remnants of sin’s effects are washed away. I’m alive for the first time! Gravity’s grasp, reserved for the earth, is not in effect here. She jumps and leaps and floats. She throws her head back and laughs uproarisly when she realizes her mobility has more than returned. She spins and twirls and when she lands she stands on her tiptoes, reaches as high as she can and grabs Malta by the shoulder and shakes him, “There are no wheelchairs in Heaven! There are no wheelchairs here! No more wheelchairs!” She hears her voice shout out the wonderful proclamation, but it isn’t her regular voice, the elderly one with the embarrassing tremor, it is her youthful voice only richer. It is the true melody from which the earthly voice had been a cheap, tinny copy. She looks at her hands still on Malta’s arms. The wrinkled, gnarled, swollen digits are perfectly soft, unblemished. She opens and closes her hands effortlessly; arthritis is a fading memory. She is a younger, perfected version of herself clothed in a glowing celestial robe! If she had looked in a mirror she would not have seen her sin-crippled elderly face staring back, but a youthful, divine individual in complete perfection, body and spirit. She has become the person she was created to be from the beginning had not sin rushed in to corrupt the world and to corrupt her. Joel and Malta are enjoying the celebration as much as Sarah and she is reveling in it! She laughs and shrieks. Her emotions are lively and unrestrained in a way she has never experienced. “It’s hard for me to believe you were an introvert,” says Joel.

This causes Sarah to laugh even more. Then the three friends join hands and dance together in delight circling right, then circling left, moving faster and faster like children on a playground. When they finally stop dancing the angels surround Sarah and she is swallowed up in their enthusiastic embrace of love. Being in the fountain is like she’d been cold all her life and for the first time she is warm, like being mentally tormented and finding peace, like being depressed and having delirious happiness overtake her, and like being weak, sick and terminally ill and being transformed to total, perfect health. She is experiencing the full manifestation of her salvation, experiencing what it means to be a new creature in Christ, all old things now had totally passed away and all things had become new for her.142 When her physical body had died, death had died for her and she had followed her risen Savior into life indeed, finally free from all influence of the bludgeoning presence of evil. Her earthly past seems very dim, at least the sinful, broken parts. She had not realized the burden of carrying around her old sinful nature until it had been shed in death, until she feels its absence for the first time. It was like she’d been carrying around a 500-pound backpack, which she had never been without. It had constantly battled her new nature once she was saved. What she “lived” on earth now seems like a walking, warmed over death that holds absolutely no allure. This is true unrestrained freedom. She is now living in perfect peace and harmony. Indescribable feelings have pushed out bitterness, envy, lust, sadness, shame, anger and jealously. She is so engulfed in love and good feelings she wonders why she had ever been a prisoner to those wretched things. As the warm liquid pours over her she knows that this is what she has been created for, this is what she had longed for on earth and tried to fill with cheap substitutes that never satisfied. She is no longer an alien passing through a strange land, she has arrived at her home and it is beckoning to her at every level of her being. Each cell and molecule of her new body is vibrating in happiness and unity. For the very first time she feels comfortable in her skin. The concept of time, keeping schedules and being late was left on earth. She doesn’t even think, How long have I been here? Should I go someplace else? What is my responsibility? She is living in the present, no shame or regrets about the past or worries and stress about the future. Between the laughter she realizes she is humming. She is humming along with the waters, they are vibrating and undulating with “music” but no earthly music has ever sounded so sweet. When she listens she hears the singing, innumerable voices spring from the fountain, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emanuel’s veins and sinners washed beneath this blood lose all their guilty stains.”143 It is as if the music passes right through her body and she becomes one with its message. Her senses are fully alive for the first time and she is no longer limited just to five. She feels and experiences things that never existed on earth. She can see and smell the fragrances of

music and colors. Everything is alive, even objects that were inanimate on earth are all crying out praises to Him. The ground is vibrating with the glory of God. If she concentrates on it to the exclusion of the other things, she hears its sweet voice sing out to her, a rapturous swell of music, proclaiming God’s eternal, indestructible love. She is amazed to watch the notes float by on their staffs and smell and taste their sweet fragrance—music sweeter than any earthly rose. She closes her eyes to be more aware of all the new sounds. She is aware of a melody welling up inside her in response to the music-saturated atmosphere. “The Lord is good and His mercy endures forever…”144 She sings the phrase again and again unaware that she is surrounded by a multitude of living golden notes praising intensely around her. With all time restraints and other earthly rules and restrictions lifted, she might have stayed for a year frolicking and rejoicing in the fountain of life had her attention not been drawn to the light illuminating it from behind. She is fixated on the brilliance. As she walks through the fountain her excitement heightens and she runs, faster than she has ever run before. Whatever is on the other side of the fountain is glowing brilliantly, illuminating the red which is a more intense color than she has ever seen. The closer she gets to the fountain’s end, the brighter the light becomes. She bursts out of the fountain and comes face to face with her loving Savior waiting with outstretched arms. She is not aware that she looks just like Him in His glory. His blood has demolished her sin and washed away all earthly remnants; she is as white as snow and glowing with Heavenly glory. When she sees His glorious presence, His dazzling purity and His unspeakable holiness she intuitively falls prostrate before Him. He is Light and Life itself. She lays her hands on His beautiful nail-scarred feet and feels an overwhelming love she’s never felt before, like warm oil pouring over her. It is a love that can not be experienced on earth; human hearts and bodies lack the capacity to endure love this intense—it is reserved for the new bodies of eternity’s elect. She feels secure and refreshed; she laughs and cries at the same time, which no longer seems a contradiction. Pleasant emotions bombard her; being in His presence, actually touching Him is like being in the fountain multiplied by a thousand. Each experience absorbs into her being and with each one she feels more alive and energetic. She doesn’t know if she’s been at His feet for two minutes or two weeks and she isn’t concerned either way. Jesus reaches down and gently stands her to her feet and sweeps her up into a cheek-to-cheek embrace that leaves her feet dangling off the floor. Immediately, with lightening speed, she knows Jesus’ thoughts, Welcome home Sarah. Welcome to Your heavenly home. We were thinking of you when We planned it. She clings to Him as tightly as she can and absorbs wave after wave of His love for her. Never let me go, please never let me go, she thinks as tears of joy roll down her cheeks. He finally sets her back on her feet, but keeps His right arm securely around her waist.

richly tooled. My precious Sarah. You did more for My kingdom in 18 months than many people who are saved 70 years! I celebrated your future even while you were still My enemy living in the kingdom of darkness. The Holy Spirit is convicting her and she sees Joel and Malta standing behind her. The dance concludes in front of the altar. I knew that once you heard the Truth you would accept it and that you would give your whole self to it.” She can barely take her eyes off of Him.” Jesus lifts Sarah off the floor and they stand together again in front of the book with His strong arms supporting her. They glance at each other and smile. I knew that before We created the world. Sarah gasps and throws herself at the Lord’s feet in gratitude and adoration. her spiritual eyes are open and as she looks at the movement on the page she sees into the Spirit realm. What about those first 71 years I lived just for myself? Look at all the wasted pages. looking lovingly at them. before you enter into your Heavenly reward that I have prepared for you.” Over her sobbing. On the day you were born I rejoiced and counted off each day until Pastor Hall visited you. Gazing into His eyes of love she cannot find her voice but intuitively steps onto His lovely nail scarred feet and they dance and dance and dance to the heavenly music.” says Jesus. “Now.145 One drop of My blood is enough to cleanse the whole world from its sin if only they would turn to Me. “Sarah. You see. I still rejoiced over you each day because I looked beyond your present to your future. While it was hurtful to watch you make choices that were not in your best interest or Mine. “As far as the east is from the west that’s how far I removed your transgressions from you. but now you’re home for the first time where your body has caught up with your fully-alive. Joel and Malta beam as they watch the beautiful bride having her first dance with her bridegroom King. Before they can answer she comments. When Pastor Hall speaks the scripture. Suddenly she remembers. He gave her a wink and nodded to Malta who flipped backward through the pages. The page is like a movie and she sees her prayer of salvation with Pastor Hall. “Shall we?” His gentle voice asks as He pulls her close to Him. we were never more . I knew you wouldn’t come into the kingdom until you were 71. with her name in gold calligraphy.190 He holds out His left hand. she sees that it’s alive. the same color as the fountain. Jesus immediately answers her thoughts. Jesus’ gentle voice continues. In her heavenly body. They wait behind an altar holding a huge leather book. “Sarah. “Were you with me all the time?” she asks. Each golden edged sheet is crimson. your spirit became alive the afternoon you prayed with Pastor Hall. Joel opens the book almost to the very back.” Joel and Malta beam. we must evaluate your life on earth. Finally she forces herself to look at Joel and Malta who are beaming at her and anticipating the great joy that is ahead. redeemed spirit. “I could sometimes feel your comforting presence even though I could never see you. “Sarah.

” The Lord continues to turn pages commenting on Sarah’s prayer walking. “This is the home of Lee Miller.” “Oh Lord. He soon cut off the illicit relationship. It hadn’t developed enough that the doctor had diagnosed it yet. Sam Wyatt was ready to leave his wife Beth for another woman. She woke up one morning and the tumors were gone.” He says taking her chin in His hand and turning it to His face.” “He is now. “It was My perfect will for you to be healed of your Parkinson’s.” “I remember when I was first prayer walking. “Sarah in this house. “Nancy Trost lives next door to the Miller’s.” said Sarah. added to his. sit or eat. he was developing Dystonia. Mitchell. Your prayers enabled Me to soften his heart. eyelids. Lee became a Christian on June 17. He feels like a new man. a rare neurological movement disorder. for several weeks I felt led to loiter there and pray extra long. They’re going to have a baby 13 months after that. He was born healthy but at 2 months of age. but she refrains from asking it. My beautiful one.191 than a prayer away. He will travel the world holding crusades and draw hundreds of thousands of people to Me. Lord.” Malta turns the next page. The wonderful part is that you were obedient and prayed extra hard. She found her old Bible from childhood and started reading it again. neck.” A question pops into her mind. drove away the spirit of Addiction that controlled his life and the anxiety and constant shame he felt left too. “The Snyder family lives in this white bungalow. He was going to lay . because of a generational curse. she had several large cancerous uterine tumors. “Well Sarah. Pastor Koch is going to visit them in six months and lead them to salvation. physically and emotionally. “He looks happy and healthy to me.” replies Sarah. the condemnation he constantly felt kept him from being able to receive My love for him. He smiles back motioning to the page. And worst of all. It was destroying his life and his marriage. Joshua David. like he has a brand new start on life. Your prayers. I was able to heal him before his mother had to go through the trauma of even hearing the diagnosis. Then she remembers that He knows her thoughts and she looks away slightly embarrassed. Eventually he would not have been able to walk. You are so good. but if you hadn’t prayed Mitchell would have eventually lost control of his head. She looks at Jesus with a curious smile. 1960 but he has had a pornography addiction for over 20 years. She was terrified to be operated on. He shows her each house and all the residents. She knew that the only explanation was that I had healed her. look at all the people You healed. “Look at this precious little toddler. It was My perfect plan for Pastor Paul to become the chaplain and receive an increase in the anointing. will have a strong healing anointing. face and vocal cords. What do you see?” “I don’t know what You mean.

Lord. Paul’s disobedience affected the lives of many. averted an auto accident and kept the spirit of Suicide away from a former satanist who had gotten saved but was still being severely harassed. I love You Jesus most of all. a pastor in Pennsylvania. This is Gary Walsh. I was terrified. Returning to earth. “Lord.’” A tear trickles down His cheek and Sarah gently wipes it away. He almost took himself out way too early through stress. Sarah watches herself praying while she read the newspaper. “Oh. it was like a sweet incense coming up before My throne and from the incense came your little frightened voice and do you know what it said?” Sarah nods no. “Not only did your prayers bring about many wonderful events. and his wife’s pleas.” “Every time you obeyed Me. especially when you were scared. The next page is the Wednesday prayer meeting. in his office and I was going to heal you so you could stay a little longer and minister to the inmates. but your prayers were responsible for thwarting many of the enemy’s plans. Sarah is surprised to see Joel and Malta holding her up again. is he? He looks dead. If you’d like I can easily—“ “No. position. “You two were really on the job. but it sure wasn’t then. people’s sins have consequences.” Malta quickly locates that page. Unfortunately.” says the Lord. a thousand times no. “Sarah.” Thirty pages of explanation later Sarah is beaming at the way the Lord had used her to touch every person on her prayer walk route.” Jesus and Malta smile at Joel. would seem like dying a thousand deaths to me. “It said. he did die several times on that ride. you’ve been dead for less than an hour. After his heart attack I healed his damaged cardiovascular system. Her prayers stopped a drunken husband from beating his wife and child. the staff at the Manor doesn’t even know you’re gone. You were one of them.” With a mischievous twinkle in His eye He says. He repeatedly ignored My conviction.” “Well. Malta turns another page. but the worst one was at the Elks club. standing in the community or my status. even in perfect health. The stinging emotions are gone and Sarah laughs as she watches Joel and Malta holding her up as she walked to the microphone. but he’s fine now. “He’s a totally changed man. unhealthy diet and no exercise. Also you averted a commercial airline disaster with 237 people and seven dogs on board. no. I love You more that I love my reputation. “Now Sarah. many people in a negative way. The doctors said it was a miracle. ‘I love You Lord. “Now that I’ve seen Your beauty face-to-face I never want to leave You. ever.” Sarah sees a man with an oxygen mask on his face and hooked up to tubes in the back of a speeding ambulance. workaholism. “Over half of your neighbors who didn’t know Me will get saved because of your prayers.” she shrieks throwing her arms around Him.192 hands on you on June 12th at the jail. ever. It seems funny now. I love You more than my rank. He spends time with Me each day and has learned to cast . and not just for them only. “Here you are praying in tongues while you drove your car to the grocery store.

They long for a deeper relationship with Me but they won’t take up their cross and die daily. If they did. Tears pour down her cheeks. “How could I not love You. I watched you love Me by making the hard decisions. You were so scared. Now look here. He also makes family time a priority. Lord. Because they refuse those experiences they never mature. “Most who profess to be My followers want the mountaintops but they don’t want the valleys. He eats healthy and exercises regularly and has lost 54 ½ pounds. they yearn for the power of My anointing but they won’t enter the wilderness voluntarily. six hours and 45 seconds—right on schedule.” “You didn’t have to. That all happened while you grocery shopped. unfortunately very few “believers” really believe the Bible. you just had to faithfully pray.” She can’t speak. Now here your prayers enabled Me to release finances to pay the rent on the medical building where missionaries were healing physical and spiritual wounds in Uganda. I have so many good things planned for him and his ministry.” “Oh. “Lord. your sweat glands were working overtime. My Word clearly states that all believers have a guardian angel with them. life on earth would be totally different. if I’d known it was so easy I’d have prayed so much more!” “Not one has ever stood here Sarah that didn’t say the same thing. I’ve never seen any of these people.” “Sarah. Here you are at Reverend Templeton’s grave. she is too overwhelmed. He’s so excited that he started a group for other pastors in the city to help them learn the same things. I invited you into the fellowship of My sufferings when I asked that you sell your land and you accepted My invitation. revival broke out among the villagers of a small Polynesian island. but you obeyed anyway because you knew it was My will. “Your prayers helped conceal an underground church in Albania.193 his cares on Me. You endured isolation and hostility for My sake.” Sarah looks chagrined. . He flips the next page. “I wouldn’t have been nearly as scared if I could have seen my angels sitting next to me in the car. “Look at the next page. Sarah was praying as she was pushing her cart down the produce aisle. Lord? You saved me and showed me such great mercy when I deserved Hell.” “Here’s another time you had to push through your fears. Now he won’t get here for 23 years. two months. You Sarah persevered with right choices. The Lord gently holds and comforts her while this reality sets in then He turns her back toward the book.” Sarah collapses into His side and buries her face in His robe. they remain self-focused. I’ve never been any of these places. not God focused. Your obedience just makes Me smile. five days. He’s setting appropriate boundaries and learning to delegate. saving them from persecution and saving the pastor from time in prison. Here’s the first day visiting inmates at the jail.

Because you prayed in tongues. but at night when the lights were off. “It’s all forgiven Sarah. They accuse Me and fall right into the enemy’s trap. You started stepping out into your prophetic gifting again.” The last few pages concluded Sarah’s time at the nursing home. As the pages continue to turn. And yes. “Look deeper. having a good attitude during adversity is something you can only do when you totally submit to Me. Sarah is too stunned to speak. William gets saved. She celebrates this revelation. they’re scared little boys looking for answers to make their pain go away. During the day they were macho braggarts fighting for position among the other inmates. even though you’d been hurt by that in your past. He’s a former inmate himself so he understands the men and most importantly He understands My love for Him so He can effectively share My love with them.” Sarah watches as angels appeared behind an elderly woman shuffling down the street and protected her from getting mugged.194 “Look at you with your cookies and your sweaty armpits shuffling up to the jail that first day. “Sarah. everything you confessed is forgiven. the Lord stops to comment. “Sarah.” “Lord. did that all happen in that one day?” “Praying in the Spirit is powerful. a premature baby survived and a grandmother who was raising her three grandchildren alone was healed of cancer.” “Lord. “It took me a little while to understand that. here you are when you first got to the Manor. Even the men who never seemed responsive wondered what motivated you to keep coming back. in your wheelchair looking out the window. The impact of your life and your prayers exponentially increased. Many of My faithful servants descend into anger toward Me at the end of their lives. I LOVE to lavish it on My children. I was so proud of you.” Sarah’s mind no longer rejects any truth but absorbs it immediately. didn’t it?” With a huge smile on His face He grasps her around her waist and throws her up in the air like a father with a toddler. He shouts with joy.” Sarah is a little chagrined. you thwarted the enemy’s plans to take his life and he did get saved that Sunday. all that happened in that one 20 minute session in your wheelchair by the door. You encouraged so many at the Manor with My loving words . He will reap the harvest from the good seed you sowed with your kindness and prayers. I was so proud of you! Even though you were only able to minister there for a short time you made a bigger impact than you know. I have unlimited mercy and I love.” This news caused Sarah to let out a big whoop and jump up and down.” She sees Bob riding his motorcycle in Oklahoma. who will be the chaplain now that Paul’s gone? And what about William?” “I’m moving Matthew Kemph from Texas to be the new chaplain. “Sarah. Now look deeper into the next level. “Now look at you on the day you said yes to the Holy Spirit and surrendered the last of your pride and resentment. wondering if praying in tongues was having any kind of an impact.

not just in Missouri. she cannot comprehend its beauty. all the staff and patients totally tuned her out but she still hungered for and needed love and companionship. You’ll share in the reward for the transformation of that village. After the fire dies out.” “Lord that was such a little thing. and your prayers ensured that a witness will continue at the Manor for years to come. You encouraged patients and staff alike. It took absolutely no effort. you reached out and patted Ethel.” Joel draws his fiery sword and touches her book. It ignites into flames. not just in North America. Her disease would not even allow her to respond with a smile. I’ve never seen anything so beautiful on earth! The lower circlet of the crown is lined with fur and composed of six gold segments joined together by hinges and set with precious stones that form crosses and flowers. the book is gone and in its place is a large. “Look at you in bed in night.195 flowing through your mouth. His voice climbing in excitement. You led many patients to Me who will soon be joining us here. your prayers gave her the stamina she needed to finish translating the New Testament for a very remote Asian village.” She looks into the page and sees herself reaching out to lay a shaky hand on the shoulder of the woman at the breakfast table beside her. golden jewel-encrusted crown. your diligent intercession touched almost every continent. Since she was so non-responsive. Instead as you prayed by your rotating globe the flames of Holy Spirit fire settled onto the different countries you prayed for. every breakfast. You turned those times into sweet intercession instead of complaining. The only thing she looked forward to each day was those three pats from you after meals. “And look here. And the best news is that your impact is still being felt even though you aren’t on earth anymore. “Sarah. lunch and dinner when the aide was rolling you back to your room. Sarah gasps. In some way. “Sarah. sometimes little and sometimes big. skipping the last page with the picture of the crown. Malta turns the next page. Lori Levine. You could have been angry with Me because I didn’t respond the way you wanted or you could have easily worked yourself into a severe depression. but all around the world. glistening. unable to sleep because of the pain.” He said. You were truly My hands reaching out to her. Up until this time they had never had a copy of the scriptures. but discouraged Bible translator. you still don’t really realize that your prayers had an impact not just in Bradbury. “This is My faithful.” “Did you read in My Word that God is not so unjust as to overlook your work and the love which you showed for His sake? 146 You fulfilled all the works I had for you to do while you were there. He winks at Joel and Malta as He closes the back cover on the book. Four smaller plates . “Now it’s time to reveal your life’s work. People who got saved will lead others into a relationship with Me and the benefits and blessings of your prayers will just keep going until I return to earth.

there are very few who do their good works in secret. supporting a diamond-studded cross. “Sarah. I wish I had more to give You. .” she says gently rubbing her fingers across the many scars. Then I gave you My righteousness as a gift.” 150 “Thank You Lord I don’t even understand yet all that You suffered but I’m so grateful that You snatched me from Hell and gave me eternal life. It pales next to Your great glory. Its worth is nothing compared to knowing You. As she touches a scar she sees a vision of the soldier jamming the crown onto His head148 and the blood running down His face. the crown of life referred to in My living Word. no sacrifice I made. the first 71 years of your life were washed under My blood when you prayed to accept Me and you trusted Me to forgive your sins. “Sarah. but your life was a walking prayer. Sarah. and His ascension. Not only did you prayer walk. through tears of joy. being content that I alone know what they do. look what You endured for me. “We do have a record of the many daily acts you did in secret that so pleased Me.149 Love hung Me on the tree. jewel encrusted crown. I did nothing and you did everything.” In the background she hears and feels sweet music radiating from all directions. the resurrection. 18 brilliant rubies and 8 large pearls. You are My beautiful bride. you were the joy that was set before Me for which I endured the cross. but of those. penetrating every cell in her body.” “Sarah. I wish this crown was a million times bigger. From the circlet. This is your crown. brushes His hair to the side and looks at the scars of love left from the crown of thorns.” 147 With her heart overflowing with so much gratitude that it is totally inexpressible Sarah. And. You truly performed for an audience of One. You are the pearl of great price. “Lord. desire for you kept Me there. The sins you committed the last 16 months of your life--you repented of them all. this must be a mistake!” This comment causes Joel and Malta to dissolve into gales of laughter. the representation of her life on earth. On top where the arches meet is a large sapphire. the keys of death and Hell. eight half-arches meet at the top completely covered with 142 rose-cut diamonds. Behind the arches is the finest quality red velvet. as much as you performed kindnesses to the least. you performed those kindnesses unto Me. “Oh Lord. We have no record of any sin in your life. a million times more glorious than it is. Intercession was the tool you used to set many people free from the enemy’s clutches. on which hundreds of gems are set. She is ready to grab the crown and cast it at His beautiful nail-scarred feet but instead she steps closer to Him. You were one of those. “All hail the power of Jesus’ name! Let angels prostrate fall. “Nothing I did. She is so taken aback that she looses her footing and Jesus steadies her. Sarah is astonished. there are a few Christians who truly give themselves to intercession and service.196 show detailed pictures in cloisonné enamel of the crucifixion. looks at the glorious. You left this paradise and died for me.

they’re not angels. The whole crowd is speaking over the top of each other in their own language yet she can simultaneously hear and understand even those on the back and the hundreds in-between. You may enter into the joy prepared for those who love Me.” “Me. “No. Sarah laughs. Well done indeed.” Then her attention is drawn away from the beautiful walkway by voices--the happiest. they’re coming to see you. but they don’t have wings. They look on like proud parents. My good and faithful servant. Jesus nods for the three remaining figures waiting on the knoll to make their way down-George.” He says pointing to an ornate pearl gate that goes higher and farther than she can see. “You don’t know me Sarah. Hundreds of people from every tongue. The first three to reach her are a young Jewish man. She begins to laugh too. Jesus offers Sarah His arm and staring deeply into His eyes of love. places it on Jesus’ head. They all say the same thing with intense gratitude and emotion. and some are holding hands. Malta and Joel stand on either side of Jesus. Jesus’ sweet voice sings out again. Let Me show you the mansion that I have carefully prepared for you.” 151 She gently lifts the crown from its place on the altar and on tiptoes. contagious joy. tribe and nation run over the top of a grassy knoll celebrating.152 Malta and Joel go before them and push open the massive gates. but on the day I died you prayed and the Lord’s great mercy saved me from the enemy’s kingdom!” They all clamor to hug and kiss her and thank her with their laughter and their tears. and crown Him Lord of all. but Lord--” and then the jubilant group swarms around her. They are jubilant. all three with their arms around each other’s waists reveling in the first glorious moment of Sarah’s many eternal rewards. “It’s the Heavenly pavement. My good and faithful friend. leaping. Well done!” . Together they walk under the large arch. “I crown You king of kings and Lord of all. Sarah. Sarah. They must be angels coming to greet the Lord. a woman from Thailand and a grandmotherly looking Haitian named Edwidge who all throw their arms around her. tears running down all their cheeks. Jesus points down to the pure gold. finding it impossible not to be swept up into their delight. Sarah is in awe at their beauty and grace and especially their overwhelming. they’re part of My beautiful bride and they’re not coming to see Me right now.” “Well done Sarah. Pastor Paul and Reverend Templeton. laughing. transparent as glass. most excited and ecstatic voices she has ever heard. “Well done.197 bring forth the royal diadem. she grasps it.

We conduct long discussions with them. Those that were caught were sent to jail. In the large reception room of the prison. Hellige This letter. After the service. many with tears. Protestant pastors. even tearfully. in Ravensburg. by God's mercy. The jail room was transformed into a temple of God! We prayed fervently. All of them. Then I began to confess them. Their faces were sullen and mistrustful. After the end of World War II. in their eyes one could already see joy and hope. Our meeting was brought to a halt by the prison police. were literally on the streets. All of our youth partook of the Holy Mysteries of Christ. I put on my vestments. Tormented by hunger and their desperate circumstances. agreed to have confession and participate in a church service and to receive the Holy Mysteries? What did you tell your prisoners. Reluctant to part. not long afterwards they were all released. and representatives of other faiths talking to groups of prisoners. “I went straightway there. without a roof. books. some of these youths resorted to stealing food from stores and homes. it was a fairly sizeable group. when they were brought to you? After all.) I began to take off my vestments. especially youth. (Their hope was justified. Fr.” Bernard of Clarrvaux The Miraculous Power of True Humility By E. We began the service. pastors.198 Additional Reading and Resources I Couldn’t Fit in the Story “It is no great thing to be humble when you are brought low: but to be humble when you are praised is a great and rare achievement.’ . After saying a few words to the youth. without exception. once told me from his pastoral experience. how is it that all your prisoners so readily and eagerly. Some Roman Catholic monks approached me. you had never met them before. and we are all amazed. about the spiritual rebirth of lost souls who. This took place nearly 50 years ago. We see you here for the first time. These were those whom the Germans had brought during the war to work in Germany. At my request the Orthodox youths were brought in. as members of other faiths looked on attentively and with interest at what was going on in our corner of the room. We bring Bibles. the youths surrounded me and one after the other began telling me the story of his life. visiting hours were over. They waved their hands and wiped away tears with their fists. without work. They are cold and indifferent to all that we do and say. reminded me of a story a priest. or asked for advice how to resolve his particular difficulty. ‘We all witnessed your ministry to these prisoners. many Russian Orthodox countrymen. K. Tell us. approached for confession. Archpriest Nakonechny was informed that a whole group of these fellows were in jail. and priests. We come here regularly. Many of them were still sobbing and shedding tears of repentance as they stepped aside for the next prisoner. but their hearts and souls remain closed to us. the youths embraced me on leaving. I read the preparatory rule for Holy Communion. Germany. Andrew. money and gifts to the prisoners. without any defense. there were already Roman Catholic priests. had come to repentance and a new Christian life. Among the prisoners were a few that were familiar with the prayers and chants.

by all rights it is not you that should be prisoners here but I. True humility frees us to do the works of God to bring glory to Jesus not to ourselves. “I told them the honest truth: Brothers. 7. doormat. the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. sent me here to you. True humility allows the Lord to empty us of self-determination so that we can live in obedience to his will and his commands. and unassuming. our Lord who rose from the dead.. Let us repent together. Being a Man of Humility By Maurice Blumberg I once asked a group of men whether being a “man of humility” was a high priority in their lives. not by our own power but by the working of his power—not by our wisdom but according to the wisdom of his plans and purposes. to this prison. “At every stage of our Christian development and in every sphere of our Christian discipleship. quiet.” John Stott Pride. Here are what I believe are ten attributes of true humility: 1. I am an ordained servant of the One.199 Andrei Nakonechny said. The answer for the most part was a resounding “No. 6. It allows us to see ourselves as God sees us. Catholic and Apostolic Church. 3. it is because humility often gets confused with being weak-willed or timid or feeling bad about ourselves.e. Holy. meek. True humility recognizes that all of our talents. Perhaps. True humility tries to point others to Jesus and not to ourselves. for all my many sins. virtues. and gifts come from God. low self-image. Prayer for Humility . Andrew finished telling me his story. pride is the greatest enemy and humility our greatest friend.” To help better understand why there were so many negative responses. know this. tears streamed down his cheeks. No wonder humility is not a character trait that men typically seek after…. 4. True humility allows the Lord to strip away any sense that we are the sole authors of our lives. 8. 2. True humility leads us to lay down our lives for others—especially those in our family and those in need—and to do so boldly 10. we will see that it reflects strength of character. timid. Brothers. 9. the more we can let Jesus’ light shine through us. we did a word association…. True humility allows us to see our sins and weaknesses and still know Jesus’ overwhelming love for us. who we are relative to who God is). True humility enables us to honestly recognize whom we are as finite humans compared to the infinite majesty of God (i. Let us pray. low self-esteem. But I believe that as we come to more clearly understand the meaning of true humility. True humility frees us from pretense and delusion about ourselves. True humility is not a matter of downcast weakness but of a strong determination to let God work in and through us. Humility & God essay. shy.” especially from a Christian perspective and let’s see if it is a character trait that is masculine and one that men should seek after. Andrei Nakonechny through his humility…brought to repentance many lost rational sheep and returned them to the fold. And the more we are emptied of self-love. So let’s try to get our arms around “true humility. which our Lord Jesus Christ established on earth through His grievous sufferings and the shedding of His innocent blood for the sake of us sinners. wimpy. it strips away whatever would mask our identity as God’s beloved children. Here are some of the word associations that were suggested: weak. When Fr. 5. not weakness of character.

It is grace which makes us humble. make known to me. . Let us be poor in spirit that God may make us rich. Begin your day by acknowledging your dependence upon God and your need for God. May your presence and work within me testify of your holiness and saving grace that others may know You and receive your gift of salvation and reconciliation. and continuously seek your glorification in everything I think or do. dear reader." It may be that this is the language of true humility. helpless. endure and even embrace the trials and tribulations necessary to accomplish this. that the LORD may make much of thee. May this be my highest calling: To be nothing that You may be All within and through me. We are needy. Help me to die to self each day. Creator. that You have begun a good work in me and will continue to perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Practice the spiritual disciplines—prayer. J. Perhaps the sigh breaks out. © Copyright 2004 Gentle Ben “Come. Do this consistently each day and at the day’s outset if possible. This I ask in the exalted name of Jesus. Reflect on the wonder of the cross of Christ. undeserving. AS EACH DAY BEGINS: 2. This prayer was inspired by the reading of "Humility" by Andrew Murray. study of God’s Word. Be little in thine own esteem. Let us go down that we may rise. Begin your day expressing gratefulness to God. Amen. Spurgeon HOW TO WEAKEN PRIDE AND CULTIVATE HUMILITY Humility True Greatness by C. Enable and help me to accept. 3.200 Dear Heavenly Father. Have mercy upon me. who exemplified and is true humility. Use me and abide in me such that You receive all honor and glory. and who is able to transform me to the uttermost. Forgive me of my sins and cleanse me so I may be a pure and useful vessel fit for your use. Let us humble ourselves because of our sins against humility. "I fear I am not humble. and grace which finds in this humility an opportunity for pouring in more grace. Mahaney ALWAYS: 1. All In All. and if we are not humble we ought to be. Let us be humble that we may not need to be humbled but may be exalted by the grace of God. Empty me of self. Some are proud of being humble. and then the LORD will give us to taste of His favor. and this is one of the very worst sorts of pride. every kind and form and degree of pride. and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your revealing light and the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish your will. 4. Thank You for your sacrifice for me and longsuffering toward me. Out of the riches of your abundant grace. For I am confident according to Your Word.” Charles H. worship. and take from my heart. take a lowly place. hell-deserving creatures.

10. Respond humbly to trials. and laugh often at yourself. 16. high and lifted up and seated on his throne. FOR SPECIAL FOCUS: 9. 8. they would have no problem attaining and maintaining humility. Seize your commute time to memorize and meditate on Scripture. 12.” Isaiah. 6.” “This is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word. “The vast majority of people on the planet are striving for recognition. What misdirected energy. Study the attributes of God. Transfer the glory to God. AS EACH DAY ENDS: 7. THROUGHOUT YOUR DAYS AND WEEKS: 14. and in this sense. Encourage and serve others each and every day. 15.201 5. Cast your cares upon Him. drawing His attention means also attracting His grace—His unmerited kindness. supernatural strength and assistance! What a promise…! (my emphasis) “It is evident that man never attains to a true self-knowledge until he has previously contemplated the face of God. They never seem to live with eternity in the forefront on their minds. Identify evidences of grace in others. for He cares for you. Think about that: There’s something you can do to attract more of God’s gracious. Before going to sleep. 11. receive this gift of sleep from God and acknowledge His purpose for sleep. their life’s goal is to be great in the eyes of people.” John Calvin FIVE SIGNPOSTS ALONG THE ROAD TO PRIDE Humility by C. The person who is humble is the one who draws God’s attention. Invite and pursue correction. Peter Wagner 1. Keeping Score . undeserved. Laugh often. Study the doctrine of sin. Play golf as much as possible 13. 66:2. and come down after such contemplation to look into himself. If they could all see the Lord like Isaiah did. 17. Yearning for praise and Human Accolades 2. Study the doctrines of grace.

This is why so many times the Lord said “Let those who have ears to hear. Carefully Adhering to the Biblical Rules for Submission 2. Man was not made to admire man. rebuke in anger. Accepting Praise but Rejecting Flattery 9. untrue. hear. It tricks man into replacing Magnificence with a mirror. GODWARD HUMILITY by John Piper There are two reasons (at least) why God hates for man to boast in man. The True Treasure by Aaron Pierson. pg. Knowing Your Place in the Body 5. 2) The other reason God hates for man to boast in man is this: It conveys the conviction that man is more admirable than God. Having the Ability to Pass on Your Glory to Others The key to life and serving the Lord is Humility. Our pride will hear what it wants to hear not what the Lord is saying. God does not like the damage done by boasting in man. Avoiding Living in the Achievements of the Past 10. Now that is." No. Compulsively Defending Yourself Against Criticism TEN SIGNPOSTS ALONG THE ROAD TO HUMILITY 1. 1) Boasting in man deflects man’s attention from the Fountain of his joy and so ruins his life. Rejoicing in Others’ Failures and Resenting Others’ Successes 5. That’s not quite right. Lying happens to be one way that he is dishonored as the God of truth. He was made to admire God. Without this we will never see the Truth written in the Gospels because our pride will always distort the Truth. Pride always opposes the Truth and is always setting people against one another. What God hates is the dishonoring of God. Dare to be Realistic About Your Successes and Failures 7. Cultivating a Creator Complex 4. It is always ready to fight. Discovering Your Spiritual Gifts 4. Humility. of course. Knowing the Differences Between Your Strengths and Weaknesses 6. 22-23. Taking Risks 8. But we would miss the point if we said: "God hates lying and therefore God hates boasting in man because it conveys a lie. It is Humility that draws near to the Truth and draws us to the Cross.” Pride blinds us and makes us deaf to the Truth. What We Lack! What The Lord Is. The joy of admiration is prostituted and ruined when man tries to find galaxy-size Glory in the glow of his own reflection.202 3. So the real problem with man’s boasting in man is that it belittles God. Understanding the Role of the Holy Spirit in Your Daily Life 3. .

unending majesty. Nothing polluted. ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. Frances Cabrini Humility is the total opposite of what the natural man thinks. Nothing weak. and give your peace to my soul. hideous or insidious. irritating. Meekness is compatible with great strength. There will be no sinful lusts to pull us down. no wicked impulses against which we must fight. Why? Because we will be looking at God (Rev. Nothing blameworthy. All of our senses will be heightened and their capacity to see. to be known only to you. are organized and goal directed. 22:4). And that is the point to which you and I have to come. Nothing deformed. Nothing dark. touch. I may aspire to that true and lasting glory that comes from you. emotional and intellectual pleasures of heaven will infinitely exceed the most ecstatic of physical pleasures on earth. Nothing illicity or illegal. Nothing grotesque or grievous. so that your will may be my will. 21:4. In heaven. . dismal. physical pleasure often competes with spiritual happiness.” Studies on the Sermon on the Mount. discomfort. Wherever we turn our eyes in heaven we will behold only glory and grandeur and beauty and brightness and purity and perfection and utter. fatigue. agitating or hurtful.203 Boasting in God. It does not mean to be naturally nice or easy to get along with nor weak in personality or character. that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry. vile or vicious (Rev. may I admit only to my infirmities. Nothing marred or mutilated. No.8. poor or putrid. dismaying or degrading. his status in life. degenerate. for your love. In this life it's often hard to be happy when you hurt. lascivious or lustful. Although now we see through a "mirror dimly. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to you. soiled or spoiled. depraved or disgusting. Do not permit me to attribute to myself the good that you perform in me and through me. no dullness of heart to hold us back. Amen St. on the other hand. even when suffering unjustly.27). chronic aches or itches. misaligned or misinformed. (But there is a) Complete absence of the spirit of retaliation. Prayer for Humility Lord Jesus Christ. referring all honor to you. I may remain obscure and unknown in this world. 13:12). his possessions. he is like the man depicted by Paul in Philippians 2. no lack of energy to love or absense of passion to pursue what is holy. his privileges. Martyn LloydJones.' God will one day unveil Himself in breathtaking beauty and clarity for us to behold (I Cor. On earth. No bodily obstacles will diminish our ability to see and feel and hear and touch and taste and smell the glories of paradise. Grant that I may be free from unholy desires. Blessed are the meek (humble). does the double opposite: it honors God and gives man the joy for which he was made: admiring the infinitely admirable. feel. blasphemous or blighted. sick. with new and glorified bodies. Meekness should not be confused with milk personality or temperament…. so that renouncing sincerely all vainglory which comes from the world. and that. but in heaven they are one! The physical. broken or foolish. there will be no pain. pg. no lethargy of soul to slow us down. "When we get to heaven there will be nothing that is abrasive. but rather. blemished. not those who try hard. He deliberately did not. pathetic. 57. “He does not make demands for his position. The meek man is one who may die for what he believes.’ Christ did not assert that right to equality with God. I pray that you may fortify me with the grace of your Holy Spirit.

org URL: http://www. I want to live so that when I do see Him I will not be ashamed of the way I lived this life. I know that sometimes that involves things I just don't want to face. and an enormous team of servant-hearted volunteers.but God is the ocean. Oklahoma with thirty affiliated international offices. Great blessings to you. He has given us all we need to live victoriously here so that one day we may stand before Him and hear Him say "Well done.204 hear and smell will no longer be hindered by disease or distraction. Please send your qualifications. We can know that heaven awaits.com. We must not expect heaven.org http://www. If you are fluent in another language and feel the Lord’s leading to translate this book. suggestions and criticisms at aohbook@aol. and educating the world about the ongoing persecution of Christians. Earthly joys are fragmented beams. but God is the sun.com Sign up for free newsletter and free book called God’s Secret Agent.seegod. what we see and sense and savor in this life is an ephemeral shadow compared with the substance of God Himself. VOM is headquartered in Bartlesville. interdenominational organization with a vision for aiding persecuted Christians around the world." How I long to see His face and to be in that wonderful place. and there will be a time when all the suffering and sorrow is a thing of the past." Decision Magazine. fulfilling the Great Commission. Even when the present is pleasant. USA Phone: (918) 337-8015 Email: thevoice@vom-usa.1040window. I regret that I can’t respond to all e-mails. For now. please contact me at the above e-mail. NOTES . I relinquish my "rights" to have heaven on earth that I may allow Him to work in my life according to His perfect plan for me. Earthly refreshment is at best a sipping from intermittent springs . He has placed us here for a very small period of time. VOM is a non-profit. why you would like to do this project and a cost estimate.org/humility.htm I welcome comments. http://www. May 2007.persecution. Sam Storms Voice of the Martyrs.

2002). The True Treasure. Matthew 25:14-30. The Holy Spirit will provide the words. Humility. In order to speak in tongues you must use your lips and tongue and push the air through your voice box. Peter Wagner. CA. 29 Matthew 6:18 30 Genesis 37:5 31 James 4:6 32 Proverbs 18:6-8 New Living. (Regal Books. 7 44 Mark 16:17 45 If you don’t speak in tongues stop and ask for this extraordinary gift now. 46 1 Corinthians 14:18. 12-17 53 Genesis 18:20-33 . Matthew 25:1-13 28 Description of the Spiritual Gifts. Humility. Begin praising the Lord in your own language and this wonderful gift will come. Don’t just open your mouth and wait silently. but you must provide the mechanics of speech. Page 38. 33 Proverbs 25:22-23 New Living Bible. 6:10 RSV 41 Matthew 25:37-40 42 Galatians 5:16 43 Aaron Pierson.205 1 Psalm 116:15 2 Romans 3:23 NKJV 3 Romans 6:23 NKJV 4 Matthew 18:14 5 John 3:16 6 Hebrews 7:26-28 7 2 Corinthians 5:21 8 1 Peter 2:24 9 John 11:25 10 Hebrews 8:1 11 I John 1:9 NKJV 12 Isaiah 64:6 13 Proverbs 16:18 14 James 4:6 NKJV 15 Philippians 2:8. Ventura. John 15:13 16 Galatians 5:22 17 Luke 15:10 18 Revelation 5:9 19 Zephaniah 3:17 20 Luke 5:16 21 John 5:19 22 New Living Translation 23 James 4:6 NKJV 24 Luke 14:11 25 C. The Treasure Principle 37 Romans 8:37 38 Hosea 4:6 39 I Corinthians 13:4-7 40 Heb. What We Lack! What The Lord Is. Internet. 1 Corinthians 14:4. 34 Proverbs 25: 17-18 New Living Translation 35 James 1:26 36 Randy Alcore. 26 1 Corinthians 3:15 27 Revelation 22:12.5 47 Acts 2:1-4 48 Matthew 9:38 49 1 Kings 18:41-45 50 Daniel 10:10-14 51 2 Kings 20:2-6 52 Exodus 33:2-3. pg. Lambert Dolphin. Matthew 20:28.

Sisters. 106 Proverbs 24:16 107 Romans 8:28 .: Oak Harbor. 90 James 4:7 paraphrase 91 C. Acts 22:7 80 Exodus 2:12-15 81 Ephesians 2:1-2 82 Proverbs 16:18. RSV. Destined for the Throne. Streams Publishing House. Oregon. paraphrase 97 Hebrews 11:6. Mahaney. page19. page 13. Thomas Nelson: Nashville 100 Psalm 64:3-6 101 Romans 8:32 102 Luke 11:11 103 Luke 6:19. (Forerunner Books. (Multinomah Publishers. 64 John 15:16 65 Matthew ll:30 66 2 Corinthians 12:9 67 John 5:19 68 Matthew 5:9 69 Romans 8:38-39 70 A Missouri Western University Organization. Humility True Greatness. Logos Research Systems. 71 Colossians 1:13 72 2 Corinthians 5:17 paraphrase 73 Jim Elliott missionary to Ecuador. Inc. 92 Proverbs 16:25 93 1 Peter 2:24 94 Romans 3:23 The New Living Translation 95 2 Corinthians 5:19 96 James 1:27. 2005). KC. J. paraphrase 98 Matthew 12:15 99 Romans 10:17 Paraphrase New Revised Standard Version. 2005). The Seven Longings of the Human Heart. (North Sutton. paraphrase 83 Philippians 2:3 84 Ezekiel 22:30. Matthew 12:15 104 Proverbs 17:22 105 Mike Bickle. NH. 91-93. MO.206 54 1 Peter 5:7 paraphrase 55 When I Survey the Wondrous Cross Words: Isaac Watts Music: American Folk Tune 56 2 Timothy 2:2-3 57 Psalm 23:5 58 Esther 4:14 59 Romans 8:11 60 Matthew 18:23-34 61 Isaiah 53:3 62 Luke 10:38-42 63 Shawn Bolz. WA 85 Luke 22:27 New King James Version 86 Matthew 13:18-19 87 I Peter 5:8 88 New King James Version 89 Paul Billheimer. The Throne Room Company. killed in 1956 along with 4 companions by Auca tribe members 74 Revelation 2:2-4 75 Lamentations 3:22-24. paraphrase 76 Matthew 18:12-14 77 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 78 2 Samuel 11:3-5. 2004). pg. 2 Samuel 11:14-15 79 Acts 26:14.

152 John 14:2 . 119 Matthew 10:42 120 Luke 11:23 121 Aaron Pierson. page 66. Music: Oliver Holden. 1996. Music: 19th Century melody. Humility.207 108 Psalm 139:15 109 Beth & Matt Redman 110 Philippians 4:7 111 Shawn Bolz. Ill. 127 I John 2:15-17 NSRV 128 Matthew 22:37-39 129 Revelation 21:4 130 Revelation 5:8 131 2 Corinthians 4:8 132 2 Corinthians 4:17 133 2 Corinthians 11:23 134 Matthew 10:24 135 Brennan Manning. The Throne Room Company. 39-43 137 Luke 4:16-18 138 1 John 4:18 139 Revelation 4:5 140 Psalm 116:15 141 Matthew 25:40. paraphrase 147 2 Timothy 4:8 148 Mark 15:17 149 Hebrews 12:2 150 Matthew 13:46 151 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name. (North Sutton. NH. Thomas Nelson: Nashville 142 2 Corinthians 5:17 143 There is a Fountain. 144 1 Chronicles 16:34 145 Psalm 103:12 146 Hebrews 6:10. Tyndale House: Wheaton. NavPress. 1772. 136 Luke 23:32-33. What We Lack! What The Lord Is. C0. The New King James Version. 2004). William Cowper. 1996. Abba’s Child (Colorado Springs. c198. Words: Edward Perronet. c1989 Thomas Nelson: Nashville. Streams Publishing House. 112 James 4:7 113 Proverbs 24:16 114 1 Peter 2:23 115 Psalm 136:26 116 Isaiah 26:3 117 Matthew 23:12 118 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 NRSV Bible. The True Treasure 122 Deuteronomy 12:28 123 John 17:17 124 Romans 8:28 125 Matthew 7:26 126 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 New Living Translation. 2002).

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