Miracles in my life

Testimony, part four

Miracles in my life

(1) For a time in the early 1970’s my children and I attended Parkwood Presbyterian Church on the Pamplico Highway. The church had an Easter Sunrise Service one year and the weather was beautiful. Several dozen church members assembled outside on the church grounds as the sun came up, and suddenly Jesus stood there facing us, smiling, his arms outstretched. His figure was much taller than any of the people there and translucent, not quite transparent.

After a few minutes the figure faded away and he was gone. After the brief sunrise service we went inside for breakfast before the regular Sunday School classes and Worship service. At first I thought I was the only person who had seen the figure of Jesus, but later several people cautiously asked around, “Did you see anything – unusual – during the sunrise service?” and we discovered that a number of us had seen him.

(2) One morning I was on my way to work at Florence-Darlington Technical College from my home in Claussen, driving down the Old River Road. The children had either caught the school bus or it was summer, I don’t remember which, and I was alone in the car.

Suddenly off to the right down a dirt lane I saw a car speeding toward the road and I realized it was not slowing down. We were already so close that there was no way to avoid a collision even if I stomped on the brakes. I simply said “Jesus” and in an instant my car was hundred of yards further down the road. I glanced in my rear view mirror and saw the other car just coming off the dirt road onto the River Road, behind me.

My car had been transported down the road — not a tremendous distance, but a comfortable distance. I had a hard time driving the rest of the way into town, the energy level and anointing inside my car was so great. I praised my way to work that day!

(3) One day my children and I were driving into town. We were on the Old River Road and had gone through the Claussen intersection when a red dashboard light came on in the Plymouth. The radiator was overheating. We could smell the waves of heat coming from under the hood and I knew better than to keep driving with the radiator hot.

We were near a house so I pulled the car over and hoped someone there could give us some water, but no-one was home. We had nothing in the car to put water in, not even an empty Coke bottle or can, and there was no garden hose in that yard.

So, I laid my hand on the front hood of the car and commanded the radiator to be normal temperature and whatever had caused the problem, whether a faulty thermostat or a leak, to be gone. We got back into the car, I cranked up the engine and the indicator light had gone out. The hot smell had gone away too. We drove on into town and did our errands and never had another problem with the engine overheating.

(4) One day I was frying something when hot grease popped out of the frying pan onto my hand. That spot turned red and burned like the dickens, but I didn’t have time to stop and try to find ice, or salve, or a band-aid to put on the hand. It was very inconvenient.

So I just told my hand to stop hurting and burning and went on with my cooking. After a while I looked down and my hand wasn’t red, it wasn’t painful, in fact I couldn’t tell where that spot had been.

(5) Another time I was peeling or slicing vegetables when I bore down a little too hard with my paring knife and accidentally cut the end of a finger. I hate being cut worse than being burned! I needed to keep working on the vegetables and knew a band-aid probably wouldn’t stay on the finger very long.

I rinsed the finger off, commanded the skin to close up and be healed, wrapped a bit of paper towel or napkin around it and went back to work. When I finished up the vegetables I unwrapped the finger. The skin had closed back up and there wasn’t even so much as a thin line left to show where the cut had been.

(6) In the late 1970’s I was one of the teachers at the Tabernacle Bible Institute. I was walking from the parking lot toward the main building to teach a class one morning and saw one of my students coming toward me. Since it was almost time for class to start, I asked where she was going. She said she had to go to the dentist, she had a terrible toothache.

I told her to let’s pray, then laid my hand on the side of her jaw and commanded her toothache to leave her and whatever was causing the pain to be gone. She thanked me and went on into the parking lot. I went on into the building and a few minutes later assembled with my class. There she was in her usual seat.

I said to her, “I thought you were going to the dentist.” She replied, “When you prayed, my toothache went away so I didn’t need to go to the dentist.” We rejoiced together that God cared even for her teeth.

(7) One evening I was substitute teaching for my brother in the Old Testament Class. The classroom was on the second floor of a building at the intersection of Cheves Street and South Coit and the students were mostly adults who were taking classes after getting off work in the evenings.

We had been discussing a passage of scripture about healing when one of the ladies in the class asked me to pray for her. She said she was deaf in one ear, and would I pray for the hearing to be restored in that ear.

The thought immediately came to my mind — what if I pray and nothing happens? The Lord immediately replied, if you don’t pray, certainly nothing will happen! If you pray, she has a 50-50 chance of being healed, but if you don’t pray she has no chance of being healed. He assured me that He could take care of his own reputation.

So, I simply laid my hand lightly against the lady’s ear and commanded it to be opened in Jesus’ name. And it was. There was no great hullabaloo, just a quiet expectancy of faith in that classroom and she was healed. We took a few minutes to praise the Lord for his goodness and mercy and then I went on with the lesson.

That was the only time I taught that particular class of students and I have no idea who the lady was, but it was a wonderful moment. God made me realize that night that His faith can always overcome my doubts if I will just do what he tells me.

Over the years I’ve prayed for many people and seen most of them healed instantly. Some healings have been more gradual, and some people I never saw again after that occasion so I don’t know their history.

But I don’t need to know. God tells me what to do, I do it, and the rest is His business. His business is destroying the works of the devil, sometimes using me as his hand-tool, much like a carpenter uses a hammer or a saw. If He’s willing – and He is – then I’m willing.

Sozo – salvation, faith and healing

Testimony, part two

Sozo – salvation, faith and healing

Getting the job as the very first secretary of the Nursing Department of Florence-Darlington Technical College was the easiest thing I ever did. My current job was ending and I needed a new one, and one of the other parents at my children’s daycare told me about this new position being created. I called, went by and filled out an application form and was set up with an interview with Billie Boette, R.N., the new department head.

The day of the appointment I found her surrounded by box after box of loose papers, files, print-outs, student records, instructional materials, office supplies, and other assorted odds and ends.

There was a large outer room, a glass-walled inner room, two desks, two chairs and an empty file cabinet, all nice and new, and all stacked with overflowing boxes. Adjoining this yet-to-become office space was a completely furnished ward room featuring two rows of neatly made-up hospital beds, bedpans and rolling sphygmometers (blood pressure machines). One bed was occupied by Resusci-Annie, a full-sized dummy used to teach CPR.

Classes were set to begin in just a week or so. We had little time to make sense of all the confusion in those boxes, set up for-real offices for Billie and me, plus have all the student records organized before they descended on us en masse. I must have looked capable for the task because I was hired on the spot. Billie just pointed to the mass of boxes and said, “That’s your first job.”

I don’t know how we did it but by the first day of class we looked like we had it all together. Both desks were organized, mine with pens, scotch tape, paper clips, white-out, and a nice new typewriter, Billie’s stacked with student and staff files. Trash cans were half-full, pot plants were dropping a few wilted leaves, and hand-outs were being typed.

I answered the department phone, typed instructional material and generally did whatever anybody wanted or needed to make the nursing department’s first quarter run smoothly. I stayed very busy those first months on the job. I met a lot of people, learned my way around campus and thoroughly enjoyed my work.

But then came a day when I had nothing to do, literally nothing. There were no papers to type or file, the phone didn’t ring, no-one stopped by, and after I dusted, polished, emptied trash and did everything else I could think of, I opened my Schofield Reference Bible. I usually brought it with me to read during lunch.

I had promised myself to read the Bible all the way through in a year but my tendency to get distracted was interfering — I’d read a couple of verses, see something interesting and run all the references. Some days I only got through three or four verses that way.

This particular day, with no-one coming, going or telephoning, I picked up the Bible and turned to the index. I was curious about something.

Mr. Charlie Smith had given me several audiocassettes to listen to a few days earlier. On one tape Jerry Savelle was giving his testimony at a conference, vividly describing an accident that had happened to his baby daughter. Jerry and his wife were at a Kenneth Copeland meeting, the baby in the nursery. Suddenly someone came running up the aisle shouting, “Brother Jerry, Brother Jerry, come quick!”

Crawling around the floor while the nursery attendant was tending to another infant, Jerry’s daughter had her little finger underneath the rocker when the attendant rocked back. The end of her little finger was mashed completely off behind the fingernail. Blood was pouring, the baby was screaming and the nursery worker was hysterical.

Jerry wrapped the baby’s finger up, held her tight against his chest and ran back into the auditorium, straight up to the platform. He said, “Kenneth had been preaching that God still heals today, and I was going to find out if that was true or not, right now.”

Kenneth prayed for the baby and Jerry and his wife headed to the hospital. They had the end of the finger wrapped in a cloth but the ER doctor said it was too mangled to reattach. He sutured up the wound and said it should heal up okay, but that finger would never have a fingernail again. Jerry replied, “It’ll grow back.” The doctor patiently explained that since the entire nailbed was gone, there was no way for the fingernail to grow back.

Jerry just insisted, “It’ll grow back.” They took the baby home, and sure enough, within a few months she had a healed-up finger, complete with brand new fingernail!

I was astonished. I’d never heard a story of healing like that before, or a story of faith like that before either. I played that tape again, then listened to several others like it. Jerry Savelle, Kenneth Copeland, Oral Roberts and others, all gave healing testimonies. They accompanied these accounts with scripture about God’s unchanging word, how salvation contains everything necessary for life and godliness, how healing is still for us today if we will just believe it.

Now I’d heard multiple sermons before about the scriptures containing all we need for godly living. But I had never heard any about this kind of healing being for today. Everybody I knew got sick now and then, and every sick person I knew went to the doctor and got a prescription for antibiotics or something. Nobody I knew just believed God and got healed.

No church I’d ever attended really prayed and believed the sick person would get healed, just that the doctor would give them the right medicine or treatment and eventually they’d get better. Of course a lot of them didn’t get better, they got worse. Some died from heart disease, cancer, or stroke.

And the way they were prayed for got everybody off the hook. “Lord, if it be thy will, heal this poor sick brother.” So if they weren’t healed, why then it must not have been God’s will. Makes sense, right?

But these people were saying it is God’s will to heal, you can know it’s God’s will to heal, and you yourself can experience God’s willingness to heal.

Okay, here I was with a completely work-free day. Here was my chance to examine the Bible and see for myself. I turned to the index and made a list of every verse that had the word heal, healing, healed or health in it. It was a long list. Then I started in, carefully writing out all those verses from Genesis to Revelation in a notebook, getting more and more persuaded as I went that the tapes had it right.

By the time I gathered up my Bible, notebook and purse at the end of the day, I was convinced. I was also sad, disappointed, and a little angry — angry at all those preachers and Sunday School teachers who had not told me that healing is for today. Angry at myself for waiting so many years to study for myself what the Bible said about healing.

I drove home that day without really seeing the road. Disappointment and anger soon turned into joy, thanksgiving, praise and worship. And determination to apply the scriptures to myself, prove God’s faithfulness to myself, and demonstrate in my own life the truth of his Word.

I had a new study goal. Now that I knew God provided sozo-salvation-faith-healing in Jesus, I needed to know how to transmit that to 20th century sickness, disease, injury, pain, in my own life and my family’s. How did Jesus do it? How did the disciples do it? How did Jesus tell us to do it?

If you read the other articles on this site, you’ll learn what I found out.

The day all things became new

Testimony, Part One

Summer, 1972: It was a sunny summer day, the day I finally gave up to the nagging voice in my soul. A little voice kept calling my name. “Bette.” Whispering to me, reminding me, persuading me, cajoling me. Tch-tching me.  Umm umm-ing me. Uhh uhh-ing me, too. Soothing me, urging me, pricking me, always nagging me.

For years the voice had waxed and waned, but it had never really gone away, ever since the day as a teenager in church I had told God I understood how to be saved, and yes, I wanted to be saved, and okay, okay, I’ll accept Jesus as my “saver.”  Not really enthusiastic about it, I just said it and promptly forgot it.

I went to church weekly in those days, a Bible-teaching church, but one that taught that the miracle life of the apostles and New Testament Christians had died out and would only come back to reality in heaven.  Dispensational theology, they called it.  I wasn’t attracted by it, and soon after my father died in 1960, I dropped out of church.

I also dropped out of college in my first semester, to get married.  Really, to get away from home, where my widowed mother seldom was present, and when she was, seldom was pleasant.  So I got married, got a job, had two children, bought a home, had lots of responsibilities and no extra time to spend in church.

Weekends were full of housework and yard work and garden work.  I had plenty to do and not nearly enough hours to do it in.  Some years went by, responsibilities grew, the children grew, and I grew too.  More and more miserable, that is.

So, as I washed dishes one sunny afternoon, looking out of the kitchen window and crying into the dish water, I finally gave up.  The little voice of the Holy Spirit called my name again, as he had dozens of times before, and this time I said, “Lord, I’ve tried to manage my life my way for so long, and I’ve made a mess out of it.  If you can help me, please come and manage my life for me.  Jesus, be my Lord.”

The earth didn’t shake, but the strangest things happened in an instant.  As I continued looking out of the window, I saw the grass get greener.  The tall Eisenhower cannas, in full bloom beside my kitchen window, were brighter orange.  The brown trunk of the pine tree in the middle of the back yard got browner.  Nothing outside looked the same as it had a minute ago.

I dropped my dishrag into the sink and walked out into the back yard.  I couldn’t get over it!  The garden dirt was “dirt-ier,” the house bricks were “brick-ier,” the fruit trees were “tree-ier,” everything was new!  The grass, the bushes, the flowers, the leaves, the weeds, the sky, the clouds, everything!

I had trouble walking, I felt so weird.  I wanted to run, and jump, and twirl, and kneel, and fall flat on my face.  I knew in that moment what the verse meant that said if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature — I knew that the trees and bushes weren’t new, I was new.

Was I saved before that?  I don’t know.  I had not been changed in any fundamental way earlier.  I had mentally agreed that the Bible was true, Jesus was real, and that he could save me from my sins.  But I hadn’t given him any real place in my existence otherwise.

Now I was changed from the inside out, and he had a decided place in my life.  Jesus was now taking up a management position — Lordship — in my soul.  I had just made Jesus both Savior AND Lord.  Whew!