1 Corinthians 14:3
They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
What were you made to do for the Kingdom of God? What makes your heart come alive?
Ken and I have owned a timeshare in Branson since the 80's. We typically rent it out to cover the annual dues....or in years way past, would trade it to use in a different location for a vacation. This year we were not able to get it rented out and had tried to offer the week to our pastors but schedules didn't allow for it. So, we felt we should use it and just make it a nice relaxing week. Ken now gets vacation pay with his job, so we didn't lose any income. (God's amazing provision). The condo - Branson Yacht Club overlooks Table Rock Lake, just down the road from Silver Dollar City. We like that because it's away from the hustle bustle of the strip and downtown and yet close enough to get there. It's a nice 2 bedroom, 2 full bath and kitchen including washer and dryer, dining area and comfortable living room area. (anyone interested in purchasing, email me).
This past week we went for four nights. The first two nights it was just Ken and I. We packed a cooler of food and our little latte machine and just enjoyed the views, spending time with God and reading books. The last two nights - we had invited another couple to come and join us. Let me give you a little history on that. This couple we met one time 6 years ago when we traveled with our friend Joni Ames to do ministry in Cameron, MO. We had the pleasure of prophesying to them. Fast forward to a few months ago, this couple, the lady reached out to me on Facebook and asked to be my friend. She felt the Lord told her to. She was saying, will she even remember me? I accepted her friendship and then she asked if we could talk by phone. She wanted to share with me how impactful our "prophetic words" were to her and her husband. She said that it changed the entire course of their lives - full steam into the things of God!! We started becoming fast friends. So much in common. We met her for coffee in KC about 2 months ago.
Last month they asked us if we wanted to join them for a weekend in the Ozark, but we had already had an overnight trip planned to a prison - we've been ministering to a man there as well as to his aging parents nearby. This is a really cool story too - but not for today.
So a few weeks ago, I felt the Lord nudge me to invite this couple from Cameron to join us in Branson for the last two nights. Once the husband could rearrange his work schedule, the answer was yes. Now remember, we've seen him one time 6 years ago and her 1 time since then. That's it! All I knew was that God was up to something.
The first night they were there they treated us to Thai food. At the restaurant, my friend struck up a conversation with the waitress. The Lord gave me a word for the waitress. I had a vision of her as a nurse in a pediatrician office because of her love for kids and her compassionate heart. I sensed the Lord wanted her to go back to school and go into the nursing field. She had tears running down her face. She had said that she loved loved kids. She went on to say that she was watching a tv show about medical stuff and was telling her boyfriend just a few nights ago, that she'd love to go back to school. My friend was sharing all sorts of stuff to build her up and encourage her in the Lord. This waitress was just amazed at what God was doing through us. - Now for the even greater fun..... our new friends left a $150 tip on a $70 dinner tab. What an impression for that waitress!!! I say this -not to brag about their finances.....but because years ago a friend of ours told us their son used to work for a restaurant and didn't like working on Sundays... why because the "Christians" would come in and leave change or less than 10% tips often. This couple made a comment to us that if they couldn't leave close to a 100% tip, then there was no point in eating out. Wow!!! Impressive - but not in the way you may be thinking. I was impressed because I could truly tell the Lord was in it. Their hearts we're pure - pure GOLD! God is good!!
The next morning we went to Billygails for breakfast - again our friends were treating - oh by the way - they told us when they got to Branson they were treating us to everything we did and they wouldn't take no for an answer. Hmmm.... Praise God! We had about a 45 minute wait to eat. During this time, my friend would strike up a conversation with every person around her and then some. She shared about Jesus to all who would listen. She became fast friends with many. There was a couple next to me also waiting and I sensed they were a bit down. I asked the Lord how I could encourage them. I felt the Lord drop something into my spirit. I began to share how pleased the Lord was with them for the values, ethics and integrity they've instilled into their children and grandchildren. I shared how her love for cooking and family was a beautiful gift...and there was more. She began to weep and told me that they had lost 2 of their kids in the last few years. I was deeply grieved and began to pray comfort over their hearts. The words the Lord had me speak to them were right what they needed. We got seated and I felt the Lord said to pay for their breakfast. When our waitress came, I asked her to get their ticket. Well, our friends had another plan from the Lord. The Lord had told them to buy EVERYONE'S breakfast that was in our room and the couple I had heard about. That was 17 of us, I think? I asked the waitress for "blank tickets" so Ken and I could pray and ask the Lord for something encouraging for each table so when the waitress took the ticket, they would get that instead. That was a blast!! When it was time for each table to leave, they somehow figured out it was our friends paying the bill and would stop by for a quick chat. The couple I had ministered to earlier, also came over gave me a big hug and told me that she knew I must of been an angel because God knew what she needed when she needed it. She even asked for my number to stay in contact and the other tables asked for our friend's business card. One more exciting thing on this story - again another $150 tip on a $175 bill. We even had an encouraging word for our waitress.
Our friends treated us to Sight and Sound Theater - we got to see The story of Christmas. Love that theater! Well done!!! Of course our friend struck up conversations with many around us and I got to pray with a lady and had a word for her. You could tell she was hurting from so much tragedy and loss in her life.
Friday we went to the Tanger Outlets. Our friends had some Christmas shopping they wanted to do. When they went to check out in the Kitchen Collection store, I told them I was going to go sit on a bench as my feet were hurting bad. I sat down next to an older lady who had a cane. She began to share with me how bad her feet were hurting for years and could barely stand/walk. I asked her if I could pray for her and she said yes. I lifted her leg (with her permission) onto my lap and began to pray for her healing. I asked her to stand up and see if anything changed. She said oh my gosh, no pain. She sat back down and thanked me and then asked if I would pray for her friend Jeff. He had esophagus cancer. I took her hand and prayed in agreement for complete healing and that she would get word that he had been healed. I sensed such a strong presence of the Lord. Her husband had honked the horn as he had gone to pick up the car while she was sitting there. As she got in the vehicle, he honked again and both of them were waving at me with a huge smile. That made my day!!!! Tears filled my eyes, tears of joy!!! I was so excited that even in the midst of my pain, God would use me to bless another! I love that!!
That night we came back after dinner and spent time in prayer and worship. The Lord gave Ken and I some encouraging prophetic words for our friends. What a blessed night!
The next day and our final time with them we went to The Keeter Inn restaurant in the College of the Ozark. That place is amazing. Again our friend felt a nudging to do something a tad different. She went over to a table and told a lady she felt the Lord wanted her to sing to her. So she did. The lady was amazed and said the song was right on point. And again our friends left a $100 tip on a $100 bill.
We hugged and said our goodbyes.....except they now want us to move to Cameron...not only Cameron, but into their home! LOL! The four of us had such a good time - not just fellowship but because our entire conversations and focus was on what God wanted to do in us, through us and for us. We all felt ALIVE and BLESSED! It was exactly what Doctor Jesus ordered for our spirits. We love "doing the stuff".
I felt the Lord wanted me to share these stories because there are so many hurt and broken people out there. As Christians, we should be "doing the stuff" daily... everytime we go out to Walmart or the grocery store or to get gas, ask the Lord if there is someone that you could encourage. This is who God made us to be!! There is a big big harvest coming and there are few laborers. Ken and I are called to not only do the retreat center for pastors and missionaries, but to build an equipping center to train, mentor, equip and send out laborers to reach these hurting people. We are anxiously awaiting the plans to unfold and praying about next steps.
May God give you eyes to see and ears to hear what He wants your part to be - in fulfilling the great commission and in being a part of the end time harvest!
Ken - stamina for work - all physical labor and up at 3 am for several shifts.
Michele - healing - I am still dealing with pain in my right side - it is lessening a bit, but still painful. I am doing some better on sleep but still need consistency and more than 4-5 hours. I have another new pain for a few months now in my feet and ankles.
Ministry - that God would reveal next steps and how to take those steps.
Finances - we need a new SUV - it has very little heat. I have to keep a blanket in the car with me. It still has an oil leak which is on the main seal on the engine.. both of these repairs would be quite expensive and not worth it for the miles. Other things going on too with it. It's interesting that we have people being led by God to pray for us and a new vehicle without our asking...... Ken's car is only reliable for local - as it has need of many repairs which are not worth it. If it doesn't pass MO inspection this next renewal, we will have to just dump it.
We did have a blessing in disguise from a month ago. Ken felt we were to get a new Serpentine belt as it was cracking and had both the prison trip and Branson trip coming up. We scheduled an appointment had it replaced and the mechanic had said that he ordered us a new pulley because the other one was about to snap (which means the serpentine belt wouldn't stay on). This was on Friday. On Sunday we went to preach in a country church about 1/2 hour away. Just a few minutes after we left the church, I heard this thump, thump, thump under the hood. Ken got out and checked it and the NEW serpentine belt had been tearing apart and the pulley was wobbling. Normally I don't have cell service in that area but had one bar. I called the lady from the church we knew and asked if she could come, follow us home in case the entire belt snapped - which would of meant our car would just die. She did and we got all the way to the mechanics parking lot to drop it off back in our town. Now here's the funny part. The message I taught on was how to find joy and peace in the midst of difficult circumstances. We just praised God and thanked Him for watching over us and getting us back without the car completely stopping. Monday, we had an new serpentine belt put on and the pulley. If we hadn't replaced the belt on Friday, our old cracked belt would of caused us to be stranded!!! God is good!!!