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SAMPLE CHAPTER FROM “REFOCUS REKINDLE REJOICE

Chapter 14

SO HOW DOES THAT WORK?

O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You. — 2 Chronicles 20:12

In the summer of 1998, I was lying on the floor, face-down, in my office in Nashville, Tennessee. I was crying out to God because I was feeling a release from the church I had only pastored for a year. We loved the people greatly, and it was apparent that they loved us. Yet, I knew the Lord was dealing with me to trust Him and to let it go.

I asked Him to speak clearly about this tear in my soul. Then I heard His voice say, “Go to your desk, pick up your pen, write, and you will know my answer.” I stood up from the floor, wiped the tears from my eyes, and sat down at my desk. I picked up my pen and put it to paper. With absolutely no idea what I would write, this is what I heard Him say:

“My son, I am calling your name. I see your tears, I know your pain. I love you with an everlasting love. A love without clouds awaits you above. I need you to search in My stead for the lost. Are you still willing, and have you counted the cost? If you are now ready to run for the prize, to cast out the devil, and open blind eyes, hear what I am saying. I am saying to go. Do not ever doubt that I have called you to show that I am still a God Who cares for fallen man. Now, go in My Name, and I will unfold My plan.”

In awe, I sat and wept some more, knowing that I had my answer. However, I had no idea how I would move to an unknown destination and take care of a family of six.

Some time later, an invitation came from one of my successors in a church that I had pastored in Batesville, Indiana. He asked me to consider being on their church staff acting in the role of an evangelist. There was no money involved, but it was a gracious offer from an incredible pastor. It was also a place to hang my hat with dear friends who loved us. We prayerfully accepted the offer. With no income to pay bills, we stepped out. We rolled into town with our car and a very large moving truck with no place to unload it. My kids were asking me, “Where are we going to live, Dad?” I simply replied, “Our Father knows!”

I had been praying intensely in the Spirit one morning, and I saw a house in my mind’s eye in an “old money” neighborhood that looked like a home I had always admired in town. It had been built way back by a man named Romweber whose company had built furniture for the White House. I drove into the neighborhood, and my kids were asking jokingly, “Are we going to live with the old, rich people, Dad?” We all laughed until I drove up in front of the house that I had seen. There in the front yard was a sign that said, “FOR RENT.” It was beautiful, but to live there seemed to be a farfetched idea. I thought it would rent for a fortune in a Fortune-500 town. What would it hurt to inquire though?

I called the number on the sign the next day. The house had recently been purchased by a very successful attorney. I learned later that he was an agnostic. With the prompting of the Holy Spirit, I asked him what it would rent for. He told me since it needed some updates, he would rent it for $600 a month. Well, it might as well have been $6,000 a month given our financial situation, but with faith, I said, “We would like to rent the house.” He asked me what I did for a living. I told him that I was an evangelist. As he rolled his eyes at me, he asked, “How does that work? Are you like Billy Graham?” I laughed out loud and said, “Hardly!” He asked me how I intended to pay my rent and continued to tell me that he expected the rent to, always, be on time. I said, “Well, wherever I preach, they will give me an honorarium, and besides that, my Father is extremely wealthy, and He will back me up whenever I need Him to!” He gave me that “well, why didn’t you say so” look, shook my hand, and agreed to rent us the house. After he walked away, I asked the Lord to never let us be a day late on the rent because I knew it would give him even more cause to reject a personal God.

Shortly after we had moved in, all of our money was gone. I took a job as a welder at the casket factory in town. There was still not enough to cover all of our bills. I cried out to the Lord, “Father, please tell me what to do!” I instantly heard Him say, “Write the check.” I gasped for breath and said, “I don’t have the money to cover the check.” He said, “Do you not think I am good for it? Remember, I will back you up.”

With that, I told Tammy to write the check. She looked at me as though I had lost my mind and said, “Did God tell you to do that?” I told her that I was certain He had. She let me know that I needed to be sure that God had told me to do this because writing a bad check is a crime. We prayed and put the check in the mail.

The next day, Tammy came to me with three brand new one hundred-dollar bills in her hand. Her eyes were as big as saucers. I said, “Girl, have you been holding out on me?” Tammy said, “No! I found them in my purse, and I promise I do not know how they got in there!” I told her, “That’s fantastic, but we are only halfway there.”

The very next day an envelope came in the mail with no return address and no note inside. The only contents in the envelope were three brand new one hundred-dollar bills. The envelope was postmarked Baltimore, Maryland. We did not know anyone from Baltimore. To this day, it is a mystery to us how the Lord provided the money to us just in time. We ran to the bank and deposited the $600, and the check was good!

REFOCUS

Beloved reader, our Heavenly Father has truly got our backs! Take another look at the book of Acts. He was Savior, Deliverer, Healer, Provider, Miracle-worker, Counselor, Comforter, Protector, and Friend. He is no different for us today. See Him again as the One who compels you to cast your every care on Him!

REKINDLE

Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Selah (Psalm 62:8). Yes, pour out your burden and your request with high praises, believing that He has heard you!

REJOICE

He has heard you, and He will answer right on time, every time! HALLELUJAH!