Unity 0

1 Thess 5:21-22
21 Test all things; hold fast what is good.

Unity, I think most people desire to give their leaders the benefit of the doubt, to trust that they are moving in the right direction and with the right motives. However, history tells us that leaders can get off tract leading to tragic trajectory and destruction, all because people gave their leaders the benefit of the doubt.

Lately, as people have been asking, “Why is the Pentecostal Church headed down this trajectory, when it is so far from our doctrine and what we have been taught for a 100 years?” The answer some give is, “Let us follow our leaders in unity and trust them to take us down the correct path.” The Apostle Paul said to test all things.

I spent twenty-two years in the US Army and finished my career working as a Senior Maintenance NCO for a Brigade Headquarters. It was my job to ensure that all the Motor Pools in the Brigade were ready for combat and following proper Army regulations and protocol.

I inspected this one Motor Pool once and found that they were carrying to many parts for their equipment and they were out of alignment with regulations. They told me that the Brigade Commander told them they could do that. I told them that the problem with that is the Brigade Commander does not have the authority to change Army regulations.

When the Brigade Commander found out that I told this Motor Pool to get back in alignment with the regulations, he almost busted a gasket. He came and found me and said, “Sergeant, who do you think you are to override my orders? Do you see these Colonel Bars on my collar?” I told him, “Yes sir I see your rank, the problem is that according to regulations you have to be a General to change the regulation.” That was the end of the conversation.

I believe in unity, I believe in loyalty, and I believe in giving leaders the benefit of the doubt. However, when it becomes very clear that things are headed in the wrong direction; that is when someone must stand up and bring correction.

I play the guitar. The guitar is a musical instrument that can be very hard to tune. A person can tune one and play it and make music. In fact several guitars can be tuned to one guitar and play music and it will sound good. Yet, have those same guitars play a “C” chord and then have someone play the Middle “C” Chord on the piano and it will sound very bad. All musical instruments must be tuned to Middle “C” Chord.

Who should we pledge our unity to?

Col 2:2-5
2 Being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

The Rest of the Story 3

I was on active duty in the Army and had only been stationed in Germany for a few weeks. We had to find housing in the Germany community because military housing was not available. We found a very nice home and our Germany landlord was a very nice man, who treated us like we were his own children. It was a great adventure for my girls. There was a park nearby and they loved to go there to play.

One afternoon I received a phone call informing me that military housing had become available and I was excited to let Han know. So I had a friend take me home so I could tell her. As we neared my home, we noticed that there was an ambulance and a large crowd of people gathered outside what appeared to be our house. Sure enough something was wrong.

As I ran into the house there was my youngest daughter, Tammy, in my wife’s arms. She was bloody and had road burns all over her body. What had happened was that the girls had decided to go to the park and play. As they were crossing the street a car, going way too fast, came around the curve and hit Tammy in the mid-section of her body throwing her several feet in the air and across the road. The medical personal in the ambulance determined that the injuries were so bad that she needed to be air lifted to the hospital.

The helicopter came and they loaded Tammy in and they took her to the nearest hospital; we followed by car. We arrived at the local hospital where they would monitor her over the next few days. We stayed right there with her, praying and seeking God on her behalf. After a few days they told us to go home and shower and get some rest. They said they would call if anything came up.

We went home and showered, but rest would not come so we returned to the hospital only to discover that Tammy had taken a turn for the worst and she had been transferred to a children’s hospital in Trier West Germany. We arrived later that evening and discovered that she was already in surgery.

I cannot explain the helplessness and loneliness we felt. We had not been in country long enough to make any friends or to even find a church family yet. We had my First Sergeant and his wife, who were great people, but they did not know us and they were not Christians. They found it funny that we prayed so much.

When Tammy came out of surgery, she had tubes running out of her body and a tube running out of her nose. The doctor told us that there had been internal injuries, but that we would have to wait and see how severe they were.

Han would not leave Tammy, so we rented the bed next to her and Han stayed right there beside her for the next few weeks as we waited. I borrowed a car from a friend and Luci and I would drive up every day. It was on one of those drives that the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me came about.

We had shipped most of our belongings and we were waiting on those things to arrive, but we did bring a few things. One of the things that I brought was a music tape of Country Stars sing Gospel songs. I listened to that tape on every trip I made to the hospital. One day while driving along, listening to the tape, I felt the very presence of God as the car flooded with glory. I was only aware of God’s presence, not anything else. In fact, to this day I do not know how I arrived at the hospital. One minute I was driving down the road, the next I am in the hospital parking lot.

Suddenly I could hear the voice of God, “John I am going to heal Tammy.” I ran up to the hospital room and I told Han what had just happened. I am sure I must have looked like a crazy man running into the room all excited and loud. God’s timing is a funny thing. I expected that healing to take place right there, right at that very moment, but God had things He needed to show me and teach me.

Tammy was not able to eat or drink during this time, because the passage way between her stomach and small intestine was swollen shut; nothing could get through. It was a very difficult time for her and for us.

After a few weeks the doctor called us in and said, “Tammy is not getting any better and we need to take more drastic measures. We are going to go in on Monday and remove the damaged part of her bowels and replace it with pig’s intestine.” The doctor explained that this was a normal procedure for older people who had damage from ulcers or cancer, but not normal for a little girl. The news was devastating to us. This was a Friday afternoon and I asked the doctor, “Will you take another x-ray on Monday morning before the surgery to see if there is any improvement?” His comment to me was, “Only if a miracle happens.”

We went straight to Tammy’s room and we stood beside her bed. I took my Bible and I opened it to the book of Acts and I read this over her.

Acts 3:1-9
Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. 2 And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; 3 who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. 4 And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” 5 So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. 6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” 7 And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 8 So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them — walking, leaping, and praising God.

I looked at Tammy and told her, “If daddy could take away the pain and hurt I would. If I could trade places with you, I would do it right now, but what I have I give you; in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord be healed.”

The weekend seemed uneventful to me. On Monday morning I rushed to the hospital to be there in time for the surgery. When I arrived at Tammy’s room she and Han were not there. I asked a nurse where they were. She said to me, “X-ray.” I ran down to the x-ray department and there was Han standing outside of the door. I asked her what was going on, but she was not completely sure. A technician came out and told us to go back to Tammy’s room and wait for the doctor.

The doctor came in with the x-ray and held it up to the light and showed us the passageway. The damaged part they were going to replace was now open and fluid was once again flowing through it. God had healed Tammy just as He had promised! Words cannot express what we were feeling at that very moment. One of the doctors on staff came in and he looked at us and he said, “It is a miracle!”

Today Tammy is a wife, the mother of two and a nurse. Even though they thought the damage might be too much for her to even have children; God is always faithful. He is Jehovah-Rapha; the Lord that Heals.

Help 0

My daughter Tammy was in the hospital because she had been hit by a car. We were stationed in Germany and the hospital where she was at was in Trier Germany. Han had been staying with her every day and night and I and my other daughter, Luci, would drive the 45 minutes one way from the Army base to the hospital.

We had not been in country long when the accident happened. We did not even have a car yet, I had to borrow a car from one of the guys I worked with. The car was not the best and often I had to work on it both ways just to keep it going.

The hospital was nowhere near any military bases and we were new to the country and did not speak much or any German. Communication was very difficult at times and people were not very friendly toward us. We had no family, no friends, and no support. I do not know if I can explain the feeling of loneliness and despair. At night everything would shut down and the streets were empty.

One evening, Luci and I came out to start back to the base. When I tried to start the car, the battery was dead. I started pushing the car around the empty parking lot and jumping in the car throwing it in gear and popping the clutch, hoping it would start. I did this for what seemed like a very long time. The car just would not start.

It was just all I could stand. My baby was in the hospital with serious injuries. There had been no improvement and the doctors were concerned. We were in a foreign land with no family, friends, or support. We had not even found a church home yet. I was totally defeated. I sit in the front seat of that car and the emotions just overwhelmed me. Luci, who had been taught and encouraged that prayer changes things, began to pray in the back seat. I did not even have the strength to pray.

All of a sudden there was a knock on the window of my car. I rolled the window down and in the sweetest southern accent you ever heard a man said, “Do ya need help?” How is it possible that in the middle of a Germany town, far from any military bases there is this man who has come to help me? What are the odds, what are the chances that this could even happen? I got out of my car, he introduced himself. He told me that he was in the Airforce and that his daughter had swallowed a marble and they had brought her to this hospital to be treated. I asked him where he was from in the States and he said Alabama.

In no time at all he helped me get the car started and we were able to get back home without further problems. That car never gave me any more trouble the rest of the time I used it. I learned a valuable lesson that day. No matter what I might be going through, Jesus is with me and He will never leave me nor forsake me.

What about my daughter who was hit by the car? Well that is another story coming soon. However, God did show up and the testimony is amazing!

John 14:13-14
13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.