I never cease to be amazed at the continuing grace of God! I have been ringing bells part time for Salvation Army, several days a week now in the Kalispell, Montana, area. I consider this to be a ministry to the precious people all around me. And amazing things are happening as I do this.
Before each bell ringing session, I pray for God to send to me the people who need prayer, who need salvation and counseling, and love and encouragement. I pray for God to bless all those who pass by me.
In fact, although no one knows this, I never stop praying during each bell ringing session. Some days it may last 8 hours, others only 4 hours. But in the cold and standing on your feet, it can often become a challenge.
A big challenge for me is dealing with a painful nerve problem in my right leg. If I stand on it for too long, it becomes inflamed and extremely painful, often feeling like a red-hot knife has been plunged into it. At night, it continues to throb, robbing me of much needed sleep.
Yet this is the only door God has opened for work to support me and my ministry. And so I need your prayers for strength and healing. Serving God will always involve a price to be paid, and at times suffering and even death. Don't think so? Then look at what Jesus suffered to serve God and to bring His light into this world!
And so I pray for grace to be able to endure through the cold and aching feet, in order to touch lives for Jesus by this means.
And do you know what? My prayers are being answered, every single day! God is bringing to me people who need prayer, or who request prayer for others.
Tonight, a distraught woman asked me to pray for her friend's daughter, Taylor. Taylor is only 17, but has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She is now in Kalispell Regional Hospital. "We are all hoping she will make it to Christmas, but...." The woman appeared to be very sad and discouraged.
I told her we would pray for a MIRACLE FOR TAYLOR.
I hope to locate her hospital room and minister to her this week. But we can ALL minister to Taylor, even at a distance, through INTERCESSORY PRAYER! Will you please join with me in heartfelt prayer for Taylor and her family at this Christmas season?
People are often intrigued by my lynx hat I brought down with me from Kotzebue, Alaska (see picture above). They frequently stop to talk to me and engage in conversation over this intriguing hat. But at some point, I always manage to bring Jesus Christ and salvation into the conversation. Because this is what the Christmas season is ultimately all about: testifying to a dark and lost world about Jesus Christ and His wonderful salvation!
Take a look at the world all around you. It is a world filled with unhappy people, so many lost and dying in sin, sick and depressed, battling against drugs and alcoholism, struggling with family and marital problems, and coping with the rigors of daily life. It is a world often filled with war and violence, tragedy and crisis, famine and disasters. This is exactly WHY God sent His only Son into the world!
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but rather that through Him THE WORLD MIGHT BE SAVED." John 3:16-17
God DID send His Son into this world 2000 years ago. But then, following His death and resurrection, Jesus was taken out of the world to go to be with the Father. He is now seated at the right hand of God the Father, ever living to make intercession for us.
But He left His testimony through the Word of God in this world. He left His disciples in this world, to bring His light and love to others through their testimony of Him and their life and example. He sent His Holy Spirit in to this world to bear witness of Him and the truth, and to fill us with His power to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth.
And if we are Christians, He lives in YOU and I, and calls us to shine forth His light into this darkened world. "You are the light of the world..." Jesus said to His disciples. He has commanded us to shine forth as bright lights in this dark world, reflecting and radiating His love, compassion, mercy, healing and caring for all.
I am personally convinced that if God's people would take more time to BE his lights in this world, to love, to give, to care, to show compassion, and to minister and share salvation with others on a greater scale, America could be saved! And so could the world as well. This is exactly why Jesus came into the world, and that is to SAVE it. And because He is no longer in this world, He must work through YOU and ME.
Please, will you choose to take the time to make yourself available to God and His compassionate purposes in this world? Who else can He work through, but His people??? Therefore we must take more time to pray. We all must take time to go out and to minister to others, sharing His words of salvation mingled with acts of love and kindness. For "faith works by love, " declares the Bible.
Every day I ask God to use me, to lead me to those He wants me to minister to. I spend time in prayer for our nation and the world around us. I pray for the salvation of the lost . And I pray for God's people to be blessed, protected and to grow and prosper throughout the world in every nation.
Jesus Christ was sent into this world to change the world. And that is exactly why you and I are in this world: to change it for His glory and purposes!
I thank God for Salvation Army and their vision to change the world around them for Jesus Christ and His purposes and glory. More than one person has stopped to tell me that SALVATION ARMY was there for THEM when they found themselves in crisis and need.
I can testify to the same. One winter near the Christmas season, I was out of food, out of gas and in need of warm winter clothing. Salvation Army gave me a voucher to buy warm winter clothing from their thrift store in Kalispell, Montana. They provided food for me, and gas and much compassionate assistance.
Never think for a minute that YOU cannot find yourself in a similar situation, quite unexpectedly! Troubling time are coming to America. You may find yourself without food, even shelter. It is a wonderful thing when God's people are there for you to provide emergency assistance in your time of great need.
Please give generously to SALVATION ARMY this season! Yes, in fact they DO make a great difference in many, many lives of those who face crisis throughout America today. Thank GOD for Christians who share and who care. I would be without a job, in fact, and facing even greater need if it weren't for the Salvation Army.
Thanks, Salvation Army, for being there for ME...and for millions of other Americans in crisis throughout our nation. Your reward will be great in heaven someday....
-Pamela Rae Schuffert
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