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The Man God Introduced To Me In A Dream

Ours was a divine connection for sure! God introduced Steve Donohoe to me in a dream around September of 2010.

In my dream I stood behind this man that I believed to be around 60 years old, unable to see his face. Placing my hands on his head, I prayed for his healing. As I prayed I became aware that he had undergone radiation to treat his brain cancer, unsuccessfully.

That same night I also dreamed of people sitting in a church praying for this man.

I woke up convinced that it was a prophetic dream and that God intended to use me to perform a healing miracle and posted on my facebook wall asking if anyone knew someone of that description with brain cancer. No one did.

I asked my mother if she knew anyone and she choked up telling me just days before she had heard a phone message from an old friend of my brothers saying he was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. This friend was in his early 60’s and a staunch atheist.

Was this the man from my dream?

After a day or so in prayer I determined that it was and nervously called this total stranger to tell him of my dream and to tell him that God wanted to use me to heal him.

He hesitantly agreed to let me come by and lay hands on him to pray for his healing after I explained the details, complete with the failed radiation therapy, and so began our three year friendship.

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The first time I prayed for him I was nervous. I thought perhaps then and there, right on the spot, he would be totally healed. I felt the power of God when I prayed. Perhaps he did too, but there would be no way of knowing if God healed him immediately unless his speech, which was sometimes slow in coming, had been improved.

His speech would only worsen over time; near the end, he couldn’t speak at all. By then I was firmly convinced God allowed his speech to be taken so he would stop speaking death over himself, as he did frequently, until he could no longer talk. I told him as much too.

He lived in a one room, low rent apartment for poor seniors in downtown Chattanooga. I could tell he was lonely that first visit and suggested we head out to the Chattanooga Market for snacks and conversation.

One of the venders at the market, a middle aged man with greying hair and beard, stopped us to say hi to Steve and ask how he was feeling. Steve said a word or two and lumbered on. He lumbered, slightly dragging one leg after the other that is; his walk further complicated by one shoulder and arm hanging loose having lost control of its movement in a squabble with his brother years ago when he had fallen from the porch.

By the prompting of the Spirit I slipped away from Steve and weaved my way back to his friend. A conversation revealed that he was part of the church congregation that was praying for Steve’s healing in my dream.

Confirmation on day one I had found the right cancer victim.

Aside from occasionally stopping in other times during the week, almost every Friday night I would get off work and head over to Steve’s apartment. Usually he took me out to eat, which was generous of him as I knew his finances were tight. I would end the evening by laying hands on him and praying for his healing. The prayers would last awhile at times and encompass much more than his physical healing; I prayed for his salvation, for our families, for God to make Himself real to us. Afterward we would sit in silence and bask in the presence of God that would fill the room. He always received my prayers eagerly.

Once, when his brother passed away, I remember pulling up in front of his apartment building bringing him home from an outing and holding hands while sitting in the car praying while tears streamed down his face.

This was not the same man that had once bitterly opposed God, religion, believers.

Steve had been given 3 to 6 months to live sometime in the middle of 2010, right before I met him. I remember how I scolded him when he bought a tombstone and had it pre-engraved with the year 2011, or the time he told reporters when interviewed on Christmas while hanging out with the Occupy people on the court lawn that he would be dead within a few months. The reporter sealed his words in print in a caption under his photo in the Chattanooga Times for everyone to read and believe. Frustrating!

It was an uphill battle for me to believe against his unbelief.

He had the most aggressively growing brain cancer but when he had the first MRI months after I had been praying for him he was told by shocked doctors that it had not grown. For awhile after that his faith and hope began to grow, but he still never voiced anything but his prognosis. (There wasn’t any growth shown on his next MRI either, and he opted out of checking again after that)

After miraculously making it through 2011, Steve asked my brother one day to give him a ride to Coolidge Park. He stated simply that he needed a ride there because he was going to get saved. My brother dropped him off there and some random believer approached him by the carousel and laid out the plan of salvation before leading Steve in prayer to accept the Lord.

I picked him up from the park that day and, beaming ear to ear, he announced to me he had been saved.

We walked by a friend of his selling shaved ice on the way to the car and Steve told him, ‘I just met a man that saved me! I am going to heaven.’

He didn’t quite grasp the theology, but I believe his heart was sincere and that Christ gave him new life that day.

Many months later he had a bad seizure that landed him in the hospital. This experience stole what faith he had in God for his salvation and for his recovery. He announced to me when I visited him there that he would not be having a Christian burial and refused my suggestion to be baptized.

I have many found memories of our time together. Once when he was dead set on moving into a hospice nursing home, which he eventually did anyway, I began cleaning his apartment on a regular basis in the hopes he would feel more comfortable to stay, he did. He had wanted to just speed things along; give up, die. I built a book shelf for him and tried to decorate his little room into a home. The mini Christmas tree I put up that first Christmas stayed put until it made since again a year later.

We ate out often. God bless him, he had the worst table manners. I guess he decided since he was dying anyway he didn’t care two beans what others thought. Perhaps he always ate with his fingers in public and slopped food carelessly all over his wrinkled and already dirty clothes prior to his cancer. I can’t be sure. I got used to his strange habits quickly though and we became odd but constant friends.

I was suffering deeply during that period of my life and spending time with Steve kept my pain in perspective.

I believed so strongly God would heal him, even though in my dream I never actually saw him healed, I only saw myself laying hands on his head while praying for healing.

Life happened and towards the end of 2012, after two years of no obvious deterioration in Steve’s health, aside from the siezure that landed him in the hospital that one time, my visits became less frequent and went from weekly to bi-weekly and once it may have even gone a month.

At the beginning of 2013 he moved into the hospice nursing home. I would go visit there, bring a Wendy’s burger or an ice cream. We would go out on the terrace and I would sit with him, often in silence. He could no longer speak. I still prayed with him. We still basked in God’s presence afterward. He still refused baptism.

I took Forrest to see him one day after church and as he was walking us out in his hospital gown, open in the back, bear butt showing, a nurse followed him questioning him like he was a child over and over, ‘Where are you going?’

His answer each time was only, ‘F-you!’

Forrest thought it was hilarious. I guess he still had the ability to speak a word or two after all!

At the end of July I got the news that my father passed away suddenly. I stopped in to see Steve before I left to go have my fathers body cremated and brought home for a funeral. Steve wasn’t doing good at all.

I again stopped to see him before I even came back to my house when I returned from SC. He was barely holding on then. As I was walking back down the hall of the hospice nursing home pondering if all the prayers had been in vain I noticed a door was open to a room that I had never seen in before. I saw this stained glass window and it gave me peace. I knew God was assuring me that Steve had eternal life. I didn’t know if I would see him again this side of heaven.

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Not many nights later I felt strongly compelled to go visit after hours and had to slip in with one of the employees who had entrance keys to get in to see him. I spent an hour with Steve and The Lord. It was such a blessing to hold his hand and stroke his face and have one last prayer session with him. Even though he was somewhere between life and death at this point, I was believing and praying for his healing.

He had been wanting to go for some time though and made that clear to me when he made the decision to go into the nursing home. I stopped pressing him so much to believe for healing after that.

He died the next day, August 7th 2013.

I don’t understand all of Gods plans or purposes in our relationship but I know that in a very difficult season of my life, when I was feeling heart wrenching pain often, spending time with Steve, entering into his struggle with brain cancer and determining to do all I could to show him God was real and cared for him personally, was what got me through my own pain without self destructing into total self pity. It was a mutually beneficial relationship. We were an odd pair, but I loved him with all of my heart.

I learned that sometimes if you ask to do big things for God, and to walk in miracle working power, He may ask you to lead a very ordinary and hidden life growing in grace and learning patience through loving those He gives you to love.

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This is my brother and I at his memorial service. I wore flowers in my hair all day in honor of his memory. He had been a grateful dead, tie dye making, hippy most of his life. When visiting him in hospice after his health began deteriorating, the nurses kept a dead CD playing on repeat. I’m certain he’s in heaven now. I am no theologian and won’t try to defend this knowing with anything other than the truth of God’s voice to my heart.

The whole of his life may have not been lived with a grateful heart or with a desire to glorify God, but I see how in his death God was glorified.

I am confident that day at the park he humbly accepted salvation and God remained faithful even when Steve was faithless. Satan lost a soul that day I’m sure he felt certain he had secured.

I believe with all of my heart Steve is in heaven and is grateful dead.

Sometime, Somewhere

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Unanswered yet? the prayer your lips have pleaded
In agony of heart these many years?
Does faith begin to fail? Is hope departing?

And think you all in vain those falling tears?
Say not the Father hath not heard your prayer;
You shall have your desire, sometime, somewhere.

Unanswered yet? though when you first presented
This one petition at the Father’s throne,

It seemed you could not wait the time of asking,
So urgent was your heart to make it known.

Though years have passed since then, do not despair;
The Lord will answer you sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? nay, do not say ungranted,
Perhaps your part is not wholly done;

The work began when your first prayer was uttered,
And God will finish what he has begun.

If you keep the incense burning there,
His glory you shall see, sometime, somewhere.
Unanswered yet? Faith cannot be unanswered;
Her feet are firmly planted on the rock,
Amid the wildest storms she stands undaunted,

Nor quails before the loudest thunder shock,
She knows Omnipotence hath heard her prayer,
And cries, “It shall be done, sometime, somewhere.”

Ophelia G. Browning.

I don’t typically post anyone else’s work on my blog but I read this poem in the ‘Streams in the Desert’ devotional this morning and it blessed and encouraged my heart about the diligent and heartfelt prayers I have prayed for many years, yet unanswered.

-Photo Me October 2011 Copyright ©

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God Is For Us

It is an amazing discovery when we come to realize that God, the Creator of the whole universe, is concerned with our daily lives in a deeply personal way.

Satan will do his best to convince us otherwise through other people, our circumstances and by suggesting to our minds thoughts that are contrary to God’s word and character. We need to remind ourselves when we are struggling with doubt and discouragement that the devil is a liar and our flesh and feelings can’t always be trusted either.

We must stand on the Word of God and His promises.

Only then can we resist falling into the trap of fixing our eyes on what we see and what we can understand with our own limited human understanding and begin to rest in the assurance that all things are working together for good to those that love God.

God is still on the throne.

He is a God of order and His understanding is far beyond ours; nothing is just randomly happening to us.

Our steps are ordered by the Lord!

He has not left us alone but has given us the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide us through every day and night of our
life in victory.

Victory is certain. The battle belongs to God. He goes before us and makes a level path for our feet. Our part is to trust and obey.

Meditate on this today. God is for us!

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Purify Our Appetites

Self-indulgence, and giving into our fleshly appetites, is sin; and it separates us from the presence and blessing of God.

Food has become the idol of many Christians today. We ask to see God’s power and glory while at the same time worshipping at the alter of food.

Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.
-Philippians 3:17-19

Thank you Father for your certain deliverance! We praise you for your healing power. We receive forgiveness for our sins and transgressions in humility, taking nothing for granted.

Lord, increase our appetite for you, may we hunger and thirst for righteousness knowing we will be filled. Help us to live balanced, self-controlled lives, seeking your face in prayer and fasting as we apply our blood bought right to be freed from the power of sin and the control of our fleshly desires.

Give us the power to overcome our appetites that war against our soul and the abundant live you died for us to have.

Train and equip us to rise up as a mighty army, marching forward in victory, declaring your praises and shining forth your light, calling those that walk in darkness into your glorious light.

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Developing Superpowers

One of the awesome benefits of being hurt deeply and repeatedly for extended periods of time is that you begin to come to the point where the pain does not matter so much anymore.

You begin to realize that self-pity is pointless and exhausting. All that heady compassion you once heaped upon yourself you discover is meant to be doled out to the ones you can be sure ‘know not what they do.’

If you’re having a hard time understanding the heart wrenching things that God allows in your life and can find no point or explanation, you can be sure that if you hang on to your faith that God is good, and love, and life, and that there is no darkness in him whatsoever, your eyes will eventually adjust to see him in all things.

This is the key: See God.

He’s there. He’s right here with us in this messy, sinful, beautiful world.

When we see him clearly, pain has no power over us.

I am becoming more like an observer in my times of agony. I am not in denial. The pain is real. It sometimes weighs heavy on my chest, making swallowing, even breathing, a laborious thing.

But often I am sheltered from the pain altogether by the deeper reality of the sheltering arms of God. The pain, which once sucked me into the depths of despair, becomes more like a….

Lost my train of thought as I had to give Forrest a ride. In the car I was explaining how God was using some prolonged painful experiences to grow a new superpower in me; the ability to receive complete supernatural healing.

I went on to say I was like the Wolverine; the bullet enters the flesh but is quickly dispelled, flesh instantly remade.

He responds with, ‘You are nothing like the wolverine! I can look at you a certain way and cause you pain. You’re a delicate little flower!’

He’s right. Somehow, I am both.

It’s a complete contradiction I know. I possess the qualities of both a ‘delicate little flower’ and the steel, impenetrable flesh and healing powers of the Wolverine.

Here’s the deal. Sometimes there is a process I must go through. Often quick, although at times I’m taken out, down for the count so to speak; hope seems lost for a time.

Even the Wolverine has experienced his super healing powers being weakened during intense, repeated attacks after evil had planted a parasite within him to suck the life out of his heart.

Truly, it is the hidden and unconfessed sins left festering in my heart that weaken my ability to withstand the outward attacks. Repentance and allowing God to root out the sin in my own life renews my life and fills me with the joy of the Lord which is my strength.

When we allow the life of Christ within us to flow unimpeded by unconfessed sins, healing flows.

How easy it is to forget that life isn’t about us. This life is a blink of the eye. We have to remember that our choices in this life will matter in the life to come. We have one go round with this thing. Lets press in and live life with the end in mind!

I am passing through the fire. I will pass through. I will come out on the other side refined; pure gold. Not even my clothes will smell like smoke.

I am toe to toe with Satan. He will not defeat me.

The only thing that I need to control is myself. The thing that needs to be conquered is my own sin.

I see the world pointing fingers, wailing and raging against the sins of others. I too have been guilty of believing if others would just get it together it would end suffering.

We have it all wrong. Jesus died to set us free from sin and stripped sin of the power to harm us.

The kingdom of heaven is within us. May we all focus first on applying the cleansing blood to our own temple and dwelling daily in the holy of holies with Christ within our own hearts.

Only then will our lives radiate light. Only then will our existence bring healing to those that come into contact with us.

Only then can we enact any real change on the world around us.

As Christ is allowed access to our whole lives we walk this earth full of his virtue and even our shadows will hold power.

This is my vision.

This is my hearts desire.

I want to be alive and on fire for Christ alone.

Whatever it takes, create in us a clean heart oh Lord and renew a steadfast spirit within us.

-September 18, 2014
-Photo from wallconvert.com

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Jesus Loves You

Love is invincible facing danger and death. Passion laughs at the terrors of hell. The fire of love stops at nothing— it sweeps everything before it. Flood waters can’t drown love, torrents of rain can’t put it out. Love can’t be bought, love can’t be sold— it’s not to be found in the marketplace.
-Song of Solomon 8:6

I came across this verse on a blog the other day and this beautiful version swept me up in its passion and beauty.

I keep hearing the whispers of our Savior, ‘I love you. I love you. I love you.’

It’s too much love to contain within myself. It flows in and through the dry and barren places of my soul.
Refreshing the deepest parts of me.

Gently God’s love mends the broken places in my heart, moving on to straighten the crooked path of my feet.

This love is bright and strong and stabilizing, carrying me along on the current of contentment in Christ.

Content, yet yearning; desires flames are ignited.

Burning.

Waiting.

Waiting for the fulfillment of my Beloved’s promises.

I die.

One thousand times I have died.

Born again.

Courage builds. Fears subside.

In God’s image I am being created.

I am given new life.

God’s love for me. God’s love in me. God’s love through me.

My love grows.

Photo Credit: romancito.openphoto.net/gallery/”>Melody Romancito for openphoto.net

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Beast Mode

I just want to say: I am raising a champion.

Day before yesterday Forrest bikes home after having ballet classes and rehearsals from 9am-7pm with only a few short breaks in between, downs a weight gainer shake and a snack before rushing out the door to meet a large group to do a 10 mile bike ride at 8pm.

Then, after biking to and from a day of ballet yesterday, same hours, he comes home and eats what he can in 15 minutes before heading out to the gym for weight lifting.

This kid is a beast!

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He’s seriously inspiring me to want to start lifting weights again.

I get home from a job where I basically sit all day and have less energy then him. I’ve been doing good this last year to get my walking in three times a week.

I’ve lost my flexibility and strength. 👎

Forrest’s consistency is motivating me. It’s much easier to go workout on a regular basis when you have someone to go with.

I’ve done it before. I can do it again.💪

For me its usually sugar in my diet or I’m hitting the gym regularly.

Sugar zaps my energy, exercise rejuvenates.

Hm… Choices.

Time for a change!

And last night Forrest comes home after dance and zonked out on the couch. I woke him with dinner after 30 minutes and told him we would have to leave in 10 to make it to the Bible study at the shelter. He gave an exhuasted sigh saying he could sleep for hours and I told him he could stay home if he needed to rest up.

He blessed my heart SO tremendously when he sat right up and said he was coming with me.

Thank you Jesus for his support!

It was amazing last night. He sat beside me on the picnic bench as I spoke. At one point he was facing the other way and leaned his back against my shoulder and just chilled there for the rest of the meeting.

Aside from what I think was a strategic yawn as my closing
prayer stretched on into the darkening night, he was an active, positive contributor to the meeting.

He doesn’t even mind me using him as an example and sharing the stories of what God has done and is doing in my life as it pertains to him.

Thanks for reading!

I just had to do a little parental shout out. We’ve come so far by the grace of God!

Blooming in harsh conditions

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