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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Missing Miracles and Choosing to See

After Friday's post about The Day Time Stood Still, I had an interesting response. People in the room at the time the miracle happened replied, "I never knew." People who stood in their chair and sang "Victory in Jesus" told me, "The Holy Spirit was so strong in that room, but I completely missed the time part." Even someone outside the room had the same experience. She enjoyed the singing, felt the Spirit, and missed the miracle of time.

In my book, The Clay Papers, I wrote about an elderly woman, a potter, with advanced Alzheimers, who had not touched the clay in quite some time. One afternoon, she sat down at the potter's wheel and threw several perfect pots. She was coherent and rational for a brief stretch of time. 

There were tears in the eyes of three adults who recognized the miracle of the moment. Ryan, then just a child, played at her feet and never noticed something unusual had happened.

He was only a young boy and he didn't know her baseline. He couldn't know how different she was in the moment.

The people in the room during the time-miracle didn't have watches or cell phones with them. They didn't know about the schedule, or our concerns.  They couldn't have known about the moment.

Their comments have caused me to wonder how often I miss miracles. How often we all do. 

God is at work around us all the time. We can accept that, in a general sense. When we don't "see" His work, or see it but don't recognize it, we tend to assume He's doing nothing. We'd be wrong about that.

Our failure to see God at work in no way limits His ability to move in a miraculous and supernatural manner.

Ponder that for a moment.

We're missing the good stuff.

I don't think I'd want to know about everything God's doing in the entire universe. It would be too much to comprehend. A bigger glimpse of what He's doing around me would be nice, though.  

Today, many of us will attend church services. We'll sing, and read our Bible, and listen to a sermon. We'll wait until time is up and leave to go home. We may, or may not, sense the Spirit of God. We may, or may not, leave equipped and changed for the week ahead. 

It depends, at least in part, on our willingness to be equipped, to be changed.

We could do church differently. 

We could do life differently. 

And we should.

Instead of being content to check off items on our spiritual to-do list, let's ask God to invite us into His adventure. Let's actively seek Him and the places He's at work. 

We'll have to change. Go places Jesus would go. Spend time with the kind of people Jesus did. Reach out as He reached out.

So let's do it. Let's step outside of our comfort zone and ask God to let us in to the fun. Make our prayer, "Let us join in where you are at work today, Lord."

I can tell you what will probably happen, because I've prayed that prayer before. He'll let us be a causal observer, but that won't last long. He'll invite us into the fields to help with the harvest, and hat's where the real fun begins.

Today, let's take a step into a deeper relationship with Christ and experience the great fun of seeing God at work.

"For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure." Philippians 2:13 nasb

"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Can We See Miracles Every Day? Yes, We Can

p.s. - This is the last post in our miracles mini-series. If you want to share some of the miracles you've seen, let me know. I'll happily do a blog about them.
#miracles #Christian

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Can We See God's Miracles Every Day? Yes, We Can

I've written about miracles every day this week. You might think, reading the blogs, that I see miracles every day. 

You'd be right.  

One of the reason I see miracles is because I look for signs of God at work around me. Henry Blackaby, in his now-classic book, Experiencing God, encouraged his readers to "find where God is at work around you and join in with what He's doing." We can't join God's work if we can't find it. We can't find it if we never look with expectation.

Think back over yesterday. Look at your day with fresh eyes. What miracles did you see? 

Here's a portion of what I saw God do yesterday: 

1) Reconciliation between two believers who finally found common ground. There hadn't been open animosity. Instead, there was distrust, dislike, and envy. God swept it all away. 

2) A concert of prayer offered freely by fellow believers during a time of great need.

3) Answered prayer that was sent in such a specific and clear way there could be no doubt. (I prayed that, in a meeting, someone would make a specific request if I was to proceed, and they did. Word for word.)

4) When the games and prizes for Blue Springs Day were nothing more than stacks on my screened porch and a list on a piece of paper I couldn't keep up with, I was completely overwhelmed. I hadn't announced my need to anyone except God. My friend, Edith, offered her help. In three hours, we'd enjoyed a meal together and completely organized the entire project. 

5) Sam was able to eat his entire dinner without any choking, swallowed every bite without trouble, and ate everything on his plate. (This is a huge miracle) He ate it at the same rate Edith and I ate, which is an even greater miracle.

6) I have a comfortable house, an intact roof over my head, electricity, internet, food, central air and heat. (They may not seem like miracles to us, but ask anyone in a third-world country. They are.)

7) One of our missionaries was frustrated and upset about a situation. She emailed me yesterday. "I need a miracle right now."  My coworker and I stopped  and prayed for her. We didn't even know the need, but God did. Before I could read the next email, the missionary sent a new message. "God did it!" Her problem was completely resolved in an instant. (To be perfectly clear, this miracle was in no way related to Leanna. We cried out to God, He heard, He answered. Miracles always begin and end in God.)

Once I started making my list, I realized I could go on and on. (Yes. I'm director of intercessory prayer for a mission-sending organization, but only one of those miracles was because of my position.) 

God is at work around us. If we don't see the evidence He leaves behind, it's not His fault. Our responsibility is to open our eyes and look for Him.

You may be asking, "Is this possible for me?" Yes. It is. 

The Christian faith is not a series of rules to be followed. It's a relationship to be embraced. 

When we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, we enter a relationship that is more vibrant and alive than any of our relationships on earth will ever be. If we are faithful, that relationship will grow sweeter as the days go by. 

Are you experiencing God at work around you? If not, ask Him to show you what changes you need to make. Ask Him, too, to open your eyes. 

What about you? How have you seen God at work around you this week? What miracles have you seen? Comment below or message me.  I LOVE hearing about the wondrous acts of God (big or small). Feel free to share.

"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13 nasb
photo above is of a sunrise over the Sea of Galilee, and it's a miracle that I was in position to see it.
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Day Time Stood Still
#miracles #Christian

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Day Time Stood Still

Last week, I had the privilege of serving in the prayer room for a four-day Christian leadership retreat. It was an intense time of intercession that began near dawn and extended well into the night. Physically exhausting. Spiritually reviving.

We prayed with many broken, hurting brothers and sisters in Christ who had carried loads of sin and hurt for so long they couldn't get free. Those loads had impacted everything in their lives. My team and I had the great privilege of praying with them as those burdens slipped off and landed at the feet of Jesus. There were lots of tears, but we all emerged rejoicing over their new-found freedom.

As if freedom was not a big enough miracle, something happened Sunday morning that took our breath away.

We were behind schedule by 35 minutes. It was imperative that we be finished with every scheduled activity by 4:00 pm. That 35 minutes made it impossible.

The next speaker was about to begin. We had already timed her talk. It was 23 minutes, but she had decided to add more information and a song. After her "tweaking", it was 28 minutes long. Her time-slot was 20 minutes. Anything longer would put us further behind.

The assistant director looked at the schedule on the wall, then at me. "We're pretty far behind."

Granted I'd been in the prayer room for days and had very little sleep, but my motto is always pray big. "We could ask God to make time stand still while she speaks," I suggested. 

I look back on that moment and realize not one person doubted. We all nodded our heads and agreed. It seemed the most natural, sensible prayer possible.

We prayed. 

When our speaker walked in the room, we were 35 minutes behind.

She spoke 28 minutes. It was so powerful that a roomful of women stood on their chairs and sang "Victory in Jesus". The Holy Spirit was so strong in the room we could feel Him outside the door.

When she walked back into the prayer room, we checked our watches and couldn't believe what we saw. We pulled out our phones and checked the time again. Our watches were correct. Mouths dropped open. Including mine. We were only fifteen minutes behind.

We looked back and forth from each other to our clocks. Finally, I spoke. "Well, yes. He's done it before. He did it again." 

As twenty-eight minutes passed in that room, somehow, time not only stood still, it went backward 20 minutes in that retreat center.

I freely admit that I was tired enough to have imagined the whole thing, but the five other people in the room were not. It happened.

Not only did God reach out and touch time, He touched the hearts of women who needed Him to move on their behalf, and He changed us all. 

In case you've doubted it, we serve a wonder-working God who still works wonders. He still does miracles. There's no prayer too big. No need too great. 

Not every prayer we prayed resulted in a miracle. Not every person we prayed for chose to let their burdens go and embrace freedom. But some did. 

As we look back on those four days, we won't remember the prayers that didn't get a yes. We'll remember the freedom we saw and the day time stood still. 

"Jesus looked at them and said, 'With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'" Matthew 19:26 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Where Miracles Begin

As a peer-to-peer funded missionary, your support for this prayer project is vital in multiple ways, and aids in furthering the Kingdom of God. Please partner with me as God leads through your prayers, your participation as a facilitator or occasional visitor to our prayer warriors, and by giving financially. Thanks!
Here's the link: Leanna Hollis Account #4841
#miracles #faith #prayer

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Where Miracles Begin

Before we leave the topic of miracles, I need to make one thing clear. When I talk about praying for a miracle and receiving it, I don't mean to imply that the miracle was my idea. It wasn't. 

All miracles originate in the mind of God. Not the mind of Leanna and friends.

When Jesus did the miracle of the loaves and fishes, it was His idea first. He looked around the crowd and saw the need. It went something like this... (Leanna Paraphrase coming up.)

"Hey, Philip, a huge crowd's coming. Where will we get bread to feed them?"

"We're gonna need to get some money first, Jesus. We have to buy bread before we can feed people with it."

Andrew must have liked miracles as much as I do, because he said, "There's a boy here with a sack lunch. It's not enough for everyone, but it's a start."

In a way, it looks like the idea for the miracle was percolating around in Philip's and Andrew's head, but it wasn't.

John 6:6 tells us, "and this He was saying to test him; for He Himself know what He was intending to do." 

Jesus started the conversation with the disciples so that they could be a part. He already know what He was going to do.

When we looked at the bowl of salad and wondered what to do, God already knew He could, and would, multiply it. It was His idea.

When I cried out for help with gas money, God had already positioned the money I needed in just the right spot. It was His idea.

When we look at impossible situations and cry out to God, He knows what's possible. He knows what He's willing to do.

There's one critical part that we often overlook. When we have that nudge to ask God for a miracle, we have to ask Him for it. How simple is that?

If we hadn't asked for a miracle with the salad, I doubt God would've provided. He put it in our hearts, we asked, and He did it.

How many times do we look at a situation and long for God to intervene. We think, "I wish God would just do a miracle." Then, we talk ourselves out of it with, "Nah, He probably wouldn't." We'll never know, because we've never asked.  

Today, let's reconsider this great God we serve. When we pray, God answers. Every time. He may not give us every miracle we request, but He's more likely to give us the miracle we request than the one we don't. 

Dream big. Believe big. Pray big. 

"Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they shall be granted to you." Mark 11:24 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Biggest Miracle of All

If you feel led to support this ministry (blog/Untapped Power Grid/speaking/teaching), here's the link to donate online: Leanna Hollis Account #4841
p.s. - my friend Missy Lunceford gave me those praying hands in the photo and they always remind me that I'm the receiver and God is the giver.
#miracles #Jesus

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Biggest Miracle of All

Yesterday, I read the passage in John 6 where Jesus went on the mountain to teach and the crowd followed Him. They weren't tagging along because they loved His lessons of truth and righteousness, or because they wanted to know God better.  

They followed because they wanted to see His miracles. (John 6:2)

I read that and was struck to the core. I'm pretty fond of miracles, too. 

I love the sweet way God takes care of every need, even when it requires a miracle to accomplish His purposes. Especially when it takes a miracle. 

The biggest miracle of all is not the way He did a loaves-and-fishes miracle with the corn at the Union County senior citizens lunch a few years ago. We didn't have enough corn. We prayed. God moved. It stretched. It still looked like the same amount, but it never ran out. 

The biggest miracle of all is not the way He did a loaves-and-fishes miracle with the salad at an Emmaus walk one weekend. We had enough salad for, at most, ten people, but we prayed. God moved. It stretched. We fed 83 people with that dab of salad, and had some left over. 

The biggest miracle is not even the sweetness of the Holy Spirit's presence when we pray, although I love it when He fills a room and it pulsates with His presence.

The biggest miracle of all is that God loved sinners like you and me enough to send His Son to save us by dying on the cross and raising from the grave. Accepting His payment for our sin is the biggest miracle possible.

I've had a lot of sin over this lifetime. I'll have a good bit more before I die.  I wish that weren't true, but it is. Jesus' blood sacrifice paid for all of it.

The flashy, dramatic miracles are the ones I tend to savor, but today, I'm choosing to focus on the empty tomb. That's the miracle that changed everything. It made all the other miracles I've seen possible.

It made eternity in heaven possible for me, too. For you.

Today, let's focus on God's face, not His hand. Let's remember that knowing Him is better than knowing His provision (although that's great and fun). 

Let's pursue the relationship Jesus died to give us, the one on which everything else hinges.

Christ has died. Christ has risen. Christ is coming again. Until then, He's with us though His Holy Spirit, and that's definitely worth celebrating.
photo above is of the empty tomb, the traditional burial site of Jesus
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Miracle in the Middle Drawer

If you feel led to support this ministry (blog/Untapped Power Grid/speaking/teaching), here's the link to donate online: Leanna Hollis Account #4841
#miracles #emptytomb 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

The Miracle in the Middle Drawer

This is day two of the miracles mini-series. If you read yesterday's post about The $100 Miracle, you remember that my friend and I were having lunch when I told her about a miracle God had done. She urged me to share what I wanted to keep to myself, and the mini-series was born. 

Our discussion was about fund-raising. I'm a "peer-to-peer funded missionary", which means that people I know and who are my "peers" help fund my ministry. Well, that's the goal, but so far it hasn't worked out like that, because I haven't really done any fund-raising. 

Part of the reason is that I'm not quite through with the process of my sending-church application (another few weeks of that) and part of it is pride. I'm afraid people will say, "She's a doctor. She should practice medicine and fund her own ministry." In a way, that's what I say to myself, although I know it's not possible to do everything at once. 

Another reason I'm so hesitant about fund-raising is that George Mueller (from the 1800's) never did it. He just told God what He needed and He sent it, but sometimes Mueller had to sell the furniture out of his house to pay for food for the hundreds of orphans for which he cared. They always had what they needed, but I'm not quite ready for the furniture-selling method of funding.

This is silly to admit, I guess, but there's also a secret reason I've been slow to fund-raise. I love miracles.

I'm afraid they would slow down if I ask people to help me. I have a beautiful intimacy with God that I don't want to lose. If my ministry is dependent on donors, I fear that would put me in the position of relying on them instead of Him. 

I'm already praying for many $10/month donors who give because God moves their heart, not because they need a tax write-off. I believe those will be the people who will care about the work I'm doing and want to participate through their money and their prayers. I'm happy to have big donors, but I don't want to be dependent on them. (If you're one of the people God has called to help, I'll add a link below)

All that to say, I had a miracle a couple of weeks ago and I loved it.

There had been a little more month than money, and the one who owes me money monthly was short. Again. It always gets paid, but sometimes there's a delay. I understand the circumstances, and I believe God has called me to this financial patience, so I'm persevering. Once again, I wouldn't have been short if it had all arrived on time.

So, I needed to buy gas to go to the office but I only had $4 cash. I didn't want to use my debit card because the balance was getting low. It wasn't $37 low, but low, and my scheduled deposit was still a couple of days away. I was pondering whether to work from home or ask for a miracle of gas fumes and go to the office. 

"Lord, if you want me to go to the office, you'll have to give me some cash," I prayed.

The Still Small Voice answered instantly. "Look in the middle drawer."

I don't really mean to argue with God, but I had already looked in the middle drawer. I'd looked in all the other usual places I stash a few dollars, too. There was nothing there.

"Which drawer is that, Lord? The middle drawer of my desk doesn't have any money in it. I looked there yesterday."

The impression of the middle drawer was so strong that I quit arguing and went to look.

I pulled open the drawer and a white envelope was on top. Where it had never been before. I opened it, and there was $25 in cash there. More than enough to buy gas.

I laughed and thanked Him for how sweet He is and decided, on the spot, that He meant for me to go to the office to work, so I did.

I hadn't shared about the miracle in the middle drawer, but once I began to talk about it a little, I found out that this happens all the time. Single mothers have one story after another about how God provided for their needs in miraculous ways. They, too, love this way of life.

If you are in the position of need, take heart. God has more than enough funding available to meet your needs. And He will. 

If you are in the position to give, take a look around you. There are single moms and senior adults on fixed incomes all around us who are praying for a $10 or $20 miracle, and you can help. When God prompts your heart, pass along a blessing. 

I've been the one who was flush with cash and able to give here and there. It's the most fun you can ever have. Receiving the miracle is awesome, but it's still more blessed to give than to receive.

"Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." John 14:13 nasb

When God does a miracle, we're supposed to share it so that He can be glorified by what He's done. What about you? Have you received a miracle? Share your story in the comments below. I'd love to hear what God has done in your life, too. 
Friday, I'll write about the miracle When Time Stood Still. This miracle has just happened, and it was so impressive that I'm still grinning about it. I might write about the miracle of the storm that stopped tomorrow. Be sure to check back, and don't forget to like and share my posts. It helps spread my digital reach considerably.

Here's the link to donate online: Leanna Hollis Account #4841
(You can mail a check to Global Outreach (put account #4841 in the "for" line) to
Global Outreach
P.O. Box 1
Tupelo MS 38802

photo above is courtesy of free
#miracles #Christian

Monday, October 17, 2016

The $100 Miracle

This is one of those posts I didn't want to write. Not because I don't love what happened, but because I didn't want to admit how badly I needed the miracle God sent.

I had lunch with a friend on Wednesday. She's one of those iron-sharpens-iron friends who assured me the body of Christ would love knowing what I'd experienced and that it was pride that prevented me from sharing. "You need to write about what God's done."

She was right. I've repented and here goes. 

(I am going to write about the election, but I need to do a little pondering and I need to remind us of what God can do beforehand.)

This was not the first miracle I've ever seen, but it's the first one I'm going to tell about in this little series, because it changed something vital in me. 

After I left medicine for the writing break that wasn't just for two months, as I'd planned, but was a divinely-orchestrated training-in-faith school, money was in short supply. I'm a frugal woman, so I tightened my belt. I knew God would provide, and He did.

Money got tighter. My belt did, too. I knew God would provide, and He did. Every time.

There came a day when my bank account was down to $37.00, but an automatic draft was coming out the next day. Someone owed me money that would more than cover the expense, but they hadn't been able to pay the full amount. I searched through my house and found spare change and a few dollars, but, even with, that I was going to be short. 

I sat down with the money I had, spread it out on my kitchen table, and wept. Tears streamed down my face as I prayed, "Lord, you have never let me down before. What's up with this? What am I supposed to do?"

There are moments when that still, small voice of God is maddening. This was one of them. "Take it to the bank."

The money wasn't enough, so I couldn't see taking it to the bank before God did some kind of miracle, but the Holy Spirit was relentless. I counted the money over and over to be sure. I was nearly $60 short. I didn't know what else to do, so I gathered up the money and headed to town. 

I went to the drive-through furthest away from the window, just to avoid looking at the teller's face. I couldn't bear the idea of seeing her look at me, with my previously big bank account, now having only $37. Especially when I sent my pitiful deposit through the vacuum tube.

I prayed again as I hit the send button on the post and waited for the teller to send back the deposit slip. 

After a few minutes, she buzzed with a question. "What do you want to do with this extra money?"

"What extra money?"

"There's another $100 in here you didn't add to the total."

My breath caught in my throat. $100 would make the deposit enough. My heart was pounding as I replied. "Are you sure? I counted that money several times."

"Yes, ma'am. I've counted it three times. There's definitely an extra $100."

I had enough. 

I sat there in stunned silence with tears running down my face. 

"Dr. Hollis. What did you want me to do with this extra money?"

I was so busy having church that I'd forgotten to answer.

"If God added $100 to my deposit, you better put it in my account." I was laughing and crying and praising and shouting hallelujah.

That $100 wasn't the biggest miracle I'd ever seen, but it was the most desperately needed. It showed me, in the most compelling way imaginable, that I could trust God on this journey of faith. It was fun in a roller-coaster-ride kind of way. It left me wanting more. More God. More miracles. More evidence of His favor and love. 

That day, God did something big in me. Money has never been in quite that short supply again, but, even when it's tight, I'm no longer frightened. At the deepest part of my being, I know God will supply all my needs. Every single one of them.

People ask me all the time if I think I'll go back to medicine. It would give me a nice big salary and ease my concerns about fund-raising. I wouldn't have to work 14-hour days like I do now. It would stop my worries about what people think about me. It would make many things easier. 

It would also bring the Untapped Power Grid project to a screeching halt and stop the flow of $100 miracles. 

It's not hard to decide. All I have to do is think about the money God added to my deposit and know that, as long as I'm doing exactly what He calls me to do, in exactly His way, God will fund His projects and provide for me. 

You, too, may be facing a situation where only the intervention of God can carry you through. Take courage. We serve an on-time God who is more than able to provide. The good news is that He's not only able to provide; He's also willing.

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God... And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6, 19 nasb
photo above courtesy of free 

I've been helping at a retreat for the last four days and have had essentially no internet access. I'm back in the digital world now, and the regular blog schedule will resume tomorrow. Thanks for your patience. 

This story happened nearly two years ago. Tomorrow, I'll write about something more recent,The Miracle in the Middle Drawer, and, later in the week, I'll write about The Day Time Stood Still. The election blog post is coming, so hang on and keep reading.
#miracles #Godwillprovide