Friday, October 14, 2016

The Special Forces Warriors

These are just some of the Prayer Warriors at the Bruce Community Living facility. 

Monday, I drove to Bruce to talk with the residents about participating in the Untapped Power Grid project. We discussed the words of our Lord to the apostle Paul, "My power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9) These precious Prayer Warriors already know the truth of that verse. Although their bodies are weak and many are confined to wheelchairs, God's power is being made perfect in their weakness. 

These brothers and sisters know and understand Scripture in a way most of us have yet to achieve. They've lived through the Great Depression, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam, the turbulent 1960's. They've lived through agonizing loss, terrifying sickness, and heartbreaking frailty. They KNOW God is able, because they've seen Him do the impossible, over and over again.

This group had already considered how they wanted to partner with us before I arrived. They wanted to take one missionary family and pray the biggest prayers they could. 

They'd memorized the words of Jesus, "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father." (John 14:12 nasb) 

"If we're going to do the works Jesus did, we need to know what those works were," I said. "What did Jesus do?"

They were quick to reply. Healed the sick. Raised the dead. Gave sight to the blind. Hearing to the deaf. Made the lame walk. They knew what Jesus did, and they had already determined to participate in His mighty work by praying big. 

Those prayer warriors chose a missionary doctor and his family, partly because they wanted to participate in the healing power of our Lord through their prayers. They wanted to write letters to their missionaries to encourage them. Meet them when they come to the States.

One of the ladies in the group is three months away from being 100 years old. She knows how to pray big and she plans to spend her last days, however many she has, doing just that. 

I was in awe of these warriors. They aren't fooling around. This isn't just a substitute for bingo. They're a kind of divine Special Forces unit. This is war, and they intend to wage it. And win.

I hesitated a minute, then gave them my prayer card. "If you're praying big, pray big for me, too." They grinned and nodded. They would.

I gathered my extra prayer cards and prepared to leave. Before I did, I made my way around the room, hugging every one of our warriors. They hugged me back and whispered in my ear, "Thank you." 

It's we who should be thanking them. Some of our warriors have been in the facility for years. They live far from family. Have few visitors. It's the love of God that has sustained them thus far, but I'm praying the body of Christ will choose to sustain them with our love and gratitude, as well, as we go forward together. 
As a peer-to-peer funded missionary, your support for this prayer ministry (and this blog) 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, and by giving financially.(I don't get paid a salary or get ministry expenses reimbursed if I don't raise funds.) Thanks for your help!
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

 #719project  #prayer 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Glorifying God in Everything We Do

I've walked through the doors to Focus on the Family many times in the last twenty-plus years. Every time, I've walked by this sign, but never noticed it. During my last visit, the plaque caught my eye and I stepped closer.

"May God always be glorified in this place."

I read that beautiful prayer of dedication and thought how appropriate it would be for our own lives. Our homes. Our businesses.

I know I haven't always glorified God in my life, my home, my work. I still don't succeed all the time... but it's my goal.

What, then, does it mean to glorify God? 

Jesus said, "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)

The word translated as "glorify" conveys the idea of praising, magnifying, celebrating. According to Blue Letter Bible, it is sometimes used to indicate causing "the dignity and worth... to become manifest and acknowledged."

When we glorify God, then, we not only praise and celebrate Him with our words. Our actions (and attitudes) point others to Him and demonstrate His dignity and value, as well.

As we consider an action, we should ask, "Do this make God look as good as He is or not?" If not, we must think twice before proceeding.

As we indulge in attitudes and conversation, we should ask, "Does this make God looks as great and mighty as He is or not?" Proceed with caution if not.

Today, let's use the beautiful words on that plaque as our own prayer. "May God always be glorified in me. In my words. My thoughts. My actions."
In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: What to Do When Criminals Steal the Air Conditioner Out of Your Window
Update on Sam's Kids Boot Project: $4425 raised so far. That's 368 pairs of boots! Still a long way to go, but we've made an excellent start. In case you still want to donate, here's the link:
You can also mail a check or money order to: (Be sure to put Acct # 4852 in the subject line)
Sam's Kids
c/o Global Outreach 
PO Box 1
Tupelo MS 38802 
Thanks for your help!
#GlorifyGod #Christian

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Wisdom of Experience Versus the Joy of Smaller Jeans

Youth is not all it's assumed to be. You may be able to run faster and fit into smaller jeans when you're young, but youth is not often blessed with the wisdom of years. 

In the big scheme of things, the wisdom of experience counts for considerably more than smaller jeans.

Today, we're talking about aging and the issue of physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia.

This movement seeks to "end suffering" and "give dignity to dying". It's gaining support around the world. 

This is a terrifying trend. It opens up a vast array of "reasons" to speed the dying process. It changes our view of death. It denies the blessing of suffering. It makes abuse of the system much easier. 

This is a slippery slope down which our nation has begun to slide, and we must take a stand. Reevaluate death and dying. Reconsider what we assume will bring dignity and lessen suffering.

Life is precious to God. He holds life and death in His hands. What about "thou shalt not kill" (Exodus 20:13) is hard to understand? To take the ending of life into our own hands is nothing short of sin. 

All life matters because all life is valuable to God. It should be valuable to us, too, but I'm afraid we care most about all life that is just like our life. 

Skin that's the same color as ours. 

Age that's the same age as ours. 

Circumstances and choices that are the same as ours.

God is the creator and author of life, and He cares about all of us, no matter how old or young we are. He loves us, and He doesn't want to leave us in our sin. He wants us to change to become more like His Son, who said, "Love God. Love others. Follow me." He often uses circumstances to bring us to the change point we don't always want, but almost always need.

I understand that we spend an inordinate amount of money in the last year of life. That's partly because people say, "Do all you can do, Doc." They don't have any idea what that means, but I'm telling you something important. As doctors, we know how to do more than you would ever really want us to do. Quit saying that. Instead, say, "Do what's appropriate." 

Physician-assisted suicide/euthanasia comes with the dubious "benefit" of decreasing the amount of money spent in the last days of life. Hospice care that allows death to come in God's timing is a much better choice. 

We all die, and nothing will change that. Psalms 139:16 tells us that we have a pre-ordained number of days and God knows how many there are. If you think medical science can change that, you don't understand medicine or God. (Active killing is another matter.) 

I know that we love our families dearly, and we don't want them to suffer. We want them to live and be vital and active. There comes a point in all our lives, though, when the vital and active days are over. There comes a point in many lives when our last days are hard. Our instinct is to reject those hard days, to make them stop. Bring them to a end. After all, who wants to suffer? Who wants their loved ones to suffer? To linger?

Before we go further, let's clarify what I mean by suffering. To suffer is commonly considered to feel pain or distress, but it can also mean to sustain injury, disadvantage, loss or penalty. I am not referring to the suffering of pain. Medication is available to control pain. I am referring to the emotional distress of loss of any kind or of distressing circumstances. 

There is nothing inherently wrong with suffering. I didn't like it, but God has taken me through several big bouts of suffering. Some because of my own sin. Some because of someone else's sin. Some just the natural course of living and dying. It was always hard. I was always forced to seek God in a deeper and more personal way. I was always forced to rely on His strength and not my own. It was pure agony and, eventually, total joy. 

I got through it. 

On the other side, I emerged stronger. More resilient. More loving. More forgiving.

I've had to watch people I love suffer. It was agony, then, too. It drove me to my knees and kept me there. I grew. They grew. The suffering was not wasted. It never has to be.

This movement toward assisted dying cloaks their deception in lovely words that make it sound good and noble. Please, I beg you, look at the truth. Life is precious. No matter what form it takes. Who has the right to decide whether it should end?

Four states already have laws that make physician-assisted suicide legal. There is a move in Canada to limit conscience protection for doctors who refuse to participate. In fact, there are some who feel screening for conscience should be done prior to medical school so that those who would deny medical assistance with dying would, themselves, be denied the opportunity for a medical education. If that doesn't chill your heart, it should.

Voters in Colorado will vote for more than the president in a few weeks. They will also vote for or against a law that provides "medical aid in dying". The Denver Post is running a poll to determine the trend in voters' opinions before the vote. When I first saw this poll a few days ago, the numbers were chilling. 65% of those who responded to the poll were in favor of physician-assisted suicide. It's now 56% for and 44% against, after thousands of votes cast. 

I urge you to read the article, do a little research, take the poll. (Click here for the article and poll.

If you live outside Colorado, you may wonder why this matters to you. It matters because it started in one state. It has spread to three more. Now, a fifth state is considering this law. This is a disturbing trend. Do not assume your state will be spared. Those who fund this movement will continue to press their cause, just as they have in Canada.

When voters who are undecided view the results of the poll, they may be swayed by the results they see. It is worth the effort to make your voice heard.

Today, let's pause long enough to affirm our commitment to life, in all its forms, all its stages. Let's take a stand. Teach the value of life. Live it. Pray like your life depends upon it. As incredible as it seems, one day, it might.

"Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them." Psalm 139:16 nasb

The photo above is of my grandmother. She died at an advanced age of breast cancer in the days before hospice. Her doctor and nurses made house calls, taught us to care for her, and kept her comfortable. She died at home with family around her. She knew she was loved and valued every day of her life. Even when she couldn't speak, she could still hear us. My mama died the same way, at home, with family by her side. Loved and valued. They both died with dignity, and no one ever considered hastening their deaths.

In case you missed yesterday's post, here's the link: Glorifying God in Everything We Do

Update on Sam's Kids Boot Project: $4425 raised so far. That's 368 pairs of boots! Still a long way to go, but we've made an excellent start. In case you still want to donate, here's the link:
You can also mail a check or money order to: (Be sure to put Acct # 4852 in the subject line)
Sam's Kids
c/o Global Outreach 
PO Box 1
Tupelo MS 38802 

Thanks for your help!
#physicianassistedsuicide #euthanasia #prolife

What To Do When Criminals Steal the Air Conditioner Out of Your Window

When criminals stole the air conditioner from my pottery shop window, I received an opportunity to act like Jesus, and, I'm sorry to say, I wasn't too happy to about it. It takes a lot of bold to pull up to a street on a busy highway and steal the air conditioner out of the front window. 

I was shocked and hurt and frightened. I felt violated. Vulnerable. 

My first response was not prayer. 

I'm sorry to say that, but it's the truth. My first response was shock, and hurt, and anger. 

I considered doing a stake out in the dark to try to catch them if they came back. One of my close friends offered to help me. "We could take them," she assured me. I had a fleeting vision of throwing a pottery vase at a criminal.  That scenario was not likely to end well. 

Fortunately, good sense prevailed. 

At first, I didn't really care about the reason for the crime, but I eventually came to "why". Why would they steal the air conditioner? It's certainly not hot enough to need an air conditioner, but, of course, it wasn't need that drove them. 

If they'd needed food, they could have come to me and I'd have fed them. This crime wasn't about food for the hungry, either.

Most likely they wanted money. Probably for drugs.

An investigation is underway. I hope the detective catches them. Somewhere between shock and anger, I came to the thought that jail would be a good thing for these criminals. Not that jail would bring justice, but because jail would bring an opportunity for someone to share Christ with them. Jail would offer a defining moment for my criminals to accept Jesus.

It took me a few hours to move past hurt, anger, and fear to praying for these criminals, but I'm on it now. It's a kind of divine retribution, and I'm praying big.

I'm praying they get caught, go to jail, and hear the good news of Jesus. 

I'm praying they accept Him and are so transformed that they turn from their wicked ways and become true disciples. Maybe a pastor or a missionary. 

I'm praying the evil one's hold on their lives is broken, and they are set free by the Blood of the Lamb.

I'm praying this is the last time they ever steal anything.

If I can think of anything bigger than serving Christ with a whole heart, I'll pray that, too.

Praying for our enemies is not just a suggestion. It's a command, and it benefits us more than it does our enemy. Those prayers changed fear and anger into peace. They stopped hate right in its tracks. They allowed me to sleep, undisturbed, even after a very disturbing violation.

Believe it or not, those prayers have given me a sense of anticipation. I can't wait to see how God works this out.

Last night, I wanted to have a few words with my criminals. This morning, I still want a word, but the words I want to share are a little different. 

"Welcome to my world, criminals. You won't escape unscathed. I've turned you over to my Father. He'll deal with you now." 

That may not sound like much, but its the best (and probably scariest) news a criminal could ever hear. 

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you..." Matthew 5:44 KJV
The photo above is not my pottery shop window. It's courtesy of and is a view of Paris.
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Being a Human Road Sign

Update on Sam's Kids Boot Project: $4425 raised so far. That's 368 pairs of boots! Still a long way to go, but we've made an excellent start. In case you still want to donate, here's the link:
You can also mail a check or money order to: (Be sure to put Acct # 4852 in the subject line)
Sam's Kids
c/o Global Outreach 
PO Box 1
Tupelo MS 38802 

Thanks for your help!
#prayforyour enemy #Jesus

Monday, October 10, 2016

Being a Human Road Sign

Jesus was in Jerusalem for a feast, and He saw the sick people gathered by the pool of Bethesda. The people were there in anticipation that an angel would stir the water. First one in would, supposedly, be healed.

There was a man there who had been sick for thirty-eight years. Jesus approached him and asked an unusual question. "Do you wish to get well?"

The man gave a strange non-answer. "There's no one to put me in the water when it's stirred. Someone always gets there first."

Jesus spoke to the man and, with one quick sentence, transformed his life. "Arise. Take up your pallet and walk." And he did. Immediately.

To any sensible person, this would be a wonderful thing. To the Jewish leaders, this was a scandalous action. Jesus had healed on the Sabbath. He'd done work. He'd broken the law. He deserved to be arrested and killed.

Jesus' answer to the accusers made them even more angry. "Can't you see from My works that God has sent Me?" 

No, they couldn't, because they didn't want to see, even though His life, and His actions were road signs pointing to God the Father.

He wrapped Himself in flesh, dwelt among us, and showed us God by the way He lived and the things He did. Every action Jesus performed pointed to His Father. Every single action.

The question for us is simple. To what or whom do our actions point? Are we "sometimes" pointing to our Heavenly Father or always pointing people to Him? Today, let's be intentional about every action. Every word. Every thought. Let's make sure our life is a road sign pointing to Christ, showing the way to Him, and not the world.

"But the witness which I have is greater than that of John; for the works which the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I do, bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me."  John 5:36 nasb
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Comfort, Convenience, and Christ

Update on Sam's Kids Boot Project: $4425 raised so far. That's 368 pairs of boots! Still a long way to go, but we've made an excellent start. In case you still want to donate, here's the link:
You can also mail a check or money order to: (Be sure to put Acct # 4852 in the subject line)
Sam's Kids
c/o Global Outreach 
PO Box 1
Tupelo MS 38802 
Thanks for your help!
#Jesus #disciple

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Comfort, Convenience, and Christ

Constrained by the skin-wrapped limits of humanity, Jesus was tired, so He sat down by the well of Sychar to rest while His disciples went into town to purchase lunch. (John 4:6)

You probably know what happened next. The Samaritan woman who'd had five husbands came to draw water from the well. Jesus engaged her in conversation, and, in the course of their chat, offered her Living Water. He described this Living Water as eternally thirst-quenching, eternally renewing. 

She seized on the offer. "I want some of that," she told him. She wanted it "so I will not be thirsty, nor come all the way here to draw." 

She didn't want transformation of her soul, or to change her lifestyle, or forgiveness of her sins. She wanted comfort (no more thirst) and convenience (no more trips to draw water from the well). 

She sounds a lot like us, doesn't she? 

We, too, love comfort and convenience, but that's not why Jesus came, and it's not what He promised. 

In fact, He promised difficulty. The Holy Spirit would come, He told His disciples, and convict us of our sin. He'd lead us in paths that would be risky and difficult. We would have many struggles, but Holy Spirit would help us. 

On my recent trip to Colorado, the "group rate" hotel was both comfortable and convenient. The rooms there are large and beautifully appointed. The beds are super-comfortable. They give you fresh-baked cookies when you check in. It's a great place to stay.

I've stayed there before, but, this time, I stayed in a low-star hotel for $30 less a night. It was a missionary-budget rate. I'm content to have a cheap hotel now because I know that I'll walk on streets of gold later. 

The comforts of this world will end when we step into eternity. Looking back, they'll seem so little in comparison to heaven's riches and glory. 

Comfort and convenience are not bad, but they can draw our eyes away from Christ. That was the temptation the woman at the well faced, but Jesus offered more. He gently confronted her sin and drew her to a new (and transformed) life. When she accepted His offer, the inconvenience of the well didn't matter at all.

Today, let's look at our own priorities. Do we want comfort and convenience, or are we willing to accept less to serve Christ more? 

Let's take our eyes off ourselves and put them on Jesus. Let's ask how we can serve, instead of what we can get. Let's allow such transformation that we'll be willing to tell everyone, as the Samaritan woman did, "Come and see this Jesus who gave me living water and changed my life."

"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life." John 4:14 nasb

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: The Bear That Jesus Sent

I'll have an update on the Sam's Kids Boot Project with tomorrow's post.
#Jesus #livingwater