Lay Hands On The Feet!

dirty feet

 

I encountered a woman the other day who was suffering from neuropathy.  Her feet were angled slightly inward and had lost much of their feeling.  Her toes were bandaged, covering sores trying to heal.  She moved with a cane and leaned on it heavily when she walked.

As I talked with the woman, I began to feel like God wanted me to pray for her feet.  I was thinking, “OK, I can pray for her feet.  I’ll just put my hand on her shoulder if that’s ok with her.”

But then I heard the Lord tell me to lay hands on her feet.  Are you kidding me?  I really didn’t want to put my hands on her feet.  That’s just gross isn’t it?  It doesn’t really matter whose feet they are it’s not normal to go around touching others feet.  That kind of activity gets a person pepper sprayed.  How do you even ask someone if you can put your hands on their feet?  Weird.

But then I thought of Jesus on His hands and knees washing the feet of His disciples.  Can we even imagine how gross their feet were?  Think about kind of shoes fishermen would wear.  Their feet were probably nastier than any of our feet have ever been.

But that didn’t stop Jesus.  His love for them was greater than the condition of their feet.  He wanted to serve them and a little grime wasn’t going to stop Him.  That’s a mighty kind of Love!

So I looked at the woman again and asked her if I could put my hands on her feet and pray for them.  She said “yes” without hesitation.  I prayed as I felt the Lord lead me to pray.

When I was done I asked her if anything felt different.  She told me that when I was praying she felt shocks going through her feet.  The sensations were great enough to cause her to open her eyes and look down.

I asked her to stand up and see if anything felt different.  She stood up and without the assistance of her cane walked back and forth in front of me with a look of amazement on her face.  She even bent over and picked up a can off of the ground just to see if she could do it and she did without problem.

She left that day carrying her cane instead of using it.  We must not let outward circumstances prevent us from loving as Jesus did and does today.  Our model continues to point us to life.  If Jesus did it then we should be doing it too!

Blessings,

Jesse and Kara Birkey

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

jessebirkey.wordpress.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/LifeResurrected

 

Failed Prayer for Healing

confused-man

 

There are times in which we pray for someone in need of physical healing and the person does not get healed.  These can be hard times as we struggle with the “why” questions.  But we must not automatically equate no healing with failure.

On day at work I encountered a woman who had broken her femur.  She tripped and fell and was in a lot of pain.  Those who have broken their femur know what a terrible injury this is.

We gave her pain medicine as quickly as we could and did our best to be gentle as we splinted her leg.  Even with the pain medicine on board it was still very painful on any kind of movement.

It took a little time but we got her all fixed up and into the rescue (ambulance).  On our way to the hospital I was moved by compassion as the Holy Spirit nudged me into action.  I was riding in the back with my partner who is also a believer.

I was actually holding the splinted leg as the road bumps were causing some movement and more pain.  I looked at her and, with discernment from God, asked her if I could pray for her leg.  She looked very surprised and told me that I could.

I put my hands gently on her broken leg and prayed the words God have me to pray.  The praying lasted only for a few minutes and when I was done the leg was still broken but something else happened.  Peace filled the rescue and joy filled the woman’s heart.  She was very touched by the love God showed her in the middle of her crisis.

The rest of the ride went very well as the woman had realized God was there for her even in this.  We transferred her to the care of the ER and on the way out stopped by to check on her.  Her husband was there and sincerely thanked me for praying for his wife.

That simple act of obedience made such a great impact on the couple.  There is a reason-and most likely many reasons-why God nudges us to do things.  In this case the reasons were outside of instant healing but it was by no means a failed encounter.

So be encouraged that if you’ve prayed for someone to be healed and they weren’t, God still did something special.  Blessings,

 

 

Jesse and Kara Birkey

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

jessebirkey.wordpress.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/LifeResurrected

Always Be Ready

getting ready

I had the unexpected opportunity to pray with a co-worker who doesn’t know the Lord the other day that was really great.  My partner and I had just dropped our patient off in the hospital when my partner noticed one of our co-workers laying in one of the rooms.

There are many people who work for the fire department and, to my recollection, I hadn’t met him before.  But my partner knew him and struck up a conversation.  He told us why he was there and it was a pretty hard story.  The man was going through some pretty hard times.

As we listened I sensed the familiar nudge of the Holy Spirit to pray for the man.  I had a short silent discussion saying, “I don’t know him and I don’t know if he is a believer.”  But the Lord told me, “Pray for him.”

So I looked at the man and asked him if we (my partner is a believer) could pray for him. His eyes widened in surprise and said, “absolutely”.  So I asked him if I could put my hand on his shoulder and he told me yes.

We prayed for him and asked the Lord to touch his heart and heal his body.  I prayed as the Lord led me to pray, talked a few more minutes and then left.  On the way out my partner thanked me for praying for the man and that the two of them have had discussions about God.  My partner told me that God had really been pursing the mans heart lately.

There is great purpose for the things God nudges us to do.  We must take great courage and respond.  We won’t always get confirmation that we did the right thing but sometimes we do.  We must always be ready to be used by God.  He loves the stranger next to you just as much as He loves you and maybe, just maybe, He wants to use you to reach the strangers heart!

Jesse and Kara Birkey

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

jessebirkey.wordpress.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/LifeResurrected

Order Life Resurrected, Extraordinary Miracles through Ordinary People Here!

Grocery Store Encounter

It was getting late one afternoon, and I suddenly came face to face with a problem. We had four, five-gallon water jugs for our water cooler, and they were all empty. So I loaded them into the trunk and headed out to the grocery store to fill them up.

The water system was set up just inside the grocery store. I made my way over and began the tedious process of filling the jugs. Everything was going fine, and I was about halfway done when a man that I instantly recognized walked by me, heading for the exit.

An older man, he was a good friend from a church I used to attend. It had been a few years since I had seen him. I remembered that the desire of this man’s heart had always been for the Lord. We’d had our disagreements on different things, but his love for God was completely obvious to me. He was someone I admired.

Even though I hadn’t seen him for quite some time, I recognized that something was different. He looked worn out and weighed down. I called his name, and he turned. He saw me, and a tired smile spread across his face as he shook my hand and asked how I was. We made small talk for a few minutes and caught up a little. As we talked the Holy Spirit was moving in my heart and giving me insight into the current condition of my friend. I remembered him being a source of encouragement and joy, but the Lord was showing me that the joy had been stolen, allowing hopelessness and discouragement in.

I was still trying to discern what God wanted me to do when our conversation came to an end. My friend said good-bye and walked out the door. Instantly I heard voice of the Lord in my heart telling me to go pray for him, so I left my water jugs and quickly walked outside. My friend wasn’t too far away, and it only took me a second to catch up to him.

He turned as I called his name, and I asked him if I could pray for him. He told me I could, and in the middle of people walking all around us, I began to pray for my friend. The Lord began to reveal the pain of my friend’s heart and then began to speak words of love and encouragement. The Lord began to speak through me about how my friend’s heart had lost hope, but that He was there to restore hope and build my friend up again with love. Every word was being directed straight to my friend’s heart, piercing it like an arrow. All of the people around us seemed to fade, leaving just God and us.

When I finished praying, my friend lifted his head and smiled a real smile. He thanked me and shared a little of what had been happening in his life. What my friend needed was for his Father God to touch his heart, and that’s what happened. We both said good-bye and walked away with our hearts full of joy.

-Excerpt from Life Resurrected.  Get your copy here.

Jesse and Kara Birkey

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

jessebirkey.wordpress.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/LifeResurrected

Betrayal and Broken Windows

 

It’s interesting how God seems to bring us opportunities to minister to others in the exact areas we’ve experienced pain and trauma.  God builds testimonies in us for the benefit of not only us but for others who have experienced or are experiencing some of the same things.

One night I found myself in front of a man handcuffed and laying on my stretcher (I’m a Firefighter/Paramedic).  He had been arrested for breaking a window when he found his wife with another man.  He had also cut his arm, which was why I was there.

He was emotional and distraught for good reason.  It takes courage to discuss the areas in which we’ve experienced the most pain with others, especially strangers who are upset and cursing left and right.  I felt the familiar “nudge” of the Holy Spirit to tell the man how sorry I was and that I knew what he was going through.

Just those few words were enough to form a connection.

He looked at me with pain in his eyes and began to share some of his frustrations.  I began to share with him some of my own experience walking through betrayal and gave him the only hope I could, Jesus.  I told him that the only way I survived was because of my relationship with Jesus Christ.  I told him that he’s going to have to find a way to survive and I sincerely recommend the way of Jesus.

It’s in the pain of trauma that many of us begin to consider things that we wouldn’t otherwise.  Despite the anger he was feeling, the words God was giving me were hitting his soul.  His heart was softening.  I encouraged him to seek the Lord, as He is the comforter to those that mourn.  I shared how Jesus rescued me from despair and transformed me.

As we arrived at the hospital, the man looked at me and told me that he was ready to change.  He said he wanted to go to church and asked my partner (a believer) and I for information on local churches.  My partner gave him the info for his church.

It’s important that we recognize we aren’t the only ones dealing with what we deal with.  If God has built a testimony in you He wants to use it to help others.  We must be willing to love others in that way.  Please leave any comments below!  Blessings,

 

 

 

Jesse and Kara Birkey

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

jessebirkey.wordpress.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/LifeResurrected

Fireflies and the Presence of God

 

One of my favorite, and also least favorite, things to do when I was a kid was to go outside at night and catch fireflies or lightning bugs.  It was great to see them all light up at different times inside of my jar.  The only down side was that they made my hands stink.  That’s why it was also one of my least favorite things to do.

A couple weeks ago I was spending some time with the Lord and He showed me a picture.  The picture He showed me was a firefly.  I felt the Lord begin to press something important on my heart.

The light a lightning bug produces is small and alone it can only light up a small area.  However, get hundreds of lightning bugs together and you will see a much larger area lit up.

We are the light of Jesus and we are commanded to take that light into a dark world.  Alone we can certainly light up an area and bring change of some kind to our immediate surroundings.  But there is certainly power in numbers and when the church stands united in Christ large areas of darkness can be changed to light.  I believe Jesus spoke some to this principle when He taught when two or more are gathered He is in our midst (Matt 18:20).

A week or so after the Lord showed me this I had the opportunity to see it in action.  I am the only believer at my fire station.  I do believe that some change has happened as a result of the light shinning through me but it is a pretty dark environment.  Now we have another believer at our station temporarily and I have seen a pretty amazing difference.

The atmosphere around the station is changing in ways that some might not see but are obvious to me.  A marked improvement in purity and holiness has caught my attention.  The change is because there are now two lights in a very dark area where there used to only be one.  We are praying together every shift and doing our best to let the light shine through us and God is being faithful.

Most will notice a single firefly light up in the dark.  However, most will stand in awe when hundreds light up together and then will be drawn to investigate.  Again, there are times God can bring amazing change through a single light but there are also times that the power of darkness is so great that a unified body of believers is needed to bring the desired change.  There are many examples of single people who challenged very dark areas and failed miserably.

We must put aside petty differences and stand together in our love for Jesus to advance the kingdom of God.  Pray that God would send you help in whatever dark place you find yourself in.  If there are other believers, engage them and pray together.  Let your lights shine bright!

Please leave your comments below including any testimonies of the light of Jesus bringing change!

 

Jesse and Kara Birkey

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

jessebirkey.wordpress.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/LifeResurrected

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Miss Your Opportunities!

Many of us tend to live in extremes.  Sometimes it seems like balance is very difficult to find in our lives.  I know it has been for me.

Even as we view the history of the church it’s easy to see the pendulum swing from one end to the other.  Years ago an extreme repentance message was preached commonly referred to as Hell, Fire and Brimstone.  There was a lack of love and grace being preached in many cases.  Many were very damaged by that movement coming away full of condemnation.

Now it appears that an unbalanced Grace message has permeated the church and the message of repentance has been missing.  This is equally unacceptable as repentance is a foundational block in the gospel message.  The hard truth is needed but it needs to be wrapped in the spirit of Love as Paul says “it’s the kindness of God that draws men to repentance”.

We also noticed the extreme tendencies when we seek to be used by God in the lives of those around us.  The two positions seem to be complete passivity in which we never take opportunities to minister to others, and creating our own opportunities to minister in whatever way we determine is appropriate.

Both of these positions are damaging as passivity will cause the person needing ministry (encouragement, prayer, service etc.) to miss what God wants to do for them and creating our own opportunities will make many people hate you with legitimate cause.  Creating our own opportunities will surely offend many and make us the least favorite people in the room.  In addition to the lack of love it shows to speak into someones life without permission, it’s rebellion against God because He calls us to obedience.  Obedience means responding to God rather than trying to make Him respond to us which is what happens when we create our own opportunities to minister.

The balance I have found in this has been to wait for God to present ANY opportunity and then take advantage of that opportunity.  A couple of weeks ago we were called (I’m a firefighter/paramedic) to help a woman who was having severe trouble with anxiety.  As I interacted with the woman I had to check my zeal to minister to her and wait for God to present the opportunity.  At some point she looked at me and said, “It feels like every demon in hell is after me”.  That was the opportunity and I took it. I was able to speak into her life what God gave me to speak.  It was an awesome experience.

Opportunities can look very different in every situation.  It takes patience and guidance from the Holy Spirit.  If that person opens up their life to you in any way you have an opportunity to minister the love of God to them however that looks.  It could be just a word of encouragement or even just being willing to listen.  There is no formula.  The important thing is that we are showing Jesus to the world and that can look different in each situation.  It’s looked very different in many of my ministry opportunities.

I know this, when people know that your going to wait for permission to speak into their lives they will feel so much safer around you and open up to you so much more.  That, in turn, will provide many opportunities to minister to them.

So let’s find balance and wait for God to make a way for us but make sure we are taking the opportunities God provides for us!

Have you missed opportunities because of passivity?  Have you turned people off because of your zeal?  How can God bring balance to your heart?

Please leave your comments below!

Blessings,

Jesse and Kara Birkey

www.reflectministry.com

jbirkey@reflectministry.com

jessebirkey.wordpress.com

twitter.com/JesseBirkey

http://www.facebook.com/LifeResurrected