A miracle for today!

I once wrote a song called, “A miracle a day will keep the devil away!” I love to sing that song because it always gives me faith to believe God for something special to happen in my life or for someone else.  

If you need a miracle you must believe it, confess it, and receive it. This is the Bible way of connecting to God’s power and provision. I can hear people already saying, “Oh Tommy, I just don’t know if I believe in miracles for today’s world. And by the way Tommy, you’re beginning to sound like some of those T.V. evangelists always wanting money.”  

Nonetheless, Romans 10:10 declares, “For with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” The greatest miracle of the universe is spiritual rebirth.  Remember, Jesus saying, “You must be born again!” The Bible states, “The things impossible with man are possible with God.” Every miracle that you will receive from God will transpire in exactly the same way! Your miracle road to salvation came through believing on Jesus, confessing Him as your Lord and receiving Him into your heart and life.  

If you need a miracle then keep reading. The following statement is a must:  you start by simply believing what God’s word says concerning your area of need, by allowing the Word to change your heart and mind. You can not skip this step! Remember, Jesus said, “Only believe! Believe what? You must believe God’s Word.  Sometimes it takes time to truly believe and accept God’s Word concerning certain matters of God’s provision such as healing, salvation, the baptism of the Holy Spirit and other provisions to live an overcoming life.  

The biggest problem that I find in people not receiving from God is they are really not believing. You must believe from your heart or that inner man. When you believe, you will then begin to automatically speak your faith. The psalmist David said, “I believe thus I will speak.”  

Someone asked me, “Pastor, how long should I pray?” I responded, “You pray until you believe and you know that you are truly believing when your mouth is rejoicefully confessing that miracle your about to receive.”

You must have faith to believe the miracle you need. You get that faith by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). Start filling the ears of your heart with the Word until faith for your miracle is born. Believe it, confess it and receive it. Miracles are for today — only pray and believe!

—Tommy Meekins

Don’s Daily Parable-Wow

This past Saturday, I had the pleasure to go to the Bayshore Fine Rides Car Show, which was held in downtown Baytown. It was held at the Town Square, which is a first-class facility constructed by the City of Baytown a couple of years ago. 

It has a very nice-sized ice skating rink for the winter months and a beautiful tiered water fountain right in the center of the paved area. It is a gorgeous setting for photos and events. Baytown is really blessed to have such a nice facility. The car club held their event last year as well, and it was a huge success.

The weather was pretty nasty. In spite of that, however, the attendance was pretty good, and the number of vehicle entrants was very good, as well. The music was supposed to be provided by a band, but I imagine that they didn’t want to risk getting their equipment wet, even though the pavilion is covered on the top. It was actually nice without a lot of loud music playing, to me. I enjoyed being able to talk to people without having to shout, which is what some car shows are famous for.

I had the extreme blessing of winning one of the People’s Choice awards with my 1987 Buick Grand National, which was just phenomenal. I was not expecting that at all, because there were so many great looking cars there. I also won one of the drawings and the prize for that was a gallon jug of Pennzoil motor oil with a very nice oil filter removal wrench. I thought, well at least I won something. That was extremely nice. Then, they began calling out the winners of the different categories for cars.

They called out several winners, then I heard, the emcee announce, “The winner of one of the People’s Choice Awards is number 4, Don Cunningham with his 1987 Buick Grand National”. I was floored and couldn’t believe it. I rode my scooter up the ramp in the back of the pavilion and onto the stage. The emcee presented me with a very large trophy. I told him, “This is not it, is it”? He said, “It sure is”. 

You know, one day, if you are a Christian, you will walk up to Jesus and He will present you with your life and tell you what all you have done, both good and bad, and He will explain to you what your ‘trophy’ will be. 

Some will be surprised with their “reward” or “award”. Their “trophy” may be so small that it can scarcely be seen. Those who are concerned with the size or importance of rewards will likely be extremely surprised. You will probably hear them say, regardless of how big or small, “Wow”! God bless you.

—Don Cunningham

By one man came death twice

Romans 5 says that through one man sin and then death entered into the world. The reference is to the sin of Adam. Interestingly the very same claim could be made of Moses as it relates to Israel. II Corinthians 3 describes the Law of Moses as the glorious ministration of death. It is odd that that which causes death is said to be glorious, but such is the case. At any rate, the Bible clearly shows Moses as introducing a form of death to those under his law.

If one concludes that the problem with the Tree of Knowledge was the resultant ability and propensity to condemn and punish others, then it becomes obvious that a detailed law like that of Moses, with its many required forms of humanly administered punishment, would be the ultimate product of the Tree of Knowledge. The Law of Moses was the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge ten times over. If that fruit introduced sin and death into Adam’s world, then the Law of Moses logically re-introduced death into the world of the Hebrews.

In that regard, it is understandable that Jesus had no great attachment to the Law. He, of all people, recognized the deleterious effect of that Law on Israel, promoting as it did self righteousness and a feeling of moral superiority. Jesus was not about honoring such a system. His perfection was without the Law. In other words the Law of Moses was irrelevant to a perfect Savior.

When we focus on Adams transgression as simply a matter of disobedience to a rule, we miss the essence of his story. Adam was not cursed because of God’s wrath. He was cursed because he attached to something inherently harmful to his well being and ability to live in harmony and fulfillment. God warned, Adam ignored the warning, and nature took its course, leading to a death from natural causes, not some divine execution. 

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—Rick Crotts

Faith News: Drug problem

Growing up I had a drug problem. My parents drug me to church on Sunday morning.  They drug me to church on Sunday night. They drug me to church on Wednesday night.  Sometimes they drug me to church on Friday nights for youth group dances when I wasn’t even old enough to dance. 

I guess you could say their efforts paid off because this coming Monday I will celebrate my 40th anniversary of being ordained as a Presbyterian pastor.     

Last Wednesday I heard about a different drug problem twice in the same day. This week, instead of meeting at Faith Presbyterian the Rotary met at the Stuart Career and Technical Early College High School for our weekly luncheon. This time our delicious lunch was prepared by the students in the culinary arts program.  

I was late for the meeting because I was summoned for jury duty.  In all my years of being summoned I have never been picked, I think, because I am a pastor and prosecutors think I’ll be merciful. For the first time in my life I was not only picked but I wound up being the “foreperson” and as such had the task of declaring someone guilty and pronouncing the fine. Interestingly, I was outed as a pastor after a juror recognized me from this column in the Sun. 

When I arrived at the luncheon high school students were reading their winning essays from a competition. The subject was drugs. Each one in his or her own way spoke of the danger and consequences of abusing drugs. It was encouraging to hear them address the topic in their own words. One was moved to tears as she read.   

That night I went to Rundell Hall at Lee College to hear several speakers make presentations on the epidemic of Opioid abuse and other drugs. One speaker said the 91 people a day die of opioid overdose in the United States. 

Representatives from the Baytown Municipal Courts, the Baytown Police Department, Baytown Emergency Services, Lee College, and Walgreens were there. Lining the back walls and halls were tables of organizations offering their assistance:  The Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol, Cease Addiction Now (C.A.N.) Cenikor Foundation, The Council on Recovery, Generation RX/Cardinal Health, Gift of Recovery,  Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP), Houston Methodist San Jacinto Hospital, Kemah Palms, Memorial Hermann Prevention & Recovery Center, Open Door Mission, Prevention Resource Center, Region 6, South East Harris Coalition, Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative, and the one that I serve on the board of called The “O” Team Initiative. We meet on the first and third Tuesdays at the Cease Addiction Now building on 401 W. Texas Ave.  

The speakers from these organizations had pie charts and statistics to illustrate the problems, but the heartbreaking moment of the night was when Maureen Wittels spoke.  Her son Harris Wittels had a career as a stand-up comedian and writer who was the producer of the television show Parks and Recreation. He started with prescriptions for back pain that grew into an addiction to opioids that led to him dying of an overdose of heroin.  

Judging from the applause for high school students and monetary awards for their essays, and the show of support at Rundell Hall there is help available. Type the names of any of those organizations listed above into your browser and ask for help. 

At Faith Presbyterian we gather for worship every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in case any of you would like to try what my parents did for me. I highly recommend that treatment for anyone who would like to experience the peace that comes from a what I initially described as my drug problem.

—Jim Gill

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