Timeline: 2006: Autism And Miracles

One thing about Broward County, miracles still happen. Here is an account of a miracle experienced first-hand by some of my sales associates who were involved in the event below — either as performers or as spectators. ________________________________________________________ On December 19, 2006, President Bush signed bills to raise federal funding for autism . . . Congress voted on Dec. 7 to significantly increase federal funding to identify the cause of autism, now diagnosed in one in 166 children. The Senate, acting a day after House passage, approved on a voice vote legislation that authorizes $945 million over five years for autism research, screening and treatment. Associated Press. December 19, 2006. “This was a most amazing moment.” In 2006 I was in the choir and cast of the Fort Lauderdale Christmas Pageant and had been for three prior seasons. During the 2006 season, we performed over nineteen shows, in addition to various rehearsals and four formal dress rehearsals. The entire cast grew quite weary but were determined to finish strong. Each night before the show the cast and crew received notes and information from the pastors as to how we could enhance our performance. We were read testimony after testimony of how various members of the audience enjoyed the show. One particular letter was extremely tough for Senior Pastor Dr. Larry Thompson  to read. It involved the parents of a young fourteen-year-old boy who had always been non-verbal and was diagnosed early in his life with autism. The parents provided Bible videos and cartoons which entertained him day after day. He had never spoken. For the first time, his parents took him...

Why It Is You MUST Come To Naples If You Are Reading This!

I laid on my death bed. Okay, it wasn’t really my death bed, but it sure felt like it. The flu can do that to you. I’d been sick for days, the kind of sickness where every hour tirelessly rolls into the next one. Sleep. Sneeze. Cough. Slurp soup. Sleep some more. It was out of this dreariness that suddenly and unexpectedly a ray of sunshine entered the room. Mr. Wonderful walked into the house with a letter! A real letter. The kind of letter with a real stamp and everything. A handwritten letter. A letter from Kat! But it would turn out to be what was inside that letter that would turn out to be the truest of delights. Inside Kat’s letter to me was a letter that I had written to her…in 2007! See, just days before writing that letter five years ago, I had met Kat in North Carolina where she was the Drama Queen (actually she played a witch, but she is a drama queen, so this title suits her), or what you might call the dramatist, at her sister Susan’s church retreat. Over that weekend I had spent a little time with Kat (thanks Gigi!) and the Lord had used Kat to greatly encourage me. While I won’t go into details, suffice it to say I went to this retreat one hurtin’ puppy and God used Kat to give me hope. Real hope. Bible hope. Romans 8:28 and Jeremiah 29:11 kind of hope. At the end of that retreat, Kat briefly shared with the group that she wrote a monthly newsletter, Kat’s Shot of...

The God Miner's Daughter

I’m a pack rat.  I keep stuff.  Not everywhere.  Mostly, in my office and art studio.  I’ve read every book you can imagine on organization.  They ease the pain of my clutter disorder but they rarely seem to touch the root that causes the disease.  You know, the one that anchors me to the habit of keeping stuff.  There must be a root at the base of it because I’m grounded into a habit that won’t seem to let me go any further than a tree moves from its original position.  Sure, it sways and it bends and it loses some leaves, but it doesn’t move off its root!.    I work on the symptoms for a while, but without a clear understanding of the cause, I eventually find myself buried once again in my palace of stuff.  Receipts.  Books that I had to have but can’t read until I have time.   Notes from old classes.  Pictures Cameron drew in 1st grade.  Bills I haven’t opened.  Reminders to do things that I buried in a pile and then forgot.  Parts of a book I want to write one day.  Photo discs with people and places I can’t quite place in time or perspective.  Prints of a zillion emails with sentiment from friends, family and strangers.  Birthday cards from the dentist.  Journals with only 5 pages filled, no date and no real context.  Etc, etc, etc [fill in things that are just too embarrassing to mention here].  A few years ago before going on a mission trip, I felt the need to purge my cluttered life.  I took everything out of my office as if I were moving and only put back what...

Crescendo-ing Finale

Tired. No, exhausted was more like it. That’s the emotional state I was in when the B.A.D. girls of ECC gathered at last year’s retreat in Naples. Pooped out! I had just weeks before finished an all-day conference with S.W.O.R.D., a ministry that Michelle Schumacher, Shelly McKnight, and I had created two years earlier. But it wasn’t just having finished up that conference that left me feeling worn out; it was what would happen afterwards. Immediately following that conference, I had begun to hear what I thought was the whispering of God asking me to step out of SWORD ministry. Step out? Why would I do that?! I questioned. This was a ministry that Michelle, Shelly and I had lovingly and pain-stakingly put together. We had spent countless hours, sweat and tears (lots and lots of laughter, too!) to bring the ministry to where it was. We were just getting started, now was not the time to step out. Surely, I reasoned, I am not hearing from God. But the whispering continued. “Step out.” If there is one thing I’m afraid of (and I confess that I am fearful of many things, forgive me Lord!) it is being out of position that I fear the most. I fear this because being IN position is so darned important. So when the whispering of “Step Out” didn’t cease, I entered into a time of fasting to hear clearly from the Lord. Within a few hours I felt clear that this was indeed what I was to do and was to do quickly. I gave God my assurance, “I will step out....

Stephanie Green

Author Stephanie Kingston Green, a Yale grad, is the former CEO of a fast-growing manufacturing company, the founder of a classical Christian academy, and the leader of college and women’s ministries.  She is married to Rev. Dr. Win Green, pastor of Baughman Memorial UMC in New Cumberland and raises their three...

Right In The Middle Of The Song

Finally, tonight was the night. June 1, 2012. After six months of waiting, and four tries at getting a sitter, it was date night with my husband to see a concert. But not just “a” concert. My husband had gotten us tickets to see Neil Diamond in concert. NEIL DIAMOND, ladies . . . You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore. Love on the Rocks. America. Sweet Caroline. And my all-time favorite, Forever in Blue Jeans. So this was gonna be really great, awesome, the best night ever. Because I’d really missed spending time with my husband. Adult conversation date time. He’d been traveling most of the year, only home odd weeks here and there. But home wasn’t exactly peaceful with peri-menopausal me and three active boys between 9 and 13 years old. Talk about hormones… And recently, he thought we’d been spending too many Sundays in church. Doing churchy stuff. Talking about churchy things. With all our churchy friends. I knew he just wanted to escape the pressures he was under, but skipping church wasn’t okay with me. Tonight, however, this was one discussion I just wanted to let rest. My prayers for months had been that God would make my husband want to come to church more. Over time, however, my prayers changed to asking God to keep my mouth shut about it, since that first prayer wasn’t working. Besides, we weren’t even going to church the next day anyway, because we had a Cub Scout end-of-the-year Picnic and Awards Day planned. The sitter showed up right in time. We kissed the boys goodnight. And we were our...

Timeline: 2nd Grade: Egg Tree

1964. Easter. Second Grade. Raleigh United Methodist Church. The class each had brought a dozen colored eggs which had been hollowed out (remember that messy exercise . . . . put a needle in each end of the egg and gently blow out the insides). We were instructed to bring a branch from our own backyards.   Previously on Palm Sunday, we had all planted our branches in separate containers filled with Plaster of Paris.  On Easter Sunday, each child was to take the hollowed-out colored eggs and hang them with beautiful pastel ribbons on the little trees. During the week, the branches were to have dried out and died.  ******************** When I arrived Easter Sunday Morning to Sunday School, I was met with a wonderful surprise.  The branches on my little tree did not die. Unlike the others,  they bloomed!  God...

A Voice For God

When I was a little girl, I told my mom all I wanted one Christmas was voice lessons.  She tried to be as diplomatic as possible about her no.  First, she listed all the things I’d surely like better than voice lessons.  A skateboard?  Barbies?  An easel to draw perhaps?  “No mama, I want to sing like Susan.” Susan is my most gifted big sister who still brings me to tears with the sound of her voice.  Finally my mom, who rarely said no to me, dropped the bomb.   She told the the brutal truth, “I dont think they would do any good honey.” Ouch!  I was devastated.  But you see, she was right. God had given me many other talents but I wanted my sister’s more than my own. Flash forward to the retreat last year.   As I sat one day thinking deeply about the message that would be delivered over the course of the weekend, I started to write a poem.  It all came out in one burst with few edits.  It reflected the heart of a woman who was realizing for the first time that perfection is God’s.  That we are His daughters because we belong to the perfect king, not because we are perfect.  I titled it Princesses Aren’t Perfect and sent it to the retreat team to encourage them to leave perfection to the King in their retreat preparation. Now rewind to Kat, the women’s ministry leader.  I’ve had the privilege of leading a few retreat teams.  I’m always fed by the fellowship, the growth that comes from working through conflict, and the...

Bitterness Is A Root Issue – My Witness To Deliverance

One of my favorite God stories from last year’s retreat was after I had the privilege of speaking about the roots of unforgiveness and and bitterness. I got a call 0n my cell a few hours after I spoke and the young lady said to me: “Ana, can you come pray for me?” I said YES!!!! I went to her room and I prayed over her and for her hard heart towards her father, whom she had NO relationship with at all. Never did as a matter of fact. He totally abandoned her as a baby. She had so much hatred and unforgiveness towards him. She also had unforgiveness toward her step dad who abused her verbally and physically growing up. She had a root of abandonment, unforgiveness, rejection, and never felt loved by any of her earthly fathers. She had chosen a life of drugs, street living, alcohol, promiscuity, and such. She was saved a couple of year’s ago at a women’s event we held at our church where Laura Dahne spoke about the Master Gardner Book that she written. I led this young lady to Christ when she approached me that evening during the event. GOD IS SO GOOD!! That day at the women’s retreat the Lord spoke LIFE, LIGHT, FORGIVENESS, & LOVE into her heart. She forgave her dad and step dad – she wept and wept and repented and turned all her wrath and hatred over to God to deal with them. She understood that forgiveness did NOT mean that what they did to her was okay. She “got it”! God was going to avenge...