March, 2005 - How do I know He's Alive?
By Billie Marie Zal
From the night that I received the Lord Jesus Christ at Moody Bible Church in Chicago, I have never doubted that He is alive and real. And He knows me personally.
In the beginning days, He let me float on a cloud of Glory! I don’t mean anything unusual, it was just a sense of having passed from death into life. I thought I would never, never “sin” again! I didn’t want to sin. Why rebel against the only One who ever died for me? Who took my place? I owed Him my life, and I gladly gave it to Him.
But as I grew in the knowledge of the Lord (and we can grow or become stagnant), I began to see that each day is a day of “warfare”. At first it is nothing big. Just a few shots here and there; a disappointment, a prayer that goes unanswered. Those are the small things.
But as we grow up, God in His love removes our security, begins to tear down the walls that we built around ourselves. And satan and his staff bring out the “big guns”. This is the time that God separates the men from the boys.
I welcomed the battle, though I often trembled and wanted to run! I became aware of my “humanness”. Sometimes we are led to believe that life after the new birth should be just one big happy holiday from sickness, poverty, and all the things that happen simply because we are HUMAN. But I didn’t fall for that one. So from that moment on, I was “marked”.
One of the things that should have made the disciples the most ashamed were His words to them: “THE WORLD CANNOT HATE YOU”. What He was saying was, that if we are immersed in the world--even in the “religious” world--then we are most welcome in their crowd. My prayer was, “Lord, don’t let me be welcome”. And He answered that prayer.
But loneliness is one of the devil’s chief weapons. We have the “herd instinct.” Few people really LIKE to be alone. Especially if the aloneness is because we are following the path that Jesus laid out for us. But there is something about the anointing, the “call” of God. And we know that we will, with Him, tread the winepress alone,” that is, if we love Him as we should.
We know He is alive, then, when we can walk alone, when we can suffer misunderstandings and rejections with our eyes on Him, and keep walking. We know He is
alive when someone we love rejects us, and we won’t fight back because if we are on the path He chose, did He not know what would happen? And did He not provide, by the power of his Holy Spirit, the ability to keep on loving and continue on the Way?
We know He is alive when we do not have one earthly or logical reason to trust Him. When the bank account is empty; when bills are past due; when the enormity of LIFE hits us square in the face. And we can say truthfully to Him, “even so, Father”, no matter what He asks of us.
We know He is alive when we take time to look at His creation. The birds that He painted, the trees that live, and die, and live again. The flight of the geese, who are taught by Him to form the “V” formation pattern and make sure the weakest and the youngest are inside, to avoid the strong winds that buffet them. We know He is alive when we hear the first chirps of baby birds in a nest and watch the parents work ceaselessly to provide them the necessary food that enables them to “leave the nest” and take flight! (Humans should be so intelligent as birds!) We know He is alive when we hear the low, mournful howl of a wolf who has a song to sing and he sings it.
We know He is alive when summer nights are alive with the sound of all the night noises: insects, frogs, and who knows what else? Their song is one loud praise to the God who made them. We know He is alive when a baby is born. A baby that was once no larger than a tiny speck in its mothers’s womb. Who, but God, could cause such a thing to happen?
We know He is alive when we see a smile from someone who has a “glow” and that glow fastens itself upon us and we are strong again. We know He is alive when someone who seemed impossibly lost is found, made whole, and becomes a “new creature in Christ Jesus”. No logical explanation; just new.
We know He is alive when we have been mean, and He takes that meaness and gives us kindness in its place. And when we have been afraid, and He removes the fear and gives us assurance. And when we hate, He relieves us of that burden and give us love.
We know He is alive when all our lives we have been ambitious and suddenly, the success seems shabby and we turn our backs upon it and simply walk away. We know He is alive when the lusts of the flesh are dealt with. No one can make us leave them behind. We just do, if we love Him. He takes them and casts them away and never remembers them again!! We KNOW we are clean inside!
We know He is alive when we do not hoard or store up money that He gives only that we might give to others. We know He is alive when we are no longer stingy with ourselves. When it doesn’t matter if we get enough rest, or we want to have “time” to ourselves. When we are so tired we decide we just cannot move and then someone comes along and needs His love. And we get up, shake off the weariness, and minister.
We know He is alive when we find ourselves irresistibly drawn to a Love that transcends earthly things, and finds its treasure in Heaven. When in spite of the mystery of
death, we are quite sure that we “shall never die” if we belong to Him.
We know He is alive when a friend reaches out with a token of love that brings sunshine to our hearts: and when that friend stands by us because He is real enough in us that they might trust us!
We know He is alive when the Raccoons come with their “bandit” faces; He has a sense of humor. And when a Mother Possum carries her young on her back until they are strong enough to walk alone!
We know He is alive when a loved one is taken and we must face the days ahead without that one who was so dear. The sorrow is never too much that He does not lift it and give us rest. And in the sorrow, we learn that truly, “He sticketh closer than a Brother”.
We know He is alive when we can live with people and accept them with all their faults, because He has shown us our own faults. We are changed from critical, judgemental individuals into caring, loving people. No one but The Christ can do that. He is alive !!
We know He is alive when there is a “visitation” that comes quickly and unexpectedly. A vision, a dream, a touch like the hand of a friend just when we are the most needy . We know He is alive when the stars cover the dark canopy of His sky, and we know He knows them ALL BY NAME! We know He is alive because He is Truth. And He changes our hearts to make us live in Truth, too!
We know He is alive when we are discouraged and rightly so. Nothing ever happens to make us aware that someone out there knows we are alive. Our children forsake us. Our hopes are dashed to the ground. Our desires are never realized. Our valleys get deeper and longer. Yet He is alive and we do not give up. We overcome!
We know He is alive when all of our lives we have been afraid of the future, and suddenly the future is HERE and we are no longer afraid! He is alive and there is a quiet steadfastness of trust in our hearts. We know He will never leave us nor forsake us.
We know He is alive. The tomb is empty! The Resurrection morn is past. He promises us that He will come again and receive us unto Himself. Instinctively we know. And we wait!!
He is alive. We are alive. Death and hell have released their hold upon us. We are free. Free indeed!!
May God’s Love be a reality. May His peace be yours. And may you know beyond any doubt that HE IS ALIVE!!
A Note from Brian & Gail
Gail and I thought we would write a few lines to let you know how we are and about some the news from Baca Mountain.
I am still recovering from a really bad bout with the flu. I missed some work last week which is really different for me! But, I am much better now, feeling a little better each day.
Gail’s father died on Valentines Day, February 14, 2005. It was a blessing, really, as he was in much pain. He fell at home and fractured his hip. Prior to that he had suffered from multiple strokes. So even though it hurt us to have him die, we do not begrudge him the wonders he must be experiencing now in heaven.
And then as most of you know by now, Dr. Scott left us also. He died from a stroke. His teaching was very much like Billie’s. He and his ministry was and still is of much value to us all here. Thank goodness that Margaret and Rodney recorded many of his messages so we will always have them to watch. Dr. Scott’s wife plans on carrying on the ministry, as well. We were all heart broken here on the mountain, when we heard about his passing. He had determined (faithed, is what he called it) that his cancer, which he had fought for awhile, would not kill him. And we truly believe that had he not had a stroke, he would have been healed of his cancer.
I would also like to update you all the best that I can with the IRS audit of Evangelists for Christ Inc. We got a letter this week and at first reading it sounded like they just wanted us to change our church standing to a not for profit foundation. There are a lot of guidelines the IRS uses to help determine these things. We started out as a church thirty eight years ago, but, eventually God led Billie and all of us to take on the prison ministry. Changing the church to a foundation sounded like something we could live with . Our CPA decided to call the IRS auditor to find out exactly what they were looking for. He called me back one hour later and said we better get a lawyer. They want to do a lot more than just change our standing. So we would like you all to pray for us as we have our first meeting with a lawyer on March 16.
God has been so good to us all. We are so fortunate that He chose us love Him. You think of the millions of people in the world and it is truly a miracle. We still have the abiding Love of God even though we have all passed through many trials. Sometimes we don’t FEEL that Love, but we know it is there and we believe and “faithe” like Dr Scott always says.
We want you all to know that we are very thankful for each of you, and all the Love you show us all, and all the prayers that are offered up for us.
With Love....... Brian and Gail
Prayer Requests for March, 2005:
For Willie Scott, at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, for a stronger mind, better health, and to get closer to God.
For Joe Gomez, that he will get a new job soon.
For Robert Heffernan, that his attorney will be able to get DNA testing done.
For Jan Collins, in California, for nerve pain in her foot.
For Stephano Jackson at McAlester, Oklahoma.
For Earnest Bracey At Pontiac, Illinois, for a time cut.
For Robin Harris’ family, who just lost Keith due to liver problems, and for Robin.
For Jay, that he’ll get the job in security at Tyson.
For Judy & Steve Oakley, Prairie Grove, Arkansas.
For Anthony Grayson, Fallsburg, New York, that he’ll be successful with his appeals.
For Ronnie Chaney, for his safety.
For Dexter McDade & Isaac Douglas at Canton, Illinois.
For Daniel Honeywell, McAlester, Oklahoma, for faith, for himself as well as his family.
For Frank Williams, Jr., Death Row, Arkansas, for his high blood pressure.
For Sister Ann & all the Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock.
For Pastor Melissa Scott, that she will continue to receive God’s blessings as she carries on with Dr. Scott’s ministry.
For Robert Ross, Helena, Oklahoma, that God will show him favor in the courts; and for his wife, Karen, at McCloud, Oklahoma, for her health and that she’ll be granted medical parole.
For Joaquin Donato’s prison ministry in New York.
For Jerry Crocket, at Jess Dunn, for clearness of mind and peace.
For Tyrone Anderson at the Robertson Unit, that his blood pressure will come down.
For James Bateman, Henry Buckaloo and everyone at OSR, Granite, Oklahoma.
For Timothy Haynes & Robin Harris, for all our brothers at Cushing, Oklahoma.
For Calvin Huddleston’s sister, for her health.
For Jimmy Huff’s Ministry in Loraine, Texas.
For Wingspread, that we’ll make it thru this latest battle with smiling faces.
ATTENTION: From now on I’m asking that everyone reiterate their prayer request(s) each month by letting me know if you still need prayer, if prayer’s been answered, etc. We’ve had a few who asked for “feedback” to our prayer list, and so we would like to hear about what is being answered. Also, we’re thinking about making room in Wingspread next month for some type of forum where you all can write in your messages, comments, and questions. The newsletter needs input from those of you who are being blessed by it.
In light of this IRS mess, which has just gotten messier, I’m asking all of you who receive money orders each month to take a cut in what we send to you for a while. I’ve taken a cut, and so has everyone else here. We may well have huge legal bills coming up and so those of you in the free world who are able should help; and that is all I will say about that. We are counting on each of you to respond in some way, and we expect your prayers. God bless all.
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