Greetings again my Brethren.  Wow this year soon will be half over.  I guess it is true the older you get the faster time flies by.  Oh for the days of youth and lingering shadows when playing till our mom’s would call for supper time. Let us continue to look at the LORD’s visits.  Who would not want the LORD to visit them? I am sure almost everyone would say yes, well, I will be honest I am not so fast to say I would like a visit from the LORD. What I read in the Bible the times the LORD (not the Lord or Jesus) showed up was terrifying and unmentionable things happened, but at other times pleasant and assuring things happened to let us know (in both cases) He is a sovereign and loving God. What I would like to do is read some verses through the eyes of the words interrupting how the people see God.  After all out of our mouth speaks our heart.  In 1 Samuel we see the LORD showing up in the form of answered prayer one of the greatest and assuring ways.  Samuel writes, And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.”  (1 Samuel 2:21) Here Eli the priest blesses Hannah and Elkanah (parents of Samuel the soon to be Prophet) her husband and out from the blessing and the LORD’s visits three sons and two daughters were born. What a joyous occasion the birth of new life in the home.  I mean what is nicer than a new born baby? Here we see an example of a wonderful visitation from the LORD, especially when we have the rest of the story about Prophet Samuel. Not much more is said about Elkanah, Hannah, and the kids I guess their purpose in the scriptures was fulfilled. Eli the priest prays, the LORD shows up and blesses Hannah’s womb a most wonderful visit from the LORD.  But this  story reminds me of a real life story from Turkey where the LORD showed up and the outcome of His visit was not as rewarding as Hannah’s. Years ago I would go to Turkey every two years. I was on a two year cycle visiting certain places, While in Turkey I usually met an Armenian lady, a Godly woman, maybe one of the most spiritual ladies I have ever met other than my Mom. It was a joy and pleasure to talk with her.  Well, on one trip she came to me and asked if I would pray that she would have a baby.  I said no I do not pray for such things God knows what He is doing, but in my spirit I felt the LORD saying to pray.  So I said yes I would pray,  I  think it was the last day (probably a Sunday) of this trip in Turkey. It was not a powerful prayer no lightening, no thunder, no AHHHH, the building did not shake, or any that dramatic stuff.  I prayed,  LORD if it be your will please allow (her name) to have a baby as a desire of her heart and I left the next day. Two years later I was making plans for my next trip to Turkey and was talking with the host pastor and he said he has some exciting news for me, well, I said, okay what is it  and he said I will have to wait till I get to Turkey. Well, now my interest was really piqued, but I had to wait. You know waiting is the place of receiving from God? So when I got to Turkey I asked about the Armenian lady because I did not see her and her husband in services so the host pastor said we will go visit her and her husband after services. I said okay.  Now something I forgot to mention is the Armenian couple was in their early 60s. So after the service we went to their apartment and they met us at the door with guess what?  No not one baby, but twins! The LORD visited them with twins. What a wonderful blessing like with Hannah. Not because I prayed, but because God was working something in the lives of the Armenian couple.  Every time the LORD visits He is doing a work in our lives then in the lives of others. They were so happy what a blessing in their lives.  But, as we know time always moves on. As the twins (one male and one female) grew older less and less the Armenian couple would attend services, till they just stop coming. My host pastor asked why they stopped coming but, they would never really tell him. So on one of our future visits (I want to say maybe 6 or 7 years later) I made it a point for us to go by and see the Armenian couple.  Well they said they would love to see us and so Karen and I visited.  They met us at the door and we went inside and sat down in the very nice living room and boy did they unload on us. Their two darling little babies and yes a supernatural gift from the LORD has grown up to be holy terrors, controlling (Europeans raise their kids much different than Americans) their lives. As we talked they came home from school and it was like a whirlwind hit the place. Now I am not going to go into what happened, but they said as we were leaving the gift from God turned out to be a curse in the end. Here are two examples from a visitation from the LORD, both answered prayer, but the outcome was quite different.  Was it God that caused the different outcomes?  I do not know, but probably not. God expects us to take what He gives us and apply divine spiritual principles (found in the Scriptures) so that the outcomes will be according to His plan and purposes. Every time the LORD visits it is for a reason, for purposes (the Scriptures are full of examples), and He has  intentions for those purposes, but whether God’s intentions and purposes are met depends not on God’s power or authority, but our obedience and willingness to follow His leading.    

         Next month we will continue looking at the ways we can say The LORD has visited us. Do you see Him draw near?  Please know God is near to them who are near to Him. Do you feel His presence?  Do you see His hand in your life? He is waiting on us to make our first move.   Written by David Stahl