Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I felt arms around my body, but couldn’t see anyone…

I began seeing a woman who was in the middle of a divorce. When she became pregnant, I figured I was on the road to happiness with a wife and a family.  She on the other hand became threatened because she feared losing the two children she already had in her upcoming custody battle.  She said she wanted to have an abortion, and although I did express that I wasn’t real happy with that decision, I said that I would stand by her either way. 
The day of the abortion I became so sick to my stomach that I had to leave work.  I was honestly in so much pain on the inside that I sweated all day, my hands shook uncontrollably, and I couldn’t keep any food down.  I tried all day to ditch the feelings, but nothing worked.  At 11:30 at night I somehow made it into a church parking lot.  When I got to the front door, I startled the Pastor of the church, and he really startled me too because neither one of us expected to see the other.  The priest let me in.  He went into the office, and I went towards the sanctuary.
When I started down the hallway to the church, I lowered my eyes to the ground, and tried to say I was sorry, but I broke into tears – too much to speak, and I fell on the floor and cried.
Then I felt arms around my body.  I actually felt the pressure of someone holding me, but I couldn’t see anyone... 

(Read the rest at  
Pete Eastman
Pete Eastman is not the writer’s real name. 

Harry Lindback's small miracle

Harry Lindback, a resident of Dearborn, Michigan, is a systems analyst at a large corporation in the Detroit area.  In March of 1991, the announcement came that his department would be divested within the next 12 months, and all the people would either go along to the new firm or lose their jobs.  Harry is over 50, and has a family to support, so he was especially concerned about being able to find other suitable employment outside the company.  So he focused his efforts on transferring within his company to another department.
Before he knew it, it was January, 1992, and ten days remained before the divestiture.  In the previous ten months, he had been unable to find an alternate position. His last hope was a position in the Electronics Division, so he called the manager there on a Tuesday and left this message: “Whatever you do, please don’t lead me on.  If you have a position for me, that’s wonderful.  If you don’t, please let me know.  I don’t want to get my hopes up.”
The next day, the manager returned Harry’s message, saying, “Harry, I’m terribly sorry.  We did have two positions, but we filled them both.  I’m so sorry we couldn’t help you out”, and continued apologizing for several minutes...

(Read the rest at  

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Blessed Mary comforted man with cancer

In 1979, we began to suspect that my father might have cancer. Doctors ordered an operation to confirm the diagnosis. The night before surgery, my father told our family that while he was praying that morning, the Blessed Mother came to him and told him "Don't worry - everything will be alright."  I assumed my father was just suffering confusion caused by the powerful medication.

After the surgery, doctors informed us that my father did have cancer. He would have three to six months to live. Chemotherapy was suggested but my father decided against this.

It is now eleven years later and he is still with us. With no trace of cancer.  I have to believe that the Blessed Mother really did bring assurance of God's healing to my father...

(Read the rest at   

George Goike

Free Money? Seems Impossible. Possible.

How Advertising Manipulates Your Choices and Spending Habits (and What to Do About It)
(this blog has grown up and is now a full website.  Please go instead to
Wow!! I couldn’t believe it… I was in shock. I counted the thick wad of money… $1,000 in cash… an anonymous gift. The second anonymous (cash) gift in the past few weeks.  It was $520 the first time.  It didn’t appear to be from the same source this time.  Who did we know that could afford to be so generous? God is really trying to get a message to us with this one, I thought.  I was shaking and almost giddy.  I could sense the lady standing next to me as I counted the money wonder in disbelief (is this some kind of illegal money?) so I told her in my amazement that it was a gift and I had no idea who it came from, just that I found it on the seat of my car this morning. There was an envelope marked in green ink, “To the Stacks”. It appeared to be written left handed so as to disguise the writing.
WOW!!! We were being taken care of! God is certainly with us in our struggles. I was struck with the certainty of His care and personal involvement in our lives...

(Read the rest at   
Mike Stack

Saturday, December 17, 2011

They kept praying even when things looked bad

Pedro said that at the time his son Victor was in his rebellious 20's, Pedro's wife and he were very worried about how he was acting and behaving.  He was hanging around people who would influence him badly. They didn't know what else to do, so they prayed... 

(Read the rest at   

“Imperfect people can love God”

Dad was a bright guy with a wonderful Notre Dame '34 education and a pension for understanding things that were technical although he was the furthest thing from being an engineer. He was a super salesman and the life of the party in almost every setting. After WW II during which he lost his left arm (and he was lefthanded) he slipped into over imbibing and perhaps a bit of self pity. This eventually led to the worst kind of alcholisim - the kind that says "if you get up almost every day to go to work then you are OK no matter how wiped out you got the night before". This conditioned was worsened by his "Irish Pride" and the inability to admit to the primary rule of AA - "I'm powerless over alcohol". This was true even though his older brother was a charter member when AA was started in Akron, Ohio shortly after the war.
Dad was a "Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde" when it comes to his behavior around booze. He was a most lovable, funny, witty, generous and delightful guy when sober or even after just a few "toddys" but when he finally got drunk he was truly horrible and absolutely mean. I won't dredge up any of the facts about it but suffice it to say there were years of "continuous living hell" with him for our whole family.
Besides all the good things about him, the point that bears rememberance about Dad is the example he set for us as kids every Sunday. He would get up, dress up and be the leader of our little family group to drive into town and "be on time" for noon Mass on Sunday. There were surely times that my older sister and brother and certainly myself would utter to ourselves that it was wrong to live like he was but the honest to God reality is that Dad was setting a wonderful example for us about being faithful to the mass no matter how sinful your life or how powerless you are. This message was further strenghened during a healing retreat that I made about 30 years ago. I was about 40 and Dad (who died at 51) had been dead for about 20 years. Someone at the retreat was relating a story about their alcoholic father and how they had learned to forgive him and accept him for the way he was. At that moment I realized that I wouldn't be sitting in that retreat house were it not for the example that my Dad had set in his devotion to the mass.
I believe that our Jesus is a most merciful God and that my Dad is in heaven with him because of the faith that Christ gave him, as he does us all, and that his devotion to the mass saved him too. I'm sure too that if he were sitting here with me and reading this, that he would be apt to utter the old Irish toast - "May your mother be in heaven a half an hour before the devil knows she's dead"

Holy Spirit woke her at 2am to ask her to pray, and...

This story told to me in person by Pedro Gutierrez (not his real name).  Pedro is married to Felicia, and they have a son named Victor.  A number of years ago, when Victor was in his early 20's, Victor was causing the parents concern about his rebelious behavior. He looked the part too: very long hair, drove a loud motorcycle, liked to wear a long black coat. He was dating a very attractive and well endowed woman at the time.
One night, Felicia was awakened at 2am by the impulse that she needed to pray for Victor right away.  She woke up Pedro and told him about the impulse to pray and Pedro agreed they should pray.  They prayed for 10 minutes intently. 

The next day, they contacted Victor, who told this story:  He and his girlfriend had been in a bar at around 2am, and some people were showing some angry, jealous behavior to them, and they decided to leave quickly.  As they drove away, the angry people followed them with a gun...

(Read the rest at   

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What God's voice sounds like (reported experience #6)

My 88-year-old mother has not been feeling well lately. last week on a particularly bad day, she was feeling fearful and did not want to be alone. since someone cannot always be with her, I prayed that God would take away her fear and give her peace. A few days later when I saw her she told me that the day she felt the sickest and didn't know what to do, she heard a voice inside her saying, "Don't be afraid." She knew beyond a doubt that God was speaking to her. My mother's fears vanished. Even though her physical health was not immediately restored, she was a peace because she knew that God was with her, taking care of her. What an answer to prayer!

Kathy Droste

Gaining permission for these posts

Last month I had two encounters with friends whose stories are printed here that made me take more care about what I write.  One of them, I called him Mick (search for Mick to read the story), was catching up with me, and he had an irritated look on his face and upset tone.  He said, "I don't know that I want to tell you personal things if I know that the next day you're going to turn around and write about it in a blog.  When I talk to you, it's meant to be just for you."

I had known that instinctively, and told him that I do take things as confidential, and that's why I didn't use his name and didn't mention the time or place of where we were talking or mention how I knew him, to maintain his privacy. 

He said it's not the name he’s worried about.  It’s that the idea is personal.  I understood differently.   (He gave me permission to keep the story on this blog, so it’s still here).

The instant I got to a computer after that conversation, I deleted both articles I had written about the leader of my Bible Study who I called Valerie.  I deleted them because I had written them also without asking her permission first, even though I had changed her name (she later told me I could use her real first name, which is Carol)..

The next day, at work, I checked her to see how she felt about it, and she said much the same.  That is, that she wanted me to always ask her permission, even though the story was anonymous. But then she said, “Go ahead and put them back on the blog, and here’s one more story”.  That third story is “One reason she listens to God’s voice daily”, which is a story that she wants others to know about how God worked in her life.

So, what does that mean for this blog?  It means that articles may come more slowly.  But it also means I’m more confident that the subjects of my articles are OK with their stories being shared here.  That's important.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Are we embarrassed to be Christian?

You may have noticed that I frequently mention a person's name and then say "not his real name".  I also am not using my real name when I author these blog posts.  I'm really a Bill, but not Bill Schaef.  Why?  Am I ashamed to be a Christian? 

Everyone's reason is different, but I'm going to try to be frank about it.  There are two main reasons. 
1.   I want to be able to write about what's really going on for me.  For me, I feel more free to be direct and frank when I don't think there will be negative repercussions.  It may be that I will change my mind at some time in the future about that, but for now, I use it as a crutch to allow my thoughts to come out with more realness.
2.   I'm fairly new to the world of sharing info about myself on the internet, and have heard some stories about how you can never retrieve something you've said on the internet. So I'm taking a cautious stance.

What about the people I write about?  Why are so many of them unwilling to let me use their real names?  Does this mean these people are not real, and they are all just made up?

They are all real people.  They are all real stories.

Take Carol, the leader of my Bible Study (search her name here).  At first she didn't want to use her real name because if a person at her son's high school were to read this blog, they'd see that she revealed that the mother of the girl she's letting live in her house is a long-time drug addict, and Carol doesn't want to reveal that info the general public, despite how awful the mother has treated her own daughter. Later, she said it was OK for me to use her real first name.

Take Mick.  In order to tell his God story here, he had to admit that he was engaged in an activity that would separate him from God.  If he used his real name, his relatives might speculate on what that activity was, and it would of course cause some concern or discomfort.

Take Charlie, the man who was helped by Christ to accept foreigners who were "taking" American jobs.  That's the kind of thought it's not PC to admit to having. 

Take John, who spoke about a lustful dream and his reaction to it.  That's a grown man.  Would you really expect him to give his real name? 

Sometimes Jesus works in the parts of our lives we don't want to admit we even have.  Being anonymous gives us more comfort to discuss those parts of our lives, and to give Christ the credit for it.

During a painful time, he felt hugged by Jesus

"A long time ago now, I got divorced.  It was a really bad one.  Both of us were in real pain.  It was a horrible time and I needed some hope.  I stood outside of my trailer and saw a rainbow just at that exact moment when I needed to feel hope, and I felt "That's it! That's Him!"
When He really embraces you, and I mean I felt like the rainbow was a personal hug just for me, then you know there's a new beginning.  It made all the difference.

What that taught me was that as long as we stay near Him (have faith that is), He will hold us up.  It's been years since that rainbow, and I still feel the same way, and that's why I stay close to Him."

(Read the rest at   

Jake from Troy, Michigan