- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Heaven Is a Real Place
None other than my own maternal Grandmother, Mary Ann McKinniss, experienced one of the first supernatural experience reports that came my way. My Grandmother, who has since gone on to be with the Lord, was a woman of few words and yet so in love with God. Writing and reciting poetry to the Lord in her later years was how my Grandmother spent her time. She had a near-death experience in which she had heart failure and she was even pronounced clinically dead by the doctors while in the hospital. She came back to life and shared that what she saw was wonderful and she could not use anything from earth to describe what she had seen. She said that she never feared death again after that. This experience left me with a profound curiosity about God and Heaven at an early age, for which I would later try to find answers. When I was about 14-years-old, my Grandmother made it to her incomparable home.
Jesus Leads Me
Jesus led me to Calvary's Cross Where my sins were counted loss. Now He leads me o'er paths He trod, And now, I receive blessings from a loving God.
Jesus leads me, Jesus leads me, Jesus leads me every day. Jesus leads me, Jesus leads me Jesus leads me safely all the way.
He leads me through the dark Gethsemane, Through times of dreadful agony. But through His wonderful keeping power I am brought victorious through this trying hour.
He leads me through the valley Where sometimes we must be So as to trust for plenteous grace, To lift me up to a higher place.
He leads me to the mountain top, Where flowing blessing never ceases to stop, Where all His mercies and tender love Are always coming from above.
He leads me on to eternity, Where His loving face I then shall see. And, Oh, the wonders I shall then behold When I am safe within God's fold.
-Mary Ann McKinniss
When I Pray
When I Pray All my burdens roll away And His smiling, beaming face Seems to brighten up the place.
When I pray My life, my all at His feet I lay Then there comes a deep sweet peace A sudden feeling of relief.
When I pray All things earthly fade away, And I feel all secure With the one so sweet and pure.
When I pray All my cares are put away, And I feel content to rest On my Savior's loving breast.
-Mary Ann McKinniss
Unlocking the Chains of Smoking
When I was a young teenager, I was a regular nag when it came to griping about my Father's long-running love affair with cigarettes. I hated the cigarettes, I hated him smoking them, and I never missed an opportunity to complain to him about them. Hiding them and sneaking matches out of my Dad's reach allowed me to present my personal annoyance with his irritating habit.
Later on in my youthful years, my Father had returned to his Christian roots in a big way and he knew his smoking habit did not line up with his faith. However, this man had been a hard-core addict to smoking with a 25-year career of chain smoking. Quitting was not going to be easy for this dedicated smoker.
One night, my father prayed to God that he wanted him to take away his desire to smoke so that he could quit and he did not care how he did it, even if God had to make him sick to accomplish it (this was truly his request). I am not sure what was on his mind when he made that request (perhaps the Holy Spirit put it in his mind). That very night, my Father came down with a terrible fever, a frightening fever. My Mother explained to me what my Father had asked for and why he was so ill. By the next morning, my Dad's fever had broken and that is not all-this man, who had been a hard-core chain-smoker, had completely quit his nasty hard-to-conquer habit. He even tried to smoke and was no longer interested in smoking. Now this was an early taste for me of the supernatural power of God.
My next notable experience with God being real and speaking to His children was later when I went to Christian college. During my senior year, a fellow dorm resident, a very sweet young woman, was also someone I had grown to respect as a very reliable person. She was the Daughter of missionary parents. She confided in me that her own Father had died previously and that after the funeral she, her Mother, and Sister had come home following her Dad's burial. As she, her Mother and Sister were all together crying over this sad event, she said that they all heard a voice speak to them, "It's alright, he's with me." This was an incredible revelation to me-that God spoke to His children.
Sadly, after college, I would jump into one job after another in my pursuit of a career in communications-radio and magazines occupied my time for several years out of college. Again, while at one of my jobs, I would meet a fellow employee who shared an extraordinary story about her husband. A fellow co-worker shared a terrific story about her Husband. This man always wanted his Mother to come to Christ. However, his Mother was a nonbeliever, an atheist, and just prior to reaching the end of her life; she had drifted into a coma. Her Son never gave up and read the Bible at her bedside as she laid in a deep coma. Not knowing the condition of her soul, he read to her about the way of salvation through Christ and he held her hand while he read the Bible to her. He asked her if she believed in Christ-and at that one moment she squeezed his hand-that is all she ever did again and remained in a coma until her death. Great as this all is, sadly, I still made everything else my lord and I think that my career took the lead for that position.
On my Mother's lap as a tike is where I made a commitment to Christ. I am sure that I sat on my mother's lap a million times-but I do not remember any other time sitting on her lap, except the moment in time when I made that decision. Funny that is the only time I remember sitting on her lap.
As a child, I was raised an only child because my Brother was 19 years older and he was already leaving home when I was a baby. Church was something that made my Dad very uncomfortable. His Dad, my Grandfather, was very active in church and my Father had grown up going to church all the time, so when my Dad became an adult, church was not on his radar screen.
To find myself, I would play a dangerous game. I flirted with the world enough to look for my identity through friendships and career. While I never really did horrible things (as far as the world would be concerned), I did the worst possible thing. I straddled the fence big time and I really strayed from God. It really makes me sad, when I think how far off the track I managed to get away from God. Only when I really needed Him, did He seem to surface in my mind. We settle into the world that is right in front of us and it takes over our life. Let me just say this-not making a decision either way about God is a decision: to not choose God. I would go through my teens, twenties, and most of my thirties making my way through life without God and thinking I had all the answers for myself. The only thing I really had going for myself, through these periods of my life was God's wonderful patience, mercy, grace, and overall tolerance while I was very slowly coming to the end of myself.
God Is Always Listening
One snowy afternoon, I was traveling by myself to downtown Indianapolis and this was before everyone had common access to cell phones. While driving on the Interstate and my car decided to quit running right under a dark, cave-like underpass bridge.
As the snow continued to come down, I sat in the dark under this bridge debating on what I might do next. After much self-deliberation, I decided to get out of the car and walk to the nearest exit up the road. As I was walking along the busy downtown Interstate, a young guy in a very old car pulled up and offered to give me a ride. There was a very uneasy feeling I had about this guy and I told him that if he wanted to help me, would he go and call someone to help me-he sped off angrily when I refused to get in the car with him.
Now at this point, I got a little panicky remembering that I was in a scarier section of town. As my panic began to set in-I prayed that God might help me out. Without more than even a minute of time passing by after my prayer-a police officer pulled up and offered to take me to the nearest McDonald's at the next exit where I could call for a ride. Now you could chalk this up to mere coincidence and I could have felt that way, except it happened to me a second time ...
God Is Really Listening
Perhaps it was only a year later, and I was driving to work one morning by myself on a cold winter day. This time, I was traveling on a kind of remote road and I came up to a big patch of ice in the road. The next thing I know, my car is spinning out of control and my car was thrown into the opposite direction into a ditch on the side of the road.
In my effort to pull myself out of this ditch that I was stuck in, I spun my wheels causing the car just to go deeper into the ditch. Next, I got out of the car and pulled some cardboard out of the trunk hoping to put it under my tires for traction to get out of the hole I seemed to be digging the car ever deeper into. When my attempts to break free looked completely hopeless-once more panic set in as I soon realized I was out in the middle of nowhere and basically defenseless with no means of contacting anyone.
In a final frustrated moment of panic, I immediately cried out for God to help me in my helpless predicament. Within the next minute after my prayer, a young woman driving by alone saw me out in the middle of nowhere and kindly stopped to pick me up. As soon as I got into the car with this young woman, she reached over and turned on a Christian radio station and soon after, she dropped me safely at my office.
Now if I had prayed for help during these two experiences and there had been a lot of time passing between each prayer and rescue-I might have still given God the credit-but to have it happen both times literally immediately after I had prayed for help-makes one sit up and take notice, as I did.
Acts 2:21: And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
An Angel to the Rescue
As my dear Father's life was winding down-he had become quite ill with a terminally rare blood disorder. He had become quite fragile through this rare sickness. At this time, he was about 79. One time he was coming back from a visit to the doctor with my Mother and they were walking up to their front porch from their car. At this point, Dad still drove himself everywhere since Mom had never really had a driver's license. The weather was cold, wintry, and their front porch was iced over.
It was a weekday and the neighborhood my parents lived in seemed like a ghost town during daytime hours. However, this day on my parent's front porch, after returning home my Dad slipped on the porch ice and started to go down. To my Mother's surprise, a man suddenly seemingly from out of the blue ran up, he caught my Father from behind, and set him back up on his feet. My mother turned around to thank this good Samaritan who had helped them and when she did, she could find him nowhere. He had vanished.
Now the idea that, on a cold winter day, a man could have been walking by and seen another man start to fall down and start to run up to the yard to catch him at just the exact moment he was falling down and then just disappear without being seen again is more than a little impossible. In fact, it would have been virtually impossible for someone strolling by on the sidewalk to discern that my father was at a certain moment about to go down and for that person to decide to make it from the sidewalk to my father's side in time to catch him. That person would have needed to be standing very near and would have to be watching his every move up to that point and suspect that he might possibly take a fall. Truthfully, my Mother who was standing right next to my Father did not even think about my Father falling down there. Had my Dad actually fallen-it would have brought more physical troubles in his severely fragile condition then he already had. My Mother is convinced this was an angel and I am too-no other explanation suffices.
Isaiah 46:4: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you.
When God Closes a Door, He Opens a Window
My Father and I were extremely close. Perhaps it was because I was his only little girl-maybe it was because I was born later in his life and he had more time to appreciate parenting. I know that we were very close and spent many hours together going places and I talked and he listened. Then towards the end of his life, we had a sad year of facing my Dad's rare terminal blood disorder. He was in and out of the hospital a lot his last year and I can remember bringing up White Castle hamburgers for him to eat in the hospital one of those times. I also brought my computer and worked by his bedside so he would not have to be alone there. Mostly he was in and out of the hospital to receive blood platelets because his body could not produce them anymore.
One day, my Mother called for an ambulance and my Dad was transported to the hospital for his last trip on earth. Sadly, he was bleeding to death and in his last hours, he resembled a concentration camp refugee. He knew death was near, so he said his final goodbyes to my Mom-but she just really didn't grasp that this would be her last time to see him in this life.
Now at the hospital, another drama was playing out. My best friend Beverly was a nurse at the same hospital my Father spent a lot of time at during the last year of his life. Oddly, their paths never crossed during that year that my Dad was in and out of the hospital so much ... until the day, my Dad died ... until God, in His great providence, assigned my best friend to be his nurse.
Now when my Dad arrived to the hospital, Beverly received her next assignment and it was my Dad's file. Immediately she protested to the doctor on staff. She insisted that this was her best friend's Father and she could not take the case. The doctor on staff said that she had no choice but to take the case because there was no one else on staff to take it. Even though none of us was there, he did know who the nurse was who cared for him. God sent Beverly to him in his final hour and he recognized her. Even though I did not arrive at the hospital until it was too late, it was a relief for me to know that my friend was there during a very difficult time for all of us. Beverly and I have been like sisters and our friendship started back when she was in second grade and I was in fourth grade. What a comfort to have my lifelong friend near my Father when I could not be there. God had it all planned out-but that was not all he had planned ...
Not more than an hour after I had arrived at the hospital to find my Father had passed away, I had a strange feeling. It was at that point that I believed I might be pregnant. I really did not give it any more thought for a couple weeks because of the sad time following my Father's death and funeral.
Excerpted from In Love with the Whirlwind by Susan Davis Copyright © 2010 by Susan Davis. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.