This week is Thanksgiving and most of us are gathering with family and friends to celebrate this past year’s blessings together.
We hope that you’ll find time this week to read this Ministry Update. We are so thankful for each one of you who’ve been a part of Saints Alive. THANK YOU for your support, prayers and standing with us this past year!
One month ago, my wife Lori’s father passed away from cancer exactly seven weeks from the day he was diagnosed. This was such an unexpected shock to all of us. During this tragic loss of a loved one, we were blessed to be a part of an amazing miracle that unfolded during this unfortunate family emergency. We want to share this testimony to all of you
to plant a seed of faith and encourage you to have hope, believe God will use YOU in your relationships to make an eternal difference in the lives of those He has connected you with. We believe that if God can do it for us, He can do it for you and those God has put in your life and on your heart to be saved.
Lori’s relationship with her father was strained for decades, yet God in His sovereign way, moved mountains, softened hardened hearts, healed wounds, opened closed doors, and answered prayers that were several decades old.
This recent experience combined with Jason’s ordeal last year has made it abundantly clear that NOW IS THE TIME for all of us to share Christ with our family, friends, and community this holiday season.
“In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
With the state of the world post-covid and the state of our country post-election, we are more divided and distant now than anytime in our lifetime. Now that the mandates are over and the vaxxers and anti-vaxxers have finally gotten over their differences and everyone is back to work, traveling and back to normal, we have the opportunity to connect with loved ones and friends we may not see on a regular basis and likely have not seen for several years in person. Please make the call, write the letter, and make the effort! Tell them: I love you, I care about you, I’ve been thinking about you, and I miss you! When are you available? Affirm them, tell them you miss them and ask them how you can connect again.
As Lori’s husband, I had never met her father until about five years ago after she began making attempts to reconnect with him over the course of several years. He had never even met me nor my kids until we’d been married for 15 years. Even after they initially reconnected, it was hard, it was uncomfortable, and sometimes we weren’t sure how things would work out.
This didn’t go how we wanted but it went the way it was supposed to. We prayed for his healing every day during the seven weeks we knew he had cancer and was undergoing treatments. We wanted more time together, but God gave my wife the greatest gift: Exactly what she needed! Knowing (without a doubt) that they will be together again in eternity with Christ!
God used several things to open doors during the last seven weeks of his life. The hospital was very close to our home and allowed us the opportunity to visit. One day, God inspired Lori to paint a picture and give it to him with a scripture on it. I had the pleasure of giving it to him for her and he beamed with joy as he shared it with all the nurses who were in his room that day while it sat on his bedside table. A nurse talked with him about the scripture and what the painting meant to him.
This painting opened the opportunity for me to have a conversation with him about what he was dealing with, he had a fear of dying! Wow! I was able to share with him about my own experience last year in the operating room and how God had completely removed my fear when I prayed and put everything in God’s hands during my prayer just minutes before being sedated and how I knew He was with me no matter what! The reason I am here (and you are here) is to make a difference!
A few weeks later, on what turned out to be his last day, they talked privately for about an hour in the morning. He responded sincerely to Lori and confirmed that he knew Jesus according to Romans 10:9-13 “If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” What an amazing gift it is to have complete peace knowing she shared God’s love with him, and he is now with our Lord and Savior Jesus!
We get several letters every month from many of you asking for prayer for loved ones who are not saved. Many of your relationships with those loved ones are like Lori’s with her dad, estranged, disconnected, painful, and awkward.
7 KEY POINTS
- Keep it simple and be sincere. The gospel is known as the Good News! Keep it that way!
- There are many ways to say I love you! (from Love Languages book)
- Words of Affirmation: tell them I love you! Verbally,email, text, write a letter, send a card!
- Acts of Service – help them with something.
- Gifts – Lori’s painting is great example of this
- Quality Time – it’s so important to be together
- Physical – hugs are powerful!Lay hands on them if they let you pray with them
- Being known and understood – asking questions and listeningopens doors to the heart
- Your Story is Powerful – Revelations Chapter 12 shows us keys to victory!
And they overcame him (devil) by the
(1) blood of the Lamb and (2) by the word of their testimony, and
(3) they did not love their lives to the death.
- Let Jesus lead the conversation.
Hebrews 12:1-2 says: “let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith”
- Our job is to LOVE THEM! It’s not our job to show people what’s right, what’s wrong and what is sin.
John 16: 8-9 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:of sin. We need to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show them what is RIGHT FOR THEM!
- Be Obedient + Make the Effort – After we moved to California (near her dad), it took lots of time in prayer with the Lord to lay a foundation for this miracle to happen. My wife had to be the one to make the calls, to send cards, to pursue time together and push through the business of life, rejection, disappointment, and discouragement. We have to be willing humble ourselves and do whatever it takes create opportunity for us to interact with those God has called us to impact.
- How many times did the Israelis have to march around the City of Jericho before the walls fell?
7 times! How many times does a righteous man fall and get up? 7 times! Don’t stop believing!
Don’t stop marching around their walls, at some point God will shake things up!
- It’s not about you and them as much as it is about them and God! My wife had to forgive and let go of painful things from the past and choose to focus on what they did have together. We only have today, and the time left together. She couldn’t get everything she wanted with such limited time together, but got what she needed, knowing that his salvation was assured.
It is our prayer and hope that God will use YOU to impact the life of someone in your family this holiday season. We are here for you so please reach out, email us, contact us and we’d be happy to pray with you and talk with you about your situation and loved one!
With His Love, Jason Decker Jason@saintsalive.com