Friday, December 31, 2010

Duck a Tornado With Prayer

I would have to say, the devil immediately threw at us a devastating tornado upon our arrival in Broken Arrow. The trial precedes the blessing.

Tornado by D. Burgess, NOAA Photo Library

On the last afternoon of our trip, we drove the long hours of flat prairie lands toward Tulsa. The Oklahoma sky darkened with heavy, purple-black thunderclouds hanging very low all along the horizon. From the highway, I watched the ominous black line of clouds quietly with a leery eye.

Our four children in the back of the station wagon traveled very well the long highway drive from Upstate New York to Tulsa. Most naturally, my wife worried about where we were going to live and how! With a phone call, Oral Roberts University placed us in touch with the president of the student association and his wife. This couple offered to welcome us into their home in the town of Broken Arrow. At least, we had a place to land.

Jim and Sharon, business students from Texas, most graciously welcomed our tired family into their modern suburban home. That evening after supper, in view of the weather, Jim instructed us on basic precautions for tornadoes. Not a half hour later, we heard the terrible sound of a heavy locomotive coming toward us unseen in the pitch darkness of the rainy thunderstorm. There was no other warning. Radar did not detect the Broken Arrow Tornado.

"That's it!" said Jim.  

To lesson the pressure on the structure of the house, Jim calmly walked to his front door and opened it. He walked to his back glass sliding door and opened that. I knew he was praying with great faith. On his signal, Mary took our youngest two children, Emily and baby Joanna, to a front bedroom closet. I lifted our other two children, Monica and Brian, one under each arm, and carried them down the hall into a back bedroom closet.

The tornado hit!  

I watched as the ceiling in the bedroom outside my closet swelled and buckled. My ears popped! A brass pole lamp lost its spring tension from the ceiling and fell to the floor with an alarming crash.

I loudly commanded the name, "Jesus!"

Through the rainy night with no electric lights, we waited for the first rays of morning daylight to inspect the surrounding neighborhood. Most of the houses ripped open and crumbled, looking like a city dump. The living room curtains from the house behind us ended up in our front yard on the other side. In the neighboring house beside us, the shattered sheet glass from the back storm-door flew through the big room and stuck like a hundred sharp, tiny daggers into the back of the ornate, wooden front door. It looked like a visit from hell. The streets flooded with water from broken water mains.

Jesus is God of the storms!

The miracle revealed in our host’s home: only one 2x4” strut in the attic snapped as the tornado sucked and buckled the roof. It was apparent! Of all the dozen houses in the neighborhood, the tornado actually jumped over our house as we called out the name “Jesus!” 

I spent the first three days of my new life in Oklahoma directing curiosity traffic with the police away from the damaged Broken Arrow suburb. I found all this neighborhood devastation troubling and regretful. But I also learned right then, whatever the devil throws at you, deflect it with prayer!

-- Bill Hunt

There are storms in Nature and storms in Life; both are subject to Prayer.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Buy a Car God's Way

In this true miracle story, God graciously selects the right car for our journey into Christian ministry. God provides for the way in which he points.

God knew our need for a car to Oral Roberts University. (Photobucket)

You know, the wildest things happen when you pray! Mary and I answered God's call to Christian ministry from Upstate New York. We prepared to drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma, with our little family of four children and to enroll in graduate divinity school at Oral Roberts University. We simplified all our possessions to the bare bones. We sold most of our household goods in a garage sale, and we shipped the bare essentials in a small load of boxes by truck freight. 

But we still need a car to travel in!

I seriously shopped the auto dealer's lot and examined a few lines of cars. I was exasperated. All but the used cars were way out of my league after our short time of austerity. Behind the building, I spotted exactly what I predetermined in my mind and prayed for, a brown station wagon with a white top! I reasoned I wanted something for the hot western travel and the blazing Oklahoma sun. With financial planning, I admitted to myself I couldn’t accept the price tag. Disappointed, I looked up to the sky and prayed one word, 


Our limited funds forced us to purchase an older, black, four-door sedan. This seemed fine until, as I drove around town, the brakes failed!... Talk about a lemon! I nearly rolled right through a few bright red-light intersections, pushing my foot “through the floor” and bracing my back against the seat, hard! Scared, I drove the sedan back to the dealer for repairs. The next day, he phoned me.

"I have to be honest with you," he said. "The bad news is your car's rusted frame is bending. That's why your brakes won't work. I can't let you have it. The good news is I have another car I'll give you instead, no further charge.” When I arrived at the dealer's, he summoned me.
"I want to talk with you. My wife attends your prayer meeting, and she told me you are serving God. Now, I certainly don't want both my wife and my God against me." Then he presented my "new" car. There out front of the showroom waited the brown station wagon with the white top, all cleaned and polished!

It's the car I reserved for myself," the dealer said. 

As a result, God showed me he really could direct our paths. Answering his call and accepting his mission placed us under his divine care. God provides for the way in which he points! 

-- Bill Hunt (c) 2010

Follow God. Read The God Chasers: My Soul Follows Hard After Thee.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Means This Christmas Babe?

Why are people so willing to consider Jesus as a babe, so reluctant to follow him as an adult?
What Means This Christmas Babe? (PD)
What means this Jesus? One thing about Christmas, we celebrate him as a baby. He's really, if I may say, an adult in Glory at the Throne of his Father, not a baby....   

So many find it easy to regard him as an infant but shy away from his teaching as God and man. What gives? Mankind is always confronted by his teachings.  So much so, each person must regard him either as a liar, a lunatic, or the truth.

When investigated, the evidence is overwhelming, but it's faith that draws the conclusion. If he truly is the Son of God, should we not heed his teaching?  So many fear to face him (John 18:38 NKJ).

“What is truth?”

They fear to contrast their lives with his truth. In so doing, they miss the forgiveness which flows from his cross. (Luke 13:3).

“But unless you repent, 
 you too will all perish.”

At Christmas, we see incredible events unfold as God introduces the birth of his son.

The Angel Gabriel comes to a virgin named Mary to tell her she is highly favored of God. She will have a son and name him Jesus. He will be the Son of the Most High, and his kingdom will never end. This will happen as the Holy Spirit overshadows her, and her babe will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:26-80 NKJ). 

Elizabeth, her relative, exclaims by the Holy Spirit that Mary is, indeed, the mother of the Lord. Zechariah prophesies by the Holy Spirit, their son, John, will be the prophet of the Most High to prepare the way for the Lord. 

The Angel appears again, this time to Joseph, to settle in the young husband the babe is conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and to name him Jesus. He will save his people from their sins (Matt 1:18-25).

Jesus is born in a humble field manger
with Joseph and Mary, his parents.  

The Angel appears to shepherds near Bethlehem to announce in Glory the moment of the birth of the Messiah. He is accompanied by a host of angels declaring this divine event is a blessing from God to mankind (Luke 2:1-20).

Eight days later, as the parents meet the purification ritual and  dedicate the first-born son to God in the temple, two elderly prophets, Anna and Simeon, declare the babe's divine destiny (Luke 2:21-40).

Within a short time, a group of wise Magi from the East, study the scriptures and follow a star. They travel an arduous journey to pay homage to the child with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matt 2:1-18). This is not a normal event.
The Angel Gabriel warns Joseph to flee with the child and his mother to Egypt because of impending danger. King Herod seeks to kill the child. Evil rears his head as Herod jealously orders the bloody slaughter of every baby boy under two years of age in Bethlehem.

Herod certainly substantiated his belief in the Messiah through the screams of mothers. 

How can anyone ignore the ultimate decision? Who do you believe this Jesus is, a liar, a lunatic, or the Truth? Discover Jesus at Christmas as a babe, but know him as a man. He is the Son of God. 

A Very Merry and Blessed Christmas to you!

– Bill Hunt


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

This Season Remember Those in Prison

Exercise your Christian love. Copy this letter, sign it, and send it to one in prison with your own personal note.

This Season, Remember Those in Prison!

As we celebrate this Season, I'm praying for you. You're missing a lot at Christmas and the New Year. And we're missing you! The turkey, the gifts, the tree, the colored lites, your family, your friends, your relatives. I can't bring myself to be too specific because of the gap you bear.

What I really want to say is you can receive (1) the real gift of Christmas, Jesus. The King of Heaven and Earth, the expected Messiah, the Son of God, the Savior, the Babe in the Manger can still be yours. All you need to do is repent to him and believe in him. Trust your life to him with all your heart. 
Do you know he has other gifts for you!

Jesus immediately gives you two main gifts: forgiveness and salvation. (2) Forgiveness is God's Love given perfectly. Since God is perfect, he forgives perfectly. And since he forgives perfectly, this means he forgets perfectly. The sins you have repented, he forgets in total. Only the devil keeps trying to remind you.

(3) Salvation is the Kingdom of Heaven for eternity, for ever. Jesus says in the Gospels you are present in the Kingdom of Heaven even while on earth. Imagine that, in prison you can actually walk in the Kingdom of Heaven on earth!

And there are still more gifts, God gives you.

(4) Gift of free will: All life long, we are given choices between good and evil. On the spiritual plane, it is the battle between God and Satan, between right and wrong. You chose!

(5) Gift of a blessing life: Here is a great secret many people do not want to admit. If you chose God's way, he will enclose you with his blessings. Blessings, the wicked can not receive. 

(6) Gift of manhood or womanhood, maturity: You are young at any age, yet you insist you want to be an adult. Being adult means to accept responsibility for yourself. Otherwise, you will never escape the child or the teenager trapped in you by terrible experience.

(7) Gift of honesty, denial: Those who chose wrong also chose the way of denial. They think they can hide their sins from others. What they are really doing is hiding their sins from themselves. 

(8) Gift of forgiving others, blame: Those in denial also consistently blame others. No matter how others affected you or failed you, they did not choose your actions. Not your parents, not your family, not your friends, no one! Do not blame others for what you did. Or you'll never see the truth about yourself and find your victory.

(9) Freedom: You will win victory in your life if you first win the victory in yourself. To do this, you must repent of your sins and turn to Jesus, the Son of God, with all your heart. That's why he came! You can do this yourself in prayer.

God gives you the Gift of Himself.

(10) The Gift of His Father. “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NKJ). God wants your love and he wants to give you his divine love.

(11) The Gift of His Holy Spirit. Jesus sends you his Comforter who brings you his fruits, gifts, and ministries. He is constantly with you to remind you of the presence of Jesus.

(12) Gift of others. God gives you the gift of others. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31 NKJ). Regard and respect others in the same way you want them to regard and respect you. Yes, even in prison. 

No one can ever stop you from talking with God in inner prayer. Read your scripture, pray, and obey God daily. If you turn to him, he will always be with you...especially in prison. Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year, wherever you are. 

Experience what happens when God walks with you.

Bill Hunt


Friday, December 17, 2010

A Shepherd's Christmas Commentary

A Christmas Story

How would you feel if you were one of the shepherd's in Bethlehem that night the angels came? 
Near Bethlehem shepherds were unsuspecting of the Time.

 Art by William Holman Hunt, 1827-1910.

Can God change a life? Under the stars, I spend about every night watching these sheep. Every star twinkles its light to me, but every star lies. My, life, lately, is bland; it has no meaning. 

Why am I out here guarding these sheep? At least my uncle Thomas thought enough to give me work. It's so hard to make money in Bethlehem. I'm going to vacate this town; there's no future. 

What's that brightness up there? 

I like sheep, and they like me. The sheep know my voice. I keep the flock together. I defend them from the lion and the wolf with my staff and my knife. The best thing is to keep the night fire burning. This is a light that doesn't lie to me. 

I have not seen that light before. It's growing bigger, it's moving closer. I jump to my feet. 

(v8) Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid (Luke 2:8-20 NKJ). 

I have never seen anything like this!

(v10) Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” 

Oh, wow, an angel! This is unbelievable. From the nearby hills my friends, other shepherds, gather toward the angel to listen. A great light of unspeakable joy surrounds us. I can truly say, I forgot all my troubles. 

The sheep remain amazingly still. Now you don't understand this, sheep panic at the slightest disturbance. But the sheep sleep, all quiet. 

The mighty angel in light speaks to us. 

(v12) “And this will be the sign to you: You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 

(v13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 

Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” 

The stars no longer lie to me. Everything is truth. Truth, everywhere. 

(v15) So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 

Bethlehem is not far. 

We are so close we can see the spatter of evening lights, oil lamps in the open windows of humble homes. Quiet are the streets as we walk the town. Could it be, no one but we shepherds saw and heard the glorious angels? Then we spot the manger off to the left in the side of one rise. 

(v16) And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in the manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 

Yes, we worship this Babe, the tiny Messiah, the angel told us about. We talk with his sweet mother and gentle father. 

His mother's eyes!

You should see his mother's eyes. 

(v19) But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them. 

Townspeople gather from curiosity, and we brag excitedly about the angels. I knew my life could never be the same. This is a glorious night and every star twinkles truth and joy to me. 

The Messiah! I have seen the Messiah!

Merry Christmas!

Be Free to say it.

Bill Hunt

Let Christmas music, Christian films, and Christian books inspire you. They make the greatest gifts.

The Nativity Story is the most sensitive and realistic saga of the Birth of Jesus. I recommend this film to you with all my heart.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Love is Christian Love

Christmas love: an innkeeper in Bethlehem, some wealthy wise men, a poor widow, a sinful woman, a stranger, and how about you?


Christmas love gives someone a reason to believe. Spending wads of money in material giving on commercial gifts to meet a felt cultural obligation falls way short. That's just a scratch on the surface of the glass. The real meaning is found in the heart.

Take a look at that unspoken citizen in Bethlehem who loaned his humble animal manger to a traveling stranger who brought a young wife in imminent labor eighty miles on a donkey.

Sorry, friend, I don't have a private room in my house; but I own a manger in the side of the hill there. You can use the fresh straw I placed today. My livestock are very tame. It looks like you better hurry.”

Those Magi were likely very wealthy wise men. Even so, they traveled far by faith through sandy dune deserts and wastelands following their star to find the Messiah.

Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:11 NIV).

What is Christmas love?

Astounding generosity, noted Jesus, was displayed by the poor widow who gave two small coins to the temple offering.

I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all these others. All the people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” (Luke 21:3-4 NIV).

There was a sinful woman who anointed, washed, and kissed the feet of Jesus with an expensive alabaster jar of perfume. She dried his feet lovingly with her hair. Jesus spoke to his host, the objecting Pharisee, Simon.

You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—for she loved much” (Luke 7:44-47 NIV).

This Christmas find someone
who needs Christmas love!

Jesus told the story of the Samaritan who came across a man beaten and robbed left by the roadside (after a priest and a Levite sauntered by.) The stranger poured oil and wine on the victim's bloody wounds and bandaged them. He took the man to an inn and paid for all the expenses of his care with his own money.

Which of these three, the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan, do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” (Luke 10:30-37).

Christmas love is not found in placing barriers, limitations, or restraints on giving.
Christmas love is self-sacrificing, unlimited love.

Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself and became obedient to death--
even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:5-8 NIV).

Christmas love is self-sacrificing love. Christianity is not a religion; it's a person who showed us how. Christmas love gives someone a reason to believe. Christmas love is the love of Jesus.

Merry Christmas!
Be free to say it.
Bill Hunt

This Christmas, find someone you can help who needs love. You won't have far to look. Leave us a comment about it!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Was Joseph a Good Husband to Mary?

Joseph served Mary as partner, provider, protector, prophet, priest, and patriarch.

Anxiety of St. Joseph by James Tissot, 1886-1894.

In this world of diminishing husbands, Joseph exemplified a man with a backbone. He served Mary as partner, provider, protector, prophet, priest, and patriarch. All, good qualities for a husband. Ask any woman....

Right off, Joseph was faced with a serious dilemma; his fiancée was pregnant with child (Matt. 1:19). Two choices confronted him. He could expose her to public disgrace and death by stoning to meet the standards of social condemnation, or he could divorce her quietly. In reality, his heart was broken; his most beautiful and virtuous engaged wife was with child. The situation was beyond his belief, beyond his understanding, but not beyond the deep anguish and torment of his crushed heart.

That's when the angel showed up! 
(Matt. 1:20-21). 

Have you ever experienced a spiritual dream more real than life? Angel Gabriel presented Joseph a third choice not thought of. And this choice is supported as God's word hundreds of years earlier through the Prophet Isaiah, 7:14 (Matt. 1:22-23). The correct solution was more practical. Joseph took Mary home as his wife (Matt. 1:24-25). Would this divine solution not solve many broken and dysfunctional relationships in today's society?

Mary was pregnant by the overshadowing power of the divine Holy Spirit. Joseph, a royal descendant of the House of David, served as the human patriarch for Jesus. These guardian parents, you see, fulfilled the foundation for the nature of Jesus. He is both human (John 1:14) and divine (John 1: 1-3). Jesus is both God and man. Seen as human and divine in the scriptures, he is prayed to, worshiped, and called God.

Jesus is prayed to, worshiped, 
and called God.

As God, this real Jesus of the Bible is prayed to by Stephen (Acts 7:59) and by the church (1Cor. 1:1-2). As God, he is worshiped by the Magi (Matt. 2:11), by the Apostles in the boat (Matt.14:33), by the women from the tomb (Matt. 28:9), by the man born blind (John 9:35-38), and by the Hebrews Epistle (Heb 1:6). As God, he is referred to by Thomas (John 20:28), by the Hebrews Epistle (Heb 1:8), and by Paul (Titus 2:13).

The Father presented the new born Messiah, Jesus, to Joseph the carpenter and his wife, Mary. From the darkness of evil, however, horrific dangers would soon confront the young couple....

Reflections for Christmas:
o Husband, what forms your decisions when confronted with difficult situations?
o Do you solve difficult circumstances yourself, or do you seek divine guidance?
o How often do such difficult situations confront you?

Merry Christmas!
Be Free to say it!
Bill Hunt

Inspire your spirit with Christmas music, Christian films, and Christian books!


Friday, December 3, 2010

Love! This Christmas

Christmas is the time to renew our Jesus love as Christians. We are surrounded by a world starving for love.

"Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm" (Eccl 4:11 NIV).
                                               Photo by Bill Hunt (c) 2010

Have we forgotten how to be Christians? In this world it seems everything works against maintaining Christ in our lives. Have we forgotten how to love with the love of Jesus? Have we forgotten the value of the witness of true love?

Would you agree? We feel we are brain washed as we watch the daily deluge of horrible news from the media. We share in all the daily evils of the world all at once. We become discouraged day by day and we lose our way. We forget the answer is Jesus. If Jesus truly is the Son of God, he has to be the answer.

To say this as positively as possible, we must consider the predominating contrasts of evil and good in life. Fear is the opposite of faith. Despair is the opposite of hope. Hate is the opposite of love. Apathy-caring; welfare-work; murder-life. Adultery-faithfulness; lust-purity; greed-generosity; take-give. And so it goes! War-peace; poverty-prosperity; abortion-life; rape-protection; lie-truth. Politician-statesman; denial-honesty; idolatry-worship. Sadly, most of us are more familiar with the terms of evil then the terms of good. So who is training us?

The answer to this gruel of life is Jesus! He is love personified. He lived love and he taught love. His primary commands are love, to love God, and to love man. A married couple is a man and a woman who become one with God. Good Samaritans are those who unconditionally love without regard to race, culture, status, or individual circumstance.

Christ-type-of-love is from the heart and spirit. Mary Magdalene anointed his hair with costly oil, smoothing with her hands, and caressingly washed his feet. Today, fear keeps us from such expression. A hug, a hold, a touch, a kiss, or a kind word heals. It's no wonder we have a world starving for love. The acquaintance who most expressed Christ's love to me was a nun who kissed me on the lips every time she met me at a prayer meeting. Her holy kiss was unmistakable. A derelict with a butcher knife later martyred her as she served him. Like Jesus, her love knew no measure.*

“No greater love has anyone than to lay his life down for another,” said Jesus. “A new commandment I give you, love one another as I have loved you.” “They will know you are my disciples by your love.” These should be heart engraved mottoes to every true Christian.

Jesus gave up the glory of heaven to be born in an animal field stable. He became man to live among us, to exemplify, to teach, and to heal us. He gave his life in a torturous, painful death as the ultimate result of man's sin. If we repent and trust in him, he will will greet us at heaven's gate “with joy unspeakable and full of glory!” Become a true witness of Jesus. Love! this Christmas.

*1-27-1996 Sisters Edna Mary Cardoza and Marie Julien Fortin were killed;  two others seriously wounded, Blessed Sacrament Convent, Waterville, Maine.
  • Bill Hunt © 2010
Inspire your spirit with Christmas music, Christian films, and Christian books!
Top gifts for Christmas: