Protected from a Mugger

Purse on carseat.JPG Imagine a car blocking you as you park, parking directly behind your car. You get out of your car; so does he. He asks you for directions to another city. Being kind, you give him the information, and then go on about your business. You’ve left your purse on the passenger’s side.

Lured Away

Then he says, “I think someone in there is waving at you.” As you innocently turn to look, the man swipes your purse with wallet, credit cards and everything else.  See more here

Eileen with Luca of Luca’s Boutique    

“It was devastating,” said Eileen Iverson of Canton, South Dakota. “It’s a different thing to go through, I’ll tell you. I’ve never encountered anything like that in all my life, but I thank the Lord that he didn’t touch me and I didn’t get hurt through this.” 

See video here

God’s Protection

I like to picture God’s angels standing guard over this God-fearing prayer warrior. She was married for 70 years and raised ten children. She knows how to pray.

Thief Captured

Through the news media and social media giving awareness, the thief was captured when he tried using her credit card thirty minutes later. The Facebook post was viewed over 200,000 times. Eileen said she was relieved. Several reached out to Eileen to replace her purse and all the items in it. Luca’s Boutique of Sioux Falls generously replaced her purse with an Italian leather handbag. Eileen told him, “I don’t deserve such a wonderful handbag.” Luca replied, “This handbag doesn’t deserve such a wonderful lady.” When asked what she could do for him, he replied, “Just pray for me.”


My Aunt Eileen, now age 95,  lives in Canton, South Dakota. She has many amazing stories to tell of God’s goodness, His healing power, and protection. She’s seen it first-hand. So have her children.  (More of these stories to follow in days ahead).

Do you have a story of God’s protection? Tell about it in the comments.

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Swept Away in the Sewer

The boy was swept away in toxic-filled sewage in an underground maze of tunnels during an Easter picnic. It sounds like a scene from a horror film. How could a young teen fall 25 feet into a drainage pipe only four feet wide, be pulled into the underground waste and not break anything, suffocate, or drown? More than 100 people joined in the search for Jesse that night. Every hour made hope for survival less plausible. Twelve hours had already passed.

See the Video Here: Found in the Sewer

“The current just took me…” Jesse said in a later interview, “I thought I was going to die.” Pulled along with the stench in the massive 2400 feet of pipe Los Angeles sewage system, they knew he could be lost forever. These sewage pipes run alongside the Los Angeles River and cross under freeways. But “somehow” the searchers’ floating cameras attached to hoses snaked into the pipe and found the young teen. It was almost one mile from where he fell in. They were ecstatic.

I prayed to God to help me and not to die,” the thirteen-year-old said.

God heard

I believe God heard his prayer and guided searchers to his location. Jesse grabbed the hose and was ‘reeled’ back to safety. Other than a few scrapes and bruises and soaked with contaminated sewage, Jesse was fine. They think he managed to find a pocket of breathable air and hold on to it.  I choose to believe GOD provided that pocket of air. God still cares and protects…because He loves us.

The Mercury News called it a miracle. I think that’s the only logical explanation.

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He Picked Me Up

The out-of-control car crashed through the concrete wall into the store, plowing down everything in its path. It rammed through the back of the store into the next building. Pieces of broken wall,  smashed instruments, and debris lay everywhere. The four-year-old was in its direct path. So how did she escape harm? How did she get out of the way in time? Her answer will surprise you.

It was a real miracle–if you choose to believe. The little girl is proof.

If you’re in trouble, depressed, or feel like everything has crashed in around you, how about this Easter, you let Jesus pick you up?  He’s there. Choose to believe.

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Does God Protect?

We’ve all had those unexplainable moments -times when the impossible occurs.

The truck began to skid as the driver drove along Highway 59 at high speed on that December day.  He yanked the wheel to pull the truck back onto the road from sliding along the right shoulder; instead, he flew across the opposite lane. The GMC pickup spun around, crashed through the cement barrier, and finally came to a stop on the edge of the road by a huge culvert.

Did God intervene and protect him from a worse accident – or was it just a coincidence? You decide.

He barely missed a plunge over a 200-foot precipice by about twelve inches. He wasn’t hurt; the truck slightly damaged. Happening in December 2006 on Route 59 near Hurricane City, Utah – this could have been a much deadlier scene. Who stopped a truck going close to 75-80 MPH from careening over the precipice?

Courtesy of

Was it a coincidence or an intervention of Godly protection – a miracle? You decide.

I choose to believe. God’s still protects – sometimes when we aren’t even aware.

Has God protected you? Share your story…

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Miracle or Coincidence?

We heard the rumble of rocks and saw the trees smashing into the river as it boiled towards our home. We went to the upstairs and then crawled onto the roof through a window as the mudslide wiped out everything we owned. Afterward, I went to check on the neighbors and heard a baby cry. How was that even possible?

We went right to that spot and dug down four feet under the mud and found a baby still alive. We dug the mud out of her mouth.

Miracle – or coincidence? How did the baby even cry with mud in her mouth?

Does God still perform miracles?  Does He direct peoples’ lives? Does God care enough to intervene? If you believe the Bible, you believe He did it for people back then. Marvelous, miraculous healings, guidance, protection, and so much more. Does He still do it today?

This incident happened in January of 2018 in the California mudslides. To me, it’s proof. God is still at work. He still cares. In the coming weeks, I will put more stories here of God’s amazing power. Stories that will make you wonder – is it really God, or only a coincidence.  You decide. I’ve chosen to believe!

Have a story to share? Contact me.

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The Highest Reward

Pearly gates-welcome home

Billy Graham recently received the highest award anyone could ever achieve: eternal life – with honors.

Reaching millions of people with the message of Christ was always Billy Graham’s goal. Dr. Graham gave his last television message in 2013 which aired on 480 stations. He wanted one final chance to make his mark known. And last week, he had that opportunity. His funeral was his last crusade. Although it was an invitation-only event, the service was broadcast by the internet with the potential of reaching billions. 

The Final Crusade

I was struck by the simplicity of Billy Graham’s private funeral for the 2,000 or so invited mourners. Even more interesting was the fact that Dr. Graham planned every detail of his final crusade, with the help of his long-time friend and late music director, Cliff Barrows.

A spokesman for the Graham family, Mark DeMoss, said that the man who became known as “America’s pastor” began selecting songs, musicians, and speakers more than ten years ago. The family wanted the funeral to resemble the crusades their father preached reaching over 215 million people in his lifetime.

The service was filled with symbolism full of meaning for the family and Christians around the world. Kathie Lee Gifford, a personal friend of Graham and television personality who attended the funeral told reporters, “Who told you this is a sad day? This is a celebration. This is a triumph of a life well-lived.” 

The Setting

Although offered the Cathedral in the capital for the funeral, the family wanted the simple white canvas tent similar to the one in which Rev. Graham held the Los Angeles Crusade in 1949. The eight-week-long crusade began his national prominence which eventually led to more than six decades of ministry from presidents to industry workers. With the backdrop of the dark glass cross in a rustic-looking barn of the Graham library behind them, it provided the perfect spot to commemorate a godly man.

The Music

Music from his crusades with Graham’s crusade piano player included ‘congregational singing’ with songs like “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name.” “Until Then,” written by cowboy Stuart Hamblen, opened up the service as a reminder of the 1949 tent revival in  Los Angeles in which Hamblen performed. This song was known as one of Graham’s favorites, first recorded by late friend George Beverly Shea. “Because He Lives” was performed by The Gaither Vocal Band.  Michael W. Smith, who had performed at other crusades, sang “Above All.”  “To God Be the Glory,” the final hymn sung by the audience, was a remembrance of the 2007 dedication of his library in Charlotte. “Amazing Grace” was played as the casket was carried to the gardens for interment by his grandchildren. Graham picked all six songs. He wanted his friends to sing and celebrate his homegoing.

The Casket

Rev. Billy Graham was a man of character, integrity, and honor. He wanted to proclaim nothing more than the simple gospel – “Jesus Saves.” Even his casket conveyed that message. His son, Rev. Franklin Graham, had a simple pine casket built by inmates at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. It was lined with a single mattress and had a cross nailed to the top along with the makers’ names burned into the wood. The family asked for no upgrades; it cost around $200. Billy’s wife, Ruth, is buried in a similar casket.

The Epitaph

According to Graham’s wishes, his gravestone is engraved with “Billy Graham, Preacher of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ,” according to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Under that inscription is only one Bible reference: John 14:6. “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” That was his message. That was his life – even in death.

“Do I fear death? No,” Graham told Newsweek magazine in 2005. “I look forward to death, with great anticipation. I am looking forward to seeing God face to face.” I’m sure he heard the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 

It inspires me to aim for that goal too.

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Be Still and Know…

If this crazy loud world of a cacophony of sounds were thrust into sudden muteness, would you embrace that silence? Or, would you become anxious or fearful if every noise ceased and try desperately to listen for any hint of sound? Silence can be deafening.

Cardinal and woodpecker

Photo compliments of Ann Essock Higdon

“Be still and know…” scripture admonishes, but stillness requires silence. Silence screams, “LISTEN!” You strain your ears and force yourself to take note of any sound however small. Silence roars into the emptiness that fills a lonely heart.

Quieting your spirit in the midst of turmoil can give a new perspective. Silence can bring rest and renewal. In your quietness and confidence in God Almighty, new strength arises from within. Mother Teresa said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence.”

One man occasionally practiced a self-decreed ‘word fast.’ He spoke only when spoken to and refused to say anything, regarding it as worthless chatter. He believed it freed him socially and liberated him emotionally. He could then choose his words wisely and speak words worth hearing.

Jesus knew the value of rest and silence. He stole away in the early morning hours to be still before His Father so He could receive direction for his day and gain strength and power.


Photo: Pixabay – Creative Commons CC0

Learn to listen. Learn to be still. The few moments spent in silence will renew your strength and may make all the difference in your day.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary;  they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)


More devotions such as this can be found in Thoughts for Evening Time: Devotions to Ponder, available or a signed copy from the author on the side panel.


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