Quit Tooling Around

When a friend, who sometimes has lingering doubts concerning President Trump, recently asked how I thought he was doing as president, I decided it was time to finally write one of the hardest posts addressed to Christians I’ve written thus far.

Bear with me as I start this post with very blunt words: If you are maligning, making sarcastic comments, or posting disparaging remarks on social media concerning the President, you are not walking according to the dictates of God’s word. Please don’t do that! Speak evil of no man. (Titus3:2) Don’t allow yourself to be used by the hand of the enemy as a tool to further divide America.
Make the Master proud of you by being good citizens. Respect the authorities, whatever their level; they are God’s emissaries for keeping order. It is God’s will that by doing good, you might cure the ignorance of the fools who think you’re a danger to society. Exercise your freedom by serving God, not by breaking the rules. Treat everyone you meet with dignity. Love your spiritual family. Revere God. Respect the government. (1 Peter 2:13-17 MSG)
It is no coincidence that the media and many people from the liberal side of politics are so driven to destroy a newly elected President without even giving him a chance to preside. What you see is anger from satan, himself, because he was JustThisClose to destroying our nation with a political spirit that was choking the life out of us. I am not saying that we have a nation of demon possessed people who, among other things, march in protest, or that demons are running the airwaves. I am saying, however, that these people are blind, willing participants in the schemes of the devil to divide our country, because he knows that if we are divided, we cannot stand:
But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand…” (Matthew 12:25 NKJV)

Christian friends, don’t be a part of division! Ever!
Do I think Donald Trump is our savior?  No, I sure don’t.  Jesus is!  I do not know Trump’s personal relationship with God, but I do know that he is surrounding himself with people who are born again, who openly profess Jesus Christ, and God placed them all there, including Donald Trump.

…For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. (Romans 13:1)
It is not my intention to offend, but perhaps to be on the offensive…that is, to join the (spiritual) battle for our great nation in prayer and truth, and to get those who have not joined to do so by praying daily for our leaders and particularly our President. There is no better time than now! If you do not like your president and are having a hard time praying for him, keep reading, I’ll give you some starting points.

But first, understand that before Donald Trump was born, God had a plan for him. He wrote in His book the days fashioned for Trump….just the same as He did for you and me (Psalm 139:16). Before the foundation of the world; He chose us! (Ephesians 1:4)
…You covered me in my mother’s womb… Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (Psalm 139:13, 16 NKJV)
It is our responsibility to pray for our leaders…do you want a great awakening in America? I know I do! I long for the day God heals our land. We won’t get that just because Donald Trump is in office. We will start to see revival sweeping our nation when we humble ourselves and seek God. (2 Chronicles 7:14) Otherwise, we remain in a state of complicity in the demise of America.

Pray hard.
Without ceasing.
If Jesus often prayed often,
how much more do we need to pray?

Prayer points for President Trump:
  • Pray for his salvation, that he be filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • Pray that his eyes be opened so that he sees, that his ears be opened so that he hears from God, and pray that his heart is opened so that he understands.
  • Pray for maturity in his position.
  • Pray that the Holy Spirit infiltrates his every decision.
  • Pray that God gives him spiritual wisdom.
  • Pray that President Trump is consistently surrounded by God-fearing, praying men and women.
  • Pray that God gives him strength to follow through with Godly decisions, even in the face of much opposition.
  • Pray for his safety.
  • Pray for Truth to sweep our nation, that the blinders be removed from God’s people, and that the Holy Spirit will permeate and saturate this nation in a way that those of us living in this day have never seen.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
Psalm 33:12

Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us,
Just as we hope in You.
Psalm 33:22


Modern Day Miracle

Part 3
Read Part One:  "Death Answers to God, and He Said No" 
Read Part Two:   "Memphis" 

In 2005, some 17 years after the accident, Ron began often having double vision.   He went to an ophthalmologist, who informed him that he had 20/15 vision, explaining that his eyes were better than normal.  Having no explanation for the double vision, he sent Ron for an MRI. 

After the MRI was complete, the tech and Ron were looking at the results, and the tech turned to Ron with a stunned look on his face and asked if he’d ever had a head injury.   Ron told him, “Yes, some years ago.  Why?”    The tech pointed to a black spot on his X-ray and replied, “Nothing.”   Ron said, “Nothing?  Man, it looks like something!”   The tech said, “That’s what I’m telling you, it’s nothing there, because it’s nothing there!”

Ron asked, “Nothing?  Like no brain?”   The tech nodded, still looking at Ron with that stunned look.   Ron asked him what that part of the brain controlled, and the tech told him “Motoring skills.”    Ron asked, “Like moving, walking, running, jumping?”   The tech nodded, looking Ron straight in the eye in disbelief, and said “Yes.”   Ron was silent for a long moment, then he got tickled and began to laugh.  He said, “Well, now!  This is kind of crazy!   I move around pretty good, and I don’t even have the brains to do it!”  The tech almost smiled, but his stunned astonishment kept him from it.

Ron’s last word on this story:   "Now try to tell me God is nothing but awesome!"

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Memphis Miracle

Part 2
Read Part One:  "Death Answers to God, and He Said No"

August 2, 1988:
The night of the accident, Pastor Neil Silverberg and friend Kevin Mullins drove Jane to Memphis.    Ron was completely comatose, a state in which he would remain for over three weeks, and continue in a semi-comatose condition for another two weeks.    The doctors were not giving any hope that he would ever wake up.   During this time, friends and family were only allowed to visit in 10 or 15 minute intervals; however, the nurses noticed that when Jane talked to Ron, his vital signs would improve.   They began allowing her to stay for hours.   When she played recordings of their children, five year old Mandi and three year old Marty, talking and singing, his vital signs would really elevate. 

Much prayer was said for Ron and for his family.   Within in a few days of his arrival in Memphis, Ron’s dad, Paul, and his mother, Jeri, arrived.   Jeri and Jane went to the chapel and prayed every day.   One day, they were in the chapel with several others, when a young black man, dressed in all white, knelt down in front of Jeri and asked, “May I pray for you, Mama?”   She replied, “Of course, you can!”  He prayed, got up, waved his hand and said, “Now there is Peace.”  Then he left.   Jeri later looked for the man, but he could not be found.   She wondered if an angel had visited her.

Sitting with Ron every day, Jane knew he was responding to her, but when she relayed that to the doctors, no one would believe her.  They told her that these were just involuntary movements, but Jane knew differently.   He was responding appropriately to her requests for a hand squeeze or other simple gestures.  When Ron did fully awake, they performed another scan.  Family friends Will McFarlane, Kevin Mullins, and Parke Crisler were in the room when the doctor told Jane that there were still absolutely no changes.   At that point, Jane became a little exasperated, and told Ron that he’d better do something to let the doctor know that she wasn’t nuts.  Ron lifted his hand and gave a short wave to the doctor, and the room erupted in joy!  The doctor was somewhat stunned by Ron’s reaction to Jane’s request, but Jane simply said, “I told you he was responding!”  

Throughout the whole ordeal, Ron and Jane had great support from family and friends.   During the six weeks in Memphis, there was only one night that Jane didn’t have a church member with her.  Her parents and church family watched over the children, doing all they could do to keep Mandi and Marty’s lives as normal as possible.   Jane was still in Memphis on Mandi’s first day of school, even though it broke her heart to be away, Jane knew she didn’t have to worry about her children.

In Memphis, though he was waking up, Ron still faced a long road of recovery.   He was paralyzed on his left side, he still had a tracheotomy, and much of his memory was gone.   He had to relearn everything, including how to swallow food.  He was soon transferred to Spain Rehabilitation Center in Birmingham, Alabama, for rehabilitation.  Over the next months, Ron went from a wheelchair, to crutches, finally to a cane, slowly improving.   He then spent six months working with Timber Ridge Restoration Ranch in Benton, Arkansas, to restore his memory. 

The road was a difficult one, and even though Ron was making progress, there were times when Jane still had doubt, heartache, confusion, and even anger.   It was as if the person she had known since she was 13 was gone, and someone who only resembled the man she’d married had taken his place.  Over the next two years, Jane came to realize that her idea of the path for Ron’s recovery and God’s plan were different.   She decided in her heart that even if Ron didn’t get any better than he was at that moment, God was still God, and she chose to walk with Him.  When she accepted those things she couldn’t change, Ron’s condition improved even more.

To talk to him today, you wouldn’t know that Ron ever had severe brain damage.  He walks, talks, drives, plays a mean guitar, dreams of driving his Harley again, and praises his Lord daily. 

L-R Jeremy (son-in-law), Mandi, Marty (son) Wife Jane, Ron

But that’s not the end of the story.   There is one more little thing that God did…something that proves without a shadow of doubt that Ron is a walking, talking miracle.  

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Death Answers to God, and He Said No

This is my cousin, Ron Coleman, dancing with his beautiful daughter, Mandi, at her wedding last year.   There is medical evidence to say this is not possible; but as we know, with God, all things are possible. 

The year was 1988.  It was a stormy August night, 30 year old Ron was working with an electrical contracting company at a Florence department store.  In his own words: 

“We had been working at night after business hours; this night I was working up in the ceiling on top of a scaffold, somehow that 277 voltage put the chomp on me. I don't know how long it had me or how it all actually happened, but I fell out of the WalMart ceiling and landed on the back my head.  At that moment I lay there, not breathing, bleeding from my mouth and nose, and a hole was blown out of my right index finger to the bone from where the electricity left my body after passing through from one hand and out the other.”

The father of one of Ron’s co-workers was the pastor of a church near the job site.  The co-worker called his dad and told him that Ron had fallen and his life was quickly slipping away.  The pastor arrived before the paramedics, and immediately began to pray.   Kneeling beside Ron, he said, “Ron, you will live, in the name of Jesus.”   Looking around at Ron’s co-workers, the pastor noticed that all of them had laid their hands on Ron in prayer.  Ron began to breathe again.

Friend and foreman of the job, Bill, called Ron’s wife, Jane, at 10:45 p.m., to tell her that Ron had been hurt, and was being transported to Humana Hospital (formerly Colonial Manor) on Cloyd Boulevard, the hospital nearest the site of the accident.  Before she left for the hospital, she called her pastor’s wife, Shelly Silverberg, and asked her to begin to pray (by the next day, there was a prayer chain formed by people in many states for Ron).  Jane beat the ambulance to the hospital, and watched helplessly as they wheeled Ron in, realizing that he was unconscious.  After an initial evaluation, the doctors told her that Ron needed a tracheotomy, and though he was not conscious, he still responded to pain.   The hospital had Jane sign a release form holding them not liable in case Ron moved while they performed the procedure, because any movement could kill him.

The situation was dire.  Ron was critically injured from his 20 foot fall, strong storms were rolling through, and the CAT scan machine at Colonial Manor was broken.   The doctors there performed the tracheotomy and transported him by ambulance to Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital (ECM), but their CAT scan machine had been damaged by storms earlier in the evening.    They loaded Ron back into the ambulance and sent him across the river to Helen Keller Hospital.   On the way, they were stopped by a train.    Helen Keller was able to do the CAT scan; but had no doctor available to read it.   Ron was loaded back into the ambulance to be transported back to ECM, but before they arrived, they were stopped by yet another train. 

When they finally arrived back at ECM, one of the pastors of Calvary Fellowship, Parke Crisler, was waiting for them, along with many of Ron and Jane’s fellow church members.   Parke worked in the CAT lab, and he was present while the neurologist, Dr. Ray, looked at the scan.   Parke told Neil Silverberg, the senior pastor, “We all need to be praying and praying hard, because without prayer, Ron is not long for this world!” 

Dr. Ray came out to tell Jane that Ron was in very serious condition, and needed to be transported to a head trauma center immediately.   He very matter-of-factly told Jane that he wasn’t sure that Ron would make it there alive, and if he survived the injuries, he would be either a vegetable or severely brain damaged.  

After Dr. Ray gave Jane the grim update on Ron, she was overwhelmed by fear and anger.  Her words: 

“When Dr. Ray told me he was going to be severely brain damaged or a vegetable, I ran out of the room and through the halls.  Somehow, I found a door that led outside, and I was nearly yelling at God when I got out there.  I said, 'Why?!!  Why couldn't You just reach out Your hand and spare him?  He is a good man who loves You!   Why did you do this to him and our children?'   I heard, not really an audible voice, but it was audible in my spirit, and He said, 'Trust me, he is going to be ok.'  So I did! I never doubted that Ron would wake up.”

Because of the storms, they couldn’t transport him by air, so they loaded Ron back into the ambulance and headed toward the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center in Memphis, Tennessee, a three hour journey.   On the way, and they had to stop twice to perform CPR.   In addition, he began to throw up.  In Corinth, Mississippi, they were finally able to airlift him to Memphis.

Death was commanded to relax its grip on Ron that night.  

Next:   Memphis

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