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Our God is a God who answers prayer. Sometimes He says, “Yes, immediately,” like He did with my hearing. But, sometimes He says, “No.” And sometimes He says, “Wait, be patient. Trust my way, my timing.” Yet I can still say, “Praise God,” even then because I have learned that somehow the slower healing process, and even the “no's”, are for His glory and for my good as I have seen again and again with the PTSD. Our God is a God who hears our cries and answers our prayers, always.

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Paul opens 1 Corinthians 14 with an impassioned appeal: “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy” (v. 1). In 12:31 he called love “a still more excellent way” in comparison with the other spiritual gifts. Then in chapter 13 he warned us that practicing spiritual gifts without love is being “a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (13:1), to be “nothing” (13:2), and to “gain nothing” (13:3). Further, he goes on to tell us that the spiritual gifts have an expiration date. They will last only until “the perfect comes” (13:10), which means the return of Christ. 

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There was a moment in worship on Easter Sunday when I thought the Lord might be sending me to the prophecy mic. We were singing “Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed.” And the Lord took me to Scripture, Jesus Himself saying to Thomas in John 20:29: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” But sometimes it can be so hard to believe, can't it? To remember how much He loves us, to remember that He is there, because we cannot see Him in all the ways we can see our trials, our sin and the sin of others, our family and brothers and sisters in Christ who are right here in this mess with us.

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On Sunday, February 24, the call to worship during our Sunday service focused on prophecy and the gift of tongues from 1 Corinthians 14:1-5. As you might expect, a number of people responded to the prompting of the Spirit. One of these was Candace Walton, who served the church by interpreting a tongue given by Sam Hodges. We asked her to describe the experience so that others could be encouraged and maybe informed about what it can be like to step out in this way.

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