(By: Brenda Hoeve)   

Here I am again to snuggle on your lap so you can hear the gratitude pondering in my heart. You have kept a watchful eye over me even while in my mother's womb. I am much older now in body, but my spirit is forever young. When I talk to you, I don't come as an adult conversing with another, but as your child. That is the way it is with all your children.

You have been very good to me. You did not spoil me so I would be ungrateful, but gave wise instruction and needful discipline. I am grateful for that.

The first of miracles happened when I believed in you and gave my heart to Jesus in June of 1972. Amazingly the once atheist became a believer in the Creator of the world and gave my life to the One who paid the price for my sins. Praise you for giving me faith and hope for salvation from this wicked world and life with you forever.

Another miracle happened when you took away my desire to smoke cigarettes back in the 70's. I started smoking secretly when I was ten years old. By the time I was twenty-five, I smoked a pack of cigarettes a day. Attending the Free Methodist Church, I wanted to teach a Sunday school class. I still smoked, but wanted to quit. I wanted to be a good example for my class.

I prayed you'd take away my desire to smoke. I asked you to make my cigarettes taste like liver because I distaste it. Or, I gave you an option to give me lung cancer to encourage me to quit. On my refrigerator I put a picture of blackened lungs (from the American Lung Association) to remind me of what smoking could do to me.

You chose none of my suggestions, but in answered prayer, you simply took away the desire for the taste and smell of a burning cigarette. I woke up one morning and suddenly realized I didn't crave or want one. In fact, I didn't give smoking any thought until the smoke from George's cigarette was drifting pass me under my nose and I couldn't smell it. Thank you Lord. I have been smoke free for thirty-three years.

Not only did you deliver me from smoking once, but twice. The first time was in 1972 when I became a Sunday school teacher. The second time was 1976. I was no longer teaching Sunday school. What happened to cause me to light up again? It was vanity. I gained weight, and thought to myself, 'I wasn't this fat when I smoked.' The devil jumped on that thought and the desire to smoke a cigarette was back. I smoked twice as much as I did before. I felt guilty and condemned to hell (tormenting thoughts of the devil). Because of your mercy and love, you rescued me and relieved me again from my addiction. Praise your name forever!

Another wonderful miracle happened when you reached down and touched my father's heart and he gave his life to you. Dad was angry and fought against you for years. Dad told me even on his death bed, he would not believe in God. You knew in his heart, there were wounds that needed to be healed. On his death bed, dad yielded all hurt, anger and fear over to you. He prayed for salvation and accepted Jesus as his Savior. This touched my heart. To know my dad is at peace with you gives me comfort and peace. Thank you for the precious gift of eternal life with you.

You have been so kind and helpful, Father, in the smallest details of my life. I was staining door panels in the basement on Pleasant Street and it appeared I wouldn't have enough to finish the job without buying more. I prayed you would make the stain last to finish the work, and you did.  

I remember driving to see Cousin Gloria who lived on Matthews Road. It was winter with some snow covering the roads. I was driving the Mercury Grand Marquis that George bought. Matthew Road was unpaved and in the country. Part of the road was like a wash board. As I drove over the numerous bumps, the car lost control and headed for some trees on the driver's side of the road. You knew how much I cared for the car, so you sent an angel to keep me from hitting the trees. Actually, you were probably saving me from being injured or killed, but I was thinking only of my precious car. The car came within less that two inches from the trees when it came back on the road and under control without a scratch or dent. I praised you for keeping my car from being damaged, but didn't think about me being in danger. Again, your mercy and love rescued me.

I lost my outrageously expensive prescription sunglasses purchased in 2001. I took them off in a phone booth to look up a number in the directory while traveling through Libby, Montana. I realized later I didn't have the sunglasses with me after we long left the area. I feared the glasses were left on the shelf in the phone booth. I remembered a convenience store across the street from the phone booth. When we stopped again, I called the store to ask if anyone had turned in the sunglasses. The answer was no. I gave them my home phone number to call should someone turn them in later.

Kendall and Ellen were with us on this trip. All the way home I agonized over losing my expensive sunglasses. All of us, except Doug because he was driving, looked all over inside the truck. We looked under and around the seats and every other crack and crevice. We looked in concealed places and obvious places with the interior. My glasses could not be found.  Obviously, someone got a nice pair of glasses found in a phone booth. They could replace the prescription lens. The frames were designer from Italy.

I kept praying somehow my glasses would be found and hoped I would find them in the truck. After we were home and cleaned out the truck, I still did not come across the sunglasses. I was just sick about it, but still hoped for a miracle. I can't remember if it was a day later or within the week that I once again went out to look for my glasses in the truck. I know Doug used the truck to go to work after being back from our vacation. One day within that week after Doug returned from work, I wishfully went to look again to find my glasses. There they were in plain sight on the floor by the passenger seat. I cried out, 'Hallelujah!' The way I see it Lord, you transported my sunglasses to where I could retrieve them. You are a good God of miracles.

On Charisa McClure's wedding day, I was driving down M-100 with plans to attend the wedding ceremony. A red Ford Thunderbird was ahead of me and slowing down as if to turn at the corner, but did not have its signal lights on. I slowed down to see if the car would turn.  he car started to leave the main road, so I picked up my speed again. The Thunderbird changed its mind and came back in front of me. Automatically, I swerved to miss hitting the Thunderbird. When I swerved, I lost control of my black Chevy Cavalier. I couldn't focus my eyes on the road because I was all over the road. I heard my tires squawking loudly as the car moved in an erratic manner. I noticed the car veering towards a telephone pole. I thought of George. He hit a telephone pole with his motorcycle and was killed. Then everything went white. I thought, 'Is this how it's like to die?' I felt the impact of the telephone pole stop my car. I temporarily went in an unconscious state of mind.

When I came to, I was sitting on the passenger side of the car. The shifting lever was broken off from the console between the front seat. I noticed my white linen skirt had grease smudged across it. As I became more aware of my surroundings, I noticed the windshield on the passenger side was smashed from the inside outward. It was my head that hit it. Soon, people stood around the scene of the accident and the ambulance arrived. Some of the witnesses said my car rode on just two wheels, the right front and right rear, for a distance down the road. My car hit the telephone pole on an angle. If it hit head on, I would have been killed. I was not wearing a seat belt. Usually, I always buckled up, but I freshly painted my fingernails and didn't want to mess them up to put on my seat belt.

I don't know if the police that were involved were there to write up a report on the accident. I never received a ticket. It was when I was strapped to a transport board and loaded into the ambulance that I felt the chips of broken glass in my hair, scalp and right shoulder. At the hospital I was given x-ray's to see if anything was broken. Nothing was broken.

Loving Father, not only did you preserve my life, you kept me from having any disfiguration to my face and head. Surely, the long, tangling earrings I was wearing with the wire hooks going through my pierced ears could have ripped my ear lobes when my head rammed through the windshield. I see; my life really is in your hands.

Are you tired of me on your lap yet? I know you're not. You wish that all your children would come to you in this way.  

You have been very generous to give me the desires of my heart. My desires are not material, but spiritual. Some of my desires are yet to be fulfilled, but I know it's just a matter of time.  

You revealed to me what my guardian angel looks like and what his name is. His name is Luther, which means, 'Mighty Warrior.' I first saw Luther while at church one Veteran's Day. He was dressed in Army military fatigues. I saw him come in a door from one side of the sanctuary. I didn't know at first he was my angel. I thought he was a veteran who would give a presentation. I watched him walk in the sanctuary, passing the pew where I was seated, and continued to walk out a door on the other side of the church. When he walked by the pew, I knew instantly he was my guardian angel. I said to Doug, 'I just saw my guardian angel.'

Sometime later when traveling on US 10 East for Florida, Luther passed us in a military green Dodge four wheel pickup truck. His right arm was stretched out and resting on the top of the seat. I noticed a car in the on-coming lanes crossing the medium and heading towards us. The next thing I saw was the car on the shoulder of the road facing west on our side of the highway. The driver of the car and us were all safe. Again your mighty hand of protection saved us.

It was years after George died that you reassured me George is in heaven. You gave me a vision of him while at church singing a song. I saw him dressed in a white gown. He looked refreshed and youthful. His hair looked glistening and golden yellow. His eyes were clear and bright blue. His smile was the same as I've known.  

In the vision, I saw the backside of myself walking towards George. George was walking to go somewhere. He didn't see me at first, but when he did, he stopped and smiled at me. He never said a word, but just kept smiling as I approached him. I made the remark, 'George, you're so handsome' three times before I reached him to hug him around the neck. Tears of joy ran down my cheeks. The vision was over and I was back in the sanctuary before the song was finished. Thank you Father for confirming my prayers for George were not in vain.

It is a miracle in how you recently took out the hurt, anger and resentments I had in my heart and carried for so many years. It's like being 'Born again' again. It's all a matter of time. I was never satisfied with myself when displeasing you. When your children get desperate enough, you'll help them when they cry out to you. Thank you, Father for giving me mercy, and unmerited favor. Now I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  

I am smiling thinking about you revealing in a dream the new name you will re-name me. You have been in a habit of changing peoples names. For instance: Jacob's name meant 'The Deceiver'. Jacob was a deceiver when he tricked his father in giving him the blessing of the first born. His father was blind in old age and on his death bed. Esau was the first born. He had hairy arms. Jacob put lambskin over his arms and stood by his father's bed side to receive the blessings his father thought was being given to Esau. You changed Jacob's name later to Israel after he wrested with an 'Angel of the Lord.'

You changed Abram's name to Abraham, father of many and Simon's name to Peter, the Rock. It states in your Word in the book of Revelation that each one who is victorious will be given a white stone. On the stone will be engraved a new name that no one knows except the one who receives it.

In the dream I was pleading with you to tell me what my new name will be. I guess I was too curious to wait until given a white stone. You looked at me with a smile on your face, but kept silent for awhile. I kept pleading with you to tell me. Then you said, 'Ebony'. The name Ebony means 'Highly Prized.' The name Brenda means 'Fiery', which comes in handy sometimes; don't you think? It is better to be highly prized than to just come in handy sometimes.

I could go on and on about all you have done in my life. It is the reason why I long to be with you in my new spiritual body. Flesh and blood cannot enter your heavenly realm.

Until that time comes, I must occupy until you come.

Love Always, Ebony

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember: All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)