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Lipstick On My Collar

In the aftermath of hurricane Katrina I traveled across the nation, speaking before large and small groups of people, in large and small churches -- pleading for God’s church -- the broken body of Christ in St. Bernard parish, Louisiana. A pastor in a church in Oklahoma where I spoke said, “John, I’ve never been so encouraged by such a discouraging message!”

Imagine That! The Discouraged Encouraged by Discouragement!

For me, hurricane Katrina was one of the most discouraging events I’d ever encountered. For the first time in American history – an entire parish (county) was completely destroyed. We’re not talking about one town or one city – we’re talking about every building (business, school, church, home, everything) in the ENTIRE parish or county (not just a part of it).

Everything was destroyed and Everyone (63,000 population in St. Bernard parish) were displaced. Less than two months later, living nearly 90 miles away near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, my wife was afflicted by a brain aneurism, followed by emergency brain surgery, followed by a post-operative stroke!

“John,” said a pastor friend in Florida when hearing of our plight. “John,” says he, “Know this, every miracle in the Bible began with someone in a mess! You’re in a mess, John, and a prime candidate for a miracle!”

The miracle came! Thank God, the miracle came!

In the aftermath of this “double adversity” I developed a habit of saying that “I’ve seen more miracles and miraculous movements of God in the aftermath of Katrina than I had seen in all the years before!”

Then, God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Wait a minute!”

Since that time God has been showing me how He has and is moving and ministering through all the years of ministry both before and after Katrina – even before I entered full-time ministry!

Life and ministry – they’ve been full – full of God!

Sometimes, faith dwindled and I placed limitations on God (Psalm 78:41 & Mark 6:5). This was and is, however, a profound mistake. God’s power has no limitations and He can work mighty miracles in my life and in your life – if we let Him!

By the way, in the Bible, when God does His thing, we call them “miracles” – today, people call them “God Things” (when God does something miraculous).

I call them “God’s Kisses” – hey, listen, as I write this I have Divine Lipstick smeared all over me! And so do you! Nothing can separate me and nothing can separate you from the love of God!

Now, what’s that smudge of red on your cheek?

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