Bragging About God Again

Holy Spirit Encounters

BOOK TWO 2018-04-02T17:17:37+00:00

Bragging About God Again: Holy Spirit Encounters is a continuation of book 1 with dozens of true and revealing testimonies of God’s love for us all.

One of Joni’s Testimonies found in Bragging About God Again: Holy Spirit Encounters 

As a fifteen-year-old, my daughter, Natalie, had taken a huge step from childhood toward becoming a responsible adult.

She opened her eyes to what was happening around her. She could see the drugs, sex, rude language, rebellion, addictions and poor grades. The others joked about making a sport out of bad habits. They were hardening their hearts to all that was good and decent. Natalie could see these acts of defiance shackled them to this low lifestyle. These youths kept lowering the bar of moral depravity, trying to outdo each other in their foul behavior. She could see the brokenness, realizing their acts would lead to shame, secrets, and regrets later in their young lives. These habits would be hard to shake when they matured.

She made a firm decision that it was time to break off old relationships. She shared her high Christian standards with Julie who also decided to live a healthier life and they became good friends. Together, she and Julie would strive to be their very best through nice clothes, good grades, and excellent behavior.

Natalie told her older brother, Duane, about this big decision and he was eager to help. The two of them went shopping together and Natalie bought sophisticated clothes with sweater sets and stylish jeans. She felt great about her new commitment along with Julie. Together the girls held their heads high and enjoyed their confidence as they spent their time studying and doing well.

Julie needed a ride home from our house after dark one evening. I offered her a ride and took Julie across our little town. On the way, she shared her life story with all the heartaches of her parent’s divorce. Julie cried as she told me they were involved in their new lives and she felt like an outsider. We sat in her driveway for well over an hour as I shared with her about Jesus. She loved hearing my testimonies and she could see that I’d had my troubles, but God was always there in my time of need.

A strange thing happened that I have never forgotten. As we were talking in Julie’s driveway that night, I opened my mouth to say what I had on my mind. Instead, what I spoke were the words that God put in my mouth.

The word of the Lord came to me.

(Ezekiel 33:1)

These were the words the Spirit gave me as I said, “Bow your head and fold your hands. Repeat the prayer of salvation to give your life to Jesus.”

Julie followed His instructions as God lovingly guided me, providing me with the words as she sincerely repeated this prayer. Ecstatic, Julie told me she sensed a shift in her spirit and a connection to Jesus from that moment on. Squealing with delight, we hugged each other. Julie had more questions concerning her new faith. We spent another half an hour in her driveway as the Spirit gave us the answers. Both of our spirits were being fed by the Holy Spirit. Over the next several months we openly spoke of Jesus and the Word of God.

Months later, my daughter grabbed her backpack and headed out the front door to meet up with Julie. The two were headed to another friend’s house with several other girls for a sleepover. Later that evening, two local boys drove up and invited the girls for hamburgers at a popular fast food restaurant. Julie and another friend climbed into the backseat, coaxing Natalie to join them.

Stooping down low to climb into the back seat, Natalie had her left foot in the car and she pushed off with her right foot.

As her right foot left the ground, she heard a man’s harsh voice say, “NO, GET OUT!”

Shaken, she backed out and looked at everyone asking, “Who said that?”

Everyone was silent, shrugging and glancing around at each other as nobody in the group heard a thing. The boys urged her to climb in as they were in a hurry. She paused for a few moments, contemplating what she heard before declining their invitation. She knew she had heard from the Holy Spirit.

The four teens drove away. Natalie couldn’t shake the troubled feeling in her spirit, so she gathered her belongings and walked home in the dark. Her departure was sudden. She had a sinking feeling as she wondered why the Spirit warned her not to get in the car. She tried to analyze the situation but came to no firm conclusions.

Waking up in her own bed late the next morning she was well rested and happy to be home. I was surprised and delighted to see her. She gave me a warm hello as she walked into the living room to visit with me. She was wrapped in her favorite blue and white blanket as she sat on the couch. She gave me the excuse that she couldn’t sleep and had walked home in the dark. We sat down and talked. Finally, she and I had an honest talk which reaffirmed she was warned by the Spirit to get out of the car.

Natalie received a devastating phone call at one o’clock that afternoon. She found out that after the teens drove away in the car a terrible tragedy occurred and all four teens died in a single-car accident. Much later, we realized the other three teenagers had lived their lives for Jesus. We discussed how Julie became a believer a short time before her short life ended. It saddens us that these wonderful lives were cut short, but we are encouraged that God ensured that all four teens are now in Heaven.

None of us have the answers. The big question would be why my beautiful daughter’s life was spared and not the other four teens. I wonder if they might have all been warned, but none of them realized it as a word from the Holy Spirit, except my Natalie. We won’t understand until we are in Heaven.

For it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

(Matthew 10:20)

GOD’S SECRET WISDOM

Throughout my life, God has used these words as instructions as to where to go and what to do and say to accomplish His plans. These are either new revelations or confirmations for me or others. I can’t control when or what I hear as it is always part of God’s plans being accomplished. Each time I hear a word or see a vision it is only a small piece of the puzzle. I have to take action and walk it out to see the end result.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

(1 Corinthians 13:9)

Every time I share a testimony it sparks a memory from the listener.

I listen as they share a story or two of their lives they didn’t understand before, sometimes chalking it up to being lucky or a big coincidence. These are labels people attach to unexplained occurrences when they don’t recognize God’s hand in their own lives. My intent is to shift people’s awareness that we have all heard the voice of God or have witnessed His miracles in our lives.

Seeing God move without knowing scripture leads one to believe in coincidences or being lucky. If we could see behind the scenes into the spirit world we could clearly see divine appointments with God – who wants to remain anonymous… for the moment.

My goal is to revive and answer those questions you’ve had lying dormant in your past. It is my hope I have offered you compelling evidence of God’s powerful love in your life as you remember similar encounters from your own past.