Additional pictures after Testimony
4375 cdd Goodness and Mercy
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 18 Number 145
Today’s’ Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Psalm 23:6
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever” NKJV
Hello, my name is Reverend James D. Parker, Pastor of the Saint Luke African Episcopal Methodist Church in Midway, Alabama. Everyone calls me Pastor Parker. This is my Cross Testimony of how the grace of Jesus Christ enriched my life as I trusted in Him.
I was born in Phenix City, Alabama the oldest of three children. My dad was a World War 2 United States Army who became a Pastor. Mom was active in church and raised us. We were church people through and through. Even went to a Catholic church school. At age ten I received a call into the ministry. That’s when my rebellion began. I ran as fast as I could from the things of the Lord. The harder I ran the farther I ran from my dad and Jesus. Until we had no relationship left.
1977 was a big year for me. I was in the military and was stationed in Fort Hood, Texas. I was no saint in the Army while continuing to run from the Lord and my dad. Then I received a call that my dad was dying. Come home. I went immediately to find him unconscious from a stroke in the hospital. The doctors were calling us to say good bye. I knew in my heart that reconciliation needed to be made. I knew in my heart that I had to stop running from God. It was my time. I got on my knees and surrendered to Jesus. I prayed things I should have been praying for years but couldn’t. I blamed God, I blamed my dad, I blamed everyone in my past but ultimately, I had to take responsibility for who I had become — it was about me not them. I wrestled with Jesus in my prayer through the night and asked him to spare my dad so we could be reconciled.
In the morning, I walked into my dad’s hospital room to find him sitting up eating breakfast. The Lord did his part now I needed to do mine. I asked my dad for forgiveness which he readily gave. He lived eleven more years in which we became good friends. To God be all the Glory!
Now I needed to reconcile with Jesus. It was time to accept that call I had received when I was ten years old. I moved forward and studied the Word of God. In 2000, I was ordained to serve the Lord. And here I am still serving.
Along the way the Lord has taught me His ways, His things and showed me His vision for my life. Today I’m all in for Jesus and live each day for His Glory. Perhaps my most valuable lesson learned was Jesus moves within us as we are walking close with him. Then the Holy Spirit does the rest and it’s never the way I think it should be but it is always best for me.
A few years back I was not feeling well and I was getting dizzy often. I went to the doctor and he found that my blood sugar was nearly 500. He directed me immediately to the ICU in the hospital. I walked in — the nurse said, “I’ve been here twelve years and no one walks into the ICU.” The next day I walked out of the ICU after test and more tests — everything had returned to normal. When I left the ICU, the nurse watched as I walked out and said, “In all my years I’ve never seen anyone walk into the ICU and walk out of the ICU.” The Lord is good and I no longer take any medication.
There has been miracle after miracle for those we prayed for. It is never about us but the power of Jesus Christ.
I have one favorite Bible verse that I describe to people as, “The Bible.” It is one long verse with many parts. When you get to know it, and understand it — it comes alive. When you apply it to your life goodness and mercy follow you everywhere you go.
This Cross planted reflects just how big God is. It describes that Jesus cares for us and grants us grace and loves us beyond our comprehension.
The community is the winner with this Cross. It energizes, “Love your neighbor as yourself” because Jesus first loved us.
Prayer: Father thank you that your forgiveness no knows bounds. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!