Lauren Alaina is an American Idol runner-up who just released her second album this year.
She recently shared with her Instagram followers the powerful moment she witnessed her stepfather pass away, and she and her family witnessed his encounter with Jesus as he passed to the other side.
“My stepdad, Sam, went to heaven at one o’clock this morning,” Alaina shared on her post on Oct. 21. “He was the purest example of how to love and live life fully.”
A heartbreaking moment for Alaina and her family turned out to be more moving and inspiring than they could ever realize.
“His last few hours were some of the most amazing moments I know I will ever have the privilege of witnessing,” she continued “He opened his eyes last night. They shined the brightest I’ve ever seen anyone’s eyes shine, and he said, ‘Jesus.’ We said, ‘What do you see Sam?’ He said, ‘It’s so beautiful.’”
“Mom asked him who he saw and he told her a bunch of people, including his mama. He later said, ‘I love you all. I found it.’ My mom asked him what he found and he said, ‘Heaven. I’ve got to go.’ An hour later he went to be with the Lord.”
Alaina said she was inspired to share this moment to “be an example of how real God is.”
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My stepdad, Sam, went to heaven at one o’clock this morning. He was the purest example of how to love and live life fully. His last few hours were some of the most amazing moments I know I will ever have the privilege of witnessing. He opened his eyes last night. They shined the brightest I’ve ever seen anyone’s eyes shine, and he said, “Jesus.” We said, “What do you see Sam?” He said, “It’s so beautiful.” Mom asked him who he saw and he told her a bunch of people, including his mama. He later said, “I love you all. I found it.” My mom asked him what he found and he said, “Heaven. I’ve got to go.” An hour later he went to be with the Lord. I want this story to be an example of how real God is. We are only here for a short amount of time, and we have to live like there is no tomorrow. I want us to all be a little more like Sam. He was strong. He was the most compassionate person in the world. He would go without to help a stranger. He was a great dad. Now he is with the best Father in the universe. Thank you to everyone who has supported our family in this time. We appreciate the love, donations, and prayers that we have received.
“We are only here for a short amount of time,” she explained. “And we have to live like there is no tomorrow.”
“I want us to all be a little more like Sam,” Alaina added. “He was strong. He was the most compassionate person in the world. He would go without to help a stranger. He was a great dad. Now he is with the best Father in the universe. Thank you to everyone who has supported our family in this time. We appreciate the love, donations, and prayers that we have received.”
Her followers responded overwhelmingly, with some sharing their own experiences of witnessing family members meet Jesus.
“My husband was laying in a hospital bed in our home. He was on morphine and hadn’t been responding to us. I heard voices. I went into his room where he lay and he was looking straight up and had both hands raised up high and I know he was talking to Jesus,” one user shared. “The next day he went to meet Him. That was my final assurance on his love for God. I think God came to him that night. It’s been almost 3 yrs now and I cry everyday for him but I have no doubt that when the Lord comes back my precious husband will meet Him in the air.”
“I want to share my Dads experience as well,” another shared. “He left this world Feb 9, 2018. He was diagnosed Sept 2017 with GBM4. When the initial tumor was removed he said during the surgery God took him to where there were many mansions. He asked the Lord was He taking him home? The Lord answered ‘Not yet. You still have work to do’. So my Dad came out of a major brain surgery where the tumor was the size of a mans hand.”
“Telling his story,” the same user continued, “he had a sermon to preach to all of us. See, he was our churches Pastor as well. Even though the doctors gave him 3-6 months to live, he knew that only God knew when He would be back for him. He left us peacefully and content in knowing he did His work. Bless you and your family during this sad but celebratory time.”
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On What Seemed Like Another Ordinary Route, This Mailman Became A Hero
The Bible tells us that God orders our steps. Anyone who still believes in coincidences just hasn’t encountered God’s miraculous hand in their lives.
For one mail carrier in North Carolina, what seemed like a delay in his route turned into God’s perfect timing.
Chris Petersen, who has served in the Postal Service for 32 years, was rushing to finish his Christmas Eve mail route in Cary, a town about 10 miles west of Raleigh.
Just moments after delivering a few parcels to a neighboring home, Petersen shared with Fox News that he heard shouting coming from another house on the street.
The shouting came from Pam Hodgin, who was crying out for help after her husband, Mike, had collapsed in their home.
Petersen and two other neighbors sprang into action, running into the Hodgins’ home to assess the situation.
Mike was sprawled out on the kitchen floor, unconscious and not breathing. While fear of losing her precious husband began to grip Pam, Petersen immediately began performing CPR.
After about two minutes of Petersen administering the life-saving procedure, Mike gasped for breath and opened his eyes wide.
Emergency responders were soon at the scene, and it was determined that Mike had suffered from a sudden heart attack. If his wife hadn’t called for help at that very moment and if Petersen hadn’t been running late on his route, the Hodgins’ family holiday might have been a much darker time.
“My mother-in-law always says that everything happens for a reason,” Petersen shared with Fox News. “I was running late that day because I was meant to be there to help Mike. I couldn’t have imagined a better outcome.”
“Chris is my hero,” Mike told Fox News, “and it is because of him I’m alive today to watch my grandsons grow and enjoy each new day.”
Praise God for his perfect timing! Never forget, God orders the steps of his children. The next time you find yourself running late, watch out, it might just be God setting you up to be a blessing in someone else’s life.
The Incredible Way These Christian Students Are Bringing the Gospel to the Hearing Impaired
When we think of how to reach all different people with the Gospel, what kind of “different” do we have in mind? People in other towns? Other countries? Maybe people in prison? What about different abilities?
Communication between deaf and hearing people is an often overlooked language barrier, but if we’re to spread the Gospel to every creature, this barrier must be overcome.
The Passion Conference was founded in 1995 by Louie Giglio, and seeks to “glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation,” according to their website.
“Since 2007, believing worship + justice are two sides of the same coin,” the Passion website continues, “students at Passion have generously given over $18 million to 70 amazing partner organizations around the world.”
Passion, it declares, is more than just music, teaching, and preaching. It’s a movement for Christ.
“In the last week, people have gathered for football games and holiday celebrations,” Passion’s global ambassador Brad Jones said in a statement to Fox News. “During Passion 2019, 40,000 college students and leaders gathered under one name—the name of Jesus. Passion is more than an event; we exist to see this generation live for what matters most—for us, that’s the fame of Jesus.”
Previous conferences have raised millions of dollars for incredibly worthy ministries and initiatives. This year, Passion set its sights on a new target: the language barrier that prevents deaf people from receiving the Gospel in their own sign language.
If you’re unfamiliar with this issue—don’t worry, many people are—you might ask why deaf people can’t just read the Bible?
According to the Deaf Bible Society, “as many as 80 percent of Deaf children in some countries never receive access to formal education.” It’s not so simple, especially if a deaf child or adult has never been taught to read in their language.
This means that over 70 million souls worldwide who are never taught to read aren’t hearing the Gospel because, well, they can’t hear.
With over 400 different sign languages in the world, missionaries who seek to reach deaf people with God’s saving truth certainly have their work cut out for them.
So, at the 2019 Passion conference, those thousands of young people gathered to praise and worship the Lord, and then get to doing His work in the world. They raised a stunning $448,370 for the Deaf Bible Society as part of Hope in Every Language, a campaign that, according to Fox News, “helps fund and distributes translations of the stories of Jesus into the unique sign language to areas that haven’t been reached.”
Because of the Passion attendees’ tremendous giving, the New Testament gospels will be translated into the unique sign languages of Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, Moldova, Egypt, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Japan, and Russia.
Praise God for this incredible work in removing yet another barrier to the Gospel! Pray that the people reached would, at least figuratively, have ears to hear His truth.
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