Never Judge a Gift By It’s Wrapping

It has been said that we should never judge a book by its cover. During this gift giving season I want to remind us that we should never judge a gift by its wrappings! The most expensive, the most planned and thoughtful gift ever offered to this world was placed in an old manger for a box and wrapped in lowly swaddling clothes but as we start to unwrap this precious gift we find it is tied with red ribbons dipped in the blood of the greatest love mankind has ever known.


John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

As Isaac Newton writes

“Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a present far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Two of God’s Amazing Miracles


We have just spent a few family days with my brother Robert and sister-in-law Iris in Hickory North Carolina to catch up on each others lives. Iris and I shared the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord as we reminisced about our individual miraculous touch from God.

Just a few years ago I suffered a stroke and a seizure leaving my left side paralyzed after heart surgery with a mere hope from the surgeon that I may recover some of my mobility after several months of therapy. With many faithful prayers from friends and family, God in His mercy totally restored my mobility after only a few days to the shock of the medical staff. Since then I have travelled to share the gospel in England, France, Italy, Russia, India and Israel all to His glory!

A few months ago Iris suffered Cardiac arrest and a stroke leaving her in a coma with little hope from the medical staff that Iris would ever wake from the coma. But after many days of faithful prayers of family and friends, Iris awoke and gradually recovered and today was able to entertain and look after us during our visit much to our amazement. I know in His time Iris will also be traveling and sharing her testimony to the glory of God!

God’s Miracle on 34th Street

God’s Miracle on 34th Street



I’m sure most people have watched one of the most famous Christmas movies “Miracle on 34th Street” which takes place outside Macys on 34th.Street in New York City. In the story of the movie the media prove the existence of Santa Claus or Father Christmas as we call him in the U.K., by the amount of mail sent to him at the North Pole.

In our story we prove the existence of our Heavenly Father, not only by the amount of prayer requests sent to Him but also by the amount of needs, replies, and answers He faithfully sends back to us.

I had been scheduled for an cardiac ablation surgery on Monday May 20 at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital which is also on 34th Street. It is about a two and half hour ride from our home, so we left Sunday May 19 and was checked into the hospital that night as the surgery would start very early about six in the morning. My husband, John, and two of our daughters, Angela and Kathleen were booked into a nearby hotel. A few nights earlier John had a dream, and he never dreams. He saw the surgery taking much less time and watched the surgeon coming towards him dressed in certain clothing and smilingly tell him how successful the surgery had been. John and the girls had been told the surgery would take at least five hours, so it was to their surprise when they were called and told it was all over in just four hours. As John headed for the waiting room the surgeon approached him not only wearing exactly what he saw in his dream but also hearing what he had heard in the dream! John and the girls were rejoicing and praising God.

After the surgery I had been given some morphine which I could adjust as needed, so needless to say the next few hours were very blurry to me. In the recovery room I just remember calling for John or the girls as I was having one of the worst headaches I’d ever had. The nurse told me my family had left and gone back to the hotel. I wouldn’t believe her and insisted that John would not have left me before praying with me. The young nurse didn’t know what to do, so she asked me if John and I prayed the “Our Father” together, so offered to pray it with me. How sweet and kind, I’ll never forget her thoughtfulness. Just after midnight the nurse called John in the hotel and told him I was probably confused due the morphine but there was no need for him to come. I don’t remember the details but they eventually brought in the cardiologist who suspected a stroke and contacted John at 4am to come immediately to the hospital.

The first test was a cat scan to insure there was no bleeding in the brain. Thank God there was no problem in that area. The next test was a MRI on the brain that confirmed a stroke on the right side of brain which resulted in the left side of the body being paralyzed. The very thought of a MRI was so stressful as I had awful back pain. They gave me a relaxer via an IV and allowed John to be with me during the MRI so he could stroke my feet to calm me down.

Angela who had driven back to Allentown after the surgery, returned again to Philadelphia with my son-in-law Jeff. My other daughter Patsy who lives in Nashville was contacted and flew in early that afternoon.

John and Patsy went for a quick bite to eat while Angela and Kathleen stayed with me and unfortunately witnessed my body going into seizure. I have no recollection but the girls tell me it was horrifying! The pain had caused my face to swell and turn bright red with eyes like slits.The girls continually placed cold compresses on my forehead to soothe my headache.The next few hours are only a blur to me with many different faces before me from doctors to nurses testing my memory and mobility. My left side lay lifeless beside me refusing to move as the color drained from the motionless hand. I was immediately transferred to the Intensive Care Unit where my daughters stroked my hands and head and sung worship songs over me, especially songs they had recorded many years ago, for hours into the night. Little did we realize at that time the unseen battle that was being powerfully fought in the heavenlies as this praise and worship emanated from my hospital room. Patsy has since told me that this praise was the only release that brought peace and calm to my tormented body and soul.

When the doctor would ask me to lift my left arm, I determinedly tried to force the left arm to move by using my right arm to hold it up. This was not the response the doctors were looking for. The left leg also refused to lift even an inch off the bed.The doctors tried to encourage John by saying that I could probably get most of my mobility back after a couple of months of therapy.

The mind wasn’t doing so clearly either because I kept insisting that I was at home while I was still lying in the Intensive Care Unit in the hospital. It is an awful feeling not to know where you are! I remember getting very upset that my family doctor had not been to visit me and yet Dr. Marchlinsky the professor of cardiology from the hospital had been to visit me. In my confused mind Dr. Marchlinsky had travelled from Philadelphia and yet my own doctor couldn’t travel a few miles from Mount Bethel?

Wednesday was another day of testing my mobility and memory with medication for the extreme pain in my back so my mind was very foggy. Through the fogginess and confusion my daughters told me how I ministered to them, although I don’t remember it. It is said that in times of extreme stress your core personality surfaces. Through the confusion and stress the girls said I kept speaking the Word of God. I was even giving my son-in-law who is a pastor ideas for his current message on Ephesians while accusing him of not really being a pastor! Please forgive me Jeff! My daughters noticed my kindness and understanding of the staff who were continually at my side. I was apologizing to them because I had pain and didn’t want to cause them more work! What ever was going on in my mind? To their great amazement the girls said I never lost my sense of humor! In one instance while the doctors were testing my facial expressions due to the twisting of my face during the seizure I kept inquiring if I had lost my dimples? Never knew that dimples were so important to me! LOL.

Late Wednesday afternoon as the thunder bolts clashed and the rain beat against the hospital window panes I still lay almost lifeless in my bed where time seemed to have stood still in my muddled mind. Yet the dark, dull, depressing weather could not shut out the ray of His sunshine or the bolt of His power as He touched my body and my left hand raised to praise His Name. Needless to say the doctors and staff were amazed and declared it MIRACULOUS! and excellent. They had previously been examining my strength by asking me to squeeze their hands. I had not even been aware that their hand was in mine, I could feel nothing! BUT now as I squeezed their hand so tightly they would say “That’s enough!” PTL

So often in spiritual warfare we consider only the battles the enemy wages against us, neglecting to meditate on the warfare our “Michael” is fighting on our behalf (see Daniel 10:13). Even though this has been seen as a physical battle, the greater unseen battle was in the spiritual realm. I know the victory over the stroke was a victory from the hand of our Almighty God, as it was not due to medication or the doctors, as they were anticipating a six month therapy to hopefully restore some of my mobility. Even my family doctor, Dr. Jon Raso, who visited me at home after my release from the hospital, said it was the best recovery from a stroke that he had ever seen in his many years of practice. He was expecting to find me in a hospital bed downstairs in my home. Yet through God’s power I had been able to climb the stairs to my second floor bedroom.

My body is still recovering from the trauma of heart surgery, stroke, seizure and infection, but God has blessed me with the best doctors, nurses, family, friends and the faithful prayers of hundreds of His saints to aid me on that path to full recovery. Thank you all so much for remembering me in your prayers. I am so grateful for God’s intervention through your prayers! Last Sunday I had decided to attend church after a five week absence. The spirit wanted  to go but the body was so tired, weary and reluctant to put a foot to the bedroom floor. The mind kept giving me justifiable reasons not to move ahead and get dressed. But praise God the body had to become submissive to the spirit!

I will overcome the enemy with the word of my testimony! As you can see from the photo of 34th. Street there are no U turns or going back after the miracle. There is only ONE WAY and that is to victory.

I testify like my doctors this is MIRACULOUS and a window to my soul from my hospital window overlooking 34th. Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.