1500 singers gathered in an abandoned power plant to sing Leonard Cohen’s classic song ‘Hallelujah.’ And when Rufus Wainwright stepped on stage to sing too…wow. This is one epic choir performance!
The story of Pastor Jeremiah Steepek has been shared on the internet before; you may have even read it. But, we think you need to read it again… because it’s more inspirational than you realize:
Pastor Jeremiah Steepek (pictured) transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning. He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service….only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him. He asked people for change to buy food….NO ONE in the church gave him change. He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit n the back. He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.
As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such. When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation……..”We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek”….The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation…..The homeless man sitting in the back stood up…..and started walking down the aisle…..the clapping stopped with ALL eyes on him….he walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment….then he recited
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning…many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame…. he then said….Today I see a gathering of people……not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples…when will YOU decide to become disciples? He then dismissed service until next week…….Being a Christian is more than something you claim. It’s something you live by and share with others.
Thousands of people have shared this story on Facebook and social media. But, there were many comments like the one below:
“The story isn’t true.”
It didn’t happen. But the story is true!
Jesus says, “There was a man going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him…”
“A sower went out to sow…”
“A man found a treasure hidden in a field…”
“A woman took some leaven…”
“There was a man who had two sons…”
“Hang on, Jesus,” is the first reaction of some people to Jesus’ stories, “that’s not true.”
“You are lying!”
It didn’t happen. But the story is true!
…God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day…
“Well, that’s obviously false!” they say. “God hasn’t even made the sun yet, how can there be days?!”
It didn’t happen. But the story is true!
There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought.
“Hang on there, Nathan,” you think King David said, “you’re just making that up! That’s not true, is it?!” [Read the whole story in 2 Samuel 11-12]
It didn’t happen. But the story is true!
King David knew it was true. So true that it converted him.
There was once a man in the land of Uz whose name was Job. That man was blameless and upright…
Yeah! Right! That’s not true. Where is this land of Uz anyway? Once upon a time in the Land of Uz…
The photo isn’t of “Pastor Jeremiah Steepek”. It was actually taken by Brad J Gerrard who writes:
I was walking down the street in Richmond, saw this man talking to someone, could see he was quite a picture in the making. On the way back, when he was free I had a short conversation with the gentleman and he agreed to let me photograph him. I liked the result. He was very friendly.
If we cannot cope with the truth being presented in the form of a story, we will struggle being a Christian, or a spiritual person generally, in our contemporary age.
For them, here is a version that (apparently) did happen:
Early morning on June 23, Willie lay under a tree on the church lawn covered up by a big overcoat. He still had not shaved or combed his hair. He wondered how many people would approach him and offer him food, or a place to sit inside an air conditioned room, or just see how they could help. Twenty people spoke to him and offered some type of assistance.
The sermon title was “The Least Used Parts of the Body” and based on I Corinthians 12:12-15. According to Pastor Lyle, “Often the least used parts of the body are the ones that mean the most, like our heart and mind. We need to understand that there are no small or least used parts in the body of Christ.
“Too many of us only want to serve God one hour each week. That doesn’t cut it. That is not God’s plan.”
While he preached, his daughter-in-law cut his hair and his daughter helped shave off his scruffy beard. He changed shoes, and beneath the overcoat, he was wearing his Sunday clothes. He put on a tie and his suit coat, all the while continuing to preach his message. Before the 200 people gathered that morning, he went from looking like a homeless person to the new pastor of the congregation.
The moral of the story is this: put God first in your life. Act like a Christian at all times, not just once a week during church. Open your hearts, your minds and love one another.
What an unbelievable story with a happy ending. When this 92 year old woman was being mugged, she turned to God….wait till you see what happened.
My son was born with cerebral palsy. He was a premature baby and was always susceptible to getting sick. He was in and out of the hospital and it was tough as a single mom meeting his needs.
When he turned 5 he came down with a horrible cold. I wasn’t receiving child support. I didn’t have insurance, and I was barely getting by. I tried everything homeopathic to help, but it didn’t work. I gave in and called his father and asked for help to get him to a doctor and he refused to pay anything.
Finally, at my wits end, I picked him up and carried him to the ER crying hysterically and afraid. He had puss dripping from his ear and the side of his face was swelling. He had a terrible cough, and I was terrified it was pneumonia.
When I arrived at the busy ER, a doctor was coming down the hall. Seeing me crying, he walked our way and asked what was wrong and then he looked at my son. He immediately had the nurses take us back to a room and followed us in. I explained to him my financial situation and he looked at me and smiled. He said, you did the right thing. You are at the right place, and we will take good care of him. He gave my son a shot of antibiotics to immediately jumpstart his immune system. He then went down the hall and grabbed a bag. He filled the bag with antibiotics so that I would not have to pay for more when I left the hospital. He explained to me how to tent his bed with a humidifier when he was congested. He gave me his number and told me if my son wasn’t better in 24 to 48 hours to call him. Then he did something I could not believe. He looked at the nurse and said I am paying this bill tonight. This one is on me.
I knew God was present that evening. I felt him there. He sent us an angel. He is always there.
When UPS driver Rick Nacker was on his daily route he heard cries for help. And that’s when Rick became a hero. Rick knows God put him in the right place at the right time. And you’ve got to hear this story! Who else knows God’s hand was at work here?
A Stranger Called Her Disabled Son A ‘Blue Rose.’
I don’t know how you do your shopping, but when I go into a store, I have a list and a mission — get in and get out. Come to think of it, most of my day is spent like that — a list of tasks I’m focused on checking off.
There’s nothing wrong with being goal-oriented. But I recently came across a story that’s been circulating on Facebook, and it reminded me that God’s to-do list always trumps our own, and for good reason. Otherwise, you might miss out on a very special blessing!
Like many inspiring movies and books, this short story may be fictional. However, the impact that this work will have on its readers is very real. Enjoy!
Having four visiting family members, my wife was very busy, so I offered to go to the store for her to get some needed items, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags, detergent and Clorox. So off I went. I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies and headed for the checkout counter, only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man who appeared to be about sixteen-years-old. I wasn’t in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, “Mommy, I’m over here.”
It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, “Hey Buddy, what’s your name?”
“My name is Denny and I’m shopping with my mother,” he responded proudly.
“Wow,” I said, “that’s a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Steve.”
“Steve, like Stevarino?” he asked. “Yes,” I answered.”How old are you Denny?”
“How old am I now, Mommy?” he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle.
“You’re fifteen-years-old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by.”
I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement, because he was the center of someone’s attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.
Denny’s mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn’t even look at him, much less talk to him. I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow, and pink roses in God’s Garden; however, “Blue Roses” are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a Blue Rose and if someone doesn’t stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they’ve missed a blessing from God.
She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, “Who are you?”
Without thinking I said, “Oh, I’m probably just a dandelion, but I sure love living in God’s garden.”
She reached out, squeezed my hand and said, “God bless you!” and then I had tears in my eyes.
God’s blessings are all around us. But sometimes we miss out on them, either because we’re too busy to notice them or we’re too afraid to answer God’s call. God will often ask us to step out of our comfort zone — to step out of the boat. But when we step out in faith and keep our eyes on Him, we get to be a part of amazing things!
I pray the next time you encounter a blue rose, you’ll take the time to say hello. And the next time you feel that stir in your heart to step out of the boat, come back and tell us how God blessed you for obeying the call!
Chad Robichaux risked his life as a police officer and a military man. But after being surrounded by so much pain and death he was suffering terribly from PTSD. He couldn’t escape the desire to kill and the pain he had being at home. Time and again he tried to end his life. Until one day he realized his wife and kids needed him. So he looked for help in the church. And hearing how God changed him and his family will inspire you! This I Am Second testimony you need to hear!
.- The famous Marian shrine in Lourdes, France has received an official declaration from the Bishop of Pavia, Italy stating that the 69th miracle has taken place there.
“I have the joy of reporting to everyone my healing, which just a few days ago was approved as a miracle by my bishop, which is a beautiful thing,” said Mrs. Danila Castelli, who experienced the miracle on May 4, 1989 after visiting the baths in Lourdes.
Castelli said in an interview posted July 18, 2013 on the Lourdes Sanctuary’s YouTube channel that she wants to “thank Our Lady for all of the joy I’ve received, not just the joy of a healed body – which is also important because health is a gift of God and we have to protect it and ask for it, life is a gift – but the joy that Our Lord has given me throughout my entire life for as long as I can remember.”
However, her condition did not improve, and in Nov. 1982 surgeons removed part of her pancreas. It wasn’t until 1983 that doctors discovered a tumor near her bladder and conducted several surgeries between then and 1988 to try and resolve the issue, all without success.
Danila was planning on visiting the Mayo Clinic in the United States in 1988 when she decided that she would instead make a pilgrimage to Lourdes, fulfilling a longstanding desire.
Together with her husband, an Iranian-born doctor, she made the trek and emerged from the sacred baths with an “an extraordinary feeling of wellbeing.”
Her husband waited for her at the exit, and as soon as he saw her he said, “Danila, I know that everything now has passed. I know that everything is behind us.
“You were right,” he said, referring to her years-long desire to visit Lourdes.
She reported her allegedly miraculous cure to the Lourdes Office of Medical Observations a short time later, beginning the 23-year process that culminated in the June 20, 2013 declaration by Bishop Giovanni Guidici of Pavia that the healing was “prodigious-miraculous” in character.
An official from the Vatican’s Congregation for Saints’ Causes who requested anonymity explained in a July 22 conversation with CNA how the process works.
“When a miracle is recognized by the Medical Bureau of the Sanctuary of Lourdes, the paperwork is sent back to the diocese of origin. When recognized by the local bishop, it is recognized officially by the Church as a miracle through the intercession of Our Lady,” he said.
Before making its finding that the event was miraculous, the Lourdes medical bureau met five separate times between 1989 and 2010.
Doctor Alessandro de Franciscis, head of the medical bureau, explained that at its final meeting in 2010, more than 100 doctors and nurses –with one abstention– approved the cure as miraculous after a “lengthy” and “very passionate” discussion.
“This lady was judged, indeed certified cured in a way unexplained by current medical scientific knowledge,” Dr. de Franciscis stated.
Throughout the years since Mary first appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 at the Lourdes grotto, the shrine has investigated over 7,000 cases of reported miracles. Since then, 69 have received the official approval of a bishop, with the majority of them coming from France.