Tuesday, November 4, 2014

When The Astounding Occurs

James Greenwood, a pastor at Faith Pentecostal Assembly church, (and this gives you an idea of the template he uses to interpret life events), tells a skin-tingling tale of coincidence, which he wonders aloud might be more akin to something miraculous.

The link to his experience is right here and I think it's worth the read. But I'll summarize his coincidence/miracle.

He traveled to a "developing country" in order to help install a water filtration system for a Christian camp that was forced to boil water for drinking.

Not being much of a handyman or "good with tools," he began to pray for two things: (1) that nothing went wrong in his effort and (2) that he would to see the purified water run before he left.

Once there they did run into problems with the installation and as he puts it: "We realized we were going to need more than what we had, and being in a developing country, we knew it would take longer than we had in order to find all the parts we needed."

It was decided that they would leave the water filtration system in hopes that one day it could be installed. But this was complicated by a "language barrier" between them and people at the camp.

Then the miracle/coincidence occurred when:

...a man with a plumber’s shirt walked by us. We quickly asked in our best Spanish if he was a plumber. We discovered not only was he a plumber, but he spoke perfect English because he was from Miami. And to top it all off he had a bunch of extra parts with him.

The man was only in the area for the week James and his friends were there to install the filtration system. James Greenwood did get to see the clean water running before he left.

In my lifetime I have experienced a number of these coincidence/miracles (and at the time I was a Christian and would have claimed these as answered prayers, just as Greenwood does). I've written posts about a couple of them. Since leaving Christianity I had another rather significant coincidence/miracles, and I posted on that a couple of years ago.

What to make of these things? I had quit praying (though I have since returned to the practice in a manner of speaking) because I had trouble making sense of how it was supposed to work. Was God something similar to a genie who granted wishes? Could God be petty enough to be cajoled into doing things? Or perhaps, I thought, it was time to take a second look at the Law of Attraction.

This I have discovered: people of all faiths and even those of no faith have usually experienced these happenings. I have collected a large number of these from friends, family, and acquaintances. I'm not so interested in how these individuals interpret these events. but just that they occur and make deep impressions on people. I have supplemented these with stories (like this one) that I have culled from the newspapers.

I can't help but be amazed and fascinated.


  1. Interesting, Doug. Like your reference says, we can call unexpected events coincidences or miracles (or paranormal) - all depending what what assumptions we begin with.

    I can add a story to your collection - when I believe God saved me from a serious road accident.

    It has been estimated that about 300 million people claim to have experienced or observed a miraculous healing after praying to the christian God. I don't think other religions have as many miracle claims as christianity, but in all there must be a lot of such stories - and all of them have to be mistaken or false if naturalism is true.

    I don't think God works miracles every time we ask, but I think there are good reasons to think he sometimes does.

    1. Thanks unkleE, I'm happy to have your story. My mother told me an interesting tale from long ago (I was very young and not there but rather back home), that is interesting. My parents were Pentecostal Christians and were big on anointing oil and prayer. Mom and some of her friends were coming back from a church service at night in the mountains when suddenly the car's headlights went out. Very scary. Not knowing what else to do, the driver, a female pastor, got out her anointing oil and anointed the dash and they all prayed. And the headlights came back on and they traveled home safely. Coincidence or answered prayer? My mom often laughed at their desperate act of anointing the car, but she never doubted that it was an answered prayer.

  2. As I've said here before Doug, LOA is very interesting to me and while experimenting with it for a time, I found it to be as (if honestly not more) effective than prayer.

    I've also had miraculous things happen before, during, and post Christianity. It is very interesting.

    1. There is a depth to reality I'm sure I will never fully grasp. Yet I don't feel alone.