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Monday, July 28, 2014

Carolyn Koontz DeArteaga - Christian Author



This posting celebrates the writings of my wife Carolyn. Her book, Watching God Work: The Stuff of Miracles, has just been given a great review in the electronic journal, Pneuma Review HERE.  If you have not noticed yet, Pneuma Review is really a terrific journal that posts articles and book reviews from top notch Christian scholars and leaders from the Pentecostal/charismatic world. I am proud to have several of my book reviews and articles posted on the Pneuma Review website. You can access a whole string of my reviews and articles by typing “De Arteaga” in the search box.

Watching God Work tells the story of Carolyn’s transition from a devout cessationist to a Spirit-filled and fully empowered woman of God with giftings in healing, counseling and prophecy. She was a great counselor before being baptized in the Spirit, but was even better after.
When we first met in 1978 she was still suspicious of the gifts of the Spirit, although she had gone to Mt. Paran Church of God to several of its services. Mt. Paran was perhaps the lead Spirit-filled church of the 1970s in the Atlanta area, and it drew inquiring Catholics (like myself) Methodists, and many from other denominations to its evening Sunday service where the gifts of the Spirit were taught and demonstrated.
On our first date Carolyn had a headache, and in the parking lot of the restaurant, I offered to pray for her headache, and did so successfully. That was the first time she had experienced healing with the laying on of hands.  The rest is history…
Watching God Work details this and other stories, many quite funny, all inspirational, as Carolyn discovered and explored the gifts of the Spirit and how effective ministry could be with the gifts. There are stories of how we ministered healing for terminal illnesses. We ministered to humans and animals. There are also stories of miraculous provision and stories of times when “Abba Father” did special miracles of kindness, like recovering one of Carolyn’s favorite rings.

Here is a sample from the book. It is on retroactive prayer:


Retroactive Prayers

“For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday . . .”  (Psalm 90:4, NASB).

We sat in the living room on the rug opening wedding presents. Spread all around us were casserole dishes, sets of flowered glasses, a crockpot, and various sizes and colors of guest towels. This was some years ago when people still gave silver flatware and silver candleholders as wedding presents.

Bill opened the second set of candleholders and said, “Lord, please don’t let this next package be candleholders.  The white wrapped package looked just like the last two.

I said, “That’s a dumb prayer, Bill.  God is just going to go ‘blip, blip, blip’ and the package will expand and the contents change into a toaster?  I don’t think so!”

Of all the things Bill has taught me about the Lord, God’s retroactive timing has been one of the most amazing.

“You don’t understand,” said Bill.  “The Lord knew when this person went into the store that we would ask Him to not make her gift a set of candleholders. God isn’t bound by time like we are.”  The gift turned out to be a plaque with our announcement on it.

While the idea of retroactive prayers made a certain amount of sense, I needed to think about that for a while. Besides I wasn’t sure the Lord cared about candleholders. That was before I knew God as Abba Father.

Another chance for me to see the Lord retroactively at work came after we married and were praying for a teenage girl with cancer.  We came home from church one Sunday and the light was blinking on the answering machine.  The mother’s voice sounded frantic.  She said that her daughter was so sick from the chemotherapy that they thought they would have to take her back to the hospital.  Would we please pray?

The time on the machine was nine o’clock and it now said one o’clock.  “I’m so sorry we weren’t here,” I said. “We could have prayed for her at nine.”

“That’s all right,” answered Bill. “We’ll pray for her now.”

“I suppose it’s never too late to pray for somebody,” I answered, “but it won’t help her at nine o’clock.”

“Maybe,” answered Bill, and we began to pray.

Just then the girl’s mother called and she said, “Thank you so much for praying.  As soon as I hung up, the nausea was completely gone.  She was so sick and then it was just gone. I know it was your prayers.”

“Just praise the Lord,” said Bill. When he hung up he turned to me and said, “The Lord knew at nine o’clock that we would pray as soon as we got the message. He just honored our prayers as they were needed.” Then Bill added, “Remember the Lord isn’t bound by time as we are.  He can answer a prayer long before we ask.”

 Amazing!

Thank you, Lord, for being all-knowing, even before we ask.
The book has questions for discussion after every chapter, which makes the work especially useful for Sunday school. I believe it has a special anointing of encouragement, especially for those Believers who “sort of” believe in the miraculous, but are suspicious, or timid in trying out faith-filled prayers. You can get Watching God Work from Amazon HERE
Carolyn has also published two novels of a trilogy of woman’s Christian mysteries. The third is being edited now and should be out by the end of the year. Carolyn was tired of seeing some of the salacious and poorly written novels that woman were reading for recreation, and decided to write a series of what are called  "Cosy Mysteries. "These are   wholesome, often Christian fun mysteries, a subdivision of serious crime fiction.

The background for the novels is based on our life in the north Georgia mountains and the town of Jasper, called Windy Ridge in her novels.  The first book is titled Wake the Sleeping Lady, and the second  Over Oglethorpe Mountain. The series is published by OakTara, and the first two can be ordered HERE from Amazon.