Josiah’s Fire

What would you think if you had a seven-year old autistic boy who’s unable to speak, has never been formally taught to read or write, suddenly start typing words on an iPad about God, faith, his frequent trips to heaven, and other remarkable thoughts, ranging from science to theology?

Josiah’s Fire: Autism Stole His Words, God Gave Him A Voice is about just such a boy. His story is real. His name is Josiah Cullen. While I’ve never personally met Josiah or his family, I do know the co-author of the book, Cheryl Ricker. I got to know Cheryl at our Global Legacy leadership meetings in Minnesota. 

Cheryl is an author and writer and been sharing stories with us about her latest project to write Josiah’s story and how she had spent countless hours interviewing Josiah’s mother, Tahni. Cheryl and Tahni eventually put Josiah’s amazing story into book form in 2016. After hearing so much about Josiah’s story, I had to get the book (I’ve since bought another copy because my wife stole mine and won’t let go of it 🙂 ).

I can say without any danger of overstating that this book is a true page-turner! It reads like a novel and you will not be able to put it down!  If you liked books like “Heaven Is For Real,” you will absolutely love this book.

You will be amazed and filled with faith and hope by Josiah’s story. I highly recommend it. To quote Josiah, “God is a good gift giver.”

When I was at our meeting last week, Cheryl mentioned that Tahni had been on Sid Roth’s “It’s Supernatural” TV show.  Here’s a video recording of the show. You’ll want to see this!


About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 37 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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15 Responses to Josiah’s Fire

  1. How wonderful! I really love that “supernatural hope rope.” Amen! It’s really scary to grab onto an actual rope, but when the rope is invisible, that’s about as hard as it gets.

    Love the smell of God, too. That is absolutely out of this world, like baking bread you haven’t smelled before and flowers you can’t name. Indescribable, just the smell of pure love, which is a bit like synesthesia and hard to explain. Unforgettable.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I like the “supernatural hope rope” too! The book is full of stories like those, and sayings that Josiah writes on his iPad like, “Be the space the Spirit needs to reach this place.” It’s all over-the-top, out of this world amazing. Like Paul said, that we would know what’s beyond our knowing!

  2. Cindy Powell says:

    Oh this sounds so awesome–and so God! I will get the book for sure. I have some good friend’s whose son was just diagnosed with autism (high functioning) – his name is even Josiah. I know this will be a huge encouragement to them. Thanks for sharing, Mel.

    • Mel Wild says:

      It really is so God. You won’t be able to put the book down! Cheryl is a great writer and she really captured this story in a compelling way. And, yes, share this with anyone you know who has an autistic child. This book will greatly encourage them and fill them with hope. It really shows that, while God doesn’t give anyone autism, He sure does work it for good! 🙂

  3. Citizen Tom says:

    When I read your post and watched the video, my skeptic alarm went off. Nothing personal. I suppose the first apostle I identified with is Thomas. It may not be good to be a skeptic, but skepticism is usually valid. I have found more often than not that when something sounds too good to be true it usually is not true.

    So it is that I don’t believe the believe the Bible because I want to believe it. I believe because nothing else even comes close to making sense. Does the Bible feel true? I don’t know about that. I instinctively don’t trust my feelings. Whenever I do, I get in trouble. So I am driven by reason to believe it. People don’t suffer and die for a fiction. When people believe a lie, their civilizations are not changed for the better. When a people is persistently punished for thousands of years for setting itself apart, it dies. It doesn’t found itself again in its original homeland. Without the inspiration of God, the Bible could not exist. Men would never write such a book. Men without the help of God would not have preserved the Bible so carefully.

    Therefore, I have a question. What drives you to believe that Josiah’s Fire is true?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Hi Tom. Thanks for your question. I don’t think we should just accept anything we hear, so some skepticism is good. I call it “faithful questioning,” like the Bereans (Acts 17), I check to see if it IS true, not to try and disprove it.

      In general, my question to you would be, do you believe in the supernatural? And more to the point, that we are “seated with God in Christ in heavenly places?” (Eph.2:6) And that we are living “from” heaven to earth (Phil.3:20)? Because these are all scriptural truths, even though our natural senses may not be aware of it at all. Even from a science standpoint, we now know that about 99.99% of matter is actually space at a quantum level, including several dimensions that exist outside of time and space. In other words, what we think is “real” and substantial is only about 0.01% of reality.

      Specifically, I believe Josiah’s story for at least three reasons: First, I believe that there is such a thing as the spiritual world and gifts of the Spirit. I’ve experienced both. Second, I personally know Cheryl Ricker and she is not the kind of person who would write a book that is a complete lie. She is a very pragmatic and rational person. Third, there have been other cases where children, especially those whose natural senses are damaged, who have heightened spiritual senses.

      I hope this makes sense and answers your question. Remember that faith is believing that the world we can see is framed by the world we cannot see (Heb.11:3). Blessings to you.

      • Citizen Tom says:

        @Mel Wild

        I prefer the more traditional expression, “miracle”. If one does not believe God performs miracles, one cannot believe the Bible. I believe the Bible.

        What keeps scientists busy is that they keep finding more things we cannot explain. So what constitutes a miracle can be difficult to define, but we know one when we see one. When we see a miracle, what we see is so far outside the normal bounds of our perception, we have no choice except to call it a miracle. Many of the things people call miracles (The cancer just went away, for example.) are actually just hyperbole.

        What Josaih is supposedly doing would have to described as miraculous. However, I have a dearth of information. So I am not in much of a position to judge whether Josiah’s mother, Tahni, is being truthful. In addition, that video is so polished it has a showbiz quality. That makes it tempting to beg the question, that is, assume a conclusion. Josaih’s Fire is the work of charlatans.

        Most people don’t have the resources to put together a video like that. Most people don’t have the communication skills to appear on TV and radio shows and quite ably sell a book. Charlatans who make it their business to separate gullible Christians from their money, however, often have both the resources and the skills. Therefore, at first glance, it makes more sense to assume a fraud than miracle.

        Since you know Cheryl Ricker, I can see why you take the story seriously. The best I can do is assume the innocence of the parties involved.

        Miracles by definition must tend to be rare. Otherwise, God would be become the author of confusion. As Christians we assume Creation is orderly. That’s why modern science is largely the product of a Christian world view. Therefore, when someone confronts us with what they believe to be a miracle, we have good reason to ask probing questions.
        Thank you for taking the time to answer some of mine.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Very true, Tom. Miracles aren’t the norm and we should be careful and verify as much as we can. But I know Josiah’s not the work of charlatans. From what I understand, the mother actually hesitated for a long time before telling the story because it was so fantastic. It’s not money-motivated either. The miraculous nature is another story. Regardless of whether it is nor not, it is a remarkable story.

          Btw, I don’t particularly like the show itself. Like you said, it’s high production a bit glitzy. I don’t normally watch it. The only reason I saw this one was because Josiah’s mother was on it and I had an indirect personal connection to it.
          Thanks for your questions and blessings to you.

        • Citizen Tom says:

          You are welcome Mel, and may our Lord bless you and yours too.

  4. I too am very careful…maybe too careful…about believing the claim of a miracle. Maybe that is because I have seen the drama that tends to be played out most in the charismatic world. However, I do know that God is still the worker of miracles.

    • I hear you, Patrick. What really bothers me is “miracles” sold for 3 easy payments of 19.95. We have so cheapened the whole idea with performance oriented “miracles.”

      That said however, I think it was Einstein who said “there are two kind of people in the world, those who believe everything is a miracle and those who believe nothing is.” I go with the “everything is a miracle,” breathing, life, the sun coming up, not running out of gas, you name it, it’s a miracle. There are other things too, far more unusual and mysterious, but it’s those dozens of daily miracles I love to take note of. We’ve gotten to be a bit like Hollywood,we want stage lighting and special effects, but when we do that we tend to miss the miraculous in the mundane and ordinary.

      • Mel Wild says:

        “What really bothers me is “miracles” sold for 3 easy payments of 19.95.”
        That bothers me, too, IB. That’s why I don’t normally watch Christian television. All the hype and slick marketing. The only reason I saw this program is because of Cheryl’s book.

        I agree, too, everything is a miracle! I’m sure Josiah would love to have a normal life, but God is using him in another way. We can rejoice in that.

    • Mel Wild says:

      I hear you, too, Patrick. I wrote a post about my own “Confessions of an unbelieving believer!” The first person I prayed for that got healed, I was as surprised as they were! I’m very much open to them now, but I don’t need them to have faith. Even in the book of Acts they weren’t happening every day.

      As Bill Johnson said, we shouldn’t be following after signs and wonders, they should be following us. But some of those signs and wonders should be our dramatically changed lives. 🙂

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