Story of Forgiveness.

So here is the thing. In the past I have been one to be easily offended at times. I get my feelings hurt and I want to find someone, or anyone, for that matter, to blame for my hurt, so I blame it on someone else for hurting me. While the hurt might be real, I have no reason to judge them or to stop being their friend at all.

There are two stories I am reminded of. The most obvious being Jesus Christ, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." While we were SO hateful towards Christ, and each ONE of us put Him on the cross with our individual sin...HE LOVED US and DIED FOR US!!! We are commanded to LOVE ONE ANOTHER and to hold our brothers up. Not think of ourselves higher than anyone else so that we ignore them or are LESS than what Jesus is to us. We are called to not only be Jesus to the world, but Jesus to one another. So, if you have a problem with your brother go to him...but don't condemn him...lest YOU be condemned.

The second story I am reminded of is one I heard at the National Missionary Convention. The ULTIMATE example of forgiveness in today's modern world. Ajal Lall, from India told a story about Immanuel, his friend:

Immanuel and his wife were called to a specific people group on India. A group of Hindus that had never accepted the message of Christ. Well, after years of hardwork and dedication to God and HIS people, they began to see the fruit of their labor and were baptizing up to 30 people a week. PRAISE THE LORD! Well, some government officials caught wind of what was going on and three of them came and took Immanuel and his wife out into seclusion, presented them with papers stating that they renounced their faith and that Hindu was the supreme religion, and told them that if they didn't sign those papers, they would cut their hands off. Well, of course, Immanuel and his wife were faithful to their calling and would never sign such papers.

Instead of cutting off their hands, these three officials tied Immanuel to a tree and raped his wife in front of him.

Let that sink in for a minute and think of the deep hatred you would feel for those men, either as the woman, her husband, or as a family member or close friend of that woman...

Then...forward years later. Immanuel calls Ajal (The man I heard speak at the National Missionary Convention) and is rejoicing about 10 baptisms...which is great but Ajal questioned why the rejoicing when they had been baptizing up to 30 a week at one point. Immanuel said, "The men that raped my wife were 3 of them."


The ability of that man and woman to forgive has resonated with me ever since. I know they were able to do it because of CHRIST'S forgiveness for them on the cross and I am so thankful for their example. Glory be to GOD!



Break my heart for what breaks yours....

This line from a powerful song is stuck in my head as I walk through the aisles at the National Missionary Convention...I walk through the booths, scanning for people I know, glancing, but not paying attention to the booths, I have been here so many times after all...

I walk to a booth with really cute purses, journals and paraphernalia that I of course fall in love with...and it is ALL for sale! I don't pay attention to the title of the booth selling it but I begin looking at prices and thinking about what I can buy for myself and others that I know that would also like those things because one thing is for sure, regardless of the mission sponsoring this booth, it will be for a good cause...whatever the cause is.

As I am looking at a particular purse, I hear a girl speaking with a strong accent, saying, "I am from Cambodia."

Immediately I got "Jesus bumps" and I knew exactly what I was looking at. Rapha House is an organization that aids in the restoration of girls rescued from sex trafficking. The items I was looking at were all handcrafted by the girls that had been rescued and were now learning trades to make a living with.

Later, I attended a workshop on "Male sexuality, porn, and sex trafficking." That night in the main session statistics were thrown up on the big screen and I literally have a feeling in my gut like I have been punched and tears are constantly on the brim of spilling over.

Recently, when I invited someone to attend the "Missionary" convention with me...they said, it was "my thing." I am here to say it is not MY thing...it is GOD'S thing and it is the GREAT COMMISSION...to ALL believers...

Praying, and giving are not enough...Jesus prayed, but then he got up and WENT...

If you don't think you are called to go beyond our borders then making yourself aware of the issues that face the church is your responsibility. Shutting ourselves into our comfortable homes and spending our money on ourselves is selfish and NOT what God had planned. 80% of the world is living on 20% of the world's income...the rest of us 20% live on 80% of the world's income. We are called to LOVE others...not pity them from our living room couches and church pews.

Stay tuned for some more stories and thoughts from this past weekend...

If you are uncomfortable with some of the things I have written...good...we aren't called to a life of comfort...turn your eyes and hearts upward toward HIM and when He calls....GO.



Today I am just so thankful and blessed...

Yesterday was my birthday...I was scheduled to work 5am-1:30pm (So I thought)...my favorite shift...

I got up, got ready, finishing my look for the day with glitter in my hair! :) My birthday also landed on our Christmas launch day at Starbucks! Starbucks recognizes what a great day my birthday is of course...HA!

Anyhow, I got to work, and found out I wasn't scheduled till 6:45...bummer...

So, instead of driving home (less than a mile) and going back to bed, I got my Bible out of my car,bought one of our new Christmas mugs (SUPER CUTE), french pressed our brand new blend of Espresso Christmas Roast, a Cranberry Bliss Bar (YUM!), and sat and memorized Proverbs 2:1-5:

My son, if you accept my words and store up
my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding,
and if you call out for insight and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
find the knowledge of God.

I had a fantastic day at work, received a call from a fantastic man along with a special delivery of some happy daisies from said man...

After that I got to join fantastic friends for dinner.

The day was simple, yet I couldn't feel more blessed! I am so thankful to God for those He has surrounded me with in life.

I seek to do as the above verses say in my daily life...I want to accept HIS Word, apply it, and I want to find the knowledge of God...My morning set the tone for the day...praying that we each find the quiet time we need to fill up on HIS word DAILY!!!