January 22, 2004

Forgiveness and Fallout

To my regular readers, I sincerely ask your forgiveness. Please know that my lack of posting has nothing to do with you! I am so thankful for the comments you've posted relating to my recent experience with way-out preaching.

I know all of you have very full prayer lists, and so I'm particularly thankful for your prayers on my behalf as I deal with the fallout from that decision. If you have a moment to lift me and the ministry here before God's throne over the next few days, would you please mention two things in particular?

1. Please ask that I would recognize the wisdom God gives me concerning holding off on a teaching series and some other changes I'm in the process of making. I have always considered myself a Minister of Reconciliation, and even though I've wronged no one, I feel it's necessary to offer a sacrifice of atonement of some sort.

2. Please ask God to bring healing to my three children and me. We are wrestling with a head-and-chest cold that just won't let go. (If it gives you any idea how much it's affecting me, I'm typing this at 3:30 AM.) Having our physical health returned will certainly impact my perspective on the issues of my life right now, and I need that.

Last night as I sat awake praying and pondering the situation, I read a wonderful Scripture passage that totally shifted my paradigm on what I'm facing:
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
.....James 1:2-4, The Message
Isn't that awesome? For the first time in my 33 years, I can sincerely say that I'm thankful for the gift of this suffering! I am so excited to see why God wanted me to learn that lesson at this point in my life...

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