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Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Best Dad Ever!

Father’s day evokes a variety of memories and emotions. Some of us have been wounded by a father due to a distant, absent, harsh, or abusive relationship. Others are blessed and deeply grateful to have had a loving, faithful, involved dad.

God is unlike any Father we have ever known! The apostle Paul boasts about the “Father of Compassion” (1 Corinthians 1:3) Webster defines compassion: “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” Paul knew more about distress than probably anyone of us! (2 Corinthians 6:5)

The following true story by Mel, a missionary in Guatemala, resonates with compassion. She reminds us how our heavenly Father treats us. Without limitations, His compassions are new every morning! (Lamentations 3:23-24)

Saturday, June 7, 2014

IT Used to be Fearful...Now It's Fun!

Jesus’ heart has always been “To seek and save the lost.” (Luke 19:10) He longs for us to have His heart. I used to justify why I shouldn't or couldn't intentionally share Jesus’ love. My top 4 good excuses: 
      Excuse # 1 Only ministers and designated missionaries assigned to foreign countries share their faith. I had forgotten about the caring insurance salesman in a small Wisconsin farming community who shared Jesus’ love with my husband                                                             and me.
Excuse # 2 I’m on the quiet side.
Excuse # 3 I don’t have the “gift” of evangelism.
Excuse # 4 My plate was already full caring for my five children and my husband.

Then unexpectedly my excuses began to unravel. My friend asked me to pray for Kari, her pregnant future daughter-in-law, and a high school senior. Committing to pray, compassion grew in my heart for her.  
 Six months later, I met Kari at a picnic. Prayer had prepared our hearts to want to build a friendship regardless of our age gap.  
A few nights later, God’s familiar nudge awakened me from a deep sleep. “I’m so tired.” I mumbled.  Did I have to get up? Of course not, but I've learned over the years that when I obey God’s early morning invitations, we enjoy sweet intimacy.
 I stumbled to my living room rocker recliner and closed my eyes to pray. I pictured Kari and me sitting in a booth at my favorite Italian restaurant, talking about God.
 I opened my eyes. Hmm … could God possibly want me to share my faith journey with Kari? Immediately, fear gripping thoughts consumed me. I hardly know her! I don’t want to turn her off!
The accuser seconded my fear. You’ll make a fool of yourself.