UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

November 2003 Monthly Letter

Dear Partner In Ministry,

"Give thanks IN all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." I Thessalonians 5:18 "Always and FOR everything, giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father." Ephesians 5:20

It is much easier to give thanks in "most" circumstances rather than in and for ALL circumstances. Sometimes, though, neither seems possible!

Take for instance a situation I recently experienced with a mom and dad.

It is an incredible story! Both of them testified how the entire UpBuilding Weekend had built up their endurance and brought healing to their hearts.

These parents have two adult daughters. Both have chosen not to speak to their parents, nor have anything to do with them, for the past 10 long years!

In 1993 these daughters accused their parents of something both parents vehemently have denied. The parents repeatedly suggested family counseling. The daughters repeatedly refused. The parents appealed through mutually trusted pastors. All to no avail. Other family members and friends have sought to intervene. Each time meeting a dead end.

During the 10 years both daughters married and had children. They chose not to inform their parents of their births and have not allowed their parents to see their grandchildren to this day!

Furthermore, within this last year, the mother had a serious bout with cancer and almost succumbed to its ravishes. She received weekly treatment at a hospital near the daughters. Neither visited though they knew of her failing condition through other family members.

Both parents attended 7 of the 9 Weekend sessions. I observed signs of God's upbuilding presence and healing in their lives. I noticed a definite change in their postures, from slumping to straightening up; and in their countenances, from a gloom of depression to a "glow" of restoration!

Each session brought spiritual and physical therapy to them! Luke 5:17 captures the essence of this as it states: "…as Jesus was teaching…the power of the Lord was with Him to heal."

They confirmed this by their closing comments. "Jesus spoke to us at every session. At the Seasoned Saints time in Isaiah 49:16 'I will not forget you.' The Family time in Mark 1:11 'These are our beloved daughters with whom we are pleased' but it is okay for us not to be pleased at what they are doing. The Men and Women times in Colossians 2 by giving us a tangible way of nailing to a cross and burying in a pit our deep hurts. The Couples' time in Romans 8 that 'nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God.' The Leaders' time in 1 Peter 5:7 of 'casting all our cares on Christ.'' The sermon of 'Staying Up in Down Times!' It seemed as if the Lord had planned the whole Weekend for us!" To which I responded, "He did!"

Only by the enabling power of the Holy Spirit can we say by faith "Thank you, Lord, IN and FOR ALL things." For only by His Holy Word do we know that "ALL things work together for good!"

Thank you for your support. We need it! This year more than ever before! We are practicing the theme of this letter. Thanking God IN and FOR all things.


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