2004 Monthly Letter
Partner In Ministry,
don't fall far from the apple tree!"
is the phrase I use during the session with both men and women
to summarize the principle that children often follow the
examples set by their parents.
used it recently with a group of men at a retreat center on
the Island of Captiva. After the session we broke into small
groups to discuss the teaching and its personal application.
I joined a group of 7 men. Each took his turn going around
the circle and sharing his thoughts and impressions. Finally,
John, in his early 70's said:
thing that stuck me the most tonight, in fact really hit me
between the eyes, was the challenging thought of, have I become
like my father?
My father was one of the kindest men who ever lived. If you
knew him, you would describe him as 'one who would give you
the shirt off his back' as well as always giving compliments
to others, always saying nice things about them.
did this whether at work, at church, at social gatherings,
on the golf course. You name it, he was Mr. Kindness, Mr.
Compliment! All this is true. No one can deny nor dispute
there was one place he failed to live up to his reputation.
It was at home. He never said a kind word to me or to my sister.
No! Never! In fact, he never told us he loved us. It was my
mother who told me, "your dad loves you."
tonight as Dr. Rand was speaking, a big beacon light went
on inside of me! I realized that I am just like my father!
I vowed I would never be like that with my own family, but
all know me as a caring and giving person. For crying out
loud, I'm in the Stephen Ministry! I've had over 50 hours
of training on how to show God's love to others through my
life and lips. And I do it quite well to everyone except to
my own son and daughter!
need to go home and tell them how much I appreciate them.
Compliment both of them on how wonderful they are; tell them
how proud I am of them; and how much I love them!
candid catharsis was healing. Little did he know that after
the next session each man would be given time to write letters
of love and affirmation to each of their family members!
I taught on Mark 1:11 where the Father says to Jesus, 'You
are my beloved son, with you I am well pleased' I had
asked John about his willingness to share his story with all
of us. Wow! What an introduction to the theme of the importance
of affirming our family members!
this became John's best ever retreat. He thought it
was designed just for him! He told me afterwards, "It was
like the Lord was speaking directly to me, gave me the courage
to confess my failure, and then do something about it! It
Nothing less than amazing!
and I can only imagine what those letters meant to John's
son and daughter.
This is one thing that distinguishes UpBuilding Ministries'
events from other renewal events. Concrete application
of the Word of God. It is as it says in Hebrews 4:12 "God's
Word is Living and Active!"
there some family member whose spirit would be upbuilt by
a letter of affirmation from you?