2004 Monthly Letter
Partner In Ministry:
God's work during an UpBuilding Weekend have a lasting effect?
pastor friend from Seminole, Florida asked me to preach at
a church that had hosted an UpBuilding Weekend some years
ago. Neither he nor I could recall the exact date of that
Weekend. We just knew it was "a few years ago."
My text for the sermon was Colossians 3:13 "…if anyone has
a complaint against one another, forgiving each other, as
the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive." The
sermon title was "The Marks of Effective Forgiveness!"
After the first service during the shake-the-preacher's-hand-time,
a man named Dan approached me and said, "I remember the
exact date you were here before. It was February 14, 2000.
You had us write that date in our Bibles after we pounded
nails into a cross. It was the date I forgave my dad for his
sins against me. See, here it is in my Bible (and proceeded
to show me!)
"My father never had anything good to say about
me or my sister. He always said we would amount to no good.
He shamed us so when both of our marriages ended in divorce.
I told you that both of you were no good. I am ashamed of
both of you. Ashamed to call you my son and daughter. Look
what you have done to our family name!'
see," Dan, went on to say, "One of my dad's
greatest sins was pride. He cared more about how he looked
to his friends, his church, and the community, than to how
he related to his own children. I significantly forgave my
father on February 14, 2000, by pounding that nail into the
I also took another nail home on that day and put it into
a transparent flask that contains my father's ashes. So now,
every time I look at his ashes, I also see the nail. Both
remind me that through Jesus' work on the cross, my father's
sin against me has been reduced to ashes and so has my sin
of bitterness toward him.
It all started when you were here on Valentine's Day,
2004. I was looking forward to your coming back today
so that I could tell you how effective God's forgiveness has
been in my life!"
effect of I John 1:9 remains forever true. God's forgiveness
AND cleansing from ALL unrighteousness. His cleansing power
lasts for four years and forever!
you for the opportunity to represent you and to be an ambassador
for the Lamb of God we serve, who takes away, (not just covers),
the sins of the world, the sins of our fathers, and the sins
we commit when we do not forgive others as He has forgiven