UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

November 2004 Monthly Letter

Dear Partner In Ministry:

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Luke 17:4-5. Jesus is speaking to His disciples and says, "If your brother sins against you seven times in the day, And turns to you seven times, and says, 'I repent,' you must forgive him.

(This is the part I like) And The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"

In other words, "Yikes! This is beyond what we are able to do! We need help!"

Linda attended three of the sessions of a Weekend in Ventura, California. She experienced the teaching on forgiveness and shared this testimony during the Sunday morning worship service:

"I was extremely angry at my brother, Arthur, who passed away February 22nd from cancer. I never had a chance to reconcile with him before he died.

During the women's session we were given a specific way to symbolize our forgiveness of others. We wrote the name of a person we needed to forgive on pieces of paper, prayed for God's enabling us to forgive, went outside, and buried them in a hole that symbolized a grave. I wrote Arthur's name and buried my past hurt from him.

Immediately I began to feel the anger toward him seep out of me. It was a wonderful feeling of release. At the same time, I felt the pain of my hurting him. I could forgive him but not myself!

Some of you know I have a hearing disability. I carry around this hearing device (much like a wireless mike) and ask teachers to wear it to aid my hearing. After the session I was so disturbed with my own sin against Arthur that I walked out without my hearing device.

Ron came running after me with it. When he caught up to me, he asked how the women's session was for me. I told him, "I was able to forgive my brother, BUT I was unable to forgive myself!" He invited me to talk about it but I had to go.

He said, "Okay, but promise me you'll come to the Sunday morning special teaching on the freedom of forgiveness." I promised him I would.

After supper, I was still distressed so I called the crisis team at the counseling center and told them I was feeling so badly about myself. They listened to me and encouraged me to do something that would make me feel good. So, I washed the kitchen floor!

' After this morning's teaching, Ron sought me out and asked, "Did you find the freedom of forgiveness you were seeking for yourself?"' I said, 'not completely."

He asked if he could lay his hands on my shoulders and pray for me. I said, "Yes." He prayed 'Jesus, on the cross you bore the burden of Linda's unforgiveness of herself. She doesn't have to bear it because you bore it. Now release her of that burden she is carrying."

As he lifted his hands off my shoulders, I felt my burden lifted and in its place a peace came into my heart, mind, and spirit of forgiving myself. Through that brief prayer, Jesus freed me!"

Thank you for your partnership in helping to upbuild and increase the faith of those in need!

Home | About Us | Contact Us | Site Map
Brochure | Clergy Comments | Monthly Letter | Calendar
Ron's Biography | Host A Weekend | | Archives

Webmaster: E Rand