UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

September 2006 Monthly Letter

When numbers don't count...

Jesus said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."

The congregation was small. Easter vacation time made it smaller. So had illnesses. The numbers kept dropping. The pastor apologized for the low attendance. I assured him "where 2 or 3 are gathered, He IS there."

My sermon title was "The Vowels of Effective Forgiveness." Each vowel represented an action to take to effectively forgive someone who had wronged us. All were exemplified by Jesus' last words on the cross.

As I spoke on "a", which stood for "admit the pain the offense caused you," a woman seated in the back pew began to weep! I remember thinking, "Yikes, this is only the first point of six. What will she be like at the end?"

She continued to cry. At the "u", which stood for "unconditionally release the offense and offender to Jesus," she along with the few congregates, took a nail each had received upon entering the sanctuary, walked forward and placed it on the communion table-an outward action of inner release!

After the service closed, I approached her and asked her if she would be willing to tell what the Lord had done in her life. She told me this story: My father was a biker. He came to Christ and became a preacher. He molested me and my younger sister for years. I have repressed my deep pain for all these years! Hidden it as if it didn't exist!

Today I could hardly believe my ears when you said that the first step to forgiveness was to admit to yourself the pain that was caused. Here was a 'preacher' clearly stating that it was "OK" to admit the pain. The Holy Spirit was giving me permission to be real after all these years of denial.

I slowly began admitting the pain of the past. It was freeing. My tears started and just kept flowing. I can't tell you how much I needed to hear this message. I thank the Lord for setting me free! God is so awesome!" Later she revealed her father's misconduct was discovered and justice was served; yet until today, her pain remained.

It was encouraging to learn she had begun counseling with the pastor. He joined us, having noticed her tears in the service. Upon learning what had transpired, he stated, "This is the major break-through we've prayed for."

Multitudes may be impressive to us, but to Jesus just one is important!

Thank you for allowing me to represent you in presenting "the Truth that sets people free."

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