2007 Monthly Letter
"The Efficacy of God's Word"
Word of God shall NOT return to Him empty." Isaiah 55:11
was one of the most unusual and difficult Weekends
I have ever experienced. Why? Prior "new building" meetings
consumed the leaders' and members' time; promotion for the
Weekend became "last minute"; details such as the sessions'
ending times were somehow omitted; and great delays
at the start of each session were common. But the most unusual
was the participants at the sessions and the worship services
This latter point literally "depleted" the spiritual energy
within me. For instance, at the session for Couples, Dr.
Willie B. Kidding, (me, disguised as a Professor of Relationships),
comes in costume and opens the session with time-proven comical
parody, humor, jokes, stories, and cartoons. BUT everything
he said, "fell flat" with "ho-hum" responses!
"God's Word shall accomplish what He purposes"---even
in situations like this.
delay to the start of the Men's session was unprecedented.
A man began leading us in a long "get-acquainted" exercise.
I remember praying quietly, but out loud "Lord, I confess
I am frustrated. I know You sent me here. I know You want
to work in the lives of these men. How are You going to do
it? Time is running out; some men are already leaving; I won't
have much time to even share Your Word. I surrender this time
I pruned the content when I finally began to teach. But, in
that limited time, the Holy Spirit effectively used Romans
5:8. I asked the men to memorize the verse-to saturate their
mind, heart, and spirit with the truth of God's unconditional
love. This was aided by asking them to substitute their
names for all pronouns. ("But God proves His love for ____
in that while ___was yet a sinner, Christ died
for ____."). Over the years of working with men through
the FATHERS Ministry and Promise Keepers, I knew that many
men have never experienced this kind of love from their earthly
fathers, nor in some cases their mothers!
the close of this abbreviated session, all men but one left.
Herb came up to me with a reddened face and eyes softened
by gentle tears. His first words were, "I was a mistake,
Today, for the first time in my life I realized that I am
NOT a mistake." He went on to say:
siblings are 19, 18, 17 years older than I. My parents repeatedly
have told me that I was a "mistake"-an after birth! I have
become a workaholic as a means of showing them by my life
that I am worth something, that I was not a mistake. But,
as hard as I tried, I could not prove to them otherwise. In
their eyes, I was a mistake and still am.
God got a hold of me. Through this one verse His Spirit
penetrated my heart. He convinced me I am not a mistake. Today
I heard my Heavenly Father tell me He loved me. He proved
it to me even before I was born. And I don't have to
prove it to anyone. I am worth something! All
that matters is that in His eyes, I---AM---worth---something!"
we celebrated the truth of God's living Word! Herb
went on to share that the depth of his childhood wound had
extended into his adult life. One of his siblings-a 19 year-older
male-was a pastor. He was "the apple of his parent's eye",
the "beloved" and "successful son", the one to whom Herb was
often compared by his parents and himself!
Later, I discovered that the former pastor of this congregation
was a seminary professor whose forte was expounding Greek
and Hebrew texts. Perhaps this may explain why this congregation
was more "cerebral" rather than "emotional" in its expression.
Whatever, God's Word, even when planted in a limited amount
of time, does not return to Him empty!
you for allowing me to sow the seeds of His fruitful Word.
Through it, you and I made a significant difference in Herb's
life! To our Lord be the wonder and glory!