UpBuilding Men, Women, and Children in Practical Christianity

August 2007 Monthly Letter

Dear Parnters in Ministry, "God Wrote the Script!"

Tina is thirteen. She lives with her mom, 3 half-sisters and 3 half-brothers, all of whom are from 6 different fathers! Two of the sisters have children out of wedlock. Two of the brothers are drug offenders.

She came to the Family Session with her natural father and her step-mother. Two days prior she tearfully confessed to them a sexual encounter with a 16 year old boy whom she really didn't know. They were devastated but thankful she had confided in them.

The Family Session contains 10 Keys in Effective Family Communications. One of them is on expressing unconditional love verbally and builds on our Heavenly Father's statement to Jesus: "You are my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." Special emphasis is placed on the "with whom" or the person rather than the "what" that person has done. In other words, a parent can say to a child-or a child to a parent: "I love you and always will, but I am not pleased with what you have done."

A second Key is to admit a failure and to ask for forgiveness. The prodigal son parable is used in the teaching. The seven words that participants are taught are: "I was wrong (or made a mistake) will you forgive me." (You can began to imagine what was happening to this family!)

A third Key is learning to form prayers from Scripture passages. I model this by walking around the room, stopping by men, women, youth, and children and praying one of the Beatitudes for each. Knowing that youth struggle with purity, I always select a teenager and paraphrase the verse "Father, bless (name of the person) with purity of heart, mind, and soul, so that he/she might see Your beauty and purity." Who do you suppose the Spirit led me to choose?

As the Session was closing, the pastor asked if there were those who would like to share what the Session meant to them. The father quickly stood, became teary eyed, and said, "I am not going to share the details of what our family is experiencing. I will only say this: My wife, and my daughter and I feel that God scripted this evening precisely for us. To Him be the glory."

Later, these three met with me and told me "the rest of the story" that I write in this letter.

The Spirit allowed the father and step-mother to honestly express their deep hurt and anquish over what Tina had done BUT more importantly their unconditional love for who she is. They needed to say these words and Tina needed to hear them. Likewise, Tina needed to request forgiveness and to hear and receive their forgivenss. The Spirit "sealed the deal" with the purity prayer!

Isn't our Lord so graciously awesome and wonderful! His promise is to "supply every need of ours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19) Thank you for supplying the needs of UpBuiding Ministries through your prayers and financial support.

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