2009 Monthly Letter
"Forgive whatever grievances you may have against
one another." Colossians. 3:13
was once a farmer in Iowa who was cheated out of his inheritance
by both his parents and younger brother. Since then he has
been employed by Land O Lakes. Recently this "born again"
believer finally admitted his OWN sin of unforgiveness rather
than focus only on the sin of his family members. He obeyed
the prompting of the Holy Spirit in a way that surprised himself,
his natural family, church family, and me. O how the Resurrection
Power Lives On!
We first became acquainted at the Friday evening Family session.
Our new friendship was enhanced by his attendance at the Saturday
sessions for Men and Couples, and the Sunday morning Leaders
session. His faith in Jesus Christ was quite evident by his
conversation with others and myself.
At the close of the Sunday morning worship, I gave the congregation
an opportunity to respond to any nudging of the Holy Spirit
to pray with me a prayer of salvation. A direct appeal
was made "For those who have NEVER prayed such a
prayer OR who ARE NOT SURE if they have prayed such
a prayer." This was reiterated so that the people would
know that this prayer is for "first-timers" only!
When I asked those who had prayed that prayer to raise their
hands, Paul did so!. He, his family, and I were totally surprised
by his action! After the benediction, my puzzled nature led
me to express my surprise and ask him to describe what led
him to pray and outwardly respond!
is what he said: "I prayed to receive Jesus years ago but
today as I listened to the words of the prayer, the Spirit
opened my eyes to see for the "first time", my OWN sin of
NOT forgiving my parents and brother. Up to today, I could
only see THEIR SINS against me! Like the song says, 'Once
I was blind, but now I see.' Today, I saw for the first
time my own sin against them! Amazing, isn't it?
So I prayed the Father and
Jesus part of
the prayer in this
way: Father, I admit that I am a sinner by not forgiving
my parents and brother. I also admit that I have not loved
them like You love me-in spite of their sins. Jesus, today
I put my belief in You as my Savior from my sin of unforgiveness
and my belief in Your blood that cleanses me from this particular
sin and any other sin to which I am blind."
went on to share some more of the pain he has experienced
through this broken relationship. He hasn't spoken to his
mother in 19 years. The last time was when he went to visit
his father in the hospital. Upon entering the room, his mother
began to yell, "What are you doing here! You have no right
to be here! Get out of here." The hospital security staff
came and finally escorted him and his two adult sons out of
the room. Paul said, "Now that I'm forgiven of my sin of
unforgiveness of her, I am going to trust the same Spirit
to open my eyes to ways to mend this long time broken relationship.
It's not right BUT in time He can right the wrong! Right?
Partners, may the Holy Spirit open our eyes to see if there
is any unforgiveness in our own hearts. If so, may we respond
to His Conviction (not condemnation) to Confess, so we can
be Cleansed, and Continue our Communion with God the Father,
Son, and Holy Spirit.
you for allowing me to labor in the vineyards around the nation-even
in the cornfields of Iowa. It is a privilege to share each
month with you a part of His Harvest! Continue to live in