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IS UNFORGIVENESS SEEKING REVENGE?

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Anne Graham Lotz, called “the best preacher in the family” by her father, Billy Graham, is one of my favorite Bible teachers.

Years ago, I had the privilege of hearing her speak at the Ohio Christian Education Association Conference (OCEA) in Akron, Ohio. Since then, I have admired this godly woman, and if ever there was a teacher after whom I would want to pattern a ministry, it would be her.

Recently Anne was interviewed on Moody Radio’s Equipped with Chris Brooks. https://www.moodyradio.org/programs/equipped-with-chris-brooks/2019/03/03.26.2019-wounded-by-gods-people/
In her interview about her newest book, WOUNDED by God’s People, Anne said, “Sometimes our means of revenge is to withhold forgiveness.”

I found Anne’s words unsettling, and so profound I had to write them down. Around the same time as this interview, our pastor was preaching about forgiveness and unforgiveness. While I was happy to receive his teaching, I kept reflecting on Anne’s words. I probably should have known God …

Happy Endings

I love happy endings. Don’t you? More and more, I find myself staying away from disturbing movies, books, or TV programs, in favor of a lighter, sweeter, and pleasing finale. I guess that’s why I watch the Hallmark Channel and HGTV. Every movie on Hallmark has a happy ending. And, have you ever viewed a “fixer upper” type show where the family didn’t love their home?
Recently, the Lord gave me a happy endingwhen He taught me the deeper meaning to a passage of scripture I had wondered about for years. This happened during a prayer vigil at church. In preparation for our prayer time, each person would read two chapters of scripture. That day, I read John chapters one and two.
You see, I understood John 2:1-11 on the surface, yet I always felt it had significance beyond the words I read. From time to time, I would ask for clarification, but nothing. So, I’d set it aside and move on. Funny thing though, on the day God opened my eyes, I wasn’t asking for an explanation. Still, in the reading…

CONTEMPLATING JUDAS

There are many things in scripture I don’t understand, and so, I skim over them, or I set them aside until I have a reason to dig. Today is a day for digging.
I love Moody Radio – WCRF – 103.3 or 90.5 on the FM dial. In the past few weeks, Pastor Colin Smith of Unlocking the Bible has been reading from his new book, Heaven, So Near – So Far. It’s the story of Judas Iscariot, the betrayer of Jesus.
These readings intrigued me because in January I thought quite a bit about Judas. Why? I was preparing the communion service for our Women in Ministry (WIM) Retreat, based on Luke 7:36-50. Near the beginning of Jesus’ ministry, at the home of Simon, the Pharisee, a woman, plagued by many sins, poured a fragrant and very expensive oil, Spikenard, on the feet of Jesus.
In my studies, I found John’s gospel confirms four times that Judas was the son of Simon.[1] Some have suggested the Pharisee in Luke was Simon Iscariot. Still, Scripture mentions another Simon, a healed leper, who was present whe…

IS THERE SOMETHING WORSE THAN A FOOL?

At sundown on March 20,2019, the Jews began their celebration of Purim and it runs through sundown on March 21, 2019.
Purim is a joyous and raucous festival celebrating their victory over the wicked Amalekite, Haman, as told in the Bible’s book of Esther. During Purim, the scroll of Esther, or “Megillat Esther” is read and sometimes acted out. Gifts are given to the poor, and they munch triangular-shaped cookies called hamantaschen, named for the villainous Haman.[1] However, many do not believe Esther recounts true events and they, in essence, reduce it to fairytale status.[2] Yet, we know it’s TRUE!
“Today, Purim is celebrated as a noisy and fun festival. Some view it as a kind of Jewish April Fool’s Day…”[3] As Christians who believe every word of our Bible is infallible and God-breathed, we have not so jokingly dubbed our April Fool’s Day, the Atheist’s Holiday, based on Psalm 53:1:“The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
But, is there something worse than a fool? I belie…

Fight OR Flight?

Have you ever experienced a threatening situation where you felt you had only two options of response – either stand your ground and fight or turn and run away? According to research, this is an innate physiological response called fight or flight, and the threat can be either physical or mental/emotional.
Although it’s hard to admit, I’m dealing with the emotional kind. This wasn’t a personal assault, but it felt like it. It involved an activity I am passionate about and people I believe I need to protect. This morning, I am writing in real-time, and as I travel through this experience, I’d like you to walk with me.
In the heat of the moment, I wanted to fight, and I might have if the person had been talking directly to me. However, they were speaking to an audience of whom I was one. Like a blast of icy air, their words struck me. The jolt made me furious and after my initial thought of, “How dare you,” everything in me said, “Run!” I almost got up and walked out, though I didn’t. I f…