TWO WEEKS AGO, WE RETURNED HOME from a family get-together in Fiji. It was fabulous! For over a year I’ve wanted to gather our family from the four-corners of the earth at one geo-location. We hadn’t seen our older daughter in two years, and it would have been another two if we didn’t go on this trip. We all needed this vacation, and we needed to be disconnected and away from our worlds. Fiji is located half-way between us. It was the nicest and least expensive option. In addition to all the practicalities, the Lord blessed us in a multitude of unanticipated ways. Continue reading “Fiji – Where Jesus Gives Vinaka Bula! (Eternal Life!)”
Carolyn was distant, aloof, and alone in her far-off world.
There were four of us who were her co-workers, but none of us, employed at this regional grocery retailer, was her friend. It wasn’t that she rebuffed our efforts to engage her in conversation, or that she was in a drugged induced haze. It was more like our voices couldn’t reach her. The only voice she seemed to hear was hers, singing quietly to herself – while barely audible, it was pleasant.
“Discipleship is a tricky business sometimes,” began the man introduced one Sunday morning as the head of the prison ministry. “You don’t always know how new believers are internalizing Scriptural truths, or some aspect of Christianity that you are explaining. They can parrot the right words back, but they might misunderstand those words – significantly sometimes.”
Such was the case with one prisoner — Jim let’s say. Jim was convicted of bank robbery and sent to the Monroe Correctional Complex in Monroe, WA (USA).
“Pastor Rob, a man arrived requesting to talk with a minister,” my secretary announced one early Monday afternoon.
I met Ted (not his real name) in the waiting room. He was clean cut and in his mid-thirties. I had just spent two hours helping sixteen people with food and other types of assistance. “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought as we walked back to my office.
Ted sat down and came right to the point, “My wife threw me out of the house. I’ve been living in my truck for the past three days, and it’s all my fault.”
There’s no question of God’s love for us. He created us. He died and rose from the dead in the person of Jesus Christ so that we can have eternal life with Him. The question is: do we genuinely love God? God sees deep into our hearts. He knows the answer to that question. We can’t fool, outwit, or manipulate Him. Many have tried. The one person that I knew who tried the most was a man we will simply call Mr. T.