Restoration after Suffering

Corrie had a wonderful ministry, traveling around the world, telling of the amazing things God had done. Then one day, she woke up with God saying, “Germany.” She said, No, God, don’t you remember all the awful things they did? How I suffered and how my sister and father suffered and died at the Nazi’s hands?” She continued her ministry, but it entered a dry period and when she prayed, she just heard, “Germany.” Finally, after a long battle with her emotions, she submitted, and filled with God’s love for the Germans, went to Germany, preaching God’s love, and the offer of forgiveness. She saw many repent and their relationship restored. She was even able able to go to a jail and spot one woman hiding in the shadows. Then Corrie realized that this had been one of those mean guards, who caused her to suffer. She was able to talk to her, tell her of the forgiveness God offered and see her repent in tears. With the repentance, their relationship was restored.

My marriage was failing. Each time my wife did something horrible, I forgave her, without her repentance. Each time she had something against me, I repented. I turned into a Christian doormat. The net result was we compromised 50/50, the first time. Then, not honoring that, I had to compromise again, so now it was 25/75, then 12/88, 6/94, etc. I found that I had given up everything that was important in my life. Now, I am not talking about giving up smoking and drinking, but giving up my Christian friends, my church, my Christian work. I was systematically isolated. Finally, it was not enough, and I ended up divorced, feeling like a worthless human and withdrawn, fearful of facing reality. My children now tell me that they were afraid at that time that I was not going to make it. I had been put into a situation where I no longer had any money, any job, any career, any house, and any hope. Where did I go wrong? I cried to God, saying, “I am at the end of my rope. I see no way out, but I’ll hang on to see if you can get me out of this mess.” Then, I clung desperately to that rope.

As I prayed desperately, I heard God say, there are three here. You can want no divorce, I can want no divorce, but I have given your wife free will. Your wife can and has chosen the divorce, and I will not interfere with her free choice, though she may pay the consequences. This was important for me to begin the letting go process. Some time later, I was praying for her repentance. God said, “Stop praying, she will never repent.” I cried, both for her, and because I had truly come to the point of accepting the finality. In my broken state, I had clung to the hope of restoration far too long.

I began searching the scriptures very carefully. I had followed the teaching on forgiveness as taught in the church. After all, the Lord’s prayer says, “Forgive us out debts as we have forgiven our debtors.” I had done this and become a doormat and ended devastated. The problem is if we accept an interpretation and it conflicts with other scriptures, the interpretation is wrong. This interpretation, that “we must forgive even if the other doesn’t repent,” violates other scriptures. Take Matt 18:16-29. After talking to the disciples about how to deal with a sin in another (privately, 2-3 elders, whole church) then if he refuses to listen (ie doesn’t repent), treat him like a Gentile (nonbeliever). Peter then asks, “If he sins, how often do I forgive him, seven times?” Jesus replies, “not seven times but seventy times seven.” Put this with Luke 17:4, “If he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” Notice that similarly, God has paid for the forgiveness, but it is not applied to us until after we repent, otherwise all the unrepentant sinners would go to heaven.

Still, I struggled. Did this mean I could rejoice in her suffering? Could I pray for her to suffer? Ps 35:7-8 “For without cause they hid their net for me; Without cause they dug a pit for my soul. Let destruction come upon him unawares, And let the net which he hid catch himself; Into that very destruction let him fall.” This pit beckoned to me so enticingly. To avoid the pit, I first had to apply to her the “let her be like an unbeliever” if she doesn’t repent. At first, I hadn’t separated myself and even after the divorce, she would manipulate me and I suffered financially and in other major ways. This clear separation was vital. Later, I warned my parents that she had not repented and could be dangerous to deal with. They thought I was still angry, and so listened to her about a matter. When drug dealers started hanging around their house, they realized that they could never deal with her again.  I maintain this separation, not because of what she had done in the past, but because I knew that if i let her back into my life in some capacity, she could hurt me and I would be sucked back into the painful trap.

This, though wasn’t enough. The anger was still eating me. For years, at night, my mind would enter the same angry rut, and I couldn’t sleep. I could only stop and sleep if I turned on the TV to some boring science channel, and left it there all night. I only got over the anger when I released it, got filled with God’s love for her, and like God, stood ready to forgive if she ever repented. This did several things. I stopped talking about how bad she was and how good I was. I was healed and could sleep without the TV. I stopped trying to get tidbits from the kids about how bad she was. Finally, I, maintaining that protective separation, was able to move on with my life. After 5 years of healing, I was able to start dating, and after 10 years, met my wonderful wife with whom we have a constructive relationship, helping each other grow in Godliness. Remember how forgiveness without repentance lead me to being a doormat, but separation with release, love, and offering to forgive if she repented lead me to healing and strength. May you not be trapped by this bad doctrine of needing to forgive without their repentance.

The Most Desirable Gift.

“Oh no,” said Carolyn, “I am paired with Eric for the afternoon witnessing time. It is going to be a disaster.” Eric, a friend from Calif saw that Missionaries were given great honor. He, also felt called to be a missionary, and also joined the same mission. Thus we found ourselves together in New York City to take the Summer Missionary Training program. At first we had a week where we spent time at the annual conference with the missionaries back for a year after four years overseas. Then we started taking classes. One week later, they wanted to see us witness to Hindus and Muslims in N.Y.C. and to work together as a team.

It quickly became apparent that Eric was a walking disaster. He could open his mouth and destroy all the rapport that his witnessing partner had built up. Being my friend, I wanted to do something, but couldn’t see what I could do beyond praying. I didn’t have the power since I was at the same level as Eric, nor the experience on how to handle this. I prayed, but the leaders seemed focused on a pass fail attitude. It looked like Eric would was out. It also seemed like all the fellow students were hoping he would, since like Carolyn, they felt he was destroying their experience. This focus on themselves rather than concern for Eric was discouraging. What was worse, was that I could see Eric’s enthusiasm being blasted out of him.

Fortunately we had a most unexpected Barnabas (Son of Encouragement, one who rescues rejected people like St. Paul and St. Mark) It wasn’t one of the Mission leaders or one of the experienced Missionaries, but the man, Raja, a strong Christian, hired to buy food and set up tables and chairs, etc. He saw what was happening and started saying, “Eric, I need you to help me.” Along with statements like, “you are such a great help, I don’t know what I would do without you.” Eric blossomed under his tutelage. Maybe Raja discussed Eric with the leadership, because soon Eric was not going out witnessing at all. I was thrilled to watch as he became a full missionary, but one who stayed in the home office, helping with the computer work that liberated the rest of us to focus on Missions. He was a success because one man saw his misguided call to be an overseas missionary and instead saw his real gift and directed him into it.

The church has several real problems with the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives. So many people only see the Pastor gift. For various reasons, they want it. They might truly feel called to train Christians, they might just want the money and power that come with it, or they don’t see any other way to serve God. Thus we end up with infighting to become a pastor or to dethrone a current pastor.

The other problem is that we suppress gifts. When a church says, “We have these jobs and only these jobs available.” People whose gifts don’t fit with those jobs get frustrated, give up, and become pew sitters. Another way to suppress gifts is that some gifts are threatening to Pastors. For example, many Pastors will make sure that others with the pastor gift are never trained because they fear that the new man will try to dethrone him. Look at the featured picture.  You can see something beautiful or something awful.  We choose what we see.  Also remember, the Bible lists the leadership gifts, Apostles (Missionaries), Prophets, Evangelists, and Pastor-Teachers. Let’s take the Prophet. He is one who stands on the walls and watches for danger. He then warns to people of approaching danger. In the Old Testament, Prophets were killed more often that any other group. In the New Testament times, we have our own ways to destroy anyone who exercises the Prophet gift to warn Pastors. Again the result is pew sitters. Then the leadership blames the victims for pew sitting. My gifts seem to be in the area of Knowledge and Prophesy (as in forthtelling, not foretelling), both difficult gifts that I am sometimes (often) nervous to use for fear of the backlash.

I have seen Churches that do it right. They look at each person to see how they are gifted, what excites them, and directs them into available jobs, or makes jobs to fit their gifts. As they watch the people succeed or fail they keep directing them. When they are tested and mature, they send them out as teams to plant new churches. Though there are true pew sitters in that Church, who don’t want to do anything, the church has a significantly higher percent of workers than the usual 10%. Also, despite continually sending members to support the new church teams at the new churches, the church continues to grow. Furthermore, the church multiplied into many churches in a few decades.

We need to look at ourselves to see if we are gifted in that way, or just wanting the position for a carnal reason. We also need to have people who look at us with different eyes and might have a different take. We don’t need people who will squelch us out of their own fearful reasons, but truly want the best. Find your Barnabas(es) and your supporting church and watch amazing things happen. The more we also act as Barnabases, and encourage others, the more exciting the Church is.

2 X 4 Listening

It grieved me to hear that Sharon wasn’t returning to school this year. I soon was talking to my friends in the dorm about the sad situation. Soon we trotted over to the women’s dorm to discuss the bad decision Sharon had made. Soon I had everyone in an uproar. It wasn’t until I spotted a group of guys smuggling Sharon from one spot to another that I realized I had been had. It was only because I had swallowed the joking response and spread the information believably that the rest had also believed. Sometimes, I have a hard time hearing the truth. It is only whenever I have a hard time hearing the voice of God, does he have to speak to me with a 2 X 4.

Once, I came to church to learn that a beloved youth group leader had died at age 40 of a heart attack. People were listing all that he had done and how he had been a wonderful Christian in all aspects of his life. The were crying, “Why God did you let this happen?” I thought, “He was extremely overweight. God had spoken to him through various doctors in increasing urgency, then through worsening health issues. He refused to listen, and finally God took him home. Today, I was talking with a friend. Her husband was suffering worse and worse from diabetes. He didn’t want to give up his foods that were killing him. He had gone blind and recovered. The doctor had told him that he would have to start dialysis soon. His response is to refuse to see the doctor. So many people don’t want to hear. Some want to hear, but their cravings overpower the voice of God. Notice the principal in 1 Cor 11:30, when we disobey for too long, “some are sick and some have fallen asleep.”

I went hiking as a young Christian. I had backpacked for many miles that day. Finally, I arrived at the river. Exhausted, I made camp at a rocky point, slept uncomfortably, mosquito bit and rained on. God has a sense of humor. The next day, as I hiked on, each mile showed me a better camp. The first had a soft place for sleeping. The second included a fire-pit, the third added a log to sit on. The fourth was the Cadillac of campsites. It included a table and chairs plus rain-coverings over the sleeping and eating areas. I left the last spot thinking, “God, I need to trust you more. I should have listened last night.”

From that, I learned to listen more, but that doesn’t mean I learned to listen completely. Heb 5:14 “solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” It is a process over time. Some people hear the voice of God. Some follow the leading of circumstances. Some use logic, and all ask for God to change their way if wrong. What is important is Rom 12:2 “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” If you let God heal you of your past trigger points and let Him transform you with your new healed mind, You will know what God’s will is. Again, this process takes time. I find that God doesn’t have to speak to me with the 2X4 nearly as often to get my attention. I figure, at this rate, I would have to live to 150 before He would have to retire it completely. Let God heal you and transform you and you will hear that still soft voice and obey it before the 2X4 has to come out.

Righteous and Evil simultaneously

I sat across the living room from the older Hindu gentleman. This was while living in Kenya Africa. We had been having an interesting, free-flowing discussion. He had shown himself to be well educated which always enlivens the conversation. At one point, I mentioned how, if you are praying and see a pretty woman and think lustful thoughts, God wouldn’t accept your prayer. This is a clear concept in Christianity. He, though, looked at me puzzled, and asked, “Why?” This hadn’t been the first time I had used a variant of God doesn’t hear your prayers when you have an unconfessed sin. I was totally confused by the response each time, but finally thought, “well, that logic doesn’t work for some reason.” Years late, I learned that for him, as long as he was loyal to his gods, and the little statues (idols) that represented them, he was fine. What he did with the rest of his life didn’t matter to the gods.

Years later, while in graduate school, we had an incident in our city. A black man, a father, got off his meds and was running around naked. His mother called the police to help calm him down and help him get back on the meds. They came out and ended up shooting and killing him. Of course we held protest marches. The city didn’t label the killing justified. They couldn’t claim that a naked man had a weapon. Neither, though, would they allow the police officer to be tried for a crime. They declared it a judgment call. Again, I was puzzled. Why wouldn’t they let a Grand Jury at least hear the evidence?

Mulling these incidents over, I realized that people expect loyalty to be rewarded. In the Hindu man’s beliefs, one simply needed to remain loyal to His god or gods. For the policeman, he was a loyal employee of the city, hardworking, and a family man. What he did to the Black man was not as important as his loyalty. I am used to the American concept of “break one law and you have to pay the penalty, no matter how good you have been elsewhere.” This ignoring sin or lawbreaking because of loyalty feels so wrong.  It felt like the Mafia.  As long as you were loyal to the Capo (or righteous= right with the Capo) you could be as evil as you wanted.

Recently, I was studying the Biblical concept of righteousness. I had thought it was like Holiness. Holy is pure. Righteous is having been declared pure. I was wrong. Righteous (Hebrew sedaqa) denotes a relationship. When we become one with God, we become righteous. Job put it, “I put on righteousness, I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. I was a father to the poor and supported the cause of him whom I did not know.” (29:14-16) For God, loyalty means becoming righteous. One can’t claim to be loyal to God without being consumed by love for the unloved. People who say they are loyal Christians but spew hate or rejection toward any group (Muslim, Gay, Mexican, Evolutionist, Athiest, etc.) are not loyal.  Loyal acts like attending Church, Singing, Painting are all worthless without love.

Of Tires, Ticks, and Trust

Interstate 5, at night, is one of the darkest, loneliest roads, especially back in 1980. It feels like there are no services open for 200 miles. We were moving from Southern California to the Bay Area. I was driving with the first heavy load in the trailer while my wife stayed home with our child. Steadily, I bored through the gloom. There were very few vehicles sharing my journey, and this was before cell phones. Suddenly, the car felt funny. It felt sluggish and I had to fight it pulling to one side.

I stopped to look, and found one of the trailer’s tires was flat. What was I going to do? I had not seen any services for hours. My spare tire only fit my car, not the trailer. I couldn’t call and there was no one to flag down. I contemplated unhitching the trailer, but it held most of our worldly goods. If I left it to find help, it might take me hours, and who knew if it would still be there. God drew my attention to a glow ahead of me on the road. I drove very slowly down the road toward the light.

After two miles, I drove down the off-ramp toward the light. Not only was it a service station, but it specialized in trucks, and my trailer took truck tires.  Not only that, but it had been close enough that I hadn’t damaged the rim. I left with a used tire that lasted for years. As I drove the rest of the way, I didn’t see any services for the next hundred miles. I had broken down at exactly the right spot.

Recently, I was reminded of this experience when I got some results back from the doctor. They said, “You were exposed to Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever sometime in the past.” I researched that. Untreated, this bacterial disease is fatal in 75% of the cases. Survivors have damage to their organs. The only way to get exposure and have antibodies to it is to have been bitten by an infected tick. How could I have had the disease, not know it, and not suffer any damage? Then I read that some people are bitten and never develop the disease, but they don’t know why. I sat there flabbergasted, truly dumbfounded. It blew me away.

I then asked myself, how often has God answered before I knew to pray. (Isaiah 65:24) Sometimes, such as this case, He lets us see years after the event, sometimes, we might never know, and sometimes immediately, as with the tire. Oh, how we need to learn to trust Him more. When He tells me to share what I have learned by studying the Bible, I get afraid. I think, “It disagrees with the popular teaching, they will reject me.” God responds, “I have taken care of you in so many ways, I will give you the power for this also.” Do you have fears that are stopping you from obeying God? Do you struggle with trusting God also? Let’s encourage each other to victory. (Heb 10:24)

Seeking My Best

The Black man, Tom, glared at me across the dinner table. He growled, “You are prejudiced. If two white men were fighting, you might break them up. If a White and a Black were fighting, you might even break them up, cause one is white, but if two blacks were fighting, you would never break them up, because you are prejudiced despite your fine sounding words.” He sat back with a satisfied look because he knew he had me.

I sat for a moment, considering how to answer him, but one of the other blacks at the table, called Spoons, spoke first. “This fool of a white guy broke up two brothers who were fighting just last week. We tried to tell him that he had been stupid, he could have gotten hurt, but I think he would do it again.” Tom deflated, and at least respected what I had to say.

When I had first joined this group, I found a couple of people with whom I studied the Bible and prayed. The leader, Marco, and his lieutenants, would notice and turn up the noise. There would be times that I would be the only one not bowing to his leadership, which frustrated him a lot. Then I would turn around and give the three of them candy bars or something, spontaneously. This double message just didn’t fit in his world. Slowly he began to listen.

Neither Tom nor Marco came to the Bible Studies or the Prayer meetings, but others were watching this and began attending. Soon, we had 20 of the 30 men gathering with us. At this point, the others would say, “They are praying, let’s keep quiet out of respect.”  Mind you, on the route here, I got tripped, I got knocked down, I got punched, and my friends wondered about me. I persisted because I knew that the Bible said, “For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, and ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake.” 2 Cor 4:5-7.

Don’t get in the trap that many people do by twisting Rom 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” They think it says “for my good.” It is for the good of the whole body. If I trip, I put out my hands to sacrifice them if necessary to protect my head and the trunk of my body. We need to be hands that are willing to sacrifice our life for the good of “Them that love God.” Do we sing with Paul and Silas in prison and get used mightily? Alternatively, do we get angry with God because my good is obviously not being in prison, being sick, losing my job, etc.? You will find that as you grow from the Child, “feed me” stage, to the young Adult, “I am a warrior for God”, to the Old Christian, “Use me to lead others to maturity no matter the cost”, you will relate more and more to John the Baptist, “He must become greater I must become less.” John 3:30. Don’t be like Heb 5:12 “Although by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the basic principles of God’s revelation again. You need milk, not solid food.” Let’s aim to keep growing to maturity!

Funeral and Poison Oak

We stood on the beach of the island and wondered how we were going to get to the top. One brother chose a route that started easy but became almost impossible. Another brother went up the steady slope. I followed my sister’s fiancee and my sister followed me up a very steep slope to half way to the top, but avoided the poison oak. There sat my daughter, bruised from a fall but game to go farther. Finally, we arrived at the top and the tree where my father had scattered the ashes of his mother and his aunt.

My father had taken great joy in telling people that he wanted to be surrounded by naked ladies when he died. Unbeknownst to them, years before, he had planted a ring of bulb flowers. We even saw a ring of pink on the island when looking at it from Google Earth. These flowers are known as Naked Ladies. Each of us took turns scattering my father’s ashes around the ring of bulbs. As you can see in the picture, they were not flowering then.  Later, despite washing carefully, all my siblings came down with horrible cases of poison oak. I am thinking of this because my mom, who is 92 and ailing startled me back then by saying, “Don’t worry about poison oak when I die. The bay and the island were your father’s happy place. I go to the High Sierras for my place of peace and contentment. Scatter my ashes there.  Of course, by the time she dies, we may be so old that we come down with pulmonary edema scattering her ashes.  Actually, we will celebrate her life as we celebrated Dad’s, willing to catch poison oak or anything else to honor them.

Why did I expect my parents who were married over 70 years and loved each other deeply to want to be buried together? It is like we think that buried together means together in heaven. This is when Jesus was asked “Who’s wife will she be?” and answered, none, it’s not like that. Would I insist that my Dad’s wishes dominate and bury her on the island? Why wouldn’t we bury both together in the High Sierras, making my mom’s wishes dominate? Why do we bury together?

This lead me to ponder more. Why do we bury in graveyards? We had visited the graves of ancestors in New England. My descendants, looking for my parents graves would not find them. Should we have insisted on a burial with headstones? It almost seems like a human effort to live on, as a substitute for God’s eternal life. Then I thought about other attitudes about cemeteries. Recently, my wife and I couldn’t be buried together. Farther back in history, Catholics declared that they had the only sanctified graveyards. If you weren’t buried there, you couldn’t go to heaven. If you were, you were protected from becoming a zombie or vampire or whatever the local traditions feared. As a result, each group, protestant, jew, etc. had their own burial plots. In fact, cremation was forbidden, as if God couldn’t find you body to raise you from the dead.

It is funny how this fear of death controls us. In the Bible Paul says that I am torn, to die is to be in a better place but to stay alive is better for you. I have seen a pastor destroyed because his wife had cancer. They believed absolutely that God would heal her. When she died, he left the ministry. Do I have the faith to be at peace if I found out tomorrow that I have terminal cancer? As a Christian, I should be at peace trusting God either way. I am learning to trust Him more, but there is more growing to do.

Three Enemies

Sam picked up a scrap piece of wood that had a sharp end and was about to stab Tim in the back when Mary noticed and screamed. Tim turned around and grabbed Sam’s wrist and cast out the demon. Sam jerked back, and after some more convulsions, came to. It had started so innocently, they were painting a downstairs of a Christian Bookstore to look like scenes from the Narnia stories. All claimed to be saved, and because they were all my friends, I listened to their stories of the event. This was only curable by the power of God.

This was so different from what happened to my friend, Mark. Mark was a faithful member of a church that helped send me out as a missionary. He was also a mamber of the military, in good standing. One night, he felt led to pray, close his eyes, and drive across the military base guided by faith. Needless to say, he ended up in the middle of a field. I visited him at the mental health facility and talked about walking by faith. Slowly, as he talked, and opened parts of his life to the light, he was healed.

I have previously talked about Charlie. I noticed that in the morning, when he got up, his head hung down so low that I saw the back of his neck, not his face. I found out that giving him a glass of orange juice half an hour before breakfast enabled him to hold his head high. Slowly, I realized that his craziness was completely controlled by his blood sugar levels. As I taught him about eating right and avoiding sugary foods, he began to grow spiritually.

Let’s get real folks. There are three enemies, the world, the flesh, and the devil (1 John 2:16, James 3:15) Spiritual problems, such as Sam’s, can only be solved with spiritual solutions, with immediate healing. This is not fake Demon possession, such as “He has the demon of … (fear, etc.) Worldly problems, such as Mark’s, that come from traumatic times (bad childhood, marriage, war), is something that God heals over time, as one opens that part of life to Him, and can be facilitated by experts, such as Psychiatrists. Charlie’s problems, being physical, are almost never cured by God (how many blind people regain their sight instantaneously?) Here, God teaches people to be victorious in the situation. Again, we need to work with experts like doctors. Like this picture of a hotel that a hurricane damaged, but infighting  destroyed, no problem is purely one category, but usually one is dominant. As long as we don’t reject the help available, and demand that God alone heals, but use whatever resource appropriate along with God, He gives healing and victory in all these situations.

Are We Racist?

I asked my wife an innocent question, “What did you get for allowance as a child?” She looked at me funny and asked back, what did you get. As a sucker, I responded innocently, “$40 a month, but I had budget to buy my clothes with that money.” Regina gave me that you don’t have a clue look, “That is more than my mother brought home in a month.” I was flabbergasted as I listened to her talk about what it was like to grow up Black in the prejudiced south. There were times they had to request their “rich” relative to buy them clothes so she would have more than one outfit to wear to school, how she was so hungry she ate what was available in the house despite knowing she would be beaten later. I had grown up as a doctor’s son in an all white town in California that had clauses in each deed forbidding sale to Blacks. The townspeople wouldn’t let us bring a Black boy to the community swimming pool. Despite my marriage, I had to ask, “Was I racist?” I began watching and looking.

When we visited my parents, they would make Regina feel low class by criticizing the size of her forkfuls, talking with her mouth full, and even how she set the silverware. All these things bothered me too. Hmmm, was that racist to think so? Going to Black Churches and White Churches was also enlightening. The Black ones usually made ministers wear robes, which I thought silly. In white churches, many had shifted over to wearing bluejeans in the pulpit, much better in my book. I would have thought that Regina, being an extremely popular professor of sociology, would know better. Then I realized what Regina was fond of saying, “are you trying to make me white?” was true. Despite fighting racism in myself, I was still highly racist.

Anytime a person denies being Racist, using words like, “Some of may best friends are Black (or Mexican or Muslim or Gay)” or “I don’t see color,” they are racist. We all are. We eat, breathe, and absorb racism. What I needed to do was pray to God to make me aware of and heal me of Racism. He responded that I needed to hate the Racism in my old man and hunger to put on the new. Only after time with continually actively seeking to open doors in my life to God, would he be able to heal me, one piece at a time. This was powerful. I could see my flaws, but from a position of Victory, and grow in Godliness. Slowly, I have learned to see each person’s jewel, (their beauty), and not be critical for them not acting in the “obviously better” (Ha) white method.

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