Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shabbat Shalom

Dear Family,

Thank you all so much for praying for us while I was in Scotland. It has taken us a little bit to get back in the swing of things here, but the Lord has been gracious. The Lord provided a wonderful friend to come and stay with Callie while I was gone. She was a wonderful blessing to us and I was able to go knowing that my family was taken care of. When the Lord confirmed that I was supposed to go to Scotland, we had no idea if Callie and Aviel would have to be alone here or not. Praise God that He has everything taken care of before we know we need it. The ministry in Scotland we very well. It was an intense week of prayer and teaching that we all felt accomplished what the Lord sent us there to do. It was my first trip to Scotland and I really felt how special that country is. I really hope the Lord will take us back there soon. Please continue to pray for us as I settle back into things here in Israel. There decisions that wee need to make soon and we would appreciate your prayers. We really need His wisdom in the coming months.

This week, Callie really felt an urging from the Lord to share something on her heart. I hope it blesses you as much as it has blessed both of us.

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Lately I find myself wondering if we are too hard on each other. It might seem like a strange thing to ponder in the age of political correctness and moral relativism. An age when most of the body of believers has abandoned teachings on the hard realities of sin and Hell in favor of a feel good pseudo gospel.

Yet even with that, I personally struggle with feeling unrightfully judged or condemned by others on occasion, and I know I've caused others to feel the same way.

Just the other day while in prayer about this issue, the Lord reminded me of a conversation I had with a close friend several years ago. I could see this friend struggling with a sin pattern that granted her a discouraging nickname. My efforts to help her in the past had totally failed. Our friendship felt a bit fragile, likely do to my unsuccessful attempts to discuss hard issues with her. After she left my home one morning, in a bit of frustration I went to the Lord and begged Him to show me how to minister to her and inspire her toward holiness.

"Speak to Me inside of her." the Lord whispered.

"What does that even mean!" I wondered. Then He showed me. Rather than pointing out what I saw as wrong in her life, the Lord was asking me to see Yeshua in her, then speak forth what was true according to who HE is.

My friend came over later that day and I sat down with her and shared my heart. A short version of the conversation from my end went something like this:

"It might not bother you that they are calling you these things, but it bothers me." I said. "It bothers me because you are pure. You are a holy, righteous, honorable woman of God. That's who you are, not these other things."

I saw a heaviness break over her in the way of tears. She left changed and so did I.

Romans 2:4 reminds us that its God's kindness that leads us to repentance. I saw that kindness in living operation as I spoke with my friend. I only wish I as able to operate out of that same spirit all the time, because I know I don't.

So often we subject one another to the yoke of slavery through our own struggles with religious ideals, or spiritual perfectionism. What if we simply gave each other a taste of grace? What if we started reminding one another of the new creations we are because of the power of the resurrection and the redeeming work of Messiah Yeshua? I'm so thankful that the Lord recalled this memory. Since then I've been fervently asking Him to help me see Him in others.

Blessings to you!

In Yeshua,

Callie and Devin