What parent doesn’t lie awake at night sometimes wondering (or freaking out) about whether their kids will end up in hell?
It’s the last thing we want.
It’s the first thing we think of when our kids reach that “age of discernment” when they know about God, and we wonder if they really know Him personally, and if they really believe what they say they believe… or if they’re just following the family line of thinking.
Their faith has to become their own.
I join you in praying for all of our kids while we do our best to live out our own faith authentically in front of them.
Today, I share with permission a miracle from a friend of mine, a glory sighting that we all long for with our own people. 🙂 At the end of this I’ll share another cool thing God did this weekend – and I want your advice about something, too. 🙂
But first, I have something special for you. 🙂
Thank you for your prayers – our eCourse is finally up and running and ready to start! Enrollment is open, and to say, “Thank you!” we’re going to give you a code to enroll at 50% off the first month thru Friday – maybe. We can’t afford to do it for very long, and if we get too many sign ups we’ll have to close it before Friday, but I still wanted to show my appreciation for the prayers – the eCourse really keeps our ministry afloat, and 100% of your tuition goes to operating costs like insurance and website hosting, those tangible things that help us reach people around the world.
Enrollment is usually $39, but we moved to a subscription plan ($19/month) so you can take longer to finish if you need to, or if you zoom through it if you want. But for this first one, for this week, the first month is 50% off. Just use the code NeedHelpNow to enroll here. If you are thinking of signing up, I’d do so sooner versus later, because we’ll probably close enrollment for a while if we get too many people. (I don’t want to stress out our eCourse mentors!)
Anyway, here’s my friend’s story about her daughter:
She kept scooting closer to me as the conversation continued, there was a pause and she whispered in my ear “but God doesn’t see me as beautiful right now, he sees my sin because I don’t have Jesus”, wrinkled brow speaking the weight she bore.
My heart was pounding, hoping this was the night that God answered a 10 year prayer, the night that my youngest would choose Jesus as her Savior.
Our church took a 6 week break from small groups through the holidays. We typically host a group at our house, sending our kids elsewhere, so I thought it would be fun to have small group “practice” in which we treated our children as if they were our small group.
*they love it*
They go outside and knock on the front door, they enter to a home with an awaiting appetizer, a bowl of candy and hot cocoa. We always play an icebreaker and then have a lesson together. This night we watched a short video by Frances Chan about Salvation. During the discussion we talked about how Jesus is like a pair of glasses, how when we have Jesus, God sees us as beautiful because he never sees the sin.
That’s when she said it.
That’s the moment that my daughter saw her own sin and knew that she needed a Savior.
I listened as the other 4 children in the room each shared his and her moment – stories that I knew, for I had been there each time, but details of their stained hearts that I didn’t know, honesty about continued sin and the work of the Holy Spirit, smiles as they spoke of personal relationship with a friend, Jesus, that I wasn’t really sure they had.
I asked if she thought now would be a good time for her to pray – and she said no. Tears stung my eyes, oh if I could do this for her, repeat after me style, just MAKE it happen – and His hand silenced my words. We prayed as a family and sent our small group out the front door wishing for safe travels. She looked defeated as she left the room.
She came to me within minutes, leading me by the hand to my bed. We talked quietly about what had happened. We talked about the cross, how there had to be punishment for sin, how we deserve eternal death and I waited. *holding my breath* Then she asked if we could just be quiet, I closed my eyes, praying, pleading for this precious life, knowing He must lead- her giggle startled me. Her face finally at peace.
“He said yes.” Who? I asked. “God said yes. I asked Him if he would not see my sin anymore, if he would see me as beautiful, if Jesus could live in my heart. And He said YES.”
We are still celebrating days later. Talk of baptism, sharing with church leaders and family. And I wanted to share with you ladies, my friends. God is so good!
Isn’t that cool? I cried when I read it. 🙂
And I love that my friend gave me permission to share it with you. Glory sightings like these can’t be kept to ourselves. 🙂
Speaking of glory sightings, we did a retreat for a county of churches over the weekend. It was a format we’d never done before – ONE WOMAN decided that the rural communities of their county, the women of the small churches in the area needed to connect. We spent the day learning about how to deepen our faith, how to KNOW God more, and how to improve our relationships with ourselves and others. Then we ran this exercise where each of the women was affirmed by a number of others.
15 different churches in the area were represented.
Laughter, tears, joy, it was all awesome.
The goal was to encourage women who didn’t know each other to connect and send them home feeling, well, refreshed! Like-a-million-bucks-style. 🙂
We saw Him. And the goal was achieved and then some. 🙂
We taught them how to connect with strangers quickly, avoid awkward moments in conversation (you know, when you don’t know what to say), and deepen their relationships with God, self, and others. We taught about having healthy relationships with all three – and from what I heard, they left changed.
One gal, who came from out of town, blogged about it yesterday.
What I’m wondering is, should we consider doing this on a regular basis? And what has made a retreat experience you’ve had AWESOME? We called ours Refresh! and I was personally thrilled with the results – the picture below is a photo of the commitments some of the women made to go where God was sending them. We had everything from spending time with Him daily, to starting a small group at their church or doing a women’s study in their neighborhood, to working through a broken relationship. Stellar.
Honestly, most of the retreats we do are church-specific, or “closed” – the church doesn’t advertise the event outside its walls, and the women who come are attendees. Given that my family is my first ministry, I don’t like to leave town more than a handful of times a year. But I’m wondering if we couldn’t do something like this here in Cincinnati annually… pondering… 🙂
I was shocked at how many women who came didn’t know literally anyone when they walked in the door that morning – and of course they left with a bunch of new friends. 🙂
So now I’m wondering if this is a need that’s out there…
What do you think?
At any rate, thank you again for being on the journey with me! I love all the new places God is taking us, and how He just continues to reveal more of Himself. He’s so much MORE than we’ll ever know, isn’t He? 🙂
Got thoughts today? Would love to hear them! Feel free to comment below! I read them all and respond as I can.
Love to you,
Oh, and if you got this as an email forward from a friend who cares about you and your marriage, know we’d love YOU to join us on this journey. The road is long and hard, and often paved with tears, but worth traveling – and you’re not alone.
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