The Power of Forgiveness

My grandson Christopher is one of the biggest joys of my life. He is sweet and still has an innocent spirit. We find out Monday if he will be entering the Army in January. This concerns me but I know it is the best option for him.

One thing I don’t like is one of his friends. I try so hard to like everyone but this kid just breathes “bad”. His parents never disciplined him so he doesn’t know the concept of consequences. He thinks he is above everything and everyone.

While I was visiting my daughters family a few months ago, the “friend” shows his ignorance and lack of respect on several occasions. Christopher had several other friends over along with the “friend”. They got bored hanging out in his room so they walked outside. The night was nice and cool so they decided to explore the woods across the street from the house. The “friend” had been run off from that property several times and didn’t bother to tell the others. Needless to say the owner showed up at the door. I was so mad I wanted to pinch his head off. Every day I saw him my anger welled up and got worse and worse.

Then one day Scripture popped into my head…

Matthew 6:14-15  “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

It isn’t easy. You have to reach a point where you forgive them then turn them and your concerns/anger over to God. We can’t do anything about it, but God can.

Update: Christopher isn’t going into the military. He has a girlfriend and a job. Now when I see the “friend”, I instantly pray him up to God, smile and move on. He is still a little jerk but I know I can’t change that.

Father, please provide a way for that young man to find his way to You! Amen.

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My New Adventure

I have been working hard to earn my Christian degrees. I just finished and received my Doctorate in Theology. I have taught Sunday School to many ages, lead small groups, VBS, and gone on mission trips to name a few.

I continually load my brain with all the knowledge possible to complete these cool tasks and be an effective witness for the Gospel. And I love each and every one. But now I need to put this knowledge to different use.

I have been praying for a long time on what to do next. I volunteered for hospice for many years and while that was fulfilling, I needed to move on, so to speak. While I was checking local listings, I noticed one that caught my eye. So I seized on an opportunity to volunteer with the hospital chaplain and visit patients in our local hospital.

While I was visiting on my second day something hit me.

The first man we visited was in because he is loosing his toes to diabetes. He seemed kind and friendly and welcomed our presence. We asked him about his family which brought him to tears. He was genuinely concerned about his health and his family. He spoke of them fondly and welcomed our offer to pray with him.

We got out to the nurses station and commented that he had signed up for the Partners in Healing program which is a community based effort to improve recovery and healing. The nurse lifted her eyebrows in surprise. She went on to explain how he is bashing the hospital and giving the nurses a hard time, with actions and with words. I was blown away. I was stunned. I felt betrayed, vulnerable and dumb all at the same time.

This concerns me a little. I want to be a good steward of mercy but I don’t want to be a naive type of victim either.

We continued on our visits and came across a young man who had had a stroke and could no longer speak. I looked at him wondering what kind of productive life he may have had before. Another patient had pneumonia and could barely speak because of his previous stroke. He was uncomfortable, weak and didn’t want to be there. The final patient was an elderly lady who had hip issues following surgery. She seemed angry but pleasant.

I know they don’t want to be in the hospital which can explain their demeanor’s. I come from the computer analyst world of business so it is my nature to make folders or piles to organize things into groupings of similarity which helps solve software issues. I have learned today that life isn’t that way.

I can’t look at the chart and see a heart patient that didn’t exercise and take care of himself. I cant look at the diabetic and see someone who couldn’t control their cravings. I can’t look at the former smoker with COPD and think “well you knew it could happen”.

They all have one thing in common…

…they are all the same.

They all need healing, compassion, respect, comfort and most of all Jesus.