Matthew 7:13-14

Enter in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and straight is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. ~ Matthew 7:13-14

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

VBS Success at Church Alive

We have just completed a week of Jerusalem 29 A.D. at Church Alive! in Albuquerque, NM. With over 100 children and many adult and teen helpers this VBS was a huge blessing and great victory for God's kingdom. The marketplace was created outside and the Lord was gracious by providing good weather most evenings. Pastors Mike and Sheri Schaefer have so much to be proud of (in a good way) Their helpers all have such a positive attitude and happy countenence. They were all a pure pleasure to work with. Dennis and I love doing these VBS programs because it gives us a great opportunity to enter into close fellowship with congregations. We become a real part of the church community and we make so many friends. Another great blessing is to work with the children and see their happy faces each day. They come in with expectations of good things and boundless energy. They are so receptive to all the Lord has for them. When we are all in character and doing presentations from the Bible the children enter into the world of the Bible knowing without a doubt that Jesus is there, He loves them and He wants to meet their needs. Each night at the closing the children were so enthusiastic. They teach us all so much about entering the kingdom as a little child. The wonderful thing about this VBS is that we all, children and adults, are children in God's kingdom and as we wear our costumes we know that what we are really doing is literally "putting on Christ". The Bible comes alive in so many ways as we enter into the world of Jesus and His disciples. We will be doing 2 other VBS programs this summer - one in Downey, CA. and another in Bedford, IA. Its a blessing for us to serve God this way. He always gives back so much more!

Friday, June 16, 2006

For Those Who Are Hurting

When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. - Matthew 14:14

It is foundational to our healing for someone to see us with compassion. We do not see ourselves with compassion. Instead, we often see ourselves through harsh, condemning eyes. We have come to reject and shame ourselves for our need. In order to learn to heal from the inside out we need someone to see us differently than we have been told to see ourselves. We need someone to see us as we are and to respond to us with emotional warmth and genuine concern.

Jesus saw.
And had compassion.
And he healed.

All three experiences are helpful in recovery. God sees us. He sees that we struggle, that we need help, that we hurt. Our brokenness is not a surprise or a disappointment to God. God has compassion on us. God feels with us. God is emotionally responsive to us.

It matters to God that we are in need.
It impacts God.
God heals.

Having seen us and had compassion for us,

God responds.
God touches our wounds.
God mends our broken hearts.
God strengthens our weary spirits.

For those of us who have felt invisible, who have experienced shame and rejection and abuse, it is a wonderful thing to find someone who

has compassion
and seeks to heal!

Lord, thank you that you see me. You see my pain. Thank you that it matters to you that I struggle and hurt. Thank you that it is in the context of personal attention and compassion that you heal me. I await your healing touch today. Amen

Copyright 1991 Dale and Juanita Ryan