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And then came Cancer Experiencing the Reality of Jesus

Published by Evidence of Truth Ministries, Inc. P O Box 1, Witmer, PA 17585 !!!1 " # A $ %!1%, Wi&&i'm (. (einrich. A&& )i*hts )eserved.

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And then came Cancer Experiencing the Reality of Jesus This is the story of William "Bill" Heinrich as he weaved his way through life as a public school teacher, a businessman, through a broken family, through homelessness, through diagnosed terminal cancer, to what he is today .... a Bible teacher and professor.

)ev. +r. Wi&&i'm (. ,Bi&&- (einrich MS. Ed, MA. Bible, MA. Min, D.Min. Peo.&e in other countries sometimes thin/ th't 0hristi'ns in Americ' &ive ver1 comfort'2&e 'nd trou2&e free &ives. 3or m'n1 .eo.&e th't m'1 2e true, 2ut for m1 de'r friend, Bi&& (einrich, th't 4's h'rd&1 the c'se. (is testimon1, th't '..e'rs
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2e&o4, 4i&& 2're 4itness to th't f'ct. But first, m1 o2serv'tion A short time 'fter Bi&& 'nd his f'mi&1 m'de ' commitment to serve the 5ord, the .rover2i'& 4hee&s 2e*'n to f'&& off the 4'*on 's he ex.erienced one set2'c/ 'nd dis'ster 'fter 'nother. #ome of those events 4ere un'void'2&e, some he 'cce.ts 's 21.roducts of .oor .erson'& decisions, 'nd others c'me 't the h'nds of .eo.&e 4ho .rofessed to 2e 0hristi'ns. With the 'ccumu&'ted effect of '&& these events, &ife h'd 2ecome so .'infu& th't he 2ec'me de.ressed 'nd des.er'te. (e 2e&ieved the 5ord to 2e ' &ovin*, *ood c'rin* 6od, 2ut cou&d not underst'nd 4h1 4's '&&o4in* him to 2e .ut into such .'in miser1. (e 2e**ed for 'ns4ers, 2ut often on&1 si&ence. 'nd 6od 'nd *ot

In des.er'tion, he *ot to the .oint 4here he 4'nted to t'/e his o4n &ife, 2ut then 6od s.o/e &oud 'nd c&e'r&1. The 5ord 4ou&d not '&&o4 th't to h'..en 's Bi&& ex.&'ins in his testimon1 'nd 'uto2io*r'.h1. In 'n1 c'se, '&& those events re.resented ' ver1 ch'&&en*in* 'nd .'infu& .eriod in his &ife. Whi&e most of those issues 4ere reso&ved, he 4's to f'ce ' ne4 'nd different 2'tt&e, termin'& c'ncer. As if Bi&& h'd not ex.erienced enou*h dev'st'tion, 6od '&&o4ed 'nother 2i* 2&o4 to come into his &ife. A doctor informed him th't ' .ro2&em, 4ith 4hich he h'd for m'n1 1e'rs, h'd 2een restudied 'nd it 4's no4 identified 's 'n incur'2&e form of c'ncer. 7eed&ess to s'1, the
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ne4s 4's dev'st'tin* 's he 4's *iven &itt&e ho.e to survive the dise'se. But 6od '*'in 'ns4ered his .r'1ers. (e 4's 2&essed 21 the *r'ce of 6od 'nd 4's *iven &ife in exch'n*e for *ivin* u. his &eft hi., &eft &e*, 'nd .'rts of 2oth &un*s. (is f'ith 'nd commitment to serve his 5ord 'nd #'vior, 8esus 0hrist *oes 4ithout .'r'&&e&. Tod'1 Bi&& serves 's ' semin'r s.e'/er, 'd9unct .rofessor, counse&or, 'nd ch'.&'in. (e is the 'uthor of sever'& 2oo/s. (is most recent 2oo/, 'n eBoo/ on the &ife of 8esus tit&ed Mysteries of the Messiah, is considered 21 some to 2e 'mon* the most com.rehensive studies 'nd 4ritin*s on the &ife 'nd times of 8esus .u2&ished in the .'st centur1. (e is 'n ins.ir'tion to those 4ho 're *oin* throu*h stru**&es 'nd tr1in* times 'nd ' testimon1 to 6od:s f'ithfu&ness in res.onse to our needs 'nd .r'1ers. Be ins.ired 'nd 2&essed 's 1ou re'd Bi&&;s 2io*r'.h1 'nd t'/e the ro&&er co'ster ride throu*h his &ife &e'rnin* ho4 2oth the 2i* 's 4e&& 's '&& the &itt&e events in his &ife contri2uted to the .'c/'*e of 4ho Bi&& (einrich is tod'1. (is testimon1 is one of 6od:s f'ithfu&ness, even 4hen 4e m'1 sometimes 4ron*&1 thin/ 6od does not he'r or c're '2out us. Ed4'rd <'2'/9i'n, Ed.+. Professor Emeritus of Te'cher Educ'tion 't the 0o&&e*e of 7e4 8erse1

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PART 1 The Early Years I 4's 2orn into the home of t4o 4onderfu&, &ovin* 6erm'n immi*r'nts, 4ho h'd sett&ed on ' f'rm in u..er Buc/s 0ount1 in southe'stern Penns1&v'ni'. The1 conve1ed their cu&tur'& herit'*e 'nd v'&ues to me. The1 4ere not .rone to s.e'/ of 2ein* ,2orn '*'in,- 2ut did insti&& in me stron* 8udeo 0hristi'n v'&ues. As 'n on&1 chi&d, I 4's the o29ect of their &ove 'nd 9o1= the1 centered their &ives 'round me. Our home 4's modest 'nd, 'ccordin* to income 'ver'*es, 4e 4ere .oor. #ti&&, the1 .rovided ver1 4e&& for me= I cou&d not h've h'd ' 2etter home. We 'ttended ' &oc'& Mennonite church 4here I &e'rned '2out 8esus 'nd ho4 much (e &oves me. I remem2er sin*in* so m'n1 chi&dren:s h1mns, 2ut m1 f'vorite 4's ,8esus 5oves Me.- In this countr1 church 4ere friends, fe&&o4shi., 'nd ' s.eci'&
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#und'1 schoo& te'cher 21 the n'me of Mi&ton <ee&er. Brother Mi&ton 4's ' home 2red scho&'r of Isr'e& 'nd of end time 2i2&ic'& .ro.hecies. (e insti&&ed in me ' .'ssion to somed'1 visit Isr'e&, 's 4e&& 's thou*hts to serious&1 consider ministr1 service. (e 4's '&so the *re'test inf&uence for me to m'/e ' decision for 0hrist 4hen I 4's 17. >e'rs &'ter I, in turn, 4ou&d &e'd m1 .'rents in ' sinner:s .r'1er. Whi&e m1 .'rents encour'*ed me to stud1 'nd to do 4e&& in schoo&, I h'd ' .oor se&f im'*e. 6ro4in* u. 4ith 6erm'n .'rents, 6erm'n 2ec'me m1 first &'n*u'*e 'nd I found &e'rnin* En*&ish ver1 difficu&t 4hen enterin* schoo&. I f'i&ed first *r'de. Then I ne'r&1 f'i&ed fourth 'nd sixth *r'des 'nd cou&d not enter co&&e*e .re. in hi*h schoo&. Eventu'&&1, I entered co&&e*e, 2ut on&1 21 *oin* to ' technic'& schoo& first. Whi&e stud1in* to 2ecome ' te'cher, I '*'in considered enterin* the ministr1, so I 'ttended ' summer session 't ' Bi2&e co&&e*e in ?ir*ini'. There, the 'c'demic re@uirements 4ere ver1 strin*ent. #ome .rofessors s'id th't ten .ercent of their students received A:s, 4hi&e 'nother ten .ercent f'i&ed. I 4's convinced their *r'din* s1stem 4ou&d e&imin'te me. I conc&uded th't, 4hi&e somed'1 I 4ou&d 2ecome ' te'cher, the ministr1 4's definite&1 not for me. B1 the *r'ce of 6od 'nd m'n1 h'rd hours of stud1 I received m1 2'che&or:s 'nd m'ster:s de*rees in educ'tion from Mi&&ersvi&&e "niversit1. Whi&e 4or/in* to4'rd these *o'&s, I discovered th't I h'd ' mi&d &e'rnin* dis'2i&it1. Then I understood 4h1 I h'd to stud1 so h'rd 4hen ever1one e&se 4's on v'c'tion. (o4ever, even
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thou*h I succeeded 'c'demic'&&1, I h'd 2ecome ' 4or/'ho&ic A ' tr'it th't 4ou&d &'ter 2rin* stress to m1 f'mi&1. In 1BCB I m'rried ' 4onderfu& *ir&, 0hristine, 4ho 4's from ' .re'cher:s f'mi&1 in I&&inois. I fe&t so honored to h've ' 4ife from ' stron* 0hristi'n f'mi&1 'nd she 4's ' 2&essin* 2e1ond m1 4i&dest ex.ect'tion. T4o 1e'rs &'ter 4e 4ere 2&essed 4ith the first of four chi&dren 4ho entered our &ives (eidi, ('ns, Wi&he&m, 'nd 0hristi'n. The1 4ere '&& t4o 1e'rs '.'rt 4ith 2irthd'1 se'son in the 'utumn of the 1e'r. Our f'mi&1 4's off to ' *ood st'rt 'nd I thorou*h&1 en9o1ed m1 tenure 's ' hi*h schoo& te'cher throu*hout the 1B7!s. M1 .'rents &ived in ' historic &o* 'nd stone f'rmhouse 'nd I converted .'rt of the 'd9'cent 2'rn into ' hu*e '.'rtment. 0hristine, the /ids, 'nd I en9o1ed &ivin* in the 're's th't 4ere once occu.ied 21 co4s 'nd chic/ens 4hen I 4's ' chi&d. It 4's 4onderfu& to h've m1 .'rents 's nei*h2ors so the1 cou&d en9o1 their *r'ndchi&dren. M1 mother 'nd 0hristine *re4 ver1 c&ose 'nd, in f'ct, the1 4ere &i/e mother 'nd d'u*hter. 5ife cou&d not h've 2een 2etter. "nfortun'te&1, in m1 1outhfu& 1e'rs I h'd 2ecome ver1 &e*'&istic in m1 f'ith, 4hi&e 0hristine s.o/e of h'vin* ' re&'tionshi. 4ith 8esus. Essenti'&&1, I h'd *ro4n to the .oint of 2e&ievin* th't the 5ord he&.s those 4ho he&. themse&ves, 4ords th't sound s.iritu'& 2ut 're f'r from it. Those 4ith ' .'ssion of &e*'&ism tend to h've ' sense of su.eriorit1, 4hi&e those 4ho 're sincere&1 se'rchin* for 6od, 's 0hristine 4's, h've ' sense
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of humi&it1. These o..osin* 2e&ief eventu'&&1 enh'nced m'rit'& .ro2&ems.

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In 1B7D m1 mother 4's di'*nosed 4ith 2re'st c'ncer. (er .'ssin* 4's ' ver1 tr'um'tic time for 2oth of us, 2ut es.eci'&&1 for 0hristine. #he c'&&ed u.on the 5ord for comfort 'nd 4isdom. 6od 'ns4ered her re@uest, 4hich &ed to ' much needed s.iritu'& refreshment. (o4ever, 4ith m1 mother:s .'ssin* c'me the incre'sed dem'nds of c're needed 21 m1 e&der&1 f'ther. In hindsi*ht, I see th't 4e 2oth c'me to m'rri'*e un.re.'red. It 4's too much .ressure for us, es.eci'&&1 since 4e 4ere 2oth s.iritu'&&1 imm'ture. But 4h't cou&d 4e h've doneE Reflective thoughts We '&& *ro4 u. 4ith dre'ms 'nd 's.ir'tions. (o4 m'n1 h've 2een .rivi&e*ed to h've the .erfect, or '&most .erfect, home settin* on&1 to find 'n incredi2&1 difficu&t ro'd some4here in &ifeE Tod'1 4e &ive 4ith horrif1in* st'tistics A such 's one out of ever1 three *ir&s 're sexu'&&1 mo&ested 21 their 18th 2irthd'1. The rise of dru* 'nd '&coho& '2use is over&o'din* hum'n services '*encies in ever1 st'te 'nd the 4'r on .overt1 th't 2e*'n in the mid 1BC!s is ' dism'& f'i&ure. 0rime is esc'&'tin* 'nd the mor'& found'tions of the Americ'n cu&ture 're crum2&in*. The .ro2'2i&it1 of someone not encounterin* one or more of these tr'*edies in &ife is '&most im.ossi2&e. I h've found there 're t4o ,const'nts- th't 4i&& '&4'1s 2e 4ith us. The first is th't one

4i&& const'nt&1 f'ce ch'&&en*es 'nd tem.t'tions. The second is th't 6od is '&4'1s there to 2e 1our stren*th 'nd *uide. If (e does not *uide 1ou 'round the fire, (e 4i&& 2e 4ith 1ou in it. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all FPs'&m DGH1BI. A Change of Direction In 1B7G ' dr'stic event .rofound&1 ch'n*ed m1 &ife. As ' teen'*er, I 4's once thro4n off ' 1oun* steer I 4's ridin* on our f'rm. Wh't fo&&o4ed 4ere occ'sion'& severe 2'c/ .ro2&ems, 4hich .&'*ued me t4o or three times ' 1e'r. It 4's 't one of those .'infu& moments th't 0hristine .r'1ed for me 'nd I 4's inst'nt&1 he'&ed. The .ro2&em never returned 'nd I re'&iJed there 4's much more to 6od th'n I understood. This he'&in* 4's the 2e*innin* of ' .erson'& reviv'&= I &'id &e*'&ism 'side, 's 2est 's I cou&d, 'nd 2e*'n to .ursue 6od 4ith her. In the 1e'rs th't fo&&o4ed 4e 2ec'me ver1 'ctive in our church 'nd in v'rious other ministries. I 4's ' mem2er of ' &oc'& 0hristi'n schoo& 2o'rd. I .urch'sed ' &'r*e nine 2edroom house 'nd &e'sed it to ' ministr1 th't 'ssisted trou2&ed teen'*ed *ir&s. We 4ere ce&& *rou. &e'ders in our church 'nd 0hristine '&so &ed ' d1n'mic 4omen:s Bi2&e stud1. (er .r'1ers '&4'1s seemed to 2e extreme&1 effective. Te&&in* others '2out 8esus h'd 2ecome our .rim'r1 interest, 'nd m1 .'rents 4ere the first 4ith 4hom I .r'1ed the sinner:s .r'1er. Tod'1 the1 're 4ith our 5ord. Then in the mid 7!s, #'i*on, the c'.it'& of #outh ?ietn'm, fe&& to the 0ommunists. We he'rd th't some teen'*e ,2o't .eo.&e- h'd difficu&t1 findin*
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Americ'n homes. #o for nine 1e'rs our home 4's '&so home to four 4onderfu& ?ietn'mese teens. We 4'nted to 2e ' first centur1 0hristi'n f'mi&1 in the t4entieth centur1. We 4ere tru&1 2&essed of 6od. M1 interests in educ'tion diminished in &i*ht of ' more ch'&&en*in* 'nd excitin* c'reer 's ' re'& est'te deve&o.er 'nd home 2ui&der. B1 1B8! I &eft te'chin* 'nd ste..ed out in f'ith to 2ui&d houses 'nd do re'& est'te deve&o.ment. 3irst, ho4ever, 4e too/ our f'mi&1 to 3&orid', 4here I 'ttended ' ten 4ee/ schoo& for &'1 ministers. It 4's '2out this time th't I h'd ' r'dic'& 'nd .'infu& dre'm. In the dre'm, Our family had ta en a tri! to "lorida #here #e #ere staying in a small cabin. $t #as near the edge of a river in a dense forest. "or some reason, in the middle of the night $ decided to run to another nearby cabin to get some oil. $ #ore no shoes or soc s as $ #ent do#n the clearly #orn dirt !ath. %o#ever, as $ #al ed, $ discovered many deadly sna es along the !ath#ay. $ got the oil and returned to our cabin #ithout ste!!ing on any of these sna es. %o#ever, &ust as $ #as about to enter the door, $ discovered $ had one in my hand and it bit dee! into my finger. 'he !ain #as incredible as the fangs san dee!er and dee!er into me. I 4o/e u. exh'usted 'nd out of 2re'th. To me it h'd s1m2o&ic me'nin*s. I rec'&&ed th't $ had not entered the cabin. The sn'/e 2ite me'nt de'th, the oi& 4's the (o&1 #.irit, the house re.resented
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m1 &ife 'nd, the f'ct th't I h'd no shoes or soc/s me'nt th't I 4's i&& .re.'red for the tri.. I fe&t th't some4here in m1 future, the dre'm 4ou&d find si*nific'nce. 5itt&e did I /no4 ho4 true this the s1m2o&ism 4ou&d 2ecome. A&thou*h m1 ne4 2usiness in re'& est'te *re4 'nd 2&essin*s fo&&o4ed, it 4's more excitin* to see 0hristi'n f'ith 2ecome ' re'&it1 in the &ives of our chi&dren. In +ecem2er of 1B8%, ('ns, 4ho 4's nine 1e'rs o&d, .re'ched his first sermon in church. The fo&&o4in* summer (eidi 'nd 0hristine 4ent on ' mission'r1 tri. to Be&iJe. There is &itt&e @uestion th't 4e 4ere more invo&ved in v'rious f'mi&1 'ctivities 'nd ministries th'n the t1.ic'& f'mi&1 'nd 4e &oved it. This is not to s'1 there 4ere none of the t1.ic'& f'mi&1 .ro2&ems, 2ut in the over'&& .icture, &ife 4's ver1 *ood. At this time m1 4ife desired to further her 2i2&ic'& tr'inin*. I remem2ered ver1 4e&& the 'nointin* she h'd 4hen she .r'1ed the .r'1er of he'&in* for me 'nd the other *ifts 4ith 4hich the 5ord 2&essed her. I 4's .roud of her 'nd 4hen she decided to *o to ' Bi2&e schoo&, I .urch'sed ' 2e'utifu& si&ver 0orvette to *et her there. #ince m1 2usiness h'd 2ecome @uite successfu&, I decided to diversif1. This ne4 2usiness venture 4's to 2e ' f'mi&1 enter.rise in 4hich the /ids 4ou&d &e'rn some entre.reneuri'& s/i&&s. #o I .urch'sed ' sm'&& 2utcher sho. 'nd, 4ith the he&. of the /ids 'nd some tr'desmen, I converted it to 'n ice cre'm sho.. It too 4's successfu& 'nd it soon *re4 into ' f'mi&1 rest'ur'nt.

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The Academic and Spiritual Assault In 1B8D 0hristine 2e*'n semin'r1 studies in Beth&ehem, Penns1&v'ni'. I thou*ht it 4's ' *ood schoo&, since it 4's founded in the 17G!s 's ' co&&e*e to tr'in men to 2ecome mission'ries to the &oc'& Indi'ns. I 4's un'4're th't &i2er'&ism h'd infi&tr'ted this historic institution 'nd th't its doctrines h'd ch'n*ed consider'2&1. It 4's not &on* 2efore she 2e*'n to @uestion the 'uthenticit1 of #cri.ture 'nd 'cce.ted &i2er'tion theo&o*1, feminist theo&o*1, 'nd other modern te'chin*s touted 's truth. One theo&o*ic'& vie4.oint 'fter 'nother, e'ch 2'thed in &i2er'&ism, entered our home. 5ife 2ec'me ver1 frustr'tin*. #he to&d me of the Documentary %y!othesis, theor1 th't the first five 2oo/s of the O&d Test'ment h'd not 2een 4ritten 21 Moses, 2ut 21 four distinct&1 different 4riters 'nd these 2oo/s 4ere &'ter com.i&ed 21 editors. #he s'id this is no4 'cce.ted 's f'ct. A&on* 4ith this c'me the theo&o*ic'& o.inion th't 6od reve'&ed (imse&f to different .eo.&e *rou.s in different 4'1s throu*hout the centuries. A&& this &e'ds to, in essence, the f'&se 2e&ief th't th't 6od sent Muh'mm'd c'me to the Ar'2s, 8esus c'me to s've the 8e4s, 'nd other *rou.s h'd their divine reve&'tions. (ence, this /ind of thin/in* 2e&ieves there 're m'n1 4'1s to 6od. This theology is indirect contradiction to Jesus’s statement in John 14:6 where He said, “ am the way and the truth and the li!e" #o one comes to the $ather e%ce&t through me"' This radical anti()i)lical thin*ing was not acce&ta)le to me"
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Wh't shoc/ed me the most 4's the so c'&&ed scho&'r&1 stud1 /no4n 's 'he (uest for the %istorical )esus. This monument'& 4or/ 21 A&2ert #ch4eitJer F1B11I 'r*u'2&1 h's done more to distort the truth to men 'nd 4omen in semin'r1 th'n 'n1 other 2oo/. (is te'chin* serious&1 @uestions if m'n1 of the 4ords s.o/en 21 8esus 4ere 'ctu'&&1 s.o/en 21 (im, 'nd furthermore, #ch4eitJer encour'*ed his re'ders to ch'&&en*e such vit'& doctrines 's the ins.ir'tion of #cri.ture. I fe&t th't 0hristine 4's 'cce.tin* the 4ords of her .rofessors over the 4ords of #cri.ture 'nd the mir'c&es the 5ord h'd .erformed in our &ives. #he s'id her .rofessors contended th't the1 h'd .roof th't much of 4h't 8esus s'id 4's 'ctu'&&1 ' second centur1 'ddition to the Bi2&e 21 e'r&1 0hristi'n co.1ists. I h'd never he'rd of this nonsense. 0onse@uent&1, I did not /no4 ho4 to res.ond in ' m'nner th't 4ou&d ch'n*e her mind. I 4's 't ' .oint of extreme dis'..ointment, o2servin* the ch'n*es in her, 2ut un'2&e to .ersu'de her 2'c/ to the 2i2&ic'& st'nd'rd= th't is, sim.&1 '..&1in* the instructions of &ife. I h'd ' *ut fe'r 'nd fee&in* th't she 4's not on&1 &e'vin* 6od, 2ut th't she 4ou&d eventu'&&1 &e've the f'mi&1 's 4e&&. Wh't she 2e&ieved not on&1 o..osed 4h't I 2e&ieved, 2ut '&so 4h't 4's .re'ched #und'1 'fter #und'1 21 her f'ther durin* her chi&dhood. In the me'ntime, on #und'1 mornin*s I 4ou&d sit in church 'nd .onder 4h't 4ou&d 2ecome of m1 &ife= 4h't 4ou&d it 2e &i/e to te'ch the Word of 6od to those 4ho 4ere hurtin* &i/e me 'nd needed to /no4 the re'&it1 of 0hrist in their &ives.
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But th't 4's on&1 ' d'1dre'm A no4 I h'd re'& issues to f'ce 'nd I did not /no4 ho4 to 'ddress them. 5'ter th't 1e'r F1B8DI 0hristine deve&o.ed ' chronic 2'c/ .ro2&em. (er .&i*ht 4's so 2'd th't she cou&d not even 4'&/ u. or do4n the ste.s of our home 'nd for months she essenti'&&1 &ived on the first f&oor. It 4's 4orse th'n 'n1thin* 4e h'd ever ex.erienced 'nd '&& of our .r'1ers f'i&ed to 2rin* he'&in*. Wh't 'n iron1H 7e'r&1 ' dec'de e'r&ier she h'd .r'1ed for m1 2'c/ 'nd the 5ord he'&ed me inst'nt&1. 7o4 she 4's sufferin* ever1 d'1 4ith no he'&in* in si*ht. Reflective thoughts – 6od h's ' .erfect 4i&& 'nd .&'n for e'ch of us. At times 4e m'1 2e convinced 4e 're fo&&o4in* (is 4i&&, 4hen in f'ct 4e confuse our emotions 4ith (is voice. This c'n 2e in 'n1 're' of &ifeH d'tin*, 2usiness, ministr1, or 4h'tever. This is 4h1 the 4riter of Prover2s s'id there is 4isdom in mu&ti.&e counse&ors. There 4's ' time 4hen 4e 4ere to&d to c'refu&&1 discern mess'*es .re'ched to us from ,the 4or&d.- #ecu&'rism h's '&4'1s desired to .enetr'te 2oth 8ud'ism 'nd 0hristi'nit1. (o4ever, in the .'st centur1, 'nd in .'rticu&'r, in the .'st fe4 dec'des, m'n1 .'stors in ev'n*e&ic'& .u&.its h've 2een .re'chin* secu&'riJed mess'*es. The1 h've '2'ndoned their .osition th't the Bi2&e is the inf'&&i2&e, inerr'nt, 'nd ins.ired Word of 6od. The motto ,Th1 Word is Truth- th't once 4's the *uidin* &i*ht for
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' ?ir*ini' Bi2&e co&&e*e irre&ev'nt to its .rofessors.

h's

2ecome

7onethe&ess, the 4ords of P'u& 're time&ess 'nd nonne*oti'2&e, ,A&& #cri.ture is 6od 2re'thed 'nd is usefu& for te'chin*, re2u/in*, correctin* 'nd tr'inin* in ri*hteousness, so th't the m'n of 6od m'1 2e thorou*h&1 e@ui..ed for ever1 *ood 4or/- F% Tim. DH1C 17I. In the current cu&tur'& c&im'te of .o&itic'& to&er'nce, the 2i2&ic'& .rece.ts of our f'ith must not 2e com.romised. We 're to &ove 'nd c're for those 4ho h've other vie4s, 2ut '2'ndonin* 6od:s directives in order to 2e .o&itic'&&1 or soci'&&1 to&er'nt is '.ost's1. 3ortun'te&1, 6od .ermits " turns 'nd c'&&s 4'14'rd sou&s 2'c/ come home. The Challenge of Tragedies 3in'&&1, in M'1 of 1B8G, 0hristine re'ffirmed her theo&o*ic'& ,&i2er'tion- from the f'ith she *re4 u. 4ith= from the f'ith 4e sh'red to*ether. #he no &on*er considered herse&f to 2e 'n ev'n*e&ic'&, 2ut 4's .roud to 'cce.t the &i2er'&ism of the m'in&ine semin'ries. Wh't fo&&o4ed sur.rised 2oth of us. #he h'd ' com.ete nervous 2re'/do4nK In ' sin*&e d'1 she 4ent from ' h'..1 4ife 'nd ' &ovin* 'nd dotin* mother to ' 4om'n 4ho '..e'red to 2e .'ssion'te&1 suicid'&, 'nd seemed determined to /i&& herse&f re*'rd&ess of the cost. I fe&t th't the *'tes of he&& h'd o.ened, the future sudden&1 &oo/ed 2&e'/, 'nd I 4's tot'&&1 un.re.'red. In the me'ntime, since our re'& est'te 2usiness 4's *ood, 4e .ursued 'n 'ddition'& 2usiness
16

venture 'nd o.ened ' f'mi&1 rest'ur'nt F4hich 4ou&d .rove to 2e ' m'9or mist'/e on m1 .'rtI. I 4ondered if her i&&ness 4's ' divine 9ud*ment '*'inst us. (o4 does one ex.&'in such horrific eventsE 3or 1e'rs she 4'nted me to *o to counse&in* 'nd I stu22orn&1 refusedE 7o4 I 4ondered if I contri2uted to her i&&ness. One d'1 she to&d me th't she 4's not fee&in* 4e&& 'nd I thou*ht she mi*ht h've the f&u or ' co&d. (o4ever, I 4's shoc/ed 4hen she sho4ed me r'Jor cuts u. 'nd do4n her &eft 'rm. I 4's '2so&ute&1 stunned 'nd @uic/&1 *ot her into ' ment'& hos.it'& ne'r Phi&'de&.hi'. It 4's 9ust im.ossi2&e to 2e&ieve th't this 2ri*ht 'nd 2e'utifu& 4om'n, 4ho h'd once 2een 'nointed 'nd fu&& of f'ith, 4's no4 tr1in* to /i&& herse&f. In her s.irit 'nd emotions there must h've 2een unim'*in'2&e .'in 'nd 'n*uish. I 4ondered 4here it cou&d h've come from. This cou&d not 2e h'..enin* to us. Ever1one 4e /ne4 2e*'n .r'1in* for her. T4o months &'ter, her doctor to&d me th't she 4's one of the 4orst c'ses he h'd ever seen, 2ut th't 4hi&e he 4ou&d do his 2est, I needed to m'/e fin'& .&'ns. I cried &i/e ' /id. To this d'1 I c'n remem2er drivin* home from Phi&'de&.hi' on ' d'r/, r'in1, ni*ht 'nd sto..in* '&on* the hi*h4'1 to c'&& her sister in 0&eve&'nd to ex.&'in 4h't 4's h'..enin*. The &one&iness 4's *ut 4renchin*. The fo&&o4in* d'1, sti&& cr1in*, I 4ent to the #trun/ 3uner'& (ome in Lu'/erto4n 'nd m'de those fin'& .&'ns. I c'n sti&& vivid&1 remem2er 4'&/in* .'st the c's/ets, se&ectin* one, 'nd m'/in* tent'tive .&'ns 4hi&e .r'1in* th't I 4ou&d never need to use them.
17

The .'in 4's intense, 'nd I .r'1ed to 6od to he&. me 4ith m1 four 2e'utifu& chi&dren, '*es seven to thirteen. (o4 cou&d these innocent /ids co.e 4ith thisE I 4's in .'in A .ossi2&1 in some form of shoc/ or deni'&. I cou&d not im'*ine 4h't h'd c'used the sufferin* from 4hich m1 4ife 4's 'ttem.tin* to esc'.e. The iron1 is th't, throu*hout this time of i&&ness, she tried to 2e the 2est &ovin* mother she cou&d .ossi2&1 2e. 7o *re'ter &ove did 'n1 4om'n ever h've for her chi&dren th'n she h'd. >et she re.e'ted&1 'ttem.ted to /i&& herse&f, ' .'r'dox th't 2o**&ed m1 mind. Reflective thoughts )ef&ectin* u.on th't horri2&e time, I no4 re'&iJe th't I h'd ,he'd- /no4&ed*e of 6od 'nd (is Word, 2ut not ,he'rt- /no4&ed*e. There is ' hu*e difference 2et4een 'c'demic'&&1 /no4in* 6od:s .rece.ts 'nd h'vin* them in 1our he'rt so the1 'ffect ever1 's.ect of 1our &ife. In the 0hristi'n &ife, 4e c'n m'/e d'i&1 decisions 2'sed u.on 6od:s divine .romises 'nd comm'ndments. B'c/ then, if the Word of 6od h'd 2een in m1 inner 2ein*, in m1 ch'r'cter, I 4ou&d never h've 'cce.ted the re.ort of m1 4ife:s condition th't the doctor h'd *iven to me. I f'i&ed to h've the ,he'rt /no4&ed*e- 'nd, 's ' resu&t, I 4's i&& .re.'red for this ch'&&en*e 'nd suffered ' *re't de'& .'in need&ess&1. Trou2&es, es.eci'&&1 terri2&e 'nd .'infu& ones, c'n m'/e us come to one of t4o conc&usions '2out 6od. We 4i&& either turn
18

'4'1 from (im or run c&oser to (im. Those 4ho h've ex.erienced tr'um'tic events in &ife or &e*'&istic .'rents 4i&& *o to one of these t4o extremes. There 're ver1 fe4 4ho st'1 in the midd&e *round. Those 4ho turn '4'1 from 6od usu'&&1 do so for 'n unconscious re'son A .erh'.s to inf&ict more .'in u.on those 4ho hurt them or sometimes to inf&ict .'in u.on themse&ves. Whether the source 4's their .'rents, ' former s.ouse, or si*nific'nt other, the victim 4i&& re9ect th't 4hich the ori*in'tor of the .'in considered most im.ort'nt in &ife A even if it is f'ith in 6od. (e h's ' re'son for '&&o4in* thin*s to h'..en in our &ives. We m'1 never underst'nd (is 4isdom, 2ut 4e sim.&1 h've to trust (im. Eventu'&&1 0hristine im.roved sufficient&1 to come home, 2ut she 4's tot'&&1 medic'ted. In the months th't fo&&o4ed there 4ere times 4hen she seemed .erfect&1 4e&&. At other times she *'ve 4'1 to some terror in the midd&e of the ni*ht. 3riends from church h'd com.'ssion 'nd tried to he&. in 'n1 4'1 the1 cou&d. Others re'd #cri.ture to me 'nd insisted th't if I confessed some hidden sin, she 4ou&d 2e he'&ed. In 'ddition, there 4ere those 4ho s'id m1 4ife 4's i&& 2ec'use I &'c/ed f'ith for her he'&in*. I 2e*'n to fee& th't 2oth m1 2est friends 'nd m1 4orst enemies 4ere in the church. With 0hristi'n friends &i/e these, 4ho needed enemiesE I found m1se&f '&one= m'rried, 2ut ' sin*&e .'rent 4ith four /ids, 4hose &ives 4ere '&so 2ein* torn '.'rt one d'1 't ' time. I cou&d not im'*ine the
1

'n*uish 'nd inst'2i&it1 the1 4ere endurin*, &et '&one m1 o4n com.&ex emotions 'nd fee&in*s. Then, one evenin*, 0hristine h'd 'n 'uto 'ccident. I 4ent to *et her 4ith our t4o o&dest chi&dren, ('ns 'nd (eidi. #he 4's @uite u.set, 2ut not in9ured, so 4e 2e*'n our drive home. #he to&d us ho4 sorr1 she 4's for the 'ccident, sorr1 to 2e '&ive, 'nd ho4 much 2etter 4e 4ou&d 2e 4ithout her. I tried to encour'*e her, 2ut then she sudden&1 tried to 9um. out of the c'r 4hi&e 4e 4ere tr've&in* the s.eed &imit of 55 m.h, ne'r&1 c'usin* 'nother 'ccident. I then decided to t'/e her to the ment'& 4'rd 't 6r'ndvie4 (os.it'&, 4hich 4's much c&oser to our home. En route I cou&d h'rd&1 /ee. her in the c'r, unti& the /ids fi*ured out th't the1 cou&d unscre4 the door &oc/, thus tr'..in* her in the front se't. Wh't .'in 'nd insecurit1 the /ids must h've fe&t. ('d I not 2een so invo&ved 4ith m1 .'in, I cou&d h've 2een the f'ther I needed to 2e. 5i/e4ise, 0hristine h'd dee. emotion'& '*onies th't I sim.&1 cou&d not im'*ine. Even 4ith her s/e4ed .ers.ective of &ife, she des.er'te&1 tried to 2e the 2est mother she cou&d .ossi2&1 2e. (er &ove 'nd dedic'tion 4's never @uestioned. 3in'&&1, she 4's 2'c/ in the hos.it'&. +rivin* home in the &one&1 ni*ht, I 4ondered, ,6od, 4h1 don:t 1ou 'ns4er .r'1ersE- I remem2ered 8ohn 17 4here 8esus .r'1ed for (is s'ints. +id 6od 'ns4er 8esus: .r'1erE Then I he'rd the voice of one of the chi&dren 's/in*, ,+'dd1, 4h1 does Momm1 4'nt to dieE- Wh't does one te&& ' te'rfu& chi&dE An1 4ords I cou&d s'1 4ou&d 2e in'de@u'te. I fe&t 6od h'd '2'ndoned me= dis'..e'red 4ithout ' tr'ce. P'infu& emotions
20

c&ouded m1 thin/in* 'nd I fe&t &i/e I 4's in ' c'*e of '*oniJin* .'in from 4hich there 4's no esc'.e. I /ne4 th't m1 4ife 'nd /ids 4ere in distress 2ut I h'rd&1 /ne4 ho4 to h'nd&e m1 o4n needs, &et '&one theirs. 6oin* to s&ee. 't ni*ht 4's he&&= I never /ne4 the ni*hts cou&d 2e so d'r/ 'nd these d'r/ ni*hts of m1 sou& never seemed to h've ' .romise of sunrise. I 4ou&d cr1, ,Where 're 1ou 6odEReflective thoughts – +id she re'&&1 *o from ' h'..1 4ife 'nd &ovin*, dotin* mother to 2ecomin* ' suicid'& 4om'n in ' sin*&e d'1E At the time it cert'in&1 seemed th't 4'1 to me. But no4, 's ' counse&or, I underst'nd th't there 4ere numerous si*n'&s, 4hich I f'i&ed to reco*niJe. 3urthermore, I must confess th't she 's/ed me m'n1 times to *o to counse&in* 4ith her 'nd I 4's too stu22orn to *o. >et, I @uestion if counse&in* 4ou&d h've m'de 'n1 difference. When I fin'&&1 did *o, m1 counse&or s'id ,7o.- But h'd I *one, 't &e'st I 4ou&d h've 2een the /inder 'nd *ent&er hus2'nd th't she needed. The @uestion of ,4h1E- must 2e one of the most cri..&in* @uestions th't .onders the hum'n mind. When the most unim'*in'2&e events occur in one:s &ife, it is .ro2'2&1 one of the first @uestions to come to mind. The un'ns4ered @uestion c'n &e've ' ment'& v'cuum 'nd &ife 2ecomes une's1 unti& the v'cuum is fi&&ed. "nfortun'te&1, it is ' trite @uestion. Most of the times, no one 4i&& ever /no4 the 'ns4er. 3urthermore, if 1ou did /no4 the 'ns4er, 4h't difference 4ou&d
!1

it m'/eE 7oneK Therefore, it is ' @uestion for 6od to 'ns4er A if (e chooses to. 3or no4, &ife must *o on, other4ise, the un'ns4ered ,4h14i&& 2ecome 'n emotion'& 'nd ment'& cri..&in* '*ent. Isn:t it interestin* th't 8esus never mentioned the su29ect of un'ns4ered .r'1ersE (e 4's '&4'1s cert'in th't .r'1ers 4ou&d 2e 'ns4ered. Pr'1er is '2out 4h't 6od 4'nts, not 4h't 4e 4'nt. Then our needs 're mentioned. Th't is ' *ood &esson to remem2er.

22

PART 2 More Challenges In the next five 1e'rs m1 4ife s.ent some G5! d'1s in five different ment'& he'&th su..ort institutions. +octors tried ever1thin* from dru*s to e&ectric shoc/ ther'.1. Bec'use nothin* 4or/ed, I 4's const'nt&1 fe'rfu& of somed'1 findin* her de'd. In one 1e'r '&one she destro1ed four c'rs. T4ice I .ic/ed her out of ' 2&oodied 2ed 'nd rushed her off to ' hos.it'&. 6ener'&&1 thou*h, she 4's so he'vi&1 sed'ted th't she 4's h'rm&ess. We so&d the 0orvette 'nd .urch'sed ' c'm.er, ho.in* th't more f'mi&1 time to*ether 4ou&d 4or/. It didn:t. Occ'sion'&&1, 4hen her he'&th im.roved, I thou*ht m1 .r'1ers 4ere 'ns4ered. (o4ever, m1 o.timism 4's '&4'1s fo&&o4ed 21 ' *re'ter dis'..ointment. I cou&dn:t underst'nd 4h1 I h'd ex.erienced such 'n incredi2&e mir'c&e of he'&in* in 1B7G 'nd no4 &ife 4's tot'& .'in 'nd ch'os. Th't divine he'&in* seemed &i/e ' dist'nt dre'm. +idn:t our f'mi&1 do ever1thin* ri*htE +idn:t 4e serve 6od 's 2est 's 4e cou&dE My Father Passed Away Amidst the dev'st'tin* turmoi& in m1 &ife 4ith m1 4ife:s i&&ness, in Au*ust of 1B8G, m1 f'ther .'ssed '4'1. This monument'& &oss of m1 4onderfu& d'd '..e'red on&1 's ' sm'&& 2&im. on the emotion'& r'd'r screen th't ref&ected the continuous fier1 d'rts of #'t'n 't m1 f'mi&1, 'nd
!3

't m1 4ife in .'rticu&'r. I 4's th'n/fu& th't in his &'st d'1s I 4's '2&e to .r'1 the sinner:s .r'1er 4ith him 'nd /no4 th't somed'1 I 4i&& see him '*'in. Reflective thoughts – I remem2er the d'1s, 4hen 's ' 1oun* chi&d, I 4or/ed 4ith m1 d'd in his 4or/sho. 2ui&din* furniture. Other times 4e 4ou&d 2e to*ether 4or/in* the f'mi&1 f'rm. I remem2ered the stories from his chi&dhood, to&d in 6erm'n, 'nd ho4 difficu&t &ife 4's 'fter Wor&d W'r I. As 'n on&1 chi&d, I 4's 2&essed to 2e the reci.ient of their s.eci'& &ove. A son* 4riter once 4rote, ,When the 2i&&o4s ro&& M it is 4e&& 4ith m1 sou&.- We&&, the .rover2i'& se' 2i&&o4s 4ere ro&&in* throu*h m1 &ife c'usin* *re't h'voc, .'in, 'nd '2so&ute&1 nothin* 4's 4e&& 4ith m1 sou&. M1 confidence in 6od 4's 2ein* ch'&&en*ed 'nd I &oo/ed more 't the circumst'nces th'n to 6od. It 4ou&d h've 2een e's1 to s'1 th't 6od 4's the 'nchor of m1 &ife, 2ut 4hen d'1s 2ec'me 4ee/s 'nd 4ee/s 2ec'me months 'nd months 2ec'me 1e'rs, I cried out ,6od, 4here 're 1ouE- >et in m1 .'in I /ne4 (e 4's there A some4here A 4hich com.ounded m1 .ro2&emH ,6od, if 1ou 're there For hereI, 4h1 don:t 1ou do somethin*E- #ometimes 4e don:t *et the 'ns4ers 4e ex.ect, 2ut 4e *et the 'ns4ers 4e need. A*'in, 's the son* 4riter once s'id, ,'hough Satan should buffet,
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'hough trials should come, Let this blest assurance control. 'hat *hrist has regarded my hel!less estate, And hath shed %is o#n blood for my soul. + $t is #ell #ith my soulMy Daughter Molested Whi&e m1 2usinesses 4ere successfu&, f'mi&1 .ro2&ems over4he&med me. Therefore, I em.&o1ed ' trusted f'mi&1 'c@u'int'nce, 4hom I sh'&& c'&& ,Tom,- to 2e m1 forem'n. (e @uic/&1 demonstr'ted th't he 4's 'n 'ns4er to .r'1er 'nd 'n incredi2&e 2&essin*. (e 4's de.end'2&e, s/i&&ed in '&& .h'ses of home construction, 'nd m'de cert'in '&& 4or/ .erformed 21 su2contr'ctors 4's @u'&it1 'nd com.&eted on time. (e 4's definite&1 the /ind of 1oun* m'n 'n1 em.&o1er 4'nted. It 4's h'rd to im'*ine ho4 I h'd ever *otten '&on* 4ithout him. (o4ever, 'fter sever'& months on the 9o2, one d'1 m1 nei*h2or informed me th't Tom h'd mo&ested his d'u*hter, 's 4e&& 's mine the .revious evenin*. I 4's extreme&1 'n*r1 'nd 2itter 'nd I cou&d not im'*ine ho4 m1 d'u*hter fe&t. In m1 'n*er I .r'1ed for .e'ce 'nd 4isdom. The ne4s stressed 0hristine so 2'd&1 th't she ended u. in the hos.it'& for 'nother t4o 4ee/s. I 4'nted to .ress ch'r*es 4ith the .o&ice, 2ut 0hristine insisted other4ise. I sent Tom 2'c/ home to I&&inois, 2ut to this d'1 I re*ret not c'&&in* the .o&ice. After he &eft I entered his '.'rtment 'nd 4's sur.rised 't his hu*e co&&ection of .orno*r'.hic m'*'Jines. Who 4ou&d ever h've thou*ht th't this 1oun* m'n, ' .re'cher:s /id, 4ho s.ent ' 1e'r in Bi2&e
!5

co&&e*e, 4ou&d ever do such ' thin*E 7o m'tter 4h't I tried to do, m1 .erson'& &ife seemed to 2e f'&&in* '.'rt. #o I &oo/ed for ' .&'ce 4here success cou&d 2e found. A New estaurant I h'd the o..ortunit1 to se&& the rest'ur'nt 'nd 2u1 ' &'r*er, historic one. The fin'nci'& records indic'ted th't this 4's 'n o..ortunit1 not to 2e missed. I h'd '&4'1s en9o1ed the ch'&&en*e of ' 2usiness, 's much, if not more, th'n the fin'nci'& re4'rds. I sti&& remem2er the d'1 I stood '&on* the side of this 2e'utifu& e'r&1 18th centur1 inn, &oo/ed 'cross the t4e&ve 'cre me'do4 4ith the stre'm, 'nd thou*ht 4h't ' 2&essin* this rest'ur'nt 4ou&d 2e. (o4ever, ' voice inside c&e'r&1 indic'ted th't I 4's not to 2u1 it. An intern'& 'r*ument ensued. (o4 cou&d this .urch'se not 2e ' *ood investmentE The fin'nci'& num2ers &oo/ed so *ood. In time, I re'&iJed th't I shou&d h've &istened. This 4's not ' *ood decision. Reflective thoughts – A&& too often 4e 2&'me the devi& or others for our 2'd decisions. Whi&e those t4o inf&uences cert'in&1 do enter ever1one:s &ife on occ'sion, confession of errors is 's im.ort'nt 's confession of sin. In this c'se, the fin'nci'& num2ers &oo/ed so *ood indic'tin* it 4's 'n o..ortunit1 not to 2e missed. (o4ever, in time I re'&iJed th't I shou&d h've &istened to th't inner voice. The rest'ur'nt turned into ' fin'nci'& dis'ster. Often it is not the 4e'/nesses of ' m'n th't often 2rin*s him do4n, 2ut his stren*ths. M1 stren*th 4's m1 demise,
26

'nd underst'ndin* this *ives ' de.th of me'nin* to the .hr'se, ,M1 stren*th is in the 5ord- FPs. %8H7= Is'. 1%H%= ('2. DH1BI. My Dying !ncle One d'1 I received ' .hone c'&& from m1 unc&e in 7e4 >or/ 0it1 's/in* me to visit him 's soon 's .ossi2&e. We 4ere not ver1 c&ose, 2ut I 4ent 'n14'1, re'&iJin* the c'&& 4's ur*ent. I @uic/&1 discovered th't he 4's d1in* of c'ncer 'nd, since I 4's next of /in, I h'd to t'/e c're of him. M1 &ife 4's fi&&ed 4ith ' ch'otic .'r'dox. M1 4ife s'id she found ' ne4 freedom in her f'ith, 2ut 4'nted to die, 4hi&e m1 unc&e 4's ' committed 'theist 'nd 4'nted to &ive. Once ' 4ee/ I drove ' hundred mi&es to 7e4 >or/ 'nd visited him in his '.'rtment or 't 5ennox (i&& (os.it'&, then returned to see m1 4ife in her hos.it'&, 'nd returned home &'te 't ni*ht, 'fter the /ids h'd *one to 2ed 21 themse&ves. The ho.e th't 0hristine mi*ht somed'1 recover, come home, c're for our chi&dren, 'nd th't 4e cou&d once '*'in h've ' sem2&'nce of norm'&c1 's ' f'mi&1, 4's *one. I 4ou&d *o in their rooms 't ni*ht to 2&ess them 'nd 4onder 4h't their &ives 4ou&d 2ecome. #eein* the te'rs on their s&ee.in* chee/s 4's more th'n I cou&d h'nd&e. I cried out to 6od, ,Where 're 1ouE- The .'in 4's so *re't th't I sensed no 'ns4er. This 4ent on for months 'nd then 1e'rs. In the midst of .'in, m1 s.iritu'& si*ht 4's cri..&ed 'nd time 2ec'me end&ess. 5ife fe&t so incredi2&1 &one&1 'nd it seemed th't no2od1 c'red. >et 6od 4's there. I 9ust did not sense (is .resence.
!7

When I 2&essed 'nd .r'1ed for m1 s&ee.in* d'u*hter, I remem2ered her mission'r1 tri. to Be&iJe. I 4ondered if she 4ou&d ever 4'nt to 2e in 0hristi'n service '*'in. Or 4ou&d the .'in of &ife 2e too much for herE I 4ondered if m1 son ('ns 4ho .re'ched his first sermon 4hen he 4's on&1 nine 1e'rs o&d 4ou&d 4'nt to fo&&o4 the 5ord:s c'&&in* in his &'ter 1e'rsE Then there 4's Wi&he&m 4ho &oved M'tch2ox c'rs 'nd 4'nted to 2e 'n en*ineer. Wou&d he m'/e itE 3in'&&1, the 1oun*est 4's 0hristi'n. (e 9ust 4'nted to 2e ' /id 'nd .&'1. (o4 cou&d chi&dhood innocence 2e t'/en from e'ch of them throu*h these tr'*ic circumst'ncesE (o4 cou&d 6od &et this h'..enE But '*'in, there 4's to 2e no res.onse to m1 .r'1ers. Reflective thoughts – If 1ou ever s4'm in ' river 'nd for ' moment 4ondered 4hich 4'1 4's u., then 1ou re'&iJed the fe'r 'nd concern one c'n h've 'nd ho4 im.ort'nt it is not to .'nic. I h'rd&1 /ne4 4hich 4'1 4's u.. On the outside I m'1 h've &oo/ed c'&m, 2ut m1 s.irit 4's ne'r&1 dro4nin* in .'in 'nd frustr'tion. In such times 's these, one n'tur'&&1 tends to focus on the in4'rd .'in. But the chi&dren 4ere '&so h'vin* their issues. The st'2i&it1 of ' &ovin* t4o .'rent home, 4hich the1 needed 'nd 0hristine 'nd I 4'nted to .rovide, 4's sh'ttered. Ever1one in the f'mi&1 h'd .'in, confusion, 'nd frustr'tion. It is in times 's these, 4hen he'rt'che 'nd &oss '..e'rs to /i&& 1our sou&, th't 4e c'n
28

identif1 4ith the 2i2&ic'& fi*ure 21 the n'me of 8o2. Whi&e I /no4 I m'de some errors in 9ud*ment, 8o2 suffered immense&1 even thou*h he 4's 'n extreme&1 4e'&th1 'nd ri*hteous m'n 4ho honored 6od 'nd 4's /ind to others. In this 2i2&ic'& n'rr'tive, the @uestion re'ders 're confronted 4ith is, ,Where is the 9ustice of 6od 4hen the innocent sufferE- The f'ct is th't 6od is sti&& 6od. Whi&e 6od is 9ust, 4e &ive in 'n un9ust 4or&d. We 're free mor'& '*ents 4ho h've the o..ortunit1 to do 4h't is ri*ht or 4h't is 4ron*. ?'rious decisions 'nd 'ctions 4e 'nd others m'/e inf&uence our &ives, sometimes to the .oint 4here 4e fee& '&& is ho.e&ess 'nd on&1 ' d'r/ future &ies 2efore us. The Bi2&e never .romises 'n1one ' rose *'rden. Persecution 'nd h'rd times 're .romised for the 2e&ievers. >et 6od 4i&& never &e've us or fors'/e us F)om'ns 8H18 DBI. At times (e 4i&& de&iver us from horrific events 'nd other times (e 4i&& 2e 4ith us 's 4e ex.erience them. In *ood times 'nd 2'd, 4e 're to .r'ise 6od for 4ho (e is, 6od. We do not .r'ise (im 2ec'use of the difficu&ties, 2ut for the f'ct th't 4ith 8esus 4e 're more th'n con@uerors F)om. 8H%8I. Even if 4e do not fee& &i/e 4e 4'nt to .r'ise (im, &i/e +'vid, 4e m'1 h've to encour'*e ourse&ves to .r'ise (im. We 're not to m'/e decisions 'ccordin* to our fee&in*s, 2ut to &ive 21 (is
!

.romises A th't is, to '..&1 6od:s .romises to our &ives. Th't is c'&&ed f'ith in 'ction. The im.ort'nce to /ee. ' .'ssion'te focus on 8esus, r'ther th'n on our .ro2&ems, c'nnot 2e overst'ted. Even if our .ro2&ems 're not 's severe 's 4h't 8o2 ex.erienced, stressfu& events of ' &o4er de*ree '..e'r to 2e insurmount'2&e 4hen 4e 're in the midst of them. Eventu'&&1, 'fter c'&m 'nd .e'ce 're restored, 4e c'n &oo/ 2'c/ 4ith %!N%! hindsi*ht 'nd see 4here 6od intervened. As ' resu&t, 4e 4i&& 2ecome stron*er 2e&ievers 4ho c'n he&. others 4ith their ch'&&en*es. The1 mi*ht 2e dro4nin* in ' river of .ro2&ems 'nd 1ou c'n then sh're 4ith them the &ife .reservers of 6od:s .romises. Oh ho4 I no4 4ish I h'd '&4'1s &ived th't 4'1K "ife was too #ard One of those tri.s to 7e4 >or/ 4's es.eci'&&1 2'd. After 'n exh'ustin* d'1 in the 2i* dirt1 cit1 I 4's on m1 4'1 home 'nd @uic/&1 *ot stuc/ in he'v1 tr'ffic. After 4'itin* 'nd 4'itin* 'nd *ettin* no4here, I decided to .'r/ m1 c'r 'nd t'/e ' 4'&/. 5ife 4's ' torment 'nd I 4's re'd1 to *ive u.= I 4'nted to *ive u.. 5ife sim.&1 4's not 4orth '&& this .'in 'nd miser1. I cou&d see no 4'1 out. I 4's tr'..ed. #udden&1 the thou*ht c'me to me th't I cou&d 9ust h've ' f&in* 4ith one of the side4'&/ *ir&s, 9um. in the ne'r21 river, 'nd th't 4ou&d end m1 torment. +e'th to m1 unendin* he'rt'ches sounded so s4eet 'nd enticin*. Whenever one is re'd1 to *ive u., #'t'n is '&4'1s there 4ith 'n 'ttr'ctive 'ns4er 'nd it
+0

4i&& '&4'1s 2e destructive. I h'd not 4'&/ed f'r 'nd there 4's ' teen'*e .rostitute. We stood '&on* the side4'&/ 'nd t'&/ed for ' fe4 minutes. #he s'id she h'd 2een from ' 0hristi'n f'mi&1 in Io4', 2ut she h'd run '4'1 2ec'use of the conf&ict 'nd .'in in her f'mi&1. Immedi'te&1, her 4ords .ierced m1 he'rt. I thou*ht of m1 (eidi 'nd the 2o1s 't home. Then she &oo/ed 't me 'nd 's/ed, ,Are 1ou ' 0hristi'nE,7o,- I 'ns4ered. ,I 4's.I cou&d not 2e&ieve 4h't I h'd s'idK With those sh'mefu& 4ords, I turned 'nd 4'&/ed to m1 c'r. (er 4ords cut &i/e ' /nife, 2ut mine cut dee.er. I re.ented of the incredi2&e sin of den1in* m1 5ord. I 4e.t 2itter&1. Even thou*h I /ne4 the 5ord for*'ve me th't ni*ht, it too/ ten 1e'rs unti& I cou&d sh're th't horrendous event 4ith 'n12od1. It is one thin* to re'd the 2i2&ic'& 'ccount of Peter 'nd his deni'& of 8esus. It is 'nother to ex.erience ' simi&'r 'ccount 'nd the &ovin* redem.tion th't fo&&o4ed. In s.ite of 6od:s &ove, it 4's difficu&t for me to for*ive m1se&f. #oon m1 unc&e h'd im.roved in he'&th 'nd, since I h'd '&re'd1 moved his 4ife into one of m1 '.'rtments in Penns1&v'ni', I 4's re'd1 to move him '&so. The d'1 I 4ent to the hos.it'& in 7e4 >or/ 0it1 to *et him, he died. My $reatest Anger In s.ite of ever1thin* th't 4's *oin* on, m1 re'& est'te 2usiness *re4. I too/ on ' fin'nci'& .'rtner, 4ho I sh'&& refer to 's ,8'c/.- (e h'd 2een introduced to me 21 his .'stor 2ec'use 4e h'd common 2usiness interests. We soon 2ec'me
31

*ood friends. After sever'& 1e'rs, he 4's '&so m1 ,shou&der to cr1 on,- durin* m1 4ife:s suicide 'ttem.ts. 0hristine im.roved throu*hout 1B88 'nd the fo&&o4in* 1e'r. I &oo/ed for4'rd to ce&e2r'tin* our %!th 4eddin* 'nnivers'r1 in M'1 of 1B8B. It 4's excitin* to see her deve&o. ' fresh out&oo/ on &ife even thou*h 4e 4ere mi&es '.'rt theo&o*ic'&&1. I h'd f'ith th't, in time, 4e cou&d come to*ether on these issues. We decided to s.end ' s.eci'& 4ee/end 't ' 2e'utifu& se'side resort. It 4's there 0hristine to&d me she 4's fi&in* for divorce. 8ust 4hen I 4's .r'isin* 6od for her he'&in*, m1 &ife 2ec'me he&& '&& over '*'in. 7o4 chest .'ins 'dded to the discomfort of ' &im. th't h'd recent&1 deve&o.ed in m1 &eft &e*. The 'nnouncement of the .endin* divorce .ut 8'c/ into ' .'nic. I h'd trusted him 'nd 2e&ieved th't he &e*'&&1 recorded '&& '..ro.ri'te documents .ert'inin* to our re'& est'te m'tters in the count1 courthouse. (o4ever, much to m1 sur.rise, I discovered he h'd not done so. (e 4's m1 c&osest friend 'nd /e1 fin'nci'& .'rtner. I 2e&ieved his 4ord 4's his 2ond, since he 4's '&so on the fin'nce committee of his church, ' .osition th't re@uired inte*rit1 'nd mor'& ch'r'cter. (o4ever, he h'd no desire to he&. me 4ith m1 ment'&&1 i&& 4ife or m1 chi&dren, 2ut on&1 to secure his fin'nci'& *'in. #ince I h'd .&'ced com.&ete trust in him concernin* fin'nces, he @uic/&1 2oxed me in, *ivin* me no fin'nci'& mo2i&it1 to s've m1 home 'nd re'& est'te investments.

+2

One d'1 I visited him, &iter'&&1 /ne&t 2efore him on his *'r'*e f&oor, 'nd 2e**ed him not to .ut me in 2'n/ru.tc1. (e &'u*hed 'nd 's/ed for m1 'nti@ue tr'in set F' chi&dhood *ift from m1 .'rentsI, since he 4's 'n 'vid tr'in co&&ector. I cou&d not 2e&ieve his ch'n*e in ch'r'cter, 1et I h'd foo&ish&1 i*nored ' 4'rnin* si*n. 8'c/ h'd ' @uiet, 2ut &ucr'tive, ho221 of co&&ectin* 'nd se&&in* r're tr'ins on 4hich he did not .'1 t'xes. If he h'd 2een deceitfu& to the *overnment, 4h1 4ou&d I ex.ect him to 2e honest 4ith meE I h'd chosen to 2e 2&ind. Eventu'&&1, 8'c/ dem'nded usurious interest r'tes of 55 'nd C! .ercent. >e'rs &'ter, in 2i2&ic'& studies, I &e'rned th't the (e2re4 root 4ord for ,sn'/e2ite- is the s'me 's for ,usur1.- Words c'nnot descri2e the h'tred 'nd 2itterness I h'd for him. As ' .'rtner I h'd he&.ed him e'rn hundreds of thous'nds of do&&'rs. This m'n .rided himse&f on his 0hristi'n f'ith, his .osition of ,non vio&ence,- 'nd his mem2ershi. in ' ,.e'ce- denomin'tion, 2ut he did not c're th't he 4's destro1in* ' f'mi&1 home for his fin'nci'& *'in. M1 h'tred *re4 so intense th't one ni*ht I found m1se&f in front of his house .&'nnin* his murder. On&1 21 the *r'ce of 6od he is not de'd 'nd I 'm not sentenced to &ife in .rison or on de'th ro4. Ironic'&&1, once '*'in, those 4ho 2ec'me m1 4orst enemies 4ere the most esteemed mem2ers in the church. I /ne4 th't m1 thou*hts of h'te 'nd ven*e'nce 4ere 4ron*, 1et m1 emotions 4ere so stron* th't the1 consumed me. I cou&d not s&ee. 't ni*ht for I 4's tormented const'nt&1 21 8'c/:s *reed for hi*h interest r'tes, m1 chi&dhood to1 tr'in, his
33

&'u*hter, 'nd the 2ro/en trust. I /e.t te&&in* m1se&f th't I shou&d h've reco*niJed the 4'rnin* si*ns, 2ut no4 it 4's too &'te, I 4's .'1in* the .en'&t1. In 'ddition, he eventu'&&1 dem'nded some of m1 .ro.erties 't ' ,discounted .rice,4hi&e the s'&es tr'ns'ction st'ted re'& m'r/et v'&ue. In this m'nner he 4's '2&e to se&& the .ro.erties 4ith &itt&e or no .rofit 'nd there21 'void income t'xes. #ince I 4's fin'nci'&&1 tr'..ed, I h'd no choice 2ut to '*ree 4ith him. It 4's .ure fr'ud 'nd I 4'nted to /i&& him. +e'&in* 4ith 8'c/ 4's m1 2i**est s.iritu'& stru**&e. It is trite to s'1 th't I needed to for*ive him. I fe&t so vio&'ted th't 4ords f'i&. An*er th't *ro4s to h'tred 'nd then 2itterness is ' .ro&on*ed m'nner of emotion'& 'nd s.iritu'& suicide. +'1 in 'nd d'1 out I 4ou&d find m1se&f cursin* him, on&1 to re.ent &'ter. I h'd determined to for*ive him, re*'rd&ess of ho4 I fe&t. There 're no 4ords th't c'n ex.ress m1 difficu&t1 in for*ivin* this church tre'surer. The he'&in* .rocess did not t'/e months, 2ut 1e'rs. In 1B7G m1 he'&in* h'd come @uic/&1 inst'nt&1, 2ut this he'&in* 4's ' &on* 'nd 'rduous .rocess ver1 &on*. Eventu'&&1, I 4's he'&ed from 'n*er 'nd 2itterness to4'rd him 2ec'use I continuous&1 's/ed 6od to for*ive 'nd 2&ess 2oth of us. In the .rocess, m1 emotions 'nd 'ttitudes 4ere '&so he'&ed 21 the unf'thom'2&e &ove, merc1, 'nd he'&in* *r'ce of A&mi*ht1 6od. 3rom this ex.erience, I cou&d h've 4ritten ' 2oo/ on 4h1 one must not 2e ' 0hristi'n, 2ut I chose to 4rite '2out 8esus. Reflective thoughts – 8ust 2ec'use 1ou h've 'n en9o1'2&e 4or/in* re&'tionshi. 4ith someone does not
+4

me'n he or she is ' friend. We mist'/e com.'ti2i&it1 'nd common *o'&s for friendshi.. Whi&e these m'1 2e e&ements of friendshi., the under&1in* e&ement of friendshi. is 4hether one c'res for the other:s 2est 4e&f're. To ,&i/e someonemi*ht 2e trivi'& friendshi., the first ste. of 2ecomin* true 'nd c&ose friends. True friendshi. t'/es time to 2ui&d. Prover2s GH%D s'1s, ,Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the #ells!ring of life.In 'n incre'sin*&1 techno&o*ic'& 4or&d, true friendshi.s 're r're. 3riendshi. me'ns identit1 in thou*ht, he'rt, 'nd s.irit. A c&ose friendshi. 'nd re&'tionshi. 4ith one:s s.ouse is ' microcosm of the &ove re&'tionshi. 4e 're to h've 4ith 8esus. A&& too often 4e receive (is 2&essin*s 'nd /no4 of (im, 2ut do not /no4 (im .erson'&&1. It is (is *re'test 9o1 4hen someone 4'nts to come c&oser to (im. #ooner or &'ter 4e '&& fee& the hurt 'nd dis'..ointment of someone 4e res.ected, &oved, or trusted 4ho 2etr'1ed us. An*er m'1 2urn 4ithin, 2ut even if it is 9ustified, 4e 're to for*ive. To for*ive is not to s'1 th't the event never h'..ened, 2ut on&1 th't 1ou 4i&& not ho&d ' .'rticu&'r ch'r*e '*'inst him or her. 7either does for*iveness me'n th't &e*'& conse@uences 4i&& 2e 'voided. It me'ns th't 1ou 's/ 6od not to 9ud*e him or her, 2ut, r'ther, 1ou h've chosen to .r'1 6od:s 2&essin* u.on the vio&'tor inste'd. The 4ord ,2&essin*- in this context cou&d me'n s'&v'tion, .e'ce,
35

or 'n1 num2er of thin*s des.er'te&1 needs from 6od.

the

.erson

The .rocess of .r'1in* for someone &i/e th't is ver1 difficu&t. It is ' m'tter of .r'1in* '*'inst 1our emotions 'nd ever1thin* 1ou fee&, es.eci'&&1 if the vio&'tion suffered is severe. >ou m'1 fee& &i/e ' h1.ocrite .r'1in* for for*iveness 4hen, in f'ct, 1ou mi*ht 4'nt to str'n*&e th't .erson. This /ind of .r'1er is tru&1 ' s'crifice of the hi*hest de*ree, 2ec'use 1ou stru**&e to tr'nsform 1our mind to conform to 6od:s 4i&&, even thou*h 1our emotions te&& 1ou other4ise F)om. 1%H1 %I. 3or*ivin* .eo.&e 4ho h've hurt 1ou is 1our *ift to them. 3or*ettin* those .eo.&e 4ho h've hurt 1ou is 1our *ift to 1ou. In time, the for*ivin* emotions 4i&& deve&o.. It m'1 not 2e e's1 or @uic/, 2ut 't the end, 1ou 4i&& 2e 2&essed. 6od does not m'/e 'n1one thin/ or 'ct &i/e 8esus did. We must choose to do so ourse&ves. Our ide's, thou*hts, .r'1ers 'nd 'ctions shou&d conform to the o2edience of 6od. This is ho4 our hum'n n'ture or ch'r'cter is tr'nsformed into the im'*e Fdivine n'ture or ch'r'cterI of 6od.

+6

PART 3 My %orld &mplodes' (ut there is #ope B1 the summer of 1BB! the divorce 4's com.&ete, m1 ex 4ife h'd moved out 'nd I 4's tr1in* to m'int'in ' home for the /ids 's &on* 's I cou&d. The1 too 4ere under he'v1 stress, much of 4hich 4's c'used 21 m1 mist'/es 'nd m1 emotions th't 4ere re'd1 to come to the surf'ce 't ' moment:s notice. 0hest .'ins 4ere deve&o.in* 'nd I fe'red ' he'rt 'tt'c/. (o4ever, m1 doctor s'id the chest .'ins 4ere stress re&'ted 'nd th't I needed to re&e'se ever1thin* 'nd concentr'te on surviv'&. The ne4s did not seem to he&.. The 2'n/ru.tc1 4's comin* u.on me &i/e ' m'ssive d'r/ c&oud 'nd it 4's evident th't ever1thin* 4ou&d soon 2e &ost. The on&1 4inner 4's 8'c/. The f'mi&1 f'rm ' 17D% &o* 'nd stone f'rmhouse, '&on* 4ith some DC other .ro.erties, 4ere eventu'&&1 &ost. Ever1thin* th't m1 .'rents 'nd I h'd ever 4or/ed for A *one.

37

>et, I h'd to 2e honest 4ith m1se&f. As the c&ichO s'1s, ,decisions determine destin1,- 'nd m1 &oss 4's the resu&t of m1 decisions. 8'c/ 4's not the on&1 re'son A I shou&d never h've .urch'sed the second rest'ur'nt 'nd I never shou&d h've trusted him. >et, even if I h'd not .urch'sed it, ever1thin* 4ou&d .ro2'2&1 h've *one south. M1 2&ood .ressure 4's s/1 hi*h. M1 'ttorne1 'nd I discussed ' .ossi2&e &'4suit. (o4ever, I h'd trou2&e de'&in* 4ith the issue of t'/in* 'nother 2rother of the f'ith to court. T4o .'stors I res.ected 'dvised me th't 8'c/ 4's 21 no me'ns ' 2rother, 's .roven 21 the ,fruit- of his &ife. (o4ever, I decided to tr1 to sett&e the m'tter in ' 2i2&ic'& m'nner. I 4ent to him .riv'te&1 'nd 's/ed him to do 4h't 4's ri*ht. With ' micro c'ssette recorder hidden in m1 .oc/et, I t'.ed three convers'tions 'nd ever1 time 8'c/ 'dmitted th't 4h't he 4's doin* to me 4's 4ron*, 2ut s'id th't he h'd to .rotect his investment. #ti&&, 4e '*reed to tr1 to reso&ve our differences in ' 2i2&ic'& m'nner. #ince ' .riv'te convers'tion 2et4een us did not .roduce resu&ts, 4e 's/ed sever'& res.ected mem2ers of the church to *'ther to 2e the 9ud*es. (o4ever, 8'c/:s stor1 to them in .u2&ic 4's @uite different. A&& of these men 4ere from ' tr'dition'& ,.e'cedenomin'tion, 4hich .re'ched non vio&ence 'nd no mi&it'r1 service. The1 reco*niJed the conf&ict 2et4een 8'c/ 'nd me, 1et refused to m'/e ' decision invo&vin* conf&ict. Wh't iron1K 3in'&&1, I decided to fi&e ' &'4suit. I *'ve m1 'ttorne1 '&& the necess'r1 documents 'nd the t'.e recordin*s concernin* our re'&
+8

est'te .ro9ects. (e 4ou&d h've 2een de&i*hted to t'/e the c'se to court 4ith his on&1 fee 2ein* ' .ercent'*e of the fin'& '4'rd. (o4ever, 's ' friend 'nd true .rofession'&, he s'id th't such ' tri'& 4ou&d 2e f'r more stressfu& th'n 4h't I '&re'd1 4's ex.eriencin*. (e @uestioned if it re'&&1 4ou&d 2e in m1 2est interest to .roceed. (e h'd ' he'rtfe&t concern for me. 3urthermore, m1 t'.e recordin*s vio&'ted feder'& 4iret'. &'4s 'nd, hence, cou&d not 2e used 's evidence in court. "sin* them 's evidence cou&d h've &'nded me in .rison. This frustr'ted me even more, 's these c&e'r confessions 4ou&d o2vious&1 .rove m1 c'se. Whi&e the &'4suit 4's 4inn'2&e 4ithout use of the t'.e recordin*s, I 'cce.ted his counse&, dro..ed the m'tter, 'nd destro1ed the t'.es. Reflective thoughts – Tr1in* to reso&ve issues 'ccordin* to 2i2&ic'& instruction m'1 not .roduce the desired resu&ts, 2ut it is sti&& the ri*ht 4'1. It h's 2een s'id th't 4e must never &oo/ for 9ustice. (o4 c'n there 2e true 9ustice in ' f'&&en 4or&dE Tr1 's 4e 4i&&, 4e 're '&& hum'n 'nd su29ect to hum'n fr'i&ties= 4e 're '&& sinners s'ved 21 the 6r'ce of 6od. The test of s.iritu'&it1 occurs 4hen 4e 're f'ced 4ith in9ustice, .ersecution, me'nness, or un*r'tefu&ness. The test seems to 2e intensified 4hen such 'ttitudes 'nd 'ctions come from others 4ithin our f'mi&1 or church. On&1 6od h's true /no4&ed*e of e'ch of us. (um'n 9ud*ments 're not 2'sed on f'cts, 2ut, more often, on ide's th't m'1 or m'1
3

not 2e f'ctu'&. 3or th't re'son, 4hen c'&&ed to m'/e 9ud*ment, it is im.er'tive th't the 9ud*ment meted out is the s'me 's 4h't 4e 4ou&d desire to 2e .&'ced u.on us. 8esus /ne4 the 4e'/nesses of (is disci.&es 'nd those to 4hom (e ministered. When (e 4's 2etr'1ed, (e did not *et 'n*r1 or c1nic'& 'nd (e cert'in&1 did not .&ot some scheme for &'te ni*ht reven*e. In this f'&&en 'nd sin r'v'*ed 4or&d, 4e 're never to ex.ect true 9ustice, 2ut shou&d '&4'1s 2e 4i&&in* to *ive 9ustice to the 2est of our '2i&it1. Time to chec) out 5ife for me 4's in const'nt tension, 2ut I tried to m'/e it 's .&e's'nt 's .ossi2&e for the /ids. On one 2ri*ht sunn1 d'1 I c'&&ed the /ids to come in for su..er 'nd discovered (eidi h'd run '4'1. I cou&d not 2e&ieve it. (o4 cou&d she do thisE 7o one seemed to /no4 4here she 4's. I cou&d on&1 thin/ of the *ir& I met in 7e4 >or/ 4ho 4's ' run'4'1, the .rostitute 4ho 21 this time most cert'in&1 m'1 h've 2een murdered or died of AI+#. 7o4 d'dd1:s &itt&e *ir& 4's *one. The one 4ho h'd 2een vio&'ted, 4hom I f'i&ed to .rotect, 4's no4 ' run '4'1. I cou&d not he&. 2ut 4onder if she 4's '&so 4'&/in* the streets of 7e4 >or/. I 4ondered ho4 she fe&t, 4h't 4's her .'in &i/eE Thou*hts 'nd dre'ms for her h'd 2ecome ' ni*htm're. M1 &ife fe&t incredi2&1 deso&'te, I fe&t I 4's so estr'n*ed from 6od th't I did not even /no4 ho4 to .roceed. I 4ished I cou&d sim.&1 me&t '4'1 'nd dis'..e'r. The .'in sudden&1 2ec'me
40

excruci'tin*. The d'1s h'd 2ecome 's d'r/ 's the ni*hts '*'in. I 4ent into m1 office 'nd cried. ,6odK Where 're 1ouE Wh1 do I h've '&& this he&& in m1 &ifeE 8esus, if 1ou &ove me, 4h1 'm I hurtin* so 2'd&1E- Th't 9o1fu& chi&dhood h1mn no4 seemed &i/e ' ho&&o4 ho.e. I cou&d t'/e it no &on*er the .'in 4's too *re't. I 9ust /ne4 6od did not 'ns4er m1 .r'1ers 'n1more. (e didn:t c're= it 4's time to chec/ out. I &o'ded m1 semi 'utom'tic 'nd .r'1ed 4h't I thou*ht 4ou&d 2e m1 &'st .r'1er. I to&d 6od, ,I tried m1 2est 'nd f'i&ed, for*ive me 'nd t'/e c're of the /ids.- 8ust 4hen I s'id ,Amen,- the .hone r'n*. I .ic/ed it u. 'nd 't the other end 4's 'n o&d 2usiness 'c@u'int'nce 4ith 4hom I h'd not s.o/en for six or ei*ht months. The voice s'id, ,%i Bill, this is Robin. $ remembered that you are going through some !retty tough times and $ thought $.d call you to give you some encouragement. %ang in there/ you.ll do o .With th't I hun* u. the .hone 'nd cried. ,>es 5ord, >ou sti&& do 'ns4er .r'1ers.- Th't 4's the &'st I ever he'rd from her. To this d'1 she most cert'in&1 does not /no4 the divine '..ointment of her .hone c'&&. Th't d'1 I 's/ed the 5ord to t'/e c're of m1 (eidi 'nd m1 2o1s, &ift m1 he'v1 &o'd of de.ression, 'nd restore to me 9o1. I discovered &'ter th't (eidi moved on&1 ' cou.&e of mi&es from home to &ive 4ith one of her friends. Within ' fe4 months the 5ord &ifted m1 .'in 'nd de.ression 'nd, 21 the *r'ce of 6od, 4e survived. I /ne4 th't 6od h'd ' s.eci'& .&'n for me 'nd, 4hi&e I h'd no *o'&s or vision, I 's/ed (im to reve'& (is .&'n.
"1

Whi&e these 4ere difficu&t times, I 4's 2&essed 4ith *od&1 counse&in* from ' .'stor friend. (e h'd .revious&1 '&so counse&ed m1 4ife 'nd to&d me th't she h'd 2een suicid'& 't the '*e of nine, 2ec'use of her extreme&1 h'rsh, fund'ment'&ist, 'nd emotion'&&1 co&d f'ther. Wh't ' str'n*e iron1. (er f'ther 4's '&so ' .re'cher, 2ut f'i&ed to sho4 the tender &ove of 6od to 'n1 of his seven chi&dren. I 4's to&d th't she h'd dee. 2itterness '*'inst her f'ther 'nd th't 'n*er 4's eventu'&&1 tr'nsferred to me. In effect, she 4's ' divorce 'nd nervous 2re'/ do4n 4'itin* to h'..en. Reflective thoughts – )e*'rd&ess of ho4 &on* 1ou h've 2een in ' f'ith 4'&/ 4ith 8esus, there h'd to 2e times 4hen 1ou 4ondered 4h1 6od didn:t 'ns4er 1our .r'1er. We '&& h've those /ind of moments 'nd the1 seem to come 't the 4orst .ossi2&e times. 0ert'in&1 6od c'res for our needs, fee&in*s, 'nd desires. But (e '&so desires th't 4e desire (im 'nd th't 4e 're concerned '2out (is desires. M'n1 .eo.&e .r'1 for m'teri'&istic comforts of v'rious /inds Fsee 8er. G5H5I, r'ther th'n for ' c&ose re&'tionshi. 4ith 6od 'nd for the needs of others. M'tthe4 CHDD .&'ces thin*s in .ro.er .ers.ective. 8esus is s'1in* th't (e is to 2e .&'ced first in ever1one:s &ife 'nd other .eo.&e 'nd issues 're to 2e second'r1. One of the 2i**est entr'.ments of Western 0hristi'nit1 is the 2e&ief th't fo&&o4in* 6od is ' sure 4'1 to find success A 's 4e define it in our Western m'teri'&istic cu&ture. Our definition of
42

success often f'i&s to e@u'te to 6od:s definition of success. To see/ first the /in*dom of 6od 'nd (is ri*hteousness is tot'&&1 o..osite of ho4 4e norm'&&1 thin/. The .ur.ose of .r'1er is not so much to *et 'ns4ers from 6od, 2ut th't 4e come to the .oint 4here 4e c'n discern the mind of 6od, 's reve'&ed in 8ohn 17H%! %1H ,My !rayer is not for them alone. $ !ray also for those #ho #ill believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, "ather, &ust as you are in me and $ am in you. May they also be in us so that the #orld may believe that you have sent me.- With the *o'& to discern the mind of 6od, .r'1 unti& somethin* h'..ens. If 4e too/ the Americ'n .o. cu&ture out of Americ'n 0hristi'nit1, ho4 much 4ou&d 2e &eftE Th't @uestion m'1 2e r'ther me'nin*&ess unti& it is .erson'&iJed. As someone once s'id, $ believe in the sun even #hen it isn.t shining, $ believe in love even #hen $ am alone $ believe in 0od even #hen %e is silent. "n/no4n I .honed the .o&ice, 2ut the1 su**ested th't (eidi .ro2'2&1 r'n off to &ive 4ith ' friend. A fe4 d'1s &'ter I discovered the .o&ice 4ere correct in their 'ssessment. It 4's 'm'Jin* to &e'rn th't str'n*ers /ne4
"3

more of her th'n did I. It 4's frustr'tin* th't &ife 't home 4's so ch'otic th't she h'd to &e've to find .e'ce 'nd securit1, 2ut 't &e'st she 4's s'fe. #omeless and in Street Ministry #oon the 2'n/ru.tc1 4's over. The chi&dren, no4 teen'*ers, 4ent to &ive 4ith their mother, 4ho 4's off medic'tion 2ec'use her he'&th 4's im.rovin*. #he did her 2est to 2e ' *ood mother under extreme&1 difficu&t circumst'nces. I do not /no4 ho4 she survived those 1e'rs, other th'n 6od 4's 4or/in* in her &ife. I 4i&& '&4'1s 2e *r'tefu& for her heroic 'ttem.ts to 2e ' &ovin* mother, 4hi&e I ended u. 2ein* home&ess. At ni*ht she st'1ed '4'/e, 4orr1in* th't the1 4ou&d 2ecome home&ess 'nd durin* the d'1 she 4ent to ther'.1, doctors, 'nd su..ort *rou.s, so she 4ou&d 2e '2&e to t'/e c're of herse&f 'nd the /ids. 5ife 4's extreme&1 difficu&t for ever1one. The f'ct th't '&& of us survived 'nd 2ec'me stron*er is .roof th't 6od is 4ith us durin* our most tr1in* times. In .rior 1e'rs, I h'd su..orted 0offeehouse Ministries, ' street ministr1 in A&&ento4n, Penns1&v'ni', ' t1.ic'& sm'&& Americ'n cit1. 5itt&e did I re'&iJe durin* m1 initi'& invo&vement th't one d'1 this ministr1 4ou&d 2e m1 home. It 4's 2etter th'n &ivin* in m1 c'r 'nd 4or/in* there in the ministr1 o.ened m1 e1es to the needs of those in the inner cit1. +urin* this time it '&so seemed im.ossi2&e for me to find ' 9o2. The economic recession of the e'r&1 1BB!s h'd hit A&&ento4n es.eci'&&1 h'rd, so I too/ 4h'tever 9o2 cou&d 2e found. When there 4's no 4or/, 4e&f're 4's m1 on&1 o.tion.
44

One of those 9o2s 4's c&e'nin* the /itchens 't +orne1 P'r/, 'n 'musement .'r/ ne'r A&&ento4n, 2et4een the hours of 11H!! 't ni*ht 'nd %H!! in the mornin*. I 4's th'n/fu& for 'n1 9o2. #e&dom did I mention th't I h'd three co&&e*e de*rees in fe'r of 2ein* turned do4n 2ec'use I 4's ,over @u'&ified.- I drifted from one &o4 .'1in* 9o2 to 'nother, 's if some d'r/ c&oud 4's over me from 4hich there 4's no esc'.e. When there 4's no 4or/ I 4's on 4e&f're 'nd food st'm.s. I even so&d m1 2&ood .&'sm' for ' fe4 do&&'rs. 5ife 4's seemed ho.e&ess 'nd difficu&t.

A 1992 courtesy ticket, given to me by my manager at Dorney Park, is kept as a reminder from where the Lord has brought me.

"5

Then one d'1 I h'd ' second si*nific'nt dre'm, '&most 's r'dic'& 's the first. In this dre'm or vision I s'4 ' .icture of hundreds of .eo.&e st'ndin* on ' f&'t .&'in 4ith d'r/ storm c&ouds h'n*in* over them. Ever1 .erson 4's st'ndin* sti&&, '&most 's in mi&it'r1 st1&e, 'nd ho&din* ' c'nd&e. Most of the .eo.&e &oo/ed extreme&1 s'd 'nd de.ressed 'nd their c'nd&es h'd 2een extin*uished. Wh't fri*htened me 4's 4hen I reco*niJed the de.ressed ex.ressions on m1 chi&dren:s f'ces. I re'&iJed th't ever1 one of their c'nd&es 4's 2&o4n out. Th't dre'm ch'n*ed m1 .r'1er &ife for them. I re'&iJed the1 needed me to encour'*e 'nd .r'1 for them. I continued to 2e ' vo&unteer counse&or 't the 0om.'ss 0offeehouse Ministries, counse&in* '&coho& 'nd dru* 'ddicts, .rostitutes, 'nd 4hoever e&se 4'&/ed in 'nd needed he&.. M1 on&1 .'1 4's ' &o4 rent room in ' 4'rehouse 'nd don'ted food 'nd seein* the .eo.&e 4ho c'me in for he&.. It 4's 'stoundin* to see so much miser1. I 4's not '&one 4ith m1 .ro2&ems. The .oor 4ere es.eci'&&1 vu&ner'2&e 2ec'use the1 h'd fe4er fin'nci'& resources 4ith 4hich to ex.&ore o.tions or o..ortunities for ' 2etter &ife. I 4's 4onderin* if this tre'dmi&& of &ife 4ou&d ever end. 3in'&&1, 'fter t4o 1e'rs I 4's hired 21 ' mort*'*e refin'nce office. #uccess c'me @uic/&1 's I 4ent from P! commission to ne'r&1 PC,!!! .er month in on&1 t4e&ve 4ee/s= the second to. .roducer in the office. I 4's ecst'ticK I cou&d h'rd&1 2e&ieve th't such *ood fortune 4's u.on me. 7o4 I cou&d fin'&&1 he&. su..ort the /ids 'nd .'1 off o&d
46

de2ts. (o4ever, 9ust 4hen I 4's '2out to receive m1 first chec/, m1 em.&o1er informed me th't, if I to&d ' ,&itt&e 4hite &ie- '2out the c&ient:s credit histor1, m1 income 4ou&d more th'n dou2&e. I 4's to s'1 th't there 4's ' credit .ro2&em, 2ut I cou&d ,fix- it for on&1 ' @u'rter of one .ercent rise in their interest r'te. I cou&d '&so f'&sif1 feder'& t'x returns to @u'&if1 '..&ic'nts F' .rim'r1 re'son for the mort*'*e f'i&ures th't 2e*'n 'round %!!8I. M'n1 mort*'*e 2ro/ers 't the time 4ere e'rnin* six fi*ure incomes 'nd no4 I /ne4 ho4 the1 did it. I 4's 2et4een dire .overt1 'nd 'n eff&uent income, 2ut I refused to &ie to m1 c&ients. I h'd 2een the reci.ient of 'ccus'tions .revious&1 'nd there 4's no 4'1 I 4's *oin* to 9eo.'rdiJe m1se&f '*'in. (ence, I 4's fired 'nd 2'c/ on 4e&f're '*'in. As much 's this ex.erience hurt, I never re*retted m1 decision. FA fe4 1e'rs &'ter the 2usiness 4ent 2'n/ru.t.I I in@uired into v'rious te'chin* o..ortunities, 2ut since co&&e*e *r'du'tes 4ere routine&1 hired 't the st'rtin* s'&'r1, there 4's '&most no ho.e of returnin* to educ'tion. This 4's due to ' st'te &'4 th't re@uired .u2&ic schoo&s to reco*niJe the ex.erience 'nd de*rees, for s'&'r1 .ur.oses, of te'chers considered for em.&o1ment. Priv'te schoo&s se&dom offered courses in m1 fie&d A industri'& techno&o*1 'nd desi*n, so there 4's no o..ortunit1 for te'chin* in ' 0hristi'n schoo&. Reflective thoughts – 6od .ermits difficu&ties to enter our &ives in order to see ho4 4e 4i&& res.ond. #ome choose to res.ond their o4n 4'1 'nd others c'&& u.on (im in their time of need.
"7

W'tchin* 6od res.ond not on&1 2ui&ds our f'ith, 2ut 'ffords the o..ortunit1 to h've 6od m'nifest (imse&f in our &ives. In f'ct, the on&1 'im of &ife is th't 8esus m'1 2e m'nifested in e'ch one of us. I 4's ex.eriencin* the resu&ts of m1 o4n 2'd decisions. It 4ou&d h've 2een 2etter if I h'd never o.ened ' rest'ur'nt 'nd 2etter 1et if I didn:t h've 8'c/ 's ' .'rtner. Those 2'd decisions not on&1 'ffected me, 2ut m1 ex 4ife 'nd chi&dren 4ere '&so sufferin*. It 4's de.ressin*. We '&& fee& 4e h've ' r'ther 'ccur'te .erce.tion of ourse&ves. Even if 4e 'c/no4&ed*e th't the im'*e m'1 not 2e .erfect, 4e fee& 4e h've ' f'ir&1 'ccur'te underst'ndin* of se&f, /no4in* 4h't 4e c'n 'nd c'nnot do. 3'cin* the truth c'n 2e tr'um'tic. The .ro2&em 'rises 4hen 4e h've ,.r'ctic'&- or ,'..&ied- f'ith in 8esus, then 4e 4onder if (e 4i&& do 4h't (is Word s'id (e 4i&& do. It 2e*ins 4ith ' m'tter of focus A 4e need to 2e focused on our 0re'tor. The .ro.het Is'i'h s'id th't, ,1ou 20od3 #ill ee! in !erfect !eace him #hose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you FIs'. %CHDI. #e&f dece.tions, 4hen de'&t 4ith, hurt. When the Word of 6od ch'&&en*es se&f .roc&'imed im'*in'tions, there is usu'&&1 .'in 'nd sufferin* in the he'&in* .rocess. In essence, it is not '&4'1s e's1 to de'& 4ith issues, 2ut it is 2etter th'n not de'&in* 4ith them 't '&&. The core issue is th't sin
48

de'dens fee&in*s. As/ our 5ord ' @uestion '2out 1ourse&f. (e m'1 'ns4er 4ith ' @uestion '2out 1ou. (is @uestions reve'&ed me to me. (e m'1 '&so 's/ 1ou @uestions '2out (imse&f. On&1 4hen one .erceives the ri*hteousness of the A&mi*ht1, does he underst'nd ho4 im.ure he re'&&1 is. The '..ro.ri'te res.onse 2e*ins 4ith confession. 3or*iveness, 4hich c'uses divine 9o1, 4i&& fo&&o4. But ' 4ord of c'ution here. The 'ns4er mi*ht not 2e from 6od, 2ut ' res.onse from 1our emotions, 2ec'use 4e '&& &i/e to he'r 4h't 4e 4'nt to he'r. As/ for the *ift of discernment. The test of s.iritu'& concentr'tion is t'/in* contro& of 1our im'*in'tion. Wh'tever 1ou focus on the most, if 1our thou*hts 're not on 8esus, 1ou h've 'n ido&. Perh'.s it is 1our 9o2, 'nother .erson, or service. If there is ' const'nt %GN7, month 'fter month, im'*in'tion on 'n1thin* e&se other th'n 8esus, then 1ou h've 'n ido&. 6od *'ve us the *ift of im'*in'tion for ' .ur.ose A th't is to /ee. our minds Fim'*in'tionI focused on (im. But first 4e must come to (im. The 4ho&e m'tter of recover1 from such ' hu*e co&&ection of &osses t'/es t4oH 1ou 'nd 8esus. Ever1 one of us h's to .ut forth continuous effort. It is e's1 to s'1 th't 4e must h've e'*&e:s 4in*s to 2e victorious. The .ro.het Is'i'h s'id th't ,'hose #ho ho!e in the LORD #ill rene# their strength. 'hey #ill soar on #ings li e eagles/ they #ill run and not gro# #eary, they #ill #al
"

and not be faint.- But the &ife of f'ith is usu'&&1 is ' ste'd1 &ife of 4'&/in* 'nd not f'intin*. Th't 4'&/ m'1 seem to 2e &on*, &one&1, end&ess, &ife&ess, 'nd m'12e ' use&ess 9ourne1, 2ut 't the end there is ' 2&essin* A 1our f&i*ht of 'n e'*&e. 8esus never 's/ed us to 2e s.iritu'&, 2ut to 2e o2edient. Then one 2ecomes s.iritu'&. But first, come 2'c/ to 8esus.

od!s favorite word is "#ome.$

The Challenge of Cancer In the s.rin* of 1BBG, I 4's em.&o1ed to st'rt ' ne4 mort*'*e com.'n1 'nd immedi'te&1 the 2usiness 4's off to ' *ood st'rt, f'r more th'n I cou&d h'nd&e. 5ife 4's fin'&&1 2e*innin* to turn 'round for me 'nd I s'4 nothin* 2ut 'n excitin* future. (o4ever, h'rd&1 ' fe4 months h'd *one
,0

21 4hen I h'd ' c'r 'ccident. It 4's m1 first in ne'r&1 %5 1e'rs 'nd, to m'/e m'tters 4orse, it 4's m1 f'u&t. (o4 em2'rr'ssin*K Even thou*h I h'd not 2een in9ured, I visited ' doctor 2ec'use I 4's stiff 'nd sore. (e confirmed th't there 4ere no in9uries from the 'ccident. (o4ever, 4h't he s'id next stunned me. ,>ou h've ' m'ssive tumor,- he informed me. ,>ou 4i&& need immedi'te sur*er1. Without the sur*er1, 1ou h've .ro2'2&1 on&1 five or six months to &ive.- M1 mind stru**&ed to .rocess this sudden unforeseen reve&'tion. (o4 cou&d this 2eE ". unti& this time, friends h'd 2een te'sin* me '2out &osin* some 4ei*ht 2ec'use I h'd ' midriff 2u&*e. It turned out, m1 so c'&&ed ,4ei*ht- 4's re'&&1 ' m'ssive chondros'rcom' tumor F1C cm. N C Q inchI. It h'd .ushed m1 or*'ns u. 'nd over m1 2e&t, cre'tin* the '..e'r'nce of 2ein* over4ei*ht. It h'd '&re'd1 destro1ed ' m'9or .ortion of the &eft hi. 'nd doctors cou&d not underst'nd ho4 I 4's sti&& 4'&/in*. In f'ct, the tumor 4's re'd1 to 2urst. After '&& th't I h'd *one throu*h= 9ust 4hen &ife seemed to 2e returnin* to me, I cou&d not 2e&ieve this 4's h'..enin*. #ur*er1 4's not 'n o.tion, 2ut ' re@uirement, if there 4's to 2e 'n1 ho.e of surviv'&. +octors insisted th't I never '*'in t'/e 'nother ste. 4ithout crutches. M1 &eft hi. 4's extreme&1 fr'*i&e 'nd cou&d 2re'/ moment'ri&1, 4hich, in turn, 4ou&d c'use the tumor s'c to 2re'/. Were th't to h'..en, the c'ncer 4ou&d s.re'd 'nd termin'te m1 &ife in ' m'tter of 4ee/s. I .r'1ed for he'&in*, remem2erin* the &ife ch'n*in* event of 1B7G. +octors s'id the1 4ou&d .ro2'2&1 h've
51

to remove the entire &eft hi. 4hich 4ou&d resu&t in the &oss of m1 &eft &e*. #uch 'n o.er'tion does not come 4ith the .romise of seein* 'nother sunrise in ' d'1 or t4o. I .re.'red m1se&f for the 4orst. Prior to sur*er1, I 's/ed for for*iveness from ever1one 4ho h'd 2een hurt 's the resu&t of m1 2'n/ru.tc1 'nd divorce= es.eci'&&1 from 0hristine 'nd 8'c/. I did not 4'nt 'n1thin* to im.ede the he'&in* h'nd of 6od. 8'c/ '&so 's/ed for for*iveness, 2ut 'dded th't he did no 4ron*. (is comments, ho4ever, 4ere fine 4ith me. True for*iveness is uncondition'& 'nd one must &et *o of .'st thin*s 'nd &et 6od t'/e contro&. I .r'1ed th't 6od 4ou&d 2&ess him Fsee 8o2 G%H1!I. In the midst of this crisis I h'd ' dee. inner .e'ce. Ever since I h'd received th't .hone c'&& from )o2in there h'd 2een ' stron* ste'diness 2ec'use I /ne4 th't 6od he'rd m1 .r'1ers, even if there seemed to 2e no res.onse. The iron1 is th't, 4ithout the em2'rr'ssin* c'r 'ccident, the c'ncer 4ou&d not h've 2een discovered 'nd I 4ou&d h've died. I ex.erienced more mir'c&es th'n I h'd re'&iJed, inc&udin* some events th't 4ere not immedi'te&1 seen 's ,mir'c&es.The tumor 4's so 2i* th't .'rt of it 4r'..ed 'round 'nd throu*h m1 s.in'& co&umn, 4hich further com.&ic'ted the sur*er1. Therefore, on 7ovem2er D, 1BBG, the d'1 of sur*er1, the @uestions doctors *r'..&ed 4ith 4ere ,+o 4e cut this *u1 in h'&f to s've his &ifeE Or do 4e &et him h've ' ri*ht &e*, &imited @u'&it1 of &ife, 'nd ris/ ' .otenti'& recurrence of c'ncerE- This 4's no ordin'r1 c'ncer, 2ut ' r're c'rti&'*e c'ncer. The num2er of /no4n 'du&t survivors is so fe4 th't
,2

the1 're st'tic'&&1 insi*nific'nt. #ome medic'& 2oo/s denied 'n1 survivors 't '&&. Even no4, ne'r&1 t4ent1 1e'rs &'ter, chondros'rcom' is tot'&&1 resist'nt to chemother'.1. >et, com.'red to '&& the f'mi&1 'nd 2usiness .ro2&ems I ex.erienced, this 4's ' .icnic. The 5ord *'ve me 'n incredi2&e .e'ce, '2und'nt 9o1, 'nd ' @uic/ recover1. 6od chose not to s've me from the first of sever'& sur*eries, 2ut .erformed one mir'c&e 'fter 'nother 's the c'ncer returned three times. The r'dic'& sur*er1 too/ m1 &eft &e*, &eft hi., 'nd ' third of m1 t'i& 2one, 2ut it s'ved m1 &ife. I 4's schedu&ed to 2e in the hos.it'& for more th'n ' month, inc&udin* .h1sic'& ther'.1. >et incredi2&1, I drove home t4o 4ee/s 'nd six d'1s &'ter, the d'1 2efore Th'n/s*ivin*. It 4's im.ossi2&e to remove '&& the c'ncer ce&&s 4ithout cuttin* the s.in'& cord 'nd, therefore, it 4's necess'r1 to under*o seven 4ee/s of d'i&1 r'di'tion ther'.1. This h'd ' host of miser'2&e side effects. A*'in I .r'1ed 'nd, 4ith the stron* su..ort of m1 church, 4e ex.ected 6od to .erform ' .rofound mir'c&e 'nd (e didK There 4's never ' d'1 of sic/ness, tiredness, or n'use'K +octors insisted th't I not return to 4or/, 2ut recover .e'cefu&&1 in m1 '.'rtment. (o4ever, I 4's 2&essed 4ith so much ener*1= I too/ 'n ev'n*e&ism c&'ss somethin* I h'd '&4'1s 4'nted to do. It 4's on the second d'1 of c&'ss th't the 5ord c'&&ed me to the te'chin* ministr1. M1 &ife 4's '2out to see ' r'dic'& tr'nsform'tion. I 4's immedi'te&1 f'ced 4ith the ch'&&en*e of &e'rnin* 2'sic &ife functions 4ithout ' &e*. I .'infu&&1 discovered th't common functions cou&d
53

2e extreme&1 d'n*erous, such 's 4'&/in* 'cross ' f&oor th't 4's unex.ected&1 4et. I '&so ex.erienced the .'in of f'&&in* do4n st'irs. 5ife too/ on ' tot'&&1 ne4 defensive .ers.ective 4ith ' *re'ter de.endence u.on 6od. I never /ne4 4h't tomorro4 4ou&d 2rin*, 2ut I /ne4 the One 4ho he&d e'ch tomorro4. 7o &on*er 4ou&d I 2e '2&e to te'ch industri'& techno&o*1 in hi*h schoo&, 2ui&d houses, o4n ' rest'ur'nt, or deve&o. re'& est'te. A&& the forms of em.&o1ment I h'd ever considered interestin* or ch'&&en*in* 4ere no4 '&& 2ut im.ossi2&e to .ursue. >et in m1 he'rt of he'rts I /ne4 th't the 5ord h'd ' s.eci'& .&'n for me. 8eremi'h %BH11 1G' s'1s, "or $ no# the !lans $ have for you, declares the Lord, !lans to !ros!er you and not harm you, !lans to give you ho!e and a future. 'hen you #ill call u!on me and come and !ray to me, and $ #ill listen to you. 1ou #ill see me and find me #hen you see me #ith all your heart. $ #ill be found by you, declares the Lord. Reflective thoughts – Once 1ou &oo/ 't de'th ' fe4 times 'nd re'&iJe th't 1ou 're '&ive on&1 21 the *r'ce of 6od, 1ou 4i&& h've ' ne4 '..reci'tion for ever1 sunrise, 'nd ever1 d'1 4i&& h've ' .'ssion'te me'nin*. 3or me, I dee.&1 /no4 th't 6od h's extended m1 &ife for (is .ur.ose. I d're not 4'ste ' d'1. I /ne4 th't 4h'tever c'&&in* or ministr1 4ou&d 2e in m1 future, someho4 it 4ou&d 2e re&'ted to ev'n*e&ism 'nd 'rch'eo&o*1. I 4's cert'in th't 6od 4ou&d move me in some direction re&'ted to one or 2oth of these 're's. #ince
,4

then, 6od c&osed some doors 'nd o.ened others. E'ch d'1 4e *o 's our 5ord &e'ds. (is .&'n for our &ives is usu'&&1 reve'&ed 's 4e *o '&on* &ife:s 9ourne1. It:s c'&&ed ' ,f'ith 4'&/.- At times (e *ives s.ecific directives. #ometimes (e doesn:t. #uch is the &ife of .r'1er 'nd f'ith. But never move unti& 1ou h've received inner .e'ce concernin* 1our decisions 'nd .&'ns. Our .rim'r1 *o'& is to 2e in ' c&ose re&'tionshi. 4ith our #'vior. A&& too often 4e re.&'ce th't 4ith the ide' 4e must ,dosomethin* for (im. Once 4e 're c&ose to (im, (is .&'ns for our &ives 2e*in to unfo&d. The 4riter of Prover2s s'1s, ,$n his heart a man !lans his course, but the LORD determines his ste!s- 24roverbs 56783 'nd &'ter s'1s ,Many are the !lans in a man.s heart, but it is the LORD.s !ur!ose that !revails- 24roverbs 587953. It h's 2een s'id th't one c'nnot turn ' shi. th't isn:t movin*. 5i/e4ise, it is difficu&t for 6od to direct ' .erson, 4ho m'1 2e see/in*, 2ut is not movin* For doin*I. When .&'ns ch'n*e unex.ected&1, do not consider 1ourse&f or the .&'ns to 2e ' f'i&ure. 6od is sim.&1 turnin* 1our shi.. Study and Ministry *egin In #e.tem2er 1BB5 I entered ?'&&e1 3or*e 0hristi'n 0o&&e*e for under*r'du'te Bi2&e studies. I then e'rned dou2&e m'ster:s de*rees 't 5'nc'ster Bi2&e 0o&&e*e, fo&&o4ed 21 ' doctor'te
55

't Or'& )o2erts "niversit1 21 %!!8. This is considered ne'r&1 im.ossi2&e for someone 4ho f'i&ed first *r'de, ne'r&1 t4o other *r'des, 'nd 4ho h'd not 2een 'cce.ted into ' co&&e*e .re.'r'tor1 .ro*r'm. I fe&t I shou&d stud1 for ' future in te'chin*, 's 4e&& 's in counse&in* or ministr1. +urin* this time of .re.'rin* for the ministr1, 4hich re@uired end&ess hours of stud1, 6od 4's '&so he'&in* m1 mind 'nd emotions. 5itt&e did I /no4 th't (e 4ou&d *ive me the .rivi&e*e to stud1 'nd te'ch in Isr'e&. In 1BB7, I est'2&ished Evidence of 'ruth Ministries, ' rese'rch 'nd te'chin* ministr1 th't in %!!G 2ec'me ' non .rofit cor.or'tion. The .rim'r1 .ur.ose is, ,'o teach the reality of )esus... to reliable men :and #omen; #ho #ill also be <ualified to teach others- F% Tim. %H%I. To te'ch the #cri.tures 's the inf'&&i2&e, ins.ired, 'nd inerr'nt Word of 6od 2ec'me ' .'ssion. The o&der I *et the more I re'&iJe the d'm'*e th't h's occurred to f'mi&ies 'nd Western cu&ture 's churches drift '4'1 from the truth of the Bi2&e. The iron1 is th't true 2e&ievers do not need evidence to 2e&ieve the Bi2&e 'nd true un2e&ievers refuse to even consider re&ev'nt truth. >et there 're so m'n1 in the midd&e, es.eci'&&1 'mon* 1oun* 'du&ts, 4ho 4'nt to /no4 4h1 the1 shou&d ho&d de'r to the 2i2&ic'& .rece.ts 4hen the cu&ture h's so m'n1 enticin* invit'tions. The 'ns4er is th't 6od:s etern'& Word 4i&& st'nd 'nd '&& e&se 4i&& 2e 2urned u.. & +isuali,ed Peter and -esus on the %ater In the summer of 1BB8 I 4ent to Isr'e& on 'n 'rch'eo&o*ic'& di* 'nd tour. Whi&e on the tour I h'd the o..ortunit1 to st'1 't <i22utJ Ein 6ev,
,6

'&on* the southe'stern shore of the #e' of 6'&i&ee. There, on ' sunset evenin*, I stood 2ene'th ' *rove of trees 'nd &oo/ed out u.on the 4'ters 4here I visu'&iJed 8esus 4'&/in* on the 4'ter to4'rd ' 2o't. Then, in m1 mind:s e1e, I s'4 Peter 4's comin* out of the 2o't 'nd 4'&/in* to4'rd 8esus. #udden&1 Peter 4's 2e*innin* to sin/ 'nd 4's u. to his nec/ in 4'ter, '&most dro4nin*, 4hen 8esus re'ched out 'nd .u&&ed him u.. Then, 9ust 's 8esus *'ve Peter ' hu*, Peter &oo/ed to4'rd me 'nd I s'4 m1 f'ce on him. This vision 4's 2urned into m1 sou&. 8ust 's 8esus h'd s'ved Peter from dro4nin*, 8esus h'd '&so s'ved me from the 4'ters of des.'ir. As I 4e.t I m'de the decision th't, no m'tter 4h't 4ou&d come u.on m1 &ife, I 4ou&d '&4'1s fo&&o4 (im. As I &oo/ed over the 4'ters I 2e*'n to underst'nd th't (is .&'ns for me 4ere f'r *re'ter then I ever im'*ined. A*'in I @uote the .ro.het 8eremi'h, "or $ no# the !lans $ have for you,- declares the Lord, ,!lans to !ros!er you and not to harm you, !lans to give you a ho!e and a future. 'hen you #ill call u!on me and come and !ray to me and $ #ill listen to you. 1ou #ill see me and find me #hen you see me #ith all your heart. $ #ill be found by you,. declares the Lord- F8er. %BH11 1G'I. The 5ord *'ve ' simi&'r 4ord to us throu*h the .ro.het ('2'//u/, Loo at the nations and #atch = and be utterly ama>ed. "or $ am going to do something in your days that you #ould not believe, even if you #ere told . F('2. 1H5I. 7ever in m1 &ife h'd I ever im'*ined th't I 4ou&d 2e '
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2&essin* to forei*n .'stors 'nd te'chers 's ' Bi2&e te'cher 'nd .rofessor. >et, 2e*innin* in the summer of %!!! 'nd for sever'& 1e'rs there'fter, I 4's .rivi&e*ed to te'ch in Isr'e&, 8ord'n, 'nd 7i*eri'= then in Penns1&v'ni'. Reflective thoughts 5ife is ' *ift from 6od, 4h't 1ou do 4ith it is 1our *ift to 6od. Ever1 .erson of si*nific'nce mentioned in the Bi2&e 4's 't one time or 'nother 2ro/en 2efore 6od cou&d use them for 'n incredi2&e t's/. If 1ou 're 't ' .oint of 2ro/enness, 't the 2ottom of &ife, then re9oice 2ec'use the 5ord is .re.'rin* 1ou for ' s.eci'& 4or/ th't cou&d ver1 4e&& 2e 2e1ond 1our 4i&dest im'*in'tion. Out of sufferin* come the stron*est sou&s. 6od:s 4ounded often m'/e (is 2est so&diers. 5oo/in* 2'c/ to m1 teen'*e 1e'rs, 4h't ' 2&essin* it is to h've *ro4n u. 4ithout *ettin* invo&ved 4ith dru*s, '&coho&, sex, 'nd the m'n1 other vices common 'mon* teens tod'1. If I h'd 2een invo&ved in 'n1 of those, the destructive .ressures u.on m1 &ife 't this time 4ou&d h've 2een f'r *re'ter. It is 'm'Jin* ho4 i*nor'nt 4e 're of ourse&ves. Or m'12e it 4ou&d 2e 2etter s'id th't it is 'm'Jin* ho4 defensive 4e 're '2out not de'&in* 4ith .'rticu&'r .erson'& issues. Whether it is .ride or fe'r of de'&in* 4ith the .'in of .'st events, there 're issues th't need to 2e reso&ved. On&1 6od tru&1 underst'nds us. >et unti& one decides
,8

to reso&ve the m'tter of .ride, the .'in of .'st events, or 4h'tever the com.'ssion'te h'nd of 6od is restricted from m'/in* us 4ho&e.

PART 4 Another Cancer Challenge' then Ministry *egins The orde'& 4ith c'ncer 4's not over 4ith the 1BBG sur*er1. 3riends 'nd f'mi&1 continued to .r'1 for m1 he'&in* 4hi&e the &ife thre'tenin* he'&th ch'&&en*e continued. #ever'& times doctors sus.ected the return of the dre'ded chondros'rcom'. Often the1 4ere .roven 4ron*. >et three times the1 4ere ri*ht 'nd &un* sur*eries 4ere re@uired to remove c'ncer *ro4ths. In the first &un* sur*er1 in 1BBB I &ost the u..er &o2e of one &un* 'nd .'rts of the other. 5'ter, in the s.rin* semester of %!!1, t4o more &un* sur*eries 4ere needed. Am'Jin*&1, the &'st t4o sur*eries 4ere .erformed on Mond'1s 'nd I never missed the c&'ss on the fo&&o4in* Thursd'1. The 5ord chose not to *ive me ' he'&in* mir'c&e, 2ut mir'cu&ous recoveries. In the summer of %!!1 I returned to Isr'e& to 4or/ on t4o rese'rch .ro9ects. ".on m1 return home I returned to the medic'& center for ' re*u&'r&1
5

schedu&ed chest x r'1 'nd 0AT sc'n. 7odu&es 4ere '*'in discovered in 2oth &un*s 'nd doctors 4ere unsure 's to 4h't to do. I h'd so much &un* tissue removed .revious&1, 'nd no4 nodu&es 4ere ever14here. The1 tried to 2e /ind '2out the &'c/ of o.tions. #o the1 schedu&ed me for 'nother visit three months &'ter, 't 4hich time the1 4ou&d determine if the1 cou&d do 'n1thin*. In the me'ntime, I returned to m1 church 4here ' num2er of .eo.&e .r'1ed for me, 's the1 h'd done m'n1 times .revious&1. There 4ere no ,2e&&s or 4hist&es- or s.eci'& fee&in*s, 2ut the next medic'& chec/ u. reve'&ed th't '&& of the sus.ected nodu&es 4ere *one. Reflective thoughts A&& too m'n1 0hristi'ns 2e&ieve th't the 0hristi'n &ife me'ns de&iver'nce from difficu&ties 'nd trou2&es. And 't times 6od, 21 (is divine *r'ce, does de&iver us from such he'rt'ches. (o4ever, more &i/e&1 th'n not, 0hristi'ns find themse&ves in trou2&e. In 8ohn 1CHDD, 8esus s'id, ,$ have told you these things, so that in me you may have !eace. $n this #orld you #ill have trouble. But ta e heart? $ have overcome the #orld.- 7ot on&1 're trou2&es .romised, so is .ersecution A ' thou*ht se&dom discussed in Western n'tions tod'1. 7onethe&ess, 6od did not come to *ive us ' comfort'2&e &ife, 2ut (e c'me th't 4e cou&d overcome difficu&ties throu*h the &ove, *r'ce, 'nd .o4er of the (o&1 #.irit. It is the /in*dom of 6od functionin* 4ithin us th't is ' 4itness of 8esus to others th't the1 too mi*ht come to (im. +ifficu&ties .roduce incredi2&e .ressures 'nd tri2u&'tion, 4hich m'1 2e stressfu& 'nd c'use
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str'in. Bod1 2ui&ders used to s'1 th't 4here there is no .'in, there is no *'in. 5i/e4ise, in the /in*dom of 6od, 4here there is no str'in, no stren*th in 8esus is 'tt'ined. +ifficu&ties 're the tests th't deve&o. s.iritu'& m'turit1. The /e1 to &ife is to /ee. ' .'ssion'te focus on 8esus, 'nd /no4 th't this &ife is mere&1 ' time of determinin* 4here eternit1 4i&& 2e s.ent.

%esus& 'e is the key to (ife

.+erseas Ministry >e'rs e'r&ier, Bi2&e co&&e*e .rofessors h'd discour'*ed me from the ministr1. 7o4 the 5ord 4's not on&1 &e'din* me into ministr1, 2ut '&so to 2ecome ' short term visitin* .rofessor to forei*n semin'r1 students 'nd .'stors. Wh't 'n
#1

incredi2&e 9o1K Words sim.&1 c'nnot ex.ress 4h't 8esus 4's doin* in 'nd throu*h me. Whi&e stud1in* in Isr'e& 'nd 8ord'n in 1BB8 'nd 1BBB, I 4's offered the o..ortunit1 to return 's ' visitin* 'd9unct .rofessor. This 4's ' dre'm come true 'nd m1 .r'1erfu& thou*hts returned to m1 #und'1 schoo& te'cher A Mi&ton <ee&er. In the summer of %!!!, I t'u*ht 't the 6'&i&ee Bi2&e 0o&&e*e, 4here I h'd ' c&'ss of )ussi'n 8e4s 4ho h'd returned to the &'nd of their f'thers 'nd 4ere stud1in* to 2ecome .'stors in their churches. I '&so h'd ' c&'ss of P'&estini'n .'stors from northern Isr'e& 'nd the 'ncient &'nd of #'m'ri'. #hort&1 there'fter, I t'u*ht 't the 8ord'n Ev'n*e&ic'& Theo&o*ic'& #emin'r1 in Amm'n, 8ord'n. As these students c'me into .ers.ective, I re'&iJed 4h't 8esus s'id in Acts 1H8 ,1ou 4i&& 2e m1 4itnesses in 8erus'&em, 'nd in '&& 8ude' 'nd #'m'ri', 'nd to the ends of the e'rth,- 4's ex'ct&1 in the s'me .'ttern I 4's te'chin*. Wh't 'n interestin* confirm'tionK I h've 2een 2&essed to te'ch m'n1 other .'stors in m'n1 n'tions since then= 'nd to thin/ th't t4ice I 4's re'd1 to end it '&&. On 8une D, %!!1, I 4's 2&essed 4ith 'n honored occ'sion. I 4's invited to m1 home church to *ive m1 testimon1. >e'rs '*o I thou*ht it 4ou&d 2e 'n honor to .re'ch the *oodness of 6od, 1et never thou*ht in m1 4i&dest dre'ms I 4ou&d see th't d'1. When 1ou 2ecome ' 6od ch'ser 'nd &oo/ for o..ortunities to serve (im, it is 'm'Jin* 4here (e 4i&& t'/e 1ou. Who 'm I th't I shou&d h've such ' .rivi&e*ed ministr1E (o4 4onderfu& is our 5ordK (e .ic/ed
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me u. off the streets of 7e4 >or/, 4here I denied (im. (e *uided me throu*h the @u'*mire of emotion'& .'in, 4hen I thou*ht (e 4's no4here to 2e found. A&& the time I thou*ht I 4's '&one, (e 4's 'ctu'&&1 9ust 2ehind me. M1 .'in 4's so *re't th't I did not see (im. >et, (e 4's there '&& the time. (o4 '4esome (e is. M1 f'ith in 0hrist 8esus is not ' che'. 'ntise.tic to de'den the .'in of &ife 2ut ' vi2r'nt re&'tionshi. th't h's 2rou*ht excitement 'nd '2und'nt 9o1 to m1 &ife. I 'm c&othed in (is Word, I h've the oi& of (is #.irit, I h've the 9o1 of &ife, 'nd ever1 d'1 I &ive in (is house. Where ever 1ou 're in &ife tod'1, 4h'tever 1our h'rdshi., do not *ive u. for 1ou do not /no4 4h't incredi2&e .&'ns 6od h's for 1our &ife. Someone Special As st'ted .revious&1, in the summer of %!!1, I 4's in 8erus'&em 4or/in* on t4o rese'rch .ro9ects. One 4's the historic'& 'nd cu&tur'& 2'c/*round of the ministr1 environment of 8esus 'nd the second 4's ' m'ster:s thesis on ho4 the .hi&oso.h1 'nd theo&o*1 of the Intern'tion'& 0hristi'n Em2'ss1 8erus'&em 4's '..&ied throu*hout Isr'e&. At th't time I met ' 3innish ,mission'r1,- 4ho h'd s.ent ten 1e'rs c'rin* for (o&oc'ust survivors 'nd vo&unteerin* in v'rious ministries. (er n'me 4's P'ivi Es/e&i, 4hich me'ns ,the d'1 of EJe/ie&.- We est'2&ished ' 4onderfu& friendshi. 'nd 4or/ed to*ether on m1 2i2&ic'& rese'rch .ro9ects. The 5ord h'd *iven us ' common c'&&in*, vision, 'nd ministr1. A 1e'r &'ter 4e .&'nned our future to*ether 's 4e fe&t 6od 4's c'&&in* us to 2e ' ministr1 te'm. (o4ever, I to&d her th't, 2efore 4e 2e*in our &ives to*ether,
#3

there is ' s.eci'& *rove of trees '&on* the #e' of 6'&i&ee I needed to sho4 her. +urin* our courtshi. I h'd ' cr'J1 ide'. Wou&dn:t it 2e 4onderfu& if her f'mi&1 cou&d come do4n from 3in&'nd 'nd mine come over from the #t'tes, 'nd 4e cou&d tour this 4onderfu& &'nd 'nd h've ' 2e'utifu& sunset 4eddin* '&on* the #e' of 6'&i&eeE It 4's ' dre'm of dre'ms 's she 2're&1 h'd t4o she/e&s to ru2 to*ether 'nd I 4's on #oci'& #ecurit1 +is'2i&it1. >et 8esus 'ns4ered m1 .r'1er in ' most d1n'mic 4'1. 3rom Au*ust B to the 1Bth, %!!D, 4e too/ our f'mi&ies 'nd some friends on ' tour throu*hout Isr'e&. We sho4ed them 4here 8esus 4'&/ed, 4here (e he'&ed the sic/, 4here (e r'ised the de'd, 'nd he&.ed them underst'nd the #cri.tures in ' ne4 &i*ht. Then, on Au*ust 17, 4e *'thered under some trees on the e'stern side of the #e' of 6'&i&ee. There 4's ' refreshin* 2reeJe 'nd in the &'te 'fternoon sun ' mi&&ion *&itters ref&ected from the 4've c'.s, 4hen I &oo/ed out u.on the 4'ters 'nd thou*ht of the time I h'd stood there five 1e'rs e'r&ier 'nd m'rve&ed 't the merc1 of 6od. When I turned 'round, there 4ere the most 2e'utifu& feet th't h'd ever touched e'rth. There 4's m1 P'ivi 'nd she c'me to st'nd 2eside me. There she 2ec'me m1 4ife 'nd I, her hus2'nd. To*ether, 's 4e &oo/ed 'cross the 4'ters 4here 8esus h'd once .u&&ed Peter to s'fet1, 4e dedic'ted our &ives to e'ch other 'nd to minister (is 4ord to the n'tions. 7o .rice 4ou&d 2e too *re't or s'crifice too cost&1 to /ee. us from servin* 8esus, 4ho not on&1 s'ved us 2ut *'ve us &ife, 9o1, 'nd etern'& si*nific'nce.
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)i(( and Paivi!s wedding a(ong the *ea of a(i(ee on August 1+, 2,,-, is a testimony to the grace and (ove of our Lord and the rea(i.ation of %eremiah 29&11, in the most touching and meaningfu( way.

Together in Ministry We &ive in ' 4or&d 4here 0hristi'ns 're continu'&&1 ch'&&en*ed concernin* the truth of #cri.ture= this in not on&1 true in Americ', 2ut 4or&d4ide. Whi&e 4e h've he&d semin'rs in v'rious churches, 8esus h's '&so o.ened doors to forei*n countries 's 4e&&. #ome .eo.&e thin/ ' forei*n te'chin* ministr1 is ' 9o1fu& ,tourist1- t1.e ministr1. This is h'rd&1 the c'se, es.eci'&&1 on one &e*. In 7i*eri' 4e endured 4'&/in* difficu&ties, o..ressive he't, mos@uitoes, stom'ch .ro2&ems, 'nd thre'ts of securit1. Whi&e these conditions 're 2'd enou*h, tr've&in* 4ith ' severe h'ndic'. m'/es these
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stru**&es '&& the more difficu&t. >et, the .'stors 'nd te'chers in these communities &ive d'i&1 in these conditions 'nd 're over9o1ed to see someone come 'nd te&& them '2out 8esus.

)i(( and Paivi prepare to enter a community church with pastors %onathan and (oria /agi in 0igeria in 2,,1.

P'stors 'nd te'chers in third 4or&d n'tions do not h've 'ccess to Bi2&e co&&e*es or in de.th te'chin* resources, 4hich 're t'/en for *r'nted in the West. 0om.uters 'nd the Internet 're ex.ensive. It is ' 2&essin* 'nd honor to he&. them 2ui&d ' c&oser re&'tionshi. 4ith our 8esus, so the1 m'1 2e more effective in ministerin* to their .eo.&e. Wh't 2etter 4'1 is there to serve our 5ordE

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(e'rin* the voice of 6od c'n, 't times, 2e ' 2it ch'&&en*in*. Throu*hout the 1e'rs of stud1 I fe&t &ed to .re.'re for c'reers in 2oth 'c'demi' 'nd ministr1Ncounse&in*. To 4h'tever c'&&in* 6od desires to send us, P'ivi 'nd I 're 4i&&in* to *o. When in the midst of severe .ro2&ems, one n'tur'&&1 &oo/s either in4'rd or is over&1 'ttentive to the .ro2&em. One h'rd&1 &oo/s to 6od, to (is .romises, or 'n1 other .ossi2&e so&utions. >et the 4ords of 8eremi'h %BH11 're .rofound&1 trueH ,."or $ no# the !lans that $ have for you,. declares the LORD, @!lans for #elfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a ho!e..I thin/ 2'c/ to 1BB% or :BD, 4hen, 't times, I h'd no 2ed other th'n m1 c'r. If 1ou 4ou&d h've /noc/ed on m1 c'r 4indo4 to 4'/e me u. 'nd s'1 th't one d'1 I 4ou&d stud1 in Isr'e&, *et m'rried in Isr'e&, 'nd te'ch .'stors in other countries, I 4ou&d h've su**ested th't 1ou *o t'/e ' dru* test. >et th't is .recise&1 4h't h'..ened. 6od, in (is &ovin* *r'ce 'nd merc1 h's t'/en me f'r 2e1ond 4h't I ever cou&d h've thou*ht of or im'*ined. Tod'1 P'ivi 'nd I 're 2&essed to .resent semin'rs in churches 'nd encour'*e the 2od1 of 0hrist to *ro4 in 8esus 'nd .re.'re for the d'1 4hen 4e sh'&& /nee& 2efore (is he'ven&1 throne. As to m1 four 4onderfu& chi&dren A the divorce 'nd &oss of their home 4's dev'st'tin* to them. It is on&1 21 the *r'ce of 6od th't not one 4ent off the dee. end into '&coho& or dru* '2use. An1 counse&or 4i&& s'1 th't, 4hi&e there 're sti&& some
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&in*erin* issues to 2e reso&ved, the1 're doin* incredi2&1 4e&&. There is ' tendenc1 to 4rite 4h't re'ders 4'nt to re'd A the1 &ived h'..i&1 ever 'fter. This is se&dom the c'se. Time doesn:t he'&, 2ut it m'/es the hurt 2e'r'2&e= 8esus he'&s. The .&'in 'nd sim.&e truth is th't there 4i&& '&4'1s 2e ' 4or/ th't 8esus sti&& needs to do in e'ch of us. 0'ncer 'nd divorce 're incredi2&1 .'infu& 'nd destructive events 'nd, 1es, there is he'&in* 'fter4'rds 's one dr'4s c&oser to 8esus. (e desires 1ou to 2e he'&ed of 1our de2i&it'tin* ch'&&en*es, to see 1ou &ive in the fu&&ness of &ife, 'nd ex.'nd the <in*dom of 6od u.on this e'rth. Wh't is so 'm'Jin* is th't our 5ord is no res.ecter of .ersonsR(e h's no f'vorites. (e h's ' .&'n for 1ou, 9ust 's he h's for me 'nd ever1one e&se on the f'ce of this e'rth. It is e's1 to s'1 th't '&& 1ou h've to do is to .ut 1our trust in 8esus. I /no4, 't times, it is ver1 difficu&t to do. It is e's1 to *ive u. 'nd sometimes it seems &i/e it is the on&1 4'1 out. But it isn:t. The Bi2&e never .romises to t'/e us out of '&& .ro2&ems. We 're de&ivered from some 'nd *o throu*h others. But re*'rd&ess, 4e never *o throu*h them '&one. 3ee& free to sh're this stor1 4ith someone 1ou /no4 4ho is *oin* throu*h difficu&t times. 7o m'tter ho4 2'd &ife m'1 '..e'r to 2e, there is '&4'1s 8esus 4ho 4i&& he&. c'rr1 1ou throu*h. 8eremi'h %BH11 is 's true tod'1 's it 4's 2efore the found'tions of the e'rth 4ere &'id. 5i/e4ise, 's #t. Au*ustine once s'id, ,8esus died for ever1 one of us, 's if there 4's on&1 one of us.68

The difficu&t1 of .resentin* this stor1 is the .'ss'*e found in 8'mes GH11 S!ea not evil against one another. A num2er of det'i&s h've 2een omitted sim.&1 2ec'use these cou&d 2e inter.reted 's s.e'/in* evi& '*'inst someone. #.e'/in* i&& of 'n1one is motiv'ted 21 'n*er or 2itterness. I h've no 'n*er or 2itterness, 2ut I do h've .it1 'nd em.'th1. In the course of time I h've met m'n1 others 4ho h've ex.erienced difficu&ties. Ever1 one of them thou*ht he or she 4's the on&1 one sufferin* to th't de*ree. The truth is th't '&& hum'nit1 *ro'ns under the 4ei*ht of sin 'nd .oor decisions. This testimon1 is sh'red so 1ou 'nd m'n1 others 4i&& not on&1 come to f'ith in 0hrist 8esus, 2ut 4i&& 2ecome .'ssion'te '2out (im 's 4e&&. This testimon1 is one of m'n1 testimonies of the .o4er of the (o&1 #.irit 4or/in* in the &ives of 2e&ievers, 4ho h've stru**&es 'nd 're im.erfect, 1et h've ' desire Fmost of the timeI to do the 4i&& of 6od. (ence, the A.ost&e 8ohn s'id th't there is .o4er in our testimon1 F)ev. 1%H11I A the .o4er of 8esus 0hrist. Th't s'me .o4er is 'v'i&'2&e for 1ou 's ' 2e&iever. Reflective thoughts – I h've t4o .oints to consider. 3irst, 4h't does it *'in ' m'n if he 4ins the 4ho&e 4or&d 'nd &oses his f'mi&1E +ivorce is the sin th't h's &'stin* ne*'tive effects, es.eci'&&1 on chi&dren. If 1ou survived ' 2ro/en re&'tionshi., it mi*ht 2e 4ise to 's/ 4h't t4o or three thin*s 1ou shou&d h've done different&1= or 4h't t4o or three
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thin*s shou&d 1ou h've done, 2ut didn:t do. The .ur.ose is not to 9ustif1 'ctions, 2ut to o.en the o..ortunit1 to 2rin* he'&in* di'&o* to chi&dren 4ho m'1 not /no4 ho4 to de'& 4ith the issues th't continue to c'use .'in. #econd, over the 1e'rs I h've he'rd sever'& confessions of f'ith th't I 2e&ieve 're vit'& to one:s s.iritu'&, emotion'&, 'nd .h1sic'& 4e&& 2ein*. These 're so true, 2ec'use the core essence of &ife is to 2e tr'nsformed into the im'*e of 6od 21 (is Word Fthe Bi2&eI 'nd the 4or/ of the (o&1 #.irit in our &ives.

Part 5 Conclusion and Confessions of Faith Wh't c'n 2e s'id '2out &ife:s 9ourne1E As difficu&t 's it m'1 seem to 2e, not '&& of the events h've 2een inc&uded in this testimoni'&. 3or ex'm.&e, there 4's ' fire in ' rent'& home I o4ned 4hich too/ the &ife of ' % 1e'r o&d chi&d 'nd ' 2usiness tr'ns'ction 4ith ' .'stor 4ho 2ec'me consider'2&1 &ess th'n honest. I cou&d 4rite ' 2oo/ on 4h1 one does not 4'nt to 2ecome ' 0hristi'n, 2ut inste'd I 4rote '2out 8esus. #ome h've s'id it is the most exh'ustive stud1 on the &ife of 0hrist the1 h've ever re'd. Th't is ' fine com.&iment 'nd I ho.e others 4i&& *ro4 in their f'ith 'nd underst'ndin* 2ec'use of it. (o4ever, the most im.ort'nt .oint of m1 &ife 'nd this stor1 is th't 8esus h's 2een f'ithfu& throu*h '&& m1 f'i&ures, tri'&s 'nd tri2u&'tions. M1 .ur.ose h's
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never 2een to de*r'de 'n1one, 2ut to descri2e some of m1 stru**&es 'nd, ho4, in the d'r/est of moments, 8esus 4's '&4'1s there. Tru&1 there 're sever'& &essons th't I &e'rned. The first is the over4he&min* &ove th't 6od h's for us. The second is the @uestion 's to 4h't &ife is '&& '2out. It is the time of .re.'r'tion of 4here one s.ends eternit1. 3rom time to time I thin/ of the dre'm I h'd more th'n three dec'des '*o. I c'n sti&& see m1se&f /noc/in* on the door 4hi&e there 4's intense .'in in m1 h'nd. I ref&ect u.on the f'ct th't m'n1 in ministr1 someho4 do not finish 4e&& 21 the end of their &ives. The door re.resents the o.enin* to ' ne4 &ife, 'nd I 4i&& finish 4e&& 'nd encour'*e 1ou to do &i/e4ise. The third &esson is th't the &ove of 6od is 2est st'ted in ' &itt&e chi&dhood h1mn I &e'ned in #und'1 schoo& so m'n1 1e'rs '*o. -esus "o+es Me This & /now ?erse 1 8esus &oves meK This I /no4, 3or the Bi2&e te&&s me so. 5itt&e ones to (im 2e&on*= The1 're 4e'/, 2ut (e is stron*. )efr'inH >es, 8esus &oves meK >es, 8esus &oves meK >es, 8esus &oves meK >es, 8esus &oves meK The Bi2&e te&&s me so.

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?erse % 8esus &oves meK This I /no4, As (e &oved so &on* '*o, T'/in* chi&dren on (is /nee, #'1in*, ,5et them come to Me.F)efr'inI ?erse D 8esus &oves me sti&& tod'1, W'&/in* 4ith me on m1 4'1, W'ntin* 's ' friend to *ive 5i*ht 'nd &ove to '&& 4ho &ive. F)efr'inI ?erse G 8esus &oves meK (e 4ho died (e'ven:s *'te to o.en 4ide= (e 4i&& 4'sh '4'1 m1 sin, 5et (is &itt&e chi&d come in. F)efr'inI ?erse 5 8esus &oves meK (e 4i&& st'1 0&ose 2eside me '&& the 4'1= Thou h'st 2&ed 'nd died for me, I 4i&& henceforth &ive for Thee. F)efr'inI The invit'tion of &ive for 8esus is free, 2ut &ivin* it 4i&& cost 1ou. 8ust consider, for ex'm.&e, the .ersecuted 2e&ievers in other countries. Their stren*th comes from the (o&1 #.irit 'nd from the Bi2&e. 3or the ch'&&en*es 1ou h've, consider
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h'vin* 1our ch'r'cter tr'nsformed 21 rene4in* 1our mind in 'ccord'nce to the ch'r'cter of 6od F)om. 1%H1 %I. >ou c'n 2e*in 4ith the fo&&o4in*H

Confession of the Word This is m1 Bi2&e I 'm 4h't it s'1s I 'm I h've 4h't it s'1s I h've I c'n do 4h't it s'1s I c'n do Tod'1 I 4i&& he'r the Word of 6od 3'ith 4i&& come to m1 s.irit. I 2o&d&1 confess... m1 mind is '&ert m1 he'rt is rece.tive I 'm '2out to receive the incorru.ti2&e the indestructi2&e ever &ivin* seed of the Word of 6od It 4i&& ch'n*e m1 &ife I 4i&& never 2e the s'me '*'in In 8esus: 7'me A Amen

#ometimes I &i/e to t'/e verses from the Bi2&e 'nd .erson'&iJe them. The1 2ecome so me'nin*fu&. Medit'te on these 't '&& times, es.eci'&&1 durin* the d'r/ d'1s of &ife.
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! "#iritual $lessings in Christ %esus FPerson'&iJed from E.hesi'ns 1HD 1GI D Pr'ise 2e to the 6od 'nd 3'ther of our 5ord 8esus 0hrist, 4ho h's 2&essed me in the he'ven&1 re'&ms 4ith ever1 s.iritu'& 2&essin* in 0hrist. G 3or he &'od the Father( chose me in 8esus 2efore the cre'tion of the 4or&d to 2e ho&1 'nd 2&'me&ess in his si*ht. In &ove 5 he .redestined me to 2e 'do.ted 's his son0daughter throu*h 8esus 0hrist, in 'ccord'nce 4ith his .&e'sure 'nd 4i&&R C to the .r'ise of his *&orious *r'ce, 4hich he h's free&1 *iven me in the One he &oves. 7 In 8esus & ha+e redem.tion throu*h 8esus: 2&ood, the for*iveness of sins, in 'ccord'nce 4ith the riches of 6od:s *r'ce 8 th't 8esus &'vished on me 4ith '&& 4isdom 'nd underst'ndin*. B And 6od the f'ther m'de /no4n to me the m1ster1 of his 4i&& 'ccordin* to his *ood .&e'sure, 4hich he .ur.osed in 8esus 0hrist, 1! to 2e .ut into effect 4hen the times 4i&& h've re'ched their fu&fi&&mentRto 2rin* '&& thin*s in he'ven 'nd on e'rth to*ether under one he'd, even 0hrist. 11 In him & 4's '&so chosen, h'vin* 2een .redestined 'ccordin* to the .&'n of 6od 4ho
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4or/s out ever1thin* in conformit1 4ith the .ur.ose of his 4i&&, 1% in order th't &, 4ho 4's the first to ho.e in 0hrist, mi*ht 2e for the .r'ise of his *&or1. 1D And & 4's '&so inc&uded in 0hrist 4hen & he'rd the 4ord of truth, the *os.e& of s'&v'tion. ('vin* 2e&ieved, & 4's m'r/ed in 8esus 4ith ' se'&, the .romised (o&1 #.irit, 1G 4ho is ' de.osit *u'r'nteein* our inherit'nce unti& the redem.tion of me 4ho is 6od;s .ossessionRto the .r'ise of his *&or1. #'int Au*ustine once s'id, ,)esus died for every one of us, as if there #as only one of us.3or 6od so &oved 1ou th't (e not on&1 *'ve (is on&1 #on for 1ou, 2ut there 're 'n '2und'nt num2er of s.iritu'& 2&essin*s for 1ou 's 4e&&. #o no4 1ou mi*ht 's/ the @uestion A )o* do + ,egin -! life *ith 'od. >our ne4 &ife 2e*ins 21 'cce.tin* 8esus 's 1our 5ord 'nd #'vior. In the Bi2&e 1ou 4i&& see th't 6od &oves 1ou 'nd offers ' 4onderfu& .&'n for 1our &ife F8er. %BH11I. The Bi2&e descri2es 6od:s incredi2&e &ove for 1ouH ,6od so &oved the 4or&d Finc&udin* 1ouI th't (e *'ve (is one 'nd on&1 #on F8esusI, th't 4hoever 2e&ieves in (im sh'&& not .erish, 2ut h've etern'& &ife- F8n. DH1CI. 8esus s'id th't ,I c'me th't the1 mi*ht h've &ife, 'nd mi*ht h've it '2und'nt&1 Sth't it mi*ht 2e fu&& 'nd me'nin*fu&TF8n. 1!H1!I. (o4ever, m'n is sinfu& 'nd, therefore, se.'r'ted from 6od. 7o one c'n ex.erience 6od;s &ove 'nd
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.&'n for his &ife 2ec'use, ,A&& h've sinned 'nd f'&& short of the *&or1 of 6od- F)om. DH%DI. M'n 4's cre'ted to h've fe&&o4shi. 4ith 6od= 2ut, 2ec'use of his stu22orn se&f 4i&&, he chose to *o his o4n inde.endent 4'1 'nd the re&'tionshi. 4ith 6od 4's 2ro/en. This se&f 4i&&, ch'r'cteriJed 21 'n 'ttitude of 'ctive re2e&&ion or .'ssive indifference, is 'n evidence of 4h't the Bi2&e c'&&s sin. ,The 4'*es of sin is de'th Ss.iritu'& se.'r'tion from 6od= i.e. he&&T- F)om. CH%DI. 8esus 0hrist is 6od:s on&1 .rovision for 1our sin. Throu*h (im 1ou c'n /no4 'nd ex.erience 6od;s &ove 'nd .&'n for 1our &ife. The s'crifici'& de'th of 8esus on ' )om'n cross .'id for 1our sin. ,6od demonstr'tes (is o4n &ove to4'rd us, in th't 4hi&e 4e 4ere 1et sinners, 0hrist died for usF)om. 5H8I. (o4ever, 8esus rose from the *r've so 4e too mi*ht h've etern'& &ife. ,0hrist died for our sins ... (e 4's 2uried ... (e 4's r'ised on the third d'1, 'ccordin* to the #cri.tures ... (e '..e'red to Peter, then to the t4e&ve. After th't (e '..e'red to more th'n five hundred ...- F1 0or. 15HD CI. 8esus is the on&1 4'1 to h've etern'& &ife 4ith 6od. ,8esus s'id to him, UI 'm the 4'1, 'nd the truth, 'nd the &ife= no one comes to the 3'ther, 2ut throu*h Me:- F8n. 1GHCI. >ou must .erson'&&1 'cce.t 8esus 'nd the *ift of etern'& &ife. ,3or 's m'n1 's received S'cce.tT (im S8esusT, to them (e *'ve the ri*ht to 2ecome chi&dren of 6od, even to those 4ho 2e&ieve in (is n'me- F8n. 1H1%I. B1 sim.&e f'ith 1ou receive 8esus. 8esus s'id, ,Beho&d, I st'nd 't the door Sof 1our he'rtT 'nd /noc/= if 'n1 one he'rs M1 voice 'nd o.ens the door, I 4i&& come in to him- F)ev. DH%!I. ,B1 *r'ce 1ou h've 2een s'ved throu*h f'ith= 'nd
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th't not of 1ourse&ves, it is the *ift of 6od= not 's ' resu&t of 4or/s th't no one shou&d 2o'st- FE.h. %H8, BI. When 1ou h've 'cce.ted 8esus 1ou h've 2een 2orn '*'in Fsee 8n. DH1 8I. >ou c'n receive 8esus ri*ht no4 21 f'ith throu*h .r'1er Ft'&/in* to 6odI. 6od /no4s 1our he'rt 'nd is not 's concerned 4ith 1our 4ords 's (e is 4ith the 'ttitude of 1our he'rt. The fo&&o4in* is ' su**ested .r'1erH ALord )esus, $ need 1ou. 'han 1ou for dying on the cross for my sins. $ o!en the door of my life and receive 1ou as my Savior and Lord. 'han 1ou for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. 'a e control of the throne of my life. Ma e me the ind of !erson 1ou #ant me to be.A Amen. If 1ou 9ust .r'1ed this .r'1er, 1ou h've m'de the 2est decision of 1our &ife. >our next ste. is to 2ecome .'rt of ' Bi2&e 2e&ievin* church 4here 1ou c'n *ro4 in 1our f'ith. )emem2er th't #'t'n is not too de&i*hted 4ith 1our decision, 2ut A&mi*ht1 6od 'nd the 'n*e&s of (e'ven 're re9oicin*. >our .'stor 'nd ne4 friends 4ho 're 2e&ievers, 's 4e&& 's the (o&1 #.irit, 4i&& he&. 1ou in 1our ne4 9ourne1. It is 9ust for 1ou th't this 2oo/ 4's 4ritten. Tod'1 the #.irit of 6od is ch'n*in* &ives 'round the 4or&d. (e 4i&& do the s'me for 1ou 's 1ou commit 1ourse&f to (im 'nd (is directives of &ife. As st'ted .revious&1, remem2er the 4ords of #'int Au*ustine, ,0hrist died for ever1 one of us, 's if there 4's on&1 one of us.-

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/For 0ou1 2 32R41 have -ade -e glad ,! *hat 0ou have done1 + *ill sing for 5o! at the *or6s of 0our hands78 - Psal- 92:4

In (is #ervice 'nd >ours,

$ill )einrich

Tod'1 Bi&& serves 's ' semin'r s.e'/er, 'd9unct .rofessor, counse&or 'nd ch'.&'in. When conductin* church semin'rs, his 4ife P'ivi sh'res some of her ministr1 ex.eriences 4hi&e she 4's in 8erus'&em for ten 1e'rs. (e h's 4ritten sever'& 2oo/s inc&udin* 'n exh'ustive stud1 on the cu&tur'& 2'c/*round on the &ife of 8esus. (e is 'n ins.ir'tion for those 4ho 're ex.eriencin* severe difficu&ties 'nd 're 4onderin* if 6od re'&&1 c'res.
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Boo/s 21 Wi&&i'm ( (einrich N Bi&& (einrich &n the Shame of -esus1 The #idden Story of Church2 Sponsored Anti2Semitism Di+ine #ealing1 A *i(lical and Practical Study $uide eality Denied1 The &ncon+enient Truth a(out the Middle East Conflict Mysteries of the Messiah &as of 2;121 availa,le ,! +nternet do*n-load onl! or ,! #rivate #rinting( The #and of $od1 Ancient Prophecies 3 Modern Miracles in &srael

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