Posted by: Rex Boyles | September 22, 2007

e-gems from email

Among the blogs – comments to blogs – and emails that nudge me, during the week, I always find some “gems” (or would that be “e-gems”?) that teach me things I didn’t know … remind me of things I should already know … and refresh me – heart and soul. (Respecting confidentiality, of course, let me share with you some of the kernels of wisdom, hope and joy that I have gleaned this week.) 

“AS IRON SHARPENS IRON … (Proverbs 27:17).” 

“We cannot allow our mission to be defined/limited/shaped by our past. Saul did not duck and cover.  He did not remain Saul.  He did not transition into what I call Saul-Oprah.  (He stopped kicking his goat.)  He opened his eyes to the truth. He repented of his sins, and grabbed onto a new life with both hands.  He then used his same zeal for God to preach the Gospel like no one has ever preached the Gospel.  His past could have been used against him by others.  He could have used his past against himself.  Instead he used it for the Lord’s Kingdom.  I cannot imagine the “yuck” he felt every time he talked about the vicious things he had done.  He fought through himself, forgetting what was behind and pressed on.  The first time he saw the Lord – blindness brought him vision.  He never lost sight of that mission – therefore, his past was not an obstacle, but a tool.” (MY SON, DAVID, IS MY FAVORITE PREACHER.)

  “… then the Lord interjected Himself into my thoughts: “Let me remind you of another time when you committed the same sin as someone else, but didn’t suffer anywhere near the consequences of the other. Where was your cry for justice then?” It was like a Job moment – “I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer.” I was cut to the heart and repented there and then, confessing my sin and asking God to forgive me and praising Him for His mercy toward an undeserving sinner. I resolved then and there to let that one go. He let me dodge another bullet with a gentle rebuke, so I didn’t have to learn the lesson the hard way. I have taught and preached several times against our mindset of “mercy for me, justice for you”, but it seems that I am still struggling to learn those lessons (among many others) myself.” (SOMEWHERE IT SHOULD BE WRITTEN: “BLESSED ARE THE MERCIFUL.”) 

“And Here’s What I Love About Jesus! He saw me flailing about in the darkness of my own desperation and couldn’t leave me there. He came to lift me into His light  though the journey cost Him far beyond my ability to measure. He invited me into the welcoming warmth of His family and His fellowship. He has never given up on me even when I so richly deserved it. To this moment He loves  me, even delights in me, calls me brother and trusts me with His Name. He whispers hope into my ear just when I need it most. His belief in me defies my unbelief in me. So since He is so much wiser than I, I will trust that He is doing something worthwhile in me. And I can see what He is doing in you. I love Him for all that and so much more.” (HE GAVE ME A FRIEND LIKE YOU.) 

“A FRIEND LOVES AT ALL TIMES … (Proverbs 17:17).” 


“For me there was never or it seemed like there was never one time of hiding…or secrets.  It was woven into the fabric of my life – a part of everyday for me.  So much so that after a while you know longer realize you are hiding anything…you convince yourself that the illusion is the reality.  I hid from my mother…from the failure I was to her and the fear of not knowing what was coming.  I retreated to my room, hid within myself to feel some measure of safety.  I wish I knew why I hid as long as I did.  It wasn’t as if there weren’t good, loving, Christian people in my family, my life.  But I was afraid.  Of more than I even realized at the time.  For whatever reason, I hid and hid and hid.  The secret almost becomes a safety net…a security, or at least it did for me.  I was a mother before, I was somewhat forced out of hiding.  Forced to admit that the illusion was just smoke screen and to deal with others – seeing that the reality was what it was.  You would think I would have felt relief…to be free from the pretense, but for me, I didn’t know how to function without that secret – that thing to keep hidden.  … who was a friend?  There were many well meaning people and loved ones that tried to be there once I was honest, but you were the first one to let me feel that I could tell … and that you understood why.  Not that you liked what I had done to myself…but that you understood what was beneath the outward sign…I think that was more helpful to me than anything else.  Someone else could love me, even when I was telling the most shameful inner feeling that I had,  You guided, nudged, argued, worried, but most of all made sure that no matter how long it took, you would carry when I couldn’t walk on my own …” (THE WOUNDED ONE ON THE ROAD TO JERICHO NEEDED SOMEONE – NOT TO PITY AND PASS BY – BUT TO SEE, CARE, AND LOVE HIS NEIGHBOR AS HIMSELF.)

I don’t have the time right now to explain everything, but your example of “owning up” is doing something extremely big in my heart, right now! I have a big decision to make soon and your story is making a big impact on me, right now! I don’t know what I am going to do, and don’t know who I can talk to about it, is there any way I can call you sometime? I don’t want to talk to you about your past, because that is NONE OF MY BUSINESS, except to say that what you wrote has got me seriously thinking about a situation I am in. Can I please talk to you?” (AND WE DID TALK – THANK GOD.) 

“My counsel to people who have had problems of any sort with another is to let it go if you can – after all “love covers over a multitude of sins.” If you cannot let go, than you need to deal with it before any root of bitterness springs up and things become worse. There were some things that hurt me, but they are so long ago that I admit I feel kind of stupid bringing them up. I decided a long time ago, to just let them go, and I want to assure you that I have no resentment or bitterness or even anger towards you. I guess it was easy to just let water flow under the bridge when you leave the river behind. The truth was, we have been separated by years and miles, so I haven’t even thought about any of this for longer than I can remember. We could probably never have this “conversation” and we would be none the worse. But ever since I came across you in cyberspace a week ago, there is something pressing me, weighing on me, pushing me. I believe it is the hand of God, and I believe He is leading me to put things to rest.” (MAY YOUR DESIRE TO ‘PUT THINGS TO REST” BETWEEN US – GIVE ME OPPORTUNITY TO DO THE SAME WITH OTHERS I HAVE HURT.) 

“LIKE COLD WATER TO A WEARY SOUL … (Proverbs 25:25).” 

“so, I am telling you – from this sinner – I admire your courage, each and every day – each time you admit to the sin and acknowledge the heartache it brought to all that knew you. I respect your willingness to ask for forgiveness, and the brave way you are facing everyone – even those that would not accept you. I love hearing about the many that come running to you – to find you – to put their arms around you and say, “This doesn’t change the way I feel about you.” Even when you couldn’t look them in the eye, they wanted you to know that they were there for you.” (YOU WERE AMONG THE FIRST TO WELCOME ME HOME.) 

“I truly appreciate your heart, and as far as I am concerned, all is forgiven – never to be thought of or mentioned again. Ever! So where does this leave us? I offer myself to you as a true friend – the kind that you and I both understand. I would gladly accept you as one of mine. I look forward to speaking with you – hearing your voice. I would love to sit down face to face even more – I want you to look in my eyes so you can see what I’m saying, and to look back in yours as I listen.” (YOU REFRESHED MY WEARY SOUL WITH THESE WORDS.)

“I just wanted to say thank you – thank you for welcoming <the prodigal>home. This is a huge prayer that has been answered. We are praying for you and for this mission you are on to help the weak and broken people on this earth. It is so scary how quickly Satan can enter our lives and there we stand- bruised and confused and alone. Thank you for making him feel like there is hope- that there is a chance he can be whole again. I can tell he feels at home- and that is a word that means a lot to him right now. It is the only one he has at the moment. God bless you and your family. I pray that this ministry is blessed beyond measure and that God opens doors that no man can close. Thank you, thank you for loving the lost. Please keep our family in your prayers as well. This has been a life altering situation and none of us will ever be the same- and that is a good thing I think. We know more than ever that- God is in control, God is the ONLY way, God fights for us even when we cannot, and that we are asking for all this forgiveness, mercy and love so we had BETTER BE SHOWING IT! We are being blessed through this and reading your blog proves this more and more. I will praise Him in this storm. Thank you, and may God lead you and protect you and illuminate you to shine in this dark world. God Bless You and the ‘Open Church’ You are all in our prayers.” (FROM YOUR HEART TO GOD’S EARS. THANK YOU.)


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