I Kings 8:23 (NLT) - O Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in all of heaven above or on the earth below. You keep your covenant and show unfailing love to all who walk before you in wholehearted devotion.
Galatians 5:22-23 - But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Dear God, You are telling me today that it is okay to be different and that it doesn't matter what other people think. That You sometimes plan for me to stand out from the crowd. I know thos to be true, but apparently this is where that church went wrong. Ginny learned who You designed me to be and encouraged me to find my way in life, YOUR way for me. But she was heartbroken because of how Mikki and Mark treated me. Mikki tried to change me. Not just behaviors or quirks that she didn't like, but who YOU created me to be. And Mark decided to prohibit me from being able to be involved as a member when he realied that I could NOT be changed because I was following the path YOU created for my life. Shame on them. And the thing is Tom refused to understand things until I left to allow time for me to explore things. But now, God, let's explore the fruit of the Spirit again here. Because the other thing I read today is that sometimes You call me to do something that I will not feel ready for but that Your power will make me good enough and brave enough to do. First, let me apply them to Tom and what he did when the conflict arose and he lied and destroyed the friendship instead of seeking reconciliation as You say we are to always do. Did he show love? No. Did he show joy? No. Peace? No. Patience? No. Kindness? No. Goodness? No. Faithfulness? No. Gentleness? No. Self-control? No. Did I? I tried, but even I may have slipped and failed. But because You do call me to more, I will be the one that takes the initiative to reach out to Tom and personally offer him another chance to come into reconciliation. And I will do it as person to person. If, and only if, we can work things out between the two of us, then, and only then, will I reconsider reconciling with his church. But, I will have to be honest. Based on all of my lessons this year, that church may just have to be history. It is too corrupted. It refuses to embrace special needs even though that comprises the majority of the work that Jesus did on earth. And maybe it is not even the whole of it or the whole of its leadership, but the ones who are corrupt and refuse are the ones who are the most vocal there somehow. And that is wrong for them. Corruption occurs when they stifle honest voices. Corruption occurs when the truth is brought to light and they do everything they can to snuff it out. Corruption occurs when a pastor is given TOO MUCH POWER. And sadly, I was NOT the ONLY one who has been hurt by that church because of that corruption. I have met others who crashed and burned because of them, more specifically, because of the pastor there. Oh, God, examine that church and that pastor. And examine my heart as well as I begin to take the first steps toward reconciliation with Tom. Open his heart to the process. And should he desire a third party, open the door for his wife or a mutual friend to participate in the process. Safe territory being his home. Neutral territory being any place that is not the church. God, one last request, now that the AC has been fixed, please do not let me get sick and please keep those without air conditioning cool. It is going to be a HOT one this week in the Deep South! Thank You, God, for the lessons You are teaching me every day. Keep my heart open to them, no matter how hard they might be at times. In Jesus' Name, Amen!