Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me Releases Today

Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me

Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me releases today!

I created a new website for Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me. At forgivingme.com, you can:

+ Locate bookstores are selling

+ Learn why I wrote the book

+ FREE Extras: Download Chapter 1 for free and a free eBook of all the scriptures on forgiveness from my book.

Also, at www.forgivingme.com, I will soon be releasing Chapter Videos so you can go along with the Discussions Questions at the back of the book. If you’re looking to host a 7-week Bible Study on forgiveness, you will be able to soon!

In my new book you can learn to forgive your past and discover your future.

“I had been writing in my journal every night since my life fell apart. My skin was covered in rashes, the medication had caused me to gain one hundred pounds, I dealt with crippling bouts of anxiety and I lost my first love. I needed healing. God did heal me, in a big way. God came alive as I wrote to him, and it was there in my journal that I found what I was searching for—forgiveness” (Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me).

In Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, my aim is to reach out with an important message—”there is freedom in Christ from your past hurts, present circumstances and future fears.”

I draw from personal experiences and share real quotes from everyday people alongside stories of Biblical characters including Job, Jonah and Joseph and their journeys to forgiveness.

Providing a three-step process, I offer you, the reader, encouraging words to guide you through the healing process and insight into the most important aspects of forgiveness including:

• Christians are taught to forgive each other, but little emphasis is put on the fact that many of us need to forgive ourselves.

• Forgiveness is a personal process and is always a choice we can make.

• If we choose to not forgive, it not only affects the person we choose not to pardon, but it affects our body, heart and minds.

• Forgiveness matters because of the cross.

I also utilize scripture throughout the book and provides Bible verses with room for the reader to journal and reflect at the end of each chapter. Forgiving Others, Forgiving Meprovides the tools to find freedom from pain to purpose.

Below is my original book cover from 10 years ago. My professional photographer friend Angela McNeil of weightedfaith.com took pictures to help me recreate that same feeling I had 10 years ago with balloons.

I hope it serves as a reminder to you never to give up on your dreams–even if they take ten years like mine!

Dreams are worth the wait.

“Forgiveness is a personal process, and with God’s help you can overcome” (Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me).

fofm original coverfofm

FOFM 07

Help me translate “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” into Farsi!

I have the wonderful opportunity to translate “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” into Farsi. Once translated, it will be distributed among hundreds of house churches inside Iran. Forgiveness and freedom are two very strategic messages for the fast growing Persian Church.

Farsi Book Project Timeline:
+ Aug., 2013: Raise Funds for the translation project.
+ Sept. & Oct., 2013: Translate “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” into Farsi and typeset copy for electronic book format.
+ Nov. & Dec., 2013: Distribute hundreds of copies of the Farsi version of “Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me” on microchips for distribution inside the Persian house church movements.

Tax-Deductible Information:
If possible, by the end of August, please make a special tax deductible gift for the Farsi translation by going to the Antioch Network website. Antioch has been partnering with Persians for the past ten years!

Online Giving:
Click here to give to the Farsi Book Project.

Mail a Check: 
If you would like to mail a donation to Antioch Network for the Farsi Book Project:
+ Make your check payable to: Antioch Network
+ On the memo line: Farsi Book ProjectMail your tax deductible donation to:
Antioch Network
Farsi Book Project
3800 N. Lamar Blvd.
Ste. 730, Box 315
Austin, TX 78756-4011

Thanks for helping me reach the Farsi speaking house churches across the world with the message of the gospel that Jesus is still a God who forgives and sets people free!

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How to Move On With Your Life

How to Move On With Your Life 2

One of the toughest questions to answer is how to move on with your life.

Why?

Because it’s both personal and painful. Unfortunately, it’s a question no one else can answer but you.

I’ll never forget a few years back when I sat in my church’s counseling office. I had booked an appointment last minute because my life at that time was in major crisis mode.

I never knew when I was going to have a panic attack or how long it would last.

But, I remember her vividly.

The lady whom I didn’t like or care for much. She was just someone who could see me at the last minute. Not to mention, I didn’t have to pay her an arm and a leg for counseling appointments. It was during our last visit that she told me,

“I think you should go back on your anxiety medication and stay on it for the rest of your life!”

Or maybe she said “for a long time.” I don’t really remember much after that. She scared the crap out of me. Her words hung over me like a death sentence.

***

Recently, I woke up. It was as if a light bulb suddenly went off inside my mind, and I yelled at the top of my lungs.

“I reject those words spoken over me by her.”

I said those words of freedom loudly and resolutely.

It was one of those rare moments of freedom I’ve experienced since that fateful day at the counselors office, and I didn’t want to let the moment go.

I want to be free of my anxiety.

I want to let go of my past.

I want to move on with my life.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve been on anxiety medication before–a few times in fact.

It helped me when nothing else did.

What I appreciated about my nurse practitioner is that she took the time to listen to me. She didn’t just tell me there was nothing (or everything) wrong with me. When she diagnosed me with Generalized Anxiety Disorder as a young 20-something–it felt nice to finally know what the heck was wrong with me!

But.

But anxiety medication was never prescribed as a forever pill.

It was meant for a temporary fix to help me through my moment of crisis (and I’ve had a lot).

***

I’m excited that I am ready to share my story!

Quote 12In my new book, Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me I share the good, the bad, and the ugly about forgiveness and how it took me a really long time to forgive myself.

I am no longer hiding.

I am a giant mosaic of brokenness, and I’m finally okay with it.

I know each piece, each layer has made me who I am: beautiful.

It reminds me of the story of Joseph. In Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me, I share how God mightily turned around evil into good for Joseph and his entire family and extended families.

Friends, I believe you and I were intended for good.

Dr. Larry Osborne of North Coast Church asked a key question recently in a sermon on Joseph,

“Why do we have to get to the point of desperation before we let go?”

He also said that what we really think is self protection (or self-care) is really playing the perpetual victim. Joseph’s dad Jacob, couldn’t see that God was blessing him. All he could see was his grief and why he couldn’t let his family move on with their lives.

***

Going back to the story of her, and the reason why I was sitting in her office in the first place.

I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.

I thought I could handle working full time along with a brand spanking new literary career and my first book contract. For once in my life I wasn’t struggling with how to pay the bills or take care of my health.

Instead of viewing a new writing ministry as an opportunity for God to bless me (and something I had prayed many, many years for), I played the perpetual victim.

I didn’t want to move back in with my parents.

I didn’t want to give up my amazing ministry job that paid the bills.

I didn’t want to be “housebound” once again.

But that wasn’t what God had planned for me. And that wasn’t all God had planned for Jacob.

Thank God Almighty that He uses boneheads like Jacob and like me. And thank God the story doesn’t stop there.

God’s the kind of God that will sit there and help you pack your bags while you sob your eyes out. I did it. I’m sure Jacob thought he was losing his other favorite son for good.

But.

But God brought Marc into my life. He gave me a new home and an office (my first office)! And He gave me more book contracts!

If only I could go back in time and give my former self a hug and tell her what she thought was the worst thing ever was really the beginning of many blessings to come.

Would you pray for me as I move on with my life and go off my anxiety medication? How can I be praying for you?

[Photo: Tanya Puntti, Creative Commons]

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Forgiving Myself

forgiving me

[Guest Post by Kristyn Ramsey – I always appreciate getting to know new people, stories, and faces–especially when they talk about one of my favorite subjects: forgiving myself. Please welcome Kristyn.]

Struggling to forgive myself doesn’t come easy for a mistake I made.

My mom used to tell me my whole life that I never met a stranger in the 24 years on planet earth. And if you meet me, that’s one of the truest statements about me. I can carry on a conversation with anyone, and that is usually to my benefit. Trips to other places were made easier because I made friends wherever I found myself.

I made the mistake of opening up my mouth when I shouldn’t have.

Typical, I continued to tell myself over and over again. I spoke when I was angry and made a rash judgment when I had no place to do that. I wanted so badly to be right with a situation in which I was honestly wrong that it cost me more than I ever dreamed of it costing me.

But not this time: I lost a relationship with someone that should have been one of my closest friends as I walked the journey into adulthood. But because I didn’t keep my mouth shut, I lost it. I lost a relationship that to this day I am not sure that I will ever get back because of that one mistake.

I did aim to fix the relationship.

I did everything I should have done.

The advice from friends was this:

“You’ve done everything you could have.”

“I don’t know what is going through her head.”

I had to realize that I could not change how she felt. She was right to be mad, but it is also her choice not to forgive me.

I tried to continue to tell her that I was sorry, and didn’t mean what I said when I made the mistake that I did. She continued to act like I didn’t exist.

Even with that, after many conversations about it, I hadn’t forgiven myself.

When she treated me like I didn’t exist, I wondered if I needed to continue to exist. The darkness that I felt in that season was overwhelming at times. I made a mistake, but I am a human, I finally learned.

I don’t want to use my humanness as an excuse to make mistakes. But not forgiving myself for an honest mistake was killing me more than it was killing anyone else. People didn’t know that I was constantly beating myself up over an honest mistake.

Big mistakes or little ones, the greatest freedom I found was in forgiving myself.

It came from the reality that I am going to make mistakes; I’m human and part of being human is making mistakes and living with the choices of those decisions. I can’t change how she feels, and what she in turn decides to do with that, but I can change myself.

And those mistakes can either define me, or do what I would rather find myself doing: forgiving myself and letting the things that matter define me instead.

I can let myself continue to live the life that I have the chance to live: to laugh often, love well, and enjoy each moment.

Choosing to walk in that freedom has changed how I feel, how I act, but mostly the freedom to move past that mistake and love my life.

Kristyn RamseyMy name is Kristyn, but I’m known to almost everyone I interact with as K-Ram. I love Jesus, spend my free time in my CrossFit gym, and love to learn more about other people. I am in EMT school full time, and spend my days just making sure I put on clean clothes and remember to show up to work when I am supposed to be there. You can find my blog at kristynramsey.blogspot.com.

[Photo: stoplamek, Creative Commons]

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Forgiving My Molester

forgiving my molester

[Guest Post by Sarah Miller – When I met Sarah and got to know her I always knew she had a sweet spirit, so when she submitted this piece to me I was shocked to learn about the broken pieces of her past. It just goes to show you of God’s forgiving power and how, no matter what we’ve been through, we can overcome.]

If there is one thing in my life that I know a lot about, it is anger.

I grew up very angry because of a horrible incident that happened when I was six years old. But even the horrible things in life can teach you valuable lessons later on in life.

This incident taught me the art of forgiveness.

When I was 6, my family was close friends with another family down the street. We were always there playing. My older sister always played with the brothers, and I played with the sister who was a few years older than me. I never thought anything was wrong with the games we played–until one day her brother walked in and asked why we were naked.

I had been sexually molested for a whole year without knowing it.

Fortunately, my family moved further away at that time, and I never had to see her again. I never told my parents or any of my friends what had happened. I kept this secret locked in my heart where it grew into an uncontrollable anger that haunted me for the next 18 years.

Fast forward to 2011.

I am now 24 years old, freshly back from six months in South Africa doing missionary work, and I am volunteering at a week of church camp on the Oregon Coast. My life was really coming together and it seemed like I should have been so happy–but I was still just so angry.

All.

The.

Time.

Even after all these years, I couldn’t let go of the past. I couldn’t forgive that girl for what she did to me.

Then, due to an unforeseen conflict, two fellow camp counselors needed a place to stay for the night after camp. Graciously, my parents opened our home to them. That night, I stayed up until 4 A.M. with one of them, pouring our hearts out to each other. I confided my secret anger in her, and to my astonishment, I learned that she went through a situation almost identical to mine–but worse.

She had been abused by two family members, and she had to see them at every family event and relive that nightmare. I was lucky that I never had to see my molester again. But, somehow, despite the constant reminder of what had happened, my newfound friend had, against all odds, forgiven her family for what had happened.

I didn’t understand how she had reached that point.

To forgive someone for scarring me like this?

It completely blew my mind.

My friend taught me that night that forgiveness isn’t forgetting.

I will never, ever, forget the pain this girl inflicted on my life. I will never forget the wrong that was done to me. But I needed to actively choose to take this whole situation and lay it at the feet of Jesus.

Because then, and only then, can God take the bad in your life and turn it into something that can be used for His Glory.

Through that one Divine moment, that time when God decided to cross my path with that of someone who had already learned the art of forgiveness, I learned to release my anger.

The next morning when I woke up, I wasn’t angry.

For the first time in over 18 years, I was able to start my day praising God instead of cursing my past.

No, I haven’t forgotten.

No, the pain has not completely gone away.

But I have forgiven that girl. I have let this go.

And not only has that helped me, but I have already been able to help others learn that wonderful, beautiful, life-breathing art of forgiveness.

My name is Sarah Miller, and I’m 26 years old and currently living in Portland, Oregon. I plan to move to pursue a teaching degree, and my own photography business. I recently returned from South Africa where I have been volunteering with a mission organization for the better part of the last two years.

[Photo: B*i*B (mostly off), Flickr]

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Persecuted Church Video

persecuted church video

Every Wednesday this month, I will be reposting selected videos from Quarter Life Conference.

I’m so excited to be able to continue the conversation on the topic of church. As an American Christian, I believe it’s way too easy to be apathetic (lazy) about my faith compared to my brothers and sisters sufferings around the world for theirs.

Moreover, I am excited to report that the second Quarter Life Conference exceeded 500 video views, which was more than our first conference! The purpose of reposting a few of the videos is to highlight a few of the stories you shouldn’t miss.

Please let me introduce you to my new friends Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh as they share their story of persecution from their new book Captive In Iran. Their story brought me to tears. I can’t remember the last time I sobbed so hard. The fact that they’re around my age and have been through much more than I will ever have to endure made me feel ashamed of my faith.

Am I doing enough to share–even when it hurts or is inconvenient to me?

While you watch Maryam and Marziyeh’s persecuted church video, ask yourself what would you do if you were imprisoned for your faith?

To watch more videos on church from Quarter Life Conference, click here.

qlc-logoAlso, announcing Quarter Life Conference 3.0 on career & social justice on October 3rd.

If you’d like to get involved please leave me a comment or send me an email (renee) at (devotionaldiva) dot (com).

[Photo: Imagens Cristãs, Creative Commons]

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Mind Blowing Forgiveness

mind blowing forgiveness

Did you know Adam and Eve weren’t the first ones to ask forgiveness from God?

Say what?

I’m so conditioned to the story of Adam and Eve from my Sunday school days that I might have missed this little nugget if it weren’t for my husband, Marc. We were in our weekly small group Bible Study when he humbly pointed out this fact found in Genesis 3 about Adam and Eve.

I was floored.

Yes, Adam and Eve were the first ones to eat the apple, sin, and forced out of the garden for good–yet instead of telling God they had sinned and/or asking for His forgiveness, Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent (Genesis 3:12-13). The Bible does not record them repenting of their sin.

I couldn’t believe all my thirty years of learning about sin, forgiveness, and the story of Adam and Eve that I had missed a significant biblical truth. At the time, my pastor was going through the book of Genesis. So I emailed him, asking, who, then, was the first person to ask God for His forgiveness?

To continue reading the rest of my article on iBelieve please click here or here: http://www.ibelieve.com/faith/mind-blowing-forgiveness.html.

Thanks for reading and have a Happy 4th of July! Happy Birthday America!

[Picture: jeff_golden, Creative Commons]

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Forgiveness is Letting Go

letting go

[Guest Post by Suzie Eller – We met through a mutual friend of ours and found out we both wrote books on forgiveness. It is my pleasure to introduce you to my new friend Suzie. To win a copy of her book, simply leave a comment below!!!]

My granddaughter Elle didn’t walk for nearly eighteen months. She held on to the wall, the coffee table, or someone’s hand.

The moment that she had nothing to hang onto, she fell to her diapered bottom with a plop and cried in frustration.

Just moments before she had experienced freedom.

It was limited, but it worked for her, at least until her safety zone was interrupted.

I have felt like that before. I held on to things that made me feel safe. Maybe they were familiar. Or perhaps it just worked for me, so why do anything different? Yet God was speaking clearly to my heart that He wanted me to take the harder path in my faith. To trust. To let go. To take at full value what scripture said would set me free.

Forgiving was one of those not-so-subtle requests.

Let go, Suz.

I want to free your heart of that burden.

You are hanging on to some things that keep you hemmed. You think it makes you safe, but I know it’s a wall that holds you back.

Maybe, like me, you’ve heard that whisper in your heart that says forgive.

Like my granddaughter, Elle, your first steps toward forgiving might be tentative at first. You might miss your safety net. Maybe it will feel different, not reaching for that thought of revenge, or dipping into the well of anger. So you just plop down on your diapered bottom and cry, because you want to be free, but it’s too uncertain without all the familiar anchors.

Anchors like waiting for someone else to say their sorry before you forgive.

Or nurturing that hurt, because after all it never should have happened.

Maybe your anchor is that you are waiting to see how it will all work out in the end–before you take that step.

So, where do you begin?

Ultimately, forgiving is surrendering. It’s taking letting go while taking a shaky step toward God saying, “I don’t know what this will all look like. I don’t even know if I have in me. But if you are asking me to do it, I willingly offer you my heart, my thoughts, my past, my hurts, and we’ll see where you take me.”

I’ll never forget the day Elle took her first steps. I stood nearby, almost holding my breath. I silently fist pumped behind her as her parents perched nearby, totally ready to break out in a celebration dance.

Elle discovered freedom that day. She could go to new places. She could discover what was beyond her limited horizons the day before. It didn’t mean that she didn’t stumble, or that her stride was perfect. But she was walking.

Your first steps toward forgiving might leave you feeling doubtful about your progress.

You might even reason this way: If I were strong, I wouldn’t feel this way.

I wouldn’t waver.

I wouldn’t get mad again over the same old things–ever.

Like my beautiful blond blue-eyed grandbaby, it’s not how well you walk from day one, but that you took the first step. You surrendered to the process, and the process is just as important as the destination. You are growing.

Just as I held my arms out, my face lit up with joy at her courage, God sees those painful first steps. He also knows with certainty that one day you will walk with skill, and one day you’ll even run (2 Corinthians 5:7).  

the unburdened heartYour Heavenly Father is fist pumping in the air. He knows exactly where this first step will take you; in fact, He’s known it all along.

Are you ready?

{Scriptures: Hebrews 12:1; Deuteronomy 5:33; Psalm 119:105}

TO WIN A FREE COPY OF THE UNBURDENED HEART BY SUZANNE ELLER PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT OR TWEET ME @DEVOTIONALDIVA.

Suzie EllerSuzanne (Suzie) Eller is a Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and author, co-host of Encouragement Cafe Radio, mom to three adult children and their spouses that she loves like crazy, wife and best friend to Richard, and totally in love as “Gaga” with four grandbabies under the age of three. Connect with Suzie at www.tsuzanneeller.com or encouragementcafe.com/radio. Dig deeper into this subject with her new book, The Unburdened Heart: Finding the Freedom of Forgiveness.

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Choose to Forgive

choose to forgive

[Guest Post by Mara Rose – I always love it when I meet new friends through other sites I write for. Please let me introduce you to a beautiful soul with a beautiful story. Be encouraged.]

“I need you to know that I forgive you. I forgive you for allowing this baggage to carry over into my marriage and mental health. I won’t let our past dictate my future–a future that is so much brighter without a man like you.”

These were the words that I wrote in a “no-send letter” to a verbally abusive ex-boyfriend, as recommended by my biblical counselor.

It took me 8 years to realize that I was still carrying around his hurtful words and actions. I hate that it took me this long, but I’m ready to begin a new journey and free myself from the burden of a past relationship.

To move forward, we need to love what is ahead by loving what has come before.

I was 17 when I met Jeremy (changed for privacy).  He made me feel special, loved and desired. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t date me until I could meet his expectations of “maturity”.

After my high school graduation Jeremy finally felt comfortable with my “level of maturity” and we officially started dating. The first few months were amazing. We were inseparable and despite the long distance during college semesters, we were somehow able to make it work.

It didn’t take very long for Jeremy to show his true self. He began to shamelessly degrade me in front of our friends and my family. Gradually over time his remarks began to tear away small pieces of my confidence and self-esteem.

Over the next 2 years of our broken, yet functioning relationship Jeremy continued to break me down. Worst of all, I started to believe his hurtful words.

He questioned everything that I said and did, even my choice of clothing and make-up. Jeremy would tell me that I was stupid and tell me not to talk unless I had something smart to say.

“I won’t be surprised if you break up with me after turning 21,” Jeremy would frequently say, “You’ll just go back to being the slut you were before me.”

When someone tells you something long enough, no matter how false it might be, you’ve been conditioned to believe it.

The problem was that I allowed him to say terrible things because I didn’t know how to defend myself yet. I was never able to truly be myself with Jeremy, because in his mind I was supposed look and act like someone else. I wanted to be with someone that valued me, my personal beliefs and treated me with respect.

Our relationship left me feeling worthless.

Jeremy was right, I did break up with him after my 21st birthday, but not for the reasons he made up in his delusional mind. The night of our break-up marked the first time that I finally stood up for myself and told him exactly how I felt.

The most important lesson that I have learned since our break-up is that Jeremy’s attitude and verbal abuse was not my fault. I’ve made mistakes and I’ve had regrets of my own, but no one deserves that kind of treatment.

Without the pain and hurt from the past, then we couldn’t understand joy.

The heartbreak and frustration actually led me to go back to church. 

I met my husband, Jonathan, 4 years after breaking up with my ex. Jon was exactly the kind of man I had been looking for without even knowing he’s what I wanted. He treats me with respect and appreciation. I’ve never felt so much love for one person and love him more every day.

Happiness is a human right.

It took me years to realize that no matter what you’ve said and done in the past–God still loves and forgives us.

Today, I choose to forgive Jeremy because it releases me from anger and bitterness.

I choose to forgive just as Christ has forgiven me.

Mara RoseMara Rose is an up-and-coming author and Christian writer. She has endured years of chronic pain and strives to be a light for Jesus even on the darkest days. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Jonathan, who serves in the military and is an OIF Veteran. You can read more from Mara on her blog, wordsbymara.com, or on Twitter @MsMaraRose.

[Picture: Miss Stash Would, Flickr]

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Church is

church is

[Guest Post by Laura – When we were first introduced, her story startled me. Not only has she experienced the joy of serving God and the church overseas, but overwhelming heartbreak. If you want to read her previous guest post on anxiety, rape, and kidnapping please click here. I’m encouraged to learn that she is now safe in Ireland and still serving God. Let’s praise God with Laura today!]

Church is the body of Christ–it’s about His people.

Currently I’m serving in my third country, which means it’s also the third time I’ve been involved in a church in a foreign country. Each church has looked different, yet each church has taught me about the Church, the body of Christ.

I’ve sat on wooden chairs in a building that is exceptionally cold in the winter. I’ve played an out of tune piano for the weekly hymn. I’ve stood against the wall at a church breakfast while everyone else is eating and talking around the food table.

I’ve sung worship songs in Portuguese and eventually forgotten the English words to the songs.

I’ve listened to sermons in a former movie theater.

I’ve played youth group games on wide cement steps.

I’ve sung a worship song, part in English and part in Zulu, on a Sunday morning. I’ve led four and five year old children in and out of classrooms and up and down stairs during Holiday Bible Club. I’ve sat on the floor around a table drinking hot chocolate while playing Apples to Apples.

I’ve wandered the countryside with a group of young adults. I’ve listened to children chatter through half of a worship service. I’ve stood in a group of people and learned where the best local places to eat are. I’ve discussed the best type of car to purchase over tea and sandwiches. I’ve learned the proper way to serve tea and coffee after church.

All of these experiences have changed my perspective of church. Church doesn’t look the same in other countries, but the Church does.

God has shown me that church isn’t how comfortable the seats are or what the building used to be used for. It’s not how amazing the music is or how perfect the PowerPoint slides are. It’s not how often the service starts on time or how orderly the potlucks are. It’s not about how everyone does or doesn’t dress. It’s not about how loud the children are or how quiet the adults are.

It’s about the Church.

The people who smile at you each Sunday and greet you, even though you can’t communicate with them. The people who thank you for playing the piano, even when you do a horrible job. The people who make sure you are on the bus and not lost while on a church outing. The people who teach you how to make tea and coffee. The people who accept you into their Bible study group.

The people who clean your apartment after your home invasion. The people who give money so that someone else can purchase clothing for you. The people who invite you on a group outing less than a week after you arrive in the country. The people who spend hours searching for a car for you to buy.

The people who make you feel welcome in their church.

Missions will change your perspective of what church looks like, and I believe this is one of the greatest blessings of serving as a missionary. Because missions will help you focus on what is really important, not on a building or a worship style but on the Church, the body of Christ.

Each of my experiences has shown me how God uses the Church to reach the world with the Gospel.

How He uses the Church to provide encouragement and support in our lives.

How He uses the Church to bring glory to Himself.

A cold building, a new language, a different format – none of these things matter in the end. What matters is building the Church.


LauraLaura has served in Portugal and South Africa and is now serving in Ireland. God has given her a heart for teen and young adult girls, as well as a love for drinking coffee and living overseas, and she loves when all three of these come together. She writes regularly about life, travel and healing on her blog
http://continualtransition.wordpress.com.

[Photo: kruggg6, Creative Commons]

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Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me Blog Tour

Forgiving Others Forgiving Me Blog Tour

Welcome to the Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me blog tour! I’ve been waiting to say this for so many years, and I can’t wait to finally share bits and pieces with you on the blogosphere.

+ Mind Blowing Forgiveness (via iBelieve.com)

+ Forgiveness, A Good Place to Start (via Church 4 Chicks!)

+ The Greater Good of Forgiveness (via Songine’ Clark)

+ Forgiveness is Not The End! (via Ed Cyzewski)

+ Forgiveness is a Personal Choice (via Ungrind)

+ Review: Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me (via Emily Miller)

+ Prayer Changes Things (via Wendy van Eyck)

+ The Importance of Forgiveness and Prayer (via Dawn Wilson)

+ Real Reconciliation (via Daniel Darling)

+ Why Is It So Hard to Forgive VIDEO INTERVIEW (via iBelieve)

+ Forgiving Others, Forgiving me Interview (via Ava Pennington)

+ Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me Interview (via Tracy Steel)

+ Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me Interview (via Sarah Francis Martin)

+ 5 Keys to Forgiveness (via WHOLE Women Ministries)

+ Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me Interview (via Rachel Berry)

+ Intentional Discipleship (via Tyler Braun)

+ Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me Giveaway (via Jami Witherall)

+ More posts coming soon (via Jaimie Bowman, Laurie Coombs, Arlene Pellicane, Addie Zierman, Lisa Copen, and Ronel Sidney)

*NEW* I created a website for Forgiving Others, Forgiving Me.

At forgivingme.com, you can:

+ Locate which bookstores are selling

+ Learn why I wrote the book

+ Read who endorsed the book

+ Download Chapter 1 for free

+ Download a free eBook of all the scriptures on forgiveness from the book.

Also, I will soon be releasing Chapter Videos so you can go along with the Discussions Questions at the back of the book. If you’re looking to host a 7-week Bible Study on forgiveness, you will be able to soon!

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