Slightly Obsessed #016 "Beautiful Heritage" by Pamela Thorson on 2013-01-09 09:05:47
Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.
Jim and Juanita pastor a small church nestled in the heartland of Idaho. In the winter they get up early every Sunday morning to fire up the pellet stove that heats the ancient church building. He’s over eighty years old; she’s nearly sixty-five. Together they have enough health issues to complicate their lives, not counting the added challenges of keeping up with a congregation.
But the doors are open every Sunday, no matter how small the turnout is for services. As music fills the old sanctuary once again, the morning light streams through the stained glass windows and the walls resound with the praises of God’s people.
A world away, Pastor Mir and Anjali faithfully witness to their neighbors in a Muslim community in Bangladesh. Curiosity brought people to hear their message; hearts began to open to it. Eventually, a church has been born.
Mir and Anjali have made enemies along the way. One night, Mir was shot in the mouth and stabbed in an effort to silence the gospel.
Amazingly, he survived his wounds and is back to preaching. His wife explains their decision to stay: they must remain to strengthen the fledging church they have begun there.
Across this weary planet and spanning millennia, generations of believers live out their faith against daunting odds. A human chain of obedience stretches from Abel onward through time, linking them together in seamless pilgrimage from age to age. It is an inheritance from every tribe, nation, and tongue; a people of whom the world is not worthy.
Their cultures may differ, their skin may not look the same, but they all wear the blood-red cloak of a Savior’s deliverance. They endure hardship, beatings, and mocking for their message. They suffer loss and death.
They gain a kingdom.
This is my heritage. I thank God for the beautiful family into which I have been born by God’s Spirit. To my family in Jesus Christ throughout the world, I just want to say thank you today for everything you are. I stand humbled by your devotion. I bow before the Father that made us one heart.
I am proud to be your sister.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God;
for He has prepared a city for them.
About Pamela Thorson:
Pamela Thorson is a licensed practical nurse, author, and full-time caregiver. She pioneered in the homeschooling movement from 1982-2006 and authored her first book, Song in the Night, in 2008. She resides in the Northwest with her family.
Slightly Obsessed #186: When the Path Ahead Is Fearsome
The room was dark and shadowed, the only sound within its walls the rhythmic whoosh of the ventilator beside my son’s bed. I sat on an uncomfortable chair jammed into one corner of the room. In the faint light that fell from the window across the pages of the Bible I held, I tried to corral my stampeding fears long enough to find some comfort from God’s Word. Outside the door of his room, a cacophony of voices from the nurses’ station jarred our shattered nerves.
Slightly Obsessed #185: Clean
They were just turning down the lights in the sanctuary as I awkwardly slid into a seat near the back of the church. I was tired and soiled by the previous week. Life had been especially difficult, and I had not handled the pressure well. I felt completely unhinged spiritually and wholly unworthy to be in God’s presence. The worship team began with one of my favorite songs, and I hoped I didn’t look as vulnerable as I felt.
Slightly Obsessed #184: The Mark of Maturity
The infant finishes his bottle and smiles contentedly up at his mother. A trickle of milk courses down from the corner of his mouth. It’s a sweet scene because that’s what babies do. They are born with immature digestive systems and no teeth. Mother’s milk or formula are necessary for the child to survive and thrive. As they grow, their teeth begin to come in, their digestive abilities mature, and they can tolerate solid food.
Slightly Obsessed #183: He Knows Your Name
All sheep look alike to me. Defenseless, timid, and nondescript creatures, they tend to wander and get into trouble. When one falls, it needs help to get back on its feet. Its purpose in life is mostly to eat and make more sheep. It’s easy to see why Jesus equated them to humans. A line of sheep looks like a sea of wool and blank stares, huddled in a timid group behind their leader.
Slightly Obsessed #182 "When Speaking the Truth Makes You the Enemy"
The apostle Paul loved the people of God. After his conversion to Christ, he spent his life not only establishing churches, but also ministering to their needs. He often had the unpleasant duty of confronting issues that threatened the fledgling church, and his letters to the Galatians and to the Corinthians were especially aimed at keeping the churches rooted in the faith.
Slightly Obsessed #181 "The Moment before the Moment of Revelation"
The movie Ten Commandments famously depicted the rise, fall, and restoration of the Hebrew man who would one day lead his people out of Egypt. Set afloat as a baby in a basket to escape the wrath of Egypt, Moses was found by an Egyptian princess and unwittingly restored to his family to be raised as royalty. He was a man with a foot in two worlds, and his choice to follow the faith of his birth family cost him a king’s inheritance.