Archive for February, 2013

Posted on: February 28th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 11 Comments
forgive, Romans 4:7-8, Romans 4, Romans 4:7, Psalm 32:1, forgiveness, unforgiveness, how do you forgive, why do we forgive, to love, to forgive, to seek the lost, seek the fallen, how can God forgive, how can God forgive murder, does God forgive me, does God forgive murder, does God forgive rape, Does God forgive sin, why is sin so bad, die to self, forgiving is hard, forgiveness is hard, forgiveness is difficult, forgiveness dims light, it starts with forgiveness, why do we need to forgive, I forgive you, how to forgive someone, forgiving someone, forgiving the unforgivable, forgiving the inexcusable, murder, forgive murder, how do you forgive murder, how do you forgive your offender, forgiving your offender, forgiving sins, taking forgiveness for granted, 1 John 1:9, God is faithful to forgive, forgiveness of God, God's forgiveness, why do we need to be forgiven by God, why do we need forgiveness, why do we need to be forgiven, Matthew 6:14, confess our sins, the cost of forgiveness, we are able to forgive because God forgave us, Christ on cross, Jesus died on the cross, why did Jesus have to die, why did Jesus have to die on the cross, forgiveness, true forgiveness, relationship with God, relationship with Jesus, What is a relationship with God, what is a relationship with Jesus, Lord, Savior, I want to have a relationship with Jesus, I want Jesus to be my savior, judge not, judging others, I am angry about my past, anger about past, I want to know God, I want to know Jesus,

The latest letter arrived from prison a couple days ago. Anthony, the man who murdered my dad, said, “I sent you something I wrote, I feel God has placed this on my heart. I hope it’s something you’d consider putting on your blog.” And to that, I say, “absolutely.” God has allowed both Anthony and I the opportunity to share this story with many. I believe it’s a story that needs to be heard, for there are many who remain chained to their past, to their resentment, their bitterness, and their lack of forgiveness. Forgiveness is a topic that will always resound in each of our hearts, mine included. It is so easy to hold on to our wounds, but what relief it is to finally let them go. [Tweet that] So, without further adieu. Here’s a word from Anthony. … “I forgive you.” I read the words again. “I forgive…

Posted on: February 25th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 2 Comments
1 samuel 1:27, waiting, how to wait, how to wait with patience, how to become more patient, adoption, wait, waiting, ethiopia, ethiopia adoption, agci adoption, agci, all god's children international, agci family, joy, sorrow, waiting is hard, why is it so hard to wait, praying, father to the fatherless, christ, christian, jesus, christ centered adoption, christian adoption, embrace the wait, embracing waiting, acceptance, accepting waiting, god uses our trials, personal growth, closer to jesus, faith, god's perfect timing, god's timing, romans 4:20, romans 4:21, purpose in waiting, why do we have to wait, what's the purpose of waiting, purpose of waiting

 For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. – 1 Samuel 1:27 I’ve been writing quite a bit about waiting lately. (If you missed those posts, you can read Imagine What Your Life Could Look Like and Wait for the Lord.) But I have yet to share the most difficult waiting period I’ve experienced up to this point. Over two and a half years ago, Travis and I were called to adopt from Ethiopia. The journey has been rewarding, yet difficult, and it’s not yet over. We continue to wait for our child (or children, if we’re blessed with siblings) to come home. Needless to say, we know what it’s like to wait. Times of wait include many joys and many sorrows, times of encouragement and times of despair, as well as moments of great faith and moments of doubt. There’s no doubt about it:…

Posted on: February 21st, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
Isaiah 43:4, God wants a relationship with you, what does a relationship with God look like, what is a relationship with God, what is a relationship with Jesus look like, what is a relationship with jesus, Christianity, Matthew 22, Matthew 22:36-37, Matthew 22:36, Matthew 22:37, Matthew commentary, Matthew 22:37 commentary, Bible commentary, joy in the presence of god, in the presence of god, god, jesus, christ, christian, joy, peace, love, experiencing joy, finding peace, experiencing peace, mother daughter, mother daughter relationship, precious moments, moments, touching moments, connecting with God, god wants you, god wants your heart, chosen by god, no need to perform, perfection, performance, you don't need to be perfect, perfectionism, struggling with being perfect, struggle with perfectionism, who god is, god's character, the character of god, relationship with jesus, relationship with god, what god wants from us, you shall love god, love god, loving god, you shall love the lord, you shall love the lord your god, with all your heart mind soul, in the presence of god, the presence of god, coming to jesus, coming to god, come to jesus, come to god, sin, sin breaks god's heart, why is sin so bad, why is sin bad, sin bad, why does god care if we sin, father in heaven, father, heavenly father, joyful, joyfully, relationship, god wants our hearts

…you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you… – Isaiah 43:4 Yesterday, I took my younger daughter, Avery, to school. She goes to Kindergarten in the afternoon. Ella, my older daughter (who’s in first grade), has recess at the time I drop Avery off. After taking Avery to school, I got in my car and began to drive home along the street bordering the school’s playground. Whenever I drive by during recess, I scan the playground for Ella. Sometimes I find her playing with her friends, sometimes I don’t. But yesterday, as I drove slowly, I saw her sitting right on the other side of the fence, playing in the dirt with a friend. I rolled my passenger window down. “Ella!” I shouted. She looked, popped up from where she sat, and began running along the fence, joy upon her face, trying to keep up with my car. There were cars behind me, so I couldn’t…

Posted on: February 18th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 7 Comments
wait for the lord, lord, wait, waiting, blessing, bless, blessed, trusting God, God, Jesus, Christ, Christian, peace, will, will of God, free will, Lessons Learned, lessons, doing things God's way, God's way, patience, path of life, how to life, how to live a good life, how to find peace, find peace, finding peace, waiting hard, how to wait, trusting god, our way, god's way, following jesus, faith, discernment, scripture, scripture waiting for the Lord, Isaiah 55:9, scripture interpretation, bible interpretation, bible, scripture, psalms, Isaiah,

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9 One thing’s for certain: we need to wait for the Lord. As mentioned in my last post, I was terrified to take even one step unless I was certain of God’s direction during my journey toward forgiveness. I knew––with complete certainty––that I would mess it all up, apart from Jesus’ counsel. Here’s what the Bible has to say about waiting for God: Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! – Psalm 27:14   Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. – Psalm 33:20 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him… – Psalm 37:7a Wait for the Lord and keep his way, and he will exalt you to inherit the land; you will look on when the wicked are cut off. – Psalm 37:34 I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. – Psalm 40:1 Do not say,…

Posted on: February 14th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 3 Comments
God, Jesus, Christ, Christian, Trust, Lessons Learned, Lessons, Learn, saying yes to God, God's will, will, free will, following Jesus, impact lives, impact, lives, life, meaning of life, discernment, why are we here, what is the point of life, discernment, discerning God's will, figuring out God's will, grace, joy, peace, wisdom, follow, murder, correspondence, wait, sign, illusion, direction, clear direction, react, respond, react vs respond, pray, seek, seek God, seeking God, skeptic, seeking Jesus, seek Jesus, will of God, reliance upon Jesus, rely on Jesus, impact of our lives, surrender, presence of God

And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven….” – Matthew 18:2-3 Lord, I can’t do this without you, I prayed. Help me. Give me wisdom. Show me the way, and I will follow.  I can’t tell you how often I uttered these words throughout my correspondence with Anthony, the man who murdered my dad. I was under no illusion I could take even one step without clear direction from Jesus during this difficult journey. I was terrified to be outside of His will, for I knew things could go very wrong in a situation like this apart from God. Each time I received a letter, my emotions ran high. I wanted to react quickly, with little grace. I wanted to rebuke Anthony. Set him straight. I wanted him…

Posted on: February 11th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 4 Comments
children, Jesus, Christ, God, Christian, answering the tough questions, redeem, redemption, question, grandpa, dad, answer, murder, murdered, tragedy, family tragedy, talking to kids about tragedy, talking to kids about trials, talking to kids about tough issues, truth,

This weekend, my girls asked me how my dad died. I knew this question would come at some point, and I suppose now is as good a time as any. But it’s still a crummy thing to have to tell your children. My dad died five years before my oldest daughter was born. Neither one ever knew him. They know he is my daddy. They know he is Grandpa, but I can’t help but feel that he’s only that guy in the pictures Mommy talks to them about. I hope I’ve given them a sense of who He was, and that he would have loved them. But it’s difficult for children to “get” something like that. He would have been an amazing grandpa. I was cooking dinner when the conversation came up. “How did he die?” Ella, my seven year old, asked. I’m a strong believer in telling my children the truth….

Posted on: February 5th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
Christ, Christian, Jesus, God, fear, do not fear, faith, impact, bold, boldly, live, living, how can I move past my fear, moving past fear, anxiety, peace, how do i find peace, finding peace, evangelism, world-changer, world, life, Laurie Coombs, Coombs, Laurie, do not fear, only believe, believe, evangelize, how to change the world, changing the world, Mark 5:36, courage, courage is doing it despite out fear, despite fear, 1 john 4:18, do not fear only believe

But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” – Mark 5:36 “Mommy, I did it!” Ella said as she walked in the door. “I went down a really steep hill on Slide Side.” Travis took the girls skiing last weekend while I laid, sick on the couch. “What?!?” I said, eyes wide and smile broad. “Great job, Honey! Were you scared?” I asked. Ella thought for a moment. “A little.” “Do you know what being brave is?” I asked. “What?” “Being brave doesn’t mean you don’t feel scared. Being brave means you do it even when you are scared.” Now, I’m not advocating reckless actions. But fear cannot motivate our action. [Tweet that] When I began to correspond with Anthony, I was terrified, but what if I gave into my fears (which I have done plenty of other times)? What if I remained paralyzed…

Posted on: February 4th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 2 Comments
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But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. – 1 Corinthians 16:8-9 The door shut. I was presented with a significant hurdle. Lord, I thought You wanted me to bring Anthony a Bible, I prayed. How can I bring him a Bible if I can’t visit him? I held the letter from the warden I received that afternoon. He denied my application to visit Anthony, the man who murdered my dad. Still, I knew what I knew. I knew Jesus called me to forgive Anthony. I knew Jesus called me to love Anthony, my enemy. I knew Jesus called me to have contact with Anthony. Of these things, I was sure. What I didn’t know was how it would play out, now that I couldn’t go see him. Every journey Jesus calls us on is coupled with resistance and difficulty. Roadblocks and…