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Archive for the ‘Holy Spirit’ Category

Posted on: July 2nd, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 1 Comment
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Love your enemy, I was told. I knew who God was calling me to love––Anthony, the man who murdered my dad––and I didn’t like it. I cried out to God and said, Okay, God I get the whole forgiveness thing, but love my enemy? How am I to do THAT?!? Immediately, His response came, Bring him a bible. Now, I have only heard from God like this a few times. I’m certainly not one who claims that God speaks audibly to me, though I’d love it if He did. But instead, this was more of a thought planted into my mind immediately following my prayer. And I knew it was a word from God. In fact, it was a definitive command. God Speaks If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is this: God speaks. As a skeptic, turned believer, this blew my mind. God speaks. To humans, nonetheless! [Tweet that]…

Posted on: June 25th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 4 Comments
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I was a wreck. “I’ve spent my entire life trying to achieve and set goals for myself,” I told my husband, Travis, “and I’ve hinged all happiness on the achievement of those goals only to continuously fall short of true happiness. It’s like there’s this emptiness inside, but I don’t know how to make it go away!” I felt empty, defeated, depressed, and anxious. And I had no answers. It was a very dark place. Over and over I kept saying, I just want to feel peace. I just want peace. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t save myself. [Tweet that] Blind and Paralyzed Then, I had a dream. I dreamt I became blind and paralyzed. And when I awoke I was perplexed and greatly disturbed. I didn’t know what it meant. Perhaps it means nothing, I tried to convince myself. But still, I couldn’t shake it. Yet, it wasn’t…

Posted on: June 11th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 14 Comments
And there's nothing we can do that will have significant, lasting impact apart from God. [Tweet that] First John 4:9 tells us, "In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him."  Jesus came that we might live. Truly live. Not endure. Not get by. But live fully, bountifully.

I camped out in the fifteenth chapter of the gospel of John for quite some time during my correspondence with Anthony, the man who murdered my dad. I knew I couldn’t do it on my own. I knew nothing of any value could be accomplished through my endeavor apart from Jesus. For apart from me you can do nothing. I read these words over and over. Jesus says, I am the vine. Abide in me. Abide. What does it look like to abide? I looked it up. Abide – to stay; to wait; to remain fixed in some state or condition; to endure; to sustain; to submit to… Abide in me. I clung close to the cross, I devoured God’s Word, I prayed like never before, I got down, prostrate before our mighty God and learned what it meant to abide in Jesus. And as I did, it became increasingly…

Posted on: May 31st, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
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I’m seeing that the Christian life is NOT a life of passivity but a life of choices empowered by the Holy Spirit.  – My prayer journal, May 13, 2010 The Christian life is not one marked by passivity, but instead, it requires that we step out in faith, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to do whatever it is Jesus calls us to. Following Jesus means that we get off the couch and do something. [tweet that] When I first became a Christian, (only about a year before I was called on my crazy journey with Anthony) I was under the impression that Christianity should be characterized more by a “let go and let God” theology than one that requires action. But, when Jesus called me to love and forgive the very man who murdered my dad, this paradigm was shattered. I was presented with commands. Forgive. Love your enemy. How…

Posted on: April 8th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
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I’ve been talking a lot about repentance, and I know it can become a weighty topic, to say the least. But I feel like God has empowered me in this area recently, and I just have to pass this along. I’ve been feeling convicted lately about several sins in my life. And maybe it’s just me, but do you ever feel like you need to repent but you need to wait for the empowerment of God to do so? [Tweet that] Well, this is where I found myself last week. During my quiet time with God, I decided to begin reading Romans. I opened it up, read the first paragraph, and that was just about enough for the day. I needed to digest what I read, so I read it again. And again. Toward the end of that paragraph, Paul says, “through [Jesus] we have received grace and apostleship to…

Posted on: March 7th, 2013 by Laurie Coombs 10 Comments
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“Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” —Mark 3:28-29 For years, I didn’t want to think that the man who took my dad away could experience any joy in this life, let alone be forgiven by God and go to heaven. Yet, I was blinded to the ways of God at this time and didn’t have a proper understanding of sin. All sins will be forgiven for those who place their trust in Jesus. Not just the sins that seem small in our eyes. All. Yet there is one offense, Jesus tells us, that is the exception––blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (attributing the work of the Holy Spirit to Satan––see Mark 3:22-27), which He calls an eternal sin. All other sins, however, are forgivable…

Posted on: March 3rd, 2013 by Laurie Coombs
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While at a holiday party a few months ago, I ran into an old friend I hadn’t seen in quite some time. We were roommates in college (while Travis and I were dating) and were living together at the time of my dad’s death. He knew me pretty well back then, but after graduating from college, we saw each other only occasionally and lost touch. I sat down next to him at the party, and before I knew it, he asked me about my writing. “I heard you’re writing,” he said. “What do you write about?” The last time I talked with him, I wasn’t even a Christian yet (nor is he a Christian now). I knew my answer would not be what he’d expect. I told him how I became a Christian. How I was given the proof and grace I needed to believe in Jesus. And how Jesus…

Posted on: November 8th, 2012 by Laurie Coombs 17 Comments
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“Your testimony may have saved a life!” wrote Anthony––the man who murdered my dad––from his prison cell. Holding the letter, I stood in stunned silence, tears rolling down my face. Oh Lord, I thought, as I closed my eyes and dropped my head back, in awe. There really were no words. Thank you, Lord, thank you, was all that I could say in worship to our mighty God. I was called to forgive. To love my enemy. To allow Jesus unhindered access to the pain, the bitterness, and the wounds of my past which took residence in the deepest recess of my soul. I knew that He wanted to take me to a new, better place. A place of healing, peace, and forgiveness. So, I followed. By the grace of God alone, I followed Jesus as He led me down the messy, war-torn path toward wholeness. It was a trial like no…

Posted on: November 6th, 2012 by Laurie Coombs 2 Comments

Shortly after forgiving Anthony, I closed one of my letters to him with this: I pray for God’s will in your life, and that He uses you where you are for His purposes to further the Gospel!  Be an ambassador right where you are!  Be sure not to waste your life in there.  I believe we’re all placed right where we’re supposed to be.  I was listening to a sermon by John Piper the other day…what was so prominent about this particular sermon was his call for all God’s children to not waste their lives.  Most of us do, and that’s a tragedy.  Just because you’re in prison, doesn’t mean that you’ve wasted your life.  Allow the Spirit of God to use you in there to transform lives according to His will!!!  Do not let my dad’s death be in vain.  Do not let your life be in vain.  God…

Posted on: October 23rd, 2012 by Laurie Coombs 3 Comments
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“He’s doing it again,” I told my friend, Sarah, “listen to this!” I read the letter I received that afternoon from Anthony. “Why won’t he simply say ‘I did it. It was my fault. Period.’” I said. “He’s still trying to justify his actions! He committed murder! He killed my dad! There’s no justification for that!” After talking it though, I sat down and began to type my response, adrenaline pumping through my veins. I wanted to rebuke him. Set him straight. He claimed to be a Christian now. Why isn’t he repentant? Why does he keep blame shifting? I thought. I wrote, words pouring forth like flood waters out of my heart, addressing each of the issues and backing them with scripture. Oh, this is good, I thought, but I knew. This was not the response God wanted. I prayed, as I awaited direction from Jesus. Days passed and…