I went into this series with only two hours of sleep under my belt and that was from an economy seat, compliments of United Airlines. (Matter of fact, the front page article of this newsletter was written the morning I landed.) Upon my arrival, I was blessed to be greeted by the Canadian cultural diversity I fell in love with years ago. What I appreciate about Canada is just that: its diversity. It’s not dripping with Hollywood’s influence–well, at least not the section of Alberta I was in–but, socially, the perspectives of Canadians remind me much of the social headspace of many Europeans, and that is a good thing. Very warm, very friendly. And loads of fun.
Starting the very first night (the first of eleven presentations), we embarked on a journey of discovery. It was my intention for this week to begin with a look at the character of our Heavenly Father. The scripture theme for the week was, very simply, “God is love” (I John 4:8). We began by defining love: its nature, its essence. Then, the rest of our journey took place in three stages.
We first looked at what it takes to have the courage to really believe that God is that very love we had just defined. Second, we compared that picture of God and His character to the many unknowingly held misconceptions we all have about the Gospel (this was truly a healing encounter for many). Finally, we then looked at our central “pillar” beliefs as Adventists and began to see them in the light of this newfound picture of God.
WOW! What a truly enriching week! Many lives were touched and hearts changed. Deep misconceptions about God were turned around. Incorrect pictures of Him and what He is truly like were corrected. And people were set free–from the inside out–in their hearts. Never before had meetings been attended as the presentations were each night. We kept running out of handouts and chairs, and people would line the outside, trying to find a place where they could just stand and listen. Truly, God was at work, and much deep, heart-level healing resulted.
The statement God gave me at the beginning of this week (not for the people, but for me personally), as I was going into these meetings, was:
“Christ came to this world to reveal the love of God. His followers are to continue the work which He began. Let us strive to help and strengthen one another. Seeking the good of others is the way in which true happiness can be found. Man does not work against his own interest by loving God and his fellow men . . . The more unselfish his spirit, the happier he is, because he is fulfilling God’s purpose for him. The breath of God is breathed through him, filling him with gladness. To him life is a sacred trust, precious in his sight, given by God to be spent in ministering to others”
(E. G. White, R. & H., June 25, 1908).
To live the life of love (Ephesians 5:2), to consider it more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:35), to spend and be spent…God was whispering to me, “Give all you have to give this week, Herb, and watch what I can do, when you simply let me breathe through you.” And, truly, lives were changed–for eternity.
For those of you who chose to support Renewed Heart Ministries in our aim of finishing the work of revealing the character of God to this darkened planet, I want to say, “thank you.” This week in Canada proved to me once again why we all sacrifice to do what we do. Thank you.