A Gift (by Linda)

June 8, 2007 at 7:50 am 10 comments

Last Sunday my Father gave me a gift.

During a service last Sunday, Greg gave a short communion message at Rivers of Grace church in Olympia.  Greg, connecting with the story of King David, shared how he came to be a fallen pastor.  He then moved on to the picture of how our Father forgives because of what Christ did for us – represented by communion.  As he stepped toward the table holding the bread and juice, the Pastor interrupted Greg and said three things:  God forgives you, you need to forgive yourself, and we, as representatives of the Body of Christ, forgive you.  The people clapped, Greg cried, and I cried.  The public gift of forgiveness was the gift Our Father gave – to Greg and thus to me. 

The communion table – what better place for us to confess and receive forgiveness.  Christ died so  when we confess our sin(s), God forgives and we are healed by the stripes of Jesus.  It is at the foot of the cross where we lay down our rebellion, our desire to control and be our own boss, to acknowledge that we are sinners, only made right with our Father through the blood of the lamb.

Healing took place that day – for me and for Greg.  I see a freedom in Greg that hasn’t been there, and I feel a burden lifted from my soul.

Many times over the last 19 plus months we have asked ourselves what went wrong in the process of reconciliation and restoration with the Family of believers Greg pastored for nearly 17 years.  I have continually come back to the fact that Greg was not allowed to give his confession face-to-face with the church.  The leadership read it in a business meeting because they believed it would be best for the Body.  While I adamantly disagreed, we honored their decsion.  After last Sunday, I know their decision was wrong.  

While the forgiveness I gave to Greg was not contingent on his face-to-face confession (God calls me to forgive even when there is no confession, see Matt. 6), it made our reconciliation and the restoration of our marriage possible.  He confessed on 10/28, my forgiveness was given on 10/31 and on that day our relationship was restored.  Yes, we had some things to work through, but we were working them through together, communicating, connecting, and growing in what God had for us, and more than anything, basking in the gifts of His grace and love.

Several months ago God gave me a vision of what took place last Sunday at Rivers of Grace taking place with the church family we served for so long.  Face to face confession and face to face forgiveness and then together we sing, “How Great is Our God.” 

That vision is my prayer – a prayer I believe my Father will answer, for He sent Jesus to heal the sick and to set the captive free.  In unforgiveness is sickness and captivity.  Want to join me in that prayer?

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Entry filed under: By Linda, Church, Culture, Faith, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Miracles, Revelation, Supernatural.

Your Kingdom come, your will be done. 35.

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jennifer Kilts  |  July 13, 2007 at 8:43 pm

    Reading this brings tears to my eyes. Since John and I left First Baptist before all this happened we were shielded from “the news”, which I am grateful for. I don’t know what happened really. I mean we read the letter that was sent out but that didn’t really explain.

    I just love you two so much and think of you often. In fact John and I were just talking about how much we loved First Baptist. It is quite a different experience when you really are PART of a church. We were part of that church – good and bad. It was an amazing time in our life that God continues to build on. That was our foundation. Thank you for being our Pastors.

    You have had so much pain in your lives it makes me cringe, but knowing that Romans 8:28 is true I feel at ease that God will take you through to the other side. We would love to see you guys the next time you are in town. I think I first started reading this blog when Greg had explained that you had sold your house. 🙂 Love you sooooo much. You are special people.

  • 2. amanda  |  June 11, 2007 at 6:54 pm

    Oh Linda, i already have been praying that the day will come when you and Greg will be able to do such a thing and be forgiven by the body that has SO WRONGLY spurned the both of you. i am thrilled that you and greg were able to experience this at your new church body. may God continue to bless you and you both on your continual journey towards Him. you both have and are currently a continued blessing in my life.

  • 3. Vicki B  |  June 9, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    Has been and continues to be my prayer. Thank you for sharing it is so encouraging. Much love to you both!

  • 4. anita  |  June 9, 2007 at 9:32 pm

    “I have continually come back to the fact that Greg was not allowed to give his confession face-to-face with the church. The leadership read it in a business meeting because they believed it would be best for the Body. ”

    This is not what I was told happened. I was told he was given the opportunity to read his statement to the congregation, just not on a Sunday morning, and he refused.

    I know there are two sides to every story and I would like to hear Gregs.

  • 5. Harris/Jeanne  |  June 9, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    “Amen!!”

  • 6. Doug Wright  |  June 9, 2007 at 7:48 am

    I am excited for both of you as you move forward seeking God and His purpose. There is certainly reason for Praising God in the miracle of forgivness/healing/reconciliation/restoration. May God direct and bless you in the year to come.

  • 7. Ron Marrs  |  June 8, 2007 at 7:58 pm

    Linda and Greg,

    I am glad to hear this news. You are in my prayers regularly. May God’s joy continue to flood your hearts.

    Ron

  • 8. summer  |  June 8, 2007 at 4:02 pm

    Mom #2, you constantly teach me so much about our Father’s love. I love you so much.

  • 9. sumijoti  |  June 8, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Linda, your post had me in tears. What a good God we serve.

    I’ll pray for that reconciliation with you. Not so much for your sakes, but for the sakes of the body, because I think they need it more than you do. Outsider as I am, it is apparent that you and Greg have gained a precious understanding of the grace of God through this whole thing. They need to see the same grace at work in your lives.

    A word of encouragement: My pastor himself had a moral failure years ago. He had to quit the ministry, friends turned against him, lies were spoken about him, his wife divorced him, he has no relationship with his children anymore…

    God has restored him a hundred fold. He is re-married, has children by his new marriage, and his ministry is greater than ever before. Not greater as in BIG, but greater as in FRUITFUL. His experience gave him a deep understanding of grace and mercy, and a knowing that he is nothing, but God is everything. This is what I believe really qualifies people for ministry.

    He always tells of the time when he was in desolate place in his life, and the Lord came to him and whispered: “Samson’s hair began to grow again”. Greg, (and Linda), your ‘hair’ (your anointing) will grow again, and in this dead-to-yourselves-but-alive-to-Jesus place that you will find yourselves in, you will affect more people than you ever did in your ‘previous life’. (Jdg 16:30)

    Blessings,
    Sumi

  • 10. Olive  |  June 8, 2007 at 9:11 am

    I’m standing right beside you, praying and praising God for the mighty work he has done, is doing and will continue to do in the lives of all His children. How priviledged I am to call you friend and sister and to have received your unconditional love and support. Hear me sing, How Great Is Our God…..listen to the wind…..that is my voice praising and thanking God for you and Greg, who have modeled what trust and faith, love, forgiveness and hope looks like here in the midst of so much rejection and hurt. God has done and will continue to do mighty and surprising works – Jesus will heal and the captives will be set free. Praise God.

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