Thursday, July 15, 2010
4:29 p.m. Today's project was to teach I Samuel chapter 7 to our very committed group of ladies who gather each Thursday in Debbie's home. We learn, laugh, cry and pray together while the scriptures come to life. We grow closer to one another, and to the Lord Jesus, of whom Psalm 40:7 says, "Behold I come; in the scroll of the book it is written of me."
I had two pleasant visitors at home before I even drove to the study. Charlotte, who leads worship for us, arrived early in fairly good condition after her vertigo episode last week, with just minor dizziness. Then Rocky, a friend of almost 30 years,whom I met at women's Bible studies at Harvest, came to follow us over to the meeting. She's as energetic as ever!
Earlier in the week, Rocky had been bursting with news as she contacted me on Facebook about a new venture, for which she wanted to ask my participation. As we went through the verses, Rocky thoroughly enjoyed the lesson and was blown away by the women in our group--their maturity, compassion, expressiveness, their devotion to the Word and prayer. I hadn't seen Rocky since last year when she popped into Heart to Home at Calvary Chapel Moreno Valley to hear my devotional before the classes started.
As we proceeded to open up for prayer requests, Rocky shared the vision that she is implementing with a pastor at the Grove Community Church, the Riverside police department and chaplains, and Professor Deborah White from Cal Baptist University. They plan to offer a once-monthly public event with major speakers who have had a personal experience with extreme violence of any kind. Rocky's own family member was all but killed as the result of a home invasion robbery a few years ago, and she found no real help at her church, probably because of lack of training in that kind of counseling. The vision she is implementing combines counseling, Christian testimony and guidance classes. The need for victims of violence to be helped and healed is great. She revealed, for example, that in our area of Riverside, considered the "best" zip code, there are 4-6 acts of criminal violence reported daily! Lord help us take action in Your Name!
Rocky has approached me because she remembers my testimony concerning the violence I endured in my first marriage as an unbeliever, and because more importantly, because of the glorious saving and rescuing work Jesus did, and continues to do, in my life. She also is thinking of my years in public service, in elected office, serving as a believer while making public policy, and speaking before many groups, large and small. Rocky is desiring me to be a scheduled speaker for one of the sessions later in the year. I will certainly pray about it, because I want the Lord's heart towards others, as I read in the Horizon Online devotional this morning by Mike MacIntosh. If my testimony can uplift and inspire another victim, to God be the glory!
God's heart is declared in Psalm 12:5, NLT,
"I have seen violence done to the helpless, and I have heard the groans of the poor. Now I will rise up and rescue them, as they have longed for me to do."
And verse 6-8 give us this assurance:
"The Lord's promises are pure, like silver refined in a furnace, purified seven times over. Therefore, LORD, we know You will protect the oppressed, preserving them forever from this lying generation, even thought the wicked strut about, and evil is praised throughout the land."
May we be part of His rescuing and healing work here in Riverside!