Volume 14, Issue 10
In one of our recent studies of “The Rock, the Road and the Rabbi,” we talked about forgiveness. We saw Peter asked our Lord how many times he should forgive his brothers and sisters. He said, “seven times?” To that question, our Lord responded, “not seven times, but seventy times seven.” Forgiveness is a central tenet of Christianity because forgiveness is an essential characteristic of God and the core of his great acts throughout salvation history, culminating the death of his one and only son on a cross.
As I prepared for that Bible study session, I started to do a little research about forgiveness. My research led me to the information below, which I found on – of all places – a Jehovah’s witness web site. While it is not comprehensive, it does provide a good number of biblical citations, which can assist us on doing our own study bout foregiveness.
WHAT DOES FORGIVENESS MEAN
Forgiveness is the act of pardoning an offender. In the Bible, the Greek word translated “forgiveness” literally means “to let go,” as when a person does not demand payment for a debt. Jesus used this comparison when he taught his followers to pray: “Forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is in debt to us” (Luke 11:4). Likewise, in his parable of the unmerciful slave, Jesus equated forgiveness with canceling a debt (Matthew 18:23-35).
We forgive others when we let go of resentment and give up any claim to be compensated for the hurt or loss we have suffered. The Bible teaches that unselfish love is the basis for true forgiveness, since love “does not keep account of the injury” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5).
WHAT FORGIVENESS DOES NOT MEAN
Condoning the offense: The Bible actually condemns those who claim that bad actions are harmless or acceptable (Isaiah 5:20).
Pretending that the offense never happened: God forgave King David of serious sins, but he did not shield David from the consequences of his actions. God even had David’s sins recorded so that they are remembered today (2 Samuel 12:9-13).
Allowing others to take advantage of you: Suppose, for example, that you lend money to someone, but he wastes it and then cannot repay you as he had promised. He is very sorry and apologizes to you. You could choose to forgive him by not harboring resentment, not rehashing the matter with him continually, and perhaps even canceling the debt altogether. However, you might also choose not to lend him any more money (Psalm 37:21; Proverbs 14:15 and 22:3; Galatians 6:7).
Pardoning with no valid basis: God does not forgive people who are guilty of willful, malicious sin and who refuse to acknowledge their mistakes, change their ways, and apologize to those whom they have hurt. (Proverbs 28:13; Acts 26:20; Hebrews 10:26) Such unrepentant ones become God’s enemies, and he does not require us to forgive those whom he has not forgiven (Psalm 139:21-22). [???]
What if you are the victim of cruel mistreatment by someone who refuses to apologize or even admit to what he has done? The Bible advises: “Let go of anger and abandon rage.” (Psalm 37:8) While not excusing the error, you can refuse to be consumed with anger. Trust that God will bring the person to account. (Hebrews 10:30, 31) You can also take comfort in knowing that God will bring a time when we will no longer feel the deep pain or hurt that may burden us now. (Isaiah 65:17; Revelation 21:4)
Forgiving every perceived slight: Sometimes, rather than pardoning a so-called offender, we may need to admit that we had no valid cause for being offended in the first place. The Bible says: “Do not be quick to take offense, for the taking of offense is the mark of a fool” (Ecclesiastes 7:9, footnote).
HOW TO FORGIVE SOMEONE
Remember what forgiveness involves. You are not condoning the wrong or acting as if it never happened. You are simply letting it go.
Recognize the benefits of forgiving. Letting go of anger and resentment can help you to keep calm, improve your health, and increase your happiness. (Proverbs 14:30; Matthew 5:9) Even more important, forgiving others is a key to receiving God’s forgiveness for your own sins. (Matthew 6:14, 15)
Be reasonable. When we have a minor cause for complaint, we can apply the Bible’s counsel: “Continue putting up with one another.”—Colossians 3:13.
Act quickly. Work to forgive as soon as you can rather than letting your anger fester (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Pastor Visitation: If you would like a visit from Pastor Tony, please call 620-951-4438 ©
Halstead Bible Fellowship: email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please join us in worship at 112 West 3rd Street, Halstead, KS, – Sundays at 9:45am.
SPECIAL SPEAKER: SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14
ZOE OPPREICHT WILL BE SPEAKING ABOUT HER MISSION TRIP TO CHINA DURING WORSHIP SERVICE. PLAN TO COME HEAR HER SPEAK. BRING A DISH TO SHARE FOR A POT LUCK DINNER AFTER SERVICE.
In Our Family
Continue in your prayers for: Linda Hamilton, Jean Kennedy, Pastor Brunson, Maurice Grey, and Keegan Simmons.
Also pray for: John Haspels and Tim Adair working in Ethiopia; all families who are experiencing discord among their members; our president and our country as we prepare for November elections
Give Praise for: Zoe Oppriecht – who will be sharing the story of her journey to China, the Neighbor’s Store report of good results, good travels for everyone over the summer.
October Birthdays Happy birthday to You!
12th Gwen Haspels 16th Pastor Tony D’Olio 28th Dan Evans
29th Tom Henderson 30th Samantha Henderson
31st Freddie Loeffler 31st Grace Page Griffiths
John & Gwen Haspels, email@example.com
John, Tim Adair (Gwen’s brother) and Allan Sents will be going out in October to help with the church building work. It is so helpful for John to have friends with building and repair skills. Pray that they will be fruitful in the construction work, that supplies will be available and local church members will prove helpful.
Thank you for all your prayers over the summer. Together in His Service, John & Gwen Haspels
John & Joy Haspels, AIM, Nairobi, Kenya: firstname.lastname@example.org
Online giving page: https://usgiving.aimint.org/missionary/1032600
This month has seen a lot of country sliding by. In the past couple weeks we have done some extensive travel to Northern Kenya. Northern Kenya is a harsh and rugged land. Beautiful in so many ways, but also dry and unforgiving. This is a land of hidden water holes and Nomadic people groups. A land perpetually dry. People with a constant thirst that only the Living Water can quench. I$lam has made some inroads into these tribes, pulling some of them away from their traditional belief systems, but most have remained strong in their mostly animistic beliefs. I have mentioned the Rendille before, and the church in Korr, but there are also the Gabra, Boran, Samburu, Turkana, Somali, and several smaller tribes scattered over an area about the size of the United kingdom and Ireland. After several long trips into this area, I again thank God for safety on the road, destinations reached, and no car trouble. By the law of averages I should be broken down on the side of the road somewhere, but our God is above all these things!
One of these trips to Northern Kenya was to visit some new missionaries to Marsabit Town. I have mentioned them before, the Kangs. They are working toward starting a Bible Training Center in Marsabit town. The Training Center is for believers from areas that are very remote. The plan is to help the local church grow by building understanding of scripture and instilling the need to proclaim it! Kangs have settled into life in Marsabit and are doing an excellent job of building relationships in the community. Joy and I (and Tiarra) went to see how they were getting along. We were very pleased and encouraged by their ongoing effort and dedication showing Christ to the people of the town. Part of this trip was to develop a building plan and draw a site plan for the new Training Center. Please keep Kangs in your prayers. The school will start in January and they have a lot to do to get ready. Renovations to a classroom and dorm along with everything necessary to house students from the bush. Even now Joy is at market looking for sheets and pillowcases for the dorm. Pray for the Kangs for strength, health and wisdom!
We also delivered a new missionary couple to the town of Korr. We loaded my Nissan about as heavy as it should be loaded with belongings and supplies for them to live for the next three months. The Shultz are a young couple with three kids. They have done some short term missions trips before, but are now full time missionaries. They have been on location for a few weeks now and are struggling with some things, but are also convinced this is where God has placed them. They will be involved with many aspects of the Church in Korr, but will primarily focus on the Tirrim schools where the church provides education and the Gospel together. This is a school that focuses on the kids from unreached people groups and provides a good education not readily available in Northern Kenya. Pray for the Shultz as they come to grips with the climate and remoteness of Korr. Pray for them as they begin to study language and culture. Pray for opportunities to share Christ!
The last trip I took was primarily to attend a meeting in the small village of Kalacha. One of our missionary couples was being accused of several things and were called before the elders to explain themselves. This particular village has a small church, but the village has a history of attempting to run missionaries out. So our missionaries asked me to attend as one with some authority. One other missionary, who is well known in the community, also attended and his presence was vital. He is well trusted by the community so his presence kept an even keel to the proceedings. 5 hours of accusations and answers and discussion and argument, but in the end it was sorted. Relationships where mended and some new ones established. We praise God for his presence at the meeting allowing his peace to pervade. Please pray for the couple though, the Silvas, they have just returned from Home Assignment and have been under very heavy spiritual attack! They are struggling with ministry, and health among many other things. Please lift Eddy and Angi before the throne!
Just a thought: Henry Martyn was a young man that lived in the late 1700s to early 1800s. He was a brilliant linguist and attended some of the best schools in England. But Henry was not a handsome man and felt as though he would never find a wife who would love him. Lydia, however, was first drawn to his mind and then fell in love with the man who was humble and kind. Soon there was talk of marriage. Henry had been planning to study law when he attended a missionary meeting and heard of the impact that William Carey was having in India. He felt a sudden burden and calling to go to India to proclaim Christ! Lydia, however, would have none of it. She refused the idea of going to India. Henry was crushed and was found to have written in his journal of his struggle: “Lydia or India, Lydia or India.” Then it became clear to him, this was not Lydia or India, this was Lydia or God. He left for India and was instrumental in translating the new testament into Hindi, Persian and Arabic. He fell sick and died at the age of 31, serving his God in the land to which he was called having chosen God rather than “Lydia”. What is your “Lydia?” What is it in your life that forces you to choose between that and God? Choosing God can be hard. It may not be safe. It probably won’t be comfortable. It will stretch your ideas and your character. But the choice is before you.
Thank you for all your prayers, for us and our missionaries. You are each greatly appreciated.
In Christ, John and Joy, Acacia, Charlie, Sianna, Tierra Haspels
Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope & Josiah Kebede, Box 1111 (c/o John Haspels), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: email@example.com * theantiochpartners.org
Dear Friends and Family,
May the joy of the Lord be your strength. HAPPY ETHIOPIAN NEW YEAR! (September 11)
Camp- Near the end of the camping season the after-school program children participated in a week of full day participation in the camp’s activities. During that week they had a number of teaching sessions then game time. One day they celebrated everyone’s birthday. That was a special treat they don’t do at home. Another highlight was the chance to eat lunch in the cafeteria. Habtom fondly remembers the day he started a huge pillow fight. It was all the kids ganging up on Habtom. Habtom finally went in and nailed on of the other teachers so that he would participate in the game. It was all out war. They had a great day! One thing that touch Habtom deeply was throughout the week different kids, many of which have no father, no mother or are orphans came up to him and said, “You are like our father, you are in our heart.” May they feel the heart of our heavenly father through Habtom. There were many other campers throughout the month. Habtom went early in the mornings for exercise and then participated helping out in different parts of the camp. I, Heather, was asked to help one of the other foreign staff by sending a weekly encouraging word. It was a blessing to study the word of God and send out a text two the staff. I pray that those verses and words would do what God set them forth to. His word never comes back void. Praise Him! Family- We were blessed to have a small family vacation before the girls started school. We went to a lake and the kids enjoyed the swimming and sand. It was a beautiful place and refreshed us for the next season. We are back to fighting colds in our house and Josiah has two more teeth coming in. But we praise God that He is so faithful to us. If you have any prayer request or praises please let us know so we can partner with you. Thank you for all your prayers and support. We are blessed by your faithful partnership.
Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Josiah
Praises – Our co-working came back safely from Germany – Girls starting school – Family vacation – Camping season is finished and after school is starting – Habtom’s sister Selam is selling soap as a small business – Safety as we travel back and forth to camp + around the city – Each of you who supports us in pray and through finance. Thank You!!!!
Request – Each of the camp and after school kids to know Jesus and feel His love for them – Salvation for family members – Girls as they start school (They will be making new friends and learning Amharic as a class) – Camp staff to have desire to serve and grace for each other (unity among staff) – Pray for us as we see the ways we are involved in the camp (We need Gods wisdom) – After school program starts after Ethiopian New Year on Sept. 11. (Plan is to have many more kids in the program)
Testimony: Habtom’s sister Selam is making two kinds of soap. A liquid soap many people use to clean houses and wash cloths. And then she is making bars of soap. We are praising God that the liquid soap is being sold from her home and many people are coming to her for it. Selam’s bars of soap are now getting dry enough to sell. Selam has made coffee soap, other exfoliating soaps and simple bars with nice smells. Her coffee soap is already popular around her home. We are praising God for this small business and the people already interested in and purchasing her soap. God is good! * Faith and Hope have had a fun summer. A young Ethiopian girl, whose parents are Ethiopian missionaries to Mali, have been staying at the guest house. They will be here two years on sick leave before returning to Mali. She speaks fluent French and small amounts of English which she communicates with Faith and Hope. They love playing together. Talking to her father a little bit he told me this story. Mali is mostly a muslim country. One day he and his wife were interrogated in their home. The police officer talked to them for a long time. It looked as though they were about to be killed when they fell to their knees. He told me, “All we could do is pray.” Then suddenly the police just left the house. We praise God that he intervened and they can continue to serve there. It is God who is our shield and strength. * As September starts, my mother, sister, a friend and I have decided to do a month of praise. We will be praising God no matter what happens. It really helps us focus on who God is and how worthy of praise he is no matter what is happening in our lives. The first Sunday of September the sermon in our church was on…. you guessed it, Praise. I love it when God confirms something when you go to church and hear the exact message that you felt in your heart. God is so amazing. Join us in praising our mighty awesome God and see how God changes things when you focus on praising Him. * I think that any time we get to celebrate the gift of life it is a testimony of Gods faithfulness. This month we had a small birthday party for Zayma (Melody), she is the daughter of good friends of ours. She turned one. I, Heather, enjoyed making her a little cake. Her big party will be at another date. We praise God for the gift of children and the way they enrich our lives. Thank you, Jesus.
Psalm 103:1 “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, Praise His Holy Name.”
We are blessed by your faithful partnership. Habtom, Heather, Faith, Hope and Josiah
Anne Adrian, ISI, Lakeland, Florida firstname.lastname@example.org
The harvest is SO ripe!! Please keep on asking “the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Lk 10:2) The Lord IS answering our prayers!! We’ve had many new people both at our student gatherings & also with our International Women’s Connection (IWC) group; with some showing spiritual interest. At our Welcome Party we had 31 students, most of them new (a large group from Brazil) & from Florida Polytechnic (FPU). Already we’ve had two requests for Portuguese Bibles!! We were also excited to have a few new volunteers involved at this party – keep praying! Another “long-prayed” prayer has been that God would raise up Christian students with a vision to reach the internationals among them. At this party we had several of those students, including two from FPU who are working with InterVarsity to hold an International Student Bible Study Group there. Pray for them & others like them at both campuses to be intentional about reaching out, building friendships & sharing Christ with those whose hearts God has prepared!
At the same time, I am meeting new international faculty & their wives at FPU & finding such a responsiveness to friendship & hospitality!! I have met my 1st Iraqi family, who live right around the corner from me (I am sitting in the middle of them & their two boys.) That is always a special treat for me as I share the same birth place – Baghdad!! At our monthly IWC gathering at my home, we had new Egyptian, Brazilian & Iraqi women, all enjoying good food & conversation with new American friends. My prayer here, along with the open hearts & Gospel conversations that I always pray for, is that God would raise up some Christian women who are willing to invest in building genuine friendships with them & helping lead the group. (I think I am getting worn out ☹)
Another answer to prayer is a new church that is interested in becoming involved! The fact that it is an Indian church adds to potential for reaching Asian students; one of the leaders has already told me that he is interested in connecting with our new Bangladeshi students! I’m sure those students will love the food at his house!! 😊 So as you can see God is on the move – which He always is, but we don’t always get to see it!! What a blessing to be allowed to see it & be a part of it in some way. These times are so intense & difficult for many believers all over the world & yet at the same time, it seems that the Lord is pouring out His Spirit on ALL people, the young & the old as He promises in Joel (2:28). May the Lord wake us ALL up to the times & send us ALL out as laborers in His Harvest!!!
Thank you for partnering with me in prayer & support!! For the nations in our backyard, Anne