“God’s Enduring Love And Purpose”
January 6, 2017
“God’s Enduring Love And Purpose
Message summary: A story of God’s love and forgiveness.
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8).
Yesterday morning, at the invitation of our friends, Jim & Dorothy Schmidt, we attended the Christian Women’s Club meeting in Mount Joy. It is quite rare that a man attends such a meeting unless he’s the speaker, but the Schmidts have connections since Dorothy served Stonecroft Ministries, which heads up Christian Women’s Clubs, for 44 years as Chairman of the Ocean City, NJ club and served in other capacities in South Jersey reaching women for Christ and developing leadership.
She and Jim have traveled to many different CWC ‘s and given their testimony as well. They now live here in Lancaster County and are acquainted with Terri Roberts, (pictured right) the speaker at yesterday’s meeting, and felt that we would appreciate her message and besides, Jim needed another male in attendance amidst some 200 women! Brooksyne had recently read Terri’s book, “Forgiven”, that she wrote in 2015. In fact she read and shared much of it with me as we drove to our various companies making our chaplaincy rounds.
Terri is the mother of Charlie Roberts, shooter of the Amish girls at Nickel Mines, in October of 2006. The Amish actually refer to the event as “The Happening”. Terri tells of the unimaginable heartbreaking experience that she and her husband Chuck suffered at the news of their 33 year old son’s murderous rampage in the little Amish one-room schoolhouse. Terri wondered if they would ever find joy again and her husband wondered if he’d ever be able to face an Amish person again.
Their neighbors are Amish and Chuck was as an Amish taxi driver (very common in Lancaster County). Of course Terri weaves Scripture into her story and tells how they finally found peace and rest in God through the horrible ordeal, which began with the Amish neighbor paying a tender and loving visit the very evening of the tragedy. We provide some links so you can read more about Chuck and Terri’s story and how they rebuilt their lives as they were drawn by God’s loving-kindness manifested through various people and in multiple acts of love and forgiveness demonstrated toward them.
Terri forthrightly shared of the deep hurt and the impossibility of understanding why something like this would happen. We may not understand but can still seek to find God’s purpose for our life. His promise is to work all things out for ultimate good for those who love Him. They work out according to His purpose and in His time. From sacred Scripture we all can have the assurance of David, who confidently wrote some three thousand years ago, “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me.”
“Your love, O LORD, endures forever.” God’s nature has not changed. His enduring love is just as valid this day as when David first expressed it. And it’s valid for each one of us regardless of what situation we are dealt in life. Let’s believe and stand upon this truth in 2017!
As we turn to God in faith and repentance we can have confidence in God’s everlasting love and experience hope even though shifting sand is all around us.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
When I, Brooksyne, took this photo at the Christian Women’s Club yesterday I couldn’t figure out why the coloring had a reddish tint. I took several shots and still couldn’t get good coloring. After I sat down and examined my phone camera I realized the transparent red phone cover was on upside down which was covering up the lens.
Brooksyne’s note: Last year I read “Forgiven”, as our church library had acquired a copy of it and I had heard very good reviews. Terri doesn’t write so much about “The Happening” as you might imagine and that can be found in other books and documents. But she writes about her family’s experience of trying to grasp the horror of their’s son’s choice to plot and carry out such an evil act, in addition to his taking his own life. And, then, the overall theme of how they found forgiveness through the love and acceptance extended to them from the Amish community. It is an excellent read and would be a great book if you or someone you know is having difficulty with forgiveness, either giving or receiving it. Roberts also gives a perspective of one who must deal with the terrible fall-out from her son’s actions that neither she nor her husband was responsible for, but still must deal with those consequences. Available here.
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