Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Giving Comfort.

Tom's Journal.

I have to admit that I was a person who was afraid to say the wrong word at the wrong time when someone needed my help, understanding, kindness, who they lost a loved one, or their spouse was dying, sick, etc -- and I fell into the category of the article cited below, by Randy Alcorn, one of my fav. authors. And conversely, I also felt so hurt and alone after some tragedy separated me from a loved one-- and no one bothered to visit or call [for the same reason]. People gave me the most LAME excuses and that made me even more bitter and hateful.... many years ago, for a wide variety of circumstances. YET, it had to be ME who took the first step of reconciliation! People either learn from their mistakes [me included] or they go to their graves being ignorant and selfish. I felt that I had a good reason [carried over from bad experiences of visiting a dying soldier in Vietnam...at the hospital at Long Binh, RVN]. I hated and feared hospitals long after that, and still have to force myself to go to visit friend, family, etc.

I'm afraid it did take me many years to learn and use my heart, mind and tongue to make sick, injured, despairing, mourning people feel a bit better, and that's how REAL, CLOSE, friends are made for life! Even a smile can melt all the nervousness, depression, hurt, and pent up feelings. You can start by going to help/ visit sick, injured, post surgery people by going with someone who is older, mature and well grounded in the Scriptures... but it's GOT TO BE DONE in our Christian life. When people balk and resist, try to make excuses why they just can't go visit the infirm, or make the lame excuse that they 'just don't have those gifts/ powers' in them..... Ask them , 'if they ever did something HARD IN THEIR LIFE! They will have to say, "Yes." Well then, this may be hard for you to do-- BUT IT HAS TO BE DONE !! Sorry if this sounds like the rough, gruff 'Army way.' But in a strong sense, we ARE in God's Army! Christian Soldiers!

In the same vein, many folks say that they 'could NEVER walk up to a stranger and give them a bible tract, or begin to share with them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.' I suggest that we ALL keep a compact or pocket Bible with us all the time, because you never know when you have to pull it out and SHOW people that the Bible actually says what you say. You can be discreet and I just order 3 more KJV large print compact Bibles, for about $10 ea. bonded leather! I am so happy to say that I GAVE a small bible to my VA appointed cleaning lady today and shared some great bible promises with her! Go figure, our money won't be any good in the near future [and I know that many of you may think I am crazy for saying this... Ha!] , so why not "invest" in God's Kingdom now and help others to get Saved to go to heaven when the Lord call us to Rapture ?! God will reward us 100 fold later. "Store up your treasures in Heaven."

Or they claim that 'ordained' pastors and ministers have 'that job', not the "lay people." How silly and un-scriptural. Every REAL, serious Christian who is well read and mature KNOWS that is pure baloney and a cop out. Need I list a string of scriptures to prove my biblical y, point ?? It's not really EZ for me either-- but the Holy Spirit leads me to do the right thing and most of the time people will listen. If they say, "I don't care to listen to that bible stuff, or say, 'I go to church and that's enough for me,' " we are not going to die or be embarrassed. The Bible tells us to 'shake the dust off our clothes' and just move on. Hey! we still have SOME freedoms left in America... LOL. But someday soon, we may NOT. Even Non-Christians can see that day coming. And you get such a good feeling inside after you do God's work, and let Him use you like a 'tool' to achieve His divine purpose. Go figure, if the Rapture happened tomorrow, what would you say or have to offer for all your years on Earth-- in doing God's commanded Will--sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. God can see right through your heart and mind, and He will Judge us all.

Friends and Readers, after writing for years, studying many books, and having a high 'verbal aptitude'... I like to write, Journal, Blog, visit via email, etc. But I don't consider myself ANY better than all our YOU!! YOU are strong in places where I am weak. I don't talk about ALL of my weaknesses and failures on this Journal because you guys would prob lose all respect for me... Ha! I don't have any felonies or serious crimes, or DUI's in my back ground.... but I have done a LOT of stupid things that I regret! Hurt a lot of feelings, said the wrong things at the wrong times, had financial problems, took too many careless chances and almost got killed many times. But by the GRACE OF GOD, I am still alive, have enough income to pay the bills, help my Mom and loved ones, and I thank and praise the Lord for every day He gives me. I found out [kind of late] that all I have is -- really God's property... all the cattle of 10,000 hills and and all the silver, gold, treasure in the world is His. We are but temporary residents, tenants on Earth, but 'Ambassadors of Christ.' The older we get, so-called smarter and knowledgeable, -- the humbler we should be, recognizing that we are really 'Dust in the Wind' -- but for the Creator's exceeding Love, benevolence and undeserved Kindness/ Grace -- He has extended His hand to us. But ONLY THROUGH HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, JESUS CHRIST!! Most people on Earth will be too proud [and also misled by Satan's agents on Earth] to accept the Son as their personal Savior! People don't go to hell because they sin. They go to hell because they REFUSE to accept Jesus Christ and do His will !

Guess I will be sleeping alone again tonight, and I pray the hound dog don't pass any more gas.... it's BAD! Sharon is tired and worn out and the 'doctors' keep her in the dark... prob because they don't know what wrong themselves. Other people from church are good about visiting the sick in hospital. I will see her tomorrow.

Tom Schuckman
email: tschuckman@aol.com

Giving Comfort to Hurting People

Posted: 02 Mar 2010 02:15 PM PST

People need to feel loved. A hurting child needs to feel his father’s arms around him. When the father is away, he may leave written words of love, as God has in his Word. But he may also call on the child’s older brothers and sisters to express his love to his child.

To ignore someone’s pain is to add to that pain. Instead of fearing we’ll say the wrong thing, we should reach out to hurting people. Many times it’s better just to put our arms around someone and cry with them; people almost always appreciate it when you acknowledge their loss. Yet so long as your heart is right, saying something is nearly always better than saying nothing.

There is a time for silence, to just sit and listen and weep with those who weep. We often condemn Job’s friends, but we should remember that they started well. When they saw his misery, they wept aloud. And then for seven days and nights they sat with him, in silence, wordlessly expressing their concern for him (see Job 2:11–13).

If we don’t know what to say to a friend in crisis, remember that so long as Job’s friends remained quiet, they helped him bear his grief. Later, when they began giving unsolicited advice and rebuke, Job not only had to deal with his suffering, but with his friends’ smug responses, which added to his suffering.

When someone in pain expresses raw emotions, we shouldn’t scold them. Friends let friends share honest feelings. When the premature and misguided correction of Job’s friends hurt Job, they didn’t have sense enough to say, “I’m sorry,” and then shut up. They went right on hurting him. So Job said to them, “Miserable comforters are you all!” (16:2).

Darrell Scott told me that after his daughter Rachel was murdered at Columbine, people often quoted Romans 8:28 to him. He wasn’t ready to hear it. How sad that such a powerful verse, cited carelessly or prematurely, becomes a source of pain when it should offer great comfort. Think of God’s truths like tools. Don’t use a hammer when you need a wrench. And don’t use either when you need to give someone a hug, a blanket, or a meal—or just weep with them.

On the other hand, Nancy Guthrie says sufferers should extend grace to the insensitive comforters who hurt them. The last thing a grieving person needs is to take on the burden of resentment. “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32).

Don’t disappear or avoid your friend who needs you now more than ever. My mother died in 1981, when I was a young pastor. Ten years earlier, not long after I’d become a Christian, I had the joy of leading Mom to Christ. We grew together, reading and discussing Scripture and great books, praying and laughing together, and later fussing over my children, her granddaughters, Karina and Angela. When she died, I mourned my loss, my wife’s, and above all my children’s. I felt like part of me had been taken away.

As I walked into church that first Sunday after Mom’s death, I felt as though my presence parted the Red Sea. Instead of greeting me warmly in their usual way, people stepped aside. I knew they did it because they didn’t know what to say, yet it magnified my loneliness.

Most of us have seen friends disappear when we most needed them—and without meaning to, we’ve done the same to others. If you find yourself not wanting to make a phone call when you hear about someone’s crisis, remind yourself that any expression of concern is better than none. When people lose a loved one, they don’t want to “move on” as if the person never existed. Even if doing so makes them cry, usually they want and need to talk about them.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15). We tend to do better at rejoicing. Because we don’t like to feel pain, we tend to ignore others’ pain. But they need us to become the arms of Christ to them.

If we’re not there for them, who will be?