Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Lord Reaches Out to a Bully

You could feel the tension as Brock looked around at the 950 middle school students in Arkansas a couple of weeks ago. He had done his normal school message about making the right choices and was now addressing bullying. That's what the school leadership wanted him to speak about. Brock told me, "You cannot stop bullying by one assembly, but I'll talk about it and hope it helps." So, he asked these young people who was a bully and he waited to see if there was a response. After an uncomfortable silence, one sixth grade boy stood up. There are big, tough guy bullies and there are small guys with a complex who are bullies. This boy was the latter. Brock told him to come to the center of the gym and stand beside him. The boy boldly did so. Brock with his 6'4" stance towered over the small boy. Then, something happened. Brock got down on one knee and looked the young man in the eye. He tenderly asked him if bullying was satisfying him. The boy's smirk disappeared as he said, "No." Brock then began to speak to him in front of the whole school. The Lord got all over the boy. Even though Brock didn't talk about God whatsoever, the Holy Spirit inside Brock was oozing out onto this boy. His whole demeanor began to change. At one point, this bully almost broke down crying because his heart was so touched. Brock then said, "Do you want to change?" The boy shook his head in the affirmative. Brock said, "There is hope. There is a group of people in your sixth grade class that will hold you accountable." He then told him how proud he was that he was willing to change. He had the rest of the audience clap for him for his bravery in coming up there and then wanting to change. The whole school exploded in applause! Some people stood to their feet. Others were hooping and hollering. It was like a scene from a movie! Brock's right. We are not going to be able to stop bullying on our own, but the Lord can do anything!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Last week, we were in Louisiana and my mother-in-law brought out my recently finished book that I am writing about the crazy stories the Lord has given us and the miracles He has done in our lives. I had emailed the final version to her. When I looked at it, I realized that she had an earlier draft. I looked on Brock's email for the latest version and to my horror, he had the same earlier draft! I sent them my book as soon as I finished it back in December and had not looked at my it since. I had been using an old computer to write the book on and the battery was bad. I quickly surmised that after I had typed out the final changes and the last chapter, it must have gone dead. Then, when I restarted my computer, it reverted back to the old writing. At that moment, so many things ran through my head. The fact that I could not remember all of the changes I had made. Also, the last chapter was about my struggle with anemia. At the time I wrote it, I was having another bout of anemia. I couldn't feel that same way again! My iron was up at this time! The only good part about having a relapse was that I was able to remember how it felt. Now, all of that was gone. So much work down the tubes. I had put my heart and soul into that last draft. I was devastated and allowed myself to cry for a few minutes. Then, I had a talk with the Lord. I knew that He was sovereign and had His reasons for everything. I knew that He would somehow help me recall what I had written. Maybe it would be even better. Brock had already begun texting people to pray that I would find it. I didn't have much hope in finding it. However, if I was receiving this kind of opposition, that was a good sign right? It was difficult to see the good at all in this, but I trusted that the Lord would make something good of it like He always does. When we got home, I ran for my computer and looked. Just as I had thought, it was the old writings and the newest version was nowhere to be found. I searched everywhere I knew to search but it was gone. I was missing lots of pages. I put the computer up for several days and put off writing again until this week. Monday morning, I bravely opened up the computer ready to take a stab at it again. There on the front page was my book but something looked a little different. Next to the title of the document, it said "(recovered)". That had not been there before. I scrolled down and there it was! After being missing for weeks, the final version of my book just showed up on my computer! That is a miracle! I'm still thanking the Lord. He could have ended this story in so many ways, but I'm glad He chose this ending.