A couple of weeks ago, we had a video with Pastor Greg Laurie interviewing former baseball player Darryl Strawberry, whom Laurie described as one of the Icons of Faith. Strawberry’s story proves that one doesn’t have to be all cleaned up to have a meeting with Jesus, nor does a genuine meeting leave one unchanged.
There are so many stories throughout scriptures of God using ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Our history since the time of Christ also is full of people who’ve changed lives, and in the circumstances of horror, suffering and evil, have lived in ways which God has moved mightily- even if they couldn’t possibly know in the midst of things how much would come about for God’s good and glory.
I’ve read the impacts of lives world wide on account of 5 missionaries who had a heart for the jungle tribes of South America through the stories of Through the Gates of Splendor by Elizabeth Elliot, and End of the Spear by Steve Saint. Elliot, the widow of martyred missionary pilot Jim Elliot, and Steve Saint, who was a young boy when his father Nate was murdered in the same incident along with 3 other missionaries shared their stories of life among the violent tribes of Auca Indians, and seeing how the lives of both the Waodani and the Americans and countless others have been changed because of what God wrought out of violence and pain.
His Gospel message transcends language, culture and generations, no matter if those folks are carrying out age long bloody vendettas against each other, or in the case of the ten Boom family who spent time in Nazi prison camps for hiding Jews. I doubt Corrie ever would have pictured herself forgiving one of the worst guards at the camp where her older sister died. But through the power of Jesus, she did- and lives were changed because of it.
There are so many stories most of us will never hear about on this side of heaven, but it’s always worth sharing those stories of Icons of the Faith when we learn them.
I have thought about featuring this next lady for quite a while now, but for something a little more “political” (although there ought to be no politics involved when it comes to life and death), and I still plan on bringing her onto the porch again soon to discuss the sensitive topic… but for now, I want to introduce her, even though a lot of folks probably have either heard of her, or know the name, Joni Eareckson Tada.
I first heard of her years ago, but not just about her faith, more because she is an amazing artist, and it was through her art that I learned her story.
And it was through her story that I learned more about hope, and that this life isn’t all there is- but what we make of it has lasting effects. And again, that many of those effects we can’t always see in the midst of it.
I don’t want to take away from her powerful testimony, and I sure hope folks will listen because she’s had a life time of wisdom gained from growing. There are so many incredible golden nuggets in this… (especially around the 7:00 mark).
I hope everyone is as blessed by this message as I have been.
Have a beautiful Tuesday all!