Forgiveness Bible Study Survey

Forgiveness Bible Study

Forgiveness Survey

I am working on creating a new Bible Study around the subject of forgiveness, reconciliation, and resolution. I could use your help as I begin to process this information.

This is a tough subject for me. In the past, I have received all kinds of feedback related to forgiveness. Some of it good. Some of it not so much. My hope is that the study can help to bring healing to others.

I’ve included a survey for anyone who would like to participate. It is set up so that you can offer an open-ended response and share your stories if you would like. It should take about three minutes to complete.

Take the survey.

If you run out of room or have additional comments, you can either email them to me or take the survey a second time and offer more insight.

The goal of the survey is to collect as much information as possible and to use some examples of forgiveness or the lack of forgiveness in the study.

If other questions arise as a result of this survey, I may ask for additional feedback through another survey.

The final question in the survey asks for additional comments. Feel free to add any information you feel would be helpful.

Please share this survey with others so I can get a broad view of what people think.

Thanks.

The Way, The Truth, The Life

Drawings

At the beginning of the week, I shared this photo of some drawings.

The Way, The Truth, The Life

The Story Behind It

In January 2013, I left my employment of over 20 years due to surgery that left me unable to perform my duties. I immediately went back to school full-time to finish a Bachelor’s degree which was completed in December 2015.

In my first semester back at school, I was placed in an advanced drawing class. I’m not really sure how I ended up in a class like that. I had taken a drawing class years earlier but I really didn’t feel I was ready for an advanced class.

As it turned out, I learned a ton of things during that semester. The result was this series of drawings. The series was displayed one time during an art show at Texas A&M University, Commerce, TX in May 2013.

The Drawings

Each drawing measures 12” x 24” and was drawn on ¼” thick MDF using pastel oils and colored pencil. It was part of a semester long project.

I wanted to draw something religious. I received many suggestions about how to do it but the ideas did not resonate with me. One person suggested that I look at renaissance images from many years ago to get ideas. I looked but nothing was in line with the direction I wanted to go.

I wanted to produce an art piece that was contemporary in nature and represented the life of Jesus Christ. The name of the piece in its entirety is “Life of Christ.” It’s based on the scripture from Matthew 11:4-5 which says “Jesus told them, ‘Go back to John and tell him what you have heard and seen— the blind see, the lame walk, those with leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised to life, and the Good News is being preached to the poor.’”

The First Drawing

By Water And The Spirit

By Water And The Spirit

This is a drawing of a droplet of water in a pool. It loosely references Matthew 3:11 which talks about how John the Baptist baptizes with water for the repentance of sins but the Messiah will baptize with the Holy Spirit and Fire. It signifies baptism and the beginning of the ministry of Jesus Christ.

The Second Drawing

The Blind See

The Blind See

This drawing is an attempt to show a bionic eye. If you look carefully at the iris, you will see what appears to be circuitry. Jesus healed the blind by using his spit and mud. This is a more contemporary view of that idea. The Six Million Dollar Man comes to mind. There actually is a bionic eye implant that can help some people restore partial eye-sight. Here is an article from the Science Daily website on the topic. Now it appears they are coming out with a new version called The Six Billion Dollar Man which has been adjusted for inflation. Ha! I thought that was funny.

The blind see was the first statement Jesus says to the people John the Baptist sent to Him asking if He was the Messiah.

The Third Drawing

The Lame Walk

The Lame Walk

This image is of a Marine who actually lost both legs. It represents Jesus’ healing of the crippled and allowing them to walk again. Technology today is amazing in that there are so many things available now to help people who have been injured during war or car accidents or simply because of tragic things happening to them.

The Fourth Drawing

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace

This is a line drawing with a look of stained glass. It represents the Communion elements that Christ initiated during the Last Supper with His disciples. It represents the body and blood of Christ, freely given for us during the Passion and Crucifixion. It is a Holy Sacrament in many Christian denominations. It reminds us to repent, believe the Gospel, and treasure our inclusion in the Body of Christ, the church.

The Fifth Drawing

Paid In Full

Paid In Full

Christ crucified is the ultimate gift from God. It represents atonement – however you define that. A gift from Christ that He would lay down His life for us while we were still sinners. That proves God’s love for us. We are a forgiven people. It is a gift of grace. Totally undeserved. It was freely given so that no one can boast about all the things they have done to receive it. Ephesians 2:8-9 says “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”

Conclusion

The Life of Christ was a passionate effort for me. It is not an attempt to rewrite the scriptures or come up with a new theological thought process. It was a way for me to express my faith in a more contemporary way.

Enjoy.

Let Me Introduce You To My Friends Jim and Dorothy

Meet Jim and Dorothy Lipscomb

JimDot

I worked for almost 20 years with Jim as an Electrician at Kimberly-Clark in Paris, TX. I met Dorothy many times over the years and hear stories from their family. For a time, they took in foster children in addition to the children they already have. Kyle was one of them and he stole their hearts. They adopted him.

Jim was there when I was thinking about leaving work to go on disability after my brain surgery. He helped me get assistance with school when I finally made the plunge and left work for good. He was also instrumental in helping me work through the process of writing my book.

The Diagnosis

Jim was preparing to retire after a long career. He had a music ministry that he used at his church. I can remember nagging and prodding Jim to get his album made and distributed. He finally did it and I am happy to report that I have a signed copy of it.

Jim and Dorothy’s plan was to outfit their RV and travel around the country for the summer, sharing his music ministry and seeing if they liked the traveling lifestyle. About five days before Jim was to retire, he became very weak while working on the RV. After going to the doctor, the diagnosis was clear. Cancer.

Jim canceled his retirement plans and immediately began treatment for the disease.

I remember when Jim began his treatments at the hospital. Knowing they would be there for a while, they literally moved in – complete with computer and electric piano. Often, the nursing staff was treated to music coming from their room as Jim would sing and play the keyboard. You can hear some of Jim’s music here.

Tragedy

Kyle

Kyle had graduated high school. He was very active in his church and was having fun. I did not really know Kyle very much other than what Jim had talked about at work. One month after Jim’s diagnosis, Kyle was killed in a four-wheeler accident.

I remember going to the funeral. Lots of people went. I remember many kind words being said about Kyle but the thing that stood out for me the most was when Jim stood up and started praising God during one of the songs. Although they had lost a precious child, they found strength in their faith. It was a blessing to many people that day.

18 Months Later

MeJim

My wife, Sharon and I have met with Jim and Dorothy over the last year and a half on many occasions as he continues to go through various treatments. He had a bone marrow transplant from his brother that worked. The cancer is gone! However, the treatments caused many other issues because of his now compromised immune system. There have been some very difficult times for Jim.

Talking with Jim and Dorothy the other day, everyone agreed that no one that we worked with seems to be aware of the struggles that Jim has faced. My wife and I have been privileged to be able to go through this walk with them. We have seen him at home a couple of times but more often, we see them both when they are in Dallas.

Faith

Jim and Dorothy have such a strong faith. Even on the days when they feel like they cannot go on anymore, they turn to Jesus for strength. I love that Dorothy treasures the good days. She also praises God on the bad days. Often, she will share a scripture that is on her mind through Facebook. The love they share has no comparison.

I’ve learned many lessons from them about their faith as a priority in their lives.

Dorothy shared a song with me that I had not heard. “Though You Slay Me” by Shane and Shane. Their daughter shared it with them and they in turn shared it with me. As their daughter said, it is a hard song to accept but very relevant to them. I shared the song “Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns. I think it says a lot about their story. No matter what the ups and downs are in his treatment, they will Praise Jesus every step of the way.

Thank you for taking the time to read this story of faith.

I would simply ask you to please keep my friends Jim and Dorothy in your prayers.