APRIL 2007

Dear beloved in the Lord!


As I have been reading through my Bible again this year, I just happen to be at the end of Luke right now as Easter approaches. It is quite tearful and moving for me to re-read what Christ suffered for us, because of His great love for us. It all was truly unreasonable and utterly unfair. As I think of Him, being beaten and mocked and punished for sins He did not commit, I am again sobered. The people He came to save, screamed "crucify him." Although the leaders and judges found no guilt in Him, and offered up a known murderer in His place, still they screamed all the louder for the death of the Innocent One. His friends fled in fear, deserting Him in His time of greatest need. Nothing has ever been as unfair in all of eternity as the death He endured in our stead, out of His great love for His Father, and for us.

This hit home for us recently as we were tempted in a certain situation to complain of a perceived unfairness that confronted us. Then the Lord gently reminded us, that the unfairness we were feeling was nothing compared to the unfairness Christ endured for our sake. When these small unfairnesses come our way, we should actually consider it a privilege to, in a small way, join in the fellowship of His sufferings. (see Phil. 3:10) We confessed to the Lord the bitterness we were feeling, and asked the Lord to take back the ground we gave to our enemy when we allowed bitterness, hurt and unforgiveness to be our response. We asked Christ to fill us with his Spirit and empower us to continue to love and serve, at whatever cost to us, walking in Christ's steps. What credit is it to us, when things are fair and we love? It is no great challenge when people are grateful for our labors, and we continue to serve. That is a natural and fleshly response. But the true test comes when things are not fair, or people are not grateful, and we, by the power of the Holy Spirit, continue to serve. We ask Christ to give us the power of the Holy Spirit to be like Him in our response to being wronged. And we continue to love and serve. All our trials pale compared to what He endured for us. It was not fair, yet because of it we have the honor and privilege to spend eternity with Him. How can we cheapen His grace by holding grudges against others, when He holds none against us? (see Matt. 6:14-15)

We encourage you to take some time to read Luke 22-24 this Easter. If Christ can go to the cross for us, and He now indwells us, we can endure all sorts of unfairnesses through Him who strengthens us. We have His power in us to love sacrificially as He loved and forgive as He so freely forgives us. May we walk in the freedom of His love, forgiveness and grace daily, as we love, forgive, and give grace to others! Amen (“so be it!”).


We thought you might like to see a few pictures of things we have been doing!

carolersThis is the group of carolers who helped us take the gospel to our street this December. Many appreciated the article we wrote and festive Christmas carols we sang.

sweetheart dinnercox Here are a couple pictures from the Sweetheart dinner we hosted for our church in our home. It was a blessing to hear the couples share the sweet stories of how the Lord brought them together.

sumrallsHere is a picture of the Sumralls, a family back from two years of ministry in Korea who visited with us recently. We were so encouraged by their visit with us, to hear first hand all that the Lord is doing, and how the Lord has used their family there.

men's meetingThis is a picture of a few of the men who attended the men's meeting, where Bernie helped Fathers (including himself) begin to prepare letters of blessing for their daughters and sons, to presented to them at a Father-Daughter dinner and a Father-Son dinner here sometime later this year. The men went away encouraged and we were blessed that several sent very kind thank-you emails to Bernie.

Linda for the Bealls

“When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”
~ Luke 23:33-34