I've got to tell all of you about the three interesting groups we were a part of last week. Well, actually Frank was in only two of them, but I was in all three. However, one was interesting and challenging because of the spiritual warfare going on; the second was interesting because it was fun and with some people we hadn't seen for years; and the third was interesting because Laura and I did it together and it was fun and different!
The first group of the week was our Insight Group on Wednesday night. If you don't know what an Insight Group is, you can go back to early October and read my posting about it. This week we had a different leader, a woman named Susan, who worked to keep the group on the subject of how we build internal defenses and isolation to avoid facing the life-controlling issues that are in our lives. Dean, one of the prisoners, is really growing spiritually and has looked at himself somewhat clearly about the issues in his life. He shared about his feelings and how he depended on the blood of Christ to give him the grace and strength he needed each day in prison; also how he was overwhelmed by the thought that Jesus had shed His blood for him and his sins.
A few minutes later a young woman whose name I won't mention spoke up and said that she was uncomfortable with all this talk about "blood" and "death." She didn't like it and requested that we not talk about it any more. Now she had admitted in an earlier session that she had dabbled in Satanic practices and worship, so this comment about blood and death sent chills down my spine, so to speak. Satan hates for us to talk about Christ's sacrifice which involved blood and death. This young woman is still open to Satanic attack and he wants her to focus on the "hypocrites" in the church rather than her own needs and how Christ can free her from Satan's bondage. She has built her internal defenses so strongly that they are deeply ingrained in her being. She needs our prayers. I wish I could give you her name, but I just feel that I should not do that. One of the important aspects of an Insight Group is that the members must not reveal in detail issues that are brought up in the group. But this young woman needs our prayers and she needs counseling from an experienced, mature counselor. Let's pray that the leaders of the group will be able to help her through some of the issues in her life.
On Friday we were in a totally different kind of group. Last weekend was homecoming at Southern Nazarene University, our alma mater. On Friday noon there was a luncheon for the various missionaries in the area, both retired and furloughing like us. The food was okay, but the fellowship was great. We met several folks who were in school with us and we caught up on forty years of life events! One had some news that sobered us. She and her first husband had been good friends of ours and he had been Frank's best man at our wedding. Now they are divorced and he is away from the Lord, doing nothing. She has remarried and is very happy with her second husband. She looks almost the same as she did forty years ago, same kind of glasses, same hairstyle, a few more pounds, but not many.
Another friend Frank was happy to see was another of his classmates, Stephen Heap, a missionary to Brazil. Stephen is one of those guys who is faithful, steady, and deeply spiritual. It was fun to see him. And there are several others I could mention as well, but won't take the time now. Of course, we enjoyed meeting all the dear old folks who served so faithfully through the years and have now been retired for some time. What missionary pioneers they were! Going to unevangelized areas of the world and spending their lives for Christ. It was great to meet them.
Now the third group was totally, totally different. On Saturday Laura and I took a class at the local quilt shop here in Oklahoma City. It wasn't traditional quilting. It was a class that taught us how to make bowls and baskets using cotton clothesline cord and fabric. There were five other ladies in the group as well as the teacher and we all had a good time together. My bowl was in bright aqua blue and purple. Laura did a Christmas bowl in bright red and green. It was fun at the end for all seven of us to show what we had done and how different each bowl was depending on the fabric that had been used. I should have taken a picture or two and posted them here so you could see our work. Maybe I will do that in the coming week. Ladies who take quilt classes are fun to be with. We all want to help each other and get ideas from each other. I wish I could take more classes, especially with Laura. No kids around, just us. It was a great bonding time.