Day 4: Missional excellence

4.jpgActs 1:8
Rather, you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

When the call came, I felt the very life knocked out of me. How could it be?

Surely this was a bad nightmare that would go away when I awakened!

But I was wide awake, and the nightmare was real. My son had been murdered!

How could I now survive?

The anger within me burned like a fire that was all consuming. Revenge was on the edge of the insanity that was consuming my heart…how does a parent move beyond such pain and grief?

The answer came as my wife and I and our younger son were driving down the mountain toward Florida where the random shooting had taken place in a church parking lot. The questions, both spoken and unspoken, were filling the air inside our car like a dark blanket that was almost suffocating us. How could something like this happen? Why did this happen? Why Jason? Who did this? Why? Why?


It was 15-year-old David who broke through the dark myriad of unanswerable questions. He said, “We know where Jason is, but what do we do about the boy who killed him?” 

I heard myself say, “We forgive him!” It was at that raw moment when healing began for our family. Forgiveness is that point where life begins for all of us.

Jesus died so that we might live. That is the story that must be shared to the uttermost parts of the earth.

Prayer: Lord, help us to share our stories of faith so that others may find life through Jesus Christ.

The Rev. Tom Halliburton
Cumberland District Superintendent-TN Conference

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Use a program on your computer, a traditional journal, or feel free to use the comment section of this blog post to record your reflections as a conversation with others…

READ – What spoke to me as I read today’s meditation?
REPENT – Where is God showing me that I have failed to be obedient to the call to discipleship today?
RECEIVE – What words of redemption and grace is God offering to me?
REMEMBER – Who and what is God calling me to remember in prayer related to today’s reading?
RESPOND – How is God calling me to respond today?

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6 Comments on “Day 4: Missional excellence”

  1. sammiewalker says:

    The Halliburton Family ,while hurting , showed us that they believed what Jesus said. I admire them and pray that I will be able to follow their example when trouble comes.

  2. Rev Jackie Clevenger says:

    Dear Tom ~ I read your words early and not quite knowing what to do with them, carried them in my heart all the way to my Tai Chi class. I do not know all the ways God works in and through us to bring new life. . . in most of our lives I am certain it does not come quickly enough. We fail to trust the promises yet, we do not give up. Thank you for sharing this immense piece of your story – words that will reach into the lives of others. God bless you ~

  3. S. Troutt says:

    How can you forgive this? Only through God’s grace…..and remembering that He commanded us to! We must!

  4. Bill Vaughan says:

    Practicing Grace is the art of forgivnes

  5. Nate says:

    Powerful message. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Tony Newman says:

    Its hard to forgive. But I want grace. I pray for God to work it in my heart so that I can forgive. I can’t let things like this come between me and my God