Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Encouraging Kindness

Here is another Voice of the Martyrs Story I found encouraging! I hope it blesses you too...

Barto was on the brink of starvation. Once a Communist Party official and prosecuting attorney, he was now considered expendable by the same party. He was sentenced to labor in a Romanian prison camp. His stomach, once full, was now wasting away. He wondered how much longer he could go on.

Seeing Barto’s frail stature, a fellow prisoner came up to him and offered to share his rations of food. “Thank you, my friend,” he said to the other prisoner. “How long must you be here?” Barto asked as he woofed down the food. “Twenty years,” replied the prisoner. His eyes seemed to question Barto. “What crime did you commit?” “I was tried and sentenced for giving food to a fugitive pastor who was being chased by the police,” the man stated calmly. Barto noticed his voice didn’t carry bitterness like Barto had heard from so many others. “Who gave you such a harsh punishment for doing a good deed?” demanded Barto. The prisoner replied humbly, “Sir, you were the state prosecutor at my trial. You don’t recognize me now, but I remember you.” The man went on. “I am a Christian. Christ taught us to reward evil with good. I wished then for you to realize that it is right and good to give food to a hungry man—even your enemy. Now, I can show you.” Barto began that day to understand that his own spiritual needs far outweighed his physical ones.

Kindness is the way to our enemies’ hearts. And it may do something for their souls. God uses kindness as his strategy of choice when dealing with us. Instead of giving us exactly what we deserve for our offenses against him, he deals with us kindly. His kindness is an example of how we should fashion our own approach to those who offend us. Kindness arrests their attention. It is as unexpected as it is undeserved. Like Barto, our kindness toward an enemy may awaken a spiritual hunger for the source of our compassion. However, regardless of their response, we must follow the example of our Lord when dealing with our enemies. Who needs your kindness today?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Few Pictures Without Comparison

Here are a couple pictures we took of Joel the other day. I firmly believe he is our cutest newborn boy yet, and cuter than all other baby boy's I've come across. And I've got pictures to prove it :) Need I say more?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Joel Ryan

Well world the East family's eighth child was born safely last Tuesday. We are all looking forward to getting Joel and our Mother safely home from the hospital today. The birth went well, no complications, and my Mom is resting well. I doubt she will be off her feet for very long though :), she is blessed with some truly great stamina and if I know her she will be trying to get up and do things within the week! Thanks for prayers everyone, below are some pictures we took yesterday. Introductions First!!! Dad looks just a little nervous, it doesn't matter how many times you've become a dad - the responsibility is massive! Savannah is having a private moment with little Joel, he must not want to hear what she has to say - look at how his hands are over his ears :) "Now listen to me my young man, you must never watch monty python, always bow when a lady enters a room , and learn to dance"... Start 'em young :) Caroline is absolutely thrilled to have a baby brother, hopefully he will be as sweet a baby as she was! One thing is certain, there will be no lack of nanny's and nursemaids for this chap. Even if he has as adventurous a spirit as Nathan did, I doubt he will get away with much! Not with his own personal fleet of adoring big sisters :) Joel finally woke up and gave Daniel a sly look, we got a couple pictures of those dark eyes. I wonder what he's thinking? And here I am with my newest little brother. It is amazing to me that one day a little baby boy like Joel is going to become a young man like my other "little" brother Jay. Soon enough he will pass me up and the baby I'm holding will be a "big" brother stronger and able to pick me up. No doubt he will be smarter than me too :) The Lord is amazing!
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