Sharing Thoughts on Christmas 2021, ‘Thinke’ Story on Supernatural Forgiveness
“For a lot of people, this may be the most meaningful Christmas ever.” – Pastor Jack Hibbs
My wife and I attended a Christmas Eve service and once again, I was reminded that these are extraordinary times that we live in and they require an unprecedented closeness to God. A relational closeness like we may have never known before.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair,
we had everything before us, we had nothing before us,
we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short,
the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
~ A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
I want to pray for those of you who may or may not currently follow Media on Mission to have a blessed Christmas and joyous New Year!
Praise Him always!
As some of you may already know, I’ve begun writing stories for evangelist Matt Brown’s Think Eternity website. The assignment below included interviewing the daughter of a police officer killed in the line of duty. Be sure to catch a video clip from the eulogy she gave below.
Also, if anyone in media needs a story shared or prayer or whatever the need, please feel free to contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Daughter of Police Officer Killed: We Are All In Desperate Need of Jesus
A eulogy delivered by Shelby Houston, who is the daughter of a Texas police officer killed in the line of duty on Dec. 3, 2021, included a stunning statement about her father’s killer: “I can’t get any part of my heart to hate him.”
BY ALEX MURASHKO
THINK ETERNITY/MEDIA ON MISSION
Richard Houston, a 21-year veteran of the Mesquite Police Department, died after he was shot while responding to an argument between a husband and wife near a grocery store. Shelby wants to talk to the man who after shooting her father, fired a gunshot at himself, survived, and now faces a charge of capital murder of a peace officer.
“There will be a trial. I do want to see this man. I do want to talk to him,” Shelby, 18, told Think Eternity in an exclusive interview. “He may not be sorry, but the person doesn’t have to be sorry to forgive him.”
At the service held at Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, she said, “I remember having conversations with my dad about him losing friends and officers in the line of duty. I’ve heard all the stories you can think of but I’ve always had such a hard time with how the suspect is dealt with. Not that I didn’t think that there should be justice served but my heart always ached for those who don’t know Jesus, their actions being a reflection of that.
“I was always told that I would feel differently if it happened to me, but as it has happened to my own father I still feel the same… part of me wishes I could despise the man who did this to my father but I can’t get any part of my heart to hate him.”
Whoa. This will absolutely wreck you. This is what the gospel does inside our hearts. 😭😭😭pic.twitter.com/itMTk1IJKF
— Matt Brown (@evangelistmatt) December 11, 2021
Pastor Jeremy Fisher, who was Shelby’s youth pastor at Community Life Church and who now works together with her on a church plant in Canton, Texas, said her message during the memorial service reflects on the power of the gospel.
“This [eulogy] has a lot to do with how really counter cultural the gospel is, how mind-numbingly ‘other’ her response is,” Fisher told Think Eternity. “I’m sure everybody would understand if she had lashed out in anger, bitterness or frustration.” However, her response “defies explanation. It’s supernatural.”
Pastor David Marvin, leader of The Porch Movement in Dallas, said Shelby showed a level of trust and faith not frequently seen.
“Just days after losing her father to have the posture of Jesus to say, more than anything, ‘I want this person to know Jesus’ is categorically different to live out in that darkness in a moment like that.”
When asked by Think Eternity why she believes so many people have watched and shared the video of her powerful message during her dad’s memorial service, Shelby said, “The first thing that comes to my mind is the need for the Savior. We are all in desperate need of Jesus. There’s something different about having a hope in Jesus and the joy and peace that comes with that. It can’t be found anywhere else.
“We are living in a world where everyone is fighting to find that [hope, joy, peace] wherever they can. And if it’s not Jesus, it runs out, it’s temporary.
“Maybe, the words that I spoke were new and different than people have heard before.
“People have assumed that to be in this position and situation [like mine] that there is no way that you can find that hope or that forgiveness. But you know, you can with Jesus.
“Whenever there doesn’t seem like there’s a way, there is always a way whenever you believe in Jesus.”
When asked about how she approaches every day during this time of grieving, she said, “Each day for me has actually been really different. Some days I wake up and have a lot of energy. I’ve really tried to keep myself busy as much as possible. There are times when I’m out and about and all of a sudden I see something and it reminds me of it.
“I wake up and remind myself that you’re going to get exactly what you need for just this day. The Lord says He gives you just enough for the day, not for tomorrow or any days ahead, because if He did that then we wouldn’t need Him.
“I find a lot of comfort in knowing that I don’t have to try and figure out how I’m going to get the strength or the peace or the joy or whatever it is to last me a week, but just enough for this minute, this hour, this day.
“Isaiah 40:31 has always been comforting to me, but even more so now, especially when I feel like I have the whole weight of the world on my back.”
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
The above article, “Daughter of Police Officer Killed: We Are All In Desperate Need of Jesus,” was originally published at thinke.
Alex Murashko is the founder and editor of Media on Mission, which highlights the work of media and journalists, working in all platforms, whose Editor in Chief is above all others. Murashko is a contributing writer for thinke.