“God is always at work around us, and He desires that we join Him in what He is doing.”
-Henry Blackaby
 
My wife and I were part of the first group of folks that went through Restoring Your Heart way back in the day.  Jack Larson and some of his team from Stone Mountain led it and did an awesome job of laying the groundwork for the ministry.
 
I am a part of RYH because I have found few things in ministry that are fulfilling and give such purpose to my life. Most of the groups I have led have been with people from my church. In the last few years, I have been leading RYH groups at a ministry called “A Better Way.” It is an 18-month discipleship program for men who struggle with life-controlling issues such as drugs and alcohol. They can join the program voluntarily, be mandated to join by the legal system, or come after being released from prison.
 
Most of these men come from very dysfunctional backgrounds. In the group I am now finishing, only one has not come from a broken family. Six have had family, cousins, or close friends who were murdered or overdosed on drugs. All but one have done jail or prison time. So much pain and suffering has come into their lives that they all have a long way to go to find healing. But God is faithful, and I am seeing their hearts change week by week. 
 

Lesson 7 of the new RYH Processing Pain Workbook has to do with participants giving a blessing to each other. I believed that they would be unable to give something they had never received. I felt led to do the lesson in a different way. I proceeded to research the origin and meaning of each man’s name. The night of the class I asked the men to be in an attitude of prayer. I then went to each man and sat in front of him. I put my hand on his knee and I looked him in the eyes. A blessing comes with a touch, a word, and needs to be face-to-face.

As I spoke to each man, I called him by his name and assured him God found no fault with him. As I explained the origin and meaning of his name, I called him into that identity in Christ. Several men were in tears. Most had probably never heard such things said about them. I could see their hearts open up like flowers as they allowed these deposits to be made into them.

At the end of the session, no one was talking. God had shown up that night and it was undeniable that He had done a great work in the lives of these men. This blessing has made a noticeable difference in how they see themselves today.

 

My name is Gordon MacFarlane, and I live in Fayetteville, GA, with Waynette, my wife of 49 years. We have two grown sons. Blake lives in Cedar Park, TX with his wife Elizabeth and their two children Ella and Will. Our other son Hunter lives in Newnan, GA. He is a full-time fireman in Dekalb and a part-time fireman in Roswell.