Sunday, April 18, 2010

Letters To God

We took the boys to see the movie, Letters to God , and it was so perfect. I wanted them to see how God can use even the worst things to change people for the good, and I wanted them to see that we’re not the only ones. You know how kids are. They don’t want to seem different… although they should. We should be different. The world thinks in the exact opposite way as God. But, my boys completely got the message of the movie at ages 8 and 11, and our whole family was in tears by the end. What a story of hope and courage and transformation. One little boy, Tyler, makes such a big difference in the lives of so many others. We can relate.

I hope you will all go see the movie. Rick said, “It just felt good to be in a movie theater and not have to think ‘Well, that was a good movie, but…’” We always wonder why they put in foul language or sexual content when the movie would have been so much better without it. Sometimes we think they do it on purpose just to smut it up knowing that it’s not adding to the movie. So, Letters to God was such a breath of fresh air. There was absolutely nothing offensive in it, which is rare for a movie theater movie, and the acting was really good we thought. But, the best thing about the movie was its message that there is purpose and hope and peace even in the absolute worst of circumstances.

What a contrast to another movie we watched put out by Hollywood about a girl dying of cancer. In that movie, no one seemed to know why. No one could make any sense of it at all. But, in Letters to God, they could. It reminds me of a time that I met a Muslim taxi cab driver in New York and struck up a religious conversation with him. He drove us to the airport, so we had a lot of time to talk. I won’t go into all the details, but that conversation really impacted me. It was clear that he didn’t have any answers. He didn’t know God, but what became even more clear to me after that cab ride was that I did. I do know God, and I do have the answers. We, who know Jesus as Lord, have the key. We hold the answers to life and death. Shouldn’t we be telling it more often? Shouldn’t we be shouting it from the rooftops? I mean, if there were a fire…

Well, I guess there is a fire. And that’s what Letters to God is all about, rescuing people from not just a fire but THE fire and providing answers to the questions we really want to know, like the biggest one of all, “Why?” When bad things happen, don’t we all just want to know why? Like that would make us feel better just by giving it a reason. Well, purpose does make us feel better. Giving a reason for suffering makes all the difference in the world.

The contrast between the two movies, My Sister’s Keeper and Letters to God, is just like that. One asks the question, “Why?” And the other one answers it. We, as Christians, need to see that the world is asking, “Why?” And, we need to tell them. Jesus holds the keys to life and death, and we hold Jesus.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

God has entrusted US with His message of reconciliation, God reconciling the world to Himself. There are reasons. There’s a reason why Christ had to suffer and die, and there’s a reason why we suffer and die too. Isn’t this worthy of discussion? Isn’t this a worthy message to spread? What are we so afraid of?

“Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of death and Hades.” (Revelation 1:17-18)

Fear not!

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified." (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Stand firm like the Apostle Paul who wrote to the church at Corinth, “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the knowledge of him everywhere.”


One man spread the gospel to almost the entire known world in his generation.

One man!

What are we doing to spread the gospel in our generation? Most of us aren’t doing a dang thing. We’re living our lives for ourselves and not for God.

I know. I was one of those people, too. I had everything going for me. Life was good.

Well, life’s not so good anymore. God had to make me a little less comfortable in this world in order to light a fire under my lazy…

Well, I’m not so comfortable anymore. Everything’s not perfect, but the fire has been lit. I stand here and say, “Here I am, God. Send me.”

The big question is… ARE YOU WITH ME?


  1. Lord, strengthen us with your word. Feed us so we may plant and you may take your harvest. Bless Sherri and her family and encourage them to shout your hope to the world. Let your words melt our hearts and help us to show your love to the nations. Amen

  2. Sherri, I just want to say thank you for these encouraging words today. I am a new reader, but I have listen to your husbands radio program for years. My husband and I recently relocated to Maryland from Mississippi. My husband is getting his Phd, I am still out of work but I have been praying that God will give me confidence to tell others about Christ by sharing my love story of how God is working in my life. I have always felt God tugging at my heart to speak to this person and that but out of fear I have never been able. About a year ago it finally click that as a child of God, a co heir of Christ I am not a slave to fear anymore. So thank you for your words.

  3. Thanks for the post Sherri. I also, am a new reader of your blog and find it very refreshing! I read the book, Letter's to God, and absolutely loved it! Such an encouragement to read a book like that which makes you think about your own prayer life.

  4. Sherri- I have followed your blog and of course you story of beauty from ashes just amazes me everytime I remember Bronner. I would love to find out if you would be available to speak at our church in December for our annual Tables of Love- which is a "Tablescape" dinner with a focus on inviting ladies who are unchurched and non-believers. Our church is outside of Huntsville- in Gurley- It is First Baptist Gurley- I would have emailed you but could not find an email address- I hope you get this and consider this speaking engagement- thanks!
    Cindy wheeler

  5. I have enjoyed reading your posts. June 13 will be a year ago our 20 year old son and his new bride(Jeremy and Angel) were killed when an illegal alien pulled out in front of them and left the scene. The day we buried them they would have been married just 2 months. Heaven is so much sweeter to me. Instead of planning for vacations, I find myself planning for heaven. On my birthday this year, I knew I wouldn't be hearing from them. Well, our God is so good. Someone from the dentist office called to remind Jeremy of his upcoming appointment. Just hearing someone ask/say his name, I was like, "Thank you, God. Especially today". When the mailman came that day there was a piece of mail addressed to Angel. Those two things on my birthday were straight from God.

  6. Sheri:

    "Letters to God" is a true depiction of what a cancer family goes through! It showed the impact on the siblings, the grandparents, the nurses, the patient (Tyler) and the parent(s). I totally agree with Rick in that it was a movie that you did not have to think about. This movie shows one of the main reasons we established aTeam Ministries ( Hope and encouragment! A lot of families have neither in addition to support from families. Thank you for sharing and we ask that you and Rick continue to pray for so many that are affected by pediatric cancer and need the Hope that is found in Christ!

  7. Hi, I have never written or read your blog. I followed Rick on YouTube after Bronnor died. It was so powerful. My son is a cancer survivor of 5 yrs (9yrs old). He has clean scans, now. Two years ago this July, I gave birth to a daughter who we had to let go after 6 hrs. I cannot get the relationship I had with God back. The questions are there... why, what's next, how do I see Him working in my life? I was raised in the catholic church, went to school in catholic school, and now even send my son to catholic school. I go back and listen to Rick all the time just to hear how he interacts with God. I will definantly watch this film with my family. One day I hope I will be able to understand and not be angry at God.

  8. Dear Anonymous, the bible teaches us that pain and suffering are important to our spiritual growth. God is molding us into the image of His Son, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. Remember the suffering He endured for us, His bride, the church. The Lamb of God was slain, and He wants us to be slain also, die to ourselves and live for God. The goal of life here on earth isn't to make us happy or comfortable. In fact, God doesn't want us to be comfortable here on earth. He wants us to realize that we are "strangers and exiles" on the earth and that our true home is only in His presence be it in heaven or on the new earth at His glorious appearing. Indeed, our goal should be holiness not happiness here on earth. The Word of God says those who love the world do not love God. So, we accept the trials and tests of faith knowing that all of it is preparing for us an "eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison." Keep the faith, run your race, and you will be more than a conqueror. You will win, if you do not give up, the crown of righteousness and gain eternal life. I know life is hard and that all of this can be understood well enough with the mind, but its the heart that usually needs a little more convincing. I know your heart is broken. Mine was too and in a way still is, but if you can wrap your mind around the truth of God, then your heart may not be far behind. I recommend you go back and read two of my earlier posts from January, "What I've Learned on the Path of Pain and Suffering" and "Take Heart: There's More to Come."

    With love,
    Sherri Burgess