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From the Editor -
Marina Rojas
Take it to Heart
Featured Article
Take to heart Take it to Heart Column - September
By Marina Rojas

Welcome to Take it to Heart! This section of our wonderful magazine will be dedicated to moving your heart towards realizing Godís true love for you, His creation.

Being blessed with the new task of Editor of this Department, Iíve been asking God to show me what His direction for Take it to Heart would be. He impressed upon me that it is important for people to see the real extent of His love for us, no matter where we are in life at this moment. He brought to my mind the process of extracting a diamond from coal.

When I first heard that diamonds came from coal, I remember thinking, "Why would you hide such a beautiful thing in such an ugly, lumpy rock?" Then, of course, my next question was, "How did they find the first diamond anyway?" After all, wouldnít most of us, after picking up a dirty chunk of coal, just toss it to the ground without giving it a second glance?
Nobody Shoots At Boone Anymore By Toni Smothers

Back in the 1980ís, Bounpheng Panmuang (we call him Boone) lived in constant fear. Although Laos was his homeland, he felt alienated from a country that accepted war as an inevitable occurrence. As he approached his sixteenth birthday, the age which would demand his part in the endless chain of destruction surrounding him, he would soon be forced to fight in a senseless war; only Boone didnít want to kill anyone. If he refused, however, he could be killed or jailed for the rest of his life.

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I guess thatís what I like so much about God. He seems to enjoy surprises, since a lot of His mysteries are like the diamond hidden in the coal. While you or I might pick up that lump of coal and quickly fling it aside, He picks us up as dirty lumps of darkness and looks for the diamond hidden within.

Everyone in this world is an emerging diamond to our God. He already knows that some of us are still in the beginning coal stage. A misshapen lump of shiny rock, we are so dirty that our coal dust rubs off on anything we touch. People and things that come in contact with us are covered with our filthy soot. We get so used to the soot that we donít even see it on ourselves or take notice that itís rubbing off on others.

Then something happens. As the Holy Spirit begins to move on our inward hidden diamond, the Master Craftsman starts the long and tedious process of turning that lump of darkness into a thing of beauty.

He takes His jewelerís loop, and with His other precision instruments, He begins to chip away at the smelly black tar covering the sparkling gem inside. As we grow in His Word, a little more light shines through to the beautiful stone hidden within the lump of coal.

When we give the Son an opportunity to shine on our inward diamond, there is a brilliant flash of color, of clarity, of radiance beyond imagination.

God looks at each one of us like a unique, sparkling diamond. Like diamonds, we are different colors. There are sometimes flashes of brilliance and, always, little flaws here and there. When we submit to His hand as the Most Holy Diamond Cutter, we allow Him to shape us into the priceless gem that He will proudly display in His crown.

So, may He help us today to remember that everyone is not at the fully cut stage. Let us be kinder to those who are still in the lumpy, dusty, dirty coal stage. Let us encourage those who need to come under the scrutiny of the Master Craftsmanís hands for polishing and cleaning.

Let us remember that no matter what stage of the diamond process we are in, there are always more levels of beauty to be attained. There are always different settings that a diamond can be put in, which will allow it to radiate more light, more sparkle and more beauty. Let us, His living diamonds, be willing to be put into a new setting, if it will bring honor and glory to God Almighty.

Let us remember that as His sparkling creation, He has a plan and a purpose for us as His people. We should never forget that He loves us way beyond our comprehension.

The infamous 45.52 carat Hope Diamond, valued at around $250,000,000, has nothing on us, since we are all cut from the Author of Hopeís own image. Now what kind of a price tag do you think that carries? Why, I bet someone would even give their first born Son for that kind of a diamond.

Oh, right! The Master Craftsman already did that! He paid the full price by giving His first born son, Jesus Christ, for you and me.

Thatís how much God loves His living diamonds.

* * *

I know that you will truly enjoy the featured article this month. This story moved my heart to rejoice in the triumph of it all. It is a story that allowed me a personal look at another one of His diamonds, that I may never have had the privilege to cross paths with on this side of glory.

My hope is that you may see this story through the jewelerís loop of love that is used by your Father for you, His prized diamond.