Category: Gratitude

The Other Side of Pain

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The Other Side of Pain

Hope Through Pain

Ahhhhhh!  I was running late again!  I tried to get there in time to watch my oldest girl cartwheel and roundoff at her tumbling class.  My meeting ran late, traffic was bad and I went to the wrong gym to catch the tail end of my boys basketball practice.  So I was a little winded when I climbed the stairs that led up to the room where I found my daughter’s best friend’s mom watching the activities from above.

I sat beside her and asked how she was?  We chit-chatted about the holidays and family in town and work and such.  Then I remembered that she had recently had a bout with Cancer and questions began to distract me from our casual conversation.  What must it be like to return for a third visit to the family doctor with that news?  Imagine yourself sitting across the table from the man who had written your family dozens of prescriptions for colds and flus, allergies and infections.  Such simple fixes.  Such easy answers.  And now he has no … Continue reading

Navigating the Transitions of Life

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Navigating the Transitions of Life

I had never met her before.

Her son came into our consignment shop to talk to me about downsizing her estate so she could move into a 900 square foot assisted living apartment from her 3,000 square foot home of 42 years. He was a little impatient and bothered by the process, but he was so thankful to find help with the massive undertaking.

As I walked through her front door two days later, she reached out and pulled me into a huge bear hug as tears gently formed along her bottom eyelids. I hugged her back. Not with an emotional attachment, she was a complete stranger to me. But as one who understood the tearing apart of a person and the things that represented the sum of her life. Her attachment was not to the things themselves , but to the memories those things carried. … Continue reading

Thank God for the Fleas: The Power of Radical Gratitude

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Thank God for the Fleas: The Power of Radical Gratitude


The Late Corrie Ten Boom

This guest post was written by Cynthia Beaudry who lives with her husband Brian and her dog Penny in Portland, Oregon.

I used to feel sorry for myself.

Like all of time, in fact. And when I wasn’t feeling sorry for myself I was trying to manipulate those around me to do the same.  Honestly, it was because it seemed that nothing ever came easy in my life.

And because of that I spent a lot of time in victim mode.

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Adventure Faith Gratitude

“It Vas God’s Vay”

Our faith community meets in our furniture store.

There’s some advantages and disadvantages to that, but my favorite advantage is that it is undercover.

We have a loose schedule of events and a skeleton time frame that hardly ever gets heeded, but it’s us.

Sometimes things go as scheduled and sometimes they don’t.  Tonight they didn’t!

Julie M. was in charge of bringing our meal.  As she walked in, Dave and Bethany soon followed… well, Bethany soon followed.  Dave was nowhere to be found.  Julie B. came in and said that there were some people in a van outside and that Dave was helping them.  A few minutes later Dave walked in with a van load of people.  He began to introduce them to everyone else in the room and proceeded to show them where the food was.  It kept going through my head involuntarily… “I hope we have enough food.  Maybe I should put some of mine back.”

Well, we had enough food.

Turns out God had plans for our time together of which we knew nothing.

There were 4 young people and a mother and father.  The father had a stroke some time ago and couldn’t speak, so he wrote most of what he tried to say.  The mother spoke relatively plain English and was obviously the dominant figure in the family.

We fed them and got to know them.   I then wrestled with the decision to go on with our worship time or to sit and wait for their ride to arrive.  I did a little of both and eventually we ended up in the meeting room singing songs with the two youngest sons, the mother and the father. The man was in and out and the mother was obviously determined to stay for the entire meeting.

Earlier, while we were still eating, I had been curious what they were thinking.  Then the mother said something like “I knew it vas God’s Vay”.  Throughout the remainder of dinner, worship time and into our corporate prayer time, it became obvious that God, through the person of the Holy Spirit, was working on her heart.

She kept using the phrase, “It’s God’s Vay, I knew it vas God’s Vay”.  She was right… it WAS God’s way!

She told us that earlier in the afternoon the family was struggling.  There were arguments and misunderstandings.  She couldn’t take it any longer, so she asked everyone to load up in the van and just get out of the house.  On their way to Bed, Bath and Beyond the police stopped them and gave them a speeding ticket.  After they left the store, as they were turning at the red light in front of our store, their loaded mini-van broke down.  They were standing just outside the store in frustration and confusion when Dave found them.

It was a beautiful moment when she said, “I knew it!  Our problems no longer matter… the ticket… the van… it no longer matters… it vas God’s vay!”  She proceeded to tell us how she had been longing for a Christian group to meet with.  She’d been hoping someone would invite her to a Christian church.  She said she had lots of Muslim and Hindu friends, but no Christians.

We prayed for her husband and asked God to heal his physical struggles.

Next week we are having our worship gathering at their house.  She is going to cook authentic Indian food for all of us!

May our program and schedule never be so important that we would dare turn down her offer.  God help us!

Isn’t the church a beautiful bride… even undercover.

“A church which pitches its tents without constantly looking out for new horizons, which does not continually strike camp, is being untrue to its calilng.  …[We must] play down our longing for certainty, accept what is risky, and live by improvisation and experiment.”   -Hans Kung in The Church as teh People of God

“After a time of decay comes the turning point.  The powerful light that has been banished returns.  There is movement, but it is not brought about by force… The movement is natural, arising spontaneously.  The old is discarded and the new is introduced.  Both measures accord with the time; therefore no harm results.”       -Ancient Chinese Saying

(both quotes come from the introduction to The Forgotten Ways by Alan Hirsch)

…and the LORD added to their number daily those who were being saved.”   -Acts 2:47b