Tag Archives: hope

Gratitude, Hope, Joy?

There are three beautifully wrapped gifts on a table in front of you. One has a tag marked, “Gratitude.” Another is tagged, “Hope.” The third is, “Joy.” Answer quickly, without thinking. Ready? Without thinking, answer, “Which gift has God given to you this year?” Those three wrapped gifts from God: which one would you like for God to give to someone else at Christmas?

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All Shall Be Well

I saw a wonderful little movie a few weeks ago, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.  It’s about a group of Brits who decide to “outsource their retirement” and move to a resort in India.  Well, the “resort” turns out to be anything but, and everyone must learn to adapt.  Suffice it to say that some succeed better than others, and those who do learn to embrace their situation find a joy and peace they could not have imagined.  But it’s not the plot or the characters that has stuck with me – it’s a line …

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“Make Sure You Tell The Whole Story”

On September 8 – 21, 2013, Dr. Michael Gable, Director, Mission Office, Ms. Melonise Knight, Dr. Jessie Thomas, Ms. Barbara Wuest, Mrs. Donna Goddard, Mrs. Nor-Rita Winters, and I traveled to Ghana, West Africa on a mission trip.  This trip was very important for me because it allowed me to fulfill a promise I had made to my friend and mentor, the late Rev. Paul Rehling. It would be very easy for me to describe the wonderful people I met: Most Rev. Gabriel Mante – Diocese of Jasikan, Most Rev. Peter Atuahene – Diocese of …

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One More Chance for Hope

I don’t usually blog about Brandon Heath so much (or song lyrics, for that matter), but more of his lyrics seem to be ringing very true in my mission work these last few days.  These are from his song “The One”: If there’s one thing that I’m sure of If there’s one thing that I know, You could be one in a sea of faces Or you can be one more chance for hope. When I think of what could be If we let our hearts believe That it takes just one Just one to …

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Gold That’s Tested in Fire: When Faith is Tested to the Breaking Point

“My child, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal.  Be sincere of heart, be steadfast, and do not be alarmed when disaster comes.” Sirach 1:1,2 The Boston Marathon blast that killed three and maimed scores whose lives were changed forever.  The young man at LaSalle H.S. who shot himself.  The three young women who were abducted and held prisoner for ten years in Cleveland.  Sandy Hook, and all those bright-eyed, beautiful kids whose lives were brutally taken.  A baby discarded in a dumpster; countless others aborted. Atrocities in Syria, Nigeria, …

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Hope in Darkness

I’m writing blog post on what is supposed to be last day of the world, five days before Christmas, a week after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.  When you read this we will most likely be newly in 2013, at the end of the Christmas Season, dealing with the let-down of the often grey days of winter.  The previous year was one of the most violent on record, full of weird storms of all sorts (including the election campaigns!), ongoing wars, and a continually slow economy.  Is there really any hope this year will …

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Healing Our Soul

Everyone in our nation has been stunned by the mass murders of small children and the school staff at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. We want answers, we want solutions. Some of our searching will focus on gun laws, some on mental illness and our health care system. We will likely see quite a lot of debate and argument about specific issues. I’ve noticed a sense of helplessness among many people, as though this is an intractable problem (or series of problems) that are beyond our ability. I have begun to think that the problem …

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The Most Hopeful Day of the Year!

I think that the most hopeful day of the year is December 21. While it is the first day of my least favorite season, to me it is a day full of hope because after the 21st, the days begin to get longer. And so, even though I face months of cold feet and painful dry hands, I know that the daylight will increase each day and that spring is going to come. This seems to me a metaphor for life. We live in the tension between the good and the bad, the life-giving and …

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6 Hours of Torture

The shooting deaths of 6 and 7 year-old children and adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday made a grown man cry.  I have come to understand that with age you not only open your heart to your own pain – you also begin to empathize with the pain of others.  Not too long ago, I was present to a family who had lost two young boys in a drowning accident.  They and I continue to mourn and grieve the loss of their lives.  I remember waiting in the hospital hours upon hours …

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Hope and Change for Advent

I’ve noticed something over the last few years – okay, over the last few decades.  The world has changed.  Duh, right?  But consider this:   When my wife and I bought our first digital camera we were told that nobody would ever need more than 3 megapixels.  Crazy, right?  In high school I was upset because my parents wouldn’t let me buy me a pair of parachute pants.  Seriously.  Parachute pants.  But these kinds of changes are so obvious they hardly count.  The change I’m thinking about is in much more important and subtle ways than …

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