A Story of Success
A Story of Success
I met Rachael* at a week of prayer. After the final meeting she tentatively approached me and asked, “Pastor Haffner, may I speak to you?”
The first thing that struck me about this 10-year-old was her sweater. It was a blistering hot day—not the kind of day when you’d expect to see a sweater. “Sure,” I smiled, “I’d be glad to talk to you. What’s on your mind?”
I was not emotionally prepared for her story.
Does God still perform miracles? Ask members of the Orchards Church in Vancouver, Washington, that question and their reply will be a resounding, "Yes!"
The Cat’s in the Cradle
When our kids were small, some well-meaning sage would comment to us, “Well, enjoy them now because before you know it, they’ll be gone!” We’d patronizingly nod our assent, realizing that what they said was, in fact, true. But while recalling some of our children's recent memorable antics, it seemed to be in the far distant, if not welcome, future. In retrospect those years are now almost a blur.
There’s an intriguing line of research on depression that shows one group in our society as being significantly less affected by this mental illness than any other group. Care to guess what the group might be? Left-handers? Blondes? Psychology majors? Boston Red Sox fans? (Fat chance!) What do you think?
Adventist Branding Through New Eyes
As a boy, I quickly learned that "Seventh-day Adventist" was generally not a household expression in this country. If I said I was a Seventh-day Adventist, I could expect a response like, “Seven-day what?” Or if there was any recognition they might respond, “You’re the ones that have the big temple in Utah.” I remember actually dodging questions regarding my church affiliation.
Hide It Under a Bushel? No!
Several years ago, two students graduated from the Chicago-Kent College of Law. The top student in the class was a blind man named Overton and, after receiving his honor, he insisted that half the credit should go to his friend, Kaspryzak. They had met in school when the armless Mr. Kaspryzak had guided the blind Mr. Overton down a flight of stairs.
"I go to prepare a place for you.” Jesus’ words have sparked hope ever since He spoke them to His disciples. I have spent hours with others, envisioning the place that God has prepared for us.
A Place of Hope
I used to believe that poor Mary and Joseph had it pretty tough. You know, walking and riding on a donkey 80 miles to Bethlehem all so they could pay taxes. Then finding no place to stay birthing their Son in a stall and cradling Him in a manger.
And then I got to thinking. What if they had lived today? Would that have been better?
A fable is told in India of a poor beggar who lived in a state ruled by a maharaja. The beggar had no home but slept on a mat in a homeless shelter. On frigid evenings he covered himself with a treasured collection of tattered rags. Having no means of earning a livelihood other than begging, he ventured out every morning. He would sit by the sidewalk with his beggar’s bowl as passersby threw some grains of rice or copper coins his way. Usually he got enough rice for two meals a day.