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Gratitude When It's Hard

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Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18    If "all circumstances" doesn't describe this past month, I do not know what does. We have had fun, we have been scared, we have seen fruit, and we have questioned a million things. I'm not gonna lie to you, some days it hasn't been very easy to be thankful, but many days this month it has been a challenge. Choosing thankfulness is an act of obedience, and it's not a simple one. On November 1, Dean started urinating blood. Praise God, he as had no pain at all! After a few doctors' visits it was determined that he likely had a lacerated kidney and he was told to stay home and rest. Dean's school allowed him to join his classes online. As a 9 year old little boy, he wasn't exactly excited about that, but he has made the most of it. It has been neat to get a glimpse into his classroom life via zoom! After a month, and thinking he was pre

The Hard and the Beautiful

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     That is one of my very favorite views in St Kitts. It's not an easy hike, but it's a very short one. The reward is delicious breezes, fragrant flowers, and a landscape of hills, a volcano, and both the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. As much as I always want to get to the top, certain particularly steep sections of the climb sometimes make me question my resolve. It's usually a matter of quieting down (if you know me, you know that is not in my nature), putting one foot in front of the other, and focusing on moving forward in that moment.    I find that ministry often feels like hiking. We know the goal, we know the worth and value of the work, but it can often require a whole bunch of obedient steps for a long time in the same direction. Steps that may or may not give you a glimpse of what's to come. Steps that feel like moving up a hill in the rainforest; hot, sweating, out of breath, tired, and thirsty. But that's exactly where God so typically shows up! H