Overcoming Obstacles to Growth

Susan Damon

READ : Hebrews 12:1-3 Gilles grew up as the second oldest child and oldest son in a French-Canadian family of eight children. His father was an alcoholic and abusive man who would disappear for days at a time and then come home drunk. Frequently unable to pay the rent, Gilles’ family moved 21 times during Gilles’ first 17 years. Three weeks before Christmas when Gilles was 15, his father took the government family allowance cheque and went off on a …

The Best Reason to Be Good

Susan Damon

READ : Psalm 56:10-13 It took several surgeries and several years before doctors discovered that the fluid buildup around Stacey’s brain was caused by a tumor. A biopsy was taken, and then followed an anxious eight-month wait to find out whether the tumor was cancerous. But Stacey, who was then 13, says, “I didn’t really get that upset. My mom asked me, ‘How can you stay so calm?’ It was scary to think about death. But I figured it was …

Freeing the Captives

Susan Damon

READ : Isaiah 61:1-4 George, a senior citizen, lives in a small house in the Appalachian Mountains. Unable to walk and having no wheelchair, for a long time George was housebound. Then George was given a motorized wheelchair. That was helpful indoors, but because his house had no porch or ramp, George was still stuck inside. The pastor of the Reformed church across the road from George’s house noticed his problem. When our church’s youth group arrived in Kentucky on …

The Joy of Faithful Service

Susan Damon

READ : Romans 12:1-8 The day before John’s funeral, his family approached our church board and asked whether anyone had been lined up to usher. There were a few moments of awkward silence as the board suddenly realized the answer was “no.” That had always been John’s job! John was a man of few words, but Sunday after Sunday he was there at the entrance to the sanctuary, greeting everyone with a nod and a smile, making sure they had …