On loss and grief

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November 12, 2018

In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Priscilla Hochhalter reflects on what it meant to lose her job before Thanksgiving a year ago: “I was called to a meeting room with Human Resources (a bad sign on a Friday!). My beloved but usually stoic boss, with tears in his eyes, said my role would be eliminated and not refilled.”

Priscilla was granted “a week to wrap up.... My CEO said I was a respected employee; he wanted to give me a party. But I didn’t want cake. I asked Human Resources to keep the layoff quiet until my last day, then shared sad goodbyes with the coworkers I’d loved so long.”

The truth is that “losing a job isn’t the worst thing that can happen,” Priscilla admits. “Other losses can be much worse ... but every loss leads to shock and grief.”

Also, loss is universal. It is part of the human experience. Priscilla offers five verses from 2 Corinthians 4 for when we experience loss:

8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.


Thank you, Priscilla for this reminder to fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. God, help us not to lose heart.

Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $35,939 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

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Newberg, OR 97132
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Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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The Kingdom of God

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November 5, 2018

Nearly sixty years ago as a relatively new Christian, Dan Nolta memorized passages of Scripture as part of the Navigator’s memory program, and many of those verses continue to stick with him. In this morning’s Fruit of the Vine, Dan asks us to reflect with him on Matthew 6:33, which he first memorized from the King James Version:

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Dan reminds us that “these things” referenced in the verse are what we need: “Clothing, food, and shelter – the bare essentials if you will.”

These are things that many of us can safely take for granted. Many of us live in abundance. But Dan points out that this has not always been the case – “I have little desire to go back to those years (after World War II) of doing without because of rationing, or to the days of family hardship.” And even today, it is not the case everywhere or for everyone.

Many of us live in abundance. Much of the world, including many of our neighbors, do not.


But by sharing out of our abundance – practicing “a life of simplicity, seeking to pare down” – this reality in the world of have and have not might shift. Because when we seek a realizing of the kingdom of God and of God’s righteousness, we become more sensitive to the needs of our neighbors; we become more generous in the sharing of what we have; we revel in the miracle of enough: God’s kingdom comes, and God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).

Thank you,
Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $35,594 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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On direction

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October 29, 2018

There are places we’ve been, people we remember, and events that have taken place, all working together to shape who we are and who we are becoming. Some are subtle. Others may be significant – as Kay Burgi reminds me in this morning’s Fruit of the Vine or even violent.

My mom died nineteen days ago. Her pain was under control. She was surrounded by family. My time with her and my dad over the last four months (I moved in with them at the end of May) was filled with conversations about hard things as well as the retelling of stories, laughter, countless visitors bearing food and flowers. Now, only a week after her memorial service, I can see how significant this time has been. The direction of my life has changed.

What about you? How did you get to where you are today? Where are you going?

Kay writes about her visit “to early Quaker sites in the Lake region of England.” Those Quakers who gathered at “the dining room at Swarthmore Hall,” praying together, making plans for visits, writing pamphlets, encouraging one another – the direction of their lives was changed by an encounter with God in community. Kay writes that from there, “They went out in all directions to spread this ... gospel of the kingdom ... a dramatic and revolutionary movement.”

What about us? How are we encountering God in community? Where are we going?


Those early Quakers had “good news of hope and reconciliation.” My recent experiences prove how important both hope and reconciliation continue to be. And I pray that no matter where you find yourself – no matter where you are going – that together we might continue to be bearers of good news, speaking hope and working for reconciliation with everyone we meet.

Eric Muhr

P.S. Seeds of hope is the three-year campaign to fund the ministry of Barclay Press by developing new titles, supporting small churches, and balancing the budget. In order to stay on target to meet our goal of $162,000 by December 31, 2020, we need to get to $54,000 by the end of this year. As of this morning, we have raised $35,372 in gifts and pledges.





 
BARCLAY
PRESS

211 N. Meridian St. #101
Newberg, OR 97132
503.538.9775


www.barclaypress.com

Seeds of Hope
Copyright © 2018 Barclay Press, All rights reserved.


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