Tag Archives: Personal Accounts

  • The request

    It was my first Christmas in Taipei, Taiwan, when I heard the Christmas classic “Silent Night” sung in Chinese for the first time. It made a special impression, and I remember thinking that I had to learn the words. The first line was fairly easy—after all, half of it is the song title—but beyond that […]

  • Alone at Christmas?

    Over the years, Christmas has taken on different meanings for me. When I was a young child, it meant a special family holiday, the Christmas story at Sunday school, walking home in the snow, a brown paper bag with a big Jaffa orange, whole walnuts to crack, and a new book to read. After receiving […]

  • The right price

    I grew up in Communist Romania, where there was a state ban on religion, so “finding Christmas” wasn’t easy. “Don’t use the word ‘Christmas’ at school or with people you don’t know,” I remember being told when I turned school age. We used the word at home because some members of my extended family were […]

  • Simple joys

    I was thinking about my mom on her birthday, and realized that there was something very special about my childhood—the times we spent together. More specifically, I was thinking about the Christmases when I was small. The thing that made each memory special wasn’t the number or value of the gifts we received or the […]

  • Do for one

    Sometimes I feel paralyzed by all the suffering in the world. There’s simply no way I could make a dent in all the hunger, sickness, poverty, depression, oppression, loneliness, and death. When you look at the brokenness in its entirety, all you see is desolation. But I have come to understand how that point of […]

  • Where Jesus lives 

    “Who lives in a stable?” “Jesus lives in the stable!” At first I laughed at that answer my four-year-old sister gave during my impromptu lesson on animals and their habitats. But her answer kept coming back to me. Jesus lives in the stable. Was that the only place she saw Jesus come alive for me? […]

  • A positive praise post

    I was inspired the other day when I read some personal accounts on a friend’s blog on the subject of praising God for His goodness in spite of daily problems and annoyances. Generally, I’m a thankful person. I post inspirational stories on my blog or send them to friends and family by email to share […]

  • The gratitude journal

    I can´t remember how to spell that word! How do I express this idea correctly? I can’t seem to get my thoughts onto the paper! I was seeing how rusty my writing was. I hadn’t had much opportunity to order my thoughts into written paragraphs since my school days, and I was facing the obviously […]

  • Ephemeral beauty

    A friend of mine mentioned how he often feels melancholy after experiencing something beautiful. I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. It wasn’t until I started to recall my feelings at the end of a magnificent sunset, a fantastic day, or a moving performance that I realized how often I feel the same. Strange, […]

  • Do i have to?

    Occasionally I teach a Bible class at Sunday school for three- to five-year-olds. The group is very small, sometimes only four or five children. One of the girls, a frequent visitor, is very smart, outspoken, and strong-willed. On one recent occasion, she was refusing to come to class because her hair was messy, but she […]

  • The eyes of gratitude

    As a child, I had a lazy eye and blurred vision, which made it necessary for me to wear glasses from the time I was seven years old. In order to keep my myopia from worsening, I had strict limits on my reading—no reading at night, and any reading only allowed when sitting at a […]

  • The joyful heart

    As followers of Jesus, “grateful” should be our default setting when we consider that Jesus died to redeem us from an eternity of being separated from God. This should put a spring in our step and cause all the not-so-great stuff to bounce off as irrelevant. But I tend to succumb to less-than-grateful reactions, because, […]