By: Herb Bailey
One of the wonderful things about doing a thankless job is that it keeps a person
humble. When it gets discovered, somehow the person is seen as doing something
extraordinary, and people gather around and celebrate. The danger for me is that I
can believe that, somehow, I manufactured the results. I can begin to believe the
hype that I am super special, or more special than someone else. The truth is, I am a
man under authority, with authority.
It is amazing how quickly things get balanced out. Two days after the news story WTAE did on the cafe was replayed a second time, my service was suspended on my phone, as if it were reported stolen. The thing is, I never reported it as stolen. It took them two days to rectify the situation. In the meantime, they kept turning my service on with the promise that it would stay on. Only it didn’t. Multiple calls and even a visit to the
store later, and it looks like the service is now truly restored.
We talk about A+ versus A- and realize that when we have a normal expected
interaction, we don’t get excited and it goes unnoticed. When we have an amazing
interaction, we tell people about it, and when we have a less than normal
interaction, we also tell others about it. Apparently someone was treated well by our
team and the news got wind of it. I was treated with less than good service through
my cell phone carrier, and now you are hearing about it.
God does us better than we deserve. He gives us A+ service and we then get to tell
people about it. We share the Good News of God’s grace and mercy with everyone.
By: Nancy O'Leary
Over the past couple months I have been coming alongside a young woman who has needed help with transportation, as well as with some other matters in her life. She is a single mother with a young child who is trying to maneuver through some impossible situations, and she cannot possibly resolve them on her own. During our time together, not only have I had the opportunity to be a friend and to share my life and faith with her, but I also have had the privilege of just being present in her life as a person of faith.
This scenario reminds me of a time when I working in Washington, D.C. and I had an officemate with whom I shared my comings and goings. I was active in my local church and doing evangelism ministry at the time. Another time, I recall a different woman who was my officemate and she and I became close friends. Again, I briefly had conversations about my church life and faith with her.
The reason these stories are important is that both of my officemates, unbeknownst to me, started attending church. The first woman, to my complete surprise, came to work one day and asked me if I wanted to attend her baptism and confirmation. The second woman, who I am still friends with, is also now attending a local church in Florida. My point is this: we don’t need to be theologians. Our life may be the only Bible people may ever experience. Already, I am seeing that things are changing for this young woman and her child. We just need to be present by living and expressing Christ’s love in the world around us.
By: Maggie Dannenmueller
Hello friends! In the past three weeks I have found 9 four leaf clovers, and one five leaf clover. After realizing that maybe God was speaking to me, I decided to look into the ideas and origins of the four leaf clover beyond the “Kiss Me I’m Irish” and drinking green beer on St. Patrick’s Day. Early references that date back to Patricius, also known as Patrick, who is remembered as the saint that drove the snakes out of Ireland, used the shamrock (three leaf clover) to teach and explain the Trinity. There are petals each for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. It is said that when there is a fourth leaf found, it represents God's grace. The scientific odds of finding just one four leaf clover are 1 in 10,000. I found four on Monday alone.
It's no secret between myself and the Lord that I struggle with grace...not accepting it for myself, or sometimes not having grace for others, especially when I feel wronged. Knowing when enough grace is enough grace is really hard for me, and I’m afraid of too much grace to the point of it losing its meaning. But then I ask myself, "When is enough grace just enough grace coming from Him? When does He draw the line and say that’s enough?" And that’s the simple part...He doesn’t. Our sin is actually what qualifies us for grace. He doesn’t withhold that from us, and it’s not my job to withhold it from myself or from anyone else either. These little clovers are big reminders from Him. I’m comforted to know that he hears me, and that He's moving.
P.S. I am sitting at the picnic table in the garden at the café writing this, and I just found another one!
By: Marla Duncan
In 2013-2014, I was diagnosed with PTSD, depression and anxiety. I went through the worst mental health breakdown I've ever had, and God sent Dr. Ken Murray into my life. He kept it completely 100% at all times when I was living the way I was. At my worst, he was there to help correct things. When my medical insurance was done covering my visits, he started treating me free of charge. He even gave me his personal number in case of a crisis. There were times when he would pick up his phone at 3:30 in the morning just to pray with me.
Dr. Murray became a big brother to me. When he saw me at my worst, he suggested that I move back to PA with my boys...and that I did. He even paid for our trip in full! After moving back, I continued to call him and keep him updated on my improvement. In January 2014, he said that he had to let me go and asked me to send him a thank you card in the future, because he sees nothing but success and happiness to come. In a panic, I hung up the phone. But in March 2018 I found his business card when I was cleaning out some things, and I sent a thank you card to his office address. It returned to sender twice. So, I Googled his name and up came an article that he was in a car accident and died on impact July 26, 2014. Until this day, I still Google that story.
I THANK GOD for sending Doctor Murray to me and my family. Rest peacefully Dr. Ken Murray. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think of you. The moral of this post is that God will use an individual to help you in life, no matter if it's temporary or long-term. But it's up to you to accept it and embrace it, to thank him for doing that, and for loving you unconditionally. God will never leave you or forsake you, and that is why I thank him every day for the things that he's done for me, and for what he's brought me through.
Uncommon Grounds Cafe