Gratitude Day 257

Sat., Apr. 20, 2019

Acts 1:14 – They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

I shared earlier in the week how sometimes, Hubby Rick and I go to a faith-based movie on Good Friday.

Well, we did it again!

I know it sounds weird. A movie on Good Friday? Mind you, we are not regular movie-goers. We pay to go to a movie theater like once or twice a year. It may be a whole another year before we sit in those nice, reclining seats again …

Friday morning, Rick asked what I wanted to do. Mentally, I had a long list of things on my to-do list. But when he asks this? It’s his key words for “how about a date?” Or “how about some time for just the two of us.”

Breakthrough movie pic

I grabbed the opportunity and suggested going to the movie “Breakthrough.” I found the trailer online and we watched it. Soon, I was checking possible local movie times. While we usually have gone to church first and then a movie, we were attending an evening worship service. So, we went to the movie in the afternoon instead.

Based on a true story, in January 2015, John Smith fell through the ice in a pond. He was underwater for about 15 minutes and then rushed to a hospital where doctors could not get a pulse. The attending ER doctor was ready to proclaim his time of death. John’s mother, Joyce, walked into the room where John was. She prayed and asked the Holy Spirit to come and be with her son. Before long, John had a pulse.

Break Through praying

He was transferred to another hospital. A doctor with expertise in dealing with people who have been submerged in water was frank with John’s parents and said he didn’t expect the 14-year-old boy to make it through the night.

Break Through in hospital

John did. Joyce loved her son through impossible odds. People prayed for John’s recovery. Miraculously, John walked out of the hospital just a few weeks after the accident and returned to normal teenager life.

It’s a story of love, faith and never giving up. It shows the dynamics of a pastor and a family from the church he serves. We see how difficult it is for people to journey through crisis. We watch a community surrounds the Smith family with prayer, love and support.

Break Through dr

The movie also tries to deal with the difficult question of, “Why?” Why does it seem that God heals some people and not others? How does God choose who is healed and who isn’t? The harsh reality of life not always being fair is part of the story line. If you are looking for an exact answer to this question, I’m sorry. You will be disappointed.

Sometimes, people say, “I prayed, and God didn’t answer my prayer. I’m done praying.” Yep, this has happened. To thousands of people. Yet, there are John Smith examples when the unimaginable happens.

When Jesus died on Good Friday, nobody ever expected to see him alive again. Yet, miraculously, on Sunday morning, the tomb was empty. All those times he told his disciples that he was going to die and come back to life and no one seemed to listen or hear? Jesus proved that he lives up to his words. What he said would happen actually did.

If you feel God has not answered a prayer that you really, really wanted answered, I am sorry. It’s not that your faith isn’t strong enough or deep enough. I can’t answer the “Why?” question either. What I can say? Prayer makes a difference. Prayer can change you. Prayer helps us accept help and not journey alone through difficult and challenging times.

Break Through family

If you are looking for a movie of hope, prayer and faith, then Breakthrough maybe a movie for you to see.

For gratefulness of stories of hope and love and prayer, I am grateful.

Tomorrow, we can witness a miracle. It’s a miracle that is sometimes hard to believe and imagine. Whether we fully understand or accept this miracle, may we know that you love us right where we are at. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Blessings –


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One Story

Gratitude Day 256

Fri., Apr. 19, 2019

John 19:30 – When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.


Can one story really change all of history?

I believe so.

Is it possible for one story to affect everything that happens after it?

Yes, it’s true.

We can read the story or watch the re-creation in a movie. We can hear the seven last statements Jesus says and try to understand who he is speaking to.

All noble, important and significant choices.


But unless we see this story as part of our story, we miss the point.

We gloss over the deep-seeded, never-ending love story.


I know. The details are difficult. The order doesn’t make sense. The timeframe gets blurry when reading all four accounts.

But it’s really this simple: either you believe this story changed history … or you don’t.


Either you see this story as a life-changing event in your story. Or not.

And when you see this story as an important part of your story, then you see the significance of today, Good Friday.

Was it really “good,” the day the Messiah died?

Only if we wait and see what happens on Sunday morning. If we stay stuck on Friday’s events, then it wasn’t really good at all. It was only awful.

For those who like hope, they wait. They keep silent. They anticipate. They know the story doesn’t end on Friday.

But they also know that Friday changes everything.


“It is finished.”

Thanks be to God.

For simple symbols that help us recall the events of Holy Week and Easter Sunday, I am grateful.

Lord God – sometimes, we don’t really want to look at what happened on that Friday about 2,000 years ago. We want to skip the parts of the story we don’t really like. May we see this story as part of our story. May we let the love found at the cross change how we view our lives. Amen.

Blessings –


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