Friday, March 23, 2012

AN ANNIVERSARY REFLECTION

"Now a woman, having an issue of blood for twelve years, who had spent all her livelihood on physicians and could not be healed by any, came from behind and touched the border of His garment. And immediately her flow of blood stopped." (Luke 8:43-44)

Last Sunday our Lead Pastor, Rev. David Kalas, began his sermon this way: "We don’t know her name, we only know her condition.  So that is how we identify her; that is how we refer to her.  She is 'the woman with the issue of blood.'  When we think of the notable people in Scripture – the great heroes of faith – we don’t think of her.  But we should.  We think of Daniel and David; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; Abraham, Mary, Joshua, and more.  And rightly so.  But we do not think of her.  Perhaps because we do not know her by name; we only know her by malady.  She is 'the woman with the issue of blood.'  But here, in this small part of the Body of Christ, I’d like for us to change her identity.  We still don’t know her name, but we can call her something else.  Call her 'the woman of remarkable perseverance.'  Call her 'the woman with unsinkable hope.'  Call her 'the woman of uncommon faith.'  Call her 'the woman who touched Jesus,' for that is what makes her so important and so exemplary for us today."

It got me thinking about our son, Dustin, who died March 29, 1998, and in whose memory SOUND BITES is sent out each day. Dustin could have been known as "the boy who had seizures," or "the boy who could not talk or walk," or "the boy who died at the age of 16 from a brain tumor." But I would like us to change his identify, as Pastor David suggested. Call him "the boy with the big smile." Call him "the boy who fought valiantly," which is what his name means. Call him "the boy who was loved by many." Call him "the boy who inspired this SOUND BITES Ministry."

This coming week marks the 13th anniversary of SOUND BITES. I will be out of the office all week, but would love to hear how God has used SOUND BITES to minister to you, or how you have used it to minister to others.

Simply post your comment here, or e-mail SOUND BITES Ministry™.


-- Rev. Dave Wilkinson, SOUND BITES Ministry, First United Methodist Church, Green Bay, WI


#2957

39 comments:

  1. I have used Sound Bites for myself as I have gone through times of stress, there always seems to be something that 'fits' to help me see my way more clearly. I also run a support group for recovering addicts and print a weekly bulletin for them and have used some of the sound bites in the bulletins when they went along with the weekly lesson being taught.

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  2. Thanks. Even we Presbyterians benefit from Sound Bites. Methodist Bishop Will Willimon is a friend of mine. So I know there is some stirring going on in the Methodist Church, but all mainline churches need a healthy dose of stirring and some thoughts to chew on. Keep it up.

    John F. Rhem, Texas

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  3. As a retired pastor, yet still serving as an Interim in a local church, I just wanted to thank you for your ability to touch so many lives with SOUND BITES. I look forward to them each day and appreciate the effort you make in providing such worthy thoughts for us “to chew on”. Realizing how this all came about is a touching story and appreciated by all of us. Thanks again and keep on keeping on, we need to read and think on what you share. A worth while legacy for a loved son! God bless.

    Pastor Ralph Holt

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  4. I remember some about the time during which Dustin lived in Green Bay. I remember noticing him at church and noticing how your family loved him. Part of your love showed in the dignity with which you regarded him. You treated him with more dignity than a lot of the rest of us gave our children. I call Dustin "the boy who had dignity".

    - Anne Culver

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  5. God bless you and your family....what a lovely, heart-touching story. I read Sound Bites every day and is so uplifting...praise God!!

    Judy Ignac

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  6. Very nice thoughts today, Dave....
    Mary Jo Albrecht

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  7. I read this at work every day as my morning devotional. I appreciate the stories, the words and the inspirational messages that come to me as a start of each day. Thank you in remembrance of your son for reaching out to so many people with your daily messages.

    Debbie Castillo

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  8. No dramatic story to share, but sound bites has become a good part of both my wife's day and mine. We find ourselves often discussing the quote/thought of the day. As a preacher, I'm constantly seeking to "feed." It's nice to be fed through your ministry. Thank you for it. You honor your son's memory well.

    Grace/Peace,

    Dr. Jason D. Danuser
    Pastor, Creekside UMC
    Cumming, GA

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  9. Blessing,

    I must admit your sound bites has given me strength when I didn't think I could go on. Sometimes, I don't understand them but the majority of the time the words come right in the mist of my storm and it seem to calm me right down to the level of listen to God speak through your encouraging words unto me.

    Blessing,

    Michelle S.

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  10. Your anniversary reflection is very touching. Thank you for your ministry of Sound Bites - it is a wonderful legacy in your son’s honor. God bless you and your family as you mark the anniversary of your beloved son’s death.

    Valerie VanderMeuse

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  11. I always begin my day with Soundbites as they arrive. Each Sunday my bulletin offers a reflective moment from one of your sharings.
    Thanks for many years of blessings

    - Ed Mead ,pastor of Hayden UMC, Hayden, IN

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  12. Pastor Dave,

    Praise be to God for this wonderful ministry! It has been an important part of my daily life for about 5 years now. Quite often a particular piece speaks directly to me or fits the situation of a friend or loved one and I gratefully pass it along.

    Thank you!

    Charlie Higgs

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  13. I remember seeing Dustin in church with all of you, his family, and he always seemed to have such a happy spirit and all of you including your other children, had such loving, gentleness, and patience with him. It was always a joy to watch the love all of your family had for him and each other. Now your words through the memory of Dustin touch my life every day, and often times they are just the words that I need to hear on that particular day!

    Thank you so much for the thought and time you put in to this ministry. In memory of Dustin, so many others have been helped and encouraged each day, me being one of them.

    God bless,
    Jeanne Wright-Brusky, Green Bay

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  14. It has been so much joy and inspiration to read each of your Bites I used sound bites as my daily meditation to start or get my day on track.
    Thank you very much.

    Donald Lynch, Jr.

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  15. Thank you for your wonderful lSound Bites! I use it often as examples in my Sunday School Lessons!

    ~Jo Glyn Hunt, Crawford St. U.M C., Vicksburg,MS

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  16. Thank you for "Sound Bites." I look forward to the Sound Bites e-mails and do share pieces with friends and congregation whenever there is an opportunity. I have promoted it when I served as AC Chair. I do the monthly newsletter and refer to it whenever there is a proper occasion so it does get promoted within my peer group. Thank you for this ministry and the living memorial of your son that you share with we readers. God bless.

    Joy Uthoff

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  17. Dustin's story could also be called "The Parents of Dustin" like "The Widow of Naim," reflecting all the love and support the two of you gave Dustin, and the healing strength you received through Jesus Christ. God bless Dustin forever and bless you richly in your ministries.

    "Sound Bites" often touches my heart or my mind like an inspirational jolt. It brings the Lord immediately to mind where I offer a prayer of Thanks to God. Now and then I share it with someone somehow, either in person, in a talk or an email. I believe it's like offering a sip of precious water to a thirsty or tired wayfarer on our journey through life, like the song "Little Things Mean A Lot."

    Thank you for offering that spiritual sip. Like the Buddhist monk who sat by a river ford for years with a little tin cup offering a drink of water to those who passed by, and on his deathbed told his fellow monks he hoped that sip enabled people to see past the tin cup to the grandeur of the river flowing by, may we see the loving God in your daily, wonderful "Sound Bites." God bless you, your family, and your ministries.

    Chaplain Mike Murphy, Green Bay

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  18. Yes, Pastor Wilkinson. Congratulations! I wish I had known your entire family at the time. "Sound Bites" was introduced to me nearly at the begining--somewhere I have a photo of the 2 of you from the Press Gazette. Please hug each other the suggested 4 times each day! You are a gift from our MAKER! hAVE A GREAT HOLIDAY--THEN HURRY BACK! In HIS CARE.
    Esther Nohr. Green Bay

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  19. I've always believed God calls us by name, and certainly God would never identify us by our weaknesses, but by our strengths. Sounds Bites often inspires me, and I share it many times. This particular one, though, I'm hoping stays with me for a long time, so that when I'm tempted to call someone "that idiot who cut me off," or "that nutcase that doesn't share my political view," that I am reminded that is not what God would call them.

    Thanks to you for this beautiful ministry and memorial to your remarkable son, Dustin.

    Nancy Kohrman, Green Bay

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  20. Sound Bites has been a true blessing for me! A true inspiration of God's love and guidance.
    We have a disabled adult son (32) who has a God given will that is unbelievable. He strives to live independantly on his own with two strokes behind him. One at birth, a seizure disorder and Cerbral Palsy. He works hard at his job (Arc thrift store) even though he cannot read or write past kindergarten level. He's extremely hopeful to be married someday with a partner that loves him as he is. His faith grows in God each day. A tremendous encouragement to others.

    So you see why I have loved hearing about the memory of your son Dustin. What a beautiful gift to us from Sound Bites. Heaven will be a Happy Reunion....... God Bless you.


    LARRY and SHARON MUIRHEAD

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  21. I lost my sister around the same time Dustin passed. She was in a coma for almost 8 weeks on a respirator before we made the gut wrenching decision to let the Lord heal her. Her smile was beautiful...fortunately my son has her beautiful smile.... I have subscribed to this ministry for almost 13 years. It helped me thru that hard time and many since. Thank you.

    Dina Branch

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  22. Your sound bits ,are indeed more than fuel to run our daily soul engines ,the message recharges our battery's and give us the KEY- to the vehicle of JESUS, that gives our soul HIS map on our journey! Special PPP upon Rev. Dave at this very moment!

    a Prayer Power Player, on GOD's Knee Team, 3x5mins. per week, in prayer on knees, and 5 mins. before sleep, every night!

    brother bob of Wesley UMC of Whitmore Lake
    p.s. also the church drummer

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  23. I used Soundbites to keep my 3 daughter connected to their faith while attending college knowing they would not be close enough to attend a church of faith that they were brought up in and that many activities in college would pull at their time and attention to make time for their faith.

    I use Soundbites to share and strengthen my book study members who wish to begin their day by reading a positive message each morning.

    I use Soundbites to enrich my morning devotional time each day. I enjoy hearing God's word through this message daily.

    Barb Wagner, Wisconsin

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  24. I have always enjoyed the Sound Bite messages.

    It’s a nice reminder of the word, during my day at work.

    What an awesome tribute to your son. One that keeps giving.



    Thank you,

    Ross Bilodeau, Green Bay

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  25. Have certainly enjoyed Sound Bites for past year. Lost my wife after 50 years of marriage due to cancer. But your ministry has been a great companion in your sharing Sound Bites. Always seems to fit my needs. May God continue to bless your ministry in this and other areas. Death of a close loved one is something you may never get over but with God’s help you can get through it. Thankful our loved ones now have a new strong Spiritual body.

    Hugh L. Green

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  26. THANKS Dave, for your insights today and everyday:) We love SOUND BITES and we love that you have honored Dustin with these encouragements for 13 years. He is the boy with the big smile, and the boy who fought valiantly and the boy who was loved by many for sure. He touched sooo many lives and continues to through your SOUNGD BITES Ministry.

    Barb and Tom Hoffner, Wisconsin

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  27. The boy who shall remain a joyful noise in our hearts forever.

    Lauren Lanphear, Ohio

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  28. Lauren's one line sums it up perfectly.
    Thanks <3

    dale, Hagerstown, MD

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  29. Dave, I also look forward to your SB's at work each day. I can't tell you how often they were just the message I needed, or how often they spoke directly to an issue that a loved one was facing. Thank you so much for your faithful ministry.

    Judy Patefield, FUMC Green Bay

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  30. Best Sound Bites yet! And I love SB! I've used it in so many ways to minister to others, just to share with family and friends, (sometimes on Facebook), and as part of my sharing as an advanced lay speaker. I always give credit, but I wonder, how on Earth do you know that was needed right now!

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    1. I don't know, but the Spirit does. Thanks for sharing. If you'd share your name and what state you're in, that would be even better.

      Thanks!

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  31. A family member introduced me to Sound Bites and it has been a real blessing for a number of years. Thank you so much!


    Blessings,

    Nancy-Lou Hunt, Michigan

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  32. Dear Rev. Wilkinson,

    The ministry you have chosen as a tribute to Dustin has been wonderful and inspirational. Although I consider myself to be a faithful servant, I have used the guidance from Sound Bites to enhance my own spiritual journey, as well as sharing Sound Bites with my college-age students and family. Most remarkable is my most recent experiences of Faith which I must share with you. You did ask for comments.

    At the beginning of 2012, I started a personal journal to document the year’s experiences. Included in my notebook are the gratitude pages, prayers for others, projects, gifts, goals, other miscellaneous pages, and a section for inspiration and phrases. When Sound Bites featured the first entry about BOLD PRAYERS—Mark Batterson "The Circle Maker", I pasted the segment into my journal, but there was something that kept telling me to seek more. I happened to be searching something else on the internet within the same week and was lead to "The Circle Maker" yet again. I mentioned this to Laura, my co-worker and sister-in-Christ, that I should get this book, since God was telling me I needed it. A few days beyond my birthday on January 29th, Laura had the book, "The Circle Maker" for me. She had it ordered but it did not arrive in time for my birthday, but instead she had it for me on January 31st. Without it being planned, this gift was the 31st gratitude I had on my journal list for the 31st day of the month. To make the story more intriguing, Laura’s church had given out the first three chapters of "The Circle Maker" as a mini book version just the prior Sunday. Not only was it time to start circling, but it was time to start praising.

    Here’s where things get interesting. I really started to “circle” with my prayers and gratitude. One thing I decide to create was an illustrated Discovery Circle. I had been collecting words, phrases, and pictures from magazines since last year to make a collage. Now I was inspired to create this on a large tag-board circle. In this end, it is all about who I am, who and what is important to me, and what I have as goals and dreams. But there’s more, I photographed my circle to have on my desk at work and in my journal to help me pray.

    It’s not done yet. One of my prayers has been for God’s Will to help guide my husband in finding a job, since he’s been out of work for almost 5 years. I even wrote a specific prayer in my journal inside a circle for Joe. On March 19, a patient chatting on the phone with me said I should pray to the Saints to help my husband with finding a job. We’re not Catholic, but I was aware that this message seemed important, so I looked up the Saint for jobs and work. The Saint for jobs and taking care of the family is Saint Joseph (who my husband was named for, having been born into a Catholic family), I read the prayer for finding a job, and scrolled down to discover that March 19 is Saint Joseph’s Feast Day. Got goosebumps yet? On this very same evening, Joe got his first call in several years to work part-time for a fellow who took over Joe’s previous employer’s product. Meanwhile, since God does things in a big way, Joe also has an interview for a full-time job within the next couple of weeks. I can only take this to mean that God is providing abundantly and giving choices besides. Just amazing!! Does this remind anyone of quail?

    I am truly blessed and filled with gratitude daily. However, this part of the story actually started with a simple Sound Bites message for which I am grateful. Thank you for these words and may the God truly bless you until the day when our Lord and Dustin can welcome you home.

    Kim

    Green Bay, WI

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  33. Rev. Dave Wilkinson,

    First and foremost, may I extend my deepest sympathies for your son Dustin. Our Father has used Dustin's death, and you, to minister and uplift His Children. I thank you for all the work you do to send out Sound Bites every day. It is a blessing to me and is just amazing when the Father gives you just the right words to give me, at just the right time. God's word does not go out void, and your obedience is a gift and a blessing to so many of us out here working hard in everyday life. Sound Bites is a breath of fresh air and I look forward to chewing on the Word of God every chance I can.
    Blessings Multiplied to you and your family,

    Sheri

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  34. I find each of these inspiring and look forward reading and contemplating. Many times the theme/message hits close to home and is so timely that it makes me wonder if you've been reading my mind or listening in on my prayers.
    Keep up the good work!

    Barb Terry

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  35. Dear Rev. Wilkinson,

    Thank you for the daily thought to chew on. I read them most days and they help me keep God in the forefront of my mind.

    Peace to you,
    Curt Campbell, Ohio

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  36. Dear Rev. Wilkinson,

    God's strength & HOPE to you and your family on the 14th anniversary of the death of your son, Dustin. May Jesus' love continue to be your ROCK & refuge. Thank you again for your ministry of SOUND BITES.

    Lenten PEACE,

    Pastor Lori Swenson, Green Bay

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  37. SOUND BITES is my "reality check" for the day. It is far too easy to start feeling sorry of ourselves--begin living in a "me-centered" world. Then I open SOUND BITES and see that it is not about me at all. It is about God--His creation, His plan for me. Jesus came as a servant and welcomed all who came to him. I, too, must be a servant of God--welcoming all, embracing each day as a gift from God as I await the day that I can go to live with Him in Heaven.

    Jeanette, Wausaukee, Wisconsin (Roman Catholic)

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  38. I am sorry for this late note, but I do think its important that you know how your Blessed Boy impacts as on a complete stranger (me) through these daily quotes. I want to thank you, because I look forward these quotes every day. I feel that the Holy Spirit uses the subject to speak with me, on whatever I am going through. I share them with other friends, and they thank me for sharing it and often hear that they really needed to hear those lines today.

    My favorite is the "BOLD PRAYERS" (among many many others). Your perceptive is admirable, and I thank you and your Boy in heaven for sharing God's love to others.

    God Bless,
    Samar Sleiman from NYC.

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