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  • Shawn Thornton

A Kindness that Refreshes Others

Updated: Oct 18, 2021

Sunday - October 17th

Scripture to Read Today: Philemon 1:4-7


Your love has given me much joy and comfort, my brother, for your kindness has often refreshed the hearts of God's people.

Philemon 1:7

Most of us could tell of others, even if just one or two, who have refreshed us at the right time. God used them to pour into our hearts when our hearts needed filling. They prayed over us when we felt we could not pray. Over the years of my growing up in Northern Indiana, several adults impacted my life for Christ. Some of them have had a lasting influence - even though I have not seen them for three or four decades.

Jim and Janet McAttee was one such couple. Mr. and Mrs. McAttee served as lay leaders in a ministry called Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). After years of serving in that lay capacity, they became Saint Joseph County's CEF Directors. Over the years of my childhood, both had a tremendous influence on my life. My mother led me to faith in Christ after a teaching Mrs. McAttee shared with children at Christmas time. Mr. McAttee taught me to teach children Bible lessons when I was a teenager. This dear couple loved the Lord. There was nothing pretentious about them. So many kids saw Christ in and through them!

When I was writing my 2016 memoir, All But Normal: Life on Victory Road, I sought to find the McAttees. But, unfortunately, they had moved from Northern Indiana to Southern Indiana right after I graduated from high school. As a result, I had not seen them in over 30 years. My search for them was unsuccessful.

Then, two years ago, Mrs. McAttee's son, Jim, reached out to me on her behalf. He said his mom had been given my book recently by a lady in their church. She happened to read about his mom and dad in it.

When Janet McAttee and I talked by phone, I learned her husband had gone to be with Jesus eight years earlier. She and I chatted about folks we knew in common. Then, she surprised me by telling me that she had prayed for me every day over all these years. She indicated she had prayed daily for me, my brother, and all of the young people she and her husband influenced for Christ.

Mrs. McAttee and I have chatted several times since we reconnected a couple of years ago. She asks me how she can pray. God used her to refresh me years ago as a child, and now decades later, He has again chosen to use her to refresh my life.

Who is a Janet McAttee in your life? In whose life are you a refreshing voice?

God blesses us with folks who refresh our hearts AND He calls us to refresh the hearts of others!


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