Tag Archives: Grace

Podcast 23: Greg Hoyte-Immigration, Violence and Grace: An American Story

I am so honored to post this podcast! Listen in as Greg Hoyte shares his story with us.  (Greg is next to his sister in the above picture.)

You will be fascinated by Greg’s story. He shares his journey from his childhood in Guyana, South America to Brooklyn, New York. He moved to New York when he was 14 years old after his parents worked in the US for years to earn enough money for the kids to join them. Initially excited and feeling like a dream came true, he found himself caught up in the violence of the Brooklyn streets as a teenager, filled with fear and rage and thinking there was no way out. But God showed up and provided a way. Looking back Greg can see that God never left him. This is a story of family, immigration, violence, fear, grace and hope. This is an American story.

As he talked, I just sat listening, fascinated.  He “puts skin on” so many things we talk about today – immigration, violence, public education in American cities, gangs, family, friendship, God, faith, race, respect, discipline, the American dream, fear, hope.

Greg lives in Wisconsin now with his beautiful wife Amy and their three amazing kids.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.  -Psalm 23:4

 

 

 

Podcast 21: Hope and Healing After Pornography Addiction – Tina Harris shares her story

 

It’s not easy to share our most personal, difficult struggles.  But that’s exactly what Tina Harris does here on the podcast.  She opens up about her marriage and her husband’s addiction to pornography.  Their story is one of faith and courage and hope and healing.  She shares her story at women’s conferences and has written a book, “Peace Beyond the Tears: Hope after Sexual Betrayal”. You can order her book at http://tinarharris.weebly.com.

Tina is a fierce friend and dedicated prayer warrior.  She is the mother of 6 beautiful daughters and has been married to her husband for 25 years! She is a Certified Christian Counselor and a Master Level Certified Yoga Therapist.

While this is not an easy topic, Tina hopes by sharing her story, other women will know they are not alone. We are so grateful to her for her willingness to share and to her husband for encouraging her to do so.  God is the God of restoration and healing and we get to witness His power and grace through their story!

Tina’s favorite Scripture is Psalm 30:11 “You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy.”

If you have struggled in this area or you know someone who has, please encourage them to listen in.  If not, we hope that this conversation will give you insight and understanding for those who are affected by pornography addiction.

Please pray for Tina as she and two daughters head out on March 4th for a mission trip in the Dominican Republic.  You can find more information on her website listed above.

 

Stay.

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Ok just finished a book all in one day. The beginning few chapters were hilarious! About halfway through I realized I don’t have much in common at all with this writer.  I was intrigued at times and sometimes  bored.  Many of our beliefs differ. I found her shrill at times which is the title of the book so, duh. But she kept me laughing. Interspersed with very serious topics, her humor reared its head and I remembered that we have that in common. Funny breaks down barriers. I stuck with it and learned some things.

Three chapters in I posted a picture of her book on my Instagram page and I tagged her. I was giddy with excitement about a book that had me snorting and cry/laughing/cackling. Then I imagined her seeing the tag and reading my post. She doesn’t believe in God and I have this image of her looking at my page, rolling her eyes and dismissing me. I know I shouldn’t assume but let’s be honest, I almost did the same to her.

I realize that I have in the past turned off shows or stopped reading books or dismissed whole entire people because I can’t relate or I don’t agree. But then nothing changes. I think a lot of us are doing this. Sitting in our corner with our fists raised and our mouthpiece in. It’s people on both sides of every issue. We are getting advice from the people on our “team”,  whispering in our ear and pumping us up for the next round in the boxing ring. Gross. I don’t want to participate in that.

I have a new vision of the ring. Two women in the middle.  They’ve never met before.  Let’s say it’s me and you. Sitting on the ground. Truth telling. Without censor. Laughing and sharing stories. Listening. Witnessing. Seeing each other. Allowing disagreements and different points of view to just sit there and hold space. Safe. Not needing to be fixed or changed. Just hanging out there with us among the laughing and the tears and the awkward silences. All the history and experience and suffering and joy. All of the stories of love and loss. The challenges and choices and education and mistakes and spirituality and baggage and fears and wisdom just swirling there around us grounding us in truth. Because it’s all true.

My story is no less true than yours and your opinion is no less weighty than mine. Neither of us is disqualified.

I will keep listening. Even when I want to run and hide in my corner with my people because it feels safer there. Even if your words shock me or my stories make you cry. Even when you are uncomfortable and want to run or I am judgmental and tempted to give advice. Let’s not.

I picture us making it through all the rounds. No knock out attempt. Just two women holding each other’s arms up in the end. Endurance athletes.

Fighters.

Warriors.

Champions.

©2016 Sue Bidstrup, Great Big Yes™ All Rights Reserved