Winnis Chiang Newsletter
  Personal Note from Winnis
  Feature Article - What Are You Grateful For?
November 26, 2013
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Have you ever taken things or people for granted?

I have! Sometimes I lose perspective and let circumstances, things, and people drag me down.

Thankfully, when I am down, reciting memory verses or singing praises and hymns often turn me around and the Word of God reconnects me to my Lord and my God. One of my favorite Chinese praise songs, Bless the Lord, O my soul, has lyrics quoted from Scripture.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: Who forgives all your iniquities, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from destruction, who crowns you with loving kindness and tender mercies, who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. The Lord executes righteousness and justice for all who are oppressed" (Psalm 103:1-6)

Last week, the mother of a dear friend passed away after suffering prolonged illnesses. When my friend shared sweet mother-daughter moments in spite of the messiness of things, I was deeply touched. I was amazed that my friend's elderly mother wished to donate her body to Stanford Hospital and her daughter honored her request. They have shown me how to trust in the Lord with freedom to live and die in Christ. Having an eternal perspective is so important!

I am so grateful for James, our extended families and church families, and friends. I am grateful for the recent baptism of four young people and the upcoming baptism of my sister's husband in December.

Maybe you are feeling down because this year did not go according to your plan. Let me know and I will pray for you. Life on earth is unpredictable but we can hold onto God's promises, such as, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

My life verse was written on a custom-made ceramic plate given to me in 2004 by young couples and parents in the English Ministry of our first church. That plate always sits in my living room to remind me of God's plans. Thank God for everyone who has been part of my journey through life and ministry. I hope the feature article, What Are You Grateful For? may help you identify at least one thing you are thankful for this year!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Featured Article
What Are You Grateful For?

"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever." (Psalm 136:1) Indeed, we're thankful for our health, our safety, our loved ones. But what else? What do we take for granted? What moves us? What would fill our hearts daily if we would just notice it?

1. The senses. Sight, sound, touch, smell and taste -- daily miracles each of them.

2. The plant world. From the productivity of a late-summer tomato plant to the delicate unfurling of a fern, nature's exuberance and tenderness is something to behold.

3. Opportunity. Our steady companion, opportunity is always ready to take us down a path yet unknown. (Hint: We have to say "Yes!")

4. Beauty. What do your eyes feast on? What splendor makes your soul rejoice? It is all around us every day. How often do you stop to drink it in?

5. The ability to learn. There is no age limit on learning -- period. When we stop learning, we really stop living.

6. Young children. They model for us innocence, faith, resilience, playfulness and unconditional love.

7. Music. What inspires you, lifts your mood? Rock & roll, African drumming, violin concertos, Turkish ud, gospel? A nightingale?

8. The ability to give. Every act of love benefits the giver as much as the receiver.

9. Color. Sunsets, Gauguin paintings, green peppers, blue sky, purple. Imagine a world without color.

10. Change. It's unavoidable; the only constant. Change can be unsettling or challenging. But the mystery of it and what lies beyond it can keep us young at heart.

Does this seemingly random list stir up some feelings in you? Can you think of other things that you are grateful for? Please write and let me know. Thanks for sharing!

Author's content used with permission, © Claire Communications

Winnis Chiang Winnis Chiang is Founder and CEO of Parenting ABC, a company dedicated to teaching and coaching Chinese Christian parents from around the world how to make a difference in the lives of children, youth, and young adults. Her passion is fueled by the new life she received when she found Christ in 1989 after her marriage and parenting were no longer working. She specializes in helping Mandarin and Cantonese speaking parents to get along with, enjoy, and influence their American Born Chinese children.

Winnis is also a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in California. She holds a M.A. degree in Marriage, Family and Child Counseling from Western Seminary and a B.Sc. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from U.C. Berkeley. Her former careers include being a software engineer, development department manager, stay-at-home mom, counselor of kids and teens at public schools, and children's minister.

Winnis and her husband (now a pastor) have been married since 1975 after only three months of dating. They enjoy their son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren!

Winnis Chiang, M.A., LMFT


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