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Summer 2009 | Volume 32, Number 2 | Features

The Good News in the Bad News

Rethinking the way we live our everyday lives.

If there is good news in today’s difficult times, it may be that this is an opportunity to rethink the way we live our everyday lives — and, in the process, to learn a new reliance on God.

Two Seattle Pacific University alumni and their families have taken this opportunity seriously. Presented with very different challenges, they are using their experiences to encourage others.

Perrow Family Contentment Redefined
One family's quest to live differently.
Jeff Keenan Changing the World in a Recession
With or without a job, can we make a difference?

Share Your Good News

What positive changes have you made during the recession?




Posted September 4, 2009, at 11:36 a.m.


I've been trying to help my 9-year-old daughter recognize how blessed we are. (Not easy when all around are messages of "Give me more, more, MORE!)


Lately, instead of going out for fast food one night a week, we take the $12 to a drugstore and buy those little soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc. samples. We're sending them to Operation Nightwatch once we fill the box.


She likes looking through the box to see how many people we may be helping, rather than eating and enjoying a taco -- only to be hungry again in a few hours. Much more lasting!



Nathan Johnson

Posted August 11, 2009, at 4:30 p.m.


Actually I am trying to find ways to give more. It is counter cultural in many ways but I think if everyone tried to give to others in need, the panic would be quieted a bit and maybe people would find more hope. I think that is the way the Kingdom of God works to counter balance the Kingdom of Mammon... it iseems to work better open handed not close fisted. I think things just work better that way.


Steve Herzog

Posted August 11, 2009, at 4:29 p.m.


Eat out less ,and therefore more nutritiously. Spend more time at home with family. Save more instead of spending on things I don't need. Learning to be grateful for all I have.



Posted July 31, 2009, at 9:52 a.m.


What's my good news? Well, my husband and I have been giving more -- and it's so awesome how God provides! One week we decided to not spend any money on food and give everything we saved to a charity for kids in sexual slavery. We didn't know if we would have to fast -- or what. The crazy thing is that we ate like royalty that week! God provided delicious free food everywhere we turned, and we donated $150 that week alone to the kids. Yay God!



Brittney Crandall

Posted July 31, 2009, at 9:39 a.m.


Since graduating from SPU, I have spent the last 4 years changing my lifestyle to be more environmentally conscious. For me, this means being aware of the foods I eat, where they come from, and maintaining nutritional value by eating foods that are not processed. I, also, became a vegetarian in the process. I learned at SPU to exemplify Christ's love and compassion by engaging the culture and changing the world, I felt this needed to be translated to animals. I felt that being a loving person meant no longer killing animals for dietary reasons. I have learned to love food in its simplest form.


In the past 2 years, I have become a runner, running 2 marathons and many other small races. Since the recession, I have used my race entry fees to either match the sponsoring charity for the event or not run that race and donate the entry fee to charity. Running events are always sponsored by a charity in order to raise money or knowledge about that particular charity. I find that since the recession, non and not-for-profit charities are struggling.


Another way we have made changes in our lives, we only go out on date nights one time a week. Instead we spend hours looking at cookbooks and making amazing home cooked meals. As a result, going out to dinner is a slight disappointment as we know we could make it better at home.


Finally, instead of getting a new-born kitten, we adopted a rescue kitty and supported a no-kill shelter. Not only are shelter overflowing with animals people can no longer take care, the older the animal are the less likely it will be adopted. While a pet has brought me love and comfort, I was able to get a lovable cat that its house broken and in need of a stable home. This recession has taught me to be thoughtful with my money and to value time spent with friends and family. My greatest memories are with friends and family members sharing a walk, a picnic in the park or a backyard BBQ. Changes are small but they slowly add up.



Sarah McMurray

Posted July 24, 2009, at 10:05 a.m.


Before the recession really started, I made the choice to leave my secure job in higher education at SPU and take on a year of service, simplicity and fighting poverty with AmeriCorps VISTA. I didn't expect that my year of poverty immersion would actually be similar to what many people around the world are facing financially.


This experience of learning the joy, hope and challenge of poverty in America has also given me the great opportunity to learn to trust God above all else. It's been an incredible year! When people think about recession, they tend to think of the struggle and challenge of hard economic times.


I'm choosing to use this time to embrace my creative side as an outlet for worship and hope. I've taken up painting, photography and writing about my community in a statewide travel blog (Travel Oregon) and helping to increase tourism by writing about all my favorite Oregon haunts! It may be a hard year financially, but my cup is full from a simple life of serving God and expressing who He is through many forms of art.



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