19 June, 2024

In Search of—Me

by | 16 October, 2023 | 0 comments

By Doug Redford 

Some time ago a newspaper carried an article entitled “Thrift Store Sleuth.” The article featured an employee with St. Vincent de Paul in a town east of Cincinnati. St. Vincent de Paul is a benevolent organization of the Catholic Church that provides, among other services, a series of thrift shops in locations around the world. People donate clothing and other goods to the shops, which then sell them at reduced prices. The money raised is used to help people in need. 

The employee, according to the article, began to take notice of boxes of pictures that people placed in the collection bin at the store. She took it upon herself (with the permission of her boss) to try to use Facebook to reunite the pictures with family members. The Facebook page called “Accidentally Donated” grew to more than 300 members helping this employee with her search. In some cases, the responses of family members who learned of the pictures of loved ones have been quite emotional. 

In one case a granddaughter recognized a picture of her grandparents after about a five-month search. “To me, it’s just a matter of time,” said the employee. “So, it’s just not an option, I guess, to give up.” 

This search to reunite pictures with their owners or relatives brings to mind God’s efforts to reunite lost humanity with himself, their Creator. We learn of this search, not on Facebook but in our “Faith-book,” the Bible. Jesus came on a search and rescue mission “to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10). He said that great emotion is displayed—rejoicing, in fact—when just one lost person comes home to the Father (Luke 15:10), as illustrated by the three parables found in Luke 15: one lost sheep, one lost coin, and one lost son.  

At Communion, each of us can and must take Jesus’ death personally. We can say with Paul that Jesus “loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20, emphasis added). He never gave up until he had accomplished the Father’s mission by giving up his spirit (Matthew 27:50) and giving his life for me. But along with that, each of us can and must recognize that Jesus has passed his search and rescue mission to the church. It was never Jesus’ option to “give up,” nor should it be ours. 

Doug Redford has served in the preaching ministry, as an editor of adult Sunday school curriculum, and as a Bible college professor. Now retired, he continues to write and speak as opportunities come. 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Articles

Ministry Help Wanted

Recent postings: A director of campus ministry is needed at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign). Stillwater (Pa.) Christian Church is looking for both a lead pastor and a youth pastor. Lexington (Ohio) Church of Christ is seeking a full-time senior minister. Norwin Christian Church in North Huntingdon, Pa., needs a full-time worship minister. Lycoming Christian Church in Linden, Pa., is seeking a minister of children, youth, and young adults. Michigan City (Ind.) Christian Church needs a senior minister. And more . . .


By taking these symbols of Jesus’ body and blood, we announce we believe there really was a Jesus, and he really did die for us and carried all our sins down to a grave . . .

Documentary Highlights Christian Response to Pandemics

Southeast Christian Church’s “Purpose in Pandemics” is a documentary that follows the response of the church to pandemics throughout history. The “Purpose in Pandemics” website also includes a study guide for small groups and individuals.

Used of God

I soaked up Sam Stone’s wit and wisdom during our lunches together. Afterward, I’d take notes about our conversations. After hearing of his passing, inspired by his wordsmithing, I felt compelled to share just a small part of his story.

Sam E. Stone: ‘He Tried to Speak the Truth in Love’

In memory and appreciation of our former editor, Sam E. Stone, who died early this week, we share this 2011 column from Christian Standard’s archives in which Sam discussed four Scripture verses significant to his life.

Elliott Library ‘Cornerstone’ Laid

Three Bibles of historical significance to Cincinnati Christian University were the first books place on the shelves during relocation of the George Mark Elliott Library.

The Death of Evil

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. saw in minority groups’ struggles for social equality in America a parallel with Israel’s bondage in Egypt. King envisioned God’s goodness would deliver the U.S. from the evil of segregation.

Mark Scott’s Greatest Kingdom Impact

Since I first enrolled at Ozark Christian College, Mark Scott has been my kingdom hero, and I’m not the only young preacher Mark has shaped. Over his 35 years at OCC, Mark has inspired generations of students.

‘Have We Plans for 1921?’

“All the Standard asks is the opportunity to serve, and it yearns to render in 1921 the greatest, finest, and best service of its history. . . .”

News Briefs for Dec. 9

Items from Timber Lake Christian Church (Moberly, Mo.), Choateville Christian Church (Frankfort, Ky.), Johnson University, and more.

My Counsel for Young Preachers

If I were counseling an aspiring young preacher fresh out of Bible college or seminary, champing at the bit to lead in the church, I would offer these three bits of advice.

My Memories of Marshall Leggett

By Ben Merold
As I think about Marshall Leggett, who passed away on March 2 at age 90, two personal experiences keep coming to my mind . . .

Powell Quintuplets Graduating from High School

When the Powell quintuplets were born in 2001, all of Kentucky celebrated, including Southeast Christian Church, where the Powells are longtime members. Now the quints are 18 and are all headed to the same university.

Reentry: It May Be Harder Than We Think

When the COVID-19 crisis eases, I anticipate that reentry is going to be harder than some people think. Churches, especially, need to prepare for this.