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From: Rachel B (CA)

“I have been attending Shepherd’s Grove for several months. In the last several weeks I’ve noted ‘My Story’ in the weekly Church Bulletin, has the Hour of Power changed your life? Though the Crystal Cathedral was never my church home, the ministry has a significant impact in our lives and family members as well. My 91 year old sister, Florence Blakeley was an employee at the Cathedral and Hour of Power for many years in the late 70’s and 1980’s. In April of 1981 at age 45, married and the mother of 3 grown up sons, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Within 4 days I underwent major surgery, subsequently treated with radiation and a year’s chemotherapy. Obviously our lives changed dramatically and a threatening journey began. My husband, at the time, was a newly Licensed minister and Chaplain at the hospital where I received treatment. My ‘Hour of Power’ story happened just a few weeks after surgery. We were living in Hacienda Heights at the time and memories of that day are still powerful. On a Sunday morning I entered our family room, turned on the television and sitting in a comfy yellow arm chair, the Hour of Power came on the screen. Your grandfather’s face appeared and the cameras were also scanning the audience. Curiously I noticed many people sitting in wheelchairs at the front. I felt as though Dr. Schuller was looking directly at me and his first words were ‘Turn your Scars into Stars’. I turned a corner and to this day those words, when spoken, have powerful meaning. I chose to share my journey. When the year of treatment was completed and strength regained I was given the opportunity to co-lead a support group, Living With Cancer, at the church I attended and that tenure lasted 10 years. I continue to share, experiences gratitude and joy. The past 36 years my career was assisting wonderful people in the selling and purchasing of their homes, listening to their stories and sharing my faith and story. My husband, Chaplain Robert Bird, died in July of 2010. He served in several hospitals since 1980 in many different capacities, retiring in 2001 from St. Joseph in Orange, his last assignment. I live in Yorba Linda, about a 20 minute drive to Shepherd’s Grove. I am being nourished weekly, worshiping in a congregational singing and prayer. The powerful Choral messages along with the moving organ and orchestral music provide care for my heart and soul. I appreciate the youthful and dedicated spirit you and your staff, Chad Blake and Russ Jacobson embody. Thank you for your scholarly dedication to scripture and truth. The bottom line is I am blessed and challenged by your candidness and ability to provoke your congregation to be real in this current world in which we live. May God continue to bless and strengthen you in your ministry here. Your story and that of your extended family is amazing and blesses me. The powerful word ‘Redemption’ covers us all in our broken uniqueness. He came to do just that – redeem us!” 

Rachel B