Life dealt Norma Jean Hornsberger a hard punch.  A knockout. This dedicated Salvation Army staffer was thirty-two when doctors diagnosed her with cancer. Then her husband, Al, got cancer too.

The disease took them both at young ages, but first Norma Jean wrote a book about her fight. For each new round, she had one tactic: to greet every new blow with the joy of faith. “Choose joy,” she’d say.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Norma Jean’s fight with cancer echoes what Paul wrote to the Philippians.  In Philippians 1:25, he says"...I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith.”  Even our suffering can the high calling of our daily work.

Image by Tim Miller. Used with permission. Sourced via Flickr.

Originally Published: Sunday, September 2, 2012

Howard E. Butt, Jr., served as president of the H. E. Butt Foundation until 2014. He is the founder of Laity Lodge and The High Calling, and serves as vice chairman of the H. E. Butt Grocery Company.


When we become Christians, we don't merely choose an eternity in heaven over hell. Rather, we are "born again"; like a newborn child, each of us enters into a new life that we fully inhabit, day-in and day-out. God desires that we pursue a relationship with him every day, in all aspects of life. When we try to live daily life for the sake of his glory, he deems it sacred.

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