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    divine diversity

    If you’ve ever strolled through a botanical garden or an art museum, you know that diversity makes for beauty. For some reason, however, this doesn’t seem to work within the church.

    dressed for success

    A few years ago, my husband and a friend of his attempted the Three Peaks Challenge—climbing the highest mountains of Scotland, England, and Wales within 24 hours. This included scaling Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in the British Isles at 1,344 meters. It was sunny at the foot of Ben Nevis as the men, dressed in just T-shirts and shorts, started their ascent. As they approached the summit, however, the weather changed; they hit ice and thick fog and their skimpy clothing simply wasn’t enough. They made it down the mountain, but the challenge was off.

    Discover how to develop the fruit of the Spirit in your life

    Love, joy, peace, patience; just a few of the fruits of the Spirit that we want more of in our lives. But how do we go about developing these qualities? Discover sound wisdom on biblical gardening. And the first step is to let God do the planting!

    no regrets

    Sociologists at one university recently completed a study on regret. In it, they examined whether people felt more regret over what they had done or what they had failed to do. The researchers found that people’s regrets over their actions or inactions were roughly even when asked about the past week. Nearly the same number said, “I wish I hadn’t done that” as those who said “I wish I had done that.” But when asked to consider their life’s largest regrets, the vast majority said they were more troubled about missed opportunities. As John Greenleaf Whittier wrote, “Of all sad words of…

    one source

    During October, the trees come alive with color in my region. One year, a particular tree caught my attention. Like Joseph, it wore a “coat” of many colors. Its top leaves were plum-colored. A little lower, the purple morphed into crimson foliage. The red gave way to robin’s-chest orange, and finally, neon yellow leaves peeked out at the bottom like a petticoat. Although the leaves had radically different colors, they all had sprouted from the same maple tree.

    3 Things God Taught Me on My Recent Mission Trip

    I went, expecting to give to others, but ended up receiving so much more. These are the three things (out of many others) that God taught me through my recent mission trip: 1. Humility. I knew that I wouldn’t be able to speak the language as proficiently as the […]

    Live In Love

    In the African country where my friend Roxanne lives, water is a precious commodity. People often have to travel long distances to collect water from small, contaminated creeks—leading to sickness and death. It’s difficult for organizations like orphanages and churches to serve the people because of a lack of water. But that’s beginning to change.

    eileen and esther

    Nine-year-old Eileen approached a pack of older boys in a schoolyard. They were beating an autistic student who was lying on the ground curled up in the fetal position. She asked the bullies to stop hurting the other student. The boys did stop, but only to push Eileen to the ground, where they cursed at her and stepped on her before fleeing. The local autism center later honored Eileen and said, “She defended this boy because of her courage.”

    Job Titles

    When the British Broadcasting Corporation asked for examples of important-sounding, obscure, and even bizarre job titles, one writer offered hers: Underwater Ceramic Technician. She was a dishwasher at a restaurant. Sometimes titles are used to make a job sound more important.

    Helpers Needed

    To some people, the term helper carries with it second-class connotations. Classroom helpers assist trained teachers in their classes. Helpers assist trained electricians, plumbers, and lawyers on the job. Because they aren’t as skilled in the profession, they might be viewed as having less value. But everyone is needed to accomplish the task.

    The apostle Paul had many helpers in his work of ministry. He listed them in his letter to Rome (ch.16). He made special reference to Phoebe, who “has been a helper of many and of myself also” (v.2). Priscilla and Aquila risked their own lives for Paul (vv.3-4). And Mary, Paul said, “labored much for us” (v.6).

    give what you have

    Last year, a few foreign exchange college students from Saudi Arabia celebrated Christmas with our family. When they arrived, they told us they had never experienced a Christmas in the US and were looking forward to it with great anticipation.

    A Piece Of The Puzzle

    At her birthday celebration, the honored guest turned the tables by giving everyone at the party a gift. Kriste gave each of us a personal note expressing what we mean to her, along with encouraging words about the person God made us to be. Enclosed with every note was one piece of a jigsaw puzzle as a reminder that each of us is unique and important in God’s plan.

    Overwhelming Concern

    A while ago, I wrote an article about my wife, Marlene, and her struggles with vertigo. When the article appeared, I was unprepared for the tidal wave of response from readers offering encouragement, help, suggestions and, mostly, concern for her well-being. These messages came from all over the world, from people in all walks of life.

    Corine

    A group of us were helping to put together packets of material at an Our Daily Bread event in Orlando last winter when Corine greeted us. It was mid-morning, and she was sure we must be hungry and thirsty.

    The Wisdom Of Crowds

    The online description of The Wisdom of Crowds reads, “In this fascinating book, New Yorker business columnist James Surowiecki explores a deceptively simple idea: Large groups of people are smarter than an elite few, no matter how brilliant—better at solving problems, fostering innovation, coming to wise decisions, even predicting the future.”


    September 2019: Christian Living

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