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The Music of Our Life

If you asked me how I feel about music, I’d say I’m an enthusiast. My friends might say a fanatic, but I just tune them out.

There’s something inexplicable about music that moves our hearts and stirs our souls. Powerful lyrics can be just the right thing to lift our mood and cheer us up, and I personally owe many happy moments to inspired songwriters.

Published in Life

Jonathan’s Integrity

I’ve always thought Prince Jonathan, the son of Israel’s first anointed king, is an amazing example in the Bible of honor and integrity. Think about it: he was logically expected to succeed his father, King Saul, as king—but the prophet Samuel anointed the boy David instead.

Now, if I were in Jonathan’s position, I think I would have succumbed in one of two ways. Either I would have become consumed with envy, feeling that I had been dealt an unjust hand. Or I would have not cared about the affairs of the kingdom from then on.

Published in Personal Growth

Whose Fool?

“Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. … If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”1

This verse is proving so true in my life. When I make the effort to put Jesus in first place in my life, opportunities drop in my lap and doors open to share my faith with others—oftentimes, as I’m going about my everyday routine, such as while traveling by public transportation.

Published in Sharing your Faith

Finding Our Niche

The great British writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton wrote a series of short stories about a parish priest, Father Brown, with a knack for forensics. This lowly priest investigated criminal cases while maintaining compassion and understanding toward the guilty.

Published in Personal Growth

The Successful Sales Pitch

I went to the retail store, Costco, today to return a vacuum cleaner I had purchased that turned out to be defective. After making our return, we were in need of a new vacuum cleaner and made our way to the aisle that offered several makes and models. It just so happened that a sales rep for one of the brands was on the floor demonstrating her wares.

Published in Sharing your Faith

Finding Jesus in Unusual Places

I was caught in one of our congested city’s dreaded traffic jams. The endless line of cars, trucks, and buses was crawling forward at barely a walking pace, while pedestrians, motorbikes, and bicycles managed to make a bit of headway, weaving between the lanes. The polluted air was heavy with the fumes of exhaust, and I felt sick to my stomach. With lips pursed in impatience, I observed the puddle-strewn unpaved sidewalk, still muddy from a recent downpour, and amongst the vendors displaying secondhand wares, fruits, and vegetables on tarps, I spotted a crippled beggar boy, not older than seven, holding out his hand.

Published in Caring

Eternity

My daughter once asked me if I regretted devoting my life to Christian service.

I answered, “No regrets whatsoever. The idea has been to work with eternity in mind.”

The word “eternity” has been popularized by an amazing guy who passed away in 1967, named Arthur Stace, whose life story has been remembered in a book, an opera, and a film.1

Published in Life

Earthly Possessions

I have always been a dog person. I grew up with dogs, and even later in life when my wife and I served as missionaries, we felt a dog was a necessary addition to our household. So we got ourselves a puppy and a collar.

Not just any collar, but the best one we could find. In fact, when I would take him on walks in the morning or explore the fields together at dusk, with his stainless steel collar complete with a gold-colored name tag, he often seemed better dressed than I was.

Published in Life

Precious Moments

It was a typical Monday morning, and my husband and I were in town on business for the humanitarian aid project we operate in several Balkan nations. By 10 am it was already getting quite hot. The afternoon was supposed to be even hotter and more uncomfortable, so we were trying to finish everything on our to-do list by noon.

Published in Caring

Falling Together

“Everything is falling apart!” My outburst came one day after a visit to the Kurasini Orphanage in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where our team of volunteers has been working with the staff to raise the children’s living standard. We had begun by improving sanitation in the kitchen and dormitories, and some progress had been made. But it seemed that there were always more things that needed to get done. As the to-do list grew, so did the list of needed materials and supplies. There was also the matter of funding. How would we find enough sponsors to help meet all of these needs?

Published in Personal Experiences
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