Personal Accounts

Jesus’ Type of Joy

July 2021 | Published in Gratitude

On a very cold and gloomy morning, I woke up to find that I had overslept. With an angry groan, I rolled out of bed and began to groggily get dressed. Then I remembered! We had a Women’s Day project early this morning that I was supposed to go to! Our mission had worked out a few different celebrations of women in South Africa, and today we were supposed to go to a center for mothers in crisis and have a morning tea with them, bringing them all sorts of little goodies, including a carrot cake, charming little Swiss rolls, and a gift bag with an assortment of grooming and personal beauty items.

The Cheerful Giver

July 2021 | Published in Giving

It was a typical morning in our home. We were all rushing to get ready for the day—kids getting ready for school, breakfast to be made, spaces to be tidied, and me trying to get dinner in the crock pot, makeup on, and so on. My youngest was trying to get herself a glass of milk and not quite mastering it, so I asked her older sister to help her. For some reason helping did not come easy for her that morning. She rolled her eyes, grabbed the cup, hastily poured the milk, and harshly put it down. This set off a grouchy reaction from the younger sister, which progressed into an argument between the two of them. Not cool.

Filling a Need

July 2021 | Published in Success

Ted and Dorothy were a young couple who bought Wall Drug, a drugstore in a small town in the western United States, in 1931. In those days, a drugstore was like a convenience store and sold a wide range of beverages and products, so there was a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the town had only 326 people, all of them poor. Business was bad, and they barely made enough to keep afloat. But they believed that they had a calling: they were making friendships, providing medical care, and feeling that they were becoming a part of community life.

Willie and the Five-Minute Favor

July 2021 | Published in Caring

We were just finishing up the distribution of 50 ten-kilo care packages to poor people—most of them widowed or disabled—in a hall at the edge of one of the largest slums in East Africa.

Happy to have completed the project, I turned to leave when my colleague Sally held up the last package, saying, “Before we close, let’s quickly deliver this one to Willie up the hill. He isn’t able to walk down here.”

Don’t Wait

July 2021 | Published in Giving

I wish you could meet my friend Vanessa! She’s the perfect example of the gospel bound in tennis shoes. When she began attending our Bible study, she was a single mom to three teenagers and, believe me, she’d had her share of “makings and breakings.” Maybe that’s why she had that special something, a contagious happiness, sparkly eyes, and a quick laugh—especially about jokes on herself.

The Widow’s Mite

July 2021 | Published in Giving

Jesus and His disciples were in the temple observing people giving their offerings. A wealthy man approached the coffer, drawing as much attention as he could to the fact that he was giving a hefty sum. Following him was a widow. As quickly as she could she dropped in two mites, the smallest denomination of coin she could have given. The disciples muttered amongst themselves about how pitiful her offering was, but to their astonishment, Jesus told them she had given more than anyone else, for she had given all that she had.1

Sharing Your Faith

June 2021 | Published in Sharing Your Faith

Sharing our faith is something that many of us feel we should do but sometimes don’t know where to start. Here are some helpful tips I gathered from a topical Bible guide.

Ask meaningful questions. Asking specific questions helps steer the course of the conversation. Jesus often started His teaching by asking a rhetorical question.

A Channel

June 2021 | Published in Caring

I walked slowly into Japanese Conversation class and plopped wearily into my usual seat. In the last semester of college, fatigue and mental overload was taking its toll. As graduation drew near, I was beginning to struggle with the foreboding prospect of job hunting while completing the last leg of my studies. And of all my subjects, this was the worst. I dreaded the three hours of twisting my tongue to capture the cadences of conversation in a foreign language.

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