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Activated July 2013

Goodness - July 2013

Goodness is the fruit of the Spirit that catches others’ attention and engenders respect, the virtue that attracts people and finds and keeps friends. It builds relationships and shows God's love to others around us, so that life can be more enjoyable for all. Sound like a trait worth cultivating?
 

01-07-2013
Good—Or Upright?
Good—Or Upright?

I recently came across an interesting verse that fits with this issue’s main theme of goodness. I had read it before, but this time it made more of an impression on me.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul says, “Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good.”1 The New King James Version uses “righteous” instead of “upright.”

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01-07-2013
A True Good Samaritan
A True Good Samaritan

Recently, after reading an article on the BBC News website,1 I found myself faced with a few tough questions. The article, a modern-day “Good Samaritan” tale, is worth checking out as an inspiring example of the impact one sincere loving deed can have.

Reading this story made me evaluate my own track record of late. Would I have done the same? Would I be willing to risk my job to help a stranger in need? Unsatisfied with my replies, I also tried some less dramatic-sounding questions. Would my friends say I’m someone who lends a helping hand? Have I done any...

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01-07-2013
Quarks in His Glory
Quarks in His Glory

Peter and I were taking a few days’ break at a small beach town. One late afternoon, I was taking a walk along the beach, when I looked up to find one of the most stunningly beautiful scenes taking shape before my eyes.

The scattered clouds began to take on pastel hues of peach, violet, and gold against the deepening blue of the sky. I love sunsets, but every once in a great while I encounter one that is so awe-inspiring that I can’t take my eyes off it. And the Great Painter was certainly getting my attention with this one....

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01-07-2013
My Life’s Heroes
My Life’s Heroes

It was 1977, and Karl and I had left Germany in a camper the previous year. Our journey had already taken us through Italy, what was then Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and India. We hoped to make it to Nepal next, buy a mountain farm there, and settle in a peaceful life away from modern society.

Our budget was tight, and we usually ate at small roadside cafés or bought food from local market stalls, so perhaps it was not surprising that I contracted viral hepatitis. We had reached a lovely bay on the Goan coastline, but unfortunately there was...

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01-07-2013
Goodness—The Exemplary Fruit
Goodness—The Exemplary Fruit

Christians are expected to be good people. In fact, many non-Christians expect more from Christians than they do from themselves or anyone else. Jesus Himself told His first followers, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”1 That doesn’t mean we...

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01-07-2013
What Is Beautiful?
What Is Beautiful?

I recently did a search for how often the word “beautiful” appears in the Bible.

I found out that the Old Testament is full of beautiful women. Sara was beautiful.1 Rebecca was very beautiful.2 Rachel was lovely in form and beautiful.3 Job’s daughters were more beautiful than any other women in the land.4 The list goes on and on. I think my favorite, though, is Abigail. Abigail was beautiful and intelligent.5 What more would a woman desire be said of her?

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01-07-2013
Martha’s Transformation
Martha’s Transformation

I first met Martha as she was sitting on a bench in the park where I was taking my baby for a walk. My husband and I had been married for two years, and we had just had our first child. Martha was staring vacantly into space and didn’t acknowledge me when I sat down to tend to my lively eight-month-old boy who already didn’t want to stay put in his stroller.

When she saw him, Martha’s expression came alive, and she smiled at me and the baby. I struck up a conversation with her, and found out that she was...

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01-07-2013
Goodness in Action
Goodness in Action

It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness and I pronounce it as certain that there was never a truly great man that was not at the same time truly virtuous.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–1790)

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Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, to all the souls you can, in every place you can, at all the times you can, with all the zeal you can, as long as ever you can.
—John Wesley (1703–1791)

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01-07-2013
A Mother’s Choice
A Mother’s Choice

None of her friends or family understands why she has done it, and most of them would like to shake her out of her foolishness. Their objections make sense. After all, May is in her mid-forties and has been living alone ever since her daughter moved out. May is also in debt. And yet, here she is, raising her ex-husband’s child by another woman.

May married early and was divorced by her early twenties, but even before that, she had been raising her first child alone, as her ex-husband had a drug addiction and spent as much time in prison as...

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01-07-2013
Teacher Unaware
Teacher Unaware

The weather was perfect, and most of my friends were looking forward to a relaxing holiday weekend, but not me. A recent bout of illness had left me far behind in my schoolwork, and I faced a mountain of projects, reports, and assignments to complete before the end of the month. I felt overwhelmed and undercharged.

After several hours of frantic work, I still hadn’t made much headway, so I decided that some time in nature might lift my spirits, and I headed toward a large nearby park. The usually quiet lanes and lawns were alive with parents and children, and...

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01-07-2013
The Goodness of God
The Goodness of God

"The goodness of God endures continually."—Psalm 52:1

Good things show up in our lives in a myriad of ways: friends and family, health and happiness, a roof overhead and food on the table, the enjoyment we derive from music, art, and literature. The Bible teaches us that God is the origin of these blessings. “God’s gift to us is the happiness we get from our food and drink and from the work we do.”1 “Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.”2

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01-07-2013
More than a Speck
More than a Speck

As you take time to be filled with Me, I always replenish your resources. The more you give Me of yourself, the more I can give you of Myself—My love, My power, My anointing, My gifts, My insight, My wisdom, My blessings, My strength, My provision, My protection, My creativity, My intelligence, My contentment, My joy, My peace.

All these things are part of My goodness. All are yours for the taking and can become a bigger part of your life, day by day. As you get to know Me better and learn to receive from Me more clearly and directly,...

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