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Activated March 2014

A Worthwhile Life - March 2014

Living life to the full is something we all want. Explore some ideas for making the most of the life God has given us.
 

01-03-2014
Finding Meaning
Finding Meaning

One of the central questions that philosophers and theologians have struggled with for millennia is the mystery of what gives life meaning. Everyone wants to be happy and fulfilled, but how can we tell what true happiness is and where it comes from?

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01-03-2014
Valerie Therapy
Valerie Therapy

It was a perfect spring day. A gentle wind, warm and coaxing, announced the arrival of the season. Everyone around me was in a good mood. But it’s often on days like these, when we least see it coming, that God tends to surprise us with a little learning. 

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01-03-2014
Present Seeds, Future Blossoms
Present Seeds, Future Blossoms

Walking through a botanical garden in Kolkata, India, I was enthralled by the vibrant and vivid colors of the flowers. For a few hours, I felt like I’d been transported away from the hustle of the city and into a world of beauty. On my way out, I popped into the office to compliment the staff on the good job they do in arranging and caring for the plants.

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01-03-2014
The Green Wristband
The Green Wristband

My first visit to the Exit rock festival—held annually in the shadow of a beautiful castle in Novi Sad, a pretty Serbian town on the Danube River—was unforget­table. There were stages everywhere and the streets were filled with crowds, huge tent villages resounding with all styles of music, aromas of chevapi, the local meat dish, and an atmosphere of brotherhood, havoc, and freedom. But for a time it looked as though I wasn’t going to take part at all.

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01-03-2014
Who’s it For?
Who’s it For?

There have been times when I’ve felt I was playing a game of pretending to be a good person; for instance, when I was volunteering for relief work after the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Part of me sincerely wanted to help and make a difference, but I also knew it was what I should want to do, and I was happy to be seen as someone who wanted to help.

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01-03-2014
Whether or Not an Angel
Whether or Not an Angel

Hebrews 13:21 says, “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”

I’ve known this verse since I was a child, and I remember imagining that people I interacted with were angels in disguise, which made me try to be courteous and friendly in most situations. Sadly, as I grew up, it grew easier to show a tough exterior and to keep people at arm’s length.

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01-03-2014
Candle on a Candlestick
Candle on a Candlestick

Manifesting God’s love to those whom He places in our path each day is at the heart of Christian life. Writing about this, the apostle Paul went so far as to say, "the love of Christ compels us"1 to do so. In whatever specific ways God leads each of us to reach our part of the world with His love, He has called us to be “the light of the world” and to “let [our] light shine before people, so that they will see [our] good works and give glory to [our] Father who is in heaven.”

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01-03-2014
Remembering Martha
Remembering Martha

My neighbor Martha passed away this week after a long battle with emphysema. I will miss Martha and have found myself thinking about her a lot these past few days.

When my husband Dan and I moved into the neighborhood, Martha invited us over for tea and cookies. We sat in her immaculate living room and talked about our family and the volunteer work we had been doing in Mexico. It felt like home, and I was thankful to have a neighbor like Martha who was concerned that we’d feel welcome.

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01-03-2014
The Value of Healthy Living
The Value of Healthy Living

Staying healthy doesn’t happen automatically. It takes effort, and also usually involves some sacrifice, some reordering of priorities and forgoing certain things that would be enjoyable but not good for us. Long-term health is a lifelong investment, but it’s a wise one. Better to invest a little each day in strengthening our bodies than to neglect them and suffer serious health problems.

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01-03-2014
When Nobody Noticed
When Nobody Noticed

It was a dull and rainy day as I sat at the window of a small brick row house in Leicester, England, watching the rain form small rivers on the window pane. A friend was letting me stay at his house while he was away and I helped care for a terminally ill loved one. It was a half-hour bus ride from the house to the Leicester Royal Infirmary, where I spent most of my days.

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01-03-2014
A Worthwhile Life
A Worthwhile Life

We are unlikely to have Abraham’s calling to become the father of nations.Not many of us have the strength of Samson to bring the perpetrators of evil to justice.2 It is rare to be given the responsibility, like Esther, of safeguarding the people of our nation.3 And most of us don’t have the fearlessness of the prophet Daniel, risking life and limb for our faith,4 or even the vigor of the apostle Paul, who evangelized almost the entire known world of his day.5

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01-03-2014
Make Time for People
Make Time for People

It’s easy to be a good person but still be wrapped up in your own little world. After all, you already have more work and other responsibilities than you feel you can keep up with. It’s no surprise that there’s so little time for reaching out to others. 

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01-03-2014
The Good Conductor
The Good Conductor

British writer Bernard Hare tells1 the true story of an incident that changed his life, transforming him, as he described it, “from a selfish, potentially violent hedonist into a decent human being.”

Back in 1982 when he was a student living in London, he was informed that his mother had been taken to the hospital and was unlikely to survive the night. He left immediately to make the journey up to the north of the country.

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