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Activated October 2014

God’s Light - October 2014

When the storms of life threaten to overwhelm you, there’s a way to regain your footing: stand on the Rock of Ages. Faith can hold you up.
 

01-10-2014
Light in Dark Places
Light in Dark Places

In The Fellowship of the Ring,1 the elven “Lady of Light” Galadriel presents Frodo with a crystal phial containing the light of Eärendil’s star. “It will shine brighter when night is about you,” she promises; and sure enough, over the course of their quest, Frodo and Sam use the light on a number of occasions to avoid harm.

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01-10-2014
Down in the Salt Mines
Down in the Salt Mines

We went down 378 spiraling steps into the Wieliczka Salt Mine in southern Poland, wondering what we would find and thinking about how easy it would be to get lost in the underground maze around us. I marveled at how anyone could spend so much of their life underground and retain their sanity.

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01-10-2014
Coming Through
Coming Through

Light is appreciated and valued, because we’ve experienced darkness. Hope is truly valued after we’ve experienced despair. Our blessings bring us the greatest joy, because we’ve experienced life without them. We value health because we’ve experienced sickness, and we understand the value of being loved because we know what it’s like to feel loneliness.

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01-10-2014
Moment by Moment
Moment by Moment

When our son Pete was three, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and from one moment to the next, our lives changed drastically. There are no instruction manuals that can prepare you for how to cope when your child is facing a life-threatening disease. Even though we found shelter in the loving arms of Jesus, our tender Shepherd, we still had to find a way to face the scary events of the following weeks and months.

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01-10-2014
Face the Storm
Face the Storm

Quite a few years ago, our small family was traveling on a freighter from Europe to our new field of service in South America. Due to long delays in the loading of the ship’s cargo, we found ourselves setting sail in the dead of the Mediterranean winter, the same time of year as the apostle Paul was shipwrecked off the coast of Malta.1 We joked about that and casually prayed that our fate would not be the same as his.

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01-10-2014
Riding the Dragon
Riding the Dragon

Strapping on my harness and checking my gear to make sure it was secure, I held the reins tightly in my hands. The winged creature lurched, squirmed, wriggled, and writhed to free itself from its restraints and heave me into the abyss. My keepers, one at either side, were able to contain its fury, but it took all of their skill and stamina to keep it from sweeping me off my feet and carrying me up into its lair.

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01-10-2014
A Valley Visit
A Valley Visit

The Hebrew word bakah means “weeping,” and in Bible times there was a valley in Israel called by that name. Figuratively, the Valley of Baca is a place where all of us have been at some time or other. It’s a place of suffering, sorrow, hardship; a dry, dusty, desert place.

Psalm 84 brings out the beautiful thought that whenever we pass through such a place, we have an opportunity to turn that difficulty or disappointment, that sorrow or hardship, whatever it may be, into a blessing.“As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring. The rain...

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01-10-2014
The Payoff of Perseverance
The Payoff of Perseverance

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”—Christopher Robin (A. A. Milne)

The first time I read this quote, I thought of a story I had just read about a young man with extraordinary athletic skill and ability. At just nineteen years old, Rafael Nadal already knew that he wanted to be a world champion tennis player. 

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01-10-2014
Dealing with Disappointment
Dealing with Disappointment

Who hasn’t experienced disappointment on occasion? Maybe a friend failed you; maybe anticipated recognition at work did not materialize; perhaps what you thought would be a lifetime of love in your marriage ended prematurely in divorce; maybe you had big dreams for your children and they took a different path.

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01-10-2014
Winter Is Coming
Winter Is Coming

I dislike cold, icy, snowy winters. That is a big reason I was happy living in Mexico for many years. But now my wife and I are in Canada, and yesterday it snowed. It is early in the year for snow, and they were wispy flakes that didn’t stick, but they were a harbinger of what is sure to follow. It has been below zero most nights and not much above it in the daytime. Did I already say I dislike winter?

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01-10-2014
Hard Knocks
Hard Knocks

Have you ever wondered why it is that from time to time you find yourself going through the school of hard knocks? Just when you’re thriving on some “ups” in your life, something happens that brings you down a few notches on the happiness scale. “Why me?” “Why this?” “Why now?” Instead of helping to turn things around, those questions only make matters worse. Finally you remind yourself that even if you don’t understand and can’t see anything good coming from your present struggles, God can. He’s always got a plan. So you decide to trust Him and hold on,...

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01-10-2014
The Mystery of the Fig Tree
The Mystery of the Fig Tree

Figs are fruits mentioned in the Bible that are still familiar today, whether they are soft, juicy, fresh figs or the sweet, chewy, dried variety. Fig trees are a common sight on the biblical landscape and often symbolized safety and prosperity.1

And then there’s the time that Jesus was leaving the small town of Bethany and noticed a fig tree. He was hungry and rummaged through the leaves, looking for fruit. There was none, so He cursed the tree: “Let no fruit grow on you ever again.”2 Immediately, the tree withered.

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01-10-2014
Love to the Core
Love to the Core

Life can be rough, and it’s not always easy to understand why things happen the way they do. When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s natural to question My love, but it’s during those very times that I want to be closer than ever to you. My love will always be there for you and will help you through the tough times.

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