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Activated March 2015

Being a Winner - March 2015

Each of us can work hard to improve our skills and results in the game of life. But there’s a twist: This game isn’t about beating the competition. Read on to find out more.
 

01-03-2015
All Winners
All Winners

I have a confession: I really like to win! Whether it’s at sports, a board game, or—unfortunately—a disagreement, my competitiveness comes to the fore and I have to try to come out on top. No game is too simple for me when it comes to trying to develop an edge. I’ve even devised (mostly pointless!) strategies for Snakes and Ladders or Go Fish.

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01-03-2015
To the Finish Line!
To the Finish Line!

We can find inspiration from the life of John Stephen Akhwari, as told in Bud Greenspan’s book 100 Greatest Moments in Olympic History.

When the winner crossed the finish line in the 1968 Mexico City Olympic marathon, the officials and spectators thought that had been the highlight of the race. Then, an hour later, John Stephen Akhwari, a runner from Tanzania, entered the stadium. Bloodied and bandaged from a fall, and with a dislocated knee, he limped painfully.

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01-03-2015
Dealing with Dragons
Dealing with Dragons

The Hobbit, a fantasy novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, is the story of Bilbo Baggins, a comfort-loving hobbit who is thrust into an unwanted quest for dragon treasure with a wizard and a group of dwarves. On the way, he faces all manner of hardships, from goblins to hostile elves to giant spiders.

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01-03-2015
The Rise of the Problem-Solver
The Rise of the Problem-Solver

Some friends and I were helping to prepare a beauty salon for opening,and my part involved setting up the in-house entertainment system. The salon’s setup included individual TV sets for each of the stations, complete with sound, etc. I was excited to work on this project, but soon realized there were some aspects to it that were outside my realm of expertise.

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01-03-2015
My Aconcagua
My Aconcagua

When I was a child, my father joined a mountain-climbing club where people from all around Rio would meet on Sundays to climb together. Once he had learned the main tracks, he began taking his kids and other teens from the neighborhood up to the many peaks in the area. As I grew up, I realized that life is like a range of mountains, and each one needs to be conquered in a different way.

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01-03-2015
Onwards to Excellence
Onwards to Excellence

My friend’s daughter, Jenni, is 12 years old and enrolled in a high-commitment gymnastics program. Four times a week, she practices after school for four hours. She does her homework in the car on the way there and eats dinner in the car on the way home.

This has always been Jenni’s choice. She loves gymnastics and wants to take it as far as she can. She’d already won medals and was considered the best gymnast at her level in the area when she enrolled in this intense training program with the goal of earning a gymnastics scholarship for college.

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01-03-2015
New Roads
New Roads

It sure was a long time coming! For months, we had suffered from detours and delays. Traffic was often backed up so badly along the construction site that I began avoiding the area altogether when possible. Sometimes the congestion was so bad that I wished they had never attempted to “improve” the roads in the area. Then after having endured lane closures, work zones, and long, long delays for what felt like forever, I found myself this morning coasting along on a beautiful new stretch of smooth tarmac. I was so excited.

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01-03-2015
A Work in Progress
A Work in Progress

In a way, we are all unfinished business, as far as God’s concerned. He’s started a lot of “projects” that are well begun, even perfect in their own right, but aren’t complete. Luckily for us, the Master never stops work on His creation—the molding, the shaping, the chiseling, the polishing are all to help us make progress and bring us closer to Him.

Here are five steps you can take to grow in your relationship with your heavenly Father.

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01-03-2015
Joseph’s Technicolor Painting
Joseph’s Technicolor Painting

We all have them—plans that didn’t turn out the way we’d hoped, prayers that seem like they didn’t make it past the ceiling, dreams that break and are shattered as we wonder what went wrong. We keep going, but often these apparent failures remain etched in our mind along with a question mark. Why didn’t things turn out the way I had planned or hoped or prayed?

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01-03-2015
God in You
God in You

We all need to have faith in ourselves—or rather faith that God is in us and that He can use us. Since God uses individuals to do His work, we have to believe that we’re capable. We need faith in His ability to perform and work through us. We must dare to try, which means allowing God to try through us.

We are weak and faulty, but our God is invincible. We are earthen vessels, yet as we commit our lives and hearts to Him, He becomes one with us and can work through us. “The people who know their God...

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01-03-2015
That Winning Feeling
That Winning Feeling

He considers himself a winner, but some might wonder how he’s come to that conclusion. His body is bruised and scarred from numerous beatings. His life on the road has left its mark too. On top of it all, he’s lost his freedom, and the likelihood of execution is looming over him.1

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01-03-2015
You’re My Winner
You’re My Winner

In My heavenly kingdom, in the realm of the Spirit, all are happy and fulfilled, because they better understand My love. They do not question My love for them, for they have experienced the height and breadth and depth of it. They have great peace and great joy. There is no feeling that one is greater than another or that one is more loved than another, because they have found contentment in the knowledge that I love each of them for who they are. They understand that I died for each one, that I have redeemed each one, and therefore...

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01-03-2015
Clear Shining
Clear Shining

There are moments when the earth's beauty parallels the glories of heaven, when you look at your surroundings with awe and know there is a God who loves and cares about you. Growing up on a farm with a 360-degree view of the sky, I was always very in tune with nature. When I look at the clear dawn sky after a night of rain and observe the unique optical effect created by the mingling of mist and dust, I’m reminded of King David’s last recorded words: “[A godly ruler] is like the light of morning at sunrise, like a...

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