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Activated September 2015

Faith - September 2015

Strengthening your faith will strengthen your connection with God. This issue explores why and how.
 

01-09-2015
Mountain Movers
Mountain Movers

I’ve always wondered what Jesus meant when He said, “If you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move.”1 I’ve never heard of mountains moving—and I’ve certainly never moved a mountain—so why did He choose that analogy?

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01-09-2015
Like a Dog with Two Tails
Like a Dog with Two Tails

There she was at the door, jumping up and down for joy, barking and wagging her tail, as if to say: “He’s back!” After a long and tiring day, I received the most wonderful welcome from our black Labrador retriever.

It made me feel good. I smiled and gave her the attention she wanted. After all, a dog is man’s best friend.

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01-09-2015
What Faith Knows
What Faith Knows

When I look at some of the men and women in the Bible, at a quick glance they seem to be so confident, so certain of everything. Next to such seemingly unwavering faith, we can start to feel a little unsure of our own faith.

Perhaps that’s because we’re seeing the miracles they experienced through the perspective of hindsight. But try to put yourself in their shoes. Consider how impossible the situation must have seemed for them at the time when they couldn’t see the outcome.

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01-09-2015
Beckoning Me Onwards
Beckoning Me Onwards

I grew up in a Christian family, but at 13 I became an atheist. When I was 18, I left my hometown of Rio with a backpack and set off to see the world. I visited the British Isles, then crossed the Channel and took a bus overland to India, through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. I learned that Arabic speakers use the same expression, As-salamu alaykum—the peace of God be with you—for hello and goodbye. 

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01-09-2015
The Therapy Room
The Therapy Room

A friend of mine recently had a traumatic experience. While at work, a dog bite took off part of her finger. Weeks of pain, surgeries, casts, pills, anesthesia … and it still wasn’t the end of the story. Her finger had gone into “shock mode”—any touch brought on fresh pain. It seemed almost paralyzed.

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01-09-2015
100% Coverage
100% Coverage

Around 40% of the world’s population has Internet access. That’s more than three billion people. Instead of hunting through books or doing research at a physical location, we can find information we need by typing a few key words and clicking “search.” Within seconds, links to thousands of websites appear on our screen. Admittedly this can be a bit hit and miss. There’s a lot of material to skim, and not everything you do find is reliable, but there’s no arguing that the Internet puts a world of information at our fingertips.

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01-09-2015
A Life Above the Ordinary
A Life Above the Ordinary

The secret of drawing closer to God is prayer and communion with Him through meditating on His Word. But it’s not just quickly opening your Bible. I’m sure that the failure of many Christians to gain much from meditation arises far more often from opening their Bibles too quickly than from shutting them too quickly!

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01-09-2015
Reading Tips
Reading Tips

“Where do I start?” is probably the most common question asked by people starting out reading the Bible.

I remember my first attempts when I was a young man. I started at the beginning, but didn’t get too far, losing interest by the time I got to Leviticus, a book full of ancient laws.

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01-09-2015
It’s All Right
It’s All Right

Those were the words uttered by a woman nearly 3,000 years ago whose only son had just died in her arms. Hours earlier, he had complained of a headache after returning from harvesting the fields with his father. She had sat him on her lap and tried to cool his burning forehead, but by noon he was gone.

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01-09-2015
The Blocked Card
The Blocked Card

Not long ago, when we checked our credit card statement after buying an airline ticket, we discovered that the airline had charged us twice. We contacted the airline in the hope of correcting the error right away to avoid the charge and interest that it would incur. After three futile and time-consuming phone calls to the company’s call center, we felt irritated and helpless. Then we called our bank and were advised to block the credit card until we could find a solution.

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01-09-2015
The Faith and Peace Connection
The Faith and Peace Connection

God, teach me to be patient;
Teach me to go slow.
Teach me how to wait on You
When my way I do not know.

Teach me sweet forbearance
When things do not go right,
So I remain unruffled
When others grow uptight.

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01-09-2015
Pancakes and Pudding
Pancakes and Pudding

My nine- and ten-year-olds came whining to me again. 

“Mommy, Chalsey’s taking all the LEGO blocks!” 

“Davin always gets the best pieces!” 

Kristy, my five-year-old, was crying. “It’s not fair! I want to build an airplane, but they won’t let me.” 

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01-09-2015
Faith Floats
Faith Floats

“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”—Alan Watts (1915–1973)

Comparing our relationship with God to swimming isn’t a bad analogy. When you swim, you’re surrounded by water; it’s the element in which you move and survive. “In Him we live and move and have our being,” Paul proclaimed.1

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01-09-2015
Never Alone
Never Alone

You are precious in My sight. Even the very hairs of your head are numbered. I know your heart and your many thoughts. I want you to know that I am right here beside you, holding your hand. I am a constant help in time of trouble. Never think or feel that you are alone, for My presence is always with you, and My Spirit will give you help.

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