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Activated February 2016

Kaleidoscope of God’s Love - February 2016

We can’t grasp all of the myriad ways God shows His love, but we can say “thank you!”
 

01-02-2016
A Tale of Two Riddles
A Tale of Two Riddles

The other day, someone sent me a list of riddles, which led to the realization that I’m not very good at riddles. I figure I need practice, so I’ve been testing the patience of those around me, thinking up riddles of my own, some better than others. Here’s one: What do a picnic in Wales, a jasmine blossom in Indonesia, and a prison visit in the Philippines have in common? (As usual, the answer shouldn’t be provided right away, so I’ll come back to this later.)

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01-02-2016
Picnic Lunch
Picnic Lunch

On one of those glorious spring days that make your heart sing, our family went on a day’s outing to Bodnant, a famous botanical garden in North Wales. We spent hours exploring 80 acres of lawns and terraces; bathing in a cascade of color and fragrance as we walked amongst the rhododendrons, tulips, and lilies; admiring the specimen trees lurching up to touch the blue sky, framed in the distance by the mountains of Snowdonia.

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01-02-2016
Practicing Gratitude
Practicing Gratitude

Each of us is a recipient of God’s love and care. Developing an attitude of gratefulness to God builds within us an attitude of gratefulness for life and for all that it brings our way. When we take a moment to stop and look around, when we see the birds, the sky, the view, the flowers, the greenery, when we reflect on the things we enjoy—the love that we have and that we share with others, our children, our experiences—we find plenty of reasons to be grateful. It’s not surprising that there is so much in the Bible about gratitude...

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01-02-2016
The Jasmine Bush
The Jasmine Bush

My brother’s death hit me hard, perhaps because it was so unexpected. John died of a heart attack at only 51. Until then, he had seemed strong, healthy, and in the prime of life, so it was difficult for me to come to terms with this loss.

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01-02-2016
Passion Rekindled
Passion Rekindled

I don’t remember the first time we met; he just always seemed to be around when I was growing up. My parents made a point of inviting him to join us on summer vacations and practically every other family event. We used to walk to and from school together—we were quite close back then and talked a lot.

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01-02-2016
A Man Among Men
A Man Among Men

It looked like a small settlement—rows of matching buildings on one side and neat vegetable gardens on the other. In the distance was a basketball court. Farther yet, a vendor sold fruit.

I walked up the dirt path behind my father, who chatted with some men as he walked. Small crowds gathered as we passed by. They stared and whispered. I didn’t know what they were saying, but I walked on, trying not to show any sign of fear.

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01-02-2016
God Never Lets Go
God Never Lets Go

Quite a few years ago, when I had barely begun my journey as a volunteer missionary, I was faced with a big decision. I was fretting and fearful and ended up struggling for days with this decision. God eventually answered by giving me a simple illustration.

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01-02-2016
Reserved for Him
Reserved for Him

Some of the loneliest people are surrounded by others, yet they feel that no one understands them.—That is, the real person that they are. They long for someone to share their interests and problems, to sympathize with them. But it’s true that even your lifelong companion, your closest friend, does not really know you, does not really understand you after all, because in every life there’s a locked door or two where no one enters but yourself.

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01-02-2016
The Kaleidoscope of God’s Love
The Kaleidoscope of God’s Love

Love is like a stream. Some days it flows and rushes, for there is plenty. On other days it trickles, and you can see it bouncing against the unseen rocks. But even when love is dry and has lost its flow and lies nearly empty on the muddy bottom, there is more love to come.

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01-02-2016
Postcard from Verona
Postcard from Verona

I was born in the hometown of Romeo and Juliet. Every day on my way to school, I used to walk past the famous balcony where Shakespeare has the pair exchange passionate vows after a party. I recently returned to Verona, in the north of Italy, and passed by again—but the thick crowd of tourists made it almost impossible to get near the famous balcony. I noticed the walls around were covered with signatures and it seems that the city has to periodically repaint them, so as to allow more starstruck tourists to write their names. The street hosts a...

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01-02-2016
My Little Girl
My Little Girl

As many first-time mothers can probably relate to, nothing holds my interest like observing my little girl. Her facial expressions, the excitement in her eyes, her curiosity—just about everything she does brings out the motherly love in me. And one wonderful day I realized that’s how Jesus, in His unconditional love, is looking at me.

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01-02-2016
Arms Around Me
Arms Around Me

Happiness is made up of many things: it is a smile of a child, the golden glows of a sunrise, the warm hug of a loved one, health after sickness. But such happiness is also transitory: a child does not always smile, the sunrise may be overshadowed with dark clouds, a loved one may leave, sickness may not pass. There is another happiness, that is deeper and everlasting, and that is the happiness that comes into your soul when you realise the depth, breadth, and height of God’s love for you, a love embodied in His Son, Jesus.

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01-02-2016
Try Me
Try Me

If you don’t know Me yet, then I have a proposal for you: rather than trying to figure Me out, why not give Me a chance to show you the truth? I am not just talking about right and wrong, or good advice, but supernatural truth. All that I am cannot be comprehended by the mind. You have to seek and understand with your heart. Why not see for yourself if I am real and “the way, the truth, and the life,” as I told My first disciples?1 Why not put Me to the test? Accept My love and presence...

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