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Activated June 2016

Family and Society - June 2016

Looking to be a force for good? Wondering where to start? This issue scratches beneath the surface and explores what can make that difference.
 

01-06-2016
To the World and Yourself
To the World and Yourself

The Bible teaches that we are responsible to do our best with the talents and abilities that God has given us.1 He has entrusted us with skills, resources, time, energy, minds, and spirits, and we’ll find the greatest satisfaction when we invest them in things that please God and that are aligned with His plan.

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01-06-2016
Getting an Early Start
Getting an Early Start

I recently took my teenage son to an ecotourism project in the big Complexo do Alemão group of favelas [slums] in northern Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There are cable gondolas that stop on all five mountaintops, from where we could see the entire bay and all the beautiful mountain ranges. Dotting the mountains, there are also thousands of small huts lacking decent roofs and with bare and unpainted brick walls. Those were the favelas.

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01-06-2016
The Power of Happiness
The Power of Happiness

In the course of our lives as followers of Jesus, there are always ways to minister to others, either occasionally or regularly. The common denominator in each such activity or scenario is that the goal is to convey love and kindness.

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01-06-2016
Worth It!
Worth It!

We recently organized our first puppet show for children visiting their fathers in the toughest men’s penitentiary in Mexico City, the prison for inmates who have lost all their appeals, even their plea to not be transferred to that penitentiary. There, they have nothing left to do but live out their sentence. 

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01-06-2016
Hymn in the Gym
Hymn in the Gym

This morning I dragged myself out of bed. The sun isn’t even fully up, so why should I be?

As I mulled over that pithy logic, I dressed, grabbed my bag, and trudged out the front door.

Now I hope some of you will empathize with my feelings when you hear my purpose. I was on my way to the gym.

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01-06-2016
A Legacy
A Legacy

He was once quite tall and carried an air of confidence and authority wherever he went. When he was young, he dedicated every spare moment, including his holidays, to Christian youth ministry. He had gone through a personal conversion in his early twenties and was very zealous in his beliefs and practices. He’d organize summer camps in the mountains for flocks of youth who had just gone through the hard years following WW2 and needed a father or an older brother figure.

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01-06-2016
The Common Denominator
The Common Denominator

I wish you could meet three people who each made a big impression on me this past year. The first was a waiter’s assistant who cleared my table from his wheelchair with such outgoing charm that I wasn’t a bit surprised when the manager told me on my way out that he considered this young man to be his most valuable employee. “I think more people come back for him than for the food,” the manager joked.

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01-06-2016
A Joyful Work Environment
A Joyful Work Environment

On a recent day off, I spent the better part of the day at the zoo. It’s been a long time since I’ve gone to a zoo. Animals are fascinating and a lot of fun to observe, and I learned some interesting information. What I noticed, too, which I don’t recall feeling as much when I was younger, was sadness because of the animals’ lack of freedom. I’m confident they are being well cared for at this particular zoo; but can any cage, however spacious, ever measure up to the wide-open spaces of their native habitats?

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01-06-2016
Better Together
Better Together

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help.
Ecclesiastes 4:9–10 NLT

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Servants don’t know what their master is doing, and so I don’t speak to you as my servants. I speak to you as my friends, and I have told you everything that my Father has told me.
John 15:15 CEV

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01-06-2016
Secrets to Success with People
Secrets to Success with People

The Bible is a rich storehouse of spiritual and practical advice, and examples of strong relationships are one of the recurrent themes. In fact, Martin Luther commented that the entire Christian life consists of relating to people around us.1

So what can we learn from the Bible about how to succeed with people? 

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01-06-2016
Touch Others with My Love
Touch Others with My Love

Before you go to sleep, think about My love for you. If you count your blessings, you’ll see how I have blessed you in so many ways, through so many things and so many people. Each of these is a token of My love for you personally.

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