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Activated August 2016

Fruit and fruitfulness - August 2016

The sweetness of a fruit does not depend on its size. Nor does the legacy of an action. Read this issue to discover where to draw the strength and inspiration to build something that lasts.
 

01-08-2016
Tasting the Fruit
Tasting the Fruit

A few years ago, Activated published a special series on what Paul in his letter to the Galatians called the fruit of the Spirit.1 One issue was published for each of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.2 It occurred to us that we hadn’t explored the concept of fruit itself, and this issue will be devoted to that topic.

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01-08-2016
The Vine
The Vine

One of my most pleasant childhood memories is lying on the bench beneath Grandma’s grape arbor on a hot summer day and munching on fresh grapes. Years later, when I was moving to a vineyard in Italy, I envisioned many comfy benches to lie on. To my shock, we arrived to what looked like barren fields. Only the tiniest stubbly heads appeared above the roots. It was explained to me that the vines were cut back to the ground each year after the harvest to increase their yield. It wasn’t a pretty sight, but it was a fruitful field.

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01-08-2016
Soul Food
Soul Food

The Word of God is the most powerful truth on earth.—Words that contain the very spirit and life of God Himself.1 The Word is the spiritual spark of God that ignites us with His life, light, and power. Reading, absorbing, and following God’s Word is one of the most important things you can do to build your relationship with Him. It’s what keeps you in tune with God and helps you to keep going God’s way. When you listen to God and His Word and obey His truth, you’ll be happy and fruitful.2

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01-08-2016
The Power of a Peach
The Power of a Peach

When I was eight years old, my family and I watched a BBC documentary featuring a group of British WW2 veterans who had fought in North Africa. Throughout the film, the veterans related their wartime experiences, most of which were accounts of withstanding hunger, terror, and deprivation on the path to victory. Although these stories were moving, the most unforgettable one for me was a different sort of tale. It was related by a frail, white-haired gentleman who smiled warmly and said that his most unforgettable experience was when he was gifted a peach!

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01-08-2016
Like the Flowers
Like the Flowers

I was sitting in a friend’s living room when I noticed some crimson red flowers in a vase on the coffee table. I was almost spellbound by their loveliness, and as I gazed at this beautiful creation, I seemed to hear God’s voice telling me, I want you to be like those flowers.

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01-08-2016
Avocado
Avocado

I absolutely love avocado! Along with being delightfully delicious, it is a versatile fruit. Not to mention that it’s outstandingly healthy—one of the best sources of natural oils and many vitamins.

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01-08-2016
Fruity Lessons
Fruity Lessons

I was recently fascinated to read how scientists learned how to make more effective waterproof products such as raincoats and airplane parts by studying the ridges on butterfly wings. It struck me that I also could learn something from nature, and I began researching fruit trees.

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01-08-2016
The Seasons of Life
The Seasons of Life

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”1

This is a big life lesson. It is really good news … and not such great news at the same time. Regardless of how you may feel at the moment, what season of life you are currently living through, you can probably expect a change at some point, because, as we know, seasons come and go.

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01-08-2016
Birthday Mango
Birthday Mango

My son Jonathan was born in a small Indian village, during the time my husband and I were serving there as volunteers. Like many Indian kids, he grew up eating rice, dahl, chapatis, and the incredible, colorful variety of tropical fruit available at every street corner.

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01-08-2016
A Meaningful Life
A Meaningful Life

My grandmother wasn’t a career woman. In fact, she only held a job for six years in her entire life. When she got married, she and my grandfather couldn’t afford for both of them to be away studying for five years, so although she’d hoped to attend college, she remained at home with her husband’s relatives, who unfortunately treated her quite harshly. She endured the separation and the unkind relatives patiently, with no complaint in her letters throughout the entire time.

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01-08-2016
Healthy Spiritual Life
Healthy Spiritual Life

What are the manifestations of a good, consistent walk with Me? It’s not the amount of time spent in communion with Me—a “step a, step b, step c” system for our time together—that determines our closeness. To know if your relationship with Me is where it should be, you have to judge by the fruit, because a true, close walk with Me is reflected in the daily interactions that you have with others, the way you handle situations, what your priorities are, and the decisions you make.

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