Category  |  fellowship

vertical and horizontal

Jean Vanier was an accomplished naval officer who had recently completed a PhD, and whose family oozed with prestige (his father had been the Governor General of Canada). Yet, living in the small French village of Trosly-Breuil, Vanier was alone and downhearted. His pastor encouraged him to invite two disabled men to live with him, and L’Arche (communities where disabled and those who Vanier calls “temporarily-abled” share friendship and life together) was born. Fifty years later, L’Arche communities exist around the world.

earth’s shadow

When I see the moon at its thinnest stage, I sometimes think of a passage I read in Flannery O’Connor’s A Prayer Journal. The writer composed these poetic words for God: “You are the slim crescent of a moon . . . and my self is the earth’s shadow that keeps me from seeing all the moon . . . I do not know you God, because I am in the way. Please help me to push myself aside.”

better than myself

Charles complained to his friend about some lower back pain. He was seeking a sympathetic ear, but his friend gave him an honest assessment. “Your back isn’t your problem,” he pointed out. “It’s your stomach. Your stomach is so big it’s pulling on your back.”

heat of the battle

I talked with a former British elite forces soldier who had faced many battles and emerged unscathed. He said, “I don’t believe in God.” I challenged him by saying these familiar words: “There are no atheists on the battlefield.”

you choose Q: what's the mission of the church?

Q; What's the mission of the church?  —Sean

A: The church is a holy priesthood. As a body, it shares the gospel of Jesus Christ with the lost and intercedes with God for an unbelieving world (1 Peter 2:5,9). Acts 2:42 summarizes the activities of the earliest fellowship of believers—activities that should still characterize the church today—this way: “The believers devoted themselves to the…

our hope . . .

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—copy and design submitted by Terry and Pat Lampel, US

named

After telling a Bible story, the teacher asked his Sunday school class, “What’s the name of the beggar?” Six-year-old Tommy confidently shouted, “Lazarus!” The teacher then asked another question: “What is the name of the other man?” Another student shouted, “Rich man!”

clear communication

Many battles in life stem from false assumptions that are made due to lack of communication. For instance, we share a wall with our neighbors and—since moving in 6 months ago—they’ve been redecorating. The garden, the garage, the bathrooms, the bedrooms; nothing has escaped a hammer, an electric power tool, or a paintbrush.

one

Have you ever wanted to take a quick peek at someone else’s mail? Maybe it was an envelope from a doctor’s office that held the results of a family member’s recent medical tests. Or perhaps it was a letter addressed to your parents from an estranged family member. As you held the envelope in your hands, the temptation to open it might have felt overwhelming.

a surfer’s heart

The film Noah’s Arc: The Noah Snyder Documentary tells the story of Noah Snyder and his unique journey from growing up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina to establishing a professional surfing career. As my son and I watched it, we were moved by both the stellar surfing and the deep truths found in the story. It was inspiring to see Noah and several of his childhood friends mature from mere thrill-seekers to young men embracing purpose, responsibility, and a relationship with God.

life-giving speech

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—copy and design submitted by Terry and Pat Lampel, US

you choose Q: how do i know what God's plan is for me the rest of my life?

Q: Since my husband went to be with the Lord (over 4 years ago), the "new normal" for me has not been that normal! I need to work to support myself, but I also have a great support system in our grown kids, even though I don't want to burden them—they have their own families. My question is this: How do…

gentle heart

Recently, I was forced to bring my car to a complete stop on a busy road. A man in front of me had slammed on the brakes of his work truck, interrupting the flow of traffic. He climbed out of his cab, walked to the front of the idling vehicle, and stooped to pick something up. As he passed in front of my halted car, I could see that he was carrying a tiny turtle that he proceeded to place gently at the base of some shrubs far away from the road.

words with friends

Created in 2009, Words with Friends has become one of the most popular online games in the Apple store. It’s a multiplayer word game in which players take turns working with words in a way that resembles a crossword puzzle or Scrabble board. One of the fun features of the game is that it allows opponents to exchange messages with one another. The game isn’t only enjoyable and competitive, it also creates a platform to build friendships.

you choose Q: how do I move God from my head to my heart?

Q: How do I move God from my head to my heart? I have read so many books, watched so many biblical/theological videos, attended functions, listened to many people on the topic of God—and yet I cannot find Him in my heart-of-hearts. I do not know how to relate to Him on a personal level.  —Sharon

A: To “move God from…