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for everyone

The very first time one of the apostles stood up and publicly addressed a crowd about the good news of Jesus, he wanted to make it crystal-clear that what he was proclaiming was for everyone. The New Testament book of Acts tells us that this happened on the day of Pentecost—an annual Jewish feast.... read more »

hear the Word

Paul’s closing remarks indicate how his letters were presented. The church gathered to hear the letter read out loud and, when they had heard it, the letter was copied by hand before it was sent on to another city. So the average Christians heard God’s Word with their ears before seeing it with... read more »

hurt people hurt people

I was babysitting two 5-year-old boys while their mothers went shopping. They were having a fun time playing together until one of the children threw a ball that accidentally struck the other on the nose. The boy who was hurt scolded his friend and said, “You can never come over to my house... read more »

sin-eaters

Many years ago, sin-eating was practiced in parts of the UK and the US. A sin-eater was normally a poor, hungry person who was brought to the home of a dead person, where he was given some bread to eat and a drink to consume. After having his fill, he would then ritually pray over the deceased. This... read more »

in the café

Crystal stares out the café window, wondering if life will ever improve. Five men, two kids, all by age 29. She’s lonely and wonders if man no. 6 will make things better. Jesus walks through the café door and sits down at Crystal’s table. “I could really go for a coffee,” He says with a... read more »

out of the abyss

Why did I repeatedly deny I knew Him? How could I have betrayed His trust? These and other questions probably filled Simon Peter’s troubled mind as he walked away from the courtyard in shame. He had just denied his Master and Lord three times. At certain moments in our lives, we’ve all been able... read more »

diamond in the rough

Michael Dettlaff’s visit to Arkansas’ Crater of Diamonds State Park in 2013 turned out to be one gem of a trip! The 12-year-old ended up leaving its confines with a truly precious stone. The park, where visitors can dig up and keep jewels, has given up more than 75,000 diamonds since it was... read more »

in the end . . .

“In the East End I found grace and faith and hope hidden in the darkest corners. I found tenderness and squalor and laughter amid filth. I found a purpose and a path, and I worked with a passion for the best reason of all—I did it for love.” This quote from an episode of the BBC TV series Call... read more »

gradual catastrophe

Scott and Robin began to worry when cracks appeared in the walls of their home. Over the course of 2 weeks, the fractures widened until their garage dropped away from their house. The rest of their property shifted and eventually sank 10 feet below street level. Then eight of their neighbors endured... read more »

not outsmarted

The French philosopher Voltaire suspected that he would win the lottery in 1729. With a statistician friend he calculated that the jackpot would be much greater than the cost of all the tickets. They pooled their money with other friends, bought as many tickets as possible, won, and split the prize... read more »
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