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great expectations

Most of us have an innate desire to help others. We work overtime to ensure that the company meets an important deadline. The sound engineer makes sure the new church sound system is ready for the Sunday service. A young man loses his job and his father offers to pay his rent. These stories remind... read more »

the source

For the past 2 years, I’ve served in a church in the urban heart of a large city. It’s a difficult ministry that calls one to have deep compassion and an open heart for others—things that don’t come naturally to me. I often feel woefully unqualified and wonder how I can be the person of... read more »

the tale of three men

Once there were three men who served in the same community—Gaius, Diotrephes, and Demetrius. Gaius was “Mr. Nice Guy.” But that doesn’t mean he was a pushover, as some movies portray nice guys. He rightly discerned who needed help and faithfully cared for those who served God—even if they... read more »

selfish servants

The lighthouse keepers had survived harsh and lonely conditions on a meager salary, endured the incessant roar of the foghorn, and rowed their lifeboat onto stormy seas to rescue sailors. But the keepers had also resisted efforts to install a new lens that would have doubled the amount of light... read more »

use my room

When I agreed to help start a book club at my church, I was excited about choosing the titles and discussing the literary works. I wavered, however, when I had to decide where to hold the meetings. (My house often has cluttered countertops and my kitchen appliances don’t always sparkle.)... read more »

planted

Accompanied by a cool breeze, the sunlight slowly spread over the horizon. It was a beautiful morning to plant. Grabbing various tools, my husband and I set out to rake back mulch and dig some holes. We had carefully selected plants that would work in the various growing environments our yard... read more »

love as you love yourself

Following a mass shooting in which a dozen victims were murdered, a writer lamented that the horrific event received a lack of media coverage and national attention. “What number of dead here would it have taken to give the nation pause?” Cynthia McCabe lamented in a blog post. While some people... read more »

extending grace

When I was growing up, my family often became frustrated because I would take whatever I wanted into my possession. If anything went missing, the invariable response was to “look in Gina’s room,” for I was sure to have nabbed it. In a just vindication of their frustrations, my hairbrush now... read more »

learning from each other

Our young daughter Katelyn enjoys playing solitaire, but she lacks the patience to persist through the difficult points in the game. Instead of trying to solve being “stuck,” she’ll simply start a new game. I’ve challenged her not to give up but to seek the next available move. In my brief... read more »

be patient

If you had the opportunity to handpick the members of your local church or small group, would you choose people who always . . . • fail to do what they’re supposed to do? • give you 10 reasons why your ideas won’t work? • find it hard to consistently do God’s will? I’m guessing you... read more »
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