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    Carefully Crafted

    In a YouTube video, Alan Glustoff, a cheese farmer in Goshen, New York, described his process for aging cheese, a process that adds to a cheese’s flavor and texture. Before it can be sent out to a market, each block of cheese remains on a shelf in an underground cave for six to twelve months. In this humid environment the cheese is carefully tended. “We do our best to give it the right environment to thrive . . . [and] to develop to its truest potential,” Glustoff explained.

    Glustoff’s passion for developing the potential of the cheese he produces reminded me…

    Not Second Rate

    After the conclusion of the First World War, US President Woodrow Wilson was recognized as one of the most powerful leaders on earth. But few knew that after a devastating stroke in 1919, it was his wife who managed nearly all of his affairs, determining which issues should be brought to his attention. In fact, modern historians believe that for a short while, it was really Edith Wilson who served as the President of the United States.

    If asked to name the leaders of the early church, most of us would list Peter, Paul, and Timothy as a handful possessing well-documented…

    Trust Your Armor

    As a young writer I was often unsure of myself when I was in writing workshops. I would look around and see rooms filled with giants, if you will—people with formal training or years of experience. I had neither. But what I did have was an ear formed by the language and tone and cadences of the King James Version of the Bible. It was very much my armor, so to speak, what I was used to, and allowing it to inform my writing style and voice has become a joy to me, and I hope to others.

    We don’t get…

    Use Your Voice

    I was invited to meet a world-renowned pianist. Since I grew up immersed in music, playing the violin, piano, and especially in singing solos for church and other events, I was thrilled at the opportunity.

    When I arrived to meet the pianist, I realized he spoke little English and to my surprise provided a cello for me to play—an instrument I’d never touched. He insisted that I play and he would accompany me. I screeched out a few notes, trying to mimic my violin training. Finally admitting that I was lost, we parted ways.

    I awoke, realizing the scenario had been a…

    Celebrating God’s Creativity

    As music filled the church auditorium, colorblind artist Lance Brown stepped onstage. He stood in front of a large white canvas, with his back to the congregation and dipped his brush into black paint. With smooth swipes, he completed a cross. Stroke after stroke with brushes and his hands, this visual storyteller created images of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. He covered the large patches of the canvas with black paint and added blue and white to finish a now abstract painting in less than six minutes. He picked up the canvas, turned it upside down, and revealed a hidden image—a…

    Overcoming Challenges

    We gathered monthly to hold one another accountable to our individual goals. My friend Mary wanted to reupholster the seats of her dining room chairs before the year’s end. At our November meeting she wittily reported her progress from October: “It took ten months and two hours to recover my chairs.” After months of not being able to obtain the materials required, or find the quiet hours away from her demanding job and her toddler’s needs, the project took merely two hours of committed work to finish.

    The Lord called Nehemiah to a far greater project: to bring restoration to Jerusalem…

    The Way to Purity

    Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart . . . . For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man . . . —Matthew 15:18-20

    Initially we trust in our ignorance, calling it innocence, and next we trust our innocence, calling it purity. Then when we hear these strong statements …

    Many Gifts, One Purpose

    Corn, also called maize, is the staple food in my home country of Mexico. There are so many different types. You can find yellow, brown, red, and black cobs, even mixed ones with a wonderful spotted pattern. But people in the cities usually won’t eat the spotted cobs. As restaurateur and researcher Amado Ramírez explains, they somehow believe uniformity is a synonym of quality. Yet the spotted cobs taste good, and they make excellent tortillas.

    The church of Christ is much more similar to a spotted ear of corn than to a cob of just one color. The apostle Paul used…

    The Fingerprint of God

    Lygon Stevens loved to climb mountains with her brother Nick. They were experienced climbers and both had summitted Mt. McKinley, the highest point in North America. Then, in January 2008, they were swept off a Colorado mountain by an avalanche, injuring Nick and killing twenty-year-old Lygon. When Nick later discovered his sister’s journal in one of her satchels, he was deeply comforted by its contents. It was filled with reflections, prayers, and praise to God as seen in this entry: “I am a work of art, signed by God. But He’s not done; in fact, He has just begun. .…

    Loving God with our gifts

    Whether you’re an artist or a mathematician, God has built into each of us a creative spark! And today on Discover the Word, we consider the ways in which our creative talents are used by God to love others. Loving God with our craft—it’s part of the series titled “Beauty-Full Beings.” Tune in today for […]

    Defeating the green-eyed monster

    No one wants to admit that they’re green with envy. But we’ve all found ourselves struggling with jealousy at one time or another. Today on Discover the Word, the team looks at Paul’s teaching to the Corinthians on how we can defeat the green-eyed monster, with the love of Christ. Be part of the group […]

    Playing in Concert

    During our granddaughter’s school band concert, I was impressed by how well this group of 11- and 12-year-olds played together. If each of them had wanted to be a solo performer, they could not have achieved individually what the band did collectively. The woodwinds, brass, and percussion sections all played their parts and the result was beautiful music!

    To the followers of Jesus in Rome, Paul wrote, “In Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Rom. 12:5–6). Among the gifts…

    I Wanted to Sing, But God’s Track was Different

    I had always loved singing and wanted to join the singing club in school. However, God had a different track in mind for me.

    Discover how Christ changes our hearts to be like His

    The Bible tells us that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains. But even that is worthless without this one thing. Today on Discover the Word,  the team continues their study of 1 Corinthians 13 titled,  “Falling into Love.” We’ll see how Christ changes our hearts to be like His. Join us […]

    It’s Not Me

    While on vacation recently, I gave my razor a rest and grew a beard. Various responses came from friends and co-workers—and most were complimentary. One day, however, I looked at the beard and decided, “It’s not me.” So out came the razor.

    I’ve been thinking about the idea of who we are and why one thing or another does not fit our personality. Primarily, it’s because God has bestowed us with individual differences and preferences. It’s okay that we don’t all like the same hobbies, eat the same foods, or worship in the same church. We are each uniquely and “wonderfully…

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