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    A Hand Up

    My children have enjoyed the thrill of a backyard ice-skating rink during our cold Idaho winters. When they were young, learning to skate was challenging: persuading them to deliberately set foot on the hard, icy surface proved difficult because they knew the pain of falling. Each time their feet slid out from under them, my husband or I would reach out to pull them again to their feet, setting them upright and steadying their frames.

    Having someone there to help us up when we fall is the gift of a helping hand depicted in Ecclesiastes. Working with another makes our work…

    The Blessing of Encouragers

    The 2010 movie, The King’s Speech, tells the story of England’s King George VI, who unexpectedly became monarch when his brother abandoned the throne. With the country on the brink of World War II, government officials wanted a well-spoken leader because of the increasingly influential role of the radio. King George VI, however, struggled with a stuttering problem.

    I was especially drawn to the film’s portrayal of George’s wife Elizabeth. Throughout George’s painful struggle to overcome his speech difficulty, she was his constant source of encouragement. Her steadfast devotion helped provide the support he needed to overcome his stutter and rule well…

    To My Dear Friend

    What the apostle John did for his friend Gaius in the first century is a dying art in the twenty-first century. John wrote him a letter.

    One writer for the New York Times, Catherine Field, said, “Letter-writing is among our most ancient of arts. Think of letters and the mind falls on Paul of Tarsus,” for example. And we can add the apostle John.

    In his letter to Gaius, John included hopes for good health of body and soul, an encouraging word about Gaius’s faithfulness, and a note about his love for the church. John also spoke of a problem in the church,…

    How Deep Is The Love Of God

    Did you know that in many ways, we’ve explored outer space more than we’ve explored our own oceans? It’s true! The depths are mysterious and in many ways unknown. Today on Discover the Word, the team concludes their study on the “Four-Dimensional Love of God” by discussing the infinite depths of God’s love today on Discover the Word!

    How High Is The Love Of God

    What did the apostle Paul mean when he prayed we would grasp the “height” of God’s love? Today on Discover the Word, we will dig into Paul’s profound description of “The 4-D Love of God” to show us how we don’t need to be afraid of heights. Be part of the conversation today on Discover the Word!

    How Long Is The Love Of God

    When people “take the long view,” they’re looking at the present and the future and likely taking into account the past as well. Well, today on Discover the Word, the team will discuss the apostle Paul’s description of “the length of God’s love.” Take the long view of God’s love for us . . . join […]

    How Wide Is The Love Of God

    What do you think of when you hear the term, “wide open spaces”? Does it give you a longing for that kind of freedom? Today on Discover the Word, we’ll discuss what the apostle Paul meant when he talked about how “wide” the love of God is. It’s a conversation about a love that’s wide enough […]

    “Four Dimensional Love Of God”

    From Marco Polo to Amelia Earhart and Neil Armstrong, it’s in our DNA to explore the air, the sea, and the outer reaches of space. Today on Discover the Word, you’re invited to begin an exploration into the height, and depth, and length, and width of God’s love. Discover the “Four Dimensional Love of God” when you listen […]

    Whispering Words

    The young man fidgeted as he sat down for his flight. His eyes darted back and forth to the aircraft windows. Then he closed his eyes and breathed deeply, trying to calm himself—but it didn’t work. As the plane took off, he slowly rocked back and forth. An older woman across the aisle from him put her hand on his arm and gently engaged him in conversation to divert his attention from his stress. “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “We’re going to be okay,” and “You’re doing well” were a few things she whispered. She could have been…

    Pulling Together

    Why do more than five million people a year pay money to run several miles over an obstacle course where they must ascend vertical walls, slog through mud, and climb up inside a vertical pipe with water pouring down on them? Some see it as a personal challenge to push their limit of endurance or conquer their fears. For others, the attraction is teamwork where competitors help and support each other. One person called it “a no-judgment zone” where people who are strangers will reach out to help each other finish the race (Stephanie Kanowitz, The Washington Post).

    The Bible urges…

    Pulling Together

    Why do more than five million people a year pay money to run several miles over an obstacle course where they must ascend vertical walls, slog through mud, and climb up inside a vertical pipe with water pouring down on them? Some see it as a personal challenge to push their limit of endurance or conquer their fears. For others, the attraction is teamwork where competitors help and support each other. One person called it “a no-judgment zone” where people who are strangers will reach out to help each other finish the race (Stephanie Kanowitz, The Washington Post).

    The Bible urges…

    A Blessing Bowl

    The familiar bing of an arriving email caught my attention while I wrote at my computer. Usually I try to resist the temptation to check every email but the subject line was too enticing: “You are a blessing.”

    Eagerly, I opened it to discover a faraway friend telling me she was praying for my family. Each week, she displays one Christmas card photo in her kitchen table “Blessing Bowl” and prays for that family. She wrote, “I thank God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1:3) and then highlighted our efforts to share God’s love with others—our “partnership” in the gospel.

    Through…

    How to Change a Life

    Sometimes our lives can change in a moment through the powerful impact of others. For rock ‘n’ roll legend Bruce Springsteen, it was the work of musical artists that helped him through a difficult childhood and a persistent struggle with depression. He found meaning in his own work through the truth he’d experienced firsthand, that “You can change someone’s life in three minutes with the right song.”

    Like a compelling song, others’ well-chosen words can also give us hope, even change the course of our lives. I’m sure most of us could share stories of a conversation that forever impacted our…

    Everyday Moments

    I piled groceries in my car and carefully exited my parking spot. Suddenly a man darted across the pavement just in front of me, not noticing my approach. I slammed on my brakes, just missing him. Startled, he looked up and met my gaze. In that moment, I knew I had a choice: respond with rolled-eye frustration or offer a smiling forgiveness. I smiled.

    Relief flickered across his face, raising the edges of his own lips in gratefulness.

    Proverbs 15:13 says, “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.” Is the writer directing us to cheery grins in…

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