Volume 17.02 | February 2016

  • A tale of two riddles

    The other day, someone sent me a list of riddles, which led to the realization that I’m not very good at riddles. I figure I need practice, so I’ve been testing the patience of those around me, thinking up riddles of my own, some better than others. Here’s one: What do a picnic in Wales, […]

  • Picnic lunch

    On one of those glorious spring days that make your heart sing, our family went on a day’s outing to Bodnant, a famous botanical garden in North Wales. We spent hours exploring 80 acres of lawns and terraces; bathing in a cascade of color and fragrance as we walked amongst the rhododendrons, tulips, and lilies; […]

  • Practicing gratitude

    Each of us is a recipient of God’s love and care. Developing an attitude of gratefulness to God builds within us an attitude of gratefulness for life and for all that it brings our way. When we take a moment to stop and look around, when we see the birds, the sky, the view, the […]

  • The jasmine bush

    My brother’s death hit me hard, perhaps because it was so unexpected. John died of a heart attack at only 51. Until then, he had seemed strong, healthy, and in the prime of life, so it was difficult for me to come to terms with this loss. We had been very close as children, and […]

  • Passion rekindled

    I don’t remember the first time we met; he just always seemed to be around when I was growing up. My parents made a point of inviting him to join us on summer vacations and practically every other family event. We used to walk to and from school together—we were quite close back then and […]

  • A man among men

    It looked like a small settlement—rows of matching buildings on one side and neat vegetable gardens on the other. In the distance was a basketball court. Further yet, a vendor sold fruit. I walked up the dirt path behind my father, who chatted with some men as he walked. Small crowds gathered as we passed […]

  • God never lets go

    Quite a few years ago, when I had barely begun my journey as a volunteer missionary, I was faced with a big decision. I was fretting and fearful and ended up struggling for days with this decision. God eventually answered by giving me a simple illustration. It was a picture of a little girl holding […]

  • Reserved for Him

    Some of the loneliest people are surrounded by others, yet they feel that no one understands them.—That is, the real person that they are. They long for someone to share their interests and problems, to sympathize with them. But it’s true that even your lifelong companion, your closest friend, does not really know you, does […]

  • The kaleidoscope of God’s love

    Love is like a stream. Some days it flows and rushes, for there is plenty. On other days it trickles, and you can see it bouncing against the unseen rocks. But even when love is dry and has lost its flow and lies nearly empty on the muddy bottom, there is more love to come. […]

  • Postcard from Verona

    I was born in the hometown of Romeo and Juliet. Every day on my way to school, I used to walk past the famous balcony where Shakespeare has the pair exchange passionate vows after a party.. I recently returned to Verona, in the north of Italy, and passed by again—but the thick crowd of tourists […]

  • My little girl

    As many first-time mothers can probably relate to, nothing holds my interest like observing my little girl. Her facial expressions, the excitement in her eyes, her curiosity—just about everything she does brings out the motherly love in me. And one wonderful day I realized that’s how Jesus, in His unconditional love, is looking at me. […]

  • Arms around me

    Happiness is made up of many things: it is a smile of a child, the golden glows of a sunrise, the warm hug of a loved one, health after sickness. But such happiness is also transitory: a child does not always smile, the sunrise may be overshadowed with dark clouds, a loved one may leave, […]