Volume 18.10 | October 2017

  • 01-Planting-trees

    Planting trees 

    “The Man Who Planted Trees,” by Jean Giono, is the allegorical tale of Elzéard Bouffier, a humble shepherd who single-handedly transformed a barren region of southern France by planting nuts as he watched his sheep graze on a different hillside each day. It also inspired the motto that appears on the cover of each issue […]

  • 02-Shine-your-light

    Shine your light!

    I first met Marina almost 20 years ago at a workshop organized by a Japanese NGO for Bosnian refugee women. She was warm and friendly and was definitely adding her own very original artist’s touch to the event, even though she was just helping these women make some simple greeting cards. A few years later, […]

  • 03-How-to-make-a-difference

    How to make a difference

    A sad part of my day is when I listen to the news. Almost everything is about people facing terrible situations. Both Christians and non-Christians face very painful suffering in one form or another in many parts of the world. Much of the news is about some tragic circumstance somewhere. It ranges from financial crises […]

  • 04-who-is-my-neigbour

    Who is my neighbor?

    I was reading the familiar story of the Good Samaritan1 from a well-illustrated cartoon Bible to a group of eight- to nine-year-old Sunday school students. It ended with the question Jesus asked: “‘Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?’ The expert in the […]

  • 05-Georges-story

    George’s story 

    “This humanitarian work you do—is there some religious motivation? If it’s religious, I’m an atheist.” The old bum tugging at my arm looked more like a beast than a man. His shriveled body bore all the marks of extreme alcoholism, but his eyes were alert and pled with mine. “I was once an atheist, too,” […]

  • 06-Light-up-your-corner

    Light up your corner

    I stirred at the now-familiar sound of a baby crying plaintively. Behind the partitioning curtain, I could hear his mother’s despondent, weary voice trying to soothe him. I was fifteen, and I was in the children’s ward of the hospital after having undergone a tonsillectomy the day before. Contrary to expectations, there had been some […]

  • 07-The-power-of-a-smile

    The power of a smile

    Smiles are powerful. You’ve probably met a few gifted people, like I have, who radiate warmth and friendliness all the time. They smile so much that just being around them charges your spiritual battery. Babies are experts in this as well. Without saying a word, they lighten your day with their smiles. These days, many […]

  • 08-The-joy-of-serving

    The joy of serving

    For the last few years, I’ve volunteered in a project teaching underprivileged youngsters. I was brought up in a typical Indian upper-middle-class family, and for most of my life, I’ve lived in an affluent neighborhood of the city where I was raised and have enjoyed a comfortable lifestyle. So it was bit of a culture […]

  • 09-Momentum

    Momentum

    When suffering a big loss or being overwhelmed by life’s obstacles, changes, and problems, it can almost seem impossible or hopeless to win—but this is when putting up a fight and giving it your best effort can result in a major, “impossible,” come-from-behind victory that changes history. I never saw this point so clearly made […]

  • 10-Looking-outwards

    Looking outwards

    Life can be so incredibly busy, and that can hinder our spiritual lives. It can be a struggle to find the time to commune with God, to spend time in His presence and in His Word. It’s as if there is a strong gravitational force that keeps us tethered to the burdens of daily life, […]

  • 11-Make-someone-s-day

    Make someone’s day

    Have you ever had a bad day just because you crossed paths with someone who was in a foul mood? Maybe it was someone on the bus or another customer in a store—someone who you normally wouldn’t have even noticed—but that one grumpy or inconsiderate person cast a pall on your whole day. On the […]