Volume 20.01 | January 2019

  • Happy birthday, Activated!

    This introduction page has traditionally served to present the issue’s topics, highlight an article or sometimes to share an anecdote or personal reflection. In keeping with the calendar, this month’s issue is primarily focused on the challenges and possibilities of the New Year. But I’d like to also take a moment to let you in […]

  • Raising the sails

    Anything that we want to do well at in life requires effort, including growing in Christlikeness. It takes work to consciously and deliberately develop godly beliefs, habits, attitudes, thinking, and behavior. It also calls for intentionally letting go of wrong beliefs, harmful habits, ungodly attitudes, erroneous thinking, and bad behavior. Throughout the New Testament, we […]

  • The big leap

    It was snowing when we packed the last items into the container that was waiting at an appointed lot in an industrial area, almost ready to be shipped. This was the last trip to the container before it left on its journey across the ocean with a load of personal effects and donated items that […]

  • Flow with it

    A few years ago, I was involved in a volunteer project that operated a meal center for underprivileged students. For the first two years, I helped with cleaning the kitchen, shopping for food supplies, and meal preparation. I felt a sense of pride in helping to produce well-balanced, delicious, yet economical meals. My diligence was […]

  • Jonah and me

    One of the best-known stories in the Bible is also one of the strangest. Nearly everyone, it seems, knows about Jonah and the whale. It’s a Sunday school favorite. But it’s also one of those perplexing tales that makes one wonder, Why, God, why? The first mention of Jonah in the Bible1 establishes that Jonah […]

  • Cracked!

    My new year literally started with a bang! On December 31st, my phone leaped out of my hand in an apparent dive of depression. I picked it up immediately, not really expecting anything to be wrong. It had fallen on a carpeted floor, and I’d dropped it several times before without damage. Well, this time […]

  • The view

    I recently climbed Table Mountain, here in South Africa, and what a wonder it is! A flat-topped mountain smack-dab in the middle of a city, overlooking two oceans, and with a mountain range dubbed “The 12 Apostles” right behind it. It’s over 3,500 feet (1,066 m) high and teeming with gorgeous vegetation, birds, wild animals, […]

  • Beginning again 

    I’m glad to say there is such a place as The Land of Beginning Again, and you can find it, no matter who you are or what your past has been. You’ll find that place in these verses from the Bible: “God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. … if […]

  • Bouncing on the bow of a Bangka boat

    On a trip to attend my son’s wedding in the Philippines, I had the joy of riding on a bangka boat, a Filipino vessel that looks like a catamaran and has a pontoon on both sides, which gives it great stability. This sleek, swift, slender design has been in use for thousands of years and continues to […]

  • Embracing change

    I’ve always been fascinated by the stories of people who just up and change their lives. The successful surgeon who becomes a baker, the beggar who becomes a Wall Street tycoon, the soccer mom who becomes a backpacking mountaineer, the high-powered corporate couple who embrace minimalism and travel the world living out of a suitcase. […]

  • Take that step

    I do not force anyone to walk through the doors I lead them to, because I want My children to make their own choices. But the door is there, and if you walk through it, you’ll find a great light, for I am the way, the truth, and the life.1 So don’t be afraid to […]