Tag Archives: Editor’s Introduction

  • The prison

    There’s a story of a visit Pope Leo XII made to the jail of the Papal States in 1825, which goes like this: The pope insisted on questioning each of the prisoners as to how he had come to be there. As you’d expect, every man protested his innocence—all but one, that is, who admitted […]

  • The secret

    Decisions come in all shapes and sizes. Every day we face decisions about what to eat, whether to exercise, how to use our time, etc. Over the years, these decisions become habits, and we don’t think much about them. If we’ve made good decisions from the start, we don’t usually have to worry about them. […]

  • God’s party

    I can’t remember ever coming across this verse until the other day. At least, it never stood out to me the way it did this time. That could be because the book of the prophet Zephaniah is one of the lesser-known zip codes in the Bible: “The Lord your God wins victory after victory and is always […]

  • Something new

    Goodbye 2017 and hello 2018! Another year is behind us, and a brand-new year, brimming with possibilities, lies ahead. If last year was a difficult one, we may be glad to see the end of it, but there are probably many who are peering into the new year with lack of confidence, trepidation, and even […]

  • The Prince of Peace

    Sometimes it feels like the world is getting darker and colder all the time. When the sun sets, we look for some ray of hope. That hope is here. Two thousand years ago, over the town of Bethlehem, a new star shone and an angel proclaimed to a group of shepherds, “Behold, I bring you […]

  • Four loves

    In modern English, the word “love” conveys a range of emotions, but the classical Greeks were more precise. They had four words that have all been translated as “love” in English: Storgē roughly fits our English word “affection,” especially the type of affection within families. It can also be used in a “put up with” […]

  • 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 […]

  • To learn and to grow

    Children are natural learners. As long as their basic needs are met, their thirst for new information and experiences is boundless. If they’re happy and have interesting things to do and safe places in which to do them, that’s even better. Neuroscience research tells us that 90% of a child’s brain development occurs at a […]

  • The secret

    Living a Christian’s life in today’s complex and intricate world can seem quite difficult. So many things demand our attention on a moment-by-moment basis. Most of them aren’t bad, but they take our time and can keep us from growing in our faith. Yet we all know people who seem to have found a way to […]

  • God’s invitation

    In working on this issue of Activated, I came across this great quote: “Relationship with God isn’t about what you do, how you do it, or where you do it—it’s about knowing who God really is.” Even Jesus’ disciples struggled with really knowing God. One day when they were observing Jesus while He prayed, they noticed how […]

  • Principal and interest

    In the course of working on this issue, I came across an inspiring story about two great men of God. I’d like to share it with you. Charles Spurgeon, the famous evangelist, and George Müller, the thief-turned-Christian who founded and directed five orphanages, both lived in 19th-century England. Once Spurgeon ran a campaign to raise […]

  • The most significant decision

    An American shoe representative was sent to a remote region of Africa. Before long, he wired the home office: “Selling shoes in this part of the world is pointless! Nobody here wears shoes!” He returned home, and the manufacturer sent another representative. This one wired back order after order. “Everybody in this part of the […]