A Wave of Compassion By Dan Reiland
On January 18, 2005 I returned from a tsunami relief trip to the country of Sri Lanka. Four others from Crossroads Community Church (where I serve) and a group from World Hope International comprised our team of nine people. We traveled halfway around the world to the center of the devastation caused by the tsunami on December 26, 2004.
What we saw, felt and experienced is difficult to put into words – that's one of the reasons why two of the people on our team were part of a film crew. It was our desire to capture the story of God's compassion, both already in action and the potential to be expressed, in a country where Christianity is not only the minority, but persecuted. Let me tell you about just a portion of our experience.
WHAT ARE YOU COMMITTED TO? By Dr. John C. Maxwell
What do you think of when you hear the word commitment? Perhaps you picture a loving husband caring for his invalid wife. Maybe you envision a business owner who puts her resources and reputation on the line to lead her company through a crisis. Perhaps you see a dedicated teacher who spends hours of his own time tutoring underprivileged children. Or maybe the scene that comes to mind is one of a group of soldiers who willingly enters harm's way to protect their countrymen.
These are all wonderful examples of commitment. But have you considered the fact that individuals who act in less admirable ways also are committed? People who watch the clock at work are committed to making it through the day so they can go home. People who spend most of their free time in front of the television are committed to taking life easy. People who cheat on their income taxes are committed to beating the system.
Ministry: Past, Present, Future By Dan Reiland
Blaise Pascal. A unusual name to start the first article of 2005, but one of Pascal's writings stirred some thoughts during a morning devotional time last week.
Pascal was born in 1623 in France. He was famous as a scientist and a brilliant mathematician. Today his scientific work is largely forgotten, except for a few of his more famous ideas, such as "Pascal's Triangle." Pascal's theological writings, however, have sustained strongly with substantial impact over the centuries. Even though he was a Catholic, Protestants have warmly embraced his reflections, particularly after John Wesley commended his essay on conversion.
GET CONNECTED By Dr. John C. Maxwell
When I was growing up, I was pretty good at getting into trouble.
I wasn't a bad kid. But I did have a high energy level and a creative mind, which, as you can imagine, often led me into all kinds of mischief.
Once, when my fourth-grade teacher was playing the piano with her back to the class, I talked all my classmates into sneaking out of the room and into the hallway. Mrs. Tacy didn't even know we were gone until she finished her song and turned around.
That kind of behavior might have caused some teachers to write me off as a troublemaker, but not Mrs. Tacy. Despite all the orneriness I displayed in her class, she saw my potential. And she loved me in spite of my conduct.