The Word Among Us

January 2004 Issue


The following chart is given as an overview of the six "vital signs" that we will be exploring this month and next. As you read the articles associated with each vital sign, take a look also at the Scripture passages listed here for further explanation and to help you pray about them. Next month, we will emphasize the last three signs in another chart, again to supplement study and understanding. More »

About four years ago, I had a deep conversion experience in which I made a personal decision to give my life to Jesus and to follow him. That decision, and the initial experience of the Lord's love, filled me with enthusiasm. I felt I could do anything for Christ. Over the next two years, however, the enthusiasm waned, and I grew indifferent to prayer and Scripture. I also began to fall into my old sin patterns, and with each sin I committed, I felt consumed by guilt and powerless to change. More »

One day, Jesus invited Peter and Andrew to come and follow him. "At once," Matthew says, "they left their nets and followed him" (Matthew 4:19-20). Did these future apostles simply see Jesus for the first time, hear only three words, and then leave their homes, families, and livelihoods to follow him? It's possible, but somewhat doubtful. More likely, this was Matthew's way of dramatizing a radical decision that probably had more history to it than he recounted. Most commentators believe that Peter and Andrew had heard Jesus preach a few times and may well have spent time alone speaking with him before they left everything behind to become his disciples. More »

Hanging on the wall in the police station is a large poster with the picture of a known criminal. Underneath the picture are the words, "Wanted, Dead or Alive." Clearly, the authorities wanted this man off the street—however that happened. And for that to happen, there are only two options, and they are mutually exclusive. After all, you can't be both dead and alive at the same time! More »

Tammy nervously walked into the medical center. After a thirty-minute wait, she was brought in to see her doctor. He opened her file and began to read a series of statistics to her: "Your pulse is good, and your blood pressure is 120 over 65. Temperature is a perfect 98.6. Your lungs are strong, and your weight falls in the normal range. The blood test identified your cholesterol to be a bit high at 210. The AIDS test came back negative, and your blood count is good. Your EKG showed a rhythmic heartbeat free of any abnormalities. It looks like you're in pretty good shape, Tammy. But I'd like you to work on lowering your cholesterol this year. Let's talk about how you can do this." More »

Special Feature

Every January, churches from many different traditions set aside a special week to pray for Christian unity. And every year, Pope John Paul II uses the occasion to encourage all of its members to participate. More »

Luke was an angry child because his mother was too sick to care for him and his little sisters. His father didn't know how, so he often locked him in his room. After his father abandoned the family, Luke's grandparents received custody of the children. In first grade the angry youngster was assigned a mentor from Kids Hope USA. By fifth grade, he was named the most improved student in his class. More »

Easy for a saint to say? Consider the fact that this saint, a passionate woman with strong desires, had to keep revising her understanding of God's plan for her. Determined to glorify God with her life, she willingly set aside one objective after another until she discovered that only in God's time and way could her deepest desires be fulfilled. More »