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MAY 2005 ISSUE HOMEPAGE
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A Breath of Fresh Air
A Merry Heart
A Woman's World
A Word in Season
Acting Up
As I Imitate Christ
Cyber Walk
Faith Seekers
Golden Apples
Heaven Bound
Just Between Men
Take it to Heart
Teen Truth
The Joy of Family
The Parents'
Survival Guide

The Rhythm of Life
The Treehouse
Through Their Eyes
'Tis the Season
We Are the Church
Well Read


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From the Editor -
Randy Chambers
Take it to Heart
Featured Article
Take to heartBring Us Joy in the Morning
By Randy Chambers

"Father, forgive us where we have sinned. And…"

And, I knew what was coming next. Ed finishes every prayer the same—almost always. The few times he hasn’t closed his prayer as normal, I have almost felt as though I was being robbed of something. How silly is that? Something about the way Ed prays touches my heart deeply. Something about the way Ed lives causes me often to stop and think, and to reflect. I enjoy the times I get to meet with him, and look forward to getting to hear anything he has to say. And I always wait with great anticipation, the closing of his prayers, "…forgive us where we have sinned. And bring us joy in the morning."

I have heard a lot of people end their prayers each time as the time before. If that was all there was to it, I suppose I would not take such notice of Ed’s closing. But Ed’s words are not just words.

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God's Smiley Face
By Al Boyce

It was the kind of perfect, cloud-free, summer day the beaches of Maine sometimes unveil, like a shy bride in the middle of the August doldrums.
There was a foretaste of autumn in the deep blue of the sky, the white diamond sun making the sand blaze with something more like gladness than heat.

12-year-old Richie kicked up puffs of sand as he sprinted toward the icy black ocean, veering away after a brief splash in the shallows. Then he slowed to a beach-combers' pace and traipsed along the seaweed that marked the tide's highest mark.

On Maine beaches, the most sought-after prize in those days was a sand dollar, the polished gray shell of a creature that clings in life to craggy rocks revealed amid the crashing surf at low tide.

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Take to heartThere is Nothing Here
By Brian C. Thompson

It is profoundly disappointing. I am not quite sure what I had expected but it was more than this. I stoop and step into a cool, dark, empty place. And that is all there is. It is cool. It is dark. It is empty.

Yet so much happened here. For a brief moment, an unremarkable spot on a tired old planet was witness to an act of unparalleled power. Nothing that went before could be compared to it. Nothing that came after would be the same. It was not possible that an act of such magnitude, of such transcendent significance could occur within these walls and leave no trace behind.

Here life changed forever. Not my life; all life. Here a door opened out of one world into another and already the air shakes with the echo of tramping feet passing between the two. Unhurried. Unfaltering. Unstoppable.

They tell me they have found where life began. Two hundred billion years ago or more, in the shape of a microscopic cell. Somehow by chanceful mutation we are grown to this place. They are wrong. Whatever that was it was not life. This is life. This is where it starts. It is more than a new beginning. It is a new order. Before this we had a history. Now we have a future.

Growing accustomed to the gloom I strain past the shadows into the corners of this place. But there is no message here for me. I turn to go. This should have been such a moment. Where is the lightning? Where the thunder? I should be dazzled and deafened yet nothing moves in this place.

I step out into the light and smell of the world. It is the same and not the same. The world’s compass has been realigned because the world’s owner was carried inert and lifeless into that hole in the wall and left there. Left to lie unbreathing while the night wheeled over his head and his friends wept and walked away.

Only at the point of departure do I understand. It is not what is here that matters. It is what is not. Had there been something to find, the world would have been poorer not richer for it. There is a strange and beautiful symmetry to all this. When the wisdom of the age proclaimed the planet to be mounted on the back of a tortoise, it was already written ‘He hangs the earth upon nothing.’ How true that is! Redemption pivots across the truth found in this empty place. "He is not here. He is risen."
Brian Thompson is from England, married to Vi who is a teacher and has 3 children. He works as an IFA but would really like to finish his book! You can write to Brian through the Letters page of this magazine.