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c ti v te

CHANGE YOUR LIF E | CHANGE YOUR WORLD

TEACHER BECOMES
STUDENT
We could all use some help

QUALITY OF LIFE
An interview with God

THE STUFF HEAVEN


IS MADE OF
The humble have it
c ti v te
P E R S O N A L LY S P E A K I N G
For a wide range of books and
audio and video productions to
feed your soul, contact one of our
distributors below, or visit our Pride is one of those character traits
Web site at www.activated.org that can work for us or against us,
Activated Ministries depending on which kind of pride we
P.O. Box 462805 have. In the positive sense, pride is a
Escondido, CA 92046–2805 sign of healthy self-esteem, which is important to our overall
USA happiness. It’s good when we can take pride in a job well
info@activatedministries.org done, for example. It also inspires us to keep going in the right
(877) 862–3228 direction when others tell us they are proud of us for our good
qualities or some good we have done. In the negative sense,
Activated Europe pride is an often unjustified or exaggerated feeling of superiority.
Bramingham Pk. Business Ctr. That kind of pride is arguably the cause of most of our problems.
Enterprise Way Pride—the wrong kind—plays a major part in most conflicts,
Luton, Beds. LU3 4BU from sibling rivalries and marital problems to strife in the
United Kingdom workplace and wars between nations. Pride’s egotistic, know-it-
activatedEurope@activated.org all attitude keeps us from reaching our full potential because it
+44 (0) 845 838 1384 says to those we could learn from that we don’t need their help.
Activated Africa Pride is a leading cause of loneliness because it throws up walls
P.O. Box 2150 between us and others. Pride makes us fear failure, which often
Westville 3630 leads to actual failure. Pride makes us critical, intolerant, and
South Africa impatient. In short, pride is the enemy of happiness. It’s also
activatedAfrica@activated.org part of our human nature.
083 55 68 213 There is hope, though, and an antidote—humility. That quality
is usually a bit harder to come by, but it is available to all of us
Activated India
and is within our reach. We just need to want it and cultivate
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it. Like anything else that doesn’t come naturally, that takes
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Bangalore – 560 001
try. “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask
India
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Activated Philippines and answers us” (1 John 5:14–15).
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ActivatedPI@activated.org
Cel: (0922) 8125326

VOL 7, ISSUE 11 November 2006 © 2006 Aurora Production AG www.auroraproduction.com


EDITOR Keith Phillips All Rights Reserved. Printed in Taiwan.
DESIGN Giselle LeFavre Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations in Activated are from the New King
ILLUSTRATIONS Doug Calder James Version of the Bible © 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc. When other versions are quoted,
PRODUCTION Francisco Lopez some typographical changes have been made for the sake of clarity and uniformity.

2 www.activated.org | ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11


THE HUMBLE THING
B Y C URTIS P E TER VAN GORDER

H AVE YOU EVER BEEN TO A PARTY


WHERE EVERYONE FISHED QUESTIONS
OUT OF A HAT? I have been to a few, and
twice the question I drew was: “Tell about one of
the most humbling experiences you’ve ever had”.
With that thought in mind, I decided to try to
stop fighting God’s humbling process. In fact, I
would take it a step further and help Him along.
I would do the humble thing and tell people
about my past humblings. All of them. Starting
The first time, I panicked and my mind went blank. at the beginning.
The second time, I could think of quite a few but My first humbling experience happened even
none that I dared tell. before I was born, believe it or not, although I
A fter that last party, thinking back on that didn’t hear about it until much later, of course. I
humbling experience, I decided it was time was named by the family dog. That’s right, a dog.
for some soul-searching. What was it about It happened like this: My parents couldn’t agree
being humbled that put me under such a cloud? on what to name me. My mom wanted to name me
It wasn’t just the momentary embarrassment. after her father, and my father wanted to name me
Recalling those experiences, even years later, after himself. The obvious compromise was to give
was nearly as bad. Why was I so afraid of me both names, but which name should come first?
others seeing that I was imperfect, vulnerable, How did they resolve that dilemma? Simple. They
perhaps even dumb? Was I taking myself too let the dog decide. In one corner of the room they
seriously, out of pride? put a dish of dog treats and a sign with my father’s
As I pondered those questions, I remembered name next to it, and in the opposite corner they put
that the Bible has a lot to say about the good a dish of dog treats with my grandfather’s name
effects of being humble. It says that God dwells next to it. The dog fancied the treats on my moth-
with the humble, and that He loves a humble er’s side, and I’ve been Curtis Peter ever since.
spirit. Jesus was humble. I was also reminded of There. I’ve told it like it was. That wasn’t as
something I’d read once: “God does some things hard as I thought it was going to be.
to humble you, other things to keep you humble, My next humbling experience happened when I
and yet other things to see if you’re still humble.” was about a week old. … „
If that was true, I reasoned, and if “all things
work together for good to those who love God,” C URTIS P E TER VAN GORDER IS A FULL- TIME
as the Bible says, then even those humbling MEMBER OF THE FAMILY INTERNATIONAL IN THE
experiences must somehow be good for me. MIDDLE E AST.

ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11 | www.activated.org 3


QUALITY of LIFE
AN EXCERPT OF AN INTERVIEW WITH GOD

By Scott MacGregor
THAT IS INTERESTING. WE the most idealistic politician is
COME PRE-PROGRAMMED TO soon forced into compromise,
PERFORM SOME GREAT TASK, and some are even corrupted
REACH SOME GREAT GOAL? by the political system. I think
It depends on what you mean everyone is more likely to agree
INTERVIEWER: MOST PEOPLE by “great.” that someone like Mother
WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN Teresa is truly great.
LIFE, EVEN THOUGH THEIR BECOMING PRESIDENT OR
DEFINITIONS OF SUCCESS PRIME MINISTER OR SOME- SHE WAS A SAINT IN EVERY
VARY. LOTS OF PEOPLE WOULD THING LIKE THAT. I pity anyone SENSE OF THE WORD, BUT
LIKE TO BE RICH OR TO wanting to become a head of YOU DON’T EXPECT US ALL TO
ACHIEVE FAME SO THAT THEY state. No, that is greatness in ATTAIN THAT LEVEL OF SERVICE
ARE ADMIRED BY OTHERS, PER- man’s eyes, which does not nec- AND DEDICATION, DO YOU?
HAPS EVEN IDOLIZED. WHAT essarily correspond with My idea What a wonderful world it would
DO YOU REGARD AS SUCCESS? of greatness. be if everyone would, don’t you
GOD: To find and achieve your think?
purpose for existence. WHICH IS? To be of great ser-
vice to mankind. SO YOU WOULD HAVE US ALL BE
IN AN EARLIER INTERVIEW YOU LIKE THAT? If all were like that,
DEFINED THIS AS LOVING YOU BUT BEING A WORLD OR then there would be no need
AND LOVING OTHERS. IS THAT NATIONAL LEADER WOULD BE for all to be like that. I am not
IT? If you do those two things, OF GREAT SERVICE TO MAN- expecting such heroics of every-
you will be a success. How- KIND, WOULDN’T IT? I think that one, but it would be wonderful if
ever, every individual has his most people tend to think that more were like her.
own personal destiny which, if politicians are more likely to be
fulfilled, would make him even of great service to themselves SO SHE IS YOUR IDEA OF
more successful. or to the political system. Even SUCCESS. She succeeded in

4 www.activated.org | ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11


her calling. She would not be
persuaded from it, but pursued
it with every ounce of spiritual
and physical vigor that she
could muster. I know that all
people will not and could not do
what she did, but they can do
something to make the world
around them a better place
for others. I have designed
mankind so that the giving of
themselves to help others is the
most satisfying thing that people VERY INTERESTING! ANOTHER people. Humility builds bridges.
can do. It makes every other AREA THAT MOST OF US It reaches out to others.
measure of success pale by LIKE TO BE SUCCESSFUL
comparison. IN IS IN RELATIONSHIPS. BUT SHOULDN’T WE TAKE
RELATIONSHIPS ARE MYRIAD, PRIDE IN OUR ACHIEVEMENTS,
IF THAT IS THE CASE, WHY OF COURSE, BUT IS THERE A ABILITIES AND TALENTS, ETC.?
AREN’T MORE OF US DOING GENERAL RULE FOR SUCCESS? There is a fine line. You, of
IT? Many do—a few in great Yes! Humility! course, have a sense of
ways, most in small ways. The satisfaction when you have
thing that holds people back is I THOUGHT YOU WOULD SAY done or made something
selfishness. LOVE. Humility is love put into worthwhile. But when people
action. It regards the well-being begin feeling that they are
BUT WE ARE ALL SELFISH TO and happiness of others as superior to others because of
SOME DEGREE OR ANOTHER. more important than one’s own. what they have done, then they
IT IS HUMAN NATURE, THE Therefore humility is the key. are heading for disaster. Quite
INSTINCT FOR SURVIVAL. IF YOU frankly, if you are hoping to be
INTENDED US TO BE ALTRUIS- BY DEFINITION, THE OPPOSITE successful in a relationship, a
TIC, WHY DID YOU PROGRAM OF HUMILITY IS PRIDE [CON- swelled head is just about the
MANKIND WITH SELFISHNESS? CEIT]. DOES IT THEN STAND TO last thing you need.
This world is a proving ground. REASON THAT PRIDE IS WHAT
Although there is selfishness WILL CAUSE A RELATIONSHIP WHAT DO YOU SEE, THEN, AS A
inherent within man, there is TO FAIL? Exactly! SUCCESSFUL RELATIONSHIP?
also the ability to rise above it. People in partnership with one
Every individual has within him BUT A SENSE OF PRIDE IS or more others to achieve a
the potential to be a great force ENGRAINED IN US SINCE BIRTH. greater good. People in partner-
for good, if he only would. Pride builds walls between ship with others create synergy.

ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11 | www.activated.org 5


SYNERGY BEING DEFINED AS DOING NATURALLY, BECAUSE perfect existence that you could
THE COMBINED EFFECT OF TWO MANY OF US FEEL OUR imagine. Man also was created
OR MORE BEING GREATER THAN OPINIONS ARE THE BEST, OUR with the freedom of choice—to
THE SUM OF THEIR INDIVIDUAL METHODS ARE PROBABLY THE choose to follow Me or not.
EFFECTS? Yes. It is again part of BEST, AND SO FORTH. People’s
the basic design. People work- tendency is to be proud, but I have tried to make the bad
ing in combination with others pride never pays off, whereas effects of pride extremely
can do more than they could humility always does. obvious. Pride promotes love
have if they had all worked on of self more than love of Me
their own. But in order for a IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU PUT or others, and thus it wars
relationship of any kind to truly ALL THE WRONG TENDENCIES against choosing My way. I am
prosper, there must be humility IN MAN, LIKE PRIDE AND demonstrating to everyone
on the part of the participants. SELFISHNESS. WHY? So man the rewards of following Me in
would need Me. The world is a humility, rather than following
I THINK I AM NOT THAT CLEAR giant demonstration to show oneself in pride.
ON WHAT YOU MEAN BY that even a being as clever
HUMILITY. Esteeming the other as man needs Me to be truly THAT IS A LOT TO GRASP. Yes,
person better than yourself. successful. but it is again a matter of faith.
If you believe what I am saying
BUT WHAT IF THE OTHER IS THAT FAIR? WHY WOULD and then do it, you will find
PERSON ISN’T AS ACCOM- YOU CREATE US AND THEN success in relationships, as in
PLISHED AT THINGS AS I AM? HOBBLE US WITH TRAITS THAT other areas of life.
Then that takes more humility. GUARANTEE OUR ULTIMATE
Every person is different, so FAILURE? Remember that I said
look for what you can admire in I would help you to do whatever Excerpted from God on God, from
someone. Humility does not lift I ask you to. I did not make Aurora Production AG. Write to
up self—it lifts up others. you perfect, that is true. But one of the addresses on page 2
I did create in you the ability to order your copy. „
WELL, THIS IS SOMETHING to choose the way that would
WE ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO lead to what will be the most

HUMILITY IS…
Humility does not
mean thinking less
of yourself than of Humility leads to
True humility is not
other people, nor We come nearest to strength and not
an abject, groveling,
does it mean having the great when we to weakness. It is
self-despising spirit;
a low opinion of are great in humility. the highest form of
it is but a right
your own gifts. It —Rabindranath self-respect to admit
estimate of ourselves
means freedom Tagore mistakes and to make
as God sees us.
from thinking about amends for them.
—Tryon Edwards
yourself at all. —John J. McCloy
—William Temple, Sr.

6 www.activated.org | ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11


8 GREAT WAYS TO
A HUMBLER YOU

Most of us wouldn’t LOOK FOR THE BEST IN PEOPLE. of pride, but that usually only makes
mind being a little Everyone has had some experience things harder. Humble yourself and
more humble, but you haven’t and is your superior in ask for and accept the help of others,
oh how we hate to that respect. Albert Einstein, who is and you’ll come out miles ahead.
be humbled! That largely regarded as one of the great-
hurts our pride, but est minds ever, said, “I have never SERVE OTHERS. Volunteer to help the
that kind of pain is met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t elderly, the infirm, or children, or do
good for us if we learn something from him.” some other form of community ser-
can welcome it and vice. You’ll gain more than you give,
let it accomplish its GIVE SINCERE COMPLIMENTS. It’s both in humility and loving thanks.
purpose. Remem- hard to look down on others while
ber the mantra of telling them what you admire about LEARN SOMETHING NEW—A NEW
Olympians: No pain, them. The more you put positive SKILL, LANGUAGE, SPORT, OR
no gain! thoughts about others into words, HOBBY. Starting from scratch is
the more good you’ll see in them and nearly always humbling, but the
the less likely you will be to fall into rewards are manifold: You’ll come
the egotism trap. out of the experience a little more
humble; your example of “doing the
BE QUICK TO ADMIT YOUR humble thing” will encourage others
MISTAKES. It’s been said that the and, contrary to what your pride tells
hardest words to say in any language you, win their admiration and respect.
are “I was wrong.” Those who refuse
to do so out of pride are likely to GIVE GOD THE CREDIT FOR ANY-
keep making the same mistakes and THING GOOD ABOUT YOU AND
alienate people in the process. ANYTHING GOOD THAT HE HELPS
YOU DO. “Let not the wise man glory
BE THE FIRST TO APOLOGIZE FOR in his wisdom, neither let the mighty
AN ARGUMENT. If “I was wrong” are man glory in his might, let not the
the hardest words to say, “I’m sorry” rich man glory in his riches. But let
have to be the next hardest. It will him that glories glory in this, that he
kill your pride, as well as the argu- understands and knows Me, that I
ment—two evil birds with one small am the Lord!” (Jeremiah 9:23–24).
stone of humility. Or as David Brandt Berg put it, “Give
God all the glory for anything good
ADMIT YOUR LIMITATIONS AND about you, and yourself all the blame
NEEDS. It’s human nature to want to for anything bad. That’s a pretty good
appear strong and self-sufficient, out rule, because it’s usually right.” „

ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11 | www.activated.org 7


SERV E ONE A NOT HER

in love
By Maria Fontaine make you feel to think of being himself” (Philippians 2:3),
someone else’s slave? Even if “Be kindly affectionate to one
“THROUGH LOVE SERVE ONE that person is willing to be your another with brotherly love,
ANOTHER” (Galatians 5:13). servant in return, it’s still prob- in honor giving preference to
That phrase from the Bible is ably difficult to imagine your- one another” (Romans 12:10),
food for thought, especially self as a servant, with no power “Submitting to one another in
when you consider that the to exercise your own will. the fear of God” (Ephesians
Greek word translated here as It’s probably easier to think 5:21), and “Bear one another’s
“serve” is douleuo, which means about serving God, because burdens, and so fulfill the law of
“to be a slave to.” So to serve one He is so high and mighty and Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
another in love is to be a slave to so obviously superior in every It’s a little easier if it’s
one another in love, to yield to, way. It’s a little bit easier to voluntary. If we decide to serve
to obey, to do someone’s bidding, say, “Lord, I serve You” to an someone a meal, for example,
and to do so in love. all-seeing, all-knowing, and we’re serving, but it’s our own
That’s a pretty tall order! all-powerful God than it is to say idea. The idea of “through love
Most people don’t like to be that to someone we consider our serve one another” is more like
thought of as servants, let equal or perhaps even our lesser doing the bidding of another.
alone slaves. They may not in some respects. When it comes to that, then
mind serving some people Some other good verses we have to have quite a bit
up to a certain point—their about serving one another are, more grace and humility and
employer, for example—but it’s “Let nothing be done through yieldedness.
a little hard for them to think selfish ambition or conceit, but And if we’re bearing in mind
of anyone being their master, in lowliness of mind let each this “through love serve one
especially a peer. How does it esteem others better than another” principle, we’re of

8 www.activated.org | ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11


LOVE and HUMILITY FEEDING READING
By David Brandt Berg

Y
ou’ve got to admit, a big part of love is humility. It takes humility to
be affectionate and to receive affection. If you want to fall in love and
accept real love, you have to be humble enough to let go of your pride Humility with
and receive that love. one another
This is true even of our relationship with the Lord. When we first hear
that God loves us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to die in FOLLOW JESUS’
our place, we have to humble ourselves to receive God’s love. Receiving EXAMPLE OF HUMILITY.
salvation is a humbling experience. Those who humble themselves receive Matthew 21:5
not only forgiveness, but also an infilling of love they could never have John 13:5,12–15
imagined. But those who are too proud miss out on both, for “God resists Luke 22:27
the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (James 4:6). Philippians 2:5–8
Humility and love are inseparable. The truly loving are truly humble, and
the truly humble are truly loving. You cannot have real love and not be OTHER EXAMPLES OF
humble, and you cannot have genuine humility without a lot of love. Pride’s HUMILITY:
fear of failure or refusal also prevents us from reaching out to and loving 1 Samuel 25:40–41
others as much as we should. Not so with humility. Humility has love and Mark 7:25–30
faith without fear (1 John 4:18). Love doesn’t care what other people Luke 7:2–7
think; it just loves in spite of what they think. So be humble—and love! „ John 1:27

LOVE AND HONOR


course not going to ask others knock, and it will be opened to OTHERS.
to do anything that is hurtful you” (Matthew 7:7). In other Romans 12:10
or harmful. Whether we’re words, He says, “I’ll do your Romans 12:16
doing the serving or others are bidding. What do you want? I’m Philippians 2:3
serving us, it’s all going to be your servant and I will do what-
loving and we’re all going to ever you want.” So if Jesus loves SUBMIT HUMBLY TO
benefit. What we ask of others us so much that He is willing to ONE ANOTHER.
may sometimes be a sacrifice be our servant, how much more Luke 22:25–26
for them, but by the same token, should we follow His example Ephesians 5:21
we will be serving them too and and serve each other in His love? 1 Peter 5:5
sometimes sacrificing for them, The Bible says that “Christ
so it will be a two-way street. also suffered for us, leaving us BE HUMBLE WHEN
Jesus said He “came not to an example, that you should POINTING OUT OTHERS’
be served, but to serve” (Mark follow in His steps” (1 Peter ERRORS.
10:45). So what does that make 2:21), and Jesus also said, “As Luke 6:42
Jesus?—A servant. Jesus “made the Father has sent Me, I also Galatians 6:1
Himself of no reputation, taking send you” (John 20:21). His 2 Timothy 2:25
the form of a bondservant” Father sent Him as a servant.
(Philippians 2:7). Jesus had the love and humility
So Jesus was a servant, and to do that for us, and He asks
He is still our servant. He is that we follow His example.
waiting to do our bidding. He That takes a lot of humility, but
says, “Ask, and it will be given with such sacrifices come great
to you; seek, and you will find; rewards. „

ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11 | www.activated.org 9


teacher
becomes
student IT HAPPENED TO ME

By Charlotte Hopper São Paulo. I had never set foot in a slum


before and had no idea what to expect
or where to start, but God gave me a
coworker who did—Paulo, a 20-year-old

T HIS SHOULD BE EASY, I thought as I prepared to make


the switch from teaching elementary-school-aged children
Brazilian who had grown up with his
missionary parents and had already
been working with underprivileged
to teaching teenagers. After all, I have been a teacher all my youth for a couple of years. We started
adult life. Was I in for a surprise! our little mission together, and my
Younger children are generally quite trusting and respect- schooling began!
ful of adults, and nearly all of those I had worked with over The basic plan was to combine
the years had accepted my word as “law,” no questions asked. physical help and practical training
The teens, on the other hand, seemed to question everything. with spiritual counseling in order to
Respect and obedience—things I had long considered every better the lives of about 100 families
teacher’s due—were no longer guaranteed. It wasn’t that I living on a city dump. It seemed that
was always right and the teens were always wrong; they just every conceivable health, hygiene, and
wanted to do things differently. They wanted to spread their public services problem was present in
wings, and never seemed to be content to do things the way I this area of about 20 hectares (roughly
or their parents or others of our generation had. 50 acres)—open sewers, contami-
If I had known then what I know now, I probably could nated water, rats and other vermin,
have succeeded at that job. Instead, I tried to hold on to my unpaved roads, a grossly inadequate
“tried and proven” ways of doing things. My relationship with jerry-rigged electrical system, you
my students became strained, and I became frustrated, criti- name it.
cal, and unhappy. Fortunately, Paulo had some talents
A little later, I was offered and accepted the job of director and insight that I lacked. As he helped
of a small but potential social welfare project in a slum area of me interview the families we had come

10 www.activated.org | ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11


to help, his experience kicked in and
my own obvious lack of experience put ONE MINUTE
me in the humble seat.
I had come from an upper-middle- HE WAS
class American family and had never
seen such poverty in my life. The physi- EXHORTING,
cal conditions in the slum overwhelmed
me mentally and emotionally. I also THE NEXT
didn’t know how to relate to the people
we had come to help, or understand MINUTE
how their entire way of thinking had
been formed by their suffering, pov- PLAYING
erty, and day-to-day struggle for basic
necessities. I said things that weren’t FOOTBALL
appropriate, and even made jokes about
things that to them weren’t laughing WITH THEM.
matters. I felt embarrassed whenever
Paulo would take me aside and clue me
in, but little by little I learned.
Paulo also shared his insights about
the needs and attitudes of the various
people we interviewed or offered help And guess what?—Paulo and I got along marvelously, and
to, how a certain family wasn’t as needy our efforts paid off. We have both moved on to other projects,
or as committed to do what they could but the work we began together seven years ago flourishes
to improve their living conditions as to this day. Why?—I’m sure it’s in part because we learned to
another family, and so on. He could tell work as a team. I was open to Paulo’s advice and followed his
who would prove reliable and worthy of capable instruction, and when something came up that I was
our help; I couldn’t. They all seemed better suited for, he let me take the lead. When something
needy and sincere to me. Paulo also went wrong, we could talk it out. I respected his talents and
knew when some comment would hurt opinions, so he respected mine. It really worked!
their feelings, or when some action I learned so much from that experience! For one, I saw
would offend them. He knew how they that if I had approached teaching teenagers the same way
felt; I didn’t. I had the slum project with Paulo, with the attitude that I
The young people there—everyone, had much to learn, all of us would have been much happier.
in fact—loved Paulo! He got on their If I had encouraged, respected, and trusted them more,
level, but only to bring them up. He they probably would have respected and appreciated me
could talk their language, but then turn more. Instead of being a know-it-all, I should have let them
the conversation to more positive and experiment and then helped them pick up the pieces when
constructive subjects in the blink of an things went wrong. We could have grown together.
eye. One minute he was exhorting, the Thank God for second chances! He certainly knew what
next minute playing football with them. He was doing when He led me to leave my teaching job so I
It all seemed to come naturally to Paulo. could learn the way to young people’s hearts. „
How could I not be grateful for his lead-
ership or the suggestions he offered Charlotte Hopper is a full-time volunteer with the
about how I could do things better? Family International in Brazil.

ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11 | www.activated.org 11


?
ip , i s
u e l e adersh o one’s
,t r nt
e g r e a t n e s s e du c i n g m e i n s e l f l e s s
Tr u by r el f
e d no t g one s
a ch ie v but by g i v i n
e,
s e r v i c t o t he m .
e
s e r v ic un k n o w n
u t h or
—A
by
s g r e a t ne s s t u a l
e c
easu r nt e l l e i e l d of
e w orld m ue nc e , or i t h ef
WHAT IS T h
y , o
mone e ve n by p r
or
r elo q o w e
eL
s s on
o r d ’s s t a nd a h is
as t
rd :

sk i l l , h e r e i s t h bl e h i m s e l f
. Bu t t in
GREATNESS? ba t t le
soev e r
“ W ho i ld , t he s a m ven .”
s h a l l hu
m
e is t h e g reat es

c h H a e
l it t le g d om of
i n
t h e K we t t
Jo
— J. H . w he n
f a m e o i n g t o ge t w ho
t o r i e
d
t y a n le d i n i s e w e’re g
a r d s , as to
s e no he t i t r w
t c on f u ny of t a s u r p s o u t t he r e o p l e s e r ve
D o n o a t n e s s . M a d t he i r f a m e t he
a nd W hat a n d e pe
L or d h t! S o m g iv i ng
w it h g r e
o b t a i n e
m e r i t . O n t h e
l l y g r e a t e s
l l y, u t t e r l y ne ve r
world r ow n a ia t
today ’s outside t hei t g reat peop is a
le i n was re hly, sacr i f ic ost , a nd ye y
s e l f i s e u t m r t u all
e e
for t u n nd , I h a ve m s . G r e a t ne s o f
s un s t o th a r e vi ok ,
r h a r o l e s u l t t h e ms e l v e
i t f o r it , a n d
r e a t bi g B o
ot h e ur e r e ed a g i ng
m o s t obsc s p i r i t , not a obody, g e t t he cr ut G od has d He’s w r it
n
t he ne’s .N w n! B i m, a yone
r e of o a f fa i rs o n fe r s unk no now n to H rewa rd ever hey be
measu k i n huma n n bei ngs, c ’s k ’l l e t
r
an
one’s r l l mere hum er, for it is n s
a ot a a nd i t n !
e
A nd H o r k s , w he t h
o w
fa
least o s upon a no ent . Great n as
th es i t a l l d g t o t he i r w b e e v i l .
in ey
e s
g reat n t a n achieve f a ja nitor ju f
m s t a c c o r d w he t h e r t h ar
u o o o o d , o r b o u t t he d e
b e g a
pr i z e e he a d om e on s s a id is
a n c r ow n t h n come to s e r w h at Jesu i m before H t she
c i t c a e m b t e d H w h a
y as R em o a no i
n
h done
re ad i l k . e r m a n w h id , “ S he h a t
r a n e s i l v w o
h i gh G . Fi n He s a
S h e r m an deat h? ( Ma rk 14 : 8 ) uc h ,
— ”
l d w ho c ou l d ! ’t d o ve r y m I f
wo r ca n an !
l e s s i n t his r a nyone o u f e el you w h a t you c t ly
e y o a
e is us of it fo Maybe ast you ca n
d t o g re
No on t he burden a t l e o d i s g o i n g o o n w he n
ns but s
l ighte h f ul, G e day s ent
. y o u ’re fa it one of t hes “ t he judg m
el s e ic ke n s d you us a t
r le s D rewa r d before Jes ns 14 :10 ).
— C ha a n a
n d noble you st hr ist ” ( Rom , so
l i s h g re a t a
a c c o m- s e a t of C
a g o o d wo r k
omp yt o
t o ac c i ef dut y were doi n g t h t he
I l o n g u t i t i s m y c h t ho u g h t h e d s u r e you’re on to be w i e you r
b as ve S o be pass e don
t asks, mble t asks world is mo s of t w h en you ow you hav u c a n look
u e v e h a lk n yo
pl ish h d noble. T h m ight y sho e of t
r d y ou w i l u c a n ! T he n nd e ve r -
a n e a t o sa
g reat ot only by t h t he agg reg er. L
t h e best y
o
a l r ew a r d of ge nu i ne
n b y r k o b r n
a long, s, but a lso h honest wo j t o et e e el i n g
e r oe f e a c f o r wa rd r y, w it h a f nt !
it s h
y p u she s o
a s t i n g gl o
c o m p l ish me
n
t he t i Ke l l e r l c
n e nt a g
H e l e n per ma Brandt Ber
— v i d
— Da
12 www.activated.org | ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11
OUR HUMBLE

SAVIOR
BORN IN A BARN: “She with the towel with which He wagging their heads” (Matthew
brought forth her firstborn Son, was girded. … So when He had 27:30–31,39).
and wrapped Him in swaddling washed their feet, taken His gar-
cloths, and laid Him in a manger, ments, and sat down again, He CRUCIFIED WITH COMMON
because there was no room for said to them, ‘Do you know what CRIMINALS: “Then two robbers
them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). I have done to you? You call me were crucified with Him, one on
Teacher and Lord, and you say the right and another on the left”
REJECTED BY MANY OF well, for so I am. If I then, your (Matthew 27:38).
THOSE HE CAME TO SAVE: Lord and Teacher, have washed
“He was in the world, and the your feet, you also ought to STOOPING TO OUR LEVEL:
world was made through Him, wash one another’s feet. For I “Let this mind be in you which
and the world did not know Him. have given you an example, that was also in Christ Jesus, who,
He came to His own, and His you should do as I have done to being in the form of God, did not
own did not receive Him” (John you’” (John 13:5,12–15). consider it robbery to be equal
1:10–11). with God, but made Himself of
SILENT IN THE FACE OF HIS no reputation, taking the form
SERVANT OF ALL: “Who is ACCUSERS: “He was oppressed of a bondservant, and coming
greater, he who sits at the table, and He was afflicted, yet He in the likeness of men. And
or he who serves? Is it not he opened not His mouth; He was being found in appearance as a
who sits at the table? Yet I am led as a lamb to the slaughter, man, He humbled Himself and
among you as the One who and as a sheep before its shear- became obedient to the point
serves” (Luke 22:27). ers is silent, so He opened not of death, even the death of the
His mouth” (Isaiah 53:7). cross” (Philippians 2:5–8).
HIS TRIUMPHANT ENTRY INTO
JERUSALEM: “Behold, your King MOCKED BY EVIL MEN: “Then If you haven’t met the humble
is coming to you, lowly, and sit- they spat on Him, and took Savior, you can right now. He
ting on a donkey, a colt, the foal the reed and struck Him on stands meekly at your heart’s
of a donkey” (Matthew 21:5). the head. And when they had door, waiting for you to invite
mocked Him, they took the robe Him in. Simply pray, “Jesus,
THE FOOT-WASHING: “After off Him, put His own clothes please come in, forgive me my
that, He poured water into a on Him, and led Him away to sins, fill me with Your love, and
basin and began to wash the be crucified. … And those who give me Your gift of eternal life.
disciples’ feet, and to wipe them passed by blasphemed Him, Amen.” „

ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11 | www.activated.org 13


THE STUFF HEAVEN
IS MADE OF

A Tribute to My Father
By Marina Gruenhage

about Jesus at every opportunity.


A few of the men had made a sport
of mocking him and his faith, and
sometimes they were quite mean.
“On one occasion,” Papa
recounted, “one of the officers

I
grabbed my Bible to look for a
certain verse that he and his
companions wanted to tease me
with. They weren’t able to find
the verse, but they did find my
prayer list tucked between the
pages, and read it eagerly. To
their astonishment, they also
found their names written there.”
PAPA AND MARINA 1955
Those rough, proud men humbly
returned his Bible and apolo-
DON’T WANT TO PUT put him down many times, insen- gized. From that moment on,
MY FATHER ON A PEDESTAL. sitive to the pain I caused him. they didn’t tease him again.
He wouldn’t have wanted that. Papa, now you know how sorry Papa also told us about one
Always self-effacing, I can’t I am for hurting you so. Now you of his superior officers who had
remember him ever seeking know how proud I am of you and been part of the mocking crowd
honor for himself. When how immensely grateful I am for and often cracked jokes at my
someone would praise him, he’d the way you affected my life. dad’s expense. On the battlefield,
point heavenward, to his Creator, however, he seemed to look for
and give God the glory. Papa was born in Germany in shelter close to my father. “Why
Now, many years after his 1893, and was old enough to have are you always hiding behind
death, I realize what a jewel of been my grandfather by the time me?” Papa asked him once. “I’m
a dad I had. When he was still I came along. not bulletproof!”
around—and especially during When he was 17, he received This time the officer spoke
my adolescent years—I didn’t Jesus as his Savior and decided to sincerely and without scorn.
treasure him as I should have. share His love with everyone he “There is just so much peace
I assumed that all dads were met. He entered World War I as around you. For some reason,
as kind and sacrificial as mine. a young soldier, reluctantly. He when I’m near you, I feel safe.”
I didn’t appreciate his meek, would have much preferred to Papa’s voice would fill with
longsuffering nature, nor did I save lives than take lives. Despite emotion as he talked about a
respect his convictions. Instead, I frequent opposition, he talked 19-year-old soldier who had

14 www.activated.org | ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11


panicked and was caught desert- communicated with
ing before a major battle. He was him during my teen
to be immediately executed, but years, as I didn’t
Papa begged for his life. want to hear any
“Please give me a little time to of the sermons I
talk to him, sir,” Papa said, rea- expected him to
soning with the officer in charge. preach to me. My
Papa’s request was finally granted. mother already
Papa told the boy about preached enough—
Jesus—the One who faced or so it seemed. WWI: MY FATHER AND HIS SISTERS
His fears and gave His life for So Papa opted to
us—and they prayed together. remain silent, while
The young soldier then marched Mom and I argued
bravely into the battle, knowing a lot. “Why do you
it would probably cost his life. talk so much with
When they found his body later, our daughter?” Papa
his face bore the most peaceful would ask her. “It
expression. Clutched to his chest might be better to
was the tract Papa had given to talk with God about
him. The text concluded with her!” Sometimes my
this verse from the Bible: “The heart cringed at the
eternal God is thy refuge, and way he would look
underneath are the everlasting at me, his eyes full
arms” (Deuteronomy 33:27). of sorrow. Our sweet
After the war, Papa began father-daughter
studying to become a pastor, relationship had
but had to give up his dream in faded, and he found PAPA AND MARINA 1958
order to rescue his parents from the hurt hard to bear. I felt miser-
a financial crisis. With a family able too, but didn’t want to admit When Father went to Heaven
to support, he was never able to it, so I put on a tough front. a few years later, a short article
resume his studies. This didn’t Papa talked to God about me, about him appeared in a local
hinder him from continuing to and God listened. At the age of newspaper. In part, it read: “It’s
share God’s love wherever he 21, I experienced a miraculous a rare thing to encounter such
went, however. He founded a transformation. Like a prodigal heartfelt kindness and patience
Sunday school, and regularly led daughter, I returned to Jesus and as Mr. Gruenhage showed to
Christian fellowships at his local asked Him to take care of me. He others. Those who met him could
church, standing in for the pastor answered my cry and gave me feel that ‘he had been with Jesus’
on many occasions. Visiting the the love and fulfillment I was (Acts 4:13).”
sick and lonely was one of his longing for. In his own humble way, Papa
favorite pastimes. Papa was so glad! What a joyful was a saint—the sort of stuff
I was the youngest of six chil- reunion we had! Mom told me how that Heaven is made of. „
dren. When I was small, Papa and over the years he had not ceased to
I adored one another and spent pray desperately and with strong M ARINA GRUENHAGE (1947–
countless precious moments determination, “Lord, help her 2005) WAS A FULL- TIME
together. But when I grew older to find You, no matter what the VOLUNTEER WITH THE FAMILY
and turned my back on God’s price!” Thank you, Papa, for hold- INTERNATIONAL FOR OVER 30
love and the faith of my parents, ing on for me and for helping me YE ARS, MUCH OF THAT TIME
it broke Papa’s heart. I barely to find true happiness! SPENT IN J APAN.

ACTIVATED VOL 7, ISSUE 11 | www.activated.org 15


TAKE
A LOAD OFF
FROM JESUS WITH LOVE

It takes a big man to let go of his ego.


Many people carry around “loads” of
ego. They want to be well thought of, and
sometimes they think this has to come at
the cost of putting others down. This is sad
and not the way it should be, especially if
you’re in a position of seniority.
When people look up to you, you have
a great opportunity to help unlock their
potential. But you can’t make others feel
important, capable, or respected if you
insist on calling all the shots and being right
all the time. Sure, you want to make right
decisions and be successful, but it doesn’t
need to come at the expense of others.
If you consistently dominate company
meetings and push your own ideas, you’re
going to find that it will discourage creativity
and effort in your colleagues, as well as
make them unenthusiastic about seeing
your ideas through.
Take a load off of everyone. Lay down
your ego.