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By Diana Kim

Photo by Levon Avdoyan

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

-Matthew 5:9-

When preaching for Children’s Ministry last week, I asked the students: “Do you think your friends and classmates can tell that you are a Christian just by the way you act?” Some immediately said “yes” (though I think this was just their Sunday School response training kicking in), others said “maybe” (they probably gave the question a little more thought than the students who answered “yes”), and some remained quiet. This is not just a question that can challenge elementary students; it should challenge all of us.

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By Wendy Choy-Chan

Photo by Rawpixel Ltd

A meeting is called to resolve the conflict. Each person presents the argument for or against. Everyone agrees to stand by the result of the vote so as to keep the unity of the group. Is peace the end product of this peacemaking process with the resolution of the conflict?

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By Tina Teng-Henson

Photo by kirsten

“Therefore, since it is by God’s mercy  that we are engaged in this ministry,  we do not lose heart.”  2 Corinthians 4:1

I’ve pulled back from active ministry for a season, tired from pastoring and parenting during the pandemic, somewhat discouraged by the state of Christian leadership in our country. Listening to the Mars Hill podcast this spring and summer reminded me of the spiritual abuse I’d seen in some churches – but didn’t paint the picture of how else we could be, what else we could do to work against Satan and his devices. 

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By Melanie Mar Chow

Photo by Gary Millar

Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:7-8 (NIV)

Our church began hosting memorial services for the people who have passed away during the pandemic.  This year, I have lost a few great mentors, who were also role models to many others.  I was saddened that we were unable to send them off and celebrate the life they lived well.

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By Emi Iwanaga

Photo by Wagner T. Cassimiro “Aranha”

“Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night 

you’re in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, 

and your patience of hope in following our Master, Jesus Christ, before God our Father… 

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By Jerrica KF Ching

Photo by Becker1999

A role model is someone that we can look up to, who possesses traits and qualities that we ourselves wish to embody.  This person gives us the feelings of, “I hope I can be like them someday” and we become inspired.  I believe for those of us born before the age of social media, role models were people who we knew in our everyday lives.  My role model as a child was my fifth-grade teacher.  She wasn’t related to me, but she also existed in the space before my very eyes.  I could observe her and all her qualities; how she was strict but fair, patient but accountable, and instilled a feeling in me that I could do a lot of things, with perseverance.

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By Melanie Mar Chow

Photo by Irene Steeves

Though we have just finished Thanksgiving, there is still much to be thankful. We still have leftovers. After the 24 hours of non-stop eating and meeting for Thanksgiving, we need to address our physical health immediately to counteract the day of food blessings. 

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By April Yamasaki

Photo by Stuart Williams

Before last week, I had never heard of an “atmospheric river.” It’s a column of water vapour that moves through the atmosphere, like a river in the sky. An atmospheric river can bring much needed water to an area, but it can also grow so large that it becomes dangerous, resulting in torrential rainfall and flooding.

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By Ajung Sojwal

Photo by Leo Li

My first coming-of-age story had to be the realization that truthfulness involves more than speech. “Be true to yourself,” was/is meant to acknowledge and affirm the one true self. Yet, the complexity of my inner life tells a story of multiple truths within and the idea of a one true self seems such a farce. Many encounters and experiences in life have challenged my notion of truths leading to recalibrate what being true to myself even means. Things embraced as timeless truths yesterday turn out to be obsolete today.

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By Angela Ryo

Photo by Kate Ter Haar

Recently, I heard a story of a 13-year-old boy named Steve that really struck me. He attended church every week with his parents, and one particular Sunday, he stayed behind to ask his pastor this pressing question: “Pastor, if I raise my finger, will God know which one I’m going to raise even before I raise it?” The pastor replied, “Yes, Steve. God knows everything.” Steve then pulled out a Life magazine that showed two starving children in Africa. He asked his pastor, “Well, does God know about this, and what’s gonna to happen to these kids?” The pastor gave a similar response: “Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that too.”  After hearing that answer, Steve walked out of the church that day never to worship at a Christian church again.

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