Give yourselves fully

I always enjoy Easter for its atmosphere of wonderful, joyous celebration.

While Christmas might be described as special, Easter is triumphant. We celebrate the astounding miracle of a man, the Son of God, risen from the grave. But like a parade after any victory, Easter’s celebration is more than the festivity following an unexpected triumph.

We also celebrate what Jesus’ victory over death has freed us to do: to work for the kingdom of God.

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    What's "good" about Good Friday?

    Visualize this: It’s 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem. A crowd of Roman soldiers and community members gather around three crosses. You see Jesus, bloodied to a pulp, crucified. You smell impending death and hear a mixture of cheers, jeers, and sobbing.

    All you want to do is run away so you can curl up in your own bed, desperate for any ounce of comfort and familiarity. But you don’t. Paralyzed, you stand and stare and hear and smell and feel.

    So, what’s good about Good Friday?

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      Pray for West Africa

      We believe prayer is foundational to our work. It sensitizes us to the needs around us and acknowledges God’s provision and help in all we do. Join us in prayer for the needs of children and families in West Africa impacted by the deepening drought and food crisis.

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        Why my Grandma may be wrong: Living a life of sacrifice

        "Sacrifice" is a funny little word. It conjures up images of pain, hurt, and unfinished to-do lists. This word especially takes on a warped meaning when combined with the word “Lent.”

        Growing up, Lent was always a little bit of a joke. We teased each other for the excuses we all made for giving into the things we had given up.

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          "Be a person who is love"

          Have you ever met someone who just radiates the love, light, and peace of God?

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            The power of one person's obedience

            I am continually astounded by the power of individual people to make a difference.

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              Mission above mammon: Charting a course for success

              As the president of World Vision U.S. and the former CEO of two for-profit corporations, I have spent all of my professional life trying to manage organizations to achieve success. Every organization, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, must have a successful financial model to succeed, but long-term success doesn’t come from just managing numbers. The most successful organizations are mission-driven.

              In Christian organizations, this truth may be even more compelling.

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                Is Jesus more than a "sprinkle" blessing?

                I'm excited to welcome Mark Hall -- the lead singer and songwriter for Casting Crowns, a long-time World Vision artist -- to the World Vision Blog. When I received this post from Mark, the source of the passion in his songwriting became immediately obvious. They're words of experience and depth from his heart. Thanks, Mark, for guest-blogging today and for giving us a peek into Casting Crowns' newest album.

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                  But I do not despair

                  Close your eyes and imagine this...

                  Imagine if our culture was taken to the -nth degree, to its logical end.

                  Maybe Lady Gaga is president. Maybe digital devices hang in front of our faces, precluding any unmediated communication. Maybe our nations war over water. Maybe norms about intimacy and privacy have melted. And maybe our speech has deteriorated into grunts, slang, and chuckles.

                  If North American culture keeps it up, we could be in big trouble.

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                    'We refuse to be enemies'

                    It was one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever had. The location was a hilltop west of Bethlehem about a month ago, and my fellow dinner guests were 30 pastors and church leaders from the United States. That night, our bus parked at a cement-and-barbed-wire barricade, and we hiked about half a mile over two such barricades to have dinner at the top of the hill -- in a cave!

                    The prominent sign at the end of our hike proclaimed the slogan: “We refuse to be enemies.”

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