A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. John 13:34-35  


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  • How have you made a difference in others’ lives -- in your family, school, church, community, and world?
  • How have others positively impacted your life -- in little or big ways, in practical aspects or in spiritual development?

We’d like to hear. Please send us your experiences, ideas, or suggestions.

Persevere with God

Challenges occur in everyone’s lives. Facing challenges, especially when the odds are against you, can be difficult. However, I have found that with God’s help, any challenge can be overcome.

The most challenging experience I have faced was this past football season. I had never played football before, and it was much more challenging than I had expected. I found myself at a low point during our second game of the season. (I had hardly played at all during the first game.) We were facing a team that was much bigger, faster, and more able than we were. I was on the offensive line, and the guy I was supposed to be blocking was fast and intimidating. At the end of the first half, we were down by 36 points. I ended up playing for most of the game, though I was moved to a different position.

I relied on God to help me persevere through this game and through the rest of the season’s grueling practices. Though I didn’t play much the rest of the season, and though our team won only one game, I had a lot of fun working hard and getting better. By the time our last game ended in October, I had improved immensely from my first practice in August.

A Bible story that is a good example of overcoming obstacles is the story of Gideon in the book of Judges. Gideon is a young man from the tribe of Manasseh in Israel. During his time, the Midianites were overrunning Israel. One day, God comes to Gideon, telling him to free Israel from the Midianites. Gideon doesn’t think that he can do it. He doesn’t feel capable at all. So, he asks God for a sign. Gideon prepares an offering, which God lights on fire. From this, he is convinced that God has spoken.

God tells him to tear down the altar of Baal that is near his father’s house and build an altar to God, which he does. When the people of his town find out, they want to kill him. However, Gideon’s father tells the people to “let him [Baal] fight his own battles and defend his own altar” (The Message, Judges 6:31). The people then decide to spare Gideon. He then begins mustering an army.

But Gideon still isn’t sure about everything. Again, he asks God for a sign that God really wants him to be the one to save his people. So God gives Gideon more proof of His power, answering Gideon’s request, drenching a fleece Gideon leaves on the ground while leaving the ground dry. Gideon is still slightly doubtful, so he leaves the fleece out again, asking God to soak the ground but leave the fleece completely dry. In the morning, Gideon sees that this has happened.

So Gideon assembles an army of several thousand men (thirty-two companies). But God tells him that he has too many soldiers. God knows that if this army defeats the Midianites, they will believe that they have won because of their own skill. So Gideon makes an announcement that anyone who is feeling fearful could go home. Twenty-two of the companies leave. God decides that the ten companies are still too many. Gideon then takes the men down to a river. There, Gideon separates them by the way they drink and is left with three hundred men. He and his men set up camp near the Midianite camp. Gideon and one of his men go down to the camp and overhear one of the soldiers telling one of his comrades a dream. The friend interprets it to mean that Israel would defeat them.

Gideon divides his men into three groups, one on each side of the enemy camp. Each man carries a jar, a lamp, and a trumpet. At Gideon’s signal, each of the men would break the jars covering their lamps, blow the trumpets, and yell, “A sword for GOD and for Gideon!” (The Message, Judges 7:20). When they do this, the army of Midian retreats in panic. The Israelites are free.

Through trust in God, a person can persevere through any difficult circumstance. Gideon trusted in God and saved his country from further invasion despite the fact that he didn’t feel capable. I was able to keep going despite the difficulty I faced in football. It is my opinion, if there is any task that is for the right cause, God can help someone achieve it.

  -- Ron Douglas, 9th grade  



Email us and share how you have made a difference.

We wiill post as many of your experiences and ideas as possible each month.


Making a Difference Topics

  Prayerful Preparation  
  Students Inspire Speaker  
  Finding a Father Figure  
  Finding a Home for her Child  
  Fear Conquered with the Help of a Friend  
  Inspiring the Spark Within  
  Stopping Gossip  
  Stand Up for What's Right  
  On the Home Front  
  Dave's Burning Bush  
  Sharing Home  
  Picking Persimmons  
  Towing stranded boaters  
  Stranded on the road to the airport -- a stranger made the difference  
  Celebrate Fathers  
  Celebrate Mothers  
  Practical ways to make “brotherly love continue”  
  Do God’s Will -- Love!  
  Commit Daily to Progress  
  Pray for our Governments World-Wide  
  Speak with Love  
  Ready, set … SHINE! Give your all!  
  Include Others  
  Be happy no matter what. Do everything with joy!  
  Spread Freedom: Make Church, Christ, Central by Loving  
  Right Attitudes = Right Actions = Making a Difference  
  Write Letters about Your Life  
  Participate in the Resurrection  
  Step out from the crowd; be yourself  
  Express Creativity - learn the creative process  
  Make 3 Days Criticism Free  
  Find the Blessings this Christmas  
  Make November Kindness Month  

Help those affected by the Hurricanes

  September’s School Survival Guide  
  Like Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, let’s write our own Recipes for Life and follow them.  
  Read Bible magazines, and gain spiritual insight on dating, individuality, community, music, and more.  
  We can have
the courage to stand up for
right even if we’re scared;
do what’s right even if it’s not cool; see people for who they are.
  Pay attention to Joel and Amos; trust God amidst destruction; be humble; change lives  
  Support tsunami relief and pray  
  Be a leader
like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach,
  Take care of our Earth. Make the best choices.  
  Live the Golden Rule daily by loving others  
  Express Christmas love -- love yourself
and others
  Write thank you letters  
  Strive for wisdom; start "wisdom circles."  
  Pray for the world; write and share a psalm  
  Stand up for yourself, as Job did; be a good friend.  
  Be an active volunteer in your community  
  Be like Jabez-pray big, and expect your prayers to be answered.  
  Be a prophet like Elijah and Elisha; stand up for God  
  Modern Day Psalms  
  Like Samuel and Nathan, you can serve God and help others do right.  
  Like David, you can defeat "Goliaths."  
  Like Ruth, you can build a new life with God.  
  Put the "Christ" into Christmas and everyday. Help de-stress your parents.  
  Like Gideon, you can help free others. Share your gratitude.  
  Like Joshua, you can be a principled leader  
  Like Moses, you can defeat terrorism  
  Like Moses, you can use the commandments daily  
  Like Moses, you can free yourselves and others  
  Like Joseph, you can make the best of tough situations  
  Like Jacob, you can forgive and ask forgiveness  
  Like Jesus, you can serve others with humility
  Like Isaac and Rebekah,you can strengthen all relationships
  Like Abraham, you can be a peacemaker, friend, and healer
  Simple things you can do to help make a difference in others' lives  
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