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Broadway Street

When we lived in California’s Bay Area, every once in a while we’d take a trip into San Francisco. It was fun to visit Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, Ghirardelli Square, and Chinatown. However, I didn’t enjoy passing through some of the streets along the way.

One of the worst was Broadway. That street seemed to specialize in evil. Everywhere you looked, garish neon signs advertised many kinds of vice and wickedness, inviting passers-by to indulge in sinful pleasures of all sorts.

Whenever we drove down that street, I always thought of the broad way Jesus described in the Sermon on the Mount. For those on this road, self is Number One. Their motto seems to be, “If it feels good, do it; if it tastes good, eat it; if it looks good, try to take it.” This may sound appealing, but there is a big problem: The result of that way of living is sorrow and death.

In San Francisco, we always knew when we had turned onto Broadway. The neon signs told it all. That other broad way may not be so obvious, but you can always tell when you are on it: Just ask yourself, “Who is first in my thoughts and in my heart?”

If the answer is anything but Jesus, take an exit before it’s too late!

Let’s meet on the strait and narrow.

Your friend,


I hurried to join the rest of my outreach group on a mission to minister to the homeless. Despite my warm clothing, the cold seeped through, and I shivered at the prospect of spending several hours outside. Then our leader stooped to talk to a man sitting on the sidewalk, huddled beneath a ragged jacket. Suddenly I forgot all about my grumbling.

We found the man a coat and some mittens for his near-frozen hands, and we listened to his story. When our leader urged him to go to a nearby shelter for help, he looked up with a weary expression. “God gave us the Ten Commandments and they’re all about love. I don’t know how we got it so wrong in this country.”

Weeks later, I still couldn’t forget those quiet, convicting words. It’s not only this country that’s gotten it wrong. Far too often I myself turn away from the world around me, forgetting that the One I follow heals the broken and loves the outcasts. When I turn away from my neighbors’ needs, I tell the world that the God I serve doesn’t actually love everyone. What a tragic lie!

God is love, and that’s why the golden rule is the standard of Christianity. I intend to live that rule; so I’m asking Him to teach me to love “in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Yes, it’s easier to turn away. Love costs. But the God of love has transformed my life. I want the world to know Him too.

Your friend,

Of Trains and Thirst

I’ve always been fascinated by model trains, and my husband grew up wishing he had a model train layout. So, when Tony was still a baby, we began making plans to someday construct an HO-scale model railroad for him.

At last, when Tony was about five years old, we decided he was ready for the train. We cleared out half the playroom and set up a huge train table. We laid down several loops of track, and added scenery: mountains, meadows, bridges, roads, buildings, trees, people, and vehicles. Finally, we connected the engine to the cars, set them on the tracks, and turned the switch. The little train worked perfectly!

When all was ready, we called Tony and unveiled the surprise. At first he was delighted, but soon it became clear that he was simply too young to be able to take care of such an elaborate and delicate plaything. By the time he was old enough to properly appreciate model trains, he had lost interest. We sold the whole setup to someone for $100.

This experience was an expensive lesson in the importance of really wanting something before we get it. I’m glad that our all-wise God lets us hunger and thirst for His blessings before He showers them down upon us!

Are you thirsty yet?

Your friend,

12 x 12 = 140. Or Not.

An argument had broken out on the playground! From our favorite hideout, my best friend and I watched, wondering what the trouble was this time. Then Darla marched over to us. “Cheyenne, what is 12 times 12? Kylie thinks she knows everything, but she’s wrong.”

Panic froze my brain. As second graders, we hadn’t learned multiplication yet, but I had heard my brother reciting this equation. What was the answer? I had to say something! Faking a confident smile, I said what came to mind: “140.”

Soon Kylie stomped up, arms crossed. “It is not 140.” Her glare injected me with dread. “It’s 144.”

“Well, Hud said . . .” I stopped, confused and embarrassed. I had a feeling Kylie was right, but how could I admit that?

“See! You don’t really know.” Kylie strutted off.

The other girls exchanged uneasy glances. “Well, I believe Cheyenne,” Darla said. The rest nodded.
When Kylie asked the teacher, the whole class found out that I had been wrong. They trusted my answers a little less after that—and I learned that it’s better to admit it if I’m not sure!

You can’t share information unless you really know it, whether math solutions or spiritual truths. Just so, you can’t lead people to Christ unless you really know Him. People will doubt what you say about Him if your actions show you’re not really connected.

I want my words and my life to be trustworthy, leading others to Christ. That means I’ll need to abide in Him—every day!

Your friend,

YAB Connection

YAB Members, How can you honor God in your daily life?

Sasha W: I honor God when I stand up for what I believe, do my best to be respectful and kind, and when I obey Him. I honor God when I reflect who Jesus is.

Nicole P: I can honor God in my daily life by living in a way that would please Him and by sacrificing my own desires to do His will.

Nathan B: I can honor God in my everyday life by taking care of my body and helping others.

Kaitlin A: One of the ways I honor God is by taking time for Him in the morning and asking Him what He would have me do throughout the day. Each decision I make in a day either honors or dishonors God, and it’s important to have His counsel.

Kaitlyn B: One of the ways I can honor God in my daily life is through obedience. In this way I show Him and others that I love Him.

Caleb B: I can honor God in my daily life by seeking to live a life that reflects God’s character.

Harmony M: I can honor God in my daily life by choosing to serve Him faithfully, even if those around me do not. When I really love God, I will be willing to sacrifice everything in life to be right with Him. He is all that really matters!

Manish R: I don’t need to offer a great, costly sacrifice to honor my God. I can honor God in my daily life by doing things that Jesus wants me to do, like obeying and helping my parents, speaking courteously and politely to everyone, and trying my best to share Jesus with others.

Becky S: I can honor God in my life by doing the best I can at everything I do.

Josué V: I can honor God in my daily life by extending help when I see a need, forgiving those who hurt me, and keeping in mind that anything that I see, hear, or do is being watched by my heavenly Father.

Crazy Attack

Footsore and weary, I eased onto the log situated close to the fire circle, enjoying a lovely view of the lake. What a welcome place to spend the evening!

Just then my parents’ dog lunged for one of the stones in the fire ring. Growling, Ellie snapped at the rock, then kicked it away and chased after it. With a great pounce, she stopped its roll and continued attacking. Even when my parents scolded her to stop, the dog kept biting and growling. The way she lit into it, I could almost have believed her prey was alive!

Watching, I wondered what made this friendly Border collie so ferocious toward a harmless stone. Did the rock smell like a dangerous animal, or perhaps a savory meal? Why didn’t Ellie attack any of the other rocks in the fire pit? When it didn’t fight back, couldn’t she tell that the stone wasn’t actually a threat?

Suddenly I realized that we humans make the same sort of illogical attacks. Far too often, we assault innocent people with criticism, gossip, resentment, and bitterness, just because they did something we didn’t appreciate. If you think about it, though, our condemnation and criticisms make about as little sense as attacking a rock. The difference is that our judging can hurt many people!

It’s no wonder that Jesus spoke strongly against judging. As you study this subject, I hope you’ll let God convict your heart—and submit to any changes He may ask you to make.

Pressing upward,