Becoming More Beautiful

Joyce Magee

READ : 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 We . . . beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness. (v. 18 rsv) We often observe that when people live together, they grow to resemble each other. During the time that our family has lived in Japan, we have taken on some characteristics of Japanese culture. I notice the same thing when I meet my sister’s family who lived in South America for a time. Their speech and gestures …

Living Confidently

Joyce Magee

READ : 2 Corinthians 3:12-16 Since we have such a hope, we are very bold. (v. 12 niv) In recent years we have seen the economies of this world weaken and the confidence of many people be totally shaken. Threats of terrorism and war have crushed many people’s dreams for the future. In Japan, where we live, there has been an increase in suicides among middle-aged males. Many of them had their hopes pinned on the companies they worked for …

Letters of Endorsement

Joyce Magee

READ : 2 Corinthians 3:1-3 You are an open letter about Christ . . . (v. 3 Phillips) As a child the coming of the mailman was a big event. I longed for a letter from a friend. Letters seemed to bring friends close even though they were far away. When we went overseas as missionaries, letters were the main link with our parents and loved ones. The manner of writing and the subject matter revealed how things were at …

Not Marketing Faith

Joyce Magee

READ : 2 Corinthians 2:17 We do not peddle the word of God for profit . . . (v. 17 niv) Are we guilty of thinking of our churches primarily in terms of numbers, feeling defensive about smallness or jealous when another church grows? Perhaps we are in danger of taking on the values of today’s highly-competitive, consumer-oriented society. Are we trying to market our churches like a commodity? In our mission enterprises, we are often tempted to expect a …

Christ's Fragrance in the Earth

Joyce Magee

READ : 2 Corinthians 2:14-16 We are to God the aroma of Christ. (v. 15 niv) Having lived for nearly forty years on the Pacific coast in northern Japan, we sense the seasonal changes by the smell of the ocean, which is not far from our house. The raw salty winds of winter and early spring winds smell different from the balmy breezes of mid-summer. Warm winds in late summer and fall are laden with the smells of fish and …