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On June 11, 2002, the singing competition American Idol debuted. Each week, hopefuls performed their own versions of popular songs, and the viewing audience voted on who advanced to the next round of the competition.As one of the panel judges on the show, Randy Jackson’s signature feedback was this zinger: “You made that song your own, dawg!” He lavished that praise when
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It was a warm summer day and my four-year-old granddaughter Mollie and I were taking a break from playing ball. As we sat on the porch with our glasses of water, Mollie looked out at the yard and said, “Look at the puddles of sunshine.” The sunlight was filtering through the thick foliage to create a pattern of light amid the dark shadows.Puddles of sunshine. Isn’t this a beautif
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At my first job during my high school years, I worked at a women’s clothing store where a female security guard dressed as a shopper followed women she thought might steal the merchandise. Certain people fit profiles of those the store owners thought were suspicious. Others not considered a threat were left alone. I’ve been profiled in stores myself and followed, an interesting experie
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A commercial jingle of the 1970s inspired a generation. Created as part of Coca Cola’s “The Real Thing” ad campaign, a British group called The New Seekers eventually sang it as a full-length song that climbed to the top of music charts around the world. But many will never forget the original television version sung by young people on a hilltop outside of Rome. Whimsical as it w
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In his classic book The Human Condition, Thomas Keating shares this memorable tale. A teacher, having lost the key to his home, is on his hands and knees searching through the grass. When his disciples see him searching, they join the hunt, but with no success. Finally, “one of the more intelligent disciples” asks, “Master, have you any idea where you might have lost the
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Many years ago, Joni Mitchell wrote a song called “Woodstock” in which she saw the human race trapped in a “bargain” with the devil. Urging her listeners to seek a simpler, more peaceful existence, she sang of a return to “the garden.” Mitchell spoke for a generation longing for purpose and meaning.Mitchell’s poetical “garden” is Eden, of cours
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A man named James took an adventurous, 1,250-mile journey down the West Coast of the US—biking from Seattle, Washington, to San Diego, California. A friend of mine met the ambitious biker near the cliffs of Big Sur, 930 miles from his starting point. After learning that someone had recently stolen James’ camping gear, my friend offered his blanket and sweater, but James refused. He sai
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A couple who stopped to admire a large abstract painting noticed open paint cans and brushes underneath it. Assuming it was a “work in progress” that anyone could help create, they stroked in some color and left. The artist, though, had purposefully left the supplies there as part of the finished work’s display. After reviewing video footage of the incident, the gallery acknowled
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The sea squirt is a strange creature. Found attached to rocks and shells, it looks like a soft plastic tube waving with the current. Drawing its nutrients from the passing water, it lives a passive life far removed from its once–active youth.The sea squirt starts life as a tadpole with a primitive spinal cord and brain that helps it find food and avoid harm. As a juvenile, it spends its days
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Two sisters from India were born blind. Their father was a hard-working provider, but he could never afford the surgery that would give them sight. Then a team of doctors came to their region on a short-term medical mission.
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Early mornings can be painful for my friend Alma, a single mom of two. She says, “When everything is quiet, worries surface. As I do household chores, I think about our financial concerns and the kids’ health and studies.”
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While scuba diving in 2021, Jennifer’s eyes fixed on a small, green bottle at the bottom of a river. She scooped up what she describes as “a once-in-a-lifetime find.” The bottle contained a message written by a young man on his eighteenth birthday in 1926!
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The bag of snack chips was small, but it taught an American missionary a big lesson. Working one evening in the Dominican Republic, she arrived at a church meeting and opened her chips when a woman she hardly knew reached and grabbed a few from the bag.
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Kyle and Allison had a wonderful honeymoon in an exotic location. When they returned home, however, they discovered that Kyle’s feet had developed a strange, itchy rash. The couple was referred to an infectious disease specialist.
YMI (which stands for Why Am I?), is a platform for Christian young people all over the world to ask questions about life and discover their true purpose. We are a community with different talents but the same desire to make sense of God’s life-changing word in our everyday lives.
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