February 2011 Contents
What's in store for you in February
Philip Yancey tackles tough questions on suffering, grace and prayer
The gift of love Four women talk about love in all its guises
No sex until you marry Why it’s a tough call for older, single Christians navigating new relationships
What’s in a name? The promise and challenge of Jesus’ name: The Amen
Made to make you feel good Win our top to toe beauty treats
A place to rest and unwind Discover the Wyndford Holiday Farm in the Maluti Mountains of South Africa
‘When I let go, I found God there with me’ One woman’s story of learning to trust God with her doubts
How can we support those who are widowed? A new book aims to help our understanding and offers practical ideas
Standing with the oppressed Two women share their experiences of working with the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine
Why I love being a life model A reader talks about her job
‘It’s the small things that can be most upsetting’ Coping with an inherited degenerative eye condition
Your letters on keeping children in church, celebrating Christmas and watching TV
Prayer for Lent Seeking a closer walk with Jesus
Joni Eareckson Tada celebrates God’s love for us
Agenda What to read, see and do this month
Would Like To Meet Hopeful Girl tries a Ceroc night for Christian singles
Subscribe to Woman Alive
Bookclub Inspiring reads recommended by Amy and you!
Veronica Zundel finds some losses hurt more than others
Man Alive Bryn Haworth does battle with some clever squirrels
Next month Coming in our March issue:
Special report Why 21st century Britain is a bad place for children
New series We begin a study on the promises of God
How to . . .
• Get yourself out of a rut
• Develop a prayer partnership
• Spring clean your wardrobe
For you to win
Copies of Meditating with Scripture – John’s Gospel (BRF)
Copies of Philip Yancey’s What Good is God?
Inspiring books and a detective novel
Copies of The Undistracted Widow (IVP)
Copies of our bookclub choice
Two books on wartime Britain when you solve our Picture Perspective
Joining us in February
Four of our contributors share their thoughts and experiences of God’s love for us
I’m a poet and former journalist, now using my writing skills helping producers working with Traidcraft to tell their own stories. My job involves overseas travel, so planning ahead has become a way of life – even at home I’m focussed on my timetable from the moment I wake up.
After one work trip, I came home to find my husband had changed our alarm clock radio so we woke up to UCB’s prayer and praise programme. How I missed my usual station! But then on my next assignment, it felt odd not beginning my day with worship songs or joining in the prayer time. I used to think that I needed to get away from everything to really connect with God, but radio has brought him into my day right at the start, and I’m reminded of his love for me every morning.
Fiona shares her favourite getaway
Amy Boucher Pye
God’s love is something I’ve been pondering a lot lately, as I’ve been writing my first book, on the topic of self-acceptance – that we can and should accept who God has created us because we are his beloved. It sounds counterintuitive, but when we feel at home in our skin, we are actually then freed from navel-gazing to love and serve others and God. Instead of hating ourselves, wishing we were x, y or z, we accept our gifts and limitations and then have the freedom to look outside ourselves. This is what I seek (albeit imperfectly) in my life in North London with my family: my husband Nicholas (a vicar), son Jonathan (7), daughter Abigail (3) and Martina, our au pair. I’m there surrounded by books in all their forms – manuscript, advance review copies, dog-eared favourites and my latest convenience book – The Kindle.
Discover Amy’s latest recommending reading
I’ve just closed a chapter in my life, having completed a decade of changing nappies (that’s probably 37,000!). I’m mum to five young daughters, including three-year-old twins, and I’ve been a journalist in broadcasting and print for 24 years. I believe I’m called to use my words to build up, encourage and inspire. I forget, in the busyness of looking after my children, that God cares and loves me too. Specialising in writing about artists, I felt compelled to start an art foundation course but had no idea how to finance it. At the 11th hour God provided the money. Of course, I make mistakes in art, but without them I wouldn’t learn. Nothing is wasted with God either and it’s reassuring that every tiny error or wrong judgement I make, thanks to his Agape love, is not without significance or meaning.
Tracy explores the four loves
I'm possibly the longest surviving writer for this magazine, as I've been writing my column in it for 28 years, since the magazine first launched (with a few breaks). I studied English at Oxford and have been writing freelance since 1978. The three best things in my life are my very supportive husband Ed, our lovely teenage son, and my little church, which is the only English-speaking Mennonite church in the UK. I preach and lead worship there regularly. In my spare time I like to read, sing and go to the cinema or watch TV especially the wonderful BBC4. Confession time: I am also a Facebook addict. Lately, God has mostly been telling me that he is nice and he likes us. I am currently working on a book about what we learn about God the Father from our own experiences of being parents.
Also writing for us this month are freelance writers and journalists Angela Bailey, Ali Herbert, Sheila Jacobs, Anne le Tissier and Lucy Mills
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