Vo l 1 2 • I s s u e 5
THE KINGFISHER EFFECT Good news for nerves
Wings from Weights How to rise above problems
Peace Plan 10 keys to inner calm
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PERSONALLY SPEAKING Te woman’s woman’s life turned on four words, spoken spok en by a stranger. “If you only knew.” She was a mess by anyone’s standards—married ﬁve times and now living with another man—but in one respect she was like anyone else. Maybe that’s that’s what had driven herShe to go from man man security, like someacceptance, people change jobs or locations or cars. wanted more.toLove, fulﬁllment, peace of mind. She wanted to be happy. She wanted to be whole. If she only knew what ? If you recognize that as a rough retelling of Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well, 1 you already know what the woman was about to ﬁnd out. She was talking to the Son of God, and He was about to put her in direct contact with the source of everything she longed for, God Himself. Te woman liked what she heard, and it changed her. Others noticed. Once again she was the talk of the town, but this time it wasn’t because of what she had done; it was because of what Jesus had done for her. Don’’t we all want the same things that woman wanted? Don wanted ? If we only knew kne w. If we knew—really knew—really knew—how knew—how much God loves us, we would never feel unloved. If we knew how unconditional His love is, we would never feel insecure. If we knew how accepting He is of us—blemishes, blow-its, and all—we wouldn’t worry so much about what anyone else might think. If we knew how much He appreciates our love for Him and others, we would ﬁnd fulﬁllment in that, ﬁrst and foremost. If we knew what He has planned for us, we wouldn’t wouldn’t fear the future. If we only knew how much He loves us for who we are, we wouldn’t wouldn’t want to be anyone else.
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Keith Phillips Gentian Suçi Jessie Richards
www.auroraproduction.com © 2011 Aurora Production AG. All Rights Reserved. Printed in Taiwan by Ji Yi Co., Ltd. All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Keith Phillips For Activated For Activated
Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other Bible references are from the following sources: King James Version (KJV). The Contemporary English Version (CEV). Copyright © 1995 by the American Bible Society. Used by permission. The New Cent ury Versio Ve rsio n (NCV (N CV ). Copyr C opyright ight ©
1. John, chapter 4
1991 by Word Publishing. Used by permission.
B J S
I, , . I . I could hardly contain my excitement as I ran to inspect it up close. But as I reached out to gather some perfect leaves from the perfect tree, I had one of my ﬁrst big disappointments. On closer inspection, each leaf was marred somehow—a scrape, a brown
illusions that thewe ﬁnal roll.and A scenic viewTe may looklooks perfect from a distance, butfade up as close seecredits the mud the litter. world better without binoculars binoculars or microscopes. microscopes. Wee look for perfection—perfect people, W people, perfect situations, perfect relationrelationships, perfect happiness—but because none of us are perfect, we wind up discouraged or disillusioned. But God isn’t isn’t looking for perfection—at least not our idea idea of perfection. Sure, we can all do better, but often what we perceive as ﬂaws and foibles are actually His doing, part of our unique makeup, blessings in disguise. And are all problems all bad? Aren’t they sometimes God’s way of steering us to better things? God doesn’ doesn’t expect us to be perfect. All He asks is that we try our best to love Him and others.1 When we do that, we can feel secure in His love, and
splotch, an insect bite. Tere wasn’t one that I could take home and hang in my room as a symbol of perfection. Images may appear perfect from a distance, but as we look closer we see the imperfections. We We watch strangers drive by in their shiny new cars and assume that they have perfect lives, not realizing that they may have problems worse than our own. own. We We watch television and movies and see images of perfection,
that changes our whole outlook. We We feel better about ourselves, and that helps us to see the best in others and to make the most of our circumstances. circumstances. Life isn’t perfect, but that’s okay. God knew better.
1. Matthew 22:37–39
J J S F F I U. S.
T H O U G H T F O R T H E D AY AY
“Because [God] delights in me, he saved me.”—Psalm 18:19 NCV If God had a refrigerat refrigerator, or, your picture would would be on it. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you ﬂowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you. —Max Lucado 3
T W’ C L, : “If : “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. me.””1 People have always wanted wings—a way to be lifted above their earthbound lives and troubles. It seems to be human nature to feel conﬁned and discontented with “here.” Tings surely must be easier, brighter, better, freer “there,” just over the next hill. Tere’s another verse where the Psalmist echoes the get-meaway-from-it-all away-from-itall sentiment. He says, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would ﬂy away and be at rest.” 2 But he also knew the secret to ﬁnding that wonderful place away from it all, and he shared that secret with us: “Te Lord sustained me.”3
prayer until God touches our soul, we mount up to realms of peace and rest and are truly “sustained by the Lord.” Tis old world daily strives to pull us down, but there is an upward pull that will lift us to the very heart of God. If you read God’s Word, share your heart with Him, and wait for Him to speak speak to you, you will ﬁnd all the strength you need. But many people try to run on their own strength, hoping that they will somehow surmount their diﬃculties that way. way. Tey put the feet before the wings. But read that verse again. Te running and walking come after the renewing. renewing. What
sustainedhis David through all his diﬃculties HeGod transformed weights into wings. “But those and whotests, wait and on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall shall run and not be weary, weary, they shall walk and not faint.” faint.”4 When we turn to God’s Word and wait in
chance does your havewith if youGod never those moments tosoul connect andtake draw strength from Him? “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart.”5
fom WINGS WING S fom
E V B B (–) D B B, F I . F
WEIGHTS WEIG HTS B V B B
1. Psalm Psa lm 139:9–10 139:9–10 KJV
4. Isaiah 40:31
2. Psalm 55:6
5. Psalm 27:14
3. Psalm 3:5
6. See Isaiah 26:3.
God can solve your problems in one little glimpse. He can refresh your spirit with one deep breath. He can clarify your thoughts with just one sweet sweet strain of heavenly heavenly music. He can wipe away your fears and tears with just one little restful moment in that perfect peace He gives when your mind is ﬁxed on Him and Him alone.6 —David Brandt Berg
KINGFISHER EFFECT B D B
W J’ S S S “ “ ” ” , . About . About half the line was made up of tunnel sections, sections, and the train would would produce a tunnel boom on exiting due to the sudden change in air resistance. Tehaving engineers the with problem until design one of them remembered readpondered about a bird a unique feature, the kingﬁsher. o catch its prey, the kingﬁsher dives from the air, which has low resistance, into high-resistance water—and it only creates the smallest splash upon entry entry.. Te engineer surmised that this was due to the shape of the kingﬁsher’s kingﬁsher’s beak being perfectly suited to deal with such changes changes in resistance. resistance. He and his colleagues conducted simulations by shooting various shapes into a pipe and measuring the pressure pressure waves on exit. Te data showed that the ideal shape for the nose of the bullet train was almost identical to a kingﬁsher’s beak—problem solved! Te engineers probably would have had a much more diﬃcult time ﬁnding the solution if they had relied solely on their training and experience as mechanical engineers. Te solution was found only when one of them looked elsewhere. One of the problems with problems is that we tend to rely too much on our own abilities and experience to solve them, when God
often has a better idea. It takes faith to stop trying so hard on our own and turn to God for help, but that’s usually what it takes for Him to get through to us. Faith is to problems what the kingﬁsher’s beak is to water. When obstacles present present themselves, the sudden added resistance to our plans or routine can give us quite a jolt, but faith helps us ﬁnd solutions quicker and with less wear and tear on our nerves. Faith doesn’t eliminate all our problems, but it lessens their impact. D B F D I M.
HOW TO HANDLE ANYTHING
There are well-meaning well-meaning people people who believe believe that life is too harsh. They would like like to plan and arrange arrange the world so that no one need suﬀer. But without struggle, how could the end result of personality be developed? How could a person become rounded and mature and strong? As tough and unpleasant as diﬃculty may be, it is the source of potential development. development. Surround every diﬃculty with prayer prayer,, with faith, and with straight thinking. Then let enthusiasm build power under it. On this basis, you can handle any situation that can ever develop.—Norman Vincent Peale 5
THE FAITH FACTOR A D B B
O , G . Faith . Faith eliminates fear and tension, which are two of the greatest causes of disease and ill health. Tose and other negative mental states such as worry, hatred, and bitterness can contribute to various psychological and nervous disorders, as well as physiological conditions such as heart trouble, arthritis, and stomach ulcers. A negative state of mind mind can have a negative negative eﬀect on the body, body, but if we can counter thatorgans negativity negativity, we will ﬁnd peace of is mind, will reduce stress on vital and,promote health. Tis why which peaceful meditation, positive attitudes, and concentrating on good thoughts have a good eﬀect on both mind and body. body. “Whatever things are true, whatever things are are noble, whatever things are just, whatever whatever things are are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on there these things.”1 Te Bible also tells us repeatedly not to t o worry or be fearful, but rather to ask God to work things out and to trust that He will. “Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”2 “God is our refuge and strength, a We can never be completely happy or whole until we establish a loving relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. You can do that right now by praying this simple prayer: Jesus, I believe in You You and want to get to know You better. Please be with me always. Amen.
very present help in trouble. Terefore we will not fear fear,, even though the t he earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.”3 “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.” 4 “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” afraid.”5 “Do not be afraid; only believe.”6 Faith in God gives you peace of mind, contentment of heart, and a sense of spiritual well-being—all of which tend to greatly improve your physical well-being. D B B ( –) F D I. 1. Philippians 4:8
3. Psalm 46:1–2
5. John 14:27
2. Joshua 1:9
4. Psalm 56:11
6. Mark 5:36
The W The Waave B J B
B M T
O I ’ , I . It turned out to be a collection of relaxing beach scenes, . with soft instrumental music music playing in the background. background. Te waves waves washing on the shore shore reminded me of the peaceful peaceful beauty of God’s God’s creation, and the gentle, repetitive sight and sound of the surf rolling onto the sand soothed my spirit. When I had calmed down down enough to think more more clearly, clearly, it dawned on me that most waves are the result of winds out at sea, turbulence. Tere is continual movement as each wave builds over time and distance. It picks up speed and breaks when it reaches the shallows. It
Life is an opportunity, beneﬁt from it. Life is a beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is costly, care for it. Life is wealth, keep it. Life is love, enjoy it. Life is mystery, know it.
stretches along the warm sand is just a thin Ten, slowly and silently, silently , it retreats back intountil the itsea. On and onsheet. it goes—building, breaking, spreading, and returning in an endless cycle.
Life promise, fulﬁll it. it. Life is is asorrow, overcome Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, ﬁght for it!
Te winds of adversity can create some pretty big waves, like the ones that had engulfed me that morning. I felt buﬀeted and agitated, but it helped to remember that they were only for a time. Each trouble would run its course, retreat, and fade away. Peace and order would return. And And they did. J B J B F F I R.
It’s today that you have to have faith for. It’s today that God has provided the strength for. “As your days, so shall your strength be.”1 God gives you power for the hour, grace for the trial, at the hour and when it comes, not before. You don’t have to have faith for tomorrow today. Trust your heavenly Father. He loves you and is going to take care of you tomorrow, just like He’ He’s taking care of you you today. today. —David Brandt Berg 1. Deuteronomy 33:25
B K P
PEACE PLAN keys to inner calm
our to on Him, thetomore learnproblems to depend Him workwe them out. Te better we get to know Him, the more we trust Him; and the more we trust Him, the more inner peace we have.
P “ S,”1 one of the special blessings the Bible promises to those who strive to live live close to God. Te
our parents because we learn to trust our because we feel their love love and beneﬁt beneﬁt from their care and mature understanding of life. We trust friends who have
G G’ When we think in terms of what will please God and do our best to act accordingly, we can expect His blessing. “You [God] treat us with
Hebrew word translated “peace” in most English versions of the Old estament denoted completeness, soundness, and overall well-being. Te New estament connotation is inner tranquility—a combination of hope, trust, and quiet of mind and soul.2 In this day and age, such peace can be elusive. Tere’s no magic formula for attaining inner peace, but there are
stuck with us through thick and thin. Wee trust businesspeople W businesspeople whom we ﬁnd to be honest and reliable. We trust people, in short, because of our experience with them. It’s the same with God. Te more we open our hearts to Him, Him, the more we feel His love and concern. Te more we study the Bible and Bible-based Bible-bas ed materials, the better we understand life and and the more
kindness and with honor, never denying any good thing to those who live right.” right.”3 Tat doesn’t mean everything will come easily or go smoothly, because hard work and troubles are part of life. It does mean, though, that we can have peace of mind even in diﬃcult times, because God has promised us good things in the end. Inner turmoil is often the result of stubbornly or selﬁshly
certain things we can do to nurture it.
we appreciate G od’ss we wisdom and goodness. Te God’ more put God’s promises to the test, the more faith we have in them. Te Te more we take
pushing ownthat plans when deep down weour know God wants something else for us or others. Tat never works.
T G rust doesn’t just happen. As children 8
J ’ J , H G . — M C
T G urning our problems over to God in in prayer beneﬁts us in two ways. First, we get His His help, help, which which makes all the diﬀerence in the world. But it also has the extra beneﬁt of taking the pressure oﬀ of us to work things out. “Don “Don’’t worry about about anything, anything, but pray pray about about everything. With thankful hearts oﬀer up your prayers and requests to God. Ten …God will bless you with peace that no one can completely understand. And this peace will control the way you think and and feel.” feel.”4 G Whatever may befall us us and for whatever reason, reason, we can can rest assured assured that God can and wants to bring about some greater good through it. Eventually, “all things work together
for to those God.” In the good meantime, ourwho faithlove is strengthened and we learn patience. Without either of those—faith and patience— it’s hard to be at peace. Tat’s why the Bible tells us to stay positive and hang in there. “Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”6 L It’s impossible to feel at peace with ourselves or God as long as we’re still carrying the burden of past mistakes. Wee can repent a thousand W thousand times and do penance until hell freezes over, but we won’t experience genuine peace until we fully accept the fact that God forgave us for every wrong
1. Galatians 5:22–23
3. Psalm 84:11 CEV
7. Isaiah 43:25
2. Nelson’s Bible Bible Dictionary,
4. Philippians 4:6–7 CEV
8. Romans 5:1
Copyright © 1986, Thomas
5. Romans 8:28
6. James 1:2–4
the we asked Him“I, to.even We say, “I’minstant too bad.” God says, I, am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake; and I will not remember your sins.”7 “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ.””8 V In one of his rare hopeful moments, Friedrich Nietzsche hit on a happy truth: “What does not kill me, makes me stronger.” In her book Gratitude: A Way of Life , Louise L. Hay was more speciﬁc. “No matter what is happening around us, we can choose to respond in a way that will help us learn and grow. When we look at our diﬃculties as opportunities for growth, then we can be grateful for the lessons we are learning from these diﬃcult experiences. Tere is always a gift in every allows experience. Expressing Expressin g gratitude us to ﬁnd it.”” When we adopt that mindset, it. we put problems in in perspective, free 9
A ’ . —V B B
ourselves from negativity conjure up, andthe ﬁnd peace. they C C “Godliness with contentment is great gain.”9 Who doesn’t like the sound of “great gain”? It’s “godliness” and “contentment” “con tentment” that people tend to misinterpret and get hung up on. “Godliness” is not a a matter of piety or perfection. It isn’t a sinless state, but a lifelong process; it’s recognizing that we’re not nearly as much like Him we’re Him as we should be and asking Him to make us better. And “contentment” isn’t a matter of feigning happiness or resigning ourselves ourselves to the way things are when they aren’t as they should be; it’s a matter of loving God and 9. 1 Timothy 6:6
trusting Him to makeofthings better. It’s “being conﬁdent this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until until the day of Jesus Christ.”10 T “Give God time to reveal Himself to you. Give yourself time to be silent and quiet before Him, waiting to receive, through the Spirit, the assurance of His presence with you, His power working in you. Let [Him] create within you a holy atmosphere, a holy, heavenly light‚ in which your soul will be refreshed and strengthened for the work of daily life. life.””11 In those quiet moments, God is able to renew your spirit and also make you more like Himself.12
10. Philippians Philippians 1:6 11. Andrew Murray, South African writer
and unsettle us. “Whatever are true, whatever things arethings noble, whatever things are just, whatever whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy— meditate on these things.”13 D J In Jesus’ farewell to His disciples, knowing that He was about to be arrested and cruciﬁed, He told them, “Tese things have I spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer cheer,, I have overcome the world.”14 Te better you get to know Jesus by reading His Word, W ord, especially the Gospels, Gospels, and by interacting with Him through prayer and reﬂection, the more you will be
and pastor (1828–1917) 12. Ephesians 4:23; 2 Corinthians Corin thians 3:18 13. Philippians 4:8 14. John 16:33
Counting our blessings puts us on a positive channel. It doesn’t solve all our problems, but it takes our focus oﬀ of the things that upset
convinced that He andcontrol, His Father have everything under no matter how things may appear on the surface.
SH S HATTERED! B N N
W , I . . It was a big adjustment to have to keep up with the house and care for the children on my own, in addition to my job. Other circumstances also took a toll on my emotions, and I found it increasingly diﬃcult to cope. Each day’s outlook
God wanted to help me get out of the mess I was in, and He did. In my desperate, “sh “shattered” attered” state, He was able to get through t hrough to me about areas where I had been falling short—my relationships with my older children and my attitude toward some of my coworkers coworkers,, for example. In that time of quiet reﬂection, I sought and found God’s forgiveness, and faith
seemed than last. Teand strugglebleaker exhausted methe physically mentally. Ten came the last straw. Dinner was almost ready, and it would be ten minutes before before the children ﬁnished their homework and came to eat. I had been using my laptop to listen to music while I cooked, and decided to use those ten minutes to check my email. I scooped the laptop from the kitchen counter and headed for the living room, but in my frazzled state I forgot to unplug the power cord. When I had gone only a few steps, sudden resistance tore the laptop from my grip. I can still see the scene unfolding, as though in slow motion—my computer falling, ﬂipping, bouncing, the screen going blank. I was in shock the rest of the evening, and couldn’t fall asleep that
and Ten hope were restored. I remembered my shattered laptop. But instead of the despair I had felt all evening, I had the distinct feeling that all was not lost. If God could put me back together,, I reasoned, surely there was together hope for my laptop. Te next morning I switched on the laptop, and it rebooted. Only a small portion of the screen lit up, but the computer was still functioning. Only the screen had been damaged, and that was relatively inexpensive to replace. Now each time I open my laptop and the screen lights up, I am reminded of God’s unfailing love and forgiveness, the peace He has to oﬀer, and the inner change He brings when we take our problems to Him.
night. mytomind ﬁnally stopped racing,When I began consider how stressed I had been and consequently how unhappy I was. I believed that
N N F I A . 11
POINTS TO PONDER
Bea Be a t str s tres ess s A 113-- , , , “W , I .”
Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to to what what happens. And response is something we we can choose.—Maureen choose. —Maureen Killoran
Stress is the trash of modern life— we all generate it but but if you don’ don’t dispose of it properly, it will pile up and overtake your life. —Terri Guillemets
Stress believes that everything is an emergency.—Natalie emergency. —Natalie Goldberg
Our anxiety not empty tomorrow of does its sorrow, but only empties today of its strength. —Charles Haddon Spurgeon
If you focus on the negative in any situation, you can expect high stress levels. However, if you try and see the good in the situation, your stress levels will greatly diminish.—Catherine ish. —Catherine Pulsifer
For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.—Lily down. —Lily Tomlin ake rest; a ﬁeld that has rested gives a bountiful crop.—Ovid crop.—Ovid Believing that you must do something perfectly is a recipe for stress, and you’ll associate that stress with the task and thus thus condition yourself to avoid it.—Steve it.—Steve Pavlina
Te greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.—William another.—William James
Keep your sense of humor. Tere’s enough stress in the rest of your life to let bad shots ruin a game you’re supposed to enjoy.—Amy enjoy.—Amy Alcott I will cast all my cares on God. Tey cannot burden Him. —Joseph Hall
P R A Y E R FO R T H E D A Y
Jesus, when I feel weak, tired, or out of sorts, You’re right there to put Your arms around me, to comfort me, and tell me that everything is going to be okay. You reach down and soothe my ruﬄed nerves, melt away my worries and fears, and lift the confusion that surrounds me. Thank You that I can ﬁnd ﬁnd relief from the pressure of a busy schedule by turning to You. When what and I’m doing andstrength take a few think Youday. and Your love, my spirit isI stop refreshed I ﬁnd the to minutes continuetoon withabout my busy Thank You for the peace peace You pour into me when I’m I’m stressed or down. down. And thank You, too, too, that when I feel good, You make me feel even better. 12
rest assured B S K
Whether as a student cramming before an important S . Whether exam, a parent juggling the demands of work and family, family, a relative or close friend of someone facing a serious health problem, a professional struggling to stay current, or one of millions trying to stay on their feet in a shaky economy, economy, everyone has experienced the debilitating eﬀects of stress. Some of the primary causes of stress may have changed since the Bible was written, but the Bible’ Bible’ss instruction and promises on the subject subject are as valid now as they were thousands of years ago.
Te Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.—Psalm peace.—Psalm 29:11 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.—Matthew rest.—Matthew 11:28 Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you.—John you.—John 14:27 C .
Be anxious for nothing, but let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds. —Philippians 4:6–7
Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace.—Job peace.—Job 22:21 My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.—Exodus rest.—Exodus 33:14 You will keep him in perfect You peace, whose mind is stayed on You, Y ou, because he trusts in You. You. —Isaiah 26:3 I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.—Psalm moved.—Psalm 16:8
T G’ .
Are not two sparrows sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.—Matthew sparrows. —Matthew 10:29,31 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? —Romans 8:32
Cast your burden on the Lord, and
I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor
He shall sustain you.—Psalm you.—Psalm 55:22 Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.—1 you.—1 Peter 5:7
depth, created thing, shall benor ableany to other separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.—Romans Lord.—Romans 8:38–39 13
I love you, Mom. I love your aliveness, your joy in living, your understanding, your giving. And what I love best of all is that you love me. God of all Mothers, thank you for my mom! —Gaynell Bordes Cronin
His little arms crept ’round ’round my neck, and then I heard him say Four simple words I can’t forget, four words that made me pray. They turned a mirror mirror on my soul, on secrets no one knew, They startled I hear hea r them he said,me, “I’ll be like you!”yet, —Herbert Parker
B T K
S , And it wasn’ wasn’t just for a spin around around the block. We We . And . were a missionary family family and lived in countries countries where motorcycles were often the most practical or aﬀordable means of transportation. (I grew up in Hong Kong, Tailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Macau, and Singapor Singapore.) e.) But that wasn’t the only unusual or outstanding thing about Mom. She always made a point to learn and ﬁt into the local culture as much as she could, and she loved to communicate with people in their own language. She was also an expert at organizing fun, educational outings for us kids, and encouraged us to try local foods, sports, and ways of doing things.
studying various local dialects and learning all she could about the Ugandan culture. It wasn’t long before she was greeting sellers at the street market in their own vernaculars. She got to know all of our Ugandan neighbors, right down to details of their children’s education and interests, and she never hesitated to help a friend or stranger in need. She also hadn’t lost her fun-loving, slightly reckless side. On one of her days oﬀ, she could be found riding her dirt bike to Lake Victoria, renting motorbikes for others of us to learn to ride, or her favorite—kayaking down the Nile. Te best moms, I’ve found, aren’t necessarily perfect cooks or housekeepers, but they love their children completely and in their own way. way. Tey also set an example by living what they teach, and aren’t afraid to let their children try new things and be themselves. And while
I moved Uganda a young adult, a while Mom joinedtome. It wasaswonderful to seeand howafter quickly and well she adapted to Africa Africa after after having having lived lived in Japan Japan for many years. As always, she was eager to learn new things,
they’re at it, they enjoy life to the full.
K F I S A.
W —“G —“G ”1—but often we can’t ﬁnd words to express what we’re going through or what we want Him to do about it. Some people are gifted at that, but those of us who aren’t have another option: we can use a prayer from the Bible or other source. Jesus gave us an example in what probably hasallbecome theLord’s most famous prayer of time, the Prayer.2 When His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He didn’t give them theory, mechanics, or generalities; He gave them a prayer they could memorize and repeat. Here are two prayers for trying times. Jot a list of the diﬃcult situations you encountered today or anticipate, and then turn them over to God using one of these prayers. Te ﬁrst is great for starting the day; the second for when the diﬃculties of the day have taken a toll.
O Lord, grant me the blessing of greeting the coming day in peace. Bless my dealings with all who surround me. Teach T each me to treat all that that comes to me throughout throughout the day with peace of soul, and with ﬁrm conviction that Thy will governs us all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unforeseen events let me not forget that all are sent by Thee. Teach T each me to act ﬁrmly and wisely wisely,, without embittering embittering and and embarrassing others. Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all that it shall bring. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Thou Thyself in me. —Filaret Drozdov (1782–1867)
God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and endless, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage. Flood the path with light; run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory. — Attributed to Saint Augustine (354–430) (354–430)
Your PraYer, T h e i r Wo Word rds s A
1. Psalm 46:1 2. Matthew 6:9–13
FROM JESUS WITH LOVE
Le L et Me he heLp Lp Life wasn’t wi thout which is vastly greater than your own. You You may wasn’t designed to coast through without any troubles or hardships. Tere will always be be able to sort things out eventually, but I can help you do it much quicker. You may be able setbacks, diﬃculties, and pressures, but if you to withstand a lot of pressure, but I can relieve learn to see those as challenges that I can help the pressure. You may be able to do something you overcome, I will do just that. I want to lift the weight of uncertainty from well, but you and I can c an do it better. your shoulders. I want you to hold on to the I will never leave your side. I will make knowledge that no matter how great the need, good on My promises to move mountains, 1 how dark the night, or how seemingly imposgive you sustaining grace,2 rest of spirit,3 sible the situation, I am in control and never and peace that surpasses understanding.4 No fail those who turn to Me for help. No matter matter what is going on around you, you can what you are up against, you and I can overbe at peace when you are anchored deeply in come it. Allow Me to work on your behalf. Me. Beneath the churning waves, your anchor When you ﬁnd yourself in a stressful stressfu l will hold. situation and decide to trust Me to bring Come to Me, lay your burdens on My you through it, your faith releases My power, shoulders, and ﬁnd that I have all you need.
1. Matthew 17:20 2. 2 Corinthians 12:9
3. Matthew 11:28 4. Philippians 4:7