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change your life. change your world.

Vol 12 • Issue 5

THE KINGFISHER
EFFECT
Good news for nerves

Wings from Weights


How to rise above problems

Peace Plan
10 keys to inner calm
Browse our website or contact one of the
distributors below to enjoy the inspirational,
motivational, and practical help offered in our
books and audiovisual material.
Vol 12, Issue 5
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direct contact with the source of everything she longed for, God Himself. 1870 Antipolo City, Philippines
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Don’t we all want the same things that woman wanted? If we only knew. Email: info@activated.org.au
If we knew—really knew—how much God loves us, we would never www.activated.org.au
feel unloved. If we knew how unconditional His love is, we would never Editor Keith Phillips
feel insecure. If we knew how accepting He is of us—blemishes, blow-its, Design Gentian Suçi
and all—we wouldn’t worry so much about what anyone else might think. Production Jessie Richards
If we knew how much He appreciates our love for Him and others, we www.auroraproduction.com
would find fulfillment in that, first and foremost. If we knew what He has © 2011 Aurora Production AG. All Rights Re-
served. Printed in Taiwan by Ji Yi Co., Ltd.
planned for us, we wouldn’t fear the future. If we only knew how much He
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indi-
loves us for who we are, we wouldn’t want to be anyone else. cated, are taken from the New King James Ver-
sion®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Keith Phillips Used by permission. All rights reserved. Other
For Activated 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 Century Version (NCV). Copyright ©
1. John, chapter 4 1991 by Word Publishing. Used by permission.

2
Finding
perfection By Joyce Suttin

I remember, as a very little illusions that fade as the final credits roll. A scenic view may look perfect from
girl, looking out across a distance, but up close we see the mud and the litter. The world looks better
the field behind our home without binoculars or microscopes.
at what appeared to be We look for perfection—perfect people, perfect situations, perfect relation-
the perfect tree. I could ships, perfect happiness—but because none of us are perfect, we wind up
hardly contain my excitement as I discouraged or disillusioned. But God isn’t looking for perfection—at least not
ran to inspect it up close. But as I our idea of perfection. Sure, we can all do better, but often what we perceive as
reached out to gather some perfect flaws and foibles are actually His doing, part of our unique makeup, blessings
leaves from the perfect tree, I had in disguise. And are all problems all bad? Aren’t they sometimes God’s way of
one of my first big disappointments. steering us to better things?
On closer inspection, each leaf was God doesn’t expect us to be perfect. All He asks is that we try our best to
marred somehow—a scrape, a brown love Him and others.1 When we do that, we can feel secure in His love, and
splotch, an insect bite. There wasn’t that changes our whole outlook. We feel better about ourselves, and that helps
one that I could take home and us to see the best in others and to make the most of our circumstances. Life
hang in my room as a symbol of isn’t perfect, but that’s okay. God knew better.
perfection.
Images may appear perfect from Joyce Suttin is a member of the Family International in the U.S.
a distance, but as we look closer we
see the imperfections. We watch
strangers drive by in their shiny THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
new cars and assume that they have “Because [God] delights in me, he saved me.”—Psalm 18:19 NCV
perfect lives, not realizing that they
may have problems worse than If God had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. If he had
our own. We watch television and a wallet, your photo would be in it. He sends you flowers every
movies and see images of perfection, spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk,
he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose
1. Matthew 22:37–39 your heart. Face it, friend. He’s crazy about you.—Max Lucado

3
There is a beautiful stained glass window prayer until God touches our soul, we mount
in the historic Wesley’s Chapel in London, up to realms of peace and rest and are truly
inscribed with these words: “If I take the wings of the “sustained by the Lord.”
morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there This old world daily strives to pull us
shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”1 down, but there is an upward pull that will
People have always wanted wings—a way to be lifted above lift us to the very heart of God. If you read
their earthbound lives and troubles. It seems to be human nature God’s Word, share your heart with Him, and
to feel confined and discontented with “here.” Things surely must wait for Him to speak to you, you will find
be easier, brighter, better, freer “there,” just over the next hill. all the strength you need. But many people
There’s another verse where the Psalmist echoes the get-me- try to run on their own strength, hoping that
away-from-it-all sentiment. He says, “Oh, that I had wings like they will somehow surmount their difficulties
a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.”2 But he also knew the that way. They put the feet before the wings.
secret to finding that wonderful place away from it all, and he But read that verse again. The running and
shared that secret with us: “The Lord sustained me.”3 walking come after the renewing. What
God sustained David through all his difficulties and tests, and chance does your soul have if you never take
He transformed his weights into wings. “But those who wait on those moments to connect with God and
the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with draw strength from Him? “Wait on the Lord;
wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall be of good courage, and He shall strengthen
walk and not faint.”4 When we turn to God’s Word and wait in your heart.”5

WINGS from
Evangelist and pastor Virginia Brandt
Berg (1886–1968) was the mother of
David Brandt Berg, founder of the
Family International.

WEIGHTS
By Virginia Brandt Berg

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 strain of heavenly
music. He can wipe away your
fears and tears with just one little
restful moment in that perfect
1. Psalm 139:9–10 KJV 4. Isaiah 40:31 peace He gives when your mind is
2. Psalm 55:6 5. Psalm 27:14 fixed on Him and Him alone.6
3. Psalm 3:5 6. See Isaiah 26:3. —David Brandt Berg

4
THE
KINGFISHER
EFFECT
By David Bolick

When Japan’s Sanyo Shinkansen “bullet train” was


first put in service, residents along the train line
complained about the noise level. About half the line
was made up of tunnel sections, and the train would produce a tun-
nel boom on exiting due to the sudden change in air resistance.
The engineers pondered the problem until one of them remem-
bered having read about a bird with a unique design feature, the
kingfisher. To catch its prey, the kingfisher dives from the air, which
has low resistance, into high-resistance water—and it only creates often has a better idea. It takes faith to stop
the smallest splash upon entry. The engineer surmised that this was trying so hard on our own and turn to God
due to the shape of the kingfisher’s beak being perfectly suited to deal for help, but that’s usually what it takes for
with such changes in resistance. Him to get through to us. Faith is to prob-
He and his colleagues conducted simulations by shooting various lems what the kingfisher’s beak is to water.
shapes into a pipe and measuring the pressure waves on exit. The When obstacles present themselves, the sud-
data showed that the ideal shape for the nose of the bullet train was den added resistance to our plans or routine
almost identical to a kingfisher’s beak—problem solved! The engi- can give us quite a jolt, but faith helps us find
neers probably would have had a much more difficult time finding solutions quicker and with less wear and tear
the solution if they had relied solely on their training and experience on our nerves. Faith doesn’t eliminate all our
as mechanical engineers. The solution was found only when one of problems, but it lessens their impact.
them looked elsewhere.
One of the problems with problems is that we tend to rely too David Bolick is a member of the Family
much on our own abilities and experience to solve them, when God International in Mexico.

H OW TO H A N D L E ANYTHING
There are well-meaning people who believe that life is too harsh. They would like to plan and 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. Surround
every difficulty with 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
Adapted from David Brandt Berg

One of the greatest healing factors is faith, knowing


that God loves us and is going to take care of us no
matter what happens. Faith eliminates fear and tension, which are
two of the greatest causes of disease and ill health. Those and other nega-
tive 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 can have a negative effect on the body, but
if we can counter that negativity, we will find peace of mind, which will
reduce stress on vital organs and promote health. This is why peaceful
meditation, positive attitudes, and concentrating on good thoughts
have a good effect on both mind and body. “Whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, 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.”1
The Bible also tells us repeatedly not to 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
very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the
We can never be com- earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst
pletely happy or whole of the sea.”3 “In God I have put my trust; I will not be afraid.”4 “Peace I
until we establish a loving leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give
relationship with God to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”5 “Do not
through His Son, Jesus. be afraid; only believe.”6
You can do that right now Faith in God gives you peace of mind, contentment of heart, and a
by praying this simple sense of spiritual well-being—all of which tend to greatly improve your
prayer: physical well-being.

Jesus, I believe in You and David Brandt Berg (1919–1994) was the founder of the Family
want to get to know You International.
better. Please be with me
always. Amen. 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

6
The Wave
By Janet Barnes
LIFE
By Mother Teresa

One morning when I was at wits’ end, I checked my Life is an opportunity, benefit from it.
email and saw that a friend had sent me a video Life is a beauty, admire it.
clip. It turned out to be a collection of relaxing beach scenes, Life is bliss, taste it.
with soft instrumental music playing in the background. The waves Life is a dream, realize it.
washing on the shore reminded me of the peaceful beauty of God’s Life is a challenge, meet it.
creation, and the gentle, repetitive sight and sound of the surf rolling Life is a duty, complete it.
onto the sand soothed my spirit. Life is a game, play it.
When I had calmed down enough to think more clearly, it dawned Life is costly, care for it.
on me that most waves are the result of winds out at sea, turbulence. Life is wealth, keep it.
There is continual movement as each wave builds over time and Life is love, enjoy it.
distance. It picks up speed and breaks when it reaches the shallows. It Life is mystery, know it.
stretches along the warm sand until it is just a thin sheet. Then, slowly Life is a promise, fulfill it.
and silently, it retreats back into the sea. On and on it goes—build- Life is sorrow, overcome it.
ing, breaking, spreading, and returning in an endless cycle. 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!

DAY-BY-DAY FAITH
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,
The winds of adversity can create some pretty big waves, like the not before. You don’t have to have
ones that had engulfed me that morning. I felt buffeted and agitated, faith for tomorrow today. Trust your
but it helped to remember that they were only for a time. Each heavenly Father. He loves you and is
trouble would run its course, retreat, and fade away. Peace and order going to take care of you tomorrow,
would return. And they did. just like He’s taking care of you today.
—David Brandt Berg
Janet Barnes is a member of the Family International in
Romania. 1. Deuteronomy 33:25

7
PEACE
By Keith Phillips PLAN
10 keys to our problems to Him, the more we
learn to depend on Him to work
them out. The better we get to know

inner calm Him, the more we trust Him; and


the more we trust Him, the more
inner peace we have.

Go God’s way
Peace is a “fruit of the we learn to trust our parents because When we think in terms of what
Spirit,”1 one of the special bless- we feel their love and benefit from will please God and do our best to
ings the Bible promises to those their care and mature understanding act accordingly, we can expect His
who strive to live close to God. The of life. We trust friends who have blessing. “You [God] treat us with
Hebrew word translated “peace” in stuck with us through thick and thin. kindness and with honor, never
most English versions of the Old We trust businesspeople whom we denying any good thing to those
Testament denoted completeness, find to be honest and reliable. We who live right.”3 That doesn’t mean
soundness, and overall well-being. trust people, in short, because of our everything will come easily or go
The New Testament connotation is experience with them. smoothly, because hard work and
inner tranquility—a combination of It’s the same with God. The more troubles are part of life. It does mean,
hope, trust, and quiet of mind and we open our hearts to Him, the though, that we can have peace of
soul.2 In this day and age, such peace more we feel His love and concern. mind even in difficult times, because
can be elusive. The more we study the Bible and God has promised us good things
There’s no magic formula for Bible-based materials, the better in the end. Inner turmoil is often
attaining inner peace, but there are we understand life and the more the result of stubbornly or selfishly
certain things we can do to nurture it. we appreciate God’s wisdom and pushing our own plans when deep
goodness. The more we put God’s down we know that God wants
Trust God promises to the test, the more faith something else for us or others. That
Trust doesn’t just happen. As children we have in them. The more we take never works.

8
Jesus didn’t promise
to change the
circumstances
around us, but He did
promise great peace
and pure joy to those
who would learn
to believe that God
actually controls all
things.
—Merlin Carothers

Take problems to God in for good to those who love God.”5 In the instant we asked Him to. We say,
prayer the meantime, our faith is strength- “I’m too bad.” God says, “I, even I,
Turning our problems over to God in ened and we learn patience. Without am He who blots out your transgres-
prayer benefits us in two ways. First, either of those—faith and patience— sions for My own sake; and I will
we get His help, which makes all the it’s hard to be at peace. That’s why not remember your sins.”7 “We have
difference in the world. But it also has the Bible tells us to stay positive and peace with God through our Lord
the extra benefit of taking the pressure hang in there. “Count it all joy when Jesus Christ.”8
off of us to work things out. “Don’t you fall into various trials, knowing
worry about anything, but pray about that the testing of your faith produces View adversity as
everything. With thankful hearts offer patience. But let patience have its opportunity
up your prayers and requests to God. perfect work, that you may be perfect In one of his rare hopeful moments,
Then …God will bless you with peace and complete, lacking nothing.”6 Friedrich Nietzsche hit on a happy
that no one can completely under- truth: “What does not kill me, makes
stand. And this peace will control the Let go of the past me stronger.” In her book Gratitude:
way you think and feel.”4 It’s impossible to feel at peace with A Way of Life, Louise L. Hay was
ourselves or God as long as we’re still more specific. “No matter what is
Give troubles time carrying the burden of past mistakes. happening around us, we can choose
Whatever may befall us and for We can repent a thousand times and to respond in a way that will help
whatever reason, we can rest assured do penance until hell freezes over, us learn and grow. When we look
that God can and wants to bring but we won’t experience genuine at our difficulties as opportunities
about some greater good through it. peace until we fully accept the fact for growth, then we can be grateful
Eventually, “all things work together that God forgave us for every wrong for the lessons we are learning from
these difficult experiences. There is
1. Galatians 5:22–23 3. Psalm 84:11 CEV 7. Isaiah 43:25 always a gift in every experience.
2. Nelson’s Bible Dictionary, 4. Philippians 4:6–7 CEV 8. Romans 5:1 Expressing gratitude allows us to find
Copyright © 1986, Thomas 5. Romans 8:28 it.” When we adopt that mindset,
Nelson Publishers 6. James 1:2–4 we put problems in perspective, free

9
Anything wonderful
can happen in that
little margin of time
when you don’t give up
but keep on believing.
—Virginia Brandt Berg

ourselves from the negativity they trusting Him to make things better. and unsettle us. “Whatever things
conjure up, and find peace. It’s “being confident of this very are true, whatever things are noble,
thing, that He who has begun a good whatever things are just, whatever
Cultivate contentment work in you will complete it until the things are pure, whatever things are
“Godliness with contentment is great day of Jesus Christ.”10 lovely, whatever things are of good
gain.”9 Who doesn’t like the sound report, if there is any virtue and if
of “great gain”? It’s “godliness” and Take time for quiet there is anything praiseworthy—
“contentment” that people tend to reflection meditate on these things.”13
misinterpret and get hung up on. “Give God time to reveal Himself to
“Godliness” is not a matter of piety or you. Give yourself time to be silent Deepen your personal
perfection. It isn’t a sinless state, but a and quiet before Him, waiting to relationship with Jesus
lifelong process; it’s recognizing that receive, through the Spirit, the assur- In Jesus’ farewell to His disciples,
we’re not nearly as much like Him ance of His presence with you, His knowing that He was about to be
as we should be and asking Him to power working in you. Let [Him] arrested and crucified, He told them,
make us better. And “contentment” create within you a holy atmosphere, “These things have I spoken to you,
isn’t a matter of feigning happiness or a holy, heavenly light‚ in which your that in Me you may have peace.
resigning ourselves to the way things soul will be refreshed and strength- In the world you will have tribula-
are when they aren’t as they should ened for the work of daily life.”11 In tion; but be of good cheer, I have
be; it’s a matter of loving God and those quiet moments, God is able to overcome the world.”14 The better
renew your spirit and also make you you get to know Jesus by reading His
9. 1 Timothy 6:6 more like Himself.12 Word, especially the Gospels, and by
10. Philippians 1:6 interacting with Him through prayer
11. Andrew Murray, South African writer Be grateful and reflection, the more you will be
and pastor (1828–1917) Counting our blessings puts us on convinced that He and His Father
12. Ephesians 4:23; 2 Corinthians 3:18 a positive channel. It doesn’t solve have everything under control, no
13. Philippians 4:8 all our problems, but it takes our matter how things may appear on the
14. John 16:33 focus off of the things that upset surface.

10
SHATTERED!
By Natalia Nazarova

When my husband went on God wanted to help me get out of the


an extended business trip mess I was in, and He did.
for nearly three months, I In my desperate, “shattered” state,
found out what challenges He was able to get through to me
single parents face. It was a big about areas where I had been falling
adjustment to have to keep up with short—my relationships with my
the house and care for the children on older children and my attitude
my own, in addition to my job. Other toward some of my coworkers, for
circumstances also took a toll on my example. In that time of quiet
emotions, and I found it increasingly reflection, I sought and found
difficult to cope. Each day’s outlook God’s forgiveness, and faith
seemed bleaker than the last. The and hope were restored.
struggle exhausted me physically and Then I remembered
mentally. Then came the last straw. my shattered laptop.
Dinner was almost ready, and it But instead of the
would be ten minutes before the despair I had felt
children finished their homework all evening, I had the
and came to eat. I had been using distinct feeling that all was
my laptop to listen to music while not lost. If God could put me back
I cooked, and decided to use those together, I reasoned, surely there was
ten minutes to check my email. hope for my laptop.
I scooped the laptop from the The next morning I switched on
kitchen counter and headed the laptop, and it rebooted. Only
for the living room, but in a small portion of the screen lit
my frazzled state I forgot to up, but the computer was still
unplug the power cord. When functioning. Only the screen had
I had gone only a few steps, sud- been damaged, and that was relatively
den resistance tore the laptop from my inexpensive to replace.
grip. I can still see the scene unfold- Now each time I open my
ing, as though in slow motion—my laptop and the screen lights up, I am
computer falling, flipping, bouncing, reminded of God’s unfailing love and
the screen going blank. forgiveness, the peace He has to offer,
I was in shock the rest of the and the inner change He brings when
evening, and couldn’t fall asleep that we take our problems to Him.
night. When my mind finally stopped
racing, I began to consider how Natalia Nazarova is a member
stressed I had been and consequently of the Family International in
how unhappy I was. I believed that Argentina.

11
POINTS TO PONDER

Beat stress
A 113-year-old man, when Stress is not what happens to us.
asked the secret of his It’s our response to what happens.
longevity, replied, “When And response is something we can
it rains, I let it.” choose.—Maureen Killoran

Stress is the trash of modern life— Stress believes that everything is an


we all generate it but if you don’t emergency.—Natalie Goldberg
dispose of it properly, it will pile up
and overtake your life. The greatest weapon against stress
—Terri Guillemets is our ability to choose one thought
over another.—William James
Our anxiety does not empty
tomorrow of its sorrow, but only If you focus on the negative in
empties today of its strength. any situation, you can expect high
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon stress levels. However, if you try
and see the good in the situation,
For fast-acting relief, try slowing your stress levels will greatly dimin-
down.—Lily Tomlin ish.—Catherine Pulsifer

Take rest; a field that has rested Keep your sense of humor. There’s
gives a bountiful crop.—Ovid enough stress in the rest of your life
to let bad shots ruin a game you’re
Believing that you must do some- supposed to enjoy.—Amy Alcott
thing perfectly is a recipe for stress,
and you’ll associate that stress I will cast all my cares on God.
with the task and thus condition They cannot burden Him.
yourself to avoid it.—Steve Pavlina —Joseph Hall

P R AYER FOR THE DAY


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 relief from the pressure of a busy schedule by turning to You.
When I stop what I’m doing and take a few minutes to think about You and Your love, my
spirit is refreshed and I find the strength to continue on with my busy day.
Thank You for the peace You pour into me when I’m stressed or down. And thank You, too,
that when I feel good, You make me feel even better.

12
rest assured By Samuel Keating

Stress is no fun. Whether as a student cramming before an important


exam, a parent juggling the demands of work and 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,
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’s instruction and promises on the subject are as valid
now as they were thousands of years ago.

God promises peace to those


who turn to Him.

The Lord will give strength to His


people; the Lord will bless His Stay close to God. Trust in God’s unfailing
people with peace.—Psalm 29:11 love and care.
Now acquaint yourself with Him,
Come to Me, all you who labor and be at peace.—Job 22:21 Are not two sparrows sold for a
and are heavy laden, and I will give copper coin? And not one of them
you rest.—Matthew 11:28 My Presence will go with you, and falls to the ground apart from your
I will give you rest.—Exodus 33:14 Father’s will. Do not fear therefore;
Peace I leave with you, My peace I you are of more value than many
give to you.—John 14:27 You will keep him in perfect sparrows.—Matthew 10:29,31
peace, whose mind is stayed on
Counter worry with prayer. You, because he trusts in You. He who did not spare His own
—Isaiah 26:3 Son, but delivered Him up for us
Be anxious for nothing, but let all, how shall He not with Him
your requests be made known to I have set the Lord always before also freely give us all things?
God; and the peace of God, which me; because He is at my right hand —Romans 8:32
surpasses all understanding, will I shall not be moved.—Psalm 16:8
guard your hearts and minds. I am persuaded that neither death
—Philippians 4:6–7 nor life, nor angels nor principali-
ties nor powers, nor things present
Cast your burden on the Lord, and nor things to come, nor height nor
He shall sustain you.—Psalm 55:22 depth, nor any other created thing,
shall be able to separate us from the
Casting all your care upon Him, love of God which is in Christ Jesus
for He cares for you.—1 Peter 5:7 our 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 my neck,


and then I heard him say
Four simple words I can’t forget,

motorcycle
four words that made me pray.
They turned a mirror on my soul,
on secrets no one knew,

mom
They startled me, I hear them yet,
he said, “I’ll be like you!”
—Herbert Parker

By Tina Kapp

Some of my earliest memories are of riding studying various local dialects and learning all she could
on the back of a motorcycle, behind my about the Ugandan culture. It wasn’t long before she was
mom. And it wasn’t just for a spin around the block. We greeting sellers at the street market in their own vernacu-
were a missionary family and lived in countries where lars. She got to know all of our Ugandan neighbors, right
motorcycles were often the most practical or affordable down to details of their children’s education and interests,
means of transportation. (I grew up in Hong Kong, and she never hesitated to help a friend or stranger in need.
Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Macau, She also hadn’t lost her fun-loving, slightly reckless side.
and Singapore.) On one of her days off, she could be found riding her dirt
But that wasn’t the only unusual or outstanding thing bike to Lake Victoria, renting motorbikes for others of us
about Mom. She always made a point to learn and fit into to learn to ride, or her favorite—kayaking down the Nile.
the local culture as much as she could, and she loved to The best moms, I’ve found, aren’t necessarily perfect
communicate with people in their own language. She was cooks or housekeepers, but they love their children
also an expert at organizing fun, educational outings for completely and in their own way. They also set an example
us kids, and encouraged us to try local foods, sports, and by living what they teach, and aren’t afraid to let their
ways of doing things. children try new things and be themselves. And while
I moved to Uganda as a young adult, and after a while they’re at it, they enjoy life to the full.
Mom joined me. It was wonderful to see how quickly and
well she adapted to Africa after having lived in Japan for Tina Kapp is a member of the Family International
many years. As always, she was eager to learn new things, in South Africa.

14
O
O Lord, grant me the blessing of greeting the coming day in peace.
Bless my dealings with all who surround me.
Teach me to treat all that comes to me 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.
We know who to turn Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embar-
to in trying times—“God rassing others.
is a very present help in Give me strength to bear the fatigue of this coming day with all
trouble”1—but often we can’t that it shall bring.
find words to express what we’re Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray Thou Thyself in me.
going through or what we want —Filaret Drozdov (1782–1867)
Him to do about it. Some people are

G
gifted at that, but those of us who
aren’t have another option: we can
use a prayer from the Bible or other God of our life, there are days when the burdens we carry chafe our
source. Jesus gave us an example in shoulders and weigh us down; when the road seems dreary and end-
what probably has become the most less, the skies gray and threatening; when our lives have no music in
famous prayer of all time, the Lord’s them, and our hearts are lonely, and our souls have lost their courage.
Prayer.2 When His disciples asked Flood the path with light; run our eyes to where the skies are
Him to teach them to pray, He didn’t full of promise; tune our hearts to brave music; give us the sense of
give them theory, mechanics, or comradeship with heroes and saints of every age; and so quicken our
generalities; He gave them a prayer spirits that we may be able to encourage the souls of all who journey
they could memorize and repeat. with us on the road of life, to Your honor and glory.
Here are two prayers for try- —Attributed to Saint Augustine (354–430)
ing 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.
The first is great for starting the day;
the second for when the difficulties
of the day have taken a toll.

Your Prayer,
Their Words
A spiritual exercise

1. Psalm 46:1
2. Matthew 6:9–13

15
FR OM JESUS WITH LOVE

Let Me help
Life wasn’t designed to coast through without which is vastly greater than your own. You may
any troubles or hardships. There will always be be able to sort things out eventually, but I can
setbacks, difficulties, and pressures, but if you help you do it much quicker. You may be able
learn to see those as challenges that I can help to withstand a lot of pressure, but I can relieve
you overcome, I will do just that. the pressure. You may be able to do something
I want to lift the weight of uncertainty from well, but you and I can 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 impos- give 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 over- be 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 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 3. Matthew 11:28


2. 2 Corinthians 12:9 4. Philippians 4:7