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change your life. change your world.

Vol 10 • Issue 2

your mind
The way to a more positive you

Answers from God

He has one for everything

The New York cabby miracle

Two lost people find their way
Browse our website or contact one of the
distributors below to enjoy the inspirational,
motivational, and practical help offered in
our books and audio-visual material.
Vol 10, Issue 2 February 2009
Activated Ministries
PO Box 462805
Escondido, CA 92046–2805
personally speaking Toll-free: 1–877–862–3228
Optimist or pessimist? Is your glass half full Activated Europe
or half empty? According to staffers at the Bramingham Pk. Business Ctr.
renowned Mayo Clinic, your answer to the Enterprise Way
second question not only answers the first, Luton, Beds. LU3 4BU
United Kingdom
but it also reflects your attitudes toward yourself and life in general, +44 (0) 845 838 1384
each of which plays an important part in how well you live and Email:
possibly even how long you live.1 It almost goes without saying Activated Africa
that positive thinkers are far more likely to reach their goals than P.O. Box 2150
negative thinkers. If your thought patterns have that much bearing Westville 3630
on your happiness and well-being, it makes sense to stop from South Africa
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time to time to examine the way you think and to work at making Email:
positive thinking a habit. Activated India
In explaining their approach to this subject, the Mayo team P.O. Box 5215
writes in terms of self-talk—the endless stream of thoughts that run G.P.O.
through your head every day. Self-talk can be positive or negative, Bangalore – 560 001
and so can its outcome. Positive self-talk promotes positive action India
and progress, while negative self-talk triggers discouragement and
Activated Philippines
defeat. P.O. Box 1147
Some self-talk is based on fact, and some on fallacy. The first Antipolo City P.O.
step to becoming a more positive thinker is to learn to distinguish 1870 Antipolo City
between the two, and to reject the false. It is not true, for example, Philippines
Cell: (0922) 8125326
that you can never do anything right. Rejecting such outright lies
eliminates a lot of the negative. Other negative self-talk has an
Activated Australia
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I’ve never done it before.” That can be countered with affirmative Email:
statements, like “Here’s a chance to learn something new.”
But what about the negative self-talk that stems from hard
Editor Keith Phillips
truths, like a serious accident or illness or the loss of a loved one?
Design Giselle LeFavre
How can we think positively about those? There are good answers
Production Jessie Richards
to that, too, but I’m not going to give them away here. You’ll find
them on the following pages. © 2009 Aurora Production AG
Keith Phillips All Rights Reserved

For Activated Printed in Taiwan by Chanyi Printing Co., Ltd

All scripture quotations, unless otherwise
indicated, are taken from the New King James
Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson,
1 Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
By Mila Govorukha scene—the potholed asphalt road the gentle forest, about cool, flow-
lined with bench frames with no ing, sparkling waters that wash
seats, the bridge that had been the old away. She wasn’t think-
I was awakened early by a choir all but destroyed, the small café ing about how she looked or her
of birds. Singing, chirping, chant- without doors or glass in the win- performance. She was just singing
ing, chiming, and conversing, dows, the flowerbeds overrun with with all of her being.
their melodies were loud, joyful, weeds. Don’t step onto the grass, I I don’t know how long I sat
and everywhere—nature’s own reminded myself. There could be there watching her, but I forgot
surround sound. Some friends mines! For a few moments I forgot about everything else. I listened
and I were camping in a wooded about the birds. Why did this and sang along. I sang about the
area near Mostar, the 600-year- happen? Who was responsible for feeling of freedom I felt rising
old city that was often in the news this mess? in me, about new possibilities,
during the Yugoslav Wars of the As I neared the teetering re- about new ways of looking at
early 1990s. mains of the bridge, I saw a bird life, about a new day full of hope,
The birds’ notes rose in pitch on one of the rails. Could she about the beauty of creation and
and volume, then swung to a remember? Could she have seen its gentle Creator, about a great
whisper, then reached a crescendo someone die here, or have heard love that washes away mistakes of
again, victorious, full of inspira- the shooting? the past. It felt good, it felt great,
tion and joy. The difficulties fac- Then the bird began to sing, and it felt liberating.
ing this ethnically divided country and I forgot about all those ques- Forget about ethnic differences.
were clearly the furthest thing tions. Her tiny body quaked as Forget about broken relation-
from their little minds. Nearly 15 her song burst forth. The music ships. Forget about the other guy’s
years after the official end of the seemed to come from all of her. mistake that never ended in an
war, Croatian Catholics, Bosnian The sounds poured out with apology. Learn from the birds.
Muslims, and Serb Orthodox are such force and conviction that I With all your being, with all your
still learning how to live in the wanted to sing too. She seemed strength, just sing!
same cities, how to work together, to be singing about the rising sun,
and how to forgive. about a new morning, about the Mila Govorukha is a member
I went for a walk along the blue sky, about a new day full of of the Family International
narrow river and took in the hope, about beautiful flowers and in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 1

I once talked with a woman who said she tried very
hard to think only positive thoughts, but she was never
able to keep it up for long. Even when she managed
to appear optimistic, inwardly she was often in turmoil.

Her self-help approach to positive thinking excluded
God, so when things went wrong, she didn’t have any-

thing solid to hold on to.
That may seem paradoxical—faith in God being
something substantial—but it’s true. “Faith is the
2 substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things
not seen.”1 In the face of difficulty and disappointment,
By Virginia Brandt Berg faith is far more effective than mere mental exercise
because it is backed by promises that God has made
in His Word—promises that bring about tangible results
when believed and applied to real-life situations.
These promises not only have the power to change
problem situations; they also have the power to change
us. The Bible tells us to “be transformed by the renew-
ing of the mind.”2 It is through those “exceedingly great
and precious promises” that we “may be partakers of
the divine nature.”3
We can, by an act of our will, take our mind off of
negative thoughts. Unless we fill that void, however, the
negative thoughts will rush back in. What should we
replace those negative thoughts with? What is more
positive or more powerful than the living Word of the
living God? When coupled with prayer, the uplifting,
transforming Word of God can give you victory over
every ugly, negative thought and its consequences.
As you make a consistent effort to replace negative
thoughts with positive thoughts from God’s Word, it
will become a habit; you will learn to—as the Bible puts
it—“bring your thoughts into captivity.”4
This is very difficult to accomplish in the tumult of the
world. We don’t find the mind of God on the streets of
social life or in the hobby shop. To connect with Him,
find a place where there are no distractions. “When you
pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your
door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and
your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”5
There is no place where the mind can be as fully
renewed as in the secret place of prayer, alone with
God. When we come aside from the temporal things that
Hebrews 11:1
distract and harass us, and there in the presence of God
Romans 12:2 we put our mind on the things of God, the transforming
2 Peter 1:4
2 Corinthians 10:5
power of God then begins to work in us, and we are
Matthew 6:6 changed, renewed. 1

For all the negative things we You say, “I can’t figure things out.” You say, “I’m afraid.”
say to ourselves, God has given God says, “I will direct your steps” God says, “Be not afraid, for I am
us His positive responses in the (Proverbs 3:5–6). with you” (Jeremiah 42:11).
You say, “I can’t do this.” You say, “I’m always worried and
You say, “It’s impossible.” God says, “You don’t have to do frustrated.”
God says, “All things are possible it.—I will” (2 Chronicles 20:17). God says, “Give your cares to Me”
with Me” (Matthew 19:26). (1 Peter 5:7).
You say, “It’s not worth it.”
You say, “I’m so tired.” God says, “It will be worth it” You say, “I don’t have enough
God says, “I will give you rest” (Romans 8:18). faith.”
(Matthew 11:28–30). God says, “I’ve given everyone
You say, “I can’t forgive myself.” a measure of faith” (Romans
You say, “Nobody really loves God says, “I forgive you” 12:3b).
me.” (1 John 1:9 and Romans 8:1).
God says, “I love you” (John 3:16 You say, “I’m not smart enough.”
and 13:34). You say, “I can’t manage.” God says, “I give you wisdom”
God says, “I will supply all (James 1:5 and 1 Corinthians
You say, “I can’t go on.” your needs” (Philippians 4:19). 1:30).
God says, “My grace is sufficient
and I will always be there to help You say, “I’m not able.” You say, “I feel all alone.”
you” (2 Corinthians 12:9 and God says, “You can do it with God says, “I will never leave you
Psalm 91:15). My help” (Philippians 4:13 and or forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
2 Corinthians 3:5).

Neg ativity—the source and the solution

By David Brandt Berg

The Bible calls the Devil “the accuser of the descends on you with his dark thoughts about
saints.”1 He picks at all the lacks and shortcom- yourself or others, don’t listen to him. Listen to
ings and weaknesses and little failures. If you start Jesus instead. Think positive thoughts. Remind
listening to him, you’re beaten, because there will yourself constantly of the good. When you think
always be something more you could have done or positively about yourself and others, it chases away
something you wish you hadn’t done. There will the doubts and the fears and nagging accusations
always be something that the Devil can pick on if from the Devil. Fill your mind and heart and
he wants to, and he sure wants to! mouth with positive things. Count your blessings
But thank God for Jesus! He’s the antidote. and put the Devil on the run! Let the light in, and
Jesus always points out the good things. He never the darkness will flee. 1
loses faith in us and He never stops loving us, even
when we do make mistakes. So when the Devil 1
Revelation 12:9–10
By Alex Peterson

In The Horse and His Boy, one of the seven novels the cry of jackals, followed by the terrifying roar
in C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series, of a lion, he opens his eyes and is relieved to find
a boy named Shasta dreams of traveling to the only the cat.
unknown north, which turns out to include the After meeting up and learning of a plot by
magical land of Narnia. One night Shasta over- evildoers to invade Archenland, a small kingdom
hears the fisherman he has been led to believe is that borders Narnia, and then conquer Narnia
his father sell him to a noble from a neighboring itself, the four are off to warn Archenland’s King
kingdom. (We find out much later that Shasta Lune when another lion comes upon them. This
had been shipwrecked as a baby and was found by causes the horses to run even faster, but the lion
the fisherman.) As Shasta awaits his new master overtakes them and attacks Aravis. Shasta drives
in the stable, he is surprised to find out that the the lion away. The horses are exhausted, so Shasta
noble’s stallion, Bree, is a talking horse from leaves them and Aravis in the care of a kindly
Narnia. Bree explains that he was kidnapped as a hermit and runs on foot to warn the king.
foal and sold as a warhorse, and suggests that they Shasta meets up with King Lune and his
escape together. Their journey north is long and hunting party, delivers the message, and
perilous, and they have several encounters with heads off with them on a borrowed horse, but
lions along the way. gets separated in the fog. Lost and downcast,
During the first, Shasta and Bree meet two oth- Shasta senses a presence walking beside him
ers who are trying to escape to Narnia—Aravis, a in the darkness. Eventually the two get into a
young aristocrat who is being pressured into mar- conversation, and Shasta recounts what he sees
rying an unsavory character, and her talking mare, as his many misfortunes, including his recent
Hwin, who was also kidnapped from Narnia. The encounters with lions. The presence turns out
four decide to travel together. to be Aslan, the “Great Lion” from the other
When Shasta is separated from the others, he Narnia books, who reveals that he was the single
arrives first at their prearranged meeting place lion Shasta has encountered on his journey:
and must spend the night alone at the spooky “I was the lion who forced you to join with
ancient tombs. He is awakened by a rustling in Aravis,” Aslan tells Shasta. “I was the cat who
the brush, but it is only a cat, who settles in at comforted you among the tombs. I was the lion
Shasta’s side. When Shasta is awakened again by who drove the jackals from you while you slept. I

was the lion who gave the horses the new strength
of fear for the last mile so that you should reach
King Lune in time. And I was the lion you do not
remember who pushed the [lifeboat] in which you
lay, a child near death, so it came to shore where a
man sat, wakeful at midnight, to receive you.”
A golden light breaks through the fog, and This children’s fantasy contains some timeless
Shasta turns to see “pacing beside him, taller than truths: The difficulties we face in life are not left
the horse, a Lion. It was from the Lion that the to chance. God allows each one for a specific
light came. No one ever saw anything more ter- purpose, all can ultimately work out for our good,
rible or beautiful.” and none are too great for us to overcome with
Aslan vanishes, Shasta finds his way to God’s help. The “lions” that we fear are actually
Archenland, and King Lune then recognizes our salvation, because without them we wouldn’t
him as his own son Cor, the long lost elder twin reach our destination; we’d never become the
of Prince Corin and therefore heir to the throne. people God wants us to be.
Cor and Aravis eventually marry. “And after From our vantage point, troubles hardly seem
King Lune’s death they made a good King and like good things, but God knows what He’s doing.
Queen of Archenland.” He knows where we should be in every sphere of
our lives, and He will help us get there if we will
2 do our part, which begins with trusting Him that
whatever troubles we encounter on the way are
God uses our external problems and within His benevolent control.
our inner torments; He uses our failures God often lets us get to a point where our own
and our successes, our trials and our resources aren’t enough, but He never brings us to
temptations to achieve His purposes for a point where our only choice is to give up. We al-
our lives. If we are His, we are held by ways have the choice to turn to Him and draw on
Him in a love that will never let us go. We His resources to get us through, to depend more
need never fear the circumstances around on Him. When we choose that, He never fails to
us.—Coty Pinckney come through for us one way or another. 1

Feeling the
Squeeze Q: If God loves
me, why does He
let bad things
ANSWERS happen to me?

A: One advantage of passing successful lives, so we don’t need does so for the express purpose
through trying times is that we any help—or interference. of bringing us closer to Him. He
are drawn closer to God by being We don’t see what we’re miss- puts the squeeze on so we will call
drawn closer to Jesus, our Savior ing, but He does. He knows that out to Him for help. He does this
and Friend. We seek safety and we truly do need Him, and He not to hurt or punish us, but to
security in His arms, and we find knows how much more He has to strengthen us. He knows that in
that and more. He loves us with a offer if we depend on Him. depending on Him, our spiritual
love that is everlasting and never He wants to teach us to lean strength and resilience to life’s
changes. He has so much to give on Him and avail ourselves of difficulties will grow, and that as
us, and He desires to help us in His strength, which is infinitely we draw closer to Him and be-
so many ways. He wants to spend greater than ours. But how can come more like Him, we will be
time with us, and He longs to that happen if we ignore Him or much happier and more fulfilled
have us close to Him, always by shut Him out of our lives? in the long run.
His side, to teach us, and to make If we didn’t have troubles and If we will turn to Jesus in our
us more like Himself. tribulations, we wouldn’t feel the times of trouble, He will prove to
Unfortunately it’s just part of need for or find refuge in His us in those trying moments how
human nature that when every- arms, and we wouldn’t learn to much He loves us. The problem
thing goes right, we don’t feel find strength and comfort in com- may not go away instantly, but
such a pressing need for God and munion with Him and study of He will give us “the peace of
His help and strength in our lives. His Word. God, which surpasses all under-
When everything is going our This may not sound like good standing,” and help us appreciate
way, we often get the very wrong news to you, but it is: God not the good that He is working in
idea that we’re strong and suf- only allows hardships, but He our lives.1 1
ficient in ourselves, that we don’t often sends them. He fashions
need Him. We’re living happy, them specifically for us, and He Philippians 4:6–7

Rainy day remedy
By Victoria Olivetta

As far back as I can remember, I way home. Better to be home and wet
didn’t like cloudy days, especially in than stuck there and wet, I reasoned.
wintertime. They seemed endless and By the time I got home I was sure I
without hope, chilling both body had more water in my clothes and
and soul. hair than was left in the clouds. One
Still, they are a part of life, so I hot shower and lunch put it all be-
decided to learn to like them. hind me. I felt wonderful.
Over the past few years I’ve When I had been caught in the
managed to enjoy them more. Now cold and rain, I had prayed for all
they don’t seem so dreary. My secret? the people who are the victims of
Actually I have several. disaster. Not disasters like burn-
Sometimes I take advantage of ing the chicken or having their hair
those days to bake a cake, cookies, or color turn out all wrong—I mean
something else special to enjoy with real disasters. Disasters like being
coffee. The entire house smells of left homeless by a tornado, with no
freshly brewed coffee and homemade hot shower, dry clothes, or warm
goodies, and that creates a warm, meal to set things right. Or just as
satisfied feeling. bad, people having everything they
I’ve also learned that I can help thought would make them happy,
brighten the day by what I wear, like but still feeling empty, lonely, fragile.
a favorite brightly colored sweater or When bad weather or some other There is little differ-
a little extra jewelry. circumstance has you down, praying ence in people, but
Most of all I’ve learned to thank for someone else who has it worse that little difference
God for those days. I’m still not puts things in perspective and does makes a big difference.
crazy about them, but I’m healthy, the soul good, like a hot shower The little difference is
in a house without leaks, and I have warms the body after getting caught attitude. The big dif-
a nice warm bed, food on the table, in the rain. Praying for someone ference is whether it is
and somebody to enjoy my blessings who is suffering, alone, or powerless positive or negative.
with. to change some other unfortunate —W. Clement Stone
Not too long ago, I was out on one circumstance not only sends divine
of those days. Although it was over- help their way, it also lifts the spirit,
cast, I didn’t expect it to actually rain. like the smell of freshly brewed
Mid-morning, 25 blocks from home, coffee and homemade cookies.
I was caught in a downpour. I found
some partial shelter and waited Victoria Olivetta is a member
there for an hour for the rain to stop. of the Family International in
When it didn’t, I decided to make my Argentina. 1
By Joyce Suttin

It had been a rough few at an all-time low? My life was home. All I had was the address
months. I desperately wanted spinning out of control. of the mission on the Lower
a baby, to have a little one to After what seemed like East Side where we would be
hold in my arms, to call my forever, we arrived at the bus working, in an area known as
own. Twice I had miscarried. terminal in New York City. Hell’s Kitchen.
I held these hurts up before I had been to New York a few Fear began to set in as I
God, shaking them in His face times to visit Dan’s parents, stepped outside once more and
and saying, “See what You did but always felt overwhelmed. hailed a taxi. When I gave the
when I trusted You to answer The city was too big, too cabby the address of the mission,
my prayer and give me a baby?” busy, too impersonal. I usually he asked gruffly, “Really?” He
I just couldn’t move on. walked around like a tourist, flicked on his meter and pulled
But this day I was moving looking up. I wasn’t looking at away from the curb.
on, at least physically. My the skyscrapers, though; I was The meter seemed to turn
husband and I were moving to searching for a patch of blue sky. over faster than the tires as we
New York to work at a mission I found my way to a pay inched our way through traffic.
on the lower East Side. I needed phone and called my in-laws’ I pulled out my wallet and
the change. Dan had gone ahead number, desperate to hear
to his parents’ apartment in Dan’s voice. Some of what little
Manhattan, while I had made a money I had with me was eaten
detour through Boston to return by broken payphones, but I
a child we had been caring for to wasn’t worried yet. Dan would
his parents. During the long bus pick me up soon.
ride, I curled against the window When I finally found a
and wept. phone that worked and got
My doctor thought that my through to the number, there
last pregnancy had been what was no answer. I bought a cup
they call a hysterical preg- of coffee and tried again. Still
nancy—all of the symptoms had no answer.
been in my head. That had been I stepped out on the street by
a humiliating blow, insult to a taxi stand, and realized it was
injury. I had been so sure! getting dark. City lights blurred
Now I wasn’t sure what I the tears that once more filled
wanted. As I tried to get com- my eyes.
fortable on the bus, I doubted I went back inside and tried
everything I had always believed again. Still no answer. I wasn’t
and encouraged others to prepared for this. I hadn’t been
believe. What business did I clear with Dan about my arrival
have doing missionary work? time, and I didn’t have his
How could I tell others to trust parents’ address or know how to
in God when my own faith was get there. Besides, no one was

counted the bills again. The given him. Then a very large grievances against God and
amount on the meter was rapidly scar caught my attention. It went prayed. “Lord, I’m in a predica-
approaching the amount of cash halfway around his neck. This ment! Please show me what to do.
I had with me. I had thought was not a man I could easily Should I ask him to stop and get
when I jumped into the taxi that relate to or make small talk with. stranded in the middle of New
if I didn’t have enough money, As I leaned back in the seat, York City, I know not where?
I could run into the mission the total on the meter raced He doesn’t look like the kind of
and get the rest, but now I was past the amount in my purse. person who would understand or
having misgivings. I should have been more patient. be sympathetic. Please forgive me
I leaned over to get a better I should have waited at the for my foolishness and my bad
look at the driver in the glow of bus station and kept calling. attitude toward You. Protect me,
passing street lights. His face I flashed back to every creepy and show me if there’s anything I
had the hard, deep lines of an headline I had ever read about can do to help You get me safely
ex-con or a gang member. I cab drivers kidnapping and to my destination.”
recalled his gruff tone when he molesting female passengers. The answer came forcefully to
questioned the address I had I had made a horrible mistake! my mind. “Tell this man about
Then I did something I should Me, like everything depends on
have done earlier. I forgot my it.” Before I could reason my way
out of it, I took a deep breath
and began.

“I need to make a confession. It was my turn to choke back for it myself. What you are doing
This taxi ride is costing a lot more tears. “Jesus hung on the cross is really important. Hell’s Kitchen
than I expected, and I don’t have between two criminals. One of is full of people who need to hear
enough money with me to pay for them asked for His forgiveness, about Heaven. I’ll pray more now,
it. I should have said something and Jesus said, ‘This day you will and I will try to be a better person.
sooner. I am on my way to a mis- be with Me in Paradise.’ Jesus God sent you to me.”
sion, where my husband and I will said once that He didn’t come to We arrived at the mission, and
be working. I am not very familiar he got out and helped me with
with New York, and I didn’t real- my bags. I hugged him and told
ize how long it would take. I am We come to the point him Jesus would never fail him.
so sorry. When we get there I will He waited until someone came
have to run inside and get some where we realize that we out to greet me, and then he
more money. My husband and I smiled and waved as he drove off.
try to live like Jesus did, preaching need to trust Him with So that is how I arrived safely at
the Gospel to everyone we meet, the mission. I got through to my
and we trust Him to supply our every part of our lives. husband, who apologized for not
needs day by day.” staying by the phone. He had ex-
As I continued, Jesus gave me pected me to arrive on a later bus.
the words to say, “You know, so preach to the good people or the The folks I told about the cab-
many people need to feel Jesus’ people who thought they didn’t by were shocked. New York cab-
loving, healing touch. He has all need His help. He preached to bies are notoriously some of the
the answers they need, whatever the drunks and the prostitutes, hardest people in the world, they
their need. He can heal every the people who knew they needed said. They never give free rides to
hurt, every heartache. His answers Him. He will be there for you, anybody. That was a miracle.
are just a prayer away. Have you too. All you have to do is to ask But I knew that the real mir­acle
ever asked Jesus into your heart?” Him to forgive you, and He will. had not been the free taxi ride.
There was a long, heavy silence, He will forgive anything.” The miracle had been that two
then a cough, then sobbing. I My own recent past flashed people who both needed to be
leaned forward and saw a tear roll through my mind—my doubts closer to God had felt His loving
down the cabby’s cheek. and failure to keep trusting the touch. It took the tears running
“My grandma used to take Lord when things seemed to go down the face of this seemingly
me to church when I was a little so terribly wrong. “He can even hardhearted cabby to make me see
kid,” he began in a deep voice forgive us for doubting Him,” I that. The words God gave me for
filled with emotion. “She would said, my voice breaking. “When him were just what I needed to
talk to me about Jesus. I even we come to the point where we hear. God had sent him to me.
prayed with her. But then she realize that we need to trust Him
died and nobody has talked to with every part of our lives, when P.S. It wasn’t long before I
me about Jesus since. You are we accept the fact that He knows began to feel changes in my body,
right. There are so many people exactly what we need and will as well. Something was growing
who need to be healed. I need to answer our prayers in His perfect inside of me. It was the new life
be healed. I have led a horrible time, that’s when He is able to do I’d been praying for.
life. My grandma would be so His greatest miracles.”
ashamed of me for all the bad “Don’t worry about the money,” Joyce Suttin is a member of
things I have done. I don’t think the cabby said. “I’ll take you the Family International in
Jesus would forgive me now.” wherever you need to go, and pay the U.S. 1

the Valentine
Treasure By Nyx Martinez

H istory books tell

us that during the Feast of
Lupercalia—an event that is said
be the very best gift she could
give the person she truly loved.
Not your ordinary Valentine gift,
Ericka was surprised when
Chris seemed to become addicted
to this book. Together, they
to be the origin of the modern but it’s sealed and given with love, discovered more hidden treasures
celebration known as Valentine’s she wrote. that had been there all along.
Day—it was the custom for Ro- Chris was somewhat taken Jesus’ love was binding them
man youths to cast lots for a girl aback by Ericka’s gift. After all, closer to each other, helping
to bestow gifts on and court the he was a man who had hardly set them to overcome their past
following year. Today such a ran- foot inside a church and regarded mistakes, and teaching them to
dom way of selecting a sweetheart Christianity as just another open their hearts to each other as
has been abandoned. Instead, on religion. never before.
February 14th, lovers in many A couple of years passed. The That Bible has since been Chris
countries give cards and gifts to Bible sat unused on a shelf, while and Ericka’s source of strength
express their love to the ones they the couple’s relationship went and love, and whenever their rela-
have romantic feelings for. from shaky to crumbling to seem- tionship seems to thin out again,
When I think of Valentine’s ingly hopeless. Chris remembers that day when
Day, one love story in particular But it was during this crisis that God gave him a sign through that
comes to mind. It began a few the book somehow caught Chris’s gift of love.
years ago. … attention. Opening it and reading The reason this story comes to
The gift is highly unusual, random passages, he discovered my mind is because Valentine’s
Ericka thought with a smile. the missing link in his relation- Day is almost here again. A couple
Neither Chris nor Ericka was ship with Ericka. Why had he of years ago on Valentine’s Day,
particularly religious, so she not seen it before? There it was, my two friends, Chris and Ericka,
didn’t quite know what had so simple, so clear, so profound. gave each other another very spe-
led her to this gift idea. But as “God is love” (1 John 4:8). Verse cial gift. They got married.
she held the pen to inscribe a after verse and day after day Chris
dedication inside the front cover studied the Bible, until at last he Nyx Martinez is a member of
of the book, she somehow knew accepted Jesus Christ as his per- the Family International in
in her heart that this Bible would sonal Friend and Savior. the Philippines. 1
By Annie Johnson Flint
God has not promised
Skies always blue, An optimist sees an opportunity in If I had my life to live over, I
Flower-strewn pathways, every calamity; a pessimist sees a would try to make more mistakes.
All our lives through. calamity in every opportunity.—Sir I would relax. I would climb more
God has not promised Winston Churchill mountains and swim more rivers.
Sun without rain, I would pick more daisies. I would
Joy without sorrow, When we know that everything has have more actual troubles and fewer
Peace without pain. two sides, let us look at the bright imaginary ones.—Don Herold
side only.—Mahatma Gandhi
God has not promised Obstacles cannot crush me. Every
That we shall not know There are always flowers for those obstacle yields to stern resolve.
Toil and temptation, who want to see them.—Henri He who is fixed to a star does not
Trouble and woe; Matisse change his mind.—Leonardo da
He has not told us Vinci
We shall not bear It is always possible to be thank-
Many a burden, ful for what is given rather than to This is the true joy of life, the being
Many a care. complain about what is not given. used up for a purpose recognized
One or the other becomes a habit of by yourself as a mighty one; being
God has not promised life.—Elisabeth Elliot a force of nature instead of a
Smooth roads and wide, feverish, selfish little clot of ailments
Swift, easy travel, If you don’t get everything you and grievances, complaining that
Needing no guide; want, think of the things you don’t the world will not devote itself
Never a mountain, get that you don’t want.—Oscar to making you happy.—George
Rocky and steep, Wilde Bernard Shaw
Never a river
Turbid and deep: It is no use to grumble and com- Happiness is what we make it.
plain; Some people are unbelievably
But God has promised It’s just as cheap and easy to rejoice; cheerful in the midst of difficulty or
Strength for the day, When God sorts out the weather obstacles; others bemoan the slight-
Rest for the labor, and sends rain— est inconvenience. Those who look
Light for the way, Why, rain’s my choice. for the upside of any trouble are the
Grace for the trials, —James Whitcomb Riley ones who come out ahead in quality
Help from above, of life. And the radiance of their
Unfailing sympathy, The door to happiness swings positive attitude sheds light on the
Undying love. outward.—Søren Kierkegaard paths of others.—Chloe West
‘Tis easy enough to be
When life flows along like
a song,
But the man worthwhile
Is the one who will smile
When everything goes
dead wrong.
—Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Feeding reading

Thank God for the good How to be more positive

Count your blessings.

A Spiritual Exercise Psalm 40:5
Psalm 68:19
Recall a discouraging or adverse situation that you were involved in Psalm 126:3
recently, and then think about the good things that came out of your Psalm 139:17
misfortune, or may yet. Try to think of at least three things. (Don’t give
up too soon. If you can think of even one good result, more will probably Think positive thoughts.
follow.) Then thank God for the good. Psalm 27:13
For example, let’s say you were driving on a deserted road when your Psalm 94:19
car broke down in the middle of nowhere, and when you tried to phone Philippians 4:4
for help, you discovered that the battery in your cell phone was dead. Your Philippians 4:8
thanks to God might go something like this: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
“Thank You for putting me in that situation because it reminded me
that no matter how helpless I feel, I’m never truly helpless because I Fill your heart and mind with
always have You. Thank You that even when I was stranded out there with God’s Word.
no help in sight and no phone to summon help, I was still able to contact Joshua 1:8
You through prayer, and You came through for me. You sent a friendly Psalm 1:2
stranger to help me, and even though it took awhile for him to get there, 1 Timothy 4:15
I made a new friend that I wouldn’t have otherwise, and he got Your bless-
ing for stopping to help, which he would have missed if the opportunity Take a positive approach to
hadn’t been there. Thank You for being, like the Bible says, ‘a very present difficulties by seeing the Lord’s
help in trouble.’”1 hand in them.
Practice this exercise each evening for the next week, and it will Romans 8:28
improve the way you react to troubles when they happen. Casting past 1 Thessalonians 5:18
troubles in a positive light will prepare you to approach future ones posi- James 1:2–4
tively, and that is often half the battle won. 1 1 Peter 4:12–13

If you haven’t yet received Jesus and all that He has to offer, you can right now Cultivate positive attitudes
by praying the following prayer. towards others.
Jesus, I want to know You personally, so I invite You to come into my heart. Romans 12:10
Thank You for dying for me, so I could be forgiven for my sins, find peace of Ephesians 4:32
heart and mind here and now, and receive God’s gift of eternal life. Amen. Colossians 3:12
Psalm 46:1
1 Peter 4:8
Positive perks
When life gets to be too much, when eventually come out of the bad, because if
everything around you seems to be falling you love Me, sooner or later it will. That’s
apart, when you feel that nothing you do explained in the Bible, in Romans 8:28: “All
helps, what should you do?—Think about things work together for good to those who
Me. Think about how much I love you. love God.” For those who love Me, I can
Think about My power. Think about all your bring good out of anything.
blessings, and thank Me. Let Me change your difficult day into a
You can praise your way right out of happy one. You can always find something
a bad mood! If you thank Me for all the to thank Me for. Praise Me for one thing,
good things in your life, the negative and you’ll usually be reminded of another,
feelings will dissipate. and another. Happiness will find you as you
You may sometimes find yourself in focus on Me and on the positive.
situations where there doesn’t seem to
be anything at all good to thank Me for.
Well, then thank Me for the good that will

From Jesus with Love

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