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change your life. change your world.

Vol 11 • Issue 1

PUZZLE PIECES
Sorting out the year ahead

Got Potential?
How to do more and be more

11 Tips for 2010


Making resolutions realities
Browse our website or contact one of the
distributors below to enjoy the inspirational,
Vol 11, Issue 1 motivational, and practical help offered in
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secret lies in putting ourselves in God’s hands and letting Him do
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We may be small and weak and incapable, but there is a very big,
Editor Keith Phillips
strong, capable God just waiting to give us a hand. With His help,
Design Yoko Matsuoka
it’s easier than you ever imagined to make those “impossible” chang-
Production Jessie Richards
es in yourself.
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Keith Phillips All Rights Reserved

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All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken
from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas
1. Mark 10:27 Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

2
life’s editing
By Scott Montrose

I had struggled with and more objectively. The edited go through the editing process.
overcome the demons of version was indeed better. The God sees in each of us that spark
self-doubt and fear of central idea I wanted to convey of promise, like the editor spots a
failure, launched out was still there, the imagery promising thought as he scans the
into the deep, put pen was intact, and the tone was rough drafts that cross his desk.
to paper, and written my unchanged, but the superfluous Then God works to transform us
first short inspirational parts had been cut to get to the step by step into a finished article
piece. heart of the piece. that will make worthwhile read-
I sat back and read it through As I contemplated this, my eye ing. Our substance is reshaped
several times. Pleased with my caught a picture of a diamond repeatedly by the choices and
modest effort, I submitted the ring in a magazine lying open on decisions we make, the superficial
piece to a monthly magazine for my table. I thought about how and superfluous bits are purged
possible publication. someone had mined the chunk through life’s trials, and we are
Some time later the magazine’s of rock that had contained that fine-tuned and polished through
editor contacted me, saying he diamond, and about the skilled our daily interaction with others.
would like to print my article. He hands of the lapidary that had Like my roughly penned story,
also enclosed an edited draft for transformed that diamond in in the hands of the Great Editor
my approval or further revision. the rough into a thing of beauty, my life has become more than it
Edited! As I sat and stared at “my” highly valued and greatly desired. was to begin with—and He’s not
work, now before me in edited Like a diamond trapped in a done yet.
form, a strange mix of feelings chunk of rock, my rough piece
swept over me. I had seen myself had not been the final product. Scott Montrose is a member
as an up-and-coming writer, but The diamond had been there, but of the Family International in
that image vanished like a mirage it had taken other skilled hands the Middle East.1
in a gathering sandstorm. to retrieve, cut, and polish it.
After the initial shock subsided, Life is like this too. We are
I tried to think about the situation created as rough drafts that must

3
Perfect Love
By Maria Fontaine

His love is everlasting. It’s not something that will


be here one day and gone the next. Jesus’ love will
not expire or fade.

These are a few of the words that foresight and wisdom, knew this but also modern and current.
come to mind when I think about and chose to love us with no It’s always. Even before we knew
Jesus’ love for each of us: Perfect. strings attached. Him, He loved us. He has loved
Free. Unconditional. Everlasting. His love is unconditional. He us from the very beginning of
His love is perfect. It is the doesn’t only love us through the time, and He will love us through-
only thing in the world that is good times. out eternity.
absolutely perfect. There are a lot He doesn’t just love us when Being confident in how much
of things that are nice, beautiful, we’re happy, progressing in the Jesus loves you won’t just make
and wonderful, but nothing is school of life‚ or making a positive you happier; it will be a stabiliz-
perfect like His love. We live in an difference in the lives of others. ing force in your life. When you
imperfect world, with imperfect He loves us when we’re up and are assured of His love for you,
humans, in imperfect conditions, when we’re down. He loves us when you trust and believe in it,
but His love is what makes it pos- when we’re well and when we’re then that knowledge will steady
sible for us to weather everything sick. He loves us when we do and give you peace, even when
that life brings our way. He is things worthy of His praise, and you face disappointments, heart-
perfect, and so is His love. He loves us even when we do breaks, difficulties, or anything
His love is free. It’s not some- things that sadden Him. To think else that life sends your way. His
thing that we have to work for, or that there isn’t even one condition love is strong enough to see you
earn‚ or somehow prove that we’re to His love is truly amazing! through anything. It’s durable,
worthy of. That’s a good thing, His love is everlasting. It’s not dependable, and forever!
too, because we all sin and make something that will be here one
mistakes. If we had to earn Jesus’ day and gone the next. Jesus’ love Maria Fontaine and her
love, none of us would have it, will not expire or fade. It can’t be husband, Peter Amsterdam,
because we’re all men and women stolen or forfeited. It doesn’t get are the administrative and
of similar weaknesses and human old with the times or go out of spiritual overseers of the
frailties. Jesus, in His divine style. It’s traditional and historic, Family International. 1

4
got potential?
By Peter Amsterdam

What can you realistically expect to be or accomplish?


That depends in part on how you define “realistic.” Nobody knows what
we’re capable of better than God, and often His definition of “realistic”
is “potential.”
He knows our limits—“He knows our frame; He remembers that we
are dust”1 —but He also sees our hearts and continually looks at us from
the viewpoint of what we can become.
God expects us to do what we can, but He doesn’t expect us to be
perfect. He knows we’ll never be perfect, and if we’re smart we’ll realize
that it’s foolish for us to try or pretend to be. We have to do our part,
but our part isn’t to be perfect—and that’s the beauty of God’s plan!
Once we receive Jesus as our Savior, He lives in us. And if we will
remember that we’re weak and imperfect and nothing, really, without
Him,2 He can come through and be our everything. “We have this
treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of
God and not of us.”3 His strength is made perfect in our weakness.4 God
loves to do amazing, extraordinary things through some of the most
unlikely, imperfect people who find themselves in the most seemingly
impossible situations. He does that to show us what He can do. It’s
never about how good or strong we are. It’s about God and His good-
ness and power.
With God nothing is impossible, and He knows that no matter
what has happened in the past or what our current weaknesses or
lacks may be, we can change; He can make us better. We must learn
to see ourselves through the eyes of faith, through the perspective of
what we can become, what God’s power can transform us into, what
Jesus can be in us.
So what if you aren’t perfect! Who is? You can still be a great success
in life if you let the Spirit of God work in you and through you. His
Spirit will fill in the gaps of the little problems and imperfections. God
doesn’t need perfection from us to work His wonders.
Make room for God to work by not looking at your shortcomings
and imperfections, but rather by looking to Him to help you reach your
full potential as you do your part and hold Him to the promises He has
made to you in His Word.
1. Psalm 103:14
Peter Amsterdam and his wife, Maria Fontaine, are the 2. John 15:5
administrative and spiritual overseers of the Family 3. 2 Corinthians 4:7
International. 1 4. 2 Corinthians 12:9

5
puzzle pieces
By Nyx Martinez

When everyone lit Then one day, a package arrived I hesitated, but eventually gave
fireworks at the stroke of in the mail. Along with clothes and in. “Okay, we’ll do it together,” I
midnight on New Year’s Eve, did chocolates, my aunt had sent me said. “It’s easy!”
you celebrate in vibrant cheer? a child’s puzzle. Amused, I laid it I had intended for RJ to color
Or did the clock’s chime bring aside to give to my little brother. the picture before he took the
a kind of melancholy as you When four-year-old RJ saw puzzle apart, but he hadn’t. The
silently pondered the future? it, he excitedly took the box into pieces were a mess of black and
As the shouts of “Happy another room to open. Soon, white lines that didn’t seem to
New Year” rang out, was it a though, he was back—and he was fit together. But RJ wouldn’t be
joyful moment for you? Or was in a frenzy. deterred.
it tinged with anxiety about the “The puzzle has no picture!” he I showed him how to find the
future? exclaimed. “You have to draw the corner pieces first, then the edges,
Last year, it was all a little picture!” and then to hunt for pieces where
hazy to me. We clinked our “What?” elements of the picture were
glasses and toasted one another “The puzzle has no picture!” RJ recognizable—eye pieces over here
with the usual buzz of a New repeated. with nose pieces, leaf pieces with
Year’s celebration, but as I tossed Looking closer, I realized it was flower pieces, etc.
in my bed later, I wondered what one of those do-it-yourself puzzles, Bit by bit, it started to come
was in store for me. and so, at RJ’s insistence, I drew a together.
I was excited about many picture on the not-yet-disassem- I watched as RJ slowly found
future prospects; I knew that bled puzzle. He was overjoyed. and fitted each puzzle piece into
change was in the air. I was on Just when I thought he would its proper place. He sometimes
a high and a low at the same leave me alone, RJ said, “Now you shook his head in frustration.
time, and while on the verge of have to help me do it!” Other times he threw up his
making decisions, couldn’t quite He scattered the pieces on hands in exasperation and said
come to any. the floor, raked them into a pile, aloud, “Aw, that doesn’t go here!”
The following days of uncer- spread them out again, and sat And each time he was con-
tainty stretched into a week, then there, arms crossed, cheerfully vinced there was something wrong
two. I pondered, procrastinated, confident that I would do the work with the puzzle itself. Time and
and prayed. A lot. To no avail. for him. again I had to reassure him that

6
the pieces would indeed all fit of frustration that I didn’t know
together once he had each one in what went where. And there
the right place. He was, all the time reassuring
“It’s all part of the same pic- me that it was going to be okay,
ture,” I would say. “We just need that all the pieces would come
to find where it goes.” together. He could be certain of
It took a half hour before the that because He was the artist I understood that
picture of a cat playing in a garden who had drawn it. It would take
was completed, but when it finally time and I would have to be I was like a little
was, a look of smug satisfaction patient, but when all the pieces
spread across RJ’s face. were finally in place, I too would child, trying to
I was smiling too, because right smile with satisfaction.
then I understood that I was like And that’s just what happened. sort out the puzzle
a little child, trying to sort out the With a few more hints from Jesus,
puzzle pieces of my life, getting a few days before I sat down to pieces of my life,
confused and frustrated, wanting write this story, the pieces all
to say I couldn’t do it. came together. getting confused
All those pieces are part of the Today I look at the puzzle of
same puzzle, whispered a gentle the next year, and I am excited! and frustrated,
inner voice that I have come to Things are already beginning to
recognize as Jesus’. We just need to fall into place. I’m sorting the wanting to say I
find where they go. corners and the edges. I’m seeing
Just as I had sat with my little something unfold before my eyes. couldn’t do it.
brother, hinting where pieces I have learned that all the pieces
would fit, Jesus would sit with me are needed.
as I sorted out this pile called my And yes, it’s going to be a
future. beautiful picture.
There I was, trying to get
rid of parts that didn’t seem to Nyx Martinez is a member of
make sense, crying out in a fit the Family International in
the Philippines. 1

7
NOW AND FOREVER
By Maria Fontaine

He reminded them that He was their passage to heaven,1 and


As the New Year begins, many told them about the beautiful mansions He would make ready for
people are looking forward with a them there.2 He promised to answer their prayers.3 He told them
measure of trepidation to what lies about the Holy Spirit.4 He promised them supernatural peace.5
ahead for them and their families and He taught them the importance of remaining close to Him in
friends, as well as for the world in spirit in order to have the kind of life He wanted for them.6 He
general. It’s comforting to know that called them His friends. 7 He challenged them to share His love and
whatever the future holds and what- truth with others, and promised to reward them for doing so by
ever problems or hardships you may answering their prayers and working through them.8 He promised
face, Jesus wants to help you through grace and peace through tribulation, and confidently proclaimed
them. If you have received Him as that He had overcome the world9 —“the world” meaning the
your Savior, you can count on His godlessness that prevails in this temporal world.
extra special care. Then He prayed for His disciples. “Father, I do not pray that
I’ve found that some of the most You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep
moving passages in the Gospels are in them from the evil one [the Devil]. They are not of the world, just
John chapters 14 through 17. Jesus as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is
was spending time with His closest truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the
followers, talking with them, teaching world.”10
them, praying for them, and encour- It’s not easy to live in the world and not be tossed about by the
aging them—preparing them for the “waves” of this world’s woes, but it is not impossible. The secret is
fact that He would soon be leaving to keep your eyes on Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith,”11
this physical realm, and explaining and to trust Him to keep you afloat.12
that His Spirit would continue to He has promised to be with you now and forever, through thick
always be with them. and thin,13 and nothing can separate you from His loving care.14 1

1. John 14:6 5. John 14:27 9. John 16:33


2. John 14:2–3 6. John 15:1,3–5 10. John 17:15–18
3. John 14:13–14 7. John 15:15 11. Hebrews 12:2 13. Hebrews 13:5
4. John 14:16,26 8. John 15:8,16 12. Matthew 14:25–31 14. Romans 8:37–39
8
Resolutions By Ian Bach

This year... This year...


I’ll take more time to laugh and smile, I’ll not be hijacked by my deadlines,
To feel the wind upon my face, Or imprisoned by ambitions.
To learn true wisdom from a child, Or let dismal, gloomy headlines
Give my soul the needed space, Dictate my heart’s disposition.
To live life pure and clear... I’ll choose faith, not fear...
...this year. ...this year.

This year... This year...


I’ll learn to turn off my computer, I’ll see the struggling flower beneath
Interact with human beings, The hard, frosty exterior
Spend less time in online stupor, Of one who lets frustration seethe
More time learning, breathing, seeing Because they feel inferior.
All that life holds dear... I’ll try to draw them near...
...this year. ...this year.

This year… This year...


I will resolve to write that letter No high-and-mighty resolutions
That I have too long neglected, Fit for presidents and kings.
Make an aching heart feel better, I’ll start a quiet revolution,
Cheer a friend who feels dejected, Seek these simple loving things
Bring someone some cheer... Above wealth or career...
...this year. ...this year.

Ian Bach is a member of the Family


International in the Middle East.1

N E W Y E AR , N E W YO U
“I have come that you may have life,” Jesus said, “and that you may have it more
abundantly.”1 And He wasn’t talking only about eternal life in heaven. If you have
received Jesus, things you never dreamed possible are possible for you right here
and now! In fact, anything is possible. 2 With His help, you can reach goals that
have eluded you and overcome bad habits and weaknesses that have held you
back.
His power is unlimited, 3 but He needs your cooperation. How much and how
quickly you change depends largely on how much you desire it, how much you
ask for His help, and how much you depend on Him. It’s not a matter of trying to
bring about the change yourself through willpower or self-effort, but rather of
learning to let Jesus do the work. You do that by spending time with Him, reading 1. John 10:10
His Word and meditating on it, and then applying it as you go about your day. 2. Mark 9:23
Jesus promises, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what 3. Matthew 28:18
you desire, and it shall be done for you.”4 Now that is power to change! 4. John 15:7

9
11 Tips Making Resolutions Realities

1. Make a list of your goals incentive to stick to your resolutions


and select the top three to five that even when it’s tough.
are the most important to you. Pray
for God’s guidance in the process. He 8. Don’t be discouraged by
knows best. your mistakes. You will have some
setbacks and “off” days. Take these
2. Be realistic. Reaching for a lows as a reminder that you can’t do it
goal should stretch you, but it should on your own. Draw closer to God and
also be doable. Decide on a reasonable depend more on His help. Tomorrow
time frame for reaching each goal. is a fresh chance to do better!

3. Don’t try to do every- 9. Be in it for the long haul.


thing at once. Focus on your top If you are truly serious about making
goal for a set period of time. Then a change, you will be willing to see it
move to goal number two, while through, no matter how long it takes.
maintaining the progress made toward
reaching the first one, and so on. 10. Visualize victory.
Periodically visualize what your life
4. Pray. Prayer brings into play the will be like once your goal is reached.
spiritual help you need to reach your Picture the advantages you will gain
goals. and how much happier, healthier, or
more productive you will be.
5. Work with God. Change
involves overcoming past thought and 11. Reward yourself for each
behavioral patterns. This is never easy, goal you reach. The real reward
but change for the better is possible will be the feeling of accomplishment
if you ask God to help and follow and the benefits you’ll experience
His lead. “With God nothing will be from the change you’ve made, but
impossible.”1 having a physical treat attached to a
specific goal can make it even more
6. Chart your progress. Keep enjoyable. 1
track of how far you’ve come, using a
journal or chart. Keeping records and “Nobody can go back and
reviewing them periodically can also start a new beginning, but
help you to identify weak spots. anyone can start today and
make a new ending.”
7. Get help from others. —Maria Robinson
Share your plan with a friend and ask
for his or her help. Being account-
able to someone will give you added 1. Luke 1:37

10
Seize the Day!

One of the most tragic things I You had better live your best G O FO R G O LD I N 2010
know about human nature is that and act your best and think your By the apostle Paul, writing from
all of us tend to put off living. We best today; for today is the sure the 1st century
are all dreaming of some magi- preparation for tomorrow and all
cal rose garden over the horizon the other tomorrows that follow. In a race everyone runs, but only
instead of enjoying the roses that —Harriet Martineau one person gets first prize. So
are blooming outside our windows run your race to win.1
today. I, not events, have the power
—Dale Carnegie to make me happy or unhappy I do not count myself to have
today. I can choose which it shall apprehended [attained]; but
The only limits to the possibili- be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow one thing I do, forgetting those
ties in your life tomorrow are the hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one things which are behind and
“buts” you use today. day, today, and I’m going to be reaching forward to those
—Les Brown happy in it. things which are ahead, I press
—Groucho Marx toward the goal for the prize of
Learn from yesterday, live for the upward call of God in Christ
today, hope for tomorrow. Never let yesterday use up too Jesus. 2
—Albert Einstein much of today.
—Will Rogers Let us lay aside every weight, and
What is not started today is never the sin which so easily ensnares
finished tomorrow. I am not afraid of tomorrow, for us, and let us run with endurance
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe I have seen yesterday and I love the race that is set before us,
today! looking unto Jesus, the author
Today is a most unusual day, —William Allen White and finisher of our faith. 3
because we have never lived it
before; we will never live it again; The best preparation for tomor-
it is the only day we have. row is doing your best today.
—William A. Ward —H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Build to-day, then, strong and sure, Light tomorrow with today!
With a firm and ample base; —Elizabeth Barrett Browning
And ascending and secure
Shall to-morrow find its place.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1. 1 Corinthians 9:24 TLB
(“The Builders”) 2. Philippians 3:13–14
3. Hebrews 12:1–2
11
FEEDING READING
The Dawn of a New Year Changing for the better

By Andrew Mateyak God wants only the best for us.


Psalm 84:11b
On the first day of each New Year, I get Jeremiah 29:11
up at around 5:00 am to watch the sun rise, and Matthew 7:9–11
go to a spot I have already picked out, where there Luke 12:32
is a good view. This year I have chosen the roof.
As I sit down, I think about all of the good God can and will help us change for the
things that happened to me in the past year. better, if we let Him.
I thank God for each one and then tuck them 2 Timothy 1:12b
away—wonderful memories that I can recall Philippians 1:6
whenever I need a boost. Philippians 2:13
Of course, there were also other experiences
that weren’t so happy. I thank God for these too, But the natural man resists change.
because even though not easy or pleasant, He has Mark 7:9
promised that “all things work together for good Luke 5:39
to those who love Him.”1 I know these events
have already been good for me because I learned Yieldedness to the Lord’s will is the key to
from them, and more good may yet come from beneficial change.
them. 1 Samuel 3:18b
As the sun begins to break over the horizon, Psalm 40:8
I say my last goodbyes to the old year and wel- Isaiah 64:8
come the New Year with a short prayer to our Jeremiah 42:6a
heavenly Father. I ask Him for guidance and Matthew 6:10b
wisdom in the year ahead. I ask Him for strength
and courage to make it through the tough times During the changing process, we must do
that are inevitable. I ask Him for more love, as two things: not worry about the past and
well as the ability to better show love and consid- keep our eyes on the goal ahead.
eration to my family and friends and new people Philippians 3:13–14
I will meet. Most importantly, I ask Him to help 2 Corinthians 4:18
me think more in terms of what He wants me to Colossians 3:2
do and what will please Him, rather than be led Hebrews 12:1–2
by my own thoughts and desires, because then I
know I have nothing to fear and can look forward 2
to a wonderful, fulfilling year. “Delight yourself If you haven’t yet experienced God’s love,
also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires forgiveness, and transforming power, you
of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, can right now by praying a simple prayer
trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass.”2 like the following:

Andrew Mateyak is a member of the Family Dear Jesus, thank You for giving Your life for
International in the Philippines. 1 me. Please forgive me for all the wrongs I
have done. I now open the door of my heart
1. Romans 8:28 and I ask You to come in. Give me Your gift of
2. Psalm 37:4–5 eternal life, fill me with Your love, and help me
become all I can be. Amen.
12
PARENTING
FROM THE HEART “Sorry-ness”
By Josie Clark

I think I have been guilty sorry, which he took at the time to


of saying “I’m sorry” too mean that I had been to blame, not
much, and that seems to him.
have given my children Sorry-ness is an easy habit to
the wrong idea. Years ago, for fall into, and it can develop into
example, when my five-year-old fell a pattern where teens blame their
off his bike, I said I was sorry. I had parents for the consequences of
specifically told him to not ride up their own bad decisions. In reality,
the hill on his newly acquired used if the parents have been doing their
bike until his dad had checked the job of teaching their children to
brakes and taught him to use them, make smart, responsible decisions,
but he went up the hill anyway. when accidents happen or things
The brakes worked fine, as it go wrong, it is usually the children’s
turned out, but he didn’t know fault for not listening to their
what to do and panicked. He parents.
sailed down the hill, veered into a I’m sorry my son disobeyed. I’m
cornfield, and caromed back onto sorry he got hurt. And I’m sorry I
the road, where he crashed. He allowed that misunderstanding to
doesn’t remember anything after happen. I’m sorry for my sorry-
that, but he was found chin down ness. I should have said, “I’m so
on the asphalt and needed some sorry you disobeyed. I’m sorry you
stitches. When I arrived at the didn’t listen. I’m sorry this hap-
scene of the accident, I said I was pened, but I’m sure you learned a
sorry. good lesson and won’t make this
Of course, I was sorry. I felt same mistake again.”
terrible for not having watched The happy ending to this story is
him more closely. I felt his pain that I was able to clear up this mis-
as we rushed him to the hospital. understanding with my son, who is
I still feel sorry every time I now a teenager facing much bigger
notice the scar it left. But some- decisions than where to ride his
how, my “sorry-ness” caused a bike. He knows he will always have
misunderstanding. my help, love, and sympathy, but
A few weeks ago we talked about he also understands that ultimately
this event that took place years ago, he bears the responsibility for his
and he still thought that accident decisions.
was somehow my fault. He didn’t
remember the clear warning. He Josie Clark is a member of the
didn’t remember disobeying. He Family International in the
only remembers me saying I was U.S. 1

13
The Seasons
of Life
A meditation on Ecclesiastes 3:1–8
By Abi F. May

To everything there is a season, a time “To you who fear My name the
for every purpose under heaven… Sun of Righteousness shall arise
Thank You, God, for the seasons with healing in His wings.”
of my life, each having its own —Malachi 4:2
special beauty.
“This is the day the Lord has A time to break down, and a time to
made; we will rejoice and be glad in build up…
it.”—Psalm 118:24 There have been disappointments
and losses; thank You for how they
A time to be born, and a time to die… have made room for better things.
Thank You for the gift of life, and “We know that all things work
thank You that one day I will pass together for good to those who love
from this life to the next, carried God.”—Romans 8:28
onwards through Your love.
“My times are in Your hand.” A time to weep, and a time to laugh…
—Psalm 31:15 Thank You for seasons of sorrow
and of joy, for the sunshine that
A time to plant, and a time to pluck is even more appreciated after a
what is planted… storm.
Thank You for both success and “Weeping may endure for a night,
failure; experience is a hard but but joy comes in the morning.”
faithful teacher. —Psalm 30:5
“The steps of a good man are
ordered by the Lord. Though he fall, A time to mourn, and a time to
he shall not be utterly cast down; dance…
for the Lord upholds him with His Thank You that despite the
hand.”—Psalm 37:23–24 sadness I feel at the loss of loved
ones, I have the enduring comfort of
A time to kill, and a time to heal… knowing they are happy in heaven
Thank You for the sicknesses and we will be together again.
and other troubles that You have “You have turned for me my
allowed in my life, so that I could mourning into dancing.”
rely more on You. Thank You for —Psalm 30:11
bringing me through them all.

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A time to cast away stones, and a time A time to tear,1 and a time to sew…
to gather stones… Even when I go astray, You never
Thank You for changes, which withdraw Your love. Your mercy and
remind me that You are the one forgiveness make me want to do
constant in my life. better.
“[Nothing] shall be able to “If we confess our sins, He is
separate us from the love of God faithful and just to forgive us our
which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” sins and to cleanse us from all
—Romans 8:38–39 unrighteousness.”—1 John 1:9

A time to embrace, and a time to A time to keep silence, and a time to


refrain from embracing… speak…
Thank You for the company of Thank You for always being there
friends and loved ones, and thank to listen to my problems, offer
You also for times of loneliness when solutions, and put me on a positive
I experience the comfort that You path. Help me to be more like that
alone can give. with others.
“The eternal God is your refuge, “Let every man be swift to hear,
and underneath are the everlasting slow to speak.”—James 1:19
arms.”—Deuteronomy 33:27
A time to love, and a time to hate…
A time to gain, and a time to lose… Help me to forgive those who
Thank You for the times of need as wrong me—to “love the sinner but
well as the times of prosperity, each hate the sin”—as You do with me.
in their own way teaching me to “Be kind to one another,
appreciate my blessings. tenderhearted, forgiving one
“The Lord gave, and the Lord has another, just as God in Christ forgave
taken away; blessed be the name of you.”—Ephesians 4:32
the Lord.”—Job 1:21
A time of war, and a time of peace.
A time to keep, and a time to throw War will be with us as long as evil
away… exists in this world, but thank You
Help me to let go of pride, that one day You will put a stop to all
selfishness, and other sins of the that. In the meantime, help me to be
heart. Whatever the future holds, a peacemaker.
help me to hold onto what are most “Blessed are the peacemakers, for
precious—You and Your love and they shall be called the children of
truth. God.”—Matthew 5:9 KJV
“He who has begun a good work
in you will complete it.”—Philippians Abi F. May is a member of the
1:6 Family International and an
A ctivated staff writer. 1

1. In Bible times, tearing one’s garment was a sign of grief or repentance.

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FROM JESUS WITH LOVE

The Climb to Victory


The rugged climb doesn’t dissuade the deter- There are many obstacles to surmount in
mined mountain climber; he revels in the life, but each one you conquer is another one
challenge. Nothing can stop him from press- behind you. When the going gets tough, lean
ing on until he reaches his goal. No adversity on Me. Let Me lead the way and guide you
can cause him to turn back. When he looks at up the rugged cliffs. I know all the danger
the steep cliffs ahead, he doesn’t focus on the spots and how to get past them. Together we
danger but on the toeholds and narrow rock will surmount each obstacle, together we will
ledges that will take him to the peak. He isn’t reach the summit, and together we will plant
held back by the harshness of his surroundings the flag of victory!
or the toll the climb is taking on his body;
he is propelled onward and upward by the
thought of triumph.