Samuel Keating (also credited as Ronan Keane) is the production manager for the Activated magazine. He lives in Milan, Italy, with his wife, Sonia, and daughter, Audrey.
1. Count your blessings. Expressing gratitude does wonders to lift your spirit. There is spiritual power in praise that can counterbalance whatever is weighing on you.
2. Get in touch with Jesus. He loves and cares for you, and He’s got the solution to every problem. Talk to Him about how you feel; read God’s Word; bolster your faith by holding on to promises from His Word.
For my daughter Audrey's first birthday, my wife and I planned to have a small celebration with a few friends and family members at home; instead we ended up with a cupcake-themed extravaganza at the restaurant her grandparents manage. Admittedly, it was probably more for everyone else’s benefit. Audrey spent much of the time observing the proceedings warily from the safety of someone’s arms and flatly refused to pose for photos by her lone candle, despite (or because of) much encouragement to do so.
People talk about how fast time flies, and I feel it really does. Maybe that’s because I’m getting older. When I was a child, days, weeks, and months—not to mention years—seemed to pass so slowly; now it seems like only a few weeks ago that I first met Audrey. I remember that day so well, along with all my first impressions and emotions as I watched the nurse give Audrey her first bath, and then her falling asleep in my arms for the first time.
In the Israel of Bible times, men’s and women’s roles were clearly defined, with the women’s sphere traditionally being the household and everything pertaining to it, including the care of the children, the oversight of the servants, and often the managing of the family’s finances. But throughout the Bible, God didn’t limit Himself by gender when choosing who to use to accomplish His will, speak His words, or lead His people. In some cases, the tasks God gave women would have appeared daunting even to most men, but that didn’t prevent these bold and full-of-faith women from answering His call.
No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?
—Lee Iacocca (b. 1924), American businessman and author
If there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life.
—Albert Camus (1913–1960), French author and philosopher
For the sorrowing every day is evil, for the joyous heart it is festival always.
—Proverbs 15:15 TJB
If you will call your troubles experiences, and remember that every experience develops some latent force within you, you will grow vigorous and happy, however adverse your circumstances may seem to be.
—John Heywood (1497–1580), English playwright and poet
The Bible records many instances of Jesus praying.Sometimes He prayed all night.1 Other times He got up before dawn to prayalone.2 Occasionally He prayed in front of His followers as an example to them.3
He prayed for His disciples and for all of us who would come to know Him throughout the ages.4 He offered prayers of praise and thanksgiving to His Father.5 He also prayed in times of anguish and personal difficulty.6
One definition of tolerance is “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.” It’s fairly easy to be tolerant of others when your differences are minor; it becomes more challenging when the differences are major and there is little common ground.
God wants us to live at peace with all.
The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born.—Leviticus 19:34 NIV
In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you.—Matthew 7:12 NIV
Psalm 91:1: He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
Where is the “secret place of the Most High”? It is found in intimate fellowship with God. The phrase “shadow of the Almighty” symbolizes God’s protection. When you’re in close personal fellowship with God, you’re under His shadow, under His protection.
God foresaw our human weaknesses and personal shortcomings and wove them into His plan for our life. Nothing is outside God’s control, and with our cooperation He is able to bring good out of any situation, even a bad one. In fact, instead of being roadblocks on the road of life, problems often can be turned into stepping stones to bigger and better things.
Here are some biblical examples:
God is our best defense against fear—and against the things we fear.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.—Psalm 46:1–2
Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.—Psalm 91:14–15