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Activated July 2010

Contentment - July 2010

Circumstances don’t need to dictate your level of happiness. This issue will help you find peace of heart and mind, no matter what you may be going through.

01-07-2010
Finding Contentment
Finding Contentment

Twenty-five years ago I came across a gem of wisdom that was to save my sanity. The thing that amazes me now is how easily I could have missed it. I was feeling happy and fulfilled at the time, satisfied with my life and where it seemed to be taking me. I could have brushed it aside as not applying to me, but I was soon glad I hadn’t. Things took an unexpected downward turn, I lost my job and the security it had provided, and those words became a reference point that helped me get through the next few...

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01-07-2010
Chasing Happiness
Chasing Happiness

In the movie The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), Will Smith’s character makes the observation that the United States Declaration of Independence includes in its short list of “unalienable rights” the right to the pursuitof happiness—not the right to be happy, but the right to pursue happiness. Why, he questions, was it worded that way? His conclusion is that its author, Thomas Jefferson, must have understood that happiness is something that we all desire and strive for, but also something that not all will find or be able to hold onto.

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01-07-2010
Loneliness—and the Cure
Loneliness—and the Cure

There is a mystery in human hearts: to every one of us, from time to time, there comes a sense of utter loneliness.

Some of the loneliest people in the world are those who are constantly surrounded by others, yet they feel that no one truly knows or understands them. They may even have an abundance of material things—everything to satisfy every physical need—yet they complain of loneliness. They long to share their interests with someone, to find someone who will listen to their problems and sympathize with them.

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01-07-2010
A Soccer Ball and a Sea of Smiles
A Soccer Ball and a Sea of Smiles

I am the father of a large family, a full-time Christian volunteer, and a part-time sports coach. During our family’s two-year stay in India, I always packed some sports equipment when we traveled.

Our time there included many challenging and rewarding experiences. Our teenagers did volunteer work at several medical clinics, where they cheered up and helped ease the suffering of terminally ill children. They also taught at a home for children who had lost their parents to AIDS. We traveled to the sites of natural disasters, bringing water, food, clothing, and other relief supplies. It seemed that wherever we turned,...

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01-07-2010
Giving Thanks
Giving Thanks

When my daughter was very young, I overheard her praying for the rain to stop and for the next day to be nice. I said, “Honey, I don’t think the Lord minds us asking Him to stop the rain. He wants us to make our wants and wishes known to Him, and He promises to give us our needs, but we also need to realize that He can’t always give us what we want. We need both sunny and rainy days. If we call sunny days ‘nice days,’ it makes us think of rainy days as ‘bad days,’ so let’s...

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01-07-2010
Do Some People Really “Have It All”?
Do Some People Really “Have It All”?

Question: Why is it that some people seem to lead charmed lives? They have perfect looks, perfect health, lots of natural abilities, and lots of friends—everything—while people like me seem to have no end of deficiencies and problems.

 

Answer: On the surface, things often don’t seem fair, but a lot goes on in every person’s life that is unseen by others. In the wise words of King Solomon in the Bible, “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under Heaven.”1 Not everyone goes through the same rough spots or at the same time, but everyone...

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01-07-2010
Never Alone
Never Alone

Once we have Jesus in our hearts, we always have His company and love.
John 14:18: I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
Matthew 28:20b: I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.
Romans 8:38–39: For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

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01-07-2010
You Are Unique!
You Are Unique!

Do you know who the happiest people are? Those who have the courage to be themselves, just the way God made them, rather than try to be something they’re not in order to fit in or impress others. Struggling to live up to what you think others expect of you puts a heavy weight on you, but there’s freedom in humility.

When I was young I didn’t like the way I looked. I thought my nose was too big and that I was too skinny and ugly. I had quite an inferiority complex about that, and it took me a long...

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01-07-2010
Perfect

Heavenly Father, You could have made me perfect according to my standards or someone else’s, but You didn’t. Instead, You made me just the way You wanted me—perfect according to Your standard. To realize that is to find perfect peace, security, and rest in Your love. Thank You!

 

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01-07-2010
10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy
10 Things Science Says Will Make You Happy

In the last few years, psychologists and researchers have been digging up hard data on a question previously left to philosophers: What makes us happy? Researchers like the father-son team Ed Diener and Robert Biswas-Diener, Stanford psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, and ethicist Stephen Post have studied people all over the world to find out how things like money, attitude, culture, memory, health, altruism, and our day-to-day habits affect our well-being. The emerging field of positive psychology is bursting with new findings that suggest your actions can have a significant effect on your happiness and satisfaction with life. Here are 10 scientifically...

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01-07-2010
“I Was Here First!”
“I Was Here First!”

My three-year-old son Manuel was playing an educational game on the computer when his six-year-old sister Alondra demanded that he let her have a turn. Manuel’s response was typical.

“I was here first!”

I don’t know where Manuel picked that up, but it got me thinking. It’s a generally accepted principle of human society that those who “get there first” have more rights than those who get there after them. The first one to set foot on virgin land is entitled to take possession of it. The first one to find a pearl in the sea, or strike gold or oil may...

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01-07-2010
Relief from Loneliness
Relief from Loneliness

“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother,” the Bible tells us.1 That friend is Jesus, who also promises, “I am with you always”2 and “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”3 His presence can fill the aching void within that we all sometimes feel, no matter how many close companions we may have on life’s journey. We need to learn to let Jesus fill that void.

Sit quietly and focus on this promise. “My Presence will go with you.”4 Think back to before your day even started. Jesus was with you as you slept, watching over you. Morning came,...

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01-07-2010
I Am Here for You
I Am Here for You

Turn to Me in your loneliness. I love you dearly, and I am here for you anytime, all the time. I am your constant companion, your best friend.

When you feel like no one cares and there is no love to be found, that is the time to lie back in My arms and find peace. When you are discouraged and feel like a mess, look into My face and see Me smile upon you, for I love you just the way you are. When you feel worried or frustrated, run to Me. I will be your perfect companion. When you...

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