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Activated June 2015

Stress Relief - June 2015

There’s no magic wand to remove all stress from our fast-paced lives, but there are ways to minimize and manage it. Let’s find some shock absorbers.
 

01-06-2015
A Timely Test
A Timely Test

If you were to ask, I would have described myself as a fairly easygoing personality. I don’t get ruffled too easily and I don’t get (too) upset when things go wrong. When I first read David’s article (on pp. 4–5 of this issue), where he describes himself as an unrepentant worrier, I pictured myself brushing aside and forgetting my worries, and mentally patted myself on the back. Yep, I must be stress free! I’d have confidently told you.

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01-06-2015
Anti-stressant
Anti-stressant

The year had been full of events, deadlines, accomplishments. I was working hard teaching English in a private school, as well as tutoring from home. Simultaneously I was working on a diploma in Russian Philology and a Cambridge Proficiency Certificate in English. On top of this, I was leading Christian meetings at a university center and an English Speaking club. It was a full schedule and I loved it.

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01-06-2015
Smooth Sailing on Stormy Seas
Smooth Sailing on Stormy Seas

For a good bit of my life, I’ve been a worrier. My take on the “power of positive thinking” / “look on the bright side” philosophy was, “Bah, humbug! That kind of advice is for wimps. I’m a realist. When the going gets rough, I worry about it! No apologies.” It’s not that I’m a pessimist; it’s just that I’d fret when things happened that I couldn’t control. (I have to admit that I’d fret a fair bit over things I could control, too.) It should come as no surprise then that over time I had unknowingly developed an ulcer...

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01-06-2015
Getting the Best Results
Getting the Best Results

When you have so much to do, slowing things down and taking time to meditate, getting your mind off the work at hand and onto Jesus could be the last thing you feel like doing. Even if you try, you may find that “resting in Jesus” is often easier said than done. Yet He tells us, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. … Learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”1

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01-06-2015
A Perfect Day
A Perfect Day

Today was perfect!I t wasn’t a perfectly lazy day, or perfect in terms of accomplishments, or without problems. Still, it was so perfect from start to finish that I now feel compelled to retrace my steps and try to figure out what made it that way. Maybe I can make it happen again.

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01-06-2015
Death of Horseshoes
Death of Horseshoes

I vividly recall the men in our neighborhood gathering every evening after work in a vacant lot next to my house for a game of horseshoes. The pace of life was more relaxed when I was a child. Work was from nine to five, and then it was time to knock off and play horseshoes. 

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01-06-2015
The Secret
The Secret

Oh, how divinely sweet it is to come into the secret of His presence and abide in His pavilion!
David Brainerd (1718–1747), missionary to the Native Americans

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Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him.
Psalm 37:7

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01-06-2015
Laughing with Abandon
Laughing with Abandon

How easy it is to listen to the advice of others and change ourselves into something we are not. To quit being our unique and wonderfully made selves. To base our worth on what others think instead of what God thinks.

An elderly family member came for a visit. “A lady does not laugh with her mouth wide open, head thrown back, submitting all viewers to the spectacle of her tonsils,” she advised.

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01-06-2015
Anti-fear Therapy
Anti-fear Therapy

I was cleaning up my brushes and paint cans after some volunteers and I finished painting a large mural for the local Sunday school when Maxim passed me a note:

I was really encouraged to meet and work on this project with people like you, so full of faith and positiveness. Can you please remember to say a prayer for me, as I’m going through a very tough time in my life? Thank you.

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01-06-2015
Creative Silence
Creative Silence

India, where I live, is a country of wide, sweeping farmlands; huge mountains jutting their peaks into the sky; broad rivers lazily moving over rocks. The land is as peaceful as it always has been, but the people who live here, like anywhere in the world, are often stressed.

Dr. Hans Selye, a prominent medical research scientist, has observed, “In this hurry-up world we are subjecting ourselves to too many stresses. We hurry constantly and worry incessantly.” Unfortunately, many have yet to learn to develop inner peace.

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01-06-2015
Escape Stress
Escape Stress

How often do we finally reach a state of peaceful contentment and then wish we could hang out a sign that says, “Do not disturb”?

Of course we can’t prevent disturbances or stressful situations, but when they come, the Bible says God can give us peace inside. “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”1 If we turn to Jesus, He will give us peace. If we are spending time talking with Him in prayer, reading His words, or even just thinking about Him, the Bible says the reward is peace.

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01-06-2015
The Open Window
The Open Window

When life feels like a tiny, windowless room whose four walls are closing in, you can create a window of escape. As you read and meditate on My Word, as you believe My promises and claim them as your own, you open a window to the spiritual realm where wonderful things await you. The warm sunshine of My love will melt away the tension. 

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