A Spiritual Exercise: Hear from Heaven

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The Bible’s book of 1 Kings includes the story of the prophet Elijah. Chapter 19 recounts the tumultuous episode when he was running for his life from wicked Queen Jezebel and hiding in the wilderness. After a while God led Elijah to go to Mount Horeb. There God told Elijah to leave the cave where he had taken refuge and stand before Him. A strong wind tore into the mountain and broke nearby rocks in pieces; then there was an earthquake; then a fire; then a “still small voice” (1 Kings 19:3-12). God was not in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire, but that still small voice was His.

You too can get alone with God to hear His voice and thereby receive His words of love and encouragement, answers to your questions, and solutions to your problems. Here’s how:

hearing from God spiritual exerciseFind a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed, preferably for at least 15 minutes. Bring your Bible or some other inspirational reading, and a laptop or a pen and something to write on.

Begin by reading a short passage or two to boost your faith. Then think about a matter that you would like God to speak to you about—a problem or concern or even something that you’re curious about. Sit quietly and listen to what He tells you. Perhaps He’ll remind you of something you have read in His Word. Perhaps He’ll remind you of something you have seen or something someone has said. Or perhaps He’ll give you a message in words or pictures. Whatever comes to your mind, write it down for future reference, and then thank Him for speaking.


Art credits: Image 1 (Elijah) © Aurora Products; background designed by brgfx/Freepik. Image 2 © TFI. Text: Activated magazine.

Actividad: Oruga «Para ser más amable»

Una actividad entretenida para niños pequeños, gentileza de My Wonder Studio. Descárguelo gratis en color o en blanco y negro.

Click on the links to download this children’s activity (in English) in color or black and white. Courtesy of My Wonder Studio.

 

Ejercicio espiritual: Manifestar aprecio

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A todos nos hace bien que nos valoren. A continuación, un ejercicio para que practiques el arte de manifestar aprecio.

Selecciona a tres personas con las que te relacionas a diario y empéñate en manifestar gratitud o aprecio a cada una de ellas al menos una vez al día. Piensa en cualidades suyas que realmente admiras y son dignas de elogio, y expresa tu sentir mediante palabras o hechos. Al final del día tómate unos momentos para evaluar cómo te fue. ¿Cumpliste? ¿Cómo reaccionaron?

Repite el ejercicio todos los días durante una semana, con las mismas personas o con otras. Procura no escoger solamente amigos que te caen muy bien o con los que mantienes una estrecha relación. Hasta la gente más difícil tiene sus buenas cualidades.

Las muestras de aprecio no solo levantan la moral a la persona a quien van dirigidas, sino que mejoran también tu propia perspectiva de la realidad, toda vez que te ayudan a ver más positivamente a quienes te rodean. Parece que por naturaleza somos más propensos a ver lo malo que lo bueno. Por lo general son cosas relativamente insignificantes las que echan a perder nuestras relaciones, idiosincrasias que nos irritan. Al esforzarnos por buscar en los demás atributos dignos de elogio y concentrarnos en lo bueno, trascendemos la naturaleza humana y nos volvemos más positivos.

Las muestras de aprecio son contagiosas. Puede que no notes nada distinto de la noche a la mañana, pero con el tiempo siempre provocan cambios notables.


Art © TFI. Text adapted from Activated magazine.

A Spiritual Exercise: Appreciation

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Everyone benefits from appreciation. Here’s an exercise to strengthen your appreciation skills.

Pick three people that you interact with daily, and make it a goal to show appreciation to each of them at least once today. Be on the lookout for things that you genuinely admire about them or can thank or commend them for, and say or do something that tells them so. Take a moment at the end of the day to reflect on how it went. Did you meet your goal? What effect did it have on the recipients?

Repeat the exercise every day for a week, targeting some of the same people and some new ones as the week progresses. Make an effort to not choose only those people you like most or feel closest to. Even the most difficult people to get along with have some good qualities.

Showing appreciation will not only give the recipient a lift, it will also improve your own outlook by helping you view those around you more positively. It seems to be human nature to notice the bad more easily than the good, and it’s often relatively minor things that sour our relations, such as idiosyncrasies that we find irritating. By making a conscious effort to look for things to appreciate in others, focusing on the good will override human nature and make you a more positive person.

Appreciation is contagious. It may not happen overnight, but in time it will nearly always bring about a remarkable change.


Art © TFI. Text adapted from Activated magazine.

Diario de agradecimiento

Un diario de agradecimiento de una semana para niños. Este imprimible es ideal para la semana antes de Día de Acción de Gracias, pero también se puede utilizar durante todo el año. Haz clic aquí para descargar el .pdf