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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 20 Apr 2018, 8:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 19, 2018

Exult In God's Kindness


By Answers2Prayer 
  The Apostle Paul wrote: "You, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap of the olive root..." (Romans 11:17 NIV)

Oh, my apple trees! Their delicate pink and white, curled-up, wee buds are opening in the sunshine.

These new, little trees thrill me! At a horticulture workshop a few years ago, I was shown how to graft eating-apple stem pieces onto hardy Siberian roots, and two of my grafts produced trees.

Though there have been a few flowers other springs, and last year, one lonely apple, the number of blossoms this year suggests a fair crop of fruit. Even now as the branches dance in the breeze, I can almost taste the apples as I plan to share them with my neighbours.

I may delight in my fruit trees, but I must not boast of them, for I was given the pieces and shown how to secure the grafts. And of course, God gave the soil and the rain to nourish their growth.

We read in the Bible that the Apostle Paul, a Jewish Christian, used grafted olive tree parts to explain to new Gentile Christians their spiritual relationship with Jews, and to urge these Gentiles to be humble and steadfast. His words in Romans 11:17-21 could be paraphrased like this: "If some of the Jewish branches have been broken off, and you Gentiles, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the Jews, and now share in the nourishing sap from Jesus, the olive root, do not boast over those Jewish branches by saying, 'Jewish branches were broken off so that I, a Gentile, could be grafted in.' Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural Jewish branches, he will not spare you Gentiles either."

Paul urges Gentile Christians to consider God's kindness and continue in it; otherwise they also will be cut off. And he tells them that if the Jewish people do not persist in their unbelief, they, natural branches, will quite readily be grafted back into their own olive tree. Paul states, "For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile -- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, 'Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved" (Romans 10:12-13 NIV).

Jews and Gentiles, and persons of all nations under the sun, can exult together in God's Word of assurance, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).

What is more, those of us who live in communities filling with immigrants of other nationalities, races, and religions, should realize that a challenge to be loving and humble outreaching Christians has come to our doorsteps.

Prayer: Lord, help us to exult in your kindness together with all your people of the earth. Thank you that you, God, have made all nations of the earth to share one flesh and to be one nation in faith in Jesus Christ. Thank you for your acceptance of us all who believe. Help us to work together, guided by your Spirit so that we will enable many persons to come to you and exult together in your kindness. Amen.


By Isabel Allison, Roland Manitoba, Canada     
 
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Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 17 Apr 2018, 10:07 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 17, 2018

Say Yes

By Answers2Prayer 
 "Say a quiet yes to God and he'll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field." (James 4:8 MSG)

I can remember my Mom telling me once that after I learned to say, "Mama" and "Dada" my third word was "No!" Sadly, I used that word much too often as a boy. I didn't want to eat my vegetables. I didn't want to go to bed on time. I didn't want to work in the garden. I didn't want to stay in the yard when I played. I would much rather read books than help my Mom and Nana with the household chores. In other words, I was a bit of a brat. Being the youngest of three sons and the "baby" of the family, I probably got away with saying "No" a lot more than I should have. I was slightly spoiled to say the least.

At some point in my childhood, though, I began to say "Yes!" a lot more and "No!" a lot less. I can remember carrying heavy pails of slop to feed the pigs we raised for meat and being proud that I was able to do so. I can remember carrying wood for our stove and fresh spring water for us to drink and being happy knowing that I was helping out my Mom and Dad. I can remember studying hard to get good grades in school and the pride in my parents eyes when I got into college. I can remember learning that saying "Yes" could bring more joy into my life than saying "No" ever did.

At some point in my life too, I also began to say "Yes!" to God. I began to ask for His guidance and accept His love. I began to try and be the person He meant for me to be and live the life that He meant for me to live. I began to love myself and others as myself.

I am still learning how to say "Yes". I still selfishly say "No" far too often. But I know that God is patient with me and is not done with me yet. My only advice to you then is not to wait as long as I did. Say "Yes" to God. Say "Yes" to life. Say "Yes" to love. Say "Yes" to helping others and making this world a better place. Yes may only be a word, but it can change your life.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 14 Apr 2018, 11:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 14, 2018

Jonamiah


By Answers2Prayer 
  "You know old Jonamiah up there on the hill? I hear tell he's going to give everything away and go into one of those retirement places, some really up-market place."

"Yeah? Really? He's loaded. What's he going to do with everything?"

"Give it away, I hear. He's got three Rolls cars and a mansion full of antiques, they say. His mates will get it all I 'spose. That's if he's got any mates."

"'Spose so. You and I -- well we never did have much to do with him. Still ..., I mean if he's giving it away ... Perhaps we could go up and do a bit for him. You never know."

"Yeah, you're right. You never know."

So up they went, lawn mowers, hedge clippers, outdoor brooms and a sack of good intentions in hand.

Old Jonamiah welcomed them warmly, and they were a bit put off with his enthusiasm. He seemed a bit over the moon that they even bothered to call, they thought, he made such a thing of it, inviting them to stay and have a sandwich with him, or tea, or cool drinks. He even asked if they would come for a drive in the Rolls to look at the new place he was going to!

"Lawns, hedges, sweeping, yes, they need doing. But please, just sit here on the veranda and spend some time with me. I'd so much like to talk ... Tell me what you would most like out of life ... Tell me what you think the future holds... Tell me what you most seek and desire ...
No time? Pity. So much I wanted you to tell me about yourselves. Sorry you have to go. Sorry..., so sorry."

And the two got on with all the chores. They did a good job, felt pleased with themselves, caused no bother to the old chap, and just hoped he would notice how much they had done. Because, of course, you just never know what he might do to return the favour ...

But old Jonamiah turned away and went indoors, feeling in his pocket for his handkie. "I loved them so much," he thought. "I just wanted to give them everything, even take them with me to where I am going. I couldn't get it through to them that they never could get it all by what they did for me. They must believe that God: 'is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.' And 'seek' is the key word. If they worked for me for a hundred years they couldn't even earn a down-payment on what I wanted to give them."

Then something like anger welled up in his heart. His frame shook, his great heart burst and he thundered out loud so that the universe was agitated and his roar split the sky: "I hate their goodnesses. All their righteousnesses are as filthy rags!" he stormed, and his storm circled the globe, blotting out the sun. The earth fell silent. Then it shuddered and died and Jonamiah wept. "I just wanted their companionship," he sobbed, "'For since the beginning of the world men have not heard, nor perceived, by the ear, neither hath the eye seen, O God, beside thee, what he hath prepared for him that waiteth for him.' But they just didn't have time for me." (See Hebrews 11:6, Isaiah 64:6, Isaiah 64:4) 

Elizabeth Price  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Apr 2018, 10:31 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 12, 2018

Friday the 13th

By Answers2Prayer 
 I'm not superstitious. Friday the 13th means absolutely nothing to me, and if it weren't for the people surrounding me at work, it would likely go by without me even thinking about it. In fact, some years ago I wrote a piece entitled "Thursday the 12th" in which I outlined how everything bad happened on Thursday the 12th, and nothing at all happened on Friday the 13th! And since that time, whenever someone begins anticipating the potential horrors for an upcoming Friday the 13th, I jokingly tell them that it's Thursday the 12th I worry about. 

I didn't even realize we were going to have a Friday the 13th last year until Wednesday morning when an accident on the highway I take to get to work put me an hour behind. Even then I wouldn't have thought anything of it until someone at work commented that my "Friday the 13th" had started early. Wait...It was, after all, Wednesday the 11th...Wednesday the 11th...Thursday the 12th...Friday the 13th...Was there a pattern emerging here?

I pushed it aside. Surely there really wasn't anything to this. However, when we awoke that Friday morning to a flooded basement, guess what thought immediately entered my mind...Oh no! Friday the 13th has begun! 

The troubles didn't stop with the flooded basement, either. I got to work to find that one of my favorite patients was not expected to live through the weekend. A ridiculous set of circumstances then dictated I would be over 2 hours late getting home from work, and when I finally got home, my washer overflowed and flooded my laundry room. By the time I got it all cleaned up, it was nearly 10:00 pm. It certainly sounded like Friday the 13th horrors to me!

But wait. My basement had also flooded on Christmas Eve of that year. That wasn't a Friday, and it certainly wasn't the 13th; and working at a hospital whose mandate is, in part, palliative care, there are many days during the year when one of my "favorite" patients begins to fail. By no means are those all on Friday the 13th. And yes, it also isn't the first time my laundry room has flooded, nor the first time I'd been unable to get home from work on time, and those incidences had never before happened on Friday the 13th. And not on Thursday the 12th or Wednesday the 11th either! In fact, if I were to scrutinize every day, I would see that there are many, many days each month that seem to specialize in being 'problem' days. The day of the week doesn't dictate the kind of day we will have, and neither does the date on the calendar. Annoyances happen! The cycle of life ends! Problems arise! Things come our way! 

There is something that will make all the difference in the world, however, and the effectiveness of this "fix" isn't limited to Wednesday the 11th, Thursday the 12th, OR Friday the 13th...

"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation." (Ps. 100:1-5 NLT) 

Did you get that? We are advised to give God praise, to enter His gates with thanksgiving, to worship Him with gladness, to come to Him with songs of joy.

When? 

The Psalm doesn't specify that this is only for the good times. In fact, it doesn't give us any specific time. That is because it is for all times, the good and the bad.

Am I stretching these verses, trying to make them "fit" my theology? 

Not according to the rest of the Bible: 

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials..." (Rom 5:3a NLT) 

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy..." (James 1:2 NLT)

"Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus..." (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT)

God whispered this thought into my head as I was still scrubbing my laundry room floor at 9:00 on the night of that Friday the 13th. I immediately pushed aside the complaints I had been contemplating and began to praise Him. I was then reminded of all the good things that had also happened that day, and as I thanked God for each one, I began to thank Him for the bad things as well. After all, that laundry room floor really did need to be scrubbed, and the new sump pump we needed to buy will give us peace of mind the next time we are away on a trip. Finally, God had given me the energy that got me through that long, tedious day, and despite the annoyances of being a home owner, I have a warm house to live in, my family is safe, healthy and doing well in all areas, and...well, the list could go on, but you get the point: I am indeed very, very blessed!

It's funny how the day no longer seemed like Friday the 13th...

We don't need to fear superstition--hey, we don't need to fear troubles of any kind! God is with us, and we can rely on Him at all times! The next time your circumstances appear to be overwhelming you, remember Psalms 100 and spend some time giving God praise. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes. 

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 10 Apr 2018, 10:52 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
April 10, 2018

Three Reasons why you Can't let Go
bible
By Answers2Prayer 
Hubby and I agreed to get a brief video done. So I reached for my purse. "Wait a minute," I said, "let me put on some lipstick before you begin.

Why can't I toss vanity out the window? But dare I say that we all have a trace of that from time to time.

Some of us are way too appearance-conscious. We dress well to look sharp, wear black to look thin, fix the hair so we look young, and dress down to look cool.

And beyond how we look, we strive to do what might be impressive. We try hard to reach the top, we get busy to do good stuff or even go places to rave about what we did.

Those efforts aren't bad, unless they rule our lives. Or unless they stir electric signals to the brain, keeping it awake when it should be resting.

At an Access Life event for folks and their families living with disabilities, a sort of strange animal taught me a big lesson about total trust and rest.

A friend put a "turken" in my hands. No misspelling there. This sort of weird little creature is half turkey and half chicken. The body of a chicken, the neck of a turkey and the head of a chicken. Since I'm not able to "see" it, I imagine it to be a sort of ugly creature.

But does it even show concern about its looks? You tell me. As I held it, it fell asleep. It had no clue a blind woman was holding it. It didn't care how it looked, what appearance it displayed or even care about who took its picture. It showed no worry about others staring at her.

Why can't we be like that? Why can't we rest in peace just the way we are--with failures that might be known. With flaws that stand out. With weaknesses that are evident, or things left undone? And in face of it all, we, dare to live in complete trust. In total peace. And undisturbed confidence, the kind of confidence that we too fall asleep in God's arms.

But we can. And here are three steps to enjoy sweet sleep in those long nights:

Smile at the image in the mirror. Admire God's creation and repeat: "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Psalm 139:13-14) If He made us wonderfully, why fret about our body?

No matter what happens, what doesn't happen, we rest, fully and completely because of where we are: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.'" (Psalm 91:1-2) With Him as our fortress and refuge, worry and tension can't exist.

Let go what is yet undone. The work God is doing in us is not completed. The plans He has for us are still in action because God's Word says, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10) If God prepared the work, He's mighty enough to show us the way to accomplish it.

Father, when restlessness robs our sleep, may we recognize that your kindness, your nurturing and protection is enough to grant the calmness of our thoughts, the peace in our heart and the serenity for our days. We will claim full rest each night, in Jesus name, we declare. Amen.

What keeps you awake at night?
Do your thoughts align with God's Word?
How do you find restful sleep?

Janet Eckles

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 07 Apr 2018, 3:21 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 7, 2018
Feeling Overwhelmed?

By Answers2Prayer 
  Are you feeling overwhelmed today? 

David knew what that felt like. He lived much of his life in hiding, even going to live with the enemy because of fear of what Saul would do to him, and in the Psalms, we see him even admitting this: "...when my heart is overwhelmed..." (Ps. 61:2 NKJV)

So what did David suggest? "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Your tabernacle forever; I will trust in the shelter of Your wings." (Ps. 61:2c-4 NKJV)

There is nothing better than going to the Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ: "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (Ps. 18:2 NKJV)

This is beautiful imagery, but just how does one "go" to the "Rock"?

The first clue comes from Ps. 61:2. Here David says, "Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth I will cry to You, When my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I." (NKJV)

In David's words, he is crying out to God, praying for God to attend to his prayer, and interestingly, he is asking God to lead him to the rock. In other words, we can't get there on our own, we need to be led!

I doubt this is surprising to you. When you are in the midst of whatever overwhelming circumstances encircle you today, it seems so impossible to just "dump" it all in Jesus' lap. In order to do so, we must do something: We must cry out to the Lord, we must ask Him to lead us to the rock! 

But leading would indicate that we must also follow; and this is still all so abstract. When we are surrounded with the darkness and fear that accompany our deep circumstances, it is difficult to follow where God will lead. Here is a little exercise that I find helpful. As you go through it, you will experience how focusing on the bigness and vastness of God will cause our own problems to diminish in our sight, thus making it easy to allow God to lead us to the rock.

Step one: Pray and ask God to help you focus on His Word.

Step two: Prayerfully read the following words line by line. Meditate upon them, see them in your mind's eye and contemplate the visual images they conjure up: 

"The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The Lord is over many waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,
Yes, the Lord splinters the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes them also skip like a calf,
Lebanon and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord divides the flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
The Lord shakes the Wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth,
And strips the forests bare;
And in His temple everyone says, 'Glory!'" (Ps. 29:3-9 NKJV)

Step three: Ask yourself the following question: The Lord, the Almighty God, full of strength and power and glory, the One who can do all this, is He too small to handle your circumstance? 

Step four: Believe that no matter what it may seem, God is truly in the midst of your circumstances. Read verse 10:

"The Lord sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the Lord sits as King forever." (Ps. 29:10 NKJV)

This tells us that the same all powerful God sits "enthroned at the Flood" as "King forever"! The Lord Almighty is already sitting in the midst of your circumstances!

Step five: Meditate on the final verse of Ps. 29: 

"The Lord will give strength to His people;
The Lord will bless His people with peace." (Ps. 29:11 NKJV)

Remember: The God who can do all of the above, the Lord who is sitting in the midst of your circumstances, "will give strength to His people...will bless His people with peace"! 

Are you feeling a bit less overwhelmed? It is because God just led you to the rock that is higher than your circumstnces! 

Remember this little exercise the next time you are feeling overwhelmed. That Rock, the Lord Jesus Christ, is always there, always sitting in the middle of our circumstances, always wanting to give us strength and peace! 

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Apr 2018, 11:01 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 5, 2018

The Comfort of Love


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." (1 John 3:16-18 NIV)

Our old couch had seen better days. The fabric of its cushions was ripped and torn in places. I had covered the spots in duct tape but foam was still leaking out of them. The springs inside of it were broken. The sheet we covered it with was torn, sewn, and torn again. The right front leg had worked loose and fell off whenever we sat down on it. All in all our couch had become beaten, battered, and very uncomfortable.

For several months then I saved what money I could in order to buy a new one. Finally, I had enough and got a new, slightly smaller sofa that I hoped would last for years to come. We carried it up the steps and got it in place. While the delivery men hauled off the old one I looked over our new addition. It was strong and straight and soft and sturdy. With the day's work done I looked forward to having a seat on it. I made myself a tall glass of iced tea and walked into the living room. I stopped short and stared. There on my new couch were my dogs curled up contentedly for a nap.

I smiled and didn't shoo them off of it. Instead I sat down in my computer chair and watched them peacefully sleep for awhile. I didn't mind sharing my comfortable new couch with them. After all, they had for years blessed me with the comfort of their love. 

Love truly is the most comforting thing in this entire world. Nothing comforts us like knowing that God loves us. Nothing comforts us like knowing that we are here to love as well. Nothing comforts us like sharing our love with God, people, animals, and the world around us. " Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." (1 Cor. 1:3-4 NIV)

Carry your love with you always then. Let it be your cozy chair and comfy couch. Let it give rest to your heart and revitalize your soul. Let it comfort you on Earth and carry you to Heaven.

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 10:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 3, 2018

 The Other Road 


By Answers2Prayer 
 "The Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good and leads you along the paths you should follow." (Isaiah 48:17)

The guide book said it was an easy hike around the lake, where the flat path hugged the water's edge. It was going to take longer this day, because I had to stop every few feet, it seemed, for another breathtaking view in the late afternoon light.

Rounding a bend, the path began to lean upward. Within minutes the fork in the road became visible. The low road, the known path, the easier one? Or the high road, the unknown. I found myself humming an old ballad, "Oh! Ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland afore ye". Hmmm, had to make the decision, or go back.

I thought about forks in the road, spiritually-speaking. The Bible advises us to set our thoughts on things above, not below (Colossians 3:2). It's good to set our goals high and be challenged. Why settle for the same old, same old, or go backwards into the past way?

We always have a choice. Seek the face of God, who gives us strength for the journey. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always (1 Chron 16:11). Don't run with the crowd. Take the high road. Choose to forgive. Go the extra mile, make the call, send the email, venture a random act of kindness, forgive the offense or the slight.

So, when there's an opportunity, choose the other road, the one less traveled, the high road.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 31, 2018

Because He Lives

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us As the sun began to send forth its pink and orange tendrils that Easter morning, I found myself being drawn outside for a walk in the sunrise. It was a glorious morning. There was just enough wind to stir the air. The birds raised their voices in songs of praise as they flitted about, hunting for worms and dancing in the sky. The trees and bushes were in full bud, and the bulbs brightened the world with their vibrant colours.

In all, it was pretty hard to believe that there was so much sorrow and suffering, not only in the world at large, and also at our own backdoors. Yet we all know there is... Oh God, with all the pain, how can it be such a glorious morning? How can life just go on? How can...we...go on?

As I contemplated this, the words to a long-forgotten song, written by Gloria and William J. Gaither, came vividly to my mind:

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow! Because He lives, All fear is gone. Because I know, Who holds tomorrow, this life is worth a living just because He lives!" (See full lyrics below)

Because He lives. Isn't that what we were about to celebrate on that bright and beautiful Resurrection morning? I can go on because He lives! I can face "tomorrow" because:

a. He conquered sin: "'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:55-57 NIV);

b. He reconciled us to the Father: "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." (2 Cor. 5:18-19 NIV); and

c. He rose from the dead: "In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!'" (Luke 24:5,6a NIV).

But how can we face tomorrow when tomorrow holds so much pain?

We can face tomorrow because:

a. The Lord is our helper: "So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" (Heb. 13:6 NIV. See also Ps. 118:6);

b. The Lord has promised to fight for us: "Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you." (Deut. 3:22 NIV);

c. There is no room for fear with a God who loves us so perfectly: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." (1 John 4:18a NIV);

d. God holds the future in His hands: "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'" (Is. 46:10 NIV)!

It doesn't matter whether we are being held in the grasp of cancer. It doesn't matter that the marriage is over. It doesn't matter that the basement is flooded or there are serious heart problems. Not only can we can face tomorrow, but this life is worth the living, and all -- because He lives!

In the face of your circumstances this Easter season, I urge each of you to do the following:

1. Take a few moments to contemplate what Jesus accomplished in His death and resurrection;
2. Take another moment to listen to the birds and look at the budding trees and the brilliant bulbs; and then
3. Walk forward in confidence that because He lives, you can face tomorrow!

"God sent his son,
they called him Jesus,
He came to love,
heal and forgive.
He lived and died
to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there
to prove my Savior lives.

"Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives." Gloria and William Gaither

God bless each of you this gloridous resurrection season.

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 11:37 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 29, 2018

People Pleasing


By Answers2Prayer 
Jesus had nothing to hide. He was honest, open, genuine...and as we look through the gospels, we see this same theme throughout. What the people saw is what they got. No hidden agendas, no pretenses, just pure, unadulterated love.

We see this especially during Jesus' arrest and trial. Take John 18:19-24, for example: "While this was happening, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus replied, 'I have spoken publicly to the world. I always taught in the synagogues and in the temple courts, where all the Jewish people assemble together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said. They know what I said.' When Jesus had said this, one of the high priest's officers who stood nearby struck him on the face and said, 'Is that the way you answer the high priest?' Jesus replied, 'If I have said something wrong, confirm what is wrong. But if I spoke correctly, why strike me?'" (NET)

I don't know about you, but I think if I were on trial for my life, I might try to sugarcoat things a bit. You know, make myself to be seen in a better light, something, but not Jesus. 

What is the difference between Jesus' reaction and my own?

Jesus knew and valued who He was in God. He knew, in any possible situation, that His father loved Him and accepted Him. As a result, He was freed from all worries about what people would think of Him. He was even freed from the fear of death itself. This gave Him the freedom He needed to be able to show true love at all times. 

Am I being too harsh on myself? It's true that I also know who I am in Christ. I know that my Father loves me and accepts me, no matter what; but do I truly value this knowledge the way Jesus did? I mean, I continue to be sensitive to what others think, I am limited by my fear of non-acceptance, I am muzzled by a sense of dread that I might "say the wrong thing". When I look at the life of Jesus, however, I see that He valued what His Father thought of Him more highly than anything else. Maybe I could learn some lessons...

Come on. Surely it can't be so bad to try to please other people. Isn't that part of loving them? 

As we proceed through the story of Jesus' trial, we find Him arriving in the court of Pontius Pilot: "So Pilate came outside to them and said, 'What accusation do you bring against this man?' They replied, 'If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.' Pilate told them, 'Take him yourselves and pass judgment on him according to your own law!' The Jewish leaders replied, 'We cannot legally put anyone to death.'" (John 18:29-31 NET).

Here Pilot finds himself in a hard position. He knows nothing about the situation, yet at his word, this man can either be freed or killed. We see that Pilot wants to save Jesus, and that he tries several different times to change the minds of the Jews concerning Him: "he went back outside to the Jewish leaders and announced, 'I find no basis for an accusation against him.'" (John 18:38 NET; see also John 19:4,12). So why didn't Pilot just say the word and have Jesus' life spared? 

Many reasons, I am sure, but the one that God impressed upon me was this: Pilot was too afraid of the people to stand up for what was right. We know from the Biblical account that Pilot was afraid of the potential consequences of having Jesus crucified: "When Pilate heard what they said, he was more afraid than ever..." (John 19:8 NET); but his fear of the people was greater than his fear of putting an innocent man to death. 

And what was the result of Jesus' and Pilot's decisions? And what was the end of their stories?

Jesus, who loved God and valued His instructions more than He feared what others would think, died a horrible death. Three days later, however, He rose from the grave, and He is now in Heaven and will one day reign as ruler over all nations (see Ps.2:6-8, Isaiah 2:1-4, Jeremiah 23:5, Dan 7:18-27, etc). 

Pilot's ending was a bit different. The Roman historian and Christian polemicist, Eusebius, tells us that Pontius Pilate fell under great misfortune, and that he eventually committed suicide. (Taken from Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews 18.4.2.)

I don't know about you, but the end of Jesus' story, the One who put His focus on God and Him alone, looks significantly better than the end of Pilot's story. Think about that the next time you are tempted to do (or not do) something because of your fear of what people will think...

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 7:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 27, 2018

Lessons From Palm Sunday, Part 3


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  After gleaning some valuable lessons on Palm Sunday in the previous parts of this Palm Sunday oriented series, today we come to the concluding part of the same. 


Purpose...

Now why did Hosannas rent the air on that First Palm Sunday? 

The word hosanna comes from a Hebrew word meaning "save now" or "save us, we pray." The first word of Psalm 118:25 is howosiah-na, translated "Save us!" From what did the Jews seek deliverance? Obviously from the Roman rule. Jews looked upon Jesus as their Freedom-fighter, the One who would wield a sword and use His miraculous powers to liberate them from the Roman tyranny, but their hopes were dashed as Jesus, without as much as lifting even a little finger against the Romans, focused on His spiritual mission of liberating people from the tyranny of much more dangerous rule...SIN. More than ruling from a throne in Jerusalem, Jesus' first  coming was all about ruling in the hearts of men! No wonder, with their expectations belied, when Jesus' enemies ( jealous and insecure, the religious hierarchy of that time) sought public support for His crucifixion before Pontius Pilate, the very same people who yelled Hosanna now shouted "crucify Him" (Matt. 27:11-23). Talk of U-turns for the worse... 

Pray, tell me, dear reader, why are you following Christ? For earthly gains? Or for eternal benefits? Yes, He will provide for our needs as per His promise in Matt. 6:33, however our primary focus ought to be on "that which is above" (Col. 3:1-2/Phil. 3:20-21). 


Provenance...

Now what propelled Jesus to "cleanse the temple of its crass commerce?" Righteous indignation, which is, incidently, not to be mistaken for crude and rude anger! What then, is the difference between "anger" and "Righteous indignation"? One has to look at its source or origin to discern the truth. While anger is an emotional outburst against injustice meted out to self, righteous indignation is an outrage expressed at those wilfully dishonouring God's Holy Name. 

Jesus wouldn't be provoked to anger when insults were hurled at Him personally in the Cross, but covenanted ones who didn't care a hoot for God's Holy Name bore the brunt of His Holy fury. Do not we see Righteous indignation in three prominent places in the Bible as well? Phinehas (Numbers 25:1-8), Peter (Acts 5:1-11) and Paul (1 Cor. 6:5) for you, ladies and gentlemen! 

As God's covenanted people, while we may not have the full rights to express righteous indignation on "outsiders" on matters of "Holy Living", certainly it is our bounden duty to show righteous indignation to our "brethren" who, with their immoral lifestyles, would be tarnishing the fair reputation of our Redeemer (1 Cor. 5). 


Portend...

Jesus act of "cleansing" the temple also in a way portends His second coming, when He will come, not riding humbly on a donkey, but gloriously on a horse (See Rev 19:11-21) to wage war and cleanse much of the filth of the World created by two of Satans' agents namely the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. 

Dear Reader on a Palm Sunday -- or any occasion when you read this article -- it would serve you well to pray thus...Come Lord Jesus...firstly into my life, cleanse me of all the moral filth and then rule, unopposed, seated in the throne of my heart... 


Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 24 Mar 2018, 11:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 24, 2018
Lessons From Palm Sunday, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  In our ongoing series, on the lessons to be gleaned from "Palm Sunday" we come today to 2 more...

Puzzle...

Tempering Matthew's "puzzling" account of Jesus riding on two donkeys (See Matt. 21:1-10) with the other Gospels, which state that He rode on a single donkey, some of the Bible commentators state with rightful  conviction that while Jesus rode on a donkey's colt into Jerusalem, the "senior" donkey followed riderless right behind. The 'junior' donkey (donkey's colt) is reasoned by the seasoned scholars to represent the church, birthed 1500 years after Judaism was established, which accepts Jesus Christ. The riderless donkey, then, represents Judaism, who has rejected Christ.  

Peace...
Culturally and socially during Biblical times, a king astride a donkey symbolized the "peace mission", whereas a king riding on a horse symbolized "war". The "peace" mission of Christ which would be accomplished four days later on the Cross, would pave the way for a peaceful reconciliation between not only Holy God and unholy man (See 2 Cor. 5:21/1Tim. 2:5), but also between Jews and Gentiles (See Eph. 2:14-19) as well as the physically impaired and the healthy ones who would all be now one in Christ (See Is. 56:3-7/Acts 8:26-40). 

Pitfalls...

Say Preacher, is your popularity soaring? What better time than now to recall the wise words of Sadhu Sundar Singh, especially in the context of all the unexpected popularity that came the way of the unsuspecting "little donkey" on this momentous occasion. I am quoting his words verbatim here below: 

"When Jesus entered Jerusalem the people spread their clothes in the way and strewed branches before Him in order to do Him honour. Jesus rode upon an ass, according to the word of the prophet. His feet did not touch the road which was decorated in His honour. It was the ass which trod upon the garments and the branches. But the ass would have been very foolish to have been uplifted on that account; for the road really was not decked in its honour! It would be just as foolish if those who bear Christ to men were to think anything of themselves because of what men do to them for the sake of Jesus." 

Doubtless, these words need to not so much be inked, but rather, be engraved in the hearts and minds of every servant of God. It would serve every servant of the Master well to remember that he/she is being respected, not because of his/her profession, but because of his/her association with the Master's work. Look at the Apostle Paul's self-worded "score-card" of his ministry: "For I am the least of all the apostles...it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace." (1 Cor. 15:9,10 NLT) 

Take heed, messenger of God's word! With popularity can come some pitfalls. The next time people pat you on your back for your "marvellous sermon", praise God for placing the message in your heart and counting you worthy of taking it to the world. Otherwise, you could well end up making a proverbial "ass" of yourself! The words of John the Baptist are so important for us to remember the words quoted from Sadhu Sundar Singh: "'He must increase, I must decrease' (John 3:30 BSB) ought to be the "watchword" for every Servant of God at all times." 

While on the subject, it would not be out of place to muse on yet another simple yet profound truth. Wasn't the Donkey which carried Jesus to Jerusalem first "untied", and then only "used" for His glory? How true in a Christian's life too! First one has to be "set free" from the chains of sin before he/she is put into "service" of being "a carrier" (read witness) to the outside, watching World (See Acts 8:25). 

Prayer: Father, we praise and thank Thee for all the lessons, You are teaching us from "Palm Sunday". When it comes to application of these lessons, enable us not to be only "mere listeners" but also "doers". In Jesus' Name. Amen. 

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Mar 2018, 11:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
March 22, 2018

Lessons From Palm Sunday, Part 1
 bible
By Answers2Prayer 
As far as the written literature of the Christian world is concerned, somehow there appears to be a disturbing "calm" about "Palm" Sunday, one of the landmark events in our Saviour's life, with not too many articles abounding in relation to the same. It is the same with the Ascension Day and the Day of Pentecost. Somehow, in the Contemporary Church, these two momentous events do not seem to be given the due significance attached to other milestone events in our Saviour's life, such as Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. 

In this Series laced with alliteration of sub-headings beginning with the letter "P" for "Palm", yours truly feels challenged to present the significance of Palm Sunday to Nuggets readership through the following sub-headings: 

Period...
Our Lord, who is scripturally known as the Almighty's Pascal Lamb (See 1 Cor. 5:7) had said that He came not to abolish the law but to fulfil it (See Matt. 5:17). As Jesus had fulfilled the law in every respect, it is not binding on us who follow Him in faith to observe the law in toto (See Acts 15:1-35). 

Now coming back to the Saviour...As per the Jewish Law, the Pascal Lamb, whose blood would save the Lord's chosen ones from His wrath, had to be brought to the Jewish home four days before its eventual slaying (See Exodus 12:1-6). It follows, therefore, that the Divine Pascal Lamb also would enter Jerusalem, the "home" (See Psalm 132:13-14) of it's "Divine Owner", exactly four days before His propitiatory death (See 1 Thess 1:10 TLB). Mind you, this "fourth day" for the Jews would begin precisely at evening on the previous day by our calendars (6pm), and would end at evening of the next day (exactly 24 hours later). So folks, the atoning death of our Lord at 3 pm on "Good Friday" was not on the "fifth" day after entering His Father's Home, but at a time which was very much the part of the "fourth" day (See John 18:28).  

Prophecy...

If milestone events amongst others in our Redeemer's life, such as His virgin birth at Bethlehem, crucifixion on the Cross, resurrection and ascention were all prophesied (See Is. 7:14/Micah 5:2/ Ps. 22 /Ps. 16:10/Ps. 68:18), then what would make us think that the incidents which were central to an event as significant as Palm Sunday, with His arrival into God's home (also City- Psalm 148:1-3) and it's subsequent purification that fuelled by His righteous indignation would not be prophesied? Let the Scripture take over at this stage. Firstly the Prophecy about His arrival... 

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zech. 9:9 ESV)

Then the one on His righteous indignation which propelled Him to undertake impromptu cleansing of the Temple: "For zeal for your house has consumed me..." (Ps. 69:9 ESV) 

While on the subject, we may now take the "loopline" (permit me to use some of the Railways-related terminology) to cast spotlight on the subject, "Why Prophecies". Remember that the very salvation of mankind depended upon His single, singular life. As a result, the Almighty God did not want any rationalist to attribute His unique life, death and resurrection to a mere accident or coincidence. Let me illustrate with a Railways related incident: While hurredly alighting from a train in India, a servant of God forgot one of his suitcases in the compartment. As the train chugged away from the station, a chilling realization hit him that a suitcase now needed to be retrieved from that train. Would he chase the train in a taxi? Considering the traffic on the roads, there was no way he would do that, for by the time he reached the next station, the train would have already departed from there as well. So he frantically prayed that the suitcase containing some very precious items of his would be restored.Tears of joy started flowing from his eyes when lo and behold, he heard the announcement in the station that the train which had departed was returning. The reason? This devout soul would later discover that the train had run short of water in its storage tank, and the passengers were complaining. The driver had no other choice but to bring it back to the station to refill its water tanks. 

While a Christian would attribute the whole experience of this Servant of God to Divine Providence, a rationalist would put it down to mere coincidence. Consider for a moment, however, the following: What if everything about this "lost and found" story had been foretold by way of writing in a certain book? Would a rationalist still put it down to an accident or a coincidence? No way. It is the same about Christ's life. It was not by chance that everything happened the way it did at His first coming. Rather, everything that transpired in His life was the Almighty's will!

Hmmmm...Didn't one wise man affirm "Prophecy is nothing but history written in advance"? 

Prayer: Father, Thou art Sovereign. Everything is in Your hands. We need not worry when a crisis comes calling. We resolve not to worry during our troubled times. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 11:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 20, 2018
Where you Grow

By Answers2Prayer 
  "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1:2-4 NLT)

When I was a boy growing up in my Nana's old house we had 4 huge gardens. Come June my Dad would be working the tiller while my Mom, brothers, and I would be planting the seeds. One garden held enough potatoes to feed us all year round. Others held corn, carrots, cabbages, onions, tomatoes, cantaloups, and watermelons. There were also so many flowers. My Nana had a special love for them and nurtured them. Flowers surrounded her old house and every year she would put down potting soil, plant new ones, and sing while she worked.

One June I can remember helping her go around the house pulling weeds and watering the freshly planted flowers. She was so gentle with them and gave them such love and care. I thought it was no wonder they grew so fast. When we where done I ran to get my bike to ride awhile. As I was getting on it, however, I noticed something. I got back off and knelt down on the concrete walkway that led to our porch. There growing out of a crack in the concrete without water, soil, or love was a single dandelion.

At times in my own life I have felt my growth nurtured, watered, and cared for like Nana's flowers. At other times I have felt like I was that dandelion having to grow through solid concrete. Through it all, though, I never stopped growing. Through it all, I never stopped loving. I realized that it doesn't matter where you grow. It just matters that you grow.

God loves you so much and God wants you to grow in this life. Make the choice to keep growing then no matter what your circumstances. Keep growing in love. Keep growing in goodness. Keep growing in kindness. Keep growing in oneness with God. Keep helping others to grow as well. Always remember that to live is to grow whether it is through the richest soil in the world or through a crack in the concrete.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 10:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 17, 2018

When Noah Found Spring
By Answers2Prayer 
  The sun is out, the temperatures have been above 0 for weeks, the grass is growing and the flowers--the ones that didn't come out in February and then get killed by the next snow--are starting to bloom. Everything--even the calendar!--says it's spring. 

As the earth buds with new life and the days get longer and warmer, spring is truly the official sign that the cold days of winter are past. It is a miracle, a sign of God that there are better days ahead.

It is true that winter in the region where I live was completely unimpressive in 2017, when this was written. Although I realize this is a sign of global warming, and although I understand that it may have put the farmers in a bad spot, I, for one, did not complain about the lack of snow. It was nice to be able to wear my light jacket for most of January and February. It was a blessing to not have to clean the driveway. It was such a relief to not have to worry about driving in the wet, slippery stuff. As a result, when thinking back over the winter of 2017, anyone from the region where I live will be scratching their heads about now, saying, "Why all the hype about spring? We didn't really ever have a winter!"

Nonetheless, no matter how warm or cold the winter has been, I am still psyched about spring, for it means that we don't have to worry about the cold weather again for an entire year.

More than likely anyone reading finds themselves right in the middle of winter -- If not a calendar winter, then a winter period of life. And if it is the latter, it has probably lasted more than the three month calendar period, too. In fact, the tell-tale signs of spring that are happening outside our homes right now are likely not visible in the winter period of your life!

You know what I mean. If ever there were a "winter" period of life, the time you spend dealing with cancer meets the criteria. So does that death that is still so raw. And the loss of your job/home/relationship/pet, etc. And more than likely, when you look out the "window" of your life, there are no signs that this will ever go away, that your life will ever return to normal.

I believe Noah knew exactly how you feel. He had been shut up in an ark for months and months. Sure, the ark eventually came to rest on Mount Ararat (after five long months! see Gen. 8:3,4); however, the bible tells us that it was another 2.5--months!--before other mountain peaks even became--visible! 

I don't know about you, but I would say Noah was in the middle of a very long winter with no spring in sight, and I know you can relate.

So what did Noah do?

He sent out a raven and a dove. The Bible says the raven, "flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up" (Gen. 8:7 NLT), but the dove, "could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat..." (Gen. 8:9 NLT). 

Well what good did that do? They were still entrenched in their "winter" with no spring in sight. 

There was, however, a part to the story that Noah couldn't see. God was doing something on a more global scale: "He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped. So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth." (Gen. 8:1b-3a NLT). 

Why couldn't Noah see this? 

Because it took time: time for the Earth to dry out; time for the water to recede; time for the plant-life, so vital to sustaining life on Earth, to regrow. 

Was Noah discouraged? 

I would have been. But the Bible records that even after the first dove returned, in fact, just seven days later, Noah again sent out the dove, and this time, "...the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak." (Gen. 8:11 NLT). 

Yes, God was at work resolving Noah's problem, and when the time was right, God sent a ray of hope, a dove carrying an olive leaf. No, Noah still couldn't leave the ark. In fact, he was in the ark for a total of 12.5 months. Nonetheless, in the midst of the despair, Noah sought hope, and God sent it to him.

It doesn't look like your winter is over yet. Those "flood waters" are still very much surrounding everything, and you are still "trapped" in your circumstance. Nonetheless, there is hope. Spring will come, and if you make the effort to seek that hope, if you "send out the dove", so to speak, God will give you the hope that you so desperately need to get through the rest of your "winter". He may not do it at once, but don't despair. Remember that Noah had to send out the dove twice before receiving his hope. Just keep on looking to the One who knows how to dry out the Earth; the One who knows how and when to send the spring; the One who assures you that your Winter will end. Ask Him for confirmation that this will be over, and then watch for His response!

Happy Spring!

In His love,
Lyn 

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 15 Mar 2018, 10:21 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 15, 2018

3 Steps to Getting Your Prayers Answered

By Answers2Prayer
  I really don't want to walk in the rain, I thought.

"C'mon let's go anyway," hubby said as we walked out the front door. 

The wind was blowing and a few sprinkles came down. I hesitated but relinquished to his insistence. 

"The sun will come out; trust me," he said.

I held his hand as we made it to the driveway. "Wait a minute," he said as he opened the car door, "let me grab the umbrella from the trunk, just in case."

Umbrella? I thought he was confident it wouldn't rain. I thought he was acting in faith that the sprinkles would stop. His words said one thing, but his actions said another.

We do that too, don't we? We declare we have faith God will take care of the situation. We just know that our trust is complete. But as we claim to believe God will show up and solve all our needs, our actions tell a different story.

And when we do our best to walk on that faith, something inside whispers doubt. And next, we focus on the circumstances urging us to act contrary to what we said we believe.

But there's help. If you're walking in a downpour of conflict or disappointment, in 1 John 3:14-15 are nestled three powerful ways for you to walk through any circumstance with confidence, secure and firm.

Step 1: "...our trust isn't placed in things of this world, in the situation or in others. Not at all, this is the confidence that we have toward him ..."

Step 2: We know to ask not according to our whims, but according to God's will, "...that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us."

Step 3: Sleep comes easy at night because with renewed confidence, we declare: "And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him."

Do you believe in this truth...or are you holding onto the umbrella of doubt?
Janet
Janet Eckles

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 08 Mar 2018, 8:49 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 8, 2018

Arm-stretching? Or Reading Glasses? Part 1


By Answers2Prayer 
  "Nothing wrong with my eyes," I joked to my optometrist. "It's my arms. They are getting shorter by the day!"

Her retort was instant: "We do have an arm-stretcher in the basement..."

Unfortunately for me, that solution sounded like something straight from the Middle Ages. As much as I don't particularly like wearing glasses, that particular alternative was far worse!

I was thinking about that as I searched for my glasses this morning. My cell phone was blinking, indicating I had received a message of some kind; but without that all-important pair of lenses balancing atop my nose, there would be no way I could read it. Even with longer arms. I eventually located the missing necessity, and as I poised them over my eyes, the words became crystal clear.

It's true that I've worn glasses for reading for more years than I can remember; yet each time I try to read without them, and then look at the same print with them on, I am truly in awe that something so small, something so simple, can make such a difference. It makes me think. There was a time when my arms were "long enough", and I spent hours of every day devouring written material without glasses. There was this one book, however, that I couldn't read, no matter how hard I tried. Oh, I could see the print clearly, but no matter how much time I spent trying to decipher those words, their meaning eluded me. The title of the book? The Bible. 

I must not have been the only one whose arms were too "short", for there are thousands of volumes written to explain the meaning of its words. In fact, there are so many volumes that I even found the explanations confusing, for they seemed to contradict each other. 

I decided then, that I would only read the volumes written by my own denomination. After all, they proclaimed the same messages taught from the pulpit each week. How could they be "wrong"? As time went on, however, I became a bit curious. What if my church's explanation of the Bible was wrong? What if this elusive book actually taught something different from what my church claimed? Should I blindly take their interpretation? Or should I read it for myself? 

I decided to try again, and since my spiritual vision was still very poor, I "stretched my arms" by disciplining myself to get up early every morning and stay up late every night reading it. I even "stretched my arms" by forcing myself to read it through in a year. Unfortunately, no matter how much my arms "stretched", the results were the same: I still couldn't understand that book! 

One day, someone suggested there was a pair of "spiritual glasses" that would help me understand. To be perfectly honest, I was incensed that this particular person would think I needed "spiritual glasses". After all, there was nothing wrong with my vision. It was just that my "arms" were still "too short"! 

It was true, however, that all of my "arm-stretching" had resulted in nothing but sore shoulders and joints. What if there really were spiritual "reading glasses", something that would help me understand the Bible?

I decided to put God to the test. After all, it is His Word, so I humbled myself before Him and repented of my prideful attempts to understand His book on my own. I then began begging Him to give me those "spiritual glasses"...

Then one day, I received the gift of God's Spirit, and now, every time I open the Bible, its meaning is clear. It teaches me Truth. It speaks directly to my heart, giving me guidance in my day to day life and assistance in my walk with God. What a difference this has made!

Are your spiritual "arms" too "short"? Has your "arm-stretching" to date been painful but non-productive? Are you relying on the interpretation of others? Why not try God's Spiritual glasses? Remember, since God's Spirit inspired the book ("All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." 2 Tim. 3:16 NLT), who better to interpret it? The next time you sit down to read your Bible, I encourage you to pray this simple prayer from your heart: 

Dear God, please send your Spirit to unblind my spiritual eyes and unstop my spiritual ears. May Your word be: "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105 KJV). May Your Word, "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12a ESV), truly pierce "to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow" (Heb. 4:12b ESV). May it discern "the thoughts and intentions of heart." (Heb. 4:12c ESV)

You'll be amazed at the difference.

I must admit, however, that there are times when I put on my glasses and I still can't see...Join us on Saturday for "Arm-Stretching? Or Reading Glasses?" Part 2.

In His love,
Lyn
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 06 Mar 2018, 6:18 pm

“Welcome to the Nugget

March 6, 2018

The Only Way to Stay Safe from Troubles


By Answers2Prayer
  Why did I give in?

Some years ago, my friends and I walked on the soft sand in the Cabo San Lucas beaches.

She elbowed me. "You're going with us. C'mon, parasailing will be fun."

I frowned. "You're nuts. I'm not doing that," I said. "Going up in the air with nothing underneath me? Ain't happening."

"You'll love it." She shook my arm and her voice grew with excitement. "C'mon where's your sense of adventure?"

My sense of adventure was at home in Orlando, where it belonged--safe and secure.

With her nudging, a little tiny part of me said, "Why not...what could happen?"

I gave a long sigh. "All right, I'll go."

Once I was strapped in, the man placed my hands on the leather bands. "Hold on tight."

Slowly, we were lifted up in the air and the wind lifted my hair. My friend giggled, oohed and aahed. Then she said, "Whatever you do, don't fool with the metal hook."

Ah! The hook. The one latch that connected the seat to the parachute. Should that hook come undone, or should I somehow open it and let the strap loose, I'd plop 30 feet into the Pacific Ocean and turn into an afternoon snack for the sharks below.

Crazy experience. But crazier is the fact that we're also dangling above the tension of life. Almost daily we're threatened by the teeth of anxiety that could devour our peace and bite into our confidence.

Knowing that, we should never, never undo the hook that connects us to the One who keeps us afloat. The One who sustains us above the fangs of adversity. The One who holds us beyond the reach of despair.

And when we're safely connected to His power, we're secure and protected from any and all dangers, threats or evil that hovers about. Nothing can touch us for "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-18 NIV).

In Him all things hold together. What relief, what freedom! Not in our efforts, our performance, our image, or our crazy ways. None of that holds our life together. It's only the connection with Him who has the power to lift us above problems, struggles, and daily battles that can keep us secure and safe.

What are you connected to these days?

Janet
Janet Eckles

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 03 Mar 2018, 11:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 3, 2018

One Person

By Answers2Prayer 
  "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18)

In his many books and lectures the great educator, Leo Buscaglia showed us time and again how the love of just one person can change a life and change the world. I remember especially his story about the noted psychologist, Dr. Skeels.  

In the early 20th century orphaned children were often warehoused in badly understaffed institutions where they received little if any attention or love. At one time Dr. Skeels took 12 of these orphaned children and let them be cared for, a few hours each day, by mentally retarded 
adolescent girls at a nearby institution. He also studied 12 other children who were left in the orphanage all day long. He followed these children until adulthood and the results he found were shocking. Of the 12 children left all day in the orphanage without love and attention all were either dead, in institutions for the mentally retarded or in institutions for the mentally ill. Of the 12 children cared for and loved by the mentally retarded teenage girls all were self-supporting, most had graduated high school, and all were happily married. The only difference in the lives of these children had been the love of one person.

God loves us all so much and His greatest wish is for us to love each other as well. Let us never forget then just how vital our love can be to another. Patrick McCauley wrote "Some of us will reach millions, most of us will reach a few, and some will reach only one person. However, given the infinite significance of each person, there is no difference in the end."

Give your love, your kindness, and your heart to others today. You never know whom you might touch, whom you might help, and whose life you may save. As Thomas Merton said: "How can anyone tell how much he owes to the goodness of those who love him?" You may be just one person and you may touch just one person but that alone can change the world. 

Joseph J. Mazzella

 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 8:46 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 1, 2018
Prepare

By Answers2Prayer 
 Preparation seems to be a huge slice of anything we undertake. Even when I am washing up, I prepare the plates by clearing them of scraps, of rinsing the drinking cups, of emptying any used saucepans and so on. Then I begin the washing up.

Planning a garden bed is similar. Organize the tools, dig out wayward grasses, pull out weeds, form firm edgings and plan space for each plant to be planted.

Or we are used to preparing things such as shopping trips (how many times have you forgotten to take your shopping list?), visiting friends -- you usually phone them ahead of time and offer to take with you whatever they might need. Oh, and don't forget to buy your travel ticket or put fuel in your vehicle!

We are good at preparing so what do you suppose Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3 and Luke 3:4 meant us to understand when they quoted, "prepare ye the way of the Lord"? 

Of course, Isaiah, Malachi and Psalms had said it long before they did so I began to try to work out how it applies to this humble reader. What on earth could I do to prepare the way of the Lord? It is far too great an event for simple me to make any 'way of the Lord' worthy of such an event. 

Nobody in their right mind would even think of asking me to prepare for anything so significant so why was it put right there where I would inevitably read it? Was I being told to 'plant trees up the driveway,' or 'mow the lawn,' or 'get your neighbors together to put flowers in the windows and pot plants on the front steps?' Would that be what was meant?

Years ago I remember when the 'way' in this area was being prepared for the Queen and any suggestion that I could begin to do anything worthy of royalty is laughable. How much less for the Lord of the whole universe!

Then almost by accident I found out that the word, 'prepare,' has special meaning. As used by Matthew, Mark and Luke at least, it means to prepare spiritually. Now it makes sense. Heart and mind must be prepared if His coming means well for anyone. 

The farmer might be harvesting wheat, the cattleman might be fencing a new cattle-yard, the shopkeeper might be helping to re-stock his shelves, the nurse might be applying a bandage, a mother might be doing the washing for her children, a father might be on his way to work to earn his wages.

You or I might simply be going about our daily duties but at every moment we can still, "prepare the way of the Lord." (Mark 1:3 NLT) We will have had those moments of free time or 'easy' time when we can have prayed for His grace, or read Scripture assuring us of His grace. But when we are busy with daily chores, we might simply think a silent prayer asking for all we love to be covered by His grace.

No matter what you or I might be doing, we can "Prepare the way of the Lord" in its spiritual significance in our corner of the world. 

So you will join me won't you? Please, please? 

Elizabeth Price  
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©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 5:27 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
February 27, 2018

Connected
bible
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
"Therefore encourage and build one another up, just as you are already doing." (1 Thess. 5:11 NIV)

One of my earliest memories was watching my Mom talk on our old rotary dial telephone. I was fascinated that she was talking to someone who wasn't actually in the room with her. When she finally hung up and left the room I slowly walked over to the phone and stared at it for a minute. Then I gently reached down and picked up the receiver. When I put it to my ear I was shocked to hear voices still speaking on it. I quickly and quietly hung it back up not knowing what to make of it. Later my older brother explained to me that we were on a party line and couldn't make a call while someone else was using it.

That, of course, was a long time ago. We switched to a private line soon after that and then later got a push button phone. Next came mobile phones that you could carry around the house with you. After that came computers, cell phones, and smart phones. These days I can send an e-mail half way around the world in a second. My daughter's smart phone has a hundred apps and a dozen social media accounts. She stores all of her information in a mysterious place known as the cloud. We are it seems more connected in this world than ever before.

What bothers me, though, is that as much as we are connected to each other, we rarely connect with each other. Few people write letters to each other these days. Few take the time to talk face to face. Instead of talking on the phone we text. Instead of looking into our loved ones' eyes we stare down at our phones. Instead of holding hands we scroll and swipe. It seems like the most connected generation may also be the loneliest.

Don't let that happen. Don't let technology take your time and your life away from you. Make the time to talk, to live, and to love. Make the time to meet, to pray, and to touch. Take a walk on the beach with a friend. Sit on the porch and watch the sunset. Play a game of chess or checkers. Hold hands and say Grace before a meal. Have a long conversation with the phones off and the hearts on. Connect offline as well as online.

Remember that God put us here to love each other. God put us here to help each other. God put us here to make this world a better place. When your technology can help you to do these things then use it. But when it can't turn it off.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 11:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
Februry 22, 2018
When a Moralistic Mission goes awry, Part 2
By Answers2Prayer 
  Continuing with our series "When a moralistic mission goes awry", now we come to its penultimate part ...
Miscalculation...

The obvious offshoot of neither prayerfully looking unto the Lord before embarking on a major spiritual mission nor seeking the Levitical guidance resulted in a gross miscalculation on David's part. He went by recent history--the Philistines had transported the Ark in a Cow-driven cart (see 1 Sam 6:1-14) instead of Scriptures. Yes, the Philistines who were ignorant of the Biblical precepts on Ark transportation (Numbers 4:15/Numbers 7:19) were divinely excused; but how could the Covenantal people to whom the Law was given plead innocence or ignorance in this vital issue (Luke 12:48)? No way! Divine anger was only waiting to spill over, and it did when... 


Mishap...

As per the Divine scheme of things in order, the Lord's response to a reprehensible mishandling of a vital subject is publicly manifested. The oxen stumbled, and what followed is too well-known to be documented again. Mind you, the oxen stumbling was no accident, but a Divinely-ordained occurrence (Matt 10:29)!

Now for a subject within a subject...The ark had stayed for a period of time at Abinadab's house (2 Samuel 6:3), where his sons, Uzzah and Ahio, may well have become accustomed to its presence. There's an old saying, "familiarity breeds contempt," that could apply in this case. Uzzah, having been around the ark in his own home, could very likely forget the holiness that it represented. There are times when we, too, fail to recognize the holiness of God, and we also become too familiar with Him with an irreverent attitude. Time for making amends! 

Prayer: Father, we love you and fear You. Enable us always to walk with You in reverential fear and the comfort of the Holy Spirit like the early Christians. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 5:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 3, 2018

I Stole Watermelons Only Once


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23b NIV).

The young person sat before me and said, "I stole watermelons only once."

I don't recall even nodding before the rest of the story came out:

"A group of us young people went in a car to large fields known for their watermelon patches.

"It was a darkish evening mid-October. As we drove with the headlights off, along a tree row, some of us kept getting out of the car to investigate. We discovered some dew-wet watermelons shining in the pale moonlight on the other side of the almost-leafless trees. We grabbed up some and scrambled back into the car. They seemed small and poor down at our feet. The patch had obviously been harvested. Slowly we drove to the end of the tree row.

"Suddenly, out stepped some persons of the collective farm, barely visible in their typical dark clothing! Fearing hitting them, we switched on the car lights. In their arms, they held out beautiful, big watermelons for us to take. We humbly accepted them.

"I never stole watermelons again."

The young person who had stolen watermelons was saved from stealing again by the free gift of beautiful watermelons--grace given by those sinned against, to the ones who had sinned--just as God offers grace to those who sin against Him--and that's us all.

We read at Romans 2:4b that, "God's kindness leads you toward repentance". Yes, His surprising kindness, His undeserved goodness, His grace. Not punishment, but free grace leads us to repentance and acceptance of His gift.

We read and know that, "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). And Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand" (John 10:28).

Jesus, with the gift of His own life, purchased the ticket for our security, our entry into heaven, and our stay for eternity.

We hear over and again that we can do nothing to earn or pay for our salvation; our Lord has done everything necessary for time and eternity. True, very true. So, what is our motive for doing good in the meantime?

When God's graciousness has reoriented our perspectives, "appreciation" becomes a gigantic word. We do good in appreciation for what God has done for us through His grace in Jesus Christ. With our whole selves, our whole lives, we want to share God's goodness, His free gift.

Prayer: Dear God, please direct our lives so that we will live in appreciation of your gifts. Freely we have received. Guide us by your Holy Spirit to freely pass on your great, free, undeserved goodness. Thank you for the vast extent of your gift: "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." Amen.

By Isabel Allison
Roland, Manitoba, Canada


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©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 8:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 23, 2018

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God
By Answers2Prayer 
  "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world" (Psalm 19:1-4 NIV). 

It was a very snowy winter. Snow after snow fell, day after day. We lived in a very white world.

As spring thaw began, a team of horses pulling a sleigh suddenly went down so deep beside the winter-packed tracks that they threw snow over their backs as they struggled getting themselves up again onto firmer snow.

A Sunday sleigh-load of youths secured their horses at the bottom and yanked toboggans to the top of nearby Turtle Mountain in southern Manitoba's Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, but the toboggans only sank in the very deep snow and had to be yanked downhill, too.

A farmer piled a hayrack with dead deer that had not been able to hoof through the snow to eat the old grasses and fallen leaves down under. Afterwards, this was called "The year of the Wakopa starvation." The hamlet's store was running out of food, for the train couldn't run. (Wakopa is long gone from maps.)

But one frosty evening that same winter, men doing their outdoor farm chores of cattle-care rushed into the house: "You've got to see this! Hurry."

We women and children wriggled into coats and boots and went outside.

The whole great dome of sky glowed in vast, tiered circles of rainbow colors: pinky-red, blue, pale green -- pinky-red, blue, pale green. From the high center zenith directly overhead, down to the bare tree-tips of the all-around rim of sparsely forested horizon, the totally brilliant color was broken only by the immediate farm buildings.

The colors shimmered and swayed gently as we turned ourselves about, staring at that great dome, immense like the prairie sky of summer, yet also so near and intimate.

We were awe-struck, knowing that we were privileged to be experiencing what only God could show us. We were amazed, overflowing with the glory that Isaiah experienced: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3b).

Even greater still is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27) -- glory that can glow in believing hearts forever, even as Jesus said, until "he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26b).

Let us speak enthusiastically of God's might and the glorious splendor of His kingdom! (Psalm 145:11)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your prayer, "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world" (John 17:24). Thank you for giving your life so that we can live in your glory forever. Amen.

By Isabel Allison 
Roland, Manitoba, Canada

 
Announcement:
Looking for tips on how to witness to your non-christian friends and family?  Check out "Fishers of men!" a two-part mini-series by Suresh Manoharan.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:47 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 20, 2018

The Light, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Thursday, in "The Light, Part 2", we saw from my habit of shining my flashlight on my prayer list while walking with my dog before the sun comes up, that we can become distracted, even by "good" things, even by things that God may have called us to do; and the moment that "good" thing gets in the way of something that is even more important in the moment, then that "good" thing can becomes a stumbling block. 

As I thought about the lessons I learned by being "discovered" in my "bad" habit by none other than my neighbor, I began to realize one other vitally important lessons... 

The Bible teaches us that we have victory in Jesus over illness, over financial problems, over addictions, over temptation, over sin, etc. These are ours, gifts from Jesus for having accepted His Salvation. They are, in fact, part of His precious gift to us, and we are encouraged to use them! We are encouraged to commit our illnesses to Jesus. We are encouraged to give Him our financial concerns. We are told to clothe ourselves in His armor so that we can overcome addictions and temptations, and all the other traps of the devil! But we are told something else that is vital: We are told to pray for one another (James 5:16, Luke 6:28, Eph 3:2, etc) and to hold one another up (1 Thess 5:11, Gal 6:2, Heb 10:24, etc). 

Remember how shining the light on my pray list actually blinded me to the road at my feet, causing me to weave back and forth across the road, stumble on the cracks, and nearly fall into the drainage ditches? When we focus only on our own needs, even when we are focused on giving those needs to God, on taking a stand in faith for healing, for breakthrough, for deliverance, etc., then the very act of focusing on ourselves can blind us to the needs of others around us! 

Is it wrong to pray for our own healing and deliverance?

Absolutely not. The danger comes when we do so exclusively, when we allow our own needs and weaknesses to "override" the needs of others. 

Shortly after my encounter with my neighbour, who was convinced I was some hopeless case who couldn't even stop reading long enough to take my dog for a walk, I went to work. I must tell you that for some time, I had been experiencing fluctuations of sensation in my fingers and toes, as if they are constantly on the verge of becoming numb. I had been claiming victory over this in Jesus' name, and the numbness would alwys leave; and so I found myself praying against this numbness as I was pushing wheelchairs and running around doing direct patient care. I could hear God speaking to me, however: "Did you know that Mr. ____ had a stroke?" 

"Yes, of course I know that, God, he is, after all, my patient." 

"Do you realize what troubles this stroke has caused him? Do you realize that as a result, he has no where to live? No one to take care of his new needs? Do you remember that he can no longer walk by himself? He can't even take himself to the toilet, let alone do his cooking, cleaning, banking, etc. While you are praying for the numbness in your hands, have you even thought to pray for him?" 

"Of course, Lord. I prayed for him just this morning, while I was out walking the dog. You remember, right? That's who I was praying for when the neighbor caught me 'reading' while I was walking in the dark!"

"But have you prayed for him as earnestly as you've prayed for your fingers?"

I didn't have an answer for that one. Nor for the multiple other similar questions God would pose that day. I was, in essence, shining my flashlight on my own concerns, and even though they were good concerns, ones that God tells us to claim, it was blocking my ability to be there for others.

This is the last lesson God had for me regarding the light and my morning walk with my dog and my prayer list: When I focus on myself, even for good, solid, Biblical reasons, I cannot be there for the needs of others. And since we are admonished to put the needs of others ahead of our own needs ("Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves." Phil. 2:3 NLT), I was not walking in the will of God. 

Oh God, forgive me for putting my light under a basket ("No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket..." Matt 5:15a NLT), Forgive me for my self-focus! Help me instead to place it, "...on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house" (vs 15b) by leaving my own problems in your hands so that I can be free to be there for others. Help me to stop shining my light for selfish reasons; but instead, to begin to use it for the world at large! 

This is the last lesson from my habit of shining my flashlight onto my prayer list instead of the road. If you have missed any of the lessons, please email me; or access them from the web by clicking here. God bless you as you shine your lights for others! 

Oh, and I no longer take my prayer list with me when I walk the dog before sunrise...Instead, I use my light for the road, and at the same time, I ask God to impress upon my mind the people I should pray for... 

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
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©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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