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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 13 Mar 2010, 12:47 pm

Today's Devotional:
STAR HEIRS
Dust storms settled across the landscape and dust flowed through every breath we took. It settled on the roof of the house, on the tiles on the veranda, and on the leaves of the plants and trees.
It was a hot and wearing time and we could do nothing to change it. Dust we lived in and dust we would have.
We almost settled for dust as though it were a normal part of life and we tended to put away thoughts of showers and greenery and the pleasure of walking among the trees. We were distracted from the side of our lives that lifted our spirits and gave us a sense of peace.
In fact, we almost forgot there was another side to our lives.
So I am glad to be reminded that when the Lord told Abraham he would have descendants as numerous as dust particles, he later also told Abraham that he would have descendant as numerous as the stars of the sky. ‘There sprang descendants as numerous as the stars in the heavens or the countless grains of sand on the seashore.’ Hebrews 11:12.
It helps me to understand why there are two different sides to life. There is the side that lives in the dust and thrives on life shrouded with the dust of all misery.
Then there is a side that sees through the dust and lives among the freshness of clean air, starlight and a clear sunrise coming over the horizon. It thrives on the life of the One born of heaven rather than the one born of dust.
Above all, it reminds me that we can be lifted out of the dust and we can be heirs of Christ who inherit all that heaven offers.
‘So if you belong to Christ, you are the issue of Abraham and heirs by virtue of the promise.’ Galatians 3:29.
Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 10 Mar 2010, 6:33 pm

Date: January 18, 2010 2:39 PM
Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
THEN I'LL BE HAPPY
"Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." (Neh 8:10 NIV)

For a good part of my life I suffered from a disease. This disease dampened my spirits, drained me of my energy, and robbed me of my vitality. Sometimes it even made it hard to get out of bed in the morning. It made every part of my life more difficult and demanding. For a while too it looked like this disease would be a weight I would have to carry for the rest of my life. This disease was called, "And then I’ll be happy."
I think I first caught it in middle school. During my younger years I seemed to always enjoy the moment and relish each day of my life. At some point during those middle school years, however, I remember starting to look to the future more and more and enjoying today less and less. At first I thought getting into high school and being a teenager would make me happy. Then the dream switched to being the high school football star. That was followed by being on my own in college. Next came having a great career and high paying job. Getting rich and having that big house followed it. After that was the dream of raising a family. Then there was retiring and finally enjoying my life. Each dream postponed my happiness a little further down the road. Finally I realized that if I kept going this way, I would be dead before I was happy.
That is when I came to see that it would be a lot better to be happy now than to live with this disease. Life I knew would always have fresh problems and frustrations, but I thought it would be a lot better to meet them with a happy heart and loving soul rather than waiting for life to be perfect. These days I am in remission. I still have occasional flare ups of "And then I’ll be happy," but I heal them by knowing that I can choose love and joy every second of my life.
God loves us all so much and wants us to be happy today, tomorrow, and forever. Let’s not let Him down. Let’s choose love, share joy, and spread happiness with every moment we have.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Mar 2010, 2:02 pm

Today's Devotional:
A LAND WITHOUT MAMMALS
My husband and I took a very special trip this past Christmas. In celebration of our 25th wedding anniversary, he took me on a surprise trip to New Zealand.
It was an exceptional trip all around, and we learned many interesting facts. One of the facts that surprised me was that before man came to these two out-of-this-world islands, there were only two species of mammals living there. Both were tiny bats. Other than these, the islands were inhabited only by reptiles and amphibians, bugs and birds.
Some time before 1300 ad, a group of indigenous Polynesian people arrived in New Zealand. Over time they came to inhabit the islands, developing a distinct culture, the Maori culture. With them came the Polynesian rat and the dog. The arrival of the Europeans in New Zealand in the 18th century brought more mammals to the fertile lands. Rabbits and deer were introduced for sport. Having no natural enemies on the islands, these mammals thrived and soon became a nuisance. Stoats were introduced to control the rabbits, and soon they, too, were out of control. Possums were introduced to augment the fur trade. These soon became so numerous that they are now jokingly known as "New Zealand Speed Bumps" due to the vast number of possum road kill that can be seen along the sides of any New Zealand road.
It wasn't long before the natural fauna of New Zealand began to suffer from these introductions. There have been 57 species of birds that have gone extinct. Some were overhunted for food. Others died off due to loss of habitat - indiscriminate forest burning, logging, forest clearing for pastureland. Still others became extinct because of the introduction of predatory animals, including bird enemies numbers one and two, stoats and rats. The prominent extinction groups are all 14 of the ancient Moa species, 11 rails, 6 wrens and both of the indigenous eagles.
Of the remaining indigenous species, most, if not all, including the famous Kiwi bird, are considered endangered.
It's sad, isn't it?
The story is similar for the flora of New Zealand. The giant Kauri trees are seriously endangered thanks to the forestry and gum industries. Introduced trees and plants thrive on the islands, crowding out the native flora.
Is it any wonder that the department of conservation in New Zealand is as active as it is?
God created our world to survive and thrive in a delicate balance. Whenever man has interfered with that balance, the result has been disastrous to the indigenous animal and plant life of the region. We see this all over the globe, and on a much more global scale, we currently are experiencing this with the effects of global warming.
So why do we interfere with nature?
Mostly for selfish reasons. Sport, industry, convenience. But it makes you think. God also created human beings to survive and thrive in this world. We could have all lived in harmony with His nature, except for one tiny thing: We weren't content to live as "part" of nature, we wanted to exploit nature and bring it under our control for our own enjoyment and profit.
Where did we go wrong?
We went wrong the day we decided to look towards satisfying our own desire for knowledge, rather than trusting that God was everything we would ever need.
Now I'm not pointing the finger at Adam and Eve. Any one of us would have done the same. What I want to do is to follow the advice of Paul, " … Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead …" (Phil 3:13) Paul encourages us to learn from the past, but not to dwell in it. Our goal is to take what we've learned and use that knowledge to make the future better.
It's too late to save the extinct flora and fauna of New Zealand, but it isn't too late to shape a better future. We can learn from our past mistakes. We can let God help us overcome our selfishness and our greed. We can let God work through us to shape a future that is better than what we now have. But it has to start with us-you, and me!
Lord, may our daily prayer be this: Reveal to us where selfishness and pride continue to rampage in our hearts! Help us to hate our innate selfishness and pride, and yield these to You! Strip us of ourselves so that we can have a positive impact on the world. Bring us back in line with what you intended for us from the beginning: Lives focused 100% on You! Only then is there any hope for our future!
In His love,
Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 05 Mar 2010, 2:42 pm

THORNS
We've all heard the saying "a thorn in my side" but do you know where it comes from...the rest of the story? And the promise that comes with the thorn?
The apostle Paul says that a thorn, figuratively, was allowed to remain in his flesh. The purpose: to keep him humble. To remind him that when he succeeds, it is because of God at work. The thorn was allowed because if Paul was in perfect condition, it would have been easy for him to take credit for his ministry, instead of recognizing God as the true source of all power.
Don't think though that Paul didn't beg and plead with God to remove the thorn. But, God, in His grace and wisdom, gave him a promise. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9.
Is there a thorn in your flesh that you have been begging to remove? Is it possible that He has allowed a particular situation in order to show that He is enough for you? I know the circumstances that I pray to God to change...and He hasn't really. I have dropped to my knees in the quiet of my kid's closet, because that was the only quiet place, and asked Him, "How am I supposed to do and say the things You want me to in the middle of this?" In His wisdom He directed me to Paul's thorn. Paul probably said the same thing...You want me to go where and do what with this going on? God's word to Paul applies to me, and to all of us.
So, like Paul, I suck it up, bite my lip, and focus my eyes on God. And in the end, at the end of the day, I know that God was with me. Every step. There is no place He asks us to go, literally and figuratively, that He doesn't go before us and behind us. If you are facing an impossible situation and are using a thorn as an excuse to behave in a less than godly way, stop. Do what you are feeling justified in not doing, and watch God work. If your life was perfect, with no conflicts or thorns, you would miss an opportunity to see God.
Let His grace be sufficient for you. Accept it for yourself, but don't forget to offer it to others. That may be the lesson He is waiting for me to learn.
Debbie Giese
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 03 Mar 2010, 11:27 pm

TEARS IN A BOTTLE

"Put Thou my tears into Thy bottle; are they not in Thy book?" (Psalm 56:8 KJV)
"Do you see this woman? I came into your house, you did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair." (Luke 7:44 NIV)
Can you imagine collecting a lifetime of tears in a bottle? How would those tears describe your life? Several weeks ago, I received a lovely email devotional explaining the ancient custom of collecting tears. One individual shared her experience in Jerusalem and the artifacts she obtained dating back to the time of Christ, among them a tear bottle made from blown glass. Interestingly, these bottles were commonly used to preserve tears during times of grief and were eventually meant to be buried along with a loved one or with its owner.
Reflecting on the ancient practice of collecting tears, the woman in today’s scripture must have had plenty of tears to literally wash the feet of her Savior. Living a sinful life until she met Jesus, some scholars believe that her tears came from her own tear bottles. Provoking thought, we will never know for certain. However, the important moral in this story is the tears she shed were tears of heartfelt repentance.
Contemplating times of sorrow in my own life, like most people there are many regrets. Sometimes we suffer because of things outside our control yet because we are all sinners; many times we are simply living outside of God’s perfect will. In any case, thanks to the God of all compassion, when our hearts are made right before Him, we can then move forward with confidence trusting the Lord in His mercy to redeem us from all evil.
Prayer
Father, during this Lenten season inspire us to examine our hearts before You. Let the precious blood of Your Son cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And may Your Spirit keep us humbly devoted to Your service now and forever. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Lori Ciccanti
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 24 Feb 2010, 12:07 pm

ARE WE PRAISING OR COMPLAINING
“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” (Heb. 13:15 KJV)
One of the definitions that I found in Webster’s Dictionary for continually is “indefinitely in time without interruption”. I am ashamed to admit it but I don’t praise God continually. There are times when I allow satan to discourage me. As a result of allowing satan to discourage me, instead of praising God continually I let my circumstances and lack of money interrupt my praises to God. How about you? Do you continually praise God without interruption?
I think if we are honest with ourselves, all of us will have to admit that we do not praise God continually. After all He has done for us; we must hurt Him and break His heart when we don’t continually praise Him. Our Scripture verse instructs us to “offer the sacrifice of praise”. This means that we are to praise Him in the bad times as well as in the good times. May God have mercy on us and forgive us for only thanking Him and praising Him when everything is okay in our lives.
Heavenly Father, we do thank You and praise You for all that You have done for us and for all that You do for us every day of our lives. Please forgive us for not praising You continually. Help us to praise You in the bad times as well as in the good times. We pray that we will become praisers instead of being complainers. May we not only thank You and praise You, but may we also live so that others will see Jesus in us. Amen.
Joanne Lowe
July 8, 2009
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 29 Jan 2010, 5:03 pm

Today's Devotional:
KLEENEX ANGELS
"This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you." (John 15:12-13 NASB)
I first heard about Alex and his mom, Diane, from his first grade teacher - my daughter. She had asked me to pray for him, and it wrenched my heart as she explained the circumstances. Alex’s mom was dying of cancer and wasn’t expected to live much longer. In early December the doctors admitted her to the hospital for what they considered to be the final time.
A friend of mine took a small white lace angel to Diane, asking the family members present that day to tell Alex this angel was to remind him that his mother would always be in the presence of angels.Diane managed to hold onto life by a thread as Alex’s 7th birthday rolled around, and then died 4 days later- two weeks before Christmas. Alex and his father took the little angel home and placed it on top of their tree. When Alex returned to his first grade classroom, he brought the little white angel to show his classmates. He carefully put it in a little box and handled it, oh, so lovingly!
His classmates had known of Alex’s mother serious illness, and as he showed them this wondrous angel, he said that his mother now resided in heaven. I happened to stop by their classroom that day, and Alex opened the box and showed me the angel. Tears ran down my face as I hugged Alex.
Before I knew it, one his classmate was tugging at my skirt. She held in her hand an angel made from a Kleenex and scotch tape, and as she handed it to me, she said, “Here, this one is for you!”
How very sweet, I thought, and delightfully thanked her .
That evening I spoke with my daughter on the phone, and she told me that shortly after I left the classroom, she looked around, and this little girl had made Kleenex angels for the entire class!!! They were everywhere- on desktops, backpacks, a few dropped on the floor, and some in the pockets or hands of the precious first graders.
This child demonstrated such a spontaneous and sweet act of kindness . May we all have a heart as big as this child!
Marion Smith
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jan 2010, 7:37 pm

WINTER REIGN
“While the earth remains, Seedtime and harvest, Cold and heat, Winter and summer, And day and night Shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22); "You have set all the borders of the earth; You have made summer and winter." (Psalm 74:17).

In all of the seasons of the year, winter is seen as the most unproductive, coldest, most dreary and dull season. A season of no growth, of barrenness and lifeless images. It is never a season one longs for. I have never heard any individual say "I can’t wait for winter", or "There is so much fun I am going to have", or even "I wish winter would come sooner".

Nighttime predominates the winter season. Much like the winters in our life. Where there is darkness all around us and we can’t see any life, growth or even fruit. The first thoughts that enter our hearts are thoughts of dismay, hopelessness, despondency and despair. Yet it is in the winters of our life that we incline our ear closely to God as we wait upon Him for deliverance and guidance. In all of the other three seasons, we work and see fruit thereof. It is only in winter that we wait and allow ourselves to be carried in the arms of a loving Father. Sometimes we need to let ourselves fall into the bosom of our Father. Winter allows us to come to a point of rest in Christ.

A year is not complete if winter did not come and so our spiritual cycle is not complete unless winter comes. Serving God in the summer of our life is a fruitful season yet serving God in the winters of our life defines a true child. God has established every season for us but winter can prove to be the toughest of them all. Will we break and turn away when the days become darker, colder and tougher or are we strengthened to spur on even when we are not able to see the sunlight?

During the winter season, the ground is barren but it finds its time of rest and though we see no signs of life, it is in its recuperation stage where it is preparing itself for new growth and spring. Instead waiting for winter to pass, we should relax in its recuperation phase of being rejuvenated to continue bearing good fruit. The leaves of all plants die but the root of the tree remain intact.

Be grounded in Christ so even when we are left bare in winter, our roots will remain strong and nourished in the Almighty God. Even though you go through the waters, it will not flood and when you are in the fire, not a hair on your head will be burnt. Do not despise chastening, discipline, and even pruning, because the Lord chastens those He loves. Even Job understood that it is easy to praise God when the times are bountiful and good so how about having the same countenance when nothing is going according to our own understanding and plans. Though he will slay me, yet I will praise him.

Are you prepared to praise God in the winters of your life? Or will the coldness of the times render your heart bitter and hard? Let us not harden our hearts in rebellion or we will be left to wander in winter for longer than we need too. God does not punish us with winter, He prepares us for spring. He calls us aside in stillness and barreness yet to show us His glory. Moses radiated God’s glory after he spent time with Him. Winter allows us to separate ourselves and leave us alone in the presence of God and when we leave God’s presence, His light and love illuminates in us and His glory is revealed.



I have learned this the difficult way but it is worth it. Winter allows you to realign your focus and shifts you from norm into unknown. Many of us only step out in faith when we are pushed into it. Don’t wait for the light at the end of the tunnel anymore, bring the light of Christ into the tunnel.

Reign in the winter of your life with Christ and adore him with your obedience. Obedience is better than any sacrifice one could offer. Spiritual growth needs winter months for you never know what you are made up off unless you are put to the test. Guard your heart in winter and wear your breastplate of righteousness, protect your mind with the helmet of salvation, gird your loins with the belt of truth, shoe your feet with the gospel of peace, draw your sword of the spirit and shield yourself with the shield of faith.

Winter does not last forever but a momentary season just passing through. Trust the Creator of the seasons to always keep you tilted to the "sonlight" though you may feel far away. Winter is not an easy season, but if you survive it, it means you were built to last. If we run with men on foot and get tired, how will we run with horses?

Prayer Thought

Dear Lord Jesus, help me in the winters of my life to trust You undoubtedly. Keep me rooted on Your word and even when I can’t see You or feel You nearby, help me know that You are omnipresent. Help me to grow when all is barren around me. Help me to be willing and obedient in all the seasons of growth. Let me reign with You in winter, Lord. In Jesus name I pray, amen

Hazel Moodley
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NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jan 2010, 11:04 am

NUGGET Today's Devotional:
PERPETUA FELICITAS
"And the ransomed of the Lord will return. They will enter Zion with singing; EVERLASTING JOY will crown their heads. Gladness and signing will flee away." (Isaiah 35:10 NIV)

In my study of early church history, one of the most fascinating and inspiring stories of faith is told by Perpetua, a young newly converted Christian martyred around the year 200 A.D. in Carthage (near modern Tunisia), North Africa. While in prison, she describes her experience and the events shared with close friend and fellow prisoner Felicitas. Believed to be the first writing generated by a Christian woman, the diary of Perpetua has been especially influential in the lives of many believers.

Writing two centuries after their deaths, early church father Augustine observed the significance of the names Perpetua and Felicitas; together meaning “Everlasting Joy.” This wonderful insight brought to mind the promise of today’s Scripture for all believers. Isaiah chapter 35 is a song of gladness when the desert will blossom like a rose at a time of renewal and healing. And the ultimate reward for the ransomed of the Lord is the promise of everlasting joy.

Confirming the faith of Perpetua and Felicitas, prior to their martyrdom it was reported they left their prison cell rejoicing. Perpetua’s journal was completed by other believers who witnessed the details of her execution. To avoid the appearance of grief, it was said she asked for a pin to straighten her hair moments before she was killed. Today an early marble inscription can be seen which bears the names of both women commemorating their faithfulness and sacrifice.

Hebrews chapter 11 lists the names of many heroes of faith stating in verse 13: “All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.” (NIV) Also, the Scripture assures us in 1 Corinthians 2:9: “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him.” (NIV) When faced with conflict, these heroes depended on God’s grace no different than people of faith today. Seeing the glory ahead, we too can receive the crown of everlasting joy; a crown of victory for those who place their hope in Him.

Prayer

Father, thank you for the faith and testimonies of Perpetua and Felicitias reminding us everlasting joy will crown the heads of all who are ransomed by the precious blood of our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for the rich heritage and glorious future of Your church through whom You live and reign forever. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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