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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 29 Nov 2016, 11:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 29, 2016
It's Elementary? Well, Mostly... Part 1

By Answers2Prayer
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson went on a camping trip. After sharing a good meal and a bottle of Petrie wine, they retire to their tent for the night.

At about 3 AM, Holmes nudges Watson and asks, "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what you see?"

Watson said, "I see millions of stars."

Holmes asks, "And, what does that tell you?"

Watson replies, "Astronomically, it tells me there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, it tells me that Saturn is in Leo. Theologically, it tells me that God is great and we are small and insignificant. Horologically, it tells me that it's about 3 AM. Meteorologically, it tells me that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What does it tell you, Holmes?"

Holmes retorts, "Someone stole our tent."

While it may not have cost much for Dr Watson to miss the obvious, it can cost us everything, if we miss out on basic Christmas related facts (some very obvious and some less obvious but nevertheless very significant ones)...In this series of four parts, yours truly aims to bring out very obvious and less obvious (I reiterate) nevertheless very significant lessons from the First Christmas.

Charity...

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life..." (John 3:16)

If Christmas doesn't remind us that God loves us infinitely, we are missing out on the obvious. Let's do some quizzing...pray, tell me (sic...Sherlockian colloquy) the opposites of the words...love and obedience respectively...well, do I hear...hatred and disobedience. Good, folks, you have got it right all right.

Now consider this Biblical portion...

"If we love God, we will do whatever he tells us to...." (2 John 1:6)

What would be the opposite of it...simple...hmmm...elementary...

"If we hate God, we would disobey Him"

What Adam and Eve did when they originally sank their teeth into the forbidden is just that...when a man sins is heart is hardened to the point of hatred against his Creator and Eternal benefactor.
We the descendants of Adam and Eve all "genetically" inherit that "hatred" for God and His ways. Every one of us are born with innate sense of "independence" from the very One who has created us. Oh for some, seasonal affair with God may be convenient but a lifetime of continual obedience,,,Boy, it's scary for them. Then there are some who are "indifferent" to Him, masking all the time their hatred to the very One, they owe their lives to.

It is precisely into this World of proven "God-haters" (Rebellious First parents through murderous Cain to spiraling violence and corruption of Noah's days to the rebellious Babel Tower project...etc etc) that God sent His Son. Mostly whilst speaking about His mission, Jesus used the word "sent" or "come" (Matt 10:40/John 12:27) rather than "being born" meaning His life did not begin merely on First Christmas rather He was alive from the "very beginning" (John 1:1, 8:58, 17:5).

Oh yes, it is so easy to love when there is reciprocal response but while we were yet sinners (His enemies) Jesus came and died for us (Romans 5:10). Talk of a hero dying for a villain...oh yes, Gospel is the only story where a "Holmes" would die selflessly for a fiendish Professor Moriarty in order to reform the latter!

Prayer: Father, we are indeed grateful, for sending Your Son to save us from darkness and to bring us to light. Enable us never to become lukewarm in this matter of gratitude. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 27 Nov 2016, 5:26 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 26, 2016
Buy Some Mums

By Answers2Prayer
I don't like fall.

Now I realize that I'm in the minority here. Most don't care for intense heat of summer and are happy when the days start to shorten, the nights begin to cool down, and the leaves commence to change colours. Many go so far as to say that fall is their favorite season of the year, and nearly everyone I know raves about how beautiful the trees are in their fall colours.

My problem is that I don't see any of that. Being a California girl by birth, I love summer, and I hate winter. Whenever I see the leaves begin to be tainted with any colour but green, I realize that my favorite season is about to come to an end, and my worst nightmare is about to begin. I do realize that fall and winter are far from the same; but to me, the one is just the segue into the other and I could do without both of them. As a result, I've spent many a fall in the thralls of depression.

One September, as I was driving back home from a community about two hours to the north, I saw a garden centre in the distance. I knew from my northward journey that same morning that this particular garden centre was having a sale on garden mums, one of the most popular fall flowers of our area. Now I've never liked mums, for they are too much of a reminder of fall! But something compelled me to stop that day, and before it was all said and done, I had bought about 12 pots of them.

You should have seen my husband's face when I got home. "But you don't even LIKE mums!" Yes, he knows me well...

"I'm going to put them out on the deck!" I declared. "All my Spring flowers are gone for the season, and this year I'm going to surround myself with Fall flowers!"

You know what? It actually worked. I made an effort to go out and admire my mums nearly every day, and somehow the Winter didn't seem nearly as close.

Every year since then I've surrounded myself with mums in the Fall. And I've taken it a step farther. I've also started to make myself admire the trees, and those same trees that had been so depressing in years past now seemed vibrantly beautiful. And when I see the sun setting as I'm driving home from work at 4:30 pm, I take a moment to admire those fiery fingers of soft colours. Oh, the temptation is still there to think, "the sun is setting so early...It will be winter soon!" or "These leaves sure are changing fast this year...Sure sign of a long winter!" But with God's help, I'm learning to focus on God's handiwork instead of on the drop in temperature and the shortening days. Hey! I'm even learning to appreciate the pure white blanket of winter's first snow and the dazzling sculptures left behind by an ice storm!

Life offers us seasons as well. We all wish we could live in the preferable one--the ones without problems; but just like it isn't summer forever in Canada (for which I know many of you are thankful!), life is not always carefree. However, no matter what season of life you find yourself in, you have a choice to make. You can either focus on the bad or on the good.

You see, just like God put one of the prettiest times of the year just in front of Winter and uses the ice and wind and snow to sculpt priceless works of beauty, no matter how had times are, there are always good things as well. We have the choice of either focusing on the good things--or on the bad!

The Bible has some excellent advice for us when we find ourselves in tough times: "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy--meditate on these things." (Phil 4:8)

No, meditating on the things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy will not change the facts, but it will do something vitally important: It will serve to remind you that God is the rock you can always cling to. It will allow you to see the small joys that do still surround you. It will help you to understand that you have not been abandoned and forsaken, but rather, God is holding you up, holding you together, carrying you through.

Hard times creeping in? Perhaps it's time to go buy some mums...

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.

Announcement:

It is that time of year again. Christmas is just around the corner. We are aware of the obvious facts around Christ's birth and Christmas; but are we also aware of the less obvious, yet equally-vital, lessons to be learned from that First Christmas? Join us next week for: "It's Elementary? Well Mostly...", a mini-series by Brother 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 Fri 25 Nov 2016, 7:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 24, 2016
The Best Recipe for Thanksgiving Dinner

By Answers2Prayer
My friend stopped by the other day and rumbled in her purse. "You have to see the pictures I took during our trip," she said.

I smiled.

"Oops," she added, "I always forget you...well...that you can't see."

"I forget myself," I said with a chuckle. (I like folks with a sense of humor.)

For me, having no sight is a way of life...actually a wonderfully blessed life. My days sweep by with gratitude, so much thankfulness.

And for that reason I thought I'd share my unique recipe for this Thanks giving dinner. I don't mind if you copy it and serve it to your loved ones.

1. Gather the ingredients stored in the cabinet of God's Word.
2. Stir together large portions of His promises, spoonful's of His direction, and dashes of His admonitions.
3. Place in large bowl several cups of commitment to read His Word.
4. Add generous amounts of faith to cover all traces of doubt.

Blend together, adding sprinkles of laughter, of enjoyment, fun, and unexpected surprises.
Bake in the oven of your heart till triumph is golden brown.

With songs of thanksgiving playing in the background, present it to the guests who come into your life. And unlike the rest of the world, instead of entering the doors to stress, gloom or anxiety for the days to come, "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name" (Psalm 100:4).

Why? "For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations" (Psalm 100:5).

It's your turn, can you share some things you'll be giving thanks for this year? Would love, love to read them.

Janet Eckles
If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.

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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 23 Nov 2016, 9:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 22, 2016
Thankful
By Answers2Prayer "in everything give thanks. For this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thess 5:18)

It was a cool November afternoon and I was standing ankle deep in leaves with a rake in my hand. The trees were almost all bare and it was time to rake the leaves before the first snows started to fall. The sun was low in the sky and I knew it would be dark in just a few hours. Still, I was thankful for the smell of the dry leaves, the stark beauty of November, and the chance to get a little exercise while I cleared the yard. I wasn't always so thankful for things like these but I had grown wiser over the years. I smiled as I raked and let my thoughts wander to other things that it took me awhile to be thankful for.

There were hand me down clothes, thick socks, and our warm, wood stove in the Wintertime. There were spaghetti dinners after church on Sunday. There were Nana's hugs and kisses. There was my Mom's kind smile that reappeared in the faces of my children. There was my Dad's quiet strength that kept our family going through the toughest of times. There were my two brothers who picked on me, teased me, toughened me up, yet loved me all the same. There was every mongrel and mutt that ever licked my hand and gave me the gift of their unconditional love. There were musky old books so full of wisdom, tough teachers who made me try my hardest, and coaches who taught me to never give up. There were friends that I laughed with, played with, and grew up with who helped me to become the person I am today. There were tough times, poverty, pain, my son's handicaps, and many other things that brought me both sorrow and joy. There were millions of moments and memories that all kept me moving up the path of love on my journey back to God. And there was life itself!

It is never too late to be thankful and there are so many things and people to be thankful for. Let gratitude fill your heart then. Let gratefulness bring you closer to God. Let love light your way. Let everyday be Thanksgiving. And always remember that the most powerful prayer in the world consists of just two words: "Thank You!"

By: Joseph J. Mazzella


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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 20 Nov 2016, 9:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 19, 2016
The Blustery Day, Part 2: Strong Tower
By Answers2Prayer 
It is another blustery day in Southern Ontario. As I listen to the wind howling round the house, my mind goes to how thankful I am for the warm protection of my home. In a few minutes, I will get up and begin my daily tasks, and I know that as soon as I'm not listening to the wind, I won't even notice it any more. In fact, the only time I will actually "feel" the effects of the wind is when I choose to leave the shelter of my home and go out into it! 

How fortunate I am to have a warm home. There are so many who do not. Even in the streets of my tiny town, many homeless people are out in this ferocious wind, rain and snow. You see them huddled down against buildings, trying to get shelter from the wind, with their coats wrapped around them as they shiver. True enough, the door to that building may very well be open; but it isn't "their" home, and mostly, they are not welcomed inside.

It makes me think of God. The Bible tells us He is our fortress, our refuge, our shield, or stronghold: "God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble." (Ps 46:1); and "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (Ps 18:2).

What does this mean? It means that no matter how hard the winds of strife are blowing, I can feel as safe and secure as I do in the confines of my warm home this blustery day. It means that if I listen, I will "hear" the "wind" blowing, but I won't feel it. It means that I will only "feel" the effects of the storms of life if I choose to leave my "shelter", my "strong tower". 

No, the winds that howl in the presence of a physical storm don't bother me at all. Why is it, then, that I get so upset in the presence of the "storms" of life? Why am I devastated at the news of wars? Why does a job loss stress me out? Why do I worry in the face of a bad medical diagnosis? Why do I get all worked up when one of my children aren't "conforming" to what I would have them to do? If God is truly my refuge and strength, if He is truly my very present help in trouble, if He is really my Rock, my Fortress and my Deliverer, why do I get worried and upset at all? Can't I rely on my God in the same way I rely on my warm home? 

Could it be that I am living my life outside the shelter of God? Could it be that I am huddled down with my back up against my "strong tower", shivering in the cold and wind, when all the while, the door to that "strong tower" stands open right beside me? Maybe I don't realize it is for me. Maybe I think I'm not welcome to enter, let alone but to reside there. Maybe I just want to ride out the storm on my own. Or maybe I don't believe that the "strong tower" will really shield me from that storm...

Whatever the reason, Jesus calls us to: "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." (Matt 11:28-30)

Wouldn't it be crazy for a homeless person to refuse to enter into a warm shelter? Isn't it even crazier that we, who are not homeless spiritually-speaking (See Phil 3:20), refuse to enter into the warm shelter that Jesus offers us? 

It makes you think, doesn't it? 

Remember this the next time a wind storm rolls through your area.

And especially remember this the next time the storms of life close in around you. Enter into your strong tower, your shelter, your refuge. Give the problem to God, trust in His strength, and not your own, to carry you through. Trust in Him to bring you through to the most optimal outcome possible. Enter that refuge and stay there, for God is most certainly our shelter, our home: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (Ps. 18:2)

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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EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE ...
Curious about the strange temple described in intricate detail in the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel? Check out the "Lessons From Ezekiel's Temple" series, recently published in The Nugget by clicking here. 

 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 18 Nov 2016, 6:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 17, 2016
The Blustery Day, Part 1: For You are With Me

By Answers2Prayer 
  It is a typical, late-fall day. It's what Winnie the Pooh would call a "Blustery Day", and as I opened the door for the dog to "blow" in from outside, I got to thinking about the seasons. Now I must admit, winter isn't my favorite season. In fact, it is pretty much at the bottom of the list, and since autumn leads into winter, it is pretty low on my list of favorites, too. It doesn't help that I suffer from an element of Season Affect Disorder, and I usually am the most depressed and I feel the worst in the fall and early winter. 

These thoughts alone would normally send me spiraling into the depths of the "winter blues" (even though it isn't even officially winter!); but as I looked up from what I was doing, the bright, colourful lights of the Christmas tree caught my eye (yes, we started decorating for Christmas quite early this year!), and a new thought occurred to me: Right in the middle of the most depressing time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, we have Christmas, a bright, beautiful reminder to a lost and lonely and hurting world that God has not forgotten us, that He loves us. In fact, He loves us so much that Jesus left His home in Heaven to be born of a lowly virgin and laid to rest in a manger. He did this to give to us His indescribable gift of Salvation, healing, freedom, joy, wisdom and peace in troubled times, and in celebration of this greatest of all gifts, we have Christmas. 

Now we all know that Jesus wasn't actually born on December 25. In fact, we really have no idea whatsoever of when Jesus was born; however, God, in His wisdom, allowed for Christians in the northern hemisphere to celebrate Jesus' birth--Not in the middle of the summer, but in the middle of the most depressing time of year. When the days come to be their shortest, we have a bright and beautiful reminder that God is still in control.

This made me think of the seasons in life that we all pass through. No, unfortunately, it isn't always "summer" in our lives. We go through valleys, we pass through--and sometimes seem to get stuck in--the dark and troubled times. Yet if we are alert, if we allow God to carry us through, we will see that even amidst the worst of our trouble, He puts little signs that He is there, that our winter will not last forever.

I remember the days leading up to my first oncology appointment after having undergone surgery for cancer. I was petrified that I would have to have chemotherapy, and this thought pushed me into the depths of depression. Right around that time, I received a beautiful wall hanging in the mail from a dear friend, with the words of the Beatitudes worked into the design. That same day, my husband received permission from his boss to take off work so that he could accompany me to oncology. The very next day, I received an encouraging email, helping me to see that God was using this walk through the valley of cancer to help me to know Him more. Then, later that same day, I received a beautiful note of encouragement from a fellow cancer patient. In the darkest part of my cancer walk with God, He sent me encouragement and comfort to remind me that I wasn't walking the path alone, that He was carrying me through. 

It's late in the fall, and Christmas is just a few short weeks away. Though you may still be passing through those "winters" of life, why not let the bright and beautiful lights and sparkling decorations this Christmas be a reminder to you that you don't walk this path alone, that, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever." (Ps. 23:4-6)

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.
 
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 16 Nov 2016, 10:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 15, 2016
Tending Your Fire

By Answers2Prayer 
 "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matt 5:14-16)

When I was a boy every summer I would spend a wonderful week at 4-H camp. It was always so much fun. Delicious meals were served in the dining hall three times a day. There were fun classes to go to in the morning and sports and swimming in the afternoon. There was a friendly competition between the four tribes for the spirit stick all through the week. And there were long nights spent lying awake, laughing, and talking with our friends. We seemed to sleep only a few hours a night but we were enjoying ourselves too much to be tired.

At the end of the week we all gathered together at the final council circle. The campfire in the center was carefully tended until it blazed brightly, lit up the circle and flickered off our happy faces. Songs, cheers, skits, challenges, and laughter would fill the air as the night went on. Later the awards for the week were given out. Everyone got something to take home and cherish as well as a tiny candle to hold. At the very end of the night the person who was awarded the spirit of the camp would take his candle and light it by the last embers of the dying fire. Then he would light the candles held by the people around him who would in turn light candles held by others until everyone of us held a little light in our hands. As the camp ended we all walked out into the night with our own little fires beating back the darkness.

Remembering those nights makes me wonder what this world would be like if each of us tended our own fire. How great would it be if we all fed the fire of goodness within us? How beautiful would it be if we all let our love burn bright? How wonderful would it be if we all shared our light to help others beat back the darkness?

God gave each of us a fire of love in our souls. It is up to us to tend it, though. It is up to us to turn it into a brilliant blaze for all to see. It is up to us to share its light with the world. 

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
Announcement:

Cold? Wet? Bone-chillingly damp? Join us on Thursday and Saturday to see what God has to teach us through "The Blustery Day", a Mini-Series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 14 Nov 2016, 12:17 am

Welcome to the Nugget


November 12, 2016
Seasonal Affect Disorder

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Though undiagnosed, I know that I suffer from an element of Seasonal Affect Disorder, also known as SAD.

SAD is defined as a mood disorder that affects people who have normal mental health throughout most of the year, bringing on mild to significant symptoms of depression in the winter or summer. Affected people may sleep too much, have little energy and may feel depressed. The good news is that the symptoms usually clear up once the seasons change.

SAD is a condition that is now recognized as a common disorder. It affects, for example, anywhere from 1.4 to 9.9% of the population in the United States. Interestingly, the lower percentages are experienced in sunny, southern places like Florida, while the higher percentages are experienced in northern places like Alaska, where there is continual night for days on end in the winter. Although the cause of SAD is unknown and likely involves a number of different factors, the most common treatment of SAD is "light therapy".

What this means to me is that I get the blues in the fall and winter. I know that light therapy works, and I even own a sun lamp. And as the days have gotten shorter this autumn, I've been faithful about using that sun lamp. Until about three days ago, that is. I was too comfortable to go and sit under the lamp. Besides, the sun had been out more than usual this November. Was it really all that necessary?

By yesterday I was in full-fledged depression. No energy, no desire to do anything except snap at the people I love. About noon, I asked God why I was feeling so depressed, and He reminded me that I hadn't seen it necessary to sit under the sun lamp for at least three days. He also reminded me of something vitally important: Though He provides the sun lamp to help with my disorder, all I really need to do is to reach out to Him for help in my weak moments! I did. Then and there, I claimed victory over the depression in His name. Immediately the feelings of sadness and heaviness lifted. 

As I reached up to switch on the sun lamp this morning, I wondered aloud why God would allow such a disorder to come to me. Immediately I was impressed with the following text: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." (2 Cor. 1:3-5)

As I contemplated the words to this text, I began praising God for His wisdom. If I never suffered depression, how would I be able to adequately help my brothers and sisters in the world who are caught in its foul snare? How would I be able to feel what they are feeling? How could I emphasize with them? How could anything I said to them hold any credibility at all? 

It is important  that we realize we are not here for ourselves, but to help others; and sometimes God gives us the opportunity to experience what others are going through. We may not like going through it ourselves, but He always gives us a way of escape, and when we have passed through the troubled waters, we will be able to comfort and help others with the comfort and help God has given us in our own troubles.

Interestingly, though the solution to depression lies in my hands, I do not always use it. Not only is it important to know the Source of our help, but it is important that we utilize it. Regularly. I need to allow God to carry me through, to be my fortress, for God is truly: "...our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging...The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress." (Ps 46:1-3,7)

Don't forget that God is the ultimate answer to every problem. When He allows us to go through troubles, He has already made the way of escape. It is our job to use it. No matter what, He is there to carry us through, to be our strength in everything; and in the end, because we have gone through this trouble, we will be better able to empathize with others who are going through similar trials.

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 Fri 11 Nov 2016, 9:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 10. 2016
Only Him

By Answers2Prayer 
 "My soul finds rest in God alone...my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken...he is my refuge." (Psalm 62:1-7)

We were visitors and arrived a little before the service started at a church downtown. We slid into seats on the side up near the altar. It felt so peaceful. We were thankful for a place to worship, hear the Word of God and be with other believers.

Near us, I saw an older man come in and sit by himself. His body looked thin and fragile, yet strong. I couldn't see his face until passing him later. It was then I noticed the sadness in his eyes. His whole demeanor actually seemed limp with, perhaps, grieving. 

My heart went out to him; I breathed a little prayer. I don't know him and probably never will. But I know someone who does.

God alone knows our deepest thoughts. Only Him. He alone knows our heart of hearts. In reality, we are known only to Him.

A beautiful gospel song says: Known only to him are the great hidden secrets, I'll fear not the darkness when my flame shall dim; I know not what the future holds But I know who holds the future It's a secret known only to Him.*

How wonderful, this God, our God, who alone knows all our secrets and everything about us, is so loving, kind, merciful, and comforting towards us, always.

That's good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2015 
 
*Carl Stuart Hamblen
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 08 Nov 2016, 11:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 8, 2016
Sometimes it Hurts

By Answers2Prayer 
 Some time ago a friend and I traveled together. The airport where we landed was small. Actually, everything in it was small.

With her caring nature, my friend made sure she guided me through all doorways, hallways, and elevators -- being careful to avoid obstacles in my path.

But when entering elevators with our bags and suitcases on wheels, and with me holding on her arm, the squeeze was tricky, awkward and cumbersome. I came home with some scratches on my elbow.

But know what? I'm familiar with narrow pathways -- the ones we encounter in life. Sometimes it hurts as we try to squeeze through, and we doubt we'll make it. And others as we try to force our way, leave scratches of discouragement in our heart.

You might be going through ones yourself as you read this. We all do. We try to get through the narrow stretches of discouragement, loneliness, of chronic illness, of unresolved conflict, and painful, unforeseen circumstances.

And though unpleasant, we keep going, traveling through the airports of life hoping we eventually see the wide doorway leading to the answer, the healing, the break we hope for or the solution we seek.

That's why God's reminder turns hope to encouragement. Opens the wide door of trust. And makes the entrance easy and simple. The sign above the doorway says: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

How does God's promise make you feel as you squeeze through life's trials? I look forward to reading your comments.

*    Whom do you desire more than God?
*    When looking at your difficult situation, is He enough?
*    What brings you out of despair?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 05 Nov 2016, 10:14 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 5, 2016

The Cut

By Answers2Prayer 
  I cut the tip of my index finger slicing lemons the other day. It was a deep cut, and naturally, it bled everywhere. I bandaged it up and proceeded to go about my day, only to discover that the finger got in the way for everything I tried to do. Even though it was a finger on my non-dominant hand, I couldn't even wash my hands without worrying that the cut would get wet, and typing on the computer was nearly impossible. 

Paul tells us that as Christians, we are one body: 

"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body--whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many." (1 Cor 12:12-14)

What happens when one of our "body parts" isn't working?

As I continued to try and type, my injured forefinger with its bandage kept hitting all of the wrong keys. What a mess! It was amazing to me how much I unknowingly relied on that non-dominant finger. 

Paul has some interesting things to say about what happens when body parts aren't functioning properly: "Now if the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, 'Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be." (1 Cor. 12:15-19)

As I continued to type, I noticed that my other fingers began to take over the job of the injured finger. No, I wasn't typing as quickly as before, but the job was being completed. I also realized that it was my arms and hands, and even my other fingers, that nurtured the cut. They cleaned it out, put in disinfectant, and bandaged it up, caring for it diligently until the day came that it was healed. 

What was happening there? The other parts of my body were taking over, doing whatever they could to help that finger to heal, and in the meantime, compensating for it until such time that it could pull its own weight. 

Isn't that what God calls us to do in the body of Christ? When one of our members is hurt, be it physically, mentally, spiritually or emotionally, we all suffer. We will not be able to work together as we were designed to do. Our job, therefore, is to nurture that "body part", doing everything in our power to help them to heal. And in the meantime, we are to band together and help to do the job of the "body part" that is out of commission, compensating for him or her until such a time that he or she can return to pull their own weight. 

But wait. I understand that we must do this for our pastors and leaders; but what about for the church janitor? The volunteer in the children's program? And what about that person who comes only once in a while and seemingly does nothing for the church body? 

Let's remember that God is no respecter of persons (Rom 2:11). God has put the body together, "...giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it." (1 Cor 12:24b-26)

It doesn't matter how "important" or "unimportant" we see our fellow members of the body of Christ to be. If any part suffers in any way, the Bible is clear: Every part suffers! 

Let's remember this important lesson. Each part of Christ's church is important, and without that important part, the entire body of Christ suffers. Let's join together and help that hurting son of daughter of Christ. Let's build them up, encourage them, help them to heal, and while they are healing, let's band together and help pull their share of the load! 

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 Fri 04 Nov 2016, 10:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
November 3, 2016
I Choose to Sing

By Answers2Prayer 
  "We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next." (Romans 5:3-4)

God loves us all so much and He speaks to us in more ways than we can imagine. Just the other day I was driving my son to the part-time job he has at a sheltered workshop for the disabled. The sky was a dark grey. A cold rain was pouring down. The world seemed silent and sad with both people and animals taking shelter from the storm. I turned on the car radio for a little music to lift my spirits. When I did, however, Karen Carpenter's sweet, haunting voice came out singing "Rainy days and Mondays always get me down." I turned the radio back off. 

That was not the song I wanted to hear on such a gloomy day. Still, the song kept playing in my head as the showers continued throughout the day. 

Later that afternoon I was walking out of the bathroom when I saw my son turn the television on. A classic movie was playing and suddenly I heard these musical tones coming from Gene Kelly's voice: "I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling. I'm happy again. I'm laughing at the clouds so dark up above. The sun's in my heart and I'm ready for love."

In that moment I saw that God in His loving-kindness had reminded me once again that all of life is a choice, a choice to love. Rains and problems will always come. We can let them get us down or we can choose to sing. We can let the showers soak our souls or we can use them to help our souls to grow. We can allow the darkness to depress us or we can use it to awaken the sunshine and love in our hearts.

What are you going to do when the rains of life fall down upon you? I for one choose to sing. I choose to sing with all the love God has put in my heart. I choose to share my sunshine even on the darkest days and never let my music die within me. May you do the same. 

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 02 Nov 2016, 11:26 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 1, 2016
Preparing the Mango, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer
  Last Saturday, in "Preparing the Mango, Part 2", we saw that we get through our trials, not by focusing on them, but by surrendering them to the God of the universe. This frees us to focus on the needs of others, and when we do, our own troubles shrink back to a manageable size. 

There is but one more lesson to be learned from my poor husband's experience with the mango and the knife.

You women out there, and perhaps a few of you men as well, are probably asking yourselves why my husband was so taken aback by the presence of a mango and a knife in his hands. After all, they are such little things, and preparing a mango isn't exactly difficult! 

It is because the task pushed him outside his comfort zone. You see, although he has a wonderful heart and will do anything he is comfortable with to be helpful, the preparation of food is not and has never been something he is comfortable with. It all began as a child when his mother refused to allow him in the kitchen, and any time he asked to help her with the preparation of food, he was told that this was women's work. It didn't help either that when we were first married, I was dead set on proving to my mother-in-law that I could take care of her son (isn't it silly the things that motivate us when we are feeling insecure?). Thus, even then, he was not encouraged to be in the kitchen. So that day when I handed him the knife and the mango, he truly had no concept of what to do with it. I was pushing him completely outside his comfort zone, and even though I showed him exactly how to do what I wanted done, and even though, in the end, he produced a delicious mango salad, he was not comfortable with the task.

So why did I do it? 

Because I firmly believed that he was capable of making a delicious mango salad, one that I didn't have time to make! I believed in him, I wanted to boost his self-confidence in the kitchen, and in the end, it was a help to me.

But perhaps there was yet another reason...

You see, there are many things my husband is comfortable in doing around the house, but he doesn't do very many of them in the way I would want them done. Why? Because he knows how to do the task and he doesn't see the need to ask for guidance...When I handed him the mango, I knew it was something he would have to rely 100% on me in order to accomplish--the way I wanted it to be accomplished! 

So often in my walk with God, He has pushed me outside of my comfort zone. In fact, if it is a task I am 100% comfortable with, I am at risk of self-reliance, and as such, I may jeopardize the entire task by not looking to God to see how HE wants it done. But when God gives me something I am totally unequipped to do, I have no choice but to rely on Him 100% of the time, and as such, the task is done--not by my standards, but by His! 

What is God asking you to do today? Is it something you are comfortable with? If so, take that extra minute to do it God's way, and not your own. Is it something you are not comfortable with? Then buckle up and prepare for an exciting ride, one where you will have to rely on Him 100% of the time, one where there is no chance of you going wrong, because you are so focused on Him. 

Could this be why God allows us to go through trials? Because they take us out of our comfort zone? Because they force us to rely on God 100% of the time? Could it be that this is just the lesson He hopes for us to learn in the midst of our difficulties? 100% reliance on Him? All the time?

Remember: If I had never asked my husband to cut the mango, he would never have relied on my direction. In the same way, if God had asked me to do anything less than go through the valley of cancer, I would have never learned to rely on Him 100% of the time. 

What "mangos" are you being asked to "cut" right now? In what ways are you being pushed out of your comfort zone? Don't ever forget: On your own you can do nothing, but with Christ, you can do ALL things...Simply by leaning on the strength He provides: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) 

Oh, and I have this mango that needs to be prepared for a mango salad...Any volunteers?

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 Sun 30 Oct 2016, 9:35 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 29, 2016
Preparing the Mango, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Tuesday, in "Preparing the Mango, Part 1", we saw that when we make the effort to focus beyond our own circumstances, we will often realize they aren't so bad after all. 

But wait. We're talking about serious problems here. Can we truly expect that focusing on the needs of others will shrink back that cancerous tumor? Do we truly believe that focusing on others will bring back the spouse who felt that greener pastures could be found elsewhere? Will it provide the financial miracle I need? 

In a nutshell, the answer is "no". We're not talking about resolving the problem here. We're talking about putting it into manageable perspective. We're talking about seeing it from--God's perspective...

In "Preparing the Mango, Part 1", I told the story of how my husband was lost because of the problems with his computer. However, the moment I pushed him out of his comfort zone by handing him a mango and a knife, his problems suddenly seemed like nothing at all. 

As you can see in this silly illustration, cutting my mango didn't take away his computer problems. They just brought them into perspective, making him realize that his problems were, indeed, manageable.

We often hear it said that God will never give us more than we can handle. This is taken from an often miss-quoted Bible text found in 1 Cor. 10:13: "...God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." 

Friends, this promise is oh, so true! God will never allow us to be tempted beyond what we can resist. But please notice that this doesn't expand to include all troubles. Rather, we are often told that we will have troubles, some of them beyond what we can humanly bear. Consider the following texts: 

"We were weighed down with a load of suffering that was so far beyond our strength that we were afraid we might not survive." (2 Corinthians 1:8 CEB)

"I'm worn out, completely crushed; I groan because of my miserable heart." (Psalms 38:8 CEB)

"My wrongdoings are stacked higher than my head; they are a weight that's way too heavy for me." (Psalms 38:4 CEB)

Doesn't exactly sound like God will never give us more than we can bear, does it? 

Elsewhere we also read that Elijah was told: "Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you." (1 Kings 19:7) Interestingly, it is an angel of God who says these words to Elijah! 

As much as we'd like to believe it, God does allow suffering, sometimes more than we can bear on our own. You know this. You have likely already experienced this. So where is the good news? 

Above, we quoted a statement by Paul where he reports, "We were weighed down with a load of suffering that was so far beyond our strength that we were afraid we might not survive." (2 Corinthians 1:8 CEB), Paul goes on to say, "It certainly seemed to us as if we had gotten the death penalty. This was so that we would have confidence in God, who raises the dead, instead of ourselves." (2 Corinthians 1:9 CEB)

In other words, Paul knew that trying to handle these problems on his own was beyond his strength, and therefore, he used the trials to remind himself that his confidence must be in God, not in himself. 

Remember the story of the three Hebrew men who were thrown into the fiery furnace of Babylon? God didn't keep them from those flames; rather, He met them there, and by His strength, they endured (See Daniel 3). This is why Jesus said to us, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry." (Matt 11:28-30)!

Thus, our faithfulness is not demonstrated by how easily we are able to bear the burdens that come our way. Rather, it is shown by our recognition that we cannot bear those burdens alone, that we must trust in God to bear them with us.

Remember the oft-quoted Poem, Footprints? The author voices what is so often on all of our hearts: 

"Lord...I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints. I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me."

It is God's answer that touches each of our hearts: 

"My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you."

This, friends, is how we get through our trials: Not by focusing on them, but by surrendering them to the God of the universe. It is by trusting in Him to carry us through the worst trials and testings possible that we are freed to focus on the needs of others; and when we do, our own troubles shrink back to a manageable size. But remember, any size is a "manageable size" for the God who carries us through! 

There is just one more lesson to be learned from my husband's encounter with the mango and the cutting knife. Join us on Tuesday, for "Preparing the Mango, Part 3!

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 Fri 28 Oct 2016, 10:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 27, 2016
Preparing the Mango, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer 
  My husband has lots of wonderful skills and takes care of very important aspects of running this household, including cleaning up the messes I create in the kitchen. He is not, however, comfortable preparing those kitchen "messes"...

Yesterday, he had to reformat his computer. Since we live in the country, our wifi internet is slow at best and often unreliable. Needless to say, the downloading of Windows was taking forever, and since he had completed all of his normal tasks that didn't involve the computer, he was wandering around like a lost puppy, trying to strike up conversation with me, complaining about all the work he should be accomplishing on the computer but couldn't due to our slow internet, etc. 

Meanwhile I was working hard to get supper on the table, and I didn't have the time to chat with him. Instead, I handed him a mango and a cutting board and knife. "Here," I said. "You look bored. Peel and slice this mango for the salad."

I wish I had a camera at that point, for the look on the man's face was priceless. I've never seen my self-assured husband looking so vulnerable and ... maybe even ... scared? What? Of a knife and a mango?

Needless to say, I had to coach him every step (or should I say "cut") of the way, and in the process, he suddenly remembered lots of things he could be doing while he was waiting for his computer! It was actually funny to see how quickly he put down the knife once the task was complete and...disappeared! 

The reason I'm telling this story isn't really to chuckle at my husband. Rather, it is to point out something interesting: He had been complaining about his circumstances; however, once I handed him the mango and the knife, his circumstances suddenly didn't seem all that bad after all. In fact, I didn't hear any more complaints about his circumstances the rest of the day!

I once heard a story about a man who was struggling under a very heavy cross. He was met by an angel and invited to enter a storeroom. Inside the storeroom were hundreds of crosses of different sizes, and the angel instructed the man to exchange his heavy cross for any of the ones in the storeroom. Excited, the man ran from cross to cross, picking up some, shaking others; but as he neared the back of the storeroom, he became more and more discouraged. Finally, with a smile of triumph on his face, he picked up what appeared to be the smallest cross in the room and carried it away. At this point, the angel pointed out to the man that he had just taken back his own, original cross.

In the midst of trials and bad circumstances, it is relatively easy to adapt a measure of self-pity. And perhaps understandably so. After all, these trials have changed our lives dramatically, and usually not for the better. They hurt. They are inconvenient. They are awkward. When we look around, however, at the problems others have to bear, we realize that ours aren't so bad after all!

Could this be why we are told repeatedly to worry about others ahead of ourselves? "Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others." (Philippians 2:4); and "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor." (Romans 12:10)

You see, when we focus on our own problems, they seem to mushroom until they take over our entire lives. When we focus on the needs of others, however, when we recognize and sympathize with what others are going through, our own problems shrink back to their ordinary size. Is it any wonder then, that we can actually say "thanks, God, for this trial"? And why not? Of all the crosses to bear, ours is generally the smallest.

Remember that the next time you are handed a knife and a mango. Or rather, remember that as you are going through your current valley experience. Focus on the needs of others, and your own problems will shrink back to manageable size. 

But wait. We're talking about a death in the family here. Or didn't you realize I'm undergoing chemotherapy and I've never been so sick in my life? Or come on! You go through divorce if you think it's so easy! Please join us on Thursday for "Preparing the Mango, 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 Wed 26 Oct 2016, 3:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 25, 2015
That's Not Fair!

By Answers2Prayer 
  With wrinkled tissue in hand, we stomp our feet in frustration. We had asked, prayed and pleaded. But, to our utter disappointment, God still said, "No."

Have you been there? God didn't smile at us with the answer we wanted. But that's not the worst. We look around and what do we see? We see those who don't follow God's instructions, don't know God's Word, and don't even attend church. But, they seemingly live happy, trouble-free lives.

"What's with that, God?" we want to ask.

Confusion adds to the unfairness. But not to worry. We don't have to know how to express that bewilderment. David did that for us: "I almost lost my footing. My feet were slipping, and I was almost gone. For I envied the proud when I saw them prosper despite their wickedness. They seem to live such painless lives; their bodies are so healthy and strong. They don't have troubles like other people; they're not plagued with problems like everyone else. They wear pride like a jeweled necklace and clothe themselves with cruelty. These fat cats have everything their hearts could ever wish for!" (Psalm 73:2-7 The Message).

Like David, I don't let up my rant. This is not the way it should be. Why do they have it so good? Lord, after all, I'm not a bad chica. I really deserve better. But "Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant—I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever" (Psalm 73:21-26).

Father, thank you, in your loving way, you set me straight. I will trust in your ways, look to your justice, count on your healing and expect your glorious solutions. You are fair with your love that extends to those who call upon you. In Jesus' name, amen.

* Whom do you desire more than God?
* When looking at your difficult situation, is He enough?
* What brings you out of despair?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
 
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Join us for the next three Nuggets as we explore valuable lessons in how to react when we are going through trials: "Preparing the Mango", a mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 3:36 pm

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

"Since Jesus went through everything you're going through and more, learn to 
think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful
habit of always expecting to get your own way." 1 Peter 4:1 (MSG)

By Answers2Prayer
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When Suffering Visits

One of Canada's most famous physicians was Dr. William Osler. Many stories 
are told of Dr. Osler, but one of the most revealing comes from World War I.

Friends recalled the day when he was working in one of Britain's military 
hospitals during the war. He was called out of the wards during his daily 
rounds
to be given an important message; his own son had been killed on the fields 
of France.

Stunned by the news, he still came back to pick up his rounds. For a long 
period afterward he was noticeably different. And those who knew him best 
said
that he changed as a physician that day. The cheerful note was gone from his 
voice and never again did friends hear the tune which he so often whistled
as he went from ward to ward.

Though these things never returned, something eventually came to take their 
place. Everyone noticed a new compassion in his care of the soldiers who 
each
day streamed in from the battlefield. Before, he had the professional 
concern of the physician, so important to the practice of medicine; now 
there was
an added discernable note of a personal compassion, like that of a father 
for his son....

Osler was understandably hurt and, like most people who have experienced 
such losses, he likely became angry. In time, after working through pain and 
anger,
he found a way to integrate the loss into his life. Though he was never the 
same, he chose not to let his son's death turn him into a bitter and 
resentful
man. Instead, he channeled it into energy and love for others, caring for 
them as he would care for his own.

Helen Keller wisely said, "The struggle of life is one of our greatest 
blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that 
although
the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it."

Osler teaches us something about overcoming suffering. It can leave us 
bitter, or quite surprisingly, it can often leave us better. More patient. 
More
sensitive. More compassionate. And a little more like how God must surely 
be.

Steve Goodier Life Support http://www.LifeSupportSystem.com

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stories
. If you have written inspirational stories and would like to share them 
with others, please feel free to submit them to me. The writer of any story 
published
on our site will receive proper credit. Please
submit your story to us . Thank you.

Rob Chaffart

©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 22 Oct 2016, 8:49 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 22, 2016
LESSONS FROM A BENEVOLENT SQUIRREL, Part 2: How to Stop a Diesel Engine

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Thursday, I told the story of how a very selfless little squirrel gave us his entire winter stash of 27 pinecones, all neatly tucked away for safekeeping--in the transmission of our new car.

It was cute. It was funny. But it was also thought-provoking. Imagine that simple pinecones would be able to stop something as big and powerful as a diesel-powered vehicle! 

It made me think: Are there any "pinecones" that can stop our spiritual growth? Are there tiny things that get in the way of us hearing God's voice? 

The Bible says there are: "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2) 

Did you catch that? The "pinecones" that can stop up the vehicle God wishes to use to save the world are our sins! 

Has Jesus forgiven our sins? 

Of course He has: "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9). But just because our sins are forgiven and no longer have power to keep us from going to Heaven does not mean they don't affect us. In fact, just like those pinecones "plugged up" my transmission, making it impossible for the transmission to "hear" the "voice" of the stick shift telling it to get out of reverse, our sins "stop us up", making it impossible for us to hear God's voice and to illicit His help! 

What kind of sin am I talking about here?

The Bible teaches that all sin, no matter how great or small, be it as inconspicuous as hiding the truth or as horrid as murder and rape, drug addictions and violent tempers, all will serve to keep you for God's kingdom (See James 2:8-11). It's true that Jesus sometimes made reference to some sins being "greater" than others (See John 19:11, Matt 3:18-30); however this gradation of sin is not mentioned in Isaiah 59:1-2. It simply says that "...your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." What this means, then, is that any sin, no matter how big or small, will work to separate us from God, will make it hard for us to hear His voice, and will keep Him from hearing us and being able to reach out and come to our aid.

It isn't that God is "punishing" us for our sin when He appears to not come to our aid, it is simply that our sin has become like those pinecones in my transmission, essentially "blocking" His ability to help us, to make us hear His voice, to bless us to the extent that He wishes to bless us.

So what do we do?

We get rid of the pinecones! In our case, we needed a mechanic. In the case of sin, we need the same thing. The good news is that God will never leave us in the place where we cannot break free. He has promised: "No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13). He has given us a "mechanic", Jesus Christ, who gives us His resurrection power to overcome sin. We also have God's Spirit, who convicts us of our sin. 

Naturally, the removal of those pine cones cost us something: 140$--ouch! Sometimes the removal of our sin also results in cost to us. After all, giving up a sinful lifestyle, no matter how small or large, is difficult to do. Telling someone they have been a victim of your white lies or returning things that you have stolen is very difficult and costly to your reputation, and could very well put you in the way of the law. Nonetheless, if you want your spiritual "engine" to run again as it is supposed to run, so that you can hear God's voice and He can hear yours, those "pinecones" must be removed, no matter the cost.

Let's let God remove the "pinecones" from our spiritual lives. Let's let Him help us break free from the bondage of sin so that our spiritual engines will be able to run freely.

Oh, and if you would like to have some 140$ pinecones, I know exactly where to find them!


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. 
 
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 9:07 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 20, 2016
LESSONS FROM A BENEVOLENT SQUIRREL, Part 1: 27 Pinecones

By Answers2Prayer 
"He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end." (Eccl 3:11) 

Last week, a very selfless little squirrel gave us his entire winter stash of pinecones. Twenty-seven of them, all neatly tucked away for safekeeping--in the transmission of our new car!

Needless to say, it was a couple of days before we fully came to appreciate the unselfish nature of this little beast, who certainly had no way of knowing that his gift would turn into a nightmare for the "lucky" recipient...

Due to his "love gift", the stick shift stuck in reverse, and since you really can't make a 20 kilometer drive in the backwards' direction, my poor husband was stranded, resigned to wait the required 45 minutes for the tow truck to arrive and transport him home and the car to the mechanic. No, we didn't immediately thank the tiny rodent. Rather for the next couple of days, every time we saw one of this rascal's relatives, let's just say our thoughts were far from grateful; especially when we were without our car for an entire day, having to rely on others to get us to work, and when his actions necessitated an unplanned trip to a far-away town to pick up our "repaired" (or should I say, "unstuck???") vehicle. And our thoughts strayed even farther from the appreciative side when we were presented with a 140$ bill and a bag of 27 pinecones...

No, I don't suppose anyone could say that we fully appreciate that squirrel's noble gift...

I wasn't about to throw out those pinecones, however. After all, they were the most expensive pinecones I had ever owned. Instead, I put them in the oven on a low temperature to "dry" them out. Imagine my delight to open the oven door to see that the closed little pinecone knots had burst forth into beautiful, perfectly formed, large pinecones! 

After letting them dry for a few days, I was amazed to see that the pinecones were now giving up their pine nuts! Thousands of them! Too bad I don't know what to do with this particular variety of pine nuts, but I'm sure that my generous squirrel would be happy to show me...

I had heard in the past that there are varieties of pine trees that will only release their nuts, which incidentally, are pine tree seeds, in the face of intense heat, such as that found in a forest fire. It makes me think of the trials we are required to go through in life. We don't like them. They are burn. Yet sometimes it is only in the face of the heat of our trials that we can truly "blossom", "open up", that we can truly "release" that which God has designed us to release; and in the process, we turn from something ordinary into something beautiful. 

What am I going to do with my pine cones? Once they've stopped shedding their nuts, I'm going to make them into a fall centre piece for my table, and if there are any left over (after all, the "giving squirrel" left me 27 of them!), I will make a Christmas pinecone wreath. 

This is what God does with the troubles we go through: He takes them, He uses them to "open us up" and to make us release our "seed", and then He uses them to make something beautiful in our lives.

The next time you are faced with troubles of any kind, remember my generous squirrel and his little "gift" of pinecones: Enough to stop my car from going in the forward direction; enough to cost 140$ in repairs; and enough to teach me a valuable lesson about trials: God will always make everything beautiful, in His time (Eccl 3:11); and His promise, that ALL things work together for good for those who love God (Rom 8:28) is true!

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom 8:28)

I plan to remember this every time I look at my beautiful fall centrepiece...

Oh, and I'm happy to "lend out" my benevolent squirrel to anyone who would like to pay 140$ for 27 pinecones...

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. 
 
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 5:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


October 18, 2016
Angelic...All the Way! 
Part 4

By Answers2Prayer 
   Rev 12:7-9 To some, it may come as a surprise that Satan is not yet cast into Hell, though he is condemned to spend eternity there (Rev 20:10)! And for some it may come as a bigger surprise when I disclose this fact that presently he has an ongoing "Ministry"...in Heaven...and there of all places...right in front of God's throne!

What is that "ministry"? Of accusing all Saints of the Lord of some perceived (in his fallen eyes) sin or the other (Job 1:6/Job 2:1) in the manner he faulted Job (Job 1:9-11/Job 2:4-5/Zech 3:1/ Rev 12:7-10). Afterwards, He would be permanently evicted. By whom? No prizes for guessing...by the righteous angels who else...let the Scripture take over at this stage...

"Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world--he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him." (Rev 12:7-9).

So finally considering so many vital roles played by the angels in the physical and the metaphysical scheme of things, do we have to revere angels to the point of petitioning them as some errant, gullible ones do (1 Tim 1:3-4-TLB)? No way! Rather, let's reserve our heart-felt Worship for only the one who has not only created the angels and thereby is also far superior to them (Col 1:16-17/Heb 1:4).

And now coming to the best in the last...(you see in the spiritual scheme of things...the best is always reserved for the last -- See John 2:10). Now hold your breath...the good Lord one day would make us sit beside Him in His throne to rule and judge the angels (Rev 3:21/I Cor 6:3)! Hallelujah! More loudly please...

Prayer: Father, what all privileges, You have reserved for Your faithful ones...what no eye has seen or no ear has heard or no mind has ever imagined. We simply in awe worship and praise You in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 8:39 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 11, 2016
Angelic...All the Way! 
Part 1

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "The reason angels can fly is because they take themselves lightly," remarked a Biblical Scholar, insightfully bringing to light humility, one of the remarkable characteristics of these ethereal ones who serve their Creator faithfully on the other side of the Heavenly shores. Is humility only one of the unique traits of the Angels? Actually what has truthful Scripture to say about these faithful ones, and, hmmm...some not-so-faithful ones of the same genre! Well...is not Biblical insight better than eyesight in seeing (read understanding) about the "unseen" angels? Absolutely...

In this Series of 4 parts, Yours Truly has attempted to present a close to 360 degree view about the Angels from the revealed Scriptures (Deu 29:29)...firstly...


Creation...

"Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy?" (Job 38:7)

This verse, from one of the oldest books of the Bible (Job), more than establishes the truth that Angels were in existence before the physical earth as we see it was created. It can be said that their creation was at the point when the Elohim God "created the Heavens and the Earth in the beginning" (Gen 1:1).


Classification... 

From the Scriptural accounts of seeing Angel Gabriel and Angel Michael being used for important missions (from creation of Adam onwards, see Daniel 10:13,21), it can be discerned that in the eternity past, after having created the Angels, the Almighty created hierarchical order in the Heavens with some endowed with very paramount responsibilities. Of course, all the details about the Heavenly Hierarchy is not completely revealed in the Scriptures as per His Sovereign will. Hence in this matter, we have to be guided by the Scriptural instruction enshrined in Deu 29:29. 

While that is about Heavenly "hierarchical" classification...it would not to be out of place to state here that one needs to know about "Constitutional (read about Body) classification" vis-a-vis, angels and men....Consider this Scripture:

"What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor." (Psalms 8:4-5)

Simply put, while the Almighty is supreme (at the top tier, so to speak), in performing tasks related to time and space, an angel (in the middle tier, as it were) would easily outscore puny "bottom-placed" man. Ask a certain Sennacherib about the "angelic capacity" (see 2 Kings 19:35-36)!

Prayer: Father, you in your wisdom have through Your wisdom have through your wisdom created everything for Your Glory, including Your angels to minister to us. We praise Thee once again in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

Welcome to the Nugget
September 20, 2016
You can Learn so Much

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "And love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God remains in us, and His love is perfected in us." (John 4:10-12)

You can learn so much in this life. This entire world is a spectacular school full of friends, experiences, books, animals, nature and so many other things to learn from. My own learning has come in a million different moments and in thousands of different ways. Here are only a few of the many things I have learned in this life:

* Forgiveness is the best revenge. 
* Petting a dog will lower your blood pressure and lift your smile. 
* No television screen can ever match watching a sunset. 
* Petting a purring cat is a peaceful way to pass the time. 
* Smiles are like boomerangs. Whenever you throw one of them out there it comes right back to you. 
* No handshake can ever take the place of a hug. 
* Wisdom comes in all shapes, all sizes, and all ages. 
* A disabled mind doesn't mean a disabled spirit. 
* No matter what the question, Love is the answer. 
* A good book should uplift your soul not kill your time. 
* The best music brings the best joy. 
* Christmas isn't about presents. It is about loving each other as Christ loved us. 

Prayer should be less about asking of God and more about thanking God and connecting to God. The handicapped can teach us more about unconditional love than any book, any lesson, or any lecture. 

I have also learned that all we ever really want is to be happy. The rest is just a means to that end. I have learned that God loves us whether we deserve it or not. I have learned that we can love too. We can love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength. We can love ourselves. And we can love everyone as ourselves. I have learned that when we do love we will have JOY. All of that happiness we seek in other ways can be ours if we just choose to love. I have learned too that no matter what life throws at us we can keep growing, keep loving, and keep learning. God wants us to learn and God wants us to love on Earth and later in Heaven.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
Announcement:

Feeling a little lost in this world? Patricia Quigley, a Nugget writer, has composed a song entitled: I'm Not From This World, which she sings with her granddaughter. You can view this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc3Qq0UP8L0
©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 15 Oct 2016, 8:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 15, 2016
Angelic...All the Way! 
Part 3
By Answers2Prayer 
Dear Friends in the penultimate part of our series on Angels, we come to the angelic functions.... vis-a-vis firstly their Creator and then at His command in relation to His Prized creation, Man. Well, we can say that they are of...

Adoration...

Isaiah 6:1-3, on the worshipping angels, portrays a clear picture of the Angels' primary calling and that is of: Worship (well it is ours too)! Before I take even a providential step, let me state here that our Lord, of His Sovereign wisdom, has kept a "sense of discovery" in us, and also in the Angels! Remember the triumphant cry, "Eureka!" of Archimedes on discovering a "water-related secret" in his bathtub!

Now a devout friend of mine had a "legitimate" doubt: don't angels ever get "bored" shouting "Hallelujahs" day-in and day-out? Any monotonous activity would lead to boredom. To whom did my friend take his doubt? To the Lord Himself! Mind you, it is not a sin to have a doubt, but once we get it, we need to take it honestly to the "Right Person" (a la Asaph and John the Baptist--Psa 73:17/Luke 7:19)! And what was the Lord's response? "My Son," the Lord said, taking my friend to his garden, "do you know what it takes to keep these plants alive?" "No," was the candid answer of my Pal. The next question was, "Do you know everything about how all your organs function to sustain your physical life?" "No," was again the sincere response. "OK," said the Lord, "In my vast universe, I have stored enough secrets about how this universe functions. Each day I reveal some secrets and angels respond spontaneously with Eurekas...opps sorry...I mean Hallelujahs!"

Dear friends, our Heavenly Father is simply "indescribable," so much so that angelic worship on coming to know more and more about His "goodness allied with greatness" can be described thus as thus: "opening their hearts to the love of God, quickening their conscience to the Holiness of God, purging their imagination with the beauty of God, filling their minds with the truth of God and committing their purposes to the will of God". Our Worship, too, ought to be purpose-driven, as that of the angels, even as He opens our eyes "to see marvellous truths in His written Word." (Psa 119:18)!

Hmmm..now in relation to Man...

Protection...

Scripture portions such as Psalm 34:7 and Matthew 18:10 leave none in doubt about the protective role of the Angels in the lives of His precious, Chosen ones at the command of the Supreme One. Any doubt? Then better listen to a certain Daniel...

"My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions' mouths, that they have not hurt me: forasmuch as before him innocence was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt." (Dan 6:22)

Provision...

"Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him." (Matt 4:11)

So if you think the role of providing needed resources (read Ministering) of the Angels at God's command ended after Jesus' ordeal in the Desert, then consider this testimony...

Many years ago, my elderly relative had quit a high-profile job in Central Government to take-up full-time Lord's Work at the Lord's prompting. At a time, he was undergoing Seminary training in Canada, a letter arrived from his wife that their daughter would not be allowed to attend her classes in School (in a week's time) due to non-payment of fees. What did my relative do? He simply placed that "warning" letter before the Bible and prayed a La Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:14-19). If for Hezekiah the Lord sent a warring angel for subjugation of physical enemies, then for my relative the Lord sent an "unknown" benefactor, who searched for him by name in his class the next day, placed the needed money in the hands of my stunned relative and simply walked away, never to be seen again!

Communication...

Luke 1:26-33, Mark 16:5,  Acts 1:9-11

Scripturally, if angels are found communicating messages from the Lord to His people right from Old Testament times (See Judges 6:12-24/13:2-20), then in the life of our Saviour, as well, angels have been communicating messages. Oh yes, from the time of Jesus birth, angels had been communicating messages. If it was concerning His birth to Virgin Mary (Luke 1:26-33), then it was about His resurrection to some ladies on the First Blessed Resurrection Day (Mark 16:5), and then finally, about His Second coming to stunned Disciples immediately post ascension of the Lord (Acts 1:9-11). Oh yes, an angel shall herald the Second Coming of the Lord, too, by way of a loud trumpet blast (1 Thess 4:16).

Prayer: Father, we praise and thank Thee for creation of angels through Your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ to minister to us. Amen.

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

Post  Admin on Fri 14 Oct 2016, 8:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 13, 2016
Angelic...All the Way! 
Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the second part of our series on "Angels" we focus on yet another angel related subject albeit a tragic one...


Condemnation... 

Can any study on the angels, be ever complete without a mention about this colossal, cosmic "angelic tragedy"?

"How you are fallen from heaven, O shining star, son of the morning! You have been thrown down to the earth, you who destroyed the nations of the world, For you said to yourself, 'I will ascend to heaven and set my throne above God's stars. I will preside on the mountain of the gods far away in the north. I will climb to the highest heavens and be like the Most High.' Instead, you will be brought down to the place of the dead, down to its lowest depths." (Isa 14:12-15)

It indeed is one of the most saddest ironies (thanks Shakespeare for the poetic licence...hmmm... "the most unkindest cut" and all that) of the Creation history...when one angel obviously endowed with very high responsibility bloated itself that it was relegated to the point of being condemned forever (Isa 14:12-15/Ezekiel 28:14-15). Now this angel had his cronies amongst the angelic clan, and for them, too, was reserved the same judgment of one day being condemned into the Hell-fire. Of the total angelic population, it is said that 1/3rd of them tragically joined hands with the main conspirator (Rev 12:4...Stars of Heaven and Angels are always used in one breath in the Scripture...Job 38:7/Judges 5:20) and reaped a "bitter harvest".

Following the spotless creation and the subsequent fall of hitherto sinless man into sin (originally designed to rule this World)...the pristine World has since come under the grip of the Fallen one and his stooges as per the Sovereign will of the Sovereign Holy God. It will remain that way till the release comes, to a great extent during the Millennial reign, and completely one day when the New Heavens and New Earth are created (Rom 8:20-22/Dan10:13/John 14:30/Rev 20,21).

Many of these fallen angels are divinely-permitted to go around (Luke 8:31) a while before the Final day of condemnation arrives (Rev 20:10). The main conspirator with his stooges are still permitted to enter the Heavenly portals (Job 1:6/2:1) as per the Sovereign will of God till the day of their permanent exit from Heavenly realm would arrive (Rev 12:7-8).

Prayer: Father, what a lesson we learn from the Scriptures on what damage pride can do...always endow us with the mind of your Son ...our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 9:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 8, 2016
Lessons From Camping, Part 3: The Burl
bible
By Answers2Prayer 
The second day of our camping trip dawned bright and clear. We could foresee a beautiful day of hiking in front of us, and it was with enthusiasm that we started out. The trails were well-groomed, and due to the plentiful spring rains, the greenery was lush and abundant. The birds were singing, the crickets were chirping, and if we listened carefully, we could even hear the croak of a bull frog. 

As I was taking in these beautiful signs of God's Creation, a particular tree caught my attention. A park sign had been nailed to its trunk years ago, but the tree had actually grown around the sign so much so that the sign was now embedded into the tree trunk. Interesting! 

A few kilometers further, we came upon another tree. This one had a huge burl, one so large that it actually encircled the entire trunk; but the tree continued to grow out the top of it.

For those who may not be tree enthusiasts, a burl is woody growth that appears on trees where the wood grain has grown in a deformed manner. Burls can grow to great size, and in the case of the tree we saw on our hike, these burls can nourish and grow new trees. Burl actually yields a peculiar, decidedly decorated wood that is highly valued for its beauty and rarity and is sought after by furniture makers, artists and wood sculptures.

Just what causes a tree to form a burl?

I don't know specifically what caused the burl I saw, but interestingly, burls usually results from an injury to the tree, or from a virus or fungus, with insect or mold infestation being the most common causes.*

Wait. Did you catch that? Something considered of high value, sought after by woodworkers in general, something that can actually nourish the growth of a new tree, is caused by injury or illness. The tree uses these bad circumstances to grow and produce something of beauty and usefulness for the world! 

It makes you wonder: What do we, humans, do in the face of adverse conditions? What do we do when we are faced with illness, financial difficulties or relationship issues? What do we do when someone uses us as a signpost or for some other dehumanizing object? Do we fuss and complain, beg God to remove the circumstances, even going as far as to becoming angry at Him for allowing it to happen in the first place? Or do we allow God to work through our bad circumstances to produce in us something beautiful? 

Think about it, my friends, and always remember: 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

"He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:11)

With these truths in mind, we can face adversity with triumph: "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4)

Injured by life? Harassed by troubles? Used by society? Don't give up. Instead, grow a burl!

In His love,
Lyn 

*All information provided on Burls taken from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burl

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 07 Oct 2016, 8:11 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 6, 2016
Lessons From Camping, Part 2: The Muddy Path

By Answers2Prayer 
  God is very, very good.

We had been planning this particular trip for months. Having just purchased a new trailer and a new vehicle to tow it, we were chomping at the bit to take them out for their maiden voyage. Imagine our disappointment when the weather forecast held nothing but rain for the entire week leading up to the trip. And not just any rain, but torrential rain for the designated weekend...Sure, we had a new trailer that didn't leak, but who wants to camp in the rain?

It was too late to change our plans, however, and besides, we really did need to go out for a weekend before taking the trailer on a long trip, just to "break it in" properly, so instead of revising our plans, we prayed and asked God to give us a good trip, no matter what the weather might be.

God was good. We had a horrible time getting the trailer onto the campsite, but after a few of His miracles (How to Park a Trailer), we were finally set up for the weekend. Thankfully, not only was it not raining, but the sun was out. We thought we'd go for a short hike and then go into town for some dinner, but when the poor car was still overheated from our "parking" efforts, we decided to give it a rest, and we went into the trailer. Immediately it began to rain, and it poured for the rest of the evening. It cleared up by morning, however, giving us a beautiful, cool day with no rain. In fact, it didn't rain again until that night.

As a result of all that rain, however, the trails were so muddy that in places, it was impossible to get through without getting our boots covered in mud. We became quite adept at figuring out ways around the mud. Nonetheless, after an entire mile of the messy goo, we were getting tired of it. At one point, my husband said, "I think we had better turn around."

Always the unrealistic optimist, I responded with, "Oh, it can't be this bad the entire trail!"

The next muddy spot, however, just a few feet further up the trail looked to be the worst of all, and I quickly skirted it before my husband rounded the bend in the trail. And so it was for another quarter of a mile, and then, the trail dried up, and you couldn't have asked for a nicer path for the rest of our hike.

It made me think about the trials that we go through in life. While in them, they seem that they will last forever. Sometimes it seems that there is no way around them, that we will be stuck in them forever. Sometimes we are tempted to turn back, to turn away from God. But wait: Didn't God promise that He would never allow trials that He can't carry us through? Didn't He promise a bright outcome after the trials?

Okay, no, He didn't say those exact things in those exact words, but consider what He does say:

"No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it" (1Cor 10:13, NKJV).

"And not only [that,] but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." (Rom 5:3-5) 

In other words, if we "continue down the trail" -- read: remain in Him, there will be a better trail ahead, and God will promise to make the rest of our "hike" much more beautiful because of the "mud" we were required to go through.

We actually got pretty good at skirting that mud, and in the end, we didn't get stuck, and we didn't even return to camp with muddy boots. If we trust in God through our trials, we will also emerge from them not only unscathed, but blessed.

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." (James 1:2-4 NKJV)

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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