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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 14 Aug 2016, 3:08 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

August 13, 2016
Weeds

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  I noticed something as I watered the plants on my deck this morning. I noticed that although they were healthy, they were no longer pretty. They had become infected with weeds. 

Normally, every time I water the plants, I pull off the dead flower heads and pull up any weeds I find in the pots; but we have been away for four weeks of this summer. I had asked the neighbor's 10 year-old daughter to water the plants, and she had done a fabulous job of that; but I had not asked her to weed the pots. 

And so, as I watered those flowers and vegetables in their pots this morning, I carefully pulled up the tiny weeds. As I did so, I noticed something: Some of those weeds looked an awfully lot like the plants I had placed in those pots, while others hid under the rich foliage of the healthy flowers, making it hard for me to see them. And after I had cleaned out about half of the many pots, I kind of got tired of the whole procedure and I started to leave those weeds that were less noticeable.

What will be the result of my slothfulness?

When I go out to water the plants tomorrow, I will find healthier, more well-established weeds, ones that have their roots well entwined around the roots of my flowers and vegetables. I will find weeds that are significantly harder to remove. 

This all reminds me of sin. 

The Bible tells us: "But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death." (James 1:14-15)

Thus, temptation is like those little weeds. If we pull them up by the roots the moment we see them, they will not conceive sin. But if we don't keep watch, they will grow, giving birth to spiritual death. 

Let's also remember that: "Evildoers are snared by their own sin..." (Proverbs 29:6)

So what do we do to keep these "weeds" under control so that the "gardens" of our hearts can be pure and beautiful and bear the fruit of God's spirit?

God's Word says: "and we take every thought captive to make it obey Christ. We are also ready to punish every act of disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete." (2Cor 10:5-6, NET)

In other words, we analyze every thought in our heads, comparing it to the Truth of how God's Word suggests we live. If it doesn't line up, we "take it captive", we send it away. And as we search our hearts, when we see any "weeds" that have been allowed in the past to grow up, we deal with them. We pull them up and discard them. 

Let's not forget Peter's excellent advice: "Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering." (1Pet 5:8-9, NET)

As I examined my potted plants this morning, God began to speak to me about a little "weed" I had noticed in my heart a few days ago, that I had been too lazy to remove. Somehow I "liked" that little weed, and I didn't want to get rid of it. Not yet. But God's message was clear: The longer I let it "grow" in the "garden" of my heart, the more its roots would entangle with the good fruit I want to grow there, and the more this little "weed" will steal the water and nutrients of the "soil" of my heart, serving to "starve" and "dehydrate" the good fruit of the Spirit. I needed to get rid of it before it overtook the "garden" of my heart. 

I fell to my knees and pulled up that weed by its roots, I gave it to God, and I repented of having allowed it to grow there. 

Boy do I feel better! 

And boy is it ever easier to act loving and kind, to be patient and gentle, to have joy and faith. 

Want to truly bear the fruit of the Spirit? 

Then it is important to remove the weeds of sin. Ask God to reveal them to you, and then "pull them up" by their "roots". 

Oh, and if you want to keep the garden of your heart clean, it is best to take personal responsibility for examining it daily. Only then will you find the "weeds" of sin before they take over your heart.

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 12 Aug 2016, 11:05 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
August 11, 2016
The Seatbelt

By Answers2Prayer 
  A few years ago before my wife retired from nursing, she was getting ready to leave the parking lot after her days work. She noticed an older gentleman driving out before her onto the main road. He had only gone a very short distance when he stopped and put on his seatbelt. He then drove off some distance up the road, followed by a Police car. He was pulled over and stopped and accused of driving without a seatbelt. The gentleman said that owing to the stiffness of his joints he found it easier to manoeuvre about in the car park without the belt on, and then put on his belt when he got into a proper position on the road, ready to move off.

No mercy or grace was shown. The Law would not bend. The gentleman was fined. He had broken the law and had to pay. Suffer the consequences even for the smallest fault.
I was so thankful for the verse in Romans 6:14b. You are not under law but under Grace.
I was reminded too that we have all broken God`s laws, but He has met our need and paid our debt in full. Hallelujah. Colossians 2:13-14: "He cancelled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; He took it away, nailing it to the cross." (NIV).

Because God is so gracious and has paid our debt in full, the apostle Paul warns us not to be too casual about it. He says in Romans 6:1b-2: "shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid." (AV).

I have thought about being very diligent about making sure my seat belt is on every time I venture out onto the road. The law is watching.

So also for our safety on the journey of life, and be able to obey God`s laws we need to put on Christ. Romans 13:14: "We need Him on every moment we are awake. God watches over us while we sleep."

Finally, something else to think about. If we keep Christ on, by faith, we will produce fruit for God. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control; against such there is no law. What freedom. No law.
Remember to belt up in the back also.

Have a safe journey and keep an eye on your rear mirror.

Donnie Black
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 9:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

August 9, 2016
Knowing About Knowing, Part 4
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
Today in the last part of our series on "Knowing about Knowing", let's focus on the last of the Christian doctrines namely Glorification in the light of our "Knowing about knowing" concept... 

Glorification

"All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son..." (Matt 11:27)

Folks, we are treading now on an absolutely Holy ground. We are now casting spotlight on the Father-Son relationship vis-a-vis the subject "know". The Greek Word used here for "know" is "Epiginosko" which is the deepest level of experiential knowledge about the person concerned surpassing even that of Ginosko. Any wonder then that this knowledge in the Son led to immeasurably greater respect for the Father and a love which was able to take any sacrifice in its stride. 

Also, the Son knew the Father's glory (the sum total of all His unique traits of goodness constitute His Glory -- See Exo 33:18-19) to such an extent that the all-consuming desire to uphold it led the normally serene Lamb of God to even rare acts of aggression...a la roaring lion (John 2:13-22/Matt 21:12-13). Jesus was also all "fire and brimstone" in condemning the hypocrisy of some "Servants of God" of His times...notably the Clergy of the Jewish temple (Matt 23), who not surprisingly had lopsided spiritual priorities (Matt 23:23). Didn't I mention in the earlier part of my message also that "not knowing" God properly would lead to skewed spiritual priorities in service ostensibly done in His Name? By contrast, how true is this trustworthy saying...the more we know God clearly, the more we would love Him dearly and the more we love Him dearly, the more we would follow Him nearly.

The Son's understanding of the magnitude of the Father's glory can also be discerned clearly from the prayer He taught His disciples (Luke 11:1-4). Doesn't the Phrase "Hallowed be Thy Name" come right at the very top (before anything else), from where it rightfully belongs?

One proof of a Christian's growth is that he would bear anything to uphold His Lord's Name. Sad isn't it, when we consider that some genuine heroes of faith in times of terrible provocation or temptation allowed the Almighty's Name to be tarnished, while paying heavy cost in the bargain...Take Moses and David for example (Numbers 20:1-12/2 Sam 12:13-14). In stark contrast, picturize the scene at the Calvary cross when the Satan (yes, it was him) through his human agents hurled everything at God's Son in order to provoke Him into at least one God-dishonoring act (1 Peter 2:21-24/Heb 12:3) but wouldn't succeed. Why? For the Son who had a clear-cut agenda in the matter of protecting His Father's Glory steeled Himself, come what may, to bear the most excruciating torture in human history even while being aware that the eventual rewards would by far outweigh the pain endured (Heb 12:2/Philippians 2:5-11).

Even after seeing such tangible proofs of the Son's "knowledge" of the Father, and even after making a wonderful declaration such as the one recorded in Philippians 3:10, it was indeed both humbling and aspirational of Apostle Paul to note thus of Heavenly relationships on the other side of Eternity....the realm the Son-Father relationship was in this Earth itself... 

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." (I Cor 13:12)

No prizes for guessing that the Greek word used by the Apostle Paul in the captioned Scripture portion is Epiginosko, which in English has been translated into know fully.

Yes, for every Child of God this hope of knowing the Father just like His Son Jesus indeed holds good, for one day we shall indeed be like Jesus (1 John 3:2) and thereby know the Father's "goodness" just like Christ. Quite surely at that time our "sacrifices" of our Earthly sojourn would be dwarfed by the size of the Father's rewards (I Cor 2:9). 

Hey, don't you know that the Word (another name for Jesus) always keeps His Word? So, if He has said in His Word that one day we would become like Him, should we not take the Word at its Word? So regarding the glorious future, Boy I know something fabulous is coming my way. Do you?

Hallelujah and Amen.

Prayer: Father, whatever be the cost, help me Your Child to know you better and better. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Suresh Manoharan,
Hyderabad, India
J and SM Ministries 
Suresh Manoharan,
Hyderabad, India
J and SM Ministries
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 10:13 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

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August 6, 2016
Knowing About Knowing, Part 3
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After having focused on one (Justification) of the three key Christian doctrines in the background of the concept "Knowing about Knowing", today let's reflect on yet another paramount doctrine of sanctification within the same co-ordinates... 

Sanctification

After receiving a new life from the Saviour, while we do our bit earnestly of praying, Bible-reading, Church fellowshipping and Witnessing in order to be transformed into Christ's image (2 Cor 3:18)--which is the basic purpose behind our being "justified"-- the good Lord does His bit too (a very important one at that) in moulding us into His image. We need to co-operate with Him in this matter. Over to Apostle Paul on this subject...

"...That I may know...the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings...." (Phillippians 3:10 KJV)

Ginosko has been employed again for the word Know in the above-captioned Scripture portion. Compared to this (in his sanctification process) Apostle Paul reasons every other thing like his rich spiritual Jewish heritage for instance is "dung" (strong words quoted verbatim. See Philippians 3:8, KJV). Now how's that for hitting the nail on its head, as it were!

What is a Christian's "sufferings" if it is not consistent Cross-bearing for God's Glory (Luke 9:23), much like what the Saviour (Heb 9:14) did. This Cross-bearing produces Christ-like virtues (Rom 5:3-4) in a Christian. Let's now try to "know" what exactly is Cross-bearing. Remember for a Cross (synonymous with pain) to be carried, it necessarily has to be in touch with your being. Therein lies the answer. The surrounding "unavoidable" irksome circumstances, which one cannot get away from...be it in a country where we live in (can we leave the Country and flee if communal persecutions break out?) or in the place of education/employment/business or in a relationship like marriage, parenthood or the perpetual pain in even one's own body due to some health disorder or the "pain" in resisting an urge to gratify a sexual desire in the unmarried lot or "pain" in resisting the temptation to get even with an enemy...All these constitute a cross. Enduring it without complaint is what earnest Christian cross-bearing is all about.

Now coming to the Resurrection power in a Child of God...What is it if it is not the presence of the same Life-giving Holy Spirit, which quickened his dead spirit at the point of re-generation (Rom 8:2/11) and who now manifests Himself in him by way of continual joy (Acts 9:31/Rom 5:5)?
 
It is in this rare "atmospheric" condition of pain outside and joy inside that a Christian's character gets built. Dwelling more on the subject of the Ethereal Joy which is ever present in a Christian's heart, let it be said that this immeasurable joy (Psa 16:11) not only increases one's spiritual "feel-good" factor exponentially, but also it is by this super-natural joy that one gets to experience fully the joy in other permissive joys like the one in enjoying a sumptuous meal or in the one of physical intimacy within the ambit of marriage ( to play it safe in the contemporary context, shall I qualify the word marriage with the word "heterosexual" 1 Tim 4:1-4 TLB? ), or be it in enjoying to the hilt a creatively-compiled Sports article...at once contributing to abundant life (John 10:10). Simply put, minus the Divine joy, joy would go out of other legitimate "joyous" activities!
 
Focusing on the work of the Spirit in tandem with the Cross in making a Christian grow, it has been said...

-Cross without the Spirit, you dry-up (Psa 106:15 TLB),
-Spirit without the Cross, you puff-up (2 Cor 12:7 TLB)
-With the Cross and the Spirit, you grow-up

While Christians are growing up, some out of the Lord's mercy (2 Cor 4:1) would further be consecrated by Him to be used in the Five-fold Ministry of the Church as Apostles, Prophets, Pastors, Teachers and Evangelists (2 Tim 2:21/Eph 4:8-15). It has to be noted here that while for experiencing Salvation the qualification is realization of one's sinfulness, for consecration into a God-ordained Ministry the qualification is consistent Cross-bearing with the power of His indwelling Spirit.

Also it is only by conjoining the Cross and the Spirit, that the ever-present (yes, it has to be there at all times) love equation in the Deity-Devotee relationship in the Christian realm can be established on this side of the Eternity. Without Cross-bearing 24-7 submissively can we ever underscore our claim that we love the Lord at all times. By the same token, without the placement of the life-giving waters (read Perpetual joy-John 7:37/1 Peter 1:8) in our spirit, can our Heavenly Father validate His claims that He loves us all times? Oh really, cross and the Spirit are made for each other in this Sanctification process!

Prayer: Father grant me more knowledge of Thy goodness, even as I co-operate with You in my sanctification process. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan,
Hyderabad, India
J and SM Ministries
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What other Biblical truths can we "know" beyond a doubt? Join us on Tuesday for the conclusion of "Knowing About Knowing", a mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 05 Aug 2016, 11:39 am

Welcome to the Nugget

August 4, 2016
Knowing About Knowing, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  While exploring the subject of "Knowing about Knowing", let's cast our spotlight today on the key Christian doctrine of Justification...

"And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent" (John 17:3)

Well, the Christian life begins as it were by experientially knowing God and Jesus Christ (here too for "know" the Greek word "Ginosko" is used in the original text) which means being quickened from spiritual death by the receipt of life-giving God's Spirit (Rom 8:2). Until that Spirit is known and received as an earnest of the soul's inheritance, there can be no saving knowledge of God and Christ (Romans 8:9). Doesn't the ever truthful Scripture attest this truth in another place..."Hereby we know that we abide in Him and He in us because He hath given us his Spirit" (1 John 4:13).

This new birth experience is bound to generate oodles of respect and love in the Saved for the Saviour (Luke 7:47). If Success in the book written by Thomas Edison is 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration, then let it be said that major component of the "all odds surmounting love" (I Cor 13:7) in the forgiven one is respect for the Forgiver. Respect in essence is the core belief that my Divine Deliverer from sin is good all the time. Period (Thanks Don Moen)!!!

For instance, did the Jews in the Wilderness who missed out on the Promised Land really "know" Him? Obviously "no" since one can suspect from their frequent rebellious outbursts (Exo 16:3/17:3/Numbers 11:4-6/14:3) that far from loving Him, they did not even respect Him in the first place! True knowledge of the Saviour would lead to respect in one's heart culminating in love-laced obedience at all times to One who gave His all at the Cross to "buy" our pardon (2 Cor 5:21). 

Prayer: Father, even as my heart is bubbling with gratitude for Your miracle of saving me from sin, help me know more and more about Thy infinite goodness in order, I am grateful at all times. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan,
Hyderabad, India
J and SM Ministries 

 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 04 Aug 2016, 9:25 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

August 2, 2016
Knowing About Knowing, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Now this kind of title is bound to raise a few eyebrows much like the title "Prophesying about Prophecies" would do. Can we really prophesy about say Tribulation related prophecies contained in Rev 6-19 of the Bible? Yes, by simply prophesying with conviction that they would all come true! Similarly can we come to "know" more about the word "Know" as used in the Scripture? The answer is a resounding yes!

Boom! This subject assumes paramount significance especially in the wake of grim words Jesus has reserved to employ for some misguided Charismatic "servants" of God at the time of reckoning which would cause tumultuous shock to them..."I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness." (Matt 7:23).

What? An omniscient God (Pro 15:11/Heb 4:13) "not" knowing about some of His own professing Servants? Does it not go against all Canons of Spiritual logic based on the truthful Canon (Psa 119:142/160)? For an answer, let us aim to understand the meaning of the word "Know" in original Greek text. Incidentally for the English word "Know" there are three Greek words each describing the higher level of intimacy and knowledge of the subject concerned. Two of which, I would like to focus upon immediately, with the best (exposition of the third word) of course being reserved for the last!

Firstly, the Greek Word "Oidate", used for instance, in John 7:28 (You know where I was born...) as also in Matt 20:22/24:42 conveys merely "superficial knowledge" akin to the English equivalent of "I see what you are saying." By contrast, another Greek word, "Ginosko", which is what is attributed to our Lord in the key scripture portion of Matt 7:23 means "knowing through personal experience". This is also used in other Scripture portions like Luke 1:34, John 8:32, 10:14.

Now we are closer to nailing the truth as it were behind the truth in Matt 7:23. What the good Lord is actually saying is this: between that genre of His professing Servants and Him, there was never any "oneness of mind". In other words, their priorities whilst purportedly doing Ministry in His Name influenced probably by self-seeking lust for fame, wealth or pleasures were never His. In short, they never knew Him well enough to align their priorities with His despite His many efforts to correct them, so much so that He had to abandon them to their errant ways. Dear Friends, the biggest punishment on this of Eternity ironically is not a chastisement bringing in its wake indescribable agony (a La Jonah in Sheol experience - Jonah 2), but the one when the Lord gives up a misguided soul to its own self-gratification ways...sad to say...even when "those ways" mean service ostensibly done selflessly in His Name (Rom 1:28). In case, if you are now you going through a painful disciplining process, Praise God for it for it means He is not willing to give up on you (Heb 12:5-11).

While on the subject, in this 4-part series we will be learning how to apply this paramount "knowing about knowing" concept to each of the three cardinal Christian Doctrines beginning with...Justification. Please join us on Thursday. 

Prayer: Father, whatever be the cost, help me Your Child to know you better and better. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan,
Hyderabad, India
J and SM Ministries 

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 10:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 30, 2016
Drielandenpunt

By Answers2Prayer 
Ever wish you could be three places at once? 

Now that takes real talent. It is the ultimate in multitasking to be able to do three things at one time, but to be three places at once is impossible. 

Or so I thought, until the day I found myself not just in three places at once...but in three--countries!--at once! Now that takes more than talent. It takes supernatural powers!

Either that, or it requires being at Drielandenpunt! 

This is an unusual spot where three world countries--Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands--all come together: "Drie" = Three; "landen" = countries; and "punt" = point. Literally translated, it is "Three countries point". And there I stood with my legs split apart and a hand to the ground, literally placing myself in three countries at once. Pretty talented, eh? 

But wait. I can stand with my legs split apart, reaching to the ground with my hand anywhere in the world, but it won't mean that I'm in three countries at once. Besides my "gymnastic" abilities, I also needed to be at the Drielandenpunt. That is what made the difference.

There are many things we would like to see in this life, and many of them are in the "impossible" category. For example, we cannot heal ourselves. We cannot provide for our families when there is no money coming in. We cannot "make" our rebellious teens love and respect us, and we cannot "remove" the difficult managers, principals and bosses. This all takes supernatural power. Power that we, as humans, do not possess.

God is always on His throne. We know He loves us beyond measure, and if we ever doubt it, we can be assured of this by contemplating Jesus' selfless gift on the cross for each of us. So why doesn't God just remove our illnesses? Why doesn't He "straighten out" our rebellious children? Why doesn't He "remove" our difficult managers, etc? 

Let's remember that I can stand with my feet apart and my hand to the ground at any time; yet it only means I'm in three countries at the same time if I am doing so at the Drielandenpunt. I must be in the right place to accomplish this feat. The same is true of receiving God's supernatural power. 

So just where is this "right place" where we can access this power? 

When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price for our Salvation. But His death did so much more. It opened the doors for us to access His supernatural power. When we are "in Christ", we are in the "right place" to access the "supernatural" power from above. Consider this text: "...so that you may know what is the hope of his calling, what is the wealth of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the incomparable greatness of his power toward us who believe, as displayed in the exercise of his immense strength. This power he exercised in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms far above every rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And God put all things under Christ's feet..." (Eph 1:17-22, NET)

What does it mean to be "in Christ"?

It means that we trust Him fully. It means we believe in the fullness of His death and resurrection. It means we put our faith in His endless provision. And when we do, we are in the right place for God's supernatural power to flow through us. We are at God's "Drielandenpunt".

This "place" is available to everyone; yet just as I had to put out some effort in a foreign country with a language I didn't speak to even find Drielandenpunt, I must also seek God's "Drielandenpunt" with all of my heart. I must love and trust Him above all else, I must truly believe in the abundance of His provision. 

I recently had my cancer medication changed. As soon as the change happened, I began experiencing an odd, new symptom. My oncologist was concerned enough that this symptom might mean a return of cancer that he referred me to a specialist and he order some more tests. I continue to await those tests. However, I also went to God's "Drielandenpunt". I turned the problem over to Him, fully trusting in the provision of His healing power. Gradually, over the course of a week, the symptom lessened until it disappeared completely. After experiencing this symptom daily for the past three months, I am now standing in "Drielandenpunt" in my living room: I am in the right place, for I am fully trusting in His endless provision, and as a result, I have opened the door for God's miraculous power to flow through me. I am healed. Praise God!

Are you in need of a miracle? Come to the "Drielandenpunt": humbly come to God, seeking His love, seeking His friendship, and believing in His never-ending provision. That is the place where you can do the supernatural and see God's miracles in your life. 

Anyone know of a place where there are four countries coming together at the same point???

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 29 Jul 2016, 11:12 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


July 28, 2016
I'm Going to Let it Shine

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:16)

It was a warm evening in June. I was a young dad, sitting in a lawn chair, holding my baby boy on my lap. My wife and I had just rented an old house with a big yard. Her uncle along with his wife and two, young daughters had dropped by to pay us a visit. As we adults sat outside, sipping iced tea, and watching the sun go down, the two girls raced around the yard, laughing, yelling, and trying their best to catch lightening in a jar. 

The lightening was lightening bugs, of course. Dozens of fireflies were floating freely around the yard, moving slowly, but always just evading their pursuers. Soon my young cousins got me to join in the hunt and we safely captured two of the little shiners and put them in a mason jar with a lid on it. We sat and watched them blink on and off for a long time. Finally, one of the girls looked at me and said, "They look sad. We should let them go." I slowly opened the lid and we watched as they flew away to freedom. Then we laughed and sang several verses of the song: "This little light of mine. I'm going to let it shine."

As I think back on that night so many years ago it makes me remember all the times I have kept my own light sealed in the mason jar of my soul instead of sharing it with the world. Fear, anger, jealousy, and doubt have made me hide my light so many times over the years. It has taken me a long time to see that like those lightening bugs God wants all of us to shine our light as bright as we can, as long as we can, and every single chance that we can.

Don't let fear keep you from shining your light. Don't let this world keep you from living your love. God loves you so much. God meant for you to shine. Share your love then. Be kind. Help others. Do good. Bring joy. Make your life a beacon for all the world to see. Take all that lovely light within you and "let it shine, let it shine, let it shine."

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

Post  Admin on Wed 27 Jul 2016, 11:28 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


July 26, 2016
Listen

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "Then He said, 'Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.' And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave." (1 Kings 19:11-13) 

As a writer I am always looking for inspiration. I can always tell that God has a sense of humor too, because my best inspirations often come at the most inconvenient times when I have nothing to write them down on. 

I can remember once years ago when I was walking with my children around a local lake in the Summertime. The sun was sparkling off the crystal clear waters. Butterflies were dancing above the wild flowers. The shady trees were full of chirping birds. It felt so peaceful there. I smiled and relaxed. Of course, that is when the idea for a new story suddenly appeared, fully formed, in my mind. We were still a half-mile away from our car and I was afraid my aging brain would forget part of the story before I got there. I took my pen out of my pocket then and started writing it down on the palm of my hand.

Later after I had transferred the inspiration to paper and was washing the ink off my hand I laughed and asked God why He always seemed to speak to my heart at the strangest times. As soon as I said it, I heard in my mind: "Because that is the only time you are listening!"

Maybe if we all want to hear from God more often we should just shut up and listen. God speaks to us in the silence of our souls. God whispers to us in the quiet of the storm. God talks to us but never talks over us. If you want to hear God's inspiration and guidance in your heart and mind, you have to shut off your own noise. If you want to feel God's love inside you, you have to silence the chattering monkey within.

We are all Children of God and He is forever ready to love us, inspire us, guide us, improve us, and help us to grow into the people we were meant to be. His inspiration comes to us through our thoughts, our intuition, our experiences, and our lives. All we have to do is let Him in. All we have to do is open our hearts and close our mouths. All we have to do is listen. 

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

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Jul 2016, 11:11 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 23, 2016
If you Don't Like the Weather...

By Answers2Prayer 
  A minute ago, when I looked out the window, it was foggy. I couldn't see to the back of my property; but now, the pond and its ring of trees are clearly visible.

It kind of reminds me of the saying I heard when we visited Alberta a few years back: If you don't like the weather, wait a few minutes! With the onslaught of global warming, we have all noted a change in our weather patterns, and I'm starting to think this saying will soon apply to Southern Ontario as well!

In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus is quoted as saying something that is similar: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" (Matt 6:25-27)

Wait. There is nothing about the weather in that passage...

Or is there? 

The weather is part of life, and Jesus' message to us is clear: We are not to worry about life's problems! 

The same is true of that bad reaction to chemotherapy and the pain that was a result of your last radiation treatment. It's true of the sleepless nights and the tears of broken relationships as well as the anguish of job loss, financial difficulties, death, and any of the other myriad of things that we face on a daily basis. Hey, it is true of our entire life's picture! God's message to us throughout is clear: We are not to worry about life's problems! For in all honesty, "Which of by worrying can add one cubit to stature?"

Though these words are already poignant, Jesus goes on to reiterate His point for another 7 verses. Friends, when Jesus repeats Himself, especially for 7 more verses, we know He's trying to get our attention! 

So what should we do instead of worrying?

We do what they do in Alberta--and what we are starting to need to do in Ontario as well--We wait it out, ever knowing that there are brighter days ahead. 

But waiting is sometimes so hard. Isn't there something we can do to help us through the wait? 

Jesus has the answer there as well: "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." (Matt 6:31-33).

While in the midst of our pain, our fatigue, our brokenness and our fear, Jesus says, "Seek...the Kingdom of God and His righteousness..."

Friends, seeking God in our pain will help us weather the storm, but it will do so much more: "...and all these things shall be added to you." So while we stop worrying, while we seek God instead, God promises to take care of our problems. 

It's a win-win situation!

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 22 Jul 2016, 10:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 21, 2016
My Plans

By Answers2Prayer 
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take." (Proverbs 3:5-6)

"The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9, Proverbs 20:24)

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he delights in his way." (Psalm 37:23)

"You can make many plans, but the Lord's purpose will prevail." (Proverbs 19:21)

"I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

I had the day all planned out. Just enough time to do everything on my list.

Not too far into the morning that got entirely rearranged. I was fussing and fuming about it to myself when all of a sudden I realized that I had given the day to God, as I do most mornings, giving him free reign for whatever would take place that day.

God is never early, and He's never late; He is always right on time. When He orchestrates a day's schedule and plans, He has a reason. We can trust that it is for good, and remember there's always a bigger picture.

As I write this, I am thinking, "I hope I can remember this the next time my plans get bumped and the day's activities get totally shuffled around!" and be thankful.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2014 


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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 20 Jul 2016, 9:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 19, 2016
A Part of God's Creation

By Answers2Prayer 
  I was sitting in my car with the windows rolled down. My daughter had a meeting in the building in front of me and I was waiting to give her a ride home. The eighty degree day was wrapping the world in its warmth. A gentle breeze was blowing. Fat, fluffy clouds coasted lazily across the sky. The sun was washing the world with its golden light, making everything more beautiful. It sparkled off the green leaves filling every tree and made them glow. On the ground a bumble bee buzzed around a patch of yellow dandelions while a patient butterfly fluttered  above him. Dozens of different birds were singing. Each of their songs was unique but they curiously combined into a symphony of delight. Even a squirrel seemed to stop and listen to them for a moment before zipping away across the pavement and up an old Oak tree.

As I sat there I noticed that I was smiling peacefully and that my heart felt full of contentment. It was like I could feel the Love of God all around me and within me too. It made wonder why more people didn't make the time each day to take in all the beauty, peace, and love that surrounds us.

Archibald Rutledge wrote: "God ministers to our spirits by the beauty that adorns creation." Perhaps the best thing each of us can do then is to care for God's creation, to add our own beauty to it and to do our best to share it with others.

Do your best then to add your loving soul, sweet smile, and kind heart to God's creation. Add your goodwill and helping hands to it as well. Add your optimism and enthusiasm. Add your wisdom, skills, and talents. Add all that you are to make this world a better place. We are all a part of God's glorious tapestry of creation! How big or small a part of it is up to us, however.
 
Don't let yours be as small as a grain of sand when it can be as huge as Heaven.

"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." (Ps 19:1-2)

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

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Jul 2016, 10:08 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 16, 2016
Understanding the 'Why', Part 2

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Last Thursday, in "Understanding the 'Why', Part 1", we saw that though it makes it a lot easier to go through trials when we understand why, we can trust God to know why, even when we don't see it. We can take comfort in the fact that God is always in control.

Is it even truly humanly possible to understand the 'why' in each and every situation?

I didn't think so, and I was learning to be content in not knowing, when God gave me the following text: "Evil men do not understand justice, But those who seek the Lord understand all." (Prov 28:5)

I did a double take when I read this verse this morning. I am busy resigning myself to the fact that I don't need to understand everything, that I can trust God to be in charge of my negative circumstances even when I don't understand why, and now I see that it IS actually possible to 'understand all'? 

Wow!

Notice, however, that there is, indeed, a qualifier to this promise: "those who seek the Lord..." Yes, it is possible to find an answer to the 'why' question, but only to those who seek the Lord. 

Does this mean that it is available to us whenever we seek to know the answer to 'why' in the midst of a storm? Or does it mean that the answers to the 'why' questions are available to those who make it a habit of seeking the Lord? To those who pursue a daily, personal, deep relationship with God? To those whose trust is truly without borders?

I would have to say that perhaps just seeking God in the midst of our trials for the purpose of understanding why we are going through what we face is probably not what the text is referring to here. You see, if we only seek God in the midst of our trials, we will not cultivate that friendship relationship that we need to even recognize His voice when He does speak to us. 

Rather, I would suggest that this text means that when we are in the habit of seeking God at all times--when we pursue a personal, daily relationship with God; when our trust grows to the point that it is truly without borders--that is when we will begin to see. We won't just our trials of today, but we will begin to see all things from His perspective. And as we begin to see His big picture unfolding, understanding the 'why' in the face of our trials will be a natural progression of our relationship with God.

Three years ago, I was chosen to go through cancer. Naturally, I asked 'why'. Unfortunately, I wasn't quite at the point where I could say I trusted God to know the 'why', nor was I close enough to God to see anything from His perspective. It was in the midst of this trial that I learned that I didn't need to know 'why', that I could trust that God knew why, and that was all I needed. And so I set out, through the cancer walk, to become closer to God. I have to tell you that God couldn't have chosen any trial for me that would have better accomplished that purpose, and at the end, He began to give me glimpses of the big picture. At the end, as a result of my seeking God diligently--not because I wanted to know why, but because I wanted to know Him--I became privy to the answers to the 'why' questions. 

Since this time, I have made it a point of seeking God on a daily basis, of seeking to know Him more, of longing to have a greater desire to know Him more fully, and since this time there have been many trials that have arisen. Perhaps these have not been on the same scale as cancer, but each time, God has made me privy to the answer to the 'why' question, at least in part. Not because I sought Him in the midst of the trial for the purpose of knowing why, but because I seek Him regularly for the purpose of knowing Him more.

Want to know why you are going through cancer or other major illnesses? Want to understand why you've been chosen to go through divorce? Want to comprehend why dealing with rebellious teens or financial problems has been 'dumped' on you? Then seek God with all your heart on a daily basis for the sole reason of desiring to know Him more. He is more than happy to help us understand why we are going through what we face, we just need to seek Him more!

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 15 Jul 2016, 4:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 14, 2016
Understanding the 'Why', Part 1

By Answers2Prayer 
  One of the big things I struggle with every time I'm going through trials is the question, 'Why?'

I'm sure I'm not alone in this, for it is innately human to want to understand things, and somehow, it makes what we're going through easier when we understand the 'why' piece.

Take for example the recent changes that came about in the rehab hospital where I work. These were announced well in advance, and right from the first introduction of the upcoming changes, the 'why' piece was explained. As I sat back later and contemplated what the hospital wanted to do, I realized it was going to be a huge undertaking that would likely not settle into place for many months. That would mean major stress for everyone employed by the hospital, to say nothing of the stress on our patients. But I recognized the reasoning behind the changes, I realized that in the end, the advantages would be far-reaching, and when the dust finally settles, both patients and staff will greatly benefit. With this basic understanding in place, I volunteered to be on the planning committee (after all, if you can't fight change, you might as well help lead it!), and as we have moved through the initial transition, I have tried to be a positive voice in the midst of the stress.

Yes, knowing 'why' definitely helps us through. 

Unfortunately, when it comes to the trials that we face, we usually aren't privy to the 'why' piece. I've often thought, with the onset of each new trial, that if only I knew why, it would be so much easier to accomplish.

God has taught me two vitally important lessons about knowing 'why', and I would like to share these with you. 

So many times I've sat down in my prayer closet in the face of one major trial or another and said, "Why, God?" Now I will admit that it is difficult to hear God's voice in these situations, because the reality of our circumstances is so big in our minds that we can't seem to focus on anything else. In fact, it's pretty easy in these situations to think God has abandoned us. Yet when we really put our hearts to listening, we find that He is, indeed, there. 

One day, as I again cried out, "God, if I only knew why this was happening, it would be so much easier to navigate", I heard His voice loud and clear: "Do you really need to know 'why'? Don't you trust Me enough to know that I know why, and I see and direct the 'big picture'? Isn't that enough?"

Herein lies the first lesson we can learn from asking the 'why' question: It IS enough that God knows why. He is directing everything that happens to us, He has it all under control, and we can trust Him to know 'why'. 

The next time you are faced with circumstances and trials that are way beyond you; the next time you are tempted to ask 'why', remember that you when God knows 'why', we truly don't need to know!

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths." (Prov 3:5-6)

Won't it be fun to get to Heaven and see the picture from God's perspective?

There is yet another secret to understanding the 'why' question. Join us next time for "Understanding the 'Why', 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 Thu 14 Jul 2016, 10:05 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 12, 2016
Seeking Understanding

By Answers2Prayer 
 "For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way..." (Hebrews 2:17)

When I was younger, and my Mom would be trying to get a point across, she would say, "Someday when you are a mother, you will understand." These days my daughter will occasionally say to me, "Now that I'm a Mom, I understand things you said a lot better!"

You have to "be there" to "get it". You can have all the head knowledge in the world, but until you experience some things, there's just no way you can understand them.

At just the right time, the Lord implemented His plan to reconcile us to Himself. And Jesus, God in the flesh, was born as a baby. He grew up in a family and experienced things we all do. 

Jesus understands us, because He's "been there". So whenever we are seeking understanding, we can remember Someone is right here to do that very thing.

That's good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2015
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 11 Jul 2016, 9:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


July 9, 2016
The Mobber

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  During the spring and summer, I often see tiny birds driving off much larger ones. I've often wondered about this. How does such a tiny bird have the courage, speed and strength to attack and drive off a much larger one? Finally my curiosity got the better of me, and I googled it. Here is what I found:

This rather common practice in the bird world is called "mobbing", and the smaller, weaker bird is known as the "mobber". Mobbing is probably a bit more common in the spring than in other seasons, as the most common reason is protection of the mobber's nest and young. It is also sometimes done to protect a food source.

The mobber will usually attack another, larger bird, but mobbing has also been known to be an attack on a mammal, even one as large a cow. Common mobbers include chickadees, titmice, kingbirds, blackbirds, grackles, jays, and crows; while common targets include hawks, crows, ravens, herons and owls. Interestingly according to my Internet source, the mobber is most often successful.

The information only served to further prick my curiosity: How can a bird as tiny as a titmouse or a chickadee have enough strength, speed and ferocity to drive off a bird as large as a hawk or a heron? 

Apparently the mobber's success is due to its greater maneuverability. In addition, the mobber often takes the target completely by surprise, and these two factors take away much of the predator's advantage. *

But you didn't really come to read this site because you wanted a lesson on birds, so what does this have to do with the stormy trials you are currently going through?

Just this: when the target bird enters the mobber's territory, the mobber suddenly finds himself in the midst of a major trial, one that could take the life of his mate or young, or even take his own life. Isn't this how we feel in the midst of our storms?

So often as the storms press in, we feel like there is no way out. The illness is just too big for us. There isn't any solution to our financial difficulties. Our relationship problems just won't go away, etc. It is at this moment that we can take lessons from the mobber: We can rise up in the middle of our storm and drive it away!

Will we be successful?

Remember that the mobber relies on the element of surprise as well as on their greater maneuverability to succeed. We, also have something that is to our advantage: We have the power of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross to give us victory: "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5:1) 

It is our choice if we USE that power, or if we simply let the waves of the storm overcome us. 
Like the little mobbers who rely on surprise and maneuverability, we can rely on Jesus' resurrection power to drive off the predator that wants to rob us and our families of our peace in Jesus.

Friends, I encourage each of you to learn a valuable lesson from the mobbers. In the face of whatever your storm may be, rise up in the power of Jesus' name and command it to leave! 

The other day, the spirit of anxiety and fear overcame someone in my family. I felt so helpless. I had no idea what to do. As I drove to work, I began to pray, and suddenly it came to me: I needed to be a mobber! I rose up in the power of Jesus' name and commanded that filthy spirit away from my loved one. I declared his power broken, and then I prayed a hedge of protection over my family member that the predator would not be able to return.

When I got home that evening, I found an entirely different person waiting for me. He was completely and totally free of anxiety and fear, he had decided to take a step out in faith and let God handle the situation he had been so imprisoned by. 

What about it friends? In the face of our trials, let's be mobbers! We will be amazed at how Jesus' resurrection power will drive away the "predators" of our circumstances!

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.

* http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=1098#q-mobbing 
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 08 Jul 2016, 10:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 7, 2016
Eternity's Eyes

By Answers2Prayer 
  Over the years I have gotten so many letters and e-mails of appreciation for these simple stories I write. These letters always warm my heart. Once in a while, however, I get a letter from hurting soul who is angry with both God and life. I got one of these the other day. The man wrote: "If God truly does love us then how can He allow the poor to suffer, children to starve, and the homeless to die in the street? How can He allow so much war, cruelty, and violence in this world?" I looked at the letter for a long time and then wrote this back to him: "God doesn't allow this. We do."

There is more than enough food in this world to fill every child's stomach. There is more than enough wealth in this world to give everyone a home where they can feel safe. There is more than enough love in this world to overcome cruelty, violence, and war. Yet, we hoard, fear, and steal. We seek power instead of love. We close our homes, our hands, and our hearts.
 
We shut ourselves off and refuse to see that everyone is our brother and sister. Perhaps our problem is that we don't look at this world through the eyes of eternity. We don't see that a better home and happier life awaits us after this one. We don't see the love of God within us. Instead we chase after the things of this world. We don't see that in eternity's eyes all the wealth and power in the universe isn't worth a bucket of spit. We don't see that in the next life we won't be judged by our fame and accomplishments. We will be judged by the good we did, the people we helped, and the love we shared.

I pray that all of those hurting souls out there will find their way back to faith, love, and life. I pray that every one of us will feel just how much God loves us and realize just how much we can love as well. I pray that all of us will one day see this life through eternity's eyes.

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'" (Matt 25:37-40 NIV)

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

Post  Admin on Wed 06 Jul 2016, 12:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


July 5, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 9

By Answers2Prayer 
 Over the past 8 devotionals, we've been taking a close look at the story of Jesus and Peter walking on water; but this story is so concrete. The disciples were in the midst of a literal storm, and they were in a real boat. Our storms aren't the kind that would tip over a fishing boat on the lake. Our storms are the kind that will eat us up on the inside and slowly drain us of life. How can this story be applied to our storms?

One of the things I've struggled with since I was diagnosed with cancer is a very poor sleep pattern. This is actually one of the side effects of my medication. Now God has been faithful. There has not been a single day when He hasn't been my strength and my energy, despite sleeping on the average, only 3-4 hours a night. And recently, thanks to the faithful prayers of my wonderful family, my average sleep had increased to 5 hours, and then to 5 1/2. Wow! I am truly the recipient of a miracle! And it was with joy that I would measure my amount of sleep each morning. If I had a 6 hour night, I rejoiced that I would have plenty of energy for the day, and if my night was only 5 hours, I would forget that 5 hours was already a miracle, far better than the previous 3, and I would resign myself to being tired all day. On the odd day when my family forgot to pray with me before I went to bed, I would know in advance that I wouldn't sleep as well.

About the same time as God placed this series on my heart, and exactly at the same time that I began asking the question of how I could figuratively 'get out of the boat' for the storms of my life, the unthinkable happened with my sleep: I suddenly jumped back to my 3-4 hour nights, and my energy was completely drained. It became a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. 

I turned to God with this problem, but I have to admit that I was complaining more than anything else: "Why, God? I thought You were healing me of my sleeplessness? Why are the old patterns all coming back? And God, I've been trusting You, despite the lack of sleep, to give me the energy I need!"

God's response was clear: "I want you to get out of the boat!"

"But," I responded, in my habitual argumentative attitude, "I don't understand how to do that! I don't even know what my 'boat' is!"

I was immediately impressed with the idea that my 'boat' was three-fold: It was, first and foremost, that I had begun to rely on the prayers of my family for my sleep. Secondly, I was relying on the number of hours of sleep for my energy; and finally, I had begun to rely on my physical feeling of energy to get me through each day. 

With these realizations came once again that gentle, quiet voice: "I need you to get out of your boat!"

"But..." I sputtered, "I..." Then it all came back to me: Everything I've been writing about in this series! God wasn't abandoning me to my lack of sleep! I was simply clinging to my 'boat', and now, now God was calling me out upon the waters! He was promising that I would be able to walk across the waves of sleeplessness instead of bobbing along in my boat at the mercy of those waves! 

So I did it. I got out of my three-hulled boat. I renounced the need for prayer to sleep. I renounced the need to sleep a certain number of hours, and I even renounced the need to feel energetic to be able to function. I stepped out into the great unknown, knowing that my feet would fail. But I did it knowing that I would find Jesus there, in the mystery, in the ocean deep; and there I discovered that my faith would, indeed, stand.

Oh, there have been a few times since this day that I, like Peter, have looked back down at the wind and the waves. Take the day I was simply dragging, for example. Like Peter, I, too, lifted my eyes back to Jesus, and instantly, though my energy didn't change, I knew I was going to be able to do what I needed to do. 

Recently I went for yet another of my oncology check-ups. Besides being told that everything was fine with no apparent return of cancer, my oncologist decided it was time to change my medication. He actually took me off the medication that was making me be unable to sleep! 

Is this how Jesus will calm my storm? I don't know, but I'm pretty excited to see how it all plays out. Since this medication stays in the system for up to 30 days, I haven't yet seen much change in my sleep pattern, but let's remember that when Peter walked on the water, his storm didn't calm right away, either. I know that the end of my storm is coming, and in the meantime, I am enjoying the supernatural feeling of walking over the top of my storm of sleeplessness. 

So what is a 'boat', anyway? 

It can be anyone or anything. It is whatever we are relying on instead of Jesus. It may be our cancer treatments. It may be our families. It may be on our own efforts to stay healthy and prevent disease. It may be our reliance on a steady paycheck or on our cars for transportation. It may be that our boats are our schedules and routines or our efficiency or the structure we build into our lives. Whatever it is, it is only when the storms of life arise that we begin to realize how inadequate our 'boats' actually are.

Friends, in the midst of whatever storm you may find yourself in, I urge you to spend some time praying and asking God to reveal to you just what your 'boat' might be; and when He does, I encourage you to renounce it, to 'step out of it', ever keeping your eyes fixed upon Jesus, the author and the finisher of your faith. For when you do, you, too, will find yourself walking over the surface of the storm, and you will thrill at the reality of doing what is humanly impossible until the day that Jesus calms the waters. 

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 03 Jul 2016, 10:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 2, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 8

By Answers2Prayer 
  Over the last 7 devotionals, we've been looking at the story of Jesus--and Peter!--walking on water. We've seen: 

1. How God has indeed called each of us out upon the waters, into situations where 'our feet may fail'! But it is there that we find Him in the mystery, and in the deep oceans of whatever our storm may be, our feet will stand;

2. That fear is a normal part of going through the storms of our lives, but if we take the time to contemplate God's miracles, in our own lives--in the Bible and in the lives of those around us--when we enter our storms, we won't be so afraid; 

3. That Jesus doesn't always immediately come and "rescue" us from our storms, and sometimes, though we may see Him in the distance, it is as if He is going to pass us by. In these circumstances we can hypothesize that His purpose in this is to grow our faith, to remind us that despite the storm, we are not alone; to show us that despite the wind and the waves, we can follow His example and walk across the surface of the storm;

4. That Jesus doesn't wait until we cry out to Him in faith. He doesn't even care if we don't immediately recognize Him in the storm. The moment we cry out, however, whether in faith, in surprise or in fear, He responds with "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." We also saw that although fear is a normal part of going through the storms of our lives, it can be overcome by faith, faith that comes from spending time with Jesus, getting to know Him, experiencing personally His love and His miracles;

5. That although stepping out into the wind and the waves is a scary thought, when Peter did just that, he stopped bobbing along at the whim of the storm, and instead, he walked on the surface of it. When we're willing to take that huge step in faith as well, we, too, will walk over the surface of our storm instead of bobbing along inside of it; 

6. That God doesn't penalize us when we aren't quite ready to take that extra step in faith and abandon our safety nets. Nonetheless, the rewards of taking the opportunities He gives us to grow our faith are beyond comprehension, for it is only then that we, too, can experience the humanly impossible by walking over the surface of our storm;

7. Finally, we've come to learn that as we consider answering Jesus' call to come out of the safety of the boat, we will only be able to walk across the surface of our storms if we keep our eyes upon Jesus. The moment we begin to doubt, however, all we have to do is call out to Jesus and He will reach out and save us. 

We are all going through storms right now. For some the storm is called "Cancer". For others it is financial difficulties, marital problems, work problems, and a host of many other possible things. I would like to encourage each of you right now to take a moment and contemplate just who in the story you can best relate to: Is it Peter? Or the 11 other disciples in the boat? 

Let's remember that our "boat" can be so many different things. It can be family, friends, oncologists, jobs, counselors, pastors, padded bank accounts, contingency plans...And let's remember that God didn't make the boat disappear when Peter got out of it; in fact, Peter and Jesus got back IN the boat! This tells us that our "boats" are not bad things. They are, in fact, things that God may use to get us through the storm. But God is calling us out. He wants us to put our trust in Him, to be 100% submitted to His will, no matter where that may lead. That's what it means to come out of the boat. 

Are we still clinging to the "boat" instead of to Jesus? Like the other 11 disciples, have you even considered coming "out"? Or are we like Peter, ever ready to get out of the boat, to walk across the surface of the storm, but the moment that storm doesn't seem to be calming, we lose faith? Do we become distracted by our circumstances? Do we start to--sink? 

Jesus is calling us each to come out of our boats, to put our trust in Him and Him alone, no matter where that may lead. He asks us to simply keep our eyes upon Him, no matter what happens to the wind and the waves of our storms. In so doing, He promises that we will experience Him so much more fully, and that our faith will be given so much more opportunity to grow. 

In bringing this devotional to a close, I would like to ask each of you to take time to prayerfully mediate upon the song that began this series: 'Oceans', by Hillsongs United. As you read these words, ask yourselves what God is calling you to do. Whatever it is, I would encourage you to do it, and I guarantee that if you do, your walk with God through your storm will change. I can't say how it will change, but it will change, and in the end, that change will be for the better. 

Hillsongs United: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy9nwe9_xzw  

OCEANS (Where Feet May Fail)

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine


Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Hillsongs United

But wait a minute...Getting out of the boat is such a concrete thing to do. We don't find ourselves in boats in the middle of literal streams. Just what is our "boat" anyway, and how can we get out of it? Join us next time for a real-life example of getting out of the boat and walking on water in 'Oceans Deep, the Conclusion'

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 29 Jun 2016, 8:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 28, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 6

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Saturday, in 'Oceans Deep, Part 5', we saw that in order to walk over the surface of our storms instead of bobbing along at their will, we have to step out of our safety nets. We have to be willing to get out of the boat and into the heart of the storm! 

But wait. Why was it that only Peter got out of the boat? 

The Bible records that the "disciples" were in the boat, not just Peter: "Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side..." (Matt 14:22), and these would be the same disciples who had walked for months with Jesus, witnessed miracle after miracle, the same ones who had just participated in the feeding of the 5000. 

We also know that Jesus appeared to all of them, because the Bible records the following: "And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, 'It is a ghost!' And they cried out for fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them..." (Matt 14:26,27); yet we only see one answering Jesus: "And Peter answered Him..." (vs. 28).

Yet the Bible doesn't record that Jesus commanded each of them to get out of the boat, for only to Peter did He say, "Come." (vs 29), and then, only because Peter showed interest: "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." (vs 28).

So what we see here is that Jesus came to all of them, but He only commanded one to get out of the boat, and it was the one who responded to His initial call.

We often hear it said that God "pushes" us out of our comfort zone. I would suggest that though He does give us invitations, sometimes even gentle nudges for us to take that step in faith, God does not force us to go where we are not comfortable going. He understands, and it is only to those who are willing to surrender to Him that He extends the invitation to walk across the surface of the storm.

Were the other 11 disciples disciplined for not getting out of the boat?

Not at all. Matthew records that the moment Jesus and Peter got back into the boat, the storm calmed: "And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased." (vs 32); thus, all 12 disciples received the benefit of the miracle. The storm stopped for all 12. 

So why would it be, then, that Peter was called to walk on the water, when the others were allowed to stay safely in the boat? 

Let me ask you a different question: Who was the most blessed by this encounter with Jesus? The 11 disciples who stayed in the safety of the boat? Or Peter who did what was humanly impossible in walking over the surface of the storm? 

Friends, God calls us to higher and higher levels of faith. He desires to have us experience Him on deeper and deeper levels; but when we aren't quite ready to go where He would have us to go, we are not penalized. The only thing that happens is that we don't experience God as significantly as we might otherwise have done! 

Not ready to give up the safety of your boat? Not ready to take that extra step in faith and abandon our safety nets? It's okay. God doesn't penalize us. Nonetheless, the rewards of taking the opportunities He gives us to grow our faith are beyond comprehension, for it is only then that we, too, can experience the humanly impossible by walking over the surface of our storms.

Join us next Thursday For 'Ocean's Deep, Part 7'.

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 Sat 25 Jun 2016, 10:39 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 25, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 5

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Thursday, in 'Oceans Deep, Part 4', we saw that although fear is a normal part of going through the trials of life, fear can be overcome by faith, faith that comes from spending time with Jesus, getting to know Him, experiencing personally His love and His miracles.

In the midst of our own storms, as we contemplate this story of the fear of the disciples and of Jesus walking past them on the water, we wonder: How should we respond to our storm?

We can learn some valuable lessons from Peter and his response: "'Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.'" (Matt 14:28)

Despite the fact that Peter saw Jesus walking on the water, despite having heard Jesus' voice, he still wasn't sure if this was really Jesus, and so we see him putting Jesus to the test: "If it is you..."

Is this wrong?

Not at all, we are told to test the spirits: "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God..." (1 John 4:1) In other words, we aren't to believe everything our eyes tell us. We are to put what we sense to the test!

Jesus wasn't put off by Peter's little 'test' either. His response? "'Come,' he said." (Matt 14:29a). 

And that's what Peter did: "Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus." (Matt 14:29b)

There are lots of lessons that we can learn from this, but for today, let's just look at one tiny point: "Then Peter got down out of the boat..."

Wait a minute. In the midst of a terrible storm, one that even from the safety of the boat makes us afraid, would we be willing to get out of the boat? But then, when Jesus told Peter to "come", he truly had no choice but to obey, did he? After all, he had asked for the test. And so we find Peter stepping out of the safety of the boat, into the storm. 

In the midst of our own storms, we also have little safety nets built around us. We have people -- family and friends -- who we rely on. We have our contingency plans. We have our medical care and our research and our documented and successful medical treatments. We have bank loans and unemployment and welfare. We have psychiatrists and counselors...And the list could go on and on. 

But God calls us to step out of our safety nets, out into the storm. 

Why?

For the same reason Jesus called Peter out of the boat: Because that boat couldn't save him. One big wave and it would capsize. Only Jesus could save him, and in order to do so, Jesus needed Peter to put aside any other thing that he might be relying on. 

In the face of our trials, whatever they currently may be, how can we step out of the boat? 

By being willing to take that step of faith. In the heat of the storm, we need to put aside everything we have been relying upon. We need to step out of our safety nets and surrender ourselves, and our health/money/relationship/work/etc. problems to God and to His will. 

Does this mean we shouldn't pursue medical treatment? Counselling? Unemployment? Does this mean we shouldn't go to our friends and family for much needed support? Does it mean that we shouldn't look for a different means of transportation? 

Absolutely not. 

What it means, however, is that we shouldn't put our faith in these things. Instead, we should put our trust in God, the only One who can calm our storms. 

Stepping out into the wind and the waves is a scary thought; but let's remember that when Peter did just that, he stopped bobbing along at the whim of the storm, and instead, he walked on the surface of it. When we're willing to take that huge step in faith as well, we, too, will walk over the surface of our storm instead of bobbing along inside of it.

What about it, friends? Are you willing to step out of the boat and into the wind and waves? Believe me, the rewards are worth the leap of faith! 

But why was it that only Peter was called out of the boat? After all, he wasn't exactly alone in that storm...Join us next Tuesday for 'Oceans Deep, Part 6' to discover why the other 11 disciples stayed in the boat! 

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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That's it. You're in deep water now! What will you do? Will you sink? Swim? Or will you walk on the water? Check out "Oceans Deep", next week, a miniseries by Lynona Gordon Chaffart,
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 25 Jun 2016, 12:22 am

Welcome to the Nugget
June 23, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 4

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Last Tuesday, in 'Oceans Deep, Part 3', we saw that Jesus doesn't always immediately come and "rescue" us from our storms, and sometimes, though we may see Him in the distance, it is as if He is going to pass us by. Could it be that His purpose is to grow our faith? That He simply wants to remind us that despite the storm, we are not alone? Does He perhaps want to show us, too, that despite the wind and the waves, we can follow His example and walk across the surface of the storm?

That's a very pretty speculation, but I can't walk on water. It isn't humanly possible. The disciples knew this, and that is why the Bible records that they thought Jesus was a ghost: 
"When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost,' they said..." (Matt 14:26)

In other words, despite the fact that they had just experienced and participated in the miraculous feeding of the 5000, in the midst of their storm, they didn't even recognize Jesus. They thought He was a ghost, because He was doing something they didn't consider possible.

It makes me think. In the midst of my storms, when it seems that Jesus is miles away, is it possible that He is actually very close by, but that I don't see Him? Is it possible that He is doing something miraculous, but it is too fantastic for me to grasp? Is it possible that, like the disciples, I figure Jesus has truly abandoned me, and all I am seeing is a 'ghost'?

Most of us would give anything for a miraculous healing. We would love to see our financial difficulties disappear into thin air. We would give anything for our kids to turn to God and our spouses to forgive us and return to us. But deep down inside, do we truly believe that healing is for us? That we could be the recipient of God's miracles? When we see it happening to others, do we truly believe it is of God? Or like the disciples of old, do we simply think it is a 'ghost', something to be feared, certainly not something to be embraced and accepted? 

This interesting thought has haunted me a bit of late: Is Jesus perhaps already pouring out His miracles upon us, but we are too afraid to embrace them? 

At this stage in the story, the disciples do something vitally important. They: "...cried out in fear." (Mat 14:26b)

Notice that they didn't cry out in faith, or even surprise. They cried out in...Fear! 

In other words, it doesn't matter how we cry out. What's important is that we do it! And at this stage in the 'storm' of our lives, I would encourage you, just like the father of the demon-possessed boy, to cry out--either in faith, surprise or fear--"Lord, I believe! Help my unbelief!"

Jesus' response to the disciples' cry? "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."

Let's stop worrying whether or not our faith is weak. Let's stop worrying whether or not we truly believe God's miracles are for us. In the midst of our storm, let's follow the example of the fearful disciples: Let's cry out to Jesus!

But wait. With the wind and waves of life's trials are crashing all around us, how is it possible to not be afraid? 

I believe the answer lies in the response of the Apostle Peter: "'Lord, if it's you,' Peter replied, 'tell me to come to you on the water.'" (Matt 14:28)

Peter was afraid; however, he knew that Jesus could save him, and this knowledge was enough to overcome his fear. 

How was it that Peter knew Jesus could save him? 

Peter walked and talked with Jesus daily. He had experienced Jesus' miracles, he was a personal recipient of Jesus' love. 

When we are surrounded by the wind and waves of the negative circumstances life throws our way, we, too, are afraid, and this is normal; but do we, like Peter, know that Jesus will save us? Do we have that faith in Him?

Because most of us must honestly say that we do not, the question becomes, how do we develop that faith in Jesus?

We do it the same way Peter did: By daily walking and talking with Him; By experiencing His miracles; By spending time reflecting on what Jesus has already done for us and for others. When we do, then we, like Peter, in the face of our storms, will be able to say, "Lord, if it's you...tell me to come to you on the water." (Matt 14:28)

So when Jesus does call us out upon the waters, how should we respond? Join us next Saturday for 'Oceans Deep, Part 5'. 

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 22 Jun 2016, 10:05 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

June 21, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Saturday, in 'Oceans Deep, Part 2', we saw that if we take the time to contemplate God's miracles, in our own lives, in the Bible, and in the lives of those around us, when we enter our storms, we won't be so afraid. 

Today, let's take a look at the timing of Jesus' walking on the water:

Notice that the Bible records that Jesus didn't respond immediately to the disciples. We are told that the storm arose "later that night" (Matt 14:23), but we don't see Jesus responding until "Shortly before dawn..." (Matt 14:25)

I have no idea why Jesus waited, but the important thing to realize is that though Jesus doesn't always respond immediately, He does respond: "Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake." (Matt 14:25).

What might we have been saying to ourselves in the stead of the disciples? Something like, "Lord? I saw how You fed those people. I believed that You would carry me through this storm in my life; but here I am, in the midst of the worst storm ever, and you aren't here! Where are You? Why haven't You paid my bills? Why hasn't the tumor gone away? Why hasn't my husband been delivered from drugs? Why aren't my teens turning to You? Lord, You promised to never leave me or forsake me. Why then, aren't You here with me in the moment of my deepest trouble?"

Another very interesting point is that although Jesus was walking on the waters on the lake, He wasn't necessarily going directly out to help the disciples. When telling the exact same story, the book of Mark records a detail that is not mentioned in Matthew: "Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them..." (Mark 6:48). 

But wait a minute! If Jesus promises to never leave us or forsake us, then why did He walk out to the boat, only to pass them by?

I do not know exactly why Jesus didn't immediately go to the disciples, and I don't know why, after walking all the way out to them, He was simply going to pass them by. I can only speculate; but I invite you to speculate with me:

What if Jesus' purpose was to grow the faith of the disciples? If that were the case, then they needed to spend some time in the storm! It is hard indeed to exercise and grow our faith when everything is going good. 

And when Jesus came to them walking on the water, what if His purpose was not to get into the boat and calm the water? What if He simply wanted to remind the disciples that despite the storm, they were not alone? What if He wanted to show them that they, too, could walk on the surface of the storm? 

And in the midst of our own storms, when it seems like Jesus should have shown up and He hasn't, could it also be that His purpose is to grow our faith? That He simply wants to remind us that despite the storm, we are not alone? Does He perhaps want to show us, too, that despite the wind and the waves, we can follow His example and walk across the surface of our storms?

Think about it!

But wait...I can't walk on water. It isn't humanly possible. Join us next Thursday for Ocean's Deep, Part 4.

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 Sat 18 Jun 2016, 9:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 18, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer  Last Thursday, in 'Oceans Deep, Part 1', we took a brief look at the story of Peter walking on water, a story that anyone can relate to, and we saw how God has indeed called each of us out upon the waters, into situations where 'our feet may fail'. But it is there that we find Him in the mystery, and in the deep oceans of our trials, our feet will stand!

There are many lessons to be learned from this story about Peter, and these will be the focus of the next few devotionals. For today, let's take a look at the setting for the story, for therein we can glean some important words of encouragement for each of us on our walks through the storms of our lives.

This story actually takes place immediately after Jesus fed the 5000 with 5 loaves of bread and two small fish (See Matt 14:15-21). The Bible records that: 

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it." (Matt 14: 22-27). 

Let's remember that the disciples had just witnessed an incredible miracle. In fact, they had distributed the food and picked up the 12 baskets of leftovers! They had witnessed the multiplication of those 5 loaves and 2 small fish with their own eyes. Jesus could do anything. 

Except calm the storm. 

Isn't it interesting that it doesn't matter how many miracles of God we witness, even participate in, when we, like the disciples, realize that God can indeed do anything in our live: When the storms arise: "You're fired." Or "You have cancer." Or "I want a divorce." Or you are required to take on a triple load at work. Our response to such storms? Like the disciples, we tend to see that God can indeed to anything--except calm our storm. 

Our memories are short indeed.

Perhaps the disciples would have been well served at this point to begin reliving the miracle of the five loaves and two fish in their minds. Maybe this would have been a good time for a friendly walk down memory lane: (Peter) "Hey, can you believe what Jesus did? He actually fed all those people!" (Thomas) "Yeah, I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes." (James) "And He didn't just give them enough to eat...There were leftovers! God's provision is truly amazing!" 

Had the discussion gone more along those lines, perhaps the disciples wouldn't have ended up so terrified.

Herein lies the important lesson for each of us: When our storms arise, and they will, let's try to spend a bit more time reminding ourselves of God's mercies, power and grace. Let's get into the word of God and relive the ancient stories of God's miraculous deliverances. Let's review God's miracles in our own lives. And perhaps if we do, we will not end up so terrified either.

Please join us next Tuesday for another powerful lesson on how to weather our storms: 'Oceans Deep, 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 17 Jun 2016, 10:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 16, 2016
Oceans Deep, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer 
 God has been speaking to me through a powerful song this week, and I am impressed to share it with you. I have pasted the lyrics below, but I also invite you to listen to the song by Hillsongs United: Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) . You'll find it by clicking here on youtube. 

Take a few moments now to meditate upon the lyrics: 

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) -- By Hillsongs Unted

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus, you're my God!

I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine"

As you read this song, you will notice, as I did, that the words say we are called "out upon the waters where feet may fail."

This is kind of a scary concept, wouldn't you say? I mean, who wants to go where you know your feet may fail?

But then, it's just a song, right? 

Or is it really more than that? 

Let's take a moment to look at the Biblical story this song is based upon: 

"Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. 'It's a ghost,' they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: 'Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid.' And Peter answered Him and said, 'Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.' So He said, 'Come.' And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, 'Lord, save me!' And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, 'O you of little faith, why did you doubt?' And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased." (Matt 14:22-32)

As each of us walks life, we can relate to Peter in the storm. Oh, our storms may not be literal ones that could overturn a fishing boat, but they are storms just the same. They may be financial difficulties, changes in health, relationship problems, car problems, appliances breaking down, problems with teens, etc. But just what our storms look like is completely irrelevant. What's important is that there are many lessons we can learn from this passage of scripture to help us during our storms, and these will be the focus of the upcoming 8 devotionals.

For today, I ask you to prayerfully meditate upon the words of the song, Oceans, for God has indeed called each of us out upon the waters where our feet may fail. But it is there that we find Him in the mystery, and in the deep oceans of our circumstances, whatever they may be, our feet will stand! 

Please join us on Saturday, for 'Ocean's Deep, 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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