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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 24 Sep 2010, 3:18 pm

SERMON ON MARS HILL
"Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore you ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you." (Acts 17:22-23)
Recalling my trip as a tourist in Athens, Greece many years ago, my most memorable experience was visiting the "Parthenon," one of the most prominent of all ancient Greek temples. There I also had the opportunity to see the historic "Sound and Light" performance, enjoy outdoor dining, and a breathtaking view of the beautiful acropolis, so close to the actual spot where the apostle Paul preached his sermon on "Mars Hill."
Though I had little biblical knowledge at the time, now whenever I read Paul's message, I can envision the remnants of the ancient world in which Paul made every effort to communicate the gospel of Christ. In today's Scripture, Paul confronted the intellectuals and scholars of the city in his day.
Paul's encounter with these scholars can give us good insight into evangelism. First, Paul found common ground with those who had no knowledge of the true God. Secondly, he laid the foundation for salvation by explaining the nature of the "Unknown God." Thus, starting with the basics, Paul outlined the greatness of God first. Then he pointed out God's desire to have a personal relationship with all who seek Him; even quoting their own poets: "As certain also as some of your own poets have said, "For we are also His offspring" (Acts 17:28 KJV). Therefore, if we are God's offspring, man does not create God, He creates us.
The end result of Paul's preaching was to warn the Athenians that God requires all people to repent and has provided evidence by the One whom He raised from the dead to judge the world in righteousness. Not surprising, reaction to Paul's message was mixed: "And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked and others said, we will hear thee again on this matter" (Acts 17:32 KJV).
Nevertheless, I have no doubt Paul's "Sermon On Mars Hill" had a powerful influence for years to come. And Paul's method of witnessing to those with no biblical knowledge is a great model for evangelism in today's modern society where many are still worshipping the "Unknown God." By following Paul's example, we too can better understand how to interact and relate with those of different persuasions.
Prayer
Lord, we thank you for the great testimony of the apostle Paul and for his powerful ministry to the gentiles. Allow us to follow his example in witnessing so by all means possible we may also communicate the gospel of truth. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Lori Ciccanti
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 19 Sep 2010, 9:09 am

THE WORK BEE
There was a work bee this morning, out at the barn where my boys and I ride. The place was literally "buzzing" as chain saws cut fence posts to length, skill saws sliced through boards for new stall doors, hammers pounded 4 inch nails into jump standards, and the tractor carried junk to the back of the property.
I was pulling rubber mats out of the barn laneway and piecing them together in front of the barn door when it occurred to me that I had a rather insignificant job. But then, so did everyone there. Everybody's job seemed kind of insignificant in the grand schema of all that needed to be done!
By the end of the morning however, the barn was clean and child-safe, the riding rinks were enclosed, and the entire farm literally sparkled. A job well done, and all because each of the busy workers did one to two seemingly insignificant jobs!
But then, we had worked together, hadn't we? Each of us had taken the specific instruction from our "supervisor", the owner of the barn. She had assigned those to the chain saw who had chain saw experience, and those who knew how to build, she had put on the new stall doors. People like me, who have no specific building skills, had been given the scrubbing and cleaning jobs, and we had all worked together, in harmony.
Perhaps this was the secret to making all of those insignificant jobs come together into a beautiful picture!
Is this what Jesus meant when He prayed for unity among His children? "I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me." (John 17:22-23 NIV)
And is this what Paul meant when he spoke of unity in the church? "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body…Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, 'Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,' it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body…it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body…But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be…As it is, there are many parts, but one body." (1 Cor 12:12-20 NIV)
Have you ever felt that what you've been given to do for the Lord is kind of insignificant? There are those lucky few who have been given the glorious job, like, say, going on a missions trip to Africa. You can't go. You can't get the time off work! So you get left behind.
In this situation you have a choice to make. Either you can stay behind and sulk, cursing your boss and those planning the missions trip because they didn't plan it at a time of year when you could have gotten off work. Or you can look around and see what else you could do for the Lord! Perhaps He is calling you to help out in the Children's programs, or maybe the worship team needs a new keyboardist!
Whatever it is, friends, when we all work together in unity, doing what the Lord has called us to do, the work will get down, and the end product will be beautiful.
There were many others who had been asked to come to the work bee this morning, but only 20 or so actually came. Imagine how much more we could have accomplished if everyone would have shown up?
And imagine how much faster God's work would go forward if each and every Christian in the world today was willing to humbly submit to the task God has tailor-made for each of us?
Friends, I'd like to participate in God's work bee. Will you join me?
In His love,
Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, and the Scriptural Nuggets website, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer ministries, www.answers2prayer.org.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 17 Sep 2010, 11:40 am

UPROOTED
"Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart." (Psalm 31:24)
The hurricane blew through the Keys and south Florida with a mighty force. The winds howled, and the rain pounded relentlessly for 24 hours. My sister and her husband have a home in Marathon, Fla. And we were concerned about the damage the mighty force of the hurricane would inflict. The news was good – the house was fine, and as for the landscaping, only the key lime tree was uprooted. We were all very thankful.
Shortly thereafter my husband and I visited their home in Marathon where I took a good look at that particular key lime tree. Yes, I could see where the roots were exposed and dirt had been misplaced. The damage to the branches was extremely evident for they were quite bare, with only a few leaves hanging on, and amazingly enough…even some key limes!!! My brother -in- law had straightened the tree, tying one large branch to the corner post of the house, giving it support. On the other side, the tree was propped up by a 2 x 4 board, giving it the assistance it needed while it recovered.
When Christians are “uprooted” in their faith, no matter what the reason, God sends people, and events into their lives to help support them. Finally, with time, their roots can be repaired and they will stand alone with God, not depending upon an outside brace to keep them from toppling over.
Thank you, Lord, that you never leave us during difficult times and for the amazing way you work in our lives, even when we are uprooted.
Marion Smith
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 15 Sep 2010, 7:35 am

LESSONS FROM ANIMALS, Part 10:
A Moment of Fear

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. In God I will praise His word, In God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” (Psalm 56: 3,4 KJV)
This morning when I called my puppy’s name, he did not respond. I couldn’t feel him breathing and he didn’t move. I had a moment of fear and cried out to God for help. I called Prince’s name two more times. He finally lifted his head, opened his eyes and looked up at me as if to say “Why did you wake me up?” He put his head down and went back to sleep. I cried tears of relief, joy and happiness.
What an assurance it is to know that in times of fear we can cry out to God for help. I have been in situations before I was a Christian when I had no one to cry out to for help. Thirty years ago when I was raped there was no one I could turn to for help. When I was beaten those times, there was no one to help me.
I am so glad that I can cry out to God now and He immediately comes to my rescue as He protects me and helps me. I honestly don’t know how people make it through this life without God. Thank You, my precious Heavenly Father, for being a Father of protection and comfort. I appreciate You so much and I love You very much.
When you are in a situation and are afraid, cry out to God for protection. He will come to your rescue immediately. Are you trusting God to help you? You don’t have to go through this life alone. Allow our Heavenly Father to rescue you, comfort you and encourage you. Give Him praise, for He is worthy to be praised.
Joanne Lowe
December 17, 2009

This is the last of the current LESSONS FROM ANIMALS series. If you have missed any of these lessons, you can find them online at go to: http://www.scripturalnuggets.org/Topics/lessons_from_pets.htm
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Sep 2010, 12:34 pm

ALLERGY SHOTS
It was December when we visited the beautiful country of New Zealand. Christmastime, to be exact. I knew that New Zealanders had reverse seasons from those who live in the northern hemisphere, and this was precisely why New Zealand was my number one choice of where to go. I wanted and expected warm temperatures!
But somehow, it never registered in my brain that this would also mean blooming trees, baby birds, an abundance of flowers, and - grass!
Now normally I rejoice at the first signs of grass each Spring, and to be honest, as we circled Auckland for a landing, I was delighted to look out the airplane window and see the rolling carpets of green! Wow! Green grass at Christmas time was more than I had even hoped for!
But what I had forgotten was that grass and I have never been on good terms. When the snows melt every year and the grass begins to green up, my eyes start to itch, my sinuses fill up with phlegm, my throat begins to close over, I develop a cough, I begin to feel lightheaded, and I am plagued by a general sense of malaise. You see, I am 4+ allergic to grass!
How could I have forgotten such a violent reaction?
Because for the past 5 years I have taken a series of allergy shots each Spring. These are effective for about 6 months, just enough to get me through the Spring and Summer months! As a result, I have not suffered any of the above-listed symptoms in 5 years! In essence, I forgot that I was even allergic to grass, and I was beginning to question whether I needed to keep taking the shots!
My memory was jolted however, the moment I stepped foot off that plane, and by the time we had changed terminals for our connector flight to Dunedin on the South Island, my body was already giving me those telltale signs: There was grass around, and it wasn't happy!
That's when I realized that I had been taking my allergy shots for granted. Because I hadn't been feeling horrible allergy symptoms, I had begun to doubt that I was even allergic to grass!
Isn't it the same with God? He promises us utmost joy, protection, happiness, freedom from worry, etc. And when we do submit 100% to Him, we receive these things. But after awhile, don't we begin to take Him for granted? "Oh, life is good! I'm happy because I'm lucky enough to have a good family and a great job. Nothing can touch me!" And we start to take risks.
I doubt that any of us actually cognitively THINK these things, but friends, when you start to take the blessings of God for granted, you are setting yourself up for a December grass-allergy experience! A reality check! You can rest assured that something will be coming down that will wake you up and remind you of what you really are by yourself!
Fortunately for me, I had some Reactin in my bags. It helped calm my very unhappy nose, and I was able to enjoy my little break from winter.
In the same way, God is always there for us as well, ready and waiting for us to return and surrender ourselves once again to Him. And He's ready and waiting to once again bestow upon us the blessings He has for each of us.
The Bible warns us against becoming "lukewarm": "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (Rev 3:15-16 NIV)
I believe that whenever we begin to take God and His blessings for granted, we become "lukewarm", and I don't know about you, but I don't want God to "spit" me out of His "mouth"! Let's stop taking Him for granted! Let's spend time today contemplating His blessings, remembering what He's done for us, and rededicating our lives to Him!
Oh. I am happy to say that as soon as Spring started to show it's welcome head in the Northern Hemisphere this year, I began my round of allergy shots. As a result, I was able to tolerate the lovely green grass that abounded in Canada this Summer!
In His love, Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 10 Sep 2010, 1:20 pm

Today's Devotional:
DRIPPY AND DRIZZLY
"The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, 'Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength.'" (Isaiah 30:15)
Sounds like the two dwarfs who didn’t make the cut for the snow white movie. Drippy and drizzly, precisely how it was for several days. When you’re on vacation, rain’s the last thing you want. But you know what they say, can’t do much about the weather.
As I sat watching the clouds drip onto the water, making hypnotic little circles that merged into other circles, how the years melted away, and in my memory I was transported to an earlier time.

At a remote spot, at the end of a long dirt road, was the clearing with a pretty spring-fed lake. A sprinkling of cottages; one where my parents honeymooned, then later purchased. I spent summers there, as a child. Rustic hardly describes it. Today, I believe camping would be more sophisticated than life at our cottage was, back then. And it was the best time of my life. Well, one of the very best, for sure. Life was so simple. We enjoyed reading stories and books, did lots of puzzles. Outdoors there were limitless opportunities for creative play. And sunny afternoons, we could swim.
Every summer we would borrow a farm dog, and he’d be our friend for the months we were there. He, my sister, and I had many an adventure in the old rowboat, scouting bullfrogs on lily pads.
Today I am thankful for time to be still, like this. To just ‘be’, and not ‘do’. I am too often guilty of operating as a ‘human doing’ and not a ‘human being’.
God can really use our drippy, drizzly days, to quiet our minds, minister to our souls, and settle our spirits. That is good news.
"Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10 NIV) "Get me out of here on dove wings; I want some peace and quiet. I want a walk in the country. I want a cabin in the woods. I'm desperate for a change from rage and stormy weather." (Psalm 55: 6-8 MSG) "Stand in awe, and sin not: Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still." (Psalm 4:4 ASV) "Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul." (Ps 131:2 NKJV)
Sally Ireland Kennedy
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 09 Sep 2010, 10:56 am

Today's Devotional:
LESSONS FROM ANIMALS, Part 9:
Pick us up and Hold Us

“And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.” (Matthew 9: 35, 36 KJV)
Annie Hawks wrote a beautiful song which I believe, if we are honest with ourselves, is the cry from the heart of every Christian “I Need Thee Every Hour”. When our hearts are breaking and we feel like we can’t give another smile or take another step, we need Jesus.
O how we need our Saviour to pick us up and hold us when we grow weary. We need His tender kisses and His compassionate arms to hold us close to His heart. My puppy gives a good illustration of how we want Jesus to hold us when we get tired of the struggles of this life.
Prince wants me to play with him several times a day. He gets excited and starts running through the house barking. However, when Prince is tired of playing and wants to rest, he sits at my feet and looks up to me as if he is saying to me “pick me up and hold me”.
I think there are many times during the day when we sit at the feet of Jesus and look up to Him and say “Pick us up and hold us”. If today you are hurting, weary and lonely, sit at the feet of Jesus and look up to Him. He will pick you up, hold you close to His heart and comfort you. What a comforter we are privileged to have, this Jesus of Nazareth!
Joanne Lowe
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Sep 2010, 7:45 am

Today's Devotional:

LESSONS FROM ANIMALS, Part 5:

The Prodigal Cat

"But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead
and is alive again; he was lost and is found." (Luke 15:32 NIV)

My prodigal cat has returned! I found her meowing pitifully on my back porch
yesterday after a week of living on the wild side. I was pretty sure that
sooner or later the cold, November weather here would make her come home.
Right now she is sitting on my lap while I type this, skinnier but wiser,
gently
rubbing her head on my arm and purring joyfully.

We first rescued our prodigal cat, Honey several years ago when she jumped
into our open car without being invited. It appears Honey was on the run
from
several bigger and meaner cats at the time and was happy to find a pair of
protective arms to rest in. The tiny calico soon made herself right at home
too. Adjusting to an indoor life didn't seem to bother her at all. She was
always first cat in the house to the bowl at feeding time and she loved to
nap
all day on the nearest available lap. She nuzzled and purred with the best
of them too and was loved by all of us. This last year, however, Honey's
wilder
nature seemed to be calling to her. Several times she snuck outside on us
only to return back after realizing just how tough life is out there. I am
hoping
that this latest outdoor romp is her last and that she finally realizes that
struggling to survive in the wild just can't compare to napping on her Dad's
lap.

My cat, however, isn't the only one who has made this mistake. I think most
of us are prodigal children at some point in our lives. Just as in Jesus'
Parable
we wander away from our Heavenly Father and waste our days on wild living
and foolish pursuits. Soon we find ourselves miserable, alone, and just
struggling
to survive. We return home to our Father broken, repentant, and hungry for
His love again. Thankfully, God is always ready to forgive us and welcome us
back into His loving arms once more. There is no better or more joyous place
to be either, because it is the one place were we truly belong.

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

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Sep 2010, 3:14 pm

IT'S ALL SMALL STUFF
"Dear Lord," I prayed, "help me today to not sweat the small stuff ... And Lord, I also need help to realize that it's ALL small stuff! Amen."
And then I left the house - to discover my kids had missed their school bus.
I was almost to work, now 10 minutes later after the unplanned trip to school, when I realized that I had left something cooking in the oven ... Yikes! I would have to return home to turn off the oven, or there would be unplanned-for consequences!
The day at work went from bad (I was late!) to worse. The pile of unaccomplished work on my desk only piled higher, and thanks to an ill-timed phone call from a manager, even the things that absolutely HAD to be done weren't finished by the time I had to leave.
Normally I would have simply stayed late, but today I couldn't. I had to pick up my boys from school to take them to the passport office before it closed for the week. As I ran to the car, now 10 minutes late to pick them up, I couldn't stop the tears of frustration from flowing down my cheeks.
"Help me, Lord!" I cried. "I am frustrated, I hate leaving stuff undone, and that's all I've done at work for weeks now. I don't want this to ruin my weekend!"
It wasn't long before a lilac bush in full-bloom appeared to my right. Wow! Breath-takingly beautiful! And there was another on my left! And the cherry trees were in full-bloom, and all the other blooming trees! Suddenly even the dandelions seemed beautiful.
I arrived at school to wait. And wait. And wait. I truly believe that my boys have some kind of a deal going on where they HAVE to be the last ones out! And then one appears, and finally the other, only to have to return into the building to pick up something forgotten ... Sigh.
Once in town, I realized I didn't even know where the passport office was, and then, two sets of directions and two u-turns later, I discovered I didn't have change for the parking meter. Once inside, I was frustrated and angry to learn that the rules had changed. I couldn't renew my boys' passports without their official birth certificates, something I had never bothered to order ...
Determined to make this day at least somewhat meaningful, I decided to go to Costco and pick up the bread machine I had seen online. Only to discover that our Costco didn't stock this particular item.
Sometime while I was in the store, it started to rain. Pour, actually. And naturally, I had left laundry drying on the line before leaving for work that morning ...
My older son suggested that he drive home, an offer I readily accepted. I wasn't in much of a state to drive anyway, because the only thing louder than the heavy drops pounding on the roof of the car was the voice in my ear: "It's ALL a waste! Nothing but a waste! This entire day, a WASTE!!!"
I squeezed my eyes closed, trying to stop the tears of frustration, trying to stop the overwhelming sense of despair.
That's when I again remembered my morning prayer. Yes, it had been all small stuff, hadn't it? Just a cruel series of coincidences, but ALL small stuff! And hadn't I been able to spend the afternoon with my boys, something that I rarely get to do!
I fell asleep about then, and when I awoke, I was ready to face the rest of the day. And I'm happy to say that the rest of the afternoon and evening were the most productive I've had in weeks. In fact, I accomplished an entire weekend-full of work in those few hours.
"Come until me all you who are burdened and heavily laden, and I will give you rest ..." (Matt. 11:28)
Don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff when you give it to Jesus!
In His love,
Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, and the Scriptural Nuggets website, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer ministries,
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 03 Sep 2010, 10:03 am

REALITY CHECK
As I glanced through the wad of applications, it struck me how many pluses these people had. I held the applications of twenty-five perfect people in my hand.
And I didn’t know there were twenty-five perfect people in the whole world, let alone present and applying for one job.
What a brilliant cast! Not one of them had any faults. They were all perfect secretaries, perfectly trained and perfectly adaptable to circumstances.
Whether or not the job was a perfect job did not matter. What its policies were, did not matter. What systems it used, were unimportant. What ideals it held were insignificant.
So long as the hours were acceptable and the salary worthwhile, they could handle anything.
There were the unimpeachable all; not a wart in the lot.
Then I found one that cheerfully concluded ‘I’m a hopeless coffee- maker.’
She knew coffee-making was part of the secretarial routine and it could be her Waterloo.
But she admitted to a wart! She was willing to trade perfection for reality.
I recommended her.
And I thought of another Executive Director, God our Father, who doesn’t fail applicants because they admit to faults. He is looking for the genuine article, warts and all.
He grips your hand and says, ‘I didn’t come to find the perfect ones. I came especially for the faulty ones. I am looking for sinners. Are you one of the ones I am looking for?’
Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 01 Sep 2010, 8:05 am

Today's Devotional:
LESSONS FROM ANIMALS, Part 8:
Sweet Morning Music

"The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him." (Ps 28:7 NKJV)

I love the sweet morning music that comes to the woodlands here in the Springtime. As I go out to walk my dogs at daybreak I can literally hear dozens of birds singing songs of love, joy, and delight. Often I pause our walk to just listen to the beautiful music of these feathered angels. The dozens of different songs float through the cool morning air to form a Heavenly symphony for my happy ears. They bring a smile to my face and a song to my own heart as well. They awaken the sweet morning music in my own soul as I watch the sun climb over the mountains, tell God how much I love Him, and thank Him again for my life here.
Of course, not all of the music in this world is so sweet. There are lyrics of loneliness in this world. There are notes of pain that can pierce your heart. There are songs of discord and disharmony that poison the air of our lives everyday. One thing that I have learned, however, is that while we can’t always control the music we hear in this world we can always control the songs that we sing.
What song is going to come from your spirit today? What lyrics are you going to sing? What notes are you going to play? Are you going to add to the sweet morning music that is so often around you or are you going to lend your voice to the disharmony that often comes your way?
The choice is yours. You can start your mornings with prayerful lyrics of love and thanks to your Heavenly Father who made you. You can fill your days with a melody of kind words for family, friends, and strangers alike. You can send a silent chorus of well wishes to every soul you pass on the street. You can share the harmony of help and happiness with your neighbors and the whole world. You can make your entire life such a sweet song of love that every angel in Heaven will want to sing along.

Joseph J. Mazzella
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Aug 2010, 10:20 am

Today's Devotional:
LOVE IS
It was a sort of family wake, the family remembering things he had done and said. You know how it goes: the release of tension and the shedding of tears loosened tongues and it really was quite hilarious. It put balance back into life after days and nights and weeks of intolerable aching.
Some of the things they said about him, though, hurt me. Some anecdotes painted him as hard and mean and cruel. They were said without malice, simple statements of fact, and I couldn’t deny the truth of them. What hurt so much was that I was at a loss to defend him diplomatically. I didn’t know how to answer the charges that flew among the fun things. It was pointless to deny the stories. He was hard, but then his life had been harder than most and he had to survive in a strange country as a teenager. He was mean, but he lived at a time when working was only one door off slavery and being mean most of the time meant he could sometimes be generous.
He was never sadistic, never petty, never temperamental. He was more harsh and mean and hard on himself than on anyone else.
I felt for a long time that I had betrayed him and the memory of the evening disturbed me. I mourned that he was hardly cold when I had let things be said that I felt did not show a true picture of him.
Then one day I understood it from a new direction. I realised that all who knew him, saw him according to their measure of him.
What they said of him was quite true but I simply had not seen him that way. I saw him from a different attitude. I hadn’t seen any faults in him. You see, I loved him.
And God says that is how He sees you and me: faultless, Jude 24, “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy …”
Staggering, isn’t it.
Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Aug 2010, 11:14 am

Today's Devotional:
LESSONS FROM ANIMALS, Part 7:
A Helping Hand

"If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away." (Matt 5:40-42 NKJV)

It was the perfect weather for a walk the other day. It was that beautiful time of the year right between the end of Winter and the start of Spring. Cool breezes tickled my face while the rising sun quickly burnt away the morning fog. Birds were starting to sing their love songs again and to built nests for their future young. My heavy coat had been traded for a light jacket. The grass was still moist from the freshly melted snow and the Maples and Oaks seemed to be deep in thought over whether to send out their buds now or wait a few more weeks.
I walked along the edge of the woods and gazed up at the bright, blue sky. As I was thanking God for another glorious morning, however, a sad sound reached my ears. It was a mewing that sounded like a newborn kitten. I looked around on the ground but couldn’t see one anywhere. Then I noticed that the crying seemed to be coming from above and glanced up into the trees. I soon spotted him. It was no kitten but a full grown tomcat who had let Spring fever get the best of him. He had scaled an Oak like it was nothing but was now too scared to climb back down.
I knew I couldn’t leave him up there but wondered if I would need a ladder to get to him. I decided to let my boyhood tree climbing skills guide me instead. Grasping the rough branches I slowly made my way up to the cat. Then cradling him in one arm I lowered myself down again and safely let him go. He gave me a quick thank you glance and then scurried off. I smiled as I watched him go then headed for home with scraped up hands but a warm heart.
Few things in this life make you feel better than offering a helping hand to someone in need. It connects you with God. It brings you closer to others. It helps you become who you were meant to be. The next time then that you get a chance to give someone a hand up or in the cat’s case a hand down take it. A helping hand like a loving heart always leads to a happy soul.

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

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Aug 2010, 4:10 pm

Today's Devotional:
GARDENING, Part 1:
The Favour of the Lord

I was contemplating the subject of the favour of the Lord yesterday morning, meditating on the fact that the primary way to earn that favour is to be "blameless" in His site ("… the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless." Ps 84:11 NIV).
I realized as I read this verse that the only requirement for God's favour was to accept Jesus' gift of righteousness, and when we do, God sees us as "blameless". This means, then, that everyone who has accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour ALREADY has God's favour!
But if this is true, then why does it seem to so many of us that God has withheld His favour? I mean, when we look at our circumstances, at the unanswered prayers, at the fact that so many are still in hopeless situations, how can it be said that we already have God's favour?
I hadn't resolved this dilemma when I decided to spend the day gardening.
Now I know that gardening is an activity enjoyed by many, but I'm not of the same opinion. I don't like the feel of dirt on my hands, I hate weeds, especially the ones with needles and thorns, and the kind of weeds that voraciously take over any attempt I have made at a flower bed are all the kind that break off at the soil level, leaving a beautiful, healthy root still firmly embedded amongst my flowers. In addition, I burn very easily, and after being in the hot sun for just a little while, I usually end up with a massive head ache. Oh, and let's not forget the fact that I am ++++ allergic to grass, and many of nature's other finest greenery! But perhaps the reason I hate gardening as much as I do is the sense of futility. I know good and well that no matter how hard I work, those weeds will return!
But as I stood at the window looking out over our yard yesterday, I realized that the weeds weren't pulling themselves, and the 20 sacks of cedar mulch we had purchased were not doing any good sitting in the garage. It occurred to me that if I wanted the work to get done, I would have to do it myself.
And that's what I set out to do. Naturally, I got dirt under my nails, to say nothing about dirt smudges over my entire body. My arms broke out in hives from the weeds, my eyes itched and my nose ran, my muscles screamed out in pain, and I got sunburned. All of my "prophecies" came to pass.
I couldn't help thinking about the subject of God's favour through this experience. Did He withhold His favour from me by not sending me someone to do my gardening? I mean, today, in the aftermath, my eyes are still itching, my skin is still burned, and every muscle in my body is screaming out in pain from my overexertion. So just where is God's favour in all of this?
In the end however, I know that my muscles will eventually stop aching, and will be stronger as a result of my exercise. And just think of all that beautiful Vitamin D I soaked up!
And what of my garden? It has never looked so good!
So did God really withhold His favour?
No. He didn't.
The problem lies in the fact that I have my own little definition of what is God's favour! In my mind, God would bestow favour by sending someone to do my gardening for me! And when it didn't happen, I figured God had withheld His favour!
But God knows that what I really need is strong muscles and a storehouse full of Vitamin D! From His prospective, He had me do my own gardening so that I could attain what I really needed!
Could it be that when we feel that God has withheld His favour, it is simply because we are trying to define for ourselves what will make us ultimately happy? Could it be that God, in His love and wisdom, knows what we REALLY need to be happy, and allows us to go through hard times to develop that?
Can we trust God enough to know that whatever it is we're going through, in the end, we will be stronger for it? Can we trust Him enough to know that while we're going through those valleys, God is always there, holding us up, crying with us, supporting us, giving us strength?
I think I'll look at gardening with a little different light next time.
But wait a minute: God didn't want all those weeds to be there in the first place (See Gen 3:17-19). And what about my sunburn? In the end, it puts me at risk for developing skin cancer! Surely these things couldn't have been part of God's favour! Please join us next Saturday, for GARDENING, Part 2: ????
In His love,
Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, and the Scriptural Nuggets website, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer ministries, www.answers2prayer.org.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 20 Aug 2010, 10:01 am

Today's Devotional:
99.9% EFFICIENCY?
I remember attending a training course during my tenure in a secular firm, some years ago, where the trainer stressed the need for 100% efficiency.
In spheres of activity such as banking, maternity hospitals, he emphasized that nothing less than 100% would do. How true! Considering the countless entries in Bank records everyday, one can well imagine the ‘confusion’ in banks if they are only 99.9% efficient in posting all ledger entries properly. How many wrong entries would there be, leading to acute customer dissatisfaction! For that matter if there is only 99.9% perfection in maternity hospitals on handing the right babies to the right parents, how many parents would end up with children, who are not actually theirs! Then our faculty came to the subject of air-travel safety and said "What if there is only 99.9% efficiency in such a critical matter involving safety of human lives".He not even complete the sentence that we ALL-the trainees who had flown to the training centre that very morning- now shifting uneasily in our seats nodded approvingly.
That set me, thinking ‘How many times we are less than 100% obedient to our Heavenly Father? If the secular service providers are not satisfied with any thing less than 100% efficiency, then why we should be content with less than 100% obedience to our Creator and Redeemer, whilst living for Him?
Scriptures using some examples warn us about some compromising Christians whose faith “had crashed” when they had wilfully “lowered their efficiency”… (I Timothy 1:19-20)!
On the subject of 100% obedience, let Apostle Paul’s motto be ours…
“So our aim is to please Him always in everything we do, whether we are here in this body or away from this body and with Him in heaven” (II Corinthians 5:9 TLB).
By the way, “How’s your spiritual efficiency today”?

Prayer: Father, I confess that many a time, I have been less than 100% obedient to you. Help me always to give the best, nothing less than the very best to you…when it comes to obedience. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 15 Aug 2010, 12:27 pm

Today's Devotional:
GOD'S BLESSINGS
So what about God's blessings? Who is to receive them? Do we have to earn them? Do they bring happiness?
Our story begins in the 120th year of the life of Moses. The children of Israel are about to cross the Jordan River and enter Canaan, Joshua is about to take over as leader of the nation, and Moses is living his last days on this Earth. But God has a few last things to say to the people through His faithful servant, and this is what He says:
"And the Lord said to Moses: '… these people will soon prostitute themselves to the foreign gods of the land they are entering. They will forsake me and break the covenant I made with them …'" (Deut 31:16 NIV)
Isn't it sad that one of the last things God says to Israel through Moses is a proclamation that they will turn away from Him? But what comes immediately after this proclamation of failure is that I find the most interesting. The very next chapter of Deuteronomy records all of the blessings that are to be bestowed upon Israel, tribe by tribe!
And these aren't little blessings, either! Of Joseph He promises unusually fertile and productive parts of Canaan, of Zebulun He promises feasts on the abundance of the seas and of the treasures hidden in the sand, and interestingly, Asher was told he would "bathe his feet in oil" (Deut. 33:24)! Today Syria sits in the ancient land of Asher, and Syria is known to be the only substantial oil producer in the Eastern Mediterranean region! [1]
The idea of blessings being poured out upon those who turn away from the Lord isn't confined to the Bible, either. We've all seen the unsaved people of the world reaching wealth and prosperity, and Jesus personally tells us: "[God] causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt 5:45-46 NIV).
Just like God blessed Israel, despite the fact that He knew they would fall, He continues to pour out blessings upon everyone in the world today!
I take great comfort in this fact.
Why?
Because God is a God of love! He does not withhold all good things from someone just because they have not accepted His gift of forgiveness and Salvation! He sees the depths of our hearts, and He loves and blesses us the same!
But does this blessing always bring us happiness?
It didn't bring happiness to Israel (see the book of Judges!), and it doesn't bring happiness to us today, either. We so often hear of famous, rich people turning to drugs, alcohol, sex, and often even suicide, and everyone is amazed that someone who had so much can be so unhappy.
The problem is, the blessings, themselves, are not the source of happiness! The source of happiness is the "Blessing Giver"! It's when we fail to acknowledge the source of our blessings that they leave us empty!
This is why dirt poor Christians feel so rich. This is how someone who has a personal relationship with Christ can go through the worst trials and still wear a smile! This is how a Christian on his deathbed can rest easy! Because the road to the only things that can bring true happiness and peace of mind is only open to those who know and trust the "Blessing Giver"!
Friends, are your blessings leaving you empty? Maybe it's because you don't yet know the "Blessing Giver" personally. Maybe it's because you haven't yet learned to trust Him! Perhaps you haven't yet experienced the insatiable, unchanging love He has for you! If you haven't, but you would like to, I would like to help. Email me at helpmelealrnaboutjesus@gmail.com !
In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 13 Aug 2010, 9:17 am

Today's Devotional:
THE SINGING FOG
Being in the garden on a foggy morning is the nearest thing a singer who cannot sing can come to singing; or a composer who cannot compose can come to composing.
Fog is as lavish with softness, with intensity and with intimacy as a song is lavish with sound, or music is lavish with melody.
It is as though God took you to an exclusive restaurant. He has ordered the menu, he is cook and waiter and host. He is at your table, the wine glistens on leaf and twig and blade and spider's web. It glistens on your hair and sparkles on your woollen coat. Your rubber boots shine black and your green gloves drip diamonds.
God has dressed you from his own boutique. Fog is your halo, drawing from earth and sky and vaporised sunshine everything you need to nourish the peace.
The conversation of God is the calm and the stillness of the grass; his orchestra the hush of birdsong, the song of silence pausing before the encore.
You become the fog because God has come down and written you in. Now you are composer and singer and God waits to be entertained by you.
Make yourself ready, your introduction has been played.
He is the audience who applauds when you whisper, 'Father, allow me to see you in whatever form you come to me. Give to me the song of your unfailing presence.'
And he signs the program and hands it to you on centre stage saying 'I have parted the heavens and come down; I have touched the mountains and they have poured forth smoke.'
You turn it over to read what he has written:
'May my teaching fall like raindrops, my words distil like dew, like fine rain on tender grass' Deuteronomy 32:2. (REB)
Elizabeth Price
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 06 Aug 2010, 1:16 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Today's Devotional:
ANGELO AND THE MASTER OF ANGELS
Angelo Dundee is an American boxing corner man. For the uninitiated, a corner man in boxing is one, who gives vital inputs to his ward before and most importantly during the fight. Needless to say, those strategic inputs based on keen observation of the opponent would often separate the victor from the vanquished. Dundee has had unparalleled success training and working in the corners of legendary boxers like Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Leonard and George Foreman,. These champions have affirmed that his very presence in their corner pepped them up.
Square up to this truth, pal! Christian life is one big fight. Worse…it is a fight with unseen formidable foes (Eph 6:12)! Imagine being pitted with a blindfold against a Tyson! But cheer up, even as we strive to take the Gospel to all the corners of the World and in the process have to fight “big bad dude”-Satan-we have someone far better equipped than Angelo the very the Master of Angels …Christ in our corner Listen to the most successful evangelist of all times…Apostle Paul
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, (to be trained by Him personally)…for three years -Gal 1:17-18
Apostle Paul again after his training in Arabia and several successful conquests for the Lord…
"For I can do everything ..." (including knocking out the Devil) "...through Christ, who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)
"The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet…" (Romans 16:20)
Do not want to be cornered by the “ole enemy”? Then fight with Angelo..opps sorry… I mean Master of Angels (Heb 1:4-6/Rev 22:9) in your corner!
Prayer: Father, we with our own power or wisdom are no match to the strength or the wiles of our Enemy. Be with us, so that we can be victorious in our spiritual fight with Thy empowering spirit alone. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 25 Jul 2010, 10:31 am

COMING OUT OF COMFORT ZONE
“Female of this species is a lot deadlier than the male.”

No, no , I am not referring to Black widow the venomous female spider inhabiting the Western part of the US, whose deadly sting can send one to an early grave. Rather, I was reminded of this phrase after going through the recent media reports on a female suicide bomber (terror attacks involving women suicide bombers seems to be on the increase) in Iraq, killing about 54 people on the first day of Feb, 2010.

It is indeed quite tragic that enduring bomb blasts have become a way of life in Iraq since the US invasion of 2003. If media reports are to be believed, about 6.5 lakhs innocent civilians have perished since the US forces took over this historic country as a part of its “war against terror”. The purpose of this essay is not to justify or criticize the action of a country in its war against terror, but to focus a bit on human psychology and the challenges it brings to the spiritual realm.
Even as the terrorists are striking with impunity in a country noted for its ancient civilization, have we ever wondered why people are not deserting that country? With life being so insecure, wouldn’t it be pragmatic of Iraqi civilians to leave that strife-torn country and go and settle elsewhere, where there would be greater security to life and limb? But people would never, never easily come out of what the psychologists refer to as one’s “comfort zone”, despite eerie shadow of death hanging all around.

Why?

The reason is… going and settling in a new place would involve so much stress and strain, mostly mental. It involves getting used to new neighborhoods, seeking and plying a trade in an oh-so-unfamiliar market, finding new schools for children… the list can go on.
Many, many centuries ago (around 1800 BC to be more precise), one man did leave IRAQ. Yes, Iraq. Mesopotamia as it was called then. And he left at Divine instance (Acts 7:2-3). There were no bomb blasts forcing him to flee his home; rather he moved out of Iraq at a time when life was running as smoothly as a well-grooved assembly line. Welcome once again to Father Abraham…welcome once again to that great hero of faith, whose acts of complete trust in His provider, God (Genesis 22:14), has inspired and STILL continues to inspire countless across centuries.

The Almighty’s instruction to him was clear as daylight: “Leave your native country, your relatives, and your father’s family, and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation..." (Genesis 12:1-3). Exhibiting implicit, child-like trust, away went this faithful soul to a land the good Lord had reserved for him knowing NOTHING. Neither about the new land, or about what was in store for him there (Heb 11:8). Oh, I wish that the good Lord had shown a video-recording (read vision) of the blessings that lay in front of him! Time to remind ourselves about a catchy, insightful one-liner: “More than knowing what the future holds in store for us, it is important to know the PERSON, who holds the future”.

Yes, future to Abraham may have resembled the road on a dark frosty night, where nothing is clear even as he responded to the Divine call to leave his home. Fast forward to Genesis 23:5-6…and we see the fruits of his obedience…how the unchanging (Heb 13:8), faithful Lord provided for him in his new environs, so much so his neighbors marveling at his abundant blessings address him as an “honored prince”! Truth be told, in eternity more than his earthly blessings what Father Abraham would really treasure, would be his “growth in God-dependence” which his act of coming “out of comfort zone” brought about!
Friends, we tend to shower encomiums on this great patriarch in the context of his sacrificial act of being willing to lay even his beloved son on the altar (Genesis 22) in that exacting testing time of faith. Nothing wrong about it (we pour accolades)! But do we give enough credit to this Father of faith for his initial “leap of faith”? For his exemplary act of coming out of his comfort zone? Remember, that is where his relationship with the good Lord got cemented, and the way was paved for later being called righteous (for exhibiting implicit trust -Romans 4:3-on his faithful God).
Dear readers, even as you are reading this article, I do not know how the good Lord is challenging you. Aiming at your spiritual growth (oh, how He wishes, we are transformed into the image of His Son -2 Cor 3:18), the good Lord may be calling for a total drastic action of a career change or He may be calling you to make significant alterations in your cozy (?) Christian life. You may be chugging along giving only some part of your time, talent and treasures (everyone is accountable for these 3Ts’) for His Kingdom. Is it time you place a greater share of the 3TS’ in His hands? If you have heard His voice (it is subjective and varies from person to person), hard as it may be, never delay coming out of your comfort zone. Oh it is so comfortable out here …in His vineyard of willful obedience! Hallelujah!
Suresh Manoharan
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 14 Jul 2010, 12:48 pm

Today's Devotional:
Did you know that there are hundreds of lessons to be learned through nature? To learn how pets have been able to teach their owners about God, join us on Tuesdays for short mini-series entitled: LESSONS FROM ANIMALS!

LESSONS FROM ANIMALS, Part 1:
Ragdoll


"For every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine." (Psalm 50:10-11 NIV)
"He provides food for the cattle and for the young ravens when they call." (Psalm 147:9 NIV)
Though I love collecting dolls as a hobby, the ragdoll I write about in this devotional is probably not the kind of doll you are thinking of. Instead, it is a beautiful, lively kitten that acquired the name ragdoll because of its affectionate nature and floppy body. But this is also a story of answered prayer.
After the loss of my dog over a year ago, I sought the Lords guidance in whether or not to get another dog. It was quite fun and interesting to see how God responded to my prayer and called my attention to the Ragdoll. While being entertained by my senior cat watching Animal Planet, I accidentally learned about this unique breed of animals during a show, called “Cats 101.” Though I had no intention of getting another cat, the Ragdoll had all the qualities I was looking for in a pet and was the perfect answer to my prayer. Consequently, I received a sweet Ragdoll kitten as a Christmas gift from my family.
In less than a week, my ragdoll kitten is already a close member of my family! To me, his beauty and character reflect the glory and wisdom of God. As I ponder the profound meaning of today’s scripture, I am grateful to our loving God who so intimately cares for the needs of all His creatures. And we, His children have been given the privilege to be caretakers along with Him nurturing and tending to the animals He has placed in our care.
My little ragdoll is a blessing from God. Like so many times in the past, the Lord is faithful to answer my prayers no matter how big or small. If we seek His will, we can never go wrong. Isn’t it a comfort to know that all things are in His loving hands?

Prayer
Father, as we seek Your face, to You we give our heartfelt thanks. We praise You for the wonderful ways You have demonstrated Your loving care and manifest Your wisdom through all You have made. Lord, we honor You for hearing the prayers of Your people and providing what is best according to Your perfect will. In Jesus Name. Amen.

Lori Ciccanti
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 12 Jul 2010, 1:16 pm

ON FIRE FOR JESUS
"All I want is to sit in his shade, to taste and savor his delicious love. He took me home with him for a festive meal, but his eyes feasted on me!" (Song 2:3-4 The Message)
I recently had the opportunity to read through a personal testimony that I wrote about 8 years ago. As I read it, I was struck broadsided by how much in love with Jesus I had been back in those days.
But wait a minute. I'm still in love with Jesus! What's all the fuss about?
But I couldn't shake the feeling. It's true that I have not strayed from my Lord and Savior, but somehow, as I read that personal testimony, I could feel God calling me back to a former state of the love-relationship we once shared.
"Lord," I cried, "Where have I gone wrong? I still love You! You're my best friend, my confident, my support, my source of comfort, my high tower in times of trouble. I'm still involved in church and ministry, I still have my regular personal devotions. I still go to church. I still have worship with my children. So how come I don't feel as 'in love' as I did back then?"
The words of Revelation 3:16 suddenly flashed across my mind: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm - neither hot nor cold - I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Rev 3:15-17 NIV)
I fell down on my knees, and as bitter tears of repentance ran down my cheeks, God unfolded it all in my mind. You see, in the past, God had been my focus. Studying my Bible and being in ministry had been a RESULT of my love for Him, an EXTENSION of our relationship! But somewhere along the line, things became reversed. These things BECAME my focus!
You see friends, when I go to church to find God, I am just "playing church". When I participate in ministry, even when I have my personal devotionals and worship with the family as a routine thing, as the "way" to please God, I am just "playing Christian"! These things are not bad things, and I continue to be very blessed by them. But they have to stop being my focus! My focus needs to return to the Lover of my Soul, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Only when I do all those "things" as a RESULT of my love for Jesus, will they truly become a blessing, both to me, and to God! Only then can I return to being "on fire" for God!
As I knelt there, repenting, a beautiful thing happened. God's voice called out to me: "I am still deeply in love with you, My child! I love you more and more every passing day!"
The tears flowed even more freely then. I might have switched my focus away from God, but He hadn't switched His focus away from me! He is still as "in-love" with me as ever, and His love for me grows deeper every day!
Oh, what a wonderful Savior!
Friends, have you, too, become lukewarm? Have you, too, been "playing church" or "playing Christian"? Please take this message seriously. Examine your hearts. Think back to how you were when you first accepted Jesus as your Savior, when you first received the gift of His precious Spirit. More than likely, like me, you will honestly be able to answer that you still love God and that you haven't slipped from His presence. But are you still on fire for Him? Or have you, in some aspect of your life, become lukewarm?
If the answer to this second all-important question is "yes", then you, like me, must shift your primary focus back to Jesus. You need to once again desire to bask in His presence, to surrounding yourself with His love. Only when a personal relationship with God becomes the central focus of your lives will the fire come back into your church attendance, will the power come back into your ministry, will the spark come back into your personal worship time!
"All I want is to sit in his shade, to taste and savor his delicious love." (Song 2:3b The Message)
And remember, whether you have grown lukewarm or not, God loves you unconditionally! His greatest desire is to be your primary focus: "He took me home with him for a festive meal, but his eyes feasted on me!" (Song 2:4 The Message)
In His love,
Lyn
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, Mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems,
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 07 Jul 2010, 11:25 am

Today's Devotional:
CLEAN AS YOU GO
“Let all bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:31, 32 KJV)
The last time we had a hurricane hit where I live, I was not prepared. I had the things packed that I needed to take with me if I had to evacuate to a shelter. However, I had not done the dishes and I didn’t have time to do them before I had to leave for the shelter. I came home to a dirty kitchen. Now when I cook, I clean as I go.
Even if I am only making pancakes and eggs, as soon as I crack the eggs, I put them in the garbage and as soon as I measure the pancake mix that I am going to use, I put the pancake mix away. I don’t have to be concerned anymore that I might have to evacuate again and come home to a dirty kitchen.
God has been birthing this devotion in my heart for the last week because just as I was not prepared for the hurricane that hit us so there are many times in our lives when our hearts are not prepared for the hurricanes of life that hit us. We must allow Jesus to clean our hearts on a daily basis.
When someone attacks us and says hateful and cruel words to us, we need to go to Jesus immediately and ask Him to please take the anger, the bitterness and the unforgiveness from our hearts. When we allow these rotten attitudes to remain in our hearts, they not only stink in His nostrils, they also render us ineffective in our service for Him.
Do you ask Jesus to take the rotten attitudes that bring shame and disgrace to Him and also hurt Him from your heart every day or have you allowed them to remain in your heart? How dare we go to a Holy God and ask Him to forgive us for hurting Him if we are not willing to forgive the ones who hurt us? May God have mercy on us.
One day every one of us will stand before Him and try to explain to Him why we didn’t forgive the ones who hurt us. A lot of people will have to hang their heads in shame because they refused to forgive the ones who hurt them. I don’t want to be one of those people, do you?

Joanne Lowe
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 30 Jun 2010, 4:17 pm

Today's Devotional:
ROMANS CHAPTER 8
"For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Romans 8:7,8)
“The mind being set on the flesh” is a mind of an unbeliever. If one does not believe in the things of God, he is hostile or rejects the things of God and God’s laws.
Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden, there has been sin and strife in the world. God created a perfect world for Adam and Eve. If they had obeyed Him and controlled their sinful lusts, the world would be a perfect place. But they listened to Satan and became as we are because they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; and we became subject to sin and death.
But God, since He loved us so much provided a way for us to become perfect; thus Jesus became our sacrifice; our way of avoiding hell. God the Father, laid all the sins of the world on the strong, able shoulders of our Lord. Psalms 53:5 He took our sins upon Himself and bore our iniquities; He suffered on a cruel cross; suffered as no man has ever suffered and then He died to save our souls from an eternity in hell.
Prayer: Thank you Lord God for providing a way of escape for us and giving us a living sacrifice, Jesus Your only Son to die for us as our propitiation. Thank You for saving us from an eternity of the fire that burns forever and ever.

Nell Berry
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 26 Jun 2010, 9:59 am

Today's Devotional:
AN ELEMENT OF FLAVOUR
As a Senior citizen, I often think back to my childhood and the way we improvised, to compensate for lack of money. I smile when I remember the things my brothers and sisters and I did for snacks, so many years ago. It was during the years of the great depression and store bought snacks were out of the question. We had to make up our own.
It was about the time when potato chips were first coming into the food chain. They were just a dream to us. Dip was unheard of so we didn't miss it either. One of our favorite snacks was rhubarb. My parents always had lots of it.
We would go to the patch, pull up a juicy looking red stalk, and enjoy a treat. It was really sour but we had a way of making it taste good. We would peal off the thin red skin and then, with a little pile of salt in the palm of our other hand, we had a delicious snack food with dip. We didn't call it dip we just called it good. We loved to eat things with salt.
A salt shaker and a nice ripe tomato, right out of the garden, was a delightful combination. We even ate salt on our water melon, apples and grapefruit among other things.
We did not know that too much salt was not good for us. "Salt or sodium chloride is defined as a soft silver-white metallic chemical element that reacts readily with other substances." We didn't care about the definition we just knew it made sour rhubarb taste good. We didn't worry about life we just enjoyed it.
Here are some neat things God did when he created salt. He put salt in the ocean and salt in the land. Then to make life interesting he left us to figure some things out. The Bonneville (30,000 acres) salt flats in Utah are a place so barren that not even the simplest forms of life can exist.
Why is it that nothing will grow on the salt flats on land but many kinds of foods grow in the salty ocean? Why doesn't the food taken from salt water taste salty? This is God's secret but here is what we do with it. We take seafood out of the salt water and season it for eating with earth salt. We even extract salt from sea water and use it to salt the fish that once lived there but are not salty. If vegetation could grow on the salt flats would it taste salty? God has a sense of humor and a reason for everything he does.
One day Jesus introduced salt to his disciples in a very special way. Many times He used simple everyday things to teach profound truth. He gave them a simple formula for effective service. They could be either successful or worthless by the way they used the salt he told them about. It was a surprisingly simple truth that would shape their lives forever.
Can you imagine their surprise when he told them that they were "the salt of the earth" (Matt 5:13). He did not say "be salt". He said you "are salt". How important was that? He was talking about Character and reliability in their way of life. He reminded them that salt that has no flavor is only good for filler for the path that people walk on. His whole meaning for them was that they should be "an element of flavor in an otherwise tasteless world".
Whether it is snack food or health food, it is important for us to eat things that are healthy for our bodies. God provided food for our bodies and also for our souls. He gave us his Word to feed on for spiritual strength. With the help of the Holy Spirit we can develop the Christian character and reliability Jesus spoke to the disciples about.
Just as salt changes the flavor of food, we can be used of God to be, "an element of flavor" that takes the bitterness out of this rhubarb world.

Christian Love,
Carolyn Young
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 24 Jun 2010, 7:20 am

Today's Devotional:
LOOKING IN THE REARVIEW MIRROR
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb 12:2 NIV)
When I was a young boy my family would always make a Summer trip out of state to visit my Grandma and Aunt. It was a long drive over curvy, mountainous roads. It often took up to eight hours to get there. This was before the age of i-pods and DVD players too. My Dad didn’t care much for the rock music the radio stations played in the nineteen seventies either, so the trip was a quiet one. Stuffed in the back seat of the family sedan with my two brothers, I only had one thing that I could do and that was look out the window.
A window seat was best for scenery watching, but being the youngest and the smallest I was always stuck in the middle. That left gazing over my brothers’ shoulders or looking through the rearview mirror at what we had just passed. The second option, however, could never be done for long. With mountain roads I never knew when the next curve was coming up and if what I was looking at didn’t match what my body was feeling then I was carsick in minutes.
After a few times of my stomach turning flip flops I learned my lesson and kept my eyes on the road ahead. That way I could gaze in wonder at the golden light of the sun shining down on the green leafs of the trees as we drove by them. That way I could enjoy seeing the deer peacefully eating grass along the side of the road. That way I could delight in what was coming next instead of being sick over what was already left behind.
Those long trips taught me that you can’t live your life always looking in the rearview mirror. If you want to enjoy the beautiful moments of today then you have to see them as they happen. God doesn’t want us to live in the past. He wants us to embrace the joy that each new day brings. He wants us to realize the preciousness of every second and use them all to love Him, ourselves, and others. Keep your eyes on the road ahead then and trust God to lead you Home.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

Joe Mazzella is a writer and mental Health worker who lives in the mountains of West Virginia with his 3 children, 6 dogs, and 4 cats.
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