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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin Yesterday at 10:35 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 21, 2018

The Ultimate Nemesis

By Answers2Prayer 
  My 14 year-old Golden Retriever is on borrowed time. Having already surpassed the normal lifespan of her breed by at least two years, she continues to do the things that she has always loved, including romping in the snow, rolling in the grass, and begging to go for a walk. There is only one major problem in her life: Stairs! With age, her arthritis has become so significant that even the simplest tasks of getting up from the floor or walking across the linoleum are challenges for her. By far the biggest challenge, however, is the stairs. More times than I can count she's tried to climb the stairs, only to slide--or fall!--back to the bottom. It has reached the point that she is actually afraid of stairs. Unfortunately for her, we live in a five-level house...

As her arthritis has worsened, we have set her up on the entry level of the home so that she doesn't have to climb a single stair in the house unless she chooses to. Her only problem, then, is the stairs she must climb in order to enter the house, and due to her her newly-developed stair-phobia, it is now necessary for one of us to hold her collar as she faces them. 

It occurred to me today that this "collar-holding" serves two purposes: It provides her with some stability and assurance that she won't slide--or fall!--down the stairs, yes; but it also gives her that little "nudge" of encouragement she needs to even attempt the climb.

In life, there are many "stairs" we must face in order to move forward. Life's "stairs" generally look a bit more like trials and troubles than they do ascending and descending structures; but they still provide us with obstacles that inhibit our forward movement. There are times in our lives that we embrace those "stairs" with joy. Sometimes, however, the "arthritis" of life--the stresses, the emotional and physical pain, the broken relationships, etc.--cripple us to the point that we can't seem to face that extra responsibility, that new diagnosis, that sudden death in the family, or whatever it may be. Much like my dog, we find ourselves cowering at the mere thought of what we must face. 

Unfortunately for our dog, we can't remove the stairs from our house. In the same way, we cannot remove the trials and temptations from our lives. Just like my dog must make herself climb the stairs in order to get inside to her food, her comfort and her family, we also must pass through the troubled times. Fortunately for us, there is Someone who willingly left the comforts of Heaven to make a way: "Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body..." (Heb. 10:19-20 NIV), and that Someone has promised to be: "...our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." (Ps. 46:1 NIV). He has promised: "It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (Deut. 31:8 NIV see also Deut. 31:6, Heb. 13:5, Josh. 1:9, Is. 41:10-13, Matt. 28:20, etc.). Thus, it is Jesus Himself who promises to "hold our collar" so to speak, ensuring that we don't slip and fall and enabling us to make it through.

Interestingly, sometimes He is there to give us the stability and strength we need; but other times we require the occasional "nudge" to move forward. That nudge may not feel good, for it may be that God is encouraging us to continue in a direction we do not wish to go; however, that nudge will always be accompanied by the strength and stability He promises us. 

In the face of whatever new challenge has been put in your path, think about my arthritic dog and the hand on the collar that stabilizes and encourages her to go forward. Remember that it is the mighty hand of Jesus Christ that is always there for you. Let Him be your strength and stability, and when those gentle "nudges" come along, encouraging you to move onward even when you don't think you can, respond to them by doing just that: moving onward in His power and might. You'll be amazed at how much easier it becomes to be victorious through the trials!

P.S: This was written 6 months ago. My sweet, 14.5 year old "puppy" took her final breaths on this Earth this past Monday. We rejoice in the time God alloted us to be her human parents, and we will always remember all the thousands of lessons God has used her to teach us. 

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 14 Mar 2018, 9:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 13, 2018

You'll Love me Later


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." (Matt. 7:11 NLT)

I was in a local store recently when I saw something that opened a window into my soul and let in a little more light. I had just picked up some shampoo and was headed to the pet supplies to get some more dog food for my furry friends. I decided to take a shortcut through one of the toy aisles. Blocking my way, however, was a young father and his four year old daughter. The little girl was pleading with her Dad to buy her a new doll. The Dad was being gentle but firm telling her they couldn't afford it right now. Finally, the daughter burst into tears and said angrily, "I hate you!"

I thought that the father would get mad at her for this outburst. I know that I probably would have when I was his age. Instead he just smiled down at her, put his hand on her head, and said, "That's alright. You'll love me later". I stood there in amazement as he took her hand and they walked off. Then it dawned on me that I had been in this situation many times myself over the years but not as the father.

Many times over the years I have cried and thrown a fit when I didn't get what I wanted. Many times I grew angry at God when I felt my prayers weren't being answered. Through them all, though, our Heavenly Father was patient, loving, and kind with me. He knew that I didn't understand why certain things had to happen the way they did. He knew that my anger was a part of my growing up spiritually in this world. He knew that I would love Him later.

God loves us all so much. We are all His Children. But we are still growing up spiritually in this world. We don't know all the answers. That is why we need to trust in our Heavenly Father's Love and give Him ours as well. It is never too late to love God. It is never too late to invite Him into your soul. It is never too late to let His light guide your life.

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Mar 2018, 9:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 10, 2018

Arm-stretching? Or Reading Glasses? Part 2
By Answers2Prayer
Last Thursday, in "Arm-Stretching? Or Reading Glasses? Part 1", we saw from the example of my farsidedness and my need for reading glasses, that it isn't necessary to undergo the torture of "arm stretching" to be able to read and understand God's Word. Just like I need reading glasses to read, we all need "Spiritual Glasses"--God's Holy Spirit. When we humble ourselves before God and ask for His Spirit to help us as we read the Bible, we are amazed at how the words suddenly scream forth meaning.

It is also true, however, that there are still days that even these "spiritual glasses" don't seem to be doing the trick for me. My "arms" are still way "too short", for I still can't always understand what I'm reading. Why?

If I think about my reading glasses, there are also times when they are properly balanced on my nose, but I still can't make out the words of the book or email I am trying to read. This is because there is a dirty haze covering those all-important lenses, and it is amazing how clear the words become once I wipe that haze away. Could it be that my spiritual "glasses" can also become dirty? Is there a "haze" or "fog" that can cloud my ability to discern spiritual things, even when I ask for God's Spirit to help me understand?

The Bible suggests that there is actually something that can keep us from communicating with God: "If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, my Lord would not have listened." (Psalm 66:18 NLT). Isaiah also suggests something similar: "Listen! The LORD's arm is not too weak to save you, nor is his ear too deaf to hear you call. It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore." (Isaiah 59:1,2 NLT) In other words, when we harbor sin in our hearts, we block that line of communication with God!

But just what is this great sin?

Any sin, really; however, there are some things that may not be quite as obvious as others. Take worry, for example. The Bible tells us to: "Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you." (1 Peter 5:7 NLT). When I worry, I am being disobedient to this command, and that worry clouds my spiritual vision and makes it difficult to communicate with God.

There are other times when I do understand. Clearly. But what I understand isn't in line with what I want to understand. It is at these times that my own will clouds my ability to utilize my "Spiritual glasses". It is so often said, "You hear what you want to hear", and if you think about it, we aren't so likely to listen when what we hear isn't in line with our own will!

Another related "layer" that can coat my Spiritual vision is control. Often times what I see in God's Word speaks to me about relinquishing control...to Him! But I don't want to relinquish control, for that would put me...out of control! Horrors! That would be just...awful!

There is, however, something absolutely amazing that I have learned: when I repent of my sin, renounce my will, relinquish control and hand my worries over to God, my spiritual vision clears and I can make full use of those "Spiritual glasses". It is truly amazing!

God's Word. One of the greatest gifts He has ever given us; yet our arms will always be "too short" unless we choose to wear the "Spiritual Glasses". The Bible will never make total sense without the help of its Inspiration, God's Spirit, and this is the first and most important step in understanding the Word of God. However, just like my reading glasses are of no use to me when they are dirty, when we allow our minds to become "clouded" with things like our own will, worry, control, sin, or whatever it may be, we will not be able to see through God's "spiritual glasses". We won't hear the voice of His Spirit, and when this happens, we have a little "lens cleaning" to do.

Last Thursday I suggested that we pray and ask for God's Spirit to be with us when we read His Word, to unblind our spiritual eyes and unstop our spiritual ears, to be a lamp unto our feet, to pierce to the division of soul and spirit, to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts (See Ps. 119:105, Heb. 4:12). In addition to this prayer, I would suggest that we also ask God to help us search our hearts for anything -- sin, control, our own will, worry, whatever it may be -- that could cloud our spiritual vision. Repenting of these things will work on our "spiritual glasses" in the same way the lens cloth cleans my reading glasses, rendering our spiritual vision crystal clear. The result will be an exciting time in God's Word. Guaranteed.

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 25 Feb 2018, 4:03 pm


Welcome to the Nugget

Februry 24, 2018

When a Moralistic Mission goes awry, Part 3


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Today, we come to the concluding part of the series titled "When a moralistic mission goes awry"...


Miserable...

While King David's friend may have lost his life, it was the King who felt the most miserable (1 Chro 13:11-12) at the sorry turn of events for which he himself was solely responsible. Be it as it may, let's capture what David himself has to say about the reasons behind the Lord's act of inflicting painful chastisement, albeit in a different situation: "The punishment you gave me was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me to pay attention to your laws. They are more valuable to me than millions in silver and gold!" (Ps. 119:71-72 TLB).


Modify...

Misery led to the temporary modification in David's plan to take the Ark to Jerusalem. He would now instead take it to the home of a Levite, Obededom (1 Chron. 15:24) the Gittite, so called because he was the resident of Gath-Rimmon, one of the Levitical Cities (Joshua 21:24-25).


Manifold...

Put yourself in Obededom's shoes, as the Ark of the Covenant came home! Considering the circumstances, one can well imagine with what reverential fear he and his family members would have gone about their lives. No wonder, the Scripture says, obviously out of joy in seeing Obededom conduct affairs of his home with deep reverential fear for three months, that the Lord blessed him with manifold blessings (1 Chron. 13:14).


Mend...

Trust godly David to repent whenever he was confronted with his faults and fallacies (Psalm 51/2 Sam 24); and this incident, which is the first of the other two grave mistakes of his life, kind of establishes a pattern: Stand...fall...rise! Deep remorse of this contrite King over a moralistic mission gone awry due to Scriptural negligence can well be gauged by these sombre words, even as he mends fences with His Creator. Let the Scripture take over at this stage...

"Then David called for Zadok and Abiathar, the High Priests, and for the Levite leaders: Uriel, Asaiah, Joel, Shemaiah, Eliel, and Amminadab. 'You are the leaders of the clans of the Levites,' he told them. 'Now sanctify yourselves with all your brothers so that you may bring the Ark of Jehovah, the God of Israel, to the place I have prepared for it. The Lord destroyed us before because we handled the matter improperly--you were not carrying it.'" (1 Chron. 15:11-13 TLB).

About a Christian's life also...the wise Rick Warren observed, "A Christian begins with repentance and is sustained by repentance".

Mission 2...

If seeds for failure of "Mission 1" were laid by way of an improper spiritual preparation, seeds for success of Mission 2 were by the same token planted this time out by proper, reverential, meticulous preparation. No wonder that when the curtains come down on this particular account of finally bringing the Ark to Jerusalem, the Scripture makes mention of peaceful and joyous settings at the end of it all: "And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat, and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house" (2 Sam 6:18-19).
May we too, at all times, undertake tasks for God's Glory in the way He desires, so that we can also experience this truth of which that great Missionary Hudson Taylor speaks of thus: "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supply." Oh of all the finest things He supplies, let's crave for His approval first and foremost in everything we undertake in His Name!

Prayer: Father, let all our steps be ordered by Thee at all times. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 20 Feb 2018, 9:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Februry 20, 2018

When a Morlistic Mission goes awry, Part 1


By Answers2Prayer 
   Heard of anecdotes when something done with an apparently good intention, but done in the wrong way, went haywire? Here's one for starters... 

Who can forget a school time story often told to emphasize the importance of proper usage of punctuation marks? It is said that on account of a last-minute Presidential pardon, a convict's death sentence by hanging was slashed. But unfortunately, due to improper usage of a comma, the wired message to the Prison (sent in a hurry), where this convict was to be executed, read: "Hang him, not release him" instead of the supposed "Hang him not, release him". 

Coming to the spiritual realm...St. Jerome, the patron saint of translators, studied Hebrew so he could translate the Old Testament into Latin from the original language instead of from the third century Greek version that everyone else had used. The resulting Latin version, known as, "The Vulgate", which became the basis for hundreds of subsequent translations, contained a famous mistake. When Moses comes down from Mount Sinai, his head has "radiance" or, in Hebrew, "karan." But Hebrew is written without the vowels, and St. Jerome had read "karan" as "keren" or "horned." From this error came centuries of paintings and sculptures of Moses with horns. Even the great renaissance artist Michael Angelo sculpted Moses with a horn, and thus, the odd offensive stereotype of the "horned Jew" was born. 

While at best (or worst...Sic), the resultant damage may have been limited to some Jewish sentiments getting rubbed the wrong way courtesy this semantic error of that great Saint, there was nothing as catastrophic as the loss of life, nor was any incumbent King left with egg on his face, so to speak. Now welcome to the Biblical story that resulted in just that! Consider David's gaffe over transporting the Ark of the Covenant (1 Chron. 13:1-14) from Kiriath-Jearim to Jerusalem in an ox-cart instead of on the shoulders of Priestly Kohathites (Numbers 4:15/Numbers 7:19)! 

It is an altogether different story as to why the Ark, which symbolized both God's presence and His Covenantal relationship with Israel, landed in Kiriath-Jearim in the first place, when it ought to have been in the "The Most Holy Place" (a separate Chamber) of the Tabernacle at Gibeon. Incidentally the story of Tabernacle itself moving to Gibeon from its original place of erection in Shiloh (Joshua 18:1) is a gargantuan subject in itself. Amongst others, the subject would lead us to a topic culminating in a fascinating time in Israel's history, when there were for the first and only time, two High Priests. One was in Gibeon and the other in Jerusalem (See 1 Kings 4:4). Yours truly will endeavour to throw light on fascinating subjects some other time, but in this 3-part series, we will see what lessons can be glean from David's moralistic mission gone awry. We will focus on alliteration, sub-headings beginning with "M", as we, of this generation, are better served in paying proper attention to our Lord's instructions (1 Cor 10:11)... 


Miss-out...

Until this goof-up, one of the outstanding characteristics of the man of God's own heart, David himself (See 1 Sam 13:14/Acts 13:22), had been to often "enquire of the Lord". A careful study of the Scriptures would reveal that until this "spiritual blunder", David had enquired of the Lord when faced with different challenges not less than 6 times (1 Sam 23:2,4/1 Sam 30:8/2 Sam 2:1/2 Sam 5:19,23). Sadly, however, before embarking on this "noble" mission of bringing the Ark of the Covenant to the permanent "home of God", Jerusalum, where the temple would soon be constructed (See Ps. 132:13-14), instead of Gibeon, which was only a temporary place for the Lord's presence in dispensation of Law, there is no mention of this great King "enquiring of the Lord". The Scriptures say he, "consulted with the captains of thousands and hundreds, and with every leader" (1 Chron. 13:1 NLT) instead. If seeking the Lord's opinion seemed too much to ask for David, then ideally instead of military leaders, it would have served him well to consult the Levitical leaders before making the "final call" on the subject. This was, in all, predominantly a spiritual matter...Talk of consulting a Nephrologist to discuss your Cardiac problem, rather than a seeing a Cardiologist... 

Sadly, it would seem that David missed out on the obvious opportunity to seek the right answer from the right source. While the saying, "the work well begun is half-done" is true, the converse of it is also equally true: work not well begun, is half-done for! Say Servant of God, are you prayerfully enquiring of the Lord before launching out on any noble mission that is purportedly to be carried out for His Glory? 

Prayer: Father, we confess of our haste shown in taking up spiritual projects without properly seeking Your counsel in those matters. Forgive us and make us fully dependent on you for all of our projects, from the their beginning until their end. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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

Post  Admin on Sat 17 Feb 2018, 11:26 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 17, 2018

Mountain Range of Troubles
By Answers2Prayer 
  Isn't it interesting how troubles always seem to come in bunches? It isn't a "mountain" of trouble, it's a "mountain range"!

As I come off a current "mountain range" of problems, I have to wonder: Wouldn't each of these trials have been easier to take one at a time? Take my dog being sick, for example, and me having to clean up multiple spots from the carpet. Wouldn't that have been easier to deal with if I had arrived home from work on time? And the cleaning up would certainly not have been so painful if I hadn't just sprained my wrist. And wouldn't the wrist sprain have been easier if it weren't for the fact that we were on "high alert" to drop everything and fly to Europe? If it weren't for the fact that my mother-in-law didn't not have much longer to live? And wouldn't that have been easier to work through if we hadn't had sick staff at work, making the work load of the rest of us double and requiring that we all work several hours of overtime? And wouldn't the extra time at work have been easier to manage if I hadn't also been sick with the same bug? And since all the above took away my time to do things at home in the evenings, wouldn't it have all been easier if I hadn't had to deal with another family emergency on the weekend, thus taking away any "catch-up" time I had?

Back in 2012, when I was going through some serious health concerns, I remember asking God why it all had to come in bunches. I mean, wouldn't the torn rotator cuff have been so much easier to deal with if it hadn't been for the accompanying frozen shoulder? And wouldn't the shoulder issues have seemed less daunting if I hadn't just broken two ribs and injured my calf in two separate accidents? And God, wouldn't it all have been easier to manage if it hadn't been for that cancer diagnosis? 

I could give many more examples, but I think you get the picture. In fact, you could insert into this devotional multiple examples of your own "mountain range" of problems. For whatever reason, it never seems to be the case that we deal with just one problem at a time. In fact, I would say that 10 seems to be the norm! 

So how should we react?

The prophet Micah gives us some clues. Micah prophesied at a time when the Babylonian captivity of Judah was an imminent reality. Troubles were piling up for the people of Jerusalem and Judah, and the worst was yet to come: "Why do you now cry aloud--have you no king? Has your ruler perished, that pain seizes you like that of a woman in labor?" (Micah 4:9 NIV)

Any woman who has ever given birth knows exactly what pain the prophet is speaking of here. In fact, Micah, being a man, probably had less idea than we women do. Yes, the pains of labour are an excellent description of how this mountain range of problems feels at the moment!

What does Micah tell us to do?

"Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor..." (Micah 4:10a NIV)

Excellent advice, Micah. You obviously have never been there. Labor is said to be the worst pain known to mankind...

But Micah is heartless: "...for now you must leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon..." (Micah 4:10b NIV)

In other words, we need to face that labor pain, because we WILL go through illness. Our troubles WILL pile up against us. The loss of our loved one WILL be coupled with sprained wrists, sick dogs, illness and other family problems. That cancer diagnosis WILL come at a time when troubles are already abounding. We WILL lose that house in the middle of winter. That relationship WILL fall apart in the face of all those financial concerns: "...for now you MUST leave the city to camp in the open field. You will go to Babylon..." 

Some comfort, Micah! 

So where is the advice I promised? 

It was there in the opening line of vs. 10. Did you catch it? 

"Writhe in agony, Daughter Zion, like a woman in labor..."

Let's not forget that labor pain does not last forever. It can sometimes last hours, even days, but in the end, all the pain results in the birth of a beautiful baby. This is the advice that Micah gives us when we are going through that mountain range of trouble: Face them like you would face labor pains. Charge in courageously, ever knowing that it will be temporary; and once on the other side, it will be worth it.

Not convinced? I'm not sure Judah would have been, either, except for the last line of vs. 10: "...there you will be rescued. There the Lord will redeem you out of the hand of your enemies." (Micah 4:10c NIV)

Whatever mountain range of problems assaults you today, face it like you would labor, ever knowing that God will get you through, and in the end, rescue and redemption!

In His love,
Lyn

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

Post  Admin on Tue 13 Feb 2018, 9:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 13, 2018

Maman, Adieu!
Part 4: Carrying us Through the Hard Times...


By Answers2Prayer 
  When you are grieving the inevitable loss of someone you care about, it is sometimes hard to see anything other than the pain of grief. Nonetheless, God is there, and no matter how much it hurts, He sends little "gifts" along the way to help ease that pain. This was the all-important final lesson God had for me through the loss of Maman, my precious mother-in-law. I don't know how many beautiful little "gifts" He sent before I started watching for them, but once we were aboard the aircraft for our transatlantic flight, He finally got my attention...

Although we had booked our flight through Air Canada, and although we held Air Canada tickets in our hands, we were actually aboard a Brussels Air aircraft. What a blessing of God this would turn out to be... 

First of all, this particular aircraft had a bit more leg room than most, and for an overseas flight, this is a very good thing. Secondly, we were quite naturally sad; but when the safety demonstration was done with a twist of quirky Belgian humor, it lifted our spirits. 

We were only about 45 minutes into our flight when the next blessing came about. The attendants came around with supper trays: "Would you like chicken or fish?" With both of us choosing a vegetarian lifestyle, and with me being intolerant to gluten and dairy, we definitely have to order our meals in advance. In our haste to book our flights, we hadn't even considered that we would be served supper, and I simply shook my head and assured the flight attendant we had some sandwiches. She looked a bit concerned when she left, and it wasn't long before another flight attendant stood beside us with a tray: "You need a vegetarian meal?" As he handed me the tray, I instantly noted it was both gluten--and dairy--free. Wait. How did he know? "You wouldn't happen to have another one, would you?" I asked, indicating my husband's empty tray table. Moments later, he came back, this time with a lovely pasta dish. Now this man also had no way of knowing our individual dietary needs. How was it that there just "happened" to be two "extra" vegetarian dishes, one that was perfect for each of us? 

Perhaps the biggest airline blessing, however, was that our flight was almost empty. This meant that there were many entire rows of empty seats, and as this was an overnight flight, we were each able to have our own "row" to lay down. 

It was in all, a flight full of blessings, and all because God knew Air Canada would put us aboard a Brussels Air aircraft.

Once in Brussels, God had yet another blessing for us. The small car we had reserved had been upgraded to a larger one, one that was actually big enough not only for our luggage, but also for our son, who would be arriving in a few days, and his luggage. 

The weather was another blessing. Though it was February, the temperatures averaged about 10 degrees C (50 F.). The grass was green, and the trees were ready to burst into bloom. The bulbs were all coming up, and a few of the earliest spring flowers had already begun to blossom. In all, God was painting us a beautiful picture, one that would help distract us from the sad moments ahead. 

Our rented room was another gift of God. For only 23 euros per person per night, we had an entire house, complete with washing machine. Our hosts were also wonderful. On our final day, they took us into their home, served us refreshments, and we talked for over an hour.

The list of blessings could go on and on, but perhaps the greatest blessing was that Maman knew we were there and knew who we were. This helped us so much when her status took a turn for the worst the following day. We felt so blessed to have had that one good day and then to have been able to hold her hand and as she went forever to the kingdom of God... 

Death. It was never in God's original, perfect plan; yet because of sin, it is such a part of life. When a loved one dies, it hurts so much; yet God WILL walk with us every step of the way, for He knows how much it hurts to lose a loved one to death. He WILL hold our hand, He WILL hold us up, and as we make the long and painful walk through the valley of grief, He will send us His mercies and blessings every step of the way. 

Our job? We are to simply notice His mercies and give Him the praise. 

I hope none of you are facing the death of a loved one, but life dictates that likely many of you are doing just that. Remember to watch for God's blessings and allow Him to get you through, for: "This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him." (Ps. 91:2 NLT)

Maman loved God very much, and we have no doubts that she is now with Jesus. She would have wanted nothing more than for the circumstances surrounding her death to be a blessing to other people, and it is for this reason that I have penned this short series. If you are grieving the loss of a loved one, please email me. If you have missed any of the former lessons in the "Maman, Adieu" mini-series, you can access them by clicking here. Otherwise, email me and I will send them to you. God bless each of you as you go through the difficult valleys that are on your path today. 

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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Hounded by problems? Have troubles become your "norm?" Do you find it hard to hold on to faith in the midst of dire need? God know! Check out Victory in Trouble, a 4-part mini-series by Lyn Chaffart, designed to help you be victorious through your troubled times.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 10 Feb 2018, 11:07 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 10, 2018
Maman, Adieu!
Part 3: God's Timing is Always...Right!

By Answers2Prayer
When you know the death of someone you love is imminent, all you can think about is seeing that person again before they go. Especially if an ocean lies between you. Unfortunately, however, the labour laws of our country dictate that we can only receive leaves-of-absence from work with pay--after a death has occured. That meant that in order to see Maman, my mother-in-law, again, we would either have to make two last-minute and expensive trips to Europe, one without pay, or we would not see her before she passed away. There didn't seem to be any compromise. If we only knew exactly when her time would be, we would be able to accomplish both goals with one trip; but since we didn't possess a crystal ball, there was no way to know when would be the best time to make that transatlantic flight.

Some time between the initial scare and the second, real report that Maman wasn't expected to live, my husband received two funny messages from God. He was about to watch a DVD that he had used to record random TV shows. There is no real way to know what show will come up next, but as he put the disc in the player, he heard God's voice: "It will be NCIS." And it was.

Wait. Why would God care to tell my husband what show he would watch on TV?

Two minutes later, he reached for a chewable Vitamin C. There are four flavours of these particular Vitamin C tablets, all colour-coded; but when you blindly reach into the jar, there is no way to know which flavour you will get. As his fingers began to fish out a tablet, he again heard God's voice: "It will be green." And it was.

Wait. What was going on?

God then spoke again: "If I can tell you what show you will watch and what colour your Vitamin C tablet will be, then can't you trust Me to tell you when it is the right time to fly to Belgium?"

Two weeks later, on Tuesday, February 7, we got the call: Maman was only expected to be with us another few days. Because we had received a similar call two weeks earlier that had turned out to be a false alarm, we weren't sure what to do; but remembering the message from the TV show and the Vitamin C, my husband and I began to pray. The next morning, God told Rob that it was time to make our flight arrangements, and He told me that Maman had exactly seven days to live.

We couldn't fly until Saturday, and given the timechange, along with the fact that it was an overnight flight, we arrived in Belgium Sunday morning, February 12. We drove to the nursing home to find that Maman was having a good day. She was alert, she obviously knew who we were, and every few minutes she would smile at us. She even drank some water, which she hadn't done in several days. In all, she was at peace.

The next day, Monday, February 13, she was in a semi-comatose state. She wouldn't eat or drink, her eyes were glazed over, and by the end of the day her breathing had become shallow. We asked the nurses to call us at our hotel if her condition changed, and that call came in at 3:15 in the morning. We hurried to the home and were able to hold her hands as she went to sleep in the arms of Jesus.

Only afterwards would we realize that it was Tuesday, February 14, exactly seven days after God had told me she would be with us exactly seven more days...

But God had only begun to reveal His perfect timing. My husband had three unused personal days he could take from work, along with his five days of bereavement. We had felt led to book our return flights 12 days after leaving Canada, on Thursday of the following week. As it turned out, there was a statutory holiday during that upcoming week, and my husband was able to make the entire trip without losing pay.

But with Maman passing away so early in our trip, what would we do with the ten days that remained of our booked-off time?

God had it all under control. The earliest date for the funeral was the upcoming Monday. We also wouldn't have the death certificate--the piece of paper critical for the settlement of the estate--until Monday. Interestingly, this also allowed our oldest son time to fly in from Canada for his grandmother's funeral.

We then learned that the burial couldn't happen until Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon was also the only time we would be able to see the notary to make arrangements for settling the estate. As it turned out, the days between the death and the funeral were just the right number to accommodate cleaning out my mother-in-law's room, purchasing gifts for those who were helping us out at home, and celebrating our son's 24th birthday.

And finally, because our return flight on Thursday was early in the morning, we would have to move from Ostend (on the coast) to Louvin (near Brussels) on Wednesday. God had quite literally impressed us to book off the perfect number of days!

Somehow just knowing that God cared enough to work out the timing so perfectly helped us to know--and trust--that He would also help us through our grief...

Remember this Truth: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6: 2 NKJV). God's timing is perfect. All the time. Even when we don't see, He does; and we can trust Him to tell us when the time is right, no matter what the situation.

There was just one more lesson God had for me through this ordeal. Please join us on Tuesday for the conclusion of "Maman, Adieu"!

In His love,
Lyn


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

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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 08 Feb 2018, 11:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 8, 2018

Maman, Adieu!
Part 2: How to Avoid a Meltdown

By Answers2Prayer
It was Tuesday, February 7, when we received the unwelcome news that "Maman", my precious mother-in-law, was considered to be imminently palliative. We immediately began making plans for an emergency trip to Europe, and you can imagine the hustle and bustle as we went into overdrive, running on pure adrenaline, to ensure we had a place to stay, a vehicle, that our animals would be cared for, etc. And of course, there were mega-arrangements to make at both of our places of work for our extended leaves of absence. Combine this with the emotional turmoil of knowing we would soon lose our precious Maman and that it might happen before we could make the transatlantic flight to Belgium to see her one last time, and you will understand why I was very close to a major meltdown. It was in the midst of this adrenaline-fueled marathon that God reached out to me through each of my boys, respectively, to teach me two very important lessons...

It began with my older son. "How are you doing?" was his text to me. This is his invitation to provide emotional support, and my response was, "It's been rough". Of course he wanted to know what, specifically, was wrong, and my text back to him said something about, busyness, arrangements to make, emotional turmoil, etc.

I should have expected the content of his response; nonetheless, I was blown away to learn that he had also experienced a "rough" day and for the very same reasons...It made me sit back and think. Here I was so concerned about myself and my own problems that it didn't occur to me that my son would also be struggling with the imminent loss of his grandmother. Under other circumstances I would have been in tune to this, but my own problems and stresses, albeit very valid ones, had blown themselves up so much in my mind that they completely blocked me from being able to see that my son was also hurting! And yet, here he was, offering ME emotional support...

What a powerful lesson. It doesn't matter how valid, how big, how encompassing our problems are, they should NEVER be allowed to keep us from seeing the needs of others!

In a communication with my younger son, it became apparent that he, too, was struggling--not with a very "rough" day, but a very "rough" last two weeks. Whenever your kids hurt, you hurt; and this, on top of the rest, was the last straw for me. As I began to allow thoughts of self-pity and insecurity pull me towards the ever-familiar path of depression, I was suddenly overcome with the burden to pray for someone.

Now normally when I am headed towards full-blown depression, I ignore such burdens. Especially if I didn't have a clue who or what I was supposed to be praying for, as was the case that night. After all, weren't my own needs bigger at that moment than whatever God was urging me to pray about?

This time, however, the burden to pray actually made me recognize that I was heading down a dangerous, slippery slope. I turned to God, I renounced my self-pity, my insecurity and my depression, and I began to pray in the Spirit.

Interestingly, after spending time in prayer, my own emotions stabilized. Gone was the depression, the self-pity, the insecurity. The upcoming trip to Europe and its emotional baggage were still there, but I knew that with God on my side, we would make it through. And with that truth, my mini-meltdown was over.

It was two days later that one of the special people in my life texted me. She battles crippling anxiety, and I had previously asked her to contact me the moment the anxiety began to creep in. She told me in her text that she had been struggling with anxiety around the same time I had almost ignored the burden to pray. Praise be to God, she had just experienced two peaceful days...

Coincidence?

I don't think so, and herein lies the second important lesson I learned that week: When we pray for others despite the magnitude of what we, ourselves, are going through, we will see our own problems shrink back to their real size as they come under the blood of Jesus.

Doesn't the Bible tell us to encourage one another? "So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing." (1 Thess. 5:11 NLT). Doesn't the bible teach that we receive comfort from God so that we can pass it on to others? "He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (2 Cor. 1:4 NLT).

No matter what it is you are battling this week, I urge each of you to try to consider the needs of others as far more important than your own. Resolve to put the needs of others first, for you can be sure that when you do, you can trust God to take care of your own problems!

And let's pray for God's help in remembering these two valuable lessons...

Join us on Saturday for a lesson in God's perfect timing, even through death, in "Maman, Adieu", 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.

Announcement:
It is hard to lose someone you love. Yet throughout that horrible experience, God is there, pouring out blessing upon blessing. Join us on Saturday and Tuesday for the concluding parts of "Maman, Adieu", a mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart, inspired by the recent tragedy of the loss of her precious mother-in-law.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 06 Feb 2018, 10:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 6, 2018

Maman, Adieu!
Part 1: The Choice

By Answers2Prayer
My precious mother-in-law, Maman, left this earth to be with the Lord on Valentine's Day of last year. It was tough times for all of us, but God, in His loving way, used this sad consequence of sin to teach us some valuable lessons about peace, about trust, about God's power and timing and about His ability to comfort those who are left behind. These will be the focus of the devotionals leading up to Valentine's Day.

Part 1: The Choice

In the days that followed the unwelcome news that my mother-in-law, Maman, was considered to be imminently palliative, I learned an important lesson: Peace of mind is a choice. It doesn't matter what we are going through, we have the choice to submit it to God and rest in His peace, or to carry it ourselves.

The previous weekend, the charge nurse at the home where my Maman lived contacted us to say that if we wanted to see her alive, we would need to make an immediate overseas trip. Quite naturally, we began to grieve, and the entire week was spent trying to figure out how to make this trip a possibility. We would learn on Friday, however, from the same nurse, that in her opinion, Maman had weeks, if not months, to live. Then on Saturday, the nurse who did my mother-in-law's direct care reported that in her opinion, Maman was not palliative at all!

What an emotional roller coaster!

In and of itself, that would have been enough to disrupt the peace, but add the following to the mix: 1) Work had been significant more stressful than usual due to staff off sick; 2) I had slipped on the ice and sprained my wrist; 3) There were significant problems with another family member requiring hours of time to find solutions, only to learn that this particular family member didn't want help. Then the same issues resulted in me losing a significant chunk of my weekend; and 4) I was also sick, but with staff already off, I had to push myself to work through it anyway. Thanks to the prayers of my loving husband and family, I was weathering this pretty well...Until Sunday night, that is, when my son said something that rubbed me the wrong way. I knew at the time that I was taking it all wrong; nonetheless, this little thing was quite simply the last straw. I just couldn't humanly take any more emotional turmoil, and with that thought, I gave away my peace.

God, in His loving kindness, refused to leave me there. Instead, He sent me a timely text from my son, with the strong reminder that God is Jehovah Shalom, God of Peace. Then my son went one step farther: He reminded me that in the Hebrew, these names of God were not just general names, but personal ones. Therefore, it isn't just "God of Peace"; instead, it becomes "God of my Peace"!

That worked on my spirit for a few minutes, and that's when the truth occurred to me: Having the peace of God is a choice. I can choose to allow God to be my peace, or I can choose to hold His peace at bay by continually allowing the "things" in life to mushroom in my mind.

Now I know that I am not dealing with serious, personal health concerns, financial difficulties or relationship problems. I also realize I have a great job, a loving, wonderful family to support me and a warm roof over my head. In fact, in the grand scheme of things, my little bag of "problems" might seem pretty small. Nonetheless, whatever it is, small or huge, God's peace is available to us at all times: "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:7 NIV). The reason we don't always feel that peace is that we fail to give our burdens to Him: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7 MOV)

I chose to give my problems to Jesus that day, and I declared that Jehovah Shalom is the God of my peace. You won't believe the difference it made!

And it's a good thing; as the news from Europe would again succumb to the whims of reality...Join us on Thursday for "Maman, Adieu!" part 2: How to Avoid a Meltdown.

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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Are you looking for that rest, peace and security that everyone says comes from Jesus? Visit the mini-series, "Eternal Music" and find out!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 02 Feb 2018, 10:24 am

Welcome to the Nugget

February 1, 2018

The Perfect Connection
By Answers2Prayer
"What's wrong with me?"

I asked myself that question while seated in the window seat of the airplane. I plugged my headset, ready to listen to some music (I had preferred to listen to the Bible on CD, but had packed it away in my suitcase).

"Excuse me," I said to the man beside me, "can you help me with finding the buttons?"

"Sure," he said.

He showed me and I figured out the correct spots to change stations and adjust the volume.

But later when I wanted to change, nothing happened. I pressed, pressed some more and nada. I didn't want to bother the man again. So, I kept trying.

It wasn't 'till the end of the flight that I discovered the earphones had disconnected from the plug.

You've done that too, haven't you? We all have done something similar in life. We try to listen to the music of our own wisdom by looking for the right button. We repeatedly press on, following our own abilities. And we keep trying, only to highlight our foolishness. Before we know it, we're encountering nothing of value, of worth or meaning.

Could it be that we're also disconnected? But, if we lean toward Jesus and ask Him, He's the source to which we connect. Then we find the melody of life, the richness for our days and the abundance for our tomorrows.

Jesus said: "No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5).

How much fruit is your life bearing these days?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.
Announcement:
It is hard to lose someone you love. Yet throughout that horrible experience, God is there, pouring out blessing upon blessing. Join us next week for "Maman, Adieu", a mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart, inspired by the recent tragedy of the loss of her precious mother-in-law.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 30 Jan 2018, 8:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 30, 2018

Just Winter


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt. 5:14-16 NIV)

I can still remember it like it was yesterday. It was a dark, dreary day. The Christmas decorations had been taken down. The old year had given way to the new. Now it was just Winter. Outside a bitter wind was blowing. Gray clouds covered the sun. Several inches of snow lay on the grass and trees. Inside my water was dripping so my pipes wouldn't freeze and I was sipping coffee so I wouldn't freeze either. I asked my dog if he was ready to go for a walk, but he just turned around and lay down next to the heater. I shook my head, zipped up my sweater and slipped on my thick socks while I looked out my kitchen window. I wasn't looking forward to another 3 months of this. I sat wearily at the kitchen table to eat my oatmeal. Then suddenly I saw him! A beautiful, bright red cardinal had landed on a low hanging limb of the bare tree in my backyard. I looked lovingly at him while he stared back at me. He gently stretched his wings, gave me a final, knowing nod, and flew into the sky. His visit had left my spirits a little higher, my heart a little lighter, and my soul a little closer to Heaven.

Sometimes in our lives it is just winter. Sometimes the gray gloom of this world piles on the problems and troubles. Sometimes life feels both cold and bitter. Sometimes it is very hard to see the light. It is times like these when we need to call on our own inner cardinal. It is times like these that we most need to shine our own light, share our own love, and let ourselves fly. It isn't always easy and often takes effort, but with Heaven's help it can be done.

Just remember that God loves you in the Winter as well as in the Spring. Life may not always give you what you want but it does give you what you need to grow kinder, better, more loving, and closer to God. Let your inner cardinal fly then. Let God's light shine through you. Let your love help warm this world in the Winter as well as the Spring.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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

Post  Admin on Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:49 am

Welcome to the Nugget

January 27, 2018

Jonah: A Different Perspective


By Answers2Prayer 
  The story of Jonah and the big fish is perhaps one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. Ask any Christian what it means, and you will hear something about how obedience to God is important, how we can't run from God, etc.

As I was praying for direction that morning, God directed me to go to this little book. I was a bit puzzled at first. The problem I was seeking guidance for was not something that was in any way my fault. In fact, my husband and I are mere victims in a world-wide scandal involving a big-ticket item we had purchased in good faith. With the company having given us a few options, I was asking God to show us which of our three options was right for us...Why was God guiding me to a book about someone running away from Him?

Despite my doubts, I paged through my Bible to the story, and as I began to read, the words jumped out at me: "But the Lord hurled a powerful wind over the sea, causing a violent storm that threatened to break the ship apart." (Jonah 1:4 NLT). 

Let's remember that Jonah wasn't the only person on board. If the ship truly broke apart, the crew, as well as any other passengers, would all lose their lives. None of them had done anything wrong. Why were they being punished for Jonah's sin?

Wait a minute. This was my situation, wasn't it? I had done nothing wrong in purchasing this item. The current "storm" was completely caused by wrong choices made by the manufacturer, and I, like the crew aboard Jonah's ship was nothing but an innocent bystander who had been "swept" into the problems!

Is this your situation as well? You didn't do anything wrong to merit that cancer diagnosis. You are completely innocent in the affair that tore your marriage apart. You did nothing wrong in your parenting, and your teenager had no reason to go off the deep end. You've always been honest and supportive at work, yet you are still being fired. You are in the midst of a terrible financial battle, despite the fact that you've always been faithful with your offerings...Just like the sailors aboard that ship bound for Joppa, the fact that we find ourselves immersed in trials does not necessarily mean we are at fault. Oh, God does use our trials to teach us things; but that isn't necessarily the reason they come upon us. Sometimes, just like those sailors, just like my husband and I in the midst of this scandal, just like you in the middle of your current trials, we are nothing but innocent bystanders, caught up in the fallout of someone else's poor decisions. 

So what do we do? 

We do what the sailor's did: "Fearing for their lives, the desperate sailors shouted to their gods for help and threw the cargo overboard to lighten the ship." (Jonah 1:5a NLT). We seek God, and we search our hearts for any "dross" that God may be hoping to clean out through this situation. 

One more interesting fact caught and held my attention as I read Jonah 1 that morning. It was the reaction of the sailors after they had thrown Jonah into the sea... "The sailors were awestruck by the Lord's great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him." (Jonah 1:15 NLT). It wasn't about the sailors, it was about Jonah; yet God turned the situation for His glory by bringing these same sailors to a knowledge of the One True God. 

This shouldn't surprise us, should it? For we know that: "...God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Rom. 8:28 NLT)

Remember this as you go through your present set of circumstances. God isn't angry at you. He isn't punishing you. You've just gotten caught up in the trouble caused by sin in this world. Seek God, search your heart for anything God may be using the situation to clear out of your life, and hold on to the promise that He will work everything out for good.

Oh, and isn't it interesting to see that in the story of Jonah, the "cause" of the problem was thrown into the sea? Was this the guidance God is giving me about what to do in my situation? God would later confirmed that it was, and needless to say, I no longer have this particular big-ticket item...

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 26 Jan 2018, 12:49 am

Welcome to the Nugget

January 25, 2018

How to Turn your Weaknesses into Strengths
bible
By Answers2Prayer 

Guilty. Self-pity nearly won. There was a time in my life when I felt unworthy and useless like the pulp my juicer spits out. Memory of that season rushed in when my friend and I had lunch last week.

"You won't believe it," she said, "After I juice, I use the pulp to sprinkle on my salads...it turns out delicious!"

She didn't discard the pulp, rather, she put it to good use. God did the very same with me. When blindness struck at the age of 31, I thought my life was over. I thought I'd be relegated to stay inside my four walls, empty of achievements and like useless pulp, ready to be dumped in the garbage disposal of life.

Did you ever have moments like that? Feeling like your value, your purpose and your passion is dry? We all have. But when God is in the midst, He uses what little we may have, what flaws we display, what mistakes we made or how low we feel. He crafts something deliciously beautiful.

That's because no matter how we try to overcome our weaknesses, God is trying to turn them into strengths. He uses our weaknesses to make great things. He molds sad circumstances to success. And He turns our losses into gain.

He did that with me. I had asked God to remove my blindness. He didn't. Instead, He turned my physical blindness into 20/20 spiritual vision.

In a different way, Paul also encountered adversity, painful and unpleasant, He confessed:

"Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12: 8-10).

What weakness of yours will you delight in?

Janet Eckles

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 13 Jan 2018, 6:21 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 13, 2018

Shoveling the Drive


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us It was winter, and they were calling for snow. I didn't believe it, because the weather report is hardly ever right; and as a result, I didn't call and make arrangements for the neighbor to come with his tractor and shovel us out. Unfortunately for me, they got it right this time, for when I looked out the window, there was at least 20 centimeters of the white stuff covering my driveway. In order to get the car out, I would have to shovel...

Of course my husband was home; but it was early, and he was still asleep. Not wanting to wake him, I went out to the garage, and walking past the snow blower, I picked up the shovel. You see, I didn't really know how to use the snow blower. Besides, it's heavy and unwieldy, certainly not something that a weakling such as myself could push...

And so I proceeded to manually shovel out our long, wide drive. Needless to say, I was exhausted before I had finished half the job...

"Not so smart," you are probably thinking, and you are right! I should have believed the weather report. I should have called the neighbor. When I didn't, I should have waited for my husband to wake up and clear the driveway with the snow blower. And if I didn't wish to wait that long, I should have used the snow blower myself. I had multiple solutions at my disposal, but I chose to ignore them all and do it the hard way.

This reminds me of Isaiah 42. It is a powerful chapter, and I encourage you to read it in its entirety; but here are just a few highlights...

First we see a summary of God's call on Israel: "I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons." (Is. 42:6,7 NLT)

We then see God providing proof that He is who He is by showing how His prophecies have always come true and how He always announces what He is going to do in advance: "Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens." (Isaiah 42:9 NLT)

And we see God's promise to go before Israel and fight their battles for them: "The Lord will march forth like a mighty hero; he will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout his battle cry and crush all his enemies." (Isaiah 42:13 NLT).

Next we see a dramatic turn in the prophecy: "'Listen, you who are deaf! Look and see, you blind! You see and recognize what is right but refuse to act on it. You hear with your ears, but you don't really listen.'...Because he is righteous, the Lord has exalted his glorious law. But his own people have been robbed and plundered, enslaved, imprisoned, and trapped. They are fair game for anyone and have no one to protect them, no one to take them back home." (Isaiah 42:18, 20-22 NLT)

In all of this, I can almost see God "pulling out His hair" and shouting, "I gave you everything you needed! I equipped you with more than you would need...but you refused to use it!"

And that's pretty similar to the idea expressed by my husband when he woke up to find I had shoveled the driveway by hand...

The point is, God has promised to, "...supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19 NLT). That means that whatever it is we are destined to go through, whatever valleys we must walk, God, through Jesus, has already given us everything we need to overcome. That means the only reason we are feeling so discouraged and despondent is simply because we haven't made use of what God has given us.

Are you not sure what kind of help God has given you that you may not be making full use of? Here's a few examples:

1. His Word (John 17:14-19)
2. His promise that He will supply all of our needs (Phil 4:19)
3. His perfect track record of never letting us down (Isaiah 42:9)
4. His promise to never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 31:6).

Please understand that this doesn't necessarily mean He will simply "rescue" us from the valleys. In fact, Jesus said, "I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one." (John 17:15 NLT); and "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NLT). What it does mean is that He will hold our hands and help us through, no matter what. Our job in all of this is to accept His help, to open our blind eyes, to pay attention to what we see and read and hear, and to see the glory of the Lord being manifested in whatever situation we are going through at the moment.

God hasn't abandoned us to our trouble. He has given us promises of help, He has said He would never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 31:6), and He keeps all His promises (Deut. 7:9). Why not reach out to His help today? Let's use that snow blower! Or better yet, let's believe the weather report and call the neighbor! Let's use whatever help God has given us so that we are not doing it alone!

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 28 Dec 2017, 9:49 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


December 28, 2017
What to do When Feeling Overwhelmed


By Answers2Prayer 
  Life ain't all roses--and it won't be in the upcoming new year. 


The other morning, hubby and I walked hand in hand to the park for our morning exercise stroll. "It's going to be a stressful day," he said, "got a report to finish and don't have all the information..."


He went on and on. Then, as we always do while we walk, we prayed together.


A bit ashamed to admit this, but once the "holy" moment faded, I realized that life stinks sometimes. Yes, it does. Stuff comes up all the time. If it's not the stress at work, it's the illness that keeps us awake. Or the uncertainty of the future. Or broken relationships. Or kids who disappoint us. And our brain nearly explodes trying to figure it all out. And when, on top of it all, another glitch shows up, the red light "overwhelmed" light comes on the dashboard of our life.


But that's when we either let pitiful tears flow or we invite wisdom in--the wisdom in Isaiah 43 where God invites us to believe, to cling to, to embrace when feeling overwhelmed, drained and crushed by the stuff in life:


Life is going to be rough sometimes. Expect that. Situations will threaten to push us into panic because fear has shown up. But here's what God says about that: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine" (Isaiah 43:1).


If we belong to Him, is there any doubt He will take care of us? "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you...and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you" (Isaiah 43:2a). Have you known rivers of pain? They don't seem to stop. But as difficult as the navigating can be, we can be sure we'll pass through them. And never, never alone. God promised to accompany us.


"When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze" (Isaiah 43:2b). Aren't you glad He never said, "You're a Christian, you'll never experience fires." Instead, He knows we'll face them. But He has the solution. When the heat of adversity is inevitable. His Word to shield is attainable. And here's why: God says: "For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..." (Isaiah 43:3).


He's our God, with all His power, with all His might, with all His love, He's our God. Peace when overwhelmed is His gift wrapped in reassurance, giving us the green light to peace.


Father, thank you for your power at work in my life. I will not fear when life becomes overwhelming. When I seem to drown in troubles, burned by anxiety, or swept by the rivers of struggles. You are with me. You're my perfect shield and my constant protector. In Jesus' name, I thank you. Amen.


What has overwhelmed you lately?


Janet Eckles


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

Post  Admin on Tue 26 Dec 2017, 4:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

December 26, 2017

Rich on the Inside


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  God has worked with and on me for all my days here. He has helped me in so many ways to become the person I was meant to be and the Child of God I was called to be. He has touched me through experiences, memories, books, stories, animals, angels, and most of all other people. He has moved me and molded me with moments of love and examples of kindness. He has guided me through times of joy and times of sorrow. He has walked with me every step on my journey through life.

One time on the day before Christmas many years ago when I was a minimum wage mill worker, I found myself with very little money and very little time to buy my small children a few simple toys. I knew that they would have to be cheap ones and I hoped my children would like them. I hated not having enough to give them more. I hated being poor. And I hated feeling bad at Christmas rather than happy.

I pulled into a store parking lot and counted my money again. It wasn't much but maybe I could get something small with it. As I was getting out of the car I noticed the Salvation Army bell ringer at the entrance. I felt bad again because I didn't feel I could spare anything to give him. I started walking towards the entrance when two cars pulled into empty parking spots in front of me. The first was a shiny, new Cadillac and I felt a twinge of jealousy when I saw it. 

"How nice", I thought, "would it be to have enough money to buy a car like that." 

The second car, though, was an ancient sedan more beat up and rusty than the one I was driving. A man hopped out of the Cadillac and hurried into the store right past the bell ringer without a second glance. Out of the old sedan came a young mother with three small children in tow. Her clothes looked as worn out as her car, yet she stopped in front of the bell ringer, smiled, opened her purse, and dropped a bill in his red kettle. 

I stood there for a minute in astonishment while God spent another moment working on my heart, soul, and mind. "Maybe," I thought to myself, "It's better to be rich on the inside instead of the outside." In that second a warmth touched me, my jealousy and hatred left me, and all the love and joy that is Christmas filled me. I fished a bill out of my own wallet, dropped it in the Salvation Army kettle, and wished the bell ringer a "Merry Christmas!" I found a few fun things to give my kids and drove home with my heart singing. I knew it was going to be a wonderful Christmas and I felt like I had traveled another step closer to Heaven, God, and the person I was meant to be.

"And He said, 'Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on.'" (Luke 21:3-4)

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Dec 2017, 12:19 am

Welcome to the Nugget
December 23, 2017
A Gift of Giving
By Answers2Prayer 
  "In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35 ESV)

Looking forward to Christmas 1994, to me, described a paradox. How can one enjoy Christmas when their loving spouse recently passed away from cancer, and yet Christmas is a time for celebration...

I had a friend, recently divorced, who was going through his first Christmas without his children that he loved so dearly. I called my friend and invited him over to my house for Christmas. He didn't seem overly thrilled, but had nothing else to do. I did the same for another divorced person who had a day without family or friends. I told them to dress nice but withheld my plans from them.

The three of us, at my house, made Christmas canes from pipe cleaners, and after an hour I told my friends to get in my van, as I had a surprise for them. So off we went. 

First stop, a nursing home, left few dry eyes. We visited the ones who had no company, prayed with them and left them little Christmas canes and some candy. One lady, feeling really bad, asked us to pray for her. So we prayed with our hands on her body, and we felt a Power hard to describe.

Second stop, Presbyterian hospital...cancer wing.

First you need to understand how hospitals work with the sick. If possible, patients are sent home for the holidays. The ones remaining in the hospital live too far, are too ill, or have no support from family or friends. About 1/2 of the cancer wing was deserted. We visited the staff and gave them candy and our little Christmas canes, then we visited the dying and ill. How can one describe being humbled? The patients asked for our prayers. We visited with every patient in the wing. We left the patients with a smile. When we left the hospital, we had nothing else left to give, but we received much. Our emotions were drained, we were exhausted, in tears but felt elevated to a 'high' impossible to describe. We all thought "But for the grace of God"...

Last stop. We visited my wife's grave, decorated it, placed candles and sang Silent Night. Our voices were quivering because we found Christmas that day. We gave all we had to give, and it cost us about five hours of our time and about two dollars in pipe cleaners and candy. I said a silent prayer of thanks to my wife for teaching me to give.

May we, in this crazy but special time of year, learn from the Teacher of teachers, Giving IS better than receiving. 

Merry Christmas to all, and a happy new year.

B.J. Cassady
Caldwell, Kansas
 
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 22 Dec 2017, 12:31 am

Welcome to the Nugget

December 21, 2017

How to Find Triumph in Tragedy
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus our forerunner has entered on our behalf." (Heb. 6:19-20). 

My son Joe's empty stocking on the fireplace seared my heart. It had been twelve years since Joe's tragic death.

Christmas no longer called for a celebration. Not anymore. Not when you have a vital part of your life missing. Festivities don't have the joy they should.

And Christmas trees don't emanate the usual scent.

Actually, my days needed to erase the Christmases, the birthdays, the holidays--all ushered pain rather than delight. They reminded me of what I once had and now what was gone.

The world celebrated, greetings of good wishes filled the room. But when tragedy turns your world upside down, no amount of cheer can bring clarity to the fog of sadness.

Strange, though, often, it's the scorching pain that forces our eyes to open to a bigger picture. It did for me as I rewound memories of past Christmases.

Years ago, when our three sons, including Joe, were still young, I focused on providing a perfect Christmas; a perfect tree to wrap a perfect celebration. As a result, little things tended to roil in me such as a light strand that refused to shine because of a burned bulb. Annoyed at the glitch, I promptly set off to resolve it. I fussed, I rearranged, plugged and unplugged until frustration grew hot in me.

How foolish and silly. I focused on that one bulb, dismissing the glow of the star atop the Christmas tree.

I've done the same with light bulbs that burned in my life--from broken relationships to shattered plans. Exerting tons of energy trying to fix them, I missed Christ, the newborn King--the star that gave significance to my life. The star that covers shadows of gloom and sorrow.

Joe's memories changed--his sweet smile, his tender hugs and his sense of humor now sit atop of my life, casting off that glow to bring back the joy.

To remind me that he's not gone, not from my heart, not from my mind, nor have the images of his spunky self vanished.

When that void in our heart aches to be filled, it's Christ's star of comfort that makes it whole. When bitter sorrow robs the spirit of Christmas, it's the star of His everlasting love that whispers joy. When a health diagnosis shakes our world, it's His star of reassurance that shines the certainty of new tomorrows. When our finances rob our security, it's the star of God's provision that ushers the radiance of reassurance. It's the same star that never loses the brilliance of hope. The hope that, through Christ, tragedies turn to triumph.

Janet Eckles

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

Post  Admin on Tue 19 Dec 2017, 10:01 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

December 19, 2017

Humility All the Way, Part 4

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us   Today we come to the concluding part of our series on the subject the "Mind of Christ" focusing therein on the final aspect of our Lord's humble persona...

Perpetual...

The enormity of Christ's humility in coming down in a mere man's body assumes different proportions altogether when we consider one more act of his inimitable humility: His conscious choice of remaining confined in it for eternity. His condescension meant, He would forever remain man, albeit in a Glorified body after the ascension (Rev 1:12-16). 

Consider these Scripture portions (in present tense) penned after Christ's ascension, which are a "clincher" as it were, in substantiating this "chilling" truth... 

"For in Christ there is all of God in a human body..." (Col. 2:9 TLB) 

"That God is on one side and all the people on the other side, and Christ Jesus, himself man, is between them to bring them together..." (1 Tim 2:5 TLB) 

"I looked and saw a Lamb standing there before the twenty-four Elders, in front of the throne and the Living Beings, and on the Lamb were wounds that once had caused his death." (Rev 5:6 TLB)

Let me conclude now with a relevant, touching story which goes thus... 

There was an orphaned boy living with his grandma when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy's cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck. Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town's wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad's eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man's neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue. 

With Christmas around the corner, let us reflect on the truth that Christ will never get back the perfect state He was in before that first Christmas. His hands and legs still retain the scars we inflicted upon Him. Let's respond with a resolution to show life-long loyalty purely out of love and humility for the ONE who out of his indescribable humility has given His all to us! What a Saviour! Hallelujah!

Prayer: Father, we are inspired by all of theof Your Son borne out of His great humility. In our own trials, enable us to draw inspiration from His example. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

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

Post  Admin on Sun 17 Dec 2017, 12:12 am

Welcome to the Nugget
 
December 16, 2017
 
Humility All the Way, Part 3
 
 
By Answers2Prayer 
  Whilst continuing to meditate on the subject of "mind of Christ" we come to the penultimate part of our series focusing therein on yet another area which underscores the truth about our Lord's humility...
 
 
Spiritual...
 
The word "Double Promotion" instantly draws attention. Parents brag of their bright kids getting promoted straightaway from say 5th grade to 7th grade primarily on account of high marks. Fans of exceptionally-talented Pakistani Cricketer, Wasim Akram, can boast of their hero having been fast-tracked into Test Cricket in 1985 without ever having played a single match in the Quaid-E-Azam trophy (Ranji Trophy equivalent across the border)...so on and so forth. If in the spiritual realm there is a three tier hierarchy with the Trinity at the top, angels in the middle and human beings at the bottom, then in the case of Christ, it was an instance of "Double Demotion" (Heb 2:7,9) being vested with a finite human flesh on the "First Christmas". Donning of this human vesture was necessary. Why? Read on... 
 
It is not an understatement to say that at the fall of mankind, sin damaged the entire personality of man. His body, soul and spirit (hey, the human being is also a trinity -- I Thess 5:23) were deeply "wounded" as a result of his conscious choice to breach his conscience in the Garden of Eden at the behest of the crafty tempter (Genesis 3:1-7). As the descendents of the fallen Adam, we inherit the same "fallen, broken and damaged personality" at our physical birth. The Redemption work of atonement required that all the three parts of the fallen man be set right. 
 
The terrible suffering of our Saviour on the Cross on all three fronts ensured that the "complete redemption package" is in place on the first Good Friday. His terrible physical anguish before and during the Crucifixion (a horrific death sentence where pain is maximal with death the "pain reliever" arriving oh so slowly) was immeasurable. The flogging and crowning of His head with the "laurel wreath of thorns" only compounded this. Yes, we were "sick" from head to toe (Isaiah 1:6), hence it required that our Saviour in His atoning work on the cross bleed to death from head to toe. 
 
What about His emotional (soul) suffering before and during the Crucifixion? I would caution the readers to not be carried away by some "Christian" paintings that depict Christ praying in a dignified posture in the Garden of Gethsemane and being crucified with the loin cloth on. Even as the Cross, with all its indescribable pain, loomed before the spotless Son of God, He suffered so much emotionally that He fell prostrate on His face (read the Gospels to know the truth -- Mark 14:35) sweating blood. Then what about the insults that accompanied Him, all through this ordeal ...the spitting and stripping (Matt 27:27-31)... The historians tell us that in order to instill uttermost fear of rebelling against their authority, the Romans ensured that the perpetrator was insulted publicly in toto, by crucifying him stark naked. So virtually, Christ covered the shame brought about by sin (Genesis 3:7) by Himself enduring shame on the cross (Heb 12:2). 
 
Coming to the spiritual suffering, let it be said that when all sin came upon His sinless self (2 Cor 5:21), He experienced hell for us in order that we do not end up there. Nothing more, nothing less and nothing else! Jesus' only source of comfort in this fiery affliction until then (the Father's Holy presence) also abandoned Him as the Holy God whose pure eyes cannot see evil (Hab 1:13), could not stay in the presence of despicable sin. Hence that heart-rending cry from the cross..."My God, My God (Note: Not My Father, in the way Christ had along addressed His Father) why have You forsaken Me!" (Matt 27:46) in perfect fullfilment of the prophecy recorded about 1000 years back in Psalm 22:1). 
 
Prayer: Father strengthen us to endure the sacred ordeal of bearing the Cross everyday. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
 
Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
Announcement:
There is no example of humbility quite as pronounced as Jesus leaving the grandeur of Heaven to walk this Earth, despised and rejected of men...Join us next week for the conclusion of "Humility!" A Mini-Series by Suresh Manoharan.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 14 Dec 2017, 11:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

December 14, 2017

Humility All the Way, Part 2
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Continuing our series on the humility of Christ, let's today focus on three more related subjects all under the overall ambit of the mind of Christ ( See Phil. 2:5):

Professional...

Oh yes, there were Doctors and Engineers in Biblical times too (Col. 4:14/2 Chro. 2:13-14) and of course it is not a sin to pursue these "lofty" professions. Nonetheless, our Lord consciously chose a profession (Mark 6:3) which cannot by any stretch of the imagination be called a "White collar" job. Given His wisdom, which naturally is accompanied by problem-solving abilities (Luke 2:52), He could have easily opted for a job that would guarantee a better social status than the lowly one of a carpenter. This subject also leads us to a more profound thought that any lawful job, even if it is a "servile" one, such as a road-sweeper or drainage-cleaner, for example, becomes "sacred" in the eyes of the Lord when it is carried out as "unto the Lord" for His glory (Col. 3:23).


Regional... 

Some places become notorious thanks to the sinful tendencies of the natives therein. No, I am not talking of Sodom and Gomorrah, or even Crete (Gen 13:13/Titus 1:12) for that matter; rather, I am talking about Nazareth. Nothing "good" could ever be associated with this village (John 1:46), which was part of a sin-darkened region of Galilee (Isa. 9:1-2). However, the Saviour consciously chose to spend his formative years, not in a popular town like, say, spiritually-enlightened Jerusalem with a Temple in its midst, but rather, sin-darkened Nazareth. He could have just as easily chosen a poor family from Jerusalem to be born into, and carpentry could still have been his profession, for weren't poor folks and carpenters residing in Jerusalem also? Nevertheless, a village of ill-repute...Nazareth...was preferred by the Lord so that it's darkened precincts could be illumined by His light (Matt. 4:15-16).


Financial...

If growing up as a poor carpenter in the obscure surroundings of notorious Nazareth is no open sesame to riches, then having a popular healing Ministry, where people flock around you in thousands (Matt 4:25), surely is. Ask some modern-day misguided, private jet owning "Charismatic"! But what did our role-model do? Did He greedily and opportunistically "fleece the flock"? Or did he selflessly feed it with both spiritual and physical food? The Saviour, who had no place (read home) to lay down His head to sleep (Matt 8:20), even when his popularity touched its peak, would own nothing more than one seamless garment (John 19:23-24) till the end of His Earthly Ministry. We have heard of several inspirational "rags to riches" stories, but how's this for a "riches to rags" story? "For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor..." (2 Cor 8:9-ESV). 

Many years later, an inspired Apostle Paul would say... 

"In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35)
 
Prayer: Lord Jesus, Thy humility is unparalleled. Enable us to follow on your footsteps. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

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

Post  Admin on Tue 12 Dec 2017, 10:26 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

December 12, 2017

Humility All the Way, Part 1


By Answers2Prayer
First things first. What is the chief and highest end of man?

Let the revered Christian book, namely the Westminster catechism, give the answer: Man's chief and highest end is to glorify (worship) God, and fully to enjoy him forever.

When it comes to glorifying Him and fully enjoying Him, let it be said that the entire exercise ought to be "absolutely genuine emanating right from the innermost core of one's being (read spirit)" (John 4:23).

This would lead to the next question: how could the process of glorifying Him originate right from the depths of one's heart?

It is only possible, when a person is truly moved by the Holy Spirit in recognizing His unique traits. Remember, that the highest form of worship is to worship God for what He is. This stands head and shoulders above other forms of worship, such as worshipping Him for the blessings He showers upon us, which come with strings attached.

In this series of 4 parts punctuated with...what else... "Hallelujahs!" Incidentally "Hallel" in Hebrew language means "To praise" and "Yah" means "God". In my heart I would like to bring before my readership one pristine quality of Christ, which, amongst others, at once evokes awe in me: His indescribable humility. What then is Biblical "humility"? The original Greek word used for "humility" in portraying the mind of Christ (Phil 2:3-5) is "tapeinophrosune", which means "a conscious preference of lowliness of mind over self-boasting." In what areas of Christ's life do we see it manifested?


Social...

Hey! Do any of us have the choice of selecting our parents? Given the choice, some of us may have chosen to be born into the home of Mr. and Mrs. Bill Gates! But consider this truth: If there was one person who could have chosen affluent parents, it was Jesus!!! Yet He chose a lowly carpenter's abode to grow-up in. Do you want proof of Jesus' earthly "parents" social "low income" strata? Consider these Scripture portions:

As per the Mosaic Law, for a mother's purification ritual, the woman was required to...

"And if she cannot afford a lamb, then she shall take two turtledoves or two pigeons, one for a burnt offering and the other for a sin offering. And the priest shall make atonement for her, and she shall be clean." (Leviticus 12:8)

So what did Mary and her supportive husband do??? Let the Scripture speak again...

"And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, 'Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord') and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, 'a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.'" (Luke 2:22-24)

Hmmm...It's time for a subject within a subject. Donning the Sherlockian hat, one can say that the Wisemen bringing gold as one of the gifts to the Christ-child did not exactly arrive on Christmas day. Otherwise Jesus' parents could have easily been able to afford a lamb. In fact, the Christ-child was not even in the manger but in a house when they came (Matt 2:11)!

Prayer: Father, continue to mould me into Your Son's image. Give the strength to withstand the moulding process. In Jesus' Name. Amen

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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 09 Dec 2017, 11:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
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December 9, 2017
Festival of Lights

By Answers2Prayer
Life can turn dark in so many ways. We were heading to church and Hubby rolled down his window. As he opened his wallet, he said, "There's a woman with a sign that says, 'My kids need to eat.'"

Some put up signs and some sink in self-pity for lack of funds. But many more curse their situation. The same way the Israelites did. Remember how they grumbled when they thought God had forgotten them? They were hungry and thirsty. And they even mumbled about going back to Egypt where they were slaves! Crazy thinking, in my opinion. But we've done the same thing--wish we were in a different place, maybe one we knew long ago. And we murmur our misfortune.

I'm here to challenge you: Toss that grumbling out the window, cross-out those pitiful remarks from your vocabulary, and kick out negative thoughts that take away your peace; and instead, celebrate Chanukah with me. (Please don't tell me you know what that is...I didn't, and feel a bit embarrassed about it.)

So I asked. And a precious Jewish friend who now loves Yeshua as her Savior and Lord explained it to me. After I read the explanation, I was so touched by the meaning and the significance that I deposited a huge amount of joy right into the bank account of my heart.

So, read on, take in the message, and ponder on the absolutely wonderful truth God is reminding you through the recount. Here it is:

Chanukah is the Jewish holiday of the festival of lights -- where we celebrate when a tiny band of men called the Maccabees conquered the Greek army and recaptured the Temple in Jerusalem. The Greeks had desecrated the temple and all the Jews could find was one day's worth of oil to light the eternal light -- which must burn continually, according to the Lord's command. It takes eight days to produce the proper oil from the olives to use in the temple. But in faith, they used the little bit of oil -- and it ended up lasting the full eight days -- enough time to consecrate the new oil. It was a miracle all around -- and that is why we light a Menorah, called a chanukiah -- each day for eight days -- to honor the Lord for his faithfulness and miracles!

Okay, you know God is the same yesterday, today and forever...do you think He'll provide what you need? When you need it? And give you the oil, though meager it might seem, to last to cover the biggest bill in the pile?

God worked a miracle long ago...and He will now too. Not enough oil, but still, they lit the candles in trusting, not doubting, not wondering, not questioning -- but in faith -- and why shouldn't we do the same?

Pray with me: Lord, I place the oil of faith before you. And I count on your Word, your promise and your provision to take care of all my needs. In Jesus' name. Amen.

What needs will you bring before the Lord today?

Janet
Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.
Announcement:
Tuesday of next week begins the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights. In honour of this celebration of God's miraculous provision, why not give God whatever problem you are dealing with at the moment, ever expecting Him to provide?
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 07 Dec 2017, 11:36 pm


Welcome to the Nugget

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December 7, 2017

God's Armour, Part 6: The Sword of the Spirit
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Last Tuesday, in "God's Armour, Part 5", we saw that when we don the "Helmet of Salvation", we protect our most vulnerable body part, our mind. We do so by replacing the devil's lies with Truth, Truth that the victory is already won; by choosing to believe in what appears impossible; by keeping an eternal perspective; and by treasuring our Salvation.

This brings us to the final piece of God's Armour: "And take...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Eph 6:17b NET).

The sword that would have been Paul's inspiration when he wrote about the sword of the Spirit was likely the "gladius", the primary sword of a Roman soldier. It is said that after putting on his protective armour and taking up his shield, the fully equipped Roman legionary would then take his weapons: javelins, a dagger, and a "gladius".

In much the same way, we are not considered to be fully armed on a spiritual level without offensive weapons, and Paul advises us to take up a "sword", the "word of God", made up of the ancient Jewish Scriptures paired with the gospels of Jesus Christ and the leadership of the Apostles.

But wait. I don't know about you, but I have no idea how to use a sword. Isn't it pretty useless unless you know how to use it?

The Romans knew this. It is said that Roman soldiers had to attend weapons training every day, at which time they practiced hand-to-hand combat with wooden swords and shields that were deliberately much heavier than those they used in battle. If the roman soldiers had to train every day, how much more then, should we spend time in training to use our "sword"?

How, then, can we learn to properly wield our "sword"?

By spending time in God's Word every day. We need to know it, memorize it and be familiar with key verses; and we need to practice being open to God's Spirit as He impresses us with meanings for specific situations and as He plants the words in our minds. This takes time and effort, yes; but just like the daily training ensured the Roman soldiers went into battle fully-equipped, this daily "training" with God's Word will also ensure that when we are brought face-to-face with the fiery darts of the enemy, we know how to wield our "sword". We will be able to defend ourselves and our faith. We will be able to fight back against the schemes of the devil.

As mentioned above, however, the Roman soldier did not go into battle armed only with a sword. The Roman soldiers would use their javelins and daggers offensively by throwing them at the enemy. Their purpose was to disable enemy shields and disrupt their formation. This would then allow them to engage in closer combat.

We must note that God's armour does not include these items. The only weapon we are told to take up is the sword...Does the fact that the javelin and dagger are not mentioned by Paul mean that we are actually not meant to be offensive or aggressive in our advances? It's food for thought...

We also note that all the armour, including the sword, is meant to be protective in nature, and this "sword of the Spirit" is the only item mentioned by Paul that can be used defensively...Could it be that while engaged in our Spiritual battles, we are only meant to be defensive? More food for thought...

One further notable lesson can be derived from the study of Roman armaments. Let's remember that the Roman soldiers would first cover themselves with their armour before taking up their weapons. Then, once in combat, we are told that they would lead with their shields before thrusting with their swords. In other words, no act of offense would be done without full protection ensured!

Interestingly, our spiritual "sword", is also the last piece of equipment we are told to take up. Could it be that the only way to use the "sword" to its maximum potential is to already be dressed in the full amour of God? That in order to truly engage the enemy with the Word of God, we must first fully embrace our salvation, we must see ourselves as clothed in Christ's righteousness, we must hold on to Jesus Christ, our Truth, and we must stand in readiness with the gospel of peace as our foundation? And only when we have fully engaged our faith should we attempt to use God's Word in our defense?

Isn't it interesting that these gifts of Jesus are exactly what the traps of the devil prevent us from seeing. The devil knows this, and he also knows that it is only by keeping us from using God's armour that he can succeed in causing us to fall into his foul traps in the first place. Thus, the enemy is not so eager for us to realize that the spiritual armaments we need to completely avoid his snares are ours, free of charge; gifts granted to us by Jesus' ultimate gift that we celebrate this season.

Dear God, help us to fully embrace Your armour this year. Help us to protect ourselves against the enemy of our souls by fully embracing Your Salvation, by accepting Your righteousness as our own, by focusing on Your Truth, by shielding ourselves with faith, and by standing ready upon the gospel of peace. Then help us to spend time daily in Your Word so that we learn it and practice hearing You speak to us through it, so that when the flaming arrows of temptation, doubt, discouragement, etc. are at the door, we will face them changed, empowered, protected, ready to continue the battle "...so that you may be able to stand your ground on the evil day" and then, "...and having done everything, to stand" (Eph. 6:13 NET). In the precious name of Jesus, Amen

This is the last lesson from the God's Armour series. If you have missed any of the lessons, please find them by clicking here, or email me and I will send them to you. God bless you as you go into the Christmas season and the New Year fully clothed--in God's Armour!

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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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request to prayerrequest@answers2prayer.org and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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