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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 08 Feb 2017, 1:46 am

Welcome to the Nugget

February 7, 2017
Light

By Answers2Prayer
"When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." (John 8:12)

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house..." (Matt 5:14-15)

It was a cold, January morning. Frost covered the grass and a bitter wind was blowing. I was standing out in my yard watching the stars slowly fade from the sky while I waited for the return of the dawn. It felt good knowing that the solstice had passed and now we were finally getting a few more minutes of light each day. As the sky started to turn blue my beagle started to tug at her lease to go in for her breakfast. I let her lead me back inside, fed her, and poured myself a cup of coffee. Then I walked to my window and resumed my sky watch.

The clouds had turned purple and were beginning to get more and more yellow. The north star was gone and only the moon remained visible in the morning sky. I sipped my coffee and waited with the delight of a child. Soon I noticed old Sol slowly rising over the hills. His golden sunbeams kissed my spirit good morning and I smiled. It felt so wonderful seeing the light awaken the world. I knew that it was going to be another glorious day to live and to love. I gave the sun a gentle salute, closed the curtain, and thanked God for the light.

Why do we humans so love the light? Maybe it is because we all came from the light. Maybe it is because we all long to return to the light once more. All I know is that the light warms my heart and uplifts my soul. It can be the rising sun on a cold, Winter's day or the light of a loved one's smile. It can be the flames from a crackling fire or a bright hug that comes straight from the heart. It can be the light of my reading lamp or the light that shines from the love I share.

I pray that all of you do your best to share your own light in this world. Your light is your love. Your light is your joy. Your light is the kindness, gentleness, and goodness within you. Share it often. Shine it bright. Always remember too that God loves you. God is love and God is light. And when you shine your light you grow closer to the Light that never ends.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Next Tuesday is Valentines Day, as celebrated in many countries around the world. Since it is a day where we celebrate true love, isn't it fitting that we spend some time contemplating the ultimate Love, that unselfish love God poured out upon each of us through His Son Jesus Christ? Join us next Tuesday for our Valentine's special: "Valentine's Love"!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 9:39 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 4, 2017
The Missing Ingredient

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us My current student loves a certain dish made by her mother. She has tried several times to recreate it, but her efforts always come up short. One weekend she went home and watched her mother make this dish, and she discovered something: She was missing some of the key ingredients. The addition of those key ingredients made a world of a difference the next time she tried to make this dish on her own.

I don't know about you, but I truly desire to experience God to my fullest capacity; yet every day I slip up. I fall back into the same sins, and though I desire to follow God's lead, I so often fail. Where am I going wrong? Is there a secret "ingredient" I'm missing?

As I read the story of King Josiah this morning, as recorded in 2 Kings 22-23, I began to understand.

The great-grandson of King Hezekiah, King Josiah was one of the few good kings of Judah. In fact, he and his great-grandfather Hezekiah were the only two kings of Judah of whom it was recorded, "he did what was right in the sight of the Lord..." (2 Kings 22:2 NKJB). There were other kings of whom it was recorded, "He did what was right in the sight of the Lord", but the next sentence always gives a qualifier: "but not like David his father". Not so with Josiah. Of him it is recorded: "...and walked in all the ways of his father David; he did not turn aside to the right hand or to the left." (2 Kings 22:2 NKJB)

What was so special about Josiah's life?

The Bible spends nearly an entire chapter (see 2 Kings 23) telling about all the things Josiah did for the Lord. He completely cleansed Jerusalem and Judah of idols. He destroyed the high places, smashed and burned the houses of the temple prostitutes, burned the Ashtoreth poles and altars and cleansed and destroyed everything even remotely related to idolatry. And when he had finished in Judah, he went out into the former lands of Israel, even though Israel had already been carried off into captivity for their idolatry, and did the same thing. He left no stone unturned. Interestingly, although there were a few missteps recorded in the life of King Hezekiah (See 2 Kings 20), the Bible does not record any fault in King Josiah, and it is said of him, "Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the Law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him." (2 Kings 23:25)

As I read this account of a seemingly perfect king, it occurred to me that perhaps the reason I continue to struggle with falling back into temptation, with self-reliance, with having difficulty letting God's Spirit lead me in every aspect of my life, is because I haven't done quite as much "housekeeping" as Josiah. Perhaps there were still some "idols" hanging around in my life.

But how do I find those "idols"?

As I think about this, I realize that Josiah's "housekeeping" began with finding the scriptures: "Then Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the scribe, 'I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.'...And Shaphan read it before the king. Now it happened, when the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, that he tore his clothes." (2 Kings 22:8,10,11 NKJV).

Could it be that the "missing ingredient" in our lives can also be found in the Word of God? That if we truly immerse ourselves in His Word, that "missing ingredient", the idols hanging around in our lives, will become clear?

It worked for Josiah, and it worked for me. As I continued to study God's Word, He brought to my mind a few idols that I have left in the dark places of my heart...Interestingly, most of the things that God revealed to me to be "idols" in my life were things I was aware of but never considered "bad" enough to make a difference. It was only when I opened up my heart to God that He began to reveal to me the things that needed to change. Some of these things were changes in attitude--people I needed to forgive, selfish motives, self-reliance and self-serving practices--and some were habits, pet sins, comfort practices, and even actual objects, that I clung to.

Do you also feel there is something missing in your walk with God? Is there a "missing ingredient" that you can't seem to find? Do you continually fall back into the same temptations? Do you fail to follow God's Spirit? Is it possible that you, too, need to do some "Josiah housekeeping"? Open up your heart to God's Spirit and get into His Word. Ask God to reveal to you what is missing, then, like Josiah, begin a thorough "cleansing" of the things that stand between you and your walk with God.

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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Does anyone out there find the Bible dull? Lacking in excitement and action? Check out: Lights, Camera, Action! -- A mini-series in the books of Joshua and Acts by Suresh Manoharan.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 03 Feb 2017, 12:32 am

Welcome to the Nugget


February 2, 2017
Determined



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us...let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith." (Hebrews 12:1-2)

It was a hot, cloudless morning. As I was waking up, enjoying a cup of coffee, my attention was drawn to the bird feeder hanging outside my study. It is a Plexiglas tube with a small rimmed saucer underneath, and it is "squirrel proof".

Sitting in the saucer was the most contented squirrel, munching away to his heart's content on the delicious sunflower seeds meant especially for cardinals.

The determined squirrel had overcome some obstacles to get from his nest high in the palm fronds to the bird feeder. Once he'd gotten there, it was no doubt difficult to climb onto the slippery feeding tray. He'd calculated his timing so there were no birds at the feeder; he could have it all to himself without a fight.

He persevered. He was determined. He got his nourishment because he purposed to do it. Today, I must decide and purpose to get the spiritual food I desire - and need - to both stay alive and to grow in my faith.

Holy Spirit, please help me to do just that, in Jesus' name.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2016
Announcement:

Do you ever wonder about the tabernacle that Moses built in the wilderness? The books of Exodus and Leviticus spend many chapters describing its construction, but does it hold any relevance for us today? Please check out: Wilderness Instructions, a mini-series inspired by the tabernacle in the wilderness!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 9:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 31, 2017
Three Steps to Protect Ourselves Against Crime


By Answers2Prayer
What a shock to learn that my sweet, soft-spoken friend had been a guard at a women's prison. The job was rough, the demands stringent, and the circumstances often mirrored a nightmare. But armed with her gun, a sense of security must have eased her tension.

Her instructions were to shoot, no reservations, no hesitation...just fire should she see any inmate display even a slight attempt to escape.

She learned how. She was trained. She had practiced. But when the time came to do it...she froze. That's when reality struck; she lacked the guts to pull that trigger. Her days as a prison guard came to an end.

And now, as a Christian, she teaches another self-defense method. She carries in her heart a better, more powerful weapon to guard against all evil--physical or spiritual. She holds on to Christ, and clings to His power great enough to stop the thieves who threaten to rob the peace and security.

And we can too, here are three steps to protect ourselves:

* We learn to use caution. We're careful to recognize fear and refuse to let it in.
* We do not open the door to doubt, worry or anxiety.
* We keep the ammunition of God's promises close by.

And certain of God's divine protection, we also declare: "I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice." (Psalm 16:7-10).

The protection is in His hands, the reassurance is in our heart.

What steals your peace these days? What weapons will you use in defense?

Janet P. Eckles

Announcement:

Does it seem like everything is in chaos? Check out Order, Order, and Order, a mini-series by Suresh Manoharan, to find out!
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 11:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


January 28, 2017
The Salt Mine, Part 3: The Sculptures

By Answers2Prayer
Last Thursday, in The Salt Mines, Part 2, we saw that we have a part to play in the "mining" of our hearts. We need to be willing to let God do His perfect work, and we need to be on the watch, and when we see that "briny water" beginning to seep in, we need to resist it. We need to get out the water pumps of God's Spirit, ever standing firm in our faith that God will prevail.

As was mentioned in the previous two parts of this series, the Wieliczka Salt Mine is now closed to mining; but besides hosting thousands of tourists on a daily basis, there is still plenty of activity in the mines. Below the surface of Wieliczka, Poland, artists continue to carve the mine's interior, bringing forth beauty under the surface of the Earth. Many of the carvings we saw on the tour were quite old, but there were others that were new. For example, one of the four chapels that we had the privilege of visiting has just been opened!

Herein lies the last lesson to be learned from the Wieliczka Salt Mines: God does not stop working in our hearts when we become Christians. In fact, that is when it all begins. He continues to form our hearts as long as we allow it to happen, ever working to create something even more beautiful in His eyes.

This concept is found throughout scripture. 2 Peter 3:18 commands us to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ". This process is known as "spiritual growth" or "growing in faith". Peter suggests that we must grow our faith by feeding it, and that initially we feed it with "spiritual milk": "Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good". (1 Peter 2:2-3)

As we grow in the Lord, we begin to need more solid food, not just "spiritual milk": "In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil" (Hebrews 5:12-14).

Unfortunately, as the writer of Hebrews proposes, most of us don't want "solid food", we would rather subsist on milk. Paul suggests the same thing: "But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ, fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh..." (1 Corinthians 3:1-3).

How can we encourage God's Spirit to continue to "mine" our hearts? How can we ensure that our heart-temples continuously bring forth new things of great beauty?

By following Peter's advice, to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18).

Remember that those works of art don't just "appear" in the depth of the Wieliczka Salt Mine, rather they are carved there. Everyone, no matter how much artistic talent you have (or lack!) can have this beauty "carved" in our hearts by simply growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ!

Didn't Jesus say, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" (John 6:51)?

But how can we "eat" of the "Bread of Life", Jesus Christ? Try this verse from the Old Testament: "I will give you leaders who will be faithful to me. They will lead you with knowledge and insight." (Jeremiah 3:15). In other words, when we let God into our hearts, when we feed our heart-temples with Heavenly knowledge and insight, we are partaking of the "Bread of Life".

I would encourage each of you that the way to ensure that things of beauty are continuously being carved in your heart temples is to spend time with God. Allow Him to open your hearts. Get into His Word. Pray and ask His Spirit to allow this "two-edged sword" to pierce "even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow..." and to discern "the thoughts and intents of the heart." (See Hebrews 4:12). For when you do, new and beautiful things will be carved in the temples of your heart and your lives will never be the same.

This is the last lesson from "The Salt Mine" mini-series. If you have missed any of the previous lessons, you may access the entire series by clicking here; or email me and I will be happy to send you the past lessons.

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.

**All information about the Wieliczka Salt mine comes from personal tour and from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 28 Jan 2017, 12:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 26, 2017
The Salt Mine, Part 2: Keeping the Brine at Bay...
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
Last Tuesday, in The Salt Mine, Part 1, we were introduced to the **Wieliczka Salt Mine on the outskirts Krakow in Poland. We saw from its magnificent tunnels and caverns how God works within our hearts to "mine" out the dross, seeking the precious minerals and stones, and carving out a "cathedral"--a "Heart-temple"--for Him to reside.

In case that introduction to these one-of-a-kind mine tunnels sparked your interest, here are a few more interesting facts about the Wieliczka Salt Mine. It were built in the 13th century, and it continuously produced table salt until 2007 as one of the world's oldest salt mines still in operation. Although it is closed to mining today, this is not due to the fact that all the salt has already been mined. On the contrary, despite the centuries of continuous mining, there is no lack of the substance beneath the town of Wieliczka. It is the flooding of the mine's lower levels, coupled with the low price of salt that is listed as the major reasons for closure. The funds required to keep the briny waters at bay were simply greater than the profit from the sales.

As mentioned in The Salt Mine Part 1, the flooded lower levels is one of the reasons visitors can only tour about 2% of the length of the mine's passages (despite the fact that the tour lasts 2 hours and covers 3.5 kilometers!). In fact, it is necessary to continually be pumping out the briny waters from the other levels as well so that they will not overtake the entire mine.

This fact really grabbed my attention. Something as lucrative as this mine has been through the centuries was brought to a halt by--flood waters! It made me think of our heart-temples, the giant cathedrals that God is carving beneath the surface of each of our hearts. Can His work in our hearts also be brought to a screeching halt? Is there "briny water" that can keep His Spirit from continuing His good work of cleansing us of our "dross", of finding the hidden gems of love and peace and joy in the depths of our souls? Are there things that can stop us from moving forward as His vessels? From doing Jesus' final command to spread the good news of Jesus Christ?

Unfortunately, there are. Although God does the "mining" of our hearts, we also have three major responsibilities in the Heart-temple-building process, and when we don't take these responsibilities seriously, we can see the "mining" of our hearts coming to a complete halt.

First of all, God will not force Himself upon us. Revelation tells us, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me." (Rev. 3:20). Our job, then, is to desire that God do His excellent "mining" work, to clean the dross out of our hearts, to find the jewels and precious metals, and to carve out a beautiful cathedral for His presence. We must open the door of our hearts to Him.

The Bible is also clear about what happens to uninhabited hearts: "When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first." (Luke 11:24-26). Thus, our second responsibility is to desire that this heart-temple God is building be filled with His Spirit, for if it is not, then the "briny waters" of the dross that has been mined out of our hearts will return and fill us up to the point that there is no longer any way for God to continue to mine our hearts.

Finally, we need to be ever on the alert: "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings." (1 Peter 5:8-9). In other words, when we see that "briny water" is trying to seep in, we need to resist it. We need to get out the water pumps of God's Spirit, while ever standing firm in our faith that God will prevail.

Please join us on Saturday for "The Salt Mine, Part 3: The Sculputres" for the last lesson to be learned from the Wieliczka Salt Mine.

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.

**All information about the Wieliczka Salt mine comes from personal tour and from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 7:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 24, 2017
The Salt Mine, Part 1: Heart Temples
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By Answers2Prayer

This past summer, my family and I had the privilege of visiting the **Wieliczka Salt Mine, located in the town of Wieliczka, just outside of Krakow in southern Poland. The mine, built in the 13th century, continuously produced table salt until 2007, as one of the world's oldest salt mines still in operation. Though it is now closed to mining, it has become a major tourist attraction.

The Wieliczka Salt Mine reaches a depth of 327 metres (1,073 ft) and is over 287 kilometres (178 mi) long. In its day, it was a major source of income for the country, employing thousands of people and even animals. Today the lower levels are flooded with briny water; nonetheless, 1.2 billion tourists annually cover 3.5 kilometers beneath the surface of the Earth on a tour that lasts over two hours. Even at that, less than 2% of the length of the mine's passages are covered.

Why would so many visitors want to be taken so far into the earth to see a mine that is no longer in use?

Because over the years, this hole in the ground has become a thing of beauty, miners have sculpted statues, murals, even huge rooms in the salt, making it truly a "must see" if you are ever visiting the Krakow region of Poland.

Though it may sound like it, this isn't really supposed to be a publicity campaign for the Wieliczka Salt Mines. Rather, this three-part mini-series is meant to illustrate some important truths about our heart-temples ("Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" 1 Cor. 6:19 NIV). We invite you to join us on Thursday and Saturday as well.

Among the things that really grabbed my attention in the mine were the four chapels that have been carved entirely out of the salt rock. These contain altars, murals, crosses, even chandeliers, and when you stand in the largest of these cathedrals, you might think you were standing in an above-ground church.

Perhaps the most interesting fact of all is that from above ground, you have absolutely no idea that such beauty lies just below your feet.

The Bible speaks of such a mine:

"We all know how silver seams the rocks, we've seen the stuff from which gold is refined, We're aware of how iron is dug out of the ground and copper is smelted from rock. Miners penetrate the earth's darkness, searching the roots of the mountains for ore, digging away in the suffocating darkness. Far from civilization, far from the traffic, they cut a shaft, and are lowered into it by ropes. Earth's surface is a field for grain, but its depths are a forge firing sapphires from stones and chiseling gold from rocks. Vultures are blind to its riches, hawks never lay eyes on it. Wild animals are oblivious to it, lions don't know it's there. Miners hammer away at the rock, they uproot the mountains. They tunnel through the rock and find all kinds of beautiful gems. They discover the origins of rivers, and bring earth's secrets to light." (Job 28:1-11 MSG)

As I read this text the other day, God spoke to me of how He is at work inside the human heart. Far beneath our exterior actions, God is "mining" us. He is looking to bring forth the precious metals and stones that lie within, buried by the dross; and at the same time, He is removing that "dross". But perhaps most importantly, He is chiseling out massive cathedrals from our hearts of stone, cathedrals that He, Himself, can fill. He is taking the dross that is in our hearts and forming us into something beautiful, something of great value.

Remember this the next time you think of someone you've been praying for, or even if you think of something you've been praying for deliverance from in your own life, but there doesn't appear to be any answers to your prayers: God is at work in the "mine" of your hearts and souls, clearing out the dross, refining the precious metals and stones, and carving out beautiful heart-temples for His Spirit. We may not see from the surface, but one day, just like the Wieliczka Salt Mine, your heart-temples will become a thing of great beauty and value.

Please join us on Thursday for another lesson to be learned from the Wieliczka Salt Mine, in "The Salt Mine, Part 2: Keeping the Brine at Bay".

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.

**All information about the Wieliczka Salt mine comes from personal tour and from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Jan 2017, 9:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 21, 2017
How to Change the Plan

By Answers2Prayer
The Bible is clear: "God is...not a human being, that he should change his mind." (Num. 23:19)

Yet the Word of God records a very interesting story in 2 Kings 20 where it seems that God changed His mind:

"About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill," (vs 1)

Now Hezekiah was one of the only kings in Jewish history where it is record, "And he did what was right in the sight of the Lord, according to all that his father David had done." (2 Kings 18:3), and he was reasonably upset when Isaiah came to tell him he would die: "This is what the LORD says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness." (2 Kings 20:2)

Notice that God has spoken, Hezekiah will die; and remember that when God speaks, His Word will not return to Him empty: "so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

Let's notice what Hezekiah does next: "When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, 'Remember, O LORD, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.' Then he broke down and wept bitterly." (2 Kings 20:3)

Then notice what happens, even as Hezekiah is uttering his prayer: "But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard, this message came to him from the LORD: 'Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, "This is what the LORD, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the LORD."'" (2 Kings 20:4-5)

Did you catch that, friends? Hezekiah's prayer appears to have changed God's mind!

But did it really?

Let's think about what we know about God. We know it is His will to heal us: He said, "...I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you." (Ex 15:26); and as we previously stated, God does not change His mind (See Num 23:19)

So how can we reconcile what we know about God with the story of King Hezekiah?

There is only one way, friends: Hezekiah's prayer didn't change God's mind, it simply wasn't God's will for Hezekiah to die!

Have I stretched the story a bit to fit my own knowledge of God?

Not at all. Let's look:

We know from the story of Job that it is the devil who brings on illness (See Job 1,2), and that though it isn't His will, God does permit this to happen. Thus, it wasn't God's will for Hezekiah to die, God was simply telling Hezekiah what was planned for him.

But wait. If it is God's will to heal us, why didn't God just heal him right away? Why did God permit the devil to strike him with illness in the first place?

I don't have all the answers to the "why" questions, but let's remember that God has given man the power of choice ("God has given us the power of choice, but once we have made the choice, it has power over us." Eph. 1:12). To have healed Hezekiah outright without consulting him would have removed his choice in the matter. Instead, God informed Hezekiah of what would happen, and when Hezekiah then turned around and begged God in prayer, he was choosing to ask for God's intervention.

But was that all there was? Was the prayer the only prerequisite to Hezekiah's healing?

We know that Jesus was only able to heal "according to their faith" (Matt 9:29), and since God is an unchanging God, faith was a prerequisite for Hezekiah as well. Hezekiah chose to ask God to intervene, and he had faith that God would do so.

Hezekiah was, indeed, healed. He went on to live another 15 years. It was Hezekiah's choice to turn to God for healing, coupled with his faith in the healing God, that "opened the door" so to speak for God to heal him.

About 13 years ago, I received a little vision. In the vision, I saw that my life would end about 18 months in the future. I, too, chose to turn to God and beg for my deliverance, and I, too, put my trust in Him. Over 10 years ago, that day came and went, and not only am I still here, but during these past 10 years, I have survived many potential life-taking situations including cancer.

Friends, it isn't God's will for us to be sick, suffer, lose our lives, and if it isn't yet our time, (which has been pre-determined long before we are even born--See Ps 139), we have the power to overcome whatever it is we are facing. Our power is conditional upon only two things: 1) That we turn to God for our deliverance; and 2) that we have faith that He will come through for us.

Whatever it is that you are facing right now, think about this story: choose to turn to God and put your trust in Him. When you do, you can rest assured that if it isn't your predetermined time to leave this earth, God will come through for you in a miraculous way.

In His love,
Lyn

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


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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 21 Jan 2017, 12:04 am

Welcome to the Nugget
January 19, 2017
The Son is Still Shining

By Answers2Prayer
It is most likely that many of us will experience one kind of storm or another, and our faith will be challenged. But God, Who is amazingly faithful promised us in Hebrews 13:5 when He said, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'" Can we even imagine what this water tight guarantee would be like to experience.

Back in approximately 1980, at the age of thirty six I experienced a crushing blow to my ego. Here I was with a beautiful wife and two gorgeous children, I was fully employed, and nearing completion of new home which was owner built. I worked in a timber yard, managing the production of timber house frames and roof trusses. Life was good, sales were booming, money was more than adequate, but life was not quite all that it could be. God was not the centre of who I was. I was actively involved in my church, to me God was real, and yet I tended to hold Him at arm's length.

Then one morning as I arrived at work something told me life was about to change, and change dramatically. The receivers were standing on our doorstep, and I was no longer in charge of my destiny. As the following days unfolded, I became aware that the home I had laboured so tirelessly to build was going to have to be sold to pay some of my employers debts. There was absolutely no way out of this situation, and legal advice only confirmed what had become so obvious.

I can remember wandering off into our production yard and standing between towering stacks of timber, and pouring my heart out to God, asking why. And God, in His awesome love and tenderness spoke to me saying, What have you lost, a pile of bricks and mortar, I've got you covered, I've already prepared a mansion up here, it's beyond what you could even imagine, and oh, by the way, it's located on a street paved with pure transparent gold.

Over the ensuing months life became one miracle after another as God provided life's necessities, and never once did God fail me. God's timing has always been perfect, and just on time. Today, I can honestly say, I am more in love with Jesus than ever, and I trust Him implicitly, even when the storms of life try to blot out His image from me. Above every storm cloud, the sun is still shinning, and in every storm challenge in life, the Son is still shining.

Thank you so much for continuing to hold Jesus high amidst a world who largely claims He does not exist. He does exist, and soon, we shall see Him in the clouds of Heaven just as He promised. It is my desire and daily prayer that God will keep us faithful right to the end.

God Bless,

Warren Hicks

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In addition to its natural, there are many spiritual lessons this hole in the ground can teach us. Join us next week for "The Salt Mine", a 3-part mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Jan 2017, 2:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 17, 2016
Just for Today
By Answers2Prayer
"The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning." (Lamentations 3:22-23)

The luscious looking double apricot hibiscus bloom was so beautiful to see that morning. The sun's rays were hitting it in such a way that the petals took on a glittery gold appearance.

I picked the flower and brought it into the kitchen to enjoy all day. Interesting thing about hibiscus - the blooms only last for one day. Whether or not they are cut or left on the bush, in water or not, they wither and die at the end of the day.

God gives us just what we need for the day, each day. During the forty years the Israelites wandered, the Lord provided fresh manna for them each morning. We, too, receive what we need daily.

"One day at a time" was one of my dad's favorite songs:

"One day at a time sweet Jesus
That's all I'm askin' of you
Just give me the strength
To do every day what I have to do
Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus
And tomorrow may never be mine Lord, help me today, show me the way
One day at a time"

(by Marijohn Wilkin and Kris Kristofferson)

Thank you Lord for providing for us what we need, just for today.

That's good news.

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

Post  Admin on Sat 14 Jan 2017, 9:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 14, 2017
Speak to the King

By Answers2Prayer
It's one of the saddest stories in the Bible.

Amnon, son of King David, head-over heels in lust with his half-sister, Tamar, devises a plan to be alone with her, and he rapes her. (See 2 Samuel 13)

There are so many lessons to be learned from this story: The dangers of lust; the consequences of our sin; the futility of revenge, to name a few. At first I couldn't figure out why God was placing this story on my heart. After all, I don't lust after anyone, I've never raped anyone, nor has the temptation ever even been there. Yet the story continued to burn on my heart.

Because I know that God doesn't lead us to a message and then leave us to try blindly to figure it out, I asked for His Spirit to open my heart to what He was trying to teach me. Immediately my mind was led back to the previous day. I had taken the day off work to begin preparing for an upcoming trip. My to-do list that day was jam-packed; there wouldn't be time enough to finish half of what I hoped to accomplish, and besides, rain was in the forecast. I wouldn't be able to cut the grass. Imagine what it did to my stress when my mother called to say her cat was sick. Because she doesn't drive, she had no way to get the animal to the vet. Immediately I knew that I had been impressed to take off that particular day so that I could help her care for her cat. But there was no way I would be able to accomplish even a quarter of the things I needed to do if I had to run to the vet!

But wait: Yet aren't we here to help one another? To be Jesus' hands and feet? Should our own plans really take precedence over showing God's love to others?

Please understand that my "bad" day was nothing in comparison to the shame and horror experienced by Tamar at the hands of her brother. My desire is not to belittle this horrible wrong action by putting it in the same category as a "bad" day. However sin is sin in God's eyes, and just like Amnon's obsession hurt Tamar, my obsession with my to-do list would have hurt my mom and her cat. Our obsessions will always result in others being hurt, and any time we allow anything other than the love of God to be our overall desire, we will negatively affect the lives of those around us.

I find Tamar's response to her half-brother very thought-provoking: "But she answered him, 'No, my brother, do not 1 force me, for no such thing should be done in Israel. Do not do this disgraceful thing! And I, where could I take my shame? And as for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.'" (2 Samuel 13:12-13)

Notice that Tamar was trying to make what he wanted an descent thing. By taking the request to the king, they could be married, and what Amnon wanted would then be acceptable.

You see, the things that we see as priorities aren't necessarily bad things in and of themselves. They only become shameful when we put them at a higher position than showing God's love to one another. All we need to do to ensure that our priorities are in proper order is to take the request to the King...of the Universe...God Himself. And when we do, when we choose to help others unconditionally and surrender our own desires to God, He comes through for us!

It was a spiritual battle, but in the end, I did surrender my to-do list to God, and I told my mom I would take her to the vet if she could get an appointment.

Do you want to know the amazing thing?

The cat went to the vet and was taken care of, and my entire to-do list was completed, including cutting the 1.5 acres of grass surrounding our home. The promised rain didn't even fall!

What would have happened if I hadn't surrendered to God?

"Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so that the hatred with which he hated her greater than the love with which he had loved her. And Amnon said to her, 'Arise, be gone!'" (2 Sam. 13:15 KJV)

In the same way that Amnon's lust turned to hatred, I would have been left empty and wanting. The cat wouldn't have received the care she needed, my mother would have still been riddled with worry, and by the end of the day, I would have been exhausted by my efforts to get everything done.

Let's not be Amnons, friends. Let's take whatever it is that has become our passion, our first priority, to the King of the Universe. Let's put His plans first, ever knowing that those who wait upon the Lord will receive the desires of their heart as well: "Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Ps. 37:4, NKJV)

In His love,
Lyn

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

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Good news!

"Aboard God's Train", the personal testimony of my walk with God through the valley of cancer in 2012, has been published and is now available for purchase in North America through Gospel Folio Press and for worldwide sales, through Sable Publishing House.

May God bless each of you abundantly as you continue to draw closer to Him through the trials of your life!

Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget
©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 13 Jan 2017, 11:50 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 12, 2017
Come and See
By Answers2Prayer
"Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, 'We have found the Messiah' (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus. Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. Philip found Nathanael and told him, 'We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.'" (John 1:40-42, 44-45)

Networking and marketing. It's kind of Andrew thing. When Andrew heard some great news, he said to his brother, essentially, "Come and see!"

John and Andrew lived in the same town, and they both were in the fishing business. When Andrew heard what John said about Jesus, he couldn't wait to tell his brother, (Simon) Peter. Then when Philip, also from the same town as Andrew and Peter, heard the good news, he couldn't wait to tell Nathanael.

Come and see; it has a "ripple" effect. One person tells another, who tells another, who tells another...When we latch onto some new idea, a revelation thought, a gift of healing, a place we've visited, or any number of things, we get excited! We are bursting to share the info with someone. We tell a friend, a co-worker, a family member. Maybe a person we don't even know well, a cashier, cab driver, clerk.

Thank you, Lord, for providing Good News each and every day to us, and letting us share that. Come and see!

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

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Jan 2017, 11:20 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 10, 2017
Anticipating Heaven

By Answers2Prayer
Once in a lifetime you meet somebody that prompts you to say, "I want to be just like her."

Let me tell you about Karen. Like millions, she has faced cancer, but hers is a rare type; the survival rate is alarmingly small. Yet, for years, she has defied all odds and survived its claim on her health. But Karen hasn't just survived; she is living her days to the fullest. Though years of treatment have zapped her energy, she keeps going, again, defying all odds, baffling all doctors.

But Karen has another secret: she has no fear of death. She knows Christ. She knows heaven awaits her. And certain of her eternity, her courage can fill her hospice room. Karen displays the confidence few possess. She has even taken her husband shopping for the suit he will wear at her funeral.

Like many of us have chosen the centerpiece for the table at our wedding reception, Karen has chosen her tombstone. Could it be that Karen was put on this earth to fulfill God's unique plan and also to teach the rest of us that death cannot bring about fear? Death of the physical body is the doorway to life eternal, the beginning of the perfect life, and the anticipation of glorious living.

As of this writing, Karen has been told it's only a very short time before she faces Jesus. But she holds to her faith. She has all plans in place. She has prepared her family. And in doing so, perhaps she prepares us to see her example, so that we, someday like Karen, will declare the words of Paul: "Where, O death is your victory? Where, O death is your sting?" "...Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 16:55 and 57)

Has Christ who lives in you also erased the sting of death?

Janet Eckles

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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 07 Jan 2017, 8:13 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 7, 2017
Three Choices to Live with Security

By Answers2Prayer
"Goals for the new year? Are you kidding? My goal is just to survive another day," my friend said.

Can you almost feel her heavy heart? It's a common thing. Facing a new year, new issues and a new future, uncertainty gnaws. We wonder about what tomorrow will bring. How much darker violence can get. And what will happen to us, to our family.

But the solution is simple because there is something extremely powerful. There is something we have that will dictate our course. Something that possesses the unique power that can change our mood, give us a different outlook, rearrange our priorities, give us freedom and/or shove us in an emotional prison.

It's not illness, violence, or financial troubles. Instead, it's those invisible notions that rumble through the mind non-stop all day, every fraction of every second of our waking hours.

Those are our thoughts and they have the ability to color the scenery of our lives.

The thoughts we entertain paint our facial expression. They determine the words we say. Those words in turn, determine the attitude we embrace, thus formulating our habits. Those habits mold our character. And before we know it, our character dictates the decisions that trace our destiny.

And it all began with the thoughts we allowed in our mind.

Because of their impact, we have three choices. We can choose to have:

*Thoughts of gloom because of the circumstance or thoughts of the goodness of God.

*Thoughts of our shortcomings or of God's power and strength.

*Thoughts of the violence outside or thoughts of God's peace that we can keep within.

What if we invite thoughts given in Philippians 4:8 -- thoughts about what is true, noble, right, pure, and lovely? "For as he thinks within himself, so he is" (Proverbs 23:7).

If our thoughts are empowering and encouraging, freedom will come. And when the rest of the world is living unsure, anxious and fearful, we stand firm on God's promise to keep us secure and triumphant.

What thoughts fill your mind as we begin a new year?

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 Fri 06 Jan 2017, 11:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 5, 2017
The End is the Beginning...

By Answers2Prayer
"The end of a thing is better than its beginning..." (Eccl. 7:8a)

With Winter coming on I finally decided to replace the worn and torn blanket and quilt on my bed. Years of washing and dogs and cats jumping on them had left them threadbare and full of holes. I found a nice blanket cheap at a local store and dug an old quilt out of an older dresser in my room. When I looked at the quilt, though, I noticed that underneath the corner was a piece of tape with my Dad's name written on it. Then I remembered that this was the same quilt he used at the nursing home during the last months of his life. I pealed the tape and held it in my hand. I looked up to Heaven and smiled. I didn't think Dad would mind me using his old quilt now. I knew that he was in a place of never ending warmth, love, and light.

Spreading out my Dad's quilt on my bed I remembered the greatest paradox of life: the end is really the beginning. Everything we go through in this life is a preparation for the greater life to come. Everything we face in this world can help us to become better, stronger, kinder, and closer to God. The love we choose in this life is the love we carry with us into the next. Knowing all this doesn't diminish your love for life here on Earth either. It intensifies it instead. Life here may be momentary, temporary, fleeting and fragile, but it is a gift from our Heavenly Father.

And how we live it is our gift to Him.

My advice then is to live like today is your last day. Wake up in the morning with your voice and soul saying: "Good morning God. I love You too and I thank You for my life." Go through the day with an open heart that gives your love away freely. Embrace all the joy that the day gives you and share all of that joy with others. Help all the people you can. Learn all you can.

Cherish every second you are given. Make your day a quilt of love that warms everyone you meet. Then your last day will be your best day and your end a new beginning.

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

Post  Admin on Wed 04 Jan 2017, 11:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

bible
January 3, 2017
To-Do-List
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else... and he will give you everything you need." (Matthew 6:33)

I was looking over the list, the never ending 'To Do' list, crossing things off, adding tasks, rearranging the items according to today's priorities. "There is no end to this list!" I grumbled to myself. "There is always something else 'to-do!"

The never-ending 'to do' list, how depressing that can be. A good friend of mine likes to say, "Everything that needs to get done will get done", though I wonder sometimes. I can easily feel overwhelmed with The List, and that's when I know it's time for an inventory, a priority check-up.

God wants to communicate with us, and it is unlikely He is going to catch us 'on the run'. He waits. Rick Warren says, "If you are always on the go and you can't hear God, you are facing the barrier of busyness." Oh yeah, all those things on The List!

I've heard it said, "Don't under estimate the value of porch sittin' and rockin'". Basically, I need to make the choice to take time, to wait on God and listen to Him. It's hard for God to download much to me when I am racing to move through my list. He is waiting, though.

I need to choose, purpose, and decision what -and Who - gets moved to the top. When I rearrange and put God first, everything else will fall into a manageable position. It will; that's a promise.

Sally I. Kennedy
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Why is it that the "Abundant Life" promised by Jesus to all who believe doesn't always seem so "abundant?" Where is the "prosperity" that is the Christian's due? The answer can be found in the book of Job. Check out "The Prosperity Doctrine Exposed," a mini-series by Lyn Chaffart
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NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Jan 2017, 12:34 am

Welcome to the Nugget

December 31, 2016
Out of the Storm:
New Year's Message for 2017

By Answers2Prayer
"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind..." (Job 38:1 NKJV)

Life happens. Storms happen. And though we would love to believe that this new year will indeed be "happy", we know that things won't always go as we wish them to go. Illness comes. Financial problems arise. There are problems with the kids, problems in our relationships, problems with our neighbors. We are not sheltered from any of these problems, and in fact, we may be going through them right now, and it is at such times that we need to remember Job:

Job's friends thought they had all the answers for Job. The only thing Job needed to do was to repent. Job, on the other hand, had no idea what he needed to repent of. He, too, was sure he had all the answers, but things weren't following the "proper course". All five men, Job, his three friends and the fourth, younger man, Elihu, were certain they had complete understanding of God.

Eventually God did answer them all, and I find it very interesting to see that the Bible records: "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind..."

What is a whirlwind?

It's a kind of storm. In fact, some translations use the word "storm" instead of whirlwind. In other words, in the midst of Job's "storm", God reached out and spoke to him.

Why?

Though this is speculation, I would suggest that perhaps He used this opportunity because He knew He would have Job's complete attention!

You see, Job, though righteous in God's eyes, thought he had all the answers. Had it not been for the "storm" in his life, would he have ever realized that he didn't know everything there was to know about God? Who knows.

Now I'm not saying this is the reason Job was allowed to suffer, for the Bible records that Satan brought this on Job to "prove" to the universe that people only worshiped God when times were good. Yet God uses all things for good ("And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Rom 8:28), and He used the storms of Job's life to speak to him, to show him that he didn't have all the answers, to help Job understand that God is so much bigger than anything we can comprehend or imagine. In the midst of Job's storm, God spoke.

As you enter this new year, you will go through storms. In fact, you may already be going through pretty tough times. I encourage you to take a moment to stop and listen, for God spoke to Job through a whirlwind, and in the same manner, He will speak to us in our storms.

I believe Job was a little surprised by what God said, for his response shows he has been humbled: "I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, 'Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer Me.' I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes." (Job 42:2-6)

Would Job have had such a reaction had he not been in the midst of a major storm in his life? I don't know. But I know that God will use the storms of our lives to help us to learn more about who He really is, to help us to grow our faith, to help us to learn to depend upon Him. For when we begin to learn these things, we find the true happiness in life.

Going through stormy times? Are the waters looking pretty rough? Don't forget: "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind..." (Job 38:1 NKJV)

Happy New Year!

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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