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

Welcome to the Nugget

November 1, 2016
Preparing the Mango, Part 3

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

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

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

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

So why did I do it? 

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

But perhaps there was yet another reason...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
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©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sun 30 Oct 2016, 9:35 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 29, 2016
Preparing the Mango, Part 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 28 Oct 2016, 10:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 27, 2016
Preparing the Mango, Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But wait. We're talking about a death in the family here. Or didn't you realize I'm undergoing chemotherapy and I've never been so sick in my life? Or come on! You go through divorce if you think it's so easy! Please join us on Thursday for "Preparing the Mango, Part 2". 

In His love,
Lyn


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

 
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©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 3:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 25, 2015
That's Not Fair!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
 
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Join us for the next three Nuggets as we explore valuable lessons in how to react when we are going through trials: "Preparing the Mango", a mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 26 Oct 2016, 3:36 pm

Welcome to the Illustrator
Today's Bible Verse:

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

By Answers2Prayer
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When Suffering Visits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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One of the ministries connected with Answers2Prayer provides inspirational 
stories
. If you have written inspirational stories and would like to share them 
with others, please feel free to submit them to me. The writer of any story 
published
on our site will receive proper credit. Please
submit your story to us . Thank you.

Rob Chaffart

©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely 
give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 22 Oct 2016, 8:49 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Has Jesus forgiven our sins? 

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

What kind of sin am I talking about here?

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

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

So what do we do?

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

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

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

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


In His love,
Lyn


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

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Fri 21 Oct 2016, 9:07 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
 
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Oct 2016, 5:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Mon 17 Oct 2016, 8:39 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

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

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

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


Creation...

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

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


Classification... 

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

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

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

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

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

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
Announcement:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Feeling a little lost in this world? Patricia Quigley, a Nugget writer, has composed a song entitled: I'm Not From This World, which she sings with her granddaughter. You can view this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc3Qq0UP8L0
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 15 Oct 2016, 8:53 pm

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

Adoration...

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

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

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

Hmmm..now in relation to Man...

Protection...

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

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

Provision...

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

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

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

Communication...

Luke 1:26-33, Mark 16:5,  Acts 1:9-11

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

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

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Fri 14 Oct 2016, 8:41 pm

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

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


Condemnation... 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Sun 09 Oct 2016, 9:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

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

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

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

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

Just what causes a tree to form a burl?

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

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

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

Think about it, my friends, and always remember: 

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn 

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

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

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

By Answers2Prayer 
  God is very, very good.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
 
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Post  Admin on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 7:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 4, 2016
Lessons From Camping, Part 1: How to Park a Trailer

By Answers2Prayer
 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, 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." (2 Cor 12:9) 

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

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

Things didn't look too promising when we arrived at the campground and drove to our reserved site. Imagine our horror to see that it was at the top of a hill at the end of a narrow, steep alleyway. To make things worse, the entrance was narrower than our tow vehicle, and it slopped off to the left into a deep ditch. Yikes! 

Having never been extraordinarily good at driving with a trailer in the reverse direction, and especially not with a new trailer and tow vehicle, I did the "intelligent" thing: I decided to pull onto the site instead of backing onto it. In order to get the vehicles lined up so that the trailer didn't end up in the ditch, I had to proceed onto the entryway very slowly. That didn't leave me any momentum for climbing the hill, and with my inexperience with a manual transmission, it wasn't long before my clutch was smoking and the wheels were spinning in the soggy gravel. 

Once on top, we would learn that the site was very small, with no way to turn around or to even pull the trailer all the way off the alleyway. There was nothing we could do except back off the site. But how? If I hadn't felt comfortable backing on to it, how would I ever feel comfortable backing off? Especially with that ditch down at the bottom...And even if we managed to make it off the site, then what? This was, after all, our reserved site! 

I decided to put into practice what I preach. I gave the problem to God. Two minutes later a park ranger drove up. I was disappointed when he didn't just volunteer to park our trailer for us, but he did the next best thing. He told us that once we were off our reserved site, we could drive through the camp and pick any empty site. 

That still left the biggest problem, however: How would we get the trailer off of this site without landing it in the ditch? I went to God in prayer. I told Him that I couldn't get the trailer back onto the road; but that I knew He could. I asked that His strength, wisdom and towing power be perfected in my weakness. I then got into the car, put it in reverse, and started down the hill. I didn't have a single problem, and two minutes later, we were again on the camp road. 

We choose the next campsite over. It was on level ground, the entrance was broad with no ditch, and I had no problem backing onto the site. In all, it was closer to the bathhouse and right next to the camp's water supply. A much better site all around. As we sat in the trailer, letting the clutch cool down, I couldn't help but think how much easier it would be to handle most of my problems in life if I would only hand them over to God and allow His strength to be perfected in my weakness. 

Whatever challenge it is that you face today, be it illness, problems at work, problems with the kids, or even problems parking a trailer, why not try giving it to God, fully believing that His strength will be perfected in your weakness? You will be amazed at how easily everything falls into place. 

"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:90)

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 here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Oct 2016, 5:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 1, 2016
The Root and the Tree

By Answers2Prayer 
 It was our last camping hurrah of the season, and though it was mid-October, the weather was beautifully warm and clear. A perfect weekend to be out in nature. Our camping site was excellent; the only problem was that it would take some careful maneuvering to back our small trailer onto it. 

We quickly prepared ourselves for the job. My husband stationed himself on the rear right corner of the trailer, and my oldest son on the rear left, and I began that treacherous trip in reverse that would be required to maneuver the trailer onto the site. 

I hadn't gone two metres, however, when my husband began shouting something about a tree root that was on the site. It didn't seem to matter which way I directed the trailer, he continued to direct my attention towards the offending root. 

I would later learn that my son was also giving me a warning: There was a large tree directly off the front left-hand corner of the tow-vehicle. Regrettably, I didn't notice him at all over the warnings being given to me about the root; but fortunately for us all, I did see the tree. I asked my son's fiancee, who was still in the car with me, to station herself beside it. She did, but before I could continue the job of parking the trailer, my husband ran up to the window to make sure I had heard his warning about the tree root. 

Don't get me wrong, the root was indeed a formidable concern; but the tree was a far more immediate obstacle to be contended with, so I focused my attention away from my husband and onto my future daughter-in-law's directions. With her excellent assistance, I was able to avoid that tree, and then I switched my attention to my husband's warnings. 

What if I had focused my attention solely on avoiding the root? 

We would now have a dented front end on our tow-vehicle. 

It all made me think. Jesus tells us, "Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye,' while there is a beam in your own? You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matt 7:2-5)

We are quick to point the finger at those who do us wrong. Any time there is something amiss, we look for a cause--outside of ourselves! We have become so blinded by self-preservation and self-exoneration that we are often completely oblivious to the fact that the problem may actually stem from ourselves. Yet when we judge others, when we focus on their faults, we are blinded to the reality that we, ourselves, may have a much more serious default in our own character. 

Jesus warns us against this: "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive." (Matt 7:1) 

Each of us also has someone who can help us with that "tree"...God's Holy Spirit is ever there to guide us and convict us of our own faults. "But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I am going away. For if I do not go away, the Advocate will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will prove the world wrong concerning sin and righteousness and judgment..." (John 16:8) Our problem is often that we become so distracted by the "roots", by the defaults we see in other people, that we fail to hear the voice of God's Spirit guiding us.

Let's remember this the next time we're tempted to point the finger of blame at someone else. Just for a moment, let's shift our attention enough away from that "root" that we can hear the voice of God's Spirit. Then we will be able to look for the more formidable problems in our own lives, and then we will be able to avoid the "tree"! 

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 here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
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Post  Admin on Fri 30 Sep 2016, 4:57 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 29, 2016
Up to You

By Answers2Prayer 
 "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing." (1 Cor 13:1-3)

The college I attended as a young man was a collection of beautiful, red brick buildings built along the side of a hill. At the bottom of the hill was the closest town. Getting back to the dorms from town during the cold, Winter months was a treacherous trip even for the sober students. 

For those who had been drinking at the town bars it often led to many slips and falls as they stumbled up the slick sidewalks. On one December day a friend and I were debating going into town to grab a bite to eat at the local convenience store. We didn't like the idea of walking downhill on a sheet of ice, but the dinner at the cafeteria that day had left a lot to be desired. Finally, we decided to head down and grab some sandwiches and sodas. We gingerly made our way and after about ten minutes got to the bottom of the hill. As we walked towards the store a shivering man approached us. His clothes were worn and dirty. His gray hair was wild and unruly. 

His face was unshaven. He didn't have a lot of teeth left either. He smelt strongly of sour liquor. When he got close he stopped and seemed a bit ashamed of what he was about to say but finally he asked for a few dollars to get something to eat. I stepped back at first and all of the warnings that I had heard others say against people like him played in my mind. Yet, when I looked into his sad eyes I felt a warmth in my heart. I pulled out my wallet and gave him the money. As we walked on my friend said that the man was probably going to spend that money on alcohol. I thought about it then said, "What he does with the money is his choice. Sharing it was mine."

I have looked back on that memory so many times over the years. If I had it to do all over again I think that I would have talked to the man longer, gave him more money, and maybe shared a hug with him as well. Even to this day some 30 years later I keep that man in my prayers. 

I pray that he found his way back to health, back to a home, and back to God. We all come into this world from love and when we leave it we will return to love.  

Whether we love while we are here, however, is up to us. What is your choice going to be? Are you going to live by the rules of the world or the rules of Heaven? Are you going to help just yourself or are you going to help others as well? Are you going to let fear rule you or are you going to love others as God loves you? It is up to you! 

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
Announcement:

"The Heavens declare the glory of God..." (Ps. 19:1) 

There are so many lessons we can learn from God's nature. Join us on Saturday and next next for priceless lessons inspired by a recent camping trip.

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Post  Admin on Wed 28 Sep 2016, 10:37 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 27, 2016
Brrrr!

By Answers2Prayer 
 It was 84 degrees (29 C.) in Orlando a few days ago. Yet, I carried my jacket inside the local movie theater. The interior is like an igloo. And the fact that I'm always cold doesn't help.

We walked in and ran into the friendly manager. As we chatted with her, I asked her, "Why do you guys keep the temperature so low? I think next time I'll bring my earmuffs."

She laughed. "The temperature is set as if the theater was full," she said. "Even if there are 5 people, the temperature setting never changes."

"Oh."

I put on my jacket as hubby and I headed to find our seats.

That night under my cozy covers, I had a comforting thought. Contrary to the one-setting thermostat at the theatre, God doesn't have one setting to His love. He's provision is unique to each of us, our situation and our challenges.

He doesn't give us less than we need. He's not a moment late or a moment too soon. His love is uniquely customized according to the emotional coldness we might feel on that moment, on that day or season.

Have you been there? As you read this, you might be in the ditch of hardship, yet He has the rope long enough to get you out. That's because He's so divinely aware of all our struggles. He knows the degree of our pain and has the exact amount of comfort. He knows the depth of our financial failures and has the perfect provision to lift us up. And when overwhelmed by life's trials, He has the right quantity and customized solutions.

So why don't we go through life carefree and with peace overflowing? Perhaps because we doubt His perfect provision. We wonder when, how and where He will bring what we need. And as He determines that, do we truly believe that He will do what He promises throughout His Word, including the one in Psalm 91?

"Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you...Then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways..." (Ps 91:3-11)

Father, I reclaim my peace as I know You will be my provider in the coldness of this world. You will bring what I need at the moment I need it. And You will exert your power enough to bring answers, perfect and timely. In Jesus' name I thank you, amen.

* What answer are you waiting for?
* What is your degree of trust?
* How can you be sure of God's provision?


Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
 
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John the Baptist said, "The time has come...The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!" (Mark 1:15). But what exactly is the Kingdom of God? Check out "Basics of Basileia", a four-part mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan designed to help us have a better understand of God's Kingdom! 
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Post  Admin on Sun 25 Sep 2016, 4:31 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 24, 2016
The Best Part

By Answers2Prayer 
  I was delighted to find celeriac in the local farmer's market this morning. This strange-looking root vegetable, also called turnip-rooted celery, knob celery, and sometimes celery root, is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots. 

As the primary cook for someone who has a potato intolerance, I am most interested in it for the fact that it makes a wonderful substitution for potatoes. You can chop it and cook it for potato salad, you can throw it into soup instead of chunks of potato, you can grate it and fry it up like hashbrowns, and when you aren't trying to use it to substitute for potato, you can grate it and eat it as a salad. 

The only problem is, celeriac isn't available in our neck of the woods year round, hence my excitement to find it this morning. The problem was, the vendor was selling it with its greens attached. I had never seen it sold that way before, and all I could think of was how much room in my garbage that top would take up. This is what motivated me to tell the vendor that I didn't need the greens.

"But that's the best part!" she argued, pinching off a leaf and holding it out for me to smell. "See what a nice aroma it has?"

Sure enough, it smelled strongly of celery. Intrigued, I asked how to use it. 

"You chop it up and throw it into your soup," she responded. "You can freeze it, too, and whenever you need to celery in a recipe, you can throw it in."

Once home, I washed the greens and chopped them, and then I put them in a freezer bag for later use, and as I did, I couldn't help but think that I had come very close to leaving behind "the best part" of the celeriac!

In the rehab hospital where I work, one of the more common statements I hear about God is this: "I don't believe in God, because if God really existed, I wouldn't be here in the hospital!"

The whole incident with the celeriac greens made me think about this. You see, we want all the good things that God has to offer us, but we really don't care for the bad. I mean, after all, why would a loving God allow so much suffering?

But when we only buy into God for the good things, are we, perhaps, throwing away "the best part"? 

But wait. How can suffering be "the best part"? 

I don't pretend to have all the answers to this, but I do know that we see only a very tiny part of the picture of life. In our limited line of vision, there isn't room for suffering, and it seems impossible to think that anything good could actually come out of it. What if we, even for just a moment, considered the fact that some of the suffering we must face actually works for the good? A death in the family, for example, may be the only thing that will ever bring a non-believing family member to the place where they realize they need the Lord. Debilitating handicaps may be the only way God can help us to understand how much we need Him, how rich our lives can be if we rely solely on Him. Serious debt and lose of job may be the only way God can help us to understand that He is our provision. All the time. 

Hasn't God promised to work everything out for the good? Prayerfully consider this text: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) 

The question is, do we trust God enough to recognize that hardships are times to grow, that they are not to be wished away? Can we trust Him enough to understand that all things work together for good? Can we blindly follow where He leads, even if it means a brief trip through the valley of suffering? Can we come to realize that without the suffering that God permits in this life, it is like we are throwing out "the best part"?

I challenge each of you today to surrender yourselves completely to God's will, even if it means a trip through the valley of suffering, ever knowing that God will ALWAYS provide a way of escape (See 1 Cor. 10:13). When you do, you will find that you are indeed, enjoying "the best part".

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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HAVE A BEAUTIFUL FALL!
With Autumn already showing her colours throughout the Northern Hemisphere of our planet, with the children all back in school, let's all take a moment to reflect upon the blessings that God has granted us throughout this past summer. May God bless you abundantly and with abundance this fall!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 23 Sep 2016, 10:14 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 22, 2016
Hanging by a Thread

By Answers2Prayer 
  "You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me." (Psalm 139:5)

My grandmother taught me how to hem. I remember it being as difficult to learn as tying shoelaces, my fingers feeling thick and clumsy. I wanted to learn to sew, however, so I kept practicing. Eventually I learned, and am grateful I did, since it has come in handy so often. 

There are times when our world seems to unravel right before our eyes. The Bible clearly says "when we have troubles" not 'if'. We can't get a needle and thread, sew it up with a neat hem-stitch, and fix it.

The good news is that we have a promise, in the book of Psalms, written by David. King David wrote out of his experience; he knew what he was talking about. In Psalm 139, he says the Lord has us hemmed in and protected.

When you feel like you are hanging by a thread, and just barely holding on, it's good to remember the beautiful "hemmed in" promise we can claim from the Lord.

"You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me." (Psalm 139:1-5) 

Sally I. Kennedy
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"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8)

Wait a minute: If God promises abundance, then why do I have all this need? Click here to find out!
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Post  Admin on Sun 18 Sep 2016, 8:15 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 17, 2016
To Boldly Go

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
Being a shy person by nature, witnessing isn't something that comes natural for me. Oh, it's easy enough to write about God and send it across the world to people who you will never meet, but to take those same words and share them, either in written or verbal form, with those you interact with on a daily basis, now that's a different story altogether. Yet Jesus didn't command only the outgoing people of the world to witness. He commanded this of us all: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" (Matt 28:18-20)

I live in North America where persecution for one's faith is relatively rare. Yet as I read stories of Christians in the persecuted church, I am absolutely amazed at how bold they are with their witnessing. The only down-side for me to witnessing is that some of my friends might think I am a "Bible thumper", a "Jesus Freak", or worse, just plain "religious". But those in the persecuted church are taking their life in their hands just to spread the good news of God's love. 

What makes the difference? 

Their love for God supersedes their fear. Doesn't God's Word say, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4:18)? 

I have recently been very touched by reading the testimony of a former Muslim girl, published in the book, "Face to Face with Jesus", by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene*. Those she suffered greatly for her faith, this girl loved Jesus so much that she persevered. In the end, she saw the salvation of her entire family. 

As I thought about this one morning last week, I could hear God giving me a challenge, a challenge to put aside my shyness, to lay aside my fear of what others would think, and to love Him boldly. I couldn't do it. Not on my own. And the tears coursed down my cheeks as I told God I wasn't courageous enough to do what He asked of me. That's when I clearly heard His voice in my mind: "I will make you bold!" I began to pray, to ask God to empty me of my fear and to fill me with His love, with His boldness, His supernatural courage, His wisdom and discernment. Then I asked Him to open the doors where He would have me witness and push me through them. 

I witnessed to three of my patients at work that day. One of them loudly purported that he didn't believe in God. When I heard God's Spirit saying, "Pray for his healing," I asked him if I could pray with him. In tears, he told me I could. The very next day, his health status took a turn for the better. Everyone was amazed at the difference. 

Similar things have happened every time I've asked God to make me bold. It is exciting. It makes me wonder why I don't ask God to make me bold all of the time! In fact, maybe I will start doing that! After all, He gave up everything for me; and if I truly love Him the way I feel that I do, how can I not do everything in my power to make Him happy? How can I not do my part in bringing the lost sheep of His fold home to Him?

I know that many of you reading this post are already bold in your witness. But if you are not, then I urge you to join me in falling so deeply in love with God that you can't help but witness. I encourage you to join me in asking Him daily to make you bold. He will respond, it is a prayer He loves to answer. Then sit back in anticipation to see what He is going to do through you!

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.

*"Face to Face with Jesus" by Samaa Habib and Bodie Thoene is available on Amazon. Samaa's story will truly change your life.
Announcement:

A special happy birthday wish to my precious mom, Wynona Gordon, who turns 80 today. May God grant her many more happy years! 

Lyn Chaffart, Moderate, The Nugget
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 9:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 15, 2016
Camo

By Answers2Prayer 
  "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight." (Hebrews 4:13)

We were on the back porch. A holiday morning, not much stirring yet. I was slowly waking, cradling a steaming mug of coffee, when my husband asked, "Do you see what's in the tree?"

I strained to look, and all I saw was healthy, green palm fronds. Perfectly camouflaged, the iguana lay draped over a top branch. I zoomed in with my camera lens, and was once-again amazed at the mimic that nature comes up with.

"He's so concealed by his coloring and marks," I thought. "It keeps him hidden in his surroundings." 

Sometimes I cover things up, put a smokescreen over them. But nothing in all of this world, including my heart, is hidden from God. Our very thoughts are known to Him, and they're not a surprise. He doesn't say, "Hmmm, imagine that, what she's thinking!"....or, "Gee, look what he just did!" No news to the Lord, who knew us before we were even born (Psalm 139).

And, He loves us anyway. You may have heard this, and it is true: there is nothing you could ever do that would make God love you more, and there is nothing you could ever do that would make God love you less. He loves you. Period. Forever. Unconditionally. It's who He is. 

That is definitely good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2015 
 
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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 11:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 13, 2016
The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 2: The Payback

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last time, in The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 1, we saw the power of giving encouragement, even when the givers were suffering as well. But is there any payback for the givers of encouragement?

The Bible tells the story of a Moabite woman, one who married an Israelite and then was left a widow without children. This meant, in that society and culture, that she had nothing. In order to sustain herself and her widowed mother-in-law, she went out into the fields and gleaned, something that was only done by the dirt poor. The owner of the field found her and gave her encouragement. He told her to glean only in his fields, and then he told his harvesters to leave plenty of grain behind for this young woman. The young woman was encouraged, yes, and she and her widowed mother-in-law suddenly found themselves in the position where they had plenty to eat; but was there any gain for the owner of the field that showed her kindness?

Some of you have already guessed that that young widow's name was Ruth, and that the kind field owner was named Boaz, and if you are unfamiliar with the story, I encourage you to read it in the Book of Ruth. As you review the story, you will come to the end of the book and realize that Boaz did, indeed, gain from this act of kindness. He went on to marry Ruth and she bore him a son Obed, grandfather to King David, ancestor to Jesus Christ. 

Consider the following text: 

"Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work. Just as it is written, 'He has scattered widely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever.' Now God who provides seed for the sower and bread for food will provide and multiply your supply of seed and will cause the harvest of your righteousness to grow. You will be enriched in every way so that you may be generous on every occasion, which is producing through us thanksgiving to God." (2 Cor 9:7-11)

This means that when we give encouragement, we are promised the following benefits: 
1. God's Grace will overflow in us (vs 8);
2. You will overflow in every good work (vs. 8);
3. Your righteousness will remain forever (vs. 9);
4. Your seed and bread will be provided and multiplied (vs. 10);
5. The harvest of your righteousness will grow (vs 10);
6. You will be enriched in every way (vs 11)!

I don't know about you, but that looks like a pretty good payback to me!

In part 1 of this series (See The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 1), I told four stories of people who reached out and encouraged others, despite their own substantial need. Was there any payback for these people?

I am excited to report that the African prayer warrior who reached out to others across the world in their time of need, providing them with prayers and encouragement, was blessed by having every one of his own needs not only met but surpassed in the course of a year. That's what happens when we reach out to others, even when we are in dire need ourselves!

Unfortunately, this wasn't the case in my other three examples. We know that many of the West Berliners lost their lives in trying to help their brothers and sisters escape Eastern Germany. We also know that the priest who stood in the place of the young man in Auschwitz lost his life, and I am sad to say that my friend's father, who reached out to encourage me when I was dealing with cancer, passed away a few months later. That doesn't sound much like having their lives enriched, does it?

Or does it? Let's remember that two of the promised benefits of giving unconditionally to others are: Your righteousness will remain forever (2 Cor 9:9) and the harvest of your righteousness will grow (vs 10). These people who gave so unselfishly to others, even in the face of their own difficulties, received their ultimate final reward: They are with Jesus in Heaven, for their righteousness has remained forever. They have no more pain, no more sickness, nothing but peace forever and ever. 

I don't know about you, but that sounds like pretty good payback after all!

Are you suffering? In need? Dealing with lots of problems? 

Don't despair. Instead, reach out to others in need. Not only will you forever change their lives for the better, but the personal paybacks are beyond measure.

May God bless you as you reach out to others with words of encouragement, even in the face of your own difficulties.

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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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Sep 2016, 10:42 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 10, 2016
The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 1: The Power

By Answers2Prayer 

 This past summer, we had the privilege of visiting Berlin. We walked along the path of the Berlin wall, we visited several memorials to the Berlin wall, and we even stayed in the part of Berlin that was once considered "East Berlin". It was an amazing eye-opener to all of us to see with our own eyes the oppression of the East Berliners, and to come to understand just what the Berlin wall represented to these people.

After learning a bit more about the history of Eastern German and East Berlin, it wasn't at all hard to understand why thousands of East Berliners risked their lives to try and escape. Many of the escape attempts were successful; however, many were thwarted, and as a result, many of these poor, oppressed people lost their lives. It kind of made you understand how significant the oppression must have been, that people would risk their lives to this degree to escape it. 

But there was another class of stories we learned as well. We learned of the hundreds, maybe even thousands of West Berliners who put themselves into significant danger to bring East Berliners out of their oppression and into the west. Many of these attempts succeeded, motivating many of the West Berliners to go back into East Berlin and bring more and more of the oppressed into the freedom of the west. Unfortunately, many of these attempts were also thwarted, and often it was the West Berliners who were helping their oppressed brothers and sisters who were killed.

Why would these westerners put their lives at risk for the easterners? 

Some were motivated by love. Many times a young woman or man would meet an East Berliner and fall in love. Sometimes it was to bring out the families of the ones they had already helped escape. But sometimes the motives were completely unselfish.

They all knew the danger. Why would they do such a thing? 

Three years ago, I "rode God's Train" through the valley of Breast Cancer. There were moments during this dark year of my life when nothing could shake my faith. There were also moments when I was weak. During one of these weak moments in my life, I received a card of encouragement from my best friend's father. He was a man I barely knew. I had met him only a handful of times. But what was the most significant fact was that he was nearing the end of his cancer walk and was suffering significantly from the radiation and chemotherapy treatments. In fact, his walk ended shortly after I received his note of encouragement, and he is now pain and cancer free, resting in the arms of Jesus.

Why would someone who was going through so much suffering in his own life, reach out to someone like myself? After all, my cancer was only Stage 1. I was certainly not considered to be "palliative" at that time. 

Another interesting part of our trip this past summer was a visit to two WWII concentration camps: Dachau and Auschwitz. What an eye-opener from thousands of angles. One thing that really touched me, however, was a story of a priest who willingly traded places with a young man who was to be killed. He was, after all, a prisoner as well, his suffering was far beyond anything that most of us will ever have to bear, yet he reached out and gave up his life for a total stranger. 

Why would he do such a thing?

One final example:

There is a prayer warrior in Africa. Despite the fact that he had serious problems of his own, he decided to put his own problems on the back burner and put all of his efforts into praying for the needs of others.

What was his personal motivation to worry more about other people's problems, which were often insignificant, comparatively speaking, than his own substantial problems?

When we are in the midst of problems, isn't it usually the case that we tend to focus on ourselves? Even the most unselfish among us see our own suffering as a time when we need to focus on ourselves. After all, haven't we spent most of our lives worrying about the needs of others? Isn't it our time now to receive?

I see this so often in my own life. I love praying for others. I love watching what God is doing in their lives. But when I have a need or when someone close to me has a need, guess where the focus of my prayers turns? To myself! After all, isn't it my "right"? My "reward" for always caring about and praying for others? 

Fortunately for all those East Berliners, the westerners who attempted to rescue them didn't think so. Fortunately for the young man in Auschwitz, the priest didn't think so. Fortunately for those in need who come to the attention of that prayer warrior in Africa, he doesn't think so. And fortunately for me, in my weak moment during my cancer walk, my friend's suffering father didn't think so either.

What motivates these people?

The Bible tells us that it's more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). I would like to propose that all these people understood this concept. They truly knew that it was more blessed to give, to think about others, to help others, than to receive. 

Encouragement is powerful, friends. It saved a young man's life in Auschwitz, it blessed hundreds of needy people around the world, it brought thousands of East Germans to freedom, and it brought me out of my self-induced depression. But that isn't the only benefits of encouragement. Join us next time for The Benefits of Encouragement, Part 2: The Payback.

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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Post  Admin on Fri 09 Sep 2016, 10:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 8, 2016
Communication

By Answers2Prayer
  "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." (Psalm 19:1-4)

I was far from being among the first persons to get on the train of text messaging. I was happy with talking on the phone. It didn't take long, however, to realize that I'd better get on board if I wanted to stay in touch with my grandchildren, who were totally into texting.

Communication has changed drastically in my lifetime. What used to be 'science fiction' is now reality. And it will no doubt keep evolving.

God communicates with us through many avenues...people, nature, circumstances, and primarily through His word. The Bible is never out of date, always reliable, and as applicable for us today as it was for people many, many years ago. 

Today 'the full Bible has been translated into 531 languages, and 2,883 languages have at least some portion of the Bible.'* There are more than sixty versions of the Bible (NIV, KJV, ESV, TLB, MSG, etc), yet the message is always the same as it has been. God desires to communicate His great love for us. Thank you, Lord, that you are always about the business of communicating your caring for us.

That is good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2015 
 
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Post  Admin on Wed 07 Sep 2016, 12:15 am

Welcome to the Nugget
September 6, 2016
Surprises!

By Answers2Prayer 
  Somebody said recently that Australians do not like surprises so I guess it goes with the territory that I and surprises are not generally addicted to each other. 

Recently on a trip to town to buy supplies to last a week, one wheel of the car hit a curb as it turned a corner. Bang, and I had a totally ruined and flattened a tyre. It was a surprise I did not want. Carefully I eased to the side of the street and looked for a place to use a phone. Mobile communication systems they do not work where we live, so I looked for a business that was open to ask an attendant to please phone road service.

It was early morning so the first business in the street was still closed. The second was also still closed and then, relief, the third was open and a young lady was sitting at her front desk. I asked would she please phone road service for me because I had a flat tyre. A gentleman sitting at a desk nearby jumped up and took my arm. "Let me," he offered and led me out the door to the car. 

Second surprise! It shook me. 

He and my husband opened the boot of the car, took the spare tyre out and with great difficulty in the awkward and narrow space between the curb and the wheel, he spent time and serious effort taking the dead tyre off and putting the spare on. He was exhausted as he finished and stood up. 

Third surprise. Nothing had prepared either me or my husband for such incredible help and kindness. 

Then, fourth surprise. To increase our amazement, he generously and politely refused any payment so we exchanged first names, shook hands warmly, and said good-bye. We could do nothing but purchase a box of chocolates for him and say in a little note that his kindness 'would never be forgotten.'

2. Surprises

Never be forgotten? How could mortal, forgetful me promise any such thing? Sometimes I even forget what day of the week it is! Of course I may forget but what he did not know was that we often speak to the Lord about him. 

I know that the kindness he gave us will be remembered to eternity because the Lord has a 'book of remembrance,' and a 'book of life.' (See Malachi 3:16 and Philippians 4:3 and various other places.) He keeps records which He will open: '...and the books were opened.'  (Revelation 20:12)

Yes, I may forget but God has the history. 

I love to remember this story and hope you will remember it, too.

Elizabeth Price

 
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Encouragement...It's something we all love to receive and we are all required to do...But it isn't always an easy thing. Join us on Saturday for part 1 of the new mini-series, "The Benefits of Encouragement" to learn how it not only empowers the one who receives, but also the one who gives!
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