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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Post  Admin on Wed 26 Jul 2017, 8:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 25, 2017
Three Truths to Count on in Desperate Situations

By Answers2Prayer 
Contact us  A wake up call is one of the "must-do's" when I stay in any hotel during my travels. So, in my recent trip last week, right before I laid my head on the pillow, I grabbed the phone to dial "0" for the front desk.

I pressed it and pressed it again. But there was no dial tone. The other keys were dead too. Hmmm...so I tried all other buttons hoping to get a dial tone.

Bad move because to my chagrin, I pressed one that responded, "9-1-1, what's your emergency?"

Yikes! I was too embarrassed to explain I was blind and had pressed the wrong key.

"I'm sorry," I said. "Please disregard."

Minutes later, there was a knock at the door. "Hotel staff, there was a 9-1-1 call from this room. Is everything alright?"

My cheeks grew hot. "Oh, yes everything is fine," I said. "It was a mistake."

After I chastised myself for pressing all those buttons, I realized I've done the very same thing before. When in the hotel room of despair, after losing my sight completely, I pressed the button of desperation. I pressed the button for answers from doctors, from my own ability. I tried to activate comfort and solutions on my own.

All lead me nowhere. But when I pressed the button in my heart to call upon Jesus, He answered. He knocked at my door offering the help I needed--the comfort of hope. The light in my darkness. The reassurance for my future. And when I hated my life, He offered the love to conquer it all.

Have you been there? Something happened to you, to your life, to your health or relationship? And you're pressing buttons in a desperate effort for answers...but none come.

Good news is that we're not alone. David must have been in the hotel room of desperation too because He relates three truths for us to embrace:

1. We can count on God's response. Rely on His attentive nature. And with confidence in our soul, we know He hears each sob and sees every tear. "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry." (Psalm 40:1).

2. He watches our desperate situation. He observes our struggles. And when we call upon Him, He comes to the rescue: "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire..." (Psalm 40:2a).

3. When our world is shaky, God knows where to transport us. He prepares the perfect place of freedom from our emotions and safety for our soul: "He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." (Psalm 40:2b).

God did that for David and He'll do the same for us today. When the pain sears. When the loneliness won't let go. When the sadness darkens our nights. And when worry nags inside--that's when we can press 9-1-1 in our heart. His answer is timely and His response powerfully loving.

Facing tough circumstances lately? Whom are you calling for help?
Janet Eckles
If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.

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Post  Admin on Sun 23 Jul 2017, 11:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 22, 2017
By Answers2Prayer 
  God has been speaking to me a lot lately about the complacency of the church and how it so often shirks its responsibilities to love one another. In fact, regarding the majority of the North American church, God recently gave me Psalms 102:6-7: "I am like an owl in the desert, like a little owl in a far-off wilderness. I lie awake..." In other words, the complacent church has become like that haunting image of the lonely owl fluttering about in the ruins...but it doesn't even know it!

And of course we all remember the not-so-nice words that Jesus has to say about the complacent church of Laodicea: "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot! So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I am going to vomit you out of my mouth!" (Rev. 3:17 NET)

Yes, we definitely want to stay away from complacency, but this isn't speaking specifically to one of us on an individual level, is it? This speaks to the church at large, right?

It was with this thought in my mind one morning that I decided to clean the years of accumulated grease out of the vent over my stove before having my worship and prayer time. I justified this decision by telling myself I would be able to spend quality time with God after the cleaning was done, and in all fairness, I did pray while I cleaned. I even prayed about the apathy and complacency of the church, and as I did, I felt proud of myself. I was "doing my duty" to the church and accomplishing a major task at the same time. 

Interestingly, when I did finally sit down for worship, God had some rather stern things to say to me from Ezra 9...

Here we find Ezra the priest down on his knees with torn clothing, pulling the hair out of his uncovered head and his beard, confessing and pleading with God to forgive: "When I heard this, I tore my cloak and my shirt, pulled hair from my head and beard, and sat down utterly shocked." (Ezra 9:3 NLT). 

What was Ezra's great sin?

As you read the chapter, you see that Ezra wasn't actually repenting from anything he, himself had done. He was interceding on behalf of the people: "Many of the people of Israel, and even some of the priests and Levites, have not kept themselves separate from the other peoples living in the land..." (Ezra 9:1 NLT). And he didn't just say a quick prayer, either. Ezra 9:5 tells us that he stayed in this position of humility and mourning until evening, and only then did he begin his prayer!

I wonder what Ezra had previously planned for that day? Had he maybe hoped to "clean" his "oven vent"? Whatever it was, he willingly put it aside in order to make the people his new #1 priority. Ezra wasn't complacent or apathetic; he truly loved the people enough to put their needs before his own plans. I, on the other hand, hadn't even been able to put aside the oven-vent-cleaning task long enough to have my routine worship and prayer time. I was guilty of putting my oven vent at a place of higher importance in my heart than God and the people He has called me to love and pray for. I was, indeed, guilty of the complacency and apathy I had been praying against.... 

I realized that day that simply praying against apathy and complacency in the church isn't enough. In addition, I need to do everything I can to avoid contributing to that complacency. 

Do you find yourself falling into this trap? Has your "oven vent" -- whatever there is on your to-do list -- become more important than those God has asked you to help? If so, then like me, you may have allowed apathy and complacency to creep into your heart. If Ezra loved the people enough to put aside everything he had planned for that day, to tear his clothing and pull out his beard, to confess and pray about a sin that he, himself, hadn't even committed, then perhaps we should also put aside our to-do lists, including the "oven vents", for a few brief minutes, and give our undivided attention to praying for and helping others. Will you join me today in making a personal commitment, not to just pray against complacency in the church, but to take steps to not contribute to that complacency? To love others and care for them the way Ezra cared for the people? If so, I invite you to pray the following prayer with me: 

Dear God, forgive us for our apathy and our complacency. We repent of our lack of love for one another. We repent that we allow our own agendas to stand in the way of what You would have us to do. We pray that, as part of the world-wide church, we would each "wake up", that we would put aside our "oven vents" -- all the things on our to-do lists -- and instead, we would rise up as mighty warriors, intent on being Your hands and feet on this earth. In so doing, we will be doing our part to fight against complacency in the church. In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen

I do know an excellent, easy way to get the accumulated grease off an oven vent, by the way. I'm happy to share my secret...but only after we have done all that God has placed on our hearts to do!

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 Thu 20 Jul 2017, 11:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 20, 2016

Just a Little Thing...What Harm can it Do?



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  How often have you heard someone say "It's just a little thing..."

Romans 3:23 tells us "For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." 

The worst murderer, the child molester, the drunk in the gutter...the worst thing you can think of is not a more punishable sin than that "little white lie". The wisest man on earth spoke about little foxes and vines: "Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes." (Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV)  

The great Johnstown Flood of 1889 began as a little crack in the dam but the end result was 2,209 persons lost their lives and property damage was US$17 Million.

Other little things are important, too. A smile, a hug, a kind word -- a little thing to be sure but it can make a world of difference in someone's life.

Have you ever had the blessing of holding a newborn in your arms? Such a little thing to be sure but what a joy it is.

Recently I learned the value of a little thing! I loaded my aging washing machine to begin my usual laundry day chores. The washer filled, swished, drained and -- stopped! I tried again. Again fill, swish, drain and stop! I live on a limited budget which has little leeway for a new washer. Oh what was I going to do? Pray! Yes, that was what I did -- oh, and call the repairman. After carefully checking each relay switch and each wiring connection he was about to give up; but being the careful technician he is, he just couldn't so he began to consider other possible causes. Ah ha! There was something between the two tubs. No, that wasn't possible -- but it was! A Sock! Just a little sock but a very expensive one to be sure. That day I learned firsthand the value of a little thing.

Now if I am tempted to discount the little things I remember my "very expensive sock" and know that the little things are important.

Wynona Gordon
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 18 Jul 2017, 9:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 18, 2017
Yes You Can
By Answers2Prayer 

  "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8 NIV)

A friend who was down in the dumps wrote me a letter a few weeks ago. His life was full of problems. His heart was full of worries. He was low on hope. He ended his letter to me with this question: "We can't really change this crazy world we live in, can we?" I answered him immediately and started my own letter with these words: "Yes, we most certainly can!"

I can still remember one of the first times someone changed my world. She was the music teacher at my elementary school, the guitarist at our church, and a family friend. I had a huge crush on her too and wanted to impress her more than anything. I had no talent at any instrument, however, and my singing while enthusiastic was quite awful. One day she let me try playing her guitar. I did my best but could only stumble along. When I was done I put my head down. "I guess I am not very good," I told her. She looked at me with her kind eyes, smiled, and said: "We are all good at something. You just need to find out what you are good at. Then you can share it with the world."

Those simple words changed me. They planted a seed in my soul that continues to grow to this day. They made me realize that I had something to give to others. I had something inside of me that was good and that could change this world for the better. I just had to find it, bring it out and share it. And that is what I have tried to do all of the years since that fateful day.

Can you change the world? Yes you can! You can change it and make it better every single day of your life. You can change it one choice, one person, and one kind act at a time. All you have to do is share your goodness. All you have to do is live your love. Mother Teresa once said: "God doesn't ask us to do great things, only small things with great love." Make your love great then! Live well! Do good! Change the world!

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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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 Sat 15 Jul 2017, 10:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 15, 2017

How Big is Your God? Part 2



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Last Thursday, in "How Big is our God, Part 1", we saw that no matter what we are going through, our God is bigger. The reason our circumstances seem larger than God is that we focus on them instead of on Him. The solution for keeping them in their proper perspective lies in keeping our eyes fixed upon Jesus. 

Why is it, however, that our eyes seem so naturally drawn to our problems and away from Jesus? Is it possible that we allow our circumstances to become--false gods? 

Now wait a minute. Even that idea seems harsh! Just because we are focusing on our problems doesn't mean we are bowing before them! 

Keep in mind, however, that false gods are not limited to idols made of wood and stone, and worship includes more than physically bowing before something. The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry defines false gods as follows: "gods that are not real but invented by men or inspired by demons. The purpose of which is to deceive people, so they do not believe in the true and living God." Thus, a false god can be anything that consumes our time and energy so much that it draws our attention away from God. It could be a spouse or a job; it could be addictions, pastimes, pets, etc. The point is, anything we allow to become big in our minds has the potential of becoming a type of god for us. 

In the context of our negative circumstances, if they have managed to draw our attention away from God or have made us doubt God's power, if they have managed to make it seem that God isn't there, isn't listening or doesn't care, if they have caused us to stop believing that God is bigger than our problems, then by definition, they have become a "false god". 

Let me illustrate:

The week before Easter was a horrendous week at the rehab hospital where I work. Circumstances dictated that a record number of people needed to be seen by a significantly-reduced number of staff. By Thursday morning, the day before Good Friday, I could see no solution to the workload without putting in several more hours of unpaid overtime. I was so tired and stressed by it all that I burst into tears: "I guess there will once again be no lunch for me," I sobbed, "and I'll be here until 6 tonight, and probably even later...Again!" 

If you are sensing a touch of self-pity in my words, you are very right. My problem was that I was giving the circumstances my entire focus. I was allowing the busyness at work to become my false god to the point that I couldn't seem to remember that God, the author of time, was way bigger than my lack of it. Hey, I couldn't even seem to remember there was a God! 

And my tirade of self-pity continued: "I'm so hungry. I have a headache. I have things I need to do after work..."

That's when God reminded me of this message that He had already been working into my heart: I was allowing my circumstances to become bigger than my God, and the enemy was using this to keep my focus away from the only One who could truly help me. I lifted my eyes to Heaven at that point, and as soon as I did, I heard God's voice in my spirit: "Why won't you get time off for lunch?"

But my circumstances still loomed so large in my eyes: "Because You didn't do Your job, Lord!" I ranted. "You promised me You would take care of the busyness at work today, but You haven't!"

Yup. By focusing on my circumstances, they had succeeded in making me doubt God's bigness to the point that I was actually accusing God! They had most certainly become a "false god"...

But that loving voice in my spirit wasn't daunted by my false accusations: "Is the day over?"

"Uh, no."

"Take lunch, Lyn!"

Slowly I nodded my head as I decided to take that step in faith. "Okay," I said, "I thank You in advance for coming through for me. I put the day and the work in Your hands, and I bless Your holy name for how big You are going to be in these circumstances today!" 

As I said those words, my mind was overcome with the wondrous love and power of God, and the circumstances shrunk back in my mind until they seemed like nothing at all.

I did take lunch, and when yet another new referral came in that afternoon, the all-big, all-knowing, all-powerful God of the universe sent me unexpected help. He then slowed time so that I could accomplish a lot more in my allotted charting time than is humanly possible, and I was packing my bags to leave by 4:40. Anyone surprised to know that I also finished everything at home, and I wasn't even late to bed? Oh, and I had such peace in my heart that entire afternoon that I was actually able to brighten my patients' day. 

In the light of the huge things you are experiencing, this example may seem trite; but let's remember that no matter what it is you're going through right now, God is bigger: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Rev. 22:13 NET). When we allow our circumstances, no matter how small or how large, to consume our focus and cause us to take our eyes off God, they will become a false god to us. They will loom over us, squashing our hope and feeding our fears. However, when we make that effort to see things from God's perspective, when we put our faith in Him, when we give Him the circumstances, no matter how big or small, fully believing that He is big enough to come through for us, He always does. Sometimes we have to wait, but even in the waiting, God will give us joy in our hearts; for we can be assured that no matter what our circumstances, our God is bigger!

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 14 Jul 2017, 9:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 13, 2017

How Big is Your God? Part 1

By Answers2Prayer 
  I've recently been in awe over the fact that my God is very, very big: "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." (Rev. 22:13 NET). What this means is: 

1. God is all powerful: "Oh, Lord GOD, you did indeed make heaven and earth by your mighty power and great strength. Nothing is too hard for you!" (Jeremiah 32:17 NET). 

If God created everything by His power, then nothing is too big for God's power! 

2. God is always present: "Where can I go to escape your spirit? Where can I flee to escape your presence? If I were to ascend to heaven, you would be there. If I were to sprawl out in Sheol, there you would be. If I were to fly away on the wings of the dawn, and settle down on the other side of the sea, even there your hand would guide me, your right hand would grab hold of me." (Psalm 139:7-10 NET).

There is simply no where we can go to get away from God. It doesn't matter how much it seems like God isn't there, He is! 

3. God knows everything: "O LORD, you examine me and know. You know when I sit down and when I get up; even from far away you understand my motives. You carefully observe me when I travel or when I lie down to rest; you are aware of everything I do. Certainly my tongue does not frame a word without you, O LORD, being thoroughly aware of it...Your knowledge is beyond my comprehension; it is so far beyond me, I am unable to fathom it." (Psalm 139:1-6). 

No matter where you are or what situation you find yourself in, God knows! 

I could go on with the list, but I think you get the point: God is very, very big! And a God who is that big is also far bigger than whatever problems we are going through.

This does raise some interesting questions, however: If God is always there, if He knows everything and is all powerful, then why, in the midst of our circumstances, can't we find Him? Why can't we see Him at work? Has He truly abandoned us to our troubles? 

A simple fact in life is that whatever it is we focus on will consume all of our attention. Take, for example, the movies. Every time I go to a movie theatre, I am impressed with the way a light emitted from a very small opening can project across the top of a large room to fill a huge screen with picture. I tend to get so caught up in the story I am watching that I forget it is nothing more than a projection from a very small light source. In the same way, when we focus only on our problems, they will seem to grow and spread until they overtake our every thought and action, making it impossible to see God's hand in our situations. 

I know that am making it sound as if the problems you are facing right now are small, and I know this is likely not true. A death in the family is not small. Neither is a cancer diagnosis or a spouse who has left home. And the loss of your job/home/car/support system is certain not small either! Big or small, however, when our attention is riveted on what we are going through, the results is the same: We can't seem to remember how much bigger God is, and our ability to see God at work is sorely limited.

There is, however, a rather simple solution, one that will help us to remember that no matter how bad things are, God is bigger: "...fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith..." (Heb. 12:2a NLT). Jesus had the ultimate problem before Him. In addition to being in the midst of horrific physical pain and mental suffering, He also carried the weight of every sin on His shoulders, and the outcome of the cosmic sin problem was completely in His hands. How did He make it through? "...for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:2b NLT). You see, Jesus knew His father was bigger than His circumstances. He knew God would come through, and this allowed Him to be able to focus on the outcome rather than on the problems at hand. 

Let's follow Jesus' example. Let's remember that no matter how bad the circumstances are, God is bigger and He will come through. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, especially in the midst of our trials, we will begin to see our circumstances from the perspective of our very big God! 

But wait. Is it possible that by focusing only on our circumstances, we are in danger of making whatever trials we are going through into...false gods...? 

Uh...surely not...

Please join us on Saturday for "How Big is Your God, 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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I don't know about you, but I'm enjoying the summer weather that has finally found us in Southern Ontario, Canada. Though summer is my favorite season, I must remember that I appreciate it a LOT more because of the harsh winters that can also assail us. Let's remember this as we're going through the "winter" times of our lives! It's because of the "winter" that we can best appreciate the "summer"! God bless you!
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Post  Admin on Wed 12 Jul 2017, 4:10 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

July 8, 2017

Giving Away my Peace
By Answers2Prayer 
  "Know God? Then you know peace. You don't always 'feel' that peace because you give it away by taking your eyes off the Prince of Peace!"

That was my tweet the other morning. And I firmly believed it. In fact, I left my prayer closet thanking God for His peace and for the fact that He had helped me learn to stop giving it away!
Then the "day" began to happen. And it was one of those days... 
It all started off when the nose pad on my glasses broke just before I needed to leave for work. Being extremely far-sighted, there was no way I could manage at work without my glasses, but with that little nose pad post poking into my nose, how would I be able to manage?
And I took my eyes off of Jesus and gave away my peace.
Things went downhill from there. Everything I touched ended up going--literally--"downhill"! We'll just say that the laws of gravity were definitely in effect as my cup slipped through my hands, dumping a freshly-made smoothie across my kitchen. Next the oatmeal pot slipped through my hands, dumping cooked cereal all over the stove top. I won't bore you with all the things that were affected by gravity, but suffice is to say, those gravitational laws were very much in effect all day, and since my hands seemed to be perpetually coated with some slippery substance, I can't even count how many messes I had to clean up. I will say, however, that the worst of them was when I dumped hot tea all over a patient...Let's just say it's not something you would wish to put on a resume...
I'm sure you can all relate, for though my day was filled with the kinds of annoyances that serve to put us in a bad mood, there was very likely a real disaster or two on your list of frustrations. Where is God in all of this? Why isn't He intervening? How will I ever make it through? 
Paul could also relate. He had a disastrous day as well, one that cumulated in a death sentence: "For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living. Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us..." (2 Cor 1:8-9a)
Unlike me, however, Paul didn't give away his peace. Instead, he goes on to say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (vs. 9b) 
Paul had a purpose: To turn his focus to God. 
Did it work?
It must have, for Paul then says: "He delivered us from so great a risk of death, and he will deliver us. We have set our hope on him that he will deliver us yet again..." (vs. 10-11)
Though it was the worst of days, Paul had peace. He knew would God come through for them. 
As I look back over my frustrating day, I see God's hand all over it. My student jerry-rigged my glasses, providing me with a temporary solution. She offered to see my lunch-time patients so I could make the 45 minute trip to the occulist, and then I actually made the round trip in a record 30. A patient cancelled, allowing for charting time, and my son and his girlfriend helped with all my evening chores. Oh, and the patient who received the hot tea "bath"? She just "happened" to be a former patient of mine from years gone by. After razzing me a bit, she laughed it off. Though it seemed I was going it alone, God was right there, carrying me through. I could rely on the God of peace to deliver me yet again. 
Hey, did God allow so many frustrations so that I, like Paul, could say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (2 Cor 1:9b)? 
Perhaps, for my eyes are certainly on Him today...Funny how the slippery hands and heavy gravitational pull don't seem to be quite as prevalent today...
Prayer: God, help me keep my eyes on You, so that no matter what happens today, I will keep Your peace! 
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:

Just how big is YOUR God? Join us on Thursday and Saturday next week for "How Big is Your God?" A mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."Welcome to the Nugget


July 8, 2017

Giving Away my Peace
By Answers2Prayer 
  "Know God? Then you know peace. You don't always 'feel' that peace because you give it away by taking your eyes off the Prince of Peace!"

That was my tweet the other morning. And I firmly believed it. In fact, I left my prayer closet thanking God for His peace and for the fact that He had helped me learn to stop giving it away!
Then the "day" began to happen. And it was one of those days... 
It all started off when the nose pad on my glasses broke just before I needed to leave for work. Being extremely far-sighted, there was no way I could manage at work without my glasses, but with that little nose pad post poking into my nose, how would I be able to manage?
And I took my eyes off of Jesus and gave away my peace.
Things went downhill from there. Everything I touched ended up going--literally--"downhill"! We'll just say that the laws of gravity were definitely in effect as my cup slipped through my hands, dumping a freshly-made smoothie across my kitchen. Next the oatmeal pot slipped through my hands, dumping cooked cereal all over the stove top. I won't bore you with all the things that were affected by gravity, but suffice is to say, those gravitational laws were very much in effect all day, and since my hands seemed to be perpetually coated with some slippery substance, I can't even count how many messes I had to clean up. I will say, however, that the worst of them was when I dumped hot tea all over a patient...Let's just say it's not something you would wish to put on a resume...
I'm sure you can all relate, for though my day was filled with the kinds of annoyances that serve to put us in a bad mood, there was very likely a real disaster or two on your list of frustrations. Where is God in all of this? Why isn't He intervening? How will I ever make it through? 
Paul could also relate. He had a disastrous day as well, one that cumulated in a death sentence: "For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living. Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us..." (2 Cor 1:8-9a)
Unlike me, however, Paul didn't give away his peace. Instead, he goes on to say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (vs. 9b) 
Paul had a purpose: To turn his focus to God. 
Did it work?
It must have, for Paul then says: "He delivered us from so great a risk of death, and he will deliver us. We have set our hope on him that he will deliver us yet again..." (vs. 10-11)
Though it was the worst of days, Paul had peace. He knew would God come through for them. 
As I look back over my frustrating day, I see God's hand all over it. My student jerry-rigged my glasses, providing me with a temporary solution. She offered to see my lunch-time patients so I could make the 45 minute trip to the occulist, and then I actually made the round trip in a record 30. A patient cancelled, allowing for charting time, and my son and his girlfriend helped with all my evening chores. Oh, and the patient who received the hot tea "bath"? She just "happened" to be a former patient of mine from years gone by. After razzing me a bit, she laughed it off. Though it seemed I was going it alone, God was right there, carrying me through. I could rely on the God of peace to deliver me yet again. 
Hey, did God allow so many frustrations so that I, like Paul, could say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (2 Cor 1:9b)? 
Perhaps, for my eyes are certainly on Him today...Funny how the slippery hands and heavy gravitational pull don't seem to be quite as prevalent today...
Prayer: God, help me keep my eyes on You, so that no matter what happens today, I will keep Your peace! 
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:

Just how big is YOUR God? Join us on Thursday and Saturday next week for "How Big is Your God?" A mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."Welcome to the Nugget


July 8, 2017

Giving Away my Peace
By Answers2Prayer 
  "Know God? Then you know peace. You don't always 'feel' that peace because you give it away by taking your eyes off the Prince of Peace!"

That was my tweet the other morning. And I firmly believed it. In fact, I left my prayer closet thanking God for His peace and for the fact that He had helped me learn to stop giving it away!
Then the "day" began to happen. And it was one of those days... 
It all started off when the nose pad on my glasses broke just before I needed to leave for work. Being extremely far-sighted, there was no way I could manage at work without my glasses, but with that little nose pad post poking into my nose, how would I be able to manage?
And I took my eyes off of Jesus and gave away my peace.
Things went downhill from there. Everything I touched ended up going--literally--"downhill"! We'll just say that the laws of gravity were definitely in effect as my cup slipped through my hands, dumping a freshly-made smoothie across my kitchen. Next the oatmeal pot slipped through my hands, dumping cooked cereal all over the stove top. I won't bore you with all the things that were affected by gravity, but suffice is to say, those gravitational laws were very much in effect all day, and since my hands seemed to be perpetually coated with some slippery substance, I can't even count how many messes I had to clean up. I will say, however, that the worst of them was when I dumped hot tea all over a patient...Let's just say it's not something you would wish to put on a resume...
I'm sure you can all relate, for though my day was filled with the kinds of annoyances that serve to put us in a bad mood, there was very likely a real disaster or two on your list of frustrations. Where is God in all of this? Why isn't He intervening? How will I ever make it through? 
Paul could also relate. He had a disastrous day as well, one that cumulated in a death sentence: "For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living. Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us..." (2 Cor 1:8-9a)
Unlike me, however, Paul didn't give away his peace. Instead, he goes on to say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (vs. 9b) 
Paul had a purpose: To turn his focus to God. 
Did it work?
It must have, for Paul then says: "He delivered us from so great a risk of death, and he will deliver us. We have set our hope on him that he will deliver us yet again..." (vs. 10-11)
Though it was the worst of days, Paul had peace. He knew would God come through for them. 
As I look back over my frustrating day, I see God's hand all over it. My student jerry-rigged my glasses, providing me with a temporary solution. She offered to see my lunch-time patients so I could make the 45 minute trip to the occulist, and then I actually made the round trip in a record 30. A patient cancelled, allowing for charting time, and my son and his girlfriend helped with all my evening chores. Oh, and the patient who received the hot tea "bath"? She just "happened" to be a former patient of mine from years gone by. After razzing me a bit, she laughed it off. Though it seemed I was going it alone, God was right there, carrying me through. I could rely on the God of peace to deliver me yet again. 
Hey, did God allow so many frustrations so that I, like Paul, could say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (2 Cor 1:9b)? 
Perhaps, for my eyes are certainly on Him today...Funny how the slippery hands and heavy gravitational pull don't seem to be quite as prevalent today...
Prayer: God, help me keep my eyes on You, so that no matter what happens today, I will keep Your peace! 
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:

Just how big is YOUR God? Join us on Thursday and Saturday next week for "How Big is Your God?" 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 Tue 11 Jul 2017, 12:29 am

Welcome to the Nugget


July 8, 2017

Giving Away my Peace
By Answers2Prayer 
  "Know God? Then you know peace. You don't always 'feel' that peace because you give it away by taking your eyes off the Prince of Peace!"

That was my tweet the other morning. And I firmly believed it. In fact, I left my prayer closet thanking God for His peace and for the fact that He had helped me learn to stop giving it away!

Then the "day" began to happen. And it was one of those days... 

It all started off when the nose pad on my glasses broke just before I needed to leave for work. Being extremely far-sighted, there was no way I could manage at work without my glasses, but with that little nose pad post poking into my nose, how would I be able to manage?

And I took my eyes off of Jesus and gave away my peace.

Things went downhill from there. Everything I touched ended up going--literally--"downhill"! We'll just say that the laws of gravity were definitely in effect as my cup slipped through my hands, dumping a freshly-made smoothie across my kitchen. Next the oatmeal pot slipped through my hands, dumping cooked cereal all over the stove top. I won't bore you with all the things that were affected by gravity, but suffice is to say, those gravitational laws were very much in effect all day, and since my hands seemed to be perpetually coated with some slippery substance, I can't even count how many messes I had to clean up. I will say, however, that the worst of them was when I dumped hot tea all over a patient...Let's just say it's not something you would wish to put on a resume...

I'm sure you can all relate, for though my day was filled with the kinds of annoyances that serve to put us in a bad mood, there was very likely a real disaster or two on your list of frustrations. Where is God in all of this? Why isn't He intervening? How will I ever make it through? 

Paul could also relate. He had a disastrous day as well, one that cumulated in a death sentence: "For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, regarding the affliction that happened to us in the province of Asia, that we were burdened excessively, beyond our strength, so that we despaired even of living. Indeed we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us..." (2 Cor 1:8-9a)

Unlike me, however, Paul didn't give away his peace. Instead, he goes on to say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (vs. 9b) 

Paul had a purpose: To turn his focus to God. 

Did it work?

It must have, for Paul then says: "He delivered us from so great a risk of death, and he will deliver us. We have set our hope on him that he will deliver us yet again..." (vs. 10-11)

Though it was the worst of days, Paul had peace. He knew would God come through for them. 

As I look back over my frustrating day, I see God's hand all over it. My student jerry-rigged my glasses, providing me with a temporary solution. She offered to see my lunch-time patients so I could make the 45 minute trip to the occulist, and then I actually made the round trip in a record 30. A patient cancelled, allowing for charting time, and my son and his girlfriend helped with all my evening chores. Oh, and the patient who received the hot tea "bath"? She just "happened" to be a former patient of mine from years gone by. After razzing me a bit, she laughed it off. Though it seemed I was going it alone, God was right there, carrying me through. I could rely on the God of peace to deliver me yet again. 

Hey, did God allow so many frustrations so that I, like Paul, could say, "...we felt as if the sentence of death had been passed against us so that we would not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead." (2 Cor 1:9b)? 

Perhaps, for my eyes are certainly on Him today...Funny how the slippery hands and heavy gravitational pull don't seem to be quite as prevalent today...

Prayer: God, help me keep my eyes on You, so that no matter what happens today, I will keep Your peace! 

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:

Just how big is YOUR God? Join us on Thursday and Saturday next week for "How Big is Your God?" 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 Thu 06 Jul 2017, 10:02 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
July 6, 2017

Three Things we must do when our World Turns Dark

By Answers2Prayer 
  That short hour the other night without electricity reminded me how wimpy I had become. Back in Bolivia where I was born, electricity and water only lasted till noon. And we adjusted, thought of it as normal and never thought to complain.

"Honey!" I called to my hubby the other night, "the phone is dead."

"Everything is dead," he said. "The electricity went out."

You see, for this blind gal, the fact there are no lights is no big deal. But when the phone or the computer don't work...that's major stuff.

My lights went off recently in a different way. I witnessed one of my closest friend suffer with a sorrowful situation with her family. Adversity seemed to darken her life with no warning. And her heartache and worry became mine. We prayed together on the phone and we asked for God's intervention. As we did, God used the centurion's story to remind me of the three truths to cling to when darkness hovers:

Jesus is attentive to our own sorrow, to small and big details, as well as when we pray for others: 

"When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 'Lord,' he said, 'my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering.'" (Matthew 8:5)

If we turn to Jesus, place all that aches before Him and wait; we'll find He's willing to answer. 

"He said to him, 'I will go and heal him.' The centurion replied, 'Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed.'" (Matthew 8:8)

Jesus observes our level of trust, our belief and our faith:

"When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following him, 'I tell you the truth. I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith.'" (Matthew 8: 10)

How much faith will you have as you place all your requests before Jesus?

Janet Eckles

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

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©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Jul 2017, 10:31 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


July 4, 2017

Shoe Boxes of my Mind



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34) 

I was looking through some of the shoe boxes of my mind today. Those are the places where I store all of the wonderful moments of learning and loving that I have had in this life. One such memory is of a simple picture drawn for me by a 5th grade student when I was a very young substitute teacher. I lost the real picture in one of the several moves I have made over the years, but the picture is still there in one of the shoe boxes of my cluttered, middle-aged mind.

It was drawn in crayons and colored pencils. There were lovely, red, Fall trees, green grass, and flowers under a golden sun. Under it were written the words: "You are the best teacher I've ever had." Now the strange thing was that I had only been her teacher for one day and I would never teach in her classroom again. That was the life of a substitute teacher. You hardly ever got the same class twice. Still, I was young and idealistic. I believed in what the great educator Leo Buscaglia had said about using positive, caring, and encouraging words with your students. That day I had taken the opportunity to tell that young artist how great her English paper had been and that she should "Keep up the wonderful work!" As school ended that day she handed me the picture, smiled, and ran out to her bus. I kept that picture in a special folder on my dresser and in a special shoe box in my mind. I was amazed at how my one kind comment had meant so much to her, and I thanked God for giving me the wisdom to say it.

Now that I am old and idealistic I see that every caring word we say, every act of kindness we do, and every bit of love we share makes a difference in this world. God loves us all and God created us all for a purpose. We are to love each other and make this world a better place in our own special way. May you do so today. May you fill all of your days with love and kindness. 

May you fill all the shoe boxes of your mind with memories of joy.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
Announcement:

The Illustrator and the Nugget have joined forces and are now on Facebook under the name Answers2Prayer. This group is dedicated to bringing people closer to our loving God through daily thought-provoking devotionals and inspirational stories.

Invite them to join us at by clicking here. They may either sign in or sign up, and once into their account, they can search for Answers2Prayer in the search bar (on the top right corner of the screen) and hit enter. Here they will find our new group, and they can click on "Join Group", hit "Confirm" and then enjoy daily encouragement.

As always, this is a free. Our goal is to help your friends and family make Jesus their focus!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 12:29 am

Welcome to the Nugget

July 1, 2017

Receiving Your Rachel
By Answers2Prayer   
 The story is recorded in Genesis 28 and 29. Jacob, fleeing his brother and far from home, received a vision of God (See Gen. 28:10-17), assuring him that God would: a) Give him the land of Canaan (vs. 13); b) Make him a mighty nation that would bless the world (vs. 14); c) Go with him and protect him (vs 15); and, d) One day bring him back to Canaan (vs. 15). Jacob then found himself in his Uncle Laban's household. He fell in love with Laban's younger daughter, Rachel, and willingly worked seven long, hard years to win her hand in marriage. On the day of his wedding, it must have seemed like his problems had finally turned around.

Until the morning after, that is, when he awoke to realize that he didn't married his beloved Rachel at all, but rather, her older sister, Leah!

What a dirty, nasty trick to play on someone. Why would this happen? Why would God even allow Laban to do such a thing? 

I have a good friend in Alberta who has suffered for years with chronic pain. In addition to this, she has been experiencing compounding health problems since the fall of 2015. She has battled an ongoing pneumonia that has taken away her voice, her endurance, and her ability to maintain her job. For several months of that time, she also battled angina. Throughout this, God promised her that her healing "is coming" and asked her to walk with Him in faith. The first bout of angina slowly waned, and she began to regain her voice, her strength and her endurance. Despite dealing with the death of her father in the midst of her recovery, she slowly built herself back up to nearly full-time work. That's when the second bout of angina struck her down. 

My friend's story is much like Jacob's. Just as Jacob received a vision of God in the midst of his initial trials, my friend was told by God that her healing was coming. Just like Jacob's life seemed to have been turning around, my friend was beginning to recover from her initial ordeal. In fact, we were already praising God for her healing. But just like Jacob would then receive the ultimate in deception right when he should have received the reward for his hard work, my friend was struck with and completely debilitated by that second bout of angina. 

I know all of you can relate to this, for this scenario is not foreign to any of us. Just as things seem to be settling down, something new strikes and we find ourselves worse off than before. I would be lying if I were to tell you that I am not shaken by these types of circumstances. In fact, they usually serve to thoroughly rock my faith, and I begin asking questions such as: "Why won't God heal me? Doesn't He love me? Have I done something to offend Him?" 

But has God really abandoned us to our troubles? Has He abandoned my friend? Did He abandon Jacob?

We don't yet know the outcome of my friend's story, nor of our own; but we do know the outcome of Jacob's story:

1. God worked something good out of Laban's deception. It was a result of the union with Leah, and not the union with the beloved Rachel, that both Levi and Judah were born. Levi would become the ancestral father of Moses and the entire priesthood, and Judah would become the ancestral father of King David, and later, Jesus Himself. It is yet another example of how God works good things out of bad situations: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Rom. 8:28 NLT)

In the same way, God will work something beautiful out of the trickery of the devil in my friend's life and in your life as well, for, "God has made everything beautiful for its own time." (Eccl. 3:11 NLT), and "The Lord always keeps his promises; he is gracious in all he does." (Ps. 145:13 NLT). 

2. In the end, Jacob did receive Rachel as his wife, and he didn't even have to wait long: "A week after Jacob had married Leah, Laban gave him Rachel, too." (Gen. 29:28b NLT). Yes, he did have to work another seven years to pay her dowry; yet, despite Laban's filthy trickery, Jacob did receive the desire of his heart.

And you will as well! 

Are you suffering from illness? Financial difficulties? Loss of job? Family problems? Death in the family? Loss of your home? Whatever it may be, this is the "Leah" that the devil has thrown your way to shake your faith. It doesn't matter what circumstance dictates. It doesn't matter what kind of horrible label the professionals are giving your set of problems. Do not despair, your "Rachel"--the touch of God in your situation--is coming! 

So what should we do while we wait? 

We should do what Jacob did:

1. He didn't get angry at God; rather he directed his anger at the one who was responsible for the deception: "'What have you done to me?' Jacob raged at Laban. 'I worked seven years for Rachel! Why have you tricked me?'" (Gen. 29:15 NLT). In the same way, we should not get angry with God. Rather, we should get angry at the devil who is trying to discourage us. We must recognize it for what it is: A dirty trick, designed to shake your faith, for the devil truly prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (See 1 Peter 5:8).

2. Jacob continued to patiently wait for Rachel: "So Jacob agreed to work seven more years."(Gen. 29:28a NLT). We must also stand firm and wait for God to come through. He will! He always does!

My friend's healing has begun. In fact, 4 days after this was written, she was given two new medications, and after just four weeks, there has been a marked improvement in her health overall. She will receive her "Rachel"...Her health will be returned to her, for God has promised it. The resolution to whatever circumstances you face right now is also coming. Hold on to God's promise in faith and wait patiently for Him to come through with your "Rachel"!

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:

Have you ever taken the time to contemplate, I mean REALLY contemplate the depth of God's sacrifice to us through the death of Jesus Christ? Visit us online for the previously-published series,  "The Sufferings of Jesus". 
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 29 Jun 2017, 10:18 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 29, 2017

BREXIT and All That! Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the concluding part of our series entitled "Brexit and all that", we shall cast the spotlight on a few more priceless benefits of being "in Christ"...

Family... 

"There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:28 NIV) 

Those who are God's children are now part of God's family called the Church. While there is a universal church, comprising of all God's children, the children of God also gather together to worship Him locally in a convenient place under the leadership of an anointed child of God (read Pastor). This constitutes the local church. While corporate worship is the primary motive of the local church, it is also binding on it to "build up and encourage one another" (I Thess 5:11/Eph 4:16/Rom 12:15), even while extending Christ-like love to those outside its portals. While on the subject, let it be said that spiritual bonds are stronger than the blood ties, for the former are eternal in nature, while the latter are limited to this side of Eternity only (Matt 12:46-50). 

The local church, in a way, is a silent miracle in and of itself. Therein, men from diverse backgrounds, with no pride whatsoever about their race, face or place of their upbringing, meet together with one common agenda: To experience their Heavenly Father's Grace and exercise His will (Acts 4:32-33). While on the subject, let me also state: never "exit" (unless there are some very, very compelling, valid reasons) from that Church by whose Ministry you were saved and baptized. There is a Sacred Covenant (in the eyes of the Lord) between you and those Church elders, that they would do all that is within their strength to further your spiritual welfare. On your part, you should co-operate with them in this regard (Heb 13:17). 


Fruit... 

"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:5 ESV) 

Remarked a wise saint, "The Christian life is not my responsibility, but rather only a response to His ability"! Not only our right standing (read righteousness) with our Heavenly Father emanates from us being in Christ, but also all our good deeds of loving and caring for one another, both within and outside the Church. We will share both the Gospel and our personal testimonies (Acts 8:25), both within the Church, where our aim is in the transformation of the nominal souls for good; and outside the Church, where our aim is to deliver the unbelievers from sin. This will stem solely from our relationship with our Father, and not from our own finite strength (Zech. 4:6). We supply the will, Christ supplies the power! That's why the Apostle Paul notes in his epistle to the Galatian Churches: "It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me...." (Ga.l 2:20 ESV). Then again, it comes as no surprise that in the middle of his amazing, unparalleled Fruit-bearing Ministry that the Wise Apostle declares: "For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me." (1 Cor. 15:9 ESV)

So there we are, dear friends. In the Christian realm, who we are actually depends on where we are and who is with us and in us! Say reader, are you "in Christ"? Hmmm...The privileges one has for being in Christ far outweigh the privileges the British might lose for opting out of the EU. So let's persevere in Christ!  

Prayer: Father, we are eternally grateful for having been rooted "in Christ". With Thy enablement, help us to spell out the benefits of being "in Christ" gracefully to those who are living without Him and bring them to your saving grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:16 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 27, 2017
BREXIT and All That! Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  Continuing our series entitled "Brexit and all that", today we focus on a few more priceless benefits of being "in Christ"...
Father... 
"So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith..." (Gal. 3:26 NIV) 

Not only are we treated as "faultless" in the eyes of God when we are in Christ (remember the first part of our series?), but when we put our trust in the Saviour's atoning work on the Cross (John 1:12), we are given the priceless privilege of at once becoming God's children in Christ. 

While Jews in biblical times came trembling to their temple, offering many sacrifices to appease God, and while other religions do not dare to call God their Father, only those who are "in Christ" can come joyously running into their Heavenly Father's presence, calling Him "Abba". And there is a ring of warm informality to the term Abba. In the Aramaic language, it is an equivalent of our contemporary Daddy or Papa. Consider this Scripture: "...For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, 'Abba! Father!'" (Rom. 8:15 ESV) 

There is no needless, frantic fear for God in a Christian's life, but only a deeply reverential fear. The life of those who are "in Christ" will be one long, joyous walk with the Father (Philippians 4:4-7). Yes, in this journey, the child of God may have some slip-ups, and subsequently there may be some painful discipline exercised by the concerned Father (See Heb 12:5-11), which again is the proof of the former's sonship; however, when it is all said and done, obedience to the Father for a Christian will not be a drag, but a delight. Rivers of joy will perpetually flow into his heart (John 7:37-38) throughout his spiritual journey, even as he fleshes out an "abundant life" in Christ (John 10:10). 

Freedom... 

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." (John 8:36 ESV) 

When one is walking with a heart full of Heavenly love and joy for the Heavenly Father, the human heart experiences full liberty. And why not? It has been set free both from licentiousness (bye, bye Epicurean philosophy! See Col 2:10-13) and of the need to gain Divine approval by rigid legalism (Farewell Stoicism, Pharisaical rituals et al! See Gal 5:1). What a blessed state! What a blessed state indeed!
 
Prayer: Father, what a wonderful privilege it is to be "in Christ". May we, who are experiencing the "priceless benefits" of being "in Christ", be ever grateful and loyal to Thee. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
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Post  Admin on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 11:28 pm

June 24

Welcome to the Nugget
June 24, 2017

BREXIT and All That! Part 1

By Answers2Prayer 
  Okay, it's a year since the Brexit News, when the majority in Great Britain voted to sever it's ties with the European Union (EU), hit the media headlines. Amazingly, however, at least at the time this was written, the Brexit News doesn't seem to be in any hurry to "exit" the International Media.... 

What has been the effect of Brexit after that monumental Thursday of June 23rd, 2016, when the British voters grimly voted for "divorce" with the EU? On the financial front, markets lost more than $2 trillion on a "dark Friday" the very next day. In India, for instance, at one point fallout of the Brexit vote resulted in Sensex plunging over 1000 points. 

Ironically, after having opted to "come out" of the EU, many expressed regret on Twitter with the #Regrexit hashtag, and proposed yet another referendum aimed eventually at "coming back into" the EU Fold. At the time of this writing, a petition to force another referendum had gathered momentum with more than three million signatures. Will there be another vote for rejoining the EU? Will the British come to learn that the economic benefits of remaining in the EU may actually outweigh the social ones that were persumed to come their way by opting out? 

In much the same way that the British may have not fully understood the economic benefits of remaining in the EU, Christians may also not fully understand the priceless benefits that would accrue to us for simply being "in Christ". In this Series of three parts, Yours Truly will attempt to bring to the fore some of the "unique benefits" which accrue to all those who are "in Christ". 


Faultless... 

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1 NET) 

In Christ, all erstwhile sinners are declared "faultless" before the Almighty God, for Christ has already "paid" for our sins on the Cross (2 Cor 5:21). The moment we accept the redemption plan of God in Christ, we are pronounced "innocent" in the Heavenly Court, whatever be our background till then (Col 1:22/John 3:3). It is so simply amazing that one needs to experience it to fully believe it. Didn't somebody say that the proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof? Yours Truly, experienced this first-hand one Sunday...to be more precise, it was October the 16th, 1983...all of 34 years ago. 

Conversely, the greatest penalty is reserved for those who do not accept God's redemption plan in Christ. If you take their action of not accepting that great salvation (Heb 2:3) to its logical conclusion, it is tantamount to treating Christ's great sacrifice on the Cross as of "no value" at all. Can there be a greater sin than that? Contextually, I am reminded of a saying: "Sinners would be condemned on the great day of Judgment, not so much for sinning, as for not accepting the Saviour". All of us inherit the fallen Adamic nature at birth, and until our last moment on planet Earth, the Divine, loving invitation, signed with Christ's blood, will always be hanging, so to speak, at the door of our hearts, until we accept the same. Here, I would like to herald--not from roof tops, but from mountain tops!--that God "would never condemn anyone who is born a sinner but would condemn only those who deliberately die as one", having never, in their lifetime, accepted Christ's invitation to be declared faultless in Him. 

Prayer: Father, what a indescribable act of Divine Grace and mercy it is on Your part to declare those of us who are in Your Son, our Saviour Christ, as faultless. May we ever be grateful to Thee for the same. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 9:35 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 22, 2017
A Sower Went Forth
By Answers2Prayer
"A sower went out to sow his seed...And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bear fruit an hundredfold." (Luke 8:5,8).

I have a habit of picking seed heads off flowers and planting them in pots of soil. If they come up I am pleased and if they don't, I have not really lost anything except a tiny brown speck that could be anything.

One particular seed, not expected to grow, came up. I have planted similar seeds and have been mostly pleased with outcomes. This one has left me somewhat perplexed to say the least!

It does not look anything like what it would be expected to look like. It has grown into a different shape, a different colour, the leaves are at odds with every other plant of the same family, and the small flower, while it can be forgiven for its size, bears no family likeness. 

I remember putting the seed into this particular pot so there is no doubt about its parentage. It is who it is supposed to be but it is nothing like who it is supposed to be! 

One day I found a tiny moth attached to one leaf of the new flower and it looked appealing. It stayed there for several days, drawing nourishment from the recalcitrant flower that would sustain it for its long flight afterwards. 

A friend called and I was excited to tell her of the new flower and its history. I even hoped she would want a cutting when the plant was big enough to part with a piece of itself. But she had blind thoughts and deaf ears and was totally unimpressed with what I thought was a fascinating experience to share. 

And that, I thought, it is like sharing something new you have discovered in your Bible. You are excited and you want to share it. You are overjoyed to share with a friend whom, you believe, will be as delighted as you are.

And what happens? Deaf ears and boredom. Calamity. You each go your way without having truly shared an experience you wanted to pour into her lap--sorry--ears. You are drained, disappointed, depressed.

Some day, however, your dead seed may bear fruit. It may come to life where it is least expected and it may be something others will want to examine and enjoy more than you could have believed possible. Your friend may come to you with a seed you planted and which she has kept with an honest heart until it patiently brings forth fruit. She comes to share her joy and you will understand why you must not disappoint her. 

As Jesus said, a sower went out to sow his seed, some fell on rock, some fell among thorns and others fell on good ground. Then he said, "Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God." (Luke 8:11).
 
Verse 15, "But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
 
You both rejoice together as you share yourselves. 

By the way, have you worked out what my unusual flower is? Daisy? -- no. Violet? -- no. Lobelia? -- no.

I grew its mother from seed and here she is: yes, a rose. My disaster flower is also a rose and I love it dearly. Just as the Lord loves those who are similar and those who are different in appearance, in education, in wisdom and in presentation for they, and we, too are 'roses with a difference.' 

Elizabeth Price
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 20 Jun 2017, 3:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 20, 2016
Walking Shoes

By Answers2Prayer 
  "…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace." (Ephesians 6:15)

My husband is not a shopper. But the sneakers he'd had for a long time had seen their day. He decided to bite the bullet and go for it, make a trip to the store and get some new sneakers before our trip.

The weather was gorgeous. We couldn't wait to get on our walking shoes and get going. Not too far into the hike, Ben said "You know, these shoes are kind of bothering me! They feel sort of tight or something."

We moved on. The sky was so clear, the air so cool, the trees so golden and glorious, that there was little thought given to the shoes again. Until we got back to where we were staying.

He peeled off his new shoes and socks, to discover not only an ugly blister rubbed on his heel, but also a bone bruise by his large toe. My husband's shoes were too small; the injuries he sustained took all week to heal.

In the sixth chapter of Ephesians, Paul tells us how to put on the armor of God. He says "wear shoes that are able to speed you on as you preach the Good News of peace with God". Other versions say "sandals of peace".

If I am not walking in peace, I'm not wearing the best walking shoes available. Thank you, Lord, the shoes you provide for us are not too small, not too tight, but rather always a perfect fit.

That's good news.

Irish Thursday Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy
Copyright 2016 All rights reserved.  
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Post  Admin on Mon 19 Jun 2017, 10:11 pm

A Norvell Note
You can now subscribe to A Norvell Note directly from the website by visiting www.anorvellnote.net.

Vol. 19 No. 25 | June 18, 2017

The Best Thing May Be Silence
“The one who knows much says little;
an understanding person remains calm. 

Even dunces who keep quiet are thought to be wise; 
as long as they keep their mouths shut, they’re smart.” (Proverbs 17:27, 28, The Message)


Imagine a vey long, uncomfortable silence here. 

Every time I read those words, I pause and reflect on the many times I have spoken out when I should have remained silent. I am also remind myself of the multiple times I have been engaged in conversations when all would have been better served by my silence. 

One of the freedoms we value most is our freedom of speech. Yet it is one of the freedoms we abuse the most. 

This verse from the New Testament addresses this: 

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29, NIV)

“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift.” (Ephesians 4:29, The Message)
 
So this is what I try to do before I open my mouth (or type). 

Is what I am about to say going to fuel the fire or calm the chaos? (Proverbs 17:27)

If the conversation is already tense and uncomfortable, my role should be to calm things, not to further agitate them. Making other people angry serves no purpose. There are times when I may need to speak up to confront injustice or correct an unchristian attitude, but if I end up offending or angering another person, is it really worth it? I want to be a voice that calms, a voice of peace, a voice that builds bridges with my words. 

What are my words and tone going to reveal about me? (Proverbs 17:2)

There may be times when making a fool of myself is a good thing… if it is a worthy cause. Generally speaking, however, proving that I am a “dunce” only confirms other peoples’ suspicions. If that happens, then my credibility is gone and my chances of making a positive impact are severely diminished. I want to be a voice that encourages, instructs, and uplifts. 

Are my words beneficial and helpful? (Ephesians 4:29)

Many of my words are kept to myself because I first ask, “Will these words benefit those who hear them?” If not, I should remain silent. If I consider my words as a gift, then I need to use them wisely, but also with restraint. I want my words to be helpful. I want my words to lift others up and encourage them. I want my words to be a gift. 

Before I say something that may violate one or all three of these principles, let me be quiet and allow you to consider them. If you find any value in them, please apply them and share. If not, the best option might be silence. 

Tom

A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017 Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.
 
A NORVELL NOTE by Tom Norvell
  - http://www.anorvellnote.com
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A NORVELL NOTE is a weekly inspirational article 
by Tom Norvell.
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Post  Admin on Sat 17 Jun 2017, 6:49 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 17, 2017
Giving's Secrets, Part 2: Motivation

By Answers2Prayer 
 Last Thursday, in "The Secret to Cheerful Giving, Part 1", we saw that not having enough to give is one huge barrier to cheerful giving. The first secret to cheerful giving, however, is that when we give according to how God asks us to give, we can be assured that God will provide for all our needs so that we, "...will abound in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8 NIV). 

Unfortunately, giving because we know God will repay us does not always result in "cheerful" giving. How can we ensure that our giving is not done "reluctantly or under compulsion"? 

I believe a second barrier to cheerful giving is related to what motivates us to give. Because God provids for all our needs when we give to others, it is easy for our giving to become motivated by our desire to receive that blessing of God. According to the Bible, however, this is not the proper motivation for giving! Consider the following:

1. "If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing." (1 Cor. 13:3 NIV). In other words, if we give for any reason other than love, we might as well not give at all. 

2. "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:8 NIV). If our motivation for giving is anything other than love, then according to 1 John 4:8, we don't even know God.

3. "This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." (1 John 4:10 NIV). God is our ultimate example, and He showed His love for us by...giving! 

4. "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." (2 Cor. 1:3-4 NIV). Though the context of this text is specifically "comfort", the idea is clear: God provides for our needs so that "we will be able to give them" the same gift "God has given us"! 

Our giving, therefore, must be motivated by pure, unselfish love. When it is, that love will drive us to give cheerfully to others, despite how little we have to give. 

Unfortunately, this type of love does not come naturally for us. How do we go about receiving this selfless kind of love that is required for becoming a "cheerful giver"? 

The answer comes straight from the Word of God. Please consider the following four texts: 

1. "And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." (1 Cor. 3:18 NIV). 

2. "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him." (4:7-9 NIV). 

3. "...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ..." (Eph. 3:17-18 NIV). 

4. "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV)

We can only find selfless love by making the effort to contemplate the glory of the Lord, by spending time with the Creator of the Universe, the One who loves us more than we will ever comprehend. As we do, God changes our stony hearts into hearts of flesh; and as our hearts begins to reflect His, selfless love will pour through us onto other people. 

The result? Selfless, cheerful giving! 

God recently provided me with a new ministry opportunity. At first I was frustrated that He would ask me to do even more when my time and energy were already so limited; but as God placed the secrets of cheerful giving on my heart, I decided to give it a try. The results were unbelievable. As I began spending more time in His presence, I found myself putting my trust in His unfailing love and faithfulness, and I soon began to see those around me with His heart of love. The initial change was subtle, but before long I was actually enjoying my time with those God was placing in my care. It was motivating to make them smile, to make a difference in their lives. In addition to this, there was somehow always enough time to get everything done, and I found I had energy to spare. All because God revealed to me the secrets of cheerful giving. 

Giving cheerfully to others. It's a simple, fulfilling concept; but to experience it to its fullness, we must spend time with God and allow Him to work His perfect love into our hearts. As we do, we will begin to trust God to supply all our needs, and cheerful giving will become a natural result of our changed hearts and motivations. 

"Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 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. 9:6-8 NIV). 

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 Thu 15 Jun 2017, 11:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


June 15, 2017

Giving's Secrets, Part 1: He is Able

By Answers2Prayer 
 Giving to others. It seems such a simple thing, and it is something that we are told numerous times in Scripture to do: "Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back." (Luke 6:30 NIV; see also Deut. 15:10, 16:17; Prov. 3:27, 11:24-25, 21:26; etc.). But we aren't just asked to "give"; we are asked to give "cheerfully": "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Cor. 9:7 NIV)

I know that many of you reading this already give to the Lord; but can our giving truly always be described as "cheerful"? Or is "reluctant" or "under compulsion" a better descriptor? Why is it sometimes so hard to cheerfully give what God asks us to give? 

I believe there are two primary reasons that cheerful giving is difficult for us, and these will be the subject of the next two devotionals as we attempt to unravel the secrets to cheerful giving. 

The first reason that it is sometimes hard to give "cheerfully" is that so often, "just getting by" uses all available resources. For example, if trying to meet your monthly expenses already stretches your pocket book beyond its limits, the thought of giving money seems impossible. If your own problems are looming so large that they consume all of your prayer time, then even the idea of interceding for others brings on anxiety. During times of high stress, we tend to put our time and energy into self-preservation and survival, and as a result, when we are asked to take on a new responsibility, we tend to be incensed: What? I don't have enough for myself, and God wants me to do...more? 

Yet we know that our loving Father--who would never ask us to do the impossible--has told us to give, and to give cheerfully... 

Let's take a look at one of the Bible's most powerful passages about giving: "Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 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. 9:6-8 NIV). 

Notice in particular, the final line: "And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all thingsat all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." In other words, when we give of our time, our talents and our resources, even in times of high stress when our resources are already limited, God will provide so that we have everything we need in order to do even more giving! 

How can this be?

Paul, the writer of the 2nd letter to the Corinthians, goes on to further explain: "As it is written:
'They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.' Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness." (2 Cor. 9:9-10 NIV). 

Herein lies the first secret to cheerful giving: We don't need to worry about our resources! Remember Phil. 4:19? "And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." (NIV). When we give according to how God asks us to give, despite our own lack of resources, we can be assured that we will have: "all that need..." and that we, "...will abound in every good work." 

I remember the testimony of one of the prayer warriors in this ministry. Although he said nothing initially, he had significant need. He felt the call of God on his life, however, and he committed himself to praying--not for his own needs--but for the needs of others. As he continued to intercede on behalf of other people, this particular prayer warrior's blessings began to flow. Soon he had a wonderful job, a lovely wife and family, and his health issues are now things of the past. 

It makes you think, doesn't it?

Giving because we know God will repay us does not, however, always result in "cheerful" giving. Join us on Saturday for "The Secret to Cheerful Giving, 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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Post  Admin on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 9:20 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 10, 2017 

Responsibilities
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  When our boys were young, we purchased a 10-foot pop-up trailer and towed it through most of Canada. It proved to be an inexpensive, fun way to travel, and some of our fondest vacation memories are of camping in the Maritimes, traipsing across the Canadian prairies--and freezing in the Canadian Rockies! 

There was actually a fair amount of set-up and take-down required for the little trailer, and at each stop, we each had our assigned responsibilities. The boys and I would level the trailer while Rob hooked up the water and electricity, then we would all raise the roof and pull out the beds. From there, my responsibilities were inside the trailer, while the boys and their dad finished setting up the outside camp.

The book of Ezra also speaks of a trip where each member of the traveling party was given responsibilities. The Babylonian captivity is over (See Ezra 1), and the temple has been rebuilt (See Ezra 6:13-18). We see Ezra receiving support from the Persian King (See Ezra 7:6). We see the king donating articles for the temple in Jerusalem and placing them in Ezra's care (See Ezra 7:6-18). We see Ezra gathering volunteers to come to Jerusalem to act as attendants for the house of God (See Ezra 9:17). We see the group fasting and praying for God's protection on the trip (See Ezra 8:21-23). Finally, part of the temple treasure is assigned to each of the priests and Levites, and they are given the responsibility of ensuring that their allocated treasure arrives safely in Jerusalem. 

Our Canadian vacations and Ezra's trek to Jerusalem both make me think of yet another voyage: The one we are all making through life. Our destination is Heaven, and we are urged to make this trip with endurance: "and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us..." (Hebrews 12:1). Just like each member of my family, as well as each member of Ezra's traveling group, were given responsibilities, we have each been given responsibilities for the journey through life. God may not be asking us to set up a pop-up trailer or carry temple-treasures to Jerusalem, but He's given us the two-fold responsibility of loving one another and sharing the gospel: "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34); and "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matt 28:19-20). 

While setting up our pop-up trailer, one member of my family would occasionally forget to do part of their assigned job. You can believe me when I say this created stress for the rest of us, for we would have to pick up the slack. Imagine what would have happened if one of Ezra's group had shirked his duties. It would have put undue pressure on others who were already struggling to fulfill their own obligations. Now imagine what trouble it causes when we shirk our responsibilities to God's work...

Let's not shirk your God-given responsibilities. Let's not burden someone else with what God has called us to do. Let's carry our own part of the load; for in the end, this will result in millions, perhaps even billions, coming to know the Lord. 
Think about it!
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 Thu 08 Jun 2017, 10:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 8, 2017
God's World

By Answers2Prayer 
  "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt. 6:19-21 NIV)

For a long time I wanted to live in a world of my own making. I carried this world around in my mind like a secret treasure and did all I could to bring it into reality. In my world I was famous for the things I wrote. I was on television, gave speeches, and was respected by all the great minds of this world. In my world I was rich beyond belief. I had money, mansions, cars, and boats. I went on vacations and lived in the lap of luxury. In my world I was loved by all whether I deserved it or not. I got anything I wanted from the people around me and my days were spent in comfort and ease.

Of course, this world never came to be. It remained in my mind and after a time lost its luster. I realized that it was full of the hollow, egotistical dreams of an immature mind. It took me a while to give up this world and accept another but when I did I got more happiness than I could have ever dreamed.

The world I finally accepted was the world God had in mind for me. In God's world I wrote without thought of reward. I wrote to share the truth and love He had placed inside of me. I was amazed too at how many people I touched by sharing it. In God's world I wasn't rich by the standards of this world but was rich in the treasures of Heaven. I was full of kindness, compassion, and the true joy that only God can give. In God's world I was called to love others whether they deserved it or not. I was called to give, share, and care and my days were spent in work and growth. I am still here in God's world today. I am living in His love. I am becoming the person I was meant to be, doing what I was meant to do and my life has never been better.  

May you always choose to live in God's world. When you do you will have love. When you do you will have joy. When you do your life will be forever full of meaning and purpose.

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Jun 2017, 11:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


June 6, 2016

How you Say It



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "O Lord God, You are God, and your words are truth." (Samuel 7:28) 

As I was getting a dish of the strawberries for my young granddaughter, I was thinking to myself, "I got these beautiful large strawberries on sale and they've been in the refrigerator for over a week. They're getting moldy and are about on their last leg so they need to be eaten today or tossed out." 

After rinsing the berries and cutting out any yucky parts, I took the bowl to the table, explaining, "There are only a few strawberries left, and I saved them for you! You can dip them in powdered sugar; it will be a yummy dessert after lunch today." 

Both were true, my thoughts and my words, although one was negative and the other kinda had a spin to it. My Mom used to say it doesn't matter so much what you say as how you say it. 
Theologians and scholars estimate there are more than seven thousand promises from God for us in the Bible. No spin, no twist, no hidden agenda. They are said straight-out. Whenever we read or hear any of them, we can trust its validity and truth. 

Test any of them and see. It really is all in how you say it, and God's Words never says it any other way than perfectly. 

That's good news. 

Irish Thursday Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy
Copyright 2016 All rights reserved.  
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Post  Admin on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 3, 2017

Therapy Vs. Education

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Although it can be stressful at times, my job in stroke rehabilitation as a Speech-Language Pathologist/Therapist (SLP/T) is highly rewarding. I have the privilege of helping people relearn communication skills. For me, the ability to communicate skillfully is one of the most important parts of being human. 

There is a part to my job, however, that I do not find as pleasant: Education.

As a general rule, the public at large thinks that speech therapy is only important for those who have difficulties with pronunciation and are difficult to understand. Although this is, indeed, an important aspect of my job, communication is far broader than this. It includes our abilities to understand, to read and write, and to be able to recall the words we want to say. And all of these things are impacted by such basic cognitive skills as memory, attention, problem solving, reasoning and pragmatics. 

As a result of this broad scope of practice, approximately 90% of the stroke survivors who are referred to me require speech therapy. Unfortunately, only about 25% of these survivors realize they need it, and the first words out of the mouths of the other 75% are usually along the lines of telling me that there is nothing wrong with their speech. They then usually go on to express their surprise--and often their anger--at having to "waste" their time on speech therapy. They do not understand that according to an individual's needs, speech therapy can work together and augment physical and occupational therapies. 

My first job, then, has nothing to do with helping them with their communication difficulties; rather, I usually spend the first couple of sessions providing them with education. Once they understand that they do have stroke-related deficits that fall under my scope of practice, most of them are eager to participate. Nonetheless, it is only after all that education that we are actually able to begin assessing and treating the problems. It seems like such a waste of precious therapy time; however, a problem cannot begin to be fixed unless the patient realizes he or she has one. 

The same is true in ministry. Just as I have two parts to my job, therapy and education, we have been given a two-fold mandate. 

First of all, we are to: "...Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." (2 Thess. 5:11 NIV. See also 1 Cor. 14:26; Heb. 10:24-25; Col. 3:16, etc.). Just like I work to help people grow and develop their communication skills, we all have a responsibility of helping our fellow followers of Christ desire to grow, develop, and mature in their walk with the Lord. 

For many Christian mentors, helping others grow in the Lord is the "easy" part of the job. It is not, however, all that we are asked to do, and the second part can be a bit more difficult: Just like I, as an SLP/T, must try to convince my patients that they have communication difficulties and need speech therapy, our first responsibility to the Lord's work is to help people understand they have a sin-problem and that they need a Saviour. Isn't this what the Great Commission is all about? "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." (Matt. 28:19-20a NIV) And in case Jesus' final words aren't enough motivation for us, there are many other texts in the Bible that encourage us to witness: "but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8 NIV. See also Acts 9:15-16, 13:30-31, 1 Peter 2:9, etc.) 

Witnessing, however, doesn't come easily for most of us, and we have to ask ourselves "why". Don't we want them to be saved? Don't we love them enough?

In my work, I can get very tired of always having to defend my scope of practice. Sometimes I don't even want to go up to a new patient because I already know what they are thinking: "Another SLP/T that I don't need!" I suppose it could sometimes be said that I am afraid of their rejection. 

I think the fear of rejection is also often a key reason why we are hesitant to witness. However, when we let our own fear of rejection and ridicule stop us from witnessing about Jesus, we are putting our own needs and feelings above the needs of others. We are told that all fear has its roots in lack of love: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." (1 John 4:18 NIV). Therefore, when our fear of ridicule and rejection keeps us from witnessing, is it, perhaps, a sign that we truly don't truly love in the way Jesus asks us to! 

One last parallel between my job as an SLP/T and ministry: Studies have shown that it is in the early stages following a stroke that therapy can have the greatest impact. Thus, it is important to begin speech therapy as soon as possible. Isaiah 55:6 tells us: "Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near." (NIV). This suggests that there is a limited amount of time for us to be able to teach others about God! 

I don't know about you, but I think I will try to put my time and effort, not just into helping those who already know the Lord to grow in their Faith, but also into bringing knowledge about Jesus to those who have no knowledge of Him! 

Will you join me? 

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 Thu 01 Jun 2017, 2:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
June 1, 2017

Oh Yes, You Can!
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19 NIV).

I'm not sure how I came so often to sit beside my grandmother when we had family gatherings. But I remember that sometimes she'd just quietly beckon me toward herself.

Now Grandma always had handwork in her fingers as she sat in her corner after helping with meals. Crocheting, tatting, or knitting of mittens it would be--if she was not mending--but on special occasions, the mending basket was out of sight.

Grandma would put whatever she was doing into my hands. "I can't do that," I would say. "Oh yes, you can!" was her reply. And movement by movement she'd coach until I was going smoothly. I gained confidence from Grandma's encouragements--confidence so that before I was a teen, I was doing various kinds of "handwork" and mending on my own. I went on to do machine sewing of clothes.

Jesus, even far beyond my grandma, was a unique teacher: He said, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Mathew 11:29).

Jesus put his work into others' hands. By Lake Galilee, the brothers, Peter and Andrew, experienced Jesus' invitation: "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Immediately, the brothers James and John, too, followed Jesus' calling. 

But Peter, like me, had his self-doubt--adamant self-doubt; he fell on his knees: "Go away from me, Lord; I'm a sinful man!" (Luke 5:8). He was viewing the great catch of fish Jesus had caused to be in his nets, when, having caught nothing all night, he had that morning, at Jesus' command, let down his nets once more. Peter felt unworthy. But again Jesus urged Peter on: "Don't be afraid, from now on you will catch men" (Luke 5:10b).

Then there was a tax collector, Matthew, sitting at the tax booth: "'Follow me,' Jesus said to him" (Matthew 9:9b). On seeing that Jesus later had dinner at Matthew's house, some criticizing Pharisees jibed at Jesus' disciples: "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'? (Matthew 9:11b)" Jesus, hearing this, said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means, 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners" (Matthew 9:12,13).

And Jesus didn't stop there: After his resurrection, Jesus told his disciples to "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19a). He posed no limits. And not for you or for me.

Oh yes, you can! As I can. For Jesus added, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age" (28:20b).

Prayer-- Lord Jesus, thank you for your teaching, and for the great privilege you have given us of learning from you and taking your Word and your Way to all people. We praise you for your promise to be with us always, to coach us movement by movement by your Spirit. Direct and sanctify the attitudes of our hearts and the words of our mouths, for your Name's sake. Amen.

By Isabel Allison 
 
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Post  Admin on Sun 28 May 2017, 9:51 am

Welcome to the Nugget
May 27, 2017

Let Them Pray, Part 2
bible
By Answers2Prayer 
Last Thursday, we saw that no matter what the nature of the problem you are going through, the fix is the same: "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray." (James 5:13 NIV).

But what if you do pray, but you don't see results?

The Bible teaches us: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt 21:22 NIV). This is a promise: Whatever we ask for in prayer, believing, we will receive! 

But does this mean we will see the results we expect? The ones we desire? Does it mean that those results will always be, like the turn-around with my patient last week, immediate? 

No, it doesn't.

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, God promised me about 15 hours before I found the growth that He would heal me. I had no idea what He was referring to, until I found that odd "bump" later that same day; and then I just assumed that His promise meant He would remove the tumor before I ever got to see the doctor. When He didn't, I was a bit annoyed. I decided then that He would wait until it was confirmed that I actually had cancer. Again, I was doomed for disappointment. God did not take the tumor away, and as a result, I had to go through the agony of the needle biopsy, I was required to have surgical intervention, and it was necessary to have long-term treatment. 

When I look back, however, over the past four years, I realize that God did, indeed, keep His promise. He healed and re-established me 100%. He didn't do it in my timeline. He didn't even do it in the miraculous way I expected it to be done. Instead, He used modern medicine. Nonetheless, He kept His promise to heal me. 

Why? Why was I healed in His way and not mine?

I don't know the answer to that question. When I look back, I can see how God carried me so tenderly through those hard times. I can see His hand of mercy and grace on my life more times than I can count, and in the end, I have learned so many beautiful lessons about depending on Him. Perhaps the most important lesson learned, however, was that God loves me. No matter what I am going through, I never need to doubt that fact! 

Have you prayed about your situation? Has God given you a promise of restoration, but you don't see any results? Then consider the fact that God may be answering your prayer in a different way from what you expect. Rest in the promise that He will answer your prayer, and that He does, indeed, love you so very much; and then sit back and watch for His hand in your life and in your situation. I can guarantee you that you will be blessed beyond reason, and maybe, just maybe, at the end of it all, you will say, just as I did after cancer, "God, thank You for allowing me to take this ride through the valley of ______ --with You!" 

Don't forget to pray, don't forget that God answers all of our prayers: "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt 21:22 NIV); and especially don't forget this vitally important fact: God loves you, and as long as you put your trust in Him, His perfect love will cast out your fear, for: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." (1 John 4:18 NIV)

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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