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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Post  Admin on Tue 21 Mar 2017, 11:18 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 21, 2017
What Went Right

By Answers2Prayer
"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things." (Phil 4:8 NIV)

Today I made the mistake of turning the news on. I found my senses instantly assaulted with stories of fighting politicians, corrupt corporations, and countless crimes. It seemed like the only news worth showing was mankind at its very worst. It seemed like the only thing they wanted to talk about was what went wrong today.

After a few minutes I turned the television back off. I poured myself a glass of iced tea, sat down at my kitchen table, and instead thought about what went right today. Today the sun came over the horizon and bathed the world in its golden, life-giving light. Today my little house once again kept me warm, safe, and dry. Today I had 3 meals of wonderful food that kept me healthy, alive, and energized for the work of the day. Today whenever I reached my hand down I had a furry head to pet as my dogs and cat shared their unconditional love with me. Today I got to hug and encourage my handicapped sons and see the boundless joy that they share with the world.

Today I talked with my daughter and was once again amazed at the incredible, young woman she has become. Today I got messages from friends and family both online and off sharing their lives and their love with me. Today I shared a few messages of love and joy myself. Today I felt God's love for me flowing through all of His creation and encouraging me to once again spread His love, tell His truth, and shine His light.

When you are at the end of your days in this world are you going to dwell on what went wrong or rejoice in what went right? God showers this world in goodness and we need only to open our hearts to see it. Rejoice in everything that goes right in your life then. Give thanks for it. And do your best to add your own goodness, kindness, and love to it as well. By doing this you will be helping God to make this Earth a lot more like Heaven.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 18 Mar 2017, 5:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 18, 2017
The Secret to Success

By Answers2Prayer
I don't know about you, but I am a pretty self-confident person in most things that I do. I am an accomplished cook; I have successfully raised two wonderful, Christian boys; after 34 years, I am still happily married; I have been a registered, practicing Speech-Language Pathologist for 29 years and feel like I know what I'm doing; I have successfully taught classes and run small groups; I know what I'm doing with laundry, house cleaning, etc; I have published a book...The list could go on; but as I think about these accomplishments, I realize that I have become very reliant on myself.

Of course, there was a time in my life when I wasn't confident at all. When I was young, I was extremely shy and insecure, and I didn't feel I could do anything well. Therefore, when I began to see some of my strengths and began to understand that I was, indeed, talented in many ways, I became more secure in myself and my own abilities. I suppose it would be accurate to say that my self-reliance has been cultivated and groomed, and the product of this is that I feel much more secure in many, many areas of my life. As a result, when I was asked to lead out in a new small group in our church, I felt completely equipped and secure in my own ability to do so.

This feeling of self-sufficiency carried me through the planning, organizing, advertising...In fact, it carried me right up to three days before the group was to start. That's when I finally began to listen to God's voice, and what I heard burst my bubble: Unless I admitted my weakness and let God be my strength, I could not do this. It was destined to be a failure.

I was humbled, to say the least, and my next prayer was for God to show me what there was in my life that would keep me from being successful in leading this small group.

Bad question. Or good, depending on your point of view.... God began revealing to me in rapid-fire succession many, many things that would stop the group from being a success. Ouch! I truly wanted this group to bring glory to God, and I immediately set about humbling myself, repenting and asking God to continue to cleanse and heal my heart.

There was one huge issue that God revealed to me, one that would be the biggest adherent to my ability to successfully lead this group: self-reliance!

Wow. All those years of cultivating this sense of self-worth and reliance, and now God wanted me to just hand it all over? He wanted me to admit I wasn't capable? That I didn't have the required skills?

As I was contemplating this, God led me to read just one line in John 5:19: "Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do...'" (NKJV)

Wait a minute! Jesus is saying here that He, Himself can do nothing, that He can only do what God is doing! That hit me like a ton of bricks. If Jesus Himself could do nothing on His own, how was I to think that I had any ability on my own to lead this group--or to do anything--in life?

I resolved right then that I would stop relying on myself, even for the areas of my life where I was an accomplished person. I realized that no matter how good my skills are, they would be enhanced if I let God work through me, and I resolved to go about that day--and everyday--with this prayer on my lips: "Father God, I cannot do this to its maximum potential on my own. I am too weak. May Your strength be perfected in my weakness!"

It was amazing how beautifully the rest of that day went. Devotionals flowed from my fingers, meals were fabulous, the laundry was done in record fashion, arguments were stopped before they started, and I had time to do chores that should have been done weeks ago. What a beautiful day!

And just imagine how beautiful it would be to carry on this attitude throughout every area of my life. Imagine how much more powerful my interactions with my patients would be, how much more effectively I would be able to assist and grow my current student intern, and of course, how much more of a blessing the small group would be to that handful of members.

Friends, the secret of success in everything we do is not rooted in our knowledge or training or experience, and certainly not in our self-confident, self-reliant attitudes. The secret to success lies in that small verse from John 5: We are to watch where God is working and join Him there. We need to acknowledge our own weakness and allow His strength to be perfected in us, for when we do, everything we touch will bless to its maximum potential. But when we don't, we are destined to do a mediocre job at best, and more than likely, we will fail.

Secrets to success? 1) Submission to the Father's will; 2) Humility; and 3) Total reliance on Him...Just like Jesus, our ultimate example!

"Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner." (John 5:19-20 NKJV)

Oh, and my first small group meeting went beautifully. Not because of me, but because I humbled myself before God, admitted my weakness, and allowed His strength to be perfected through 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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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Mar 2017, 11:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 16, 2017
The Poison Apple

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us The tomato was once known as the "poison apple". This myth was held for over 200 years in Europe due to the fact that aristocrats got sick and died after eating them.

The truth of the matter was that the high society in Europe used pewter plates. Pewter has a high lead content, and the acidity in the tomatoes served on a pewter plate would leach the lead from the dish. Those who then ate the tomatoes from that plate often succumbed to death by lead poisoning. Because other foods served on the same pewter dishes did not have the same affect, it was assumed that the tomato was the culprit. As a result, the myth became popular belief, and the innocent fruit that is extremely high in nutritional value, was given a bad name and avoided at all costs.

I wonder how many such myths humanity has believed over the years. True enough, each one is grounded in innocent ignorance; nonetheless, harm could have been avoided if only the truth had been known.

John 7 records an interesting story, one that is also based on ignorance. Jesus had gone to Jerusalem for the Passover, and after listening to His inspired talk, many were convinced this was the Christ they had been awaiting: "On hearing his words, some of the people said, 'Surely this man is the Prophet.' Others said, 'He is the Messiah.'" (John 7:40-41 NIV). Some, however, did not believe: "Still others asked, 'How can the Messiah come from Galilee? Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David's descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?'" (vs. 42).

But wait! Jesus was born in Bethlehem. He was of the seed of David. What was the people's problem?

Simply this: Just like the people of 17th and 18th century Europe didn't have all the facts, the people of Jesus' day did not have all the facts either. They did not have the gospels, and their social media was mouth-to-mouth gossip that took a long time to get from one side of Israel to another. The people did not realize that Jesus was, indeed, of the line of David, nor did they know the circumstances that had brought his parents to Bethlehem just in time for His birth. They were ignorant, and Jesus became to them a "poison apple", someone to be avoided at all costs.

It's sad, isn't it, how ignorance can take us away from the things that could truly benefit us.

Many of you are going through difficult times right now. Maybe it is serious illness or injury. Maybe it is financial problems, loss of jobs, homes, etc. Maybe it is persecution or war. Maybe it problems with relationships or even death. Whatever it may be, the future looks grim. Have these facts that surround us become "Poison Apples"? Are we basing our beliefs on the visual evidence without taking the time to properly investigate Truth, the Truth that God promises to provide for all our needs? ("And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." Phil 4:19 NIV) The facts that God can heal all our diseases? Forgive all our sins? Rescues us from our troubles? ("Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits--who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion..." Psalms 103:2-4 NIV)

Friends, no matter what is knocking at your door this day, remember that you have a choice to make: You can choose to let it be a "poison apple", or you can choose to place your trust, not in what you see, but in the Truth of God's Word.

A wise man summed it up nicely: "Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark." (Rabindranath Tagore, as quoted in "Hope Springs" by Ana Lisa de Jong). Let's not succumb to the "poison apple" mentality. Instead, let's put our trust in God and in the promises of His Word. When we do, we feel the light and we sing; even when the dawn of deliverance from our problems is still dark.

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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What lessons do the letters to the seven churches in the book of Revelation have to teach us? Check out the recently-published mini-series: Studies on the Seven Churches of Revelation!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

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Post  Admin on Wed 15 Mar 2017, 10:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 14, 2017
Winds of Change



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 3:8)

A few years back change was brewing in our home. We had enjoyed a season of peace and calm without any crises. However change was in the wind. Circumstances were stirring with my husband's job. For a while it was a breeze, not a full gale hurricane.

Everything is for a season, the good times as well as the bad times. Each change takes some of the old with it, yet brings something new. That's always somewhat difficult for me. Change is certain, yes. But the unknown is still a little scary.

In the Bible, we read that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. In the book of Matthew (28:20), Jesus promises that the same faithful God who is with us today will be with us in the newness of tomorrow. We don't have to be alone! That takes the fear out of it.

I have to remind myself, sometimes daily, that when I feel anxious I have jumped into the future. Staying rooted in the moment will make anxiety flee. I need to ask the Lord to send an angel to hold my feet and ankles and help keep me grounded in the present.

The book containing the wisdom of the ages, the Bible, says this: "Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you" (Deut. 1:29,30).

Winds of change may continue to blow. Yet we cannot go anywhere God is not already there.

That is good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2016

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The book of Job has many valuable lessons to teach us. Over the past two years, several studies have been published in the Nugget on the book of Job. If you have missed any of these studies, please click here, and may God bless you abundantly as you learn the valuable lessons God has to teach us in this thought-provoking book.
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 11 Mar 2017, 11:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

/March 11, 2017
Eat, Drink and be Glad

By Answers2Prayer
Anyone who has read this post for any length of time will know that I believe in the unerring Word of God. What one finds between the covers of the Bible is God-inspired, God-protected, and is "useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." (2 Tim. 3:16 NIV)

You will also know that I have always believed pursuing one's own happiness above all else is a selfish way to live, and that in the end, our lives will be happier when we think more about others than ourselves. You will understand my confusion, then, when I read Eccl. 8:15: "So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany them in their toil all the days of the life God has given them under the sun." (NIV). Hum. I would truly have to mediate upon this text before I could fully comprehend what it meant to me. I closed my Bible and proceeded to go about my day.

It was my oldest son's 23rd birthday, and the thought made me more than a little nostalgic. Especially when I realized he was no longer my little boy. Yes, he is a wonderful young man, one who makes me very proud. But he is also one who doesn't want (or need?) his mom to be continually trying to solve his problems and giving him advice. This often leaves me wondering if there is any further role for me in his life...

I was talking to God about this the following morning when my cat jumped onto the chair to sit at my feet. Although my cat is loving, it is only on her terms. It must be when she wants, where she wants, and how she wants. I have accepted this about her, and I have resigned myself to enjoying my time with her whenever she gives it.

As I was contemplating this, it occurred to me that this is how God interacts with us. Most of us have my cat's mentality when it comes to spending time with God. We are willing and ready to do so, but only in our own time, and usually only when we need something. Just like I would love for my cat to come more often, God's heart is breaking to spend more time with us. But just as I accept and enjoy the time my cat does give me, God also accepts us where we are. He respects our decisions and our power of choice, and He is ever ready to help us, to be there for us, to reach out and hold our hands the moment we turn to him.

That's when God spoke to me about my relationship with my kids. I need to approach it in the same way as I approach the relationship with my cat, in the same way He approaches our relationship with Him. I need to enjoy and fully appreciate the times when I am blessed with their company. I need to accept and love them for who they are. I need to encourage them to be independent and allow them to make their own choices.

I opened my Bible then, and I was impressed to reread Eccl. 8:15, but this time, I continued reading the next two verses: "When I applied my mind to know wisdom and to observe the labor that is done on earth--people getting no sleep day or night--then I saw all that God has done. No one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all their efforts to search it out, no one can discover its meaning. Even if the wise claim they know, they cannot really comprehend it." (Eccl. 8:16-17 NIV)

That's when I realized something powerful: I will never have all the answers to parenting. Hey, I will never have all the answers to anything! And the more I seek those answers, the more I will realize how little I truly comprehend, and how much I need to rely on the Truths of God's Word!

So what is God telling me in vs. 15 ("...there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad...")? Simply this: Rather than seeking to know the answers to all of life's dilemmas, I simply need to "eat and drink and be glad". I need to be happy with and thankful for the things God has given me, and when I do, "...joy will accompany in toil all the days of the life God has given under the sun"!

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.

Announcement:

Do you ever wonder why the Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove? Check out the recently published mini-series, "Dovetailing Some Dove Facts", and find out!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 10 Mar 2017, 6:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 9, 2017
A Time to Heal

By Answers2Prayer
"He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds." (Ps 147:3)

Our white cat, Dusty is my son, JJ's favorite pet. They have a special connection that is a delight to see. After she finishes her dinner at night Dusty will run into JJ's room to sleep on the pillow beside him. During the day she will follow him around, nap peacefully in his arms, and even answer with a "meow" every time he calls her name.

A few months ago, however, Dusty began to lose weight. She ate less and less and lost some of her fur. She stopped following JJ around and found a hiding space in my daughter's old closet. She came out only to drink water and then quickly retreated to her hiding spot each day. I was sure for a time that we were going to lose her and prayed to God that she would return to health. I didn't want my son to lose his furry friend. Thankfully, after a few weeks she started to spend time outside the closet again. She began to drink some milk and even started eating her cat food once more. Soon her fur grew back and she gained weight. Once again she became my son's constant companion and I thanked God for bringing her back to him.

I can understand too why she had gone off by herself to take the time to heal from her illness. There have been many times in my own life when I have been beaten and battered by the troubles and pains of this world. There have been times when fear, sickness and sadness have overwhelmed me. There have been times when I have just needed to find a quiet place in my own soul to heal, to think, and to talk to God.

Joyfully, every time I have done so God has been there to fill me with His love and to heal my heart. Each time God has brought me back to the world better and stronger than I was before. When life beats you down then don't give up. Go within. Go to God. Allow His love to fill you and to heal you. And then go out and share that love with the world.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

Announcement:

Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 07 Mar 2017, 10:27 pm


Welcome to the Nugget


March 7, 2017
What the Sages Teach, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Today we come to the concluding part of our series on startling accounts of Jewish Tradition, comprising two more eye-openers which would make us glorify our Heavenly Father, all the more...

Bandage...

The story can be found in 2 Kings 20. Isaiah had just told King Hezekiah the grim prophecy of his imminent death. Visibly shaken, the king he prayed fervently, and Isaiah returned to tell him he must apply a fig paste to his boil (presumably cancerous) and bandage it up, and everything would be just fine (See 2 Kings 20:7). Now fast-forward to Matt 1:10, which, whilst giving the genealogy of the Messiah from the Davidic line, makes mention of Hezekiah and also his son Manasseh. We know that Manasseh was born to King Hezekiah three years after Hezekiah's miraculous recovery and subsequent extension of life by 15 years (2 Kings 20:6/21:1). How could King Hezekiah have succumbed to cancer? It would have meant an end of the Messianic line (God forbid), and this is the question which ought to ring loudly in our minds! It would take the Sages to tell us the truth...

Before I go any further, let me state categorically that none can play "holier than God" or be kinder than Him (King Saul learned this truth at a great cost -- See Exo 17:8-16/Deu 25:17-19/1 Sam 15). I know the painful lessons I myself learned when I refused to read the "promiscuous" book of Esther early in my Christian life, whereby the good Lord was constrained to expose me for what I was, humbling me consequently in His own inimitable way!

But coming back to King Hezekiah...

The sages teach that when virtuous King Hezekiah was foretold by the Holy Spirit that his son Manasseh would be very wicked (we know how wicked Manasseh was, but we also know he later repented -- See 2 Chro 33:1-13), to forestall the birth of a wicked progeny, this regent adopted a holier than thou attitude and refused to marry. In so doing, he broke very first law (Gen 1:28) of the 613 contained in the first five Books of the Bible. No wonder the good Lord had to use some arm-twisting tactics to get him back on track (in fact, Hezekiah married Isaiah's daughter), so that nothing would go amiss in His greater sovereign redemption plan for the World (John 4:22).

Privilege...

As Apostle Paul points out in 1 Cor 10:4, there was indeed a moving rock typifying Christ during the travel of the redeemed Jews through their Wilderness journey, providing them with refreshing water all along in their 40 year sojourn. My correspondence with the Rabbis enlightened me to the fact that after the Jews reached the Promised Land this Rock slowly descended into the Sea of Galilee (in the northern portion of Israel) and disappeared. In the NT we see that Jesus ascended and disappeared near Southern Bethany after making provision for the Living waters -- See John 7:37/Acts 1:9.

Truth be told, the Trinity was in operation during the Wilderness journey. What a privilege for the Jews! The Father's presence was there by way of the Pillar of Cloud by day and the Pillar of Fire by night, providing the Jews with not only the needed direction (Exo 13:21-22) and the necessary shade during the sweltering heat of the day, but also the needed warmth in the chilly desert nights. Meanwhile, the moving rock symbolized Christ, and the refreshing water which flowed from it typified the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39).

Fast forward to John's Gospel and what do we see? Using the right occasion, the Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:33-34/John 7:1-39), which was celebrated to commemorate the Lord's presence with the Jews during the Wilderness journey, Jesus ups the tempo as it were on the climactic day of the Festival by making an irresistible offer to His audience: "On the last day, the climax of the festival, Jesus stood and shouted to the crowds, 'Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, "Rivers of living water will flow from his heart."'" (John 7:37-39 NLT). In effect, He was saying it is good that you are commemorating My presence with you in the Wilderness, for now I am giving you a far better offer...I am willing to live within you and refresh you from within! What a privilege we Christians have today! So much more than the respected Sages and their descendents. Jesus lives in us, refreshing us with His Spirit, the joy of which is at once indescribable (Romans 8:8-9/14:17). Amen and Amen. Let's earnestly pray for the salvation of the Jews the World over in order that they also might taste the "Living waters"...

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries

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Post  Admin on Sat 04 Mar 2017, 10:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 4, 2017
What the Sages Teach, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Continuing with our Series on startling accounts of Jewish Tradition, here we come to the penultimate part comprising two more eye-openers which would make us glorify our Heavenly Father, all the more...

Age...

Hmmm...it's Lenten season and with Good Friday fast approaching, invariably our attention turns to Genesis 22. Going by the description of Issac as a "Lad" in Genesis 22:5, one (read all Christians) would normally assume that Issac was perhaps a young boy or at best a teenager but never a 37 year old typifying Jesus who too in his thirties carried the wooden cross to same place where 137 year old Father Abraham (portending the Heavenly Father) had led "his beloved son" to, about 2000 years earlier to be "sacrificed". Hey...Issac "rose again" (Heb 11:19 TLB), so would the Son of God!

Oh yes coming to the right age of Issac...all of 37 years. The Hebrew word "Naar" used to describe Issac as a "Lad" (Gen 22:5) is a relative term used to address someone who is very much younger to you though the latter by himself/herself may be an adult then. Mind you, Issac was younger to his Father by a good hundred years (Gen 21:5)! In yet another melodramatic Scripture portion as Gen 22 (Note: The good Lord always places two witnesses to underscore His point -- See Deut 17:6) we see a frantic elder brother Judah addressing his "held for ransom" younger brother Benjamin (born in Patriarch Jacob's old age -- See Gen 44:20 -- as such, much junior to Judah) as Naar not once but seven times (Gen 44:30-34) at a time Benjamin himself was a father of ten sons (Gen 46:21)!

Thanks to Archbishop Stephen Langton dedicated efforts, The Bible was divided into Chapters in the 13th Century AD facilitating better navigation through the Scriptures and its subsequent teaching thereof but thematic division style which Langton adopted would sometimes have us believe that there is a considerable time gap between two consecutive Chapters like the one between Chapters 22 and 23 of Genesis which was not the case, all the time. We see at the very beginning of Chapter 23, Sarah who had given birth to Issac at the age of 90, dying at the age of 127 in Hebron (presumably taking care of one of many cattle-breeding farms of the family therein) and Abraham "coming over there" to mourn for her, as evidently he had been at "a different place". Incidentally, from one of the Cattle-breeding farms at well-watered Beersheba Abraham had gone to Mount Moriah and had returned there after passing his "fiery test of faith". Thus the Sages teach that Issac was not a little kid but all of 37 years at that defining testing time in his life acceptance of which would make the Christians better appreciate the comparison between Issac and Jesus, who too in his thirties carried the "wood voluntarily on his shoulders" in full obedience to His Father's instructions (Gen 22:6/John 6:38/John 19:17).

Cage...

Bye-bye theory that the Israelites were "caged" in Egypt for 430 years (theory most of us have stuck to from our Sunday school times... erroneously), when in fact they stayed there for only for 215 years. Life Application Bible has come-up with a pre-cautionary footnote on Exo 13:40 stating 430 years as per the Original manuscripts is the total period of stay in both Canaan and Egypt and not only in Egypt.

A closer scrutiny of "Sage" Paul's observation in Gal 3:17 courtesy his solid training in OT History under a respected Rabbi Gamaliel (Acts 5:34/22:3) would once and for all shatter the myth that Jews stayed in Egypt for 430 years. He points out clearly that the time gap between the Abrahamic Covenant and Sinai Covenant was 430 years and not the stay of the Jews in Egypt which was limited to only 215 years from the time Jacob landed in Egypt at the age of 130 (Gen 47:9) with his sons.

If from the Abrahamic Covenant (Gen 12/15) to the birth of Issac was 25 years (Gen 21:5), then from that point to the birth of Jacob was a lapse of another 60 years (Gen 25:26). Jacob would eventually land in Egypt 130 years thence making it a sum total of 215 years from the origin of the Abrahamic Covenant till the arrival in Egypt. If we minus this figure from 430 years which is the total time gap from Abrahamic Covenant to the one at Sinai, we would get the exact time period of their stay in Egypt which is 215 years (exactly half). This is also in consonance with the Divine Promise in Gen 15:16 that Abraham's descendents would come back from Egypt in the fourth generation...Levi-Kohath-Amram-Moses (Exo 6:16-20). Folks, we better listen to Sages on this matter, better still we listen to our own Apostle Paul...lest we end-up with a serious "time related lapse"...

Prayer: Father, how we are so reassured by the Scriptures that You are a Covenant-keeping God. We glorify Thee once again in Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries

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Just what do the Biblical Sages teach, anyway? Please join us next week for the concluding parts of: "What do the Sages Teach" -- A Mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan.
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Post  Admin on Thu 02 Mar 2017, 10:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 2, 2017
What the Sages Teach, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer
Its quiz time folks! Tell me what is common to 1 Cor 10:4, Jude 1:9 and Jude 1:14? Well, they are accounts from Jewish Tradition, which we may not find in the corresponding Books of Exodus or Deuteronomy or Genesis respectively (where the related events could have most probably figured), but what the Inspired New Testament writers included wisely in their Epistles by the leading of the Holy Spirit so much so they now figure in sacred New Testament canon.

The exhaustive Bible Study which the good Lord inspired me to commence in my Local Church five years ago, necessitated my on-line correspondence with Jewish Rabbis whenever confronted by some hard-to-understand accounts such as how can Moses wrote the entire Book of Deuteronomy even after he departs from the Earthly scene. Though I first started corresponding with them with a sense of trepidation, most of them have been respectful and were even appreciative as I shared my lengthy testimony with them (talk of writing a love letter!) when they enquired about my background. The common refrain in their correspondence with me (in response to my questions) has been "What the Sages teach." In this Series of three parts, I would like to place before my readership many startling truths of Jewish tradition which Christians need to know in order they can better appreciate Old Testament Scripture, and most importantly, to better glorify their Heavenly Father...

Assuage...

It's evening time on the First Easter Sunday. The glorious fact of Jesus' resurrection was slowly but surely dawning in the minds of grief-stricken disciples, and lo and behold, the Resurrected Lord Himself was standing amongst them assuaging their grief and fears. Let the Scripture take over at this stage...

"Then he said to them, 'These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.'" (Luke 24:44).

Note the order in our Lord's words, it is NOT Law, Psalms and Prophets as it is available in our Christian Bibles today, but a slightly different order. Let me "assuage" your confused minds as to the right order of Old Testament Scripture as it existed during the First century AD in the Early Church--the one that exists even today amongst the Jews:

1. Law: Genesis to Deuteronomy;

2. Prophets: Joshua to Malachi -- It needs to be said here that the word "Prophecy" has to be understood in the way Jews and the Early Church understood it. For them, Prophecy was not only foretelling but also forth telling! Hence the books of Daniel and Lamentations, which appear in the "Prophets" section of the Modern-day Christian Bibles, despite containing prophecies, were not placed in the Prophets section, but in that of Writings, for the simple reason they do not contain anywhere in their contents the authoritative, powerful figure of speech: "Thus says the Lord," which distinguishes a Prophecy from other forms of speech (a praise or prayer) in the Scriptures! The Living Bible gets it right when it comes to exactly defining the function of a Prophet. Let me reproduce here verbatim, a part of 1 Cor 12:28 which goes thus: "Here is a list of some of the parts he has placed in his Church, which is his body: Apostles, Prophets--those who preach God's Word, Teachers..." Has not preaching been all along all about foretelling and forth telling?

3. Writings: Psalms to II Chronicles -- If 2 Chronicles had continued to be the Last Book of the Old Testament Scripture until the order was needlessly revised, presumably during King Constantine's time in the 4th Century AD, one would have seen a beautiful symmetry existing between the last portion of the last book of Old Testament Scripture and that of the New Testament Canon. Now what is the immediate overarching subject of the last Book (Revelation) of New Testament? Rapture! Ah the Blessed hope of every Christian (Titus 2:13) which is alluded to in the command given to John at the sound of something resembling a "trumpet blast" ... "Come-up" (Rev 4:1/1 Thess 4:16)!!! Now as we "bring to the table" as it were, the last words of the last Book (II Chronicles)..."Go-up" (2 Chronicles 36:23-KJV), an enchanting symmetry comes to the fore.

What Cyrus the Persian ruler (who is issuing the Decree of Direction to all the Jews) is effectively telling the Jews is: (New Testament counterparts of Old Testament times)..."Go up to the Holy City of Jerusalem on a mountain for you do not belong here in Babylon (geographically Babylon is a plain, flat as a pancake); rather you belong to the Holy City of Jerusalem up on a mountain. Your God in His Holy City is calling you...Come up"! Has not the World been telling the same of the Church, more so in recent times with violence and moral degradation on the increase...you do not belong here in this "Earthly Babylon," even as our Redeemer is on the verge of issuing the "Come-up" command?

A young girl who had recently become a Christian asked the famous Baptist Preacher Charles Spurgeon..."What friends do I need to give up now"? The Prince of Preachers replied, "Hey, you do not have to give up any of your friends, they would give you up" (1 Peter 4:4)!

Prayer: Father give us a heart to be alert to our Blessed Hope at all times, even as we alert others to the same. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An Unworthy Servant
J and SM Ministries


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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Feb 2017, 7:55 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 28, 2017
Going Alone
bible
By Answers2Prayer

God has said, "I will never fail you. I will never abandon you." (Hebrews 13:5)

She wasn't much bigger than a pint of peanuts when she got a tricycle. Her dad taught her how to ride it. Next came a bicycle with training wheels. Her dad helped her learn to ride that, too. He stayed by her side, until she was steady and confident. Same thing when the training wheels came off; her dad would run along side the bike to hold it in case she lost her balance.

She did so well when he was right by her side, and was frightened to ride alone. After all, her dad wouldn't be there; she'd be going alone.

Sometimes we are like that young girl. We know our Father is with us; we feel secure and comforted by the fact that He is with us "always". Yet when we launch out, have a new venture, a different direction, we might get timid and fearful. Maybe we feel like we are going it alone.

Just as our Father is with us in smaller things, so is He with us in the bigger things of life.

Thank you, Lord, for the promise, that You will never fail us and You will never abandon us. We aren't going alone.

That's good news.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2016
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Post  Admin on Sat 25 Feb 2017, 11:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 25, 2017
Lake-Effect Snow

By Answers2Prayer
I had a problem this morning.

I needed to pick my son up from the airport; but when I looked out the window, it was a winter wonderland. It wasn't snowing hard, but the plows regularly going up and down my street spoke truth to my mind: The roads were covered in snow.

It was too late to make other arrangements for my son however, as he was already en route from Edmonton. As I dutifully got into the car, I whispered a prayer for protection as I ventured out onto the road.

It was slow going, as there was hardly any evidence the road was actually under my car. I repeatedly thanked God that He had impressed me to leave 30 minutes early; and at the same time, I kicked myself for not having left even earlier than that.

Imagine my pleasant surprise when the snow had stopped falling by the time I had driven 10 kilometers, and when I had gone 20 kilometers, the roads were completely free of snow. It had been nothing more than local lake-effect snow.

Having grown up in a place where snow wasn't a part of life, this phenomenon of lake-effect snow is still a mystery to me. Oh, I know the science behind it. Cold air masses move over the warmer waters of the great lakes, which heat up the bottom layer of air. This causes lake moisture to evaporate into the colder air, where it condenses, forms clouds, and sends heavy snow over a local area. Nonetheless, I continue to be amazed at how it can be snowing so heavily in one area, and just a few kilometers down the road, nary a flake can be found. And unless you are listening to the radio (which I wasn't at 3:30 am), how could you know that the snow was only a local squall? The view from the car window won't tell us that, and neither will our fingers, still frozen from cleaning the mess off of our cold vehicles!

It all reminds me of problems in life. From our perspective, they are huge, overwhelming and dominating forces that overtake us, burying us in their ferocity. From God's perspective, however, they are nothing more than local snow squalls. So often we ask God why He has allowed this phenomenal storm that just won't seem to go away. From His perspective, however, He knows it is nothing more "lake effect snow".

Isn't it written in His Word that He sees the end from the beginning? "Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, 'My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure'" (Isaiah 46:9-10 NASB).

And doesn't His Word also say that He will supply all our needs? "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." (Phil. 4:19 NASB).

Notice this doesn't say we won't go through bad times; nor does it say God won't give us more than we can handle. It simply says He will supply all of our needs. Jesus gives us great advice for these situations: "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matt. 6:33-34 NASB).

What this means is that if we focus on God, if we rely on Him for everything, He will come through for us, no matter how big the "snow squall" might be. In other words, to God, everything we are going through is nothing more than localized "lake effect snow", snow that does not go on forever, snow that He will give us the strength to get through.

What kind of "snow" is falling in your life right now? Whatever it may be, just remember, it is "lake effect snow" in God's eyes. Don't try to weather it on your own. Give it to Him, draw from His strength, and be prepared for the snow to eventually stop falling and the road to eventually clear.

Oh, and we had no further difficulties with snow on the road...until we were once again back home...

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 what do the Biblical Sages teach, anyway? Please join us next week for "What do the Sages Teach?" -- A Mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan.
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Post  Admin on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 12:48 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


February 23, 2017
Five Promises to Erase Loneliness

By Answers2Prayer
I zipped my suitcase shut, and my 4'10", white-haired Mom walked in. "I worry about you traveling alone," she said. "Someone will be staying with you in the hotel, right?"

I imagine having her blind daughter travel to another country by herself concerns her.

"Sure," I reassure her to erase worry because after all, traveling to speaking engagements is one of the passions I have.

Although I'll have no human accompany me, I'll have someone better--the Holy Spirit.

Think I'm kidding? God's way to make sure we're never alone and know how to conquer loneliness is true.

How else can I, being blind, navigate through hotel rooms, unpack, find the bathroom, get ready and sing with confidence while doing it?

I admit. Sometimes, temptation to feel lonely tries to slip in. But I have found five ways to conquer it:

In the hotel room of loneliness, the Holy Spirit is the concierge to meet all our needs.
* His presence is certain.
* His protection is constant.
* His companionship is sweet
* His comfort is forever.

"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever, the Spirit of truth" (John 14:16).

Father, sometimes even when surrounded with people, the loneliness is cruel. But thank you for filling the void. For bringing reassurance to every moment. For whispering protection and provision. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit, for we know you're present now, and you'll be present in the happenings of our tomorrows. In Jesus' name, amen.

Feeling lonely lately?
Who fills that void?
Where do you look for comfort?

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

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Post  Admin on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 8:33 pm

7720.645 in reply to 7720.644
Welcome to the Nugget
February 21, 2017
Make Your Life Si
By Answers2Prayer
"I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live." (Ps 104:33)

I have always loved to sing. When I was a boy I sang in church, in my room, and even in my backyard. Growing up I always sang along with the songs on the radio. These days I sing in the shower. I sing when I walk my dogs. I sing when I do the dishes. My wonderful, loving, tech-savvy daughter has even downloaded music from the internet and made her old school Dad CDs so I can sing along with all of my favorite songs.

There is one problem, though. While I love to sing, the sound coming from my voice never seems to match the sound I hear in my soul. It always comes out too high, too scratchy, and way too off-key. I have seen people wince when I sang near them. I have had my dogs join in when I sang too loudly. I once heard myself sing on tape and wondered how that voice could have possibly come out of my mouth. I am sure that even my guardian angels have had to stick their fingers in their ears many times over the years. I have learned to sing quietly then unless I am alone. Then I belt out my songs so all of Heaven can hear. I am sure God doesn't mind my off-key voice as long as I am "Making a joyful noise."

Thankfully, there is more than one way to sing in this life. We all can sing out our love and joy by what we do. We all can share the music within us with the lives we lead. We can shine our smiles. We can share our laughter. We can open our arms for a hug. We can pass on a kiss or a kind word. We can rescue a stray dog or cat. We can help the poor and visit the lonely. We nurse the sick and uplift the fallen We can encourage everyone around us. We can spread our joy. We can make our lives a living testament of goodness. We can love others the way God loves us: unconditionally! Make your life sing then. Sing well. Sing long. Sing with all the light and love in your soul!

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
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Post  Admin on Sat 18 Feb 2017, 1:08 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 18, 2017
The Meter-Reader

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe
As I glanced out the kitchen window this snowy Saturday morning, I was astonished to see my neighbor, all bundled up in coat, boots and toque, walking across the yard behind my house. Why? I could think of no other reason than he was coming to knock on my back door, and I panicked.

Don't get me wrong, my neighbor is a very nice person, and we enjoy the visits of this particular neighbor. The reason I panicked was that I was still in my pajamas and bathrobe, certainly not presentable for company, especially of the male variety. Imagine my relief when he didn't climb the steps leading to my back door, but instead, went on around the side of the house.

But why would my neighbor be going to the side of my house? And was that a flashlight I saw in his hand? Why?

Then it dawned on me. It wasn't my neighbor at all. It was the meter-reader. The way he was all bundled up, I simply mistook him for someone else, and I panicked.

So often in life we look up to see that there is an unwanted "guest" either on the way, or already at our doorstep. That unwanted "guest" may be an illness, an accident, financial concerns, relationship problems, problems with the kids, it may even be something as terrible as cancer, or even death. Whatever it is, our response is generally the same as my response when I thought my "neighbor" was coming to visit while I was still in my bathrobe and pajamas: we panic!

That's a perfectly natural response, isn't it? After all, no one of us is prepared for such things to just "arrive" so to speak at our "doorsteps".

I could probably have been saved from my moment of panic this morning if I had just stopped to look. I would have recognized that this man was not my neighbor. I would have also noted that my husband was dressed and in the same room, perfectly capable and willing to open the door if it had actually been my neighbor. In my hasty assessment of the situation, I failed to take in the important details that would have saved me from panic.

Isn't it the same in life? We see that unwanted houseguest on the doorstep, we experience it "barging", so to speak, into our lives, and we react. We don't take the time to look around and see what God has put into place to help us through these situations. We fail to hear God's voice reminding us that He will carry us through. We don't pay attention to the fact that things may not be quite as bad as they seem.

True enough, I don't really like the meter-reader coming around, because he sees the "truth" of how much energy we consume, and of course, we have to "pay" for that energy; yet it is a vital part of the services provided to my house, and without those services, I might be needing to be dressed in much more than a bathrobe on this cold, snowy morning!

In the same way, we don't often take the time to consider the fact that perhaps this "unwanted houseguest" is also vital in some way. Aren't we told to "...rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us..." (Romans 5:3-5)?

Friends, if you find yourself in the middle of a less-than-ideal situation, don't make my mistake. Don't panic. Instead, try the following:

1. Look around. See what kind of help God has already placed in your path for getting you through: "he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" (1 Cor 10:13).

2. Remember that there may be some growth in character, patience and hope that God is trying to instill in us through this situation (See Romans 5:3-5).

3. Remember that God does allow us to pass through things that we cannot handle of our own strength, so that we will remember that it is His strength that gets us through: "Indeed, we had the sentence of death within ourselves so that we would not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead; who delivered us from so great a peril of death, and will deliver us, He on whom we have set our hope. And He will yet deliver us..." (2 Cor 1:9-10).

4. Above all, give it to God, for He has promised rest: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28)

Oh, and I guess I had better let the meter-reader read my meter, and maybe, just maybe, it's time to go get dressed for the day...

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 17 Feb 2017, 7:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


February 16, 2017
Three Secrets to Finding Contentment



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us I took my grandson's and granddaughter's hands as we entered the huge cruise ship. "Look, this ship is so big, we even need an elevator to get to the decks way up high."

They oohed and aahed. "And did you know there are three swimming pools and even a wall-climbing area?"

A day or so later we docked at an island. We stepped out and noticed a ship docked beside us. The size was double ours and suddenly we looked like a lifeboat in comparison.

Isn't life like that? We go through life thinking we have a great thing. And suddenly we see someone with more stuff. Some with less pain, with more fun, less bills, more choices, less hassles, with thinner bodies, fatter bank accounts. Before we know it we're eating discontentment for lunch.

Here are three secrets that guarantee contentment no matter what ship of life we're in. They are: gratitude, gratitude and gratitude!

1. We're grateful because God said He will protect us from fear when tough circumstances invade our lives. Contentment is a prelude to joy because it replaces worry. That's why with confidence, we repeat: "Praise be to the LORD, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." (Psalm 28: 6-7)

2. God begins to do great things when we start our prayer with gratitude. Although we see the circumstance, He sees the solution through His power, His mighty power already at work. "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:19)

Giving thanks acknowledges that the God of the universe, bigger than our problem, has all the help we need--in the correct way, the exact proportion and the precise timing. So we say with confidence: "I lift up my eyes to the hills--where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." (Psalm 121:1-2)

I encourage you to take a deep breath. Can you think of three things for which you're grateful?

Janet Eckles

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

Announcement:

The Nugget apologizes for the recent disruption of mailings. Nugget administrators have had a death in the family and were called urgently out of town. We are doing our best to continue to send out the Nugget newsletters in as timely a manner as possible with inconsistent access to WiFi. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers, and God willing, this will be the last mailing to go out on an alternate day. We pray that the Nugget will continue to be blessing and will continue to speak God's love and compassion to each of you, wherever you may be. God bless you all!

Lyn Chaffart,
Administrator, The Nugget
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Post  Admin on Fri 17 Feb 2017, 12:21 am

Welcome to the Nugget


February 14, 2017
Valentine's Love



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Valentine's Day. The time of year when we each remember how much we love that special someone. We try to spend time together, we go out to dinner, we buy each other presents, cards and flowers...It is truly a celebration of the love we share.

At my house, Valentine's Day is also a birthday, for my youngest son was born on Valentine's Day. He was, and will always be, the best Valentine's present ever.

My question today is this: Is the love that we show on Valentine's Day truly pure, unselfish, Godly love?

I hope and pray that for most of you it is. To be perfectly honest, however, this isn't always the case for me.

Oh, I love spending time with my husband; but a dinner out means I don't have to cook. Would a less selfish love actually cook a special, romantic dinner of all his favorite foods, instead of insisting on going out?

What about the cards and presents? Do I truly give those out of love, or because I know it is expected? Or, perhaps, do I give because I hope to receive cards and presents in return?

And what about the time element? Do I truly long for that time together to last forever? Isn't it more often the case that I am looking at my watch, wondering how I will ever finish all the things that are usually on my "list" for the day of the week on which Valentine's Day falls?

Perhaps celebrating Valentine's Day as a birthday has been good for me, for the joy I anticipate seeing in my son's eyes as he eats his special birthday dinner or blows out the candles from his cake makes it all worthwhile. But is this truly unselfish? Doesn't a part of me do it because I think it is expected? Do I hope someone will make me feel special when it's my birthday?

Valentine's Day aside, do I perform any act of love that doesn't have some selfish interest? When I text my kids words of encouragement, is it truly out of unselfish love, or is part of me hoping to get a response? When I do things around the house that will make my husband's life easier, is my motive pure, or do I expect that my example will spur him on to doing more around the house to make my life easier?

I truly thought I had mastered the art of unselfish love, for God has been speaking this message to my heart for weeks now, and I have let go of the selfish motivation. Oh, what a freedom that brings, for I truly have learned that making others happy, even when it means sacrifice on my part, brings the greatest joy ever. If I have learned this lesson so thoroughly, however, why did I leave the mouse that the cat killed in the middle of the garage for my husband to clean up? Why did I get angry when that mouse was still there three days later? Why was I so frustrated when I finally cleaned it up myself? Shouldn't I have realized that he doesn't like dealing with dead animals any better than I do? Shouldn't I have just cleaned it up right away, without even pointing it out to him?

Isn't God's love towards us completely void of selfishness?

Not sure? Then spend a moment contemplating this verse: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:16-17 NKJV)

Still not convinced? Then meditate for a few moments on this text: "God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love--not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins." (1 John 4:9-10 NLT)

With love like that, isn't it natural that our love for one another should be just as unselfish, just as self-sacrificing? "Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us." (1 John 4:11-12 NLT)

What about it? Why not try showing self-less love to everyone around you this Valentine's Day? Hey, better yet, why not try to show this God-love everyday?

Not sure how? Talk to God about it. Pray that His Spirit will fill you with that unconditional, self-less love that Jesus demonstrated to us. Believe me, it's a prayer God longs to answer, and I guarantee you'll be amazed at the difference it makes in your life.

This is my prayer for each of us today: "I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God." (Eph 3:16-19 ESV)

Happy Valentine's Day!

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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Happy Valentines Day! Don't forget that God's special Valentine is...YOU!
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Post  Admin on Sat 11 Feb 2017, 7:25 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 11, 22017
An Armful with Tranquility

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us It was a tough week.

Things at the hospital where I work were busier than usual with patients coming and going as if through a rotating door. There were also people to train, responsibilities to my staff, rumors to check out and dispel, students to accommodate, etc. All of that is just part of my normal week, however, so let's add some emotional upset to the brew. People close to me were making bad decisions and I was unable to stop them. Then to spice things up a bit, our primary computer died a horrible death. It may not sound like such a bad thing, but it is from this computer that our ministry is coordinated and run. Without it, we are truly handicapped. Perhaps the worst, however, was the news that arrived midweek: my mother-in-law was in the hospital with heart issues and wasn't expected to make it through the week. This meant we might need to uproot and fly to Europe at a moment's notice. We needed to pre-arrange things at work and at school in preparation for us to be gone; we needed to pre-arrange the care of the house and the pets; we had to look into airplane tickets to Europe, hotel rooms and rental cars; and I haven't even mentioned the funeral arrangements--all without our primary computer! And you can also imagine the emotional anguish we were going through.

At the end of the week, as I sat contemplating all of this, I was actually a little surprised. It actually sounds a lot worse on paper than it had seemed as I went through the week. Why? Normally just the busyness at work alone would have left me stressed out, tired, crabby and unable to sleep. What was the difference?

As I picked up my Bible, I could hear God's loving voice guiding me to the book of Ecclesiastes, chapter 4, vs. 6: "Better an armload with tranquility than both arms full of effort and feeding on the wind."

I didn't quite get it. What could this have to do with all the stress we had gone through all week? What could it have to do with the peace of mind that was so surprising to me?

Then I remembered how God had been working with me on the issue of self-reliance. He had been helping me learn that I cannot rely on myself, no matter how capable I think I am. Rather, I need to solicit His help in everything! As a result, I had surrendered the problems at work to Him, and I had been awestruck as ideas that actually worked began immediately flowing into my head. When the situation arose with those I care about not making right decisions, I had immediately turned the problem over to God, committing myself to praying for the situation, and listening to His voice of wisdom. In like manner, I had given my mother-in-law's health and the arrangements to God as well, and God had given both my husband and me peace of mind about the whole thing.

Yes, our arms had been full of problems, and had we been trying to deal with the problems in our own strength, we would have been drowning in stress. Instead, we were relaxing in peace..."Better an armload with tranquility than both arms full of effort and feeding on the wind." (Eccl. 4:6)

Are your arms full? Is there absolutely more going on right now that you can handle? Do you feel like you are drowning in the stress, the pressure, the responsibility, the inability to control and change your situations? If that sounds like your life at the moment, give it all to God. Surrender everything to Him. Stop trying to fix it on your own. Stop relying on your own might, skill, wisdom, knowledge and strength. Instead, let go and let God be God. As you do, you will experience the Truth in Eccl. 4:6: "Better an armload with tranquility than both arms full of effort and feeding on the wind."

May God bless you abundantly this week as you give it all--to Him!

In His love,
Lyn

P.S. My mother-in-law not only made it through the week, but is still with us today, a year later. Yet another "gift" of surrendering the problem to Him...

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 09 Feb 2017, 8:23 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 9, 2017
Five Pitfalls to Avoid When Looking for Happiness

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe "I know the guy is not the right one for her," my friend said some years back. "But as long as she's happy."

Her daughter married him and shortly after, it ended in a painful and bitter divorce.

Is wishing happiness what we want for our kids? Happiness is often confused with joy. Happiness can turn to sadness. And looking for it leaves us disappointed.

Here are five pitfalls to avoid when looking for happiness:

Looking for it in relationships. Happiness cannot be found in another person, for they're looking for their own path to happiness.

1. Longing to be happy by pleasing others rather than pleasing God first.
2. Expecting circumstances to make us happy, for they change as quickly as the weather.
3. Waiting for someone to change before we feel happy.
4. Expecting that happiness will last and bring fulfillment.
5. Happiness is fleeting, often elusive and deceptive. Joy is what the soul longs for. Peace is what our heart needs. Wisdom is what brings the greatest rewards. And contentment is what ushers the richness of life.

That richness is found in complete joy, the kind that's already in us when we believe: "As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father's commands and remain in His love. I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (John 15:9-11)

His joy can't be taken away by circumstances, stages of life, unexpected turns or even tragic events. When happiness wanes, His joy in us remains vibrant. What will you do with your new-found joy?

Janet Eckles

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

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

Welcome to the Nugget

February 7, 2017
Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

Announcement:

Next Tuesday is Valentines Day, as celebrated in many countries around the world. Since it is a day where we celebrate true love, isn't it fitting that we spend some time contemplating the ultimate Love, that unselfish love God poured out upon each of us through His Son Jesus Christ? Join us next Tuesday for our Valentine's special: "Valentine's Love"!
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 04 Feb 2017, 9:39 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 4, 2017
The Missing Ingredient

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

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

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

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

What was so special about Josiah's life?

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

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

But how do I find those "idols"?

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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Does anyone out there find the Bible dull? Lacking in excitement and action? Check out: Lights, Camera, Action! -- A mini-series in the books of Joshua and Acts by Suresh Manoharan.
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Post  Admin on Fri 03 Feb 2017, 12:32 am

Welcome to the Nugget


February 2, 2017
Determined



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

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

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

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

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

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

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2016
Announcement:

Do you ever wonder about the tabernacle that Moses built in the wilderness? The books of Exodus and Leviticus spend many chapters describing its construction, but does it hold any relevance for us today? Please check out: Wilderness Instructions, a mini-series inspired by the tabernacle in the wilderness!
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Post  Admin on Wed 01 Feb 2017, 9:40 pm

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Janet P. Eckles

Announcement:

Does it seem like everything is in chaos? Check out Order, Order, and Order, a mini-series by Suresh Manoharan, to find out!
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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Jan 2017, 11:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

**All information about the Wieliczka Salt mine comes from personal tour and from Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wieliczka_Salt_Mine
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Post  Admin on Wed 25 Jan 2017, 7:57 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bible speaks of such a mine:

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

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

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

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

In His love,
Lyn

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

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