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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

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

Welcome to the Nugget

December 14, 2017

Humility All the Way, Part 2
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
Continuing our series on the humility of Christ, let's today focus on three more related subjects all under the overall ambit of the mind of Christ ( See Phil. 2:5):

Professional...

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


Regional... 

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


Financial...

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

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

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


Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

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

Welcome to the Nugget

December 12, 2017

Humility All the Way, Part 1


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

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

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

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

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

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


Social...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

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

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
December 9, 2017
Festival of Lights

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What needs will you bring before the Lord today?

Janet
Janet Eckles

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

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


Welcome to the Nugget

bible
December 7, 2017

God's Armour, Part 6: The Sword of the Spirit
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
Last Tuesday, in "God's Armour, Part 5", we saw that when we don the "Helmet of Salvation", we protect our most vulnerable body part, our mind. We do so by replacing the devil's lies with Truth, Truth that the victory is already won; by choosing to believe in what appears impossible; by keeping an eternal perspective; and by treasuring our Salvation.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 to prayerrequest@answers2prayer.org and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 21 Nov 2017, 11:05 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 21, 2017

Heaven Sent

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
"Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed." (Proverbs 19:17)

It was a chilly Autumn morning a few years ago. I was driving along the mountain roads slower than usual trying to take in all the Fall colors. It seemed like all of the leaves had changed overnight. It looked as if God in His good-humor and love had painted the mountains themselves while we slept. The yellow and gold leaves were sparkling in the sunshine. The red and orange ones were fluttering brilliantly in the breeze. The deep, rich burgundies and earthy browns were appearing as well. The few remaining green ones looked even better being surrounded by the others. It was so glorious. It was a day made for happiness. Yet, a part of me still felt sad, small, and insignificant in the midst of all of this heaven sent beauty. 

As I rounded a curve I suddenly saw an old man hurrying along the side of the road. As soon as he saw me he raised his thumb, hoping for a ride. I braked and pulled over to the side of the road. I opened the door and the white haired man got in with a smile. He was hoping to make it to the local post office and still have time to catch a bus. As I drove along we laughed and talked about what a beautiful day it was. Then just as I pulled over to drop him off he turned to me and said: "Thanks son. You were heaven sent."

I drove away with a smile on my face and a light in my heart. I wasn't sure if I had been "heaven sent" for him but he certainly had been "heaven sent" for me. He had reminded me that I too was an important part of God's creation and that I should enjoy taking my place in it. In God's eyes none of us are small. None of us are insignificant. All of us are Heaven sent. 

We are here to help each other. We are here to share our love and our kindness. We are here to make this world a better and more beautiful place with our lives. May you always take your place in God's glorious creation. May you always love well and shine bright.

Joseph J. Mazzella
 
Announcement:

With sin abounding all around us, with our inherent sinful natures, with the devil continually prowling around like a roaring lion, seeking to devour us (See 1 Peter 5:8), are you feeling in need of some protective armour? Fortunately, a full set of protective clothing is available for every Christian. All we need to do is "don" it! Join us over the next two weeks for "God's Armour", a mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart based on Ephesian 6, for specific suggestions on just how to access and put on that armour!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 11 Nov 2017, 10:55 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 11, 2017

The Trails, Part 1: Two Hikes

By Answers2Prayer
During a recent trip to Pennsylvania, my husband and I had the opportunity to hike two very different trails. One was flat. The wide, smooth path wandered through beautiful woods alongside a flowing river. Footing was perfect, there were no plants on the path to scrape and sting, the birds were singing, the sun wandered in and out of the clouds, tiny waterfalls littered the side of the trail...It was absolutely gorgeous. We quickly covered four kilometers with only one tiny little annoyance: The bugs.

The second hike was an exact opposite in every way. We slid our way down a narrow, overgrown, steep path covered in loose gravel. From the bottom of a huge, deep canyon, we crossed a narrow, creaky bridge over a tiny stream, and then we waded our way through fields of fern, wild raspberries, wild strawberries, and unfortunately for us, poison ivy, as we explored a bed of towering but fallen towers, the aftermath of a tornado at Kinzua Bridge. Finally, we had to slip and slide our way back up that loose gravel path to return to our car, and although the entire trail probably didn't even cover 3 kilometers, we emerged from the canyon bruised, scratched, sunburned and thoroughly exhausted.

The success of a hike in our home, however, is not measured by fatigue, relaxation, scratches and bruises, or even by the distance covered. It is, rather, measured by how many beautiful pictures were taken. I probably took four on the first hike, and my husband took double that many. Forty is a conservative estimate for the number of pictures I took on the second hike, while my husband probably took over a hundred (Aren't digital cameras wonderful?). In addition to this, we found ourselves raving for days about how much fun we had in that canyon. That steep, slippery trail quickly became a highlight of our trip, while the first hike, largely, went forgotten.

Why?

Because we came away from our first hike with very little "takeaway". We didn't have any fantastic memories; there were no moments when we had to rely on God; we didn't even take very many pictures, because the scenery didn't warrant it. In fact, the most memorable "take away" was the bug bites! This could not be said of that second hike. Though we emerged from the canyon sore and tired, our muscles and cardiovascular systems were stronger. Though we were sunburned, we soaked up an incredible amount of Vitamin D. Though we were scratched and had certainly touched poison ivy, our skin became tougher and our bodies must have become more resistant to the poison, because we didn't have any skin reaction from the plant. We had such fun climbing around and photographing the remains of that train bridge that even the upward trail didn't faze us. In fact, we were exhilarated by the climb.

Our "hikes" through life can sometimes be like our first hike: smooth, level, good footing, peaceful, with only the occasional "bug" to annoy us. More often than not, however, they are much more like our second hike: Steep, slippery and painful. We would likely never choose to start into these "second hike" kinds of trouble; but at the end of the day, when we look back over these "valleys" of our lives, we have to ask ourselves which ones gave us the most takeaway..."We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." (Rom. 5:3-5 NLT).

I don't know about you, but the "takeaway" of endurance, strength of character and hope seem pretty much worth the climb. Don't wish away the problems. Instead, let God carry you through.

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:

The book of John takes us through many deep discussions that Jesus gave at various times in His ministry. Please click here for Study #1 -- JESUS AND NICODEMUS; Study #2 -- THE WOMAN AT THE WELL; Study #3 -- AT THE POOL OF BETHESDA; Study #4 -- THE BREAD OF LIFE; Study #5 -- The Shepherd and His Flock; and Study #6 -- The Vine and the Branches.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 10 Nov 2017, 1:47 am

Welcome to the Nugget
November 9, 2017

What to do When it ALL Falls Apart...

By Answers2Prayer
"We have some good news and some bad news," the airline rep announced to those of us sitting at the gate.

We squirmed in our seats.

"The good news is that we identified the mechanical problem with the plane," she said. "The bad news is that we need to bring a part from Chicago. It will be at least two hours."

Groans of annoyance echoed throughout.

That meant I missed my connecting flight and the changes resulted in my 4-hour trip turning into 13 hours.

We waited for three hours. Then the lady seated to my left said, "Why weren't they honest with us? This is totally ridiculous."

The lady to my right let out a huge huff. "All my plans for the day fell apart. This is a horrible way to treat their customers."

And since I'm a mind-your-own-business kind of gal, I said to myself: Chill friends. This delay might be a way for God to protect us from a disaster while flying in the clouds.

Then, suddenly another announcement: "Those of you on flight 2049, approach the counter for a courtesy voucher for your inconvenience."

I knew it would be a lunch voucher, and navigating to make a line would be cumbersome with my white cane. So I turned to the lady to my left and said, "Would you be so kind as to get the voucher for me?"

"Not a problem," she said.

Later on, she came back and placed two slips of paper in my hand. "Here, we all got a $200 voucher toward our next flight."

Woo hoo! Thank you, Lord! I quickly stuffed it in my purse.

Next, I heard the same ladies talk on their cell phones, "You won't believe what happened. Because of the delay, I got a $200 voucher...I love this airline. It's the best."

I've done that. Maybe you have, too. We praise only when good things happen. When doors open, opportunities come, blessings show up, surprises happen, and good times appear...we praise God and we rejoice, right?

But when mechanical malfunctions in life cause all to fall apart, we're left stuck in sorrow, frustration, and anger. Who could blame us, we grumble and complain.

But the one who taught me not to fall for that trap is Habakkuk (I know, strange name). But when I get to heaven, he's on my list to give a big ol' hug because this is what he said when he found himself in the gate of emptiness because all his plans had fallen apart.

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior" (Habakkuk 3:17-18).

In the waiting for answers, in the sadness of emptiness, and with broken plans, what rumbles in your heart and what slips from your lips?

Janet Eckles

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 04 Nov 2017, 5:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 4, 2017

Rain on my Camping Trip

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us As I listened to the torrential rain falling on the roof of our trailer, I couldn't help but think: "No, I wouldn't have pre-ordered such weather for this camping trip..."

And it rained through the night and as we started out on our first hike of the morning. In fact, it rained so hard that we had to turn back. As we got back to the car, however, the rain eased off, and it didn't rain another drop all day. This allowed us to spend most of the day hiking even prettier trails, pick berries, and souvenir shop to our hearts' content, without a single thought about the weather.

Oh, it did rain overnight again...but it stopped just in time for us to break camp...

And then it rained for almost the entire trip from Bayfield Wisconsin to Green Bay; but it stopped just in time for us to explore the city and set up camp for the night.

With the forecast still far from good for the next day, I was fretting about how we would be stuck inside all day when my husband looked up from what he was doing and said, "It will be sunny tomorrow. You watch and see."

I raised an eyebrow. He obviously hadn't read about the 50 mm of rain predicted in the next 24 hours...

My husband just grinned at my raised eyebrow. "We're going to trust God on this one," he said. "We're going to have sunshine tomorrow!"

I'm afraid there was some "rain on my camping trip" in my personal "forecast" as well at that time. When you are a cancer survivor, the thought ever in the back of your mind is, "will it return?" Cancer is known, after all, to do just that. And every time I would find a strange lump or bump, or every time I would experience a new pain of unknown origin, this thought would go through my mind. And at the time of this camping trip, there was this strange swelling under my chin...Yup, it was highly possible that my personal "forecast" called for "torrential rain on my camping trip"...

My husband's prediction proved true. And why not? He got it straight from our Lord and Creator. Any moisture that fell from the sky did so during the night, and the next day was beautiful and warm. We were able to hike and climb lighthouses and snap pictures to our hearts' content, and the following day, when it was time to fold down the pop-up trailer, everything was packed away dry.

It did rain, however, as we began our homeward trek. Torrentially in fact. But when we arrived at our campground in upstate Michigan that evening, even though the forecast still called for torrential rain, the ground was dry, the sky was clear, and nary a drop fell.

Yes, "rain" will fall in life. Whether in the form of cancer or other illnesses, financial difficulties, relationship problems, problems with the kids, unexpected fires, or whatever it may be, it will come. But if we take the time to look back over our lives, we see that though we don't realize it in the moment, those troubled times always fall when they will leave the least noticeable footprint. It reminds me of one of my favorite passages from Ecclesiastes: "To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven ...He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:1,11)

As I think back over the rain on our camping trip, I realize that if I had adopted a bit more of my husband's attitude, I would have spent a lot less time worrying about the weather messing up my hiking and kayaking plans. In the same way, if I would simply put my trust in God, who is certainly big enough and loving enough to plan the timing of life's trials, I wouldn't be so inclined to worry about them, either. I could simply weather them, as we did the rain we had overnight and on the road, while enjoying the blessings He provides for me along the way, for I would rest calmly in the Truth that God's timing is always perfect in everything.

What do you say? Shall we worry about God's timing? Or shall we simply trust the God of the universe that the "rain" in our lives will always fall in the least-disruptive times?

I decided to believe this truth for that strange lump under my jaw. Sure enough, it was nothing to worry about, and life was once again "sunny"...

In His love,
Lyn

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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Oct 2017, 12:32 am

Welcome to the Nugget
October 24, 2017

Singing From the Soul

By Answers2Prayer
"Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy." (Ps. 100:1-2)

I was 8 years old, squirming on a hard wooden pew in our church. I tried to follow the sermon but it was a bit over my head at that age. Finally, it was time to sing the closing hymn. I stood up with a smile. Our church guitarist and hymn leader was my music teacher at school and a family friend. I always loved hearing her sing and I also loved joining in. She started to play and everyone in the church began to sing. When we reached the chorus, though, I felt a sharp elbow hit my shoulder. It was my brother letting me know that I was doing it again. You see, even though I always sang from my soul by the time it reached my lips it was more often than not, much too loud and far too off-key.

As I got older I learned how to sing much more quietly to blend in with the music and not damage the ears of the people around me. Occasionally, when I am alone I still burst forth in full voice and even get my dogs to join in. Sometimes when I am driving my car down the country roads of my home I will even sing from my soul at the top of my lungs. I am sure my guardian angels don't mind. After all, God only asked us to make a "Joyful Noise" unto Him, not one with perfect pitch.

There is more than one way to let your soul sing, however. We can sing from the soul when we do an act of kindness. We can sing when we give a hug, a pat on the back, and a word of encouragement. We can sing every time we share a smile and cause those around us to smile as well. We can sing when we offer a caring heart and a helping hand to another. We can sing every time we shine our light and share our love.

Let your soul sing then. Make your life a "Joyful Noise" that all of Heaven can hear. Sing

with all the love inside of you even if it is sometimes loud and off-key.

Joseph J. Mazzella

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 21 Oct 2017, 10:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 21, 2017

God's Touch

By Answers2Prayer
Members of our church are currently going through very difficult times. Their beautiful home just--blew up!

I do not know any of the details about the cause of the explosion, when it happened, etc., for I have only been following the story through the pictures on facebook; but where there was once a beautiful home in the country, fully-furnished and full of all the important things that we all need, there is now nothing but a pile of rubble. And with winter coming on, times can't get much harder than that.

I know that each one of you is facing hard times. The troubles that surround you may look very different than the complete loss of a home, but in one way or another, your negative situations are equivalent to the explosion that destroyed this church members' home.

There were some other details of the story that I was privy to. In this home that is normally full of children and grandchildren, only two people were present at the time of the explosion. It didn't happen at night, and as a result, the two occupants were not asleep. Neither were they down in the basement where the explosion occurred. These two made it out of the raging inferno unscathed, and they were even able to save 3 of their 4 pets.

Perhaps the part of the story that really brought tears to my eyes was the piece that was posted on facebook a few days later. A single, fire-scarred page of a bible was found in this family's yard. It was from the Bible that had belonged to the mother of the lady of the house, and in the top right-hand corner there was a Bible text underlined and still readable. The text? Matt. 6:34: "So don't be anxious about tomorrow, God will take care of your tomorrow. Live one day at a time."

Perhaps the lessons to be learned from this story are many and multi-faceted, but the one I want to point out today is this: God does not abandon us to our troubles. Right in the midst of them, He is there, and His hand is upon us. He also leaves evidence of this so that at the moment of our greatest despair, we can feel His touch on our lives and remember His goodness, mercy and grace.

It's true that sometimes we have to look for that evidence. I mean, the members of my church, upon finding this fire-scarred page, could have just chucked it into the garbage can without even looking at it. Being on the alert for evidence of God's touch on our lives will help to ensure that when we most need it, we will see it...even--and perhaps especially!--in the midst of our biggest troubles.

Thank you, God, for taking care of this family. Thank you for keeping them safe and for leaving behind an important reminder that You have not abandoned them to their troubles. Help us to remember this story in the midst of our biggest problems. Help us to be on the alert for the evidence of Your touch on our lives. Help us to understand that no matter what, You have not abandoned us to our problems!

In His love,
Lyn


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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 19 Oct 2017, 9:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 19, 2017

Staying the Course

By Answers2Prayer
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9)

I've never run a marathon but my self-proclaimed 'couch potato' friend is about to run her first race at the age of sixty. "It's for a good cause," she bubbled to me this morning. It's never too late to embark on a new endeavor. Getting on-board with something is not always the challenge, though; it can be staying the course.

Heavy and hurtful had been words and actions directed towards a friend of ours at his workplace. How to deal with that? It can be frustrating and depressing, when you want to stay the course and do the right thing.

David is the only person in the Bible called "a man after God's own heart." (1Sam 13:14, Jer 3:15, Acts 13:22) Over and over, in the songs he himself wrote, is the solution to situations such as this: Turn to God, trust in God to heal you and direct you, and have faith in God that He will vindicate you. God is the embodiment of truth; you can have complete confidence He will do what he says: He will take care of you, His child.

So the answer to how to deal with staying the course is--carry on, do the next right thing. Keep on doing what you're doing. Retaliation and revenge only backfire. The Lord will fight on your behalf. Don't cave, don't waiver. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we think or ask. Know with certainty that God's power is available and at work--for you--now.
Staying the course, a good plan with a good God to help us. That's good news.

"the battle is not yours, but God's...stand still and watch the Lord's victory. Do not be afraid or discouraged... for the Lord is with you!" (2 Chronicles 20:15, 17)

Sally I. Kennedy
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Oct 2017, 11:26 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 17, 2017

Five Reasons why NOT to Worry About Tomorrow...

By Answers2Prayer
Hubby and I took off for our routine evening walk. And as we rounded the walking trail, he repeatedly had to duck to avoid smashing his head against the branches that hung low. He endured this annoyance for a while.

Then he decided to take action.

So the next day, before we headed out, he grabbed the trimming clippers from the garage. Armed with this weapon that he carried rifle style, we set off for our walk. As we drew closer, he gave a gasp of surprise. The maintenance folks had taken care of the trimming.

I couldn't suppress my chuckle as he carried the clippers back home.

We all do that, don't we? When the branches of life annoy us, we get fed up. Sometimes we become anxious because the problem persists. Then anger flares up, wondering if God is watching. And frustrated, we ask ourselves if He's planning to do anything about it.

But through David's words In Psalm 139:4, God has five ways to remind us that although we don't see how, God is in full control. His clippers are sharper and better, capable to trim our restlessness and cut off our worry:

* He's aware of our every move: "You know when I sit and when I rise..."

* He reads our mind: "You perceive my thoughts from afar."

* He follows us wherever we go: "You discern my going out and my lying down..."

* God knows our habits, quirks and flaws: "You are familiar with all my ways."

* God is ahead of the game. "Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD."

If God is working on taking care of the glitches ahead, why do we carry the clippers of worry?

Janet P. Eckles

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 14 Oct 2017, 5:36 pm


Welcome to the Nugget

October 14, 2017

CATHEDRALS!

Lessons on Being Supportive, Part 6: Die Schlosskirche

By Answers2Prayer
Last Thursday, in "CATHEDRALS! Part 5", we learned from La Playa de Las Catedrais, the naturally sculpted "cathedral" on the beach in Ribadeo, Spain, that when our advice and assistance is not requested and we can't do anything to change a situation, we need to simply release it into the hands of the Master builder and pray for God to make something beautiful out of the bad circumstances and decisions.

But what if we release the situation into God's hands; what if we commit ourselves to prayer and...nothing happens? How can we continue to be supportive by--doing nothing? Isn't there anything else we can "do"?

Perhaps one of the most famous of all European cathedrals can be found in Wittenberg, Germany. Officially called the "All Saint's Church", but commonly known as the "Schlosskirche" or "Castle Church", this beautiful, 15th century Gothic structure is a magnificent work of architecture. On October 31, 1517, however, the cathedral forever entered the books of history when Martin Luther posted his 95 theses to its door.

Despite its fame, history has not been kind to the All Saint's Church. During the Seven Years' War, the church was bombed; and the ensuing fire destroyed almost everything, including the wooden door to which Martin Luther actually nailed his theses. The church was rebuilt, but because of its exposure over the years to wind and weather and the normal wear and tear affecting all great buildings, further restorations have been required. The church was completely renovated in the late 1800s; and in honor of the 500 year anniversary of Protestantism this year, the church is once again undergoing renovations.

This is not a unique occurrence. It is a common sight in Europe to see cathedrals covered in scaffolding, for all buildings are exposed to the eroding properties of wind and weather, many are subjected to fire, and the two great wars have brought about much need to rebuild and restore. Often the churches have to be completely torn down and new structures built in their place, and if you take the time to read through the history of the majority of the cathedrals in Europe, you will find that most have been restored and many have been rebuilt, often from the ground up, sometimes up to three or more times!

In the same way that wind and weather have eroded the magnificent cathedrals, circumstance, as well as poor choices, can significantly impact our lives and the lives of those we love and wish to support. Being there for them, offering advice and help and praying for them will help to stay some of the impact of the circumstances and poor choices; however, when our advice goes completely unheeded, when our offer of help is completely ignored, or when the circumstances are completely outside of our or their control, there will be negative consequences. What is our role then?

Most would be tempted to sit back and say, "I told you so. If you had only listened..." This kind of a reaction, however, won't change anything. It is kind of like saying to the All Saint's Church, "I told you the wind and weather would damage your stones, but you wouldn't listen!" In fact, the "I told you so" attitude will only serve to push us even farther from the lives of those we wish to support.

Besides praying about the situation and surrendering it into God's hands, do we have a role to play when we've been forced to sit and watch those we care about going through tough times?

Let's again take lessons from the Master Father, the God of the universe. When He was forced to do nothing in the face of the destructive choice of Adam and Eve in the garden; when He had to sit back and watch the horrific consequences of that choice, He didn't say, "I told you so!" Instead, He was there with a solution: He sent Jesus to provide a way out of that poor choice, to reconcile us once again to God. He was there to help us pick up the pieces, to show us the way to recover from that bad choice: "For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16 NLT).

Our role, then, is to follow God's example. Just like the state of Germany is stepping up to fund the restoration of the All Saints' Church, we must resolve to do everything in our power to rebuild and restore. Those who are hurting need to know that we are there for them, no matter what.

What does this look like?

When that marriage falls apart, the one you advised against in the first place, you are there to humbly hold them up, to comfort and to assist in any way possible.

When the student loan money is completely wasted because that young person didn't heed your advice and stay in school, you are there to humbly comfort them, to encourage them, to hold their hand through it.

When the car you advised against buying breaks down and strands the one you care about, you are there to humbly pick them up, drive them to work, and assist them in getting the car fixed or replaced.

Remember that sometimes it takes these kinds of situations to help people realize their need to listen to advice!

Oh, and just one more thought...Perhaps a vital part of being supportive has to do with forgiveness. We must forgive the ones who refuse to listen or accept our advice and help.

This is the last part of the "CATHEDRALS!" mini-series. If you have missed any parts of this series, you will find them by clicking here. Or contact me at lyn@sermonillustrator.org and I will be happy to forward them to you. Meanwhile, may God bless you abundantly as you lovingly support those you care about by committing them into God's hands through prayer, and then being there for them to help pick up the pieces.

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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And speaking of Die Schlosskirche -- the All Saint's Church...

The 500 year anniversary of the birth of protestantism -- that famous day in 1517 when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses on the door of Die Schlosskirche -- the All Saint's Church -- in Wittenberg, Germany, is coming up at the end of this month! Please join us the last week of October as we take a special look at protestantism and Christianity.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 12 Oct 2017, 9:24 pm


Welcome to the Nugget
October 12, 2017

CATHEDRALS!

Lessons on Being Supportive, Part 5: La Playa de las Catedrais

By Answers2Prayer
Last Tuesday, in "CATHEDRALS! Part 4", we learned from the towns of Mediano and Janovas in Northern Spain that when our advice and help is requested, we must be there for those requesting it; but when it is not, the only way we can truly be supportive is to respect their wishes.

But wait. When we see that those we wish to support are making the wrong decisions and taking the wrong paths, when we see that withholding our advice and help may result in disaster, how can we, as loving, caring parents and friends, simply sit back and do nothing?

We can't, and God used the "cathedrals" at "La Playa de las Catedrais" to help me understand what it is that we not only can do, but we must do...

La Playa de Las Catedrais is a beautiful beach near Ribadeo, Spain. Directly translated, the Spanish words mean "Cathedrals Beach", and when you walk on the sand at low tide, it becomes quite apparent how this section of coastline got its name. The cliffs, some over 32 meters high, have, through the ages, been sculpted by wind and sea, forming spectacular arches, vaults, cracks, tunnels and galleries of rock. To make it even more special, from the sands of this beach, you can look out over the water in the mornings and evenings to watch remarkable sunrises and breathtaking sunsets.

Although all the rock formations are formidably beautiful, there are a couple in particular, that if caught at the right angle and in the right light, make you forget you are on a beach. In fact, were it not for the bare feet and rolled up pants, you would feel like you are standing in a spectacular cathedral.

We had admired so many grand cathedrals throughout Northern Spain, photographing and appreciating each for its unique architecture and decor; but as we stood at low tide that morning, in perhaps one of the most magnificent works of architecture we had ever seen, we realized something vitally important: God is the greatest architect!

With that thought came yet another: God doesn't need suspended models such as were used in the construction of the Sagrada Familia; He doesn't use the cranes, buttresses or molded decor so commonly seen supporting European structures; He doesn't worry about funding, and the threats of fire, flood and wind don't faze Him in the least. In fact, He uses the wind and the waves as tools in His hands; and in the end, His structures stand, as a lasting reminder, that where man fails, God...is!

Friends, when our offers of advice and assistance are rejected; when we are forced to stand by and look on while those we care about make the wrong choices; when any assistance on our part will only break the fragile connection that hopefully still remains between us, remember La Playa de Las Catedrais. Just as God uses the wind and water to expertly sculpt the beautiful arches and vaults found along this beach, He uses the "wind" of our poor choices and the "water" of our circumstances to form us into something of even more beauty and higher value: "Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time." (Eccl. 3:11 NLT); "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Rom. 8:28 NLT).

What, then, can we do when our assistance is rejected?

We can release the situation into the hands of the Master Architect. We can trust that the same creative hand that uses the wind and waves to sculpt something of formidable beauty along the beach at Ribadeo, will also mold something of great value out of the circumstances and bad decisions made by those we care about. The most important thing we can do to support our loved ones through the hard times is to release them into God's hands.

Wait. We are fixers. Letting go and letting God is not always easy. Isn't there anything we can do?

Yes, there is. We can pray. Prayer is like the machinery that opens the sluice gates on the locks so that the water can raise the ships. Prayer is like the electrician who repairs the broken power lines so that electricity can flow into homes and provide power and light and heat. Prayer is like us pulling the trigger on the gas pump so that gas will flow into and power our vehicles. Prayer is what unleashes God's creative power to change the situations we can do nothing about.

So just what does it look like to be supportive?

It is being there for someone, providing advice and assistance when it is requested, and it is knowing how and when to let go. But most importantly, it is releasing the situations that we cannot change into the hands of God, the Master Architect, and then praying His creative power into those situations.

But what if we release the situation into God's hands, what if we commit ourselves to prayer, and...nothing changes? Isn't there anything else we can do?

Join us Saturday for the conclusion of this series: "CATHEDRALS! Part 6: Die Schlosskirche".

In His love,
Lyn


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

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Oct 2017, 9:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 5, 2017

CATHEDRALS!

Lessons on Being Supportive, Part 2:
The Sagrada Familia

By Answers2Prayer
Last Tuesday, in "CATHEDRALS! Part 1", we saw that being supportive means we need to hold up those we care about, while at the same time, ensuring that we are not sources of frustration and discouragement to them.

All that is very informative from a cognitive level; but as I stood in the streets of Barcelona that morning, waiting for the famous "Sagrada Familia", to open for the day, I couldn't help wondering just how I could go about holding up, reinforcing and assisting those I want to support. Little did I know that God would use this lofty cathedral to teach me three important facts about being supportive...

The Sagrada Familia is, hands down, the #1 tourist attraction in Barcelona. This towering cathedral dominates the skyline and can be seen for miles from the air; but as I stared at it that morning, I realized something amazing: It didn't seem to have any external supports! I would later learn why. The Sagrada Familia is the creation of the famous Spanish architect, Antoni Gaudi. When he designed the basilica, he went to great lengths to learn from the forces of nature how to create a self-supported structure. He made upside down models of his designs out of weighted string. He then noted the angles at which these weights fell, and he designed the actual upright structures on the same angles. This cathedral was actually designed to stand--without external support!

Herein lies the first lesson: Being supportive means that we do everything in our power to teach those we care about to be self-supportive. Where Gaudi did this by building upside down models, we do it by introducing them to the source of true strength and support: Jesus Christ. If they already know Christ, then we do everything to encourage them to rely on Him and allow Him to be their support.

As I contemplated this, it occurred to me that the workers constructing the basilica must have had great faith in Gaudi's plans. I mean, wouldn't all those crazy angles seem ludicrous? I suspect, however, that they had seen other creations of this master architect and knew his blueprints could be trusted...

From this comes the second important clue for how to be supportive. It doesn't start when the apparent need for support becomes visible; rather, it begins when we first meet those whom we wish to support. This means we make a habit of building relationships and establishing patterns of listening; it means that we love them unconditionally and unselfishly, not just when they are in difficulty, but all the time. The key to being supportive lies in having established a firm pattern of trust with those we wish to support!

A third lesson about being supportive that we can learn from the Sagrada Familia comes from its external beauty. As mentioned above, the basilica appears to have been built without external supports; and when you see the structure, you realize immediately that adding external supports would not only be unnecessary, but would turn this beautiful work of architectural genius into something ugly.

Unfortunately, this can one of the more painful lessons in being supportive. In the same way that putting external supports on the Sagrada Familia would ruin the structure, we need to realize that those we wish to support may not always want or need our support. If we try to be supportive when they don't need it, it will be cumbersome to them. In order to truly be supportive, we need to simply be there, like the Rock of Gibraltar, ready and eager to help, but not pushing ourselves on them when they don't ask.

Does this sound cold?

Think of it from a different perspective. There is no better parent than God: Abba, Papa, Daddy God. God never pushes Himself upon us, but when we open our hearts to Him and cry out, He is always there: "The godly cry out and the LORD hears; he saves them from all their troubles." (Ps. 34:17 NET).

We also know that we need to "ask" to receive: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you." (Matt. 7:7 NET).

Just as God is always there for us, we also need to be there for those we wish to support. We shouldn't be physically in their faces, but we need to ensure that they realize we are there for them the moment they ask.

But what if they are too proud to ask for help? Or maybe they don't realize we can do anything for them. Or maybe they are simply too overwhelmed by the situation to do anything at all. Then what?

That's when we quietly offer our help. We offer to be a listening ear and to share our ideas. If they accept the offer, then we are free to help, to share ideas and to be that listening ear. If they do not, however, then we must respect them as God respects us. We must release them to make their own decisions, for isn't that what our ultimate Father does?

How to be supportive? We point them to God, our ultimate support; we make every effort to prove ourselves trustworthy; and we offer our help, but we don't push our support upon them if they refuse our offer.

But how can a loving person just sit back and watch people make the wrong decisions? Join us on Saturday for CATHEDRALS! Part 3: Gaudi's Crypt.

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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Most of us truly desire to be supportive, but we simply don't know how. Little did I know that God would use the towering basilicas from Norther Spain to teach me valuable lessons on how to be supportive God's way. Join us for the next week and a half for: "Cathedrals!" by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 03 Oct 2017, 2:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 3, 2017

CATHEDRALS!
Lessons on Being Supportive, Part 1: Definition
By Answers2Prayer
Last Saturday, in the introduction to this series, we saw that we are called to be supportive of one another. This is easier to preach about then to practice, however, for many of us don't fully understand what it means to be supportive or how to separate it from its destructive cousin, control. I was struggling with these questions at the time of our family vacation last summer, and God used the cathedrals of Northern Spain to teach me valuable lessons in supportiveness.

The first thing that amazed me as we visited these beautiful feats of architecture was their age. Though a few are more recent, some date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. This means they have passed the test of time; they have weathered the storms, the humidity and the pollution; they have withstood erosion, fire and war; and the reason they have survived is because they were designed and constructed with multiple internal and external supports. Here are just a few of the common supports used in European architecture:

* The Abutment: the reinforcing block of masonry that adds support to the great vaults and arches.
* The Arcade: a row of arches set atop columns. The term sometimes refers to the arched roof itself.
* The Hammer Beams: Right angled support beams projecting from wall tops to brace wooden roofs via vertical extensions known as hammerposts.
* The Jamb: The vertical side surface masonry of a door, window or portal entranceway.
* The Tribune: A vaulted gallery which forms or covers the ceiling of an aisle.

The list could go on, but suffice is to say, these supports literally find their way into every part of the structures.

Like the cathedrals, we also need support in every part of our lives so that we, too, can stand the tests of life. God desires to be our support, and it is for this reason that we are told to, "...be strengthened in the Lord and in the strength of his power." (Eph. 6:10-11 NET). Unfortunately, many of those we wish to support do not believe in God, and are, therefore, cut off from this ultimate in support. Those of us who believe have access to God’️s strength and support; however, we tend to not fully trust His power to sustain us in hard times. We often don't heed His words of wisdom; we usually don't allow Him to guide us; and overall, our faith is weak. As a result, even those of us who believe in God often live without our intended support network. This is why we are told to: "...encourage one another and build up each other..." (1 Thes. 5:11 NET), and to: "...pray at all times in the Spirit...with all perseverance and requests for all the saints." (Eph. 6:18 NET). It is our job to love them enough to be there for them, no matter what, for if we do not support them, they will not stand.

But we are only human beings. We are not pillars and buttresses of stone. Just what does being supportive mean in terms of human relationships?

My first stop in answering this question was the dictionary, and here is what I found. Support: to bear all or part of the weight; to hold something up; to give assistance to; to enable to function or act.

In order to have a clearer meaning, my next stop was the thesaurus to find other words that might be similar. Support: hold up, bear, carry, prop up, keep up, brace, shore up, underpin, buttress, reinforce, undergird, help, aid, assist, maintain, keep and subsidize.

Finally, since it's always easier to understand a concept by looking at its opposite meaning, my last stop in my search of a definition for "support" was again the thesaurus, for antonyms this time: disapproval, frustration, opposition, stop, and discouragement.

Where do these definitions teach us?

That in order to be properly supportive of those we care about in life, we need to carry, prop up, brace and reinforce them; we need to help and assist them; we must be to them pillars, props, crutches and braces; and we must contribute to their maintenance, their keep and their sustenance. Finally, in order to be supportive, we must also keep from being sources of frustration, opposition and discouragement, and we must not be disapproving.

That, friends, is how we can be the abutments, the arcades, the hammer beams, the jambs and the tribunes to those we love. The problem is, just how does one go about holding up, carrying, bracing, reinforcing and assisting those we wish to support, without frustrating, opposing and discouraging them?

Join us next time for "CATHEDRALS! Lessons on Being Supportive, Part 2: The Sagrada Familia

In His love,
Lyn

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

Post  Admin on Sun 24 Sep 2017, 11:47 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 23, 2017

A Time to Surrender

By Answers2Prayer
"Furthermore, tell the people, 'This is what the Lord says: See, I am setting before you the way of life and the way of death. Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live; they will escape with their lives. I have determined to do this city harm and not good, declares the Lord. It will be given into the hands of the king of Babylon, and he will destroy it with fire.'" (Jeremiah 21:8-10 NIV)

As I read the above text the other day, I did a bit of a double take. Putting myself in the shoes of the people of Judah, I couldn't help but think that in their minds, surrendering to the Babylonians would be the worst possible thing to do! After all, they were the enemy! We are programmed in our genes to fight to the end. How on earth could God be saying to these people that they would be better off surrendering to the Babylonians? How could He say that it was only in surrender that would they save their lives?

As we read more about the Babylonian captivity, we see that the king Jeremiah was speaking to was Zedekiah, a puppet king placed on the throne by Nebuchadnezzar when his nephew, Jehoiachin, was deported to Babylon. Further glances at history show that Jehoiachin actually did surrender to Nebuchadnezzar. He was then taken alive to Babylon and was later released. He did not die, and even in exile, the Jews considered Jehoiachin to be their king.*

Zedekiah, on the other hand, though appointed by Nebuchadnezzar, broke his oath of loyalty to the king of Babylon and entered into an alliance with the king of Egypt. He was urged by the prophet Jeremiah to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar, but he would not. In the end, Jeremiah records that Nebuchadnezzar, "...killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes; he also killed all the officials of Judah. Then he put out Zedekiah's eyes, bound him with bronze shackles and took him to Babylon, where he put him in prison till the day of his death." (Jeremiah 52:10-11 NIV)

Wow. When you see the whole picture, you realize how much better it would have been for Zedekiah to have followed Jeremiah's advice!

It is certain that none of us are in ancient Jerusalem with the Chaldean army pounding on our walls, but we are all struck by different kinds of evil. Our "Chaldean army" may be illness or any other kind of hardship. We want out. We want resolution. We want healing. We want our "Chaldean army" to simply go away.

But sometimes God calls us to "surrender".

Why?

Because God sees the end from the beginning, and He knows that sometimes surrender is the best way. This was God's message to me when I went through cancer five years ago. Why didn't God intervene? Why did He ask me to "surrender" to His will rather than miraculously heal me? I don't have all the answers because I don't know what would have happened in my life if He had simply removed the cancer. But I can tell you this: The day I surrendered the cancer and all of its implications into His hands was the day I found peace. Not only that, but it was also the day that my relationship with God began to grow as I learned to trust Him with every aspect of the disease and its treatments. In looking back over those sweet times with my loving Heavenly Father, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.

Yes God does still perform miraculous healings. Yes, we need to put our trust in His healing power. But we must also understand that sometimes the paths of suffering are actually the "preferable" path over what might otherwise be, and during those dark moments, we can trust in our God to carry us through. When we do, we can be assured that we will not rot in a prison as Zedekiah did. Rather, like Jehoachin, we will eventually be set free and go on to be the people of God we were created to be.

Yes, there is a time to take a stand in faith, and there is also a time to surrender the circumstances to God and let Him be in charge. Only then can we be assured of the best possible outcome.

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.

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeconiah

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Most of us truly desire to be supportive, but we simply don't know how. Little did I know that God would use the towering basilicas from Norther Spain to teach me valuable lessons on how to be supportive God's way. Join us next Saturday for the first of this 7 part series: "Cathedrals!" by Lynona Gordon Chaffart
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 21 Sep 2017, 6:16 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 21, 2016

Simple quiz to see how you handle fear.

By Answers2Prayer

What joy, the plane landed a bit earlier in Quito, Ecuador. My friend would be waiting for me and we'd be on our way to our week of ministering to those affected by the earthquake.

The airport employee who guided me out of the plane grabbed my bags and led me toward the exit of the airport. Then he asked, "What does the friend who's picking you up look like?"

I leaned on my white cane and gave a silly grin. Although I met her during her visit to the states, being blind, I had no clue what she looked like.

"Don't worry," I said, "she'll recognize me and we'll be on our way."

We waited. And we waited. No friend. Then logic filed in my head. What if, since I've been traveling so much, I ended up in the wrong country, or arrived on the wrong date.

"This is Ecuador, isn't it?" I asked, sort of joking.

Whew! He said it was. At least it was the correct country. But with no one there to meet me, I had to decide what to do. I couldn't use my cell phone; it had no service in a foreign country.

Here's when we have the choice--whether we allow fear to rule us or faith empower us.

I chose the latter because of this test I gave myself. And I invite you to take it too:

* Is God aware of our every glitch?
* Is He faithful when we encounter unexpected circumstances?
* Is His faithfulness active even when we fail?
* Does His answer come in ways we never predicted?
* Is His protection available no matter where we are?
* Does He warn what to do about fear, worry and anxiety?
* Can I rest, knowing His hand is upon me no matter if I'm blind, deaf or crippled?
* King David might have taken this test because he declared: "The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)

I passed the test, then gathered my suitcases around me, plopped in a chair near the exit and relaxed while I waited. If you also answer "yes" to all of the above, you're on the way to a life of faith. And if you recognize His promises as you answered the questions, you've arrived at a place where faith rules, where peace reigns, where your steps are firm. And best of all, even when circumstances don't change, your heart is secure, your thoughts are calm and His answer is sure to come.

And my answer indeed came. My friend had received wrong information from the airline, telling her the plane was delayed for three hours. Eventually she sent someone to pick me up from the airport. And although I didn't know this person, I still trusted--not so much in her as she was a stranger, but I trusted in god who is truly trustworthy.

How about you? Are you at a place strangely painful? What does the test reveal about your fear, about your faith?

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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 19 Sep 2017, 10:50 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 19, 2016

Focus
By Answers2Prayer
"O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!" (Psalm 8:1)

One summer my husband and I had the opportunity to travel to the emerald isle. The camera was attached to my wrist, where it was handy, since there was one great shot after another. On this particular day there was a family behind us, also sightseeing. The adults and the grandparents seemed captured and caught up by the natural splendor. The youngest seemed oblivious to the grandeur surrounding us; his focus was fixed on a handheld computer game.

Sometimes I am just like that child. I can get so caught up in what I have in my hands that I miss what God has in His.

God is all around us in nature, sharing His majesty and revelation (see Psalm 104). Not just in the mountains and hidden waterfalls, but also in a daisy, a perfectly veined leaf, the flash of a lightning bolt, or in glistening drops of rain.

Open my eyes, Lord, and thank you for helping me shift my focus to what You have for me to see this day.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy 2015

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DEALING WITH GRIEF
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Mon 18 Sep 2017, 12:00 am

Welcome to the Nugget


September 16, 2017

The Sunglasses
By Answers2Prayer
Why is it that the moment we are in the midst of the worst circumstances, God seems so far away? And the more we pray and seek His help, ever believing for God's mercy and grace, the more it seems that He doesn't respond? Is this how Job felt when he said, "Even today my complaint is still bitter; his hand is heavy despite my groaning. O that I knew where I might find him...If I go to the east, he is not there, and to the west, yet I do not perceive him. In the north when he is at work, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I see no trace of him." (Job 23:2-3, 8-9 NET)?

But wait. Hasn't God promised to never leave us or forsake us? "...He will not fail you or abandon you!" (Deut. 31:6 NET). Why then, in the midst of our problems, is He not there?

Recently my husband and I had the privilege of visiting "Rock City Park" in Olean, New York. This is a unique land formation made up of tall, flat-topped boulders with narrow, deep ravines running between them. It is most impressive to see how deep these ravines are, and I was leaning out over one when my sunglasses slipped from my head and tumbled to the bottom.

Of course, they were just sunglasses, but they had cost 25$, and I really didn't want to lose them. At the first opportunity, my husband and I took the designated staircase to the foot of the boulders and searched every ravine we found. As I reached the end of one long, narrow crevice, I noticed a small opening that led to the next one. Certain that we were in about the same place where I had lost my glasses, I "corkscrewed" my way through that opening. Things didn't seem quite right from the other side, however. The landmarks weren't quite the same. This couldn't be the right spot...and I squirmed my way back out.

We went back to the gift shop next, and I asked the attendant if there was any way to get those glasses. He was kind enough to loan us a tall ladder, and I was able to climb down the designated ravine to rescue my eyewear. As I was heading back towards the ladder, however, I noticed a familiar-looking opening under a fallen boulder...I was in the same ravine I had wiggled my way into not 30 minutes earlier. I had been where my sunglasses had fallen, I had likely come very close to stepping on them; but I hadn't seen them. Once I had crawled out of that tiny hole under the fallen boulder, my eyes had immediately gone upward, and I had been too intent on the landmarks at the top to even search the ground under my feet.

While in the midst of our problems, it seems that God is as lost as my sunglasses. In the same way I searched for my eyewear, we search for God; and just like the glasses were, indeed, right there, so is God. Hasn't He promised to never forsake us (Deut. 31:6)? Isn't He faithful? "Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments." (Deut. 7:9 NLT. See also Ps. 36:5, Ps. 119:90, 1 Cor. 1:9, Rom 3:3, etc.). The bottom line is this: God is faithful to keep His promises, and this includes His promise to never leave us or forsake us.

The problem is, just as I was too distracted with trying to figure out where I was in relation to where I had been when the sunglasses fell to actually see them under my feet, we can easily become distracted by our circumstances; and when we allow our eyes to fix on our problems, we won't see, feel or hear God's presence. This doesn't change the facts, however, that God is always faithful and will never abandon us. Whether we realize it or not, He is carrying us through.

So what do we do when we can't find God in the web of our circumstances?

The first thing I did to find my sunglasses was look for them. In the same way, we need to seek God, especially in times when we don't see Him. The second thing I did was find a ladder. There is a "ladder" for finding God as well. Our "ladder" is our faith in His goodness and love. We need to cling to the fact that even when we don't see Him, even when it appears that He isn't answering our prayers, it is then that He is carrying us through. When we fully embrace this Truth, we will begin to see His hand upon us, even in the midst of our circumstances.

Don't abandon the search. Instead, seek Him. Get out your "ladder" of faith and keep on believing in the One who will never abandon you to your circumstance.

In His love,
Lyn

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

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Fri 15 Sep 2017, 1:26 am

Welcome to the Nugget

September 14, 2016
Little Blinkers

By Answers2Prayer
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matt 5:16)

I was walking my beagle, Snoopy the other evening while the last light of the setting sun colored the clouds purple and pink. I looked up to the sky and smiled. After a minute Snoopy started pulling at her leash. She was more than ready to head inside for a bowl of dog food and a bacon treat. I wasn't quite ready to go in yet, however, so I knelt down and patted her head. I was waiting for my friends the Little Blinkers to appear.

It wasn't long either before I saw them switching their lights on and off. They were fireflies, of course, also known as lightening bugs. Over all the years that I have lived here they have never failed to appear at this time during the Summer to do their mating dance of light and love.

They have never failed to delight me. They have never failed to amaze me. They have never failed to make the world a little brighter. It has always been such a joy too knowing that God created such wonderful creatures that can shine their own light and make the dark meadows look like the starry skies above. They make me want to share my own light as well, even if it isn't that bright and even if it does tend to blink now and then.

Robert Fulghum wrote, "I know some people who give off a lot of light. Because they have absorbed a lot of light themselves. They Shine." I don't know how much light I have absorbed over the years, but I do know that I won't keep it hidden under a basket. I will shine it. I will share it. I will use it to bring as much goodness, love, joy, and wisdom into this world as I possibly can.

May you always shine your light as brightly as you can. May you always share it with others as well. Remember too that God doesn't ask you to illuminate the whole world. He just wants you to make your little corner of it a bit brighter.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Wed 13 Sep 2017, 12:45 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 12, 2017

Three Questions...

By Answers2Prayer
Turbulence made us shake and jostle up and down and from side to side. We were about 20 minutes before landing in Orlando when the announcement came:

"Ladies and gentlemen, turbulence is too severe for us to walk down the aisle," the flight attendant said. "We'll go with the honor system. Please make sure your seat belt is on, bags stowed under the seat, tables are secured and your seat is in the upright position. And please look to the person beside you and make sure they have also complied."

Look to the person beside us? Good idea. We can hold each other accountable.

"Make sure you, yourself have complied first before checking others," the flight attendant added.

Makes sense. Before we try to correct the person beside us, we have to do a self-check first.

The check list is important as we all encounter life's turbulence. Whether it's slight or severe, without exception, we all approach the final destination. And being wise, sharp and alert, and recognizing our human vulnerability in situations out of our control, we prepare.

And in the preparation, fear leaves, anxiety is gone and peace soothes our heart when we answer these three questions:

Are we secure in Jesus our Savior? If so, we're guaranteed life eternal, and we prepare the attire for the journey: "As God's chose people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience." (Colossians 3:12)

Do we have any baggage of resentment stowed away in our heart? "Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you." (Colossians 3:13)

What do we hold high, above all? "And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity." (Colossians 3:14)

In the turbulence of our days and in the fast pace of this world, our final destination may be closer than we think...so...how would you answer these three questions?

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

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In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets website, with Answers2Prayer Ministries
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Thu 07 Sep 2017, 10:00 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 7, 2017

Eat Dessert First



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul." (Matthew 16:26).

My wonderful daughter made me a red velvet birthday cake this year using her own special combination of creativity and love. It was huge and I cut myself the biggest piece. With the first bite I closed my eyes and smiled. It was so moist and sweet. The butter cream icing on top was delightfully thick. It had countless calories and it was so delicious without being necessarily nutritious. I didn't mind, though. I savored every bite and added a few scoops of ice cream as well. My sons and I polished off every bit of it. When we were done our bellies were full, our souls were satisfied, and dinner was still four hours away. We had followed that wise saying of a happy existence: "Life is short. Eat dessert first!"

I have spent way too many years of my life putting off the desserts I was given until everything else was done. Like far too many people in our society, I thought that work came first, duty came second, and joy was somewhere way down the list. It took me a long time to see God's simple truth that: "We work to live but we live to love." Without love, without laughter, without joy, without goodness, without all the simple pleasures life can bring, our existence becomes a dull and miserable journey.

Thankfully, I finally realized that when you put love first in your life, everything else tastes so much sweeter. Don't put off the simple joys that life can bring. Don't put off the beautiful love that you can give. Eat dessert first! Give your kids hugs before homework. Jump in the leaves before bagging them. Dance on the floors before sweeping them. Do random acts of kindness and goodness. Play with your dogs. Pet your cats. Watch the sunset. Give thanks to God. Shine your smile. Spread your sunshine. And share your love with everyone. You will be amazed at how wonderful life will be when you "Live to Love" while you "Work to live."

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Tue 05 Sep 2017, 10:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 5, 2016
Grab On

By Answers2Prayer
"The Lord made you; He formed you in the womb and he will help you." (Isaiah 44:2)

"For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand." (Isaiah 41:13)

The vine was going crazy. it was growing so fast and looking for something to grab onto all the time. Thin tendrils were reaching out continually, waving in the breeze. One grabbed onto an empty rough hewn basket; the others were pawing at the air.

How often in life we are so like that plant, looking for something to grab onto. Something to hold onto, to ground us and provide stability.

Blaise Pascal, a French philosopher, said, "There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made know through Jesus". Until our souls find rest in Him, we can be unknowingly waving about in thin air trying to latch onto meaning for our lives.

It is indeed good news that we have God's promises that He is with us (Joshua 1:9), will never leave us (Deuteronomy 31:8), and will help us (Psalm 46:1).

Irish Thursday Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy
Copyright 2016 All rights reserved.
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Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 02 Sep 2017, 10:46 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 2, 2017
The Joy of the Lord
By Answers2Prayer
It's amazing how quiet and peaceful it is at 6:00 am.

It would be a busy day, as this was the day of my son's graduation from university. As usual, I had over-planned everything, beginning with a "graduation brunch", then a drive to Waterloo for the ceremony and reception, and then back home for a "graduation celebration supper" that would be complete with a gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free (and hopefully, tasty!) graduation cake, all homemade due to my significant diet restrictions. The timing of everything would be critical, and as I took the dog for her walk on the back country roads around our home, I couldn't help reviewing everything in my mind.

As busy as my thoughts were, it took me until I was nearly home before I actually heard the familiar Bible text that God's Spirit was working hard to impress upon my mind: "Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world." (Ps. 46:10 NLT).

I quieted my unsettled mind for a moment, and that's when I realized how still and peaceful it can be at 6:00 am. I began to see the winter wheat waving in the field across the road; I took in the beautiful flowers, the birds and the trees; and as I did, yet another Bible verse was impressed upon my spirit: "The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world." (Ps. 19:1-4 NLT)

As I contemplated this, I began to remember how tumultuous things are in the world right now. Terrorists shootings and bombings, plane crashes, threat of war on every front, scary election outcomes, troops being deployed "just in case", global warming, hurricanes, etc.; and naturally, there was also the tumult in my own day. Nonetheless, the birds were singing, the wheat was waving peacefully in the breeze, the flowers were blooming, the sun was shining...

I knew what God was trying to tell me: even amidst turmoil, He is my rest, my peace, my joy, my love, my everything. As I came indoors and sat down to read my Bible, God directed me to Nehemiah 8, and the following text jumped out at me: "Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" (Neh. 8:10 NLT)

I understood. It was a day of celebration for my son, and I was ruining it with my over-planning and worry. I needed to learn some serious lessons from the birds, the flowers and the wheat fields. I needed to learn that "the joy of the Lord" is very much my strength. I sat down then and began to type this devotional, something I was sure I wouldn't have time for today...

Everyone reading this has "things" going on. For some it is simply plans. For others, it may be something major such as health problems, financial or relationship concerns, problems with transportation, child problems, etc. Some of you out there may be in war zones, or your home may have just been demolished in a hurricane. Whatever it is, let this be your takeaway today: "This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don't be dejected and sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength!" (Neh 8:10 NLT)

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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