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Post  Admin on Sat 08 Dec 2018, 8:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

December 8, 2018

Should we Celebrate Christ's Birth?

Jesus' Birthday: A Call for Celebration, Part 1
 
By Answers2Prayer 
     The Christmas season is well upon us, and along with it, its habitual flavours of commercialism, materialism, and yes, paganism. In fact, although Christmas is supposed to be the celebration of the greatest birth ever, it is pretty difficult to even find Christ in Christmas anymore.

In recent years, we've been told we're not supposed to be saying "Merry Christmas" because it isn't "politically correct". Some schools have exchanged "Christmas" concerts/plays/displays for ones that represent the beliefs of a variety of world religions, and some stores have been known to put Christmas trees upside down, all in an effort to make Christmas less of a religious holiday and more of a secular one. I have to sit back and scratch my head in wonder at this. With Santas on every corner, reindeer in every yard, elves on ever shelf, and ten times as many front-lawn sleighs as manger scenes, it would seems that Christ has already been removed from Christmas!

This leads many Christians to begin to ask themselves whether or not we should even be celebrating Christ's birth at Christmas. After all, we don't even know when Jesus was actually born, and the only thing we can be completely sure of is that it was likely not December 25th; and with all the paganism and commercialism attached to Christmas, it makes it hard to even remember this is supposed to be a birthday celebration.

You may be thinking at this point that I'm saying we shouldn't celebrate Christmas. This, actually, is not the point of this devotional. I believe that whether or not you, as a Christian, celebrate Christmas, is an individual decision, made between you and God. The question, then, is not whether we should be celebrating Christmas, but rather, should we celebrate Christ's birth?

As we consider this question, I'd like to take a moment to remind each of us what Jesus' birth truly means. Jesus left the glories of Heaven to come to this Earth. He lived a completely unappreciated life; He was ridiculed and tortured, and He died a horrendous death, all so that we could be saved, so that our sins could be forgiven, to reconcile us to the Father. Consider the following text:

"Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal's death on a cross." (Phil. 2:7-8 NLT)

This makes His birth the most important one in history; and if we make the effort to celebrate our own birthdays, it stand to reason that His birth should be celebrated all the more!

The question, then, isn't "should" we be celebrating Christ's Birth, but "when"?

This past year, we were away on my actual birthday, and as a result, it came and went without any hoopla. In fact, we had some complications on the road, which resulted in the day being in the "less pleasant" category, and we got to our campground too late to go for my promised dinner out. In all, I have to admit I felt a bit "left-out" on my birthday.

But I haven't really told you the "rest" of the story...

Three weeks before my birthday, my husband and oldest son gave me some wonderful birthday presents. The day after my actual birthday, my husband bought me ice cream and took me out to dinner. My mother had given me a beautiful birthday card just before we set out on our trip, and though my youngest son texted me a brief "happy birthday" message on my actual birthday, his card didn't arrive until about a week later, and his gift another two weeks after that. I also received some wonderful, warm birthday wishes from my e-friends around the world, which began arriving the day before my birthday and kept trickling in for the next six days. You can believe me when I say that although my actual birthday was not celebrated at all, I felt a lot more special with the birthday celebration being spread out over a couple of months than any of the "one-day-of-the-year" celebrations of the past.

Many ardent Christians do try to keep Jesus in Christmas, making great efforts to make Christmas a celebration of His birth; and I believe that many succeed and are to be commended for their efforts. However, with the season so filled with stress and diluted with worldliness, I have to wonder if maybe Jesus often feels at Christmas a little like I did on my actual birthday this year: Left out! Especially since we usually go back to not even thinking about His birth and wonderful gift to mankind once Christmas is over. Wouldn't it make Him happy if we were to acknowledge this greatest of births at other times of the year as well? Wouldn't it make Him feel even more special if His birthday celebration were to be stretched out, not just over a couple of months like mine was this year, but over the entire year? Wouldn't this serve to better show Him how much we truly appreciate the ultimate sacrifice that He made so that we might have life eternal?

Think about it!

But wait. We can't have Christmas every day. If we are to celebrate Jesus' birth daily, just what should this celebration look like?

Join us on Saturday for "A Party fit for a King: Jesus' Birthday: A Call for Celebration, Part 2"

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
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Post  Admin on Thu 29 Nov 2018, 10:26 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 29, 2018

Help! My Life is WAY too Busy!

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     Have you asked a friend lately, "How are you?" Their answer is usually something like "Busy; I'm so, so busy."

That might be your answer, too. I know mine could be as well. We're all ridiculously busy.

Strange though, a group of quails taught me just how crazy that is.

A lovely piano tune echoed through the house where I stayed during a recent trip. My friend's piano faced a window. And during one of his melodic tunes, a group of quails gathered outside.

Suddenly, the strangest thing happened. Each quail, big and small froze, no movement, no twitching. They turned to feathered statues.

Why? Their keen ears had picked up a pitch from the piano that mimicked that of a hawk. As a defense mechanism, they instinctively freeze in place.

That night I reflected on that rare reaction by those cute quails. And I vowed I would follow their example.

More than once a day, I would stop my insane busyness and be still. I'd pause enough to listen to God's Word. I'd not move until, in my soul, I felt His presence. In my heart, I'd hear His whisper. And sense His voice in my ear.

Not only our ears, but our whole being needs a quiet break, away from the busy and away from the stress.

Are you game? Let's give it a try. When we want victory, pause. When we want results, stop. When we want solutions, freeze...He's about to reveal something huge.

When the Egyptians chased the Israelites, God was about to do something big as well. That's why Moses gave the same advice to the Israelites as they ranted, complained and shook in fear.

We do the same, don't we? When stress, demands, conflict, illness, disappointment chase us, we grumble, too.

That's why Moses' words ring true today as they did back then: "Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.'" (Exodus 14:13-14 NIV)

While they were still, God did something huge. He fought on their behalf. He delivered them from danger. He did the impossible. He supernaturally parted the Red Sea so His people could cross on dry land and be free of the Egyptians.

Why wouldn't He do the impossible in our lives today? He would. He will because He can. When we're still, the path to a better life is revealed. A renewed panorama appears. A fresh answer is found. And best of all, when we learn from the quails, and stop, He turns the busy to the best.

Father, show me to the quiet spot of my day. May I be faithful to seek You for strength, for wisdom and for serenity. In Jesus' name, amen.

How will you stop your crazy busy and find a calming moment?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
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©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 27 Nov 2018, 3:11 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 27, 2018

Come up to Higher Ground
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)

Often, as I gaze out the kitchen window in the mornings, there is a bird, usually a dove, perched on a palm tree branch that's yet unfurled From that tippy top vantage point, he can see clearly, for quite a ways, in all directions. The branch might bend and sway, but he doesn't leave until he's ready to take flight again.

I've met people from all walks of life, in various situations, who seem so tired. Not the cheerful, lighthearted way we hear we can be... wearing the world, and its' cares, as a garment.. not a dark consuming cloud enveloping us. Just tired.

We have promises in the Bible about that. One I really like is in the eleventh chapter of Matthew (verses 28-30), where Jesus talks about coming to Him and letting Him give us rest.

There are several translations and meanings for the word "come" in scripture, for example it might mean "come up". And a "yoke" can be something shared by a pair, two with one purpose or task.

Can't you just picture Jesus, our friend, holding out His hand to you, and speaking softly, Hey, you don't have to stay under your circumstances. Bring all your stuff, your cares, your angst, bring it to me. I'll take care of things. I'll take care of you, I'll give you rest for your soul-tired body.

Today, my plan is to purpose, and decide, to give Him my cares and concerns...come up to that higher ground, and have peace 'in the midst' of everything.

Thank you, Lord, for that offer, your promise. It's good news.

Inspirational Messages by Sally I. Kennedy 
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Post  Admin on Sat 24 Nov 2018, 11:24 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

Novembe 24, 2018

The Source of Joy...
Lessons From the Psalms, Part 3:
Ps. 16, 34, 43, 92, 94
 
By Answers2Prayer 
     Today's lesson from the Psalms comes from a variety of different Psalms. In fact, the reference to the source of joy is so prevalent that you begin to see this emerging as a theme of the entire book. Before we look at this true source of joy, however, let's consider that this world is void of joy. Oh, we all have joyful moments, times in life when we feel our hearts will explode with happiness. But have you noticed the fleeting nature of this happiness? Have you noticed how it is so often followed by depression?
Is it possible we are seeking our joy from the wrong places? Are we expecting things or people to bring us joy? Do we feel that our joy hinges upon that better job, or being healed of cancer? Are we finding our joy in our spouses? What about in our kids or our goals and ambitions?

Yes, all of these things are gifts of God, and they can all bring us happiness. It is important, however, to differentiate between joy and happiness. Although we use them interchangeably, they are not necessarily synonyms. Happiness is a feeling, and as such, is fleeting. Joy, on the other hand, is a state of mind. For example, that beloved spouse who brings you such happiness may pass away, leaving you with intense grief. Your children will grow up and move away, leaving you with a feeling of loss and lack of purpose in life. That best friend may be transferred to a different city, leaving you lonely and unhappy. That longed-for house may come with very high taxes, leaving you worried and anxious about financial difficulties. That job may come attached to a manager that makes everyone's life--and especially yours--miserable. You may receive your healing from cancer, but there is nothing to stop you from getting other diseases, other problems.

The point is, every earthly thing that we look to is temporary, fleeting. If these are the source of our joy, our joy will not be with us forever.

The book of Psalms speaks of a joy that is eternal, a joy that will never pass away. It's source? the Lord. Consider the following texts:

"Taste and see that the Lord is good.
   Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!
Fear the Lord, you his godly people,
   for those who fear him will have all they need." (Ps. 34:8-9 NLT).

"There I will go to the Altar of God--
   the source of all my joy." (Ps. 43:4a NLT).

"You will show me the way of life,
   granting me the joy of your presence
and the pleasures of living with you forever." (Ps. 16:11 NLT).

"When anxiety was great within me,
   your consolation brought me joy." (Ps. 94:19 NIV).

"It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
   to sing praises to the Most High…
You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!
   I sing for joy because of what you have done.
O Lord, what great works you do!
   And how deep are your thoughts." (Ps. 92:1,4-5 NLT).

We invite you to see also Ps. 30:5, 118:24, 32:7, 119:111, 119:14, etc., but the point is this: The book of Psalms makes it clear that our true, lasting source of joy is in the Lord, and we can have access to this joy by going to His altar (Ps. 43:4), taking refuge in Him (Ps. 34:8), accepting His comfort (Ps. 94:19), being in His presence (Ps. 16:11), and by giving thanks (Ps. 92:1-5; see also Ps. 136:1-3, 97:12, 95:2, etc.) 

I was feeling down when I got up this morning. So much is going on, little things mostly, but with our house on the market and no one coming by to see it, it can be difficult sometimes to fight off those feelings of depression. I could hear God in my mind directing me to read Ps. 92 (see quote above). I decided to put this to a test. I don't have a harp or lire--nor would I know how to play one if I did--but I began to sing and dance. I thanked God for all His blessings, I praised Him for all the little (and big!) miracles of the past, I proclaimed His love in all of my current situations, I shouted out my appreciation for His love and comfort and support. The transformation was immediate. The depression began to flee, to be replaced with pure, Godly joy. After less than 5 minutes, I knew beyond a doubt that God not only would take care of my present circumstances, but He was already in the process of working out the miracles.

The source of true joy, joy that endures forever? The Lord! And you can access this joy at any time by giving praise, by taking refuge in Him, by accepting the comfort He gives and by spending time in His presence.

And just in case you might think this message is unique to the Psalms, try checking out 2 Chronicles 5:13, Jeremiah 30:19, Phil. 4:6-7, 1 Corinthians 1:4-5, 1 Chronicles 16:34, Jeremiah 33:11, Proverbs 10:28, 1 Peter 1:8-9, Romans 5:13, John 16:22 and Romans 14:17, to name just a few other references to God being the source of our joy...

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:
In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Nov 2018, 8:45 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 22, 2018

Young Where it Counts
 

By Answers2Prayer 
  "Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus." (1 Thess. 5:18 NLT)

"And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise." (Phil. 4:8 NLT)

Beep! Beep! Beep! I rolled over in the dark room and turned off the alarm clock. I started to get up but my 51 year old back ached in protest. I sat up in bed and stretched it to no avail. It still hurt a lot. I wondered if I was going to need some aspirins to make it feel better today. I slowly stumbled into the bathroom to grab a drink of water. I turned on the light and saw a hurting, haggard face staring back at me from the mirror. It wasn't a pretty sight.

I pulled on my clothes and coat and started to untangle the dog leases on the kitchen table. Suddenly, two white paws thumped on the table beside me and a huge, furry head snuggled in against my chest. I gave my dog, Fluffy a hug and smiled. Then I noticed my oldest son walking down the hall already in a happy mood about the day to come. He too joined in the hug before I took Fluffy out for his morning walk. The grass was frosty but the heavens above had just started to change. The sky was full of pink and red clouds that seemed painted with our Heavenly Father's love. I looked at them for a long while and then said my favorite prayer: "Thank you God!" I noticed something too. My back was no longer hurting. Later when I looked in the mirror again to shave all I saw was a young, loving soul staring back at me.

Jeanne Moreau wrote: "Age doesn't protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age." No matter how old, aching, stooped, gray, or wrinkled your body gets then always keep your love burning bright. Love God. Love yourself. And love everyone else. Love animals. Love music. Love this world we live in. Love life itself. If you do then no matter how old your body seems to be, you will always be young. You will be young where it counts. You will be young in your heart. You will be young in your soul. You will be young in your life.

You will be the eternal Child of God you were meant to be.

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!" (1 Cor. 13:4-8 NLT),

Joseph J. Mazzella 
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Post  Admin on Tue 20 Nov 2018, 10:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 20, 2018

Waiting on God
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     Are you waiting on the Lord?

Perhaps you've been praying feverishly amidst a troubling circumstance in your life, and so far God has remained silent. Maybe through a volley of tears with arms lifted high, you've asked in faith for God to provide physical healing, a new job; restoration to your marriage or financial provisions to see you through another day. Whatever your situation and whatever your prayers, still God remains silent. Have you ever been in this predicament?

Are you there right now?

Waiting on the Lord is sometimes easier said than done and can be agonizingly difficult when our prayers go unanswered. I know this because I'm waiting on the Lord. I'm waiting for God to heal my wife from a long suffering ailment so she can return to work. I'm waiting with anticipation for God to direct my path and set my feet on solid ground with meaningful employment after months of unemployment.
 
So what do we do when our Heavenly Father delays answers to our prayers? It's simple. We pray more! And when you think He's not heeding your call for help, its then you need to latch yourself to His Word. God's promises are sure fire and bullet proof. His divine words can provide comfort and hope for a spirit filled with uncertainty and fear. Here is one such verse which assures us that God has our backs! "God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:19 NIV)

Does that include relational conflicts, bills, health concerns or the need for employment? Yes! God knows what we need and He wants us to wait patiently for Him to answer our prayers, but He also wants us to wait expectantly and to have the faith to realize that He's going to keep his word. "I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for he has promised." Psalm 130:5 (TLB)

Recently I was in a craft store with my wife, and as we meandered about, the words on a small cross-stitch project caught my eye. In that moment, I felt God's presence in my circumstances, a subtle reminder of His faithfulness to bring about change and provide hope for the future. The craft showed a picture of a church nestled in a green country meadow covered in flowers. Above it read, "Everything is possible with God." This verse is from Matthew chapter 19, verse 26.

As my wife browsed, I pondered those five simple words and how they applied to my own life, especially because waiting on the Lord is difficult for an impatient person like me! I know that God loves me and that I'm saved by faith through grace because of Jesus's death and resurrection; but have I really taken the time to consider that with God all things are possible? That He can and will see me through each and every plight I face as I learn to trust Him more?

Do you?

I'm trying, so please pray for me!

But what I also know is this. God is in control and I'm not. He sees the big picture and I don't, and He will honor my patience and yours. Together we can be assured of these truths as we wait on the Lord. Keep praying and never lose hope that God is completely faithful, flawlessly trustworthy and voraciously in love with you! And as we wait upon the Lord together, let's make this our directive...

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14 NIV)

Paul Smyth 
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Good news!

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

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

Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget
 
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Post  Admin on Sat 17 Nov 2018, 3:07 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
November 17, 2018

Stand...Prepared! Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 1
 bible
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us   
 

In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned will be outlined in this series that will be appearing sporadically through the fall of this year, and the winter of next...

The name of the tiny town was St. Joseph du Moine, located in the Acadian (French) section of Cape Breton. If it hadn't been for the sign marking the entrance to the community, however, we might not have realized that this was a community at all...Until we came to the church, that is...

The church of St. Joseph, a Roman Catholic parish, is located just off the main highway. Since most churches in the region were built in the 19th century, what caught our attention was the fact that this was a modern structure. We decided to stop for a visit, and while my husband snapped pictures of the beautiful sanctuary, my attention was drawn to the model of an old church on display in the foyer. Ever curious as to why there was a modern church building in such an old town, I made my way over to investigate.

Here is what I would learn...

The church of St. Joseph du Moine, originally built in the 19th century, was founded on miracles. At the time it was decided that a church should be built, there was, apparently, a major storm at sea; and when the wind and waves calmed, the beach was littered with just enough drift wood to construct the original church building. Some years later, the presiding priest asked each family in the small fishing community to donate the proceeds from one day's catch towards the purchase of a church bell. The catch that day set community records and was just enough for the bell.

Miracles didn't provide them with the protection they needed from fire, however. It was the middle of the night in the middle of winter when the blaze began. The closest fire brigade being 10 km away, the entire structure was completely ablaze before they could arrive. A few years later, the modern church we stood in was built to replace it.

As we drove away from that building, we couldn't help but notice the building that now stands beside the church: The regional fire hall...

Our lives as Christians are much like the history of the Church in St. Joseph du Moine. We have been saved in miraculous ways. We were bought with a price, justified, sanctified, loved and spoiled by the God of the universe. But just like that original church building was vulnerable to fire, we are also vulnerable. Temptation, problems, addictions, etc. abound, to the point that the Bible describes it as such: "The devil...prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8b NLT).

So often we cave to those attacks of the enemy, and when help arrives, we are already completely engulfed in the addictions, the sin, the circumstances. Wouldn't it be nice if someone would build a spiritual "fire hall" next to us, so that whenever the enemy's fire approaches, we are prepared?

The good news is: We can have that spiritual "fire hall". During those moments when our enemy's attack is the fiercest, we can cry out to the God of Angel Armies: "God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, God-of-Angel-Armies protects us." (Ps. 46:1-3 MSG. See also vs. 7,11).

Perhaps it would also be nice to not be quite so "flammable", so likely to fall into the traps of the devil. This is exactly what the Bible advises: "Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil." (Eph. 6:10-11 NLT). Paul then goes on to define "God's armour"..."Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the de vil. Put on  Salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." (Eph. 6:13-18 NLT)

What do you say? Will you join me in staying alert? In putting on the Helmet of Salvation, the Breastplate of Righteousness, the preparation of the gospel of peace, the Belt of Truth? Will you join me in taking up the Shield of Faith and the Sword of the Spirit? Will you stand alert? For when you do, then you are protected against the archenemy of our souls.

(If you need help in knowing how to put on the armour of God, why not check out the series "Armour of God" that was recently published in the Nugget? You can do so by clicking here.)

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
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Post  Admin on Thu 15 Nov 2018, 2:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 15, 2018

Strong and Resilient
 

By Answers2Prayer 

    "Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong." (Ephesians 3:1 NLT)

"Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him." (Colossians 2:7 NLT)

When the rains subsided and the sun peeked out, roots of the mangroves were clearly visible at the canal's edge.

"Aren't they a perfect example of what it says in the Bible about roots?" I thought.

These tropical roots are strong and resilient. They are firmly entrenched, below the surface of the water, into the ground. Thick, intertwined, bunched together.

Many hurricanes have come and gone here in the Florida Keys. Houses have flooded out, trucks and cars ruined, fruit trees blasted away by gale force winds. But the mangroves survive. They have weathered the storms. They come back. And, they flourish.

We will have adversity. One way or another. That's not the good news. If we put down roots, into the soil of God's Word, we will do OK when the storms of life come.

That is good news.

Inspirational Messages by Sally I. Kennedy 
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In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip inspired many valuable lessons, and a few of these will be appearing sporatically throughout the fall of this year and the winter of next. Please join us on Saturday for the first of these lessons: "Stand...Prepared! Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 1", by Lynona Gordon Chaffart.
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 13 Nov 2018, 5:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 13, 2018

Keeping the House Clear...
The Junk, Part 2
 

By Answers2Prayer 
Last Saturday I told the story of how I had cleared 18 years of accumulated "junk" out of my basement, my garage, the cupboards, and even the dark recesses of the closets. This was a big job of itself, but the real work came in disposing of all that junk. From this illustration, we saw how it is important for us to also keep the spiritual "junk" out of our minds, and to do so, it is important to do some spiritual "junk cleaning" on an ongoing basis.

Although the cleaning of the house took time and effort, the cleaning of my spiritual heart is simply a matter of submitting it to the blood of Jesus, where it will be gone, forgotten, never to be seen or remembered again (See Rom. 8:1-2).

Unfortunately, just because my house is now clean of junk doesn't mean it will stay that way. After all, today's treasure is tomorrow's junk; and with the media pushing more and more materialistic purchases, with temptations to bring home more and more stuff abounding, I will have to be cautious indeed to avoid accumulating yet another 18 years of junk!

In the same way, once we clear out the spiritual "junk" from our heart-temples, there is nothing stopping it from accumulating yet again! Remember Jesus' words? "When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, 'I will return to the house I left.' When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first." (Luke 11:24-26 NIV).

We are also told that the devil: "...prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8b NIV). In other words, a clean heart doesn't mean a heart that is guarded against further spiritual attack! In fact, a clean but unguarded heart is an even bigger target for the devil and his minions, who stalk us continually, looking for any way possible to devour us!

So what do we do?

The Bible gives us some excellent advice:

1. "Be alert and of sober mind..." (1 Peter 5:8a NIV).

This means we need to always be on the lookout for where the devil may be trying to trip us up. In order to be able to be so attentive, we must be of sober mind—that we have done our spiritual "cleaning", that we are not contaminated by the fruit of the enemy, defined by Paul as: "...sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like." (Gal. 5:19-21a NIV)

2. "...put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Eph. 6:13 NIV).

What this means is that we need to understand and fully embrace the Truth of who we are in Christ. The Bible calls this taking up the "full armour of God". We understand that Jesus is 100% Truth. We need to stand in constant readiness of spiritual attack. We need to embrace the Truth that Jesus has saved us, that we wear His righteousness, not our own. We need to have a solid covering of faith, and we need to be familiar with the Bible, the Word of God (See Eph. 6:14-17).

3. "...pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." (Eph. 6:18 NIV); and "We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith." (Heb. 12:2a NLT)

In our efforts to keep the spiritual "junk" from re-infiltrating our hearts, we cannot underestimate the power of prayer. When we are in continual contact with God through prayer, when we keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus, it becomes so much easier to resist the devil.

4. "...Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit..." (Eph. 5:18 NIV)

When we think back to Jesus' story about the house that was swept clean, only to be inhabited by 7 more demons ("When it arrives, it finds the house swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there." Luke 11:25-26 NIV), He is specifically mentioning the empty state of the house. Where there is an empty heart and mind, the demons will wreak havoc. Instead, once we clear out all of our spiritual "junk", it is important that we refill our hearts and minds with God's sweet Spirit. Then when the demons begin to prowl around seeking to pile up more spiritual "junk", they will not find an "empty house", and there will be no place for those them to return to!

It isn't enough, friends, to simply clean out the spiritual "junk" and allow Jesus to do away with it. We must also take steps to ensure that the spiritual "junk" does not return. Do you want to join me today in keeping the spiritual "junk" at bay by being alert and of sober mind; by fully embracing who we are in Christ; by being continually in communication with our Father; and most importantly, by asking God's Spirit to live in our heart-temples?

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
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Post  Admin on Thu 01 Nov 2018, 3:12 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

November 1, 2018

A Moment of Clarity
 

By Answers2Prayer 
     It was a long drive to the nursing home where my Grandmother was living, but at least twice a month I got into the car with my small children to make the trip to see her.  We had already lost my Mom to cancer and I wanted them to be able to remember Nana.  I wanted to be able to remember her as well, especially because she was beginning to forget me.

Nana had Alzheimer's disease.  It was slowly starting to eat away at her memories. Sometimes she recognized us when we visited and sometimes she didn't.  Most of the time she spent her days in bed, not wanting to be put in her wheelchair anymore to visit the living room or dining room.

On one visit we did coax her out of her room and wheeled her around to visit the nurses and go out into the garden.  After I put her back to bed and kissed her good-bye I started to walk my kids back to the car when suddenly a tiny hand grabbed mine.  "James!", a happy voice said.  I turned and saw a smiling, wrinkled face with snow white hair.  Like my Nana she had Alzheimer's disease but was still able to walk and get around well.  She had mistaken me for her son before.  A nurse told me that he had died years ago.  I held her hands and let her joyfully go on.  Even though her eyes didn't know who I was, I could see the sparkle in them when she spoke to her son through me.

On the visits that followed I always made time to visit her as well as my Nana.  I always got a smile and sometimes even a hug from her.  The nurses told me that she was always calmer and happier after seeing her "Son". Then one day I noticed that she wasn't there.  I spoke to the nurses and they sadly told me that she had died a few days before from a stroke.  I put my head down and went quietly into my Nana's room. 

Her loss didn't really hit me until I had gotten the kids back home.  When it did I decided to go for a walk in the woods.  I looked at the sky, wiped my wet eyes, and asked God to wrap her in His loving arms for all eternity.  Then in a moment of clarity I realized something: for a while I really had been her son.  In this world we are all family.  In this world we are all connected by invisible strings of love.  Even now many years later I thank God for letting me be there for her in the last days of her life.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote: "You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late."  Never pass up a moment to share your kindness and joy.  Never pass up a second to share your love.  Take every opportunity to give your goodness to others and to God. Live as if everyone in the world is your family.  Because they are!

Joseph J. Mazzella 
Announcement:
Feeling a little lost in this world? Patricia Quigley, a Nugget writer, has composed a song entitled: I'm Not From This World, which she sings with her granddaughter. You can view this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc3Qq0UP8L0  
 
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Post  Admin on Sat 27 Oct 2018, 4:00 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 27, 2018

Changing Constants
 

By Answers2Prayer 
It was a windy, fall day in 2017.

After several weeks of beautiful Indian summer, mid-October finally brought more typical fall weather. It still wasn't what we would have expected for the fall, however, for although there was a definite fall wind, it wasn't cold at all, and the trees were still green. Or bare. And the bare ones never really changed colours at all last year. In fact, until that day of seasonal wind, those bare trees still sported their full summer foliage. In all, the beautiful fall colours this region is known for were not to be seen last year, for without the typical lower temperatures, they were being blown off the trees before they could even change colour.

But this shouldn't have been a surprise for us last year. When we looked at the seasons we had experienced throughout the months leading up to October, we realized that none of them had been typical. We didn't really get summer weather, for example, until September, when we had to label it "Indian summer". We had our worst snows in late March and early April, and spring didn't arrive until late. And if I think back to the fall of 2016, I realize that the "fall" weather extended well into January and February of 2017!

Life throws so many changes our way. Every trial brings about unwelcome change, and just when we begin to adjust to the "new" reality, something new comes up to bring about even more change. In fact, it often seems that the only constant in life is "change"; and with this reality, I, for one, have always taken comfort in the regularity of the seasons. At least I can always count on that...

Until last year, that is. Last year, I couldn't even count on the seasons...

Fortunately for us, there is One who never changes: "Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow." (James 1:17 NLT).

I take great comfort in this. When everything around me is changing; when the circumstances and trials of life bring uninvited, continual change; when even the changing of the seasons, the one constant I have always counted on, appears to be changing its patterns, there is One Who will never, ever change.

Though it is already very encouraging to know that God is our One constant, James follows this promise with another very encouraging one: "He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word." (James 1:18a NLT).

Wait. What does this mean?

It means that the unchanging God makes us alive. Not by removing the changes in our lives, but by giving us His True Word!

What is His true Word? "In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1 NLT).

Jesus is the Word! God makes us alive, not by giving us a stress-free life, but by giving us Jesus Christ!

But the promise isn't yet finished: "And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession." (James 1:18b NLT).

This means that despite the horrible circumstances that dump continual changes upon us, the unchanging God gave us Jesus so that we could become His prized possession!

Think about a prized possession in your life. It isn't something you are careless with. In fact, you will guard it with your very life. That is how God sees you!

Is life crazy? Have endless changes been forced upon you to the point that you don't seem to be able to keep your head above the water? Do you feel that one more change will push you over the edge? Has change even been forced upon the former "constants" of your life? Take heart: God is unchanging, and the unchanging God, Who has made us alive through Jesus, has appointed us to be His prized possessions. This means that no matter what we are going through today, we can count on God to guard us with His very life!

One more thought...Although it is unsettling that the routine changing of the seasons can no longer be counted on, I, for one, took great pleasure in the summer-like weather of last fall. And though the summer of 2017 wasn't the warmest or driest in history, I rejoiced for the people who suffer from the heat. Whatever the change is in your life, God has also planted something there that will help you hang on, help you make it through. Your job is simply to ask God to help you see it.

And why wouldn't He give you something to help you hang on? You are, after all, His "prized" possession!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
 
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Post  Admin on Thu 25 Oct 2018, 9:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 25, 2018

At the Crossroads
 

By Answers2Prayer
     "This is what the LORD says: 'Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (Jer. 6:16 NLT)

When I was a young father and Autumn would spread her colorful carpet across the hills and mountains of my home, I would often load my kids into the car and embark on a Fall foliage tour. We would take the back roads and look at the leaves shining in the sunlight. There would be glittering golds, blazing reds, and outrageous oranges, sometimes all on the same tree. We would drive and stop and look and be in awe of the beauty of this world and the glory of God's creation.

I remember one time driving a long way down a back road I was unfamiliar with. At one point I came to a crossroads. Down one lane the road was still paved and looked in good condition. The other road, however, was gravel and didn't look quite so good. Ignoring my better instincts I decided to take a chance and go down the gravel road. It didn't take long to realize that I had made a big mistake. The road was full of pot holes and rocks that dragged under my car. I almost got stuck in the mud once and the road seemed to worsen as I went along.

Finally, I stopped the car and looked around. There was no going forward and no place to turn so I decided to put the car in reverse and drive a mile and a half backwards until I reached the safety of the crossroads again.

Sadly, that wasn't the only time in my life when I reached a crossroads and took the wrong way. I have done so more times than I can count. Thankfully, each time with God's guidance I realized my mistake and put my life in reverse until I was on the right road again.

Herbert O'Driscoll once wrote: "Crossroads call for choice, and the choices we make will change the pattern of our lives." There is no shame, though, in changing your choice if you see you are on the wrong road. There is no guilt in reversing your life to make things right. God loves us, guides us, and forgives our mistakes. Choose wisely then. Let God guide your days.

Make your choices with love. And correct your mistakes when you need too. Then all of your changes will lead you to joy and the pattern of your life will become as beautiful as a forest in the Fall.

Joseph J. Mazzella 
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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Oct 2018, 9:01 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 23, 2018

The Enemy Within...
Lessons From the Psalms, Part 2:
Psalms 55
 

By Answers2Prayer
    Today's lesson from the Psalms comes from the Ps. 55:

"Listen to my prayer, O God.
   Do not ignore my cry for help!
Please listen and answer me,
   for I am overwhelmed by my troubles.
My enemies shout at me, making loud and wicked threats.
   They bring trouble on me and angrily hunt me down." (Ps. 55:1-3 NLT)

We've all been there. We may be there at this very moment. We can all relate to this plea for help. Our problems may be enormously un-overcomable: disease, disaster, problems with family, financial difficulties, etc.; but if you look closely at this Psalm, you see that it actually isn't talking about outside circumstances at all...

"...I see violence and conflict in the city.
   Its walls are patrolled day and night against invaders,
but the real danger is wickedness within the city..." (Ps. 55:9b, 10 NLT).

Just who is this enemy that is within? No surprises here. It's the same one that prowls outside: "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12 NLT), and that enemy, "prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8b NLT).

In fact, it is this enemy within our own homes, in our own minds, in our own family circles that will get us long before the ones outside. We are prepared for the ones outside, but the enemy within takes us completely by surprise.

The Bible records that Israel would have crossed the River Jordan nearly 40 years earlier than they did, but it was their own fear that stopped them. It was the report they had already heard from the other side that had stirred the enemy within. It was the circumstances that they could see that made them afraid...True enough, the enemy was formidable on the other side. There were giants and walled, fortified cities; but they would later conquer that same enemy! No, the giants on the other side could have been overcome in much less than 47 years had it not been for the enemy within.

My husband and I faced a "River Jordan" experience this past week. We have responded to God's calling to move to a new home, and we put our house is on the market. Unfortunately, it isn't selling. On one level, we know that God will sell our house at exactly the right time, and that the perfect house for us to move to will be available at that time. It is, after all, His time and not our own. The problem is that we are a bit like Israel of old. We have seen the circumstances--the 'good' properties are all being snapped up by other buyers while we wait for our house to sell--and it has stirred disappointment, worry, control, doubt, discouragement...It has stirred 'the enemy within'.

And so we cowered on the 'bank' of that 'river', afraid to 'cross the river' of faith, afraid of the 'giants' on the other side. God dealt with me first. He sent me a dream where He counselled me to 'sleep' in the back seat while He 'drove' into the 'promised land' of a new home. I was willing to do that, but God hadn't yet dealt with my husband. He was still afraid of those 'giants' on the other side, he was still controlled by the enemy within.

This is when God gave me Ps. 55. I fully understood that we were being controlled by the enemy within, and recognizing the battle was spiritual in nature, I began to pray for my husband, rebuking the demons of doubt, worry, control and discouragement--the same demons I had been battling until two days prior--in Jesus' name:

"But I will call on God,
   and the Lord will rescue me.
Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress,
   and the Lord hears my voice...
God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them." (Ps 55: 16-19a NLT)

Jesus was the Victor this morning. We know there are still lots of 'giants' to be conquered, but we also know that the One who made a way through the River Jordan, who helped Israel conquer Canaan in just seven years, the One who told us to sell our house in the first place, will never leave us or forsake us (See Deut. 31:6). Is there anything He is not big enough to do?

"Give your burdens to the Lord,
   and he will take care of you.
He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
   But you, O God, will send the wicked down to the pit of destruction.
Murderers and liars will die young,
   but I am trusting you to save me." (Ps. 55:22-23 NLT)

What is your 'River Jordan'? Will you succumb to the enemy within and allow it to keep you back from your 'promised land'? Or will you claim Ps. 55? Will you recognize that you are being crippled by the enemy within? Will you give our burdens to Him and allow Him to care for you, no matter what the circumstances dictate?

Think about it!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
Announcement:
In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
 
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Post  Admin on Sun 21 Oct 2018, 6:12 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
 
October 20, 2018

A Boost for NOT Boasting...Part 3
 

By Answers2Prayer 
    "For you are all children[a] of God through faith in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3:26)

In the final part of our series on "what we need to boast about and what we need to be silently thankful to the Lord for", we come to the subject that matters more than anything else...the one on which every other blessing of ours hinges on...


Progeny... 

Yes, if there is one thing we need to trumpet about as Christians in this World, it is in the fact that we are God's children in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:26). We enter into that intimate relationship with the Almighty even as we "know" Him and the Saviour (John 17:3) at the point of spiritual regeneration. The Hebrew word "Yada", and it's Greek equivalent "Ginosko", depicting most intimate of relationships, is used in Jeremiah 9:24 (both in the Original Torah and the Septuagint), which has comprised the cornerstone Scripture portion of our meditations so far. The same Greek word "Ginosko" is employed in the context of John 17:3 also.

A disclaimer here please...While it is indeed orderly to "boast" about our "Sonship", we need to remember that barring our faith, nothing else, neither physical efforts or good deeds, mattered to bring our "relationship with the Almighty" to life. The Son of the Almighty had completed everything that was needed on the Cross (John 19:30). To us belonged taking the "step of Child-like faith" to accept what was graciously on offer, so no self boasting please about "efforts" to procure that ethereal "Father-Child" relationship (read Salvation -- Romans 10:8-11/Eph 2:8-9).

In conclusion, let me reiterate that there is no replacement for our relationship with our Creator, Redeemer and Teacher (Trinity), for if we have that relationship, we have everything else, period. Pal, it would serve you well not to blow your own trumpet, but certainly it would serve some eternal purposes, if thou choseth to trumpet about the goodness of your Maker who richly gives you everything you need (Isaiah 63:7/1 Tim 6:17).

By the way, when we have anchored our hopes on the way (See John 14:6), another bonus (social respect) comes our way amongst people who are not averse to the Way (Hey, Christian faith is also referred to as the Way in Acts 9:2/Acts 19:9,23 etc.)! Heard of this saying? "The strong are feared, the rich are respected, the intelligent are admired, but it is only the Godly who are trusted." How true! Hallelujah!

Prayer: Father make us always sing Thy praises for accepting us as Your children in Christ for there is no other blessing greater than that. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries 
Announcement:
Do you ever wonder why the Holy Spirit is depicted as a dove?  Check out the recently published mini-series, "Dovetailing Some Dove Facts", and find out! 
 
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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Oct 2018, 3:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 18, 2018

A Boost for NOT Boasting...Part 2
 

By Answers2Prayer 
    In the Second part of our Series, "on what we need to be boast about and on what we need to be silently thankful for", let's train the spotlight on two more subjects...


Power...

Of Samson, it has been said jocularly and truthfully that he is "the Biblical He-Man with the distinct She-weakness" (Judges 16:1). As long as the God-given might was used in line with the Lord's will of delivering his people from the cruel Philistine subjugation (Judges 13:5), everything went on well. Especially with the Biblical Mr. Universe coming up with some heroic feats which, would make a Hollywood stuntman like Schwarzenegger proud (Judges 14:6/Judges 15:15). However, once he started courting the unbelieving Delilah in transgression of the Lord's will ("do not yoke yourselves with the unbeli evers" 2 Cor 6:14/Judges 16:1-22), he ended up courting trouble, and a big one at that! Consequently with the presence of the Lord departing from him, his enemies would ruthlessly bind and blind him. It is another matter that he eventually triumphed in death, finally realizing at the end that he was a zero by himself. He could, however, have been a hero by the Lord's empowerment. Still, his life carries the ring of "if only..." normally associated with tragedies.

Dear Mr. Active of the Church: Instead of boasting about your strength and stamina, be humbly thankful to the One who has given them to you, lest He expose your own weakness to yourself.


Prosperity...

Was it not curtains that very night for the complacent rich guy in Jesus' parable, who, priding in his riches, envisaged an oh-so-bright future for himself (Luke 12:13-21). He cared not a hoot for the One above all who gives us the ability to garner wealth (Deu 8:18). His end was not very dissimilar to that of a starry-eyed John Logie Baird (the inventor of Color TV), who died the very night before the first colour transmission in Television history was to go on air. Sadly, the very first colour transmission turned out to be the one which featured his funeral.

Says wise King Solomon, the journey taking one from prosperity to poverty can be quite fast (ask the existing clan members of erstwhile Nizam of Hyderabad -- Pro 23:4-5), as such we need not put our anchor where our riches lie, but rather in our relationship with the good Lord.
 
Prayer: Father, for both our strength (physical or spiritual) and our prosperity enable us to always thankfully remember that we have received them from Thy gracious Hands alone. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries 
Announcement:
We apologize for the broken link in Tuesday's Nugget to the new video: Psalm 23. As a result, it is republished today...

Feeling the need for comfort and strength? Why not turn to the scriptures? Check out the video below...
 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 13 Oct 2018, 9:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 13, 2018

You Want me to do...What?

By Answers2Prayer 
 

There are two types of people in this world: Those who eat to live, and those who live to eat.

As hard as I try, I am definitely not in the first category. No, I love my food too much. Therefore when God put it on my heart to spend a day fasting and praying for breakthrough in the life of a friend, I wasn't exactly excited by the idea: "Ask me to do anything, Lord, but not that!"

God did not relent. In fact, He placed it on my heart to not only fast once, but once a week until there was resolution in the situation!

If my resistance for a one-time fast was fierce, it tripled in intensity at this suggestion. "That could take weeks, Lord! And You know I tend to be hypoglycemic, I need to take my medication (which, incidentally, must be taken on a full stomach), pills taken with water always stick in my throat, and I don't sleep well when I'm hungry!" And my list of excuses went on and on, but I'll save you the boredom of having to read them. Suffice is to say, I can balk as good as the worst donkey in the world!

God's response, however, was always the same: "I will provide."

I went ahead and organized my first fast. I decided (without consulting Him!) to avoid everything except fruit juice, which I proceeded to drink in abundance. Oh, and I had to have that bite of crackers to take my pills...

It wasn't easy, but the fruit juice gave my blood sugar enough of a boost to not go hypoglycemic, and the crackers were enough to keep the pills from getting stuck in my throat. And so I proceeded to fast one day a week for the next couple of weeks.

Breakthrough in my friend's situation was slow, however, and I realized by the end of week four that I was in for the long haul. In fact, I began to wonder if I'd ever be able to eat all 7 days in a week again.

As I was contemplating these thoughts, it occurred to me that I actually wasn't doing a full fast at all. I could feel God pushing me to let go of my fruit juice and crackers! Of course, my argument was the same as before, so I won't write it out again; this time, however, I was listening when God said, "I will provide."

I decided to take Him at His word, and I did a total fast, with the only thing passing my lips being water and my medication. Imagine my astonishment when those pills did not stick in my throat, when they didn't upset my stomach and when my blood sugar did not plummet! I even started sleeping well despite being hungry! And I had enough energy for the day. Wow! God meant it when He said "I will provide."

Oh, and the next day when I wasn't fasting, I tried to take those pills without food again, and yup, you guessed it...they stuck in my throat!

Fasting for me is an ultimate sacrifice. It may not be so for everyone; however, we all have things that turn out to be "ultimate sacrifices" when God asks them of us. For example, how can I stay up and help that person in need? Everyone knows I have to have my sleep! Or how can I give when I don't really have enough for myself? Or how can I have the time to take my neighbor grocery shopping? Every moment of my day is jam-packed already!

There are many more potential examples, but the point is, we are all required to sacrifice, and generally, if it's an easy thing to do, it doesn't really fit the definition of "sacrifice"! Therefore, although you may not be called by God to fast, you may be called by Him to sacrifice in other ways, ways that for you are more difficult.

Paul gives us some excellent suggestions for what to do when God calls us to sacrifice:

1. Go all in: "Remember this--a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop." (2 Cor. 9:6 NLT);

2. Give cheerfully: "And don't give reluctantly or in response to pressure. 'For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.'" (2 Cor. 9:7 NLT);

3. Expect Him to provide for the lack created by the sacrifice: "And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." (2 Cor. 9:8 NLT);

4. Expect God to bless your sacrifice: "As the Scriptures say, 'They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.' For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you." (2 Cor. 9:9-10 NLT).

What is God calling you to sacrifice in order to help others? Don't argue with Him, just trust Him. That same God who provides for all my needs when I fast will provide for all your needs as well, according to His glorious riches, because God's glorious riches have been given to US in Christ Jesus!

Isn't that what Paul is saying in Phil. 4:19? "And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." (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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Is this season finding you in need of encouagement? Of hope? Of prayer? Check out the video below... 
 http://scripturalnuggets.org/VideoPages/Video%20Template.html
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 09 Oct 2018, 7:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 9, 2018

My First Review
 By Answers2Prayer    
"So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other." (John 13:34)

The first review I ever got for my writing happened in the middle of the night. I was a young adolescent going through the pains and trails of being a teenager. I knew too I had been a pain many times to both my Mom and my Dad. One day, however, I realized just how kind, loving, and supportive my parents had been to me during this time and in fact for my whole life. I was too shy to tell them how much I loved them and appreciated them, face to face, so earlier that evening I had poured my heart into a letter and placed it where I knew they would eventually find it. Then I went to bed.

Hours later my parents burst into my room, shook me awake, and hugged me. I was in shock. I didn't know what was going on until I saw the letter in my Mom's hand. It was one of the few times I could ever remember seeing tears in my Dad's eyes. I didn't know what to say as I saw the love and joy in their faces. I just hugged them back and blinked my sleepy eyes as they held me. My simple note had touched them in ways that I couldn't then understand. All I knew was that it had made them happy and that was enough.

I still carry that memory in a special place in my heart. It reminds me again and again of the power of a single act of love. It reminds me again and again of how a kind word can heal a heart and change a life. No writing review I have ever gotten has meant as much as that first one did. It put me on a path that I am still traveling today. It showed me that in this life the only thing that truly matters is love.

In our last review we will all be asked the same question: "Did you Love?" (See Matt. 25:31-46)  Start today to make sure that your answer to it is "Yes!" Love God. Love yourself. Love others. Make this world a better and brighter place with the love you share and the life you live.

Joseph J. Mazzella 
Announcement:
Just how does the Bible suggest that we manage argument?  Check out Managing Argument and discover some practical tips from the book of Job!   
 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 21 Sep 2018, 1:32 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
 
September 20, 2018
 
Storms!
Lessons From the Psalms, Part 1:
Ps. 104
 
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
 
Today's lesson from the Psalms comes from the Ps. 104:
 
"Let all that I am praise the Lord. 
   Lord my God, how great you are!" (Ps. 104:1-2a NLT)
 
Storms.
 
I don't like them. The crashing, violent waves can capsize even the largest ships. The howling wind can blow the roofs off houses, smash out windows, even lift vehicles and send them crashing back to the ground. The driving rains flood the grounds--and often my basement as well! The thick fog is blinding. The pounding hail causes damage to everything it touches. The heavy snows make the roads and walkways treacherous...Is it for naught that I prefer the warm summer sunshine?
 
I don't like the storms of life very much either. The crashing, violent waves of circumstances, the howling winds of change, the driving rains of loss, the pounding hail of life-threatening and life-changing illness, the heavy snows of trouble, the thick fogs that prevent us from being able to see the way out...Is it for naught that I prefer the hill-top experiences? Those rare but glorious trouble-free times?
 
As my family and I finally begin to emerge from a 5-year-long set of tumultuous circumstances, I can't keep my feet from dancing and my mouth from singing forth praise. Sunshine at last!
 
But my praise is so imperfect and undeserving of the King of Kings, the One who has finally rescued us from our circumstances. "Lord, I want to praise Your name," I prayed, "but I don't know how. Give me fitting words of praise!"
 
Ps. 104 was immediately impressed upon my mind, and I eagerly leafed through my Bible to read the first few verses:
 
"Let all that I am praise the Lord.
   O Lord my God, how great you are!
You are robed with honor and majesty.
   You are dressed in a robe of light." (vs. 1-2a NLT)
 
"Oh God," I breathed. "This is perfect! You are so great! You are robed with honor and majesty. You are dressed in a robe of light that illuminates my darkest path. You are..."
 
But in my prayer I had reached the end of the verses that I had read, so my eyes again dropped to the page:
 
"You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens..." (vs. 2b NLT).
 
Wait. "Starry curtain" means dark times. And dark times are scary times, times just like the ones we've been going through. What is the idea of God stretching the stormy times across the heavens doing in a Psalm of praise?
 
My eyes returned to the page and I read on:
 
"you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
   You make the clouds your chariot;" (vs 3a NLT).
 
Uh...So the storms of life are the "rafters" of God's home? They make up His "chariot"?
 
Really?
 
Surely this doesn't mean...
 
I dropped my eyes back to the page. I was sure the Psalm would turn things around at this point, but it was not to be:
 
"...you ride upon the wings of the wind.
   The winds are your messengers;
   flames of fire are your servants." (vs. 3b-4 NLT).
 
That's when Truth began to speak to my heart. It is when the winds of strife blow that God shows up. He rides upon those winds. In fact, those winds of trouble are His "messengers", and the heat and flames of our fiery times are His "servants"!
 
We know that God doesn't keep us from troubled times, for He has said, "Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33b NLT). Ps. 104:3-4, however, suggests that He actually uses our trouble to move on our behalf!
 
But this isn't a new Biblical concept, is it? The Apostle Paul eludes to something similar: "I will boast only about my weaknesses...to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12:5, 8-10 NLT).
 
So in "riding" on our troubled times, God uses them as His "messengers", His "servants", for it is in our weakness that God can really shine through!
 
As this realization hit home, my mind began to review the many blessings God had poured out upon us in the past five years, and I couldn't stop myself from continuing my prayer of praise: "Lord, You allowed those troubled times because they became Your chariots, Your messengers and Your servants! We found You IN the storm, and I praise Your name for the many times when Your strength has been perfected in our weaknesses. Keep up Your good work in us, Lord!"
 
Whatever you are in the midst of at this time, remember:
 
"You stretch out the starry curtain of the heavens,
   you lay out the rafters of your home in the rain clouds.
You make the clouds your chariot;
   you ride upon the wings of the wind.
The winds are your messengers;
   flames of fire are your servants." (Ps. 104:2b-4 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. 
Announcement:
The cross: A symbol associated with Christianity, the object used for the torture of our Lord and Saviour...but do we truly understand what it means? Do we comprehend its power? Join us on Saturday and next week for "Do Not be Cross About the Cross" a mini-series by Suresh Manoharan.
 
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Wed 19 Sep 2018, 1:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 18, 2018

How you Give

By Answers2Prayer 
 "The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:6 NET)

I was a young, substitute teacher trying to make American history exciting to a class of bored sixth graders.  I was going over a list of things the founding fathers had done for our country. Going off the lesson plan I mentioned that today people can still give a lot to their country, community, and people around them. "What do I have to give?" asked a cynical voice from the back of the class.  I looked over heads to the tired, sad face of the boy who had asked the question.  Thankfully, God gave me just the right thing to say.  I looked the boy straight in the eye, smiled and said: "Everything!"

It was true too.  Everything we have and everything we do can be a gift that we give to this world.  Every smile we smile is a gift.  Every kind word we say is a gift.  Every hug and kiss we share is a gift.  Every penny we give to the poor is a gift.  Every action we take to help another is  a gift.  Every offering we make from the heart is a priceless gift in the eyes of God.  In fact, our whole lives here can be a gift that we share.

There is something, however, that is even more important than the gifts we share in this life and that is how we give them.  Any gift we give expecting something in return is worthless. Any gift we give only out a sense of duty or obligation is meaningless.  In order for a gift to really be of worth it must be given in love.  Only the gifts we give in love have value in the eyes of Heaven.  Only the gifts that come from the heart can truly make this world a better place. 

What do you have to give in this life?  Everything!  How should you give it?  With Love!

Open your heart then.  Let your love flow through all the gifts that you give to others.  Let your days here be a joyous celebration of sharing.  Make your entire life here a gift of love to God, yourself, and the world.   

Joseph J. Mazzella 
Announcement:
Gates in the Bible  Curious about the meanings of gates in the Bible?  Check out the Gates in the Bible series published through the Nugget. 
 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Mon 17 Sep 2018, 1:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 15, 2018

In the Meantime...Pharaoh's Dream, Part 4
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Last Thursday, in Pharaoh's Dream, Part 3, we came to understand that storing up our faith in God (by making a habit of giving Him thanks, counting our blessings, remembering what the Lord has done for us in the past, writing down God's blessings, and memorizing scripture) will get us through the tough times. Perhaps we will not come through as "fat, healthy cows" or "plump, healthy heads of grain", but we will come through victorious nonetheless. Why? Because God will remind us of that stored up encouragement at just the right times.

As we go through these hard times that we are all faced with, however, is there anything we should specifically be doing? 

When we return to the story of Pharaoh's dream and the subsequent seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine, we see that the Egyptians were not simply sitting around, even when we are told: "Eventually, however, the famine spread throughout the land of Egypt as well." (Gen. 41:55a NLT). It is at this time, when the famine was beginning to be felt, that we are told the people began crying out to Pharaoh: "And when the people cried out to Pharaoh for food..." (vs. 55b NLT).

Herein lies our first responsibility in times of trouble. Let's remember that Pharaoh was their king. When we find ourselves in the midst of trials, we, too, need to cry out to our King: The Lord of hosts! "Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory." (Ps. 50:15 NLT).

What did Pharaoh tell the people? "Go to Joseph, and do whatever he tells you." (Gen. 41:55c NLT)

Because Joseph was the keeper of the storehouses, Pharaoh was, in essence, telling the people to go to the stored-up provisions! And that is what we should do as well. We need to go to that journal and read about what God has done for us in the past. We need to meditate upon the Bible stories of God's provision. We should review memorized scripture. We need to watch and see what God is doing in our lives at that very moment.

Will God come through?

He did in Egypt: "So with severe famine everywhere, Joseph opened up the storehouses and distributed grain to the Egyptians, for the famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt." (Gen. 41:56 NLT). And He will for us as well. When we go to the storehouses, we will find the stored up treasures that will get us through.

There is one more interesting thing we can learn from this story about how to get through these troubled times. The Bible tells us: "And people from all around came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph because the famine was severe throughout the world." (Gen. 41:57 NLT).

The Egyptians did not keep their stored-up grain to themselves. It didn't matter that they, themselves, were also starving. They shared what they had with a starving world. There is power, friends, in sharing our God and the blessings He has poured out upon us with other people who are going through troubled times. Isn't this what the Apostle Paul encourages us to do? "All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us." (1 Cor. 1:3-4 NLT). Even in times of famine we must realize that it isn't "all about us". One of the reasons God provides for our needs is so that we can also help others with the same gifts we receive of God. We need to go to our storehouses and give of that encouragement to encourage others with the same encouragement we received from God!

Even in times of trouble

The amazing thing is that when we begin to focus on other people instead of on ourselves, we begin to feel so much better!

What about it, friends? Let's remember Pharaoh's dream. In times of plenty, let's store up the abundance God has given us by being thankful, counting our blessings, recognizing God's hand in our "prosperous" times, writing down God's blessings, memorizing scripture, etc. Then, when those troubled times hit, let's cry out to the Lord and go to those "storehouses". Let's remember what the Lord has done in the past, believe in His promise to help us in present troubles, and...share our encouragement with others! You will be amazed at how much easier it will be to get through those "famine" moments!

This is the last of the Pharaoh's Dream mini-series for how to get through troubled times. If you have missed any of the previous lessons, you can access the entire series by clicking here. Or if you have no internet access, you can email me and I'll forward them to you. God bless you as you prepare to go through those troubled times...with all the provisions stored up!

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:
Curious about what God truly wants the most from us?  Check out Written on the Heart! 
 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 13 Sep 2018, 5:04 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 13, 2018
Wasting Away...Pharaoh's Dream, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Tuesday, in "Pharaoh's Dream, Part 2", we saw some practical suggestions for how to "store up" faith in God during our times of plenty, in order to have enough to get us through the times of famine. But what if those times of "famine" drag on, seemingly forever? Will we be able to truly "store up" enough to get us through? 

This was exactly the type of "famine" that was predicted in Pharaoh's dream. In Joseph's interpretation, he said, "The next seven years will be a period of great prosperity throughout the land of Egypt. But afterward there will be seven years of famine so great that all the prosperity will be forgotten in Egypt. Famine will destroy the land. This famine will be so severe that even the memory of the good years will be erased." (Gen. 41: 29-31 NLT). 

I believe we can all relate to this. The good times seem to fly by so quickly that we don't even realize how many "years of plenty" we've been granted; but once those "years of famine" set in, each day seems to be 10 years long. Is it possible that even the best "storing up" of faith that we can do during our good times will not give us enough faith to get through the tough times ahead?

If we examine the Biblical story recorded in Gen. 41-47, we see that despite all the "storing up" that they did, "...both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine." (Gen. 47:13 NLT), just as it was directly predicted in Pharaoh's dream: "These thin, scrawny cows ate the seven fat cows. But afterward you wouldn't have known it, for they were still as thin and scrawny as before!" (Gen. 41:20, 21 NLT). 

When times are hard, it does, indeed, seems that any encouragement and strength we receive is just swiped immediately away by the next wave of trouble, leaving us feeling as empty as before. Notice, however, that despite being thin and scrawny, those seven skinny cows did not die. They survived. And so did the people of Egypt and Canaan. It wasn't easy for them. In fact, over the years, they had to give all their money, livestock and land in order pay for the grain (See Gen. 47:13-26). Nonetheless, at the end of the seven years of famine, they were still alive. 

If you have adequately stored up God's blessings during the good times, you will survive as well. It won't be easy, but you will make it through! 

But what should we be doing during those hard times? Join us on Saturday for Part 4: "In the Meantime..." the concluding part of the "Pharaoh's Dream" mini-series.

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Post  Admin on Wed 05 Sep 2018, 9:15 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 4, 2018

A Grateful Soul

By Answers2Prayer 

  "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." (Romans 5:3-5 NLT)

It has been a rough time for my family this Summer. We went through weeks of stress and strain. New problems continually popped up that drained on our patience and taxed my meager savings. I worked harder than I had in a long time and didn’️t keep my good cheer nearly as much as I wanted to. I found myself praying and talking to God a lot, asking for us to just make it through this rough patch and get back to our normal lives.

Now that our lives are almost back to normal I find myself being much more thankful for the things I normally took for granted. In a sense my struggles opened my eyes to my blessings. Now I thank God for electric lights and dry clothes. I thank God for hot showers and clean dishes. I thank God for air conditioning on hot afternoons and heat on cold nights.

In addition, I have gained a heightened appreciation for all the blessings our Heavenly Father has given me in this life. I thank God every day for my wonderful children, for my dogs and cat, for living in these beautiful mountains with their colorful leaves and breath taking sunsets. I thank God for my daily bread and for always having just what I need. I thank God for the ability to share His love and light in my writings and in my life.

I have also learned something very important from this difficult Summer: a grateful soul helps you to create a happy life. When you open your eyes, your mind, your heart and your soul to the billions of blessings that our Heavenly Father gives us every single day then it is easy to be happy. It is easy to share your love. It is easy to find joy in this world and to bring joy to this world. A grateful soul awakens within you the knowledge of just how much God loves you. A grateful soul reminds you that you too are a Child of God, capable of doing so much good in this life. A grateful soul helps you to become the person you were always meant to be. 

Joseph J. Mazzella  
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Sep 2018, 9:14 am

Welcome to the Nugget

September 1, 2018

Of Scars: Scary and Not-So-Scary!!! Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
  In the concluding part of our series on "Biblical Scars", today we shall focus on two more types of the same...

Supernal and Sublime...

"'What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him'--these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit." (1 Cor. 2:9-10 ESV). 

One of the supernal and sublime glories which doubtless await those who carried the "Scar of the Cross" (in their hearts) in their sincere walk with the Lord would be another "Eternal scar of glory" in their foreheads. Let the Scripture take over at this stage...

"...and His Name will be on their foreheads" (Rev. 22:4 ESV).

When one considers that His Name is matchless (Phil 2:9), one would get a faint idea of the glories awaiting him/her at the "other end of the Horizon". No wonder Paul says, when comparing our present "sufferings" with the stored-up "glories": "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us." (Rom. 8:18 ESV)


Scary and Shirk...

In the last days, the False Prophet, at the behest of the "King" (Anti-Christ) will insist that everyone bear a "scar" on their hand or forehead. In our day of microchips, this actually seems like a plausible thing! In so doing, they are nose-thumbing, so to speak, the Scriptural instruction and the compliance thereof (Ex 13:9 TLB) expected of God's people during the Biblical times. 
Those who "wear that scary (spiritually-speaking that is) scar", without shirking it, will come directly under the scanner of God's wrath (Rev. 16). Talk about "out of the frying pan, into the fire!" 

For all those reading this piece, a gentle--albeit firm--warning...If you have not accepted Christ yet as your Saviour, and if the results of His saving grace (recorded in Acts 9:31) seen in His people (who personify "the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit") do not apply to you, then now is the time for you to take that "leap of faith" (2 Cor 6:2). Please do not delay. I would urge you to pray this prayer of confession sincerely and immediately:

"Heavenly Father, I am a sinner by birth and choice. I believe Your Son Jesus as the Scriptures foretold came into this World and died an atoning death for my sins. I accept Him as my Lord and Saviour, this very moment. Release that Heavenly comfort of the Holy Spirit into my heart, as proof of your forgiveness of all my sins and the birth of a new life in me. In Jesus' Name I Pray. Amen".

This Writer who prayed this prayer 33 years ago, and by His grace is "walking in the fear and in the comfort of His Holy Spirit" thence, is always available to clarify all of your Biblical queries, especially on all the signs which are all around us pointing towards the inevitable imminent second coming of Christ. Please reply to this email and ask for my address. I will be happy to respond to you...Until the rapture, that is!

Prayer: Father, it is my earnest prayer that if there are any readers of this piece to whom Acts 9:31 does not apply, please stir-up their hearts to make the confessional prayer immediately to accept Your Son as their Saviour. In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
 
Announcement:
Many of you have written in asking about my recent experience with Breast Cancer, and I want to thank each of you for caring, and especially for your prayers. I recently had my first follow-up with Oncology, and I am pleased to report that it went very well! You are invited to read some of the highlights of my ride with God through this valley of my life at Cancer Experiences.  Or if you prefer the whole story, let me know and I can tell you how to access the whole story...
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 31 Aug 2018, 7:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
August 30, 2018
Of Scars: Scary and Not-So-Scary!!! Part 2

Continuing with our series on scars: some scary and some not-so-scary, today we come to two more types of "Biblical scars" which are of great significance to us...

Slave and Spirited...

Back to the Apostle Paul's spirited declaration of his slavery in: "From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." (Gal 6:17 ESV)...A la Larry Holmes, he was proud of his bodily scars, obviously an offshoot of all the physical persecutions he endured patiently. This in itself stands as a silent testimony of his tremendous commitment to the Lord, which marked his persevering, faithful service to the Master until the very end (See 2 Cor 11:24-27/2 Tim 4:7-8).

Dear Christian, if you are persecuted by the stooges of the "Roaring lion" ("Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 ESV) that is a "good sign". It means you are really: 

a) "wrenching out the Lord's lambs from his ruthless jaws" (See 1 Sam 17:34-35...note the Lion acts out of aggression only when the Shepherd strives to release the lamb from its murderous jaws);
 
b) Feeding the Master's flock with "sound doctrine" (3 John 1:9-10), for the Enemy who is not so much bothered by "Christians who are cooling their heels" is indeed troubled by only those who engage him in a fierce battle (Eph 6:11/1 Peter 5:9). It is while in pursuit of their Master's goals of not only "rescuing souls from the his domain of darkness", but also of subsequently feeding and safeguarding them properly (Matt 28:18-20/John 21:16).

Mind you, scars sustained in selflessly fulfilling the Master's "agenda" can sometimes be "emotional" in nature, for out of the mouth of the agents of the great Serpent can come some venomous words meant to break the "hearts" (read break "the will") of a sincere servant of Christ (See Psa 64:3, Pro 12:18 TLB). The diligent righteous ones, on the other hand, those who lean on the Master's power, would nevertheless "soldier on" (Zech 4:6), always "punching above their weight" to use the Boxing parlance (See Zech 4:6/ 2 Cor 4:7)!

However, whatever be the scars (physical or emotional) inflicted by the Enemy (the degree of which is permitted by our Sovereign, all-wise Lord for our own welfare -- See I Cor 10:13/Rom 8:28), they ought to serve in our lives as a motivating force, rather than a de-motivating one, for undertaking greater works for His Glory.


Salvation and Set...

Say Christian...are you spurred on to live a God-pleasing life...serving Him selflessly by nothing other than your love for your Master who first loved you immensely (2 Cor 5:14/1 John 4:19)? If the answer is yes, then Praise God you are on the right track. Now consider this: doesn't Jesus carry even today "scars" on his "glorified body" (John 20:24-28/Rev 5:6 TLB)? Are these not proof of His unending love, which galvanized Him to not only forsake the Heavenly glory for your oh-so-precious Salvation's sake, but also to suffer immeasurably for it? Ever wondered, while his excruciating painful ordeal on the cross was time-bound, the "scars" resulting from it are "set in stone", so to speak? Simply put, they are eternal in nature. Shouldn't the realization of this truth make us fall in love with our Saviour over and over again? 

In this connection, I would like to bring before you a truthful, touching story...

There was an orphaned boy living with his grandma when their house caught fire. The grandmother, trying to get upstairs to rescue the boy, perished in the flames. The boy's cries for help were finally answered by a man who climbed an iron drainpipe and came back down with the boy hanging tightly to his neck. Several weeks later, a public hearing was held to determine who would receive custody of the child. A farmer, a teacher, and the town's wealthiest citizen all gave the reasons they felt they should be chosen to give the boy a home. But as they talked, the lad's eyes remained focused on the floor. Then a stranger walked to the front and slowly took his hands from his pockets, revealing severe scars on them. As the crowd gasped, the boy cried out in recognition. This was the man who had saved his life. His hands had been burned when he climbed the hot pipe. With a leap the boy threw his arms around the man's neck and held on for dear life. The other men silently walked away, leaving the boy and his rescuer alone. Those marred hands had settled the issue.

Prayer: Father, we praise and thank Thee for Your indescribable gift our Saviour Jesus to us. We glorify you for His atoning sacrifice on the Cross for us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
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Join us on Saturday for the conclusion of "Scars: Scary and not-so-Scary!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sun 26 Aug 2018, 9:31 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
August 25, 2018

Driving Left:
Lessons From the Psalms, Introduction
By Answers2Prayer
In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.

The Psalms: The longest book of the Bible, containing the shortest chapter (Ps. 117, 2 verses), as well as the longest (Ps. 119, 176 verses); and also containing within its 150 chapters, the entire message of the Bible.

The Psalms are actually ancient songs, ancient pieces of poetry. They put our inner longings into words, expressing our feelings through pleadings, sorry, penitence, petition and thanksgiving. They cover the entire range of human experience and emotion, asking important questions about God, humanity, and the purpose of life.

Interestingly, Jesus quoted from the Psalms more often than from any other book of the Old Testament (See Mark 12:35-37; Luke 20:40-44; Matt. 22:41-46, etc), and He often used the Psalms when addressing His Father.

With all of this in mind, is it for naught that so many Christians incorporate the Psalms into worship services, daily devotions and personal prayer?**

I, like so many, read the Psalms; but not being someone who appreciates the fine nuances of meaning through poetry, I find that it is only in meditating upon the Psalms and praying them that I receive the maximum potential blessing God has for me through these writings. Today, by focusing on Ps. 25, I would like to give you an example of how the Psalms can take on special meaning, even in mundane, ordinary situations...

I recently found myself spending 3 months in the driver's seat of rental cars in Australia. Having grown up in North America where everyone drives on the right, how would I ever remember to drive on the left?

The first 2 verses of Ps. 25 became my daily prayer (taken from the NIV and personalized to my situation):

"In you, Lord my God, I put my trust.
I trust in you (to keep me on the left side of the road);
do not let me be put to shame (by driving on the right),
nor let my enemies (of innate habit) triumph over me." (vs. 1-2)

It's amazing how God came through, and the next verse became my prayer of thanksgiving:

"No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame (by driving on the right)..." (vs 3a)

I seem to forget very quickly. After just a week of no mistakes, I stopped praying that prayer. The result? I pulled out that morning and drove 3 blocks on the right! My prayer that night was a bit different:

"Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways (of self-reliance);
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good." (vs. 6-7)

You can be sure that I went back to my morning prayer the very next day:

"Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me (to stay on the left side of the road),
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope (at being able to drive safely) is in you all day long." (Vs. 4-5)

Once again, there were no mistakes that day, and my prayer was one of thanksgiving:

"Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way (to stay on the correct side of the road)..." (Vs. 8-9)

As time went on, distraction slipped in. We had heard there was a wild Cassowary (Flightless bird) on the side of the road ahead. Being so preoccupied with our bird hunt, I didn't realize I was driving on the right...

We found the Cassowary about 2 km up the road, and as it wasn't a busy road, I stopped--in the right lane, naturally--to watch it. Moments later, a car rounded the bend--in my lane! Only it wasn't my lane, was it? It was really his...I pulled off the road into the grass to the right and the car passed without harm.

My prayer?

"For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity (at not staying focussed upon You), though it is great." (vs. 11)

But wait. Even when I had stopped asking God for help, He protected me. He forgave me for the distraction, and He placed the Cassowary at the only place on that narrow road where I would be able to pull off! The words of vs. 12-15 were so fitting:

"Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity (and protection!),
and their descendants will inherit the land." (Vs. 12-13)

One day I turned to the right, across traffic, into the second lane of a 4-lane divided road. There were cars behind me and beside me to the left, all going my direction; but most notably there was a car in my lane, headed straight towards me! I pulled into the left lane just in time to avoid a head-on collision. I hadn't been in the wrong; nonetheless, the potential collision would have been just as bad. My prayer?

"Guard my life and rescue me (whether I'm in the right or wrong);
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord, is in you." (Vs. 12-15, 20-21)

Whatever the situation you are in, why not try praying through a Psalm today? Ask God to direct you to the right one, and then pray those words, putting yourself and your situation into the verses. Not only will it make your requests more effective, but it will also make your praise and thanksgiving more effective as well!

** Information gathered from https://www.biblegateway.com/blog/2012/07/why-study-the-psalms/

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:
Scars? In the Bible? Join us next week to learn the significance of some Biblical scars: Some scary...and some not-so-scary..."Of Scars: Scary and Not-So-Scary!" a mini-series by Suresh Manoharan.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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