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Post  Admin on Wed 04 Apr 2018, 10:59 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 3, 2018

 The Other Road 


By Answers2Prayer 
 "The Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good and leads you along the paths you should follow." (Isaiah 48:17)

The guide book said it was an easy hike around the lake, where the flat path hugged the water's edge. It was going to take longer this day, because I had to stop every few feet, it seemed, for another breathtaking view in the late afternoon light.

Rounding a bend, the path began to lean upward. Within minutes the fork in the road became visible. The low road, the known path, the easier one? Or the high road, the unknown. I found myself humming an old ballad, "Oh! Ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland afore ye". Hmmm, had to make the decision, or go back.

I thought about forks in the road, spiritually-speaking. The Bible advises us to set our thoughts on things above, not below (Colossians 3:2). It's good to set our goals high and be challenged. Why settle for the same old, same old, or go backwards into the past way?

We always have a choice. Seek the face of God, who gives us strength for the journey. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always (1 Chron 16:11). Don't run with the crowd. Take the high road. Choose to forgive. Go the extra mile, make the call, send the email, venture a random act of kindness, forgive the offense or the slight.

So, when there's an opportunity, choose the other road, the one less traveled, the high road.

Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy  
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Post  Admin on Sat 31 Mar 2018, 9:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 31, 2018

Because He Lives

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us As the sun began to send forth its pink and orange tendrils that Easter morning, I found myself being drawn outside for a walk in the sunrise. It was a glorious morning. There was just enough wind to stir the air. The birds raised their voices in songs of praise as they flitted about, hunting for worms and dancing in the sky. The trees and bushes were in full bud, and the bulbs brightened the world with their vibrant colours.

In all, it was pretty hard to believe that there was so much sorrow and suffering, not only in the world at large, and also at our own backdoors. Yet we all know there is... Oh God, with all the pain, how can it be such a glorious morning? How can life just go on? How can...we...go on?

As I contemplated this, the words to a long-forgotten song, written by Gloria and William J. Gaither, came vividly to my mind:

"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow! Because He lives, All fear is gone. Because I know, Who holds tomorrow, this life is worth a living just because He lives!" (See full lyrics below)

Because He lives. Isn't that what we were about to celebrate on that bright and beautiful Resurrection morning? I can go on because He lives! I can face "tomorrow" because:

a. He conquered sin: "'Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?' The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Cor. 15:55-57 NIV);

b. He reconciled us to the Father: "All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." (2 Cor. 5:18-19 NIV); and

c. He rose from the dead: "In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, 'Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!'" (Luke 24:5,6a NIV).

But how can we face tomorrow when tomorrow holds so much pain?

We can face tomorrow because:

a. The Lord is our helper: "So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?'" (Heb. 13:6 NIV. See also Ps. 118:6);

b. The Lord has promised to fight for us: "Do not be afraid of them; the LORD your God himself will fight for you." (Deut. 3:22 NIV);

c. There is no room for fear with a God who loves us so perfectly: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." (1 John 4:18a NIV);

d. God holds the future in His hands: "I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, 'My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.'" (Is. 46:10 NIV)!

It doesn't matter whether we are being held in the grasp of cancer. It doesn't matter that the marriage is over. It doesn't matter that the basement is flooded or there are serious heart problems. Not only can we can face tomorrow, but this life is worth the living, and all -- because He lives!

In the face of your circumstances this Easter season, I urge each of you to do the following:

1. Take a few moments to contemplate what Jesus accomplished in His death and resurrection;
2. Take another moment to listen to the birds and look at the budding trees and the brilliant bulbs; and then
3. Walk forward in confidence that because He lives, you can face tomorrow!

"God sent his son,
they called him Jesus,
He came to love,
heal and forgive.
He lived and died
to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there
to prove my Savior lives.

"Because He lives
I can face tomorrow
Because He lives
All fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living
Just because He lives." Gloria and William Gaither

God bless each of you this gloridous resurrection season.

In His love,
Lyn

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

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©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 29 Mar 2018, 11:37 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 29, 2018

People Pleasing


By Answers2Prayer 
Jesus had nothing to hide. He was honest, open, genuine...and as we look through the gospels, we see this same theme throughout. What the people saw is what they got. No hidden agendas, no pretenses, just pure, unadulterated love.

We see this especially during Jesus' arrest and trial. Take John 18:19-24, for example: "While this was happening, the high priest questioned Jesus about his disciples and about his teaching. Jesus replied, 'I have spoken publicly to the world. I always taught in the synagogues and in the temple courts, where all the Jewish people assemble together. I have said nothing in secret. Why do you ask me? Ask those who heard what I said. They know what I said.' When Jesus had said this, one of the high priest's officers who stood nearby struck him on the face and said, 'Is that the way you answer the high priest?' Jesus replied, 'If I have said something wrong, confirm what is wrong. But if I spoke correctly, why strike me?'" (NET)

I don't know about you, but I think if I were on trial for my life, I might try to sugarcoat things a bit. You know, make myself to be seen in a better light, something, but not Jesus. 

What is the difference between Jesus' reaction and my own?

Jesus knew and valued who He was in God. He knew, in any possible situation, that His father loved Him and accepted Him. As a result, He was freed from all worries about what people would think of Him. He was even freed from the fear of death itself. This gave Him the freedom He needed to be able to show true love at all times. 

Am I being too harsh on myself? It's true that I also know who I am in Christ. I know that my Father loves me and accepts me, no matter what; but do I truly value this knowledge the way Jesus did? I mean, I continue to be sensitive to what others think, I am limited by my fear of non-acceptance, I am muzzled by a sense of dread that I might "say the wrong thing". When I look at the life of Jesus, however, I see that He valued what His Father thought of Him more highly than anything else. Maybe I could learn some lessons...

Come on. Surely it can't be so bad to try to please other people. Isn't that part of loving them? 

As we proceed through the story of Jesus' trial, we find Him arriving in the court of Pontius Pilot: "So Pilate came outside to them and said, 'What accusation do you bring against this man?' They replied, 'If this man were not a criminal, we would not have handed him over to you.' Pilate told them, 'Take him yourselves and pass judgment on him according to your own law!' The Jewish leaders replied, 'We cannot legally put anyone to death.'" (John 18:29-31 NET).

Here Pilot finds himself in a hard position. He knows nothing about the situation, yet at his word, this man can either be freed or killed. We see that Pilot wants to save Jesus, and that he tries several different times to change the minds of the Jews concerning Him: "he went back outside to the Jewish leaders and announced, 'I find no basis for an accusation against him.'" (John 18:38 NET; see also John 19:4,12). So why didn't Pilot just say the word and have Jesus' life spared? 

Many reasons, I am sure, but the one that God impressed upon me was this: Pilot was too afraid of the people to stand up for what was right. We know from the Biblical account that Pilot was afraid of the potential consequences of having Jesus crucified: "When Pilate heard what they said, he was more afraid than ever..." (John 19:8 NET); but his fear of the people was greater than his fear of putting an innocent man to death. 

And what was the result of Jesus' and Pilot's decisions? And what was the end of their stories?

Jesus, who loved God and valued His instructions more than He feared what others would think, died a horrible death. Three days later, however, He rose from the grave, and He is now in Heaven and will one day reign as ruler over all nations (see Ps.2:6-8, Isaiah 2:1-4, Jeremiah 23:5, Dan 7:18-27, etc). 

Pilot's ending was a bit different. The Roman historian and Christian polemicist, Eusebius, tells us that Pontius Pilate fell under great misfortune, and that he eventually committed suicide. (Taken from Flavius Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews 18.4.2.)

I don't know about you, but the end of Jesus' story, the One who put His focus on God and Him alone, looks significantly better than the end of Pilot's story. Think about that the next time you are tempted to do (or not do) something because of your fear of what people will think...

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 27 Mar 2018, 7:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 27, 2018

Lessons From Palm Sunday, Part 3


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  After gleaning some valuable lessons on Palm Sunday in the previous parts of this Palm Sunday oriented series, today we come to the concluding part of the same. 


Purpose...

Now why did Hosannas rent the air on that First Palm Sunday? 

The word hosanna comes from a Hebrew word meaning "save now" or "save us, we pray." The first word of Psalm 118:25 is howosiah-na, translated "Save us!" From what did the Jews seek deliverance? Obviously from the Roman rule. Jews looked upon Jesus as their Freedom-fighter, the One who would wield a sword and use His miraculous powers to liberate them from the Roman tyranny, but their hopes were dashed as Jesus, without as much as lifting even a little finger against the Romans, focused on His spiritual mission of liberating people from the tyranny of much more dangerous rule...SIN. More than ruling from a throne in Jerusalem, Jesus' first  coming was all about ruling in the hearts of men! No wonder, with their expectations belied, when Jesus' enemies ( jealous and insecure, the religious hierarchy of that time) sought public support for His crucifixion before Pontius Pilate, the very same people who yelled Hosanna now shouted "crucify Him" (Matt. 27:11-23). Talk of U-turns for the worse... 

Pray, tell me, dear reader, why are you following Christ? For earthly gains? Or for eternal benefits? Yes, He will provide for our needs as per His promise in Matt. 6:33, however our primary focus ought to be on "that which is above" (Col. 3:1-2/Phil. 3:20-21). 


Provenance...

Now what propelled Jesus to "cleanse the temple of its crass commerce?" Righteous indignation, which is, incidently, not to be mistaken for crude and rude anger! What then, is the difference between "anger" and "Righteous indignation"? One has to look at its source or origin to discern the truth. While anger is an emotional outburst against injustice meted out to self, righteous indignation is an outrage expressed at those wilfully dishonouring God's Holy Name. 

Jesus wouldn't be provoked to anger when insults were hurled at Him personally in the Cross, but covenanted ones who didn't care a hoot for God's Holy Name bore the brunt of His Holy fury. Do not we see Righteous indignation in three prominent places in the Bible as well? Phinehas (Numbers 25:1-8), Peter (Acts 5:1-11) and Paul (1 Cor. 6:5) for you, ladies and gentlemen! 

As God's covenanted people, while we may not have the full rights to express righteous indignation on "outsiders" on matters of "Holy Living", certainly it is our bounden duty to show righteous indignation to our "brethren" who, with their immoral lifestyles, would be tarnishing the fair reputation of our Redeemer (1 Cor. 5). 


Portend...

Jesus act of "cleansing" the temple also in a way portends His second coming, when He will come, not riding humbly on a donkey, but gloriously on a horse (See Rev 19:11-21) to wage war and cleanse much of the filth of the World created by two of Satans' agents namely the Anti-Christ and the False Prophet. 

Dear Reader on a Palm Sunday -- or any occasion when you read this article -- it would serve you well to pray thus...Come Lord Jesus...firstly into my life, cleanse me of all the moral filth and then rule, unopposed, seated in the throne of my heart... 


Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
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Post  Admin on Sat 24 Mar 2018, 11:56 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 24, 2018
Lessons From Palm Sunday, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer 
  In our ongoing series, on the lessons to be gleaned from "Palm Sunday" we come today to 2 more...

Puzzle...

Tempering Matthew's "puzzling" account of Jesus riding on two donkeys (See Matt. 21:1-10) with the other Gospels, which state that He rode on a single donkey, some of the Bible commentators state with rightful  conviction that while Jesus rode on a donkey's colt into Jerusalem, the "senior" donkey followed riderless right behind. The 'junior' donkey (donkey's colt) is reasoned by the seasoned scholars to represent the church, birthed 1500 years after Judaism was established, which accepts Jesus Christ. The riderless donkey, then, represents Judaism, who has rejected Christ.  

Peace...
Culturally and socially during Biblical times, a king astride a donkey symbolized the "peace mission", whereas a king riding on a horse symbolized "war". The "peace" mission of Christ which would be accomplished four days later on the Cross, would pave the way for a peaceful reconciliation between not only Holy God and unholy man (See 2 Cor. 5:21/1Tim. 2:5), but also between Jews and Gentiles (See Eph. 2:14-19) as well as the physically impaired and the healthy ones who would all be now one in Christ (See Is. 56:3-7/Acts 8:26-40). 

Pitfalls...

Say Preacher, is your popularity soaring? What better time than now to recall the wise words of Sadhu Sundar Singh, especially in the context of all the unexpected popularity that came the way of the unsuspecting "little donkey" on this momentous occasion. I am quoting his words verbatim here below: 

"When Jesus entered Jerusalem the people spread their clothes in the way and strewed branches before Him in order to do Him honour. Jesus rode upon an ass, according to the word of the prophet. His feet did not touch the road which was decorated in His honour. It was the ass which trod upon the garments and the branches. But the ass would have been very foolish to have been uplifted on that account; for the road really was not decked in its honour! It would be just as foolish if those who bear Christ to men were to think anything of themselves because of what men do to them for the sake of Jesus." 

Doubtless, these words need to not so much be inked, but rather, be engraved in the hearts and minds of every servant of God. It would serve every servant of the Master well to remember that he/she is being respected, not because of his/her profession, but because of his/her association with the Master's work. Look at the Apostle Paul's self-worded "score-card" of his ministry: "For I am the least of all the apostles...it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace." (1 Cor. 15:9,10 NLT) 

Take heed, messenger of God's word! With popularity can come some pitfalls. The next time people pat you on your back for your "marvellous sermon", praise God for placing the message in your heart and counting you worthy of taking it to the world. Otherwise, you could well end up making a proverbial "ass" of yourself! The words of John the Baptist are so important for us to remember the words quoted from Sadhu Sundar Singh: "'He must increase, I must decrease' (John 3:30 BSB) ought to be the "watchword" for every Servant of God at all times." 

While on the subject, it would not be out of place to muse on yet another simple yet profound truth. Wasn't the Donkey which carried Jesus to Jerusalem first "untied", and then only "used" for His glory? How true in a Christian's life too! First one has to be "set free" from the chains of sin before he/she is put into "service" of being "a carrier" (read witness) to the outside, watching World (See Acts 8:25). 

Prayer: Father, we praise and thank Thee for all the lessons, You are teaching us from "Palm Sunday". When it comes to application of these lessons, enable us not to be only "mere listeners" but also "doers". In Jesus' Name. Amen. 

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
Announcement:
With Palm Sunday upon us, our minds are drawn to the supreme act of selfless love, the death and resurreciton of Jesus Christ for you and for me. Join us on Tuesday for the conclusion of "Lessons From Palm Sunday", 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 Thu 22 Mar 2018, 11:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
March 22, 2018

Lessons From Palm Sunday, Part 1
 bible
By Answers2Prayer 
As far as the written literature of the Christian world is concerned, somehow there appears to be a disturbing "calm" about "Palm" Sunday, one of the landmark events in our Saviour's life, with not too many articles abounding in relation to the same. It is the same with the Ascension Day and the Day of Pentecost. Somehow, in the Contemporary Church, these two momentous events do not seem to be given the due significance attached to other milestone events in our Saviour's life, such as Christmas, Good Friday and Easter. 

In this Series laced with alliteration of sub-headings beginning with the letter "P" for "Palm", yours truly feels challenged to present the significance of Palm Sunday to Nuggets readership through the following sub-headings: 

Period...
Our Lord, who is scripturally known as the Almighty's Pascal Lamb (See 1 Cor. 5:7) had said that He came not to abolish the law but to fulfil it (See Matt. 5:17). As Jesus had fulfilled the law in every respect, it is not binding on us who follow Him in faith to observe the law in toto (See Acts 15:1-35). 

Now coming back to the Saviour...As per the Jewish Law, the Pascal Lamb, whose blood would save the Lord's chosen ones from His wrath, had to be brought to the Jewish home four days before its eventual slaying (See Exodus 12:1-6). It follows, therefore, that the Divine Pascal Lamb also would enter Jerusalem, the "home" (See Psalm 132:13-14) of it's "Divine Owner", exactly four days before His propitiatory death (See 1 Thess 1:10 TLB). Mind you, this "fourth day" for the Jews would begin precisely at evening on the previous day by our calendars (6pm), and would end at evening of the next day (exactly 24 hours later). So folks, the atoning death of our Lord at 3 pm on "Good Friday" was not on the "fifth" day after entering His Father's Home, but at a time which was very much the part of the "fourth" day (See John 18:28).  

Prophecy...

If milestone events amongst others in our Redeemer's life, such as His virgin birth at Bethlehem, crucifixion on the Cross, resurrection and ascention were all prophesied (See Is. 7:14/Micah 5:2/ Ps. 22 /Ps. 16:10/Ps. 68:18), then what would make us think that the incidents which were central to an event as significant as Palm Sunday, with His arrival into God's home (also City- Psalm 148:1-3) and it's subsequent purification that fuelled by His righteous indignation would not be prophesied? Let the Scripture take over at this stage. Firstly the Prophecy about His arrival... 

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey." (Zech. 9:9 ESV)

Then the one on His righteous indignation which propelled Him to undertake impromptu cleansing of the Temple: "For zeal for your house has consumed me..." (Ps. 69:9 ESV) 

While on the subject, we may now take the "loopline" (permit me to use some of the Railways-related terminology) to cast spotlight on the subject, "Why Prophecies". Remember that the very salvation of mankind depended upon His single, singular life. As a result, the Almighty God did not want any rationalist to attribute His unique life, death and resurrection to a mere accident or coincidence. Let me illustrate with a Railways related incident: While hurredly alighting from a train in India, a servant of God forgot one of his suitcases in the compartment. As the train chugged away from the station, a chilling realization hit him that a suitcase now needed to be retrieved from that train. Would he chase the train in a taxi? Considering the traffic on the roads, there was no way he would do that, for by the time he reached the next station, the train would have already departed from there as well. So he frantically prayed that the suitcase containing some very precious items of his would be restored.Tears of joy started flowing from his eyes when lo and behold, he heard the announcement in the station that the train which had departed was returning. The reason? This devout soul would later discover that the train had run short of water in its storage tank, and the passengers were complaining. The driver had no other choice but to bring it back to the station to refill its water tanks. 

While a Christian would attribute the whole experience of this Servant of God to Divine Providence, a rationalist would put it down to mere coincidence. Consider for a moment, however, the following: What if everything about this "lost and found" story had been foretold by way of writing in a certain book? Would a rationalist still put it down to an accident or a coincidence? No way. It is the same about Christ's life. It was not by chance that everything happened the way it did at His first coming. Rather, everything that transpired in His life was the Almighty's will!

Hmmmm...Didn't one wise man affirm "Prophecy is nothing but history written in advance"? 

Prayer: Father, Thou art Sovereign. Everything is in Your hands. We need not worry when a crisis comes calling. We resolve not to worry during our troubled times. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
J and SM Ministries

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Have you ever taken the time to contemplate, I mean REALLY contemplate the depth of God's sacrifice to us through the death of Jesus Christ? Visit us online for the previously-published series,  "The Sufferings of Jesus". 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Tue 20 Mar 2018, 11:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 20, 2018
Where you Grow

By Answers2Prayer 
  "Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing." (James 1:2-4 NLT)

When I was a boy growing up in my Nana's old house we had 4 huge gardens. Come June my Dad would be working the tiller while my Mom, brothers, and I would be planting the seeds. One garden held enough potatoes to feed us all year round. Others held corn, carrots, cabbages, onions, tomatoes, cantaloups, and watermelons. There were also so many flowers. My Nana had a special love for them and nurtured them. Flowers surrounded her old house and every year she would put down potting soil, plant new ones, and sing while she worked.

One June I can remember helping her go around the house pulling weeds and watering the freshly planted flowers. She was so gentle with them and gave them such love and care. I thought it was no wonder they grew so fast. When we where done I ran to get my bike to ride awhile. As I was getting on it, however, I noticed something. I got back off and knelt down on the concrete walkway that led to our porch. There growing out of a crack in the concrete without water, soil, or love was a single dandelion.

At times in my own life I have felt my growth nurtured, watered, and cared for like Nana's flowers. At other times I have felt like I was that dandelion having to grow through solid concrete. Through it all, though, I never stopped growing. Through it all, I never stopped loving. I realized that it doesn't matter where you grow. It just matters that you grow.

God loves you so much and God wants you to grow in this life. Make the choice to keep growing then no matter what your circumstances. Keep growing in love. Keep growing in goodness. Keep growing in kindness. Keep growing in oneness with God. Keep helping others to grow as well. Always remember that to live is to grow whether it is through the richest soil in the world or through a crack in the concrete.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella
 
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Post  Admin on Sat 17 Mar 2018, 10:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 17, 2018

When Noah Found Spring
By Answers2Prayer 
  The sun is out, the temperatures have been above 0 for weeks, the grass is growing and the flowers--the ones that didn't come out in February and then get killed by the next snow--are starting to bloom. Everything--even the calendar!--says it's spring. 

As the earth buds with new life and the days get longer and warmer, spring is truly the official sign that the cold days of winter are past. It is a miracle, a sign of God that there are better days ahead.

It is true that winter in the region where I live was completely unimpressive in 2017, when this was written. Although I realize this is a sign of global warming, and although I understand that it may have put the farmers in a bad spot, I, for one, did not complain about the lack of snow. It was nice to be able to wear my light jacket for most of January and February. It was a blessing to not have to clean the driveway. It was such a relief to not have to worry about driving in the wet, slippery stuff. As a result, when thinking back over the winter of 2017, anyone from the region where I live will be scratching their heads about now, saying, "Why all the hype about spring? We didn't really ever have a winter!"

Nonetheless, no matter how warm or cold the winter has been, I am still psyched about spring, for it means that we don't have to worry about the cold weather again for an entire year.

More than likely anyone reading finds themselves right in the middle of winter -- If not a calendar winter, then a winter period of life. And if it is the latter, it has probably lasted more than the three month calendar period, too. In fact, the tell-tale signs of spring that are happening outside our homes right now are likely not visible in the winter period of your life!

You know what I mean. If ever there were a "winter" period of life, the time you spend dealing with cancer meets the criteria. So does that death that is still so raw. And the loss of your job/home/relationship/pet, etc. And more than likely, when you look out the "window" of your life, there are no signs that this will ever go away, that your life will ever return to normal.

I believe Noah knew exactly how you feel. He had been shut up in an ark for months and months. Sure, the ark eventually came to rest on Mount Ararat (after five long months! see Gen. 8:3,4); however, the bible tells us that it was another 2.5--months!--before other mountain peaks even became--visible! 

I don't know about you, but I would say Noah was in the middle of a very long winter with no spring in sight, and I know you can relate.

So what did Noah do?

He sent out a raven and a dove. The Bible says the raven, "flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up" (Gen. 8:7 NLT), but the dove, "could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat..." (Gen. 8:9 NLT). 

Well what good did that do? They were still entrenched in their "winter" with no spring in sight. 

There was, however, a part to the story that Noah couldn't see. God was doing something on a more global scale: "He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped. So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth." (Gen. 8:1b-3a NLT). 

Why couldn't Noah see this? 

Because it took time: time for the Earth to dry out; time for the water to recede; time for the plant-life, so vital to sustaining life on Earth, to regrow. 

Was Noah discouraged? 

I would have been. But the Bible records that even after the first dove returned, in fact, just seven days later, Noah again sent out the dove, and this time, "...the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak." (Gen. 8:11 NLT). 

Yes, God was at work resolving Noah's problem, and when the time was right, God sent a ray of hope, a dove carrying an olive leaf. No, Noah still couldn't leave the ark. In fact, he was in the ark for a total of 12.5 months. Nonetheless, in the midst of the despair, Noah sought hope, and God sent it to him.

It doesn't look like your winter is over yet. Those "flood waters" are still very much surrounding everything, and you are still "trapped" in your circumstance. Nonetheless, there is hope. Spring will come, and if you make the effort to seek that hope, if you "send out the dove", so to speak, God will give you the hope that you so desperately need to get through the rest of your "winter". He may not do it at once, but don't despair. Remember that Noah had to send out the dove twice before receiving his hope. Just keep on looking to the One who knows how to dry out the Earth; the One who knows how and when to send the spring; the One who assures you that your Winter will end. Ask Him for confirmation that this will be over, and then watch for His response!

Happy Spring!

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 Mar 2018, 10:21 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 15, 2018

3 Steps to Getting Your Prayers Answered

By Answers2Prayer
  I really don't want to walk in the rain, I thought.

"C'mon let's go anyway," hubby said as we walked out the front door. 

The wind was blowing and a few sprinkles came down. I hesitated but relinquished to his insistence. 

"The sun will come out; trust me," he said.

I held his hand as we made it to the driveway. "Wait a minute," he said as he opened the car door, "let me grab the umbrella from the trunk, just in case."

Umbrella? I thought he was confident it wouldn't rain. I thought he was acting in faith that the sprinkles would stop. His words said one thing, but his actions said another.

We do that too, don't we? We declare we have faith God will take care of the situation. We just know that our trust is complete. But as we claim to believe God will show up and solve all our needs, our actions tell a different story.

And when we do our best to walk on that faith, something inside whispers doubt. And next, we focus on the circumstances urging us to act contrary to what we said we believe.

But there's help. If you're walking in a downpour of conflict or disappointment, in 1 John 3:14-15 are nestled three powerful ways for you to walk through any circumstance with confidence, secure and firm.

Step 1: "...our trust isn't placed in things of this world, in the situation or in others. Not at all, this is the confidence that we have toward him ..."

Step 2: We know to ask not according to our whims, but according to God's will, "...that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us."

Step 3: Sleep comes easy at night because with renewed confidence, we declare: "And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him."

Do you believe in this truth...or are you holding onto the umbrella of doubt?
Janet
Janet Eckles

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Post  Admin on Thu 08 Mar 2018, 8:49 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 8, 2018

Arm-stretching? Or Reading Glasses? Part 1


By Answers2Prayer 
  "Nothing wrong with my eyes," I joked to my optometrist. "It's my arms. They are getting shorter by the day!"

Her retort was instant: "We do have an arm-stretcher in the basement..."

Unfortunately for me, that solution sounded like something straight from the Middle Ages. As much as I don't particularly like wearing glasses, that particular alternative was far worse!

I was thinking about that as I searched for my glasses this morning. My cell phone was blinking, indicating I had received a message of some kind; but without that all-important pair of lenses balancing atop my nose, there would be no way I could read it. Even with longer arms. I eventually located the missing necessity, and as I poised them over my eyes, the words became crystal clear.

It's true that I've worn glasses for reading for more years than I can remember; yet each time I try to read without them, and then look at the same print with them on, I am truly in awe that something so small, something so simple, can make such a difference. It makes me think. There was a time when my arms were "long enough", and I spent hours of every day devouring written material without glasses. There was this one book, however, that I couldn't read, no matter how hard I tried. Oh, I could see the print clearly, but no matter how much time I spent trying to decipher those words, their meaning eluded me. The title of the book? The Bible. 

I must not have been the only one whose arms were too "short", for there are thousands of volumes written to explain the meaning of its words. In fact, there are so many volumes that I even found the explanations confusing, for they seemed to contradict each other. 

I decided then, that I would only read the volumes written by my own denomination. After all, they proclaimed the same messages taught from the pulpit each week. How could they be "wrong"? As time went on, however, I became a bit curious. What if my church's explanation of the Bible was wrong? What if this elusive book actually taught something different from what my church claimed? Should I blindly take their interpretation? Or should I read it for myself? 

I decided to try again, and since my spiritual vision was still very poor, I "stretched my arms" by disciplining myself to get up early every morning and stay up late every night reading it. I even "stretched my arms" by forcing myself to read it through in a year. Unfortunately, no matter how much my arms "stretched", the results were the same: I still couldn't understand that book! 

One day, someone suggested there was a pair of "spiritual glasses" that would help me understand. To be perfectly honest, I was incensed that this particular person would think I needed "spiritual glasses". After all, there was nothing wrong with my vision. It was just that my "arms" were still "too short"! 

It was true, however, that all of my "arm-stretching" had resulted in nothing but sore shoulders and joints. What if there really were spiritual "reading glasses", something that would help me understand the Bible?

I decided to put God to the test. After all, it is His Word, so I humbled myself before Him and repented of my prideful attempts to understand His book on my own. I then began begging Him to give me those "spiritual glasses"...

Then one day, I received the gift of God's Spirit, and now, every time I open the Bible, its meaning is clear. It teaches me Truth. It speaks directly to my heart, giving me guidance in my day to day life and assistance in my walk with God. What a difference this has made!

Are your spiritual "arms" too "short"? Has your "arm-stretching" to date been painful but non-productive? Are you relying on the interpretation of others? Why not try God's Spiritual glasses? Remember, since God's Spirit inspired the book ("All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right." 2 Tim. 3:16 NLT), who better to interpret it? The next time you sit down to read your Bible, I encourage you to pray this simple prayer from your heart: 

Dear God, please send your Spirit to unblind my spiritual eyes and unstop my spiritual ears. May Your word be: "a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." (Ps. 119:105 KJV). May Your Word, "living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword" (Heb. 4:12a ESV), truly pierce "to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow" (Heb. 4:12b ESV). May it discern "the thoughts and intentions of heart." (Heb. 4:12c ESV)

You'll be amazed at the difference.

I must admit, however, that there are times when I put on my glasses and I still can't see...Join us on Saturday for "Arm-Stretching? Or Reading Glasses?" 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 Tue 06 Mar 2018, 6:18 pm

“Welcome to the Nugget

March 6, 2018

The Only Way to Stay Safe from Troubles


By Answers2Prayer
  Why did I give in?

Some years ago, my friends and I walked on the soft sand in the Cabo San Lucas beaches.

She elbowed me. "You're going with us. C'mon, parasailing will be fun."

I frowned. "You're nuts. I'm not doing that," I said. "Going up in the air with nothing underneath me? Ain't happening."

"You'll love it." She shook my arm and her voice grew with excitement. "C'mon where's your sense of adventure?"

My sense of adventure was at home in Orlando, where it belonged--safe and secure.

With her nudging, a little tiny part of me said, "Why not...what could happen?"

I gave a long sigh. "All right, I'll go."

Once I was strapped in, the man placed my hands on the leather bands. "Hold on tight."

Slowly, we were lifted up in the air and the wind lifted my hair. My friend giggled, oohed and aahed. Then she said, "Whatever you do, don't fool with the metal hook."

Ah! The hook. The one latch that connected the seat to the parachute. Should that hook come undone, or should I somehow open it and let the strap loose, I'd plop 30 feet into the Pacific Ocean and turn into an afternoon snack for the sharks below.

Crazy experience. But crazier is the fact that we're also dangling above the tension of life. Almost daily we're threatened by the teeth of anxiety that could devour our peace and bite into our confidence.

Knowing that, we should never, never undo the hook that connects us to the One who keeps us afloat. The One who sustains us above the fangs of adversity. The One who holds us beyond the reach of despair.

And when we're safely connected to His power, we're secure and protected from any and all dangers, threats or evil that hovers about. Nothing can touch us for "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together" (Colossians 1:15-18 NIV).

In Him all things hold together. What relief, what freedom! Not in our efforts, our performance, our image, or our crazy ways. None of that holds our life together. It's only the connection with Him who has the power to lift us above problems, struggles, and daily battles that can keep us secure and safe.

What are you connected to these days?

Janet
Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.  
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Join us on Thursday and Saturday to see how near-sightedness can teach us important lessons on how to read the Bible: "Arm-Stretching? Or Reading Glasses?" A Mini-Series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 03 Mar 2018, 11:36 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 3, 2018

One Person

By Answers2Prayer 
  "For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." (1 Peter 3:18)

In his many books and lectures the great educator, Leo Buscaglia showed us time and again how the love of just one person can change a life and change the world. I remember especially his story about the noted psychologist, Dr. Skeels.  

In the early 20th century orphaned children were often warehoused in badly understaffed institutions where they received little if any attention or love. At one time Dr. Skeels took 12 of these orphaned children and let them be cared for, a few hours each day, by mentally retarded 
adolescent girls at a nearby institution. He also studied 12 other children who were left in the orphanage all day long. He followed these children until adulthood and the results he found were shocking. Of the 12 children left all day in the orphanage without love and attention all were either dead, in institutions for the mentally retarded or in institutions for the mentally ill. Of the 12 children cared for and loved by the mentally retarded teenage girls all were self-supporting, most had graduated high school, and all were happily married. The only difference in the lives of these children had been the love of one person.

God loves us all so much and His greatest wish is for us to love each other as well. Let us never forget then just how vital our love can be to another. Patrick McCauley wrote "Some of us will reach millions, most of us will reach a few, and some will reach only one person. However, given the infinite significance of each person, there is no difference in the end."

Give your love, your kindness, and your heart to others today. You never know whom you might touch, whom you might help, and whose life you may save. As Thomas Merton said: "How can anyone tell how much he owes to the goodness of those who love him?" You may be just one person and you may touch just one person but that alone can change the world. 

Joseph J. Mazzella

 
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Post  Admin on Thu 01 Mar 2018, 8:46 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 1, 2018
Prepare

By Answers2Prayer 
 Preparation seems to be a huge slice of anything we undertake. Even when I am washing up, I prepare the plates by clearing them of scraps, of rinsing the drinking cups, of emptying any used saucepans and so on. Then I begin the washing up.

Planning a garden bed is similar. Organize the tools, dig out wayward grasses, pull out weeds, form firm edgings and plan space for each plant to be planted.

Or we are used to preparing things such as shopping trips (how many times have you forgotten to take your shopping list?), visiting friends -- you usually phone them ahead of time and offer to take with you whatever they might need. Oh, and don't forget to buy your travel ticket or put fuel in your vehicle!

We are good at preparing so what do you suppose Matthew 3:3, Mark 1:3 and Luke 3:4 meant us to understand when they quoted, "prepare ye the way of the Lord"? 

Of course, Isaiah, Malachi and Psalms had said it long before they did so I began to try to work out how it applies to this humble reader. What on earth could I do to prepare the way of the Lord? It is far too great an event for simple me to make any 'way of the Lord' worthy of such an event. 

Nobody in their right mind would even think of asking me to prepare for anything so significant so why was it put right there where I would inevitably read it? Was I being told to 'plant trees up the driveway,' or 'mow the lawn,' or 'get your neighbors together to put flowers in the windows and pot plants on the front steps?' Would that be what was meant?

Years ago I remember when the 'way' in this area was being prepared for the Queen and any suggestion that I could begin to do anything worthy of royalty is laughable. How much less for the Lord of the whole universe!

Then almost by accident I found out that the word, 'prepare,' has special meaning. As used by Matthew, Mark and Luke at least, it means to prepare spiritually. Now it makes sense. Heart and mind must be prepared if His coming means well for anyone. 

The farmer might be harvesting wheat, the cattleman might be fencing a new cattle-yard, the shopkeeper might be helping to re-stock his shelves, the nurse might be applying a bandage, a mother might be doing the washing for her children, a father might be on his way to work to earn his wages.

You or I might simply be going about our daily duties but at every moment we can still, "prepare the way of the Lord." (Mark 1:3 NLT) We will have had those moments of free time or 'easy' time when we can have prayed for His grace, or read Scripture assuring us of His grace. But when we are busy with daily chores, we might simply think a silent prayer asking for all we love to be covered by His grace.

No matter what you or I might be doing, we can "Prepare the way of the Lord" in its spiritual significance in our corner of the world. 

So you will join me won't you? Please, please? 

Elizabeth Price  
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Post  Admin on Tue 27 Feb 2018, 5:27 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
February 27, 2018

Connected
bible
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us
"Therefore encourage and build one another up, just as you are already doing." (1 Thess. 5:11 NIV)

One of my earliest memories was watching my Mom talk on our old rotary dial telephone. I was fascinated that she was talking to someone who wasn't actually in the room with her. When she finally hung up and left the room I slowly walked over to the phone and stared at it for a minute. Then I gently reached down and picked up the receiver. When I put it to my ear I was shocked to hear voices still speaking on it. I quickly and quietly hung it back up not knowing what to make of it. Later my older brother explained to me that we were on a party line and couldn't make a call while someone else was using it.

That, of course, was a long time ago. We switched to a private line soon after that and then later got a push button phone. Next came mobile phones that you could carry around the house with you. After that came computers, cell phones, and smart phones. These days I can send an e-mail half way around the world in a second. My daughter's smart phone has a hundred apps and a dozen social media accounts. She stores all of her information in a mysterious place known as the cloud. We are it seems more connected in this world than ever before.

What bothers me, though, is that as much as we are connected to each other, we rarely connect with each other. Few people write letters to each other these days. Few take the time to talk face to face. Instead of talking on the phone we text. Instead of looking into our loved ones' eyes we stare down at our phones. Instead of holding hands we scroll and swipe. It seems like the most connected generation may also be the loneliest.

Don't let that happen. Don't let technology take your time and your life away from you. Make the time to talk, to live, and to love. Make the time to meet, to pray, and to touch. Take a walk on the beach with a friend. Sit on the porch and watch the sunset. Play a game of chess or checkers. Hold hands and say Grace before a meal. Have a long conversation with the phones off and the hearts on. Connect offline as well as online.

Remember that God put us here to love each other. God put us here to help each other. God put us here to make this world a better place. When your technology can help you to do these things then use it. But when it can't turn it off.

By: Joseph J. Mazzella

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Post  Admin on Thu 22 Feb 2018, 11:17 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
Februry 22, 2018
When a Moralistic Mission goes awry, Part 2
By Answers2Prayer 
  Continuing with our series "When a moralistic mission goes awry", now we come to its penultimate part ...
Miscalculation...

The obvious offshoot of neither prayerfully looking unto the Lord before embarking on a major spiritual mission nor seeking the Levitical guidance resulted in a gross miscalculation on David's part. He went by recent history--the Philistines had transported the Ark in a Cow-driven cart (see 1 Sam 6:1-14) instead of Scriptures. Yes, the Philistines who were ignorant of the Biblical precepts on Ark transportation (Numbers 4:15/Numbers 7:19) were divinely excused; but how could the Covenantal people to whom the Law was given plead innocence or ignorance in this vital issue (Luke 12:48)? No way! Divine anger was only waiting to spill over, and it did when... 


Mishap...

As per the Divine scheme of things in order, the Lord's response to a reprehensible mishandling of a vital subject is publicly manifested. The oxen stumbled, and what followed is too well-known to be documented again. Mind you, the oxen stumbling was no accident, but a Divinely-ordained occurrence (Matt 10:29)!

Now for a subject within a subject...The ark had stayed for a period of time at Abinadab's house (2 Samuel 6:3), where his sons, Uzzah and Ahio, may well have become accustomed to its presence. There's an old saying, "familiarity breeds contempt," that could apply in this case. Uzzah, having been around the ark in his own home, could very likely forget the holiness that it represented. There are times when we, too, fail to recognize the holiness of God, and we also become too familiar with Him with an irreverent attitude. Time for making amends! 

Prayer: Father, we love you and fear You. Enable us always to walk with You in reverential fear and the comfort of the Holy Spirit like the early Christians. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries  
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Post  Admin on Sun 04 Feb 2018, 5:22 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 3, 2018

I Stole Watermelons Only Once


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 6:23b NIV).

The young person sat before me and said, "I stole watermelons only once."

I don't recall even nodding before the rest of the story came out:

"A group of us young people went in a car to large fields known for their watermelon patches.

"It was a darkish evening mid-October. As we drove with the headlights off, along a tree row, some of us kept getting out of the car to investigate. We discovered some dew-wet watermelons shining in the pale moonlight on the other side of the almost-leafless trees. We grabbed up some and scrambled back into the car. They seemed small and poor down at our feet. The patch had obviously been harvested. Slowly we drove to the end of the tree row.

"Suddenly, out stepped some persons of the collective farm, barely visible in their typical dark clothing! Fearing hitting them, we switched on the car lights. In their arms, they held out beautiful, big watermelons for us to take. We humbly accepted them.

"I never stole watermelons again."

The young person who had stolen watermelons was saved from stealing again by the free gift of beautiful watermelons--grace given by those sinned against, to the ones who had sinned--just as God offers grace to those who sin against Him--and that's us all.

We read at Romans 2:4b that, "God's kindness leads you toward repentance". Yes, His surprising kindness, His undeserved goodness, His grace. Not punishment, but free grace leads us to repentance and acceptance of His gift.

We read and know that, "God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). And Jesus said, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand" (John 10:28).

Jesus, with the gift of His own life, purchased the ticket for our security, our entry into heaven, and our stay for eternity.

We hear over and again that we can do nothing to earn or pay for our salvation; our Lord has done everything necessary for time and eternity. True, very true. So, what is our motive for doing good in the meantime?

When God's graciousness has reoriented our perspectives, "appreciation" becomes a gigantic word. We do good in appreciation for what God has done for us through His grace in Jesus Christ. With our whole selves, our whole lives, we want to share God's goodness, His free gift.

Prayer: Dear God, please direct our lives so that we will live in appreciation of your gifts. Freely we have received. Guide us by your Holy Spirit to freely pass on your great, free, undeserved goodness. Thank you for the vast extent of your gift: "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish." Amen.

By Isabel Allison
Roland, Manitoba, Canada


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Do you ever wonder how the devil succeeds in trapping so many of God's children? Check out CHECKMATE! A mini-series by Brother Suresh Manoharan designed to help us recognize and avoid the of the traps devil!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Jan 2018, 8:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 23, 2018

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

It was a very snowy winter. Snow after snow fell, day after day. We lived in a very white world.

As spring thaw began, a team of horses pulling a sleigh suddenly went down so deep beside the winter-packed tracks that they threw snow over their backs as they struggled getting themselves up again onto firmer snow.

A Sunday sleigh-load of youths secured their horses at the bottom and yanked toboggans to the top of nearby Turtle Mountain in southern Manitoba's Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, but the toboggans only sank in the very deep snow and had to be yanked downhill, too.

A farmer piled a hayrack with dead deer that had not been able to hoof through the snow to eat the old grasses and fallen leaves down under. Afterwards, this was called "The year of the Wakopa starvation." The hamlet's store was running out of food, for the train couldn't run. (Wakopa is long gone from maps.)

But one frosty evening that same winter, men doing their outdoor farm chores of cattle-care rushed into the house: "You've got to see this! Hurry."

We women and children wriggled into coats and boots and went outside.

The whole great dome of sky glowed in vast, tiered circles of rainbow colors: pinky-red, blue, pale green -- pinky-red, blue, pale green. From the high center zenith directly overhead, down to the bare tree-tips of the all-around rim of sparsely forested horizon, the totally brilliant color was broken only by the immediate farm buildings.

The colors shimmered and swayed gently as we turned ourselves about, staring at that great dome, immense like the prairie sky of summer, yet also so near and intimate.

We were awe-struck, knowing that we were privileged to be experiencing what only God could show us. We were amazed, overflowing with the glory that Isaiah experienced: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory" (Isaiah 6:3b).

Even greater still is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27) -- glory that can glow in believing hearts forever, even as Jesus said, until "he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels" (Luke 9:26b).

Let us speak enthusiastically of God's might and the glorious splendor of His kingdom! (Psalm 145:11)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for Your prayer, "Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world" (John 17:24). Thank you for giving your life so that we can live in your glory forever. Amen.

By Isabel Allison 
Roland, Manitoba, Canada

 
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Looking for tips on how to witness to your non-christian friends and family?  Check out "Fishers of men!" a two-part mini-series by Suresh Manoharan.
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:47 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 20, 2018

The Light, Part 3

By Answers2Prayer 
  Last Thursday, in "The Light, Part 2", we saw from my habit of shining my flashlight on my prayer list while walking with my dog before the sun comes up, that we can become distracted, even by "good" things, even by things that God may have called us to do; and the moment that "good" thing gets in the way of something that is even more important in the moment, then that "good" thing can becomes a stumbling block. 

As I thought about the lessons I learned by being "discovered" in my "bad" habit by none other than my neighbor, I began to realize one other vitally important lessons... 

The Bible teaches us that we have victory in Jesus over illness, over financial problems, over addictions, over temptation, over sin, etc. These are ours, gifts from Jesus for having accepted His Salvation. They are, in fact, part of His precious gift to us, and we are encouraged to use them! We are encouraged to commit our illnesses to Jesus. We are encouraged to give Him our financial concerns. We are told to clothe ourselves in His armor so that we can overcome addictions and temptations, and all the other traps of the devil! But we are told something else that is vital: We are told to pray for one another (James 5:16, Luke 6:28, Eph 3:2, etc) and to hold one another up (1 Thess 5:11, Gal 6:2, Heb 10:24, etc). 

Remember how shining the light on my pray list actually blinded me to the road at my feet, causing me to weave back and forth across the road, stumble on the cracks, and nearly fall into the drainage ditches? When we focus only on our own needs, even when we are focused on giving those needs to God, on taking a stand in faith for healing, for breakthrough, for deliverance, etc., then the very act of focusing on ourselves can blind us to the needs of others around us! 

Is it wrong to pray for our own healing and deliverance?

Absolutely not. The danger comes when we do so exclusively, when we allow our own needs and weaknesses to "override" the needs of others. 

Shortly after my encounter with my neighbour, who was convinced I was some hopeless case who couldn't even stop reading long enough to take my dog for a walk, I went to work. I must tell you that for some time, I had been experiencing fluctuations of sensation in my fingers and toes, as if they are constantly on the verge of becoming numb. I had been claiming victory over this in Jesus' name, and the numbness would alwys leave; and so I found myself praying against this numbness as I was pushing wheelchairs and running around doing direct patient care. I could hear God speaking to me, however: "Did you know that Mr. ____ had a stroke?" 

"Yes, of course I know that, God, he is, after all, my patient." 

"Do you realize what troubles this stroke has caused him? Do you realize that as a result, he has no where to live? No one to take care of his new needs? Do you remember that he can no longer walk by himself? He can't even take himself to the toilet, let alone do his cooking, cleaning, banking, etc. While you are praying for the numbness in your hands, have you even thought to pray for him?" 

"Of course, Lord. I prayed for him just this morning, while I was out walking the dog. You remember, right? That's who I was praying for when the neighbor caught me 'reading' while I was walking in the dark!"

"But have you prayed for him as earnestly as you've prayed for your fingers?"

I didn't have an answer for that one. Nor for the multiple other similar questions God would pose that day. I was, in essence, shining my flashlight on my own concerns, and even though they were good concerns, ones that God tells us to claim, it was blocking my ability to be there for others.

This is the last lesson God had for me regarding the light and my morning walk with my dog and my prayer list: When I focus on myself, even for good, solid, Biblical reasons, I cannot be there for the needs of others. And since we are admonished to put the needs of others ahead of our own needs ("Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves." Phil. 2:3 NLT), I was not walking in the will of God. 

Oh God, forgive me for putting my light under a basket ("No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket..." Matt 5:15a NLT), Forgive me for my self-focus! Help me instead to place it, "...on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.set it on a lampstand, and it gives light to everyone in the house" (vs 15b) by leaving my own problems in your hands so that I can be free to be there for others. Help me to stop shining my light for selfish reasons; but instead, to begin to use it for the world at large! 

This is the last lesson from my habit of shining my flashlight onto my prayer list instead of the road. If you have missed any of the lessons, please email me; or access them from the web by clicking here. God bless you as you shine your lights for others! 

Oh, and I no longer take my prayer list with me when I walk the dog before sunrise...Instead, I use my light for the road, and at the same time, I ask God to impress upon my mind the people I should pray for... 

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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Just what does Jesus have to say about His own divinity?  Check out "At the Pool of Bethesda"! 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Sat 20 Jan 2018, 12:59 am

Welcome to the Nugget

January 16, 2018

The Light, Part 1

By Answers2Prayer 
Devotionals 
  I have a very bad habit this time of year. 

Because the sun is coming up so late in the morning, I have to take the dog out for her walk while it is still dark. I am cognizant of safety concerns, however; and I am sure to wear a coat with reflector stripes, and I always take a light. The "bad habit" part is that I also take along reading material...

What's the harm, you ask? 

A couple of things, really. As I walk down that poorly-lit country roads, I need my flashlight to shine on the page in order to be able to read. This means my light doesn't shine on the road itself. It also means my attention is on the reading material and not on my path, which results in me often stumbling over cracks in the road, and worse, my path is anything but straight. I usually end up in the grass, and a couple of times I've almost slipped into one of the drainage ditches that line the road. I'm afraid that from afar, I look like I've had too much to drink; but hey, what's the harm? There's no one out that time of day anyway, and I've never actually "fallen" into the ditch...

There are other complications, however, ones that are brought on by the light itself. When directed towards the road, it is the perfect brightness for my eyes that have adjusted to the low-light state. When I shine it on the page, however, it reflects back brightly, causing my eyes to forget that it is dark outside; and  when I do put my eyes back on the road, I see nothing but blackness. But again, what harm is this? I mean, my eyes do readjust to the darkness, don't they? 

One final observation: When my light is aimed at the road, my 14-year-old, nearly blind dog trots on ahead of me in the circle of light. When I focus my light on my reading material, however, she stumbles along behind... 

This morning as I was weaving back and forth across the road with the light's reflection off my page blinding me completely, I heard a voice: "Now, that takes multitasking to its max!"

Yikes! I was caught in the act by none other than my next-door neighbour. He would have seen my drunken walk, and he had definitely noted my bad habit. Though his comment was friendly, I knew that what he was probably thinking was less complementary...

Just like I take a light with me on my morning walks, we are told that as Christians, "You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden." (Matt. 5:14 NLT). Just like I have the option of either shining my light on my reading material or on the road ahead, the Bible teaches that we have two choices with our spiritual lights: "No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house." (vs. 15 NLT). In other words, we can either put our light where the world can see it, or we can "hide it" by using it only for our personal concerns. 

Remember the negative repercussions when I use my light to read on my morning walks? When we only focus on our own concerns, we become blinded to what is happening in the lives of others around us. This self-focus puts us at spiritual risk of stumbling and falling into the traps of the enemy--self-pity, depression, anger, discouragement, etc. 

When we focus our lights on the world around us, however, we begin to see things from God's perspective. We see the path in front and the potential traps the devil sets to ensnare us, and even more importantly, our lights are there to help others. The most amazing part, however, is that as we focus away from ourselves, our own problems shrink in our eyes. The more we focus on helping others through their problems, the better we will be able to avoid the "drainage ditches" of discouragement, anger, depression, etc. that the devil hopes to use to ensnare us.

Please join us on Thursday for another important lesson I learned from my reading in the dark adventure..."The Light, 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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Would you like to make a difference in the world?  Why not join the Answers2Prayer Ministry team?  We have many volunteer positions.  By joining in, you can help in carrying out the Great Commission: "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in Heaven and on Earth have been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'" (Matt. 28:18-20 NIV)The time is right and we are in need of many laborers.  "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." (Matt 9:37-38 NIV)If you feel compelled, let us know by sending us an email. 
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Jan 2018, 7:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 18, 2018

The Light, Part 2


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  Last Tuesday, in "The Light, Part 1", we saw from my bad habit of reading while walking my dog in the dark that when we focus our lights on the world around us, we begin to see things from God's perspective. We see the path in front and the potential traps the devil sets to ensnare us, and even more importantly, our lights are there to help others. 

There was just one detail to my "walk in the dark" story that I failed to outline in Part 1. You see, when I read on my morning walks, it isn't exactly for pleasure. What I am really doing is praying through my prayer list, and when I shine the light on my page, I am simply looking to see who is next on the list. That's not a bad thing, right? I mean, though I may be focussing on the page instead of the road, this habit is truly directed by completely unselfish motives. We are admonished to pray for one another, right?

Yet, even though my motives are pure, my habit does continue to put me at risk of weaving all over the road, stumbling over cracks and slipping into the drainage ditch, and my habit does encroach upon my dog's comfort. And then there is the incident with my neighbor. What must he have thought? He didn't know I was consulting my list to know who to pray for. Instead, he went away thinking at the very least that I am hopelessly addicted to my reading material...

Yes, the Bible tells me I am: "...the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden." (Matt. 5:14 NLT), and the Bible tells me to "Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere." (Eph. 6:18 NLT; see also James 5:16, 1 Tim 2:1, Phil 5:14, etc). But the Bible also tells us two other vital things: 

1. What other people think is important. We are in no way to cause another to stumble: "But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea." (Matt. 18:6 NLT); and 

2. I am to put the needs of others ahead of my own: "Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves." (Phil. 2:3 NLT). 

In our walk through life, our spiritual light is not there only for our own assistance. It is especially there to help others, and according to the above text in Philippians, it is vital that we be considering their needs above our own. 

Yes, in praying through my prayer list, I am considering the needs of others above my own; however, the act of doing so in the dark kept my light from being a benefit to another of God's creation. In other words, there is a time and a place for every good deed, and whatever we are doing, no matter how pure and important, may need to wait (Isn't this a Truth that comes directly from the world's wisest man? See Eccl. 3!). 

Let me try to illustrate what I am trying to say here...

I was a member of our church's choir. That is a good thing, right? I was singing to the glory of God, and my participation in the choir helped others to worship as well. But then God called me to cohost a GriefShare program. The time required for that would use up all the available time I had, and besides, it would take place on the same evening as choir practice. If I obeyed, I wouldn't be able to continue with choir. After plenty of prayer, I dropped out of choir and began assisting with GriefShare. I am continually amazed at the lives that have been touched as a result.

The point is this: we may be engaged in "good" things, things that God may have called us to do (for didn't He call us to pray for one another?); however, the moment that "good" thing gets in the way of something that, in the moment, is even more important, this is when that "good" thing becomes like that millstone Jesus talked about (see Matt 18:6). That's when we need to remember Paul's advice to the Romans: "We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord." (Romans 15:1-2 NLT). 

The next time you are tempted to pass up an opportunity to help someone because you are already engaged in doing something that is good, remember that no matter what, our first priority is to hold up those who are weak!

There is one last lesson to be learned from my early-morning walk in the dark with my prayer list...Join us Saturday for "The Light, Part 3". 

In His love
Lyn 


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 11 Jan 2018, 7:15 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
January 11, 2018
Why do our Prayers go Unanswered?

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Am I being silly with this prayer request? I thought as I asked God for help.

"You'll never make it," the airline agent said on the phone as I booked my flight. "You only have 30 minutes and you have to go through the airport to change airlines. The aircraft is very small with limited seating."

"Book me anyway," I said.

Was that faith or foolishness on my part?

Weeks later, I boarded the flight from Orlando to St. Louis. Holding on to the airline agent's arm, she helped me to my seat inside the airplane. I settled down, folded my white cane and stuck it in the front pocket of the seat.

I buckled in. "Okay, Lord, I need a miracle," I began my silent prayer. "Place beside me a young man who can walk fast, and who's nice enough to offer to help me to the gate to catch my next flight."

But as rare as it was, no one sat beside me, I mean no one. Lord, what's up with that! I can't afford to miss my next flight.

We were descending and the announcement came through, "Ladies and gentlemen, seems like the air current was in our favor; we'll be arriving in St. Louis 20 minutes early."

I grinned. God is so good! That would make it very possible to reach the next flight. So I thought...

"Can you run?" I asked the airline escort waiting for me at the exit of the airplane.

"Sure can," he said.

And we did. We zipped past passengers, up the elevator and dashed to the gate. I handed my ID to the agent behind the counter.

"I'm so sorry, ma'am," the gate agent said. "The flight is completely full."

I took a deep breath. "No you don't understand. God made it so I could get here on time. Please, please look again, there has got to be one more seat left," I pleaded.

"It's a seven-seater aircraft," he said, "how much do you weigh?"

"How much do you want me to weigh," I chuckled. "One hundred thirteen.

"Hmmm...seems like one passenger didn't show up," he said. "I'll get your boarding pass."

I nearly reached over the counter and hugged him.

That lesson taught me a lot. So often God tests our faith, our trust and our commitment to remain calm.

He probably did that for you, too. When you so badly want to get on the flight that takes you to the answer, you ask and beg. And just when you are specific in your prayer request, He seems silent. He seems distant, ignoring your request.

But if hope seems to vanish and doubt knocks at the door, He's whispering: "'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD" (Isaiah 55:8).

In the desperation of your request, will you trust He's working on the answer...not in your way but His?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration.
Announcement:
Did you ever try to read while walking down the road? Not easy, is it. Now try doing so in the dark...Join us next week for "The Light", a mini-series by Lynona Gordon Chaffart, for some lessons inspired by what happens when you try to read and walk at the same time...in the dark!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."

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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Jan 2018, 1:38 am

Welcome to the Nugget

January 9, 2018

God is Awake when YOU Are...


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Lately it seems I've been waking up far too early for my liking.

In the early morning hours it can be a mite lonely, and the funny thing is I've never been an early riser. This morning my eyes opened before the sun came up, this time in part to my wife's cell phone receiving a pre-sun up text. Boom! That was it. My brain roared to life and it seemed hopeless to resume sleep. I quickly decided it was time for a cream cheese bagel and coffee, and as I pleasantly discovered, a pre-dawn word from the Lord who thankfully never sleeps and always seems to know what I need and when.

The older I get, I find that my thoughts collide in what can only be described as 'male mental-pause'. Yes I believe there is such a thing! Do you ever find yourself fussing over that to which you have little control? In life we would all prefer a glassy lake covered in mist as opposed to a choppy white-capped surface fueled by fear and concerns instead of the wind.

Our daily existence as you well know is not always calm water and light summer breezes. Life can beat us down and leave our faith taxed. We may feel afraid and discouraged, perhaps even angry at the Lord for not stepping in sooner. But I've learned it's in those moments that God reminds us that we are not alone in our afflictions, that our Lord and Savior is with us for the duration.

This morning as I sipped my black dark roast coffee, yes black, I opened the bible app on my phone to check the verse of the day. I don't always find it applies to my current situation or needs, but this morning's verse was a 'Kaboom!' moment, instantly calming my worried mind. The scripture is this: "Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you." (Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT). This simple verse is packed with wholesome goodness!

I love when God surprises me with a warm chocolate brownie. I felt a sudden wash of relief, that in life's uncertainty, my Heavenly Father will be personally out front, that no matter what obstacles lie ahead; I need not fear. And the best part is He promises to never leave me alone, never leave you alone; never fail me nor abandon me, never fail you nor abandon you! Stop and ponder that truth for a moment! That's a whole tray of brownies dripping with fudge icing!
My friend, claim this verse for whatever it is you're going through right now. If you're afraid and discouraged, look ahead of you and see Jesus making a path. If you feel alone, take heart! He is with you. Do you realize that in God's eyes you matter to Him? You're a cherished treasure to our Lord!

This biblical truth is such wonderful news for a soul that craves nourishment and a heart that pines for encouragement. Deuteronomy 31:8 is a keeper for me, and if I wake up again early tomorrow morning, I'll rivet God's word to my heart and allow Him to go on ahead.

Next time you wake up early or just need a boost to keep going, take a moment to first soak up God's word. Then go enjoy that tray of brownies! I will be!

Paul Smyth

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Post  Admin on Sat 06 Jan 2018, 11:18 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 6, 2018

Anybody But . . .


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us  "For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, 'I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.' Therefore 'come out from their midst, and be separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,' says the All-Powerful Lord." (1 Cor. 6:16)

It was the weekend of Canadian Thanksgiving, and we were on our way to Watkin's Glen for our yearly end-of-the-season camping trip. With the American elections only a month away, we had fully expected to see the thousands of lawn signs we passed on the way. What did surprise me was that all the lawn signs were the same colour. The message was clear: everyone in this region planned on voting for the same candidate!

I was idly reading the signs to pass the time when we came upon a particular house. The propaganda sign on his front lawn was the same colour as all the others, and I already knew that it would say, just like all the others, "Vote for _____". It wasn't until we were almost past the house that I realized how wrong I was. The sign didn't say "Vote for __________"; it said, "Anybody but ___________", giving the name of the same candidate everyone else seemed so keen on electing! 

I realized something important, then: I had almost missed the home owner's message! With his lawn sign being the same colour and style as all the others, and with the same name highlighted in bold letters, it had been necessary to look closely to see there was a difference. I had to wonder if the home owner, who was so obviously against the candidate all the rest in the region seemed to be supporting, realized that his lawn sign might not be depicting the message he was trying to portray...

This thought stayed with me for the last 100 kilometers of our road. You see, we all portray a "lawn sign" for our souls. This "lawn sign" tells the world whose party we belong to--The Lord's or the world's. I belong to the Lord's party, because I have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:20, 7:19) and I'm covered by the blood of the lamb (Rom 5:9); and as a result, though I am in the world, I am no longer of it (John 17:16, see also 16:9). Is this the message portrayed by the "lawn sign" of my soul? Or, like the one above, is it so similar to the ones of the world that you have to really look close to see it's different?

Am I being too harsh? I mean, so what if I dress the same, talk the same, watch the same movies and act the same as those around me. It doesn't change the fact that I am still God's child. And I do wear a cross around my neck, don't I? Doesn't that clearly tell people I am a follower of Christ? 

But how close do people have to look to see that cross? And even if they do see it, will its message speak more loudly than my actions? I think not. 

My mother has a wonderful expression: "actions speak louder than words", and James says something powerfully similar: "But someone will say, 'You have faith and I have works.' Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2:18 ESV). I have been set apart as holy: "For God's will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time." (Heb. 10:10 NLT). If I truly want to tell the world that I am a child of God, then I need to change the colour and the style of my "soul" sign! If I want people to understand the message I wish to portray, I need to make sure the words everyone reads on my soul do not say, "I belong to the world" I need to be different!

When you look at the church at large, you see very little difference between it and the world. You see that the percentage of divorce is just as high. There are just as many rebellious kids. There are more and more incidences of couples living together before marriage. It's like we're saying, "Yes, we're saved! We are forgiven, so we can go on living the way the rest of the world lives!" The problem is that this attitude puts the wrong-coloured lawn sign in front of our souls. We may be declaring that we belong to God's party, but the world won't notice. Our sign looks too much like the signs declaring allegiance to the world, and instead of furthering the kingdom of God, we may actually be furthering the kingdowm of the world! Meanwhile, the Bible tells us we have overcome the world. This doesn't mean we put a cross on the back of our car. It means we are different, set apart, that we follow God's commands, that people can see Jesus in us.

I think I'll try to look at my "soul" sign from a different angle from now on. I want to ensure that it looks different enough from those around me that it will be noticed. What about you?

In His love,
Lyn 

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
 
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Post  Admin on Thu 04 Jan 2018, 5:58 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 4, 2018

Remembering to Remember, Part 2

By Answers2Prayer
Today we come to the concluding part of the series titled "Remembering to Remember". In this part, we shall further understand the significance of "Remembering the Lord's several favors" under two sub-headings...


Reflect...

While we all have the universal call to be witnesses for the Lord, it would serve us well to reflect on what being a faithful witness to the Lord entails. First and foremost, like a Jew would speak passionately (See Deut 6:20-25), just as Moses desired, about the Pre- and Post-Passover history of his nation (Deut. 26:1-11), every Christian who is "worth his professing salt" needs to have a "BC (read "before Christ) and an AD (read "after Christ)" experience. Before Jesus came into my life, I was a wayward sinner (a spiritually wandering Aramean--See Deut. 26:5) with no real goal in life. After Jesus came into my life, I became a focused God-pleaser (see 2 Cor. 5:9, 15-17). This ought to be the recurring refrain in every Christian's testimony.

Secondly, one needs to become more like Christ, primarily in the matter of loving God. Jesus loved the Father the most, and this truth was reflected not only in His words, but also in His actions as well. Never was this truth more on display than at the time when He submitted Himself to indescribable, excruciating agony in order for the Heavenly Father's Redemption plan for the World to be completed (See John 14:30-31/2 Cor. 5:21).

While within the mostly incomprehensible, indescribable Trinity, the love for one another stems primarily from the "Goodness" of one another. In the relation between the Christian and God, love ought also to emanate primarily from understanding the Father's "Goodness". Hence the more we remember the Lord's amazingly good virtue of faithfulness in our lives by recollecting His various favors, the more is our gratitude. And the more gratitude, the more love. Oh boy. The role of "remembering" all of our Heavenly Father's acts that He directs towards our overall welfare in revving up our spiritual lives, can never, ever be understated! A Christian deeply in love with the Saviour is the best advertisement for Christianity. As remarked St. Augustine, the great Christian Theologian of the fifth Century, "God is most glorified in my life, when people observe that He is more precious to me than all that life can give or death can take away." Remember (oh remember, yet again...sic...): the width of a Christian's Ministry for Christ is directly proportional to the depth of the relationship he or she has with Christ. By width, I do not necessarily mean popularity in the Church circles. Rather, I am referring to the number of people a Christian impacts for good, whether it is "picked up or not by the Church's or World's radar".

By the way, remembering the Lord's faithfulness in the past will also help us emotionally tide over the problems of the present (See Psalms 42:4-5), for if He has been faithful in bringing us out of messy situations in the past, He is bound to deliver us out of our present troublesome circumstances as well...

Resolve...

During this season of resolutions, what better time than now to resolve to remember the Lord's faithfulness every single day of 2018 and beyond!!!

In my own 35 years of walking with the good Lord, I have found "Prayer time" to be more fruitful when it has morphed from merely being a time of supplication or intercession to a time of recollection of the Lord's innumerable favours in my life.

So folks, remember to remember what all the good Lord has done in your life. This will stoke the smouldering ember(s) of your soul better than any other spiritual exercise, giving you thereby renewed spiritual vim, vigor and vitality to gracefully "walk" through 2018 and beyond in your (I repeat your--and not John Bunyan's) "Pilgrim's progress".

Prayer: Father, I am weak but Thou art strong, help me weak as I am, ungrateful as I am to always remember Thy several favors in my life. In Jesus' Name. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
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Post  Admin on Wed 03 Jan 2018, 12:42 am

Welcome to the Nugget

January 2, 2018

Remembering to Remember, Part 1


By Answers2Prayer
Your Bob owes our Bob a Bob, if your Bob doesn't return the Bob your Bob owes our Bob, our Bob will give your Bob a Bob in the eye...

So goes an old tongue in cheek tongue-twister with the word Bob being repeated not less than 10 times. Now Moses, that peerless leader of Old Testament times, certainly did not want his swansong sermon, the one he delivered before disappearing atop Mount Nebo and never returning (see Deut. 34:1-6), to be remembered as some kind of a tongue-twister. A closer scrutiny of his monumental address, which is preserved in the Sacred Canon under the title "Deuteronomy", would reveal that he used the word "Remember" again and again to press his point home. He used it 16 times to be more precise! When we consider at what stage of their wilderness journey the children of Israel were at that point in time (remember that they were travelling from Egypt to Canaan under his leadership), the word "remember" becomes all the more relevant. Oh yes, they were camped on the Eastern Bank of River Jordan, with the "Promised Land" seemingly just a stone's throw away. With the mission, "Conquest of Canaan", looming large before them, they, more than anything, needed to be reminded of the Lord's power and faithfulness in shepherding their nation through the wilderness over the past 40 years. They needed this to emotionally and spiritually strengthen them for the mission ahead. After all, for the previous generation who had seen with their "own eyes" (words "own eyes" used advisedly), all of God's powerful miracles in Egypt and beyond, had declared the task of conquering Canaan, courtesy their wavering faith, "Mission impossible", and this had lead to the tragic and anticlimiatic "so near...yet so far" end (See Numbers 13-14).

The audience Moses was addressing now hadn't seen with "their eyes" like their fathers before them. Instead, they would hear with "their ears" (words "their ears" used advisedly) all of God's power and faithfulness, and Moses' message, as evidenced by the subsequent events, would achieve the desired positive, salutary effect (Joshua 11:23). As they took upon themselves the task of conquering Canaan, they were earnestly influenced by this singular address to "remember". Talk about faith being generated by hearing and not by seeing... (see Romans 10:17)...

With us about to enter the New Year, after being shepherded faithfully by our good Lord through the previous ones, yours truly felt inspired to share a 2-part series about the Lord's faithfulness from the book that, after Psalms and Isaiah, is the most often quoted in the rest of the Bible: The book of Deuteronomy...


Remember...

A Biblical Scholar put a spiritual truth very creatively as such: "God gives and forgives whereas men get and forget". How true! It is this forgetfulness that leads to the "cooling down of the first love" (Rev. 2:4-5). Because much of love is dependent on gratitude (see Luke 7:47), it would serve us well to regularly stoke the fires of gratitude by remembering again and again what all the good Lord has done for us faithfully over the years. And not only in 2017. That's what spiritual exercising is all about (See 1 Tim. 4:8). Oh how often, when his spiritual temperatures have plummeted, yours truly would be led to seek solitude (see Matt 6:6) to revive his spiritual health. For unlike in the physical realm, good health of the soul and temperature are directly proportional. Our Heavenly Father, who would not put off a smouldering wick, is so faithful (See Matt. 12:20). He has time and again helped me, through His Holy Spirit, in my weakness (Romans 8:26) to breathe fire into the smouldering embers of my soul.

Unless one is healthy spiritually, where is the question of us standing up as faithful witnesses for the Lord, which ought to be the primary goal of any Christian at all times?

Coming back to Deuteronomy, the Israelites would soon be living off the fat of the Land flowing with milk and honey. They faced the live danger of becoming "fat and bloated" by concentrating more on the gifts, as it were, than on the faithful Giver of those gifts. Therefore Moses, besides so many times making them "remember" about the Lord's loyalty towards their welfare in his farewell message, also taught them a song. A portion of this song, that I am quoting verbatim hereunder, has overtones of gentle warning. The portion is oh-so-explanatory that it ought to serve as a gentle warning to all us even in the current age as well:

"But Israel was soon overfed; Yes, fat and bloated; Then, in plenty, they forsook their God.
They shrugged away the Rock of their salvation..." (Deut. 32:15 TLB).

God forbid such a condition coming upon a Christian whose needs have been adequately taken care of at all times by our Divine Provider...

Prayer: Father, I confess I often forget Thy innumerable favors in my life to my own detriment. I resolve hereby to remember Thy manifold blessings. 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 final follow-up with Oncology, and I am pleased to report that every thing is good, praise God! 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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