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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Oct 2017, 3:19 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
October 26, 2017
Of Motion, Reformation and Celebration! Part 1

By Answers2Prayer
"Stagnation is self-abdication," said a wise Philosopher. Humans were made for "going places" literally and figuratively speaking in both physical and spiritual realms rather than "rotting" at one place (Gen 1:27-28/Gen 9:7, Acts 1:8).

In this 3 part series, yours truly would endeavour to cast the spotlight on the significance of, as well as the principal cause behind progression in the spiritual realm, even while briefly tracing the history of the Church until the Reformation movement of the 16th century.


Motion...

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

The Fundamental Law of Motion, designed by the all-wise God and discovered and revealed to us by Sir Issac Newton, says that we move forward whilst walking or running, not just by exerting the force on earth with our feet by ourselves, but also by the propulsive force which the earth exerts in return when we first exert force on it. How true in the spiritual realm as well! Simply put, the act of gospel advancement by the spiritually vibrant Christians of the First century AD was always countered by the resisting forces of evil. Nonetheless, this actually resulted in furtherance of God-honoring work. Simply put the gospel advancement has essentially been through the ages, "a fight between the liberating truth on one side and the lies of the Devil on the other." How often in Christian history have we not witnessed persecution; however, it may not have registered on many that these persecutions prima-facie exerting pressure in the opposite direction to the gospel advancement had actually induced further beneficial growth of:

a) the church at large, as the scattered Christians came out of the their "comfort zone" of Jerusalem thanks to persecution, and went about preaching the Gospel everywhere (See Acts 8:4).

b) Building up the character of the persecuted ones (Romans 5:3-4/ James 1:2-4), making them "move forward", as it were spiritually. Truth be told, minus the persecutions (the scope of which is also controlled by the infinitely Wise God -- see 1 Cor 10:13), the Apostle Paul, as well as the genuine Christians of different stages of Church history, would not have grown as much in Christ-like qualities like meekness, gentleness and exemplary patience as would be desired by our Master.

Prayer: Father, keep us on our toes always lest any needless complacency starts creeping in. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries
Announcement:

On October 31 of this year, protestantism will celebrate its 500th anniversary. What lessons can we learn from this monumental day? Join us on Saturday, along with Tuesday of the following week, for "Reformation!" 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 Sat 07 Oct 2017, 7:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

October 7, 2017

CATHEDRALS!

Lessons on Being Supportive, Part 3: Gaudi's Crypt



By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us Last Thursday, in "CATHEDRALS! Part 2", we learned three things from the construction of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona: 1) We must do everything in our power to teach those we wish to support to be self-supportive by introducing them to the Source of true strength and support: Jesus Christ; 2) We must make a habit of building relationships, listening and loving unconditionally and unselfishly...not just when crisis arises, but all the time; And finally, 3) We can look to the example of God, the ultimate Father, to see that being supportive means being there for them...when it is requested!

But what if they refuse our help? How we sit back and watch while those we care about make the wrong decisions, decisions we know are not for their ultimate good, decisions that may result in harm to others?

God had an answer for me...in an unfinished cathedral!

Not all of the works of Antoni Gaudi, the famous Spanish architect and designer of the Sagrada Familia, were completed. Perhaps the most famous example of his uncompleted work can be found in a small hamlet outside of Barcelona, Colonia Guell...

The town itself was constructed around a textile factory, and company owner, Eusebio Guell, worked hard to ensure the social conditions of his workers was optimized by providing funding for cultural and religious facilities. He entrusted Antoni Gaudi with the design of the town's church.

Gaudi considered this project to be a culminating point of his work, and its construction was to include practically all his architectural innovations. His design foresaw a two-level structure with a lower crypt and the main sanctuary above, and he planned to top the project with towers and a 40 meter central dome. Unfortunately for Gaudi, he had only completed the walls and the interior of the lower crypt when the Guell family stopped financing the venture, and without financial support, Gaudi's work on the cathedral came to a screeching halt. A few years later, another architect put a flat roof on the uncompleted structure, and the church has popularly become known as "Gaudi's Crypt".

Just imagine how hard it must have been for Gaudi to abandon this culmination of his life's work. He knew the church would never be completed, and he lived to witness the flat, ordinary top that was put on his magnificent creation. How his heart must have ached for what could have been.... Yet when his assistance was no longer requested, he had no choice but to abandon the project.

This is the lesson we can learn from Gaudi's Crypt: When our support is no longer requested, we must let go!

But if we truly love someone, how can we just leave them to make bad decisions?

Again we must look to God our Father as our ultimate example. The Bible tells us that God created man in His image: "Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness, so they may rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move6 on the earth." (Gen. 1:26 NET).

Notice that God specifies here that man would rule over everything on the Earth. This means that we were created to be in charge, to make our own decisions.

We also know that God placed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the midst of the Garden of Eden and told Adam and Eve not to touch it: "Then the LORD God commanded the man, 'You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.'" (Genesis 2:16-17 NET).

Let's also remember that God did not stop Adam and Eve from making the most horrible decision of eternity, one that would affect all of mankind and ultimately result in Jesus' death on the cross. Why? Because He was giving them the choice to obey or to disobey Him. He created us to be free, to make decisions, to choose between good and evil. If He hadn't given us this power, we would essentially be robots, doing only what we are programmed to do.

In the same way, those we wish to support are also creations of God, and God has also given them the freedom to choose. Just as it was not God's place to intervene with Adam and Eve, and thus, was forced to sit back and allow them to make the most horrible decision of eternity, it is also not our place to intervene where we are not asked to do so. And yes, sometimes we will be forced to sit back and allow them to make bad choices; but if God, our ultimate example of a supportive Father, did not stop the first human beings from their very bad choice, then how can we, who are imperfect, claim to "know best"? When God allows us to choose between good and evil, how can we remove this from those we wish to support?

Just like Antonio Gaudi worked hard at building the cathedral in Colonia Guell, our support is to be given when it is requested. But just as he was forced to abandon this culminating work of his career, we, like Gaudi, must also stop trying to convict, assist and advise once it is no longer bidden. Yes, we know what the potential consequences might be, but just like God respects our power of choice, we must respect the rights of those we care about to make their own choices.

What will happen if we persist in forcing our support on those who have declined it? Join us on Tuesday for "CATHEDRALS! Part 4: The Cathedrals of Janovas and Mediano".

In His love,
Lyn

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

Feeling a little lost in this world? Patricia Quigley, a Nugget writer, has composed a song entitled: I'm Not From This World, which she sings with her granddaughter. You can view this song on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jc3Qq0UP8L0
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."



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Post  Admin on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 6:59 pm


Welcome to the Nugget
September 30, 2017
CATHEDRALS!
Lessons on Being Supportive, Introduction

By Answers2Prayer
I love cathedrals. One of my favorite things to do when in Europe is to visit these tall, majestic, regal--and rather imposing--structures that stud the landscape. To me, they are far more than just buildings; rather, these towering feats of architecture are masterpieces of art, built in the name of the Lord, that speak of His power, His strength, His protection, His love and His beauty.

On our trip to Spain in the summer of 2016, however, these towering edifices spoke to me somewhat differently...

You see, when I began this trip, I was struggling with the concept of how to "parent" my adult boys and the girls they bring into my life. Some weeks before, a good friend and I had been commiserating about this via text, and she mentioned that she had been advised to be "supportive". That sounded like excellent advice to me, not only for how to continue parenting my adult children, but also for how I should deal with all the relationships in my life. Yes, it was absolutely brilliant.

Then reality set in: Just what does it mean to be supportive?

The more I contemplated this question, the more frustrated I became, for if I were to be perfectly honest with myself, all my former attempts at being "supportive" have never truly been fueled by supportiveness at all. In fact, "controlling" would likely be the descriptor best used to describe my past efforts at showing love and support. Hadn't my own version of "supportiveness" resulted in my son being torn between doing what I was sure he should do and the direction God was leading him? Hadn't my "supportiveness" succeeded in making this same son afraid to tell me he had bought himself a car? Hadn't my attempts at "being supportive" created a chasm between me and one of the girls my boys brought home? Didn't my "supportiveness" often bring my own dear mother to tears?

Sadly, my list of examples could fill this page, but I won't continue to bore you with the details. It is safe to say that all my efforts at being supportive have failed miserably. The truth of the matter is, I have no idea what "supportive" looks like, and I have no clue how to separate it from its destructive but mimicking cousin, "control".

I am sure that I am not the only one struggling with the concept of how to be supportive. You may be struggling to be supportive of adult children and parents, as in the above examples, but you may also be struggling in one of many other incidences where being supportive is vital. After all, doesn't God exhort us to: "...encourage one another and build each other up..." (1 Thes 5:11 NIV)? We may desire to be supportive of good friends or neighbors; we may wish to be supportive of our coworkers, our clients and the people who share our pew at church; and we are called to be supportive of our pastors, mayors, councilmen, representatives, presidents and prime ministers. In fact, aren't we exhorted to pray for and be supportive of...everyone? "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people--for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." (1 Tim 2:1-2 NIV)

I am not writing this today because I feel I have found the answer to the question of how to be supportive; but as God spoke to me in His gentle, all-wise way, through the many beautiful cathedrals in Spain, He began to paint a picture for me of what it means to truly be supportive. I have a burden on my heart to share these precious lessons with you, and this will be the subject of the next six devotionals. It is my hope that some of you will benefit from the struggles I have undergone and the lessons God has given me. Please join us on Tuesday for "CATHEDRALS! Part 1".

In His love,
Lyn

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

HAVE A BEAUTIFUL FALL!
With Autumn already showing her colours throughout the Northern Hemisphere of our planet, with the children all back in school, let's all take a moment to reflect upon the blessings that God has granted us througout this past summer. May God bless you abundantly and with abundance this fall!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 6:29 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
September 26, 2016
The Perfect Hope for Happiness

By Answers2Prayer
No airplane flight has ever been boring for me. I hear stories and details from fellow passengers that make me think, surprise me at times but more often, they become fodder for my writing.

Here is the latest one: "Oh, I was really hoping this would be the one," the woman seated beside me in the plane related as she sipped her coffee. "but didn't happen. He was just another jerk. I married two of them already...don't need another one."

With disgust in her voice she detailed how for months and months she did all she could to find her soul mate, her partner for life, the husband to make her happy.

And each time she hoped God would send the right one. She hoped the matching website she signed up would render positive results. And to make it more urgent, she told me that, she hoped, really hoped her time clock would slow down a bit.

She wasn't alone. King David might have been on the same search. However, His version of Christian Mingle was probably more effective as he had relationships galore. But sadly, he wasn't the purest of them all. He was flawed, he failed, he lied, he cheated and he even murdered.

Yet...are you ready...God called him "a man after His own heart."

How could that be! Possibly, one of those nights, like so many nights before, David drank yet another glass of sorrow and regret. As he dropped to his knees, his hope surged. But his hope was different than the woman on the plane. This is what he said:

"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." (Psalm 42:3-5)

David finally got it right. He found the only hope for his happiness and meaning. What an example of a ghastly life with a glorious ending. That's because David put his hope in God, the one who forgives, the one who provides and the one who brings our deepest desire to reality.

How about you...may I ask in whom or in what are you placing your hope these days?

Janet Eckles

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

Announcement:

"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." (2 Cor. 9:8)

Wait a minute: If God promises abundance, then why do I have all this need? Click here to find out!
©️Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."


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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 11:34 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

September 28, 2016

More to Do

By Answers2Prayer
It was a hot and humid day in July. I was driving to the local grocery store because the heat had made my bananas go from yellow to brown overnight. My air conditioner in my car was on high, but it still wasn't cooling me down. Suddenly, the car in front of me signaled that it was pulling off. I pressed on the brakes and slowed down. Out of the corner of my eye I saw several teenagers standing in the sweltering, Summer sun. They weren't playing, goofing off, or hanging around though. They weren't drinking, smoking, gossiping, or looking at their cell phones. They were working on a porch.

I recognized them immediately as one of the church work camps. For more years than I can remember these young men and women have volunteered their Spring and Summer vacations to come here and help repair the homes of poor people. I smiled when I saw them there sweating, straining, and working hard to do some good in this world. While the news headlines were so full of murder, hate, and violence, these young people were doing their best to share some love and light with others. In my heart and mind I heard the words once again: "I was hungry and you gave me food...I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me." (Matt 25:35)

There is so much good we can do in this life. There are so many people we can help. There is so much love we can share. And as long as there is life, there is more to do. Whether it is repairing a house, sharing a smile, offering a hug, adopting a dog, visiting the sick, giving to charity, praying for others, sharing a kind word, or doing any act of goodness, every single thing we do is precious in the eyes of Heaven.

God loves us all so much and His greatest wish is for us to love each other as well. Choose to love then. Chose to love and you will have joy. Choose to love and you will share joy. Choose to love and you will help others and make this world a better place. There is no greater way to live and there is always more to do. May God bless and guide you always.

Joseph J. Mazzella

Announcement:

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

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