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Post  Admin on Thu 02 May 2019, 6:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

May 2, 2019

Tell-Tale Signs
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     "He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8, NIV)

The children had a great sleepover and I was just getting around to making the bed and cleaning up. I thought I felt a pebbly bump under the sheet. Checking more closely, I found one lone Cheerio lodged about halfway down - a clue that our toddler grandbaby had crawled up in bed with the other kids sometime earlier that morning.

A single tell-tale sign gave away the story of her presence there, just as the rainbow at the beach yesterday told us it was raining back to the east.

There are a myriad of ways to share the gospel, the good news and love of Jesus Christ. Many of those ways have simple, ordinary tell-tale signs such as a smile, a listening ear, ready hands to help, joy. You may have heard the saying, "You may be the only Bible someone reads."

Mother Theresa said, "We can do no great things, only small things with great love". In the early thirteenth century, St. Francis of Assisi said, "Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words."

St. Francis is also quoted as saying, "Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where ther is sadness, joy."

All tell-tale signs, sharing the Gospel and hope of Jesus. The cross of Christ comes to mind, the tell-tale sign of the immeasurable mercy and grace for all people. What incredible good news.

Inspirational Messages by Sally I. Kennedy 
Announcement:
FAITH SERIES
Does your faith need a boost? Why not "boost" it with a series of studies on the Faith chapter, Hebrews 11? Simply click here!
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 30 Apr 2019, 12:44 pm

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April 30, 2019

The Secret to Spiritual Warfare...

Lessons From the Psalms, Part 8:
Psalm 3
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us   
 

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

This month's Lesson from the Psalms comes from Psalm 3. But first:


Interesting facts From the Book of Psalms:

Last month we learned that the book of Psalms is actually a compilation of songs, written by many different authors over many hundreds of years. An interesting fact about the Psalms for this month is this: It is believed the songs were compiled into their existing order during the lifetime of Ezra in the fourth century BC. We do not know why this order was chosen. All we know is that it was not assembled based on author or chronology, for the songs of the different writers are intermixed throughout the entire collection.


Today's Psalm:

Over the past 8 months, we have looked at eight individual Psalms and how these powerful songs can empower us, rendering our prayer life stronger and increasing our faith. Today's lesson comes from Psalms 3, a Psalm of David, from the time period when David fled from his son, Absalom. This Psalm provides us with an excellent model for spiritual warfare:


Step 1: Recognizing the enemy...

"O Lord, I have so many enemies;
   so many are against me.
So many are saying,
   'God will never rescue him!'" (vs. 1-2 NLT)

We've all been there. Perhaps we are there right now.

We need to remember that though our enemies may appear to be either flesh and blood or circumstantial--disease, death, financial difficulties, loss of home or job, etc.--our deadliest enemy is spiritual in nature: "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." (Eph. 6:12 NLT). These spiritual forces orchestrate and coordinate the problems and trials of life, using them to weaken us for the full-force attacks of doubt, unforgiveness, discouragement, depression, anxiety, fear, control, etc. Is it any wonder we feel so overwhelmed, so beaten up, so defeated? Is it any wonder we cry out, like David of old, "O Lord, I have so many enemies; so many are against me" (Ps. 3:1 NLT)?

The first powerful lesson is this: We must recognize that the true enemy behind what we are going through is the enemy of our souls (See John 8:44, Matt. 16:23, Rev. 20:1-6, 1 Peter 3:8-9, etc)!


Step 2: Recognizing God's power...

"But you, O Lord, are a shield around me;
   you are my glory, the one who holds my head high.
I cried out to the Lord,
   and he answered me from his holy mountain." (vs. 3-4 NLT)

Once we have recognized the true nature of our enemy, we need to remember that Christ has already defeated the devil: "For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death." (Heb. 2:14b NLT. See also 1 John 3:8, Col. 1:13, etc). We must remember that in Him, we have access to God's power, for God is our refuge and strength (Ps. 46:1-3; Ps. 91:2, Deut. 33:27, etc.). He is our shield (see Ps. 84:9, Ps. 5:12, Ps. 18:2, 2 Sam. 22:3, etc.) He is our glory (see Is. 60:19). When we cry out to Him, He answers us (see Ps. 34:17, 1 John 5:14, Ps. 66:19, John 9:31, 1 Peter 3:12, etc)!

The second powerful lesson about spiritual warfare from these next two verses of Psalms 3 is that in our time of trouble, we need to recognize God's love, power, strength and supremacy!


Part 3: Lesson in trust...

"I lay down and slept,
   yet I woke up in safety,
for the Lord was watching over me.
   I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies
   who surround me on every side." (vs. 5-6 NLT)

After we recognize who the real enemy is and we remind ourselves of God's supremacy and love, the next step is to put our unwavering faith in the Solution-Giver.

It's easy enough to say we trust God, but the real test is this: Will we lay down 'in the back of the boat', so to speak, and 'go to sleep'? Will we have the confidence that we don't need to do anything, for the Lord is watching over us? Will we have that peace that allows us to sleep during spiritual warfare? This is the kind of faith God seeks, and it is the third powerful lesson on spiritual warfare that Psalms 3 has to teach us: Our faith in God should be so unfailing that we can literally sleep in peace knowing that God is watching over us and knowing that there is no need to fear the 10,000s of enemies surrounding us!


Lesson Four: Taking action...

"Arise, O Lord!
   Rescue me, my God!
Slap all my enemies in the face!
   Shatter the teeth of the wicked!
Victory comes from you, O Lord.
   May you bless your people." (vs. 7-8 NLT)

When we put our unwavering trust in the Solution-Giver, the One who has already defeated the enemy, then we can rise up with confidence, knowing our prayer will be answered. We can in faith call out to God: "Arise...Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked!" for we are assured that, "Victory comes from you, O Lord. May you bless your people." 

Whatever it is you're going through right now, why not take these important steps outlined in Psalms 3:

1. Recognize the enemy;
2. Recognize God's love and supremacy;
3. Put your total faith in Him;
4. Rise up in the power of Jesus' name and claim victory.

Next, take a few moments to pray Psalms 3 over your current problems!

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.  
Announcement:
In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
 
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Post  Admin on Mon 29 Apr 2019, 11:10 pm

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April 27, 2019

Behind the Church-Front...Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 12
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us   
 

(In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned have been outlined in this series that is been appearing sporadically through the winter and spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.)

It was from the Low Point lighthouse near New Waterford, Nova Scotia, that I first saw it perched atop a hill, about 10 kilometers across the harbour. It looked like a church steeple, and pushing my tiny camera to its maximum zoom, I snapped a picture. "Look!" I said, showing my husband the somewhat grainy picture. "There's an old church of some kind over there."

We left Low Point with the determination that we would try and locate that old church upon the hill, and we did. It was not, however, a church at all. Rather, it was the observation post for the Chapel Point Battery Site...

How could I have confused a battery site with a church?

Good question; but if you look at my picture from across the bay (see picture at the top of this newsletter), you may understand my confusion, for the battery's observation tower is shaped very much like the bell tower of a church!

Now I don't know why the observation tower was built to resemble a bell tower, but if I had been so sure from across the bay that this was, indeed, a church, how much more like a church must it have appeared from the perspective of the German U-boats on the rocking waters of the open harbour? They would likely have been farther away than I was, and my modern telephoto lens was likely a bit more precise then their periscopes...Were they, like me, also confused? Would it have caused them to approach more closely than they otherwise might have done, and thus, put them at higher risk of personal loss?

It makes you think, doesn't it? Things are certainly not always what they seem, and there are many times in life when something that seems as innocent as the bell tower of a church turns out to be as dangerous as a coastal war battery can be to an enemy submarine. A particular set of circumstances, for example, may seem positive, and this causes us to make very wrong decisions; a particular place, bunch of people or activity may seem innocent enough, but in the end, this very innocent-looking thing could serve to pull us in, entice us, cause us to sin; the words that sound so true, spoken from the mouths of people we trust, may not actually be based in truth at all, and we are drawn to believe gossip. But perhaps the worst is that the doctrine taught from the pulpit may look and sound very good, but if it isn't based 100% on Biblical truth, we can be very easily drawn to false doctrine.

What can we do to protect ourselves from the bell-tower-turned-battery-observation-posts of life?

Fortunately for us, we don't have to rely on apparatuses that consist of tubes, mirrors, prisms or lenses. There is a better way. The Bible calls it "discernment", and it is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (see 1 Cor. 12:10). It is also a skill that can be cultivated: "Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong." (Heb. 5:14a NLT).

This particular passage of Hebrews 5 is actually a rebuke to Christians of all times: "There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don't seem to listen. You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food." (Vs. 11,12 NLT).

Although this already sounds pretty harsh, it gets even harsher: "For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right." (vs. 13 NLT).

Thus, we understand that discernment, these "trainable" powers, are evident in mature Christians, those who are skilled in the basic things about God's Word.

And how do we become skilled in the basic things about God's Word so that we can be mature enough in our Christian walk to have this discernment?

Accepting Jesus as our Saviour is the vital first step that will make us babes in Christ. But just like we must study and learn to become mature adults, we must also study and learn to become mature Christians. This involves spending time daily with God, the Master teacher. It requires learning to hear His voice. It requires allowing Him to fill us with His Spirit, and it requires spending time in God's Word.

My final piece of advice to anyone wishing to cultivate that spirit of discernment is this: Never, ever take anything at face value. Rather, always remember to compare what you are seeing and hearing to the Word of God, ever asking God to confirm your path.

Want to come with me in search of a bell-tower? Better be careful! It just might be the observation post for a WWII battery!

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:
Dear Nugget subscribers,

We value your input! Is the Nugget meeting your needs? If you have any suggestions for the Nugget, please email me here. May God bless you abundantly as you grow to know Him more!

In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, Scriptural Nuggets website, with Answers2Prayer Ministries
 
©Copyright 2011 Answers2Prayer | Matt 10:8 "Freely you have received, freely give."
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Post  Admin on Fri 26 Apr 2019, 11:11 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 25, 2019

Castles in the Sand


By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal...Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be." (Matthew 6:19, 21 NLT)

Before the sun was up too high and it would be hotter than blue blazes, my grandaughter and I ventured down to the beach.

Right away we noticed a beautiful sandcastle! It had survived the night somehow. Even though it was intricate and had obviously taken some time to do, the rising morning tide would surely wash it away.

We can build our lives on many things. Possessions, money, business, identity. They will all one day be gone,washed away. We didn't bring anything into this world, and we can't take anything out of it (1 Timothy 6:7) -- except our relationship with the Lord. That is forever.

I thought about an action Sunday school song the kids used to sing (Luke 6:47-79):

The wise man built his house upon the rock.........
and the rain came tumbling down.
The rain came down and the floods came up........
and the wise man's house stood firm.

But- the foolish man built his house upon the sand....,
and the rain came tumbling down.
The rain came down and the floods came ...,
.....and the foolish man's house went SPLAT!!

So -build your life on the Lord Jesus Christ.........
and the blessings will come down.
The blessings come down and the prayers go up........
so- build your life on the Lord!

As beautiful as the sandcastles of our lives may be, they are still just that: sandcastles. How awesome we can build our lives on the love and faithfulness of the Lord and the principles of His Word.

Inspirational Messages by Sally I. Kennedy
Announcement:
Are you ever tempted to think that your sin has no consequence? After all, Jesus forgave ALL our sins! Even that one little time when we knew better, but it anyway! What could be the harm? Check out "Lessons From David's Fall," a mini-series designed to help us understand that EACH and EVERY ONE of our actions have a profound affect, not only on our own lives, but on the lives of thousands of others around us: Lessons From David's Fall

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Post  Admin on Tue 23 Apr 2019, 4:26 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 23, 2019

The Isthmus
Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 11
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     It was a stormy day on the Atlantic. Though the sun was shining, the winds mercilessly pounded and battered the eastern Cape Breton coastline, driving the crashing the waves onto the drenched sand and rocks of the narrow beach.

But that was only on one side of the isthmus. The water on the other side was calm and quiet...

How could it be so calm just a few meters from the crashing storm?

I have seen isthmuses many times in my life, and the one we visited that day in Dominion Provincial Park, just west of Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, looked to be a prime example. I know that the isthmus provides shelter to the water on the non-sea side, allowing for ultimate calm even when the waves pound the other side. Nonetheless, each time I experience the phenomenon of stormy waters on one side and calm waters just a few metres away, I am astonished.

To be perfectly honest, I don't particularly like being in the wind blowing off the sea. The cold, damp air penetrates whatever I'm wearing; my hair becomes hopelessly tangled; and I risk losing any loose articles of clothing, especially my hat. In general, on such days as this, I'd rather just stay indoors!

It all made me think about the storms of life. They batter us mercilessly whenever they arise, and there seems to be nowhere we can go to get out of their cold, powerful current. Sure, we'd like to just avoid the storms, but that doesn't seem to be an option. Wouldn't it be nice to have an "isthmus" during such storms? Wouldn't it be nice, even amidst the worst of our circumstances, to find a spot of "calm waters" in which to ride it all out?

The good news is that we do, indeed, have an isthmus, The Lord Jesus Christ. Here are just a few of the many Bible verses that prove it:

"This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary." (Heb. 6:19 NLT);

"'Lord, help!' they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them." (Ps. 107:28-31 NLT);

"Jesus responded, 'Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!' Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm." (Matt. 8:26 NLT);

"The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you." (Ps. 9:9-10 NLT)

As I stood atop the isthmus that stormy day in Dominion Park, I realized that I had a choice to make: I could either walk on the side of the crashing waves, or I could walk on the side of the calm, clear waters. And even if I decided to walk in the storm, it wouldn't change the fact that just a few feet away, over the top of the isthmus, there was calm waters.

During the storms of life, we also have the same choice to make: Our "Isthmus" is always there. If we choose to live as if He is not, then there is nothing to keep us from the pounding winds and waves of worry, stress and regret. If we choose to let Him carry us and our problems (and I mean all of them, including the impossible consequences!), then in the same way I experienced calm waters with no wind that stormy day in Dominion Provincial Park, we can also experience calm amidst the storms of our lives.

Which side of the "Isthmus" will you walk during your "storm" today?

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:
This is the 12th of a 13 part mini-series based on a fantastic trip that my husband and I made to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia in the Fall of 2017.This 3 week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned have been outlined in this series that has been appearing sporadically through the winter and Spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.
 
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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Apr 2019, 9:45 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 18, 2019

Turning the Tables, Part 4
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     Coming to the penultimate part of this series, we now focus on some more instances in the scriptures to see how the good the Lord has brought about amazing turnarounds for his glory.

Treasures...
Before going any further, I would like to draw to your attention to some scripture portions-- notably Exodus chapter 17, Deuteronomy chapter 25, verses 17 to 19, then First Samuel chapter 15. You would observe that the "common factor" in these chapters are the Amalekites, the arch-enemies of the people of Israel! We see how they came to war against the people of Israel when they were on the way from Egypt to Canaan. Deuteronomy chapter 25, verses 17 to 19 sums up their cruelty by mercilessly slaughtering the weak and the feeble amongst the people of Israel. Many years later, God, who had said that vengea nce is mine (Deu 32:35), gives a special task to King Saul, a task which could be labelled as "Operation Amalekite Annihilation"; to finish them off lock, stock and barrel. When we actually consider the extent of the Amalekites' wickedness, the sentence of Almighty God who is fair appears perfectly just (Rev 16:4-7). In this connection, I want to share with you on what I learnt about the Amalekites savagery in my correspondence with the Jewish Rabbis--especially the brutality they exhibited towards the Jews in the Wilderness. Deu 25:17-19 gives us only a faint idea of their wholesome wickedness.

I learnt that when these barbaric Amalekites slaughtered the "feeble and the weak amongst the Israelites"; they were so barbaric, that they cut off their private parts and threw them into the air to mock their Saviour with these taunting words: "If you are really there, protect these Jews!" That is the extent of their wickedness and King Saul was given a special task of annihilating them from under the sky. Now was he obedient? Many of us know the tragic story of how he not only coveted the wealth (read livestock, which was a measure of one's wealth in the Biblical age- Job 1:1-3/1 Sam 15:19) of the Amalekites but he also spared "Mr. Wicked" himself, King Agag (1 Sam 15:33). By the time prophet Samuel came and finished off king Agag, we can be very sure that some of the descendants of that wicked king escaped. After 600 years, do not we see the descendants of Agag raising their wicked head once again like a hooded cobra in the form of Haman the Agagite (the Second in Command to King Ahaseureus the Mighty Medo-Persian Emperor) in the Book of Esther (3:1)?

We see how this Haman the Agagite was planning to exterminate all the Jews on account of one Jew named Mordecai, who was not as servile as his other colleagues and officers in the King's court (Esther 3:6). While a massive Jewish genocide was planned and approval of by the King (Esther 3:7-14) for settling his personal score with Mordecai, however, Haman built gallows for the former. Being the "Blue-eyed boy" of the Persian King at that time, all he had to do was go and make a request to the Persian king to hang Mordecai (Esther 5:9-14); and that would be the end of the "Benjaminite" Mordecai (word "Benjaminite" is being used advisedly).

We see that the wicked Haman was on the verge of pulling the trigger, by persuading the King to put Mordecai to death, but at the very beginning of chapter 6, we read amazingly "that night king had trouble sleeping." Praise God there were no TVs or Smart phones in those days; otherwise he would have switched on the TV or SP before trying to go back to sleep. Instead, he wanted to read the Royal Chronicles, and lo and behold; therein he comes across the account of how Mordecai saved his life (Esther 2:21-23/Esther 6:1-2)! Precisely at that time comes Haman with a request to hang Mordecai, and the King asks Haman, innocently keeping Mordecai in mind, "What should I do to honor the man who pleases me?" Haman, ever the egotist, thinks that the King is alluding to him and hence says that he should be given royal treatment, he should be paraded on the royal horse all over the city so on and so forth and then the king orders "go and do this to Mordecai." Dear friends, don't you see the complete turning of the tables, how God intervened to save the life of Mordecai? It is not explicitly stated that God worked, but you can certainly see His hand. You may still be asking "How?" Well, in Esther chapter 6 verse 1, it states: "that night, the king had trouble sleeping." Therein lies the answer. That was the sovereignty of God in action. You can see His hand, and from there on out, we see a chain reaction. It not only saved Mordecai at that time, but it also eventually ensured that Haman "fell into the very grave he dug for Mordecai" (Esther 7:10).

Now who was Mordecai? A Benjaminite, as I stated earlier. And who was King Saul? A Benjaminite as well. We have just witnessed the settling of accounts by God! Providential usage of the Benjaminite Mordecai to complete the work, which the Benjaminite king Saul had left unfinished. It included in its ambit now the one of killing of all the sons of Haman the Amalekite on the very day the Jewish genocide was to take place (Esther 9:1, Esther 7-10). Now brace yourself for the climax of climaxes....the rich Haman (PM of mighty Medo-Persian Empire with ostensibly vast wealth) and his sons were killed but their vast property was not so much as touched by the Jews under Mordecai's leadership. These Jews had learnt the lessons from the past, for the greed for property of Agag the Amalekite had been t he bane of King Saul (Esther 9:10).

Table...
While continuing to ponder on the paramount matter of choosing between greed and generosity, it would serve us, as the present generation, to learn and apply lessons from the past and to be inspired by the total turnarounds that the good Lord brought about in the lives or circumstances of people for His glory (1 Cor 10:11). Those of us who have been struggling with inherent covetousness in our lives for instance, would do well to remember the "turning of the tables" in the life of one who craved for money seated at the tax-collector's table. If greed gave way to generosity in Zaccheaus's life (Luke 19:1-9) courtesy of the transforming power of the Saviour, then why not in our lives too, as we depend more on His indwelling Spirit to bring about the needed victory over sin (Rom 5:5/1 John 4:4). By the way, no Christian official should at any time be linked to any "under the table" (sic) transactions!

Prayer: Father, strengthen us to stay away far from the love of money, whereby we bring glory to Your Holy Name in the marketplace. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries 
Important Announcement!
We sincerely apologize for the technical difficulties that resulted in some of you receiving an incomplete Nugget on Tuesday. This problem did not seem to be consistent; but we are aware that many of you were unable to read, "Turning the Tables, Part 3" in its entirety. If you would like to have the complete mailing, please click here. Once again, we apologize for the inconvenience. May God bless you abundantly as you grow to know Him more throughout this passion week.

In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Moderator, The Nugget, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.answers2prayer.org  .   
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 16 Apr 2019, 11:06 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
April 16, 2019

Turning the Tables, Part 3
    By Answers2Prayer

 
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Before coming to the third part of my Series on the theme of "turning of the tables", I would like to step into a world of fizz and tell of a true account about 'ambush marketing' in the Cola world.

Most of the Cricket lovers would know that the second ICC Cricket World cup staged in the subcontinent was in 1996. (The first was in 1987). However, even before the mega event symbolizing 'war' for cricket supremacy commenced, there was a 'war' for corporate cola being fought furiously on the sidelines between two cola giants: Coca Cola, and Pepsi, for the title of the "Official drink of the tournament". Coca Cola, flexing greater financial muscle, outbid Pepsi, and clinched the coveted title. Logically, this win would act as a springboard to enhance Coca Cola's sales volume rapidly during the prestigious tournament. But unfortunately for them, they had underestimated Pepsi's infinite creativity in its advertising department.

Despite losing the 'war' of becoming the 'official' drink, Pepsi turned the tables squarely on Coke, by coming out with what many advertising gurus still reckon as one of the most creative punch lines in the Indian advertising history--especially considering the adverse circumstances during which it was coined. "There is nothing official, about it." This one punch line (still lingering in our memory) turned the Cola war on its head, as everyone simply bought into it excitedly resulting in Pepsi's sales booming during that period like never before. Besides enjoying a bottle of Pepsi, just about everybody started using that punch line with a relish even in normal conversations. This was so much so, that I remember reading in a sports magazine that in an English county game after the WC 1996, the person who stood in for a sick official scorer and compiled the scores in the latter's absence was nicknamed, you guessed it: Pepsi, because there was 'nothing official about him' (sic)
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Post  Admin on Sat 13 Apr 2019, 5:58 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

April 13, 2019

Turning the Tables, Part 2
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     Continuing our focus on the theme of "Turning of the Tables", we come to two more instances in the Scriptures, where we see distinctly how the good Lord "turned the tables" on seemingly adverse situations.

Tongue...
The farewell message of Moses: the children of Israel reaching the threshold of the Promised Land is what the Book of Deuteronomy is all about. The amazing aspect of Moses's moving speech does not lie in his ability to take a lengthy inventory of his followers' obedience graph in the last 40 years, nor does it lie in his frequent and fervent pleas to the people of Israel to walk in the "straight and narrow". While they do punctuate the passionate content of Moses's speech, the most amazing thing about that parting speech is who is actually telling the speech itself! Many years ago, Moses cited his "stammering" disability as a disqualification for taking up any leadership role (Exodus 4:10). But here we see the same Moses, "the stammerer", giving the longest recorded speech in the Bible! We see Moses speaking through 33 of the 34 chapters in Deuteronomy with eloquence, which was at once unmistakable! Now if this does not leave one speechless, then what would?

The words of scripture tell us that God transforms the weakness of His faithful ones into their strength (Heb 11:34). This notion never rings more true than in the case of a man with a speech impairment giving the longest recorded speech in the Bible after being divinely strengthened! In God's service, it is the availability, more than the ability, which counts. Once we give ourselves to Him, with all our innate frailties, His strength will flow through us in overflowing measure for the world to marvel at (2 Cor 12:8-10)!

Thorn...
Bearing the pain of a prickly thorn in the flesh constantly (akin to a "painful situation like being a victim of injustice" - 2 Cor 12:7-12) becomes possible only when one clasps the liberating truth (John 8:32) that these "thorns in my flesh" are actually helping me spiritually, rather than harming me.

Apostle Paul turned the tables on an adverse situation in his life by looking at it from the Lord's wise perspective that the "thorn in his flesh" is actually keeping him humbly dependent on the Lord, instead of hindering him.

"Cross bears those who bear the Cross" observed the wise Sadhu Sundar Singh, and why not? For we cling to the indwelling, joyous Holy Spirit for sustenance in the wake of purifying painful experiences coming our way! (ah, the Holy Spirit comes into the picture now... He has to come into the picture at some stage or the other when we are speaking about the Christian life...without Him, there is no Christian life in the first place-Rom 8:9).

Where there is the presence of the Lord, there is an indescribable joy. Where that heavenly joy is, there is the strength of the Lord to reinforce our inner self to carry our own crosses to bear (Psalm 16:11, Nehemiah 8:10, I Peter 1:7-8, Romans 15:13, Eph 3:16, 2 Cor 12:7-12).

It would make sense only to the faithful Christians who have also faithfully carried the cross for many years, when I see that Christian character (Romans 5:3-4/2 Cor 3:18) getting built only in the rarefied atmosphere, as it were, of "pressure outside and pleasure inside".

Sadly, some of us attribute power of God to merely just awe-inspiring miracles, like parting of the Red sea, or raising of the dead, without realizing that it is that same power which is equipping us to also bear the "thorn in our flesh" faithfully.

It is not out of place to quote the following scripture portions verbatim, to underscore the point that the words "God's grace and His power" have also been used interchangeably in the Bible...

"And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all." (Acts 4:33, ESV)

"...My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (2 Cor 12:9b, NIV)

Joni Earekson Tada, a quadriplegic (paralyzed neck downwards and confined to a wheelchair now for 50 years) and a "great" Servant of God, preaches about "turning the tables" on the "thorns" in her life very effectively, not only through lip but also through her life itself.

"He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace!!! My wheelchair was the key to seeing all this happen--especially since God's power always shows up best in weakness...."

Prayer: Father, You know what adverse situations are buffeting us. Grant us your wisdom to turn the tables for your Glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries 
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Post  Admin on Sat 30 Mar 2019, 10:53 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 30, 2019

Of Black Flies and Bug Repellant...Lessons From Cape Breton Part 9
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     (In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned have been outlined in this series that will has been appearing sporadically through the winter and spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.)

When it comes to bugs, I'm not the most squeamish female in the world. I recognize that they are God's creation, put here for a purpose, and I try to leave them alone and preserve them in their natural habitat. That, of course, means, "outdoors", and especially, "not in my trailer"! Sometimes it even means, "Not on my trail!" The problem is that "my" trail passes through "their" forest, and as such, I try to respect them.

But why can't they respect me?

You see, many of these bugs bite. I'm allergic to some of them, and even worse, some of them carry disease.

It's true that most of the usual biting bugs actually tend to leave me alone. Mosquitoes will only go after me if their favorite meal (read "my husband") is not available, and though the deer flies do like to buzz around my head, they will usually choose my son's delicious flesh over my own. Black flies, on the other hand, are a totally different story. They regard me as an ice cream Sunday with fudge sauce, whip cream and a cherry on top, and to get to my delicious blood, they work their way up my sleeves and pant legs and even under the rim of my hat; and they seem to prefer the flesh of my scalp.

With our trip to Cape Breton taking place in the fall, I wasn't overly worried about black flies, for they are primarily a nuisance of the spring. I would learn, however, that while the Cape Breton black flies do die off in the summertime, they re-emerge, hungrier than ever, in the fall. This meant that every time we would stop for breath on the many beautiful trails, the black flies would swarm me incessantly. It got so bad on our first day of hiking that whenever my husband stopped for a breather, I paced circles around him just to get away from my menace. I probably put in twice the number of kilometers, and while he got back to the car without a single bite, I looked more like a pin cushion. How I wished I had taken the bug repellant with me!

In my "hike" through life, I am also bothered by certain "biting bugs". These are better known as temptations.

Just like I am not particularly bothered by mosquitoes or deer flies, there are many temptations that don't entice me in the least. I do have, however, my own little set of "black fly" temptations that get me every time. They come, seemingly out of nowhere, and there seems to be nothing I can do to deter them. Time and time again I stumble and fall into the exact same traps. Oh, God, I need "sin repellant"!

Fortunately, such a thing DOES exist. God promises His own help in overcoming temptation: "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure." (1 Cor. 10:13 NLT).

In other words, when we rely solely on God, He will help us overcome those pesky--and dangerous!--"temptation bugs": "My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness." (2 Cor. 12:9 NLT).

Just what does God's "sin repellant" look like?

The first "sin repellant" is humility: "...humble yourselves before God." (James 4:7a NLT). We need to humbly admit to God that we need help, that we can't fight temptation alone.

The second "sin repellant" is prayer. We need to ask God to give us a way out of temptation: "And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one." (Matt. 7:13 NLT)

The next "Sin repellant" is to resist: "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7b NLT).

How do we resist?

This is the final layer of "sin repellant". We need to fight the devil with Scripture: "I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you" (Psalm 119:11 NLT). Let's remember that Jesus Himself resisted temptation by quoting scripture (See Matt. 4, Luke 4). But in order to have that "word in my heart", I need to be diligent in studying God's Word: "Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long. Your commands make me wiser than my enemies, for they are my constant guide." (Psalm 119:97–98 NLT).

The best news is that this "sin repellant" can't be forgotten at home. It is available to all of us at all times, as long as we:

• Humble ourselves and admit we have weaknesses and need God's strength;
• Pray and ask God's help in overcoming;
• Stay ever on the alert for temptation; and
• Diligently study God's Word.

Anyone want some repellant against black flies? I have a good brand; but God's brand of "sin repellant" works even better!

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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EZEKIEL'S TEMPLE ...
Curious about the strange temple described in intricate detail in the last 9 chapters of Ezekiel? Check out the "Lessons From Ezekiel's Temple" series, recently published in The Nugget by clicking here.
 
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Post  Admin on Thu 28 Mar 2019, 11:38 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
March 28, 2019

Delighting in the Law of God...

Lessons From the Book of Psalms,
Part 7: Psalms 1
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By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us    In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.

An interesting fact about the book of Psalms is that it is actually a compilation of various songs. Though we always refer to them as the Psalms of David, they were, in actuality, penned by many different authors over a span of many years.

Over the past seven months, we have looked at seven individual Psalms and how these powerful songs can empower us, rendering our prayer life stronger and increasing our faith. Today's lesson comes from Psalms 1, a Psalm of David, which teaches us some important facts about relationship with God:

"Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand arhound with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night." (vs. 1-2 NLT)

I don't know about you, but on first glance, it would seem to me that this is in opposition of the teachings of the New Testament which tell us that in the New Covenant, we are no longer under the law and it will not save us (See Acts 15:10, Rom. 3:20, Rom 4:15, Rom 5:20, 2 Cor. 3:7-15, Gal. 2:16-21, Gal. 3:1-23, etc). How then can delighting in God's law bring us bles sings?

When you do a close examination of these first two verses of Psalms 1, however, you see something powerful: "...they delight in the law of the Lord..."

When you delight in something, it is because that something is extremely pleasing to you. For example, I delight in my children. But wait: How can a list of rules be pleasing to us?

It is only by being in love with the rule giver than any list of rules can be 'pleasing'. When we love someone with all of our hearts, we want to please them, and we take delight in doing the things that please them. There's no way we can delight in a set of rules unless we truly love the rule giver; therefore, delighting in God's laws requires that we be fully and completely in love with God, the Rule-Giver!

Of course there are benefits to loving God enough to want to keep His laws. Psalm 1 tells us that God will pour blessings out upon us when we delight in His laws:

"They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do." (vs. 3-4 NLT)

Unfortunately, when we look at these verses, we often see them as a 'recipe' for prosperity: If I keep the Lord's laws, I will prosper! And so we work hard to keep those rules, but the desired prosperity never comes.

I think the problem is that we forget that little word delight. We forget that it's not just keeping the rules that God requires of us, it is in taking pleasure in those rules. While we think the 'recipe' for prosperity lies in keeping the rules, in all reality, the 'recipe' for prosperity lies in being so in love with the Rule-Giver that we delight in His laws! When this is the case, our focus will be on being with God and loving Him, and not on trying to earn His favour. It is only when our priorities are properly aligned that we can delight in the law and receive the promised blessings.

Psalms 1 goes on to explain that though there are many benefits to delighting in God's laws, there are also consequences for not delighting in His laws:

"But not the wicked!
    They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
    Sinners will have no place among the godly.
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
    but the path of the wicked leads to destruction." (vs. 5-6 NLT)

Isn't it interesting that the "wicked" are defined as those who do not delight in God's laws, and conversely, those who do delight in God's laws are called "the godly"?

Let's keep in mind as we read this Psalm that it isn't about wanting to receive the blessing; it's about wanting that relationship with the Law-Giver for the sole purpose of loving Him and pleasing Him. The given benefits to those who love God enough to delight in His law are just icing on the cake!

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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In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 26 Mar 2019, 1:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 26, 2019

How do I Calm my Heartache?

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     Stop crying. That's enough! It wasn't that bad. Stop it now.
These are words others used to calm my little granddaughter's cries after a scraped knee.

Being the wise grandma I try to be, I have a different approach. I scoop her up in my arms. Hold her tight, and keep her close. Without saying a word, I rock her gently back and forth. I don't let her go. Her sobs subside. I still hold her tight, while back and forth I rock her. Her body relaxes and she settles in my arms, content as can be.
How do I know that approach works?

God did the same with me. When an unthinkable tragedy broke my heart and shook my world, He held me close. He didn't give instructions. He just held me close. He didn't command I stop my cries. He just held me close. Soon, His promises swept over me like a wave of warm water in a cold day.

Should more scrapes to my heart occur, I know to be still and let Him hold me because "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18, NLT).

Prayer: Father, how loving of you to care for us in such a tender way. Your comfort has no match. And your power to heal holds no conditions. When heartache invades my life, knowing You're ready to hold me tight shines reassurance in me. In Jesus' name, amen.

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
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God Calling    by Two Listeners

March 25 - Follow Your Guide

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalm 32:8

I am with you to guide you and help you. Unseen forces are controlling your destiny. Your petty fears are groundless.

What of a man walking through a glorious glade who fretted because ahead there lay a river and he might not be able to cross it, when all the time, that river was spanned by a bridge? And what if that man had a friend who knew the way – had planned it – and assured him that at no part of the journey would any unforeseen contingency arise, and that all was well?

So leave your foolish fears, and follow Me, your Guide, and determinedly refuse to consider the problems of tomorrow. My message to you is, trust, and wait.

Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever.    Amen.    Jude 1:24-25

Copyright ©️ 2019 Two Listeners, All rights reserved.
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Post  Admin on Sat 23 Mar 2019, 8:58 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 23, 2019

One Man's Junk...
Part 2
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     One man's junk is another man's treasure.

Last Thursday we discovered through my 17-year-overdue basement-cleaning process that what is junk in our own eyes is nothing but a diamond-in-the-rough from God's perspective. He doesn't see us as junk; rather, He sees us for what we can become, and He cleanses us of our unrighteousness, freeing us to become that "treasure" in His eyes.

There was, however, one other vital lesson that my basement cleaning process taught me...

You see, when we moved into this house, it was beautiful. Everything had its place, and there was no junk in the hidden recesses of our home. So when I took a critical look at the house after living here for 17 years, I had to scratch my head and say, "Where did all this junk come from? I never wanted to fill my house with junk!"

In the same way, when we fall in love with Jesus, we understand that our slates have been wiped clean (see Ps. 103:12), and we love Him so much that we desire to keep them that way. However, a few hours into our love-walk with Jesus, and we begin to see a build-up of sinful "junk" returning to our lives! We have addictions. We have pet sins. We have a human nature. We have sinful habitual patterns.

Just where does all this "junk" come from?

Unlike me having to pay for the city to come and remove my junk, however, I don't have to pay for Jesus to remove my addictions, my human nature, my pet sins, my habitual patterns, for "...if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." (John 8:36 NLT), and "...now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus." (Rom. 8:1 NLT).

This doesn't mean, however, that I don't have a role to play. Just like I had a lot of sorting and hauling to do to get the junk out of my house and onto the street, we all have a part to play in the process of keeping our spiritual "junk" at bay. Here are a few examples:

1. "If we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." (1 John 1:9 NLT).

The first step to "junk cleaning" has to do with confession. We need to acknowledge the areas of our lives that God needs to cleanse.

2. "Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)

We need to ever be on the alert for attacks of the devil. This means we need to be aware of our weaknesses and with God's help, take steps to prevent ourselves from once again falling into temptation.

3. "...Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil." (Eph. 6:10-11 NLT)

This means that we need to fully understand who we are in Christ (See "God's Armour" for some clues on how to do this).

4. "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)

We cannot underestimate the power of prayer, and we should not only pray for ourselves, but for each other. Everyone is struggling, and sometimes it is our prayers that help prevent others from falling back into the "junk collectors" we all tend to be!

Friends, let's give our "junk" to God. Let's let Him cleanse us from all unrighteousness and remove from us our dross. But let's do our part in keeping a "clean house" by confessing our sins, by staying alert for the devil's traps, by knowing who we are in Christ, and by praying without ceasing! For when we do, that "basement" and "garage" will not re-accumulate its junk!

House full of junk? Give it to God!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
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Post  Admin on Thu 21 Mar 2019, 9:58 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 21, 2019

One Man's Junk...
Part 1
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     One man's junk is another man's treasure.

Or so they say, and as we began to try and dispose of the 17-years of accumulated junk from our basement, closets, cupboards and garage, this old adage became our reality.

It all started the day we purchased a 20$ "refrigerant" ticket in order for the city to pick up our broken-down dehumidifier. The clerk suggested we not put the ticket on the item until the morning of our garbage pick-up, and she told us to keep our receipt, promising to buy the ticket back from us if someone took the dehumidifier off the street before the garbage truck came.

I was pretty skeptical, but why not try? Upon reaching home, we put the dehumidifier, along with a broken-down basketball net, on the side of the road. Imagine out surprise...and delight!...when they were both gone by morning. We were able to return our ticket and pocket the 20$.

This gave us an idea. You see, I'm not totally for filling land-fill sites with my rejected junk, so we began putting other items that were destined for the garbage pick-up onto the side of the road.

The old, dilapidated tractor trailer was gone before we had even returned to the house, and someone stopped by for the rusted-out, rotten park benches before we could get them to the street. The old pots and pans went, as did the box of old CDs, the old toy box and the old child's bed. Even the port-a-potty and camp chairs were gone by morning. Who would have thought? When the city garbage truck finally comes, there won't be anything left for them to haul off!

My neighbour, who actually took many of our items, helped me to understand how this could happen. He explained that he didn't see the park benches as rusted and rotten, he saw them as items in need of a few new planks and a good cleaning. The old pots and pans were just the thing for his bachelor grandson who was setting up housekeeping, and instead of seeing the old trailer in its dilapidated state, he saw it as beautiful pieces of scrap metal that he could harvest for a toy-hauler he is building...

Wow! Talk about one man's junk becoming another man's treasure!

This turned out to be a vital, two-fold lesson for me.

First of all, we are all sinners ("For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God's glorious standard." Rom. 3:23 NLT), and as a result, most of us see ourselves as nothing better than a dirty beggar on the street, hoping that God will come along and take pity on us. We don't see any value in what we can do, we don't like ourselves, we don't like what we see. In our own eyes, we are worthless junk, and nothing we do ever changes this fact.

But God doesn't see us this way. The Bible says, "On that day the LORD their God will rescue his people, just as a shepherd rescues his sheep. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown." (Zech 9:16 NLT) Where we see nothing but garbage, He sees opportunity. He knows that we are all fine jewels, in need of a good cleaning and refining, and He has even supplied the "cleansing" fluid: "...and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin." (1 John 1:7b NLT).

One man's junk is another man's treasure? How about, each man's "junk" is "treasure" in God's eyes!

There is one more vital lesson to be learned from my junk-to-treasure basement-cleaning experience. Join us on Tuesday for "One Man's Junk, 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 Sat 16 Mar 2019, 2:04 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 16, 2019

A Good Thing? Part 3: Of Jammed Locks and Ruined Birthdays...Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 8c
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     (In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned will be outlined in this series that will be appearing sporadically through the winter and spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.)

Over the past two lessons from our Cape Breton trip, we've seen that good always comes out of bad situations, for: "...God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Rom. 8:28 NLT). I firmly believe this, and sometimes I'm known as the "eternal optimist" because I am always looking for the "silver lining" that God has placed in the "black cloud". Sometimes, however, that optimistic attitude does run out...

It was my birthday, and we were officially on our way home from Cape Breton. We were camped outside of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and I was told it would be a "short" drive to Edmonston, New Brunswick, where we would spend the next two days. That meant there would be plenty of time before breaking camp to visit the many things in Antigonish that we had missed the previous day, and we would be in Edmonston early enough to be able to go out to dinner to celebrate my birthday...

We'll just say the day didn't go quite as planned. The road to Edmonston turned out to be 150 kilometers farther than we had originally anticipated, but we wouldn't learn this until AFTER we had spent the morning in Antigonish. As a result, we didn't get to our campsite, which was still a 30 minute drive from Edmonston, until well after 7. As it was nearly dark, I knew that by the time we got our trailer set up, it would be far too late to drive to Edmonston and go out to dinner...

I had anticipated this the moment I learned that Edmonston was farther away than we had thought, and this realization soured the entire afternoon. The kicker, however, came as we were trying to set up camp in the last of the natural light. The lock on the outside storage bin door, the one where we stored the tools required to set up the trailer, was jammed. We couldn't even unhitch without that tool box, and the only way to get to it was to set up the trailer, completely tear out the bed--quite a feat in a 12 foot trailer!--rescue the box, fold the trailer down again, unhitch, level the trailer, and then set it back up properly. Oh, and then of course I would have to completely reassemble the bed...

It all seems pretty trite now, but at the time it was the last straw. There was no silver-lining that day, and I was certain this was the worst birthday ever. Why did all the bad stuff have to happen on my special day? Why couldn't it have happened the day before or the day after? Hey! Why did it have to happen at all?

Isn't that how it seems to go in life? One bad thing piles upon another, and although sometimes we can see the good that is brought out of the bad situations (see Parts 1 and 2), other times we are left to wonder "why"!

But wait. Perhaps this is part of God's ultimate plan after all. When we don't see the answers to our "why" question, we have but two choices: We can convince ourselves that God doesn't care, or we can choose to believe in God's promises, even when we can't "see" any reason or solution.

The first option, unfortunately, leaves us void of hope, cut off from any potential comfort. It leaves us feeling as if we have no choice but to fend for ourselves, producing even more stress at every corner.

The second option, albeit the harder one to grasp, leads to the building of patience, strength, character, faith: "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady." (Rom. 5:3-4 NLT).

It actually doesn't take much faith to believe God will come through when we see all the answers; but it takes an enormous amount when no reason or solution can be seen. Remember that: "Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see." (Heb. 11:1 NLT). It is through this belief in what we cannot see that we are rewarded: "Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation." (Heb. 11:2 NLT).

I believe that though we may not always see the "why", our faith in God's promise that He, "...causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God..." (Rom. 8:28 NLT), will ensure that one day we will see the same trials and circumstances from God's perspective, and we will see how that particular hard time actually works itself into the beautiful fabric of God's plan.

Troubles upon you and no "why" in sight? No matter how hard you search you can't find the "silver lining"? Choose to believe in God's goodness and mercy, and especially in His promise that all things work together for good.

Oh, and don't worry if birthday plans don't go the way you anticipate them to go...There's always tomorrow!
           
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 19 Feb 2019, 9:03 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 19, 2019

Start the Car!
 
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     Imagine for a moment that you've just stepped into the most amazing store ever. It could be electronics, clothing, shoes, home furnishing, or whatever peaks your interest. Then picture yourself finding the most incredible piece of retail bliss you could fathom. I'll start this off by placing a stunning new car in front of my eyes; let's say a bright yellow fully loaded Corvette! Then out of wistful curiosity you ask the sales person how much? They straighten their shoulders, smile proudly and announce in a loud voice for all to hear, "It's totally free, no strings attached!"

You promptly laugh at what is most assuredly a cruel joke and then walk away disgustedly. Suddenly the manager strolls over, "Please wait a moment, it's no joke. It's yours right now for the taking! No gimmicks, no tricks, no expense to you!" He slaps you gleefully on the back and says, "Congratulations!"

For me and I'm sure you, there would be a moment of absolute disbelief followed by waves of cautious euphoria at your good fortune. But until the car keys were securely in my hands, I'd remain skeptical. We all would. But whatever your stupendously imaginary freebie might be, I'm guessing you'd be tempted to use the retail shoppers 'best deal ever' expression, "Start the car!"

Is this scenario too good to be true? Perhaps in earthly terms yes. But the coolest gift we can ever receive is just that...FREE!!! There isn't a thing you can do to earn it, not a penny you'll spend towards it or the even the slightest bit of price haggling on your part to secure it. You simply have to open your heart and receive it...

"God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it." (Ephesians 2: 8-9 NLT)

There is no better gift you can receive than that of God's salvation! You won't get there by leading a good life or by being kind to others or by going to church. While those things are important as believers, we are saved by God's grace through our faith in Jesus and nothing more. And did I mention your ticket to eternity is FREE?!!!

My dear friend, we live in a world where everything has a price attached to it. But Jesus paid the ultimate price for our transgressions by dying on the cross so we could claim the best deal of all time! He took our sin upon himself so that we might have eternal life and be cleared of all the messy things we get ourselves into. Need proof? Check this out! "He has removed our sins as far as the east is from the west." (Psalm 103:2 NLT)

If you've never taken that step of faith, I implore you to do so. Admit that you're a sinner and that you need God's help to change. Believe that Jesus died for you and arose from the dead, and then ask Him into your heart and into your life to become your personal Lord and Saviour. I can guarantee you that this side of heaven you'll never negotiate a better transaction! Please don't wait!

God loves you and wants you for his own! He comes to you and makes His gift easy to receive, "For everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13 NLT) Then as you pray, read your bible and seek God's will for your life, you might just find yourself shouting from the loftiest rooftop...

"START THE CAR!" 

Paul Smyth 
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Post  Admin on Sun 17 Feb 2019, 12:29 am

Welcome to the Nugget

February 16, 2019

Bugs in the Bathroom. Lessons from Cape Breton Part 6
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     (In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned will be outlined in this series that will be appearing sporadically through the winter and spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.)

Our 12-foot fold-down trailer has a small sink and some running water, but this is as close as it comes to having the amenities of home. As a result, we must frequent the camp bathrooms when we travel. This translates to having to deal with bugs, for there are always bugs in camp bathhouses...

Take the ladies' room, for example, at the RV Park where we stayed near Inverness, Nova Scotia. It was literally overrun with crane flies--that huge bug that looks like a monstrous mosquito.

Fortunately, I'm not particularly squeamish when it comes to bugs in a public bath facility, for I've learned that if I leave them alone, they will reciprocate the kindness. I tend to have a completely different attitude, however, when they enter my living quarters, and when a stray crane fly managed to make its way into my trailer, it was all out war.

Isn't it funny how my mind differentiates between public bathhouses and my personal living quarters...

As I think about this, it occurs to me that this is a great example of how we, as Christians, should live our lives. We are in the world, we are surrounded by the fruit of the devil's work; yet we are told: "Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect." (Rom. 12:2 NLT).

In other words, in the same way I don't tolerate bugs in my trailer, we are not to let the "bugs" of sin--worldly customs, temptation, addiction, etc.--into our lives. Rather, we are to let God transform us--change the way we think--so that our lives are free of the devil's "bugs".

This doesn't mean that we must isolate ourselves from the world. Just like I had no choice but to share my bathroom stall with a couple of crane flies, we do live in the world, and we need to accept those we live among for who and what they are. What we must guard against is letting that worldliness creep into our own hearts.

I am not saying we don't have a responsibility to the world. Jesus' last great commission is to take the freedom of Salvation to all people in the world (See Matt. 28:18-20). What I am saying is that we must not become like the world. We are called to love and support those who are of the world, and to do that, we must do whatever we can to introduce them to "the exterminator", Jesus Christ; but we are called to: "Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people." (Phil. 2:15 NLT).

What does this mean?

It means that when we see a few of the devil's "crane flies" in the people of the world around us, we must love and support them, and above all, we must try to point them to the great "crane fly exterminator". Whatever we do, however, we are not to let those same "crane flies" of sin and worldliness into our own hearts.

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 12 Feb 2019, 8:05 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 12, 2019

Love's Inclusiveness
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     
The world tells me I must love myself. It tells me to surround myself with people who nurture my love for me. Therefore, I can love myself so long as everyone around me makes me feel good.

It stands to reason then, that if something feels right and gets me what I want, it is love.

The criminal's code of silence for the sake of unity is labelled love; the tyrant's control 'for the common good' is called love.

Are you as confused as I have been? You might as well tell me a cow is love because it provides milk.

I have spent years trying to figure out the true definition of love and then one day I came across it. There are several pieces to fit together so please bear with me. I found nine pieces that form love, and none of them equates with what the world believes love to be. Listen to the definition of love that I found:
          1)   Love is patience. Have you ever seen a patient mother -- human or otherwise? Patience is love and impatience is, therefore, reproach.
          2)  Kindness is love. The kindness of birds feeding their young, the sheep calling her lamb at feeding time, the debt you 'forgot' to collect, the gossip you buried, the hurt you ignored -- these are kindnesses and kindness is love.
          3)  Love is not being conceited because love is inclusive. It does not look at itself, it looks at others.
          4)  Rudeness puts someone else down, so not being rude is love.
          5)  Selfishness excludes others from your enjoyment so being unselfish is love.
          6)  Shattering another's dreams is conceited, rude and selfish, so protecting another's dreams is love.
          7)  Love is not taking offence and does not nurture hurt feelings. It kills the gossip that enjoys somebody else's downfall.
          8)  Love endures the ugly and outlives outrage.
          9)  Love never comes to an end. 'Prophecies will cease; tongues of ecstasy will fall silent; knowledge will vanish.' This is the wonderful definition of love in 1st Corinthians 13:4-6.

Remember, this describes God's love towards us and please know, as Jesus said in John 15:12, 'This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you.' We are to love with God's love!

Phew! Tall order indeed! But it is what Jesus commanded, because God requires it. This love is as sifted gold-dust so give it gently or it will blow away.

Finally there is one love that is harshly dangerous. It is this: 'For the love of money is the root of all evil,' (1st Timothy 6:10 KJV).

So go with love but of all loves, choose the one Jesus commanded us to abide in. And you will need help to do so, so please go with prayer.

Elizabeth Price 
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Post  Admin on Sun 10 Feb 2019, 12:42 am

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February 9, 2019

Plan "A"...or Plan "G"?
 bible
By Answers2Prayer   As many of you who have been reading this post for a few months can probably already guess, I am a type "A" personality. I prefer to be a well-organized, I like to make plans well in advance, and because I am well aware of the fact that things don't always go as planned, I usually have a "Plan 'A'" as well as a "Plan 'B'". And sometimes I even have a "Plan 'C'"! You never can be too careful, you know, and it's important to try to plan for all possible scenarios...

Of course, my "plans" all have timelines attached, and nothing stresses me more than to be "off-schedule", even in the least, and the day it rained on our hiking plans, I wasn't very happy.

The longer I live with this particular "Type A" personality trait, the more I realize how much stress I create for myself. Wouldn't life be simpler if I were to simply let things play out and come up with my plans as the need arises?

This is, actually, a Biblical concept: "Come now, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit'--yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring...Instead you ought to say, 'If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'" (James 4:13-15 ESV)

In other words, when we spend our time making our "Plan 'A'"s and "Plan 'B'"s, we are basically wasting our time, because, "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." (Ps. 127:1 ESV); and "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand." (Prov. 19:21 ESV)

So am I supposed to just stop making plans altogether?

I have to admit that there is some stress-relief in the mere thought. But there is also stress in the thought, for one of my ways of dealing with anticipated stress is to put together my plans!

But how good are my plans, anyway? The Bible says, "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Is. 55:9 ESV). This means that no matter how carefully I plan, God's plan is always better.

So what do I do that will relieve stress instead of increasing it?

The Bible gives us clear guidance for this: "Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established." (Prov. 16:3 ESV)

Wait. "...your plans will be established..." Doesn't that mean that I will have plans after all? If I simply commit myself to God, submitting to His will no matter what that may turn out to be, if I simply leave myself open to His working in my life, then I will have that plan that my sense of order and control so crave?

The truth is, we can make all the plans we like, but it is God who sees the end from the beginning. It is God who establishes what we do and don't do: "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." (Prov. 16:9 ESV)

Okay, I'm still having some problems with this. I've spent far too much of my life with my precious "Plan 'A'"s to "Plan 'C'"s. I know myself, I know my personality, I know how important those plans are to my stress management. Can I really trust God to know--better than I do?

The answer, a resounding "Yes!", comes to us from Jeremiah: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jer. 29:11 ESV).

But isn't it my right to direct my own steps? Consider the following: "I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps." (Jeremiah 10:23 ESV). In other words, it isn't even my place to try to direct my steps. When I make my precious "Plan 'A'"s to "Plan 'C'"s, I am, in essence, taking on one of God's jobs...

I don't know about you, but I think maybe I will try to dispose of my precious "Plan 'A'"s to "Plan 'C'"s. Or maybe better yet, I will try to not make them in the first place. Instead, I will replace them with a "Plan 'G'"--God's plan--the plan I don't have to stress about making, for it takes care of all the details that tend to cause me so much stress, and I can rest assured it is the best plan out there.

And if He hasn't revealed to me yet what that "Plan 'G'" is, then perhaps I should simply: "Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!" (Ps. 27:14 ESV)...

What about it? Shall it be "Plan 'A'" or "Plan 'G'"?

Oh, and that day when it rained on my hiking plans? "Plan 'G'" included a rare sighting (for me!) of a pair of Pileated Woodpeckers dancing around a tree not 10 metres from where I sat...

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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We hope and pray that you will find this newsletter a blessing to you and to your families. God bless each of you as you strive to draw closer to Him!
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 05 Feb 2019, 12:28 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 5, 2019

Cooking a Young Goat in its Mother's Milk
 

By Answers2Prayer 
     I came across an interesting text in the Bible yesterday: "As you harvest your crops, bring the very best of the first harvest to the house of the LORD your God. You must not cook a young goat in its mother's milk." (Ex. 23:19 NLT).

Because this section of Exodus speaks of bringing the first fruits of your labours to the Lord, this admonition to not cook a baby goat in its mother's milk seems to be completely out of context. It's enough to make you scratch your head and go, "What???"

Of course this entire section in Exodus 23 outlines parts of the Mosaic law, which we know was done away with at the cross (See 2 Cor. 3). Paul teaches us that under the New Covenant, everything is permitted (though perhaps not always beneficial...See 1 Cor. 6:12, 10:23). So why should we pay attention to this text at all?

We pay attention to it, because of 2 Tim. 3:16: "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." (NLT). This means that everything in the Bible, including these references from the Mosaic law, is beneficial.

We also see that the now-non-applicable Mosaic laws are often used in the New Testament as illustrations to teach very applicable concepts. We see Jesus doing so in His Sermon on the Mount (See Matt. 5), and when Paul is teaching that those who work for the Lord should be paid, he references another interesting law from Deut. 25:4: "You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain." (See Paul's statement in 2 Timothy 5:18). Therefore, this verse that prohibits cooking a young goat in its mother's milk must have meaning for us today.

But what?

Let's remember that a mother's milk is something that is meant to make a baby grow and prosper, and when the kid is boiled in its mother's milk, it is, in essence, being destroyed by something that was meant to give it life and make it prosper...

This all makes me think about my tongue...

I can do so much good with my tongue. I can build people up, I can praise God, I can lead others to Christ, I can encourage and bless...But instead, I so often use my tongue to tear people down, to nag, to fuss, to complain, to gossip...

The Apostle James speaks to us about this concept: "People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. And so blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right!" (James 3:7-10 NLT).

What harm can mere words bring?

Here are a few of the thousands of examples:

I can think of so many times when I've used my words to praise and encourage; but then I've said one negative thing, and the person I'm speaking to just crumbles.

I may be feeling happy and positive, but when I'm around someone who complains, it doesn't take long for their depressive spirit to completely overtake my joy.

My husband may be happily helping me, say for example, with the dishes or the house cleaning; but the minute I start pointing out the things he isn't cleaning well enough, he tends to become depressed, he stops trying as hard, and he is even tempted to stop helping me altogether.

I may have nothing but good to say about someone; then someone else begins to gossip about that person, and it doesn't take long for me to begin to see the bad in that same person whose praise I was singing only moments earlier.

Or if tell someone something judgmental about someone else, even if what I said is completely true (which it may not be, for I may not have heard/understood it right), the person I am talking to begins to have negative feelings towards the one I gossiped about.

I could go on, but the point is, when we tear someone apart with our harsh words, we are using something meant for good against them. We are, in essence, cooking "the young goat in its mother's milk".

Let's not "cook a young goat in its mother's milk" by tearing them down with our words. Instead, join me in my heartfelt prayer:

Father, help me to "not cook a young goat in its mother's milk" by tearing people apart with my tongue. Help me, instead, to use my words to build people up, to bless and encourage, so that those around me may grow and blossom, and that Your name may be glorified. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen. 

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 Sat 02 Feb 2019, 9:41 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
February 2, 2019

The Walking Stick: Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 5
By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us   
 
(In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned will be outlined in this series that will be appearing sporadically through the winter and spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.)

While hiking the many trails of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, my husband and I learned something highly valuable: It is easier to hike with a walking stick!

The advantages of the walking stick were first discovered (by us!) on the Coastal Trail, a 9 kilometer trail that skirts the Atlantic coast of the national park. We found that the walking stick helps us in just about every aspect of hiking, including:

1. Climbing: Provides leverage and support so that the legs don't need to do all the work.
2. Descending: Provides stability during slippery descents.
3. Tripping: Catches you and keeps you from falling.
4. Crossing rocky trails: Gives you added footage.
5. Boulder Hopping: Provides stability for slippery surfaces as well as security for making long jumps from one boulder to another.
6. Traversing heavily-forested trails: When held out in front, breaks down cobwebs across the trail.
7. Avoiding poisonous plants: Pushes poison ivy aside.
8. Resting: Provides something to lean on while catching your breath.
9. Protecting: Helps to ward off potentially dangerous wild animals along the trail.

Life sometimes takes us over smooth, level trails. Much more frequently, however, it takes us over rough, steep paths where we are left fearing for our footing, wondering if we will have the strength to arrive at the end, and afraid of the consequences we might find along the way. There is little scarier than the diagnosis of cancer or heart problems, for example; and when we lose our beloved spouse to death, or even to divorce, we are left feeling as if our feet will slip off the designated trail. Is there a "walking stick" for the paths life dictates that we walk?

Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt. 11:28 ESV). Wait a minute. Didn't the walking stick provide moments of rest, brief breaks for catching our breath?

Jesus said He, "...will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber." (Ps. 121:3 ESV). Isn't that what the walking stick was good for on the rocks and rough trail?

Jesus said, "It is the LORD who goes before you." (Deut. 31:8 ESV). Isn't that how the walking stick helped us with those cobwebs and Poison Ivy?

Jesus said, "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10 ESV). Isn't this how the walking stick could have helped us against the wild animals? Isn't this how it helped us over the slippery rocks and steep descents?

It's true that we did not always fully appreciate our walking sticks. Because we weren't used to carrying them, we sometimes forgot them in the car. There were other times when we chose to leave them behind. After all, they kind of got in the way of taking pictures; and when the trail was level and smooth, the stick was just added weight...

In the same way, when we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we have access to all the advantages of the "walking stick" for our walk through life. We so often, however, tend to "leave it in the car", so to speak. Even though He is there, we don't ask Him to help us. Or we ask, but we continue to worry and fret. We refuse to lean upon Him for our rest. We try to carry it all ourselves. Just like the walking stick did us no good when we left it in the car, in order to safely traverse the trials of life, we need to use our spiritual "walking stick": we need to learn to rely on Jesus in all situations.

As we hike through the trials life has placed in front of us, let's remember that in the same way the walking stick is a priceless piece of hiking equipment, Jesus Christ is our ultimate in help. Let's don't leave Him "in the car". Let's allow Him to help us make it through.

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
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Post  Admin on Thu 31 Jan 2019, 1:09 am

Welcome to the Nugget
January 29, 2019

From the Depths of Despair...
Lessons From the Psalms, Part 5: Ps. 130
By Answers2Prayer 
  
Today's lesson from the Psalms is taken from Ps. 130:

"From the depths of despair, O Lord..." (vs. 1a NLT)

Do you feel as if you are in the depths of despair? Maybe the promised--and counted upon--raise didn't come through. Or perhaps you have just learned that your son and his family are moving 16000 km away. Or possibly, the report from your last blood work isn't quite what you had hoped for, or your daughter's fiancé and the love of her life just broke off their engagement. The river you live beside has perchance overflown its banks and your house now stands in 1 metre of water. Or maybe you have done something that is very wrong, and now you have gotten yourself into a mess there is truly no way out of...

The list could go on, but you get the picture. You've been there. We've all been there. Maybe that's where you are right now. What do you do?

Ps. 130 gives us the answer:

"From the depths of despair,
   O Lord, I call for your help.
Hear my cry, O Lord.
   Pay attention to my prayer." (Vs 1-2 NLT)

Calling out to God in our trouble isn't a new theme in the Psalms (See Ps. 43:5, 71:5-6, 10:17, 18:2, 61:2-3, 62:2, etc.). Ps. 130 goes on, however, to tell us why  we can count on God, why we can give Him our troubles:

"Lord, if you kept a record of our sins,
   who, O Lord, could ever survive?
But you offer forgiveness,
   that we might learn to fear you." (vs. 3-4 NLT)

The reason we can count on God in times of distress is that He has already made a way for Salvation. As a result of Jesus' gift on the cross, there is no record of sin ("And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins." Heb. 8:12 NLT), for His forgiveness abounds ("Let the wicked forsake their ways and the unrighteous their thoughts. Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will freely pardon." Is. 55:7 NIV).

God's part is the forgiveness and removal of our sins that separates us from Him (See Is. 59:2); but Ps. 130 also reminds us that we have a role to play as well:

"I am counting on the Lord;
   yes, I am counting on him.
   I have put my hope in his word." (vs. 5 NLT)

In addition to coming to the Lord in our times of trouble, we must also count on Him and put our hope iin His Word! In other words, we need to believe in the many promises of His Word that He will come through for us (See Ex. 14:4, Is. 40:29-31, Is. 41:10-13, Is. 53:2; Is 54:10, 2 Chron. 7:14, etc.). When we put our Hope in those promises, we are truly counting on the Lord!

In our quest to receive help from God in our times of need, there is one more thing that is our responsibility:

"I long for the Lord 
   more than sentries long for the dawn,
   yes, more than sentries long for the dawn." (Vs. 6 NLT)

In other words, we can't just say, "God help me!" and expect that our problems will lift and our lives will be returned to normal. We need to believe that He will help us, and we need to long for Him. Like a deer panting for water, so our souls should long for Him (See Ps. 42:1)!

Think about it: If you ask a total stranger for assistance, how much faith do you have in his/her ability to assist you? But if you spend time with that person and you come to understand that the person is someone who is worthy of your trust, then it will be much easier to believe in his/her ability to help you. It is no different with God. When we long for the Lord, we will get to know Him, we will spend time with Him, we will learn that He is, indeed, trustworthy!

But the Psalm doesn't leave us there. It goes on to give us a promise:

"O Israel, hope in the Lord;
   for with the Lord there is unfailing love.
   His redemption overflows.
He himself will redeem Israel
   from every kind of sin." (Vs. 7-8 NLT)

When we go to God in our times of trouble, when we long for Him, when we put our trust in Him, we aren't putting our trust in an unknown, untested entity. We're putting our trust and hope in His unfailing love, the same love that was already proven to us at the cross: "God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him." (1 John 4:9 NLT)!

Because of the cross, we have no reason whatsoever to doubt God's unfailing love or His desire to help us. Because of the cross, we can truly come to Him when we are in the depths of despair. We can truly trust in Him, for He has already proven His unending love to the World!

In the depths of despair? Come to the One who has already redeemed us from every kind of sin!

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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In response to recent requests from subscribers, the Nugget will be featuring a devotional based on the book of Psalms once a month. We pray you will be blessed by this focus on the one book of the Bible that Jesus quoted the most.
 
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Post  Admin on Sat 26 Jan 2019, 11:43 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 26, 2019

Locked Down! Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 4
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     (In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned will be outlined in this series that will be appearing sporadically through the winter and spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.)

On our way home from Cape Breton, we stopped for an unforgettable 2-day visit to the Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire. Although the park is, in general, unforgettably beautiful, the RV park where we stayed could also be classified as "unforgettable", but for less magnanimous reasons. You see, this RV park was lacking in certain things that we have come to expect in an RV park; things like bathrooms, for example. And showers and garbage cans. There wasn't even a campground host, and the park's only view was the view of--a busy parking lot!

The "no garbage can" issue seemed to be one of the easier ones to resolve. We would simply take our trash to a garbage dumpster at one of the nearby attraction. But wait. There didn't appear to be any dumpsters at any of the attractions! In fact, there was a sign that read, "This is a 'Carry in Carry out' park"!

Now I didn't particularly want to hang on to my garbage for another two days, so I searched the parking area at the biggest park attraction once again. Wait. Was that a dumpster at the far end of the lowest parking lot?

Image my astonishment when the dumpster was locked down with four padlocks! It seemed we would have to hang on to our garbage after all...

The lack of bathrooms in the camp meant that the port-a-potty we keep on our tiny trailer for emergencies got a bit more use. This necessitated, of course, that it be dumped before we left the campground; and this RV park actually did have was a dumping station!

Once again, however, I was doomed for disappointment. The dumping station was...locked down with a padlock!

I have never seen a dumping station locked down before, and as I attempted to process what this meant for our trip home, I noticed the sign: "Dumping hours Friday-Sunday from 9-4; Dumping fee $25.00." Quite naturally, it was Thursday; and besides, would I really want to pay $25.00 to dump that tiny thing?

As we left the RV park, I couldn't get the idea of the locked down dumpster and dumping station out of my mind. I mean, why would we be discouraged from getting rid of our garbage? But wait. Though we aren't all campers, we all have a "garbage" problem, don't we? Life in this sinful world produces garbage in abundance: Addictions. Obsessions. Sins that hurt oneself. Sins that hurt others. Sin against God...

The list could go on, but the point is that just like we produce garbage that needs to be thrown out or dumped in a dumping station when we are camping, the garbage produced by our sinful natures also ultimately needs to be removed.

Fortunately, just like there are (usually!) dumpsters and dump stations for our camping wastes, there is also a way to dispose of our sin garbage. When Jesus died on that cruel cross, He took care of our garbage once and for all, wiping our sin-slates completely clean: "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west." (Ps. 103:12 NLT).

Unfortunately, we tend to think there are "padlocks" on God's "sin-dumpsters". We seem to feel more justified if we have to "pay" to dump our "sin-port-a-potty". But this isn't God's way. It isn't a "carry in, carry out" kind of operation. God's forgiveness is not "locked down". There are no "grace-padlocks" and no "grace-open hours", for: "God saved you by his grace when you believed." (Eph. 2:8a NLT). And perhaps the best news is that there are also no "grace-dumping fees": "Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done." (Eph. 2:9a NLT); rather, "...you can't take credit for this; it is a gift from God." (Eph. 2:8b NLT).

And it's a good thing, too, because all of our own good deeds could never counter all the sin-garbage we produce on a daily basis. Why? Because our good deeds are: "...nothing but filthy rags. Like autumn leaves, we wither and fall, and our sins sweep us away like the wind." (Is. 64:6 NLT).

Instead of seeking the open hours and trying to figure out how to pay the dumping fee, let's, "Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words" (2 Cor. 9:15 NLT)!

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart. 
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Post  Admin on Fri 25 Jan 2019, 12:48 am

Welcome to the Nugget

January 24, 2019

Staying Small

By Answers2Prayer 

"But Jesus called to them to him, saying, 'Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.'" (Luke 18:16-17)

"But Jesus said, 'Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.'" (Matthew 19:14)

Recently I was reading in the Bible where the life and reign of King Hezekiah is described. An incredible miracle happened when the king was sick and about to die. As a sign to him that God would heal him, the Lord made the sundial go back ten numbers, literally stopping time. (2 Kings 20:1-11)

The king was a God-filled and God-focused man, obedient to the Lord. Everything was going along great for him and for his country. Then, the Bible says basically that he became puffed up with pride (See 2 Chronicles 32:24-31). He stopped staying small in his own eyes and began to think all the wonderful things that were happening were his own doing.

It's possible to grow older and not grow up, to maintain a Peter Pan syndrome. It's good to remain enthusiastic, have a zest for living, and keep things simple. It is also good to stay small in our own eyes and let God get the glory and the credit. We are blessed that Holy Spirit helps us to do that very thing. That is good news

Irish Thursday Inspirational Messages, Sally I. Kennedy
Copyright ©️ 2017 All rights reserved.
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 22 Jan 2019, 11:32 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 22, 2019

How to Overcome Depression

By Answers2Prayer
     Why do folks feel depressed during the holidays? Maybe trying to overcome depression adds to the pressure of life.

My neighbor and I stood in front of the mailboxes near the sidewalk, chatting about life. She sighed. "Things are bad all around. More shootings all the time. I can't seem to get out of debt, and my job is on the line."

"I'm so sorry," I said hoping to give her a bit of comfort. "Life is not up to us...it's up to God. He provides, guides, and comforts all who call to Him."

OOPS...wrong thing to say. She grunted. "Not everybody has the outlook you have," she said.

But was it my outlook or the truth that God repeats over and over again that He never meant us to live a life of pessimism no matter what bad news flash through our mind, through the TV screen or the internet?

Although that is not His plan, we all succumb to the temptation to check out the latest news. And those details mix with personal conflicts that don't seem to stop. No wonder so many are feeling lousy, down, defeated and depressed.

Who has the answer?

Only one person, who's active, caring, aware, and willing to give you the right answer, the reliable promise, and lasting assurance. His first sign was on the cross, His arms open, His heart submitted, and His love abundant.

He said in His action and in His words too: "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1 NIV).

How's that for the ultimate reassurance? The profound confidence and the guarantee for a lifetime! He took it all--the pain, the heartache, the loneliness so you wouldn't have to.

Emotions come and go, feelings are deceiving, but His help is ever-present, ever-abundant, and always available.

That's why we don't take on the task to overcome depression. He already has. Jesus, on the cross, already "felt" the pain so we wouldn't have to. He overcame so we wouldn't have to be in the battle. He triumphed so we wouldn't have to do the fighting. And He sang victory so we wouldn't have to seek it on our own.

Pray with me: Father, I'm tired of wrestling with feelings of depression. I ask that you open my eyes to see your hand at work to heal me. And to receive your grace to lift my darkness. In Jesus' name, amen.

When will you give your depression to the One who died to set you free?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
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Post  Admin on Sun 20 Jan 2019, 10:08 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 19, 2019

Clinging to the Rock...
Lessons From Cape Breton, Part 3
 

By Answers2Prayer Subscribe Unsubscribe Devotionals Contact us     (In the fall of 2017, my husband and I made an unforgettable trip to Cape Breton, a beautiful island at the northern tip of the Canadian eastern-seaboard province of Nova Scotia. This 3-week trip was inspirational in many ways, and some of the lessons we learned will be outlined in this series that will be appearing sporadically through the winter and spring of this year. For previously-published lessons from Cape Breton, please click here.)

I have long been fascinated by tree roots, and my love of hiking has often brought me to places where I have seen unique root systems. Never, however, had I seen one quite as interesting as the one I was privileged to see along the trail towards Uisge Ban Falls near Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

The tree, for all practical purposes, appeared to be growing right out of the top of that enormous boulder. There is no soil, no ground cover, just bare rock with a tree growing at the top.

How does this particular tree get its nutrients?

Three primary roots are anchored around the boulder, straddling it from three primary supportive angles. With this root system wrapping around that gigantic and solid boulder, that tree has withstood the tests of water, snow, ice, wind and time. Unlike its sister trees of the forest, whose roots are subject to erosion, this particular tree's foundation will never erode, for it is grounded on the solid rock.

This reminds me of a parable Jesus told: "Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." (Matt. 7:24-27 ESV).

When we build our lives on the "Rock", Jesus Christ ("The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Ps. 18:2), we become like that tree with its root system completely straddling that boulder: We become solidly anchored against the winds of circumstances, the rains of temptation, the ice of addictions, the snows of trials.

What is it you are facing right now? Don't face it with your roots only anchored in the soil of this world. Grow your spiritual roots around the Rock, anchor yourself to Jesus, and you will know the peace and the comfort and the encouragement that Jesus has promised us during the trials and temptations of life.

The important thing to remember, however, is that the tree hadn't just that moment grown that extensive root system; rather it had spent a lifetime anchoring itself to that rock. We, also, must not just turn to Jesus in our time of need; but rather, we need to make a lifetime out of anchoring ourselves to Him, for when we do, we will be prepared to weather whatever storms this life throws our way.

Why not start "anchoring" yourself firmly to Jesus today? If you need help knowing how to do this, please email me for some practical suggestions!

In His love,
Lyn

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