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NUGGET Today's Devotional

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NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 2 Empty Re: NUGGET Today's Devotional

Post  Admin on Sat 13 Jun 2020, 11:53 pm

 
 
NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 2 Raw?appid=YMailNorrin&ymreqid=2e9d598e-399b-5e90-1ccf-64000101f800&token=zitEzqOML3j84e6ealFTT5U7-km5qEQF52lp7AcCuBbpSVmqVp7Mb1q_UYn7twkRB1-qIdDQsPsbO8JXArPhA02Acmnr9mgmTGCL79S-UbQGYHG5zZROOYeWZBW-NzAx
 
"Your freedom ends where your brother's begins..."

I don't know how many times I heard my mother say it. I never fully comprehended what it meant, however, until much later in life; and even then, its fully meaning wasn't perhaps permanently drilled into my mind until the day we flew from Guadeloupe to Martinique...

They were all minor things, really: The Carnaval celebrations that blocked the closest route to the airport, resulting in us arriving about 30 minutes later than foreseen; the rental car attendant who was definitely on island time; the fact that we apparently owed money for damages to our rental car; the shuttle driver who was also on island time; the fact that he dropped us off at the wrong terminal; the long line at check in...

But the commutation was definitely during check-in: We were asked to weight our carry-on bags. Now I don't know about you, but I've never had to weigh my carry-on. In fact, I had specifically loades my carry-on with all the heavy items so that my checked bag wouldn't be overweight, and as a result, my carry-on bag was six kilos too heavy!

There was nothing we could do but repack, and that meant waiting in the long line for the check-in yet another time. Of course I had originally placed all the batteries in the carry-on, as per flight regulations; but during the "repack" process, I was not thinking about flight regulations, and the heavy batteries all ended up in the luggage to be checked. That meant that I had to open the checked bags again, find where I had dumped the batteries, and transfer them back to the carry-on. Of course, this made the carry-on overweight once again...Sigh...In the end, there was nothing left in my carry-on but batteries and my laptop, and it was still overweight!

We did finally get everything shifted, but my sour mood didn't lift even when we had passed the check-in. You see, as we went through security, there were many people in line with large carry-on bags that obviously weighed more than five kilos! And so I grumbled and complained until my husband suggested that I let it go. I stopped, but only for a while, and he once again had to suggest that I let it go. I am ashamed to admit how many times this scenario repeated itself, but I did notice that each time I started up my complaining, he seemed to become more tired. In fact, by the time we finally arrived in Martinique, he was exhausted. It was only later that I realized that it was my negativity that was pulling him down...

Wait. Didn't I have a right to complain? And if I can't express my feelings to my husband, who can I express them to?

"Right" or "wrong", however, my words were pulling him down, and the only thing that would stop him from being further hurt was for me to sacrifice my "right" to complain... Suddenly I understood. My freedom to complain ended where his freedom to live in peace began...

Jesus asks us to love one another: "So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other." (John 13:34 NLT). This isn't an easy command in the best of times; but it becomes much harder when "loving" someone else in a way that respects their wishes means sacrificing my own "rights".

Consider these potential examples: 

In Canada, I have the "right" to use either one of the official languages. But what if I decide to execute this "right" and speak English, when the person I'm speaking to only speaks French?

Do I not also have the "right" to feed peanuts to squirrels if I want to? But what if those squirrels took my nuts and ate them on the porch of my next door neighbour who is deathly allergic to peanuts?

And think about this: God has every right to punish sin and the sinner, and since the wages of sin is death (See Rom. 6:23), God could -- rightfully -- strike down every each one of us. What if He had executed that right? We would all be doomed to eternal darkness. Instead, God sent Jesus to be punished in our place (See 2 Cor. 5:21)...

And let's also remember this from Jesus' perspective: He had the right to equality with God: "He had equal status with God..." (Phil. 2:5 MSG). What if He had executed that "right"? He would never have left Heaven. Instead He, "...didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn't claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death--and the worst kind of death at that--a crucifixion." (Phil. 2:6-8 MSG). If Jesus had executed His right to equality with God, we would all be doomed to eternal death.

The next time you are tempted to be upset at someone for interfering with your "rights", remember to follow God's example. In a love-dominated world, our freedom truly ends where another's begins...

In His love,
Lyn


Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
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Post  Admin on Wed 10 Jun 2020, 8:40 pm

 
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I was making a cake. I had bought all the ingredients and put them together in a time-proven way, and I knew the cake would turn out well. And of course it did, it cooked perfectly so when a visitor arrived I could honestly offer her a piece of 'my' cake.

Another time I sewed together a skirt from material I had bought. It turned out so well I could wear it to town and a stranger smiled at me, then said gently, 'I love your skirt.' In reply I commented that I had made it myself and the stranger was quite surprised. 'How lovely,' she commented. 'Next time I see you in the street, I will know you by your own skirt!'

And so it goes on all through life. We all 'make things' of one sort or another and they belong to us. They are 'ours.'

And more importantly I also accept that the Creator made the world we live in. He said, "Let there be light ... let there be a firmament ... let the dry land appear ..." (See Gen. 1) right on throughout the full week of creation until the garden He created had living creatures and finally, human beings in it. "And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good." (Genesis 1:31 KJV).

The Creator, as a member of the Godhead, made the world and everything in it, from His ingredients. Naturally He could say it was all His. I do not question his ownership of all he has made any more that my guest questioned that the cake she ate was 'mine' or the lady in town accepted that the skirt I had made was 'mine.'

We also have 'my 'mother, 'my' father, 'my' children and so on, claiming ownership of our relationships along with 'my' home, 'my' garden, 'my' tools and so on and on; but I think a most outstanding example of ownership is what Jesus said as he sat at table and ate a meal with his disciples...

It was a special yearly event in the calendar of Israel, and at that time nothing fermented was to be taken. In fact, there were strict laws about what was allowed to be kept in the pantry and what could or could not be taken during that period.

So, in keeping with the rules He had established for Israel, Jesus gathered with His disciples to take a meal. He "took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:27,28 KJV)

The cup was full of grape juice but a lot of people seem to be confused about it, and this is where there can be serious lines drawn between what was literally made by Jesus and what seems to be implied. I understand that a literal reading in the Old Testament about the grape is that its juice was not called grape juice, it was called 'the blood of the grape.' (See Genesis 49:11Deut. 32:14). It was called blood from the beginning, hence Jesus could say with utter truth, "This is my blood." He had originally made grapes, so the juice-the blood of the grape-was literally 'His.'

The bread that Jesus and the disciples were eating comes into the same category. Jesus had created the seed that is harvested to make bread, so naturally, it was His. He made it and He broke a slice of it in pieces (see Matt. 26:26) and used it as an illustration of His body soon to be broken as was the piece of bread He broke to share with his disciples.

There is nothing mystical in taking bread and grape blood in memory of Jesus. The basics of life are provided by Him, and the basics of salvation are also provided by Hm and are representative of Him. What makes bread and grape juice so meaningful to us is how we relate to Jesus, not just in physical obedience, but in spiritual obedience.

Yes, we give thanks for our daily food, but on one special days we focus more deeply on our spiritual relationship and rejoice that Jesus has promised to eat bread and drink the blood of the grape with us once again in the kingdom of heaven: "But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom." (Matthew 26:29 KJV)

Come, Lord Jesus.
Elizabeth Price
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Post  Admin on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 11:12 pm

 
 
NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 2 Raw?appid=YMailNorrin&ymreqid=2e9d598e-399b-5e90-1c95-040001017700&token=zitEzqOML3j84e6ealFTT5U7-km5qEQF52lp7AcCuBbpSVmqVp7Mb1q_UYn7twkRB1-qIdDQsPsbO8JXArPhA02Acmnr9mgmTGCL79S-UbQGYHG5zZROOYeWZBW-NzAx
 
I don't know about you, but I can't help but think how nice it would be, in the midst of our difficulties, to have people praying for us...I mean, "God, can't you just send someone to pray???"

I would propose, however, that perhaps God has already done this, but we just don't realize it. I mean, if someone doesn't contact us and say, "Hey, I'm praying for you about_____", would we even know?

Several years ago, my family and I were caught up in a legalistic religion. We know from personal experience that coming out of this particular religion is very difficult. It was, perhaps, the most difficult thing I've ever done. I see how others struggle, and I know that most of them do not have the courage to come out. So what made us different? Why were we able to break the chains of religion when other sincere members of this religion cannot?

We would learn, only later, that there was someone, a solid, spirit-filled prayer warrior in Africa, who was praying for us to come out. He had been an e-correspondent for years. He had never voiced any objection to our religion or any pressure to come out. He had just silently prayed for us.

Some time after this, as I was "catching up" with a friend about our change in churches, she admitted that she had been praying for me to "come out" for years.

It made me wonder how many others there had been praying for us, ones who I was never made aware of! And as I think back over this, I realize that God did, indeed, post "watchmen" on the "walls" so to speak, people who would pray continually for us.

It makes me think of the text in Isaiah 62:7: "O Jerusalem, I have posted watchmen on your walls; they will pray day and night, continually." (Isaiah 62:6 NLT). This was written at a time when God had already promised Jerusalem would be re-established, yet all of Israel awaited the fulfillment of the promise. I'm sure there were many who thought, "If only someone cared enough about our situation to pray for us!" Meanwhile, God had already raised up an army of "watchmen", and He had already placed it on their hearts to pray "day and night, continually"!

What problem do you find yourself in the midst of at the moment? God has promised to carry you through, but in the midst of it all, when there doesn't appear to be any end, any light at the end of the tunnel, I know how hard it is to remember that promise. If this is where you find yourself today, take heart! God has already posted prayer warriors around the world, most of whom you will never even know about this side of heaven, who are lifting you and your difficulties before the Lord in prayer. They are praying continually, day and night. You need not fear. God has this!

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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Feeling the need for some "watchmen" to pray? Why not send in a prayer request and let the prayer warriors of this ministry lift your problems up to the Lord? Send your prayer requests by clicking here. Oh, and don't forget, even if you don't see them, God has already posted people around the world to lift you up in prayer!
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Post  Admin on Sat 30 May 2020, 10:05 pm

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 2 Raw?appid=YMailNorrin&ymreqid=2e9d598e-399b-5e90-1ce5-a30001014000&token=zitEzqOML3j84e6ealFTT5U7-km5qEQF52lp7AcCuBbpSVmqVp7Mb1q_UYn7twkRB1-qIdDQsPsbO8JXArPhA02Acmnr9mgmTGCL79S-UbQGYHG5zZROOYeWZBW-NzAx
 
In the third part of our series, let’s continue to focus on the similarities between the Corona virus and a disease far more deadly than the former, even whilst exploring remedies for them...


Costly and Centerpiece...
 

"For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God" (1 Peter 1:18-19 NLT)

To what extent a person infected and dying with Corona virus would go to get hold of the medicine that would cure him instantly? No prizes for guessing... He would be willing to pay any price for it.

The amazing thing when it comes to salvation from sin is, one need not pay any price at all for it. Oh, it is given free of cost, and that is why, amongst other reasons, it is also called the "great" salvation (See Heb. 2:3) to anyone who comes to the Almighty with a sincere and a contrite heart (See Ps. 51:16-17) willing to personally appropriate Christ's sacrifice on the Cross in his life (See Acts 2:37-38/Rom 10:9-10).

Just as any dying Corona virus patient would immediately consume a curative medicine given to him the escape from imminent death, urgency in repentance of a sinner would be set in motion only when a sinner is able to see, figuratively speaking, what is staring at him: The eternal death! Without that God-inspired conviction, no genuine repentance is possible. When I repented on Oct 16th, 1983 I virtually breathed into my nostrils some of the "smoke coming out of the hell-fire" (so close was I to the "gates of Hell" and condemnation)! Say Dear Reader, have you tasted the joy of your sins being forgiven? If not, please do not delay. Visit the Savior's Call now!||

I urge you once again to say this prayer and experience for yourself a joyous, Christ-centred life from then on. From now on, you would have the inner power of His indwelling Spirit (See 1 John 4:4) to say "NO" to your erstwhile pleasure-seeking desires, and say "Yes" to life of humble subjection to God's Holy desires aimed at your eternal benefit. Ah...you would be restored to the original, pristine condition Adam and Eve enjoyed before the Fall. This is what genuine repentance in Jesus' Name does, restoring the immeasurably precious right relationship with our Creator! Attend a Local Church regularly now to further strengthen your faith in Christ.

While salvation is given free to us, we should always remember with a grateful heart what it cost Christ to give salvation to us. Oh His indescribable suffering simply cannot be quantified, nor can the value of His priceless blood ever be calculated! That is why while participating in the Lord's Table (See 1 Cor. 11:23-32), we need to every single time renew our love borne out of gratitude for Him.

Going by medicinal analogy, what makes Christ's (also called the good Doctor -- See Matt. 9:9-12) redemption work the centerpiece (absolutely unique) of human history is that no doctor has ever in the human medicinal history "infected" himself with a virus whilst discovering a vaccine for it. Whereas Christ "infected himself" with a virus called sin so that in exchange, we get His good health (the right relationship with our Creator -- See 2 Cor. 5:21). Yes, research scientists like Jonas Salk may have vaccinated themselves with the vaccine they discovered (in Salk's case, the one for polio) to prove its efficacy to the World, even whilst taking all the risks associated with such an action upon themselves. But even such noteworthy actions simply pale into insignificance in comparison when we consider the fact that our Divine Doctor Christ got Himself voluntarily infected with the killer disease, experiencing indescribable pain (See John 14:30), in order that His sick and dying patients could get His good health in return.


Care and Compassion...

Metaphorically speaking, what would be the natural reaction of a dying Corona virus patient be if he comes across a Doctor who is willing to take the killer disease upon himself in order the former could get the latter's good health in return?

With a heart overflowing with gratitude for such a selfless doctor, and with heart full of concern for other needy, sick Covid-19 patients, the miraculously-cured patient would broadcast to every other sinking Corona virus patient the Good News about his recovery, courtesy of the good doctor. He would also urge those patients to rush to him, in order they too would benefit from his wondrous "treatment'!

Now should I need to remind the Christian readers of the "Great Commission" i Matt 28:18-20) at this time? 

Even in these days of limited social interaction and opportunities, it is our bounden duty to tell with love and humility (See I Peter 3:15) every one we come across. This includes physically as well as in cyberspace, after establishing a rapport with them. Why? Becuase this is what Christ has done for us. He has cured us of a far deadlier disease than Corona, even while lovingly inviting everyone to submit themselves to His Divine treatment in order they too are delivered from their lethal spiritual ailment.

With the "fear of death" hanging in the air, many hearts have been spiritually ploughed (read softened-up) now, as it were, to receive better the "good seed of Good News", than at any other time in the recent history.

For those of us with a Blessed hope, maybe the painful process of death may seem bothersome, but not death itself, for: "Because God’s children are human beings--made of flesh and blood--the Son also became flesh and blood. 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.  Only in this way could he set free all who have lived their lives as slaves to the fear of dying." (Heb 2:14-15 NLT). At any time, all Christians ought to join the Apostle Paul in chorusing these immortal words borne out of wondrous hope: ”To live is Christ, to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21 NLT). Why? Because the moment we close our eyes on Planet Earth, we would open the same in a far better world free of any disease. More than anything else, this blessed hope seen in every area of our lives, which make us fearless to death (read living differently), would draw those who have not yet tasted Christ's redemptive power to His loving arms.

I am not for a moment saying that Christians ought to be "care-free" at this time, without adhering to Government rules aimed at overall public safety. No, not at all! For none of us "ought to put God to a foolish test" (Deut. 6:16 NLT -- See also Matt. 4:7) by looking out for trouble! By the same token... In these days of social distancing, whilst leaning towards "doing all that is possible from getting infected", we need to distance ourselves from frantic fear of death borne out of faithlessness.

Prayer: Father, enable us to reach out in love to all those who have not tasted Thy redemptive love. Even as they observe our Blessed Hope in Thee may their hearts be drawn unto Thee. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
Hyderabad-India
J and SM Ministries
 

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Please join us on Tuesday for "A Cure for a Virus Deadlier than Corona Virus", Part 4!
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Post  Admin on Fri 29 May 2020, 1:00 am

Counter and Cure...

As of now, an effective vaccine is yet to be found for neutralizing "the deadly venom" of the Corona virus. Let's hope and pray it is discovered at the earliest! At the Tree of Calvary, however, the "vaccine", which is the shed blood of our Saviour Christ, was "found" for neutralizing the far more lethal venom of sin. Note the following Scripture portion testifies...

"...and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ's blood on the cross..." (Col. 1:20 NLT)

In an amazing counter, 4000 years after Satan had contaminated the Earth using the "Tree of Knowledge", whilst making Eve disobey her Heavenly Father and also caused her husband to disobey (see 1 Tim. 2:14), our Heavenly Father turned the tables around on the original sinner. Our faithful and eternal Benefactor, who would always steadfastly love His children in accordance with His covenantal relationship with them, would use the very "Seed of Eve" (See Gen. 3:15, Gal. 4:4) to crush the head of the great, ancient Serpent Satan (See Rev. 12:9). He did so by virtue of that "Seed's" total obedience revolving around "a Tree of Foolishness", ( See 1 Cor. 1:18) in contrast! Hey...this "Salvation-bearing Tree" was "planted" in the Centre of planet Earth, for Mount Golgatha in Jerusalem is a part of the middle portion of the planet Earth (See Eze. 5:5), just as the Tree of Knowledge was in the centre of the Garden of Eden! Ah… in contrast to the alluring tree in the centre of Garden of Eden, which was a delight to the eyes of Eve, this "tree" (read the Cross) was anything but a delight to the eyes of the "Seed of Eve". Also its "fruit" of immeasurable suffering did not appeal in any way to Him, but still He partook of it in humble obedience to His Father's will (See John 6:38/Mark 14:35-36/John 14:30).

If sin brought death to mankind, contaminating our very life source, the very the blood in us, then Jesus, who is the Life (See John 14:6/1 John 1:2) shed the blood, His very life, to virtually transfuse that pure, cleansing blood into all those sin-infected ones who accept Him as the Saviour, completely regenerating them in the process as this Scripture portion declares:

"This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" (2 Cor. 5:17 NLT)

The proof of the pudding is in the eating thereof! 

Like countless Christians before and after me would testify, I, too, would herald from roof-tops--nay from mountain tops--that on the 16th of October, 1983, when I accepted Him as my personal Saviour (after having run after many worldly pleasures and found no lasting fulfillment), I tasted this transcendental experience myself! The following Scripture portion also symbolically substantiates this truth:

"for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible." (Lev 17:11 NLT)

Following my "Born again" experience, I became a more responsible individual (much to the relief of my worried parents), I took my studies more seriously, and I was eventually blessed with a challenging job in the marketing sector of IBP Co. Ltd. (a Public Sector reputed Petroleum Company under the aegis of the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas of the Government of India). After a 13-year stint therein, when the good Lord called me to full-time spiritual work (this too is a great blessing), special grace was given unto me to come out of my "comfort zone". Anyone who has tasted Christ would not allow anything to come between him and his Saviour. Any hesitancy on my part in answering the Lord's call for full-time spiritual Ministry would have meant that I am giving greater importance to the "gift" (a lucrative job guaranteeing good social status) rather than to the "Giver of the gift". Why I brought this interlude, Dear Friends, is to bring forth a truth: Anyone who reveres the Lord to the extent of being willing to do anything for Him would state the truth and nothing but the truth, especially when he is called to be his Savior's mouthpiece. So Dear Friends, especially those who are not regular Church goers and those outside of Christian faith, you can count on me to tell the truth even as I am representing Truth, for Jesus says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." (John 14:6 NLT).

Now coming back to our subject...in the context of Christ's blood being the "vaccine" for the virus of sin, Paul teaches us: "and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross." (Col. 1:20 NLT). This can be applied to any Christian's life at the point of his regeneration ("justification" in the Christian doctrinal parlance). However, there are bound to be some slip-ups and subsequent revival borne out of sincere repentance in any Christian's life in that "ethereal journey". As a result, the following Scripture portions ally to acts of repentance on "falling" whilst walking as a Christian, and they apply to all God's children in their "Pilgrims' progress" (thanks John Bunyan) towards their eternal destination (Heaven):

"But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin..." (1 John 1:7 NLT)

"My dear children, I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous..." (1 John 2:1 NLT)

Prayer: Father, we cannot find adequate words to thank Thee for the remedy-Salvation in Jesus- You have in place for a malaise of sin which is far more lethal than the Corona virus. Inspire all those who have not availed it to do the same without any further delay. In Jesus' Name!

Suresh Manoharan
Hyderabad-India
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In the first part of our series let's cast spotlight on similarities on Corona virus and a disease far deadlier than it even whilst exploring remedies for the same...


Cause and Cue...

"You were an anointed guardian cherub. I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you" (Ezekiel 28:14-15 ESV)

It is a well known fact that the Corona Virus first made its debut in Wuhan, China. The jury is still out on the cause, and time alone will give us the right answer. In regards to sin, there is no doubt as to its origin or the cause behind it all! No complexity here!

After the Almighty God through His Eternal Son created the Heavens, with angels in a certain hierarchical system therein as His subjects, and the Earth (Col 1:16), there was perfect order in the cosmos for some time. One day, however, and none of us knows exactly "when" for "The secret things belong to the Lord our God..." (Deu. 29:29 NIV), something changed. Note the following: 

"You said in your heart, 'I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God, I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly, in the far reaches of the north; will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High, But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit...'" (Isa 14:12-15 ESV

...There was rebellion by an archangel who lusted for God's throne (we see sins of lust of the eyes and pride of life in his rebellion) resulting in his fall from God's Grace.

No excuse whatsoever is there for this tragic, far-reaching rebellion of the Devil. The creation, which ultimately owes its very existence to the Creator, needs to be subject to the Good Creator rather than being independent of Him! Oh, how much is our Heavenly Father's joy linked to our act of being subject to Him! 

Ah...now we come to the crux of the matter. Sin, unwrapped of all its fanciful trappings, is the exact opposite of humble subjection to the Creator. In other words, it is all about acting independent of the Creator God without being humbly subjected to Him, resulting in the loss of right relationship (read righteousness) with Him. This act of coming out of humble subjection is invariably intertwined with pursuance of an "apparent benefit" (not a benefit at all per se... The greatest benefit lies in being humbly subject to the Creator's will!), which matters more to the sinner (in Satan's case, it was about sitting in God's throne) at that tragic moment than the right relationship with the Creator. We forget that He rejoices in seeing His precious creation being subject to Him, and He grieves at the rejection of His authority. The invisible cue, or the "prompter" behind this act of coming out of humble subjectivity and causing grief to the Creator, can be called in other words, Pride-the bane of the Devil.

If any one of us are reasoning that sin originated in the Garden of Eden, it is time we revise our opinion. It began in the heavenly realm before the creation of the Garden of Eden, with the culprit behind its origin being Satan and his innate and the invisible prompter behind it all being pride.


Contaminate and Consequences...

If Corona virus, having originated from Wuhan in China, spread in Wuhan, first taking a heavy toll therein before spreading throughout the globe, then sin, which began in the Heavenly realm, initially started spreading there (1/3rd of the angels sadly joined the Satan's rebellion -- See Rev. 12:4) before later spreading its wicked tentacles into the pristine Garden of Eden and to all of God's precious, innocent children. 

Even the first sin in the Garden of Eden was not committed by our first parents, but by the Devil Himself, when he "hissed" the first lie therein ... "Thou shalt not die (when you eat the forbidden fruit." (Gen. 3:4 KJV)). No wonder, he is called the father of all lies by our Saviour Himself (See John 8:44)!

What happened in the Garden of Eden when the first temptation came the way of our first progenitors is now a sad, sad history -- albeit not without hope of redemption! In fact, it replicated Devil's original sin of the Heavenly realm in that our first parents cast aside the "blessed yoke" of humble subjection to God's will, not caring a hoot for the right relationship with Him in the process. For them, the "the apparent benefits", which would accrue out of stepping outside God's domain of instructions, mattered more than His joy of they remaining within them.

Consequent to Satan projecting the "apparent benefits" to Eve, in her action of disobedience to the Divine instructions, which was nothing but lawlessness (See John 3:4), she proudly proclaimed her "independence of God" not so much with her lips as by her willful actions. The mega sins (See 1 John 2:16/Gen 3:6) were all exemplified in her action of disobedience:

a) Lust of the flesh: The tree was good for food;
b) Lust of the eyes: The tree was a delight to the eyes;
c) Pride of life: The tree would make her equal to God in knowing right and wrong.

Note that they all revolved around "a Tree of knowledge" located incidentally in the centre of her then known world, the Garden of Eden...

While Corona virus does not get transmitted from a parent to an offspring (I reiterate that studies have underscored this point), the far more deadly virus of sin gets transmitted from parent to child. Courtesy of the disobedience of our first parents, which signaled the advent of sin into mankind, the tragic consequence is: "...all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23; See also Rom. 5:12)! We all are born with the inherent independent rebellious sinful spirit giving us, with no desire whatsoever to live lives of humble subjection to the Creator to whom we owe our very existence. That very thought of being humbly subject to the Creator’s will is totally alien to us from birth. Nobody (neither our parents nor our school teachers in kinder garden) teaches how to tell a lie, but we pick up this lawless trait "naturally". In the same manner, the trait of disobeying our parents' simple instructions comes "naturally" to us, much in the manner our first progenitors disobeyed their Heavenly Father's instructions.

Want proof? Ask any young and "innocent" Dennis the Menace as to why so very frequently, he finds himself in the rocking chair in a room's corner! )Hey, I am missing my Newspaper comic strips...for that matter my favourite "Morninger" itself in these days when even its distribution seems to have been put in abeyance due to the fact that its "harmless" pages can carry the "harmful" virus! Nothing quite like flipping through the pages of one's favourite newscarrier rather than poring over its digital version in a Smartphone ... Sob)!

Prayer: Father, we are thankful for what all You in your infinite wisdom have permitted to happen recently. Enable your children your children to absorb meaningful lessons at this time and pass it onto the unchurched ones too in order they too can experience your redemptive love. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
Hyderabad-India
J and SM Ministries
 

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Not a nano second seems to pass in all forms of media nowadays without we being updated about the rising number of infections and casualties on account of the deadly Corona Virus. Even as I began preparing this message, the news of a celeb like Prince Charles having tested positive for this lethal virus trickled down. And to think in his social interaction, he had been as cautious as possible, replacing handshakes with Indian style Namaste, whilst greeting dignitaries of other Nations! By the time I was concluding this message, the News of Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister having been infected was "in the air". From paupers to princes, from a person down in the dumps economically in some remote corner of this World to a distinguished National leader residing in the famous Downing Street, London, this virus seems to be in no mood of sparing anyone!

For a layman, a chill would run across his spine when the chilling truth sinks in that all kinds of people, irrespective of their societal status, are becoming victims of the "predatory instincts" of this contagious disease.

Besides doing all that is socially correct by strictly adhering to Government rules aimed at curbing the spread of this disease, are there any spiritual lessons for us to be learned at this time of universal crisis? Plenty, if you ask me...

In this Series of 6 parts with sub-headings beginning with "C", Yours Truly aims to focus on a virus which is far more deadly than Corona virus. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is sin (Remember that all other disease-causing viruses originated from this one!). In addition, and most importantly, we will also be focusing on the cure!

There are many reasons for stating that sin is far more lethal than Corona virus. Here two of them:

a) COVID-19 (another name for Corona Virus) can merely kill the body, whereas sin, in contrast, kills not only body but also permanently separates a person's spirit (his real self) from its Creator God leading to a far more excruciating "Second death" (read damnation into Hell Rev 2:11).

b) Covid-19 virus is not transmitted from a mother to a child (recent studies have substantiated this point), whereas sin gets transmitted from parents to their offspring

Before zeroing in on the main cause of sin and the solution for it, firstly let us cast spotlight on a Scripture portion, which gives one a glimpse of the situation prevalent in the contemporary world and the glorious future. The scenario may appear apparently tragic, but it is tailor-made (an offshoot of our Heavenly Father's infinite wisdom) to fashion us into a Christ-like image and make us pine for a better world:

"For all creation is waiting patiently and hopefully for that future day when God will resurrect his children. For on that day thorns and thistles, sin, death, and decay--the things that overcame the world against its will at God's command--will all disappear, and the world around us will share in the glorious freedom from sin which God's children enjoy. For we know that even the things of nature, like animals and plants, suffer in sickness and death as they await this great event. And even we Christians, although we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, also groan to be released from pain and suffering. We, too, wait anxiously for that day when God will give us our full rights as his children, including the new bodies he has promised us--bodies that will never be sick again and will never die." (Romans 8:19-30 TLB)

Please join us on Tuesday for "A Cure for a Virus Deadlier than Corona Virus", Part 2, to see the cause, contamination and consequences of sin!

Prayer: Father, You in your infinite wisdom have permitted this global crisis. Enable your children your children to absorb meaningful lessons at this time and pass it onto the unchurched ones, too, in order they too can experience your redemptive love. Amen.

Suresh Manoharan
Hyderabad-India
J and SM Ministries
 

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Have you ever picked seashells by the seashore? If so, then you're aware that many of the shells can be in small pieces, broken and crushed. You might even be lucky enough to find a shell that is absolutely perfect, undamaged and without blemish.

Recently my wife and I were doing just that. We were hunting for seashells amidst the frothy surf as waves rolled into the shoreline. It wasn't long before my wife had a small collection of pretty ocean treasures in her hands. Most of the shells we found were a fraction of their original size and beauty. Some were smooth, while others were grooved and differed in shape and color.

As we sauntered along, my wife mentioned how the shell pieces reminded her of us, Gods broken people. All of us with fractured lives and weighed down with personal baggage and sin. As she browsed through the shells, much of their natural beauty was covered by sand until we washed them clean.

No doubt you can see where I'm going with this?

Further along the beach we found that perfect shell! It was pure and unbroken, a further reminder of our need for a perfect Savior; that only our belief in and acceptance of Jesus Christ can help put the broken pieces of our lives back together again and grant us healing, peace and salvation.
As I washed away the sand from the broken shells, my wife kept the perfect shell in her hand. When we combined them all, the broken with the unbroken, we couldn't help but think of how our messy lives are washed clean and made whole because of the cross and the blood shed by our Savior. He shields us, protects us and covers us with his loving arms.

Check out these verses:

"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9 NIV)

"Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. Your filth will be washed away, and you will no longer worship idols." (Ezekiel 36:25 NIV)

Is my life a broken shell? Yes; Am I covered in sand? Absolutely; But I know I'm saved by faith in Jesus, washed clean and made whole through the blood of the Lamb. And you my dear friend can be too. Salvation is not rocket science or something you can earn. Salvation is a free gift if only we ask and believe.

Need proof?

"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13 NIV)

"I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:28 NIV)

So there you have it! Like us, seashells may be broken and dirty, but one thing is certain. Jesus Christ is worth your effort, your time and your sacrifice. And just like the thrill of finding that perfect shell at the beach, an even greater joy awaits those who place their faith in our beautifully perfect Savior.

Amen to that!

Paul Smyth
 

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"Let's go get you a new computer chair," my husband urged.

"No," I responded with a doubtful shake of my aching head. "I'll be okay." I paused to try to rub the stiffness from my neck and shoulders. "I think it's just my glasses. With my bifocals, and I have to tip my chin up to be able to see the screen through the appropriate visual prescription."

He shook his head and began massaging my shoulders, and I proceeded to elevate my chair to its maximum height. Thirty minutes later, I had to take a break because I had could no longer stand the pain in my head, my neck and my shoulders.

"Let's go get you a new chair," my husband repeated.

I just shook my head. We had just moved, and with all the expenses, I couldn't see spending the money required for a new chair. "I think I'll buy cheap reading glasses. That way it won't matter how my head is tipped. I'll still be able to see." And I proceeded to put a 10cm thick book on the seat of my chair. Fifteen minutes later, I had to take another break. My head was pounding, my eyes were strained and I couldn't stand the pain in my neck and shoulders.

"Let's go get you a new chair!"

I have to admit that as I shook my head, I was annoyed. He was starting to sound like a parrot! My old chair had never bothered my eyes before. It couldn't be the chair. Surely it wasn't the new computer desk he had insisted on buying me...

"Here," he said, pushing his computer chair to my desk. "At least try a different chair and see if it will make a difference."

I started to argue, but he had already removed my old chair and was using it at his computer desk.

When my headache had eased a tiny bit, I reluctantly made my way back to the computer and sat down in his chair. It was amazing, but I was able to work for the next 30 minutes without aggravating my headache, and at the end, my neck and shoulders felt better than when I'd begun. Okay...Maybe it was the chair! But why buy a new one when I could use his?

It was about 30 minutes after that when he got up and went looking for his lower back brace. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"It's that chair!" he complained. "It's hurting my back! Let's go buy you a new chair so I can have mine back!"

"No," I continued to argue. "You can have your chair back. I'll just..."

He didn't give me a chance to finish as he ushered me into the car.

The new chair did help. Lots. Why didn't I just accept his offer of help earlier on? Why was I so stubborn about not getting a new chair?

And why am I so stubborn about accepting help in general?

Especially spiritual help?

You see, no matter what problem I face, God is always there, holding out His hand, offering to help me through: "The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need." (Ps. 23:1 NLT).

Why don't I just accept His help?

Sure, He doesn't always remove the problem; but He offers to walk the road with me, to hold my hand, to encourage and to bless me: "He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil." (Ps. 23:2-5a NLT).

And in the end, God is there to even help me understand that it had indeed been a road worth walking: "My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever." (Ps. 23:5b,6 NLT)

Let's pray: Dear Lord Jesus, thank You so much for walking the road to Calvary to provide for my every need. Thank You for being there, to walk with me through the valleys, to hold my hand, to guide and protect and comfort me, and thank You that one day I will see why this was a road worth walking. But Lord, I have this problem accepting Your help! Humble me. Help me to reach out to you immediately, so that I don't have to continue to plow through on my own. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen!

Anyone want an office chair? I won't make promises as to how comfortable it is, but I have one up for grabs...

In His love,
Lyn

Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Author, Moderator, the Nugget, with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.answers2prayer.org .
 

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We were at a beautiful beach near Fort de Fleur-Epee in Guadeloupe when I first heard the screaming child. He couldn't have been more than 6 months old, just old enough to sit unsupported; and there he sat, screaming in fear, in about 3 inches of ocean water. Meanwhile, his father sat calmly by.

My first thought?

How can a good father just sit by and watch while his child screams in fear?

I'm afraid that something else caught my attention at that point, and I didn't think anything more about the child and the ocean until the next day when we happened upon a similar scenario. We were walking along a tropical beach in Ste-Anne, Guadeloupe, when again my attention was drawn to a screaming child. This time it was a baby girl, and she couldn't have been more than a year old. She was being held in her mother's arms, but her mother was standing waist-deep in ocean water, and the breaking of the gentle waves sent sprays of seawater over the baby girl.

My first thought?

Again...How can that mother, no matter how protectively she was holding her child, just stand by and watch her baby scream in fear?

That's when I remembered the screaming boy with his father the day before; but alas, my attention was then diverted to something else and it wasn't until later that day that both incidences were brought back to mind. We were walking along yet another pristine tropical beach on the shores of Guadeloupe when yet another screaming child caught my attention. This was a baby boy who was likely under 6 months of age. He was also being held by his mother while she sat in the shallow water of the shoreline. Although she was obviously protective of her child, she seemed completely oblivious to the fact that each ocean spray caused him to scream even louder in fear...

That's when God began to speak to me. You see, these were obviously loving parents. They were all right there protecting their babies. The reason they didn't remove their children from the source of fear is that they knew something the babies did not know. They knew the water wouldn't hurt their precious little ones. They knew that the fear in their babies was completely ungrounded, and that the fear of the ocean would only stand in the way of their safety, their fun, maybe even their livelihoods, as many in Guadeloupe are fishermen. They knew that the only way to help their dear little ones overcome their fear of water was...to expose them to it! And so they sat, all three loving parents, oblivious to the screaming of their babies...

I am so often just like those three babies. I have fears: Will I have enough money? What if I miss the bus? What will I do if something happens to my spouse? What would my family without me if something happened to me? How will I ever get all this work done? What will I do if ____ gets mad at me? How can I help ___ see that their fear is unfounded? What if I lose my job? How can I _______________....

Have you been there?

Perhaps you are their right now?

If so, then you, too, can emphasize with those three screaming babies. We don't like what we see around us, we want to be away from the wind and the waves, and we don't understand why our loving Heavenly Father doesn't just pick us up out of the water and take us to safer, higher, dryer ground...

But the lesson that God really drove home for me from these ocean waves was this: Our loving Heavenly Father knows that we are not in any real danger. He is standing by to protect us from the really bad stuff, and even to comfort us through the waves. He knows that our fears will only stand in the way of a productive, faith-filled life, and will keep us from truly experiencing the freedom and joy He has for each of us. He also knows that in time we will learn to trust Him in the midst of the ocean waves, and so He allows us to "sit" in the "water" of trials for a time. But all the time He is there with His protective arms around us, with His protective hand upon us, ever ready to sweep us away should any real danger arise.

Oh, what a loving heavenly Father we have!

Prayer: Father God, may I stop wishing away the trials of life. May I stop fearing them. May I put my faith in You and You alone, ever knowing that You will carry me through, and in the process, may I learn to trust in Your unfailing, everlasting love.

Feeling like a screaming baby?

Remember the Truth of Romans 5:3-5: "Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us." (NIV)

Take a step back and trust Your Heavenly Father who is right there carrying you through. Trust Him to know what is best for you. Trust Him to teach you the lessons you need in life. Just...trust Him!

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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"Stop being mean, bad-tempered and angry. Quarreling, harsh words and dislike of others should have no place in your lives. Instead, be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven you because you belong to Christ." (Ephesians 4:31-32 TLB)

As I was busy giving my two year old granddaughter her lunch the other day. I had to remind her several times that the food was hot and to be careful and blow on it. Although I was eating my food without any problem, her little mouth is still very tender and what is not too hot for me, is still too hot for her.

This little scenario brought today's Scripture verses to my mind. It reminded me that just as over the years, my lips and tongue and mouth have become much less sensitive to hot food, my mind can also become much less sensitive to others around me.

Relationships are difficult things to maneuver. Whether it is a relationship within a marriage, with our children or parents, within the church, or our jobs or with our neighbours, or even other drivers sharing or not sharing the road, relationships are always changing and creating challenges. And sometimes as we grow older cynicism can very easily set in. We get sick and tired of always putting up with the same behaviour, or what we consider unacceptable behaviour in others which can gradually erode the tender-hearts God has blessed us with through our relationship with Christ. We get caught up nattering away to ourselves about how others have or are or we think are going to treat us and before we know it quarreling, harsh words and the dislike of others can become common place within our behaviour.|

But God has given us a cure for such hard-heartedness. He instructs us to be kind to each other and tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as He has forgiven us because of Christ. God knows that if we just step out and start being kind and tender towards others, whether we may feel like it or not, those acts or words of kindness begin to work their power upon our cynicism.

Just as blowing on hot food cools it down, doing acts of kindness when we feel hot tempered towards others, cools our attitude down and allows room for the Holy Spirit to begin to change it into God's attitude toward others within us. And as this happens forgiveness becomes easier and easier amidst any and all situations and relationships.

So today may each of us consider through the guiding power of prayer, the state of our own heart. Has it become hard hearted in regards to our relationships with others? Has there been any quarreling, hard words or the dislike of others within our realm? If the answer is "yes" may we make the decision to embrace God's cure for this condition and begin, whether we feel like it or not, to be kind to each other, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, just as God has forgiven us because we belong to Christ.

Prayer: Father God we come to You today and ask that You would search our hearts and reveal any hard-heartedness within us. Bless us with obedience toward Your cure for this condition and strengthen us to just step out and begin acting upon it that our hearts may be restored to the tender condition You desire within us. In Christ's name we prayer. Amen.

Lynne Phepps
Atlin, B.C.
 

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Post  Admin on Tue 12 May 2020, 10:51 pm

Introduction
Axe = Tool used for chopping wood.
Axe = Your main tool that you need to do a job, earn your living, protect yourself and your family & to get a task done.


Key Text
"If the axe is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success." (Eccl 10:10 NIV)


Yesterday (Pre-Lockdown)
We were too busy with our daily routines: jobs, family, study, other priorities.

We may have been engrossed with finances (making ends meet), deadlines, job pressures.

We try desperately to get things done on our own strength.

We perhaps were so busy we did not think or take time to give attention to the tools of our trade or to sharpen the axe.

Results are simple: -
•    Takes more time to get a job done.
•    We come to the end of the day and are exhausted
•    Our product/output is not excellent
•    We become anxious and stressed 
•    Your spouse & family are neglected.
•    We cannot find the time for God or our devotions.


Today (Lockdown)
In our time of isolation & lockdown, we have time on your hands!

We can now try and sharpen our axe.

The big Question is how do I sharpen my axe?

Maybe the answer lies in getting back to basics!
•    Bring Jesus back to the centre of your world
•    In your day, find your time of solitude with Jesus.
•    Do not compromise with your devotions!
•    Speak to & Share your heart with Jesus!

It is a Time for reflection about ye: -
•    Your strengths from yesterday
•    Your weaknesses
•    Your mistakes
•    Your Priorities
•    Your strategies

Either alone or with your spouse/family – Dream big for your tomorrow!
•    Adjust your Vision and your goals

Have faith, just believe that God will make a way where there seems to be no way!

Your axe has just been sharpened!

Tomorrow (Post Lockdown)
With a sharpened axe in your hand you can now face your tomorrow confidently.

 With the sharpened axe you will: -
•    Save time, energy and effort
•    Time Management is good: Devotions, Family, Work, Rest, etc
•    Keep your Vision ahead of you always.

Keep your focus right = Jesus at the centre ...

Conclusion
Go with God, your world is waiting for your input, influence and impact.

Your Axe marks the spot of success!

Pastor Ronnie Naidoo
 
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Now, more than ever, is the time to focus on prayer: Pray for the nations, pray for the medical profession, pray for the sick, pray for those who aren't sick, just pray! COVID-19 CAN BE DEFEATED when the church wakes up and ... prays!
 
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Post  Admin on Sat 09 May 2020, 8:40 pm

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 2 Raw?appid=YMailNorrin&ymreqid=2e9d598e-399b-5e90-1c97-b50001012f00&token=zitEzqOML3j84e6ealFTT5U7-km5qEQF52lp7AcCuBbpSVmqVp7Mb1q_UYn7twkRB1-qIdDQsPsbO8JXArPhA02Acmnr9mgmTGCL79S-UbQGYHG5zZROOYeWZBW-NzAx

My pastor-son just texted me to say he would be preaching on Mother's Day. Now normally I am hungry to hear him preach. He lives 4000 km away, and I don't get to see him much. Especially not this year with COVID-19 halting all travel. But besides all of that, hearing your own son preach just does a mother's heart good.

This time, however, there was this little "catch" in my spirit... Hum... Would he tell stories about me? Would he reveal to the world how I had so often failed him as a mother? Would he... And my return text to him went something like this: "Hum. Maybe that's one I should sit out..."

So just what is behind my hesitancy to hear my son preach a sermon on Mother’s Day?

I’m sure it's rooted in insecurity. The truth of the matter is, though I have always tried to be the best mom I knew how to be; I know there have been many times when I have not acted or reacted in a way that would make God -- or my boys -- proud of me. There were times when I disciplined in anger; times when I didn't see their needs as high enough priority; times when I didn't listen to them; times when I didn't take the effort to explain myself to them; times when I yelled; times when they didn't see me showing love to others; times when they witnessed my other many weaknesses...

If this sounds familiar, we all, as parents, must understand that we are human. There is no perfect mom -- or dad for that matter -- out there. As good as we all try to be, we all make mistakes.

I think the most important thing I ever did as a mom was to determine to pray for my kids. I prayed for them, I prayed over them, I prayed when they were being good, I prayed when they were being bad. I prayed for God to put them on the right path, and then I prayed for God to put them back on the right path when they slipped off. I prayed for God's Spirit to fill them, to direct them, to guide them, to grow them; I prayed for their future spouses, for their career paths, for their friends... And I know that sometimes this particular pastor-son wished I hadn't prayed so much... Especially when he had to wait until I finished to eat his breakfast!

What has been the result of my imperfect attempts at mothering, coupled with my prayers?

Both of my boys, and my daughter-in-law as well, are fervent followers of Christ Jesus... Maybe, in all my failed efforts to be a "good mom", I actually did one thing that was "right"... I prayed!

I want to put out an encouraging word to all of you moms -- and dads -- out there: As much as you want to be the perfect parent, you will make mistakes. But whatever you do, pray! Cover your kids in intercessory prayer, for if you do, in the end, they will turn out okay. Hasn't God promised: "Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it" (Prov. 22:6 NKJV)?

Oh, and since one bonus of COVID-19 isolation is that my son's church has gone to live-streaming their services, you can know for sure that I will be glued to my computer screen at 9:30 am Mountain Time on Mother's Day!

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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Where is your mom today? If she is with you, give her a hug. If she is far away, call her up and tell her how much you love her. If she has already left this earth, go ahead and shed a few tears of love. She deserves it!
 
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Post  Admin on Fri 01 May 2020, 1:22 pm

One Family

April 30, 2020

 
 
NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 2 Raw?appid=YMailNorrin&ymreqid=2e9d598e-399b-5e90-1c4e-ed001201e500&token=zitEzqOML3j84e6ealFTT5U7-km5qEQF52lp7AcCuBbpSVmqVp7Mb1q_UYn7twkRB1-qIdDQsPsbO8JXArPhA02Acmnr9mgmTGCL79S-UbQGYHG5zZROOYeWZBW-NzAx
 
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God..." (Eph 2:19 ESV)

When I was a boy our extended, immigrant family would sometimes gather together at my Great Aunt's tiny house over the summer. Relatives from all over the country would come in to visit. The adults would crowd together in the living room, around the kitchen table, and on the front porch to talk and catch up on each other's lives. All of us kids would be sent out into the front yard to play while dinner would slowly cook for all of us.

Those were the days before video games, smart phones, and motorized toys, so we often ended up playing a good old-fashioned game of tag. I remember one of those times especially. I was the youngest and smallest of all the kids there so I got caught first and couldn't catch anyone else. As hard as I chased after my brothers and cousins they were all too fast for me. I grew more and more frustrated. I finally lunged at one of my brothers and fell face first into the dirt.

I got up with tears forming in my eyes. Then I saw one of my female cousins standing there. She started to run but was going much slower than before. I easily caught up and tagged her. Then she turned to me, smiled, and said, "I'm it! You'd better run!" I ran off laughing with glee while she turned and started to chase one of my older brothers.

I see now how her act of kindness that day saved me from sadness and returned me to joy. It didn't matter that we hardly ever saw each other. We were family and she loved me. In her wonderful book, "Box of Butterflies", "Touched by an Angel" actress Roma Downey writes, "We are all one, we all belong to each other, we are one big, beautiful family of God." Perhaps it is time that we all started to treat each other that way. Perhaps it is time that we shared our love, our kindness, our laugher, and our joy with everyone without fear. Perhaps it is time to finally and forever bring this world together in one, big, family reunion.

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another." (John 13:34 ESV)

Joseph J. Mazzella
 

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Do you have a prayer request? Do you know someone who needs to be prayed for? Prayer works! The Bible confirms this in James 5:16: "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." (NIV) Send your prayer request here and let us pray in agreement with you! Matt 18:20: "For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." (NIV) Hallelujah!
 
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 28 Apr 2020, 1:08 pm

NUGGET Today's Devotional - Page 2 Raw?appid=YMailNorrin&ymreqid=2e9d598e-399b-5e90-1c22-c7000501eb00&token=zitEzqOML3j84e6ealFTT5U7-km5qEQF52lp7AcCuBbpSVmqVp7Mb1q_UYn7twkRB1-qIdDQsPsbO8JXArPhA02Acmnr9mgmTGCL79S-UbQGYHG5zZROOYeWZBW-NzAx
Are you engaged in battle with an enemy unseen?

Perhaps your battle is against anxiety, fear, panic, or a combination of all three. Maybe you're not trusting God the way you should, or suffer from issues with your faith? If so, then you're not alone.

As believers in Jesus Christ, our faith journey is not always smooth sailing. Life gets in the way with dark valley experiences and potholes, and I'm certain that as you read these words, you're plowing through your own battery of afflictions.

Confession time...I suffer from worry, anxiousness, and yes trust and faith issues. I'm human, and just because I contribute to this Christian publication, does not mean I have things together and that my spiritual life is flawless. Like you I have crosses to bear and desperately seek and crave God's mighty outstretched arm to rescue me from calamity and pain.

But to suffer is human. Jesus himself told us this, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV)

Thankfully our Heavenly Father understands our frailty, our sin, and that we periodically flounder with our trust and faith. But here's a fun fact! Through Gods strength, grace, mercy and love, he provides deliverance and victory from that which binds our faith and prevents spiritual growth.

When we pray and wait; when we drop to our knees in tears of sorrow; then pray and wait even longer; when God seems distant and uninterested in our plight, know this...God is in our waiting! Again, God is in our waiting! We may not always see evidence of this while in the thick of it, but he is working behind the scenes on our behalf and sees the whole picture in vivid color and finite detail.

Read this verse slowly, "The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven. The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you." (‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭28:7-8‬ ‭NIV)‬‬
‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ ‬‬‬‬
A few days ago this passage impacted my thinking when it appeared on my bible app. In plain terms, there are times I feel defeated by the enemy. Is that relatable? But then I am reminded that Jesus has already defeated the devil, that because of his sacrifice on the cross for my sins, I am forgiven, I am victorious and I can overcome any storm thrown my way.‬‬‬‬

And so can you my friend. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Ask him to forgive you of your sins and invite him into your heart. Your life won't become battle free, but with the Savior by your side, you will never again be alone in your battle.

Amen to that!
‬‬
Paul Smyth

 
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Wonder where evil came from? Check out Tangle Untangled! A mini-series by Elizabeth Price.

 
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Post  Admin on Thu 02 Apr 2020, 10:41 pm

**Please note important announcement regarding the new template at the end of today's devotional**

"That same day two of Jesus' followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.  But God kept them from recognizing him." (Luke 24:13-16 NLT)

Let me begin with a Tarzan story. Well, this is as real as it is surreal. Johnny Weissmuller was a Champion Olympic swimmer. He donned the role of Tarzan the ape man in the Silver screen with as much aplomb in the 1930s & 40s as he dominated the Olympic swimming lanes in 1920s. He also had a "close encounter of a different kind" with the Pro-Fidel Castro's soldiers in late 1950s, just as the Cuban uprising was reaching its peak. While on a recreational tour of Cuba, he and his golf mates were surrounded by gun-toting Cuban revolutionaries in one of Havana's suburbs. The revolutionaries mistook them for Pro-regime supporters, and their intent was to kidnap them. He tried to convince them that he was the harmless movie Tarzan star and that he was on a normal tour with no political links. When his pleading failed, he came up with a spectacular 'Tarzan act'. Thumping his chest in a typical Tarzan style, he gave out a blood curdling yell: "Kreegah Tarzan Bundalo". The highly impressed Pro-Castro's men immediately curtsied with the words, "Welcome Tarzan, welcome to Cuba!" They then escorted him and his friends to a safer area.

Let me cut this story short here; but doesn't this story mirror, at least in a small way, the anguish of our own Lord in identifying Himself to his disciples post-resurrection?

Take a look: Mary of Magdalene failed to recognize him at the first instance (See John 20:14-15), ditto it with his followers on the road to Emmaus (See Luke 24:13). Throw in the confused disciples and the other followers who mistook him for a ghost on his sensational appearance (See Luke 24:37), and the picture of 'identity crisis' of a special kind would be complete. No wonder there is a record of He rebuking them for unbelief (See Mark 16:14)!

With Easter around the corner, we will be taking a look at the 'Identification theme' in this mini-series, with the following topics:

1. Identifying the Resurrection prophecies;

2. Identifying the Messiah's cause;

3. Identifying ourselves with the Messiah's cause;

4. Identifying ourselves with the Resurrection power;

5. Identifying the Completion of the Salvation work;

6. Identifying the "Blessed hope" borne of "Resurrection" in believers by Unbelievers; and

7. Identifying the times we are living in.

We invite you to join us on Saturday for "Of Easter and Identity Crisis, Part 1: Identifying Resurrection Prophecies and their Significance."
 
Prayer: Father, at this time fill us with awe even as we ponder on the great miracle of Resurrection, which also fills us with Blessed Hope of Eternal life. In Jesus' Name.

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

 
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This is the first official trial of the new template going out to the entire subscriber list. We need to know if any of you are having trouble viewing it, or if it is showing up funny on any of your devices. If you find that it looks strange, etc., we ask that you would respond to this email with the following information:

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Thank you so much for your help! The goal is to have a template that will look good and be readible on all of your devices.

In His love,
Lyn Chaffart
Moderator, The Nugget, with Answers2Prayer Ministries 

 
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Post  Admin on Tue 31 Mar 2020, 9:30 pm

Welcome to the Nugget
bible
March 31, 2020

God Delivered me from PMS Today...
 bible
By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us***  
 

*** Please note important announcement below today's message ***

God delivered me from PMS today...

"And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you." (Romans 8:11 NIV)

I used to collect medicine. Not just prescription and over-the-counter drugs, but also herbal remedies, and even "magic". Whenever anyone wanted to throw out medication, even if it was expired, I was happy to buy the medicine from them. I would then write down the names of drugs and herbs, along with what they were good for, in order to know where to turn in times of need.

Praise be to God, His Spirit changed the desires of that heart many years ago, and I no longer have my collection, nor my lists (Notice, I said "that heart"!). I have to admit, however, that I am still tempted from time to time to continue my collection. Especially when I hear people talking about remedies. In fact, I was tempted just the other day as I was standing in the garden, trying to figure out what to do about a certain peacock who believes my garden is his to destroy.

Just a few minutes before I began writing this devotional, I was in extreme pain with PMS. Again, I was tempted to dip into the drugs. How wonderful is the Holy Spirit who guides me to His written Word and grounds me in it.

When we turn to God written word regarding our mortal bodies, those of us who believe in Jesus Christ and have His Spirit residing in us see a number of important truths:

1. God gave us the precious name of Jesus Christ;
2. God also gave us His Spirit: "And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. But his spirit who lives in us." (John 14:13 NIV).
3. In addition, God gives us the blood of Jesus: "In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace." (Ephesians 1:7 NIV).

Thanks be to God for His written word! To Him be the glory and Almighty in Jesus Christ. I had been struggling to cook for my husband who was running late for work, a task made much more difficult by the pain in my gut. I didn't have plans to write this devotional. In fact, writing a devotional at this time would have been my last choice. Instead, I was sorely tempted to calm myself by using breathing techniques, and I was reaching for the bottle of pain killers. But God’s Word came to my mind: "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." (1 Cor. 6:19-20 NIV).

Instead, I started to pray. Or, to be more accurate, the Holy Spirit was praying through me, helping me to renounce all the lies I had always ascribed to that PMS won’t go away and that God can't heal my PMS. As I prayed, I claimed 1 Cor. 6:20: "You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." (NIV) and Isaiah 53:4-5: "Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering...the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed." (NIV)

As I prayed, claiming these verses from God’s Written Word, my PMS was--gone!

Let pray: Heavenly Father, whether we live in the time of Moses’ Law or this century law, we all follow the law of our worst enemy, and we forget You. But your love is bigger than our sin. Jesus’ work is finished. He is the victor! We thank You for forgiving our sin, and we thank the Holy Spirit for helping us to honor God with our bodies. We don't need to take the pills and then pray and ask that the medicine be turned into a magical potion to heal us, for Your written word tells us: "The Lord will answer when I call to him." (Psalm 4:3 NLT). Your Holy Work for us on Calvary is good enough! To God be the glory. Blessed be Your name, in Jesus Christ. Amen.

Sophie Chun Ngeth
Announcement:
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The Nugget will soon be coming out in a new template that should be able to be viewed correctly from your mobile devices as well as your email programs, tablets, etc.

We have been trialing the new template with a few people, and so far, there have been no glitches. The last test, before we can launch with the new template, is a trial for everyone.

On Thursday, the Nugget will be sent to you in the new template. We will ask, on Thursday, that you email us if you have problems viewing the Nugget in its new form, telling us what device(s) you are using and if possible sending a screen shot of your mailing. 

Thank you so much for your patience and help through this transition period.

God bless each of you, and we are praying for each of you!

STAY SAFE! 

Lyn Chaffart,
Moderator, The Nugget
 
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Post  Admin on Sun 29 Mar 2020, 12:05 am

Welcome to the Nugget

March 28, 2020

The Mona and the Glasses...
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    The Mona. A small member of the primate family native to the lowlands of Ghana and Nigeria; introduced and thriving on the isle of Grenada...

That's where I made introductions with the critters. We were climbing back up to the parking lot after admiring Concord Falls when I noticed two of them in a nearby cage. They were absolutely adorable, and I couldn't stop myself from hurrying over.

"Be careful for your glasses," warned a friendly policeman.

My husband immediately took off his sunglasses, the kind that fit over your regular glasses, and backed away with a protective hand over his prescription eyewear.

Taking my cue from him, I removed my own sunglasses and backed away; but those little creatures were so incredibly cute! I had to get in close to get a picture!

"No!" admonished my husband. "Your glasses!"

I waved towards him with my sunglasses, and he took them from me. Then he started repeating himself: "Be careful with your glasses!"

I dismissed this. Hadn't I just given him my sunglasses? And so it was that I came in close enough to fit my camera lens between the bars. Just as I was about to snap my picture, however, I felt something sliding off my face, and in an instant, I could no longer see up close.

"He's got your glasses!" my husband cried.

I backed away and reached my hand to my face... "How could he have taken my glasses? I gave them to you..." But the last words dropped off as I got far enough away for my far-sighted eyes to again focus in the cage. Sure enough, the mona was chewing on a pair of glasses...

That's when reality set in. While carefully protecting my cheap sunglasses, I hadn't even given a second thought to my prescription eyewear ...

The policeman was now staring at me with an "I told you so" kind of look on his face. He had warned me! So had my husband, and I had listened to them both! But only to a degree; and now all I could do was watch that no-longer-cute creature ruin my only means of seeing anything up close...

The Bible warns us to put away sin from our lives, and most serious Christians attempt to do just that. We shun immorality. We don't lie or cheat. We give our 10% to the poor. We wouldn't think of stealing and we don't kill. We put away our "sunglasses".

Meanwhile, however, most of us are still clinging to our "prescription eyewear", sometimes without even realizing it. We get angry. We have a hard time forgiving. We judge others. Everything is all about--us! And these are the things that will really eat away at our hearts. Didn't Jesus say: "You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'You shall not murder, a and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.' But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment...You have heard that it was said, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." (Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28 NIV).

Examining our hearts for the visible sin isn't enough. Rather, we need to spend time daily with the Lord, asking Him to reveal to us those "secret" sins that can be so damaging to our souls. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in far more trouble than I did when that crazy monkey stole my prescription eyewear! We may find ourselves, "subject to judgment"!

But wait. Didn't Jesus die on that cross to forgive me of all my sin? Why should I even worry about the hidden ones?

Remember how that Mona reached out and stole my glasses, rendering me completely blind for anything close up? In the same way, the devil will latch on to the secret sins in our hearts and use these to steal our joy and happiness. For example, unforgiveness, anger and lack of faith can easily push us into depression. When we judge others, we will cause others to sin. Besides, all sin works to separate us from God: "Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:1-2 NIV); and we are told: "Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper..." (Prov. 28:13 NIV)

Don't get caught without your glasses like I did. Heed the warnings. Ask God to help you identify the sin in your heart that has become so much a part of you that you no longer think of it as sin. Get rid of it, for when you do, the devil will not be able to have a strong hold on your life. You will be free to live, free to love, free to serve, and free to accept and utilize the peace and joy and love that God has to give each of us.

Fortunately someone came and rescued my glasses, and they came through unharmed. Will your next encounter with the devil's forces end in such good results? Think about it!

And in the interim, why not join me in this prayer from King David: "But who can discern their own errors? Forgive my hidden faults." (Ps. 19:12 NIV)

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:
Please join in a 24 hour prayer chain, praying agaist COVID-19. 

A world day of prayer is called for Sunday, March 29, at 12 noon local time.

All Christians are asked to pray at home from 12 noon to 1 pm, covering the globe in 24 hours of prayer. Please join in, and also forward this to all the Christians you know.

Pray for: 
1. The stop of the spread of COVID-19
2. The recovery of those already infected
3. Peace for the families who lost loved ones
4. Restoration of the economies of the world
5. Wisdom for governments who have to manage the outbreak
6. For people to seek and get to know the living God

Let's cover the 24 hour period on Sunday with heartfelt, sincere, intercessory prayer!

Please pass this on to everyone you know. 

God bless each of you, and please, please, please, self-isolate and stay safe!

In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, 
Moderator, The Nugget 
 
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Post  Admin on Thu 26 Mar 2020, 11:54 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

March 26, 2020

Sweet Seasons
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    "The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display His craftsmanship. day after day they continue to speak; night after night they  make Him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world." (Ps. 19:1-4a NLT)

Beep! Beep! Beep!  I rolled over and turned off my alarm clock.  It was still dark outside so I felt my way to the wall switch and turned on the light.  I got dressed quickly because I knew both of my dogs would be eager to get outside for their morning walk.  I reached over to grab a coat and stopped.  It was technically still Fall but the weather here in the Appalachian mountains of my home didn't follow a calendar.  It had been cold and snowy two days ago and warm and rainy yesterday.  I had forgotten to check the weather report for today, however, so I wasn't sure if I needed my light jacket or my heavy coat.

I decided on my light jacket, pulled it on, and leashed up my bigger dog, Fluffy to walk first.  I opened the door and stepped outside.  Instantly I knew I had made the wrong choice.  Each breath I exhaled was a frozen mist.  The wind chill was bitter cold. The grass was covered in frost and I tied to keep my balance while Fluffy dragged me along behind him. 

I shivered and grumbled for a bit but finally I turned my head up to the heavens.  I looked up at the pre-dawn sky and saw it was full of twinkling stars.  The man in the moon was smiling down on me too.  It was so beautiful and so peaceful.  Suddenly, I felt a warmth inside of me and stopped shivering.  While my dog sniffed the ground I opened my heart to the wonder of God's creation.  In all of its sweet seasons it had never failed to touch my soul.  It had heated my heart on the coldest days and lighted my spirit on the darkest nights.  I stood there awhile in nature's cathedral.  Then I thanked God for the love that created the moon, the stars, and me.

Our lives here are full of sweet seasons as well.  From the innocence and youth of Spring to the wisdom and wrinkles of Winter we are all called to live, to give, to grow and to love.  Enjoy all your sweet seasons then.  Make each day of them a creation of your love.

Joseph J. Mazzella  
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Post  Admin on Sat 15 Feb 2020, 9:44 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 15, 2020

Why God???
Why is this Happening to Me???
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    Why is this happening to me?

This is a question I've heard voice so many times. Hey, it's a question I've screamed out and demanded answers to!

You can all relate. When snowed under with health problems, drowning in grief, hit blind-sided by broken relationships, when our world is turned upside down by that loss of job or home, by the rebellion of our teens...even the most trusting among us will find themselves screaming forth the question: "Why God? Why is this happening to me???"

I am sorry to disappoint you, but I don't know the answer to this question. Problem is, although sometimes we will learn the "why" to bad news, often that information is never revealed to us this side of Heaven! Our job is to trust God with the "why"!

Though I don't have the answers, my cat shed a good deal of light on this question for me this morning, and I pray it will shed some light on your situations as well...

Roxy had jumped up on my lap; but as she stretched out on my knees, purring and licking my hand, my nose was registering something less than pleasant...

Roxy has a sensitive stomach, and any change in her food will give her diarrhea. Because she's a long-haired cat...Well, I don't think I need to be any more graphic...You are getting the picture...

Unfortunately, the only way to clean up this particular kind of mess is to snip it away from her backside. Please understand that I felt terrible, because I know how much she hates the scissors; but there was no other way. And to ensure that her very vocal objections would not result in any type of injury to us or to herself, I wrapped her in a towel and enlisted the help of my husband. The whole procedure took less than five minutes, but Roxy spent the next couple of hours sulking...

Of course it was all for Roxy's own good. The whole procedure could have been far less of an ordeal if she would have simply sat still and let me snip away the mess; but she didn't understand this. In fact, I doubt she even realized her backside was dirty, and she was completely oblivious to the fact that the foul odor was negatively affecting our relationship.

So where is the spiritual lesson I promised?

Just this: When we are going through the toughest of times, it literally feels like someone has put a sac over our heads and bound us up in a straightjacket. We don't like it, and we are very vocal about our protest. Instead of hissing and yowling, our mouths scream forth the ultimate question: "Why, God! Why is this happening to me???"

But let's look at it from God's perspective. God sees what we don't. He "smells" our ugly sin, and it isn't exactly a "pleasing aroma" to His Heavenly nostrils. In fact, the Bible teaches that God cannot abide the presence of sin: "O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the sins of the wicked." (Ps. 5:4 NLT). If we have accepted Jesus' gift of Salvation, our sin is forgiven; but just like the foul odors from my cat's rear end were keeping me from being able to have a relationship with her this morning, our sin keeps us from being close to God!

Am I making this up for the sake of my illustration?

Not at all. Check out this verse in Isaiah: "It's your sins that have cut you off from God. Because of your sins, he has turned away and will not listen anymore." (Is. 59:2 NLT).

Rather than abandon the relationship, God takes action. He sent His son. Then to everyone who accepts His gift of Salvation, He sends His Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin: "And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God's righteousness, and of the coming judgment." (John 16:8 NLT). Unfortunately, sometimes we don't listen, and much like Roxy was oblivious to the fact that her backside was dirty, we often aren't even aware of the sin hanging around in our lives.

Now I'm not saying God brings trials upon us; but He does know how to bring good out of bad situations: "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them." (Romans 8:28 NLT). He uses these trials to not only help us become aware of our sin, but also to heal us of that sin.

Here is an example of what I'm saying here: All my life I have had difficult letting God be in control. I wasn't really aware of the problem, but six years ago, I walked the valley of breast cancer. Through it all, God walked with me, He held my hand, and He brought me ultimate healing; but in the meantime, He did something else. He made me aware of my control issues, He planted the desire in my heart to relinquish complete control to Him, and He provided me with the tools to continue to do so, even after cancer. God used the cancer walk to "clean up" so to speak, my control issues, so that we can now have a closer relationship.

Therefore, while we are screaming forth at the top of our lungs, "Why God? Why is this happening to me", I might suggest that we are asking the wrong question. What if we were to change our cry a bit? What if it went something like this instead: "God, show me the ‘dirt' You need to clean up in my life so that our relationship will be stronger!"

Remember: God works good out of bad situations. This truth stands firm, especially in the midst of our pain!

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 07 Feb 2020, 12:46 am

Welcome to the Nugget

February 6, 2020

Comfort in the MIDST of trials: A Testimony
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    I don't know about you, but I find personally that I am at my weakest in the MIDST of the trial. It's so hard to keep walking in faith when the natural world--and logic as well!--point in an entirely different direction. The testimony that follows is one that served to give me a little "slap" on the back of the hand, so to speak, for tending to look only at the "natural," instead of towards the "supernatural God". Sophie, a mom in California, risks heart-break at the rebellion of her daughter. The rebellion does not seem to have any earthly end, yet Sophie looks beyond the natural to our all-loving Father. Her story was a wake-up call to me. I pray it will be to you as well...


Comfort in the midst of Trials: A Personal Testimony...

I would like to share a story with you, a true story about my daughter and me. I do not share this story to put myself or my daughter in the limelight, but rather, it is all about God who loves us enough that He sent His Son to die for our sins. It is all about Jesus who did the will of the Heavenly Father so that we who believe in Him might receive the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, to help us and to fill us with Joy in His presence. I pray that someone will be helped by reading my story.

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good." (Genesis 50:20 NIV)

My oldest daughter has not turned to God. She told her two siblings that this was because I am a strong believer in Jesus Christ, and that I put God above her. She even accused me directly one day: "You went to church and didn't even care if I died. Instead of getting me toilet paper, you went to church!" I remembered the incident well. We had been on the road to church for half an hour when she called, very angry, that we had run out of toilet paper...I suggested that she use tissue and promised to buy some toilet paper; but apparently in her mind I was not being sensitive to her emergency. She didn't want any part of a God who would stand in the way of her getting the toilet paper she needed.

She has continued over the months to become more and more arrogant and rebellious. She finally asked me to admit her to the hospital, stating that she preferred to do what counselors and doctors tell her rather than submitting to God...

I wish I could say that the story has ended, but it hasn't. I commit my daughter into God's faithful, loving hands. What I wish to share is how God is comforting me and encouraging me throughout this time.

During those two days that my daughter was in the hospital, I was not allowed to see her or talk to her. You can understand that my level of fear for my daughter was very, very high. During that time, God gave me two Bible stories, and these two stories literally held me together.

The first is the story of the Canaanite woman who begged Jesus to heal her daughter of an evil spirit. The story is recorded in Matthew 15:22-29: "A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, 'Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.'" (Matt. 15: 22 NIV)

Jesus did not immediately heal the woman's daughter. Only when she pleaded with Him did He heal her (See. Matt. 15:23-27). In the end, however, Jesus said to the woman: "'Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.' And her daughter was healed at that moment." (Matt. 15:28 NIV)

The second story is when Jesus healed the centurion's servant, as recorded in Luke 7:1-10 and Matt. 8:5-13. The centurion sent a man to Jesus telling Him that He didn't even need to come. All He needed to do was to speak forth the Word, and the servant would be healed. Jesus' response? "When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, 'I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.' Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well." (Luke 7:9-10 NIV)

In both of these stories, faith was the key. Was God telling me I simply needed to have faith that He would heal my daughter?

This gave me immeasurable hope.

Because of the level of hostility, I did not think my daughter should return home with me once she was released from the hospital, and I began to think about where she might be able to go to stay for a few days. Before I could find someone, the nurse from the hospital called to say my daughter was being released. What would I do?

Just then, a friend of mine called me to ask how my daughter was doing. She offered to open her home to my daughter. I was tempted to accept her offer, but as I opened my mouth to say "yes", the words came out totally different than I had expected. I believe God was talking to my friend through my mouth as I told her how I had always sent my daughter away in these situations, to a friend's house, or even to my sister in France.

God then placed those two stories in my mind again, and I began to ask myself just where this Canaanite woman's daughter was living during this time. The bible doesn't tell us, but logic would dictate that she was living with her mother.

And what about the centurion's servant?

The Bible does tell us this: "Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well." (Luke 7:10b NIV). He was living at the centurion's home!

God's message to me was clear, and instead of saying "yes" to my friend's kind offer, I said, "No, thank you, my friend."

The Bible says, "You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." (Ps. 16:11 NIV). I believe that God was doing just that: He was showing me the path I needed to take with my daughter. I needed to bring her home, and I needed to believe that the same Jesus who healed the Canaanite woman's daughter and the centurion's servant was still on His throne, still big enough to heal my daughter. He has given me peace, just like He promised in Romans 15:13: "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen." (NIV).

Even though the story continues, I already know how it will end. Like the Canaanite woman and the centurion, I fully put all my trust in Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. And just as the woman's daughter and the centurion's servant were both healed, God will be the victor in my daughter's life as well. To God be the glory. Amen.

One in Christ,
Sophie Chun Ngeth
  
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Post  Admin on Tue 04 Feb 2020, 11:51 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 4, 2020

Finding God's Direction for my Life
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    After I delivered a message on courage to few hundred women, I stood on stage, wireless mic in hand, and with a smile of delight I answered questions from the audience. Here's one of them:

What is the most daring thing you did after you lost your sight?

Hmmm...should I or shouldn't I tell them? Why not? Here it goes:

A few years ago, I was in California attending a writers' conference. A friend jokingly asked, "Do you want to drive?"

I stopped, looked in her direction and with a deviant look I answered, "Yes."

"Are you sure?" she asked.

"No, the question is, are you sure you want me to drive your car?"

"Why not."

She placed the car keys in my hand. I felt my way around to the driver's side, ran my fingers till I found the handle and opened the door. I settled in the driver's seat. "Okay, here we go." I fumbled a bit to find the ignition, then inserted the key and started the engine.

Once she guided me to the right gear, she gave firm, clear instructions.

Not having any sight at all for over 25 years, driving a car again had been but a dream for me. My heart was beating a bit fast with excitement.

"Keep it straight now, a little to the left, now to the right just a bit, not much."

I followed each instruction. "Give it a little gas," she said. I did. We were on a hill. What fun!

I know what you're thinking, a bit crazy! I agree. But now years later, I can tell you the reason I was able to drive her car. It was because she was with me. I trusted in her ability to give me instructions and direction to tell me what to do, where to turn and when to slow down.

Life is the same. While on the road of life, we're often blind to what will be around the corner, what will pop up unexpectedly, and where the ditches of heartache are.

But we reach our destination safely only when we realize our blindness and recognize God's vision for our future. That vision is stated in the Bible. Then, following the GPS of Scripture, we have the confidence to move forward, knowing God is by our side, calling out each instruction.

That's because, "All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (2 Timothy 3:16)

Like my friend, God is patient as He instructs, corrects and tells us to wait, slow down or stop.

Whether we're about to enter into a new relationship, a new job, a new chapter or entering an unfamiliar stage of life, God's speaking gently and clearly.

He never leaves us on our own to blindly drive through life, He said, "'Never will I leave you..., never will I forsake you.' So, we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid' NIV).

Let's Pray:  Father, so often I've driven the vehicle of my own life, encountering cliffs of adversity, potholes of setbacks and disappointments that took me on unwanted detours. But now, listening to the instructions in your Word, the road is secure and the ride is smooth. In Jesus' name, amen.

Have you considered Gods instructions that are found in the Bible before you make a decision? Before you head in a new direction?

Janet Eckles

If this message resonated with you, please visit Janet's cyberspace home for more inspiration. 
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Keep looking up! All the time! Whatever it is you're going through, keep your eyes on Him, not on the storm! You'll be amazed at the peace you will have!
 
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Post  Admin on Sat 01 Feb 2020, 9:33 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

February 1, 2010

The Pearly Gates: The Pearl, Part 3
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    Last Thursday, in "The Pearl, Part 2", we saw that Jesus used the pearl, a gem that was unvalued and considered "unclean" by the people of His day, to teach us that the "pearls" we will grow out of our trials should be sought after at all cost, even to ourselves. He used this gem to teach us that we must have a heart that is open and searching or we may not even recognize that the pearls of wisdom that can only develop from trials and hard times are of any value at all. But are the "pearls of wisdom" really worth the personal cost?

Let's take a look at the last time the Bible mentions pearls: "The twelve gates were made of pearls--each gate from a single pearl!" (Rev. 21:21 NLT).

Notice that the "gates" being described here are the portals through which one must pass in order to enter or exit the New Jerusalem. Imagine the intensity of suffering it would take to cause an oyster to develop a pearl the size of a gate! Let's also remember what Jesus says about gates into Heaven: "Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep." (John 10:7 NIV).

The fact that the "gates" of the New Jerusalem are represented by gigantic pearls helps us to remember that in order to enter into life eternal, we must go through Jesus; and in order for Jesus to become this "gate", He had to endure ultimate suffering and even death. It was His pain that brought us the ability to enter into life eternal. He is the "pearl of great price", the "pearl" that is only found if we diligently seek it, the "pearl" that many will be too proud to realize they need.

Just as Jesus is our ultimate example (1 Peter 2:21-25), our "irritations", the suffering and pain of this life, can be used to mold and make us, to teach us the "pearls of wisdom" that Solomon urges us to seek (See Prov. 4:5,6). And just maybe, this same suffering and pain that life throws our way may open the door for ultimate good for others as well!

But wait a minute. Is this act of comparing our own suffering to Jesus' suffering on the cross truly correct? After all, Jesus' suffering opened the gates of Heaven, and nothing we do, no matter how wise, will ever earn us our Salvation (See Is. 64:6). Why, then, is it so important to seek these "pearls of wisdom"? Why must we endure the problems of life to grow them?

In order to answer this, let's remember the story of the potter and the clay: "'Jeremiah, go down to the potter's house. I will give you my message there.' So I went down to the potter's house and saw him working with clay at the wheel. He was making a pot from clay. But there was something wrong with the pot. So the potter used that clay to make another pot. With his hands he shaped the pot the way he wanted it to be." (Jeremiah 18:2-4 NIV. See also Isaiah 64:8).

In His letter to Timothy, Paul instructs us to strive to be instruments that are excellent enough to be used in God's hands: "In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work." (1 Tim. 2:20-20 NIV). In order for us to be the vessels God asks us to be, we need to be molded by Him. This molding process isn't fun, but it is necessary if we are to strive to be the, "instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work."

If Jesus endured intense suffered for the ultimate good, then we must once again ask ourself: What will we do in the face of the trouble that has come upon us? Will we be like most living creatures and watch and worry as it festers and spreads? Will we try to remove it, and in the process, remove some of ourselves as well? Or will we, like the oyster, use the negative circumstances to form a pearl of wisdom that can be used to mold us and make us into that special instrument to be used by the Master's hand?

Remember that it is only through intense suffering that Jesus was able to open the gates of Heaven, and it is often only through the trials and "irritants" of life that we, also, are able to be molded and formed into something beautiful. I urge each of you today, in the face of your dire circumstances, to be an oyster. Allow that "irritant"--that horrible circumstance you find yourself in--to be used by God to form a pearl, a pearl of wisdom, a pearl to be sought after, a pearl that may actually work for the ultimate good of mankind.

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 23 Jan 2020, 11:09 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 23, 2020

Dirty Dishes
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    "It does not, therefore, depend on human desire or effort, but on God's mercy." (Romans 9:16 NIV)

One of the hardest lessons I have had to learn as an adult is to rely on God's mercy instead of my own drive, desire or effort.

Just a few minute ago, I was washing the dishes. The sink had been piled high with dirty plates and bowls by various members of my family who ate at different times and then left the dishes for...me! I admit, I was tempted to complain. I wanted to focus my prayer on asking God to give me my heart's desire: That everyone would do their own dishes! The Holy Spirit remind me right then to thank God instead of complaining. Had He not already provided the water and soap for me to wash the dishes? And couldn't I thank God that I am healthy and physically able to wash dishes, and not on bed rest? That I have hands and feet that are capable of washing dishes and are free of pain?

In the words of Saint Augustine: "We must be emptied of what we are full, so that we may be filled with what we are empty. Too often mankind looks upon God's mercy as recognition or reward for the work we've done. We think our efforts cause God to look upon us with more favor. However, if we expected a specific rewarded for our desire or effort with His Mercy, then we would be filled with pride because of what we had accomplished. The election of God is not something we can run for, earn or win. The reward does not depend on anything we do."

I am reminded of the story in Matt. 20:20-24: "Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. 'What is it you want?' he asked. She said, 'Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.' 'You don't know what you are asking,' Jesus said to them. 'Can you drink the cup I am going to drink?' 'We can,' they answered. Jesus said to them, 'You will indeed drink from my cup, but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared by my Father.'" (NIV)

As soon as I finished this devotional, I discovered that my husband had come home and eaten supper while I was writing...and he had washed his own dishes! Praise God!

Our Heavenly Father is faithful: "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." (Hebrews 6:10-12 NIV)

Let pray: Heavenly Father, help us to do Your will. Not because we want to earn a specific reward. Thank you for Jesus Christ's words before He died. Our Great High Priest Jesus Christ said: "It is finished." (John 19:30 NIV), and "Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us." (Romans 8:34 NIV) Bless be his name. And thank You for Your disciple, who reminds us in his letter in Hebrews: "God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them..." (Heb. 6:10 NIV). We praise you. Amen.

One in Christ,
Sophie Chun Ngeth
  
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Why not take a moment and thank God for His blessings, rather than to complain about whatever it is that you face today? I an guarantee you it will cause you to have a total change in perspective...
 
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Post  Admin on Tue 21 Jan 2020, 6:40 pm

Welcome to the Nugget

January 21, 2020

Similarities...ALL the Way! Part 4
 

By Answers2PrayerSubscribeUnsubscribeDevotionalsContact us    Today in the concluding part of our series focusing on the similarities of the Church of the bygone Covenant (Acts 7:38) and the One of the Present Covenant, we shall train the spotlight on the following sub-topics...

Draw...

Having compared ourselves to our Old Testament counterparts all along, how about now hitting a related loop line of "methodology" to win our Jewish "friends" to the Lord? In a way, don't we owe our salvation to them ("for salvation comes through the Jews..." John 4:22-23)? And the best way to say "thanks" would be to lead them to a "Messiah-oriented" Salvation!

One way to draw them to Christ through an exercise born out of love and respect that causes them to become "plain jealous". Seem confusing? Let me explain: In our interactions, we need to let them notice the "X" factor (the perpetual joy and peace of the indwelling Holy Spirit) which distinguishes us from them. Don't the Scriptures even say that our Heavenly Father will use the "jealousy" factor to draw them to their Messiah? "Did God's people stumble and fall beyond recovery? Of course not! They were disobedient, so God made salvation available to the Gentiles. But he wanted his own people to become jealous and claim it for themselves." (Rom 11:11 NLT). Whilst for them the "Kingdom of God" is an "expectation" (which the Messiah would usher in one day), we need to prayerfully tell them with love, both through our lip and our lives, that for us it is already an "experience" courtesy of the s ame Messiah who has placed His Spirit within us (Rom 14:17). Then we need to commit them to prayer that God's Spirit will help them to see and understand truth.


Delight...

Dear friends, In conclusion, all I would like to say is that we should always delight in the Lord: "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires." (Ps. 37:4 NLT), even while preserving with perseverance our right relationship with the One who loves us the most: "Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him." (Phil. 2:12-13 NLT). Nothing quite like being the Jews during King David's reign! Besides constituting the "Golden age" of Jewish spiritual history, this was also a pointer to the coming Millennial age, when David's son, the Messiah, will rule on Planet Earth, and "God's will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven" for most of the time. The Christian equivalent of David's reign would be the "ideal settings" that could b e seen in the Early Jerusalem Church (See Acts 2:37 - Acts 5), or the one in Antioch (Acts 11:19-30/Acts 13:1-3/Acts 14:24-27/Acts 15:22-35), which were also pointers to the near-perfect conditions that would prevail during the Millennial age (See Rev. 20:1-6). Even in 2019, let's endeavour to be in those conditions, "in spirit". There is nothing quite like spiritual travel "back in time" for the better!

Prayer: Father, strengthen us with thy indwelling Spirit even as we wait with eager anticipation for the time when Your will would be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen

Suresh Manoharan
An unworthy servant
J and SM Ministries

The is the last part of the mini-series, "Similarities...ALL the Way!", showing us how the old and new covenants complement each other. If you have missed any of the lessons, you are invited to access them here; or if you do not have access to the internet, please email me and I will send them to you. God bless you as you continue to know Him more and more! 
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