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Old 04-27-2017, 10:40 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - April 28

We can choose to focus on God and God’s blessings instead of only on our problems. Today instead of our problems, let's focus on God.

All who do God’s work need help. We can offer our local churches and Christian ministries the gift of service. Whether we teach, clean, greet people, set up a room, or regularly pray for a ministry, God can use our work to help further the kingdom and to encourage our leaders. None of our gifts is too small.

We can always believe in God’s love.

When we trust in the Lord, we cannot be shaken.

"God has a history of using the insignificant to accomplish the impossible."

"Sometimes God calms the storm; sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child."

"God does not wish us to remember what He is willing to forget."

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Captured by Sally I. Kennedy
You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16
The rosy sunset began seeping across the sky. I quickly grabbed the camera, excited for an opportunity to capture and hold onto the glorious sight.
The camera had come with an instruction manual. The section on how to best photograph subjects and landscapes, etc., was spelled out in great detail. The thick booklet described how to capture the moment.
Earlier today, at the grocery store, I saw a pre-schooler in the parking lot. She was bent over, completely fascinated by something on the ground. Maybe a bug, or a leaf, or a rock, or a piece of paper. Whatever it was, she was trying, without success, to get her mother’s attention to come look at it.
The child was oblivious to the fact that Mom wanted to get into the store and get the grocery shopping done, back home, unpacked, and put away. She did not realize Mom had many other things to do today. She was totally captured by the moment.
God is in every moment we have. How awesome to be so enthralled with the moment. There used to be a phrase, “Stop and smell the roses.” Each moment is truly a gift from the Lord.
Today, may I be filled with gratitude, to my Creator, and see the beauty and awe of “the moment”, and capture and savor the gift.

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Love Lifted Me by Carol Sefton
Psalm 40:2 – He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. (NLT)
The hymn writer, James Rowe, penned the hymn, Love lifted me. When I sing the first few words, "I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore," I am brought back to my childhood.
I was going home from my friend's house, which was a "country mile" from my home. In the summer, it was a short walk across the hay field. In winter and spring, I was forbidden to take the shortcut. One day, I decided to hop across the wet spring field really quickly! I would be home in a jiffy! Each step sucked at my boots, ugly mud grabbing me. One boot and sock disappeared into the frothy, brown earth. Another step landed me on my "kiester", bootless, completely defeated, and alone. I started to yell for my mom, but I was too far from home. I must have yelled wildly and loudly because my friend's two big brothers heard me. They came to my rescue and pulled me out of the mud and helped me to get home safely. I must have been a sight! My momma, who loved me, put me in a tub of warm water out in the backyard and cleaned all the mud away.
There are many kinds of muddy fields in life: times when we feel hopeless, dejected, sad, discouraged, miserable, disheartened, despairing, despondent, defeated, and feeling like giving up because there is no solution, no way out of our dilemma. In such situations that are out of our control, we can't do it ourselves, but God can. We must never give up, for "everything is possible with God" (Mark 10:27b NLT). Paul advises us to "be thankful in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18a NLT), because giving thanks to God demonstrates our trust in Him, and our faith actually releases His power to help us.
I cannot sing the hymn Love lifted me without remembering that boot-sucking dilemma. But every time I see a muddy spring field, I am reminded how I still desperately need to be rescued and how, when I call on my Saviour, He hears and sets me free!
Prayer: Lord, as we look at the many pits of despair, the muddy fields, the areas of discouragement, we thank You that You are there to set our feet on solid ground. We thank You that not only do You set our feet on solid ground, but Your care is ongoing. You steady us as we walk along. May each one of us experience that all-encompassing lifting, love, and care of a gentle, compassionate God. Amen.

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I'll Be Back By Charles L. Paddock
When the great explorer Shackleton was on his quest for the South Pole, he was at one time driven back, and was compelled to leave some of his men on Elephant Island, though he promised that he would return for them.
But when he endeavored to get back, he found a sea of ice between him and the island. What should he do? He had promised, and he must keep his word.
He tried to reach them, but failed. He tried again and again, but without success. Beyond the ice were his trusting companions, who had every confidence in him. They had only a few supplies with them. At that time of the year it seemed folly to hope for any favorable change in the weather, and he was told that there was absolutely no hope of getting his little boat, the "Yalcho," through the great ice barrier to Elephant Island.
He could not be inactive. He must reach his men; so at the risk of losing his boat and the lives of his crew, he pushed in nearer to the island; and unexpectedly there came an opening in the ice. He hurried in, rescued his men, and in an hour was back again with all on board. Had they been delayed only a few minutes, their frail vessel would have been destroyed by the crashing of the ice as it closed in.
When they were sure they were beyond danger and the nervous tension was over, Shackleton said to one of the rescued companions, "Well, you were packed and ready, weren't you?"
"Yes," came back the reply, "we never lost hope. We believed you would come for us, even though circumstances were unfavorable. You had promised, and we expected you; so each morning we rolled up our sleeping bags and packed all our equipment, that we might be ready." And now they were all safe and homeward bound, happy that they had been prepared daily.
Before Jesus departed from this world, He left a definite promise in John 14:1-4:
"'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.'" (NIV)
The Lord is not slack concerning His promises. Make sure you're ready.

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The Other Road by Sally I. Kennedy
The Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, says: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good and leads you along the paths you should follow. Isaiah 48:17
The guide book said it was an easy hike around the lake, where the flat path hugged the water’s edge. It was going to take longer this day, because I had to stop every few feet, it seemed, for another breathtaking view in the late afternoon light.
Rounding a bend, the path began to lean upward. Within minutes the fork in the road became visible. The low road, the known path, the easier one? Or the high road, the unknown. I found myself humming an old ballad, “Oh! ye'll take the high road and I'll take the low road, and I'll be in Scotland afore ye”. Hmmm, had to make the decision, or go back.
I thought about forks in the road, spiritually-speaking. The Bible advises us to set our thoughts on things above, not below (Colossians 3:2). It’s good to set our goals high and be challenged. Why settle for the same old, same old, or go backwards into the past way?
We always have a choice. Seek the face of God, who gives us strength for the journey. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. (1 Chron 16:11) Don’t run with the crowd. Take the high road. Choose to forgive. Go the extra mile, make the call, send the email, venture a random act of kindness, forgive the offense or the slight.
So, when there’s an opportunity, choose the other road, the one less traveled, the high road.

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Don't Give them Vinegar Author Unknown
The preacher placed two identical jars on the table next to the pulpit.
He quoted 1 Samuel 16:7 'The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
"These jars came from the same factory, were made of the same materials, and can hold the same amount. But they are different," he explained. Then he upset one and it oozed out honey. He turned over the other, and vinegar spilled out.
"When a jar is upset, whatever is in it comes out. Until the jars were upset, they looked alike. The difference was within, and could not be seen. When they were upset, their contents were revealed. Until we are upset we put on a good front. But when we are upset, we reveal our innermost thoughts and attitudes, for 'out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.'" (Luke 6:45)
What if someone tipped you over today??
What would flow out??
Would you reveal the "honey" of grace and patience, or the "vinegar" of anger and sarcasm?
"Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins." (1Peter 4:8)
Have a terrific day knowing that the one who upsets you may be just looking for some honey - Don't give them vinegar.

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Days Of Inspiration Author Unknown
Monday - Wash Day - Lord, help me wash away all my selfishness and vanity, so I may serve you with perfect humility through the week ahead.
Tuesday - Ironing Day - Dear Lord, help me iron out all the wrinkles of prejudice. I have collected through the years so that I may see the beauty in others.
Wednesday - Mending Day - God, help me mend my ways so I will not set a bad example for others.
Thursday - Cleaning Day - Lord Jesus, help me to dust out all the many faults I have been hiding in the secret corners of my heart.
Friday - Shopping Day - O God, give me the grace to shop wisely so I may purchase eternal happiness for myself and all others in need of love.
Saturday - Cooking Day - Help me, my Savior, to brew a big kettle of brotherly love and serve it with clean, sweet bread of human kindness.
Sunday - The Lord's Day - O God, I have prepared my house for you. Please come into my heart as my honored guest so I may spend the day and the rest of my life in your presence.

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1 Kings 19:11-13 “The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but
the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. Then a voice said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?’”
"Life's a little thing!", Robert Browning once wrote. But a little thing can mean a life. Even two lives. How well I remember. Two years ago in downtown Denver my friend, Scott, and I saw something tiny and insignificant change the world, but no one else even seemed to notice. It was one of those beautiful Denver days. Crystal clear, no humidity, not a cloud in the sky. We decided to walk the ten blocks to an outdoor restaurant rather than take the shuttle bus that runs up and down the Sixteenth Street Mall.
The restaurant, in the shape of a baseball diamond, was called The Blake Street Baseball Club. The tables were set appropriately on the grass infield. Many colorful pennants and flags hung limply overhead. As we sat outside, the sun continued to beat down on us, and it became increasingly hot. There wasn't a hint of a breeze, and heat radiated up from the tabletop. Nothing moved, except the waiters, of course, and they didn't move very fast either. After lunch Scott and I started to walk back up the mall. We both noticed a mother and her young daughter walking out of a card shop toward the street. She was holding her daughter by the hand while reading a greeting card.
It was immediately apparent to us that she was so engrossed in the card that she did not notice a shuttle bus moving toward her at a good clip. She and her daughter were one step away from disaster when Scott started to yell. He hadn't even gotten a word out when a breeze blew the card out of her hand and over her shoulder. She spun around and grabbed at the card, nearly knocking
her daughter over. By the time she picked up the card from the ground and turned back around to cross the street, the shuttle bus had whizzed by her. She never even knew what almost happened.
To this day, two things continue to perplex me about this event. Where did that one spurt of wind come from to blow the card out of that young mother's hand? There had not been a whisper of wind at lunch or during our long walk back up the mall. Secondly, if Scott had been able to get his words out, the young mother might have looked up at us as they continued to walk into the bus. It was the wind that made her turn back to the card - in the one direction that saved her life and that of her daughter.
The passing bus did not create the wind. On the contrary, the wind came from the opposite direction. I have no doubt it was a breath from God protecting them both. But the awesomeness of this miracle is that she never knew. As we continued back to work, I wondered how God often acts in our lives without our being aware. The difference between life and death can very well be a little thing. Miracles often blow unseen through our lives.
Comments: So many times God speaks to us and shows us so many miracles and blessings, but He does it in those whispers. He speaks to us in those quiet intimate moments when we must be completely focused on seeing Him, when our one desire is to hear from Him and to have fellowship with Him. In those times, we see how awesome He is and how unworthy we are. We feel like Elijah… we have to cover our faces because we can’t bear to look upon Him. Do you listen intently and intimately to your Christ?
Prayer: Praise God for being the God of Intimacy in your relationship with Him. Confess to Him the times when you have been focused on things other than Him and missed out on His whispers of love to you. Thank Him for the times you have heard His sweet whispers and been blessed. Ask Him to open the eyes of your heart and to make them focused completely on Him, so that He is your one desire. --The Voice

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Kodak Moment Author Unknown
A little boy walked to and from school daily. Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, he made his daily trek to the elementary school. As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lightning. The mother of the little boy felt concerned that her son would be frightened as he walked home from school and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child. Following the roar of thunder, lightning would cut through the sky like a flaming sword. Full of concern, the mother quickly got into her car and drove along the route to her child's school. As she did so, she saw her little boy walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile. Another and another were to follow quickly and with each flash the little boy would look at the streak of light and smile. When the mother's car drew up beside the child, she lowered the window and called to him, "What are you doing? Why do you keep stopping?" The child answered, "I am trying to look nice. God keeps taking my picture." May God bless you today as you face the storms that come your way. And don't forget to SMILE! Have a Beautiful Day!

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
Settle down. Take a break from thinking about things that worry you. Look at life through the eyes of the Spirit to see the greatness of My kingdom and your place in it. Be kind to yourself. Quiet your soul and seek to be refreshed and renewed before you take your next step forward in the journey that is before you, says the Lord. I will never leave you. Hebrews 13:5 Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

Take advantage of every review of the past to remind yourself of the unbounded, limitless, and life-saving effects of the blood of Christ that was shed on Calvary for you. It would be a colossal waste to spend this opportunity on regret and self-denigration. This is a time when you can draw near to Me in genuine worship from the depth of your heart, says the Lord. Be thankful. 2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.

In navigating your spiritual life, you have been able to overcome many if not most of the obvious things that have hindered your growth in the spirit. If you will stay connected to Me, I will show you the details and less understood aspects of your existence that keep you from thriving, says the Lord. Deliberately access the realm of awareness and discernment to see and know that which has been hidden in obscurity. Isaiah 29:18 In that day the deaf shall hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of obscurity and out of darkness.

You have come to a turning point at which you will have opportunities to make corrections in your life that will position you for greater productivity and victory. Separate yourself from past defeats and disappointments. Those days are past; bury them and get moving, says the Lord. Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

I will show you ways to get in order so that you will be more efficient and effective in all that you have been given to do. Simplicity is the order of the day. Be open and sensitive to My leading in this regard. I would have you be unencumbered to the extent that you can focus more fully on spiritual matters and spend more time with Me, says the Lord. I am calling you to come and dine. Revelation 3:20 "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me."

Be steady as you establish yourself on a solid foundation of faith. My kingdom is sure. My word is truth. Your future is eternal. Take setbacks in stride knowing that they are temporary. I have a plan and purpose that is beyond what you understand at this time, and I will show you that what you are going through will usher you into My will and a higher level of spiritual growth, says the Lord. Trust! Psalms 119:27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wondrous works.

For those who face obstacles or fierce opposition in your efforts to accomplish your objectives, do not be intimidated or afraid. Rise up in the face of adversity with faith in My ability to direct and protect you. Practice walking and living in the Spirit. Your most important goal is a vital relationship with Me, says the Lord. With Me nothing is impossible. Luke 18:27 But He said, "The things which are impossible with men are possible with God."

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
I am hovering over you, My people, to bring new hope, spiritual power and blessings. I am giving you opportunities to go forth in supernatural power and joy. I am with you to help you accomplish all that I have set before you to do, says the Lord. Identify yourself with Me, and rise up in faith to receive all that I have for you in these days and in this time.

The Lord God Himself comes to be one with you. This visitation and that which comes in these days will be overwhelming to you when the fullness of it invades your soul and your spirit. He will come to you in unexpected ways; in glorious ways to bring His favor into your life. And, when that favor comes understand that it will remove you from the heartache of the past and those seasons that have been difficult. The hardness will fade away with the love and the glory of the Lord God Almighty. Shake off the chains, break out of bondage. No longer be bound to what the enemy has done in the past season. Be renewed in the spirit of your mind so you understand what the perfect will of the Lord is. And, He would say to you, "Rise up now and walk in the newness of this life of this hour. For, I have come to give you life not only everlasting, but life and joy and peace now. Prosper in your heart and in your spirit. Be connected to Me. Stay with Me. I will lead you and guide you in the path of those things that have been prepared for you. I am the Lord of Glory--the Lord God who watches over you. I am the Lord God of your life, and I have come to set you in order so that you may receive the blessings of this time."

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Let The Walls Down by Jill Lemming
If you can open up your heart
And let your love shine through...
God will fill you with His grace
And He'll draw close to you.
If you can share your very soul
With others on your way...
Loneliness will disappear
And peace will come to stay.
God planned for us to build a bridge
To reach the other side...
Forming friendships as we go
And choosing not to hide.
Building walls can lock us in
And keep God's blessings out...
A heart that's closed can never learn
What love is all about.
Don't be afraid of what you'll find,
Just let those walls come down...
Cross the bridge to the other side;
Love waits on holy ground.

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I am strong.
I am sure.
Any trial,
I can endure.
For I know
That I am loved
By some below
And GOD above
So, until tomorrow,
I can say,
I can make it
Through today.
M'Chelle Smith

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Psalm 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things. - Philippians 4:8

The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. - 1 Peter 5:10

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

"...let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:16

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. 1 Peter 3:15

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We can be confident putting our trust in Him, because He has the power to turn everything around. — Psalm 121:2
He Fights For You by Max Lucado
The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear. Hebrews 13:6
I will lift up my eyes to the hills — From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made Heaven and earth. — Psalm 121:1-2
We may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. what can man do to me?” — Hebrews 13:6
Prayer: Dear God, You help me when I’m in need, and You’re a shelter when I’m in trouble. Because You are on my side, I don’t have to fear the future. All of my mistakes and failures are forgotten, and you have big plans for me. Thank you, God, for the promise of your protection. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,
Bow down before Him,
His glory proclaim;
Gold of obedience and incense of lowliness,
Bring and adore Him — the Lord is His name.
~ Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness by John S. B. Monsell
Scripture : And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. — Joshua 21:44-45
Prayer : God, You never fail me. You are true to Your word and to Your promises. I worship Your holy name, for You are faithful, and You always have been. You lead me to victory through Jesus, and so it is in His name I pray this, amen.

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Dear God, we praise you for your mercy and grace. Help us to understand that you are the source of true happiness in our lives. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 64
1 Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer: preserve my life from fear of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked; from the insurrection of the workers of iniquity: 3 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot their arrows, even bitter words: 4 That they may shoot in secret at the perfect: suddenly do they shoot at him, and fear not. 5 They encourage themselves in an evil matter: they commune of laying snares privily; they say, Who shall see them? 6 They search out iniquities; they accomplish a diligent search: both the inward thought of every one of them, and the heart, is deep. 7 But God shall shoot at them with an arrow; suddenly shall they be wounded. 8 So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away. 9 And all men shall fear, and shall declare the work of God; for they shall wisely consider of his doing. 10 The righteous shall be glad in the Lord, and shall trust in him; and all the upright in heart shall glory.

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Lord Jesus, help us to remain in you throughout this day, walking in love, joy, and obedience. Amen.

Wherever you are in life, whatever you've done, you can begin again. If you do not have Jesus in your life and wish to ask Jesus into your life please go to this link now to do so: .
Jesus is calling you to live a life that matters.
"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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