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Old 03-02-2017, 01:34 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - March 3

Oh, God, we go through life so lonely, needing what other people can give us, yet ashamed to show that need. And other people go through life so lonely, hungering for what it would be such a joy for us to give. Dear God, please bring us together, the people who need each other, who can help each other, and would so enjoy each other. -- Marjorie Holmes

Oh, empty us of self, the world, and sin, and then in all Thy fullness enter in; Take full possession Lord, and let each thought into obedience unto Thee be brought; Thine is the power, and Thine the will, that we be wholly sanctified, O Lord, to Tee. --C. E. J.

Failure doesn't mean God has abandoned you, it does mean God has a better idea! --Robert Schuller

Young and old and in between, we all need God.

When we look for Christ in those around us, we see them differently.

God's love can soften the hardest heart.

"Stop telling God how big your storm is. Instead, tell your storm how big your God is."

God answers prayers in three ways -- yes, no, and wait. May each one of us be able to call on and listen to the Lord today, whatever is happening in our lives.

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One day I decided to quit...I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality.... I wanted to quit my life. I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.
"God", I said. "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"
His answer surprised me.
"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"
"Yes", I replied.
"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
In the second year the fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.
"In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit. The same in year four.
"Then in the fifth year, a tiny sprout emerged from the earth.
Compared to the fern, it was seemingly small and insignificant.
But just six months later, the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.
It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle.
"Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I would not quit on the bamboo.. I will never quit on you.
"Don't compare yourself to others." He said. "The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern. Yet they both make the forest beautiful.
"Your time will come", God said to me. "You will rise high"
"How high should I rise?" I asked.
"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.
"As high as it can?" I questioned
"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."
I left the forest, realizing that God will never give up on me. And He will never give up on you.
Never regret a day in your life.
Good days give you happiness; bad days give you experiences; both are essential to life.

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HE’S WITH YOU by Roxanne Robbins
READ: Zephaniah 3:14-17
The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior (Zephaniah 3:17).
Friends often remind me, “You’re not alone.” “God is with you,” they say. “Yes,” I answer. “He is.” Yet there are times—mostly when I’m pressed to accomplish a daunting task without anyone physically present to help me, or when I’m alone for extended periods of time—that I wonder, “Is God here with me?” And, if so, “What does His presence truly mean?”
How do we know that, “God is with you,” isn’t a manmade statement conjured up to make people feel better? Is it a motivational quote to spur people on when they’re struggling? A way to politely say, “God is with you, so you don’t need my help”?
We know God is with us, because Scripture promises He’s there. “The Lord your God is living among you,” we read in Zephaniah 3:17. “He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
We don’t need to linger in discouragement or doubt, for God says, “I am with you.” He told His people, “Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
In Isaiah 43:1-3, and throughout Scripture, God offers us truth that can change our lives and give us hope when we truly embrace it. He promises us that when we’re redeemed we’re also summoned by name; we are His. Compassionately, He says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. . . . I am the Lord , your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isaiah 43:2-3).
May we cling to this infinite, unwavering truth: God goes before us and He is with us. Just as He promised Zephaniah, He’s a loving God who “will live among [us]!” (Zephaniah 3:15).

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If you're too busy to spend time with God, then you're simply too busy. Weekly Wisdom
In the world we live in today, it is very easy to get so incredibly caught up in all of the demands that culture places on us that we don't have any time to spend with God.
However, the fact that so many things compete for every person's time isn't new to the world. Indeed, in Luke 10:38-42, we see the story of how two people responded to this same problem in two very different ways: As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet listening to what he said. ...
We see that after Jesus entered the home, He evidently started teaching, and Mary, Martha's sister, stopped what she was doing and listened to Jesus. It's important to realize that Mary didn't know Jesus was coming, and so it certainly wasn't her plan to stop what she was doing and sit at His feet, listening to Him. However, Mary considered hearing from God so important that she altered her schedule to spend time with God.
... But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Here, we see that Martha responded very differently than her sister: she became really busy and caught up in what she was doing -- probably preparing a meal, cleaning the house, or something similar.
When Martha complained to Jesus about how Mary was using her time, Jesus responded: "Martha, Martha, ... you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."
One sister was willing to drop everything in order to hear from God; the other was too busy with everyday life in order to spend time with God. Jesus makes it clear that the way Mary chose to use her time was better.
In your life, you need to be willing to use your time like Mary did. Don't let little things steal your time away from what's really important in life. You must realize that there is no lasting value to the "urgent" things many people often allow to interfere with what's truly important. It would not have mattered if Martha hadn't cleaned the house that day.
You need to be willing to let your schedule be altered if knowing God better requires it. Don't be like Martha and get so caught up in life's distractions that you miss Jesus.

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Not Know by Timothy Williams
“I will trust and not be afraid” - Isaiah 12:2
Two-year-old Max was securely buckled in his seat in Grandpa's pickup truck. He was waiting for Dad and Grandpa to stop talking so he could go for a ride. His mother poked her head in the truck and said, "Where are you going, Max?"
"Not know," he replied, raising his little arms.
"What are you going to do?" she asked. "Not know," came the answer again.
"Well," she asked, "do you want to come back in the house with me?"
"No!" came the quick reply as he settled himself more firmly, waiting to begin his adventure.
"That little boy taught me a lesson I needed right then," his mother Sheryl told me later. She was soon to give birth to another baby, and she had reason to be unsure of what was ahead. "He didn't know where he was going or what he was going to do, but he trusted Grandpa completely. Max's confidence in Grandpa is the kind of trust I need in my heavenly Father."
If you are in one of those periods of life when you don't know what lies ahead, or you don't know what to do about some critical issue, it might help to think about it that way. God wants you to have the confidence in Him to say, like the prophet Isaiah, "I will trust and not be afraid" (12:2).

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Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
How would you know?...The Saviors words...
If you never felt pain, then how would you know that I’m a Healer?
If you never went through troubles, how would you know that I’m a Deliverer?
If you never had a trial, how could you call yourself an overcomer?
If you never felt sadness, how would you know that I’m a Comforter?
If you never made a mistake, how would you know that I’m forgiving?
If you knew all, how would you know that I will answer your questions?
If you never were in trouble, how would you know that I will come to your rescue?
If you never were broken, then how would know that I can make you whole?
If you never had a problem, how would you know that I can solve them?
If you never had any suffering, then how would you know what I went through?
If you never went through the fire, then how would you become pure?
If I gave you all things, how would you appreciate them?
If I never corrected you, how would you know that I love you?
If you had all power, then how would you learn to depend on me?
If your life was perfect, then what would you need Me for?
By: Perrie Jones Jr.
Comments: God doesn’t put problems or sadness or trouble or suffering or anything of that nature on us so that we can see how awesome He is. But He does help us when we get in situations that we knew would bring harm to ourselves when we turn to Him and truly seek His will. He lovingly gives it to us time and time again. Just like He told the fellow in the Bible who had a problem with a friend, forgive Him 70 times 7… which in that day was understood to simply mean a lot…He forgives us way over that amount of times. He just wants us to know how much He cares for us. Tonight at a worship service I went to, a friend said, “God cares about me more than I care about myself.” And you think about how selfish we usually are, we care about ourselves A LOT. Let God be your best friend, your rescuer, your Healer, your Deliverer, your Comforter, your Forgiver, but most of all, let Him
love you.
Prayer: Praise Him for being the Wonderful Counselor and the Lord of All. Confess to Him the times when you have not allowed Him to work through you and to mold you through the trials. Thank Him for always being faithful and for being just and righteous. Ask Him to help you see trials and problems through His eyes and to trust Him more for your future. --The Voice

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The Father and the Rescue Line
After a few of the usual Sunday evening hymns, the church's pastor stood up, walked over to the pulpit, and before he gave his sermon for the evening, briefly introduced a guest minister who was in the service that evening.
In the introduction, the pastor told the congregation that the guest minister was one of his dearest childhood friends and that he wanted him to have a few moments to greet the church and share whatever he felt would be appropriate for the service.
With that, an elderly man stepped up to the pulpit and began to speak.
"A father, his son, and a friend of his son were sailing off the Pacific coast," he began, "when a fast approaching storm blocked any attempt to get back to the shore. The waves were so high, that even though the father was an experienced sailor, he could not keep the boat upright and the three were swept into the ocean as the boat capsized."
The old man hesitated for a moment, making eye contact with two teenagers who were, for the first time since the service began, looking somewhat interested in his story.
The aged minister continued with his story, "grabbing a rescue line, the father had to make the most excruciating decision of his life: to which boy he would throw the other end of the life line. He only had seconds to make the decision.
"The father knew that his son was a Christian and he also knew that his son's friend was not. The agony of his decision could not be matched by the torrent of waves. As the father yelled out, 'I love you, son!' he threw out the life line to his son's friend.
"By the time the father had pulled the friend back to the capsized boat, his son had disappeared beneath the raging swells into the black of night. His body was never recovered."
By this time, the two teenagers were sitting up straight in the pew, anxiously waiting for the next words to come out of the old minister's mouth.
"The father," he continued, "knew his son would step into eternity with Jesus and he could not bear the thought of his son's friend stepping into an eternity without Jesus. Therefore, he sacrificed his son to save the son's friend. How great is the love of God that he should do the same for us.
"Our heavenly father sacrificed his only begotten son that we could be saved. I urge you to accept his offer to rescue you and take a hold of the life line he is throwing out to you in this service."
With that, the old man turned and sat back down in his chair as silence filled the room. The pastor again walked slowly to the pulpit and delivered a brief sermon with an invitation at the end. However, no one responded to the appeal. Within minutes after the service ended, the two teenagers were at the old man's side.
"That was a nice story," politely stated one of the boys, "but I don't think it was very realistic for a father to give up his only son's life in hopes that the other boy would become a Christian."
"Well, you've got a point there," the old man replied, glancing down at his worn bible. A big smile broadened his narrow face, he once again looked up at the boys and said, "it sure isn't very realistic, is it?
"But I'm standing here today to tell you that story gives me a glimpse of what it must have been like for God to give up his son for me. You see, I was that father and your pastor is my son's friend." --Author Unknown

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
Set yourself to be strong and steady. There are many things that can take you off course if you allow them to. Refuse to react to circumstances instead of giving careful consideration before you respond. Keep yourself in safety by allowing Me to direct your steps, says the Lord. Psalms 119:133 Direct my steps by Your word, and let no iniquity have dominion over me.

The struggle has been daunting, but you have persevered. You have been tested and found to be tried-and-true. You have learned some valuable lessons and been able to make adjustments that you otherwise would not have made. And, your position has been strengthened, says the Lord. Stand strong in your faith. Proverbs 17:3 The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts.

Discouragement and hopelessness will derail you from being on track with My Spirit, says the Lord. Refuse to allow your emotions to take you down. Bolster yourself in the kind of faith that defeats doubt and unbelief. The enemy would have you question the reality of My kingdom and the power of My presence. I am real and My word is true! 1 Samuel 12:24 "Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you."

Pay attention to the flow of My Spirit, for I am taking you on a journey that will change your spiritual life. I am causing a separation between religious tradition and truth that comes from walking and living in the Spirit. Bondage comes from religious exercise, but liberty comes only in the Spirit. You will be transformed if you will be sensitive to this work and yield to what I am doing in, around, and through you, says the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

You have come through a very difficult time in many ways, but there were lessons to learn as well as opportunities to overcome adversity. You do not have to be a victim of life's circumstances. I have called you to be victorious through righteous responses. Simplicity and strength is the result of your efforts to make changes and establish yourself in new positions, says the Lord. Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Exercise your will to discipline your thoughts and emotions. You have the ability to bring yourself under control--even under the control of My Spirit, says the Lord. Only from that position will you find peace and a sense of well-being. Quiet your soul, and let Me lead you out of turmoil and sorrow. I am your help in times of trouble. Psalms 9:9 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
Believe that you can be restored. Believe in Me, for I will bring you to a place where you can do far better than you imagined. I will help you find the place of believing and receiving. I have undergirded you with the word of truth. Now allow the word of truth to take you on this journey of restoration. Be restored in My presence. Be restored by My word. For, this is the season you find yourself in. This is exactly what I have for you. I say to you, simply believe and allow My Spirit to bring you to a place of restoration so you can be all that you were designed to be, says the Lord.

Rise up on your most holy faith. I say this because the world itself is spiraling into the chaos of humanity. And, this will forever get worse as you go to the end of all things. But, you are those who have been justified by your faith. It is a time when you must learn to live absolutely by faith. The word of faith that I have written is the strength and power of this day and you will do well to embrace it and put it to use, says the Lord.

************************************************** *********

In dark isolation, feeling alone
Staring at my, thousand pound phone
Scanning the numbers, my support list
Frozen in fear, I somehow resist
Light as a feather, when lusting for dope
So hard to lift, when needing some hope
Head's in control, feel the disease
Desperate I pray, "Take my will please"
Sponsor imparts, a portion of love
Keeping me clean, as a white dove
Lonliness be gone, your not my wife
Telephone thanks, you saved my life
When face to face, with my disease
I find some strength, down on my knees
Thanks be to God, I'm never alone
As together we lift, the thousand pound phone

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Teach me How to Pray by Virginia Ellis
Please teach me, God ...
I want to know
Exactly how to pray.
I need some words Which ones are right?
Please tell me what to say.
I've bowed my head
I have knelt down,
But ... should I be upright?
I've closed my eyes,
I've raised my hands,
Or ... should I fold them tight?
Do I stand up?
Should I sit down?
Dear Lord ... what do you like?
Are lights turned on
Or are they off?
Maybe ... candle light?
Wear my glasses?
Take them off?
Be at my desk or table?
Should I whisper?
Speak out loud?
Do I quote the Bible?
What do you think About the time?
Do You prefer the dawn?
Should I pray fast,
Or keep it slow?
Better short ... or long?
I'm new at this
What are the rules?
I want to do it right.
How do I know
You'll even hear That I am in Your sight?
And while I sat there quietly,
Waiting for some sign,
I heard a gentle voice say,
"Oh, dearest child of mine ...
Do you think I really care
About the time of day,
Or whether you are standing up,
Or kneeling when you pray?"
"I don't care about your posture,
Or about the place you choose;
Just open up your soul to me,
I have no other rules.
Tell me what is in your heart,
And tell me what you seek;
Tell me of your sorrows,
And of those things that made you weak."
"Speak to me in private
About what concerns you most;
I know about your good deeds ...
You have no need to boast.
My child, you don't need lessons,
Just talk to me each day;
Tell me anything you want, dear child,
Anyone can pray."

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"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. Isaiah 60:1

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. Proverbs 24:3-4

Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:8-11

The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Galatians 5:14

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16

How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! Psalm 133:1

************************************************** *********

Brian is a Youth Pastor, and Earl? Brian’s most unlikely volunteer. See, Earl wasn't the right age to help out with teenagers. A pretty simple guy, not very well educated. He had one of those faces that looked like it had been lived in for a long time. And he didn't think he had any abilities that would help. In fact, that's what he told Brian. He said, "You know, Brian, I can't do anything. But I really have a heart for kids." So Brian said, "Well, do you make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?" Earl said, "Well, sure! I can do that!" Well, that began a series of events that changed a life; really two lives forever.
Our word for today from the Word of God, we are in Matthew 20:6-7, where Jesus is telling one of His parables. It's about a man with a vineyard. He's gone out many times to get people to help him reap his crop, and as he gets to the end of the day he still needs more help. And here's what it says, "About the eleventh hour he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' 'Because no one has hired us' they answered. He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.'"
Now, we're looking here at people who did not know that the Master had work for them. But the Master's got work for everybody, including you; including Earl. He went to work in that Coffee House the youth ministry had going... You guessed it, he was making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Right!
One night this hard, rough and tumble biker - real intimidating guy - came in. And he angrily walked up after he heard Christ presented and he went to Brian and said, "I don't buy any of this! Show me one reason why I should!" Earl heard this, put his peanut butter knife down, and he started to cry in the corner. Brian pointed over and said to that biker, "You see that man over there? You see his tears? Those are for you man. He's praying for you." Suddenly that biker was soft for the first time that night, and he said, "That old guy's praying for me? He's crying for me?" Brian said, "Yeah, Jesus loves you, man." And that biker came to Christ that night.
There are a lot of Earls; maybe you're one of them. Maybe you think you don't have any outstanding abilities. You're like those people who said, "Well, no one hired me. No one has asked me to do anything." Would you be willing to say, "Lord, I don't know what I can do for You, but I want to make a difference with the time I have left. So, here am I. Send me."
You never know what God's going to use. Maybe your smile, your driving. Maybe he'll use your abilities as a preparer of home-cooked meals, or your ability to bake mouthwatering cookies and cakes to reach hurting, lonely people. Maybe He's going to use your listening. Or your tears, like Earl's tears. Maybe your letter writing, your background; the pain of your background that could connect you to some other people with the same kind of background. Or maybe, He'll have you make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
But would you let God lay some needy group of people, some ministry, some work for Him on your heart? And then tell someone that you have that burden, that you're willing to do anything. And trust God. He knows you intimately and He'll put you some place to minister. You are that unique person that could make a unique difference for Him. Even if you can't imagine it, Jesus is saying to you right now, "You also go and work in my vineyard."
Earl? His peanut butter and jelly sandwiches put him at the right place at the right time. His heart, his tears, brought a seemingly unreachable man to Jesus Christ. Changed a biker's life and it changed Earl's. Jesus needs you, to be one of His surprising heroes.

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God of salvation, thank you for caring for us and for offering us the gift of eternal life with you. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 56
1 Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. 2 Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. 3 What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. 4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. 5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. 6 They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. 7 Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God. 8 Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? 9 When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. 10 In God will I praise his word: in the Lord will I praise his word. 11 In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. 12 Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. 13 For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

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Gracious God, thank you for your deep and unconditional love. Help us to love others the way you love us. In Jesus’ name we pray. 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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