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Old 06-23-2017, 11:36 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - June 23

“God loves us immensely…. If you’re ever tempted to feel you have no value, just remember all that Jesus did out of His great love for you.” – Joyce Meyer

Wait for God, even if the night seems dark. He will give you everything you need when you need it. -- Peter Wallace

Each of us is imperfect -- and warmly welcomed by God.

Feelings may change, but God's love for us is changeless.

As we nurture spiritual growth, our faith can flourish and produce God's fruit.

God gives to us in order that we may give to others.

God will never abandon us.

Stop it--don't put yourself down any longer! Let HIM raise you UP to sit in heavenly places with HIM. You are a winner and a wonderful child of God. Don't let any one, including YOURSELF, POUND YOU DOWN...Pick up the Hammer of God's Word and use it! Then listen closely to the final gavel that sounds God's approval--"what I have made is VERY GOOD!" Now believe it and you will have a great day! --Peggie Bohanon

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Scatter The Seed
Let's pick up our bag and be determined to scatter the seed!
In the message "Plant and Water" we considered our call to join God in His work by planting the seed of His truth and watering with encouragement at every opportunity. We were also reminded to keep our focus on God as we "work" since He is the One Who makes all things grow.
We see this same principle in the parable of the farmer who scatters seed onto four different types of soil.
Luke 8:5-8 "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown."
Usually, this parable is considered from the aspect of the different types of soil. The farmer represents anyone who plants the seed of God's Word into someone's life, and the different soils represent the different types of people who hear the gospel message. There is encouragement in these verses for us to be well tilled soil, free of weeds and ready to receive the Word of God. However, let's consider this parable from the aspect of the farmer.
In the days of Christ, fields were planted by scattering or throwing out seed over all areas of a field. In this parable, the farmer is never criticized for waste as he throws seed on the path, in the weeds, or on the rocks. Planting day had arrived and it was the farmer's job to simply scatter the seed. He was not required to evaluate the soil, and there was no special technique required for planting. As long as the seed was scattered over a wide area, it would reach the good soil and produce a bountiful crop.
We have been sent out as farmers into the fields of this world with God's Word in our hand and written on our heart; "go and make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28:19). As we consider what to do with our seed, we must remember that the condition of the soil should never be our primary focus. God has entrusted us with a life changing message and it's His desire for this message to be "scattered" to all!
There is definitely a time for tilling soil, pulling weeds, and digging out the rocks that hinder our spiritual growth and the growth of those within our care; but in the field which God has placed us today, the time is always right for planting. Let's share His message of love and forgiveness, of Godly unity and peace. A new day has arrived! Regardless of our perception of the soil - regardless whether we believe they are ready - let's pick up our bag, put on our boots, and be determined to scatter the seed! Have a Christ Centered Day! Steve Troxel

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The Little Girl and the Piano (Edited from Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice)
A little girl wanted to become a great pianist, but all she could play on the piano was the simple little tune, "Chopsticks." No matter how hard she tried, that was the best she could do. Her parents decided after some time to arrange for a great maestro to teach her to play properly. Of course, the little girl was delighted.
When the little girl and her parents arrived at the maestro's mansion for the first lesson, they were escorted by the butler into the parlor, where they saw a beautiful concert grand piano. Immediately, the little girl dashed over to the piano and began playing "Chopsticks." Her embarrassed parents started across the room to tell her to stop, but as she played, the maestro entered the room and encouraged the little girl to continue.
The maestro then took a seat on the piano bench next to the little girl, listening to her play. After a moment he began to play along with her, adding chords, runs, and arpeggios. The little girl continued to play "Chopsticks." The parents couldn't believe their ears. They were hearing a beautiful piano duet, played by their daughter and the maestro, and amazingly enough, the central theme of it was still "Chopsticks."
At times you may feel like you're a nobody, that you will never accomplish great things. But think of that little girl. All she could play was "Chopsticks." Nobody wanted to hear "Chopsticks." It was an embarrassment to her parents and annoying to everyone else. Yet the maestro encouraged her to keep on playing.
God knows what you can do. He created you with gifts and talents. Sure, compared to some people's abilities, your gifts and talents may seem like "Chopsticks"-- not very original and not very spectacular. But God says, "Keep on playing--and make some room on the piano bench for Me." God is able to take the little that we are able to do and turn it into something beautiful for Him.

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The story is told of a professor who stood before his class of 20 senior organic biology students, about to hand out the final exam.
"I want to say that it's been a pleasure teaching you this semester. I know you've all worked extremely hard and many of you are off to medical school after summer. So that no one gets their GPA messed up because they might have been celebrating a bit too much this week, anyone who would like to opt out of the final exam today will receive a "B" for the course."
There was much rejoicing amongst the class as students got up, passed by the professor to thank him and sign out on his offer. As the last taker left the room, the professor looked out over the handful of remaining students and asked, "Any one else? This is your last chance." One final student rose up and took the offer.
The professor closed the door and took attendance of those students remaining. "I'm glad to see you believe in yourself." he said. "You all have "A's."
Too often, we're content to settle for second best. A lot of students would be thrilled to settle for a "B" ("That's better than I usually get." "That's doing better than most of the others I know."). And most students, I think, would rather get a "B" with little time spent studying, than to make the effort it takes to get an "A".
A lot of us are content to settle for second best in our spiritual lives as well. We're close to God (at least closer than many people we know), but we aren't willing to take the time and the effort to have the kind of relationship we know God wants us to have.
The biggest problem with settling for second best is that we miss out on that which is best.
"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. 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!' 'Martha, Martha,' the Lord answered, '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.' " (Luke 10:42)
What Martha was doing was good (second best, even), but "Mary has chosen what is better." May we always seek out and choose "what is better" in our relationship with God! Have a great day! Alan Smith

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Living in God's Presence
Life throws us curve balls. Sometimes it is really hard to understand why things happen the way they do. When we have rough days at work, school, or even at home we feel that it would be easier to run away from it all. The fact is that running away from our problems never solves them. They will still be there confronting us. Sometimes we feel as if nobody cares or that the world is going to fall on us. When the difficulties of life come our way the best thing that we can do is "live our lives in the presence of God." God wants to hear our concerns and our problems. He deeply cares for us and wants us to live our lives in partnership with him no matter what.
In the Psalms we see a picture of people turning their whole life over to God no matter what their circumstances. Whether consumed with anguish, gripped by illness, abandoned by loved ones, or ridiculed, Psalm writers knew the value of living their lives before God. Surely, God was their strength and their mighty tower. Whether life is rough or smooth, cast all your cares upon Jesus. Lay your burdens at his feet. Live your life in the presence of God. — Cory Moss
Do not get all upset when difficulties come your way. Laugh in your enemy's face; you are in the arms of the Almighty. Therefore, let God be your strength and your love. --St. Francis de Sales
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame;
deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth. Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak. Because of all my enemies, I am the utter contempt of my neighbors; I am a dread to my friends—those who see me on the street flee from me. I am forgotten by them as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.
For I hear the slander of many; there is terror on every side; they conspire against me and plot to take my life. But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me. Let your face shine on your servant; save me in your unfailing love.
Psalm 31:1-5,9-16

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I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do not attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something for God to do) box. It will be addressed: in MY time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it.
If you find yourself stuck in traffic; don't despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege. Should you have a bad day at work; think of the man who has been out of work for years. Should you despair over a relationship gone bad; think of the person who has never known what it's like to love and be loved in return. Should you grieve the passing of another weekend; think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week to feed her children. Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance; think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk.
Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror; think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine. Should you find
yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking what is my purpose? Be thankful. There are those who didn't live long enough to get the opportunity. Should you find yourself the victim of other people's bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities; remember, things could be worse. You could be them!
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And 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. To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 5:6-11

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Go Light Your World
Many people have said that our lives on this Earth are just brief sparks of light that make little difference in the grand scheme of things. I have heard countless times how a single human life is just a tiny candle in the darkness of the world.
Still, I remember as a boy in 4-H camp how at the final council circle we were all given a single tiny candle. These candles by themselves were nothing, but as one candle was used to light another the council circle grew less dark. Then as each lit candle was used to light still others the council circle began to glow with a wonderful brightness. In the end as every single candle was lit the council circle was bathed in a glorious, shining light of not only fire but love and joy as well.
It doesn't matter how tiny a candle you may think your life is then. You can use it to shine a little light and love in this world. It doesn't matter how briefly your candle flickers. It can still be used to light other candles and spread love and joy to them. It doesn't matter how small your flame burns right now. You can feed it and build it and watch it grow.
You may think that your life is a tiny candle now, but you can make it into a mighty bonfire if you choose. Then all those whose lives are still tiny unlit candles can light themselves from your powerful light and love. -Joseph J. Mazzella
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

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"Thank You God" by Tammy B 6/22/01
Thank you God,
For loving me
For lifting me up
For bathing me in the sunlight of your spirit
For overflowing my cup
God only through you
Have I found a life
Full of happiness, joy, freedom, and peace
Serenity comes to me when my thoughts are of you
Your love has brought me a calm,
Contentment as I have never known
Today God all I ask is to be shown
How I may be of service to you?
How may I serve you God?
How may I do your will is my desire
Serving you God is my gratitude
Loving you is my fire
Father, I give praise and thanks to you
From the bottom of my heart
I look forward to this journey that I am on
Knowing each step I take brings me closer to your home
That is my destination God
To live with you in Heaven

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Forgive Me Author Unknown
Today, upon a bus,
I saw a girl with golden hair.
And wished I was as fair.
When suddenly she rose to leave,
I saw her hobble down the aisle.
She had one leg and wore a crutch.
But as she passed, she passed a smile.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 legs, the world is mine.
I stopped to buy some candy.
The lad who sold it had such charm.
I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
If I were late, it'd do no harm.
And as I left, he said to me,
"I thank you, you've been so kind.
It's nice to talk with folks like you.
You see," he said, "I'm blind."
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 eyes, the world is mine.
Later while walking down the street,
I saw a child with eyes of blue.
He stood and watched the others play.
He did not know what to do.
I stopped a moment and then I said,
"Why don't you join the others, dear?"
He looked ahead without a word.
And then I knew, he couldn't hear.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
I have 2 ears, the world is mine.
With feet to take me where I'd go.
With eyes to see the sunset's glow.
With ears to hear what I would know.
Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

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Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14

We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matthew 6:14-15

Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit... Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. — John 15:1-2, John 15:4-5

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Playing God by Billy D. Strayhorn
Mee Spousler of the Mount Hope United Methodist Church, in Aston, PA., tells how she was trying to put her three-year-old son to bed for a nap.
When she was unsuccessful, she put him in her bed and laid down with him to encourage him to rest. She fell asleep, but he didn't. When she woke up, she saw him sitting on a chair at the end of the bed, and asked, "Luke, what are you doing?"
"I'm playing God," he replied.
"Playing God?" she asked.
"Yes," he said. "I'm watching over you while you sleep."
Children understand more than we do sometimes. God IS watching over us. Jesus gave that promise in talking about the Holy Spirit. Not only will God watch over us but through the presence and reminder of the Holy Spirit, we will be reminded of what it means to "Love Jesus and keep his commands." And God will help us to create the environment of love, grace, faith and security that we need for our homes today. Our challenge is to listen to the Holy Spirit and to trust Christ.

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O my God, I love you above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because you are all good and worthy of all my love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of you. I forgive all who have injured me and I ask pardon of all whom I have injured.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 71
1 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion. 2 Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me. 3 Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress. 4 Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man. 5 For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth. 6 By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother's bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. 7 I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge. 8 Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. 9 Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth. 10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together, 11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him. 12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help. 13 Let them be confounded and consumed that are adversaries to my soul; let them be covered with reproach and dishonour that seek my hurt. 14 But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more. 15 My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation all the day; for I know not the numbers thereof. 16 I will go in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only. 17 O God, thou hast taught me from my youth: and hitherto have I declared thy wondrous works. 18 Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come. 19 Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee! 20 Thou, which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth. 21 Thou shalt increase my greatness, and comfort me on every side. 22 I will also praise thee with the psaltery, even thy truth, O my God: unto thee will I sing with the harp, O thou Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. 24 My tongue also shall talk of thy righteousness all the day long: for they are confounded, for they are brought unto shame, that seek my hurt.

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O God, help us to be witnesses of your love, regardless of what others may think. Help us to be aware of opportunities to help and serve others in your name. Make us faithful and strong. Mold us into the people you want us to be. In Jesus' name. 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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