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Old 07-12-2017, 09:20 AM   #1
bluidkiti
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - July 12

“God cares about everything that concerns you, so feel free to talk to Him about anything.” – Joyce Meyer

"If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U- turns."

"Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smallest thing right and doing it all for love. . . Remember that nothing is small in the eyes of God. Do all that you do with love." --St. Therese of Lisieux

God is our sure and steadfast help, no matter our circumstances.

God's family has room for everyone.

God uses the valleys of our lives to strengthen our faith so we can help others through difficult times.

God's plans for us are even better than we can imagine.

The light of God's Son in your heart will put his sunshine in your face.

Jesus is a friend who walks in when the world has walked out.

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Dark Places by Pastor Akers
Psalm 18:28, “. . . the Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.”
A storm had blown a large limb down from one of the trees that align the front of my property. The limb’s branches, laden with leaves, proved to be quite a challenge to move immediately, so I decided to wait until the weather cleared and the yard dried up from the rainstorm. A couple of days later I returned to the massive bough, pleasantly to find under its canopy a very large mushroom had sprung up. The top was wider than my hand spread apart. The darkness and moisture laden ground served as an incubator for the plant to thrive. Since they do not conduct photosynthesis, mushrooms do not have the chlorophyll that green plants do. This makes mushrooms capable of growing in the dark.
Think of it; an environment not normally conducive to growth can produce incredible results in respect to these fungi. Growth in darkness may seem to be an incredible proposition, but it is not impossible. We all experience our dark places. There are phases of our life that we feel as if the light has been extinguished: the loved one that has courageously fought the battle against a chronic illness succumbs; the long-time career comes to a sudden end; the relationship in which we have invested years implodes; the dream shatters; the storm rips the limb from its mooring, sending it crashing to the ground.
Yet in the darkness under the boughs, the necessary seclusion needed for growth is provided. Moses endured the backside of the desert. David faced his Adullam period. John the Baptist endured his prison cell. Even Jesus faced His personal wilderness experience.
Do not be surprised what God can grow in the dark places of your life. It is during periods of what seems to be dormancy that the Lord can cause to spring forth incredible life. Ultimately demonstrating that what is produced in the darkness will be a greater testament of His power and grace, as you ultimately transition into the light of a new day.

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WHAT WE MUST LEAVE BEHIND by Daughters of Promise
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1 and 2 (NASB)
Just as we cannot drive forward by looking in our rear view mirror, we cannot live meaningfully if we are consumed by the past.
I knew at age 11 that God called me to the ministry but I got distracted. It took me years to get focused. While they were not wasted years, I let people and situations hold me back. I let fear of hurting others' feelings keep me from walking out on the stage God set for me.
Time is fleeting. Life coaches encourage us to add things to our lives; exercise, healthy food, new hobbies, etc. But what do we need to leave behind? That's often omitted in the discussion. Is God tugging at your heart? What has He been leading you to give up? Dead weight can come in all sorts of forms; a house that's too big, a bad attitude, other people's expectations, friendships that discourage you from obeying God...the list can get lengthy.
Jesus left behind Heaven for us. His love led Him to the cross. Right now, you and I can embrace resurrection power, the same kind that brought Jesus back life, to empower us to let go of the baggage that is keeping us from running the race.
Heavenly Father, Show me what I need to leave behind. Empower me to release these things with grace, faith, and love. Help me to walk forward into what You have called me to do. In Jesus Precious Name, Amen

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WAITING FOR THE LIGHT TO CHANGE by Tom Norvell
Sitting at an intersection waiting for the light to change, I reflect on the amount of time we spend waiting for ‘life’s traffic light’ to change. Some typical things we might do while waiting: We might change the radio station, maybe check our emails and text messages. We might search our GPS for the fastest route, clear the dust off the dash, maybe wipe the smudges from our wideshield. We might think it a good time to touch up our makeup (note: I am speaking of the collective we here, this is one I usually choose not to elect), maybe trim up our fingernails… check our teeth for food particles. (Remember, collective!)
These are just a few examples of the endless number of ways we find to distract ourselves while waiting for the light to change. But what about those times when we are waiting for life’s traffic light to change?
You are ready to go. In your mind you know the plan and are just waiting for God to give you the green light.
In your heart you are convinced that He wants you to quit your job, sell most of your early possessions, and move to a remote part of the world to spread His message. That is your vision, but the light is still red.
You are ready to be married. You have dated and dated, but so far the man or woman of your dreams has yet to show up. It seems like every time you meet someone, you are sizing them up, hoping they will be the one. You think the light is finally going to turn green, but it stays red.
You know the career you want to pursue. You have the training and skills. You have written and rewritten your resume countless times. You have applied to every job that is even close to relevant. Nothing. So you wait.
You know your education is important, but you are tired of studying and ready to go to work. You feel like you can endure it, as long as the courses apply directly to your field. But if you have to take one more General Education course, you are going to lose it. You wonder if the light will ever change.
There is a story that comes from the life of Joshua. After the death of Moses, Joshua became the leader of the Israelites. There was a period of mourning (Deuteronomy 34) as God continued to prepare Joshua to lead the people. Can you imagine that waiting period for Joshua, knowing that once the light turned green he would step into the shoes of one who is described as follows: Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face, who did all those signs and wonders the Lord sent him to do in Egypt—to Pharaoh and to all his officials and to his whole land. For no one has ever shown the mighty power or performed the awesome deeds that Moses did in the sight of all Israel. (Deuteronomy 34:10-12, NIV)
But when the light turned green, Joshua did not hesitate; he proceeded forward.
After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: “Moses, my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. (Joshua 1:1-3, NIV)
Pay close attention to this one line of Joshua’s instructions: … get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites.
As you sit in your car, waiting for the light to change, you can piddle around with rearranging things in the glove compartment if you want. But maybe a better thing to do would be to get ready. You would not want to hesitate and delay your arrival because you are distracting yourself from the waiting period.
So get ready. Even if this waiting period takes longer and is more painful than you want. If you are paying attention and allowing God to do His work, the light will change precisely at the moment you are ready.
So please, be ready…the light is just about to turn green.

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Empty Gas Gauge by Judy Miller
Ephesians 5:18 – Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of him. (MSG)
With my job, I drive a lot. As a result, I have to fill up the gas tank often. It shows empty far sooner than I would like. But I do know that I have to fill it if I want to complete my job. I need gas to finish what I set out to do for the day.
In our lives, we have a gas tank too. And often, it shows empty as well. When it is empty, it shows itself by discouragement, exasperation, depression, busyness, overeating, contempt, withdrawal, defensiveness, criticism, exhaustion — the list can go on and on.
Where do we go to get our personal, individual gas tanks filled up? We also go to the gas pump — the spiritual one. There is only one in the world. And we can all use it at the same time. Isn't that amazing?
Jesus is waiting and willing and ready to fill us up. May we recognize the signs of running empty and go quickly to Him to get filled. Actually, we need to be filled daily, hourly. Jesus can do it if we go to Him for filling.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You can fill each one of us at the same time. You are omnipotent. Help us to come to You for filling every day, every hour, every minute. We need You. Amen.

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YOUR WILL Author Unknown
During the late 50's and early 60's, a man by the name of Bobby Richardson played second base for the NY Yankees. Bobby Richardson was nominated as MVP of the American League nine times. He played in seven All-Star Games. He won five Gold Glove Awards. And he was the only man in baseball history to ever win the World Series MVP Award while playing for the losing team.
In the later years of Bobby Richardson's career, he coached the baseball team at Liberty University. The reason such a great player was willing to coach at a Christian university was because Bobby Richardson was himself a committed follower of Jesus Christ.
During a speech at a meeting of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bobby Richardson was called upon to pray and here is his prayer: "Dear God, Your will. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen."
May that be your prayer today. "Dear God, Your will. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else. Amen."

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THE GLOVE Author Unknown
"You're so quiet, Son. What's on your mind?" asked Ben's father as he stopped at Ben's room to tell him good night.
Ben put his hands behind his head and stared at the ceiling above his bed. "Oh, I've just been wondering if I should be a missionary."
"You don't seem very excited about the idea," said Dad.
"It seems like such a hard job," said Ben, propping himself up on one elbow. "I have this feeling that I might not be any good at it. What if God calls me to do something I can't do!"
Ben's father thought for a moment, then reached over to Ben's desk and picked up his baseball glove. "What's this?" he asked.
Ben laughed. "Don't be silly, Dad! It's my ball glove."
Dad walked over to the corner of the room. He propped the glove against the wall, found a baseball, and threw it at the glove. Though the ball hit the center of the glove, it rolled to the floor. Dad picked up the glove and looked at it in disgust. "This glove is a total failure," he said, shaking his head.
Ben laughed and laughed. "Oh, Dad, you know it can't catch by itself! It has to have a hand inside."
Dan smiled at Ben. "You're just like this glove," he said. "God has a purpose for your life, Ben, just as there is a purpose for this glove. You put your hand inside the glove to give it guidance and strength----you give it power to catch the ball. In the same way, God will give you power to do whatever He calls you to do. Don't worry, Son, God will never prop you in a corner and leave you alone. It's His mighty hand that does the work when you are willing to be used."
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (John 15:4-5)

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Let Go & Let God Author Unknown
As children bring their broken toys,
with tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God,
because He is my friend.
But then instead of leaving Him
in peace to work alone,
I hung around and tried to help,
with ways that were my own.
At last, I snatched them back again
and cried, "How can you be so slow?"
"My child" He said, "What could I do?
You never did let go."

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I may not be where I want to be,
but I'm not where I used to be,
I'm heading where I'm meant to be
and God is watching over me.
Terri

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Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? -- Luke 12:22-26

This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7

You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. Galatians 3:26

You are from God, little children, and have overcome [evil spirits]; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm 43:5

I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me. Psalm 13:6

The Beatitudes
Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them saying:
"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:1-12

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Roman 15:4-6

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Divine Direction by Rosemary Hagedorn
As the days became longer and warmer, my thoughts turned to cleaning up my flower beds, purchasing hanging baskets, and getting my hummingbird feeder out of storage. I was preparing and boiling the mixture of water and sugar, when my thoughts turned to the wonderful way that God has impressed within animals the innate ability to thrive and achieve His purposes for them.
An example is the hummingbird. How does it know when to leave our area before colder weather sets in and when to return again?
I searched the Internet and found out that hummingbirds are carnivores. Nectar is just the fuel to power their fly-catching activity. They depend on insects that are not abundant in subfreezing weather, so most of them must retreat back "home" to Central America in the winter or risk starvation, and then return to our area as the weather gets warmer.
God directs not only the animals, but His children as well. Those who are redeemed by the grace of Christ's death on the cross are promised a Helper, the Spirit of God, to direct us in the way that we should go.
John 14:26 – But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you. (NASB)
The Holy Sprit can offer guidance, but we have freedom of choice, and sometimes our bad decisions steer us in the wrong direction. There were times in my life when I made decisions that I regretted later, doing things of which I came to be ashamed, because I stepped out on my own accord and did not pray or listen to the inner prompting of the Spirit. Nevertheless, when we realize what we have done or not done, and ask for forgiveness, we are forgiven and can start anew.
Acts 2:38 – And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit." (TLB)
Is there something that you recently said or did that you wish you hadn't, or something that you didn't say or do and later found out that you should have? Let us return to the One Who continues to forgive us and lead us.
Prayer: Lord God, heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to direct us and help us with our daily decisions. We pray for discernment, wisdom, and strength to make the right choices. Help us, through the nudging of Your Spirit, to listen to Your voice. Amen.

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MAKE A DIFFERENCE by Debbie Preuss
Lord, help me make a difference
In someone's life today.
May I always be alert
As I go on my way.
May I reach out in love
To point the way to you;
Showing Your direction
When this life is like a zoo.
May fear never be a reason
For me to shrink away.
May I always feel free
To say "come on, let's pray."
May I be a beacon
Shining brightly in the night;
Radiating joy and mercy,
Shining forth Your light.
May I always be alert
As I go on my way.
Lord, help me make a difference
In someone's life today.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 73
1 Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. 2 But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. 3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men. 6 Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. 7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth. 10 Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. 11 And they say, How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High? 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches. 13 Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain, and washed my hands in innocency. 14 For all the day long have I been plagued, and chastened every morning. 15 If I say, I will speak thus; behold, I should offend against the generation of thy children. 16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely thou didst set them in slippery places: thou castedst them down into destruction. 19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors. 20 As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image. 21 Thus my heart was grieved, and I was pricked in my reins. 22 So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee. 23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 27 For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 28 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works.

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St. Francis of Assisi's vocation prayer
Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of our minds. Give us a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that we may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will. 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: http://www.bluidkiti.com/forums/showthread.php?t=130 .
Jesus is calling you to live a life that matters.
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