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Old 10-20-2015, 01:43 PM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - October 23

No matter who you are or what your life has been like so far, the rest of your life’s journey can be different. With God’s help you can begin again. -- Billy Graham

The experience of God, of God’s comfort, does not leave us limp and laid back as if we had been too long steeped in a hot tub. God’s comfort strengthens. God’s comfort strengthens and allows us to return to our lives, to the world, with fresh courage.

May the comfort of God, the "strength with," of God be with you this day.

The closer we walk with the Shepherd, the farther we are from the wolf.

Christ has given you all things in Him. He has a unique plan for you that cannot be compared to another. He alone is your security. Trust in the purposes He has for your life.

God knows our needs, hurts, and longings. Even when we have no words to speak, we can turn to God and know that God will understand.

When we call out, God will answer.

When life cuts us down, God restores and renews us.

No matter when we turn to Christ, he joyfully receives us.

God’s love is our refuge in all times, and God has promised us peace.

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LOOK UP by Joseph J. Mazzella
I had to get a new pair of eyeglasses recently. Stigmatism had started to mix with my nearsightedness making things a little bit blurry with my old prescription. Also I had to finally give in to another sign of my aging body and get my first pair of bifocals.
It has taken me several days to get used to the new pair. While it was great seeing clearly at a distance again and wonderful being able to read a book without it being an inch from my face, the combination lenses were a challenge for me. The problem was that whenever I was looking at something far away I had to keep my eyes up or else I got a wave of blurriness when I accidentally looked through the reading part of the lenses. I am glad that my eyes are now getting the hang of it. It is no fun living in a blurry world.
I am grateful for this new pair of glasses for another reason too. They have taught me a truth that I will hold close to my heart forever: whenever you need to see the road ahead clearly, Look Up! Too often in my life I have kept the eyes of my soul looking down to the ground. When I did the world seemed like a scary, blurry, and depressing place. When I raised those eyes up to Heaven, though, my vision always became breathtakingly clear. I saw that God loves me. I saw that this is God’s world. I saw that life is good and when I help others I make it even better. I saw that no matter what each day may throw at me, I can face it with a loving heart and a joyful spirit.
Whenever your life seems blurry then, look up! Whenever your life seems frightening or overwhelming, look up! Whenever you aren’t sure what you should do, look up! God is in His Heaven and He is in your heart as well. Open the eyes of your soul and see clearly just how much God loves you and just how much you can love as well.

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Genesis 1:1, 2, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, ‘Let there be light;’ and there was light.”
Notice the state that existed in the beginning, as related by our text: Emptiness: the text says: “void;” Darkness: “Darkness was upon the face of the deep;” Confusion: “the earth was without form;” no order, no harmony. Then, into the void of darkness and chaos, God said, what is rendered in the original Hebrew language of the text, as simply: “Light be!” Into the darkness, was the declaration by the Lord, “Light be!”
The first great truth is clear, no matter how dark, how void, how empty a situation, one word from God can bring light. One sacred Word can bring fullness and harmony into darkness, emptiness and chaos. God specializes in bringing light into darkness.
Does that describe your situation today? Like the pre-creation state, do you feel like your life is empty, dark, confused, unordered, and lacking harmony? Brother Kenneth Copeland has an expression that fits this text perfectly, and it is God’s word for you today: “One word from God can change your life.” Let me expand on that: “One word from God, can give any empty and dark situation, new light and new life. Another great truth is hidden in the text. Look back at verse 1, “In the beginning, God. . .” Now stop there.
Read it again, “In the beginning, God . . .” The second great truth is, when it appears there is nothing . . . there is always God. If God is all you have, then it is evident, that a new beginning is getting ready to be created. If God can stand on nothing, speak into nothing, and create a vast universe that scientists say today is still expanding from the creation event, then imagine, if you will, what God can accomplish with your life, where it is right now. Isn’t it time for a new beginning—a new creation to take place in your life today? Receive that new beginning, and let this day, be for you as it was in the creation event, a new day!

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Stagecoach Trail by Sally I. Kennedy
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go. Genesis 28:15
I am with you always. Matthew 28:20
Once upon a time, covered horse-drawn wagons carried passengers, mail and money on rocky, mountainous passes, until the era of railroad transport. The trails were wooded, rugged, remote, and fraught with danger. Drivers (and passengers) had to be determined and committed to traveling the trail. They had to be alert and prepared for what might happen, from bad weather to robbers.
Stagecoach Trail is a fave place for us to go for a short, not-too-difficult hike. Near the starting spot there is a circle of rocks, left over remnants of campfire circles. The trail is rocky, sometimes muddy, and large boulders have been shoved to the sides of the path.
Sometimes I imagine seeing the ruts in the dirt on the narrow trail made by the wagon wheels. I think of the great promise in the Bible that our God will be with us at all times no matter where we go.
Today we don't have to travel by stagecoach and experience those dangers, however we all journey through life and have times that are good and those that are not that great. How comforting to know we have God's promise to never leave us, and never forsake us. That's good news.

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The Bible and the Coal Basket Author Unknown
The story is told of an old man who lived on a farm in the mountains of eastern Kentucky with his young grandson. Each morning, Grandpa was up early sitting at the kitchen table reading from his old worn-out Bible.
His grandson who wanted to be just like him tried to imitate him in any way he could. One day the grandson asked, "Papa, I try to read the Bible just like you but I don't understand it, and what I do understand I forget as soon as I close the book. What good does reading the Bible do?"
The Grandfather quietly turned from putting coal in the stove and said, "Take this coal basket down to the river and bring back a basket of water."
The boy did as he was told, even though all the water leaked out before he could get back to the house.
The grandfather laughed and said, "You will have to move a little faster next time," and sent him back to the river with the basket to try again. This time the boy ran faster, but again the basket was empty before he returned home.
Out of breath, he told his grandfather that it was "impossible to carry water in a basket," and he went to get a bucket instead. The old man said, "I don't want a bucket of water; I want a basket of water. You can do this. You're just not trying hard enough," and he went out the door to watch the boy try again.
At this point, the boy knew it was impossible, but he wanted to show his grandfather that even if he ran as fast as he could, the water would leak out before he got far at all. The boy scooped the water and ran hard, but when he reached his grandfather the basket was again empty.
Out of breath, he said, "See Papa, it's useless!"
"So you think it is useless?" The old man said, "Look at the basket." The boy looked at the basket and for the first time he realized that the basket looked different. Instead of a dirty old coal basket, it was clean. "Son, that's what happens when you read the Bible. You might not understand or remember everything, but when you read it, it will change you from the inside out.
That is the work of God in our lives. To change us from the inside out and to slowly transform us into the image of His Son. Take time to read a portion of God's word each day.

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The Little Burr by Sharon Burr
Proverbs 18:24b – There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (NIV)
Despite delays in waiting for medical procedures, my legs have recovered sufficiently that I feel strong enough to walk down The Trail again. As I write, it is the first day of fall, and absolutely gorgeous!
The sights! The sounds! The smells! The feeling of the warm sun, combined with the cool breeze, absolutely thrills my soul.
Sparky, my dog, is elated as he runs from one exciting scent to another.
How great is our God Who bestows such beauty on our earth for everyone to enjoy at absolutely no cost.
The blue jays call raucously to one another, and the geese honk happily in preparation for their flight south. Squirrels and chipmunks race about, gathering and storing up food in preparation for the coming winter.
The milkweed pods are nearly bursting as they await the exact timing to release hundreds of fuzzy seeds into the air. I notice that I have picked up some prickly hitchhikers and begin to pull them off my pants and toss them into the grass. Here they will dig in and begin some new plants.
I feel Sparky nudge up against my leg as he curiously watches my strange actions. That brings a smile to my face as I think how much he is like one of these burrs, always sticking as closely as possible to me.
That thought reminds me of today's verse from the book of Proverbs that speaks of the One Who sticks closer than a brother. That One is our Lord, "Immanuel … God with us" (Matthew 1:23 NIV).
I stop what I am doing, and as I look up at the brilliant, blue sky and fluffy, white clouds, I thank my wonderful Lord for reminding me, once again, of this vital truth in such a beautiful way.
I reach out and hug my curious little dog, and then, I pat him and say, "C'mon, Little Burr. Time to go home."
Prayer: Thank You, Father, that You are the God of the small things as well as the large things. You give us such pleasure in the everyday sights and sounds of Your creation, as well as the constant assurance of Your never-ending presence. May we never take these blessings for granted. Amen.

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Apples Author Unknown
A few years ago a group of salesmen went to a regional sales convention in Chicago. They had assured their wives that they would be home in plenty of time for Friday night's dinner.
In their rush, with tickets and brief-cases, one of these salesmen inadvertently kicked over a table which held a display of baskets of apples. Apples flew everywhere. Without stopping or looking back, they all managed to reach the plane in time for their nearly missed boarding.
All but one. He paused, took a deep breath, got in touch with his feelings, and experienced a twinge of compassion for the girl whose apple stand had been overturned. He told his buddies to go on without him, waved goodbye, told one of them to call his wife when they arrived at their home destination and explain his taking a later flight. Then he returned to the terminal where the apples were all over the terminal floor.
He was glad he did. The 16 year old girl selling the apples was totally blind! She was softly crying, tears running down her cheeks in frustration, and at the same time helplessly groping for her spilled produce as the crowd swirled about her, no one stopping, and no one to care for her plight.
The salesman knelt on the floor with her, gathered up the apples, put them into the baskets, and helped set the display up once more. As he did this, he noticed that many of them had become battered and bruised; these he set aside in another basket.
When he had finished, he pulled out his wallet and said to the girl, "Here, please take this $20 for the damage we did. Are you okay?" She nodded through her tears. He continued on with, "I hope we didn't spoil your day too badly."
As the salesman started to walk away, the bewildered blind girl called out to him, "Mister...." He paused and turned to look back into those blind eyes. She continued, "Are you Jesus?"
He stopped in mid-stride, and he wondered. Then slowly he made his way to catch the later flight with that question burning and bouncing about in his soul: "Are you Jesus?"
Do people mistake you for Jesus? That's our destiny, is it not? To be so much like Jesus that people cannot tell the difference as we live and interact with a world that is blind to His love, His life and His grace. If we claim to know Him, we should live, walk and act as He would. Knowing Him is more than simply quoting Scripture and going to church. It's actually living the Word as life unfolds day to day.
You are the apple of His eye - even though we, too, have been bruised by a fall. He stopped what He was doing and picked you up on a hill called Calvary and paid in full for our damaged fruit. Let us live like we are worth the price He paid.

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What A Beautiful Day! Author Unknown
A little girl finished her breakfast prayer with these words: "And we thank You, God, for this beautiful day."
"It's not a beautiful day," her mother pointed out. "It's cold, dark, rainy, and blustery."
"But it is a beautiful day," replied the girl. And with wisdom beyond her years she added, "Never judge a day by the weather."

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
You can now deal with unresolved issues as many things will now be brought to a conclusion. You can look back briefly to realize the events that have brought you to this place, but do not dwell there. Be prepared to move on without regret. Allow My plans and purposes to not only be understood but realized at this time, says the Lord. Proverbs 19:21 There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’S counsel—that will stand.

You have been scattered, but I want you to collect yourself. Take stock to see what it is you really need to consider and accomplish. Pull your thoughts in so that you are not obsessing about things you have no control over. Rather, trust Me to cause all things to work together for your benefit, says the Lord. I am doing a great work in these days in the lives of My people. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

You, My people, are My great experiment. I have given you the ability to choose for yourselves whether or not you will love Me and serve Me. And, your choices will bear fruit one way or another. You can say with your mouth that you will do all that I ask, but the proof will be in whether or not you are actually obedient. Your words can be a lie, but your actions tell the truth, says the Lord. Matthew 21:28 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, ‘Son, go, work today in my vineyard.’ He answered and said, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, ‘I go, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said to Him, "The first."

The changes that have come about in your life will have greater than normal impact on your future. Even though some of what you have been through seemed destructive, you have put your future in My hands, and I will lead you in the way of righteousness and peace. Allow Me to be your guide, says the Lord. Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

You will begin to look at core matters in your life without being distracted by extraneous concerns. You will be able to focus on what is really important to you. You must get to this place of awareness before you can realize effective spiritual progress, says the Lord. Don't waste your time worrying about things that have no eternal value. Psalms 14:2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
If you will just watch for a while, just look and see. Let the eyes of your understanding be opened and you will indeed find the path that I have designed for you specifically to walk in this season. And, I will walk it with you so that you can receive all that I have for you. So, when I say stop, you’ll stop. When I say go, you go. When I say this is a blessing just here around the corner, you’ll know it’s there and you’ll have faith to receive it. All these things, the Lord says, I will do for you in these days. For, these are extraordinary days with great bounty and the revealing of the fullness of My kingdom in this earth.

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ON MY OWN By Debbie Preuss, October 1, 2004
Lord, I've been trying to make it on my own
Now I sit here, feeling all alone
I'm overwhelmed by life and I'm feeling scared
Wishing there was someone who really cared
I've wandered away from Your own face
Lord, please help me by Your infinite grace
Father I'm weary, weary to the bone
I know I just can't make it on my own
Forgive me Lord, a sinner am I
Please come near, Lord hear my cry
The tears fall freely, I am spent
I wonder now, where my peace went
The bills are mounting higher and higher
I am trapped in the mud and the mire
Lord, please come, please be my friend
I have a broken heart for You to mend
Lord, please hold me, hear my pleas
I come to You Father, down on my knees
I know You will always stay by my side
I want to always with You abide
Oh Lord, I love You, this is so true
May I live only, to glorify You
I sit here now, not so alone
For I know I can't make it on my own
You will be with me all along the way
Thank You Father with me You'll stay

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As I was walking down life's highway many years ago
I came upon a sign that read Heavens Grocery Store.
When I got a little closer the doors swung open wide
And when I came to myself I was standing inside.

I saw a host of angels. They were standing everywhere
One handed me a basket and said "My child shop with care."
Everything a human needed was in that grocery store
And what you could not carry you could come back for more

First I got some Patience. Love was in that same row.
Further down was Understanding, you need that everywhere you go.
I got a box or two of Wisdom and Faith a bag or two.
And Charity of course I would need some of that too.

I couldn't miss the Holy Ghost It was all over the place.
And then some Strength and Courage to help me run this race.
My basket was getting full but I remembered I needed Grace,

And then I chose Salvation for Salvation was for free
I tried to get enough of that to do for you and me.
Then I started to the counter to pay my grocery bill,
For I thought I had everything to do the Masters will.

As I went up the aisle I saw Prayer and put that in,
For I knew when I stepped outside I would run into sin.
Peace and Joy were plentiful, the last things on the shelf.
Song and Praise were hanging near so I just helped myself.

Then I said to the angel "Now how much do I owe?"
He smiled and said "Just take them everywhere you go."
Again I asked "Really now, How much do I owe?"
"My child" he said, "God paid your bill a long long time ago."
Author Unknown

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O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,
And our eternal home!
--Isaac Watts

Children of the heavenly King,
As we journey let us sing;
Sing our Savior's worthy praise,
Glorious in His works and ways.
--John Cennick

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We do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. - 2 Corinthians 4:16

For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

In the morning, O LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation. Psalm 5:3

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5

Praise the LORD, all you nations; extol him, all you peoples. For great is his love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Psalm 117

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. Psalm 125:2

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For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. -- Philippians 4:13
Years ago I came into close contact with a giant—an enormous whale. My friends and I were in one of those little inflatable boats, and we had gone out to do some whale watching. When we saw one breach some distance away, we went in for a closer look, still keeping our distance. Suddenly a young whale swam right under our boat. A couple of moments later, its submarine-sized mother came along and also glided right under our little craft. She was so close that we actually could see the barnacles on her body. And as fast as she and her calf had appeared, they disappeared.
In a sense, we all have giants that we encounter in life. By giants I mean those seemingly insurmountable problems and issues that we have tried to bring down but have only grown stronger with the passing of time. For some people, it may be the giant of fear. For others, it might be the giant of a personal sin. For still others, it might be the giant of addiction.
But no matter who we are, we all face giants: hardships, temptations, obstacles, and challenges. Yet 1 Corinthians 10:13 assures us, "The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you can endure."
Know this: every giant can be defeated. There is no power you need to be under . . . no addiction that needs to control your life . . . no lifestyle you cannot break free from . . . no giant that should be overpowering you. You have everything you need in your relationship with Christ.

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Loving God, We come to You as little children, seeking comfort and security. Assure our hearts of Your abiding presence. Shower us with Your love. Help us to understand Your word, to apply it to our lives, and to keep it in our hearts. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Job 27
1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said, 2 As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul; 3 All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; 4 My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. 5 God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me. 6 My righteousness I hold fast, and will not let it go: my heart shall not reproach me so long as I live. 7 Let mine enemy be as the wicked, and he that riseth up against me as the unrighteous. 8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul? 9 Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him? 10 Will he delight himself in the Almighty? will he always call upon God? 11 I will teach you by the hand of God: that which is with the Almighty will I not conceal. 12 Behold, all ye yourselves have seen it; why then are ye thus altogether vain? 13 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty. 14 If his children be multiplied, it is for the sword: and his offspring shall not be satisfied with bread. 15 Those that remain of him shall be buried in death: and his widows shall not weep. 16 Though he heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay; 17 He may prepare it, but the just shall put it on, and the innocent shall divide the silver. 18 He buildeth his house as a moth, and as a booth that the keeper maketh. 19 The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not. 20 Terrors take hold on him as waters, a tempest stealeth him away in the night. 21 The east wind carrieth him away, and he departeth: and as a storm hurleth him out of his place. 22 For God shall cast upon him, and not spare: he would fain flee out of his hand. 23 Men shall clap their hands at him, and shall hiss him out of his place.

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Thank you, Father, for being our constant companion in whatever challenges life brings us as we pray, “Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" (Matt. 6:9-13, KJV).

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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