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Old 10-28-2015, 09:12 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - October 30

One of God’s greatest gifts is time to spend with others.

Those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength, and with each new challenge we can rise like the eagles. In spite of the difficulties, we can walk and not grow weary because the Lord will always be by our side to protect and guide us.

Each new challenge can renew our faith in God.

Spiritual thirst is quenched when we soothe our dry, cracked, irritated souls in the living water that only God can give. As we draw closer and deepen our relationship with God, living water flows in us so that we shall never thirst again.

Our relationship with God can satisfy and refresh us.

Yes, God loves me. And at the same time, God loves everyone else. We can do well when we accept God’s love knowing that all of us are loved equally.

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

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A Tale of Two Houses Author Unknown
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another...If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone... If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." (Romans 12:15-16; 18-20)
For many years an elderly lady in our neighborhood was noted for her beautiful tulip garden. Just passing by the colorful display made the heart want to sing; her garden represented earth's beauty at its best.
Next door to her was the unkempt home of an old bachelor. His fence was battered and broken, weeds shot up everywhere, and the paint was peeling.
Such extremes of appearance, it seems, could not coexist for long. Neighbors wondered why the elderly lady didn't complain or make a phone call to city officials. Yet no confrontation ever occurred. The beautiful tulip garden and the messy yard remained the same year after year.
But this spring an odd thing happened. As I drove down the street, I was surprised to see a few brilliantly colored rows of tulips in front of the old man's house. The rest of the yard still looked like a disaster, but
those new, gorgeous tulips stood out. Curious, I stopped my car and walked up to the lady's home. She was outside weeding her flowers.
"Hello!" I greeted her. "I've always admired your beautiful tulips."
"Well, thank you," she said, smiling in a way that made those gray-blue eyes of hers twinkle. "If you will wait a minute, I will cut some for you to take home. They don't last long, mind you, but they sure brighten up a room!"
Within a few minutes, she had cut a dozen gorgeous blooms for me. I thanked her and then said, "I noticed your neighbor planted tulips, too."
"Oh, no," she said, winking at me. "I planted those for Mr. James. He lost his wife a few years ago, and his children have all grown and moved faraway. He lives such a bitter, lonely life," she sighed. "I call that my plot of hope."
"A plot of hope?" I asked, not sure what she meant.
"Yes, to give him back the hope that his own home can be beautiful again, that there is still goodness in life, and to let him know that Jesus loves him just as much as He loves me."
I clutched my bouquet of tulips and left that garden feeling I had learned much more about the meaning of brotherly love.
Dear Lord, remind me that handling a matter wisely is to do so with kindness. Let me offer hope instead of criticism. In Jesus name, Amen
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (Galations 5:20)

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Hanging By a Thread by Sally I. Kennedy
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Psalm 139:5
My grandmother taught me how to hem. I remember it being as difficult to learn as tying shoelaces, my fingers feeling thick and clumsy. I wanted to learn to sew, however, so I kept practicing. Eventually I learned, and am grateful I did, since it has come in handy so often.
There are times when our world seems to unravel right before our eyes. The Bible clearly says "when we have troubles", not 'if'. We can't get a needle and thread, sew it up with a neat hem-stitch, and fix it.
The good news is that we have a promise, in the book of Psalms, written by David. King David wrote out of his experience; he knew what he was talking about. In Psalm 139 * he says the Lord has us hemmed in and protected.
When you feel like you are hanging by a thread, and just barely holding on, it's good to remember the beautiful "hemmed in" promise we ca n claim from the Lord.
Psalm 139 - 1 You have searched me, Lord,and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.4 Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely.5 You hem me in behind and before,and you lay your hand upon me.

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A Desperate Prayer by D. Leon Pippin
Where on a July holiday weekend, on a late Sunday near dusk, on an almost deserted highway by a bridge in upper Michigan are we going to find a mechanic?" I asked my disappointed family.
Greg, our 10-year-old fisherman, kicking at some loose gravel, asked, "Does this mean we won't get to go fishing?"
"Of course not," my wife assured him.
Our family was approaching Mackinac Island Bridge on a vacation to Canada. Our 1968 Pontiac station wagon was loaded with tent, camping and fishing gear, luggage, and three young children. We had traveled for six hours, and we became excited about crossing the huge bridge. Well, the Pontiac got excited, too. Too excited, to be exact. We heard a rattling noise, and so I pulled onto the shoulder. Now a mechanic, I ain't. But, with such reassuring confidence, I popped the hood (I'd seen other disabled motorists do that), and lost the car in bellows and bellows of steam.
My six-year old said, "Look, dad, the car's going to the bathroom."
"Well," I said, "it looks like we're losing water."
"Then let's ask God for a man to fix it, ok?" he said; then added, "We gotta pray. NOW."
We held hands, bowed our heads, asked for help, and thanked God in advance for his answer. We had barely lifted our heads when a motorist pulled up and asked if we needed help. (Did we need help or is Lake Michigan a big pool of water?) He looked it over and said the water pump was bad. I saw Greg's face drop.
But then he said some words that sounded like angels from heaven: "I know a mechanic who may pull himself away from a holiday barbecue to help you. Hop in."
My family said they'd continue to pray as I sped away with our good Samaritan. Within an hour the mechanic and I pulled up behind our wagon.
As he grabbed his tool box, along with a water pump, he said some exciting words: "We'll have you rolling before dark."
As we sat around a campfire the next night, we read Isaiah 65:24: "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear." And we all agreed that was exactly what God did. We discussed how a difficulty helps us to experience a specific promise from God.
Greg said he was more convinced now that God is a fisherman at heart because he got to fish all week for crappies and bass. Don shared that he wanted to help people as the motorist and mechanic had helped us. Our family knew that prayer was not a spare tire thing, for Jesus taught in Luke 18:1 that "We should always pray and not give up" in all circumstances, not just emergency ones.
And our little Brett was not to be outdone, so he wanted us to remember that God knows about everything, especially about cars that don't run right.
Later, my oldest son Don asked if all the things that had happened on that 95+degree day were a mere coincidence, or if God had really answered our "desperate prayer?"
I told him I never doubted that God heard our cry for help.
"Me neither," he said, "me, neither."
I went on to reassure him that "When we pray," but before I could finish, my youngest son inserted, "God jumps."
I thought for awhile, and then I replied "Yeah, you're so right, God jumps."
Heavenly Father, keep that childlike faith alive and jumping in this father's heart. Amen.

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You can't enjoy today if you're worrying about the past or the future.
Your mind and your thoughts could be stuck in the past, continually thinking about what has already happened. If that's the case, it's best to get over it. The past has already happened; you can't do anything to change it. Rather, you ought to trust God that he is working out those things for ultimate good (see Romans 8:28).
On the other hand, your mind could be stuck in the future, thinking about what might happen, what you fear will happen, and things you wish wouldn't happen. However, being a person of faith requires trust--trusting God about the future.
Romans 15:13 says, May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him. You'll have joy and peace when you trust in God. Why? Because you'll be able to rest and relax knowing that God has good plans in store for you (Jeremiah 29:11).
Don't worry about the past or the future. Instead, have faith; trust God. When you trust God to help you learn from the past and provide for your future, you're free to enjoy your life today. Weekly Wisdom

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The Trouble With Dents by Diane Eaton
Philippians 4:11b – I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (NIV)
Dents happen. They happen to our freshly painted walls, our cars, our fine furniture, and other things that we cherish. At least, these are the dents that we notice: dents in the things that matter to us.
This past summer, I painted some rooms. Afterward, I sat down and gazed at the beautiful walls: so unblemished, smooth, and clean. It felt satisfying. But alas, it wasn't long before I noticed a dent. Eager to preserve the fresh look, I quickly patched it. But then, I'd see another flaw … and then, another.
Do you see the trouble with dents? If we get overly focused on them, they can take over our life — if we allow it. Discontent takes root; and now we have a dent in our hearts. We're on a downhill slide. Next thing we know, we get cranky with a loved one for denting our cherished coffee table. Sadly, we've now put a dent in their heart — a dent far more serious than the one in the table. It is because we ourselves have lost the quality of godliness.
The trouble is not the dents, but our cherished ideals and expectations. We want something that we do not have. We cannot accept the fact that "stuff happens". With that in mind, consider the lifeview adopted by Paul, the apostle who endured many terrible disappointments:
1 Timothy 6:6-7 – Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. (NIV)
Philippians 4:12b – 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. (NIV)
What was Paul's great secret?
First, let me share my secret: After I mounted my pictures on the walls, the imperfections didn't grab my attention as before. I became more focused on the lovely artwork.
That would, of course, be no secret to you; but it does point us to Paul's secret. He had learned to focus on His Lord, and that's what kept him from getting consumed by the "dents" in his life. Paul saw, above all, the loveliness of Christ, the ultimate perfection in Whom is found no "dent" — Christ so pure, so gracious, Christ overflowing with goodness, Christ, the "great gain" — experienced only by learning the secret of contentment.
Prayer: Lord, teach us to see every troublesome "dent" in life as an opportunity to think upon You, our "great gain". Amen.

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The Situation by Lynne Phipps
Psalm 130:1-2,5 – Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope. (NIV)
As usual, Bonnie and Sophie, my two-year-old collie and retriever, were outside on the property enjoying themselves as they kept an eye on the livestock. And just as usual, I was diligently keeping an eye on them. Even though they are extremely dependable about staying home, they are young dogs, and I know how vulnerable they are both to the temptation of further exploration off the property as well as to the accidents and mishaps that their youthful enthusiasm can produce. I thus walked outside to check on them.
Bonnie immediately bounded toward me. Sophie, however, was not in sight. Puzzled, I loudly called her name two or three times. Still nothing, so I began to scout around. Walking toward the corral, I noticed a large, dark object flat against the bottom rail of the fencing as it dipped down a slight hollow. What's that? I wondered as I began walking a little closer. It was Sophie. I clapped my hands and called for her to come. Instead, she lay where she was, wagging her tail exuberantly. Again, I gave the command to come, but all I received was a madly wagging tail. Realizing that something was amiss, I quickly approached and found that her collar had snagged on a rough nub on the inner side of the fencing. She had obviously been sticking her head between the rails and as she sought to withdraw it, she had become so firmly trapped as to have almost no room for movement. I couldn't even slide a finger between her neck and collar, a very dangerous situation which required extreme care to release her without harm.
Fortunately, Sophie did not panic to the point of injury, or worse yet, choking herself to death. Rather, she chose to lie and wait calmly for help to arrive.
Today, you or I, much like Sophie, may find ourselves caught up within a very tight situation, perhaps of our own making — and perhaps not. Many problems which catch us unawares are not caused by our own doing; they simply happen because we live in a fallen world. Whichever the case, we, like Sophie, will need to make a choice: to panic, which never leads to anything good, or else to stay calm, to wait upon the Lord to be attentive to our cries for mercy, and to put our hope in His Word which shall never fall. The choice is ours to make.
Prayer: Lord, when we feel trapped or are trapped by life's circumstances and happenings, whether of our own making or not, then through the power of Your Holy Spirit, enable us to choose to remain calm, to wait patiently, and to call upon Your name and Your mercy, trusting completely by faith that You will indeed come to our rescue as You have promised, for You are a God of truth, and You will not forsake Your loved ones. In Christ's name, we ask. Amen.

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
When you can't figure out what to do, you need to take a break from the issue and quiet your soul. Ask for wisdom, and I will show you the next thing to do. Then, it is up to you to be obedient and follow My directions, says the Lord. Trust Me to bring you through every difficulty. 1 John 5:14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

I have already told you not to despise the days of small beginnings. And, you have been obedient and content with what you have. You have been diligent to do all that I have asked. But, now you will be moving into a season filled with not only small things, but great things. My plans and purposes for you are being fulfilled, says the Lord. Zechariah 4:9-10a "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the LORD of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things?"

This is an opportune time to break old bad habits and to begin to form new, beneficial ones. Many of the things that you blame on forces of evil are simply bondages of the flesh formed from habitual choices. Allow Me to give you the strength to overcome by making better decisions, says the Lord. Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

In a vision I saw a bird with ruffled feathers, and the Lord said, "I know the difficulties that you have faced in recent months, and that you have been agitated and annoyed at times. Your feathers have been ruffled, so to speak. But now you must release all sense of aggravation and move on. You cannot walk in the Spirit and hold on to your grievances." Mark 11:26 "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses."

I saw lights in a vision--one on either side of me and one out ahead of me. I knew they set the boundaries of our journey. I heard the Lord say that if we would stay within the spiritual parameters set for us that our success would be assured. Our decisions will either be according to His will or according to our flesh. Flesh will move us off of His perfect path, but walking in the Spirit will keep us in His heart and in His will. Psalms 17:8 Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings.

Maintain clarity of thought and purpose, and refuse to allow non-essentials to cloud your vision. Strive to be focused so that you can stay connected to Me and receive wisdom and direction. It is imperative that you stay on track spiritually. Know that there is an over-abundance of things that can and will distract you if you aren't careful, says the Lord. 2 Corinthians 10:5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
Come on, My people, go up a little higher. Come up a little higher. Come up to the mountain of the Lord’s house. Come up with joy. Come up knowing that when you come before My throne I give the blessings and the counsel that is required for you to walk in the way that I have established for you. Go forth from this moment in time and receive the blessings that I have put on reserve for you in this season, in this time. Walk in the strength of My power. Fight the good fight and you shall surely receive all that I have for you, says the Lord.

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Not Yet by Virginia Santoro
This is a work-in-progress,
this thing called "Me."
God's not finished with me yet...
how can I hope to be?
Every day a chance for refinement
comes begging after me...
I'm given the chance to perfect my dance ~
with blessed opportunities.
When they ask if I've arrived,
if I'm where I'm supposed to be,
my answer is a resounding "maybe..."
I'm on my way, at the very least.
What an amazing lifetime project!
I'm always "in the works," you see.
"Not yet" is the reply you'll be getting...
when inquiring as to my finality.

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This is the Day by Virginia Santoro
"There won't be a day much better than this.
This is the day you just don't want to miss...
The chance to speak up, to make amends.
This is the day to love your family and friends.
There's never a time much better than now.
There's no time like today for discovering how...
To say I love you, or to apologize.
Forget about finding what for's and why's.
There's never a chance much better than yours.
This opportunity has never been before.
Step up and take it. Don't hesitate.
Do your heart's urging before it's too late.
This is the day the Lord has made.
Use each precious second before it fades.
Rejoice! Go for it! Do what you can do!
This day is made especially for you."

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Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. -- 1 Corinthians 15:58

Little children, you are from God, and have conquered them; for the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. -- 1 John 4:4

1 Peter 5:8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.”

Isaiah 41:10 “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.”

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:16

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Your Value in God's Eyes Author Unknown
A well known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a $50 bill. In the room of 200, he asked, "Who would like this $50 bill?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this $50 to one of you - but first, let me do this."
He proceeded to crumple the dollar bill up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" He dropped it on the floor, and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked up the $50 bill, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now, who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air.
"My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value... It is still worth $50.
Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make or the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. To God, dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are still priceless to Him.
"So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Matthew 10:31)
"As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions - it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesian 2:1-9)

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Father, open my ears that I may hear what you are saying to me. Help me remember Your word. Give me a heart willing to change and follow your direction. May I never forget what I learn, and may I become a doer of Your word. Thank You, Lord."

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Read Through The Bible
Job 28
1 Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it. 2 Iron is taken out of the earth, and brass is molten out of the stone. 3 He setteth an end to darkness, and searcheth out all perfection: the stones of darkness, and the shadow of death. 4 The flood breaketh out from the inhabitant; even the waters forgotten of the foot: they are dried up, they are gone away from men. 5 As for the earth, out of it cometh bread: and under it is turned up as it were fire. 6 The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold. 7 There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture's eye hath not seen: 8 The lion's whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it. 9 He putteth forth his hand upon the rock; he overturneth the mountains by the roots. 10 He cutteth out rivers among the rocks; and his eye seeth every precious thing. 11 He bindeth the floods from overflowing; and the thing that is hid bringeth he forth to light. 12 But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding? 13 Man knoweth not the price thereof; neither is it found in the land of the living. 14 The depth saith, It is not in me: and the sea saith, It is not with me. 15 It cannot be gotten for gold, neither shall silver be weighed for the price thereof. 16 It cannot be valued with the gold of Ophir, with the precious onyx, or the sapphire. 17 The gold and the crystal cannot equal it: and the exchange of it shall not be for jewels of fine gold. 18 No mention shall be made of coral, or of pearls: for the price of wisdom is above rubies. 19 The topaz of Ethiopia shall not equal it, neither shall it be valued with pure gold. 20 Whence then cometh wisdom? and where is the place of understanding? 21 Seeing it is hid from the eyes of all living, and kept close from the fowls of the air. 22 Destruction and death say, We have heard the fame thereof with our ears. 23 God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof. 24 For he looketh to the ends of the earth, and seeth under the whole heaven; 25 To make the weight for the winds; and he weigheth the waters by measure. 26 When he made a decree for the rain, and a way for the lightning of the thunder: 27 Then did he see it, and declare it; he prepared it, yea, and searched it out. 28 And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

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Father, I come to You with a grateful heart. Thank You for leading me and directing my steps. Draw me close to You so that I can live in unity with You all the days of my life 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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