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Old 11-10-2015, 12:51 PM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - November 13

We never know when Christ will call us to be his hands and feet. It’s up to us to be awake, to listen, and then to respond. Today let's listen for God calling us to serve others.

Heaven means to be one with God. --Confucius

It's like God is saying, 'I place before you a day. Create with it what you will out of your mind. It is my gift to you.' --Alan Cohen

Parachutes weren't proven trustworthy by having people carry them around on their backs. The device showed its reliability once someone jumped. God, too, can be trusted with our lives, which we discover once we take a leap of faith. --Mary Manin Morrissey

God didn't promise days without pain, laughter without sorrow, or sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day, comfort for the tears, and light for the way.

When you feel down because you didn't get what you want, just sit tight and be happy. God has thought of something better to give you.

God awaits each of us with open arms of love.

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R & R by Sally I. Kennedy
He is my mighty rock, my refuge. Psalm 62:7
When I think of R&R, I automatically think of rock 'n roll. But as we were getting ready to go away for a weekend, I was thinking R&R - Rest and Relaxation. Maybe Renewal, Rejuvenation, and/or Refreshing, as well. With the tote bag packed, I went to my desk to catch up on some last-minute email.
The little paperweight caught my eye. A rough ivory-colored rock, only about an inch and a half across, a gift from a friend many years ago. In red letters, SALLY, and under it: Psalm 62:6-8. On the other side it reads, Giant Killer.
David, the greatest king ever, the only person mentioned in the Bible as "a man after God's own heart" speaks beautifully regarding R&R. God alone was David's rock, fortress, refuge where no enemy could reach him. He had his Goliath and we all have giants in our own lives. My paraphrase of those verses in the book of Psalms 62 is, R&R, Rock & Refuge. The Lord is my strong and steady Rock, He is my Refuge, my safe place.
I keep that little painted rock to remind me I don't have to fight the giants, those situations that come into my life that loom large that I don't know how to confront and deal with. Jesus, my Rock and Refuge, will take care of them, and me, too. As it says in 1 Samuel 17:47, 'the battle is the Lord's'.
R&R, more than just rest and relaxation - Rock and Refuge. That's good news.

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The fields were parched and brown from lack of rain, and the crops lay wilting from thirst. People were anxious and irritable as they searched the sky for any sign of relief. Days turned into arid weeks. No rain came.
The ministers of the local churches call for an hour of prayer on the town square the following Saturday. They requested that everyone bring an object of faith for inspiration.
At high noon on the appointed Saturday the townspeople turned out en masse, filling the square with anxious faces and hopeful hearts. The ministers were touched to see the variety of object clutched in prayerful hands–, holy books, crosses, rosaries.
When the hour ended, as if on magical command, a soft rain began to fall. Cheers swept the crowd as they held their treasured objects high in gratitude and praise.
From the middle of the crowd one faith symbol seemed to overshadow all the others. A small nine-year-old child had brought an umbrella. -- Author Unknown

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MY PLANS by Sally I. Kennedy
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge HIM, and He will guide your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
"The mind of man plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9, Proverbs 20:24)
"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and he delights in his way." (Psalm 37:23)
"I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
I had the day all planned out. Just enough time to do everything on my list. Not too far into the morning, that got entirely rearranged. I was fussing and fuming about it to myself when all of a sudden I realized that I had given the day to God, as I do most mornings, giving him free reign for whatever would take place that day.
God is never early, and He's never late; He is always right on time. When He orchestrates a day's schedule and plans, He has a reason. We can trust that it is for good, and remember there's always a bigger picture.

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The Top of the Fence Post by Steve May
Alex Haley, author of Roots, had a picture on his office wall of a turtle sitting on a fence post.
He said the picture was there to remind him of an important lesson: If you see a turtle on a fence post, you know he had some help getting there.
Haley said, "Every time I'm tempted to think, 'Aren't I marvelous? Look at all I've accomplished!' I look at that picture and remember how this turtle — me — got up on that post."
(By the way, the turtle-on-the-post illustration has been spun countless ways; I like Haley’s the best.)
This is a good time of the year to take the time to say thank you to the ones — and, specifically, the One — who helped you make it to the top of the post.
Obviously, we begin by giving thanks to the Father for all that he has done.
But let’s not forget also to say thanks to those who play a part in bringing his goodness our way.
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now... (Philippians 1:3-5)
Is there someone to whom you can say 'thank you' today?

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Scary Leap of Faith by Dick Innes
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deuteronomy 33:27a)
Brennan Manning in his book, The Ragamuffin Gospel, tells about a child caught on the second floor of his house when it was on fire. The family members were all running out of the house when the smallest boy panicked and ran back upstairs.
Terrified, he screamed from a smoke-filled window. Below, his father could see him and cried out, "Jump, son, jump! I'll catch you." "But daddy, I can't see you," the boy cried.
"I know," the father called, "but I can see you."
The father could see the son and that's all that really mattered.
Many a time in our lives we are in difficult situations and we panic and long for God to help us. But not being able to see him, or sense his presence, we don't know what to do. Let us always remember that God is there regardless of our feelings. He can see us. And when we call to him and choose to put our trust in him, he will help us. He is our refuge. Underneath us are his everlasting arms. And he loves us with an everlasting love.
"And that may be all we need to know!"
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to commit and trust my life and way to you when darkness surrounds me and I am lost and do not know the way. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
"The eternal God is your refuge,and underneath are the everlasting arms..." (Deuteronomy 33:27a)

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A Bigger Frying Pan Author Unknown
Two men went fishing. One man was an experienced fisherman, the other wasn't. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back.
The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing this man waste good fish. "Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?" he asked. The inexperienced fisherman replied, "I only have a small frying pan."
Sometimes, like that fisherman, we throw back the big plans, big dreams, big jobs, big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small. We laugh at that fisherman who didn't figure out that all he needed was a bigger frying pan; yet how ready are we to increase the size of our faith? Whether it's a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way. Nothing is too big for God.

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Seeing Jesus Face to Face Author Unknown
The hymnwriter Fanny Crosby gave us more than 6,000 (yes, that's 6,000!) gospel songs throughout her life. Although blinded by an illness at the age of 6 weeks, she never became bitter.
One of Miss Crosby's hymns was so personal that for years she kept it to herself. Kenneth Osbeck, author of several books on hymnology, says its revelation to the public came about this way: "One day at the Bible conference in Northfield, Massachusetts, Miss Crosby was asked by D.L. Moody to give a personal testimony. At first she hesitated, then quietly rose and said, 'There is one hymn I have written which has never been published. I call it my soul's poem. Sometimes when I am troubled, I repeat it to myself, for it brings comfort to my heart.'
She then recited while many wept:
"Some day the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing,
But, O, the joy when I awake
Within the palace of the King.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.
Some day my earthly house will fall,
I cannot tell how soon 'twill be,
But this I know, my All in All
Has now a place in heaven for me.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.
Some day, when fades the golden sun
Beneath the rosy-tinted West,
My blessed Lord will say, "Well done!"
And I shall enter into rest.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace.
Some day - till then I'll watch and wait,
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Saviour opes the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight.
And I shall see Him face to face,
And tell the story saved by grace."
At the age of 95 Fanny Crosby passed into glory and saw the face of Jesus.

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LIFE’S STORMS Author Unknown
A pastor had been on a long flight between church conferences. The first warning of the approaching problems came when the sign on the airplane flashed on: Fasten Your Seat Belts. Then, after a while, a calm voice said, "We shall not be serving the beverages at this time as we are expecting a little turbulence. Please be sure your seat belt is fastened."
As the pastor looked around the aircraft, it became obvious that many of the passengers were becoming apprehensive.
Later, the voice on the intercom said, "We are so sorry that we are unable to serve the meal at this time. The turbulence is still ahead of us."
And then the storm broke ..
The ominous cracks of thunder could be heard even above the roar of the engines. Lightning lit up the darkening skies, and within moments that great plane was like a cork tossed around on a celestial ocean. One moment the airplane was lifted on terrific currents of air; the next, it dropped as if it were about to crash.
The pastor confessed that he shared the discomfort and fear of those around him. He said, "As I looked around the plane, I could see that nearly all the passengers were upset and alarmed. Some were praying. The future seemed ominous and many were wondering if they would make it through the storm.
"Then, I suddenly saw a little girl. Apparently the storm meant nothing to her. She had tucked her feet beneath her as she sat on her seat; she was reading a book and every- thing within her small world was calm and orderly.
"Sometimes she closed her eyes, then she would read again; then she would straighten her legs, but worry and fear were not in her world. When the plane was being buffeted by the terrible storm when it lurched this way and that, as it rose and fell with frightening severity, when all the adults were scared half to death, that marvelous child was completely composed and unafraid." The minister could hardly believe his eyes.
It was not surprising therefore, that when the plane finally reached its destination and all the passengers were hurrying to disembark, our pastor lingered to speak to the girl whom he had watched for such a long time.
Having commented about the storm and the behavior of the plane, he asked why she had not been afraid.
The child replied, "Cause my Daddy's the pilot, and he's taking me home."
There are many kinds of storms that buffet us. Physical, mental, financial, domestic, and many other storms can easily and quickly darken our skies and throw our plane into apparently uncontrollable movement. We have all known such times, and let us be honest and confess, it is much easier to be at rest when our feet are on the ground than when we are being tossed about a darkened sky.
Let us remember: Our Father is the Pilot. He is in control and taking us home. Don't worry!

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
Take every opportunity to quiet your soul and rest. You have expended energy in unusual ways, and the stress has made you feel tired. Your regeneration and rejuvenation will come from being in My presence, says the Lord. I will lift you up. Acts 3:19b " that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord."

Reflect on your relationship with Me, says the Lord, and let it deepen so that you become a reflection of My character and nature. This is a deliberate act of devotion and dedication. The times demand that you make a choice. You will either be a citizen of My Kingdom, or you will be worldly. Refuse to allow any distraction to take you off course. 2 Corinthians 3:18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

I want you to release the dread in your heart to Me. Do not allow fear to rule in your soul with regard to what might happen in the days ahead. Today's issues are enough to deal with in righteousness without adding supposition. Avoid wasting your time and energy on a fear-based future, says the Lord. Matthew 6:34 "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."

In a vision I saw a man sitting in a clearing in the middle of a forest. Night was falling, and he had encircled himself with small, individual campfires to keep the predators away. And, I heard the Lord say, "It is the fire of My Spirit that will not only comfort you, but will also keep the enemy at bay. Position yourself to live in spiritual safety." Luke 3:16 John answered, saying to all, "I indeed baptize you with water; but One mightier than I is coming, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to loose. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire."

Watch for opportunities to deal with things that will bring you into more complete order, says the Lord. The worlds were framed by order, and My kingdom is built by order, so optimum benefit in your life will require divine order, says the Lord. Colossians 2:5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
My children, believe and trust in Me. For, I know you and I know who you are. Not only do I know you but I know who is set against you. And, I know what the design of the enemy is for you. But, my design for you is to excel in greatness, to have victory and to be blessed beyond comparison. I desire to equip you with the blessing of victory in this season so that you may know Me in a greater dimension than you have ever known Me before. So, listen and watch, and you shall see the goodness of the Lord in the land you live in this very season.

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My Child, I love you, come closer to Me
I know you're not, where you want to be
Draw nearer child, don't be afraid
I know that your faith is beginning to fade
Come closer My child, and then you will see
Just how much, you truly matter to Me
I miss you so much, when you wander away
I'm waiting for you, please don't go astray
Read My words. and know that they're true
I love you so much, I gave My Son for you
I long to hold you, My precious dove
To shower you, with My endless love
I'm watching you child, I see the tear in your eye
I want to hold you, while you sob and cry
I see the struggles that you're going through
I want to remind you, that I'm here for you
No matter what comes, what your struggles may be
Come now My child, come closer to Me
I'll give you the strength, to get you through
For My precious one, I truly do love you
So come back to Me, I'm waiting right here
I know you feel far away, but I am so near
Just turn around, run to My embrace
I will wipe every tear from your face
I know you're not, where you want to be
My child, I love you, come closer to Me

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Seeking by Rebecca Ann Bowlin
I no longer search for fortunes
or the fame I once desired
or to be a well known writer
like the ones I have admired.
All I seek today is knowledge
of the Grace of God so sweet
and to pass it on to others
this will make my life complete.
Just to shine His light toward others
giving back what's give to me
so the lonely hearts in darkness
might find a way to see.
That there's joy in every moment
In the Grace our God has give
and the peace is over flowing
if our life for Him we live
Let us pray to be a vessel
of the light He shines today
so others all about us
will see to find their way.
As we trudge this road together
hand in hand we shall survive
baring one another's burdens
makes us glad to be alive.
For true joy is in the seeking
and with gratitude we list
all the blessings we are given
by His Grace we still exist.
For in truth it's in the knowing
by all rights we should be dead.
Yet He lets us keep on living
so that others might be lead.

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"In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8, ESV)

Now this is what the Lord says— the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel— “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine. I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you. " (Isaiah 43:1-2

Cast all your anxiety on [God], because he cares for you. - 1 Peter 5:7

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. - Matthew 5:11-12

God didn’t give us a spirit that is timid but one that is powerful, loving, and self-controlled. - 2 Timothy 1:7

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others. - 1 Peter 4:10

Then Jesus told his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24

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The Comeback: It's Never Too Late by Louie Giglio
God Wants to Redefine Who You Are
The legendary singer Johnny Cash was known as the Man in Black, but in a lot of senses he could be called the king of comebacks. He spent much of his life coming back from his addictions and problems that tore through his family like tornadoes. Cash’s comebacks were genuine turnarounds, but then he would slip back into a lifestyle that as a child of God he had deplored. He had career comebacks, too, returning from near oblivion to the top of the charts in the country, rock, and gospel music worlds.
Possibly his biggest comeback came near the end of his life. Johnny was nearly blind by then, suffering with advanced diabetes. He could no longer walk and was under constant nursing care. He had suffered the loss of his pillar of strength, his beloved wife, June Carter Cash. In the car on the way home from her funeral, Johnny turned to his son and said, “I have to get to work. I have to get into the studio.”1
Four days later, they were in the studio, recording, laying down track after track. “Such resolve could only have come from God,” said John Carter Cash. “The place where he found the greatest solace was in the studio.”2 In a burst of strength, Johnny recorded sixty more songs in the few months he had left. He presented a surprise public concert, singing, among other songs, the iconic “Ring of Fire.” It was a comeback that was a tribute to his wife and his God. Johnny Cash died September 12, 2003, just a little more than three months after his wife June. Johnny stepped out of his personal ring of fire and into the arms of his Father, the last comeback he’d ever need.
Are You in Need of a Comeback?
Whatever you need to come back from, I want you to hear this: if Jesus is alive from the dead — and He is — and if Jesus has conquered death and hell — and He has — then it’s possible for every person to have a comeback story.
Maybe you’re thinking that the comeback principle is all well and good for other people. For you, it’s simply too late. The Enemy has deposited a boatload of hopelessness into your world. You might think you’ve gone too far, you’ve stepped over the line of no return, you’ve blown all your chances, it’s over.
Maybe you think it’s too late for any kind of comeback because you’re too jaded or too scarred or maybe you think you’re simply too old. Life feels like it’s running out too fast, and there isn’t enough time left to turn around in any significant way.
It’s never too late. You’re not too far gone. You’re not too old. You’re not too far away.
Have you ever longed for a comeback?
We all know what it feels like to have life disappoint us and not work out as we’d hoped. We all know what it’s like to long for something different, something better, something more.
The Comeback celebrates new beginnings. It offers encouragement and perspective, and it’s for you if you feel frustrated or confused, if you’re sorrowing or in pain, if you’ve made mistakes or are grieving, if you’re disappointed or feel as though life doesn’t make sense.
The good news is that God is in the business of giving fresh starts to people. He gives hope to the hopeless. Direction to the directionless. Help to those who need help. God is always good, all the time, and God’s plans will always prevail, even when our plans don’t.
God already knows what the solutions are. No matter what kind of disappointment or grief or pain or trouble or heartache you encounter, God always offers a new beginning, a change of heart, or a powerful spiritual turnaround. God offers the way forward, and his pathways are always good.
Your current circumstances will not get the final say in your life. God is the God of the comeback, no matter what kind of challenge you’re facing.
And your story can become a great comeback story too.
Your Turn: What about you? Do you feel like it’s too late for you? Or too late for someone in your life? It’s not!

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Dear God, Thank you for your love, faithfulness, and willingness to be involved in each of our lives. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Job 30
1 But now they that are younger than I have me in derision, whose fathers I would have disdained to have set with the dogs of my flock. 2 Yea, whereto might the strength of their hands profit me, in whom old age was perished? 3 For want and famine they were solitary; fleeing into the wilderness in former time desolate and waste. 4 Who cut up mallows by the bushes, and juniper roots for their meat. 5 They were driven forth from among men, (they cried after them as after a thief;) 6 To dwell in the cliffs of the valleys, in caves of the earth, and in the rocks. 7 Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together. 8 They were children of fools, yea, children of base men: they were viler than the earth. 9 And now am I their song, yea, I am their byword. 10 They abhor me, they flee far from me, and spare not to spit in my face. 11 Because he hath loosed my cord, and afflicted me, they have also let loose the bridle before me. 12 Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the ways of their destruction. 13 They mar my path, they set forward my calamity, they have no helper. 14 They came upon me as a wide breaking in of waters: in the desolation they rolled themselves upon me. 15 Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passeth away as a cloud. 16 And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me. 17 My bones are pierced in me in the night season: and my sinews take no rest. 18 By the great force of my disease is my garment changed: it bindeth me about as the collar of my coat. 19 He hath cast me into the mire, and I am become like dust and ashes. 20 I cry unto thee, and thou dost not hear me: I stand up, and thou regardest me not. 21 Thou art become cruel to me: with thy strong hand thou opposest thyself against me. 22 Thou liftest me up to the wind; thou causest me to ride upon it, and dissolvest my substance. 23 For I know that thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living. 24 Howbeit he will not stretch out his hand to the grave, though they cry in his destruction. 25 Did not I weep for him that was in trouble? was not my soul grieved for the poor? 26 When I looked for good, then evil came unto me: and when I waited for light, there came darkness. 27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me. 28 I went mourning without the sun: I stood up, and I cried in the congregation. 29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. 30 My skin is black upon me, and my bones are burned with heat. 31 My harp also is turned to mourning, and my organ into the voice of them that weep.

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Creator of all, help us to love and accept each other as Jesus taught us, and help us to respond to the needs of others. 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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