Still Here…

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TODAY’S DAILY PRAYER

orange leavesWatch, then, because you do not know when the master of the house is coming – it might be in the evening or at midnight or before dawn or at sunrise. If he comes suddenly, he must not find you asleep. What I say to you, then, I say to all: Watch! Mark 13:35–37, TEV

Lord Jesus, our Savior, we look upward to heaven, for you will come from heaven in the glory of the Father. May we remain true to our calling, watching and praying every day and every hour, waiting for you, who will bring into order everything on earth. Bless us and bless our land. Grant us the joy to see you working through your servants toward the salvation of the peoples. Be with us and bless us. May your living Word work in our hearts so that every Sunday, every festival, and every day from now on may be a day of joy. Protect us. Bless us. May your name be praised in our hearts! Amen.

Daily Dig

Reflections for Advent and Christmas

bfly19Eternity is not about unending life as we know it; what we know here will soon be over. Eternity is a new life, free of death’s destructive powers, a fullness of life where love reigns supreme. The promise of everlasting life has less to do with duration of time and more to do with a certain kind of life – one of peace, fellowship, and abundance – and such a life can begin now.

 

 

Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Proverbs 31:28-29

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

When’s the last time you praised a godly woman for her life of faith and grace? Why not take time to write a note or two of appreciation and thanks to several of these women today. Where would we be today without the faithfulness of godly women? I can’t imagine, and don’t want to! Let’s tell them today how precious they are to us and our faith.

My Prayer…

Father, I thank you for the following godly women who have shaped my life and helped me have faith… God, I thank you for the great women of faith in Scripture who did so much for your people. Help us, your Church, your children of faith, to find every way possible to show these great ladies how much they mean to us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

 

 

BIBLE STUDY BUDDY

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Read 2 Corinthians 4:13-18…

It is written: ”I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, 14. because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary
2 Corinthians 4:18

v13-18 The grace of faith is an effectual remedy against fainting in times of trouble. They knew that Christ was raised, and that his resurrection was an earnest and assurance of theirs. The hope of this resurrection will encourage in a suffering day, and set us above the fear of death. Also, their sufferings were for the advantage of the church, and to God’s glory. The sufferings of Christ’s ministers, as well as their preaching and conversation, are for the good of the church and the glory of God. The prospect of eternal life and happiness was their support and comfort. What sense was ready to pronounce heavy and long, grievous and tedious, faith perceived to be light and short, and but for a moment. The weight of all temporal afflictions was lightness itself, while the glory to come was a substance, weighty, and lasting beyond description. If the apostle could call his heavy and long-continued trials light, and but for a moment, what must our trifling difficulties be! Faith enables to make this right judgment of things. There are unseen things, as well as things that are seen. And there is this vast difference between them; unseen things are eternal, seen things but temporal, or temporary only. Let us then look off from the things which are seen; let us cease to seek for worldly advantages, or to fear present distresses. Let us give diligence to make our future happiness sure.

Relationship, Not Religion…

Devotional writer Henri Nouwen wanted people to know God intimately through Jesus Christ. Once, when participating in a conference on art and the spiritual life, Nouwen was at a table where a woman complained that she had quit going to her church because she disagreed with its policies.

Henri leaned over and said to her, ”All that is distraction. I don’t mean to denigrate or even dispute your complaints, but those are beside the point. The only thing that really matters is your relationship with Jesus.”

Nouwen knew the importance of a personal relationship with the Savior. Although He is invisible to our eyes and our hands cannot touch Him, that doesn’t mean He’s not there. Electricity is invisible, but it is a source of vast power. So it is with Jesus. We keep in touch with Him through prayer, diligent study of His Word, and the guidance of His Holy Spirit.

Nouwen advised, ”Just take 5 minutes a day every day for 2 weeks to sit quietly and ask to be with Jesus, and ask for His presence. And then come and tell me what�s important.”

The heart of Christianity is a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Will you take 5 minutes today to seek His presence?

 

November 28

Paul’s Passion to Preach the Gospel
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.
Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves. But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.
We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.” For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written:
“For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles,
And sing to Your name.”
And again he says:
“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”
And again:
“Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!”
And again, Isaiah says:
“There shall be a root of Jesse;
And He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles,
In Him the Gentiles shall hope.”
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient-in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on another man’s foundation, but as it is written:
“To whom He was not announced, they shall see;
And those who have not heard shall understand.”
Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation ofthe mystery kept secret since the world began but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith-to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
Romans 14:13-15:21; 16:17-20, 25-27
WORSHIP
LORD, remember David
And all his afflictions;
How he swore to the LORD,
And vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob:
“Surely I will not go into the chamber of my house,
Or go up to the comfort of my bed;
I will not give sleep to my eyes
Or slumber to my eyelids,
Until I find a place for the LORD,
A dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob.”
Psalm 132:1-5
WISDOM
He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”
Him the people will curse;
Nations will abhor him.
But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
And a good blessing will come upon them.
Proverbs 24:24-25
November 28

Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with loving kindness have I drawn thee.–JER. xxxi. 3.

On the great love of God I lean,
Love of the Infinite, Unseen,
With nought of heaven or earth between.
This God is mine, and I am His;
His love is all I need of bliss.
H. BONAR.

If ever human love was tender, and self-sacrificing, and devoted; if ever it could bear and forbear; if ever it could suffer gladly for its loved ones; if ever it was willing to pour itself out in a lavish abandonment for the comfort or pleasure of its objects; then infinitely more is Divine love tender, and self-sacrificing, and devoted, and glad to bear and forbear, and to suffer, and to lavish its best of gifts and blessings upon the objects of its love. Put together all the tenderest love you know of, the deepest you have ever felt, and the strongest that has ever been poured out upon you, and heap upon it all the love of all the loving human hearts in the world, and then multiply it by infinity, and you will begin, perhaps, to have some faint glimpse of what the love of God is.
H. W. SMITH.

THE WORK OF MINISTRY TO OTHERS

Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’  Acts 27:23-24

We’ve been learning personal lessons from prison from Pastor Okok Ojula in Ethiopia as he shared them with Jim Cunningham.

He says, “The third lesson I learned is that imprisonment is for ministry to people in need. The thirty-six people who were imprisoned with me from Gambella in the Addis Ababa prison–777 kilometres (483 miles) away from our families–had no strong faith in the Lord.

“I began to realize that the Lord put me there to minister to these people, to feed them with the Word of God in the prison. I ended up baptizing some of them in the prison although I was not an officially recognized pastor, for no pastor was allowed to come in to do this work in the prison.”

I am always amazed at the positive lessons from reading prison memoirs of followers of Jesus. And so many times they come to this similar conclusion. They were there to serve others.

Mama Kwang of Project Pearl in China is a wonderful example. Carl Lawrence tells her story in his award-winning book, The Church in China:

As she sat quietly in prison singing a hymn, the Lord gave her a message: “This is to be your ministry.”

“But,” she objected, “I am all alone. Whom can I minister to?” She continued to pray that her ministry would be fulfilled. Suddenly an idea came to her. She stood up and called for the guard.

“Sir, can I do some hard labor for you?”

The guard looked at her with contempt, mingled with surprise. No one had ever made that kind of request before.

“Look!” she exclaimed, “this prison is so dirty, there is human waste everywhere. Let me go into the cells and clean up this filthy place. All you have to do is give me some water and a brush.”

Not to her surprise, she soon found herself on her hands and knees cleaning and preaching. She was looking into the faces of people no longer recognizable as human beings. Through continuous torture, they had lost all hope of ever seeing another human being who did not come to beat them.

“Oh, when they realized that they could have eternal life, they would get so excited. They would fall down on the dirty floor and repent of their sins, and do you know that very soon all the prisoners believed in Jesus Christ.”

RESPONSE: Today I acknowledge that God can enable me to minister anywhere for Him—even prison.

PRAYERThank You Lord that even in a filthy prison dungeon you give ministry opportunities.

 

 

Quote of the Day

“But when he heard it, he said, ‘Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.'”
~Matthew 9:12

Today’s Answer

Throwing Seeds?
Greg Laurie

“But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:8).

The human heart is like receptive soil to the seed of the Word of godjesusused this analogy in the parable of the sower (see Mark 4:3). The soil that the seed fell on represents four categories of hearers’ hearts, four different reactions to the Word of God: the hard heart, the shallow heart, the crowded heart, and the fruitful heart.

First, there is the hard heart, the seed that falls along the roadside. This represents people who hear the Word of God, but never really believe.

Then there is the shallow heart. That is the seed that falls on stony ground. This signifies the people who hear the Word of God and receive it with joy, but because there is no root to sustain them, they wither.

Next, there is the crowded heart. That is the seed that falls on ground where weeds choke out its growth. Slowly and surely, these people, busy with the cares and riches of the world, just lose interest in the things of God.

Finally, there is the fruitful heart that receives the Word. The seed falls on good ground and the plants produce a rich harvest.

We are the ones who determine what kind of soil our hearts will be. We decide whether we will have a hard heart, a shallow heart, a crowded heart, or a receptive heart. This is exactly what James meant when he said, “Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls” (James 1:21).

The Word of God cannot work in our lives unless we have receptive hearts.

Taken from “the implanted word” (used by permission).

 

Prophetic Insight newsletter

(Public Domain Pictures)

I was offended by someone recently. I knew what I should do, but I had no power to do it. I know all the Scriptures on forgiveness and blessing our enemies, and that even made it worse. While I was driving in my car yesterday, the Lord spoke, “Bill, if you will bless your enemy, I will bless you.” Suddenly, those words took my focus off of that person who hurt me back to the Lord and an overwhelming desire to be blessed myself. Oh, how I wanted and needed God to bless me.

Immediately, the hurt began to heal as it dawned on me that when we do what God tells us to do, He blesses us. Obedience brings the blessing of the Lord and adds no sorrow with it.

Each time the hurt comes back, I say, “No, I want that kind of blessing that saves and heals and satisfies my soul.” In 24 hours, a blessing came that I cannot tell you about right now. It is overwhelming to me.

How I needed this word for myself at this time. How about you? Do you have any enemies that you need to unwrap? I think we all have some unwrapping to do before Christmas. 

Bill Younthas been a member of Bridge of Life in Hagerstown, Maryland, for the past 36 years, where he is now an elder and a home missionary. He is currently an adviser at large for Aglow International. Bill faithfully served in prison ministry at Mount Hope for 23 years and now travels full-time, both in the U.S. and internationally, ministering in churches and Aglow circles. Humility and humor characterize his ministry as he brings forth a fresh word that is “in season,” proclaiming the word of the Lord. The shofar, or ram’s horn, is often used in his meetings, breaking the powers of darkness over regions, churches and households. The shofar represents God’s breath blowing into the nostrils of His people, reviving them and awakening the lost. Many of God’s messages, which Bill ministers prophetically, come out of his everyday life with his family and friends. Please visit Bill’s website atbillyount.com.

 

 

bible reading

 

 

Your Daily Prayer Devotional Banner

A Prayer for Direction
Dr. Charles Stanley

He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8

We naturally want to determine our own course in life. It seems like the only logical way to get where we want to go. But being wise in our own eyes is pride. To combat this tendency, the Lord instructs us to fear Him and turn away from evil (v. 7). This “fear” is not a horrified dread of the Father, but an attitude of respect that motivates us to obey Him for both our good and His glory.

We naturally want to keep our money for ourselves. A desire for a better lifestyle or fear of not having enough leads us to hang onto everything we get. But our compass directs us to honor God by giving Him the first part of all we have, trusting Him to provide for our needs (vv. 9-10).

We naturally hate God’s discipline. His painful reproofs seem to prove that He doesn’t care about us. But our heavenly Father says His discipline is the evidence that confirms His love and delight in us as His children (vv. 11-12).

Sometimes in our desire to follow the Lord, we focus on obedient actions—doing what He says—but miss His directions concerning our attitudes and thought patterns. To stay on God’s path for our lives, we must make course corrections not only in our behavior but also in our hearts and minds.

Pray with me for direction from the Lord:

Lord, I confess that I often ignore or don’t care to follow the path you’ve laid out for me. I often try to make my own path with disasterous results. Help me follow you with not only my actions, but my thoughts and attitudes. Thank you for knowing the best path for my life and for never abandoning me to my own ways. Help me remember this truth as I live out my days, and help me make necessary course corrections as I walk along the way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

course-corrections

 

 

Crosswalk the Devotional

How to Have a Thankful Heart through Difficult Times
by Veronica Neffinger, Editor, ChristianHeadlines.com

For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:15-16)

Colorful, feather-shaped pieces of construction paper sit on the kitchen table, along with cut-outs of turkey-shaped bodies and body parts–beak, feet, etc. My mother brings over the magic markers and we are ready to begin making our yearly Thanksgiving turkeys.

This was a tradition my mother started when I was very young, and we participated every year that I remember until I left for college. We would assemble our turkeys and then write one thing we were thankful for on each feather.

Looking back, I remember it being so simple, especially in the early years: family, friends, pets, God, food, a warm house. In high school things became a bit more theological, but yet they still flowed fairly easily off my pen: salvation, God’s mercy, spiritual mentors.

Holiday traditions like these are fun. They build memories and focus on the blessings of life; but sometimes, especially as adults, it is harder to easily list what we are thankful for. Either it seems too cliche, or we can find it difficult to be sincere about our thankfulness when perhaps times are very hard.

My Thanksgivings after high school have been much less carefree. Adult thoughts of school, jobs, finances, and traveling can weigh heavy on us even as we attempt to drum up feelings of thankfulness on its namesake holiday.

Crosswalk.com contributor Debra Fileta shares her story of recognizing that Thanksgiving is about more than merely lisiting your blessings. “What if being thankful meant surrendering our struggles, too?” she asks.

“I am proclaiming right now that in times of suffering, a heart of gratitude means more than just saying ‘thank you,’” Fileta says. It means believing that God is who he says he is. Believing that he is good, that he is love, and that he is for me. Believing that he never changes, that he never fails, and that he is working all things for what is good.”

God understands that thankfulness is not always (or usually) a gut-reaction for us. Even Jesus struggled to thankfully accept God’s Plan of salvation while He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, preparing to go through the agony of the cross.

“‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.’ And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him,” Luke 22:42-42 records.

This passage tells us two things:

First, there is value in going through the motions even if the feelings aren’t there. Choosing to thank God even if you don’t feel like it and are actually more stressed than thankful can be an important first step in having your heart opened to true gratitude.

Secondly, the passage says angels ministered to Christ and helped strengthen Him for what he was about to undergo. We have someone even better than God’s entire host of angels to aid us–Jesus Himself.

Though life may bring us trials, we are not alone. And though offering up thanksgiving in the midst of those trials may be a sacrifice, it is a rewarding one.

“When I look at those pieces of my life that look overwhelmingly difficult or disappointing and can thank God for whatever good He plans to bring out of them, I am offering a sacrifice of praise,” says Crosswalk.com conributor April Motl. “When I can entrust what looks like something that is broken beyond repair to my heavenly Father’s goodness and love, I am offering a sacrifice of praise.”

This world and the life we live in it is often a thankfulness-stealer. But in Christ, we know that we can “Rejoice always” (1 Thessalonians 5:16) because the trials and hard times are not a test, but another reason to trust God who is working all for our good and has already given us “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2 Peter 1:3).

Intersecting Faith & Life:
What prevents you from being thankful this Thanksgiving? How can you seek to have thankfulness through the trials?

 

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Is Your Faith Stuck in the Doldrums?

Have you ever spent a lazy day at the beach, riding the waves and bodysurfing? I love doing this with our kids, but it’s always amazing where we find ourselves after we’ve been out in the water for an hour or two. We look back at the shore and suddenly nothing looks familiar. We can’t see our umbrella or beach chairs-sometimes we can’t even see our hotel! Without realizing it, we have drifted with the current and lost our bearings.

Without a strong direction toward a place where God is moving, without a secure anchor to keep you grounded, it’s easy to drift into a dead zone. You may be doing all the right things-at home, at work, at church-but you don’t know where your life is headed. You feel lost and disoriented from where you thought you’d be and how you thought you’d get there. But it’s almost too terrifying to acknowledge, so you just keep going with the flow day after day.

When I was reading about the Doldrums that sailors face, I was struck by the fact that this dangerous dead zone happens along the equator. When ships got trapped there, it meant they weren’t really in the Northern Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere; they were stuck where the two meet. I think we often get stuck in a similar manner. If we’re honest, we know we don’t want to go to hell, but yet we don’t really want to serve God, either. We want to have one foot in the world and the other in the Kingdom of God. We want to straddle the spiritual equator, so to speak.

A lot of us have drifted to this place. We’re not on fire for God, but of course we’re not living for the devil either. We’re not abandoning God and leaving the church, but we’re not fully alive and enjoying the abundant life Jesus said he came to bring. We’re in this middle zone, a spiritual no-man’s-land.

We have gotten off course, and now there’s no wind to sustain us. This isn’t a new phenomenon. Jesus tells the church at Laodicea, “Some of you are not hot [not in the Northern Hemisphere], you are not even cold [not in the Southern Hemisphere], you are lukewarm.” And the result is just as disastrous: “There is no life there. I will spit you out of my mouth [if I find you in that lukewarm zone]” (seeRevelation 3:15-16).

In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul conveyed a similar message: he told them that he could not consider them spiritual, but he could not call them worldly either. They were a mixture of the two. They were carnal (see 1 Corinthians 3:1, KJV). The word carnalmeans that they were stuck in the flesh. The word’s root comes through in a usage you may be more familiar with: chili con carne-chili with meat. Paul basically said these Corinthian Christians were serving up a big dish of faith con carne. They were Christians but still had some flesh-based living in them.

Many of us today follow the same recipe. We want enough Jesus to get us to heaven, but we’ve got a little bit of the world in us too. We’re lukewarm, tepid, not hot or cold, not heavenly and not earthly, not sold out to God and not entirely through renting from the devil. So we drift away and get stuck in the doldrums.

Fresh AirTaken from Fresh Air by Chris Hodges. Copyright © 2012 by Chris Hodges. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.

We’ve all found ourselves in the doldrums, perhaps stuck in survival mode, just going through the motions of life without the joy and purpose we know God provides. In Fresh Air, author and pastor Chris Hodges offers practical, bite-sized activities that will help you get unstuck and move through to life empowered by the true source of fresh air – the very breath of God Himself.

 

Today‘s Scripture

“But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” James 1:22 NLT

Thoughts for Today

God wants to help us control our anger. To be angry but not sin. Anger management is ultimately a function of spiritual maturity. As we grow and develop in our relationship with God by living a consistent Christian life, we will be able to control our anger and use it as a gift from God. This takes time and discipline and often requires help from others.

Who is responsible for our anger problems? It is easy to point the finger at others, but it is important for us to accept responsibility for controlling our anger. Not to just listen to God’s Word… but to do what it says.

We should consider ways not only to control anger but also to prevent it. We must work on controlling anger when we are in quiet periods–not when we are already angry. For the rest of this week we will look at just a few ways that can help us balance our lives so we don’t misuse anger or sin with it. Do these things during times of less conflict and reduced anger so you will be more able to manage the times when anger rears its head.

Consider this…

The first key is to keep your life balanced and purposeful. Maintain goals in your life–physical, spiritual, intellectual, and social. Stay active!

Another key step is not to neglect your physical health, diet, rest, diversion from routine. Plan times to enjoy God’s beauty outdoors. Reading good books, meditation on God’s Word, quiet times, and healthy walks and talks with family and friends help lower anger levels. Develop a suitable hobby.

Prayerfully consider these and other steps we will mention this week. Ask God to help you form a plan, taking one step at a time. Begin today to take responsibility for controlling your anger and using it as a gift from God.

Prayer

Father, show me what I need to do to better manage my anger. Help me not to be overwhelmed. Guide me and help me do this one step at a time. In Jesus’ name.

 

Devotionals Daily: A Year with Jesus

This is Love

By Max Lucado

He was a God Man

Jesus was not a godlike man, nor a manlike God.

He was God-man.

Midwifed by a carpenter.

Bathed by a peasant girl.

The maker of the world with a bellybutton.

The author of the Torah being taught the Torah.

Heaven’s human. And because he was, we are left with scratch-your-head, double-blink,

what’s-wrong-with-this-picture? moments like these:

Bordeaux instead of H2O.

A cripple sponsoring the town dance.

A sack lunch satisfying five thousand tummies.

And, most of all, a grave: guarded by soldiers, sealed by a rock, yet vacated by a three-days-dead man.

What do we do with such moments?

What do we do with such a person?

We applaud men for doing good things. We enshrine God for doing great things. But when a man does God things? One thing is certain, we can’t ignore him.

© 2009 Max Lucado

 

Healthy Grieving

But it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. – >2 Timothy 1:10

The flight was headed for Los Angeles, and everything was going smoothly. Then, all of the sudden, a woman jumped to her feet, let out a pained and terrified shriek, and collapsed to her death in the aisle of the aircraft.

Death is always unsettling. But even more so when it’s unexpected, and happens in a situation where others feel rather vulnerable themselves–like at 30,000 feet! The emotional intensity in that aircraft was unsettling, to say the least.

Sensing an opportunity to help, a pastor onboard stopped a flight attendant on her way down the aisle. He offered his services to anyone wanting to talk about the tragedy that just transpired. The attendant replied, “Sir, that won’t be necessary. We’ll be serving free drinks to all passengers.”

Are you settling for a drink when Jesus who offers the only water to quench your thirst is available to you? In the quiet of where you are right now, you can ask Him to help you, to come into your heart and life as Lord and Savior. Or he’s available to you through your connection with others who are His followers. Don’t settle for anything less.

“In the night of death hope sees a star and listening love can hear the rustle of a wing.” – Robert Ingersoll (1833-1899)

 

The Daily Word of Hope Devotional

Bible Fun Fact: There are only 2 books in the Bible named after women, Esther and Ruth

Through the Fire

Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste. He spoke and said to his counselors, ‘Didn’t we cast three men bound into the middle of the fire?’ They answered the king, ‘True, O king.’ He answered, ‘Look, I see four men loose, walking in the middle of the fire, and they are unharmed. The appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods. Daniel 3:24 WEB

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, were tied up and thrown into a furnace that had been heated seven times hotter than normal, just for them. The furnace was so hot that it killed the guards that were throwing them in, and they all fell into the blazing furnace together.

They were probably not thinking: ‘What a blessing this is to have befallen us today’ while on the way down. Nevertheless, they were not alone in the furnace for the Lord had sent Someone to take care of them.

When they came out of the furnace, they did not even smell like smoke, and their clothes were not burned. Only the ropes that bound them were burned off, and they were now walking ‘unbound and free.’ What once had a grip on them and held them tightly, was now burned away.

Sometimes the Lord will use the fire to set you free. The things that used to hold you back will quickly burn away in the furnace of affliction. The baggage that we cling to will burn away and we get a new perspective on what is really important, and when you come out the other side you will be ‘Unbound.’

Prayer: Heavenly Father I trust You for You know what it takes. Lord send the Comforter like you promised, meet me in the furnace, and set me free from the things that hold me back, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

 

Signs and Wonders Today
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
November 28, 2017

“The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them.” – Acts 15:12

“I was a pastor for 19 years before I went into business,” said the man sitting across the table from me as we were sharing lunch together. What led him from being a pastor to a businessman was both a move of God and an attack from the enemy.

“I was a pastor of a particular denomination that did not embrace all of God’s Word. It was a time in my life when I was experiencing many physical problems. I was on the verge of being admitted to the hospital. I had been seeking God about whether He was truly a God of healing and whether His Word was applicable in all areas of life as it was in the early Church. I was to go into the hospital the next day. That night I cried out to the Lord. I confronted God about His Word. I asked Him if He still did miracles today. Just then, I turned on my TV and saw an evangelist preaching. At that very moment, he stopped preaching, looked into the TV camera, and said these words: ‘There is a man in the viewing audience who has been a pastor for many years and is struggling to know whether God heals today. His own denomination does not believe He does. [He even named his denomination.] God is healing you right now to demonstrate to you that His healing is for today, and you are to know that His Word is true for today just like it was for the early Church.’ ”

My friend was shocked. The TV evangelist could not have described him more accurately if he had been sitting in the same living room with him. God healed him that very night. He was not admitted to the hospital. He was forced to go before his church and witness to God’s power in his life. He was soon fired as pastor of this church, and this is what led him into business.

So often when we experience God in greater and deeper ways, the persecution comes not from the world, but from those who are closest to us. The religious community persecuted Jesus. He was betrayed by one of His own disciples. However, we must realize this betrayal was necessary for God to accomplish His work through Jesus.

God will bring each of us to a crisis of faith to test what we really believe. For my friend, he had to experience God in a new way. Then he had to be tested in that belief to the point of losing his job.

Have you experienced God in all of your life? Are there areas in which you believe God does not operate today? Before you discount God, seek Him with a whole heart. You might be surprised at what you will find.

 

Passion for Praise: ‘The Song of Moses and the Lamb’

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

[They] sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb: “Great and marvelous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

 

 

 

Topper5

I do smile, still…..a lot of the time, it’s a false smile, one I pretend to feel even though inside I’m grieving and seem to be dying….So, for today, let’s just enjoy some stickers I found…..

Camera

FamilyRules

ThisHouse

Yes, this is exactly how my home is, NOW…….

Better

LetItGo

positive-daily-quotes

Dont-Hold-Grudge

Family1

 

God bless everyone!!!

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