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Old 08-21-2017, 10:17 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - August 22

Those times when you feel like quitting can be times of great opportunity, for God uses your troubles to help you grow. – Warren Wiersbe

When life gets too hard to stand, kneel!

Our talents are God's gifts to us. What we do with them is our gift back to God.

God walks with us through every dark valley.

God loves us and will always be with us. God always has time for us, and always reaches out to us with loving arms.

God’s work in our world has no limits.

God has great plans for us.

When we see a rainbow, let's remember all the promises God has made and kept.

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When you are tired and discouraged from fruitless efforts... God knows how hard you have tried.
When you've cried so long and your heart is in anguish... God has counted your tears.
If you feel that your life is on hold and time has passed you by... God is waiting with you.
When you're lonely and your friends are too busy even for a phone call... God is by your side.
When you think you've tried everything and don't know where to turn... God has a solution.
When nothing makes sense and you are confused or frustrated... God has the answer.
If suddenly your outlook is brighter and you find traces of hope... God has whispered to you.
When things are going well and you have much to be thankful for... God has blessed you.
When something joyful happens and you are filled with awe... God has smiled upon you.
When you have a purpose to fulfill and a dream to follow... God has opened your eyes and called you by name.
Remember that wherever you are or whatever you are facing... GOD KNOWS!!!

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FIND THE 'KEY LOG' by Bob & Debby Gass
'I thought about my ways.' Psalm 119:59 NKJV
One of the great keys to success in life is having the right approach. But to improve your approach you need to assess where you're starting from. This may take some time. And depending on how self-aware you are, it may even be difficult. The key is to look at yourself objectively, to separate yourself from your attitude. Your goal isn't to condemn yourself; it's to see yourself clearly so you can make positive changes in the way you think.
When professional loggers discover a logjam, they climb a large tree near the river so they can look over the problem and find the cause. What they're looking for is the 'key log' creating the jam. Once they remove that, the river takes care of the rest. An inexperienced person could spend hours, days, even weeks moving logs around without results. The point is you don't necessarily need to change all your thinking - just the few items that keep you from having the right approach to life. Once you do, your life will begin to flow in the right direction.
Here are some questions that may help you discover the 'key log' that's holding you back. How do you feel about yourself? When do you feel the most negative about yourself? What causes you the greatest problems when dealing with others? Insecurity? Resentment? Inferiority? What negative thoughts constantly control your mind? These are important questions, for as a man (or woman) 'thinks in his heart, so is he' (Proverbs 23:7 NKJV). If you want to change your life for the better, ask God to make you aware of what's impacting it for the worse.

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Value Of Pain Author Unknown
They were there for breakfast. The hundreds who gathered in fourth-floor ballroom at the Marriott Renaissance in Detroit, Michigan, on the morning before Super Bowl XL were clearly touched by the featured speaker. That speaker was Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy.
An hour into the breakfast, emcee Brent Jones introduced Dungy, who was welcomed with a lengthy standing ovation. Dungy thanked the crowd, then told the crowd he was going to talk about a lesson he had learned from one of his three sons. The crowd fell silent. Then Dungy spoke.
And although this was a breakfast - and although at many such events speakers speak over the clinking of glasses and murmurs from semi-interested listeners - for most of the 15 minutes the room was silent except for Dungy's voice.
He spoke of his youngest son, Jordan, who has a rare congenital condition which causes him not to feel pain.
"He feels things, but he doesn't get the sensation of pain," Dungy said. The lessons learned from Jordan, Tony Dungy said, are many.
"That sounds like it's good at the beginning, but I promise you it's not," Dungy said. "We've learned a lot about pain in the last five years we've had Jordan. We've learned some hurts are really necessary for kids."
"Pain is necessary for kids to find out the difference between what's good and what's harmful." Jordan, Dungy said, loves cookies.
"Cookies are good," Dungy said, "but in Jordan's mind, if they're good out on the plate, they're even better in the oven."
"He will go right in the oven when my wife's not looking, reach in, take the rack out, take the pan out, burn his hands and eat the cookies and burn his tongue and never feel it."
"He doesn't know that's bad for him." Jordan, Dungy said, "has no fear of anything, so we constantly have to watch him."
The lesson learned, Dungy said, is simple.
"You get the question all the time, "Why does the Lord allow pain in your life? Why do bad things happen to good people?"
"If God is a God of love, why does he allow these hurtful things to happen?" Dungy said.
"We've learned that a lot of times because of that pain, that little temporary pain, you learn what's harmful. You learn to fear the right things."
"Pain sometimes lets us know we have a condition that needs to be healed."
"Pain inside sometimes lets us know that spiritually we're not quite right and we need to be healed."

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The Good Shepherd from The Beautiful Word Devotional, published by Zondervan
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. — John 10:11
A bad shepherd lets his sheep to stray. He neglects the flock, allowing the sheep to graze in bad fields or experience life-threatening thirst. He beats the lambs to teach submission and obedience. He isn’t alert to predators, allowing them to get too close to the sheep. Clearly, he doesn’t care much about the welfare of his sheep.
But Jesus is the opposite, rightly calling Himself the good Shepherd. When a sheep strays, He goes out looking for that wanderer, searching until He finds it and rejoicing when He does. He stays up during the watches of the night, listening for predators, watching the shadows for movement, protecting His flock from lions and bears. He leads the sheep to green pastures and, according to Psalm 23, to still waters where they can drink. Speaking quietly, He gently guides His flock that willingly follows. This good Shepherd finds joy in how well His sheep are doing.
You, dear one, are a lamb in the care of the good Shepherd.
Lord, I’m so grateful to be in Your flock, to have You, the good Shepherd, taking care of me, amen.
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents. — Luke 15:10
Jesus told of a shepherd who leaves his ninety-nine sheep to find the one that has gone astray. This shepherd’s action reveals Jesus’ heart and His desire that no one would perish but find everlasting life through Him. And when someone does come to Him — or when He is able to carry a lost lamb home — angels rejoice!
Many of us have loved ones who are that one lost sheep. And perhaps all you can do is pray. Know that that can be enough!
A simple reminder to pray is to grab a pen, write 99/1 on a sticky note, and put it in a prominent place. Every time you see it, those numbers will remind you of Jesus’ determination to chase after the one.
One more thing: when you worry about your friend or family member who is far from God, think about your own story. Remember how God pursued you, and rest there.
Lord, I am so thankful that no one is too far from Your reach. Please bring my loved one into Your flock, I pray, amen.
Your Turn: Jesus is shepherding you. He is attentive, aware, caring, and involved in your every moment. He’s also pursing your loved one who walked away from Him or has yet to take His as their Savior. Keep praying and rest in that assurance!

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All of us make mistakes.
With grace and grit, we can learn from our mistakes.
And then there are those of us who actually earn from our mistakes.
That brings us to Bette Nesmith Graham, an executive secretary in the mid-1950s for the Texas Bank and Trust.
Bette had a great job. The problem is that she wasn’t particularly good at one of its essential components: typing. In the era before electronic typewriters and word processors, administrative assistants lived with the reality that a single typo on a document might mean starting from scratch.
One year Graham volunteered to help decorate the bank’s windows for the upcoming holiday season.
That’s when she made an important discovery: when the artist overseeing that project made a mistake, he didn’t start over. He simply covered his error with a dab of paint, waited for it to dry, then picked up where he left off. Bette wondered if she might address typing mistakes the same way.
She put some paint into a small bottle, applied it with a tiny brush, and just like that began to experience absolution from her typing sins.
It wasn’t long before her co-workers were standing in line: could she whip up a few more of those little bottles?
Her kitchen became a lab. Her garage became a bottling assembly line. A local chemistry teacher helped her concoct a superior formula.
Thus was born Liquid Paper (generically known as “white-out”), a homegrown product that would put smiles on the faces of accountants, secretaries, and term-paper-typing students the world over.
Graham still made mistakes, of course.
One day at work she mindlessly typed “The Liquid Paper Company” at the bottom of a correspondence instead of “Texas Bank and Trust.” That was the last straw. Her boss let her go.
But by that time Bette saw the future, and it wasn’t working at a bank.
By the mid-1970s, her solo business venture was selling 65,000 units a day. Gillette bought her out for 48 million dollars, plus a future royalty for every bottle sold.
She was also a single mom. Her teenage son Michael and his pals used to help her fill bottles in the garage. America came to know him as Michael Nesmith, one of the four members of The Monkees, the ultimate 1960s teeny bopper rock group.
Wouldn’t it be great if our worst mistakes – our ethical failures, our deepest betrayals, and our most self-centered decisions – could somehow be “whited out” from the stories of our lives?
God has a remedy.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
The best news is that God’s forgiveness isn’t a just temporary paint job.
All of our failures, even our most disheartening ones, were erased by the death of Jesus on the cross.
We can say with certainty that we will keep making mistakes.
But our mistakes don’t have to define us.
Through Christ, God miraculously sees our lives as clean white sheets of paper.

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Our Welcome Mat by Iris Ford
Last week, I had the carpet cleaners in to clean the rugs in my apartment. They were in a mess from dirt tracked in during the winter. Everything in the living and dining areas was well cleaned, but unfortunately, the cleaners left a big mess around the welcome mat outside the front door. I had to call them back to finish the job properly.
What we present to others — our welcome mat — is often like that: in a mess. Others can see it only too well, for it is obvious in the way that we greet them. Do we give people our support? Do we really welcome others into our lives with gladness? Are we open and friendly, offering to help people — or are we spiritually cut off from them, not caring?
I have noticed that busy people today tend to ignore others in trouble. But that is not Christ's way. He wants to love and care for them through us. God's love prompts us to open the door to other people, as we invite them to step across the welcome mat of our lives.
What does God think of us? Are our days spent in pleasing God or in seeking our own pleasure? We can do foolish things during the day and then pray at night that God will bless us. Instead, the course of our day changes when we live by faith, knowing that God is with us. It is His love that we are called to share with others. Jesus said:
Matthew 18:5 – Whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. (NIV)
Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. (NIV 2011)
The welcome that we give to all, even those coming to us as strangers, is an opportunity to introduce Jesus into their daily tasks. So let us take any occasion to clean up the mess on our welcome mat. What we want is to share with others God's love and kindness. We need to introduce Jesus to them. His love is what we all need.
2 John 1:6 – This is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. (NIV)
Please pray with me: Prayer: O Lord, as You enter my front door, I welcome You and look forward to serving You throughout the days ahead. Please enter my life each day and help me to share what I have with others throughout the day as I serve You with gladness. I am not a carpet cleaner; it is You Who cleans up my life in order that I may serve others in Your name. Thank You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

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When we awaken each morning, we must realize that "The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour" (1 Peter 5:8)
In Psalm 5, we read that David came to God early in the morning and asked for his protection and help. We also need to pay attention to the vital importance of prayer.
"THE SECRET" By Bishop Ralph Cushman
I met God in the morning
When the day was at its best,
And His Presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.
All day long the Presence lingered,
All day long He stayed with me,
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O'er a very troubled sea.
Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them,
Brought to me a peace and rest.
Then I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind,
When I too had loosed the moorings,
With the presence left behind.
So, I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way:
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day!

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Where Do I Go ... Author Unknown
Where do I go when my tears roll down?
Where do I go when pressures press down?
Where do I go when pain laughs at me?
Where do I go to find laughter and glee?
Where do I go when I get drained out?
Where do I go when all I can do is cry and pout?
Where do I go when I feel insecure?
Where do I go when I curl up with fear?
Where do I go when situations go out of hand?
Where do I go when I don't understand?
Where do I go when I have to decide?
Where do I go when people take me for a ride?
Where do I go when I get rejected?
Where do I go to be accepted?
I'll just go back on my knees
Where I'll find my Lord giving me eternal peace!
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matthew 7:7
"Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:24

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Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. -- Psalm 100:3,4 KJV

So we, Your people and sheep of Your pasture, Will give You thanks forever; We will show forth Your praise to all generations. -- Psalm 79:13

Psalm 23:2-3 – He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.

Proverbs 11:25 – A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

The psalmist wrote, “The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want.” - Psalm 23:1

Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. - Hebrews 12:1-2

The LORD says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; . . . I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” - Isaiah 43:18-19

All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

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The Cat by Lynne Phipps
John 9:35 – Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, and when he found him, he said, "Do you believe in the Son of Man?" (NIV)
My neighbours were going away, and they asked if I would drop in daily to feed their cat, Riley. I told them that I would be happy to look after him.
The first two days, Riley greeted me happily. On the third day, it took me twenty minutes before I found him upstairs hiding under a table. He looked frightened and stressed. The fourth day, I couldn't find him at all. I e-mailed his owners to see if they knew of any special place that he might be hiding. They couldn't think of anywhere, and they were worried about him. I told them that I would go back over and look again, and if I found him, I would bring him to my house for the duration of their holiday. After an extensive search, I discovered him jammed into a very dark narrow spot. Pulling him out, I put him into a cat carrier, collected all his gear, and took him to my place. Within a few days, Riley was his contented, old self.
Riley became scared and depressed after his owners left him alone. He probably felt abandoned and thus withdrew, hiding himself away, not understanding what had happened or why.
In John 9:1-34, we can read the story of a man born blind, whom Jesus healed. After he was healed, the Pharisees, the church leaders, did not want to believe in this miracle. When they discovered that it was true, and when he testified that it was Jesus who had healed him, they became angry and ultimately threw him out of the temple. How devastating this must have been for this poor fellow to be tossed out, abandoned. But when Jesus heard about this, He went and found him. He also revealed to the man just Who He was. He was more than a prophet; He was the Son of Man. The man embraced this truth and worshipped Him. He was no longer an outcast but a follower of Jesus.
What might have happened to him, I wonder, if Jesus had not taken the time to find him and draw him to Himself?
Many people today, like the man from this story, suffer abandonment or rejection for various reasons and from various sources. Much like Riley the cat, they become frightened and depressed. They often withdraw and hide themselves away, perhaps feeling that it is their own fault or that they can't trust people again. If any of us knows someone like this, I pray that we might be like Jesus and take the time to go and find them and reassure them of both our love and the Lord's eternal love for them. For in so doing, like Jesus, we, too, may become instruments of healing and restoration.
Prayer: Father God, thank You that You found us and drew us to Yourself. May we, like Jesus, be willing to seek out those whom we know may be suffering from rejection and sorrow. Through the power of Your Spirit, may we be used as instruments of healing and restoration in their lives. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.

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Today I'm counting on a new beginning
with a reason for living with a deeper meaning
because God has blessed me with many good things.
I have been through a lot,
but with God's help, I have been able to overcome my adversities.
God is and always will be my everything.
He has been my light in my darkest hours.
He has pulled me from the fire more times than I can count.
Now I'm surrounded by the comfort and protection of the highest power.
I love you and praise you, Lord Almighty.
You are my strength and my song.
You walk with me in this journey that seems so long,
but with you by my side, surely everything will be alright.
For I know goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life
I thank you and I love you forever more.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 76
1 In Judah is God known: his name is great in Israel. 2 In Salem also is his tabernacle, and his dwelling place in Zion. 3 There brake he the arrows of the bow, the shield, and the sword, and the battle. Selah. 4 Thou art more glorious and excellent than the mountains of prey. 5 The stouthearted are spoiled, they have slept their sleep: and none of the men of might have found their hands. 6 At thy rebuke, O God of Jacob, both the chariot and horse are cast into a dead sleep. 7 Thou, even thou, art to be feared: and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry? 8 Thou didst cause judgment to be heard from heaven; the earth feared, and was still, 9 When God arose to judgment, to save all the meek of the earth. Selah. 10 Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee: the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain. 11 Vow, and pay unto the Lord your God: let all that be round about him bring presents unto him that ought to be feared. 12 He shall cut off the spirit of princes: he is terrible to the kings of the earth.

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A Simple Prayer Author Unknown
Today, For what I am that I ought not to be, Forgive me.
For what I am not that I ought to be, Forgive me.
Be with my mouth in what it speaks
Be with my hands in what they do
Be with my mind in what it thinks
Be with my heart in what it feels
May I reflect You. Change me.
And work in me
...through me
...for me spite of me
In the precious name of Jesus, 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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