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Old 09-06-2017, 12:05 PM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - September 6

You are loved. You are wonderfully made. You are beautiful. You have purpose. You are a masterpiece. God has a great plan for you.

God is always available to hear our prayers.

"In Thessalonians 5:5-11, we read, "For you are all children of Light ... therefore, comfort and enlighten each other." We are here not only to learn about love, but also to support and teach our fellow travelers on this journey. Reach out to others to give and receive the Light of God." --Mary Manin Morrissey

"Have courage for the great sorrows in life, and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake." --Victor Hugo

"By actively practicing the Presence of God, the compass of your mind develops the habit of continuously turning in the direction of Spirit for intuitive guidance, comfort, security, wisdom, joy, peace, truth and love." --Dr. Michael Beckwith

When I think of any of my successes, I am thankful to GOD from whom all blessings flow, and to my family and friends that enrich my life.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

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Alone in the Valley by Sally I. Kennedy
I will not leave you as orphans but will come to you.....John 14:18
Let’s face it. There are times, when we walk through situations and seasons in our lives, when we are lonely. We even feel very much alone. No one is exempt. It’s just part of life.

I recall walking through one of these valleys. That 'alone' feeling would quietly creep up and unexpectedly pounce, sometimes seemingly from out of nowhere, sort of like being slammed by a wave.
I would rather be on a mountain top experience; I love those seasons. Yet I’ve learned most of life is lived somewhere in-between. And I’ve learned it’s all good. And, it’s all a gift.

All the years my dad lived alone, after mom died, I would often say to him, “I don’t like you being alone on Sundays (or a holiday, or birthday)” and he would always say, “I’m not alone! Jesus is right here with me.” He said it so often, that the reality of that finally began to sink in.
In every way, Jesus was his companion, there at the house, right there with him.
As I’ve thought about this, the beautiful beloved 23rd Psalm came to mind, where David says,
 Even though I walk through the valley …….You are with me.

We all have been, or will be, in a valley season during our life journeys. It is beautiful beyond belief, and peaceful beyond our finite mind’s comprehension, to know and sense the truth of the words in the Bible that bring comfort and healing. 

In the valley I may feel lonely, but am I alone? Not really; Jesus is with me. He’s right here with me. That’s good news.

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Special Delivery by Stacy Edwards
The beauty of the body of Christ is that no one is meant to bear their burdens all alone. — Stacy Edwards
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. — Galatians 6:2
Some days, dinnertime is a breeze. There are no wrecks on the commute home, the kids don’t have any homework, and you are right on track with your meal plans for the week. You walk in the door to the smell of pot roast and potatoes in the slow cooker and throw together some homemade bread just because you can. Yes, some days you rock at this thing called life.
Then there are those other days. The commute home takes an extra thirty minutes, and you drove the last ten with your fuel light on. Your spouse is out of town, and your children inform you that they have a science project due the next day that they haven’t started yet. You have no idea what it was you had planned to make for dinner with the pitiful offerings in your pantry. These are the days when the delivery person is your friend. It doesn’t matter if the delivery is pizza, Chinese, or sandwiches — you just need someone to help shoulder the dinner burden.
During some seasons, life feels under control. Our kids are healthy, our marriages are happy, and our jobs are fulfilling. We’re blessed with time for family vacations, date nights, and friends. Our social media posts are all beach photos and funny memes, and life is good.
Then there are those other seasons. We don’t spend much time on social media because tears in the shower are not as pretty as toes in the sand. The car breaks down, the toilet overflows, and an unexpected bill comes in the mail. We feel disconnected from our spouse, and the kids are passing around a stomach bug. In those moments we need someone to come along and carry some of the burden.
The beauty of the body of Christ is that no one is meant to bear their burdens all alone.
To fulfill the law of Christ is to come alongside another person, link arms, and take on some of the load. We are so much stronger together. Let’s look around and see who is weakening under the weight of a burden, and let’s carry it for them. It might be as simple as having dinner delivered to their door.
You knew that this life was too much for us to do alone, Lord. Open my eyes to ways I can carry another person’s burden.
Your Turn: It’s easy to get so wrapped up in our own busyness, family activities, and To Do lists that tunnel vision takes over. But, as believers, we’re called to do life together, to help one another, and to link arms when life gets difficult. We don’t have to look far to find a friend or family member who needs us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to them. Who is that for you?

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Eliminate everything unnecessary in your life in order to put first things first.
1 John 5:21 says, Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. The Amplified Bible elaborates on this: Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)--[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. (AMP)
It is imperative that you prevent any sort of substitute from becoming first place in your life. Fill your life with the true, living God, not a phony substitute.
You can tell what is important to you simply by examining how you spend your time. If you are spending so much time trying to make money that you don't spend any quality time with God, then wealth is more important to you than God. Likewise, if you are always spending time with friends and don't have any time to spend with God, then your social life is more important to you than God.
How you use your time is so important, because you can either invest it or waste it. However, if you waste your time, you'll never get it back. On the other hand, if you invest your time into forming a deep, close, personal relationship with God, then you will reap the rewards of such an investment for the rest of eternity.
Decide to put God first in your life: spend significant, quality, personal time with Him. Put the first, most important thing (God) first place in your life. --Weekly Wisdom

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It's All a Matter of Focus By Tim Bancroft
When my 10-year old son broke his arm while inline skating, we did the quick run to the emergency room, where the doctors and nurses gave him wonderful care. After the x-rays confirmed the damage, the doctor offered to re-set the bone prior to putting on a splint. Mikey agreed, even though he was told the procedure would be painful. As the doctor began the process, Mikey began to change his mind (vociferously). I told him to grab my hand, turn his face to me, and concentrate on trying to see every detail of my eyes. He did, and as he and I talked about what he was seeing, the doctor made a couple of final adjustments, causing Mikey to wince a bit, but not stop our conversation.
After the splint was in place, and just before the doctor returned to release him, Mikey turned to me, and said, "Dad, when I was focusing on your face, it didn't hurt as bad." I was so grateful that my little attempt to distract had in fact helped my son.
I tell you this story because it occurs to me that we often experience pain in life. The pain can be physical, mental or emotional. Sometimes it can seem unbearable. But if we choose to do so, we can focus on our heavenly Father, and talk with Him about "whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute...and the God of peace will be with [us]." And if we do this, for as long as necessary, I believe our pain, whatever the source, won't be so bad.

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NEW BEGINNINGS by Glenn McDonald
Chip and Joanna Gaines are the husband-wife stars of HGTV’s hit series Fixer Upper.
Chip, whose entrepreneurial DNA has led him to launch at least a dozen small businesses over the years in Waco, Texas, does the “grunt work” of renovating older houses. Joanna is the creative mastermind who does the decorating.
Their romance got off to what can only be described as an unlikely start.
Joanna worked in her father’s auto shop in Waco. She even starred in its local TV commercials. Chip began to make it a habit of dropping by. His friends started to joke that his car certainly seemed to need frequent brake jobs.
When they finally sat down to talk, something clicked. Could Chip pick her up for dinner sometime? Sure, she replied.
He arrived 75 minutes late for their first date.
By the time he stood at her front door, Joanna wanted to have nothing to do with such an irresponsible, thoughtless person. She ordered her roommates not to let him in. They did anyways. There stood Chip – with a shaved head.
All the way around, it was not a great look.
It tuned out that Chip had run a razor over his head to express solidarity with a friend undergoing chemo.
Maybe this guy wasn’t such a jerk after all.
Joanna soon discovered that Chip was impulsive, unorthodox, and outrageously big-hearted. She, on the other hand, is calm, diligent, and organized. They were perfect for each other.
After four children and four years in the national spotlight, they are TV stars who don’t even own a TV. They watch episodes of Fixer Upper only when on the road or invited to the homes of friends.
“It’s truly only because a fiercely faithful, brave and bold husband pushed me to pursue my dream that it ever came to be,” Joanna reflects. She describes her specialty as “making old things new and seeing the potential in every project – no matter how hopeless it may seem in the beginning.”
That speaks to the name they have chosen for all of their home renovation enterprises: Magnolia.
As Joanna points out, magnolia trees have astonishingly compact flower buds. They seem plain, ordinary, and tightly bound.
But when the time is right, they explode into bloom – approximately 30 times larger than the original bud.
Likewise, Jesus speaks of the Palestinian mustard plant, whose seeds are so small they are easily overlooked. Yet when rooted in good soil, a single seed can grow into a plant that towers high enough to accommodate perching birds.
Big things have small beginnings.
Abandoned houses can become beautiful again.
Weary hearts, when drenched in hope, can once again find a reason to sing.
As Chip and Joanna themselves are quick to point out, God is the original and best Fixer Upper.

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You Are An Important Part of God's Plan Author Unknown
It is so easy to see ourselves as insignificant in a world with billions of people. However, every one of us is an important part of God's plan! We have been given the directive to change the world, transforming it with His Good News.
"To the world you might just be another person, but to one person you may be the whole world."
D. L. Moody told the story of a man crossing the Atlantic by ship. One night, as he was confined to his cabin due to seasickness, he heard the cry, "Man overboard!" Being so weak from the seasickness, he felt as though there was nothing he could do to help, but said to himself, "At least I can put my lantern in the porthole." He struggled to his feet and hung the light so it would shine out into the darkness.
The next day he learned that the person had been rescued and had told others, "I was going down in the dark night for the last time when someone put a light in a porthole. As it shone on my hand, a sailor in a lifeboat grabbed it and pulled me in."
God has chosen us to reach out and light up lives, no matter how small or insignificant we may feel!
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’" Matthew 25:21

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In the Dark by CBN
Have you ever wondered why it seems that the longer you remain in the dark, the clearer things become? It is awesome how God causes this to be so in the natural as well as in the spiritual.
I remember many times as a child being afraid of the dark. My father would say, "Do not be afraid. Just keep looking and you will begin to see." That reminds me of how eloquently our Heavenly Father says the same thing: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1 KJV
When I reflect on the course of my life, I find I gain the most spiritual insight during times of deep despair. Not only do I learn how faithful God is, but I also learn how and why He orchestrates these situations.
During one of my most desolate times, I learned exactly what these Scriptures mean.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that Love God, to them who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 KJV
"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
I have often wondered, "Lord, why is there so much pain? Why must I feel the agony of rejection and loss?" Through my crying out to God, I heard His voice reminding me of a prayer I whispered years ago but had forgotten.
He said, "My child, remember you asked Me to show you those who were broken hearted and hurting?" "Yes," I cried.
"How can you minister to them unless you have felt their pain?"
At that moment, the tears of sadness turned to tears of joy, because in this dark place, I was able to see the light!
God is a loving and merciful Father, and everything we encounter in our lives is because of His love. It causes us to grab hold of Him, exercise our faith, and mature into vessels fit for His service. Suddenly, I realized He answered my prayer and was equipping me to do the work I requested so long ago!
Whenever you find yourself in the dark, do not be afraid. Remember this: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105 KJV
God wants to use us to light the pathway for others in darkness so they can find their way to Him.
"Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:16 KJV
When you are walking through a dark time in your life, be encouraged by this verse: "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9 KJV
Being in the dark is not a bad thing; it can be a time to grow in God, a time to learn to trust God, and a time to be thankful for all God has done for us. This will give us compassion for others as God shows them the light in their darkness.

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Bible stories tell us
How great Jesus was.
They tell us his works
and how he loves everyone.
Jesus has shown the greatest love of all.
He has died on the cross
for us to see and live
the home he calls paradise.
So with all our hearts,
let us thank Him for the greatness
He has given us
continuously and tirelessly.

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Slow me down, Lord;
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace with a vision of the eternal reach of time.
Give me amid the confusion of the day the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles with the soothing
music of the singing streams that live in my memory.
Teach me the art of taking minute vacations, of slowing down to look
at a flower, to chat with a friend, to smile at a child, to read a few
lines from a good book.
Slow me down, Lord,
And inspire me to send my roots deep into the soil of life's enduring values,
that I may grow toward my greater destiny.
Remind me each day that the race is not always to the swift, that there is
more to life than increasing its speed.
Let me look upward to the towering oak and know that it grew great and
strong because it grew slowly and well.
by Owen L.Crain

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'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 'You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. -- Jeremiah 29:11-13 NASB

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. -- 1 Peter 5:5b-9

The LORD says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” — Isaiah 55:9

The psalmist wrote, “Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” — Psalm 103:2

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. - 1 John 5:14

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth. . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. . . . For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. - Matthew 6:19-21

And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. I Thessalonians 5:14-18

As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. James 2:26

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Free From The Fowler's Snare by Lori Ciccanti
Ecclesiastes 9:12 – Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.
Psalm 124:7-8 – We have escaped like a bird from the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Last month, a baby robin fell out of its nest in my backyard. I tried to put it back, but the tiny residence was overcrowded; there was simply no room. Fortunately, this bird was fully feathered and nearly ready to fly. In the meantime, I prayed for its safety on the ground and looked after it the best that I could; nevertheless, I was delighted to see that the mama bird continued to feed and care for it as I went about my daily yard work.
Once the birds had fledged, the excitement was gone. Then, days later, my husband spotted a young robin perched on our fig tree; it was restful and quietly stared at us as though we had gained its trust. The following day, we saw no sign of it except a pile of feathers underneath the branches. We assumed the worst — something bad must have happened to our little friend. Still, I kept hoping that there might be another explanation.
Within a few weeks, my husband was outside picking fruit, when to his surprise, there was our baby robin, about to be mistaken for a fig! Again, he calmly sat without flying away like it knew us personally. Was this just a coincidence, or was this the same bird letting us know that it was still alive? If so, how did it escape such a misfortune? Was it another bird that had been killed? Many such questions raced across my mind.
Pondering today's Scriptures, we, too, are like helpless birds, unaware that the enemy is watching from a distance, always setting up traps to ensnare us. Yet, no snare is strong enough to withstand the power of a loving, almighty God. Whatever struggles we face, He alone will break the net, deliver us from the fowler, and lead us onward to freedom. His only requirement is to place our trust in Him.
Prayer: (From Psalm 61:1-4 NASB) Hear my cry, O God; Give heed to my prayer. From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a refuge for me, a tower of strength against the enemy. Let me dwell in Your tent forever; Let me take refuge in the shelter of Your wings. This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Dear Lord, We are your servants. Use us as you see fit for the glory of your kingdom. Help us to glorify you by using the gifts you have given us to help others. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Psalm 77
1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. 2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. 3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. 4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. 5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. 6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search. 7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? 8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore? 9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah. 10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. 11 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. 12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings. 13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? 14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. 15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. 16 The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. 17 The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. 18 The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. 19 Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. 20 Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

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Father God, Help us to remember each day that you are bigger than our worries and that you can always grant us peace. Give us the courage to step out and trust you. Help us to think of you throughout each day. May we catch glimpses of you and remember your goodness to us. 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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