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Old 08-12-2015, 09:48 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - August 14

"Being at peace with yourself is a direct result of finding peace with God." - Olin Miller

"God manages perfectly, day and night, year in and year out, the movements of the stars, the wheeling of the planets, the staggering coordination of events that goes on the molecular level in order to hold things together. There is no doubt that He can manage the timing of our days and weeks." - Elisabeth Elliot

Godís care for us, like ocean waves, is never-ending.

God is greater than our problems. Knowing that God will take care of our worries enables us to shift our focus away from ourselves and toward helping others. Only when we let go of self-centeredness and become truly concerned about anotherís welfare can we then act to meet that personís needs.

Despite our weaknesses and struggles, God can work through us to bless others.

Let our words be clear to express Godís love.

We donít have to travel to far-off places to do something for God. Sometimes God calls us to care for people in or near our own backyards.

When we follow Jesus, we can find that God dwells in places we never expected.

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PLANTING POTATOES by Joseph J. Mazzella
When I was a boy growing up we had several gardens around our old house. The largest one of all was used just for growing potatoes. I can still remember those potato planting days. The whole family helped. After my Dad had tilled the soil, my Mom, brothers, and I went to work. It was my job to drop the little seed potatoes in the rows while my Mom dropped handfuls of fertilizer beside them. My brothers then covered them all with the freshly turned earth.
For months afterward I would glance over at the garden while I played outside and wonder what was going on underneath the ground. When the harvest time came I was amazed at the huge size of the potatoes my Dad pulled out of the soil. Those little seedlings had grown into bushels and bushels of sweet sustenance. They would be turned into meal after meal of baked potatoes, mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, and my personal favorite: potatoes slowed cooked in spaghetti sauce. They would keep the entire family well fed throughout the whole year. It truly was a miracle to behold.
Thinking back on those special times makes me wonder how many other seeds I have planted in this life that have grown unseen in the hearts and minds of others. How many times has God used some little thing that I said or did to grow something beautiful? How many times has Heaven used these little seedlings to provide anotherís soul with sweet sustenance?
Every single day of our lives we step out into the garden of this world. Every single day we plant seeds that can grow into something wonderful. We may never see the growth that comes from the kind words or loving acts we share but God does. I hope then that you always tend the garden around you with care. I hope that you plant only goodness, peace, and compassion in the lives of everyone you meet. I hope that every day you help miracles to grow.

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Are You Waiting To Be Called? by Steve Blair
Back when the telegraph was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed.
When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A sign on the receptionist's counter instructed job applicants to fill out a form and wait until they were summoned to enter the inner office.
The young man filled out his form and sat down with the seven other applicants in the waiting area. After a few minutes, the young man stood up, crossed the room to the door of the inner office, and walked right in.
Naturally the other applicants perked up, wondering what was going on. They muttered among themselves that they hadn't heard any summons yet. They assumed that the young man who went into the office made a mistake and would be disqualified.
Within a few minutes, however, the employer escorted the young man out of the office and said to the other applicants, "Gentlemen, thank you very much for coming, but the job has just been filled."
The other applicants began grumbling to each other, and one spoke up saying, "Wait a minute, I don't understand. He was the last to come in, and we never even got a chance to be interviewed. Yet he got the job. That's not fair!"
The employer said, "I'm sorry, but the last several minutes while you've been sitting here, the telegraph has been ticking out the following message in Morse Code: 'If you understand this message, then come right in. The job is yours.' None of you heard it or understood it. This young man did. The job is his."
We are so busy living in a world that is full of noise and clatter, like that office. People are distracted and unable to hear the still, small voice of God as He speaks in creation, in the Scriptures, and in the life and work of Jesus Christ.
So I ask you, as I ask myself, "Are you listening, or are you waiting to be called? Do you hear the Lord when he speaks to you?

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"Lord, Prop Us Up On Our Leaning Side" Author Unknown
Every time I am asked to pray, I think of the old fellow who always prayed, "Lord, prop us up on our leaning side." After hearing him pray that prayer many times, someone asked him why he prayed that prayer so fervently.
He answered, "Well sir, you see, it's like this... I've got an old barn out back. It's been there a long time. It's withstood a lot of weather, it's gone through a lot of storms, and it's stood for many years. It's still standing. But one day I noticed it was leaning to one side a bit. So, I went and got some pine poles and propped it up on its leaning side so it wouldn't fall.
Then I got to thinking about how much I was like that old barn. I've been around a long time. I've withstood a lot of life's storms, and I've withstood a lot of bad weather in life, I've withstood a lot of hard times, and I'm still standing, too. But I find myself leaning to one side from time to time, so I like to ask the Lord to prop me up on my leaning side.
I figure a lot of us get to leaning at times. Sometimes we get to leaning toward anger, leaning toward bitterness, leaning toward hatred, leaning toward cussing, leaning toward a lot of things that we shouldn't. So we need to pray, "Lord, prop us up on our leaning side, so we will stand straight and tall again to glorify You. We need You, Lord, to give us the strength to stand whenever we get out of balance. In those times, Lord, prop us up on our leaning side."
"Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." (Isaiah 41:10)

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The Sound of a Cricket
THE main street in Albufeira, Portugal, was quite busy, with cars continually passing by my husband and me. Yet quite distinctly I could hear the sound of a cricket.
My husband didn't believe that I could hear a cricket's chirp amidst all the road noise. Just then I looked across the road and saw a small piece of ground sandwiched between two flats. "Come on," I said. "I must investigate this!" We crossed the road and discovered the sound of the cricket was definitely coming from that little area of grass and bushes.
Afterwards, while contemplating this experience, I made a comparison: When we have sought God and learned to know God's voice, we can distinguish it amidst the worldly sounds around us. We can sense God's ways of leading us day by day.
Let us keep tuned to God's voice and listen intently, so we may act on God's direction. --Stella Brugman-Wing
The sheep follow [the shepherd] because they know his voice. John 10:4
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:4, 11

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The Cloud
TALK about working in mysterious ways! God was pretty creative when it came to the Israelites in the Sinai Desert. God instructed the wandering tribes to trail the cloud that rested above their holy tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony. When the cloud was stationary above the tent, they stopped. When the cloud lifted and began to move again, they pursued it until it stopped once more. Imagine! Of all things, God used a cloud to guide the Israelites out of the harsh desert.
God's guidance comes to us in many different ways. Something that brings us closer to God doesn't always have to be "religious." God's guidance once came to me through a friend. At first, I knew her only by name and appearance. Unjustly I assumed her to be superficial and pompous. But through a series of ordinary incidents, God revealed to me the caring and faithful person she really is. Today we are good friends.
Often God uses everyday events to reach us. If we are sensitive to these messages, God will guide us in love. What's your "cloud"? How does God guide you? Keep a lookout to see. --Ryan Dennis
By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way. Exodus 13:21

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Living Bible Author Unknown
His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college. He is brilliant. Kind of esoteric and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.
Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students, but are not sure how to go about it. One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Bill starts down the aisle looking for a seat. The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.
Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet. (Although perfectly acceptable behavior at a college fellowship, trust me, this had never happened in this church before!) By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.
About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill. Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do. How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor? It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy. The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do. And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone. Everyone chokes up with emotion.
When the minister gains control, he says, "What I'm about to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget. "Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read".
I asked the Lord to bless you as I prayed for you today. To guide you and protect you as you go along your way...... His love is always with you, His promises are true, And when we give Him all our cares, You know He will see us through.

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Press On by Steve Blair
I suppose one might regard Thomas Edison as one of the world's greatest failures. This man tried more than a thousand different light bulbs until he got it right. Have you ever failed at something a thousand times before you got it right? If you had, your name might be right up there with that of Thomas Edison.
Actually Edison didn't think of these failed experiments as failures. He regarded them as steps in a long process. But late in his life something happened to Thomas that would have defeated a lesser man.
Thomas Edison's son Charles, one-time governor of New Jersey, tells the story. On the night of December 9, 1914, Edison Industries was virtually destroyed by fire. Edison lost two million dollars that night and much of his life's work went up in flames. He was insured for only $238,000, because the buildings had been made of concrete, at that time thought to be fireproof.
Charles was 24; Thomas was 67. The young man ran about frantically, trying to find his father. Finally he came upon him, standing near the fire, his face ruddy in the glow, his white hair blown by the December winds.
"My heart ached for him," Charles Edison said. "he was 67 - no longer a young man - and everything was going up in flames. He spotted me. 'Charles,' he shouted, 'where's your mother?' 1 don't know, Dad,' I said. 'Find her. Bring her here. She will never see anything like this again as long as she lives.'"
The next morning, walking about the charred embers of all his hopes and dreams, Thomas Edison said, "There is great value in disaster. All our mistakes are burned up. Thank God we can start anew."
Three weeks after the fire, his firm delivered the first phonograph.
"But this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

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Aging Author Unknown
God looked down... and saw that most seniors never get enough exercise. In His infinite wisdom God decreed that seniors become forgetful so they would have to search ​ f​or their glasses, keys, and other things thus doing more walking. And God looked down and saw that it was good.
Then God saw there was another need. In His wisdom He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things requiring them to bend, reach & stretch. And God looked down and saw that it was good.
Then God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional-calls of nature requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise. God looked down and saw that it was good..
So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it's God's will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath. :)

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
Ask of Me, says the Lord. There are things you need that you do not have because you have not come to Me from the depth of your desire and trust to know that I hear and answer your requests. I know everything about you, and I even know what you need before you ask. But, it is important for you to participate in the spiritual process. Come to Me. James 4:2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask.

In a vision I saw a beach in a cove with beautiful, white sand. I both saw and heard the ocean tide coming in. There was great peace in that place, but I knew that beyond the breaking waves a war was raging on the high seas. And, I heard the Lord say, "Even when the world is at war with nation set against nation and people against people, you can find peace in My presence. I am your safe haven in the midst of war, storms and evil." Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe.

You are in a time of waiting, but it would behoove you to exercise patience while maintaining an open heart, open mind, and open hand. If you will let go of unreasonable expectations, this time will pass with ease. Trying to rush things will only produce frustration and attract opposition. You can endure this time with grace as you put your trust in Me, says the Lord. James 1:4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

When you answered the call to come into My Kingdom, I asked you to do what is right in every instance--not what is convenient. I want you to be objective and honest in all things. Do not be swayed by emotional prejudice, but be righteous, says the Lord. Psalms 5:12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Do not pull back or give up on what you started; you are not finished. Keep moving forward. You have already accomplished more than you thought you could, but you must continue to be strong and resolute in bringing to completion what you have been given to do, says the Lord. Rely on Me to give you the wisdom and strength necessary. I am with you. Isaiah 58:11 The LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; you shall be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
I would have you to be an overcomer. Overcomers are those who fight through every circumstance--every situation that is established against them. The overcomer is the one who casts down the vein imaginations and the arguments that the enemy brings against them. The overcomer lives in My promises. Choose to be an overcomer and begin today by the renewing of your mind, says the Lord.

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Doubt cries, "It is impossible! You can't, you can't go on!"
Faith softly whispers, "Yes, you can. Just trust in God. Be Calm."
Doubt cries, "Look down! Your path is steep and rough with stones and briar!"
Faith gently says, "I'll take your hand. It's beautiful up higher."
Doubt has not one thing to give but "going back" alone;
Faith has God, eternal life, and heirship to a throne!
And so, on unseen eagle's wings, these feet of clay are borne.
While faith within me sings and sings, we rise above the storm!"
--Alice Hansche Mortenson

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I Found Him by Sandy Edwards
I found Jesus in my darkest hour
I found Jesus in my toughest storm
I found Jesus in a brand new day
I found him on my darkest morn.
I let Jesus come into my heart
I let him take my darkness away
I let Jesus handle all my trials
All I had to do was just to pray.
I know Jesus really loves me so
I know he will be with me everyday
I know he will be my guiding light
Even when my world seems so gray.
I know sometimes that I will stumble
I know sometimes I will want to stray
I know by the wayside I will sometimes fall
But I know Jesus will not turn me away.
I know that I may not be so perfect
I know I have many fears and doubts
I know I have many uncleansed sins
But I know Jesus knows what I am about.

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"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Isaiah 43:2)

31 For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. 32 Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. Lamentations 3:31-32

Great are Your mercies, O LORD; revive me according to Your ordinances. - Psalms 119:156

9 That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. - Proverbs 3:3

12 as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.Psalm 103:12

He who oppresses the poor taunts his Maker, but he who is gracious to the needy honors Him. - Proverbs 14:31

25 And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. " Mark 11:25

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His New Suit by Tim Levin
[this message was written in 2013] Billy Graham is now 92 years-old with Parkinson's disease. In January, leaders in Charlotte, North Carolina invited their favorite son, Billy Graham, to a luncheon in his honor. Billy initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, 'We don't expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you.' So he agreed.
After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. Graham stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, "I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his vest pocket. He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn't there. He looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it. "The conductor said, 'Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it.í
"Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket. "The conductor rushed back and said, 'Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are; no problem. You don't need a ticket. I'm sure you bought one.í
ďEinstein looked at him and said, ĎYoung man, I too, know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going.í"
Having said that Billy Graham continued, "See the suit I'm wearing? It's a brand new suit. My children, and my grandchildren are telling me I've gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion. You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I'll be buried. But when you hear I'm dead, I don't want you to immediately remember the suit I'm wearing. I want you to remember this: I not only know who I am, I also know where I'm going."
And may each of us have lived our lives so that when our ticket is punched we don't have to worry about where we are going.

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Dear Lord, help us to reflect your love in plain speech and compassionate actions so that we may be your worthy disciples. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Job 17
1 My breath is corrupt, my days are extinct, the graves are ready for me. 2 Are there not mockers with me? and doth not mine eye continue in their provocation? 3 Lay down now, put me in a surety with thee; who is he that will strike hands with me? 4 For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them. 5 He that speaketh flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children shall fail. 6 He hath made me also a byword of the people; and aforetime I was as a tabret. 7 Mine eye also is dim by reason of sorrow, and all my members are as a shadow. 8 Upright men shall be astonied at this, and the innocent shall stir up himself against the hypocrite. 9 The righteous also shall hold on his way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger. 10 But as for you all, do ye return, and come now: for I cannot find one wise man among you. 11 My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart. 12 They change the night into day: the light is short because of darkness. 13 If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness. 14 I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. 15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? 16 They shall go down to the bars of the pit, when our rest together is in the dust.

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Your voice, dear God, is not always loud. Help us learn to discern it among the myriad sounds and signs of our world. Give us faith to tell others about the power of your presence and your love. 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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