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Old 09-29-2015, 10:38 AM   #1
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Icon24 Weekly Spiritual Meditations - October 2

No matter how badly we have failed, we can always get up and begin again. Our God is the God of new beginnings. -- Warren Wiersbe

Joy is more than a feeling; it is a deep peace, blended together with a solid hope that God has not left us. Joy is a delight in knowing there will be a better day. Can we have joy as our companion even when the road gets bumpy? Absolutely. -- Karol Ladd

I challenge you to shift the focus of your prayer. Don’t spend a lot of time describing your mountain to the Lord. He knows what it is. Instead, focus your attention on the mountain mover—His glory, power and faithfulness. -- Bill Hybels

Our godly lives and actions can draw others to Jesus.

God shows up in our lives in unexpected places.

God’s faithfulness endures forever.

God, help me remember to be peaceful first, no matter what situation I face. --Melody Beattie

We see promises fulfilled when we place our lives in God's hands.

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A New Roof by Rosemary Hagedorn
It was during the winter, when we had accumulated a lot of snow on the roof, that I noticed a leak in the room where my computer was set up. I called our handyman right away to come and shovel our roof. After he was finished, I noticed that the drip had stopped, but in the back of my mind, I also knew that something had to be done come spring.
I called a few contractors and my handyman, who is also a roofer, to come and give me an estimate of the cost involved in installing a new roof. He told me everything that needed to be done. The old shingles had to be removed in order to see where the leak was. The old, water-stained section had to be replaced with new plywood. Aluminum flashing had to be installed, and then, the new shingles. After the job was done, I felt peaceful, relaxed, safe, and ready for winter again.
The job of installing a new roof made me think of our Saviour, Jesus, Who is our protector and comforter in times of stormy seasons and turmoil. He covers us with His grace and love.
Psalm 91:1-2 – Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. (NLT)
Psalm 18:2 – The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. (NLT)
My friends, when we feel all alone with no one to talk to, consider talking to Jesus, our Saviour and friend. He is at our heart's door, waiting. He is the One Who gives us the comfort and peace that goes beyond human understanding. All that we have to do is to call on Him. He is waiting for us. He loves us and wants to help us.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, there is peace with God through You, the Lord of all. All that we have to do is to ask. Be with us through our trials and temptations. Grant us strength, comfort, and the assurance that You are with us today, tomorrow, always. In Your name, we pray. Amen.

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How Strong Are You? by Sally I. Kennedy
"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)
The small squirrel, scurrying like crazy to get out of our way on the walkway, was holding onto a good-sized pinecone. He wasn’t about to lose his treasure! Amazing that he could grasp and drag something almost as large as he was. And how many times have you seen an ant picking up a crumb larger than itself?
We can work out, have great biceps and abs. We can exercise our brains and have great info and knowledge. But supernatural strength comes from the Lord, above and beyond our own abilities.
You are stronger than you think with God’s help and power behind you. It is good to know where our inner strength comes from and who gives us that gift.
So how strong are you? Very strong, in Christ. And that is good news!
You have the mind of Christ: "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus." (Phil 2:15)
"'Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?' But we have the mind of Christ." ( 1 Cor 2:16)
The Lord gives you wisdom: "If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." (James 1:5)
The Lord gives you strength: "It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure." (Psalm 18:32)
"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you." (Isaiah 41:10)
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak." .(Isaiah 40:29)
The Lord gives you direction: "In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:6)
"The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps." (Proverbs 16:9)
In fact, 'greater things you will do’: "Very, verily I say unto you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father." (John 14:12)
"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being." (Ephesians 3:16)
"Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always." (1 Chronicles 16:11)

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

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Desert by Sally I. Kennedy
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Deuteronomy 31:8
It didn't exactly look like a real sand desert, but there'd been a drought and everything and everyone was suffering from the lack of rain. The river behind our apartment wasn't it's usual bubbly, busy self, rushing loudly among the rocks and boulders. The animals were scrounging for food; bears were boldly coming into town in broad daylight to forage from the crabapple trees. Winter would be coming, and they were anxious to store away the needed 20,000 calories a day to hold them through winter.
Not a desert, just a temporary drought. Deserts are dry, dusty, and hot. They feel and look lifeless and unending. Spiritual deserts can be difficult places in our lives, for sure.
In the book of Exodus, beginning in the third chapter, we find the amazing and awesome account of Moses, beginning in the desert. At the time, Moses was simply and faithfully carrying out his day-to-day tasks, being a shepherd. It was a far cry and a long way from where he'd grown up.
After he had an encounter with the Lord in a burning bush, his life took a dramatic turn. During the time he was there, God had fine-tuned his hearing (he could hear and recognize the Lord loud and clear), he had his priorities straight (he couldn't figure out how this was going to happen but he trusted God and was obedient to His leading) and GOD PROVIDED (He gave him a staff to do miracles with, and a person to talk for him since he stuttered).
One thing to remember in the desert is that God is not absent. He may be 'invisible', but He is nonetheless there, watching over us and putting together situations, people, and circumstances in our lives that will strengthen and equip us for where He is bringing us. He has not forgotten us. God has a plan for us, and it is good* even in the desert. That's good news.
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

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Break Every Chain by Katie Farrell
Some sat in darkness, in utter darkness, prisoners suffering in iron chains... Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains. Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind, for He breaks down gates of bronze and cuts through bars of iron. — Psalm 107:10, Psalm 107:13-16
Addictions and habits that we just can’t seem to shake can feel like prisons where we are chained to the very thing we want freedom from. We may even hate the thing we are doing, much like Paul described in Romans 7:18-19.
Despite the fact that we may feel like we are in a prison with no way out, we have a promise from God that He can cut through the very bars of iron that seem so strong and powerful in our lives! This passage from Psalm 107 tells us that if we cry out to the Lord in our times of trouble, He will come and rescue us out of a place of distress simply because He loves us. This passage of Scripture also reminds us that we don’t need to get cleaned up before we go to God. We can be at the lowest point of our lives, at a place where we have tried hundreds of times to get free on our own and failed, and all we have to do is cry out to Him.
In His perfect timing, God Almighty will come in with His strength and break our every chain. He is able to open the door to any prison we find ourselves in and then free us to walk in the plans and purposes He has for us.
Lord, I ask You to free me from _________. I have tried and failed, because I relied on my own strength. I thank You that in You I can know freedom and the fullness of joy. Lord, I choose to follow You and walk the path You have for my life. Thank You, Jesus, for setting me free! Amen!
Do you hate the thing you’re doing and yet are still doing it? We all can raise a hand agreeing “yes” to that because there are so many areas of our lives that need chain-breaking by Jesus! Today, bring those issues to Him. Let’s ask Him to free us from the bondage that has taken too much of our lives already.

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"God is in the Waffle House" By Bob Perks
I have never eaten at a "Waffle House Restaurant" without coming away with a story.
I have shared some of those stories with you through the years.
I actually visit one when I am really feeling disconnected, out of touch or needing to be "spiritually" fed.
My recent visit was no different. The only one in my area is about half an hour north of me.
It was Saturday afternoon. The place was unusually quiet. As usual when you walk into a Waffle House, someone greets you. No matter what they are doing, they look up, smile and welcome you.
Maybe that's it, too. I wanted to be greeted, feel at home in a place other than my own home. I wanted someone to be happy I stopped by. (other than my dogs)
Like Norm in the television show "Cheers." "Norm!"
Today it was a young man with a big smile.
I walked over to the counter and sat at the very end. A server walked up and asked me if I wanted coffee. I took decaf and placed my order immediately.
I chatted with her briefly about how her day was going, if it was busier earlier on and of course, the weather.
She was kind enough to take her time with me and listen politely.
Nearby was the young man who greeted me. A tall handsome kid who loved to talk and work at the same time.
"I don't want to be a server. I want to talk to people," he said.
He was a hard worker. He was not only doing his "sides" for the shift but others. Sides are things you are responsible for during your shift. Like silverware, stocking napkins, cleaning etc.
Their system there always amazes me. The server shouts out the order and the cook has to remember everything. On a busy day it's pure entertainment.
I sat quietly sipping my coffee and scanning the room. I love watching people and where I was seated I could see the whole place.
But it was the young man that would bring me the present, the gift I receive every time I eat there.
I was served my meal and I saw him walk up to the juke box. I call it that but it is nowhere near what an old time juke box would look like.
My server was nearby when he suddenly said, "I can't believe it!" They don't have "Moon River" on this thing.
Of course I thought he was joking. I mean a guy his age even knowing the song would be surprising.
My server had no idea what he was talking about.
"Ah, come on! I know you know the song," he said.
"Nope, never heard of it," she replied.
I had to ask. "How do you know it?"
"Oh, it's one of my favorites. I have Frank Sinatra singing it on my iPod."
"It's my daughter-in-law's favorite song, too," I told him.
She's an old soul, too. That's it. He was an old soul trapped in this kid's body.
"Oh, now I need to hear someone sing it," he said.
You got it! I began to sing the song.
"Moon River wider than a mile, I'm crossing you in style someday."
He stopped in his tracks and said, "That's it! Thanks."
If that wasn't enough he went on to tell me about all the big band music he loved. His Dad listened to all of these songs so he grew up loving it.
That's my story, too. My Dad sang love songs to my Mom.
Then he goes on to tell me that he plays it for his girlfriend.
Okay, I've already melted in my seat. He's an old soul with a bit of old romantic, too. I wanted to adopt him!
"You know God sends me many gifts each day and always at least one person. You were my gift for today," I told him.
You know my friend, I've learned something powerful in the last few months. God doesn't just teach lessons in the tough times. We should always learn from mistakes and failures.
He also teaches us in everyday events. We don't see those because they are expected. They become part of the scenery of our lives.
My life started over in this very same Waffle House. It was there that I went when I dropped my wife at the airport for the last time.
God took me by the hand that day and placed it on the hand of a perfect stranger and his beautiful family.
Quite ordinary. Quite a simple interaction between two people, but it screamed out that God was taking over and I had nothing to worry about.
Yes, God is in the Waffle House, too.

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
Refuse to allow stressful situations to shake your confidence and quiet reserve. Keep your focus intently on Me, says the Lord. Be sensitive to My leading. There is nothing too big for Me to accomplish. I will bring you through in victory. Stay calm and solidly positioned in your faith. Matthew 17:20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you."

There are still matters that need to be taken care of before you can progress. This will require careful thought and a solid plan. Spend the time necessary to be sure that you are in a divine flow and being led by My Spirit, says the Lord. This is a crucial time in establishing yourself in spiritual precision. Stay connected to Me so that you can receive wisdom. Proverbs 2:2 So that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding.

Ask for wisdom in sowing seeds for the next harvest. This is a significant time when the seeds of kindness and generosity will produce a greater than usual harvest in the months to come. It is important that you treat others with the same respect and kindness as you believe you deserve, says the Lord. Be righteous. Galatians 6:7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.

You are living in troubling times, but you must not allow your environment to penetrate and disturb your peace. Gain and maintain peace in the Spirit and know that when you become one with Me, you are under my protection and direction. Do not be afraid, says the Lord. Psalms 91:1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
I have already said that which was necessary. The prophecies that have come in this time, those things which have been spoken, will take place. Be assured that my word never returns void. Be assured that I know who you are and that I will lead you, and guide you. I will direct you into exactly what I have for you personally and then those blessings will become a corporate joy and peace over my house. So lift up your heads and be encouraged. For, I am with you and I will always be with you. I will guide you in the fullness of your destiny. Let it now begin to unfold as you become one with Me, says the Lord God Almighty.

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Hold to the hand that holds the sand that trickles through time’s glass
The Keeper of His promises knows what will come to pass
Then should the fight be hard and night reach far into the day
Still, hold the hand that holds us in each untold come-what-may
Hold to the hand that holds the land and sea in folds of blue
He parts the waters of the deep so that we may pass through
And should the way that he allows seem foreign to our want
Still, hold the hand that holds us close where fear and worry taunt
Hold to the hand that will not fail though oft it seems, we must
Yet, if we never failed then would we ever truly trust?
His hands are rich with mercy, granting courage for this strife
Hold to the hand that holds us in the gray and gold of life
Hold to the hand that holds the plans for every one of us
And wore the nails and bore the cross for our sin; Jesus
Hold to His hand, He understands what we can never know
Hold to the hand that holds us near and never lets us go

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I'm Not Alone by Eddie Moore Jr.
While crying out for guidance,
holding that the flesh is weak,
From within a gentle silence,
comes the answers that I seek.
When my days are at their darkest
and the nights produce no rest,
in His spirit there's a stillness,
where He summons up my best.
Since temptations are unyielding
in their attempts to gain control,
His grace provides the shielding,
that protects my mortal soul.
Knowing I can not defeat them;
yet, with Him I'm not alone,
as He goes out to greet them,
soon my troubles will be gone.
I am shielded by His blessing
with this armor that I wear
and safe from life's transgressions
by the powers found in prayer.
My cup is free from sorrow,
it's overflowing at the brim.
I can stand and face tomorrow,
having placed my faith in Him.

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Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. -- Galatians 6:9 NIV

If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free. -- John 8:31b,32

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. — Ephesians 4:32

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

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. — 1 John 1:9

The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. - Deuteronomy 31:8

The LORD your God is in your midst — a warrior bringing victory. He will create calm with his love; he will rejoice over you with singing. - Zephaniah 3:17

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How Jesus makes you new by Senior Living Ministries
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ,the new creationhas come:The old has gone, the new is here! - 2 Corinthians 5:17
British businessman Lindsay Clegg told a story about a London warehouse property he was selling. The building had been empty for months, and vandals had badly damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and thrown trash all over the interior.
As Clegg showed the property to a prospective buyer, he repeated incessantly that he would have the structure repaired. “Don’t worry about the repairs,” the buyer told him. “When I buy this place, I’m tearing down the building and constructing something completely new. I don’t want the building; I want the site.”
When we come to Christ, we’re much like that lot with an old warehouse on it. Because of our sin, we’re in a dire spiritual condition. And often our temptation is to make all the right repairs before we give ourselves over to God by placing our faith in Christ.
But the truth is, God doesn’t want our repairs. He wants our site. He wants to take us just as we are and build something completely new. So don’t feel like you have to clean yourself up to come to God. Instead, trust in Jesus to make you new!
Prayer Challenge: Ask God to fill your heart with the truth that in Christ, you’re made new!
Questions for Thought: Why do you think people often feel the need to clean themselves up spiritually before coming to Christ? How does this truth of God making you new impact how you share Christ with others?

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Dear God, Help us to remember everything that You have done for us. We trust You to be our comfort in future times. Thank you for the persons that you bring into our lives. Help us to see others through your love and know they are your children and our brothers and sisters. Help us live so others are drawn to Jesus, and give us words to share our hope in Him. Amen.

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Read Through The Bible
Job Complains of Violence on the Earth
1 “Since times are not hidden from the Almighty, Why do those who know Him see not His days? 2 “Some remove landmarks; They seize flocks violently and feed on them; 3 They drive away the donkey of the fatherless; They take the widow’s ox as a pledge. 4 They push the needy off the road; All the poor of the land are forced to hide. 5 Indeed, like wild donkeys in the desert, They go out to their work, searching for food. The wilderness yields food for them and for their children. 6 They gather their fodder in the field And glean in the vineyard of the wicked. 7 They spend the night naked, without clothing, And have no covering in the cold. 8 They are wet with the showers of the mountains, And huddle around the rock for want of shelter. 9 “Some snatch the fatherless from the breast, And take a pledge from the poor. 10 They cause the poor to go naked, without clothing; And they take away the sheaves from the hungry. 11 They press out oil within their walls, And tread winepresses, yet suffer thirst. 12 The dying groan in the city, And the souls of the wounded cry out; Yet God does not charge them with wrong. 13 “There are those who rebel against the light; They do not know its ways Nor abide in its paths. 14 The murderer rises with the light; He kills the poor and needy; And in the night he is like a thief. 15 The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, Saying, ‘No eye will see me’; And he disguises his face. 16 In the dark they break into houses Which they marked for themselves in the daytime; They do not know the light. 17 For the morning is the same to them as the shadow of death; If someone recognizes them, They are in the terrors of the shadow of death. 18 “They should be swift on the face of the waters, Their portion should be cursed in the earth, So that no one would turn into the way of their vineyards. 19 As drought and heat consume the snow waters, So the grave consumes those who have sinned.
20 The womb should forget him, The worm should feed sweetly on him; He should be remembered no more, And wickedness should be broken like a tree. 21 For he preys on the barren who do not bear, And does no good for the widow. 22 “But God draws the mighty away with His power; He rises up, but no man is sure of life. 23 He gives them security, and they rely on it; Yet His eyes are on their ways. 24 They are exalted for a little while, Then they are gone. They are brought low; They are taken out of the way like all others; They dry out like the heads of grain. 25 “Now if it is not so, who will prove me a liar, And make my speech worth nothing?”

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Dear God, Thank You for loving us and being with us even in places we don’t expect to find You. Thank You for being our comforting companion. Sustain each of us with the knowledge of Your presence. 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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