Weekly Spiritual Readings

July 3, 2015



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Today, God gives each of us a choice as we face life's challenges. We can deliberately choose to follow him and rest in His truth and promises or we can choose to surrender our minds to pointless worry and the resulting stress that worry brings.  Katherine Walden 

"Jesus Christ is God's everything for man's total need." - Richard C. Halverson

Now and then I like to lift my eyes up from the details of daily life and remember the bigger picture, and take a breath of God, and feel and remember that ultimately, it's all okay. ~ Dan Millman

In the midst of the storm, look for signs of God's presence.

Daily encounters can become opportunities to show God's love.

Day by day, ask God for what you need.

May we see others with the eyes of God.

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The 3 R's By Ann Brock Ludington
Jesus said: “Come to Me all you who labor and heavy laden, and I will give you rest...for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.~Matthew 11: 28-29
How many of you in elementary school were familiar with the term the 3 R's? The 3 R's referred to the foundation of a basic skills-orientated education. They referred to: “reading, writing, and arithmetic”.
According to wikipedia.com: the original phrase came from a speech made by Sir William Curtis who was a Member of Parliament in 1795.
In “AD 401, there is an earlier reference” to the 3 R's made by “Saint Augustine”. He stated: “For those first lessons, reading, writing and arithmetic, I thought as a great a burden and penalty...”.
For God's people to deepen their faith-life, there are a collection of biblical 3 R's revealed to acquire spiritual renewal during a busy day. They are not a “burden” and/or a “penalty”, and they can be practiced whether at work; commuting on a transit system; or in the privacy of your home.
The 3 R's are: Restore, Relax, and Renew.
Restore. Often God's people need to quiet their minds from the busyness of their day. Ask God to quiet your thoughts; be still and know that He will restore your soul, mind and body, to fill them with His peace. Psalm 23 states: “He restores..(your)...soul”. In John 14, Jesus stated: “I am leaving you with a gift--peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give”.
Relax. Many people in today's society find it difficult to relax. However, after you take a desired quiet moment to pursue His peace, it becomes easier for your mind and soul to relax. Webster's dictionary describes relax as: (1) “to make or become less tense or rigid”. (2) “to release (oneself) from tension, anxiety, etc.”. Proverbs 14:30a states: “A relaxed attitude lengthens life”.
Renew. After God restores you with His peace, and you become relaxed, ask Him to renew you to continue your day glorifying Him. In Ephesians, Paul stated: “And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind (having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude)”. You have now been refreshed and recharged through Him!
When you were a child you learned the 3 R's, but now as you enter a different season of your life, try to spend a quiet moment during your day by recalling the biblical 3 R's. Psalm 46 states: “Be still, and know that I am God!”. In Mark 6, Jesus presented sound advice for everyone when he said: &Let's go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.”, in order to obtain a restored, relaxed, and renewed soul, mind, and body. Through God you will regain His gift of peace and remain energetic throughout your day.
Lord God, thank You for the biblical instructions of how to remain steadfast in You. Help us to remember to turn to You for a quiet moment during the day. Amen.

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Tired of Saying, “I’m Tired.” by Tom
Have you ever gone through one of those times when your pat answer when anyone asks, “How are you?” you say, “I’m tired.”
When I find myself in that frame of mind taking a simple inventory of current life events usually reveals the reason: Too much life happening in too short or a time. Work is requiring significantly more energy. Family responsibilities have increased. Relationships that normally are mutually encouraging are not. Instead of enjoying life as it comes, life is managing me. Instead of enjoying life one day at a time, yesterday’s victories are replaced with tomorrow’s problems. Instead of relaxing and taking time for reflection and mediation, the next thing commands me to move toward it at lightening speed.
It seems as though Jesus’ statement in John 10:10, “I have come so that you may have life and life to the full” has been rewritten to say, “I have come so that your life may be full…fuller than you will be able to handle.”
So, it is no surprise that when asked, “How are you?” The response is, “I’m tired. Really tired.”
I’m tired of saying, “I’m tired.” So, what should I do?
For starters, take inventory of life. What things or events or situations that are creating the most pressure? What or who are the joy-stealers currently in my world? In what areas have I surrendered my legitimate responsibility of control to external forces? What commitments or areas of my life have been put on hold but continue to haunt me as tasks that need to be completed? Any one or a combination of more than one of these can contribute a cluttered and distracted mindset that will create an “I’m tired” disposition.
After taking an honest inventory of life it is essential to decide what must be eliminated. Be careful here. The task of deciding what to eliminate can itself become so difficult and time consuming that it becomes yet another burden to be lifted. Once the unnecessary items are deleted from your list, start knocking out the others one by one. As much as possible concentrate on one at a time, complete it, feel good about, celebrate it, and take a break before you start on the next one.
As you work though the process of elimination and completion set aside some time for Scripture. Here’s a couple that might prove helpful.
Matthew 6:25-34, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Taking a thought from last passage: rest. Get some rest. Sleep late. Take an afternoon off from work. Let the Lord run the world while you rest. A friend attributed this quote Dr. Carol Ellis: “The most religious thing a tired man can do is take a nap.” So, take a nap.
I hope these suggestions are helpful, if so good. There are other suggestions from experts more qualified than me. Consider then. Consider them Use what works. Ignore the others. After a while who knows, when you are asked, “How are you?” you just might say something like, “I’m blessed. I’m refreshed.”

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You're Not the Sausage! by Gene Markland
If you have ever been a hospital patient, you'll agree that toward the end of your recovery, things can get a little boring. Sitting in the bed you find yourself looking at the wall or trying to find something to watch on television. By this time your day revolves around your meals.
I was in just such a position one day when that glorious moment finally arrived…breakfast! Yes, I could smell the rich aroma of the coffee as I beheld a domed covered plate, which contained the culinary enjoyment that I awaited.
Carefully lifting the cover off the plate, disappointment reared its ugly head. There lay my toast, my two boiled eggs, and a blank spot reserved for my sausage. No sausage? We'll see about that. I called the nurse and alerted her to my meatless predicament, fully expecting her to call a code brown. There was a code blue, maybe a code red, but no code brown.
Patiently, I ate my toast and sipped my coffee saving the eggs until they could be properly eaten with sausage. After a few minutes I heard a knock at the door. "Aha!" I thought. "Food service is here!" With excited expectation knowing that my moment had arrived, I invited my visitor to enter.
When the door opened, it was my nurse with a cart full of needles, IV bags, charts, and paraphernalia. Before I could stop myself, I opened my mouth and exposed my true feelings. I said, "You're not the sausage!"
Never have I seen such a perplexed look on a face as she replied, "No I am not, but I have another bag of antibiotics for you." We had a good laugh together. She had brought something that was actually better for me.
I am reminded of a man in the Bible who was also sick on his back and asked the Apostle Peter for some help. Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!" Acts 3:6 And he did!
The sick lame man got more than he expected. In his mind he hoped for money to sustain him at best. He never expected himself to be healed in the name of Jesus.
You may be hoping for something or someone to come into your life to fulfill a need or desire. But just think, what if God has something in mind for you much better, far better, than your biggest dream? It can happen for you just like it happened for the lame man in the Bible.
Our God is the God of something better, the God of more than enough, and the God of abundance. Jesus said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantlyJohn 10:10
Abundant life is your promise! Don't give up on your dream, but be open to God's version of your dream. Believe it. Hold onto it. Let God surprise you with His dream for you. He will sustain you and bless you beyond measure!
Oh, and food service finally brought me bacon!

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God's Choir by Sharon Greer
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (NIV)
On one recent morning, heading out to my weekly exercise program took every ounce of willpower I possessed. It was a chilly, grey, drizzly day, and my aching bones were screaming at me to go back to bed.
As I was climbing into my car, I saw a streaking movement out of the corner of my eye. A large robin soared down and lit gracefully on my lawn. This helped to lift my dismal spirits, as robins always hold a special place in my heart. Before I had time to turn my attention back to starting my car, a second robin glided in, landing near the first one. Then, even before I could touch the starter, a third robin joined the first two.
Then their performance commenced.
They began to chirp in unison, like a beautiful choir, performing especially for my benefit. Ignoring the drizzle and chilly weather, they raised their heads and sang out their little hearts, almost as if they sensed how I was feeling. "Cheer up, cheer up, cheer up." And to top it off, all three of them were facing in my direction. What a uniquely beautiful experience! I raised my eyes and my heart in thanksgiving to my loving Lord, and humbly asked His forgiveness for my attitude. Once again, He had taught me an important lesson. Instead of being thankful for the new day that He had given me with all of its possibilities, I was groaning about the weather, which I couldn't do anything about. Then there were the robins! I felt a stinging in my eyes as I thought once again of the wonder of His amazing love, unearned and undeserved.
As the robins flew off, I finally pressed the starter and headed out for my exercises with a very different attitude. My heart was now singing in gratitude for God's beautiful choir.
If you ever happen to wake up feeling a bit out of sorts, take a minute to look outside and listen for God's choir. You just may be blessed, as I was.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, You know Your children so well, and You understand our sometimes silly weaknesses. We are so thankful that You always lovingly understand and provide a solution. Amen.

 
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DON'T HOPE… DECIDE! by Michael D. Hargrove
While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.
Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.
First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other's face, I heard the father say, "It's so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!" His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, "Me, too, Dad!"
Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son's face in his hands said, "You're already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!" They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.
While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother's arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, "Hi, baby girl!" as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.
After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, "I've saved the best for last!" and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed, “I love you so much!" They stared at each other's eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.
For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn't possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm's length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, "Wow! How long have you two been married?
"Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those." he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife's face.
"Well then, how long have you been away?" I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. "Two whole days!"
Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he'd been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me.
I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), "I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!"
The man suddenly stopped smiling.
He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, "Don't hope, friend… decide!" Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, "God bless!"


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Only the Essentials! by Katherine Walden
The night before I was about to head out on a seven-day trip, I began to pack. I chose a small suitcase, as it would comfortably fit on my walker's seat. I could easily transport my gear to the airport check-in counter, without assistance.
Makeup kits, lotions and potions that are mysterious to men and are considered necessities by women blanketed my bed. My favourite water bottle and travel mug, blouses, jeans and dress pants, scarves and shoes lay in a jumbled heap on my bed, all waiting to be packed neatly away. Of course, all my small electronics and their gear needed to fit in that bag as well.
Every item I wanted to bring was essential but how would it all fit in a small suitcase? After much rearranging, editing and repacking, I zipped my suitcase and lugged it to the front door.
During the week that I was away, I felt my packing choices were justified. I wore each item of clothing at least once, except for a blouse. All the cables and power chargers and electronics had been used multiple times. Although I used my water bottle much more than my coffee mug, I did use both. The only items I didn't use where the shampoo and conditioner as the hotel provided natural, scent-free products!
When I attempted to re-pack my suitcase a few hours before my return flight, a problem arose. During the week, I purchased several books, DVDs, and prints. I amassed a stack of handouts from the various workshops I attended. There was no way everything was going to fit. I had choices to make.
The first choice was easy. I threw my travel-size bottles of shampoo and conditioner into the trash. A bottle of Advil was the next to go along with a couple of lip balms. A few more items made their way into the trash, but I still couldn't zip my suitcase. Drastic measures were called for! My large water bottle was taking up too much room. I loved that bottle; it matched my cane. It slipped easily into my summer purses. I could attach it to my powerchair. But it took up valuable real estate in my suitcase. It had to go.
That morning, I filled two small trash cans with formerly essential items. My priorities shifted. My newfound treasures took their place.
In Mark 10:17-27, Jesus addressed the issue of shifting priorities with a young man of considerable means. By all accounts, this young man was an upstanding citizen and a devoted son. He was a credit to his community. Jesus sensed the young man's earnest desire to seek after truth, and He loved him for it. It was obvious the young man held Jesus in great regard as well. And so, the Master extended the same invitation He gave to all His disciples. "Lay down your life. Come, follow me." There was nothing new in Jesus' demand; He had challenged Peter to set aside his career as a fisherman to become a fisher of men. There was no rebuke in Jesus' offer; He merely proposed an exchange. If the young man stepped out of his comfort zone, the treasures of heaven would be his.
The young man's reluctance cost him dearly. There was no room in his suitcase for the eternal riches Jesus offered him that day.
Are there items in your heart's suitcase that you once considered essential, but you now suspect they are hindering your spiritual growth? Perhaps it's a good time to sort through those essentials with the Lord. Give Him permission to do some rearranging in your heart and He'll make room for fresh revelation and blessings.


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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
Be humble and avoid conflict. Refuse to allow a haughty spirit to cause you to act or respond inappropriately. Pride will only escalate the problem and create more trouble. These are times when a soft answer will turn away wrath. Exercise self-control and show respect to those around you, says the Lord, and I will undertake on your behalf. Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.

Quiet your soul and be sensitive to My leading, for I will bring you by a way that you would never have imagined. You have personal resources, talent and gifts, that you have barely tapped. I will give you opportunities to use what I have given you to bless and encourage others, says the Lord. The world is full of darkness, but you must allow My light to shine in and through you. Matthew 5:14-15 "You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house."

Many of you have recoiled from what you have endured in recent months and years. You have been traumatized by the difficulties that you have had to face. But, I tell you honestly that your much-needed healing is available and accessible to you. Come to Me in confidence and faith, says the Lord, and set your heart to receive all that you need to be emotionally whole again. Romans 5:1-2 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Take inventory and see where your forward momentum has stalled. When you stop taking ground from the enemy your victory diminishes. Make a concerted effort to recover your desire to progress. I will give you the wisdom and the strength to do all that is required, says the Lord. 1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

I sensed something ominous in the atmosphere. It was like forces of darkness gathering for an assault. I saw clouds gathering above--high up in the atmosphere, and the clouds became one swirling mass like the beginning of a funnel cloud forming, but not yet touching down. I could feel the presence of God as if He was brooding over His people--calling us to a place of safety in Him. There was a pleading--almost urgently--for us to be ready and stay ready. 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
If you will abide in Me I will abide in you. I will keep you in safe habitations. I will bless you when the world is not blessed. I will give you the opportunities to know Me better. I will bring you forth as an end-of-days generation into the power that I have reserved for such a time as this. So, find yourself in the unity of the Spirit. Find yourself walking with Me. Find yourself in a position of conversation with Me. Find yourself one with Me in these very perilous times, says the Lord.

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"GOD KNOWS"
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're facing...
GOD KNOWS!! --Author Unknown

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GLIMPSES OF GOD by Walter Manor, Jr.
It's said we cannot see our GOD,
though He is always there.
But I think that if we really look,
we find Him everywhere.
It may be in a drop of water
or in an ocean wide,
Or in a glance between two lovers,
strolling side by side...
And, when I look into the eyes
of children as they play,
I know our loving GOD is there
and with us everyday.
The wonder of a blade of grass
or mountains drenched in green,
Or pink and golden sunsets
let me know He can be seen...
I think He's in the movement
of the willow as it sways,
To yield to summer's breezes
during summer's hottest days.
And, if we look within ourselves,
we'll find Him there as well,
For it is deep inside of us,
our GOD will always dwell...
It's rather plain to see
if one will take the time to look,
The days of every life are like
the pages of a book...
And, as we live those days,
we find some moments that are rare,
It's then that we are given glimpses of our GOD...
and know that He is there.

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Open My Eyes
God, open my eyes so I may see
And feel Your presence close to me.
Give me strength for my stumbling feet
As I battle the crowd on life's busy street.
And widen the vision of my unseeing eyes
So in passing faces I'll recognize
Not just a stranger, unloved and unknown
But a friend with a heart that is much like my own.
Give me perception to make me aware
That scattered profusely on life's thoroughfare
Are the best gifts of God that we daily pass by
As we look at the world with an unseeing eye

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1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. - Deuteronomy 31:6

36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36

For the LORD your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them. - Deuteronomy 4:31

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 1 Timothy 6:17

So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light. - Colossians 1:10-12

8 I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. - Philippians 4:13

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If It Matters To You, It Matters To God by Mrs. P's Devotional
Many people make the mistake of thinking that God is too busy taking care of the “big things” to be interested in the little problems they are facing. Are you one of them? It may be your child’s bed-wetting habit, a quarrel with a friend or the small pimple on your face. No matter how trivial it sounds, if it troubles you, then God wants to take care of it!
God wants to take care of every area of your life, even the smallest detail. He loves you so much that He knows the number of hairs you have on your head. And if your loving heavenly Father knows and is interested in the small details of your life, then you don’t have to overcome any problem on your own.
When a friend's daughter turned three, he decided to bring her to Disneyland. Knowing that it was her first encounter with Disneyland and that she could be frightened by unexpected shocks, he decided to watch one of the theater productions.
As he sat through the production, his mind was on his daughter all the time. he was thinking, “Is this too frightening for her? Will she like the mechanical singing bear? Is the place too dark for her?” he decided to bring her to the show only after he had seen it himself and was sure that she would enjoy it.
Your heavenly Father cares for you in the same way as He lays out His plans for you. You are on His heart all the time as He carefully considers and makes plans for every aspect of your life, both big and small. And the very thought of you puts a smile on His face because He knows that the plans He has for you are plans to bless you. (Jeremiah 29:11)
So no matter what problems you are facing right now, you can rest in His love for you. There is no problem that is too insignificant for Him to handle. He is not just God Almighty, He is also your heavenly Father who loves you!
Luke 12:6–7 - Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.


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Lord, Take me where you want me to go;
Let me meet who you want me to meet;
Tell me what you want me to say:
And keep me out of your way.
Father Mychel Judge

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Read Through The Bible
Job 11
Zophar Urges Job to Repent
1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said: 2 “Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated? 3 Should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one rebuke you? 4 For you have said, ‘My doctrine is pure, And I am clean in your eyes.’ 5 But oh, that God would speak, And open His lips against you, 6 That He would show you the secrets of wisdom! For they would double your prudence. Know therefore that God exacts from you Less than your iniquity deserves. 7 “Can you search out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limits of the Almighty? 8 They are higher than heaven— what can you do? Deeper than Sheol— what can you know? 9 Their measure is longer than the earth And broader than the sea. 10 “If He passes by, imprisons, and gathers to judgment, Then who can hinder Him? 11 For He knows deceitful men; He sees wickedness also. Will He not then consider it? 12 For an empty-headed man will be wise, When a wild donkey’s colt is born a man. 13 “If you would prepare your heart, And stretch out your hands toward Him; 14 If iniquity were in your hand, and you put it far away, And would not let wickedness dwell in your tents; 15 Then surely you could lift up your face without spot; Yes, you could be steadfast, and not fear; 16 Because you would forget your misery, And remember it as waters that have passed away, 17 And your life would be brighter than noonday. Though you were dark, you would be like the morning. 18 And you would be secure, because there is hope; Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety. 19 You would also lie down, and no one would make you afraid; Yes, many would court your favor. 20 But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they shall not escape, And their hope—loss of life!”


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Use our hands, O God, to give peace, hope, comfort, and understanding to those in need. We pray as Jesus taught us, saying, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." --Upperroom


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