Weekly Spiritual Readings

August 1, 2014



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Don't let anybody tell you that you're not somebody, first things first,  you are a Child of God and God doesn't make any junk.

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it.

"You will find happiness when you have as much faith in God as He has in you!" --Bob Perks

"It is important to learn to accept and work with whatever is going on, without placing out too much in the way of judgments or self-recriminations. When you accept, it is easy because accepting is not resisting; it is letting things pass through and saying, "Thank you, Lord, for another wonderful day." When you can do this, it becomes so much easier to break free of the karma." John-Roger

"Some people curse their hurts, rehearse and nurse them, or disburse them by sending them on their way. The best way to turn a hurt into a halo, a scar into a star, is to turn it over to God and allow Him to turn it inside out. He will reverse it so that it becomes a star in your crown!" --Robert Schuller

"We need to keep reminding ourselves that without the Lord we can do nothing.
It needs to become a habit of mind with each of us to tell the Lord as we tackle each task, ‘I can’t do this without your help, please help me’, and then to expect to be helped because we have admitted our helplessness, given up self-reliance and are now looking to Him.” --J. I . Packer

God's love for each of us is personal, powerful, and passionate.

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Forgive - Can We Afford Not To? by Martha Noebel
"Forgive them? I can't. "
"They make me so mad."
"You just don't know what they did to me."
Have you ever heard those words before? Forgiveness is hard to do, but with God's help, we can forgive. The definition of forgive is to pardon or excuse. It means that we no longer blame others or are angry at those who did us wrong.
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14, Matthew 6:15, NIV)
God tells us that forgiveness is not an option if we want God to forgive us. We are not perfect; we all make mistakes. We will not all agree on everything all the time. We must understand that and learn to forgive those who intentionally or unintentionally hurt us. Yes, we may have a moment of anger, but we must not become slaves to anger. We need to repent for harboring bad feelings against others so that we can be set free.
The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7 that the Lord looks at the heart. What does He see when He looks at our hearts? We want to have clean hearts and hands when we stand before God. Look at what the psalmist David said: "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me" Psalm 51:10
"Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure…"Psalm 24: 3, 4
We want to stand before God and know that He is pleased with us. We don't want to carry the sin of unforgiveness in our hearts. When we pray, we want to know that God will answer our prayers. We certainly don't want this willful act to hinder our prayers.
"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
If we continue to have bitterness in our hearts and lives, we do not show the love of God. The Word of God tells us that we cannot even say we love God if we have hate toward someone else1 John 4:20 so what must we do? Colossians 3:12 tells us to "clothe yourselves with compassion." Philippians 2:4 says to "look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Galatians 6:2 instructs us to "carry each other's burdens." Ephesians 4:32declares, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you."
The lines are drawn. The Word is clear. We must forgive! No matter the offense, no matter how much pain we feel, we must forgive. We can't take revenge or even gloat when our enemy fallsRomans 12:19-21 Proverbs 24:17
Let's ask God to fill us with His love for those who have offended us. Let’s learn to walk in love and peace. We will be glad we did.Forgive - Can We Afford Not To? by Martha Noebel
"Forgive them? I can't. "
"They make me so mad."
"You just don't know what they did to me."
Have you ever heard those words before? Forgiveness is hard to do, but with God's help, we can forgive. The definition of forgive is to pardon or excuse. It means that we no longer blame others or are angry at those who did us wrong.
"For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 6:14, Matthew 6:15, NIV)
God tells us that forgiveness is not an option if we want God to forgive us. We are not perfect; we all make mistakes. We will not all agree on everything all the time. We must understand that and learn to forgive those who intentionally or unintentionally hurt us. Yes, we may have a moment of anger, but we must not become slaves to anger. We need to repent for harboring bad feelings against others so that we can be set free.
The Bible tells us in 1 Samuel 16:7 that the Lord looks at the heart. What does He see when He looks at our hearts? We want to have clean hearts and hands when we stand before God. Look at what the psalmist David said: "Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me" Psalm 51:10
"Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure…"Psalm 24: 3, 4
We want to stand before God and know that He is pleased with us. We don't want to carry the sin of unforgiveness in our hearts. When we pray, we want to know that God will answer our prayers. We certainly don't want this willful act to hinder our prayers.
"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
If we continue to have bitterness in our hearts and lives, we do not show the love of God. The Word of God tells us that we cannot even say we love God if we have hate toward someone else1 John 4:20 so what must we do? Colossians 3:12 tells us to "clothe yourselves with compassion." Philippians 2:4 says to "look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others." Galatians 6:2 instructs us to "carry each other's burdens." Ephesians 4:32declares, "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you."
The lines are drawn. The Word is clear. We must forgive! No matter the offense, no matter how much pain we feel, we must forgive. We can't take revenge or even gloat when our enemy fallsRomans 12:19-21 Proverbs 24:17
Let's ask God to fill us with His love for those who have offended us. Let’s learn to walk in love and peace. We will be glad we did.

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FOUR PLACES AT ONCE Author Unknown
There is a proper time and procedure for every delight. Ecclesiastes 8:6
If you were to point your car southwest of Cortez, Colorado, drive exactly 38 miles along Highway 160 and then hang a right on Four Corners Monument Road, in about a half mile you'd run into the only spot in America where you can be in four states at the same time: the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. It's out in the middle of an empty desert, surrounded by dust, rocks and boulders.
But that doesn't stop upwards of 2,000 people a day from visiting Four Corners and waiting in line just for the thrill of having their picture taken standing in four states at once. Truly the American way, huh—trying to be four places at one time!
Truth be told, it's a picture of the way many of us elect to live our lives. We are constantly pulled in several different directions. Our pressure-filled, rush-rush, hurried lifestyle has a way of leaving us winded, dazed and addicted to the next item on our activity list.
It leaves us little time for serious spiritual reflection. Little time for anything more than snap judgments. Little time to share our dreams with each other as a couple. Little sense of where we've been and where we're going.
What's more, I fear that by crowding out any room for meaningful communication, original thoughts or spiritual insights in our family schedules, we're fueling in our children a raw addiction to activity, constant motion, continuous noise and endless sensory stimulation.
I urge you to stop and check the speed limit on this road you're on. Imagine a life that allows for real living . . . the kind you'll never find at Four Corners.
“Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
"Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money." Matthew 6:24
"Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God that passes all understanding will guard your hearts." Philippians 4:6-7

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Big Monster Feet by Sally I. Kennedy
He who watches over you will not slumber. Psalm 121:3
We had just been there earlier in the day, and I never noticed any monster clues. It did, though, look like a claw foot of a giant monster for sure, and a photo doesn't lie. Does it?
Where clay and rocky mountain riverbanks slide down to the water, someone with an active imagination might see monster things. I recall my dad looking at cloud formations, and pointing out animals, faces, and other images. He was creative and inventive with no doubt a good imagination. That was great in the daytime, but at night or in dim light it wasn't so terrific to see monsters in the crack of the closet door, coats on hangers and moving shadows. Nope, I was definitely not interested in seeing any monster feet.
Sometimes the enemy of our soul taunts us with scary monster tactics. The what-ifs are right up there, along with any number of fear tactics- none of which are real.
The reality is GOD. He's with us, He takes care of us, He watches over us, He saves us, and He will never ever leave us. He never takes a cat-nap, tunes out, or turns away.*
With all of that, any big monster feet that come after us can forget it and turn tail and run.
That's good news.
* Psalm 121 1I lift up my eyes to the mountains-where does my help come from? 2My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3He will not let your foot slip-he who watches over you will not slumber; 4indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5The Lord watches over you-the Lord is your shade at your right hand; 6the sun will not harm you by day,nor the moon by night. 7The Lord will keep you from all harm-he will watch over your life; 8the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

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Little Pogo Sticks by Sally I. Kennedy
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
The happy flock of sparrows were jumping and hopping as if they were on little pogo sticks. They were, indeed, having a fun afternoon in the sun outside the coffee shop.
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia says that sparrows are very social and the most cheerful of birds. As I watched them, I thought I could take a few lessons from them. Not jumping on a pogo stick but simply enjoying the moment, rejoicing in the present, choosing joy and being cheerful.
'Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care.' (Matthew 10:29) Our Father's love and care for us is priceless; with or without pogo sticks.

 
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It is sung every week around the world. It’s even been said that the words of this hymn have been sung more than any other in the world:
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.”
But most of us have never heard the story behind this hymn many of us sing every Sunday in our churches. A great plague hit England in 1665, and many people died. One year later, in 1666, a major fire destroyed four-fifths of London. Samuel Pepys, a member of Parliament, wrote in his diary: “All around me is death and despair. I don’t think we can recover from this double tragedy.”
One clergyman in the Church of England during this time was a man named Thomas Ken, who later would become Bishop. Thomas Ken believed that the people could definitely survive the double tragedy of the plague and the fire, and worked hard helping the people keep their faith and hope strong.
In the years which followed, some of the darkest in all the history of England, he wrote the hymn which is now so famous around the world.
Sobering, isn’t it? To think that a hymn which we still sing nearly 350 years later as an expression of gladness and gratitude toward God, was composed during a time when many people had died, and many of the survivors were recovering from losing their loved ones, homes and businesses.
In the midst of our darkest times, can we sing with faith and gratitude these words of hope and thanksgiving? --Rocky Henriques


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Your Grace Finds Me by Matt Redman
The grace of God found us at the cross – it was a saving grace that ushered us from death to life, and from darkness into glorious light. That is the centrepiece of all we believe – but that is not the end of the story of grace. For His grace keeps on finding us – the undeserved goodness of God showing up in our everyday existence. Yes, we hear the sonic boom of grace at the cross, yet not a day goes by that we don’t hear echoes of God’s grace in the details of our every day lives.
There are all kinds of grace. The gift of life itself is grace – the freely given, undeserved gift of God. I can breathe – that’s respiratory grace. I can see – that’s optical grace. I can think – that’s neurological grace. I have friends and family – that’s relational grace. It’s all grace – the beautiful, undeserved kindness of God in my life. Whether they’re aware of it or not, no one has ever lived a day without the grace of God at work in their life somehow. As Psalm 145:9 puts it:
“The LORD is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all His creation.” (NLT)
To some degree every living person gets showered in the goodness of God, whether they acknowledge Him or not. We see this thought amplified again in the New Testament, as Jesus teaches us:
“”He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteousness.” (Matthew 5:45)
The song “Your Grace Finds Me” is an attempt to sing about the wide and wonderful spectrum of God’s grace. It’s there in the newborn cry and there in the light of every sunrise. It’s there on a wedding day, but also there in our moments weeping by the graveside. It’s there both in the mundane and on the mountaintop. The chorus of this song attempts to summarize the epic reach of God’s grace:
“From the creation to the cross,
There from the cross into eternity,
Your grace finds me, yes Your grace finds me.
There in the darkest night of the soul,
There in the sweetest songs of victory
Your grace finds me, yes Your grace finds me.”
And the most beautiful thing about the grace of God is that it always finds us where we are.

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Off The Cliff by Ellen Channon
1 Thessalonians 5:18 – In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (NKJV)
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! (NKJV)
Let me start off with some home truths. First and foremost, I am a klutz. Secondly, I really procrastinate when it comes to making a decision and taking action.
I have been pondering awhile on completing and submitting a meditation to a devotional. Prayerfully, I have sought whether this was a plan that God had for me, since I am far less active than in years gone by, and increasingly deaf, making group activities a real challenge. And so, as so often happens in my life, God pushed me off the cliff this morning, and here we go.
It's a cloudy, cool Saturday morning, and as usual, I was up before the sun. Fine, I thought, after completing my devotions. Let's feed the hungry with some fresh muffins. I whipped up a bowl of batter for blueberry muffins, lined the bake pans, and preheated the oven. Next, the klutz took over. After I had spooned the batter into each muffin cup, in a truly Ellen fashion, somehow, I caught the edge of one of the muffin tins. It made a perfect one-and-a-half gainer through the air and landed face down on the kitchen floor.
With as much care as I could, I turned over the mess. I managed to save one liner of batter but the other five were beyond my salvation. I scooped them up and put them in the trash. Wiping up the mess off the carpet, I kept telling myself, In everything give thanks! Rejoice in the Lord always!
I finished distributing the batter after relining the muffin tins, but the batter was insufficient to fill the cups. Thinking quickly with a prayer for inspiration, I mixed up half a recipe of regular muffins and topped off each one.
Philippians 4:19 – And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (NKJV)
I popped the resulting masterpieces into the oven for a quick bake and went back to cleaning up the kitchen dishes, counter, and floor.
As I did these normal, mindless tasks, I meditated on what godly lesson I was learning in this. The muffin mess reminded me of how messy we can get our own lives when we dash madly at activity or act without putting God first. And yet, I thought, God can take that disaster and turn it around for His glory. Look at the people God used in the Scripture. Like me, many of them were trying to go their own way to avoid the call of God to do a task, or they hesitated because they felt unworthy or incapable. But this is what we read:
Psalm 32:8 – I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. (NKJV)
With God surrounding us, we can accomplish what He has called us to do. So go ahead — take that leap of faith off the cliff: write that study or devotional; volunteer in Church school, Vacation Bible School, nursery, or outreach activity. When God leads you to it, He will see you through it.
Oh, by the way, the messed-up muffins tasted pretty good!
Lord God, we thank and praise You for being in the midst of our messes. Thank You for walking with us wherever we go. Guide our feet in Your paths. Help us to hear Your call and Your desire for our direction. Then, Lord, please push us off the cliff of indecision to take action. In the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, we do pray. Amen

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Small Straws In A Soft Wind by Marsha Burns
I heard the Lord say, "Go deep! Refuse to get stuck in what you already know religiously, and look for a deeper spiritual understanding of Who I am and who you are in Me. Move into the realm of spiritual reality where My Word is not just a fable, but is the plan by which you live your life here and now and for eternity. You are in a crucial time where you must choose to grow or you will become dormant." 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.

You are entering a time of exploration and discovery when you can search for Me with all your heart and examine My character and nature in order to know Me on a personal level, says the Lord. I will show you who I am in greater depth of understanding so that you can discover who you are in My kingdom. This discovery will expand your spiritual horizons. Deuteronomy 4:29 "But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul."

Thoughts of people from your past bring another opportunity to forgive and let go of feelings of rejection, betrayal and abandonment. Do this quickly so that you do not become obsessed with things you can do nothing about. Stay present with Me, says the Lord, and keep your focus on things that matter here and now. 2 Peter 1:10-12 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth.

What have you overlooked? You cannot continue on the path that I have set before you until you see and understand what you failed to recognize and consider. If you will be still, ask for wisdom, and look carefully, you will see what it is that I am showing you, says the Lord. This is a time when you can bring all factors into consideration and tie up loose ends. Psalms 119:27 Make me understand the way of Your precepts; so shall I meditate on Your wondrous works.

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The Trumpet by Bill Burns
"Set the trumpet to your mouth!" Hosea 8:1
Have you seen this? Have you seen that I desire that you receive the anointing that I am providing? Have you reached out by faith to receive that which I have done? This day I give you fresh oil. Fresh oil because the old oil has become stagnant; the old oil is not found in the strength that it once was. So, today I come to pour out upon you the fresh oil of My Spirit so that you can be made ready for the season that you live in and become one of those that I call My own according to My purposes. You can be instantly positioned to be used at any given time to know My way and to walk in My path. Hear My voice and become one with Me, says the Lord.

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THE "U" IN JESUS Author Unknown
Before U were thought of or time had begun,
God even stuck U in the name of His Son.
And each time U pray, you'll see it's true
You can't spell out JesUs and not include U.
You're a pretty big part of His wonderful name,
For U, He was born; that's why He came.
And His great love for U is the reason He died.
It even takes U to spell crUcified.
Isn't it thrilling and splendidly grand
He rose from the dead, with U in His plan.
The stones split away, the gold trUmpet blew,
and this word resUrrection is spelled with a U.
When JesUs left earth at His upward ascension,
He felt there was one thing He just had to mention.
Go into the world and tell them it's true
That I love them all - Just like I love U.
So many great people are spelled with a U,
Don't they have a right to know JesUs too?
It all depends now on what U will do,
He'd like them to know
But it all starts with U.

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"START OVER!" Author Unknown
When you've trusted God and walked his way
When you've felt his hand lead you day by day
But your steps now take you another way...
START OVER!
When you've made your plans and they've gone awry
When you've tried your best and there's no more try
When you've failed yourself and you don't know why...
START OVER!
When you've told your friends what you plan to do
When you've trusted them and they didn't come through
And you're all alone and it's up to you...
START OVER!
When you've failed your kids and they're grown and gone
When you've done your best but it's turned out wrong
And now your grandchildren come along...
START OVER!
When you've prayed to God so you'll know his will
When you've prayed and prayed and you don't know still
When you want to stop cause you've had your fill...
START OVER!
When you think you're finished and want to quit
When you've bottomed out in life's deepest pit
When you've tried and tried to get out of it...
START OVER!
When the year has been to long and successes few
When December comes and you're feeling blue
God gives a January just for you...
START OVER!
Starting over means "Victories Won"
Starting over means "A Race Well Run"
Starting over means "God's Will Done"
Don't just sit there...
START OVER!


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Dearest friends, you were always so careful to follow my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away you must be even more careful to put into action God's saving work in your lives, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey him and the power to do what pleases him. In everything you do, stay away from complaining and arguing, so that no one can speak a word of blame against you. You are to live clean, innocent lives as children of God in a dark world full of crooked and perverse people. Let your lives shine brightly before them. Hold tightly to the word of life, so that when Christ returns, I will be proud that I did not lose the race and that my work was not useless. But even if my life is to be poured out like a drink offering to complete the sacrifice of your faithful service (that is, if I am to die for you), I will rejoice, and I want to share my joy with all of you. And you should be happy about this and rejoice with me. Philippians 2:12-18

After dark one evening, a Jewish religious leader named Nicodemus, a Pharisee, came to speak with Jesus. "Teacher," he said, "we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are proof enough that God is with you." Jesus replied, "I assure you, unless you are born again, you can never see the Kingdom of God." "What do you mean?" exclaimed Nicodemus. "How can an old man go back into his mother's womb and be born again?" Jesus replied, "The truth is, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven. So don't be surprised at my statement that you must be born again. Just as you can hear the wind but can't tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can't explain how people are born of the Spirit." John 3:1-8

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips. Proverbs 27:2

Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him], Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion;
And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:21-24

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

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Everywhere by Sally I. Kennedy
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10
They attach themselves everywhere. They hang on tight and they're hard to get rid of. Never have been able to figure out exactly what kind of cocoons they are, but pretty sure it's some kind of fly or moth although I've never seen evidence. Usually they are found on the stucco wall, however could be on plants or just nearly anything that doesn't move.
One of the most beautiful and wonderful attributes of our God is his faithfulness and his integrity to who He is. He will never leave us, will always be there for us and help us.
Woven into the words in Psalm 139 is the question where can I be that you are not, God? Regardless of where you are, no matter when that is, GOD is with you. What a mind-boggling, awesome brief four verses to remind of us this forever truth, that God is 'stuck on us' and He is everywhere.

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NOT HOME YET Author Unknown
An old missionary couple had been working in Africa for years and was returning to New York to retire. They had no pension; their health was broken; they were defeated, discouraged, and afraid. They discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-game hunting expeditions.
No one paid any attention to them. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President's entourage, with passengers trying to catch a glimpse of the great man. As the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, "Something is wrong.
Why should we have given our lives in faithful service for God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us? Here this man comes back from a hunting trip and everybody makes much over him, but nobody gives two hoots about us."
"Dear, you shouldn't feel that way," his wife said. "I can't help it; it doesn't seem right." When the ship docked in New York, a band was waiting to greet the President. The mayor and other dignitaries were there. The papers were full of the President's arrival.
No one noticed this missionary couple. They slipped off the ship and found a cheap flat on the East Side, hoping the next day to see what they could do to make a living in the city.
That night the man's spirit broke. He said to his wife, "I can't take this; God is not treating us fairly." His wife replied, "Why don't you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?"
A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, "Dear, what happened?"
"The Lord settled it with me," he said. "I told him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put his hand on my shoulder and simply said, 'But you're not home yet!"

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May today there be peace within
May you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be....
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you....
May you be content knowing you are a child of God....
Let this presence settle into our bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance,
It is there for each and every one of you....
Author Unknown

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Read Through The Bible
2 Chronicles 33
Manasseh Reigns in Judah
1 Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. 2 But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, according to the abominations of the nations whom the Lord had cast out before the children of Israel. 3 For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. 4 He also built altars in the house of the Lord, of which the Lord had said, “In Jerusalem shall My name be forever.” 5 And he built altars for all the host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord. 6 Also he caused his sons to pass through the fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. 7 He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, “In this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put My name forever; 8 and I will not again remove the foot of Israel from the land which I have appointed for your fathers—only if they are careful to do all that I have commanded them, according to the whole law and the statutes and the ordinances by the hand of Moses.” 9 So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel.
Manasseh Restored After Repentance
10 And the Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen. 11 Therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon. 12 Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, 13 and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God. 14 After this he built a wall outside the City of David on the west side of Gihon, in the valley, as far as the entrance of the Fish Gate; and it enclosed Ophel, and he raised it to a very great height. Then he put military captains in all the fortified cities of Judah. 15 He took away the foreign gods and the idol from the house of the Lord, and all the altars that he had built in the mount of the house of the Lord and in Jerusalem; and he cast them out of the city. 16 He also repaired the altar of the Lord, sacrificed peace offerings and thank offerings on it, and commanded Judah to serve the Lord God of Israel. 17 Nevertheless the people still sacrificed on the high places, but only to the Lord their God.
Death of Manasseh
18 Now the rest of the acts of Manasseh, his prayer to his God, and the words of the seers who spoke to him in the name of the Lord God of Israel, indeed they are written in the book of the kings of Israel. 19 Also his prayer and how God received his entreaty, and all his sin and trespass, and the sites where he built high places and set up wooden images and carved images, before he was humbled, indeed they are written among the sayings of Hozai. 20 So Manasseh rested with his fathers, and they buried him in his own house. Then his son Amon reigned in his place.
Amon’s Reign and Death
21 Amon was twenty-two years old when he became king, and he reigned two years in Jerusalem. 22 But he did evil in the sight of the Lord, as his father Manasseh had done; for Amon sacrificed to all the carved images which his father Manasseh had made, and served them. 23 And he did not humble himself before the Lord, as his father Manasseh had humbled himself; but Amon trespassed more and more. 24 Then his servants conspired against him, and killed him in his own house. 25 But the people of the land executed all those who had conspired against King Amon. Then the people of the land made his son Josiah king in his place.

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