That Was Easy!


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Psalm 16:8 I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. (NKJV)

I begin each morning in this order – – coffee, devotional reading from the Daily Bread, Bible reading and then prayer.

My prayer today was that I please God in thought, word and deed. Nothing to it, or ‘That was easy’, as a certain company jingle tells us.

Next I sit at my computer, ready to read newly arrived emails. And I sit. And sit And – – “come on computer, don’t start my day working at a snail’s pace. I’m not sitting here to waste time”. My, that was easy – I’ve blown my good intentions already and the day has just begun.

“Whoops, Lord – sorry. It didn’t take much for me to forget”.

How easy it is to plan our day, and how easy it is to allow distractions to destroy them.

Prayer: Help us focus on what is good today. Let us follow Your directions so, at the end of our day, we end our day knowing we have done our very best, in all ways. Let us then justly claim that ‘that was easy’. Amen.

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Rich Beyond Compare!


I am rich beyond compare!

I have family and friends.

I have a roof over my head and heat, water and comfort.

I have clothes to wear and even enough to share.

I have freedom and safety.

That is a life of riches!

But it took me a while to realize how fortunate I am. You know those times, when troubles strike and you cannot see your way through the ‘darkness’. Those are the times when the ‘poor me’ syndrome kicks in and nothing lifts you up out of those doldrums.

Now, with world strife and wars and famine abounding, how rich I am to be where I am, with what I have and with who I have in my life. Rich beyond compare I call it, and I am thankful for it all. Most of all I am thankful for my attitude of thankfulness, it’s a much nicer place to be than the ‘why is this happening to me’ place.

1 Timothy 6:6-10 says it all: Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and is certain we can carry nothing out.And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness and pierced themselves through with many arrows. (NKJV)

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Remember……….


Whenever you feel overwhelmed or in despair, it can make such a difference when you choose  to ‘go to God in prayer’;  He will reassure and raise you up above the troubles of this earthly world.

“The Lord your God is with you.  He is mighty to save.  He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing”.  Zephaniah 3:17

Prayer:  Abba, please hold the reader close to you and give him or her a sense of Your peace.  In Jesus Name, Amen!

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Focus!


Matthew 6:6  But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and Your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.  (NKJV)

When you pray, do you ever find yourself being inundated with other thoughts and a myriad of distractions around you?  I do, I have to confess. 

During my bible and prayer time recently, I found my focus drawn to activity in the garden.  I was trying to say the Lord’s Prayer, but I kept interjecting my own thoughts into it.  It was so persistent that I decided I would write down my attempts.  Here it is.

Our Father who art in heaven.  Uh-oh, here comes a pesky squirrel.

Hallowed be Thy Name.  I wonder did you spill the feeder yesterday, to get to the seed?

Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.  You’re very fortunate you are quicker on your feet than me.

Give us this day our daily bread.  Even the squirrel!

And forgive us our trespasses   Even those of us who plot against Your squirrels.

As we forgive those who trespass against us.  Gotta be the squirrels!

And lead us not into temptation,  I plot to hurt it, but would not

But deliver us from evil.  It is one of your creations too.

For Thine is the Kingdom  And it belongs to you just as much as I do.

The Power and the Glory  I  give up!  I’ll continue to watch – but not during my bible time.  Sorry, Abba!

Forever and ever, Amen

See what I mean?  Wasn’t that pitiful?  Reading it, I was ashamed of my poor effort and my lack of focus.  My focus should have been on God and His Prayer – not on the squirrel in the garden.  

Prayer:  Abba, I thank You that you are tolerant of my weaknesses and foibles.  Forgive me when my attention is taken from You.  Direct me to focus on You and You alone, for You are more than worthy.  Amen.

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Christians And Christmas


I live in a diversified, multi-cultural area to the northwest of the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This area I now call home was only a small town sixty years ago. Now it has multiplied into the thousands. And yes, things are changing — in the home, in the workplace, in retail business, and in our churches. Worship styles are changing from traditional to contemporary. Christians have to think of new ways to get the unchanging, true Word of God out in the open for those who do not know what it is to be a Christian. What better time than Christmas to do that?

Take for example the Santa Claus parade we just had in Brampton. It was watched by many, including a mixed group of many cultures from distant lands. It was held on a Saturday evening when the main street was sealed off to all traffic, except for the floats that were all lit up in different colours.

I watched with a certain bit of pride as our church here in Brampton took part, using a float loaded with parcels all wrapped up in anticipation of the greatest gift we can give. The nametags posted on the float declared the birth of Christ.

After the parade, I began thinking how, in our churches, we need to market what we believe in and keep Satan from slipping in through the cracks of the foundation upon which we built Christ’s church!

1 Corinthians 8:6– Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You this day as we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Saviour and our Lord. May we never give up what You have given so generously to us who believe. Help us in spreading the good news as we have been commanded. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.

By Kind Permission of the Author:  Anne Russell, Brampton, Ontario

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A Christmas Miracle


Today, I feel burdened!  We have a friend who has major health issues.  She and her husband have been estranged for years.  The sadness, I feel, is for her children and the fact that they have not been permitted contact with their mother for many years.  The sadness, is also due to the choices they have each made to not decide for themselves, to contact her.  They are all adults, but have had their minds and hearts hardened due to the ongoing negative comments, made by their father of their mother.

So this posting is to ask you for prayer for this lady! 

It is to ask God for a Christmas miracle for Christina. 

It is for prayer for reconciliation for this family (mother and children). 

It is to ask God for His peace, grace and wisdom to rule supreme in all their hearts and minds.

It is to ask for God’s spirit of love and healing to fill the hearts, minds, bodies and spirits of each member of this family, including the father.

It is to ask for A Christmas Miracle for Christina!

Thank you, and may God bless you as you pray for them.

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The Armour of God


One and Only Creator Lives!

I pray God’s armour and therefore His protection each day, for my husband, my children and their families; for my friends and church family and their loved ones and for myself:  so I can feel assured that each one of us is guarded against the darkness of this world, in which we live. 

It’s easier than we might think, to succumb to a life that is wrong, when we naively trust the people we meet, who convince us that they have our best interests at heart: a safe way to determine if they are trustworthy is to ask if they believe in the One and Only God – a God who cares for each one of us and is forgiving and concerned about us, a God who does not seek retribution or revenge, but only what is good for us.  If they scoff at us and that suggestion – they really are NOT concerned with our well-being.

Even if we are not believers (yet) in God and His Son, Jesus Christ – we can safeguard ourselves (just to be sure) by saying the following – every single day:

Ephesians 6:10-18

I put on the helmet of salvation – please Lord protect my mind – take away impure thoughts, critical thoughts and judgemental thoughts!

I put on the breastplate of righteousness – thankyou, that this covers my heart.  Protect my heart against feelings of anger or resentment or unforgiveness.

I put on the belt of truth.  Lord please expose things that are false.  Help me to live in truth, to speak truth and if need be, to stand for truth!

I put on the shoes of the gospel of peace.  Help me always to be willing to share with others the hope and peace that you have given me within my heart and spirit!

I hold up the sword of the spirit!  The word of truth!  Keep me faithful in reading Your advice in the bible and thank you that the enemy (satan and his spirits of darkness) run when Your Word is spoken!  Let us read it out loud each and every day, if we are in a comfortable place and are able to do this; otherwise let it be in our minds, then at least, we are speaking directly to You.

I hold up the shield of faith.  Thank you that you are my Protector, my Defender and my Friend, please continue to grow my faith and allow all that is good to flourish in my heart and spirit and my life!

Remember that if we truly (really and truly) believe that the one and only God is all-powerful and that Jesus Christ is His one and only Son – crucified – died – buried and rose again for each one of us – then we can be assured that God protects us and will bring us through much!

Keep us faithful in praying!  Amen and Amen!

In God we trust!

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Your Attention, Please!


 

This is a definite “attention-getter”…………………

YOU TOOK MY PARKING SPACE AT CHURCH

One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, ” I always park there! You took my place!” 

The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down. A young lady from the church approached him and stated, “That’s my seat! You took my place!” The visitor was somewhat distressed by this rude welcome, but said nothing.

After Sunday School, the visitor went into the sanctuary and sat down. Another member walked up to him and said, “That’s where I always sit! You took my place!” The visitor was even more troubled by this treatment, but still He said nothing.

Later as the congregation was praying for Christ to dwell among them, the visitor stood up, and his appearance began to change. Horrible scars became visible on his hands and on his sandaled feet. Someone from the congregation noticed him and called out, “What happened to you?” The visitor replied, as his hat became a crown of thorns, and a tear fell from his eye, “I took your place.”

Anonymous (received in an email message)

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Blessed and Highly Favored!


My husband often uses the term, that he is  “Blessed and Highly Favored”,  in reference to his work and income, which, because he is self-employed and is in the service industry, can vary greatly day by day.

Many times when our income does not stretch to meet our outgoings, he and I question what, if anything, we are doing wrong – we tithe on every cent of income we receive and help in other ways whenever we can, when we are challenged by really low-income and it takes strength to dismiss the negative thoughts and bring ourselves back to ‘just being thankful’ for what we do have, and not what we think we should have, or need.

Stirrings of discontent, or fear, or envy are not of God – His presence and blessing in our lives gives us contentment;  strength to overcome and face whatever challenges us and additionally, causes us to be thankful for what we have – however modest our material wealth might be.  95% of the population of the world are poorer than our poorest here in Canada.  So – would you rather be who you are with what you have – or would you rather be one of the 95% who have far less – some do not have a home – have little or no income, having to beg for their daily needs, some are traumatized every day by conflicts within their country and they do not feel safe at any time of the day or night.  Is that how you would prefer to live?

God can and does, give us true peace within when we accept Him and His Holy Spirit, into our hearts. He accepts us just as we are and chooses to bless us anyway, with all that we need!

Colossians 1:21-23  And you, who once were alientated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight – if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven…..     (NKJV)

Pray:  Father God, help us to recognize our blessings and to be thankful for each and every need you fill.  Keep us from harboring resentments that are grown from thoughts of what we think we need, when in reality they are just “wants”  – which never bring true satisfaction, even when we get them.

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Be Vigilant!


We are aware that there is much evil, as well as much good, all around us, and so each day we need to remain observant in our surroundings wherever we are, and the people with whom we come into contact.  Many of the folk we meet are good and kind and they mean us no harm, but there are those who have dark minds and intentions, and because they have no conscience regarding harm they may inflict on others, we need to be ‘on our guard’, and learn to be discerning and wise – lest we also, fall prey to a dark, menacing and powerful person with destructive thoughts and plans.

Romans 12:9-12  Be sincere in your love for others.  Hate everything that is evil and hold tight to everything that is good.  Love each other as brothers and sisters and honor others more than you do yourself.  Never give up.  Eagerly follow the Holy Spirit and serve the Lord.  Let your hope make you glad. Be patient in time of trouble and never stop praying.

Prayer:  Father God, help us to stay focused and prayerful, in a world that can be threatening and unkind.  Help us to make the right choices and to stay vigilant in all things, in all ways, by Your Grace.  Amen

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