spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

Best Friends Forever

Deuteronomy 31:8- “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.”

After finishing her residency, Barbara returned to her hometown to set up her pediatric practice. Although they’d kept in touch by writing letters and calling regularly, it was exhilarating to see her best friend, Tricia, in person.

Everything about their friendship seemed to fall back in place and the girls resumed the friendship that had begun in grade school. Just like their friendship necklaces declared, they were still Best Friends Forever, BFF’s.

When Tricia was killed the following year in a car crash, Barbara was devastated.

She couldn’t find satisfaction in her medical practice or the fact that she was to be married the next spring. Life lost its meaning and she fell into a deep depression.

One day, her sister convinced her to attend church with her. The scripture above became Barbara’s lifeline and led her to give her heart to Jesus. He became her new best friend. 

She found release from her depression and experienced joy in knowing He would never leave or forsake her.

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A Match Made in Heaven

Matthew 4:19– “And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Someone asked how I keep thinking of Bible verses to use in my blog. Well, I said, “It’s easy. There are 31,101 of them!”

Another reader asked which I select first, the verse or the story/example? It happens both ways. For instance, yesterday, I was looking through some old photos. I came across one of my grandfather and myself holding up a nice-sized trout. How that man loved to fish!

My grandfather taught Sunday school. He was a living example of being a fisher of men. He preferred the boys in his Junior High class. “Catch them while they’re young and they’ll have a lifetime to live for Jesus,” he’d often say. 

He loved to tell stories. Boys loved hearing them. You could say it was a match made in Heaven.

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December Twenty-sixth

Psalm 118:24 – “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

“Real” trees have been dropped off at designated locations; artificial ones are stored away in garages; yard decorations have been taken down for another year.

Tinsel and precious ornaments are nestled in protective papers; garland is put away in specially-labeled boxes; wreaths and outdoor lights are kept on high shelves until next winter.

Christmas is now past. 

In fact, the day after Christmas I was in our local drugstore where employees were already working on Valentine’s Day displays!

Really?

When the store manager overheard the comment I made to my husband, he interrupted our conversation. “That’s the way it is, folks. Nowadays all people do is live from one holiday to the next. Retailers never miss a beat. We just keep the season’s merchandise on the shelves.”

How sad, I thought later. Always looking ahead to the next celebration, never content with today.

I opened my Bible to a familiar verse. I’d read it—even quoted it—numerous times.

Now, it took on new meaning as I thanked God for December 26th. A “plain day” with no special label that I was aware of— another day the Lord made.

A day to make memories with family, serve in my community, even do house work. A day with endless possibilities.

Another day to rejoice and be glad!

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Wonderful

I Peter 3:22- “(Jesus) has gone into heaven and is at God’s right hand—with angels, authorities and powers in submission to him.”

Recently, as I was compiling information on heaven, I came across this quotation credited to John Newton: “When I get to heaven, I shall see three wonders there. The first will be to see many people whom I did not expect to see; the second will be to miss many who I did expect to see; the third and greatest of all will be to find myself there.”

Christians don’t have to wonder if we will go to heaven when we die. We have assurance of our future home because of our faith in Jesus Christ and his payment for our sin through his death and resurrection.

However, if we look at another definition of the word wonder, “a remarkable or amazing event,” I’m sure we all will agree that it will be beyond description. Seeing Jesus and being in his presence, being reunited with family and friends, being restored to wholeness in mind and body, experiencing the answers to age-old questions, and so much more.

Heaven will be full of wonder.

WONDERFUL.

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Living the Spirit of Christmas All Year Long

 

Philippians 2:3b- “in humility value others above yourselves.”

In the season of Christmas, 

Have you noticed more people stopping for you to cross the street?

Have you experienced someone inviting you to go ahead of them in line?

Have you seen doors being held open for shoppers?

Have you been asked to donate money for the homeless?

Small gestures.

Human kindness.

Why can’t it be like this all year long?

The Bible tells us it can. When we put ourselves last. When we think of others first.

Researchers tell us that the happiest people on the planet are those who volunteer (serve others). These people have discovered the Biblical principle for themselves.

And they live the Spirit of Christmas all year long.

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Xmas vs. Christmas

Do you celebrate Christmas or Xmas?

Oh, yes, they are two very different things.

Xmas, although beautiful and memorable, is a social experience. It’s a gift-giving, cookie-baking, photo-taking season repeated year after year because of its feel-good/traditional/income-generating value.

Don’t believe me?

Look at Christmas. The added elements are the worship of the baby in the manger (who grows up to become the Savior of world); reflections on visits to him by angels, wise men, and shepherds; the revelation (and significance of) the virgin birth; candlelight church services, including the singing of hymns and reading of Holy Scriptures.

I invite you to experience the blessings that celebrating Christmas in its fullness will bring this year!

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No Tears

“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  Psalm 73: 25b-26.

There were no tears at our mother’s deathbed this week. It’s true.

It wasn’t because she wasn’t a wonderful person, mother, and friend.

It was because she had suffered with Alzheimer’s for six years and we rejoiced to have her set free from a brain and body that no longer functioned as they should.

We cling to the promise that she is once again whole.

Of course, the next day it hit me that I would never see her smile again or hear her call my name. I broke down, as you would expect. I will miss my mother!

But God is our family’s strength and hope.

And our portion forever.

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It’s Not the End of the Story

John 11:25, 26a:  “… I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die….”

Are you in the throes of watching a loved one experience the final days/hours of life on earth, as I am?

What comforts you?

Memories? Sure.

The presence of friends and family? Of course.

But I have found my biggest comfort in the words of scripture.

Yesterday, I read the words of Jesus in John 11. I cling to the promise that Christians need not mourn as the world mourns because we know through faith that this life is not the end. 

To be absent in body will mean eternal life in the presence of our Lord.

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Compassion vs. Complacency

Mark 8:2-9- “Jesus said to his disciples: ‘My heart is moved with pity for the crowd…’ He took seven loaves and a few small fish, blessed them and distributed them. About 4,000 people ate their full.”

Samuel F. Pugh wrote the following Thanksgiving Prayer. I am challenging myself to read it often. To keep me humble. To help me focus on what is important to God.

I am sure you have read it before. Maybe it deserves another reading during this season of giving.

Oh, God, when I have food, help me to remember the hungry; When I have work, help me to remember the jobless; When I have a warm home, help me to remember the homeless; When I am without pain, help me to remember those who suffer; And remembering, help me to destroy my complacency and bestir my compassion. Make me concerned enough to help, by word and deed, those who cry out for what we take for granted.

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Additions to “Thankful” List

Romans 12:10- “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. As a child, do you remember your classroom teacher or Sunday school teacher asking you what you were thankful for?

I always answered, “Mom and Dad.”

My parents are 94 and 95 years old. If you asked me the same question today, I would answer the same—but with an addition.

Mom and Dad just tested positive for Covid-19. They live in an assisted living facility where all of a sudden others are testing positive, too. Some have symptoms. Some do not. But, none of them will be able to be with their families/friends on Thanksgiving Day again this year.

I continue to thank God for them and for those who faithfully care for them when I cannot. To put the health and safety of others before oneself is acting from a Biblical perspective.

This ties in with “It is more blessed to give than to receive” of Acts 20:25. It may go against our human instinct to put others first, but it truly means walking according to Jesus’s command to be his hands and feet here on earth.

Of course, it is the Lord Jesus who should get our ultimate praise for the salvation He brought to each of us. As Christians, we are also thankful for his peace, his healing, and his provision.

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