spiritualsnippets.com

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

Signs of the Times

Revelation 1:3- “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it; for the time is near.”

My husband doesn’t like to record football games to be watched at a later time. He says he might accidentally learn the final score ahead of watching and that would ruin the game for him. I guess it’s all about the excitement of the battle.

God gives us the outcome of end times events. Not because He wants to ruin it for us, but for two main reasons:  1) To encourage us that right will win out over evil—Christ will defeat the devil— and 2) so we will be prepared.

The Bible tells us the signs to be looking for, how to discern the truth from lies, how to recognize the antichrist, what to do when faced with those who try to force us to take the “mark of the beast”… and so much more. 

Scripture tells of those prophecies that must be fulfilled before Christ returns to earth. (According to many Bible scholars, it is very likely that this may happen in our lifetime).

Did you know that every prophecy in the Bible that should have been fulfilled to this date have been?         

Many believe the agreement signed this week between Israel and the United Arab Emeritus is one of them. 

World events—yes, even those weather-related— are aligning for the coming of Christ. 

Christians need to become familiar with what God has revealed to us.

I believe God told us about these coming events because we will live through at least some of what He describes in His Word. We need to know what to expect and how God wants us to react in each coming situation.

Don’t be confused, frightened, or led astray. God’s Word brings direction, comfort, and hope.

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Happy Birthday!

 

 

 

Isaiah 46:4- “Even to your old age and gray hairs, I am he who will sustain you.”

This past week, my siblings and our spouses gathered at the Memory Care facility to celebrate our mother’s ninety-third birthday.

A woman of faith, God has sustained her since her profession of faith in middle school.

Through the years, our family faced problems common to all families. But, through it all, Mom’s faith has never wavered. 

And now, living with Alzheimer’s, her smile still lights up the room when she sings the words to favorite hymns or hears a familiar scripture verse.

The road ahead is uncharted, but my brother and sisters—along with our father—walk it with her. Our heavenly Father leads the way.

We’ll keep the faith.

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No Power Outages

Revelation 22:5a- “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light.”

 

 

Robin’s heart skipped a beat. Home with their two-month-old baby as her husband traveled across country to attend a class reunion, she felt a sudden pang of helplessness when the lights flickered and went out.

We are all aware of the power outages in several states due to hurricanes, intense winds, and flooding. And our hearts go out to families who are displaced … forced to rebuild …

Darkness causes us to feel vulnerable … uneasy.

But light wards off the criminal element and we feel safer—more in control.

The Bible reminds us that there will be no power outages in Heaven. No need of lamps, night lights, or street lamps.

We will never be anxious or afraid because there is no darkness there.

Our home will be with Jesus who IS light. “And in him there is no darkness at all.”

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Realigning Our Priorities

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Hebrews 13:5- “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”

 

Callie’s husband, Marc, was recently given a promotion.  Along with it came a sizable increase in salary. So much so that they could afford to move out of the lower-middle class neighborhood and into an exclusive Country Club home on the golf course.

This was a dream come true for the middle-aged couple that had struggled to make ends meet for such a long time.

It wasn’t long before they were settled in their new luxury home. Callie loved the beautiful new furniture and the couple enjoyed relaxing by their lagoon-style pool and entertaining new neighborhood friends.

One day, Marc came home to find Callie crying and distraught. “I thought I would be happy. But, I’ve been lying to myself, to you, and to God. I feel so ashamed. I’d read scripture enough times to know better, but somehow I thought we were the exception. We had all we needed before, but I kept wanting more and more.”

Marc nodded. “I feel the same way. This life is so superficial. I haven’t experienced one day of true joy since we moved here. Let’s pray for God’s forgiveness and then His direction in what to do.”

The story of Callie and Marc is all too common. Just as parents often must let their children learn things “the hard way,” God often teaches us in similar manner.

And, like our children, when we learn the hard lessons of life for ourselves, we are often capable of encouraging others when we see them making comparable choices, rather than relying on God’s promises.

When Callie and Marc’s priorities were realigned with God’s purposes, they starting a non-profit with their increased income.

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Suit Up!

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Ephesians 6:10-13 “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.”

 

Wanda Sue Maxey said: “There isn’t a mask big enough to protect us from everything going on in the world today. We need to suit up with the whole armor of God.”

Of course, we should follow the mask and social distancing mandates. But God has given us all we need to withstand the assaults of satan.

Why live in fear that we will touch something or be around someone who will put us in harm’s way?

God has called us to be bold, speak in truth and share His Word.

He has given us- 

THE BELT OF TRUTH: The truth about who we are in Christ. Jesus is the Truth that sets us free. We must let God’s Word guide our prayers. Memorize verses so we can recall them quickly when we need their encouragement and direction.

THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS:  Christ’s righteousness protects our hearts. Scriptural truths help us to walk in the Lord’s will. We should ask someone we trust to pray for us when we struggle with obedience.  

THE GOSPEL OF PEACE:  The gospel is the Good News, the forgiveness of sins and access to God through faith in Christ. Satan wants us to worry, but oneness with the Lord produces peace. It keeps our feet anchored and standing firm.

THE SHIELD OF FAITH: Roman soldiers dipped their shields covered with animal hide. into water so when fiery darts hit them, the wet hide would extinguish the darts. A Christian’s shield of faith needs to be regularly dipped in the water of God’s Word. Romans 10:17 says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” We must set our faith on God’s character, not on circumstances.

THE HELMET OF SALVATION: Salvation comes the moment we place our trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection as the payment for our sin. But salvation is also worked out through a lengthy process of sanctification when we allow Him to work in every part of our thoughts. The enemy fights for strongholds in our minds. Colossians 3:2 says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT:  “When we are tempted, the most effective weapon that God has given believers is the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. When the devil tempts us, we need to respond with the Truth of God’s Word. 

Let’s put on the Whole Armor of God and walk in the fullness of His Grace.

 

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A Thought for Today

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Ephesians 2: 4,5- “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.”

 

My sixth grade teacher wrote a “Thought for the Day” on the chalkboard every morning. I loved reading them and started a notebook of “sayings/quotes.”

It became a habit of mine to copy them down each day, so no small wonder that I have continued to do that as I see things in print. I always write down the source of the quote, knowing I might need to give credit to someone for their thoughts one day.

However, next to the one I’d like to share with you, I wrote only Sam. To my embarrassment, there is no last name. (So, Sam, whoever you are. My apologies. And, my thanks for these thoughts).

Sam told a story about a man who had achieved acclaim in a certain area. He was asked to give a speech to his colleagues. 

A friend remarked that the turnout that evening had been overwhelming because this man was special to so many people.

“No,” the man answered. “It’s not because I am special that they are here. It’s because they are special that I am here.” 

I drew the parallel right away. 

Long before anyone reading this blog was born, Almighty God, in the person of Jesus, came to earth to save each of us (by the shedding of His blood) from the consequences of our sin and offer us eternal life.

Why?

He came because we are special to Him.

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Did You Know?

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I Corinthians 10:31- “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

 

Have you been reading Spiritual Snippets each week, unaware that I am an author of Christian Fiction?

My first book, Runaways, the Long Journey Home, was based on a recurring dream. I consider that book, and the four that have come after it, as opportunities to declare the love and forgiveness of Jesus.

Authors bear tremendous publishing and marketing expenses. The revenue from book sales is what keeps us afloat.

These summer months, with Covid keeping many of us inside, have been the perfect opportunity for new readers to experience just how exciting Christian Fiction can be. 

Here is the book description of Runaways from my Amazon Book page:

No Mama. An abusive father. A dog for a best friend.

Ten-year-old Jake runs away from his remote Appalachian home in the dead of winter.

He and Hound, face freezing temperatures and near starvation as they travel through mountainous terrain.

And, they narrowly escape Father as he tracks them with the very rifle he used to kill Sam and Mama.

Then, when Jake hears about God’s unconditional love for him, he is confronted with the biggest decision of his life:

Will he keep running…

Or face his father?

**All of my books are available on Amazon, Kobo, or at the Barnes and Noble order desk. Formats: paperback, e-book, and Audible. You can find out more about me on my two websites:  www.spiritualsnippets.com and www.brendacpoulosauthor.org   

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Have You Heard It All Before?

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Proverbs 1:5- “let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance—”

 

When Nancy heard the door open, she pushed herself to a sitting position from the sofa where she slept waiting for her son’s safe return.

She glanced at her watch. One o’clock. 

He had overstayed his curfew again. 

“Jake—”

“Not now, Mom. I’ve heard it all before.”

“That’s the problem, son. You hear me speaking, but you don’t really listen. Listening requires that you not only receive the sound, but you also understand my words.”

Many times I have felt the same way when hearing a sermon.

I may have heard the Biblical account before…even read it myself multiple times over the years. 

Then, one day, a word or phrase stands out. Perhaps there is a different emphasis. A unique illustration of a major concept or theme.

And then…

behold

it has a new, deeper meaning as I listen to the message God has for me.

When I open myself to not just hearing, but listening, I am able to gain more understanding.

God’s Word blesses my soul.

As I listen, He speaks to my heart.

 

 

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The Torn Veil

 

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John 14:6- Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

 

With movie theaters closed, many of us are watching movies at home on our televisions. Some are new releases. Some are old classics.

One such well-known movie is The Godfather.

The screenwriter used a number of ways to build the character’s (Vito Corleone, the crime boss and head of the “family”) importance.

One of them was to show that Vito was inaccessible but to only a few select people. Those who wanted to talk with him,  had to go through an enforcer, first—each and every time.

I thought about this as I read my morning devotional and spent time in prayer with God.

Amazing as it is, The God of the universe is totally accessible to Christians.

There is no title we must have. No secret knock. No certain time of day that He is to be approached.

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil of the Temple was torn. Access to the Holy of Holies was given to believers.

We don’t need to go through an intercessor, or enforcer. We can talk with Him anytime we’d like. 

Because once we come to the Father through Jesus Christ, His forgiveness of our sins makes a relationship with Him possible.

 

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Are You a Sheep Without a Shepherd?

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Numbers 27:17b- “… the Lord’s people will not be like sheep without a shepherd.”

 

A few weeks ago, at a neighborhood Bible Study, we talked about our Lord, as the Good Shepherd.

Last week, my sister gave me a short book about the Twenty-Third Psalm.

Yesterday, I hung a print on my office wall, depicting Jesus carrying a lamb on His shoulders.

“God,” I said, “are you trying to tell me something?”

Isn’t that the course things often take?

The first time something happens:  Hmm.

The second time: Wow!

The third occurrence: “Okay, God. You’ve got my attention.”

So, I asked what God wanted me to learn about sheep.

Did I have something in common with them that He wanted me to see?

They have poor eyesight and are timid, fearful creatures. They need a shepherd to lead them.

I was beginning to get fearful of losing my parents while unable to spend time with them in the nursing home.

His message to me?

“I am the Good Shepherd. Let me lead you, as my sheep. Don’t be concerned with what is going on around you. My eyesight is perfect. I see what lies ahead. Keep following me and I will get you through.”

Have you become fearful of what life holds for you during these uncertain times?

Together, let’s follow the Good Shepherd.

 

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