spiritualsnippets.com

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

Spiritual Stents

Acts 8:22- “Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.”  

Several years ago, my father went into the hospital for routine heart testing. 

Approximately a half-hour into the procedure, the doctor called the family into a conference room and showed us (via computer screen) Dad’s heart. He indicated areas of blockage and asked for permission to place two stents.

Watching on the screen, we saw the stents inserted and the rush of blood into the arteries that had been previously blocked. 

What a miracle to witness. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Driving home, I thought about my how I needed a change of heart toward a close friend and an attitude adjustment toward a family member. Continuing to harbor resentment would only lead to further strain (block) those relationships.

I turned to the scriptures, asking God to show me what to do. I found guidance in His Word. Acts 8:22 said I needed to repent of my wrong attitude and ask forgiveness—first of God, and then of them.

It wasn’t easy, but I knew it was right

When I was obedient to God’s Word, a heavy weight was lifted. Today, our relationships are closer than ever!

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Calling All Sheep!

John 10:14- “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—My sheep hear my voice and they follow me.”

Most of the kids in our neighborhood played outside from the time we got home from school until we were called for supper.

Although there would sometimes be several parents calling their own brood home at the same time, each of us knew when it was our mother’s or father’s voice shouting  “dinnertime!”  

God reminds us that He is our Good Shepherd. When He says that His sheep know His voice, he is referring to those of us who are “His”—those who have put their trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior.

How do we distinguish His voice, from that of others?

Simple: If it is written in His Word, the Bible, then we can be certain it is truly His voice. The Bible also tells us that He will speak to us when we seek the wisdom of Christian friends, pastors and other church leaders. Many Christians tell of instances when they “hear” God’s voice in the form of an “impression” in their mind after a time of prayer, meditation, and/or fasting.

What we do when we hear His voice is important.

If I had heard my mother calling me to dinner, and had not heeded her call, I would have been pretty hungry by bedtime. In the same way, if we do not follow-up on God’s call with some kind of action on our part, we will likely find that we have missed more than a meal. We will have missed a banquet!

I’m not saying that you are going to miss the Marriage Supper of The Lamb. I am referring to missing out on the daily relationship with God and His blessings for those who respond to Him out of obedience.

Set aside time for daily prayer and get back into The Word. 

Become familiar, again, with the voice of The Good Shepherd.

**Revised from an earlier blog post.

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Spiritual Direction

Psalm 23:1-3  “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness, for His name’s sake.”

My husband loves to drive. 

I’d rather look at the scenery, read a good book, or recline my seat and take a little nap. 

Now and again, he’ll ask me to get the map out of his satchel and look for a certain road, landmark, or whatever. Often, he pulls over to the side of the road and interprets it for himself.

If we should happen to get lost (now really lost, you understand) and I suggest that we ask someone for directions, he gives me “the look.”

Why is it men are so against asking for directions? Think about how many hours could be saved and how many wrong turns could be avoided!

As Christians, we have an infallible source at our fingertips! God, who has always been in existence, knows the past, present, and future. With His Word as our “map” and His Holy Spirit as our Guide, we never have to face an uncertain future.

If we take a wrong turn, we can get back on the right path by heeding what scripture reveals to us as truth.

Confident and encouraged, with His help, we find our way.

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Googling It, Spiritual Style

Shorter and more concise seems to be best for most of our reading these days, so I am going to run back thru my past blog posts in the next weeks ahead, shortening them up a bit. Here’s the first one. I hope you like this shortened version.

Psalm 119:105- “Your word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” 

I was visiting with my parents when a question about plant fertilizers came up. Dad, of course, touted the benefits of steer manure.

Mother brought up the effectiveness her own “compost.”

I suggested that we “GOOGLE IT”. After all, just about everything we need to know, is right there at our fingertips. Isn’t it?

But, what about questions of a spiritual nature? 

How should we respond to those who hurt us? What should we do with feelings of inadequacy, sadness, betrayal?

Proverbs 14:12 says, “there is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” 

It is God’s Word that provides the answers for all of our concerns and problems.

So, whether you seek an answer to a Biblical truth or just need encouragement, try “Googling It Spiritual Style” and turn to our ultimate source, The Bible.

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Release Your Rage

 

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                                        Ephesians 4:26- “In your anger, do not sin.”

 

Last week, a Groupon Headline caught my eye. 

I read the advertisement for a “Rage Room” at a Family Rage Release Center. The Groupon listed a number of activities that promised to help participants get rid of their pent up anger. The accompanying picture showed a teenage boy bashing a television with a baseball bat.

Out-of-control anger is so prevalent in our world that the evening news is filled with stories of mass shootings, road rage, and so on.

The Bible is full of much safer and effective suggestions to help us alleviate our anger.

Here are just a few:  

Proverbs 15:1- “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 21:14a- “A gift given in secret soothes anger.”

Ecclesiastes 10:4b- “Calmness can lay great offenses to rest.”

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Of Great Worth

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I Peter 3: 3,4– “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”

 

Thinking ahead to Christmas, holiday get-togethers, luncheons and so on, I took a survey of my closet to see what I might need to buy to wear… or at least to add in the way of a sweater or new shoes to an existing outfit. 

The prospects seemed dismal as I settled into my reading chair and picked up my Bible.

Then, I read the verse from first Peter. Inner beauty, not a glittery new sweater, was what it said that pleases God. And, in the noise and hustle involved in holiday celebrations, He asked me to instead focus on developing a gentle, quiet spirit. 

I may not be sporting new clothes this holiday season, but you will find me wearing a big smile… because I will be concentrating on what is important to God.

It is my gift to Him this Christmas Season.

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Reconnect

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James 4:8- “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.”

 

I ran into a friend at the grocery store the other day. Just seeing her face reminded me of our conversation last spring when I promised to reconnect over a leisurely lunch following our vacation.

Heat instantly covered my neck and traveled up my cheeks. We’d already been back home for over a month and I hadn’t called!

I apologized and we set the “date” right then and there. 

As I put away my groceries, I still felt bad at having dropped the ball like that…

I turned off the kitchen light and walked down the hall, glancing into the dining room. My open Bible on the table caught my eye. 

Had it really been two days since I spent time with the Lord?

I grabbed a cup of coffee and slid into my chair to reconnect. 

What do you have for me today, Lord? 

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Directions Are Essential

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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.”

 

Friends invited us to their vacation home for the weekend.

Saturday morning, we set out early. It would take 5 hours to drive there.

Halfway to our destination, my husband turned to me and asked, “You do know how to get there, right?”

“Sure. I have the address. We know the area. How hard can it be?”

He rolled his eyes.

When we got into “town” we called our friends and they stayed on the phone with us, giving us directions for each turn until we arrived at their cabin. 

It was not enough to have only the address. We needed directions.

Heaven may be our destination, but we need to know THE WAY. We can help others find Jesus, The Way, through God’s Word, the Bible.

These ministries are looking for donations of money or physical Bibles. They also need people who will act as distributors of their FREE BIBLES to others.

Bible senders.org

FreeBibles.net

Gideons International

Giveawaytheword.com

International Bible Givers. (They can be contacted at biblegivers@gmail.com.)

Little Bibles – http://www.littlebibleministry

Spirit One Ministry

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Manna From Heaven

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Deuteronomy 8:3- “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

 

As a child, I remember Sunday afternoons with Dad. Working long hours during the week, he was always sure to spend Sundays with us as a family. After church, we would eat lunch. That was followed by a drive in the family car, then a few hours at the park or swimming, Goofy golf, etc.

Dad did his best to maintain a relationship with his four children, although (as I recall) there wasn’t much time spent with us, individually.

Looking back on those days, I admire Dad’s commitment to family, even though I would like to have known him on a more personal level.

Maybe that is why daily communication with God is so important to me. Through prayer and Bible reading I can know my heavenly father—as He knows me. He provides for my needs, first, and then showers me with the blessing of a deepening relationship with Him.

God supplied the Israelites with manna (bread from heaven) daily. For what purpose? To teach them that spiritual food is more important than physical food. We need to feast on God’s Word (our daily bread).

If we only eat physical food once a week, we will perish. In the same way, if we eat from God’s Word only once a week, we cannot enjoy a full and abiding sense of his presence—a deep relationship with Him.

Human fathers are limited in time and space, but in that God is omnipresent, our Heavenly Father is able to spend time with us, individually—each and every day. 

 

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Finding Strength in Promises

 

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Romans 4:20– “He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God.”

 

 

I live in the desert southwest. One of my favorite plants is the Ocotillo cactus. But, they can be very finicky. If the soil or sunlight is not to their liking, they simply won’t grow.

We have planted several in the past and while our neighbors boast leafy ones with bright red flowers, we have never had one to leaf out. Ours look like dry… gray… dead.

We decided to try again. We planted one  prominently out front.

We followed the directions from the nursery salesman and waited.

I even prayed over the five-foot “sticks” and we continued our vigil.

As I passed by our living room window last week, I stopped dead in my tracks. Could it be a tiny red bud at the top of one of the arms? I rushed outside to get a better look.

Yes. There it was!

And, then this morning… behold, a second.

Now, Ocotillos leaf out, first, and then flower. But, not ours. We now have two flowers atop our non-leafy plant, which I call our “flowers of promise—our assurance of a healthy plant that will someday leaf out!

The Bible is full of God’s promises for those who love Him. In fact, my research shows that there are 7,487 promises that God has made to humans. Among them are: wisdom to Solomon; a son for Sarah and Abraham, eternal life for those who believe; the indwelling of the Holy Spirit for believers; and thousands more have been given and thousands already fulfilled!

The verse above refers to Abraham. I like it because it says he didn’t waiver through unbelief. He was strengthened when he received God’s promise.

The Bible is full of promises for us who love HIM. So, when we are discouraged or feel like giving up, we can turn to the scriptures and be refreshed by claiming His promises for ourselves and our situations.

Don’t waiver. Be strengthened!

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