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Devotional:
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“Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock. But anyone who hears my teaching and ignores it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will fall with a mighty crash.”  (Matthew 7:24-27 NLT)
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A hurricane rages off the ocean onto land. Winds in excess of 150 mph and a powerful storm surge blast the village that sits on the beach, splintering bamboo huts and throwing the pieces in every direction. But in the midst of the destruction, one house weathers the storm intact.  The difference?  This house is solidly built with a foundation set down into the bedrock. The roof is gone, but not even a Category 5 storm is going to shake the foundation.


All of us know firsthand about the storms in life.  Relationship problems.  Financial setbacks.  Betrayals of trust. Health crises. The awful consequences of bad choices. Everywhere we turn, we see lives and families destroyed by a storm. God’s desire, however, is that our lives and relationships survive the storms because of a strength that fills us from within. That power is released when we step out in faith and let Jesus live his strong life in us.  The switch that turns on the power is obedience.


The wise soul is someone who not only listens to what Jesus teaches but also builds his or her life on the foundation of obedience, allowing Jesus’ powerful message to make a real difference. The foolish soul doesn’t apply Jesus’ wisdom to the way he lives. The difference is revealed when the storms of life rage. The person who lives by faith, relying on God’s Word can withstand any storm.

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Walk in faith and let God lead the way.

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Commentary:
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Every year my family and I travel to a beach park in South Carolina for vacation, and I always look forward to the quiet time of just being there and relaxing in God's presence.  A few years ago, I was going through a really difficult time in my life.  I prayed for peace, but peace couldn't be found.  I felt if I could only go to the ocean, I would be able to look out upon the waves and find the peace I was searching for; but, it was in the middle of winter, and it wasn't feasible to go.  I went to bed that night thinking about the times I have spent there, and remembered the peace I always found.  I dreamed we were once again on our way to my favorite spot.

As we drove into the park, we wove our way through roads lined with pine trees and palm, admiring the campsites covered with pine straw.  When we finally pulled into our site, the first thing I did was take my shoes off and walk the pine straw path to the beach.  The straw beneath my feet felt prickly, and hurt, but the closer I got to the shore, my feet began to feel sand beneath them and the hurt was replaced with softness.  I remember thinking how our problems are like that pine straw.  They can hurt and feel prickly to our hearts, but if we trust in God and believe in Him, He can soften the pain of them and they become as sand beneath our feet.

  

Before I knew it, I was on the shore, watching the tides roll in, with the Lighthouse in the distance, and God was speaking to my heart.  I was reminded that Jesus is the Lighthouse and when things are the darkest in my life, if I keep my eyes on Him, He will keep me in His watchful care, and safely lead me home.  As I watched the tides go in and out, I knew that even when the waves are crashing all around me and the storms of life seem like they will never end, God is there in the midst of them and He will never give me more than I can handle.  And when the waves calmed, and the tide went out, it reminded me that God says "Peace be still".  He assures us that if we trust in Him, and listen for His guidance, He will speak to our hearts in the still, small voice that is His alone, and He will calm our soul. 

  

I awoke with the peace I had been searching for, and God was there in the midst of it. 


We all go through storms in our lives, and we all have our own share of problems.  Your problems may not be the same as mine, but whatever you are dealing with, let me assure you that our Heavenly Father is looking down on you in love and He is there in the midst of it.   Trust in Him and He will bring you out of whatever it is you are going through.  The same God who is God on the mountain is still God in the valley, and it is in the valley's that we grow.  If you will let Him, He will meet you in your valley, walk with you to the top of the mountain, and when you're there, looking back at everything God has done in your life, you will see that He has turned your greatest trials into the biggest miracle of your life.

Trust in Him, and together you will weather the storms of your life.  

~ Pam Powers Moore


Meditation:


Father, sometimes it seems like the storms keep coming and the wind never lets up.   When we don't think we can stand it anymore, Lord, I pray that you will please fill us with the strength of your Spirit, that we will be able to withstand all the storms that come against us, and that you will fill our souls with your peace that passeth understanding, as only You can do.  Remind us that You are the Lighthouse of our lives, and you are always there in the midst of our storms.  Thank you for your promise that if we only believe in You, that You will whisper "Peace Be Still" to our hearts and walk with us through even the darkest times in our lives.   Help us find that peaceful spot in the eye of the storm – the confidence that comes from trusting you and walking in your ways.
   In Thy holy name we pray.  Amen.


Stories to Touch the Heart and Warm the Soul:


The Rope
 ~ Author Unknown ~


The story tells about a mountain climber, who wanted to climb the highest mountain.  He began his adventure after many years of preparation, but since he wanted the glory just for himself, he decided to climb the mountain alone.

The night felt heavy in the heights of the mountain, and the man could not see anything.  All was black.  Zero visibility, and the moon and the stars were covered by the clouds.

As he was climbing, only a few feet away from the top of the mountain, he slipped and fell into the air, falling at a great speed.  The climber could only see black spots as he went down, and felt the terrible sensation of being sucked by gravity.  He kept falling... and in those moments of great fear, it came to his mind all the good and bad episodes of his life.

He was thinking now about how close death was getting, when all of a sudden he felt the rope tied to his waist pull him very hard.

His body was hanging in the air.  Only the rope was holding him, and in the quiet moment of stillness he had no other choice but to scream:  HELP ME GOD!!!

All of a sudden, a deep voice coming from the sky answered:

"What do you want me to do?"

"Save me God!!!"

"Do you really think I can save you?"

"Of course I believe You can".

"THEN CUT THE ROPE TIED TO YOUR WAIST"

There was a moment of silence; and the man decided to hold on to the rope with all his strength.

The rescue team tells that the next day a climber was found dead and frozen with his body hanging from a rope.  His hands holding tight to it... ONLY 10 FEET AWAY FROM THE GROUND...

And you?  How attached are you to your rope?  Will you let go?

Don't ever doubt the things from God.  You never should say that He has forgotten or abandoned you.  Don't ever think that He does not take care of you.  Remember that He is always holding you with His right hand.   "For, I Jehovah they God, will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee". Isaiah 41:13. 


One Nation Under God !!!


One day a 6 year old girl was sitting in a classroom.  The teacher was going to explain evolution to the children.  The teacher asked a little boy, "Tommy, do you see the tree outside?

TOMMY:  Yes.

TEACHER:  Tommy, do you see the grass outside?

TOMMY:  Yes.

TEACHER:  Go outside and look up and see if you can see the sky.

TOMMY:  Okay.  (He returned a few minutes later)  Yes, I saw the sky.

TEACHER:  Did you see God up there?

TOMMY:  No.

TEACHER:  That's my point.  We can't see God because he isn't there.  Possibly he just doesn't exist.


A little girl spoke up and wanted to ask the boy some questions.

The teacher agreed and the little girl asked the boy, "Tommy, do you see the tree outside?"

TOMMY:  Yes.

LITTLE GIRL:  Tommy, do you see the grass outside?

TOMMY:  Yessss!

LITTLE GIRL:  Did you see the sky?

TOMMY:  Yessss!

LITTLE GIRL:  Tommy, do you see the teacher?

TOMMY:  Yes.

LITTLE GIRL:  Do you see her brain?

TOMMY:  No.

LITTLE GIRL:  Then according to what we were taught today in school, she possibly may not even have one! 

(You go girl!)
                                                 


"FOR WE WALK BY FAITH, NOT BY SIGHT"

II CORINTHIANS 5: 7



HAVE A BLESSED FAITH-FILLED DAY !!!

 

"For We Walk By Faith, Not By Sight" - 2 Corinthians 5:7