Ashes to Beauty ~

CHRISTian poetry ~ by deborah ann

Lord's Beauty by Meliza Celeridad free photo #15392

One day all of our sorrows,
will turn from ashes into beauty
for Jesus will come again . . .
for those who love Him truly.

He will raise the truly penitent,
from their fallen, sinful state
the poor in spirit He’ll elevate
all the way to heaven’s gate.

The brokenhearted will see,
their painful wounds bound up
their worries will be silenced
by the grace held in His cup.

He’ll set the remorseful free,
from the chains of their sin
as the yoke of guilt and shame
no longer, pierces from within.

All those who have made Jesus,
the Lord and Master of their life
will not be judged or condemned
nor be damned for their past strife.

He’ll comfort all who’ve mourned,
for He has gathered up their tears
their ashes will turn into His beauty
His glory will wipe out their fears!

~~~~~~~

Isaiah 61:3
King James…

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Night Light For Couples

Fight Fair

“Remind the people… to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all.” Titus 3:1–2

Since some conflict in marriage is inevitable, learning to fight fair just might be the most important skill a couple can master. The key is to understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy combat. In an unstable marriage, hostility is aimed at the partner’s soft underbelly with comments such as “You never do anything right!” “Why did I marry you in the first place?” and “You’re getting more like your mother every day!”

These offensive remarks strike at the heart of self‐worth. Healthy conflict, by contrast, focuses on the issues that cause disagreement: “It upsets me when you don’t tell me you’re going to be late for dinner,” or “I was embarrassed when you made me look foolish at the party last night.” Can you hear the difference?

Even though these approaches may be equally contentious, the first assaults the dignity of the partner, while the second addresses the source of conflict. Couples who learn this important distinction are much better prepared to work through disagreements without wounds and insults.

Just between us…

  • When we have a fight, are we more likely to attack the person and miss the problem, or to attack the problem and protect the person?
  • What did Jesus say about yielding to others when we are unfairly attacked or criticized? (See Matthew 5:38–41; Luke 6:27–31.)
  • How would doing a better job of fighting fair help our relationship?
  • How can we support each other in doing this?

Father, we need Your help to show love and respect while we resolve differences. We don’t want disagreements to hurt the relationship You’ve graciously given us. We know Your power and wisdom can be ours each day, and we humbly ask for them. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bible Gateway

Night Light For Parents

Keeping Watch

“May the Lord keep watch between you and me.” Genesis 31:49

Joel, a high school senior, had everything going his way—a college scholarship, a first-place award in his school’s talent contest, popularity among his peers. Lately, however, he’d tired of his “goody-goody” image; at the urging of some new friends, he began experimenting with drugs. When police stopped his car one night, Joel swallowed a bag of crack to avoid arrest. Later that night, he went into convulsions. His parents rushed him to the hospital, but Joel was dead by morning.

Many parents would say, “That only happens to other families.” But with the easy availability of illegal substances in today’s schools, the temptation to “just give it a try” is great. Satan will use peers to try to entice your son or daughter into sin: “They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity” (2 Peter 2:19).

What can parents do to protect their kids? It is a daunting question. In the early years of adolescence, boys and girls will do anything demanded by their peer group. Get to know your kids’ friends, and watch for these warning signs: 1) inflammation of eyelids and nose, pupils very wide or small; 2) extremes of energy; 3) extremes in appetite; 4) sudden personality changes; 5) lack of cleanliness; 6) physical deterioration; 7) needle marks (may appear as sores and boils); 8) a shift in moral values. Finally, pray daily for your children while adopting this Scripture: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock” (Acts 20:28).

Before you say good night…

Do your kids show any of the warning signs listed above?

Do they have a strong faith that will help them resist peer pressure?

Heavenly Father, we are saddened to think about the many lives that are corrupted by the temptations of the evil one. We ask that You keep sin far away from our children. Help us to be ever vigilant on behalf of our family. Amen.

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Illustration adapted from Parables, Etc. newsletter, April 1989.

Bible Gateway

ENCOURAGEMENT FOR TODAY – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2018

Heather Holleman October 17, 2018

Living Like a Chosen Woman
HEATHER HOLLEMAN

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” John 15:16 (NIV)

Some days I live as if I’m still waiting for someone to choose me for something that will change my life and heal the ache in me to feel special and significant. I feel overlooked and rejected in large ways, like when other women receive promotions or awards, or in small ways, like when friends socialize without me.

Why do I still long to feel chosen by certain people? And why am I still waiting to feel chosen for some special calling that would make life more meaningful?

I asked God these questions as I walked around my snowy Pennsylvania neighborhood. My heart felt as cold and barren as the landscape around me. Even after finding a husband, having a career, and enjoying a relationship with Jesus for decades, I still lived like a rejected woman in so many ways. I often felt ignored and overlooked. I often felt confused about my calling. I often felt empty, like I was missing the abundant life God promises us.

Could Jesus heal this pain in me?

The words of Jesus flooded my soul as I remembered John 15:16. He says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit — fruit that will last — and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.” As a college writing instructor and lover of vivid verbs, I couldn’t stop thinking of those two actions of Jesus: He chose and appointed.

First, He chose us.

This personal chosen status means we enjoy the most intimate, privileged and joyful relationship with the One our hearts have been longing for all this time. This union with Jesus became possible because He rescued us from sin by dying for us. The infinite price Jesus paid made me realize how precious I am to Him, and He became even more marvelous to me as I pictured Him reaching down His hand to choose me.

I understood that no other kind of “chosen” could satisfy the need we have for Jesus — no prize, relationship, promotion or new circumstance. After all, the Bible tells us all things were made by Jesus and for Him. (Colossians 1:16) We’re made for Jesus. That’s why we exist. When we live as women chosen for Christ, we live in the security and clarity of who we truly are.

Secondly, Jesus appointed us to go and bear fruit.

What is this fruit our lives will bear? We know this with certainty: Jesus calls us to follow Him, and He will send us out to fish for people. (Matthew 4:19) Chosen women understand their calling; they are Christ’s ambassadors to those who do not yet know Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

What higher calling can we imagine for ourselves than participating in the greatest thing happening in the world today — that people are coming to know Jesus?

The snow fell around me, and for once, I stopped thinking of all the ways I’d been rejected. I stopped wondering about what would make my life matter. Instead, I knew I was chosen. And chosen women live appointed lives.

As I walked passed the homes of neighbors who haven’t yet met Jesus, I thanked God for sending me out to fish for people who needed to know about this God who chooses us.

Lord, whenever I feel rejected, help me realize You chose me. Thank You for the price You paid to bring me to You. Help me understand the great purpose You have given me today to help others know Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Do you long to know your unique purpose? Do you feel you have a calling but wonder how to fulfill it? Heather Holleman uncovers seven invitations to a chosen life in her new book, Chosen for Christ: Stepping into the Life You’ve Been Missing. Available at Amazon.com.

CONNECT:
Heather blogs daily at HeatherHolleman.com. Connect via her Facebook author page or on Instagram, @HeatherHolleman.

If you’d appreciate your very own copy of Chosen for Christ by Heather Holleman, just share your thoughts about today’s devotion in the comments. To celebrate this book, Moody Publishers is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and notify them in the comments section by Monday, October 22, 2018.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s happening in your life right now that makes you feel rejected or insignificant? How does knowing Jesus chose you for Himself change how you experience these circumstances?

When you think about Jesus appointing you to bear fruit and “fish for people,” who comes to mind? What story could you share of God bringing you out of darkness and into His wonderful light?

© 2018 by Heather Holleman. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Moody Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

Click here to view our policy on 3rd party links.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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NIV DISCOVER GOD’S HEART DEVOTIONAL BIBLE – WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2018

The Glimpse of God’s Home

Exodus 25–27

God’s Story

God asks Moses to receive an offering from the people—gold, silver, bronze, wood, fabrics, oil, spices and precious stones. “Have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them,” he says (Exodus 25:8). God gives Moses very detailed instructions for building a portable tent—the tabernacle—and the furniture inside of it.

He starts with describing the ark of the covenant, a rectangular wooden chest covered in pure gold. It’s topped with an atonement cover, including two golden cherubim turned toward each other, facedown in a position of awed worship. “There, above the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the covenant law, I will meet with you” (Exodus 25:22).

God then specifies the dimensions for a table that will hold bread, a golden lampstand, the curtains of the tabernacle tent and their frames, a bronze altar and the oil for the lampstand. The instructions are detailed, but purposeful. God isn’t just creating a worship tent; he’s painting a picture.

The King’s Heart

The Lord said to Moses, “Make this tabernacle and all its furnishings exactly like the pattern I will show you” (Exodus 25:9). The tabernacle “is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven” (Hebrews 8:5).

God was exactingly specific about the fabrics and the furniture, the yardage and the hooks, because it was a copy of a real place in heaven. God was showing his people a glimpse of his home.

“Here is a peek into where I live,” the eternal God was revealing to his dust-made people. “And I have lived here for all eternity. I want you to get familiar with it, to make yourself at home in it—because we are going to be close.”

God was giving his people a look into his environment. In the worship and the ceremonies—in the objects, symbols, sights, sounds, tastes, smells and textures—God’s people would get a multisensory experience of drawing closer to him. They’d feel the weight of his holiness, experience his purity and the distance between them and be overwhelmed by his beauty and goodness. God wanted his people to get used to their home with him.

Insight

The furnishings inside the tabernacle were intentional and symbolic. The golden lampstand was the only light inside of the tent of meeting—an arrow pointing to the “light of the world” (John 8:12). The bread of the Presence on the table pointed to the “bread of life” (John 6:35). The tabernacle was a picture of God’s coming Son, a physical walk-through of the attributes of Jesus’ heart.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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NIV For DADS

Are we there yet?

Passage for the Day: EXODUS 14:10–18

Verse for the Day: EXODUS 14:13

Being a good dad is a very tough job. Given a choice, every dad would prefer being liked by his family to not being liked. “Dad, you’re the greatest,” feels a lot better than, “You’re the only dad who is saying, ‘No!’ ”

Unfortunately, there are many times in the life of a family when dad would come in dead last in his kids’ “Dad of the Year Tournament.” Leadership can be like that. If being applauded by the family for every single decision was the goal, then there would never be a “Please sit up straight at the table,” “You will not speak to your little brother like that,” or “Yes, we are going to church. Church is something we do as a family.” Chaos would replace order, and in the long run, Dad would be charged with leaving his post.

So, either way, we’re going to take a hit on this one—unpopular because we’ve been tough or guilty of not doing our jobs. As I said, being a dad is not an easy job.

Poor Moses. Following God’s guidance carefully, he has just been personally responsible for the release of over two million Jews from captivity. That’s no small job. But now these people—his family—are being squeezed between the Red Sea and the entire Egyptian army. And they’re very upset with Moses. “How could you have done this to us?” and “This is all your fault,” they moan.

And don’t you know that Moses was frustrated and angry at his family? “After all I’ve done for you, all you do is complain?” Sound familiar?

Today’s verse is a keeper. In fact, it might be worth jotting this one down and putting it on the mirror where you shave. Moses stands in front of his people and he gives them a little talk: Don’t be afraid, hold steady and watch God do His thing.

Moses’ confident response begs a question, doesn’t it? Given what looked like the ultimate rock-and-a-hard-place, how could he possibly have been so sure? The answer lies in the chapters leading up to this amazing story. Moses had kept in constant contact with the Lord. Long before Moses gave instructions to his family, he had discussed them thoroughly with his Heavenly Father. Moses’ assurance didn’t come from having read the latest in motivational literature. It came from God Himself.

This might be a “best-dad-in-the-world” day at your house. Your children may kneel at their beds tonight and thank God for giving them such a world-record-holding father. Or maybe not.

The secret to your success as a dad does not depend on how pleased your children are with your decisions. Your achievement actually doesn’t depend on you at all. The key is who is calling the shots for you.

Copyright © 1999, 2014 by Robert D. Wolgemuth.

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