Message In A Bottle

Discussion in 'Faith & Religion' started by Joe Riley, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today is titled "Solace For The Soul", by Le-Ann Splawn Little (Alabama, USA) The Scripture is Exodus 14:5-14.

    "Over 50 years ago in Sunday school I memorized my first Bible verse, Psalm 56:3. The teacher told our small group of children that when we were afraid, it was important to trust God because God cares about us".

    "It was not until many years later that I began to learn the true meaning of this powerful psalm. As new parents, my husband and I observed that our first child’s hands and legs seemed to move abnormally on occasion. We made an appointment with our pediatrician. I was afraid to know the diagnosis and afraid not to know it. I was afraid of our present lack of experience as parents and afraid that what might lie ahead would need the expert experience of seasoned parents. Fear began to overwhelm me. But then I remembered that first Bible verse I had learned so many years ago: “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”

    "We may be afraid of many things: health issues, financial concerns, giving birth, or approaching death. Whatever it may be, we can pray this psalm and allow it to flow through our souls, bringing peace. God can be trusted in all situations and with all our concerns".

    Prayer: "Heavenly Father, thank you for peace that overflows our souls when we trust in you. Amen".
     
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  2. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Today's Upper Room Devotional is titled "Standing Stronger", by Rita J. Flower-Opdycke (Florida, USA) . and the scripture is Psalm 71:19-22, from The message Bible.:)

    19Your famous and righteous ways, O God. God, you've done it all! Who is quite like you?
    20 You, who made me stare trouble in the face, Turn me around; Now let me look life in the face. I've been to the bottom;
    21 streaming with honors; turn to me, be tender to me,
    22 And I'll take up the lute and thank you to the tune of your faithfulness, God. I'll make music for you on a harp, Holy One of Israel.

    Prayer:
    Heavenly Father, help us comfort others with the strength you give us. Amen.
     
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  3. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Today's Devotional is titled "Reflections" , by Gavin Leverton (Cape Town, South Africa) and the scripture is Philippians 4:4-9 from The Message Bible.

    4 Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! 5 Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute! 6 Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray.

    Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. 7 Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

    8 Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious - the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. 9 Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

    Prayer: Dear Lord, calm us so that we can find your peace for ourselves and then share it with others around us. Amen.
     
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  4. K E Gordon

    K E Gordon Very Well-Known Member
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    Being as I just read some experiences of people who died and went to Hell..I think I am going to try to be a better person in my life. I am not sure where I am on the whole faith thing..but why chance living eternity in misery? I think I am a decent person...but there is always room for improvement! :) Thanks for sharing Joe Riley!
     
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  5. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room devotional for today is titled "Great is your Faithfulness", by Jim Weems (Mississippi, USA) and the scripture reading is Lamentations 3:19-23, from The message Bible.

    19 "I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. 20 I remember it all - oh, how well I remember - the feeling of hitting the bottom. 21 But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on hope: 22 God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. 23 They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness"!

    Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the mercies you give every morning. When we despair, help us to turn to you. Amen.

     
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  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    "Message in a bottle that washed up on a North Sea island 108 years after being dropped as part of a science experiment is confirmed as the world's oldest".

    "A message in a bottle tossed into the sea by British scientists which washed ashore in Germany more than 100 years later has been confirmed as the world's oldest. The historic missive was sent by George Parker Bidder between 1904 and 1906 - along with a postcard and the promise of a shilling to the finder. It was eventually picked up in April last year by retired post office worker Marianne Winkler as she holidayed on the island of Amrum, off the north coast of Germany".

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Today's Upper Room Devotional is titled "Praying For Patience", by Ernest S. Lyght (New Jersey, USA). The scripture is Isaiah 40:27-31, from The Message Bible.

    27 Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, "God has lost track of me. He doesn't care what happens to me"? 28 Don't you know anything? Haven't you been listening? God doesn't come and go. God lasts. He's Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn't get tired out, doesn't pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. 29 He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. 30 For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. 31 But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don't get tired, they walk and don't lag behind.


    Prayer: Dear God, as we rush through life, slow us down. Teach us how to wait with patience and hope. Amen.
     
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  8. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    "Evil is present to control and deceive us. We are not at peace with ourselves or with God. That is what the Cross of Christ is all about: to reconcile us to God and to give us a new nature". - Billy Graham

    Galatians1:3-4,from The Message Bible
    3 So I greet you with the great words, grace and peace! 4 We know the meaning of those words because Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we're in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God's plan is that we all experience that rescue.
     
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  9. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    "The Grace is God's: the faith is ours. God gave us the free will with which to choose. God gave us the capacity to believe and trust". -BillyGraham


    Ephesians 2:8-9 "Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! 9 We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing"!
    The Message Bible
     
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  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Today's Upper Room Devotional is titled "Focusing on the Devine", by Bill Kidwell (Ohio, USA). The scripture is Acts 17:24-27 taken from The Message Bible.

    24 "The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn't live in custom-made shrines 25 or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn't take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don't make him. 26 Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living 27 so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near.

    Prayer: Dear God, help us to be more aware of your presence in all that you have created. Amen.
     
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  11. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Paul's Letter To The Hebrews, Chapter 9

    1 "That first plan contained directions for worship, and a specially designed place of worship. 2 A large outer tent was set up. The lampstand, the table, and "the bread of presence" were placed in it. This was called "the Holy Place." 3 Then a curtain was stretched, and behind it a smaller, inside tent set up. This was called "the Holy of Holies." 4 In it were placed the gold incense altar and the gold-covered ark of the covenant containing the gold urn of manna, Aaron's rod that budded, the covenant tablets, 5 and the angel-wing-shadowed mercy seat. But we don't have time to comment on these now. 6 After this was set up, the priests went about their duties in the large tent. 7 Only the high priest entered the smaller, inside tent, and then only once a year, offering a blood sacrifice for his own sins and the people's accumulated sins. 8 This was the Holy Spirit's way of showing with a visible parable that as long as the large tent stands, people can't just walk in on God. 9 Under this system, the gifts and sacrifices can't really get to the heart of the matter, can't assuage the conscience of the people, 10 but are limited to matters of ritual and behavior. It's essentially a temporary arrangement until a complete overhaul could be made.


    11 But when the Messiah arrived, high priest of the superior things of this new covenant, he bypassed the old tent and its trappings in this created world and went straight into heaven's "tent" - the true Holy Place - once and for all. 12 He also bypassed the sacrifices consisting of goat and calf blood, instead using his own blood as the price to set us free once and for all. 13 If that animal blood and the other rituals of purification were effective in cleaning up certain matters of our religion and behavior, 14 think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. 15 Through the Spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God.


    16 Like a will that takes effect when someone dies, the new covenant was put into action at Jesus' death. His death marked the transition from the old plan to the new one, canceling the old obligations and accompanying sins, and summoning the heirs to receive the eternal inheritance that was promised them. He brought together God and his people in this new way. 17 18 Even the first plan required a death to set it in motion. 19 After Moses had read out all the terms of the plan of the law - God's "will" - he took the blood of sacrificed animals and, in a solemn ritual, sprinkled the document and the people who were its beneficiaries. 20 And then he attested its validity with the words, "This is the blood of the covenant commanded by God." 21 He did the same thing with the place of worship and its furniture. 22 Moses said to the people, "This is the blood of the covenant God has established with you." Practically everything in a will hinges on a death. That's why blood, the evidence of death, is used so much in our tradition, especially regarding forgiveness of sins. 23 That accounts for the prominence of blood and death in all these secondary practices that point to the realities of heaven. It also accounts for why, when the real thing takes place, these animal sacrifices aren't needed anymore, having served their purpose.


    24 For Christ didn't enter the earthly version of the Holy Place; he entered the Place Itself, and offered himself to God as the sacrifice for our sins. 25 He doesn't do this every year as the high priests did under the old plan with blood that was not their own; 26 if that had been the case, he would have to sacrifice himself repeatedly throughout the course of history. But instead he sacrificed himself once and for all, summing up all the other sacrifices in this sacrifice of himself, the final solution of sin. 27 Everyone has to die once, then face the consequences. 28 Christ's death was also a one-time event, but it was a sacrifice that took care of sins forever. And so, when he next appears, the outcome for those eager to greet him is, precisely, salvation".
     
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  12. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today, is titled: "Directional Arrows", by Bill Pike (Virginia, USA) . The scripture is Deuteronomy 6:5-9, and is from The Message Bible.

    5 Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that's in you, love him with all you've got! 6 Write these commandments that I've given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you 7 and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. 8 Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; 9 inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.


    Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to be more loyal and faithful to you each day. Amen.
     
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  13. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The devotional from The Upper Room, for today, is titled "Open To God's guidance", by Stephane Brooks (Tennessee, USA). The scripture is Exodus 3:7-10, taken from The Message Bible.

    7 God said, "I've taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I've heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain.
    8 And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, a land lush with milk and honey, the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.
    9 "The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I've seen for myself how cruelly they're being treated by the Egyptians.
    10 It's time for you to go back: I'm sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt."

    Prayer: Gracious God, in the midst of doubt, encourage us to seek and trust your guidance. Amen.
     
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  14. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Today's Upper Room Devotional is titled "Seasons Of Life", by Betsy Thompson (Indiana, USA), and the scripture is Isaiah 41:5-10 from The Message Bible:

    5 "Far-flung ocean islands see it and panic. The ends of the earth are shaken. Fearfully they huddle together. 6 They try to help each other out, making up stories in the dark. 7 The godmakers in the workshops go into overtime production, crafting new models of no-gods, Urging one another on - 'Good job!' 'Great design!' - pounding in nails at the base so that the things won't tip over. 8 "But you, Israel, are my servant. You're Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. 9 I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in from every dark corner of the earth, Telling you, 'You're my servant, serving on my side. I've picked you. I haven't dropped you.' 10 Don't panic. I'm with you. There's no need to fear for I'm your God. I'll give you strength. I'll help you. I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

    Prayer: Gracious God, we thank you for the beauty of your earth and for the seasons of our lives. Help us to come to you with our fears, knowing that you will strengthen and uphold us. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
     
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  15. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The title of the Upper Room devotional for today, 11/5/16, is "Never Give Up", by JoAnn Tumbleston Jarman (South Carolina, USA). The scripture is James 1:2-6, from The message Bible.

    2 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. 3 You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. 4 So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. 5 If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. 6 Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves.

    Prayer: Thank you, God, for giving us opportunities in our struggles to gain character and hope. Help us never to give up, even when we feel defeated. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
     
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  16. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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  17. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    @Ina I. Wonder -Thank you. sometimes it is hard to have compassion for others, without empathy overwhelming us.
     
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  18. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today, is titled God's Markers, and written by Bob La Forge (New Jersey, USA). The Scripture is 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5, and is from The Message Bible:

    1 "One more thing, friends: Pray for us. Pray that the Master's Word will simply take off and race through the country to a groundswell of response, just as it did among you. 2 And pray that we'll be rescued from these scoundrels who are trying to do us in. I'm finding that not all "believers" are believers.

    3 But the Master never lets us down. He'll stick by you and protect you from evil. 4 Because of the Master, we have great confidence in you. We know you're doing everything we told you and will continue doing it. 5 May the Master take you by the hand and lead you along the path of God's love and Christ's endurance".

    Prayer:O God, help us listen for your voice in scripture — the voice that calls us and leads us through our lives. Amen.
     
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  19. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today is titled "Freely Given", by Virginia Horst Loewen (Pennsylvania, USA). The scripture is taken from The Message Bible, and is Matthew 26:26-28:

    26 "During the meal, Jesus took and blessed the bread, broke it, and gave it to his disciples: Take, eat. This is my body. 27 Taking the cup and thanking God, he gave it to them: Drink this, all of you. 28 This is my blood, God's new covenant poured out for many people for the forgiveness of sins".


    Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for the gift of salvation. Help us to hear and receive your good news. Amen.
     
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  20. Babs Hunt

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  21. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    "The Holy spirit is already in every Christian heart, and He intends to produce His fruit. Only the Holy spirit can make possible the out-living of the in-living Christ" -Billy Graham

    24 "As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us".
    I John 3:24 from The Message Bible
     
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  22. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    We just finished our Upper Room devotional, following supper, and I want to share it with you on this Christmas Day. It is titled "Christmas Day" and was written by Joanne Emmons (Oklahoma, USA). The scripture is Luke 2: 8-16, and is from The Message Bible.

    8 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. 9 Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. 10 The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: 11 A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. 12 This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger." 13 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: 14 Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. 15 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." 16 They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger.


    Prayer: Dear Lord, bless those who show the Christmas spirit to the homesick and befriend the needy. Help us to reflect your love to all. Amen.
     
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  23. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    On this last day of 2016, the Upper Room Devotional is titled "These Are the Days", written by Christopher Yopp (Virginia, USA). The scripture is Philippians 3:12-14, is from The Message Bible:

    12 I'm not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. 13 Friends, don't get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I've got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward - to Jesus. 14 I'm off and running, and I'm not turning back.

    Prayer:
    Loving God, strengthen us to press forward in faith, knowing that you are showing us open doors of opportunity. Lead, guide, and direct us by your Spirit. Amen.
     
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  24. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper room Devotional for 01/20/2017 is titled: "The Benefit Of The Present", by Sheyanne Armstrong (Virginia, USA). The scripture is Ecclesiastics 7:13-18, and is from The Message Bible:

    13 "Take a good look at God's work. Who could simplify and reduce Creation's curves and angles To a plain straight line? 14 On a good day, enjoy yourself; On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days So that we won't take anything for granted. Stay in Touch with Both Sides.

    15 I've seen it all in my brief and pointless life - here a good person cut down in the middle of doing good, there a bad person living a long life of sheer evil. 16 So don't knock yourself out being good, and don't go overboard being wise. Believe me, you won't get anything out of it. 17 But don't press your luck by being bad, either. And don't be reckless. Why die needlessly? 18 It's best to stay in touch with both sides of an issue. A person who fears God deals responsibly with all of reality, not just a piece of it".


    Prayer:
    Dear God, give us peace and joy today, even if we are uncertain about the future. Amen.
     
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  25. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I usually don't comment in this section but today I feel it's fitting...for me. I felt peace and joy today. Thanks.
     
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