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 "Fresh and Green", written by Alvin E. Trucano (Nebraska, USA). The scripture reading is Psalm 92:4-15, and is from The Message Bible.

    Psalm 92
    4 "You made me so happy, God. I saw your work and I shouted for joy. 5 How magnificent your work, God! How profound your thoughts! 6 Dullards never notice what you do; fools never do get it. 7 When the wicked popped up like weeds and all the evil men and women took over, You mowed them down, finished them off once and for all. 8 You, God, are High and Eternal. 9 Look at your enemies, God! Look at your enemies - ruined! Scattered to the winds, all those hirelings of evil!

    10 But you've made me strong as a charging bison, you've honored me with a festive parade. 11 The sight of my critics going down is still fresh, the rout of my malicious detractors. My ears are filled with the sounds of promise: 12 "Good people will prosper like palm trees, Grow tall like Lebanon cedars; 13 transplanted to God's courtyard, They'll grow tall in the presence of God, 14 lithe and green, virile still in old age." 15 Such witnesses to upright God! My Mountain, my huge, holy Mountain"!


    Prayer:
    Dear God, thank you for the gift of long life. Help us to live our lives as a way of giving thanks to you. Amen.
     
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  2. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today is titled "Listening To God Or Goliath"? It was written by James N. Watkins (Indiana, USA). The Scripture is I Samuel 17:41-51, and is from The Message Bible.

    I Samuel
    "41 As the Philistine paced back and forth, his shield bearer in front of him, he noticed David. 42 He took one look down on him and sneered - a mere youngster, apple-cheeked and peach-fuzzed. 43 The Philistine ridiculed David. "Am I a dog that you come after me with a stick?" And he cursed him by his gods. 44 "Come on," said the Philistine. "I'll make roadkill of you for the buzzards. I'll turn you into a tasty morsel for the field mice."

    45 David answered, "You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, the God of Israel's troops, whom you curse and mock. 46 This very day God is handing you over to me. I'm about to kill you, cut off your head, and serve up your body and the bodies of your Philistine buddies to the crows and coyotes. The whole earth will know that there's an extraordinary God in Israel. 47 And everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn't save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God - he's handing you to us on a platter!"

    48 That roused the Philistine, and he started toward David. David took off from the front line, running toward the Philistine. 49 David reached into his pocket for a stone, slung it, and hit the Philistine hard in the forehead, embedding the stone deeply.

    The Philistine crashed, facedown in the dirt. 50 That's how David beat the Philistine - with a sling and a stone. He hit him and killed him. No sword for David!

    51 Then David ran up to the Philistine and stood over him, pulled the giant's sword from its sheath, and finished the job by cutting off his head. When the Philistines saw that their great champion was dead, they scattered, running for their lives".

    Prayer: Dear Father, help us listen to your voice through scripture, other believers, and your Spirit. Amen.
     
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  3. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today is titled "Serving At Any Age", and was written by Walter N. Maris (Missouri, USA). The Scripture is I Peter 4:7-11, and is from The Message Bible.

    7 "Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted. Stay wide-awake in prayer.
    8Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.
    9 Be quick to give a meal to the hungry, a bed to the homeless - cheerfully.
    10 Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it:
    11 if words, let it be God's words; if help, let it be God's hearty help. That way, God's bright presence will be evident in everything through Jesus, and he'll get all the credit as the One mighty in everything - encores to the end of time. Oh, yes"!


    Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to love and care for others as you care for us. Amen.

     
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  4. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Thank you so much @Joe Riley for sharing this. It's confirmation to me that I'm hearing him correctly on still serving Him through my Family, etc. :)
     
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  5. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today, Good Friday, is titled "To Pray Is To Change", written by Arthur J. Williams (California, USA). The scripture is Romans 5:3-5, from The Message Bible.

    3 There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, 4 and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. 5 In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary - we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

    Prayer:
    Dear Lord, open our eyes and hearts to your will. Help us to trust you enough so that we can focus on others and not just on ourselves. Amen.
     
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  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    When a message in a bottle becomes useless.
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    Sad...but so true.
     
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  8. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional, for today 8/27/17, is titled "By Still Waters", written by Pam Lewis (Essex, England).
    The Scripture is John 10:14-18, and is taken from The Message Bible:

    14 "I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me.
    15 In the same way, the Father knows me and I know the Father. I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary.
    16 You need to know that I have other sheep in addition to those in this pen. I need to gather and bring them, too. They'll also recognize my voice. Then it will be one flock, one Shepherd.
    17 This is why the Father loves me: because I freely lay down my life. And so I am free to take it up again.
    18 No one takes it from me. I lay it down of my own free will. I have the right to lay it down; I also have the right to take it up again. I received this authority personally from my Father."

    Prayer: Dear God, hear us when we cry out, and help us to trust that you will lead us to where we should be. Amen.
     
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  9. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Here is Psalm 34 from The Message Bible. Let it speak to your heart.:)

    1 I bless God every chance I get; my lungs expand with his praise.
    2 I live and breathe God; if things aren't going well, hear this and be happy:
    3 Join me in spreading the news; together let's get the word out.
    4 God met me more than halfway, he freed me from my anxious fears.
    5Look at him; give him your warmest smile. Never hide your feelings from him.
    6 When I was desperate, I called out, and God got me out of a tight spot.
    7 God's angel sets up a circle of protection around us while we pray.
    8 Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see - how good God is. Blessed are you who run to him.
    9Worship God if you want the best; worship opens doors to all his goodness.
    10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry, but God-seekers are full of God.
    11 Come, children, listen closely; I'll give you a lesson in God worship.
    12 Who out there has a lust for life? Can't wait each day to come upon beauty?
    13 Guard your tongue from profanity, and no more lying through your teeth.
    14 Turn your back on sin; do something good. Embrace peace - don't let it get away!
    15 God keeps an eye on his friends, his ears pick up every moan and groan.
    16 God won't put up with rebels; he'll cull them from the pack.
    17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you.
    18 If your heart is broken, you'll find God right there; if you're kicked in the gut, he'll help you catch your breath.
    19 Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.
    20 He's your bodyguard, shielding every bone; not even a finger gets broken.
    21 The wicked commit slow suicide; they waste their lives hating the good.
    22 God pays for each slave's freedom; no one who runs to him loses out.
     
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  10. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    This is Psalm 112, from The message Bible. I hope it speaks to you.;)

    1 Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God, Who cherish and relish his commandments,
    2 Their children robust on the earth, And the homes of the upright - how blessed!
    3 Their houses brim with wealth And a generosity that never runs dry.
    4 Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people - God's grace and mercy and justice!
    5 The good person is generous and lends lavishly;
    6 No shuffling or stumbling around for this one, But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
    7Unfazed by rumor and gossip, Heart ready, trusting in God,
    8 Spirit firm, unperturbed, Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
    9They lavish gifts on the poor - A generosity that goes on, and on, and on. An honored life! A beautiful life!
    10 Someone wicked takes one look and rages, Blusters away but ends up speechless. There's nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.
     
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  11. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Hey @Joe Riley , I have a question for you. Why do Christians believe that you have to fear God? My father said that many times, but my mother and grandmother taught me that I should not be afraid of our Creator. I find this very confusing. :confused:
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    My understanding, although I have not counted, is that the Bible says 365 times that we should fear God. Perhaps that means that every day of the year, we should fear God.
     
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  13. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    But why are we suppose to fear God. If I fear someone, I’m not real apt to confide or communicate with them. I was taught not to fear Him, and that I could converse comfortably and freely with Him at all times.

    I speak to the Creator at least once each day, and on most days several times. I do this in comfort and without fear, just as if He were my best and most close friend.

    So this does confuse me.
     
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  14. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I think that "fear" is used in a way to include "respect," as a lot of people who believe in God do not respect Him.
     
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  15. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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  16. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    OK, now that makes sense to me Ken, and the link Babs provided reinforces that definition. When I think about fearing someone or something, I guess I do afford them a kind of respect. It’s more a respect of what they are capable of I think.

    In the last few years, my relationship with my Creator has become my closest relationship.
     
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  17. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    As I understand, @Ina I. Wonder, the word fear, as written about fearing God, meant to revere God or have reverence. ;)
     
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    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
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  18. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today, November 6, 2017, is titled Spiritual Investment by Jeremy Stuart (Massachusetts).

    The scripture reading is from Ecclesiastes 12:1-7, and is taken from The Message Bible:

    1 Honor and enjoy your Creator while you're still young, Before the years take their toll and your vigor wanes,
    2 Before your vision dims and the world blurs And the winter years keep you close to the fire.
    3 In old age, your body no longer serves you so well. Muscles slacken, grip weakens, joints stiffen. The shades are pulled down on the world.
    4 You can't come and go at will. Things grind to a halt. The hum of the household fades away. You are wakened now by bird-song.
    5 Hikes to the mountains are a thing of the past. Even a stroll down the road has its terrors. Your hair turns apple-blossom white, Adorning a fragile and impotent matchstick body. Yes, you're well on your way to eternal rest, While your friends make plans for your funeral.
    6 Life, lovely while it lasts, is soon over. Life as we know it, precious and beautiful, ends.
    7 The body is put back in the same ground it came from. The spirit returns to God, who first breathed it.


    TODAY'S PRAYER
    Dear Lord, foster in us the desire to remember you today so that we will continue to trust in your faithfulness throughout our lives. Amen.
     
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  19. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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  20. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    @Ina I. Wonder , our devotional, this evening from the upper room was really good! It is "God of all Seasons" (of our lives), written by Joan Campbell (Gauteng, South Africa). The scripture is Psalm 1:1-6, from The Message Bible. I just love the language of this version.

    1 How well God must like you - you don't hang out at Sin Saloon, you don't slink along Dead-End Road, you don't go to Smart-Mouth College.
    2 Instead you thrill to God's Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.
    3 You're a tree replanted in Eden, bearing fresh fruit every month, Never dropping a leaf, always in blossom.
    4 You're not at all like the wicked, who are mere windblown dust -
    5 Without defense in court, unfit company for innocent people.
    6 God charts the road you take. The road they take is Skid Row.


    TODAY'S PRAYER
    "Dear God, thank you for accompanying us through all seasons. Help us to look to you for guidance through every transition. Amen".
     
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  21. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    The Upper Room Devotional for today, 12/06/17 is titled "Practice, practice, practice", written by Gary B. Swanson (Maryland).

    "One of my loved ones is not a Christian. He often says that his aversion to Christianity comes from his personal observation of hypocrisy in the lives of too many Christians. I have noticed others who point out mistakes that Christians make and say, “If that’s what Christians are like, then I want no part of Christianity.”


    "To me, becoming a mature Christian is like learning to play tennis. We might say, “I play tennis miserably, but I still enjoy it. I get out there on the court and swing at the ball. Even though I make mistakes, I know that if I keep at it I will improve. Good or bad, I am still a tennis player.”

    "Just as taking up tennis doesn’t automatically make a person a tennis star, becoming a Christian does not make a person sinless or incapable of making mistakes. Both will increase in self-confidence and ability as they practice. This is what is meant by discipleship. To a tennis player, practice means going out on the tennis court and hitting the ball. To a Christian, practicing means spending time with God through prayer and Bible reading and transforming into the image of Christ a little more each day by loving those whom Christ loves".

    The scripture is John 17:15-19, and is from The Message Bible:

    15 Just as I didn't join the world's ways. I'm not asking that you take them out of the world But that you guard them from the Evil One. 16 They are no more defined by the world Than I am defined by the world. 17 Make them holy - consecrated - with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth. 18 In the same way that you gave me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world. 19 I'm consecrating myself for their sakes So they'll be truth-consecrated in their mission.

    Prayer:

    Dear Jesus, come into our lives so fully that others may be drawn to your loving care for them. Amen.
     
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