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3/3/18 8:46 A

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DUe to lack of interest I am closing this thread.

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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2/23/18 8:06 A

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GOD IS UNCONTAINED - February 23, 2018
Max Lucado
Most people have small thoughts about God. In an effort to see God as our friend, we have lost his immensity. In our desire to understand him, we have sought to contain him. The God of the Bible cannot be contained. With a word he called Adam out of dust and Eve out of a bone. He consulted no committee. He sought no counsel. He has authority over the world and…He has authority over your world. He is never surprised. He has never, ever uttered the phrase, “How did that happen?”

God’s goodness is a major headline in the Bible. If He were only mighty, we would salute Him. But since He is merciful and mighty, we can approach Him. If God is at once Father and Creator, holy—unlike us—and high above us, then we at any point are only a prayer away from help!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/22/18 8:59 A

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OH, DADDY! - February 22, 2018
Max Lucado
When my eldest daughter was 13, she flubbed her piano piece at a recital. The silence in the auditorium was broken only by the pounding of her parents’ hearts. She hurried off the stage, threw her arms around me and buried her face in my shirt. “Oh, Daddy.” That was enough for me. At that moment I’d have given her the moon and all she said was, “Oh Daddy!”

Prayer starts here. Prayer begins with an honest, heartfelt, Oh, Daddy! Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy. So my challenge for you is this: Every day for four weeks, pray four minutes. Then, get ready to connect with God like never before.



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/21/18 8:39 A

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GOD INVITES OUR APPROACH - February 21, 2018
Max Lucado
Jesus invites us to approach God the way a child approaches his or her daddy! And how do children approach their daddies? When a five-year-old spots his father in the parking lot, how does he react?

Yippee! was screamed by a redheaded boy wearing a Batman backpack as he ran to his dad.

Pop!” Over here! Push me!—yelled another little boy wearing a Boston Red Sox cap who scooted straight to the swings on the playground.

You know what I didn’t hear? Father, it is most gracious of thee to drive thy car to my place of education . Please know of my deep gratitude for your benevolence. For thou art splendid in thy attentive care and diligent in thy dedication.”

I heard kids who were happy to see their dads and eager to speak to them! God invites us to approach Him in the same manner. What a relief!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/20/18 9:31 A

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PRAYERS DON’T GET GRADED - February 20, 2018
Max Lucado
Jesus downplayed the importance of words in prayers. We tend to do the opposite. The more words the better! We emphasize the appropriate prayer language, the latest prayer trend, the holiest prayer terminology. Against all this emphasis on syllables and rituals, Jesus says in Matthew 6:7, “Don’t ramble like heathens who talk a lot.” There’s no panel of angelic judges with numbered cards.

Wow, Lucado, that prayer was a ten. God will certainly hear you! or
Oh, Lucado, you scored a two this morning. Go home and practice!

Prayers aren’t graded according to style. If prayer depends on how I pray, I’m sunk. But if the power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer, then I have hope.



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/19/18 7:42 A

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CHAT WITH GOD IN THE CLOSET - February 19, 2018
Max Lucado
Religious leaders loved to make theater out of their prayers. The show nauseated Jesus. In Matthew 6:6 He said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who cannot be seen. Your Father can see what is done in secret, and He will reward you.”

The words surely stunned Jesus’ audience. The people were simple farmers and stonemasons. They couldn’t enter the temple, but they could enter their closets. What was the point? Jesus is low on fancy but high on accessibility. You need not woo him with location or wow him with eloquence! It’s the power of a simple prayer.

Join me every day for four weeks to pray four minutes…a simple prayer. Then, get ready to connect with God like never before!

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/16/18 7:13 A

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WHISPERED REMINDER - February 16, 2018
Max Lucado
In Matthew 6, Jesus prayed: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

A prayer that begins. . . May I not view you as a distant father, but as one who has come to earth and understands the challenges and temptations of my life. Be near me today, whisper reminders that you’re close. My friends need you today as they make difficult decisions in their workplace and in their families. Show them you are closer than even their earthly fathers. Thank you for hearing me and listening to my pleas. It’s in Jesus’ name I pray this, amen.

Here’s my challenge for you! Every day for four weeks, pray four minutes; and get ready to connect with God like never before!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/15/18 8:38 A

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PRAY HONESTLY - February 15, 2018
Max Lucado
Prayer really is simple. Resist the urge to complicate it. Don’t take pride in well-crafted prayers. Don’t apologize for incoherent prayers. No games. No cover-ups. Just be honest—honest to God.

Climb into His lap. Tell Him everything that is on your heart or tell Him nothing at all. Just lift your heart to heaven and declare, Father…Daddy! We have stress…fear…guilt…grief, and demands on all sides; sometimes all we can summon is a plaintive, “Oh, Father!” If so, that’s enough. Your heavenly Father will wrap you in His arms!

Here’s my prayer challenge for you. Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes. I think you’ll find yourself connecting with God like never before!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/14/18 8:35 A

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BE LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN - February 14, 2018
Max Lucado
We prayer wimps fear mis-praying. What is the expected etiquette and dress code for prayer? What if we kneel instead of stand? Jesus answers in Matthew 18:3 when He says, “Become as little children.” Carefree…joy-filled…playful…trusting… and curious. Trust more—strut less.

God prefers this greeting, God, you are my Daddy, and I am your child! It’s hard to show off and call God Daddy at the same time. It’s impossible, in fact. Remember that prayer doesn’t depend on how you pray. The power of prayer depends on the One who hears the prayer!

Here’s my simple prayer challenge for you: Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes. And just be honest—honest to God. You will experience prayer like never before.

Before Amen

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/13/18 9:53 A

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I’M A RECOVERING PRAYER WIMP - February 13, 2018
Max Lucado
Yes, I’m a prayer wimp—but a recovering prayer wimp. Not where I long to be, but not where I was. This simple, easy to remember, pocket-size prayer has become a cherished friend.

“Father, You are good. I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help. Thank you. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Jesus’ disciples faced angry waves and a watery grave. You may face angry clients, a turbulent economy, and raging seas of stress and sorrow. Let this simple prayer punctuate your day. As you begin your morning…“Father, you are good.” As you commute to work or walk the hallways at school…“I need help.” As you wait in the grocery line and recall others…“They need help.” Keep this prayer in your pocket as you pass through the day. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child.



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/12/18 8:00 A

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COME IN, O KING! - February 12, 2018
Max Lucado
This much is sure: God will teach you to pray. Don’t think for a minute that he is glaring at you from a distance with crossed arms and a scowl, waiting for you to get your prayer life together. Just the opposite!

In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with Me.”

Jesus waits on the porch. He taps. . .and calls. He waits for you to open the door. To pray is the hand of faith on the door handle of your heart. The happy welcome to Jesus that says, Come in, O King, come in! The kitchen is messy, but come in. I’m not much of a conversationalist, but come in. Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! God changes His people through such moments.

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/9/18 7:39 A

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THE COMPELLING EXAMPLE OF JESUS - February 9, 2018
Max Lucao
Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer! Jesus set a compelling prayer example. He prayed before He ate. He prayed for children. He prayed for the sick. He prayed with thanks, and with tears. He had made the planets and shaped the stars, yet He prayed.

Here’s a prayer for us today!

“Father, you’ve made me your child through your Spirit. In your kindness you have adopted me and delivered me from sin and death. Remind me today what it means to be your child.

It’s so easy for me to live every day on my own terms. Help me live it in light of your grace.

Thank you for accepting me as I am but not leaving me the same. In Jesus’ name, amen.”

Here’s my prayer challenge for you! Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/8/18 8:37 A

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CONVERSATION FROM THE HEART - February 8, 2018
Max Lucado
Prayer isn’t a privilege for the pious, nor the art of a chosen few. Prayer is simply a heartfelt conversation between God and His child. When we invite God into our world, He brings a host of gifts: joy, patience, and resilience. Anxieties come, but they don’t stick. Fears surface and then depart. I’m completing my sixth decade, yet I’m wired with energy… happier, healthier, and more hopeful! Struggles come, for sure, but so does God.

My friend, He wants to talk with you. Even now as you hear these words, He taps at the door. Open it. Welcome Him in and let the conversation begin. Here’s my challenge to you! Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/7/18 7:58 A

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PRAYER IS CONVERSATION WITH GOD - February 7, 2018
Max Lucado
Mark 1:35 says, “Jesus went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” This dialogue must have been common among His friends:

“Has anyone seen Jesus?”
“Oh, you know. He’s up to the same thing.”
“Praying again?”
“Yep. He’s been gone since sunrise.”

Jesus would even disappear for an entire night of prayer. Prayer for most of us isn’t a matter of a month-long retreat or even an hour of meditation. It’s a conversation with God while driving to work or waiting for an appointment.

God will teach you to pray. We speak, He listens. He speaks, we listen. This is prayer in its purest form. God changes His people through such moments. May I challenge you? Every day for four weeks, pray four minutes. Then, get ready to connect with God like never before!

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/6/18 8:15 A

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TEACH US TO PRAY, LORD - February 6, 2018
Max Lucado
We can’t even get the cable company to answer us, yet God will? The doctor is too busy, but God isn’t? We have our doubts about prayer!

Jesus raised people from the dead. But a “How to Vacate the Cemetery” seminar? His followers never called for one. But they did ask Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Might their interest have something to do with the jaw-dropping promise Jesus attached to prayer? “Ask and it will be given to you.” When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them a prayer. Could you use the same?

Father, You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help.
Thank You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Before amen—comes the power of a simple prayer. Punctuate your day with it!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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2/2/18 7:38 A

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USE A PORTABLE PRAYER - February 2, 2018
Max Lucado
Some people excel in prayer. They are the SEAL Team 6 of intercession. They would rather pray than sleep. Why is it I sleep when I pray? It’s not that we don’t pray at all. We all pray some. Surveys indicate one in five unbelievers prays daily. Just in case, perhaps? When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He gave them a prayer…a quotable, repeatable, portable prayer. Could you use the same?

Father, You are good.
I need help. Heal me and forgive me.
They need help. Thank you.
In Jesus’ name, amen.

Here is my challenge for you: Every day for 4 weeks, pray 4 minutes. Then get ready to connect with God like never before!

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/31/18 8:11 A

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LOVE THAT CASTS OUT FEAR - January 31, 2018
Max Lucado
Have you ever gone to the grocery on an empty stomach? You’re a sitting duck when you do. You buy everything you don’t need. Doesn’t matter if it’s good for you—you just want to fill your tummy!

When you’re lonely, you do the same in life–pulling stuff off the shelf, not because you need it, but because you’re hungry for love. Why do we do it? Because we fear facing life alone. For fear of not fitting in, we take the drugs. For fear of standing out, we wear the clothes. For fear of appearing small, we go into debt and buy the house. For fear of sleeping alone, we sleep with anyone. For fear of not being loved, we search for love in all the wrong places.

But all that changes when we discover God’s perfect love. 1 John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” You are not alone!

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/30/18 7:14 A

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TRUST LIKE JESUS DID - January 30, 2018
Max Lucao
How did Jesus endure the terror of the crucifixion? He went first to the Father with His fears. He modeled the words of Psalm 56:3, “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Do the same with your fears. Enter them—just don’t enter them alone. And while there, be honest. Pounding the ground is permitted and tears are allowed. “Take this cup,” Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemene.

Give God your fears. Give God the number of the flight. Share the details of the job transfer. He has plenty of time. He also has plenty of compassion. He won’t tell you to buck up or get tough. He knows how you feel. That’s why we punctuate our prayers as Jesus did with “Father, if you are willing. . .” Was God willing? Yes and no. He didn’t take away the cross from Christ, but He took away the fear. Who is to say He won’t do the same for you?



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/29/18 8:46 A

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CULTIVATE HUMILITY - January 29, 2018
Max Lucado
God loves humility. Could that be the reason he offers so many tips on cultivating it? May I (…ahem) humbly articulate a few? If you want to be humble:

Assess yourself honestly
Don’t take success too seriously.
Celebrate the significance of others.
Don’t demand your own parking space.
Never announce your success before it occurs.
Speak humbly
One last thought to foster humility– Live at the foot of the cross

Paul said in Galatians 6:14, “The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for bragging!” Do you feel a need for affirmation? Does your self esteem need attention? You don’t need to drop names or show off. You need only to pause at the base of the cross and be reminded of this: The Maker of the stars would rather die for you than live without you. And that’s a fact. So, if you need to brag… brag about that!

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/26/18 7:58 A

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FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE - January 26, 2018
Max Lucado
Proverbs 16:18 reminds us as humility goes before honor, “pride goes before a fall.” Ever wonder why churches are powerful in one generation but empty the next? The Bible says, the Lord will tear down the house of the proud. God hates arrogance. He hates it because we haven’t done anything to be arrogant about. Is there a Pulitzer for ink? Can you imagine a scalpel growing smug after a successful heart transplant? Of course not. They are only tools. So are we. We may be the canvas, the paper, or the scalpel, but we are not the one who deserves the applause.

David declares who does in Psalm 23, “He makes me… He leads me… He restores my soul…for His name’s sake.” For His name’s sake! No other name. This is all done for God’s glory. He takes the credit, not because He needs it, but because He knows we cannot handle it!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/25/18 9:09 A

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LEAVE YOUR GUILT AT CALVARY - January 25, 2018
Max Lucado
Do you carry a load of guilt? So many do. If our spiritual baggage were visible, do you know what you would see? Suitcases of guilt, bulging with binges, blowups, and compromises. The kid with the baggy jeans and the nose ring? He’d give anything to retract the words he said to his mother. But he can’t, so he tows them along. The woman in the business suit that looks like she could run for Senator? She can’t run at all, not hauling that carpet bag wherever she goes. So what do we do?

In Psalm 23:3 David said it like this, “He leads me in the paths of righteousness.” The path of righteousness is a narrow, winding trail up a steep hill. At the top is a cross. At the base of the cross are bags, countless bags full of innumerable sins. Calvary is the compost pile for guilt. Would you like to leave yours there as well?



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/24/18 8:12 A

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LOOK TO THE SOURCE OF HELP - January 24, 2018
Max Lucado
David said in Psalm 121, “I lift up my eyes to the hills—where does my help come from?” And David answers his own question, “My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip, He who watches over you will not slumber. The Lord watches over you. The Lord will keep you from all harm, He will watch over your life.”

God—your rescuer, has the right vision. He also has the right direction. He made the boldest claim in the history of man when He declared, “I am the way.” People wondered if the claim was accurate. He answered their question by forging a path through the underbrush of sin and death—escaping alive. Maybe you need your hope restored. If so, lift up your eyes. Like David said, look unto the hills…look unto the One who made you and He will give you help.

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/23/18 7:56 A

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TRUST YOUR PERFECT GUIDE - January 23, 2018
Max Lucado
The story is told of a man on an African safari deep in the jungle. The guide had a machete and was whacking away the tall weeds and thick underbrush. The traveler, wearied and hot, asked in frustration, “Where are we? Do you know where you’re taking me? Where is the path?” The seasoned guide stopped and looked back at the man and replied, “I am the path.”

We ask the same questions, don’t we? We ask God, “Where are you taking me? Where’s the path? Oh, He may give us a hint or two, but that’s all. If he did give us more, would we understand? No, like the traveler, we are unacquainted with this jungle. So rather than give us an answer, He gives us a far greater gift…Jesus gives us Himself. He says in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always to the very end of the age.” We need that reminder!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/22/18 8:46 A

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YOU ALWAYS HAVE HOPE - January 22, 2018
Max Lucado
For many, hope is in short supply. Hopelessness is an odd bag. Unlike others, it isn’t full. It’s empty, and its emptiness creates the burden. Unzip the top and examine all the pockets. Turn it upside down and shake it hard. The bag of hopelessness is painfully empty! Not a very pretty picture, is it?

What would it take to restore your hope? One comes quickly to mind…a person. Not just any person…it’s the Lord! You need someone to look you in the face and say, This isn’t the end. Don’t give up. There’s a better place than this. And I will lead you there. David, in Psalm 23, used these words, “He restores my soul.” God majors in restoring hope to the soul. Please note… you have hope! Psalm 121:7 says, “The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life.” And He is the perfect one to do so!

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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1/21/18 8:34 A

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Promises, Promises
by Adam Holz
He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4

My youngest daughter and I have a game we call “Pinchers.” When she goes up the stairs, I’ll chase her and try to give her a little pinch. The rules are that I can only pinch her (gently, of course!) when she’s on the stairs. Once she’s at the top, she’s safe. Sometimes, though, she’s not in the mood to play. And if I follow her up the stairs, she’ll sternly say, “No pinchers!” I’ll respond, “No pinchers. I promise.”

Now, that promise may seem a little thing. But when I do what I say, my daughter begins to understand something of my character. She experiences my consistency. She knows my word is good, that she can trust me. It’s a little thing, keeping such a promise. But promises—or, keeping them, I should say—are the glue of relationships. They lay a foundation of love and trust.

God’s Word to us reveals His heart toward us.
I think that's what Peter meant when he wrote that God’s promises enable us to “participate in the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4). When we take God at His Word, trusting what He says about Himself and about us, we encounter His heart toward us. It gives Him an opportunity to reveal His faithfulness as we rest in what He says is true. I'm thankful Scripture brims with His promises, these concrete reminders that “his compassions never fail. They are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22–23).

Lord, thank You so much for Your “great and precious promises.” Help us to recognize and to rest in what You say is true, that we might fully experience Your tender goodness.

God’s Word to us reveals His heart toward us.

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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Maintaining JOy
In Touch Ministries
Psalm 40:16

Though some people use the terms happiness and joy interchangeably, there is a vast difference in their meaning. Both cause a pleasant emotional response, but the former relies entirely upon circumstance. As soon as difficulty arises and pain intrudes, a person ceases to be happy. On the other hand, joy is a gift from God that enables believers to find hope and peace—even when life seemingly falls apart.

At times, however, even Christians live joylessly. Sinful behavior, of course, is one reason. But there can be other causes, too, including regret about past failures, fear of future mishaps, or a pattern of discontentment that’s ingrained in one’s personality.

If you’re a follower of Jesus but lack gladness, take a moment to remember who Christ is and who you are in Him. To begin with, you are saved eternally, and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. The love of almighty God is unconditional, and His indwelling Spirit will never abandon you. He understands everything you face and promises to provide for your needs.

When you stop to consider the blessings that are yours in Christ, gratitude will likely overwhelm you. Sadness concerning circumstances may still endure, but the joy of the Lord will carry you through even the deepest pain.

Amid the ups and downs of life, does God’s joy sustain you? Or do trials leave you hopeless and discontented? Our Father offers a higher way of living—not without pain but with strength to endure. Continually remember the vast treasure you have in Him and His promises.



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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ONE STEP AT A TIME - January 19, 2018
Max Lucado
Arthur Hays Sulzberger was the publisher of the New York Times during the second World War. Because of the world conflict, he found it almost impossible to sleep. He was never able to set aside worries from his mind until he adopted as his motto these five words… “one step enough for me.” He took the words from the old hymn, “Lead Kindly Light.”

“Lead, kindly Light. . .
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.”

Friend, God isn’t going to let you see the distant scene either, so you might as well quit looking for it. God promises a lamp to our feet but not a crystal ball into the future. We don’t need to know what will happen tomorrow. We only need to know that Hebrews 4:16 promises that “we will find grace to help us when we need it!”



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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TRUST GOD TO LEAD - January 18, 2018
Max Lucado
Worrying is one job you cannot farm out—but you can overcome it! And there’s no better place to begin than Psalm 23:2. “He leads me beside the still waters,” David declares. He leads me! God isn’t behind me, yelling, Go! He’s ahead of me bidding, Come! He’s in front, clearing the path and cutting the brush. Standing next to the rocks He warns watch your step there.

Isn’t this what God gave the children of Israel? He promised to supply them with manna each day, but He told them to collect only one day’s supply at a time. Matthew 6:34 says to give your entire attention to what God is doing right now and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. God is leading you– so leave tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow.



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/17/18 9:30 A

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GIVE UP YOUR BAG OF BURDENS - January 17, 2018
Max Lucado
Worry is the burlap bag of burdens. It’s overflowing with “whaddifs” and “howells.” Whaddif after all my dieting, I find that lettuce is fattening and chocolate isn’t? Howell we pay our baby’s tuition?” Whaddifs and howells…the burlap bag of worry. Cumbersome. Chunky. Unattractive. Scratchy. Irritating to carry and impossible to give away!

No one wants your worries. The truth is, you don’t want them either. No one has to remind you of the high cost of anxiety, but I will anyway. Worry divides the mind. It splits our energy between today’s priorities and tomorrow’s problems. The result is half-minded living!

Hebrews 4:16 encourages us to “boldly approach the throne of our gracious God, where we may receive mercy and, in His grace, find timely help.” God’s help is timely! God will do the right thing at the right time. And what a difference that makes!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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REMEMBER THE SABBATH - January 16, 2018
Max Lucado
When God gave the Ten Commandments, He needed only five English words to condemn adultery; four to denounce thievery and murder. But when he came to the topic of rest? Listen to this:

“Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath Day of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work; you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your servants, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day…” (Exodus 20:8-11).

Wow! One word after another… but still we object. We offer up one reason after another. We don’t like to rest. Please repeat these words after me, “It is not my job to run the world.” In the long run we will do more by doing less!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/15/18 7:53 A

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A PASTURE FOR THE SOUL - January 15, 2018
Max Lucado
When God gave the Ten Commandments and it came to Sabbath rest, His message was clear: If creation didn’t crash when I rested, it won’t crash when you do! You know we need to rest. For a field to bear fruit, it must occasionally lie fallow. And for you to be healthy, you must rest. When David says in the 23rd Psalm, “He makes me to lie down in green pastures,” he’s saying, “My shepherd makes me lie down in his finished work.”

With His own pierced hands, Jesus created a pasture for the soul. He pried loose the huge boulders of sin. In their place He planted seeds of grace and dug ponds of mercy. Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of the shepherd when the work is completed and he sees his sheep rest in the tender grass? Can you imagine the satisfaction in the heart of God when we do the same?



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/13/18 9:34 A

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The Path of Life
JANUARY 13, 2018

In touch Ministries
Jeremiah 10:23-24

Life is like an untraveled trail with twists and turns. Appealing activities can become detours that lead to the quicksand of sin. And engaging philosophies may start as small interests but turn into a mire of muddled thinking. Even the best route isn’t always sun-dappled meadows and quiet riverside lanes; we may have to journey over hard terrain or shadowed valleys. The only way to be sure we’re walking correctly is to follow one who knows the way perfectly.

God is the perfect full-service guide. No one can go wrong by keeping to the pathways He selects. Consider that He lovingly and intentionally created you for this time and this place. The Lord watches over your steps because He desires to see your purpose fulfilled and His plan come to fruition through you (Prov. 3:5-6). He has promised to counsel those who follow Him (Psalm 25:12), so when you sense God warning you away from a tempting sidetrack, realize it is because He foresees the dangers that lurk on that road.

There’s a correlation between ignoring the Lord’s guidance and ending up in trouble: The one who stumbles off course has trusted his own “sense of direction”—his emotions, desires, or personal version of morality. He has been pursuing what feels good or looks right instead of seeking the heavenly Father’s will.

God has mapped out the path before you. He is aware of every obstacle and miry pit, and He knows exactly which sidetracks will tempt you. What’s more, He has committed to walk beside you as a guide and comforter so that you never face the twists and turns of this life alone.

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/12/18 7:27 A

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SLEEPING TROUBLE - January 12, 2018
Max Lucado
Millions of Americans have trouble sleeping! You may be one of them. Only one other living creature has as much trouble resting as we do. They are woolly, simpleminded, and slow…sheep. Sheep can’t sleep! For sheep to sleep, everything must be just right. No predators. No tension in the flock. Sheep need help. They need a shepherd to lead them and help them lie down in green pastures. Without a shepherd, they cannot rest.

Without a shepherd, neither can we! Psalm 23:2 says, “He, (the Shepherd) makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.” Who’s the active one? Who’s in charge? The Shepherd! With our eyes on the Shepherd, we’ll get some sleep. Isaiah 26:3 reminds us of the promise, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You.”



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/11/18 8:14 A

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DO YOU KNOW WHAT MATTERS? - January 11, 2018
Max Lucado
A man once went to a minister for counseling. “I’ve lost everything,” he bemoaned.
“Oh!” the preacher said. “I’m so sorry to hear you’ve lost your faith.”
“No,” the man corrected him, “I haven’t lost my faith.”

“Well then,” the ministry said, “I’m sad to hear you’ve lost your character.”
“I didn’t say that,” the man corrected. “I still have my character.”

“I’m so sorry you’ve lost your salvation,” the minister said.
“That’s not what I said,” the man objected, beginning to lose his patience.
The preacher explained, “You have your faith, your character, and your salvation. Seems to me that you’ve lost none of the things that really matter.”

We haven’t either. You and I could pray like the Puritan. He sat down to a meal of bread and water. He bowed his head and declared, “All this and Jesus, too?” Can’t we be equally content? Paul says in 1 Timothy 6:6, “godliness with contentment is great gain!”



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/10/18 9:59 A

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YOUR STUFF ISN’T YOU - January 10, 2018
Max Lucado
When one of the wealthiest men in history, John D. Rockefeller, died his accountant was asked, “How much did John D. leave?” His reply? “All of it!” No one takes anything with him. Think about the things you own—all your stuff. Then let me remind you—your stuff isn’t yours. And you know what else? Your stuff isn’t you!

Jesus explained in Luke 12:15 that life isn’t defined by what you have even when you have a lot. Contentment comes when we can honestly say with the Apostle Paul, “I have learned to be satisfied with the things I have. I know how to live when I am poor, and I know how to live when I have plenty” (Philippians 4:11-12).

You have so much! You have a God who hears you, the power of His love behind you, the Holy Spirit within you, and all of heaven ahead of you. You have everything you need!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/9/18 10:04 A

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THE PRISON OF WANT - January 9, 2018
Max Lucado
Come with me to the most populated prison in the world. It’s name is WANT—the prison of want. You’ve seen her prisoners. They want something bigger. Nicer. Faster. Thinner. They want a new job. A new house. A new spouse. If you feel better when you have more and worse when you have less—you’re in the prison of want. If your happiness comes from something you deposit, drive, drink, or digest, then face it—you’re in the prison of want!

The good news is, you have a visitor. It is the psalmist, David. I have a secret to tell you, he whispers, the secret of satisfaction. From Psalm 23:1, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” David found the place where discontent goes to die. It’s as if he’s saying, What I have in God is greater than what I don’t have in this life. Do you think you and I could learn to say the same?



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/8/18 12:53 P

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WE ARE LIKE SHEEP - January 8, 2018
Max Lucado
Isaiah 53:6 says, “We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way.” You wouldn’t think sheep would be obstinate. Of all God’s animals, the sheep is the least able to take care of himself. Sheep are dumb. Have you ever met a sheep trainer? Ever seen sheep tricks? Know anyone who’s taught his sheep to roll over? No. Sheep are just too dumb.

When David said in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” couldn’t he have come up with a better metaphor than a shepherd for sheep? When David, who was a warrior and ambassador for God, searched for an illustration of God, he remembered his days as a shepherd. He remembered how he lavished attention on the sheep. How he watched over them. David rejoiced to say, “The Lord is my Shepherd” and in doing so, he proudly proclaimed, “I am His sheep!”



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/7/18 9:12 A

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At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Philippians 2:10

Cleopatra, Galileo, Shakespeare, Elvis, Pelé. They are all so well known that they need only one name to be recognized. They have remained prominent in history because of who they were and what they did. But there is another name that stands far above these or any other name!

Before the Son of God was born into this world, the angel told Mary and Joseph to name Him Jesus because “he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21), and “he . . . will be called the Son of the Most High” (Luke 1:32). Jesus didn’t come as a celebrity but as a servant who humbled Himself and died on the cross so that anyone who receives Him can be forgiven and freed from the power of sin.

Jesus Christ is not valued at all until He is valued above all. Augustine
The apostle Paul wrote, “God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9–11).

In our times of greatest joy and our deepest need, the name we cling to is Jesus. He will never leave us, and His love will not fail.

Jesus, You are the name above all names, our Savior and Lord. We lift our praise to You as we celebrate Your presence and power in our lives today.


from Our daily Bread


Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/6/18 8:31 A

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When we cry out to God
In Touch Ministries

Psalm 57:1-3

Most likely, we have all cried out to God in desperation. Whether it was something as simple as fearing a school test or something as grave as sitting in the waiting room during a friend’s surgery, we know how it feels to have no option left but to call upon almighty God.

It is important to note that there is a difference between our cries to God and our prayers. In prayer, we bring many things to the Father at once, emptying our hearts before His throne, listening to what He has to say to us. When we cry out, though, something else happens. We are then so overcome by emotion—be it fear, dread, sorrow, or even anxious hope—that we can’t help spontaneously throwing ourselves on God’s mercy for our immediate need. The Bible records many different instances of crying out. There are cries of desperation (Matt. 14:29-30), helplessness (2 Chronicles 20:9-12), and even faith (Psalm 34:15-17).

The most dynamic truth we can learn about our cries, however, is that the heavenly Father hears every single one. In the desert, the Lord heard Moses’ cry of anguish and responded immediately (Ex. 17:3-7). Likewise, in Judges 3:9-11, God heard the people’s cry for deliverance and answered with perfect timing.

Our Father wants His children to call to Him with the burdens of their heart. Have you cried out to God in faith? Be assured that He is listening, and that even when we can’t think of what to say, His Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf (Rom. 8:26).





Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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GOD’S WAY IS ALWAYS BEST - January 5, 2018
By Max Lucado
In the game of golf, logic says, “Don’t go for the green.” Golf 101 says, “Don’t go for the green.” But I say, “Give me my driver, I’m going for the green!” Golf reveals a lot about a person. I don’t need advice—whack! I can handle this myself—clang!

Can you relate? We want to do things our way. Forget the easy way and forget the best way. Forget God’s way. Too much stubbornness. Too much independence. Too much self-reliance. All I needed to do was apologize, but I had to argue. All I needed to do was listen, but I had to open my big mouth. All I needed to do was be patient, but I had to take control. All I had to do was give it to God, but I tried to fix it myself.

Scripture tells us to do it God’s way. Experience says to do it God’s way. And every so often, we do! We might even make the green.



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/4/18 7:21 A

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WE NEED A MIDDLE C - January 4, 2018
(From Max Lucado)
When author Lloyd Douglas attended college, he lived in a boardinghouse with a retired music professor who lived on the first floor. Douglas would stick his head in the door and ask, “Well, what’s the good news?” The old man would pick up his tuning fork, tap it on the side of his chair and say, “That’s middle C. It was middle C yesterday; it will be middle C tomorrow; it will be middle C a thousand years from now. The tenor upstairs sings flat. The piano across the hall is out of tune, but, my friend, that is middle C!”

You and I need a middle C. A still point in a turning world. An unchanging Shepherd. A God who can still the storm. A Lord who can declare the meaning of life. And according to David in Psalm 23—you have one. The Lord is your shepherd! He is your middle C!



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/4/18 7:20 A

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I appreciate your feedback and sharing. This is a place to grow deeper roots into our faith. There is no right and wrong.

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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1/3/18 9:01 P

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Thank you for that analogy and devotion. Each one you give is special and meaningful.
Perhaps I am not sharing what is asked for. It would not be the first time.
This is one of my favorite Bible passages. God used it to heal a deep wound in me and several others and so it is precious to me and I wanted to share it with you.

Fear not for I have redeemed you. I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters I will be with you and when you pass through the rivers they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire you will not be burned. The flames will not set you ablaze for I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your Savior.ISAIAH 43: 1-3 NIV


Edited by: SANJOSEGIRL at: 1/3/2018 (21:01)
"One thing you can be sure of, things are gonna change." Bryan Duncan

Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God's glory. 1 Cor 10:31


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1/3/18 9:43 A

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God does not change

You and I are governed. The weather determines what we wear. Gravity dictates our speed and health determines our strength. We may change these forces, alter them slightly, but we never remove them. God is an unchanging God, an uncaused God, and an ungoverned God. He doesn’t check the weather; He makes it. He doesn’t defy gravity; He created it. He isn’t affected by health; He has no body. Jesus said, “God is spirit” (John 4:24). Since He has no body, He has no limitations—He’s equally active in Cambodia as He is in Connecticut. “Where can I go to get away from your Spirit?” asked David in Psalm 139:7.

God–Unchanging. God–Uncaused. God–Ungoverned. Only a fraction of God’s qualities, but aren’t they enough to give you a glimpse of your Father? Psalm 90:2 says, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God!”



Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
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Collect It Daily




What God Taught Us Through Manna- Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4

They couldn’t plant and harvest, so God supernaturally gave them manna--a delicious, healthy grain. Manna was not only a proof of God's love, it was also a test of faith.

What God Taught Us Through Manna- Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4
But they failed the test...they repeatedly complained and begged for Egyptian slave food.

Lately I’m realizing how often I do the same thing. I’m more apt to be disappointed about something I don't have than to enjoy God’s marvelous presence and provision for me.

“He gave you manna to eat...to teach you that you must not depend on bread alone to sustain you, but on everything that the Lord says” (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).

God's Word is always available to keep me healthy and well-fed spiritually if I’ll quit longing for things I don't have and start "collecting and eating" His Word daily.

“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Colossians 3:16

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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SANJOSEGIRL's Photo SANJOSEGIRL Posts: 529
1/1/18 7:29 P

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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God’s grace, not from rules about food, which don’t help those who follow them. Hebrews 13:8

I subscribe to KLOVE radio's Bible verse of the day and then read the rest of the subject or chapter whichever applies. It is easy to get a bit more Bible reading in this way. I a lazy . . .

"One thing you can be sure of, things are gonna change." Bryan Duncan

Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink, do it all for God's glory. 1 Cor 10:31


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RUTHIEBEAR's Photo RUTHIEBEAR Posts: 63,375
1/1/18 9:11 A

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I will be posting devotional ideas here. If you have any ideas please share them.

Make 2018 your best year yet.
The voices that you listen to will end up shaping your life: friends and family, news and entertainment, self-improvement articles and “life hacks” — even your own thoughts. But, this year, what would happen if you made God’s voice the one you hear most?

The Lord shows us how we should live, and he is pleased when he sees people living that way.

PSALM 37:23


Getting started is easier than you think.
How can you build a daily Bible practice in 2018? By taking it just one day at a time. Reading Plans, Devotionals — whatever you like to call them, Plans help you get God’s Word into the flow of your everyday life, by giving you just a little to read or listen to each day.

Your best year ever begins now…
here is a link to one plan

www.biblestudytools.com/bibl
e-reading-
plan/book-order.html


There are many available.

Blessings,
Ruthie
A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.
-- Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A. A. Milne ruthiemade.aminus3.com/
www.facebook.com/ruthiebear about.me/ruthiebear


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