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The Word For Today

Stay focused on what's important



'I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will.' Isaiah 50:7 NLT

In a small Wisconsin town on the southern shore of Lake Superior, the annual dogsled derby was about to begin. The racers were all children - from older boys with several dogs and big sleds, to one little boy who had only a small sled and a dog. On the signal, the sleds took off and the little fellow was soon so far behind that he hardly seemed to be in the race at all. Then about halfway through the race, when the second-place team tried to move into first place, the sleds got too close and the dogs began to fight. As each of the other sleds in the race came upon the fight, more dogs got involved. The scene was soon one big seething knot of kids, sleds, and dogs. All thought of racing had vanished from the minds of the racers. However, the one little guy and his dog managed to skirt the others and went on to win the race.RightPath founder and business coach Jerry Mabe tells employers that when they hire managers, they should look out for 'shiny object' people. Why? Because like children, they are easily distracted by other things and the job suffers under their watch. To succeed you must stay focused on what's important, and pursue your goals without wavering or hesitating.Keep your eyes on the finish line, trusting God to help you. He will. His Word says so: 'Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame' (Isaiah 50:7 NLT).

Soulfood: Gen 37-39 Jn 17:1-26 Ps 147:1-11 Ecc 3:5-8,

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It's a choice



'Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.' Habakkuk 3:18 NKJV

Pastor Jim Penner says: 'I'll never forget...as an eight-year-old sitting on the step when my mother opened the door to two men who handed her some papers...As tears rolled down [her] cheeks it didn't take me long to figure out what happened. Money was tight...the bank hadn't been paid and...our car was repossessed. I also carry with me another image I cherish to this day of my mother praying in her room. In the face of fear two words came through..."Thank you! Thank you!" I thought, "Thank you? You just lost your car; we have no money; what's going to happen to us?" Her prayer continued, "Thank you, God, for what you've provided...and that we have something to eat tonight"...So it went...fifteen minutes, maybe more. Looking back, I gained a lifetime of wisdom in those precious minutes. My mother taught me an attitude of gratefulness in the midst of adversity that I'll never forget...The tough times didn't end overnight...but in the years to come God blessed my mother for her steadfast faith.'Gratitude isn't a natural response to adversity; it's a discipline you develop. The psalmist said, 'Forget not all his benefits' (Psalm 103:2 NKJV). In the midst of trouble, when you don't think God has blessed you, sit down and recall his faithfulness and you'll end up filled with joy. Habakkuk said, 'Fig trees may not grow...there may be no grapes on the vines...no olives...no food growing in the fields...no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the barns. But I will still...rejoice in God my Saviour' (Habakkuk 3:17-18 NCV).When you take time to give thanks, it will change your outlook and attitude.

Soulfood: Gen 35-36 Jn 16:19-33 Ps 2 Ecc 3:1-4,

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At the breaking point



'Let him have all your worries and cares.' 1 Peter 5:7 TLB

In the film Limitless, actor Bradley Cooper discovers a wonder drug that opens up the entire capacity of his brain. He can learn languages and complex maths in a fraction of the time it takes normal people. He can recall almost anything he's read or seen. He can analyse more quickly and more in-depth than the best financial gurus. He is limitless. And he leverages his ability to earn millions and achieve great success.Today many people are stressed out by their relationships or by their work. And even more are stressed out by money issues. If you're saying, 'I'm stressed by one (or more) of these!' here's the word for you today: 'Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you' (1 Peter 5:7 TLB). You say, 'If you saw my schedule, you'd know why I'm at the breaking point.' Who sets your schedule each day? One of three people will. Either somebody else is going to set your schedule, or you are going to set your schedule, or you can go to God and ask him to set your schedule.One of the reasons God allows us to reach the breaking point is to force us to come to him for guidance, for strength and for direction. There's plenty in life that you can't handle, but there's nothing in life you and God can't handle together. The secret is in handling only the things God wants you to handle, and entrusting the rest to him.

Soulfood: Gen 32-34 Jn 16:1-18 Ps 130 Pro 31:28-31,

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