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A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife opened a package.

“What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”  The mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The pig sympathized, but said, “I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it, but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”

The mouse turned to the cow and said, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”  So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.

That very night a sound was heard throughout the house, like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see that it was a venomous snake, whose tail the trap had caught. The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital, and she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient.

But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig. The farmer’s wife did not get well; she died. So many people came for her funeral, and the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.

So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.

Most importantly, today might be one person’s storm, but tomorrow might be yours. Therefore, do not ignore that person, as they go through their storm. In this world, no one is immune. We all must face tribulations at some point or another (John 16:33). However, when your storm begins, bear in mind, you will need some form of help and support as well.

 

Where Can I Find Peace?

peace88

Sometimes people think that they will be at peace when they are debt-free, or when they get their dream job, or when they meet the perfect partner, or when they obtain their dream home, or when they have children, or when their business becomes more successful, or when they obtain a degree, or when they are cured of an incurable disease, or when they lose weight, or when they get this, or when they get that.

However, the time to be at peace is not when you get all the things you have desired from this life.  People tend to pin their peace on external things, but there’s no guarantee that you will get to achieve all that you have set out to achieve in your life-time. Therefore, to find inner peace, you have to search deep within, as peace is intrinsically designed.

What happen when you lose that house, or your business falls into a recession, or you run into debt, or you get a divorce? Achieving those external factors will only bring temporary peace. You have to build your peace around the “Prince of Peace.”

In John 14:27, Jesus reminded you that, “My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world gives you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Notice here, that Jesus stated that the peace He left with you, is not like the peace that the world gives you. He already knew that the peace of this world is temporary, and won’t last. His peace is everlasting, and when all those material and external things are shattered along with your dreams, you can still find that peace deep within, that Jesus provided. May His perfect peace continues to guide your path today.

no-jesus-no-peace

I know almost all adults might answer ‘yes,’ to this question, especially if they have moved away from their parents’ home, and are working and taking care of themselves. However, independence appeals to all ages. It means “freedom from the control, influence, support, and aid of others.”

In reading a devotion by Bill Chowder, he too stated that, “It’s not surprising that teenagers talked about gaining their independence.”  However, as I delved deep into this devotion, he spoke of a craving for dependence, which is a spiritual recognition and acceptance of our deep spiritual dependence on the One who gives life.  Jesus stated, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

John15_5

In this dangerous and troubled world, you need the vine to sustain all your spiritual nutrients, or else you will be spiritually malnourished. If you are spiritually malnourished, you won’t be able to withstand the enemy and all the chaos and calamity that he throws at you.

By and large, when you think that you are independent, think about the one who you have to depend on – Jesus.

 

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
But those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.

(Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV)

Need-Gods-Help

Contributed: Relentless God

Exodus 14 records the story of how the Hebrews escaped from bondage and slavery in Egypt. On their way out of Egypt, they camped in the desert near the Red Sea. They thought God was leading them out of Egypt. However, Pharaoh led the Egyptian army to where the Israelites were, and he trapped them against the sea. The Israelites must have felt betrayed by God, for it looked as though he didn’t follow through on his plan to lead the Israelites out of captivity in Egypt. But God was faithful to his word — he didn’t let his people down. He led them through the Red Sea and delivered on his promises.

You have probably faced times when you thought that you could never do something, never complete a particular task, or never make it to the finish. However, if God has promised you something, then you can be confident that God will get you through the difficult times in order to bring about his promise.

This is true in Joseph’s life. God took him through years of pain and suffering for an ultimate benefit; Joseph realizes this and, in Genesis 50:20, says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” God had a bigger plan for Joseph’s life, and God didn’t let him down. God led Joseph through his struggles.

This principle is also true in your life. Even though you may be going through extremely painful times, do not fear for God will get you through the hard times you face (see Psalm 23:4). If God took you to it, He’ll get you through it.

Contributed: Christ Notes

Falling In Love Again With God

What does it really mean to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Are you longing for the Lord to do a great thing in your life and in your heart?

As the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, it’s wonderful to show your love and appreciation to those around you, but it’s even greater to fall in love all over with God again.

ILoveGod

In Psalms 63:1-4, David had that thirst for the Lord. He wanted that oneness with God, and to share his love with Him. He said, “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirst for thee, my flesh long for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.”

In order to see God’s power and glory, you must have that closeness with Him. I know you don’t share certain special things and secrets with people you are not close to, do you? It’s the same for God. When you pour out your love to Him, and thirst for Him; He will show you His power and glory. However, He said, “If you love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).” So to love God, is not only to love Him with your lips, but to show Him, by seeking Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

God bless you all!

Decision Time

Welcome to Poetry Cottage

everyone has a choice

Can a sparrow count the cost
Can you understand what you’ve lost
Only by the Saviour’s hand
Only love abounding and firm
Listen carefully dear child, be Mine
The time is now, decision time

Look to the skies, ever changing
Fires and floods, not abating
Sickness taking man into bondage
Tears of grief overflowing sadness
You cannot run, nowhere to hide
The hour has come, decision time

Nothing you can do on your own
Each life will reap what is sown
No amount of money will lessen the load
Stores will dwindle, footsteps search the roads
O cry out to the One who will deliver
The minute has come, decision time

Is there an emptiness deep within
Has material gain softened the win
See, open your eyes, and ask to see
Hear, open your ears, and ask to hear
The clock is ticking, tic toc, tic toc
The second has…

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“And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown” (1 Corinthians 9:25) NKJV. 

Royalty

The idea of being successful in this world today is to acquire power and position, which comes with financial gains. Everyone is competing for the next big break to win a crown. Notwithstanding, there’s nothing wrong with trying to achieve success. What is wrong is when people become overly greedy and zealous in putting all their emphasis on the material things of this world. These things are temperate, meaning that they are not lasting. As a result, the crown that one will win is a perishable crown. Those people who are committed to their faith, know that they run a race for an imperishable crown. Accordingly, this crown will take you beyond life on this earth.

Our culture glorifies celebrities, power, position, money and material things; however, these people and things are not lasting.  “For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36) NKJV

On this earth, one has to strike a balance. You can aim for the sky, but understand that at the end of your journey on this earth, you have a report and accountability for how you spend your life while here. What will your report be? Have you fulfilled your God-given purpose? Or were you more caught up in the perishable crown phenomenon?

Let’s strive for an imperishable crown today. 

Do You Have A Healthy Heart?

It’s not only the type of food that you eat or lack of exercise that can make your heart unhealthy.

Heart

Your heart can be unhealthy, because it abhors or houses hate in it. If you love God, then you should love others as well. If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen (1 John 4:20).

I agree that people, including your own families, friends, or spouse can hurt and hate you in the worst way, but you do not have to return the compliment. You can show them the love of Christ, so that they know there is something different about you. Showing them love does not mean that you have to allow people to walk all over you, or that you have to be in a relationship of any sort with them, if that relationship is negative and toxic. However, you can still maintain peace and love when you see or talk to them.

Hate in one’s heart can cause a lot of different tension and stress.  Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses (Proverbs 10:12). On the other hand, love makes your heart more healthier. Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8).

By and large, try to maintain a healthy heart, by eliminating any hate that may be in there; because hate causes too much hurt in one’s heart.

Happy New Year!

We wish everyone a Happy New Year. The year 2019 might have been a great year for some, while it was a rough year for others. Notwithstanding, 2020 is an opportunity to start fresh. It’s the beginning of new dreams, goals, objectives and aspirations.

Happy New Year

While there are so many different avenues that you may wish to embark on for 2020, you need to remember to make sure you are prioritizing your goals. When you prioritize your goals, you are able to make them more realistic and achievable, thus eliminating unnecessary disappointments. You should start prioritizing your goals, by setting both short and long-term goals. In so doing, you can accomplish what you set out to achieve for 2020.

Remember that life is not without obstacles, setbacks and disappointments. However, when you trust God to take care of you and your family, He will not disappointment you. All things work together for good, even when they seem like they are impossible and failing (Romans 8:28).

As you embark on your journey in 2020, trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).

God bless you all.

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