Friday, September 20, 2019

LOGAN MEETS LOIS FROM LOIS LANE


You have helped me, and I sing happy songs in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 63:7 (CEV)

“If he can do it, you can do it,” I said to encourage the kindly older lady in the wheelchair.

She smiled in agreement and said “I lost the leg a couple of months ago.” When my wife, my dog Logan and I first met her, I had not noticed. Privately, the executive director told us the lady’s left leg had been amputated, and she was awaiting a prosthesis.   

This was Logan’s first time as a “Paws for Comfort” volunteer. The seniors of the Retirement Village started gravitating to my 13-year old yellow Labrador, another senior. “Would you like to say hello?” I said.  The compliments flowed.  “What a nice dog.”  “He’s beautiful.”  “She’s so well behaved,” said a certain woman insisting that Logan was a she.  I repeated “he” several times, but finally got a look from my wife to let it go.

There was also “what happened to his leg?”  My refrain was: “Oh, he had a tumor on his leg three years ago and he lost his paw.  He wears a brace outside, but in the house does not need it.”

Finally, we met Lois, a happy dog lover, who once lived on a private drive named Lois Lane. Logan let her love on him with back rubs and head pats. He brought a happy song to the hearts of the residents.

Dear Lord, help us share our gifts whatever they may be; our time, our beloved pets, or a warm-hearted smile so we may bless others by spreading joy.

© 2019 Aubrey Evelyn

Friday, September 13, 2019

LIFE ALWAYS FINDS A WAY

By your perseverance you will secure your lives. Luke 21:19 (NABRE)

One bright sunny day, I was walking out to the job site, and I noticed a little green plant growing out of a brick column! I stopped immediately and took its' photo, then shared it to my social media page titling it, "Life Always Finds a Way." For the rest of the day, I thought how similar our residence in life is to that plant. 

Over the years I have heard many inspirational stories of how people have gotten through terrible trials and have come out on the other side stronger and wiser. We are made to be resilient. Cancer survivors remind me of this. No matter what we face in this life, God has given us His Spirit to accompany, guide and strengthen us. Even in death, life through Jesus continues.

In the hard times, we may feel defeated, but we are not! God is with us, reminding us to stand tall because nothing can defeat His children. I’ve realized this in my own life struggles. We can always start again and be fruitful no matter the timing or place God may have us. We can still grow right where we are, in the midst of trials, hardships and obstacles.

So do not allow yourself to feel like it’s over for you. Whatever your dream is or your hope, if you are still breathing, you still have a chance. Just like the little plant, you will burst through your obstacles and find life on the other side! With Jesus, anything is possible!

Lord, thank You for giving us a fighting spirit and Your Word which brings us life! Amen.

© 2019 Maritza Mejias-Ditzenberger

Friday, September 6, 2019

TRULY AWESOME


Others went out to the sea in ships They saw the works of the Lord, his wonderful deeds in the deep. For he spoke and stirred up a tempest that lifted high the waves. They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths. Psalm 107:23-26a (NIV)

 
The bridge of a submarine is low to the water. For safety reasons, a submarine normally runs on the surface during a storm. The Officer of the Deck and two lookouts must be on the bridge while everyone else is safely below decks. For the 4 hours of their watch they face the onslaught of huge wave after wave, 20 feet high or more, coming at them incessantly. The bow rises dramatically as the crest of the wave passes it. Then the wave crashes over the bridge where the crew is huddled under cover, and finally the bow plunges into the trough for the next wave.

 
Who can spend even a fraction of a 4-hour watch in a storm at sea and not be awed at the power of God? Such an experience makes the doubts of a theoretical skeptic seem ludicrous. The remainder of Psalm 107 gives other examples: the wanderer in a desert wasteland, the thirsty and hungry, the prisoner sitting in darkness and the rebellious fool. In each case, this awesome God rescues those who turn to Him. The Psalmist tells us how to respond to this awesome love? “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for men. Let them exalt Him in the assembly of the people and praise him in the council of the elders.” (Psalm 107:32-33)

 My awesome God, You are truly worthy of all my praise!  Amen

 
©2019 Parker Wayland

Friday, August 30, 2019

MOONBEAMS, STARS AND STRIPES, AND GLITTER


When thou liest down, thou shall not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, 
and thy sleep shall be sweet. Proverbs 4:24 (KJV). 

I sat there on the floor and wasn't sleepy any more, 
but wanted to view the midnight sky.
The diamonds flashing made me cry.
                                   
Oh, if only I could touch their flare and soar between the 
moonbeams there,
I'd slip through the mountains of glittery gloss
and toss it to the sky, viewing no loss.

I'd mount a moonbeam to slide through night 
to wherever it touched the earth so bright.
Suddenly the sky exploded in colors of red, white, and blue—
in honor of Independence Day that all the world knew.

I felt so proud to see the stars as they glowed, so bright.
My heart pounded and my eyes wept as I soared into the night.

Suddenly, I was home again. I hugged my knees and rested my chin.
I scanned the sky  that gave me glee. 
The only one to please was me.

But, then I felt a calming touch. It was the One I loved, so much. 
I had to thank Him for this night. It gave me such ethereal delight.

I knelt and gazed into the skies, then breathed my heartfelt joy, 
for it seemed I'd looked into the eyes of God's Own Son, 
His Baby Boy.

Thank You, Father, for the happy dreams You give me while I slumber. 
I am in the best of care. . . in Your loving arms. Amen.

© 2019  Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, August 23, 2019

ETERNAL NAILS

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

There it is again, lurking just outside my heart’s door. Mentally I slam the door on fear, barring my body against it, trying to hold to it shut. I grab the hammer of my own reasoning and the nails of human will to assure it does not break through. All to no avail, the wood is splintering. My hands are too weak. The nails are too small. Fear’s hot breath is forcing its way in.

I’m losing the battle.

Calmly, gently, strong hands cover my trembling ones. The hands bear the beautiful scars of the nails that pierced them through . . . nails unlike the ones I hold. Mine were crafted by mere men. They are weak, already beginning to fail. The crucifixion nails were made by man as well; however, they were designed by God for His purposes, and are therefore eternal. They have assured our freedom from fear and its final defeat . . . forever.

How about you, my friend? Are you holding Jesus’ righteous right hand or like me at times, forgetting that fear has no place in our lives. Do you let it push through the doors of your heart and take up residence there? If we allow, it will boldly enter, claiming squatter’s rights.

We can just as boldly send fear packing with the arsenal of tools we’ve been given. Our toolbox is sufficiently supplied with prayer, scripture, and praise for the One who gives us peace.

Praise be to Jesus! Fear has no dominion over us. It was nailed to the cross for all eternity!

©2019 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, August 16, 2019

I CALL YOU FRIEND

“I do not call you servants any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you [My] friends, because I have revealed to you everything that I have heard from My Father.”John 15:15 (AMP)

In 1968, readers of the “Peanuts” comic strip saw something they thought they would never see.  Franklin Armstrong first appeared.  He was "born" after a school teacher, Harriet Glickman, wrote a letter to creator Charles Schulz, following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Glickman asked Schulz if he would consider adding a black character to his strip.

Glickman was especially aware of the power of comics among kids. “I realized black kids and white kids never saw themselves together in the classroom.” Schulz responded, saying he was intrigued with the idea.  The president of the distribution company believed that introducing a black child might affect Schulz' popularity and wanted him to change the cartoon. Schulz' response was, “Either you print it just the way I draw it, or I quit."

Glickman continued exchanging letters with Schulz, and he eventually asked her to check the July 31st newspaper. In his strip was a black child saying to Charlie Brown, “Is this your beach ball?” A white child responded “Hey! Yeah! Thank you very much!” 

In a subsequent strip, this black child meets Linus and the exchange is: “Hi, I’m Franklin.” Linus says, “I’m very glad to know you.” There was no big deal. It was just a natural conversation between children.

A friendship with Jesus, who calls us friends, is as simple as saying, "I am very glad to know you."

Lord help me embrace the simplicity of friendship with You.

© 2019 Lucy Evelyn

Friday, August 9, 2019

GOD'S FRIEND

. . . This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem. Song of Solomon 5:16 (RSV)


My dad died of cancer at 46. I was 23 at the time. I had just started a new job at a Westinghouse Plant and I knew very few people. At that time, Westinghouse gave a physical when hiring, and by the end of the morning, I had made friends with the nurse, Mary Ann. (I guess anyone who sees you in your underwear becomes your friend.)

During the three day viewing, lots of people came to pay their respects. Dad was the baby of eight and I never saw his many older siblings or their families. Many came from the factory where Dad worked. Folks well meaning greetings and condolences were graciously received. Many were Mom's sisters. They all gathered around Mom, offering words of comfort. Then they came to me saying, "Take care of your mother. She needs you." Mom was in dire need of comfort. 

By the end of the three days, my brother Dick and I, were numb. 

Then, late afternoon, more men arrived from Dad's work. They entered, all dressed in grubby work clothes. In their midst came Mary Ann in her white nursing uniform. She shined like a star, brightening my gloomy day. She asked, "How I was doing? Do you need anything? She came for me!

I thank God for sending her. She came to fill a need in me only God could see. Although her visit was brief, the blessing was everlasting. Fifty years later I still remember her act of kindness. It encouraged me to be there for others.

Thank You Jesus, I pray to be Your useable friend and brighten someone's day. Amen
Ⓒ 2019 Lois Gosley