Friday, December 26, 2008

The Mystery of Faithfulness

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23 NIV.

I have a great appreciation for my father-in-law who is 96 years old. He doesn’t make resolutions, but he resolutely reads the Bible day after day, year after year. We all know and admire people like him. Perhaps they began with a New Year’s resolution. Perhaps not. They probably had times in which readings were short or omitted, but they learned to persevere in busy days, difficult days, joyful days, and ordinary days. Since they look to the Lord for the compassion which is new every morning, they don’t need New Year’s resolutions.

Their ability to be faithful can seem like a mystery. We wonder how they managed until we find a clue in the disciple’s teaching, "We love because he first loved us" (John 4:19 NIV). Here we see the comparison. We become faithful because He was first faithful to us.

The Lord uses others to inspire us, but He himself shows us the way. We learn by doing. The more we spend time sitting with Him, hearing His voice, and experiencing His love, the more we yearn to know Him. We discover the mystery. Being faithful actually comes from the desire to be near Him who loves us. It is a by product, a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). Gently He leads us with unfailing compassions.

Prayer: Gracious Lord, as you are faithful to us may we become faithful to you. In the coming year may we spend more time hearing your voice as we read your Word. Thank you for your promises. Thank you for your compassions. Amen.

© 2008 V. Colclasure

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where Will You Be?

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 1 Corinthians 15: 52 (KJV)

‘Twas the night before Christmas
And all through the earth
The Christians were gathered
For Jesus’s birth.

What they were praying was very unique.
They all came together,
For God they did seek.
They came from near, they came from far.
They were stopped in the fields.
They were stopped in their cars.
They looked to the sky.
Praising God’s Holy Name,
They would not stop; this wasn’t a game.

Then what in the sky did they see far above?
But Jesus who’s coming for his first Love.
With a sword in his hand, and a thundering shout,
“It’s time and I’ve come to take my church out.”
He stood tall on his heels as the Church did rise.
He was finally able to claim his prize.
No longer a babe in a manger you see,
He’s Savior to all who fall to their knees.

Where will you be on that wonderful day?
Up in the sky or asleep on the hay.

Lord, we remember the star shinning over Bethlehem when Jesus was born. I pray the true meaning of Christmas shines, in the hearts of all men.

© Copyright 2008 Marcella Panowicz


If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, . . . James 1: 5-6 (NIV)

You have questions? Google helps find answers. Today, we have access to information within seconds. Anyone with a question from animals to zippers, from doctors to dates can go on the world-wide-web and Google it. Although I am a novice at navigating cyber-space, I know the more I go there the more my confidence builds.

This instant access to information brings to mind our spiritual access to God. Sometimes, human nature is quite consistent and predictable. Like the Google tool, God invites me to Google Him, anytime, anywhere, anyplace. Whether I need guidance, peace, or protection my Lord God promises to provide, especially if I call out to Him in expectation . . . believing. Google may provide information, but Google Him for all the wisdom, mercy and power. Just give God the glory.

Dear Lord Jesus,
Trials and troubles only make me stronger. Yes, the testing of my faith produces patience. This joyful heart is aching for more patience. With every beat I will trust you. Thank you for giving me access, reminding me I am loved. Amen.

© 2008 Evelyn Taylor

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Hold Me Close, Lord

“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 (NIV)

When I arrive to take care of my grandchildren, my two year old granddaughter will stand right next to me, look up, and very insistently declare, “Hode you, Gramma, hode you.” She knows that I will reach down and scoop her up into my arms and hold her. She is looking for someone who loves her to hold her close and devote full attention to her as she chatters and asks me to read her a story. She also knows that if she falls down and hurts herself, I will be there to comfort and reassure her.
Just as a small child longs to be held and rocked in loving arms, we long for God to hold us close. When we are hurt or lonely or sad, we cry out to God, “Hold me, Lord; hold me.” We want His comforting love and attention. Sometimes we just want someone who cares about us to listen. God is always ready to listen to our fearful, anxious pleas as well as our joyful, happy prayers of thanksgiving. In Jeremiah 29:12, He tells us to pray, and promises He will listen to us.

Dear Father: I need to feel that someone cares about me. Please hear my prayer, and hold me in Your loving arms. Amen

© 2008 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Wisdom of Faith

For we walk by faith, not by sight--2 Corinthians 5:7 NASB

Seeing is believing. We’re all familiar with this expression. Unless we can look at something with our eyes we do not believe it exists. Yet for Christians, the opposite is true. We believe without seeing, which is another way of saying we walk, or live, by faith. We know that without faith it is impossible to please God. (Heb 11:6) In order to claim and receive His promises we must believe that He exists even though we have not seen Him.

At first glance, it seems supernatural. As human beings our perception is limited to the physical world, that is until we let go and let God take control. Then we develop sight beyond sight, or the ability to believe in what our normal senses do not perceive. We are able to do this as we study God’s word and incorporate it into ourselves and into our lives. As a result, having faith becomes the most natural thing in the world. Natural, but not necessarily easy, since belief in the unseen is not considered normal to the average person. As Christians, though, we are called to embrace the unseen God wholeheartedly. Then we can begin to receive the peace and the power He promises every true believer.

Heavenly Father, help me to keep my faith in you regardless of outward appearances. May my eyes stay on you always for you are my hope and my strength.

© Copyright 2008 G. Francis Johnson

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pray for My Plastic Animals

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

On Wednesday nights, Pastor Bruce ends the service by asking the congregation for prayer requests and praise reports. Sitting near the front of the church with his mother, the pastor’s three-year-old son, Zachariah, raised his hand.

“Yes Zac,” the pastor said pointing to him.

“Please pray for my little animals,” the child said. “I’m worried about my lions, tigers, bears, and dinosaurs.”

Pastor Bruce nodded. In the closing prayer, he included a request asking God to ease Zac’s worries over his animals.

One week later Pastor Bruce found Zachariah’s miniature plastic animals. They were crowded into a large jar of petroleum jelly. Approaching his son, he asked, “When you asked us to pray for your animals, why were you worried about them?”

“I was afraid they couldn’t breathe in there,” he answered.

Dear Lord, I know that my problems are sometimes of my own making. Yet, you always listen. Help me to remember that I can talk to you about anything in my life. Thank you for consistently being available to grant me your peace.

© copyright 2008 Christy Struben

Friday, November 14, 2008


“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith - and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” Eph. 2:8 (NIV)

I volunteered at the Medical Center at lunch time, helping residents open containers, feeding others, and being nimble fingers for some. I was blessed to get to know a lot of the residents.

As I approached Mr. Jim, I said “Good Morning.” Mr. Jim gave me a hateful sideward glance and commented to the lady beside him.

“This is my nephew, Will, who has come to say he’s sorry.”

He spoke each word with emphasis, laced with disgust while he glared at me. I stopped abruptly because I happen to be female, shoulder length hair - definitely not the nephew type. I wondered, should I correct him? Then I said very slowly,

“Yes, I am sorry. Will you forgive me?”

“I knew you’d come sooner or later.” he said.

Just then the food trays made their clanky entrance. Mr. Jim maneuvered the snack table closer to his wheel chair, checked over the food, then busied himself with eating. As he ate, I peeled off foil tops from puddings, put straws in drinks and wondered what to say next. Then he spoke softly,

“Yes, I’ll forgive you.”

Later as I walked down the hall, I wondered what offense the nephew had done. Regardless, he was forgiven with no effort on his part. Then it dawned on me. That’s what Jesus did for me.

Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for taking our place on the cross. Thank you for forgiving us our sins as we forgive others. Help us to see that the person we free when we forgive is ourselves. Amen

© Copyright 2008 Lois Gosley

Friday, November 7, 2008


Matthew 5:16: Jesus said,

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in Heaven. (New KJV)

As I look upon the beauty of fall, I see Jesus in it all. Beams of light bounce from leaf to leaf, leaving nothing but beautiful colors glowing in the trees. Each leaf seems to be illuminated. My eyes are drawn to the vast bunches of colors, each one having a different meaning. Yellow for the sunshine and the hope my Savior brings. Orange for the warmth of His touch. Red stands out the most; it is the Blood of my Savior, which makes me free.

The brilliance of fall brings warmth, sunshine and freedom. As the sun penetrates the sky and touches each leaf leaving it glimmering with beauty. My Savior sends beams of light to me. I let God penetrate my heart and his beauty shall be revealed in me.

Father, I pray the Holy Spirit will lead and guide me and that your light will shine through me for the entire world to see. Bless me, Lord, with your presence as I worship you.

© Copyright 2008 Marcella Panowicz