Friday, February 27, 2009

Don't Trip Over Something Behind You

“But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his head to
The plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Luke 9:62 NAS

I nursed, rehearsed and cursed the events leading up to the bitter divorce after 35 years of marriage. The pain of the betrayal ate at my soul. I would wake at night wondering what I could have done differently. I kept tripping over something behind me.

After the trial, I moved to a new town and into a cozy, little townhouse near my daughter. One day at a time, I joined a new Church and built new relationships with new people. I gave my past and my new life to Jesus, and I prayed for guidance each blessed day.

I baby sat, took watercolor classes, and joined a Writers' Group. My life is pretty nice. I don’t look back anymore. In time, I moved to help my daughter and her husband with their second child. I helped her when children were sick, when she needed rest from an all night vigils, and when ear infections ravaged the children.

Then, a person from the past visited making sure to report about my ex’s new car, new furniture, and new girl friend. Grief enveloped my spirit, and I almost tripped over that pot hole, but that arrow bounced off the armor of God. I counted my blessings over and over. I thanked God for my new blessed life, and I resumed my steady walk forward.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the blessings of your armor that keeps me looking forward, not backward. Amen.

© 2009 Lois Gosley

Friday, February 20, 2009

Signs of Spring

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5c (NKJV).

In winter there are signs that spring will come. Some days are warm enough for snow to melt. Sunny days alternate with gray ones. Open patches of ice-covered ponds provide places for ducks to swim and animals to drink. Birds find seeds in the ground’s cold, hard crevasses.

So too, hope appears when winter infiltrates the lives of Christians. Poor health, family dissension, unemployment, car problems, accidents and school troubles cause weariness and concern. Will these problems never end?

There is comfort and guidance in the disciplines of Christian life. Here, God opens minds to new understandings of biblical passages. Peace comes through reading, studying and thinking about His Word. Encouraging comments stand as reminders that believers are not alone. Unexpected counsel coupled with acts of kindness brings joy. Friends, new and old, remind each other to look outward, be alert, and attentive to the needs of others. Prayer brings forth memories of the Lord’s goodness in times past.

I remember His promises, and His words fill my mind. He tells me to have no fear because He is with me, will always be with me, and will never leave nor forsake me. Then I pray Psalm 23:4 (KJV), “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me." Winter will not last. It hardly exists for the Bridegroom is with me, and my thoughts are with Him. The problems of this earth fade, and I sing His praises. “Come Lord Jesus."

Prayer: Blessed Lord, Lead us to see the signs of spring in our lives and praise you for them. Amen.

© 2009 V. Colclasure

Friday, February 13, 2009


How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? Rom 10:14 (NIV)

As a child my son was lackadaisical about everything. He ate slowly, he put on his clothes slowly; even his answers were too slow for my satisfaction. I found myself always after him to pick up the pace. Exasperated by his unresponsiveness, I'd constantly say to him, “Son, you’re as slow as molasses.” I said it so often that finally, in his seven-year old frustration, he asked, “Who is Molasses?” After I straightened up and stopped laughing, I realized I had made the assumption that my young son knew molasses is a thick, sweet substance, good for baking, and not a person with an unusual name. I expected him to know something he’d never learned.

There are those who assume that everyone should know who Jesus is, yet millions of people in the world are still asking, "Who is Jesus?" They don't know who He is because they've never been told. They’ve never heard that Jesus is the truth, the life and the only way to salvation. (John 14:6) They will only know if someone lovingly sits down beside them and tells them, just like I did with my son. What an awesome blessing to be the one who does.

Dear Lord, help me to remember to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth when I bring someone to Christ. Let them walk away knowing, and being completely clear about, what they must do to be saved.

© Copyright 2009 G. Francis Johnson

Friday, February 6, 2009

What's In a Name

“…I will not forget you. See, I have tattooed your name upon my palm…” Isa. 49:16 (Living Bible)

I grew up in a family of four girls. My mother would invariably call us by one to three incorrect sisters’ names before she hit the right one.

After a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s, we watched her memory slip away a little at a time. I often hear people lament that when someone suffers from this horrible disease, they no longer remember the names of loved ones. That symptom never troubled us. Perhaps it’s because she had always gotten our names confused. Or, because we always had the feeling she was aware of the fact that she was with someone she knew—someone who loved her. The name really did not matter.

One day, when she was long past remembering names, I was praying with her. She usually listened and said nothing. This day, she spoke up and began to ask God to bless everyone in her family.

“You know I love you Lord. I’ve always loved you,” she said aloud with hands raised towards heaven. She called out the names of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brothers, sisters, nieces, and nephews. I listened in awe. I knew this was a ‘God Happening.”

I believe my mother was blessing her family in a way that patriarchs in the Old Testament blessed their families when death approached.

This was an incredible testimony to us. It assured us of her place in the family of God.

She never had a moment of such clarity again.

Prayer: Father, help me to remember that the most important thing about my name is that you have written it on your palm and in the lamb’s book of life.

© 2009 Christy Struben