Friday, May 29, 2009

Little Miss No Name

“For I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. Matt. 25:35, 40 (RSV)

She wears a burlap dress with two patches and she has no shoes. Her eyes, huge and sad, drip a tear on her cheek. Her hand is outstretched asking for something. “Little Miss No Name” was a doll made by Hasbro in 1965. Most parents didn’t want to buy her and few children wanted her as a gift. The line was discontinued, but then the magic started.

A vintage ‘No Name’ doll was in a bag given to a charity organization in 1986. They auctioned her off. The bidder returned her the next year and said, “Auction her again.” The largest donation to date is $84,111 in 1996.

A miserly man in one church received a ‘No Name’ doll in the Christmas grab bag. The tear in her eye brought a tear to his eye. He isn’t a miser anymore.

Past owners blog about how much they did or didn’t like ‘Little Miss No Name.’ Their stories teach us a truth about the real ‘no names’ of this world. We see them, but we react differently. They compel us and repel us.

Jesus called us to look with the eyes and see with the heart regardless of appearance, gender, or age. When we do, the magic begins. ‘No names’ are renamed to ‘brother or sister.’ We are “blessed by the father” and “inherit the kingdom prepared for us.” (vrs. 34)

Lord, when we see with our eyes, open our hearts.

© 2009 Jonita D. Shoaff

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Battle Is the Lord's

Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours but God’s. (2 Chronicles 20:15 Amplified Bible)

The book of Second Chronicles recounts a story of great faith concerning Jehoshaphat, king of Judah. A large, well equipped force stood prepared to attack the country. Before going into battle, Jehoshaphat called for the entire nation to fast. The men, women and children of Judah gathered to pray with their leader. Asking God for His help, the king ended his prayer by saying, “…we have not might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You.”

Through the prophet, Jahaziel, God directed the army to go forward to the battlefield saying, "Be not afraid or dismayed... for the battle is not yours but God's."

The king sent singers and priests to go before the troops giving thanks to God. Confused by the noise, the enemy soldiers fought among themselves. When the army of Judah arrived they found that the enemy had slaughtered each other.

This Memorial Day weekend, let us be like the people of ancient Judah. Let us pray for the United States Military. Let us remember those who willingly sacrificed much to face the enemies of our country and our Lord. Let us stand together reminding our God of our belief in Him and humbly seek His protection for those presently serving.

Prayer: Father God, remember the many people in America who love You and want to serve You. We thank You for the sacrifice of those who have given much to keep us free. We seek Your mercy on our country and Your protection for our military. Amen

© Christy Struben 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Seeing It All

From heaven the Lord looks down and sees all mankind. Psalm 33:13 (NIV)

Saying the words “three ring circus” brings to mind a whirl of activity, a multitude of colors and a jumble of sound all concentrated into a relatively small place. From the minute the ringmaster calls out “Ladies and Gentlemen…,” the activity begins. For two hours clowns bustle from one area to another squeezing into small cars, bumping into contortionists and stealing jugglers’ hula rings. While trapeze artists perform, animals walk backwards, jump through burning hoops and balance balls and themselves on tiny platforms.

After awhile the lights, sounds, and color blur together, so I give up trying to see and remember it all. At one circus, I blinked my eyes and there were twenty elephants standing on the opposite side of the arena. How can anyone miss the entrance of one elephant, let alone twenty?

Even in the everyday world there is too much too see. While driving down the highway, walking through a shopping mall, visiting a horticultural garden or even cleaning the house, I do not see everything. Some details are hidden and some are in plain sight.

Although, I miss seeing everything, God does not. I can trust that He who loves me is all seeing and will watch over my coming and going (Psalm 121:8). He sees it all and will not let my foot slip. If I need to see twenty elephants, He will be sure I do. In the meantime, I can take time to enjoy life, especially circuses.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for watching over us throughout our daily activities. You never sleep nor slumber as you keep us from all harm. I thank you for keeping our souls safe for eternity. Amen.

© 2009 V. Colclasure

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Lap for Mom

“Behold my mother…” Matthew 12:49 (KJV)

There are many ways to pay homage to our departed loved ones. This fall I honored my mother by doing a lap around the lake near my parents’ home. Mom used to exercise by walking around the lake several times, about a ¼ mile per lap. I remember standing on the sidelines watching her quick, determined steps. Mom moved like someone with a definite destination in mind, even though she was only going in circles. I admired how quickly she sped around the lake. She was in much better shape than I despite being twice my age. I often wondered if Mom noticed the crystal beauty of the lake or the lush greenness of the surrounding trees when she moved so fast. I’m sure she did in her own way.

It was a perfect day to visit the park. The air was brisk, but the warmth of the sun made it comfortable enough to sit and watch the swans, geese and ducks dip in and out of the water. Fishermen sat around the perimeter, children played on nearby swings and some people did laps, like me.

It has been said that every day is Mother’s Day. Even so, it is wonderful that there is a day when people everywhere can celebrate their moms, those who are here and those who have gone before.

Mom, here’s a lap for you. I look forward to seeing you again in heaven.

Dear Lord, thank you that we have a special day dedicated to our mothers. Help us to relish those who are here now, even as we remember and cherish the lives of those who have passed on.

© 2009 G. Francis Johnson

Friday, May 1, 2009


So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, “At evening you will know that the Lord has brought you out of the land of Egypt; and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, for He hears your grumbling against the Lord…”
Ex.16:6,7b (NASB)

After God delivered the sons of Israel from the Egyptians, they began to grumble about the lack of food and water in the wilderness to which He had led them. They begged to go back to the cruel bondage of their Egyptian taskmasters because they had forgotten that God had taken care of them and would continue to do so. They did not accept that God knew what was best for them.

Do we sometimes grumble against God? Do we beg to return to a situation from which God has delivered us? If we have been freed from the bondage to alcohol or drugs, or to an old relationship that was not healthy for us, why would we ever want to return to that old life? We knew that old situation or relationship was not good for us, but we sometimes complain and want to go back. We may not be completely comfortable with our “new life.” Just as the sons of Israel could not see that God would continue to take care of them, we may not be able to trust that God will take care of us. Could it be that we are not accepting that He knows what is best for us? As our loving Heavenly Father, God provides for and watches over us always.

Dear Father: Thank You for freeing us from our old life. Strengthen us to trust You to take care of us in the new life You have given us. In Jesus name, Amen.

© 2009 Diane E. Hussey