Friday, September 25, 2009

A Jumping House with a Running Yard

In my Father’s house are many rooms: if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. John 14:2 (NIV)

Recently, my oldest son and his family moved from a cramped upstairs apartment into a spacious renovated house. My son told his young children that they had found a “jumping house” with a “running yard” because they had been restricted from jumping and running in their old apartment. The day they received the keys to their new home, my son opened the front door, and they all had a “jumping party.”

My son and daughter-in-law had worked hard to save money for the down-payment, and searched for several months before they found the house which they believed God had for their family. They prayed as they left the apartment behind and again as they moved into their new home.

When we pray to receive Jesus as our Savior, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. We become new creatures in Christ putting away our old self and surrendering to the Spirit of God. Our new desire to please the Lord replaces our old cravings to pursue selfish pleasures.

Just as my son and his family made special preparations for their move into a new home, God prepares a place for us to live in heaven.

As children of God, we have found our “jumping house” with a “running yard.” We have a home in Christ and He in us.

Dear Father: Thank You for sending Jesus to be our Savior. Thank You for the assurance that Jesus is preparing a place for us to be with You forever. In Jesus Name, Amen.

© 2009 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, September 18, 2009

This Way

I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14:6 (KJV)

Several times a day I take my two pets out for their constitutions. Taco Bell is eighteen years old and almost blind. Otis is a nine year old pug. Both tend to pull in different directions.

Because of Taco's blindness, I tug gently on his leash. Sometimes one or the other will get the leash caught on a fallen limb and I have to steer around it or disentangle from it. I call to them saying, "This way. This way." They follow my voice and the tug on the leash. For the most part they stay out of potential trouble.

While out walking, I usually remember Jesus' words, "I am the way." Immediately another verse comes to mind. "And your own ears will hear a word behind you saying: 'This is the way. Walk in it you people'" Isaiah 30:21 (NWT)

Just as I try to keep my pets safe and let them choose their way, Jesus lets His children choose their own way of life. He allows us free range to choose a path that suits our needs. He continually calls softly, "This way. This way," and tugs at our conscience, gently guiding us in the paths of righteousness. Would it not be best for us to listen to His voice and walk the way of life and peace?

Prayer: Father Jehovah, may we continue to follow the way of Your Son. May we listen for His promptings when we stray from the path of righteousness. Guard our steps so that we may not falter. Guide us to the path of real life and peace, in the Name of Jesus. Amen

(c) 2009 E. Bonnie Ryan

Friday, September 11, 2009

This is my body

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, "Take, eat; this is my body." Matt 26:26 (KJV)

I ate a healthy dinner yet within an hour I was craving something more. A little voice inside my head said, "Ice cream is satisfying."

A million greedy fat cells screamed, "Ice cream, ice cream!" I caved in, once again the loser in a tug-of-war with the annoying little voice and it's millions of screaming fats.

According to the doctor's chart, I'm obese. Obese: that's a hard word to swallow. Realizing I could not fight the battle of obesity alone, I began searching the Bible for God's Word on food and eating. Jesus said, "Take, eat; this is my body."

How, Lord? I wondered each day as I read the Bible. I found the answer in Mathew 4:4, But he answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God'"(KJV). I knew I must read the Word each day, chew on it, digest it, incorporate into my body, let the Spirit fill me and let it reign in my unruly flesh.

Why had I not realized this sooner? Had the enemy's voice been conducting a full-out operation to distract, deceive and destroy? Now, I hunger after spiritual food and I am filled. I have lost forty pounds, and although I have more to lose, I now know the way.

Heavenly Father, do not let us hunger after the false comfort provided by unnecessary food. Bless the food on our table to our use and us to your service. In Christ's name, we pray. Amen.

© 2009 Stephanie L. Snead

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Moment With Destiny

Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 6:19 (KJV)

Her name was Destiny. From the very beginning her life was about the struggle to survive. She arrived two months too soon, before her little body could fully develop, most importantly her lungs. Her breathing was so quick and shallow that she required surgery early on. The procedure helped, but for the rest of her brief existence Destiny would be in and out of the hospital, eventually needing oxygen full time.

At one point, we thought she might recover. Destiny seemed healthier and stronger. She became more alert when I sang to her, gazing at me serenely with large brown eyes that twinkled with curiosity. Yet, her breathing never normalized. When the effort to live became too great, Destiny succumbed to the death that so eagerly pursued her since birth.

As I sit here in the sun, staring at the little white box that holds the body of my first grandchild, I wonder about Destiny’s purpose. What lesson was her life meant to impart? Despite the constant battle to stay alive, Destiny rarely complained. She seemed to accept her lot in life and to be happy just being here. Maybe that’s the lesson, to enjoy and accept our lives without regret. Whatever her reason for having lived, Destiny, her sacred mission accomplished, is now in heaven. No more pain or struggling for every breath, happy now in the arms of a loving God. There lies our comfort. Because of a moment with Destiny, the lives of those who knew her are deeper, richer and transformed forever.

Heavenly Father, You comfort us in so many ways. Even when we lose a loved one You are there to ease the hurt and pain, and we thank You.

© 2009 G. Francis Johnson