Friday, February 24, 2012


Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification that it may impart grace to the hearers. Ephesians 4:29 (NKJV)

My daughter, Chris, said, “You give your cat too many treats. He’s going to get fat.”

The next time Sneaks, my cat, sat on the stool meowing for a treat, I said, “No treats, Sneaks, you’re going to get fat.” and I walked away. Sneaks leaped down from the stool, catapulted off the floor, and body slammed me on my back, then peered at me from under a chair. I learned, “Don’t tell your cat he’s fat.”

When my paintings get critiqued, I don’t like to hear: “Do it over. You need more definition. You could do better.” Hearing comments like, “Your use of different greens works well. Try alternating blues in your sky like you did with green. You can do it. You are doing a good job.” You can put more encouragement in cans than can’ts.

Recently, a sister,Gloria, from church, admired a painting I did. “The colors are brilliant; the detail is precise. Is it for sale?” She bought it. That was the ultimate encouragement.

The Bible often uses animals to describe human behavior. “Go to the ant, you sluggard, consider her ways.” (Prov. 6:6) There are no cat scriptures, only lions. But our Lord used my cat to teach me a lesson.
From now on, I will give Sneaks one treat, with a little scratch behind his ear and say “Good Boy!”

Dear Lord, thank you for being patient with me. Thank you for using my animal to teach me. I pray that all words that proceed out of our mouths will impart grace to the hearers. Amen

© 2012 Lois Gosley

Sunday, February 19, 2012

An Act of Giving

Having loved His own who were in the world, He now showed them the full extent of His He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples' feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him. John 13:1b, 4-5 (KJV)

Every evening we invited my mother to have coffee with us after supper. When we were through, she always went to the sink and began washing dishes. I told her she didn't have to wash my dishes, that I could do them.

"I know you can," she said, "but I want to. I like doing dishes. I know I can't help you with much, but I am a good dish washer. It's the least I can do for you." I could not take that satisfaction away from her.

I watched as she did one dish at a time, putting each into the sink to drain. It made me think about what Jesus did when He washed the disciples' feet in the upper room before the last supper. He demonstrated humble servitude and complete love. Mother couldn't do much to help herself or me, but she could wash the dishes. It was her act of gratitude and humility---her act of love for me. Every time I do my dinner dishes, I remember my mother's love.

Father, may all of Your children follow the example of Jesus and thank Him for His act of love from the cross. Amen

(c) 2012 E. Bonnie Ryan

Friday, February 10, 2012

No Diet Necessary!

I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:12b (KJV)

“It’s just wrong,” I complained to my roommate years ago. “When I look down, I should see my toes!” Late night snacks and a lack of exercise had taken their toll. Preparing meals for my husband still causes me to struggle today. My dilemma? Love of food and lack of willpower. For some reason, the myriad cooking shows I watch don’t help. Go figure!

My motto has always been, “Diet is just DIE-with-a-T!’” However, conviction about a lack of time in God’s word and too much time snacking in the kitchen set in with the new year. A read-through-the-Bible program dealt with the first and helped with the second. Then the Lord sent aid in the form of a weight-loss competition at work, based on a popular television series. Wanting to see my toes again, I jumped in with both feet—armed for battle—scales, treadmill, and waist-friendly recipes at the ready.

In the natural, Job’s words are daunting. The smallest hunger pang sends me running to the refrigerator. Do I hunger for God in the same way, running to Him, filling up on the fruit of the Spirit? I am ready for the challenge. Feasting on the Lamb of God, drinking in His word, exercising His Spirit and trusting Him to satisfy the cravings of my soul are powerful weapons. As He increases, I will decrease. Join me in partaking of the Bread of Life and Living Water. No diet necessary!

Father, help us to eat and drink your word to fortify our souls and give us the energy of your Spirit. We will walk in your way, exercising your character in this world, inviting others to join the feast.

© 2012 Katherine A. Fuller

Friday, February 3, 2012

Every Knee Shall Bow

That at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. Philippians 2:10 (NKJV)

A few weeks ago I had the most amazing and wonderful dream. I dreamt that I was standing face to face with Jesus! Can you imagine anything more incredible?

While I was there in His presence, I was unable to do anything else but fall on my face at His feet. It wasn't that I wanted to do something else; it was that I could not do anything else.

It was as though His holiness were a living thing. His power and majesty were so awesome that the air around me felt heavy with His glory. I knew that I was created for this moment; and that my destiny was now fulfilled. I was made to worship at the feet of Jesus.

When I awoke, the above verse came to mind. One day every knee shall bow; not just those who have chosen to love and follow Him. Joshua 24:15 says, Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve---but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord (paraphrased). I am so glad that I chose Jesus, and even more grateful that He chose me.

How amazing it is that He has chosen each and every one of us, exactly the way we are right now! But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 (NIV)

Thank you Lord, for choosing to love us and for giving us the opportunity to love and worship you.

(c) 2012 Kimberly Mattio Halfen