Friday, April 27, 2012

Lesson from a Rope Tow

“let your right hand display awesome deeds.” Psalms 45:2 (NIV)

When I was learning to ski, the little slope just had a rope tow. It was very difficult to learn on. I would fail to get my skis in the ruts right and fall down. Or someone up in front would fall down causing a cascade of falling people. Or the rope would suddenly jerk and I’d fall down.

Most skiers nowadays are used to big comfy ski lifts, where you rise majestically high up above the snow. True, it’s sometimes hard to time it just right, getting into the moving chair. But the lift is longer, and you even have time to look around at the beautiful winter wonderland.

We older skiers remember the rope tow. It’s always moving uphill fast. You position your skis, grab on with your gloves, and up you go. But if the rope is icy, and your gloves are icy too, it slides through your hands. So you tighten your grasp, till friction works through the ice, then suddenly, whoosh! You try to hold on through the amazing acceleration.

It’s so much like our prayer life. God’s constant uplifting power is always there in our hands, literally, if you're holding a Bible. But if you’re in an icy spot, you just don’t seem to move at first. We all go through times when His power seems to have been turned off. Then you’ve got to grip harder, let God wear away the ice, when, whoosh! Up you go. Hold on, you’re in for an exhilaratingly great ride.

Dear God, may we grasp on to your power tightly, with both hands. We persist, with the expectancy that you will lift us up spiritually through your amazing power.

(c) 2012 Jan Lewis

Friday, April 20, 2012

Fresh Joy

Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit. Psalms 51:12 NAS

Recently I have been pondering “the joy of my salvation” and why at times it seems not to be as full and complete as when I first became a Christ follower. My heart longs to abide in the fresh joy I experienced then.
My answer came in a women’s Bible study. As we were preparing for our lesson, we began by singing a song taken from Psalm 51. It suddenly hit me as the words jumped off the page. I had memorized the scripture incorrectly. It did not say “my salvation” as I had been meditating on. It said “Thy salvation!” The emphasis was on the Lord and not me. It was He who placed the hollow spot in our hearts that could only be filled by Him. He provided our way to Heaven by sending Jesus to atone for our sins. It is He who draws our hearts unto Himself and gives us salvation through forgiveness of our sins. The only thing we bring to Him is our iniquity and sincere repentance. In return, we receive joy as we accept the keys to Heaven.

To experience the Lord’s gift of true joy, the focus must remain on Him. If He is not recognized as the originator of our joy as well as our salvation then we are out of focus. We miss the point, and the warmth of His joy becomes diminished in the glare of “me.”
Our joy will be made complete when we give Him first place and all the honor and glory that are rightfully His.

 Father, thank you for reminding us that when we put You first, we find fresh joy every day. Amen.

©2012 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, April 13, 2012


I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation . . . I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12b, 13 (NIV)

“Mom, you have to get out now. There’s a fire in the building!”

My youngest son’s voice woke me from a sound sleep at 2:00 o’clock in the morning. Gathering my wits, I quickly put on a robe and shoes. When the door opened, smoke came billowing out. Slipping on wet hoses and water, I climbed the stairs to get out of the building. Firemen, fire trucks, an ambulance with emergency personnel, and a policeman and his car filled the parking lot—lights blazing.

The police officer asked us if we had seen our neighbors to make sure everyone was out of the building. He was calm and reassuring. I watched the well-trained firemen do their jobs, so thankful they were there.

I was shocked by what happened, but glad that my son and I were safe. Standing in the chilly night air, I felt a quiet sense that everything was going to be all right. After praying for the safety of everyone in the building, I prayed for our belongings.

We all face challenges and difficulties in this life, but we can be assured that our Lord is with us in trying times. We can learn to be content even in the midst of a fire. The Holy Spirit comes alongside to give us strength when we need it most.

Thank you, Father, for being with us when we face trials in this life. Thank you for your protection and your strength. And thanks for keeping our belongings safe, too. In Jesus name, Amen.

© 2012 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, April 6, 2012

Death to Life

You do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 1 Thessalonians 4:13b-14 (NIV)

I stood by her bed, watching the labored breathing, her upper body moving slightly in rhythm with her breath. I gently wiped the froth that came up from her tortured lungs as her heart struggled to pump oxygen through her blood. She reminded me of a freight train straining up a mountain side, chugging hard, sending up black smoke into the clouds.

One more gasping breath and the heart stilled forever. Her skin took on a yellow-grey pallor, no pink at all. This was what death looked like as it claimed my mother's precious life.

Numbness gripped my heart. God helped me to force back the tears and steel myself to do what was necessary. My time with grief would come, but not now. Kissing her cold face, I told her I loved her one last time.

Jesus comforted me then with hope. He reminded me that I would see her again. She was alive—with him—as he He had planned from the beginning.

I imagined her wonderful reception at the gates of heaven, walking into the outstretched arms of Jesus. Behind Him stood her own mother, Ella Mae, who died when she was three. She had always longed to see her mother's face, but there had been no pictures of her. Her father, four sisters, and three brothers greeted her, smiles on their faces, arms open in welcome. Mourning had just turned to joy! At last, Mother was Home.

Father, may we have the hope of a glorious reunion as we go through this life and head toward heaven's door.

©2012 Evelyn B. Ryan