Friday, May 25, 2012

The Cardinal Battle

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12 (NAS)

Each spring there is a cardinal in our yard who flies furiously against our windows, pecking with his beak and scratching with his claws. He attacks the mirrors of our cars as well as the brass plate on our door. Anything shiny enough to bear his reflection is in for a fight. From daybreak until sunset he is in combat with himself.

One afternoon I noticed blood splattered and swirled in with the scratch and peck marks on the mirror and windshield of my car. Though injured, he was not deterred in a battle that he would never win. The reason for his defeat each day is simply because he does not recognize whom he struggles against.
We are in a similar conflict, but it is one that we can emerge from victoriously. First, we must recognize the enemy. It is Satan. Only the spiritual weapons that Christ has supplied for us can defeat him, those spoken of in Ephesians 6:10-11. When we put on the full armor of God, it is He who fights for us. The battle belongs to the Lord. We were not created to futilely wound ourselves, but to be victors, emerging with the banner of Christ held high. We are to rise from the dust not battered and bleeding but strong in the Lord.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for supplying all that we need to defeat Satan in our everyday struggles against the darkness. We praise you for going before us and girding us with your strength for life's cardinal battle. Amen.

 © 2012 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, May 18, 2012

Victorious Faith

This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.  I John 5:4b-5 (NIV)

My in-box is filled with prayer requests and updates from a small group of friends. I am amazed at the number of challenges they face. One lady is concerned and stressed about the serious health issues faced by her son. Another woman has lost three family members in the past few months and struggles through the grieving process. A nurse in the group faces the imminent death of her father. Several ladies deal with ongoing health and recovery problems. One spouse has serious back pain and a recent surgery. Did I leave anyone out?

From all my friends, I hear a recurring theme of the goodness and faithfulness of the Lord. He has been with them and their families as they deal with these earthly problems. Jesus told us in John that we would have trouble in this world, but to take heart because He has overcome the world. I see strength and faith in them all as they face what has come their way. We are here in this fallen place for only a short while, but how we respond to adversity speaks volumes to those watching us. How we live reveals Who is at the center of our lives.

I continue to hold these ladies and their families up in prayer. Thank you, friends, for the encouragement you give me through the strength of your faith.

Dear Father, bless and watch over my friends during these difficult days. Please restore their heath and comfort them as they grieve the loss of loved ones. In Jesus Name, Amen

© 2012 Diane E. Hussey

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The First Mother's Day

Adam lay with his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain. Genesis 4:1 (NIV)

The first Mother's Day was the day Eve gave birth to her first son. That was the day she became a mother. It must have been both scary and wonderful for Eve. She suffered the pain of childbirth and the joy of holding the first child ever born. It was all trial and error. Eve had no mother of her own. She had no one to turn to for child rearing advice.

From that day forward Eve had many children. Each child came with it's own special sets of difficulties and blessings. But the first birth was the one I am sure she remembered the most.

Even though it has been over 30 years since I had my first child, I still remember every detail of that day. When I first set eyes on him I knew my life would never be the same. My heart swelled up with a love that I had never known.

Then my daughter was next. I wanted to be the kind of mother that she would want to pattern herself after; one who would always be there with good advice and a strong shoulder to cry on.
My precious baby son came last. He also came with special circumstances. Like the others it was a joy to raise him into a fine upstanding man.

Each Mother's Day I get to hear “Happy Mother's Day” three times---music to my ears.

Thank you God for allowing me the privilege of motherhood. Help me fulfill your purpose in my life by being the best mother I can be for my children.

© 2012 Dawn M Sexton 

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. John 3:9 (NAS)

When I moved into my home, the backyard shed was full of items left by the previous owner. I enlisted my grown son to help clean it out.

We found tools that were possibly antiques, interesting objects that we could not identify, items to save for future use, and some things that I would rather not have discovered.

It was a haven for spiders of all sizes. Ants and a variety of other insects had found refuge there. At least two snakeskins on a shelf indicated that a very large black snake had occupied the space. Removing the cloth covering from an old push mover, we discovered a mound of what appeared to be rodents nests.

Enough was enough! I stood in the doorway, hands on my cheeks, eyes closed, and let out a screech. I did not even see the mouse that ran between my legs. But my son saw it and laughed about my lack of awareness. Then he told me what happened.

Sometimes we tend to see what we want to see. but God calls us to keep our eyes open and be aware.When we discern evil we must avoid it ourselves. Yet we are called to extend His healing, mercy, forgiveness and salvation to others involved in evil and unaware of His grace.

Our purpose is to be wise and knowing about both the good and the evil around us and live our lives accordingly.

Father God, Keep our eyes open to what is most important. Equp us to use Godly discernment as wwe function in this world in your service.

(C) Christy Struben 2012