Friday, June 29, 2012

Freedom's Price

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17(KJV)

What is the price for freedom?

Americans have gone to war to win independence and expand national boundaries. When we examine how wars shaped the nation's history we see how it transformed American society. We watched a new nation grow and the old one put away.

When Americans went to war to win independence from Great Britain, outmatched American troops often retreated, but returned to fight again. How frustrating this must have been for the British and their efforts to crush the rebellion. In winning they initiated the process to gain religious liberties.

Today Americans still fight for freedom to worship God. We Christians are getting battered from all directions and sometimes find ourselves retreating. Yet we return to fight again with the renewed strength in Jesus. How frustrating this must be for those opposing these ideals.

Jesus paid the ultimate price for our freedom today. When we accept His sacrifice and claim it, we become new creatures. We let go of all the old things that defines us and start a new life in Him.

I thank Jesus for the freedom I enjoy today because of His sacrifices. I do not want to forget the sacrifices of our troops past or present. It is both Jesus and our troops that helps me to stand strong with the freedoms I enjoy today.

Thank you Jesus. Help me to renew myself with your strength and power to fight today for our spiritual freedom. Help to remember freedom's price.

© 2012 Dawn M Sexton   

Friday, June 22, 2012


To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1(NKJV)

Summer is here and I am looking forward to everything that summertime represents: picnics, going to the beach, outdoor festivals, summer vacations---and fresh lemonade. However, before summer's rituals begins, there are three other seasons to get through, all of which promotes change and growth.

God created four seasons---each with a unique purpose. Fall gives time to rest, replenish and remember, winter causes us to wait, hide and prune; and spring carries refreshment, renewal and revival. Now it's summer. Most of us look forward to fun, and continuing the growth of spring, but summer's heat can become overwhelming.

Just like the seasons affects our world in different ways, the seasons in our lives bring changes and challenges, affecting us uniquely. These are the times when we discover, transform and awaken. God knows what He is preparing us for, and what seasons will bring the greatest growth. When we have matures, we bear fruit, integrating what we have learned and developing Christ's character in our hearts,

From the hardships of winter, through the growth of spring, life can be bitter---like a lemon. Yet when we are faithless, He remains faithful. He cannot deny Himself. Summer's heat may bring drought, but when we trust God, His love and His word take our bitter situations and sweeten them until, as with a lemon, our lives become refreshing---like lemonade.

Thank you for summer and the four seasons. Through them, we learn to trust and and depend on you---how to walk by faith and not by sight. You promised that we will reap in due season if we do not faint. Use our lives to refresh others through the things you work into us.

© 2012 Wanda Currie

Friday, June 15, 2012

Honey or Vinegar

Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned as it were, with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person. Colossians 4:6 (NAS)

When I was growing up my dad often said, "You catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar." On more than one occasion he proved that statement to be true as he talked his way out of a speeding ticket. I observed the soothing effect dad's polite and persuasive words had on the trooper as he handed him a warning instead of a well-deserved ticket.

Other times he walked away with a handshake and a great deal on a new car as the dealer was left scratching his head wondering what had just come over him. Dad understood the power of candy-coated words.

More importantly are the lessons concerning words that come from our Heavenly Father. There is sound biblical basis for choosing our words carefully. Many verses warn us of the danger and ill-effects our renegade words can have on others as well as on our witness to them. In our opening verse we are cautioned to measure and season our words vigilantly. According to Proverbs 15:1, A gentle answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.

As Christians our timely words of wisdom and encouragement extended to others represent Christ. Angry, confrontational words are not likely to persuade others to follow God's principles. Our words, when used to glorify God rather than benefit ourselves will echo through eternity with heavenly rewards.  

Lord, help our words to others be carefully chosen and spoken. As they fall on their ears as well as Yours, I pray that You will find them pleasing—sweet as honey. Amen.

© 2012 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, June 8, 2012

Unexpected Joy

They departed quickly from the tomb . . . and ran to tell his disciples. Matthew 28:8 (RSV)

During one long trip, my husband and I stopped at a McDonald’s. I was tempted by the specialty coffees, but none were decaffeinated.

“I can give you decaf with a shot of chocolate,” the accommodating clerk stated.

His surprising words tickled my funny bone and perked up a very tired traveler. At the end of our trip, I told everyone who would listen. Some laughed. Some didn’t.

Unexpected joys often stick in our memories. Some memories fade, but significant, unexpected joys get told over and over again.

That’s the way it was for Jesus’ disciples. They saw him die on the cross. They saw the empty tomb, and they saw his resurrected body. They walked and talked with him—joys  so unexpected, they were impossible to understand. They had to tell the story over and over in order to get it to settle in their minds. Nearly two thousand years later, modern era disciples have the same reaction. We identify with the words of the hymn  “I love to tell the story because I know ‘tis true. It satisfies my every longing as nothing else can do.”

Some listeners do not respond to the story because, they think they’re able to manage on their own. Others listen because they look for answers, and others, weary travellers on the road of life, are still in awe as to the unexpected joy of Christ’s resurrection. More than a coffee perk up, the unexpected joys of walking with Jesus sustain us, motivate us, and activate us to tell others again and again.

Lord, Thank you for being the unexpected joy in our weary lives.

© 2012, V. Colclasure

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Seeds of Love

Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God...But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience. Luke 8:11, 15. (KJV)

Mother started tomatoes with seed she saved from last year's crop. She bought soil and peat pots. She carefully poked two holes in each pot of soil, dropped in two seeds and watered them. Putting each pot in plastic sandwich bags, she sealed them and set them on the window sill in the sun. Every day Mom watched them, looking for the tiny plants to emerge. Two weeks went by without a sign of green. She opened the bags, poked two more holes and planted more seeds.

In due time, two small plants emerged. Mom was so happy. She called me to her kitchen to show me the tiny tomato plants. I was happy for her. "But, don't plant too many tomatoes," I told her. Just like the seed scattered on good soil (Luke 8:8), Mom's tomatoes multiplied. I saw four plants in each pot. "I didn't think the first two would grow," she said in her defense. Now we would have enough tomatoes to share with the whole family and probably some neighbors too.

Many times I share Jesus' Word, planting seeds as He did in Luke 8:11-15. I hope the "seeds" are in fertile soil. Sometmes the need for replanting is apparent so I gently sow the seeds of His love again in a different way, hoping for a bumper crop. Sometimes my efforts are rewarded for I have witnessed new Christians being baptized. What joy fills my soul!

Father, bless Your garden. Amen.

(c) 2012 Evelyn B. Ryan