Friday, January 25, 2013

Imperfect Perfectionist

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6 (NAS)

On many occasions in my life I have been called a perfectionist. But don't look to me for perfection or even being a cut above the average bean. Anything good in me is only a reflection of God's goodness and mercy.

Because of His infinite love and grace I am forgiven—not perfect—just forgiven, often on a minute by minute basis. Of myself, eventually I will let you down. By my very nature, I will disappoint you at some time. Guaranteed. Please look straight past me until your hopeful gaze falls upon my Savior, Jesus. Now, you're looking at one who will never fail or disappoint you.

I am happy to say that as each day passes every trial leaves me leaning more on Him. I learn more of His character and come closer to being like Him. The Bible says on the day of completion, I and my brothers and sisters in Christ will be perfected as we finish our time on earth and enter Heaven's gates. I love perfection and look forward to the fruition of that promise.

Until that time don't look at me, look at Jesus as the perfect example to follow. Strive to be like Him in whom there are no flaws. He is the only faultless human who ever existed on this earth. I am only a sinner, saved by grace, living in a fallen world—forgiven and cleansed by the precious blood of Jesus.

Dear Father, thank You for Your promise of my perfection made complete in Christ Jesus.

 ©2013 Bonnie Mae Evans


Friday, January 18, 2013



"Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." 1 Corinthians 15:51, 52a (NIV)

I love popcorn. One year I planted a short row of the yellow kernels. I was excited to see the corn stalks tassel and the ears appear and mature. I couldn't wait for the ears to dry on the stalks so I could harvest them.

The best part of growing popcorn is shelling the kernels and putting them in a wire corn popper over an open fireplace. As the kernels grow hot, they begin to sizzle with the natural moisture inside the hard covering. Shaking the basket turns the corn over and over and then the fun begins. The metamorphosis of the kernels takes place before my eyes. One by one the hard yellow kernels explode into white puffs of light goodness, filling the wire basket with each pop. As the corn is tried by fire (Revelation 3:18) and is changed into pure white goodness, we are also tried and changed through the cleansing blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The aroma of the popped corn causes me to salivate in anticipation. I think of the Bible verse in Ephesians 5:2b (NIV), Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. How God must have loved that aroma.

I dump the hot popped corn into a large bowl, salt it generously and share it with my husband as I reflect on God's goodness. I thank God for His creation of this special type of corn.

Dear Father, I thank You for the life-changing power of Jesus Christ. Amen

(c) 2013 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, January 11, 2013

A Tree Planted By the Water

Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)

No matter how old our children are or where they live, parents have concerns for their well-being. I knew our daughter was facing difficult circumstances due to illness of two of their four children, so we prayed for her and her husband as well as for the children.

Her Christmas card, with the family newsletter, arrived and began with, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” Along with the best of times she told the recipients that in the past year her younger daughter had been diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and five months later her older son was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. Both diseases have no cure and her children are teenagers. They are beginning a lifetime of a “new normal.”

Our daughter has been a stay-at-home mom and has invested a lot of herself into their well-being. My concern was, “How would she deal with this.”
After reading her letter, I realized that she would be fine because she depends on God to sustain her. It ended with, “As we head into a new year to face whatever God has for us, whether easy or difficult, we remember this verse.”
The above verse followed in the newsletter.

Her faith blesses her family, and her parents.

Thank you dear Lord that you know us and will care for us and our children. Amen

©2013 Mary Burkey

Friday, January 4, 2013

Let’s Have a Conversation

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 29: 12-14a) NIV
The latest “buzz” words for my six-year old granddaughter are, “Let’s have a conversation.” She wants to talk to someone who will spend time with her, listen and respond. When I ask her what she wants to talk about, she picks up the newest picture she has drawn and climbs on my lap.
 “Look at this picture about jewels, Grandma. Do you like the colors? See the one with stripes?”
Sometimes we talk about Jesus and I tell her the story about Jesus feeding 5,000 people when He only had one loaf of bread and a few fish.
“How did He do that, Grandma?”

 I tell her that Jesus performed a miracle to feed the hungry people. She likes the story, but soon decides to go off and play.

 The chats with my granddaughter remind me that God desires for us as His children to spend time talking with Him. We communicate with God through prayer, and He promises to listen to us. Because His word is “living and active,” God can speak to us as we read scripture. We may have read a certain verse several times, but suddenly, God’s Spirit may reveal a special meaning that we have never seen before. Sometimes in the quietness of our hearts, God speaks to us in “words” we alone can hear.

 Thank you, Father, for listening to my prayers, and for speaking to me through your word. I praise you for revealing yourself to me in the quietness of my heart.

© 2012 Diane E. Hussey

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Comfort Ye My People

But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet
(1 Thessalonians 5:8, NIV). For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7, NKJV). Comfort ye, comfort ye my people (Isaiah 40:1a, KJV).

Banner Graphic: WELCOME, 2013!

Video Montage: Ball drop in Times Square, Fireworks, New Year celebrations around the world, celebrity highlights, local night life

Alert Ticker: East coast struggles after Super Storm . . . Unemployment Rises . . . Fuel prices soar . . . Fiscal Cliff looms . . . Union riots in Michigan . . . Mall shooting in Oregon . . . NFL star murder/suicide . . . North Korea fires on southern neighbor . . . Civil war in Syria . . . More to come . . .

Life brings such uncertainty. In the past year, natural disasters abounded, leaving devastation in their wake—nature, groaning for our redemption. On another front, people engaged in activities ranging from lies, cheating, slander, and petty theft to murder and genocide—entangled in coils of sin. All around us, desolation fills the news and fear fills the heart.

Jesus said we would have tribulation; but to be of good cheer, for he has overcome the world (John 16:33b). Take heart! He promised to be with us, even to the end of the world. He will sustain us. So watch, pray, and await His return, knowing on that day this fallen world will pass away, and with it every tear and sorrow. All things will become new.

Thank you, Jesus. Because you live we can face tomorrow without fear.

© 2012 Katherine A. Fuller