Friday, February 22, 2013

The Wheat and the Weeds

The servants asked him, "Do you want us to go and pull them up?" "No," he answered, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." Matthew 13:28b, 29, 30. (NIV)

Many times I have wondered why the evil people seem to out-number those that try to be obedient to God's laws. There is always a lot of news about crime and murder, immorality and fraud every day on the television and in the newspapers. If the acts of violence are particularly heinous, they will take front page space. Good news is seldom front page spread. Most of the time it is usually toward the middle or in the back pages of the newspapers, and the last news release of the hour on television.

I was so distraught with my garden and the oppressive heat this year. Although it yielded a moderate amount of produce, it abounded with weeds and tall crab grass. The extreme high temperatures kept me inside so the weeds overtook the vegetables in the garden. The heat and lack of sufficient rain put the vegetables in stress, so they wilted, but the weeds seemed to flourish. Christians also feel stressed when surrounded by crime and debauchery that seem to multiply daily.

Jesus compared the evil to the "weeds" growing in the wheat field and the good people to the "wheat" that is gathered into His barn (heaven).

Dear Father, protect us in this world until time for the final harvest. Amen

(c) 2013 Evelyn B. Ryan

Thursday, February 14, 2013


The bows of the mighty men are broken, and those who stumbled are girded with strength. 1 Samuel 2:4 (NIV)

I went to a pottery store recently to paint a gift mug. It was kids’ day, and the shop brimmed with children noisily painting their treasures. Undaunted, I selected my paints and sat down to sketch on the bisque. A mother and daughter sat nearby working on their own projects. I listened, enchanted, as the mother taught her little girl how paint worked, and gave her ideas and color tips.

Ninety minutes later I was nearly complete; only one last coat of paint and a shot of hot air remained. The little girl seemed close to done as well. She stood to carry her figurine to the blow dryer.

Then it happened. My head jerked up at the crash, and my eyes drifted from the girl’s stricken face as she looked at her mother to the shards of purple and black scattered on the tile floor. She began to cry. I felt her anguish as the sculpture she had put so much work into lay in ruins.

“It’s okay, honey,” her mother said with a hug. “It was an accident. You can paint a new one.” Her daughter resisted, but the mother persevered until the girl relented at the words, “I’ll help you this time. It’ll be even better than the first one!”

On the way home I thought of how often I trusted my own strength or ability to improve myself and achieve goals. It only produced outward improvement—a painted facade. The greatest growth always came after my life lay shattered like that figurine, and after I accepted God’s loving offer to help.

Father, thank you for your never-ending, stubborn love. Paint my heart big, like yours.

© 2013 Katherine A. Fuller

Friday, February 8, 2013

Silence is Golden


I tell you on the Day of Judgment people will give an account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37 (NKJV)

A few years ago I began to think about what I would sacrifice during the Lenten season. Lent, the forty-day period from Ash Wednesday to Resurrection Sunday, is a time set aside for soul searching and repentance.
In the past I refrained from eating particular foods, but I felt the need to go deeper. I wanted to give up something important to me, something that caused problems: my BIG MOUTH. I decided to go on a “tongue fast,” an annual commitment to abstain from using my tongue to communicate negatively. It has been a life-changing experience.

To help with fasting, I search the scriptures. Certain passages leap out to give me perspective. 1 Thessalonians 4:11 encourages studying to be quiet and minding my own business. James 3:8 explains that no man can tame the tongue because it is evil, full of poison. Proverbs 18:21 says life and death are in the power of the tongue.

During the tongue fast, in addition to prayer and scriptures I continually monitor my progress. Questions help. Did I engage in any form of lying? Was I argumentative? Did I talk too much? Did I retaliate? Did I boast, or speak with pride? Did I gossip?
This will be my fourth year of tongue fasting. I anticipate the benefits, which include the increase of patience, wisdom, and love.
Silence is golden.


Father, I repent for misusing my tongue in ways that do not glorify you. Please teach me your ways so I can become quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.


© 2013 Wanda Currie

Friday, February 1, 2013

Quarterback Vision

For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9 (NAS)

Between mouthfuls of nachos, we were on the edge of our seats cheering for the Baltimore Ravens against the New England Patriots. The winner would play in Super Bowl XLVII.

The camera zoomed in as Joe Flacco's eyes swept intensely back and forth across the field accurately assessing player positions, even noting what direction they were looking—quarterback vision.

He was looking to find whose attention was focused on him. He needed someone to free himself from all entanglements to complete his purpose—scoring a touchdown for the victory.

Processing the information instantly he completed a pass to Anquan Boldin for a touchdown!

The quarterback has a close relationship with his teammates built on trust. They all support each other and their hearts are united for a common goal.

In the same manner, our Heavenly Father is watchful over us. The Bible says His eyes scan the entire earth searching for whose heart is completely His. Why does He do this? He knows we struggle to reach our goal in this game of life. Often we are thwarted by the enemy on all sides. Our Father looks out for us, and wants to support and offer assistance. He sees the seam—our way of escape from the opposition—so we can arrive at our destination in the best way possible. Touchdown!

 Unlike our earthly quarterback, as great as he is, our Heavenly Father has no blind spots or limitations in His vision, and no one can ever sack Him!

Praise you Father, that you see the entire field and help make the way clear for whose heart belongs to you.

©2013 Bonnie Mae Evans