Friday, August 30, 2013

Line of Sight

My eyes are ever toward the LORD. Psalm 25:15a (NKJV)

Morning dawned on the first day of camp. Being a seasoned summer-camper, I pulled on my baseball hat and rushed out of the cabin, forgoing a frigid shower in favor of breakfast. The dining area swarmed with other hungry teenagers. Looking around for somewhere to sit, I noticed one of the older boys staring at something. My eyes followed his gaze. Aha! The prettiest girl in camp moved between tables, serving. I sat down to eat, ready to be entertained.

Someone—another boy—stopped to talk with the girl. I snickered as my target leaned forward, watching them with narrowed eyes. The conversation ended, and he relaxed—until another, unwitting hostile covered her retreat and she disappeared into the kitchen. Frustration contorted the boy’s face. He craned his neck, staring at the swinging door until she reappeared.

That night we gathered around the campfire to sing. One song caught my attention. It promised that when I turn my eyes upon Jesus, “the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”

That boy’s face still comes to mind when I contemplate fixing my eyes on Jesus. People and situations loom, obscuring Him. Sometimes, despite my best efforts to maintain visual contact, God still feels so far away. That is the time to have eyes of faith and guard my relationship with Him as fiercely as a miser hoarding treasure—maneuvering until Christ fills my horizon.

But should He still seem impossible to find, should I despair of feeling His presence again, He offers comfort. His eyes are fixed on me, too.

Lord, give me eyes of faith to see you in every circumstance, and thank you that even when I falter, you never lose sight of me.

© 2013 Katherine A. Fuller

Friday, August 23, 2013

Rainbow Promise

My rainbow I do give in the cloud, and it must serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13 (NWT)

Rainbows are phenomenal sights, pictures of perfection in multicolored arcs. Any who see a rainbow may count themselves blessed. Rainbows confirm the promise God made to Noah thousands of years ago never to flood the earth again. God still keeps His promise today.

I have seen many rainbows. Crossing the ocean with my two young sons on our way to Germany, I saw and filmed a double rainbow from the ship. Another time I witnessed a beautiful rainbow stretching from my orchard to infinity after a sudden summer shower. Every day for a week, I was blessed to see a quarter rainbow in the clouds over Abingdon while driviing my morning bus route. Sometimes it was almost hidden but part of it was still visible in the sky.

Rainbows symbolize God's promise never to destroy the earth again with waer. I often think of times I made promises in haste, meaning to keep them, but later forgetting. God knows that we are imperfect beings, and as such, we lean toward forgetfulness. As our Father, God forgives our human failures, encouraging us to follow His and Jesus' perfect example. Every time I see one of His beautiful rainbows, I am remiinded again of His promise. Once more, I resolve to try to keep all the promises I make.

Father, strengthen Your children to keep their word as You have kept Your promises throughout the ages. Then, when we stand before You, we may see the rainbow that encircles Your throne like a glorious emerald. (Revelation 4:1-3) Amen.

(C) 2013 E. Bonnie Ryan

Friday, August 16, 2013

What Would David Do?

The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me frothehand of this Philistine. 1 Sam. 17:37 (NIV)
           Responding to the sign indicating road work ahead, a line of vehicles waited in front of me. I opened my window to enjoy the pleasant spring breeze.
            Suddenly, my body was pushed into the steering wheel.
            Gathering my wits, I looked in my rear view mirror and saw a behemoth of a black truck pushed into the rear of my little Subaru. The wheels seemed to be as tall as my car. Suddenly, a very large man opened the driver’s side door, climbed down and jumped to the ground. He stood facing my car with his fists clenched at his sides, his lips pursed, and his forehead wrinkled.
             Road rage! Here comes Goliath. What would David do? I prayed! Then, while the man examined the damage, I closed the window, and called a friend to tell her where to find my body.
            The man squatted down to the level of my closed window. He said, “Are you all right? Is there anything I can do? I am so sorry. Please forgive me.”
            This was not the Goliath of the Bible and I certainly did not behave as bravely as David. However, in considering David in that frightening moment, prayer came to me. This incident reminded me that God is in control. My job is to stay in touch with the Lord who strengthens me as He did David.
Father God, help me to grow faith as strong as David’s. Help me to never forget that you rescued me from the clutches of Satan and are forever my protector.
Christy Struben © 2013


Friday, August 9, 2013

Love One Another

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith. Ephesians 4:11-13a (NIV)

Sitting in a Bible college class years ago, I listened as the pastor explained church denominations and their differences. A student interrupted his lecture to pose a question: how did people choose the right church with so many denominational differences? I knew the answer immediately—everyone should come to our nondenominational church!

The pastor paused a moment to consider, then answered quite differently than I had expected. He explained that we are sheep, and Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows exactly what we need to grow. Some need milk, some solid food—but we all need a flock and a shepherd. In His great love, He leads us where we will flourish. There is no need to feel threatened by denominational differences, and no need to fight over them. Christ Himself gave diverse gifts to equip us all for this journey of faith, to make us complete.

That class humbled me. For years I had disregarded precious portions of the body of Christ because of my preconceived notions about other churches. They could have imparted so much to my life. I had robbed them, too. It is important that a church follows the precepts found in the word of God, but the Apostle Paul’s words flooded me with conviction. “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” Colossians 3:15 (NIV).

Lord, may we be one, even as You and the Father are one.

© 2013 Katherine A. Fuller

Friday, August 2, 2013

No Offence!

Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Matthew 7:3-5 (NASB)

I usually enjoy a good workout at the classes offered at the gym, but this one day I grew impatient and annoyed to the point that I left class early. Someone in the gym stunk. This went far beyond the normal gym smell, to a horrible body odor, like someone had forgotten to use deodorant for a full week before the class.

The smell permeated the room so much that I felt like I was taking it home with me. Why can’t people be more considerate? On the way home, I stopped briefly at the market, and that person’s stench followed me into the store and back in the car again. I couldn’t shake it.

Once home, I headed straight for the shower. To my horror and embarrassment, upon removing my gym shirt, I realized that the person who stunk up the gym was me! How relieved the others must have been when I left the class early.

It is easy to point the finger, to quickly find fault with others or to cast blame. Never once did I think, is that me? My first thought was about the other person who was ruining my workout. I even sniffed around for the culprit as we ran laps. In how many other situations might I do the same thing, immediately finding fault with “the other person”?

“You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye” Matthew 7:5.

Father, help me examine my own heart and stop pointing the finger at others.  Amen.

©2013 Nance