Friday, October 25, 2013

Fear Not

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. II Timothy 1:7(KJV)

I was asleep when a sudden, intense fear like I had never experienced gripped my heart, making it pound nearly out of my chest. My eyes flew open. Framed in the bedroom doorway was a crimson figure, head crowned with red spikes. No facial features were evident, but I knew it was the devil.

Like a frightened child, I grabbed the covers and pulled them over my head, squeezing my eyes shut. I felt a coldness grip me inside out. I lay rigid and my breathing grew fast and shallow for several moments. Involuntarily, my hands slowly pulled the covers down from my face. Eyes wide, I stared at the doorway. It was completely empty. Relief washed over me.

I relaxed as the blood began to course through my veins, warming me once again. I told myself it was silly, and that it was only my imagination, a bad dream. But was it? Oh, God, protect my family and me. Give us Your peace and love. I determined right then to get more serious about my faith.

In the light of a new day, I pulled out my Bible and read aloud in ll Timothy 1:7,”For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” Hearing my voice gave me the confidence and courage to start my devotion to God right then.

Father, thank You for covering me with the peace that casts out all fear. Amen

©2013 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, October 18, 2013


“…. ‘Lord when did we see thee hungry and feed thee, or thirsty and give thee drink?  And when did we see thee a stranger and welcome thee or naked and clothe thee?’” and the king will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.’”
 (Matthew 25:37-40 RSV)

           Bertha and Agnes were riding down the road. Agnes was driving, and driving rather fast. Bertha watched very intently as Agnes flew through a stop sign. Wow, thought Bertha, she must not have seen that sign.
            Shortly Agnes drove boldly through another stop sign. Bertha was about to say something when Agnes sped through a red light.
           Bertha hollered. “Agnes, you went through a red light! You’re going to get us killed.”

           Agnes, wide eyed and startled, replied, “What! I’m driving?”
            That’s a funny story I heard, but while grocery shopping, it didn’t even dawn on me to buy items for our church’s food pantry.

I walk past homeless people on the street, like they’re invisible, thinking cash would be used for drugs. I don’t bother to buy them a food coupon, thereby, missing a chance to your hungry, Jesus.
            The youth group at church made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They delivered them to where the poor folks gathered. In the winter, another group had a blanket drive and delivered blankets to them. I was too busy. Did I leave your strangers out in the cold, Lord? 

Dear Jesus: Forgive us for failing to see the Stop and Help opportunities. Open the eyes of my heart to see through Your eyes. Amen

© 2013 Lois Gosley

Friday, October 11, 2013


And, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20b. (KJV)

I learn so much from watching animals. My husband and I recently acquired a two-year-old teacup chocolate Chihuahua that we named Fancy. She was timid, snipping at anyone who came near. After hours of holding her and talking soothingly, she finally accepted me, but still kept other family members at bay. She growled and snapped at them, all the while clinging to me.

Fancy followed me everywhere. One night as I prepared for my evening shower, she pranced around the bathroom, watching me. To my surprise, when I dropped my blouse to the floor, Fancy grabbed it, dragged it to her bed, and promptly curled up on it. When my husband and I realized what she was doing, we smiled and let her sleep on it for the night.

This made me realize that I do the same thing. When I am insecure or unsure of my spiritual standing, I pick up my Bible and read God's word. Sunday services also brings me assurance that God is with me as I worship with other believers. I can talk to God any time in prayer, thus feeling His peace in my heart.

Fancy needed the comfort and assurance that my scent would bring during the long, dark night. My blouse helped her feel that I was near. When I need to feel close to God in this dark world, may I remember to use His provisions as comfort and strength, making them my security blanket, just as my blouse was to Fancy.

Lord Jesus, help me to always feel close to You, even when my actions seem to keep You from my sight. Amen.

(c) 2013 E. Bonnie Ryan

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Text Jesus?

Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you. May my prayer come before you.” Psalm 88:1-2a (NIV)

A roadside sign this summer advertised a local Bible school’s theme: “Text Jesus.” That catchy phrase connects well with today’s culture and kids, but might it also promote a “disconnect” from God?

omg u r gr8. t2ul. (Oh my God, you are great. Talk to you later.)

Texting is a quick form of superficial communication, one that lacks the components of cultivating relationship. A quick thought is sent in abbreviated form: bbl jk (Be back later—just kidding.)

Where is the depth of sitting with the Word to hear God’s reply? omg simyc  (Oh my God, sorry I missed your call).

Where is the pouring out of our hearts to God and being filled with His presence? Where is the experience of knowing God if communication is watered down to a text message?  wu (What’s up?)

Is our relationship with God something that should be rushed through? Skimmed over? Reduced to acronyms? Wait! Before we criticize the cool Bible School theme here, could it be that prayer in general for our fast-paced society has already dwindled to a text-message type of “arrow prayer”?

yt (you there?)

qq 4 u (quick question for you)

ghm (God help me)

t2ut (talk to you tomorrow)

We have the opportunity for an intimate relationship with the Almighty God—the omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent One. Are we going to pass that by because it is easier to text than to pray, easier to say a few quick words when we want something than to engage in regular all-out prayer so we can truly know Him?

Father, help me make the time to commune with you in prayer, beginning now…

© Nance