Friday, January 31, 2014


Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (ESV)

Our daughter, who walks with the LORD, has claimed this verse to guide her in the up-coming years. Within a period of two years, one of her children developed juvenile diabetes, another rheumatoid arthritis, and her husband lymphoma.

The preciousness of God’s Word will hold her as she ministers to her family. A relationship with God has to come first, just as the tree in scripture was planted by the waters. She will fall on difficult times, but will be sustained.

As parents we are told in God’s Word to teach our children about God. When God draws them to Himself, they will understand. The LORD our God is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise. Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (ESV).

God has an awesome plan for us to know Him through families. By following the scripture, we help plant our children by water. It is one of the best legacies we can give them.

Thank you LORD for making Yourself known to us through Your Word.

© 2014 Mary Burkey

Friday, January 24, 2014


For in Him we live and move and have our being…..for we are indeed His offspring.
Acts 17:28 (RSV)
Starting a new year always inspires me. I started out deciding “ I am going to lose weight, organize the closets, or even clean the basement.” Also “I am going to write more, and exercise daily.” After listing all the improvements and projects, I gave my list to the Lord in my prayer journal.
My devotional led me to what Jesus said. “Abide in me and I in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit by its self unless it abides in the vine. Neither can you unless you abide in me,” (John 15.3 RSV). He said “abide in me” three times in one verse—must be important. He said nothing about “doing.”
I must learn to “abide” in the Lord and not always feel the need to  “do.” A television commentator announced that 80% of new year’s resolutions failed by February. That put my list in the correct perspective.
After reviewing my list, I realized it included nothing that would honor the Lord.
I prayed for God to reveal what attitudes, habits or actions prevent me from abiding as Christ’s follower.  Where can I serve more? Where can I encourage others who have don’t know about abiding and have fallen.
Dear Lord, I pray to see my life through your eyes. My focus should not be on me but on You. Please reveal to me where I can start a new resolution serving You. Don’t let me settle for less than what You have planned for me. Here I am, Lord, use me. Amen.
© 2014 Lois Gosley

Friday, January 17, 2014

Cat With an Identity Problem

 “They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord…” Isaiah 62:12 (NIV)

Interesting animals abound at the home of my sister and her family. There are three dogs, two cats, three rabbits and a flock of show chickens.

Cid, a Tuxedo cat, is the most entertaining. He has no fear of the dogs who weigh up to sixty pounds more than he does. He has been known to box their ears and growl at them. He piles on top of the dogs to nap. 

Basically, Cid thinks he’s a dog.

When the dogs walk out the door for their morning constitutionals, they go in order of largest to smallest. Cid tries to bring up the rear and march out the door behind them. 

The problem is, Cid is not a dog. He’s a cat; able to climb fences, leave the property, and possibly be hurt by neighborhood dogs who believe that this little creature is a cat no matter what he thinks.

When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior our identity changes—we become members of the family of God. While we represent Him on the earth today, this is only a temporary home. Our eternal home is with our Lord in heaven.

As Christians, we need not be confused about who we are. The Bible reminds us that we belong to our God. He alone is our protector, provider, and King. We will find the most satisfaction and peace in life when we live as He wants us to live—as His children.

Lord, when we have doubts or the world tries to overwhelm us, help us to remember that we need not wonder who holds our destiny in His hands. It is the One who loves us the most.

© Christy Struben 2013

Friday, January 10, 2014

Hearing God


The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” 1 Samuel 3:10 (NIV)

God’s voice was most audible through Jesus on earth. Today, generally, we hear God’s word through the Bible, other people and our own consciences. We read or study the Bible in small groups or on our own. God speaks to us through pastors, missionaries, friends and others. He communicates with us through the Holy Spirit when things are weighing heavy on our hearts as well as when we are joyful. He speaks to others through us.

Whether my prayer is audible or within the confines of my own heart and mind, He hears me—always. Experience has taught me that not receiving an answer immediately does not mean “no” but more likely “not right now” and to be still and wait on Him for divine guidance. It is said that some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers. I have to ask, “Are they truly unanswered after all?”

My prayer is to hear God’s calling in whatever manner it is presented to me and to be confident in my understanding of His message and will. I am thankful for God’s patience with me when I do not understand, and for His persistence with me in turning my attention to Him.

Speak to me Lord, for I am listening.

Heavenly Father, we want to hear you—always—and take your lead. Thank you for the gifts of Your word, Your Son through whom we have a relationship with You and for the Holy Spirit who speaks to us through Your word, guiding us to Your truth. May we be ever mindful of You in each of Your presences. In Jesus’ name. Amen

© 2013 Atalie Shackelford

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Signs of the Times

Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains. Matthew 24:7,8 (NIV)

"What was that?" my husband asked, startled.

"An earthquake!" I replied incredulously. I stood by the window and actually saw my house shimmy like a belly dancer for about three seconds. Glass rattled in my cabinets. Boxes of food fell from my pantry shelves. It was over quickly, but my surprise and disbelief lasted for about half an hour. I didn't want to believe it could happen here.

The television and radio confirmed that an earthquake began in Virginia and spread up and down the east coast. Damage to buildings and churches flashed on the television. The phone rang. My brother excitedly reported the quake in North Carolina. My sister called from Baltimore and said, "I thought my house-trailer was going to shake off its foundation."

The scripture above flashed into my memory. I looked in my Bible and read it again. This was the second earthquake I had experienced. I thought, "Could this be a part of the birth pains spoken of, but birth pains to what? Then it hit me---the great tribulation! It made me shudder, but God's Word does not lie.

It is a terrible prediction that Jesus told His disciples to watch for but it was a warning for which all of mankind must be aware. The more knowledge one has, the better one can cope with the events that will lead to Christ's return. Although it may truly be a tribulation to this earth, Christ's return will be a joy to His Christian children.

Father, may our eyes be open and our minds alert for Your return. Amen.

(c) 2011 E. Bonnie Ryan