Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Job Well Done

and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1c (NASB)

It had been a long afternoon working with my six-year old grandson on a button-making project for a political campaign. His dad taught him how to work the circle punch device, and he was busily punching out circles for me to put into the button-press machine. It was tiring, tedious work. When the project was completed, my grandson was still alongside me. He did not get bored nor did he run away to play. He persevered until the job was done.

“It is a very good quality to stick with a job no matter what. It’s important to finish well and not give up. I’m so proud of you,” I told him.

His dark blue eyes watched me, as he quietly listened. I sensed it was special to him to hear that I was proud of his work.

Perseverance and endurance are character qualities believers are encouraged to develop. In the book of Hebrews believers are told to persevere, or hold fast our confidence and our full assurance of faith firm until the end (Hebrews 3:6, 14; 10:22-23). Paul reminds us that God is watching, and He will reward those who persevere in doing good (Romans 2:5-7).

We all face situations in life, such as a job or a relationship where we feel like giving up. But quitting isn’t the answer. God tells us to hold on even when it is hard. When easier, selfish choices might be made in life, I want to stand with my hard-working grandson and hear our Savior say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (Matthew 25:21 NIV)

Father, strengthen us to run with endurance the race that You set before us.

© 2104 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, June 20, 2014

Accidental Contentment

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content.   Philippians 4:11 (NKJV)

The loudness of the impact was horrifying, our cars colliding, the sounds of metals crumbling, glass breaking, air bags exploding.   The sirens of police and ambulance screamed through the air. Although badly shaken, I was thankful that other than our cars, no one was seriously injured.  

The greatest blessing was that although my car was totaled, I walked away relatively unharmed with only a left shoulder sprain. Since I am right handed, I was able to continue to function as usual.

The lesson on contentment began when I had to adjust to life without a car something I had not done in over twenty-five years.  I was now forced to confront challenges that I had previously struggle with constantly: acceptance, humility and patience. I am now need to, ask for, accept rides and utilize public transportation.

While walking, my senses have been awakened to how magnificent and beautiful,God  created the world. The season appeared decently, the snow of the winter, the blooming of the flowers and now longer days and warmth a signal that summer is coming soon.  I became aware of things that I had never noticed when I was driving:  the chirping of birds, squirrels and rabbits scurrying as I approach.  The beauty of the clouds impressed me and even the patterns of rain.  Oh how excellent! 

 What had initially appeared to be a misfortune, ended up becoming a season to understand the meaning of grace, mercy and contentment

Thank you Master Teacher for using a car accident as a lesson to teach me how to be abased or abound   - Amen

© Wanda Currie 2014

Friday, June 13, 2014


For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)

I read this verse over and over, hoping my spirit would lift a little. God knows I have had enough sorrow. Only seven weeks ago I carried the urn that held our son's ashes and placed it on top of the china cabinet. His death still weighs heavily on my heart.

My latest sorrow is the fear that my older sister is dying of heart failure.

God, who was speaking above, actually thought of me, thoughts of peace and love. He wants to give me a hopeful future. God wants me to live my life fully, in peace, love and prosperity. The word "Live" spelled backwards, reads "evil."

"Okay, Lord," I said as I talked to Him while doing the breakfast dishes, "I'm ready for this darkness and sorrow to lift. I'm ready for Your peace to cover my heart. I want to live."

I waited for the peace God promised. Nothing happened. My heart sank. I wanted that special peace to enter my soul and fill me with the joy I know the love of God gives. I wanted it so badly at that moment.

There were times that I thought God was not listening or maybe I was not "tuned in." I want to feel alive. Then it hit me--God wants me to live even in the midst of sorrow.

Father, every morning that I wake up I give glory and honor to You. Thank You, Lord, that I LIVE! Amen.

(c) 2014 E. Bonnie Ryan

Sunday, June 8, 2014


“Be not wise in your own eyes. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.” (Prov. 3.7 RSV)

“Hello.” I said
“Is Tommy there? A little boy’s voice asked.
“No, no Tommys here. You have a wrong number.” (click)
“Is Tommy there? The same little boy voice asked.
“No. You have the wrong (click) number.
“Hello.” I said, knowing who it would be
“Is Tommy there?” he asked
“No. You’re dialing the wrong number.” I said for the third time.
“STOP TELLING ME I HAVE THE WRONG NUMBER!” The angry little boy hollered.
“Check your phone (click)”. Needless to say, he didn’t call again.
Laughing as I recalled the incident, it reminded me of how I used to pray to God. There was a person in my life that was mean, rude and abusive. I prayed daily for months, even years, for our Lord to convict him of his bad behavior.
However, that person never changed. Eventually, he lost his family. As I prayed, I beseeched the Lord, why this person never changed. God revealed to me, through the Holy Spirit, this man was not praying to change. Our Lord doesn’t go where He’s not invited.
While praying for people to change, and they’re not, whose attention does God have?  Mine (or yours). He changed me. I learned to lay everything down before the Lord, and trust Him with the outcome. Also, what was the next right thing for me to do. I learned not to give unsolicited advice. They weren’t seeking my opinion.

My body language needed corrected, too. No more rolled eyes, shoulder shrugs, or raised eyebrows.
Thank you Lord for the privilege of prayer. Help me be the kind of person you want me to be. I love you. Amen                                        

© 2014 Lois Gosley

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lean on Me

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.  Jeremiah 33:3 (NIV)

Had I only known and understood this invitation and promise as a youth it would have saved me a good bit of confusion. In turn, I feel I could have more effectively communicated that understanding to my children. 

Growing up in the military life meant home was not permanent for more than two or three years at a time. There were benefits of travel and exposure to other cultures, as well as downsides in growing up away from multigenerational family, friendships often being short lived and church home being ever-changing.

My “roots” have been in Maryland for more than thirty years now. My children were born and have grown into adulthood in Maryland with less change in surroundings. They still talk to or run in to friends and classmates they went to school with, they’ve known Mountain as their one and only childhood church home.

Goegraphically Home may change, but God is constant, He's been with me wherever I've been. I call on Him and He answers me. His word gives me continual resource and guidance. 

God provides, in all circumstances.  While I may not understand the provision in the moment, later reflection often offers the clarification of that provision for me. I lean on Him now with an eagerness to learn and grow in His word and love. With Him I share my greatest accomplishments and joys; I trust my deepest concerns and life’s trials to His care in prayer.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the invitation to call on You, no matter where we are, and for blessing us with your promise of sovereignty and salvation.  In the name of our Savior. Amen

© 2014 Atalie Shackelford