Friday, September 26, 2014


I will give you lasting peace in this place Jeremiah 14:13b (NAS).

The time came when we needed a house with a mother-in-law suite. Mother's failing health required personal care. What a blessing to offer a comfortable home where we could take care of her. She would still have her freedom. She was so excited that she moved in a week ahead of us. Mother called every evening asking when we were coming.

A week later we joined her in our new home. Mother and I visited daily. She was very happy living here. She helped water the flowers in the yard and garden. Mother's porch had a beautiful hanging garden where we enjoyed nature together. It was soothingly peaceful. Mother and I grew closer with passing time and daily expressed our love for one another. I grew to love our home because she loved it.

Mother became very ill during her fourth year with us. We eventually obtained hospice care, so she would not live her remaining time among strangers. My sisters and their families visited often. During her last days, caring for her was a labor of love. In our times together, we discussed our Savior, Jesus and His depth of love for us. Mother shared her dreams of meeting Jesus. In her last dream, she said He smiled at her. She was at peace, knowing she would soon be with Him.

Reflecting back, I realize God made it possible for us to have this house, so I could take care of my mother. I am awed and grateful. There is a heavenly home where peace and love will abound. It will be the best home of all because our Father, and Jesus will be there.

Father, I long for the lasting peace of heaven. Amen.

(c) 2014 E. Bonnie Ryan

Saturday, September 20, 2014


Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Ephesians 4:28 (KJV).
Falling down a ladder while painting the outside of the house caused me to pull a ham string in the back of my right leg. After a visit to the hospital a brace was put on my leg and I was told to stay off of it.  I have been unable to work for two weeks.

Time off my job should have felt like a vacation. Yet I realized I missed it.

Working and giving of my time serving God, I know my labor is not in vain. In Ephesians 4:28 there is more to working than receiving God’s approval. It is my responsibility to give part of my earnings to those who are in need.

Paul is telling the Ephesians to walk in the ways of the Lord and turn away from the ways of the Gentiles (Ephesians 4:17). He was telling them it was time to put away the corrupt self.

Working is not just a means of survival, obtaining riches or material things, it is also to see that the realization of work is a ministry of our Lord. The motive for work is not for ourselves, but for others.

When the time comes to return to work, I know that it will be with a new purpose. It will be to serve God and to help meet the needs of others.

Lord, I seek to give all that I have to Your service. Help me to meet the needs of others.

©2014 Dawn Sexton.

Friday, September 12, 2014


Many of the Samaritans from the town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony. . . John 4:39 (NIV).

To me, the story of the Samaritan woman at the well is a clear and concise lesson concerning preparation to witness about salvation through belief in Jesus Christ. I had the advantage of hearing sermons and reading books about how to witness. But she had the unrivaled experience of spending quality time alone with Jesus while He walked the earth.

In their time together, He answered her questions and amazed her with knowledge of her sins. She explained her belief that Jews worship in the “wrong place.” He told her that worshiping in spirit and truth is what is most important, not the location.

As if His comments were of no consequence, she told Him that all of the right answers would be revealed when the Messiah comes.

“I am He,” Jesus said.

Suddenly, all He had previously shared with her came into focus. She left her water jug at the well and ran to tell the people in her hometown about the man she now believed to be the Messiah.

Because of her report, many came to sit under the teachings of Jesus. They entreated Him to stay with them for two additional days.

There seems to be a formula here for learning how to witness:
  • First, spend time in His presence,
  • Second, pay attention when He speaks through the Spirit or through scripture,
  • And then, tell others what happened to you personally.
Lord, help me to regularly spend time alone with You, and hold on to Your teachings. Keep me bold like the Samaritan woman in sharing my story in order to bring others to Your saving grace.

© Christy Struben 2014

Friday, September 5, 2014


You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst forth into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands Isaiah 55:12 (NIV).

God awakens me in the morning to the chirping of the chick-a-dee. The dandelion sun beams through the sheerness of my drapes and colors my room with the sweetness of God’s light.
I step outside gather my senses, and embrace each image of God’s awesome creation. The trees are crisp, green, and full of life. They are plentiful and create a silhouette against the robin-egg sky.
As my car putters down a windy back road, I experience the brilliance of His handiwork. The petunias and the begonias radiantly freckle the fertile ground. My soul delights in the bold, the delicate, and the dramatic design of this lush composition. Fresh forms of sculpted shapes reveal His passion for the earth.
A clear vision of God's personality is expressed by the painted strokes of His genius. I see the nature of His being, His wisdom, His love manifested and scattered among the earth. God's splendor, glory, and divine knowledge are revealed by this attention, detail, and purpose for all living things. By exhibiting how much He cares for even the smallest particle of nature, we can be assured how much He cares for us. Hallelujah!
A celebration of life is landscaped in vibrant hue and texture –each second, each minute, each hour—His gift and our joy! A Masterpiece!
Creator of all things, fill me abundantly with the refreshing vigor of Your nature. I am filled with peace and joy when I delight in Your all-inspiring canvas. Amen!
(c) 2014 Kimberly Clayton