Friday, October 31, 2014


Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV).

Candidates for all four hundred and thirty five seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and thirty four of the one-hundred Senate seats are to be voted on this November. United States Citizens are blessed with the job of voting for the best candidates to fill these critical positions.
The Bible contains assistance in making voting decisions.
1.      God expressed anger that His people made important decisions about their leadership without consulting Him. …they set up kings without my consent; they choose princes without my approval… Hosea 8:4. This tells me that before voting, my Lord expects His people to consult Him concerning their choice of leaders.
2.      God instructed His prophet, Samuel, to reject seven of Jesse’s sons before He approved of the youngest son, David. The Lord explained to Samuel that He makes such decisions by looking into the heart. Only God can “read” the heart of a man. Therefore, His choice is best, not what people may see on the surface.

3.      God told His prophet Isaiah that a man named Cyrus would one day free the Jewish people: Isaiah 44:28 through 45:1-14. One hundred and fifty years later Cyrus the Great became king. Although he worshiped idols, he freed the Jewish captives after seventy years of bondage. He allowed them to return to their homeland and rebuild their temple.  

The Lord had plans for His people then and He has plans for His people now. U.S. citizens can be a part of His plan. Use His wisdom and vote.
Lord, You alone know the heart of each candidate. You alone know who will bring peace, prosperity and safety to Your people. Please tell me how to vote.
© Christy Struben 2014

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Jesus said to them, My Father is always at His work to this very day, and I, too, am working John 5:17 (NIV).

I love working with my hands: crocheting, sewing, writing, and painting pictures with oils. My hands have also been occupied with rough carpentry. Many years ago a goat house, milking shed, milk stand and lounging benches for the goats were part of my handiwork. Another project was a three foot by eight foot extension on the corner of the back porch so wood could be stacked for the winter.

I find the fragrance of fresh cut wood very refreshing. It is satisfying when the finished project emerges from the wooden boards. Today, Jesus and Joseph come to mind. Jesus learned His carpentry skills from His earthly father. I thought of the things He might have made: chairs, tables, wash stands, cradles and ladders. He might even have helped build houses in His village. Perhaps there might be something that Jesus made that is still in use today in some remote part of Jerusalem or Galilee. That would be a wonderful treasure find.

The scriptural quotation above applies to spiritual work that Jesus did, healing the sick, raising the dead, curing the deaf and blind, whether on a week day or the Sabbath. Working with our hands is honorable work, whether it is in carpentry, farm work, digging ditches, or any activity in which you use your hands to accomplish a task. II Thessalonians 3:10 says, if any would not work, neither should he eat. This is a lesson that needs to be taught in every school throughout America, from kindergarten through high school.

Father, bless those who use their gifts for You. May they be successful in whatever way they perform. Amen.

(c) 2014 E. Bonnie Ryan

Friday, October 17, 2014


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path Psalm 119:105 (KJV).

It’s the end of the day, and I sit holding my Bible – shabby cover that needs the spine taped, rough corners, and ragged edge. Any minute now, I’ll open to find its time-tested gems of wisdom. Others do better at caring for the book itself. What an admirable talent! They use it every day, absorb the messages, and keep the same Bible for fifty years. Mine barely make ten. The old ones are in the house somewhere. Still, it’s a comfortable feeling to have the current one come open to the same pages. Again and again, those old stories provoke and inspire new thoughts.

 Just like unfinished books sitting on the shelves, unresolved problems are sitting in my mind. It’s fitting that a storm is coming. There! Lightning struck through the darkness and I can see the large, granite boulder beside the lane. I need the light. That’s why I will never do what King Jehoiakim did—cut a scroll containing the Lord’s words and throw it into a fire. Afterwards, though, Jeremiah wrote them again. His Word cannot be destroyed.

 At the first of his gospel John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Those enlightening words precede the reassuring and revealed promise—Jesus, the Rock, the Word made flesh, was crucified and rose again. Like lightning coming from the east, we will see Him again.

So with hope, prayer and expectation, I reach for the lamp beside my chair and turn it on.

Lord, may Your word be a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.

© V. Colclasure 2014

Friday, October 10, 2014


…let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect Romans 12:2 (NLT).

I am in the autumn of my life—colored by experience. My limbs, like branches, hold a story about change. My leaves are the passing days of deeds and the seasons of forgiveness. By His mercy, I am veiled in brilliant autumn beauty. My harvest abounds in shades of scarlet and robust orange. This is GOOD. 

By His will, I dance to the transforming pulse and the unfolding splendor He creates in me. My Lord pours from me chocolate brown and buttery golden leaves to prune my seasoned soul. As I cascade down my exterior, once made of a hardened life wood, I giggle to the forest floor where puddles form in a kaleidoscope of sifted colors. This is PLEASING.

In this season of purification, the Autumn Artist reveals the near completion of my being. I stand, as a dull and empty wooden frame, half-naked and raw like Jesus on the sacred cross. He frees me from myself, to be born again, when a new season breathes His Spirit upon me. He planted all the days of my life and shaped me into the light of awakening, the light of new joy, the light of the Lord. This is PERFECT.

The Autumn Artist is a reminder of a never-changing God in an ever-changing world. He continues to mold and sanctify me toward glorification. This is HEAVENLY! 

Lord, let change remind us of Your perfect will and transforming Spirit. May we, like the tree,  remain joyfully obedient to the seasons in our lives.
2014© Kimberly Clayton   

Friday, October 3, 2014


He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will catch some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net because of the large number of fish John 21:6 (NIV).

After thirty-eight years working in my career as an elementary school teacher and administrator, it was time to retire. During those working years, the Lord had graciously called me to several opportunities to serve Him in addition to my “day job.”

In school or out, it was always a blessing when my God placed me in circumstances that allowed Him to use me to share and pray with others.

Free of a busy career, my plan was to grasp this opportunity to spend more time working for the Lord. Laying my thoughts and prayers concerning the future before my King, my prayer was, “Dear Lord, most of my daily responsibilities are over. Here I am Lord, use me. Take me anywhere in the world—any country—any continent. Direct me. Just tell me when and where, and I will go.
The answer the Lord impressed on my heart and spirit, was surprising to me. He wanted me to minister to my extended family. This was not the “exotic” answer expected. But this was the place meant for me to “throw in my net.” This is where success and personal satisfaction would come to me.

If we remember to ask the Lord where to throw in our nets, He will tell us. He might even prepare a private fishing hole.

Thank You for the sweet opportunity we each have to witness Your saving grace to others.  And thank You for being able to see that net filling up.
© 2014 Christy Struben