Friday, December 25, 2015


Jesus said, “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.’” Matthew 25:40 (RSV)

One Christmas, my daughter and I were alone. A church friend who worked at an assisted living facility, announced they were having a Christmas Party for the residents and could use some help. We volunteered.

We helped with their gift giving, games they played, and assisted shaky hands while they ate. (Shaky hands and Jello presents a real challenge.) We glued, taped and stapled as they made a Christmas craft and then we all sang Christmas Carols. After one ice cream accident, we decided ice cream was good enough to wear. It was a wonderful afternoon. You could not wipe the smiles off our faces.

After a most rewarding day, we went to a Chinese restaurant for dinner—the only place open on Christmas Day. We shared and laughed again at the happy events of our wonderful day. It gave us a blessing greater than any Christmas gift could.

We could have felt sorry for ourselves and sat around complaining about our circumstances, but we chose to help. No one attends pity parties. The gift really was for us.

Charles Swindol said, “Life is 10%, what you do with it is 90%”.
Jesus said, “What you do for the least of these, you do it for me.” (Above)
Joshua said, “Choose this day whom you will serve…”  Joshua 24:15

Dear Lord. The greatest gift is You. Ignite in us the heart to be a gift to others and choose the Godly way to give—in Your name. Amen.

© 2015 Lois Gosley

Friday, December 18, 2015


This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12 (NAS)

Each year tucked away on a little twelve-house court, neighbors display a lighted version of The Twelve Days of Christmas on their front lawns.  When our children were small we enjoyed driving through the court singing the song at the top of our lungs. Although it was a cherished part of our holiday tradition, I wondered what this carol had to do with the true meaning of Christmas.

After some research, I was excited to find each symbol had a Christian-based meaning. Although there is debate as to the origins of this idea, some believe several centuries ago in England, Catholics were not allowed to practice their faith. They made up a song with secret signs for all the elements children needed to remember for catechism. The "true love" mentioned in the song lyrics was, of course, Jesus and His great love for us. The partridge in a pear tree would also represent Jesus, crucified on a tree. Two turtle doves were reminders of the Old and New Testaments, as the three French hens symbolized faith, hope and love. Four calling birds stood for the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Each successive verse edified another facet of the Christian faith.

I am so thankful each year for traditions such a nativity scenes, children’s reenactments of the Christmas story, scripture readings and carols that remind us of the true love that came to earth that starry Bethlehem night.

Father, I am so thankful for the freedom to express our Christian faith in America. I pray we will boldly exercise our privilege this season by sharing the beautiful love story of Jesus with others. Amen.

© 2015 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, December 11, 2015


"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights..." James 1:17 (KJV).

When I was eight years old, I sat gazing at the beautifully decorated Christmas tree and made my first wish for a slinky, one that actually walked down our stair steps. An art kit was my second wish. My heart told me there was an artist inside wanting to create a beautiful painting. Knowing, in reality, there was no Santa Claus, I said a silent prayer to Jesus. After all, Jesus is truly the reason for the season, isn't He?

My sisters and I got the Sears & Roebuck catalogue and grew excited to see all the things for kids. We put our names on paper and carefully wrote down all the things we liked and put them on the table. Before bed that snowy Christmas Eve, Mother read us the story of the first Christmas and the birth of Jesus. We went to bed with the joy of baby Jesus in our hearts.

Christmas morning there were a few gifts for each of us girls under the tree. Mother smiled as we excitedly opened them. We got dolls and coloring books with crayons, comic books and drawing tablets. We each got a Christmas stocking filled with candy, nuts and an orange. We felt rich as we played with our gifts. Most of all, we were blessed with the love of our parents and the joy we felt in knowing the baby Jesus was our Gift from God.

Father, thank You for blessing us with our parents love, realizing our blessings came from You and Jesus. Amen.

© 2015 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, December 4, 2015


Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.  Psalms 47:1 (NIV).

Thoughts of the many parties, dinners and gatherings this season brings, causes my heart rejoice in the love of the Lord. I am reminded that I am truly blessed because of the grace of my heavenly Father.

There are times when I want to clap my hands, shout to everyone and sing about the joy of my Lord. The Christmas season gives me the opportunity to do this every day. Everywhere I go the holiday music plays over the intercom, and I sing along with the songs praising God.

Throughout the Bible, there are countless times that His people sang, shouted and danced before the Lord. Many times it was after a difficult situation. God delivered them from the trials and tribulations that they sometimes brought upon themselves.

David spent part of his life running from the king in fear of his life. Yet even in the darkest hours, he found the strength to sing his praises to God. Throughout the book of Psalm, we see this happening time after time.

When I go to all the parties, dinners and gatherings, I will clap, shout and cry out my joy to the One who is the reason for the season. Jesus! 

Let the good times roll. Today, tomorrow and the years to come, I will be a testimony to the love of God, a witness to His mercy and an example of the power of His strength.

Lord, I rejoice every day, not just during this time of the year. Help me to boldly shout your praises to the nation with clapping hands through the whole year.

©2015 Dawn Sexton.

Friday, November 27, 2015


And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (NAS)

This morning I had an appointment with a wonderful counselor. He is world renowned and the top authority in all he does, and yet no advanced scheduling was necessary.

So unlike me when meeting someone, my need was so pressing, that I rushed to talk with him before showering or even brushing my teeth. More amazing still, he made house calls and was already waiting for me in a quiet corner of my room.

I sat before him broken, weeping without words. He heard my heart and comforted me. He did not judge, only wrapped my ache with the healing warmth of His love.

There was no ticking clock on the wall to signal when time was up.

Minutes flew by as regrets, sadness, fears and disappointments were lifted from my heart. Mercifully left in their place was joy, hope, peace and love.

For such an exchange surely I would have to empty my bank account or take out a loan to pay—gladly.

Perhaps most incredible of all, my Wonderful Counselor said, "Your debt has been paid in full. Jesus paid it all."

For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. John 3:16 (NAS)

Father, I lift my hands in praise that You ARE my Wonderful Counselor who is the one and only Mighty God, strong enough to take away my burdens and forgive my sin. Your love for me is eternal, as You are my Eternal Father. You are my Prince of Peace who can quell all my fear and distress.
I thank You by giving You my heart. Amen.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Let us come before Him with thanksgiving, and extol Him with music and song. Psalm 95:2 (NIV).


We're giving thanks to God above
For the abundance we have and His sweet love,
A love so intense that His Son He gave,
So we could grow closer, our souls to save.

We're giving thanks for our ancestors, too,
For the hardships and work they had to do.
We give thanks for the natives who helped them survive,
Who brought food and medicines that kept them alive.

The lessons they learned sank deep inside.
On the wagons of success they were happy to ride.
Every year a celebration was held in the fall,
To give thanks to God from one and all.

Today we remember the way it began,
When natives helped strangers in a new land.
We give thanks to God for showing the way,
To live together this Thanksgiving Day.

© 2015 Evelyn B. Ryan

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name. Psalm 91:14 (RSV)

 Remember how excited we were as parents when our babies took their first steps. We were so thrilled, we called everyone.

Not growing up in church, the only reason I went to a healing service was out of curiosity. Did the people really get knocked down? Totally overwhelmed with the service, I realized I needed God. I accepted the altar call. Did God call Angels Gabriel and Michael, and joyfully say, “My baby took her first steps today?”

Then I responded “Yes” to a neighbor’s invitation to join Community Bible Study. My heart was like a sponge soaking in the Word of God. Did God call his Heavenly Hosts, saying, “My little girl’s going to school now.”

Then I felt drawn to volunteer at a nursing home, becoming a Candy Striper. I refreshed each residents’ water daily. Did God call his Angels and say, “My girls got a job serving others.”

Community Bible Study offered me the position of Childens’ Director, and I accepted--directing teachers and children in the Children Program for ten years. Did God call Gabriel proudly announcing, “My child is teaching my babies.”

Can you imagine God’s eagerness as a loving parent as He views our spiritual walk? When the time comes for me to go to my heavenly home, I’ll get a new name. “I will also give to each one who wins the victory a white stone with a new name written on it.” (Rev. 2:17) Earthly fathers give pet names to their children—what name has God have for you? I pray mine's "Obedient."

 Thank you Lord for being my Loving Father, protecting and guiding and forgiving me when I fall short. I love you, too. Amen.

 (c) 2015 Lois Gosley

Friday, November 6, 2015


Things which eye hath not seen and ear hath not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those that love Him. I Corinthians 2:9 (NAS)

 Early one morning I opened the blinds in my bedroom and was greeted with a blast of color. The bright gold leaves on the trees and the carpet of fallen ones in our yard dazzled me with such brilliance that it almost hurt my eyes. Our entire yard appeared to be bathed in gold. It was practically glowing. Immediately, the verse "How manifold are thy handiworks, O Lord," came to my mind.

It was surprising and wonderful and almost overwhelming. The golden moment brought an early morning reminder of the marvelous gifts the Lord has in store for those who love Him. During unanticipated moments, in unexpected ways He blesses us each day. We only need the eyes to recognize His works.

In the same way we would do well with eyes that are continually looking beyond our possessions and attachments to this world, focusing instead on things eternal. Words spoken, deeds done, encouragement given that would lead another to know Christ as Savior, these are the things that have eternal significance.
Our Heavenly Father has promised that in Heaven He has prepared an unimaginable place for those who love Him. We’ve never seen nor heard or could ever possibly imagine what He has planned. When we view everything we do in the face of eternity our priorities will automatically fall into step with the Father and hopefully lead others to seek Him.

Loving Father, thank You for giving us glimpses of the wonderful things You have in store for us. Give us a heart to lead others to You. Amen.
© 2015 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, October 30, 2015


Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.  Ephesians 1:3 (NIV)

Caught! For years I had heard that one should begin each day with at time of prayer and Bible study. But I was never willing to give up those extra moments of sleep.  Now, after joining a small group of believers who agreed we would do that – I committed!

My son gave me a nice leather-bound journal to write in, so the adventure began. Eventually I noticed that the writings were remarkable. Where did that come from??? Certainly not from me. Slowly it “dawned” on me. When I got up early to meet God, God came to meet ME! 

Journaling is a great amplifier of God’s voice when reading the Bible It helps focus the mind on what the Scripture actually says, and it also gives the Holy Spirit an opportunity to reveal its meanings to our spirits. Here’s an example from Ephesians 1:3-14:

 This passage summarizes how God has and is loving believers:

·         Blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus.

·         Chose us to be holy and blameless in His sight.

·         Predestined us to be adopted into His family through Jesus.

·         Redeemed us through Christ’s blood.

·         Forgave our sins.

·         Lavished wisdom and understanding on us.

·         Revealed His will to bring all things together under one Head, Christ.

·         Marked us with the seal of His Holy Spirit.

·         Guaranteed us an inheritance as His heirs.
What an enormous and wonderful package of blessings God has for each of us!”

Prayer: Lord, thank You for loving me.  Help me to love You ever more intensely.

© 2015 Parker Wayland

Saturday, October 24, 2015

LONELY will leave me all alone. Yet, I am not alone, for my Father is with me. John 16:32b (NIV)

When Charles and I married, we moved to South Dakota where he was stationed in the army. Charles left for work at 6 a.m. and didn't return for twelve long hours. To fill the void, my focus was on cleaning house, rearranging furniture, and playing with the kitten Charles had found.

Six months into my first pregnancy, loneliness began to seep into my bones. I was overjoyed when Charles brought mail from my family. Writing to them helped. The days grew longer with the coming of winter. Feelings of being cooped up overwhelmed me. No one to talk to, no phone, no television. By 9 p.m. we were in bed. It was not easy being a soldier's wife.

One day, feeling particularly alone, hot tears welled up into my eyes. Sobs came from deep within and before long, the landlady was at the door. She was concerned that something had happened to my baby. After assuring her that everything was alright, she left reluctantly. Exhausted, sleep overcame me as I lay on the couch.

Upon awakening, I stepped onto the cold front porch, searching the sky for a sign of the end to this emptiness. Snow began to fall! Breathing a silent, anguished prayer to God, a quiet peace crept over me. Suddenly realizing that Jesus was with me filled me with joy. I was not alone! Jesus and His Father filled that emptiness inside. Never again would feeling alone make me a slave to Satan's whims. God had set me free and filled me to overflowing with His love.

Thank You, Father, that You picked me up from my loneliness and showed me Your consoling love. Amen.

©2015 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, October 16, 2015


He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1(NAS)

Browsing in a garden store one day I found a terra-cotta watering can with the words "Toad Abode" over a little arched doorway.

Once in my backyard it was soon inhabited by a handsome toad. Each night "Buster" camped out under the porch light feasting on insects that were drawn there. At dawn, he returned to his safe abode. He grew so large I marveled that he fit through the small doorway.

One morning finding his home empty, I fretted that perhaps a snake had eaten him or that he had met his demise under the wheel of a car.

That need not have been the case if he had continued to abide in his shelter enjoying the nearby bug blessings that the light provided.

This offered a wonderful illustration the following week when my Sunday School class of 11th and 12th graders gathered on my porch.

We talked about what it meant to abide in the shelter of God—how abiding cannot be intermittent. To abide in Christ means to live in Him, not visit occasionally. When we abide, He meets all our needs and we are safe in the shelter of His love. We can live in confidence and peace.

At the close of class we gathered around Buster's home to see if he had made a wise choice and returned to the safety of his shelter. I held my breath and gently lifted his abode.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief as Buster woke up blinking in the bright sunlight!

Father, we thank you and are assured that abiding in You nothing can touch us without first being sifted through Your loving, protective hands. Amen.

©2015 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, October 9, 2015


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:34 (NIV)

Something caught her eye—something shiny, shimmered in the sunlight. Walking to my car we both gasped at the treasure lying on the pavement by my passenger door.

“Did you lose this?” she asked.
My wishful response was “No, but maybe it was meant for me to find.”

Quickly, I picked up the bracelet and marveled at its beauty. It was a Pandora design and the central charm was beautifully crafted in an intertwined ball of silvery threads.

Out of curiosity, I went to the Pandora website and discovered one charm in its likeness. It represented friendship. My friend thought the charm represented “marriage is forever.”  Either way, I was perfectly satisfied with the find and wanted to create a reason to keep it.

The worldly saying crept through my mind—FINDERS KEEPERS, LOSERS WEEPERS. But, could I really wear a bracelet knowing it was bought for someone else, I momentarily wished were me?
It occurred to me that Jesus would never have used these words to make a decision about keeping the bracelet. These words revealed a worldly perspective and not heavenly wisdom.

Then, I recalled Proverbs 8:10—choose my instruction instead of silver, knowledge rather than choice gold.
It was then that it became easy to make my decision—I took the bracelet to the lost and found at my church.

Doing what is right in the eyes of my Lord, had a purifying effect on my spirit. The wisdom and guidance given to me by the Holy Spirit are eternal treasures found in heaven’s heart.

Eureka Lord! My treasures are not silvery, tangible things, but are, the indwelling of Your spirit directing me.
2015 © Kimberly Clayton

Thursday, October 1, 2015


“O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?” I Corinthian 15:55 (RSV) 

During an operation when I should have been under anesthetic, I awoke paralyzed. The pain of the surgeons cutting my abdomen was excruciating. My mental screams went unheard. Someone exclaimed, “We’re losing her.”

They did. My spirit left my body and hovered momentarily over the doctors, watching and listening to them. In a flash, God’s Holy Spirit joined me, and showed me many things from my past. I cried uncontrollably while reflecting on the abuse.

“Stop crying!” He said. Liquid love filled my entire being, so wonderful and peaceful. I longed to stay with Him. He said I had to go back.

Later, I learned this was called an NDE (Near Death Experience.)

While listening to Tim McGraw sing “Live Like Your Dying,” I heard it with new insight. I wanted to love deeper, and speak sweeter. I don’t want to ride a bull named Fumanchu, climb a mountain, or go sky diving.

Now my goals are to feed the poor, clothe the naked, and visit the sick. Withholding forgiveness doesn’t seem important any longer. I’m not afraid to die, but I’m not ready yet.

While I wait, I’ll share the Love of Jesus with those who feel unloved. Before, I had never felt loved. Experiencing Jesus’ love overwhelmed me to tears. After waking in the Recovery Room, the nurse tending me said, “Here’s a lady with a tear.

Dear Lord, quicken me to see the world’s needs through Your eyes. Here I am. Use me to show others what their first priority in life should be—serving You. Amen

© 2015 Lois Gosley

Friday, September 25, 2015


As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me.  John 8:4 (NIV)

The very day we graduated from the 8th grade my dad gave me a job in the parts department of his auto dealership. A few days later some friends came by and said, "Hey Parker, we're going swimming at the Silvermines. Come go with us."

Dad saw the group and came to greet them, so naturally I asked, "These guys are going swimming at Silvermines. Can I go with them?" The response came, "Are we going to play, or are we going to work?" Work was the obvious choice.

Many years later a similar decision arose--the decision whether to travel a substantial distance to attend a Christian men's conference. It was really appealing, but the time and cost bothered me. So, I prayed. "Lord, should I go?" Almost immediately I was surprised as I heard my spirit. "Are we going to play or are we going or work?" Laughter erupted as the quote from long ago hit me! "OK Lord. I've got the message."

A key part of working for the Lord is preparing and equipping ourselves to be useful instruments in His hands. Conferences, church sermons, small groups and other relationships with Christian friends, personal Bible study and prayer are all means of grace and growth. As ministry opportunities arise, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to provide the guidance and power, but He can only draw out what has been put in. I want to be a sharp scalpel in His hands.

Prayer: Lord, make me an instrument of Your love.

(C) 2015 Parker Wayland

Friday, September 18, 2015


When you pass through the waters I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2 (NAS)

My family was on the island of Hawaii to celebrate my nephew's wedding. I reveled in being surrounded by another facet of God's beauty-rich, awe-inspiring creation.
The far view from our balcony encompassed a white coral beach edging the deep blue Pacific. A closer view revealed a sparkling, lagoon surrounded by swaying palms.
This will be the spot held most dear in my memory.

Everyone who knows me can vouch for my fear of dark water. To walk beside a pond prickles my arms with chills.

When my son came in ecstatic over his sea turtle encounter, excitedly sharing this was the coolest experience of his twenty years, I desired to share that memory.

There was only one problem—the turtles hung out in the farthest, deepest corner of the lagoon. If fear ruled, it would be impossible for me.
I began swimming in the clear, green shallow.  Approaching the dark I prayed, "God, please take away all my fear. I want to experience the joy of your creation more fully. Amazed, I kept swimming, stroke after stroke without a twinge of trepidation.  

An hour drifted by as I paddled and floated in the deep.
I waited.

No turtles.
Finally, I prayed, "Lord, please send a turtle my way."

I waited—still no turtles.
I started back. Suddenly, I was not alone! My hand stroked down the long neck and shell of a large sea turtle as it surfaced beside me. We shared a few extraordinary moments swimming eye to eye. Joy welled deep within me!

God held me up.
He protected me.

He gave me joy!

Praise You Father, for showing me that joy awaits when I lay my fears before You. Amen.
©2015 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, September 11, 2015


“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” . . . for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12: 9a-10 (NIV)

Over the past few months, frustrations related to health and medical issues, anxieties about my volunteer work and fears about the future began to mount. I felt like I was in the midst of a spiritual battle because the onslaught from the enemy seemed unrelenting.

Then, early one morning during my Bible study time, it dawned on me:  I was trying to do what only God can do. A quick word search under “strength” yielded the necessary ammunition for the fight ahead.

What was missing in facing those difficulties was my reliance on God’s strength. First Corinthians 1:25b tells us, “the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” God “gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak . . . those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:29, 31a).

The renewal of our strength to deal with life’s challenges is based upon our hope in the Lord. When our hope is placed in God, rather than in people or in this fallen world, we are made strong.

Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove his thorn in the flesh, but God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9a). Paul helps us understand that when we are weak, we are made strong by the power of God.    

Praise to You, Father! The answers to the challenges we face in our lives are found in You and in Your Word.

© 2015 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, September 4, 2015


Take eat, this is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me. I Corinthians 11:24 (RSV)

Communion Sundays are special. I usually look forward to remembering with the cup and bread that Jesus sacrificed for me--the gift of eternal life is now mine. But this day, I was consumed with negative thoughts as I nursed and rehearsed the previous night's shouting battle at home.

It's all your fault." my husband had shouted, blaming me again.

I felt my anger was justified. I nonchalantly took the little wafer when the plate was passed.

The minister's words, quoting Jesus, broke into my reverie."Take, eat. This is my body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me." The congregation help up their wafer.

In front of me a father, holding a little boy eating Cheerios, held up his wafer. Instantly, the little boy held up his chubby fist, high over his head, holding a cheerio. He ate along with his father when hearing, "Take remembrance of Me.."

He was imitating his father, who was honoring his Father. Who am I honoring?

Humbled by my pre-occupation with self, I confessed, "Oh Lord, forgive me." Instantly, I focused on my Heavenly Father and His gift of forgiveness filled my heart. Gratefully, I ate my wafer.

"This cup is the new covenant in My Blood. Do this as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me." I solemnly took the cup and thanked Jesus for paying the price once and for all.

How can I not forgive after what You've done for me?

Dear Lord, Thank you for dying in my place, securing eternal Life with You. You did this not because I am good, but because you are Good. Amen

(c) 2015 Lois Gosley

Friday, August 28, 2015


After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so, we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words. 1Thes. 4:17, 18 (NIV)

I have dreams almost every night. Most dreams are pleasant and I awake feeling good and energetic. There are dreams when I am able to fly, kicking my feet, waving my arms as if actually swimming in the air, rising above the trees and houses. What an exhilarating feeling!

As a child, when I played with a few neighborhood friends, we asked our mothers for their discarded dresses and old curtains. We donned the dresses and tied the curtains around our necks and ran as fast as we could. The wind caught the tail of our curtains flapping them in the breeze, and "voila!" we were flying in our minds. Flying has always been a desire that I have had as far back as I can recall.

My childish dreams of flying will be realized when, according to the above scripture, I will be "caught the clouds to meet the Lord in the air," My daily burdens about health issues and the troubles of loved ones will be released and my heart comforted as I will be welcomed by Jesus into Eternity. Then, my heart will be filled with joy as I fly home to be with Jesus and His Father forever.

Father, thank You for the promise of rising to meet Jesus one day. My joy will be made full. Amen

© 2015 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, August 21, 2015


He who has the Son has life; He who does not have the Son of God has not life. 1 John 5:12 (NKJV)

In the movie "The Green Mile,” there is a scene where Percy, a prison guard is leading a shackled John Coffee into prison. Walking ahead of John, Percy is calling out, "Dead man, dead man walking."

That particular scene causes me to wonder as I go about my day passing ordinary people on the street. How many of them are just that, "dead men walking,” going about their working, shopping and eating as usual? Their heartbeats are keeping rhythm with their steps. All outward appearances indicate they are alive. The fact is, unless they have accepted the gift of eternal life, made possible only through Jesus Christ's death on the cross and His resurrection three days later—they are, indeed, dead men walking.

This causes my heart to ache.

 How I wish they knew the struggles they have today are scarcely a speck in the face of eternity. How I wish they understood we are all spiritual beings wrapped in physical bodies that will eventually die. Except for those of us who accept Jesus' invitation to join Him in Heaven. We will be alive and well in the company of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit along with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ for all of eternity. One moment we will close our eyes in death here, and the next, open them in our perfected bodies in the presence of Jesus. We will have life more magnificent than we could ever have imagined, all compliments of our Savior.

Father, how I hope to live my life in a way that points to Jesus. How I pray for boldness to share the gospel. Amen.

©Bonnie Mae Evans 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015


Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop. Matthew 13:7 (NIV)

As one who considers gardening a passion, it is difficult for me to pass a weed and not pull it out of the ground.

Our recent rainy spring is a mixed blessing. On one hand, everything is growing out of proportion. The tomatoes are bigger and more juicy than usual. Corn on the cob is early and sweet. There is a profusion of beautifully colored flowers. On the other hand, weeds are prolific.

After a recent pouring rain, I just HAD to pull weeds. After all, weeds come out by the root easier when the ground is wet.

It occurred to me that telling someone about salvation through Jesus is something like pulling weeds. A person who is living without our Savior can be overtaken by the emotional, physical and psychological distractions of this world (weeds). Explaining the joys of living with Christ is like pulling out and destroying those evil distractions.

The question is, when does the “ground” become soft enough for those without Christ to receive the seeds of faith? When can the roots of the evils of this world be extracted from the hearer’s life?

The answer is that as God’s “Spiritual Gardeners” it is our job to soften hearts by serving others with love and compassion and to live an example of life directed by the Holy Spirit. When the ground is soft and trust has been  established, it is time to share our own story of salvation.

Lord, help me to be ready to yield to the Holy Spirit as I garden and harvest souls for your Kingdom.

©2015 Christy Struben

Friday, August 7, 2015

Lost and Found

This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. John 15:12 (HCSB)
In a village by the seashore, lived a lonely boat. It seemed to have been abandoned a long time ago. It floated by the dock, unadmired for its old wooden surface, scratched and faded by time.
Late one evening, it began to storm and the wind caused the waves to clap loudly against the dock. The motion forced the little boat to move fiercely to and fro. Before long, the worn rope attached to the boat, snapped. The boat broke away from the dock and floated farther and farther away from the shore.
On the water, under moonlight, it appeared as a speck rocking back and forth against the raging sea. The poor little boat knew not what was to become of him, but he was brave. He depended on his faith and God’s grace to calm the waters and deliver him to a promised land.
When morning peered through the clouds, the tired little boat awoke and found itself bathing on a new shore in the sweet sunshine. The boat was surrounded by people giggling about the treasure they had found. The little boat blushed with excitement about the thought of being a treasure to someone. The people saw great promise in the little boat and began to scrub and paint its surfaces.
Before late afternoon the ugly little boat was restored and refreshed by the tender loving hands that knew its true worth.  At nightfall, the beautiful boat and his beautiful friends ventured out across the sea to discover how to love purely and remain faithful, even when the stormy waters are deep.
Lord, inspire me to live as a lighthouse that shines the treasures on true worth, through knowing You.
© 2015 Kimberly Clayton

Friday, July 31, 2015


Have mercy, O Lord…let me receive my sight.” Mark 10:48-52 (RSV)

Sitting somewhat patiently, twisting and rolling a tissue in my hand, I peered into the Visual Field Test machine. While the doctor quickly switched slides, I made the comment, “Your slides are blurry.”

The doctor chuckled and replied, “That’s your cataracts. There’s a big change from last year. They are ready to be removed.

Cataract surgery! (I sighed).

My nurse will be in to review your options, and she’ll schedule your surgery.

The day and time was scheduled along with an eye drop regime Personally, I started a “What if” regime.

What if it doesn’t take? What if I get an eye infection? What if I go blind? What if I can’t drive anymore? What if I get sick and throw-up? What if my eyes get squinty and won’t open?

I knew a lady who had cataract surgery and her eyes teared all the time. Imagine, always crying! My anxiety barometer soared upward.

“Jesus, Help!”

Jesus spoke to my heart, “What if can’t help you. I came to save the lost, to heal the sick, and to give sight to the blind. You can’t serve what if and Me, too.”

Repenting of my faithless actions, I felt at peace. I reported for my surgery at 10:00 a.m. The doctor began his procedure. At 12:00 noon surgery was complete. I walked out of his Lab feeling great and enjoyed a bright new clean world. Now, only a regime of drops for a few days was required.

Dear Lord, may we always seek Your will for our lives. Our bodies will fail us, but may our trust in You, our Creator, Redeemer and Provider, remain secure. Amen 

© 2015 Lois Gosley