Friday, January 23, 2015


If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in darkness and your gloom be as the noonday Isaiah 58:10 (ESV).

The winter so bold and brutal forced itself upon the land. A bird perched himself on the snow covered bush outside my kitchen window. The bird kept looking towards the window and finally settled himself on the window sill. He was in search of food as the snow blanketed the ground several inches deep.

I crumpled bread and scattered the morsels over the snow covered landscape. The cold caused me to perform this task quickly. Within seconds, I felt the sting of winter’s touch, but warmly enjoyed the effort. After several minutes, an assortment of birds came for the sustenance. They were creating a collage of pecking colors over what appeared to be snow clouds from heaven. Some flew away after finding the unforeseen piece of bread. Others stayed near to engage in the unexpected feast. They kept coming as if something sacred had inhabited the land. It was an honor to feed these feathered treasures. The bread was a blessing to them and the act of giving them bread was a blessing to me.

In this act of giving, I witnessed a slice of heaven stirring outside my window. It was as if God had stretched his long, loving arm from a window in heaven to a window in my heart where even the smallest acts of kindness become a celestial scene—A PORTRAIT IN THE SNOW.

Lord, thank you for giving me hands that can bless. When I do so, my eyes and my heart, witness Your majesty.

© Kimberly Clayton 2014

Saturday, January 17, 2015


The eternal God is our refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. Deuteronomy 33:27 (NAS)

As soon as my son came through the door I knew something was wrong. He had suffered a huge disappointment after months of hard work towards a specific goal. It seemed there was no justice. He was hurting and angry. Although his frame towered over mine by almost a foot, I longed for him to come, fall into my arms like when he was a little boy and let me comfort him. I wanted him to talk to me and pour out his troubles so I could share his burden. He did not. He suffered alone in silence—well, not completely alone—for I suffered in the next room, separated by walls, but with him just the same. My heart throbbed with his pain. 

In the midst of anguished prayer for my son, I suddenly had a very clear picture of how my Father in Heaven must feel when I am hurt, discouraged, angry or sad and choose to struggle through without coming to Him. Even more than I desired for my son to take confidence in me, my Heavenly Father longs for me to come, fall at His feet, and pour out my troubles and heartaches. On a micro scale, I felt His grief when He sees us suffer and toil needlessly under the weight of our problems. Unlike me, He has the power to heal broken hearts and redirect shattered dreams. He can take the fragments of our lives and weave them into His perfect plan. All we need do is bring them to Him in exchange for His peace and comfort.
Father, Thank You that when life hurts, Your arms are always open wide. Amen.
© 2014 Bonnie Mae Evans

Saturday, January 10, 2015


The King said, “Hang him on it!” So they hang Haman on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai. Than the king’s fury subsided. Esther 7:9b-10 (NIV).

I was told a story about a man who wanted to rent a pavilion for a certain Saturday. The problem was that it was already rented out to a woman. This man was outraged and demanded that he get his way.

So the park attendant called the woman and asked if she would be willing to change the date. She changed her event to Sunday.

Well, that Saturday it rained all day. Sunday it was sunny and a perfect day for a picnic. What goes around comes around.

A similar story happens with Esther. King Xerxes elevated Haman giving him a seat of honor. Haman had a great hatred for the Jews, in particular Mordecai, Esther’s uncle.

Mordecai would not bow down to Haman which angered him. Haman persuaded the king to issue a decree to destroy the Jews. 

When Esther heard this, she risked her life by going to the king uninvited. She requested that Haman and the king come to her banquet.

At the second dinner Esther pleaded for her people. She also revealed that Haman was the person responsible for the plot to annihilate her people.

When the king was deciding what to do about Haman, one of the eunuchs told the king about the gallows Haman had built by his house on which to hang Mordecai.

The order was given, Haman was to be hung on the very gallows he built for Mordecai.

Lord, Help me to always do to others what I want done in return.   

© Dawn Sexton 2014

Friday, January 2, 2015


The eyes of all look to you, and you give them food in due season Psalm 145:15 (ESV).

As you sketch the days of winter with your gentle, giant hands   
The lines grow long, liquid like on a blank and dismal land.
If you can perceive life without, you can perceive life within.               
For winter is a whisper of wants and hidden needs
Like a crow flies into an empty nest to find the secret seed.
So deep into the darkness I will delicately drift
To meet the hidden places from which I’ve always missed.    
In these depths there is a landscape of mountains and valleys low
Where stillness begins stirring and an endless story, unfolds.
In the colorless terrain is where my faith shall rise
Like mountains touching tinted, pink, and purple skies.
The voice of angels near blanket me with grace
And so my spirit glows with embers of His face.
We think, the winter, a cruel, and barren time
The simple lifeless line of charcoal, cold, and gray.
But in minimalistic form God creates a template stage.
Life longing for itself, is life longing for His truth.
The root of loves eternal flame burns deep, and lingers long
In this entrancing mystery, I found a sweet and ceaseless song.
For I was sitting among the fires, of my souls infinite delight             
Embracing the presence of His instrumental light.
My heart beat ablaze, the wisdom of His love.
On the cross, flames of forgiveness, rise over tainted snow.
I’ve learned, when to still the waters, and when to let them flow.
When silence enters me, and I no longer linger on
Let His eternal peace be the power, that ends this winter song.

Lord, let the “barren” winter reveal Your unadorned eternal truth.
(c)  2014 Kimberly Clayton