Friday, February 27, 2015


...he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat preparing their nets. Without delay, he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him. Mark 1:19 (NIV)

Years ago as a new believer in Jesus, it became my practice to pray on the way to work. One day, a word came to mind. Speaking the word aloud, there was a question in my voice, “Zebedee?”That word ran through my thoughts all day.

A friend explained to me that Zebedee was the father of two of the disciples of Jesus—James and John.
“Why did God whisper that name to me,” I asked.
Shaking her head and smiling she answered, “You’ll have to ask Him why He put that word on your mind and heart.”
A Concordance and a Bible study guide became my companions assisting in my Zebedee research. First, I learned that Zebedee was an uncle, by marriage, of Jesus.
The Lord tweaked my curiosity and ever since He has continued to send me on Bible quests.
How gracious of our Father in heaven to encourage and even tempt us to find out more about Him.
Over time, I learned several other interesting facts about Zebedee. The most recent discovery is that the name means “abundant portion.”
The Lord graciously continues to clarified to me over time that when His children study His word, ask for Holy Spirit guidance, and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior, we can have life and have a more “ abundant portion.”
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the abundant life that you offer to those who believe and continually seek to know you.

Friday, February 20, 2015


Pray without ceasing 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV).

My father's hands have grown old. His knuckles protrude like marbles still waiting to play a game. His veins are the road maps of many life-long decisions. I watch him move his hands to the coffee cup in a shake and rattle kind of way. He manages to grip the cup with his pursed, wrinkled lips. Some coffee welcomes the embrace, but most of the beverage just dribbles down his chin and onto the carpet stained by this daily ritual.

My father always kept rituals. He said it is what kept him alive. The dripping coffee did not matter to him, nor did the brown-stained carpet. He only cared about the prayer. Those worn hands that waged the war of life would move towards the heart and at the heart is where he would clasp them tightly like two old friends hugging after a lifetime of distance. He would cry out between the enfolded hands to thank the Lord for being that long lost friend. Cloaked in quivering waves of reverence, he begged God to forgive him for the mortal choices and the roads of destruction that fueled his disappointments and heartaches. However weary and in pain, graciously he prayed as tears shot from his eyes like the bullets he had felt from the days of war. Every morning, the light would not welcome the day without my father's prayer. It was his hope and his final place to rest.

Heavenly Father, Your hand held in mine is my comfort and my strength. Through prayer and the power of Your touch we do not have to suffer alone.
© 2014 Kimberly Clayton 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Nothing New

That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 NASB

Ecclesiastes says there is nothing new under the sun. Reflecting on this verse it came to me that the greatest story ever told has already been written. Anything I write has already been spoken of in the Bible. It overflows with history, romance, murder, poetry—endless genres. This could make writing feel as pointless as trying to forge a tunnel to the center of the earth using a toothpick. So why do we as Christians, feel God has called us to write? It's true, to find a totally original thought is futile. 
Nevertheless, God has given a desire to share His love through the written word. He has also given each of us varied life experiences, a different arena and group of influence. He made individuals with unique voices to tell our story in a way that no one else can. Our words may reach hearts that God has made ripe for our particular message. They may whisper hope to a soul that is desperately seeking to be understood. We share our praise and joy through the gift of our thoughts put on paper.  Our story could provide direction that leads others to know Christ. Thus, He makes all things new. Old things are passed away when He makes a new creature in Christ.

While it's true," there is nothing new under the sun,” when we yearn for our words to bring Him glory, He will put a new song in our mouth. Psalm 40:3

Father, through communion with You, give us inspiration to share Your words telling of Your great redemptive love for all. Amen.

©2015 Bonnie Mae Evans


Friday, February 6, 2015


Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:19b-20 (NIV)

The traffic situation in my neighborhood had me upset about the way people were driving. Grumbling and fuming, I pulled into the drive-thru at a local fast food place and ordered a breakfast sandwich. I mentioned my coupon for a free entree to the woman who took my order. As the cars merged from two order lines into one, the young man in the other lane tried to wave me on. Realizing he ordered before me, I signaled for him to go ahead. Arriving at the window and handing them my coupon, they told me that the man ahead of me already paid for my order.

In stunned surprise, I blurted, “Wow! Bless that young man, and God bless your day, too.”

 My irritation with the rude drivers had been so intense, but God now clearly blessed me in a very different driving situation. I had a strong sense of God’s presence at that moment. He revealed Himself in the kind gesture of a man unknown to me. 

 In the verse above, James writes about being a good listener and waiting before we speak. Then he brings up that little matter of anger. He cautions us to be slow to become angry because it will hinder the righteous life God desires. What a wake-up call!

 Father, thank You for the reminder to be slow to anger, and thank You for blessing us through the people around us.

 © 2015 Diane E. Hussey

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Then the Jews said, "See how he loved him" John 11:36 (NIV).

Jesus wept. John 11:35 is the shortest sentence in the Bible. Jesus wept over the death of His friend, Lazarus. It was a very human emotion. Many wept in Bethany, including Lazarus' two sisters, Mary and Martha. They could not understand why Jesus lingered before coming as soon as He learned Lazarus was ill. Jesus' heart for mankind gleamed through His tears. But, He had a purpose for delaying His arrival. He knew that if He waited, the end result would glorify God.

Thinking of my five relatives who passed away within the last three years, my mother and sister were Christians, but I do not know the heart of our son, nephew, and great uncle. Only God knows. They will always remain in my prayers.

But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father---Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John 2:1b, 2.

When thinking of the sacrifice Jesus made, feelings of humbleness fill me to the point of tears. I am sad and remorseful but, at the same time, happy. Jesus' love for me is an assurance that I will see my mother, sister and son again, and that brings me peace.

Father Jehovah, thank You for Your gift of love, our Savior, Jesus Christ, for without Him, we would be lost. Amen.

(c) 2014 E. Bonnie Ryan