Saturday, May 30, 2015


People (do not) light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. Matthew 5:15 (NIV)

A small tornado whipped through our property devastating our manicured lawn. It plastered the side of the house in green leaves and littered the ground with tree limbs. Some plants still stood but were defrocked of their beautiful flowers. There would be no pictures of our daughter's wedding in the yard following the wake of nature's tantrum.

The electric lines were down so the wedding rehearsal took place in darkness. My husband and I smiled as we watched the bride and groom walk down the aisle holding flash lights. The merriment in the air seemed akin to a comedic play going on in the dark. Afterwards, hubby and I headed back to our house to finish decorating the wedding cake. All was complete except the top layer.

I gathered kerosene lamps while my husband lit the camping lantern. We placed them high to brighten the kitchen. There was sufficient light to decorate, but my fear was that the heat given off might soften the icing and cause the decorations to run.

As I worked, the illumination reminded me of the scripture above. I praised God that He encourages us to put His light within us so all may see the light of His love.

I prayed that the cake would not have a meltdown during the night and that the union of these two wonderful people would be blessed.

Thank You, Father, that I remembered the lesson of the lamp stand. Your word always refreshes my soul because of the light of Your love. Amen.

© 2015 E. Bonnie Ryan

Friday, May 22, 2015


Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger… Ephesians 4:31

For years, my mind has echoed a sermon parable of an angry boy and his dog. In the story, a dog follows his young master walking down the road. The boy vents his anger at a perceived injustice by muttering under his breath and kicking stones. When the dog begins to walk beside his master, the boy kicks the dog. The dog yelps in pain but still obediently follows behind his master. The boy walks a little further, turns, and kicks the dog again. After each incident, the faithful dog takes longer to rise and follow. Finally, bloody and weak, the dog could no longer rise and dies in pain.

That story has a depth of meaning. It reminds me of my Savior, Jesus. Sinless and innocent of crimes against Him, He suffered incredible cruelty and died. Yet, He displayed nothing but love. And still looks down on us all with love.
I often look back on times when life has beaten me up and ask myself, did I rise and follow Jesus who suffered for me or did I give into the temper that can so often be my first response?

Does my Savior shed a tear over my angry behavior?

Can I love like Jesus?
Can I refrain from acrimony?

I can only work at answering those questions with, “I will follow Jesus. I will walk down the road and try not to strike out at others. I will go to the Lord with my hurts and do my best to emulate His love.”

Dear Lord. I do not want to be like the boy in that parable. Help me love like You, forgive like You and rest in You. Amen.
Christy Struben © 2015

Friday, May 15, 2015

Spunky and Wise

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety. Psalm 91:1-2 (NLT)

My home is surrounded by a hardwood forest that shelters many woodland creatures. A colorful palette of birds—Eastern bluebirds, woodpeckers, cardinals, hawks, owls and crows fill the trees with song. A busy grey squirrel population also resides there. One very special squirrel has won the name Spunky. She doesn’t scurry away like the others when I walk out in the yard or on the deck. For more than ten years now, she has come up on our deck outside the porch door waiting for me to hand her a peanut butter sandwich. The ever watchful crows and other squirrels soon appear to do battle and try to snatch it from her. But, over the years she has learned to stand close by my feet while she eats her daily bread. The other creatures will not venture close to me; therefore she is safe and can enjoy her sandwich in peace. Once her treat is consumed she is strengthened and scampers away to abide with the other squirrels and function in her squirrel world.

Spunky has learned the key to life for Christians as well. When outside forces threaten to steal our peace and rob us daily of what is rightfully ours as children of God, we only need to draw closer to our Savior and dwell in the security of His presence. He is our safe place. Nothing evil can stand against Him.

Dear Father, how I want to live more like Spunky and simply learn to dwell at Your feet, strengthened in the assurance of Your care and protection. Amen.

©2015 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, May 8, 2015


"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any man hear My voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him and he with Me" Revelation 3:20 (KJV).

When I was a little girl, my Great Uncle Jerry had a hard time finding work to support his family of four. He began selling religious pictures and asked my mother if my sisters and I could also sell pictures for him. He would give us ten cents for every picture we sold. One of the pictures was of Jesus knocking at the door. It had a rich, blue velvety background and the picture was etched in silver glitter. It was inspiring and sold for one dollar. Even in the poor economy the householders were glad to buy the picture for it gave them hope in desperate times.

The picture of Jesus standing at a door knocking, waiting to be let in is called The Light of the World, painted in 1851 to 1853 by William Holman Hunt, illustrating Revelation 3:20 above. He continues to knock on peoples hearts today, always watching, waiting for the invitation to come in. He is patient and kind but not pushy or demanding. Jesus loves us with a never-ending love that is all encompassing, an invitation to an eternal love.

When the door of our heart is opened for Jesus, He is happy to come in. He forgives our wrong actions and leads us on to the path of righteousness to His Father.

Father, teach us to walk the right path and not grow faint while serving You. May we listen for Jesus' knock on our hearts' door so we can invite Him in to stay. Amen.

© 2015 E. Bonnie Ryan

Friday, May 1, 2015


Thou wilt keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee. Isaiah 26:3 KJV

Day three of our vacation started out perfectly. Resting under Carolina blue skies to the rhythmic sound of waves, a breeze rippled the fringe of our umbrella. Great book in one hand and a graham cracker in the other, all was well. Ahhh—peace!
Immersed in my book, I took another bite of cracker. Instantly, there was a buzzing frenzy inside my mouth, then a sting in the back of my throat. Shocked, my jaw sprung open to release a very angry wasp.

I’m not allergic to stings, but as a nurse, I knew one inside the throat could spell serious trouble. My concerns were quickly realized as my tongue and throat began to swell.

Grabbing our things, we hurriedly left the beach.
As my husband drove desperately, the Emergency Medical Center seemed much farther away as red lights and tourist traffic delayed us.

I was unable to speak and barely able to breathe as my tongue swelled, occluding my airway. My heart whispered a prayer, “Your will, Lord,” as I realized we might not make it in time. I should have been panicked. Rather, an unbelievable thing happened. I felt perfectly calm. In exchange for fear, I had amazing peace.
Arriving at last, the receptionist took one look and ran screaming for the doctor. Immediately, he administered two injections. Surrounded by the scurry around me, I was swaddled in His peace. The shots worked like a miracle. The swelling subsided quickly. As much needed air rushed back into my lungs, the proof of God’s promise flooded my soul.

Ahh—perfect peace!

Father, thank You for the peace that trusting You brings. Amen.

©2015 Bonnie Mae Evans