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