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