Friday, December 30, 2016


And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7 (KJV)

There was a star of Bethlehem
that glowed with brilliant light.
It shown down on the little stable
on that blessed night.

The angels came as heralds
to announce the Savior's birth.
The shepherds in the fields
knew not the message's worth.

They hurried down the hillside
to see the new-born King,
and sorrowed in their hearts
because a gift they did not bring.

They knelt there and they worshipped
the Baby in the hay,
wrapped in soft swaddling clothes
as peacefully sleeping, He lay.

Sweet Mary's heart did wonder
on the miracles she saw.
She beheld the Son of God,
and gazed on Him in awe.

Joseph, ever the protector of
Mary and her new-born Son,
knew the prophesies were fulfilled,
and Jesus was the One,

Who someday would be the Savior
who would die to set men free.
God gave His one and only Son
to ransom you and me.

Merry Christmas, world!

Father, thank You for Your most precious gift, Your only Son, the propitiation for the whole world, so that we can grow closer to You as Your children. Amen.

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, December 23, 2016


Greetings, you who are highly favored!  The Lord is with you. Luke 1:28b (NIV)
Read Luke 1:28-38

Christmas, Christ’s mass, is a celebration of God’s love in coming to us in human form. Jesus, Son of God and son of Mary, was called to earth for a specific purpose. This story of Mary’s call has meaning for all of us today. 

Mary was quietly living her life. She had plans—good plans. She was engaged to be married to a fine young man. Joseph loved her deeply. Suddenly, she was confronted by an angel, a messenger of God! “Mary was greatly troubled,” but the angel assured her, “Do not be afraid. You have found favor with God.” As the angel continued with God’s message, Mary must have had a thousand questions. But, after asking one question and receiving assurance that God had indeed chosen her for His purpose, she obediently responded, “May it be to me as you have said.”
Today, rather than sending angel messengers, God usually speaks to our hearts directly by the Holy Spirit. We too are often surprised and “troubled” at His calling. Perhaps it starts with a vague awareness of interest in or concern about a situation around us, or perhaps someone suddenly presents an opportunity or invitation. It is always challenging and often scary. But it persists and grows until you know in your heart that it is of God. You realize you have a decision to make. 

Mary is often called, “Blessed Mary.” She was blessed because she was immediately obedient to her calling. We can be confident that we too will be blessed if we simply trust God and immediately obey His calling. 

Prayer: Lord, I do trust you. Give me the courage to follow your calling. Amen 

© 2016 Parker Wayland


Friday, December 16, 2016


...let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Mathew 5:14 (NIV)

A Christian church in a small Pennsylvania town held its first Christmas Eve service in a rented "store front." The pastor, his wife and two small children, the piano player and her family of three were the only attendees.

The Pastor began with a prayer of thanksgiving for the miraculous birth of Jesus, the Son of God. He spoke of the humility of the scene where the Creator of the universe arranged for the birth of His Son--in a stable.

Near the conclusion of the service, candles were given out. After prayer, the pastor lit his candle and passed the fire to one other person, who passed it on to one more person until each candle was lit. The pastor turned the lights off in the room, leaving a warm glow.

As the candles flickered, they sang, "The First Noel," and "Silent Night," before extinguishing the candles.

Pastor explained, "Those of you who believe in salvation through Christ carry within yourself the light of God. Our Lord wants you to pass that light on to others."

Twenty five years went by and the church has grown in numbers and faith. They gather to worship in their own fine building Still, every Christmas Eve service includes includes passing the light and singing the same hymns.

As God's plan continues to unfold, it is obvious this congregation is dedicated to pass the light of salvation all year long.

Prayer: Dear Lord, May we each take hold of a commitment to pass the light of salvation through Jesus on to others.

(C) 2016 Christena Struben

Friday, December 9, 2016


Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us...according to the proportion of faith. Romans 12:6a-c. (KJV)

My sister, Barbara, visited me and wanted to see my book of poems. She said to me, "I want a gift like yours."

"If you really want a gift, then pray and ask God to give you one," I told her. "God hears and answers sincere prayers. Ask Him. He is a good, generous, all-loving God."

Three weeks later Barbara called, very excited.

"Evelyn, I was in the shower when words began forming in my mind. Realizing that God was telling me something, I asked Him to wait until I dried off and then grabbed a pencil and paper. When I finished writing, it was a poem! I wrote my first poem!"

"That's great, Barbara," I said, excited for her. "Read it to me." By this time my tears had begun to flow.

She read her poem. It was truly beautiful. God answered Barbara's prayers because she had been sincere and wanted to write for His glory. What a wonderful gift for her.

During the next eight years Barbara called to read me every poem she wrote, asking my help if she was stuck or wanted a better word to end a line. I never hesitated to help Barbara and was so proud of her efforts. One of the poems was put to music and her church sang it every week. She was humbled by the love they showed.

Father, thank You for the opportunity to help Barbara with her gift. She was so grateful You allowed her to praise You in poetic form. She gave Your gift back to You forty-two times before You welcomed her Home. Amen.

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, December 2, 2016


I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6 (NIV)

I'm leaving the post office, receipt in hand. It reads, “First Class International Kenya.” I’ve just mailed a birthday card and small gifts to my sponsored son.

He was young when our family began sponsoring him. Without my glasses that day, I couldn’t read his name or see his face as I chose a card. I prayed, “God, You pick the child for us.”

When I found my glasses, saw his sweet face and read his name, I cried joyful tears. God had heard my prayer and indeed, picked this child. His name was Boniface. We shared the first three letters of our names—a little trinity of letters joined us with God.

Holding his picture, I wept again—sad tears, for his little mismatched clothes and serious face. 

I wanted to do so much for him and shower him with gifts, but could only send small, flat things fitting in an envelope. What I could freely give him were my prayers. I decided to make up for spiritually what I couldn't give him materially. I pray fervently for him to grow up to become a great man of God.

Today he is a young man of eighteen, wearing a white shirt and tie, studying hard in school. He writes to me of his faith in God who sustains him. He is praying for my children, "Tell them to focus on God's gospel on a daily basis." Again, I cry tears of joy with praise and thanksgiving to God who faithfully hears every prayer. I am mightily blessed.

Father, thank you for times You show us You have heard our prayers, as well as those times we wait in faith.

©2016 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, November 25, 2016


Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD—Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Psalm 95:1a-2 (NIV)

They came across the ocean to the wild, unsettled shore
to a new land giving refuge with its widely opened door.
Though many lost possessions, and some lost their lives,
they came seeking freedom for their children and their wives.

With fear and tribulations, they left their lands behind
and traveled many months, this new land to find.
When they tread the shoreline, they knelt in prayer to God,
giving thanks to the Almighty as they stood on freedoms sod.

With guns and hoes and axes, they built their homes anew.
There never was a minute lacking for some chore to do.
With aching backs and muscles, they tilled the virgin earth,
thanking God for their blessings, the harvest, and new birth.

Each day was filled with challenge, with illness, death and pain.
But work, they did, with vigor, sorrow, tears, and rain.
And friends, they made of natives, who taught them nature's plans,
so harvest was the sweeter with the clasp of friendly hands.

They made a feast in gladness for their freedom, joy and health.
They thanked God for the freshness, for their freedom was their wealth.
And so their first Thanksgiving was a pattern for us all.
And still, two centuries later, we remember it each Fall.

These first Pilgrim Americans, who were stout of limb and heart,
gave up their homes across the sea to make a brand new start.
And we, their heirs to freedom, in honor kneel to pray,
to thank them and God above for this Thanksgiving Day.

We give You thanks, Lord, for our freedom and abundance of food, shelter, jobs and Your love. Amen.

© 2016  Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, November 18, 2016


Praise the Lord, from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths. Psalm 148:7 (NIV)

A pastor friend shared with me a special moment God allowed him that morning as he communed with God at the seashore. While he watched the sun rising over the ocean, it cast golden shimmers across the waves. At that precise moment in time the great body of a humpback whale surfaced directly within his line of vision. The sun and all creation seemed to hold its breath to behold this elusive marvel of the deep.

What are the chances at that exact moment in time my friend would be looking in that direction? He was overwhelmed to be the recipient of God’s perfect timing as God spoke to his heart through the awesomeness of nature.
Who am I Lord, that You would bless me with a glimpse of Your mighty wonders? What is the message You are sending me?

These thoughts swirled around in his mind as he stood gazing at the waters as they closed once again concealing the massive creature.

Perhaps God wanted to punctuate His majesty and power as He orchestrated this thrilling event. At the same time all over the world, He was speaking to other hearts in ways special to them. Perhaps He was saying, “I see you standing there worshipping and seeking me. I love you deeper than the deepest ocean.” Perhaps God wanted you to share the glory of His creation with others. Perhaps He only wanted to spend an extraordinary moment with you at daybreak, my friend.
Oh Loving Father, how amazed we are by all of the wonders You have made. You are worthy of all our praise. We see Your hand in all creation as nature draws our eyes and hearts back to You. Amen.

©2016 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, November 11, 2016


I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 (ESV)

Hanna died. On that day, she was playing in the yard with her new puppy. Her mother called to her to take down the dry wash from the clothes line because a huge thunder storm had moved into the area.

Grabbing her puppy and putting him in the barn, she ran to the clothes line. The wind was cutting up and making it difficult for the little girl to grab hold of the clothing. Just when she was about finished collecting the laundry, she was struck with lightening. Her mother saw what had happened, and ran to rescue her. Hanna was dead. Oh, such grief!

The Seaman family had been among the few families that started St. Michael’s Church in Berks County, Pennsylvania in the early 1700s. The church is still used, and there is an age-old and newer cemetery. In the earlier graveyard are people who died in the Revolutionary War and before that time.

A tombstone in the old graveyard:

Hanna Seaman

Died at 10 years

 July 7, 1761

 struck by lightening

When one walks between the tombstones in the original area, one wonders what life was like back then and how different it is now. So many changes in the 250 years, and yet the Christian Church still stands and ministers to those who have lost loved ones. We are not separated from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Dear Lord, We thank You for life as You give it.


© 2016 Mary Burkey


Friday, November 4, 2016


But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. I John 1:7 [NIV]

In college I belonged to a fraternity of men who lived together, studied together, worked together and sometimes partied together. It was an enjoyable experience of fellowship and growth. Thesemen were not just fun to be with; they helped me mature socially, morally and intellectually. I still think of them as true “brothers.”

“Greek” organizations often adopt three letters as their public names.  Our church recently had a sermon series titled “God’s Frat Party”. Each message began with people arriving at the house for a party. The house was named ΚΔΠ, Kappa Delta Pi, symbolic of three characteristics of the life God’s people are invited to enjoy.

K stands for koinonia, κοίνίά, which basically means fellowship, the social aspect of our relationship with each other and with God.  Here, God is our host. He created us to enjoy life with Him and each other.That’s what life is all about.

Δ stands for doulos, δόύλος, which means servant. At this party we serve each other as God has told us to do. Thus we serve Him too. It’s a win-win situation for all. We serve and are served by each other, and God blesses us in the process.

Π stands for proskuneo, προςκυννεο,which basically means worship. The third basic element of life with God is to bask in the loving relationship He offers. He is our God and we are His people. There is joy in worshiping this amazing God!Life with Him is indeed a party!

Thank you, Lord, for the love and joy You pour into my life.

© 2016 Parker Wayland

Friday, October 28, 2016


The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 (KJV)

 One night I had a lion cub dream. It was small and cuddly—absolutely adorable. As we romped, it gradually grew, muscles rippling playfully under his skin. He seemed innocent and cute; it was inconceivable that as a full grown lion he would weigh several hundred pounds.

With each pounce he got bigger and stronger, his claws and sharp teeth began to hurt and made small stinging wounds. There was nothing fatal at this point, but I began to realize there was great potential for harm. My playful lion cub was getting harder to manage. I kept trying to ease toward the door, but he always caught me before I could escape.

Others came and went back out through the doorway letting in a radiant light each time without offering assistance or even noticing my predicament. I kept watching the bright doorway for someone else—someone I knew could save me.

I awoke from my dream without ever seeing who I was hoping for—my savior from the lion. Pondering the parallel of the cub and how small sin can quickly grow and overtake us, I wanted to return to my slumber and the finale. But, in the dim light of dawn, my heart confidently whispered, you already know.

Indeed I do! Jesus, Savior of the world! Satan may taunt and inflict wounds, but he can never deliver the fatal blow that would separate us from our hope and salvation through Jesus Christ.

Thank You, Lord, we wait in faith KNOWING that You have come to our rescue and nothing can separate us from you. Amen.

 ©2016 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, October 21, 2016


Trust in God at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
Psalm 62:8 (NIV)

Feelings of pain and devastation filled me when Mother's cardiologist told me that her heart was working harder than it needed to because of clogged arteries. He wanted to perform triple by-pass surgery to ease the strain on her heart. At 74 years old, the question was whether she was strong enough for such a drastic procedure.

Calling my sisters and conveying to them what the doctor said, they, too, were very concerned for our mother. To me, it was the beginning of the end. I worried and prayed and then worried some more, knowing that by worrying, not one bit of good would come out of it. Philippians 4:6—7 calmed my fears. It says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

On my knees, with head bowed, my prayers bombarded God over and over again. Once word came that Mother had come through the surgery, the peace of God swept over and through me. I am forever thankful to God for His love and mercy to Mother and my sisters and me.

Mother lived 14 1/2 years after her by-pass surgery. God blessed her with all those extra years so we could have her with us and love her unconditionally, just as He did.

Father, our family gives You thanks for Your generous gift of our mother's love. Amen.

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Thursday, October 13, 2016


If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses Matthew 6:14-15.  (KJV)

I didn’t realize that a little white lie told with good intentions, could spiral out of control ending a lifelong friendship.  You see I’ve always had a passive, forgiving, laid-back type personality. 

After attending the funerals of seventy-five percent of the family I love, confide in and depend on, it was obvious my entire safety net had died. With no one left to confide in, some people now misuse my trust for their agenda.  Instead of being depressed, I decided to take a vacation with my best friend from high school. 

One problem, she had a medical procedure coming up and not enough leave time to cover our vacation nor her medical procedure.  I had three hundred hours of vacation time plus four hundred hours of sick time. Knowing she had a single income household, I donated eighty-eight hours of my vacation time to her, and used forty hours of my sick time for our vacation. 

We planned our vacation from our home computers. Nothing was planned from our work computers. Long story short, our vacation was HORRIBLE! To make matters worse she emailed, from our plane, vacation details to my work computer (direct violation of office policy) without my knowledge while we were still thirty five thousand feet in the air, exposing my lie. 

As a result, I was reassigned to a different office. Was it the betrayal, or the lie that cost me my position?

Father God, please create a clean heart in me, and renew a right spirit within me. Help me Lord to forgive my childhood friend, and to forgive myself.

© 2016 Jeannette Clark

Friday, October 7, 2016


He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. Luke 6:48 (NAS)

On the news recently there was a structure collapse with people trapped inside. Interviewed neighbors said they had been afraid something like that might happen since it hadn’t been built properly. I began thinking how essential it is to first have a firm foundation in everything we are building, whether it is a family, a business, or an actual structure.

In the world of writing there is a lot of attention placed on platform building. Everyone is looking for the perfect soapbox to attract interest in the book they are promoting. The focus is to sell. Why? So money can be made. A profit can be realized. There is a problem with that. There are a bazillion books out there. It's hard to find an original platform and convince people you have what they are looking for.
Instead of a platform, I want a rock. Platforms collapse. They're dependent on the flawed humans that build and maintain them. A rock is solid through and through. It will not collapse in on itself or me.
So whatever I do, dream or ever hope to accomplish must begin with a strong foundation. Christ is the rock I'm counting on. If I begin with Him as the cornerstone, seek Him and His guidance in all my hopes, plans and endeavors I cannot fail because He never fails. All the glory then naturally belongs to Him, eliminating human pride that guarantees a fall.

Praise You Father, you are the rock that never fails. Lead me in making You the rock foundation of all my plans.

©2016 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, September 30, 2016


The psalmist wrote, "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation." Psalm 62:1 (KJV)

"I wait upon the Lord, but that does not mean He's slow;
it's just that gives me time to let my spirit grow." E. B. Ryan                                                                  

I wrote those lines from one of my poems, the rest of the words which I have long forgotten. But, those lines stuck in my head, perhaps because I've done a lot of waiting for one thing or another in my life.

One of the Army's motto's is "Hurry up and wait." The soldiers wait in chow lines, wait in doctor's offices, wait in convoy lines, and so on. Their spouses wait for their soldiers to come home when their deployment is done, wait for the next move to another assignment, wait for their babies to be born, wait for their five year old to go to school, wait, wait, wait, and wait some more.

Life is full of waiting. But, there comes a time when waiting is not enough. One must move out and step up to the "forever plate." When God is ready and waiting for YOU and is beckoning you to step forward and accept His Son, Jesus as your personal Savior. Don't wait. Reach out and accept His gift of love. You don't have to wait. He is there at your hearts door, knocking to be let in. He is your "forever plate," the One your heart has been longing for. He is the means of your salvation. He loves you unconditionally. No waiting in line.

Thank You, Father, for not making us wait, for loving us without conditions, and beckoning us to accept Your gift of salvation right now. Amen                                                                                        

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, September 23, 2016


For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man Jesus Christ overflow to the many! Romans 5:12-21(NIV)

Bill was struggling. As the group of jail inmates I was teaching considered the goal of “Victory” in our study, I told them in Christ they were all victors and should embrace that attitude. Bill said he felt more like a victim. He knew the story that God sent his Son on a suicide mission to earth to save us from sin, but he was having real trouble in comprehending how that worked. I praised Bill for his diligent searching and encouraged him to persevere. His searching will lead to success and understanding that will change his life. Living as a victor is much more fun!
Thinking about it, perhaps the hardest part is to believe the God of the universe would send his Son on a suicide mission for me personally.  In Romans, Paul introduces a God of grace. Where sin increases, God’s Grace increases all the more so that grace might reign supreme.
It all fits together. Adam’s sin brought death and separated us from God. But God’s anger at sin was exceed by his love for man. In Leviticus 17:11, God established the principle that blood is required for atonement (forgiveness) of sin. For God to give us the grace of forgiveness required the shedding of perfectly innocent life on earth. His sucide mission, completed on the cross, gave atonement for us.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus, God of grace, for completing your mission for me!
© 2016 Parker Wayland



Friday, September 16, 2016


Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.  Matthew 7:7 (NIV)

The work place was being reorganized and people were laid off. My husband was one of them. We had signed a contract five days earlier with a contractor to have our kitchen renovated.

Oh, No!  We will be in so much debt, with no job, a second mortgage on our house, and next to nothing in savings.

Norm and I asked God to open a door. Nightly, on our knees, we prayed for an open door. My husband dressed in a suit and tie and went to an office every day to network job opportunities. On occasion, he traveled to other cities for interviews. In the meantime, the work on the new kitchen continued.

God heard our prayers. We had moved to the place we were living 16 years earlier, and God opened the door with a job in the city we had left. We said to each other, “Do we say to God, ‘We we have been there and done that.’”

Our daughter would be married that year in the town where we presently lived. How do we juggle buying and selling houses with this in mind? Our house sold in 13 days during a huge snowfall, and the people buying it did not want to move in until a month after the wedding. God is good.

We also got rid of the second mortgage and out of debt.

Dear God, Thank you for showing us that we can ask and you will answer. You bless us when we ask.

©2016 Mary Burkey

Friday, September 9, 2016


The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart. Luke 6:45 (NAS)
The Bible speaks often about damage caused by careless words. In James 3:8, the tongue is described as a restless evil, full of deadly poison that no one can tame. The verse granted me no consolation as once again I combed over a thoughtless statement I had blurted out. Time and time again it seems I would find myself regretting something I said and wishing to retract it.
Continually I prayed for the Lord’s guidance in bridling my tongue. I confessed my transgressions and asked forgiveness from the Lord and others on many occasions.

While praying about this one day, it occurred to me that Paul might have left out an important piece of the armor of God described in the book of Ephesians 6:11. Certainly he should have included a Holy muzzle since it was well known we humans were helpless to control our tongues. I couldn’t believe this great Saint’s oversight. I began to add that piece to the armor during my prayer time.

It was not the supernatural cure I had hoped for. I still struggled with controlling my words.

Finally, while reading my Bible I came across the wisdom behind Paul’s exclusion of a muzzle. The uncontrolled tongue is not a mouth issue. It’s a heart problem. Our words come from the overflow of what is in our hearts. We must start there, in order to deal effectively with our dilemma.

Father, guard my heart with Your breastplate of righteousness so I don’t sin with my mouth. Amen.
©2016 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, September 2, 2016


Blessed be the Lord, because He has heard the voice of my supplication. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. (NASB) Psalm 28:6, 7a-b
During my hospitalization and rehabilitation from major surgery, I sensed God’s presence. My daily prayer was for courage and strength to persevere through the pain of recovery and physical therapy. There were times when my body hurt, and I cried out to the Lord to give me the courage to keep on going. My goals were to come out on the other side pain-free and to be able to walk again.
My independence was temporarily gone because my leg was not strong enough for me to go out alone, and I was unable to drive. My dependence was on the Lord, family and friends for my needs.

Many verses throughout the scriptures speak of God’s strength:  “Be strong and let your heart take courage.” (Psalm 27:14b); “The Lord is my strength and my song.” (Moses in Exodus 15:2a); “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). If David, Moses and Paul praised God for the strength He gave them, I can, too.
When Paul implored the Lord three times to take away his thorn in the flesh, the Lord responded, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” When I am weak, the power of Christ will dwell in me (2 Corinthians 12:7-9; my paraphrase of Paul’s comments).

When we go through physical difficulties, the Lord assures us of His love by bringing us comfort and strength.
Thank You, Lord, for being with me during this challenging time and for giving me the courage and strength to persevere.

© 2016 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, August 26, 2016


Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4 (NIV)

During the past four years and ten months, my family has endured nine deaths of our loved ones. My dear sister, Gene was the last one to pass. She left us two months ago.

My first loss was my dear mother. I took care of her with some assistance. I was in shock for a long, long time after she died. When the other deaths occurred, some within just months, and some in a year or two, I began to feel God was trying to tell me something. But, what? I went on with my life, trying to keep busy with my writing, but I had long weeks without inspiration. Slowly, the depression lifted and I found I could go on. God is so good to me.

With the last two losses of a dear beloved uncle in Georgia and this loss of my older sister, suddenly the depression I felt was like walking into a dark pit—no light in sight. But, each day the darkness gets lighter until only a shadow hangs over my heart. It lifts a little every day. God has done that for me. I pray daily and lull myself to sleep praying to a loving, comforting Father, the only true father I have ever known. The darkness is lifting a little more.

Thank You, Father, for being with me even though I don't always feel Your presence. I know that You care about my feelings and You soothe my aching heart, giving me the comfort that Jesus promised. Amen.

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, August 19, 2016


Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no harm to a neighbor.  (NIV) Romans 13:9f, 10a

Turning onto a street – CRASH! The impact of metal on metal was followed by the sound of shattering glass as my car hit another vehicle. Stunned, I could not believe what had happened. Getting out of my car to check on the other driver, I saw a man who witnessed the accident running to her car.
The elderly woman looked at me and asked, “Didn’t you see me?” I apologized, but it was obvious I had not seen her. She was badly shaken and covered with glass from her driver’s side window, but otherwise unhurt.
Climbing back into my car, I called the police. Praying for the Lord to forgive me, I asked the woman to forgive me, too. I admitted to the officer that the accident was my fault.
Moments before the accident, my thoughts and prayers were about what was going to be happening that day. Although I did not deliberately hit her car, my attention was distracted and not focused on my driving.

This accident was a major wake-up call for me from God. I felt God was telling to me to pay careful attention to the people around me. As He worked in my heart, it became clear to me that my busy schedule had distracted me from loving my neighbor. God loves and cares about people, and it is His desire that we love them, too. Part of loving our neighbor includes doing them no harm.
Father, please keep me ever mindful of my neighbors, and ways I can express Your love to them.

© 2016 Diane E. Hussey

Saturday, August 13, 2016


Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14 (NIV)

Dear Niece, Marissa:

You never thought you'd ever see
an angel in your house.
But, one day when you least foresaw,
one slipped in, quiet as a mouse.

She was dressed in white, flowing robes
with big white wings, so lovely to see.
She told you, "Don't be afraid,"
so you sat still as you could be.

To Nana she said, "Close your eyes."
Then poof! She whisked her away.
She spirited her to heaven above
to live in an eternal day.

Oh, you miss your Nana so very much,
and you don't cry so often now.
You know she's in heaven with her own mom,
and you'll see them some day, some how.

Now, hug your mommy and kiss her "good night"
and tell her you love her too.
Say your prayers and tell Nana you miss her
for you know she always loved you.

In time, you'll forget that an angel came.
But, your mommy will remember forever
when an angel took your Nana "Home."
One day you will again be together.

Father, please bless this innocent little girl and her
family. They realize that true blessings come from You.
Bless those that read this poem, that, whatever age they are,
like a child, they may still believe in angels. Amen

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, August 5, 2016


Thus says the Lord GOD, Any man of the house of Israel who sets up idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols. Ezekiel 14:4 (NAS)

Blessed with a daughter and son after many years of marriage, my desire was to raise them in a loving, Christian home. It was after my son’s senior year of high school that a terrifying situation left me sobbing face down on the carpet praying desperately for his life. God spoke these words deep into my heart.

"Do you love him more than Me?”

I was stunned. When God asks a question He already knows the answer. There was no need to evade the stinging truth. He had laser-pointed my problem.

My son had become an idol. In fact, I had made idols of both my children. But, God in His immeasurable wisdom was dealing specifically with the matter I had laid before Him. 

Thinking I was only being the loving mother God called me to be, I had gradually placed my son on God’s throne. I got up and for two days wrestled with my heart.  Finally, able to say and honestly mean it with my whole being, “No God, I love You more. No matter what. I love You more.” 

Overwhelming peace poured over me. Several years have passed; the struggles continue in many areas of my life. But, God has drawn me close and shown me more of the depths of His great love. He remains on the throne of my heart helping me through. 

Father, I will continually praise You in gratefulness for Your guiding hand along this journey toward Heaven. Amen.

© 2016 Bonnie Mae Evans