Friday, January 29, 2016


Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20a (NIV)

Pastor Bruce works part time as soccer coach at the local high school in a small Pennsylvania town. He often gathers the team to pray before and after games and practice sessions.

Team members obviously hold their coach in high regard because wherever they see him off the field, they greet him exuberantly. Many have graduated, gone on to college or found their occupation in the adult world. Without fail they stop to talk to their high school coach, tell him about their lives, and sometimes ask  for prayer.

Coach Bruce was pleasantly moved when one young man ran across a parking lot to chat with him. Tracy had been on the soccer team for just a few days before circumstances forced him to resign. He was anxious to explain to the coach how those days had changed his future by teaching him the sport of soccer and pointing him to Jesus.

All Christians are called by the "Great Commission," to witness and bring others to the Lord. As a Coach and a pastor, Bruce's days take him from the pulpit to "every day" life, witnessing along the way. I am reminded that finding people to bring to God is not difficult. It is not limited to the pulpit or the confines a church building, but open to those we meet wherever we are.

Prayer: Lord help me to remember that the call of "The Great Commission" includes me. I want to answer the whispers of Your Holy Spirit to minister and witness to others wherever I am.                    

 (C) Christy Struben

Friday, January 22, 2016


Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” John 20:21 (NIV)

 Recently I attended an International Conference on Missions. Over three thousand missionaries and mission-sending personnel gathered from all over the world for rest, encouragement, training and to share their stories. Many were from the United States and Christian-friendly countries of the west, but there were also many who are working in countries where Christianity is illegal or otherwise oppressed. (Think the Middle-East, China, North Africa, India, Russia.)

 It was humbling to listen to them, but it was also challenging. I never detected a hint of fear in anyone, but consistently saw joy, excitement and what could only be described as vital life. That is life with purpose—life fueled by success seen in changed lives, churches planted and Christ worshipped.             

 This full life is the kind Jesus has in mind for each of us. John 6:16-18 tells us Jesus was sent to teach us and to be a model Godly person, to show us how to live. Likewise, Jesus equips and sends us, his disciples, with the Holy Spirit to continue his work. He told us we would do even greater things than he did! (John 14:11-14)

 That is really hard to comprehend. Do you ever think of yourself personally as a Man of God or a Woman of God? But Jesus said it, so it must be true. God sent Jesus, and Jesus sends us. He equips us with his indwelling Holy Spirit to guide and empower us. The whole power of God is available to a person who will believe, receive and obey.

 Astonishing! What a way to live!

 Prayer: Lord Jesus, keep me constantly aware of your presence, and give me the guidance and courage to be the faithful disciple you call me to be.

 © 2016 Parker Wayland

Friday, January 15, 2016


Therefore...pray for each other so that you may be healed. James 5:16 (NAS)

When we moved from our quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of Bel Air to our present home in Joppa, we knew we would hear lots of noise from the traffic. We eventually grew used to the road noises. We saw emergency vehicles go past our house daily, sirens and horns blaring, lights flashing, on their way to the hospital or to the scene of a fire or accident.

After a recent heavy storm and a tornado touch-down just three miles from our house, we counted five fire engines and three ambulances go screaming by in fifteen minutes.

Watching the many emergency vehicles passing, a strong urge to pray for the unfortunate victims filled my heart. With each passing emergency vehicle I said a sincere prayer for the persons involved. The urge to pray for the safety of the first responders on their way to the scene of the accident or storm catastrophe kept pricking my mind. Who could better protect the drivers or victims than our savior, Jesus?

God's words in James tell us to pray for each other, not only for family and friends but for strangers also. It is a comforting feeling to think that someone may also be praying for us.

In this case, if we pray for one another every day, then heaven will be filled with prayers, asking God's protection and love. A blanket of prayer will cover the earth in just a short time. What a ministry of prayer to gladden the heart of our great God!

Father, hear our prayers for the brave ones who put themselves in harms way to help those in physical or mental despair. Amen.

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, January 8, 2016


“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. I Cor. 15:57 (RSV)

Desiring to support my granddaughter’s volleyball games, with everyone busy, I decided to go alone to cheer on her team, and bring her home.

Her game would be at Edgewood High School (EHS) at 3:30 p.m. I arrived at EHS at 3:25, but there was no game. Texting my daughter, stating that fact, she apologized saying it was an away game at Joppatown High School (JHS). With a sigh, I decided not to be angry. People make mistakes. Forgiveness is my motto.

I knew JHS was off Route 40, but I’m not familiar with the area. There should be a school sign. Feeling I must have missed it, I pulled into a Royal Farms and asked the clerk for directions. He didn’t speak English! Gritting of my teeth, I groaned. People who live in this country should learn the language. I knew God wanted me to love everyone.

Exiting the store, there was a man pumping gas. 

“Can you tell me how to get to JHS?”

“Yes. You’re almost there. Turn right at the fourth light.”

“Thank you.”

After turning right at the fourth light--there was no school. Why couldn’t he be more specific? I took another lap around my mental desert. Finally, I saw a lady walking on the street and asked her for directions.

 “You’re almost there.”  She gave me exact directions, (there was another turn) and I arrived at JHS, thanking God for her.

Entering the gym, I noticed players all casually walking around. Alexandra spied me from across the room, and came running, and shouting, “We won!”

Dear Lord, thank You for victory over mundane things in our lives.  Amen

© 2015 Lois Gosley

Saturday, January 2, 2016


What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Ecclesiastes 1:9 (NIV)

The days pass quickly and before you realize it, the year comes to an end and another begins.

Over the years many changes occur.

Clothing fashions are always changing. The hems go up four inches above the knees and sometimes higher. The next year the fashion industry might lower the skirts to almost ankle length. Women's shoes have higher heels, as much as six or seven inches. They are spiked, wedged, platform or broad and flat. For years men's ties are narrow, just a few inches wide. Then a few years later the ties are as much as three to four inches wide with loud colors. Humanity is fickle and can change their minds daily.

Malachi 3:6a says,"I, the LORD, do not change." When God speaks to us in His word, we can rely upon Him to keep His promises. He can be depended upon. What He said yesterday can be counted on today and tomorrow.

God does not make New Years resolutions. It is a custom with man to make resolutions to change a bad habit or begin a good one. It may be to stop smoking, lose weight, keep an exercise regimen, or write more devotions. All are good goals. But, in a few weeks the resolutions fade along with good intentions.

Dear God, my only resolution is to be a strong Christian and read Your word daily. Help me to be a rock for my family, and to resolve to obey Your word that changes not. Amen.

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan