Friday, July 29, 2016


God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble. l Peter 5:1b (ESV)

The scars on my hand made me remember the constant pain from surgery to replace the ligament in my thumb. This disability caused me to realize how much I needed to use it. Without my thumb, the fingers have a difficult time picking things up, or holding an object between two fingers. It can be frustrating without the thumb to give strength and support.

The weeks of pain and inability to drive were a test of patience and perseverance on my part. Feeling sorry for myself, a familiar saying popped into my mind: "I complained because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet." Then, the scripture above reminded me that God gives grace to the humble.

Hanging my head in humility, and realizing I am not super human, my heart had been touched once more by Gods love. I put Him in charge, making my physical, emotional and spiritual healing process dependent on His guidance and love.

My disability was temporary. Many victims of accidents or acts of war live with physical and mental disabilities. I have learned that humbling one's self before the Lord and receiving His grace is the first step in discovering what strength and power He can provide in spiritual, mental and physical recovery. I praise His holy Name.

Father, open my eyes to those who are suffering physical and mental disabilities. Lift the humble up with words of kindness and grace that draws them closer to You, enabling them to abandon their feelings of self pity and uselessness. May they find spiritual growth and physical healing through You. Amen.

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, July 22, 2016


He makes everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NIV).

Recently I met a middle aged woman who shared her excruciatingly painful past with me.Lana survived years of sexual molestation by her father and her two older brothers. Eventually, her mother divorced, re-married and moved out of the country leaving her young daughter behind.

At age twelve, Lana became a ward of the court and was placed in a foster home. She was moved to five different foster homes in one year. Finally she ran away and learned how to survive on the street, selling and using drugs as well as engaging in prostitution. 

For years she continued to suffer feelings of hurt and abandonment. At twenty-one she worked as a bartender/waitress in a small pub. A patron of that establishment, introduced her to Jesus, the meaning of the cross and the steps to salvation. It took a few more years for her to understand how to walk like a disciple of our Savior.

At the present time, her body is racked with painful conditions left over from the past. But, her soul and her spirit are healed and she walks through life in peace with great joy. God has obviously called her to be a prayer warrior and a witness of his saving grace.

Occasionally I drive her to doctor appointments or grocery store runs. We never leave a physician’s office or a store without  her stopping to witness or pray for someone. She jotstheir names down and promises to continue to pray for them. And she keeps that promise.

Prayer: Father thank you for this Godly woman. Her witness reminds me that difficult circumstances in my own life often prepare me to be an understanding witness of  Your grace.

© Christy Struben 2016


Friday, July 15, 2016


Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

Looking through our picture albums, I saw a picture reminding me of my first trip to Germany on the Lufthansa airlines. I was nineteen and had my baby son in my arms. My soldier/husband was to meet us in Frankfurt airport and take us to our apartment in a little village called Sieglebach.

It frightened me, being on a German airline by myself. I laid my son in the bassinet provided and he fell asleep. Looking out the window at the clouds was astounding. The world below was beautiful.

The captain and two stewardesses walked down the aisle. Who was flying this airplane? The captain saw my fright and haltingly asked if I was German traveling alone. I shook my head and said, "I'm American. Going to see my husband. He's a soldier in Germany." He replied, "Don't be afraid. We get there safe."

How could I not be afraid? The pilot stood here instead of in the cockpit with the smell of alcohol on his breath as he spoke. I sat back in my seat and prayed with everything in me for God to get us safely to our destination. Peace, like a beautiful veil, overshadowed me.

It was a long thirteen hour flight but we landed safely. I was so happy to see my husband again. The next four years in Germany was truly a life-changing adventure, one that I could not have gotten through without God and Jesus by my side.

Thank You, Father, for inner strength that I still feel when alone and discouraged. Many trials assailed me, but with Your help, I remember then as now, You are with me wherever life leads me. Amen

© 2016 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, July 8, 2016


Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance. 
Psalm 33:12 (NIV)

All around America we often see nice houses with beautiful green lawns. The cars on the street are of recent model, carrying people wherever they want to go quickly and in comfort. People on the street are well fed—many are even overweight. Yes, there are struggling, poor areas, particularly in inner cities, but even there we have safety nets and compassionate charities.

Churches of Jesus Christ dot the land, and access to them is unrestricted. Many take advantage of them to worship the God who made the promise in Psalm 33.  As we celebrate the 240th anniversary of the founding of our nation, we can look back at the marvelous blessings that have brought America to its situation today and give thanks. 

We also see the many threats and challenges looming in areas where the name of God is seldom heard in reverence. It is both a privilege and duty for those whose God is the Lord to faithfully pray for our country and to give witness in our everyday lives to his love for us.

Prayer:  Lord thank you for blessing America. We can only praise you! Amen.

(c) Parker Wayland  2016

Saturday, July 2, 2016


“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 (NKJV)

Only in America, we celebrate the Fourth of July. This is our special holiday, celebrating when the 13 colonies declared their independence from England. Of course, this did not happen overnight. It was a long war fought with many lives lost. The end result was a nation built on freedom.

There is another war many of us are fighting even today. Instead of being independent, we seek to be dependent. It is our desire to be a serious follower of Jesus. It is a long drawn out battle that keeps us on our guard.

The Christian life is a paradox. As Christians, we are to strive to be like Jesus. But there is a problem. We are only human. In our own power we fall short of this goal. It is through Jesus, The Vine, which we can tap into, that gives us true power.

This can only be accomplished through the weapons of reading and studying His Word. Another weapon at our disposal, is the power of prayer. Unpretentious, authentic prayer helps us to stay connected, in other words, to abide in Jesus.

My desire is to be totally and eternally dependent on Jesus.  I am declaring my independence from the influences of this world and reinforcing my complete dependence on the One who died to set me free.

As I watch the fireworks light up the night sky, I will celebrate the freedom that comes from Jesus.

Lord, help me to remember both our country’s independence and my dependence on You, the true Vine.

©2016 Dawn Sexton.