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