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