Friday, December 29, 2017


But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 (NLT)

Fellowship indicates the bond we share with fellow believers in Jesus, each living in the light as God is in the light. Although we come from all nations and socioeconomic backgrounds, we are all one in God’s Kingdom here on earth.

We have been cleansed from all sin by the blood of Jesus. Within the fellowship of God, the Holy Spirit provides an abundance of overflowing love.  May we each be filled with God’s love, pouring forth the fruit of His Spirit?

Our mission is to spread God’s light to others throughout the world. Years ago I experienced Christ’s love from a neighbor who befriended me and my two young boys with her loving spirit. As we shared our lives and became close friends, she often spoke of her love for Jesus. Do you, within the body of Christ, display the fruit of the Holy Spirit toward others?  During this Christmas season, may we encourage everyone to be the light in this dark world every single day forward into eternity. 
We will live in harmony when God calls us home, and we can live in His perfect love right now. God has called His Kingdom here on earth to join hands in fellowship and pour out His Spirit. When the world experiences His love, His reigning peace, and receives His message of Christ our risen King, God’s Kingdom will grow exponentially.

Father, light a burning fire in our souls.

© 2017 Marianne Lucot

Friday, December 22, 2017


That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:17 (NAS)

A friend of mine only gets to see her son once a year due to the nature of his job on a large fishing vessel. This year when he came home their family celebrated their time together with a week at the beach. Each night as they gathered round, they celebrated a different holiday theme since her son wouldn’t be present for the actual holiday.

They sang, “Happy Birthday” and exchanged special gifts like a keepsake quilt made from her son’s old, but treasured t-shirts. The birthday festivities ended with everyone’s favorite cake. 

Thanksgiving had all the trimmings and turkey decorations. 

For Halloween their two year old granddaughter dressed in costume and went from room to room collecting treats.

Christmas brought twinkling lights, colored balls and more presents. 

The next day their little granddaughter proudly donned a Santa hat while she played on the beach. 

When I saw the adorable picture of her in bathing suit and Santa hat, I couldn’t help but think how perfect an illustration of what CHRISTmas is supposed to be. It is not meant to be a once a year celebration and then put away with all of our decorations. The point of Christmas is for all seasons, for all people, all over the world. 

Jesus came that we could have new life in Him forevermore. The joy of our salvation is meant to shine through every day of the year so that others can see Christ in us.

Thank you Jesus, that you came, not just for a season, but to be our forever God. Help us to live in a manner that shows you to the world every single day. Amen. 

©2017 Bonnie Mae Evans

Saturday, December 16, 2017


"Come near to God and He will come near to you."  James 4:8 (NIV)
When first viewing the green grass and healthy trees surrounding my new home, I was excited to move in. However, after twelve years the trees that drew me to this place have overgrown their welcome.

The maples and oaks are three times taller than the roof of the house. In the last several years, sections of a once green lawn have developed large bare spots--as hard as cement. Nothing green can grow where there is always shade. Rain water is diverted away by the leaves. There is sunshine, but it cannot reach the ground because of the overpowering shadows from the trees.

If the green grass is to restore its healthy thick green beauty, it must be in touch with the sun.

In like manner, we must make the effort to remain in touch with the Son of God on a regular basis.
Unhealthy thoughts can creep into one's life while we're busy with worldly things. It is too easy to become involved in mundane issues. Meanwhile the most important issue--our relationship with Jesus, languishes in the shadows.

The Son's shine on our day is what makes life worth living.

If we open ourselves to God's glory and take time to invite more of the Holy Spirit into our hearts, His sweetness and beauty will remain in us giving light and purpose to our lives.

Father God help us to keep the light of your Son Jesus, shining in our lives by taking time to "soak" up" Your Son's shine. Amen.

(C) 2017 Christy Struben   

Friday, December 8, 2017


You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:16 (NLT)

Have you spent time meditating on this verse? I have. These words reflect how all knowing Our God is and how His sovereignty crafts us according to His will. This is true of every individual who has, is, or will live on this earth. As I meditate, I see God’s hand on my life at the age of five. He laid on my heart a dream that I would become a nurse, and I did!  I never lost sight of that dream although I did lose sight of God.

Although we may lose sight of God in our life journey, He does not lose sight of us. I lived over thirty years of my life in this world, without answering to God. I made poor choices and paid the consequences. I began to yearn for a relationship with God, desiring to turn my life over and live for God alone. Now I am living in His light with all of my scars. I can see that God was preparing me for His higher purpose.

God calls each of us to His higher purpose. In your wayward journey, He is preparing you for His greater purpose to call the lost. Your scars will identify your purpose in God’s Kingdom. You can breathe hope into others who have also lost their way. There are no new sins under the sun, and there are people that are hurting just as you.

Share your story with others      

Father, equip us to boldly share our stories and encourage others with our hope found in Jesus alone.

© 2017 Marianne Lucot

Friday, December 1, 2017


"Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character." 1Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)

This morning my husband Charles, and I changed the water filters in our house as we've done every six weeks in the years we've lived here. Without the filter the water has a foul taste and smells like rotten eggs. There is also a lot of iron in the water. I love everything about our house except the deep well water. I really miss the clear, clean, sweet taste of the spring water we had in our other house.It was so refreshing to turn on the spigot and get such sweet water to drink.

While I washed the filter housings to prepare them for the new filters, I thought of the Spiritual filter in our lives. The knowledge and love of Jesus helps us in our daily choices of reading material that comes into our home. We are also careful to choose what television programs to watch, the games we play and the attitudes that effect our daily lives.

Every now and then I also look at what materials our children bring home to read. We try to teach the children to choose their friends wisely also. The old phrase, "You can't choose your family, but you can choose your friends, so choose them wisely," I have often said to my children. I hope they will also teach it to their own children some day. It makes me feel good to realize that Jesus is the Spiritual filter of my family as well as my own heart.

Heavenly Father, keep my Spiritual eyes open to the unsavory things of this world. Help me to make the right choices for my life that may please You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

© 2017 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, November 24, 2017


Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the changing colors of the trees, the crisp air, the opportunities to bake with freshly picked apples and pumpkins, and the return of football season! After the warmth and free-spirited nature of summer, fall is a nice and cozy season for me often shared with family and friends from near and far. I especially love Thanksgiving Day, not so much because of the wonderful dishes enjoyed with others, rather because of the intentional decision of family, friends, and my brothers and sisters in Christ to be thankful for all that has happened during the past year of our lives!

For me, this past year has been filled with many challenges—a broken relationship, the loss of my dear grandmother and a rescinded job offer, among other things! Despite the tough challenges of the year, scripture instructs us that we should give thanks in all circumstances and experiences. While not always easy, it is doable at Thanksgiving and in our daily lives. Have you ever considered setting aside a few moments each day to reflect on the things for which you are grateful, big and small? If not, give it a try. This simple act honors God and allows us to quickly see the many things we can be thankful for. No matter the circumstances life may bring your way, remember to give thanks in all things.

Father, life is such a challenge and sometimes we find it hard to say thank You for Your many blessings. Forgive us and help us to give thanks in all things.

©2017 Dawn M. Wayman

Friday, November 17, 2017


For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.  He holds in his hands the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains. Psalm 95:3, 4 (NLT)

Mountains always speak to my soul. Throughout my childhood, our family would drive to Western Maryland each summer for a visit with our grandparents. They owned and worked a farm on Warrior mountain. I am still overcome with a sense of peace as I view and approach any mountain range. It feels like home—being one with nature.

God is found in such a place as this. You can be still and experience His creation. The varying melodies sung by the birds and the tones heard from the insects create their own symphony of grandeur. The sound of running water in a brook is captivating, adding another layer of richness. When the air is stirring, more is added to this symphony. One can hear the stirring of tall grasses, and pine needles, and the rustling leaves.  A breeze also cools your skin, moderating the warmth which penetrates from the sun’s rays.  The night sounds of crickets and whippoorwills create a different symphony to lure you into a deep restful sleep.

We are drawn to God as we gaze over a field of flowers in full bloom. Every year our senses are enhanced by the smell of pine needles and the leaves which display their brilliant fall colors. He has provided such splendor of color, to the ever changing hues of landscapes as the sun rises and sets.  

Heavenly Father, Creator of the universe, thank You for our senses. May we each spend time communing with Your creation and be drawn to Your Word, the source of all understanding and life. 

© 2017 Marianne Lucot

Friday, November 10, 2017


Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)

This morning we watched our son pull out of the driveway to begin his journey westward to his new home. Our house which had been a flurry of activity was empty—and quiet. I didn’t believe my morning could get worse, but it did. As we watched my granddaughter climb the steps of the school bus, we saw a little boy run back to his mother. He didn’t want to leave her.

Memories of waiting with my children at the bus stop began to fill my mind. And the little boy who didn’t want to get on the school bus was my son. As the flashback overwhelmed my senses, I couldn’t breathe. I turned to escape before the floodgates opened and poured forth an avalanche of tears. I barely made it to safety.

We love, nurture and raise our children so that one day they will be able to stand on their own two feet. After all, we’re not going to be around forever. Today I realized the little hand I once held in mine was bigger than my own. Our little boy had become a man. I couldn’t pinpoint when it happened, but it did.

We are proud of our son. He is following his dreams—living the good life. And we can rest assured in the knowledge that when God places a dream in our heart, He equips us to achieve it.

Father God, thank You for Your faithfulness and the gift of children. Grant us the courage to allow them to spread their wings and take flight. Keep them in Your loving care as they journey from home.

© 2017 Amy A. Verzi  

Friday, November 3, 2017


The angel of the Lord encamps round those who fear him, and he delivers them. Psalm 34:7 (NIV)

Many years ago, after a wonderful vacation, I was driving my young family home. It was dark night on a long stretch of Florida interstate highway. Becky, Hank, Kent and Judy were trying to sleep in the back seat, and we looked forward to stretching out on nice motel beds soon.

Suddenly, the car quit. The engine stopped, and I had to pull over on the shoulder. I was immediately aware of how utterly vulnerable we were. As the cars raced past us, all kinds of people, good and bad, saw our car sitting lamely on the shoulder. I’m sure some sort of prayer went up, but mostly my mind was occupied by fear and searching for a viable plan.

A car pulled out of the traffic and stopped in front of us. Was this friend or foe? How could I know if this person was to be trusted?

Then I saw the decal on his rear window: “Purdue.” That was my alma mater!

My fear was instantly relieved. God had seen my plight and moved to send help. And He did it in a way that gently assured me of safety.

As I talked with the driver of that car, we quickly bonded. This happened before cell phones were available, and he was willing to go out of his way to find a tow-truck to come help me.

The tow-truck came and we were rescued. When my family finally arrived at a motel with those comfortable beds, I just had to praise God for his gracious protection and provision through our ordeal.

Lord, I praise You that You are my guardian, always watching over me.
© 2017 Parker Wayland

Friday, October 27, 2017


Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. James 4:8 NASB

My kitties love sunbathing on the back porch. I would have named that as their favorite thing to do. I would have been wrong.
As I was praying and doing my devotions, they came in from their porch time to curl up—one in my lap and one tucked tightly beside me. There have been a lot of rainy days this summer, limiting their time basking in the sun, but their priority was time spent with me.

This caused me to contemplate the value of things that sometimes wrestle for my time with God, and search my heart for where my cherished time lies. What are my priorities? What nourishes my soul? 
Seeking God and sitting in His Holy presence was my answer.

Nothing else soothes and brings comfort to my wounds when the trials of life are scraping my soul raw. 

Nothing heals my hurts like His loving touch on my aching heart. 
Nothing gives me hope, peace and strength like His word spoken deep into my spirit.

We are in desperate need of healing from all life's pain. Nothing can satisfy that longing except time spent with our Father. 
Perhaps life is meant to beat us ragged until we crawl into the presence of God seeking relief. I marvel at the restoration only He can bring.

When life is competing for your attention, I encourage you to stop—run to your special place to sit at His feet. Sit quietly before Him. You will come away renewed and strengthened.

Father, I'm so grateful you are always there, waiting for me to come and drawing near to me in love. Amen.

©2017 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, October 20, 2017


. . . “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”
. . . for when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9b, 10e (NAS) 

Dear son, 

I hope you’re doing okay. Searching for a job is discouraging at times. I also wrestle with it. When I get down and feel like nothing is going to happen, talking to God helps me. I lay it all out—my frustration and how it feels when no one wants to take a chance and hire me. Sometimes I feel sad, discouraged and even angry.  

Then, I take a fresh look at 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. This passage clearly speaks to me, and I hope it will to you. When I am at a low point, I cry out to God for help and strength. 

I claim this promise:  When I am weak, I know He enables me to be strong by the power of Christ dwelling in me. His power is made perfect in my weakness. We can endure anything knowing our Lord is with us in the midst of it. He may not take the difficulty away immediately, but He is with us, and He will bring us out on the other side. We will be changed because we learned to trust Him in the worst of times. Our faith is strengthened because we learned to persevere in a trial. 

This is true for you, too, my son. Our Savior is with you, and He will guide you through this tough time. He will show you, and me, the jobs He has for us. We have both learned to trust God.
Dear Father, be with and strengthen those who are facing hard times.
© 2017 Diane E. Hussey

Friday, October 13, 2017


The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; may the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace! Psalm 29:10a, 11 (RSV)

We have been divided by activist groups, waving their banners, screaming in the streets. We have been divided by our color. We have been divided by our income. But, when the chips are down, when Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texaswe were united. 

We bind together to help rescue all those who are in danger: children, seniors and pets. I saw a soaked little kitten carried in a box. I don’t hear people saying, “I helped seven white people, five black people, twelve seniors.”  I don’t hear anyone saying, “A skinny little white man rescued me from the roof of my garage.” They were helpers with big hearts and strong arms.

People were rescued by helicopters, large flatbed trucks, many boats of various sizes. Fire and Police Departments from different communities, and other states were on the scene. All the workers were volunteers, no one was on the clock. They worked day and night, day after day.

There’s a saying, “United we stand; Divided we fall,” dating back to Aesop. It has been cited from Abraham Lincoln to the terrorist attack of 9/11. When people are in trouble, we unite and come to the rescue.

I didn’t say “Americans” because maybe they weren’t. They were love in action—bound together by seeing a need, joining hands and heartsfilling that need.

God’s hands are all around, through rescue after rescue. With tears, I prayed for them. I learned when my troubles were more than I could stand, I kneel.

Dear Lord, thank You, for all Your helpers. I pray to be considered one of Your workers. Amen

© 2017 Lois Gosley