Saturday, April 29, 2017


Trust in the Lord  with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

One day a video of a motivational speaker, Lisa Nichols, appeared on my Facebook page. She made a statement that captured my attention, "Be willing to do it afraid!" This caused me to think about how  often fear stops me from trusting God enough to pursue the "its" in my life. Despite being a Christian, sometimes it is hard for me to trust God when things do not make sense. It could be something like God's call to get more involved in a ministry or yielding to God's prompting to pray for someone unexpectedly. Equally, it could be something more difficult like obeying God's call to leave a job or move to a new area where there are no family or friends nearby. Regardless of how big or small the challenge God places before me, a paralyzing fear far too often grips my soul in these moments.

How easy it is to become fearful when we feel God's spirit nudging us in a direction that is unknown and a bit scary? How easy it is to stop in our tracks when God's requests feel  overwhelming? It's so easy to allow fear to take over our minds, but God's command for us is to walk by faith and not by sight. When God called Abram to go to a place that He would show him, Abram had to be willing to go with God by faith and faith alone. He wants us to do the same, even when we're afraid.

Lord, when our hearts are overwhelmened by fear, give us courage to take a faith step.

(C)  2017 Dawn M. Wayman

Friday, April 21, 2017


We love, because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 (NAS)

On a scorching hot day in July, a cat came out of the woods surrounding our home. She was tiny, starving and feral—as the mobile vet said, "Obviously born in the wild."
Although dehydrated and very hungry, even food and water could not draw her near. I left bowls outside and watched from the window as she devoured every morsel and drop. After months of coaxing, feeding and inching closer, I was finally able to lightly touch her back. That was the breakthrough. Each day I rubbed her fur a little longer. Finally, she came into the safety of the porch at night, leaving at daybreak.
Winter approached and temperatures dipped to near freezing. I was concerned. One day she ventured through the porch door and briefly into the house—that was a beginning.
At last the day came when “Sydney” came in and stayed. She joined our other cats and adjusted well. That was four years ago.

She learned there was comfort, rest and daily nourishment. More importantly, she learned there was love and acceptance and consequently turned into quite the little love-bug.

Sydney has all she needs and is able to give affection in return.

As humans in need of a Savior, we are much the same way. We need all these things, but fear makes us hesitant to receive. Some of us take years to accept the free gift of salvation and find rest for our weary souls. When at last we do, we are relieved to find all our needs met by a loving Father. Only then, are we able to pass His love on to others.

Father, thank You for loving us and showing us how to love others. 

© 2017 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, April 14, 2017


“He himself bore our sins” in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by His wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:24 (NIV)

Staring through the window at the snow-covered landscape reminds me of the righteousness of Jesus. He has washed us whiter than snow and cast our sins as far as the east is from the west. His blanket of holiness and righteousness covers all of our sins—past, present and future. And one day, all who believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior will be able to stand blameless before God—not because of anything we have done, but because of what Jesus did for us.

Every day is Good Friday when we remember the enormous price Jesus paid for our salvation; He paid it all with His life.

At times, shame overwhelms me when I picture Jesus nailed to the cross . . . the crown of thorns upon His head . . . the wounds upon His body . . . His life blood poured out for us. My lips begin to tremble and my eyes fill with tears. I am in awe of His unconditional love. Jesus paid for our transgressions; He paid our debt in full. And my fervent prayer is that I no longer sin against my Lord.

God poured out a cup of wrath upon Jesus so He could pour out a cup of mercy upon us.

God desires to have a relationship with each one of us—that no one should perish, but have everlasting life. Jesus is God’s final Word to a sinful world—His chosen path of redemption and reconciliation.

Father God, please surround us with the warmth of Your presence, love and mercy as we approach the Easter season.

© 2017 Amy A. Verzi

Friday, April 7, 2017


Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.  Exodus 20:12 (NIV)

A tribute is a written expression of love and heartfelt gratitude to someone who has made a powerful impact in our lives. Many people may come to mind, but as we approach Mother's Day and Father's Day, my thoughts naturally gravitate toward my parents. My written tribute was one of the most treasured gifts they received.

Whatever our circumstances—perhaps our relationship with our parents is strained or we've had a less than ideal upbringing—we can still write a tribute. Whether or not we choose to present it to them, we may find writing a tribute provides us with an essential outlet to express our feelings. As a result, we may experience the gift of healing, forgiveness and reconciliation.

Even if our parents have passed away, we may want to write a tribute to honor their memory and share their legacy with our children and grandchildren.

Through the eyes of a child, we sometimes see our parents as infallible—larger than life. They are often our biggest cheerleaders . . . encouraging us to dream big and grow to reach our maximum potential. Generally, it is not until we become older, and perhaps become parents ourselves, that we are able to fully appreciate their sacrifices, struggles and shortcomings.

Although my parents, like all of us, were flawed, they offered their best. I never doubted their love for me. One of my final acts in honoring my mother's life was reading my tribute at her funeral.

Words vanish as they are spoken, but written words remain . . .

Lord, please provide us with meaningful words to write a tribute to honor our parents. 

© 2017 Amy A. Verzi

Saturday, April 1, 2017


 . . . I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am . . . I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11b, 13 (NAS) 

Suddenly jarred out of my comfortable life, I stared at unwelcome change. I had been happy working with my sons in our family business, but the cost-of-doing business had escalated. My oldest son was forced to let me go. I was scared and anxious about the future. What was I going to do? 

Prayer seemed like a good place to start when faced with this life-changing challenge, so I asked for God’s guidance and direction. Dusting off an old resume, I asked for help revising it. Next, I went online to job search sites and signed up for everything.  

Sometimes I was excited in anticipation of what might happen. Other days, I woke up in shock and allowed fear to take over. Suppose there were no jobs for an older person like me, or would they pay enough to cover my expenses?
As I sought the Lord, He reminded me of His faithful provision for my needs over the years. He could be trusted this time, too. Was this time different because I was no longer depending on my family? Full reliance on God alone seemed like a new experience, but He was stretching and testing my faith. This was time well spent in His presence. 

Within days of my last paycheck, I received word of a job opportunity and a new place of service for Him. Our loving God is just in time with His providential care for us. 

Praise You, Lord, for working in our hearts and lives to remind us that our hope is in You alone through all of our circumstances. 

© 2017 Diane E. Hussey