Friday, May 26, 2017


"Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.”                                                                                            

 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.” Luke 9:49-50 (NIV)

As I reflect on my own faith journey, I find these words so refreshing. It’s amazing how many different denominations there are within the Christian faith. The number of churches within one community can be astounding. There are approximately forty seven churches in my own community 

Many churches preach the true gospel of Jesus Christ, proclaiming Jesus as the Author and Finisher of our faith. One can freely receive salvation when he comes to Jesus with a repentant heart and declares Him as Lord and Savior over his life. What may encourage one individual in their walk may not encourage another. Each person, even within families is unique in what appeals to their senses. However, the desire in our hearts to grow in our faith and love for our Lord, is the same. This may help us to appreciate the vast choices we have within corporate worship.

We can so easily become haughty in our attitude, comparing one church to another. May we instead, focus on the Cross and our personal relationship with Jesus whom we desire to imitate more truly each day in all that we do. 

Father God, may we appreciate and embrace others who are choosing to walk in Your ways. May we learn from each other and experience an even closer walk with Jesus. May our communities become as one in the faith, with the same desire to carry out Your command to witness Your love and bring hope to the world.     

 © 2017 Marianne Lucot

Friday, May 19, 2017


Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, Genesis 28:15 (NAS)

 Our family always enjoyed amusement park rides. One year we vacationed near a boardwalk that boasted of having an old-fashioned, wooden roller coaster. With trembling anticipation, our children approached the ticket booth. 
As the roller coaster roared up, screeching to a stop, the children barely waited for the shaky, pale tourists to unload before jumping into their seats.

My husband and son hopped in. My daughter and I climbed into the seat behind them. As the ticket-taker came by, I realized that my hubby's long legs prevented the bar from catching the safety lock. My son had nothing to hold him in! My husband was more confident than I in his ability to overcome the power of centrifugal force and hold the bar. I turned in a panic to alert the ride operator.  That very instant, he threw the lever forward and we took off. Terror for my son's life seized my heart as we careened down the first drop, swerving precariously.

I knew any second my son could go flying into mid-air. I began praying aloud for God to protect him.  With the next sudden dip and twist something cracked in my lower back. 
I prayed even louder, "Jesus! Help us! Please, Jesus, get us off this ride safely!” 

It seemed like the ride would never end.

When the coaster finally screamed to a stop on the platform, my husband, son and daughter bolted from their seats and flew to the exit, leaving me in their dust. It was evident my loud prayers had humiliated them.
No matter, I knew Jesus had been with us, as He promised He would be—always and forever.

Father, I’m so thankful You are always as close as a prayer.

© 2017 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, May 12, 2017


Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon
the land which the LORD hath given thee. Exodus 21:12 (KJV)

Mama's fingers were so long and slender,
   Her nails painted in colorful hue;
Her wrists draped in rhinestone bracelets
   of which she had so few.

Mama's hands kept up from falling.
   They caressed whenever we cried.
They were cool when we burned with fever.
   They punished whenever we lied.

They applauded when we made achievements.
   They shook when temperaments flared.
Mama's hands let us know she loved us.
   Her tender touch showed she cared.

When we hurt, they made us feel better.
   They never pushed away in the night.
She clasped them in despair and anger
   when her daughters got into a fight.

Mama's hands were never more lovely,
   as when she folded them tenderly in prayer.
They brought the presence of God nearer
   until you felt His Oneness there.

Mama's hands were the hands of a lady.
   Her gestures showed that so clear.
They demanded respect of those who knew her,
   and the love of all she held dear.

Through the years Mama's hands changed little.
   They show all the love she commands.
Nothing can hold such wisdom
   as the love in Mama's beautiful hands.


Father, I have honored my mother, and therefore,
    I also honor You in all things. Amen.

© 2017 Evelyn B. Ryan

Friday, May 5, 2017


The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. Matthew 25:40 (NIV)

At the young age of 62, my friend embarked on a 2,806 mile journey across America as a walk of atonement and gratitude—and to raise awareness of the needs of children with emotional, behavioral and developmental disabilities. 

Frank shares his incredible story in his book, Life Lessons Learned, Amazing Stories of My Walk Across America for Children by Francis X. Ryan. His voice, so familiar to me, came alive on the pages and carried me along, as his amazing journey unfolded before my eyes. At times, it seemed as though I were walking beside him.

As Frank’s journey came to an end at the waters in Ocean City, Maryland, I realized that he had reached a new beginning. During the final month of his walk, God provided him with a plan to help children and families affected by emotional, behavioral and developmental disabilities.

There was work to be done.

God is faithful; and so is Frank—he accomplished what he set out to do, in spite of the challenges, hardships and obstacles he faced along the way. And when his spirits faltered, God, through His presence and His people encouraged and strengthened him.

Frank, my friend, you are a true hero—to those you love, inspire, encourage and serve every day—and to those who will come after you, who will benefit from your dedication and the groundwork you have laid. A great legacy from a great leader . . .

Lord, please show us what you are calling us to do today to love and serve others.

© 2017 Amy A. Verzi