Friday, April 24, 2020


You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8 (NIV)

After my son returned from the funeral of his best friend, I was emptying his suit pockets to take to the cleaners. There I found a pocketful of used, wadded-up tissues.
My heart broke for the pain I saw crumpled in my hands.

It was practically unbearable for him when he was first told of the tragedy, the days that followed leading up to the service, the travel to be with friends and family, and deliver the eulogy. Looking to the future without the chance for making more memories together as they had planned . . . it was all there . . . the pain unbearably written in these crushed tissues lying in my hands.
Suddenly they were excruciatingly precious to me. I held them to my heart, crying and praying for God to somehow redeem the pain and grief of my son and all who loved Stephen. I prayed for God’s comfort and peace to pour over us.

Unable to toss them away, I carefully placed them in a small drawstring bag, gently nestling them in a corner of my jewelry box.
I am reminded of how much more our Father loves us and cares about our pain.

Someday I plan to give the bag to my son as a reminder of how precious he is to God. Not a single tear falls without His notice. He has saved every aching, trembling one in His bottle. We do not grieve alone.  
Dear hearts, if you are hurting and suffering the loss of a loved one or grieving from any kind of loss. I wish I had words to lessen your pain and lighten the crushing load of your grief.

I wish . . . but I don’t. There are just no adequate human utterings.
What I can do is pray and encourage you in HIS Word and the knowledge you are not alone. Our Father God is with you. He cares more than you can imagine. He sees your pain. He’s saving every tear. You are that precious to Him.
Words are empty, prayers seem impossible, and grief eats at your heart. But, let me encourage you with the Word of God, which says,

He is near to the broken-hearted and comforts those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Hang on to hope. He sees. He knows. He cares.

I pray you feel God’s strong arms of comfort and peace wrap around you and hold you in the knowledge of His everlasting love.
©2020 Bonnie Mae Evans

Thursday, February 27, 2020


. . . O Lord, Thou art our father; we are the clay, 
and Thou our potter; and we all are the work of Thy hand. Isaiah 64:8 (KJV)

I was not the nicest child. Born a sinner, I had a favorite sin—ME! God sees that as PRIDE.

Actually, it is about more than me. I am God’s child; He gave me to my parents to train up in the way I should go, not the way I want to go (Prov. 22:6). He (and they) gave me siblings, so I had to accept that I was not the center of the universe — not even the “universe” on Cohassett Drive.

When I complained in piteous tones, Mom would say, “I can’t hear you when you whine!” That is a logical fallacy. She was saying, “I won’t listen to your whining.”

Whining is also a disrespectful way to approach our heavenly Father, but . . .

Compare God’s response with Mom’s. He does hear me when I whine to Him. He loved me even before He formed me in the womb, and He knew I would be an accomplished sinner and whiner. That probably describes many of us.

The Master Potter shapes and reshapes hearts and minds until they surrender to His Will. God has been molding us since before we were born. Some of us do require more work than others.

He has been very, very patient with me for many decades—shaping me into something for His pleasure. I need to quit whining about the process, and praise Him for his grace and mercy.

Dear Lord, please remind us that You are the real Center of the Universe. We would be wise to cooperate with Your plan, instead of advising You about our preferences.

© 2020 Sarah F. Strachan

Friday, February 21, 2020


For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:6 (KJV)

A lovely antique prism hangs in my window. On bright days it refracts the sun and sends brilliant rainbows dancing around the room.

It is a beautiful reminder of God’s love.

If the crystal were silver, the sun’s beauty would reflect its source, but would not refract with clear brilliancy on everything around it. That is like us, dear ones, when we receive God’s grace.

It’s a marvelous truth that when we give our hearts to Christ Jesus, our eternal home with Him is secure. We worship Him with adoration and praise, reflecting His love back to Him in humble gratefulness.

But wait, there’s more—if God intended for that to be all He desired for us, why wouldn’t He have taken us to Paradise right then and there?

He leaves us on earth to be His body, loving and doing good works. In communion with Him we are strengthened and empowered to let His light pass through us to others, so their eyes can be opened to the life-giving power of His love.

His plan is like an infinite circle of love beginning with Him and returning to Him. As His Word says in 1 John 4:19, We love because He first loved us.

During this process of holy reflection and refraction as our hearts are lit with His love, we shower the light of it on others, helping to complete the circle.

Father, change our hearts from silver to purest crystal so we shine Your love on everyone we meet, pointing them to Your saving grace. 

©2020 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, February 14, 2020


But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one. Mark 10:6-8 (NIV)

In November, 1933, Hank Wayland and Rebecca Carr were married. They had met at the university and wed soon after their graduation. The Great Depression was still in progress, but Hank was able to find a job and provide for his wife. They were very much in love, but it was almost four years before their first child was bornme. A couple of years later Hank opened his own business, a Ford dealership, in a small Missouri town. Later a second son, my brother Al, was born.

Both Hank and “Becky” had strong Christian heritages, and they lived that way. There was honesty, faithfulness, integrity and unity in the home. In that atmosphere, wisdom also flourished. And it rubbed off on us two boys as we grew and developed our own lives and character.  Christ became our guiding light with all the confidence, guidance and blessings that He promises. Certainly there were the challenges and threats common to everyone’s life, but God’s blessing was on us as we faced them all.

Fast forward, Hank passed away in 1986. By 2007, Mother was in a nursing home. When I visited her, she was fond of reminiscing about her life with Dad. She would burst forth, “Happy, Happy, Happy!” Truly they had become one flesh. In doing so, they had become one that God could bless. And He did so in many wonderful ways.

That’s how it works, folks.

Lord, show me the way to Your blessing!

© 2020 Parker Wayland

Friday, February 7, 2020


Already he . . . is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. John 4:36 (NASB)

For decades I’ve enjoyed a hobby of growing citrus trees. It began one day quite simply, removing seeds from a tangerine for my daughter.

One seed had a little green sprout. I could hardly disregard the hope of new life emerging there. And so, with the planting of a few seeds in a pot of soil, some sunshine and water, thus began a hobby I love.

I’ve planted many varieties of citrus seeds; oranges, lemons, clementines and grapefruit. At present, wintering in my basement under a plant light, are tiny kumquat and Key Lime trees.

One tree in particular grew marvelously over fifteen years. As it grew I transplanted it into larger pots, moving it outside in the summertime. One season it stretched too tall for our ceiling and required pruning four feet off the top. It then grew in diameter monopolizing an entire corner of our family room.

It was a bittersweet day realizing it needed a larger space. I contacted the horticulturist at Rawlings Conservatory and Botanic Gardens, a magnificent glass house dating back to the 1800s. They were happy to give it a home where it now thrives. In their continued care, together we’ve shared the joy of seeing it produce blossoms and lemons.

I’m reminded of the parable of the sower. I find joy in the planting, not only citrus seeds, but seeds of faith in the lives of others by serving and encouraging them through God’s word. It isn’t necessary for me to see the seeds to fruition, but to be faithful in my part along their journey.

Father, show us how to be faithful gardeners of the heart.

©2020 Bonnie Mae Evans

Friday, January 31, 2020


And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)

I’m surrounded by familiar faces, people who have blessed me for years—plus a few more. I attempt to put on a brave face when Lisa hands me an envelope, but the truth is I’m broken—the fragile dam that holds back my tears is weak. I am weak, and it all begins to make sense, this brokenness I carry around in this heart of mine filled with scars formed by the simple act of loving.

I watch my dear friend Lisa suffer. We’ve gathered to celebrate her birthday—my granddaughter in my arms—her daughter Sierra and grandchildren in heaven. We sing the familiar tune of “Happy Birthday.” Deep inside we are many things, but happy is not one of them.

Our brokenness is not foreign to God. He too grieved the loss of His children to sin, sending His own Son Jesus Christ into the world to be broken for us. Love and pain must coexist for love to exist at all, for it is in the giving of ourselves we are broken. Love breaks us and makes us vulnerable, elevating us to the highest mountaintop or plunging us into the deepest sea. Even knowing the cost, I wouldn’t trade love, the greatest gift of all, for anything.

Among the pictures in the envelope is a smiling picture of Sierra and me. Just as surely as I know one day I will see God, I will again see my sweet Sierra and those who have gone before me. Until then, I will love more abundantly those God has entrusted to me. I hope you will too.

Thank You God for the gift of love.

© 2020 Amy A. Verzi

Friday, January 24, 2020


Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest indeed is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Matthew 9:37 (NIV)

One year ago, my husband gave me a book entitled, Hearts of Fire, the stories of eight Christian women in the underground church. These women faced intense persecution for their faith, including imprisonment, family abandonment, kidnapping, forced marriages, beatings and exile. They were in the world spreading the Gospel and leading lost souls to salvation in treacherous conditions!

Their stories and their faith inspired me, yet made me ask: How far would I go to spread the Gospel? Would I give up in fear if the government entered my house and told me to renounce my faith or suffer death? Does my service in the church in America matter compared to the suffering endured by these women of faith? These questions loomed in my mind.

Living in the United States, Christians do not have to worry about such brutal persecutions. We have freedom of speech and religion and are not fleeing from a war-torn land; however, our work is not any less important to the Kingdom.

Recently, when my church went on a mission trip to Baltimore City, I realized there was much to do right where I live. God has work for me as well. The harvest is indeed plentiful in my own backyard. All souls are precious to God and He calls us to be His hands and feet right where we are! This gave me a new perspective and renewed desire to keep serving because it does matter!

Lord, bring out the laborers for the harvest here, there, and everywhere! Amen.

© 2019 Maritza Mejias-Ditzenberger