• flowers

    Seek Ye First The Kingdom Of God: Living A Life Of Faith, Devotion, and Charity

    The Apostle Paul led a less than perfect life. Remarkably, he became a fearless minister, full of wisdom, testifying of Christ through thought, word, and action, in an increasingly hostile world. When Paul proclaimed: “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Philippians 1:20) it was as if he were saying, “I desire to give my utmost for His highest.” How does one give their utmost for His highest? By seeking first the kingdom of God. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and…

  • Ambassadors for christ the light to shine out of darkness

    Ambassadors For Christ: The Light To Shine Out Of Darkness

    Morning dawned, gray and melancholy.   Turning to 2 Corinthians 4, I read: “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed” (vs. 8 & 9)“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.” (vs. 6)“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost;In whom the god of this worlds hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should…

  • Cowardly Clyde coming out of the darkness and into the light

    Cowardly Clyde: Coming Out Of The Darkness And Into The Light

    LIVING IN DARKNESS Cowardly Clyde was a cowardly horse who was terrified to enter the dark woods. Ultimately, he gained confidence and courage and was able to enter the woods and pull out the dreadful monster that loomed there—a monster that dissipated into nothingness when exposed to the light. We, too, often have ‘monsters’ hiding in the dark past of our lives—shame, fear, uncertainty, sin, blame. The thought of entering those dark places to deal with those ‘monsters’ is terrifying. However, when the day finally comes that we decided to expose our ‘monsters’ to the light, we get our first taste of real freedom. There is power in coming out of the darkness and into the light.   WALKING IN…

  • a good place to hide

    A Good Place To Hide: A Lesson In Love And Trust

    As an avid reader, I occasionally run across some gems. On June 23rd, 2015, I was delighted to open the book “A Good Place To Hide” and read of a sermon given exactly 75 years ago, on 23 June 1940—and what a sermon it was! Boy, can we ever relate to it today. This is so powerful: On 22 June 1940 an Armistice was signed by Hitler and Marshal Petain of France. Not everyone agreed with the terms of this Armistice, including Andre’ Trocme’, who, on the day following the signing of the Armistice, gave this rousing sermon to his congregation in France: “The duty of Christians is to resist the violence directed at our consciences with the weapons of the…

  • tree countryside atonement

    Shake Thyself From The Dust

    Arise. Sit Down.   Say what? What exactly is it that you want me to do? Should I stand, or shall I sit? I’m referring to the scripture found in Isaiah 52:2. My children and I got a good laugh out of the verse because, after all, the command does sound a bit ridiculous. I mean, who wants to stand up, only to be told to sit back down? Sounds like a lot of wasted energy to me. These three words “arise, sit down” perfectly sum up how I feel at times–confused, bewildered, unsure of what to do next. Having been thrown a generous array of conflicting commands throughout my life that tug me in opposing directions, I yearn for a…

  • lane dirt road wooden fence

    Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself, Unless They Are (fill in the blank)

    “But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)   Was there anyone that Jesus didn’t love? Was there anyone that He was unwilling to associate with?…

  • billowing clouds

    Are There Angels Among Us?

    Angels. They’ve been on my mind lately, thanks to the experiences shared by those around me. My mind begs to ask the question:   “Are there really angels among us?”   The following experiences, shared by friends on social media, have helped to remind me that, yes, there are indeed angels around us, guiding us, protecting us. These shared experiences have helped me to become more aware of and more grateful for angels in my own life:   From a young mother:   “Being a wife and a mother is such a blessing! I am so grateful, but there are moments, days, weeks, and sometimes even months where it is hard for me to remember that this season of life…

  • I can do all things through Christ

    I Can Do All Things Through Christ Which Strengtheneth Me

    I was going to write an encouraging tidbit that inspired positive self-talk as we engage in trying new things and setting far-reaching goals, however; my daughter has managed to sum up my thoughts in a cute little story, so I’ll just hush up and let her do the inspiring:   Once upon a time there was a little girl named Claire. She didn’t know how to ride a bicycle. When her dad gave her a pink bicycle she was shocked! “Dad, I love the bicycle, but I don’t know how to ride it,” she wailed. “I’ll teach you,” he said. “If you say you can’t, then you can’t; if you say you can, then you can.” “I can do it!”…

  • Broken Things To Mend I Don't Trust God

    Broken Pieces To Mend: I Don’t Trust God

    Crackle. Crack! Crunch… Shards of nut shell fall to the table as my child giggles in delight. He reaches through the broken pieces of shell to retrieve his reward–a round, crunchy hazelnut, perfectly-sized for his small mouth. Crunching the nutty morsel between his tiny teeth, he gives little thought to the broken pieces surrounding him as he reaches for another nut to crack. Gathering around the table to crack fresh nuts has been a long-standing Christmas tradition in our home. Hazelnuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts–each unique; all delicious. Our family has discovered that some nuts are hard and smooth and more difficult to crack, while others are large, more textured, with a softer shell to break through. If a nut seems…

  • Grace and Mercy

    The Bonds We Share: Grace and Mercy

    The apostle Paul knew what it was like to be bound. He was familiar with physical bonds and prison walls. So he was qualified to speak something on the matter. He taught: “Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” (Hebrews 13:1-3)   That third verse keeps going through my mind. “Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body”.   We all, at times, feel bound by the mistakes we make. We all face adversity.…